And so it is …

It is with a heavy heart this will be the final post for Kyah’s Journey.
One of my sisters has spent her lifetime trying to destroy me: ruin my good name and reputation, get me in trouble with authorities, create friction with myself and others, and she has defamed me to many people.

It seems she has been consumed with this vengeance for a lifetime – literally.

I have no idea why.

As a matter of self preservation, I chose to cut her out of my life many years ago.

The father said to his daughter “The right place values you the right way”, If you are not valued, do not be angry, it simply means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you……Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.

Unfortunately, now that Dad is unwell, she has come back into my life. All the negativity that was associated with her has come back too. Again, she has defamed me, lied about me to many, many people. She has all but stopped myself and Kyah from being able to see my sick, dying father. She has lied to my step mother about me, and she has done her utmost to destroy that relationship. She has also all but stopped Kyah from having a relationship with her grandmother – that is not acceptable.


I am no longer going to allow this sister to do this. I am taking legal action against her for a number of issues. However, because she is unpredictable in her behaviour, at the advice of the police and other authorities, Kyah and I are moving to an unknown location – this will not be made public. Those of you that know us, can contact me privately.

As a consequence of this, Kyah’s Journey must cease for now. We cannot risk this sister – or any of her immediate family, friends, or puppets, know where we are, or anything about us. Sadly, she has succeeded in stopping me doing something else I enjoyed. Hopefully soon we will be able to live without her in our lives.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Changes Ahead

Well 2022 is flying by; it’s almost April already.

We have both been busy with work, life, Sayge and just enjoying time together. It is really nice to have a child that wants to spend time with you – as a parent, and at her age! I must have done something right.

We usually walk Sayge twice a day – anywhere between 2 to 4 kilometres in total each day. His little legs won’t go much past that. He’s such a perfect dog for us; he’s very intelligent and therefore very obedient. Don’t get me wrong – he still does mischievous things and sometimes doesn’t do what he is told, but he is only 8 months old. He loves having a bath – more often than not, he sits down while we wash him! He allows us to clip him – hardly any complaints.  He loves to wrestle, play fetch,  sit on our lap – (he sits on my lap for up to an hour while I am doing a bible study), trips in the car – he especially love trips to Bunnings and sitting in the trolley. He just loves being with us. Follows us all around the house. At times it is difficult – especially when I am trying to make videos for my website – but I figure most people will be able to look past him making random appearances. It’s a bit of entertainment and amusement for them too – quite often Sayge jumps on me while I’m filming. If it’s really bad, I redo the footage, but if it’s not too bad I just move on.

We recently took Sayge to Sandgate mudflats. It was the first time he’d felt sand, seen crabs, felt the ocean. The water temperature was really tepid, so it was pleasurable to walk through. Sayge had so much fun – he was investigating things and being adventurous, but at the same time, he stayed quite close to us. He never ran away. He is quite an amazing little dog. We both feel very blessed to have him as part of our family.

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We have had so much rain over the last few months. There is so much devastation around us and further afield. We are so fortunate that our house was not affected. We live on a hill, but the backyard had about 10 centimetres of water sitting on the lawn. There was a rushing river of water going down both sides of the house for days on end, the pool was overflowing for over a week. The only damage we had was to the front yard and that was because of the next door neighbours. They are not very good with their yard maintenance, so as the rain continued, the water gradually built up beside their house and started seeping into their house. In their panic, they decided to direct the water out of their backyard onto our front lawn. I was not happy when I saw what they had caused. The power of the water simply moved all the wood chip and stones that took so long to set up. As soon as I noticed what they were doing I raced out and brought the damage to their attention. It was so obvious what they had done was directly damaging our front lawn. Unfortunately, they are a bit younger than me and did not want to accept what I was saying. So, I ended up redirecting the water down their front lawn to try to reduce the amount of water gushing down and across our lawn.  I said to them they needed to fix the damage when it stopped raining. When the rain finally did stop, Kyah and I fixed the wood chip.- that was relatively easy because it is not heavy. Still, it was lots of work and took a long time. I fixed the top portion of stones and the reset the divider between the stones and the wood chip. Thankfully, the boys from next door repaired the remainder of the stones – they are just so heavy and trying to pick them up from the grass and carry them up the hill was a task. It is obvious that the damage done was caused as a direct result of them channeling the water onto our yard so I did not have an issue requesting them to fix the damage caused by their actions.

Kyah was unable to get to her work place. We drove on the Sunday afternoon to see if she was able to cross the bridge to get to Ashgrove, the suburb she works in. All access roads to her work were blocked off; she was unable to get to work. She notified her boss as soon as she realised and the boss ended up closing the work place for the Monday. No-one was able to get in or out of Ashgrove at all.

This was the mess we had. It is nothing compared what others are dealing with, so we are extremely thankful this was the worst we experienced personally.

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The rain lasted for weeks. It was amazing how heavy the rain was and how consistent it was. Each time we looked on the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) the image was almost the same. That is not usual. Normally clouds move. These ones seemed to just sit in one spot. Recently, there’s been images on the BOM that are quite unusual…. Look at the “cloud” from Texas to Southport. Have you ever seen “cloud” shaped like this? I wondered what it was so I did my own research. You might like to as well. It is not just a one-off event either.

Because it rained for so long, we were all going a bit stir crazy being stuck in the house. So we decided to go for a few walks – obviously steering clear of all reservoirs and canals because there was just so much water. Canals that usually have trickles of water, had burst their banks and were gushing with such powerful water. It’s no wonder there was so much damage done to so many homes, businesses, vehicles, other property, trees, and landscape. About 500 metres (as the crow flies) from us, two houses were caught in a landslide. A large number of houses lost their retaining walls; they were constructed of either brick, rock or timber walls – nothing was spared. There was just so much water- it was pretty difficult to escape unscathed.

Thankfully Sayge likes wearing “clothes”. The raincoat was very useful in the downpour.

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There is still so much evidence of damage caused by the water.  So many houses with their furniture and personal belongings destroyed. Some landslides have not had reparation work start on them as yet – just a bit of deterrent tape put around the affected area. These two pictures above show how much water went through these creeks. An amount they are simply not used to. So many roads were closed for days on end. Some businesses are still closed due to cleaning up and replacing damaged goods. People are living in alternate accommodation – potentially for months – because their homes have been destroyed – it is such a sad situation.

At the time of writing this post, Brisbane has more extremely consistent rain, and again, it does not seem to be moving anywhere …. Check it out. I wonder how long this rain will last. It is amazing how fast the water levels are rising this second time round… We went for a walk this afternoon in the rain again and already the water levels were worryingly high in the canal beside our walking path. So far it has only rained for less than 24 hours. We are hoping this is not repeat of the last “rain event” we experienced only three weeks ago. We are currently wondering if Kyah will be able to get to work in the morning. Time will tell – we won’t know until the morning and she has to leave for work at 4.20am. Not a good time to be testing roads for flooding.

Kyah has been having a bit of a social time of late. One girlfriend had her 18th birthday. Celebrations were had in Bowen Hills. She quite enjoyed that evening. Last night she went to another friend’s 21st birthday. That was in Ashgrove and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. She also frequently goes out for lunch or coffee with friends, but generally she lives a pretty quiet life.

Apart from that, we have both been living very quiet lives. We are going through each room in the house, sorting through everything; sorting, donating, throwing, and then tidying up what we are keeping. Each room is getting a thorough clean as well. Doing that is quite therapeutic for us – seeing the completed results.

I think with what is going on in the world, living a quiet life is the best option at the moment. We both are believing for much better times in the near future.

Luke 8:17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (NIV). 

 

 

Merry Christmas to All

Wow! December is almost over! Time seems to be flying faster and faster. Christmas will be here and gone before we know it. I hope, pray and believe we will be finishing this year on a much more positive note than we have had over the last two years. It has been challenging for everyone on a number of levels and for different reasons.

