Life momentous events More about me

Weighty matters

I read Scott Pape’s column from time to time. “The Barefoot Investor”, he calls himself, as he comments in a down-to-Earth, no nonsense manner on all matters financial.

One particular column stood out recently, on “investing in a good night’s sleep” where he hummed and hawed about purchasing a weighted blanket, did lots of research, then finally shelled out the money for one. And the results – much better sleep – were surprising.

So I did the same. I’d heard of them, and been pondering looking into the idea for a while, however Scott Pape’s article had me thinking ‘if it’s good enough for him…’ so I copied his process. Did my research, bought the blanket I thought was best… and I am literally AMAZED at my sleep now! It’s been 6 nights and I feel like I’m sleeping better than I have in decades. Seriously. It’s like I’ve reverted to my sleeping habits from my early twenties, when I’d fall asleep quickly, stay asleep (or fall asleep in minutes if woken up) and then awaken refreshed. It’s crazy!

It’s made me happy about the idea of sleeping again. And I can honestly say this is the one. I shan’t be buying another blanket ever again.

Have a restful day yourself, dear Reader!


Random thoughts


This traffic light is my friend. Since the local council decided the road needed… something (not too sure what they’re doing behind the barriers,) this timered traffic light and I spend time together almost every morning.

It adds a good fifteen minutes to my routine, which I don’t particularly like. Nor do I like that they’ve forecasted this one-lane-only setup to last until October. That’s another SIX MONTHS, people! It’s already been almost three!

Enough to make me think of quitting the gym-  but I enjoy it too much, so I’ve decided I’ll just suck it up and deal with the hassle.

This morning though, as I passed the queued traffic, waiting on the other side, the first car waiting was the police, doing their rounds. Suddenly my once-a-day visit to my local roadworks didn’t seem so bad. It’s voluntary, at least!

How about you, dear Reader? Had any cases of ‘seeing another perspective’ recently?

And, as always, have a fantastic week!

– KRidwyn

Life Random thoughts

On sleep…

So I’ve been a self-diagnosed insomniac for years now. And I’ve kinda always prided myself on what I’ve been able to accomplish on minimal unconscious time.

But I’m coming to the realisation that these days I can do less and less.

And that saddens me.

Time was, I could go to bed at 2am, get up at 4am, do a 16 hour day, or an 18 hour day, or perhaps even more… and do it all again the following day.

No more though.

I’ve always been an early riser. At the moment, I’m up at around the 4 – 4.15am mark. And I love that. I love my morning routine, and I never want to give it up.

But it’s meaning that I can’t stay up too late at night. And that’s the bit I don’t like. I crave the ‘me’ time I get, after the cherubs are in bed for the night. Perhaps I’m just being a little too selfish? Wanting ‘me’ time prior to 6am, and again in the evenings?

I’ve been told I’m a pragmatic person. Realistic. Maybe I am; I don’t see it myself. And I certainly don’t want to acknowledge it in this particular set of circumstances! I want to have my awake time and keep my patience (and my sanity) too 🙁

I guess that’s my arrogance talking though, yeh? And that’s a little embarrassing.

So I’m going to stop typing now. And try this week to (as a wise friend once suggested) be ‘rhythmic in my rest’. Feel free to join me in a ‘seeking sleep’ quest this week 🙂 or not, too 🙂

Either way, have a great week, dear Reader!
— KRidwyn

Life places to visit teaching Work

[This post is a cheat]

Well – kinda.

It’s still me writing, at my desk, putting words onto the little white rectangle on the computer screen in front of me.

But it’s not Monday morning, the 17th of September, 9am.

It’s last week (well, it will be last week, by the time you read this – and I know that this sentence isn’t grammatically correct from when I write this, but it’ll make sense when you read this later… I hope!) and yes, there *is* indeed a very valid reason for this cheating post, which I’ve written and scheduled ahead of time.

I’m in Canberra right now. Or Sydney. Or en route to one of those places. At this point in the planning of the event (because it hasn’t happened yet) I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.

But Hubby is at home with Miss10 and Master9 and my mum, keeping the house fire burning (although maybe not, because the weather’s starting to warm up nicely and it might be too hot by the time this post is published, to need a nightly fire) because Miss13 and I are with sixty-nine other 12- and 13-year olds, enjoying (ha! hopefully ‘surviving’, at least) a week-long camp to our nation’s capital and other ‘worthwhile to visit for educational purposes’ places.

Hence the need to post ahead of time. I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at 9am on Monday 17th September, but I *do* know that multiple kids will be there. All with pre-teen and early-teen needs, which is to say MULTITUDES!

Sigh. I’m tired now, even just thinking about it. And I haven’t even started packing yet.

