All Eyes on a Boomer

Friday, 25 April 2008

Anniversary of an Anzac-memory of a mother

APRIL 25th is an important date-it symbolizes many things to me, but across Australia, it is the one day of the year we commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli back in 1915. The date, 25 April, was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. In 1917, the word ANZAC meant someone who fought at Gallipoli and later it came to mean any Australian or New Zealander who fought or served in the First World War. During the Second World War, ANZAC Day became a day on which the lives of all Australians lost in war time were remembered. The spirit of ANZAC recognises the qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice which were demonstrated at the Gallipoli landing.
Commemorative services are held at dawn on this day,and each service as emotional as the next. Just speak with those who have taken part either as spectator, or addresing the onlookers.Our returning soldiers drifting home from the First World War, up until present day-These soldiors initiated this memorial, a tradition steeped in every patriotic heart, our form of remembrance. The first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927, which was also the first year that all states recognised a public holiday on the day. Originally, these services were for all veterans, their personal homage to one another , time for them to reflect among fellow commrades in arms, almost a millitary wake, their respects shown by way of the two minutes of silence.....usually leading into the sound of a lone piper playing the 'Last Post'. Later in the day, there were marches in all the major cities and many smaller towns for families and other well wishers.
Today it is a day when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war. Gatherings are held at war memorials across the country and families and friends form a unified alliance to reflect-It is a day for the heroes of every regiment of every era. A day to catch up on the old days, and old buddies. A day these soldiers receive their own recognition by their home, their country.
The battle at Gallipoli, our thoughts drift back to a painful and bloody sacrifice where the hallow word, ANZAC would be born.Hereafter, we will never forget them.And even today, we can salute the anzacs, with national pride..all the men and women who contributed so much, through great tragedies, sacrificing their lives, to protect us.Young Australians and New Zealanders, brave and young, dying to bring peace.The defence on our own shores against the Japanese, a time I as a baby boomer will always remember from the many stories passed down through my own ancestors.Those who were the many prisoners of war and those who sadly became their own prisoners to many awful demons that would follow them home. Endless nightmares, memories that would scar and memories that would still manage to kill.
World war II,Borneo, Timor Korea, Vietnam the list goes on....The anzac spirit will always be with us, making us the proud Australians we are still to this day.To all the sons, fathers, my own family, my grandfather, my uncles and their fallen comrades in arms...this day shall be a day for all Australians, for those who served their country, for us.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest We Forget.
A Digger's Slouch Hat
A slouch hat is a wide-brimmed felt hat with a chinstrap most commonly worn as part of a military uniform. It is a survivor of the felt hats worn by eighteenth century armies. The distinctive Australian slouch hat, sometimes called an Australian bush hat, has one side of the brim turned up or pinned to the side of the hat in order to allow a rifle to be slung over the shoulder.


April 25th, 2000-

This was the day I said goodbye to an old rival, a thorn in my side. Most had a hard time understanding my reasons, many believed I would succumb. But I had an ace up my sleeve and it was a mighty powerful weapon, one I had never imagined owning.

My head was still reeling from the news of mum's diagnosis, my heart carried a pain I never knew possible, just getting from one day to the next all I could face-Soon weighed down with more personal blows, the fight to survive all that mattered now.

I'd heard many words of wisdom from those who 'meant well', it would not sink in, not until I had a need to get angry-really angry! Ovarian cancer had come to town, our town.Sneaking into my mother's space, it had rudely interupted....a life!
So as i struggled to comprehend the disease and its own power, I found my own. The habit I'd picked up at age 15, was about to feel my wrath! For twenty-five years it held me down...for every past effort to quit smoking , I had failed. I was weak.

Mum had long hoped I'd see the light, so this fight, was for her.
When asked why I chose Anzac Day to stop? Simple... I wanted a date to remember, all that had happened, all that was about to happen....I won't forget.
My 8th anniversary as a non-smoker....only 2 days short of my mother's birthday. Miss you mum, the void always present, the love eternal.

