Reader’s Block! It’s at a stand still!

Being totally engrossed in a book was something I used to absolutely love. Since having children though, my books have just become ornaments gathering dust.

My poor books have been gathering dust for over 11 years now. I used to love thrillers, books that messed with my mind a bit, as well as reference books.

My bookshelf is choc-a-block of books from my childhood that I can’t bear to part with, books that are over 100 years old, home butchery books, cooking books, art and craft books as well as reference books on how to look after most types of domestic pets.

When reading, I don’t like to be disturbed, I love to grab a book, get comfortable and lose myself for hours on end.
I used to love reading an entire book in a single sitting.

This hasn’t been the case over the past almost 12 years though as I have always had (young) children around me.

I do read the stories in magazines. It’s not the same as getting stuck into a book, but it is better than nothing I guess.


Ten minutes of randomness

Writing for exactly ten minutes sounds very easy, doesn’t it?

The thing that one has to think about though, is WHAT to write about. The topic needs to be interesting enough to keep the reader interested, yet not too deep as the writer will get drawn into the moment and end up writing well beyond the ten minute allowed time frame.

I was watching a cooking show tonight on TV with my young daughter and we watched pancakes being made with yoghurt as one of the main ingredients. I’ve never heard of a yoghurt based pikelet before, but it looked very tasty so I am sure that it will be tried and tested as school holidays are just around the corner (which in turn means the kids will all of a sudden be saying “Mum, I’m bored” most of the day/night).

Logging onto Facebook the first thing to pop up in my newsfeed was a quiz that a friend of mine had done. It was about riddles. I thought I’d have a go myself and although there wasn’t a definite result at the end of it, I think I got 100%. I have always enjoyed riddles, both those that have been passed down through generations as well as those found in joke books and told by friends in primary school.

It’s after midnight as I write this and I have the TV on as background noise more than anything. I couldn’t help but look up as I just saw an advertisement for Barbie dolls. What business does Mattel have putting Barbie ads on at this hour? Shouldn’t they be aired at a more child-friendly hour? Something like 4-8pm maybe??

Well, time does fly as the saying goes and this task was for me to write for ten minutes… not a minute more… nor a minute less.
I’m not sure if I’m typing much slower or faster than I usually do, but I have surprised myself…

That was ten minutes…

And just like that… it was done!

My TO-DO List:

1- Say what I actually believe in, stand up for myself & be confident.
2- Prove to myself that I CAN successfully follow my dreams.
3- Stop with the “what if’s” and start DOING STUFF!
4- Sell the majority of my “stuff”- the items I never use and will never miss.
5- Travel to the places I always said I’d like to go to.

That was then…………
Fast forward to now…………

I don’t know why I hesitated for so long.
Looking back on things- I think I was just stalling.

Was I scared of not knowing how things would turn out?
Was I listening too much to all those people that kept telling me my dreams were impossible and I would never be able to achieve them?

Look at me now!
I’ve got far less possessions to what I had back then (but my bank balance is now looking much better and allowing me to do this), I’m on the road chasing my dreams, spending my days and nights exploring this great land of ours and informing the world of my experiences and teaching them about lesser known facts along the way.

Thousands are following my journey of a lifetime, a journey that will hopefully last for the rest of my lifetime.
Thousands upon thousands have the opportunity to share my experiences through my artworks, through my writing.

This is who I am now.

Gone is the scared, suicidal teen who was certain her life was one huge mistake.
She has been replaced with a much more confident and experienced woman who has many life experiences that she now utilises to help others.
She shares her stories with those who ask about them, she shares her knowledge with those who want to learn.

She is capable of all this thanks to being able to see the light at the tunnel and start believing in herself.
It all started with a To Do List.

A simple to do list that ANYBODY can create, anyone can tailor a to do list to their requirements and if followed, it WILL change your life as it has changed mine.

Is knowing what the future holds really a good thing?

The Advantage of Foresight can be either a positive or negative aspect of life, depending on how often that power is used and the information that is sought.

