13 November 2011

Weekend thoughts...'Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus'

I wrote this post and published it a little while ago. Some of you may have read it. 
My decision to remove it for a period was based on something personal that happened a few days after writing it. I did not remove it because I felt I had said anything wrong. 

Something happened that made me want to give myself some time to re-read it and make sure I had written what I actually meant.

In this post there is reference to 'suffering through' the Christmas season. It's a fact of life that some people do. Christmas for some people can be a lonely time, even if you are with other family or friends.

I'm one of those people and this explanation, and the post, is another piece of me that you wouldn't normally see on my blog. I've only ever written about personal feelings a couple of times here.

I love the Christmas spirit of love and giving, and decorating the home and table. I even go as far each year to have a theme for my wrapping under the tree. That all goes a bit pear shaped when the other gifts are piled up under the tree when the family arrives. All in different colours to my theme!!! NOT an OCD moment...I think...not sure. Anyway I digress. LOL

I just don't have any connection to the lead up to Christmas because most years I don't have my immediate family with me.

I have a broken marriage, fact. I still find it very hard to let go of some things from that time, even though it's been a while now. But I have to let go, I know I do, for my own peace of mind. It's important to take into consideration that he and I are completely different people, we think and feel differently and put our priorities in a different order. I have to make that not bother me any more. It's very hard to do that, when sometimes you hear in your head, 'Did any of it mean anything?'

Sorry, rambling here! I'll stop now.

Suffice to say, in this post I mentioned briefly that I have set myself the task of getting over things related to my mindset of the breakup and the subsequent years.

I've done really well in the career department all these years, but still find the emotional part of me needs some soothing. It's tough when you'd been with that person since you were 17 years old.

Brendon, my eldest son, was recently here for a couple of days and showed me his first tattoo, an anatomical depiction of the heart. When I asked him what it meant to him, he said it's because he wears his heart on his sleeve. He does... and so do I. My heart is too open to being hurt or broken. It's interesting that both my sons have selected tattoos that are true to their characters. Darren has a large tree on his right side, from under his arm to his hip. When I asked him what it meant, he said, strength, endurance, dependable. We all wear our hearts on our sleeves though!

I've re-read the original post and I'm happy that I expressed what I was feeling at the time. Some of it is no reflection on anyone else but me, how I feel and what I think about (or actually dwell on sometimes, which is not good).

Christmas for me is a period of getting by until it's over. For those of you who read my blog, thank you for 'listening' and here is the original post.

Merry Christmas to you and your families, sincerely!
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...

'... He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.'

{excerpt from the letter Virginia O'Hanlan wrote to the Editor of New York's 'The Sun' newspaper in 1897}

It's been ages since I wrote a 'Weekend Thoughts' post, life has been so busy.

Where did the year go!

Over the last few days I've been catching up on my blog reading and 'revitalizing' my own blog. During my travels through blogland, I've noticed references to Christmas popping up. In fact, I've even started wishing blog authors Merry Christmas in my comments! Mainly because we are getting to the pointy end of the 'silly season' and I'm not sure if I'm going to get back to those authors to pass on my wishes closer to the Christmas event.

It gave me pause for thought about how we each think about, feel, suffer (yes 'suffer'...some of us do), enjoy, celebrate, worship, look forward to, dread the clean up (!)...of Christmas.

Which is the reason I come back to the letter from 8 year old Virginia all those years ago.

Even if there isn't a Santa Claus, and I'm not saying there is or isn't...how long before Christmas becomes, or became a frenzy, in your family? And I mean, the fun went out of it and it ended up being a mad rush to have everything organized, to select that perfect gift for that particular person..so on and so on!

It's hard to explain to littlies why there are SO many Santa's? When will my new baby grandson, Archie start to realize where his gifts actually come from. Will he be younger than Virginia's 8 years?

I ask these questions because I'm sure you've all noticed HOW MUCH EARLIER we see the 'gift giving seasons' become visible in the shops. Surely this gives it away!

We see Christmas decorations and 'Christmas Shops' in department stores popping up in October!!! We have no sooner finished with Christmas and the Easter season is upon us.

It's this sort of commercial trade that will have our babies wondering 'Is there a Santa or an Easter Bunny', earlier than we'd like.

You know what though, no matter whether they believe or not, it is still such a joy to see the look on their faces on Christmas morning.

Now I know some of you out there, like me, find the holiday season tough to get through, without family around, or from circumstances that have happened throughout the year, beyond any one's control, but being able to wake up on Christmas morning to the sounds of squeals of delight (not too early I hope), is something I'm hoping to have a lot of with little Archie (and whoever else comes along in the years to come).

I haven't had Christmas with one or both of my boys for three years and Christmas is something I dread most years, because of the distances between us. I miss them so much, they are so far away. One of those circumstances beyond any one's control.

Good news, Brendon, is coming to Sydney for Christmas. Only for a couple of days though. Perhaps we can do something, just the 2 of us. I've got my thinking cap on. Maybe the Harry Potter exhibition.

Darren, Natalie and Archie are staying in Mackay for Christmas, and it looks like the boy's Dad (my ex) is going to spend a couple of days with them. He hasn't seen Archie yet, and even though it's another year where he's been able to see Darren for Christmas and I won't, I have to find a piece of my heart that will wish him joy when he finally meets his grandson (yes, you can read disappointment in my tone, not a good breakup, so yes, I sometimes find it hard to let go).

I still have family to celebrate Christmas with each year, but it isn't one of my favourite times of the year. I prefer birthdays. Brendon is 30 in March and I'm looking forward to that. As it just so happens I have a month off, with his birthday right in the middle of my annual leave. And my niece is 21 at the end of February!

I'm so looking forward to Christmas mornings with Archie (and brothers or sisters, cousins). It's going to be rare but cherished as we are all over the place. Darren - Mackay, Brendon - Brisbane, their Dad - Bundaberg, me - Sydney, Natalie's family - Parkes, Sarah's family - Toowoomba (Brendon's girlfriend).

Both the girl's parents are the loveliest people and I get on quite well with them. It may just be that some years we'll have a combined Christmas here in NSW or in QLD. Or maybe someone has Christmas Day and the others have Boxing Day, who knows. Consultation on who goes where for Christmas, from now on, is probably going to be a tricky conversation, with someone feeling left out somewhere along the line each year. But that's how it is.

Thank goodness for Skype!

Merry Christmas everyone if I don't get to stop by and comment or pass on my holiday wishes. I hope it is all you want it to be.

One last indulgence, another photo of Archie, taken by Brendon last weekend when he visited Mackay to meet his little nephew.

12 November 2011

'jane on jane st' - getting back in to gear!

I've been so slack with posts on my other blog 'jane on jane st'. But to be honest, I haven't been doing much towards what I originally set it up for.

The idea was to complete fabric designs through the name 'designed to a T' and make the fabrics into handmade products for sale under the name 'jane on jane st' homewares.

I need to get back on track! Starting here! I'm also on the hunt for a semi-industrial sewing machine! This is all about the lead up to my 2013 deadline of decisions decisions....

Head on over to 'jane on jane st', if you are interested, to hear my musings...oh and here are some hints for you...

06 November 2011

You know you live in paradise when....

...you don't have to pay for a whale watch tour when you can see this from the local beach!!!

{Google images}
I wish I'd had my phone or camera with me to take some photos, so I've searched for some on the internet to give you an idea of what we saw.

We were just sitting on the beach reading and enjoying the sun. Apart from the sound of the waves you could also hear a 'thump', quite regularly.

When we looked out past the breakers, there was 2 humpbacks tail slapping! This was the noise you could hear. The sound carried with the wind and you could hear the delayed 'thump' after we'd seen it happen. They were frolicking around and every now and then you'd see them 'blow'. We didn't see any breaching though.

They tail slapped for about 10 minutes, then moved on down a bit further, had a bit more of a play, then...no more. They were gone, on their way home down south, no doubt. We had a free 30 minute display in total. but it was hard to tell if it was mother and calf. They stayed in one area for quite a while, then disappeared and came up a little bit further down. Both tails were quite big, so it could have been 2 adults. And they were only tail slapping, so I'm not sure what this meant.

This is not the first time we've seen whales. We visited Seal Rocks when one of my sons was visiting a few years back, and saw them from the lighthouse lookout. Another time was at Crescent Head.

Here's a link to the Google map of Elizabeth Beach. They were out in line with the furthest point on the right hand side of the beach.

Dolphins are a regular sight also in the area, surfing through the breakers. I haven't seen any for a while, and it is usually at my beach combing place, Seven Mile Beach that I've seen them surfing, like this.
{Google image}
I'm definitely going to make sure I have my camera with me next time I'm at the beach. It's around this time of the year we see a few whales on their way home. I will go armed and ready from now on...so hopefully next time I can show you the real thing and not Google images to help describe such an amazing sight.

Gotta love it!!!

05 November 2011

The fun begins...

...with Christmas just around the corner!

Now that my grandson has arrived...(you can read about the event here), I'd better get started on Christmas presents for him so I can take them with me when I visit Mackay in a couple of weeks. That will be my time to spend a week with Mum, Dad (my son) and baby...all...by...myself!

I probably should think about presents for his Mum and Dad too!

I've got 3 of these little guys, all are the same, triplets...and will do a 3D artwork like the one I did for Sophia earlier in the year here.

After the workroom had a major cleanup this morning, I set to making Archie's Christmas stocking. I finished making the pattern and cutting it out last night, with the intention of starting on it first thing after breakfast this morning....didn't happen.

My last visit to the holiday house, which is where I do the bulk of my projects, was 6 WEEKS AGO. I've been doing things in Sydney, went away for work to Orange, and had my trip to Mackay for Archie's birth.

Sooo.....my workroom and materials needed a bit of re-organization, to say the least! More to the point, I NEED MORE ROOM! But I suppose the more room you have, the more stuff you accumulate (i.e. materials and equipment...definitely not 'junk').

Christmas Stocking finished...tick, a couple of tote bags unfinished, but hopefully finished by the end of tonight, another little dress and cap for Amelia for Christmas...on the agenda...maybe for next weekend when I come back to the house. I have a week in Port Macquarie before I head off to Mackay, so will spend two weekends in a row (this week and next week...very rare), then head off to Port from here. It's only an hour and a bit to drive there.

Here's Archie's Christmas Stocking hanging on the workroom door handle.

I'd like to refine the pattern a little...it's probably a bit too long and should be slightly wider I feel. It was a tad difficult to make sure the lining was sitting right, making it wider will probably help with that.

A huge disclaimer on the embroidery sampler also...I am definitely NOT the needle work type o'gal!

04 November 2011

He's arrived!...

A typical Grove boy! Late to arrive!

Like his father and uncle, my grandson, Archie Michael Grove finally arrived at 4.10pm Wednesday 26th October, 2011...about 13 days late. Depending on which date you believe.

All you Mum's out there probably know what I mean...there's the date from when you think you conceived and then there's the scan date. If we go by the scan, he was only 8 days late.

Still long enough for his Mum to send out the 'lease expiry' notice. Time to get out baby!

Well enough of that, I suppose you want to see photos...well here's a whole gallery for you all.

I'm biased because I'm his grandmother, but isn't he gorgeous!

Sorry, I completely forgot the statistics...7lb 12 oz or 3.5 kgs, and 51.5 cms long!!

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