Bookshelf Review~The Spy by Paulo Coelho

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Historical fiction I love. This author’s work I love. This book brought to life the historical story of Mata Hari (Margaretha Zella) who became famous as an exotic dancer and high-end prostitute to powerful and rich men. The character is painted as a strong and independent woman whose ” only crime was to be an independent woman.” She was betrayed, executed, and used as a Scapegoat to distract the publics attention from the brutal loss of young men’s lives due to the war at that time.

Immediately the book grabbed my attention from the very beginning starting boldly with the execution. It was engaging, easy to follow and told in the first person by Mata Hari and the Lawyer through letters they wrote.

It creates Mata Hari as a very strong character who had come from difficult circumstances. She was raped at 16, then found herself in a physically and sexually abusive marriage, she suffered the death of a son, whilst her abusive husband had custody of her daughter. I felt her desperation to survive and thrive. I felt her courage and strength to reinvent herself and do what she needed to do to survive. I don’t know that she had many choices however she chose a daring and controversial path.

It was a great read, although I feel it glamorized her position as a dancer and prostitute. I really wonder how much choice she really had, how much pain she suffered, and how difficult it must have been for her at the time. The book makes it sound like her time as an exotic dancer and prostitute were easy.

However, I liked that I could admire her for being strong, taking control of her life, and daring to think out of the box, use her smarts, looks and talents to survive and thrive. Whilst from the beginning to end she was treated unjustly, especially the final betrayal by men and her country France, and yet she never acted like the victim, rather with pride.

Overal it was an interesting and engaging read, I think I would like it more had it been a little grittier.

Wishing you all a wonderful day

.FRAN DISHON

 

 

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Weekend Off! Wow weekends are special when you work a lot of them.

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Friday evening, excited for I have the weekend off. Winter time is tough, so much time spent indoors, short days and long nights, its cold and I don’t want to go out. Spending what few weekends off I have wisely helps prevent the Winter Blues from getting to me. I work a lot of weekends so having a weekend off is pretty special. This weekend is particularly special because it is the first weekend in a long time where I have nothing planned. All that free time I wonder what I will do with it. I check out the weekend forecast that just tells me it will be cold and wet. I will be needing a coat and umbrella, and will probably be spending a lot of time inside. My thoughts are it should be a productively relaxing weekend, with family time, exercise, personal project time, and even some free time. I often find that I over book my weekends with activities and events, and come out feeling tired at the end of it.

I found a couple of blog posts on the internet that may help when it comes to making the most of your weekends.

Things Successful People do on weekends

53 Fun thing you can do this weekend

Are you trying to do too much this weekend?

Weekend wish list- my list of things to do for this weekend.

Friday family movie night. ( family ritual)
Family time an afternoon to do something, go somewhere and enjoy some family time.
Yoga class
Reading( curled up on the couch)
Work on a personal project, ( 2-3hrs)
Go for a walk and take my camera out and take some photo’s( I really want some time to play with my camera.)

 

Nothing too exciting, just a casual, relaxing weekend, is all I want. What sort of a weekend do you want to be enjoying?

 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

 

FRAN DISHON

 

Bookshelf Review- The Art of Living

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Wednesday bookshelf review is running late this week. This blogging every day is working out to be quite a challenge and  I am already one blog post behind.

This week’s book was The Art of Living, by Bob Proctor and Sandra Gallagher.
It was very much based on the law of attraction, thoughts+emotions+ actions= results.

My takeaway from the book was to choose a big idea for a goal.

“Your setting the goal to raise your conscious awareness. That’s the real purpose of a goal. It’s to bring more of you to the surface. And when you do, you enjoy everything you do more” Bob Proctor.

A big worthy idea that you really want, something that is exciting and so big you don’t know how you are going to achieve it. The important thing is to focus on it, imagine it and imagine achieving that goal. Then continue to focus on it and take action. The opportunities and people will show up. By focusing on our big idea, we are likely to have more awareness of opportunities and people who can help us when they show up. The most important concept was that the purpose of a goal is to help us grow.

 

The next thing is to come up with the big idea! The book suggests expanding our awareness by taking a small idea and turning it into a bigger idea. Still, I have plenty of goals I am working towards but I don’t have a big idea goal. I guess I will just drink coffee, journal and let my ideas percolate until a big idea shows up. This is the next step to figure out what my big wonderful idea goal is.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

The Problem With Housework!

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The Happy Suburban Chick must come face to face with her reality of housework. It certainly does not fit into the area of domestic bliss. Here is a list of 5 housework problems that every Happy Suburban Chick must come to terms with. They are as follows:

Housework is like Groundhog day, same thing day after day. I empty the wash basket, and the next day it is full and I start all over again. I make the beds and the next day I make them again. I do the dishes and the next day I do them again.

The biggest problem is nobody really appreciates it especially when it is done well, things run smoothly everyone is happy and life just goes well.

When it not done, you soon hear the complaints, the inconvenience is well and truly noticed. Like where are my jocks, did you buy me my deodorant, post my letter, and I am hungry what is for dinner tonight

I don’t get paid to do it, even though I work hard and put a lot of hours into it.

It doesn’t require much skill, but rather takes up a lot of time. I can not develop my skill and knowledge.

Being distracted by housework when I could be doing something more interesting, challenging and fun. Yet somehow that housework is very persuasive because I find myself doing it.

So what’s a Happy Suburban Chick to do! Put on the music and get stuck into for a start. Acknowledge that it will never be complete it simply and ongoing project with no end date. If no one appreciates your work you must be doing a magnificent job. They can sack you, and give your job to someone else. Funny thing is I have never been given the sack from doing housework even when I suck at it. That’s right it’s unpaid work. Finally when you find yourself being sucked in by the persuasiveness of housework, set boundaries and give it definite time frames, and say no when it demands more.

A Happy Suburban Chick must learn to control the times she spends on housework so she can spend more time doing what makes her happy.

How do you cope with housework? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Photography Bliss : Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges

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Wow! Magical, Picturesque, Amazing colours, these words all describe the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. These gardens are situated of Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges. They are run by Parks Victoria now, and entrance is free.
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I went at the end of Autumn and the Autumn foliage colours were just gorgeous. It not just the colours it is also the ornamental lake and boat house with a couple of small bridges that just make this place so picturesque. Whilst the gardens are surrounded by rain forrest. It is a delightful place for a walking adventure with a camera.  I was in my happy place taking lots of delightful photo’s.
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This day was the perfect day, late afternoon and slightly cloudy for taking photo’s. I am a new hobbyist photographer and are still learning how to navigate the settings of my DSLR camera and take good photo’s. All I know is I need to get out there and practice and take a lot of photo’s. This place makes it easy to take pretty photo’s because it is just so delightfully beautiful.
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You can discover the Alfred Nicholas Gardens for yourself by going to Dandenong Ranges,  Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, Victoria. Admission is free, and the photography opportunity is great. To find out more go to Parks Victoria’s site. 

This post has been inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 11, which I have been encouraged to share some photo’s. This year I am also sharing a picture a day on Instagram, which are mostly iPhone photo’s, because that the camera I always have with me.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

Fun Things To Do In Winter.

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Morning walk on a Winter’s Day!

Winter, you make it so cold and dark outside. Really all I want to do is curl up on the couch and keep snug and warm. Whilst that is nice for a little while, I know I could be enjoying life more. I have to push myself to enjoy these Winter’s Days. This is my question: What are fun things to do in Winter?

Here are some of my ideas:
1. Cooking Adventures: Winter is a perfect time, to put the music on, put the oven on and start experimenting with new exciting dishes.

2. Reading time: What better time to snuggle in bed reading a book, or to simply curl up in an armchair with your book. I only have a heater, it would be so nice to have a
fire.

3. Go to the movies, It is warm, snug and even exciting. I love movies they are an awesome indoor activity.

4. Going out to restaurants and cafe’s, just catching up with family and friends.

5. Make a commitment, it doesn’t matter how cold or wet it is, I go out in the evenings to attend my Toastmasters club.

6. Coats I love my coats, being warm is important. I good selection of coats lets me dress for different occasions and still stay warm. It also helps me to rug up and go for a walk.

7. Sunday drives places still look pretty in Winter, and you can always stop somewhere for a warm coffee.

8. Finally winter festivals, exhibitions, and events. I check out local papers, what’s on websites like Weekend Notes, and local council calendar of events to see what is on in my area.

9. Do an online course or class and learn something new.

However I know I still like to stay tucked away inside, hibernating on my warm couch with the heater on, and the warm cup of tea in my hands. Here I am in search of fun things to do in Winter, to bring more energy and excitement into those Winter Day’s.

What fun things do you like to do on Winter’s Days?

So what are some fun things you like to do on Winter’s Days? Please leave a comment. The more ideas we have the better our Winter Days will be.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Carefree Sundays

Don't power walk. Saunter slowly in the

Quote of the week by S.A.R.K.

I love a carefree Sunday without any plans, and this day is so gorgeous, it is bright blue, sunny and warm. It just feels like the perfect day to venture out into nature and enjoy its glories and surprises. The perfect day for a stroll around the lake. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday!

The Waiting Room


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Today I started the morning in panic mode. My young Mighty Mouse had a cardiology appointment at the hospital. Now my son has lots of appointments for lots of different things. I am a grateful for his good health at the moment, and grateful for his amazing quality of life. Still he has some health issues that need to be managed and monitored.
 So that means lots of different doctors appointments and clinics. Some our outpatients clinics that don’t need referrals.Some are specialist that we have ongoing referrals for. Then there is this one clinic that sort of outpatients/specialist that needs a new referral every twelve months.
This morning I realised it was that clinic and no I didn’t have a referral. So panic stations, to my relief my one of the doctors at my son’s family medical clinic has organised a  referral for him. It is not easy co-ordinating  my son’s medical management.  The system doesn’t make it easy, after all I am just a Mum not a case manager or events co-ordinator which would probably suit this role better than just mummy skills.
So here are my Mummy tips for the long wait in the waiting room: Take something interesting to do!
  • iPads, DS NIntendo, Game boy ( Kids will happily spend two hours playing computer games)
  • Books and Magazines ( The long wait is the perfect time to catch up on some reading)
  • Podcasts ( You could probably listen to one or two podcasts during your wait time)
  • Music put the head phones in and listen to your favourite music.

I love technology it has made the long wait in the waiting room so much more enjoyable. I remember a time when you had to take books, and toys along and kids would get so bored they were driven to naughtiness. Whilst those hours of naughty screaming kids resulted in  me having a throbbing headache that required Panadol. I often think they should just have referral, X-rays, medicare card, and most importantly bring some form of entertainment to occupy yourself and child during the long wait clearly documented on the appointment letter. That way we would all be prepared, and the long wait could simply be a time to relax and be entertained.

Resources on the web:
This was the only site I could find with any practical and fun ideas.
Wishing you all a wonderful day

Me The Beautiful Fire Goat(Sheep) in 2014.

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Today was my Artist’s Date, I took myself of to a library talk the Chinese New Year Horoscope and The Year of The Horse 2014. It was so interesting finding out about the Chinese calendar and how it is base on the lunar cycle. It was also a delight to listen to what the year of the horse had to offer. Things I learned was it was about taking action, moving forward and pushing boundaries.  For me it is about getting out of my comfort zone and embracing life to the fullest. It is about setting goals, making a plan and taking action. So when I got home from the talk, I got out my art journal, did a drawing of a goat, and penned all the wonderful notes I could about being a fire goat in 2014.

On top of all this I got a fortune cookie and it had this message for me:  Things will turn towards the bright side.

Life already feels like it is getting brighter and brighter each day, and I move forward with great optimism.

So this Year of the Horse 2014,  Take Action and Move Forward.

Wishing you all a wonderful Day!

Fran Dishon

Fran Dishon

 


Ho!Ho!Ho!

This years piñata "The Christmas Devil"

This years piñata “The Christmas Devil”

Merry Christmas

        and 
Happy New Year
So much happening these past couple of weeks, that I just didn’t get around to blogging.
So proud of myself I made my son’s a piñata which provided a lot of fun for the kids on Christmas Day.
It also provided entertainment for the adults as we watched them take turns at trying to bash it open
We celebrated Christmas away from home this year with family.
After so much celebrating this past week I am looking for-ward to New Years.
I love the relaxing feel of a January summer especially with the boys on school holidays.
So I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.