Monthly Archives: February 2014

What we are doing in Australia

A friend sent me an email the other day, asking me for an update on what we are doing here, so here goes. We are here in Australia for the first 5 months of 2014 for my husband to write a book while on sabbatical from his teaching gig as a professor of law at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. He is not teaching at all while here, but has an office at the University of Melbourne and has been asked to give talks in several cities in Australia while we are here: Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

When David first mentioned going to Australia a year or so ago, it seemed so far away that I really didn’t pay that much attention. Then as the time got closer, I realized that my day-to-day life was about to change big-time and I had to get ready. We rented our home to two very nice Norwegian men, taking engineering leadership classes at Stanford. For more info on getting our place ready read: On My Way to the Land Down Under.

And we found a place to rent in Melbourne from a couple who create multi-media displays for museums around the world. We are actually sharing their place, a co-housing sort of arrangement. For the most part it has been fine, as they are barely here and when they are, they are very helpful and friendly. When they are in town, they leave for work in the morning by 9 am and don’t get home until 10 pm or later. In essence, we feel like we have the place to ourselves. The jet lag was an adjustment, Jet Lag: it is an adventure but all is good now.

Since I arrived in Melbourne, 6 weeks ago, we have taken two amazing trips. Our first to New Zealand was wonderful. Here is a shot I took in Doubtful Sound, a fjord on the south island and us on our hike above Queenstown.

Doubtful Sound Hike

We also went to Tasmania and had a terrific time. Here I am petting a wild wallaby that came up to us while we were picnicking on Wineglass Bay Beach and of us hiking up to the lookout before descending to the beach. Wineglass Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches and hikes we have ever been on.

Cute Wallaby US

Melbourne is a very easy city to live in. We are in what is called the Central Business District or CBD. It is very urban and fun. So far we have just scratched the surface in exploring the city. We took a walking tour of the laneways and alleys. Here is David in an alley with art commissioned by the city. And of me by one of the trees in the city center that has been yarn bombed.

Art Yarn Bombing

I wrote a post just on the yarn bombing as a stitcher I found it fascinating. Last Saturday we joined in the city sponsored White Nights celebration, an all-night event in the CBD with bands, artists, performers and more. More than half a million people attended. To deal with the crowds, we retreated to a chocolate bar for some reinforcements before heading home.

Australia Market Chocolate

Overall things are going well for us here–with the exception that my hard drive decided to go on sabbatical too. Getting it fixed by Dell, even though it is under warranty, is not the adventure I had hoped for! I am living very peacefully here: my days are filled with yoga classes, writing, shopping for fresh food at the Victoria Market, attending events at the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria, and wandering around, exploring my new environment.

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PS: For other shots of our trip to New Zealand check out: and and and

PPS: Other photos from our Tasmania trip can be found at: and and and

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The Naked Truth About Mothering Your Body

“I can’t believe how fat you are!” “You are too large and you take up too much space!” “I can’t believe how flabby you are!” ”You look terrible!”

Would you ever say any of these comments to your friends? To your kids? I never would, but I have said all this and worse to myself over the years. My choice of self-abuse has been about my body: its size and fleshiness. I know that I am not alone. Too many women say terrible things to themselves about their bodies on a daily basis and this undermines us.

For decades I berated myself for my body size, constantly comparing myself to the other women in the room. Am I the largest? Fattest? Are my thighs larger or smaller than hers? Can anyone see the roll of my tummy? The overlap of skin here and there?

Over the years I have gone up and down the scale, with a large (and final!) weight loss 3 ½ years ago, when I turned 50. My motivation was to be healthy, after watching my beloved aunt suffer when she turned 80 with health problems that were tied to her weight. I refused to lay in a bed when I was 80 and hear the doctor tell my children that the only way for me to heal is to go back in time and lose weight.

And so I lost the weight once and for all.

It wasn’t easy, but I did it. The hardest part wasn’t to stop eating the foods I love but that don’t love me, that just took will-power and discipline. The hardest part was to stop beating myself up on a regular basis about my body. I had to finally learn to mother my body.

How did this happen? It was a process, bit by bit. I remember the days four years ago when I sat to watch video clips of the British TV show, “How To Look Good Naked” on You Tube. I sat for hours, transfixed watching the host, Gok Wan, teach the women on the show that they were beautiful.

Watching them go through the transformation of accepting and then loving their bodies was empowering and emotional to watch. Over the years since then, working on my yoga mat, appreciating what my body can do has been a real transformative process for me.

Then the other day I saw a photo on Facebook of a woman sitting in a chair with no clothes on. I looked at her and thought she looked beautiful. And I realized that when I looked like that I never would have seen myself as beautiful. Never. I was too busy beating myself up for looking just like her.

What a waste of time and energy I spent berating myself and my body. Instead of seeing my body as strong and beautiful, I saw flabby and weak. But when I look at this photo I see the opposite. She looks strong and confident and beautiful to me. How does she look to you?

Beautiful Girl

The fact is I will never have washboard abs, no six-pack for me. My thighs will never delicate and stick thin. I am healthy, I have curves and I look great!

My body has birthed two children without drugs, breastfed for a total of 8+ years. It has carried, soothed and loved those kids. In its youth, my body was loved by many, and for the past 25 years it has lain next to one special person every night. My body has spent years on a tennis court. It used to bounce on a step aerobics stair and lately it is back on a yoga mat, 4 or 5 times a week. My body has skied and hiked and walked and shopped all over the world and while it shows some wear and tear, it is mine and it wakes up every morning (so far!). So instead of hating it and beating it up, I now commit to celebrate it, in all its glory and folds and curves and strength.

Mothering my kids came naturally, but mothering my body has been a long time coming. So glad I finally made it!

Want to watch some inspirational body image videos? Check you the “How To Look Good Naked videos” that inspired me: Tummies Tummies Bums Thighs Bums





As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Yarn Bombing Melbourne

So many new sights to see in a new city, and Melbourne certainly has plenty. This is a very livable city for Americans and especially for those of us from northern California. The weather is similar to ours, although the heat waves here are more intense: a hot blowing wind that just sucks the moisture right out of you on some days. But the language is similar enough. There is great public transportation and the people are friendly. It is easy to get around, although driving on the other side of the road is a challenge.

A week after getting here we took a walking tour through the Melbourne laneways and alleys. They have made these narrow passages between buildings into useable city space. Some are art galleries with street artists being paid to display on the walls. Other lanes have been turned into outdoor cafes, some even with roofs overhead.

While on the tour we walked through a small city park, in Central Business District (CBD), not far from where we are living and saw a wonderful site: yarn bombing on the trees. I had never heard of yarn bombing but apparently it is very popular all around the world. The yarn bombing consists of knitting and crocheting and the colors are bright and beautiful.

Here are some of the photos we took, the last one is from one of the laneways with some yarn bombing on a window grate by some street art.

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Bye from down under!


As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!