Sunday, December 31, 2006


It's New Years Eve here today. 13 years since I met Cary. What an interesting journey this has been!

I've been looking around the house at the decorations we had for Christmas. Our packages from the US still haven't arrived so the kids and I made most of our own decorations. We collected gumnuts that had fallen from the trees in the front yard and painted them and sprinkled them with glitter. Then I tied them onto some string and wrapped them around our Christmas tree. Sami did some colourful finger-knitting which we also wrapped around the tree. The kids collected feathers and seashells and pinecones and even some cicada shells that all went on the tree. We did buy a couple of things to finish decorating the tree - a strand of lights, a few shiny balls and some red bows. It was one of the best trees we've ever had.

The new year approaching has me pondering the year gone by. Wow - such a big year on so many levels. I am so grateful for all of it. Still sad about some of the people and animals we had to leave behind. On the whole though, I am in a very good place physically and mentally. Achieving all that I have this year has given me even more courage to pursue other personal dreams. I am so excited for this next year!

I really do hope that 2007 will be an exciting and happy year for you filled with good health, joy and peace.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas in Australia

For over 12 years, I've been dreaming of a warm Christmas. This year I got one! It has been unseasonably cool here - in the low to mid 20's C (not F!) instead of the low to mid 30's.

My Mum and brother were already staying with us and my sister and her family were 5 minutes walk away at the local caravan (trailer) park. On Christmas Eve, we all enjoyed dinner together. Sami went to bed early and AJ went soon after her, but said he felt like throwing up. A few hours later he woke up burning up. I brought him in to sleep next to me so I could keep an eye on him but he kept waking up. I finally remembered I had some homeopathic remedies that would help his fever and they did. At 5:30am on Christmas morning, I heard AJ whispering to Sami excitedly about the big 2-seater tricycle under the tree that he had already taken a peek at. Suddenly I was wide awake, remembering what day it was and having memories of a Christmas 3 or 4 years ago when Sami opened most of her presents - very quietly - before I woke up.

AJ is so thrilled with the trike. It fits him perfectly and is at the lowest seat setting so he has plenty of room to grow with it. It has a seat in the back which Nicholas rides in. AJ was happy to ride that around inside the house while the rest of us had some breakfast and tried to wake up a bit. We also had to wait for everyone to arrive. Sami and AJ were so patient about waiting for gifts, they just enjoyed being with their cousins and mucking about. There were quite a few little fun fights of balled up paper flying across the room. At one point in the morning, Sami happily said to me "This is just the best Christmas!". There were lots of laughs and hugs and general silliness.

We didn't go overboard with presents for the kids. This has been such a big year. I wanted the emphasis to be on family fun rather than gifts. So AJ got the trike and a few other little things. Sami got a new wooden recorder, a sewing box and craft things. Nicholas (Nuke) got a wooden firetruck and a couple of other small toys. Cary and I chose not to exchange gifts this year.

I pretty much overlooked any 'Santa' stuff this year. Not that I do a lot usually, but this year I didn't even leave any treats out for the big guy. The only reference Sami made about him was on Christmas morning when she and AJ and Cary and I went to look at the tree and AJ said "look what Santa brought" and Sami said "so he IS real". I guess she had been doubting. AJ starting talking about Santa on Christmas eve when he asked me to send Santa a letter asking for 3 things one of which was the trike, so I got that right. The other two things were spy stuff and walkie-talkies (which I didn't have for him). When I told him it might be a little late to send a letter and he might not be able to get all of those things, he suggested we email him! Later on Christmas day, he said "Santa didn't bring me anything". He didn't count the water pistol he got as it had broken during the water fight. I suggested "wasnt' the trike from him?" He had seen the trike at the Tender Center here and knew that I had put a bid in on it, but I didn't tell him that I had won it. I was able to pick it up one day while he was at school and I had it hidden in the garage for the past 3 weeks. I don't think he quite believed that and seemed a bit disappointed by the lack of Santa magic this year. Sorry AJ.

After gifts were opened, most of the family headed out into the beautiful sunshine to the vacant lot next door for a game of cricket. That got everyone nice and warm which led into my sister's family tradition of a big water fight on Christmas Day. Oh what fun that was! It was our family + Geoff (my brother) vs Ros and her family. So much laughing! I felt a bit bad about wasting so much water when there is such a big drought happening in the country. But I am pretty careful the rest of the time, and it's not like we just let the taps run non-stop while we were refilling our water pistols and other water toys.

While we were having the water fight, Mum was inside working on food for lunch. We all chipped in to help when we were cleaned up and enjoyed sitting down together for Christmas day lunch for the first time in 21 years. With the addition of six grandchildren and my husband. That was pretty special.

An afternoon storm rolled in after lunch and we played inside while it passed. Then we got into our swimmers and headed to the creek for some more cricket and kayaking and swimming. An easy, light dinner and an early night rounded out the day. What a great day!

In the couple of days since Christmas, we've all just been hanging out and playing. Ros and her family left yesterday and Mum and Geoff are leaving tomorrow. Today we went into the shops for a couple of things, but after seeing the crowds, Cary and the kids and I decided to leave it for another day and went to the Fisherman's co-op for some prawns. I am checking out the sale brochures for a little digital camera that I can easily carry with me which will hopefully make it easier for me to put photos on here. I will keep on blogging. I think I was just a bit overwhelmed when I last posted and blogging was feeling a bit too one-sided during a time when I needed to connect more personally.

Cary has now been here one week. Before now, he's really only spent a combined total of about 24 days in the country. The last time he came here was 7.5 years ago. So a lot is new to him. He is enjoying the weather and the lifestyle and the generally slower pace here. And the family of course! Nuke had grown so much that Cary didn't recognise him at the airport. Ok, the fact that Nuke had fallen and busted his lip open earlier in the day didn't help. We got Cary some new clothes so now he's looking more the part of an Aussie beach bum. He's loving the sounds of the birds and bugs around here and all of the greenery. We are all enjoying having him here.

Life is bloody good!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Holidays

I haven't been blogging because I just haven't had time. Or, frankly, the inclination. I've been wondering if I wanted to continue or would I just prefer to have meaningful contact, whether by phone, email or in person, with friends and family? Or myself. I've been giving more thought to my relationship with me. It's as though I am coming into alignment and I'm rethinking my priorities.

Life has been so challenging and busy and beautiful for the past 3 months. The past few weeks have been especially busy but fun, with Sami's birthday, end of school year things going on, a trip away to visit family and Cary's arrival on the 20th. Cary loves the area and the house. This is a great house - 4br, 2 bath, 2 living areas, mostly tile throughout which will help keep it cool in summer, as well as the fact that it's a brick house and has lots of windows that allow the sea breezes to drift through. The colours are light and earthy. It's a very comfortable, easy place to live.

I sincerely hope y'all have a happy, healthy, safe and low-stressed Holiday season and I wish you Peace and Joy for the new year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sami's 9!

Happy Birthday Sami Sunshine Girl! Thank you so much for all the love and lessons.

Sami is so excited today! She was awake early, opened some gifts which she gladly let the boys help with, ate some mangos, then it was time for banana birthday cake. A few phone calls then outside to catch penny lizards while waiting to go to school. She's very happy to share her birthday with her friends at school with the added excitement that they are moving classrooms today, getting ready to start a new school year at the end of January after the summer break. This afternoon, we are going to the Big Banana and then to Pet Porpoise Pool ( Will blog about that later.
I feel very blessed right now and very grateful for the love, health and abundance in our lives.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sami's First Sleepover

Yesterday was Friday here. In the morning I took Sami to school with her pillow and blanket and other items necessary for a sleepover. She met her fellow classmates and teacher and they all loaded into two 15 seater vans. Sami was so excited. She kept waving to me happily while she waited patiently for everyone to get organised. Her eyes were sparkling with a sense of new adventure. It didn't take long and they were off. "Bye Darlin', be careful" I said silently as her smiling face disappeared from view. They were all off the the Promised Land (seriously - that's what's it's called). Apparently a beautiful place not too far away with a freshwater creek and rock slides and lots of bush to explore. Then the whole class was having a sleepover at the teachers house!

