Mystery Blogger Award

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

– Okoto Enigma

You can find more information and all the official rules of the Mystery Blogger Award on Okoto Enigma Website.

A huge THANK YOU to Fantac Cisse at JGC.COM (aka “Journalist-Geo-Cultures”) for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. I am extremely excited and humbled to receive this award and am just tickled pink that she thinks so much of my blog – especially since I do believe I write with love and passion.

Please check out Fantac Cisse’s blog at: https://journalistgeocultures.com

You won’t regret it. She writes on a range of interesting and eclectic topics. I really enjoy her writing and know you will too.

5 Questions for me, from Fantac Cisse

1. What is the best love quote you ever read?
This one sums up how I felt when I met my husband

2. What’s your favorite color?
Red of course (it goes faster)

3. Is there a book or a song that truly changed your life?
A book that changed my life was “It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken“. I am never usually into self-help books, however after a divorce and series of very bad boyfriends, this book completely revolutionised the way I viewed relationships and my own self-worth (and helped lead me to my husband 💖). Gee, picking a song is a tough one though – there have been so many that influenced me in my formative years. I can narrow it down to two (see the YouTube links below).

4. What is your favorite food?
Pizza and pasta…closely followed by Pavlova

5. Where would you like to travel this year?
I have a holiday to New Zealand coming up in just 2 weeks. I am travelling with my youngest sister and we are starting in Wellington on the North Island and getting the ferry across to tour the Marlborough region of the South Island. I am very excited about this trip.

In September I am going on a two week holiday with my husband to a beautiful beachside village on the mid-north coast of NSW, called Scotts Head. We have a beach front cabin booked and are looking forward to some rest and relaxation.

Three things about me:

  • I am a 40 something year old primary school teacher
  • I live in north-east Victoria in Australia
  • I once won a “truck pulling” competition at the Castlemaine Show

My favourite / best posts:

By likes and views, my all-time best performing post is Tasi. Luckily, it’s also one of my favourites!

Other favourite posts are:

My nominations:

There is never any obligation with my nominations. If you can’t participate for any reason, please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.

I don’t nominate specific blogs, as many are award free or have limited time to participate. If you have read this post and want to spread the love, consider yourself nominated.

I’d love to hear your responses to my questions below:

  1. What is your favourite animal and why?
  2. What do you love to do (besides blogging)?
  3. What is a special talent that is unique to you?
  4. What is your favourite motivational quote?
  5. Share a photo of where you live that gives us an insight to your daily life. Be creative.

Please share a link to your “MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD” post in the reply section below so that other people can visit your site and check out your answers.

Also, please visit Fantac Cisse’s blog “Journalist Geo Cultures“. You won’t be disappointed!


1 Put the award logo/image on your blog.
2 List the rules.
3 Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
4 Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
5 Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
6 You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
7 Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
8 Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
9 Share a link to your best post(s).

Stories by Sarah

Small Kindness

There had been a blight upon the crops for months now, and his people were slowly dying from starvation. The pharaoh called a closed meeting with his advisors who recommended he enact the ritual of small kindness. The pharaoh cringed and initially refused such an atrocity. But his chief advisor cajoled him, explaining the practice was the only means by which they could survive the famine.

The children were heaped together and did not question, why they were suddenly being fed such a feast, in a time of scarcity. They wolfed it down hungrily, until their eyes turned wild with panic. They started to fall one by one, foaming at the mouth and twitching, as the poison spread through their veins.

Eventually, when they were all dead, the chief advisor reassured the pharaoh. “It was a small kindness that they should not suffer any more. By their sacrifice, now we have enough food to survive until spring.” He put his hand on the pharaoh’s shoulder adding, “and we can always make more children.”

A mother sobbed over a tiny sarcophagus containing her son.

The pharaoh looked away.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #343; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – March 18th, 2018

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Patience Rewarded

Author’s note: I have combined the two challenges this week to create a Haibun. The prose tells the fable, the Haiku delivers the message.

