Tuesday 19th December 2017

Christmas Plans. #LifeThisWeek 49/52. 2017.133.

Christmas Plans. #LifeThisWeek 49/52. 2017.133.

This Christmas our plans are very simple as on the day itself we will be ‘just us’.

And, shhhh, we actually don’t mind that much because for decades Christmas was a day of travelling, entertaining, eating and then resting…on Boxing Day! My lovely husband is going to cook a non-traditional Christmas roast of lamb as that is the meal I was able to eat some time ago. I am making a lemon meringue pie. It does not have to be tradition if I cannot eat something. I have missed Christmas cake, mince pies and of course anything crunchy but I reckon I can last till next Christmas for these!

So here’s a little photo collage of what Christmas is for us, two retirees living away from their adult kids and grandkids:

Every Christmas I get a ‘favourite’ tune or song and LOVE it …so much so it can be all I play in December. I love Christmas songs for their memories of teaching them to kids and being in choirs myself. This year I have found Sleigh Ride. One with no singing. Just this wonderful version added for your listening and viewing pleasure.


Then there is this one: only just found for those who like the words and choral voices.

Now, indulge me a little more with my look back at Christmas. I am still a bit of a kid with Christmas and I never actually let on to our kids Santa wasn’t real (he is too!) so I was determined, this year, to get a Santa photo. Here I am last Sunday. I have also included some other examples of Santa pics!

And so this is Christmas. I hope whatever your plans are that things are Merry and Bright.

Thank you all for being part of this community in 2017.

Life This Week is a special place of sharing and caring and it has sustained me through my difficult times.

For that I am most grateful.

We finish on 49 link ups because there is not one on Christmas Day and I was in hospital for 2 of them

We did well though I do believe!

The prompts for next year are on the Home Page and are part of this post too.

All good wishes to you and yours for now and into 2018.


Joining Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays for the last time in 2017. Thank you both.


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!


2 Months to Christmas Eve. #ltw7. 366/298.

2 Months to Christmas Eve. #ltw7. 366/298.

Adding this post here for #ChristmasLinkUp !

I chose this prompt and yet I am somewhat challenged by writing what’s ahead. Why? Christmas Eve is N O T H I N G like it used to be (for me) and I need to A C C E P T that. Ok, I did a year ago, so I am not going to wallow any more. Christmas and all that it brings to family life is completely different now that we are the retired couple who live away from the family. And the family has changed. For all the different reasons families do over time! We will be by ourselves for Christmas and getting used to the changes too. It is fine. Life is like this! So, for the prompt I am writing what Christmas Eve was back then, when our now grown kids with their own kids were the kids in 1980s. CHRISTMAS EVE:

  • traditions…we would go to Christmas Eve mass, then return home with Maccas for tea and have a sing-along with guitar (hub) and holding candles (kids) and making memories on the camera (me)
  • food prep for the next day, depending on who was hosting for Christmas Day for the extended family, would include peeling oh so many potatoes, along with pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes for the “baked dinner” of mammoth proportions which included chicken, pork, ham and turkey!
  • setting the table and finalising decorations for the area, along with added crockery containing sweets, chocolates, nuts, and the ‘christmas bon bons’
  • exciting time…because Santa is nearly here…before bedtime, a snack and a drink is left out for Santa by the kids, and some carrots and water for those tired and thirsty reindeer
  • longing for bed time (for the kids) on long, light evenings and then waiting…waiting…waiting..for them to go to sleep so present-packing into Santa’ bags (left under the tree for him) could commence
  • packing presents (once they were unearthed from the cupboards, back of wardrobes) and checking to ensure ‘the bags and contents looked even enough in terms of quality and quality’. Sigh. I sometimes failed this because I would forget what I had. So, a present or 3 might be held back for an upcoming birthday
  • lugging Santa bags to place at bottom of the child’s bed and hoping against all hope, no-one woke
  • relaxing by singing along with the Christmas Carols By Candlelight on TV and remember the lovely times of yesteryear
  • going to bed…excited and tired…not with sugar plums dancing around my head but lists of ‘to do’ for the BIG family lunch the next day

NOT our house but close-ish!! except: Summer! Credit: http://chainimage.com/stocks/free-holiday-wallpaper-light-christmas-eve-wallpaper-1024×768-1

So, what does 2 Months to Christmas Eve mean to you? Denyse. life 150 Thanks for linking up ( I hope you have!) whether it’s about the prompt or not! 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!
  • Respect and tolerance however, are the hallmarks of acceptable on-line social behaviour and as my blog is family-friendly I will reserve the right to delete comments that may be offensive to me or others.
  • Tweet with the hashtag #ltw (adding the numeral for prompt) if you like.
  • THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.

