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.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Inspiration Saturday

Just one quote today as I wanted to give this one the centre stage. 
It was a good one to go with Thursdays Blog entry. 

Have a nice day  : )

"Life is too short. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can, apologize when you should and let go of what you can't change. Love deeply and forgive quickly. Take chances. Give everything and have no regrets. Life is too short to be unhappy. You have to take the good with the bad. Smile when you're sad, love what you got, and always remember what you had. Always forgive, but never forget. Learn from your mistakes but never regret. People change, and things go wrong but always remember...
life goes on!"

-- Author unknown

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Negatives into positives

I sometimes get caught up in the negative crushing world of my own self doubt.  Not knowing who I am or where I am going, life sinks around me and I feel like I am falling into a black hole.  When I start sliding into this negativeness I now have the skills and I am well enough to get myself out of the hole. 

It hasn't always been like that.  After suffering crippling Post natal depression on 3 different occasions and one episode of anti-natal depression. Negativity was a world I lived in constantly albeit not much fault of my own.  I have found being positive very difficult especially during the times I was sick.   It got to the point that when I felt good I thought something was wrong with me. 

But after a lot of work I now am completely well. Now the negativity I have is just normal run of the mill stuff but it can still wear me down.

I have found a few things seem to get me feeling more negative.  When I get forced into a situation by other people,  when I have negativity thrown at me by people, when I have too much happening at once and when A lot of sad or unhappy things happen at one time. 

Having some feelings of negativity is O.K. it comes with sadness and dissapointment and stress.  It is what we do with it that is important.  Life is meant to be enjoyed and to be joyful

There are many ways to become more positive and to be nice inside.  Here are some that work for me
  • See the positive side of the experience -The glass half full or half empty scenario.  This can be very hard in some situations so go easy on yourself

  • Talk to someone.  If everything is just getting too much have a rant and a rave to a trusted friend or family member.  I feel better sometimes after I have spoken my fears aloud
  • Write in a gratitude journal.  This is previous post of how you do gratitude journals
  • Thank people in your life.  From you other half to the postie.  Giving people thanks always makes me feel better
  • Serve others.  It always puts my life into perspective.
  • Say no to unimportant things when life is busy or when the new thing doesn't match up with your priorities
  • Fill you life with positive affirmations IE positive quotes around the house,  positive Friends and family,  time to do what fills your soul
  • Love others and yourself.  It takes alot of wasted energy to hate and to be negative.
  • Train your thought patterns to more positive things (lots of self help books around for this one if your stuck)
  • Give yourself time to get over bad situations.  Be kind to yourself and give yourself some slack if things are just bedlam at this moment.
  • Be real.  See reality in the situation some situations call for a good listener not to see the bright side in the situation.

"I can't change the direction of the wind,
but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."
Jimmy Dean

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Literature and movie review

Today's review is of a series of books well known to many.  I have read it 5-6 times and thoroughly enjoyed it each time.  It has made me want to travel to Canada to see all the beautiful places there.  It has inspired me and left me feeling enriched for reading it. 

Anne of green gables is an all time Canadian classic written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  The series of 8 books celebrates the life of a young orphan Anne Shirley.  They take us through her childhood into her teens and as a married woman. 

Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables and numerous sequels.
Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables and numerous sequels. (Canadian Press

Montgomery makes the books come alive through her wonderful descriptions of life on Prince Edward Island at the turn of the last century.  She creates deep and meaningful characters that many of us can identify with.....The nosy neighbour (who means well)  Over bearing adults (who really do care) loving creative children.  There are many characters and ways of life we wish still existed....the village spirit,  the love of many adults and  the freedom to roam around that children today seem not to get much of. 

The stories begin with Anne going to her new home on PEI and finding out the family (Marrilla and Mathew.  A brother and sister) she thought wanted her wants a boy.  Her wee world is shattered.  But after Mathew changes Marrilla's mind they agree to let her stay.  They soon find out Anne is a lot of work for 2 old single people but they come to love her as their own. 

Theses books are full of humour and wit.  Montgomery is a great story teller who weaves the stories so well that I have a hard time putting them down.  I would recommend them from 9 years and up but I read them for the first time as a older teen and still really enjoyed them. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Inspriation Saturday

Smooth roads never make good drivers. Smooth seas never make
good sailors. Clear skies never make good pilots. A problem
free life never makes a strong and good person. Have a tough
but winning day ahead! Be strong enough to accept the
challenges of life. Do not ask life, 'Why me?' instead say,
'Try me'."
 -- Author Unknown

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we
look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one
which has been opened for us."
 -- Helen Keller

"Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is."
 -- Will Rogers

 "It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people
looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love
 -- Agatha Christie