Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Be what you are. Give what is yours to give. Have style. Dare.

Stanley Kunitz

I have decided to post my blog every Saturday and use it as a chance to evaluate my week. 

I began writing this blog to help me look at the positive things in my life. Life hasn't turned out quite the way I had expected. I have had some big mountains to climb and am still doing so but it certainly helps to look at the good things.
My Christian faith certainly helps but I have to work at it myself too and with the help of my family, friends and professional support group I stay on top of things really well.

One of the things I have also learned is that if you have a problem or something goes wrong, ATTACK. Don't attack people! Attack your problem. It is too easy to be a victim. Go forward! (Mind you, sometimes I have to be told to take my own advice, but usually I am pretty good.)

Life isn't fair but there is nothing we can do about that. As my brother says you do your best with the cards you're dealt.

Nice Piggy Picture

Today, Saturday, I started out in my garden.

I cleaned up a small garden and added some nasturtium seeds.

The clay sculptures were made by Rhiannon when she was studying art at TAFE.

I thought I would show you how my herbs are going. 

The basil is struggling along. This isn't in my main herb garden I have just planted it in my front garden. I like to grow a lot of basil in the summer which can be made into pesto and frozen. My elder daughter is vegan and so I make pesto without the cheese

Everyone in the world can grow mint so it over runs their gardens. Not me. My mint always struggles. It is next to the Vietnamese mint and making a very poor effort.

But my Rosemary cuttings are taking off.

The parsley is going well... are the sage and coriander.

I have just planted perpetual spinach. I had to nurse it through a few hot days but it seems to be starting to take off now.


The thyme and oregano are loving the warmer weather.

And the Vietnamese mint has thrived through the winter.

I have one tomato plant. It is supposed to grow little tomatoes in clusters like grapes but I think it needs a bit of feeding. I plan to add some compost.

My first nasturtium is out.
I am going to grow tons of these for salads and vases...

... so I am planting them down the edge of a retaining wall out the front. There is just enough room for weeds to grow and poor Peter is forever pulling them out so I decided to make a feature of it instead with the nasturtiums.

I put some more mulch on the front garden. I cover the weeds with cardboard and newspaper.

Then I cover it with mulch. It works very well and saves weeding.

As Peter removed some small trees I looked skyward and took these photos.

Last Monday I put my bike on the footpath with this sign on  it.

When I went outside a couple of hours later it was gone and whoever took it left this little note on the side.

It really impressed me and made me very happy to think that someone had taken the time to write the note.
By the way, it was my old bike, not the new one Peter bought me last year.

Tutoring kept me very busy last week, mainly because it takes me a long time to prepare. I am getting better though. I have a passion for teaching kids who don't fit into the mainstream system very easily. I tutor a range of students from Kindergarten to Yr 10. At the moment I am helping one Yr 10 student with a Geography Assignment. Geography is not one of my teaching subjects so I am having to spend some time studying Lake Illawarra and Warilla Beach which are  quite interesting.

I came across a great TED talk about teaching students mastery over their subjects. It only takes 10 minutes so if you are interested in listening click here.

Craft has taken a back step for a while but my friend Michelle is home again after a long trip up north, so I am hoping we will have some more craft 'get-togethers' when she is ready. You can find Michelle and her wonderful sock creations at Platypus Creations.

So far I have lost 5 kilos on my Manshake diet. I am also seeing a sports physiologist to help me sort out some exercises to help by back and knees.

I do enjoy this time of year with the run up to Christmas. At the risk of annoying everyone I am going to finish with a Christmas picture. I have so many lovely ones and not enough weeks to post them.


Interesting sites

 Converted warehouse in Sydney

Photo source
 Click here to see some beautiful pictures of a converted warehouse in Sydney.

 Beautiful Beirut in the 1960's

Photo source
 Pictures of beautiful Beirut before it was hit by war in the 1970's.
 Click here to read more. 


