Thursday 26th May 2022

Taking Stock.#5. 48/51. #LifeThisWeek. 128/2021.

Taking Stock.#5. 48/51. #LifeThisWeek. 128/2021.

This is the last taking stock  in 2021 and may not be another when in 2022.

So, as this could be the “last one” I am going to share here about my life as it is on the eve of my 72nd birthday.

And as Pema Chodron says here…..

I am grateful for all who have made a difference in my life. Not all people are represented here because I may not have had an image. So, here goes, using images to ‘match’ a word. And using my alphabetical list.


Admiring: those people who are the trained professionals in all allied health, surgery and more, and have cared for my health.

Becoming: a part of a family, grateful for the love, care and kindness of parents and grandparents since 1949!

Curious: about life and learning….always! 

Delighted: to meet up with on-line friends when I can.

Excited: that we will get to celebrate my birthday…..out for morning tea! It suits us both to do this…here’s a memory from 2018. If the rain stays away we will be going here again: a local nursery.


Feeling: that time is moving way too fast….that seems to happen after 70!

Goingto my Dad’s sometime in December to share some meals and treats. He’s certainly been the constant in my life…known me for more than 72 years!! This from my 71st birthday when I am not sure who was helping who stay on their feet. 

Helping: Head and Neck Cancer Australia as an Ambassador. I have held this volunteer role for 3 years and as I said to the CEO recently, “you got me for life“.

Imploring: people to keep an eye on anything (related to Head and Neck cancer* symptoms)  that might be not healing or increasing in pain. size and so on…and ensuring if a GP or dentist, doesn’t take it seriously, to seek out another option. *all cancers of course,  but these ones have no diagnostic tools.

Joking: No idea what was funny at Oxley lookout last year but this bloke is quite the joker….and this wife, is not always ready for his sense of humour! 

Keeping: this blog going into its 12th year is testament to my commitment but to the engagement of this blogging community even more! 

Loving: the freedom of days’ activities choice when retired. Sure, there is a routine of sorts, and yes, we get up by a certain time (not tellin’) …but no bosses!

Making: memories for me and others! By cards, photos and little albums. I love doing it too.

Next: I am too easily wanting to plan what is next yet, at the same time trying to stay in the present. The one thing for me is knowing where we will be living next year, and so far, the owners have agreed to us staying on. HOWEVER, the way real estate prices have risen here, houses in our street up by $200-300K in less than 4 years, we suspect we will get a rent rise. Sigh.

Observing: the places where I lived as a teen and older and having a deep appreciation for that time. 


Pleasing: to notice that I can continue to change some health habits slightly to be more health-aware in my ageing years.

Reading: the many and varied posts that YOU, my blogging friends, share here for Life This Week. We are, today, at #268 of the link up. And how I met some of my blogging friends two years ago.

Staying: on track with meditation. It will be 2 years without missing a session by end of 2021. I now do Daily Calm in the morning and another track in the evening. It still counts as one day! 

Trying: to remember all I am grateful for more than ever…not everyone gets the chance to continue living as I have post-cancer.


Understanding: that life is not static. Der. But sometimes when I don’t want things to change, I then remember that they change anyway so grasping to keep things are they are is not on. I have learned much about this thanks to meditation, and listening to a range of CDs from teachers of Buddhism and more. Very wise people..and we are all human. 

Viewing: old photos for this post and feeling the warmth of nostalgia but also heeding the point above! 

Welcoming: changes to Covid restrictions here in N.S.W. soon, with reduction of places where you need to sign in with QR code, and having the choice to wear a mask. We think, for now, we will continue to mask up if in a crowded shop or doctors’ surgery. Definitely needed recently at a Big Hug Box packing day. NB: hope with new strain variant, we will remain vigilent.

X- “X-tra grateful” to all of the women who shared their stories of courage. In the 3 years, more than 72 women shared their stories. Wow. I have included images of all who continue to blog and link up here fairly regularly. I “hope” I have you all in this group. Let me know, if I have missed you. 

Yes: to more plans to do ‘less’….and that sounds like a contradiction. In the meantime, here I am over decades of my life ‘doing’ what I most enjoy: connecting with those I care for and who love me. Perhaps a bit of a stretch re Former PM Julia Gillard, but she did thank me for my education roles. 

Z – Is there anyone else I need to show my gratitude and admiration for their part of my life? Yes, it’s an old image but the LOVE from this Papa to his only grandchildren cannot be surpassed. And the love we had for him is exemplified in my brother now being Papa to his 2 grandkids and that B became Papa when his eldest granddaughter couldn’t get her mouth around Grandpa, and out came “Pa-Pa” and it sure stuck.

Thank you all for reading, commenting and sharing your blog post today.

Take care,



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Life This Week. #268

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  1. What a lovely post, full of gratitude. It’s a really lovely photo of you at Oxley Lookout. The rent may not go up as interest rates have gone down so the rent you pay is paying off more of the loan than it was before. If they want to keep a good tenent happy, then they’d leave it be (that’s what we’d do, anyway).
    Lovely last of the Taking Stocks for the year!

    • Thank you so much Lydia.

      The rent thing is my guess by comparison to what houses like ours are asking as rent here. It is literally through the roof….but, I am trying not to be negative because it suits us to stay here….Your comments are comforting!

      It was a fun way to round up the last little while.

      I can see that I will likely use Taking Stock again in 2022.

      Take care,

  2. Such a lovely post Denyse and a perfect way of Taking Stock as you get set to celebrate your birthday. Happy Birthday to you and thanks for the A-Z prompts for Taking Stock. They are one of my favourite posts to do so I may continue with them next year in some form or other.
    Fabulous photos and stories to go with your prompts, just love it!!

    • Thanks so much Debbie for your good wishes.

      I most likely will do Taking Stock for myself next year too, and am glad to have found the alphabetical one is helpful for me and you too!

      Take care,


  3. Love love love love this (well, except the potential rent increase bit)…Happiest of birthdays to you.

    • You are a sweetie, I know you enjoy my Taking Stocks Jo!

      Thanks for the good wishes. And as far as the rent increase goes…well we can handle it (fingers crossed) because we really enjoy living here.

      Take care,


  4. Happy birthday to you, Denyse! I enjoyed reading your Taking Stock post. I hope you get good news from your landlord (e.g. no or minimal rent increase). Have a wonderful week!

  5. Happy Birthday Eve! Lots to celebrate here and I admire your alphabet mastery! I can’t believe that morning tea was 2 years ago – time sure flies by (and not just when you’re over 70!) Hope to see you soon for some belated birthday bonhomie!

    • Aww, I love that, Birthday Eve…lol.

      Thank you so much Sammie for your words of kindness and friendship.

      Yes to a catch up when conditions are better…and sadly that may include changes thanks to the ‘new’ variant of Covid19.

      Take care,


  6. Lovely photos as always, Denyse! Your statement about “plan more to do less” is totally my cup of tea. Wishing you a good week!

    • Thanks so much Susanne, and I am grateful to look and feel well post-cancer.

      I will be better at putting that plan into action over time. I have always tended to the ‘overly’ busy end of the spectrum.

      Take care,


  7. Hi Denyse, I really enjoyed reading your post today, and now consider you a friend since we shared posts via Sunday Stills over 2021. Happy birthday to you and I KNOW you will enjoy it and all the fun that will ensue! I’m thrilled you get to spend time with your Papa, a gift indeed! I get planning to do less…us busy folks have to look ourselves in the eyes and tell ourselves to slow down! I’m a fine one to talk as I am on the substitute teacher list for our small school district close to home. I know you appreciate this as a former educator! Enjoy your upcoming holidays and summer weather!

    • Oh how lovely and kind you are Terri. Definitely agree with the friendships made via blogging and our common career shared as educators (and yes, there have been times I have been tempted to return as a casual teacher but…anyway I wish you well!)

      My dear husband is the “Papa” I will spend the morning with of my birthday where we will visit a local cafe for coffee and shared cake. That’s our version of celebrating and it works for us…My dear long-departed Papa, taught me about unconditional love and being a generous spirit even though he was relatively poor.

      I hope the weather is not too taxing and that you get to spend time behind the viewfinder too.

      Take care,

  8. Happy birthday Denyse! A lovely post looking back at all the people whose lives you’ve impacted. I think all those photos are a testament to how much you engage with life and with family, friends, and colleagues – such a great legacy that you’ve created. Enjoy your birthday morning tea and the new year that lies ahead – it’s going to be a good one I’m sure xx

    • Thanks so much Leanne for your generous comment and good wishes.

      When I look back and think of almost 40 years as an educator, then I have had the privilege to impact the lives of some thousands of students and staff…and mostly (hopefully) in a positive way. Some are now in their mid 50s…and older.

      We will enjoy our little morning tea out! We stopped doing that when lockdown commenced so my birthday is a good way to return to the simple pleasure of this.

      Take care

  9. I love the pictorial check-in Denyse. So many happy memories!!!

    • Thanks Deb, it was a fun way to remember all I wanted to as well.

      Yes, to the memories and why this blog will always hold these for me into the future.

      Definitely not closing it down even if I blog less frequently. There are a lot of people’s stories here, including yours!

      Take care,


  10. Denyse, I will have to do one of these posts next year. I have joined in, though not in the format; hopefully, that’s okay. You have certainly given me an insight into your incredible teaching career, and I am sure you made an impact on more than one person.

    All the best, and enjoy those morning teas out and about.

    • Hi Suzanne, I am so glad you have joined in. Thank you!

      The format used for many before me was fine, but this year I got a bit creative.

      It is a good way to ‘look back and reflect’.

      Your words are very kind and I will be enjoying the morning teas. And yes, when you consider the decades in schools, I do hope there are some stories from there too. My daughter, now a teacher, was also taught by us!

      Take care,


  11. Happy Birthday Denyse. This is a great Taking Stock post to end the year. I really do commend you for your commitment – to your health, your family, your blog, and to us, your blogging community. Your photos make it clear, the impact you have on your family and friends. Thank you for all you do for us.

    • Thank you so much Jen.

      I am truly grateful for so many of the connections and relationships built throughout my life, mostly in person and now, at the latterly stage, maintaining that need of mine through blogging.

      I count myself very fortunate indeed to have ‘met’ so many people here today who I name as a friend with you, of course, being in that group.

      Take care,


  12. What a fabulous A-Z Taking Stock post Denyse, and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow! I am so honoured to have been one of the women who shared her story on courage on your blog. I’ll be needing more courage now as having Mum unwell is certainly triggering my anxieties and fears. Enjoy your morning tea out for your Birthday. Thank you for all that you do for us in the blogging community. Take care, Min xo

    • Thank you so much Min. It was a lovely post to write too. I enjoyed going through the pics to find you all! And even when I am blogging less, the stories remain there for reading, and I like that.

      I am truly sorry to read about your Mum. Even though I knew from your updates she has not been doing well, it becomes a serious conversation amongst you and your siblings doesn’t it. I know your anxiety is pretty natural…take some art distractions over to Mum’s….

      Your kind wishes for my birthday and about the blog are valued and appreciated.

      Take care,


  13. Happy birthday! What a wonderful taking stock wrap- up. House prices are pretty crazy here too with huge spikes in costs. Makes me wonder how my boys will ever be able to afford a house when most start at $250,000- $300,000 (even for fixer- uppers!)

    • Thank you Joanne! I am glad you enjoyed reading it.

      House prices are…way higher than at anytime in Australia.

      In fact, it’s not only us who rent now, our adult kids do and unless things change markedly, so will our grandkids.

      Sad isn’t it?

      Take care,


  14. there is always much to be grateful for. Hope you enjoyed your birthday outing.

    • Yes, indeed, and I am very grateful to BE grateful Chris, as it changes my mood instantly.

      Had a lovely morning tea out. Suits us both at our age and stage and we never tire of each other’s company…thank goodness!!

      Take care,


  15. Denyse, A lovely taking stock post! I’ve never done an a to z one like this. It’s such a wonderful tool to use at big moments – end of year, birthdays. I appreciate your insights about nostalgia and moving forward.

    • I am so pleased you enjoyed it, Patricia.

      I think, even though I said ‘no prompts’ in 2022, it will be one to do from time to time.

      Feel free to use it!

      Take care,