Wednesday, December 24, 2008
We are enjoying the summer weather with lots of swimming and crafts and reading. AJ is happy that we have some extra guests in our house at the moment - baby geckos! They must have been in the roof and we've seen several in our bathroom so they are probably coming down through the heat lamp / light / fan. We recently had a baby blue tongue lizard in our back yard. It obviously wasn't well, but AJ cared for that critter for several days until it was still, and then buried him. We recently found a dead bat on the side of the road. It hadn't been there long as there were no bugs on it so we explored it for some time, felt it's thin leathery wings and the claws, stroked it's soft fur and felt a great tenderness for this mysterious creature of the night. So much so that we brought it home and buried it. AJ is such has such a sensitive side, he feels deeply for all animals and was very sad at the bat burial and the passing of his lizard friend.
Nicholas is more rough and tumble and into the smorgasbord of life, a joyful fellow who loves to do whatever AJ is doing or whatever else seems to be a good idea at the time.
Summer loves swimming and looking through cookbooks, playing her DS and singing. Last Sunday night she performed in the choir at a large Christmas celebration we went to with our regular Spiritual Gathering group. She's made a very nice friend through that group who lives just a few blocks away, and also homeschools.
All is well here.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I have been thinking about Christmas and the meaning it has for me and how it can be more meaningful for my family. I've also been on a mission to decrease even more material things. But how to do that within a homeschooling family that needs 'stuff'? So I didn't want Christmas to get out of control with excess decorations, presents, food etc. But I also remember being a child and how those things helped add to the anticipation that was all part of the excitement. I've also been concerned about my children being disappointed on christmas because they won't have a hundred gifts under the tree. - I was thinking they'd get the idea about this from speaking to other kids and watching some christmas movies where it shows a floor filled with gifts under a huge tree on christmas morning.
So I realised that I had several conflicting thoughts and that I was creating most of them in my own head. If I thought my kids might be disappointed, they probably would be. If I changed that to the joy they'll get from the few things they'll get, then we'll all be blessed.
We were driving to the mall the other day and I was starting to dread facing the crowds. Instead, I released that feeling and focused on the joy of anticipation, seeing the decorations and feeling the excitement instead of focusing on the materialistic side and complaining about that. I want my children to remember happy christmases, filled with fun and joy no matter where we are or what we are doing. That's really the main gift I want to give them.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Last week we happened to catch some filming of a kids show "H2O" about three teenaged girls who turn into mermaids when they get wet. It's usually filmed at the local Warner Bros. studio, but they were on location at 'our' headland. So we stopped and watched for a while. AJ got a bit bored as each scene took sooooo long to film and they did it over and over from different angles. Summer was excited and had "a million questions". If we'd had our camera, the kids could have had their pic taken with the girls, but of course I didn't.
Some travelling homeschool friends that we met when we were on the road are back in town. They have 3 kids and one of their sons and AJ are best friends. All the kids get on well together so it's lots of fun when we get together.
Just got off the phone from Cary who said he'll be home on thursday. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Summer played a witch, and had the largest role, during the main play which was a send up of Sleeping Beauty.
Friday, November 14, 2008
We've been getting a lot of rain showers lately. Not every day, but most days have at least a little shower. Nicholas was excited to go to the creek to try out his new rash shirt ('rashie' as they are called here). He had chosen it himself and thought the pirate skull & crossbones was much better than the other options of crocodile, shark or nothing. So yesterday, in between showers, we drove to the creek. The car seems to be doing ok on short distances only. As we couldn't ride, and I thought it too far too walk, especially if it started to pour down, so we drove. We pretty much had the creek to ourselves. The beach had a lot of debris on it from the wind and rain knocking leaves and twigs out of the trees. And the sand seemed darker than usual. But we had a lot of fun, as usual.
The creek is right next to the caravan park that we used to live in. That's Summer sitting under the green and white umbrella on the sand and you can see some caravans behind her. We often go for a wander through the caravan park and reminisce.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It's like we're meant to spend more time here though. So we're making the most of it. I don't think it's just the things we are doing here, it's the mindset shift it's creating as I think about how we can be more efficient and self-sufficient.
I've been thinking a lot about food - diet - nutrition lately. So many 'experts' claim to have found the best diet, suitable for everyone. I recently tried eating only raw foods again, eating low fat and simply. I started out feeling great, but didn't stay that way. So at the moment I'm eating fresh foods throughout the day and often have something cooked vegan at dinner time with a large salad. I'm reading a lot about human evolution specifically regarding diet. I'll have more to say on this in another post, but right now, it's time to put my mommy hat back on and tend to my tribe.
Friday, November 07, 2008
But recently AJ decided to give him another chance and wrote out a huge long list of things that he wanted. Oh gee I thought, he's really going to be disappointed this year. But he was also questioning the whole concept. He wanted to believe but was listening to Summer and her doubt. I mentioned the whole spirit of Christmas theme again, but they weren't really buying it. AJ was hanging onto his belief in an effort to hang on to some of that childhood magic, but at the same time, wanted to be in on a secret that he was sensing was being kept from him.
I couldn't take it any more. As AJ's list was getting longer, the questions were coming faster. I had to weigh up major disappointment on Christmas morning after a big build up to the day in his mind, or bursting a bubble right here and now. When he asked me again "is Santa real?", I just knew that it was time. I took hold of his big balloon bubble and let the air out as slowly as I could. Summer was fine, just glad to finally know what was going on and her suspicions had been confirmed. AJ looked a little sad, but we all had a magical discussion about the spirit of Christmas. I shared stories of some of my childhood Christmas celebrations. We spoke about making Christmas more meaningful and how we could (now) focus on other aspects of Christmas besides presents. We spoke about keeping Christmas magical in other ways. The conversation turned around and we were discussing advertising and marketing strategies and how we can look at ads and see behind the glitz. Nicholas had been sitting quietly (a rather rare thing when he's awake) throughout most of the conversation and then added a rather involved comment on babies being given dummies/pacifiers and wondered why he had never had one. (?Don't know where that came from.) But we were able to turn that one back around to the Christmas discussion somehow. When I was speaking, Summer and AJ listened with such interest and respect. They did not interrupt me, or fight with each other and they gave each other the same courtesy when they were speaking. It's as though we all knew it was a significant moment.