Life for us has been pretty much routine  – work, home, seeing friends, shopping trips, trying to get some down time in, throughout each week. The wonderful distraction we have is our new dog, Sayge.  He is five  months old now.  Has had his essential shots so he is able to get out and about. He just entertains us all the time.  He loves all my clients and is so excited when he sees one of them coming up the driveway to the gym. Most of my clients love him. But if you’re not a dog person, I get it.

The vet recommended for him not to get clipped until he turned 6 months. However, he was getting pretty hot with the long hair he had and the hot days Brisbane has. So we cut his hair with scissors to keep him cool. It worked, it wasn’t pretty. But, he did not want us to cut the hair near his face. So we sent him off for his first official hair cut three weeks ago. He came home from the pooch parlour looking and smelling wonderful. Apparently he was very well behaved except when she tried to cut the hair near his face. So it wasn’t just us that struggled with that area.  She managed to clip all his body, and did not go too short, because he is still not 6 months old and apparently  it’s not advisable to clip close to their skin before that age.

Sayge, after his clip.

He has brought such joy, entertainment, and laughter into our home. He is everything we wanted in a dog and more. The perfect companion – my “significant other” for the time being.

We went out to Chinchilla to spend the long weekend with friends. It was such a wonderful weekend. There was two main intentions for the trip: one was to see our friends and catch up with what’s been happening in their lives, and the other reason was to help them renovate a room. We had so much fun. Kyah spent almost the entire time with the kids and the dogs (we took Sayge) and they have a dog. The dogs played – well, Sayge chased Blythe all around, almost constantly, wanting to play. Blythe was not really interested, but it was so entertaining watching the persistence of Sayge and Blythe trying to tell him to stop bothering her.

While Kyah was with the kids, I spent the day painting the downstairs room with Kylie. It was hard work, because it was pretty hot, the walls were brown brick and needed to be painted white and they needed to look fresh, and clean. I’m not sure if any of you have painted brick before – it can be quite difficult when you need to ensure all the little holes are filled so there’s no brick showing through at all. I used a roller twice over, then had to go over every brick with a paint brush to fill in all the holes to make sure the walls looked white – not white with spots of brown. It was so hot the paint dried so quick we were able to do multiple coats on the one day. It was so much fun. I really enjoyed it. I have not done work like that for a while. Kyah helped a bit towards the end of the day and I think she enjoyed herself. All in all, the finished product was pretty good.

Sayge was so well behaved the entire trip. He coped with the four hour drive each way. He behaved in the dog-friendly motel we stayed in – no accidents or mishaps.  Kyah did a lot of the driving both ways. It was a great opportunity for her to drive on country roads. They are very different to driving on motorways and city roads. I actually slept a lot of the drive home. That was good for both of us; it indicated to her I trust her driving, and the rest was well needed for me.

Kyah had her work Christmas party at Southbank in November. They had drinks and a picnic-style party on the grasslands at Southbank. I dropped her in there and picked her and two of her friends up afterwards. We then all went out for a couple of drinks. It was the first time I have been out to a club / pub with Kyah like that. She had had a few drinks at their Christmas party and was a bit tipsy, but she was still the “responsible” one – looking after her friends. It was such a nice evening seeing her in a totally different way.

We are still trying to get Kyah’s inheritance. We have managed to find where the money was banked – Westpac. But it seems the executor has taken all the money out and is not replying to us when we try to make contact with her. Apparently the executor has acted unlawfully and we need to take legal action against her. Why do people have to be so greedy and take what is not theirs? It is such a hassle trying to fight for what is rightfully Kyah’s. I don’t know how this woman thinks she is going to get away with it. We have all the evidence we need. Why do people have to make life so difficult? One challenge we have is finding a solicitor that is willing and able to take the case on. Even this is proving to be harder than I thought. I hope and pray this is resolved much sooner and easier than I think it will be.

I shouted Kyah and I to a three hour Indulgent Spa Experience on the Gold Coast. We had tea and chocolates on arrival. Then we had champagne, chocolates and a cheese platter while we had a foot soak. After that we had a facial each, a massage and a body scrub. The three hours  was quite indulgent and we left there feeling relaxed. It was the first time we had done something like that together and it was really enjoyable.

After that we went and saw some friends for afternoon tea / dinner. We had a really long day, but it was lovely.

We have managed to complete our Christmas shopping. We had a few trips out and have done online shopping as well. We are just waiting for a few ordered items to arrive. Christmas trees and decorations are up and the house is looking fairly Christmas-y. It will be here before we know it. We don’t really have any plans for Christmas Day. We actually like to lay low for Christmas. A quiet, uneventful day is usually what we enjoy. We may even take Sayge out for a walk this year! We are both looking forward to some quiet time, a swim in the pool, maybe put some Lego together (a Christmas tradition for us), not having to go out anywhere, just rest. The plans we have for 2022 are pretty exciting and yes, life will be busy for us. We should try to rest while we can.

The only thing we need to do before Christmas Day is make apricot balls and chocolate balls. This is the only food tradition or effort we go to. We do not have huge amounts of food all day that then takes weeks to finish off. We just focus on spending time together and relaxing. I imagine this is a very foreign concept for many people, but that is what we do. If we were to go to someone’s place for Christmas, we would make the effort to take exaggerated portions of food, but if it’s just us, we really don’t bother. I simply don’t want to spend the afternoon in a food coma.

I managed to make our front lawn a garden. One day a couple of weeks ago, we went and bought some cypress mulch to make a relatively small garden on part of the front lawn. The landscape supplier gave me triple the mulch I needed so I ended up doubling the size of the garden. It looks better having the garden take up the entire lawn – but it was not intended. This was hard work! It was hot!. I started from scratch and worked all day until the garden was made: ground cover down, plants in, garden edge made, mulch on top. I was pretty tired for the next few days, and sunburnt.

Kevin has come up and gone back to NSW this last week. He was one of the first people over the NSW / QLD border when it was opened. He had to sleep in his car just south of the border while he waited over 48 hours for his PCR test to come back negative. I won’t  go into my thoughts about  border closures, PCR tests, double dose vaccinations, now a booster shot will make you “covered”. All I know is this whole COVID thing has been so successful in dividing the people. It is absolutely tragic what the world has come to. I do believe that 2022 will give us the opportunity  to make a fresh new start. I am really looking forward to it.

Kevin brought the dogs up with him and they were a bit put out by having Sayge here – they are not used to having to share their “accommodation” or us with another dog. So it took a few days before Oliver and Truffles softened to Sayge. It was interesting seeing the interaction of the dogs with each other. They finally became “friends” on the final day Kevin was here. Hopefully next time he brings them up, they will mix better together instantly.

While Kevin was here I was very strategic: I ordered a cubic metre of stones. Shovelling stones is really hard work. They are heavy and they needed to go up a hill. So thankfully, Kevin, being the person he is, he kindly helped me finish the front yard. (He did not really have much option but to help!!!). The edging was done, the matting down and then the stones. Again, it was a typical hot day for Brisbane. I am not sure if you know Brisbane weather – but it is hot and humid. Not pleasant at all. It has often been referred to as a “cauldron” and I know why. Anyway, the front yard is now complete. I am really pleased with the finished product. Lots of hard work, but worth it.

.   This was the front yard when we moved in.

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This is the front yard now. A huge thank you to Kevin for his help with shovelling the stones.

We have also made another little low-maintenance garden out the back of the house. This area does not get much sun in winter, so the grass does not grow very well here. We are both really pleased with the finished product. At the moment, the white cherry blossom solar tree has Christmas decorations on it. The tree will be a permanent fixture, we will simply remove the decorations once Christmas is over. It’s quite nice to have a tree that lights up in the yard every evening.

Kyah and I would like to wish you all a safe, happy, and joyous Christmas. We hope you all get to spend fulfilling time with family and friends. May 2022 bring you all hope and happiness.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

 

 

 

Moving Along in 2021

Well, It is Spring here already! How time is flying by.

We are slowly settling in to our new home. We love it. It seems to be the perfect place for us for the moment.

Kyah is now living in reasonable proximity to the places she works. It takes her no more than 20 minutes to drive to each location. She allows more time to ensure she is not late and allows for traffic hold ups, so she usually leaves about 30 minutes before she is due to be there. She really enjoys one particular location; the employer and staff are just so nice; friendly, professional and accommodating. Another place she works is a bit more (well, a lot more) difficult; the employer promised Kyah 20 hours of admin work per week on top of her Pilates Instruction shifts. Kyah stopped work at two other places to makes sure she was able to commit to that. The issue is that she has only ever been given three hours of admin work in any week. And the last five weeks the owner has said Kyah is “not needed at all”. Kyah has since found out the owner has another staff member doing the shift and has lied to all the staff saying Kyah does not want to work there! Why do people behave this way?

Needless to say, this has left a strong sense of hesitation to commit to this employer again. What she has done is not right at all, on many levels. I am encouraging Kyah to look for alternate work with other appropriate places.

It is not a nice experience for Kyah, but one that is good to have happen while she is still at home and does not have huge financial commitments that she is not able to meet. She is going through the school of hard knocks – i.e. the harsh reality of life, just like we all do.  Her current job is considered “non-essential”, so when we go into lockdown, she does not have income. This is another issue for a lot of people at the moment: how on earth are they able to get ahead with saving, investing, setting themselves up to be independent. It is very annoying when an employer promises you something, you make changes to allow it to happen, then they pull the plug it, and add to that the restrictions placed on people by the governments so they are unable to work.     

However, we have been very fortunate in that living in Queensland, we have not been in lockdown too many times and not for long periods of time. We are able to live a relatively “free” lifestyle compared to other people in NSW and Victoria. We really feel for you all and hope this madness is over soon. So many businesses are struggling and being forced to close due to the lockdowns. This whole COVID thing is destroying so many aspects of everyone’s lives. It will be nice when it is all over and we can get on with life; obviously there will be a new normal – people’s eyes will be opened and life will be very different.  

The weather here has been so nice. Kyah has actually used our pool a few times. She is able to have a few hours of relaxation most days so she is definitely making the most of that time. She can be seen poolside most days, and when she gets warm enough, dives in for a few minutes. She assures me the temperature is “refreshing” and I should get in. However, I do note she does not stay in for long. I have not ventured in since March, and I don’t intend on getting in until I see her in the pool constantly for at least 10 minutes. Maybe soon – depending on the temperature. 

We were able to get to the Lego Expo at the Queensland Museum a few weekends ago. We were booked in to attend a few weeks previous to that, but Queensland was put in an “emergency lockdown” from 4pm that day. As we were driving in to the city we received a text saying we would not be able to attend because they were closing all access from 12.30pm. We had to turn around and head home. We were both looking forward to having a “Lego fix”, so what we did was head to the shops and purchased some Lego for Kyah. I could not find anything I liked, so when we got home I got onto the Lego website and purchased some Lego. We actually ended up buying a few great pieces for Kyah, myself, and a friend whose birthday is coming up. It was great when it arrived and I did mine almost straight away. Kyah is waiting for the next inevitable lockdown to do at least one of her new sets.

Here is the Lego I made. I love the Strelitzia flower and I had decided if Lego made the Strelitzia I would purchase it. It is now the centrepiece of the dining table. One day it will be moved somewhere else – but for now that is where it will stay.

We do try to make the most of all the occasions we are in lockdown. We have been so fortunate that Queensland has not gone into long term lockdowns, so when they do happen, we kind of see them as an opportunity to catch up on things that need doing, such as the gardens, sewing, paperwork, sorting, cleaning, and then there is usually a little time for relaxing and enjoying life. I can imagine that after a period of a few weeks in lockdown, and these odd jobs are all done, that lockdown gets rather tedious. Again, we both feel for everyone that is in forced lockdowns. We are believing that soon enough the truth will come out and lockdowns won’t be needed anymore. 

 

Here are some of the amazing exhibits at the Brickman Wonders of the World Lego Exhibition.

    

  

  

  

When Kyah turned 18, she was entitled to an inheritance. A friend passed away in 2012 and left Kyah some money. The executor to the will was given a cheque to put into a Trust Fund for Kyah, so when she turned 18, Kyah would receive the money as well as interest over the years.

Well, nothing seems to go smoothly. So when Kyah turned 18, I contacted the solicitors that dealt with the will. Of course, the solicitor that dealt with the will has retired, and she is overseas somewhere and is not looking like coming back to Australia for a while. The law firm has closed that portion of their business and everything is locked in a vault. And the executor is not replying to any of our communications: she is alive and well – as can be seen on her Facebook page. 

We have done a lot of investigating and found out the cheque was banked by the executor into Westpac – we know the location. However, the cheque seems to have been banked wrongfully or something … So now we are on a mission to find Kyah’s money and have it given to her. She is rightfully entitled to it.  Someone is responsible for allowing Kyah’s money to “go missing” and they must be held accountable. What a task. We are hoping and praying it won’t be too hard. Do we let Westpac Legals sort it or do we employ a solicitor to help us??? Any suggestions from you would be appreciated.

Kyah has plans to go to the Gold Coast for a week the first week of the coming school holidays. She is going down with one of her friends and staying at a hotel for a few days, then they are staying with another friend at her house for a few days. She should have a lot of fun. We are both hoping we don’t go into lockdown again. It has been very predictable that every school holidays we go into lockdown. Let’s hope that’s not the case these holidays. Kyah is really enjoying the freedom of being able to go out and spend time with friends. She also has them come and stay over here at home while I am staying with my significant other. 

Kyah went to her old school last night to support one of her friends with her fashion display. As part of year 12 and being a fashion student, the school has a night showcasing the students’ work. This particular friend, her parents live in Victoria, and are unable to be at anything significant for her. So Kyah has stepped into that role. Kyah is also going to the formal with this girlfriend as her support. It is a bit ironic in that Kyah never went to her year 12 formal, but is going to her friend’s year 12 formal at the same school!! They will have fun, I am sure.

We are getting a puppy next week. He is a “moodle” – maltese poodle. Had to be a poodle so he doesn’t lose hair and can be an inside dog. He is pretty cute at this stage of his life. Not really looking forward to the first few weeks of him being here – sleepless nights, toilet training, and then the chewing on things as he goes through teething. Thankfully when they are puppies, they are so cute; this makes the sleepless nights, and toilet mishaps more tolerable.      

Here’s a couple of pics of him. The first pic is when he was only 2 weeks old. The second pic is when he was 5 weeks old. We were told yesterday we will be able to bring him home next week. That is exciting. 

  

Kyah’s Achilles are still giving her grief. Can you believe that? The inflammation she got when dancing at QB and the mistreatment of her injuries caused the “worst inflammation” the Sports Doctor had ever seen. This was February to July 2020. She is still experiencing huge discomfort. We have had to go out and purchase new joggers for her to help take the pressure off her Achilles while she is working. The joggers need to have an elevated heel to allow the Achilles to shorten a bit. We are hoping it helps. I am quite amazed at how long it has taken for the inflammation to dissipate. Kyah has only recently been commenting on how sore her Achilles are and that the pain never went away. Because of that I have not been giving her  much in regards to rehab for them, but I had no idea they were this bad. It is actually shocking that the physiotherapists have managed to get away with such neglect and mistreatment of someone. I will have to get involved and treat Kyah’s Achilles for her, otherwise this will be a lifelong issue she faces. We can’t have that.   

Kyah is also now doing exercise most days. She has found a new drive and desire to exercise. This drive and desire is from intrinsic motivators – rather than the necessity to perform. I am believing that this pattern of being active will become a very regular routine and then it will become habitual. She is noticing the benefits of regular exercise, and I am noticing she is getting stronger, fitter and has better mental clarity. These are all positives. Obviously I will ensure what she does will help her Achilles rather than harm them.

Kyah is now continually reminding me how close Christmas is. Oh dear.

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. NIV 

 

 

 

 

She’s 18!!!

She’s 18!

Well time does fly, doesn’t it?

Kyah had her 18th birthday at the end of last month. The “festival of…” is still going, but only slightly. Those of you we have known for seemingly ages, can you believe Kyah is 18? Some of you have known her all her life! She is now an adult. WOW!

Leading up to Kyah’s birthday, life was pretty busy with celebrations for my birthday and Mother’s Day. We were also preparing to go to Tangalooma Resort. There was lots going on with the usual work shifts that Kyah has now, us still doing final stuff to settle in – hanging pictures, rearranging rooms so they function better, figuring out where things are more suited to be stored so life functions a bit more streamlined. Not to mention the usual busy-ness of life itself. 

We have been ploughing through the little tasks that need to be done to help make our new house a home. I’ve made a couple of towel rails to hang; one outside near the pool, and a couple in the laundry. The ones for the laundry are a bit more funky than the one out near the pool. I had some beautiful hardwood that I sanded back and stained. Then just put them together so they function, and are not too fixed or formal. Something completely different and to add a bit of character to the laundry.  We just need to put them on the wall now, then that is a job done. The towel rail beside the pool is more simple and plain in nature and is already hung on the wall. 

     

Kyah is really good with organising and sorting and making things look aesthetically pleasing while being very functional. I just know where things belong, rather than making things “look” good. So between the two of us, we are getting there with settling in. The big one we have not yet touched is the craft/sewing/office room. It will be lovely to get it sorted, but it is a big job. You know the room you have where you just put things in there to be “dealt with later”. This is that room. Kyah is threatening to get it started tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

The gym is pretty much set up now. We are really happy with how it’s turned out. Kevin (Kyah’s dad) had to hang the big mirrors for me, but we were able to do the rest of it. More on Kevin soon. This is the gym from one angle. It is a great space to work in. 

We’ve had a few trips to the local shopping centres. We are so fortunate to have a few different ones very close by; no more than 10 minutes drive from us in different directions. Each centre has different shops and depending on what we are after, we go to the different centres. TK Maxx gets a good hit most weeks. In order to find, and get, a good bargain, you do need to visit there frequently. What a great excuse hey? We have a few friends that don’t have  a TK Maxx close to them, so they love seeing the  bargains that are available and we purchase. 

The trip to Tangalooma Resort was really good. Kyah had her friend Mackenzie come with us. They enjoyed hanging out together. We did the feeding of the dolphins, walks along the beach, loads of coffee and cake. The day of her birthday Kyah and I got up early and went for a walk along the beach to the shipwrecks. It was a lovely walk. It’s really not that far at all from the resort – about a 20 minute walk. 

 

It was funny because I wanted to surprise Kyah with the apartment set up with birthday decorations before she got up on her birthday. But she woke up earlier than me! We went for the walk together and the whole time, I am wondering how on earth I could set the room up without her being there. On the way back to the resort she got the morning phone calls from friends and family wishing her a happy birthday. So while she was chatting to Kevin, I raced inside and set everything up. It took a little while but she wasn’t able to get in because I had the swipe for the front door!!

When I finally let her in (maybe 15 minutes later) she was so pleasantly surprised to see the effort that had been made. It’s not everyday your child turns 18, so you want to make them feel special. Also, going to Tangalooma was the reason for the trip, so why not make the birthday celebrations the focus for the day.

     

We were booked in to do parasailing and quad biking on Kyah’s actual birthday. Unfortunately, the wind was too strong by the time we were scheduled to do parasailing. So we missed out on that – something for another time.  We went quad biking in the afternoon and it was fun. The longer we did the ride, the more confident we got and the faster we went. I had Kyah on my quad bike and Mackenzie was on tandem with someone else. The girls were not allowed to drive the bikes themselves,  because they did not have an open licence. Kyah and I had a pretty good time – I went up the side of all the corners as best I could and as fast as I could. Mackenzie and her driver seemed to be a lot more placid and did not go as fast or as high. The whole activity went for about an hour which was pretty good.

Here’s some pics of  what you can expect to see at Tangalooma Resort.  There’s lots of wildlife and most of it seems to be fairly comfortable with humans being quite close to them. 

 

                                    

That evening, we went to the BBQ Bar and Cafe for drinks and dinner. We got a cocktail for each of us. The barman was so good. We told him it was Kyah’s first legal drink. So he was very generous and kind and gave her a special cocktail and he did not charge us for it!!! He put a candle in it, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to her. A little bit of embarrassment never hurt anyone. Haha!

      

The food was absolutely amazing. We each had a rib eye steak with mushroom sauce, salad and fries. We all agreed it was the best steak, fries and salad we have ever had! Big call – but it’s true.

     

 

The three of us had a great time. The girls spent time together and I had time alone, which was what we all needed. We may go back to Tangalooma Resort again to do the things we did not get a chance to do. Time will tell. It is very close to Brisbane but once you are there, it feels like you are in a different world. A great place for a get away.

Kyah and I went to our dear friend Ruth’s house for another celebration for her birthday. It was lovely to see the ladies again and spend time with them and catch up on what has been happening in their lives. Loads of yummy food and great company. What more could both of us have wanted? Kyah felt very special and that is what matters.

    

We  went to Tweed Heads to see my Dad that same afternoon. He is going OK. It is hard for anyone to improve when they are in a nursing home. I understand the staff are really busy looking after the basic needs of each resident, but it is the mental stimulation they seem to miss out on. Kyah and I play “numbers”, “letters”, bingo, we do flash cards, we read to him  – we try to stimulate him mentally when we are there.  He responds really positively. It is amazing how responsive his brain is. It is also a shame that when his brain is not stimulated, he seems to deteriorate quite quickly, and even further. What a sad way to see your loved ones live, knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

We had a huge day the day we went to Ruth’s. On the way home from Tweed we popped into Miami Marketta to watch a client of mine perform in a band. It was nice to be out and doing something different. There was not too many people there, which was nice. We had more food (too much food for one day), watched Sam play, then we were home by 10pm. Very long day for us.

I mentioned before we are slowly making our house a home. Yesterday, we went to IKEA and bought a number of items for the house. Some barstools, floor rugs, drawers, mirrors, bath mats. Over the last couple of months we have done a bit of shopping; new lounge, occasion chairs, kitchen stuff, rugs, curtains, bedside lights. Yesterday was a bigger shop. We may not need to buy anything more for a long while.  Phew!!!

Kevin came up for a few days to celebrate Kyah’s 18th. He and Kyah spent lots of time together; shopping, coffee, dinner. It was really nice for them to be out and about and enjoying time together. I got some more “alone” time, which was wonderful. We loved the dogs being here as well. They seemed to like the new house and settled in quickly. It became apparent that the dogs are now Kevin’s dogs; they are not ours anymore. We could not ask to have them back – they need to stay with Kevin. So at some stage we will look at buying a poodle. At this point in time they are outrageously expensive, so we will wait for the price to lower.

On a sadder note: I have had a number of people contact me regarding abuse of some sort their child has experienced in the dance world. Not surprisingly, a few people have mentioned the same dance teachers!!! I wonder when the dance world will catch up to the “Me too” movement. I know not all abuse is sexual … but physical, emotional and mental abuse are also abuse and they can scar a person on many levels too. It is not OK for anyone to abuse anybody. At some stage the atrocious  behaviour of these people, and those that are trying to protect them, will catch up to them.

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. NIV
Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. NIV
Others say “what goes around comes around”.
We wait patiently for their comeuppance; we don’t need to do anything but wait.

 

   

 

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL

It’s the Easter weekend here. We have had yet another eventful few weeks since my last post;  I am sure so many other people have had as well.

Kyah has been working as a Pilates Instructor at five different places – all under the one franchise name. She is really loving the independence, responsibility, the work itself, and freedom of finally having her own money to spend.  She is employed as a casual instructor and generally works set shifts each week. She fills in when staff are away and she has accepted some shifts as “permanent” for her.

She has to get up quite early some mornings – sometimes 4.25am, to ensure she is at work by 5.15am. She also does some late finishes  – some evenings she is home around 9pm. Her shifts are staggered so she does not work all day and she does not work every day. I would say on average she is working about 30 hours per week. She will come home after her morning shift and either have a rest, do some shopping, relax pool side, or do some paperwork.

She really enjoys the work itself and she is extremely comfortable doing the instruction, technique correction and motivation for each client she sees. I think it is second nature to her because she has been around that type of environment all her life.

One of the owners has offered Kyah an opportunity of guaranteed work for at least 20 hours per week, doing both administration work and customer service work. This would be on top of the Pilates Instruction work.  We discussed it and decided it would be an opportunity she should not pass up. It will give her additional experience in both administration and customer service as well as give her a guaranteed minimum 20 hours of work each week. This is a great compliment to Kyah as there are a number of other staff that could have been offered this opportunity, but Kyah was offered it.

We need to look at the new contract to see if she is employed under a permanent part time title or something different. It would be a bonus if that is the case, because each time we go into lockdown due to COVID, she does not work. At the moment she does not mind not having to work, but she will when she is totally responsible for all her living expenses.

In order for Kyah to fit the extra hours of work in, she had to give notice to two studios that she must cut back on work with them. The deciding factor in what two studios to cut back from, was the distance she had to travel. The two that are the furthest in distance for her to travel to she decided to cut back from them. She has definitely made some very mature decisions in the last few months; I am so pleased with the way she has considered her options, discussed it with Anne and myself, how she has conducted herself and how she dealt with the notice of stepping down. Her official last day at each of those studios is April 10, 2021.

The admin and customer service role will start straight after April 10. Her hours for those shifts will be much more reasonable; something like an 8am start instead of a 5.15am start. She is able to choose her hours of work, within reason, and this means she will be able to still work at the other studios instructing. It should be a great opportunity for Kyah. I think the fact she has done the Diploma in Business will help her with what needs to be done in the role. Watch this space … I am very optimistic.

So we were in lockdown yet again – thankfully it was only for a few days. But it is still a huge inconvenience. Yes, we would all rather the inconvenience than having the virus spread uncontrollably. But like I said before, Kyah does not work at the moment when we are in lockdown. My clients were also a bit apprehensive to train, so we had a few hours spare last week. We used our time wisely and managed to unpack every box that hadn’t been touched. We set up the third bedroom and it is ready for guests. We set up the craft room  – it is ready for us to do work in. The only thing I have to do now is hang all the pictures. We have a general idea where we want to put them all, I just need to drill into the walls.

Our lounge room furniture arrives this Thursday. We are really looking forward to that happening. For the last month we have been using out outdoor chairs and a bean bag as our furniture to sit and watch the television on. Not as relaxing as you would imagine. Thankfully we are now at the stage where we have all things packed away so bringing lounge room furniture in won’t be a hassle. We are very ready for it to arrive.

Last weekend we went to Forest Lakes to watch a dance competition. One of my clients was performing / competing. I asked Kyah to come along and help assess my client. It was such a strange feeling going back to a venue that Kyah has performed in, being around the dance world and not being stressed. Usually I am anxious about Kyah performing well; has she prepared enough, has she packed everything, has she had enough sleep, what teachers / parents will be there – goodness knows there are some people we never really want to see again. It was funny – neither of us had any anxiety or nerves about being there. Kyah mentioned how strange it was for her. She said she was nervous to go, but only because she did not want to see certain teachers.

Once we were there, again it was a very different experience for us. The other mums were the stressed ones – we weren’t. We enjoyed watching the dancers perform. Kyah did make a comment that she did not miss the “dance world and all it’s idiosyncrasies”. I think this was great for both of us to know that she has made the right decision to leave the dance world and hopefully she will have no regrets. Don’t get me wrong – it is absolutely tragic why she left, but she made the right decision for her self esteem, her self preservation and her dignity. She did not want to put up with what was expected of her any more.

We have been out a few times for dinner and to friend’s houses and our new local hotel for meals. That has been nice. We’ve also been to the shops and had a few good days of shopping. Generally we don’t go out much and thankfully we haven’t been out much – the recent outbreak of COVID was all around our local area. We had not been to any of the places on the same day that the infected people had been, but we do often visit a number of the places listed. Thank God the outbreak was controlled very quickly.

We both hope you have all enjoyed your Easter long weekend.

James 1:5-6   If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

 

 

The Countdown is On

We are so excited! We are finally moving house! We have been living in a rental for three years since we moved to Brisbane. Initially we thought it best to rent so we could get to know Brisbane and the different areas to live in. Then once we knew what was happening with Kyah and her ballet we could decide if we would move back to the Gold Coast or stay in Brisbane.

Well, you guessed it, we have decided to stay in Brisbane. It is actually a really good city to live in. It is not overcrowded – so far… It has all the cultural things a person would want; live theatre, museums, art galleries. It has lovely walks and cycle paths. The weather is great – except the occasional very hot, sticky summer’s day – aka “The Cauldron”. The cost of living is not too bad at the moment… However, if everyone from down south continues to move up here and force the prices of housing up it will make Brisbane another fairly unaffordable city for property buyers.

We have been looking for a house to buy for 18 months and could not find one suitable until three months ago. We would occasionally find a house that “would do”, and I’d put an offer on it and find it was already sold. The housing market up here is totally crazy at the moment. Anyway, November last year we looked at eight houses in one day. Only one of them suited us and it was just perfect for what we need. I put an offer on it, and within four hours of the open home we were signing contracts. We were so fortunate they wanted a long settlement because we needed a long settlement due to the lease of the rental we are in finishing in early March this year; the landlord and rental agents we have, would not allow us to break the lease without huge penalties. So we have been really fortunate the sellers were happy to have a long settlement period.

I put my house on the Gold Coast on the market and it sold within four days of being listed. As I said, the market is crazy up here at the moment. Again, we needed a long settlement because the tenants’ lease finished at the end of February this year, and in this situation, she did not want to move out until the very end of her lease, so I could not force her to leave. The timing for settlement and the leases all being completed is too coincidental to not be an absolute blessing for us – considering the huge hassle we had with the first house we moved into when we moved up here. We were there for eight weeks and it flooded and ruined thousands of dollars of our personal items. Then we had to move and sign another lease. It is just amazing that the timing is so perfect for all three houses to be ready at almost the exact same time! Praise The Lord. Settlement is 1st March!

Anyway, our focus has been on moving for almost three months now. We have been restoring furniture, culling, packing. The house is just perfect for us. It’s got a rumpus room that is ideal for my gym, a small pool, 4 bedrooms, the garage has a 3 metre high ceiling; again perfect for all my boxing equipment. Location is great for us – up on a hill, north facing backyard, beautiful views to the city, fully renovated, quiet street. What more could we ask for??

We are almost completely packed – boxes everywhere in the house. Kyah’s dad is coming up to help us move and he will set up all my gym equipment, flooring (compressed rubber matting), etc. Kyah is really looking forward to seeing her dad and moving. We will get the dogs to come and live with us once we are settled. They have not been able to live with us because the yard we currently have is not dog proof. We live close to a main road and the dogs escaped a few times and they were found wandering on the road and the risk of them getting hit by a car was too great, so Kevin has been minding the dogs for us.

Renting has been an absolute nightmare. I could rave on for ages about all the terrible things that have happened; the agents have done nothing to help us; the landlord has gone out of her way to not repair and maintain items – to the point the house is now technically not safe to live in. In actual fact, the rental board are encouraging me to take the agents and the landlord to the tribunal – that is how bad they have been!!! So I have documents totalling 48 pages detailing some of the things they have done and are not supposed to do, and things they have not done and are supposed to do. That will be fun times ahead.

Anyway, Kyah has been working a fair bit. She has five pilates studios that she works in and she is somehow managing to juggle all five locations. She is really enjoying the working life and earning money of her own. She has never had the opportunity before to work and earn money because she has always been so busy with dance, school and trying to do everything for both of those.  She is also enjoying being around people who are actually nice to her! It must be such a refreshing change for her to have people that are not rude, nasty, bully her or try to cut her out. I am so pleased and very relieved she is past all the nastiness and pretentious behaviour that has surrounded her for so long.

She has driven down to the Gold Coast a few times to see a girlfriend and stayed overnight. This too is so nice to see happen. These are things she never had time to do or never felt welcomed to do. She has caught up with another girlfriend in Brisbane and gone out for dinner with her. Again, it is so nice she is doing that. It is also such a quick transition from total dependency to independence. She has her own car, she now has her own money, she is working, she is not at school. She is able to go out and about. It is such a quick transition. I am really happy for her.  I can see why some parents have some sort of conniption as it is happening. I am just so happy for her she is finally enjoying herself and feeling like she belongs.

She has been asked to consider if she would teach a “Dance for Fitness” class to residents in a retirement village. She is going to do it – she seems very keen and the residents also seem very keen to have the class. The ideas for the class sounds really fun. Watch this space.

It has been such a different season this last month sorting out a tax file number and a superannuation company for my not-so-little girl any more. She is now a young woman out there earning money, enjoying herself, making good life choices. Wow! It is only now that I realise when everyone used to say to me “they grow up faster than you think and soon enough they will be out doing their own thing”.  Yes, it has happened. It is a sudden change, but I am so happy for her that she is out there enjoying herself. The last 17 years have now passed relatively quickly, but I remember being in the moment with her and some days, times, stages, phases were not quick at all.  Both she and I seem to have got through the last 17 years relatively unscathed – there are some terrible scars people have left in Kyah and hopefully in time those scars will fade. Her resilience and tolerance is much greater towards people than it would have been if she hadn’t been through what she has. Life is the school of hard knocks.

Luna sniffing one of Kyah’s shoes

Our adopted cat “Luna”. He comes and visits us every day – he stays most of the day with us. I am sure when we leave, he will miss us. He is such a funny little cat. He loves sticking his head in Kyah’s shoes, hugging the shoe, then he wrestles them. We have not had cats before so are not sure if this is “normal” cat behaviour, but we think it is pretty strange. All of my clients love him. He will lie next to them, snuggle into them, lie on their bags and shoes and basically just be a beautiful-natured cat. Not once in three years have I seen his claws come out. He is a typical cat in that he ignores you unless he wants something. He has some traits that are similar to a dog. He will be lying down somewhere, and hear Kyah’s car pull up – his ears prick up, his interest is heightened and he does not put his head down again until he sees her come in and she pats him. Mind you – he is still very much a cat in that he does not race to meet Kyah like a dog would – he lies there waiting for her to come to him! Kyah has loved having him around. She misses the dogs terribly but understands why we can’t have them here. Luna has been a great substitute.

We will definitely miss Luna – he has been a part of our lives for three years here. He just came in one day and made himself at home. He goes back to his owner’s house every night, but spends most of his days with us. We hope the new tenants here like cats – or at least take a liking to Luna as we have. I know most of my clients will also miss him. They are all saying their goodbyes to him as their last training session here is complete.

Luna wrestling with another one of her shoes

We are trying to eat as much food as possible before we move so it doesn’t have to be moved. We made a divine GF pizza. Home made pizzas are usually good – you can put as much of your fave foods that you like. We are quite generous with most toppings – there really is not comparison between a shop bought pizza and a home made pizza, is there??  We still have miles of food in the cupboard and fridge that ideally are eaten before we move. We are managing to get through it, but will definitely not get through it all.

We have purchased a new front loader washing machine; sold the top loader. Sold our leather lounge suite. Bought a lovely sofa, two occasional chairs and a storage ottoman. It is exciting times now – only a couple of days and we will be in our own home again – newly renovated, with some new furniture and everything old has been refurbished to look new and all match.

We still have a bit more packing to do. It shouldn’t take long to finalise everything we need to do now. Cleaners have been organised. Removalists are organised. Mail redirection done. Internet and electricity sorted. Final inspection for the new house was done yesterday. There is so much that needs to be done when you move – it is hard to keep track. Doing all this as well as cleaning each room thoroughly, running a business and working more than full time hours – life has been very hectic.  Kyah is not quite as busy as I am, but she has helped a bit with stuff.
Tomorrow is settlement day. It will be all systems go from tonight. I have friends lending me their vehicle and trailer. I will pack the trailer tonight, the car tomorrow (in between clients). Kevin arrives at 12 noon. Kyah will pick him up, they are meeting the owners at the house to do the key exchange, then the painting of Kyah’s bedroom will start, unpacking the trailer, laying the gym flooring, hanging punching bags, speed balls etc.  By the end of the week we will be totally moved out of here and in our new home. Big moving day is Thursday when the professionals come in to move the big furniture and heavy items. We are so looking forward to it.
Isaiah 43:18-19
18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 
19See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Here Comes 2021

Wow, what a year 2020 was. I think everyone in the world has been affected by COVID-19 in some way, shape or form. It is interesting that so many people think things will be different the instant the year changes from 2020 to 2021. Unfortunately, that is not the case. COVID is still around and still causing havoc in most people’s lives.

To update you with Kyah’s movements over the last six weeks; she completed her QCE (HSC) exam. She only had to do english. Like everyone else that did that same exam she found it quite “yuk”. The two question options they had were both very left field and no amount of studying could have prepared the students for the questions they were given. Anyway, she passed with flying colours and did very well.

Kyah completed her online theory training for Pilates while she was finishing school. As soon as her school exam was complete Kyah went straight into participating in the practical component of her Pilates course. This went for ten days with one day off after day 5. She loved every moment of it.  On the final day I was one of a number of participants for the students to use as their clients. I actually participated in sessions for almost four hours. It was great to see the different personalities coming through with the instructors. I know with franchises it is desirable for consistency, and the instructors had that, but with their own little “twist” thrown in because of their area of strength and their individual personality. It was especially fun to be a participant when Kyah instructed. She had an element of confidence and authority that I thought most of the others did not have.  She was very competent and knowledgeable with the work being taught and the practical aspect of teaching, instructing and correcting technique. This does not surprise me much because of her exposure to exercise of many forms,  and being aware of correct technique all of her life. She will do very well in this career path.

She is almost fully qualified as an instructor. She has done four of her six mentoring / shadowing sessions. This is where they get to teach the classes to the paying participants and there is a qualified instructor watching them and giving them support if they need. Apparently Kyah has done very well with this too.

Her fifth session was supposed to be last Friday, but unfortunately, a COVID threat has forced Brisbane into a three day lockdown (so far). So we will wait to see when they are able to complete sessions five and six for Kyah. Once this is done and they are happy with her performance, then she is ready for paid work. Yay. Kyah has never had paid employment. She has been too busy with dance, school, life, prehab, rehab, staying sane.

It has been such a change for Kyah to go to living a normal life. Not having to worry about prehab, exercise, strength work, getting more than necessary sleep,  getting up early, focusing on dance. I have asked her a few times if she misses her dance and she has said she doesn’t miss it. She particularly does not miss the nastiness.

I am training a potential up and coming ballet dancer at the moment – getting her strong and more flexible. Kyah has come in and chatted to my client a few times and each time I can see that Kyah is relieved to be out of the ballet world. Unfortunately, Kyah’s experience of the ballet world has been nothing but tough love, bullying, nastiness and pure meanness. I wonder where Kyah would be now if we did not attend certain dance schools and if she did not have certain dance teachers. I know her experience has turned her off dance, but would she have outgrown it anyway?

Kyah did not attend schoolies. It was not officially on in 2020 anyway due to COVID. There were a number of parties and groups she could have gone away with but she chose not to expose herself to the shenanigans that we envision happen on schoolies. The huge blessing was that she had her Pilates course on at the same time, so it was an easy decision for her. She heard some stories of what happened and she was very glad she did not go.

Christmas was lovely for us this year. It was very quiet. We went to church, and then spent the day together chatting, watching movies, opening presents. We were invited to go to people’s places but we chose to stay at home. We just relaxed and had a lovely quiet time. It was very different for us this Christmas compared to last Christmas: We were supposed to spend the day with my dad and Genny (his wife) in Sydney. However, we spent the morning filing a missing person’s report trying to locate them!  My sisters had my dad and refused to tell me that!  And, Genny was in hospital, and again, they refused to tell me. What a day that was. I cannot say my sisters have changed  for the better in any way, if anything, it would be that their behaviour has become worse. It is really sad to see how much hatred someone can have for no apparent reason and the subsequent behaviour and lies that result from it. Kyah and I are fairly used to dealing with the unwanted behaviour so we have chosen to distance them from us. This tends to keep us safe and sane.

On a more positive note, we are now counting down the days until we move into our new house. 49 days from now is when we get the keys. We are very much looking forward to it. We have been packing, culling, painting / restoring furniture, cleaning.  We are planning what furniture will go in what room, what we need to purchase for the new house. It is all very exciting. We need a new washing machine. We will probably buy a new fridge – the one we have is almost 15 years old. I replaced the fan in the motor about two years ago and it works perfectly, but we are not sure if it will fit in the cavity. We need a new lounge suite to suit the new house, so we will be selling our leather lounge setting. I need to buy compressed rubber mats for the entire gym floor. The room that will be set up for the gym has brand new tiles on it, so to save the tiles and to make the floor user friendly for the gym, I will need them.

Here is one piece of furniture we have restored. It was a dull timber colour. The photo does not really do it justice, but the finished product looks amazing.

     

 

We have come up with a bit of a plan as to the timing of everything as well. Settlement for me selling my house and buying the new one happens on the same day, and then we have 12 days until the lease runs out in the house we are currently in. That’s plenty of time to set up flooring, paint rooms that need painting, move, and then clean the rental we are in. It will be a busy few weeks, but I am sure we will manage.

Here’s another piece of furniture we have restored. This wall unit looks amazing now. We are really pleased with the results we have had.

   

One really exciting thing about us moving is that we will get the dogs back living with us. We have not been able to have the two poodles Oliver and Truffles, live with us while we have been in this rental, because the yard is not dog safe. So they have been living with Kyah’s dad. I am sure the dogs, Kyah and Kevin (Kyah’s dad) will all be happy when the dogs come to live with us. It will be good for me because it will force me to take them for a walk every day. I love walking, but because I don’t have to do it, I generally find other things to do.

We were blessed to be able to spend two full nights and three full days at the Emporium Hotel, Southbank at the beginning of January. Our dear friend Anne shouted us this gift for Christmas and surviving the events of 2020. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Had lots of rest, very long spa baths, showers, room service, watched lots of television, walked along Southbank, had a few cocktails, Kyah had mocktails, we utilised the “pillow menu”.  Here are a few shots of our experience.

A cocktail and a mocktail overlooking Brisbane City, just as the sun was setting.

A cocktail with room service dinner.

The beginning of breakfast

 

Breakfast

Breakfast

The pool. Level 21, overlooking Brisbane City.

Another cocktail and mocktail as the sun is setting.

An uninterrupted view of Brisbane city at night.

We had such a lovely time – just relaxing and enjoying the facilities. Thank you so much Anne for the wonderful gift. Next time you will have to come with us, so you can enjoy it too.

We have just completed day two of a three day lockdown in Brisbane. It has not been a problem for us because we have a gym at home, we have been busy prepping to move and it is only three days. If the lockdown goes for three months I can imagine it would get very tough. But thankfully, the number of cases does not seem to be increasing, so we eagerly await news tomorrow to hear that the lockdown has been lifted.

2 Cor 10:17-18 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

 

Graduation is Done

Well the last few weeks have been very busy for us. I mean, when are they not? But we have had lots of different things on and some of them have been quite exciting.

We have been down to see my dad at tweed a few times. He is always very unpredictable with how he presents when we see him. One day he is totally off in his own little world and other days he can be quite engaging with us. We have both learned not to be upset by how he presents, but just to be settled in ourselves that he is comfortable, not stressed and soon enough he will be going home – something he has been looking forward to for many, many years.

Kelvin Grove State College had their graduation ceremony for the year 12 students on November 18. Each student was able to take 2 people. Kyah was fortunate enough that borders to NSW were open to those that were not living or had visited a hot spot. So her dad was able to attend with me. The function was very COVID compliant. The two people that came for each student had to stay and sit together. There was no walking around, no talking to others allowed, no socialising with others allowed. All the students; 17, 18 and 19 years of age, were all sitting in very close proximity to each other. I know the experts say “children” are not good transmitters of the COVID virus, but at what age are people defined as adults??? There was two seats close together, then the next lots of two seats was a 1.5m square away.  It was simply bizarre. The most confusing thing about all this was that, we all had to comply with these very explicit rules in order to allow to have the function conducted. But that very same evening 50,000 people were allowed to attend a State of Origin game, where no one practiced physical distancing. The rules seem to be very confusing.

Anyway, Kyah has now graduated from high school. She has had a very unusual schooling. She started school in 2008. Her first year she was in a composite class Kindy and year 1. She continued in composite classes up until she was in year 3, when  we left NSW and moved to QLD.  She was supposed to move into grade 4, but the QLD schooling system insisted because of her age, she needed to be in grade 5. She was one of the oldest in her year in NSW, but she then became one of the youngest in her year. So she missed grade 4.

Kyah’s grade 7 was the first year in QLD to attend high school. In the past it had been that year 7 was the final year of primary school. In grade 7 Kyah was in the Japanese Immersion program at Robina high school. It was so full on. By semester 2 the students (a select handful) were learning math, science and business studies in Japanese! The teacher spoke Japanese, all writing was in Japanese,  the text books were in Japanese, the exams were in Japanese. Kyah and the other students  didn’t even really know Japanese at this stage. She was also doing 30 plus hours of dance each week. By term 1 of grade 8 it was pretty tough. The final straw was when the science teacher expected the students to learn and know the periodic table off by heart in Japanese!! We decided to pull her out of mainstream education. Kyah then did home education with me as her teacher. That was stressful and very busy.

Grade 9, Kyah did distance education. She was dancing almost full time and doing school via distance ed really worked for us. It taught Kyah to be responsible and she learned time management, and the need for prioritising.

Grade 10, 11 and 12, she did at Kelvin Grove State College. But grade 10 she would attend school until 1.30pm, then dance with the Queensland Ballet Academy until 5pm. Grade 11 and 12 she danced from 7.30am till 1.30pm then did school till 5pm. Her subjects were not mainstream, so she did not have to attend school like other kids. She completed a Certificate IV in Dance, outside of school. She completed a Diploma of Business as part of her school workload. She completed a Certificate in Anatomy outside of school.

Her grade 12 is the first grade to go through with the ATAR system. Then needless to say her grade 12 is the first year to have to deal with the pandemic that we know of as COVID-19. A lot of online lessons, minimal socialising, no excursions, very restricted formal functions, graduation was restricted and no formal schoolies.

Despite all these things, she has graduated very successfully. She is currently doing the practical portion of her Pilates Instructor course. We anticipate she will do very well with her results from her one exam. And she will more than satisfy the criteria for graduating, i.e. you need 20 points to graduate. Kyah will graduate with 25 or 26 points. And she did it all in 12 years, not 13. All the kids she started school with still have another year of school to go.

A beautiful gift for Kyah from Anne for graduating. They smelled and looked wonderful.

Her final last day was November 20. Apparently there was a “compulsory” BBQ breakfast the students had to attend. So she did. There was nothing of note that happened, so we are still wondering why it was compulsory.

We had some friends come over for dinner and celebrate Kyah’s completion of school. Kyah did lots of things with her dad while he was up here. It was nice that I could leave them to do what they needed / wanted to do. They used Kyah’s car and spent some good time together. Kyah took him to his first and second Pilates class ever. At least now he will know what she is doing when she says she is working.

We have been looking for a house to purchase in Brisbane. Both Kyah and I have decided that Brisbane is a lovely place to live. She has been fortunate enough to have received a half sponsorship for her Pilates course. So we agree she should commit to working for Liz for at least 18-24 months. So Kyah is in Brisbane for at least that time. I plan on staying for longer than that. My business is picking up and doing really well. I do not want to move again and have to start all over again.

So we’ve been looking at houses to purchase most weekends. I have very specific requirements so even though the description of a house sounds great, it may not be anything near what I need. We’ve been seriously looking  for at least 12 months and half heartedly looking for another 8 or so months. Nothing that fit my specific requirements ever came up. Anyway, last weekend we found the perfect house. It has been renovated and the layout is ideal for my needs with my business. Ceiling height is perfect, location is perfect, size is perfect. So now we are in the process of selling our house on the Gold Coast and buying this house in Brisbane. Don’t believe  anyone if they tell you it is a buyer’s market. It really isn’t. It is a seller’s market at the moment. Houses are being listed and within one to two days they are going under contract for a lot more than the asking price. This is Brisbane in particular.

So are really looking forward to being in our own home again. We have spent a great deal of time restoring furniture and staining it or painting it so it is fresh and “new” when we move. Here is an example of what we have been doing.

This was a table we’ve had for a while. Never like the shape but never had time to do anything about it…

Changed the shape and sanded it back.

Finished product.

The coffee table matches another table I’ve done. I am also going to do a small book case the same colours. Just so they all match. Kyah is also very keen and helpful with making sure all items of furniture are suitable for the new house. She has a flare for interior decorating.

We spent a whole day a couple of weekends ago making Christmas cushion covers. We purchased Christmas fabric and decided what fabrics went well together. Then we used the sewing machine and overlocker and  made five cushion covers each. The idea is that as the Christmas season comes closer to just put the covers on our normal cushions, simply to make the room more festive. Here’s a photo of them.

All the cushion covers. Some do not have cushions in them here.

      

    

Here is a few of them up close.

So another 6 days and Kyah will be fully qualified to work as a Reformer Pilates Instructor. She is hoping to work lots and lots. She’s never had the ability to work because dance has always taken up too much time, it has also been unpredictable in that rehearsals for performances would be scheduled with very little notice to prepare or change plans. I think Kyah is really looking forward to being in an environment where the people are friendly, helpful, positive and she knows what is required of her and when. We found the unpredictability from year to year with the ballet was very unsettling.  We are both very happy to be out of that.

Phil 3: 13-14 1Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

 

A New Beginning

Wow! Time seems to be moving so quickly. It is almost half way through November. So much has happened since the last post. Where to start ….

Kyah is so very happy now. She does not miss the ballet world at all. So many people are still commenting on how happy, relaxed, at peace and confident she now appears. She definitely made the right decision to leave.

It is very sad that certain people have caused such angst and turmoil in her life that they can completely turn Kyah off her dream. There have been a few negative comments (even after she’s left ballet), being made by both peers and teachers, regarding Kyah. It seems that these people are still jealous of her. Hopefully one day they will grow up, stop the appalling behaviour toward her, stop the negative treatment, the nasty rumours and lies they have been spreading and realise that bullying is not acceptable.

One teacher said that challenges are what makes someone stronger and more determined, to achieve. Yes, I totally agree, so does Kyah. But when there is abuse of all levels, humiliation, constant denigration and bullying, from an adult towards a child, that child is going to start to tire out. A hurdle race with the hurdles placed closely together is a short  race. It is not a marathon. Even the steeple chase allows the athlete time to recover to prepare for the next hurdle. Kyah was subjected to teachers and peers abusing her for a number of years without any respite from the torment.  It was inevitable she would tire. It is tragic and criminal that these teachers are able to inflict their insecurities and old-fashioned beliefs of teaching onto students they are supposed to be caring for, nurturing and developing into world-class ballerinas. I know it is not just the ballet world that this happens in. It is time people stood up as a united force and spoke up to stop the abuse of children and to stop these teachers having abusive control over others. I do believe that one day this will happen.

On a positive note: Kyah has completed studying the theory portion of her Pilates Instructor Course. She has her practical portion November / December and then she is a fully qualified Pilates Reformer Instructor. I am going to be her test dummy, on the last practical day. I am looking forward to doing six pilates classes in four hours! It should be great fun. Kyah is hoping to get lots of work once she has achieved her qualifications. When she is settled with her work schedule, she plans to do further study – Pilates Matwork and then work in that area as well.

She has definitely moved onwards and upwards quite quickly since leaving the ballet world. It is kind of a blessing (if you can call abuse a blessing) in disguise. There is no job security in the dance world. You get a contract for a 12 month period and generally you don’t get told if your contract will be renewed until close to the end of the year. Not much time to find another dance company to work for. Living like this would definitely hinder Kyah being able to settle anywhere, get a mortgage, have any job security. These factors in themselves are a great reason for Kyah to leave the dance world. As I said before: onwards and upwards for Kyah.

We have been to see my Dad a couple of times. He is in a nursing home now; has been since the beginning of this year. It has been very traumatic for us. For some reason, my family decided to cut me out of knowing what was going on with Dad. I ended up having to file a missing person’s report to find out where Dad was! My family knew but refused to tell me! Yes, it is true. You cannot choose your family. Anyway, as difficult as it is now, both Kyah and I see Dad as often as we can. COVID-19 obviously put a big hold on us visiting him. Now NSW/QLD borders are open we are able to see Dad a lot more. It is amazing, and very sad, how fast he has declined since being in a nursing home. All we can do is continue to pray for him; that he is not in pain, and that he is safe and comfortable.

We’ve been busy looking for a house to buy. So many different options – buy a suitable house and move in as is, buy a house and renovate it, so it is suitable, buy a block of land and build a suitable  house. At this stage the housing market seems to be in favour of the seller. Houses are coming on the market and being sold within days. So we need to be on top of anything new that comes on the market. We also have a few suburbs that we are looking at, so that also limits our options a bit. The right place will come up at the right time; we just need to be ready to go.

We’ve had a few social activities on; ferry rides with friends, brunches, dinners, lunches, shopping days, birthdays, and candle parties. Catching up with friends on all occasions which has been really nice. COVID-19 has really affected everyone in some way or other. We are both really noticing how much we don’t go out now.

Our friend Ruth makes beautiful candles; soy wax and cotton wick. Scent of your choice, colour of your choice. Refills available for your candle holders. We had a birthday party for a friend and then straight after we had Ruth show her candles to those that were there. Everyone loved them and bought heaps for themselves and Christmas presents. It was a great success for Ruth, and both Kyah and I are so pleased for her. Here is Ruth’s website if you are interested in purchasing custom candles that are not only beautiful, they are also non-toxic. https://www.avellecustomcandles.com/

In preparation for us moving house, we have been restoring some of our furniture. Most of the furniture doesn’t need to be restored, but I think it will be nice to have it all similar colours, rather than different timber colours. So the pieces are getting a stain and varnish to pick them up and make them all close to one of two colours. Here’s a couple of pieces we have done so far. Obviously there’s a darker stain and a lighter stain. The plan is to have furniture pieces of the similar colours together in the new house. It’s a project in process. There’s a few more pieces to do yet. So add this to the list of things to do in order to be ready to move – there’s lots to do.

Before

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After

Kyah has finished school. Her one and only exam was last Monday October 26. She had to sit English for year 12. She had no other exams for school. So although she has finished her school  work, she still has to attend school until her graduation which is November 18. I am amazed school is still having classes once block exams are complete. Anyway, the school is allowing two people per student to the  graduation ceremony, so Kyah’s dad and I are going. He is flying up next weekend and spending a few days with Kyah. She is very much looking forward to seeing him. She has not seen him for a few months due to the border closures.

The afternoon of Kyah’s English exam. No more school. Stepping into a new phase of life.

Kyah loves organising and arranging things. She’s had a couple of friends get her to rearrange and tidy their bookcases. She’s had heaps of fun doing it and seeing the before and after results. I hope she gets more of those jobs – keeps her busy, gives her a sense of achievement, and she loves doing it. Time will tell.

So now the wind up to the end of the year. I imagine most people are looking forward to the end of 2020 and hopeful that 2021 is a much more positive year. We are both looking forward to Christmas. By then Kyah will be working, and I am planning on having a bit of a break. It’s been a big year.

Isa40:31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)