A place for me to share, entertain, vent and discuss.

Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

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The end of January already.  One month of 2012 has gone by so quickly.  I never used to believe my parents when they told me that time goes by faster the older we get.  Now I am in my fifties, I know it to be true.  The years fly by so quickly now.  There are many times I wish time would slow down a little bit and let me catch up.

Suddenly my four children are grown up and now raising children of their own, and successfully making their way in the world.  The house is quiet as just my partner and I potter about in it, along with our dog, Ava. It took some time for me to get used to the idea of not having any children to look after; not having to cook for a family, wash every day, and run around after them.  I still worry about them and give them advice when I think they need it, but I have grown to love the peace and quiet and the freedom that comes with an empty nest.  My partner and I go out to dinner more often, we go away for weekends more often, there is less pressure to cook dinner each night, and we can just sit quietly in the evenings and watch what WE want on TV or sit and read in peace.

Each phase of our lives brings its own joys and challenges.  We now have the joy of grandchildren in our lives.  The joy of each other’s company without the distraction of a busy family life.  But we also now face the challenges that come with getting older.  I have been going through menopause these last 12 months; dealing with mood swings, hot flushes, sleeplessness and the ensuing frustration and irritability.  I have recently found that Promensil (which contains red clover) has greatly reduced these symptoms and I am now beginning to feel normal again.  My hot flushes have stopped and I am sleeping more soundly as a consequence.

It is essential now for us both to maintain our health via diet and exercise.   Good nutrition is always the key to good health. My resolutions at the beginning of the year included improving my eating habits and I am slowly succeeding in this.   I am becoming much more aware of what I am eating and doing a lot of research about nutrition. I have certainly increased my intake of fruit and vegetables. I haven’t eaten white bread in over a month, having replaced it with multi grain bread.  Red meat is only eaten occasionally, with a greater emphasis on fish and chicken, and vegetarian meals.

February is about to begin and it will provide an opportunity to consolidate my new healthier habits.

Good night all.  😀

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Beginnings and Endings – Project 365 +1

January 30, 2012

Post 30/365+1

There was an interesting article in the Herald/Sun today talking about how difficult it is for teachers these days.  There is now an expectation from many parents that teachers are also surrogate parents.  Children are often expected to learn social skills, manners and good behaviour once they are at school.  Whatever happened to parents taking responsibility for their children’s learning of these skills in the home?  Children should be starting school with the ability to behave appropriately for their age group, including being able to sit still, go to the toilet, dressing themselves, early reading and counting skills, share, listen, etc.  These are all things that should have already been taught in the home from a young age by the PARENTS.   The teacher’s job is to TEACH, not parent.  Yes, they need to reinforce discipline whilst the kids are in their care, but they shouldn’t need to teach the basics, from scratch, because some parents are negligent in their duty as parents.  Behaviour and attitude are learned by watching how the adults in our lives behave.  Respect, tolerance, manners and resilience are all skills that children need to have BEFORE they start school.  These skills should be learned at home, modelled by parents and other influential adults in the child’s life.

My own four children were expected to have these skills when they started school.  My two eldest started school the years they turned six due to social readiness.  My eldest is now a primary school teacher with a son starting school this year.  He is well prepared for school and has a great propensity to learn.  Parents and teachers have to form a team in order for children to learn and develop, and parents should not be abdicating their role in this team.  Each one needs to support the other; they need to be united in the goal of educating the child and helping that child to become a well rounded member of society.

If you would like read the article, here is the link http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/raise-your-own-kids-teachers/story-fn7x8me2-1226256687349

Parents – please be involved in your child’s learning; encourage and support them, and their teacher.  Your child will benefit from your interest in what they are doing in school.

Teachers – please involve parents in what is happening in your classroom. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage parents to be a part of the child’s learning.

School communities are made up of teachers, students and parents.  Working together strengthens that community and, in turn, the wider community, by sending young people out into the world well prepared and well educated.

Thank you to all my teachers, and thank you to all my childrens’ teachers.

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Beginnings and Endings – Project 365 +1

January 29, 2012

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Another weekend draws to a close, finishing with the men’s final of the Australian Open.  It looks like it will be a marathon match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.  I don’t have a preference for who wins, I am just looking forward to a great match.  After tonight I will be able to get back to some earlier bedtimes.  This may reduce the dark circles under my eyes, and help to prevent the inevitable yawning before lunchtime  each day.

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New photos on Facebook of my youngest grandchild. Summer is now 5  months old.  Already!!  And sitting up in her highchair tasting new foods.  She pulls some funny faces as she tries new tastes.   Just love her to bits!!

      

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My daughter sent  me a link today for a blog post which made me smile.  It celebrates the “Joys” of motherhood.  It is a post all mothers (and probably grandmothers) will relate to.  How many times have you smugly said the words “When I’m a parent I’ll never ______.”?  And then you had children!!! Ha!!!  I am sure mothers (and some fathers) everywhere will smile and nod when they read these “now I get it” moments.

http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2010/07/sgw-my-top-10-oh-now-i-get-it-moments.html

Do you, or did you have, moments like these with your children?  Were you the perfect parent until you had kids of your own?

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Beginnings and Endings – Project 365 +1

January 28, 2012

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I have finally decided on a name that I am happy with for the main character in my January Picture Book.  I think that finding the right name for book characters is essential.  It has to fit with the character and with the text so that it flows well.  I wanted a name that would be modern enough for today’s young readers, yet comfortable enough for the adults who may be reading to them.   Whilst writing the book, I simply referred to “the little boy”, so choosing a  name meant having it fit in with the existing text and rhythm.  Having read it aloud, I am pleased with the sound of it, and the name seems to fit.  So my January PB manuscript is done; now time to begin on February’s.

