Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

Whether visually or emotionally, this week let’s dig (or dive) deep.

This amazing old dead tree has been turned into a work of art. It’s home is the Australian Botanical Garden Mount Annan and it adds depth and character to an otherwise ordinary field. Painting the tree bright blue allows it to be special and blend into the skyline at the same time. The animals and birds can still use it for shelter also helping to sustain the environment.


Fire Beware

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

In the Sydney bush fires of 1994 I had to do consider this in real life. All main highways into Sydney were cut off by bush fires and we lived on the northern end of the city. We overlooked a major bush gully that hadn’t had a bush fire through in 30 years so officials were very worried about what would happen if it caught alight.

My life has changed greatly since 1994 so what I would pack today is different to what I packed them although core items are the same. In 2015 my choices are:

  1. Formal documents that are difficult/unable to be replaced including passports, insurances, special awards, medical information.
  2. Camera bag which includes the USB’s of digital photos.
  3. My handbag which contains mobile phone, wallet, keys and other everyday essentials.
  4. My prepacked overnight bag containing a change of clothes, toiletries and sleeping device to make a difficult situation easier.
  5. My laptop and associated hard drives which hopefully will give me access to everything I want.


What We Say

Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

Words play a major role in our life and at times, we create them to suit ourselves.Initially I thought this prompt would be easy as it appears that I am often making up words as regularly I hear some one repeat the word I have just stated and ask “what is that?” Until that moment I hadn’t even released I had made the word up. Now as I go to share these words with you—they have escaped me.

When I asked my husband he agreed there were plenty but none were good enough to become common words in our world. One word we have substituted for the real one and I cannot remember its origins is Kangarwalla fox. I think it may have come from the kids when they were young and we were living in the country to describe both Kangaroos and Wallabys as they could tell the difference.

Its an interesting point and I will begin to take more notice of the things I say and maybe develop a dictionary for myself.


Embrace The Ick

Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.

Fortunately for me I don’t have anything that truly repulses me. The closest I come to is anything requiring or pertaining to surgery. I am a mental health nurse not a general nurse, so anything greater than a bit of blood or a few stitches required, needs to be managed quickly. Then I hand the problem over to someone who knows what they are doing quickly and watch. Medical shows on television are usually always on at my dinner time and they are the worst— as for some reason, they like to show the gory details. I am brave however, and force myself to watch so I can learn something.

When I do need to deal with something icky, I breathe deeply and l keep in the present moment. By being mindful, I  get the job done quickly. I put on my professional hat and even if it is at home, I use the experience to improve my knowledge and embrace the ick—even if the knowledge I want to improve is a fascinating icky story to tell at a later date around a camp fire.


Working The Soil

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .

. . . home.

. . . soil.

. . . rain.

Use those words in the title of your post.

I have lived in many homes with poor to medium quality soil. And while rain makes things grow it is not the only element required. Without care and nutrients, the soil is not fertilised and plants don’t grow. When we have live in  the property long enough, we are usually able to work the soil adding mulch, worms, fertiliser, nutrients and better quality soil, to make the original soil grow plants.

The other option with poor soil is to change the type of plants required. When we lived in country New South Wales, the soil held a lot of salt, so we needed to plant salt-resistant plants—Australian natives—there was no choice. Everything else would die. They also don’t need a lot of rain, which is another problem out west. However, as there are many Australian natives to choose from, outsiders never knew there was a problem with the soil. All the gardens looked beautiful, despite the problems.

When we aren’t happy with the soil of our life or home—we have options.

  • Adapt
  • Change
  • Work

Whatever we choose—nothing will improve, if we choose to do nothing.


Celebrating Australia—Songs

This long weekend Australians celebrate our nation’s birthday. The 26th January was chosen from the date from which we were settled—January 26th, 1788. Over the years we have developed into a multicultural nation. Because of this the 26th January,sees people from all nations gather to celebrate being and living in Australia. Today I would like to share with you three songs that make me proud to be Australian. They stir emotion in me wherever I am.



