Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Friday, 25 November 2016


If you want happiness, your main aim in life should not be about becoming the richest person in the world or the most popular one. Instead, you should live your life to the fullest and grasp all of the positive things that come along. Stop chasing the material things and just enjoy what you have today.
 Dumb little man

Read whole article at

I never saw myself as someone who chased material things as mentioned in the quote above - and even less so in the past 10 years.  By necessity my life is simple, but I try to live my 'life to the fullest and grasp all the things that come along' as mentioned in the quote above.

This is why perhaps this blog verges on the trivial, but I have tried, and in fact learned, to find satisfaction in many small things.

I write my blog primarily for me. It makes me look at the positive things in life, even if in fact they are small. 

I like to share my life and thoughts with my friends, and write a lot with my friends in Canada in mind.

I had planned to write a post for my blog every Saturday but life got in the way of writing a post the last few weeks - some things good, somethings not so good. 

The most exciting thing these past few weeks was a quick trip to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays for Peter's daughter's wedding. We flew up Tuesday and home Thursday for the wedding on Wednesday.  Apparently about 500 weddings are carried out each year on Hamilton Island (Wikipedia).

We stayed in the Whitsunday Apartments overlooking Catseye Beach. Below are some photos of the view from our apartment.

Our unit was on floor 7 of the building to the left of the tree in the picture below.

 The photos I have chosen to post of the wedding may seem rather strange but I don't like to put recognisable photos of people's faces in my blog so as to maintain their privacy, so I have chosen photos which fulfil this condition.

 Beth's and Matt's wedding was in a little white church on the side of a hill.

This is the view west from our balcony and the church can be seen half way down the hill opposite.

The flower girl looked especially cute.

The three nieces wore matching dresses and here they are jumping off a rock.

The bridesmaids wore coral.

The reception was held at the yacht Club. It was in a beautiful setting at the Marina.

The windows inside looked over the water.

It was a beautiful wedding with lots of warmth and humour.

This stick insect below spent a couple of days on my garage wall. I think it is the biggest one I have ever seen.


Mum grows poinsettias and she gave us a whole lot to take to Peter's place. Peter doesn't have vases so we used a black bucket I had just bought at Coles for $1. They looked great.

It is a shame they won't last until Christmas.

Peter has not been well for a few weeks and I had a couple of weeks of illness, so we have not been bike riding for a while. It was lovely to get on our bikes again one evening last week and go for a short ride by Lake Illawarra.


Interesting Sites

 High rise building of homes
Photo source
This high-rise building of homes is from Life magazine in 1909.

Click here to read more.

 Images for conservation
Photo source
A National Geographic photographer uses images for conservation. Click here to read more. 

 Beautiful Marquetry Box
Photo source
 This Japanese man makes beautiful marquetry boxes.
Click here to see the video.

Saturday, 29 October 2016


A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love. She gives most who gives with joy.
Mother Teresa

Saturday again! Wow! How little I seem to get done in a week!

This morning meant an emergency trip to Woolworths as soon as it opened at 7:30 to buy a barbecued chicken for Jasper my Grand-dog. He is a much loved Miniature Foxie.

But he is very fussy. He spent the night squeaking because he hadn't had any dinner, and Rhiannon hardly got any sleep. Jasper eats barbecued chicken - but not the breast. It is ridiculous but he just refuses to eat anything else and then vomits and his little tummy makes terrible squelching noises. He does eat some dried food and treats but not until he has had his main meal. Last night Rhiannon and Bill ran out of chicken.

I looked after him for 3 months a couple of years ago and turned myself in knots trying to get him to eat. The vets can't find anything wrong with him, except that he is always under weight.

My diagnosis is that Jasper has reflux. I have some similar problems to him (except the underweight). 

It is all a bit crazy and no doubt he would eat before he died but this morning Rhiannon just wanted to get some sleep. So I popped down to Woolworths and bought the chicken for Jasper, dropped it in, and brought the breasts home. Guess what Peter is having for dinner tonight.

Other than being a finicky eater, Jasper is a really affectionate, well behaved little dog.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mum and my brother Geoff, turned up with a whole lot of plants Mum had pulled out of her garden. I didn't know They called until I did some research and am pretty sure they are Agave attenuata, native to central Mexico.

I knew she was getting rid of them at one stage but wasn't quite expecting them on Wednesday. Mum said she had spent so long pulling them out she just wanted to get rid of them and if she stopped before she did that she wouldn't get up again.

Peter and I have planted a few of them out and I am quite pleased with the effect.

Last Sunday we went to the Christening of Peter's youngest granddaughter at St Aloysius church Cronulla followed by a lunch at St George Motor Boat Club.

I don't have many photos as I don't put the faces of the children (or adults if i can help it) on this blog. I usually do a better job with the photos but didn't do so well on this occasion.

It was a lovely Christening and the priest involved the other children who were present.

Below are four little granddaughters looking at the matching shoes that Grandma bought them for this christening and the upcoming wedding of Peter's youngest daughter.

There were beautiful stained glass windows in the church.

We had lunch at the St George motorboat Club. Megg made this beautiful Christening cake. 
The cupcakes were different flavours and beautiful and light.

All in all it has been a good week.  It is great to be back to my bible study again. Things had become so overwhelming earlier in the year that I had given up bible study for a term. 

My friend Michelle from Platypus Creations is back from her extensive travels in Queensland and it was lovely to see her last week. She is selling a lot of sock creations and is giving a percentage of the profits to cancer research.

My elder daughter has had a problem with her studio but we have pulled together as a family and sorted it out for now. My younger daughter Rhiannon and son-in-law Bill were a great support their sister. It is wonderful to see my children grown up and so caring of each other.

Peter and I are on a Manshake diet. So far we have lost about 5 kilos each, but it is hard going

As always I am enjoying the run up to Christmas. Again, at the risk of annoying some people I am going to include a Christmas picture, just because I have so many of them and they are so beautiful.


Interesting sites

 Old cave dwellings in Italy become hotel suites

Photo source
Millennia-old cave dwellings in Italy renovated into luxury hotel suites. Click here to see more.

 World's first zero-emissions hydrogen powered train

Photo source
The hydrail is an electric train operating with a hydrogen fuel tank on its roof that powers a fuel cell to generate power. 
Click here to read more. 


Vietnamese babies were brought to the USA en masse after the end of the Vietnam war. The logistics are fascinating.
Click here to read more. 

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Be what you are. Give what is yours to give. Have style. Dare.

Stanley Kunitz

I have decided to post my blog every Saturday and use it as a chance to evaluate my week. 

I began writing this blog to help me look at the positive things in my life. Life hasn't turned out quite the way I had expected. I have had some big mountains to climb and am still doing so but it certainly helps to look at the good things.
My Christian faith certainly helps but I have to work at it myself too and with the help of my family, friends and professional support group I stay on top of things really well.

One of the things I have also learned is that if you have a problem or something goes wrong, ATTACK. Don't attack people! Attack your problem. It is too easy to be a victim. Go forward! (Mind you, sometimes I have to be told to take my own advice, but usually I am pretty good.)

Life isn't fair but there is nothing we can do about that. As my brother says you do your best with the cards you're dealt.

Nice Piggy Picture

Today, Saturday, I started out in my garden.

I cleaned up a small garden and added some nasturtium seeds.

The clay sculptures were made by Rhiannon when she was studying art at TAFE.

I thought I would show you how my herbs are going. 

The basil is struggling along. This isn't in my main herb garden I have just planted it in my front garden. I like to grow a lot of basil in the summer which can be made into pesto and frozen. My elder daughter is vegan and so I make pesto without the cheese

Everyone in the world can grow mint so it over runs their gardens. Not me. My mint always struggles. It is next to the Vietnamese mint and making a very poor effort.

But my Rosemary cuttings are taking off.

The parsley is going well... are the sage and coriander.

I have just planted perpetual spinach. I had to nurse it through a few hot days but it seems to be starting to take off now.


The thyme and oregano are loving the warmer weather.

And the Vietnamese mint has thrived through the winter.

I have one tomato plant. It is supposed to grow little tomatoes in clusters like grapes but I think it needs a bit of feeding. I plan to add some compost.

My first nasturtium is out.
I am going to grow tons of these for salads and vases...

... so I am planting them down the edge of a retaining wall out the front. There is just enough room for weeds to grow and poor Peter is forever pulling them out so I decided to make a feature of it instead with the nasturtiums.

I put some more mulch on the front garden. I cover the weeds with cardboard and newspaper.

Then I cover it with mulch. It works very well and saves weeding.

As Peter removed some small trees I looked skyward and took these photos.

Last Monday I put my bike on the footpath with this sign on  it.

When I went outside a couple of hours later it was gone and whoever took it left this little note on the side.

It really impressed me and made me very happy to think that someone had taken the time to write the note.
By the way, it was my old bike, not the new one Peter bought me last year.

Tutoring kept me very busy last week, mainly because it takes me a long time to prepare. I am getting better though. I have a passion for teaching kids who don't fit into the mainstream system very easily. I tutor a range of students from Kindergarten to Yr 10. At the moment I am helping one Yr 10 student with a Geography Assignment. Geography is not one of my teaching subjects so I am having to spend some time studying Lake Illawarra and Warilla Beach which are  quite interesting.

I came across a great TED talk about teaching students mastery over their subjects. It only takes 10 minutes so if you are interested in listening click here.

Craft has taken a back step for a while but my friend Michelle is home again after a long trip up north, so I am hoping we will have some more craft 'get-togethers' when she is ready. You can find Michelle and her wonderful sock creations at Platypus Creations.

So far I have lost 5 kilos on my Manshake diet. I am also seeing a sports physiologist to help me sort out some exercises to help by back and knees.

I do enjoy this time of year with the run up to Christmas. At the risk of annoying everyone I am going to finish with a Christmas picture. I have so many lovely ones and not enough weeks to post them.


Interesting sites

 Converted warehouse in Sydney

Photo source
 Click here to see some beautiful pictures of a converted warehouse in Sydney.

 Beautiful Beirut in the 1960's

Photo source
 Pictures of beautiful Beirut before it was hit by war in the 1970's.
 Click here to read more. 


 Add water to make perfect toast

Photo source
This toaster makes perfect toast - just add water.
 Click here to read more