#758 Her encouraging nature


See that light? You can see the setting sun creating a circle, a halo, far on the water of Port Phillip Bay.

There is a reason why I say that.

Today I did the usual at kinder drop off. I hung around while baby girl settled in, watching her paint, observing the kids around her, looking around while parents came, kissed their little ones goodbye, and then left.

Still, I stayed behind.

A boy saw baby girl painting, and decided he too would paint at the easel next to her. On the smock went, and he reached over to grab a paintbrush sticking out of a cup of blue paint.

He painted somewhat haphazardly, not really sure of what he was doing, glancing over at baby girl, while also distractedly looking around the classroom to see what else was happening. A few minutes passed, and while baby girl was carefully painting with her fourth colour, he took off his smock, and walked off, leaving his painting hanging there.

Baby girl, suddenly noticing his absence, leant over to his easel. (It was a plain piece of paper, with a few streaks of blue. I know kinder art is very preliminary, but this didn’t resemble much of anything).

And viewing his artwork, she said happily “oh, he did a great job!”

My heart SOARED. No, my daughter was not misguided. She was not ignorant in her paintings. She was not daft, and didn’t know the difference between what was good, and what was not.

She had compassion. She held encouragement in her soul.

It was something that lacked in others. It was something that lacked in a similar girl her age, who had seen baby girl drawing a picture at a party, and said to her out loud, in front of me, after I had complimented baby girl on her “great work!” –

“I don’t like it, that doesn’t look nice.”

You see, it’s not about the artwork. Rather it is about the character. For me, it is not whether baby girl turns out to be a Picasso or not. For me, it is about whether she has a heart or not.

I was initially worried when baby girl received that negative comment from that girl. I was worried that the girl’s negativity, rudeness, and mean manners, would rub off on baby girl, and turn her usual bright happy and smiley soul, into a cranky, angry, and negative one.

But then when she said about that boys picture, with the same encouragement as those she looks up to “great job!” I knew we had done something right.

Like a light, encouraging Hope, amidst the darkness.

And here, for arts sake, baby girl against the sunset. Hubbie reckons the power lines kill the photo. But I know what makes it 🙂



#750 The roses keep on keeping on

I didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye. I realised that, on March 1st, after dropping baby girl off at kinder, and then parking in the driveway amidst the misty morning.

Misty. So it was Autumn now. Huh.

And just like that. My most favourite season was OVER. Although sadly, despite the warmth and beach and all, because of our lack of air con, I was so concerned about whether we would survive the intense double-storey heat, that I was almost looking forward to the cooler months.

NO! Blasphemy. I know, I know (hangs head in shame).

Which is why I failed to remember to say ‘au revoir’ to Summer. I stood there then in the driveway, realising that now too, my slowly-turned, poorly-looking roses would need to be chopped back to nothing, too.


But then… there was a realisation. The other day when leaving the house, I noticed something.

Amidst the tired and empty looking rose bushes, in the middle of rose bush #2…

A solitary, small rose.

Suddenly, in the absence of Summer, it gave me Hope.

And then today, again leaving the house…

Another one. In rose bush #1.

I made a plan with these obvious signs of happiness, and in the late afternoon sun headed on outside to do some pruning.

Because the roses had told me, it was not over.

There is a solitary rose on each rose bush, and I am so happy to report that there are small buds blooming in other places too.

Sure, the rose bushes now resemble NOTHING to what they did when they were blooming amazingly some time ago (a report of that account can be read here, worth reading only to see baby girl’s photo bombs), but amidst the days getting shorter, the nights and mornings getting cooler, and beach days turning into couch-fests, I take solace in this last hurrah presented to me by the greenery in our front yard.

And just an extra side note for any novice gardeners like myself out there… when gardening, do wear a hat. Even if it is not sunny. Sure the sun was out today, but still, if I hadn’t been wearing one when I brushed against a set of sharp thorns today, I would have needed stitches in my head, rather than just my hat getting stuck to the roses.



#711 ‘Work’-ing it out

There’s just something that happens when you combine your work friends, with alcohol.

I don’t know why it is. Maybe because you spend most of the day getting shit done, talking about shit, and complaining about shit, that if the opportunity arises to drink with any of your fellow shit-talkers, well you don’t miss the chance to get shit-faced.

Ok, so maybe my shit-face drinking days are over. But still, its nice to hang out with my work colleagues, after work. And have a drink or two.


Something happens. This connection arises. Not that it hasn’t been there before. Sure, you share the same workplace. There is teamwork involved. You need to talk to each other – it is a prerequisite.

But then you ask about each other’s lives. Your spouses, your parents. Real care and concern.

What, you live where? How old is she now?

Clink clink.

What did you do to your kitchen? I like that brickwork.

Do you remember when we started… hang on who else was here before me?

Clink clink.

– How long do you think we have here…

-2-5 years tops.

-I’ll open a Butcher shop with Hubbie then.


-I lay the blame on you!

-I begged for the job!

-Ok so I will shift the blame… to HIM.


Tonight the drinks were for a couple of colleagues leaving us – so it was bittersweet. But nonetheless a great excuse to remember, reminisce, and look forward to the future with wonder, curiosity, and Hope.

Because although we don’t always know where we are headed, or what is around the corner, if we at least have good people – NO, great work people –  around us, life becomes much, much easier.

CLINK to that.

#512 Bullshit stories to feed to your child…

…or as some like to call them, little white lies.

Up until a little earlier, I had no inspirational, sunshine-y, happy-go-lucky or renewed vigour for life post to mention here in this little gratitude blog of mine.

But then, as all the other nights before it, the bedtime routine happened.

And as I stood there, counting slowly, breathing deeply, and making occasional bribes to baby girl that all her toys would be gone in the morning, in between warning her that my angry face was going to turn on soon, something suddenly occurred to me.

Just like the sun rising from the dark horizon to fill the world with light, so too did an incredible thought emerge from my fury, giving me Hope that I could remove myself from this shithole.

A bullshit story.

I’ve mentioned this here before. You know, those stories we as parents tell our kids, to get, I don’t know, anywhere?

To get them to listen.

To get them to comply.

To stop them crying.

To shop them whinging.

To distract them.

Hell, to make life easier.

“We have to leave the beach now, because it closes at lunch time. It actually closes.”

“Yes the park is also closing for lunch, everyone is going home to eat.”

“You can’t leave the house without brushing your teeth. The shop people won’t let you buy a kinder egg if your teeth are yucky.”

“Paw Patrol will wait until you’ve had a nap, and then they will come on TV.”

“You have to wear a jacket on the trampoline (in 11 degree weather). It’s the Rule.”

And we get away with it because we can.

Why do we do it? Well as you can see from the above list, sometimes it’s for their sake – cleanliness or health. Sometimes it’s for convenience.

Sometimes it’s for OUR sanity.

And tonight once again it was the latter. Because for some reason, baby girl’s room was too dark. In amidst stalling with a variety of ways to not sleep, she kept pulling this nifty excuse out of her bag of tricks. And all I wanted to do was rest, and have some kind of ‘me time.’

She has two lamps in her room, albeit battery-operated ones, so perhaps the room was getting dimmer from the gradual battery strength lessening. However when I was getting her to finally lie down, and again she complained too dark, I just ripped out –

“We can’t have too many lights, you know why? The bugs will catch us. The bugs and spiders will find us because there are too many lights. So we can’t have too many lights. Goodnight!”

And you know what I got in return?


Thank Fuck. I love Motherhood, but I also love that she is at an age to still buy these stories…


#500! Rum balls

Bloody sweets, again? This girl is crazy, you’ll say. All she does is bake!

Well, I didn’t bake. I rolled. And it just so happens that by pure coincidence, this week is heavy on the sweet-making front, because my cappuccino cupcakes I made half for us, half for some family earlier on in the week…

and the rum balls I rolled today, is for a shared plate I need to take to baby girl’s kinder tomorrow, for their end of term 2 PAR-TAY…

(and a little for us too).


I mean, it would be pretty cool if I had heaps of time to just bake, and roll, and cook, and spend a heap of time making sugary-sweet-time in the kitchen… but by the same token I’m more than just a creative kitchen enthusiast, and I don’t like to be defined by just one thing. I like to spend my time outdoors, taking in sunshine, reading, shopping even when the account kind of doesn’t allow me, and jumping on trampolines… with baby girl of course.

Of course.

Oh, and writing. That little hobby too 😉

It makes sense to talk about the things I do and what makes me happy today – after all it’s a monumental post, the big 5-0-0! Woohoo! I say, make the cake, and eat all the cake!


Well, leave some for the kiddies too. They are child-friendly in case anyone is wondering, totally rum-less.

So what exactly am I grateful for today? A whole bunch of things. I am grateful for easy recipes like rum balls, yes. I am grateful for milestones. And a big shout out to Hope too. Hope keeps my feet taking one step in front of the other. Hope keeps my chin up when things are down. Hope keeps me a glass half-full gal, and Hope is there to tell me that everything eventually works out, and everything is for a reason.

Celebrating sweet things, big numbers, and things to keep us wishing…

Thanks to you all for joining me on this ride, and here’s Hoping this 500 is the tip of the iceberg for the lifelong Gratitude Journey I am on. 🙂

#493 Emerging light of the shortest day


Does that picture look like something from a science fiction movie?

In fact, I took the above photo on my way in to work this morning. I had to capture something to mark this most exciting of days, and when I saw the image before me, the soft mist turning the horizon into a hazy dream, boats still and sleeping in the foreground, while behind the tall buildings and bright red lights of civilisation, there shone something more.

Something grand.

Something promising.

Something, to HOPE for.

Because today is the shortest day of the year. From now on out, the daylight in each day can only grow incrementally, and with that increase, comes the prospect of brilliant sunshine-y times ahead.

I know we are only 21 days into Winter. However, a glass half-full sunshine loving Leo as myself needs something to look forward to, and the shortest day of the year during Winter, is about the most exciting thing to happen today.

Exciting, and gratifying.

And so it helps, it fell on a day that ended up turning rainy, grey and miserable.

But that’s ok. Because the only way is up.