Share Your World – 2014 Week 24

What makes you feel the most secure?

I feel the securest when I am home in my pajamas and UGG slippers sitting in my recliner chair, under my home made knitted rug. Before his passing in January this year, you could complete picture by adding our cat, Yoda, sitting on my lap. I was excused from a lot of work because the cat choose to sit on me.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

I am a unique and practical sort of girl so no heels for me. Loving colour, I would be a multicoloured, everyday shoe that could cover many outfit styles. I would be very comfortable and hopefully fit into the MBT ( for human movement) designer range that works all your muscles and are described as the most comfortable shoes on earth. Having several pairs I would have to agree.

How many languages do you you speak?

English only although I did learn French in high school to Higher School Certificate level, and I am hoping to pick it up again as I visit Montreal and Quebec at Christmas.

What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

Last year we spent a great week visiting Ghangzhou, China which has a population of 14,000,000 people. The thing I remember the most is how easy it was to get around on the train system as the announcements were in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.  Train stations were also located near every main tourist attraction. We were also excited to be able to connect to Facebook in the international hotel, as this is blocked in most of China.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 24

My Ideal Life

Today inspiration for Writing 101 is taken from a word that jumps off page 29 of the closest book and write a letter to it. My book is Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” and the word or in this case phrase that jumped out is “ideal life.” 

Dear Ideal Life,

I have thought about you long and hard. What difference would you make to me and are you worth the effort? My decision is that having you, ‘my ideal life’ compared to an ordinary life, would keep me achieving, having fun and moving forward, allowing me to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I realise I don’t need to know exactly how to get you. But if I continue to focus on what I can do, who knows where our journey will end. For me, you would involve the following areas:

1. Family – The most important aspect of you—my ideal life is having my family—happy and healthy around me and enjoying quality time with them.

2. Career – My ideal career involves being a motivational speaker and empowering people to make changes in their life that improves its quality. As a result of this rewarding career, I would be challenging myself and stretching my comfort zone.

3. Personal Values – My ideal life involves working with my top personal values:

  • Gratitude
  • Honesty
  • Positivity
  • Self-Respect
  • Creativity.

4. Writing – Over the last few years I have increased my writing and it gives me an outing for my creativity. Commencing blogging has opened this even further and I look forward to where you take this area in the future.

5. ME Time – This invigorates me and recharges my batteries. I love being alone in a totally quiet house.

6. Finances – I thank you in advance, my ideal life, for supplying me enough money to live comfortably, not having to worry about money and to afford to travel overseas yearly.

7.  Health – As I continue to age, I am grateful to remain fit and healthy, with minimal medical intervention required.

8. Toastmasters – Being to be a toastmaster allows me to grow and learn with an international organisation designed to improve my public speaking as well as my leadership skills. Associating with like minded people helps motivate my creative side.

At present, I do not have all of these areas covered, however I am working with most of them. As I continue to grow please provide more opportunities so that I can fully appreciate all that you—my ideal life—has to offer.

Thoughtfully and in gratitude

Inspiring Max

Places To Go

Part 2 of the Lost and Found Series

As our children are eighteen months apart, growing up they were like twins. The younger one thought she could, and did do everything her brother did. This meant our transition from nappy era to adventure era was smooth and seamless. Thankfully, there was no time that involved an activity only suited to one child.

Working ten hour night duties allowed me to earn maximum pay for minimum time, and spend the remaining six days a week with the family. We had our ‘working’ week was well structured with lots of flexibility.

  • Monday – Adventures
  • Tuesday – Sleep/childcare
  • Wednesday – Friend to our house
  • Thursday – Mother’s group
  • Friday – Adventures

The kids and I loved the new life we had found, poor daddy had to work most of the time but joined us when he could. Our favourite place to go was Taronga Zoo, which we did regularly, as we were “Friends of the Zoo”. This membership was equivalent to the price of two zoo entry tickets and allowed us to go everyday if we wanted to for no extra cost.

Taronga Zoo was an hour away from our home, which gave us plenty of time to get excited by singing, “Mummy’s taking us to the zoo and we can stay all day,” our version of the classic Peter, Paul and Mary song.

Other places, our regular adventures took us were to Kindy gym, Playgroup and the ballroom at Macquarie Shopping Centre. The kids loved to hide under all the balls and ‘swim’ to  different spots, just to confuse me. As I no longer needed the nappy bag everywhere we went, planning didn’t need to be as specific and we could extend our adventures, wherever and whenever, we pleased. We loved following Dr Suess’s advice.

“You’re off to Great Places

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So………..get on your way!’