Three snails looked across the green grass, hoping to get to the other side. The first snail was impetuous, setting off across the lawn without consideration for his vulnerability or awareness of the potential dangers. From out of the sky swooped a magpie, snapping him up and crunching his shell, the bird enjoying this squishy, unexpected treat on her journey back to her nest. Shaken, the next snail, cautiously looked around him. Checking over and under leaves, analysing every inch of ground for danger. His foot taking such hesitant steps, that he never realised that the sun was drying him up; desiccating him from the outside in. He was stopped midway, and never moved again. But the third snail, waited. He knew that by staying where he was until night fall, the cover of darkness would shield him from the predatory eyes from above. He also knew that the heat from the sun would soon disappear, enabling him to maintain his mucus trail and keep on moving. And so, as the moon appeared, he commenced his journey. Safely, he made it to the other side of the garden and to the sanctuary of his new home among the lettuce leaves.

Wise words: “haste makes waste”.
Think through your situation.
Patience rewarded.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – patience; and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #46 – Patience. Prose Challenge – Write a fable on the theme of patience. Poetry Challenge – Write a haiku inspired by the word prompt.

Stories by Sarah

Carrot Cake?

Jake’s eyes sparkled as he slid the plate towards me.

The sliver of cake was moist; loaded with carrots. Ground walnuts, covered the rich cream cheese icing. I picked up my fork, mouth watering in anticipation.

“Where’s yours? I don’t want to consume all these calories on my own!” I teased.

“This one’s especially for you,” he replied.

Shrugging, I dug the fork into the cake, feeling metal hit metal.

Breaking it apart, I gasped. In the middle lay a cushion-cut, diamond ring.

“It’s a carat cake,” Jake joked, locking his eyes on mine. “Will you marry me Isabel?”

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction Challenge – March 16, 2018. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about carrot cake. It can be classic or unusual. Why is there cake? How does it feature in the story. Go where the prompt leads.

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Double Take, 17 March 2018

A tricky “Double Take” this week…

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 17 March 2018!

This week we are seeing double with ‘Double Take’.

The ‘Double Take’ challenge focuses on the use of homophones* to build your writing piece. You have two sets of homophones and you are challenged to use all of them in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Our homophone sets this week are:

auricle – external part of the ear
oracle – seer


hoard – a great stash
horde – a great many people
whored – prostituted

You may be thinking to yourself, How can I use homophones in my writing?
Luckily, Kat at Literary Devices, has some examples for you.

Example of Homophones in Literature
This poem is filled homophones (marked in bold). They create a humorous effect in the poem through having the same pronunciation but altogether different meanings.

Sole owner am I…

View original post 164 more words

Scribblings by Sarah

Speedie Edie

I was given the enormous honour of delivering my Nanna’s eulogy yesterday, speaking on behalf of her 14 grandchildren. I have been so fortunate to have such a wonderful lady in my life for so long and thought I would share this little snapshot of her life with you all…

Edith was known by many names. Mum, wife, nanna, nan, sis, Edie, and Speedie Edie. For us; we knew her as “Nanna” and we dedicate this eulogy to her.

Gloria recalls Nanna being a terrific mother, even though she was very strict. Gloria had a wonderful relationship with Nanna, and developed a closeness that blossomed into real friendship as they both grew older. They spent many, many hours on the phone talking and were always there for each other.

When Gloria was 16, she moved to Canberra. It was not long after this that Nanna and Bill moved to Ingleburn in Sydney. They were always close by and Gloria remembers the support nanna gave after the birth of every child, and how she would always come down to assist, in any way she could.

Contrary to popular belief, the nickname “Speedie Edie” did not come about due to her lead foot while driving, or from any speeding fines. In fact, nanna was an incredibly safe driver, even though, often, she could only just see over the steering wheel of Bill’s big cars.

One day, Edie was driving Gloria and Willy around in the Valiant. Willy was wearing his favourite towelling fisherman’s hat, when it was suddenly whisked from his head. As it flew out the open window, he commented that Edie was driving so fast, the hat was sucked right outside the vehicle. And so, Speedie Edie was born.

