Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Red Paperclip

This book lived up to my expectations - even though it has sat on my To Be Read pile for ages, sent on by my patient Bookcrossing friend Skyring.

I love stuff like this - random, ridiculous pursuits that grow from a silly idea. Other favourites in similar vein are Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks; Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant and Join Me! by Danny Wallace.

In the spirit of the book combined with its Bookcrossing journey, I want to pass it on to someone who appreciates the point: so email me to let me know why you should be this book's next reader.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Pinteresting Year

How timely to realise (by browsing my Facebook Timeline) that it is a year since I joined Pinterest! So I thought I might recap some of my Pins that actually made it into my life!

These made it off my Wishlist Board and into my home :)
I bought one of these while I was away - before I even got to add one to my wishlist :)These were added to my lounge room today - no, sadly not the sofa - the cushions. But two of the sofas would be just perfect too!I think these will be my next yoga pants!!!LOL on a day like today, but I fancy some of these for my sore hands when the cold gets into the joints. Catch 22 - to knit them I would probably need to be wearing them!I want to buy a copy of this to hang in my altar and inspire me!

While this made it off my Inspire Me Board and onto my leg!!!!

Have been thinking a butterfly as well as a rose ... maybe a purple butterfly?

And this did inspire me to cover a table with Scrabble letters with the same technique:
Penny Tiled Desk - this is what I am planning on a small table with Scrabble tiles :)

And this was served for Christmas Breakfast
Bacon and eggs to go. Need to remember this for our Chrsitmas morning breakfast - even just cooking th aggs like this would be so much easier! No photo of my own ... a little busy at the time!

And these inspired me to create my own
Crochet Bag Pattern

For my new lappy?

So, while there are still plenty of things i would like to tick off the list, I feel pretty good about the ones I have!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ghost of Christmas Past

As families gather over food and drink, here is such a moment captured in time.

May all my friends and family enjoy this glimpse of the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011


I was at an event the other day where a woman made a disparaging remark about someone she knew who had 300 Facebook Friends, saying she never made time to see any of them so they weren't really friends.

I chose not to announce I have over 1200 Friends, as I got the feeling she wouldn't understand!

So - I got to thinking and wondering if I should hurriedly cull my Friends list just to people I see regularly IRL. And that thought made me sad.

I don't think friendship can any longer only be defined in terms of those you people you know from traditional networks like school, workplace or social /sporting groups etc. The internet has allowed us to connect with like-minded people beyond geographic boundaries. How far we have come from that time when you knew those in your village and that was about it! Our village has grown to encompass the whole world and I think that is a wonderful thing.

Through social media, I have connected with people interested in many of the things I enjoy - from breastfeeding support through scrap-booking, photography, reading, family history, writing, art and more. I have "met" wonderful women who I know I could spend HOURS chatting with, if it wasn't for the fact we live on opposite sides of the globe! And the fact we will (probably) never sit down over a cup of tea and talk doesn't lessen the reality of our friendship.

Not only am I connected with old friends and new, but my family bonds are strengthened through sites like Facebook. How else could I keep track of cousins around the country and beyond? Rather than extended family being distant, it is like we all live close by.

So yes - every single Friend I have online is a friend indeed. And it isn't about the numbers or who has the most friends - it is about making connections which make my days shine and my heart feel full.

Thank you to everyone who takes time to read my Ramblings - this is for you. Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Sorry, madam - turns out you can do that here" - more breastfeeding in public news

They seem to come in waves, working their way through my Google Reader. Stories from the World (but mostly the US, UK and Australia) about women erroneously told they cannot breastfeed in some public space.

The stories tend to come in similar installments:

  • The mother's outrage
  • The apology
  • The opinions
  • The protest
For some reason, the second point rarely gets the coverage the others do and so the message retained by the masses is "the mother was wrong" - even when relevant laws, company policies and other facts are highlighted.

So, what's currently doing the rounds in the blogosphere?

Breastfeeding 'too wild'
A BREASTFEEDING mum has received an apology from a Queensland water-slide park where she was instructed not to breastfeed in public.
Two weeks after the incident Ms Lang made a complaint to the theme park and was happy with the response.
"The lady I spoke to was fantastic. She didn't try and make excuses, she addressed it and apologised and said they will put measures in place to train staff members on the correct way to deal with this sort of situation."
Wet'n'Wild spokeswoman Renee Soutar said women are "absolutely" welcome to breastfeed in the park.
"We have never experienced a guest breast-feeding while riding one of our rides (the Calypso Beach attraction) before and so the lifeguards asked Ms Lang to stop breastfeeding as they felt it may have been a safety risk to her and her baby. Staff are to be given training and we are very sorry for any inconvenience to Ms Lang," she said.

Target Employees Harrass Nursing Mother
"Target were aware of our legal rights as nursing mothers, but that Target has different policies because they are a family friendly public place."

