Why I spend time at Facebook

Someone at a forum I belong to asked why people spent so much time at ‘wastebook’. He couldn’t see any benefit.  I used to think that way once… and thought it was something for only the young people. My views have changed over a few short years.  This was my response to the guy at the forum:

It’s about relationships and keeping in touch with people. Much of my family live interstate or overseas and through Facebook we can keep in touch, share photos and know what’s going on in each other’s lives. Same with friends who live at a distance. And in updating at Facebook they all learn what’s happening rather than me having to do multiple emails or written letters.

For some that need for contact might not be so important. Perhaps you see your family and friends often. Another reason why it’s become so important to me is that it was our daughter’s only address book when she died 2 years ago. It was the only way we could make contact with her friends and notify them of her funeral. Today many of her friends are still connected with me at Facebook and it helps me to see they’re moving on with their lives. And if some are struggling I can pop in to their Facebook page and leave an encouraging message.

For some Facebook may be a total waste of time, but for me it’s a life preserver, keeping me in contact with those who mean most to me.

Posted in My Thoughts | Leave a comment

It’s been a year now

Well, we’ve been in our new year a whole year now. Where has that time gone?  Not only that but our grandson is almost a year old too. And Graham is drawing closer to retiring, just a couple of years to go.  Oh, and the cats totally love this place – plenty of room to run at fullspeed without going into other people’s properties, i.e. having to slow down to jump fences and no need to run out on the road.  They do love it here.

I’m fanatically taking photos like it’s going out of fashion. Can’t help it, totally hooked and loving it.  Just need to find what I can do with it.  I am creating my own greeting cards and using my photos for that – lots of fun and it’s giving me opportunity to let people know I’m thinking of them too which is special.

Next month Oliver turns one year of age and he shares his birthday with his dad and his grandad. I wonder if that’s some kind of record?  All males, with the same surname and all with birthdays on the same date.

Posted in My Thoughts | Leave a comment

Got a new hobby site

Can’t help myself really. I’ll blame it on Mel this time round.  She took me to the most interesting place a couple of weeks ago.  Cafe, nursery and formal gardens all wrapped into one. It’s called Cloudehill.  She was saying that was one of her most favourite coffee places and we got talking about that.  I told her that would make a great idea for a website where people could add their favourite coffee places to visit.

So, MyFavCoffeePlace was born – yesterday morning.  I sat on the idea for a couple of weeks and finally did something about it. Really happy with the theme I found for it – I tried out several but this one suits perfectly – go have a look and see what I mean!

Took Graham there yesterday.  He’s got a bad back at the moment, poor thing, and can’t go out riding so he agreed to come out and look at gardens and go to this cafe with me. He loved the place, just as I do. And we bought the new book they’ve just published so we can get ideas for our property.  We don’t want to do formal gardens but we liked the informal area which would suit our property perfectly. Planting bushes and flowers in and around all the gum trees and along the tracks that Maa (our sheep) has established. Graham and Dave want to go riding down there once the tracks have been finished – they want to be able to do circuits down there.  Half acre approx so that should make for a bit of fun and a lot of work 🙂

Posted in My Thoughts | 1 Comment

Disorganised Fire Evacuation

Took Mel and Oliver to Fountaingate to pick up her machine and we planned to look at a couple other shops first.

When we arrived we could see black smoke coming from other side of shopping centre but couldn’t tell where it was exactly. We heard the fire engines too but they weren’t in view.  There were no fire alarms going and no-one being evacuated from the shopping centre so we decided it must have been something on the other side of the shopping centre out of view from us.

We went downstairs and wandered around Harris Scarfe and when we came back made our way to the travelator to go up with the pram to go to the sewing machine shop only to be told by the police we couldn’t and we had to get out the building because of a fire – one pointed a general direction and then they disappeared. We had a pram.  How/where were we supposed to go?  We didn’t know the shopping centre well and couldn’t take the pram up the escalator with the crowds that were there.  We didn’t know if the lifts were working and couldn’t go up stairs.  We stood around with some other shoppers in a similar predicament when a staff member of a shop came along and said we had to go, we were being evacuated. I said to him: we have a pram – where are we supposed to go?  So he and some other staff led us all out of the building and then we found we were on the lower level car park and only stairs to get up to the top where the car was.  hmmm.

I asked the same guy, ok, how do we get to our car. He pointed us towards another carpark and said there was a ramp inside the carpark and we needed to go up that. The only ramp we could find led us back into the shopping centre again but the other side.

So Mel and I went up there looking for signs of evacuation – still no alarms.  A lady we talked to said she’d just come out of the pub where the alarm was going but the manager had told them all it was a false alarm. She decided to leave anyway.

Finally we get to the sewing shop, Mel gets her sewing machine which was fortunately already packaged up, I’m still watching for the police and signs of evacuation – nothing. We get back to the car and then in a long line up to get out onto the road as the police was blocking the roundabout and stopping people from coming into the centre and they were all being channelled back out onto the main road too.

I later heard on the 3pm news that a roof airconditioner had caught fire, they’d had to evacuate the centre and they’d used air support to put the fire out which took about half an hour.  The news report also said there was minor damage but considerable mopping up to be done because the sprinkler system had come on – fortunately that was after we left.

Thought it was pretty disorganised really. No-one seemed to know what was going on and even on the side where the evacuation was happening there were staff in several shops who had no idea and people just sitting around talking – Mel and I told some people on our way out.

Posted in Family News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Friday night, a cosy fire and great company

Last night was so relaxing.  Friday nights are starting to become quite different now we live here in the country.  Well, it’s a suburb in the country – as country as we’ll get without being miles away from anything.

Winter is drawing to an end but still extremely cold and quite wet here.  I knew Graham was coming home a bit earlier – as he often does on Friday nights.  I now know how to set the fire properly before lighting it so had a roaring fire going before I picked him up from the station.

The loungeroom was nice and cosy with the heat of the fire as well as our central heating. We don’t really need the wood fire but it has such a lovely ambience – there’s something comforting about it.

So once dinner arrived (we always get it delivered now on Friday nights) we settled in front of the large TV and watched a movie, hubby and I snuggled on the couch and the cats around us.  Bliss.

Posted in My Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My blog is back!

You wouldn’t believe the week I’ve had – this blog crashed and I don’t know why it happened. Seems something got added into the control panel that stopped php working and rendered the blog invisible.  Taken me days to find out what’s been going on and I lost the post I wrote last Monday about my beautiful eldest daughter turning 30.  Guess I’ll have to redo it!

Posted in My Thoughts | Leave a comment

Five for Friday–Things That Made Me Smile

I saw this post at Footprints as a result of Aspiring Mum blog and thought I’d join in.  The idea is to post 5 things that have happened this week that made you smile.

  1. Family time together around the fireplace after the Sunday evening meal – the first time really since we bought our new home. Lovely to have our daughters, sons-in-law and grandson spending an evening with us at the start of the week.
  2. Work has improved this week and after a downturn in June I’ve matched the whole month of June in the first week of August.  Hopefully it means this month will be on track.
  3. Spending some of Wednesday with my daughter Christine. We went to Belgrave Lake Park and watched dogs running around happily and then spent time planting a tree fern, a couple of dwarf wattle bushes and another bush in my garden at home.
  4. Hearing my husband laugh.  I love that.
  5. Seeing my grandson’s little red cheeked face light up into a smile when he sees his grandma.  He’s teething poor little guy but still had a big grin for me this morning.

Now, I’m going to follow in Janet’s footprints and invite you to join in Five For Friday – simply leave a comment with a link to your blog post, letting us know all about your Five For Friday. Have fun!

Posted in Memes | 2 Comments

Long weekend yay!

woo hoo!  A 3 day weekend! What are you going to do with it – those of you who get to have it?

I know our US readers recently had a long weekend just a week or two ago I think.

For many of us here in Australia the weather is getting much cooler, in fact you could say definitely cold.  Here in Selby, Victoria, I don’t believe it’s gotten much above 8C or 9C during the day for the past couple of days.  And we certainly get a lot of rain!  But despite that I have been out almost every day for the past week, going for walks and taking photos.  I spend far more time outside now than I used to when living in Cheltenham. So the shift has probably been a ‘healthy shift’ for me too.

I plan on relaxing (I hope) and perhaps spending some time in the garden. We have a ton of leaves to rake up now that autumn is over.  Just to give you an idea of what we see up here in the mornings now.

Posted in Life in the country | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I needed all the facts first please…

I’ve been outside for probably nearly 2 hours monitoring and putting out a fire.

I had a guy and his wife come here today to cut up fallen branches and he lopped a dead tree too. He offered to burn off some of the wood and said he does it all the time – he has many clients in this area so I said that’s ok, as long as he knew what to do, because I don’t. He said he did – he’s grown up in the country and had done it heaps.

An hour before he was due to leave he told me I’d have to monitor it until it went out so I told him to stop feeding it with more branches. I had no idea I was going to have to be outside to monitor a fire – that was not my plan for this afternoon.  I told him I was supposed to be going out and can he put it out before he goes.

He said he couldn’t put it out unless I had enough hoses to get to where the second fire was.  So I had to ring a hardware store to buy up more hoses (we needed an 80 mtr (about 260 ft) length to get to where the burn-off is) and then I had to ring hubby to find out about fittings and things – do you think he was happy? NOT!

By the time I’d finished on the phone and had checked our garage re hoses and then gone out to pass on messages, and stuff, it was time for this guy to go and the fire hadn’t been put out yet.

So I had to go to the hardware place after he had left with one fire smouldering and the other still burning. He said we could just leave them smouldering and check them in the morning. What???!!! No way, I wouldn’t sleep tonight knowing there was a fire smouldering outside, even if it is damp and foggy up here overnight and winter has begun.

So now I’ve got one fully out and the other is still smouldering but the steam and smoke has gotten a lot smaller. I have to keep going out to check it.

The joys of living in a country and not having done a burn-off before. Hubby was planning to do our first one sometime but he’s been beaten to it…

Posted in Life in the country | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I’ve come out of hibernation

Well, that’s what it feel like.  For well over a year I’ve not gone to business events or meetings, attended church events, and only occasionally gone to church when Graham has felt up to it. Even then there were some times when I didn’t go and he would be on duty.

Losing Miriam really did take the wind out of both our sails.

For several months I acted like a mechanical robot and just did what had to be done to keep my business running but I did very little else. In fact I’m not really sure what I did with some of that time, however some months later my husband gave me a new camera for Christmas, a Nikon D90 with accessories. A very expensive gift but I think it was his way of making up for forgetting my birthday (Miriam died 2 weeks before then). Ever since then I’ve buried myself in photography, renewing a passion I enjoyed in younger years and learning how to get the best out of the equipment I’ve had. Many of you will have seen the results at my photoblog, or via Facebook or Flickr or even Twitter.

Last June my husband and I travelled to Canada together (my first time there) to attend FoVA and our month long trip around Canada and Alaska after that brought much healing and for the first time in 9 months we could just be ourselves as no-one we were travelling with knew our sorrow. For a little while we could pretend things were normal.

3 months after we returned we found a gorgeous new home (new to us, the house was built in the 1940s with additions in 1970s and 1980s) on a 2 acre property. We shifted in at the end of October and then had to endure one of Melbourne’s very hot summers and the potential for bushfires. We’re now in Autumn with beautiful colours in the turning leaves and rain and occasional thunderstorms. We are loving our life in our new home and property and I’m in a photographer’s paradise.

Over these months I’ve revamped my main website, my business blog, other blogs, started writing again, am researching a new book, doing a photographer’s course, added a new service to my business, gained some new clients and have started going out again to events. I feel like I’ve been reborn in some ways. Graham and I are even attending church again regularly now – I’ve been wanting to go for ages but he just didn’t feel like praise and worship when feeling the sorrow he felt. He’s now laughing again, bought a new mountain bike and is currently out exploring paths into the city (50km trip one way) in the hope of riding to work again regularly – he really does need the exercise and it does help depression.

Why am I sharing this here with you all? Because I want to let you know that if ever you have something happen in your life that drags you down or makes you feel like you’ll never be normal again, it’s important to give yourself time to heal, time to recover, time to experience all the feelings and emotions that you need to feel. And give permission to yourself to do something different and it’s ok to let go of things from the past if they’re not beneficial to you. Don’t feel like giving up things are breaking loyalties or obligations. Life happens – both good and bad. Just give yourself some room or if someone else you know is suffering, give them room too. Don’t expect them (or you) to recover in just a month, 3 months, 6 months or even a year. NEVER tell them to ‘get over it’ as I had someone tell me just 2 months after our daughter died. I could have slapped the guy in his face but we were at church and I don’t usually react aggressively to people.  I hope for that man’s sake, he never finds out what it’s like to lose a child.  For us it’s been almost 20 months. And most of all be patient. I’ve had to be.

Posted in Dealing with grief, My Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment