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Reflection on Easter


I have been way too quiet as of late with my blog. Things happen and often do which is why I not been writing my blog as much. I am now studying by distance for my bachelor’s degree in Health and Leisure. This term I am taking Management 100 and Recreation 167.

With Recreation 167, I am learning about leadership and communication. This is actually the course’s true title. In this course, we learn about leadership and styles of leadership. It also focuses on reflection as a huge part of the process of leadership so that we can become better in leadership roles figuring out what works best and what needs tweaking. Naturally I am very big on reflecting anyway.

It may seem like I am waffling a bit here but hopefully I will pull all these tangents together. A few nights ago I was talking with Adam about how many Easters we have had together. In fact, Adam and I met in person for the first time around Easter 2001. This would make our 15th Easter together.

Easter is a very special time for Christians because it is when Jesus rose from the dead giving us all an opportunity to have new life through Him. It also occurred to me that when I met Adam, I had no idea the opportunity that I had in front of me. I was not really looking for a soul mate yet I had come face to face with him even though I tried denying it and was scared at first to admit it to him because we had only met.

Easter is not about chocolates and boiled coloured eggs. Easter is about renewal to me. Everyday when I wake up, I face a new day with all its challenges and rewards. Lent is a time of reflection leading up to the great celebration of Jesus’ new life which He wants to share with us if we choose to accept it.

This Easter, I am reflecting on the greatest gift I received which is love. Love comes in so many different shapes and ways. It is platonic and it is familial. It is romantic and all encompassing. I am blessed with all sorts of love for which I am very thankful.

I have had the privilege to spend Easter in the Spring when living in the United States and in Autumn because I now live in Australia. I am sure there are quite a few people out there that have also experienced this. The time of year doesn’t really matter. It is the reflection that counts.

May your Easter be filled with love and awe. May you reflect the love which you are given and receive not just for Easter but every day of your life. This is my wish for everyone.

 

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Attitude For Gratitude


I wish I could claim this idea as my own but I know it isn’t. I love the implication of it all because we all need positiveness in our lives. It’s so easy to stay glum but turning those negatives into huge positives helps me both physically as well as mentally. Wellness is something that I am beginning to really value especially as I get older.

I had recently gotten hired for a job. It was agreed that I was to be trialed before they decided if I was to be given the job. I was pretty sure that it was a few weeks. I did 4 days and was called Monday when I knew I would be need on Wednesday. I was informed that I was not needed because they wanted someone with more experience. I was devastated. I had never been let go like that over the phone. I was really low for two days. Adam wasn’t impressed either with my employer but these things do happen. As I pondered on what I did or didn’t do right, I realized that maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I loved what I was doing but maybe I wasn’t really the right person to work for them. I decided that perhaps their loss would be someone else’s gain. I would be taken on some place where my personality would shine enhancing the workplace I would work for.

Yesterday I was just puttering away on Facebook catching up on the happenings of family and friends when  one of my game friend’s thanked me for being there for her 2 years ago. I was really touched by this. I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I had a most wonderful conversation with her that cheered me up tremendously. It was exactly what I needed at the moment. I am still feeling all warm and tingly inside thinking about it. I really look forward to typing with her again. She said she looked at me like a mother figure which pulled on my heart strings because I am childless. I always wanted children. Things just worked out the way they have for me which I am not sad about most of the time. (I do get clucky but my dogs are a great fix for that motherly instinct I have.)

Today I am on the last day of a temping assignment that was for 2 days. I am enjoying temping because I get great variety. My skills base is growing too which is lovely. I get to meet new people. I get to drive on the Pacific Highway to Coffs Harbour checking out the lovely scenery as well as progression of the upgrade between Sapphire and Woolgoolga. It can be a challenge at times trying to get to places on time but they say there is a price to pay for everything. If getting better roads means I have to wait, I will deal with that.

I am going to remember to have an attitude for gratitude because I love being grateful for things as they happen. I try to embrace being in the moment. I know there are others out there who feel the same way. Will you join my challenge and show attitude for gratitude?

