Weekly Photo Challenge:Ephemeral

This week’s theme: ephemeral. Show us your interpretation!

Last Sunday my husband and I took photos of the sunset from Cape Byron—Australia’s most easterly point. It truly was a ephemeral experience. The top photos show the sunsetting over Australia while the bottom two totally different photos are the hues over the Pacific Ocean. It was quite remarkable.

Over Australia


Over The Pacific Ocean


Wonder Woman

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!).

I love acting. Bringing characters to life and making them believable. Acting allows you to totally immerse yourself in the character and find things about yourself you didn’t know existed.

It has been many decades since I last acted but who knows I may return to it in my retirement when I have more time on my hands.

My greatest acting moment was playing Wonder Woman to a crowded theatre. At the time I didn’t look to bad either—unfortunately I don’t think I have any photos to remember it by.



Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I live my life according to my personal values. They are at the centre of everything I do and are the basis of my motto—be the best version of yourself possible but do no harm to yourself or others. My personal values can be described as my CODES and include:


Calmness, Carefulness, Challenge, Commitment, Community, Confidence, Connection, Courage, Courtesy, Continuity, Compromise, Comfort and Change.


Open-mindedness. Optimism, Order, Originality and Outdoors.


Dependability, Desire, Determination, Dignity, Dreaming, Direction and Diligence.


Empathy, Encouragement, Endurance, Enthusiasm, Ethics, Excellence, Experience, Expertise, Expressiveness, Ease, Efficiency, Envision and Exploration.


Safety, Self-control, Security, Self-reliability, Self-respect, Sensitivity, Sharing, Silence, Simplicity, Spirituality, Stability, Support and Spontaneity.


Whenever I am thinking whether a decision is right for me—I consult my CODES. If it fits into any of my above values, I will consider the option further. If it doesn’t fit—the answerer is a definite NO!

My CODES simplify my life.



Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

Inspiring Max was born on Mother’s day—12th May 2014. I knew nothing about blogging but thought I would give it a go anyway. As a self-hosted blog, I soon realised I had a lot to learn about how I was different to other WordPress.com sites. It was a very slow process. I was frustrated. In July, after  completing Blogging 101 I had—34 views, 13 visitors and only 1 follower. So I stopped blogging and prioritised other things.

In late August I was off work sick for a week. I had nothing to do so I popped back to my site. To my surprise I had a few followers, several more views and an Inspiring Blogger Award. I was humbled and excited. Suddenly I got it. Blogging is a long-term journey—a commitment not only to yourself, but also every one who reads you blog. We all grow together and allow each other to reach our own individual goals. By the end of December 2014, my goal was 100 followers. I ended the year with 110 followers and now I have 335. It may have been a slow start but Inspiring Max is on the move.

Somewhere around September I learnt not to focus on the followers but the views. If people were regularly viewing more than one page of my work I was happy. This usually meant they would come back again. The more I connect with my blogging community—the more they connect with me. I view 3 new blogs a day that I interact with. As a result, I am excited to have been viewed by people in 105 countries—many of whom I didn’t know existed. I love the coloured in world map of where Inspiring Max has been.

My advice to bloggers is make sure you have great content and keep going. When you are discouraged visit new blogs. Connect with your community at every opportunity and overtime—your community will connect with you. Blogging is a rewarding experience that has allowed me to grow in ways I would have never imagined possible before. Thank you for sharing my journey. I look forward to our future together. To celebrate I offer you a virtual glass champagne instead of a cigar.



Eclectic Corner: Splash Of Colour

This fortnight Eclectic Corner focus on photography, quotes and haiku poetry showcasing the theme of—a splash of colour. The grey skies of winter in Canada gave many opportunists to recognise a splash of colour against a mostly grey photo.


The Beatles are my husbands favourite band and while I am not a huge fan I do love this quote. I love colour—it brightens even the dullest day. If things aren’t going right for you add some colour to your day and watch it lift your mood.


Photo Credit: TAOLife


I have only recently learnt about poetry and have found it a great way to express my thoughts simply. The impact of colour is no different.

Feeling blue or grey

Let’s paint your world with colour

It will lift your day



Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

“Mum can we go yet, I want to play?”

“Who or what do you want to play with, Sandy?”

“I want to play with Mary.”

“Mary is visiting her family in Queensland so that is not possible.”

“Yes it is mum she has her mum’s I-pad.”

“Sorry Sandy, remember yesterday I said during the day you play outside while the weather is good.”

“Okay mum I forgot.”


Practical and fun

Life’s building blocks

Alternate way of learning

Your friend


Last night I went to see the new play in town. Great story and the characters were so real. Initially I didn’t want to go but I went as a favour to my friend. She was worried nobody would go. Wrong. It was a sell out crowd and the critics loved it. Simply titled—PLAY—it is the story behind the importance of playing in our adult life as well as our childhood. So when you get the chance don’t forget to play.


Poetry 101 Rehab: Thaw

This week’s poetry challenge theme is THAW. In Australia this word doesn’t have the same power it holds in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Using anaphora

I like the snow

I like the ice

To work yesterday I couldn’t go

And shoveling is such a chore

So today I like the thaw



Come in and thaw out

Love will defeat the cold

Together we’ll grow old




Quebec’s Holy Door

On our recent trip to Canada I passed through Quebec’s Holy Door at the Bascillica of Notre-Dame de Quebec. The Holy Door was granted  to the people of Quebec by the Pope to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the first Catholic parish in Northern America (Canada and USA)—at one time the largest Catholic parish in the world.  The Holy Door opened on the 8th December 2013 and closed on the 28th December 2014.

It is one of only seven Holy Doors  and the first Holy Door opened outside of Europe—four in the Vatican, one in France and one in Spain. The door itself is made of bronze and weighs about half a tonne. The external side of the door has Christ on the front and the internal door has Mary sculptured into it. Upon entering should you choose you place your hand in the hands of Christ and pause mindfully for a moment.

The Holy Door must be entered from the outside in and leads into the small chapel at the side of the Bascillica. After its closure on the 28th December 2104 the Holy Door was sealed to be opened again in 2025 when the next Holy Year was expected. However on 17th March 2015, Pope Francis announced that a Holy Year of Mercy will begin on 8th December 2015 that will close on the 20th November 2016. During this Jubilee all seven Holy Doors around the world will be opened.

The brochure stated “this door is open to all persons of good will. For Catholics it is a pilgrimage, a sign, a passage, a kind of spiritual preparation.”

Despite not being Catholic I found passing through Quebec’s Holy Door quite a spiritual experience. Although it was not the purpose of my trip to Quebec City—it was one of my highlights. The fact that I entered on Boxing Day—the day after Christmas Day made it more special for me. If you are traveling in an area next year that has a Holy Door consider adding it to your travel plans. Once closed the Holy Doors will all be sealed again until the next Jubilee Year possibly 2025 as originally expected.


Pros And Cons List

Write about a time you had a Goldilocks experience, exploring different choices and finally arriving at “just right.”

Our choices shape our lives. But how do we make the right choice—when so many are available. One helpful way I have found to make any decision is to draw up a pros and cons list for each choice.

Take a piece of paper and divide it in half. On one side write your reasons for doing the activity, behaviour or change (the pros) and on the other side write your reasons not to do it or why it won’t work (the cons). Be creative. Even ideas that seem silly or far-fetched can be helpful in the big picture when you make a plan around them.

Once you have your lists—see how balanced or unbalanced they are. Sometimes it may be immediately obvious which choice is right for you. On other occasions—you may find yourself more confused. No problem. Hang your lists in your room or somewhere you can see them regularly for a couple of days. Focus on each option. Does one draw you in more than the others?

If you struggle to choose which option is right for you—give yourself a challenge. Try the most positive one or the option that will give you the biggest reward on completion. Remember, if this choice don’t work—you can always adjust it slightly to make it more practical. Break it down into smaller steps if needed but keep moving forward with your choices. Sometimes— just right— takes a little while to feel comfortable, but when it does it fits beautifully.



Share Your World 2015 – Week 11

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

I am happy that my  family is happy and healthy.

Today I printed of a draft copy of my book and it is starting to come together nicely. I must admit however I am very surprised at how much time the editing process takes.

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise?

I do not prefer any of the above chooses. My favourite sauce is chilli BBQ—a combination of chill and barbeque sauce. It has only been in Australia for about two years but I am eternally grateful.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

A picture of my childhood would use a mixture of dark and light colours. It definitely wasn’t all sunshine and roses—there were many thunderstorms. My experiences were varied however they pathed the way for a bright adult life and gave me a great base for my work in mental health.

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

I shower daily that is out of necessity. When time permits and I have access to a spa bath I will indulge myself. Many years ago we had one in our home and it was a great way to relax on the weekend complete with a glass of champagne.

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

Last Sunday I traveled to Newcastle and caught up with my extended family. I only get to do this about  3 times a year due to the number of people involved and their busy lives. The older I get the more important this time is.

Next weekend I am looking forward to traveling to Lismore in northern New South Wales to get away for the weekend with my husband. I cannot remember that last time I visited the area so I am sure it has changed.