life · Uncategorized

Front-yard Cricket

Welcome to 2019 🙂

The weather finally cooled down enough to actually be outside and we had a family moment ❤

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December was a tough month. It’s the anniversary of my stillborn son’s birthday. I slowed down early and then when break time really came around I felt I had to ‘do’ especially as I had Hubby home ‘thanks’ to an achilles injury. So then the guilt started and the flatness spread and I just couldn’t get into the Christmas energy. Thankfully I trust my family and friends and feel no need to act, so much food and joyful fellowship was still had. My energy is gradually returning and I’m working on focusing on the moment rather than stressing about what hasn’t been done and what I feel needs to be done in the future (and trying to be understanding towards my family). I still generally feel like an over-privileged princess as I constantly choose puzzles, reading and tv over houshold tasks. But I get the washing and dishes done and I’m confident my children feel loved which is priority no. 1.

I usually like New Years Resolutions but havn’t had the motivation yet – still working on my Christmas letters! Having said that things must be improving…..

  1. One blog a month.
  2. I’d like to do something political this Australian election year. I got some ‘beginner’s guide’ books for Christmas
  3. Finish my counselling degree – to be honest I’m pretty scared about this, I had hoped to finish last year but due to mental health slowed this right down
  4. Make our spare room functional
  5. Rehash last years goal of spending more time outdoors/exercising

Each day is an open book for me at the moment – such a gift – such a responsibility.

There’s going to be good moments, nothing moments, some shockers and a whole lot in between. I pray I continue to seek connection. I’m not sure what God’s purpose for my life is but I will try and trust that each step in this journey, even the one’s I take in a dysfunctional direction are teaching me what I need to know.

 

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WWW Wednesday 4th December 2018

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I’ve missed sharing about a number of books recently but have made my way back for another round of WWW Wednesday with Sam from Taking on a World of Words. This is a fun and simple meme, with just three W questions to answer: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post here.  

What did you recently finish reading:

Rosie Coloured Glasses By Brianna Wolfson – I picked this off the library display shelf quickly for a weekend read. From Goodreads

Just as opposites attract, they can also cause friction, and no one feels that friction more than Rex and Rosie’s daughter, Willow. Rex is serious and unsentimental and tapes checklists of chores on Willow’s bedroom door. Rosie is sparkling and enchanting and meets Willow in their treehouse in the middle of the night to feast on candy.

After Rex and Rosie’s divorce, Willow finds herself navigating their two different worlds. She is clearly under the spell of her exciting, fun-loving mother. But as Rosie’s behaviour becomes more turbulent, the darker underpinnings of her manic love are revealed.

I found this to be a wonderfully written story, with insightful characters, however it was also incredibly sad and for that reason difficult to read. Not a light weekend fluff but worth a look 4/5.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – again I picked this one up from the library, as an audiobook for the car. The narrator Mirron Willis was fantastic. I’m glad I listened to this book as I’m sure some parts would have dragged and yet it felt like such an important book about american slavery, a must-read which was truly heart-breaking. The characters created were so easy to imagine 5/5.

Also recently read Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about the Nigerian civil war and Walking the Boundaries by Jackie French about the changing landscape of a property and the people who come before, I love Jackie French (and my son’s class just had a letter to her replied to)

I really enjoyed all of these books and would love to hear what other’s have thought about them.

What are you currently reading:

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

What do you think you’ll read next:

I’m coming into summer holidays so I might be able to allow myself a longer read. I’ve got some politic themed books I bought for my hubby to give me for Christmas but actually I don’t know what I’ll pick up next.

*Updated – thank you for the comments which gave me the motivation to add a bit more detail. And thanks to Goldenager’s review a Kate Kerrigan book may be next for me

Happy Reading 🙂

 

life · Uncategorized

September Life Update

It’s been a month since my last blog post, and what a month it’s been. Blogging has certainly slipped down my priority list but I am still enjoying reading lots of my favourites – so good to learn and share in.

I’m not really sure what I want to write about today but I do know that I want to say Hello.

Life is good and God is so graciously giving me the breaks I need at the right times. This week for instance I have two whole home days, plus I was home yesterday afternoon and have had way to much spare time for watching West Wing, my latest addiction (currently up to Season 3). Last week felt a bit crazy. I had a night away from home and two evening meetings in town, then a night out with friends. All of it including the meetings was time well spent but gosh it takes it out of me. Yesterday my one job was to clean the lounge room – that took it out of me too! So many jobs for today, including well overdue case notes, I pray I get the important ones done.

For your reading pleasure some recent life highlights:

  • My five year old son attended church on Sunday with no underwear and loose shorts :p
  • We hosted a church picnic the Sunday before – tug of war, egg and spoon races, guess the tools, beautiful weather….it’s so wonderful to catch up with our larger local christian family for worship and fellowship
  • I volunteered for both a secretary and chairperson position on two different committees – what was I thinking!!
  • Chairperson role had me speaking twice on radio this month
  • My counseling diary has been as full as I need it – challenging but also rewarding
  • Kids school concert was AMAZING and I so wish I could share their school photos with you!
  • arghh I’d almost forgotten this one but I did a lot of dealing with Telstra grrr  (phone company) but thankfully the monthly bill which came this week suggests it truly is now all sorted out
  • Our local paper has been sharing good stories about suicide and mental health

And now a few more days have past and I’m a bit more melancholy. This despite reading an amazing book I hope to review properly, reaching my goal weight and having dear friends cook with my kids (I do NOT have the patience!). I think I need a down day or two. Maybe it’s cos I  forgot my tablets yesterday, maybe it’s because I started thinking of a departed friend yesterday and tried really hard not to brush it aside but really feel it. Maybe it’s because I’m worn out.