Sitting there, watching my two older kids grow up just a bit more, was a very special time. I feel a mixture of sadness and relief and happiness that we can change the direction of our Christmas celebration to one that I think will bring a lot more meaning. It was a moment that I wanted to go on and on, but the children were getting tired and decided to go to bed. It will always be in my heart.
We had a 50% off coupon to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I am not a fan of places with animals in captivity, but for the sake of education, especially for AJ who just loves animals and birds, I decided it was too good a deal to pass up. We looked out the window on tuesday morning. It was a beautiful day (though I should have checked the weather channel). So off we went.
The kids and a new friend. They loved the large kangaroo area as they could pat lots of roos. Unlike the wild roos we had living near us 2 years ago who would bound away if we got too close.
We have these flowers growing on a tree in our backyard. They start out white and the colour changes to this dark pink and sometimes goes white again before going pink again. We did an experiment and put some blue food colouring in the water to see if that would change the colour of the petals, but it only went up the stem. Maybe if we'd left it in longer it would have gone further, but the flower started wilting.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Yesterday (Friday) we went out in public for the first time in over a week. We did go out in the car on Monday to take the kids to their classes, but I didn't get to socialise as I had to stay with Nicholas and his chickenpox. We're used to being able to go out whenever we want so the forced isolation was a bit challenging. I felt trapped for a while until I realised that if I made it a choice - that we were choosing to stay home rather than we HAD to stay home - it could be so much nicer for my head. And it was. But we were excited to go out again. When I got on the road, I felt crowded by all the other traffic. We went to a mall to get a few supplies and I realised it was fairly quiet compared to usual, but it still felt like too many people there.
I want to connect with others. But I don't want crowds.
I want to live simply. But I don't want to live alone, or too far from others, or some of the conveniences of a town.
I want to be a part of a community in real life. I am greatly appreciating some online connections, but it would be nice to connect face-to-face too.
We went out again today. First we went to some yard sales. My favourite purchase was a carpet sweeper. Works well too and saves plugging in the vacuum. Plus, the kids think it's "fun"!!! I'm looking for a push mower. Most people I'm talking to about them say "oh they're too much hard work". Unbelievable. We've become a rather lazy society. I can't stand the smell of a petrol mower - or the noise. I want a push mower for a kinder effect on the earth and I think it would be a good workout. And my kids will probably think it's fun too!
Nicholas' favourite purchase today was a kids size Spiderman fold out foam couch. He has dragged that thing around with him everywhere in the house this afternoon. And now, he's sleeping on it.
After the yard sales, we went to a health food store that was having some raw food demos going on. I was excited to go and sample some goodies and meet some folk that I'd been chatting with online. We got there and there were lots of people in a small space. I didn't get to chat much because I got overwhelmed and my kids were also feeling that I think because they started fighting and Summer was saying 'but it's RAW food mum...we hate that". I explained that it's something that interests me and I have been looking forward to connecting with some new friends. It just wasn't the place to do that though so we left, though I felt the first niggling of frustration as the social interaction I'd been needing and looking forward to, didn't really happen. The kids did not like the gourmet foods, but they all loved the raw ice-cream.
Late in the arvo I made a big salad and sat down for the first time that day, to enjoy some quiet (the kids were busy) and eat. 30 seconds after I sat down, the boys both found me and "mum....question / comment....mum. question etc..mum...". I started getting a little agitated, but let it go and thought about something a beautiful friend sent me. Something about motherhood being about self-sacrifice and from that comes grace and from that comes true beauty or something like that. I gave the boys some attention and then they went off again. After that, lots of little things piled up on top of each other. The place was a mess, the kids had been fighting, there was washing to fold, dinner to get, etc...I had to let my frustrations out. Then I apologised and rearranged the furniture a bit. The energy just wasn't flowing the way things were and I think that was bothering me too. It feels sooooo much better now. The kids didn't want the vege sausages I cooked them for dinner. They usually love them. They wanted fruit (raw food!) instead. go figure!
So now my angels are sleeping. And tomorrow is a new day, and we're planning on making it a very happy one. Hope yours is too.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Even so, he's trying to put on a happy face:
I think we're almost in the clear and can join the world again. I did take Summer and AJ to their classes on Monday, but kept Nicholas in the car by going for a drive or reading or playing.
Still no sign of chickenpox on Summer. Perhaps the mild dose she had when she was 2 was enough. Sure hope so.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Instead of the backpack on the trailer today, I put on a 44L plastic box. In that I put some water bottles, fruit, towels, sand toys, a book for me to read (didn't happen, but a nice thought), and some other miscellaneous bits and bobs. And off we went to the creek!
Along the way I noticed quite a few people looking at my trailer and making positive comments. Damn I'm amazing is what I thought! Once again, my little trailer did a great job! We stayed at the creek for over 2 hours before packing everything back into the box, loading it on the trailer and cycling home. The boys had a bath to get the sand off them then ran naked around the backyard laughing at the sheer pleasure of just Being!
We were going to go to a drumming circle tonight but the kids look a little wiped out, and Nicholas is still asleep. We'll see.
Got an invite to join Facebook today. When I followed the link, I noticed quite a few gals on there that we used to hang out with so I joined up. So does anyone know...is there a "Facebook for Dummies"? My golly it seems like such a busy place and kind of invasive - all your little messages back and forth to others show on your "wall". I was thinking it was going to be more like a blog place, but nope. From what I've seen so far, it's just a few sentences (if that) between the user and their friends, which all of their other friends are able to see as well. Besides messages, it also has other activity such as "Annette went to scratch her bum" or some silly things. Sure seems to have a lot of people on it, maybe that's why so many blogs are slow these days? I don't know about it, but I've only had less than an hour on it. I can hardly keep up with email let alone playing games sending things back and forth on facebook. I watch it for a few days and see how I feel about it then.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Taking that a step further, we've decided to do the same with the bath water - the kids and sometimes Cary &/or I, usually use the same water. We then use a large cup or jug and pour the water from the bath into a watering can and take it outside. We got the blue bucket above to put in the shower to catch extra water that also gets put outside. Nicholas decided it would be fun to have a bath in it after having a shower.
In another area of conservation, I've been looking for a bike trailer for my push bike to make it easier to go to the beach / library / shops and cut down our fuel consumption. I wasn't totally happy with the prices I've seen, though there are some ok deals here on ebay. I wanted to make something and knew I could figure something out. I found a golf buggy at a garage sale for $3 after some negotiation. I used some zip ties to attach it to the rack that Nicholas' seat sits on and also wound a small combination lock around the handle of the buggy and the rack on my bike for extra security. A few bungy cords to attach our bag of stuff and we were ready for a trial run to the playground 1.5km away. The verdict - excellent!
The photo above of my 'patent-pending el cheapo bike trailer' was taken outside of our new place. Shoosh - sorry I haven't put more photos of our place on here Hon, I keep forgetting. But you can look through the front window, out the back window and see the clothes flapping on the line! (if you click on the actual photo, it should come up a lot larger) What you can't see are the passionfruits, the mulberrys, the herbs, the stray zucchini plant suddenly arising from our resting compost heap, the tomatos and the pretty flowers that smell soooo good. Must remember to get more pics for you!
My budding photographer, AJ, took this photo of Nicholas at the playground. It's especially for y'all in the northern hemisphere as we are in the land 'down under'! (oh dear..I think I need some adult conversation soon or my brain is going to turn gooey).
Cary LOVES lights - police lights, flashers, railway lights etc etc. I reluctantly went to a car boot sale two days before Cary went back to the USA. He insisted that I get out for a while and he'd stay home with AJ and his chickenpox. Wandering around the sale, I saw this traffic light. When I asked how much it was and was told $2!!!!!!!!!! , I casually said that I would buy it. One very happy hubby when I got home. The lady that had owned it had it at her home daycare. She said it had worked but due to some regulation, they had to disconnect the electrical which Cary said he can easily reconnect.
And finally, just because I probably haven't put a pic of AJ in recently (and I know I haven't of Summer either), here he is, chickenpox and all:
Actually, his chickenpox don't look bad - they weren't bad. I put chickweed gel on them the first day and that helped a lot. I think he's a pretty fast healer too.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
When Cary was away while we were in the caravan park, we had lots of neighbours, always someone to talk to and who I knew were looking out for us. Being in a house I feel kind of isolated. I miss the social interaction. Having the space inside to spread out is nice, and extra shelter from the rain and cold. If we had a larger trailer, we would still be "on the road". I guess it's a trade-off either way.
Had an interesting experience the day before he left. Cary was showing me how to run the old John Deere lawnmower he recently picked up from a garage sale for $5. I'd never seen a mower like it but he said it would have been used on a golf course or bowling green. I was trying to pull the cord to start it and after a few tries, the muscle in my right forearm felt like it was on fire as though it was going in two different directions at once. I immediately knew there was a lesson there for me. I thought about Cary leaving and how I take things he does - like mowing the lawn - for granted. And knowing he'll be next to me when I wake up in the morning. But he's not going to be there, for at least a month, and I'll miss him. I know that he knows that I adore him but I feel I could show that even more deeply by appreciating him even more. And I can feel that love for him more deeply by feeling gratitude.... I'm taking that lesson with me in my relationship with my kids and other people in my life. Including myself. I take my own body for granted which was shown to me by a very tender forearm that night and the next morning.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Summer had a very mild dose when she was 2 so I'm waiting to see if that was enough for her to build immunity to it. I'm also waiting to see if Nicholas gets it. It can take 10 - 21 days to show up so we'll see.
Cary's leaving on Tuesday morning to go back to the USA for about a month. I'm going to miss him a lot. I know he has to go though. While he's away, the kids and I are going to focus on some self-sufficiency projects like establishing a vege garden, making a solar oven, looking at our cupboards and shopping list to see what we can make ourselves, eg peanut butter and costing that out. I'm keeping my eye open for strawberries on sale and might even attempt to make jam this year.
Gotta go and get some extra hugs from my man before he goes :-(
Monday, October 06, 2008
About 5 weeks ago I started exercising regularly again. I noticed that my right ankle and knee started to ache soon after. When I was just standing and preparing food in the kitchen, I would notice them and it encouraged me to notice my posture. I realised that I always leaned to my right side, maybe after almost 11 years of holding little people on my left hip. But it felt like there was another reason....it's like I was side-stepping my own life. So I've been very aware of how I hold myself most of the time and have decided to be up-front and in charge of my life - standing on my own two feet! It really has made a difference and I feel that doing that, combined with exercising and eating 95-100% fresh fruits and veges, has helped me to feel much more in balance and in charge of my life. It's very empowering and I feel wonderful!
My sister and her family were visiting our area this past weekend. So much fun! One of the highlights was Saturday morning when I rode my bike to their apartment which was right near the creek and my sister and I went for a long kayak on the creek. There were some really peaceful spots and it was so lovely to spend some time with just us. Something very rare.
Nicholas seems to be getting taller. When I pick him up these days, his legs feel longer. He loves to talk to people of all ages. He has a special interest in babies and is very gentle with them. He has said several times lately "Mum, I want a baby". good luck with that kid. No more babies here.
I could say something about the state of the financial world at the moment...but I'm not going to do that. I found myself getting very angry a while back, followed by sadness about the way the world is run but then the passion started rising again and I decided to head it in a positive direction rather than getting into talking about the things I can't fix and talking in a negative way about the people in power etc. I decided to focus on the things I CAN work on (starting with me), and the causes I can contribute to in a positive way. I am fueled with positive passion!!
I could just ramble on but it's really windy outside and it's already knocked out the 'net connection about 5 times while I've been writing this. so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead and see if this will post.
So yuba dubba dubba...that's all folks!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
When we got there, we looked at a few and then Cary, Summer and Nicholas just wanted to go to the beach. So we got them parked and AJ and I wandered along the rest of the exhibition. His favourite was an old truck with metal birds sitting on it. My favourite was what I call 'tree man' which was a tall tree that also looked like a man with a wise face, pot belly, a live fern for hair and just a lot of character. I wish I had my camera, but I did not.
The highlight of the day was one spot where there was a wind quartet playing under a gazebo. People were gathered in front of them on blankets. Behind them was the beach, a perfect day, sunshine, waves softly landing on the shore and 100 or so people flying kites from the sand as a part of the celebration of the day. Again, I wished I had my camera, but I knew that the camera would not capture the absolute joy I was feeling in that moment and so I took a piece of that feeling and stored it in my heart.
AJ and I walked to the end, explored around there a bit and then ran along the shoreline, kicking water at each other, laughing freely and loving the moment. When we reached the rest of the family, I took off my singlet top and skirt to reveal my body in a bikini for the first time in many years. I have been working out and feeling happy with the changes taking place in my body with eating all raw food as well. I'm not at the point where I'm going to post a picture, but I'm feeling comfortable with my body. We spent the rest of the afternoon jumping in the waves and riding body boards. It really was a swell day!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Neale Donald Walsch talks about living authentically and that denying yourself is the highest form of denial. We all have a reason to be here, we all have something special to share here. By not sharing that, we are denying the world of our own personal shine.
I don't hold back anymore. My thoughts, feelings and opinions are worthy and a valid part of me that deserve to be heard. eg, this morning I took the kids to the park so we could all play monkey on the climbing net. I've been loving hanging upside down and flipping over. Anyway, when we got there, I thought I saw some teenage boys over at the lake shooting rocks at the seagulls with their sling-shots. Maybe I was wrong...I kept an eye on them. When I saw them walking along following some seagulls and aiming at them, I stormed over to them and stopped them mid-fling with a loud "HEY!" and told them to stop shooting at the birds. I kept walking towards them and they started walking away from me. I was so fired up! One of them spoke to me over his shoulder as they started walking back to their gang of friends. I was suggesting that they shoot at the leaves in the pond, or they throw things up in the air for the other one to shoot at, but they had a smart alec answer to everything I said. I told them I'd be watching them and if they shot at another bird, I'd call the police. When I was talking to them, I felt so strong and powerful and positive. I was really trying to redirect their game in a way that could still be fun for them, but not cruel. They kept watching me watching them and I knew they were going to go for the birds again so I called the police. I also called Cary and he came down and the moment he saw them shooting at the birds, he went over and talked to them and then he called the police too. I waited a while for the police, but we had a couple of other things to do so the kids and I left. Cary left to go and get a newspaper and when he got back the police were there giving the boys a strong talking to. They even had one of them in the police car. The sling-shots are a 'restricted item' and the boys were told if there were any dead birds in the area they would be in serious trouble.
The thing is, once upon a time, I would not have said anything to the boys, I might not have even called the police. I might have turned a blind eye (hate to admit that), or even left. In recent months, I might have called out a kind of meek "hey you boys, stop doing that" rather that going right up to them, full of power, looking to talk to them about why they were doing what they were doing and trying to convince them to change their focus. But I'm not holding back anymore! I'm livin' large and living my truth! I LOVE this feeling!!!!!
A couple of nights ago we all watched the movie "Last Holiday" with Queen Latifah. Excellent! Great for inspiring everyone to get out there and LIVE! So what are you doing on the computer? Go hug someone, get outside and soak up some sunshine or watch a butterfly or climb a tree! I'm going to go do all of that right now! IN JOY!!!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
We had a great day yesterday with our favourite homeschool group. They had a kite theme and mother nature kindly turned on a nice breeze without it being too windy. We, and some others took kites, others made kites or tied streamers onto sticks and things to run around with. Such a relaxed, easy atmosphere. Such a beautiful area. Such awesome families to hang out with. (We still love you las vegas life learners too!)
Not much else to say at the moment. Today we are going to the library this morning, home for lunch then I think we'll go hang out on the beach. Summer and AJ are into learning chess at the moment so we'll probably fit a few games in along the way. Right now, Cary and the kids are in the other room doing SingStar on the PlayStation. Favourite songs at the moment: "Video killed the radio star" and "Girls just wanna have fun".
Love this life!!
Friday, September 05, 2008
Summer started a music class with her homeschool drama group and absolutely loves it. AJ is still loving gymnastics and is absolutely focused on us getting a dog or cat. We would all love that again, but have to be sure we're going to stay here. There's a chance we may go back to the US for a year or so before coming back here. To get our animal fix, we are looking at volunteering at animal shelters. We've only discussed that, I haven't started looking into it yet as I'm concerned we'll want to bring some of them home, and also, the kids have been sick.
For far too long we've been passing a cold/cough thing around with the occasional fever thrown in to keep things interesting. In addition to that, my stomach - digestion has been playing up a lot. I eat fruit in the morning, but as soon as I'd eat something cooked, I'd feel uncomfortable. It was just a little bit at first, so I'd ignore it but by the end of the day I was quite uncomfortable. I would wake up feeling tired and lack energy most of the day. Enough!!!
I want to experience vibrant health for the rest of my life. I want to be one of those 90 year old women who are still out kayaking and hiking and inspiring people.
I thought back to a time when I felt fantastic - when I was eating a diet high in raw food, and even all raw food for a while. I knew I needed to get back to that. I've had enough pain and choose what gives me pleasure - I claim health for myself!
The very first day I went back to high raw - I had a little rice and refried beans at dinner - I felt great! No discomfort at all and much better energy levels. Duh. I've got a little detox going on at the moment with some cold symptoms, but despite that, I feel good. So much better now with out the constant internal discomfort. My body is asking me to take it easy at the moment while I transition a little more and let my body heal more fully. This rainy weather is good for staying home and doing just that.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
On this day of your life, dear friend, I believe God wants you to know....
...that life has nothing to do with what you are doing, and everything to do with what you are being.
Be careful not to get caught in the "doingness" of your life. That is not what you are here for.
You are a sacred soul, and you came here to the earth to Be something.
And not just one thing, but many things. The wonderful thing is, you get to choose what that is. And you get to do that right now. Always Right Now.
So what do you choose to Be right now? Happy? Content? Safe? Peace? Forgiving? Compassionate? Love? Go ahead, choose. As many as you wish! Love, Your Friend.... Neale
I love that he says "not just one thing, but many things.". Often I feel like I should focus on one area of interest. But it doesn't last because other things also interest me and feel 'right' for me. Reading his email has freed me to remove the 'should' from my focus and allow me to flitter freely between my interests, knowing it is all as it should be. I can Be it all. I Am it all!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
But making a life took over.
I look at those boxes and feel a little overwhelmed, a little guilty that I'm not 'doing' more with my life. But when I put those feelings aside for a moment, I remember how much I've grown in the past year, 3 years, 10 years and more. And I remember that I am 'Being' so much more than I ever have. Everything is unfolding perfectly. A flower has to pass through a lot of dirt before it can bloom. I am still a seedling.
I already incorporate a lot of the things that interest me into my own life. If I am meant to take any of these things to a larger audience, it will happen naturally. I Trust that.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I've been pondering this for several weeks now. Recently we decided to sell the Mercedes Benz wagon that Cary had bought me for my birthday. She has a couple of minor problems so we thought we'd just get a cheap runner and sell off all of our vehicles until we see a deal on something newer and nicer.
So, we got the cheap runner - a decent looking / running station wagon. But it's not the Merc.
When I first got the Merc, I wasn't attached and thought, "ah yeah, this is nice to drive for a little while". (My husband, a car dealer in the US, has had me in a lot of different cars over the years.) But I found that I felt good driving it too. Does driving a Merc somehow get more respect from other drivers, or was I respecting myself more by feeling proud of driving a nice car? Did the car have anything to do with my attitude? Do I really care what other people think?
The other car we got is a fine car. The paint is a little dull, but she runs well and I'm grateful I have anything to drive. But it does not stand out in the crowd (or the parking lot) like the merc. Do I want to stand out? No, but I don't want to be a part of the crowd either and I like driving something that not everybody has. Is that it? I don't think I'm a snob, but I do like to be different. I might not look too differently to most people - I am perfectly happy in jeans & a t-shirt and black workboots or thongs. My hair is natural and free, like me. I don't have a ton of piercings or any tatoos.
So why did I feel uncomfortable driving the new (used) car? Why did I look at the Merc sitting outside, with no buyer, and feel glad that we had such a nice car outside of our place? I'm not sure yet.
Having nice things is ok. It's ok to want them and it's ok to keep them. I'm so used to selling things. Maybe my time with the Merc just isn't up yet. It could be that simple.
The last two saturdays we've been out yard saleing to find things we needed to fill up the house a bit. The first thing we really needed was a full size fridge and we found just what we were looking for at the right price. We've also bought two desks, two office chairs, some colourful dinner plates, surround-sound system (yeah, we really needed that!), a lawnmower, and some books and games for the kids. Cary had already bought a couch, tv and a few other bits and pieces before we moved in.
So the place is coming together. Everyone seems happy with the way things are. I still have to sort out some boxes in the office area and the garage, but apart from that, we're comfortable. On my wish list for next week is a monitor for the computer in Summers room, a bike for Cary so he can come riding with us, some gardening tools and a couple of things for the kitchen.
I have a new mindset when we go to yard sales. I no longer buy something just because I might use it or it's pretty or (the biggest thing) it's a bargain. I no longer want a bunch of stuff around me unless it's something I will use often and it's pretty and it's a bargain. Perhaps a subtle shift, but it feels big. Living simply in the caravan for a year helped me to really get this.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
We moved in last Thursday. That day, Cary and I kept saying to each other "this feels weird". And we spoke about the next time we go on the road - in a much bigger camper. As I unpacked the first load of stuff, I thought that it was nice to be able to spread out a bit. As Cary brought all of the stuff from storage, I initially wanted to get rid of it all, as I didn't want to get cluttered, but I knew we had some special stuff in there. As I started unpacking it, I found lots of the kids toys and books. I'd take arm loads of things into Summers room. She started getting agitated and then finally said "Ahhhh...that's enough stuff....no more in my room!!!" She, who used to like having all of her things around her, now wants most of it in a box in the garage that she can go to when she wants. She wants her room kept simple and neat. Preferably with no boys bothering anything in there.
After a few days of being in the house, I stopped counting the number of days left in our lease and started to think "this is nice". This is not a big house, but I am delighting in the space. Especially at night when we can easily move around inside without bothering anyone else. Nicholas has been loving pushing cars up and down the hallway and re-discovering toys the toys from storage. AJ must have been really pent up because he can hardly keep still. When we sit down in the evening - on our big 'proper' couch - he is constantly bouncing, turning upside down, getting up and down, going back and forth to the kitchen, dancing with the commercials for 'Australian Idol' and being very busy.
As I put all of the boys toys into their room, it felt way too busy. I've since reduced it a bunch and it feels much better and they can get to the things they actually play with a lot easier. We'll have a yard sale in a few weeks when I've finished going through the boxes in the garage. I've been through everything once, but will need to do it again now that I'm not in a hurry to get the house set up.
I've been doing a ton of washing, as I had many more sheets and towels in storage than I remembered. Luckily, this house has one of the good old huge rotary clothes lines typical of many Aussie homes and I can get about six loads of washing on it easily. As I was folding some of the sheets, I realised that this house does not have a lot of storage room, and how many sheets do we really need? We have a large linen cupboard in the hallway, but I've taken up one whole shelf with my books to avoid buying an extra book shelf. I just don't want excess furniture or stuff around us. One stack of sheets and two stacks of towels (one for beach & one for bath) in the linen cupboard should be plenty. A short stack of pillowcases, another for tablecloths and place mats, and a larger one for cloth napkins should only take up one whole shelf. Then I have another shelf for the kids games and craft stuff. I'm enjoying setting up the house keeping it simple but setting up enough stuff to enjoy and spread out. I'm really looking forward to having that yard sale and getting rid of a lot more stuff. We have a goal of how much money we want to raise and will use some of that for a 12-month family pass to the local bird & wild-life sanctuary.
