??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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Halloween

Do you celebrate Halloween?  It’s becoming a much bigger craze now in Australia.  About 10 years ago it wasn’t a large scene. Some did it but it wasn’t uncommon to not pass a “trick or treater ‘while out on an evening walk. Nowadays the supermarkets display the Halloween signs, adorning shelves and shelves of lollies. They sell special pumpkins as well as decorative baskets to hold lollies received in the travels of the ’trick of treaters’. Our local party shop has every decoration and costume imaginable … and some I didn’t want to imagine!

cat haloween

As a parent (lucky this escalated after my kids outgrew the idea) I’m not sure I’d want my child wandering aimlessly around streets at dusk. Yes, I was a (ummm my kids might say I still am even though they are self-sufficient  in their 20s )helicopter parent. But, the mere thought of knocking on random doors to collect random lollies from strangers scares me to the bone.  These strangers might do weird things to the sweets before handing them over. Definitely any unwrapped lolly would be bin designated without a thought. Even the wrapped lollies would be looked over with such scrutiny any chocolate would be melted by the body heat from my fingers. I think I’d rather just give my kids some lolly bags and cover all safety bases.

Also, the costumes can be truly bizarre! This blog gives a perspective on this. Is that really what we want our children thinking? Also, is it nice to imply to people who you choose to visit that if they don’t reward you they will receive a trick. Is this a form of bullying?

witch

Must admit, we do prepare a bit for the night and buy a few packets of really nice chocolates for my daughter and me to eat while we watch for the kids (who get the cheaper lollies haha). We have once attached a witch toy to our door which cackled and screamed when a sharp clap sound happened. A note directed the children to clap to alert our attention.  Most ran screaming up the driveway at the unexpected noise , but feeling bad I would then send my daughter to chase them with a treat . Last year (I’m not big on cleaning outside) a neighbour decorated her house with fake webs and spiders. The children then arrived at our door and one was overheard to say “Wow this house has REAL webs and spiders!” She got a good chocolate haha.

pumpkin

So, does Halloween cross the politically correct line, or is it just a bit of fun for kids to dress up and receive enough sugar to keep them hyped up for a few days?

Have your kids (or you) gone ‘trick or treating’? Tell me some stories of their adventures, any fears you have had or the laughs (or perhaps a windfall – I once taught a   little girl who walked the streets of a fairly elitist suburb and most houses gave her a gold coin and there were a lot of houses!!! )

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Onesies

I have noticed a new store has opened in my local shopping centre…A Onesie Store. I had a look inside . The sizes ranged from toddlers to extra large adults. The designs were in many animals forms. Of the animals , some were ‘true to life’ . In colours. Others were animals in very bright colours and some were abstract animals.

I know many of my friends own onesies. I’ve seen many people (toddlers to adults ) wearing them. But, I don’t get them. Where did the trend start… Or who started it?
I see their worth as fancy dress but I’m sure there must be more to it than that.

Do you own a onesie? Where do you wear it? Can you save my google fingers with some information about where / how this trend started ?

Yours in Onesies.


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FRIDAY FICTIONEERS

broken

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/25-october-2013/

“Mum my organ isn’t working!”

Hitting the keys– no sound. Why always on Christmas morning? Why can’t Santa leave toys that work? Just once!!

The roast is cooking, minutes before pork crackling becomes char, potatoes crunchy enough to be mistaken for pork crackling.

Remove the grey selector. It cracks as I pull it. Nothing out of place. Remove the keyboard to see the wiring. Plastic tearing as I prise it off. I ponder the maze. I can’t fix this.

I glance at the power point in the “OFF”.

Guess I didn’t heed” IF IT AIN”T BROKE DON’T FIX IT !


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The Ants went marching …

Today I bought a replacement dishwasher. The other one had had enough and no longer heated water. I had a repair man out a few weeks ago to see if it was a minor repair needed, or a “Go Shopping” expedition. It was the latter.

Off we went today. The dishwasher we chose was in stock and with a AWD big enough to carry it my husband and I collected it so we didn’t have to wait for delivery. I was already a little apprehensive. I said we would have to find an installer – my husband said he would do it (apparently he did the last one at that had lasted 14 years). My husband though, has handyman skills equivalent to my baking and sewing crafts… and let’s face it, unlike a burnt cake if this dishwasher was destroyed in the process of installation it wasn’t going to fit in the garbage bag, nor would I be able to shrug and say , “Well it’s only a $5 packet mix”.

The drive home was non-eventful. My husband even got the dishwasher from the back of the jalopy without a bang, scratch or obscenity when we arrived home. With the new dishwasher in the garage he had to remove the old one from the kitchen. It is here the fun and games began.

Having just had a tradesman out to look at the dishwasher I thought the floor would hold no little surprises, as the dishwasher had been pulled out and the floor cleaned before his arrival. It wasn’t too bad then, a bit of a cobweb and some dust. We are lucky the only bugs we have a tiny black ants that seem to sneak in at night –  I blame the changes in  weather.

Well lucky I thought!!!!!!   I was sitting on the lounge playing on my iPad when I hear my husband say “Ants” in a loud voice. I reply , “Yes , I don’t know where they are coming from but they usually only appear at night.” He beckons me over and there before my eyes was a black army of ants!!!  I’m not talking many I’m talking armies of the world!!! Take a look for yourself!

  Back of dishwasher

ants

 

photo(14)

Inside the cavity where the dishwasher sat

photo(15)

Looking into the cavity…Yes they are ants on the floor!

Frantic because I hate the smell of squashed ants, and I not having insect repellent because I try to eliminate chemical use, the only way to clear this was by hand and a wet cloth…and with the  stench of squashed ants permeating my nostrils, I worked hard and fast .

I filled a bucket with hot soapy water and began washing down all the surfaces. I was kneeling on the hard tiles but the pain didn’t bother me. I was far to intent on eliminating these ants from my home now. I had tried to live cooperatively with them but look at what they did in return for my kindness!! I stood up, knees creaking  and tipped the ant filled water down the kitchen  sink and began to fill the bucket again. As the tap filled the bucket, my feet felt a trickle of water cover my toes. I hadn’t over filled the bucket – the sink didn’t have a plug in it accidentally.

ARGGGHHHHH!!  My handy husband had forgotten to tell me that before he pulled the dishwasher from the cavity (discovering the ants) he had removed all the fittings from beneath the sink (with the hoses from the old dishwasher gone now, there were large gaping holes on the downpipe that allowed water to flow into the cupboard then seep under the closed doors onto my feet. Another mess to clean up!

Ants gone, cupboard dry, floor dry I sit back to allow my husband to refit the hoses . Seems nothing else can go wrong. Yeah right! The new hoses have a square feature on them and the last had round and we all know, the square box will not fit through the round hole. Last I heard my husband was calling his brother to borrow a drill to make the hole bigger. Guess what I was doing – using the online phone book to find a dishwasher installer …JUST IN CASE  (and a carpenter – you never know )

Oh and do you know any non toxic hints on keeping the ants away? From the amount of sweeping and cleaning I do I don’t think its crumbs attracting them.

 

 

 


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The world is your classroom

 

(Wrote this yesterday but problems with my site meant I had no access until today  )

Today World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in Australia. I knew this day existed but new nothing really about it despite being a primary school teacher. It is apparently celebrated internationally on the first Friday of October but as that is within the Australian school holidays, it is celebrated on the 25th October here. Barry O’Farrell , Premier of NSW wrote a message to teachers.

This morning still fatigued from the kindergarten to Year 2 Athletics Fun Day held yesterday (I’m guessing the kids slept well after their busy day) I’d arrived at school and followed my normal routine of preparation. The prize box was freshly filled, books out, smartboard logged on, pencils sharpened, windows opened, awards written for assembly later that day, picked up some printing of labels for the wall decorating art work then I took a moment to look over the room from my desk with 20 minutes left until the children come into class.

It was then I received a message from the parents of a boy in my class (taught his brother 3 years earlier).

Names have been erased 🙂

photo

That a parent had taken the time to write this thank you message to celebrate their child’s learning ,with me as an important link, thrilled me. As a teacher I strive to be the best one I can and for the children to be the best they can. I always try to instill in the children a love of learning to last a lifetime, not to pass a test.  When out  in the community  I’m especially pleased when students I have taught ,some as long ago as  20 years ago, (am I really that old??? ) approach me to say hello. I don’t always remember their names but once told I can always relate a personal memory story of our time in class together – and the mere fact that they bother to speak to me humbles me.

I can honestly say I love my job. Although you no doubt will see me complain about report writing here over the next few weeks, in reality I enjoy the opportunity to share the knowledge I have learned about each child throughout the year. Watching the steps each child makes, I feel the hardship of each tumble and the elation with each success as they rise from the tumble. I feel honoured to be a part of helping to shape tomorrows leaders. So , thank you parents for sharing your most precious children with me!!

And to those teachers out there who taught my children I send a special thank you too. They nurtured my children at school, helped them to explore new horizons, helped develop in my kids the strength to believe in themselves … the list is far, far to long to record here! To see the wonderful adults they have grown into, with a never ending passion to learn, is testament to not just me and my husband,  but their teachers  too.

Education is not a series of NAPLAN and HSC results throughout the years of schooling. Education is something we take from all facets of our lives, and if my classes learns just that at school I feel I have been successful.

People say we are lucky for the amount of holidays we teachers get. I say we are lucky but it is  for the opportunities we get each day interacting with the most precious resource ever …children- the future.


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Scared????

An Introduction –

Trifextra prompt.

  Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, wrote, “It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”  We are looking for a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character).  We already know you’re intelligent, so, according to Paterson, you should have no shortage of potential subject matter

My list is extremely long and in fact 33 words could never do it justice. I have chosen to  short list  a few in my entry.

I chose to pen my word so they could be sung to the tune of “My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music (definitely NOT scary to me). With my fears I could complete the whole tune not just the first verse as I have submitted here. J So , onto a 33-word explanation response  of what scares me!!!!

 ___________________________________________________________________________

“Well-

The evil world taking hold of my children

Clowns with thick make up and also mask wearers

Cars whizzing fast and the number thirteen

These are a few of my scariest things!”

___________________________________________________________________________

 

What scares you? Look forward to hearing from you.


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triskaidekaphobia

I suffer from triskaidekaphobia. I’m not sure it’s contagious but it was passed to me by my mother (who had a superstition for even the superstitions ). What is triskaidekaphobia – it’s a fear of the number 13. I’m much better with this than I used to be but it still bothers me.

I won’t book row 13 seats on planes. My rational self tells me if this row has a problem on the plane there won’t be much chance for the rest of plane …but, well you never know.

I will not book a room 13 or 13th floor in a hotel, and though I love upgrades I would never take it in these rooms. When my grown up kids went on their first holiday to New Zealand they booked their own holiday. It wasn’t until they returned that they dared tell me the floor number of the hotel they were in. You guessed it I’m sure !

I found this interesting piece online (follow the link)

Even in the modern world, superstitions hold immense sway over people’s daily lives. “Several surveys of Americans suggest that roughly half say they are at least slightly superstitious,” said Stuart Vyse, professor of psychology at Connecticut College. “A 2007 Gallup poll found that 13 percent of Americans would be bothered by staying on the13th floor of a hotel. Nine percent would be bothered enough to ask for a different room.”

Oh the irony in the numbers contained in the statistics referred to in this passage.

 

I would never have that number guests to a gathering. I’d invite extras to get around it or cull numbers at a lower number.

I was so stressed when the 13th loomed near the birth of both my children. When it ticked over to the 14th for my son , then the 26th (halve this number if you dare!)ticked over before the birth of my daughter I was so relieved. I know many have it as their birthday, but its not their fear.

I’m always conscious of Friday 13th. When I notice it coming up I do have a dread in my heart .

So, as this year has carried this number and I’ve had to say it and write it too often for me to know , it is with much excitement I look forward to 2014!!!

Right now I’m trying to plan a really special way to celebrate New Years Eve . I want to wave the year off for good and welcome 2014 in… Such a relief! Living reasonably close to Sydney the harbour was my second choice. But , like trying to book accommodation to celebrate on Hamilton Island ( my most favourite destination in the world and first choice for this occasion) , I have left my run too late to book a room on a good numbered floor , with a view of Sydney Harbour.

I’m happy to travel but not too far as it would only be for about four days as my husband will have to return to work. I thought of Auckland as its going to see the year off first. I don’t want to go west of eastern standard time as it’s only going to drag the year out a bit further.

Have you celebrated the New Year somewhere special ? Have you got some thoughts on where I could go? I look forward to your help with some ideas for me 🙂

The number 13 definitely hasn’t been written that many times this post in either written or numerical form…I know cause I’ve been counting of course 🙂


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Smoke from a distant fire

The weather today has been extremely hot today, with strong winds…a recipe for bushfires.This afternoon the air began getting dense with bushfire smoke. The outcome of this weather combination has resulted in horrific fire outbreaks across NSW.

Images from my home , about 30 kms 'as the crow flies' from the bushfires to the north.

Images from my home , about 30 kms ‘as the crow flies’ from the bushfires to the north.

While houses have been lost, the positive thing ( and in such adversity there still is one ) is no lives have been lost. My hopes are this fact remains . My thoughts are with those evacuated to safer grounds , having fled the monstrous fires. My inconvenience of smelly air is nothing compared to what people have lost at the hands of the fire monster.

A fire preparation plan and evacuation plan is important to ensure personal safety. Does your family have the plans ready for this season?

Remember possessions are not worth a life .


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Twitter, Twitter, Tweet ,Tweet

I am learning to Twitter. I found an article online which was fairly easy to follow. Before I knew it I had an account operating. Then, I forgot I had it ( actually with blogging, making a ‘fan’ page for Facebook , managing a personal Facebook, snapchatting, and living my life at home and work I couldn’t quite juggle the extra social media).

Anyway I decided just recently to see what it’s all about. I have only made a few tweets so far. As a big word user the 140 characters is a challenge. I have even managed to reply to a tweet and get a reply back – then I knew I’d done it right.

But I have so much yet to learn. I’m sure it must have many more uses than what I’m doing with it at the moment. I have to lean too, how to juggle all these social medias too.

Are you a twitterer ( is this even a real term??? Ha ha ) ?  I’d welcome any advice you may have for me. My twitter name is life_ muses     Using the jargon – Follow me 🙂  Please


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The Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by pinkbutterflies-blog.com and I thank her for that. I have been following her blog for a while. I think I discovered the blog from a link up. Pink butterflies’ posts are light-hearted reading (but still manage to encourage deeper thoughts) with a variety of topics (eg poetry, baking, child rearing), a style of blog I enjoy. As a parent of adult ‘children’ I enjoy reflecting on her posts of parenting, remembering that time of my life.

I had no idea what the Versatile Blogger Award was about so I turned to my special buddy that always knows the answer …GOOGLE J. Sure enough Google told me.

“When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”

As a ‘not for money’ blogger my blog really is just a collection of stories. Some are true from my life, some are fiction, there’s some poetry, attempts at photography and the real reason the blog started (before its meander haha) travel tales.

I read about blogging frequently and many of the articles tell me a successful blog writes in a single genre and writes to keep the readers. My blog couldn’t be further from this. I tell stories because I love doing that. I write my blog because I enjoy watching my stories come alive on the page. I don’t deny though, I get a real thrill when I see someone comment on my blog, and even more when they choose to follow it -that someone else gets enjoyment from my tales, someone else is prepared to share their ideas with me –  so excites me. I enjoy reading how others relate to my experiences.

The hardest will be for me to find 15 blogs. I’m fairly new to the scene in that, although I’ve been writing for a year, I’ve only just found how to locate blogs of others and many blogs I follow have been around a while and have all the awards.

How this Award works…

 

* Display the Award on your Blog.

versatile-blogger

   * Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who nominated you.

+* Present 15 deserving Bloggers with the Award.

* Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.

*Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

 

Here are 7 strange, oops interesting things about me that those who read my blog may have already gleaned J

 

1. I have just discovered the art of decluttering -much to the annoyance of my husband when he asks…”Where is the (Insert name of something I have no doubt already thrown out )”.

2. Cooking in my opinion is something to be done on an infrequent basis so as not to remove its allure.

3. Go figure this oddity – If a cooking gadget is available I owned it (well until the declutter) – but with the exception of a few only ever used once then they take up permanent residence in the gadget cupboard.

4. I take time choosing shoes to go with outfits when I go out and hate it when hosts ask me to remove them (unless it’s a cultural thing of course )- and just in case this happens I always have my toe nails painted all year round J

5. I could lose myself online for days if hunger didn’t fill me every two hours.

6. I think I’d be a meerkat if I were an animal. They stand up looking around as if always wanting to know what’s going on.

7. I have been known to catch a tram back and forth several times trying to get closest to the attraction so as to limit my walking (despite the fact I ended up walking much further stop to stop in changing trams)

I’m now nominating these blogs

In Harmony

Hopeful Rae of sunshine

This is who I am by Marleisa

My Home Truths

Five degrees of chaos

Six Little Hearts

Bluebird Cafe

Tune into Radio Carly

Freya writes

Essentially jess

JannaTWrites

Shambolic living