I have 3 children, a husband a dog and a cat and we live in Sydney. We are currently going through a frugal/early retirement start up phase which is interesting and I am finishing up a diploma in applied social science. Have a look at the About me page for more info if you're interested :)
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…Ok I am sort of over thinking about how many calories are in a piece of toast.
I am over reading in the news the latest food that causes cancer,
I am over seeing on the news the latest food that now is good for you, when 10 years ago we were to avoid it like the plague!
I really think, people of the world, we are over thinking food, that is my analysis of the situation. We take it apart, we put it under a microscope, we modify it to make it hardier, grow more, be sweeter, sourer, taste more, taste less. Then with our ‘findings’ we inform people to eat more carbs, eat less carbs, increase protein but only before exercise, eat less fat, eat more fat, sugar causes you to get fat?? This causes pimples, this cures pimples, this is now a super food, (often an unpronounceable plant from the shores of some foreign land or forest). Once we know our good foods, we then put them into tablets to be taken during the day every day by every man, woman and child in different strengths.
My simple solution is what we have been taught in schools since nutrition was a ‘thing’ to eat a balanced diet. You know that little triangle, I think it is fairly right except for when we start analyzing the amounts we need to eat each day, you know making sure you have a little bit of this and a bit more of that and a whole lot of the next. Well you just make it hard for yourself. Of course each person’s needs are different, a child needs fats to help their organs and important parts grow, an adult needs less fat as, well, we’re grown.
I have been trying my simple solution, just eat a balanced diet, and I’m not dropping kilos of weight, I’m not hungry, or tired or full of energy and bouncing around the place. I am just happy, happy to have good food, loving the taste of different foods everyday, excited to go shopping, or see a cooking program or taste a new flavour. Food however is no longer a goal, or focus, or controlling me, or obsessing me, it just is.
This is a story told in retrospect, this is no longer my year, but a story about another year far, far away…
… depression hit me fair and square on the backside that year, in all it’s wonderful forms. I have never been one to embrace change, so when my nephew and sister went back to New Zealand at the beginning of the year it set of a chain reaction (in my mind anyway), a landslide of doom and gloom that seemed to engulf my whole year and cause everyone around me to crash and burn also. I know I must have a huge ego to think that all the bad things that happened that year was because of my negative thoughts but there you have it.
My sister is also of the depressive variety of people, so she also consequently became depressed, which, from the very beginning of the year set me thinking about this demon of the mind, the darkness that attacks from within. In our family’s case, depression is obviously a family trait handed down from father to children. Within my brothers and sisters, all of us have depression in one way or other, but all of us deal with it in different ways.
I am what I call a lazy depressive, beside feeling sorry for myself, lethargic, unmotivated and glum for a period of time. Often a few weeks, and sometimes, but only when external forces are not going my way, i.e. disagreements, unable to communicate my ideas with others, people being idiots, do I feel dark and sometimes have those thoughts of what if I wasn’t here.
I do quickly snap out of it and get back to life, I am unable to take my depressed mood for long, so I kick it to the side and get on with it. Even the dark moods do not encourage me to do anything drastic and dangerous about my situation, I am lazy and do not want to be bothered with such things as suicide and acting out. Really my whole goal in life is to do as little as possible in the way of thinking, in the pursuit of personal happiness. Doing is more my style and I like being happy and content.
My sister on the other hand, while her situation is different to mine, went even further on the depression train after she left here (see what I did there? Bought it back to me again!!), she had a breakdown, got medicated, quit her job in a ranting, mess of tears, that she had just spent the last four years at university to get, and basically melted down and stayed there for a while. Actually the year did not end there for her, because she also picked herself up, got a great new job as a media librarian, (I know sounds boring, but she gets to watch videos, You tube, news programs etc. all day, rate them and put them out for schools and educational departments to use, and a bit of customer service, and she got to try the Google Glass, although I would have gone with Occulus Rift but that’s just me.) She loves her job, started on a personal exercise regime with my brother who is a personal trainer, got into a accapella choir, and just really got back into life with vengeance.
The year ended in sadness however, my friend, who had battled depression on and off for such a long time, ended her life suddenly. We were just getting into the last, busiest term of the school year when we found out. It really sent me flying, I didn’t crack or go under, but went through all the usual stages of grief. I had spent some time with my friend and we had discussed our collective ‘illnesses’. The causes and cures. We had even started exercising regularly together, at the beginning of the year, both of us acknowledging the fact that we feel great when we exercise, we don’t feel depression as deeply as when we don’t exercise, we are on top of the world. Then we stopped, there were excuses of course, no time, homeschooling and work stuff got in the way, no time. I truly believed that we had the answer to curing depression and when my friend ended her life, I felt deeply the guilt that I should have done more, I remembered the times we both had made plans since the beginning of the year only to change at the last minute. I didn’t create the time to see her, to be with her, to help her with the cure that was at our fingertips, but yet out of reach.
Has this changed the way I interact with others? Sure, I became wary for a long time, I even stated that I would not be making any new friends. I would even at times, distance myself from the friends I had, still alive friends, with their own issues that need support. Looking back from this far away, I can think about everything without feeling anxious and that year is slowly becoming resolved. Of course I am not depressed on a regular basis, I have not been diagnosed depressed at any time, in fact, I suffer from mild anxiety at the most in my opinion.
However, if you feel that depression is a problem for you please ring:
Beyond Blue Support Service
Support. Advice. Action
I am putting up very draft pieces of writing, sorry ’bout that guys! Although, any feedback, negative or positive would be great. I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, in school I could never understand or was never taught what a paragraph/essay or even a sentence should include so my writing often looks unorganised and messy. However, I do enjoy trying to write and that is what I am hoping to get out of Writing 101, practice, ideas, and feedback. Thanks for reading.
Childhood Memories of a Place of Mystery
We pulled up at a rest stop on our way to my Aunty’s place in Whangarei. My dad said we were having lunch a bit of a runaround here, so “get out and stretch your legs!” he said. The rest stop was right next to dense bushland, backing onto a forest of tall, ancient trees and mountain range in the background.
My mum and dad took our green, folding table and chairs and our esky out of the car and proceeded to set up lunch for us, while we ran off to do some exploring. “Don’t go too far my dad called out, lunch will be ready soon!”
We entered the bush, it enveloped us. I breathed in the woody, musky scents, the smell of fresh air and no smog, I stopped and could hear the sound of insects and birds getting on with their day. We ran on through the green grey trees, following a small, barely visible trail made by other small runners in search of adventure. The trail began to broaden and we came into a small clearing on the edge of a gorgeous, untainted brook filled with smooth shiny black and grey pebbles. It was magical, everything smelled so clean and earthy, it had been raining prior to our arrival so tiny jewels of water were tingling on the edge of every leaf.
Us children got straight to work, placing stepping stones across to the other side. Finding something to make a small shelter with. Someone ran back to get some cups for our drinks. We drunk right out of that brook, and it was the cleanest, sweetest water I had ever tasted.
We only stayed there till after lunch, we drove away never to return. I couldn’t find that spot again, even though I tried once I grew up. I can still see that spot, I think of it often, and when I do I am right there, smelling the smells, seeing the beauty, feeling free.
“There was that one time”, she said, “that we went to the beach and met those two guys? can you remember?”
“I do..” Candice replied trying to conjure up the exact location and failing miserably in her own head.
They sat there in silence for a moment, trying to remember where their lives had gone, two 40 something, women, alone without children or any significant other, still bacholoretting together so many years after college.
Sure they had amazing careers, that’s what we want these days, said Lani, “isn’t it, Isn’t it!!? A career, money, making a name for ourselves, thats what we wanted CC!”
And they did want that after college, the world seemed so big, full of every good thing possible for a couple of single girls. They partied, although not excessively, they saved a good deal of their earnings and had quite a stash, their favourite pastime, travel, was a regular twice a year journey to far away places. They bought a house together which was now fully paid out, and several others as part of their joint investment plan.
Now that all seemed so unnecessary, sure they were well off, they were well known in their business circles, they were settled and happy with all they had, but something was missing. Well that was what they had been contemplating over their bottle of wine and pizza, their weekly get together, that had started during college with all their friends, but slowly one by one the friends would go off and get married, or move away till it was just the two of them and a couple of friends who were able to pop in on a semi regular basis. That’s what bought up the subject today. Lisa had once again texted to let them know that the baby was sick and she wouldn’t be over tonight.
That baby is always sick Lani bemoaned.
So just an idea that popped into my head, might extend it might not, but that is day one of Writing 101 workshop!
Okay, so I’m trying to write more and will be hopefully writing a post a day but with a variety of different criteria and subject matter.
So today I thought a fun addition would be Rant of the Day/week,(so if you don’t like complaints stop reading now!) you know where I just go off at the things that irk, annoy, or straight out p#@ me off! (I don’t swear in real life that much except when mad, so won’t be swearing in a blog that much either!!)
For my first Rant, I just came back from the shopping mall, and I know it seems pedantic, but it really annoys me when people don’t put their shopping trolleys back, or they chuck them at the shopping trolley bay, without concern for other shoppers or the people who have to clean up their mess. I am forever reorganising the trolleys to make them fit better into the bay, or saving them from dangerous corners of the carpark.
Why? because I’ve been there when a trolley runs out and crashes into a random car, I’ve even seen a trolley and a moving car collide! Older shoppers are not as nimble as they used to be a a trolley on a roll is a dangerous object to try and avoid for them. And for that matter a child would be unable to stop a trolley crashing into them also.
I’m sure if any of us came back to our car and found damage had been caused by a runaway trolley, we’d be mad, and want to find the culprit! Yeah, sure the trolley attendants job is to make sure the trolleys are kept in order, but it doesn’t take long for you to make sure your own trolley is in the right place and not going to roll of into the distance and cause some havoc!
…change whether we like it or not is always going to happen, and whether it is big or small, change can sometimes throw us off our game, make us disorientated or even look at our whole lives differently. I usually have a big problem with change, it’s probably a chemical imbalance of some kind in my brain, but who doesn’t have a problem like that once in a while.
When I was very young, probably 6 or 7, my family and I went fishing on a wharf, as my father liked to go early we were usually asleep by the time we got to our fishing spot, so my mum always took blankets and pillows for us. I remember I had my favourite pillow with me and somehow it fell over the side of the wharf which was way too high for any attempt to try and retrieve it. Now even though it sounds silly, I cried when I lost my pillow, my only memories from this time is this particular incident and looking through the back window as we left our home for the last time, to travel down the West Australian coast, both very traumatic memories in my mind but minor incidents in reality.
Granted, these were from the mind of a 7 year old, but even now, the things that affect me the most are the changes that occur in life, you would think that by now I would have developed a fairly good coping mechanisms, but no. This last Christmas was great, my sister and nephew were both here visiting for the holidays, we reconnected, they became part of the furniture, I expected to wake up everyday and they’d be there. We made plans, read, crafted, we went away on day trips , stayed at the beach, started exercise routines, I started sewing her a wardrobe for her work as a teacher. We had fun, I was exceedingly excited about this year, I was positive and felt good about the planning I’d done for my children’s education for 2014
….and then they left.
I was devastated, I went into a minor depression; life lost all interest, the year no longer held promise, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t exercise, I got sick, not with the flu, but just general unwellness, listlessness, and fatigue. I know, I know, I can hear you now, “Get over it!, harden up!. Everyone goes through change, and yours isn’t even bad change!!”. Believe me I said the same things. Of course it is ridiculous dwelling on something as simple as family leaving, it happens all the time, and of course we have feelings of loss, even if it is minor change, it’s still loss. So the question was, why did I feel so bad? Why did it take so long for me to even attempt to exercise, as almost proven cure for depression. Why do I go to sleep mid afternoon as though I’m a toddler again?
Once again, chemical imbalance comes to mind, and yes I got on to the doctors this week to get on top of this problem. I wish I could like change, embrace it, live it, love it!
A big resolution for this year was to ‘live large, love large’, when one is scared of the slightest change in one’s life this resolution is about as hard as climbing a mountain, but I’m going to try. This year I’m going to enjoy each and everyday from here on in. If finding fear and aversion to change is easy for me, how hard can it be to find life, love, fun and excitement instead?
I’ve been away for a while, finishing of my last paper for my diploma, yay! Homeschooling the kiddies, working on my internet business all gets in the way of reading, writing and blogging, but finally I can start putting some time toward the things that make me happy just doing them!
Anyway recently, well not so recently, for the last 6 months to a year, I have been contemplating overhauling our electronics at home, mostly on the computing side of things, the main thing stopping me is of course money, I have very expensive tastes 🙂 but also just wanting to familiarise myself with the hardware and software I need to make my goals happen.
Building a Website
At the beginning of last year I purchased an online store, selling homeschool curriculum, as well as sewing patterns, two of my most favourite things to purchase! So of course wanting to save money I set up my websites (I split the store in two seeing as the products didn’t really compliment each other), using an internet host I have been using for a long time (Hostgator) and in the process learnt such stuff as html, ftp, frontend and backend etc.
It has been a steep learning curve, I’ve constanly made use of several forums including the Zen Cart (which I use for my shopping cart), WordPress and the Hostgator forums and ticket system. I have a working website that does it’s job but now I want to spend more time getting it working exactly how I want it. This means an intensive course in coding, as I want it done properly.
I am not a logical minded person, so code and computer stuff do not come naturally, I have a hard time understanding what is being said in forums, just because I’m not wired that way. Instead I have to find people who speak in a way I understand. I have to take several forum posts, and other information and pull the relevant stuff from them then set the info out in a way that is logical to me and that I understand. Luckily I also have a Computer Tech for a brother, who is just a Skype call away!
Building a Home Network
I have set myself several goals in the personal computing arena of our family life:
Build a file/media server
Upgrade our current computer
Build a gaming computer
Why, well just because, computers are a integral part of alot of people’s lives these days, not everyone, but a whole lot more than when I was a child, and the only electronic entertainment available was a small black and white TV and a record play, wireless!
My idea is to set up the server and transfer the current computer’ s harddrive to the 2TB external harddrive I got, then totally revamp the current computer, then when money allows, build the gaming computer.
Building a Server
I have several people ask me recently why I want a server, we’ve had a computer for several years now, we have 1 PC, a laptop, various gaming consoles, ipads and smartphones, all which I want to be able to access all our media from one central location. Also for the learning experience, the kids are helping, and interested in the reasons one would use a server, and I’m learning a whole new world. Sure a server is a little over the top, however I haven’t put alot of money into it
Once again, it has been hard, I don’t naturally understand stuff like compatible hardware, and where to find IP addresses, or even what sort of router I have!! Sure I could buy a NAS, plug it in and go, but why, I won’t learn anything that way? I purchased an old Dell Poweredge, SC440 server, an external hard drive, an extra screen, keyboard and mouse, all over the course of a couple of months and for under $300 total. The Dell has 4GB of ram, an 80GB hard drive, which I’ve loaded the os onto, and two 250GB hard drives, in RAID, (have yet to configure this so have no idea what array it is in), was going to swap our the two 250GB drives and replace with 1TB but will go with the status quo for now.
In keeping with the money saving idea of my server, I decided to shun Windows and install Ubuntu server (Free download!!), of course if anyone knows what a server looks like on a computer screen, it was a bit of a shock to me to only see a terminal screen, I thought I had done something wrong till I rang my brother. He thought it would be easier for me if I just install the desktop version of Ubuntu (I downloaded it here), and that is what I am working on now 🙂 I love Ubuntu, it seems very compact and unfussy, and is in my favourite colour, purple! Of course I am currently using the server as an extra computer, as I still have to ring my brother and get him to help me through the rest of the server network install. Once that happens, I will remove the screen and other peripherals and run it remotely. (I am slowly learning to use the terminal, and command lines, which is so much easier than trying to find things through the programs etc. everyone should learn how to access this basic area of your computer)
Tech question: The cd only installed the 32bit os, it did not have a 64bit option I could choose at install, do I need a 64bit os on a server. If the answer is yes then I will have to burn an iso onto a cd, I haven’t had much luck at this so far.
Next post: Upgrading our current computer.
(Disclaimer: There are no paid links in this post, all opinions are my own, or what I’ve found out through research, or what my brother has told me hehe.)
I’m not a traveller, I get travel sickness, and have head aches, and queasiness for days after any sort of travel involving distances. So not the best beginning for a nomad of any sort except those using horses or camels.
As a child however I travelled quite a lot, I was born in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and by the time I was 12 had travelled right down the west side of this large island to Ceduna in South Australia and then on to New Zealand. Now for those of you who are familiar with Australia especially the outback, the distances we have to travel sometimes just to a party or even shopping are huge, and my parent went to alot of parties! Now while my mother hated this nomadic lifestyle, I loved it, and dream now of being free enough to just sell everything and take of to far flung lands for adventures, travel sickness aside, to see sights I’ve only seen in books and tv.
My ideal adventure would include a fullly self contained RV or caravan (living without hygiene facilities is just not me!), and a boat as accommodation rather than going from motel to motel. I would love to just pull up in places park my RV or boat and get out and experience the country I might be in.
I would go everywhere, but probably food would motivate me more than anything else. I would love to go to India, and Thailand, China and Japan for their cuisine. America to experience those super size helpings of ribs and burgers and chips. I would find genuine pork pies in England and try Champagne from France.
One trip might include going to different countries in Europe and try their different types of cheeses. Or may be to Germany to try a genuine Black Forest Gateau, (incidentally as a child we knew a German family and the mother made the most luscious Black Forest gateau I have ever tasted, don’t ever try those ones in the cheesecake shop, they are NOT the same). Of course after eating Gateau we might take a little ride on the Rhine, hopefully in the middle of winter. In school I learnt German and one year our teacher showed us pictures of castles covered in snow along the Rhine, it was magical and I dreamed of living in one of those castles (I know cliquè every little girl wanting to be a princess), we may also take in the Octoberfest, I know might clash with my gateau eating and cruise taking?!
Now don’t ask me how I’m going to get my caravan to all those countries, I don’t know yet 🙂
There was a time in my life when laughing seemed silly, and only in extreme hilarious situations should it be attempted. I was and sometimes still am, a very serious, often uptight sort of person, who doesn’t seem to see to funny side of life. Well over the last decade or so I made a real effort to see this funny side, I have 3 children for goodness sake and I know how a life of no fun turns out, plus children are just so darn funny.
Everyday now I try to laugh, that deep, hearty, out loud laugh. Sometimes its what the kids say, other times, my husband and I just have a bit of fun, sometimes it’s something I see on TV or read on Facebook, that is often cause of a few belly laughs! The latest crying/laughing was just yesterday or the day before, and it was from Facebook, (If you’ve seen the ‘auto-correct text’ post going around Facebook you know what I mean), however I had to silently laugh at it as I didn’t want to tell the kids why I was laughing, they always want to know! It was painful to say the least, I wanted to laugh out loud and share it with every one in the room, but had to try and contain myself, it would have been hilarious to watch 🙂
Other Blogs from the Daily Prompt, that are bound to have some joyful stories read on: