Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Friday, 22 January 2016

IT"S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

The biggest lesson that I ever learnt was to let people help me, even when it felt like the most unnatural thing to do.

Natasha Hinde  The Huffngton Post UK

 
cute pig

The quote above resonated with me when I read it. When my husband of 30 years decided to leave what I had thought was a happy marriage, it seemed like my world had dissolved. There seemed to be no solid ground.

I was determined to survive and make a new life for myself. At first I tried to go on as usual. I took no time off work. I didn't want to be a burden on anybody. But then my mother very wisely advised me to let people help me. I took her advice and it made all the difference.

I have always had family and friends I could rely on, but this was different. They could rely on me too, but not in the state I was in now. So I accepted help from people - close friends, my mother, my brother and my daughters.

I came through it all with a different view on accepting help. It is often easy to help others but not always so easy to accept it yourself.





I have been enjoying the holidays. It is good to have a break from tutoring. I was tutoring about 6 or 7 hours a week over the last 6 months. Each lesson only goes for an hour but I spend a lot of time preparing. I am mainly working with 8 or 9 year old boys with reading disorders. Reading disorder can take various forms so may need slightly different approaches with each child. 

Occasionally I will get a one off lesson with a senior student writing an essay. Occasionally I will have a maths lesson working with a child anywhere from year 2 to year 10. I never know exactly what I am going to do from week to week.

I enjoy it but I am certainly enjoying the break.



I am trying to get on with some gardening. I am making very slow progress.
I chopped down a  eucalyptus tree in my front garden a few weeks ago.



I noticed this beautiful new growth already. I just love the deep rich colour.


My daughter R and I picked up this table from a rubbish heap on the footpath recently.It is made of wood, plaster of Paris and wrought iron.It is pretty ghastly as it is.






I had plans for it but for now I have just put it at the end of my entry with a tablecloth on it. It's a great place to hide shoes. I added a chair that I picked up from the side of the road and painted, and a few other bits and pieces.

For some reason my mobile coverage isn't quite as good as it was and I have to sit out in the hall to get  reception,










My son-in-law bought me the box a few years ago. It has some of my little treasures in it - a seal vertebra and a piece of jade from New Zealand; some coral and a shell I found while snorkeling in Vanuatu; some paper wasp's nests from here.


Under the cloche is a piece of my daughter's artwork from a few years ago.



Peter and I have been bike riding most days either along the bike track at Lake Illawarra or along the bike track at Towradgi. I am determined to get a bit more confident before we go away in about 10 days - and I am getting better. But it is surprising how many people don't move over on the bike track. They don't realise they are taking their lives in their hands as I get wobbly once I have to go off the track to go around them, and I am likely to fall on them.

I have ridden a bike since I was a child, and always had a bike but after falling off a couple of times in the past year I became very nervous. Peter bought me a new retro bike which is a lot easier to ride, but it is still taking me a while to get my confidence back.


Below is some of the lovely scenery from our rides. We are so lucky to live in Wollongong by the lake and the sea.











 I finished another owl brooch on Wednesday. I meet with a good friend each week for a couple of hours and we do some craft together.



 This picture below shows the size of the brooch compared to a dollar coin.




Church on Sunday was pretty noisy with lots of dancing. There had been a church camp on for high school students during the previous week and it was finishing at the evening church service. The theme of the camp had been - LIMITLESS. This was written in changing coloured lights on the front stage.



It was noisy but inspiring.

And finally, a view from my back window this afternoon.


It has been raining but I never tire of the view out my back window.

Interesting sites

1.
"Lonely Houses" of Portugal

Photo source
 The 'lonely houses' of Portugal are traditional style tiny homes. Check out these photographs taken on a phone by sejkko.Click here to see more. 

2.
150 friends is the practical limit on Facebook
 
Photo source
You cannot have 1,000 real friends on Facebook. Nor 500. In fact, anything over 200 starts seeming unlikely, according to a new study. Click here to read more.

3. 
 New Ninth Planet

Photo source

 Astronomers think they may have found a new ninth planet.
 Click here to read more.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

A FEW PLANS AND CHANGES

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


 
 
Love this pig R sent me


How quickly the holidays are going!! I haven't done half of the things I'd planned.  Peter and I are booked to go away camping for a few days to Umina Beach from 1st Feb to the 5th Feb. I am looking forward to that.

 On Wednesday, Peter and I drove up to Stanwell Park, so Peter could see his GP. This is quite a distance since Peter lives in Berkeley, but she is very good and very thorough.







 A treat on the way home is stopping at the Gateway near Bulli Pass to have gelato and coffee.



 I always look forward to this. The range of gelato is wonderful.


Peter and I have been bike riding again along the bike track at Towradgi.

 I am still a bit nervous even though I have my new bike. I have only fallen off it once and that was the day I first got it. I really need to be going more often than we do, but life and the weather seem to get in the way.




I have been stocking up for next Christmas. Trees and decorations have been for sale in Woolworths and cheap shops at giveaway prices.



