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?


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.