Boots and Heritage


I often write about Australia but tonight I thought I would share some fun thoughts I have had about my heritage and growing up in Louisiana. My father was native to Louisiana and grew up in the southwestern part of the state known as Acadiana. His childhood was in Jefferson Davis Parish and he went to USL which is in Lafayette, Louisiana. I take pride in having Cajun in my bloodline but I also have another boot place in my heritage.Map of LA Parishes

My mother’s father immigrated from Naples, Italy at the age of 9 through Ellis Island. I find it quite amazing that my father who was born a sharecropper’s son was born in a state that looks like a work boot.

My mother’s father was born in a country that looks like a lady’s boot.

I was given the name Dianna because my dad didn’t like the name Johanna and didn’t want me named Alanna because he thought his brother-in-law Alan would think I was named after him. My mom tried to name me after her sister Anna and I loved the thought of Alanna because I would have been named after my mom and her sister. Dad was still adamant I would not be named Alanna. My middle name is Louise and that is supposedly after my grandfather on my dad’s side (John Louis) but Alan’s wife, Louise is my dad’s sister. I really loved Aunt Louise but I am supposedly named after my grandfather. I had asked my mom about this long ago when I was a child. I know she always tried to name her children after family members or some sort of variant of it because it was her family tradition to do.

Every time people notice my accent, they often wonder where I am from. When I explain Louisiana, they automatically think of New Orleans. I have to explain that I grew up on the west-central side of Louisiana. It’s known as the Crossroads. The parish I was raised in for the majority of my childhood was Vernon Parish. Louisiana isn’t a very large state in comparison to Texas, California, or Alaska but it is very distinct in its own right. It has 5 distinct areas to it. The northern part of the state is predominantly protestant and the southern part is predominantly Roman Catholic. I could do several blogs about the different things in Louisiana but I grew up in the Crossroads. I always feel a special closeness to Acadiana. We would visit Aunt Dolly and Pawpaw who lived in Jefferson Davis Parish. It was about an hour and half drive. The accents also vary in Louisiana according to where you lived the most. My dad’s Cajun accent wasn’t very prominent until he was with his family. People who live in the Greater New Orleans area sound different from people from the northern area of the state.

Every time I look at boots,I am reminded of my heritage both on my mother’s side and my father’s side. I like the idea and find it quite funny. Do you have any fun facts about your heritage that you would like to share? 

Here is a link to learn more about the different facets of Louisiana.  http://www.louisianatravel.com/louisiana-map

http://www.thecajuns.com/parishes.htm

Top Blunders So Far


I am not that great at making lists but while Adam and I were visiting his sister last December I had been talking about doing a blog about blunders that I have done since I have become a yaussiechick. I know I want to make a top ten list but I don’t think I have done too bad since I have immigrated to Australia. I know in my early days I could be forgiven for my blunders but there are only 3 that I find truly embarrassing.

Growing up in the United States, I had been used to keeping to the right and sitting when driving on the left side of the car. After I had stepped off the plane for good when we lived in Homebush Adam and I would take the train to Burwood to do shopping at the Westfield’s. I was so excited to do a big grocery shop but didn’t have a car so we decided to take a cab back with the groceries. Adam told me where the taxi rank was. We go there and I am looking for a cab. I see lots of passengers but no drivers. I see the cab pull out but there is no driver and I say very astonished to Adam I don’t understand how that taxi is moving with out a driver. There is a passenger but no driver. He explained to me that it was the driver not the passenger. I want to die or be swallowed whole by the Earth because of that mistake. Adam ever the patient when it comes to me, prompts me to look again at the cab rank. I move us to another waiting and we take the cab home while I ponder how silly I can be. I could be excused for still suffering from jet lag but honestly, that is pretty lame!

