Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Archives for February 2017

School Kids’ Progress T1. 2017.34.

School Kids’ Progress T1. 2017.34.

Around the middle of first term at school this experienced Primary School teacher/principal (and parent/grandparent) predicts ten things may be true…and they may also be for those first timers, the ones whose kids have just started school. 

Are you ready for this?

ONE: Your child will quote the ‘teacher says’ and be adamant that all the ‘teacher says’ is right.

TWO: Your child will call you by the teacher’s name at least once. Conversely your child will also call the teacher “mummy/daddy” at least once.

THREE: The school uniform items (shoes, hats, jumpers) you lovingly labelled – in laundry marker AND an iron-on label for good measure will still “get lost”.

FOUR: Having spent money on new items as above because “no hat no play,” rules are enforced, the “old” item will miraculously turn up.

FIVE: There will be one week where you will promise your child that he or she can have some money to spend at the canteen and your child will buy something you have never heard of called a “zingy zong healthy treat something” and your child declares it ‘best food ever.’

SIX: The school newsletter will have news about how well the new children have settled into their new routine at ‘big’ school and you think ‘erm, but I have noticed’ at least one child crying as they are led by the hand into class each day. Life at school.

SEVEN: You are glad to know this is not your child -this time! You also feel a great deal of empathy for the new K/P kids and their teachers as settling into something as new as school is hard – for everyone!

EIGHT: The school will send home a note about a mufti-day to raise funds for a special cause and somehow, along the communication route, you forgot and your child arrives in school uniform that day…but luckily her/his sibling is in the car and of a similar size so a ‘quick change’ occurs leaving a puzzled sibling wondering if he or she is going to school now too.

NINE: You are just beginning to realise why school is good for the kids when you see how much time you have for all the things you want to do …. this is a cheeky point…just seeing if you are reading LOL.

TEN: You will look closely at your Kinder/Prep child’s face as you kiss him/her goodnight  and wonder, “where did my little one go? I now have a school kid!”

So half-way(ish) through Term One, congratulate yourselves parents! You are getting there…right?

Tell me how it’s going with your school-age children? High school too!

Denyse.

Linking with almost seasoned school mum Kylie Purtell here for I Blog on Tuesdays.

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Taking Stock. #LifeThisWeek 9/52. 2017.33.

Taking Stock. #LifeThisWeek 9/52. 2017.33.

Thanks to the blogger extraordinaire Pip Lincoln I am taking most of her words from Taking Stock to form this post. I’ve used the adapted list from here too. Thanks Sandra! The new prompts for Life This Week from next Monday 6 March until Monday 1 May, are ready to go here and on the Home Page of the blog. Each 9th week I will ‘take stock.’

Making: art every single day in one form or another

Realising: this is it, life is not a dress rehearsal

Cooking: much less these days and loving that more

Drinking: water and some soft drink

Reading: a long list of books..none of which have been completed (yet) almost all non-fiction. 

Wanting: to have a greater level of concentration to continue to read “Victoria” by Julia Baird

Looking: always looking around me

Pondering: so much and most of it is about ‘life’

Wishing: I had some of the insight into me earlier than now!

Enjoying: the company of my husband each day as we have never been ‘alone’ till past 2 years

Waiting: to have enough money to buy a house 

Liking: that we do not have enough money to buy a house (yet) because it gives us more time to consider 

Wondering: how this word is different to pondering

Loving: that I surprise myself with my art every day 

Listening: to some great self-help and spiritual people on CD

Considering: that I am more capable than I feel 

Buying: books and CDs from on-line stores because it is EASY and CHEAP(er)

Watching: some reality TV, the local regional news and iView catch ups of ABC TV faves

Hoping: that I can continue to accept that I have a chronic condition called IBS and learn to live with it

Marvelling: at the way anyone who has a brain is….

