30 Apr 2013

Teen Crossroads

Growing up is hard. It is a journey that we all go through, a journey that leads us all down different paths. Like many young people, I was in a hurry to grow up and lead my own life, to follow my dreams and start my journey. Now that I am an adult, I cant even begin to wonder why I wanted to grow up so fast in the first place.

Watching my boys grow up over the years has been nothing short of pure joy. To say that I am proud of the young men that they are growing into does not seem enough, but proud I am. Watching them strive to do their best, and succeed in so much, has shown me that so far the choices that they have made have been the right ones for them.
But life can be a struggle at times, and what it can throw at you can be hard. To see your children come to a fork in the road and be unsure with which turn to take can be frustrating to say the least, but I know, that to much interference could back fire and make some situations worse.

One of my teens has been struggling since graduating High School last year, to make a decision regarding his future. Watching him go through this agonizing process has left me feeling helpless, and I am now beginning to run out of "good" parental advice. I am worried that if I place to much pressure on him, I will cause more confusion and ultimately force him to choose a path that he is not completely sure of.
University has always been high on his list of dreams, and until about a year ago, he had a path all mapped out. He is now beginning to stray from that path and toss other ideas around, with out much enthusiasm. All this is completely normal I guess, and I for one do not want him to spend his life on the wrong journey. I am concerned however with his lack of motivation to try sort things out. He seems to have lost his gumption, his will to be strong, and seems to be floating along aimlessly, spending his time wallowing away the days without much focus.
Yes he is working part time, but from where I am standing the shifts that this part time work is giving him is allowing him to much spare time, and in my eyes he is not using this time wisely.

I guess this makes me sound harsh. But I do not want him to get so comfortable with the way things are, that he starts to let good opportunities pass him by. I am not forcing him to make a decision about University, after it all this is not a path for everyone to follow. I am trying though to bump him in the right direction and start applying for full time work, that may get him motivated to get his life on track, meet new people, make new friendships and allow him more life experience. This may just be what is needed to help him find a place in the world that makes him happy, and that may  help him decide what he wishes to do with his life.

He is a bright boy that received excellent results in his QCS and could do just about anything that he puts his mind to. I know that eventually he will begin the journey that is the right one for him and I guess until then I need to back off and just lend support, encouragement, and a listening ear.



Linking up with the lovely Jess for IBOT

       

29 Apr 2013

Hiccups Happen

Taking time away from blogging and trying to concentrate on getting myself back to the basics of living, and discarding the negative thoughts and feelings that had been consuming my world was like giving myself a well deserved holiday.
It was tough, but I had to shake myself free of the pressures that I was placing on myself.

While I was on my hiatus, the opportunity came my way to join in a sport that I hadn't played since my High School days. It was an unexpected opportunity. I mean who in their right mind would put themselves in such a position ?
It was crazy, it was impulsive, but without thinking I said yes and was put right in the middle of an adventure.

I loved it !
I fell in love with Squash all over again.
I felt free !
It made me feel as though I was taking back control of my life.
I was regaining my power.
I didn't realise  that by doing something so simple, would give me the opportunity to clear the cobwebs that had been forming in my head, and would allow me to breathe deeply and put the negative far from reach.

I am the type of person that allows things to get at me. They pile high in my mind and eventually I fall, and when I do, I fall hard. I become an emotional wreck and the slightest mishap sends me into an uncontrollable spiral. It makes me feel very weak as a person and I find it very hard to recognise myself.
I'm the type of person that needs an outlet that requires me to put all my energy and thought into it, and allows me to put everything else on hold, even if it is only for an hour.

It is amazing how clear things can look after hitting a tiny ball with force......
It was quite liberating :)

I found muscles that have been hiding for years. My family got quite the laugh watching me live like an old Granny for a few days.
But the aches and pains were worth it.
I was smiling again. I have found something that I enjoy doing, something that I never thought I would return to. I have found my new outlet and I am counting down the days until my next set of games.

I am back and I am good.
Its time to once again tackle life head on. To reinvent myself and realise that in the end nothing is ever quite as bad as it seems.
Hiccups happen, and they will continue to do so. They are something that no one can avoid in life but I am slowly learning that it is how we decide to handle them that counts.

What doesn't kill us, can only make us stronger.
Or so they say anyway !

22 Apr 2013

Back To Basics....

For the past couple of weeks I have been feeling rather lost. My motivation has been, I don't know where. Hiding under a rock I suppose, one that was to heavy for me to turn over on my own.

