Monday, December 31, 2007

31 Dec 07

At 11:30pm on this day, 14 years ago, my destiny completely turned around when I met Cary at a street party on the island in the Great Barrier Reef where I was living and he was enjoying a vacation. Wow, what a journey it has been. It just keeps getting better.

Speaking of journeys, this particular phase feels like it's coming to a new chapter.

The showers we were experiencing turned into a whole bunch of rain and high winds with a cyclone further up the coast. We did not feel comfortable going to the other side of the island and getting pounded on there as the cyclone came closer. Before we took the weather into account, we went to look at the other park and just did not get a good feel about it. It was supposed to be a 4 star park, but it sure didn't feel like that. It had a very old feel about it and just felt weird. I had a look in the ladies bathroom and with the way the tiles were, it looked like the floor was moving. The lady at reception was not very helpful and told us that we could not check in until 12 noon on the day that we were due to arrive, but she did not tell us that the office was closed from 12 - 1pm for her lunch. After pondering the weird feelings we got while we were there, and considering the coming bad weather, we decided to move slightly south west, about 12 km from the city of Brisbane to a 4.5 star park. We realised that a lot of Aussies like to go to the coast during the summer so we'd do the opposite and go to the city. We're going to check out the science center, planetarium and museums and other attractions of the big city.

Observations so far: yes, this is a nice park, but it also feels a bit sterile, or impersonal. People (generally speaking) seem more concerned with themselves and are just not as friendly and open. We visited a huge shopping mall nearby which was about the largest mall I've ever been to. It interesting to people watch the amazing melting pot of races and faces. Not many people looked happy as they rushed about, focused on their own lives. When driving here, I was excited to visit the big city, where I used to live, again. But driving here, getting lost after being given the wrong directions, looking at all of the traffic and just feeling the less friendly energy, I'm glad that we will be leaving in another 2 weeks. I plan on enjoying the time we have here, but I'm glad we know our departure date.

Sometimes, to figure out what we want, we need to experience the things that we do not want.

Packing up this caravan and setting up again several times recently has proven to us that we do not want to continue with this type of caravan. It is just too small. We've been questioning our purpose with this whole exercise. I feel we've learned a lot about simple living and enjoying life and the outdoors and each other. Travelling has been nice, but we are longing for a home base to know we can return to. We'd all like to go back to a house for a while. For some dry space during all the wet weather we've had, for individual privacy and just more personal space. Just a little house, on a large lot of land so we can still be outside a lot when it's nice weather. For a few months. Cary is returning to the USA mid Feb and will look into sending over a larger caravan (trailer) for us. We'd like to do a little more touring until we find "the" spot we want to be. We can imagine living in the caravan for a while as we look for some land to settle on and business opportunities to get into.

Interesting how when we think we're on the right track, another possibility comes to mind that needs exploring. In the process of evolving and creating who-we-really-are, we are paying more attention to our own feelings, intuitions and signs around us. We are waking up, becoming more aware, more connected to Source and each other.

We are looking forward to a calmer year ahead, filled with new adventures and amazing personal growth.

We wish you all a new year filled with good health, happiness and all the good things you wish for yourself.

namaste

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dec 27 07

Australians love the great outdoors. Cary is amazed by the large number of campgrounds and how packed they all are at this time of the year. Family groups gather together and help with meals and the children after spending the day enjoying the simple pleasures of playing on the beach, going for walks and sitting around chatting while the kids play with cousins and new friends.

This new campground that we are at is a bit different from the last one. The other one had a beautiful pool, fabulous camp kitchen, kids playground, modern amenities and the sites were larger. This one is a lot more basic, but the people here are all so friendly. We are across the road from a river with lovely white sandy beaches. In a few days we're moving to the other side of the island and will be a block away from the surf beach. I thought I'd be glad to move, but I actually think I'll miss this quiet, close community. The kids have made a ton of new friends. On christmas, a lot of the other kids were given Nintendo DS's. In the afternoon, they discovered they could message each other. Sami and AJ took their DS's over and soon they were figuring out how far away they could all be and still get the messages. They just had a great time. They've also all been riding their scooters a lot around the park. They haven't missed having a playground and a pool here as they have found other things to do. The weather has been good, not hot, just really pleasant with some showers keeping things cool and fresh.

Our christmas was nice and simple. We went to my brother's houseboat for lunch and spent the afternoon playing on the beach and at the playground up the road. With all of the kids in the park, I did not hear any of them say to any others "what did you get?". They all just seemed to enjoy what they had and it was not a competition of who got the best stuff. Nice.

Even though we had a simple, stress-free, joyful christmas, there was something niggling at me that was missing. It seemed to lack depth. I think we can fill that next year by getting involved in some kind of community service project to help others.

Hope y'all are enjoying basking in the post-Christmas glow.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

lost: 2 rings. gone: attachment

Recently as I was going through some of the things I have in storage, I came across two rings of mine that I used to enjoy wearing. One is all silver and the other all turquoise. I don't like wearing a lot of jewelry on my hands & wrists, and currently wear some other rings I like, but I wanted to wear those so I put them on a leather cord to wear as a necklace. Yesterday as I was in the shower, the leather cord just fell off, with no rings on it.

The old me would have panicked and got the whole family out looking for them right away. However, my first thought this time was "oh well, it's just stuff, I hope whoever finds them enjoys them". It felt good to feel that. But then coming in behind that feeling was the thought "but it's MY stuff, and I have history attached to those rings" then came the feeling "so?". It was a comical interaction between my mind and my soul as my mind let go of the attachment to those two rings. I felt so ok with their disappearance that I just casually asked the family to keep their eyes out for them, but I did not send them all out combing the area. I trusted that if they were meant to return to me, they would and if they were meant for someone else, they would find their way to the right person.

This morning I had a brief vision of the turquoise ring and imagined it on my hand next to the other silver ring I'm wearing at the moment. About 20 minutes later, I found that ring.

This year has been such a big one for me in terms of letting go - of conditionings and material things - and personal growth in ways far beyond what I ever thought. It's been a tough year, but oh, so worth it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Joy


Photo taken at South West Rocks, NSW. 17 Dec 2007

We are packing up our camper to prepare for an early morning get away tomorrow. It's amazing how relaxed we are. Life has continued to flow beautifully here. With the shopping centers jam packed, we always manage to get a spot right near the front. Not that we have been spending much time there, but when we do go, it's been a pleasure and we've been able to do what we need to do without stress. It's been so great!

Warm wishes to all our friends and family for a happy and joyful christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Peaceful easy feeling

Ever since I started reading the 'Conversations With God' books, I've been feeling a beautiful, deep peace. The whole family picked up on that and we've had a lovely harmony here and a fantastic flow with life. Things that have been missing for months are 'suddenly' turning up, we've all been more playful and joyful and just loving living this free spirit life of ours.

Up until yesterday when I woke up tired after several nights in a row where my sleep had been interrupted quite a bit by noisy neighbours and Nuke wanting to nurse a lot more than usual. I was also starting to feel a bit tense about things we still had to take care of here before we go north and wondering when it will all get done with the social agenda we already have planned. It was a pretty windy day yesterday and that always bothers me too. So my agitation managed to rub off on the rest of the family. Interesting.

This morning I woke up feeling more rested, feeling my faith return that everything we need to do will get done and will be done with joy. As I write this, Sami and AJ are using their headphones to listen to a new Karaoke CD that Sami got for her birthday. They are singing together and dancing little toys all over Sami's bed. Cary and Nuke are still asleep. The birds are chirping and there is a gentle warm breeze blowing. That peaceful calm is filling me again.
...

Just before Sami's birthday, we went to a kinesiologist who, after getting Sami's body in balance then tested her to see how she processes various foods. For many years I've suspected she's had something going on in that department but I hadn't been able to find the right person to assist us. Or the time just wasn't right. Recently, Sami started complaining much more often of a sore tummy. She also started saying that her brain is "all fuzzy" and she's "thinking all crooked". So, it turns out she is intolerant to wheat, gluten, high fat and refined sugar. Which means that her body just does not digest those things which is why they are stored on her physical body. She's now ready to help herself more and is interested in getting a clearer brain and wants to trim down a bit. She knows that she needs to avoid those foods, but is in a transition phase of still wanting them for their familiarity and comfort. We're looking for alternatives and just bought a bread machine and are experimenting with new flours. She can have spelt so that's good and the spelt waffles I made on the weekend were very popular! I'm sorry that it took 10 years for us to realise this, but at least we now know.

