Sunday, November 26, 2006

More wedding pics

Here are some of our wedding shots. There will be more to come however we haven't received these back as yet.


Tieing the knot with rings and katags

Kim, Tenzin (fantastic musician/singer), Scott

Very tall flower arrangements!

Wedding cakes .. chocolate mudcake and apple crumble. A bit blurry, but nevermind

Us!

Tenzin Choegyal ... Tibetan singer
and musician with a magical voice!

Kim's wedding hair

My handsome husband, morning after the wedding

Kim's hair (rear view - almost complete, just a few more curls to add ...)

Bronwyn (close friend) & Kim

Wedding cake flowers & wedding favour boxes

More of wedding cake flowers & favour boxes

Our Wedding favour scrolls .. they described the significance of the items in the favour boxes

Wedding cake flowers (miniture roses)

Standing floral arrangements

Kim's bridal bouquet

Our Wedding rings. They are inscribed with the Tibetan script reading "Om Mani Padme Hum", meaning "the Jewel is in the Lotus" ... (very) loosely explained it is a mantra to keep in your mind to promote the wish you have for other's happiness.

Our Buddhist Wedding Ceremony (reminds me of "Our Big Fat Greek Wedding" - the movie!)

Introduction

Welcome to Scott and Kim’s marriage ceremony. Today Scott and Kim celebrate with you, their closest family and dearest friends this most important occasion in their lives. They would like to thank you for being here to share the occasion with them.

This ceremony will meet the requirements of our law in Australia – it will also reflect Scott and Kim’s commitment to Buddhism.

Buddhism is a path of transformation of one’s inner potential. It is also a path dedicated to serving others, helping them awaken their potential. Marriage is the vehicle to practice serving others. It is a practice ground.

Love is wishing others happiness. Marriage involves the equal commitment to the happiness of your partner, toward their awakening. Our inner potential is developed through taking on challenges, not just through joy. We need people in order to practice compassion.

Since their marriage is dedicated toward the happiness of all living beings, those gathered here are the representatives of all living beings.

Buddhist Wedding Prayer

(Scott)

Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other,

with body, speech, and mind.

(Kim)
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty,

in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty,

we will work to help each other perfectly.

(Scott)
The purpose of our relationship will be

to attain enlightenment

by perfecting our kindness and compassion

toward all sentient beings.

Monitum from Marriage Act 1961


The Asking

Scott and Kim are happy today not only because they can share the joy of their love for each other with friends and family, but also because they have the opportunity to express their aspirations for the future.

(Celebrant to couple)

Scott and Kim, do you pledge to help each other

to develop your hearts and minds,

cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age

and undergo the various ups and downs of life

and to transform them into the path of love,

compassion, joy and equanimity?

(Response by couple)

We do.

(Celebrant to couple)

Recognizing that the external conditions in life

will not always be smooth

and that internally your own minds and emotions

will sometimes get stuck in negativity,

do you pledge to see all these circumstances

as a challenge to help you grow, to open your hearts,

to accept yourselves, and each other;

and to generate compassion for others who are suffering?

Do you pledge to avoid becoming narrow,

closed or opinionated,

and to help each other to see various sides of situations?

(Response by couple)

We do.


(Celebrant to couple)

Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves,

each other person is also a mystery to us,

do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other,

and all living beings,

to examine your own minds continually

and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?

(Response by couple)

We do.

(Celebrant to couple)

Do you pledge to preserve

and enrich your affection for each other,

and to share it with all beings?

To take the loving feelings you have for one another

and your vision of each other's potential

and inner beauty as an example

and rather than spiraling inwards

and becoming self absorbed,

to radiate this love outwards to all beings?

(Response by couple)

We do.


(Celebrant to couple)

When it comes time for death to separate you,

do you pledge to look back at your time together with joy--
joy that you met and shared what you have—

and acceptance

that we cannot hold on to anything forever?

(Response by couple)

We do.

(Celebrant to couple)

Do you pledge to remember

the disadvantages of ignorance, anger

and clinging attachment,

to apply antidotes when these arise in your minds,

and to remember the kindness of all other beings

and your connection to them?

Do you pledge to work for the welfare of others,

with all of your compassion, wisdom and skill?

(Response by couple)
We do.