                            Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Part 2

Part 1


“Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.” Sound of Music

“How do you know where to start making changes or what path to take?” “Are there any guarantees in life?” These are questions regularly asked of me. The answer is “you don’t know” and “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” So how do you start to make your own path? Everything you do has choices and consequences. How you respond to any situation, either positively or negatively, makes the difference as well as your belief in yourself. Let’s look at a scenario I heard the other day for some ideas.

“I want to believe in myself, but I don’t know where to start” said Jane.

“There is never going to be a perfect place to start” said Mary.

“Where would you start if you were in my situation, Mary?” asked Jane.

“What is most important to you at present? What do you believe you are good at?” replied Mary.

“I believe I am a good friend, and that I am there for others when they need me,” said Jane.

“Then, maybe one way you could start to believe in yourself, is to acknowledge to yourself that you are a good friend to others. Recognise what it means to you to be a good friend? Once you have your list of attributes of a good friend, start being a good friend to yourself. Believe that you are worthy and give yourself the same advice that you would give to your friends, being as kind to yourself as you would be them.” said Mary.

Jane replied “I think I can use that as my place to start. Thanks.”

Day 12

Home, Sweet, Home

When I was twelve, I had been living in the home my parents designed, for six years. Our previous home was an old coalmine managers cottage with no hot water, so we were excited. We moved into our new address, in the new subdivision of Kotara South, part of Newcastle, N.S.W. in November 1968.

Our home, built on the topside of a steep slope was large, brick veneer and split level. The driveway was steep. Something my mother discovered years later, when she was walking behind her car parked on the driveway, when I, not having seen her, began reversing and gently nudged her, causing her to run down the driveway. Unable to stop, she landed in the neighbour’s garden— across the road.

The house was unusual. It had a one and a half car garage underneath, dug into the clay, which the rest of the house was built on. A brick wall took centre stage out the front to create a private area for my grandmother, who lived, in her own room at the side of the house—a space to sit. She required a walking frame so she didn’t go far and enjoyed sitting in the sun.

From the concrete sun area, you walked up approximately ten stairs to the front porch and entrance to the house. The first level contained the bedrooms.  Across the front of the house, as it faced west, were the bathrooms, toilet and linen cupboard to minimise the window area, and keep the house cool.

The second level joined by five stairs in the middle of the house, led to the dining room and kitchen on the right hand side. On the centre left hand side was a courtyard to provide natural light to the dining room, my parents bedroom, as well as the lounge room. The laundry was only accessible from the back area outside the house and was behind my grandmother’s room.

The backyard was large and rustic looking.  A big gum tree was in the centre of the backyard, next to the Hills Hoist clothes line and provided plenty of shade. The yard also contained a fibro cubby house my father built, a swing set, sand pit and an above ground pool. An outdoor brick incinerator, was how we recycled our paper waste in those days and we would use the ash from the fire to feed the garden. Behind the incinerator was the only part of the yard we kids were not allowed—a large wood heap.

Day 11

The Club

I enter the foyer of my local RSL (Returned and Services League) Club. The lady behind the front desk greets me with a smile, wave and “thank you” as I flash her my membership card. Tonight is unusual. I can only see half a dozen small groups in the club.

All of a sudden at 6pm the lights are dimmed and a male voice asks everyone to stand, face the flame and remember the returned service men and women who gave their lives for our country. A list is read of those whose anniversary of their passing is today, then in unison we recite “The Ode of Remembrance” which is the fourth stanza from the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon.

“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.”

I find this a humbling experience every time, and it never tires in importance to me.

Formalities complete and my respect shown, I  survey the area as I eat my nachos and wait for my friends. In my immediate area, which at times seats up to 100 people, there are two other gentlemen seated alone. The one to my right, is aged approximately 60 years and reading the local newspaper while enjoying his beer. The other gentleman, sitting directly in front of me, looks well into his 80’s and like he had had a hard life. He sits sipping water from his paper cup, and reminds me of someone well known to the club. My thoughts prove correct five minutes later, when he wanders over to the younger gentleman and says “goodnight.” The younger gentleman then replies,  “Hey, George did you know you can watch the World Cup from your bed, I’m going too.” George replied “Not me mate, I like to go to bed early so I can get up early,” and with that he left for the evening.

Tonight, the 70’s music is loud and pleasant. At present, Abba’s “Thank you for the Music” is playing and I can hear someone singing in the background. Is it the lack of noise from patrons making the music seem louder? Maybe.

The large room is brightened by the televisions lining the walls with their sound turned down. Tonight, no-one appears to be watching them however, they are welcoming.

I am unsure why the club is so quiet tonight. My friends and I are the last to leave and it is only 8.30pm. Maybe it’s the weather – it is winter and cold outside, or maybe everyone is staying home to get up early and watch the opening ceremony and first game of the 2014 World Cup.

Day 8

Getting Through Tough Times

Everyone has them, “tough times”. They cannot be avoided however,during my latest run of “tough times” I discovered a powerful quote by St Francis of Assisi which really helped.


