Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekly Winners Sunday Meme

It's nearly the end of the summer holidays - 5 weeks gone, only one more to go. (Can you tell I'm counting down?) Summer has well and truly arrived, too - this week we've melted through sweltering humid days. All of which contributes to total brain-fade for me, where any coherent thought or act of creativity goes right out the window, as I struggle to maintain my equilibrium and my temper.

I'm hopeless in hot weather, far too inclined to fly off the handle at the smallest thing. Whoever thought that summer was a great time to have your children at home with you all day every day was a raving sadomasochistic #&^$#@@...

All of which is a long-winded and unnecessary explanation for why I have hardly touched my camera all week. One lovely image of Miss Furpants, just to say "hello" and give me an excuse to go dip into all the other wonderful photos featured at the lovely Lotus'(Sarcastic Mom) weekly photo meme. I'll gaze longingly at some exquisite snowscapes from the other side of the world, and remember what it's like to see steam coming out of my nostrils...instead of my ears! LOL!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Honestly... can tell me - I won't be offended...

Is it too beige?

Please pop out of your readers for a minute and let me know. I like it, and yet... :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekly Winners Sunday Meme

Well, here it is. What do you think? *does a little twirl for the benefit of viewers* Does it suit me? I've been wearing black for too long, and wanted a fresher look. I've still got a fair bit of tweaking to do, so forgive the scaffolding and empty paint tins lying around (and apologies to anyone having trouble seeing me, as I haven't yet checked it out in all browsers yet).

Due credit for my new look must go to the folks at Our Blog Templates for this lovely free Spain template (have a look at how good it can look when someone knows what they are doing!), and to Amanda at Blogger Buster, for sooooo many great tips, tutorials and a fantastic free e-Book on Blogger templates - any problems with this template are down to my incompetency, not their fine work.

I've found heaps of great resource sites, and I'm learning some wonderful tricks, which will be the subject of a future post (for other CSS/HTML virgins like me who want to learn how to tweak what's under the hood of their Blogger blog!).

I've been fiddling with this thing all week, therefore haven't taken many pictures ! So, for some REALLY good photography, go look at Lotus and all the other Weekly Winners. In the meantime, you'll just have to put up with me:

My little sunshine

Captain Underpants

Not quite my Pocket Pussy any more...

Summer perfection...ripe papaw...

...though size can be deceiving! (Isn't it cute?! It was gorgeous, too...mmmmm...)

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Actually, a part of me would like that biblical fury to be raining down on someone right now - some smiting and burning furnaces and two-edged swords and smoke and brimstone could be delivered unto the arse of my son's father while I sit, box seat front row, with popcorn and a digital camera.

Which is kind of interesting because, if I were to categorise my religious inclinations (and that would be hard, because I follow no religion as such), it would be Buddhist rather than Christian. My belief set runs more to karma and inner-leading-to-outer peace than to fiery vengeance wreaked by avenging angels.

Yet recent unexpected revelations have certainly given me cause to wish that karma came with a fast, on-line order version. It's such a bummer having to trust that his transgressions against me, his son and others will be repaid in full through his karmic debt, this lifetime OR the next OR some future lifetime.

Give me some avenging angels and a good plague.

(Btw, the stunning image above is the work of ecstaticist - view more of his exceptional photos on Flickr.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Interlude: Confessions of the Undecided

You know how I mentioned that I am changing the look of this blog?

That wasn’t a tease – I feel very ready for a change of look, to reflect the change of outlook and direction my life has taken since I first started this blog.

I have 2 problems. One, I cannot write any kind of code – CSS, HTML or anything else. I am at the mercy of existing blog template designers, though I am prepared to have a little play around to tweak things once I’ve got the overall style I’m after.

Two - I was born in October and am, therefore, a Libran. We are known for having something of a problem with making decisions. I’m normally pretty good at it, actually…but do you know how many amazing template designs there are out there?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekly Winners Sunday Meme

It’s late (for me). Here’s my best. Here’s some even better by a whole lot of other bloggers – including, and hosted by,  Lotus at Sarcastic Mom (she’s a Goddess – you can tell because she keeps wanting to eat her offspring).



Little boy blue…(soccer guru in the making)

boy blue (Medium)



P1030006 (Medium)


P1030053 (Medium) 


hang ten (Medium)


Send in the clown…

send in the clown (Medium)

In my footsteps… (mine, casually cast off; his, not so…)

in my footsteps (Medium)



bromeliad (Medium)


Our backyard (aka the Jungle)

P1030012 (Medium)


The elegant “Miss M” (Mahlia)

P1030017 (Medium)

P1030018 (Medium)


P1060008 (Medium)


He’s my angel…even when he’s not…

P1090016 (Medium)

shape of things to come (Medium)


P1090019 (Medium)

Friday, January 09, 2009


What a difference a year makes!

This time a year ago, I was filled with trepidation and incredible uncertainty about what lay ahead, yet I knew that nothing would change my mind from the course I had decided on.

Ending my marriage was the best thing I did all year (and I did some pretty good things last year). I have never regretted it, not for one tiny moment. In fact, as various bits of information came my way over the year, I have had even more reason to know that I made the right decision, for me and the wee man.