Cringing: about the behaviour of Donald Trump

Needing: to be as kind a friend to myself as I am to others and I am getting better at it

Questioning: why…about quite a few things that I now realise is futile

Smelling: frangipanis on the large tree right outside our back door

Wearing: retirement coastie clothing of coloured shorts and sleeveless top and birkenstocks

Following: lots of interesting friends who blog

Noticing: the days are shortening and the mornings are getting cooler

Thinking: that I would prefer not to think so much

Admiring: my husband who is celebrating his birthday today and is my best friend and love of my life

Getting: to really like our ‘new to us’ lifestyle away from Sydney

Disliking: media coverage which sensationalises and does not provide balance 

Opening: my blog each day and seeing who has commented so I get ready to chat

Giggling: at some of the fun memories I have with my husband about our life as parents and grandparents

Feeling: more positive than the last time I did a ‘taking stock’ post here

Celebrating: February is nearly over because its weather is always extreme

Pretending: I am not concerned about being closer to 70 than 65

Embracing: my husband every day because hugging is good for attachment hormones and I LOVE him.

Do you take stock ..like this or elsewhere? It’s helpful.

Denyse.

On Mondays I also link up here: with Alicia for Open Slather and with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

Thanks for linking up this week.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Must Watch TV”.


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My Week 9 Intention. Go Gently. 2017.32.

My Week 9 Intention. Go Gently. 2017.32.

almost decided not to post an intention this week.

Why?

It’s been a hard week on me, emotionally and physically.

The physical part relates to a bout of Irritable Bowel Syndrome which went for longer than before – over 5 days.

The emotional part is how the above affects me ON top of the other life challenges I am facing.

So, with the advice of my health professionals and those who love me, I have come here to make an intention because the blogging needs to continue if it is to tell a story of my life in words.

Last week’s Perspective intention was noted from time to time and helped me somewhat. As always, I am human and a work-in-progress.

More stressors have become made known to me in recent days and I would not be honest if I did not say they are hitting me hard.

So, I am going gently. In taking care of myself and being a friend to myself. I have downloaded some excellent hypnotherapy audios from Audible and they are helping me along with meditation and being outside.

My week 9 intention is to go gently. To take time to recover and rest. To use  self-talk that is kind and non-critical affect.

 

How do you manage your well-being in a crisis?

Denyse.

Joining Leanne’s Lovin Life linky here on Thursdays.

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Creative Catch Up. 2017.31.

Creative Catch Up. 2017.31.

I’ve been creating some different pieces lately.

I do many of my more intricate art works with details when I am feeling stressed. It is a great way for me to be mindful and being ‘in the moment’ rather than ‘past or future’ thinking.

Mandalas still fun.

But it was time to shake things up a bit.

Here is some of the art that I’ve not shared before.

A3 Mandala – the challenge I made based on light/dark shades of reds and purples.

 

A series of 4×6 ‘postcards’ I painted in gouache and added to a photo frame.

 

This is a large grid with each square a painting within its own space. All in gouache paint.

 

600 1 cm squares. Coloured with Zig Clean Paint Markers.

 

A5 size canvas, my design, using acrylic paint.

 

A3 Mandala and I haven’t counted the little spaces! Copic markers to colour.

Enjoy!

What do you enjoy creatively? It isn’t always about art!

Denyse.

Linking here with photography friends.

Trish: Sue: Steph: Jen.

And on the weekend I link here with Sammie and those who visit the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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When You Know You KNOW. 2017.30.

When You Know You KNOW. 2017.30.

It is said that ‘when you know…you know.’ Do you agree?

I could apply it to some life choices I’ve made, including the acceptance of my now husband’s proposal.

Sometimes it can be applied to finishing up…leaving..stopping…whatever life is bringing you.

For me, the time I knew what I knew was here:

More than a year prior to when this photo was taken, I had retired from my University tutor/marker role. I still continued to have my small consultancy to pre-schools open but it too was brought to a halt thanks to the distance from the workplace and where we now lived but I also knew it was time. I loved continuing with teacher development  as an External Observer with NSW Board of Studies in 2015, however, changes to the structure there meant that my qualifications no longer met the new standards and that worked well for me to say goodbye.