(Celebrant to couple)
Do you pledge to work

to develop the wisdom understanding

the relative functioning nature of things

and the wisdom knowing their deeper way of existence.

that they are empty of inherent existence?

And to remember the laws of cause and effect?

(Response by couple)
We do.

(Celebrant to couple)
Do you pledge day to day,

to be patient with yourselves and others,

knowing that change comes slowly and gradually,

and to seek inspiration from your teachers

not to become discouraged?

(Response by couple)
We do.

(Celebrant to couple)
Do you pledge to continuously strive

to remember your own Buddha nature,

as well as the Buddha nature of all living beings?

To maintain the awareness that all things are temporary,

and to remain optimistic that you can achieve

your greatest potential and lasting happiness?

(Response by couple)
We do.


Exchange of Marriage Vows

(Scott to Kim)

I, Scott, take you, Kim, to be my wife.

During our life together so far, we have exchanged many promises, some spoken, some unspoken, that demonstrate our love, respect and dedication to each other.

In the presence of our family and friends gathered here with us today, I reaffirm these promises that I have made to you.


(Kim to Scott)

I, Kim, take you, Scott, to be my husband.

During our life together so far, we have exchanged many promises, some spoken, some unspoken, that demonstrate our love, respect and dedication to each other.

In the presence of our family and friends gathered here with us today, I reaffirm these promises that I have made to you.

Exchanging of Rings

The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign

of an inward and spiritual bond

which unites two loyal hearts in partnership.

Declaration of Marriage

By the power vested in me

through the wishes of Scott and Kim,

as well as the blessing of the lineage of their Spiritual Friends,

I now pronounce you to be husband and wife.

(BRIDAL KISS!)

SHANTIDEVA'S PRAYER

May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.

May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.

May the blind see forms,
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.

May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food;
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.

May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.

May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all medicine be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.

May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.

May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed;
May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.


Signing of Marriage Register

Presentation


Ladies and Gentlemen

I have pleasure in presenting Scott and Kim

with their official certificate of marriage,

and of presenting to you

officially for the first time as husband and wife,

Mr and Mrs M....th!

We are wed.

We are now officially Mr and Mrs M....th! The wedding day was lovely and relaxing. So relaxing, as a matter of fact, that the Bride lost track of the time and when Mum and Dad turned up to collect me I was not dressed and had no make-up on whatsoever!

Mum, Dad and I had spent the day wandering around our little town, having a lazy lunch and buying a few bits and pieces here and there. I'd forgotten that I had to pick the flowers up by 2pm so we zoomed around to the florist, who summarily scolded me for coming to collect our flowers, including two VERY tall arrangements, in a Toyota 'Getz' (very small car). Ummm, yes, the bride had miscalculated a bit. Nevertheless, all was saved as they delivered them instead.

Sometimes I can be a bit tooooo relaxed. Oh well!

I was only 10 minutes late arriving for the wedding, amazingly enough. I was quite nervous, to my surprise, and so was Scotty. It is quite the thing to be up in front of everyone we love and stating to the world what is normally very private for us! I don't imagine we're the first to feel that way :)

Our Buddhist Ceremony was one that was written by Lama Yeshe. It was very meaningful for us and each word that was spoken was relevant to how we aspire to live our lives. We also wrote our own wedding vows.

If you feel like reading through our wedding ceremony, to see what I mean, you'll find it here.

Scotty was amazing throughout the ceremony. While saying his wedding vows he was quite choked up which almost made me cry too. What a sweet heart he has! I am one fortunate girl :)

We're waiting on the wedding photos now so I will post ones of Scott and I then. Meanwhile I've added a few from the wedding video (which was disappointingly dark) in the meantime.

The photos below are : (left to right) Bronwyn & I ...Me, Tenzin, Scott ...My handsome Husband the morning after the Wedding.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Internet tangents.

I was searching this evening for Buddhist jokes, as in 'har har, that was funny!' jokes. It's a long story 'why' I was searching for Buddhist jokes so I'll spare you that boring detail.

Anyhow, I stumbled across a forum where one of the members expressed very succinctly about their view of the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity ... you can find the forum thread here.


I like the debate that goes on between beliefs. It's interesting and allows people to understand how others view the world and their place in it. My like of debate finishes when debate goes further than a constructive back-and-forth learning and sharing between people.

This guy, who I quote below, says it well in a nice, balanced fashion.

