Life Random thoughts teaching

4/52 On happiness

I’ve decided that I need to slow down; be aware of where I am and what I am doing.

You see, the other week I was told I’d be teaching a Year 7 Art class this semester. To be exact, it was to co-teach with the Art teacher… but my first reaction was to panic.

So I’ve reflected quite a bit since then, coming to grips with ‘why do I feel this way’…and I’ve realised that it’s my ‘busy-busy-busy’ mindset that I’ve developed over 49 years that’s caused it. The way. I figure: if I “cram as much as possible into life” then certain things are more valuable, time-wise, than others. In other words, I’m “too busy” to sit and draw. Or sit and paint. Or sit, even. (Even when watching TV with Hubby, I’m back to crotcheting, seeing as I now no longer have books to cover.)

I’m not sure I particularly like this about myself. If I’m rushing through life, am I even enjoying it? Hubby said once that I made roadrunner look slow. Which was funny… but in hindsight, also an indictment?

So I’ve started trying, intentionally, to be observant of my ‘moments’. Which brings me to my beetle, and my puppy.

You see, I had my beautiful bug serviced the week just gone. And it was discovered that the back pair of tyres was 7 years old. The front pair, however, was 22!

So on Tuesday just gone, I drove it back up to Cooroy to drop it off, and then collected it Thursday evening with 5 brand new tyres. And on the drive home, my 12 month old kelpie, Kiya, sat beside me.

And life was good. Driving my beautiful bug, kelpie by my side, happy and healthy and at the beginning of a long weekend (happy Australia Day, for those of you who celebrate it!) was such a pleasure! And all the more so, realising that I was ‘awake’ in that moment and knowing it for the joy that it was.

Sigh. May I be cognizant of many more… and I wish the same for you too, dear Reader!

Have a wonderful week 🙂

#Springinyourstep family anecdotes


Mum has a new friend. Her first ever dog. ‘Trav’ – the travelling dog 🙂

Isn’t he just adorable!

Have a lovable month yourself, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn
Random thoughts

On ‘focus’

Check out my boy! I’ve taken to running with him in the mornings, down to my writing spot. Here he’s intently waiting for a bird to fly low enough to be caught… willing him down with that stare, he hopes.

Unsurprisingly, the bird didn’t succumb. Not for lack of trying on my dog’s part though 🙂

Have a ‘focused’ week yourself, dear Reader!


#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges family anecdotes

K is for ‘kitten’

I’ve always preferred cats to dogs – or so I thought, until falling in love with my first dog when Hubby and I, newlyweds, visited a German Shepherd breeder.

I fell, hard. We bought one, and drove him home, naming him ‘Smudge’ just before he decided to vomit on my lap. (Lucky the towel he was wrapped in caught the majority of it!) At home, we introduced him to our Ragdoll kitten, ‘Rascal’, and there we were – married just a few short months, and a ‘family’ of four already!

The years passed, and pets came and went. After Rascal though, there were just dogs. Even now, we have Aksel (another German Shepherd) and Rocky (Australian Cattle Dog, and the best snake-killer you’ve ever seen…) but no cats.

And I’ve decided I miss them. So once the renovations are completed, we’ll be getting another one. I must admit – I’m looking forward to that day more than I realised!

So let’s hear it for the kitten 🙂

And have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

family anecdotes

Dumb move. Real dumb.

Don’t you hate it when you hear yourself saying something, and as the words leave your mouth you instantly know you’ve said the wrong thing? You mentally kick yourself for saying it, but by the time you realise what’s just happened, the damage is done. Even if you’d like to take it back, it’s impossible. No matter how hard you try! The mistake is irreversible.

That was me, just last week. I guess it *is* a funny story though…

It all started when one of my best friends invited me and my family to her place for dinner. She had thought that my girls will be entranced by the guinea pigs that she had just bought for her three kids, but they were far more taken by her fish tank. You see, we have two tanks (mine and Miss 7’s) but our tanks are nothing like hers. Compared to hers, ours appeared dull and lifeless. Hers looked like an aquatic paradise!

One of the main differences was the sheer amount of weed in her tank, that made it look so interesting, and fun to watch the fish darting around, and (apparently!) playing ‘Tiggy’ and ‘Hide and Seek’. So the following day, the kids and I visited a local pet shop.

Unfortunately, this particular pet shop had its ‘Live weed’ tank separated quite a distance from the fish tanks. In fact, it was adjacent to a large cage full of newborn kittens. And yes, you can probably tell where this story is heading. Yes, the kids came with me to look at what the ‘shop guy’ was doing. Yes, they got bored because it was just a tank of weed, and there weren’t any interesting fish to look at in said tank. Yes, they started whingeing. So yes, I *did* try to distract them by pointing out the kittens. As in, the same kittens which they had, up until that point, been *completely* and *utterly* oblivious to.

Long story short, it would seem that we now have to buy a kitten for our family. Yay…

Oh – and this is my tank, with $25 worth of weed to make it more interesting. Yes – it doesn’t go too far when it’s such a large tank! Hopefully though, it’ll grow… LOL!


family anecdotes More about me Random thoughts

My dogs

When I was growing up, I was a ‘cat’ person. I never really thought about being a ‘dog’ person. To me, they were smelly, loud, rough creatures that I knew of but had little do to with. My family had a cat. We had ducks. We had mice. We had guinea pigs, and fish. But no dogs.
So the first time I bought a puppy, I was 23 years old. Hubby and I had been married for a couple of years, and we owned a gorgeous grey “Ragdoll” cat named Rascal, but we were just browsing in a big pet barn one day (I have no idea why we were there; we just were…) and we both saw him at the same time. And it was love at first sight.
He was a male German Shepherd puppy, 7 weeks old, all floppy ears and huge floppy paws. We named him “Smudge” and he was a great dog. Huge (eventually), dominant, but completely loyal. And he loved us, and he loved chasing Rascal. But mostly he loved Patch, the blue healer we bought about a year later. The two became inseparable, and so it was hard when we had to put Smudge down. But that same afternoon, a very emotional Hubby bought our second Shepherd, Storm. She was from a breeder, and had a ‘glamour’ coat, which is halfway between a long haired and a short haired coat. Again, she was a gorgeous dog. Very sweet nature. She coped tremendously with a grieving Patch, and when he eventually needed to be put down (cancer), was more than happy to accept a black labrador pup, who we named Max.

Just a few years ago, Storm passed on. She’d eaten something she shouldn’t and her death was sudden and very traumatic for Hubby, who had lost his sister just a few months prior. Max soldiered on, half blind, mostly deaf, and partially lame, and bravely dealt with the puppy attacks of Aksel, Hubby’s next German Shepherd pup (short haired, this time). Then late last year, when we knew that Max was getting the worse for wear  – Aksel was just too boisterous for him – we bought Rocky. He was a 7 month old Blue Heeler, whose owner, being physically disabled and about to move into a home, was no longer able to keep him. Aksel and Rocky bonded pretty quickly, and although they both were confused by Max’s passing in early January this year, their close friendship meant that there wasn’t the ‘grieving’ that our other dogs seems to go through.

Phew! That was a longer story than I had expected it would be!

Anyway, I started this entry with cats, so that’s how I’ll finish it. You see, I miss having a cat. But I don’t know how one would fit into our lives right now…

family anecdotes Life

Fish tanks and fun

I wrote last week about Cuddles, Miss 7’s new, free (!) teddybear. And how he sits next to her new fishtank. I’ve written about her tank before, bout how she saved her pocket money for weeks and weeks, until she could afford a tank from the Caboolture markets, then she saved for the filter, and the fish, and so on and so on. We had the learning opportunities that came with overfeeding Whitey, and then a sad episode – his passing.
But the end of the tank itself, came rather unexpectedly. We got home from her swimming lessons, very late one hot Wednesday, and Miss 7 asked why the water had gone down from her tank. I looked at mine, noticed the water as gone down slightly, then started to explain about hot days, evaporation, and all things sciency. It wasn’t until I was in her room an hour or so after that I noticed that the carpet under her desk was wet. So was her chair. So we’re the papers she’d left on her desk. Then it clicked. That line, down the side of her tank, was not just Miss 4’s over enthusiastic penmanship. It was a crack. I was NOT impressed!!!
We’d been out all day. The kids, and I, were exhausted. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a fish rescue and wet carpet. Still, it had to be done, as Hubby wasn’t going to be home for hours yet, and there was the dinner to cook, kids to fed and bathe and get to bed…
So Miss 7’s fish went into my tank until I could get her a new one. She was worried that she’d have to save for it all over agin, but I thought I’d be a nice mummy and just buy it for her. Especially as I’d decided that a plastic tank would be all that she was getting!
Some weeks, and many many many shops later, all I had been able to find that was suitable was another glass tank. And I had exhausted all available alternatives. So glass tank number two was what we ended up with. And I’m just praying that it’ll last longer the glass tank number one did!!’