John Williamson is an Australian icon and this song reminds me of my time living in country New South Wales connecting with the land and its people.



This song describes the development of our multicultural nation. I remember it being acted out as a play when my children were in kindergarten and it was even more powerful.


I can still remember clearly 30 years ago when we were arriving back to Sydney from a South Pacific cruise, how stirring it was when “I still call Australia home” played through the air—bringing a smile to everyone’s face.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

We can’t wait to see what you do with the theme: “express yourself!”

A few years ago we had this beautiful fruit “cake” delivered to work. I was so inspired by the idea I thought I could express myself by creating my own for my daughters up coming birthday.


I was pleased with my results and it tasted yummy. I used white, milk and dark chocolate to coat the apple, marshmallow, pineapple and strawberries.

To my surprise, the fruit kept for several days without deteriorating. While I don’t think I’ll give up my day job yet, the love and caring was there.

Next time I will plan it better and see if I too can create the floral fruit display made by the professionals.





Create Yourself

Creating yourself


It is now more than half way through the first month of 2015. How are your New Years resolutions or goals going? One way to help them happen is to take control and create a plan.

The more one understands and is guided by the above George Bernard Shaw quote, the easier success will be. Let’s look at difference between the two key words—find and create.

According to dictionary.com Find means

  • to come upon by chance
  • to locate or recover
  • to discover or perceive after consideration

Create however means

  • to cause to come into being
  • to cause to happen to evolve from one’s thought or imagination as in a work of art or invention

The way I see it, using the word create infers that you are empowered, taking control and ensuring your New Year’s resolution or goal happens. The word find has a more hit and miss feel. While the result may be the same, I believe the more direction one puts into achieving goals—the greater the chance of success.

For me—I plan 2015 to be the year I complete my dream of becoming a published author. To achieve this goal I decided to follow George Bernard Shaw’s advice. I created opportunities to write. I also created opportunities:

  • to find my voice
  • to learn my craft
  • to connect with others writers
  • to receive feedback
  • to understand the process

It is both exciting and scary to see the creation of my dream come together. Are your currently finding or creating yourself? How is it working for you? If it’s not working for you, change the steps you are taking and make your dream happen.

Rideau Canal

What was the last picture you took? Tell us the story behind it. (No story behind the photo? Make one up, or choose the last picture you took that had one.)

We have just returned from six weeks in Canada, where we took literally thousands of photos. It was a fun time. However a little disappointing as the lack of snow meant many of the things we had planned were not doable. Our last planned event was to skate on the Rideau Canal—the world’s longest skateway. It opened 4 days after we left, so we only got to see the preparation and dream.


Oh and experience our coldest temperatures ever, -18 feels like -29. The other problem we had to content with was the frostbite warning. We were attempting to take photos but had to limit them because our fingers were going numb and the cameras couldn’t cope with the cold.  One passerby heard our accents as we were taking our last photos and stopped to advise us get inside as quickly as possible. Our solution as it was a bright sunny day despite the cold, was to stop taking photos regularly and as long as we were warm to continue exploring what Ottawa had to show us.


Connecting With Naure

Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?

I love spending time with nature. It energises me, makes me forget my troubles and grounds me. Nature is everywhere. Living in the city doesn’t mean I can’t connect. There are many ways within 15 minutes from my house or work place I can connect with nature. These include:

  • Walking barefoot on green grass anywhere
  • Enjoying the flowers in a local park
  • Sydney Harbour
  • Wetlands
  • Swimming in the harbour beaches and pools
  • Parramatta river
  • Mindfully walk around the neighbourhood looking and listening for wildlife

If I wanted a day out I could travel to the beach, bush or the mountains. Both of these are favourites of mine and I enjoy both in all seasons. In one of my early posts I discuss getting back to the beach for the first time in many years in late autumn.

Other ways I like to energise myself is to get amongst mother nature herself. I love watching sunrises and sunsets, playing in the rain, watching thunder storms particularly over the ocean and recently in Ottawa walking in the snow storms. So when I feel I need for a little or big pick me up, I connect with nature, energise myself and get on with the day.

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