Saturday 17th November 2018

Taking Stock 4. #LifeThisWeek. 36/52. 2018.87.

Taking Stock 4. #LifeThisWeek.36/52.  2018.87.

When each 9th week comes around I sit for a bit before completing Taking Stock. I like to do the prompts all at once.

This snapshot was completed on Friday 31 August 2018.

I never look at previous ones before completing the current one as I do not want to be reminded.

Here are some of the most recent: July 2018, April 2018, February 2018,

I will do that perhaps after this is published as I do like to see my changes and also what stays the same.

Thanks again to Pip for her prompts. She blogs here.

Making: a lot of bookmarks to send to Lisa at The Big Hug Box for inclusion in her special gifts to cancer patients.

Cooking: a combo of a biscuit recipe: a packet mix with salted caramel added to a mix of my own with choc chips: voila: choc chip salted caramel cookies to eat…and to give as gifts to people next week.

Drinking: a selection of hot drinks that come in sachets: hot chocolate, cappucino, mint chocolate, caramel latte & butterscotch.

Reading: The Sydney Morning Herald every.single.day….and Rick Morton’s One Hundred Years of Dirt. I love Rick and his writing and met him in 2011 at the first Aussie Bloggers conference and he interviewd me some years later for an article in the Australian about grandparenting.

Wanting: to learn more about hand lettering

Looking: at other people’s hand lettering on-line and it is so good…but also need to remember, “am left-handed” so check those people out via Instagram

Playing: lots of old Show Tunes: from Mary Poppins to My Fair Lady to The Producers to High Society and I SING along.

Wasting: little these days, unless it is food that spoils because I have not been successful in eating it but it is happening less

Sewing: I wonder why I do not just leave this one out…really, I need to!

Wishing: that as we age, and next year is the big 7 0 for us, that our health remains reasonable. Big wish I think!

Enjoying: each other’s company more and more. T’is lovely after 47 plus years!

Waiting: for Monday (this will be posted by then) because I am seeing a very caring and lovely friend, and going to Hornsby to do so!

Liking: that I am finally oh so very confident to drive to Sydney most weeks to do what has to be done and succeed

Wondering: why people who drive FAST on the M1 (not me!) where the speed restrictions are in force never seem to get caught.

Loving: slow and cool winter into spring evenings and nights to snuggle in bed. 

Hoping: that it rains where it is needed. Every bloody where, thank you!

Marvelling: that I can write something here today that others will read next week maybe on their computer or phone or tablet.

Needing: to remember that even if I “can” eat much more, I still want to wear my lovely summer clothes again!

Smelling: small diffusers I have around the house and they are not overpowering just pleasant.

Wearing: right now: long casual pants and a long sleeve top – cool weather!

Following: the “who will be our Prime Minister” this time next week memes

Noticing: that I can grow carnations! Win!

Knowing: I do the best I can to look after my mouth health because my prosthodontist tells me I am.

Thinking: how did I manage to deal with so much change as I got cancer and went through so many surgeries and on-going treatments?

Feeling: proud of myself for doing as well as I could and do still.

Bookmarking: episodes of Anh Do’s Art on iView

Opening: the door each morning and hoping the newspaper will have been delivered after a very inconsistent delivery pattern when we first moved here.

Giggling: at four of our wonderful grandchildren when they sent a short video to us recently. Miss them a LOT.

Feeling: loved and cared for by my husband

Have you taken stock recently?

Denyse.

P.S. Did you see the news here? #LifeThisWeek continues into 2019 and the rest of the optional prompts are posted!

 

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!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 37/52. Travel Tips. 10/9/18.


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LifeThisWeek Goes On Into 2019. 2018.83.

LifeThisWeek Goes On Into 2019. 2018.83.

I began blogging a post that fell into the category of “Life This Week” each Monday of 2016.

In mid-2016, a favourite blogger and friend, Kirsty, decided to retire her Monday link up called “I Must Confess” to take up her work within the field of Positive Special Needs parenting.

After chatting with Kirsty, I had a plan to take on a link up of my own once hers was finished and to call it (drum roll)

LIFE THIS WEEK.

I kept the title and turned it into a link up because for the majority of us bloggers, we write about aspects of our lives.

From the beginning date, here for those who would like to see….

