My Violin Journey 2 months and 9 days on…

Today, before I take my violin out of its case,  I make a choice to redirect my practice routine.

 I have been overly ambitious with Suzuki book 1, attempting to learn a new song every week, or even every 2-3 days! Yes I have been able to play them, but not to the standard that they should be before I  should be moving on to the next song. at this time, I can now play up to Perpetual Motion in A Major, the 9th song in the book. I have been impatiently counting down in my head when I would get to last song.

And did I mention I that I seem to be working more on vibrato than the actual songs at hand? again a major no-no by majority of the violin world at this stage in my very early journey. That adds an extra dimension of complication to my already thinly stretched practice routine.

So today, I decide to start going about it right. Or a bit more right-ly , anyway if that makes sense. I have decided to:

1.) go back to beautiful tone production and proper bowing to kill those scratchy and squeaky sounds before I move on any further and bring them to all the new songs I might learn. My left pinky isn’t so bad and weak from doing touch typing and piano when I was younger. my fingerings can be better, but what really impedes my playing at the moment is my bow hand. Gotta conquer and discipline this beast!

2.) go slowly on vibrato. since I have already started it and can do the basic motion, I might as well continue developing it. I just might not plug it into the songs (all the time). I can start by just playing it on the end of every phrase so that I won’t have to worry about my next fingering being out of tune and by bow not being in the correct soundpoint as what usually happens when my fifty percent of focus is elsewhere rather than my right hand.

3.) watch – and actually practice – my purchased courses. Because I  am completely self teaching, I am currently subscribed to Red Desert Violin for Suzuki book 1, 52 Violin Proficiency Exercises for technique development, and Laurel Thomsen’s Complete Vibrato Mastery and bowing courses. One thing from each course each day, and not moving on until I am up to standard on the lesson at hand! I have to literally hold my horses (I mean, my violin bow) from doing otherwise.

4.) finally, I have to indulge my fun side in all of this. After I have paid my dues doing the above, I can work on an actual SONG, but it will either be the next song in Suzuki, or a fun contemporary song, like Silent Night, my goal for December. And not both! Like what I have been doing up to this point. By just focusing on one song every 2 weeks (or a month if it’s harder for me) I can incorporate any new skills I will have developed by paying my dues, so to speak.

And that’s it, the new changes to my practice routine starting from today. The calendar approach works best for me. that was how I finished reading my Bible this year :) time to take this approach to my violin journey! I am so excited 😁 More about this in the next post. Ciao, time to put in some quality practice time while my baby is still asleep, as my free time won’t last long.😂

This was where I was at two weeks ago anyway. Will post another progress video next month. 

How I Got my Life Back

To those looking for a profound, heartfelt and insightful story-post, this isn’t it. Yet. What this is, though, are the steps I took this year 2016 to create the physical, mental, and emotional environment I can live in and look back on with no regrets. And they are:

1. Journalling on Evernote 

2. Reading through the Bible this year

3. Learning the violin!

4. consolidating all my past debt

5. not using my credit card… and discontinuing it in 4 month’s time after I completely pay it off.

6. sticking to a budget 

7. delaying purchases on my want list

8. making a home activity program for my eldest

9. conmitting to two lifelong passions 

10. slowly getting rid of household clutter 

11. having scheduled off-days from everyday tasks and stressors . 

More depth on each in coming posts :)

I can’t sleep. . .

This is the time of day when I have 45 minutes to 1 hour for myself to recharge my wasted ass from doing consecutive night shifts. But ironically, this is when I am most awake.  Blame the gazillion thoughts running through my mind when my eyes are closed. 

Currently thinking about: beauty and death, the zombie apocalypse, liquid galaxy themed school supplies, what legacy I am leaving, and merlin’s mushrooms, I need to get out of bed now!

With just enough time to brush my teeth and slip into my scrubs, I head out the door for another night.

My hair still smells of barbecue but that can’t be helped. Did I say Mr Boss wants me to take the MPV tonight? Good luck to that.

Thank you Lord for another night, bless the rest of the sleeping world, and here goes.