The world felt heavy on my shoulders, and although I have not physically been alone, this did not stop me from feeling very isolated and lonely. I kind of just gave up, spent my time going through the motions of every day life without my usual enjoyment.

I lost my love of twitter which is usually my "escape from the madness" and even though I logged on to keep up with my awesome twitter buddies, I couldn't bring myself to join in on the conversations.

My blog, well it kind of fell by the way side. I had no motivation to write, and to be honest I didn't even have the will to turn my computer on.

It's rather silly really, I am after all an adult and these feelings are quite childish.
But all in all, I think that I needed this break to strip back my feelings, clear my head and get myself back on track. To find out what it is that I truly am meant to be doing.

Without the distractions of technology, I was able to get back to the basics of living, and begin to enjoy the little things that life has to offer. Things that I have neglected to stop and enjoy in recent times.

I have spent hours in the glorious Autumn sunshine watching the clouds drift by while sorting through the thoughts in my head. I fell in love all over again with my garden, spending countless hours pottering away with my chooks by my side. They are most seriously my best friends :) They listen to my ramblings like you wouldn't believe they have been cheap therapists


And much to my families delight, I have even regained my love of cooking, and have been trying out many new recipes, most of which have been given the thumbs up.
I have also started to get my craft stuff out of storage and begin to make a few small crafty things for my home, which in the next few days will start getting the tail end of the renovations done :)

Things feel as though they are slowly starting to fall into place, I am starting to feel like my old self again. It's time I stop beating myself up and feeling as though I am letting people down if I cant be everywhere that they expect me to be, or if I cant get that blog post written.


It's OK for me to stand up and say NO if that is what I choose. And it's OK for me to step off this roller coaster ride that is life, to stop and enjoy the little things. To take time out for myself, and time to relax with my family and enjoy just being. It's time I realised that I shouldn't be worrying ll the time what or if I should be doing something else instead.


I guess we are all guilty in loosing ourselves to the everyday "norm" whatever that is. And only we can decide for ourselves when it is time to take a step back and revisit what it is we want out of life.
For me, right now I need to concentrate on the simple pleasures and stop putting unnecessary pressure on myself and just breathe.





19 Apr 2013

Puppy Love

Today for Flashback Friday I'm stepping back to my childhood (again) and sharing with you some photos of my first love........

We were inseparable, never apart if we could help it. We would play every day, share morning tea in front of the television while watching "Romper Room" that's showing my age and if we were very good and a "Lassie" movie was on the television, my Mum would allow us to snuggle up on the couch and watch it together. But we had to be VERY good to be allowed to do this.

My first love was my very own Lassie Dog.
She was adorable, and the love of my life. NO other pet has ever compared to her. She was my whole world and together we trouble says my mum

My parents gave her to me when I was two. I named her Hidie. And for the next fourteen years  we were the best of friends.
I was devastated when I lost her, I cried rivers.
But each time I get a look at these photos, I remember the fun times we had together. They are memories that I will cherish forever.







Linking up For another Flashback Friday with the lovely Cathy
Happy Friday everyone x

12 Apr 2013

Sneaky Mum Pics

My boys are growing fast, and having a houseful of teenagers brings with it a whole new number of lessons to learn. Both for the parents and the teens.

Having all boys means that more often then not, Dad is now called upon for the "men's business" end of things and all too often it means that I get a giggle or two listening to whats being said or watching the goings on.

Recently, it was Crafty son number two who was in need of a Dad lesson, giving me the opportunity to stalk watch them and take photos. This was not an easy task, as boy wonder decided all of a sudden that he was "camera shy".
It was time to learn "how to shave" and Mum being Mum was not invited to sit in on the tutorial, and as for taking photos....
"Oh Mum please not now!"
And I was promptly locked out of the bathroom.


But, being as "Crafty" as I am no pun intended I remembered that with the recent renovations to our main bathroom, the fly screen had still not been replaced in the window, and I had my fingers crossed that maybe just maybe the window had been left unlocked.......

Score, it was unlocked and I proceeded to crouch outside the window and listen to the lessons being learned. After a while, when I was sure that I had the best opportunity and that the lesson was well under way, I pounced into action much to my sons disgust but my husbands amusement, and I began to snap away with all the good Motherly intentions of this blog post :)


Sneaky mum pics

I have not broken any Mother/son promises by blogging these photos, in fact I have actually been sitting on these pics for quite a while, waiting for the perfect moment to go ahead and put them out there for all to see :) I wore him down, and he was aware that they would become a blog topic of conversation, he was just not sure when that moment would actually be.