There was ONE more professional role I enjoyed. It did not pay me, nor would I want it too. It was, however, a wonderful place and space in which to share my experiences and be part of a highly engaged professional community. This is via meetings called Teach Meets. And it was to be held back in Sydney’s Northern Beaches at my old High School! Of course I wanted to speak..and have a last look around my ‘old school’ from the 1960s!!

This post tells much more about the talk I gave that evening.

But, something within in me KNEW that this would be the last time I would be involved in any paid/volunteer role in education and I felt both glad and sad. However, I KNEW it was what I knew and I was so pleased to have made the choice for myself.

Here. Where I went to High School from age 12-17. Where I had decided to become a teacher if my HSC results were good enough. They were.

Manly Girls High School in my day..now a Senior School for Yrs 11 & 12 on Northern Beaches

It was the right choice! Both to start…and to stop..here!

1962. First cohort for the ‘new’ Wyndham Scheme HS kids. 6 years of HS. I am second from left 3rd row.

Some parts of the school were unchanged since I left in 1967.

I loved having a personalised tour from the Principal of my ‘old school’. Much had changed, but this view had not. From the ‘canteen’ area.

Giving my final talk as part of Teach Meet in August 2015. I have no regrets. I have an amazing number of memories. I also remain in touch with educators via social media and continued to enjoy the conversations but I am glad to no longer have any professional responsibilities.

Last time for this!

I’m a great believer in knowing when to go!

Are you?

What decisions did you make because you ‘knew’?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here and the bloggers who Blog On Tuesdays.

Linking with Leanne for Lovin Life here on Thursdays.

 

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A Pet Story. #LifeThisWeek 8/52. 2017.29.

A Pet Story. #LifeThisWeek 8/52. 2017.29.

I wasn’t (and probably still am not) a ‘pet’ person. I was brought up without pets. Oh. Wait. Mum had a pet bird, a budgerigar for a while. I didn’t like it when it was out of the cage.

Then as a married couple “we” ventured into pet ownership by accident and by choice. The accident was the cat who turned up one day on our isolated property house where we rented and stayed. We named her Cookie. From Sesame Street which we loved and was about 4 years old back then. She turned feral when we brought home our baby daughter and we “asked” her to leave. She did. No, she really did.

The one by choice was a dog, a  golden labrador. We named him Diggity (you know, from the song?) and he was a delight but oh so naughty. Who knew he would dig up the buried garbage, pull washing off the line AND bite into the new baby’s stroller…baby was thankfully inside the house…and ruin the lining. My mum who’d gifted us that was not a happy lady! He was far too unhappy when I was back at school and there was no-one to play with…so he’d follow us all the way via dirt roads and risk his life. We needed to be kind(er) to him. Off to a boisterous family of kids he went.

45 years ago!

We also had a cat for a while when our daughter was a pre-schooler. No photos but it was a cute black and white cat. It was a cat which found us..again…in a small rural place.

In the mid 1980s a cat turned up at the door of our Sydney house. With 2 kids keen to have a ‘pet’ and no idea of her origin, her first feed meant she became named and loved. In fact, Sandy was much loved. Still an outside pet and no trouble with all that either back in those days. Sadly, despite the most loving care, she was found dead under the house thanks to what might have been a slowly developing kidney condition due to food intake.

Favourite spot near the back door.

Do fish count? We had fish from time to time. Again, not good at keeping them alive for the long term because it was always up to me..and I got quite annoyed at how often that fish tank needed cleaning.

So, no more pets, right? Wrong. Moving to a newly built house that was very special for us, we succumbed to the “oh can we have a dog NOW, please?” from older and younger teen. We did have a fenced back yard of reasonable size and we did end up buying a dog no-one seemed to want. Her make was part kelpie and part lab. She had a heart, no idea of being disciplined and a great LOVE for our son. We named her Loopy. I am not sure why, but the name may have influenced aspects of her behaviour.