So. That’s what my week’s going to be like. How about you?

– KRidwyn

Life teaching Work

And… it’s all over :)

until 2020, anyway! The CCC musical, Conundrum, was an absolute blast… and now the adrenaline is wearing off, I’m realising I’m the most exhausted I’ve ever felt in my life. And my back is SORE!

But it was worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces. And I learned heaps too 🙂

And check out these beauties!!!

Very blessed.

See you next week… I’ll have managed some sleep by then!

God bless,

– KRidwyn

#blogjune Blogging challenges

Sipping from the saucer #20

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #20.

Yesterday was a huge day. I left home soon after 4am for my stupid-o’clock-gym-session which I absolutely adore and wouldn’t miss for the world, and didn’t get home from work til almost 10pm. That’s a lot of hours, if you don’t mind my saying!

So today between classes, I headed down to the chapel at my school to finish taking down, and packing away, the display that I’d created for last night’s event. I’d already done some, earlier in the day, but had needed to stop at about halfway through, for meetings and classes and the like. So I was planning to finish up quickly, because I had limited amount of time before my lunchtime playground duty.

Imagine my surprise to find it had all been done for me! What an incredible blessing, because it saved me what felt like (in my exhausted state, that is!) a HUGE amount of time! The facilities manager had organised for it all to be done. He’s a fantastic bloke 🙂

So that was my blessing for today. How about you, dear Reader? What were you blessed by today?

– KRidwyn

#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Christianity teaching Work

26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #21

I’m an insomniac. Not chronically, but fairly regularly. It doesn’t particularly bother me, most of the time, because I know I’m able to cope with whatever comes my way… but ever so often, the sleepless nights will build up to such an extent that it starts worrying me, and I’ll wonder if I’m ever getting to get a proper night’s sleep again. The sense of relief when that night’s sleep *does* come is just beautiful!

That’s what happened last night.

For over a week now, it’s been Mr7 who’s the main reason for my wakefulness  – he’d have a nightmare, I’d get up to him, and then I’d be unable to fall asleep again for hours and hours.

And yes, last night he also got me up at just gone 11.30pm. But I got back to bed again before midnight.

And at 5.48am this morning, I woke up. I LOVE this feeling of having slept!!!

Now in my opinion, sleep isn’t such a big deal. Not in the grander scheme of things. I know that if I’d had yet another sleepless night, that this morning would still have come, and I’d still have coped with whatever today has in store for me… but it’s lovely that I can face it with a larger reserve of patience under my belt! [Right now I’m reminded of the Robert Ludlum JASON BOURNE series. “Rest is a weapon,” Jason Bourne said regularly :)]

But I also know that God cares about it. Because in the book of Matthew, chapter 10, verses 29 to 31, Jesus says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

He knows how many hairs are on my head? He cares about things THAT minutely?

That’s pretty mind-boggling.

Today’s letter in the #AtoZchallenge is ‘U’. And my mum’s cross-stitch shows the Earth being held in two upraised hands, with the words ‘Upholder of all things.”
The verse is Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3. And we’re back to the King James version for this wording:

U“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”.

Modern translations of this verse use the word ‘sustaining’ instead of ‘upholding’: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

He upholds (sustains) ALL things. My sleep included, if I wanted it! A colleague once shared with me, decades ago now, the events surrounding his new-born child’s health. The child had been born VERY sickly (I can’t remember the exact condition) but the doctors were very worried. So my colleague, in great distress, prayed about it. And felt led to pray for very specific things. Instead of ‘please heal my child’, it was ‘ask for her heart rate to slow down’ (the first thing that was needed for her recovery) – so he prayed for her heart rate to slow, and it did. Then the second specific thing that was needed, he prayed for, and her body responded. Then the third thing (I wish I could remember, but it *was* many years ago) and the same thing happened. Several times over, until his new-born child was completely out of danger. The doctors were amazed – as was I, when he told me the story. But that’s God for you: upholder (sustainer) of ALL things. If he numbers even the hairs on our heads, then of COURSE he can work to sustain that new-born’s life.

He could also work in my insomniac issues – if I asked Him to.

Maybe I need to do just that, hey?

God is the ‘Upholder of all things’ – so everything that bothers me, I can bring to Him to deal with. My takeaway lesson for day 21.

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn


Life random scribblings teaching

On death and other such stuff…

So I wrote last week about motivations; what’s the *real* reason behind people – and characters in novels – doing what they do. Is it all explainable? If so, then is it forgiveable? When is a crime a crime? All that kind of thing. I was trying to puzzle out how to go about writing a torture scene for my current WIP (Work in Progress). I was concerned that, having had zero experience with torturing someone – physically, anyway; I’m fairly sure that I hurt people emotionally in my past, and I’m sorry and I regret it – and having zero experience also of being tortured physically, that my writing of a torture scene would be just simply inane. How could I write something successfully when I had – you guessed it, zero! – first hand experience? Yes, imagination is all well and good, but in my opinion it’s not good enough when potential readers *have* real experience of torture, and who may find my treatment of it inane, hurtful, derogatory, deprecating. So I was worried.

And so, after several hours stewing, chewing my nails about it, and so on, I did the only thing I could do. I needed a torture scene, so I sat down and wrote it. As best I could. I guess it’s just a wait-and-see what my beta-readers think of it when I finally get it to them, huh?

I had death on my mind rather more than normal this week. Not only because I wrote my first ever torture scene, in which the character died as a consequence, but also because my doctor suggested it to me on Monday. You see, I was finalising the paperwork for Mr6’s future autism allied health visits, and needed his signature. He signed away happily, then looked at me, and asked how I was going. If I was sick at all. I said yes, I’d been sick since last Thursday, and it had gone through the throat on fire and the runny nose, to my chest. He said, “Come on in, let’s check you out” and ushered me into his office quite smartly. I was surprised, I didn’t have an appointment. Long story short, I was at 50% lung capacity and hadn’t realised. He’d asked me what my athsma was normally like, when I wasn’t having an attack like I was right then. I replied that I wasn’t having an attack, that my breathing had been like that all day. He was very, very concerned. I explained that my reason (there’s that word again!) for not using my ventolin was that, whenever I use it when I have a headcold, the ventolin reacts badly with that nodule on my vocal cords, and I end up with laryngitis for AGES. The last time, it took over 6 weeks to clear. And as a 0.7FTE teacher, I can’t afford to lose my voice.

He said, “Just imagine if you got to the stage where you’re down to only 30%, and you’re in the shower, with all the humidity, trying to get air in, and then something triggered an attack. I’d hate to think what might happen.” Which made me think. Seeing as my husband regularly works a ridiculous-number-of-hours-week, I’m primary care-giver to my three gorgeous cherubs. And I would hate them to be traumatised by one of them finding me curled up on the floor of the bathroom, turning blue, gasping for air, at 10pm at night [not to mention I couldn’t afford the therapist fees], so I reluctantly agreed. Laryngitis versus death. I guess one is infinitely preferable to the other.

I was amused, initially, at how ‘serious’ it all was… until it occurred to me that having only 50% lung capacity was kinda like I’d been walking around and doing stuff with just one lung. So I did as the doc suggested. I bought my own Peak Flow meter (my God, those things are expensive!!!) and have been diligently taking my meds (so much for the ‘drowsy’ side effects; I’ve had insomnia all week) and my stats have slowly risen from the 240 which I blew Monday afternoon, and the low of 150 that I got to on Monday night, back up to the 340 mark. Which is good. Someone of my height should be blowing at around 480, apparently, so I’m getting there.

So yes, death has preoccupied me a little. This morning though, I’m more thinking about pain. Because for the first time in a few weeks, I did my Krav Maga session yesterday morning. And boy, oh boy, am I feeling it today!

Have a great week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Life Review

Over for another year..

Hello again, dear reader.

This marks the final post for my 2015 #blogjune journey. It’s been different to what I had expected. I had *hoped* that I’d be able to post every day. But, just as in the last five years, that never happened. I still managed 30 posts – but because several days had two or more posts in them. And this post marks the 112th post in the #blogjune category – and that sounds pretty impressive to me 🙂

So, to recap for 2015:

1. On the relationship between libraries, teaching and vocal nodules I lamented my not-going-to-Library-volunteering-due-to-laryngitis day

2. Keeping it at bay – the laryngitis, that is – related my happiness at getting so much editing done the day before, and also re-discovering the five (count them! 5!) folders of research that I’d done for a historical novel ten years ago, before Miss10 came along

3. Looking backwards, looking forwards referred to my experiences with #blogjune (cherubs traditionally picking up vomiting bugs during the first week of June) and my excitement about the #WritingRace I attend every Wednesday evening.

4. So I succumbed – Laryngitis got me, finally. It was the choir rehearsals that did it, I tell you!

5. Ask me why I’m happy – Hubby finished his CPA studies!

6. So it happened again – I was *so* hoping to get away with a vomit-free first week of #blogjune. But Miss7 changed that. Sigh.

7. Smiling – while sick : my 41st birthday!

8. Grateful was a post thanking my peeps for all the birthday love – and I finished reading Stephen King’s On Writing 🙂

9 – 14. The next few posts were a series on how I parent. I regularly get comments on the good behaviour of my kids, so I thought I’d blog about why. Things like Rewards First, Stuff Costs Money (understanding the value of things), Set Expectations, Consistency is Key, Make Milestones Memorable and finished it with a post on Mummy: my kids’ perspective

15. This Saturday looked ahead to the Krav Maga grading I was to sit that weekend

16. whoops – where I realised that I’d missed a day of blogging. My first for the month. So I’d made it through to day 15 before misisng a day! Happy with that 🙂

17. Predicting the game – the State of Origin rugby league match, that’s pretty big on the east coast of Australia during June. And I got it right 🙂

18. Training – Miss10 had been giving me back massages all week, possibly in response to the hard training I was doing preparing for my grading. Which was absolutely beautiful!

19. On dreams – I wonder what “being suffocated by render” means?

20. I passed!!! (Still shaking my head in disbelief, actually…)

21. Sabriel – my thoughts on the Garth Nix novel of the same name, which I’d read that afternoon. Being unable to do much else but lie prone, of course!

22. Conversations with my younger children – in which both Miss7 and Mr6 surprised me.

23. Hat-less: a selfie. These are rare. But I felt that my first day without-a-hat since shaving my head for #WorldsGreatestShave back in March was reason enough to grin and bear that rear-facing camera…

24. four days behind  because I was! And my reason why…

25. On socks and sewing – in which I recounted hopeful improvements in my ‘school socks’ system, and also my woeful sewing skills

26. sore – Some furniture was moved in preparation for the laying of tiles which had been delivered – which we had just discovered were the wrong tiles! (Am still seething over this one…)

27. Feedback from beta-readers – my take on the feedback I’ve received on my book to date

28. Tiles – part 2 : situation resolved (we can but hope) where the correct tiles will apparently be delivered next week…

29. Reading time – where I got to the bottom of why Mr6 refuses to read certain words

30. Over for another year – this one that’s you’re reading right now, the recap post where I’ve reminisced on the events of the past month.

Thanks for reading, and here’s wishing you a lovely day, as always!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Random thoughts teaching Work

four days behind…

And I was so proud of how I’d been going with #blogjune this year, too! I guess I hadn’t really realised just how incredibly busy I would be this week. And how little time I’d get to blog. And I’m sad about that.

On paper, this past week seemed a fairly normal week. Sure, I’d have our school’s semester one performance night on Thursday night, but then I’d have Friday off, so I’d be able to recuperate while the kids were at school, and get myself ready for the two weeks of school holidays 🙂

But the reality didn’t match my expectations. Two days of sports carnivals and not-as-helpful-as-I-would-have-liked colleagues meant that although I had *planned* that the performance program order was finalised by Tuesday 9am, so that programs could be written, printed, photocopied, and the powerpoint made… in reality, the program order was only finalised at 12.45pm on Thursday. Dealing with this caused numerous headaches – and the sleepless nights caused by a sick child, and stress over other work issues didn’t make things easier.

Cue swearing and throwing of inanimate objects at other inanimate objects,  (discreetly, of course, where there was noone within earshot, no witnesses, and no harm came to any of the inanimate objects involved,) and a crazy-busy period between 12.45pm and 4pm on Thursday where I managed to get an insanely huge amount of work done WHILE running a choir rehearsal then two Year 3 lessons where the classes were learning and playing recorder (and, of course, fielding several phone calls during this time too) and also collecting two children from their various excursions that had happened that day, and getting Mr6 off to a doctor appointment with Hubby while Miss10 also decided to do a disappearing act on both Hubby and I… just thinking about it, two days later, makes me shake my head and wonder how on earth it all managed to happen! Still, it did, and by 5.45pm, Miss10 and Miss7 and I were fed, ready, and they had also helped me to set up the venue (including supper area, of course, and it was at this point that I realised that I had NO tea, coffee, milk or sugar organised. Whoops.) Cue more swearing (inside my head because students and parents were arriving for the 6pm performance) and some immensely helpful parents, and then it was 6.02 and I was on stage, welcoming everyone to our major evening for Semester One.

Home and collapse by 11pm. But you know those nights when you have so much adrenalin you can’t sleep? That.

And then Hubby couldn’t do the school run on Friday, so the kids stayed underfoot all day. But 95 square metres of tiles *did* get delivered at 5.15pm that day, ready for laying starting 7am this coming Monday, so from then til this minute, I’ve been attempting to empty 95 square metres of furniture out of my house so that the tiles can be laid. And that particular task hasn’t been anywhere near as successful as I’d like it to have been.

So. Four days late for my 24 of June #blogjune entry. Whoops. But I think my excuse is valid, yes?

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn