30 March 2007

Rediscovering 'The Invitation'

Today when I got my email from Yasmin Boland about the days astrological weather, she included 'The Invitation' by Oriah Mountain Dreaming and that link. I remembered when I first read this peice when my children were little I had seen it in a Wellbeing Magazine and cut it out and put it on the wall beside my bed. I loved it and read it over and over. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Great Comic Story

Just a brief post to say that now that I have began noticing comics, I am seeing more, everywhere. This story on Articulate on the ABC website is about a comic artist who has created a community project to tell the stories of a community. It's a lovely story and a great use of art. Collaborative Auto-Biography is what Sydney artist Mathew Huynh has created to tell the stories of his community.

27 March 2007

My Day

Today was magical for me. Our students had a poetry competition at school and it was breathtaking to see them stand up and read their poems to their peers. At this time of the term it's the last thing I wanted to have in front of me today. My patience has worn to a thin veneer all week. The students were well behaved and attentive and gave each other the respect they deserved. There were 40 odd poems read to an audience of about 180 students from a variety of classes. Many were labelled as students who just wanted to get out of class, yet they learnt today. They listened, participated and responded appropriately to one anothers poetic offerings. I felt proud of them all and deeply touched by many of them. It was great.

The last week I have been blessed by my dad, recently retired coming to do a mountain of maintenance that I just haven't had time to attend to for a long time. As a result I now have a back garden that doesn't look like a neglected wilderness, two doors that I can get into my home with ease rather than a wrestle and a pile of rubbish removed from my view. My mum and auntie have helped me inside and I now feel I have a home to come to at the end of the day. It has made such a difference. I'm not sure how I managed to neglect everything so much but there have been quite a few things going on and I have found it easier to blog, read or sleep than to do anything productive.

I visited pa on the weekend and he has made an amazing recovery so far. He was sitting up and chatting to those around him. The doctors have solved a few of his health problems and he seems to be mending more, each time I visit. He has had mountains of visitors. He has 3 children, 15 grandchildren and over 20 great grandchildren. Most of them have been to see him in the past week or so, some travelling from Adelaide, Queensland and many from Melbourne. He is such a powerful force in our lives and so well loved.

Lot's of things happen in your day. So many that I can never manage to keep track of them all but today was great. So I am feeling very satisfied and blessed tonight. I am still tired and ready for my holidays due to commence at the end of the week, yet I feel content.

24 March 2007

Theodora's Gift by Ursula Dubosarky

I totally enjoyed this slim novel. 'Theodora's Gift' is a great story and shows a complex world of relationships and events past and future that many young people will relate to. For those who keep a diary as I do this extract

"Theodora had kept a diary, more or less, since she had learned to write. Theodora was the sort of person who paid attention to things. So much attention that she found she couldn't keep it all inside her head, and that was how she had started keeping a diary.
She wrote everything down, everything, everything, everything. Everything that is, that she saw or heard, which if you think about it, leaves quite a lot of everything out." (p7,8)
may make you think about what everything, everything, everything, you write.

I don't write what I see and hear, I realised when I read this and thought about it. Although I possibly include some of it to explain why I think and feel. I write what I am thinking about constantly or feeling. As a result my diary is boring and repetitive at times. I keep it because like the character Theodora, I can't keep it all inside my head and it makes me feel better to get it down on paper. Sometimes it helps me to move on. It often allows me to realise I am going around in circles or obsessing and often when I wonder if I have experienced something before, I can check and see that a pattern has formed. It does have it's uses.

I still think it would be more interesting if I wrote down what I saw and heard!

Comics, Cartoons and Graphic Novels

Head Trip - Don't Ya by *shinga on deviantART

David Bowie should definately have stayed! This cartoon captures the voice of the young people I teach.
In my 'Creative Writing' student group at school last year I had a couple of highly talented young people who expressed themselves wonderfully using this form. They created wonderful drawings and turned them into stories. This year not one. The group of young people enjoyed writing, but not in this form.
I must admit I haven't taken much of an interest in this form either, so I am going to challenge myself to read a graphic novel this year and to use more comics and cartoons in my teaching. I want to ensure I don't limit my students to my own tastes.
When I was a kid I remember my dad reading the 'funnies' in the newspapers and laughing and then passing them to me to share the laughs. I often didn't find it that funny. I think I found it annoying that he found things funny at that hour of the day. I was frequently tired and cranky in the mornings. Now I get up early and don't communicate much in the mornings and progress through it much better, not having to talk for a while.
I did like political cartoons though and often laughed at those. I need to give them a go and find out more.

22 March 2007

Is this real?

I have been reading Martin Strickland's blog 'Combe Martin Life' and have seen some very beautiful and amazing photo's from his part of the world.

This video that is on his blog today is bizarre. I wonder if it's real.

I have been quiet this week due to too much work and not enough play. Not much to say.

18 March 2007


My beloved Pa is in hospital. He has injured his back. It is hard to sit by his bed and see him powerless. To see the purply red marks where the drip has gone in and created a big bruise. He looks frail and elderly. He is 87. He means so much to me and I love him for so many reasons.
As I read to him yesterday he seemed to come and go, yet laughed at, responded to the story. He had conversations with me in between the hospital business that goes on. He leant over at one stage and unhooked some strands of hair that had caught in my earring. He is not so out of it, despite the painkillers, the age, the appearance of being an old man.
He asked me why I was there on a Saturday because I normally visit him on Sundays. I told him since he was sitting still, I thought I'd come both days. Last night I found out that my brothers and sisters and cousins were coming from hours away to see him, so I let them have their time today. I will see him during the week.
I can't stop thinking about him though. I was grateful of my friends this weekend visiting and phoning and talking about their lives. Funny, both of them kept saying they felt bad about discussing their worries, when I was worried about pa, but they were doing me a great favour, distracting me.
I hope they (the hospital staff in general) take care of him and treat him with the respect he deserves. If only they knew him as I did!

17 March 2007

New Moon Eclipse in Pisces

This Monday the new moon is in Pisces and it's a partial solar eclipse. This article from Astrowisdom.com, written by Lisa Dale Miller is worth a read and explains the types of things to focus on at this time, astrologically.

We are celebrating Harmony Day at school this week and I have been putting up quotes from great people on the whiteboard each day about harmony and friendship. It is a good thing to focus on. Oneness, what does it really mean? How do we live each day with the knowledge of our oneness? Students wanted to know what it means, so I have left them with the weekend to reflect on it. I will too.

15 March 2007

Waiting Rooms

Waiting Rooms are designed to drive me insane. I have spent a little time in them the last few days. I have completed a whole book sitting in a waiting room. That is the good thing about them. Now I know to bring a book, because the magazine selections are always poor and insulting. The chiropracter's waiting room is tolerable because the people waiting there are usually not contagious. If you go to a doctor's waiting room however, it always seems to me insane that all the sick people are hanging out together, waiting for so long. Who knows what you could catch? The name itself, "Waiting" how's that for setting you up for impatience? I guess it's better than the catch the flu room, which is how it feels sometimes in there.

By the way the book I finished was the short story collection by Margo Lanagan, "White Time". It was great. I can't say my favourites because I loved every one of them.

14 March 2007

Be Here Now

As Mason Jennings so beautifully sings it in this song. I want to try to be here now a little more. I remember when I first heard this song, driving with Andy in a National Park, somewhere between here and Wollongong. My brother Tim, with his awesome music taste had given it to me for Christmas. I really appreciate Tim's music taste and his selections he gives us all for Christmas.

I found my gratitude rock today and used it. It was given to me by some great kids on camp at Tamboritha last year. I had told them about gratitude rocks, so they found this massive rock and wrote "gratitude rock" on it and gave it to me. It always makes me smile and remember.

I had to go to the drs today and whilst I was waiting there was this beautiful baby girl lying in her capsule with her eyes glued on her mother. The mum didn't seem to notice and I remembered when my kids were babies, I wouldn't have noticed either. You could almost see the adoration as a tangible thing coming from that baby girl. It was so beautiful to watch. I was feeling a little stressed at the time and I am sure it totally calmed me to watch this.

13 March 2007

White Time by Margo Lanagan

I have read Margo Lanagan's stories in a different order to most probably. I began with her second book, "Black Juice", I then read her latest short story collection "Red Spikes" and I am currently reading "White Time". I enjoyed every story and have had favourites but mostly loved them all amongst the stories. This book, so far, will be even more difficult to select a favourite. I don't want to finish it. She says she was experimenting with a variety of styles in this first book. I have enjoyed them all. I especially loved the story about the kid with the weight problem caused by withholding his emotions. There feels to be some truth to that.

12 March 2007

What did I do with My Extra Day?

I don't know, but I know it was good.

I have socialised more. I caught up with my good friends Wilma and Dallis, who are both looking fantastic and sound happy and well. It was the first time I had been to their new place. It's great and I can't believe I don't spend more time with them, they are good value.

I visited my pa and my Auntie Pat yesterday. Pa is not enjoying the best of health at the moment so I really feel for him. He has always been a strong fit man and although he doesn't complain, I can see it's hard for him to be unwell.

My son had 13 teenagers giggling upstairs last night. No word of a lie! They were so noisy!

I had visits from friends today. Rhonda and I shared a giggle at ourselves. My friend Rhonda is born on the same day as me and we seem to often have similar experiences. It is such a gift! Total empathy! I had another friend June drop in for a cuppa and she helped me to consume a yummy Bakers Delight bun, my thighs thank you June! I met June's sister, Teresa and her two beautiful grandchildren, as well as two great pooches.

I caught up with my parents who had just returned from Tasmania this afternoon. They look so happy and well. It makes me happy just to see them.

So all in all nothing's changed, I got the usual minimal housework done and a bit on time online fluffing around as I do and the usual exercise and sleep. It was nice though!

11 March 2007

Shopping Centre = Blah

I have been hunting for a couple of items such as a particular handbag and a couple of clothing items for way too long now. So I went to the shopping mecca that I've always heard 'real shoppers' (worlds apart from people like me who shop for things, not recreationally, to pass time), go to. It was so BLAH! I felt like BLAH when I was there. I was just obviously not prepared for it. Makeup less, casually (dare I say, comfortably) dressed and it was early in the morning I entered that large indoor glitzed up tin shed. Too many unhappy people, not enough natural lighting and air and way too many artificial conversations. "Heellooo, can I help you?" Blah!
This was yesterday. Andy had been hunted down by an intelligent and crafty marketer from the motorbike shop in Oakleigh and offered a test ride of a couple of motorbikes. This bothered me and excited him. I mean how aggressive and smart! Fortunately he survived the experience of that extra power without making a purchase. I should have given him more credit.

10 March 2007

Scary Conversation

Click here for a clip about ordering a pizza.

09 March 2007

Long Weekend

A warm long weekend looms...........................

08 March 2007

Teenage Wildlife

It's a time of zits and angst.

Yet it is also a time of hope and passion and that's why I love working with teens.

07 March 2007

Flying South by L M Elliott

"Flying South" was a delightful read for young teenagers. It was set in America's south in the 60s and was a tale about grief, discrimination and courage. It was light although covering serious topics. The protagonist is a young girl who through her social isolation has a close friendship with the aging gardener. The story shares the lessons she learns from him, importantly the letting go of him. It dealt with the death beautifully.
I have now began two other books as well as continuing with Linda Goodman's Gooberz, which I am surprised by how enjoyable it is. I am becoming a fan of poetry, after disliking it for so long.

06 March 2007

Eclipse Links

Several friends have been complaining of not feeling quite right since Saturday and I was reading about eclipses on this astrology site and thought I'd share it for those of you who are piceans, sagittarians, geminis or virgos especially.There is another link here for you if you would like more.
You might like to play this Sage Game too if you are feeling like the force is rippling as I am right now. I have some kind of health issue that is making me feel faint, nauseous and headachey. I'm told that gastro is going around and perhaps it has got me.

Human Rights and Poverty

05 March 2007

Free Body Lotion - Forget It!

Today I received an advertising email offering free body lotion. I would actually prefer it if they took some of my body lotion away. It would be more enticing. I am having a day where materialism is sickening me. I feel that I want to shed most of my possessions because they are just a drag. We all just accumulate too much. What is it all for?
I actually cried today over an exhibition of rampant materialism as I perceived it, but I think I am feeling quite unwell at the moment so am possible more sensitive.
My year 9 class is studying poverty right now, so I wonder if this is having an effect on me. I have naturally been discussing the Millennium Goals with those around me. When we had the conversation in our curriculum team, some of the adults complained they were impossible and ridiculous. They didn't believe it was possible. This is why I love teenagers. They were optimistic and enthusiastic about it. They wanted to know what they could do to make it happen. They felt certain it was achievable and it was important to them to make it happen.


03 March 2007


01 March 2007

Full Moon Eclipse?

I sure it has been the full moon eclipse business that has totally ruffled me this week. I have been tired, cranky, sad and unmotivated with no apparent reason. I have continued to exercise, but have not eaten well or recorded any stats. I have burnt meals and done last minute rushed shopping frequently.

I've had weird dreams about people I'm not really fond of and found them unexpectedly turning up in reality the next day, when I never see them and I like it like that. I haven't felt like doing any writing or creative stuff, much less disassembling the mounds of dirty clothes and trails of where I've been through the house.

Maybe it was the scary thunderstorm last night when my son was down the street and beloved was riding home on his dirt bike. I imagined all sorts of disasters striking either one of them, even whilst I knew it was saner and more pleasant to 'think positive thoughts'. Perhaps it was the heat and the rain making the heat kind of sticky rather than refreshing as I was hoping it would be.

Could be it was letting go of my daughter on the weekend and talking to her on the phone and hearing that she was tired, busy and sounded just a little overwhelmed and I couldn't get to her in an instant to help. Yet because I was moving house with daughter on the weekend I didn't do a great job of my housework and I was disorganised.

Not to mention all the consequences that flow on from those things such as not being totally prepared to teach each lesson and so getting further behind at school, or that there have been quite a fewinterruptions at school this week, such as swimming carnivals and thinkfests, all wonderful and important things that I love, yet interrupt the flow.

The good thing is that I woke this morning and thought, it's feeling better, and today was. It was much better. I achieved a lot and feel good.