Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pride & Joy: Fur baby family

What is your most prized possession?

This was a challenge issued by daily post and it really made me think, my instinct when thinking about my pride and joy was to say family, but I do not really consider my family a possession. Google dictionary defines possession as the following:

  1. the state of having, owning, or controlling something.
  2. something that is owned or possessed.
  3. the state of being controlled by a demon or spirit.

We’ll just ignore that 3rd one completely as I am pretty sure no one has ever expressed pride or joy for demon possession – although I must say a novel titled, ‘My favourite demon possession’ would be an interesting read.

She looks happy... right?!?!

She looks happy… right?!?!

So what possession or thing that I have actual ownership of is my pride and joy? Well, whilst I think of my dogs as part of the family I do technically “own” them so I would have to say my fur babies 🙂

I have always wanted a dog, I asked Santa for a puppy for many, many years, but unfortunately he somehow knew my parents didn’t want one so my puppy was never under the Christmas tree come Christmas morning. One of my driving forces for becoming independent was so I could move out of my parent’s house in order to get a dog.

 

Molly

Miss Molly

Miss Molly

I quickly decided that I didn’t want a puppy from a breeder or a pet shop; I wanted to get my new companion from a shelter. So onto the interwebs I went (this was almost 10 years ago now so everything was far clunkier than it is now) and after looking at a few different websites I found Renbury Farm http://www.renbury.com.au/ or https://www.facebook.com/RenburyFarm  I saw a 7 month old pup on the site that caught my eye and went to visit the very next day. When I located the dog I had seen on the internet we didn’t really click, the dog was incredibly excitable and just didn’t feel right (it also barked the entire time I was there with my brother and I didn’t think that would go well with the neighbours).

I decided to look around at the other dogs as there were many more onsite than there were on the website, we played with a few, but none of them felt like the right one for me, then I saw this little bundle of white fur hiding in the corner of a pen – I couldn’t even tell what kind of dog it was because it was trying to make itself look as small as possible. The lady from the shelter said she was 6 months and had been found on the side of the road with rope around her neck, she was petrified of people, especially men so my brother shouldn’t go in the pen, she would likely wee on me if I picked her up, but I was welcome to go in to get a better look at her. In I went and after some coaxing I picked her up (with the blanket underneath her just in case) she cuddled straight in under my neck and I knew I had found my companion. She was a 6 month old Chihuahua X Mini Foxy (Chi’s are not a breed I usually take to) and she was perfect.

It took many months of work, but she became a happy go lucky dog who loves men and women equally and will cavort and rub against your legs begging for a pat (or a treat). She is very well behaved and adores nothing better than a snuggle on a cold day. I have had 9 years of amazing joy and companionship with her and she is my pride and joy.

 

Sam

Sammy

Sammy

The only problem that lingered on for a long time with Molly was separation anxiety, I managed to work through every other issue she had, but if I went away for a weekend or something she would freak out after a few hours and stop eating and drinking and claw at the front door to try and get out and find me. She would also scratch at herself until her hair fell out and her skin bled.

We found a kitten who seemed very lost, but well taken care of (very healthy) so we decided to drop it to our local pound to see if it was micro chipped so the owner could be found. When we left an older woman stopped me in the car park and handed me this fluff ball begging me to take him in for her because she couldn’t do it herself. Apparently it was her neighbours pup and they didn’t want him because they were never home, he chewed everything and he was sick all the time. He was a Pomeranian and I have friends who are breeders so we took him home – he had been owned by an immigrant Cambodian family who had been feeding him their own food so he was very skinny – at 12 months old he weighed 1.2kgs. So we knew he needed vet attention fast.

After a few hours at our home Molly and Sam were inseparable, when I took him to the vet the next morning she wandered around the house whimpering and moping until I brought him home. I went to work and came home to find Sam curled up on the couch beneath my Hubby’s chin and Molly curled up behind his knees – all asleep. It was then I knew we had just adopted another dog 🙂

Sam turned out to have one of the most gorgeous dispositions of any dog I have met, he is a total Mummy’s boy and will trot around the yard after me and happily sit there with my whilst I weed or put out washing. He and Molly cavort and roll around the yard – I truly believe they both think they are much bigger than they are the way they roughhouse sometimes.

 

Thinking back on how these two crazy lovable furballs came into my life I feel very lucky, if I had have gone to Renbury one day earlier I wouldn’t have met Molly and if we hadn’t have found that Kitten and decided to take it to the pound at that exact time we wouldn’t have met Sam. Sometimes life just works out perfectly 🙂

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Failing to prepare is preparation for failure

I love this piece! To me a technology plan is a vital part of the strategic plan not a separate document/project that we hope to find some spare funds for at some point (because seriously where are there ever spare funds in a Library!). In general I have to say that the organisations I have worked in that have a technology plan and treat it as an organisational goal seem to have a higher profile and are generally perceived as more successful – I am judging success by the provision of quality relevant services to clients, the quantity of use of the Library in general and the way it is perceived by clients.
This piece was really well written and hit the nail on the head!

Musings of an MILS student

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin

WebJunction’s Technology Planning site recommends that all libraries create a technology plan as part of the strategic planning process to ensure the library’s ability to effectively meet technology needs of both patrons and staff alike.  Some libraries are required to keep a technology plan to meet requirements for E-rate program, a service that provides discounted broadband Internet connections in low income communities, whereas some libraries keep a technology plan for their benefit alone, while others have no technology plan at all.  Personally, I feel that it is wise to play it safe rather than to be sorry later; keeping a technology plan can help to identify troubled areas, provide justification of services by highlighting strong technology aspects and help plan for overall future growth and development.

In 2002, Robert Dugan wrote that technology plans should be given the importance of other plans produced by libraries, such as collection development…

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Finding myself in the Red Centre

Recently I read a piece called “The top 10 tips I’ve learned from minimalists”  on the blog The ExtraOrdinary Simple Life by Lara Blair. This post discussed how to find the parts of a minimalist lifestyle that work for you and provided some great tips on putting them into practice.

After having a comments discussion with the author regarding single socks and their attack on the minimalist lifestyle and the zen of the human race in general (it made complete sense to us and I may blog about it at a later date) I discovered a comment written by All thoughts work outdoors, part of which really struck a chord with me. The paragraph that particularly caught my eye was as follows:

“I found that a simple, yet very powerful tool for decluttering is to reevaluate one’s social life. A lot of people hang onto stuff because they wanna be prepared for any social situation, be acceptable to anybody and everybody who will judge them. But when you get hard-core-honest about who you really want to spend your life on, you’ll find it’s the ones who don’t give a rat’s ass if you have festive holiday napkins or the right hemline”. – All thought work outdoors, 2014

I loved this comment! I absolutely remember being this way, wanting to be acceptable to all, be a pleaser, I somehow believed that being part of the pack and being accepted and acceptable was vital to being happy. What the hell was I thinking?! How much time and energy I wasted being this way is quite scary to think about. When I was 18 I even drank the same drinks as my friends because lolly water alcoholic drinks were so in, they tasted like Bertie Botts’s every flavour beans, but they were in so I had to like them.

My wakeup call came when I moved to Ayers Rock at the age of 19, for those who haven’t been let me tell you, it’s hot, it’s arid, there is red sand everywhere and pretty much everything about it is not conducive to wearing make-up and sexy dresses. Basically it is about trying to stay comfortable and always being prepared for a sand storm and visits from unexpected wildlife 🙂 It was fabulous and I loved it! I learned so much and I met amazing people from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life, it was a completely unique experience that I value so much. Though I didn’t realise it at the time I now believe having this experience at that age really played a part in shaping who I am today.

While I was living at the Rock at one point I had 3 jobs, I worked full time as an all-rounder for a tourism company (which pretty much means you need to be able to do anything), I was a guide on sunset champagne tours a couple of times a week and I ran Karaoke once a week. I didn’t feel overworked because we had so much play time as well, I explored all the amazing things the Red Centre had to offer, there were many times that I truly felt like I was being paid to be permanently on vacation.

When I moved back to Sydney at 21 I really didn’t understand the friends I had from High School anymore; I didn’t get wearing teeny tiny dresses to go out in 15 degree weather, I didn’t understand them wearing more make-up in one night than I saw in 2 years at the rock and I really didn’t understand these women I knew to be very intelligent giggling and flipping their hair in an effort to get male attention.

Did I feel out of place? Yup. Did I feel like the odd girl out because when I went out I mostly wore nice jeans, a pretty top and flats? Absolutely. Was I always on the outer edge of conversations with my old bosom buddy friends from school because I didn’t relate easily to them anymore? Hell yes! The above coupled with the fact that my grandfather passed away not long after I moved back had me in a pretty dark place; I would try to talk to my friends about how I felt about his passing and found that they just didn’t get it. None of them came to the funeral to support me and after a while I started getting comments like, “are you still sad?” (I don’t blame them for this really as I came to the realisation that none of them had dealt with the death of a loved one).

So I trudged along, I still went out with the group, due to the alcohol education I had received living at the Rock I no longer drank lolly water, or anything else the girls were drinking… it was mostly beer for me at that stage. After a few months I discovered something thanks to a male friend of mine, one night whilst the girls were tearing up the dance floor and we were chatting he divulged that the girls in the group were really intimidated by me. I was shocked and asked why; he gave me the following reason:

  • After school rather than go straight to Uni I had moved interstate, lived and survived on my own and thrived whilst holding down three jobs – all my friends were living the Uni life, some working casual in bars, the others living off the bank of Mum and Dad and they all lived at home.
  • When I go out I have the confidence to wear whatever I am comfortable in and am happy to strike up conversation with pretty much anyone (pretty sure this came from 2 years in a town of 1500 people where you knew everyone so you talked to everyone) – the girls were nervous about approaching new people, particularly guys.
  • I hold my alcohol really well and can keep up with most guys – thanks Ayers Rock alcohol education 🙂 Although I must say that this trait does run in the women of my family for some reason.
  • Because I wear sensible shoes I can pretty much stay out all night without complaining of sore feet – no running around the streets in bare feet for me. It also means I appear to have more stamina.
  • I am able to talk to guys easily, I can hold my own at the pool table and drink with them – What can I say they had a lot of pool tables at Ayers Rock and I like the game. Pretty rusty now though.

It was then I realised that the girls were having as much trouble relating to me as I was to them. By moving interstate and living/surviving on my own, working and paying bills I had matured significantly. In high school we were all having the same experiences and because my friends then went on to Uni even though they were at different Unis studying different subjects they were still having similar life experiences whereas my experiences were completely different. The fact that we were still making such efforts to relate to each other was quite admirable.

It seemed living there gave me the independence to grow into who I was removed from the variety of influences girls in the city have at that age. I am quite thankful for that now, it helped me discover who I was and I don’t spend as much time trying to impress people by behaving in any way that is unnatural to me. Take me as I am world 🙂


52 books in 52 weeks

New Years Eve 2013 resolution time. We are all familiar with the almighty resolutions list we create for ourselves each year, most of us are also aware of exactly how long that list usually lasts, so this year I wanted to create a different kind of list. I didn’t want my list to limit me as much as previous lists have e.g. lose 10kgs – things like this on your list are not fun, they are a chore, for those who are successful with things like this I truly salute you, but I hate them on there. So, since this is my list, this year I put what I wanted on it rather than what I thought I should put on it and so far it has been a lot more fun keeping to the list.

The list

  1. Try new things – Challenge yourself.
  2. Lead a healthier lifestyle – you can combine this with trying new things – e.g. new recipes, new foods, new activities, have fun with it.
  3. “Home truths” – Don’t lie to myself or blame things on others that are all on me.
  4. 52 books in 52 weeks – read 52 books in a year – try new authors, things you wouldn’t normally read and finally read the Hobbit – you have had it for years!!!

It’s a short list, but I have stuck to it for four months and it has been great! Here’s some of my progress:

Try new things:

Done

Home made waffles – I have eaten waffles before, but never cooked them… so good!

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Salmon steaks with rocket and walnut salad – never had either before and cooked it all… I am now a salmon lover! (Not big on seafood generally)

Roast pork loin with roast apples, onion, zucchini and potatoes – I have eaten pork before, but not pork loin and never with roast apples – it was amazing!

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Tried my hand at cake decorating for my brothers birthday, he loved it!

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Until yesterday I had long hair… now… big change!

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Coming soon

I have the ingredients to make individual baileys cheesecakes… that’s going to happen really soon

I am currently devising an Easter activity for my nieces and nephews (oldest is 2.5) which will not cover them in goop whilst still being fun – will post my failure or success haha.

Nieces and nephews are still a little young for tonnes of chocolate so I am thinking decorated cupcakes for easter – watch this space.

 

Healthier Lifestyle

This has ended up being mostly food based, but it is interesting how slight changes have made big differences, where before I would maybe munch on some potato chips I now go for black sesame brown rice crackers – so good! I have a bigger lunch now, rather than just a sandwhich I have salad as well which keeps me fuller and sometimes I don’t even suffer from 3.30itis 🙂

The harder part has been soft drinks, whilst I never had tonnes of it – maybe a glass a day I am now trying to not have any. It’s weird, when you have not had it for some time and you have a glass it makes you feel thirstier than you were originally!

 

Home truths

I came up with this because – well it’s kind of complicated, but I just started seeing so much violence in everyday life and it really bothered me. When I say violence I am being extremely general, in addition to all the horrible events I see in the news I mean the discourteous way people deal with each other on a daily basis. People are so self-involved these days that nothing external seems to penetrate their tiny universe. I had already started thinking along these lines, but decided to include it in my resolutions one day after a woman at the shops was on her phone in her own world and smacked into my trolley (which had my 2 year old nephew in it), lost her balance and impaled my foot with her stiletto. I helped her up and asked if she was ok, to which she replied, “why don’t you watch where you are going you fat f*&#!” My reply, “I might be fat, but you are ugly inside and out and no amount of hooker make up or heels can fix that. Get your potty mouth away from us, I don’t want my kid exposed to your filth” I am not going to lie, that come back felt good. I felt I had managed to knock her down a peg or two without stooping to her level, but hobbling home I found myself reflecting and wondering if I could have done more to avoid that scene. I decided I needed to be more reflective on my behaviour on a full time basis to try and balance out some of the ugly karma in this world 🙂

 

52 books in 52 weeks

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS CHALLENGE!!! Please see progress below:

Number Title Author
1 –

Jan 1-5

Earthly Delights: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2004) Greenwood, Kerry
2 –

Jan 6-12

Heavenly Pleasures: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2005) Greenwood, Kerry
3 –

Jan 13-19

Devil’s Food: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2006) Greenwood, Kerry
4 –

Jan 20-26

Trick or Treat: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2007) Greenwood, Kerry
5 –

Jan 27 – Feb 2

Forbidden Fruit: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2009) Greenwood, Kerry
6 –

Feb 3-9

Cooking the Books: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2011) Greenwood, Kerry
7 –

Feb 10-16

Babies in Waiting (2012) Fiore, Rosie
8 –

Feb 17-23

Kushiel’s Dart(2001) Carey, Jacqueline
9 –

Feb 24–Mar 2

Kushiel’s Chosen (2002) Carey, Jacqueline
10 –

Mar 3-9

Kushiel’s Avatar (2003) Carey, Jacqueline
11 –

Mar 10-16

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire) Martin, George R. R.
12 –

Mar 17-23

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire) Martin, George R. R.
13 –

Mar 24-30

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire) Martin, George R. R.
14 – Mar 31 – Apr 6 Divergent Roth, Veronica
15 –

Apr 7-13

Insurgent Roth, Veronica
16 –

Apr 14-20

Allegiant Roth, Veronica

 

Let me know if you want information on the books I have read, happy to share thoughts or recommendations. If you have a recommendation for me to include in my 52 books in 52 weeks journey please recommend away 🙂


Social Media Addiction

So a little while ago I read this post http://kristenlynnwrites.com/2014/03/04/if-our-great-grandmothers-wouldve-had-facebook-and-twitter-when-they-were-young-mothers/ by Kristenlynnwrites and I loved it, it struck a chord with me, but in a different way than I would have expected when I started reading the piece. As I kept reading and giggling my way through the tweets I started thinking about the fact that because they didn’t have social media etc. they probably had a lot of time for other things. Then I read a comment by http://mrhairybrit.com/ that basically said exactly what I was thinking, “… the next generation is going to be a little lost in the world of social media”. I completely believe this in fact in some cases I feel like this is a bit of an understatement 🙂

Social media use is a little bit out of control, there I said it. Don’t get me wrong I use it, I absolutely use it and having lived in a few different places I find it a fabulous way to keep in touch with people I possibly wouldn’t be able to afford to keep in touch with otherwise. In fact I have done a lot of research and study into measuring and getting value out of social media technologies (which is likely evident from my last post) so I am certainly no Noob when it comes to the 2.0 world. What I have a problem with is the people that get so involved with their social media platforms that they basically spend more time posting their life on one platform or another than living it, that is where I think there is an issue. I believe we need a rehab clinic for social media addiction because trust me it is real!

So here are some prime examples of things happening on social media that drive me nuts:

  • Mums and Dads posting every breath of their child’s existence. Guys your kids want to make a connection with you, not the lens of your smartphone, put that down and play with them; you don’t need evidence of being a decent parent. In fact if all your interactions with them are through the lens you are not really exhibiting great parenting skills, stop observing and get in there! Someone doesn’t have to ‘like’ it on Facey for it to have meaning.
  • This next one was over the line and a totally legit reason to de-friend someone – recently the wife of a friend of mine had a bub, afterwards she posted photos of her C-section on FB… not okay! I wouldn’t want to see myself cut open like that, let alone anyone else… keep it in the family.
  • My husband and I got married 2 years ago – people were really surprised when it took us a month to change our relationship status to married (I don’t really know why they cared to be honest, but apparently it was a thing for them). When we were looking for someone to do our ceremony we kept seeing references to a Facebook inclusion, when I eventually asked what it was we were told that a lot of people after signing the register like to have an extra part where they update their status’ on Facey to say they are now married… ‘umm okay, no we won’t be having that. Yes I understand it is popular, we still don’t want it’. Since when was the ring, ceremony and massive party not enough evidence of the ‘I do’?
  • Selfies have gone too far! Yes I have taken them, yes I have posted them, yes I love the famous Ellen selfie, it is fabulous! But enough is enough… I do not need to see Belfies (Butt-selfies) which are just pure grot and who thought of that anyway?! The sheer amount of duckfaces I have seen in the past year have made me irrationally hate Daffy Duck a much loved icon of my childhood. And I have to say it… WTF is with after sex selfies?! How is this an okay thing to do? Vent, vent, vent, whinge, whinge, whinge. As a Librarian I have to admit that I do enjoy Shelfies, it’s a guilty pleasure to be able to have a perve at others bookshelves from the non-judgemental corner of my own home 🙂

So people go on with all these conspiracy theories about Big Brother watching and the government spying on everything we do, the thing is that if they wanted to they wouldn’t have to work very hard. I mean seriously, we are posting our entire lives to social media, all they would have to do is write an extremely basic program with some search terms and it would pull all of your information up. I can literally go onto my Facebook page right now and tell you everything one of my friends had to eat yesterday; seriously he posts every meal… I don’t even know what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I know he had a full continental breakfast in the lobby of a hotel near his work… does that not worry anybody else?

We have basically created our own strange version of The Truman Show; we have done this to ourselves. We are too quick to post stuff and we don’t think about the consequences, for example, did you know people Google you when you go for an interview? If you Google my brother’s name a certain way you will find a video of him setting off fireworks out of his butt from 5 years ago. Once the information is out there, you no longer have control of it.

What do your uploads say about your personal brand? http://www.brandnewmedia.com.au/blog/the-facebook-makeover

What do your uploads say about your personal brand? http://www.brandnewmedia.com.au/blog/the-facebook-makeover

So people please think before you upload and if you fit into any of the examples I have spoken about please seek a 12-step program in your area.