This was taken at Rainbow Bay and in the far background you see skyscrapers

This was taken at Rainbow Bay and in the far background you see skyscrapers

My second blunder which I am revealing to you happened a few years ago when Adam and I first went to go see Hedonna’s and John’s investment property in Coolangatta. We were very happy to stay at Tondio Terrace because of its close proximity to the beach. John had gone to do something as he was giving us a tour of the area. I turned to Adam and said I wish you could see this. It’s so lovely and isn’t that Brisbane across the bay. He proceeded to explain that no, it wasn’t Brisbane; it was actually Surfers Paradise or the Gold Coast. Again, I wanted the Earth to swallow me whole. How could I have made such a huge mistake? I had been living in Australia for almost 6 years when I did this blunder. I know I hadn’t driven to Brisbane yet but still I guess I should have known better.

The top blunder though that I have made in Australia by far can not be outdone. I have mentioned it previously before in one of my earlier blogs entitled Humorous Double Meanings but it’s a real beauty. I don’t think I have ever been so embarrassed in my life. I will give you a recap just encase you haven’t read it yet. We have to go way back to 2003 when I was very new to Australia. I hadn’t gotten my Australian driver’s licence yet. We travelled everywhere by train. I don’t like crowded beaches in Sydney so we took the Illawarra Line to Thirroul. It was an easy walk from the station to the beach. Adam and I were just walking when he said matter of factly Oh that’s a huge truck I can hear. I shot back, “My fanny that’s not a truck that’s the ocean.” “What did you just say?” I shouted back very loudly, “My FANNY! My bottom, my derrière, my butt! That’s the ocean.” There were little kids walking with us and some teenagers too. Adam whispered to me, “Do you know what you just said?” “I just yelled it out again didn’t I?” I retorted all bluster. He very coolly responded back to my vicious retort very discreetly, “Fanny means this.” And he pointed towards my crotch. “Think about what we call bum bags? We never call them fanny packs like you yanks do!” I am not sure when my regular colouring returned to my face but I can assure you, I have never shouted out that word in Australian public since.

This is my 100th published blog on this site. I hope you enjoyed the revelation. If you are thinking of coming to see Coolangatta, Queensland and are looking for great accommodation that is close to the beach may I suggest you check out:   http://www.goldcoastrainbowbay.com/index.html

Have you ever made any blunders as bad as mine???

Video Blog of Cabins Beach King Low Tide


We have been experiencing some king tides of late. Yesterday was especially a big one. I took the Kodak Sports Video Camera and the playlist below is the following montage of footage that I took. I hope you enjoy what I took!

My First Memories of God


If you don’t believe in God, that’s ok. He still believes in you. I know how silly it may seem to an unbeliever. I am not writing this to chastise the unbeliever but to maybe give them a clue about why I so fervently believe in God. I can thank Kozo Hattori for this blog because his post on 15 September started me on this train of thought. He posed a question about first memories of God and wanted comments but what I have to say will eventuate into a blog all on it’s own.

I was raised Roman Catholic. My very first memories were of going to church with my family. I am closest to my sisters Judy and Margaret because we were raised together. Michele, Aggie, Roberta, and Chuck were out of the house by the time we moved to Louisiana. Kevin left us when I was about 5 years old. He got married I think when I was 11. I know the month was June of 1978. I feel closest to him brother wise even though it’s been almost 30 years since I have seen him face to face. I feel as if I am digressing but I also feel this is sort of pertinent to understanding me.

We three girls were more than sisters. We still are close friends and confidants. We feel quite comfortable having discussions about God and spirituality. We could also thank our mom for this too because God was always the center of her world, followed by us and dad.

One of my first memories of God I was outside on Vernon Lake Road in our front yard playing with Judy. I am not sure about my age. I could have been three or five. We were just talking about all sorts of things. I know it was before I ever went to kindergarten. We were looking at a caterpillar. Judy was saying that it was going to turn into a butterfly one day. I looked up at the sun closing my eyes feeling the warmth of it. Seeing the images of Judy’s face and the caterpillar in all the different colours I had an aha moment. I thought about the creator, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit because that is what I was taught. It’s hard to put these sensations into words because it is hard to remember exactly but the residual is He is real. He created everything.

As the years go by and I get older, sometimes doubt creeps in. It’s at these moments when the doubt seems to stifle the feelings of wonder of God, I get little reminders of how special this world is and everything that is in it. We take things for granted.  I hold on to the inner child I have and try to let her out a lot. I love those aha moments when they come. I share them a lot on WordPress.

