Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

...Robert Frost...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Catching up...

Seeing as I have a bit of time on my hands, I have decided to get some photos organised. 5 1/2 years ago we left Australia, travelled through Singapore, England and France on the way to living for a year in California. I have thousands of photos on the computer and haven't printed up any of them. See, told you I am not fantastic at getting myself organised.
Youth Hostel in the Lakes District

The difficult part will be knowing which ones to print up. Each photo has special memories, but realistically, there are way too many to print them all. And they would be of no interest to anyone but us really.

Then I wonder if I should print them up individually and put the into albums or should I have them printed into books. I think they look really nice in that format but then you can't add to them later. But hey, it has taken me this long to even get started, so don't really think I will want to add to them later.
Fromage at Paris markets

I really want to do this properly. I know it will cost a bit, but it will be worth it. I am wondering why I didn't edit it them better as I went along. How come there are so many duds I didn't delete at the time? That's a lesson learnt. Sure is making a lot of work for me now.

Paris flower markets

I am very grateful for digital cameras though. Imagine having to print up each print before even deciding which ones to put into an album. There is no way I would have been able to take as many photos as I did. And I would probably have had as many duds, just that I would have had to pay to have them printed before I found out there were a dud. Digital cameras are an amazing invention!
Poppy fields in south of France

Now all I need is an SLR. Still working on that one!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Routine?

The kids have been back at school for a week now, and to be honest, I'm struggling to get back into a routine. I think there are two reasons for that.

Firstly, I am a relief teacher, so I never know when I will be working. Sometimes I get a call days ahead, other times on the morning if someone calls in sick. It makes it really difficult to plan anything. So, I' not sure how long it will take for work to kick in again. Could be tomorrow, could be next week, maybe not for a month or more. The uncertainty if it all makes it difficult to get motivated to start anything too big. Maybe I'm just being lazy and that's just an excuse. Not sure I can tell the difference anymore.

During the holidays we spent time with families that we are getting to know and have a connection with. They were families we know as a couple which is fantastic, but don't really feel that I have a depth of friendship with any "girl" in particular yet. Not someone that I can catch up for coffee with, someone I could ring for just a chat without having to have a specific reason. So, now that life has moved back into school routines for most, I'm home alone. Not that I really mind. There is plenty to do, but I think there are so many little things that I have become mentally bogged down and can't get started. Of course, I can ring my sister or SIL for coffee if I get really desperate for social contact. I've moved enough times to know that developing close friendships that go beyond the superficial level take time. In fact, I think it is at least two years before you start to feel really comfortable with someone. Therefore, I am one year down, at least one year to go before I develop those friendships here.

So, that is the second reason I am struggling with routine in a round about way. I realised today that until work picks up, I'm going to be at home everyday, with the only social contact being a trip to the store. Therefore, I have to self motivate and get something done. I thought about the list of little jobs that need doing and despite the unbelievable total lack of motivation, decided to clean out the pantry. It had just become a bit disorganised. I really can't function with disorganisation, but I'm not really very good at getting myself organised.

Okay, so I have a fairly decent sized walk in pantry. Some of the shelves are deep and that is where I struggle. Things in front of things. What things should go at the front? Don't want things at the back that you need to access often as you have to unload everything to get to them. How to make this work in one of my issues.

BEFORE- Not really bad, just bit messy. So I set about rearranging, wiping down shelves and trying to put things into some sort of logical order.

AFTER- I feel like things are a bit more organised, but really, have I achieved anything?? I don't necessarily need a pretty pantry (although that would be lovely), just organised. To me, I just looks 'rearranged'. Groan... not good at this at all! I think the only thing I achieved was realising how empty some sections are! Must be time to go shopping. Just another thing to add to my list.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I May Have a Problem.....

Friday afternoons are crazy in our house. The boys go straight to cricket after school, play till around 7, then all three head to youth group. The juggle comes with picking them up, racing around between two games, working out tea and delivering them to youth on time. But once they are there, I can come home and relax. A cup of tea or chardonnay (depending on the mood) and it's time to settle down to Escape to the Country and 60 minute makeover. Perfect. It used to be Midsommer Murders and I loved that too.

I am grateful that I live in an era of amazing communication. It sure makes the world a smaller place. About midway through last year, I had bit of a down patch. It just hit me how my friendships with Adelaide friends had to change. I did get back to Adelaide twice, Met J in Melbourne and Bali, and J came to visit here once. So, really, that was a huge effort! But, despite that, I realised that's what it would always be. Visits, which would surely not be so frequent in the future. Not girl's afternoons, not theatre trips together, not a casual Sunday lunch on a whim. And what about my other friends who were going to find it much harder to come for a visit? That made my heart very sad for a while. That is not going to change, so I had to come up with a solution. When I got my Iphone in june, Hubby (from here on known as The Major) put me on a $1000 a month plan. People joked, people jested, but little did they know! I wasn't really sure what $1000 a month meant, exactly how much talk time or how many texts that was.

Well, I got the word the other night. I had gone over the plan by $120. $1120 worth of calls and texts in one month. The Major equated that to 35 texts a day. I was shocked!! Shocked because I know there were days where there were many more than that, so I was suddenly relieved I only went over by $120! Some days we have sent 50 txts, called each other several times and skyped called as well. Do I have a problem?? Am I addicted to the phone/computer?? Surely not, Surely it is just the depth of friendship that J and I have! We now have coffee together over skype, watch the tennis texting each other with our opinions, call each other to let them know what our day held, the list goes on. We know what each other is up to at any time and laugh at things that are going on together all the time! I think it is rare to find someone with whom you click so wonderfully well. We have the same sense of humour, daughters at the same stage in life, a love of similar things ( which may or may not include coffee,chocolate and Abba) and we just laugh and laugh and laugh. What more could I ask for!! So, if I have to work an extra day a month to cover the phone bill, so be it. It is worth every cent. Life is about relationships, and they are invaluable. There will always be a hole in my heart that I can't spend more time with Adelaide friends on a more consistent basis, but for now, I am so grateful that I live in this world of amazing communication.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weather Chaos

It has been absolutely scorching here for a couple of weeks now. Today it was 38 degrees celsius, last week on Australia day it was 42 degrees. I am battling to keep the garden going. It is very heat stressed. And to think that I thought it was too hot in Adelaide! Oh, the irony of it!But really, I have air conditioning and we have a pool, so how much can I really complain. A few dead plants maybe that can be easily replaced. Nothing compared to what is happening around the rest of our beautiful country. Queensland has just been devastated by the most incredible floods that have claimed lives and cost some their livelihood. Those floods continued through NSW and into Victoria. Now Queensland in bunkering down for Cyclone Yasi, a destructive force the size of Tasmania, if not bigger, that will hit tonight. It just all seems like madness! It really is difficult to believe. We were living in California when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the scale of that disaster was difficult to comprehend. Cyclone Yasi is of similar grading, so praying hard it will not have the same results.

It has had me thinking today about the extremities of this country we live in. It really is such a beautiful, blessed country, but we have such extremes. Last year I taught to my class Dorothea MacKellar's "My Country". Those words written so long ago remain true.

We have been fortunate enough to have seen a lot of this beautiful country. With the exception of the recent Toowoomba flood photo and the Black Saturday bushfire photo, all other photos are from our journeys.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Boys Turn

Today was the boys turn to begin the school year. No big deal on their behalf. It's wasn't nearly as overwhelming for me today. But I did want to take the mandatory first day of school photos, but neither were very fussed to co-operate. Their school has introduced a new akubra school hat this year as their formal dress hat, and the boys are not very keen on them at all. Has something to do with ruining their hairstyle. What's with that?? Boys with gelled up hair with the perfect messy look that doesn't accommodate a hat. Gen y. Problem is it's compulsory, so we'll see what happens. They left for school carrying them. Mr B is entering yr11. Senior school, only two years left. Time to knuckle down. This does cause me some heartache. I don't want him to grow up, I don't want him to leave. Ever. ok, maybe there will be a point at some time where I will be wishing he'd go, but I don't think it will be in the next few years. Maybe when he's 40...

Miss E had a day of testing to determine what classes she would go into She's in yellow class, whatever that means! Formal classes start tomorrow. Yesterdays life question was about shaving her legs, todays was about having a phone. So, I had been thinking that now she is on a different campus to the boys, a phone might be a good thing. But she is talking about girls who have iphone4's. Miss E is 11 and an iphone is NOT on the agenda!! Oh boy!!