Monday, September 24, 2012


ahhhhh...yesss.....this is my absolute favourite time of the year....well, now and the next six months or so.   mmm...the sun...the surf...the very sensual!

Yesterday we had our first good swim in the surf for the season!  The weather is warm and dry though the humidity is starting to build. I hope the wet season gets a late start this year.  Oh my golly...the beaches here are so freaking beautiful!!  So clean, so clear, the water changing from turquoise to a darker blue where it gets deeper, the pale gold sand oh so soft.   And never crowded.   I know I've raved about the beaches here before, but they still delight me....and I appreciate being here more than words can say.

After our play at the beach yesterday, we walked across the road back to our dressed...had a simple dinner....and then sat out the front of our place.  The boys playing with friends around us, Sam chatting with us about some of the facebook posts that were coming through on her news feed, Cary enjoying a cigar, and me sipping a cointreau & ice.  We watched the blue sky get slowly darker, and the stars appear.  We lit a couple of candles and stayed out there, chatting to each other, and to neighbours as they passed by, totally enjoying our family just being together, the warm night, the perfection of the moment.  The kind of moment you want to bottle, but you know you can't so you just savour every single part of it.

It's school holidays at the moment so the park we live in has loads of extra kids.  Our boys are out and playing as soon as they get up, and they keep going until dark, often bringing new friends back here for a while, or grabbing a quick bite before heading out again. 

When I lived in Australia before I moved to the USA, I always thought I'd end up living in this state when I decided to settle down, but I thought I'd be further north.  I never even considered this area as it has a reputation for being touristy, glitzy and too busy.  I had not spent time on the southern end of this stretch which is where we have lived mostly for the last 4.5 years.  It's nothing like the glitzy, busy area just 30 minutes north of us, but is like a laid-back beach town.    It is such a fantastic place to be....not just for the beautiful beaches, or the lush hinterland close by, or the sub-tropical weather, or all of the great facilities - libraries, shops, theme parks, wildlife sanctuary, ...I could go on and on...  but also, every school holidays, the city council provides tons of free or low-cost activities for kids of all ages.  Actually, they have activities for people of all ages throughout the year (including free yoga and tai chi classes at local parks).  But they really step it up during school holidays.  Sam goes to a place that is dedicated to youth (ages 12-25).  They have free activities all day every Monday to Friday and provide free lunch as well.  Activities like painting classes, tie-dying, dragon boating, football, cooking, jewelry making, candle making, swimming, etc.   Luckily, that place is only a few km's from our place, so she can easily go there every day. 

There are lots of activities for the boys to choose from at different locations around the coast.  This morning they went to a free stand-up paddleboarding and sand games play activity for a couple of hours.  Had a blast!    Afterwards, I went to the grocery store by myself for a few things.  The checkout operator rolled her eyes and said "school holidays - so many kids around!".  I said with a huge grin "I know...isn't it fantastic!!".  She thought I was nuts, but I just thought about how much I love my kids, and I love being with them, and I love that we live in a way that they have lots of other kids to play with.  I used to think about moving further away, on a little farm, but I think I like being around other people too much to do that....ok, and the beach too!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

something else

We are all about ready for a change.  We do appreciate what we have here and now, we're just ready for something...else.

We're not sure quite what at the moment and we are discussing several possibilities.  Change depends on a couple of things that we cannot control, before we can do the something else.

Maybe we just need to shake everything out and see where the dust settles.  Maybe we just need a shift in attitude.

In the meantime, we are keeping busy.  The kids and I started going roller skating every week with some friends.  Gotta say...I was a little nervous after not having skated for 30 years, but it all came back to me and I'm loving it!  We meet with our Natural Learners homeschool group once a week which is always a great day.   Which sounds kind of ho-hum, but it really is such a great day....the kind where we all come home feeling nourished and nurtured and part of a community that values respect for all ages.  The kind of community that feels like all the very best bits of family.  The kind of family where you can chat all day and still have lots left to talk about.   

