blogging

SPECIAL BLOGGER AWARD

Big thank you to Dragon Warrior for this awards nomination and your kind words. Dragon Warrior is wonderfully engaging and I love the conversations we’ve had.

Award Rules:

  1. Thanks the blogger who nominated you (as above 🙂
  2. Answer the questions you are asked ( if you’re comfortable doing so!)
  3. Create 10 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated.
  4. Nominate at least 3 bloggers for the Special Blogger Award.
  5. Comment on your nominees most recent blog post to let them know you’ve nominated.
  6. Have a fun

Answering Dragon Warrior’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite hangout place in your town?

Probably my Mum and Dad’s house. I live a half hour from town, so being able to hang out at their place, my old home is a real blessing. I also love checking out the library, although it’s been a long time since I’ve really allowed myself to enjoy it properly (normally rounding up children!)

2. What is your favourite weather and season?

I tend to love whatever season it’s not! Lol the age old ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ but for this reason I think I like the changing seasons best with Spring being my favourite, coming into warm weather after the cold is such a joy and Down Under it always also has a feel of Christmas fun

3. Favourite travel destination?

Hmmm my dream travel destination is Paris but I havn’t got there yet. I love visiting family and friends and have really enjoyed exploring the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia since a sibling has moved there.

4. Do you watch cricket? Any favourite cricketer?

I do! The Ashes Test of 2006 being my most memorable and I don’t seem to have watched as closely since then but still check in with most results, including following Australia’s Big Bash. I was a Ricky Ponting fan, along with Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer. I really need to get to know some of the current players!!

5. What is your favourite river?

Australia’s Murray River, it is the lifeblood of so many communities. As a child I remember being fascinated by the Nile River

6. Do you like sunrise by the sea? Any special memory related to it?

Who doesn’t?! Sunrises and sunsets are always beautiful – a true gift of God’s creation. Must confess I havn’t seen all that many sunrises though!

7. Favourite thing about your culture?

So many things I love about Australia – vegemite, BBQ’s, fair go, supporting the underdog, celebrating diversity – let’s pick summer cricket!

8. Do you like parties?

Yes and no! I love opportunities to catch up with other people but I also often find socialising stressful.

9. How do you celebrate your birthdays?

Cake! And messages of love. If i’m extra lucky maybe a present or two.

10. How was your school days?

On the whole I enjoyed my school days, especially time spent with friends and special achievements but it was in no way all easy.

 

My Questions:

  1. How often do you blog and what motivates you?
  2. Favourite author and/or book?
  3. Do you support abortion?
  4. Where would you like your next holiday destination to be?
  5. If you were to start learning something new tomorrow what would it be?
  6. What do you do to de-stress?
  7. What is your favourite sport?
  8. Beach, lake or river?
  9. What country does your family originate from?
  10. What’s been the highlight of your year so far?

 

My Nominations (with zero pressure attached!):

1. Fractured Faith Blog

Stephen has recently published a book AND does an amazing job on his blog, he might not have time with all his regular posting but he is definitely deserving of such an award

2. Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta 

Brizzy May is a wonderfully supportive blogging friend, I love following her reading and travelling adventures.

3. Roth Poetry 

Dwight is continually coming up with interesting, beautiful, thought-provoking poetry, often accompanied with his own photos and paintings.

 

Thank you to these three bloggers and Dragon Warrior for providing me with ongoing inspiration and Happy October to you all 🙂

blogging · life

A Quick Hello

Just to prove I was thinking of you all during my hiatus, somehow this blog didn’t quite make it to click publish button!

Hello

Life is good at the moment, and busy. I am continuing my study, placement, looking after the kids and indulging in games, tv and at the moment just the occasional book.

It’s lovely to see people continue to visit my blog-home despite my inactivity here. Despite my goal to write once a month, I think I’ll be missing for awhile yet as I finish off my degree – the end is in sight and almost touchable!!

A few topics worthy of mentioning before I go to bed ready for the start of another week….

  1. The drought 😦
  2. The election 😐
  3. The shave 😀 we raised nearly $2000 for the Leukaemia Foundation this weekend

Happy Mother’s Day….Hmmm Happy we’re over Halfway through School Holidays Day??

Further Updates:

  • Placement hours slowly getting ticked off, not in any real rush though
  • Have enjoyed reading Jane Harper’s character Aaron Falk
  • We have had rain!! Indeed it’s been sprinkling the last few days (probably not a lot worth measuring but still wet)
  • A lot of un-edited posts were published recently I think when I accidentally deleted the WP app from my phone, oops and oh-well.

 

blogging

#2 Sunday ABC’s

I’m back for Round 2 of my new regular feature 🙂

A is for Affirmation

Related image

From Matilda the Musical – song Naughty, link to video clip

B is for Best, Worst and OMM

Best – Getting to the end of what was a surprisingly busy week and enjoying a lovely day in the sunshine, drinking with friends.

Worst – I’ve spent today following the Dewey 24 hour readathon, and falling in love with the bloggers, but only managed 58 pages myself!

OMM – (On my mind) Themes that came up for me this week included stillbirth, domestic violence, abortion and sexual harassment. I talked about it with my placement supervisor and gave myself a slow day Thursday to feel the emotions but with Matilda singing me on, it’s not enough to hear these stories (but oh what a privilege that is), I want to DO something too…first step for now is continuing my commitments with our local suicide prevention network and also sharing blogs like the one below

C is for Community – where we can share a favourite post or two from the last week.

I was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to all the Men from my Past

On a lighter note I am so not a cook or baker but I have left this page open in the hope of making it soon (or passing on the recipe to my Mum!)

Carrot Cake Bites

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday

GJ

blogging · life

Your Sunday ABC

I’m contemplating starting a regular (most likely irregular) feature on my blog, and would love your feedback.

I’ve always been a fan of blogs which give you a chance to share an update on your life. I first experienced this on Mamamia an Australian women’s website which started small and intimate and has grown big and commercial. I admire the creator Mia Freedman and all she has achieved but sincerely miss the days of the Best and Worst. It was a true God-send in my early parenting days, keeping me in touch with the world and other people.

More recently I have been following Sammy Hope whose blog covers her three big passions of beauty, mental health, and self-improvement, including a weekly Friday check-in. Sammy, I most certainly leave your blog feeling encouraged – thank you.

I’ve also been reflecting on my new years goals (yes mostly forgotten lol) and remembered that I’d talked about how community is super important to me. To build on this my new feature is going to be the Sunday ABC (along with continuing my spotlights)

So how I think this may work (did I mention anything about feedback?!?):

A is for Affirmation

Image result for What a privilege it is to carry, everything to God In prayer

(from a church hymn this morning)

B is for Best, Worst and OMM

Best – I’ve had a great weekend (finishing a book, starting another, out for tea with friends, games with the kids and a nap with hubby) PLUS school’s back tomorrow

Worst – I think this week it goes to the refugees in particular the children on Nauru kept there by the Australian Government despite diagnosed mental and physical illnesses.

OMM – (On my mind) Mental Health – I’ve just been link following from http://samentalhealthcommission.com.au and a guest post by Matt Ball 2017 Mental Health Nurse of the Year who has experienced psychosis. I’ve also thinking about finances as I’ve started Scott Page’s The Barefoot Investor and hoping I can convince my hubby to book in a Barefoot Date Night 🙂

Lastly….I did have something for C before I had something for A but unfortunately somewhere in the tea, bath, bed routine I lost it…ahhh wait

C is for Community – where we can share a favourite post or two from the last week.

Oh gosh there were too many good ones this week, stop being such good, interesting writers y’all :p

I’ve chosen this one though by Max The Confidence Problem , which included this great quote “Confidence comes from being okay with being imperfect. “

I hope you all have a perfectly imperfect week and of course please feel feel to join in with all or any of the ABC’s

God Bless

GJ

blogging · Books · mental health

June: Six degrees of WWW

I’ve been wondering how to bring myself back into the blogging world after somewhat of a hiatus (just one post since end of March). There are a few drafts sitting around, most of which would take a lot of effort to get back to where I was when I started them.

Today though I finished a great book (not the first since March!) and it may just be my Tipping Point – this months chosen starting title for the meme, Six Degrees of Separation  hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest. The meme gets you to take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell sounds like my kind of book. I’m a big believer in small acts of kindness and my big ambition in life is to make a difference. His focus however it seems is in how products sell so perhaps not so much my thing.

