Thursday, 29 September 2011

Seriously... is life THAT busy nowadays???

I just came back from an interesting lunch hour.  I went out with the express idea of buying a card for a dear friend who has just lost a friend to cancer. 

Wow - what a trip out.

First of all, on the way down the road in the car, I remembered that it's Thursday, and Aldi have specials starting today, and Ken and I would like one of the $29.99 BBQ rotisserie's so that in summer time we can still enjoy roasts without also having to have the airconditioner on full blast...  I think that's where I went wrong.  I was going to Aldi...

In Gympie, to go to Aldi, you have to turn down the street that McDonalds is in.  That in itself turned into a feat, because it's school holidays, QANTAS is half on strike, and it's payday for god knows who but they're all out in their cars, TODAY.    So - I've turned into the street, and the traffic going the opposite way is banked back, I come to the corner where I need to turn to go to Aldi, and just before I get there, this car shoots out from behind one of the banked back cars.  I hit the skids in the car (thank god for ABS braking - yes, I hit the brakes THAT hard).  I also hit the horn to warn her I was there.

Stupid woman in car then gestures & says "I can't see" - pointing to all the traffic that is lined up trying to get through the lights.  So I then wind my window down and say patiently "so why on earth did you go if you couldn't see what was ahead?".

She then tailgated me (should have just opened the boot & she could have gotten in) all the way down to Aldi, and drove then at high speed into the carpark, fortunately NOT the same way I drove into the carpark.

Am I getting old?  Or is this the Safety Manager type in me coming out, that this type of behaviour isn't acceptable?  Had she poked the nose of her car out from behind the pile of traffic, I more than likely would have let her through.  But she didn't - she saw fit to endanger not only her but also my life, and telling me it basically wasn't her fault because "I can't see"...

This was then on my mind during my Aldi trip... bad move!  I saw another mother & 2 kiddies nearly get hit by a car because they didn't look before they walked, other people looking frustrated as they found parks, and people almost throwing trolleys back into their corral - busy, busy, busy.

Seriously - are we that busy that we can't take 5 seconds to make sure something is put away properly, or that the road is clear before we drive on it?  Are we so busy we'd rather hit or be hit by a car because we didn't look?

I then headed over to Centro, and witnessed kids running wild, mothers accepting this behaviour from them and not even attempting to control them, littlies squealing and being allowed to continue squealing...  One child was swinging around and around in circles with a shopping trolley with his little brother in it.  Fine - but what about the man with a walking stick coming???  Argh!

Maybe I am getting old.  Maybe I expect more than some people and some kiddies can give.  Or, maybe I'm surrounded by friends & family who do care about their children and do control them so that they're not running wild inside the shopping centre.  Kids who want to run & play should be in the park!!!

God I'll be so glad when the school holidays in Gympie are over and life can return to normal!!!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Some ramblings about stuff...

Wow... what a week!

It never seems to rain, but it pours!

Ken, my gorgeous partner, decided to surprise me for my birthday, and I had absolutely no idea until his son Jake left a message on the home phone the day before the surprise, asking when Mick (my brother) was coming to pick him up.  I rang Ken at work and said “are we expecting your children here this weekend” and all Ken could do, being put on the spot, was ‘fess up.  

Turns out he’d not only invited his boys, but my brother & his kids, along with mum & Graham!  Wow! 

Let’s add to that my invitation to Yvonne and Geoff the previous weekend of “come along and have a curry with us – we’re going to India Today on Saturday night” and let’s also not forget Richelle after Sue asked me if I could pick her up from work on the Saturday afternoon as they were going to the footy...  I mentioned that she could come over for dinner if she wanted, and then as we were going out, just included her as well. 

Ahhhh... 13 for dinner!

It was loads of fun – and very, very yummy.  It always is.  I didn’t think the service was as good as it has been, didn’t see any of the Family there, and one of the waitresses only spoke a VERY little English.  We didn’t get the attention we normally get – but it was still lovely...

On Sunday morning we all got up, had bacon & eggs for breakky (yummo!!!) and everyone headed off after lunch.  Ken and I blitzed the house and put everything back in its place, and it’s all quiet again.  Henrik also went to Brisbane with mum & Graham for a few days – so it’s quiet without him too. 

We headed down to our park about 3.00 pm – there were a few of the neighbours there for a catch up and it was lovely to sit and chat to them...  the kids played on the grass, kicked balls around and played tennis. 

We finished at the park just as it was starting to get dark, Sue & Hugh and the kids came over and we finished off the Indian leftovers (they let us take them home) – that was great to finish off all the yummy food from Saturday night and have a clean fridge again! 

Monday evening we headed to Sizzlers to meet the gorgeous Karen and her family – what a hoot!  She has 4 littlies and a teenage daughter – they were all lovely, and we had such a great night!  I didn’t get my early night, which I am STILL waiting for!!!  These 5.45 am starts are killing me!!!

We didn’t take any pictures, but I did take this one – isn’t he so sweet????

I think that’s about it for now.  I have been decluttering the study floor with good success and may even get back in there tonight – slowly but surely.  I seem to have an issue with chucking away paper that hasn’t been written on.  I know it’s a waste, but I have enough notebooks to last till the year 3030 so some have just got to go.  Time to bite the bullet!

Friday, 16 September 2011

The joy of scarcity....

A blog that I read this morning on Simple Savings directed me to this post by Leo Babauta.  It's certainly got my interest - I've read it twice now!!!  Thought you might like to share???


Often we think of having very little as a hardship.

It’s bad to be poor, right? It’s not easy struggling with low wages, with debt, with scarcity.
And while all that is true, it’s also not true.

There can be joy in getting rid of things, in living with less, in freeing yourself of debt and possessions. It’s all in your mindset.

I grew up poor, and it wasn’t long ago that I was struggling with an income that was too low to meet my mounting bills and debt payments. One of the worst times of my life, actually.

But as I worked to eliminate my debt, I learned to live with less. And I learned that it can be a wonderful thing.

Struggle is hard, no matter how you paint it. But living in scarcity doesn’t have to be struggle. That’s completely up to you.

Reducing Debt

When my wife and kids and I began reducing our debt, more than five years ago, it was a scary time. We were overloaded with bills, over our heads in debt, and it was one of the most stressful things we’d ever faced.

So we cut back on spending, which meant learning a whole new way of living. Zap … we got rid of the cable TV, magazine subscriptions, mocha coffees, regular outings to the movie theaters and restaurants and the mall, and more. We changed our entire lives.

And yet, while we could have thought of this as sacrifice, in truth, we learned to enjoy it. We were living with less, but we were happier.

We were happier because we saw this as an opportunity to reconnect with each other, doing things that were cheap or free. We took the kids outside more, and played with them. Playing kickball and soccer and tag … these things cost nothing. We dusted off board games and decks of cards, played charades, and had a blast. We visited family and friends more.

We cooked at home and had better meals than ever, got healthier, enjoyed eating together.
It wasn’t all roses and cream, but there were many, many positive things that came out of this scarcity. When you are forced to cut back, you can moan, or you can find joy. We chose the path that made us happiest.
And once we were out of debt, that was one of the most liberating things ever. So we reached an amazing destination, but the journey was just as wondrous.

Reducing Clutter

Clutter is another scary thing for a lot of people. Just facing the piles of clutter in your home can be overwhelming. In truth, clutter is a mountain of procrastination … putting off decisions and fears and emotional issues and shopping addictions and more. Facing those fears and issues is too much for most of us.
I faced them, and learned that when you deal with these fears and emotions, even a little at a time, it is freeing. You feel clean and spare, not just because you’re burdened with fewer possessions, but because you’re burdened with less emotional baggage that you’re hiding in the back of your mind.

Reducing our clutter meant tough choices, it meant a lot of discussion about what we wanted and why we really need things, it meant learning a whole host of new habits.

But it also meant getting rid of things that were weighing us down, that we didn’t need but that were still costing us time and energy and mental cycles. We learned to love a spare-looking room, and the amazing feeling of sitting or lying around in a room that was clean and uncluttered.

Living with fewer possessions can be a pure joy that is unmatched by anything you can buy.

Less Food

Losing 70 lbs. has been a journey of exploring my relationship with food. In days of fatness, I ate because everyone else was eating, I ate because I was bored or stressed out and needed the comfort of food, I ate because I didn’t want to confront my health issues, I ate because it was one of the only ways I knew of finding pleasure.

Now I know that less food can also be a joy. Eating simple foods, rather than fast foods or convenient foods or sweet or fatty or fried foods, can be a joy.

I’ve learned the simple pleasures of drinking a cup of unsweetened tea made from whole tea leaves. I’ve learned the deliciousness that comes from eating a single fresh fig, half a handful of berries, a few raw almonds. When you stop putting so much sugar and sauces on things, you learn their real beauty. When you stop killing animals and learn to appreciate the natural taste of plants, you feel incredible and alive.

I now skip breakfast so I can remember what it’s like to feel a little hungry — something I never did when I was fat. I eat two meals a day because it’s easier to prepare, and I like a little scarcity in my life. I eat what I want, but I find that I enjoy the simple foods more than ever now.

Fewer Choices

We think we want a lot of choices, but really we want freedom. There’s a difference, and the overwhelming number of choices in our lives these days leads to confusion, paralysis, and unhappiness.

Scarcity choices can be seen as a bad thing, but I see it as liberating. I’m not saying we should have no choices, but fewer is better.

Try narrowing down your choices, in as many ways as you dare. Watch fewer TV shows by picking just three you watch every week. Pick just one book and read that until you’re done. Have a to-do list that’s only three items long each day. Make a weekly menu that only has two or three meals you cook in big batches, and eat those all week. You might worry that you’re making the wrong choices — you’re not. There are no wrong choices, there’s only the fear of making the wrong choices.

I find limiting my choices to be an opportunity to let go of the worries about making the wrong choices, and to focus on enjoying the choices I do make. As I’ve explored scarcity, I’ve been left with this one truth: every path I take is perfect.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


PROMISE there's a new post coming soon!  I think I've been up to too much fun to have posted about it.... 

It will change shortly - stay tuned!!!