I know that I am lucky to have this wonderful, supportive group on this journey.  I know that others don't have that, and that places like facebook are really great for a lot of people (I'm really not against fb).  Even my own daughter loves fb for staying in touch with her friends, and it's been great for her.  I like being able to keep in touch with a wide variety of friends and family in one place.  My niece is in Spain for a year and it great to see photos of her travels and hear snippets of her adventures as they unfold.  So many other little snippets from my 'friends'.  Warm, wonderful insights....funny little milestones to celebrate....big and little things that don't go the way we thought they would.  Sure, there are some lonely people out there that use facebook to post many little moments of their day, others use it to build a following to then promote a business.  But overall, I see the place it has filled for many people.  I am just grateful that I have such a wonderful bunch of people around me that I connect with, mostly in 'real' life, but also on those odd moments when I turn on the computer.

The kids have been watching docos on different aspects of the USA - early history, and current docos on different states.  They love to stay in touch with that part of them.

Sama and I have been going to the Curves gym for a few months.  Haven't lost a pound or any inches, but we are feeling fitter and a bit stronger so that's something.  Sam is finding strength in other areas of her life... we recently got the annual passes to three of the big theme parks around here (too good a deal to pass up).  We had seen a new roller coaster at Movie World when we had passed it on the highway.  'The Green Lantern' looked pretty scary and we weren't sure we wanted to try it.  Deciding to face our fears one day, Sam and AJ went on it then I went on it with Sam, then she went on it three more times!  Then, she and I went on the 'Superman' ride which we never wanted to face before, but we did it, laughing most of the way when we could get our breath cause that thing is SuperFast!!  oh my!  I think I like The Green Lantern better actually and look forward to more rides on that.  There's just one more of the big roller coasters that we need to conquer, but we wanted to save that one for another day.

We did a big spring clean here today, took all of about 2 hours for a thorough job!  I still love living simply!

Feeling blessed....totally loving the warm spring weather we've been having, and quiet moments lying in the sun, and fun moments playing along the beach, and so very much more!  The warm, sunny weather energises me so much on so many levels!  So much gratitude right now....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ah yeah...random stuff...

I can totally understand how facebook and twitter took over from bloggers.  Often, when I used to blog kind of regularly, I would get snippets of insights that I thought I could build on for a post.  Often, as was proven by my lack of blogging, I did not keep up with those insights, and those little snippets drifted off into some mysterious never never.

And I'm okay with that.

I don't deny the facebookers and twitterers their joy, but I just can't get into posting every single insight or morning menu or exercise milestone, into cyberworld.  It's just not me.  I 'get' why others do it, and I'm not judging them.  I understand that posting on those forums is a form of community, or marketing, but I do question when one appears to post for the former, when in fact it's the latter.

I could post that my daughter just had a cute haircut, or that I'm sooo loving the warm, dry spring weather, and appreciating that before the summer wet weather comes, or that Cary's back is still giving him pain but he's in pretty good spirits despite that, or that AJ just had a huge growth spurt and we had to buy him some new clothes, or that Nicholas responded beyond anyone's maturity when a friend insulted him.  Do you really care that I just had my first dental filling in 33 years or that I'm sipping on a cocktail as I watch the sunset??  There are so many little moments that could be recorded on facebook, but honestly, I'm too busy living in those moments to write about them then and there.

And so it is with this blog.  I just do not have the urge or the inclination to write like I used to.   I'm okay with that, too.  It will continue to be updated randomly...about whatever, whenever.

I went to a very nice shopping center the other day.  It's huge and it has all of the big department stores and it has many smaller stores as well.  (I know that Australian's usually say "shops" instead of "stores", but, after living in the USA for 13 years, I prefer some of their sayings, including "stores"...and  while - not whilst - we are on the subject, I will not ever have "tea", but I will always have "dinner...unless I'm at someone else's home who prefers "tea" to "dinner").   Just as a sidebar....It's 12:06am....the boys in the family are all daughter is on a conference call with some of her girlfriends...I had a coffee today so I'm still up and powering on!  Yeah, I'm sensitive to caffeine...should I post that on facebook?  

Anyway, back to the shopping center....I looked around at the many of the women had the 'nice' hair and clothes and bling.  As I walked towards my old car in the carpark, a stunning young woman drove off in her brand new BMW SUV....I wished for her that she was happy....the long-term kind of happy...not the "oh I just love my new car and new hair-do" kind, but the "I am so grateful for all that I have" kind.  I thought of people that I know that appear to have a lot of neat "stuff", but are just not happy.  And I felt very grateful for my simple life, my close family, my freedom, my lack of debt, my flexibility, my love, my breath.  

Today we went to a big garage sale at a local school.  Again I was grateful for the way we live as I was just not tempted to look beyond anything we might need.  Although I had just bought new clothes for the boys, I kept an eye out for anything else they might like (they are both very fussy and have particular styles).  But you know what?  When I lived in a house, I would just look for stuff that we may - or may not - use...just because we had the space.  Now, I only look for stuff that we absolutely can use.  Because space is a huge issue and nothing comes in here that is going to be wasted or not loved.  I will say that I bought another rat cage - for $5 (should I put that on facebook?).  It is a large cage but a little smaller than the big one we have, so I thought it would be a good one to take camping with us.  Yeah, we have three rats, and yes, we love them.  Rodents are awesome!

Speaking about space and cool stuff, I could post that I just bought a milk frother thingy (oh dang, I forgot to mention that on facebook!), so I can make my own mocha soy lattes at home and save $5 a pop.  The kids tried it out with making hot chocolates and thought it was the BEST hot chocolate ever.  So that's a keeper.

I  have a bunch of other partially written blog posts that I just haven't finished, and maybe I won't, and yeah, I'm okay with that.  So while I'm on here catching up with random stuff under a caffeine buzz, I'll try to fill you in on some recent happenings...

Our daughter has decided to go back to her birth name.  After being called 'Summer', at her request, for the past five years, she is now wanting to be called 'Sam'.  Not 'Sami', which she was for her first 9 years.  Gotta say, it's a bit tricky, but she's okay with me calling her 'Sama', which is almost a combination of Summer and Sam, and the first four letters of her legal name.  She is a real girly girl...she loves clothes and her friends and the beach.

AJ is discovering his individuality and sense of self....He is loving playing the online game / program of 'Minecraft'; he likes t-shirts that are quirky / funny (not beachy or muso related).  He no longer likes to play with Nicholas in 'imagination' type games, but he still loves books that are all about facts.  Gosh, that boy is so deep and wide sometimes, he is like the ocean, or maybe Space,  with the way his mind works.

Ok, so the thing that happened with Nicholas.....he had a slightly older, schooled, friend over.  He and his friend were drawing and the friend decided to write something and sign it from the both of them.  He asked Nicholas how to spell his name.  Nicholas replied that he did not know how (come on...he recently turned 7 and that used to be kind of young to do academic stuff...anyway, in our world, the child is free to unfold at his/her own pace and to learn in their own way).  He told the friend to ask me as I would know.  The friend said "no offence, but it's kind of bad to have a friend that doesn't know how to spell their own name".  Nicholas didn't miss a beat...he shrugged his shoulders and said "no offence taken".  Wow!  He totally understood what his friend meant, but he didn't buy into it, he knows that he will learn what he needs to learn, when he needs to learn it.  Now he knows how to write his name, but it has never occurred to him to name each individual letter to "spell it out" for someone else.  I'm sure he will know that soon enough, but that boy's sense of confidence and joy is such a huge lesson for ME!

Sama is still on the phone to her friends, and my caffeine buzz is starting to wear off.  Cary just got up and reminded me that it's 1am now.  Probably time that I start winding down.  Maybe I'll go look at facebook and see what my friends are doing!  Oh, does that make me a lurker, if I read but don't that kind of weird?  What.ever. 
I do hope you are all happy and healthy and loving living your lives as fully as you wish.

 In Joy  xo