R. I. P Milo

This is a poem i wrote when my Granddad passed away. I’m sharing it with you today as a tribute to another death close to my heart.

Yesterday, my beloved dog, Milo, passed away, while i was at work.

R. I. P. love of my life. And thank you for gracing my life for the eleven years you were a part of it.

No one has known love until they’ve been loved by a dog.

I thought I was alone today

Looking into the blue,

Then I noticed a change

As the breeze gently blew

I looked around and felt something

I didn’t know what I sought

But realised then that I was wrong

As to me came a thought

It came to me gently as I stood there

It beckoned me to take note

And as I saw the clouds above

To me came new hope

Not quite a memory

Stirred in my mind

A glimpse of better times

That I thought I had left behind

Then I heard a voice

Gently in the breeze

“I am here with you forever

Now just let me stay please

I will stand by your side

And watch while you sleep

I will be there now

Even as for me you weep

And if you ever want a yarn

Or just to let me know

Light a candle and I’ll be there

And I’ll stay until you let me go.

Look for me beyond the clouds

Seek me in the sky

Search for me past the rainbow

And as the rain passes by

I will meet you there one day

I will wait until you see

That past where the night meets the sun

I am where I am meant to be.”

I wrote this the day after Grandad died…so on 21 October 2010.

Fractured Faith writing challenge

A receipt for a banana, rice and a coffee.

Tonight. It was tonight. Tonight when i had the in laws over for dinner.

What to cook?

My sister was a fussy eater and they were really her in laws, not mine. Her little villa was too small to host the larger family we were meeting with. So i had invited everyone to my place.

And with a baby on the way, she had left me to do all the planning and catering.

My sister hated fruit, but i really thought the best desserts all used fruit in them. How to compromise?

These thoughts were running through my head as i stood in the large supermarket, staring at the endless shelves, trying to dream something up.

Suddenly i had it!

I had the compromise!

With more confidence than i felt, i strode to the aisle containing rice, and grabbed a bag. Then i marched to the fresh produce part of the store and picked up a solitary banana.

I’d make rice pudding and put a single banana into the recipe to keep both of us happy.

After paying for it, i stood outside the supermarket for a little bit.

My brother in law, my sister’s husband, rang to say he’d be late in picking me up.

I wandered back into the store.

I needed a coffee!

Life is a grindstone…

Whether it wears you down or polishes you up is up to you.

The above quote is by Cavett Robert.

This quote has been on my fridge door ever since I moved from Sydney to my home town. Recently, it has been giving me much comfort.

My last post was about giving yourself a voice.

Well. I did. And I roared. And the CEO of my company gave me a new job. It’s a steep learning curve…but so are all the best lessons in life.

So, I have a choice. I can stress over how much I don’t know. I can get angry with myself for taking the plunge into this unknown territory.

Or I can use this as a way of polishing myself up.

And I’ll let you into a little secret. Deep down, beyond the fear, is a true love for an honest challenge. I’m actually quite excited.

What fears and challenges are you facing?

What can you do to polish yourself up?

Giving yourself a voice

Recently, I’ve learnt a new skill.

You see, I’ve always spoken up for the lost, disillusioned and disenfranchised. But for myself? Hardly.

But something amazing happened a month ago. I finally burst out what had been nagging at my conscience since the beginning of the year.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my work colleagues, my organisation, and adore my boss.

But the work itself?

I was bored, and had skills I wanted to flex, but were not needed in my current position.

So, I took two weeks leave. And I emailed the big guy himself…my CEO.

To cut out lots of irrelevant detail, I’m now an Editor, complete with new software, new microphone, and camera.

I’m now responsible for generating content to be used for promotional purposes.

So, what are you putting off? How are you selling yourself short? Who do you need to speak to in order to change things?

Join me I realising your dream career. Maybe the only barrier is that you need to speak up for yourself.

Winter heating

I’m writing this, on my phone and snuggled under a blanket.

Winter heating doesn’t need to be expensive.

A hint is to invest in a good quality woollen blanket and keep it on your favourite lounge chair.

The other secret is to have a couple of wheat bags. Mine is currently hot from the microwave and sitting on my knees under the woollen blanket.

For the price of some wheat and a piece of old flanelette I have a lovely sausage shaped source of delicious warmth.

Another trick I use is to burn a candle and watch the flame. I was inspired by a friend who has a fireplace. I’m so envious and threaten to not leave when it’s lit on cool Winter evenings.

Anyway, as my house doesn’t lend itself to having a fire, I’ve compromised by lighting candles and keeping them in strategic places in my living room.

How do you keep warm in Winter?

A little spot North

Tea Gardens is a stone’s throw from Port Stephens and the other reaches of Newcastle, NSW. It’s a pleasant little spot, and has a ferry operating across the harbour.

It was this ferry that I caught between the wharf outside the Tea Gardens Hotel and the other side of the harbour.

Sun streamed through the gaps between the clear cafe blinds that served as windows on the small vessel, as the captain navigated his way through a shallow harbour. It’s size is bigger than Sydney Harbour, although being much shallower, it doesn’t draw the bigger cruise liners that frequent the larger city.

Lunch was had at the Hotel. Simple and filling, it was salt and pepper squid served with chips and a beautiful salad.

But what made the trip memorable wasn’t the dolphins, or the sea turtle, neither of which I saw, unfortunately.

It was the lovely couple I met while the vessel chugged its way past the marine wildlife.

All for the price of an honest compliment, we struck up a conversation, easy to become immersed in, and we learnt a little of what we had in common.

So, the next time you’re out in public, say hello to the person next to you in line, and smile. You might just have a chance encounter with a kindred spirit.

Winter Solstice Festival

For two weeks in a row, I posted Guest Posts by two Writer friends. One is even encouraged to start her own Blog. I’ll update you when she’s ready.

The reason behind this is that my laptop was in town being fixed, so I was using my Smartphone.

But…we’re now back on board.

But getting to the point:

Sunday, there was a Winter Solstice Festival on at the local Town Square.

It was very hippy, but interesting, and made me think of what this time of year is all about.

Winter is traditionally a time of rest. It’s when the garden is dormant, allowing me more time to write, and encouraging me into sleeping and hibernating.

It’s about going within and thinking seriously about priorities.

Since Winter is in the middle of the year for us Aussies, it’s also a time of thinking forward so that plans can be cooked up so that when the New Year officially happens in January, the important goals make it onto the New Year Resolution list.

It’s also the beginning of the financial new year and a good time to sort out budgets and how to pay for any expenses that may surface on the New Year Resolution list.

So the task I set you is this. Sort out what you’d like on your Resolution list for January and organise your budget NOW for it. That way, you’ll be ready and in a better position for success.