Saturday 19th August 2017

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.


What Are You Thankful For? 366/340.

What Are You Thankful For? 366/340.

Where do I start?

Where would you start?

What has got me thinking is that 2016 has not been a wonderfully great year on a few levels yet I have much to be thankful for because of just that!

I am thankful for:

  • continuing a wonderful relationship (through sickness and health, better and worse, richer and poorer) with my husband since 1970
  • a comfortable place to live in even though it is not ‘ours’ it has much of ‘us’ in it and until we can buy again, we are happy to stay.
  • knowing that my family is grown up and self-sufficient and no longer rely on us for support other than that of family love and care
  • my learning over the past twelve months about what it is to be human

There is more and I am sure I could write and write…but I am going to end this post with one more thankful.

I am thankful for the blogging community and the ways in which bloggers share and support each other. It is wonderful.

Link ups play a big part in this connection. This week has seen a big change over here for I Blog On Tuesdays. Leanne’s link up today is one I love and support wholeheartedly. I am also thankful that my link up on Mondays is achieving success with bloggers joining in weekly.

That said, I will not be taking a bloggy break and the link up remains open each Monday – Thursday.

Next week’s {optional}  prompt (last one for 2016) is Appreciation on Monday 26 December. 

And as promised here is the list of the prompts for the first 9 weeks of 2017. I will add them to the Home Page here too.

Mondays: Link Up: Life This Week. #ltw.

  1. 2 Jan: A Favourite Post from 2016.
  2. 9 Jan: My Word for 2017.
  3. 16 Jan: Your Holidays At Home.
  4. 23 Jan: Best Tips For Living in a Shared Household.
  5. 30 Jan: Back to Routine.
  6. 6 Feb: What’s Enough Money?
  7. 13 Feb: LOVE.
  8. 20 Feb: A Pet Story.
  9. 27 Feb: Taking Stock.



Thanks Leanne for the link up. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Warm wishes to every reader and commenter here too!

I am thankful for each and every one of you.




Educated As a Blogger. 366/339.

Educated As a Blogger. 366/339.

It takes a community to educate a blogger so I found out.

I used to think that I would write something of interest on the blog, publish it and some people out there would read what I wrote.And comment. Of course! Blogger gold!

Oh no, it does not work that way…well for me it certainly did not.

From pressing publish in December 201o to today, I know that the only way I learned about blogging was to be educated by others who blog.

Before I go further, I did attend courses and conferences and I met up with lots of bloggers too. I read some books, got some insights from blogging experts and gave my readers what I thought would be posts of interest.

It worked. Somewhat.

What made my blogging education better was discovering LINK-UPs …where bloggers invite others who blog to add their post and then others may see the blog too. I commenced doing this in 2011-12 and found link ups some of which have now ended. But my blogging education continued thanks to this one!

One which has been a consistent, vibrant and really inclusive LINK UP called IBOT. I blog on Tuesdays. It began when Jess blogged as Diary of a SAHM and then changed title to Essentially Jess.

But things are changing there too! Jess, who continues to be a writer, and a tertiary student along with raising a family of 4,  is finishing up by the end of the year and handing her link-up to Kylie permanently. I wrote a thank you here to Jess and one over at Kylie’s blog today too.


Thank you Jess for being a pioneering blogger and seeing a gap in the Aussie link-ups all those years ago to create “IBOT”. You know when I first came upon “IBOT” I was taken aback in 2012 ! I had no idea what it meant until I took a thorough look at your blog…which wasn’t even called Essentially Jess then, to get to know more!

Then I read what it stood for and why. You wanted to have a place for bloggers to add posts on a Tuesday that were created for the Tuesday – a quiet day in blogging then… I Blog On Tuesdays. Ahh! I got it. I loved gathering there and catching up and getting to know new to me bloggers and commenting too.

One day though you decided IBOT was becoming so popular that you were needing some help with comments. You put a call out for a “new to blogging concept” of having a Team IBOT. I do think that was another first! See, I told you about being a pioneer!  Warm wishes and THANK you, Denyse xx


It’s not often we get to meet bloggers in real life and I was fortunate enough to do that. I lived in Sydney when Jess flew in from Darwin for the Digital Parents’ Conference in 2013 and I did the airport pick-up and quick trip around places in Sydney before leaving her with our mutual friends to attend the conference.

Here’s a few pics of that morning way back Jess. I note you are not in these…as being a blogger, we tend to focus not on ourselves when it comes to images!!

Manly Beach. We had a walk around here after breakfast.

The walk from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach.

Early Morning Surfers at Manly Beach. We had breakfast in Manly.

The view from North Head back to Sydney and South Head. I enjoyed showing Jess where I used to live!

Now, it’s enough from me. I am looking forward to being educated more in 2017 and remaining part of #TeamIBOT each Tuesday as Kylie assumes responsiblity and we are joined by other bloggers who also love IBOT as much as I do!

Blogging on Tuesdays (and always a NEW previously unpublished post) is one blogging habit I will not break!

Did you link up for IBOT today? Here is the link! 



The Ultimate Rabbit Hole. 366/329.

The Ultimate Rabbit Hole. 366/329.

You know how there is someone you have never met in real-life but know that you would immediately get on with them and chatter away like crazy because of all the things you know about them and have in common.

Well, for me one such person is Sammie who has a wonderful sharing place on the internet called

The Annoyed Thyroid.

What is that title about?

That’s not my story to tell, but if you visit there you will soon find out.

Sammie and I have a couple of things in common. We are teachers. We like to chat. We blog.

Today though I want to add something to my post, which is being added to the link up….

I want to say a BIG

thank you

for Sammie and her initiative on Saturdays with a linky called

The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

Sammie has other lovely bloggers who also share the ‘load’ of reading and commenting too but it is Sammie who got the ball rolling.

Every weekend since January 2015 I have linked up on Saturdays and without fail my blog post has been read and comments made.

This is the gold of connection in the land of blogging. Sammie you do an awesome job!


But this is not the end of my post….sadly…this photo of the rose in my yard is dedicated you and your family as I know you have received news of the recent passing of a much-loved person in your family. Much love to you.




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Joining my friends here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole this weekend.






Learning MY Lessons. 366/306.

Learning MY Lessons. 366/306.

The statement below is an excerpt from my blog’s page in the header. The commitment to blog daily until the end of 2016 remained true until recent weeks.

In 2015 blogging daily was my focus on some days as it was the ‘only familiar’ routine in a much-changed world for me. Retirement from my work life in education and schooling means finding other ways in which to connect with people. I am still learning! A work-in-progress!
The connections I have made and re-established via blogging have re-energised me and helped me focus on the on-line community I value. I look forward to making more connections in 2016.

So, whilst nothing significant happened, I started to realise I have been learning more about what else I can be doing and experiencing as part of my life’s major transitions. Yes, art and mandalas have figured high in that list. So too has been interest in learning more on-line about ‘self compassion’ and about ‘writing to heal.’ In addition to those I have been reading widely and learning much!


Remember, I am a life-long learner!

I remain, like all humans a ‘work-in-progress’.

It has taken me a while to let myself actually stop blogging every day! I know! Sometimes the thoughts in our minds are not the best ones nor what we should listen to. Therefore, I am not committing to blog every day any more from today! I am not even thinking about blogging every day anymore.

I have to admit there have been some days where my motivation to ‘do a post’ has been AWOL but it was the commitment and the self-belief I am a finisher that made me keep going.

So, last week, just like that, I said to myself “why would I make myself continue to the end of the year for reasons that I made up?”

Silence. Then, “of course, I do not have to do that”…but I do have to add with some pride and accomplishment that today’s post makes it:

671 posts written and published since January 1 2015. 

Here are MY lessons….at least some of them, in messages from others wiser than I am ….and I am in debt to them.

Thank you, wise people.

img_5708-e1394949636359 lessons-quotes-2


My plan for blogging is less rigid and more flexible. I will continue to blog on Mondays for my link-up and keep to my prompts for Life This Week until they do not work any more. I will blog a new post for Tuesdays for I Blog On Tuesdays. I will blog and link up photography and other posts to link-ups I have followed for some time. I may blog using a variety of topics listed here and no longer on specific days. There will not be a post every day any more.

I am fine with this!

I am blessed and grateful to have many supportive readers and commenters and not everyone is a blogger which is also special for me. It has been such a great time getting to know people here and your encouragement has helped me more than you will ever know! I hope it will continue through this new stage and into 2017!

Thank You All!

Have you learned lessons from yourself and others?

What blogging practices have you changed about?