Since Cary left for the USA up until a week or so ago, he has lost 25lbs. He was trying at first, being careful with what he ate, exercising regularly. Doing that he lost the first 15lbs. Then he just stopped focusing on it and just focused more on enjoying life and the family and the rest just seemed to melt off him. He's feeling more relaxed and connected and that's a wonderful gift for him and us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

a jolly time

A lot of people have told us lately how relaxed we look. Yeah, we're certainly in a pretty nice groove at the moment. Even this typically crazy time of the year is not bothering me like it has in the past. I'm just not doing as much about it. We're getting less presents for fewer people and the Christmas cards will either get done, or they won't.

It's Sami's birthday in two days. She has one more regular school day left, then another day of clean up and presentations and the last day is just a big picnic at a local creek/beach area. In two days our girl will turn 10 - no more single digits! For her birthday I got one of those flip over photo albums that holds 100 photos. I've chosen 10 photos from each year of her life so far. It was so much fun doing that. I think she'll enjoy looking through it and seeing some of the many people and places and fun times she's experienced.

We're all looking forward to moving on from here in 12 days time. I'm so calm about everything, it's the best present I could give to myself - and the rest of the family! It's good.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Clarity

Several weeks ago, I was going in circles, knowing I needed to change some things, but not knowing exactly what. I was finally guided to ask for clarity....and it is coming.
My own goals, and our family goals are so much clearer. I am grateful.

It has kick started a new phase and given enthusiasm and energy to where we're at now.
We're having a major clean up in our camper. Really thinking about what we're taking with us when we head north. What do we need? What do we want? How much/how little can we be comfortable with? Already the space in our camper has a lighter feel as we take the excess books and games and toys and general stuff to our storage unit. Another garage sale this weekend - hopefully the last one for quite a while - will allow us to move our stuff into a much smaller storage unit.

Sami has another week of school before she finishes (again). She recently performed in her class play and absolutely shone. I must find drama classes for her when we head north. I'm excited to meet the other homeschoolers there. AJ's been enjoying gymnastics and they've both been swimming a lot. Nicholas speaks more words every day - all day every day that is...he starts chatting from the moment he gets up until he falls asleep. And his volume is loud! Oh boy is he a funny character.

I'm so blessed to have these three special souls in our family. Each of them shining in their own way. Teaching me so much, and in the process allowing me to shine too. With the love and support and encouragement from Cary too, I am very happy.

It was Cary's birthday on the 3rd. Sami made him a happy birthday card and she 'accidentally' wrote "have a God birthday" (instead of good birthday). We thought she had it right though.

I hope y'all are enjoying this month with peace and love and I wish you a God day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

late Nov 07

Nicholas and I went to my Mums for 3 nights to help her out with some jobs at her place. It was the first time I'd left Sami and AJ for so long. I felt a bit strange doing so, but knew the time would go quickly. They ended up having a great time with Cary and going to a couple of parties. Such a great time that they hardly ever called me. I'm glad it went well. Apparently it was very quiet around here without the little guy's constant chatter.

Nicholas really missed everyone (and so did I). He stayed very close to me the whole weekend which made it a little hard to do much, but it was lovely. I got to drive our new truck on the trip. It went great and I loved cruising along the highway with the sunroof open, the windows up and the music on. Nicholas was a happy traveller on the 3 hours there and back.

I love driving on the roads here. Cary calls the main highway a country road. Ok, it is only one lane each way for most of it, with some overtaking lanes built in along the way. But to me, they are interesting. The curves, the hills, the countryside. It's so beautiful and interesting. Old, abandoned buildings, full of history - I can just feel the pioneers who first brought their families this way. I can imagine how the area looked back then, I wonder about the women and think about how hard they must have worked and wonder "were they happy?"


I was very happy to get back home to our little camper. We have arranged to move further north on 22 December. So we're started to prepare for that - using up the excess food, taking the winter clothes to storage and really thinking about what we've been using and what we will need for the hot summer ahead. Cary did buy a mobile air conditioner for the camper which isn't too bulky. AJ and I could be comfortable in the summer just with a fan when there is no breeze. But the rest of the family really feels the heat so the a/c will make them more comfortable. Hmm, maybe I should keep some of the winter things with us for AJ and I.


It feels good to have a plan. I am trying to think of some creative things we can do for Cary's and Sami's birthdays which are coming up soon, as well as Christmas. We won't be doing much in the way of presents as we simply don't have the space (or frankly, the desire to get any more stuff). So we might put tickets to Australia Zoo under the tree (or whatever we use in place of a tree) for Christmas with some favourite foods and that might be it. Decorations will be minimal. I'm aiming for a Christmas that has more meaning, more family connection, less "stuff" and less stress.

So far so good. I'll let you know how that plan goes!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

releasing Judgement

I was walking along the beach this morning. It's a place that always nourishes me spiritually. It's a place that feels ...like home.


I walked while watching a(nother) magnificent sunrise. I thought about how easy it is to appreciate something so beautiful and how challenging it can be to appreciate something not so beautiful. I thought of how judgemental I was of the area when we lived in Las Vegas. It took me years to accept and appreciate the unique beauty of the desert.


I thought of how easy it is to enjoy my children when they are happy and how challenging it can be sometimes when they are showing sides of themselves that are, well, not so pretty. How hard it can be to look through statements like "I hate you mum" yelled from my pre-pubescent daughter. I know she really means that she does not like what I'm saying because she knows it to be true but doesn't want to admit it. But it's hard not to let it get to me a bit especially when it comes with huffing and puffing and major attitude.

So I'm really working on noticing my thoughts and noticing when I'm being judgemental towards others or myself. To see the love that is always there, even when it's hidden behind a veil of fear. To release judgement and let things just be

Saturday, November 17, 2007

always growing

There's been an undercurrent occurring in my life that I have been denying.

I was stuck here for some time in a mental pattern I found challenging. I was stuck in a very judgemental process creating a downward spiral. The judgement was focused on my own surroundings. I lost the joy of what we are doing and starting listening to what others were saying. The tone of their voices as they felt sorry for me for living in this old camper in cramped conditions with the whole family. On top of that, selling the nice car we had recently and driving the smaller car that was also more cramped and has the headliner falling down and a temperamental cassette player. And of course, dealing with it all through the rain. "oh you poor thing." was something that I heard over and over and over. I started believing it.

I would try and talk to people about the positives but I could tell they were kind of shocked or thought we were in financial trouble or thought there was no way in heck they would be doing what we're doing. I reminded myself about why we're doing this but then I started seeing things through their pity. Instead of freedom and adventure, I was seeing insecurity. Instead of joy, I saw doubt. Instead of fun with my children I started feeling resentment that I wasn't getting any time for me. All because I listened to other people who just don't get it.
It helps now that Cary is back and we can support each other on this path.

I knew there was a spiritual lesson in all of this. At least one.

To start with, I thought about the physical image of our home and car.
I came to see that it's not the external image we project but the internal image we hold and allow ourselves to see. I needed to remind myself that I am a good person and have respect for myself and the things I have. To feel grateful for what I have. I decided that when I could get comfortable with that - truly and deeply - then abundance will manifest in my life. I think I had bought into other people opinions that we were poor and so I started living with a lack mentality. I can now see the beauty around me, the space, the freedom, the flexibility, the adventure.

I started taking some time for me, to recharge. It's important and I need to let my family see that I respect myself enough to do this. Doing this helps me remember my path, my reasons for doing this and helps me stay strong in my decisions and joyful during my day.

I finally was ready to read 'Conversations with God' by Neale Donald Walsch. I've known about the books for years, and even seen the movie, but I'd never read a book. The other day at the library, Book one said to me "it's time to read me now". The first 5 pages were enough to realise that I hadn't been letting go and letting God do enough in my life. I felt joyful and lighter immediately.

And so, I am letting go of OPO (other people's opinion's) that I had absorbed. I am working on my own spiritual energy - protecting, grounding, expanding.
I'm feeling excited again.
It's all good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sensory cornucopia

My joy meter has worked itself up from the recent trough it was in to reach a peak experience this morning:

Sleeping beauties
time alone
sandals on, time for a walk.
Onto the path
what? why?
the beach in on the other side of those trees.
20 seconds later, I'm on the sand
sandals off
The smell! fresh, salty air
The feel! the sand and small stones and shells massaging the soles of my feet
warm ocean water bathing my lower legs
the sea foam so very soft like liquid silk through my toes.
The sight! the blue and green water, so clean, so clear
beautiful waves
patterns on the shore
The sound! Waves rolling
strong and confident, with a purpose
like me
birds flying, so free and beautiful
like me
surfers catching waves
so adventurous
like me

My spirit nourished, full of this natural abundance, these gifts.
I am so grateful
excited
knowing anything and everything is possible
we are all connected
we are one

Thursday, November 08, 2007

25 days

Have I ever mentioned that we get a bit of rain here?! Oh my golly, it just hasn't stopped lately. Well, it has stopped for a few minutes here and there, but it's rained a lot lately, and it's expected to continue for another 5 days or so. It's like living in the tropics but we're squashed into a teeny two room place. Yeah, we're going to need a bigger camper before too much longer. And one without canvas. I've discovered that all the canvas ones - even the brand new ones - get damp on the inside with a lot of rain.

