Tuesday 21st September 2021

Shopping. 33/51 #LifeThisWeek. 100/2021.

Shopping. 33/51 #LifeThisWeek. 100/2021.

I hate love shopping.

It’s something I inherited. From Mum. See us in this family photo where we celebrated Mum’s 80th. With my brother and father. That’s nearly 17 years ago.

I like the seeking out, the browsing and the finding of whatever it is I am looking for. Dad tells me he has spent many a time (back in the days when he & Mum were active retirees) sitting on a bench in a shopping centre while Mum ducked into a little….(insert name ) shop . She would often emerge with something and often at a good price.

I do not have my mother’s budget skills and can overspend. Think: reformed impulse buyer. But I do enjoy shopping…Read On.

Shopping Then.

I admit grocery shopping got awfully repetitive as a busy Mum and teacher and sometimes my husband would do it. Sometimes (and I admit I am still like this) he might not get exactly what “I” thought.

Shopping for us, in 1970s before moving to Sydney had to be done at a nearby country town on a Saturday morning (all shops closed by lunchtime, not opening till Monday) or ordered for delivery to us by the mailman from nearby very small town. Once a week.

As Time Moved On.

Shopping became something to do on a Thursday evening by the time we had moved to Sydney, and then came the big one, shops could open all day Saturday and into Sundays. It made life as a working parent much more flexible.

How Did We/I Shop?

With a list, mostly, and with a view to getting specials that we would normally eat. Menu planning helped in busier times.

Shopping Experiences.

I like to shop solo. I really dislike having another person with me, unless he/she does what I want…..mmmm.

Shopping Changes.

I had to really take note of our limited budget in past few years and be more careful of on-line and so-called indulgent or impulse buying. We have a “rule” for us now that on-line shopping is 24/7. We may look at items we like to think about buying but we don’t if it is night time or a Sunday. History has shown us both that we are more impulsive then. And here’s the good news, by the nest day or so that impulse to buy has often left or diminished.

Images from Shopping! 

And some more: These are some of the purchases for me during my life’s transitions when I was learning so much about mindfulness, mental health and more. I also had some favourite authors publish books…and I admit it, craft and art take took quite a bit of our money in the last 7 years.

Then when I had lost so much weight pre-cancer and, once recovered from the BIG surgery in July 2017, I  needed clothes. I admit I actually enjoyed this shopping..in person and trying clothes on. Then when Covid19 stopped access to shops and most went on-line I did not get to enjoy the process but still couldn’t always pass up a bargain. Very little of this happening at all now for me. I admit I overdid it (shhh, don’t tell B) and it was fun.

Now of course, we (I) can only go shopping for essentials. And that is once a day when one of us can leave the house. So it’s groceries and the chemist. We decided as our area became more impacted by the presence of Covid 19 cases (thanks, no thanks UNvaccinated people from Sydney (we heard)  leaving their trail) we would go to only stand alone supermarkets and not into any centres. So far it’s OK.

Here’s what a local street looked like recently.

Wanting to get back to whatever normal might be for our future does depend on more people being vaccinated. I actually used this image last Friday because…I was getting frustrated with progress on vaccination numbers. Update that day is that 25% of Australians are fully vaccinated  and that is about 6 million.

My last image….

Back in September 2017 I gained independence. I was able to drive following the big surgery which cut my leg to reconstruct my upper mouth using my fibula and skin/flesh from the right leg,  and to go to the local shopping centre. I remember it well. I was a little concerned someone might bump into me but all went OK. I really want to go here again and see the businesses re-open. I haven’t been for at least 5 weeks as it was a covid spot recently. I think of those who have no work. The hairdressers and beauty places, coffee shops, even JB Hi Fi et al. May we be able to get back safely soon.

 

Are you a shopper?

What’s your fave on-line trawling…?

Tell us more! Make me feel better!

Denyse.

P.S. Mr W is back next week for his post on TIME. I know very little other than he is spending a lot of TIME getting his post ready on TIME.

Link Up #253

Life This Week. Link Up #253

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

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

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

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Leaving 22/51 #LifeThisWeek. 67/2021.

Leaving 22/51 #LifeThisWeek. 67/2021.

When I saw this optional prompt, my mind went to writing more about “leaving my role as a school principal” and then I thought, I have already written about that here and here.

Sometimes we can leave without knowing it will be the last time we do that.
I find that a challenge in some ways. Sad, but true.

This is my late mother on Dad’s 83rd birthday making sure there was a cake for celebration. She could no longer make one but a store bought one sufficed and my daughter and her kids, along with my niece were there…11 January 2007.

We did not know how unwell Mum actually was until the following couple of weeks which were a quick succession of trips to ED, back home, admission to private hospital, MRIs & more and then….a diagnosis. My mother had secondary brain tumours with within 2 months of this photo she died. She, along with Dad and her family and her treating doctors agreed ‘no surgery nor treatment’. We never did know the primary source.

Whilst we, her family, did expect that her health would deteriorate rather rapidly, it was always her wish to “stay at home” but she admitted to Dad, that she knew this was all too much for him as she became bed ridden  and incontinent and she agreed with his decision, made with her long-time G.P. that some kind of palliative care at a local private hospital would be the best for her.

So, Mum left, in an ambulance that Friday morning and was admitted. Dad and I agree NOW  that the Friday was a poor choice – no proper staff who could make decisions about her room and her care until Monday – but he too was exhausted.

She left here:

Then when she died it was from a room here: I can actually guess which one, but I won’t point it out. She died in the latter hours of Monday 5th March and Dad had been told to go home. She waited till then.

 

Leaving to meet a new sibling! As grandparents, back when we lived close to our family and were caring for the grandchildren we had no more privileged role on a special day in 2013 than to collect a grandson (from school) and granddaughter (from pre-school) to take them to meet their parents…and their new sibling…

 

And preparing to leave Sydney took a lot of doing.

The house we lived in had been ours brand new from 1998 onwards. It did though date itself over time, and as we had decorated and changed room configurations. Because my husband is one very talented renovator, he began the process in 2013 even though we were yet to firm up that decision…which in its own way had to be made at the right time…and it was in 2014..more on that here.

 

I wish I had known just how much leaving our home of many years,  our family, friends, my career ….and so on, would affect me emotionally. But…I know now that leaving as we did, affected me later, as my psychologist in 2016 told me ” emotions/feelings take longer than the events and decisions” to catch up with us. More about that in this post. and here too.

Fast forward to leaving hospital after my BIG cancer removal and mouth reconstruction in July 2017. What a happy day to be leaving…surgery done, lots of recovery to come and time….but LEAVING!!

And I cannot finish a post for 31 May with leaving a small tribute of love to my Aunty as it was her birthday. She would be 98 today.

Known as Poppy. Much loved aunt and great aunt. She gave us “the world”…even though she did not have much, it was always with love.

Have you found leaving is hard or is it a pleasure?

Denyse.

Copyright © 2021 denysewhelan.com.au – All rights reserved.

Link Up #242

Life This Week. Link Up #242

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

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

* 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. It’s a kind connection I value as a blogger! 

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog & the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. These may include promotions, advertorials, sales and any that are overly religious or political or in any way offensive in nature.

* THANK you for linking up today! Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 23/51 Motivate. 7 June.

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About That Smile. Mum & Memories. 28/2021.

About That Smile. Mum & Memories. 28/2021.

Why pink?

Why not…actually because remembering Mum, who died 14 years ago this week, bright pink was one of her favourite colours. Not being too maudlin about it, this was the best photo of her in her last months, taken at my parents’ Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversary Lunch with family, and it was the outfit we chose for her final journey. The photo which sat atop her coffin, is in Dad’s place and is one I feel privileged to have taken. It was of “just” Mum edited from this photo.

Why memories?

On 5th March 2007 Mum finally died following a relatively brief illness based on a January 2007 diagnosis of secondary brain tumours. For a couple of years before that however, things began to shift and change for Mum in her body and her demeanour but none of us, including her G.P. of many years and neurologist treating her for a parkinsonian-type condition knew what was actually going on until a CT scan followed by an MRI. More details here. It was, an awful time for her, Dad and those of us who loved her as Mum, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother.

Why smile?

It’s her smile, I believe, that I have inherited from her and although we are/were totally opposite in many ways, we were both able to find something to smile about when with family, friends and especially when meeting new grandchildren!

Circa 1969.

When I Could NOT Smile.

I know I have much to smile about now and will always appreciate getting my smile back after head and neck cancer. But I know when I was anxious and sad in the years 2014-2016 I would do what I could to summon a smile…especially when I was with my grandkids, and this one in particular. Miss J. has, I say, inherited my smile and that of my mother. We say this anyway!

With Miss J late 2016. Before my cancer was found “under those fake teeth”

A visit from J always included a selfie post my cancer surgeries.

My first social outing following my 2017 cancer surgeries: to Miss J’s 21st!

And now.

SMILE is my Word of The Year. 

I wrote about why it is the word of the year for me here. I remain glad I have!

So you smile naturally or is it troublesome?

I know I was more self-conscious in earlier times when I felt my size and the way my teeth looked affected me, but I had to change that internal story somewhat or there would have been NO photos of me at all!

Thanks for the memories and the smile, Mum!

Denyse.

Joining with Leanne here for Lovin’ Life linky on Thursdays.

Joining with Natalie here for Weekend Coffee Share.

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Remembering Mum’s Smile. 22/2019.

Remembering Mum’s Smile. 22/2019.

I admit it.

I inherited my Mum’s smile.

I did not always appreciate this until too late.

That was when I lost my smile to cancer.

Today it is 12 years since Mum died.

Wow.

The ‘last’ great smile photo taken by me at Mum and Dad’s 60th Wedding Anniversary lunch. 2006.

Mum was unwell for around 2 years before it was found in early 2007 that she had multiple brain tumours with no known primary source.

That was it. Mum said “no more tests” when there could have been further explorations based on what the Neurosurgeon saw in her MRI. When Mum said that, he said “that is what I would say for my Mum too.”

Dad and our close family agreed of course because Mum was not a fan of hospitals, doctors or illness and in some respects that was why diagnosis was delayed. BUT….we knew Mum. And she most of all knew herself. So, over the next 6 or so weeks, she gradually worsened. We had our chance to say goodbyes and over the final days, Dad stayed at her side in the private hospital going home at the nurse’s insistence as Mum would succumb soon. She did, once he left (that is the way with many isn’t it?) and then we knew that the love of Dad’s life, the mother of two, grandmother of four, great-grandmother of 3, mother-in-law and friend of many had died.

But, we celebrate Mum often. In the years that I have passed, I have called on her help with recipes I have forgotten some ingredients in -she was a self-taught home cook and great! And what I noticed, in more recent times, was how much my smile was like hers. Dad has this image above in his unit where he moved to 4 years after her death. He still has the various dried floral arrangement she loved to make or buy. I think I did get some of my creative loves from Mum but took a long while to acknowledge that.

Mum and I have never been considered alike in body, temperament and education background …I am my father’s daughter. But I am short like she was and I have definitely inherited her love of colourful clothing.

So, when I got cancer in my upper gum and under my top lip, I missed smiling more than eating. I truly did. It came as a surprise to me just how much it meant for me to smile.

Getting my smile back in August 2018 I did not stop beaming for quite some time.

Today then I pay tribute to Mum and her smile….with a few of mine she would love too!

Thanks Mum. Here’s some from me. Love, Denyse xx

How do you remember someone who has been part of your life and now gone?

Have you inherited any of your family’s traits?

It really can be something to consider!

Thanks for viewing and reading about my Mum today: 5 March 2019, 12 years after her death.

Denyse.

Joining with Sue and Leanne here for Midlife Share The Love on Wednesday.

Here I am linking up with Leanne for Lovin’ Life linky on Thursday.

 

 

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Best Cake I Have Eaten. 47/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.120.

Best Cake I Have Eaten. 47/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.120.

There is no best cake I have eaten.

This is because there are M A N Y best cakes I have eaten.

Probably none more delicious than this one I ate with a teaspoon as one of my first post-surgery snacks in July 2017. I remember saying to the dietitian “I will be able to eat cake” and she confirmed that, adding that if I put custard and icecream with it would help it go down AND add nourishment.

Lemon cake with icecream & custard

Now I shall list those great cake eating experiences according to occasion and memories!

My mum made the best cakes. They were always ‘from scratch’ as they say and Mum, not a cake or sweet lover herself was always happy to oblige.

This would have been the first cake I ate. My 1st birthday cake from almost 68 years ago.

My First Birthday. 30 Nov.

Mum would make ‘little cakes’ as she called them. She made them in gem irons. Solid metal trays where cake mix was added and then as it cooked, it became a sphere. Mum would ice these too. The most delicious ones were when she made them into lamingtons with mock cream in the centre. Oh how I loved getting these as a treat to take home when I was a young married mum.

When it came to birthdays Mum made our kids cakes from the Australian Women’s Weekly Kids Birthday Cookbook – I particularly recall the ’10’ cake for our daughter made as a tennis racquet. She made a race track one for our son’s 6th birthday cake.

And even into her ageing years Mum would rustle up a Rainbow Cake for Dad. A layer cake: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry with cream in between the layers. My request was for her Orange cake with orange icing and orange zest on top. Yummmmo.

Of course there are no photos of these cakes because..there was nothing like the photo-taking these days.

The most treasured ingredient in all of these cakes was LOVE. Mum loved to do this for us and we loved her for it!

But wait there is more!

I prefer to make cupcakes these days as they are portion-controlled and I do make some for my husband which get frozen and he brings one out a day. I make mine (and those I gift to others) with icing because “yum” and it helps get the cake down.

Before I went to hospital last July I made a batch of lemon syrup cake and these went down very well warmed through as well as with additions as above. I made cakes for my granddaughter’s 21st and what joy that was for me. Her mum (who takes after my mum in her cake cooking prowess) made the main birthday cake. I have also had delicious cakes made for me by my daughter and they include orange cakes and the famous lemon walnut cake (was a recipe of Mum’s originally) that Sammie has here on her blog.

I found that lovely Kyla at Cakes by Kyla made superb cupcakes which I could freeze and eke out for eating. Then I had a WIN. $250 worth of cupcakes and over the last 6 months these have been purchased, frozen and also given away. Yummo.

So, about my best cake eaten…well, I guess if I had the chance, it would be one (or more!) of Mum’s little lamingtons with mock cream inside.

How about you?

What is the best cake you have eaten?

Tell me more in the comments.

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: 48/52. Summer Means This. 26/11/18.

 


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The Story of My First Name. #LifeThisWeek. 13/52. 2018.27.

The Story of My First Name. #LifeThisWeek. 13/52. 2018.27.

Happy 1/4 of the Year of 2018 GONE…

I know, it just started right?

And before I forget: the weekend coming, when the EB may visit (if you believe), do not forget to turn BACK the clocks…and Queenslanders, NT peeps and WA wonders, we are BACK..at what I call NORMAL transmission.

Ok, sorry to those who LOVE Daylight Saving. I admit, this time round it was not too bad. Probably because we did not have 5 days of temps over 38 deg as in February 2017.

Paternal Grandmother, Dad, Me, and Paternal Great Grandmother: My Christening in Wollongong in early 1950.

The optional prompt today…best I get on with it!

My first name is Denyse.

I do not like it much at all.

was to be named Jennifer.

I like that name.

But no, first child to my parents back in 1949 and Mum won! The naming game.

I was to be Denise Jennifer.

What do you notice?

Yes, that is NOT how I spell my name.

Dad went one up…and he changed to spelling on my birth certificate application so I became:

Denyse Jennifer.

And, I have no inkling why, but I “was” the only person in our little family to have a second name. Dad and Mum did not (babies of 1924) neither has my brother born after me. Must note this to ask Dad.

I don’t mind that the spelling is unusual BUT it becomes tedious ensuring the spelling is correct and once I could spell and read around 6 years of age I have been spelling my name for teachers, and all the people who want to know your first name: medical people, forms people,marriage certificate people and more. Including these:

 

And just for the fun of how my name can sound as people in high school told me: DEN W(y)ISE…so when I first tweeted and for about 50,000 tweets from 2010 to around 2014 when I closed that account my handle was: denwise1. Den Wise One. I liked it. In fact, a number of people who got to know me back then still call me Den. It is sweet that they do but my name was only ever shortened by me (and some others) to D or Dee or DJ.

So, everyone, now I have let you in on the story of my name, what is the story of yours?

Names are very challenging to get right. I admit, that I was pernickty about how I wanted our daughter’s name spelled (shades of Dad!) so I completed the form for her name in hospital!

One more thing, as teachers it can be very hard to select a name for your child IF, heaven forbid, you have taught someone of that name….ahem..and they were NOT the best kids you have come across in a classroom. To avoid any hurt or incrimination, I will not say what those names were. BUT…no, I still won’t…sorry! And hate to say it, it was 90% the boys.

Denyse.

Linking up with Alicia here for Open Slather.

Life This Week 13/52.

 

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 is the optional prompt’: 14/52.  “Foods I Dislike.” 2.4.18.


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