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The next 8 optional prompts taking us to the end of 2016 are now on the Home Page. I hope you will join in. Joining two Monday link-ups here: Thanks for hosting them…Alicia at One Mother Hen for Open Slather and Kell at All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays.


How To Create A Floral Mandala. 366/198.

How To Create A Floral Mandala. 366/198.

I’ve become fascinated by mandalas and even though I have not researched anything relating to ‘meaning’ yet I do know they are helping me become more mindful, creative and peaceful.

When I set myself a challenge of creating 100 mandalas in 100 days it was not as obvious then that my left hand, particularly my left index finger would protest a bit. I have hands which are succumbing to arthritis (wear and tear!) and when you are left-handed then the index finger gets quite the workout with my ventures in art, creating and more.

So, on Monday I decided on a new way to add a mandala to the collection.

Using nature. In fact, specifically from some of the plants which are very well-established here and from our little garden of pretty flowers in pots.

Here’s how it went.

Leaves 'cut to size to fit' the circle

Leaves ‘cut to size to fit’ the circle


Added little heads from daisies for the spaces. Alternated ‘light’ & ‘dark’ pink.


Detail of added line of fronds from palm, which had more texture turned over, so left them that way. Added red poinsettia from our plant for focus in middle.

I enjoyed this so much I went on to make some more. It was incredibly joyful and so engaging to do this. I hope you give it a go one day too.


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Joining Create-With-Joy here for her link up.

Saying hello to Sammie and friends at The Ultimate Rabbit Hole here this weekend. Hey, Sammie, I “think” this would be a cool idea for you!!



Creating While I Watch TV. 366/149.

Creating While I Watch TV. 366/149.

I rarely concentrate on TV alone.

Am I alone in this??

I know some people can. Just not this person.

So, I do try to knit. Mostly unsuccessfully as my skills are very limited but there is a little blankie for a granddaughter’s baby doll collection coming up.

I do patterns in ink or pen and they are most soothing and fun to create.

Later I colour them and again, it’s the same outcome.

These all give my brain a rest from the ‘thinking’ that can be not helpful AND I get joy from the process.

Here’s the few I have created over the past weeks.


Are you someone who also has to do something (other than scroll through social media*) while watching TV?

*I do this too more than I should but I choose the art over the iPhone scrolling for at least 30 minutes a night!!


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Joining with Sammie over here for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole and saying hi to friends Karin and Shannon too.




Muse30 Art Challenge. 366/121.

Muse30 Art Challenge. 366/121.

Tammy Garcia from Daisy Yellow Art is a creative person…in fact an art ‘enabler’ as she calls herself to me..LOL. Tammy has encouraged my art as it’s grown since 2013 and I’m taking part in another of her wonderful challenges called #muse30. In this Tammy sets one word as the prompt from which to create and share.

Here are 4 of mine.


PRINT. I chose to look at print the word as well as print the activity.



SPACE. I ‘saw’ a space station and made it as an ‘art’ station having fun with a space-type background.



TUXEDO. I came up the idea of the Tuxedo hanging in the ‘robe at Tuxedo Junction (song title!).



MINT. In this one, I gathered mint from the garden and make prints and more with mint!


I love the way I get to ‘think’ as I ‘create’ with this challenge!

Do you like to create with words? Maybe it’s art. Maybe it’s both!

Have a great weekend.


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Joining Sammie and lovelies over here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.



Kids’ Photography. 366/106.

Kids’ Photography. 366/106.

It’s school holidays here and we’ve had some young visitors come and stay. I’ve always encouraged our grandkids to have a go with photography by offering them my very sturdy auto Fuji camera. Since last year this has been a hit with the kids. I like their creative approaches and they see the world differently to me (of course!). One recently introduced rule is ‘not up people’s noses’ and another is ‘not over the fence into other people’s yards.’

