Have you been thinking about adding a cat to your family?
Getting an adult cat, as opposed to a kitten, is a great way to ensure you get a kitty with a temperament which is a good fit for you AND save a beautiful life at the same time. Adults cats are less likely to be adopted once they are past the super cute kitten stage...but they're still cute!
If you live in or near Adelaide, tomorrow is the start of the Winter sale of adult cats at the Animal Welfare League...all $20 until September 11.
They are normally $100 to help try and cover costs. (Kittens are still the normal price $195...there will be an influx of them very soon.)
I did work experience at the AWL when I was doing an animal attending course and then later volunteered as a Cat Cuddler - it was a lovely gig.
I met little Savannah there and took her home, later to live with my folks as the resident post office cat. They called her Millie (she was a millenium baby, after all) and she is still going at 16 years of age, although now living with a quite a few health problems and an acquired cranky disposition!
Here she is as a wee mite, about 6 months old I think. And below with my other cat, Zoe.
I have owned a few lovely cats but never a ginger....hopefully one day.
Please check out their website to see the available cuties or head in to meet them in person. Cats are all so different; active, sleepy, affectionate, a little shy, adventurous, quiet, noisy (Zoe certainly was in her later years!), gentle, playful etc, you can see what you like best.
We spent most of Easter Sunday afternoon with extended family at Rossiters Point, Moonta Bay.
My son and I were in 'nature lovin' heaven discovering crabs.
Check out all the different types we found in one small rocky area.
Another family were also exploring the rocks nearby and we were curious, and mildly concerned, as to why they were collecting so many small to medium sized crabs in a bucket.
Thankfully, we later overheard them saying that they had finally collected enough for a crab race!!
They invited us to join in so we watched as they drew a large circle in the sand, gently tipped the crabs in the middle of the circle and said "Choose a crab. First one to the edge of the circle wins....Go!"
Most of the little critters were a little too disoriented to move but a few got cracking, side ways, almost immediately.
This one below was the winner....with only one huge claw! :-) How cute are his little tracks?
After the race the kids and parents scooped them up with the help of buckets and spades, or even hands, to return them safely to the rock pools.
So, spirit animal totem for the week....definitely crab!
"Crab is reminding you that not all paths lead directly to your personal goals. Sometimes a sideways approach is necessary. Shift your focus to what is all around you because your inner senses are trying to guide you through an easier way."
Okay, I'll try! :-)
This is a story about my birthday :-)
The Man of the House generously designed a kayak voucher for me to celebrate my birthday last year, to buy one or to hire, whatever I decided.
I chose to hire kayaks during my birthday week in November. Unfortunately, our son ended up home from school unwell on the day we had planned so it was all postponed.
Fast forward 3 months later...because that is how long things take around here sometimes....
Yesterday we hired two single kayaks from Wallaroo Marina Apartments for $20 an hour. This is a new service offered in our area, the first Summer they've been available. There is a double kayak also available for hire.
At the hotel we filled out the paper work for insurance purposes then we were provided with life jackets and little wheels, along with the kayaks.
One draw back was that it was a bit of a trek to pull the kayaks down to the boat ramp. We figured that there would be a spot to launch somewhere closer to the hotel. We managed okay, of course, but it did an extra element of fitness to the morning :-)
Launching at the shore made for a smooth and uneventful entry into the water. I took a few moments to get my balance, took a first tentative row or two...then we were off.
The marina looked much calmer than the open sea so we headed in there, it was nice and smooth and really quite lovely to be out on the water.
Below is a photo of me as we headed into the marina past the boats. I was glad the boats weren't on the move...that may have required an extra element of steering/paddling expertise!
Overall, we had a great morning and it was definitely a good work out.
Thanks lovely hubby and happy belated 37th birthday to me :-)
If you are interested in kayak hire, check out Wallaroo Marina Apartments website.
If you are over this way and wanting to purchase a kayak, I highly recommend checking out Adventure Life, in Wallaroo.
To celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary we recently spent a night away, child-free, at Riesling Cottages, tucked away in the Clare Valley, South Australia. (Kids are welcome too)
If you need a special night away, I highly recommend Riesling Cottages for some R and R. This time last year we got dressed up in our finery here with friends before our wedding, as well as taking our 'first look' photos before the ceremony, so we were keen to visit again to reminisce our amazing day.
We stayed in Mt Horrocks cottage. The view is beautiful!
Hot, fresh, homemade bread with delicious butter certainly helped settle us in....yum!
A perfect place for art on the back verandah, inspired by the sweet orange flowers in the green fields.
Pretty touches inside.
Modern, relaxing interior.
A warbling magpie friend.
An awesome big spa bath, good coffee, jelly beans to nibble on, board games to play, brain teaser puzzles to solve (Um, yeh, not for me...The Man of the House LOVES them!), binoculars to use and some dvds to watch. We chose "Into the Wild"...we both enjoyed it and it left us thinking for a few days.
'Check out' time was an unhurried 11am, just right. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here :-)
For rest and relaxation, you can't go past Riesling Cottages, Clare Valley. Click on through to check them out here on Facebook.
We love attending our local children's music class!
Kinder Beat, a music class for preschoolers, is held in Kadina, South Australia on Monday and Tuesday mornings.
If you think your 3 or 4 year old might like to learn an instrument in the future, these classes are a fun foundation for little musicians.
Instrumental teachers Jenny Cowley and Julie Ayles are pleased to present the Australian written, early childhood music program "Kinder Beat" for 3 and 4 year olds on the Copper Coast.
The program introduces new songs and games, encouraging early reading skills and imaginary play, all with music; invaluable for developing brains.
The use of tuned and untuned percussion instruments are used extensively, both by the children individually and in ensemble.
The whole Kinder Beat program consists of 3 levels. Each level can be taken independently - it is not necessary to complete one level to be able to do the next.
In 2015 Jenny and Julie intend to present both Level 1 and 2, each level is a 25 week course.
In 2015 the classes will be $10 each for approximately 45 minutes. For each level there is an additional upfront fee of $40 for a music book (with all the words and actions to the songs, plus reflection worksheets) a toy and CD. The book and toy will be used in every class, with the CD for home listening.
The activities provide the essential foundation skills that are necessary in order to develop the complete musician. These include:
You can find the Kinder Beat website here
Well, it's been a little while since I wrote and I knew it would be ....being involved in a big project like 'Singing with the Stars' was a huge outward breathe of courage and newness for me.
This outward movement required another equally large inward breathe to reflect and attempt to return to some sense of internal equilibrium!
The concert raised over $13,000 (!!) for Make a Wish Foundation to go towards granting wishes for seriously ill kids, an amazing achievement for all involved and all who attended, particularly Belinda Knight who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.
It was a great show, loads of fun and variety, with such a high standard of acts. My singing partner Jonny Gorden and I performed a medley of Buddy Holly songs that he arranged and directed. By all accounts, our performance was well received and I was especially proud of our efforts.
On a personal level, Singing with the Stars was a mammoth step out of my comfort zone. I was scared shitless at times during the process but interestingly, at other times, I felt very myself...like I was exactly where I needed to be, and wanted to be, despite the newness of it all.
Because, you know, newness does feel scary.
Of course it does.
Fear around something new is normal.
If the new thing we are doing really matters to us, if we really, really want it or it has a deep, personal significance, we may feel even more fear.
And...if we've had a negative experience in the past...an embarrassing moment whilst performing, if we failed an important test, if we received feedback that was less than constructive, if we were teased or laughed at, talked about, criticised...the list goes on....let's add another few layers of fear on top of the original 'newness' fear as well.
For me, I had already made my baby steps. (You can read about them here.) I was both ready and eager for the next step and I still had my fair share of personal challenges to get there.
What did I do? Well, I did the best I could, honestly.
Here are a few tools and tips that I found helpful for dealing with any anxiety or fear that came up for me....
1. Journalling, particularly free writing. I would write whatever popped up in my head, longhand, even if it was just my shopping list at first. After a few minutes of random thoughts, the juicy, raw stuff would often come up to be expressed and dealt with. I sincerely found (and continue to find!) that putting my worrisome thoughts down on paper stops them from running amok in my head.
2. Rescue Remedy lozenges....thank you dear Robyn for this 'lolly of calm' at rehearsals and at the show.
3. Prepare. Now, there might be a time and a place for 'winging it' but for me, this was not one of them and I would say that if something really matters to you, like a performance or a job interview for a much longed for position, winging it is not a great idea :-)
I steadily worked through my 'to do' list before the show, sometimes it was long and a little overwhelming, especially if there were other personal things happening. Other times it was slow and steady, mostly involving a 10-15 minute practice after the kids were in bed to learn the song lyrics and then later some story lines/stage direction. I knew I wouldn't regret that I had not rehearsed enough, no matter what happened on the night.
4. Visualisation. In the couple of days before the show I had crazy butterflies in my tummy so I attempted to reframe my thoughts. I chose to remember that the butterflies were not 'bad', I didn't need to get rid of them, instead I saw them merely as a reminder that I was keen to do my best. I would take deep breathes and visualise the butterflies slowing down their crazy fluttering, landing calmly on a log and just fluttering their wings every now and then. I didn't make them disappear...we chose to become friends instead :-)
5. Get support! I found that effectively communicating my desire to be a part of the show and how important it was to me, family and friends were keen to support me, whether by attending the show, sending positive words of support or in the case of The Man of the House and the kids, freeing me up for rehearsals...a huge thing if you have a family.
Ask for help if you need it...I asked my hairdresser for help with a costume and she gladly provided things to try on. I asked members from the local Rock and Roll dance club to dance in our act. I asked my friends to buy tickets, attend and vote. I texted my singing partner Jonny on the morning of the show some silly, anxious questions that were stressing me out, nothing major, just little things that were bothering me. Fantastic mentor that he is, he phoned me and calmly talked me through the logistic stuff that had me concerned.
6. Celebrate your success. Please, please don't forget this important step.
Even if your success was just having a go, celebrate it.
Celebrate that you had the courage to try.
Celebrate your very first, teeny, tiny, baby step.
Celebrate when you totally achieve your goal, when you hit the mark and then some.
Life is too special and amazing to just move on to the next thing.
Enjoy the afterglow.
I consciously decided to truly hear and receive compliments that people gave me. At first my knee-jerk reaction was to point out the errors in my act, especially when I watched the video recording on facebook.
But it didn't feel good and I'm guessing it didn't feel great for my friends to have their compliments thrown back either.
So....I decided to go the other way...to graciously receive compliments, thank the giver and remember the words they said. I wrote a heap of them down in my journal, along with some memories of the night, and they are fabulous to reread already. What a wonderful memento for the future.
Celebrate in whatever way that feels right to you. Mine definitely included a little bubbly...after my performance ;-)
Celebrating with friends and flowers below.
More flowers, lucky girl.
So that is all for now...in two years there will be another show that will surprise and entertain local music lovers...I can't wait to see it and perhaps even help out in some way.
I'll leave you tonight with this video by the immensely talented Tania Allen with fun footage of the contestants, professionals and crew preparing for the Make A Wish Foundation "Singing with the Stars" contest of 2014.
Yay us! (See, there's a little more celebrating for you ;-)
If you have a goal you wanna reach, I highly recommend setting a date to anchor you... a specific time to work towards gently and progressively (hopefully!)
For my marathon running friends, my goodness, they are popping up everywhere, this is relatively easy.
The date setting, not the training I imagine!
They pick a marathon, they register, they know it's coming so they better do something about it :-) If they rock up on the day without training, they might find themselves walking or feeling sick or with an injury. Not good.
I work better with dates too.
In under three weeks I will be performing as a contestant on Singing with the Stars, a local event to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation, granting wishes for terminally ill kids. As an amateur, I have been paired with local professional Jonny Gorden and we have been busy behind the scenes planning our singing act.
I am feeling quite honored to be a part of the show, I can only imagine what the kids and their families go through on a day to day basis, and I am sincerely happy to help in this way.
It is also such a fun event, I attended the previous show two years ago with friends and we had a great time as audience members...plus we did a little day dreaming, imagining what song we would perform if we were contestants...okay, maybe a LOT of day dreaming :-)
It's a great opportunity to try something new and challenge myself and sing in front of a crowd.
A big crowd.
300 people, give or take.
This shit just got real, haha.
Seriously though, the lead up to it so far has been a fun AND challenging AND worthwhile experience, as anything worth doing usually is. (I'm thinking parenthood!)
Having this date, Saturday August 9th, in the forefront of my mind keeps me on track. If I don't practice, well, I might stuff up the lyrics, the timing, where I need to be on stage etc.
Of course, I might stuff up these things anyway but at least if I practice I know I have given it my best shot in terms of preparation.
It's going to be such a good night, past shows have sold out so do get onto it if you're keen! Tickets are available from Belinda Knight on 0438 257 230, $10 for upstairs gallery seating, $15 for downstairs. The show starts at 7pm and is held in Wallaroo Town Hall.
Would you like to set a date for a much longed for goal? Once you've set a date you can break your big goal into baby steps each day or week, whatever suits.
I need to get back to my number one priority, little Miss 3, and schedule in some time later to practice!
Have you tried Laser Tag or Skirmish before?
My 6 year old son was invited to a birthday party late last year to celebrate with some friends. I sent the Man of the House along to accompany him because I can be a bit touchy about kid's gun play at times, despite my attempts to relax :-)
Fast forward to February...another laser tag birthday invite.
The Man of the House suggested I attend this time. He thought I might enjoy it. I wasn't so sure but I felt like I should probably go and take a look anyway if my child was loving it so much.
And yep, he was right.
I loved it!
Who knew my competitive spirit was lying there dormant waiting for laser tag to wake it up?
You know, it didn't feel like 'shoot 'em dead', I think that is what I was worried about it, it very much felt like 'disco chasey' to me!
Popular music was playing and the aim is to shoot the opposite team's gun...the strategy and hiding out was quite a laugh and you can keep track of the score, individual or as a team, while you play.
All good until I had all the little kids ganging up on me at one stage :-D
We went to Copper Coast Commandos at Moonta.
If you're keen and you ever get the change to play...do it!
Why not get together your own group of friends and have a go?