Nicholas has been having a fever on and off for the past week, as well as a bit of a cold. He's having a major growth spurt with it as his clothes are all suddenly shorter and his speech has changed - not his voice, but the way he thinks and puts sentences together. He's been playing by himself more, chattering away to the little people and cars, imagination in overdrive. (what a beautiful thing!)
We just put a child's seat on the back of my bike for him so we can start riding our bikes to a lot more places and use the car less. Summer and AJ had gotten used to riding their bikes in the caravan park and are now getting more confident about riding on the roads. Most of the roads around here have a bike lane which is great but there are often cars parked in them so they are learning to be careful when riding around the parked cars, especially if there is a car coming from behind. The lane is usually wide enough to allow for that, I was concerned that they might panic a little in that situation but they were fine.
As we pulled down the camper last week, I realised that I hadn't taken any photos of the set up we had that time. Nor had I taken photos of the kids or anything for quite a while. I must change that.
Enjoy your day!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The weather has been so beautiful lately and there is no rain predicted for some time. I bet the first time it does rain, I'll happily dance from room to room delighting in all the dry space. I am looking forward to having some extra space for us all to spread out and not be so cramped. The house is a basic 3 bedroom place with a good size covered patio and a fenced yard. It also has some garden and an area they called a greenhouse, but it's not a true greenhouse. It's more like an area suitable for plants, with walls on 3 sides. We should be able to grow some veges and I'm looking forward to starting a compost.
So the chapter closes on this particular segment of our lives. We definitely want to continue this at some point. Maybe not full time, maybe just as a winter get-away. who knows? The adventures continue!
Friday, August 08, 2008
AJ (7) loves to rough-house with Nicholas and Cary, he teaches Nicholas all the different things he learned in gymnastics and he still loves the wild birds and is very gentle around all animals. He appears to be in a dreamy world a lot of the time but he's always thinking about how things work and relate together. He's very interested in words at the moment and is always asking "what does this say?". He loves to look at comic books and try to figure out what they are saying by looking at the story in pictures.
Summer (10.5) still enjoys drama class ..and being dramatic. She has a very strong will and feels happiest when we have a planned rhythm so she knows what to expect. I try to do that for her, but things tend to change at the last minute on a regular basis around here. That can be hard for her. If she is in balance she can handle it, but sometimes the slightest thing sets her off and she'll be on a roll for the rest of the day. She doesn't like to be rushed or feel like she has too many things to do. She has her own unique style in clothes and loves to listen to my music like Amy Steinberg. She's getting taller, and often borrows my shoes or clothes.
Cary has been feeling frustrated with trying to do business here. He's finding roadblocks with silly little rules and regulations. But, he's bouncing back and looking into new avenues which is exciting.
I put an application in on a rental house a couple of days ago. When I dropped it off, the lady at the counter looked it over and said "oh. you're not working?". I smiled and said "I'm raising 3 children, that's a full-time job." She gave a fake smile and looked back at the app. I keep hearing from people that it doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank, or how creative you are in creating your own income, the realtors want to see proof that you have a paid job. One of the frustrating silly rules. Anyway, the right place will turn up for us.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I felt like we were just filling out forms to try and get anything once we'd decided to get a house. I would lay awake at night thinking of which houses we needed to look at next and which one would be better for us. I was torn between getting an exact picture in my mind of the place I wanted and manifesting it via the Law of Attraction, and getting a feeling of the place I wanted and Trusting God to provide it.
Yesterday the kids and I went to look at the other area again. While we were there we stopped at the top of a hill and looked east over miles of suburbia, the high rise of the commercial - touristy area and there, way way off, was my friend, the ocean. I felt a strong pull towards her. When we got back to the area that we are currently staying, I drove straight to the beach, got out of the car and took a deep breath. My soul said "thank you".
Using this very strong feeling as my guide, it is clear to me that I am happiest as a beach girl. The rest of the family loves it here too. It reflects Who We Are. So now that we are getting clear about that, a place will soon become available for us. The picture is getting clear and I Trust that it's all coming together perfectly. I feel much more relaxed about the process now.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Yesterday was a total veg day. Summer stayed in her PJ's all day and we watched movies (Summer and I laughed and cried together watching 'Little Women' again), played games and read all day. Meals were things we could put together quickly as we didn't want to stand outside in the cold for too long preparing things. I think the high got to 16 C but the wind chill brought that way down. Cary took the boys out later in the day to go to the mall to run around as they were getting antsy being cooped up all day.
Cary mentioned several days ago that he thought we should look at getting a house. Several reasons. One of those is price - to stay in a nice park is reasonable except during holidays. We have to book now for the 6 week holiday period over summer (Christmas time) as most parks are already booked. To do so, we have to pay for our entire stay - in full - by October. And, the cost of doing so, is not much different from renting a house. As we cannot predict the weather for that time, and would not be happy to stay in one place - in this camper - if we had another super wet summer, and as we plan on being in this area at least until March, it just makes sense. Then there's the benefit of having more inside personal space when the weather is not good. Or even if it's something we would like when the weather is good.
I had adapted to this lifestyle so much that I no longer considered getting a house. I had accepted the weather and just did whatever we needed to do to deal with it and ride it out. But really, this style of camper is not suitable for our size family to do this long term. Stepping outside this morning to soggy ground, even with the thick rubber mats we have around, Summer finding that most of her clothes were damp because her cabinet was too close to the wall of the gazebo, the kids watching tv and chattering next to me (I love them, but it makes it a little hard to think) has my inner being saying "ok, that's enough". It is time to move on. We would like to do this again, but with a much bigger rig. Previously when we had discussed getting a house, I felt sad about leaving this lifestyle. Now I am ready. I was concerned that I would get caught up in doing things - the general busyness that comes with having a home - and I would forget the simple life.
I'm beyond that now. The simple life has become something within me - a mindset that I can take anywhere. It's not about the way I DO any thing, it's the way that I AM. This experience has been priceless in helping me achieve this.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thinking back on the roller coaster of angst and restlessness I've felt since late childhood, I can see how every step has brought more clarity of Who I Really Am. There have been plenty of times where I felt as though the feeling of sinking into quicksand was overwhelming though as I surrendered into that, the ground beneath me became firm and I was able to come through with new insights.
