IN THE WAKE OF THE STORM

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Last week we were hit with a severe storm that saw major damage to people’s property through trees toppling over, water damage from driving rain and king tides and high winds literally tossing boats up onto the shore. Thousands of homes and businesses lost power as trees were uprooted and infrastructure was devastated.

We were in the lucky few that didn’t lose power, however the kid’s school was closed for two days. My kids were in seventh heaven! I guess it is akin to those in the northern hemisphere getting a ‘snow day’, although even more rare, because in my living history I don’t ever recall schools closing because of a storm.

Our home became a revolving door for people (those who weren’t trapped in their homes because of fallen trees) to shower, recharge electronics, refrigerate food and do washing. We averaged 16 for dinner each night and had multiple people bunking down to sleep. Whilst it was an anxious time with everyone on high alert as to what damage might next occur, my kids were largely oblivious to the carnage mother nature had caused and instead saw it as a mini-holiday with a house-full of guests.

Other people told me how it had brought them together as a family as they had to interact without electronics and play old-fashioned board games by candlelight due to the lack of power.

The local SES (State Emergency Service) workers and those working for the local power company worked tirelessly to clear fallen trees and reconnect power and services.

It was nice to see that when times were tough, our community pulled together to assist one another.

From my kid’s perspective however, they would have preferred if the school’s power could have been left disconnected for an extra few days!

(Photo courtesy of George Stojkovic, freedigitalphotos.net)

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Pen Friend

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My daughter has just received her first hand written letter from a pen friend in England. This arrangement came about through a friend of a friend and both the girls on opposite sides of the world are excited at the opportunity to form a bond with each other.

The letter my daughter received was like a piece of artwork. It was beautifully laid out and the girl’s handwriting is so neat and orderly. I must admit, I think my daughter was a bit intimidated by how gorgeous the letter was, as my daughter doesn’t have the neatest handwriting as she has always been too focused on the content than the style of her writing. Also, she relies heavily on typing as she uses computers for all her assignments at school.

In an age where handwriting is becoming a bit of a lost art, I’m thrilled that my daughter will get the opportunity to express herself through writing, rather than through electronic media. Not only does a formal letter require proper handwriting, the language is also more formal – there won’t be any acronyms like IDK, BBS or LOL, nor any emoticons with winking eyes and tongues sticking out!

The lovely thing about the letter my daughter received is that the two girls seem well suited with their intelligence and interests. I’m looking forward to my daughter learning more about this girl’s life and how it contrasts to her life. Her pen friend is an only child, whilst my daughter has three siblings. The other girl lives in a quaint cottage in a village with only two roads whilst we live in a large two storey house on a busy road in a suburb just outside of a large metropolitan city. I’m sure their correspondence will be an educational experience for them both.

I just hope they continue to write and that these letters build the basis of a lifelong friendship. Wouldn’t it be lovely if one day they arrange to meet up either in Europe or in Australia to cement their friendship!

(Picture courtesy of ddpavumba, freedigitalphotos.net)

I’ve finally done it!

I’m so excited to announce that after years of blogging, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and have published my first book on Amazon Kindle.

Music Score is a novel aimed at teens/young adults.

Raised by musician parents, Barb always had a love of creating, playing and listening to music.

Barb is outraged when she discovers her dad is responsible for creating music with subliminal tracks used by the government as propaganda to brainwash an unsuspecting public. She covertly changes the hidden tracks only to find that within a few weeks there is social unrest, with anti-government protests and rioting. Realizing she is responsible, Barb and her dad record a song with a subliminal track to calm the demonstrators. Performing this song live in the combat zone, Barb not only calms the rioters but becomes an overnight sensation in the media.

Before she knows it, Barb is a celebrity with a recording contract and starts a new romance with Jake, who stars in her music video.

It all seems too good to be true and maybe it is!

Just as Barb is preparing to fly overseas on a promotional tour, she discovers her dad has laid down subliminal tracks in her music to make people like her. Wanting to achieve success on her own merits, Barb gets her dad to edit the songs to remove the hidden track. Will her success and new found love wither without the subliminal messages or do her fans and Jake really like her for who she is?

If you are interested in reading my book or have a teen who would enjoy it, simply click this link to go to the Amazon Store to download:

Music Score

While you’re at it, you might like to check out my new website http://www.joannenicholsonauthor.com

UNNECESSARY PAIN AND SUFFERING

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There are times as a parent when you know you will sacrifice your own happiness and be subjected to pain for the good of your child: pregnancy; childbirth; mastering breastfeeding; controlled crying etc, but today I unwittingly subjected myself to unbearable pain and suffering – I took my son and his friend to see the new Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

Don’t get me wrong – I love kid’s movies. The best ones appeal to adults on a whole different level than kids; they are clever, funny and cute. This movie was mind-numbing nonsense that left me thinking that the writers must have been seriously tripping on drugs when they came up with the weird (but not wonderful) scenarios in this films. As if a time-travelling master dolphin that shoots lasers out of his blowhole isn’t ridiculous enough, the pun-filled script leaves you thinking that hitting your thumb repeatedly with a hammer would be preferable than having to sit through the entirety of the film. There is a scene where ‘Plankton’ is subjected to the cruel torture of listening to Spongebob laughing – even the writers acknowledge listening to Spongebob is torturous! I can only think that someone has some serious dirt on Antonio Banderas to blackmail him into agreeing to appear in this film.

I know that I sound like a wet blanket and that someone should call the fun-police to arrest me, but another mother I was talking to at the end of the movie was equally as scathing in her assessment of the movie. That is 93 minutes of our lives that we will never get back!

Even my son was saying he didn’t really even understand the movie, which is no reflection on him. Unless you’re a tripping, cartoon-loving weirdo, I don’t think you would understand the film or the reason any movie producer would fund such rot.

Please heed my warning and save yourself the pain and suffering and go to see any other movie, because I guarantee, regardless of how bad a film it may be, there is no way it could be worse than ‘Spongebob Squarepants – sponge out of water!’

What kid’s movies have you loved or loathed?

EASTER MIRACLES

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This year I witnessed several Easter miracles. The first happened when for the first time in history not even one of my kids woke in darkness to scope out the living room for hidden eggs.

The second miracle was that when my youngest woke first he (to my complete and utter surprise) patiently waited over an hour before asking if he could wake his sleeping sisters so they could do the Easter egg hunt.

The final miracle was that when doing the egg hunt, they all calmly collected eggs and then once they were sure they had found them all, decided of their own volition to pool the eggs before dividing them equally amongst themselves to ensure everyone got the same amount of eggs.

I was less surprised by the instant consumption of the chocolate eggs before breakfast – but as my kid’s seem to have inherited my chocoholic genes, I understand that they revel in the fact that there is one day a year where chocolate is the staple food supply for the day!

I hope you all had an enjoyable, choc-filled Easter with quality time spent with family and friends.

(Image courtesy of debspoons, freedigitalphotos.net)