Wednesday 27th September 2017

Archives for June 2017

Winter, Whales & Waves. 2017.86.

Winter, Whales & Waves. 2017.86.

It’s no secret how much I love living near the ocean. Winter, in particular, has an attraction for those of us living on the east coast of Australia. It is the time of the migrating whales who are headed north from the cold Southern Ocean to mate and bring offspring into the world in the warmer waters. So, winter is whale watching time. It is somewhat challenging to see the whales without binoculars from where I stood for these pictures but rest assured I saw the large spouting fountain from a whale in the distance looking east. From October onwards, the whales will return heading back home to the south.

My photos are from a Friday afternoon in June. I am savouring these scenes as I will soon be away from seeing them live thanks to my hospitalisation for cancer and then the recovery period at home where I will have one leg in plaster/walking boot.

Here’s my winter collection for now:

Wonderful cloud formation at Soldiers Beach!

 

Whale spotted out ‘there’

Have you ever seen a whale?

Where was this?

Do you surf in Winter?

Thanks for enjoying the scenes!

Denyse.

P.S. I decided that as Leanne was whale watching recently it would be timely to link this post up for Lovin’ Life. I was going to publish tomorrow, then I thought..no! Do it on Thursday instead. Here is the link to Leanne’s Blog.

P.P.S. See below for my news about next Monday’s link up!

My Link Up on Mondays: 

The last #LifeThisWeek linky is Taking Stock…. until further notice…i.e. when I am able to blog again after surgery and recovery in hospital in Sydney… and here for your convenience if you are following the prompt for 27/52 is the list from Pip Lincoln’s Blog: meetmeatmikes.

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :
Reading:
Wanting:
Looking:
Playing:
Wasting:
Sewing:
Wishing:
Enjoying:
Waiting:
Liking:
Wondering:
Loving: 
Hoping:
Marvelling:
Needing:
Smelling:
Wearing:
Following:
Noticing:
Knowing:
Thinking:
Feeling:
Bookmarking:
Opening:
Giggling:
Feeling:

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Winter in the Garden. 2017.85.

Winter in the Garden. 2017.85.

In June the garden here took on a different look.

Whilst there are some blooms happening, much more is about the ‘sleeping’ side of the plants which need to time to renew.

There is none more apparent than the frangipani.

Last winter was my first experience with a large frangipani shedding its leaves and I had no idea of whether I had ‘killed it’ or it was part of its normal cycle.

Checking various frangipanis around the local area I was relieved to see it was perfectly fine.

In late spring everything began the wonderful renewal of the leaves and the blooms!

That’s winter in this garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which one is your favourite?

What about yours?

What do you see coming up and what is going away, so to speak?

Denyse.

Joining here with Kylie Purtell for I Blog On Tuesdays.

 

 

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Half Year Review. #LifeThisWeek 26/52. 2017.84.

Half Year Review. #LifeThisWeek 26/52. 2017.84.

Since I last wrote a Review post, here, so much has changed. But that IS life, right?

The blogging world is changing and shifting as people enter to start new blogs whilst others may leave taking up various roles based on the needs now. Link ups remain the main way many of us know what others are up to but the link-ups themselves that have been supportive of many are reducing. One factor is time.

Another factor is there is less interaction between the blog posters who add their links and ‘run’ in some instances. Over this past weekend the long-running The Ultimate Rabbit Hole closed its doors forever. Seeing Sammie’s last post for the link up explains why and  makes me realise how grateful I have been that people continue to run link ups.

I wish Sammie well of course, and those who have contributed to the link ups over the years.

I am grateful at this half-year review time for YOU…and YOU…and  YOU..yes, all of YOU.

My readers, my blog commenters and my blog linkers! So, what’s else needs mentioning?

  • We’ve moved into Winter here of course, and Summer for those readers (hello Katherine & Patricial!) from the Northern Hemisphere)
  • For many the upcoming end of financial year will mean sorting out finances and all that jazz. We no longer have to do that as our pension income is low. I do recall though that it WAS one of those jobs no-one really likes.
  • Recently we sorted out a big folder of stuff that everyone needs to be able to find and is a must. I am talking birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, wills, powers of attorney and enduring guardianship papers. These documents WERE at a solicitors but he has died so we have them with us. Moving around means that we keep them safe…for now. Once we are settled we will be reviewing the documents as they were last done in 2010.
  • And I was diagnosed with cancer in my gums in mid May after a troublesome year with my top, front teeth. Sigh. Read about it here.