Here’s a selection from kids aged 2 to 8.







Do you encourage kids to take photographs?

Are you surprised by their views too?


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Joining photography friends here at their link ups:

Trish: My Little Drummer Boys

Sue: Image-In-Ing.

Jen: Pierced Wonderings.


Easter Hat Parade Memories. 366/82.

Easter Hat Parade Memories. 366/82.

As the week in Australia (and elsewhere too of course) leads up to Easter it is timely to recall this:

Easter Hat Parades.

I have no idea of who started this ‘tradition’ in schools and pre-schools.

I cannot recall having Easter Hat Parades back in the 1950s and 1960s when I was at school but I am sure someone, somewhere will tell me they did!

My first memories of Easter Hat Parades came as a parent.

Firstly for my daughter, then a son. Let me tell you neither of them were EVER impressed by the hats I made (and they helped with!) nor the ‘having to wear’ them.

I recall straw hats decorated with chickens and hats with eggs attached. I am so not a crafty mum. I also think they were glad the hat parade finished after Year 2!

BUT…there is always a but…I did not mind organising them at the schools where I was in charge of such events. I am always in awe of the efforts parents go to make their children’s Easter Hat but it ‘is never a pressure, right?’

I have always liked the fun, the laughter and the enjoyment the families got when they watched their cute kids parade with their Easter Bonnets (yes, they used to be called bonnet parades!) and Easter Hats. The schools and pre-schools who do it ‘best’ for this mama/grandma are those who make them at school/preschool and attach NO competition to the Easter Hat Parade.

I went to the shops and saw some Easter hat ideas for those who leave it to the last minute! Add a chicken pic to a cardboard circle…add some of the chocs here to a little basket and tie the basket to the child’s head with a ribbon under the chin…buy the little bunny ears for your little one to wear..and EAT the big chocolate as your reward!


What about you?

Do you have memories of your own or others’ Easter Hat Parades?

Tell us more!


P.S. While the Easter Hat Parade was held in all the schools where I worked, the Easter Bunny visited the empty classrooms and left a little chocolate egg for everyone.

P.P.S. Happy Easter everyone!

Joining with my friends over here for I Blog On Tuesdays with Essentially Jess!

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Tiny Easter Basket. 366/77.

Tiny Easter Basket. 366/77.

We ‘used’ to do Easter Egg hunts for the grandchildren (and our own kids when they were young!) and they were FUN.

Now that they are growing up and living in Sydney …we are the ones who moved on…I still like to let them know we are thinking of them at Easter.

It’s all about the chocolate and the fun for me!

Here’s what I did.

The 8 grandkids are now aged from late teens to toddlers but I like to be an ‘equal sharing’ Grandma.


From Spotlight:

8 Tiny baskets which were already decorated in Easter motif.

24 Tiny (not too tiny as some recipients are under 3) Plastic Easter Eggs which pull apart.

24 Tiny (sensing a theme here?) chicken chocs that are round and covered in foil. They came in a pack.

8 Tiny Yellow Fluffy Easter Chicks. I cannot resist them!

16 Easter Bunny Chocolates wrapped in foil. They came in a pack.

Small 3D stickers in Easter Theme.

Own painted card and textas.

Own pen to write with.

What I Did.

On the outside of each basket – on the handle I wrote each person’s name (because there are 4 baskets going into 2 households!) ownership IS vital.

Then I added a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’ coloured 3D sticker of bunny and eggs on two sides of the basket..yes I am sexist and yes there is pink for girls and blue for boys. It’s easier.

Into 2 of the pull-apart eggs I was able to fit a chicken choc in each. In the 3rd little egg went 2 gold coins of real money!

The eggs, 2 Easter Bunny Chocolates and 1 Yellow Fluffy Easter Chick were accompanied by my home-made card.

The Product.

Tiny (theme!) Easter Baskets ready for delivery last weekend when a family member was returning to Sydney.

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So, what do you do for Easter gifts?


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Joining Anne at Domesblissity here for Thriving on Thursdays.

Joining Grace over at With Some Grace for Flog Your Blog Friday.