 Now I just have to find somewhere to keep them. I am hoping I will have redecorated my house by then and can really decorate for Christmas. You can see my Christmas Decorating Pinterest board here.




I have finally begun painting my walls, or to be more precise, Peter has started. I am painting walls and trim in off white. I am planning a sort of modern shabby chic style. I plan to paint a lot of the furniture light grey. You can find my Pinterest Decorating board here.

We began painting in the dining room. I put a light tablecloth on the table to cover up the dark glass top and added a few blue glass bits and pieces that have been presents over the years.

I love toadstools and my elder daughter J, gave me some miniature toadstools which I hung on a branch.

 





My younger daughter painted the frog many years ago, and all the frog ornaments were given to me as presents by J and R. Peter likes bananas so I keep a supply on the table.

Jasper, my grand-dog has been enjoying the warm weather at my daughter and son-in-law's place.


 You can see the lettuces growing behind him. If you would like to see more about the establishment of their garden and some of their hobbies go over to Beanstuff.
 
Interesting sites

1.
 Pyramidal cottage in Iceland


Click here to check out this pyramidal cottage in Iceland.



2.
 World's smallest pop-up camper.

Photo source
This is a pop-up camper you can pull with your bike.
Click here to see more. 




3. 

 Wind power in Texas

Photo source
Texas has spent billions developing its renewable power grid, and has built up double the wind generation capacity of any other US state. Click here to read more.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Week 1 Of The New Year



If opportunity doesn't knock... build a door.  

Milton Berle

The first week of the New year is over. 

I have changed some medication a few weeks ago and am feeling really good so I am trying to get a lot of stuff done around the house.

Trees pop up in my garden. Some of them I keep and try to keep small. The Macrozamia palm has outgrown its position in my garden at the front as it is knocking the retaining wall down so I attacked it and a eucalypt getting out of hand, with my chainsaw.


My wonderful Peter then got stuck in and began maneuvering it out using an adze, shovel, spade and lever.

 It is taking some maneuvering and Peter is still working on it.


By chance I went to a couple of shops selling Christmas trees at really low prices so I have bought some Christmas trees ready for next year.


For the last few years I have used a branch but I am redecorating my house and decided I wanted a more traditional look for next year.

Peter and I have been doing some bike riding. Mainly along the bike track at Towradgi.

 I am a bit nervous. I started falling over when my bike was stopped, so Peter bought me this new retro bike which has made all the difference. But I am still a bit nervous. I need more practice. A few days of rain  stopped my practicing.

 

 

I became the mother of a 36 year old this week. My elder daughter turned 36. I am not supposed to write about her here but she has had a life long struggle with clinical depression and continues to fight it. She is an artist and I am very proud of her. If you put Jade Pegler  into Google, you will be able to read about her and some of her work although not much of her recent stuff. She is currently involved in buying second hand silk kimonos from Japan and using these to make patchwork she which turns into clothes. Don't tell her you read about her here!

My other younger daughter and her husband are setting up their back yard with very limited finances. My son-in-law has started a YouTube Channel so you can read about them here. It would be great if you subscribed.

 

  Interesting sites

1.

 Restored house truck

Photo source

 A restored house truck used as a guest accommodation in Golden Bay, New Zealand. Click here  to read more.

 

2.

  Gediminas Pranckevicius

Photo source

 Conceptual artist and illustrator Gediminas Pranckevicius has a wonderful imagination.His landscapes, as seen here, are rich in detail, creating impossible juxtapositions of water, land, and haphazard architecture. Click here to read more.

3.

 Beautiful reflections

Photo source

 Click here to see photos of beautiful reflections.

 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

NEW YEAR"S EVE





Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.

George Eliot, Middlemarch
 

Mum, Peter and I went to Canberra for the weekend to see my stepbrother R and my sister-in-law M and their children and grandchildren.


I don't usually put pictures of children in my blog but here is a picture of Mum and some of her older great-grandchildren.



And below are the 4 youngest ones eating ice-cream.

 


 It was lovely to catch up with everyone.

 

I made a couple more dioramas for my two daughters but made them less Christmassy so they can keep them out longer if they want to.


  

After that things just got so busy there was no time to finish this post so suffice to say I had a lovely but very busy Christmas.

 

Today is New Year's Eve so I want to polish this post off and start afresh for 2016. 

 

Wishing you all the very best for 2016. I have the feeling it is going to be a good year.

 

 

Interesting sites 


1.

 
Photo source

Garden Igloo offers the perfect solution for people who love the outdoors but sometimes need a little respite from the elements! This 2.2 meter high geodesic dome is made from rust and rot-free recyclable materials and can be used in a myriad of ways-as a greenhouse, playground or even a Jacuzzi cover. Click here to see more.



2.
 Investigating popcorn
Photo source

To most people, it may be just a fun food to munch while watching a movie.But to a couple of French investigators, popcorn is a biomechanical enigma waiting to be explained.
Click here to read more.


3.
Leaf Art 
Photo source

Have a look at the beautiful personal project of artist   Tang Chiew Ling from Kuala Lumpur.   Click here to read more