Before anyone goes and gets up in their pulpit, just read.

*** QUOTE ***

"I really don't see the point in going on other beliefs and philosophies' forums and just claim 'you are wrong, I am right.'

At first I've found it funny... but then I've understood that it's a serious thing: I'm not christian at all but I like Christ and the words he said. And I like him cause he showed unconditioned love for all the beings and great desire of happiness for all.

Now, I think that a person that spends his precious time goin' here and there screaming senseless things like: 'Buddha is dead, Jesus is Alive' is not really so Joyful, nor lucid or learned ...

As far as I know, Jesus' body is dead. Tell me what you want but I never met him physically, thought I wish I could, and I know no-one who did. And I don't think that this is a bad thing: Christ's words and activities are what count, not the piece of meat in which his mind was living.

And then Historical BUDDHA's physical incarnation? Well, he's dead too! But hey! Who cares????

The historical Buddha is NOT a god, not someone hyper-holy or not human ... Buddha is NOT a name, it means 'the fully awaken', 'fully developed' and Buddha (buddhahood) is nothing more than the full development of MIND.

And NOTICE, not full development of ONE's mind or human beings' mind, but MIND.
Realizing Buddhahood, "enlightenment", means basically destructure mind's stiff concepts till coming to dissolve the illusion of EGO.

So it's not the SELFISH self-realization that Christians hate so much... it's really just not the case, no Buddhist teaching says anything like that.

Buddhists work in order to dissolve ego and help all beings reaching a state of happiness from which they can develop ... and HELPING doesn't mean Convert beings to pray something, but help them to become happy and independant ... in ANY constructive way. You'll never see a good Buddhist goin' around trying to convince others with his Ideas.

Then, a suggestion to all the missionary-wanna-be :

If a person came to Buddhism, in most of the cases, he did cause it's a NON-BELIEF and NON-DOGMATIC system.

Siddharta Gauthama (first Buddha of our era) has shown to all beings mind's full development and beyond-ego qualities.

He gave teachings as well as REAL, SKILLFUL, PRACTICAL methods to reach Mind's full development (ego dissolution), enlightenment.

EVERYTHING in Buddhism can be proved with practice - if you do [this] with [this] pure motivation and dedicate it to all beings, you'll obtain [this] result.

And ANY Buddhist teaching can be proved through debate. Ah no, not CAN but MUST be proved through debate and personal experience.

The hyistorical Buddha said: "Don't believe even a single word just cause a Buddha said it, you should analyze, understand and prove it before to accept it"

So, if you want to convert Buddhists to your nice God, TRY to express how Christian practice can remove disturbing emotions like RAGE, JELOUASY, DESIRE, HATE from one's mind, making him experience everything as joyful, rich and full of potential.

TRY to express how Christian practice can make one so stable, strong and full of love that he can help anyone to become independent, strong, useful and joyful in a totally free and unconditioned way.

And it would be nice if you can also show such kind of realization through your words, actions and ... well, thoughts.

If you can manage to do this, and, better, if you can REPLY in constructive AND PRACTICAL way to Buddhist's people questions, well, maybe you'll have a chance to add a new human being to the Christian Community.

Or at least, you'll have a chance to evolve a bit.

May everyone be fully aware and joyful and work with love to bring people to the same state without forcing them into something."

*** UNQUOTE ***

People really are a marvellous thing to behold, whichever way you personally believe we came to be.

Monday, November 20, 2006

As my Dad says, 5 more sleeps to the BIG day!

I was talking to Dad on messenger tonight (he's in Brissy, we're in Hobart) and he mentioned how it was only a few more sleeps til our big day. Sweet really. That's how we used to think of things when we were little kids.

Awwww, I guess a parent always thinks of their children as kids, no matter how old they get. I'll be 32 in less than a month now ;)

The older I get and the closer I come to being a parent myself, the more I find myself understanding the little things that my parents must have been thinking when they got married and then had us.

Those who know me already know that I'm usually quite upbeat about things and happy, rarely lose my temper or get down in the dumps.

Lately though I've been feeling positively euphoric. Life just gets better and better the older I get.

