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.

Apple crumble

This is a guest post from Katrina.

It’s winter and time for some comforting sweets that will warm you up in no time. Everyone has probably eaten it at least once. It is a great accompaniment to a roast dinner. Make sure you have some ice cream on hand or hot custard if you like. Have you guessed what I am talking about?

Well I am talking about good old Apple Crumble with a few options and a twist thrown in.

First the crumble topping. I like to use oats to give a bit of crunch. You will need:

1 cup of plain flour

½ cup of oats

½ cup of desiccated coconut

¾ cup of raw sugar

125gm butter

In a large bowl add dry ingredients and blend well. Add softened butter to bowl and rub in with the tips of your fingers.

Find yourself a deep pie dish or shallow casserole dish. Choose from one of these fillings:

  1. 825gm tin of pie Apple, drizzle with iron bark honey and sprinkle with some lemon or lime zest. Top with the crumble topping and scatter a few slivered almonds. Brush with a little melted butter.

  2. 825 gm of pear halves. Drain and quarter spread over base of pie dish. Add a handful of pitted prunes. Drizzle 1-2 Tablespoons of port wine. ( for kids you can add some boiling water to some plum jam). Add a small pinch of cardamon to fruit mixture. Top with crumble topping.

  3. 825 gm tin of peach slices drained. Peel and slice 2 large golden kiwi fruit and arrange over peaches. Spoon over the pulp of 2 passionfruits then top with crumble topping.

Place in a preheated oven set at 200°C or 180°C (fan forced). Cook for 25 to 30 mins or until crispy on too. Serves 8.

The power of the mind

This piece is by my dear friend, Hilda Oakley. She’s given me permission to share it with you.

Please note that this is copyrighted.

“One of the most important organs of the body is the brain. The brain is where the mind is situated. It sends messages to the rest of the body.

I have learnt many lessons and I would like to share them with you.

Strategies:

When feeling anxious or depressed, it is good to use strategies.

It’s like rearranging one’s mind.

Reading

Listening to classical music

Listening to music on the iPod.

Listening to gentle music on the radio

Listening to talking books from the library

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind

It is good to repeat this ofyen: It’s a brand new wonderful day.

The environment

It is good to work in the garden, even if it’s only for 10 – 15 minutes a day.

Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses.

Look at all the beautiful flowers.

Be free from worry

Be careful what books you read

Be careful what you watch on telly

Listen to classical music

Replace negativity with positivity

When feeling anxious, take deep breaths.

Make love a part of your life

Add caring and kindness into your life

Mix with positive friends

Watch your daily caffeine intake. Watch your coffee and tea intake.

Have a proper dress code to lift your spirits.

Laughter is always the best medicine!

We have all been given a free Will, be careful how you use it.

Life is a challenge, but we have been given the equipment to overcome, just use it

For my spirituality I turn to my Christian beliefs and my faith in God.

Set your aims high.

Be proud of yourself and your achievements

Do regular exercise

Eat organic food”

Community organisations

This week’s post is all about community organisations.

Rotary has been my community organisation, of choice, for the last five years.

In my very first post ( https://lizseverest.com/2018/03/29/ikaria ) I wrote about how important it is to longevity to have a sense of purpose, and that volunteering and being a part of the community can give a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Well, the way I fulfill this, is through my local Rotary Club.

During my time with the Club, I have helped numerous high schoolers to steady their nerves and be involved in public speaking, assisted in raising funds for various charities, and organised events and get togethers for the local business community. I do this because I value my community. It’s my little way of linking with others, and getting a buzz when I know I’ve done my own bit for making this a more wonderful planet to live on.

Another bonus is that I was able to travel to Japan with some members from my Club, a few years ago. A bunch of us were privelleged enough to hang out with the Rotary Club of Okayama Chuo, who welcomed us as ambassadors from their sister Club. The fellowship was awesome and we made friends with others of like minds from across the ocean.

Recently, a Guest Speaker from Uganda graced my home Club with a talk on her project in Africa. Tanja founded and continues to support her charity, “The Little Blue Shed.” In a few week’s time, my hope is to secure her as a Guest Blogger on Liz’s Everest. It’s my little way of furthering her cause and helping out where possible, in supporting a fellow believer in community and making this world a better place to be.

So, my call to action is simple.

Track down your local community organisations, and attend a meeting or two. Connect with a cause larger than yourself and start mixing with others of like minds. It might help you live longer!