Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Bike Maintenance

Thank you to Clair for giving us such a comprehensive hands-on learning session at the Bicycle Maintenance session tonight. We learnt so many practical and useful tips and being able to perform the tasks on our own bikes reinforced the knowledge that Clair shared with us. It was amazing seeing how easy it is to get a wheel off, change the inner tube and get it back on the bike. Clair also prepared hand-outs for everyone with lots of useful information and also said YouTube has videos on just about anything you want to know about your bike. After the practical session was finished we were treated to a cup of tea with Clair's hazelnut torte - delicious!! Clair is definitely a lesbian of many talents.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Line Dancing

Yeehaa!! What a great turnout for beginners line dancing with our dynamic duo, Carol and Christine.  
We took over the car park doing steps to the front and steps to the back, drunken sailor step (I think a drink is needed to perfect that step), pointing and pivoting, clapping (for those who could coordinate hands and feet at the same time), knocking knees and wiggling.  
It was a lot of fun and entertained the people in the flats behind the carpark with one shout of encouragement.  
For those of you who missed out, we may be able to get lovely talented lesbian couple to give us an encore performance at the Christmas party.  
Thank you Christine and Carol for sharing one of your many talents with us and providing a lot of fun and laughter.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Mindfulness and Mental Health - 3 October 2017

Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally - Kabat-Zinn
We had another enjoyable and educational evening at LGT thanks to our wonderful Blue Mountains Women’s Health Centre Counsellor, Jenny Gill. 
Jenny began by explaining some of the science and physiology of the brain in a way that made it easy to understand that how we think impacts the way we feel.
We practised three types of mindfulness - two of them lead by Jenny in her quiet and peaceful voice and a third using an object from nature as our focus. All three methods demonstrated how easy it is practise mindfulness and the positive impact it has on how we feel in such a short time. 
It was joyful to tap into our inner child and really see natural objects with the wonder that children have at seeing, listening, feeling and experiencing something for the first time.
Jenny also gave us an art therapy exercise that really highlighted the positive impact mindfulness had on every one of us. Each woman in the room created a much more serene pictorial interpretation of how she felt at the end of the evening than the initial drawings. It really demonstrated, that although issues were still there, they no longer held the strong emotions and negative impact they had at the beginning of the evening. 
Some of us enjoy sharing the experience of mindfulness with others; some prefer solitude and nature to help them focus on the present moment. There is no right or wrong way to be mindful, but it was apparent that everyone could benefit from being mindful. 
Thank you, Jenny Gill for showing us how easy it is to be mindful and the positive effect it has on our psyche.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Start to Feel Less Stressed

Thank you, Gill for giving us an insight into mediation and dispute resolution. Listening to Gill explain how the mediation process works - it really is logical, however, people in the stressful situation of separating or conflict do not always act in a logical manner. This is where the role of an impartial, unbiased mediator can diffuse the emotion and allow each of the parties to be given an equal voice in a confidential, safe environment and begin the process of communicating with the intent to empower them to agree on a positive solution that works for them without the expense and added stress of courts and solicitors fees. 
A very important point that came through is that talking to a mediator as a FIRST point of call can save a lot of heartache and expense. A mediator is not going to give you legal advice, their role is to help you come up with a palatable solution to your situation. This can then be documented and registered with the courts as needed. In all situations that involve children, mediation is now mandatory, however, this often happens as a last step rather than the first step, sometimes after people have already spent thousands of dollars on court fees. 
We were also fortunate to have Nadia Messiha from Hills Family Lawyers come all the way from Castle Hill to answer our legal questions. 
If you have any questions, want more information or just want an initial chat about your situation or know someone who could benefit from mediation, contact Gill at Logical Mediation http://logicalmediation.com.au or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/logicalmediation/

Thursday, 24 August 2017

French Stencil-Pochoir - 16 August

French Stencil-Pochoir. We had a wonderful night learning a new skill thanks to Nadège sharing her talent with us. This is a very interesting form of artwork, cutting away sections that will later form the detail, whilst leaving a framework. It is a many stepped process, and we were all very excited to lift off the stencil we had made to reveal our individual artworks. We were so engrossed in the process that we didn't have time for a cup of tea. I've included lots of photos as every artwork was so unique. Thank you Nadège for sharing your time and skill with us. I am sure we will be having another attempt at using this lovely method of creating art.