Being granted the power to predict the future could quite possibly be a great power to possess BUT how would you use it?
How often should you use it, if at all?
Do you make it known that you have this ability in order to be able to make money from it or allow others to gain insight into their futures at your expense?

Losing a day of your life each time you use this newly found power doesn’t seem like much of a deal, but what if you only had days, weeks or months left to live? That would be quite a serious situation to put yourself in.

I’m not sure if I’d even want such a power. I think it would actually cause more problems than what it would solve- in my situation anyway.

I have a number of dreams floating around in my head as well as occasionally making it onto paper or typed into the memory of a computer or put online somewhere. Do I want to find out the future of these dreams? I guess it would be good, but if it wasn’t the outcome I hope it to be, I would be bitterly disappointed and then that one lost day of my life would be the least of my worries- if I had no dreams to cling to, I would feel that my life was no longer worth living.

Having the ability to foresee the future is a very dangerous thing and I don’t think I would wish it upon anybody- regardless of the consequences.

Does pain really equal gain!?

The saying “No Pain, No Gain” is quite common and where it may ring true for some, it definitely does not ring true for me.

You know how everyone seems to know somebody who’s life is run by Murphy’s Law?
If something can go wrong, it will go wrong (to them).
Well, that person is more often than not me.

All the check outs at the supermarket will be empty, but when I have finished filling up my shopping trolley and head towards the registers… all the check outs have lines of people at them and when my turn does eventually come around, it’s always my items that don’t scan correctly and need someone to get a price check on what feels like every other item I am wanting to buy!

I recently ended up with a pinched nerve and bulged disc in my lower back. This is the 4th time in 3 years I have had it happen. The icing on the cake was when the nerve pinched a second time only 4 days later!
I pinched it a few weeks ago when I was transplanting vegetable seedlings into our raised garden bed. There was no heavy lifting involved, not even twisting my body into a strange position, I was simply hunched over the garden bed when y back went out.
If that wasn’t bad enough, life got even more pathetic when it happened again barely 4 days later. I was in a lot of pain and could barely get around (I was actually using crutches to get from my bed to the bathroom as I couldn’t put much weight on my legs at the time due to the pain) but nature called, so I had to go.
Flushing the toilet was the simple action that made my body spasm and send me to my knees (well, almost- I had my crutches to catch me this time). I couldn’t believe my luck (or lack of it).

This has been a lot of pain… but definitely no gain. If anything, it has put me back a fair bit.

Unfortunately I am not as optimistic as most of the people I know, but if I was to try and find some gain out of all my pain, I guess I could come to the conclusion that being in all this pain has caused me to completely lose my appetite and therefore as a result, over the past 3 weeks I have managed to lose over 6kgs.
This has been a great step for my weight loss journey, even though it wasn’t the best way to get things back on track, and I am hoping that now that my appetite is starting to come back I will be able to start enjoying healthy foods and keeping my portion sizes smaller than what they used to be.

To add to my pain, I can also safely say that my garden has gained-
a lot of weeds. Not to mention that almost every plant is needing it’s spent flowers to be removed (to promote more flowers), there are a few areas that need to be re-mulched as well.

Maybe tomorrow I will force myself to get out in the garden, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes at a time.

As they say… No pain, No gain.

It tastes bitter to me.

I have a lot of friends and family who rave over the majority of reality TV shows whereas I quite honestly, do not enjoy them at all.
I can sit through “The Voice: Blind Auditions”, but after that- it gets a bit beyond a joke.
I used to enjoy watching “Survivor”, but when they start dishing out season after season after season it starts to get quite boring… fast.
Give me a documentary any day. 🙂

I guess another thing that most people I know love but I don’t enjoy at all would be Chocolate Cake. Yes, I’m one of those “weirdos” who do not like Chocolate Cake. I never have liked it, I haven’t liked many cakes actually. Give me a plain cream & jam filled sponge and I’m a happy camper, but give me something fancier and I won’t eat it. I guess it’s just what I’ve grown used to with my life experiences.

DP: Comforting Scents

Smells can be comforting. They can also be a trigger for bad memories.
Today though, I’ll concentrate on the positive smells I’ve encountered in my life.

I have been fortunate enough to have had many great memories whilst taking in the most unlikely “nice” smells.

I believe the smells of sheep, horse and cow manure are positive.
They remind me of the many happy holidays I spent at the family farm. I got to help with the odd jobs around not only our family farm but also the farms of a number of close family friends.
The strong aroma of old sheep manure reminds me of the times I spent in shearing sheds helping out with shearing, working in amongst sheep from first thing in the morning to almost sunset in the evening, my hands and shoes thick of sheep grease- lanolin. Some people pay good money to have their shoes shined in the same way or to have their hands so supple and soft, smothered in a natural moisturiser.
The smell of horses reminds me of the regular horse rides I used to go on during my teenage years. The rides only lasted about an hour, but it was the most relaxing, exhilarating hour that I looked forward to each month.
Cattle smells remind me of going to the yearly show; wandering through the animal yards, watching them be washed, dried and brushed ready for the show ring.

The Smell of blood ‘n’ bone reminds me of the hours I would spend outside helping in the garden. Turning over the soil, fertilising, pruning, planting and everything else that went with it.
I still enjoy gardening today and I hope my kids enjoy it even half as much as what I do.


In response to:

DP: Writing Space

In all my years of writing, I would have to say that some of my best writing was done at school. After I had completed my work and had some spare time I would absorb myself in my folder and let all my thoughts spill onto the pages of my notebook. I had a vivid imagination, and along with the bullying I had to endure, I found it very easy to write my poems.

In more recent times, I have done my writing on the laptop. It’s usually done when on the bed propped up against a pile of pillows. I find it easiest to write alone, but am able to write when I have company. When I write I find that I sort of switch off and ignore what is going on around me which is why I write alone as I don’t want to be rude and ignore anyone of they’re talking to me and I’m switched into writing mode.

DP: Riding the roller coaster that is my life.

If I had the choice to relive the last week I’m not sure if I would want to do so.
There has been illness in the family, early mornings, extremely late nights and next to no exercise.

I guess there’s nothing wrong with early mornings; it’s just when they are very cold- that they’re not as fun as they could be.
The same goes for the late nights too… well it was in a way an early morning as I didn’t get to bed until after 4am!!! I thought about just pulling an all-nighter but decided it was probably not the smartest thing to do. I used to be able to do it years ago… but I’m the oldest I’ve ever been.

Actually, thinking about the whole “Groundhog Week” scenario in a more general view, thinking to all my life up until now- I don’t think I’d choose to live 1 particular week over and over.

There have been many memorable moments in my life that I would love to relive again numerous times, but there are also moments that I never even want to think about again- let alone experience again.

That’s the thing with life and living… you never know what’s around the corner. You don’t know when your number’s up. It might be now, or tomorrow, next week, next year or maybe not for another 77 1/2 years. We just don’t know.
We may as well try to make the most of it, we may as well try and do things that we enjoy as living a tiring miserable life isn’t fun at all.

Take time to stop and smell the flowers, swing on the swings at the playground, kick all the autumn leaves that fall to the ground, lie down on the grass and watch cloud formations…
Learn to think like a child again- don’t worry so much.

Offside Memories

I had friends who used to do Athletics. My offside memories are of them teaching me how to race walk. It took quite a bit to learn. Unlike them, I didn’t have an athlete’s body- heck, I still don’t have an athletic body today (but now I realise I am who I am).
I must have looked quite a sight back then. Big chunky me waddling along in an awkward hasty gait trying to race walk with added “hurdles” (gutters, logs, strategically placed umbrellas, etc) alongside people half my size (almost literally in every way imaginable) striding along in front of me, easily doing it and looking completely normal in the process.

Looking back now, I must have been a sight. But now I am able to have a chuckle and realise that it didn’t matter how I looked, or what people thought of me. The fact was that I was having fun with those I cared about, I was spending time with friends and I was being active.