Saints Loving Day

heartsLast night, I sat down and wrote a fantastic blog. Then I woke up this morning and realised it was Valentine’s Day. I decided that I would write a different one for such an occasion.

Normally, I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. None of my partners in the past have ever shown any inkling of being romantic and so I came to never expect anything from anyone. I looked at it as another day for commercialism to reap a fortune, and just another day on the calendar.

Last year, I met my now partner and all that changed. He is a romantic at heart and the most gentle and loving man I have ever known and I am very blessed to have him in my life. When we met, it was only a few weeks before Valentine’s Day, but he surprised me at work with flowers, chocolates and a super soft teddy bear, accompanied with the most beautifully written card and paid for lunch. You should have seen me. I went red as a beetroot and giggled like a school girl.

Love You cushion from Sam 2018This year, he has moved in less than a week ago and that has left us with little cash remaining. I decided I would surprise him with something small. While we were grocery shopping, I bought him some chocolates when he wasn’t looking, and gave them to him when we were putting things away at home. It wasn’t much, but he was surprised, and he loved it, and that was the aim.

Over the past few years, I have been on a journey of learning to love and value myself, which has led me to write my book “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore”. I put together some practical things which I’ve implemented with success and have grown immensely from it.

Instead of calling it Valentine’s Day, I have opted to call it Saints Loving Day.

“Saints” refers to each person as an individual. The bible refers to believers as saints, so it is fitting to call all people saints in this to emphasis we are all important and valued.

gold hearts“Loving” I think is self-explanatory – to be loving towards yourself, to be kind, to spoil yourself, to see yourself as a person worthy of love, to value your very existence in this wide and wonderful world. Even in the dark, you look the same as when the light shines upon you, but you need to believe it even when you can’t see it because that it the truth.

“Day” is also obvious I recon – you are just as deserving to have one day dedicated to showing and reminding yourself just how important, loved and valued you really are. Not by society’s standards, but by your own. No-one’s opinion of you is more important the one you hold for yourself. This day can be the first day you decide to stop listening to others, trying to live up to unrealistic expectations, or doing things because you know it will make others happy, and give yourself permission to show yourself what it is you expect from others – respect, understanding, and plain, simple love.

heart loveHappy Saints Loving Day to all who are struggling with accepting their body as it is.

Happy Saints Loving Day to those of you who are tackling hardships which challenge your strength and courage and you feel like giving up.

Happy Saints Loving Day to all who are suffering physical harm, whether it by someone else, or by yourself.

Happy Saints Loving Day to those who have no where to call home, to lay their head at night or wrestle with finding enough to eat every day.

Happy Saints Loving Day to all who are just starting their healing journey from whatever trauma you have risen from.

And lastly, but most importantly, Happy Saints Loving Day to all of you out there who are having a hard time looking in the mirror and liking the person looking back.

Show yourself some love today. Let it be the beginning of the best decision and promise love heart candyyou have ever made to yourself for yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Saints Loving Day!

 

BLOWIE

woop woopIt was a stinking hot day in the Australian outback this day, way out near Whoop Whoop somewhere. Nothing was moving. Not even the ants. The air was thick and dry and walking outside felt like suffocation.

Andy sat inside the homestead, just watching nothing out the window. No breeze. Not a whisper stirred in the dry, red surroundings. Trees clung to life with a bit of green in their leafage, burrowing their roots deep into who knows where for whatever water there was down there.

The sky promised nothing with its blue baroness which stretched over miles into the distance.

And then he heard it.

A buzzing noise.

It wasn’t a bee.

Andy knew straight away it was a Blowie. They have an unmistakable sound.

For anyone reading this who doesn’t already know, a Blowie is a Blow Fly. A big, ugly, annoying insect.

“Damn Blowie!” Andy announced out loud. “Where’s my swatter?”

He walked around the house in a scurry, looking for the fly swatter which wasn’t where was supposed to be because nothing ever is when you need it right now.

homestead in outback (3)“What are you looking for?” his wife, Martha, asked in a bothered manner. She was in the kitchen baking an apple pie for dessert that night. The fan was on but since she had the oven cranked up, it only somewhat cooled the room. Well, actually, it just swirled the hot air around.

“What have you done with my swatter?” Andy asked in a huff as he opened the drawers and messed around in them, having a quick geezer.

“I haven’t touched your precious swatter. Look in the laundry!” Martha assertively suggested.

“Humph!” Andy grumbled. He located the swatter under a stack of rags.

Going back to the lounge room, Andy sat back in his chair near the window, listening intently, just waiting to surprise the Blowie with a swat or two.

“Bbbzzzzz!!”

There it is, on the window sill!

SWAT!!!

Missed!

“Darn it!” came the curse from Andy’s lips.

fly-swatter“Bbbbzzzz” Blowie kept flying around in its erratic, zig-zaggy way, from the window and further into the lounge room.

“You little bugger. I’ll get you,” Andy declared in a determined voice.

He followed Blowie slowly, swatter in hand, keeping a close eye on where it was, and trying to anticipate when to have a go at it.

There, it’s on the wall!

SWAT!!!

Missed!

“Bugger!” came the cry. “You’re a cunning little thing, aren’t you? I’ll fix you one way or another.”

Andy went into the bedroom and located a thong. Not the butt-wearing kind. The feet-wearing kind. The fly was escaping through the holes of the swatter, he decided. So, holding the thong out in front of himself, he returned to the lounge room, armed with a stronger weapon. Scanning the area, he discovered Blowie resting on the coffee table. Andy tip-toed towards the fly.

WHACK!!

Missed!

“Goddam it!” Andy shouted, getting more and more frustrated.

“Bbbbzzzz!!” Blowie flew around his head. He swished and swoshed at it until it flew right away. Andy spun around slowly searching every part of the walls, doorways, furniture, and windows. Blowie was no longer in the lounge room. Andy heard Blowie’s distinctive buzz coming from the kitchen. Instinctively, he thought about it getting all over the food and rushed in after it.

thongMartha was standing at the sink about to put the fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pie on the window sill to cool. Blowie had landed on her head. Cautiously, Andy advised his wife,

“Martha, don’t move.”

WHACK!!

Missed!

“What the hell are you doing!” she screamed, holding her head with her hands. “You could’ve knocked me out, you silly old bugger!”

“Argh, you always complain. That Blowie is toying with me. I’ll get it, but,” Andy promised. He perked his ears to listen for that unmistakable noise.

Andy went back into the laundry and returned with the deadly fly spray. Blowie had now flown from the kitchen to the hallway door frame. Quietly, he crept up on the fly, hoping to surprise it.

SPRAY!!!

Missed!

fly-spray“Aaaarrrrgghhh!” Andy was at the end of his tether with this stubborn fly.

“Bbbzzzz!” Blowie was now in the back bedroom.

Moving as quietly as he could, Andy followed Blowie’s teasing call. Nothing was working, he brilliantly deducted. Blowie wasn’t scared of anything at all. He had to up the anti. Going to the locked cupboard in the in the outside shed, Andy returned with his rifle.

“Now, let’s see who the smartest is!” Andy challenged Blowie. Confidently, he stood in the doorway of the back bedroom. If this was a western, you could imagine smoke, a silhouette of light coming from behind him, as he stood looking strong with his rifle pointed forward. But this wasn’t a western, it was the Aussie outback, so there was just a haze of heat coming up from under the floor boards. Blowie didn’t stand a chance.

Andy found Blowie immediately. It was resting on the ceiling next to the light bulb. A smirk came across Andy’s face as he lifted his rifle and lined it up with the fly. He was going to win this fight, he felt it in his beer belly.

rifleBANG!!!

Missed!

“Oh, no you don’t! You’re not getting away that easily!” Andy hollered. Martha appeared behind him, screaming,

“What are you doing with your gun!”

“I’m killing the blow fly, of course!” Andy shouted back.

Blowie was on the window, now. He frantically, reloaded his rifle and pointed it point blank at Blowie.

“You’re not getting away this time, you little shit.”

BANG!!

CRASH!!

Glass sprayed everywhere!

Blowie was still on the glass of the shattered window.

broken-window-2At that moment, Martha approached the window and swished at Blowie, and “Bbbbzzz!”, the fly flew through what remained of the window, into the heat and out of the house.

Martha looked down at her defeated husband. Firmly, she said,

“Now, if you’ve finished stuffing around, come and have some lunch.” When she got to the door, she turned to Andy, who was still sitting on the floor in disbelief,

“You have a lot of cleaning up to do, now haven’t you?”blow-fly1

 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

take twoTake Two.

Following on from my last blog “The Unanswered Breakdown”, there is more to the tale.

After the car was “fixed” and my partner drove it out of the mechanic’s and home.

We were both relieved to have the car home, finally in working order.

My partner pressed the button for the driver’s side window.

It wouldn’t go up!

He rang the mechanic and together they had a little chuckle because if they didn’t, they might go mad. They arranged for it to be taken over on Monday to look at it. At least it wasn’t major this time.

My partner did his best to get the window up.

Australia DayOn Friday 26/01/2018, Australia Day, we went to Shellharbour to pick up the bed which the seller had been so patiently holding for us. We had a great conversation about everything that had gone on over the last two weeks, and what the seller had been enduring from other buyers interested in the bed. Some people can be quite rude and nasty. Still, he could have taken up someone’s offer, but he didn’t, and we are forever grateful for his generosity.

After about an hour of getting the bed into the trailer and yakking for ages, my partner and I took the bed home to put it in the garage for when he next goes to him mum’s place.

smoke under the bonnetDriving up the driveway, we could smell something burning and smoke was coming from under the bonnet. Thinking it was on fire, we both jumped out of the car, my partner popped the bonnet and there was thick smoke everywhere coming from the driver’s side of the motor.

Water, again, poured out onto the concrete and down the driveway. Frustration was felt at the thought that it was still a problem. It was supposed to be fixed.

Our neighbour was outside and came over to see what the matter was. Together, they looked around and under the motor and deducted that it had been oil being spat out onto the motor. It seemed like it could be the head gasket.

Great! Just what we need. Not!

My partner pushed the trailer into the garage and then parked the car next to mine on the grass so that oil wouldn’t go onto the cement. We couldn’t drive it except to the mechanic and that wasn’t until Monday due to the Public Holiday.

a nice breakThe rest of the weekend was uneventful, which was a nice break.

Monday came, and we drove his car to the mechanic, again. Later, they rang to give us the good news.

The window needed a new motor as some metal arm was bent, and was going to cost over $200 for them to replace it.

The oil was coming from the sump gasket. It had karked it, was spitting oil onto the muffler which would burn with the heat and that’s what was causing the smoke. It’s a big costly job.

My partner told them to not worry about either one at the moment. We just don’t have the funds for such repairs at this time. We can only drive my partner’s car short distances for now. Now we’re deciding what to do with it – keep it or sell it. The guy who helped with the jump start at the petrol station offered to buy it if he ever decided to part with it. He informed my partner he was a mechanic. It’s an option being considered due to him being able to fix it himself at less than half of what it would cost us.

             Now, back to the moving out, moving in and cleaning! Lol 😊
cleaning

THE UNANSWERED BREAK DOWN

broken down car.2A couple of blogs ago, I talked about when technology break downs. This time it’s cars. Sigh.

Just like technology, it’s a headache when it happens. You never know how much it’s going to cost to fix your car because all businesses charge differently for the same service and parts. If the problem isn’t known, a quote can’t even be given until they find it. The car can cost more than it’s worth, but trade it in, sell it or keep it, the expense can be more than a person can afford.

This past month or so, car problems seem to be running in the family (pun unintended). My sister’s car engine blew up. My parent’s car has been to four mechanics and no-one is any the wiser as to what is wrong with it. And my partner’s car broke down in a Bunnings car park when visiting his mum last week and he was stuck in Sydney for 6 days.

car being towedWhen my partner’s car was finally taken to a mechanic up there, they told him it was the fuel pump, fixed it and then started on his trip home.

It broke down when he was almost home.

Again, it was towed to a mechanic. They checked it over, told him it was the water pump, fixed it and then my partner drove to a petrol station to get petrol on the way home.

It broke down at the petrol station.

This time it didn’t tick over at all. One man who saw him stuck there, came over to see if he could help. Together, they deducted it must be the battery. So, he hooked up his car to the battery and tried to jump-start it.

Nothing.

NRMA call outMy partner rang NRMA Road Side Service. It took 90 minutes for them to arrive. The NRMA mechanic checked the battery.

Nope. Not the battery.

He checked, what my partner tells me, a hundred things, but was stumped as to what the problem was. A request for a tow truck was put in, and the car was towed back to the same mechanic as before.

Today, my partner was told they couldn’t get past the ignition security, so it could be that he needed a new key. He got the spare key, and drove my car over there so they could check. Not long ago, he called me to tell me it isn’t the key and they think it is an electrical fault. The car now needs to go to an Auto Electrician.

My partner has been suffering from a migraine for the last couple of days. Not surprising really. Who wouldn’t after all the mental and emotionsal stress his car has caused, let alone the financial pressure in having to find the money to pay for it.

Amidst all of this, my partner is meant to be moving his stuff out of his unit in order to movingmove in with me, not to mention the end of lease cleaning. My car doesn’t have a tow bar. One of my son’s was going to be helping him today. Also, he has a bed to pick up which he bought for his brother, but hasn’t been able to due to the car troubles. It’s lucky the seller is very understanding because my partner has kept in contact with him about what is going on. Obviously, they don’t want to hold onto it forever, but they’re keeping it there for him despite other interested parties. That is a generous gesture of theirs. They don’t have to.

As I’m writing this, my partner is still at the mechanic’s. Hopefully, someone works it out soon. It’s quite frustrating. I’ll post an update when it’s all sorted.

UPDATE….3:45pm the car is now fixed. It turned out to be the inhibitor switch. Yay! Finally!

INSPIRAMAIL

the skys the limitQuotes can be quite inspiring at times. However, some which I see go around Facebook, can be rather depressing and don’t tend do anything except reinforce the depression and keep you down in the pits of your darkness. Those ones are more like sentences, or a statement, than a quote as they only look at the negatives of life. There’s no feel good at the end to give you hope. To me, a quote should be uplifting, inspiring, encouraging and positive. Otherwise, what is the point of a quote?

Since my third marriage broke down, I have developed a new perspective of myself and my life, a more positive outlook, and the way I handle situations (and myself). During my third marriage, a light bulb moment happened which has led me to write my book “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore”. Even though quotes on their own don’t cure anything, they can give you the hope you need that things will get, and can be, better.

its hard to flyWhile living in the caravan at my parents’ place, when I was at one of my lowest points in life with depression, and it felt like the world was trying to bury me, I started saving positive quotes to my phone which I came across on Facebook, emailing them to myself and printing them to put around my caravan to remind me that not everything in life is bad. Even though the way I looked at life was more positive than it had been in 2001 when my first marriage broke down, I was grappling with suicidal thoughts and dreams and knew I had to keep my head above the water. As I said before, quotes don’t cure anything – I cried and panicked a lot – but they did give me hope that it wouldn’t be forever – it was a temporary situation and I would survive just like I always have. Counselling was still something I had to attend, though by putting even some humorous quotes around my caravan, it helped me to cope with the small confined, financially difficult circumstances and keep my head above those waters which threatened to drown me.

One day in 2015, I had a thought pop into my head – to give quotes to people in order to give them a bit of encouragement. Just like you never know how a smile can affect a person, in the same way you never know how a quote can speak to someone.

calendar quote.5This thought morphed over time. I don’t know where you stand in regards to God, but I believe God put this on my heart because it has been something which didn’t go away until I did it.

As I told you before, I was printing quotes and putting them around my caravan and at work. Well, I started printing a few extra of the same quote in order to start this task which had been given to me. My intention was to laminate them and cut them up and put them in letterboxes as is. I didn’t expect it to grow so much.

I had moved out of the caravan by the time I felt I didn’t need anymore quotes. That’s when I laminated them. There were quite a few! While I was cutting them up, I was thinking about how I was going to give people the quotes. The idea of a letterbox drop came to mind.

dragonfly memeAfter the cutting up was complete, the thought of putting just a plain laminated quote in a letterbox didn’t sit well with me. Putting them in an envelope came to me as a solution. However, they were different sizes and there were over 100 quotes to envelope. No normal sized envelope was going to fit them. That left me with only one option – make them.

What was originally a simple idea, was no longer simple. But I was loving it and getting excited at the thought of giving people a little bit of positivity. Maybe someone was sitting in a dark place and needed some hope. Maybe someone was reluctant to take a chance on something and needed a little inspiration. Maybe someone was going through something hard and needed some encouragement. Maybe someone just needed some reassurance that they are doing the right thing. Or maybe someone needed a little direction and one of these quotes would help them make a decision.

Excitement was growing. I really wanted to do this and I wanted to make it personal, and I didn’t want the person receiving it to throw it away when they took it out of their calendar quote.7letterbox. Also, I wanted them to be mixed up and I didn’t want to know which quote I was putting in the letterbox. It needed to be random so that God could do His thing and make sure the quote a person received it was the one that would speak to them in the way God wanted to speak to them. The quote was personally for the first person to get it.

The envelopes were made out of wrapping paper. Some of the quotes were able to be hung up or put on a fridge, but most of them were simply a laminated quote. On the back of the envelope I put a smiley face, and on the front, wrote “To The Person Holding This”. Even a hand-drawn smiley face, each different to the next, accompanied the writing.

With Christmas and New Year approaching, I wanted whoever was destined to receive the quote, to get it before the year was out. Moving forward into 2018, I really hoped to give the inspiration, hope, encouragement, and positivity that the recipient they needed for whatever situation they were in. Only God knows what is going on for each person in my street, so only He knows which quote they needed for that extra personal touch. dont mistake gods patienceThere is no way I could possibly pick the right quote for each person let alone know who would get it. I believe that God wanted to speak to the people in my street, and I was His hands and feet in getting to them the message He wanted them to hear. Even though others could also get encouragement from the same quote, it was specifically for the person who picked it up first.

The number of quotes I needed, I had no idea. I didn’t count the houses. Some of the quotes I gave to people as I felt I needed to before the letterbox drop, so I didn’t even know how many I had left to deliver. All I knew was that I had over 100 originally.

On Christmas Day, in the rain, my partner and I delivered the random quotes to the people in the houses on the left of our house and across the road.

On New Years Day eve, my partner and I delivered the rest of the quotes. This time I counted them. The rest of the street was more than that. So, I halved them, and delivered each half to each side of the street. My estimation was to the park and back. Again, I didn’t count the houses between us and the park and back again. I left it up to God that it would be the right amount because this was His message to someone, not mine.

calendar quote.11As it turned out, there were EXACTLY the right amount to do every house, including having given one to a woman pushing a bike because I got the feeling I should give her one.

These randomly given enveloped quotes were dubbed Inspiramail – mail that inspires.

Now, I’m not telling you all of this to big note myself. Firstly, I am sharing it to show you that God does talk to people and uses people to do it. Secondly, I want to encourage each of you reading this, to do something similar for someone. Only a few of my neighbours are known by me, meaning I don’t know most of the people whose letterbox I dropped an envelope into. You don’t have to do a letterbox drop. That was something I felt I needed to do which I believe came from God wanting to send these people a message. And it was a lot of hard work as well took a lot of time.

have a great day my friend quoteNo, I’m thinking more of an anonymous note, a text message, an inbox, a private word (anything at all) given to someone you know or don’t know, given on a whim, or purposefully, or just because you feel you need to. Smile, say hello, buy a meal for someone on the street, pay for a stranger’s coffee, pay the bill of someone you know is struggling or buy them groceries. Follow your intuition because it is right a lot more often than it is wrong.

Many times, I have received things from people anonymously. Money for groceries given to me in a blank envelope. A note posted to me using snail mail.

Anyone can do it.

Inspiramail isn’t mine. It’s everybody’s. Spread it around like icing on a cake 😊spreading icing on a cake (2)

When Tales Collide

wordsAs a writer, ideas come to me at any time, anywhere. This particular one which I am sharing with you today, is a nonsensical poem which came to me in my lunch break one day at work in 2014. I had been thinking about how I mucked around with my youngest son, at bed time, pretending to fall asleep next to him and talking in my sleep. I would say silly things which made no sense and he would laugh and try to wake me up. For example, “No, no, not there.” stop, smack my lips together a couple of times and go on to say “It’s right next to the ant with the moustache.” Hahaha he loved it!

book-So, walking to my desk just before lunch, I had this one line come to mind, and then a second line, and then the third and fourth. As soon as I got back to my desk, I typed it up, and it just kept on flowing through my finger tips from my mind and I ended up with this. I read it to Liam later on, and he laughed. We then had to draw the cat with the magic streaming from its hat.

You’ll see.

I hope you like it as much as I do. And yes, I read it often because life is way too serious sometimes!

WHEN TALES COLLIDE

Written by Allison Rose Clark ©2014

sleeping beauty and cinderellaWhen the Fairy came

And placed a spell

On Sleeping Beauty, deep,

Cinderella cried

On the kitchen floor.

When Prince Charming heard

Of the plight,prince charmig and princess fiona

The dragon he did

Try to fight,

But Princess Fiona

Refused to leave the beast.

The Big Bad Wolfbig bad wolf blowing wind

Upon this news,

Blew his wind up to the moon,

And the cow and the cheese

Tried to climb the stalk.

cat and the fiddle and little miss muffetThe Cat and the Fiddle

Were best of friends,

Then along came a spider to pretend

Little Miss Muffet

Fell in love with Jack.

three bears three pigs and pied piperThe Three Little Pigs

And the Three hungry Bears

Went for a walk to the county fair

Where the Pied Piper

Played a tune so sweet.

four pics in oneThe Drummer Boy, he joined in

Followed by the Wicked Witch,

And Tinkerbell, she danced with Jungle Boy.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a log

While Mary Contrary counted sheep

Until Jack Horner stole the King’s fresh tarts.

three in oneWee Willie Winky jumped for joy

When Little Bo Peep and Mary met

Deep down in the King Tut’s tomb.

What a fun time it was

For the Gingerbread Man

three in one picWith his magic wand, running around

Turning things to gold and to stone.

Then King Solomon heard

Of the chaos grand,

So, he sent his Three Wise Men

To Egypt to find the Woman in the shoe.

three pics in oneAnd Baby Bunting, he did buy

A diamond ring shining bright

To give to his true love and Beauty, Elle.

While the Three Blind Mice

Were thinking deep

About Little Red Riding Hood and candy sweets,

old king cole dish and spoon and noseOld King Cole’s horses raced by.

News spread fast

That a washer woman’s nose

Had run away with the Dish and the Spoon,

But Nemo’s dadnemos dad tiny tim and fountain of youth

He never stopped looking

For Tiny Tim or the Fountain of Youth.

hanzel and gretel and cottageUntil one day

When Hanzel and Gretel

Came upon a cottage cute

Deep and lost in the Dark and Scary Forest.

cat with hat and bookOne said to the other,

“Go on, make my day”

When they stumbled upon a book to read.

Curiosity killed the cat

And magic streamed from his hat

As they started to read The Never Ending Story.book--

AT A STANDSTILL

technologyHow much do we rely on technology these days?

Phones, laptops, notebooks, computers, and all sorts of other magnificent whatchamacallits and thingymabobs which whistle, twang and ping, reside highly in our work and private lives.

We keep in contact with people on them, do business on them, organise our days, weeks, months and years on them, do our banking and pay bills on them, entertain and play games on them…..just to name a few.

Over the last few months, my phone has been doing what all old phones do – battery life is short and takes forever to charge. I debated with myself over whether I should buy a new phone or just the battery. So, this week, I made a decision and bought a new battery for it. At $35.00, it was cheaper, I got to keep the phone which otherwise never gave me any major issues, and it solved the problem. All was great with the world again.

This morning, after advising my partner I wasn’t going anywhere today because I needed to write my blog, I dropped it.

“Are you kidding me?!” I complained out loud when I tried to open my phone after picking it up off the floor. My partner asked me what the matter was and I showed him. There was no actual crack in the screen, but it was as if it did.

I was spewin’!

dropped phoneThe amount of times I have dropped my phone over the last 12 months I couldn’t even tell you, and nothing happened. Not even a crack or a scratch on the screen. Less than a week after buying a new battery, and it carks it. Just like that.

Great! So much for avoiding the expense of a new phone (maybe I can get my money back for the battery?).

As my phone doubles as my internet connection, it left me with no way of putting my blog online. The option of buying a new phone was taken out of my hands. There was no other choice.

Before heading out on our joyous adventure to wander around looking at phones, I noticed a blue blinking light on my phone and instinctively, I went to check it. Of course, I was reminded that it no longer functions with anything visually identifiable…….deflated emotions were experienced.

If it was a message, I am never going to get it. The mystery will always be there…….unless of course, someone asks me if I got their message. Then I’ll know. But for now, it was the Bermuda Triangle.

Presently, I have a post-paid sim with Optus, so obviously, I wanted to keep it and just put it in another phone, buy it outright.

coconut and mango breadMy partner and I had to attend to a few errands before entering the always fun phone-hunting. A coffee and some coconut and mango bread from our favourite coffee shop was necessary to have enough sanity to enter the madness of post-Christmas and New Year shopping.

Have you ever opened social media and noticed that not only were you having a bad day, but so were nearly all your friends who were posting status’ that day? And you think it might be something in the water? I had one of those days today. Only, it was through my partner’s page we were looking. Because, again, instinct reminded me my phone was deadarino.

Using my partner’s phone, I notified my family via Fam Chat of my predicament, and also just in case it was one of them responsible for the blue flashing light on my dysfunctioning phone……….it wasn’t.

We looked everywhere – Target, Woolies, Kmart, the Optus shop (they only had one which fitted my criteria). It was fruitless. They were either not within my budget, or they were locked or part of a plan.

Aarrgghh! I just wanted a phone! Why was it so difficult?

JB HI-FI was our last try before calling it a day. We manoeuvred around a crazy amount of people, past already occupied staff, and took a geeza at a gazillion choices. Finally, I settled on a Samsung Galaxy J5 Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro phonePro. A beautiful phone which was unlocked, within budget for a pay-outright, and I could keep my sim…….excited emotions were experienced! I was going to be able to go home to finish my blog and publish it.

After a while, a staff member became available, and we asked about the Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro………they were sold out!

All colours and all stores………except for Hurstville!

And it would take about 2 weeks at this time of the year for him to ask Hurstville to post one to the Shellharbour store! But he could organise for me to be able to pick one up from them tomorrow if I liked.

What?! This was unbelievable. My blog wasn’t going to be done on time. I had no internet, and no way of contacting anyone except via my partner’s phone.

So, there we were, standing in JB HI-FI, still phoneless. My life was on hold. It was terrible!

My partner and I discussed it and decided we would make the trip to Hurstville to pick it up…..today!

I didn’t wake up this morning expecting to end up in Sydney, but here we were, spur of the moment, driving to Sydney.

Did I mention I really needed my phone before tomorrow or in 2 weeks’ time? It truly was an urgent matter which required such measures to be taken.

Hurstville was an hour and a half drive in my little vroom, seeing us arrive at Westfield Shopping Centre at about 3:50pm. Plenty of time to pick up my phone before the shop closed. As it turned out, we parked right near the lift which took us to the floor just around the corner from JB HI-FI! It was perfect considering we had never been there before and knew nothing of where anything was!

coffeeTogether, we collected my phone, after which we bought something to eat and coffee and rested before heading home. While we were sitting at our little table next to Donut King (yay for the free coffee on the coffee card!), I thought I would put my sim into my brand spanking new phone.

The sim card was too big!………gggrrr frustrated emotions were experienced.

Far out!

It was almost 5pm, but looking around us, none of the shops looked like they were closing. Just in case we were reading it wrong, we hurriedly packed up our table and headed out to find an Optus shop. Of course, it was not where someone had directed us upon asking. But eventually, we found the shop and proceeded in to replace my sim.

You would think that would be the end of it, wouldn’t you? Get the sim, put it in my phone, and all is honky dory, wouldn’t you? Such thoughts are so fleeting. Nothing of the sort for me today!

We approached a guy with a clipboard who asked us what he could help us with, wrote it down next to a number, and advised us that we will be attended to in order of arrival. It was very busy and there were Optus shoptwo other employees other than clipboard-boy (who appeared to be new to the game). No doubt, it was going to be a bit of a wait.

Finally, a lady approached us, I told her what I needed, and she provided the new sim. She looked up my account and………was unable to do anything on my account from the store! Due to Optus updating their system, I had to speak with customer service. Feelings of falling down an abyss were experienced.

My life was still at a standstill. What if someone who isn’t family tried to call? Or a reminder text of an appointment I have forgotten about? I can’t even check my emails to see if my publisher has contacted me, or a pre-sale for my book has come through!

The Optus employee called customer service and handed me the phone. The man on the other end was very nice, helpful and friendly, and rectified the situation of activating the sim with the same mobile number.

Another Optus employee then put the sim in my phone for me.

annoyed faceThe time was almost 6pm. All I had to do now was wait between 15 minutes and 4 hours for the sim to become active so I could use it!

The time at this moment, writing this is 11:30pm Wednesday night and the sim is still not usable……disappointed emotions are being experienced right now.

Hopefully, in the morning………..relieved emotions will be experienced.

UPDATE: This morning, Thursday, as at noon, still no activation….annoyed emotions were experienced. A visit to the Optus store in Warrawong, and a call to customer service later, it was discovered that the guy from yesterday had put the sim down as being delivered and it was in “pending” mode on their system. The lady I spoke to on the phone uncovered the issue and rectified it.

Now I have a working phone! YAY! And life is again moving along as it should.smiley face

BEING REPOTTED

2 dad jokesThese last few days have been fantastic spending it with family and enjoying some much-anticipated fun with everyone. The dad jokes in the bonbons even got a few laughs!

Boxing Day was spent with my partner’s mum and brother. It was an extra special occasion as it had been over 15 years since they last celebrated a Christmas together.

When we arrived, my partner’s brother was out the back attending to the garden. Over the last year or so, he has been slowly landscaping what was once a jungle of climbing vines and overgrown weeds. Much to his credit, he has a wonderful natural talent.

At the time we greeted him, he was raking the grass getting it ready to plant grass seeds.

raking grassWe conversed about how beautiful the garden was and complimented him on his hard work. While my partner and his brother continued to talk, I noticed a really pretty plant with pink flowers. I had never seen a plant like it and it was beautiful.

After a few minutes, my partner’s brother went to the front of the house via the side gate. I mentioned to my partner how I really liked the plant and wondered if his brother would allow me to take a cutting for my mum. He asked his brother when he got back.

His brother told us he believed it to be a lipstick plant and that he also had yellow and orange ones. My partner asked if I could get a cutting of it and his brother didn’t hesitate in saying “of course!”

Lipstick plants in bagsHe chatted enthusiastically about this plant, telling us how they suffer shock when they are replanted and look as if they are going to die, but that they come good after a day or so and not to worry too much about it. Just make sure they get plenty of water. Also, in winter, they look like they are dying because they drop right back to nothing but then they bound back in spring. They grow quickly and can also multiply in the garden quickly.

While he was excitedly telling us all of this, he was generous in his gifting us with a pot with a lipstick plant already growing in it, which also had a couple of Hibiscus plant cuttings growing in the same pot. My partner’s brother’s generosity extended to him giving us two larger Lipstick Plants, one pink and one yellow, and some small cuttings of the Lipstick Plant which had roots starting to grow on them. He put the large Lipstick Plants in potting mix bags with some potting mix and water so they would last until we could repot them when we got home.

My partner and I purchased some potting mix, fertiliser and insect control for the garden, and headed Potting mix and empty pothome to repot our plants. While we were at it, we repotted my other plants – capsicum and tomato plants – which have needed it for a while now.

All this plant and replanting talk lead my mind to thinking about how change can affect us.

Not many people like, let alone welcome, change. It takes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to adjust to something new.

We may have to accept a new person into our lives whether that be a family member or a boss at work. We may have to adjust to being unemployed for a stint after having been made redundant from the job we’ve had for over 10 years. We may have to acknowledge the fact that we need to find a cheaper place to live.

Whatever the change is, most of us fight against it. It is not a comfortable experience and we want to avoid it.

Tomatoes-being.repottedBeing uprooted from the position you are in can put you into a state of shock, not unlike the Lipstick Plant. You may feel scared and quite unwilling to accept its reality.

However, just like the Lipstick plant, once you have accepted your new environment, and adjusted to the change, you find yourself having survived the experience. You thrive and keep on growing. The change hasn’t taken your life, but given you room to grow, maybe even change your direction.

The possibilities which lie within any change are up to ourselves to find. You can let it ruin you, or you can let it grow you. When you have found the positive within your new situation or circumstance, and you tend to it in the right manner, you will discover much more about yourself – your strengths, your weaknesses, your desires and your dislikes. This is growth and it can only lead you onto something better than you had before.

Out of every bad situation comes something good – if you let it.

What appears to be a horrible thing turns out to be something better than anticipated – if you let it.

Maybe, instead of seeing change as something bad happening to you, maybe see it as an opportunity for something good to happen to you. Plants-all repotted

Christmas is…..

Christmas time has arrived. wooden christmas tree with noel ornament

The anticipation of what lays under the wrapping paper beneath the Christmas tree grows as each day is a day closer to Christmas Day.

The advertisements increase and the sales of 50% off are screaming from every outlet possible.

Christmas carols play in the shopping centres and elevators everywhere.

Carols by Candle Light sing-a-longs are held by nearly every church around and hundreds of people attend to join in the most magical time of the year.

There are Christmas parties, dinners and lunches within every business, sporting team and just about anywhere people have gathered in groups regularly throughout the year.

Catch-ups with long-time friends become more important the closer Christmas Day gets.

green tinsel with red ballsAmongst the stress of making sure everything is just right for Christmas lunch is the excitement of spending some real quality time with family members you haven’t seen most of the year.

It’s all worth every inch walked, every song sang and every agonising wait in the mile-long queues once the sun rises on Christmas morning and the kids wake you up at 5am when they can’t get out of bed before 8am any other day of the year, especially for school.

But it’s not always this way for everyone.

Christmas time can be the reminder a loved one is missing from the table.

It can be a prominent knife to the heart of a mum and dad who can’t give their children a present even from Santa.

golden candleThere can be pressure from society, and the perception that other parents who can buy their children wonderful presents from Santa as well as themselves, are better parents than they are. Such pressure can lead to more debt than some families can afford to pay back.

The homeless can be reminded that the chances of having a Christmas dinner, getting even just one present, and seeing any family members at all is a slim chance at best.

We can forget amidst our scurrying and shop-hopping from one to another that the commercialism of Christmas has created such pressure and an expectation within society which is unrealistic and unattainable for so many families.

Even though it is up to each family unit to place their own value on Christmas in order for it to be less noel singersabout the presents and the cost of them, the commercialism is that bad Christmas items are up before Halloween! If that isn’t financial pressure or about money, then I’m the Queen of England.

Christmas is indeed a magical time of the year. It should be like that for everyone, but in reality, it isn’t. Since Christmas is a time of giving, it has a way of bringing out the best in people. Generosity is probably at it’s highest at this time of the year. Well, actually, I don’t have any stats on that. It is more my imagining that it could be, and should be if it’s not.

When you buy presents for your loved ones this Christmas, buy an extra one or two. Maybe one for a boy and one for a girl. Use your children’s age as a way of deciding what to buy. For example, if you have a child who is 11, then buy a present or two for children of the same age. Donate these extra presents to a charity who delivers presents and hampers to poor families so they can enjoy Christmas in the same way you want to celebrate with yours.

dog and teddy in christmas hatsSome shops have a giving tree set up near their store entry. Others have tags you can purchase which help to raise funds which go towards the same giving of hampers and presents.

For every good thing which is offered to the community, there is always someone who tries to take advantage of the generosity of others. Those people are selfish and often don’t need the help they sought out. When they steal in this manner, they rob from a family who desperately does need the help, it reduces the help available for genuine cases, and it puts extra pressure on services who offer help for those who truly require food to feed their family, or money to pay a bill. I hope karma finds its way to such people. God forbid they ever need to access such help for real.

christmas treeChristmas to me is not just about family and friends, quality and bonding time, and the joy on the kids’ faces when they see what we got each of them. It is about the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to save us from our sins, from an eternity separated from God – spiritual resuscitation so-to-speak. I know the world has argued the date Christ was born, and it should be on another date, but does it really matter? Some countries celebrate it in January because of the discrepancy in the calculations of Scholars over the centuries. Who cares though? It is a day set aside to celebrate the greatest gift ever given to the people of Earth. Well it is for me. Being with family and friends, having fun and just enjoying each other’s company, and everything else that goes with this time of the year, a magical and special time, are all bonuses. Wonderful bonuses!

What you and I do at Christmas creates ripples into the community which lasts long after the sun sets on Christmas night. The ripples start with our families and travel far past its boundaries.

With Christmas Day less than a week away, let’s make sure the magic is spread far and wide. May it sparkle all day long!

From me to you, many blessings this Christmas and New Year, and may they follow you throughout 2018!

And Happy Birthday Jesus!nativity scene

PRE-SALES ORDERS ARE NOW OPEN!

me 2

Allison Rose Clark

You can now secure your copy of “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” before it even hits the Australian shore.

Simply click on the “Book Sales” tab and follow the instructions outlined for you to soon own a copy of my first ever published book.

Your journey to healing, loving yourself healthily, and reducing abuse in your life, if not eliminating it altogether, is not far off.

Read my previous blog “The Wait Is Nearly Over” to read how it happened, what’s happening, and what it’s all about.

I look forward to helping hundreds of women, particularly but not solely, in learning how to put into action a plan, a way to a new life – a life without abuse.

Don’t wait. Order today!