Judith Burns

27/4/37 - 3/7/00

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Saturday, 12 April 2008

Kookaburra laughs while Matilda does a waltz`

It took me by surprise to learn that many of my American friends, were under the assumption a Kookaburra may well be a myth.

With this in mind, I thought I should do them all a favour, and share some real Australian heritage. Enjoy!

Even though Australia's National Anthem is "Advance Australia Fair", in 1974 it came very close to becoming "Waltzing Matilda". The latter a song written by our own Banjo Paterson.
Born Andrew Barton Paterson, in [Narrambla Station] near the NSW country town of Orange in 1864.
His earlier years spent near Yass, NSW he attended school in the small town of Binalong, then later in Sydney. Once working as a clerk for a lawyer, Banjo soon became a solicitor. The publication of The Man From Snowy River and Other Verses in 1895, saw him something of a literary celebrity in Australia. His travels took him all over the country, he was a correspondent during the Boer War in S.Africa, then later on became editor for the Sydney Evening newspaper,and the Australian Town and Country Journal. When the first world war broke out, Banjo had hoped to be right there, covering the battle but didnt make it to France, so returned home to Australia, joining the Remount Service which supplied the Australian cavalry with horses. After the War he returned to Sydney, journalism and writing poetry and prose. Paterson is best remembered as the the author of "Waltzing Matilda" - Australia's unofficial national anthem.

I was fascinated when I found out there have been 3 versions of this song, the original written by Banjo, Harry Nathan wrote his around the turn of the century and last, but not least, Marie Cowan's 1902 version. Hefre is the most popular sung by all 'aussies':-

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong

Under the shade of a Coolibah tree

And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled

You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

And he sang as he watched and waited til his billy boiled

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong

Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee

And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tuckerbag

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

And he sang as he watched and waited til his billy boiled

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
Up rode the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred

Down came troopers one two three

Whose that jumbuck you've got in the tuckerbag?

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

And he sang as he watched and waited til his billy boiled

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong

You'll never catch me alive said he

And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong

You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Slang terms explained:
walking along a bush track
a bedroll
an unemployed drifter
Aboriginal word for a waterhole
Aboriginal word for a type of Australian tree
a tin with a wire handle used for boiling water and heating food
Aboriginal word for sheep
Tucker Bag
bag containing food (tucker)
a landowner


The Kookaburra-This amazing bird is from the family of Kingfishers, having a stout[fat]yet compact body with a short neck, short legs and a rather long bill. I love this bird for so many reasons. Have you really listened to his laugh? They are known as the 'laughing jackass' of Australia.Appearance:
Kookaburras are 17 inches in height, the upper parts dark brown, the wings spotted gray-blue. A white band separates the head from the body. There is a dark stripe through the eye, and the under parts are white. The strong bill is black.
Kookaburras ican be found in woodland areas of eastern and south western Australia, through many suburban towns and various water outlets, such as beaches and lakes. Many zoos around the world have fallen in love with this little cutie, which is a great opportunity for the Kookaburra to share its laughter!
The Kookaburra's rolling, laughing call is one of the best-known sounds in the animal world. The birds raise a wild chorus of crazy laughter as they go to roost in the treetops at dusk, and again wake everyone within hearing just as dawn breaks, so regularly that in the hinterlands of Australia they are know as the "bushman's clock."
They're also handy to have around to keep any rats, mice or snakes away! The Kookaburra seizes snakes behind the head and kills them by dropping them from a height, or else carries them to a perch and batters them senseless with its big bill before swallowing them.
See the video here on Blog, and see why Australians treasure this quirky friend of the fauna!

Note: Steve [croc hunter] Irwin was just one huge fan, like me.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Booming business

It's been awhile since I sat in on one of the Blogtalk radio shows, but being a Sunday here in OZ, I figured all my other online work could wait! This was one topic that is of huge interest to me, and I felt others might also benefit from its results. So here we go....take it away Bev!

Blogtalk Radio- Our Host: Baby Boomer Diva Queen, Beverly Mahone

The topic: Women in business

What works for one, doesn't neccessarily work for another-

Two lovely guests: Pamela Archer & Bonnie Birchfield

Both ladies have more than one business, both are successful, sassy and here to share their own background while offering great tips for us! Here's what they had to share-
Bonnie Birchfield's latest venture has quite a catchy title, and I am not the only one who thinks so, just ask Bev! :) 'BUZZ OFF' is the business, 'lazars for women', the product.
Question:Did you know you wanted to be in this business?
Bonnie had worked in the corporate world for years, not wanting to work for another employer, this time working for herself. With her jewellery business already secured, the latest project was appealing because it was a hot item,offered security[which Bonnie has years of experience in] a protection device for women who don't want to carry around fire-arms and if in a dangerous situation, something that would give them time to get away.
Bonnie located this business via an article in a newspaper.
Pam also has more than one business, both originally began as mere hobbies, but quickly took on a life of their own, leading to bigger things.
Beverly asked Bonnie how she found her second business:Reflecting on her jewellery, she explained how this was now something still loved and can now sell 'on the side', the business has already kicked off and only needs people to market.

When describing her lazar business, Bonnie explains the great desire she has to see all women are protected.

Was it difficult to start? Not at all, it was just a matter of getting out and selling, going through the paperwork, getting a sales-rep to assist!
Like anything, there's always the pro's & cons, the disadvantages/advantages along with risks-
Both women agreed on pretty much each question, giving some very helpful feedback.

Should someone about to start a business, simply step out on faith, or wait until they are financially comfortable?
Pam: Don't jump! Even though she jokes she is typically one for doing so lol She would, however, insist you 'go for it!' Bonnie agrred, adding that 'everyone is different'.

How do you handle those things that stop you from pursuing your goal?
Bonnie: Have a back-up plan, see about a loan if financially needed...through friends or other means. Always depends on the problem.
Pam:This applies to anyone, things such as hidden expenses. Consider if you are the main person in the business and whether or not you have anyone to fill your spot should something go wrong. Think out on paper, what your ack-up plan might be and whether you want to continue? A plan in place!

GOALS FOR 2008 ON PAPER? Example, Beverly has her own Vision board!
Pam: A calander with dates & my projected income.
Bonnie: Plan where I am going to sell enough of my tazars to be in the company,seel enough over my coming website.

Good networking sales skills:

Pam: Offering your products online! Pam believes having her business available online, will help to kick-in in the internet.
Bonnie:Out of town networking, family members and friends and of course, the coming website!
Alot of people in business don't like the door-to-door approach, so I prefer to use the telephone.

Do you think you'll stick with what you are doing now? Is there something else out there? Both of today's guests agreed to keeping their doors open to any other possibilities, while sticking with their current roles.

The risks of owning your own business: For Bonnie, being a single mother is a task in itself, especially in this day and age of high technology where there are usually 2 working from home.
Bonnie: Your own business can be tough when it comes to insurance, a steady pay cheque, but the upside is i don't have to 'clock-in'! I work 24/7 and often on-call. Bit of a toss up...if you can afford it, and feel you can be successful then have a go.
Pam:I'm a risk taker! lol The word, 'impossible', is not in my vocabulary. My job never ends, around 70hours a week! I once had an office outside the home where people didn't see what i was doing. I feel some don't respect your time and hours...balancing this is a real challenge!

In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?
Pam:NO..if you don't make a plan, you won't disappoint! lol Perhaps more focus placed on advertising. ie: Opposed to advertising our bridal business in newspaper, we should have done through a bridal magazine. Business quadripled once we changed!
Bonnie:Sometimes things move so fast, you just have to take off with both feet running!
Pam:With a business plan, I did sit down to do, but kept being taken in other directions.

