Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR






There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

I agree with this sentiment. In my life there is always something to be thankful for.

I struggle with chronic clinical depression. One of the worst effects is that it makes me sluggish, especially at the beginning of the day. As well as taking medication I have a number of strategies I employ in order to make my day as bright and productive as possible.

Each day when I drive down the street for the first time in my car I think of five things I am thankful for. As a Christian I thank God for these things but if you are not a Christian I think the exercise of recognizing there are things to be thankful for can be important in keeping  positive.

What am I thankful for today?

  1.  I am thankful that I have a whole day stretched before me without anything pressing so I have a chance to catch up on things.
  2. I am thankful that my daughter R has been enjoying her trip, caravanning around Australia and  that she is safe.
  3. I am thankful for the relationships I have with both my daughters and their partners.
  4. I am thankful that Jasper the grand-dog has stayed well over the past 10 weeks while I have been looking after him and we have not had a trip to the vet as we usually do.
  5. I am thankful for P:-). I'm not quite sure what I would have done without him the past few years.

Sometimes I don't feel very thankful for anything. I just want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. But the exercise of thankfulness always makes me more positive. It is  a discipline I have acquired over the years. I find that I need discipline and routine in my day, both physically and mentally.

So today I decided to do something physical and took Jasper the grand-dog for a walk.



There is a bit of a hill to negotiate and I have been pleased to find I wasn't quite as unfit as I thought I would be. (It's a few months since I did a walk around the block. I shall have to try and make it a more regular thing even when I don't have Jasper.) Of course we walked quite slowly, stopping to have plenty of sniffs and mark territory along the way.

On my walk I pass this wonderful letterbox covered in lichen.



My letterbox is sturdy but rather plain metal and cedar.


The rocks nearby are covered in beautiful lichen, so perhaps I could get some to grow on the wooden sides of my letter box. I have found a way to encourage the growth of lichen on wood. It doesn't look too difficult so perhaps I will give it a go.

The moon has been bright the last few nights.  Here are some pictures of the the moon through my mango tree taken last night.






I took this photograph from the top of my street when I took Jasper, the grand-dog for a short walk.



Jasper is till with me for another 3 weeks.




I shall miss him when he goes but he is a very needy dog - and I am such a pushover when it comes to little dogs.


 Interesting sites



1.
  Contemporary version of the traditional wagon dwelling. 

Photo source
I love this little house. Maringotka is a contemporary version of the traditional wagon dwelling. Created by Prague studio Miramari Design, Maringotka can be used as a vacation home, for housing workers, as a hotel/resort unit or as a full-time residence. Click here  to see more.



Train in Hanoi, Vietnam

Photo source




Photo source
A few months ago Inhabitat reported that an iceberg 10 times the size of Manhattan broke away from the Antarctic into Pine Island Bay. Now that iceberg is drifting out of the bay and into the currents of the Southern Ocean.

Monday, 28 July 2014

A TRIP TO MERRY BEACH





Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

 Marcus Aurelius

The future can be a disturbing thing. I had my life mapped out when 10 years ago my husband dropped a bomb-shell and left what I thought was our very happy marriage of 30 years. He had met someone else. Wow! What a life changer. Everything changed. I lost my best friend. Everything changed emotionally - not to mention financially. I felt totally alone and I hardly knew what to do from one minute to the next.

But 10 years on I have built a new life. I learned that I am a much stronger person than I thought. Now the future never seems fixed for me. I have learned how things can change in a heart beat. But I have learned what things are important. And I have learned that I have the skills and the faith to get me through anything.

And I needed them when I was unexpectedly made redundant at the age of 58 - 2 years ago. After a year of uncertainty where it looked as if I would have to sell my house, with a lot of belt tightening, things have worked out OK......so far...

I no longer have a future mapped out. I take everything a day at a time and try to enjoy the small moments and know that with God's help I can deal with whatever comes my way.

A nice thing that came my way last week was an unexpected trip to Merry Beach with P:-) and his daughter M, son-in-law B,  grand-daughter S and a little niece J.

We were camped right on the beach front, and the evening we arrived there was a beautiful sunset.


Sunset from our awning.


Sunset from our awning
The sea was calm and the evening still.



Our first day the pleasant weather carried over. This photo below was taken just after we saw a pair of whales out to sea.


Flat sea on Day 1.


The next day the wind came up and the placid sea became rolling waves.


Big sea on Day 2


Rolling waves


One of the pleasant features of Merry Beach is the large number of kangaroos that frequent the camping area.

Kangaroos in  caravan park

Every now and then one can be spotted on the beach.


Kangaroo at the beach


The kangaroos have to be watched around the camp as they like to get into the food and garbage. Below is a picture of one taken through M and B's caravan window at night as it forages around outside our caravan. 


Kangaroo outside our caravan at night.
 The picture is a bit grainy, taken through glass and in the caravan night light.


Our caravan stood up well in the wind. One metal strut came unbolted but P:-) managed to fix it.

Our caravan at Merry Beach

We got the brunt of the wind since we were right on the beach front.



The girls enjoyed watching the ducks.

S,M and J watching the ducks


We had a lovely time. The weather wasn't great but our caravan is cosy. I am looking forward to our next trip.


 Interesting sites

1.
Fortune Cookie Tiny House

Photo source

Zyl Vardos has designed and built a mobile tiny home with a balcony for a client. And in this post, you’re going to get to tour the entire thing!  Click here to see more.



2.
 Whales in the desert south of Cairo

Photo source
The deserts of Egypt contain some of the best preserved paleontological sites in the world, one of which is Wadi al-Hitan or the Valley of Whales. This remote valley in the Western Desert, some 150 km southwest of Cairo, contains valuable collections of fossils and bones of a now extinct, suborder of whales, called the archaeoceti. These fossils explain one of the greatest mysteries of the evolution of whales: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going
mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. Click here to see more. 


3.
I choose freedom

Photo source

 "I live my life by this philosophy: I choose freedom. I choose to buy experiences, not stuff."
Click here to read more.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

WELL AND TRULY WINTER

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My first post for over a month! This is the longest time I have gone between posts since I started blogging 3 years ago. I've been a bit brain-dead.

Winter has finally set in. Although sometimes it is bleak, I still love the view out my back window. I love living in the trees.

Casuarina outside my window




Hairpin Banksia at the base of my casuarina



The trunk of the casuarina is covered in Lichen.

Jasper the grand-dog is snuggled under a quilt.

Jasper under a quilt



Jasper keeping warm.

I go down to my daughter's house- just a few minutes away - on Mondays, to put out her garbage bin. She is away for three months, travelling around Australia in a 4WD and caravan. I put her bin out every week so it looks as if there is somebody there, and take it in on Tuesday.

Even though it is winter the hibiscus in her yard have beautiful bright blooms.
Hibiscus
My daughter thinks these hibiscus flowers are gaudy but I don't think there is such thing as a gaudy flower.


P:-) and I attended a funeral on Friday - down near Nowra. I was amused to see this sign in the cemetery gardens.


Warning at memorial gardens.

It was a fairly new area, with lots of bushland around, but we didn't manage to see a snake. I do think it was too cold. Snakes are cold-blooded and need warmth to become active.

It was a pleasant drive down to Nowra as it always is.


We followed the expressway around the outskirts of  Kiama.


 
Kiama

 
Kiama


 Then turned off the highway to travel through the sleepy town of Geringong.


Geringong



We continued on from Geringong, past the golf course....

Geringong golf course.
....and then down to Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

I am pleased to be back on track with my blog. Writing each post helps me to see the positives in life.


Interesting sites

1.
 Treehouse over water

Photo source
Treehouse Solling is located beside an old forester’s house in a small valley in Lower Saxony. It stands on stilts without relying on trees for structural support, and it measures almost 400 sq ft over two levels. Click here to read more.


2.
 Dam building threat to Amazon

Photo source

According to a new report, a wave of dam building threatens the Amazon river and five of the six main head rivers in the Andes drainage area, which could permanently destroy the open flow of rivers for countries that use the water.  Click here to read more.

3. 
Mar Chiquita, or Little Sea

Photo source
Mar Chiquita, or Little Sea, is a small beach in a protected cove near the eastern end of a long rocky wall exposed on the coast of Manatí in northern Puerto Rico, about 40 kilometers west of San Juan. The oval shaped beach lies behind the rocky wall in a small cove protected from the rough Atlantic. Click here to read more.

Monday, 9 June 2014

JASPER, A SEWING LESSON AND MEET MY BROTHER




 The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination. 
Maya Angelou

It has been a busy week and I have had trouble with my internet connection as I am changing providers. Luckily, I have a wonderful brother who spent many hours working on it and finally found a solution. In the end it turned out to be a fault at Telstra's end.

Anyway, I am a bit late getting this post out. 

We have had some beautiful weather. I took this photo from my back deck yesterday.

The sun through the trees at my back deck.
We have had our warmest autumn on record and over a week into winter are still experiencing above average temperatures. This has been great for me. I don't have particularly good heating so I have really appreciated the warm weather.

 
My daughter R is currently at Mount Isa, in Queensland. So Jasper, my grand-dog is still here with me. He is great company, although very spoiled, and I am probably the worst offender.

Jasper
He is a Miniature Foxie and very cute.

I had another sewing lesson at Vera's Machine Centre in Fairy Meadow.

Vera's Machine Centre
I am surprised at how long it has taken me to learn to use the functions of my machine. Is it because I am approaching 60?


(Since I was made redundant from my job of teaching teenagers with major behavioural problems I have had certain people suggest I should do some upgrading of my psychology skills and become a registered psychologist.  I did my Masters degree 20 years ago and I would really need to upgrade quite a bit to be registered. All of this would take a few years. Besides costing a fortune, which I do not have, I really do not feel like studying that hard any more. I don't know if I could.)


Anyway, I can now sew my name and do a variety of fancy stitches which I hope to incorporate into some of my felt work. It did take me 2 lessons instead of the 1 lesson usually provided but I got there in the end.


Because of the warm weather my paper bark trees in my front garden have been tricked into flowering only a couple of months after their last flush.

Paperbark trees

They are very pretty but too high up to pick.


My brother Geoff has a lawn mowing business in the Illawarra area. He loves his work and takes great pride in it. He doesn't just mow lawns - he tends them.

Geoff


Instead of a single price per mow, Geoff charges an average of $100 per month during the warmer months of the year, less during the cooler months.  For this he will maintain your lawn and do his best to keep it looking at its best. For your monthly payment you will receive at least 2 mows.  You will usually receive 3 or 4 or more, depending on the weather. Geoff will negotiate a price with you and then he will do his best to keep your lawn looking lush, smooth and green. 

While he is not a horticulturist, Geoff will do weeding, pruning and other gardening maintenance. 

If you are interested in giving Geoff a try you can reach him on:
 0466 955 135.

Or contact him via email at:
 geoff@imowlawns.com.au 

Interesting sites

1 .



Floating Egg House
Photo source
 Artist Stephen Turner created this egg-shaped abode. He plans to use the Exbury Egg, which was made with boat-building techniques, as his living and working space for the next year. Inside there is a stove, a shower, a desk and a hammock. And solar power too. Click here to find out more.


2.

 126 images pieced together to make one of very big tree

Photo source
“The President” is  the name of a giant sequoia located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the United States. It’s so huge, it’s impossible to look at in one go. So no one has ever taken a proper photograph of its entirety. A team of photographers from National Geographic worked with scientists from California’s Sequoia National Park to take at least 126 separate photos of ‘the President’. The end result was worth all the effort as these 126 photos were pieced together to get a single, stunning full-length image of ‘The President’. Click here to view the image and see more.

3.
 Concrete tube hotel

Photo source

Tubohotel opened in 2010 and lies approximately 45 minutes south of Mexico City in the village of Tepoztlan, Morelos. The rooms are created from recycled concrete tubes & stacked in a pyramid shape, reflecting the Aztec pyramid of El Tepozteco that overlooks the town.
Click here to see more.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

LET EVENING COME

Instead of a quote today I am starting with this lovely poem that I came across. It has simple yet beautiful imagery. A poem, probably of another era and hemisphere, but very evocative none the less.






Let Evening Come 

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
 Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung.
Let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Jane Kenyon


Sunday was Lilly's birthday. She is P:-)'s second eldest of 5 grandchildren and is 3 years old. We had a lovely family gathering at Woronora Dam. The area was ideal for small children and decorated with balloons. There were 7 little ones aged 5 and under, the youngest being 8 months old.

Picnic area at Woronora Dam.

There was a special big shiny pink balloon in the shape of a three. Unfortunately despite her parents' warnings Lilly insisted on playing with the balloon and it ended up going skywards, much to Lilly's distress.




But all was soon forgotten  with the cutting of the delicious cake - Jessica from Toy Story.





Issy, aged 4,  made a treasure box with one of her sister's presents.






And at the end of the party the 2 sisters enjoyed running around with the balloons.






I finally finished the felt name I was making for Lilly's birthday.







I picked my first harvest of shallots from my garden.




And Jasper, belonging to my daughter and her husband arrived for 3 months while they travel around Australia in a caravan.



Jasper doesn't know he is a dog. Jasper thinks he is a person and is a rather fussy - or should I say sensitive - but I do love him. He is great company.




Interesting sites


1.

 Amazing Hotels

Photo source
Take a look at some of the most amazing hotels in the world.
Not everyone can afford holiday in one of these locations, however most of us would love to spend quality time with family or friends in these places. You might want to stay in the room underwater or perhaps enjoy your breakfast from the cave facing the sea.
Everyone will find something interesting.

Click here to see some great photos.
 
2.
 Dean's Blue Hole

Photo source
Dean's Blue Hole near Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas, is the world's deepest known “blue hole” - a term given to any deep, water filled, vertical caves or sinkholes with an entrance below the water surface. While most blue holes and sinkholes reach a maximum depth of 110 meters, Dean's Blue Hole plunges to more than 200 meters, which makes it quite exceptional. At the surface, Dean's Blue Hole is roughly circular, with a diameter ranging from 25 to 35 meters. After descending 20 meters, the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 100 meters. Click here to see some great pictures.

3.
 The 3 000 year old plant

Photo source
These rocks on the highlands of the Andes looks like they are covered with moss. Actually, they are a type of flowing plant known as Yareta and it lives in colonies which can be thousands of years old. Click here to find out more.