Posted in Adventure, Blessing, Bucket List, Disease, Friends, hope, joy, Motivation, Purpose

Another Soul Joy Adventure

It’s certainly no secret to my family and friends that I wrestle with The Black Dog from time to time.

Thankfully I have had some incredible family and super special friends who do everything in their power to ensure my time spent with the black dog is limited. For those who tell me (or you) to “snap out of it”, “deal with it”,  or just “get over it”,  you’ve obviously never struggled with depression or mental illness.  It’s not that easy.  It’s not easy at all. Despite focusing on the positive, despite living in the now,  despite mediating and relaxing.  It’s just not that easy. Mental illness is an illness, not a mood or attitude,  not something you can “snap out of”.

After time spent in therapy, I have learnt that my depression is situational.

Situational depression is a short-term form of depression that can occur in the aftermath of various traumatic changes in your normal life, including divorce, retirement, loss of a job and the death of a relative or close friend. Doctors sometimes refer to the condition as adjustment disorder.

I had experienced one such incident recently after leaving the job of my dreams (or being sacked – I’m still not sure what happened) and around the same time, my son was beaten by some random drugged youth, which brought the black dog knocking at my door once again. The interviews and statements to police began and so did the stress, anxiety and depression.

Of course I kept playing over and over in my mind why. Why would some stranger want to hurt my beautiful,  kind,  sweet, generous boy?

Why am I no longer working the job of my dreams in which I gave my all and then some.  Why does that person not care about me as I cared for them?  Is it just business?  Why does it have to be so hurtful?  What did I do wrong when I thought I was doing so much, especially since I made it perfectly clear from the get go that I have a chronic illness that impacts on my ability to work long hours and at speed.

I quickly slipped into that deep pit of despair and not known quite how to dig myself out yet again. Although I am more aware of what is happening to me these days and knowing some of the steps I need to take to ensure my mental health remains positive, it is never quite that straight forward once that damn dog is nipping at my heels.

A couple of my friends, recently came to my aide. I am not sure they are even aware of what they have done for me but without them, their unwavering support and belief in me, I have no doubt I would still be stuck in that damn pit with that bloody dog sitting on my lap sharing his blood sucking fleas. If they’re reading this,  I really need DT & RM know just how very much I appreciate them,  their friendship,  their loyalty,  their resolve and their unconditional love. Everything about them.  They are my tribe and I sure hope I am part of theirs.  They are the most selfless people I’ve had the honour of forming friendships with and I love, adore and appreciate them both so very much.

It all began one Saturday evening when I was dropped off at D’s house with my overly filled luggage so I could join him for the two hour drive to Sydney from Newcastle. We must have talked a lot because the drive seemed to go by in no time, made even more special by a super sized bag of Malteasers on hand – thanks D 😁

I later chuckled at D’s attempts to annoy me during the trip by driving along the rumble strips on the freeway.  I have an 18 year old son and a 21 year old daughter. Your feeble attempts at annoyance pale in comparison to those of my children.

We drove into the city and I was wide eyed and expectant like a kid in a candy store. I love this city. The older I get the more I appreciate it’s beauty, the architecture, the people, the diversity and almost everything about it. It is always such an exciting adventure for me, made even moreso with my great friends by my side.

Driving into the city,  across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

We arrived at the hotel where B was waiting to meet us. D parked the car and we walked up to the foyer to be greeted by B.

The Sir Stamford at Circular Quay

We walked into the hotel, you would think I had never been in a 5 star hotel before. Truth be known, I hadn’t. I was ridiculously wide eyed and gawping at everything, trying to not be so obvious. I was so excited. I may not have shown it on the outside but on the inside I felt as though I could burst. I tried so very hard to contain my childish excitement.  We approached the front desk and registered our booking before receiving the key to our rooms.

The concierge at Sir Stamford

I was completely surprised that we each got our own room, thanks to B and I’m sure D as well. I was totally expecting to have a room to share. How incredibly spoiled are we, how incredibly spoiled am I?

Check in and the key to my room

We headed up to our rooms, I had a balcony room on the ninth floor! How exciting is that! I was flabbergasted. Really,  I was.  I just couldn’t believe I was there and to be honest I kept waiting to wake from this surreal, wonderful dream.