The boys and I were busy. We had playgroup all morning and then we came home to tidy up for a visit from my Aunt who was calling in for a cuppa on her way south to visit my Grandma. After her visit, we went over to the creek for a swim, home for baths, dinner and eventually bed. It was rather quiet and we kept wondering what Sami would be up to.

Today all the parents were to meet the returning vans at a national park picnic area for a family picnic. I got there a little early and the vans came around the bend tooting their horns with the merry sounds of children singing. Sami was still smiling but when she hugged me, she had a few tears as it just hit her how much she'd missed me. Sweet girl. The teacher and other parent helpers were all beaming and talking about what a great time they'd all had. I tell you, Tracey (the teacher) is such a wonderful person, I really could not ask for a nicer teacher for Sami. Tracey will be Sami's teacher right through until the end of year 7 which is part of the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy (to keep the same teacher with the children all the way through primary school).

Dear Sami was so tired when we got home but managed to find enough energy to go swimming with us at the creek. There were lots of fish, up to 6" long, swimming all around us. The water is so clear they are easy to see. AJ was trying to catch one in a bucket for Sami to have for dinner. I can see he's going to enjoy the fishing net he's got coming for Christmas. Nicholas is pretty fearless in the water. He keeps wading in until the water is up to his chin and then he just stands there laughing. Of course I keep a very close eye on him and am usually right next to him although sometimes he pushes me away a bit as he thinks he's ready to be Mr. Independent. Not yet mate.

Sami had a very early night and Nicholas wasn't too far behind her which gave AJ and I some quiet one-on-one. We were playing tic-tac-toe on a chalk board when he started adding more lines and before long we'd made our own game up. I just adore him. We had such a fun time together.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

One size does not fit all

Isn't it wonderful that we are all so different? How dull the world would be if we all came programmed the same, like robots.

How beautiful the world would be if we could approach our differences with curiosity rather than conflict. Gentleness not guns.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Conflict comes in so many forms and is a part of growth to a certain degree. The way we deal with conflict can define our very being, shaping how we show ourselves to the world.

There is no one right way for everyone, we all need to find our own way. If your way works so great for you - fantastic! But don't assume it will work for me too. If you want me to know something, teach me gently, not like I'm an idiot.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I'm not very good at posting photos, I'll have to play around with it in all my spare time (ha!).
The first photo was taken during Sami's school play. She's 3rd from the right, playing a recorder. The play was performed in her classroom. If you look out the window you'll get an idea of how green it is around there. The walls of the classroom are stone, the floors are wood, the roof is corrugated steel, painted with special heat reflecting paint. One end of the room has a large circular rug and lovely wooden and cloth play toys and musical instruments on one side, and big cushions for sitting and reading on the other side. Up the other end of the classroom are the wooden desks with ergonomically designed chairs and a large chalkboard. Outside of the classroom is a verandah with two large low tables for messy craft projects or for eating at, and pegs to hang backpacks and hats. The children all remove their shoes before entering class as part of the transition from outside time to inside time. When inside, they can go barefoot or wear slippers in cooler weather if they want to.
The second photo is our new home in Moonee Beach.
I'll post more photos soon.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Confession & wishes

I don't want a million dollars, unless I could use it to help others (kids and animals and the environment). I don't want a big house, yacht or a personal plane.

I do want a simple life. I would like to actually own a house with some land near some water. I want to grow our own veges. I want to be a part of a big small-town community. I want to live in an area where family and friends pop in for a few days or or a few hours when they pass through. I want my children to know the security and joy that these would bring.

I am more concerned with making a life than making a living. I wish that Cary's concern for the latter would involve less stress and more of the former.

I love the area we are living now and could easily put down roots here. Finally - after 20+ years of being restless and wanting to move around, I'm ready to stay put. I feel I have most of what I just wished for. To complete the dream, I "just" need to buy a home and see Cary move in a new, happier direction. Working on both of those.