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Monday, 5 December 2016

Sun is shining down

I sometimes play this song in the car as I like to sing along with it, and I've never really understood what I'm singing (as I've never really paid attention to the lyrics), but driving home I suddenly noticed one of the phrases: 'it's the little things, the little things not expectation
That make life worth living."

Isn't it funny how succinct the essence of life can be summed up? I have so many words jumbled in my head and so many ideas and I rarely get the time to pour them out in any methodical or useful manner, and in a brief line someone else can state the truth you're looking for.

In  Alain De Botton's The New: A user's manual, he talks of our focus on the news as a way to avoid introspective reflection. He also talks about how your reliance on the news varies, depending on if you see time as an arrow or a wheel. This stopped me in my tracks, as I have always seen time in a linear fashion, stretching out before me and it never occurred to me there was any other way to view it. However, if you see it as a wheel, the difficulties you face at any given time seem easier to handle as you are really only dealing with the immediate problems and joys, as the wheel turns and the next phase begins. It makes the little personal things take on a greater importance to your daily life, and the general news has less impact on your daily life.

I guess no matter what struggles we face, we need to remember the ultimate truth in that saying, from 1200 AD, that 'This too, shall pass." and just focus on those little things that make us happy, no matter how small and inconsequential they may be.

I for one, am trying to change my world view, to reinvent the wheel.

Linking with #IBOT

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Merry & Bright

There is no escaping Christmas in this country. Spare a thought for the Jews and Muslims (and everyone else who doesn't recognise the holiday) who have a nonstop barrage of trees, lights and music for a good two months every time they step foot out the door.

However, for me, it's been bringing a smile to my face, and as they say in the song, it's made my days merry and bright.

We made our gingerbread houses and are beginning to festoon the house with twinkling lights...(I just need to find them from the move - they're packed in the roof somewhere).

On a different note, this has really touched me, so if you can spare a few bucks, please donate asap. I know nothing about this charity, it just popped up on my facebook. Give & Take appeal for suits for high school boys for formal (mother fleeing domestic violence)

Linking with #WWOT and #WWOAT

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Reindeer Games - #ChristmasLinkUp

Christmas also coincides with our long school holiday and businesses often have a shut down, so for those not going away, Christmas is a good time to play together. Santa can bring some games to ignite that family spark and get kids off the computer.

This game has 4 escape room challenges. Looks great for teenagers.  $59.95 at Big W.

This one I purchased as I thought it would be a good one for train travel (or plane travel) as you could just take the cards and timer. Educational too. I even got one for a friend who is taking the kids to Europe as I thought it would be exciting for the kids to know the attractions before they get there. $20.00 at Big W.

My daughter got this game for herself awhile back, and when we went away on mass, kids of all ages (including a few teens) were keen to play it. It's basically Russian roulette with cream in the face. Kids love to play it, and love to watch it being played. You do have to buy that whipped cream to play though, and clean up. $10 at Kmart.

This is not a new game, but it's a great game if you have little kids of different ages. Little butterflies are shot out the trunk into the air and you have to catch them in a net as they come down. $12 at Target.

 Santa will also be bringing some backyard fun in the form of totem tennis and a slip'n'slide.

Will your Santa be bringing gadget-free fun? Do you play together over the summer holidays?

Add your Xmas posts below.

Linking with #MummyMondays and off topic for #LifeThisWeek

Monday, 28 November 2016

First of the Month Fiction - December

Wow! How has this happened? December already?
While my head is spinning, I've still managed no time to write. Good thing I'm taking most of December and January off, except for the brief appearances for First of the Month Fiction.
For newbies, write a story in exactly 100 words, or less than 30 words and add it in the comments, then link your blog.

It had been a frantic night, the worst one in years. Too much pressure to get everything done by close of business. He limped up the stairs. His wife was sleeping, with a glimmer of a smile on her lips. Dreaming of sugarplums, no doubt. He wanted nothing more than to collapse on the bed beside her but there was one last gift he needed to deliver. He removed the tiny jewelry box from his bag and placed it in the stocking at the end of the bed, the red felt one with Mrs Claus stitched into the fur trim.

PS, I don't like this one so much - I much prefer the unhappy Mrs Claus from this year or this year. But I'm trying to be nice so Santa doesn't punish me ;)

Happy Christmas to you all.

