Sunday 26th June 2022

Being Me in June & What’s a Move Back Home To YOU? 41/2022.

Being Me in June & What’s a Move Back Home To YOU? 41/2022.

This post will cover quite a bit of ground!

It’s my time to share how my Word of The Year is working out for me via the  post to this link up run by Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.

It’s my end of (not quite but nearly) June 2022 sharing “the month that was”

And it’s a more detailed post about where we see our future life being lived.

Word of the Year. Be(ing) Me.

I am, now, living the me I want to be more than ever.

I have learned to speak up and confidently share what it is I really would like, rather than hide behind my emotions….and become frustrated. So in being me, I can share more further on about the move back home and the why.

Sometimes we can make mistakes in OUR thinking about what others might be thinking..as we try to guess what direction life might take us.

Now, of course, after all the inner work I have been doing, AND living, I realise that our thoughts are not always true, and they can often be something that tells us lies and distorts our thinking.

I probably feel the BEST I have felt both emotionally and physically ever. Lots of the impact of having my cancer gone, my recent surgeries helping my other issues and being incredibly grateful for life and being here NOW to enjoy it all.

June’s Happenings.

  • We have remained well and (cross fingers) covid and flu free because of our use of masks everywhere AND all vaccines possible on board.
  • More conversations about moving back to Sydney…see further down.
  • My 6 month visit for a check at Westmead with my prosthodontist. I couldn’t take photos of us this time round but did a few shots around the place. I mentioned all the amazing work he had done having my upper prosthesis and lower partial denture so well set and he said “no, it’s you doing the hard work every day that makes it so”. Worth it, I say!
  • Update: on 21 June, he called me to say ‘bone loss’ appearing near an abutment (implant site) you will need to come back next week for a CT scan and we will take the prosthesis off to check all around it. This was unexpected news. I got stressed. I then was able to see it now as being grateful for this person’s competence and diligence. But another reminder of what having head and neck cancer has done to me. No cancer noted.
  • Cold weather. Nights down to single digits…but the mandala crocheted rug has helped me feel very warm and cosy.
  • Cooking: soups for me and Dad, meals for us, and cakes and treats. The freezer means that with batch cooking I don’t need to every day.
  • News that we will be fee paying at the GP’s from July and that the very low Medicare fees paid by the Federal Govt NEED to be lifted …no change for many years.
  • Meeting up with my two adult granddaughters for coffee when I was back in Sydney.
  • Having a follow up appointment with the nice Gynaecologist here and going along with his plan for me to have…(yet another) surgery to repair vaginal prolapse..in 2020 I had rectal prolapse repair & that was so worth doing. I have been living with a cystocele for over 20 years. All from childbirth. Ageing, and dryness is not helping so now using a prescription oestrogel cream till surgery on 11 August. I am sharing all of this because we never did…women told some stories but not like these. So, don’t put up with something that a specialist may help you with…and I know I face more recovery time (sigh) but I have done this before. I am 72…and over the counter fixes and supplements do not help with this. I was ANTI this surgery because of misinformation. No way was I having anything to do with mesh. My Gynaecologist said HE was one who was telling those other colleagues NOT to use it. So, that is why NOW I am going ahead.
  • Saying good bye to my GP here of over 5 years who has helped me with so much. But the good news, I have all of the tools now to continue onto a new GP at the practice and once we are back in Sydney, will be returning to our old GP practice.
  • Deciding to continue the blog until my hosting and other add ons run out in around May 2023.

About The Move Back Home….

In making the choice to move back home to NorWest Sydney in our future there were these three things we considered in our decision.

  1. When we moved up here, from NorWest Sydney to the N.S.W. Central Coast (around 2 hours north) it was for reasons of financial freedom from a mortgage, releasing me, the then 65 yo, from any more paid work, and to see how life was for us on the coast. 
  2. The move saw us try out 3 different parts of the N.S.W. Central Coast, and we loved aspects of each. But none of them was now, as we move into our mid 70s, good enough to keep us here as our health needs changed, along with a loneliness for like friendships (my need) and to have great opportunity to connect with member of our family.
  3. Our saved money was now, due to many factors, never going to buy us a house here or back in Sydney, but the rent increase here (significant) meant we were able to afford to rent in an area back in NorWest Sydney where we have ties of family, friends, health and familiarity.

 

My comment to Leanne: after my first post announcing the possible move….

There has never been an expectation in our family to ‘care for us’ at all. However, what I note, as Dad is much older now, is that his son, is someone he can ask for help as needed. He does not do it much and he has a couple of friends where he is too. Everyone else from his life…is no longer here!

In the friendship vein, B and I made friends through our careers but now almost 20 years later, things have moved on with those groups and here there has been no-one with whom we can say we share anything in common.

We are, though, incredibly grateful for the relationships we have made up here at the northern end of the Central Coast. So many people we have connected with professionally and in a caring manner. People who remember your name at the coffee shop, to those at the dentist/doctor/podiatrist who know me well enough to joke around…and many more. And as for the hairdresser. Of this I cannot (yet) speak. My BEST ever haircuts are by Bec.

So, whilst I will outline what our plans may be, it is clear for us, that our time living here has served its purpose in our lives and we will move to where ‘home’ feels like it is for us more!

We plan to return to the area of Sydney where we used to live but to rent. There will be no chance we can buy again. Ever. This is the story for so many we know, and that for now, includes members of our family. What we will be able to do though is find a smaller place for around what we are paying here, and despite having had 8 years away, will pick up connections to needs such as health ones and shopping and so on. We are already planning our downsizing and de-cluttering to another level. And whilst we are not publicly saying any dates or times, we would think that by this time in 2023, that our move will have been made.

We rented teacher houses in our first years of marriage, settling into the north west parts of Sydney in 1978, and leaving the area in 2015 for the N.S.W. Central Coast. It will be back to this general area of north western Sydney (much expanded since we left) that we hope to call home again.

This image is from where I lived age 10-20 and where my parents did until 2011. Northern Beaches of Sydney. Manly.

A Taste of Life Back Where I Feel It’s Home. 

On 16 June 2022, I had to go to Westmead for a 6 month check and usually once that was done, I would drive back up the M1 to our place on the coast. This time, I had two other ideas in mind, to get me back to the NorWest of Sydney area, and to bring me up to speed where we are likely to live and about the changes in the places and more.

I drove a very familiar road from Westmead, up Old Windsor Rd, through the turn offs to Glenwood (where we lived 1998-2015) and to Windsor Road and onto Rouse Hill Town Centre. There has been a HUGE amount of urban development and infrastructure like the Metro Rail, yet I could still  find my way. After parking as I recalled the spot, near the Library, I was easily able to meet my two adult granddaughters in our agreed catch up spot near Muffin Break at the Food Court.

We had a great catch up, and yes of course, in almost 8 years much has happened to the centre and to our girls but we enjoyed the memories and later as I left, I captured images. I was around, as a teacher back then in mid 2000s seeing the Rouse Hill Town Centre built!

One more stop before driving back up the coast was to the Family Medical Practice at Rouse Hill, which is now a Mega one…but the same two women I knew from the old practice back in the day, welcomed me with hugs and lots of questions…and yes, we will be fine coming back there. Great news.

It was a tad overwhelming on that day however, as I managed emotions based on:

  • Five years since cancer diagnosis….and all those trips back and forth to Westmead for my upper prosthesis to be made over time…huge
  • Seeing my adult granddaughters in a place I last shared morning tea with them as teenagers.
  • And then noting how, despite all the changes, we can still pick up and be well cared for in our health futures.

I was able to share it all with B after the day, and then the next day reflected on the gratitude which abounds for me.

So, back to the question….what would a move back home mean to you?

Perhaps you are already ‘home’ and that is wonderful.

Maybe, you are able to make ‘home, wherever you are’
I guess I tried to do this for us but in the end, the ties of love, the familiar and connections with like-people helped me know that I could only pretend for a while.

I was always set on moving back to Sydney if B had died because I had never considered that he too may want to go along with the idea.

Never assume…have the courage to ask for yourself…and see what may arise.

Listening to our hearts AND our heads, helps!

 

I hope you were able to read till the end! Thank you.

Denyse.

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Endings & Beginnings. #LifesStories. Final #LinkUp. 40/2022.

Endings & Beginnings. #LifesStories. Final #LinkUp. 40/2022.