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Weekend is now half over.  I have not done a lot. Interspersed my writing tasks with a little housework, visited my daughter and grandkids, watched some tennis, bathed Ava, and of course, did some pinning on Pinterest.  Tomorrow is meant to be quite warm so I will get up early to walk Ava, and hopefully get some shopping done so I can stay inside during the afternoon.  The men’s final of the Australian Open is on tomorrow night between Nadal and Djokovic which should be a great (and probably long) match.  I couldn’t bring myself to watch the women’s final due to both players being shriekers; it spoils what could otherwise be a great match.  Good to see Azarenka win her first Grand Slam though.

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I have been keeping up with the latest blogs from Meshel Laurie.  She has copped some unfair abuse the last two days after blogging about the Australia Day scuffles at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.  I find it shocking that  people can be so nasty and abusive towards a fellow Australian for expressing an opinion that differs from their own.  We all have a right to free speech in Australia, along with the right to our own opinions and beliefs, however, I also believe that we are all entitled to respect for those opinions and beliefs and we shouldn’t be subject to bile and ugliness.  The only way forward is through civilised debate, and open and honest communication.  If people want to contribute to the conversation, they are respectfully invited to do so in a civil manner.

http://www.meshellaurie.com/2012/01/so-how-was-your-australia-day/

https://www.facebook.com/welcometoaustralia

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We are one, but we are many.

Beginnings and Endings – Project 365 +1

January 27, 2012

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Okay, so today has been totally wasted on a new website I have found call Pinterest.com.  I am sure a lot of other people have known about Pinterest for some time, but I only found the link a few days ago.  How easy it is to get totally caught up in this site, browsing recipes, home decor ideas, clever/funny quotes, party ideas, beautiful photographs and much, much more.  I found a great tip for getting the yellow stains out of the armpits of white clothing; tried it today and it worked a treat.  I now have two white shirts I can wear when I leave the house again.  There are so many things to browse, then link to, repin, tweet and ‘Like’ that I found myself totally losing track of time.

Here is the link if you would like to join Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/

  and here are some of the fun things and ideas I found.

Chalkboard in photo to mark each month and also list important information you want to remember      Easy way to make a heart shaped cake: one 8      This colorful layer cake from       

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I hope you all have a great weekend.  Enjoy!

 

Beginnings and Endings – Project 365 +1

January 26, 2012

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Happy Australia Day.

To all my Australian friends and family, I hope you are having a great day today.  I am sure most people are enjoying a day off work, having a BBQ with friends, swimming at the beach, watching the cricket, and just generally relaxing.  Many people will also have taken tomorrow off so they can enjoy a 4 day long weekend.  (I am one of those people!)

Australia Day to me means the opportunity to recognise the many different cultures which contribute to our national identity, celebrating the open, inclusive society which we enjoy here in Australia.  It is about coming together and celebrating all that is good about living here.  All too often we focus on the negatives, forgetting to highlight the many positives about ourselves and our country.

According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, the total current population of Australia  22,813,739.

95% of the population are Australian citizens.   However, 24% of us were not born here.  Almost 98% of us are descendants of immigrants or refugees.  And over 200 countries are represented amongst our population;  a wonderful diversity.   We are so lucky to live in an such an open, free, peaceful and tolerant society; a place that people are willing to risk their lives to get to, and settle their families in.  Australia is, for many refugees, a safe haven in an increasingly troubled world.   Our many immigrants have enriched our society in so many ways including music, dance, sport, language, dress, and food.  We have absorbed so many different cultures into our lives;  most of us enjoy a night out at a restaurant and we are lucky enough to have great choice of cuisines in which to partake.

Australia Day reminds us of how lucky we are and gives us the chance to share our love of our country with ‘those who’ve come across the seas’.

Please share the following link:  https://www.facebook.com/welcometoaustralia

Enjoy the evening ahead and stay safe if you are partying tonight.

 

Beginnings and Endings – Project 365 +1

January 25, 2012

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Continuing yesterday’s theme of encouraging children of all ages to read, I have put together a list of some of my favourite books to read aloud to children.  I get just as much enjoyment out of these books as the kids do.

Dr Seuss of course. Great rhyming fun, tongue twisters and wonderful silliness!

Any of the Hairy Maclary titles by Lynley Dodd.  My grandchildren love these books.

Koala Lou and Possum Magic by Mem Fox.  Mem is a wonderful story teller and writes delightful tales for young children.

Each Peach, Pear, Plum.  A favourite with my children and now my grandchildren.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Classic Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne.

The beautiful Graham Base books.  The artwork is glorious. My granddaughter particularly loves Uno’s Garden.

For older children why not read a chapter each night of Charlotte’s Web or Mary Poppins, The Indian in the Cupboard or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  In fact, anything by Roald Dahl is great fun, with its overtones of mischief and danger.  And of course, we cannot leave out the Narnia series of books by C S Lewis.

My eldest daughter loved John Marsden books during her teens, and is also a big fan of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter.

For children and teens who have trouble following lengthy stories, why not get them books such as Guinness World Records, the Daring Book for Girls, or The Dangerous Book for Boys.

Do you have favourite books from your own childhood that you hold dear?  What books or stories do you love to read to your own children or grandchildren?  Which books do your children get the most enjoyment out of?

        Happy reading.