Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ANZAC day... Lest We Forget

Hey Everyone,
Life had been a little complicated recently so I have been struggling to keep writing on here. To be honest this is the first time in about 10 days that i have even made it to the computer to sit down and write something... Anything! Mum has had post-surgery complications, so I ask for all those who pray/meditate/send positive vibes (etc.) if you could possibly spare a thought for mum at the moment! That would be amazing! :) Thanks!

Anyways, tomorrow is ANZAC day and it is a day where we can honor those in our communities that have served in the armed forces. I have friends in the Army, Navy and Air Force. And I have family & friends who have served around the world in the armed forces. So Thank You for your service it has meant a lot!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ANZAC day... here are some brief notes about it!

ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by both the Australian and the New Zealand forces during the First World War. This was a collaboration to take the Gallipoli peninsular in Turkey. Things went badly for the ANZAC's but the spirit and mate-ship, that endured in an impossible situation, is an inspiration to Australians and New Zealanders today! (If you want to know more about the history of the ANZAC day tradition please check out the Australian War Memorial Website at http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/anzac_tradition.asp

As is tradition, in the early hours of the morning, thousands of people all over Australia and New Zealand (and thousands of people in Gallipoli, Turkey) will watch the sun rise tomorrow and remember the ANZAC's!


Luv Daena x

Friday, April 13, 2012

My 40th Blogpost - A facebook adventure!

Hey everyone,
I can't believe I have made it to 40 blog posts! This project of mine to do a kind act a day has seemed to have a strong impact on some people! I am also excited that I am not the only one who is undertaking such an awesome and yet extremely crazy idea!

and this milestone wouldn't be complete without a THANK YOU, to all those who have encouraged and supported me! :) You guys/girls are amazing! :) 

This week I launched my new Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/365daysOfKindness#
which should help me keep a little more connected. I am still having problems with the commenting on this blog. So I thought that something like Facebook should be able to get a more interactive experience for those following this blog and those who are looking for ideas to be more kind in their communities. Please feel free to "Like" my page and follow me on Facebook!

This week I have been focusing on doing more gardening (After all there is STILL so much to do!). So I thought I would show you a couple of pictures of some of the stuff that I have been doing around the house. I know it may not necessarily be considered a kindness, but if cleaning up my garden/yard means that my mum can safely walk out the side door or take pleasure in our gardens, that we haven't been able to do for so long, I think that is a kindness!

BEFORE                                                                                         AFTER...

 I hope you are all enjoying this blog! I am excited that I can make a difference, one small act at a time! But please feel free to share what you have been doing in the community, for you friends and family, as I need inspiration too! :)

Thanks for reading the Blog for so long! :)

Daena X

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter/ Blessed Passover/ Merry Ostara/Happy AutumnEquinox

Happy Easter to every one! For those not of the Christian Faith I wish you a Blessed Passover, Merry Ostara, and Happy Autumn Equinox (And i'm sure there are some i have forgotten too... so apologies!)

I had a very productive Easter Weekend. I did one of my kindnesses on Friday by baking a batch of Cupcakes for a friend to take to a hens day! My mum is the master of cakes, so this was a bit of a practice/learning experience to be doing it all on my own! Pretty happy with the end product! :) I was so excited to get baking that I even made a dessert to share for Sunday!

Here is a photo of me doing the baking...

Anyways, on Easter Saturday I did 8 hours of gardening in our tiny garden! (YES... it was that bad!).  The funny thing is there is still so much to do! Mum and i have not touched it as we have both been too exhausted to do anything with it for ages... the front of the house gets a bit more attention than the back. The back yard has been pretty much neglected for about 5 years! So hence the major job of cleaning up! I am counting this as my kindness for the day! This has actually done me some good (who could have thought that Gardening would be such an awesome workout!). Mum and I, both sat out on our front patio and enjoyed the view and had a cuppa and chatted! We have never done this together! It was wonderful! We both feel better about it!

On Sunday, I woke up at 5.30am for the Dawn Easter Service at my local Anglican Church! It was lovely! It also meant the end of lent - which meant that I had successfully given up Alcohol for the whole 40 days! So after the church service, the congregation had breakfast together! And I had a glass of champagne! YAY! :)

After church I picked up Mum and we headed to my sisters house for a family lunch! And by family, I mean all the extended family on my brother-in-laws side! We have all been friends for such a long time, I consider these people my family too (even though they aren't technically related to me!) We had such a good time, and all the adults enjoyed my alcoholic Baileys Chocolate Easter slice (that i had made on Friday).

Sunday evening, meant a quick visit to the Hospital, as mum was not doing very well. Some complications after surgery, which will be sorted out soon (hopefully).

Anyways, in my hours waiting in the hospital, there was a little Indigenous Australian girl (absolutely adorable), who was waiting with her mum and brother. After a while of making faces at each other and me making her giggle, I had a chance to talk to her mum. Her mum was a lovely lady who was worried and concerned for her kids. And like you can only do with a stranger, she told me the reasons she was in this waiting room with me. Sadly this little girls father is dying. Her mum was trying to make phone calls and in the innocence of a 3 year old, the little girl kept bugging her mum for money to use in the vending machines. So to give her mum some space to talk to the rest of the family, I entertained this little girl, until it was time to leave. I felt sad leaving... was there something else I could have done for them? But I waved and smiled as I left! I hope that by being an ear to hear and a playful person for an energetic child (aka a distraction), I made a small difference to that family! And even though I dont know their names, they will be in my thoughts/prayers!

I slept pretty well on Sunday! Had a nap during the day at my sisters house and then managed to have an early night at home (which is a miracle in itself).

The public Easter Holiday Monday, had me take BOTH my parents out to lunch! There is something to be said about taking both of your disabled parents out to lunch. We go to the same restaurant, when we take my dad out! He loves pasta and beer, and that's what he gets, on the occasions when we take him out of his nursing home. I love going to this restaurant because of one staff member in particular. He always meets us at the door, greets us like we are his favorite customers, smiles at us and shares jokes with us. He has in the past, given my dad a free glass of champagne on his birthday (which was very funny as the alcohol went straight to dads head and Dad sort of wobbled as he walked with his walking frame... drunken senior citizen! Very funny). Lunch is easy with my parents when we go and for me, that is the greatest kindness!

After taking dad back to his nursing home, mum and I went home and had our cup of tea (out the front). Then headed off to my aunts for dinner. Again I was spoilt, with not having to cook! And she taught me how to research my family ancestory... which I did for a few hours. Which was nice as it meant I kept out of trouble, and mum & my aunt got to chat!

Easter for me is spending time with family! For lots of people it is about eating chocolate... and I admit I have done my fair share... but I love just being with people and sharing time together. I guess because I am Australian (and we don't have "thanksgiving") Easter has become a family gathering when I get to be grateful for all those people in my life who make a difference to me, and whom I can share my life with!

I hope you all had a fun, productive and loving weekends! As I know I sure did!

Luv Daena x

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Things... what do we really need?

Hi everyone,

For those that don't know me very well, or for those who have not seen inside my little bedroom or my tiny house, you will not know that I am a bibliophile. I collect BOOKS! This is wonderful as I love to read, however I have been accruing books faster than I have been reading them. By bedroom is affectionately known as "the library" as there is more bookcases in my room, more specifically lining my walls, than empty spaces.

Even thought I LOVE books, buying them does not make me "happy". It is the joy of reading that I find is a gift, one that I truly treasure. I had reading problems as a child and since I mastered the ability, I have surrounded myself with the words that for so long evaded me.

However, I have come upon the problem of having too many. I have been seriously considering buying another bookcase. But is that really a good idea?

In the last couple of years I have had serious problems with Insomnia! Medications and natural therapies arent working like they once were, so I have had to start doing some radical things to help me get to sleep.

In one particular instance, Last year, I gave up most forms of Caffeine! No more coffee, no more Diet Coke, no more energy drinks! Minimal amounts of chocolate and tea as well. As such I have been off Caffeine for well over a year! Now if I have too much chocolate or tea I am bouncing off the walls, God only know what would happen to me if I had Coffee or energy drinks... probably running around the ceilings! lol!

This month, I have been asked to minimize distractions in my bedroom, so that it will not "re-stimulate" me after I get tired. So the book cases and the desk have had to be rearranged and covered to encourage, not discourage sleep.

The point however of this blog post is not actually the sleep problems, even though I deal with them every night, but the stuff that I have accumulated in my room. The room itself is about the size of a shoe box. I have 6 book cases, a bed and a desk in my room. And every square inch of my room has been utilized to the full. In some cases the books are stacked double deep, on the shelves.

During Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter) a friend of mine and her husband have been working to de-clutter their home and to give away the things that they don't use anymore or don't need. She has been blogging about it here earthmotherwithin.blogspot.com.au

I have been thinking about this in terms of kindness and have been wondering if I should do the same thing. Is it not kindness to get rid of the things that you don't need? Is it not kindness to simplify life for yourself and others?

One person, along time ago, told me to "Live Simply, so others can simply live!" But somewhere along the line, I have replaced simplicity with stuff! Quite often we believe we have to BUY our happiness. That having the right house, or car, or dress, or shoes, or books, or computer games, or iPhone will make us happy! but does it really? I dont know.

I have been following a man on Facebook who challenged himself to live with only 100 things for one year to see if it was possible. He lived simply and gave more. I loved his idea so much that i wanted to share it with you...100 Thing Challenge

I will be attempting to be kind to myself by de-cluttering more, and yes that will mean that some of my books will have to be given away or donated to charities. After all the things that I don't want or use any more can be given to charities and other people who need it more than me! I could sell the things that are of value and give money to charity! I could donate books/DVDs/CDs to Libraries for other people to enjoy! There are so many opportunities to share what we already have with others! So it does not cost us anything but that we can enjoy sharing or giving away. After all not only will it be great to GIVE, but we also RECEIVE by having clean houses and sleep inducing houses (even though this idea seems like a dream to me at the moment!)

Anyway, its just a thought! Think about and have a look at these wonderful blogs that can give you the inspiration to get started! to help you live an uncluttered life! :)

I hope this finds you well!
luv Daena x
p.s. I will add these two blogs (evenually) to my "useful links" list, so you can check them out anytime too!