3 Ways with Quinoa - 16 May 2017

Speedy Sue treated us to entree, main and dessert and made them all before our eyes within an hour. We started with stuffed mushrooms, that not only tasted amazing, also looked fantastic. The wonderful scents of sesame and coriander filled the room and our tastebuds were treated to a wonderful honey-ginger dressing on the Edamame Beans with Baby Boy Choy Quinoa. While we were eating this delectable delight, the 'healthy' quinoa brownies were cooling. We enjoyed a relaxed cup of tea with our brownies to finish off our 3 Ways with Quinoa. 
Sue told us where we could find the recipes and ingredients. Many are available in the supermarket and the Katoomba Co-op. One of the recipe books is available at the co-op, the other two can be bought online. Sue also explained the difference between the white and red quinoa and spoke about gluten intolerance.
Quinoa is certainly a very versatile food and tastes just as delicious in a savoury dish as it does in a sweet dessert.
Thank you, Sue for doing such a wonderful job preparing and cooking these tasty treats for us and introducing us to quinoa and tasty vegetarian cooking.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Demystifying Planning and Development - An Activist's Perspective.

Thank you to our extremely knowledgeable presenter, Carolyn Williams from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society.  
We had a very interesting, informative and interactive evening learning where to start to find out more about proposed developments, how to lodge submissions about developments we don't agree with, as well as a visual tour of the Blue Mountains City Council site. There is so much information contained on the site, we now know where to go to find it.
There was heaps discussion about various hot topics that our group has an interest in. Dog walking areas, development proposals, The Spires, Leura Station, Govetts Leap, Katoomba Golf Course, etc.The power of multiple submissions on specific development proposals can make a difference, Carolyn and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society has put together a fantastic Planning and Development Resource Kit to help us identify to whom and how to take action. It is well worth having a look at it and downloading the PDF documents related to your area of interest.There was talk about having another LGT session on a specific development proposal so we can go through the whole process and hopefully make a difference and keep our beautiful Blue Mountains beautiful!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Travel Stories - NZ, Canada and Alaska.

 Thank you to our two wonderful story tellers, Denise and Lesley, for sharing your travels with us. We were treated to some beautiful scenic images from all three locations that really did tell a story. The brown trout that Lesley's Dad caught in the Lake Waikaremoana was a real star and the photos prove it wasn't just a fish tale. We could also imagine Lesley and her brother running the hills of Te Urewera National Park and swimming across the lake. Whereas Denise's experience and amazing buoyancy in a dry suit in Alaska had us in stitches. Both of our presenters also gave us heaps of interesting local information about the history and culture of the areas. I'm sure quite a few of us have been inspired to visit all three of these fabulous locations and experience the solitude and serenity of Te Urewera National Park, the wildlife and nature of Canada and the magnitude and grandeur of the Alaskan fjords and glaciers.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Memoir Writing

Last night's LGT - Memoir Writing, really got us thinking. Personally, I'm not much of a writer but after a short meditation, given time to just think about a room from our childhood we all started frantically writing. I was surprised as the memories came flooding back and transformed these memories into a paragraph or two, not that we were doing any grammar or punctuation, just getting it down was the key to keeping the words flowing.
Diana had prepared notes with lots of interesting information and a selection of books for us to look at that to get the creative juices flowing.
And to top the night off we celebrated Lesley's birthday with some yummy cheesecake.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Caring at End of Life Research Project

Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing the Caring at End of Life Research project with us.   It was good to hear about the positive experiences of the community that cared and shared the caring of the dying.

