Blogging #12daysXmas – Day 2

So I’m continuing my annual #12daysxmas blogging challenge this year, and my theme for 2017 is ‘gratitude’. Each day for 12 days, I’m explaining one thing that occurred in each month, that I’m grateful for. Today’s month? February 🙂

In February, I was grateful that Miss 12 was invited to her first birthday party at her new school.

She was anxious about making friends, seeing as she had been in her last school for eight years. However, within two weeks of attending her new school, she received her first birthday party invitation. I was super happy about that!

How about you? Have you ever received an unexpected, welcome invitation?

And here’s wishing you a great Boxing Day, dear Reader!

KRidwyn

Six years on

It’s the beginning of a New Year. An auspicious time to make new resolutions and new commitments; to gently blow the burgeoning flame of new hopes until they become habits… well, that’s the general idea, anyway.

This time of year also reminds me of the time I started blogging.

December 25, 2010.

It was for a blogging challenge started by @FiFYI -#blog12daysxmas – and I’d thought, “Well, why not?!”

And that was that.

Day 1. I’d decided to be literal and write a post a day on the Christmas carol ‘The 12 days of Christmas’.

Day 2. Two turtle doves and questions of ‘devotion’…

Day 3. And I’m stumped as to why we have mundane hens on the list. French ones, at that.

Day 4. My humble thoughts on the differences between blackbirds and crows, and how many blackbirds might comfortably fit into a pie…

Day 5. And I bet you thought that the ‘five gold rings’ meant jewellery, didn’t you!

Day 6. Six geese a-laying. That’s a lot of eggs between now and the end of the song. And a lot of ankle-biting, too!

Day 7. Swimming swans are given by the True Love to the singer… and several hundred years later, the family and I escape floodwaters and arrive home to relish the feeling of dry clothes and mud-free sheets 😀

Day 8. The singer is given eight maids a-milking, and I ruminate on what it is that defines a person.

Day 9. Nine ladies dancing – and a quick tally of what the singer now has at her house. It’s getting crowded in there!

Day 10, and I’m in awe of the sheer organisational ability of this ‘True Love’. Honestly, it’s incredible!

Day 11. In which bagpipes enter the cacophony, and I speculate on what the ‘True Love’ may actually have been devoted to… and

Day 12. The inevitable conclusion to the challenge; and one in which I find my opinions of the carol quite at variance to what I thought I would be thinking!

I always find it fun, going back and re-reading stuff I’d written years before. Remembering what it was like: Hubby and I stranded in our caravan at 1770 with three very young ones, no bread, little milk, and no spare petrol, in the middle of the craziest floods so far this century. Remembering how my opinions of the song changed dramatically, but my desire to blog, and my love for writing, deepened.

Well, that was a look back. Now it’s January 2nd, 2017, and it’s time to look ahead. Here’s hoping that the coming week is a brilliant one, for you and me both, dear reader!

Yours,

KRidwyn

My online identity – part two of two

Yesterday I posted (well, re-posted, actually!) an entry from my first-ever (and now inactive) blog. It outlined three questions that I return to again and again, when considering my online identity.

1. What do my images say about me?

2. What am I saying about me? and

3. What am I not saying about me?

Well, that was a little over 18 months ago. So what has changed? How do I now view ‘success’ in creating and maintaining my online identity?

18 months ago, I was just starting out with online tools. Sure, GoodOldTalk.com had been up and running for a little over a year, and I had an inactive twitter account, and I had been on Facebook for a while, but that was about it. No flickr, no YouTube, and so on – and I didn’t even know that tools such as TweetDeck, HootSuite existed – let alone EverNote, Instagram, DropBox, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, etc etc etc.

Now however, I’ve been self-employed for a year. I’ve been running my own Marketing business, and not only have I seen the need to be in social media for Bloxham Marketing, but creating and maintaining social media accounts for my clients is an integral part of my business. Which has meant that I’m a lot more ‘out there’ than I ever have been.

This blog has also played a major part in the evolution of my opinion regarding my online identity. I started it Christmas 2010, using @fionawb‘s #blog12daysChristmas as an impetus. My PLN, formed for the most part by Librarians on twitter, was integral in maintaining this blog throughout its development, to what it is today. Through the relationships I now have with online friends, I have come to see that it’s probably okay to relax a little from that hard-liner stance I had, 18 months ago.

1. What do my images say about me? That’s been a toughy. I like to add an image to each of my blog entries, however when I want to write about my kids, and I don’t want to upload their images to the net, that’s a little problematic. So a few weeks back now, I dedicated a post to each, and included their photo (albeit, not a particularly identifiable one!) Plus, in my recent exploration of Pinterest, and its ability to easily embed (and attribute, of sorts!) into WordPress, that’s made my life a little easier. Now I feel as though I can show a little of who I am / what I like through the images I display – even though these images don’t necessarily have me in the frame or behind the camera.

2. What do I say about myself? Again, I’ve probably been more vulnerable than I had ever thought I would be. From entries about my gambling addiction (coming up to 20 years not being at a BlackJack table – as much as I still think about it more regularly than I’d like!) to my miscarriage, from my employment problems to my time in a cult, I’ve exposed quite a lot about myself… but then again, “my friends IRL know this stuff about me, and I’m comfortable sharing with them, so why not others?” is how I see it. Obviously, I keep my personal stuff on this blog, and my Bloxham Marketing blog is all about the work side of my life, however when I think of my online identity, I’m trying to reflect who I am as a person. As much as I’d like to cover up the yuk stuff, and pretend to be something I’m not, I have a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for too long, and then you, my dear readers, would see right through it – and then, where would I be?!

3. What do I NOT say about me? Again, this has changed, in the light of my being far more open online than I had expected I would be. I’m still wary of PII, however as a self-employed business owner, I need to be contactable by potential clients, so my contact details are accessible in what I feel are the appropriate places. And as for embarrassing myself with inappropriate photos / videos / stories? Yup – pretty much all of them are in the “not sayin’!! basket”!

So – this is me. What do you think? Agree? Or disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

I’m thinking it’s Day 11, but I might be wrong…!

Okay, so I’ve mentioned several (hundred?!!) times on this blog that my Maths leaves a lot to be desired. But even I think that I’ve reached a new low point. Seriously – being unable to count to 12?!! But that’s the situation I find myself in when constructing a title for this post. Cos I looked back, and on New Year’s Eve I wrote that it was Day 7. Which means that today is Day 11. But according to my twitterfeed, others also in #blog12daysxmas are only on Day 10. So what’s up with me?!! (Edit – I’ve just had a thought. Back on Boxing Day, I read a number of tweets from people who were confused about exactly which day to start. So maybe that explains it…?!)

So today was a lovely day. I spent some time just hanging with a truly lovely lady and her three gorgeous kids, and then got stuck into more Bloxham Marketing stuff. (It was good to remember to remove the 2011 Church worship times from the St James website, too!) I also found time to watch a couple of taped episodes of the Big Bang Theory!

All in all, a good day. The best bit – spending time at Max’s grave. And smiling over the memories.

See you tomorrow for Day 12! (Or is it 11?!! LOL)

Day “the number after that” of #blog12daysxmas

That’s abbreviated from Tigger. When he’s counting for Hide and Seek, he says “1, 2, the number after two…” And although I probably should go back and check what number #blogdays12xmas we’re up to, I honestly don’t have the energy. Please forgive me! But I’m pretty sure that we’re not up to (or past!) 12 yet, so I think I’m pretty safe. And I’ll check the number for tomorrow. I promise!

So today’s first thought was about Max, my Labrador who Hubby and I buried yesterday morning. But tweets from friends helped – and then it was straight into work before I even knew what was happening! And there, I’ve finally gotten off my rear end and set up a twitter account and facebook page for Bloxham Marketing. So now I’m feeling more “official” – and more able to look my clients in the eye when I talk about digital marketing. (I’ve been doing it for my clients, burt not for my own business! D’Oh!)

Today was also all about planning for the year ahead. The months ahead. The weeks ahead. The days this week. 

Boy, it’s good to get the ball rolling!

Day 7 and the year is ending…

Today started with a song. I sincerely hope that means that it won’t end, in a few short hours, in tears! But in the style of @fionawb, I’m going to quote some lyrics here. They were the first thought past my brain this morning…

“The morning sunlight moves gently ‘cross our bed / the sound of distant traffic floats into my head”

and it had me thinking about how wonderful it is to have a large sliding door on the wall at the foot of our bed, with a gorgeously landscaped fishpond almost immediately in front. (We have a HUGE amount of privacy – I wouldn’t recommend this to just anyone!) But with the curtains open, the sunlight on water reflects onto the ceiling of our bedroom. It’s so incredibly peaceful, just watching the reflection move slowly. And listening to the distant traffic on the Bruce Highway, warring with (but thankfully mostly drowned out by) birdcalls is pretty magical.

Today I got busy. Cleaned out the house (even managed to push the vacuum around a bit!) and tackled Miss 6’s bed, as it’s been bugging me for ages. Silly me, when Miss 3 was big enough to move up out of her cot, chose expedience and bought two single doona covers. Was proud of myself, as I had managed to score prints that the kids would like (Miss 6 was into dinosaurs, and the other -for Mr 2- was blue and soccer-themed) but this quickly changed when I got them home and out of their packets. The extremely thin material (can’t remember the name of it now) was also absolutely PATHETIC at assisting the doona to hold its shape, so every morning Miss 6 wrestled with a very twisted doona, inside its thin, slippery cover. A difficult situation, when you’re trying to make your bed up on a top bunk anyway! (Mr 2’s wasn’t as bad, as not only does he not writhe around so much at night, but being on a normal single bed, there isn’t the height problem to deal with.)

So I finally talked myself into making another one. The first I had made (Nemo on one side, and Pooh Bear and friends on the other) had been Miss 6’s, but Miss 3 inherited it when Miss 6 got the dinosaurs. I’m not the best seamstress in the world (I just tried typing ‘sew-er’, but without the hyphen it looks COMPLETELY different!!!) so this was  a rather unusual occurence for me. But I got it done – and a pillowcase to match. Pretty pleased with myself.

Yes, it’s plain. Red. No, not her favourite colour, but just some material I had to hand. Still, it’s SOOOOOO much better than the twisted dinosaur one! Oh – and in case you’re wondering… here in our part of the world, we’re close enough to the water to get cool breezes pretty much year-round. So while the rest of the Sunshine Coast is in summer pj’s, we’re still under doonas! LOL!

That, and relaxing with hubby this afternoon while the kids enjoyed Madagascar on the PS2 (Christmas present) was my day. A very enjoyable one. Lots of reflection (not just the water! But thoughtful reflection on the year that’s passed) and sone tentative musings on possible New Year resolutions. And a conversation with Miss 6 about the *possibility* of waking her up to see the fireworks at midnight. And that was it.

All in all, it’s been a wonderful year. NEVER would have thought, twelve months ago, that today I would be a self-employed marketer. NEVER could have dreamed that I would be THIS happy. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with so darn much! And help me to appreciate it far more than I do.

So I’m looking forward to 2012 with excitement… some apprehension (that’s the control-freak part of me talking)… and a sense that everything – at this moment in time – is ‘right with the world’. Maybe sometime in the next few hours I’ll muse those resolutions into a more solidified form. Maybe not. Either way, it’ll be great to see what happens!

Happy New Year, all! May you all have wonderful – and safe! – celebrations tonight, and may your 2012’s contain everything you wish for them, and more.

Til next year!

(oh, and the song was ‘Hold me in your arms” by the Southern Sons)

On the sixth day of Christmas…

I’m getting a little confused. Travel at odd hours, lack of sleep, sleeping at strange times in weird positions, tends to do that to me, I find.

So from what I can work out, it’s now December 30, the sixth day of Christmas. Friday. I’m back at home, and in spite of Hubby’s best efforts to secure last minute accommodation for this weekend on Fraser, it looks as though we’ll be spending New Years at home. Which is good, in a way. I need to get my head straight again!

Not that it’s been bad – I’ve had a blast! Once hubby finished his Gold Coast conference on Dec 10, we left Dec 11 for Goondiwindi on our way to Dubbo. A few days there, exploring the Western Plains Zoo in absolutely GORGEOUS weather (although it was a pity we had to drive through a hailstorm to get there) was then followed by an allnighter trip to Ballina, where we again spent a wonderful few days. New South Wales. LOVE the jumping pillows (never been introduced to the concept before) but found the fact that while driving I was *forced* to restrain my lead foot rather frustrating. Twas good to be back in QLD where the cameras are fewer and far between – not so good to cope with the roadworks and traffic again. Ho hum.

(Jumping pillow. Struggling to insert image, as for some reason Ow.ly doesn’t want to play nice with me at the moment. ow.ly/i/nBhg )

A few days back at home, with time for Speech Therapy appointments (that nodule on my right vocal cord seems to be getting smaller – yay!); a hospital visit to remove the glittery purple cast on Miss 3’s arm, and the wires that were holding her elbow together; and a family Christmas get-together, then it was off to Hervey Bay, minus hubby who was keen to tackle the big surf. (It’s so rare here on the Sunshine Coast, and he misses it now he works such long hours.) So it was me and three young ‘uns headed north amidst the rain. Luckily the weather cleared, so by the time hubby joined us, it was perfect.

What wasn’t so great was the phone call from our neighbour on Wednesday afternoon, telling us that one of our dogs had died. Max. 11 y.o. black lab, whose health has been declining rapidly over the last year or so. He was underneath the Pajero (a favourite sleeping spot) but he apparently wasn’t breathing. So hubby decided to go home early. And take the children, so I could pack / clean / lock up in peace.

The kids’ clothes / bedroom etc was all packed in into the car when our neighbour texted. Max was up and about; it had been a false alarm. But we didn’t really want to unpack the kids’ stuff again, so we fed them dinner and then they all left, Miss 3 screaming all the while. She’s the clingy-est.

So I packed. I cleaned. I locked up, and left around 3.30am. Missed my family too much. But the long hours were more draining than I had anticipated, so I had to pull over at the Arbor Ten intersection and power-nap. Which worked, but boy did it hurt my neck! (I’m pretty sure I’d never slept with my head in quite THAT position before! But I made it home by 6.30 – perfect timing to surprise hubby and delight my children before breakfast. Which was great.

So now it’s Friday. The bags are unpacked, the clothes are washed, and we’re headed to Nambour Hospital this afternoon for (hopefully!) the final time for Miss 3’s elbow – bandage removal.

And we’re not going to Fraser tomorrow morning. Hmmm… maybe we’ll try for New Year’s on Bribie instead? (Ha! Stay still? Me? Not likely!!!)

Til tomorrow, readers!

When the fun has gone…

There’s a little bit of a tinge of sadness in the air. A greying. Cool mist. It’s as though the laughter-filled ‘honeymoon stage’ has passed, and the vision of ‘hard slog’ has just started to inch towards me over the far horizon. Ho hum.

Today is the 23rd of January. Exactly one month ago, I set up this blog, in preparation for @fionawb’s #blog12daysxmas challenge, which would start on Christmas Day of 2010. So that’s it. Been blogging for a month now. How sad – I can’t really class myself as a ‘newbie’ anymore. Well, not really.

Generally I find milestones exciting. They signify the culmination of something. But that can mean the end of something, too… and in my experience, when something ends it is never repeated again. Which can be sad, I find. Today also marks the end of my 6 posts on ‘momentous events in my life’. It’s been an interesting challenge I set myself… I had NO idea when I started, just how confronting it would be. Bearing my soul and my innermost thoughts at the most emotional experiences I’ve had! And only a brand-new blogger! So this week’s been rather a soul-searching one for me, deciding how to best present the stories of my life, pitting the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ against the ideas of privacy, discretion, and of course a pretty massive word count when I get all rambly!

Still an’ all… today’s event, number six, while still extremely emotional, was one which still leaves me incredulous. It goes like this…

It was the latter half of 2010. August, maybe? Or September? It was a warm day, and it must have been a Saturday because hubby was home. So we decided to swap the baby seats into our Pajero and take the 5 of us to Bribie for the day. So we did. On the way, I noticed that I was still wearing my watch and rings (I never take them to the beach, as I don’t like the potential that sand has for damaging them!) and was about to take them off and put them safely into my handbag, when I was distracted (probably by two fighting daughters in the back seat!) and so didn’t. And it wasn’t until we were actually ON the beach, the car unpacked, the kids changed into their swimmers etc that I remembered that I was still wearing them.

I should probably pause and explain… I’m not into jewelry. I wear my engagement ring and my wedding ring and my gold watch. That’s it. And I only wear them when I’m out somewhere – as soon as I’m home, I take off the rings and store them on the watchband; do up the watch again, and presto! Safe. I probably started the habit when my eldest was born, as I didn’t want the stones to scratch her when I was picking her up so constantly, but now it’s a bit of a habit.

Anyway, we got home from the day at Bribie tired and happy. And the following morning, headed off to church. I opened the section of my handbag where I usually keep the watch / rings… and they weren’t there. Back home, after church, I check the box where I leave them… and they weren’t there. I go back out to the car, check the glovebox, the floor… no. I go to the Pajero, check the glovebox, the floor, the centre console… no. I panic. They’re gone. Completely. Gone.

Questions, guilt, more questions, more guilt. Why can’t I remember! I must have taken them off at the beach… but maybe that was just before my youngest crawled head-first into the water and got knocked over by a wave?

A week goes by. A very very very sad week. I was coming up 15 years married and had lost my rings. Worse – I couldn’t even remember when I had removed them and where I had put them. Hubby suggests calling the Bribie Police Station. Sure, I say, but don’t. (I’ve mentioned how depressed I get, haven’t I.) The following weekend it rains, or we’re busy, or something. Anyway, we don’t go back to Bribie. I don’t think I would have handled it too well, if Hubby had even suggested it. He keeps reminding me of the Bribie Police. I say, ‘Stop nagging.’

Monday after lunch. The eldest is at school and the younger two have gone down for their naps. I can’t put it off anymore. I call Bribie Police. Teary, I tell the constable my story. She asks me to describe them. I do.

She them says, “You’re not going to believe this. They’ve been handed in, not half an hour ago. A lady found them on the beach this morning – well, her husband did – and she wanted to hand them in straight away because she knew that whoever had lost them would be devastated.”

I die. (Well, not literally, but pretty darn close!) I bundle the kids into the car, rush down to Bribie Police Station, and reclaim my beloved watch and rings. Oh my GOD!!!!! How absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I had been praying, and praying, and praying, all week. And here they were again – back on my ring finger; back on my wrist – without even any extra tarnish for their eight days in the sun, wind, rain, exposed to the salt and the sand!

How awesome is my God?!! Pretty darn! I was completely blown away. Incredulous. And so, so, so grateful. I had thought them gone literally forever, and been in various stages of mourning and denial. But they had been preserved somehow… heck! The watch hadn’t even lost a minute! How absolutely INCREDIBLE is my God!!!

Anyway, that’s it. The sixth, of six ‘most momentous events in my life’. The list is complete. A little sad, in a way. A little grey. But touched with golden around the edges, for a challenge completed successfully. And as for the next? I haven’t decided yet. Might go sleep on it.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. And, dear readers, have a lovely night!

Tigger vs Rabbit

Today marks the end of my week-long posting series. (It was actually meant to finish yesterday, but I kinda piked out last Thursday due to the Queensland floods.) But anyway, this is the seventh ‘Important Word in my life’, inspired both by the the American Dialect Society’s ‘Word of the Year’ and by @fionawb‘s #blog12daysxmas posts. So, to sum up:

Word 1 was ‘integrity’, Word 2 was ‘restless’, and Word 3, ‘blessed’. I realised that ‘history’ should probably be Word number 4, never having previously comprehended the depth of my emotional attachment to the city of my childhood until it was destroyed in the floods. Word 5 ‘organised’ offset the ‘openly emotional’ of Word 6. And today? The final day? I think it would be remiss of me to not include ‘responsibility’. As in, something which I feel weighs heavily on my shoulders.

I think I’ve always been a responsible person. Maybe it comes of being a middle child. Maybe because I was the girl between two boys. But I can’t ever remember a time when I haven’t felt as though ‘goofing off’ was morally irresponsible. Weird, looking back! Once, I led a devotion at Caloundra Christian College, comparing A.A.Milne‘s characters of Tigger and Rabbit. Tigger, the playful one who bounces through life, oblivious to the damage he causes to others, and Rabbit, the grumpy ‘it must be done properly, in an orderly manner’ one. My point was that as teachers, we shouldn’t force our Rabbit ways on our Tigger students if (as happened in the example I gave) the end result is the same. I was speaking from a wealth of experience. I am far more of a Rabbit than a Tigger. It’s funny, cos Tigger is my favourite of the whole cast of characters! (Maybe it’s true – that opposites attract?) Anyway. I’d say that ‘responsibility’ is an apt choice for my seventh and final word important to me. That reflects the person I think myself to be.

Looking over the list, it seems pretty bleugh. But that may just be my perception. As I mentioned previously, for each character trait I tend to see the negative outweigh the positive. But that’s okay. The list is finished now. So let’s move on to something more fun. More interesting. And I’ll try to present six of them. Momentous events in my life. (That way, I’ll cover that ‘cult’ story I mentioned the other day.)

So… til tomorrow, dear readers – stay safe and well!

Words, words, words…

As the Bard had Hamlet say, a few hundred years ago, “though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down”. The written word can be so powerful. Truth needs to play a balancing act with tact. Words, words, words. They’ve been on my mind of late, and not only since commencing blogging 19 days ago. (Only four more days and it’s a fully fledged habit, isn’t that right? They say it takes three weeks…)

@fionawb used her 12 posts in #blog12daysxmas to regale us with 12 important words in her life. Graham Kell, my pastor at Chancellor Park Community Church, mentioned yesterday that the 2010 Word of the Year was ‘App’. Both of these got me wondering about the application of important words in my own life. If I had a ‘word of the day’ each day, what would it be? Could I find seven words important to me, enough to fill a week’s worth of posts? I didn’t know, but I’m planning to find out. And by the end of this week, we can all see just how well I went! So. The ‘Word of the Day’ for today? Day One of seven ‘Important Words in my Life”…

Integrity. A concept I like to think that I live my life by. “My word is my bond.” I want to be a person who is trustworthy. If I commit to something, I want to be able to see it through, “come hell or high water”. I guess it stems from my pride, which I have in spades. (And yes, I know that that’s not necessarily a good thing.) But be that as it may, I’ll keep my word once I give it. And hopefully, that’s not so bad. (And on another ‘word-related’ thought, I thought it’d be fun to include a few clichés in my writing this week. How many can you find?)

Anyway, that’s it. My Day One offering – integrity. Tune in tomorrow for Day Two’s word… and have a lovely day today, dear readers!