Until the week of this post there have been…another drum roll please:

97 link up weeks!

What has changed?

Each 9th week is still devoted to “Taking Stock” as from the beginning and in 2018 each 5th week is a photo-centred one called Share Your Snaps.

Some more people have found the link up – yay – and sometimes bloggers join in with the optional prompt – yay. In essence the best part for me, and I hope you, is the sense of

COMMUNITY.

I am always excited on a Monday morning (truly) because I see who has linked up and commented. I blog to connect and the chats I get to have with my fellow bloggers and commenters are special. I always visit everyone’s blog and comment there too.

I have always come up with the optional prompts and that is good for my brain power.

I have a list here that is taking us into 2019.

I know: 2019!

If you would like to add a few optional prompt suggestions in the comments, I would be delighted as by the end of the year I will have created close to 120 of them!!

Here is the list to take us into 2019.

36/52. TAKING STOCK 3/9/18.

37/52. Travel Tips. 10/9/18.

38/52. Have You Ever..? 17/9/18.

39/52. Last Thing I Bought. 24/9/18.

40/52. Share Your Snaps 8. 1/10/18

41/52. Best Friend Stories. 8/10/18.

42/52. What I Have Learned Lately. 15/10/18.

43/52. Quick Meal Ideas. 22/10/18.

44/52. I Want This. 29/10/18.

45/52. Share Your Snaps 9. 5/11/18.

46/52. I Remember. 12/11/18.

47/52. Best Cake I Have Eaten. 19/11/18.

48/52. Summer Means This. 26/11/18.

49/52. TAKING STOCK. 3/12/18.

50/52.  Share Your Snaps 10. 10/12/18.

51/52. Christmas. 17/12/18.

52/52. Free Choice! We Made It! 24/12/18.

YES…. #LifeThisWeek will return in 2019!

1/52. Hello Again. 7/1/19

2/52. “Word/Intention/Nothing” 2019.. 14.1.19.

The last word.

Appreciation.

For you all.

My friends “in the computer”. You have shared your posts here and we have read and commented. You have lifted me up when I have needed it most, especially when the news of having cancer rocked my world back in May 2017. I look for those who link up from overseas, and those from interstate..and those close by. You all mean a great deal to me and without you there would be no link up nor any connection.

Thank you.

I am grateful to be a blogger & to have a community here.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog On Tuesdays

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Countries I Have Visited. 32/52, #LifeThisWeek. 2018.70.

Countries I Have Visited. 32/52, #LifeThisWeek. 2018.70.

This is a very short post.

I have visited the United States of America.

One country.

Oh, alright then, some details! But first some background.

My parents got to travel around the world a few times initially thanks to Dad’s work (seeing overseas plants and offices relating to the fertilizer company where he was Company Secretary. That same company sent him, a young Chief Accountant in 1966 on a round-world trip alone to visit cities where his company had affiliations and then to University of Hawaii where he attended a 6 week Summer School from the Harvard Business School. It changed his life, and broadened his interests from that time. He also fell in love with Hawaii and with Mum in latter years visited many 7 times, meeting old friends, playing golf and relaxing.

Why tell my readers this?

Well. I had heard his stories for 40 years when, with the blessing and financial support of my dear husband I got to plan a solo trip to the U.S.of A. and topping and tailing the 15 day trip with Hawaiian experiences.

The Day: 1.1.2006.

The hottest day ever (till then) of 44 degrees celsius both at home in Sydney’s west and at Mascot, that late afternoon. New Year’s Day. Melting at the airport because the electricity was so overloaded the air con stopped.

Our daughter (Happy Birthday TODAY, KT!)

drove a nervous but excited me to the airport early..because..that is ME. My flight with Hawaiian Airlines was due to leave at 10.p.m. She and her youngest got Maccas and went home.

I sweated it out with a brief thought to forget this and go home. I shooshed anxiety and when I got to priority board (I joined Hawaiian Air’s Premier Club & it was so worth it) I sighed with relief from the air-con on the plane, the attendants in Hawaiian garb and their friendly demeanour. I also had a window seat (as requested via the Premier Club and had that seat each time I flew with them. I could not fault Hawaiian Air. Ever!

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AiIE/hawaiian-airlines-we-are-all-voyagers

Hawaii – Oahu and The Big Island.

For the girl who had never travelled OS before but was a hugely skilled planner the trip went well. Originally organised by the local Flight Centre with me adding more ($$) to this trip I fear would be the only one (looking like it 12 years later) so I got to experience as much as possible. The notion of being solo did not faze me at all. I have a presence that does not show fear and I am a confident walker and can talk to most people.

Dad asked me to have a Mai Tai under the Banyan Tree – next door to my hotel. I had a Pina Colada.

My itinerary: loosely!

I stayed at Waikiki Parc hotel, upgraded to an ocean view and loved it so much for its breakfasts (hello, guava juice), the staff who lent me a body board and stored some of my belongings when I went to the Mainland AND for being only one very small walkway from the sand and the water, and a lovely walk either by the road or along the sand to Waikiki Beach. I did a morning tour to the Arizona Memorial. Very sombre and very moving when you see the whole harbour.

Inside the Arizona Memorial

I was there for 3 nights and then flew to The Big Island for 2 nights and hired a car there. I had hoped to visit the now very active volcano after finding out how to get to Hilo early one morning by car. I got lost and ended up back at Kona instead. Loved meeting new people and having new experiences. Took a gazillion photos but only a few are on my computer now.

Loved driving the Mustang

After returning to Oahu, I got an Hawaiian air flight to Los Angeles where, as was organised back in Sydney I was to be met by a driver to take me to my hotel in Beverly Hills. He was a no-show and that saw me on the mobile to his company to find that they had no booking but would see me Sunday to bring me back to LAX. Fortunately, as I am pretty resourceful and unafraid to seek help, I got on a shuttle bus and heard some Aussie accents and didn’t mind the scenic trip via UCLA on the way (very late now) to my hotel. Sorry Ma’m kitchen is closed. It was a snacks dinner.

Made my way to a good breakfast pretty early and readied myself for LA in a Day. It took in all the sights: I went to Venice Beach (so different to my idea of a beach) I loved using the ladies at Beverly Hills Hotel that was in Pretty Woman, did a bit of Hollywood Shopping for young starstruck granddaughters, was disappointed by the Hollywood sign and surprised myself by liking Universal Studios tour. I had a photo with Princes Fiona as Shrek was the “in movie”

What “Hollywood Sign?” Oh there!

Flew out on Sunday to Las Vegas after the promised Chauffeur limo drive I should have also had on Friday night.

Las Vegas. I just laughed out loud when I saw the poker machines at the end of the plane bridge. From then on, after checking in at Excalibur I smiled, observed and just took it all in. Saw Mamamia performed live, went through the Titanic exhibition and had a night Las Vegas tour culminating in taking in the view at the top of a tower. Oh, and met Elvis. Of course. Spent a wonderful day on a small bus excursion out to Hoover Dam and crossed the border. Great experience and saw some of the native American ventures as well.

Thank you very much

San Francisco. Really did steal my heart. I loved it. I felt ‘at home’. I can see why my Aussie expat friend Katherine is calling it home. Here is her blog. I stayed near the water and walked to have a crab lunch as my father insisted I do. I booked a tour of Alcatraz back in Australia and really found that tour amazing and quite sobering. I spent time going on the trolleys and finally finding a decent coffee. Sigh. Loved the bookstores, the music stores. Was not so pleased with the poverty I saw in the streets. Vietnam vets in particular.

Yes that is me with a few cameras (and a tour listening thingy)…

Back to LA. Waiting, waiting, waiting…for Trip Back to Honolulu.

My last days overseas were spent swimming in that warm water, walking to the photo developer near the statue of the Duke getting all of my pics developed before I got home, going to the Hawaiian markets and buying an extra bag to bring STUFF home in, and having a day tour of the North Shore. I had been singing Ride The Wild Surf on the school bus for years as a teenager and could not wait to see this beach. Nothing. Gentle waves. Boo, no wild surf. Still, we had a great tour driver and asking him a few questions found out that his job as a school teacher cannot keep up the mortgage payments on the house (housing was/is very expensive in Oahu) so he supplemented as a tour driver. I also saw a lot of poverty on some of the back streets.

What Wild Surf?

Home on 15 January 2006. Laden with stuff…for the kids. My lesson about that? Buy nothing! Bring back memories!