Warning: Gushy bit coming up ... the longer Scotty and I are together (nearly 5 years now), the more I appreciate the peaceful, loving environment in which we find ourselves. Naturally, like most people, I've had long term relationships before. Some good, some ok, some less than ideal. Nothing dramatic or anything like that. Just some ex-partners have been more prone to dramatics, hysterics, moodiness or depression. Not my cup of tea and I don't tolerate well any self-pitying attitudes.

Scott just doesn't get involved in any of these really destructive habits. He doesn't pick fights or get upset over things. He doesn't get offended if someone says something he doesn't agree with. He never yells or gets angry, at me or anyone else. He is firm and decisive if he believes someone is being hurt, and that doesn't include just me, if anyone is being hurt he will jump in there and rectify the situation.

Really, he is quite an amazing guy. And he's marrying me! Lucky for me, he's very tolerant and patient ;)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Peter "Crundall". Tasmanian Gardener Extraordinaire.


Scott and I bought a dig video camera yesterday and we've been having fun with it while we learn how to use the thing. No easy task but a lot of laughs anyhow.

Peter Cundall is a local, very well known Tasmanian gardener who does a gardening slot on the ABC of a Saturday morning. His name is "Cundall" but a lot of the older generation here call him Peter "Crundall". It's hilarious. They think it's his real name.

Come see our garden. It's flourishing right now ...

(If the video stops playing a second or two after you press the play button, you'll need to wait for it to fully load before you can play the whole movie. Hint: The red bar under the movie is the loading bar.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The reality of an adopted child.

There is a bit of a myth going around, even in the circle of those who are adopting, that once an adopted child is home with their new mum and dad they will be happy as they are now loved and part of a family.

Whilst this may happen, if the child is able to move through their grief early, a lot of times it is just not the case.

The following has been written by an adoptive mum who has been there. It's well written and to the point and certainly makes you think a little further about the reality of things.

Her blog can be found here at China Adopt Talk :

"I’ve read blogs of people who are home and who are miserable.

I’ve read about recent disruptions.

And I’ve read posts from people on various groups and blogs that talk about their new child as if they really think the child hates them, and some of them sound like they are starting to hate their child.

So I feel I need to talk a little bit about what happens when you finally get this screaming little baby placed in your arms.

This is not a newborn. It’s a child who already has a personality, one that you get to try to figure out. It’s a child who has been ripped from all she knows: the people who have cared for her and kept her alive, and the language she has been able to understand even if she couldn’t speak it. The food she is used to. The other kids. Her schedule. Her crib. Her cribmate.

It’s all gone, and she’s with these people she’s never seen before and she can’t understand what is being said and the food is different. Scared and grieving does not even begin to describe things. Some babies just completely shut down and appear to be autistic, but after three or four days they start coming around and you begin to see the real child. It can take weeks (or months) for the grieving to stop, but after several days you should begin to see little pieces of their personality. Some children have different survival mechanisms and you’ll immediately see a little bubbly personality, this does not mean there is no grief, it could just mean that their survival instincts are telling them to be cute and lovable.

We all know this transition to a family is for the best in the long run, but all the child knows is how they feel right now, and they are scared and mad and grieving. Some move through it faster than others. Some seem to move through it in China and then backtrack once they are home. Some show their bubbly personality in China and then show the grief in America (or whatever country they are going to).

When you are in China they still hear Chinese in the restaurants and out on the street. And they still get some Chinese food. And the unique smells of China are still there.

But once you are home everything familiar to them is gone. By then you’ve probably switched them to American formula, they likely aren’t getting congee every morning now that it’s not on a buffet anymore, you probably can’t make steamed eggs exactly like they were in China. The smells are different, and no one is speaking Chinese anymore.

They might be able to keep their minds off of that during the day, when they are active and there is much to keep them occupied. But when their mind starts quieting down to go to sleep it all comes back, and there is still grief. So some babies just don’t go to sleep. Combine this with jet lag and it’s really not fun.

There will also be control issues that come up. Even with a 9 or 10 month old baby, they will try to gain control of something, anything, so they don’t feel so out of control. Maybe you can let them have it in some instances, but in others you’ll need to make sure you remain in control. Follow your instincts on this one - they need boundaries in order to feel safe, but letting them have some little piece of control may also help them. How do you know when it’s best to give in and when it’s best to be the parent? You just fly by the seat of your pants and hope you get it right.

