Friday 22nd March 2019

The Big C and Me. 15/2019.

The Big C and Me. 15/2019.

It’s time to share more about me and the Big C.

Yes, it’s about C for…..

CONFIDENCE!

(ha! not the other big C for cancer)

I think I give an outward show of being confident. It is not really a fake it till I make it confidence either.

It is about self-confidence in selected settings.

  • I am confident about my school life and teaching days and enjoy sharing the stories from then.
  • I love this part of me that can share now. I know there were days in education that were not always great (yes, my emotional health took a beating in 2002) but I have grown so much as a person and learner since then.

 

  • I am getting more confident of how I am managing my self-care in regards to less anxiety that plagued me for the years of my transition into retirement.
  • What good news that is! It was horrible for me with IBS thrown into the mix and I have done so well taking on board exposure therapy and a small medication routine.

 

  • I am less than confident in my belief about how well I am going in terms of my mental outlook since my cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatments and surgeries.
  • What is the evidence each day? None, really. It just happens sometimes.

 

  • I remain under-confident about my changed appearance a.k.a. my body’s change from very overweight to ‘almost normal weight’ and then back to a slightly ‘overweight’ status.
  • Am I taking steps to understand this huge shift and learning as I go? Yes. Every day.

 

  • I am still not as confident as I think I need to be to take on a continuing role in educating others about Head and Neck cancer because I am sensing judgment of others. I do know that I call upon courage to help me through even I have doubts.
  • Do I have evidence? Not really.

WHY?

I am who I am.

I am the product of a childhood and teen years spent in a dominant paternal household. I was told what to do. I may not always have done it but the memory of “other people’s words” being my measure for self remain.

I am able to give myself a ‘good talking to’ at times and can turn this matter of lack of self-confidence around.

But it takes energy and time AND motivation. I do not always have these on hand together and so there are days when my lack of self-confidence AND worth impact me more.

I am learning more in terms of self-compassion and how each of us is connected via shared humanity.

AM I FOOLING ANYONE?

Possibly but what of it?

  • I am on Instagram each day keeping myself accountable for dressing with purpose and going out somewhere for coffee.
  • This does help me ramp up some of my confidence in just doing so. I am not reliant on the comments as much any more because I know the effort I put in makes the outcome worth it.
  • But then when I have kind followers write comments of “congratulations, kindness and cheering me on” I do appreciate this a lot but also that inner critic rises up and adds her voice “would they say that if they really knew me?”
  • Lies. I do not tell them as far as I am aware but it seems maybe I am believing them from this inner critic. Who? Moi?

WHAT NOW?

Onward.

I know that putting these words here has helped me see that it’s my faulty thinking that has been affecting my self-confidence.

OK! How to change that?

  • Already I have in some ways as I now recognise this inner critic voice and her role.

 

  • My actions, my words and my inner life help me remember MUCH more about the confidence I like to have and know I can bring more to the fore.

 

  • Each time I dress and go out for coffee, I am embedding self-confidence.

 

  • My daily journal keeping can continue to be a ‘write it all down’ place and then review for evidence of this confidence tracking upwards not the downwards the inner critic can believe.

 

  • My on-line interactions with people from my various communities in education, blogging and head and neck cancer are ways in which I grow my self-confidence and also give back to others where I can and it is asked for.

 

  • Seeing myself as others do and may. It helps to believe that I am both good and doing good. This is something I have struggled with all of my life and want it to change. I can do this. I will remind myself more.

 

  • Maintaining practices of:

 

  • being in nature,
  • time-outs with my art journal,
  • chats with my husband, meditation each night,
  • helping my physical body to relax,
  • exercising within my limitations,
  • planning to eat well and doing the same without any deprivation,
  • cancer checks and better understanding of the fact that cancer actually never leaves but might take a back seat in my life,
  • taking time to make contact with family and friends,
  • exploring the local area’s beauty,
  • browsing at the shops,
  • reading,
  • keeping to a timetable of sorts each day for balance in my life.

Already I feel better!

Thanks for reading.

Do you have an issue with the Big C?

 

Denyse.

Joining with my blogging friends here:

Min on Tuesdays here for #ZenTipsTuesday

Sue & Leanne on Wednesdays  here for #MidlifeShareTheLove

Leanne & Crew on Thursdays  here for #LovinLife

 

 

 

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Quick Meal Ideas. 43/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.108.

Quick Meal Ideas. 43/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.108.

There is so much on-line about “quick meal ideas” which anyone can access, along with some new to me ideas such as pre-planned meals and incredients that you can order on-line & have delivered each week. Then of course there is ‘take-away’ as we in Australia call it. However, I see that you can order this via an Uber thingy too. And around here, Red Rooster delivers.

My post is about none of those.

I am offering what helps ME get by these days – after cancer in my mouth & living a retirement life for two.

My husband has some health issues which prevent him eating large meals for dinner and we occasionally eat the same meals but he is a very early diner, at 5 p.m. and I prefer around 6.p.m. so socially we miss out on that connection with food.

We do, on occasion have a main meal together which is not a ‘quick meal’ but more like a baked dinner or chicken schnitzel or lamb cutlets.

My Quick Meals.

I am someone who began freezing meals in bulk when I was teaching full-time and when we lived in isolated parts of N.S.W. as teachers. Fresh ingredients did not come too often, so we made do with what we could freeze or have dried versions (Deb mashed potato and surprise peas, anyone? No? I agree).

I prefer a bake a lot, then freeze in batches and here are some of my examples.

Sweet & Sour Chicken On Rice.

I use chicken fillet and cook up bite sized pieces (when I had no upper teeth, I used chicken mince) then I add Kanton Sweet and Sour Cooking Sauce with Pineapple, and when all cooked together, put it on a small bed of rice (see the packetI always have in my pantry) and freeze in small meal-sized for me containers:

Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Yes this was my go-to meal for around 12 months but I have become sick of it. However, it fitted the bill for health (iron in red meat). I use good quality minced beef, a range of pasta sauces including passata and cook thin spaghetti to go with it. Again, once cooked, this becomes mini meals for moi, with some tasty cheese on top.

My Fried Rice.

I call it this because I adapted it from a recipe long ago. All I need is one or two of the rice above, 2 eggs, some packet or shaved ham, shallots or chopped onion. First, beat egg, make as an omelette, then when cooked in pan, remove, and add diced ham and shallots to fry up, add cooked rice then diced egg to mix on hot stove, and once all together, add soy sauce to taste. Keep moving it around. You can add more veges to it or some cooked chicken as well. It is a meal in itself that way. Freezes very well.

Meal Ingredients or  Made Then Frozen.

I make up small zip lock bags with steak in each so only one has to be taken out if that is a preferred meal.

I do the same with chicken breast, cut it uncooked into strips, and only bring out what I need.

Recently I made mini meatloaves from 3 types of minced meat (beef, lamb & turkey) added a packet of rainbow slaw, egg and tomato sauce and then added the mix to patty cake pans. These were on the way out…so this became ‘the last thing I cooked in them. I add barbecue sauce to the top of each ‘patty’ and some grated cheese, and whack in the oven. Keeping an eye on them, the meat cooks well, and I freeze 4 in a small bag for use with veges, or cut it up for sandwich or mini burger.

That is a wrap for me, on quick meal idea…what about yours?

Denyse.

Today I link with Alicia here: for Open Slather and Kel here for Mummy Mondays. Do visit them too and link up!

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: 44/52. I Want This. 29/10/18.

 


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If I Could. 31/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.67. 30 July

If I Could. 31/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.67.

I am pretty sure when I considered this optional prompt is was not about wealth, health and all that jazz. But they were the first thoughts that came into my head starting to write. Instead, I am going to make some lists and here they are:

Past

Photo: Feb 2017

If I could:

  • I would tell this me (above)  that I am pleased that I have made it through a very stressful time related to moving house, leaving family and finishing my work life but…..
  • there is actually more to come. Stress I mean. Yet, despite what it will do to me emotionally, it will teach me that…
  • I am able to shift my thinking (despite my anxious brain) to be able to challenge myself to accomplish what fear had told me was not possible.

Present

Photo: May 2018.

If I could:

  • remember that I have been and continue to be stronger and more resilient than I ever thought because…
  • I have managed a head and neck cancer diagnosis in May 2017 with courage, tenacity and a determination I never knew I had as evidenced by…
  • my ability to bounce back emotionally despite some pretty serious setbacks/hiccups over 4 surgeries and 4 recovery times
  • my physical body’s wonderful capacity to re-generate and heal itself without direct engagement with me, other than…
  • caring for myself as well as I can with a limited eating regime, getting outside each day and doing some walking along with engaging in meaningful social occasions: on-line and in the community

Future

Late July 2018.