 Add water to make perfect toast

Photo source
This toaster makes perfect toast - just add water.
 Click here to read more  

Monday, 17 October 2016

September Holidays

The holidays have begun. I have great  plans to get things done around my house.

On Tuesday I had a tree cut down from my front yard. Unfortunately I didn't take a 'before shot' but this is how it looks afterwards.

I now have a lovely big pile of mulch to spread over my garden.

I have begun spreading it over my garden.

I completed my tax on the weekend. It is the first one since I have been with Centrelink. I tutor for a few hours a week and have spent some money setting up an office and organising things.

Last year I began tutoring and working with Centrelink has been a bit of a nightmare so I needed an accountant to sort things out for me. I met Paul through a friend. He came to the house and his charge was very reasonable so I am putting his card here just in case anyone is looking for an accountant.

It is 3 weeks since I started this post. I have just been so busy so I am just going to conclude it by posting an array of photos from my past few weeks.

View out my kitchen window.

Issy's birthday

My front garden.

Jake's birthday

Sophie's birthday

From now on I plan to write daily and post weekly. I want to keep more of a detailed record for my own sake and to see if I can improve my daily timetable. I just can't seem to fit my life into the allotted time!

Interesting sites

Hibernating Bears

Photo source
 Find out about bears hibernating and see some great pictures and videos. Click here.

 Never-setting Arctic sun

Photo source
 Click here to view a time lapse video of the never- setting Arctic Sun.

 Shark video

 Click here  to view the video taken by a father and son as a shark circles their boat. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Another Month Gone

“Scatter  joy!” 
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another month has gone so quickly. We have almost finished term 4 and then we will be into the final straight before Christmas.

I seem to be so busy. My diet with Manshake is going well. I have lost 4 kilos this month.

Peter and I continue our bike riding when we have time. Last Sunday we rode from Towradgi out to Bellambi.

My rock orchids are blooming. They put on a beautiful display but unfortunately only for a short time.

Last month it was Mitchell's, Peter's youngest son's, 30th birthday. The family held an Oktoberfest birthday (with a minimum of alcohol).

This is me dressed up for the party.

Somehow I had the idea that putting flowers on my head would make me look younger but I think it had the reverse effect.

They hired the Hut Dog to cater. At first I thought, "Oh no!". I hate hot dogs and thought I would just have to have a bun and margarine. But then I discovered these were gourmet hot dogs with not a frankfurter in sight. There were a number of gourmet sausage choices including a vegan and vegetarian option.They were delicious. I ended up having 2 vegetarian ones. I have actually bought same sauerkraut  this week to try and replicate them.

Peter and I went to the circus at Warrawong. It was surprisingly good.

I was impressed that the main animal trainer who was fantastic came out later as a clown. Other performers also multi-tasked.

And yes, there were animals there but they were obviously greatly loved. They use positive reinforcement to train the animals, and even with the lions - I wasn't expecting lions - there were no whips. The trainer constantly rewarded the lions with food. The ring master explained how they look after the lions on the road. They have an area they can roam in and an indoor area which has split cycle air-conditioning and a heated floor in winter. No longer are they just kept in cages.

These were animals that were bred in captivity and not particularly big. I must admit I may not have gone if there had been lions involved but I was very impressed. Apparently they are likely to live up to 15 to 20 years in captivity, but only 8 to 10 in the wild. I am interested to have a look at the area they are kept in  during they day.

I also enjoyed the clowns which I usually don't. They were very clever and modern.

I have been very lax on the craft front. I made a snowman.

My friend Michelle has been doing wonderful things at Platypus Creations. 
Go over and have a look at what she is making. 

Interesting sites

 Garden Igloo

Photo source
I want one of these garden igloos. A PVC cover makes them an all weather item. Click here to read more.

 Small shark eaten by bigger shark

Photo source

Things were bound to get weird when two men decided to fish right next to a nuclear power plant.

Palm Beach Pete.  Click here to see the video