Now, that is a long story.

However I am going to finish with a wish.

I would like to visit the UK; specifically the areas where my grandparents lived: England and Scotland. I would also like to do a war sites/grave tour of France. This is unlikely to happen: due to my age…and money. BUT, I have decided not to give it away but to consider it.

What countries have you visited?

Denyse.
Joining with Alicia for Open Slather Here.

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!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 33/52.  Famous People I Have Met 13/8/18.


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The M-Z of Me. 24/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.49.

The M-Z of Me. 24/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.

This week’s optional prompt is a part two to this one: The A-L of Me.

As I mentioned last time, I had done an A-Z of me a few years back so I reviewed it and there was little to change. I find that interesting in itself.

Mother is a role, a word and a lifetime of tears, laughter, sleepless nights, pride, being over-protective, taking the blame, being respected, walking a tight-rope of ‘damned if I do and damned if I don’t’ …I became a mother at 21 and was not really ready for the many roles a mother must play. Selfish? Maybe. Realistic? Probably. But I always wanted to be a mother.

No-one notices an older lady, as I know unless I stand out by saying something, writing  or more. Invisible now to many in society, I am finding that can be a plus at times too.

Opinionated until someone wants to cross me, or criticise my view…and unless I can come back with strength I tend to crumble and admit defeat. More O for Optimistic that I used to be since I was diagnosed with cancer.

Private views tend to be kept by me on all manner of things I would LOVE to express, but I always get concerned about being criticised so I am more likely to ‘shut up’.

Quality is an important part of my work, and in my life, as I like to think my personal connections with others are ones of quality as I value this so much too. I also ask Questions a great deal!

Reader of anything, and via different means, including the newspapers and on-line as I like to be better informed each day. I love reading blogs, on-line articles about life, education & art.

Social is part of who I am and if I can’t have my social needs met within an informal setting or one where I am ‘at home’ I become lonely and sad. I love that I can count as friends people I have not yet met particularly from this wonderful world of blogging. My social network of friends (met and not yet met) buoys me through my cancer journey

Traveller me wants to keep on visiting places and people as I love this. What’s stopping me for now is cash and needing to be fully fit after cancer. I am actually enjoying being an armchair traveller following friends’ posts on Instagram too.

Unique I am. This makes me Denyse…and all that comprises me, and I enjoy being unique as much as I like seeing little parts of ‘me’ handed on to my family members as character traits – the good ones of course!

Vocal person, not only a loud voice, but I like to talk..and here as well as in person. I sometimes have too much to say, and don’t mind some silence, but generally I “have” an opinion or 2…and don’t try to stop me ‘having the last word’. Many have, few succeed!

Worrier describes me in many ways, as I 0ver-think, and 0ver-dramatise…and 0ver-expect..and 0ver-anticipate. True to form about 99% of what I worry about does not eventuate. *sigh*. My husband would say, I am a  “W is for Work in Progress.”

X can be for kisses at the end of my emails, and in real life, from my beautiful family and my loving spouse.

Young for my age is what I have always felt, but now I may not get away with this generous descriptor. Let me just say, that as a 68 year old on paper, I am definitely 20 years younger in my head & heart. But the mirror disagrees!

Z can represent the sleeping symbol, and l admit now, that sometimes I do not get enough of this as my active brain, and creative thoughts take me into lands of planning for the future.

Bit of a night owl. Need to go to S L E E P!

I hope you saw something of ‘me’ as you see me from these pages.

Thanks for reading, commenting AND linking-up I hope!

Denyse.

When Alicia has her link-up on Mondays, I join Open Slather here too.

 

Life This Week 24/52.

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!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 25/52. SHARE YOUR SNAPS 5. 18/6/18. 


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My Typical Day. 2018.48.

My Typical Day. 2018.48.

Now that we are in our fourth year of living on the NSW Central Coast in full-retirement mode, I thought it might be a good idea to share what my typical day is like.

Be aware, of course, that “no two days are the same”, so this is a snapshot of last Friday!

Before I start, I shall remind my readers about what I did BEFORE (first) retirement in 2003.

I wrote a blog post called: My Morning as a School Principal here. Most readers tired out by the end as they read through. I know I did as I lived it! I was a school principal in a relieving capacity for some years and got my own position as Principal in this school in 1999:

The School Where I was Principal. 1999-2003.