I’ll say it again, God is good, and life is full of ups and downs… I’m still looking forward to tomorrow 🙂

How’s September been for you? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in October? Thanks for reading, thanks for letting me share where I’m at, please know I also love hearing about you.

God bless

 

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WWW Wednesday 4th July 2018

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This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post hereI’m only a little late posting…might still be Wednesday somewhere….

What did you recently finish reading:

The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif (goodreads link)

I really enjoy listening to this audiobook. I think listening to books from different cultures works well for me because they get all the pronunciations right. The story was set in South Africa in the 1950s with the two main characters being Indian. The book touched on apartheid in a really authentic and saddening way but was primarily about women, their positions in relationships and society. The ending was perhaps a little unsatisfying but took nothing away from the wonderful growth of the characters. 4/5

(The book also came with movie dvd, not sure yet if I’ll make the time to watch it)

What are you currently reading:

The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide

I’m not quite sure to make of this book yet, the protagonist is preparing for her upcoming death and author has used a few timelines to share her story which I’m not quite on top of, still interested to see where it leads to.

What do you think you’ll read next:

The Break by Katherena Vermette is our next bookclub read but I’m also looking at When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke for a quick fix as needed.

Happy Reading Everyone 🙂

The World Unseen

 

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Cycle of my thoughts

I’ve just been introduced to the website 80,000 Hours – a career guide for ‘talented young people who want to have a social impact’. I started at the link ‘Which jobs help people the most’ which outlines fours approaches 1. Earning to give, 2. Advocacy, 3. Research and 4. Direct work.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately. Study has been stressful for me this year bringing up the now-familiar negative depressive thoughts. With both children now at school and my husband having told me in the recent past that I don’t need to work my strategy has been to step back, avoid the stress and not worry too much about the outcomes.

Yesterday was technically the first due date that I didn’t hand in an assignment but I am behind on many other things I should have been doing and yet there have been some things I have managed to keep up.

Today I am seriously contemplating not completing my subjects, I need to first discuss it with my husband and then my study institution, my current to-do list.

If I take that direction, what next. I know my husband would like me to cook for him and we’d both like me to work on the house, and I am trying but honestly it’s hard.

I was thinking maybe this new website would have some answers but alas I’m tripping up on the word talented and also the concept of having a career. My current thoughts have me focusing on my roles of mother, wife and housewife, along with to keep me sane and fulfilled community work. Not really your traditional career. Although I think I could contemplate all those approaches (which they probably wouldn’t advocate – better to do one thing well maybe) as a non-paid worker. Take for example approach 1:

  • Earning to give – my husband is the partner of a successful farming business with a rather massive annual turnover. Our income numbers are high but most money goes back into the farm so in reality we see very little of it but I do believe we could give more – what can my role be…

I love the idea of advocacy and research but I don’t trust my time management skills to do it properly or my stress management skills to enforce deadlines. My current study is training me up for direct work I’m interested in but again I’m not confident of my ability to perform.

Books · Uncategorized

March: Six Degrees of Separation

Getting this one in at the last minute – feminism, bookclub and a bit of religion!

Six Degrees of Separation is hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  and gets you to take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The book for March was The Beauty Myth by Naomi Watts. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, adding lots to my TBR but not making much progress with my current book. I checked this title out on Goodreads, and while the plot summary had me interested the mixed reviews turned me off. In some ways I believe reading books about beauty buys into the cultural myth.

One book I added to my TBR this month was Alias Grace by Margaret Attwood, another author who writes feminist texts. Fran L wrote a great review for this book in her Top Ten Tuesday: Best Dual Timeline Novels. Having read Margaret Attwood before I was more than happy to add another of her titles to my reading list.

Her other title I’ve read is A Handmaids Tale for bookclub a few years ago. I gave it 4/5 at the time and it was a big winner in our group, even with the member who hadn’t read the postlude/notes at the end! Last month I hosted bookclub and my choice wasn’t such a hit.

I chose Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom and had to do a post about my totally awesome hosting skills (ha!) but doubt it will happen. I did cook a few Jewish dishes though which were a hit. The idea of faith and the blurb put a few readers off but they then found the book ok. We talked about how you don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person which of course is totally true. The big difference to me then is where you end up in the afterlife? (or your beliefs of is there an after life or not). Unfortunately believing in God doesn’t make Christians better people (bugger), but despite our imperfections in this life we are forgiven.

One day I would like to get my bookclub to read my all time favourite Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, but although we agree a benefit of bookclub is reading books we wouldn’t normally read I don’t think a specifically Christian novel would go down well.

This months bookclub read was The Bells by Richard Harvel but unfortunately I couldn’t attend (school mum duties drew priority) and I didn’t get a chance to have a look at it. Have you read it, or any of these other reads? Do you choose books for a bookclub?

Hope March has been a good month of reading (or whatever your preferred leisure acitvity is) for you.

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday 21st Mar 2018

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This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post here

What did you recently finish reading:

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier – I’d been reading this since the start of January and on a weekend away forced myself to get through it. I hate saying that because the writing was both immediately engaging and also simply wondrous. I really wanted to like this more but it was probably just the genre thats not a favourite of mine. For a good review refer to Bookabye Baby  The plot was rather slow-moving and towards the end the main character Phillip’s journey seemed inevitable. Nonetheless it gets 4/5 stars for the amazing writing.

What are you currently reading:

Yay I finally got to start Tell Me Your Here by Anne Deveson, an autobiography about the authors journey with her son diagnosed with schizophrenia. I’ve also started an audiobook which I had to go out of the car to check the title – Hold the Dark by William Giraldi

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.

I’m actually not doing a lot of reading at the moment so perhaps reading everyone else’s WWW post will re-inspire me!

Happy reading