(This is great - Target (USA) feel they can ignore the law if it differs from company policy ... the mind boggles with potential exemptions!)
However, when she called Target's national hotline, she was told that the employee and store manager were the ones in the wrong and that corporate policy was that nursing mothers were welcome in Target stores. As such, Target has responded with a public apology and the following statement:

"Target has a long-standing practice that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We apologize for any inconvenience the guest experienced and will take this opportunity to reaffirm this commitment with our team members," company representative Kristi Arndt said.

"For guests in our stores, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms. In addition, guests who choose to breastfeed discreetly in more public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable.
Breastfeeding mom accused of indecent exposure, files charges
A breastfeeding mother in Washington was recently told by security guards to stop feeding her four-month-old baby in the Henry J. Daley government building, in Washington, because it was "indecent"
In a blog post Dos Santos writes in the Washington Post, the attorney said, "In a stern voice, a guard who was monitoring the metal detectors at the building's entrance, told me I could not sit on the floor. I acknowledged her but continued to nurse.
"I planned to get up once he was finished eating. But the guard was adamant. I removed my son, buttoned my shirt, and slowly stood up. But I knew he wasn’t finished eating. So I leaned against the wall and started to nurse again."
That's when the second guard approached Dos Santos and said because the area was "public" she was guilty of "indecent exposure" of her breast. Dos Santos questioned the guard who reportedly said, "Well, this is a government building, and you can't breastfeed in a public corridor of a government building!"
Dos Santos cited, according to the District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition which says, "On December 7, 2007 Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed a new law. This law is called the “Child’s Right to Nurse Human Rights Amendment Act of 2007” (Bill B17-0133). The law makes it legal to breastfeed ANYWHERE a woman has the right to be with her child in DC."
The attorney says she then called her office and asked about the law, and in Washington DC, and 28 other states, breastfeeding is exempt from public indecency laws. Additionally, according to National Conference of State Legislatures, the District of Columbia is one of many states and districts which have a law that "specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location."


This Is a Courtroom - Laws Don't Apply Here
Natalie Hegedus of Michigan was recently in court to contest a boating ticket, and while waiting for her case to be called, she began nursing her 5-month-old son.

When her case was announced, though, she approached the bench with her baby still suckling away, at which point Hegedus had the following exchange with Judge Robert Hentchel:

Hentchel: "You think that's appropriate in here?"

Hegedus: "It's not against the law; I have to feed my son."

Hentchel: "Ma'am, it's my courtroom, I decide what's appropriate in here . . . . You have to understand that a judge-the laws don't apply in a courtroom. The judge's law applies, do you understand that?"

We need to stay tuned on this one, as there doesn't seem to be a resolution, other than "Michigan isn’t one of the 45 states that allows women to breastfeed anytime and anywhere." which just shows they need to get their act together and join the rest of the country!

In fact, three out of four of these women is protected by relevant laws in her State and/or Country and those laws should still apply when you are in Target or a court of law.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Tale of Two Cats and a Mouse

Our household is controlled by two felines, brother and sister, Frodo and Merry, recently turned 12.
 Frodo was bonded with Second Daughter, while Merry bonded with First Daughter. As both daughters have left the family nest, the cats have made other arrangements - Frodo substituting myself and relocating to our bedroom, while Merry maintains First Daughters bedroom, now converted to a study for the Man Of The House. Sworn enemies from birth, they maintain a mostly peaceful truce, with occasionl meltdowns over turf.

As indoor cats, the have no experience of life in the great outdoors, other than through the floor length windowns opur home features giving a range of views.

About a week or so, Frodo was hanging out at the end of my bed when he excitedly spotted a passing rat in the garden! He took on the position of Mouse Police and set up an "oppo" for suvaliance, perched on my yoga bolster. Later that week, he was rewarded with multiple visits by a small mouse (we have had a lot of rain).

Then the strange thing happened. Suddenly, Merry took up duty on the bolstor, doing Frodo out of a job and really pissing him off. Yet she can only have known if he communicated the news of rodent watch to her.

So do cats chat over dinner? Or do the taunt verbally "well, I have rodents to watch and you don't!"

Whatever it is, it reminds me of the days they spent on birdwatch when we were caring for two young magpies 5 years ago!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Year 27

Planning for 2012

Two weeks from today is Boxing Day. Once the Christmas Chaos is all done and dusted, I get a couple of weeks off work and transition gently from the old year to the new.

This has been a really hard year for me and I won't be very sorry to wave it goodbye, so I have lots of hopes for 2012.

Over the past couple of years, I have used a wonderful Creating Your Goddess Year workbook, planner and calendar from Goddess Leonie of I can't wait to get stuck into the 2012 edition and get my life back heading in a positive direction. Here is how she describes it:

The 2012 Creating your Goddess Year workbook, planner & calendar is an incredibly popular & useful tool to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year yet. Over the last three years, thousands of women have used this workbook with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year more inspiring than ever.

