Rocks, Echinacea and Disease

mobileThe thing I hate the most about the youngest generation of adults has just been proven to me this last fortnight. They have a disease!

It’s called isolation disease.

It seems that teenagers are suffering from the inability to have manners, language and communication skills, as well as not being able to physically work.

Should we blame it on technology?

I was unfortunate to host a 19 year old Japanese University student. This is the first time I have been thankful one of visitors didn’t stay. He had no curiousity about the life in Australia, grunted his replies to me , seemed to have no ambition, didn’t smile or laugh, and didn’t say ‘thank you’ more than he could help it, even when he left. He stayed in his room only to come out and eat, then returned. Didn’t get out of bed until around 10 a.m. – then was probably amazed that I lost the plot with him on occasion and got rather cranky.

If you intend to travel – use the experience to rock your world, open yourself up to new life styles, food and friendships. Be prepared to get involved with your new country, otherwise why would you bother to visit? Get to know the customs of the country you visit, so you don’t offend your hosts. Enjoy the sights, take photos so you can have tangible memories in later life and absorb as much as you can of the differences you see.

Now – don’t get me wrong – not everyone has this problem. Many of our young adults are generous, outspoken and knowledgeable. A pleasure to have around.

But for the few that can’t live without staring at a screen – what is the cure? No penicillin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics,  surgery or herbal medicines like echinacea or rescue remedy will fix the problem.

Do you have any suggestions?

What about those of you who have grown up with the technology? Am I just being an old-fashioned worry-wart and nag? Or is this a common problem for all?

Is it time that we put a halt to the amount of time youngsters look at their screens, whether it be smart-phones, computers, ipads or similar – or is this just a new world I should get used to?

With Kindness

Maureen

PS – next chapter of ‘In search of the Elusive Panda’ is up on my second page. Also note my catalogue of books. All prices are in $AU. Just message me and we can get one sent to you.panda2

( readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book )

Rivers, Essentials and Detergent.

Warning – I’m on my soapbox! (Note the recipe at the end!)

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One of the hot topics at present is the way the human race is polluting the planet. In Australia we have a program called ‘War on Waste’ which is, hopefully, waking up an apathetic population. ( http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/war-on-waste )

Waste not only destroys our immediate surrounds, but affects so much more. The consumer mentality means we buy, buy, buy – and often for no more than to meet a greed not a need. The more we buy, not only is there more waste, but great swathes of land are cleared to make way for more product – whether it is a fad – like palm oil or some latest gadget – or a luxury, like toys that are bigger and better than the next door neighbours. This includes TVs, cars and jewelry, as well as children’s toys that are played with once until boredom sets in and we have to buy more, more, more. And yet in the poorer countries, even the essentials are hard to come by.

Have you ever watched a child play with a cardboard box, a wooden spoon and a great imagination? Basics can be better than all the luxuries in the world.garbage

I’m not asking that people go without, but to be more mindful of what they own, want and buy.

When plastics are finally outlawed, we will hopefully go back to more sustainable ways of wrapping food and products.

A lot of the rubbish ends up in pristine waterways (affecting the wildlife), rivers (affecting the eco-system) and oceans (affecting the fish and sea creatures.) I’m wondering if we will ever learn.

The destruction of the planet means the ultimate destruction of ourselves.

Let’s go back to having only the essentials – a home with fresh food in the cupboards, a couple of art works for aesthetics, and a few books for education. Clothes that are made by the industry of our own hands and tools that are used over and over, not thrown away after one use.

The problem with all that, is it is too much work for most people – much easier to go to the shop and buy goods that are laced with chemicals to give them more shelf life, or electronic games to keep ourselves amused.

Growing your own food seems to have lost its popularity, preserving the harvest is tied up with too much legislation, and making your own clothes is now frowned upon as unfashionable.

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Some of my gardening guides (for a temperate zone) that can give you the knowledge to start a garden.

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We need to go back to basics. Do you agree?

Here is a simple and more healthy way of making a detergent to wash your clothes – it is cheap and easy to make, and gentle on your clothes and the environment.

clothesHOME MADE Washing Detergent.

Water, 1 grated cake of pure soap ( in Australia we have Sunlight brand) 1 cup of powdered washing soda, some eucalyptus oil or similar (for fragrance).

In a special large saucepan used only for this job, place 2 litres of water. Add the grated soap, and heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Add the cup of washing soda, stirring to dissolve. Be careful – it bubbles up.

Now tip this into a 20 litre container. Add hot water to half way, then about 5 litres of cold water to make approximately 15 or more litres of detergent. Stir in your fragrance oil. Allow to cool. Use two scoops per wash.

It will separate out into a solid sludge and water, but it is all useful. In your scoop make sure there is some solid soap as well as the water. This costs me about $2 per bucketful, and lasts about 3 months.

I love the challenge of making products to eat, use or wear, as well as budgeting – getting more for the few dollars I have, as I am on a pension. I find I can still have a good qualiity of life, and I eat healthy food. The other benefit? Because I’m always busy, I am never bored and I stay fit.

What more could you really want?

With Kindness

Maureen

P.S.  Don’t forget to have a wander through the second ( readeatdream.net/sweetfields-products-and-mykelcee-designs )  and third pages ( readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book )to learn more about me and mine.panda2

FLOW

Repeat, Experience and Decision

Well, I’ve done it! I have booked my ticket to Cambodia.

I was there 2 years ago – teaching English in a small village called Anlong Samnar. Then I would travel up to Siem Reap once a week in order to teach a handful of high school students from the village that were now in the ‘big city’. I was taken to the famous Angkor Wat, had a picnic in the huts beside the moats and drank pure sugar cane juice in the shadow of the temples – fantastic.Angkor

I really enjoyed the experience, and promised the students I would come back in two years and catch up with the friendships I had made. I am so looking forward to seeing them all again.

So the decision has been made – I am going to repeat the experience.

I have to admit, the travel leg is still daunting – doing it by myself, as age creeps up on me, is no small feat. I have to take my courage in hand and just DO IT!

When I went last time, I was having trouble with my eyesight, and the ticket included the request for special treatment. The airlines that I traveled on were fabulous, and I was looked after with kid gloves. Now my sight has continued to deteriorate, so I will be asking for help once more. This time, I know I will be looked after.

So … if you have a problem with a disability, or a fear that feels insurmountable, push through those fears and go and have an adventure – it is well worth it.

Life is short – the number of people I have loved, or known, or been in awe of, have left us. Death has no favourites – it can happen at any time. Be brave – live your life while you have the ability to really enjoy it.

I haven’t wasted the two years between. I have written and had published one adult drama novel (my pen-name is Marguerite Wellbourne OrdealbyIa) as well as 5 children’s picture books Bookcover2(‘Frank Frog Feels Foolish’, ‘Giddy the Galah’, Iggy Ibis is Important’, ‘John Jabiru and the Jolly Jam tin’ and ‘Kathy Koala’s Kerfuffle’ – all in the ‘Alphabet Animals of Australia’ series) – with two more already in the pipeline. A middle school age-group chapter book ‘In Search of the Elusive Panda’ has also been published. img312(See my second page  – readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book ) for the serialization of this book – now up to chapter 11. Still more are being written.

I always try and give my readers a little something to try – either a recipe or a craft idea. Today, because of the awful drought the farmers are experiencing in the outback of N.S.W. Australia – here’s a little something you can knit and send to me to help the lambs whose mother’s have died. Lamb jumpera

If you can knit a few – let me know, and I can pm you my address so you can send them to me.

With Kindness

Maureen

Don’t forget to check out my second page for free reading ( readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book ) and my third page ( readeatdream.net/sweetfields-products-and-mykelcee-designs  ) for original art work to buy. If you can’t afford the originals, Mykey is offering a limited edition run of framed prints at $35AU (plus postage).