As best as I can let everyone know, my scheduled surgery is Thursday 6 July* 2017 at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney. I will be down in Sydney at the Lifehouse the day before with my husband for the pre-op clinic, meeting with an anaesthetist and the specialist Head & Neck Cancer Nurse. We will stay one night together here. **

Credit: Golden Grove

The next morning, I am to arrive at the hospital (The Lifehouse) by 6.00 a.m. My husband is going to stay for the next 3 nights at the lovely place because it is within 10-15 mins walk from where I am. He is going to be there for my so-called, anticipated worst days as I will be in Intensive Care for up to 2-3 days. Yikes. Even writing that is scary! But like I have said before, knowing he is there, or not too far away will be very comforting to me. He has always been there for me as I have for him in all the times of our lives.

Holding My Hand….since 1970

*I have been told that date is 85% certain. This is contingent on the special software and model of my mouth coming to the surgical and dental team in time for more planning. It is being made in Belgium. I sure hope it is that date as my mouth is very sore and uncomfortable. I cant believe I am writing this but it will be good to have the surgery done.

**There were offers of accommodation made by family and friends and of course we are grateful but this place is ideal. We were recommended it as a place to stay from the hospital as it is much less expensive than other local accommodation and we are already going to be able to get some subsidy for accommodation and travel via the Isolated Patients scheme as we live > 100 km from the hospital. We had no idea about these things until my diagnosis.

This is my second last post FOR NOW for #LifeThisWeek. Next week is 27/52 Taking Stock.  That will be the LAST until I resume blogging after my upcoming surgery. I have had kind offers from blogging friends to keep the link up going and I have said ‘no, thank you’ because I am pretty sure as I can be, that by the time I am ready to come home (10-14 days post surgery) I will be thinking about blogging again. Watch this space! 

My husband will be letting our family and friends know how my surgery and recovery is going and in turn, our daughter will add updates to my Facebook personal page and the blog page. It is my request (at this stage) to have no visitors other than him because I know I will be unwell, unable to speak much (if at all) and in pain. If I change my mind about this…a girl can, right? Then Facebook will be the place to look. That’s about it. No it’s not. Sorry!

How blessed I am to have made so many friends via blogging and social media since 2010. I have been given enormous support via kind messages, post comments, gifts, phone calls, cards and more. I have each and every wish & prayer tucked into my heart and that is helping me face arguably the biggest (health) challenge in my life till now. This is my message for me and for you! 

Thank you and Happy Monday!

Denyse. Join up here with Alicia for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

I hope you are linking up here too.

* 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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Taking Stock”. On Friday 30 June 2017 I am posting a list of the prompt words from Pip Lincoln’s Taking Stock suggestions.

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Creative Art & Listening. 2017.83.

Creative Art & Listening. 2017.83.

I’ve been following art groups and becoming more creative in my retirement years. I am lucky to have a range of materials to work  play with and have had some lessons in their use. Now I get to have fun and create. I was doing this as part of my transitioning to retirement anyway but since I received my cancer diagnosis it has become a very important element in keeping me mindful and creating to heal.

For each of the photos I have written something about the process and you can see the products.

The accompaniment for me is always a CD where I am learning or reinforcing learning about life, our spirits, our behaviours and more. I have a range of CDs by Brene Brown, Pema Chodron, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Anne Lamott, and Rick Hanson among other. The one I am listening to right now (for the 3rd time!) is about offering ourselves self-compassion. I have been a late arrival to the need to show myself self-kindness and compassion and it is through the works of Kirsten Neff and Christopher Germer that I am undoing the practice of old (criticism and self-judgement) and integrating the practice of: self-compassion.

I hope you enjoy what you see here.

Denyse.

This is my post for the LAST EVER weekend linky called The Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and Friends. I thought it was time for another post on creativity! Congratulations to all who made The Ultimate Rabbit Hole great and THANK you for sharing the love.

Large Page, Meditative Patterns & Repetitive Colouring.

 

Accuracy and pattern making in paint to the ROYGBIV colours…of the Rainbow!

 

The flower pattern started. So meditative and gentle I saw frangipanis arise.

 

Adding painted background close to leaf colour made for good concentration and distraction.

 

From the middle is the famous yellow of most if not all frangipanis. Letting the paint dry before next stage is a measure of my patience these days!

 

Taking the idea further, there have been many pink frangipanis on our tree as well as while ones, so I added a highlight colour in paint.

 

Almost there but not quite. Adding different shades of pink within the same tones from my gouache paints. Very slowly adding where I thought it was needed.

 

A3 size, the finished product is now on display. I loved doing this so much I have started another!