Don't forget the xmas link ups each Friday. Linking with #OpenSlather

Saturday, 26 November 2016

In the pink

I'm a little out of sorts today, but not for any reason - in fact I've been busy catching up with family and had an easy weekend, and came second in the family Putt Putt tournament (previously unheard of!). Yet, still tired and a little meh.

So instead of talking about loving life, I'll just share some pretty pink cakes I saw and the morning light on my walk to the Tramsheds. Sometimes that has to be enough.

I also read this quote on twitter that I was quite taken with. 'When everything seems to be going against you - remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it' Henry Ford.

Are you loving life this week? Do share the good news!

Linking with #FridayPhoto

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

All wrapped up - #ChristmasLinkUP

One of the things I truly hate about Christmas is the waste - wrapping only to rip the paper off and throw it away. Here's a few little tips on reusable wrapping - very low cost at Ikea.
Gift bags!!
They come in all sizes and quantities - and while the recipient may throw them out, a good deal of them will recycle them with gifts themselves (or pack them away for next year). Saves the planet, saves you money. Win/Win!

I get the advent calendar ones for my little gifts to bookclub, mah jong and the other 'groups' I'm part of. (412.99 for 24)

 There are larger ones in packs of 12.

And for big gifts, get a festive looking carry tote, that can be part of the gift itself! ($3.99)

Ikea is also selling seed embedded cards that can be planted to grow Swan River Daisies. The proceeds from the card sales go towards the HeartKids charity in Australia. Double win for the people and the planet.

Another alternative is to forgo wrapping and give actual paper! Who Gives a Crap? has festively wrapped toilet paper or tissues and kitchen paper towel. The proceeds go to building toilets around the world. See their impact on greenhouse gases and forests here.

Not environmental but worth a mention, Central Park has a selfie santa gift wrap and Christmas Choir flashmobs this festive season.

Link up your Christmas posts, old or new, below or add any Christmas tips to the comments!

Linking with #MummyMondays

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Yes Men

Yes men are usually described as weak person who agrees with their superiors or a sycophant. In this post I'm talking about the other type of Yes men (and yes, I'm making up my own definitions but what's your point?). 

As you get older, people become reluctant to commit to anything, or worse, they never actually want to do anything fun for some reason. Everything because a drawn out process. One of the best text messages I ever received was from a friend of my partner, when I decided we'd go out with his friends to see a show. I don't know him very well but he replied to the invite instantaneously with "That's sounds great. We'd love to come but I'll just have to check with my wife and make sure we're free" (obviously he just said his wife's name...I'm editing for privacy). I was struck with the enthusiasm and said to my partner 'That's what we need, more enthusiastic friends like that! People that just say Yes!')

We need to surround ourselves with people who get excited about things, because it is contagious. We recently went on a boat and my friends all oooh'd and aah'd because it was truly AMAZING and something we rarely do. When the waiters turned up with the food. the boat almost tipped over as we all ran to take photos! We all felt so lucky to be there, and lucky to live in such a beautiful city, and kept telling each other how sensational it all was. In the past we have done similar boat outings with others who didn't seem to notice all the magnificence on offer. Maybe they go on boats more often, maybe they had other things going on and couldn't rise above it but the difference in the vibe was palpable. I don't ever want to become the person that stops seeing the good things in life as something special.

However, as you get older, that's exactly what you do. The major flaw in humans is we become jaded and tired and mundane life overwhelms us. I too am guilty of this. I was booking tickets for the Festival and noticed that one of the shows I was booking started at midnight. I thought to myself I'd skip it as we'd be too tired. My 70 year old friend coming with me replied "It will be fun. We did one this year and it was great. We'll just go to dinner first" as if I was insane for even questioning it. I had that moment of self realisation when I discovered I was slowly slipping into that apathetic mire. Fortunately, nothing shames you as much as being fossilized, so I booked the tickets and am now quite excited about it. I am also extremely grateful to have such cool and fun loving friends, regardless of age!

Gordon Parks noted 'Enthusiasm is the electricity of life' and I think this is the perfect description. It lights up the room, it fills you with hope, joy and excitement. It's the sparkle in your eyes and the swing in your gait (to borrow from Henry Ford). And as I said, it's catching. Watch the way children think everything is great. So great, excellent, perfect. Their terminology is in extremes. As teens it falls into pretty good, okay, alright; and for some reason we never really recover from that.

Look at your interactions, look at yourself, and start making the minor changes. Most importantly, be a yes man and start the change.