It’s filled with over 100 pages of worksheets & a printable calendar to help you dream, manifest, set your intentions, plan & cultivate your amazing new year. The workbook has been lovingly handwritten & rainbow illustrated… perfect for you to print out, soak up the rainbow colours of & get thoroughly inspired by!

You’ll get clarity on what you need 2012 to be. What you want to create during it. And most importantly, how to make it happen.

I love Leonie's colourful approach to Life, which fits so well with my own. Her pages inspire you to look back - and look forward: there is even a mini-calendar you can print out to help you plan your year.

I have mine all set to go for my holiday reflections - downloaded and ready to print. Go get yours!

Friday, December 9, 2011

All roads lead to England

I seem immersed in England and life there right now. I am coming to the end of 30 CDs of unabridged Dickens, as Bleak House finally finishes after months of commuter listening. I am ten books into  a 15+ series of fiction set in an English village. My family history quest has me hopping all over the country with ancestors seemingly in every part. And my co-worker Kintara is busy blogging about her family who are holidaying there for four weeks! Even as I write, Midsomer Murders is keeping me company! Oh, and my daughter Melissa hopes to visit next year for a wedding!

If a bucket of money fell from the sky, I would be off with her like a shot. Melissa and I have a shared interest in English history, folklore, geography and scenery. We could quite easily drive from Lands End to the border and beyond - and lets throw in Wales, Scotland and Ireland while we are there, because they hold just as much appeal!

Living in a country where even the oldest of old buildings cannot be more than the 200 or so years of white settlement; where even my convicts arriving in 1818 can still only mark 7 generations, it is hard to comprehend the sheer age of England and the rest of the UK and Europe. As a fan of Edward Rutherford, who writes immensely detailed histoicral novels tracing families through time, I have deep interest in all the stages of British history. Finding genealogy that flows back 30+ generations, with the Norman Invasion coming to life as suddenly names change and watching the families living through times of war, plague and more, just increases the wish to visit as many pieces of the puzzle as I can.

But for now, I can only watch on from the other side of the planet.

Kintara freezes at Stonehenge!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So this is Christmas ...

I am struggling to get into the season this year. I think it is mostly because time has flown too quickly for me in 2011 and I don't feel ready for the end-of-year celebrations and reflections. I am frustrated by what I haven't done this year, hamstrung by invasive health issues. A black cloud of depression makes it hard to reflect anything, even wonderful, positive experiences.

So the festive season perhaps feels like one more thing I am having to modify and I resent that. This has always been a favourite time of year, full of traditions which bring my close family even closer. Even though my children are now all adults, there is no sign of them scaling back on childhood rituals - they are, in fact, even more determined to keep them going.

This week we made our annual trek to the Christmas Tree Farm to select our tree. Rather than a leisurely day trip followed by trimming the tree and decorating the house, it was a window of opportunity at the end of my working day - just an hour between my returning home and the tree farm closing for the day. This due to clashing work timetables making family time on weekends impossible. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, all three off-spring made the most of that time and smiled as they selected two trees: one for the family home and one for Melissa's. Kaitlyn and Ashley decided not to get a tree this year as their rental home has been put on the market and they are looking to move.

Arriving home, I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep. It had been an especially big day: the builders had finally arrived at the office to commence our long-awaited re-fit and Kieran had been allocated to receive the delivery of our new mattress at home, which needed unwrapping and the bed re-made before I could crawl under the doona anyway. So, we compromised - the tree was mounted on its stand by Kieran, watered and left standing bare, like a lady waiting to be dressed! She had to wait til I came home from work the next day. Kieran and Kaitlyn went to Melissa's house to help her get her own tree standing and decorated, so my little helpers were away in any case. Rodney had been away all week for work.

So Thursday, Kieran put the lights in place and I hung ornaments. We made the "annual dash to Big W for ornament hooks and light globes we could have sworn we had extras of the year before" and then Melissa came around to get her share of the globes for the extra lights I had passed on to her. I set up my Willow Tree Nativity and Kieran hung the card holder, on which I hung the first card received - the one that each year is a celebration in itself, a hand-made creation from an old friend. Yet, still, I couldn't feel in the season. The remainder of decorations sat in their boxes for another night. I finally got back to them on Saturday, yet as I write on Sunday, boxes remain.

As I have throughout this year, I am trying to put it in perspective: in the course of my life, I can look back and know that most years I greeted these tasks with delight and will again. 2011 is a blip that will fade into memory and the future will bring better times. Just as my health dips down, it will rise up and my activities will be less restricted by pain and fatigue.

And those boxes will still be there tomorrow.

(There was intention to photograph the completed tree to adorn this post, but taking it just seems like too much effort in itself right now. More evidence I am truly not myself.)