As we are staying put here for a while longer, Sami really wanted to go back to school. She misses her teacher and all the singing and wanted to be a part of the end of year play. There are only 25 school days left in the year and if it makes her happier, I surrender. I saw the joy in her face when she spoke about going back and I could not deny her. AJ does not want to go back. Sami said that she does want to homeschool when we get on the road, but seeing as we've really not gone anywhere, she'd like to be back at school.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Transition

During birth, transition is the stage when the mama thinks she just cannot go on. The babe is usually born very soon afterwards.


I had my own transition here last week. I reached the point where I was just "done" with all of this. The rain, the mildew, the constant dampness, the wind, the cramped conditions, not being able to find things easily, light bulbs blowing in the night, torrential rain knocking part of the annexe over, rain getting in and soaking the beds when we went out leaving the windows unzipped a little, tons of extra washing, the constant work, blah blah blah.

After transition comes the birth and a wonderful feeling of release and joy, although the mama is usually tired from the process. I thought back to my post regarding 'it's all about me'. Where I wrote about it being my responsibility to choose my focus. I KNOW this. This time the thought wasn't too far away. I knew it was there, I knew it was up to me to change how things were going, I just didn't feel capable. I needed to go deep into that transition, to really feel it, to get to a point where I sobbed deeply and for as long as was necessary to release it all. Years of pent up frustrations and old conditionings came through while I was sitting amongst a huge pile of wet laundry, with the camper a total mess and the rain still coming down. The children witnessed, they comforted but I did not stop for their sake, I kept going for me, not holding back, just letting it flow until it was done. Then I got up and did what had to be done - the washing, the meals, the shift in attitude.

I thought of people so much worse off than me. I wondered how I can always find so much stuff to do when living in such a little place. It seemed almost comical that, no matter what size place I live in, I can keep so busy taking care of the place. I wondered how I would live if I was told I had two years left to live - or what about two months?! Would I be so concerned with another wet towel dropped in a pile on a chair or would I just point out calmly that the towel won't dry if left like that, or even just hang it up myself without complaint?

I've had my transition, I feel lighter and more joyful, but tired. I'm a new babe and calmly determined to live with more love and lightness in my life.
I do not want to stop living like this, I know it is temporary and one day I will look back and this time with very fond memories. I am grateful for all of the lessons I'm getting, for the growth that's happening with all of us and for the fresh air and sunshine (even when it's hiding behind grey skies). I'm looking forward to the travel plans that we have and the adventures of mind, body and spirit that await us.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Peek-a-

BOO!


(Nuke was actually playing peek-a-boo when AJ took this pic)

AHHHHH!

(Sami & AJ on right with two new spooky friends on Halloween)


ARGH! Ahoy, shiver me timbers, wot's all this then?


Halloween is not an Aussie tradition. However, in recent years, as this country becomes more like an adolescent USA, more shops are carrying halloween decorations, costumes and candy. More people are having parties. More kids are attempting to go trick-or-treating. They usually go right after school finishes for the day, rather than as soon as it's dark as is the tradition in the USA.
AJ was determined to give it a go, though I did warn him that most aussies aren't into the festivity so probably won't have much. He got a few spooky friends together and off they went, not even noticing that it was raining. They got things like a handful of jellybeans, a half-eaten bag of mints, a few cookies, some coins, and some other bits and pieces. Several people went out and made up little goody bags filled with different candy for the kids. I did a treasure hunt for all the kids which helped them fill up their bags and they had plenty of sweet stuff.

Other examples of Australia becoming a mini USA are tv commercials with American voices, and teenagers starting to speak with American accents. Scary!

Hope y'all had a happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

random ramblings brewing

I knew change was coming...I kept seeing 55 and 555 (numerology re change), preparing me that change was on it's way.

There's a change brewing inside of me. My passion is growing. My own goals are getting much clearer. Figuring out how to balance those with the rest of the family. Where do I draw the line and say "I am not prepared to compromise on....!" ?



Cary is going to stay in Vegas a bit longer to complete some deals that are taking longer than expected. At this point, it looks like he'll be here by mid-November. We're all disappointed, but not surprised. He's had an interesting opportunity come his way which add a new change to the plan. Living with him I've had to be very flexible. One of the side-effects of being self-employed.



Several days a month I would love to escape into a red tent. Today in one of those days.

I've been feeling low and questioning things in my life. That usually signals a breakthrough to a deeper understanding and clarification of what is going on externally and internally.


As a total coincidence, the last two books I've read have talked about gypsies and nomads. From the first time I heard about these groups of people (many,many years ago), I have been fascinated. Books, movies, stories have always caught my attention. Often when I would go to a fancy-dress party, I would dress up as a gypsy. I love the idea of freedom and adventure and living simply and close to nature. Something else has occurred to me - yes, moving around like that sounds ideal (for now), but also being a part of a community. I'm missing a tribal connection. We still see some of the friends we met at the Steiner/Waldorf school, but I'm keen to get on the road and meet up with the big homeschooling group up north on the Sunshine Coast.

An interesting gypsy tradition has them destroying and then burning all of a persons possessions after they die. The family may keep one small memento (like a wedding ring). Of the things we still have in storage, what would I still keep if I knew that they would all be destroyed upon my death? How would this affect future purchases?

For some time, I've been toying with the idea of a new name. "Annette" is who I was. When someone asks me my name and I tell them, it feels like I'm talking about someone else. It's like it's the caterpillar name for me and I need a name for the butterfly me that I Am now. I'd like a name with "iam" as part of it so that every time I wrote or said it, I'd remind myself that "I AM", but as Sami has those 3 letters in her name, I don't know if that's too similar. When I was looking for names for my children, I spent hours researching a name for meaning, sound, numerology. I got so twisted about it and wished that I hadn't done that, but just let the name come to me. I found it easier to name our kittens than our children. And I still don't think the children got the 'right' name, but I do think they have grown into their names. There is a name I've started using on a small scale, just to try it out. It does not have 'iam' in it, but it just feels good.

More rain here, but it's no longer cold with it. And everything is so green!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Living a long, full life

While we were at my Mums place recently, we also saw my StepDad who lives in a nursing home. With the health problems of him and my Mum and Grandma and, well most of the other people we saw while we were there, it stimulated a thought that's been brewing in my head for quite some time.

How many of the problems connected with ageing can be prevented?
How much is genetic?
How much is created by our physical environments?
How much is created by our mental conditioning, habits, stress?
Is there a point at which the effect of past bad-habits can be stopped or reversed?

In my mind, one of the worst things for us is stress, or perhaps the way we cope with stress, or create too much stress in our lives. The physical stress of what we eat, how we move, how much we move, how little rest we have. The mental stress of finances, family, what has to be done, etc. Emotional stress of relationships, and our connection with ourselves.

Ok, so say we can reduce the negative stress in our lives, get on track with a diet that agrees with us, balance our exercise habits with getting enough rest and play. Find a way to accept the other situations we cannot change, make a plan for the ones we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. (!) Make time for our own connection and growth. What else can give us the vitality that may, perhaps, extend our life or at least give it a deeper fullness? Some may say a feeling of contribution, service, faith or peace. What would you say?


I say Passion! Whether it's the kind that makes you jump out of bed in the morning, all excited to spend time doing or even thinking about what fills you with the Knowing that you are doing what you were sent here to do. Or if it's the kind that gives you a calmer sense of enthusiastic contentment whenever you lift your hand to write or paint or sing or dance or whatever it is that you deeply enjoy. What fuels you? What puts a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step whenever you think about it?

I believe that following our Passion can extend our life, fill our soul, create a healthier body and mind.

If you cannot honestly say "I am happy", perhaps you could use more Passion in your life. What do you love to do? What fills you with timelessness whenever you do it? What connects you to a deeper place where it all just feels 'right'? What is preventing you from spending more or any time on this? If you're limited by money or having someone to watch the kids or distance, spend time reading about your passion and visualise yourself doing it. Act how you would act if you could spend more time on your Passion.