It’s been hardest in relation to him, the little guy. He loves his daddy, bless him, and though I know that loving and seeing both parents is good and right and best for his emotional development etc etc blah blah blah, I also know that it is going to bite him in the arse down the track (if you’ll forgive the colloquialism).

His dad is not a very good person, though he tries to convince himself and everyone else that he is. He lets people down, badly, and worst of all those he loves. Self-sabotage is his specialty, which means if you are in his orbit you get hit by the fall-out. His relationship with his other son has already accumulated a critical level of damage, just as the boy enters his teens. He began last year with an opportunity to do it differently with the wee man, to be the person he always claimed he wanted to be, to be the father he wishes he’d had. To a large extent, he has failed.

That’s his journey, their shared journey, and I can only do what I can in terms of being the best parent I can be, and a constant and a comfort to the wee man. The little guy made it a bit hard for me at the beginning of last year, taking his father’s cues and blaming me for the split. He never said so, exactly, but he was angry with me often, and took his father’s line that he could live with him any time literally, and used to threaten me with it whenever he wasn’t getting his way – I didn’t tell him it would have been an empty promise. When he came back after that 2 week holiday/road trip with his Dad in (?) April, things had changed – he had a new appreciation for me, and most of the anger was gone. That made life much easier, because his anger and my unexpressed frustrations and anger and fears were rubbing very badly together, and I was afraid that instead of taking him from danger I was leading him into it. We were both damaged, and there was a point where I worried if the long-term consequences were beyond my control.

Yet, at the back of my mind, I knew that this, too, would pass. After all that we had been through, and with all the other goodness in our lives, we would find a way through these feelings. And in the end, we just did.

So far, this post has focused on the negatives, which was never my intention - there were so many positives to the last year, such a sea-change to my life that I celebrate today.

Returning to myself: living in tune with my beliefs; many small and large achievements in my community work; being able to pick up the phone without fear of drama or debt collectors; running for local government, making choices about where I live and what I wear and where I’m going without having every single thing examined, questioned and misinterpreted; watching my little man grow and blossom and smile and see ME grow and blossom and smile – there is so much that makes this an occasion to be celebrated.

This Christmas was a gift in itself.

Spending time with my family at my mother’s home on the Sunshine Coast was something we had done a few times over the years, including twice in the wee man’s lifetime. Every visit was marred by some kind of drama, and last Christmas was really the final straw for me – 2 weeks later I declared the marriage over, and weathered the blustering, begging, and belligerence until it finally, truly, was over.

Going to Mum’s again enabled us to lay a new track down over the old. We lived a fun, laid-back, loving, drama-free Christmas, such as the wee man has never known in his lifetime yet had always been my experience before being with his father. I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel. Look at the picture – Mum took it on Christmas evening, and it tells you all you need to know .

So, happy anniversary to me. I’d thought of having a little party or drinks with friends, but it did seem somewhat tasteless – ending a marriage is not something I chose to do lightly. Anyway, the real party is in my head and in my heart – I’m the only one who can hear the music, and I’m happily dancing alone.

Xmas happy

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Weekly Winners Sunday Meme- Can I play catch-ups?

Let's not talk about how long it's been since I've stumped up for Weekly Winners - indulge me, by ooh-ing and aah-ing at the gorgeous Aussie Christmas the wee man and I shared with my family up on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. It was warm, fun, relaxed and a wonderful antidote to the tainted memories of past Christmases.

And say "Hi" to the gorgeous Lotus (Sarcastic Mom), whose fabulous institution is the Weekly Winners. Give her a big hug while you're there - just because...

The wee man adored doing workouts with his Uncle J

The self-titled Saucepan Man (How many readers of the Magic Faraway Tree here?)

Gorgeous beach afternoons, each of us to our own passions: me, with my camera; the wee man, sand and water; my mum, her yoga; Rusty, socialising...

Christmas Eve...

And then it was Christmas Day...

...back to the beach...

...before home for the Christmas BBQ. These 2 just as fascinated with fire as last year!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Rules to Live by

I'm starting the new year by distilling all my acquired life wisdom into a few succinct phrases or rules. It's as good a place to start as any.

One of the many wonderful blogs which captures my attention, often at the expense of my own blogging (but when there is this much great content around who needs to listen to me anyway?), is Gretchen's The Happiness Project. Do have a look around - she has much to offer, not least the comments and sharing from her subscribers, which often lead to me to other treasures.

Her final post for 2008 was New Year's Resolution: Four tips for writing your personal commandments. She shares her own 12 rules (of which my favourite is "Be Gretchen."), and some that other readers have shared ("Don't rehearse unhappiness" is profound: "Do stuff" covers everything), and gave me plenty of food for thought.

Re-aligning with my values and beliefs has been a big part of 2008 for me. Some of you may detect some of the deeper themes, the lessons of my recent life-changes; I know I did.

I sat here and doodled and pondered on and off for half of the day, in between playing and picnicing and just damn sweating (sooo hot...I'm still melting and it's 10 at night), to encapsulate my beliefs into their essence.

Here, in no particular order, are my own personal commandments:

Seek truth.

Trust my instincts.


Share my vision, shine my light.

See good, say good and do good.

It's okay to ask for help.

Treasure every moment.

Always with love.

Be legendary, prove real.

What rules are you choosing to live by in 2009?

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