 

This one is different but still floral in focus. Listening to this book on CD reminds me of self-compassion and my need to be as kind to me as to another.

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What’s in a word? Cancer. 2017.82.

What’s in a word? Cancer. 2017.82.

Since I heard the word, cancer, to describe what had been found via pathology from the biopsied tissue from my gums, I have seen it and heard it everywhere. However, I think, it’s like when I  first become pregnant, I saw other pregnant women everywhere.

It’s more noticeable because it affects ME. So, whilst there is still no word (ha!) on the exact  date for my cancer surgery, I thought it timely to write a post.

I have been incredibly well-supported already by those in my friendship realm here in the blogging world and elsewhere.

Each has been from someone who has had cancer, knows someone with cancer, and is currently being treated for cancer.

I read recently  that 1 in 2 of us will have cancer. Wow!

My family of course have expressed their concern and care for me. I have been visited by almost all of the immediate family and that has been lovely. What I have found too is the outstretching of hands (figuratively) of so many is helpful and reassuring which is why I blog about it.

Here’s what I wanted to share briefly:

I had been on a roller-coaster of emotions ANYWAY before I was diagnosed with cancer, so to add cancer to the mix has raised those anxious thoughts of mine to greater levels. But, I am thankful that I was already doing much to help myself with anxiety and adjusting to our new way of life. Meditation, being more mindful, walking, being outdoors, blogging, enjoying some Netflix with my husband, going to the beach, taking photos, supportive health professionals  and generally engaging on social media are already integrated into my life. So, they have become tools for managing my thoughts about cancer too. 

Thank you to the many people who have sent me messages, cards and let me know that I am in their prayers, thoughts and hearts.

“We are all just walking each other home” Ram Dass.

It is very humbling to have such a lovely group of you with me.

Most of all, I thank my husband who is already my finest supporter and rock! He will be with me as much as he can within the first days in hospital and I know, not matter what state of grogginess I may be in, he will be within arms reach for me. That IS love. I am so lucky.

Thank you everyone. I hope that if the word ‘cancer’ is part of your world by association or for you that you too will be cared for and about like I have been. I am blessed. This image is one I am using when I need to take myself to a more enjoyable mindful place. Enjoy!

I am grateful every day.

UPDATED: About my present state of health. 

When I wrote this post I thought I was managing myself quite well. Since then, I have had some pretty horrid days (and nights) where I have become fearful, panicked, and so vulnerable I wanted to go into a corner and hide and never come out.

I am shit-scared right now.

I am worried about losing what I valued: my mouth where I speak, eat, share my emotions and smile. It has been days of crying uncontrollably, being held until I calm down (thank you dear B) and taking some valium (which I don’t really want to) and letting out the fears  in words between the sobs. 

I fear: the loss of ability to use my mouth for at least 7-10 days, have a naso-gastric feeding tube down my throat for those days, having the skin/flesh/bone from my right leg inside my mouth after 3/4 of my upper jaw/palate as been removed. Dealing with the not being in control.

I am, as I write, unable to really express what it means to be facing this loss of control of my body. I will be in ICU to start and may even have a tracheostomy to start if the mouth is too swollen. This is very scary to me, and I am admitting it now.

For me to admit how vulnerable I feel right now is to say “I cannot do this without help”. My husband reassures me he will be there as much as possible, and given how I will look and be, he will be my only visitor until I give any indication I can see others. I am facing the unknown and that as we know is the scariest place to be. I will be losing my smile….for more than a while. Possible 3-4 months until my upper jaw recovers.

Have you faced major surgery of any kind for cancer and other reasons?

How did you deal with it?

I am so wanting some answers that help me know – in the pre-surgery phase that I am not alone in my fears. 

Thank you for reading this far! I appreciate that very much.

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell here for I Blog On Tuesdays link up.

Linking here on Thursday with Leanne and friends for Lovin’ Life.

 

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My First Concert. #LifeThisWeek 25/52. 2017.81.

My First Concert. #LifeThisWeek 25/52. 2017.81.

My first REAL concert was 53 years ago THIS month. Yes, June 1964.

I was one of the millions around the world to embrace the fandom of The Beatles.

Those lovely lads from Liverpool. Paul McCartney (left rear), John Lennon (right rear) Ringo Starr (left front) George Harrison (right front)

I did not have a favourite like most. I just loved them all.

http://www.gigslutz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/beatles.jpg

I had already bought my first 45 record (are you old enough to know what a 45 record is?) and that was Love Me Do and I Want to Hold Your Hand.

No credit available.

So, I was in what is now Year 9 and my Dad (bless him) bought tickets for me, my younger  brother and a friend of mine to attend one of their Sydney Stadium Concerts.

It was everything you see in the old films. Noisy as. Filled to the capacity with screaming people. Yes, me too. And

The Beatles.

Wow.

It remains a wonderful, wonderful memory now!

You really couldn’t hear much of what they were singing but we SAW them. It was amazing. Ringo Starr who had stayed in the UK to recover from illness was back with the boys and it was perfect.

http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images

The Sydney Stadium is no more but it was located near Rushcutters Bay and had a tin roof. They held fights and concerts there. It was not actually theatre in the round, not a bit! Mum and Dad dropped us off and went to dinner at Watsons Bay apparently and on their way back, they could hear the screaming!

I did scream but I think it was because everyone else did. My photo, with many others, was in the paper the next day. Gee I wish I had kept my memories!!

In 2014 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Tour down under, the Powerhouse Museum put on a special exhibit. It was one my brother and I could not miss!

What was your first concert?

Do you know anyone who saw the Beatles in 1964?

I hope you link up this week on or off prompt.

Denyse.

Do join these other link ups on Mondays too. Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

* 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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Halfway Review 2017”.


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For Courage. 2017.80.

For Courage. 2017.80.

I’ve been taking my time since I retired from work to seek answers to life’s twists and turns. I’ve attended church and Sunday School as a child and an adult. I am not sure if or what I believe in these days. But I know I need  to connect with my deeper inside me and I am pretty sure that I also need to connect with others. That is what human beings need. Love and belonging and connection.

Interestingly I have found myself less resilient and even more surprising to me less confident in the past 3 years. I believe it may be connected to the ageing process but it still does not sit too well withe me, so I search for answers and ideas from others. I love the words and lessons from Pema Chodron. Another source is the works of John O’Donoue and in his book  To Bless The Space Between Us  I found this.

 

For Courage.

When the light around you lessen and your thoughts darken until

Your body feels fear turn as cold as a stone inside,

When you find yourself bereft of any belief in yourself

And all you knowingly leaned on has fallen,

When one voice commands your whole heart

And it is raven dark,

Steady yourself and see that it is your now thinking

That darkens your world,

Search and you will find a diamond-thought of light,

Know that you are not alone and that this darkness has purpose;

Gradually it will school your eyes

To find the one gift your life requires hidden within this night-corner.

Invoke the learning of every suffering you have suffered.

Close your eyes.

Gather all the kindling about your heart to create one spark.

That is all you need.

To nourish the flame that will cleanse the dark of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive to urge you toward higher ground

Where your imagination will learn to engage difficulty

As its most rewarding threshold!

p. 107. States of the Heart section.

What kind of attributes help us be more courageous?

I’d love to hear from you about how you deal with fear.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here and the bloggers who blog on Tuesdays!

On Thursdays I join then Lovin’ Life Linky here with Leanne and friends.

 

 

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Public Holidays. #LifeThisWeek 24/52. 2017.79.

Public Holidays. #LifeThisWeek 24/52. 2017.79.

I know that we have quite a few Public Holidays in Australia but I’ve decided to keep my focus on this one….

The June Long weekend  ( Public Holiday is Monday) – for the Queen’s Birthday  in New South Wales & some other states in Australia, it has rained and rained for the past two, including this one!
As I write, it is only Friday night and the rain is pouring down.

Earlier today I ventured out as I had not been anywhere for a few days thanks to the weather. I caught sight of my first whale spouting in 2017 and also captured a bird in flight as it was escaping the rain in our backyard this afternoon.

Reminiscing about the June Long Weekend of years and years ago I recalled that it was Cracker Night.

Until the government decided that people were getting injured by the fireworks..and fires…and so, it became banned. For the 1980s though, we still had a bonfire in our backyard (in suburbia) with the bonfire constructed safely, and fireworks were set up on the fence and on the grass outside. Our kids were still very young, so the mums and kids would stay up on the verandah for the fun. It WAS noisy and we had to make sure animals were inside. A few years later, the only fireworks that were allowed were those at organised functions which became fundraisers for schools and the like. Mind you, we couldn’t even buy fireworks then but as a  kids in the 1950s and 60s we could. I was not a brave person, so throw downs and sparklers were my limit. Oh and you can still buy sparklers at the supermarket.

https://crackernight.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/

 

https://asampler.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/

Did you have fun with fireworks when you were a kid?

What are your memories of public holidays?

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

I hope you link up here for Life This Week too!

* 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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “First Concert”.

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