Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Story Chapter 34 Community


I don't have the communities in Australia that I had at home in New Zealand. We had a community via Les' work. We were a bigger and more active part of the kids school and Kindergarten community. I had a great community of scrapbookers that I loved to spend time with. There was a little community at my Starbucks between we regulars like the guide dog puppy lady, the baristas, and the baristas who had moved on but still came back. And then there was just the neighbourhood of people that we lived in.

It does have a impact on our lives and a bigger community is something we need to build because the diversity that comes with having more people in your life adds a very real value to the my personal and our family's story.

How I go about building that community is a bit of a puzzle to me. It can't be forced and it seems to happen organically. But if you aren't out there in the community how do you build- your own community? It's something to ponder.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Story Chapter 33- Right/Left Brained

Here's a fact about me that I never expected......

My brain dominance:
Left Brain
Right Brain

I am more left-brained than right-brained.My left brain controls the right side of my body. In addition to being known as left-brained, I am also known as a critical thinker who uses logic and sense to collect information. I am able to retain this information through the use of numbers, words, and symbols. I usually only see parts of the "whole" picture, but this is what guides me step-by-step in a logical manner to your conclusion. Concise words, numerical and written formulas and technological systems are often forms of expression for me. Some occupations usually held by a left-brained person include a lab scientist, banker, judge, lawyer, mathematician, librarian, and skating judge.


I thought I would most definitely be more right than left brained! So I took the test again, just in case I had some sort of weird bias going on- you know?

I got 50/50 left and right.

So I took it again just to be sure and I got 51% Right or 49% Left.

If you had have asked me I would have told you that I was probably 70% Right and about 30% Left. I'm totally blown away by this result. In some ways it's the best of both worlds really- but I do wonder how has what I've been telling myself about being right brained altered my story?

I wonder if I had have done the test before I started scrapbooking- would I have imagined myself- less able and less creative? 

I also wonder does the fact that I believe I can just go do anything I want - creative or otherwise- change my brained-ness. If I did fewer creative activities would I start leaning more to my left brain?

I also wonder if the reason I get cranky when I haven't exercised my creative brain with actual physical creating is because my left brain is in there lording it over the right?

I also wonder if I wasn't so tired all the time and could actually think would concise words, numerical and written formulas and technological systems really be forms of expression for me? (Doubt it.)

I do know one thing though- of all the jobs in that list- the only one I want is Librarian! I'd totally love that.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Story Chapter 32- What's the rush?

One of my biggest parenting bug bears and one that I am most certainly guilty of on many occasions is rushing.

You often see parents rushing their children when they are out and about. And I often find myself rushing my own kids for no good reason.

Sometimes it comes down to necessity- like our rush to get out of Will's school each day so that the big kids aren't left waiting too long especially if it is wet or super hot- or Cailee's work day.

Sometimes it comes down to poor organisational skills on the part of the parent. If I know it takes 'so' long to get ready to go out each day and that my child is going to mess around when I ask him to get dressed/eat breakfast/get his shoes- then I need to be up earlier to allow for that sort of thing. This is super important for going to school because they need to time to greet their friends and their teacher. Complete their morning routine and then a few minutes or more just to breathe and prepare for the day BEFORE the bell rings.

Bust the absolute worst case of rushing is when there is no reason for it. Your doing the shopping, you don't have to be anywhere- it doesn't matter if you get the little kids trolley for the 2 year old and take twice as long to do the shopping. It really doesn't matter. In fact it's actually a really good thing for them to do this- it's fun. They're learning, they're 'helping' and working together with you. But we're influenced by a constant sense of needing to do more, go faster, see more, read more and so on. And it's not real we do not need any of those things- in fact I believe the reverse is true I think we need to do less, go slower, see less, read less (on the internet at least) and really take our time to be present and mindful of now and not what's next.

This is especially important as a parent of small children because what's happening now- isn't going to be happening for much longer- if you blink you'll miss it. If you rush through your days before you know it you will have rushed past a year. 

Slow down.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Round-Up July 2013

On our bookshelf this month....

Flesh house . Stuart MacBride.
The perks of being a wallflower / Stephen Chbosky.
Portaits of Celina / Sue Whiting.
Blind eye / Stuart MacBride.
Dark blood / Stuart MacBride.
Pharaoh : the boy who conquered the Nile / Jackie French.
A waltz for Matilda / Jackie French.
In the blood .
Echo park .
Broken skin / Stuart MacBride.
In the woods .
Broken Harbour / Tana French.
The overlook : a novel / Michael Connelly.
Nine dragons / Michael Connelly.
I have no idea what everyone else was reading I was too busy reading. :-)

Loving on the box....
Play School (Tama), Offspring (Me), Masterchef (most everyone), The Dome (Kieran), Batman- anything super hero-y (Will), Medical Shows & reality shows (Merenia).
For you...For me?
Merenia got stands for her music and guitar. We did a toy store run in the holidays. Will got a Lego watch. Tama got a ball and a dog. Merenia got horses and Kieran got Mini figures. Another Hermit Crab for PP.

Germs and bugs and botherations....
Kieran- Tonsilitis
Today was good today was fun, tomorrow is another one...

Checking out the controlled burn in Lesmurdie after school. Will's Mid-year concert, Crafting Day, Memorial Day at Hockey. Caught up with Nicky and Emma for a chat. Going to dinner at Grilled, Crow Books, Dome and World War Z with Kieran. Merenia did a class at Smudge and Sparkle. Kieran went to laser tag with friends. I took W & T to the Zoo. Catching up with Les at work and trying on the Life Jackets. Les spent a day at the field. Kieran went to The Conjurer with Emma and friends. A trip to Scitech with K, W and T. Taking our leftover roast chicken up to the Bandicoot at Lions Lookout.

Yum, yum, yum....

Individual Brownies in a cup. Cheesecake from the cheescake shop for Les' birthday.

'It was on sale'....

Hello Story- Ali Edwards class at BPC. A new duvet cover for Merenia.


The weather. Being late to pick up Will because I went to sleep with Tama.


Lots of trips to the Library. Got some more photobooks made. Kieran got a certificate at Assembly for his semester 1 grades.


School Holidays. We had the birds and the hermit crabs for the holidays. Les to Exmouth for work. Sports practices and games as per usual. Lots of digger watching. Merenia and Akira started rehersals at Darling Range. Les took Kieran to the ADFA Information Night.

You know who's good idea this was? Katie The Scrapbook Lady. Go check out her list of tasks to do at the end of each month as well.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Story Chapter 31- Ready to Roll???

I've been thinking about my childhood a lot lately and something that came to mind was the contribution that music has made to it.

*Dancing on my dining room table age four belting out ABBA's dancing queen.
* To being amazed at the Solid Gold dancers and trying to emanate their routines with my friend Suzy Duncan.
* The music from the Goodnight Kiwi.
*My first music album (yes vinyl) ABC The Lexicon of Love.
* My first concert; Roxy Music at the Dunedin Town Hall.
* Listening to Rick Dee's Top 40 on the radio.
* The teenage years of listening to the top 9 at 9 and calling in shout outs to friends. And trying to tape favourite songs onto terrible mix tapes- where the start of the song was voiced over by the announcer.
* Ready to Roll at 6pm on a Saturday and Radio with Pictures late on Sunday night.

 My musical tastes were wide and varied I was strongly influenced by my Dad- alternative, Jazz, and all sorts. Music like the Michael Franks, Go-Betweens, The Violent Femmes, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, Prince, Everything But the Girl, early U2. But also some classics as well- songs like Nights in White Satin, Hotel California, Stand By Me, and Sexual Healing.
Of course I was influenced by my friends and popular culture.
And later by boyfriends. Read- Faith No More, Fugazi, Mr Bungle, Cyprus Hill, Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails.

The names that spring to mind are many and varied: from the Beastie Boys to Chris Issac, Ben Harper to Leftfield, Lady Blacksmith Mambazo to Bjork. So many I have forgotten too.

Some of my fondest musical memories relate more to what I was doing at the time. Like the year I got a walkman for my birthday, a ten speed for Christmas and a tape of the Blue Nile. In the days after Christmas I spent hours and hours and hours riding my bike all over and listening to that tape. I remember the intensely joyful feeling of being both alone and totally free.

I remember reading the passage in The Motherstone (Maurice Gee) where Susan is walking across the dessert with the blood cat- and the New Order album I was listening too was the perfect accompaniment. If I hear that music I see that story in my head. And if I see the book I automatically hear the music. I'm listening to it as I write and I can feel the desperation and the heat, the low energy of the characters trek and the tension from the wild cat.

 I've often turned to music when my emotions were at their extremes there are mental sound tracks to my most happy and most sad times and most especially when my life has been up in the air. 

One of my most favourite things I've ever created was a story that I first told my class at Arthur Street I used music from a variety of sources to tell the story of an island over 20 minutes. It starts in paradise- relaxed and calm, beautiful, And then there is visitors, invasion, take over, industry, destruction- and finally rebuilding. Every time I've told it to a class I've had them get comfortable and then close their eyes. It's like a roller-coaster ride and includes music from New Order, Big Mountain, Roger Waters and some really heavy industrial stuff I liked. I always do it at the end of the school day so that they can go home and consider what they heard and felt. The next day they come back with a truck load of questions about the truth of the story- is semi factual, but really just a conglomeration of stories like that of Bikini Atoll.

More recently our family has had a couple of theme songs that we've rocked out to- Bernard Fanning's 'Wish You Well' is a great driving song Les, the big kids and I have listened to it many times. And 'Something in the Water' by Brooke Fraser is one that we were rocked out to just before we left NZ.

Dave Dobyn's 'Loyal' is regarded by Les and I as 'our song'. 

I'm writing this retrospectively (again) and just last night (21/11/13) Kieran and I were talking about music while driving to Hockey and ended up putting on the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction- and rocking out to that there and back- finishing up our journey with a bit of seated Twisting- Jack Rabbit Slim style. It's an average Thursday night turned magical by sharing music with someone I love that I hope to remember for a long time.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I've been reading. Lots. And creating... quite a bit. The winter sports season is almost over. (Thank-goodness) But it gets busier before it gets done- hopefully I'll be back to full blogging strength soon.