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Day by day

image from futureofcio.blogspot.com  Happiness is enlightenment and blessings.

~

 “From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities. We have the power to think in ways that reflect and attract all the love in the world. Such thinking is called enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a process we work toward, but a choice available to us in any instant.”
Marianne Williamson, The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles

~

Day by Day, my reality had been the same. The way this morning began I wondered if I was going to make it with any degree of equanimity. For several days now I’ve been troubled with an annoying pain in my left arm. When I say arm I’m not being very accurate, it actually feels as though my entire shoulder-blade through to my fingertips is being crushed under a tonne of rocks. Enlightenment seemed a long way away.

Even after the pain has subsided, how strange to use a word like that when we also talk about the ‘area subsiding after an earthquake’, my entire arm feels numb and somewhat uncoordinated. It has made doing anything a challenge. Day by Day I hope that giving myself a rest I would feel better the next day. It felt strange not having a blog ready to publish yesterday after the 30 day challenge.

Day by Day

image from wanderlustandlipstick.com                      Rocking chair – rest, Oh Yes!

Well it appears the ‘rest’ didn’t work quite as I’d planned. My left hip and leg are now joining my arm and both ankles and feet appear swollen. For the first time ever, I am not researching it before I see my doctor this week. If I manage to wait three days it will be a historic event, but I’m not happy with how I feel. I’m supposed to feel better since I’m able to ‘stop’ my Lyme meds for a month. Time will tell. So I’m just taking it Day by Day.

Yet that is why Marianne Williamson’s quote is so apt. Having the power to create infinite possibilities – good ones – means that I can remove the worry over what is currently passing. She calls it ‘enlightenment’, available in an instant. So I’ve chosen to accept this. It’s a day by day project with myself.

Day by Day

image from http://www.true-enlightenment.com    Enlightenment warmth

In my enlightened state I am not worrying about the strange things happening to me at present. Nor will I undermine myself because I have been unable to attend a retreat I very much wanted to be on.  I am releasing all of the emotions attached to them to make way for positive emotions and actions to replace them.

I asked my body what it needed, and what I should be doing to help myself, at this time. There are fifteen days until Christmas. I have cards to complete and send, although the list has shortened of recent times, gifts to finish buying and a menu to think about.

In years past it has driven me to distraction. It literally turned me into a ball of worried knots, unable to sleep because I may not have enough time to do everything. Also, that everything would not be done ‘perfectly’. In the past, anything less than perfection was not tolerated.  Well, it doesn’t matter. Everything will be done, and those people who get cards, and perhaps a letter, will hopefully realise that the effort to get that letter ready for them is, in itself, a gift. If they don’t, it’s not my problem.

Day by Day

image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk     Rushing to get that shopping done.

I’m almost done with gifts; in fact I have only one to arrange – Way to Go!  I made the ice cream plum pudding today, with help from Ray, and it looks good. I have photos and will put it in a blog soon. It’s yummy in the heat; I just have to remember not to be heavy-handed with the spirits for those who are driving. (Last year it was loaded – oops).. Turkey arranged – check, my stuffing ingredients – check, vegies – have to be bought close to the day. I’m all set.

The Christmas tree has posed a problem – I’m not where I’d hoped to be, but that too simply is how it is, and we accept that we’re here for a while longer. Yet the house doesn’t lend itself to the placement of the tree, not to my satisfaction. The problem I thought was the fact that I had decided not to unpack everything, and there are still boxes around the place. Yet that is not the problem at all. Arranged the way we need to have the house set up, it really doesn’t lend itself to putting one up. Not unless you want to waltz around it at every twist and turn.

I’m still pondering that little problem. If it can be sorted out then enlightenment will make the solution known.

Day by Day

image from http://www.christmashungama.com    Christmas trees, a sign of the season

I had thought my children would be unavailable at Christmas. Quite a shock when I found out. Yet I have since found out that my son is returning to Brisbane and will come down on Boxing Day, as long as we’re having turkey. That is really a big gift! Hopefully, now my daughter has a new job, she will come down on Boxing Day too and we can all be together.

It’s quite strange in one sense, and beautifully perfect in another. My daughter has been given quite a big promotion, to Superintendent. She is the only female Superintendent in Queensland and possibly Australia. It’s a far cry from her situation just a few weeks ago. My son, I thought would remain in Melbourne, but is now back ‘home’. All my preparations are just about complete. (I think the house decoration must fall to Ray).