My point here is that you have been waiting for this child for a really long time. But she knows nothing about you. She is scared and will act in ways you cannot currently imagine that a little 15 or 20 pound baby could possibly act.

I can remember getting so upset with my big girl when she was a toddler and into everything. I’d just pick her up and take her outside and put her in her swing and push her in it for a really long time. Before long we were both laughing and having fun. It worked for us.

Sometimes, when she was into everything, I’d load her up and take her to the park with a few toys and put a blanket down on the ground and then let her play that way. She only had the handful of toys I brought, and all I had to do was make sure she didn’t put rocks or bugs or anything in her mouth (because of her sensory issues she wouldn’t touch such things with her hands, but she had no problems picking them up in her mouth). She never wanted to wander far from me when we were in public, so this worked out well since I didn’t have to worry about her running off.

So many times I just realized we were into a pattern of her doing something and me correcting her, and I just needed to do something to break the pattern.

I also put her in her highchair with fingerfoods and rolled the highchair into the bathroom and took a shower. We put a clear shower curtain up so she could see me and so I could keep an eye on her.

My big girl was terrified of being alone. Even today, unless she is asleep she is rarely in a room by herself. But when we were first home with her, before I went back to work, this meant she and I were together 24 hours a day, every single day (she slept in our room, too, back then). Once my husband was home she expected us to all stay in the same room together, and for those first months, she ran the show when it came to things like that.

I see people who are talking about how happy their child is going to be to finally get a family. And that just isn’t the way it works. I see a lot of people setting themselves up for problems by having expectations that just aren’t very likely to happen.

Please, take this time to read about attachment. Not just attachment issues, but attachment in general - how attachment happens, red flags that attachment may not be happening, and ideas for how to foster attachment.

Also read about sensory issues and other things that may pop up in post-institutionalized babies and children. Please understand that if you have the “What to expect the first year” book that your 10 month old baby may not be doing what your book says a four month old baby should be doing. This is completely normal, and most children catch up at an amazing speed. The rule of thumb I’ve always heard is that babies develop one month for every three months they are institutionalized - so a nine month old baby will have the developmental skills of a three month old, an 18 month old baby may only have the developmental skills of a 6 month old. If they are in foster care or a HTS orphanage then they will likely be farther along.

Understand that your child may have been strapped into a potty chair for hours a day, and laid in the crib for most of the rest of the day. Of course they are not going to have the developmental skills appropriate for their age.

Understand that your baby may have been gravity fed and may have never learned how to suck. She may not be capable of drinking from a normal bottle. You may spend months just getting her to the point that she can suck from a bottle - and those sucking muscles are important before she can learn to talk, it’s all related.

And please understand that this is why Half the Sky is my favorite charity. If your child is from a Half the Sky orphanage then the odds are that they will be very close to being on target developmentally, and that they will not have sensory issues. There are still a lot of other things that can pop up, but these two things should be on target.

I’m not saying the first couple of months are going to be all bad. There will be wonderful moments, too. But I am hoping to get the point across that you need to be prepared for some difficult times. No matter how frustrated you are, at least you know what is going on. It’s your job to comfort this child when she is scared and grieving and screaming her little head off from 11:00 at night until 4:00 in the morning almost non stop. It’s your job to make her (or him) feel safe and loved. And that is not always an easy thing to do."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wait times for adoption.

From what we have seen in the last 6 months or so with adoptions from China, it makes me relieved that we decided to go with Thailand.

The wait for an adoption referral from China was 6 months between submitting your file to China and receiving a referral of your child. Now, it is 14-15 months and it may get longer. There are many rumours about why the wait has lengthened for China and many other rumours completely to the contrary. No-one knows what is happening now and what will happen in the future. I hope it speeds up for the sake of the children who don't have parents as well as for the parents who are waiting to bring their children home.

Thailand has long been known to have a long wait time. That has been pretty normal over the last couple of years and hasn't changed. So far anyhow. We expect, right from day one, that we will wait at least 2 years from our file going to Thailand until we are referred a child.

Even things with Thailand could change though. Like everything else in life, this can change without warning, countries can close (like Korea) and world events such as terrorist attacks, political situations and the like can have a detrimental affect on the adoption community.

I know our child will probably look nothing at all like this, however I keep this picture on my computer to look at from time to time when I am thinking about our future family. A kind of visual representation of how this will be a reality for us in the near future.

One wedding dress secured.

Truly amazing. I really should not not have underestimated the range or modern style of gowns available in good old Tassie. Admittedly, when we first got engaged and I started the hunt for a dress, I completely wrote off even looking for a dress here in our own little state thinking that there wouldn't be anything I would like.

Dumb. Really, quite silly of me.

As a matter of fact, the dress I have finally found, fallen in love with and bought (not to mention tried on about 3 different times) is far more beautiful and "me" than the first one I had. Phew. One crisis averted. No hessian sack in place of a wedding dress required. It is neither white, cream, ivory nor gold. It is very beeeeeee-utiful and unique.

Enuf said about the wedding dress. Far more interesting things to do between now and then. Will post photos for those who are interested. After the big day, of course.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Over the last month ...

Goodness, I haven't posted on my blog for just under a month!


We certainly have a long way to go, Scott and I, before we'll reach the exciting part of the adoption process. As time goes by, I'll probably only update this blog when something of importance happens so as not to bore anyone with our day to day trivialities (sp? is that even a word?).

New Friends ...
A couple of weeks ago we had the greatest of pleasure meeting a family who adopted two darling little boys from Thailand, they are now 7 and 4. Both were adopted at aged 3 and a bit. The youngest has been home only 8 months or so. From the minute we arrived, it hit me - it was as if the boys had both been living in that house forever - they were (and are) completely and 100% their parent's children :)

Both boys openly, happily and without reservation, spoke about their adoption process, what they remembered about Thailand and the orphanages where they spent their first years, places they'd been and the people they knew in the early days. To the credit of their parents, these little fellas were open, relaxed, affectionate and well-attached to their Australian life without having to sacrifice any of their Thai beginnings. Such an amazing thing to witness! I hope we can do half as good of a job with our parenting as our friends have done.


WEDDING Update ...
We're now exactly three weeks away from our wedding day and things are travelling along nicely with the arrangements and what-not. Oh, apart from the fact that up until the 31st of October I didn't have a wedding dress. The "designers" in the USA ... well, the less said about them the better ... short version, the dress took ages in arriving and much to my dismay turned out to be nothing like I desired and hideous to boot. A short panicked minute later and a chat with my Aunty (a *very* talented dressmaker who lives in Sydney) and I was back on track and heading up to the city to find a replacement wedding dress with only 3 weeks to go!

Needless to say, I was rather fed up, disappointed and a little bit crazed thinking that I would have to wear a hessian sack to my own wedding if I couldn't find anything suitable at the 11th hour.

Note to self : NEVER buy clothing from overseas that is custom made unless you can get a good referral from someone who has done it before you! Sometimes it takes more than just good old trust.

Anyhow, hopefully I will have something definite worked out in a couple of days time. Fingers crossed.

All of the other things, ceremony, reception, flowers, guests, blah blah blah are all happening just as they should. Without much doing on my part at all really. There are definitely people in the world you can depend on when you need to! Thanks Judy + team (Fleurtys - wedding/reception place), Wedding Cake Maker (who shall remain anonymous as I don't know her name but nevertheless she's doing a great job!), Dot & Terri (Florists), Margaret (Wedding dress store lady) -- you are all su
ch gems and I can't thank you enough!

It's getting exciting now as we'll have our nearest and dearest with us for at least a whole weekend as our Wedding is on the Friday night, we'll stay overnight at a lovely place called Peppermint Ridge Retreat for our wedding night and then hang out with friends and family on the weekend. Then on Monday it's off to Piermont Retreat (there's a lot of retreating going on here) for 3 nights/4 days. This is the one I'm really looking forward to - it's an absolutely lush, beachfront cottage setup that was built with bio-sustainability as it's greatest priority.

Here's the description that Piermont gives on it's site: "
Featuring walls of local stone almost half a metre thick, local timbers, and roofs of Kashmiri slate, each cottage is built bio-sustainably, with quality fittings and wood fires. Fully self-contained, each cottage features a neutral magnetic field to guarantee restful sleep and that feeling of personal renewal that guests say is Piermont's signature." Sounds like a place I could get used to.

This is the life I was born to live and I intend to live it up! Yes, Scott's coming along too ;)











So long as my bad karma doesn't kick in any further (apart from the dress incident) we should have no further dramas. Knock on wood, just to be sure.