Thursday 20th January 2022

Share Your Snaps #1. 5/51. #LifeThisWeek. 9/2020.

Share Your Snaps #1. 5/51. #LifeThisWeek. 9/2020.

Here we are, fifth week of the link-up already, and it’s time to Share Your Snaps. This optional prompt occurs every 5th week here for Life This Week.

January 2020 has not, in the overall scheme of things, been wonderful for so many people and places. As I prepare this post, it’s late Saturday in NSW on the Central Coast and (fingers crossed) the air-con is working because it’s high 30s outside. Many are doing it much worse than we are, including family who lived back where we used to – it’s around 45deg C there now. I am getting RFS fire updates for NSW on my phone and “know” it is still very nasty out there.

Here’s my January: each has a short story! Of course it does.

A flashback to the end of November when I received the delightful photo book with these lovely grandchildren. Love this so much.

After the success for me of finding something/someone/reason to be grateful for my birthday month of November, I went full-on into gratitude. I wrote about the why here. However, January has really made me work at finding gratitude. I guess, that IS the point. Nothing comes easy. I admit I faltered a bit wondering whether to continue to post a photo each day for 366 days but I am continuing. I also complete a journal entry each evening.


What helps keep me focussed….

Back in January 2018, as I faced more challenges (despite the fact I had already overcome many in 2017 relating to head and neck cancer) I made my word that year: B.O.L.D. I explained its purpose here. I know I glanced at and reminded myself of my goals a LOT in 2018.

In 2019 my husband suggested that whilst I may have had head and neck cancer, it was not the sum total of Denyse. Yes, he is/was right but I also saw that this takes time to integrate into one’s life. I used integrate as my word….and tripped, fell, got up again…a few times as I did this over and over. But, it, like the year before’s B.O.L.D. worked.

It comes as no surprise for regular readers and followers  then that I chose gratitude for 2020. I saw how helpful having the words engraved on little bracelets was for 2018 and 2019 so 2020 got a third one. I admit they are not heavy at all, and I do look and them more than I realise and am buoyed and supported by my memories of how I far I have come and how I can keep on going. Even on tough days. I am actually having some right now. Sigh.

Thank you NOT Instagram.

I have been unable to be part of Instagram on my new Iphone since 7 January. I have tried un-installing, re-installing, making a new account, sending messages to both Instagram and Facebook and seeking help at the Apple store. I have the app on the Ipad and can use instagram there but for this Iphone lover, it is not fun. Nevertheless, I am still seeking help and have some plans to see other people who may help. I do believe, the whole thing is about something being ‘stuck’ in their system. I am OK about it for now but it is frustrating.

In the meantime I opened a second Instagram account: @denysewhelan_blogs for my gratitude photos and @denysewhelan continues for day-to-day pics. I have made them both public and deleted many of my photos so if one or the other gets ‘hacked’ I have photos already in the cloud etc.

We celebrated 49 years of marriage on 23 January and this photo was unearthed when I last visited Dad. Mum had a ‘brag book’ with our wedding pictures in it. I look at this photo and of course love it but think “why didn’t I wear something around my neck?” Seriously I was very much a minimalist in terms of the dress. This was from Bridesmaids’ stock at the wedding shop we went to in Sydney. Still have the dress. No, still can’t fit into it but a couple of granddaughters have tried it on as little girls.

One year before marriage, I was appointed to my first school. Barraba Central. I got this copy of my service record when I had my “proper” retirement from N.S.W. Department of Education in 2018 and I just LOVE how my record was hand-written. Sigh. This is from the NSW State Archives in Kingswood.

A simple lunch, right? Well, for me it was another occasion to give this food of regular eating a go. Even though I have a set of teeth up top, my mouth does not easily eat foods unless they are cake-like, cereal with milk, soft and creamy and so on. But I really miss regular food so gave this another try. Instead of joining the bread roll, I made it the 2 halves and with some small bites, and chewing very well, I enjoyed the simple lunch as shown. Lettuce is tricky for head and neck cancer patients which is why I chose a curly textured one not a slippery smooth one.

Back to the beach. 

Inspired by a friend in New Zealand who posted a photo of herself off for a beach swim, I made a promise to myself to get back to the beach. Well, in a way. I chose not to go into the water: rough and some blue bottles and seaweed, but I did walk in the water and enjoy the ambience and views. What I did not factor in is that mornings are my “going to coffee at the shops” time and so will keep beach visits to afternoons and when cooler day occur!

Thank you grandchildren…and my children who made this photo shoot happen. Bye to January 2020.

Having said goodbye to January, I am turning my mind towards February and taking part in Fat Mum Slim’s Photo-A-Day. I am not regularly part of this but figured for 29 days I will give it my best. Do you follow @fatmumslim and #fmspad?

Thanks for reading and I hope linking up a post too.


Link Up #174


Link Up #174. Life This Week.

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  1. There’s a lot there. There’s a 3 things gratitude app. I’ve not checked it out but it does (statsitically) increase your mood and resilliance. So worth doing, whether you write it or app it or just think it.
    Love the bracelets. You’ll have an armful soon enough!
    I went to a talk themed being alive and all the speakers chose to focus on the fires and the environmental damage being/been done and it was very depressing. One speaker even broke down in tears. So I think a lot of the country is carring a low grade depression from the physical factors around us. And possibly the helplessness to fix it (as the govt isn’t). So take care. Let’s make Feb fabulous!!!

    • Thanks Lydia and welcome home..and back and all that.

      I hear you on the low grade of mood…it’s been so zapping with the fires, the non-leadership and all. I literally had to take myself off some social media in the worst of the times and I was being so affected.

      About the gratitude thing. The more I learn about it – research, anecdotally and personally, the more I realise its purpose. I do not HAVE to write about it and I do this in a few ways now rather than ahering to the app and its list. But it’s having the feeling and stopping to notice the difference in me that is key to it for me.

      Thanks for your kind words about the bracelets. Not sure I “will” do a 4th one in 2021!


  2. Lots to smile about in this post apart from the Instagram and bushfires of course. Hoping we get a cool change here because I feel like I am slow roasting alive. Loved looking through your pics especially the wedding photo, what a treasure! It’s such a good idea to have your word of the year on a bracelet, that way you really can “carry” it with you all year long! Hope your February is fantastic!

    • Ah yes, it is somewhat cooler than it was on Saturday when I wrote but of course humidity is at high levels. We really “can’t” complain about it though as how else would the rain come.

      I used to think February was the ‘worst weather’ month but January gave it a run for its money this year.

      Right now, the weather is reminding me of school holidays in Northern NSW. Warm humid with the threat of rain.

      I am glad you too like my little bracelets. I admit to glancing down at them far more than I ever may have considered. It really IS good to have a visual reminder for me.


  3. I am definitely doing that February photo thing. Something to make me feel creative for a while. xo

    • I am pleased about the #fmspad challenge because it’s a welcome distraction from all you have going on around you.


  4. I love your gratitude bracelets. Instagram is so annoying isn’t it? I’ve heard their support is minimal to non-existent, I hope you can get the issue sorted.

    • Thanks Di.

      I have one idea of where I might get help but after that, I “will suck it up” as they say.

      My bracelets are lightweight and are a good reminder for me of how I have overcome challenges…when I am faced with more.


  5. Happy 49th anniversary, Denyse! I enjoyed looking through your photos. It’s a good idea to keep your intentions visible as in your bracelets. Have a fantatsic February! #lifethisweek

    • Thank you so much Natalie.

      50 years of marriage next year! I remember my parents’ celebration well and soon it will be us!

      My lightweight bracelets are a constant companion and a glance down reminds me of how I have faced and met challenges before.


  6. Happy Anniversary, Denyse!

    I am also so delighted to see your meal photo. You have overcome so much to be able to enjoy the textures of those foods.

    I will join you on your Gratitude Journey this year. I don’t have a word for this year yet but gratitude is definitely something I can only find more of this year and the years thereafter.

    SSG xxx

    • Thank you for your kind words. I can scarcely believe it will be our “Golden” Wedding Anniversary in 2021 as it seems a year since we celebrated my parents’…1996!

      Yes, food. It really is a challenge even though I look like I should be fine. What actually goes on in my mouth is something I have to be aware of and take care. I was pleased for something “simple and normal” to go down well and gives me a new option if I am out somewhere for lunch.

      Glad gratitude resonates. Just noticing a feeling of gratitude is uplifting and changes me inside too.


  7. So good to read your honest update Denyse, complete with sighs! along the way 🙂 The photos of your grandchildren are priceless. As you know we teachers stick together and our wedding anniversary was just a few weeks before yours and we have managed a pretty good 40 years this year! Congrats on 49, that’s a massive milestone. I did chuckle at your comment about wearing something around your neck – isn’t it weird what we see when we look back??

    I feel your pain about the heat, it’s been almost unbearable for us having been in at least 4 layers just a few weeks ago in England!!

    Enjoy your February and I like the look of that photo challenge but think I’m over committed at the moment. Take care and stay cool xx

    • Thanks Deb. Have to tell “it” as it is for sure.

      The grandkids’ photo shoot continues to blow me away. I miss these kids but having had so much to do with them in their younger years (except Miss almost 5) makes me feel incredibly grateful and proud of them. It was the fact that our two kids got together for this to happen that made it extra special too. My daughter took the pics, and I have the feeling, GD #1 who is a screen & film grad ‘trained Mum up’ and may have added some effects. Whatever way, so lovely. I have them on my ipad too and get to check them out there as well.

      The humidity has hit here and some rain last night. From what I see on Higgins Storm forecasters we are in for quite a bit of wet weather. Soon we will be flooding.. not us, but you know what I mean.

      In 1976 we were ‘flooded’ in for 10 weeks after Queensland had massive rain and the water came down the Culgoa R where our school was. Fun times…not so much but good stories to share.


  8. Denyse this is a lovely positive post. Your photos are beautiful and I love your bracelets. I can imagine the affect they would have each time you look at them

    • Thanks kindly Jennifer.

      Yes the bracelets are a great motivator and reminder of what I can do and have done already.


  9. I always love your share my snaps weeks. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. It’s been so much hotter for you guys down south than it has been up here. I need to come to Sydney for work but am delaying until after February if possible.

    • Thank you Jo. I am glad you enjoy these posts.

      I think the more you can delay coming to Sydney the better.

      I am seeing and hearing continuation of humidity mixed with rain.

      Sigh! February may be the birth month of my husband but it is so not my fave!


  10. I think I congratulated you on your anniversary last week, but if I didn’t – congrats! You’ve had a nice January and I’ve loved your positivity – particularly when I’ve been wallowing a little. xx

    • You did Deb, and thanks again.

      I work hard (not as much as I did because “gratitude”) to try to find the better part of the month.

      I admit there have been some days that putting one foot in front of the other was the limit of my efforts. I was not a happy camper to find that I need cataract surgeries x 2. Happening in mid March. Will post about it another time. Sigh. Getting “old” is not for the frail LOL.


  11. I often look at Fatmumslim photo a day challenge and think I will do that this month but never do!!! I have done it in the past and it is great fun.

    • It has a huge following and I found my post in the past sure got lost.

      However, I will do it in February as a changing things for me and see how I go for next month too.

      Hope the weather is OK in WA!


  12. Congratulations Denyse on a lovely partnership of 49 years – what an inspiration. I’m doing a fitness challenge for Feb #FitFabFeb2020 so that is my commitment to a challenge this month. Love your bracelets and your daily reminders of gratitude. Thanks for the link up and hope to see you on Wednesday at #MLSTL. Have a great week. xx

    • Thank you Sue. Most kind.

      I too believe one challenge is plenty and there are days I get discouraged about my gratitude goal of 366 posts. However, learning as I have over these past few years from cancer and more, I dig a bit deeper and then I see the purpose more clearly.

      I am enjoying seeing you continue to inspire others to be the fit and healthy versions of themselves as ageing occurs. You provide a fine example.

      I am glad you like my little bracelets. I love having the regular reminders of how well I have gone and will continue with a good mindset.

      Yes, I will be there for #MLSTL on Wednesday as the Women of Courage series continues in 2020.


  13. Congratulations on your 49th wedding anniversary!

  14. I really enjoyed all your photos Denyse – especially the wedding one. I had a very simple dress too and a pared down wedding because I was never into all the fuss and bother and grandstanding that goes with elaborate weddings. My dress isn’t what I’d choose now, but it has stood the test of time (unlike som 1980’s brides!)

    • Ours was in its way a simple wedding but it was complicated by me, nominally Presbyterian, marrying one of “13 kids in a Catholic family” .

      It was overcome in some ways by the kindness of the parish priest who we saw for pre-marriage counselling who told us to have the ‘wedding we wanted,’
      It meant a simpler ceremony based on us and our backgrounds. It did not please everyone but the marriage has stood the test of time!

      Thank you for your kind words.


  15. I can’t wait until the humidity has passed so I can enjoy the beach a bit more. It has been too hot to really try it recently.

    • That’s the same here. Far too hot and smoky for weeks as well, so last week was less heatwave like. However with stairs to climb up and down to this beach I will give it a miss till Winter.

      Like being near the water so it’s been hard.


  16. Thanks so much for hosting! I’m linking up with WOULD YOU? 7 – RUN OR FLY.

  17. It looks like a wonderful January, especially with the family. Love the reminder bracelets and how you’re embracing gratitude. Love the photos! Hope you have a fab Feb!

    • Thanks Sanch…and phew with the change of weather even my disliked February is improving. My bracelets are my version of ‘tatts’ I guess.

      Happy Feb to you too!


  18. What a sweet photo of the grandchildren! All of mine are scattered about the country, so they are all in one place so infrequently we would have trouble getting a photo like this.

    I love the idea of the bracelets. So many people choose a word for the year and forget it by March (me included, sometimes). This is a solid and beautiful reminder to keep focused on your word.

    • Thank you Laurie I am immensely grateful that my daughter and her bro got the kids together for this. When 3 are adults and have jobs that too can be a challenge. The book is a treasure!

      The bracelets mean a great deal to me and have helped me see where my inner strength can be sourced as needed.


  19. Aw, Happy Anniversary! 49 years is a great accomplishment. I love the wedding photo. Beautiful!

  20. Always such a pleasure to see your photos and get an update on what is happening. Thanks for sharing! And for hosting, as always. 🙂