Friday, December 23, 2011


This week has been lovely after a few weeks of hectic running around.  I am finally catching up on a little sleep and feeling a little more normal (if I ever am normal  he he)   I love the week leading up to Christmas.  The secret rustles,  giggling and 'hide and seek'  with gifts.  I love the genuine love of people and care. I wish this could carry on all year.  I love also the little secrets we do as a family for others.  It gives us lovely warn fuzzies and excitement for the recipients of our secrets. 

With all the commercialism of Christmas is is so easy to get caught up in the trims and trappings.  How can we remember the true reason for Christmas?   How can we get back to simplicity and celebrating the birth of Christ and spend quality time as a family?  Here are some things that work for us

  • K.I.S.S Keep it simple sister.  Is is really necessary to make 20 ginger bread houses for gifts? 
  • Serve others.  For our 12 days of Christmas this year we have done acts of service for each other in our home.  I.E  1st day one act,  2nd day 2 acts etc.  It has been really fun and has brought a lovely feel into our house
  • Visit with neighbours
  • Visits with elderly and those with no family
  • Bake and drop off secretly on door steps
  • Decorate letter boxes in your neighbour hood.  Maybe even tape lollipops to the boxes too.
  • Play traditional Christmas music
  • Have all you meals together
  • Make a handmade gift. 
  • Go to church on Christmas day (or as near to Christmas day as possible)
  • Read or act out the Christmas story
  • Sing carols
  • Go carolling (lots of fun)
  • Read Christmas books as a family
  • Have a Christmas concert
  • Go to a community carols night
  • Drive around your neighbourhood looking at Christmas lights
  • Sit and listen to a child or friend or family member.
  • Serve as a local soup kitchen
  • Wrap a couple of presents up and drop them in to a homeless shelter or woman's refuge
  • Watch a Christmas movie together.  The Nativity From the Church of Jesus Christ of latterday saints is beautiful. ( )

Get your thinking caps on and think about how you can get more meaning in your Christmas. 

Merry Christmas to you all.  Have a wonderful season and day

Love Catherine xxxxx

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time flies

I am sitting here contemplating where this year has gone.  It seems only yesterday that it was last Christmas and it is here again.  The last 2 weeks have gone by in a blur too.  We have had so much happening, a few dramas and very little blogging.

 I spent last week at school camp.  It was fantastic and I had a blast but it meant very little time doing anything to do with art. The kids were amazing and we had a lot of fun.  I did an art group on one of the days.  I had the kids make a bridge they could stand on out of newspaper and string.  It was a great activity and they did very well.  Most of them got the bridges to work. 

I left a long list of things to do at home while I was away as I had 25 people to dinner on Sunday. When I got home I had a wonderful surprise to find it was mostly completed. They had worked so hard.  I felt so supported and loved.  It was such a relief to know that I had only minor stuff to prepare for Sunday night.  The evening was wonderful.  We had a beautiful meal, shared gifts,  sang carols and spent sometime sharing the wonderful things that had happened to each of us during the year.  I was touched to hear some of the children's expressions of gratitude.  Simple and profound....I am grateful for family,  my friends,  that I have a mum who loves me and that I achieved my highest grades this year.  It was a really special family moment that I wish I had recorded in someway. 

My Beautiful Treasures

They all grow up so fast and these moments seem to melt away into far distance memories.  I found this song by Taylor swift on YouTube about this.  It bought many tears to my eyes as I lose a child to University next year and have another one only home from university for a short time until she finds work. When my children where small it felt like they would never grow out of nappies now it feels like the time has just disappeared into a puff of smoke. I hope you enjoy it.

I am trying to value every moment more so this means sometimes that I have to re prioritise my life to make sure I give value to these important moments in my life.  My art will always still be a huge part of my life but for the past 2 weeks it has had to take a back seat to my family and there special and precious moments. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I won't be posting next week as I am away on school camp.  I am really looking forward to having time with my boy and spending time in the outdoors. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Coping with stress

No matter what I do at this time of the year I always seem to have stress.  In the Southern hemisphere Christmas falls at the same time as the summer holidays and end of year breakups.  I seem to spend so much time trying to balance my time and keep sane.  I feel really sorry for my children because of all the extra pressure and needing to be in so many places in short spaces of time. This is how I sometimes look on Christmas day and it really isn't worth it if we are to tired to enjoy the day.

I have come up with a few ways to cope in this busy season that work for me.  Not everything that I do will work for you but I hope there might be a couple of things that  may help

  •  I try to keep fourth term extra curricular things down to a bare minimum.
  • I write daily to do lists that I don't keep to strictly but use as a guideline each day so that as I get nearer Christmas I don't collapse under the strain
  • I start shopping in June when I start seeing things on sale and I tuck them into the cupboard.  This helps the budget too.
  • I take time everyday to smell the roses.  I may take a walk or look at the cloud or read a book.  Just something small to gain peace in my heart.
  • I try to keep order in my home.  I sometimes have to rely on the children a bit more but it is worth it for the extra visual peace.
  • I don't do everything.  I chose to say yea to some things and no to others.  I base my decisions on the goals and values my family is aiming towards
  • I prioritise people first and jobs second
  • I try to spend an little time each day with each of my children and my husband.  Relationships always come first
  • I keep the lines of communication open in my home so I can see when things are getting too much for people.
  • I keep a well used calendar which everyone in the house can add things too
  • I expect help from everyone who is available.  If everyone does their bit the load is easier.
  • K.I.S.S  Keep It Simple Sister.  I don't need to make ginger bread houses for everyone or elaborately decorate the house
  • Remember to keep simple traditions with lots of meaning not traditions that take a lot of preparations and give very little in return
  • Serve others it always keep life in perspective.
  • Keep food simple but yummy.  A roast is always easy to prepare but is always delicious.

When I follow these things I find the stress decreases a little and really begin to enjoy the season.  I hope there could be something here that helps you.

Catherine xxx

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Being thankful

Through all the blogs I read from America there seems to be one theme at the moment....Thanksgiving.  This is not a celebration we have in NZ but I wish it was. 

What a lovely reason to celebrate, being thankful for everything in our lives.  I'd like to think that we take this one day into our hearts and make it stay there all year. 

I know though it is very hard to do this as life just take over and sometimes even just gets in the way.  So today I am going to write my own thankful list.  Even after the year our family has I am still so very grateful for so many things

  • That everyone is alive and our house is still standing
  • That I am loved
  • That my children value life (My daughter found the cat with a baby bird last night and carefully cared for it.  Many tear were shed this morning when it had died in the night)
  • A home
  • Democracy....I was able to vote last week in our elections
  • I have a brain that works and functions (most of the time :)
  • I can sew
  • I can draw
  • I have a family
  • I have values
  • I have Christ in my life
  • I have not had to spend any time in jail and I have my freedom
  • I can walk, run (sometimes he he) and jump
  • I can pursue my dream of being an artist so many people can't
  • That I have transport
  • That I can read and write
  • That I have been able to get an education
  • That I am a woman

What are you thankful for???

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am sorry for the lack of posts over the last few weeks.  I have had a lot of family issues going on and a lot going on in my personal life.  I am hoping to be back on board next week after things are start to settle down. Hopefully by then I will be starting to see the light again.  Until then have a lovely weekend full of joy and love.  I found this beautiful quote last night (unfortunately with no author so I can't give credit where it is due) it was so inspirational for me.

Joy is the sacred quality that
laughs at the inability of outward
circumstances to affect us.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Inspiration Saturday

This quote gave me food for thought.  I wonder if more of us thought like this whether we would all reach our full potential.

"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; However if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Literature and movie review

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Written by Anne Frank

This is one of those books that changed my life forever.  I read this first when I was a child just going into double digits.  I have re read this book another few times since and watched a film on this story and a documentary and it even after all that time I still bawl at the end.  
This story is about a young Jewish girl who lived during World War 2.  Her and her family hide in a secret part of a house so they will not be found by the Nazi's.  This book is Anne's diary,  her memories and thoughts during this terrible ordeal.  It is beautifully written and reminds the reader that there are wonderful people in this world who love and look after each other through terrible times and that the human spirit can conquer all. 

I found this review written by a 9 year old which describes this story better than any adult could.  I would like to share this with you today.

Reviewed by Gabriel (age 9)

Have you ever felt scared out of your mind? If you have, you’ll understand how Anne Frank felt living a life in hiding. This book is about a 13 year old girl who is hiding from the Nazis. Anne and her family live in a secret Annex. She lives in there because she is a Jew and does not want to get caught by the Nazis. You find your way into the attic by pulling a book out of a book shelf which leads to a secret passage way. The Dutch police find out that Anne and her family are hiding. The Dutch police go to the office building and force one of the workers to tell them where Anne's family is hiding. They are caught and are sent to concentration camps. Do you think Anne’s family survives? You need to read this book to find out.
I felt sad reading this book, but I am glad I read it. I did not like that Anne was sent to the concentration camp. I felt nervous and frightened when she was caught. I really liked the characters who helped Anne in the secret Annex, it made me feel hopeful that people can be kind. My favorite part is when Anne Frank’s Diary is published in 1947, because now I have a window into the life of a real person who lived through this period of time during WWII.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read biographies, history and about heroes like Anne Frank. Without her diary we would not know what life was like for a Jewish family in hiding during the holocaust.
Gabriel is a student in Mrs. Diglio's 3rd Grade Class

Spaghetti® Book Club

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Inspiration Saturday

I found this wonderful philosophy today.  It certainly put things in perspective. 

Charles Schulz Philosophy

    The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the  questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.


1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.  
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.  
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.  
 4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.  
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.  
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.


 How did you do?  

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.



   Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.  
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.  
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.  
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.  
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.




The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.


 "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." (Charles Schulz)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back again

We had a few beautiful days away.  I spent quite a bit of time visiting gardens,  eating and sleeping.  How much more does one need :)

Having a break is so important, it gives me a new perspective on problems and a time to refresh my spirit.  I have been very blessed this year to have 2 nights away in January for my 20th wedding anniversary and a few nights again last week with my hubby.  This is the first time this has happened in a year. and it has been wonderful. 

We all deserve a break from weighty responsibilities and cares of the world.  Not in a selfish way but to recharge your batteries and to connect with the other half and yourself.  But it is easier said than done.  I have found a few ways to do this on a daily basis even with kids at home.

One of the hardest things for my is to truly stop.  My mind races ahead and I have so much on going on in my head I can't switch off.  I have had to practice very hard to think and feel in the present.  A couple of things help to do this.  First I find that concentrating on all the things your senses experience helps.  First look around you and see what you can see then what can you smell, what can you hear etc.  Take good note of all the things you can use your senses for in the present. Another way to help being present centered is to force yourself not to think of things that have happened or are going to happen.  I do this by forcing thoughts out of my mind that are before or after where I am.  I push those thoughts away and focus on what I am doing now.

I try and have a 20 minute power nap everyday.  This helps me to regather my energy and refocus in the afternoon rush.  Not everyone may need this but I do as I have kids up in the morning at 5am and other not in bed till 9pm.  So it is a really long day when I still have things to do once every one is in bed.

It is OK to turn off electronic devices.  We have all become very used to being contacted 24/7 we don't need to be.  It is OK to be non contactable some parts of the day.  Do whatever it takes.Turn off the phone,  take the land line off the hook,  don't check e-mails more than once a day,  Let it all go.

The other thing I have always tried to do is to have 1 hour on my own everyday.  It doesn't always happen but I try to do this at least 5 times a week.  When the kids were little I would do this when they were having afternoon rest time.  Right up to 5 (school age in NZ)  my wee ones had an hours rest everyday.  They could read or play quietly in their rooms.  This gave my brain a much need rest from the chattering and constant running around. 

I use this time in a variety of ways.  I might phone a friend, read, do art work,  have a snooze or sing.  Whatever works today.  Not only does it save my sanity but has also modelled to the children the importance of looking after my self.  I always use this time for myself.  This has never been time to do housework.  I figure housework will always be around but I won't be.  So my prioroty is to discover more about myself not more about cleaning :)

This pattern has blessed me to refocus my energy,  to feel more likely to give to others,  it has helped me to remember my needs and to help myself extend my talents.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A wee break

I am have got a lot going on in my life at the moment so I am going away for a couple of days so I won't be posting this week. This has been a challenging time for me and I have a lot going on in my life.

Cartoon: pause technical difficulties (medium) by rmay tagged pause,technical,difficulties

Have a lovely week everyone and hopefully by the time I get back I will have some lovely photos and moments to share. xxx

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Inspiration Saturday

Breakfast at McDonald's
This is beautiful true story

....I am a mother of three and have recently completed my college degree.  The last class I had to take was Sociology.
The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.  Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'  The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.
It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, even my husband did..
I did not move an inch.... An overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'  His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.  He said, 'Good day' as he counted
The few coins he had been clutching...
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.   I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford.. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it - The compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.  That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging  my every action.  I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give
Me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.  He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'   I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you.... God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope...'  We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. 

That day showed me the pure Light of God's Sweet love.
I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it. 
Then she looked up atme and said, 'Can I share this?

I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class..

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, the instructor,and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. 

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Sorry for my gap in blogging last week.  It was one of those weeks I don't want to repeat for a while.  I am laughing because I don't want to cry :)  and it is also easier to try to see the goodness in the week rather than the negative. 

Between the doctors visits,  family cirsis's, vet visits and sadnesses of last week I found love of families,  support of friends,  the power of prayer,  blessings of safety and a huge amount of patience I didn't know I had.  I love it when through challenges so much growth happens and a positive attitude reigns supreme. 

This blog today is one of thanks for spring flowers blossoming and rain falling to give us water in our water tanks.  Thanks for families who love no matter what and for the gift of friendship.  Thanks for the power to stand through the strong winds and to gain greater roots to with stand the winds ahead. Thanks for the understanding to have faith in people even when their actions could dictate to me to think other wise. 

What can you be thankful for today?  write a list in your gratitude journal.  How many thnings can you find.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lifes musings

I lost a friend this week to cancer.  My 6th friend in 7 years.  She was only 53 a a dear woman. My husband also lost a friend of the family this week to cancer and I have just found out a lady I worked with at Paycentre has only days left to live.  I don't know if it is because I am getting older or cancer is more common but so many people I know seem to have been touched by this disease.

Life is so fragile it is here and then gone.  Like a leaf blowing in the breeze floating away.  My friend had lived 53 full and good years.  Full of love, service and work.  She was kind and generous to those she met and loved people before anything else. She was only diagnosed 5 weeks ago and she quietly slipped away with her husband by her side.  It was sudden and unexpected she was given a good chance of recovery.  It was like she was here and then just gone.

How often do we take life for granted?  How often do we take other's lives for granted? Do we value each moment enough?  I don't think we really fully appreciate a lot of what we have until we lose it.  I learnt many years ago to value our family members,  while we have them, after losing a auntie from multiple sclerosis.   I missed her so much.  I was so grateful that my parents took the time to visit her regularly and gave me the opportunity to get to know her.  It taught me so much about love, living now and valuing what we have when we have it.  It is hard to measure the value in that.  Many times I am tempted to protect my own children from death and pain but I have realized it is important for them to learn that death and pain are an important part of life.  My children have gone to many funerals and had many opportunities to help those in pain.  they have grown from it.  They have gained so much empathy and sympathy for others and have such a good understanding of feelings of others. 

Each day is precious and valuable,  it is a chance to love, learn and grow. 
Make a pledge today to treasure and value what you have. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inspiration Saturday

This wonderful story has really helped me see my life in a different way.  I hope you love it as much as me

One Grocery Store's Most Important Employee....Boy With Down Syndrome
  • --by Barbara Glanz Barbara Glanz I always leave my telephone number and e-mail address with audiences, encouraging them to call me if they have questions or want to share a success story they experienced by adding a personal signature to their work.
    About a month after I had spoken to the supermarket folks I received a call from a front-line customer contact person, a nineteen-year-old baggerThe caller, who proudly informed me that he was a Down syndrome youngster, told me his story.
    "Barbara, I liked what you talked about!" Johnny said excitedly, "but I didn't think I could do anything special for our customers...
    After all, I'm just a bagger.
    He decided that every night when he came home from work, he would find a thought for the day. "If I can't find a saying I like," Johnny said proudly, "I think one up!"
    With the help of his dad, he copied and cut out each quote of the day. "When I finished bagging someone's groceries, I put my thought for the day in their bag and say, 'Thanks for shopping with us.'"
    A month later the store manager called me. He told me...
    "When I was making my rounds, I found the line at Johnny's
    checkout was three times longer than anyone else's!
    It went all the way down the frozen food isle. I was concerned,

    so I announced 'Get more cashiers out here; get more lanes
    open!' all the while trying to get these people to change lanes.
    But no one would move. They all said,
    "No, it's okay - we want to be in Johnny's lane -
    we want his 'Thought for the Day.'"
    Johnny's spirit of service transformed that store. The manager later called and told me how each of his departments was coming up with their own personal touch and all because of one young man with Down syndrome who decided he could make a difference!

I have chosen to find at least one person at the supermarket each week and to tell them they look beautiful.  My children have started to copy me too.  I can make a difference in this one small way.

How can you make a difference today!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

While I was away last week I took time to reflect on how I use my time and I evaluated where I am going in my life.  My life seems to run away into now where.  I feel I am often just chasing my tale and not really accomplishing much.  So after attending a time management for farming women workshop before I went away last week I decided it was time to look at how I use my time.  The principles of the evening where to make goals and then plan your time to meet these goals.  It was a very simple and efficient way to organise time. 

I spent a bit of time thinking through what I want in my life.  I have decided on these goals

  • To continue drawing everyday in my sketchbook
  • To practice machine quilting 2 times a week
  • To spend time playing and experimenting with equipment I already have in my studio.

I am going to try to also
  • To exercise  daily so I have more energy to work at my art
  • To listen to an play music daily to re energise my soul
  • To study the scriptures more to re energize my spirit

My family and I are going to try
  • Spend a little more time together
  • I am going to have a date with my husband at least 1 time a fortnight (rather than monthly)
  • To be more organised at home so I can get on with my art more

I know this will not be easy but it will be worth it.

When I started to place appointments and purposeful planning to meet these goals I found that I have a few pockets of time I can use to improve relationships and improve my art.  Evaluating time this way has helped me to see how well I think through what I do and how well I take time to rest and to re charge. 

Now all I have to do is stick to my plan!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Literature and movie review

A well loved poem of mine is the lady of Shalott written by Alfred Lord Tennyson.  This poem is set in Camelot at the time of King Arthur.  It is the story of a woman who has been cursed and so she must constantly weave a magic web without looking directly out at the world. The only way she can look out at the world is by viewing the world through a mirror. 

The full poem is found here

lady of shalottI Am Half-Sick of Shadows," Said the Lady of Shalott" by John William Waterhouse
Tennyson magically tells the story though exquisite poetry. He masterfullyy describes the scene in which she lives and creates a beautiful picture of her tragic life.  Her home is on an island in a river which flows toward Camelot. One day Sir Lancelot rides past in all his glory, the lady of shalott turns to see him more clearly and doing so the curse comes upon her as the mirror cracks from side to side.

lady of shalott" by John William Waterhouse

She leaves her home, finds a boat upon which she writes her name, and floats down the river to Camelot. Just before she arrives at the palace she dies.  Lancelot sees her and comments on how lovely she was.

This poem has also been put to music by Loreena McKennitt.  It is a beautiful rendition of this poem.  To view this piece of music go to You tube or your local music store.  It is stunning!! Enjoy

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Going away

I am going away for a few days with one of my daughters.  We are going to check out one of her university options for next year.  So I will catch up with you all again next week.   Have a nice few days everyone and keep smiling. xxx


Last night I went to a Farming discussion group for women.  Dairy NZ run groups for farmers to help them in their businesses,  with networking and with support for their systems on their farms.  In this particular area they hold one of these groups specifically for women.  Last nights key note speaker was a specialist on time management. She was amazing and very inspiring.  I learnt a lot about using my time and using it efficiently but one the most important things I learnt was the importance of networking and supporting each other as women.

Each little thing we give and support each other in are big things.  We need each other to be whole.  I think every encounter we have with other women can be a blessing.  We can build up rather than tear down, we can love rather than hate and we can be unified rather than bicker about each other.  We can inspire each other to become better an do better things with our lives.


We are blessed now to be able to form relationships with other women across the world through technology.  I am inspired by a friend I met on the sketchbook challenge Dion.  She deals with some very challenging things in her life but still has to time to uplift others though her thoughtful comments and her art.  I have never met her in person but she lifts me up and inspires me.

I have friend that have come and gone in my life and ones that have been around a long time.  I have one friend I met on her first day of school.  We were five.  We have been through a lot of things together.  She knows the meaning of true friendship. 

Why is it with all the wonderful opportunities to help and support so many us spend so much time bickering and gossiping when that time could be spent helping and assisting.  We all have a responsibility to choose to be nice and to choose to support all those around us.

This can be darn difficult and some people are hard to get on with but I have this theory that We don't have to like every body but we can still love them.  I can spend time with everyone just some people I only have time with in 5 second doses and other 5 year doses. 

What ever others choose I can choose to be nice no matter what other women choose,  I lift up even if other pull down and I can love even when others hate.  What will you choose to do? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Literature and movie review

If you asked my teenagers for their favourite movies or books they would probably say Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean.  I'm not really into scary and blood and gore type movies.  I have seen them all but really it was to support the kids viewing (is that called spying ? he he)  My favourite book of all time and one I could watch over and over is Jane Eyre.  I think it is one of the best book ever written.  It has everything in it intrigue, mystery, drama, romance, clever dialogue, humour and relationships. 

The author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte was born in April 1816 to Rev. Patrick and Maria Bronte.  She was the 3rd of 6 children in England.  She wrote only a few works as she died very young.  Jane Eyre was a very popular novel from it's first publication.  It has been relased as a film or t.v series a few times the most recent in March this year.

Jane is an orphan who spend the first few years of her life being raised by her uncle and his wife, a cruel woman who cared about her own children more than poor Jane.  Her auntie sends her away to a charity school with the excuse that Jane was a bad influence on her own dear children,  which in reality is untrue as Jane was a beautiful well behaved child.  The school was of very poor standards and here Jane suffers many hardships and sadness.  When reforms come to the school Jane blossoms and becomes a teacher of good standing in the school.  When she decides to leave the school she seeks a post as a governess with a Mr Rochester.  The rest of the story builds on Jane's impeccable character and her relationship with Mr Rochester and his ward for whom she is responsible for. 

This story has many twists and unexpected turns.  Bronte has a talent for building very complex characters building up a story line beautifully.  Jane's character goes though much refining and is challenged beyond what most of us would not be able to bear. I think Bronte was well beyond her time for discussing topics that were not readily addressed at the time.  For example the hardships of poverty,  mental illness and disabilities. 

This a book that deserves to be read and re read to appreciate fully the depth of language and brilliant story line.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Inspiration Saturday- funny quotes

A conclusion is the place where you
got tired of thinking. 
~Attributed to Arthur McBride Bloch

Don't worry about the world
coming to an end today. 
 It is already tomorrow in Australia. 
~Charles Schulz

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away.  ~Tom Waits, Small Change

There's no such thing as fun for the whole family. ~Jerry Seinfeld 

(He must have teenagers !)

 I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.  - Stephen Wright

I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools.  Let's start with typewriters.   Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

Sometimes you're the windshield:  sometimes you're the bug, - Mark Knopfler.

Duct tape is like the force.  It has a light side, a dark side,
and it holds the universe together. 
~Carl Zwanzig

The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. 
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes


You can't have everything... where would you put it?  ~Steven Wright

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Patience is a virtue I sometimes lack. 

It is not that I don't try hard or put effort in.  I just think it is one of those things that will always be my struggle.  I have come a long way since I have had a family but I still have a lot to learn. I am a bit like this chicken......

As a child I was very impulsive and wanted things done right away.  I wouldn't get things finished unless it was a short job because I couldn't see the results straight away.  But I could ask question incessantly and never ever paused for a breath (hmmm...actually that really hasn't changed :) I still talk a lot) and I was patient if something really interested me, like a puzzle or a fun game, I always had to win (.....hmmm...actually that hasn't changed much either :) And I always could test others patience but the patience with people was very hard.

I had a strong sense of justice and could never figure out why people made choices they did.   I have learned that everyone makes choices for their own reasons and that that is their choice and that I need to accept and be patient with them. 

Patience is just waiting and keeping time.  it is learning to do it cheerfully and to be nice about it. I thought these quotes really get patience in a nutshell..

What I have learned about patience.....
  • Being patient is a state of mind
  • Being patient while 6 people are talking to you at once is very hard
  • Being patient is difficult after you have found the toilet needs cleaning the 4th time that day
  • Patience is a skill that gets well developed as a parent and family member.
  • Patience needs to be worked at daily every experience at a time
  • As my ability to be patient increases more challenging circumstances present themselves.
  • Small things are harder to be patient with than really big things ie The toilet needing to be cleaned v major trauma. 
  • It is an ongoing evolving skill
  • I find being patient a challenge when I am sleep deprived.
  • I am going to not be perfect at being patient in this life and it is O.K.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Literature and movie review

The most treasured of all our families pictures books in our home are the Hairy Maclary series written and illustrated by New Zealand author Lynley Dodd.  She is a master of rhyme and humor and brilliant artist.   My children know many of books off by heart and truly love the books.  Childhood reading is so important because it feeds imagination and shapes our lives.  Dodd captures the child's imagination beautifully through the written language and gorgeous pictures.

12 book have been written about this wee little dog and 9 about his friends.  The first book Hairy Maclary at Donadlson's Dairy introduces the reader to a group of dogs who feature in a lot of her books.  This book is  all about their romps and play.  The other books build on this.  They are witty and are a pleasure to read for adults too.

I would recommend them for children 3 years and older.  Even my pre teens love them, although they they wouldn't want any one to know.  Zachary quack is my favourite one.  It is all about and annoying little baby bird that follows Hairy Maclary every where.  He tries really hard to get rid of the bird but can't succeed.  Finally Hairy maclary goes into a pond but he gets stuck and who saves him?.....the little bird.  It ends with the two of them tucked up in bed fast asleep. 

Just magical books and lovely books.