Nature Chills Challenge

An event create by amommasview in response to a Blogging 201 assignment.

What in nature makes you chill out the most and why?

My favourite way to chill out is on a mountain covered in snow. Coming from Australia this is a rarity, which is what makes it special. I can go to the beach— my second favourite place—any day I choose, but not play in the snow. I love the serenity of having no-one else around—just me, my partner and nature’s beauty on top of the world. The stark contrast between the crisp white snow, the bright shining sun and the Alpine trees.

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Wherever possible I like to spend my birthday at the snow.  I was last there on my final day being forty —my husband and I were at Whakapapa, New Zealand. It was a great day.

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In less than a month, we travel to Canada to fulfill our dream of a white Christmas. After six weeks living in the snow—I may no longer see snow as my favourite way to chill in nature.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 40

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

$500,000 would allow me to have a different lifestyle, which I would be grateful for. I would repay most into my mortgage, so I could work part-time. I would also pay it forward by giving the children a reasonable deposit for their own mortgage—payable only on a property purchase. I would make a donation to one or more charities or causes that make the world a better place. My special treat would be taking an extended 3-6 month round the world trip with my husband, ticking off many things from our bucket list.

What’s the finest education?

I believe self-confidence and self-belief to be the finest education a person can acquire. With these two life skills, you can achieve what you want in life and if necessary adapt your circumstances to meet your needs. Without these skills you can have a degree in any field and not be able to get a job despite your high marks. This is because your lack of self-confidence shows at interview, resulting in the more confident person with lower marks being chosen for the job.

What kind of art is your favourite? Why?

Pottery is both beautiful and practical and something I have always been drawn to. It cannot be made perfectly and pieces are really identical as they are individually made. My good dinner set was made by artist Helen Temasi over 30 years ago. I happened upon an odd piece of it by mistake in a small shop in Newcastle. Originally, she had made it for the Adelaide Art Gallery and to ensure she had enough quality pieces for an 8 piece dinner set, she needed to make an initial run of over 20 pieces—which in this case all worked. My dinner set is made up of the these pieces sourced from all over Australia.

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Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

I didn’t memorise things growing up. I am still not good at it today. When I am learning my speeches for Toastmasters, I learn concepts because I cannot remember exact words. This makes delivery difficult. sometimes, I write a great speech with everything in the exact order but some of the punch is lost by me not remembering the exact word at the exact time.

What are you grateful for from last week?

Last weekend I was awarded the One Lovely Blogger Award which I was grateful for. This helped my blog receive its highest ever views in one day, 167. Three weeks ago my best was 52, so I am growing and becoming more comfortable in this medium.

Married Life

Part 3 in the Lost and Found series.

The cycle of married life for us and many others has been:

  • Two of you
  • Nappies
  • Childhood
  • Return to the two of you

The question is when you return to—the two of you—are you happy? Is you lost and found story complete.

When you lose yourself in the nappy or childhood stage, it is easy not to focus on your relationship with your partner. Children are a distraction with wants and needs to be addressed. You can both work together giving them a full and rewarding life and forget about yourselves. However, there is always a point when children no longer want to spend time with their parents. They want their independence and this is healthy. This is when you return to being a couple again.

Suddenly you have lots of time together—no distractions. For us, this happened around the time of my 50th birthday. It was a perfect time for us to take stock of our life and make plans for what we want for the next 50 years—you never know. Questions we asked ourselves included:

  • What was on our bucket list?
  • Where did we want to travel if possible?
  • Did we want to continue to live in the same home?
  • How did we want to spend our time both together and apart?
  • Did we want to retire in the city or the country?
  • What did we consider to be our role in any possible grandchildren’s lives

You should have seen the surprise on the children’s faces when we told them of our possible plans. What about us? Its interesting how in their minds it is okay for them to be actively considering moving out and getting an independent life, but not their parents.

As you grow back into married life—the two of you again—everything you learnt from the family years makes a solid foundation. But a foundation doesn’t build a house. You need to make new memories and experiences with your partner to build your new, solid married life home. The children are making their own lives which we get to visit and they get to visit ours. Even if we all physically live in the same house—our lives need to be seperate.

Personally, I am happy to be back in married life. Only needing to consider my husband in my plans. Now all the things that we have missed for twenty years have returned, dinners out, weekends away and my favourite—overseas travel and new adventures together. The other advantage for me is the hours I spend writing and blogging—neither of these passions were possible in the nappy or childhood phases of my life.

Part 2

Part 1

Share Your World – 2014 Week 39

Did you ever get lost?

Getting lost is unusual for me. If I am in familiar surroundings, I can usually act like a homing pigeon, make the correct turns and end up where I want to be. However, I cannot read the street directory as the navigator, when the car is moving. Taking my eyes off the road makes me feel nauseous and I lose my concentration. In order to stop me getting lost, I look up where I want to go before leaving home. That works for me.

When we visited China however, you could take me two blocks form our motel room on the first day and I had no idea where I was because everything was so different. My husband loved it and kept singing “I find my way home”, which overtime became reassuring that at least one of us knew where we were.

Who was your best friend in elementary school?

I don’t remember having a specific childhood friend in primary school. I had many friends and like a butterfly, I would flit between groups and friends regularly. I was also the person someone would come to for counselling—even in the third grade—when they had fought with their special friend.

Since the news television season has started in the US, list three favorite TV shows.

In Australia, I am not sure how we match with your current T. V. shows. Although it doesn’t matter to me as have little time for television with working full time, commuting  and blogging.

I prefer to watch movies in my spare time. Although, I regularly get snippets of television based on shows my family prefer especially The Big Bang Theory.


If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

After diner our mouse would see my son in his bedroom on two computers at once—one with work and the other with music or anime. My daughter could be either in her room or more likely downstairs on one of two lounges with either parent using her i-pad or phone. My husband would be sitting in his rocking chair—no, he’s not that old—watching his prerecorded television shows or something that he and my daughter have a greed to watch together. Myself, unless it is Saturday night, our mouse will find me at the back of the house in the family room, sitting at my computer—I will be either blogging or working on the book I am writing.

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 the warmer weather arriving. I could feel the sunshine on my arms for the first time in months—I love that feeling. It was also the first time I though it was warm enough outside to eat my lunch at work.

I am also grateful for South Sydney Rabbitoh’s winning the 2014 NRL Premiership for the first time in 43 years.

During this long weekend I am looking forward to catching up with family.

Welcome To Sydney

Sydney, Australia is a beautiful part of the world. It is set around nature. Sydney Harbour—arguably one of the best in the world is on one side, with national parks on all other sides. It is a multi-cultural city, with people from all parts of the world, often living in pockets of like-minded people—mixing original customs with their new life, which adds to the vitality of the area. As a result, in Sydney, we can source all ingredients for international cooking by going to the specialist communities.

The strangest thing for first time visitors to Sydney may depend on where they are coming from. Living near Sydney Olympic Park—Sydney’s major sporting and entertainment venue—on the train I regularly overhear conversations of newcomers to the area discussing their first impression of Sydney.

Fellow Australians coming from the country Australia discuss:

  • Trains – how they work and how easy they are to use
  • The number of people
  • The traffic
  • The multiculturalism of the city
  • The fast pace of life
  • How long it takes to get anywhere

International visitors discuss:

  • Our sporting obsession
  • How fast we talk
  • Our strange slang and colloquialisms—they thought we spoke English
  • How slow our trains system is
  • How long the flight was
  • The temperature—especially with the high temperature and humidity in Summer

Wherever you come from, always remember you are welcome. We love visitors and it appears visitors love us. According to the following websites, Sydney is rated one of the top cities in the world to visit.

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Luna Park North Sydney View

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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View Over Sydney City

So, come on Down Under. Our beaches, plants and animals are unique. Join the millions of others who have experienced our relaxed, fun-loving way of life. There will always be someone to say—G’Day Mate.

Big Day Ahead

In Australia, today is the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final. One of the largest sporting events annually in Australia, the Grand Final is broadcast nationally and internationally across many countries. This year the two teams left standing of the original 16—South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. The last time these two teams faced each other in a grand final was in 1967, as the Rabbitohs last won a premiership in 1971. Both teams have very loyal fans—honour and pride is at stake.

For many, the big day out begins with the commute to Sydney to attend the game and carnival atmosphere at Sydney Olympic Park. If you are one of the lucky 83 000 plus who will be attending the game, your day is planned out for you. Anyone like myself who lives in the area can minimise the stress by getting into the spirit at home, staying off all roads leading into Olympic Park and if attending the festivities, walk.  Helicopters fly over head regularly, providing security checks as the afternoon progresses and become part of the build up to game time.

The general population, relieve their anxieties and pre-game nerves by organising and attending Grand Final parties at home or where possible by watching the game at their local Leagues Club. These family B-B-Q’s and parties have developed their own traditions, usually include several drinks and if your regular team is not in the Grand Final, every one attending will choose a preferred team to win and follow them. Sometimes this team may be the one they dislike the least.




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So wherever you are around the globe, join us if you can for our big day ahead and learn a little about Australian culture as you go. Its been along time coming and following in the family tradition of being Bunnies supporters, I will dress in red and green and hope my sisters’ team gets up tonight.

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Go The Rabbitohs

Howling At The Moon

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg

Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

I love a bright, full moon. It appears to call me, drawing my attention to it from wherever I am. It reminds me of the marvels of the universe and how anything is possible if we believe—man landing on the moon.

The moon controls the tides and my experience is that it also affects human behaviour. Working in acute psychiatry, traditionally the night of the full moon would be the busiest for the month, with more people presenting to emergency centres requiring help with their mental health for various reasons. There doesn’t seem to be any agreed reason for this situation, but many people can attest to it being true.

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My favourite full moon I saw in China during the mid Autumn Moon Festival in 2013. It was bright full and red—although very difficult to photograph. The Chinese people celebrate the power of the moon in this family celebration that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Moving forward, I think the time of the full moon each month would be a great time for reflection and goal setting for the next month. Speaking our goals out loud makes them real and gives them power. What better way to do that than to howl them to the moon. If required you can plan for this event by checking the date of the next full moon on any calendar. Let’s join with others who for centuries have used the power of the moon to help them achieve their goals. 

World Smile Day

Today, 3rd October is World Smile Day. The happy smiley face was created in 1963 by Harvey Ball. Ball states that “World Smile Day is open to every person on the planet. No matter what colour they are, or who they might pray to, no matter what country they live in.”

In celebrating World Smile Day, Harvey simply asks “each person to live the day with a generous heart, do one kind act and help one person smile.”


Google Images World Smile Day 2014

How can you make someone’s day, today? It is the little gestures that make a difference. Use today to launch your new—one act of kindness daily plan. Pay kindness forward and see how quickly your world changes.

Although the following film clip has no bearing on World Smile Day, I couldn’t resist putting it into the post as I think it is a clever part of the movie—Forest Gump.

What do you think?

Have a great day and smile.



I Think, No—I Write

To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?

I find myself regularly using the phrase, I think. I hate the phrase. What does it mean anyway? It is okay if you are explaining exactly what you think, however, I find that I use the phrase like a question. For example:

“The meeting is on Wednesday, I Think?”

If, however, you want the statement to be more powerful, consider the following

“I am telling you that I think, it is important to do…. because……”

My other favourite verb is ‘ to write.’ I can think thousands of thoughts daily but, they only become truly mine, when I write them in either my blog or my book. Writing, helps me to clarify my thoughts and ensures I am using  a phrase correctly. Writing also helps me take the useless—I think—out of my vocabulary. Instead, practicing clarity and power around my thoughts, allows me to emphasis my thoughts as own. And, it is completed by perfecting my use of the statement—I Think.

The Great Divide

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

I love books. Every bookstore or market I pass, if I have time, I will enter—my favourities are the second hand ones. I love the smell, texture and feel of older books. I also love hunting for the hidden treasures.

My preferred books are non-fiction—self-help, success manuals or cooking books. I love the Dummies series and have many titles in areas that interest me—coaching/mentoring, publishing, computers and psychology—just to name a few.

The authors of some my success manuals include, such great leader and teachers as—Jack Canfield, Anthony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad), John Bradshaw and Spencer Johnson (Who Moved the Cheese).

One of the reasons I prefer non-fiction books is that they match my writing style. My imagination isn’t vivid so I describe things as they are. The more conversational the better, as I do struggle with formal writing. If there is a purpose behind why I want to read it, I will preserve. Otherwise, I will give up and move on to something else that catches my attention.

My preference for non-fiction books definitely helps me, as I complete my book on how eating disorder recovery is possible. I have worked in the field for over 20 years and my book is full of the practical knowledge I have learnt along the way.

Whichever side of the great divide you sit, what is important is that you read for fun. It is the best way to improve your writing.