My little balcony that was not accessible

We freshened up before meeting down in the foyer to go out for dinner. We walked across the road and around the corner where we found ourselves dining at Matt Moran‘s restaurant ARIA. WOW!

D, showing that we were at ARIA. He really is a lovable clown and incredibly smart believe it or not.  

I am speechless. I can’t believe I am in Sydney, staying at The Sir Stamford in Circular Quay AND now dining at ARIA. Someone pinch me. This has to be a dream.

We sat over there near the window where I struggled to not stare at the amazing view all evening

We sat by the window with the most incredible view of both the Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Not to mention the most stunning harbour on the globe. How incredibly fitting. I just sat at that table staring out the window for way too long. It was simply stunning.

Our meal was divine and I must say,  one of the most delicious,  taste sensations I’ve ever experienced.

I ordered the Salmon

I ordered the Saikou Salmon with Apple, Dill and Horseradish for entree. It was completely divine. That fish simply melted in my mouth and the flavours were so subtle but so incredibly delicious.

Before being served our entree, we were presented with a gorgeous little handmade ceramic bowl that nestled neatly within the palm of my hand. It contained the most delicious little sashimi mouthful with maybe caviar (I can’t remember now). A palate cleanser apparently. It was just perfect and totally unexpected.

D ordered a divine rose’ that accompanied dinner as well.

For main, I ordered Roasted Cauliflower Croquette with Cime Di Rapa and Truffle Hazelnut Pesto. This too was a taste sensation but I could not finish it. I was filling up quite swiftly. Mind you we were given another palette cleanser between courses. This time it was some sort of citrus mouse, so crisp and refreshing.

After our meal, we were offered coffee and petit fours

A selection of three petit fours each with coffee

We finally left the restaurant,  we were the last to leave and once I realised we were the last remaining customers,  I was surprised that we were allowed to continue with our conversation and shenanigans. The staff were so incredibly patient and polite,  even though they’re paid to be.  I was so impressed – with the food,  the staff,  the wine,  the location and of course the company.

We headed back to our hotel where we planned to continue our evening with a nightcap or three. This idea unfortunately was short lived.  The bar in the hotel was closing.  It was after midnight.  We couldn’t believe it.  We had arrived at the restaurant at 5:30pm.

The Sir Stamford Bar

Regretfully we retired to our rooms where we were supposed to be getting some sleep before our adventure the next day.

I couldn’t sleep.  Apart from being so ridiculously excited that I was in Sydney, at the Sir Stamford,  awaiting an amazing adventure,  about to check another item off my bucket list, waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up. We had discovered at dinner that it was B’s birthday the week before.  She hadn’t told us so I sat up and knitted a scarf for B from a skein of yarn that I had dyed and spun. It was a superfine Australian Merino and was incredibly soft and luscious.

By the time I was finished knitting it was almost time to get up.  I managed about an hours sleep before being woken by the sound of a megaphone outside my window.

This was incredibly inspiring and certainly brought a smile to my face. What a fabulous way to start the morning. The woman on the megaphone was amazing.. She was encouraging as many individual runners as she could, yelling them that they looked great,  that they could do it,  that they had it in the bag.

I guess you’re wondering what the whole thing is about,  well it was the Sydney Half Marathon

Even more inspiring given what I, what we were about to embark upon.

Today,  this day,  will be just another day to millions of people.

For me,  today is something incredibly amazing.

For me, someone with Acromegaly, fibromyalgia,  hypopituitism,  arthritis, a spinal injury and more,  this day is a huge deal.  I’ve been told by my specialists that I should not be able to walk.  That if I survived this long I’d be in a wheel chair.

We’ve been through this before I know.  I don’t mean to bore you but there are people who’ve not read my history so to fill them all in and to give a picture of why this day is such a big deal for me, these things need to be repeated.

For those who don’t know,  some fifteen + years ago I began to experience extreme exhaustion,  unexplained weight gain,  unexplained joint pain, migraines,  sickness and more.. All tests came back negative and the consensus was that I was just too fat.  Lose weight they said but I couldn’t.  I had dieted and tried to exercise but despite all of this, despite following the diets to the enth degree and being in too much pain to walk. Despite blood test after blood test after blood test,  for so many years they just kept coming up negative.  The thing is,  they were doing the wrong blood tests.

Anyway,  it was finally established that I have Acromegaly and a pituitary tumour and I’ve been seeking treatment for that ever since.

Some people with Acromegaly don’t seem to experience joint pain at all but for me,  it’s beyond debilitating most days.  It’s exhausting and it messes with your hormones,  your mood,  your ability to think clearly, your outlook on life and more.  Throw in a couple more chronic illnesses and I have more days in bed resting,  surviving,  just trying to make it to the next day more than anything.

Well I decided recently that I need to see if I can push harder.  Not that you can push harder when you’re this ill. I have had a mind shift and as a result I’ve found I’ve been successfully overcoming more challenges than usual.  I can’t tell you why,  or how as I don’t really know. I’ve been taking cannabis oil and help seed milk.  I’m sure it’s made a huge difference to my quality of life because I haven’t been this mobile for years.  I do know that I’ve been trying to place more focus and empathises on the positives in my life.  I’ve been consciously removing toxic people from my life,  people who do nothing for me except make me miserable or depressed or even stressed and upset.  I’ve finally realised that I’m better than that.  That I deserve to be happy and content just as you do too.

So part of my new found positive life is checking items of my living bucket list.

That’s where we return to this tale.

I know it’s not a great photo but I just had to get a selfie wearing the world’s most plush robe

This morning I awoke early,  as mentioned earlier when I watched the marathon runners.  I showered and dressed,  made myself a cup of tea then made my way downstairs to the foyer to meet my friends.

Made a cup of tea before heading out for the day.

Together,  the three of us set of for a morning walk,  in fact one of us had already been up early and taken a stroll around the harbour.  It wasn’t me.

Obligatory tourist photo at Circular Quay. D and Me 😊

We walked toward The Rocks, stopping at Circular Quay for the obligatory tourist photos along the way before stopping at Guylain for breakfast.

Guylain for breakfast at The Rocks

I ordered a ristretto and a slice of toast. It was served as four slices of toast with Guylain chocolates on the side of course.

Naturally I struggled to eat just one slice of toast but I managed coffee and chocolate.

We finished breakfast and headed back to The Sir Stamford to collect or luggage from our rooms and place it all in the car.

We then headed back out for our long awaited adventure.  Well my long awaited adventure.  I’m not sure my friends were as excited as I was.  B has a paralysing fear of heights that I didn’t find out until we started climbing.

Can you guess yet what we’re doing?
That’s right!  My incredibly generous, kind hearted friends took me on the Harbour Bridge Climb.

Almost at the top. Never, ever thought I would get this opportunity.

I was terrified.  Completely terrified.

Not so much terrified of heights, although until recently I have been beyond terrified of heights.  I was terrified that I wouldn’t make it.  That I would hold up the rest of the group. Terrified that I’d run out of strength or energy or breath or that the pain would be totally overwhelming.

I didn’t.  In fact B asked me a couple of times to slow down because she couldn’t keep up.

I did get all wobbly and incredibly dizzy and disoriented a couple of times and feared I would not be able to continue.  I do know I pushed too hard and I’m pretty sure I was dehydrated too as you can’t take water with you.  There are about two bubblers strategically placed along the walk but I would have liked more.

We’re almost there. Not far to go now. My legs are well and truly burning but the view is amazing.

We climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

We did it together! The Three Musketeers 😊

We did it!

We made it to the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I did it with not only the help and support of two beautiful people but with two of the most important,  amazing, kind,  generous,  funny,  loving people in my life. Without these two I would never, ever have accomplished this long held dream or checked it off my bucket-list.

Without these two friends I would not be the person I am today.

You know,  they say that you need to find your tribe and until recently I never really quite understood what that meant. After developing friendships with these two,  I finally understand.

We did it! We all overcame a fear of some kind and conquered that sucker. We reached the pinnacle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Yep,  we did it!

Together we reached the pinnacle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The most famous bridge on the most famous harbour in the world.

What an incredible experience.

What an amazing view.

What a once in a lifetime experience.

With immense,  immeasurable thanks to B & D. Without you both there is no way in the world that I would ever have accomplished this dream.

I did it! I achieved a long held dream and tickled another off my bucket list

Again,  a reminder to those of you who’ve been told you can’t do something or you’ll never be able to do something, please don’t ever give up on your dreams.  They are never impossible. Maybe incredibly challenging and currently beyond your reach but that doesn’t mean they will always be so.
What brings your soul joy?

Please take the time to leave a comment below and tell us what is on your bucket list or what you’ve managed to tick off your bucket list.

Posted in 1000 People 1 Voice, Belinda Smith, Changes, Domestic Violence, Got Your Back Sista, Hunter Stadium, Melissa Histon, Purpose, Sista Code

1000 People 1 Voice 

Saturday I attended an event close to my heart, with great relevance to not only myself but to almost everyone I know either directly or indirectly.

The event was “1000 People 1 Voice” by The Sista Code to make a stand against domestic violence.

This incredible event was the brainchild of Belinda Bow with support from the amazing people of The Sista Code.

Belinda Smith and Melissa Histon, the girls who started it all – Got Your Back Sista. Image by The Sista Code

It’s not too late to donate – you can go HERE to do so.

Wednesday volunteers, I’m 3rd from the right. Photo by Grace McLean.

I had helped out a little earlier in the week by helping a team of volunteers pack goodie bags for the day.

Image courtesy of Heidi Alexandra Pollard
Team of incredible volunteers. That’s me, first on left. Photograph by Heidi Alexandra Pollard.

I’m not telling you this for the accolades or recognition – far from it.  I’m telling you this to bring awareness to the exorbitant prevalence of domestic violence in today’s society. It’s time we made a stand and said NO to Domestic Violence.

An amazing sight 1000 People 1 Voice. Image Courtesy of The Sista Code

This last Saturday was the day we gathered with a huge team of incredible volunteers to help with this event.  I was tasked to help with handing out the pre-ordered t-shirts from the online registrations.

Got Your Back Sista – image by The Sista Code

I was trying to make an effort to compliment as many people as I possibly could so I was looking for beautiful smiles,  great hair styles,  gorgeous pieces of clothing or jewellery, anything that I could, to offer a ray of hope or sunshine into the lives of strangers by offering a compliment.  Of course there were many people who I missed, focusing on handing out shirts as efficiently as I could and ensuring that everyone was made aware that we would be filming all day.

Filming commenced early. Here is Helen Cummings. Image by Michelle Faithful

I was also incredibly anxious, not only volunteering and handing out shirts but incredibly anxious offering compliments so this was huge for me.
While I was pushing through my own fears and making an effort to compliment people, I spotted one lady who was approaching me with a beautiful,  warm smile, gorgeous strawberry blonde curls that shimmered in the sunlight and tumbled onto her face, illuminating her smile with a soft, inviting presence.

Before I could speak.  Before I could offer her a compliment or even ask her what size shirt she wanted,  she excitedly told me how much she loved the hat I was wearing.  She loved the 1920’s inspired, cloche style hat with the big, black ribbon flower and the fact that it was her favourite colour – purple.  She radiated as she spoke to me about my hat and her energy was contagious as she did so. I was a little thrown as I was preparing to compliment her,  not receive a compliment first.

Here is an older photo of the purple, 1920’s inspired hat I was wearing

Finally I was afforded an opportunity to tell this lady how much I loved her earrings, how the colours and style suited not only her complexion but her vibrant, vivacious personality.

This lovely lady leant forward. She looked me in the eyes,  tears welling in hers and told me that was the most beautiful thing anyone had ever said to her.

I was perplexed.

How could a comment about someone’s earrings be such a beautiful thing to say?

They didn’t look to be anything overly special or intricate.  They didn’t look like precious metals or gems.  I did however think they were very well made.  I thought to myself they looked handmade.  They consisted of a large purple bead with a smaller orange bead above it that were attached to a shepard’s hook with a fishing swivel. The findings looked to be brass and the coloured beads looked to be glass, maybe even handmade,  lampwork beads so the more I looked at them the more I realised they really were quite special.

As this beautiful lady looked into my eyes,  she went on to explain to me why it was such a beautiful thing to be said to her.

Those earrings were handmade by her sister. She chose those particular earrings to wear on this day to this particular event that was not only raising awareness of domestic violence but raising money to help support those escaping domestic violence.

She chose those particular earrings to wear on this day that her beautiful, beloved,  darling sister had made for her by her own two hands.  Her sister who was murdered at the hands of domestic violence.

I was stunned.

I was completely heartbroken for this lady.

I was lost for words.  Gobsmacked!  For some ridiculous reason,  I had not even entertained the idea that there would be people there who had lost loved ones.  I certainly had considered there would be people there who had escaped DV, but rather naively and stupidly,  I never even considered the alternative.

I apologised.  I told her I was sorry and she told me she was sorry too.

I wish I knew some words of comfort,  of support that I could offered her.

I was instantly wondering what exactly it is that I’m sorry about or for.

I was firstly sorry she had lost her beautiful sister.

I was sorry that the system failed her sister.

I was sorry that her sister endured the most unimaginable.

I was sorry that a huge part of her life and soul had been snatched from her.

I was sorry that a beautiful life had been taken by someone who had absolutley no right to do so.

I was sorry that I failed to even ask her sisters name.

I was sorry for so much.

I was so sorry for this lady,  for her sister, for their family and for all who knew her.

I was sorry for every single life taken, snatched from this earth at the hands of domestic violence.

I’m sorry just doesn’t say enough.

It’s past time we all made a stand against domestic violence and said NO!

No more!

Posted in Animals, Changes, Development, Flora & Fauna, Plants, Sadness, Spring

Spring Sadness 

​Spring has sprung! 

I’m so excited I wet my plants…

I’ve been a bit down again lately.  Today was a particularly hard day after a few events over the last 24 hours,  that damn situational depression again I guess, either that or its that flea bitten black dog. 

As a result I decided today, the first day of spring, I needed to go for a walk, feel the sun on my skin,  the breeze tickling my hair,  the smell of the blooming wattle and enjoy what nature has to offer. 

The stunning visual and sensory displays she puts on each year, especially in spring are nothing short of spectacular. 
I await in anticipation for the smell of freesias to waft through the house signalling the first warm spring day. Thousands and thousands of freesias. I’ve loved laying down among them over the years and taking in their scented delights.

I enjoyed spying the stunning white native orchids that littered the floor of the bush,  nestled below the canopy. 

Seeing the prickly Eggs and Bacon cracking into bloom. 

Hearing the sounds of the birds, lorrikets,  king parrots,  rosella’s, kookaburras, noisey miners and the magpies warbling.  

It’s nothing short of bliss. 
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have grown up being surrounded by the bush. 

I’ve been privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to not only interact with but learn about our stunning native flora and fauna.  Over those last 42 years I’ve bought home, rescued and rehabilitated birds of all kinds,  magpies,  lorrikets,  king parrots, rosella’s,  kookaburras,  noisey miners, tawny frogmouth, butcherbirds,  not to mention blue tongue lizards,  geckos, bearded dragons,  skinks, legless lizards, red bellie black snakes, brown snakes, olive green tree snakes,  diamond pythons, whip snakes,  flying foxes, micro bats,  foxes,  ring tail possums, brush tail possums,  turtles,  frogs, bandicoots, antechinus, echidna, wombat,  and I’m sure many more. 

Over the last 42 years I’ve watched with heartache as parcel after parcel has been developed, birds,  animals and plants have disappeared. 

This is the very last parcel of bush that had surrounded or home for the last 43 years. 
Next week the bulldozers move in.  

My heart is broken 💔

Posted in Blessing, Domestic Violence, Got Your Back Sista, hope, Hunter Stadium, Melissa Histon, Say No, Sista Code

Got Your Back Sista

This Saturday I’m joining hundreds, even thousands of people at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle to take a stand against domestic violence.  

What better way to “Find Your JOY!”  

Thanks to the amazing people of The Sista Code,  especially Melissa Histon this event is going to be something incredibly special.  

You can either register to join us this Saturday at the stadium HERE or you can make a donation to this amazing cause. 

I spent a couple of hours this morning helping prepare gift bags for participants with a small group of about 9 amazingly kind, inspiring, selfless,  generous people at the stadium. After we completed the bags, we were given a tour of the stadium and walked out onto that field.  What an amazing feeling.  I am so excited for this event on Saturday.  

The event is to raise awareness and funds to help those escaping domestic violence.  Whether you’ve been touched yourself,  your sister,  your niece,  your daughter,  your mother,  your friend, even men you know. There is usually someone you know (whether you know it or not)  who has been affected by domestic violence.  

It would be really fabulous if you could join us at the stadium or make a small donation.  

Thanks for visiting my Fundraising Page for 1000 People, 1 Voice Say NO to domestic violence! 

Together we are raising funds to help victims of domestic violence start their lives again free from violence, with dignity and in safety.

You can sponsor me and leave a message by selecting the donate button above.

Thanks for supporting our efforts in raising money for women and children who have escaped domestic violence and showing that you say ‘NO’ to domestic violence.

From The Sista Code website – 

The spirit of The Sista Code is to uplift, inspire and support other women, including our most vulnerable sistas, those who have escaped a violent relationship and must start their lives again. As such, we have established the registered charity, ‘Got Your Back Sista.’ 

Currently based in NSW, we work directly with domestic violence services and refuges, by referral only, to provide:

1. Assistance with sourcing and providing household items, household and personal starter-packs, clothing and furniture for women that are moving from a refuge to independent living.

2. A ‘Be A Sista’ mentoring program to provide friendship and support to women who are starting over after escaping domestic violence.

So,  if you’re not too busy this Saturday, it would be really great if you could join us. Children are welcome and free to enter.  They’re will be a jumping castle and the Knights Development Squad there too. If you can’t join us,  please consider a donation of any size which will be accepted with enormous thanks and sincerity. 

Help me reach my goal of raising $150 for The Sista Code by following this link HERE 

Posted in Uncategorized

Exciting Times are Afoot

I’ve often struggled with the idea of starting my own business.

The flexibility of dictating my own hours,  especially when living with a chronic illness is an incredibly attractive drawcard.
Don’t get me wrong,  I’m completely aware of the hard work and commitment required in being a business owner. In fact it absolutely terrifies me.

I’ve studied business for many years.  First certificate 1 in Business Management.  Then Cert II. I then went on to do the NEIS Program or Cert IV in Business. Most recently a Double Diploma in Business and Management,  not to mention managing a couple of small local business as well.  I know what’s needed.  I know how tough it is or can be,  especially when the hard work is not put in. 

The prospect of lack of cash flow,  how am I going to keep paying the bills.  What if I don’t gain enough costumers to maintain the business.  Where will I focus my marketing,  what kind of marketing should I employ.  What or who exactly is my target market, what is my point of difference or my unique quotient etc,  etc and so much more. 
Now I know that when embarking on a new business that one needs to be positive and have big goals,  however I’m hesitant.  I certainly don’t want to jump in two feet first and expect some unrealistic exponential growth and place unnecessary pressure on myself, my family or my investors.

Where do I find that balance? 

Of course there needs to be some goals,  some that may initially feel beyond my grasp.  I completely understand that I need to challenge myself,  stretch myself and aim big.  But I’m also a realist.  I have no doubt that my business is not going to be a massive success overnight.  I know that there will be ups and downs,  challenges and a whole heap of hard work. Not to mention late nights,  early mornings and the loss of weekends in the persuut of happiness, contentment and satisfaction. 
This business is certainly not going to make me a millionaire that’s for sure (at least not overnight anyway) but it will be great for my soul,  my creativity,  my desire to help and nuture others. It will allow me the opportunity to do what I love each and everyday and expand my creativity. In turn will have a positive affect on my family, especially my son. 

My first goal will be to turn over enough income to cover costs and overheads to keep the business ticking away and of course to maintain a constant flow of stock on hand.

My second goal will be to generate enough income to support myself and my family.  Nothing extravagant.  It would be fabulous to know that there is enough money in the bank to pay the bills each month.  Even have a little extra for some luxuries such as being able to eat out with friends,  go on a weekend away,  be able to keep my car maintained without panicking and wondering how on earth I’m going to pay for rego or new tyres or even be able to shout my kids to a movie or concert or something extravagant like that. 

The next level would be to take them on a holiday. How cool would that be? A holiday.  Now that’s a dream come true. 
I’ve no real idea how I’m going to pull this off. I have no savings,  no collateral,  not much of anything really. A lifetime of chronic illness has taken care of that,  however I’m quite well now for the first time in over twenty years so it’s time. 

It’s time I took a chance.  It’s time I pushed the boundaries.  

It’s time I put in the hard-work to make this happen.

I’ve started this business with just $20.12c in my bank account, a great belief in myself and the unconditional,  amazing support of wonderful friends and amazing family. 

To be honest,  I’m completely overwhelmed with the support and encouragement I’ve been receiving. 

You honestly have no idea of the degree of support and encouragement I’ve received from family and friends.  I’m completely overwhelmed and incredibly humbled. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would not be able to do this without my friends. 
I’m about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.  I’m just about ready to launch my business,  thanks to one or two amazing,  incredibly generous friends. 

The business I’m about to launch is called Art-Gentum

Art-Gentum is a business that teaches PMC or Precious Metal Clay.  It is an incredibly exciting medium that looks and feels similar to porcelain clay. It contains microscopic metal particles combined with an organic binder and some water. PMC can be stamped, carved,  shaped and air dried before being carved,  sanded, polished and refined before being kiln fired. 
During the firing process the organic binder is burnt out and the fine metal particles sinter (or fuse together) leaving you with fine silver 999. 

This gorgeous unfinished piece was created by a 10 year old. If she can do it, so can you.

You can create some really amazing, bespoke,  one of a kind,  personalised jewellery pieces or sculptures.  

Stunning hand made fine silver (999) ginkgo leaf mounted on dichroic glass

You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and you don’t have to be a jeweller, a Potter or even a ceramicist, in fact you do not need to have any experience what-so-ever.  
If you live in the Newcastle,  Hunter, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie areas and are interested in learning this amazing art, contact Art-Gentum, all you need is 3 – 9 friends,  a comfortable location with tales to work on and a desire to learn to create your own bespoke silver pieces.  

Posted in Adventure, Blessing, Creativity, hope, joy, Motivation, Purpose


I’m slack. 

That’s right.  

I’m slack. 

Very slack. 

I’ve been trying so very hard to write something incredibly interesting and motivating but I’ve been slack. 

I’m a perfectionist so the twenty -something posts that I’ve written or commenced to write are just sitting in my drafts folder. 

There really is some gold hidden in there but none are quite ready to be posted. 

This blog. 

Well this particular blog post is just to let you know that I’m still here and I’ve not forgotten you,  any of you.  I’m just going through one of those stages of insecurity like most of us do.  

Please bare with me. The great blog posts are coming and you won’t regret the wait. I promise.  

In the meantime I thank you so very much for your patience and understanding.  

As my dear friend Deano would say ; Peace out!  

Posted in Acromegaly, Blessing, Disease, Dr. Karl, joy, Purpose

My Meeting with Dr Karl

Last November I attended a book launch at Newcastle Regional Museum

The author was none other than Dr Karl Kruzunizki the one and only.  What an incredible man he is.

Dr Karl was there to launch his latest book Short Back and Science.

I was completely enthralled with his stories and anecdotes.  What an amazing human being.

Toward the end of his presentation he had question time.  I sat up the back of that lecture room, wracking my brain trying to think of a good question to ask. Suddenly it came to me so I thrust my hand in the air only to discover he had just taken his last question. 😢

He then announced that he will take more questions at his book signing out in the foyer. Since I had purchased a copy of his book before the lecture I made my way out to the signing area.

Ashleigh (my daughter) and I were first in line for the book signing.  As we approached and pleasantries were over with I asked Dr Karl if I could still ask him my question.  Of course he said yes.

I asked him what he knew about the hormone ghrelin.  He told me that it was found in plants.

I challenged him and said “No,  it’s not” well you can only imagine how well my response was received from such an educated man of science.

Dr Karl then went on to ask me why I wanted to know and I simply said I have Acromegaly. 

Well, he leapt out of his seat, grabbed my hand and commenced feeling my bones and knuckles. He squealed with delight saying “I can feel it. I can feel it!”
He called his PA over and told her, she just rolled her eyes and returned to her post.

Dr Karl had a few questions for me before asking if I could do some research for him and then handed me his business card, asking me to contact him with my findings.

He then went on to tell me that he had wanted to study Acromegliacs for years but has never been allowed access to anyone, even through the Garvan Institute.

Now that I’m not working as much, I really must do the research and contact him.

Can you even begin to imagine how much this man could help with scientific advances in acromegaly if he is finally able to study acromegaly?

How incredibly exciting!