BEFORE you read any further:

Denyse Whelan plans to blog after the Monday link up concludes.

Denyse is not (yet) ready to let her blogging habits end.

Do follow her via the Bloglovin’ link on right hand side of site, at the top, to get updates, and I look forward to responding to YOUR comments.

Of course, I will continue looking for your blog posts and updates too. Thank you! Denyse.

Endings. Life’s Stories. Last One!

On Monday 6 June, I announced here that  this would be the final post for the link up #LifesStories and invited readers to add their blogs to link up for the last time. Share a post, old or new, I used to say, so I hope people do that today:

Monday 20 June. Ending #LifesStories this week.

Thanks to Tanya who could ‘whip’ up one of these images below whenever I asked. In January 2016 it was Tanya, a friend I met at an Embroidery place in Sydney in 2013, who I turned to help make the blog’s appearance as I wanted: colours for each category, and more. Red was always for Mondays and a prompt I wrote under called Life This Week, and that’s where the name of the link up came from.

It’s hard isn’t it to finish something because it’s the end…

Maybe it’s not really the end but it is more of a gentle wind down for me, as an Australian blogger with one of the last blog link ups to her name, to ease my way out of so-called routine that was no longer working for me, and into a freer way to blog.

Of course, I am not going to sugar coat it, the lower numbers into 2022 were at times, disheartening. Yet I knew it was fine. It is what it is! 

When I first ran the link up, and probably for the next 3 years, there were many (often numbering in the 20s) bloggers from Australia and elsewhere who not only blogged, but also appreciated the value of connecting with others via the link up.

Back then I was linking up with people who no longer blog…and with some who still keep their blogs going for occasional use.

And despite making some changes here for the Monday link up, the result of having fewer people link up made me decide that it’s time for the end (of the link up)…….and

I hope to continue the connections made as I will blog here from time to time, and link up with others for their specific link ups as they arise.

I figuratively hang up the ‘keys’ to my link up… I have cancelled my paid account (I always had one) with Fresh Inlinkz and Maria from there wished me well. I always paid for the link up as I disliked the ads.

Thank YOU… 

bloggers who read & comment

AND have linked up for your support & care, always!

About the Beginning. 

Making the Decisions To Have a Link Up.

I am so glad I started the link up when Kirsty had stopped hers on a Monday in early September 2016.

The choice was helped by Kirsty’s encouragement and with so many of you, the blogging community. following me here it was very exciting.

My memory would possibly fail me if I attempted to show appreciation individually so I will not, because I would hate to miss a name!

This blog, and its Monday visitors since September 2016 have sustained me through:

  • being emotionally anxious for some time due to life’s transitions
  • having some personal/family  issues I could hint at but not specify
  • learning that others shared some challenges in family and other relationships
  • being unwell…in my gums….and gut (I.B.S.)
  • finally finding courage to have my top teeth extracted in April 2017 and then of course…
  • cancer diagnosis and all that has entailed, particularly in 2017 and 2017 with surgeries and more

And you, dear readers and commenters, have been exceedingly kind in your words about:

  • my photography
  • art and more as I played with mandalas and designs
  • eating and weight matters over the years
  • my education life
  • my memoir called Telling My Story
  • my oral cancer announcement and then updates which remain as a special page for future reference
  • and many of you became Women of Courage on the blog in the series after receiving an invitation from me in 2019-2021
  • and I just saw that I provided prompts: optional for anyone who wanted to use them. I know I did at times.
  • I also made new categories to help me share more of my story and encourage others and these included:

Share Your Snaps

Taking Stock

Self Care

A list of some prompts from 2020

11/51 My Neighbourhood 16.3.2020

12/51 Out & About 23.3.2020

13/51 Chocolate 30.3.2020

14/51 Self-Care Stories #2. 6.4.2020

15/51 Share Your Snaps #3 13.4.2020

16/51 I Heard 20.4.2020

17/51 Life 27.4.2020

18/51 Taking Stock #2 4.5.2020

19/51 Special Anniversaries 11.5.2020

20/51 Share Your Snaps #4. 18.5.2020

And I have recently done the clean up and clear out of my blog planning..old school style! This was done like this because of my old school organisational history! Love me a diary, a coloured grid and good old handwriting…messy though.

The First Link Up Post. September 2016.

Beginnings. Life This Week 1. 366/256.

This was when I was doing a POST a day…in 2015, 365 posts & this one, the 256th of 2016. I found recently that I stopped doing a daily post in November 2016.

Welcome to the first week of the new Link-Up called “Life This Week.” I’ve been writing about the  topic I named “life this week” all year each Monday.

Today’s prompt,  which I am following is:-

Beginnings. “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” sang Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. I began my life in Wollongong NSW as the first born to my parents.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

At The Dapto Show age around 4.

Life was pretty ordinary in a good way from 1949 until 1959 when we made another beginning…. I began living on Sydney’s northern beaches and went to primary school in Year 5 & 6 there, and onto Manly Girls High School until 1967 where I was in the beginning… of the Higher School Certificate cohort. Yep, the first ones to do 6 years at high school instead of 5.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

2nd Year of our 6 Years at High School.

And for the rest of this  post...here is the link….

 

denyse whelan facebook profile picture

The first LOGO!

Mrs Whelan & Mrs Woog

Appreciation for those from the blogging world for their friendships…from 2011 on…this is me with Kayte Murphy who ‘was/is Mrs Woog from Woogsworld’ in 2012.

Many thanks to those I have been fortunate to meet with over the years from ‘the internet’…and even without meeting have extended the warmth of friendship and care across the virtual connections. A few memories from being a blogger. I wish I had more to share!

But wait, there is one more paragraph to add…based on my previous post, here. 

We plan to return to an area of Sydney where we used to live, and to rent. It’s likely to be done once our lease is up here in the first third of 2023. But no plans are concrete….leaving now to add more to a future post about ‘what, why. how’ and the like ready, as I can be, for Friday’s link up for Word of The Year Month Checkup.

This is the final link up here and my heart is grateful to you all for being here, adding a post of yours and connecting.

Thank you.

Take care, I am….

Denyse.

P.S. And, it’s another Monday where I am off to visit Dad in Sydney’s Dee Why with my usual package of treats, meals and conversations…so bear with me if I am not around till later today!

 

The number of weeks: 288 including today, I have hosted a link up here!

 

Denyse Whelan Blogs Is a Community…

Thank you for linking up in the past and today. 

I commit to visiting your blog and to  comment on your post.

Denyse Whelan.

 

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Grateful Is The Word For Me For Many Reasons. 38/2022.

Grateful Is The Word For Me For Many Reasons. 38/2022.

I chose ‘gratitude’ as my word/intention of the year in 2020 and actually posted a photo about gratitude for 365 days that year. I am not someone who does not follow through. Mostly. I also had the word engraved on a bracelet and I wear it still…and on the back of it is “for life”.

So I am grateful FOR life...and for the remainder of my life.

 

What Is Gratitude to Me Now?

Even more important!

It’s easy to think of something to be grateful for when things are going well.

It IS more of a challenge to find gratitude/appreciation/thanks on days when life is…rubbish and we cannot see anything to BE grateful for…and here’s where I now know to:

S T O P

and consider…..that I can change my attitude somewhat even in the darkest of time to find gratitude…yes, it’s a dig deep expedition sometimes but it helps shift my inner feelings.

YES it DOES.

Just a few photos here where I can share gratitude for the content and life experience!

Daily Practice and Routine.

Since my cancer diagnosis, and recovery, I have reaped the rewards of making a daily routine to help me manage my emotional health, recovery and relationships.

So, since late 2018….this has been aided by:

My morning routine, before I get out of bed, is to do my Calm meditation, reflect on the messages for that day by writing a response to the question, then completing a ‘sleep’ routine check, and finally (but never least) this:

What Am I Grateful For Today?

Calm also adds some other prompts too, in case they ‘feel more appropriate’… a few examples here:

  1. What made you laugh or smile today?
  2. Who made a positive impact in your life recently?
  3. What are some favourite moments from today…

Now of course, not all of these are morning-applicable so I also have the Self Compassion App which I use each evening.

Why This Works for Me….

I am someone who can pretty easily fall off the wagon of being grateful…. I am by nature a glass half empty person…So, I know I can, via the two apps, remind myself of how I was grateful on a particular day or how I found gratitude. Here are 3 examples from my record of gratitude in the Calm app.

I am incredibly grateful for blogging!

Blogging helped me find many more people to connect with than I may have ever in real life.

I began blogging in late 2010 to held me navigate (then) retirement and help me find new people to connect with. I did, over time, from the Australian Blogging Community back in March 2011 when the first ever weekend conference was held. I also got to attend a few more conferences for bloggers in 2012 and 2013 and then, as my emotional health changed and I needed to step back from education roles and my blogging almost stopped…until 2015.

In moving from Sydney to a new place further north in 2015 I was very determined to ‘do something every day on the blog’ and I posted every day. Gradually I reconnected with blogs and link ups. There was a link up almost every day of the week, and then in 2016, when Kirsty stopped her Monday link up, I put my hand up and made this happen!

And, now, for me blogging is continuing but I am winding up the link up which has had a couple of name changes this year but is known affectionately as Life This Week for just under 6 years.

A long time. And as happens, fewer bloggers are linking up these days as I chose to go monthly, then fortnightly, so in the interests of self care I made the choice to stop after 20 June 2022.

I wrote here about it and there will be a finale post about it on 20 June 2022. This will be the final link up from Denyse Whelan Blogs. Do pop in and link up a post if you can!

But wait...there is one more thing I am grateful for!

That there is a link up called Weekend Coffee Share in a country far from Australia but also part of the same Commonwealth of Nations that I belong to, in Canada. And it’s run by the very efficient, kind and helpful blogger called Natalie. Natalie’s link up invites people from around the world to share their posts, visit others’ and make comments. I am very grateful for her support over the years, and for the story she shared as a Woman of Courage in my blog series.

 

I am not stopping blogging going forward!

Not at all. However there may be different days of the week on which I publish. I have a blog lovin’ button on the top right hand corner of the home page if you would like to subscribe to my updates.

I am grateful to this person who gets me…in fact we laugh every.single.day. And he is kind enough to put up with my requests (at very short notice!) for a photo for #dresswithpurpose. B is my husband of over 51 years, and best friend through thick and thin since October 1970.

I am indeed grateful to be well, after my oral cancer diagnosis 5 years ago. This photo is from Friday 10 June as I was getting ready to go to do some shopping and have a cup of coffee. So grateful I can do this!

Do you practise gratitude?

Oh…in our version of English spelling, we have practise for the verb and practice for the noun.

Take care,

Denyse.

 

Joining in with Natalie for Weekend Coffee Share over the weekend. And grateful to be doing so!

Thank you Natalie.

https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

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Scenes From Where We Live (For Now). #LifesStories. 37/2022.

Scenes From Where We Live (For Now). #LifesStories. 37/2022.

I do enjoy sharing stories with images, and this post for the second last #lifesstories link up is just that!

Those who have read the blog for some years will know that we both decided, after selling our Sydney house, and having SOME money left, to buy new cars, and rent a place on New South Wales Central Coast while we consider life ahead and where we might live….

Oh how we think we are in charge of our lives but there are many forces at play aren’t there?

As it turned out, not quite the end game we imagined.

Not in our wildest dreams…OK, maybe an exaggeration but let’s say if we had “expected the unexpected” then maybe there would have been some more to consider. But nope, here’s a bit about where we live now…and some of the story. In photos. Mostly.

BUT before I start, this IS the second last link up here on a Monday. More info here, and for Monday 20 June, the last of the #LifesStories I hope you will join me in a bit of a sentimental journey that I have called Endings and Beginnings.

What we left and where we moved to settle (we thought) 

The reasons for moving house included:

  • I could no longer work. I was 65 and again, heading towards an emotional overload if I did not stop work. That was a big reason.
  • My husband had decided that Sydney was too busy with traffic and that it was time to live in quieter areas, which we then thought would be the southern end of Central Coast of NSW.
  • We needed to use the money from the sale, to pay off the mortgage, and have enough left for us to get two new vehicles (very important for the driving up and down the M1 as it would turn out in 2017…) and have a solid amount behind us to supplement our now part aged pensions and my husband’s super.
  • The extended family dynamics were changing and we had been told there was no need for “grandchild care” in 2015…and to be honest, it was somewhat of a relief, even though we knew a new (8th) grandchild was coming….

And we moved here: a decision made quickly, and with hindsight far toooo quickly. But I will say, it was also because we had a certain time to be out of our house and “I” needed to know where we were living next.

The House That Was a Mistake…And Expensive to Rent (even then).

What We Did Next. Sigh! 

My health suffered as I did what I could to try to transition to my ‘new life’.

My husband was actually very busy and loving what he was doing. Studying for his counselling degree, volunteering at lifeline and doing renovations at his brother’s house.

I did go back to Sydney quite a bit initially but no longer living there proved both sad and strange but we had made this choice, so “on with it’.

Except it was no easy with me getting more IBS, and the house being very uncomfortable so, a decision was made once we saw a single level house at the northern end of the coast for about $200 LESS per week, and we moved. Still had to keep paying rent on the old place as well until lease ran out.

Happ(ier) Life, Happ(ier) Wife?

We were both pleased with the new-to-us place, which was a similar vintage to one we had sold in Sydney. It was in Gorokan. And I admit there were a lot more places to explore for some time in late 2015 and into 2016.

We even celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary with our kids and their kids not knowing that life, as an extended  family, was going to change for some of the members and that it would not be great. It’s all settled to a certain degree but massive changes are hard on all.

In fact, 2016 into 2017 was a time of distress for me. B was still doing some of his study and had a counselling role with Lifeline, and did occasional work at his brother’s down south.

Unfortunately my health changed for the worst and cancer was diagnosed. There is all about that here.

The Central Coast And Scenes of Beauty Which Abound. 

I’ve been so fortunate in the past 7+ years to have places of natural beauty to visit, become part of, and enjoy in all the various weather conditions.

Nature is indeed healing and for me emotionally and physically it’s played a big role in distracting me from what my current health status was, and in healing.

I now seek refuge in nature to explore feelings which include appreciation for all that is good too.

So, a range of images from both the south and northern ends of the N.S.W. Central Coast and beyond. In all seasons!

So much has changed in the recent years for so many of us.

The escalating house prices meant that even ‘future us’ could no longer afford to even consider buying. What changes there have been in real estate. This year, our rent for this modern 4 bedroom home has risen $90 a week. And whilst we accept we are fortunate to be living in a comfortable house, other matters have made us consider:

  • Is this where we want to live our ‘older years’ lives? Not sure, specifically, but it is highly unlikely it will be continuing here.

 

  • Has our time here on the Central Coast been valuable to us both of the years? Yes. In some ways.

 

  • In our future years, will we be better moving closer to our extended family for some support. From us and for us, maybe?

 

  • The isolation of us from those we love most has been exaggerated by the two+ years of Covid and the resultant lockdowns and lack of ability to travel to and from family in Sydney. For example, my elderly Dad is on the Northern Beaches, and our adult kids are in places spread far apart but in a general area called ‘nor west Sydney’ and ‘the hills’.

 

  • As grandkids grew and their weekends became filled with sport and parental visits and more it was clear we would not be seeing them drive the almost 2 hours to and from our place to visit . We had hopes for most school holidays to have one visit but it was not always possible.

 

  • Seeing my elderly father in his independent unit and calling on his family only as needed made me think about our needs. This may not be a need for us for some time but up where we live, we have each other and that is it.

 

  • One catalyst for change and thinking our future health needs though was when our GP of over 5 years announced he was moving away and to an area at least 30 minutes drive away. This made us think carefully about our current health needs being met with a new group of G.P.s or what did we need to do?

 

So, how about popping back in two weeks to find out what we are now planning to do!!

Thank you for joining in this second last of the LifesStories link up too.

See you on 20 June.

Maybe add an old post if you choose, it’s going to be fun send off…except I cannot promise anything other than virtual fireworks…etc!!

Denyse.

Denyse Whelan Blogs Is a Community

You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post… NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a kind thing to do!

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*This link up opens at 5.00 a.m Australian eastern time on the Mondays of dates on Home Page, and closes at 5.00 p.m. on the Wednesday of that week.

*I commit to visiting your blog and to  comment on your post.

Denyse Whelan.

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