You deserve a Passionate, Healthy, Full Life! There are always ways to live that way when you get committed to yourself. You can do it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Road trip to Grandmas

We just got back from a little trip to my Mums place. Before we left, I was a bit nervous about leaving. It was a security concern. We have insurance on it all, but it only covers things in the actual caravan, it won't cover anything left in the annexe. So I put a lot of our stuff in the caravan before we left. I was also concerned about rain & strong winds while we were away so I just tightened everything up and asked some friends here to keep an eye on the place while we were gone. Then I put a Reiki protection circle around the entire place before we left and let go of any concerns. I took with me the most valuable things we have - our children. Everything else can be replaced.

I was curious how it would be staying in a house again. It felt a bit strange at first but I did come to enjoy the convenience of having running water, a dishwasher, space to spread our stuff out, and a bath. I also felt a bit confined and really missed just living outdoors, feeling closer to nature and each other.

While we were there, we visited with my 91 yr old grandmother. She started telling me that the kids miss their school. I said "no they don't". I told her some of the ways that our children are getting a real life education and added in "they certainly aren't missing out on the social aspect". A lot of people seem concerned that homeschooled kids miss out on the social side of school. Ha! I love that my children have friends of all ages, instead of just that of their own age group. Living this way, they are meeting people from all over the world and playing with children who may not speak the same language they do. They get more time to play freely instead of a limited 30 minutes twice a day, 5 days a week. They learn from life. On the drive down to my Mums, Sami kept asking me "give me a sum". We did that for quite a while as the boys slept. I couldn't hold her back - she, as is the case with all children - has such a strong urge to learn and I love that we honour that urge when it is present. When she's begging to learn about math (or anything else) is when she's going to retain that knowledge. When she's being force-fed, it's just going to spew out again. Also on the way to Mums, Sami read lots of the road signs and billboards and we discussed what some of the advertising was about. She had a compass and kept an eye on the direction we were going and noticed how sometimes you have to go west (or east or even north) to get to your destination which was actually south. My Grandmother - who is very spirited and set in her opinions - was not convinced and ended with "I'm just concerned about their schooling". I replied with "thank you" and a smile and let it go.

AJ had been feeling a bit off for a few days with a bit of a cough. He rested most of the way, played his DS, helped Nicholas with snacks and water, did some finger-knitting of a black and orange garland for Halloween, played I-spy, looked at books, told us stories and pointed out the different farm animals to Nicholas.

Nicholas was a great traveller. He told me when he needed to go to the bathroom and happily got back into his seat each time. The trip took 4 hours there with having to stop 3 times and getting held up at roadworks. On the way back, it took 3 hours and a few minutes with only 2 stops and less roadworks.

I enjoyed the journey so much. I almost wanted to keep driving as it was such a great time of feeling and being close to my kids and enjoying the moment and not being concerned with the day to day details of life. Well, I kind of live life that way anyway. I must remember to appreciate it more.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

weather & me

The Spring road here takes two steps forward and half a step back. The weather warms up to a certain point, then cools off again for a couple of days, often with patches of rain and wind with it. Of course the rain helps everything to continue being so lush and green and vibrant. But do we have to have the cool weather with it? Probably not for much longer.

I am just not a cool weather person. After 42 years, I'm still amazed at how it throws me off balance. I tend to eat differently which makes me not feel as good, and I'm just not as joyful as when it's warm out. I know I feel great when I eat mostly fresh fruits and veges, I just don't crave those as much when it's cool.

I guess I'm just a tropical girl. If I had to settle down, it would have to be in the tropics. As I don't have to or need to, I'm happy being a gypsy and travelling. The intention is that we have an endless spring/summer. Yeah, it's good.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ghost town

It feels a bit like a ghost town around here. Ever since school went back, the park has emptied out a lot. The new wave of visitors here seem to be families with small children, European families on an extended visit and young singles or couples.

I kind of miss the busy, crazy time with lots of kids around here. But this is nice too. I'm getting to see more of my kids again and we're doing more things together.

We've had a couple of cool, drizzly days here. Back to jeans and long sleeves. Two nights ago the wind was wild. I couldn't sleep for a while as I listened to boogie boards surfing up the road by themselves. Just adding to that ghost town feel.

Sami is enjoying having a more defined rhythm to our days. She seems calmer. It's probably good for the rest of us too.

Cary gets back here on Halloween. Yay!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Our walk to Muttonbird Island

Sami really craves rhythm in her life so I've created a rough plan of how our week will go. We've assigned Monday morning as our hiking/bushwalking time. For our first hike, we decided to go to Muttonbird Island. In the photo below, our caravan (RV) park is just a little further along than the island just to the right of the center, and on the other side of the trees. From there, the walk was about 4kms/ 2.5 miles round trip. Nicholas walked most of the way and I carried him when he was tired.

So we set out together with some friends. School goes back tomorrow and Kyle, a 6 yr old friend (who used to be homeschooled but now goes to the Steiner school) and his mama Tracey (who is a good friend of mine) joined us. We stopped to admire some of the beautiful flowers, play at a playground, paddle in the creek and discuss whether we should cross there or go around the bridge. We decided the tide was moving too fast and we walked around. We walked along a bike path, the kids ran and looked in the bushes for lizards. We walked along a breakwall although AJ and Kyle ran along and climbed up on the rocks to look out to sea - maybe they'd see whales or turtles, climbed down the rocks into the calm water of the marina and tried to catch a fish with their bare hands. We continued on and this is the part of the view from half way up the island:
Looking back at the way we came:


Looking south:

We saw some dolphins in the water in front. Around the east side of the island we saw a large sea turtle. So beautifully graceful, all of them.

It was a perfect day. 75 degrees, a very light breeze. It was just glorious to be out and feel free. I saw a small yacht sail out of the marina and my mind thought fondly of previous sailing experiences and I had a deep longing to be on that boat. To sail out to sea, out of sight of land, ahh.
We learned about the migration cycle of the Shearwater birds from the boards that were posted on the island. We saw the nests that are little burrows to protect the eggs and chicks from the sea winds and predators. The birds themselves go in search of food during the day and only return in the evening. Eggs are not due to be laid for another month or so.
The water looked so beautiful. I felt so deeply peaceful and just full of life and something much greater being there, immersed in Mother Nature.
On the way back, we cooled off at a little beach in the marina area. We walked back along the breakwall and then decided to walk back along the beach. The kids found a variety of treasures including cuttlefish, feathers, shells, one sandal and....
a baby turtle!



My first thought was to leave it alone or help it back into the water. Tracey had a closer look and thought it was injured so we wrapped him (somehow they decided it was a boy), and took him to the Pet Porpoise Pool which was conveniently just across the road from where we were. They are like a very small sea world and take rescued sea animals. They have some beautiful peacocks wandering around their grounds and Nicholas was in awe of them.

After all of that excitement, we had a pretty relaxing afternoon. We went to the pool for a little while but apart from that, we just played some games and enjoyed being together.

I wonder what adventures await us this day?

Photos



For many months, Sami has been torn between wanting to grow her hair long and having it cut short. With all the swimming she's been doing, having longer locks has been too much for her to take care of. She's decided she's a short-hair girl and once she made that decision, we went to the hairdressers for a new do. She loves it.



My sister and her family stayed near us for 10 days of the recent school holidays. Her kids are 13,17 & 18 and into some different things to my kids. But we did get together several times for some fun like going to the beach, having a Bar-b-q, and going ice skating:


This was AJ's first time so he was taking advantage of the frames they have for beginners. That's him in the middle of the pic with one of his cousins in the red shirt behind him (don't know who the little girl in the front r/h/side is, probably should have cropped the photo but was lazy, actually trying to get this online before Nuke wakes up). By the end of the session (1.5 hours), he was attempting to skate without the frame or holding on to anyone. He had such a great time as he approached this a lovely mix of determination and joy.

The big kid cousins took time out to be little kids again:



I'm so glad we were able to spend some time together. It's nice having family only a few hours drive away.

Lessons from Mirrors

Something happened yesterday that came out of the blue. Details don't matter, but basically, someone I thought was a friend was not and they were able to interfere with my friendship with another. I was so sad that at first I wanted to cry but then it quickly turned to anger, quietened down to pity and I began to question why this might have happened. The person is very insecure and I think my way of life and ideas threatens her sense of security.
I was angry about why she acts one way in front of me and then obviously talks behind my back. Why do people do that? Why was she so false with her nice mask on?