My most recent depressive experience has turned into quite a tipping point for me – I’ve quite my job, not completed one uni subject and extended another. These are pretty big changes and I wouldn’t normally advocate for making such decisions as a result of depression but after good discussions with my hubby, various friends and lots of prayer I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

Alright, now how I am going to link this to my next book….

Yeah I’m not, instead here’s the list of awesome books I’ve recently read:

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Kite Runner by Hosseini, Khaled
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Very Grumpy Day by Stella Jones

Also for your enjoyment here’s a bit of a review from a WWW Wednesday I attempted rather awhile back

What did you recently finish reading: Tell Me Your Here by Anne Deveson this last (haha) weekend. I really like Deveson’s writing style which in this autobiography (much like her book Resilience)  shares a lot of information and personal story. It showed a harrowing image of mental health care particularly for schizophrenia and around homelessness which thankfully in her Afterword suggested improvement although I’m sure not enough.

Image result

 

What do you think you’ll read next:

I have Anthony Lehman’s (an Australian comedian) book This Shirt Won’t Iron Itself which I’m looking forward to having a read of – in fact I finished it last week. There was a bit about country living and families I could relate to, especially the bar man brother but the author and I are very different people so majority of the book was really not my thing.

Thanks for having me back WP, hope you readers are all doing well, I’d love to hear about some of your recent reads or maybe a tipping point in your life.

God bless

GJ

 

blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Six degrees of separation: a new meme!

Special thanks to Luvtoread for choosing to follow me this week and introducing me to this meme – Six Degrees of Separation hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest, where you take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The book for February is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I haven’t read this book or even a full synopsis. In fact the main reason I’m doing this meme today is to talk about a book I’ve almost finished, so I was super glad to read Amazon describe it as ‘a moving and original father-son story’ because the book I want to discuss is a mother-daughter(s) story which is a good enough connection for me!

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly caught me by surprise. I picked it up from the library without thinking too much about it, just to have an audiobook available for some long drives. I wasn’t overly drawn into the first half, enjoying the characters but finding some details (clothing descriptions) and writing styles (so many character perspectives) not up my alley but the second half proved to be much more than fluff listening with deeper emotional issues addressed which really impacted me. One of the topics was schizophrenia which is making me especially keen to start reading a library book I already have out –

Tell Me I’m Here by Anne Deveson. Anne writes this as mother of a son with schizophrenia and having already read her book,

Resilience (again by Anne Deveson) I trust it will be an interesting and informative read. A book I saw on another of Luvtoread posts was

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl which from my understanding also addresses resilience and which I’m also very keen to read, particularly having had studied a bit about Frankl in my counselling studies. Another book on my tbr list which came to my attention through study is

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks which conicidentally was again in one of luvtoreads posts on an Amazon ‘100 books to read in a lifetime’ list no. 78.

Man that was quick, six books already – I really do love this concept! From Lincoln to a hat….well fancy that :p

Lincoln's+hat

I would like to include another special thanks and shout out to Luvtoread. She’s likely to think I’m a stalker after this post, so Ami, I’d love to direct you back to my blogging resolutions from earlier this  year here and here and welcome you to your spotlight!

Ami lives in California and loves to read and enjoy life. She’s part of a bookclub and as a fellow bookclubber that automatically means she’s amazing! Not to mention she listed one of my favourite authors series in her top ten list 🙂

In her about section she writes – ‘That is what reading is about – discovering something new…Books always teach me something new. ‘ So very very true not only of books but blogs and any reading. She’s a great reviewer so be sure to check her out.

Ami, if I havn’t scared you for life with my stalkerish ways I’d love to know how you found me…I have a theory but I would love to hear from you or anyone, if you/they can remember! Thank you for visiting my blog ❤

 

blogging · Books

Woop Woop and Reading Challenges

screenshot_20180120-1847081.png

Thanks all!!

I also added a badge to my blog yesterday – no idea if I did it right but there is an image so that’s a good sign?? I’m joining the Aussie Author Challenge 2018 starting at the beginner wallaby level. Both Sheridan Jobbins and Deborah Hyde from yesterdays blog meet requirements meaning I have completed 2/3 reads. I may graduate myself to Wallaroo level.