You sent one dozen roses to my dorm room one fall
Wrote me saying I was something special
Asked me whether I had a beautiful voice
When your dark eyes fell on my neck’s tattooed notes

At one time or another
when I could not be bothered
Budging first was a move you had made

For me in this game, it starts out all the same
It always happens when I don’t care for love, loss, praise, or blame

You hijacked my mind with your words just like that
Ballpoint notes, hidden glances, random talk, you sure had
Here in the quiet, it always comes round back to you
The timing was wrong, I had some wisening up to do

Where on earth are you now?
At the same address, I guess
But you’ve gone on to meet better prospects some place else.

All I’m sure of is that you gave up too easily
Leaving lots of open-ended nagging questions for me

Looking back, I know that it was never your fault
I only saw you ’cause you saw me first
I didn’t know you’re what I was looking for
You were trouble, now you’re gone, and have left me for worse

If I could speak to you now
Do you like tattoos too?
How do you like to unwind?
I enjoyed watching House in uni just like you,
What else keeps you up late at night?

In moments of fleeting spontaneity
All you did was simply NOTICE ME
When all I ever did was carry on with my life
Amazing how six words etched you forever on my mind.

I lost that silver bracelet you gave me in a car
Pressed the roses in books shelved away
But that ‘childish’ gift of mine that you spoke of one Sunday
Forewarned me you won’t cherish me anyway

You see, crafting is what I will retire to
Once I’m deaf to your badly played bass guitar tunes
In this theoretical relationship that was doomed before the start
As soon as I tasted your insensitive heart

And so the story goes, you will never know
Just how awesome we could have been like
But I’m only ranting now, with regret somehow
Because sadly, neither will I

I should have given you that encouraging glance
Boldly asked my burning questions when I had the chance
So that you’d also know how much you meant to me
That I felt you that time when you felt for me

Whatever you saw in me that day remains
I still am who you think I am
That awesome girl, the closest thing
to perfect
But now the farthest thing
from you

Here I write, too far gone now from your mind
While you still unfairly linger on in mine
You mess with my head when I lie down in bed
Tried erasing you too many times

Now I’ve accepted you’re a core memory
In the head of this girl who once thought it was “she”
And I’d smile for a moment having once caught the eye
Of the same awesome guy I beheld for a while

You’ll find yours one day just as I have found mine
And I am absolutely no unfaithful wife.
Honestly, I’m more than happy in life
If not for my peace that just sometimes gets rife
with the ghost of you.

I’m not even dreaming to hold your steady hand
All I wanted was time and another chance
To sit across the table and get to know you more.
It will be so much better and I’d be none the wiser
Unless I see you again once more.

And just because I don’t wear your ring
doesn’t make me care less how it’s been going
with you.
Love is a spectrum anyway that runs across many shades of grey
And by this line, somewhere it is fine
And okay for me to wonder
What you’re thinking, feeling, and doing tonight

I still wish you were near
In this same atmosphere
Working with me to make broken bones right.

So in closing, she’d better take good care of you
‘Cause I know now all too well
That until such time I get closure from your crime
I will always give a damn about you.

Is your credit card leaking?

Looking at my online transactions today I just realize that the credit card insurance cover I availed for is costing me 30 grand a month.

And the only reason I got this card is for a one year interest free balance transfer. So will I stand back and let 30 grand leak wastefully from my bank balance?

No, no, no. Just no. Thanks but no thanks ANZ.

I’ma give them a call right now to put an end to this insanity.

$200 down the drain

It’s been a whirlwind of a week this week, and I haven’t really been able to keep on top of my budgeting partly because I am tired/sleepy/busy with continuous night shifts, babysitting, and visa applications and partly because I misplaced the old fashioned notebook that holds a written record of all my transactions. Up until today, that is.

While Baby Boss is asleep and her older sister is busy drawing her heart map for school, I snapped out of my stupor from having only 5 hours of sleep because I suddenly remembered that today is the last day for me to send my monthly dues to my family in the Philippines.