Nanna and Bill were very well travelled. They went on adventures to New Zealand, America (including Hawaii), Papua New Guinea, Canada and all around Australia. They participated in many bus tours and loved the ones where they were able to camp and be outdoors. We grandchildren feel we have also inherited this spirit of adeventure and would send Nanna postcards from our travels around the world. Nanna loved receiving them and would read them over and over again. It especially meant more to her, when the postcard was sent from somewhere she had travelled herself.

After Nanna and Bill retired, they returned to Macksville to live. They joined the local dance club and enjoyed many years of social activities and ballroom dancing. Nanna and Bill looked very glamorous floating around the dance floor together.

Nanna also joined a ceramics class, which she enjoyed immensely. As did we, receiving many jewellery boxes, money boxes, vases and bowls. We still have and treasure those ceramics made for us, with the initials “E.P” etched into the bottom of them.

Scotts Head has always been our family’s holiday destination, and we loved spending time with Nanna and Bill. We grandkids always loved a special treat staying with them, first, in their caravan at Uncle Ivan’s place, and later, at 6 Willis St. Down at the beach, nanna was like a bobbing cork, floating around the ocean with a huge smile on her face.

Nanna would always take in a different combination of kids, to give Mum, or Bruce’s wife Tanya, respite. It was never any trouble, no matter how long we stayed. Nanna was a great role model – instilling in everyone – her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren – strong values and good character. She was firm but fair, and always metred her expectations with plenty of love. Belinda recalls how much she influenced her in the her formative years and has especially fond memories of collecting wild passion fruit along Warrell Creek.

In the days before by-passes, we had to go through each little town, on the long car ride home. Nanna would entertain us but making jokes out of the names. “Do you want to LOOK at Cooloongolook?” and “By Croki, we’re in Croki!” She always made sure we watched out for the ghost at Deadmans Gully and was relentless in ensuring we never ate McDonalds – always packing a lunch and baked goodies instead of stopping for take away. In hindsight, this was so much better anyway! Her sandwiches were always so fresh and tasty with tender chicken or corned beef and homemade relishes.

Nanna was the knitting and crochet queen. She seemed at her happiest sitting in her recliner, busily mending clothing, or making blankets, slippers, scarves, doilies or whatever project her grandchildren and great grandchildren were in need of. She would do all this while chatting away, or watching us, as we watched television. Nanna never indulged much in TV, and preferred to spend time watching those around her.

A strong memory for all us grandkids, including Belinda and Rebecca, were the culinary delights that awaited us at Nanna’s. Her famous chocolate cake, pumpkin scones, biscuits, quiche and gramma pie, were always a hit. No matter how much we’ve tried to replicate them, they never taste the same. I didn’t relish the choko though. I used to joke with nanna, that the vegetable really suited its name. Nevertheless, I would always eat it up because I was a little scared about the consequences if I didn’t …and also, knew there would be no dessert!

Somehow the six seater table would manage to accommodate a dinner for eight, ten, or more, and we would always eat using her “best dinner set”. No matter the combination, or how many people, nanna preferred to sit at her vintage telephone table, where she could watch everyone enjoying her meal. Washing the dishes was our way of saying “thank you”. Nanna would always protest but we could tell she was secretly pleased, and relieved, when we did them… As was Bill!

Growing up in the depression, Nanna knew how to make things stretch. Always using food until it was no more, saving buttons, thread, plastic bags, and containers. She was savvy and smart; getting the most out of everything. It was incredible to see a chicken chassis feed 8 or 28. It didn’t matter, she made it work.

Another strong memory, for all the grandkids, is sitting around the dining table playing patience or tile rummy. Bill would cheekily wait for Nanna to become distracted by the conversation and slyly wink, as he’d sneak out a tile or two, or pull out an extra card. Nanna never seemed to notice.

I distinctly remember a conversation with Nanna while sitting around the dining room table, having a cup of tea and pumpkin scone. I was talking with her about life and love, lamenting my singledom and telling her how I hoped one day, I would have a long and happy marriage like hers. Nanna replied with the following,

“I’ve been lucky really. Bill and I have had a great life together. He was a good father, good provider and a good husband, but more than anything, he is my best friend and we have grown into our old age with our companionship holding us together. Isn’t that right Bill?” Echoing from the lounge room came a reply of “Eh!?” from Bill, who was watching the cricket, and clearly hadn’t been listening to a word! Nanna and I laughed. She patted my hand, telling me I would be alright and to just “have another scone.”

Nanna was wrong about one thing though. She wasn’t the only lucky one. We are lucky too, to have had such a wonderful lady in our lives for so long. It offers us great comfort to know Nanna and Bill are together again; eternal companions.

We will now finish with a quote from an unknown author:

We watched you grow old and get tired
And with tearful eyes we watched you pass away
Although we all love you dearly
It’s selfish to ask you to stay
A golden heart stopped beating
Hardworking hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He has only taken the best.

Thank you for joining us today, in saying farewell to our beloved Nanna.

Photos by Sarah, Thursday Doors

Doors of Carlton – Part V

This is the fifth and final “Doors of Carlton”. As you can see, there are many beautiful doors in this older Melbourne suburb. You can enjoy Part I, II, III and IV here or just browse today’s offerings…

Prompt: Norm 2.0, Thursday Doors – March 15, 2018

Daily Post Weekly Challenge, Photos by Sarah

I’d Rather Be…


Prompt: Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – I’d rather be…

Photos by Sarah, Poetry by Sarah, Tanka, Tuesday Photo Challenge


Three years you went on,
embracing old age with grace
all while missing him.
The balance has been restored –
time to be together now.

By Sarah

Prompt: Ramblings Of A Writer, Weekly Tanka Prompt Poetry Challenge, Week 88 – balance and grace; and also, Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 100 – Time

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

The Big Picture

Filled with guilt, I left him.
Making footprints in the sand alone.
No more could I tolerate the silence.
Nor our house, no more a home.

I imagine how life would be,
if with him I did stay.
Would things have remained stormy?
Or would we have found our way?

“Using our very best manners
In each day we’d star,
Exchanging kind words and gifts
With no harsh words to mar.”

But writing a different draft,
doesn’t change the final outcome.
I’d still charge myself with fraud
For staying ’til I was numb.

That marriage was such small fry,
In the big scheme of things today.
Even if I was re-wired,
I wouldn’t have done it any other way…

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt – “The Butterfly Effect“; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #342

Cinquain, Poetry by Sarah, Stories by Sarah


Prose ChallengeWrite a story in no more than 100 words that includes the following words: spring, blossom, bud, nature, bloom

She smiled and felt relieved, as she closed the door behind her, suitcase in hand. He had stamped on her budding dreams for the last time. His controlling nature meant he was never going to allow her to blossom into the person she knew she deserved to be.

She recalled the first two lines of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, a favourite of hers from literature class, back in college: “Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun.”

Yes, she thought. But first there has to be a Spring.

And it was her time to bloom…

By Sarah ©2018

Poetry ChallengeWrite a poem in no more than 10 lines that includes the same words in the list above.

dainty blossoms
budding, sprouting, blooming
nature’s vivid colour palette

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #45 – Spring

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 10 March 2018

A fable-ulous Lucky Dip this week…

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 10 March 2018 – Lucky Dip!

For this week’s Lucky Dip, I have a poem for you to respond to. The poem is called “Fable” by Janos Pilinszky and it is one of my favourites. Though tragic at the end, the poem holds many layers and lessons to be learned.

Today I am asking you to either write about your response to this poem, eg. What is the lesson?


Write your own poem entitled “Fable” that teaches a lesson.

Without further ado, here is the poem…

Fableby Janos Pilinszky

Once upon a time
there was a lonely wolf
lonelier than the angels.

He happened to come to a village.
He fell in love with the first house he saw.

Already he loved its walls
the caresses of its brick layers.
But the window stopped him.