Favourite vantage spot. “looking and listening” for people/dogs in park nearby.

Eating, drinking, sleeping, waiting for our son to come home.

We spent money on getting her ‘trained’ via Bark Busters so she knew we were the pack leaders. It worked. Mostly. She loved escaping from our yard IF we accidentally left the gate open and then would be very deaf when called. But we did enjoy her and she moved on with us to our last house in Glenwood. That was until 2004. The yard was smaller at Glenwood and we did need her to occupy a smaller area as grandkids came into our lives. She could overwhelm little kids due to her boisterous nature. When our son moved out, she stayed. It was the fairest thing to do for her as she aged and he visited often. But, sadly, she became very unwell mid 2004 and despite the best treatment from a local vet, she did not survive. Loopy was buried by her loving family in the backyard…and there her remains stay.

It was more of a shock to my system when she died than I realised it would be and I wanted to honour her memory as she had been part of our family for over 10 years. I had some photos enlarged and framed and did a painting. I am still touched by how much I was able to create her look and I believe she was helping me do that!

Love you Loopy.

And whilst I say ‘never say never’ we are not intending to be pet-owners again.

So, that’s more than ONE pet story! I hadn’t quite realised how much pets had been part of my life.

What’s your pet story?

Denyse.

NEWS from #LifeThisWeek.

Can you believe next week is Week 9/52? I am using each Week 9 in 2017 for a Taking Stock post. Pip has a template over here for anyone wanting to use this popular post material. This means…that after next week there is a NEW set of prompts. They are already done and on the HOME page for your perusal..and use I hope! 

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Taking Stock”.



Joining with Alicia for Open Slather here and with Kell for Mummy Mondays here too.

 

 

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My Week 8 Intention. Perspective. 2017.28.

My Week 8 Intention. Perspective. 2017.28.

I’ve mostly been a details person..small picture…even though I can imagine a big picture I need to know details and more.

Now, as I have found in life, THIS is not always possible.

Who knew?

Ok, we all know but sometimes it is hard to let go of welded on beliefs of shoulds and musts.

Here’s where perspective will be more to the front than behind as I work (and play) with my intention for this week.

I want to continue to work with details because I find that comforting and helpful but I also want to keep in mind the bigger picture too.

From this:

 

To this:

My Week 8  intention is to broaden my view, keep matters in perspective and look at the whole picture wherever possible.

Update: last week’s intention of taking a break worked for me in some respects although learner-me who wants to ‘get better’ from her IBS and anxiety continues to seek new information and practise meditation and more. It was good to give myself permission to ‘take a break’ and the supportive comments from many helped!

What’s your intention this week?

Are you a big picture or details person?

Denyse.

Linking here with Sue from Sizzling at 60.

On Thursdays I link here with Leanne for Lovin Life.

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Wonderful Water Views. 2017.27.

Wonderful Water Views. 2017.27.

I know in Australia we have had too much of HEAT, DROUGHT and FLOODING…and FIRES…and it has been incredibly stressful for so many.

http://www.vidiani.com/maps/maps_of_australia_and_oceania/

It certainly was for us in some ways as there was a threat of power outages and we NEEDED to run the Air Conditioning as the outside temperatures went to well over 40 degrees celsius (over 105degrees F) That is wayyyy hot. We survived. Phew.

So, just a few days later…it has cooled down to around 30 degrees C in the day and that’s awesome! I went for a drive on Wednesday just to be in nature once more.

In the morning I went along the road which follows The Wyong River.

In the afternoon I visited my favourite walking beach, Lakes Beach.

The weather was warm (yay), gentle breezes abounded and the sea was calm.

One little video was made on the banks of the Wyong River at high tide.

I walked and recorded the next two little videos at Lakes Beach Budgewoi at low tide.

 

How is the weather where you are right now?

Denyse.

Joining photography friends here:

Trish: Jen: Steph: Sue

On the weekend I link here with Sammie for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

 

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