Having paid off my BNZ credit card, I thought I’d better check in on my Gem Visa balance. Lo and behold: it was a whopping $971 dollars. I am pretty pretty sure 2 months of bills won’t amount to this.

Then I saw the culprit: a $200 charge for my website hosting plan. Two hundred dollars for a blog I haven’t updated in two years? What the hell. It’s time something changed around here.

Either I stop self hosting altogether or I stop blogging. It’s really down to me whether I want a self-hosted blog or not, or whether to blog at all, but I can’t control the passage of time for each and every day that passes that I don’t write something up and publish. I determined that I really want to blog.

So for this recovering shopaholic who is trying to get out of debt at the same time, from now on she’ll do her very best to milk the $200 NZD hosting plan that was just charged on her credit card, whether her posts are perfect enough or not,  because there is no such thing as the perfect blog post. Not in my world anyway.

So hello to more posts beginning March this year. There’s plenty of time to rest when I’m dead.

My Non-Shopping, Facebooking, and Internet Surfing To-do List

Last time, I cut up all my credit cards. Now I am quitting Facebook, but only for 6 days a week. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and while in themselves credit card and Facebook aren’t bad, they have insidiously gotten a hold of my life until I no longer had control over them; they have been controlling me.

It’s high time for me to break away from my shopping, Facebooking, and Internet surfing addictions (there, I said it) and drastically removing them from my reach has worked out well so far. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time, revisiting this pre-Internet and pre-smartphone era of my life. It just seemed so long ago that I don’t know how to live without them again.

Well there’s only one way to find out. Today, I’m doing a night shift. And in the next 6 hours of my life, I am free to do anything that involves being close to Lyrica who depends on me for her food (breastmilk). This is both freeing and scary. I always wanted more time, but now that I have free time, I don’t know what to do with it. Or shall I say, afraid to do what I actually need to do.

Yes, truly living takes courage.

1. Play silly, fun, pointless games with Lila and Lyrica

2. Take out those recipes that have been collecting dust for so long in my cabinet

3. Buy said recipe ingredients from Pak N Save (while walking with Lila, of course)

3. Make them (recipes) with Lila

4. Pull out my Nursing reviewers during my downtime

5. Start reading the Bible in private, after 3 and a half years of just reading articles about the Bible itself

6. Master my eye shadow applying once and for all

7. Learn new hairstyles for all the girls in our household

8. Start doing sit-ups, for real

I can’t wait to get started. Or not. Did I say I’m afraid?

Anyway, to hell with the fear.

*Logs off Facebook*

*Deletes Facebook icon from smartphone*

*Turns off Wi-fi connection*

*Hits publish*

Here goes nothing.

Welcome to my Happy Place

Dear You,

I cannot NOT post my thoughts. I cannot think if I do not write. This is why I write. This is my happy place. This is where I spill my thoughts and post all the random pics I want to post and selfies of myself without annoying all my friends on social media and boring them to death by flooding their walls. This is where I can be controversial without anyone thinking I am targeting them, because I am not (into that kind of thing).

This is where I can invent words, be redundant, be a self proclaimed genius (or more truthfully, a self-confessed idiot), not care about typos, and blather on.

This is where I can be true to myself, admire the truth, be set free by the truth, and question the truth I know without stirring up a revolution, causing a scandal, contemplate deep and shallow until I am blue in the face, and think out loud, in the safe confines and vast anonymity of the Internet where I am someone, but I am no one. Where I am unique — but then so is everybody else.

This is where I can live backwards and see how well I am doing in comparison to no one but my previous self.

You can agree or disagree with me but at the end of the day, to each his own. We can have a lively discussion but trolling in any form will not be tolerated. There is enough hate in this world but we mortals sure could use some more love, kindness, and help from a place of courage.

Feel free to follow me on my journey. Or click the exit button. Whichever you prefer. But this is my happy place, and I will ramble on for as long as my drive to talk to myself is still running.

Welcome to my life personal blog. Feel free to say hi. No matter how long or short, I hope you enjoy your visit.

So, helllo :)

Frances Colleen