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Sparkle 40cmx40cm

Ravel, Elgar and Debussy

This blog is really different to my previous articles. I felt like giving you an insight into a different me.mus

As a music teacher, I love all types of music. My first love is ‘classical’ music – from Mozart to Debussy, from Bach to Ravel, and from Beethoven to Elgar. More modern music in the ‘classical’ vein has not struck me as very listenable – if that is a word.

Even though I teach music and love classical music, pop music, country and even heavy metal has a place in my life.

The Beatles were my teenage idols as far as the pop world was concerned, and the Rolling Stones as well. I could mention ‘The Beach Boys’, Dusty Springfield, Jackson Five, The Osmonds and more. Where has the time gone?

Who were your favourites?

By the time my son was born we were Abba fans. I was determined, as a young mother, to keep up with the times – but rap music, dub and all the other recent music has passed me by. Now I’m a grandmother, and feeling distinctly aged – an ‘old fogey’ if you will.

Now I understand the differences between the generations, and, as progress has bolted ahead at a wondrous speed, I wonder what my grandchildren will discover in their world.

I dream of better things for them, but often despair at the world and the hatred that is broadcast in the media. I know people in general are so much better than that – but the media keeps us in a state of fear with all the doom and gloom they report.

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I try to live by a simple code – smile, be happy and try to do a kind act for someone each day. I also try to leave my little bit of the Earth, where I live, in a better condition than it was when I arrived. If we all tried to do that, the Earth would be a wonderful place, I’m sure.

With Kindness

Maureen

panda2P.S. Chapter 3 of my children’s chapter book – ‘In Search of the Elusive Panda’ – is posted on my second page.

( readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book )

 

Also, feel free to have a look at page 3 as well. Mykel would be thrilled if you would leave a comment about his art – or even buy it, of course.

( readeatdream.net/sweetfields-products-and-mykelcee-designs )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Umber, Emerald Green and Dark Blue.

Hi Everyone. hope you had a great Easter break. I know I did. I enjoyed a visit to my daughter’s family in Ballina, N.S.W. Australia. It’s always lovely to see the grandchildren – they are growing up so quickly. This time, I was privileged to have my grand-daughter pick me up and then drive me to the bus when I left. She is still on her ‘L’s and was accompanied by a nervous father!L

The title of my blog post this week consists of artist’s paint colours and gives me the opportunity to introduce Mykel – an artist of rare talent.

Being an author myself, I recognize the difficulties of making a living from our craft. paintArtists, artisans and authors have a lot in common. People tend to consider our work as n This is in fact far from the truth, as not only do we put in a great many hours (in isolation), but we also add in part of our souls.

While I’m talking introductions, let me also mention Marguerite Wellbourne. She is my alter ego. Where Maureen writes children’s books and other types of books, Marguerite writes steamy novels not suitable for kids!

There is also Elizabeth Kempers and her blog ‘ http://www.lizseverest.com ‘ that writes about emotions and healing suggestions, about wholesome living and growing as individuals. You’re welcome to go and have a look.

Over the next few weeks, I will be organizing a ‘shop’ on my next page of this blog. At present it has a free children’s book  (soft cover – not ebook) that I will send if you email me your particulars. Until I have a ‘shopping cart’ available, if there are any items (including the wonderful original painting shown below) you would like to buy or know more about, please don’t hesitate to email me on maureenlarter@gmail.com and I will answer as soon as possible. Payment can be made through Paypal or direct payment to my bank account – the details will be available when I receive an email from you.

As well as my books, there will be ‘Sweetfield’ and ‘Mykelcee Designs‘ products for sale. Mykel’s original paintings will gradually come on line, and an online exhibition is on the way, too.

Please let me know what you think when I finally get something together.

Here is the first of Mykel’s original paintings.

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‘Jellybrain’ $700

ARTIST – Mykel

Sometimes it is amazing to see other peoples art and this Australian artist is one very talented man! His art can go from realistic to abstract, colourful to optical and hypnotizing.

Just imagine this painting in your lounge room – colours swirling and fracturing around you. Or perhaps in an optometrist’s office, exciting the eye and disturbing the brain.

All the art work of this artist is thought provoking and vibrant.

I love it – and there will be more examples to show soon.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the art work now and in the future – please contact me at maureenlarter@gmail.com

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‘Tarnished Gems’ by Marguerite Wellbourne is a story of 6 women and their interaction after an accident. (Some sex scenes) $20 plus postage.

Maureen Larter writes children’s books – as well as picture books for children. This is a children’s chapter book in a series of three, about fairies and elves: http://amzn.com/B00BLVP0KM

My fan page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eBooksByMaureenLarter
My author page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ISCNZ4U

Reminders, Emails and Doilies.

I really must go through my emails and clean out all the junk mail.garbage

Do you do that? How often have you thought that a particular site looked interesting, only to end up getting content that no longer interests you?

I have loved some blogs, but they are all in the northern hemisphere, and the reminders to plant seedlings, cook lovely warming stews and patterns for thick sweaters that come in your winter while I am sweltering in our summer here in Australia, can be somewhat of a  nuisance. When I want those articles, then winter is with us here, and you are all enjoying the lazy days of summer. Grrrr!!!!

In fact, how often do you read all your emails? Do you get annoyed as well?

What about the people who sell products – from expensive courses on how to make money (that’s a clever little idea if ever there was one!) to people selling every thing imaginable – from doilies to dogs, flowers to fairy gardens, toys to  tanning lotion and more. ‘I find ‘how to do’ articles often helpful. What about you?

But there remains a conundrum. How do you let people know what you have to sell? Can you let me know the secret? In order to let people know what I do, I’m advised to get an extensive email list! I can’t figure out how to win.

So this is my product -: the books I have written. And this is only a sample!

AlphacoversKathykoalafrontcoverBroken_wing_Coveramazon

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREHaha – did you know I was leading to this?

I love writing! I continue to churn out books, whether they be picture books for children, chapter books for middle school kids, garden guides for my semi-tropical area or adult novels (under a pen-name so the children don’t decide to read it!).

I write because I want to keep my brain active.

I write because I love to educate.

I write because I just love it, and I love the challenge of publishing my own work. If it sells – Yay! But if it doesn’t, that’s not a problem either.

Giving away books is a trap I don’t want to fall into – that only demeans me and all the work I do writing, designing and publishing my books. If you want to read a great article on that very topic, I suggest going to Paul Whites blog :- https://wp.me/p5nj7r-1fn

As a reader, though, I love the idea of getting free books – but surely that is what libraries are for? In my opinion, anlibrary-book-shelfy-one offering free books should first buy the book. But, it doesn’t seem to work that way. We, as authors, always dream of making a living from our writing, but it doesn’t happen often. Giving away books will not help in that regard. Even though others don’t realize it, authors  (as well as artists, and any creative person) put in a lot of work, sweat and their heart to create a book. To pay yourself for the time and effort is just not possible.I guess we have to be in the right place at the right time – more luck than management!

Anyway, while you are sitting at your computer, conjuring up the next ‘Harry Potter’ type franchise, divert yourself with a nice healthy snack. No – I’m not talking lettuce sandwiches on cucumber slices but these delicious little bites of bliss!

(with thanks to Coles Free magazine, January 2018) – these are mouth-watering!)img225a

And while you sit and dream of greatness, remember – the joy of writing has its own rewards – and tomorrow maybe the day you are ‘discovered’!

With kindness.

P.S. Even frogs dream!

‘Frank Frog Feels Foolish’ is one of the picture books for children in my ‘Alphabet Animals of Australia’ series. Feel free to email me ( maureenlarter@gmail.com ) for your copy.

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Remedies, Eight and Dolls

meprofileSummer in Australia – beach days and hot sun. Also sunburn, mosquito bites and dehydration.

The first can be avoided by wearing long sleeves and smearing ourselves with sunscreen – there’s plenty on the market, but be warned – not all of them are good for your skin nor are overly efficient. However – you’ve done the wrong thing and come home with red painful skin. What do you do?

The first thing is to cool down. Stand under a cool shower to take the burn out of it. Is there anything you can put on your skin to help healing, and hopefully to stop blistering?

Growing Aloe Vera in your garden is a really good idea.Aloe-Vera If you are burnt, either by the sun or any other type accident, you can cut a leaf and pop it into the fridge. When it is cold, squeeze out the gel and apply it to your skin. aloe_vera_gelCooling and healing in one easy application. A lovely remedy right at your back door! It will also soothe the sting of a wasp or bee as well as being a great face mask to smooth and feed your skin. Wow! Several remedies in one plant!

One of the things that I do, (if you’ve read any of my other posts you will already know this), is write children’s books. When I was a youngster, I only had a few toys, a couple of dolls, a blackboard to draw on, and lots of books. I always preferred my books. That’s why I write now.

I try to help parents who read these books to their children, by giving them some insights to help and guide their little ones.

For example – ‘Angus Ant and the Acrobats’ talks about friendships and exercise, as well as letting your child know that they are special in their own way.

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Dorothy Dog and the Dangerous Dragonfly‘ explains the dangers of going out without approval and that home is often the best place to be.

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There are eight more available in the series, with more to come.

 

 

A friend of mine in the USA has a lovely picture book that she has recently launched. I’ll let her tell you about it in her own words:-

Do you have a picky eater in your family? Are mealtimes a battle?

I can completely relate. My daughter was super picky as a child and when she was about to be school-aged, I wanted to figure out something she could take for lunch. She liked peanut butter, she liked jelly, and she liked bread so I thought, naively, that she would like a PB&J sandwich. Oh my goodness, did we have a standoff?

Sound familiar?

Don’t despair. Determine which battles you want to pick and be patient. Here’s my story…

My newest picture book, Franky the Finicky Flamingo, was inspired not only by my child’s pickiness but my own. I know that’s not a very “grown up” kind of thing to admit but alas I am picky. Most of it is due to texture issues but some of it is actually due to unnamedtaste. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a much pickier eater when I was a child. So, I’ve outgrown a lot of it. And if you have a picky eater, I believe they’re going to grow out it as well.

When I was in Elementary School, I didn’t eat the school lunches so my Mom packed me exactly what I wanted every single day and that was a cold hot dog. Not the healthiest food, but I was happy. Somewhere around Middle School, I started eating school lunches. I know she was relieved.

I can honestly say that vegetables are just not my thing. I found out as an adult that I actually prefer my vegetables raw. Part of that is definitely texture, I don’t like mushy vegetables but the other more surprising thing is taste. I find vegetables in the raw are much tastier than after they have been cooked. I have even been told they are better for you. So, who’s picky now? Am I right? LOL

The other types of food that I really don’t like are citrus fruits. They have those strings in them. I choke on them. Still to this day! And I don’t like orange juice with pulp in it. Other fruits are all good though. What about you—do you have any foods you don’t like?

One time I heard a story about a set of twins that were separated at birth. One Mom said their child was a difficult eater because they wouldn’t eat anything unless she put ketchup on it. The other Mom said her child was the easiest child to feed because she would eat anything as long as she put ketchup on it. Maybe it’s all in perspective.

I just want to challenge you today as you think about your child’s picky eating–what battle do you want to pick?

And just maybe Franky the Finicky Flamingo might help encourage your picky eater to try new foods. You can check it out today at myBook.to/FrankyFranky Promo 1 with reviews

New Author Pic side arm up 6.17

Author – Wanda Luthman