Thursday 23rd February 2017

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.

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Love.#LifeThisWeek 7/52. 2017.25.

Love.#LifeThisWeek 7/52. 2017.25.

I selected this prompt LOVE because of the date being close to Valentine’s Day. 14th February.

Then I have wondered ‘what is love?’ And I got many answers but in the end I have decided to take a varied approach to this prompt and instead of making only a declaration of LOVE to my husband (of course I love him) I would also post some memes and quotes I LOVE.

Valentine’s Day.

On occasion I have given my hub (and kids) cards. I have also made crafty things with classes and grandkids but my belief is that love needs to be appreciated and shown each day. I did some research though, about Valentine’s Day if you want to know more.

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you

The modern cliché Valentine’s Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784):

Hearts.

I associate these with love as do many people. I liked these images. I tend to see hearts in nature and make a heart shape when I am doodling in art. Neither are my images, sadly.

Self-Love.

I’ve been struggling with aspects of this and I am certain I am not alone. I researched some quotes and liked these ones as I saw them apply to me. By the way, self-love for me is about self-acceptance…no matter what is ‘wrong’ or not going well, so this is my learning journey!!

Love of and for  My Husband.

We talked about this earlier as I was preparing to write. I fell in love with him, and vice versa, over 46 years ago. Love HAS kept us together when many things went wrong. I have struggled to like aspects of him from time to time as he has with me, but we both agree that LOVE has never changed and it is WHY we are still (and will be until parted by death) in LOVE. This poem from many a wedding we have attended is wonderful. It was not part of our ceremony but the essence of it was.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ntmTJIuJpcA/UvvsisXDewI/AAAAAAAADjk/nBY7zJKqpzs/s1600/

 

I wish you LOVE….today and always…thank you for reading this blog, commenting and linking up too!

Denyse.

 

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 “A Pet Story”.



I always link here too on Mondays: Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays. Do you?

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

What’s Enough Money? #LifeThisWeek 6/52. 2017.21.

What’s Enough Money? #LifeThisWeek 6/52. 2017.21.

I am someone who thought she never had ‘enough money’ for quite some time. Decades.

It did not matter that I worked full-time in a professional career, and we were paying off a lovely house and car, could buy most things I needed when I needed them, could assist our family in a financial way if necessary.

This was because I continued to compare myself to others.

Especially others who I believed were doing better than me, who had more than me and were obviously well-off financially.

It has taken around the past 2 years for me to edge this belief to the kerb, and whilst not quite kicking it down the gutter, my mind set has shifted for these reasons.

  • gratitude to have a healthy and happy relationship with my husband
  • thankful to arise each day to a new day where I remain well in most respects in accord with my age
  • grown up family members who are settled and caring for themselves and no longer need our input in any respect
  • a comfortable house which we rent until we are ready to buy and this is giving us time to determine where our permanent home will be
  • a day to day existence that is relaxed, pleasant and we have enough to keep us safe, fed, sheltered, learning  and amused
  • we can afford health insurance, insurance for belongings and cars, items such as gifts although we have dialled back the spending there considerably,  some spending for a short holiday but neither of us want to travel so that satisfies us, money for art supplies and hobbies such as music and woodworking
  • there is a back-up plan of savings for what might be needed but there is no longer an obsession that it is not enough

There was a time in mid-late 2014 when it was not this pleasant. I had to finish work and our mortgage payments could not be sustained but more than that…we were actually ready to sell and move on but it took both reasons – I wanted to finish work and we had to get some money behind us to leave Sydney – for us to do so.

The relief from the house sale going through in mid January 2015 was marvellous and I celebrated not with a champagne but an icy pole gazing at the waters at Ettalong.

Keeping it real. And from then on, the attitude shift has evolved.

We have enough money.

How is this for you?

Everyone is different of course.

We have been married for over 46 years and one of us receives a lifetime pension and both of us some government benefits based on our age. It is enough.

Denyse.

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 “Love”.



I always link here too on Mondays: Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays. Do you?

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Back To Routines. #LifeThisWeek 5/52. 2017.17.

Back To Routines. #LifeThisWeek 5/52. 2017.17.

Yawn!

Str- e- tch!

Oh, here we go, back to routines!

Is this how it is for you right now?

I chose this prompt for this week as it is, for most of us, back to whatever routines form our lives.

We have, in many cases, had some time off from the usual routines and now it’s back to real life!

In our case, it’s actually been interesting NOT to have to get back to real life because we are retired from paid work, family responsibilities now our kids have well and truly left home and needing to be anywhere, somewhere by a certain time.

However there are days where we need to attend appointments and in my husband’s case perform his volunteer roles but we can take our day at a more leisurely pace. I know I needed routine in my life as a mother and a professional and it was via lists, preparation of meals and clothes ready to wear and generally having a running diary both in my head and on the fridge calendar.

Now, there are some routines I need to follow: eating meals, going for a walk, doing the blog and so on but it is less-timetabled and more free. It has taken me some time to become used to it all but now…love life with fewer routines!!

This sums up me in quite a few ways! The old me really.

I am someone who enjoys helping others and I also did some on-line research about the value of routines and agree that they are good for consistency and a smoothly operating family life…as best as can happen! I love this site that is Australian based and has many, many more helpful ideas for families.

Why routines are good for parents
Routines take some effort to create. But once established, they have lots of benefits:
* They free up time for you to think about other things while you work.
* Regular and consistent routines can help you feel like you’re doing a good job as a parent.
* When things are hectic, routines can help you feel more organised, which lowers stress.
* A routine will help you complete your daily tasks efficiently.
* As children get better at following a routine by themselves, you can give fewer instructions and nag less.
* Routines free you from having to constantly resolve disputes and make decisions. If Sunday night is pizza night, no-one needs to argue about what’s for dinner. Source: here.

What does “Back To Routine” mean for you?

Have you had a break from routine?

Do you find you can keep to a routine most days?

Can you give yourself permission to vary the routine and have some extra fun?

Denyse.

 

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 “What’s Enough Money?”.


I link up here with Alicia on Mondays and here with Kell too! Pop over and link up too!

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.

Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.

This week, 47 years ago, my parents drove the 6 hours from Sydney to Barraba with 20 year old me, my luggage, teaching needs and more to check out where I would be teaching and where I might live!

I was more excited than nervous. This was me, getting ready for what I couldn’t wait to do! Teach. The school was located about 30 minutes drive from where my boyfriend of 3 years had just started his new job after graduating with his Ag Science degree, and we would likely meet up most weekends! Even though I didn’t have a car.

Sweet! But, where would I live? In those days single teachers often found accommodation in a person’s house as a boarder but I was not 100% taken with that notion. The school was open and that I got to meet the DP who was getting ready for school starting that week and asked him about accommodation. He mentioned the teacher share house just down the road from school where there was a vacancy. We drove to the house (see photo from screen shot!) met the already arrived 2 teachers (one was yet to come) and I was offered the place. All in the space of an afternoon.

Looking back, and speaking to Dad only recently about this whole experience, apparently Mum found it all pretty traumatic leaving her daughter behind. I recall her helping me get the bedroom sorted (my part of it as it was a shared one – the front room seen in the pic) and just being ‘Mum’ about it all. She cried on the way home Dad tells me. Oh. I found the truth of how that feels when my daughter left home aged 21.

This post one year ago is about my first school as a teacher.

Back to the topic! I had NO idea what it would be like to live in a shared household with 3 somewhat older women. We were all on the same staff of the K-12 school. However, I was the spoiled only daughter who had a social life as her priority rather than anything else to do with chores so I think, over time, I did not do well as a contributor to the house.

I learned to cook spaghetti bolognaise as we did have a cooking roster and I got some help there.
I did keep my room tidy. I used to save up my washing and take it home to Mum’s when I drove down to Sydney for a weekend every fortnight or so with the DP who would make me drive part of the way (and back) as he was visiting his fiancee.

My relationship with the boyfriend fizzled in Term One, so I became much more interested in socialising and holding Saturday night parties! The other housemates were generally away on the weekends. Once I met my now-husband in the final term, I did nothing. Except be lovelorn when he wasnt there and we married by the following year. I learned that I was a NOT a good household sharer. Marriage though was a BIG lesson!!

Thanks for my Facebook friends for their tips!

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6199/6059949428_226b92144a_z.jpg

Tips for Living In A Shared Household.

  1. Don’t live with Denyse when she is young and in love (my tip)
  2. Work out from the outset whether you’re going to do shared meals or fend for yourself.
  3. Allocate cupboard and fridge space accordingly. If doing shared meals, allocate a budget and draft meal plan.
  4. Use your words. Literally.Don’t get in a huff with your house mates when they don’t do things your way.
  5. Spoons in the sink when there’s a dishwasher two feet away can drive you mental.
  6. Hold regular house meetings.
  7. Work out who is an introvert and who is an extrovert. Make plans accordingly. In one share house I lived in, where people were incredibly busy and social, we instituted a weekly no guests night.
  8. Live alone.
  9. Some people suck at grocery shopping. Train them.
  10. If you own anything precious, don’t keep it in shared areas. It will likely get broken.
  11. Oh God, just don’t. The stories I could tell about my nightmare 4 months.
  12. Set ground rules – who does what, and what items are shared and which are your own.I think talking about things as they come up is great, so they don’t become bigger problems.
  13. And do fun things together – like house dinners and nights out, because they’re your new family. I loved my share house experiences for the most part!
  14. If you find yourself house sharing in middle age, as I have, share with a man. Living with another woman was too stressful and it’s never fair when both are set in their ways. The dramas were awful. Never again. My last two housemates have been men and it’s worked really well for all of us.
  15. Make them clean. Don’t just clean because no one else is doing it and it’s driving you slightly mental. You’ll just get resentful that you’re the only one who cleans anything.

So, have you ever lived in a shared household?

How was it for you?

What tips would you add?

Thanks for sharing!

Denyse.

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 “Back To Routine”.



 

I also link up here with Alicia and here with Kell on Mondays.

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Holidays At Home. #LifeThisWeek 3/52. 2017.9.

Holidays At Home. #LifeThisWeek 3/52. 2017.9.

For the prompt today I am going down memory lane.

We did go away for holidays with our children and it was always to a beach somewhere in NSW and in January.

However, as teachers, we did have more time off from the classroom along with the kids so there would be days and weeks that stretched out and needed more than ‘staying home’. We did have a pool, and we did have TV and videos (it was the 1980s, no DVDs yet) and we had outdoor space. But sometimes we needed to ‘go somewhere’.

So, in no particular order or even in January these are some of the activities which helped us have our

HOLIDAYS AT HOME.

There are NSW and Sydney-centric…but that’s where we live(d). Enjoy! Images are not mine. Credits are included.

Old Sydney Town.

We live on The Central Coast now and there is still a call for Old Sydney Town to be re-opened. It was located off the freeway (F3 now M1) and was also the place for many  a school excursion! My memory of it was that it was always HOT. Maybe that’s because it was Summer. It was a live experience replicating early days of Sydney.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3371/4600770726_bebf896871_z.jpg

Warragamba Dam.

I have been visiting this place since I was a kid and it was/is a great source of interest and information as it is huge, full of walks and place to have a picnic and learn more about the place of Sydney’s water  supply. We first went there as parents with a child waaaaaay back with our then toddler daughter who is now in her mid 40s. We also visited the next place afterwards.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/83266-3×2-940×627.jpg

African Lion Safari.

What a dramatic place this was. You entered in your car, stayed in the car (derrr) and drove slowly around watching the lions …who mostly slept …and occasionally if you stopped, they would come alongside the car. At certain times the rangers would feed them and that was a spectacle. Interesting place. It was a highlight a long time ago for most kids if they got to see it. More details here.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/

Australia’s Wonderland.

Another HUGE place which attracted many families (and school groups) over the decades who visited it just off the M4 in Western Sydney. It had, at the time, rides that took everyone’s breath away! It was an all-inclusive entry place (from memory) and many different types of rides. I must admit, when our kids got older, we actually left them there and returned to pick them up. I am not a fan of being hot nor of queuing for rides!

http://cdn.scahw.com.au

The Drive-In.

