The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly has unknown origins but has strong learning for each of us to consider about what we need to fly—sometimes things are not as they seem.


A man finds a butterfly cocoon, which develops a small hole. Over several hours, he notices the butterfly struggling to force its body through the small hole.

After a period, the man noticed that the butterfly appeared stop progressing. In an attempt to be helpful, the man decides to cut the cocoon open.  The butterfly emerged easily however its body was swollen and it had small-shrivelled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly expecting at any moment the wings to enlarge and expand enough to support the body.

Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around the ground. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not realise was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle by the butterfly to break free was nature’s way of forcing the fluid out of the butterfly’s body and into its wings so that it is ready for flight when the butterfly emerged.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. They allow us to overcome obstacles that would otherwise cripple us. Without them, we are unable to fly.  We can get impatient when we think nothing is changing and begin to lose hope.  This is the time to look back at how far we have come and remember a firm foundation takes time to build. Everyone’s journeys is a unique experience, and there are no maps.

Like the butterfly’s journey out of the cocoon, the struggles, we overcome in life, develop the strengths we need. Life has an odd way of putting the challenges we require in our path.  It is important to notice what we learn from each experience—the good, the bad and the ugly. This is true for all areas of everyone’s life.

This butterfly effect has come into play since I began my blogging journey. I started my blog back in May and followed the advice of a blog builder to set it up. This worked really well except—I didn’t understand what I was doing. I actually didn’t even understand that I had set up a self-hosted blog or the struggles it would create for me.  In the long term, a self-hosted blog was my goal, but not necessarily in the beginning, before I had an audience.

Now is the time my blog is squeezed through the hole and I figure out what I need to do to get it working. Originally, I couldn’t get any stats as my Jetpack wasn’t working, which was frustrating. I was definitely growing as a writer but had no audience, so life got busy and I stopped blogging for six weeks.

In August, I returned to my blog and was able to restart my Jetpack account only to realise—surprise, surprise—I had followers from Writing 101. Inspiring Max was developing its own online voice and I was beginning to fly. I have learnt a lot through my struggles to develop my blog and they have made me a stronger, more confident beginner blogger.

Welcome to my world.


Mouths Wide Shut

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?

When asked about my food preferences as a youngster, I would say I eat everything. What I really meant was any usual food that may be put on my plate. Whilst in Australia this statement mostly remains true, the one thing I would like to try however I am unsure if I can put in my mouth is the aboriginal delicacy—the witchetty grub.

Eating a witchetty grub is an experience rather than a meal. They are found in Central Australia and are often on the bucket lists of travellers to the area. One day I will travel to the centre of our beautiful land. When that time comes I will have to decide if I am going to open my currently shut mouth to the experience.

Have you tried witchetty grubs? What were your thoughts? I would love some evidence to move me forward and open my mouth.

My Special Treat

This weeks daily post challenge is a build-your-own. For this writing challenge, let’s experiment. We’ll provide options for two key elements of your post—the setting and the opening line.

I had been here before, a long time ago. My father had brought me as a special treat.

Credit: Cheri Lucas/The Daily Post

Credit: Cheri Lucas/The Daily Post

“We are going to  set up camp beside the creek, sleep under the stars and see if we are lucky enough to spot a platypus.” Dad said.

“When can we see one?” I asked.

“They come to the surface looking for food just before sunset and again just after dawn, but you must be very quiet and still.” Dad replied tentatively, concerned at my ability to do either.

“Okay Dad. I promise I will.”

While I helped Dad setup our camp, he told me about platypuses. The platypus is a very special Australian mammal. Here on the eat coast of Australia is only place in the world they are found.

Credit: Simple Wikipedia

Credit: Simple Wikipedia

They are small and one of only two mammals that lay eggs. Each platypus weighs between 1-2 kilograms and is approximately 40-60 centimetres in length. Their size depends on their sex—males are the heavier and longer than females. They have short, thick brown fur (like an otter), a flat tail (like a beaver), a duck bill and webbed feet (like a duck).
Another clever thing about the platypus is its webbed feet. When they are on land and need to dig, their webbing turns back on itself, producing claws to enable the platypus to dig. It is reported that when the first English settlers sent reports of the platypus back home to England along with a stuffed body as proof, the scientists thought it was a prank.
Credit: Gambassa

Credit: Gambassa

After spending the afternoon gathering firewood, going for a bush walk along the creek and preparing for our night under the stars, we were exhausted and ready. Dad had packed binoculars for each of us to make spotting a platypus easier. Armed with them, we found ourselves a comfortable spot to sit, complete with a tree to lean on and we sat—waiting and hoping to sight our special friend—the platypus.


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.

Memories of Regional China

This weeks DP Challenge is by girl in the hat writer Anna Fonté about creating a list. As I found visiting regional China an amazing experience, my list describes my memories of this special time.

 1. Appreciation of road rules and seat belts

Driving in China is scary and it is a wise decision that  foreign tourists cannot hire a car and drive.  On the freeway between Nanjing and Wuhu, the private car we were in was traveling at 100 kilometres an hour, 4 abreast on a 3 lane highway. Honking is the warning system used to indicate that someone is about to change lanes.  Everyone is on a mission to get  where they are going and surprisingly, it works.  The taxis have no seat belts which took some adjusting too..

2. Bicycles and mopeds

With limited money, bicycles and mopeds are a major source of transportation in regional China. We saw moped that managed to carry a whole family-mum, dad, baby, sibling and the family dog. It was amazing. Bicycles were everywhere and it was also not unusual to see people and cats sleeping on them during the day.

3. Celebrity status

In regional China, ‘white people’ are a rarity and as the Chinese believe that we (white people) bring good luck, we felt like celebrities. Everywhere we went people would ask (usually by pointing to the camera) to have their photo taken with us.  Sometimes they would attempt a conversation which we loved.

4. Communication through hand signals

How do you communicate with people who cannot understand the language you speak? In regional China few people speak English. You very quickly become used to hand signals and thinking creatively to get your point across. Oh and when you are talking money, the calculator is a universal language.

5. Facebook

Facebook is blocked in most of China so you are taken back to a time in your life where you are not constantly connected to everyone. It initially is a weird feeling and then you fill your time with other things and adjust into a new rhythm.

6. Food

While you can get western food in regional China it is rare especially in the smaller cities so you are forced to look for other alternatives and try new food. Seeing live animals in the supermarkets to be sold for food was a new experience.

7. History and Culture

The more I learnt about the history and culture, the more inspired I was. In the Shaolin Temple, there is a tree that is 1500 years old. Understanding the growth of China this century through the leadership of Sun Yat-Sen is eye opening. He was a very inspirational leader loved by all.

8. Natural Beauty

China is a very beautiful country when you leave the cities and explore. The scenic spots as they are called require travelling to, usually with a guide but your reward is their beauty.

9. Speech

Understanding how you speak, changes as you communicate with people of other languages. We needed to slow down and pronunciation words clearly so they were understood. Learning that the Chinese often sound loud and at times aggressive just in their normal speaking voice, changes how you respond to situations.

10. Trust yourself

With limited communication everything you take for granted at home is an issue. Catching a taxi. reading maps and purchasing food. These and many more take you out of your comfort zone and allow you to grow as a person as through trusting yourself.

I hope you enjoyed my memories.


On Our Block

First my eyes, then my nose felt it. Yes, irritation was in the air.  All over my block, pollen had fallen like snow and was covering the road like a quilt, leaving outlines of the cars after they had driven off.  As it doesn’t snow in Sydney, I had never seen anything fall so intensely  to leave a shape behind.

My suburb  was built for the Sydney Olympics and is heavily planted with Australian native trees and shrubs which makes it unique. To this day under the community title, it is a requirement that all gardens have a high percentage of Australian native plants. At present, it is the flowering eucalyptus blooms (see below) that lines every street that are turning the suburb beige, and irritating people’s hay fever.

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The tall eucalyptus trees are approximately twenty years old and  bring a lots of bird life to the area. Every morning as I walk out the front door, I hear a choir of birds calling to each other as they fly off. This  gives the suburb a very Australian feel, which is unusual in the city. High up in the eucalyptus tree on our side fence lives a very cute possum whom we have nicknamed Tom. Every evening after dark, he comes to life screeching as he defends his territory and running and thumping across our roof as he plays. He once tried eating our lemons  but thankfully, they were too sour for him.

Tom Possum

I love my block. It is a great part of the world to live. Close enough to feel the energy from Sydney Olympic Park and yet far enough away that most of Sydney does not even realize it is here. Hiding, tucked up in its own little enclosure surrounded by two of Sydney’s busiest roads and a jail on the third side.

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Street View (ANZ Stadium in background)

As I enjoy the natural beauty of the fallen pollen on our block until the wind blows it away, I will treat the symptoms of my irritation as they arise. Who knows over time I may even desensitize to the effects of the pollen, while I enjoy living among the gum trees.