From 2003 until we left Sydney in 2015 I worked part-time: some roles in K-6 schools, another in my business as an Education Specialist helping families prepare for school, and as a University Pre-Service Co-ordinator and Tutor to Masters’ Students. I really did like using my education experience and knowledge to help others. I reluctantly ceased all paid (and voluntary roles) in 2015 as caring for my emotional health became my priority

All gone…students…late Friday afternoon. Final Tutorial for the week.

We also cared for four of our grandchildren on some days of the week when I was not working. We did this from 2007 until the end of 2014. It was a joy, delight, privilege and exhausting. But I would not have swapped it for anything.

 

I am leading up to this: It has been very challenging for me to come to terms with the notion of planning my own days and enjoying them. It truly has. It might sound funny but when you have been used to a life-long career and caring for family and they are no longer responsibilities suddenly: I get to decide what to do with MY DAY.

Mostly.

My husband and I do some things together but generally we give each other the space to determine what’s on that day.

Friday 1 June 2018.

  • 8.00. a.m. Cool start to the day, stay in bed for a bit, then rise and stay in night attire aka nightie and delighted that today’s Sydney Morning Herald has been home delivered THIS time. We have been here for almost 2 months, and gave plenty of notice for change of address but delivery is inconsistent. I am so sick of complaining Fairfax subs now rings me to see  if “we got the paper.”
  • 8.30. a.m. One load of washing on (thanks to husband – we share washing duties) and another awaits. Rainy looking day so we determine some of the load will be air-dried on covered terrace, others in the drier.
  • 9.00. a.m. Eat my 2 weetbix and milk as I read the Herald. Ah bliss. The time is just the best. What I do NOT miss from working was a quick read of the front page and then off to school! As far as breakfast is concerned I have NEVER been a cereal eater (always toast and tea) until I had my mouth reconstructions and now, it is one of my faves. Who knew!!
  • 10.00 a.m. Somewhere in this morning time, before getting dressed, I will check emails and social media. As Friday is not a link up day I will not be ‘as busy’.
  • 10.30.a.m. Ablutions, decisions made on outfit of the day – determined by the weather AND activity. Today it is cold/rainy and I want to go to local shopping centre as it is under cover (for coffee, not for parking). Photo taken outside in between raindrops and away I go.

  • 10.45- noon. With no reason to rush or complete chores at the shops today, I browse and enjoy some people watching. After a 3/4 double shot latte (no food today, it is too hard to eat in public just now) I mosey into Millers and come out with some specials. LOVE saving some money on clothes. In fact, I have not paid full price for a long time. So many shops with so many every day specials.
  • noon – 1.p.m. I admit, lunch is a hard meal to determine and I end up with crumpets and honey. I cannot bite into them but I can get a piece in my mouth, soften and move it around and swallow.
  • 1.00 p.m. Check social media. Upload my three instagram photos for today and comment on others I follow:
  1. An Outfit of The Day pic – see above
  2. A noticing nature pic – made this ‘about my cancer’ – i.e. part of nature, right? I want people to know how common this cancer is.
  3. A creative photo. This one heralds the start of the 61 day creative challenge I have been part of since 2013.

  • From Jan 1 2018, to give me routine and a challenge each day I said I would post the above photos and I have stuck to this. For me, routine is important even in a more loosely organised day like mine now.
  • 2.00 p.m.- 4.00 pm
  • Check washing and as it is cold, bring it inside.
  • Do a little bit of art – adding colour to a very large A4 collage I have designed.
  • Have a cup of soup and eat the inside of a yellow kiwifruit with a teaspoon.
  • Read a Good Weekend from a few weeks back.
  • Some social media scrolling.
  • Think about my dinner. My husband sorts his own meals. It’s been that way for a long time. Once I am eating with teeth again, I hope this changes.
  • Take one of my many made-for-me frozen meals from the freezer and contemplate what else I might have tonight. Add two savoury  muffins that I can eat bit by bit from the insides. This is another reason I find it hard to eat in front of anyone – it’s pretty messy!
  • 4.00 pm.- 6.15 pm.
  • Check computer for blog comments and emails.
  • Do some more art
  • Get my camera gear sorted as I may take the camera tomorrow because of the rough sea conditions.
  • Read more of “Laughing At Cancer”… and an definitely nodding my head in agreement so far.
  • Watch the last 5 minutes of Millionaire Hot Seat (to see if the person wins) and then watch the first 15 minutes of the local News. NBN.
  • 6.15 p.m. – shower and bed by around 7.30 these days! We sleep in separate rooms and watch our own TVs as we have completely different tastes in shows. I am also ready for bed by this time, even if I do not sleep. Body gets tired more! I am often up and down though – make a cuppa, find something I can ‘dip’ into it and chat to husband (who, most inconvenienced by this, has to remove his headphones to do so. I try not to do this much!! Of course, I often multi-task – or switch TV off – and scroll through the Ipad or play a mindless game or two.
  • 11.00 p.m. lights out..for me, and maybe listen to something soothing as I drift off to sleep.

And that, dear readers, is my typical day (at home). A day including a trip to Sydney for various reasons is obviously a lot different as is one where I may have appointments or decide to go for a drive to the beach.

What did Friday 1 June 2018 look like for you?

Denyse.

On Tuesday this posts links with Kylie here

On Wednesday this post links with Sue and Leanne here

On Thursday this post links with Leanne here.

 

 

 

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Everyone IS Creative. 2018.22.

Everyone IS Creative. 2018.22.

Recently I heard Brene Brown say on the CD of her latest book Braving The Wilderness two things that stuck with me about creativity.

One: she was THAT kid told by her teacher that she couldn’t do art. Her art sucked. As a result, Brene never ever tried again. Until this:

Two: her findings were that the best way to embed the learning in her courses was to integrate them with creativity.

Mind.Blown.

I have taken some of her on-line courses over the past two years and each has a component of journal writing, decorating a page of photos, adding some pictures that inspire and so on. In other words, the head learning becomes embedded with the heart learning.

Source: Brene Brown

My Back Story.

I cannot recall doing anything creative at home like drawing or colouring but I recall coveting the brand new Textas (so colourful) around the time I was in Year 6. I loved the geometry lessons which taught me how to make a flower with a set of compasses. That learning comes back to me every time I make a mandala. I went to High School and would have loved to do Art as a subject but I was advised to follow an academic pathway. Never mind. I had fun decorating diaries, school books bags and so on. I could not draw well but I loved patterns. Still do.

My mum was a colourful and stylish dresser and I am pretty sure I learned that from my observations and my innate creativity. Mum was not educated past age 15 but she was a wizz at cooking and baking. Loads of people were delighted to receive her goodies. I saw creativity in the way my parents’ made their gardens and how Mum arranged flowers.

Into my teaching years, particularly with the children under 8, I loved creating colourful and stimulating classroom environments with my ideas and their art. I found teaching in a space like that was great. However, over the years, I learned that some children do not need a lot of visual stimulation to act out so I amended how I did this.

Over The Years.

Teaching probably kept me as creative as I needed to be until it was time to have a break. I was non-teaching for over 20 years so I went to scrapbooking classes, learned how to make Christmas decorations and went to a term of learning how to observe doing drawing with pencil. I did buy a lot of products over the years and my grandchildren who came to us for care each week got their share of use with my paints, paper, scissors, playdoh and so on.

It actually surprised me not long ago to find that after my visual preference as a learner comes kinaesthetic so I guess I got a lot of that with the cutting, placing and pasting I was doing.

Of course, I also cooked and decorated cakes with icing (still do!) but it really wasn’t until I was permanently retired that I saw that my creativity extended to art-type activities, photography, blogging and making memory books. Then as my outer world shrank as I no longer worked nor cared for our grandchildren something needed to happen.

I needed more. I needed something. As it turned out, I needed to make, to practise, to try and to have some fun.

Every.Single.Day.

Some famous people said this about creativity:

I asked my friends on Facebook about creativity and was delighted that not one person who responded said “I am not creative…” well, a few may have said “I don’t see myself as creative but I do….”

Here’s the list from those people.

  • Blogging
  • Creative writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Doing colouring-in and dot to dots for adults
  • Making my garden
  • Dressing each day and adding accessories to suit
  • Sewing
  • Cooking and Baking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Photography
  • Making Photobooks
  • Journalling
  • Art
  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Planning Family Outings and Events
  • Making costumes for dancers
  • Creating websites
  • Talking on radio
  • Dancing
  • Making Slime
  • Card Making
  • Singing
  • what about you?
  • what are your creative pursuits?
  • there are more than I have here I am sure! 

 

Thank you all who contributed. Here’s a few pics of my versions of creativity.

So, how are you creative?

And  sorry but “I am not creative” is NOT a reasonable answer!!

Thanks for joining in.

Denyse.

 

Taking part in Tuesday’s Link of the Day called: I Blog on Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell here.

And on Wednesdays I link with Sue and Leanne here for Midlife Share The Love Party.

Then comes Thursday: Thanks to Leanne we have a beaut linky called Lovin’ Life here.

 

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Appearance Matters. 2018.11.

Appearance Matters. 2018.11.

When I knew that Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty and Leanne from Cresting the Hill were starting up a link up for the Over 50s I decided it might be just the place to be…for me!

I’ve been blogging for more than 8 years now and my blog has changed a lot in the past 2-3 years. It has become a personal space for me to connect and be in conversation with a range of readers who vary in age, interests and career status.

My audience till the past year or so has tended to be mothers of children who are at school or at the beginning of their school lives. I love that too because I am a parent of 2 adult children who have kids (our beloved grandkids) and I sometimes see the similarities of the life I had as a parent with what is happening now. The significant change though is SOCIAL MEDIA and PHONES. This is something for another time!

What do I mean by ‘appearance matters?’

In my case it has two meanings:

  1. that my appearance does matter to me
  2. that it matters that I take care of my appearance

But why should I?

In the past 2-3 years I have had to face mental challenges that came as a big shock to my system. They included selling a beloved family home, moving to a completely different area of NSW AND finally stopping the care of our grandchildren which had formed a part of my weekly routine for over 6 years. Oh yes, and I stopped my final professional role as an educator of pre-service teachers at University.

These events proved to be much bigger as a challenge to my feelings and mental well-being than I ever considered. I thought (yes, thinking is an intellectual move) that all the transitions we went through towards our longed-for retirement were well-reasoned and totally accepted by me.

But they actually were not well-received by my inner being.

My life spiralled down into a self-centred and sad one despite on the outside it seemed OK.

Here’s what transpired so that I did finally accept the changes emotionally and could move forward.

I got cancer.

What the??

I do not downplay this at all but my diagnosis of cancer in my upper gums came last May (read here if you would like to know more) after almost a year of troubles with my mouth and a bridge attached to my front teeth.

I literally had to step up and find emotional strengths and courage to manage myself as well as I could with such BIG news and a HUGE change in my life. And that of my husband’s. I was well-cared for by my psychologist who had already given me the tools to manage situations that were threatening to me and my then-new GP was also part of “support Denyse as she supports herself” team. I have since not needed the counselling and use my inner strengths and knowledge more over time with some top-up reminders from chats with my husband and GP.

Introducing Appearance Matters! 

I admit that when I was feeling down, even before cancer, I was not much into clothes. I was overweight for a LONG time in my life. Read my post where I confessed to my long-time weight issues. Yet, in 2015 and onwards something happened to me that has never happened before without diets and restrictions. I started losing weight (I did need to but it seemed too easy) and it became evident that my clothes were too big. I did see that and feel it too but as a decades long overweight person I thought it would all return. It did not and slowly I needed to give away the BIG sizes and down-size my wardrobe.

Me with my late Mum. I felt I could never measure up to her appearance-wise so I did not bother. Mum died in 2007. This pic well before that.

This was a chore. I had no interest in buying the clothes around late 2016 and into 2017 because I figured we could not afford new clothes for me (on a limited pension) and that I did not deserve new clothes. Again, my inner self was not a happy camper. I hung out in casual beach clothes and nothing which was tight nor showing off my shrinking body.

I had the cancer surgery in May. I could barely eat and that sure did prove to be a weight loss success that no-one thought I should be aiming for as I needed to become well via nutrition as well. I learned what I could deal with and what went down with virtually no teeth and a very restricted space in my mouth. I received on-going medical care for wounds and yes, loose beach pants and tops suited just fine.

Until they didn’t.

I made the choice to begin taking care of my daily appearance AND to add to my very limited wardrobe. I knew how to shop cannily and I began slowly as my physical body recovered to be able to shop and browse. I found to my delight I had missed this kind of self-care.

Now it was on.

Visits to the shops, finding my old jewellery stash which was packed, getting my wedding and engagement rings re-sized so they did not fall off me and finding some fun foot wear in the back of my wardrobe I had abandoned.

I began seeing the purpose of the Outfits of The Day posts here on Styling You and a blogger called Jan (who blogs here, had me write a guest post ) had been posting pics of her daily outfits for a while and I decided it was time to

Make My Appearance Matter! 

I may not have anywhere in particular to go to anymore but I decided from 30 October 2017 and onwards that my day would have purpose and getting dressed in something flattering and appealing to me along with added accessories was important. I also added a daily outing, even if it is only for a coffee to my day. It has been amazing! I have written about it here and here.

I am delighted that it is helping my recovery from cancer too as I am far less focussed on what is wrong and more on what is right with me!

Does Your Appearance Matter to You?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

It’s the Midlife Share the Love Linky and is the direct link to the Link Up. 

 

 

 

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January Days. Now & Past. 2018.4.

January Days. Now & Past. 2018.4.

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back!

Here’s to a great 2018 for us all.

This year, as I counted backwards on my fingers, is the 8th year I have been blogging. I started towards the end of 2010.

I blogged a lot in 2011  as newbie but who was completely engaged by blogging once I went to the first Aussie Bloggers’ Conference in March 2011.

And I was  even more engaged in blogging in 2012.

I slowed down as 2013 drew to an end and blogged most infrequently in 2014.

In 2015 I re-calibrated both myself and the blog to help me in the transition to retirement by blogging every day for 365 days. I did.

In 2016 I added some categories to blog within and by September 2016 began my Monday linky called Life This Week. Sometime later that year, I cut back my full-time blogging to only blogging on some days.

Into 2017 I was still blogging up to 3 days a week, then over time it reduced to 2 days. Mondays and Tuesdays.

This year I shall see how things go. I may add another day as some bloggers are coming up with another linky on Wednesdays.

What does that have to do with January?

Not a lot because, as much as I would like to share what I wrote back in those earlier years, I let those posts go when my blogs were filling up my account with my hosting service and I had to decided to delete two of the three blogs from 2010-2014. I did keep some of my education and schooling posts and have them in draft form if I ever want to refresh them.

In January  I often wrote about Back to School here and for many others. I am no longer doing those as I have fully retired from paid and upaid education roles. It is also time for others to take those tasks on and they will be more up to date.

So, to kick my post off for the first I Blog on Tuesdays & the second Lovin’ Life link up, I am going to add some photos from around this time of January for the past few years. January can be quite a busy time for many of us even if we are still on holidays or retired!

This week I will be meeting my daughter and her youngest who will be starting school this year and we will be buying her school shoes. That is a January tradition in our family.

I will travel to Sydney to see Dad for his 94th Birthday on Thursday taking him some goodies for a birthday morning tea which we will share with a couple who have been very kind to Dad during his time at Oceangrove.

As I write, it is the end of the most awful Sunday of HOT weather everywhere in most of NSW. We copped a temperature of over 40deg C and then…the worst thing happened. The power went off for around 70 minutes. It was close to hell on earth for us. Fortunately it kicked back on – there were district outages – and my hub could watch the Ashes and I could relax a little. Later on I drove over to the beach and the temperature was actually less than it shows in the photo.

Every day, for the past 5 weeks I have been enjoying getting dressed for a purpose. In other words, taking greater care of myself and having fun in the meantime. I also take myself out for coffee most days too. Sometimes I can even find something to eat that my poor mouth can manage. I often do a little art and journalling when I am out. It is a great experience and it sure is continuing in 2018! It’s the ultimate self-care.

I am committing via Instagram to post, on most days, a maximum of 3 photos:

1. Outfit of the Day. 2. Art/Creative 3. Noticing Nature.

So, how about you?

How has January been for you so far?

I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Denyse.

Joining my friend Kylie’s link up here called I Blog On Tuesdays.

And on my Dad’s 94th Birthday, I am linking with Leanne and friends here for Lovin’ Life.

 

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