Bloxham Marketing family anecdotes Life More about me teaching Technology Work


Squashed. Like a bug that’s been steamrolled. That’s how I’m feeling after this week. I mean, I knew it was going to be a biggie, going into it, but didn’t really expect to be feeling like this at its conclusion…

Monday was work day. Head down, bum up, get-a-heap-of-things-done day, because the rest of the week would be drive-around-like-crazy day. It didn’t help that I had negative-gig left in my data quota due to a mix-up with Telstra this time last month. But, I had to get it done, so done it got.

Tuesday morning I spent at St Paul’s, getting stuff done on campus – stuff which would have been nigh-on impossible to do remotely, then it was pick-up-the-kids-from-care-and-drive-up-to-Minyama for my last (sob) Speech Therapy session with Suzanne at Sunshine Coast Speech Therapists. Lovely lady. Truly lovely. And even though that nodule on my right vocal cord isn’t gone yet, at least now I have some techniques to speak properly without exacerbating it – and hopefully it will go over time. Then I taught that evening.

Wednesday morning was meant to be playgroup-before-podiatirist, but Miss 4 and Mr 2 weren’t going to cope too well with that, so we ended up just visiting our neighbour in the morning, then heading out to collect Miss 7 early form school and driving down to Brisbane for her Podiatry appointment, then driving back to Caboolture for her swimming lesson, before driving to Morayfield for a *fun* time grocery shopping, then finally back up the Coast to home.

Thursday was diagnosis day. Miss 4 got dropped off at my mum’s at Currimundi while Mr 2 came to Nambour (Selangor Hospital) with me. Autism diagnosis confirmed, he then spent the afternoon back at my mum’s villa while I visited Tullawong Primary College, Medicare, the Family Assisstance Office, CentreLink, and finally Telstra (Yay! Got the internet working on my iPhone again!) before collecting the kids and heading home exhausted…

And Friday, I relief taught a very full-on Prep class. And Miss 4 managed to lose one sandal at care. One half of her favourite (and only!) pair of sandals. And Hubby fell victim to an unfortunate accident – our HUGE German Shepherd pup tripped him up badly in their morning run – which not only meant that a) he spent the majority of the day visiting doctors (X-ray of right wrist revealed just tissue damage thank God!) and dentists (teeth shaken about and chipped, but little other damage) and b) being laughed at because he’s limping and looks a sight – and his dog did it to him, but also that he’s completely out of action when it comes to helping with the kids because they don’t understand that they can’t jump on him anymore – plus he has zero use of his right hand / wrist anyway.

And Saturday morning was family-time. Half-great; half-tragic. I guess it’s no wonder that I spent most of Saturday afternoon yawning, if not dozing / less-than-conscious. Which is why I’m blogging now, at 3.07am Sunday morning. Nuff said?!

Phew! And it looks as though this coming week will be almost as full on…!!!

#blog12daysxmas places to visit Random thoughts

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 doesn’t want to play nice with me at the moment. )

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!

#blog12daysxmas Random thoughts

Nine ladies dancing…

By now, there would be a lot of birds at the singer’s house. Just a quick tally tells us that there would be: 9 partridges, 16 turtle doves, 21 hens, 24 colly birds, 25 pheasants, 25 geese and 21 swans. There would also be at least one cow (although it’s more likely that there would be AT LEAST eight of them!) and eight milkmaids. So – to today’s gift. Let’s just add nine ladies, shall we? And yes, they’ll probably have to dance just to get around all the others! (Although that’s not entirely true. The 21 swans should be in the lake, you’d think. The requirement was that they be excellent swimmers…) And perhaps that’s why the lords coming tomorrow need to be skilled in leaping?! Hehe! Still, it’s an interesting household to ponder.

Speaking of pondering, I’m going to continue this thought with my head on my pillow. It’s been a long one today, and I’m exhausted. Sunburnt too, which makes it more pronounced, I think. Sorry it’s a short one today, dear readers.

See you tomorrow!