Pam:Had a business advisor-Told me certain things like the amount of % we should spend on advertising in the business. Need money to re-coup!
Bonnie:Haven't really spent alot-More word-of-mouth and networking. Will be doing some advertising, just not yet. Although, you never know?

List two ways of networking- The advantages/disadvantages:
Pam:I prefer the one-on-one meetings. "What can I do for this person?" approach, in a room with others.
Bonnie: Disadvantages: No vacation or sick days,but the benefits definitely out-weigh!
Pam: Advantages have been the progression of my business-
Archers Fitness: Became certified, then one thing led to another...videos, teaching other instructors.
Wedding Plan Events: Had done as a hobby for many years, but I got so busy that I went into business!

Bonnie:Have to network!Get involved with all organisations, putting on sales-reps to help which includes using contatcs, getting the word out.
Pam:Networking essential and a strong website presence.In this 'tech' world, the hardest thing was how quickly the events moved, employees and tax a real challenge. Trying to keep up with growth.
Bonnie:I'm still overwhelmed. Have the website launching in approximately two weeks. Everybody wants this product so it won't be hard to sell!

Beverly researched the use of tazars-The service behind the need...surprisingly, not only designed for the police.
Beverly:Are you concerned someone might get hurt, or are mis-using?
Bonnie:Not like selling a fire-arm, this product is in-active while there is a background check by the manufacturer. They have a one million dollar, law-suit interim policy to protect with tazar form in place.

Unique Business: Best tips why someone should work for you

Bonnie: For personal gratification, protection, safety over over loved ones. Very successful business with plenty of room for growth,profitable!

Telephone [b] 904 327 6041 Business hours 24/7

Why would you say Fitness or Wedding Planner to consider?
Pam:Either one, you have to be totally passionate! Set yourself apart and be different. Making things beautiful, eligant, the reward is seeing the the results! Our motto: 'If the bride doesn't cry, we haven't done our job right!'

DAYTONA BEACH RETREAT-Do you feel Trade Shows/Venues are important?

With the Girlfriend retreat around the corner, this was the perfect opportunity to discuss this topic! Both Pam and Bonnie will be attending, so look out for them!

Bonnie:Very important! Make friends while networking.
Pam: On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 30! It's critical! Bridal shows-any networking, someone knows someone etc etc..Quite often, some who have attended a wedding will another customer.
Bonnie: Haven't done any trade shows.
Pam: They are explosive! Looking to include bridal shows!

At this stage of my blog, i'd like to stop to add my own feedback-

When working as Awareness Co-ordinator for Ovarian Cancer Network, I became heavily involved in Trade Venues. They are the best way to meet the public in a pleasant, non-threatening, sales-promoting enviroment! My stalls were always fun! That was my main focus, to capture the attention of the crowd, we presented everything with a real WOW factor, and even if a sale wasn't made, people left with plenty of good information! These venues often carried a variety of local business, established and the new...the atmosphere is great, and you can count on creating a good network if you use your head and imagination! Like anything for sale, you have to think on your feet, to keep the attention.

Okay, back to Bev and her guests.........

Do's and Don'ts of a business:Deciding to choose a business
Pam: Do research! The need of the product, the dempgraphics. Don't let the 'nay sayers' discourage your dream!
Bonnie:Research a need! The don'ts:'Nay Sayers'

If you truly believe, believe in yourself! Put your foot forward, your own risk to fill your own passion!

Thanks to Diva Tally [chat room]

Ten Years from Now:Where are you?
Pam:Built to sell! [Wedding pan/Events] Archer fitness...just to be around! :) Have ideas for a 'Dancing for boomers'....New video production in the works...
Bonnie:Continue to work both-Love to have my own jewellry line! The tazars, where everybody is working for my business, allowing more time for me!

Pam:Find good business advisor!
Bonnie:A small business organisation or look for someone who has retired from their business and get their advice.

End of programme

Pam Archer's website/blogs

Well done ladies, imformative show!
PS: See here for details on Divas at Daytona!