I used to think that everyone else around me had it all together, that I was the only one who felt lost, confused, without clear direction or meaning. I was afraid of voicing these feelings, thinking that others would laugh at me. I stuffed feelings down with food & other unhealthy habits, kept myself busy with work, a see-saw of partying or working out too much, later children, mothers groups, committees, shopping, etc, all things to keep my mind busy with mundane mediocrity to keep me from listening to my heart - my true guide of how I should be living.
At times I found it easier, maybe even 'safer' (for my ego), to hold myself back through comparison with others. Knowing that I could never be as 'good' as them (as creative, smart, funny, pretty, etc) allowed me to hold myself back. How silly, how sad. How happy that we are raising our children in a way that they are safe to express their feelings, their desires, their needs. That they are encouraged to follow their dreams and try lots of different things to help them discover Who They Really Are.
There were times when my heart would try to guide me. It would send me messages through books, people, movies, a bumper sticker....things that would lead me to a vague restlessness and knowing that somehow, something was not in alignment with the way I was living. I tried to be positive, do affirmations and "Bloom where I was Planted". Always looking for..for..something I didn't even know, but I knew it was something really important.
I am grateful that I knew that I was asleep and sought to find my way to being fully awake - to living in a state of awareness. I no longer compare myself with others. I know that this is MY path, that we all have a different path and that we should not try to make others conform to our way. That we need to support each other on their way to BEcoming - coming to BE themselves.
Gratitude is such a wonderful healer. Even when things are not going the way we think, it helps to say "I'm not sure why this is happening, but Thank You". Doing this helps you to see why something may have happened. Maybe you were trying too hard to force something to go your way. Or maybe you had strayed from the path that you were meant to be on and had forgotten - had not listened to yourself.
I think the thing I had been looking for was me - the real me. Releasing my own expectations of what I thought others expected from me, freeing myself from all kinds of baggage has been a long process.
Yes, I never thought all of those years ago that I could be in such a wonderful place, full of inner peace and abundance. The challenge in my life was first to realise that it was MY life, to release the limitations I'd put on myself, and then reveal Who I Really Am. Kind of like peeling the layers on a juicy piece of fruit and then discovering how sweet and succulent the inside is. The joy I feel at times is such a delight that I find myself having a little chuckle. Like I have a delicious secret. But I wish everyone knew. ...
You don't have to DO a whole bunch of stuff to live a rich live, you just have to have the courage to BE more to live a whole, abundant life.
I'm not claiming to have found enlightenment, but I know that I am on the path. I've made it to base camp 1 and as I continue on my path, I know the view will just get better.
I hope you are having a beautiful day, no matter what the weather.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Cary: "Yes Nicholas?"
Nicholas: "Can I call you Dad?"
Cary: "Yes Nicholas."
Nicholas: "Thanks Daddy."
Nicholas has very strong opinions on how things should be in his life. I think that's great. We were at a car boot (trunk) market this morning, a trash n treasure type of market. I was looking for some more pyjamas for Nicholas. I found one stall that had several pairs of pj's that looked like they would fit him. I called Nicholas over to measure some against him and he told me that he liked the blue pair with spiders on them, but not the green pair. He said in a very matter-of-fact way, "I like these - buy them for me...no, not the green ones, just the blue". The ladies at the stall thought he was very cute. Of course I agree!
We are having glorious weather here today. It's the middle of winter and we are all in shorts and t-shirts. Several days ago it was very chilly. We had to move campgrounds again and it was hard getting my fingers to work in the cold morning. We are getting very efficient at moving and it didn't seem to take long to load up. We set our outside stuff up a little differently than before and it seems as though we have more room in the gazebo.
We are back at the campground that we were at before our last move. Summer and AJ and I really liked the place we just left as we enjoyed being walking distance to lots of great places. However, it was a little noisier as it was closer to the highway, even though this park is larger and has more kids. We are on a different site to what we've been on before here. This site is really large and we are across from a large grassy area with a huge sandpit that the kids have been enjoying.
Yesterday we baked 3 loaves of banana bread and today we made a double batch of waffles. The kids and Cary have been enjoying hanging out in the warm weather and playing ball and swimming in the heated pool here. It's now over 11 months that we've been living this life. Life is sweet!
A new school term starts here tomorrow. Time to get back into some homeschooling activities. Summer wants to continue with drama and AJ wants to continue with gymnastics. Those classes plus meeting up with other homeschoolers, exploring some of the hinterland areas and taking some train trips to the city is how we plan on filling in the next couple of months that we'll be here. I hope the weather stays this nice!
Monday, July 07, 2008
I saw Dr. Keith again today. He spoke about teaching me to become a "master of negativity". What? He means becoming a master of myself so that negativity no longer bothers me. He said that most people back away from negativity which actually gives it power to grow. But if we face it, it gives it less power. In my mind, I saw negativity as darkness and me as light and saw how taking my light into the darkness would help get rid of the darkness. I shared that with him and he liked that description. Now the trick, how to hold onto my light! Dr. K has offered to teach me some techniques, but I'm wondering how much I already know. I left his office feeling deeply relaxed and thoughtful.
I've been on an awareness journey for most of my life. For most of that though, I felt as though I wasn't worthy enough to get the kind of results I was seeking. I'm over that thought pattern now and have been seeking more mastery within myself. Feeling worthy is a fairly recent development considering the length of this journey so far. Even after becoming a Reiki Master four years ago, I kind of backed away from Reiki, feeling no where near ready to be called a Master.
I think I've been feeling that I have not been living in alignment with Who I Really Am and I think that it's been this all along, more so than an issue of "worth".
In 'Friendship with God' by Neale Donald Walsch, God suggests asking one question before and after every decision in life: "Is this Who I Am?".
I feel as though I am close to living Who I Am, but need a little fine-tuning. Holding onto my light at all times will require more conscious awareness. More gratitude. Quiet time. Trust in myself, others and the whole process. Gentleness with myself, others and the whole process. And a continued commitment to health - including things I spoke about in another post - rest, sunshine, play, fun as well as exercise and foods that serve me best.