St Francis Quote


Following St Francis of Assissi’s  advise makes it easier not to get overwhelmed during difficult times. Sometimes at the start of a crisis, very little is possible.  All you can do is absorb what has happened. This is true particularly when coping with the loss of a loved one or friend. Allow yourself to be in shock, numb and use this time to make a basic plan of what needs to be done. Remember, although you may want everything fixed instantly, somethings can’t be rushed and healing takes time.

As time passes, the actual time elapsed will vary for everyone, you will move from only dealing with the necessities to looking into new possible ways of  getting through your “tough time.” The healing will be commencing and if you are coping with a loss of a loved one or friend, you can remember the good times and using laughter, you can help your body heal.

Eventually, looking back you realise that you have done the impossible and although your world has changed forever, you have recovered from your “tough time” and you have grown as a person in the process. This is the silver lining to your dark cloud, and helps you to realise that you are stronger than you think.

Thanks for the advice St Francis.

Our Special Nameless Friend

Our local Thai restaurant is traditionally decorated. It has portraits of the Kings of Siam adorning the walls and golden Thai god statues at the front door. It was there that we first saw her—the traditionally dressed, petite, ageless and physically-childlike Thai waitress. She was waiting unobtrusively in the background for our order. Slowly, she approached our table with her charming smile. She bowed to us, humbly. On raising her head, in heavily broken English, she spoke to my husband.

“Why are you wearing purple reading glasses? she asked. He response was comical and she laughed. Then suddenly out of the blue she made her own joke and from that moment on, whenever she sees me, (not my husband), she smiles broadly, nods and rushes towards me, like a long lost friend.

Several months later, despite the growing connection, names have never been exchanged. They seem irrelevant. We have become superficial friends and she regularly asks me, “how are you and when are you coming to the restaurant again?” Always informing m to come on a Monday evening as it is the only time she works these days. Last time we were  at the restaurant she was excitedly telling me that she is also doing food demonstrations. Then one Saturday morning,out of the corner of my eye, I saw her demonstrating at Costco.  I wondered if she would recognise me among the crowd. She certainly did.

While busily preparing her demonstration for me, she again asked about when we were last at the restaurant remembering that we had told her that we lived in the area. Her cheerful attitude brightened up my morning and reminded me of the value of the simple things in life.

On our last visit to the restaurant, she was waiting to pick someone up, when she saw us. Despite the fact that she wasn’t working she hurried over, thanked us for coming and took our order. To her we are friends and she loves to serve us.


This weeks daily post weekly challenge is by Erica. Tell us about a lost art: one that you know, one that you miss or one that should be lost for good.


Credit Google free images

In primary school in the 1970’s, I remember being taught macrame. Macrame is the art of tying knots in string to make decorative items such as wall hangings, belts or pot plant holders. My memory of macrame items were that they were usually the colours of the 1970’s i.e.- green, orange or brown.

I believe this art to be dying as it is no longer taught in schools. According to Wikipedia, it began in the 13th century and reached its peak in the Victorian era. I remember getting the macrame knots to be even and the same tension to be a challenge, although necessary, if your completed item was to look good.

Today the use of macrame knots is seen mainly in the making of friendship bracelets and not named macrame. While I have never made friendship bracelets, I have made several other macrame items that at the time I was very proud of. My favourite knots were the spiral and the double half-hitch.

Personally  I do not want the art of macrame to be lost, however, I am not a fan of the 1970’s style choices that macrame represents. I would like the younger generation to embrace macrame with a modern edge so the art is not lost for forever.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 22

Week 2 of the fun from Cee’s photography challenge.

Regarding animals would you prefer not having them around or having domestic pets, farm animals, or seeing them in nature or the zoo?

I love animals and would not like to live in a world without them. Unfortunately, our cat died after living a long and full life in January this year. At present, we have no plans to replace him but we are enjoying the local cats coming to visit. I love zoos, and go regularly in Australia and when traveling overseas. Some of the new animals I have found are amazing.

Are you a collector of anything?

I have collected miniature bottles of alcohol for the last 30 years. I have approximately 175 of them divided into three display shelves.

A small selection

A small selection

If you could know the answer to any question, besides”What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

I am interested in success, how to get the most out of life and achieve your goals. As I have read Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles,” and work in mental health, I have a reasonable understanding of these topics. However, you can never know enough, so I continue to learn on a daily basis..

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

I am a simple girl so to me the “finer things” in life would be drinking french champagne from a crystal glass.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This week I am grateful for Writing 101 as it is teaching me to make blogging a daily habit and allowing me to connect with some amazing people in the blogging community. In the upcoming week I am looking forward to continue to develop my relationships with the blogging world and only working three days instead of the usual five.