Throughout my spiritual journey, I have often gone to courses where I have had these aha moments. I know I am being called to being a really big work that I have already shared on my blog about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. One day, I hope to have started one or help start one. I am struggling with self-doubt but I know one day I will make it happen. I do believe that we are lucky to start out as little children full of wonder and awe because compared to God we are just little children. He is always there with us even when we think we are all alone. He sends special people to us in our most dire times to help us on our journey of life. We might think things will turn out one way. The reality of the situation may be even beyond what we ever expected.

Little children are wise. They are believers in magic. We all have magic inside ourselves. Children seem to see more than us so called adults. We can learn lots of things by being with little children. They can make us see more aha moments than we ever thought we could see for ourselves.

Thank you Kozo, and Jett for sharing your thoughts on God. It was a true pleasure listening to your wisdom! To listen to the pearls of wisdom given by the Hattori family please use this link: http://everydaygurus.com/2013/09/15/god-is-in-your-poop-and-pee/

Whale Of A Time


It’s been a long time since I have sat down to write a blog about anything actually. I am still looking for work but have gone back into a World of Warcraft phase enjoying the horde side with a couple of friends. Last night though, as I was looking for something to watch on the tele, I came across the last 15 minutes of the Australian version of 60 Minutes on Channel 9 NBN. It was showing a piece on Humpback Whales in Hervey Bay, Queensland.

I want to know why everything in my life seems to lead to certain moments. I know I am sounding like a cliche but I can’t help it. When I was in the fifth grade at Vernon Elementary my teacher was Miss Mc Coy. She instilled in me a love for the humpback whale, actually for all whales. She used to play records of them at times. I never imagined that I would ever get to see them. Flash forward about 33 years and I am living in Australia with the love of my life who can’t see the beauty of the majestic whales as they migrate up and down the eastern coast of Australia but he gets to hear my ooo’s and ah’s. This year we haven’t much luck spotting them but the funny thing is, we had been thinking about buying a house or holiday place up at Hervey Bay, Queensland but decided it was too far north. Now I heard that the humpback whales choose that lovely place for a respite on their pilgrimage. I had an aha moment.  I cried after I saw that piece because I knew that I was where I was suppose to be and the timing for me was right in every aspect.

My sister Margaret, came to see me in 2007 and we went on a whale watching tour right outside Manly heads. It was a great day. We saw quite a few whales. I think she really enjoyed the time and the Channel 7 helicopter even filmed the whales we saw. When we got back home, we bragged to Adam that 7 news featured our whales.  I often wish I could just sit on the headlands and watch the whales procession up and down the coast. I can do that now because I live in a terrific area where if I am fortunate enough, I can sit on the headland and watch. Adam can listen to me cooing or hear the waves crashing or even listen to the birds while he keeps me company.

I know sometimes life doesn’t make any sense. There is a lot of horror out there but I am very fortunate. I know this is a recurring theme in my blog. I know I am blessed. I always find myself in the right spot at the right time. I make connections to things from my past. I look forward to making new connections especially when it comes time to the whales migrations. To think they were on the brink of extinction less than 50 years ago but they are coming back.

Thank you Miss Mc Coy for being such a great teacher. Thank you for opening my eyes to a whale of a time! I will leave you with something I found on youtube. The gentleman on the video was featured in the piece I saw last night.

Skywalk at Dorrigo National Park


I know it’s been a long while since I have actually sat down to do a blog for Thoughts of yaussiechick. I have been working pretty much none stop for 6 weeks which was awesome. The place I am temping at now has not wanted me since Monday. I am not sure when I will be in next but at least I did get a chance to take Adam and myself up to Dorrigo National Park last Thursday. I am finally feeling like sharing again. I always want to share but after not working for ten years and then going back to work for 6 weeks I didn’t really feel like being at the keyboard. Now that I have the time to do it, I am looking forward to showing you a couple of clips that I took at the Skywalk at the Discovery Centre at Dorrigo National Park. Adam and I also did an audio blog but I am not sure how interesting it would be for you guys. It is almost 47 minutes long. I did take quite a few pictures on the little walk that we did.