This adventure within really is very exciting!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
While Cary was in the US, I ordered a bunch of books second hand from Amazon that he brought back with him. Mainly Neale Donald Walsch. One of the things I ordered was some little 're-mind-er cards' by Neale. The first card I pulled out when I looked at the cards was "All attack is a call for help". I thought of the recent conflict we'd experienced, that was still niggling at me (even though I thought I had dealt with it). The next day, after shuffling the cards, I pulled the exact same card! Then I came down with a very sore throat & fever. Obviously I had some work to do with my 5th chakra and communication! I was in bed for the most of two days and slept a lot or just rested. My mind was quiet and I just let my body do some healing.
Regarding the conflict, I knew that I did not need to explain myself to the woman. I am confident with our choices. It did not feel right to have pity for her either. I wished her well and wished for the help she needs to be placed in her path. If I saw her before we left the park, I was going to wish her a safe and happy trip when they moved on. But I did not see her, and that's ok. I really have let it go. And something else, deeper let go as well. I feel as though I am communicating at a deeper level in my other in-person relationships. I'm very happy about that.
In other news...we moved campgrounds last week. We didn't go very far, just about a mile north of where we were, but it gave us a chance to have a good clean up and experience a new place. Even though we'd been to the playground and fitness track near here before, we hadn't really explored much else of the place. We are walking a lot more as there is so much more we can walk to! - the library, thrift stores, a great health food store, several playgrounds, the beautiful, clean, beach with the clear green-blue water, and neat little cafes. As it is school holidays, there are some other kids in the park at the moment. Our kids get up in the morning, jump outside and start kicking a ball with other kids here, or playing some other game. They play all day, until it's dark. Last night we had a bunch of kids in our place hanging out watching a little tv. Very cosy! Summer has been having a lovely time as there are 3 girls just a little older than her that she's been playing with. I laugh when I think of people that have tried to label her as "shy". She is certainly not showing any sign of that, nor does she when she's around people who she clicks with.
Speaking of Summer, she was having a hard time staying off wheat, even though I made a bunch of yummy breads and things with flours she can have. I started looking into foods with a low glycemic index / load and she seems to be much happier having some wholegrain bread. (But I can definitely see when it's been too much for her - her mood changes dramatically.) Plus she's having lots of fruit and some low-fat dairy. While I was at the library looking for info on low GI foods, I came across a whole section on raw foods! I borrowed a book by one of my favourite authors, Dr. Doug Graham - I like his honest approach to vibrant health. Reading his book reminded me that health is not just about good nutrition and exercise. There are so many other factors to consider like rest (a big lesson for me, one that the fever also helped me to learn), a sense of purpose, connection to others, play, fun, sunshine, comfortable temperature, friendships etc. So right now, I am being gentle with myself as I continue to grow on my path to vibrant health. Grateful for all of the lessons and friends along the way!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I choose joy!
Yesterday we had some homeschooling friends over. We played on the sand at the creek then went for a walk across the bridge and through the national park to see if the cubby house was still there. It had been washed away. So we collected shells and wrote enormous letters in the sand and played freely. We walked back to our place, the kids rode their scooters and bikes and then one of our friends brought out his poker set and we sat on a blanket outside while he taught AJ and I how to play poker. Ten years of living in Las Vegas and I learn poker from a 10 year old boy while sitting under a tree in Australia!
Feeling happy and free!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Today we were walking past their place on the way back from the playground. Their kids were outside and were glaring at and making faces at mine. I said "can we all just try and be nice?" Their mum (who used to be very friendly to me) came out and just blasted me. I was stunned and totally not expecting that. She was going on and I was trying to figure out just what her problem was. It seemed that she was blaming Summer for a whole lot of things including the name calling her children had picked up lately and said (regarding the toy issue) that she was there and Summer had snatched the toy and run off. That's not what her kids or Summer had told me. In easy earshot of her kids, she said several times that she was "sick of this shit" and about half an hour earlier, she had called out to AJ to "piss off". But her kids bad language is from Summer..hmm?
I felt very hurt by her verbal attack, which included "..if you had enough energy to watch your kids.."! Okaaay. I'm with my kids 24/7 and have been doing the single parent thing for 2 months. When the weather is nice, there are times when my kids want to go to the playground and I let them go without me so that I can catch up on some dishes or washing or general cleaning or office work. It's not like I'm lazing about watching tv. If I have caught up on everything, then I always go with them.
I held my own with her until she totally lost me and I realised there was no way she wanted to listen to me. Then I just said "I'm sorry you feel that way...I'll do what I can to keep my kids away from yours." But I was really upset. I hated that she said some hurtful things about Summer, and me. I wondered if I had stood up for us both enough. If she'd had a problem with us, I wish she'd have said something earlier. The kids and I went home and talked about it, but it just didn't seem to make sense.
Summer thought it right to return the toy, she thought it had negative energy around it now. She was scared to go alone so we all walked back to their place, Summer placed the toy on the table outside where the kids were sitting and we walked away, without saying a word. I told her later how courageous she was to do that.
I don't know what else to do. Nasty confrontation is not my style, but protecting my family certainly is. I see this experience as a lesson for all of us in dealing with conflict in a graceful, empowering way. Obviously not everyone is going to like us...their loss! My kids and I have been talking about this a lot and talking about our feelings and thinking about how else we may have handled things. We've also spoken about how we might react when we do see them again - if they are still choosing to be nasty, should we match that, or should we ignore them or should we try and be nice? I didn't ask the kids to make a decision about that, but suggested that they should do what they felt was right for them.
Difficult, but there has be a valuable lesson in all of this. I just don't get it. There's no need for all of the nastiness. We still have a couple of more weeks here. Should I try to repair the friendship? Or should I just let it go and be polite, but cool if I see them? A part of me wants to make it all 'right' and make sure our side is heard and understood and my daughter adequately defended. I think I'll go with the larger part of me that says to just focus on my kids and don't waste valuable time on the situation. I can focus on the way I want to feel, and I can send positive energy to the situation and mostly, I can reassure Summer that she is perfect the way she is.