As far as my health is concerned, it is what it is and I will find out during the week, hopefully, or have more tests to do!  None of this can I change or alter in any significant way by worrying or over analysing them. They are what they are.  As strange as that may seem, it is ‘Living in the Now’, although I prefer to say I am Being Present in the moment.

Day by Day

image from ohua88.com –   Decorations, exotic or plain make the home a magical place.

Perhaps this new-found equanimity is the ‘enlightenment’ that Marianne Williamson referred to. If so, it feels darn good.  There is another older saying, “Let go and Let God”.  If that appeals to you then I’m happy for you. In its own way it is still able to be applied; God is whichever higher power you personally believe in, and that too, is very much alright with me too.

No doubt  I will be challenged, we always are, but for now, I feel very happy with the status quo. I have a full heart filled with the many Blessings I have already  received. I am grateful beyond measure.

~

Day by Day

image from wallpapers.free-review.net       Enlightenment and happiness are with me, join me?

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Join on me on Enlightenment journey this Christmas season and we can see how much happiness we feel and can give to others.

Blessings,  Susan xx

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Learning How to Breathe Again

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

“I thought about having a proper room, breathing life into it, and nobody minding.”
― Jenny Valentine, Broken Soup

Arriving at the airport in Athens to catch the El Al plane to Israel was the beginning of something totally unexpected. The entire place was bustling despite the early hour. Needless to say the El Al departure gate was at the furthest end of the airport. Arriving in Athens I had realised I had over packed, but by then it was too late to do anything about it. After hauling my cases (2) to the El Al checkpoint I was unconcerned when I was shepherded to the side to have my luggage checked. After all, I had nothing to be concerned about. Had I?

Enter one of the most handsome men I had seen in a long time. Pointing at my large suitcase he indicated I should place it on the waist high bench and open it. OK, everything was tied down really well so as soon as I unclipped the straps the clothes jumped up another eight inches – at least. Not content with that embarrassment I was then amazed to see him painstakingly go through everything in my case, and then the second case. I mean EVERYTHING – bras, pants, the lot! By the time he had finished inspecting them there was this mangled mess of clothing and toiletries on the lids of the suitcases. Smiling beguilingly he told me I could repack my bags and join the queue to get a boarding pass.

Learning to Breathe

image from http://www.live4.com.au         Too much of a good thing is still too much!

Time – I couldn’t forget the time. It was running through my mind over and over with the idea that I might miss my connection. I knew I shouldn’t have packed so much! So when I finally got to weighing my bag I breathed a sigh of relief. A sigh which was very short lived. Over weight! On Singapore it was only two kilos over which they waived. On El Al the weight permitted was much less and I was eight kilos over! OMG. Take the bag back and haul ass to the counter to pay for the excess baggage. Of course the counter was two thirds of the way back up the concourse, a very long concourse, and I had to take my luggage with me.

Thank heavens for a very helpful Greek airport staff guy. He hauled the big case and I grabbed the second and off we trotted. The trot became a gallop as we tried to get to the counter. Of course they wanted cash which I didn’t have as I was leaving. Finally they put it through on my Visa, mainly thanks to my Greek friend and we began the mad dash back to the El Al departure point. After a very frosty look from the lady behind the El Al counter I escaped towards the departure lounge. The fun was just beginning though.

Boarding a plane is fairly standard, right? There’s the squeezing between the seats and trying to get your luggage in the overhead racks, getting into your seat and settling down. This was completely different and people were going every which way, apparently without any rhyme or reason. Seats seemed to be taken as they wished and it felt as though chaos ruled the day. Amazingly, all the seats were filled and the plane left on time.

However! As soon as the plan set off down the runway seat belts started popping open and by the time we were airborne most of the passengers were wandering all over the place, talking, from one side of the plane to the other and from back to the front, and all in Hebrew. The odd one out wasn’t even close. I huddled down and tried to remain inconspicuous. Not very likely but there you have it. I did receive some rather odd looks which I interpreted as “what on earth are you doing here”?

The trip from Athens to Tel Aviv was just over an hour long and the passengers milled around the plane for the entire trip. I’m not even sure if they sat down for the landing, and the disembarkation felt like a free for all to get off first.

Learning to Breathe

image from http://www.itnews.com.au                 Why are you here?     

Arriving at the passport check in was reasonably straight forward; just follow the queue, yet not quite. The Israelis walked through their gate at a fast pace whilst I joined a much smaller queue. I handed over my passport and then had my first ever taste of being on the receiving end of an interrogation. Why was I coming to Israel? Why was I alone? Was I meeting someone? Did I know anyone here? Had I come to find a husband? A husband?! I had just managed to divest myself of the last mistake so I most definitely wasn’t looking for another. After I explained that I was divorced she relaxed, until she asked me for my maiden name since I didn’t have my husband’s surname.

Oh! Well. Hmm. I had changed my name by deed poll after my divorce and chosen a name I liked, so I couldn’t give her my maiden name as a reference either. That didn’t go over very well so we went through all the previous questions again. It was obvious she didn’t like me and didn’t believe I wasn’t there to snare some poor unwary Israeli guy for my next husband.  Eventually, as the last person in the checkpoint left and I was there alone, one of the other men came around to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t speak Hebrew but the rapid fire statements from her gave me the feeling she would have loved to send me back. Thankfully he must have out ranked her and I tiredly walked through the checkpoint to get my luggage. I was the last person in the airport and my greeter had vanished.

Learning to Breathe

image from jewishcentralvoice.com                       Tel Aviv

After many phone calls and what felt like a long wait but was probably only a half an hour I was met by a nice guy who shepherded me to his vehicle and we set off for the hotel. I was thrilled to have a running commentary of all the sights and history as we traveled into Tel Aviv.

The strangest part of all, despite the language barrier and the quasi interrogation at the airport, there was a real feeling of coming home. I took my first deep breath in a long time and realised I had started to feel relaxed. It really felt quite strange.

Next week – A blend of new worlds

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Guy Fawkes

image from http://www.channel4.com       The typical bonfire for guy Fawkes night

I’m a little late with this post as you can see, since Bonfire night or Guy Fawkes night was November 5. I realise my American readers will still be on November 5, so hooray, but down-under it is already November 6. I had intended to do this but instead my husband and I spent the evening reminiscing on what bonfire night had been like in both our countries as we were growing up.

Here in Australia it was celebrated with the huge (or small) bonfire and fireworks. It was a night of relaxed merrymaking amongst close friends, at least for my husband and his family, as they lived in the country and neighbours were miles away. With an abundance of wood cleared for planting crops they had a head start on their UK counterparts!

Yet for all the nostalgia of its passing I got the feeling that it wasn’t quite the same as we had in England. However, they made the night their own with a few drinks and a party, and of course, the obligatory high jinks. I’m told that amongst the fireworks was an occasional marine flare and an even bigger flash with the odd stick of gelignite (used for clearing tree stumps as a rule)! It seems when mischief arrives fun will be had and imagination abounds amongst young and the young at heart.

Guy Fawkes

image from http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk –         My type of bonfire complete with Guy Fawkes.

In the UK things were a little different. Throughout the months of September and October the households participating in their Guy Fawkes bash (and there were many of them), would scour the neighborhood collecting timber, of any kind, old doors, packing crates, furniture, in fact anything which would burn.  It was a competition to see who could gather, and keep their bonfire material. Scavenging was tolerated, if not accepted and raids on each others stockpile were legendary. (We used to keep ours under lock and key in the old coal cellar). Many is the night when I would join the local lads (yes I was a tom boy), creeping through the dark night to sneak under the fence or wire, climb a tree to get over a fence and raid the competition’s stockpile. Adrenaline flowed and it was all in the nature of fun…. there was little violence as a result of our raiding which showed how much things have changed over the years.

By the end of October the anticipation was growing apace. Guarding your stockpile was a rostered affair to ensure your hoard remained intact. It was serious business by now. Halloween was one of the last nights for fun and frivolity before the big event. Being a book-worm I would love telling the stories of how it was possible to see the spirits of those crossed over on this night and as we ran and hid to jump out and scare one another mercilessly, we looked over our shoulders to see if something was following us. Dropping from overhead branches as we crept past trees and suddenly knocking over dustbins to hear the clatter and clang were all part of the lighthearted fun.

My understanding of Halloween only grew in later years, but then, as a child it was simple light-hearted fun and a night when children could safely roam the streets for a few hours after dark and have some high jinks. Trick or treating didn’t exist and a few hours of running amok certainly tired us out, much to our parents delight.

Guy Fawkes

image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk    The traditional style of Guy Fawkes, all ready for the fire.

I hasten to add that this photo even predates my Guy Fawkes but is the closest approximation to the ones I made each year. Dad graciously donated a pair of overalls and shirt. Granddad a cap and socks and usually a scarf and gloves. The stuffing was a mixture of rags and sticks, straw and anything I could jam in to fill him out nicely.

His face was a piece of hessian with eyes, nose and mouth painted on. Sometimes we had a jacket and sometimes boots….it all depended on what we could scrounge in the area. Stuffing it, sewing him up and painting a face really made him come alive. When it came time to tie him into his chair, we always used a donated kitchen chair to put at the top of the bonfire, he became a rather sad person to me.

He was of course, the person responsible for trying to blow up the houses of parliament. One has to wonder at times if he wasn’t on the right track, but that’s just my musing.

It was an unwritten but accepted rule that once the bonfire building began there were no more raids. The fire built during the day so that as the adults came home we were as wired as a high wire acrobat. One family made baked potatoes, another cooked pies and the obligatory mushy peas (yes mushy peas and I loved them) and I made ‘plot’ toffee and toffee apples. I have no idea why it was called plot toffee as the recipe was no different to usual, except I had to make lots more of it. Chewy or hard there was little left at the end of the night.

Guy Fawkes

image from http://www.mumsintheknow.co.uk                  Fireworks a spectacular display on Guy Fawkes night

A ring of chairs (for the fire later) or from inside the house, logs for the fire or other comfortable perches were arranged in a circle around the fire for the adults. I can’t say I saw any alcohol but then I was a wee innocent back then. Dad was in charge of the fireworks and he managed to let his inner child run free and he slipped the Chinese Tom Thumbs loose behind the adults to see them jump too. I loved the Catherine Wheels, but then I loved it all.

The smell of the fire, the toasty feel of the heat on your face, the excitement as the fire burned brightly and the whiz, bang and whirr of the fire works, plus the parade of ‘goodies’ throughout the evening, on a cold chilly night was almost indescribable.  There was always a “hurrah” from almost everyone as poor old Fawkes succumbed to the flames but I still felt sorry for him.

Parents finally chivvied children in to bathe and bed, still excited and wide-eyed and seeing the fire glow from your window it was hard to fall asleep. Truthfully I was caught on more than one occasion hanging from my bedroom window watching the flames still burning brightly.

Guy Fawkes

image from http://www.theguardian.com     Standing around the bonfire on Guy Fawkes night

This then was the bonfire night or Guy Fawkes night of my childhood. After the long reminiscing last night I really wanted to share with you a highlight from my childhood days when fun and frivolity were just that, simple and light-hearted with no one getting hurt or playing cruel pranks. That came later, but not when we enjoyed it. I hope you can get an idea of what it was like for us.

Blessings and light-hearted reminiscing.

Ciao, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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image from vgiselleh.deviantart.com

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
Paulo Coelho,

I realise that I could talk at length about either attitude, gratitude or change so to add them into one title is possibly presumptuous.  However, it is only when we consider that each is, in many ways inextricably linked with the other that it makes sense, one might even say it becomes rational.  There has been volumes already written and spoken about all three, but what I would like to do is use each and put it into context in what happened yesterday.  My reasoning is simple, it was a lesson for me and may, in some small way, make sense for someone else.

Anyone who reads my blogs will realise that there is a cycle to my writing, I can be anywhere on a sinus wave, in the trough, climbing to the peak, at the crest or falling back towards the depths.  I thought, for a while at least, that this was because I wasn’t handling things, life, my situation well enough.  It’s so very easy to fall into that way of thinking. After all, who am I that I can say that I alone affect every aspect of my complex existence? I am Susan Jamieson in all my simple and complex existence and I love to share my thoughts through by blog, Owls and Orchids.

I have to interact with others, their situations and lives each day and by extension, these events have some impact on my day, my feelings. Learning how to prevent that will be a topic I can discuss when I have “all my little ducks lined up”. Yes, a project in the planning I am going to delight in sharing later.

Yesterday was going to be a big day – at least for me. After months of doing only the absolutes, what was needed to see doctors, specialists and people who have seen more of my insides than I ever will, to plan a day doing the little but fun things for ourselves was a golden day.  Yet, there was a small hiccough in the plan – it was hot! Glorious, gorgeous sunshine, the giver of life, was going to be raising the temperature, and mine also. It would be a test.

“Cool Change”, by Little River Band, a favourite for a long time. Why these lyrics should suddenly pop into my mind I have no idea, yet they were firmly cemented in the back of my mind. At odd times parts of the lyrics would suddenly be there. Then I realised what it was.  The snippets which kept coming back to me were telling me that my attitude to whether it was hot was, in fact, the very thing which was screwing my thoughts around. I was in an air-conditioned car and very comfortable. Everywhere we had to go was also air-conditioned, although I have to admit that in some of the places we visited, their air conditioner appeared to be struggling with the temperature too.

From there, after a few more lyrics, I realised that I was becoming more focused on how grateful I was that I was out and about.  Even if I was a little hot, it was such a joy to be visiting the people and shops where I was greeted warmly, helped with what I was looking for and left feeling incredibly happy that this was a normal day! I found that my growing feelings of gratitude was changing my attitude and I was enjoying myself, whatever the weather.

Passing the florist I was reminded of the beautiful flowers I have coming along at home. The King Orchid has already finished in the tree but my potted orchids are growing apace. The Dancing Lady is a mass of flowers and the red Hippeastrum looks wonderful with a splash of colour from the orange Clivia.  Spathiphyllum, (Peace Lily) and Arum Lily are snowy white and the fragrant Jasmin and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow send their scent indoors each evening.

Despite the fact that I was beginning to droop from the constant walking and shopping I was still feeling buoyed up by the day. We stopped and had a marvelous latte, exactly the way we like it, and once again I felt that upsurge of gratitude flowing through me, my “Cool Change” was still running in the background.  My day was complete when I found a beautiful piece of Botswana Agate, the colours amazing and really feeling like the flow was moving not past me but through me. I was embracing the change I had been feeling all day.

Gaining an hour coming to Queensland had been a bonus and we headed off home to Byron and to our favourite little coffee shop for a bite to eat. We had not taken into consideration that most places would be closing their kitchens earlier because we had now ‘lost’ an hour. Normally this would have been enough to really spoil the end of a glorious day. The sea breeze had sprung up so it was beautiful and temperate inside or out, but we weren’t going to get the meal we had hoped for.

A few miles further on we spotted a shop still trading and ducked inside. We settled on a lovely toasted sandwich and a wonderful coffee. It was terrific to find a Di Bella coffee which is our favourite blend.

Beautiful toasted sandwich and coffee. Simple and delicious.

Under normal circumstances even finding the Di Bella may not have saved the day, but the change in attitude made the gratitude for finding something tasty, nutritious and quick was all that made the difference. It was then that “Cool Change” ran through my mind again and I realised how intricately those three things are entwined. When all three are flowing little miracles can happen – large ones too.

We arrived home truly happy with our day, knowing we can go back to our coffee shop and have our evening treat another day soon, but also knowing we both had a warm ball of gratitude inside from our change in thinking about the days events. Our attitude had been rewired and what may have been obstacles or disappointments had been changed.

For me, as well as Ray, it was a wonderful lesson which had not been difficult but very enjoyable and will help us in the future.  I truly hope it may also help you at some time.

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor E. Frankl

There is always, always, always something to be grateful for, if we change our attitude we find the gratitude.

May your days be filled with large and small blessings.

Love always.  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson

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Fijian dancers 2010

One of the highlights of our trip to Fiji was the traditional Fijian night, food and the dancers. The enjoyment and energy they showed was almost contagious.  I really don’t think either of us wanted to get up and shimmy our way round the circle of whirl and jump like dervishes!  It made for great entertainment though.

Fijian dancers 2010 -4

I guess it goes without much explanation that the whirling and spinning was done by the men. The ladies did a lot of shimmy and shake, and those headdresses – awesome.

Although we spent much of our time working! Yes, a working trip to Fiji, where each day was spent in a conference room, we were always aware that the sun was shining outside and the staff were ready with a smile and “Bula” before and after any request.

Lookout over pool in Fiji  2

The beautiful view from our room. As soon as the sun rose we could see the gardens and pools which led onto the beach.  In spite of the work there was time for team building, games of pool volleyball, contortionist games of pass the ball through the human maze and finding messages in object form from anywhere in the resort gardens – if we could decipher the clues. One of the funniest activities had each team hanging on to their own coloured rope. Everyone had to manoeuver a large beach ball under and over chairs and tables and up and down stairs without dropping it. Dropped we had to start all over again.

Best activity of all was the jet boat ride. I’ve  watched these guys from our balcony at Runaway Bay and the fellow in Fiji could teach them a lot. We zigged and zagged and spun and whirled.  We whizzed backwards and forwards and stopped in a spray of water millimeters from posts, each time throwing up a fountain of water over everyone in the boat.  It really was thrills a minute and lasted too short a time.

After a shower and change it was time for a refreshing cocktail and dinner…. it certainly worked up an appetite.

Be ready to take your time though, everything runs on Fiji time!

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image from creativepinkdesigns.blogspot.com

“Blessings be on this house,” Granny said, perfunctorily. It was always a good opening remark for a witch. It concentrated people’s minds on what other things might be on this house.”    ― Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

I seem to be saying this a great deal recently, but it has been a rugged week so far.  I’m not complaining, really, because having finally found a reason for a decade or more of ill-health which no doctor, specialist, alternative therapist and so on have been able to explain to me, I understood that getting well was going to be a rocky road.  The medications which I have to take are – well, not kind on my ‘fragile’ system, and killing off the wretched bugs causes its own misery. Yet, I have to acknowledge that these medicines are a Blessing in themselves.

I have my next batch of tablets to add to the first now and the combination simply increases the …… results. I am getting well, eventually, I simply have to weather the storm in the interim.  So the times when I feel totally wretched and ill, praying for the dreadful itching and vomiting etc to pass, may seem interminable at that time, but they do pass.  Then I can have some pleasant times, escapades if you like and I hold tight to those beautiful times when the bad ones strike.

Following absolutely awful mornings this week I have had afternoons filled with doctors visits and testing – I’m beginning to think it was more than a coincidence that we continually make new and fresh blood, if we didn’t I might be in a bit of a pickle by now! Now that is a true Blessing.

image from lauradoyle.org

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”  ― Lao Tzu

I have been blessed in so many ways, my two wonderful children who have become adults I am proud to say, these are my little children; I have had wonderful parents who taught me to be the person I have become; brothers who are the family I grew up with; and above all I have been graced by the friendship and love of an incredible man who I adore and adores me and we will grow old together… in this world and the next.

During my challenging times he is there, holding my hand, running baths, making cups of tea or making light meals to make me smile and stay strong. He sees me at my worst and at my best and loves me just as I am. A brilliant and wonderful blessing!

Brunch in bed with home  brewed latte

Brunch in bed with home-brewed latte

Don’t you love the serviette to protect those yummy yolk dribbles? I was surprised by this after hours of struggling to wake up, between staggering into the bathroom and getting myself together …. just the ticket and delicious!

Yesterday was my birthday. With everything we  have had to do I had decided a quiet day was the best way to go. Such are the “best laid plans of mice and men (oft go astray” by Robert Burns, “To a Mouse”.)… more tests needed!

So a trip up to the Gold Coast again and I was treated to a lovely lunch at one of our favourite coffee shops. The owner is such a sweetie who always goes out of his way to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable. It’s really old-fashioned service and always appreciated. Just the ticket to strengthen my foundering reserves after the tests.

Yet the SURPRISE of the day – week – month was not to be unveiled until I reached home again. I was looking forward to a cup of tea (always makes me think  of the scene from “My Fair Lady” where Rex Harrison is plopping marbles into Audrey Hepburn’s mouth as she says “Cup of Tea” and he and the Colonel eat cakes and drink tea.) Just a whimsical side track!

Feet up and cup of French Earl Grey tea by my side, I was told to relax whilst a quick meal was whipped up by my husband. A short while later he appeared around the corner with a beautiful silver box in his hand and inside the most beautiful necklace and earrings. Just look at the fabulous colours. WOW!

Beautiful Drusy Quartz necklace and earrings

Beautiful Drusy Quartz necklace and earrings

Followed by the most delicious garlic prawns and stir fried veg with coconut cream dressing…. fabulous.

Garlic prawns and coconut cream stir fried veg.... delicious

Garlic prawns and coconut cream stir fried veg…. delicious

Followed by a tired and resting birthday girl, propped up in bed wearing her jewels.

Happy Birthday Blessings

Happy Birthday Blessings

So, despite the trials and travails which I am going through, there are countless things for which I am grateful and recognise as blessings. They are what I focus on when things are tough. They make the times in between easier to bear and make the better times even brighter. Sometimes its hard to get to that good place, and there are moments, sometimes hours when it’s not easy to reach a happy place, but eventually I get there and count my blessings and realise I can and will go on.

I have fantastic support and understanding beside me every step of the way.  I have riches far beyond measure and I am so incredibly grateful that I can see that know that I will never be alone in my struggle or life.

I have been blessed with a wonderful life.

Every positive thing in your life represents a single unique blessing. Every negative thing in your life has the opportunity to become a double blessing. For when you turn a negative into a positive, you gain twice. You are no longer burdened with the negative situation, and in addition to that you are strengthened by a new positive force”…    Author Unknown

I wish for you countless blessings to lighten your load.

Susan x

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image from naturalmommie.com

The sun sank behind the rising white towers brilliantly illuminated by their own suns,

Like an otherworldly city, glistening brightly and beckoning to the hurrying crowd,

For weeks all had been watching this amazing spectacle take shape,

Simply waiting, excited at the prospect of a show never before seen, yet hinted at.

Controlled pandemonium reigned as the cars filed in,

Attendants with their glow sticks waving people to the left or right to fill the spaces.

All paled into insignificance as the proud and spirited horses arrived.

There was no doubt that horse and trainer had equally as much respect for the other

and humour and love flowed between the two.

From humour to a stately pas de deux, two sisters and their almost identical horses mesmerised with their precision.

Beautiful costumes remind of the Lord of the Rings, elfin and magical,

Each horse and rider, completely synchronised in movement,

Left one breathless with anticipation and awe.

The absolute trust between horse and rider was apparent.

Exciting races around an oval ring allowed everyone to see the grace and power of these beautiful animals, and the superb balance and talents of the riders.

image from livingmydreamkn.blogspot.com

image from frecuenciamusicalradio.blogspot.com

Incredible dexterity, magic was in the air.

The love between horse and rider was obvious. Frederic Pignon and his wife Magali Delagado are the Co- Founders training the horses. The other two Co-Founders are Normand Latourelle: President and Artistic and Director Erick Villeneuve.

Frederic Pignon.

There are 44 horses in Cavalia, 19 stallions and 28 geldings.  The horse breeds comprise Lusitanos, and the remainder are Andalusian (PRE), Canadian Horses, American Quarter Horses, Paint horses, Belgians, Percherons, Arabians, and Appaloosa. The show’s horses were originally from Canada, France, Spain, and the United States.

They are beautiful, powerful and yet were so gentle with their riders. There is a love and synchronicity between them which makes the heart swell. I couldn’t pass up such a wonderful opportunity to talk about the wonderful show I’d seen. Horses trained with love – and it showed.

I am so grateful that my husband, Ray, surprised me with this outing. Our beginnings were rocky, literally, since the wheelchair he hired to save a painful walk, was an exercise in finding new ways to add bruises to my frame.  Counters for merchandise were a foot above my head (I was supposed to save money by not being able to see – quite a laugh), and once again I found that being in a wheel chair meant I was invisible to the people around me. I lost count of the number of people, man women and children, who walked or ran into the chair. I was beginning to wonder if the saving in walking had been worth the experience of being unseen. However, I was more than grateful that I didn’t wear any of the wine, beer or soft drinks being carried around, as they inevitably flew in an arc when the owners realised I was there.

I hope you enjoy these few images (cameras are not allowed inside the Big Top) and if you love horses, as I do, it may have whetted your appetite to go see the show whilst they are here.

Your head and your heart hold high;
Your hands and your heels hold low.
Your knees keep close to your horse’s sides,
Your elbows close to your own.

My horse’s feet are as swift as rolling thunder
He carries me away from all my fears
And when the world threatens to fall asunder
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.”
~Bonnie Lewis

Love and blessings to all, man, woman and beast, especially the horse 🙂

Susan ❤

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