If I could:

  • be confident about this man and the love and care we have had of and for each other for the past 47+years then all will be well because…
  • we are indeed a partnership for life and….
  • the laughs and chats we have with each other are as important to our health and welfare as any medicines.

That my friends, is my take on “If I could”.

Denyse.

 

My blogging friend from Ballarat is starting a first day of the month linky called Good Grateful. I think it’s always a great plan to reflect on gratitude! In fact, I AM grateful to her for rekindling old blogging friendships recently which spurred me on to making a Blog Roll on this blog!

Thanks so much Caz! Her blog is called Room For My Soul. I wish you well and will be there for sure! 

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

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: 32/52.  Countries I Have Visited  6/8/18.



 

 

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Just For July #1. 2018.57

Just For July #1. 2018.57

What is “Just for July?”

I was reviewing my blog posts recently and there have been some pretty heavy and detailed posts written.

I know they are helpful for me to do and some of the loveliest people in the blogging world comment when I link up with a post I wrote on the Tuesday to cover my linking up for the next two link ups …on Wednesday here and Thursday here.

So, shaking things up a bit and to help me just chat and share about whatever comes up I am going to do this for Leanne’s Lovin’ Life Link Up for the 4 Thursdays in July!

Mandalas. 

They attract me and I am drawn in when I see some in nature and in the man-made world. I cannot help but notice them.

Do you notice mandalas?

I am going to post more about the why sometime later this year but for now, here’s one in my back yard:

I cannot love this flower more. Mandala!

Social Media and Food Posts.

In my quest to be whinge-free (works some days, others not!) I now scroll right through. I used to be envious of those who could eat that food and make a comment of how wonderful that looked but that I could not eat that (yet). Then I realised I do not need to tell anyone that and in fact, that might even make them a bit sad. So, scrolling on….

Do you post food pics or are you someone who looks at food pics…and drools (such a weird word). This meal did not go on Instagram.

I cooked cutlets and the way I could kind of eat the meal, was cut meat added to mash & insides of a tomato over it. Sadly I could not even chew on the bones.

The Beach.

I wish I had better words to describe why I love the beach. In fact I rarely swim anymore (OK, tell the truth, have not been in the surf for over 2 years) but I remain captivated by it. I walk on the sand, I collect shells and pebbles (sometimes) and I dip my feet in the water.

It makes me feel better when I am sad. It helps me focus on a wider world when mine appears to be closing in.

I do know that the smells, the sights and the sounds along with the sensory experiences do something magical to my soul.

Is that what the beach is like for you?

No better place…and this day I was alone. Even better

Driving My Car.

I love my car. It is red. I chose red very happily for this car – the Nissan X-Trail – and I smile when I return to it in the carpark. I want to hug my car because it carries me safely to where I need to go and it is like an extension of my personality.

Is that something that makes me strange? What do you feel about cars?

Off to coffee somewhere!

Blog Roll is BACK.

Recently two bloggers began a facebook group called “Old School Bloggers”. Many of us who started back in the early to mid 2000s and onward had slowly let their blogs go or put in a resting space. My blog, as regular readers know, has had a few changes of direction. So, from this initiative of Caz who blogs here and Jacqui who blogs here, quite a few people linked up on Monday for #lifethisweek which made me a happy linky host! Check out the right hand side of my blog to see “Blog Roll is Back” and if your blog is not (yet) listed, do add your URL and blog name to the comments!

Thank you!

 

That is it for Thursday 5th July.

I am off to the Podiatrist this morning at Budgewoi and we will chat about his newborn daughter while he cares for my feet. After that I will go to a great coffee shop there for my daily fix. I may even take some photos as well.

Thanks for reading …and maybe even commenting with responses to my questions!

Denyse.

Joining with Leanne and crew here for Lovin Life Linky on Thursdays.

 

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Art, Materials, Create! Part Two. 2018.8.

Art, Materials, Create! Part Two. 2018.8.

Following on from last week’s post here on Art Kits and more today’s post is photo-heavy and  words added to help with both description of how I use the materials and what I make. Suppliers I have used are listed at the end of the post with links to their websites.

What I use to ‘make my marks’.

Did that ‘whet your appetite?’