At the end of the Skywalk, there is a little pedestal for you to place your camera on so that you can take pictures on yourself with a timer. The camera that I had didn’t have a timer so I choose to do a tiny video.

I followed this up by trying to take a picture of the view of the ocean from the Skywalk platform but forgot to switch the mode on the camera so you get to see a glimpse of it as video.

It’s winter now in our little piece of paradise. It’s cooler in the mountains but as you can see, Adam and I don’t have to rug up like we would if we lived in a cold climate such as the northern regions of North America. I think we sort of regretted not bringing light jackets but over all, when we were walking we didn’t notice the coolness in the air. I am pretty spoiled.

The drive up to Dorrigo National Park off the Pacific Highway is on Waterfall Way. It took me almost 2 hours to drive up there. It would have been quicker if there hadn’t been construction going on but hey, I am not really complaining. When you drive on the Waterfall Way, you do get to see a couple of waterfalls as you drive past Thora to get to Dorrigo National Park. In the town of Dorrigo there is another waterfall that you can drive to and then walk up to. It’s called Dangar Falls. Adam and I have done that before. I will have to delve into my computer to try to share more of the sights I have seen to share with you all.

This has got to be one of the best reasons why I feel in love with the Coffs Coast. It is to me like a piece of paradise on earth. If you ever have the inclination to come to Australia, I would strongly suggest visiting this area. Imagine being able to live either in the mountains or down by the coast and be able to drive up into the mountains to see the beauty of nature so close to your home. It’s a real mind blower! I still pinch myself when I realize that I actually live here.

I have always loved waterfalls. I have always loved being out in nature. I have always loved the mountains and the beach. I look at the beauty of Australia and know I have only begun to scratch the surface. This land is ancient. It’s people so wise because they valued the land and spirits. I know I am not born Aboriginal but I really appreciate their outlook on their heritage. There is so much to learn from them.

I saw this on the walk and thought to myself how beautiful to make this connection.

I saw this on the walk and thought to myself how beautiful to make this connection.

I had never seen fern trees until I came to Australia. I get to see them when I drive to work on Toormina Road. I still feel wonder. You know you are looking at something extraordinary. You see how timeless this land is and how blessed it was to still have trees and grasses that haven’t really changed much at all.

I tried to take a good picture of a fern tree to share. I don't think I did it justice.

I tried to take a good picture of a fern tree to share. I don’t think I did it justice.

The actual trunk of the fern tree. I don't think you can really see how it's growing.

The actual trunk of the fern tree. I don’t think you can really see how it’s growing.

Another view of a fern tree from the top.

Another view of a fern tree from the top.

I love seeing new growth in the forest.

I love seeing new growth in the forest.

Even the Brushturkey wanted to pose for me while Adam and I refueled after lunch.

Even the Brush turkey wanted to pose for me while Adam and I refueled after lunch.

I realize that I am not really doing Dorrigo National Forest the great write-up that it deserves. Adam and I only ventured a little bit. We want to go again in the summer but it was a nice change all the same for us. I don’t think I will ever fall out of love with the Coffs Coast.

Here is a link to help you decide if you would like to come see the beauty of the area http://www.coffscoast.com.au/

Yellow Wattle and Mimosas


Pink Mimosa my favorite wattle from childhood.

Pink Mimosa my favorite wattle from childhood.

Australian yellow wattle Adam's favorite wattle

Australian yellow wattle Adam’s favorite wattle

It never ceases to amaze me how much Adam and I have in common even though we grew up in different hemispheres. When I grew up in Louisiana, the pink mimosa were always blooming around late May to June right around the time my birthday came along and even until Judy’s birthday which is July 8. Now the pink mimosa that I see around Australia are blooming in late spring to early summer which would be November until January. When I saw the mimosa blooming towards the back of the house we bought in Werrington back in 2005 I knew it was a sign for me. If you are new to following my blog, you will find out that I am a believer of signs.