In the room sat people.
Apart from God…

View original post 95 more words

Stories by Sarah

Time To Let Go

Author’s note: Written for my beautiful nanna, Edie, who finally let go last night. May you Rest In Peace with Bill.

“Take this balloon,” Nanna began. “Its life begins much like ours. All shrivelled, until it’s filled with air and starts to grow.”

Bringing it to her lips, it slowly inflated. “Sometimes, we push too far and…”

“BANG!” I interrupted.

“Exactly,” she smiled. “Sometimes, we tie a knot, when there’s still room to grow.”

She made a pinching motion with her fingers. “But sometimes, we can hold it just right. Get a balance between the two.”

“And then what?” I asked.

She laughed, “It’s time to let go!”

Together, we watched the balloon empty and fizzle, before coming to rest.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction Challenge – March 8, 2018. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a balloon. It can be a party balloon or a hot air balloon. How does it add to your story? Go where the prompt leads.


Seventy-Five Years

Reblogging this is memory of my Nanna, who passed at 10pm last night. Together with Bill. RIP Edith

By Sarah

Image credit By Sarah ©2017

Holding his lady.
Married seventy-five years.
On deathbed he lies,
vows honored until the end.
A portrait of love, endures.

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note:  This piece is dedicated to my nanna, 95 years old, and my grandfather “Bill” who passed away in June 2015. They had a truly remarkable and inspiring love; married more than 75 years! I can’t even imagine the bond they shared. Nanna claims he still visits her every night in her dreams, asking her when she will join him 💜💙💚

Prompt: Ramblings Of A Writer, Weekly Tanka Prompt Challenge, Week 59 – portrait and lady

View original post

Poetry by Sarah, Tanka

New Life

New life for old bike
Sliding new tyres onto rims
Fresh chain is affixed
My derrière bruised and sore..
I forgot about those springs!

By Sarah ©2018

Image credit RoAll via Pixabay

Prompt: Ramblings Of A Writer, Weekly Tanka Prompt, Poetry Challenge #87 – Spring and New Life

Photos by Sarah, Thursday Doors

Doors Of Carlton – Part IV

This is the fourth installment of the doors I found while exploring Carlton, in Melbourne, Victoria. You can catch up on Part I, Part II and Part III as well, or just enjoy these offerings for today’s Thursday Doors…

Prompt: Norm 2.0, Thursday Doors – March 8,2018

Daily Post Weekly Challenge, Photos by Sarah

Makua and Kila

Makua and Kila statue, Kuhio Beach Park, Honolulu HI

Image credit By Sarah ©2018

Young surfer, Makua, befriends a Hawaiian monk seal, Kila. Kila helps Makua get lined up at  the best spot at Sunset Beach and gives him good advice when he gets in trouble at school. Makua, in return, nurses Kila back to health when he is injured. I think this statue captures the tale beautifully, demonstrating the friendship and bond between the pair.

Prompt: Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Story. This week, be a visual storyteller.

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Night Falls

Daytime is ending. Autumnal sunset colours the sky. The moon rises to salute the end of the day, but only by half. As the first star shimmers through the dying light, I breathe deeply; inhaling the gathering night. Birds roost, curtains close and golden glows emit from houses. A stillness falls across the neighbourhood, disturbed only by the symphony of crickets. It is a soothing, calming time and I embrace the dark. Relishing the quiet; coaxing it into my mind and body.

my soul manifests
in earth’s resplendent shadow
wondrous creation

By Sarah ©2018

Image credit Andre Ravazzi via Unsplash

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – Wonder; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, 7th March 2018 – Use That Quote. Quote: “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge


Waves crashing against volcanic rock, Honomanu Bay, off Hana Hwy, Maui HI

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 99 – Forces

Haiku / Senryu, Poetry by Sarah

Long Night

lurid thoughts sneak through
disturbing chance of slumber
long night stretches on

By Sarah ©2018

Image credit SpiritBunny via Pixabay

Prompt: Ronovan Writes, Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt, Challenge #191 – Sneak and Night