By the number of people who attended and the questions that it raised, it is evident this is a topic that not only needs to be talked about more but raises so many other questions. 

I think we all learned something about death and dying that we hadn’t heard previously. 

One of the keys to having a positive experience in caring and dying seemed to be having an engaged community ranging from the personal carers to the service providers such as the doctors, pharmacists, etc.  

Some of the questions and comment that were raised:

·      How do you link into services available?  There are many palliative care services out there, but how do you find them.
·      What does death look like?  Many people have not experienced seeing a person die first-hand; therefore, it holds a fear of the unknown.
·      Even when the dying person has made their wish for no more treatment known to family, there is still the fear of guilt of not calling an ambulance and how those further from the immediate family will perceive the lack of action.
·      Even though a person is dying and has a ‘do not resuscitate’ in their advanced care directive’, there are still medical procedures that can improve the quality of the life they have left.
·      Ambulances have their own medical obligations and a DNA will not be sufficient to allow them to not resuscitate.
·      It is okay for people to die at home and you can care for them at home for several deaths after death.  However, a GP does need to be called to record the death.
·      A death doula is a person can assist the dying and families in having a ‘good death’.

We were very fortunate to not only have Rosemary leading the discussion but to also have knowledgeable women in related fields – social work, nursing, the ambulance paramedic, etc. 

Rosemary also advised the Kerrie Noonan runs a program called Groundswell.  I had a quick look the website this morning and it has lots of interesting information.

I would love to run a follow-up session to cover some of the other topics that were raised.  If you have experience in a related field and would be willing to share this information with the group, we could have another session with say three ½ hour topics for discussion.   Likewise, if you would like specific information to be covered, please let me know and I’ll see if I can match up skills with topics.

Thank you, Rosemary, for giving us the opportunity to begin the conversation about death and dying. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sounds of the Spheres

We had a beautiful evening filled with the rhythms and gentle sounds of nature, thanks to the wonderful leadership of Is Guillemin. We made amazing music using instruments that Is had handmade especially for us to christen at our session. Is also introduced us to the history and theory of sounds and why they reach inside us and invoke emotion. We finished the evening with a group harmony. It was a magical experience and I'm sure some of us floated out the building afterwards. Thank you for a wonderful night, Is.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Plan ahead for your future legal, health and financial decisions

Thank you, Denise for an extremely informative and eye-opening session on planning for your future legal, health and financial decisions. As a social worker at Nepean Hospital, Denise has seen the good, the bad and the ugly when someone who has lost the capacity to make their own decisions has not formerly made their wishes known and those decisions are then placed on family members whose opinions clash. Some of the important messages gained at this session are:  
COMMUNICATION - with family, friends, etc. have those conversations about what you would want to happen to you in the event you can no longer make those decisions yourself. 
Anyone over 18 can and should have a will. 
Don't assume you are going to living to 100 in perfect health. Accidents can and do happen that may leave you unable to make your own decisions. A Power of Attorney is only responsible for your financial actions while you have the capacity.An Enduring Power of Attorney has the power to continue to look after your financial affairs even after you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.An Enduring Guardian can make medical and health decisions if you lose the capacity to do so.Advanced Care Planning is very important as it documents your future wishes in the event you are no longer able to make them.Even if you have told your family you want your organs donated, if one person in the family says no they don't want that, it won't happen. However, if you have filled in the donor register your wishes will be followed. Communicate your decisions to those close to you, but also get your wishes documented legally.Thank you again, Denise for an excellent session, I for one am checking I have ALL the documentation in order.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Introduction to Graphic Facilitation

Another fantastic night at Lesbians' Got Talent, with a full house in attendance.  Chia showed us how to tap into the 'right brain' and demonstrated that a picture really can speak a thousand words, and in a far more interesting and memorable way. Our little star people were jumping, talking, thinking and dancing. We turned scribbles on a page into objects. It was a fun night, and the drawing techniques we learnt can be used in the office, for study, journals, letters, etc. Thank you, Chia for sharing one of your many talents with us.