Saturday 17th November 2018

I Remember. 46/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.117.

I Remember. 46/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.117.

This post, originally written last week for Share Your Snaps was not sitting right for that prompt and then I saw this one.

I Remember.

 

I have noticed in the years past that I get tense, twitchy and tetchy in November. I used to think it was because I was tired and the end of the school year is nigh. I no longer have that reason. I now think and feel it is related to my birthday on the last day of November.

My birthday approaching brings a mixed bag of feelings:

  • sad (older)
  • contentment (glad to be here post cancer)
  • regret (not appreciating some of the people in my life more)
  • resentment (because some of those people, hello my parents, raised me in a way that I felt special BUT I perceived that was the case only if I was/am thin, achieving, managing financially)
  • anticipation of both negative and positive aspects of the day which celebrates me.

I know this might sound grouchy and somewhat mean-spirited but instead of pretending and pushing my November feelings and thoughts away, I have admitted them…and along with these pictures, may help heal me  for future Novembers.

November is:

  • my parents’ wedding anniversary
  • armistice day – this year 100 years since 11.11.1918
  • anniversary of my aunt’s early death
  • getting ready for Christmas
  • remembering my teaching/principal roles at this time of the year
  • my birthday

 

Do you have memories of any times which leave you somewhat like my birthday month does?
I am deliberately choosing to post about gratitude this November and so far these are the images.

Share your photos and your stories anytime here!

Denyse.

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!

Joining Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 47/52. Best Cake I Have Eaten. 19/11/18.


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Share Your Snaps 9. 45/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.114.

Share Your Snaps 9. 45/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.114.

This week I have been treated to one of my favourite colours ever.

Purple.

The colour purple. I love the ‘blue-purple’ more than the ‘red-purple.’ I asked my husband about his preference and I think he did not quite get my differentiation.

It’s purple in plants, flowers and of course, the wonderful jacaranda which is so pretty in November.

Enjoy!

Are you a fan of purple?

I love local places where purple has popped up. These photos were taken locally: at a nursery, on the street and in a park.

Have a great week everyone. I am off to Westmead today so will be back to comment later!

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: 46/52. I Remember. 12/11/18.


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I Want This. 44/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.111.

I Want This. 44/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.111.

This post’s title has been rattling around my head with some interesting, surprising and somewhat easy answers.

One: I want an Apple Watch. Series 4.

  • it is new
  • I am an early adopter
  • I will get fitter using it

Response: I do not really NEED an Apple Watch. I have looked at them, tried one on and thought “that much for this?”. I also look at my fitbit which is doing the job. I am making efforts to walk more steps with that. So, I will stick with that.

Two: I want my cancer to NEVER re-occur.

  • to be certain of this would ease some fears
  • to know I have had it and won’t face what I have been through again

Response: I am sorry. That is not going to be a sure thing. In fact I know intellectually it can return because, as I was told at my last cancer check, “the risk of return is because you have already been diagnosed with cancer”. OK. I will join all of my fellow cancer friends and just live with that knowledge. Not over-think it, just live with it.

Three: I want my weight to stabilise now thank you…or even drop a couple of kilograms.

  • this would mean like dieting again (eek)
  • this might even mean disordered eating and secret eating happening (no!)

Response: I see I am looking at the scale to determine my worth again. Uh uh. This will not end well. How can I be doing that when I have overcome so much to get well. I need to remember my husband’s recent response (exasperated I think) when he said “I do not see fat, I see a healthy woman.”

Four: I want to be satisfied with our life as it is now.

  • I am doing my best to live in the present
  • I am grateful for much in my life including family, friends and connections on line
  • I no longer see having our own home as a pre-requisite to a satisfied life

Response: I have it already. It is worth thinking it through and coming up with the answer.

I have what I want. It is here. I am glad.

What about you?

What do you want?

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: 45/52. Share Your Snaps 9. 5/11/18.


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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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What I Have Learned Lately. 42/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.105.

What I Have Learned Lately. 42/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.105.

With a motto of “lifelong learner” there is always something I have learned lately.

In keeping with a lighter touch this week, here’s a random group of examples.

Example 1.

That even though it is around 4 years since I last made a powerpoint presentation, I remembered, over time how to do it!

Mind you, it is yet to be shown so I hope all the bits that need to be on the USB drive work. I will be doing the “show and tell” …not death by powerpoint I hope…this Thursday at the request of my local Head and Neck Cancer Support Group.

Example 2.

Party favour toys that look like they will work….often do not…and still I buy them. Sigh. No-one could get these going. Anyone remember the line in Blazing Saddles, where Mel Brooks is trying to make one work? That.

Example 3. 

Once I had my upper teeth prosthesis screwed into the abutments, I KNEW I had to follow the cleaning routine for mouth hygiene and gum maintenance. The best recommended tool was via a Water Pik. The top of the line one. It is going very well as long as I remember to press pause on the attachment before replacing it in the cradle. When I do not do it: water spout…and mirror and me covered in water as it keeps pumping.

Example 4.

Reluctantly (at first) I became involved with the various Head and Neck Cancer groups of support because maybe I was not ready or wanted to admit to myself I belonged. Now  I am and admit it so here is a copy of the latest patient and carer support book that I will be taking to the meeting on Thursday. Note the name: The Swallows. Something related to what many head and neck cancer patients have issues with way beyond treatment: swallowing.

Example 5.

You can never say never, according to the old saying. In my case, I cannot stop being a teacher. I also cannot stop making mandalas, so I got up the courage to propose teaching a small class of adults at the local library. The red tape that is part of local government ensured this took ages…but I did not stop hoping until no-one actually enrolled.

Then I learned another lesson:

Example 5.a.

Ask a local friend, and ask her to share the word. Now, this coming Tuesday my first of 4 classes starts!

Example 6.

Never be frightened to ask for help even when you think “I am being silly”. I do not have to let you into any secrets here but sometimes, even though we think we are going well, there can be a niggle or an inkling of something awry. So, I know to ask someone who can help me and then I know I get to feel better just for lightening the load.

That is my random list.

What have you learned lately?

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: 43/52. Quick Meal Ideas. 22/10/18.

 


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Best Friend Stories. 41/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.102.

Best Friend Stories. 41/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.102.

I have always envied those who can keep a long-time friendship going, claiming best friends from school days and more.

I reviewed some photos of mine before writing and i can see, in my case, why this is not so.

I would not like to think I am a bad friend but I do agree that over time friendships change and move on.

In the most recent years I let a friendship slide – we had moved away from Sydney – as my anxiety grew and I knew I was not able to travel back to see this friend. Nevertheless, I did make contact after a year, and she happily caught me up and I felt a sort of re-connection. Then I got cancer. She is not on social media and to be honest, maintaining friendships was not high on my priority in recovery and beyond. Nevertheless, knowing I was risking being rejected I wrote her an email, letting her know of my health status and that, for the present, I could probably meet up in Sydney again for a coffee. We met up for coffee over many years. No response. Nothing. I suspect, I did leave it too late but I also know I did something to offer the hand of friendship again.

Chronological Order of Best Friends. 

Early 1950s.

Dad tells me I had imaginary friends at this age. I think one was called Pinky. I do not remember but I believe him. I am off to the Dapto Show with my Aunty. Didn’t I dress well then?

Late 1950s

I am in second row from the bottom, 2nd in from the right. I am next to my best friend at Gwynneville P.S. in Wollongong: Helen. We played outside school hours and went to each other’s houses. She and I competed, along with Warwick, in front row, second in from left, for first, second and third place in class. Check the class numbers people!

We stayed in touch via letters and some visits when we had moved to Sydney at the end of this year. I do know, amongst the trivia in my head, that her birthday is 27 September.

Early 1960s

It would be untruthful to say anyone here was a BEST friend but some were indeed friends. I am 3rd from left in front, and my friend, who also came to the same high school as me in 1962, is first on the left front row. We were passing acquaintances once we chose our subjects for the ‘new H.S.C.’ and saw each other (and sang together) on the school bus from Balgowlah Hts to Brookvale where our High School was.

I went my way to teachers’ college and teaching as she went her way to Uni and became an architect. Our parents still lived in the same suburb and saw each other as ‘waving’ aquaintances I guess. Then, with the era of Facebook, we found each other in the past 5 years…and guess what, we had been living relatively close to each other in the Hills District of Sydney for decades! We met up before we left Sydney and I love her memory about all things where I lived because she was there from birth. It’s a great connection and I know her birthday too. She is 1 month and 5 days older than me. Ann.

Late 1960s

Last year of High School – 1967. I am far right. We were ‘besties’ in the senior years of High School. It became apparent though, that I was the one who needed to buckle down and study in that final year as I really wanted to a tertiary education to become a teacher. My friends had boyfriends then that each married. About 2-3 years out of school, and they trained in secretarial work. We went to each other’s weddings (I think!) and they came to ours. From time to time, when we returned to Sydney for school holidays we had a catch up but I could already see my social world as a country-side teacher was not in keeping with theirs. Many years later, via a social media forum I think, we did have a reunion of sorts and even more recently my Dad saw Julie (on the left) being a personal home carer to someone in his retirement place. She said “Are you Mr Simpson, Denyse’s Dad?” That is one good memory. No, we have not met up. Julie, Sue, Pauline.

From then to now.

As teachers, much of our social life is connected where we are teaching. We had friends in each of the country towns and when we moved back to Sydney, we continued seeing people once a year. I had female friendships groups at school and always enjoyed the connections. Once I became a Deputy Principal then Principal, I moved into more work-related social networks. However, after my health breakdown as a principal, I eventually went to teach in a friend’s school and had a kind and lovely relationship with two of the administration ladies. These ladies stayed in touch when we left Sydney and after my cancer diagnosis and surgeries arranged to come and visit. This is just lovely. We still do keep in touch via social media due to distance. Luisa and Marg.

But the one person who keeps top status as my best friend is this man. The one I married. Just for something different, a photo of me with him in late 2016 before cancer.

So, what are your best friend stories?

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


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Share Your Snaps.8. 40/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.99.

Share Your Snaps.8. 40/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.99.

This is a favourite prompt for many.

Take a group of photos from what’s been happening lately in your part of the world.

It might be a retrospective or indeed something that is very current.

My post is both!

My husband was bewildered that I would show a series of photos of “just my face” in this….and I said, it is what I blog about and my readers often seem interested in my progress. Make this prove him wrong, I say!

As you know I have had cancer in my upper gums and under my lip and this has brought about some challenges for me.

My appearance was not as it turned out as important to me as it was for me to:

  • speak
  • eat
  • communicate
  • smile

This little video, with a favourite piece of music right now, is here.

I sing this song often in the car and even as I am working. It totally explains for me what I have HAD to do to get better and how it takes

H E A R T

The video starts before I knew I had cancer…and then in under 3 minutes takes the viewer from there to now where I can

S M I L E

You’ve gotta have heart

All you really need is heart

When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win

That’s when the grin should start

You’ve gotta have hope

Mustn’t sit around and mope

Nothin’s half as bad as it may appear

Wait’ll next year and hope

When your luck is battin’ zero

Get your chin up off the floor

Mister you can be a hero

You can open any door, there’s nothin’ to it but to do it

You’ve gotta have heart

Miles ‘n miles n’ miles of heart

Oh, it’s fine to be a genius of course

But keep that old horse

Before the cart

First you’ve gotta have heart

Part of the lyrics: Damn Yankees. My version:Damn Yankees (1994 Original Broadway Cast Recording)

I find singing (around the house and in the car) is a way of releasing any anxiety and I have fun doing it. I am definitely someone who loves her Show Tunes. However, it was only this year I discovered this song!

Have you got a song that helps you along?

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


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The Last Thing I Bought. 39/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.96

The Last Thing I Bought. 39/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.96.

I was not sure what the “last thing” I bought would be when I sat to write this post.

I thought it might have been ‘the groceries’ because that is on-going….and then I thought, maybe it would be some new art materials. I admit, I have been busy updating my collection.

But no, it is none of those.

It is this:

A(new)nother Big W A3 Laminator.

https://www.bigw.com.au/product/be-a3-laminator-vl901/p/4684/

Isn’t that exciting?

Actually no, it is more like embarrassing.

This is the THIRD one I have (not yet) bought.

Update: thought I would have it in my possession now…except, my Big W is out of stock. 

The THIRD!!

I have made over 200 bookmarks for The Big Hug Box and I can get 5 into one A4 laminating sheet.

You see, I am a pioneer…of sorts …so I have tested my laminators out (for sure) and even though it has not been my intention when I have added dried flowers and some materials that do not have endings which line up….I have:

broken 2 of these laminators as the items got stuck.

Sigh.

For years and years I had a really solid and BIG A3 laminator that I used at home and at school and it only gave up the ghost 2 years ago. It had cost over $150 so I was delighted to find that Big W sold these A3 ones for $30. The A4 one is $20. My mandalas are made on A3 paper which is why I needed and wanted to bigger sized one.

Two have now been dumped. Because they cannot be fixed once the material gets caught on the roller. I was a very sheepish telling my husband about the 2nd one being ruined and he even tried taking it apart but it was not worth it.

I would hope I have learned my lesson.

I do not, repeat, do NOT want to buy a 4th Big W laminator.

So, what have you bought?

Are you a fan of the laminator?

Denyse.

P.S. Here’s the update of the update. NO Big W Laminators could be found….so, still needing said A3 laminator, I went on-line to O’works. Yes. Their model is 3x the price of the BigW and says “it is jam-free”…(my husband scoffed at this based on my track record)…and I can use the convenience of in-store pick up at Northmead when I return to Westmead tomorrow to see the prosthodontist. Too easy? We shall see.

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: 40/52. Share Your Snaps. 1/10/18.


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