I welcome your responses and look forward to continuing to connect…because:

I Blog To Connect.


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Joining Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays, where an original post is part of the link-up requirement.





Making Changes. 366/304.

Making Changes. 366/304.

Most of the time change is inevitable.

For example, I cannot stop my aging process!

I also have not been able to change the weather (yet) either!!

However inevitable as it might be, for me, change is a bit scary (sometimes a LOT) as I really like the familiar.

Paradoxically I also like the new and exciting!

Go figure.

The changes I am writing about today are about making changes to my blogging practice.

You see, on January 1st 2015 I promised myself to blog D A I L Y as a way of helping me manage the changes of:

  • moving from Sydney,
  • retiring from work
  • being away from family and the familiar
  • selling our house and needing to rent one for an indefinite time

If anyone wants to read more about that, then here is one post and then here is another.

This year, 2016, I shook the practice of blogging up a notch when I made the decision to go to topics/categories on each day of the week because:





and I LOVED connecting here every single day!

In recent weeks I started asking myself “do I want to continue the daily blogging practice into 2017?”

The answer was no, but I still want to blog!


What will I do?

I will make some further announcements via this blog this Tuesday where I have a plan to:

make changes…

So, do pop over then and see what I am up to!

Warm wishes,


My Monday Link-Up called Life This Week is not changing!!

Tomorrow’s {optional} prompt is

Melbourne Cup Time! Hope to see you link up! 

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Joining the new team over here at Leanne’s for the Lovin Life Linky which started last Thursday after being a Sunday link up for quite a while.



You ARE creative. 366/191.

You ARE creative. 366/191.

To be human is to be creative.

I post here about visual creativity mostly because that’s my interest.

Art and photography in summary.

But I know that not everyone is a visual creative of course.

There are musical creatives

I think that there are many of you who read here who are cooking creatives.

Of course, writing is creative.

As is making a meal from basic ingredients.

So is listening to music and humming along for the rest of the day.

What about the creative people who use their hands, the feet, the whole bodies.

Dance and movement creatives.

Those who create new and exciting ideas for us to use.


So, today is not about me.

It is about YOU!

Do tell us what is a creative skill of yours?

Maybe you have many…tell us.

It’s time to share.

Oh, one more thing. There is to be no answer that says “I am not creative”.

I look forward to reading.


creativity 150

Joining with Sammie here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

And thank you to Create-With-Joy for her linky each week!


Goals for 2016. My Progress. 366/186.

Goals for 2016. My Progress. 366/186.


I can’t remember if I wrote anything down.

‘excuse me, I will be back.’

Oh look, I did! For the first week of “I must confess”.


I note that I have made a blogging plan for this year and that is one goal.

“to blog every day for 366 days”

In that blogging plan I have made it my goal to stay focussed on the Topics of The Day.

“each day has a different topic and theme”

Then when I reviewed my ‘words to live by in 2016″ I see I have another two goals.

“to TRUST that life and its journey will work out the way it is meant to be and to let go of over-controlling it”

“to be FEARless ….my ‘made up’ word to ensure that my goal is to experience fear less this year.


I am pleased to report that I have blogged every day to date in 2016.

I have also kept to the plan for different topics/themes each day of the week.

As far as ‘trust’ is concerned, I am making some steps towards letting life happen rather than being so concerned with trying to control others’  and behaviours and looking to myself to stay in control of me. Does that make sense? It is hard but I am getting better at it.

The ‘fear’less is connected to the above and each time I allow myself to ‘sit’ with anxiety I know I am doing better rather than over-think it and over-react. I’d like to say that IBS (related to the anxiety or the IBS makes the anxiety worse) is gone but I am better at accepting what is.

When I wrote the goals and chose those words in January 2016 I had no idea of what was ahead. It has been a far, far more stressful year than I could ever have imagined for reasons that are private and not for sharing. However, with my hub’s support and my growing resilience I understand more about how to deal with the stressors which can put me into ‘fear’ mode.

I have been incredibly buoyed by the support of my community of readers and commenters here. Thank you all for making me see that what I do makes a connection to you too. I will continue blogging as it is so part of my day I can no longer imagine life without it.

Recent beach writing:



IMG_2278 copy

How are you going?

Did you set goals for 2016?



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Thanks Kirsty for the prompt. Another one which worked for me. I’m over here at Kirsty’s blog for I Must Confess.