Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A little life....

 
 
"Each day is a little life."
Schopenhauer
 
Why do we say... "my life is terrible", or "I don't know what to do with my life", or "my life is not the way I thought it would be"?
 
We are the only ones who can make it different. Why moan?
 
I remember a woman, a perfect stranger, coming and sitting next to my sister and I and my then two year old daughter, just 24 hours before my Mother died.
 
We had left the hospital for just a short time, having held long vigils there while Mum drew ever more laboured breaths, the cancer within her, slowly stealing her from us. Sitting in a local food court, we just kind of stared at each other mutely, knowing she was not with us for much longer.
 
What possessed this woman I cannot say, but she plonked herself down at our table, and opened a random conversation with 'I've had a terrible life.' She then waffled on without drawing breath about her (admittedly) sad life to that day, and waited expectantly (I presume) for us to heap sympathy upon her.
 
I was so shocked and so consumed with my own grief that I just stared at her open mouthed.
 
My sister, who can be more forward than I in some circumstances, simply said 'At least you've got your life. Our Mum is so sick, she'll probably be dead this time tomorrow', and gathered up her things and mine, looked hard at me to gather up my daughter, and we walked off without looking back.
 
I do not know or care what the womans response was.
 
But it's a lesson, isn't it.
 
Your life is today.
 
Today is all you have.
 
You can't change what's done, and you can't project yourself into the future and meddle there either.
 
Today is it.
 
Do something today that reflects the life you want.
 
Read a better book, turn off the TV, paint, write, meditate, plan, walk, eat better, love more, forgive easily, practice random acts of kindness, attend a church service, say sorry, hug someone who needs it, smile at strangers, thank someone, allow a busy Mum or frail or disabled person in front of you in the queue, volunteer, phone a long lost friend, rekindle your relationship, be kind to yourself and others, make friends with a neighbour, make a gift, pot a plant, plant a tree, grow some vegetables, love your children, apologise, write a letter, sew something, mend something, make something, make do.
 
What's stopping your from having your life today?
 
What's on your Tray of Bliss?

Friday, December 7, 2012

No cost gifts from the heart 3....



Dig up all of those photos you couldn't frame or use for scrapbooking because they're out of focus or not centred or someone looks a bit goofy. I've used this one where my daughter, who was about 18 months old at the time, was trying to put on my sunglasses.

I'd just been taking photos of the gorgeous gardens where we'd been picnicing, and hadn't thought to manually focus on her before taking the shot. So although the garden bed in the background is crisp and clear, the otherwise cute photo has languished in my collection ever since.

I've now resurrected it, and will frame it side by side in a frame, with a little story about how the photo came about. There are other photos from the same day, framed in our hallway, so it will also be a way to tell her how those came to be.

Just a moment in time, but at 12, a precious reminder of how little she once was.

You could even simply enfold this in a handwritten letter and it would still be treasured.

...Mama Guardian...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No cost gifts from the heart...


"One day, I'll give you the moon in a jar.

The sky on a platter.

And the ocean in a pool of glassy blue.

Until then, know that I love you."

Print the picture out, paste onto some cardstock, hand write the verse inside.

No cost, hug inspiring gift.

...Mama Guardian...


Celebrating Christmas without a loved one....

 
This is my Mums constellation. It's called the Jewel Box.
 
We nominated this 'her' constellation as she always had a fascination with the heavens and the mythology of the stars. On clear evenings, I love sitting on our back deck, searching the night sky for her. The stars wink at me, and I feel her hands on my shoulders.
 
This will be our tenth Christmas without her.
 
Some of you may be celebrating your first, fifteenth or fiftieth Christmas without someone dear to you.
 
Significant days like Christmas, birthdays, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and other celebrations take on a new poignancy when someone you love is missing, absent or has passed away.
 
 
 
It's hard not to immerse oneself in the pain of loss and grief. I remember someone telling me the pain lessens, and the weight of the grief becomes easier.
 
I didn't believe them.
 
I moaned, I wailed, I rocked back and forth, hugging myself as Mum had always hugged me when things went wrong. I did that for a very long while.
 
Then one morning, just before I opened my eyes from slumber, I heard my Mums voice say 'C'mon Darling, chop-chop, there's a new day out there. Aren't you going to put on some lippy?'.
 
I wasn't surprised. This was something she'd said to me, when she was here. Why wouldn't she say it to me now? It was the most natural thing in the world.
 
From time to time,when I am having an internal struggle with something, I'll hear her voice in my ear just before I wake, just as I did then. Always full of gentle advice. And then I'll feel a flutter, brushing my hand or my foot or my brow, like a moth or a firefly.
 
 
 
I know then, that she is with me, guiding me and smiling proudly when I do well.
 
From time to time, I'll see or hear something that I know is a message from her. A pod of Dolphins breaking the surface of the water at our favourite seaside getaway (she always joked she'd come back as a Dolphin), a butterfly coming to a prolonged rest on my hand, a whisper through the branches of the tree we planted in honour of her sixtieth birthday, jingling the wind chime that once adorned her back verandah.
 
I don't know what you believe, but I think the souls of loved ones can be carried between this life and the next. I believe that when you really need to hear that persons voice, they will speak to you. If not in your waking life, then perhaps while you sleep.
 
I have vivid and lengthy conversations with my Mum, in dreams that are so real, that I am genuinely surprised to wake from them. In these dreams I know that Mum has passed on, but accept that she is there to tell me something. Inevitably she imparts some words of wisdom, and then I'm awake.
 
I almost certainly find that I am then able to resolve some thus far unresolveable issue or conflict in my life.
 
Often we fly together, dipping and lifting again. She believed in Astral travel too, so who's to say we're not doing exactly that...
 
 
Trust in yourself and in the deep love you shared or still share, with your absent loved one.
 
Know that if nothing else, they live on in our hearts and minds and are always with us.
 
The bonds of love cannot be broken. Not by death or disappearance or absence of any kind. They stretch like a silken web and enfold us when we need it most.
 
 
 
Be still. Be very, very quiet. Breathe.
 
Your loved one is near.
 
Can you feel them?
 
Is that their whisper on the breeze, their palm in yours as you drift off to sleep, their favourite bloom inexplicably more beautiful this season telling you they are at peace and with you always?
 
I choose to believe so.
 
Perhaps you do too.
 
Be at peace this Festive Season.
 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Very Special DIY Gifts...Customised Notepads...


Personalised anything is the name of the game for pretty gifts around here.
I made these notepads for my daughters friends recently.

They're so easy, and when you consider what you pay for personalised notepads even online, they're eye poppingly inexpensive.
Just print a picture or graphic you think they'd like onto 50 or so sheets of A4 paper. Cut the paper in halves or quarters if you like a more compact notepad.
Clamp the pile of paper to the edge of a table or desk or workbench with a D Clamp, and smear the facing edge (what will be the spine of the notebook) liberally, with Aquadhere...a sort of gummy hardware glue.
Allow the gummy glue to dry overnight, then remove the clamp.
Ta-Da!
Customised notebooks. Who knew? Easy, right?
Let your imagination run riot and use wedding photos, baby photos, a hand drawn graphic which can then be scanned, holiday memories and so on.

Use pastel coloured paper or use stamps and clear stamping ink to give a watermarked effect.

Do ahead of time, and store in a shoebox with scented sachets, and you have scented notepaper!

A pretty gift for very little effort.
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

 Sharing at:

The Charm of Home

Being Broke at Christmas....

Mother's Day Comments Pictures
More Images @ MyNiceProfile.com

Some roses for you, because if you're here, maybe you need a smile. Christmas is tough if you're broke.
No, hang on, it's tough all the time if you're broke, but particularly so, at Christmas.
Everyone else is kicking up their heels and all you can do is worry about how to pay the rent or put food on the table.
First of all, take the pressure off yourself. Have you made arrangements with anyone you owe money to?
Have you had an honest conversation with your family about what you can and can't afford? Kids, parents, siblings, partners, can all be counted upon to be more sympathetic, if they know what's really going on. This is NOT the time to put your head in the sand and your credit card and credit rating on the line.
The older I get, the more I believe that the things that matter are people, not things. Make people your priority this Christmas, not shopping, or food, or glittering decorations. Gosh, I shop all the time on-line and never actually buy anything. Indulge in a bit of window shopping on-line this year. Print out pictures of all the things you'd buy your loved ones if money was no object.
And then, do this.
Sit down, pen in hand and paper on the desk or table and write them a letter. And I do mean HAND write. It'll mean more to them.
When was the last time you wrote a heartfelt letter to those that are important to you, telling them how much they mean in your life? Sharing a memory of a particularly happy moment, or a time when they made you so proud you could almost burst?
When was the last time you spent an hour with one of your kids or your Mum or Dad, or brother or sister or your partner, just them and you, listening to them, taking an interest in their world without thinking about what you're going to say when they stop talking or drifting off and thinking about what you have to do next. Long time, huh?
Make this the year of telling those you love, how much you love them. And to hell with shopping. You won't regret it, I promise.
 
And if you still want to do the whole shebang, challenge yourself to do it for as little expense as possible. More on that in my post here.

...until next time...
...Mama Guardian...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

So you're broke and it's Christmas...what now?

Take a moment.

I'm listing some practical ideas at the end of this post.

But first...
 
Breathe.
 
Focus on what's really important.
 
It's not expensive gifts.
 
It's not a table groaning with $500 worth of food, $250 of which will be thrown away at the end of the day.
 
It's having our loved one close. Appreciating the true meaning of Christmas.
 
Peace and Goodwill to all Men.
 
Believe that you have a Guardian Angel, as well as a Guardian Mama, watching over you.
 
From this, you are meant to learn.
 
From this, you will gain a new appreciation of what you can do when faced with a crisis.
 
From this, your family can grow and learn that dealing with adversity is a necessary human skill.
 
Exchange letters, hand decorated with magazine clippings. Write your family history. Spend Christmas day doing nice things for each other...a foot massage, a shoulder rub, brushing each others hair.
 
Give of yourselves, not of the supermarket and shopping mall.

You reap what you sow.

 Don't sow anger and unfulfilled need. Sow a peaceful and glad heart that you and your loved ones can gather together in a safe place and go on.
 
It may well be the best Christmas you've ever had.

Here is my cheap, cheap, cheap, impressive Christmas lunch.

Here are my no cost Christmas Ideas Number 1, number 2, number 3, number 4. and more to come. Stay tumed.


 ...until next time...
 
Mama Guardian

And so the caterpillar became a butterfly...


 
I know we're there...
 
Any minute, my girl will hatch from her cocoon.
 
 
She'll spread her pretty wings and fly.
 
 
Not yet though....a few more precious years up our sleeve.
 
 
But not many....
 
 
I'll hold her in my silken grasp for a little longer,
 
 
Before she launches herself on the twilight breeze.
 
 
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cheap, cheap, cheap Christmas Lunch!




Why do we get all hysterical about Christmas Lunch?

I can turn out an impressive lunch any ol' day, and it doesn't have me hot and bothered for weeks or days in advance. Nor does it mean the kind of assault on my bank account that means no more bling for me for six months!

We've all gotta just calm the farm (as my twelve year old says) on this Christmas lunch thing.

A crisp white or patterned sheet on the table, a simple centrepiece, polished cutlery and glasses and a tasty meal with our family and friends close, and we're fine and dandy here thanks!

Here's my all time favourite for a posh but penny pinching impressive lunch. Good enough for guests, frugal enough for my peace of mind, and just as pretty as a picture!

Mama Guardians's Famous Festive Chicken Roll
Serve hot or cold

One will serve 4-8 people, depending on the size of the serves and how thick or thin you cut the roll. It also slices more readily into thinner slices, once chilled. You can double or triple the ingredients but I recommend making multiple rolls or miniature ones (adjusting the cooking time accordingly) over making one gigantic one. It won't present as prettily and will be too dry on the outside and not cooked through. This is also fabuloso, cooked in Texas muffin pans with the filling in the middle, or in smaller ones as a cocktail bite.

500gms minced meat ... turkey, chicken, pork, veal and beef are all good
2 eggs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (plus 1 cup extra)
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp chopped dried fruit and/or nuts
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, thyme)
Baking paper

Mix the mince, 1 egg, the milk, 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, and the fresh herbs.

Take a sheet of baking paper and spread the mixture over the paper in a large rectangle about 20cm x 30cm.

Mix the other cup of breadcrumbs, the dried fruit and/or nuts, and the second egg. Spread this down the long side of the mince rectangle, closest to you.

Using the baking paper to start the roll, enclose the stuffing and then roll into a long sausage shape, finishing with the 'seam' underneath (it's a bit like rolling sushi or a swiss roll sponge). Press the ends together.

Place, seam down on a baking sheet, and bake covered for 45 minutes, then remove cover and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Serve sliced with relish or sweet chilli sauce, salad and crunchy bread.

I love Christmas. I don't love what it does to people's anxiety levels. I think this recipe helps reduce some of that anxiety. For under $30, I can feed 30-40 people by making six of these. I vary the fillings so that when they're cut, they look prettily jewelled. Add another $20 for seasonal fruit and salad leaves, and we're well fed with a memorable meal. $10 more and I can have make 2 of my Mums Pumpkin Fruit cakes for dessert, and we're as happy as Larry.

Here's the recipe in a few sentences, the way they used to be passed from family to family, hand to hand. Always a winner.

Save 1 cup mashed pumpkin from dinner for this cake. Cream 1 cup brown sugar and 125gms unsalted butter. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the mashed pumpkin and 2 tablespoons Treacle. Add a cup and a half of mixed dried fruit. Stir well and add 2 cups Self Raising flour. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake at 175C for an hour and a half.
Have a calm Christmas....

Life's path...

 
My little daughter.
 
Walking life's path.
 
This is my girl, wandering in a French village somewhere. I'm so glad I thought to capture this moment.
 
Like a modern day Alice, she's distracted by something out of frame, despite the beauty all around her. The late afternoon light shining through her red gold locks rendering her Rubensque in hue, if not stature.
 
This photo was taken four and a half years ago, when she was still just a little girl.
 
Now my little girl is a young colt, on the verge of womanhood, and about to launch herself into her final Summer as a child.
 
We've had so many fun times, my girl and I.
 
I hope the young woman she is becoming will still seek fun with Mum.
 
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?
 
... Mimi

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Struggle for Equality...


I get so frustrated sometimes.

I hear and see people demonstrating and debating and getting riled up over equality for gay couples, equality for working parents, equality for single parents.

I see people weep for animal rights, for the right to love who they want, marry who they want, live where they want, recover from drug or alcohol addiction, and be educated like everyone else.

There are high profile people campaigning to protect the environment, the Orangutan, the rights of Indigenous people to their land and the footprints of Dinosaurs, millions of years old.

Who stands up for people with a disability?

What if ... you were Indigenous AND disabled...

... disabled AND had a same sex partner....

...disabled AND homeless...

...disabled AND substance addicted...

...who campaigns for YOU?


Where are the high profile Celebs who will put their name and face to the National Disability Insurance Scheme here in Australia?

They don't exist. And shame on them.

People with a disability are not soft and cute and fluffy, threatened with extinction, trendy or fun to be photographed with.

We, the families are their saviours, their heroes, the ones who stand up for their rights.

Equal rights.

And it's bloody tough.

Come on people. Put your name and face and energy behind something that's not trendy or beautiful.

Something that matters NOW.

Something that is truly life changing.

Please.

The environment and the Orangutans have enough supporters.

People with a disability do not.

Please care.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The embellished ballet slipper....

 
A pair of my darlings satin ballet slippers, embellished with a discarded pair of earrings, no longer worn...alas my days of after five wear are behind me...still shaped by her little toe, straining to point and dreaming of floating across the stage to Mozart...

 
....now hung on the corner of a portrait of a real ballerina, because she now has real ballerinas' pointe shoes...

 
But these will serve as a reminder, that all little ballerinas had to start somewhere...
 
 
...hung prettily on her wall, much as her brothers displayed their sports trophies...

 
...a delicate reminder of an era lost, and skills gained.
 
Even if you don't have a dancing daughter, ballet slipper can be had for very little. Try eBay or your nearest Dancers Shoppe.
 
The earrings? Well I was a bit of a glamour girl once and these were expensive...but I'm sure you have your own treasures with which to embellish your ballet slippers.
 
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

Cook Seasonal and save!





Check these out...lush eh?

These are my strawberry iced tea Gluten Free Muffins.

So easy, just use my Basic Muffin Recipe, add those strawberries that have gone smooshy in the fridge, ice with icing sugar mixed with some Berry flavoured iced tea, and squiggle with some strawberry topping decanted into a squeezee bottle.

Too easy!

We waste very little here.

Smooshy fruit is always baked into muffins or slices. In fact I look for smooshy fruit at the greengrocer for that reason. Seasonal smooshy fruit can be got for mere pennies and also means you can eliminate or reduce the amount of sugar, butter and oils in your baked goods. Just replace some or all of the sugar and butter for a great guilt free baked treat.

Some of the best muffins and teabreads I've made have been laced with mashed up fruit, that many I know would have tossed in the bin. Now, don't be silly about it, rotten is rotten. But if it's just a bit soft and past it's best, then go for it.

In season here at the moment, remembering it's Spring in Australia, are berries of all kinds, guava, coconut, pineapple, mango, mangosteen, apples, mandarins and much more. If you can't find somewhere to squeeze some of that lot into your diet, then there's something wrong!

Look for your seasonal fruit guides on your local statutory body's website...everyone has one.

It's a great way to save big dollars on your food bill!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Teen Bohemian Bedroom Makeover...

  

My daughter adores the Bohemian-Shabby-Chic-Gypsy look.

 The thing about this particular look is that the devil is in the detail. This style thrives on overkill and one can simply not execute it well, without going totally OTT (over the top). Restraint is not one of the elements of the Boho style.

In an effort to recreate French inspired lace drops, I searched everywhere for pretty lace panels to hand simply over the windows. I looked at many options for achieving this effect, and finally stumbled upon some lace table runners at the discount store for just $2.50 each, that I fashioned into faux blinds, by seaming them at one end, and attaching them to the window frame with that stretch curtain wire. This gives a very pretty window treatment for very little outlay.

A favourite collectable teddy and antique French boudoir doll, watch over our girl when she sleeps, and they're seated on a vintage vinyl pouffe.

Her bedside tables reflect the French inspired theme, with curved top, legs and crackled finish. Favourite trinkets are displayed here...a shabby chic clock, a dancing bride and groom in a music box cloche, and a vintage brush and mirror set.


Here's our lovely $12 vintage mirror, to which we applied a cute little bluebird decal...


...her vintage Carlotta Edwards print, circa 1963, of Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn in Pas de Deux, prettily reflected...

....and more birds...


...a silver one swinging from her drawer, vintage tray with pretty kitten in background...this one she says reminds her of the Mockingjay in her current favourite book, The Hunger Games...

...a pretty pastel blue tin one perches merrily on the window treatment...


...and some little wrens framed by lacy leaves and gilded, wink at her cheekily from the side of her desk...


Then there's the bed...


The bedding is a source of great pleasure to her. Unable to decide upon a single theme, we went for a bit of everything, simply endeavouring to tie the colours together. So with a happy Spring palette of blue, apricot, pink, green, red and white, we've managed to achieve a strangely harmonious display, which she simply adores. And it's totally in keeping with that 'OTT' idea that this style seems to demand.

 The coloured patchwork quilt is a 'topper' sourced on eBay for just $15, and stitched to a pretty blue floral printed sheet to use as a light summer cover. The pink and white patchwork is another eBay find, labelled as a 'cutter' for even less. It's a little frayed around the edges and has some worn patches, but it's incredibly soft and just the thing to snuggle around slender shoulders in the wee hours when the temperature drops. And those Mexican ladies...aren't they the best? I remember having a cushion with just this kind of print on it when I was very young. My daughter saw this fabric when I bought it for another project, and just had to have it. So there it is, as a bed scarf, with those glamorous ladies grinning up at us every time we enter the room!



Here's a vintage 50's quilted satin bedjacket, an item long shunned by the modern girl, as unnecessary, but charming as a piece of art,  hanging from her wall chandelier...


....a 'B' for Ballet, or Bohemian or Beautiful...whatever you like, embroidered in silk ribbon, a thrift shop find for just $15...


...and that gorgeous Shabby Chic Pas de Deux, faded and lovely, with her very own pointe shoes hanging prettily from one corner... her absolute favourite, hung since this shot was taken.

So, now we're done.

I guess it's on to other areas of the house...perhaps that Snuggery for lil' ol' me.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celebrations...


Mr A turned 21 earlier this year.

This is one of many milestones he has reached recently.

Along with moving into his own home, setting up a ten pin bowling team, socialising regularly with friends, starting his own small business and owning a pet, it's one he's justifiably proud of.

It seems the norm these days for 21 year olds to still be living at home with Mum and Dad. Therefore Mr A is something of an anomaly in some circles. Add in his level of disability, and he is perhaps, somewhat unique.

The practical steps we needed to take to reach this outcome, are documented elsewhere in this blog.

The emotional ones are many and varied.

We never for a moment accepted that just because Mr A had a disability, that he would not just do what everyone else his age does...within reason. Riding a motorcycle is not a realistic goal, nor is becoming a brain surgeon, ballet dancer, or ball player. Although of those three, it was probably only ball player that was of any real interest...lol!

But attending a mainstream school, gaining a tertiary qualification, having a wide circle of friends, and moving into a home of his own, were all achieveable. And have been achieved.

So, what's next?

Number One, top of the list....a girlfriend.

Hmmm....online dating looks a possibility. With shaking hands and tremulous heart, we embark on the next mission. Surely it'll be easy compared to what we've done so far?

The Dr Seuss style cake depicted here is representative of our approach always. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be right. For each of us there is a Miss or Mr Right out there. Surely for Mr A, it's no different.

Wish us luck!



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dresses CAN work for me...

Dresses CAN work for me...

I don't wear dresses too often these days. Too fussy for me.

I really am strictly a jeans and tailored pants kinda girl.

But a tunic, I can do. The neat look of tunics appeals to me. A different tshirt underneath teamed with different shoes, boots or sandals, makes them infinitely versatile.

Here's todays look.

It's the tail end of Winter here. The Westerly winds have died down, and there's a hint of Spring in the air.

So it's comfy, yet stylish and warmth without weight for me today!

What about you...dresses or trousers?



Loafer shoes
have2have.se


Aspinal of London red handbag
$780 - johnlewis.com


Platinum jewelry
jewelry.1stdibs.com


Gold tone watch
target.com


Sunglasses
metroparkusa.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Practical pinning?


I pinned this recently. If you're not pinning, then you're missing out on a great way of saving ideas in one central place. If you are, then you'll know that you'll probably never, in two lifetimes, have enough hours in the day to enact everything you've pinned. That's certainly the case with my Boards.

When I'm old and grey and living alone (assuming I outlive my spouse and not the other way around...lol!), this will be my living quarters.

Soft, white, feminine, and just enough space for me.

I'm not sure how I'll get up to my loft bedroom, but I've seen those staircase lifts and think I'll install one of those.

I'm a bit worried about the chandelier hanging directly over my belly button, and I don't like the consequences of swinging my legs out of bed one morning and feeling for the floor that isn't there, and I'll probably trip over the chair cover or tablecloth and break my silly elderly neck...but then who said this was a practical option.

Isn't it funny?

I love the look of this, but when you get right down to it, it's surely not a space in which anyone actually lives.

Do you ever pin something onto Pinterest, or save something you've seen without really looking at it properly? I think a lot of my Pins are probably totally impractical.

One of the recent craft ideas I tried, was melting cheapo plastic beads in a pie dish, leaving a little hole through which to thread some ribbon.

Well it worked, but the ensuing fumes just about choked us all and made the whole family a bit nauseous. The beads also stuck to my good pie dish, and I've wrecked the thing trying to get my bead 'suncatcher' out of it's mold. I posted a warning on that one.

A lot of the Pins on Pinterst catch my eye because they're a certain colour, style or font. When I actually look at their content, they're not really for me after all.

Ahhh...the limitations of Pinning. Are your Pins practical?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1 thing, 1000 times or The Neverending Staircase


Did your Mother ever say to you 'If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times....'? Did you ever wonder what it meant? In Mums' case, it was an expression of frustration. But let me say, you don't know frustration until you have a child with a disability.

This illustration is probably an appropriate visual. A neverending staircase, going round and round in circles, leaving you feeling like you're going nowhere.

When you have a child with a disaability, you learn that everyone's first answer is 'no'. And it doesn't matter what the question is.

Some questions we've asked that have been met with a no are:

"Can he play a sport?"

"Can he join in with the other kids?"

"Can he join your acting class/bowling league/football club?"

"Can we have a different sort of wheelchair?"

"Is there somewhere for our son to socialise with members of the opposite sex?"

It's all no-no-no.

What we've learned over 21 years and some few months, is that sometimes it's a case of doing one thing a thousand times to get the result we need. Whether it's making one phone call a thousand times to the same person, or the same phone call to a thousand different people, it seems to take that to make things happen.

After what seems like a thousand thousand phone calls, letters, emails and conversations, our son finally achieved some funding to live independently.

After nearly a thousand more, he is now setting up a bowling team of his own.

And I guess it'll take another thousand to help him find a life partner..his next dream.

As the Chinese proverb says... The journey of a lifetime begins with but a single step.

Many, many steps, a thousand thousand things done a thousand thousand thousand times.

It's all worth it in the end.

Look how far we've come already.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hanging out on a gloomy day 11 June 2012

Hanging out on a gloomy day 11 June 2012


Joules sleeveless tank
$22 - johnlewis.com

Dorothy Perkins biker jacket
$54 - dorothyperkins.com

Slim fit cargo pants
barneys.com

Star shoes
jildorshoes.com

Hot pink handbag
shoplatitude.com

Glass ring
mysilpada.com

Pieces knitted shawl
$25 - welikefashion.com

I'm home today as my daughter is back at school following a two week school holiday, so I'm catching up on all of my recipe writing and photographing. I'll be doing a spot of baking as well, so comfort is the order of the day.

I'm not fond of these cargo pants (or any cargo pants for that matter), but I see them in a new light as 'work wear'. I have the fireplace going so the house is toasty warm and I don't need my jacket indoors of course. But with a raspberry scarf and my jacket donned, I'll be warm enough in the car to collect my daughter from school this afternoon :)

And of course I have my frilly Parisian style umbrella gifted to me for Christmas, for braving the gloomy weather!