Doggone! Who Wants to Be Fifty

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Sandy our Work Dog by Peter Unsworth

It is without effort I am ageing.

I do not have to lift a finger. The mirror cannot hide another crease emerging, amidst a plethora of cracks and burrows. Crows feet, ugh, who needs them? I ask you, who wants to turn fifty?

I have to smile and say I like my wrinkles, its cool AT MY AGE to love my wrinkles. My age by the way is a milestone, some say. I will be fifty in October. My son told me my life is half over. I am glad he thinks I will make it to a hundred. Maybe by then they will have a perfect remedy to slap on those wrinkles.

I’m like every other human who is ageing. I have to ask the obvious question? Where did time go? I remember looking at forty-something women. I would smile and think I had plenty of time before gravity caught up with me. I was far too confident that I would never, ever look old and crabby. Life is cruel isn’t it? I’m crabby alright, due to the onset of menopause but I will spare you those details.

I wish I could milk the excess energy from my children and sell it to every middle-aged mum who feels like me.

I would age gracefully. I told myself as youngster. I would have no children, I promised those around me. Children make you old, I had heard from some unreliable source. I actually know children keep you young. But they do suck the marrow from your bones so to speak, hence the onset of osteoporosis. Hopefully I will skip that condition. Although the aching joints could be a sign of arthritis, oh the joys.

I want to wake in the morning full of energy. I want act like I am a kid again without complaining about aching body parts. I wish I could do all the things my children do and not feel washed up afterwards. I try to and that’s the main thing.

I guess I should be thankful that my life is not calculated in dog years, Poor Sandy (above) is catching up fast.

I guess I should be thankful for how old I am this year. I will celebrate with friends and family and a good bottle of bubbly. I am still here, wrinkled and worn but I can laugh about how silly life is. We live the best way we know how and that’s worth raising my glass to. Here’s to another year and many more to come. I want to reach fifty and sixty and onwards. After all, I still have another fifty years to look forward too. As more and more humans hit the one hundred mark my son just might be right.

me

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NEVER STOP LEARNING

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Please join me over at Joanne Guidoccio’s wonderful inspirational site today as I share my emerging second act. Please say hello and leave a comment.

http://joanneguidoccio.com/2014/08/08/never-stop-learning/

Today is my one hundredth post and I feel blessed to have met all the wonderful creative and inspiring people in this community. Thank you.

 

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The Golden Hour

Art work by Kath Unsworth

Art work by Kath Unsworth

When a new day begins, we rarely know what it will bring.

I hear you say….
It brings another day of work or monotonous domestics. Maybe, I know we need the regular routine and the mundane things to survive.

May I be so bold and ask, what you actually do for YOU?
Can or do you find a balance between the stuff we need to do and the stuff

We really need to do?

How many times did you make big plans to do something for you? Time evaporates as quickly as the secret stash of chocolate in my cupboard?  Or it did, until I told myself one golden hour a day is mine.

Nobody else can touch me in that hour. I have this belief that we must share our gifts with the world. When we delve into our passions, it shines through in all areas of our lives.

For a long time I have not worked, yes a stay-at-home-mum and proud of it! I have been there for my children in every way for their primary school years and enjoyed watching them grow, learn and evolve. Not everyone has this luxury. I feel blessed that we were able to keep afloat with only one wage coming in. I now need to work. Maybe not so much for the money, we lead a simple life (money comes and money goes, we always have just enough). For me and my sanity its time to go back to work.

Something started to happen after I gave myself that golden hour, I began creating art more often. I was a happier human being, mum and wife.

The golden hour has stretched into two, maybe three hours some days. My family sees and likes the art I create. They urge me to do MORE and know now, it is part of who I am.

I never could imagine this simple ritual, permission to take one hour a day for myself could be that empowering.

Find your passion follow your happiness. It will lead you back to you.  I look forward to selling my art to the world. Don’t worry, I am not selling my art here, it will always be my place to inspire others to create. There will be a link to my Etsy shop one day. It all takes time.

Time is golden. Imagine if someone offered to sell you a bag of time. What would you do with it? Would you stop and smell the roses? Would you sit and spend time with loved ones? Or work on that dream project you have always wanted to do?

There is no way to get time back.

So stop, breathe and give thanks for your gifts and life. Listen to your heart and inner voice. The creative energy is there. I am discovering that the things around me are all I need to inspire the artist.

The topic for Illustration Friday was GOLDEN. I love the word and used it to describe my hour of art and I hope you enjoy what an hour can create too. The picture above is my interpretation of golden. The Eastern Spinebill has splashes of golden feathers. They are beautiful to watch if you’re quick enough to spot them. Birds seem to find me and inspire me to draw, it is my passion.

Please share what a golden hour would mean for you? I look forward to seeing how different we all are.

And that’s what I love most about this crazy world we live in.

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Illustration Friday challenge REPEAT

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The twins

Illustration Friday Topic REPEAT

Oh don’t get me started on that word. Everything I do lately I need to repeat, rewrite or redraw. The word resonated with me BIG time.

I guess the more I realise my dreams. The more I know, I need to sharpen my skills and give it one hundred percent. The word repeat is a word we all identify with. If we are not repeating, we are not learning and evolving. I will always have a passion to learn, even when I’m eighty.

I have painted these cows before, but this time I wanted to use colour pencils. I think they came up better in the painting. It was fun to try a different medium. The reason I sketched them for this challenge is I think they are twins. They have similar markings. I felt like I had to repeat the same cow twice.

I hope when you have to repeat something you will smile and say its okay, I am making it the best it can be.

Happy weekend, it is almost upon us. Tell me about something you had to repeat over and over? Learning new skills is rewarding when we see how far we have come.

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I Need a Holiday

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Ever heard of the saying I need a holiday to get over the holidays?

Why is that?

Maybe because a holiday can mean different things to everyone in the family.

On a recent trip heading for home, after a few days up the North Coast we stopped at the Australian Reptile park. It was a birthday present for our son. He was looking forward to seeing the large collection of alligators and crocodiles.

My husband set the alarm for 4.30am. You say WHAT now. His theory….. we had a three-hour drive to reach our destination. When the alarm ripped through my slumbering brain and I woke feeling bug-eyed and sluggish. I knew the days of sleeping in, had made me soft. I cursed the hour he had chosen for us to rise, but I stumbled out of bed anyway. Knowing I will  have to get back into my early morning writing sessions soon.

My well-planned-man reminded us that we needed to beat the crowds, if our boy was to have any chance of enjoying himself. Due to his sensitivity to noise and large crowds. I could not argue. Hubby smiled at me when we reached The Reptile park with one minute to spare before opening time. I could tell he was waiting for a pat on the back.

Three buses of international tourists were already waiting at the entrance. My son became nervous. We reminded him why we were there. I love reptiles too. I don’t know why, but they intrigue me. Especially crocodiles. They sure know how to soak up the sun and store energy.

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This is Eric, a salt water crocodile. He did not move at first and we thought he was a sculpture. We had a giggle when we realised he was not a sculpture. Giant sized and majestic. Measuring in at just under five metres. Sometimes its fun to do nothing. I was a little envious of Eric.

Holidays are a good way to take you out of your routine and comfort zone. The kids left us behind. Calling out across the park and doing a running commentary at every enclosure. The favourite, stop as crazy as this may sound, was the spider laboratory.

The Australian Reptile park has a Funnel-web Spider Laboratory. How cool is that? Maybe for the kids and hubby (they love eight legged, hairy creatures)……I have an arachnid phobia.

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Giant funnel-web robot

My kids encouraged me to walk the walk with them. Thank the heavens. The spiders were behind glass. Each in their own little plastic unit. I felt safe. Yet the hairs on the back of my neck told a different story. My skin crawled, counting all the freshly caught specimens. I mentally stored these feelings of fear for my writing journal. You never know when you need to recall how something made you feel.

The Park produces the anti-venom from the donations of Funnel-Webs people bring in from their own back yards. Yep we have them too.

The park also has many other creepy crawlies (Giant bird eating spiders from South America) and my kids enjoyed watching me suffer in there. Although it was interesting to see how they milked the venom from a funnel-web. Don’t try this at home. Wave something near the spider to make it aggressive. It does not take long before they give up that venom. A small squeeze of suction draws the venom into a long tube.

After watching it my son said “That was heaps cool.”

Who would have thought time spent in the spider laboratory would be fun? If you ever get the chance to go, it is worth it, as they also have many Australian native animals, snakes and birds. Also the famous platypus and the feisty Tasmanian devil. Australia has claim to many of the deadliest snakes and spiders on earth and I prefer to appreciate each one from a distance when possible. Some of the snakes on show I have met in our back yard.

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Fabulous Tasmanian Devil

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Beautiful Rock Wallaby

Having a break from the daily routine was FUN. I did not expect to enjoy it that much. My idea of a holiday was lazing about on a deck overlooking the ocean. A book in one hand  and a bevy of choice in the other. Putt-putt golf, beach days, a day getting lost in a giant maze (no one else got lost except me) we hardly had a break in-between.

Now we all have colds and I need another holiday. What is your ideal holiday I’m still dreaming about mine.

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DREAMING of SUMMER

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Art work by Kath Unsworth

Looking out my window in the early hours I see the sun filtering across the mountainside, a soft dappled light of pale yellow. With the grass smothered in a thick layer of frost, I wrap myself up like an Eskimo, little flesh is exposed for the morning walk. When I feel the bite of an ice-cold wind on my cheeks and gaze at the beauty of soft clouds blanketing the base of our mountain I am in awe. But I can’t help dreaming of warmer days.

Winter is a time to slow down just a little. This week I was so busy I did not get the chance to post my Illustration friday artwork, the word topic was SUMMER.

I am trying to expand my skills with drawing children. looking at last summers photo’s I came across some snaps of a day on the beach. The challenge is legs and I still need lots of practice when you look closely, my son often walks on his toes, his wiggly walk became my study for the topic of the week.

Summer to us, means many days spent on the beach. It is our paradise a special place and one I tell my children they are lucky to experience on most weekends. As I lived many miles away from the coast as a child and it was a rare occasion to spend time at the sea. So we have the mountains to wake up to each morn and on weekends the beautiful South Coast to explore.

Collecting shells or counting sea stars are my favourite things, the kids love to grab their boards and hit the surf in the warmer months. My son is a water baby and never feels the cold even when his lips turn blue and he can’t stop shivering. Off he goes back in for more. For some reason the water calms him. My mother and I have had many wonderful conversations sitting and watching the kids play. She told me she will never grow tired of the sea and says this often.

Ice cream’s and beach days seem a long way off in the cruel winds of this winter. Yet the longest day has been and gone and when I need a summer hit I read all my favourite blogs from across the sea.

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter on the beach too. I saw my first whale of the season the other day. I love when our special place is empty and we have the rocks to ourselves. The children go rock climbing and build sand castles. Each visit to the sea brings us something new to admire.

I hope where ever you are, you are getting the most out of your season and life is sweet.

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10 Tips for Picture Book Writers

Minuscule Moments:

Guest Post please check it out and leave a comment

Originally posted on WordDreams...:

I have a wonderful efriend–Kath Unsworth–who writes and draws children’s books. She blogs at Miniscule Moments, her take on life and writing, with lots of her original drawings. I had the honor of being a beta reader on one of her children’s books and was blown away. The voice is excellent, the plot perfect for youngers, but what really made the book was the pictures. They were fresh, original, and communicated the written word perfectly.

Which is why I asked Kath to write a post in my Genre series on tips for writing picture books. You’re going to enjoy this article:

picture booksYou Are Never too Old to Learn Something New

I want to thank Jacqui for inviting me over. I am working on my first picture book and it has been an amazing journey of learning. You are never to old to learn. I should know, I am turning fifty…

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