Is there a mirror here? Is this something I still do? Do I ever say one thing when I'm feeling another? I know I used to sometimes. In peeling my outer layers to expose my real, raw self, maybe this is a lesson. Maybe I'm being shown an extreme example of something I still need to work on. Aligning my inner thoughts with my outer expression. Hmm, I'll have to be more aware of that to see if, when, where it happens.
Maybe it's in the just not saying anything when I really want to. That's most probably it.

Oh, this is exciting, all these great lessons. I'm really enjoying these growth spurts. Even though it's a little painful at times, I feel myself getting stronger all the time. And lighter.

It's all good!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

it's all about me

I'm accepting a new reality. This is MY path, MY journey. Dealing with my current frustrations is a part of that. I'm not waiting for Cary's return for it to be better, I'm making it all better right now. I'm accepting my strength and my role in my own life. It's not that Cary's away, it's not that the children are fighting, it's not the extra people here, it's not the rainy weather. It's ME. I have the power to change my reality but simply changing my focus and my mental chatter. I can choose to feel great or I can choose to feel bad. And it's good to feel good. If I feel bad, then it is only up to me to change that. It's that simple. And I knew all of this, I just forgot. I don't think I'll forget again. I've had enough of giving my power away. I accept it here and now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

learning from frustration

I've been feeling a little frustrated lately.

Perhaps it's that it's been over 5 weeks since Cary left and I've had very little time to myself. And I miss him.

Perhaps it's that, if I don't keep on top of the cleaning and the clutter, it really starts to bother me. But it only takes 10 minutes to get it all back to tidy again.

Perhaps it's because the 3 kids recently had worms. Worms! They've never had them before. Is that from living like this? No, research shows they are very common. But still, it had me wondering. And doing a LOT more washing than usual.

Perhaps it's because the "honeymoon" period of this new lifestyle is wearing off. The initial "oh we're living like we're on vacation all the time" is over and we're moving into a new acceptance of actually living like this. It's still good, but I have found myself focusing on little annoyances like having to wait for a washing machine (it is school holidays so there are more people in the park at the moment) or try and fit all of our clothes onto a small space of communal clothes line and last night I had to wait for the oven in the camp kitchen because I got there too late and I haven't figured out how to use the oven in our camper, and the tray I had the home-made pizza on for the kids was probably too big for it anyway.
The practical side of living in a small space was bothering me. Some little things I wanted were stored under the seating area which also gets made into the boys bed. I used to undo the bed every day but that was getting too much so now I only undo it every few days. Yesterday I wanted something that was just really hard to get to. I ended up showing my kids how to have a good hissy fit! I need to shuffle things around a bit to make it easier to get to the things I need sometimes and move the things I rarely need to the parts that are harder to get to. Then comes the thought "do I really need some of the things I've brought with me?" I have hardly looked at any of the books I've brought for myself. But it is just nice to know that they are there in case I want to (or get the time to).

Ooh - here's another thought - if I really wanted to look at those books (or do any of the crafts, play the games, etc), then surely I would make that a priority and would find a way to work it in. Like when I read the last Harry Potter book in 3 or 4 days time. So why can't I be more passionate about following my other interests and make certain I get time every day to devote to them? To a certain extent I am just living my passion in the way that I am living and growing. But I'd like to do ..just more of the things that interest me.

Perhaps it's because my little frustrations are rubbing off on the kids and they have been annoying each other and that's been adding to my frustration.

I am trying to turn this all around. Get back into the moment. Focus on what's good now. I often see the faces of the families as they are packing up, preparing to leave. No one looks happy. The parents are probably thinking about the drive ahead of them, what needs to be done when they get home and back to work and into the routine of their lives. The kids are probably wishing they could stay and play all the time. They're probably all sad that their vacation - and their relaxed, fun time there - has almost ended. I remind myself that this is a choice we've made. We could choose another way if we wanted. Do I want anything else? ..No.

I'm learning about myself and these frustrations are all lessons. (I feel I've blogged about this before, but it's coming around again so I want to express it here, and tell it like it is as we adjust to living on the road full-time.)

I love living simply. I love the freedom we have when we're ready to move on. I love living outdoors. I love my kids. I so want to be a really great mother but right now I don't feel like I am as I've been focused on keeping things organised, and concerning myself with the daily tasks. The kids have been getting little bits of me in between all of the other things we've been doing. Even when I have had time with the kids, I've often been thinking about the other things that still need doing that day (gotta pick up more bananas, get the washing off the line, empty the toilet, charge the phone, make sure the internet bill is right etc.) That is so back-to-front! I'm going to switch that so that I focus on my kids and the daily tasks are things that get done in between all of the things that we do together.
It will all be easier when Cary gets back and he can help with some of those daily things as well as make sure I get time for me which I think is what I'm really needing. I used to think that a "good" mother could totally focus on her children, and time for herself was a selfish luxury. Now I know that, for me, it is essential for my sanity and serenity. But for now, I'll take my selfish moments whenever I can whether it's for one minute or 20 (if Nuke takes a nap and the other two are playing with friends), and remember to recharge myself. I still do yoga most mornings, sometimes if I wake up really early, I light some candles and do yoga by candlelight just before the sun comes up. It's very special. I'm eating well - simple fresh foods - and my energy is increasing. I think I'm moving into a new phase of me and these frustrations are old conditionings being noticed and released.

I am here now. This moment is perfect.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

kids fun

We have the "International Buskers Festival" in the area at the moment. There are street performers from the US, UK, Europe as well as a lot of local talent. While we were at the harbourside markets last Sunday, we saw an Elvis impersonator (Tommy Memphis from Las Vegas - of all places!). The first half of his show was a typical Elvis show but the second half was very much for the kids as he invited all the kids up to his stage area and they all danced and sang and then he started asking them some questions, like "what should we call our band?" and "what's your favourite number?" (I can't remember what relevance that had to anything, but some of the answers were funny.) AJ's answer to that question was...


"googolplex"! Which AJ had recently learned is the highest named number. Tommy Memphis had no idea what that was but called for a round of applause from the audience as it just sounded impressive.

Yesterday the kids club at the RV park started due to the local school holidays. In the morning they were offering crafts and free face painting.
Here's how Princess Sami looked afterwards..




And Spiderman AJ with a wrap-around snake up one arm and a spider with web on his other hand.



Nicholas did not want anything on him. He was a little busy anyway - he's such a friendly little fellow and says hello to most people he sees. Some of the boys that were here recently, all around 10 years old, were very taken with him and his friendly manner. He would try to keep up with them when they went out on their scooters. They were very nice about waiting for him and even showed him some basic tricks that he could do on his scooter. I can see an extreme sports star in the making! Yesterday some of the boys came to door asking "where's Nicholas?". They were going to play soccer and wanted to know if he wanted to join them. So funny that my 2 year old has the big kids looking for him.

We went out yesterday to see some of the buskers. We were not impressed with some but loved "the amazing drumming monkeys" and the little bit of another performer we saw who did his juggling show to the music of Queen. We plan on going out today to see some more buskers. If I can get Nicholas away from his fan club that is.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

hello goodbye

Earlier this week AJ met a little boy while we were playing at the pool. They bonded immediately as they recognised the cheeky playfulness of each other. The little boys name is Tom and he's almost 6 years old. Tom became part of the family, often spending hours here playing, or he and AJ were all over the campground on Toms bike and AJ's scooter, or over at Toms tent or at the playground or somewhere together. Toms mum and I became friends and spent hours chatting. They extended their visit by one day, but then they had to go. On their last night here, Nicholas went to bed early but the rest of us hung out on the lawn outside our annexe. We sat around playing funny games like Chinese Whispers and "If you could be any kind of animal/vehicle/insect/food/colour, what would you be?" and duck, duck, goose which somehow (that 5-6year old humour) became 'toilet paper, toilet paper, flush". All this under the light of the full moon! The kids spent a while playing hide & seek before we eventually called it a night. Sami and AJ fell into bed and were asleep within seconds. Good fun, good friends.

Living like this, we know that the people we meet are not going to be in our lives long, so we make the most of it while we can. These short-term friendships are an interesting lesson. I think we are appreciating these new friends, as well as old friends, a lot more. We're also finding it easier to share bits of ourselves, our stories, our things.

The morning that Tom and his mum were due to leave, I thought we might be able to go over and help them pack and I was surprised at how sad I felt that they had already left by the time we got over to their site. I thought AJ would be sad too, but he actually seemed ok. There are so many kids in the park at the moment and this afternoon we had some really nice kids pitch their tents in the site next to ours. AJ made friends with one of the boys there who is 10.


We're looking after some bunnies and a cat for some friends that have gone away for 2 weeks. We can't have animals here so we're making daily visits to their house which is not far from here. On the way to their house today, Sami said "I'm glad we don't live in a house anymore" When I asked her why, she went on about how she's really enjoying living outdoors and the camping lifestyle. She also really really loves the pool at the campground we're at. AJ however is really looking forward to a time when we can have our own pets again. He recently declared that he was going to be a veterinarian when he gets older. He's always had a fascination with bugs and lizards and he is very comfortable around all kinds of animals and insects. Whatever he ends up doing, I just hope it makes him happy and excited.

pool photos


There's AJ coming off the bottom of the water slide after going down on his tummy. There are two other bigger slides over to the right (not in view) and the kids refer to this one as the "baby slide". It's such a great pool. It's fun for kids of all ages, even the little ones...


An afternoon in the life of Sir Nicholas...



Splashin' around in "MY ring"




Hanging out with the big yellow guy with water squirting out of his head.


Looking for pearls


Just looking cute


Taking a little rest



And back to it...he's sitting on a water fountain here which might explain the look on his face!


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For you exprienced bloggers out there...I am trying to change my profile photo but just can't seem to do it. I've following the help instructions but it keeps changing back to the old photo. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Living our life..

I usually go to bed very tired and wake up still tired. After a short time of being committed to eating much better and focusing on having vibrant health, I am waking up not as tired as I was. So I can see that it is working. I'm eating less food than I was, but of a higher nutritional quality and my body is appreciating it. As we are saving so much in our costs of living compared to when we had a house, we are putting our health high on the list and only buying organic fruit and veg where possible.


It's school holidays here (spring break). The various states start at different times but I think this weekend is when they all overlap. The campground is booked solid. It is so interesting to see all the different types of camping - all kind of tents, camper trailers - an ingenious creation where all the camping basics are attached and stored, complete with pull out kitchen area and hard floor tent - caravans (travel trailers), motorhomes, and every now and then we see one of the big US-style 5th wheels or class A motorhomes. A lot of Aussies are impressed by those but then talk about the cost of petrol and how one of those here is about the same price of a solid house on land.

We've been meeting so many interesting people from such a variety of places. Country folk, city folk, people in between, ...every one has a story and it is like creating a living book as we all share ours.

People often ask me "where are you from". I used to give kind of a long answer explaining how we moved out of our house nearby and how we're fine-tuning the process of living on the road so we can travel, blah blah. Now I just answer that question "originally Sydney, most recently before here it was Las Vegas, Nevada. We live on the road in search of adventure." That opens up a whole lot of questions which are often different coming from different people. People with children usually ask about schooling and I tell them we homeschool. Sometimes they go on to ask about how that actually works and when I explain how we do it - learning from life, following the interest of the individual child, exposing them to lots of different experiences, playing lots of games and honestly answering all of their questions when they ask - some of them seemed amazed that children can actually learn all they need to know in this manner.

When hearing about our life, a lot of people tell me "oh that sounds so good, I wish we could do that, but....". I don't judge or try to help them figure out a way, I just tell them "anything is possible" and plant a seed, or water an existing one.

Sami and AJ have found a friend who recently was given a Nintendo DS and they have been helping her learn about it and borrowing games from each other. They've been spending an hour or so at her campsite every day lately. She's in her mid 20's. I love that my children have friends of all ages.

Recently I purchased a shopping trolley - the kind I used to only see older people use as they went to buy their groceries, that they could just pull along. Mine is blue (of course!), has several pockets on the outside as well as the big inner area and it folds up. I tell you, it has been a great thing. My bag tends to get so heavy with all of the water bottles and bits & pieces and also the weight of all the aussie coins ($2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c are all in coin). So when we go shopping, I put all our stuff in there as well as most of our purchases now that we buy more efficiently. Saves my back and the kids enjoy pulling it along too. When we're not using it for shopping, we take it to the pool with our towels, goggles, flippers, water and snacks in it. When it's not being used for that, Nicholas likes to play with it around here.

The earth is warming up and life is good!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Raw Life

I looked in the mirror the other day and saw some new wrinkles. I thought about how my body has been feeling lately, which is not great. I go to bed exhausted and wake up tired. My digestion has not been good, but it has been sensitive my entire life and I learned to live with a fairly constant unease in that department. With the exception of when I was eating only raw foods when I felt physically and mentally light as well as energetic, enthusiastic and just excited about life.

I was thinking about what causes the appearance of aging as well as the physical discomforts that people expect to go along with that. I would put it down to one word. Stress. The stresses of our lifestyle, our diets, our mental processes. I know I've experienced major stress in the past 12+ months that I could have handled better if I'd changed my mental chatter as well as my food choices. People tell me "but you eat so well". Maybe compared to a lot of others, but having lived only on raw food previously, I know I'm not serving my body. Perhaps the effects of aging show up sooner or later, but too much stress can definitely make them appear sooner. I am changing that now.

The conditioning that surrounds food is a deep topic. It's linked to all kinds of emotions - good times with family and friends, as well as comforting ourselves when upset and stuffing down uncomfortable feelings. Throughout our education we're told that we need "all five food groups" in order to be healthy.

When I was eating all raw foods, I felt like the true me, the raw me, was exposed. Sometimes that was not pretty and I did not know how to process some of that and eventually went back to eating cooked food.

I consider myself to be back on the raw path. Raw as in peeling the layers and exposing my succulent self. I have a commitment to health - mental and physical. I am allowing those uncomfortable feeling to surface so that I can process them now - look at them, see where they come from, how they've been serving me, and then thank them and kiss them goodbye if I have no more need for them in my life. I've grown and learned and have new tools within myself to be able to do this.

Living this life of simplicity in my outer surroundings is allowing me and inspiring me to simplify my inner life. To remove the unnecessary layers and allow my truth and the real, raw and juicy me to stand proud and strong and sure.

One way for me to get back to this is by eating a diet high in raw food, and for other food choices to be as close to nature as possible - like steamed veges and rice on a cold day.
Another way is for me to consistently do Reiki on myself as I go to sleep and when I wake up. To continue doing my morning yoga, to drink lots of water, to be in the moment, to focus on the joy and good things here and now.

I aim to live a long and vibrantly healthy life. My commitment starts right now!

Friday, September 21, 2007

moving into the groove

This past week has been busy for me. We've just been running around doing 'stuff' that hasn't really been all that exciting - organising the storage shed, shopping for some camping supplies to make life here more comfortable but then those purchases required some shuffling of our stuff here, picking up stuff we had for sale at a Tender Center that did not sell and just general busy-ness around camp with the ongoing prep'ing meals, cleaning up and washing. We have had some playtime at the pool here or catching up with friends.

On Friday Sami wanted to go to the school to watch the Main Lesson Sharing. She said that her class was going to do their first violin performance (after 6 lessons) and play 'Hot Cross Buns'. She just said it as a matter of fact, she did not seem sad that she was not involved. I was a little concerned about going to the school and how the kids would feel, but she wanted to go so we did. We all enjoyed seeing friends again. And we enjoyed leaving and going to do our own thing. We had a really fun afternoon. We spent a couple of hours at the Plaza, looking at books and toys and getting a few things for dinner. Sami had been asking some geography questions lately. We went past a jewelery store that had a beautiful world globe on display. Every country was a different type of stone or shell or wood. So we spent some time looking at that. It was the first time that it really felt like we were unschooling again. It was like we had all let go of something by our visit to the school and were back in touch with the way things used to be. Sure, we're all a little different, but we were connecting on a level we hadn't done for a while.

While we were shopping, Sami bought some blue nail polish and painted all her nails and AJ's too and Nuke's and my toe nails when we got back home. Nuke is so thrilled with his blue toes he kept taking his little crocs off to show people. It's a darkish blue but that's the only blue they had and that's what she wanted. I was thinking about what I wrote in the meme about my favourite colour being a medium blue and I don't think that's right. When I looked at my clothing and jewelry and accessories, the predominant blue was turquoise and I realised that it is that colour that gives me the most joy. Other colours in my collection of personal things, are some medium blue things, are some dusty pink, a little brown, black, khaki and peach, light purple, some cream coloured clothes and one mint green t-shirt. I don't feel good in yellow, or most greens. I also don't like things that have patterns on them with the exception of sarongs and skirts and maybe a pair of swim shorts. I feel cluttered and uncomfortable if I wear a shirt or long pants that has a print on it. Just one of my little quirks. Actually I don't really like patterns on a lot of things in the house - like sheets, though it's ok for a doona cover. Curtains and tablecloths I prefer plain but can live with some patterns, I just feel better if they're plain. I go a little nuts when I see patterned wall paper and carpet. Silly little things about me that I'm just recognising as a fact of who I am.

After painting our nails this afternoon, we met some friends at a nearby playground. Sami wanted to walk there by herself. She is wanting more independence. I decided to drive as Nuke hadn't napped and was getting tired. Even though the park wasn't far, I didn't feel like carrying him the whole way back. So Sami walked there without noticing that I was still keeping an eye on her by driving slowly. She's getting so tall..a camping neighbour that we've become friends with, thought she was a teenager.

The mornings are getting warmer here. It's making my sunrise yoga even more enjoyable when I don't have to wear so many clothes and can just do it in my long yoga pants and a tank top.

Ah, life is good, I have great kids and a great man and a world of adventure rolling at my feet!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More pics


Random sand stuff.



Nunu's and my footprint.


Happy boys.


Lunar eclipse in progress.


Sami at her last main lesson sharing.

Local wildlife


Local duck family... ah, they're so cute


More rainbow lorikeets. Interestingly, they have not been around for about a week, after being daily visitors for a few weeks.


A Plovers nest. Looks like a pile of leaves on the ground. If you look close to the middle of the photo, you can see two brownish balls that are the eggs. The birds spent did not always guard the nest so the eggs disappeared after a few days. Probably taken by a Magpie.


I should have zoomed in on this but wanted to show where the Plover built the nest. That's it actually sitting on it (the white/grey blob in the middle of the pic). It's lucky it was a quite time at the campground as it's located right in the middle of two campsites, and on a popular cut-through for other campers. Although it's not so lucky as we know the fate of the eggs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

School's out!

School is out for Sami and AJ!
AJ had his last day of school on Friday. After a moody start to the day on his part, he had a very good day. I didn't go on the bushwalk with the class as Sami had decided to take the day off and we did some other things. After the previous week, when it seemed that AJ was getting into trouble all the time, I didn't want to go, and left it up to AJ as to whether he wanted to or not. He did. The teachers gave him the role of Leader and he enjoyed that and actually did what they asked. I don't know what to make of that. They said he "plays up" more when I'm there. Maybe he feels he can be himself when I'm there and not restricted and told he can't look at something interesting. I think there's been so much change around here that it's catching up with him. He's been different and a bit distant and I'm looking forward to getting closer again.

AJ's class did a lovely goodbye ceremony for him. Ok, I had a few tears. We've been at the school for almost a year. We've met a lot of friends there and it did have a lot of good points - the festivals, the singing, the music, the plays, the crafts, the art, the community. The school itself is absolutely lovely, with it's wood and stone buildings and bushland setting. Sami seemed pretty content there. There were some things she didn't like, but on the whole, she enjoyed her experience there. She had a very special bond with her teacher and, yesterday afternoon as they were saying goodbye, I had more tears. I was grateful to this woman for treating Sami with such gentle love and care and guiding her in ways that I have not been able to. I cried to release the mixed feelings that have come with the children being in school, and later I cried some more to finish that process and out of relief that we were finally getting on with the next phase in our lives.

When I picked Sami up yesterday, she looked very happy. She'd been given some special things from Tracey (teacher) and the class. She was surprised that she got to take home all of her books and pencils from her desk. When we got home, she happily went through it all looking at her different crafts and paintings and things. We are actually going back to the school today to a surprise birthday morning tea that I have arranged for Tracey from the whole class. I feel that Sami and Tracey will keep in touch regularly, whether it's us popping into the school to see her if we're in the area, or by email, they will continue their friendship, and that's comforting to Sami.

Sami has grown up a lot in the last year. She still struggles at times (don't we all) and can be very dramatic, but she also has a calmness and gentleness that seems deeper. She often helps out around here without being asked, and is willing to help out when I do ask. AJ loves to annoy her and I hope he calms down a bit now that he doesn't have the school influence and they can spend lots of time swimming and playing together.

I was going to download some photos to post here, but I just realised that the camera is in the under-seat-converted-into-a-bed-storage that Nicholas is sleeping on at the moment. I think we're going to find living in this a bit cramped now that the kids are out of school. Sami really needs to have her own space so she sleeps and keeps her special things in one of the end "bedrooms". Cary and I sleep at the other end and the boys sleep right next to us, with just an optional curtain between us, on the seating that converts to a bed, which is a bit of a bother to set up every night and break down every morning. Finding time for intimacy is a bit tricky, but we do have the annexe as an extra room (not that there is much room in there though) after the kids are asleep and I'm thinking about setting up a small tent outside. The lovely "afternoon quickie" has been put on hold at the moment as it's impossible to sneak off to another room while the kids are busy. With Cary in the US at the moment, it's all on hold anyway. Hope he's back soon!

Something we've found about this lifestyle is that clutter accumulates rapidly. It doesn't take much at all for the place to look like it's been through a tornado, so I need to stay fairly organised. Still loving it though!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

8 facts about meme

I was tagged for a meme by my beautiful and inspiring friend Dharmez at http://peacefulgoddess.blogspot.com. It's like an online chain letter. I'm supposed to list 8 facts about myself and then tag 8 other bloggers to do the same. I'm just going to leave it open if you want to do it, consider yourself tagged. So now, here are 8 facts about me....

1. My favourite colour is blue. I prefer a medium blue to a real dark or real light blue, but if they are they are the only options, any blue will do. I don't remember when it became my favourite colour, maybe around age 9? A few minutes after Sami was born, I remember thinking "pink is my new favourite colour". Silly huh? But it's never replaced blue.

2. I also like sparkly things like crystals and the reflections that they make. I think the love of both blue and sparkly things stems from growing up near the ocean, watching and playing in the blue, sparkly water.

3. I've worked in a McDonalds, a dry cleaners, a bank, an office dealing in waste management, a supermarket, a bakery, a shoe store, a porn company, restaurants, bars, I had my own business hosting cocktail parties, I also worked in a general store and nightclub on a tropical island, in a health food store, as a personal fitness trainer, as an aerobics instructor, a receptionist at a health club, a Reiki practitioner, doing all kinds of support work in an holistic health center and best of all...as a Mama.

4. I'm enjoying being 42. I am trying to "gracefully surrender the things of youth". Not that I think I'm old, but hey, I'm double 21 and my body doesn't always respond like it did then. I feel a confidence and Knowing that I didn't have 21 years ago and that's a good thing.

5. My favourite foods in the world are tropical fruits, especially bananas and mangos. I feel so good when I eat just fresh foods. Succulent and wild - both mangos and me.

6. My favourite drink in the world is pure, fresh water. Second is any one of a number of fresh fruit smoothies I make.

7. I can't stand it when my kids fight. Nothing stresses me more than that. I try not to get emotionally involved, but I can't help it sometimes.

8. I love being a free spirit, living on the road, with endless possibilities, making our own map as we go. I'm proud of the way I'm living and Being.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The most important things..

I still haven't gotten around to downloading some photos, but I will soon. We've had a busy few days around here. Last Friday, I walked with the kids into school and enjoyed the smell of wood and lavender that usually greets us. I looked around the beautiful rooms and, for a moment, had a period of doubt about if we were doing the right thing. A couple of hours later, I went on a bushwalk with AJ's class. "Hold your partners hand...stay together...don't go there, that's out of bounds....that's too far...AJ, get back here...(AJ finds an 'acceptable' activity, gets deeply engrossed and then..)...time to go back now...AJ, you need to line up with your partner now...AJ!" Ah yeah, no doubts at all now. On the walk back, AJ and a friend wanted to look at a tree that was dripping dark red sticky sap but they were told to get back in line and not hold the rest of the class up. That afternoon we stayed late at the school as Sami recently joined the adult choir that practices then. So while we were waiting, I helped tidy the Kindy room in preparation for the big Spring Festival coming up and AJ and Nicholas ran around with friends.

Saturday we had a clean up day around here and then some friends came around to celebrate the mama's birthday. Great fun. Sunday we went to the markets for our weekly fruit and veg and then went to the Spring Festival at the kids school. It was lovely. Sami joined her class for a performance, but then refused to join the kids choir performance which she is also in, as she only wants to be part of the adult choir now. She always looks so confident and comfortable onstage. When she was singing with the adult choir, she was in the front row and was loving it. When she sings with her class, she's in the back row as she's one of the taller kids and isn't as impressed by the experience.

Yesterday (Monday) was a no-school day so we caught up on washing, made a chocolate cake and some friends came over for an afternoon of playing in the pool. A good time had by all.