Living in Western Sydney you can still go to the only drive-in left in ….NSW? It’s at Prospect and it was one of many when our kids were young. We visited the one at North Ryde to see E.T. and it was ‘scary’. Going to the drive-in meant value for money…until you visited the food and drink bar. But the playgrounds were always fun as was wearing your PJs to the movies!

www.quora.com

That’s my trip done!

Do you know any of these places?

I hope you had fun reading and considering what a ‘holiday at home’ is like for you and all of us!

Thanks for joining in.

Denyse.


On Mondays I also link up with Alicia who is in South Australia and Kell who lives in the State of NSW.

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

My Word for 2017. #LifeThisWeek 2/52. 2017.5.

My Word for 2017. #LifeThisWeek 2/52. 2017.5.

My word is KINDNESS.

I know the world is a better place for kindness from others and given to others. I also want to focus more on offering Loving-Kindness to myself first…and then to more people along the way.

Glen Campbell’s words ring true in this beautiful video representation of kindness from a video I liked most which is from a Christian perspective. Whether a ‘believer’ or not, there IS something about the reaching out to others to connect us that MAKES kindness so very important. Glen’s music was such a part of my life and I am saddened that he passed away after a long illness  but the gift that is his music remains.

For that I am grateful.

The lyrics: Try A Little Kindness Glen Campbell

If you see your brother standing by the road

With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed

And if you see your sister falling by the way

Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way

You got to try a little kindness

Yes show a little kindness

Just shine your light for everyone to see

And if you try a little kindness

Then you’ll overlook the blindness

Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don’t walk around the down and out

Lend a helping hand instead of doubt

And the kindness that you show every day

Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness

Yes show a little kindness

Just shine your light for everyone to see

And if you try a little kindness

Then you’ll overlook the blindness

Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Repeat last verse.

Songwriters: BOBBY AUSTIN, CURT SAPAUGH © OBO APRA/AMCOS

For non-commercial use only. Data from: LyricFind

This was my word/s from 2016 and I have to admit it was a hard slog living up to the words AND remembering them!
 
So, have you decided on a ‘word’ for the year ahead or are you not into it?
I am somewhat divided on it as I have found that I can choose the word and write  about it but then the challenge becomes remembering what it was as the year progresses! 
I hope you have linked up for Life This Week 2/52. 2017.
On Mondays I link up here with Alicia for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.
Denyse.

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

A Favourite Post in 2016. #LTW1/52. 2017.2.

A Favourite Post in 2016. #LTW1/52. 2017.2.

Welcome to Life This Week 1/52.

I like to have a numbering system of sorts, and this one will work as Life This Week will run for the year of 52 weeks!

Little blurb about my post numbering system:

I am someone  also needs to know which blog post was done when and in 2015 it was ‘easy’ with one post a day for 365…my system was 1/365 and so on. 2016 brought me a change of order of numerals, and because of the leap year I went with 366/1. Good. Now…this year. I am numbering the posts with the date then a dot. Why? Because to me, 2017/1 looked like I was going to post (potentially) 2017 of them (no, not likely!!) …and if I went with ’17…then that just looked strange. So, bear with me and this longish explanation of someone who can confuse even herself.

Now, where was I?

Prompt: A Favourite Post in 2016.

I reviewed back to the middle of the year (give or take) and found a post about gratitude. It needs another airing I decided because we all know that with a bit more gratitude, the world becomes a nice place! I wrote a few posts on Wednesdays – my day for Health and Mindfulness topics – that  generated fewer comments, so I am nominating it for new reading and some bloggy comments to kick off the first week back of LIFE THIS WEEK.

About Gratitude :  Here is the link. 

Whether you have written to the prompt or not, thank you for reading, linking up and commenting!

Next week’s prompt is about your word for 2017 if that’s something you are into, or your thoughts on the year ahead…or your intentions. I wrote about my new idea for this yesterday.

Denyse.

Happy New Year to my blogging link-up friends Alicia here at One Mother Hen for Open Slather each Monday and to Kell, a busy mum and traveller, who blogs here at All Mum Said and on Mondays hosts Mummy Mondays! Go visit them too. Make new bloggy connections!


FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest