The A to Z, of me!

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery – for the purpose of this post, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I recently saw this idea on Sonia Styling’s blog, and she saw in on Woogsworld, and now you’re seeing it here.

For those who love a list, enjoy a GTKY game or are just morbidly, or even mildly curious, here’s the A to Z of me.

Animal – if you were an animal, what would you be?

Not an auspicious start, as I’m not much of an animal lover. Hmmm, for now I’ll say cat, only because I have a lot of time on my hands and I do like curling up in warm spots. Whichever creature in the animal kingdom is the most clever, glossy, bossy and entertaining, I’ll happily be that in your imagination. Unless that’s the aardvark. Nobody wants to be an aardvark.

Books – what’s on your reading list?

I’m engrossed in The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. It’s so GOOD! The fabulous Catherine Deveny shared recently that she’s reading it chapter by chapter with her teenage son and they’re having excellent chats about feminism, labels, fictions – how rad is that? Buy this for yourself, and your partner, your sister, your boss, or the bloke next door. You can read about the idea behind the striking cover of the book here.



The next book on my shopping list is style blogger Nikki Parkinson’s Unlock Your Style. Nikki is all kinds of smart and stylish, and generous with her fashion know-how. I’m looking forward to buying her very first actual-you-can-get-it-in-the-shops book.

Compulsive about anything?

Even numbers, neatness, grammar, please and thank you, correct usage of the much maligned apostrophe, absentmindedly rubbing my eyebrow (what’s that about – so weird!), and many, many other things.

Dreams – do you dream in colour, remember them, keep a dream journal?

I couldn’t tell you if they’re in colour, sepia or black and white, but I regularly have very vivid, wildly odd dreams. I sometimes remember them, and have had dreams that have been quite hard to shake, they were so real to me. I’m a bit déjà-vu-ish too. It’s a thing!

Eating – what’s your usual snack?

A handful of almonds and dried apricots – hahahahaaahaaa, oh my sides hurt. I’m a sweet and salty girl – give me some crinkle cut chips and some chocolate and I’m good to go. I did eat a mandi today, they’re quite delicious.

Few of your Favourite things?

My local library. All those ideas, for free! Not to mention free wi-fi, and the gorgeous views.

The West Wing; and Aaron Sorkin.

Time to just look out the window.

Silence.       Blogging.       Dappled light.

Giggles – what or who makes you laugh? Do you have a good sense of humour?

I love well-chosen words, quips and lightning wit. Reading blogs like Woogsworld often cracks me up. Corrine Grant’s got the gift too. Late night guys Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon are genuinely funny, unlike Old Man Letterman, who is, well, not.

As for GSOH – you don’t know the half of it, I’m hilarious!

Hot button issue?

Crimes against words. Rudeness. Cruelty. Slow drivers. People who stand at the top or bottom of escalators nattering or gazing into space – for the love of consumerism, move your butts! Our Tone and his mate Scott Morrison.

I am ….. myself. A blogger. An individual. An adoptee. A seeker. A work in progress. Happy.

Ju-ju – do you believe? Yes I do. Call it whatever you like, I believe in the power of positive vibes, especially when they’re sent to others – but not in a ridiculous, selfish ‘law of attraction’ gimme gimme way.

Known as – aliases? Screen names? A nom de plume?

To those who know me well I’m Nettie. Everyone starts in the Annette camp, Nettie is by invitation only. I’ll let you know if you’ve breached the gate.

L is for love. I love …

the girl I see in the mirror, chocolate, my #favouritehuman, kindness, words, generosity, dappled light, trees, and Melbourne.

Meeting people – do you like it or loathe it? Prefer parties or one-on-one?

I’m an introvert, but I love good company. I like people who have a twinkle in their eye, who are a bit left of centre. I loathe parties – loathe them!

Name – what’s the story there? Were you named after anyone? Do you go by a nickname?

I have had two given names, you can read about that here. My dad, who is one of the best blokes ever, used to often croon to me as a kid, “Net, Net, she’s my pet”. Naaw, on ya dad.

Observant – what’s around you right now? What do you see?

I am at my desk. I see a surfing sloth, my noticeboard, and a miniature Eiffel Tower. The sun’s gone down. It’s quiet.

People – who are the special people in your life?

I have a #favouritehuman, she’s 6, going on 26, full of life and ideas, love and stubbornness and killer dance moves. She’s my ‘mini me’ and I am excited to be hanging out with her tomorrow. I also have some amazing, loving, funny, creative, smart, and generous friends. They’ve carried me.

Q – any little quirks about yourself?

So many! I am a great on-the-spot lyricist; the TV must be on an even numbered volume, all the clocks in the house must show the same (correct) time. I love quoting movies, and often wave at strangers in the street. I sing loudly in my car, and in my house. At 46, my mother still shooshes me – ha! Never gonna happen.

Recreation – what’s your jam?

‘She was a day-tripper, a Sunday driver yeah….’ I love to hop in my car and head off, to the bay, into the hills, or just around the ‘burbs. If I see a great café, I might stop for a latte and do the crossword, and people watch. I love going to the movies, and having people over for dinner.

Sing in the shower? In the car? For friends?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Lucky them. I’m no American Idol contender, but I can hold my own.

To-do list – what’s at the top of the list?

Final preparations for ProBlogger 2014. Cannot wait! Ongoing – find a job.

Unusual experiences. Had any?

The déjà-vu thing has been incredibly strong at times. I was at a boisterous dinner party with my hippy-dippy aunt and uncle and their equally radical friends when I was a kid, and I knew they would argue about particular subjects – the environment, specific outworkings of their spirituality. I was 12, I discovered Dragon that weekend too. Whenever I hear April Sun In Cuba, I’m transported back to that house, and that night.

Vegas, Vienna, Vladivostok – how far have you travelled? Favourite city?
I do not own a passport. I haven’t been further north than Fraser Island, or east west than Radelaide. Wanderlust, schmunderlust. I may not have been to “Paradise” but I’ve certainly been to me (this is a reference to a killer song of my youth, you’ll get it or you won’t, it’s okay). My favourite city is my beloved Melbourne. I love her crazy weather patterns, her parks, her shores, her light, her people, her coffee.




Winter, spring, summer or fall – what’s your favourite season? What makes it special?

Autumn. Hands down. Relief from summer’s heat, the changing colours, the crisp evenings. The colour of the sky, so, so blue, the leaves, the end of endless chicken salads. A return to more enjoyable cooking, and baking. My birthday. My #favouritehuman’s birthday. My best friend’s birthday. The word autumnal.

The X files – I am 46, so there are ex-files. I once dropped a boy who quoted the lyrics of Wild Thing to me as a romantic gesture. Silly lad.

Yearnings – any secret/deep yearnings?

To become a great blogger. To write things that reach beyond my blog. To leave my mark on the world.

Zero to Zenith – where are you in your life? Growing, moving forward, just skating along?

I’m somewhere in the middle, the road is open before me, the sky is clear and blue.


Now you know my A, B, Cs, won’t you leave a comment, please?


Annette xx


What’s in a name?

I have been dipping in and out of Claire Hewitt’s daily May blogging challenge and today’s prompt caught my eye – First Names.

For most people, their baby’s name is discussed over a long period, and during pregnancy. There are favourites. And names that are immediately discarded as too common, too strange, too much a reminder of that annoying kid from school and the list ebbs and flows. Opinions are sought and discarded and sometimes the poor kid causes arguments before they even come into the world.

I don’t really have any idea about how I got either of my names.

I have had two first names.

One was given to me by my 17 year old mother, prior to my adoption, and one was given to me upon my adoption. So which one am I? Does a name define a person?

Am I Sara, daughter of Andrea, my teenaged mother, who I know precious little about? (I don’t know anything identifying about my father.)

Or am I Annette, daughter of Brian and Dale, who didn’t have their own biological children until after they adopted two babies?

I don’t usually use different terms for my mothers and fathers, because I don’t want to – and I think labels have the tendency to compartmentalise or diminish significant roles in my life. This will confuse, or even rile some folks. Tough luck. These are my people, and the language I use about them is my choice. I have two mothers, and I have two fathers. I will not allow anyone’s discomfort with that to impact me. It’s the truth about who I am.

The interesting thing is that both my names have something in common.

Sara is a diminutive of Sarah, which has Hebrew origins and means lady or princess. Sarah was the wife of Abraham, the Old Testament prophet. She became a mother at 90. No thank you.

Annette is a diminutive of Anne if you prefer the French lineage, or Hannah for the Greek fans. Either way, the meaning is gracious, merciful or favour, grace. And Hannah was the mother of an Old Testament prophet.

So, which one am I? Who am I? According to my names, I’m a merciful lady, and on a good day I might brush past these characteristics. A very good day!

I can tell you that my thoughts about my names have changed over the years. I actually really like both my names, and in recent years I have toyed with the notion of making Sara more a part of who I am now. Perhaps a small tattoo? It’s only four letters. I hold the world record for weakest stomach/lowest threshold of pain, so no tattoo yet – it’s not something I need to rush into.

Inevitably, some of you will be thinking, “but how will that make your parents feel?” You may find the notion of me wanting to honour my first first name disloyal or even wrong. Adoptees spend a lot of time answering questions about how everyone else feels – their adoptive parents, their ‘birth/biological’ family, their siblings. Tip: ask adoptees how they feel please.

It’s so strange to be telling someone your story and have them seem more interested in the other characters in it than in the person standing in front of them. As an adoptee, often the role people see us in is of the grateful “orphan” or rescued wretch. This isn’t a musical! There are a million posts I could write about being an adoptee – I’ll try and stay on track with first names for today.

So, I’m Annette – one of five children that share family history, parents and our surname, yet we don’t all share physical characteristics or DNA. Most importantly, “they” all love vanilla slices and I find then gross!! Ergo, vanilla slice loving is 80% genetic.

My dad calls me Nett – you may not. My good friends call me Nettie – you may become someone who shares that level of friendship. I’ll tell you if you overstep. I’ve done it before! Mostly, people know me as Annette. That’s who I am.

I am also Sara, a woman with no idea about my origins, or family history. I have no clue whose blue eyes I have, who I might laugh like, or frown like, or LOOK like. I don’t look like my favourite aunt or my gorgeous sisters (I’m still super cute!). I know my mother’s name, and her mother’s name. I know that Andrea’s birthday almost coincides with my parents’ wedding anniversary.

And whatever you call me, I know myself pretty well.

So, what’s in a name? Plenty. Echoes of my mothers’ desires for my life perhaps, or their feelings about and hopes for me.

Names don’t belong to our parents for long, they may choose them, but we grow into them. I intend to keep growing into both of mine for a good while yet.

Thanks for reading. If you’ve got a question about adoption, please feel free to ask!


Annette, and Sara xx

You can make a tea, but it’s coffee for me

Hi there! Come on in, make yourself at home.

What can I get you? Coffee, tea, perhaps a vodka, lime & soda? Whether you’re one of my six awesome Bloglovin’ followers, a Facebook or real life pal, or have ended up here via Meet Me At Mike’s – you’re more than welcome.

Having just graduated from the amazing Blog With Pip course, the lovely Ms Lincolne has invited her students to this linky ‘A Cup of Tea With Me’ party at her place. While I’m strictly a coffee loving girl, if you need a milky chai to get you by, go for your life. Pull up a chair, I’d love it if you wanted to stay a while and chat.

For those who haven’t been here before, my name is Annette and I’m the girl madly pulling the levers, great and powerful Oz style, at I Give You The Verbs. She’s the new kid in blog town, so she’s often hanging out by the front gate, waving at the neighbours and seeing if anyone wants to play. 


pods in formation


Here are five fascinating factoids about me:
I live in the best city of them all, Melbourne town.
I remember the 1980s with immense fondness – the music, the fashion, and the awesome John Hughes films.
IKEA is my happy place.
When I was in Grade 2 (I think it was 2) we had a school excursion to my backyard, because my dad was, and is, an avid bird lover and we had really big aviaries full of tweeting, flapping, colourful birds for my classmates to admire. Oh, the sweet smell of street cred….. what a moment!
I have tied-for-first-place girl crushes on CJ and Donna from The West Wing. 

Blogging is pretty new to me, and I am really enjoying working out what I want my little patch of the interweb to be, from how it looks (I’m not a swirly pastels girly girl) to what kinds of things I’ll share. It’s got a bric-a-brac market stall vibe at the moment – things I like, things I’ve baked, and posts on some of the stuff that tumbles around my noggin. These things include Instagram fun, GTKY posts like this one, and other musings, like this one about LoveChild. My blog’s tagline – Wanderings, Wonderings and Words, sums it up pretty well.

I’ve wanted to have a blog for quite a long time – I dipped my toe in a while ago, but it didn’t stick. What I didn’t know then, but am convinced of now, is that I needed a fairy-blogmother aka Pip Lincolne to teach me, encourage me, show me the ropes, encourage me some more, answer my eleventy billion questions and remind me to Just Start! I also needed the awesome group of Pipsters I have met via the course to be my travellin’ pals and sisters in blogging. We’re rocking the #Pipsters hashtag like a virtual Pink Ladies gang, and I love it.

By the way, my blog’s catchy tagline – Wanderings, Wonderings and Words –  wasn’t my work, it’s one of many gifts I received from my fairy-blogmother Pip – credit where credit is due, it’s easy and nice to do.

And that’s the story of how I Give You The Verbs went from a jumbled dream in my head to a real live blog, bobbing around in cyberspace.

Thanks for taking the time to have a cuppa with me. You’re welcome back anytime, feel free to bring a friend and stay for lunch.

Bye for now!


This is me!
This is me!