The kids have less than a week of school left and have not said a whole lot about that. With the warmer weather coming and the opportunity to spend most of the day at the pool or on the beach, I don't think school will be missed. AJ will probably miss some friends, but they can still have playdates. Sami will definitely miss her teacher and the Main Lesson work. But I'm going to see if she can still be a part of the adult choir while we're in the area and we can always pop in and say hello if she wants. Sami and AJ have been fighting a lot lately, but hopefully it won't take long to rediscover that they are actually good friends and like playing together.

Both children have been a little sad that we sold the "big car". After recently moving out of the house and into the camper, putting most of their things in storage, Cary leaving temporarily, selling the favourite car, and soon to be leaving school...that's a lot of change in a short time. I take it on my role as Mama to try and protect my children to a certain extent from sad and uncomfortable feelings at these ages, and to try and provide a sense of security. Cary sees my point, but also thinks that this was a choice, not like it was suddenly all taken from us by fire or flood. They are learning at these ages that the important things in life are not material things...they are impermanent. But the most important and constant thing in their lives is the love of family and the adventure of living.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A moment here

Yesterday we sold one of our cars. We've had an offer on the other one. With Cary away, I'm wondering if I want to experiment with being car-less. I think it would be an interesting exercise - walking more, using public transport, and really thinking about if I need to go to the shops and, if I do, being efficient in doing so. I won't buy another car here, I'd wait until Cary got back as he knows cars better than I do.

Cary mentioned that it's a bit overwhelming being back in Vegas - all the traffic and people! He's gotten used to this quieter lifestyle. He is keen to get finished quickly and get back here. Nicholas still says "hi plane, hi Dad" when he sees or hears a plane fly overhead.

We've had more rain for a couple of days and I hope it passes soon. We're doing well, but it does dampen my spirits when I can't start the day with doing my sunrise yoga.

I'm letting go of the things I feel I "should" do and I am trying to enjoy the process more often. Interestingly, by doing so, I feel calmer and I am actually getting more done as it crops up instead of putting things off.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Spring is here!

I forgot to mention in the previous post that Spring officially started here on 1st September. Right on cue, we have a pair of plovers who have built a nest close to our camper. They are not the brightest birds...they build nests on the ground and are known to choose areas that are not quiet or safe. I will try to get some photos in the next few days. They are also bloody noisy. If anyone walks within coo-ee of their nest, they make an awful noise to scare them away. I have some other photos to post as well, I just haven't gotten around to downloading them.

Leaving on a jet plane...

I recently went through the bag of clothes that I had brought with me. I took out things that I don't love to wear, and things that just were not my favourites for whatever reason - the colour was just not quite the right shade or the fit was not what I really like. I was able to fit all of my clothes into a 50L plastic container. I will admit that I have a few things in storage that are just not practical to bring on this journey, like my knitted jumpers (sweaters), and some dressier types of clothes.

I sorted through the kids clothes too and now all of Sami's clothes fit into the same size container as mine, though somehow she always has more washing than the rest of us. Both boys clothes fit into one the same size as Sami's and mine. I had another 50L plastic container that had toys in it, but the kids are just not playing with them. They are so busy playing with friends and each other and on their scooters and with the birds, that they rarely look for anything else. So I took some toys back to the storage unit and put some others into a smaller container. It turns out that I needed the larger container to put the beach and bath towels in. We had just been leaving them out on a drying rack. They were drying during the day, but as the sun started going down, the afternoon sea spray would get on them and they would get damp. so now I put them away once they are dry.

I had a clever blog written in my head in the middle of the night last night, but now I can't remember any of it. Oh well.

Cary left this morning. He was sad to leave us, but looking forward to tying up some loose ends and getting some new deals happening. Hopefully it will be the last time we have an extended absence from each other. I'll miss him. Sami was crying a lot after he left, and very dramatic with it. Nicholas didn't quite understand until he saw Cary get on the plane and then saw the plane leave. He started saying "Daddy..plane..NooNoo (what he calls himself)..plane". A couple of hours later when Cary called us from Sydney before he boarded his international flight, it really hit Nicholas and he started crying a lot and saying what he'd said before. He's asked for Daddy a lot this afternoon. It's been so great that Cary has had a lot of family time this year and has been able to bond so deeply with Nicholas.

When we walked into the airport this morning, I got all excited with the idea of travel. All the places we could go! Ah yeah, I am so not ready to go back to living in a house. I'm going to take some time going through things in the storage shed and really think about if I want to pay to hang on to them, or if they could be easily replaced. I think we'll stay put here for another couple of months so that I can do that without feeling rushed. I'll put some things on ebay, some on consignment and have another garage sale.

I can't stand feeling rushed. There's been a bit of that lately, when we were getting out of the house and getting Cary organised and some other things, and I don't cope well with the stress around those times. I think it's because I am a pretty organised person and when we rush to pack and do things, I am not as thorough and things can get mixed up more easily and then I can't find things and feel like I've forgotten to do something. That's why I need to take some time now and get calm and solid with where I'm at.

Cary proposed a change in our plans recently and I flipped out a bit. A friend asked me "what do YOU want?". It took me several days of pondering this to realise that I often consider Cary and the kids and other people's opinions and needs more than my own. That's changing. I'm starting to not feel guilty about taking time for myself when I want/need to. To just sit down and bask in the sunshine. To think about what I need to do in order to be true to myself and my purpose here. What we are doing is a part of that, I just need to be more in touch with my Self more often during the smaller daily tasks and times as well as when considering major changes.

What Cary proposed is still along the same lines of what we're already doing and planning but maybe going somewhere else instead of the South Pacific next year. And some other business ideas starting right now, and, and, and.... That boy is so busy. Anyway, he has some great ideas and we will start working them in and see how we go. Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Life in the great outdoors

We've had several beautiful days of sunshine and warm days. Ahh, thank you!

One of the interesting things about being in the park is watching the different campers come and go. When we first got here, there were a lot of retired people from the southern states. Most of them had fairly new campers of a similar style. Now we are seeing more families with campers like ours, some newer, some older. Recently, a huge, American-style 5th wheel was here. Two people were travelling with it. When we had that week of rain, we looked longingly at that rig, with it's 3 slide-outs, and imagined them comfy and cosy in there. But thinking about it now, it would be just like living in a little house. We never saw the people sitting outside of their place, the way people with the smaller campers do. I spend a lot of time either outside (we all do that)or in the annexe where I do our food prep and sometimes I even cook out there in the electric frypan. We have a stove and oven in the camper, but we haven't used them. If we need those things, we go to the camp kitchen which is a fun social event, and it doesn't stink up the camper. When I'm in the annexe, it feels like I'm outside (when all of the windows are rolled up), yet with the basic conveniences of inside. I like it a lot. When we choose our next camper, I want to remember how good it feels to live outside. I'd like something a little more secure, with an easier set-up (not that this is bad, it's just that the newer campers are quicker and easier to set up), and maybe a little bigger for the kids to have their individual space.

The American 5th wheel type campers and motorhomes are a rare sight on the roads here. Partially due to the cost to buy them, and the cost of fuel here and the roads here which are narrower and just not as good as in the US, despite very high taxes.

AJ has been spending a lot of time with the rainbow lorikeets. Now when we get up in the morning, they are often waiting outside our door. And they often come to visit during the day. We offered them wild bird seed but they were not interested in that. They like all kinds of bread and seemed to especially love a day-old peanut-butter & jelly sandwich. I don't know if that's the best kind of food for them, but it seems to be what they are used to from other visitors feeding them bread. We've also fed them apples which they like.

Yesterday afternoon some friends dropped by as they were riding home from school. Sami and AJ hadn't gone again. They hung out and fed the birds for a while then AJ, Nicholas and I got on our scooters (I borrowed Sami's) and we went with our friends to a local playground. Nicholas loves his scooter and he is fascinated with bikes so maybe he might be the first of my children to ride one. Sami and AJ have never been very interested in bikes, they've been content with their scooters. Yesterday Nicky carried his scooter up the slide at the playground and I had visions of this little 2 year old extreme sports star hurling down the slide like it was a ramp at a skate park. Once he got it to the top of the slide, he rode it on another little ramp at the top of the play equipment and then must have figured that riding it down the slide would have been a bit too steep for him at this point. He's a very determined litte guy though. Had to have that scooter up on the equipment.

We're going to have a lunar eclipse party tonight with some friends at a local beach. Cary and the kids researched what happens to the moon during that (the moon moves into earths shadow so there is no reflection of the sun on it to give it its brightness and it will go dark). Maybe I should pack the headlamps and flashlights.

I wonder what other adventures this day will bring?