Let me tell you it has taken quite a lot of money AND time to make the collection I now have. I have purchased small quantities first (cost effective too) and then seen how much I like using them and to what effect. Neocolour 11 crayons were in that category. I now have a large collection but started in 2013 with 10. Copic pens are ace and they come in sets at Officeworks or you can buy singly from some supplier below. Zig Paint Pens are awesome. BUT very expensive initially. However, I got a set first to see how they worked for me and then added as years went by. I am never without my black unipin markers and they are at Officeworks too. More and more, Officeworks (not sponsored!!) is building a decent supply of artist* materials.

*Artist?

Well. here is what I have learned. As adults we need to  see ourselves as artists and use materials for artists. Not ‘student’ and that is because you will become frustrated with the poor quality of materials over time. It is WORTH spending more as the artist quality materials last well.

Painting:

Yes I do a lot of this with two brands of paint and types. I have watercolours and gouache. I use artist-brands: Winsor and Newton and Caran D’Arche. Gouache is a more dense version of watercolour. I use the best brushes I can afford and places like Riot Art and Eckersleys can advise you.

Some More: 

Now…if you want to know more, of course ask me in the comments.

I am happy to do more posts later in the year but would also love to know what you are up to if art has become part of your life. Lots of colouring books are available in so many shops that you are spoiled for choice and cost. Big W has quite a range. The only rider for me is beware of books which have a pattern on the back of another as some markers will go through. Another thing I do too is place a piece of A4 paper behind the work I am doing with a marker.

The A3 and A4 and A5 art books I used have at least a GSM (thickness) of 110 or more. Anything less can tear easily and paint/materials may go through. Oh and if you are using any gelly-type pens (and the real ones Gellyrolls if you can afford them) make sure you let them dry before closing your page.

Websites to explore: I have used products from all of these.

https://www.artscene.com.au/

https://www.craftonline.com.au/

https://www.mangaarts.com.au/home/

https://www.officeworks.com.au/

http://riotstores.com.au/

https://www.eckersleys.com.au/

https://www.luluart.com.au/

REMEMBER to have FUN. It is about the process NOT the product!

Happy Art-ing!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell for I Blog on Tuesdays here and with Leanne here on Thursdays for Lovin’ Life Linky!

 

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Art Kits, Materials & More. Part One. 2018.6.

Art Kits, Materials & More. Part One. 2018.6.

Introduction.

In 2013 I was looking for something to give me some level of contentment. It was a pretty stressful time in my life and it was a shout-out from Deb Dane who blogs here that changed my life for the better.

That IS a big call, I know!

A R T was it. But back then I was both curious and shy. I had ALWAYS enjoyed creating colourful and crafty classrooms for kids, and then as grandchildren came along I joined the scrapbooking phenomenon of the 1990s and beyond. I also did a college class on sketching when I first retired.

But A R T for ‘arts-sake’ was surely for more talented people than I am. 

Finding My Place as an Artist.

Oh seriously it took some time to apply this term to me but as one of my art gurus said ‘what are the rules for this?’. Rule-maker and keeper me realised I was the one limiting myself. Deb suggested I join the group on Facebook called DaisyYellow and take part in their Index-Card-A-Day challenge from June to July every year. In 2013 I joined, became a devotee, even signing on as a moderator in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 I did the challenge until it was time for my cancer surgery in early July.

This post explains more about it. I thank Tammy Garcia, the founder, for much of her encouragement of my art. Some examples here of my interpretation of the daily prompts in 2016. These are all created on (old speak) 6inch x 4 inch index cards.

What’s An Art Kit?

I credit learning more about art from being a member of this on-line group as above. It’s a free website and there are minimal costs for certain activities. However, as in all things in life, it was time for me to decide what I wanted in an art kit and what would be its purpose.

You know when you are caught waiting in a room for an appointment or sitting in the car waiting for someone and whilst you could look at your phone or read an old magazine there is this idea! An Art Kit.

I always had small one in my bag when we lived in Sydney and then somehow when we moved and I was mainly being at home, I got out of the habit of keeping one. It was when I had to go to hospital last July I thought I needed to take some art materials for when I was recovering AND cognisant. I was right! In 2017 I was obsessed with mandalas! I was designing and drawing them, making patterns to colour later. They were (and still are) a very MINDFUL activity for me. I made a large version of an art kit with my A4 book with pre-drawn circles and some lines on many pages, added in some Unipin pens, some colouring pens and I was set. I did not watch TV at night in hospital, I drew mandalas and they helped in my mood and physical recovery as I relaxed!

Now I am getting dress with purpose every day, one thing I do is go out for a solo coffee. I have been doing that for more than 2 months now and I am loving it. I get to people watch, sip a favourite coffee, sometimes try to eat something nice, and play with ART. Here I am last Friday at a local cafe. By the way, it took me about two goes not to feel self-conscious so now it’s second nature!

Next post I will add more details about:

  • materials I use that might be expensive initially but ‘pay for themselves’ in terms of lasting and quality
  • some ways in which art has helped my emotional health improve
  • how all of us can make art in a way that is meaningful to us and how to shut up the critic’s voice
  • ideas for colouring-in those lovely patterns and pictures in books and freebies on-line
  • and anything you might choose to ask me questions about in the comments!!

I hope this has been helpful.

I wrote this post as a response to Vanessa Smith’s comment recently and she blogs here. Another blogging friend, also named Vanessa and blogs here  is now colouring mindfully and this post may be of interest but the next one will be more so I think.

Happy Art-ing everyone!

Denyse.

 

Joining Kylie Purtell here for I Blog On Tuesdays and on Thursdays I join in the Lovin’ Life Linky with Leanne here.

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This Blogging Community Rocks! 2017.122.

This Blogging Community Rocks! 2017.122.

Last week I wrote about being an over 65 (i.e. Baby Boomer!) blogger here and was asking for some ideas about growing my audience here and over on the blog’s Facebook page.

What a helpful and kind bunch this blogging community is!

Thanks to you all, and along with some reflection of my own a few slight changes have been made.

This may not be all, but for now, as I contemplate what may be ahead for me surgery-wise, it will be enough.

As you read this for I Blog On Tuesdays and for Lovin’ Life On Thursday I have been back to Westmead Oral Health Services to have a check-up of how the bone (new jaw) and posts for implants in said jaw are going. This person assessed  my mouth as he has not seen it since the day of surgery and he and his colleague (who was part of my operation team but I had never met!) are reporting back to the Professor about what will be next for me. I know I have two more surgeries – much shorter and less invasive than the first. I do not know dates yet. I am going to get more of a handle on what’s next by chatting with my husband who was also with me and will probably post about it soon.

Now, where was I?

I am grateful to you all who commented and who also responded privately with your ideas for my ‘venturing into blogging to make connections with Over 65s.’

Here is what I have taken from your ideas AND my thinking about what it is I really want.

  • guest posts on blogs where the readers are mature and could engage with topics I am asked to write about, or ones I suggest. I have already guest-posted here on Sizzling Towards Sixty with Sue and today there is another post of mine. I am currently formulating one for Jan at Retirement Info.
  • others I would love to hear from, should they think a guest post from me would be a good idea, are many friends I have already made through this blogging community so shoot me a message on FB or ask me in the comments!
  • I have updated my Facebook page and am posting there every day now. I have more ‘likes’ and comments and I have been busy engaging with those there. I did pay a small fee for some sponsored posts over a couple of days.
  • I belong to some Facebook groups (don’t we all?) and one that is new to me, even though I have known about it for some time is Nikki Parkinson-Hubbard’s Styling You.
  • Why I was not a member before related to my issues of low self-confidence and my appearance. However, over the past weeks I have looked at myself with kinder and compassionate eyes and decided I can belong to a group no matter how old I am.
  • To improve my self-confidence and to take a greater (much!) interest in my physical appearance – even with my poor old mouth not right – I set myself a personal challenge to post photos of me every day until I turn 68 on 30 November.
  • I am writing more about that in a guest post but if you follow me on Instagram (request to follow as I have a private account) or my Facebook page you will see what I am up to.

On the ideas of getting into retirement communities and writing for others who have websites relating to ageing and issues affecting those of us who are retired some lovely friends gave me food for thought. Then as I examined what I think I can handle right now I decided not to go down those paths. I have also reduced the categories I am writing under (they were determined by me back in January 2016) and these can be seen on my refreshed home-page where I also have updated images of me to reflect the ages and stages of THIS ‘Baby Boomer’ born in 1949!

You see, I have written for websites and for pages over the years, particularly related to my experience and expertise in schooling and education matters and I saw little or no benefit in terms of what I really wanted:

to connect with others.

Thank you all in the blogging  community either as bloggers or readers. I appreciate every person who reads and takes the time to comment.

Denyse.

Joining as always on a Tuesday with Kylie here for I Blog on Tuesdays and on Thursdays with the lovely Leanne & Lovin’ Life linky.

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