When I first came to Australia, I asked Adam which scent did he love the most. He told me the yellow wattle which is pictured above. I love the yellow wattle as well. It blooms from June until around August. I always saw it blooming everywhere we went during my first visit to this land I now call home. It tickles me that we both have affection for the wattle. They are related even though it might be somewhat distant and bloom around the time of my birthday even if it’s in different hemispheres. It always brings a smile to my dial when I think of the mimosa and the yellow wattle.

The wonder and beauty of nature always astounds me. If I can draw or see a connection, I will be the first to admit it. Perhaps it’s the hopeless romantic in me. There is no shame in admission. Do you have any connections that you make that you take as signs? If so, please share!

What Love Is All About


The title of the song that I wrote for Adam was a wedding present that was played when we lit the unity candle that I wanted for our ceremony. This song is a collaboration of sorts with Paul Nimmo who at the time was in Australia while I was in Louisiana.  I asked if he could put my melody to music. He took up the challenge and you will get to hear the song. I sang the song acapella using my computer. He did the piano as well as mixing the sounds you hear. I think he did a wonderful job.

What Love Is All About by Dianna Louise Miller for Adam William Morris

 Sometimes it’s rough

But with you by my side it’s not so tough.

You’re the one I want to share

With everything and everyone I know.

Life is never easy

But sharing things with you lightens the load.

This is what love is all about

Sharing, caring, and knowing in the end there’s one constant in your life.

When two hearts become one

There’s magic and it will never come undone

As long as the two remember to share because they are one.

I cherish you for all you are.

You’re everything that I could want:

Forgiving, and giving, strong, generous, understanding, and true.

I see so much of Christ in you.

This is what love is all about

Sharing, caring, knowing in the end there’s one constant in your life.

When two hearts become one

There’s magic and it will never come undone

As long as the two remember to share because they are one.

One more thing to share with you

I thank God for all He has done for me and you

He started us on different paths

We thought we’d never met our half to make us whole

But now I know He works in such mysterious ways.

Although our beginnings are world apart

He brought us together and now we’ll journey forth in this world as one.

And this what love is all about

Sharing, caring, and knowing in the end there’s one constant in your life.

When two hearts become one

There’s magic and it will never come undone

As long as we remember to share because we are one.

It’s 11 years now since we have made our commitment to each other. It has been the best 11 years of my life. As the years go by, I think back about where we were, where we are and where we are going. I always dreamed of finding him. Believe me, we don’t have a perfect relationship but I can’t imagine my life without him in it. He gives me strength. He inspires me. He makes me a better person. I would like to think that I have that sort of influence on him. I never in a million years thought I would have someone who makes me this happy. He knows me better than I know myself. It almost feels like a modern fairy tale come true. I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming but the reality of Adam and Dianna is very much real.

I know that I am blessed with a really wonderful partner. He spoils me rotten and I try to spoil him too. We have our moments but I do know that no matter what, he loves me and I would have to do something pretty horrible to wreck what we have. I would have to be insane to do that. I swear I was made for him.  Here’s a few photos to highlight the years we have had together.

My very first birthday in Australia about 15 days before we got married in Canberra.

My very first birthday in Australia about 15 days before we got married in Canberra.

The two Mr. and Mrs. A. Morris 29/6/2002 Val, Adam, Dianna, and Athol Morris

The two Mr. and Mrs. A. Morris 29/6/2002 Val, Adam, Dianna, and Athol Morris

Auntie Jean, Adam and me on our first wedding anniversary at China Tea Club where we had our 'rehearsal dinner" the previous year.

Auntie Jean, Adam and I on our first wedding anniversary at China Tea Club where we had our “rehearsal dinner” the previous year.

111Adam and I at the Valley of the Kings Maui Hawaii 29/6/2012

I know that life is full of ups and downs but as my song says when two hearts become one it is magic and it will never come undone as long as the two remember to share, because they are one! I thank God for Adam and I pray that you too may get to experience the joy of love in all the magnificent forms it comes in!