Find out more here 🙂

I’m tempted to also include Deborah Hyde’s memoir in the When You Are Reading Challenge but I havn’t quite committed to that one yet….

I also found this cool Book Bingo for 2018 and Paul seems to be doing an interesting reading challenge too.

Since I’m dropping a number of links here I may as well add one more, spotlighting I *think* my favourite book reviewer Holly found at https://nutfreenerd.com/ . It is very scary to name a favourite when I like so many so please accept that this title is given on the spur of the moment without analysis! I’m quietly confident however that others will agree with me – she’s pretty awesome and wonderfully friendly too.

One of the things I love best about Holly’s blog is how pretty everything looks. She is a college student majoring in English (currently at Oxford!!) and gives great insight to some of the books she’s studied plus so many others! She regularly posts Top Ten Tuesdays, Feminist Fridays and great discussion pieces. It’s hard to know what I might like to ask Holly, she frequently does Q and A’s on her blog already. But Holly may I ask what one tip you would give for aspiring book reviewers? Does anyone else have book review tips or recommendations?

Finally a big shout to Aman for his response to my first ever spotlight found here, I loved learning more about you!

Hope you all have a lovely week 🙂

blogging · Books · reviews

Holiday Reading

I was so excited about the interactions on my last post I forgot to get writing again…oops, and suddenly a fortnight has almost passed!

Truth is I’ve been busy spending time with the fam bam – we got back yesterday from a week interstate with friends. Lots of fun, laughs, tears and tantrums – don’t you just love holidaying with kids :p All in all however it was a great time away and we kept very busy, in fact I only finished my holiday book last night back at home! Indeed 20 days into January I have only finished 2 books (oh wait 3 – bcb*). I normally go into a reading frenzy during the summer holidays but this year I’ve been spreading my spare time between books, puzzles and tv. I’m finding lately after working on a computer, studying on a computer and catching up on so many awesome blogs my eyes have had enough reading. Anyone else have trouble balancing their reading choices?!

That said the two books I have finished are well worth sharing about:

Wish You Were Here by Sheridan Jobbins –

I loved that the author was Australian. I loved her honesty and reflections (even if at times they seemed to go round and around in circles), I enjoyed her adventures, I loved her car and the new man. In some ways a bit of a cliche post divorce memoir in others completely unique. I loved learning more about America and the life of this interesting woman.

The author herself described it as “basically a rom-com memoir” about how she met her husband. “After leaving my first marriage, I decided to buy a big red car and drive around America, I would spend six weeks driving one way, and six weeks driving back,” she said. “Halfway through I did a stopover in London to visit a friend whose husband had been sick. My friend was studying with this boy and we started to have a fling. It ended up in a bit of a misunderstanding, I thought I was saying ‘I like you’ and he thought I was saying ‘join the trip’. So our third date was four weeks in a Chevy Camaro and a tent arguing across America and that is the bulk of the story.”

Definitely a good holiday read.

Secondly, The End of the Road: Becoming a Mallee Wife by Deborah Hyde –

As a fellow farmer’s wife I really enjoyed relating to much of this memoir and recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about this way of life!

I’ve also watched Big Little Lies the HBO tv series which unfortunately was a bit disappointing. It wasn’t the bits cut or added, I think it worked quite well. I don’t even really care about the ending. It just all seemed so slow to me, a lot of angst and not much action. I think having read the book ruined the build up of tension for me. Good news is that hubby enjoyed it, yay for a accurate recommendation for him!

We have one more week until school goes back but with work, meetings and school book pick up it feels like things will be back into at least half swing. Fortunately I have book club this week reviewing Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a novella (*bcb).

Before I sign off I would like to say a  big special thanks to the FOUR beautiful bloggers who commented on my last post. Even without new content in the last 2 weeks I’ve been feeling super connected. My Spotlight Blogger for today is for “Bryce Warden” who was the first to comment last time. You can find her at  https://wasthatmyoutloudvoice.com – be ready to laugh out loud and experience some warm fuzzies too. She is a busy Mum of teens, business owner, hospice and charity volunteer. She likes mystery novels and lives in the USA experiencing the cold while I am once again sweltering in 40+ degree weather. She’s been a recent find for me but I am very much in love.

I’d love for Bryce (and YOU!) to share, if you wish, about your favourite things to do in your spare time?

Happy Reading!

blogging · Books

Priorities

The temperature in my part of the world is going to reach 45 degrees today. So I’ve done something ‘amazing’. To make sure I don’t miss my third day in a row of going outside, I’ve cleaned house and walked the bin over to our on farm landfill (a couple 100 metres).

So it’s not much, but what a great start to the day, especially when it’s already HOT out there :p

What are you prioritising today?

The other New Years resolution I’m going to work on today is connecting. I really want to get to know you all. I have no idea how best to do this….any suggestions?!?

I’m going to try and do a spotlight today on one of my newest likers – Amanhimself.

Stalking his Bio page I’ve discovered his name is Aman Mittal and he is the well published blogger at Confessions of a Readaholic. He lives in New Delhi, India and adores books – so do I Aman!! (Indeed I’m pretty sure that’s how we discovered each other). I also discovered this quote on his page:

Capture

And this exactly summarises my blogging goal for 2018 – to actively engage in this conversation. So if Aman doesn’t mind I’m going to ask him a few questions, perhaps you’d like to answer them too:

  1. What is your all time favourite book or genre and why?
  2. Tell me something cool about where you live?
  3. Do you have a blogging quirk? I’d love to hear a fun fact about how you read or prepare your own blogs?
  4. Have you got any top priorities for 2018?

Thank you Aman for visiting my blog – I hope to continue conversing with you for a long time to come 🙂

blogging · life · mental health · relationships

Off to a good start

This past Christmas week has been full of the highs of festivities with friends and families but also lows of feeling flat, dealing with children and a lack of motivation/direction. The lows culminated in a head cold which thankfully gave me an excuse to lay low. An excuse also helped me build a fighting spirit and I finished off the week ready to bring in the New Year.

It can be tough when you finally reach the much longed-for break at the end of the year. My husband and I of course struggle with different expectations. I’ve generally already had a few slower weeks and am ready to, or at least wanting to be ready to, start doing some jobs together but he’s only just getting a chance to stop and generally still has a few daily work things that need seeing to.

Today on the first day of the year I’ve been productive and bright and hopeful and just HOORAY! As I always say on the flipside of a rough day or two – the hardest part about is not knowing how long it will last. This blog is an amazing reminder that it does always pass, generally much quicker than it feels.

Although not big on New Years resolutions I still think they have a place – I need something to aim towards, particularly this time of year when I actually have time. Last year I had a lot of goals for this blog which really didn’t come to fruition. I was going to do:

  • weekly Gratitude/Positives of the Week Post
  • WWW – Wednesday + When are you reading? challenge
  • fortnightly issue post
  • random regulars
  • 2+ weekly posts?!?

I did say it was wishful thinking at the time LOL

This year I’m focusing on personal goals:

  • Spend 5 minutes outdoors every day –  I’m hoping it will be 5 deliberate minutes and maybe even involve a bit of mindfulness and fitness too.
  • Keep working on my marriage. I made a casual suggestion today at morning tea that we should have a night each week where we discuss the week ahead which wasn’t received well – all suggestions seem to be work to him rather than opportunities. One relationship theory I studied last year by the Gottman’s was called Sound House Relationship – I’m really wanting to work on Building Our Love Maps and Creating Shared Meaning together – the other levels I hope I can strive for myself making a positive impact on my loving man
  • House goals – work towards getting a patio built and changing our lounge room carpet/set up (I’d love to take out a wall!)
  • Continue my slow journey towards decluttering – I’m happy with my pace and progress. I actually think my Fly Lady routine of ‘a load a day, keeps chaos away’ has changed my life!
  • oooh and study I want to start preparing again for that…….especially PRAC (eeek/:D)

Blog wise my brainwave today was to try and learn about my followers. It truly amazes me that 156 people have clicked that follow button. I know it means different things to everyone and I’m nowhere near 156 likes but WoW. I reflected recently that I’m not really a writer but community is super important to me. I think one of things I learnt about myself in 2017 is that I struggle socially out and about but I love reading and feeling connected, even if I can’t manage it all the time!

I’m back to writing down lists to do and feeling positive about 2018. I pray you are too,

God bless.

Dear Lord, give me wisdom and guide me to the choices You want me to make. Amen.