Ta da !!

Linking up for another FYBF :)

Flashback To 1976

For this weeks Flashback Friday I have headed back to 1976 to share with you my favorite photos of my Mum and I. They are the only three in this set of photos taken outside of house in St Marys NSW but each time I see them they bring a smile to my face.

I do know that I was two years old at the time these were taken, and although I cant really remember much about this particular day, I did grill mum to find out what or if she even remembered what we had been up to.
As it turns out her memories served me well and I managed to find out that I had been helping watching my Mum make chocolate crackles for my cousins third birthday party. With these photos as proof, I guess my part in helping was by licking the chocolate out of the bowl (all kids favorite part of lending a hand in the kitchen) and by the look of all the chocolate smeared all over my face, it must have been good :)



Happy Friday everyone
Happily linking up with Cathy for another fantastic Flashback Friday


9 Apr 2013

Keep Ya Gear On !

NAKED PEOPLE IN MY DRIVEWAY !
Yes you read right......

Am I a prood in thinking that people should keep their "personal" bits and bobs kept under wraps in public, and not let themselves "dangle" in the evening breeze for all to see ? 

Imagine this......
My 19 year old is a shift worker, and on his return home on Saturday night, he got the shock of his life when he 'tried' to pull his car into our driveway.

Three people were casually sitting in the gutter of our home, seemingly minding their own business and having a leisurely chat among themselves. Not unusual you would think, except for the fact that when they stood up to move out of my sons way and allow him to drive into our yard, they gave him a lot more to see then he bargained for !

They were completely starkers !                               
Can you believe it ? 

My sons face when he finally made it into our front door was priceless, his retelling of what had just happened, had everyone who was still awake roaring with laughter. 

I don't exactly know what they thought they were doing having a naked "moon bake" on my front lawn, and frankly I prefer not knowing the details. 
The only explanation we could come up with, was they were stragglers from a 'party' that had been happening a few doors up the road from us. 

It's quite funny really, I mean seeing my sons reaction to his 'welcome home' gave me a chuckle. All I am thankful for is that it wasn't one of my other teens who would have had it immediately splashed all over face book to give their mates a giggle at it to..........

Linking up with the lovely Jess for a giggle or two 
                                                                                                                       
{all my clothes were worn while writing and linking this post}



5 Apr 2013

Dazed and Confused

I've been sitting on the edge of my seat today wondering whether or not to hit the small orange publish button that glares at me from the top right hand corner of my screen, and send this post out into the blogging sphere.
I guess if you are reading it, then in the end I went ahead and published my post letting you all in on my thoughts.

See, today I am confessing something and it may not be the right thing to do. Especially here where so many awesome bloggers who know what they are doing might read this post and realise just how "dazed and confused" I really am.



I came back from DPCon full of awe, full of wonder. The workshops were amazing, and I came away with so much helpful information that it really has taken me a little while to process it all.
Besides the mind blowing information, the highlight for me was meeting each and everyone of the beautiful bloggers. All of them from many different walks of life, all with powerful messages and both beautiful and heart wrenching stories. All writing about their journeys in their own way on their inspiring blogs.
From travel, food and fashion to parent bloggers (sorry if I have left out your niche) I was inspired by all.

I came away from the conference feeling all pumped up about new changes that I wanted to make to Crafty, ideas of a new direction.
But now, after processing my brain full of information, and sorting through these ideas, I am not really convinced that these changes are right for me.

I know Crafty is a teeny tiny blog that doesn't gain all that much attention, but I am fine with that.
I know that my writing skills are too conversational and may not connect with many, but that's my way and I am fine with that too.
This blog is me, it's mine, and to be honest I really do not have the capabilities that some do to take this much further then where it is now. I am happy to plod along in my own little part of the blogging world, just as I am.

I am being honest.

I am scared of change, I am scared of failure, I am scared of stuffing things up. I guess I am scared of being scared. And without the knowledge, I am scared of putting myself out there anymore then I already am.
It has been hard since returning from Sydney. I feel as though I should be expecting more of myself and my blogging journey. That I should be setting my sights on a bigger piece of the action, that I should be more on top of things.
But that is not me. I've come to the conclusion that I may not have what it takes to be anymore, that this is it, this is me !

Nobody has made me feel this way. Nobody has made me feel less then I am. It is all me and how I feel. So Crafty is just going to plod along in the same way as usual until maybe one day the sun may rise and all this technology might "click" within me and I will fly like never before.

