What I Discovered This Morning & Other Stories of My Week

Andy and I had morning tea with Sophie this morning.

My husband Andy looked at the white chocolate and blueberry scone on the plate in front of him. I knew what he was thinking, so I said, “We’ll go for a run this afternoon. We’ll work off all those calories. Enjoy!”

Andy needed no further urging. That delicious scone disappeared in record time.

Unfortunately Andy remembered my words. Mid-afternoon, just as I was thinking, “Coffee!” he announced, “Time for that run!” and so I had to pull on my running gear and go with him down to the bush tracks.

Unfortunately there were quite a few families using the tracks where we like to run. There were little kids on trail bikes and older kids milling around after a soccer match. And lots of mums and dads chatting. The only deserted track was the main fire trail. I’m not surprised no one was using it. It heads down and down and down. Of course if we run down the trail, we also have to run back up again. Which we did. Several times.

Sometimes I wish we lived somewhere flat. Running would be so easy if we didn’t have any hills to negotiate. But it’s no use wishing. We have to work with what we’ve got. It’s surprising what we can cope with if we have to. I suppose challenges are opportunities and they make us strong. And I’m not just talking about running and my legs.

But my legs won’t be running up any hills on Monday. They’ll be walking around the Australian War Memorial instead. Andy and I are taking the girls to Canberra (our capital city) for three days. (We had a similar holiday two years ago.) We’re going to be doing a lot of walking as we explore museums and science centres. 

Haven’t the girls grown since their last trip to Canberra, two years ago?
We’re leaving the boys at home. They’ve volunteered to look after the house and the dog and our three cats while we’re away. I hope they cope. Those animals are rather a handful.

This morning I woke up very early because Nora our puppy was barking loudly. I didn’t want her to wake up the rest of the family, and our next door neighbours as well, so I climbed out of bed to investigate. A cat was sitting right up against the glass sliding door grinning at the dog who was on the other side. The cat knew she was safe so she was teasing Nora. I distracted them all by feeding them. (Food solves a lot of problems.) Then I made a cup of tea and had some quiet time before everyone else woke up.

Surely this sweet cat  wouldn’t terrorise the dog?

I checked the mail and did some clicking around the Internet and discovered a few interesting things…

My children’s novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek is now available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s at a good price too. (At least I think so.) I’m not going to make my fortune out of this book but that’s quite okay. I’d just like children to read my book. Someone suggested it would make a good First Holy Communion present. Someone else said it would be a perfect Christmas present. Can I agree?

After I’d spent some time absorbing the fact I’m now on Amazon, I noticed I have two new followers on my Sue Elvis Writes blog. Well, that was big news. I haven’t had any new followers for months. I’m not surprised. I haven’t written any new posts for weeks. Perhaps I should. Or maybe I should stick to this blog. I definitely have too many blogs. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do.

My third discovery involves my podcasts. They’ve been played a lot. This time I am surprised.  Suddenly podcasting seems like serious business. I’ll have to pull up my socks, and do a better job of making them, I guess, now I know people are actually listening.

This week’s podcast was my fourth. I have already recorded the fifth. I did it ahead of time because of our holiday away next week. I persuaded my daughter Imogen to chat with me. She’s doing a professional writing and publishing degree at university and so I invited her to discuss unschool writing. During our conversation, I mentioned a couple of panicky moments I once had, related to unschooling. (Perhaps all mothers panic at some point?) Anyway, if you’re interested, watch out for the podcast which I’ll publish next Thursday (25th September).

By the way, Sophie also interviewed Imogen. She asked her some out-of-the-ordinary questions and then made a great video. It’ll be published next week too. 

It’s Saturday. You know what that means, don’t you? Sausages for dinner! Time to go and enjoy them.

I hope you enjoyed your week. You could stop by and share what you’ve been doing. I’d like that!

You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!

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  1. Reply

    I live in a hilly area also, so my morning runs are extra challenging. For me, I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that those hills give me an extra "oomph". 🙂

    1. Reply


      I feel exactly the same way as you about running up hills! I am not just a runner, I am a runner who runs up hills. Yes, that does feel satisfying. It's good to challenge ourselves, isn't it? I like that feeling of being strong.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Hwee
    • September 20, 2014

    What a good week, with much good news, Sue! It's quite an achievement to get yourself on Amazon, so congratulations! I hope you'll all have a great time in Canberra!

    1. Reply


      I was beginning to doubt whether I'd ever get this book published, let alone get it on Amazon, so I am feeling very happy! If anyone wants to read my book, it is now easy to get a copy. That's good. Thank you for your congratulations. I'm sure we'll have a great time in Canberra. No doubt I'll have lots of photos to share with you when we get back!

    • Vicky
    • September 20, 2014

    Have a good holiday, Sue! I'm looking forward to seeing the photos and reading about it.

    It must be so exciting to see your book on Amazon! I wonder if the Book Depository will be next.

    Do you get creative about the way you cook your sausages or is the taste in the different flavours? We have had curried sausages, barbecue sausages and toad-in-the-hole occasionally but I've seen sausages actually mixed in with more elaborate meals too.

    Have a nice day 🙂

    1. Reply


      I didn't think about the Book Depository. You are right: it would be good to get my book listed there. So many people buy from them. I do! I like not having to pay shipping costs.

      Recently we've been eating our sausages just as they are because they taste really good that way. But we do like toad-in-the-hole too, and I have a nice sausage casserole recipe we make in the slow cooker. Sausages are very versatile, aren't they? They can even be added to pasta dishes.

      Sophie and I are taking our cameras to Canberra (of course!) so we'll have hundreds of photos to sort through when we get back. I'm looking forward to having a new place to photograph. I'm sure we'll enjoy our holiday. Thank you!

  2. Sue, I do like that photo of Gemma-Rose's hair and the cat – though I'm not sure the cat's expression is completely innocent!

    I enjoyed your first podcast very much and you inspired me to play with Audacity again. I listened as I dyed my hair. Podcasts are definitely easier to find time for than videos, for me at least. I'm so pleased you've made more. I've been busy at conferences the last two weekends but tomorrow I have a free day and I am really looking forward to catching up with what you've been doing!

    Have a lovely time in Canberra. I shall look forward to reading – or hearing – about it!

    1. Reply


      I have discovered hair makes a good subject for a photo, especially if it's arranged in an attractive style. I like the texture of hair, which shows up well in a photo. Cats are okay too but they move too quickly. They have no patience! I think you are right about the cat's expression. After I posted the photo, I began to think she looks rather evil after all!I think she's glaring at the camera because she wants to get down.

      Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. I was rather embarrassed about the first one, especially after Gemma-Rose told me I was using my 'other people' voice. I hope they are getting better. I'm not sure they are! Audacity is so much fun, and very easy to use. Actually making a podcast is much easier than writing a blog post!

      You've been to two conferences? Were they homeschooling ones? I'd love to hear more.

      We've got our bags packed and we leave for Canberra in the morning. I'll 'see' you in a few days' time!

  3. Reply

    Have a look at the National Archives in Parkes in Canberra if you have the time Sue. It is a hidden treasure. The Waterhouse Science Prize exhibition is on I think. I work there and it has many interesting things

    1. Reply


      You work in a very interesting and beautiful city!

      I appreciate the recommendation. Thank you! We didn't get a chance to go to the National Archives this time but we will be returning to Canberra and I was hoping to hear about other good places to see. Hidden treasures are always the best places to visit!

  4. Reply

    Funny that you say this about hills. Where I live, there are hills. No matter what way I go out of the driveway to run, it will be up or down. Sometimes I think the roads go uphill both ways! So all my running involves hills. I've learned to embrace them and see them as "allies" of a sort. I'm always on the lookout for better ways to conquer the hills, and I've found some good ones. But yesterday I had my best hill victory. I had planned to run 6 miles, even though I was on schedule to go 7. On the way home (my drive is half-way up a huge hill) I decided I would not stop at home. Instead, I would keep going past my drive all the way to the top of the hill. It was mentally difficult, but I was proud to push on and defeat both the hill and my desire to stop. I'm running a marathon in 2 weeks, and while I can't say I love the distance, I have enjoyed the mental development. It's a good feeling to overcome self and do more than you thought possible. My marathon shirt will say "God sees possibilities". It's sort of a joke on me, because I'm so slow that only God could see me as a runner. But it's also a reminder to me that God *does* see possibilities, in me, my children and others that I cannot see and could never imagine. It won't be a bad thing to think about for 26 miles. 🙂

    Have fun in Canberra!

    1. Reply


      Oh I am so glad you shared your running news with me. A marathon? Oh my! You are running well. I've thought about training for one but I don't know if I can work that hard. It is certainly mentally, as well as physically, challenging to prepare for such an event. But think of the satisfaction when you finish! Overcoming self… yes, I understand that. Running has made me strong in many ways. I think the benefits overflow into all areas of our lives.

      I was running a particularly steep hilly track the other day, and as I got back to the top, I wondered whether I should do the loop again. Well, I did and on the second ascent, the thought appeared in my mind that I should push myself to do it a third time. The third time I came up I refused to think about anything because I knew if I considered a fourth descent and ascent I would have to make myself do it! The girls say I have Elvis stubbornness. They all have it too. We find it difficult to give up when we've set ourselves a challenge. It doesn't always work out well though. I've injured my knee a couple of times because I refused to give in when I felt the first twinge of pain. I'm certainly not sensible at times!

      Anyway, I hope you'll tell me all about your marathon once you've completed it. I will want to know how you felt as you sailed over the finish line in your wonderful shirt. I hope it all goes to plan!

  5. Reply

    That's great! I have your book on my Amazon wish list. Looking forward …

    1. Reply


      Thank you for putting my book on your Amazon wish list. I hope you like it when you get a chance to read it.

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