Sharing my inner thoughts this Friday with the lovely Grace on FYBF

A Flashback To Hogwarts

Witches Wizards Goblins Wands Spells Trains Castles and Muggles

It was a sad day to bid farewell to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Hogwarts. For ten years it was a huge part of our world as I watched the magic of all 7 Harry Potter books bring out the love of reading in my eldest son and he become enthralled with the magic that was to sweep the world. A series of books that captured not only children world wide, but adults as well. I to could not put the books down and to be honest I have lost track on how many times I have actually read them.




My son was seven when he received the first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for Christmas, and from then on he was glued to the pages. I had not seen him so enthused with reading (it was a struggle to get him to read his reading books for homework) but Harry seemed to change all that. 

Yes, I have Harry to thank for my sons love of reading.......




When the movie came out, his excitement was in overdrive so was mine. Our family of six lined up at the cinema, pop corn in hand waiting for the magic to begin. 
What a ride ! 
The book was alive, all that was within the pages of the book was up on the screen bringing to life the characters that we had come to love so much.




The following six books and the movies that followed did not disappoint. The magic was there, on every page, with every word spoken.
As we watched Harry grow, my son grew right along side him. Ten years is a long time to spend enthralled with the same characters, they were a part of our lives in such a big way. By the time the last movie graced the big screen, my son was eighteen ! and even though at that age it is not really "cool" to go to the movies with your family, we still as a family of six lined up together as we had for all the previous movies to watch the final installment together. It was hard to say goodbye as the credits rolled for the final time. 

J K Rowling is a star, because of her thousands, no millions of children found the love of books. Thanks for the memories Harry, you will live on forever in the lives of many.

Linking up with the lovely Cathy for Flashback Friday

2 Apr 2013

Easter Cake Recipe...An Overload Of Chocolaty Goodness

Who doesn't like chocolate ? I know I do. So I guess that is why Easter is one of my favorite holidays. As a treat this year, I decided to bake my family a delicious chocolate cake and decorate it with a multitude of Easter Eggs, and a splash of delicious Persian Fairy Floss........

As you can imagine
It was a hit 

So I have decided to share with you my yummy chocolate cake recipe that thankfully never fails to bring a smile to my boys faces :)

EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE

1 cup self raising flour
3 tablespoons of cocoa
250g of butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 
2 eggs

ICING

1 cup of sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon of sifted cocoa
Dash of milk
2 teaspoons of soften butter

METHOD

In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, vanilla essence and melted butter. Add eggs and mix together till mixture is smooth and glossy.
Pour into a greased and lined round cake tin and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes at 160 deg.

For the icing.
Gently mix together all icing ingredients and ice the cake once it has cooled.

Decorate as you wish 


Be warned !!
Cake WILL make you hyper with the overload of chocolaty goodness
Approach with caution !!

Happily linking up with Jess for another fun filled IBOT 

1 Apr 2013

The "Girls" Have Arrived

                                       Build a pen, and they will come !

Busy bees building

It's been exciting watching the progress. I have wanted to add chooks to our family for a while now. It's all part of the plan of us becoming self sufficient, well as self sufficient that we can be without living on "land".

We started off with our herb garden and progressed to growing our own veggies. Success is sweet, and with the price of vegetables these days it is nice to know that we are saving money, no matter how large or small the amount may be, it all counts in the end.

Eggs, we go through quite a few of them. So after discussing the possibility of adding chooks with Mr Crafty, the idea became reality and the planning and building began.


                                           Our "Girls" are here !

Our four girls

We picked up our "girls" on Easter Saturday. Quite an appropriate day to add new life to our family. Picking out what four to take home was a lot of fun. And for our youngest family member,  the chance to pick one out for himself, round it up and catch it all on his own, was such a highlight. This chicken is now known as "Kentucky" (poor thing)

After seeing our new family members, the excitement  slightly rubbed off onto the older crafty kids and the naming began.........

Oh dear !!
The chooks will have a complex I think.


The "girls" may need counselling
                        

                                      Please meet clockwise from top left
                            Peri Peri, Kentucky, Bruce and Madam Cluckles

It's scary to think that these are the names that my boys came up with. The poor chickens may very well need counselling ! Lets hope that their names do not prevent them from laying.

So the next step of our self sufficiency has begun. We will see how easily these four settle into our lives and someday down the track we may even add a few more. 

CHICKEN PARM MEATBALL SKILLET

Its that time of year again where you look for and crave comfort food. Not only does the consuming of such foods warm the body and the soul...