Australia · clouds · Mount Warning · renovations · summer · Tweed Valley · Uncategorized

Dramatic Clouds

This is something of an experimental post. I’m adding this content from my iPhone, with a photo taken on my iPhone. The mountain, yet again, is in hiding.

Yesterday morning I had a call from our floor covering people. The flooring I ordered before Christmas for my office had arrived. They’d had a cancellation on another instal planned for the day. Could they do my job, they asked?

Of course, said I, not realising they would arrive in fifteen minutes!

In a mad scramble, I removed as many books, sewing paraphernalia, office bits and bobs and furniture as I could. When the boys arrived to instal my new flooring, they helped me move the remaining contents of that room into the next room.

Currently, my dismantled computer awaits my attention in the other room. The room where my computer resides barely has floor space to walk on. What with boxes containing some of the contents of my kitchen already stored in that room, now the office contents have joined them. It’s bedlam.

How do people cope with moving house frequently? All I’m doing is renovating and I feel dreadfully disorganised. It’s so tiring!

But … the end of the kitchen renovation is in sight. By this time next week I will have benches, tiles and a sink with running water. I won’t know myself!

Meanwhile, I will plod through my disarrayed room, sort through the mess, and restore my desktop computer as soon as I can. 😊

A Sense of Spirit · farewell · sisters · travels

The twenty-eighth to the twenty-eighth

sunsetDuring the last month I have spent more days away from home than I have there, an unusual occurrence for me being the home-body that I am.

On the twenty-eighth of October I began a ten-day trip south with my youngest daughter and when I have the time to sort through and edit almost five-hundred photos I took, I will share a few photos here.

Less than two weeks after returning home I headed north, this time to attend the wedding of my eldest daughter who married her long-time boyfriend in a gorgeous beach ceremony.

After returning home from the wedding, and with just enough time to complete and submit a university assignment and catch up on some work, I received news that I had been dreading – my brother-in-law, who had been ill for some years, had taken a turn for the worse. I had to be with my sister.

My big sister means the world to me and I have often cursed the geographic distance between us. Knowing that my brother-in-law, a man I have known all of my life, had just days, maybe even hours to live, had me packing my bags and heading south again.

On Friday night, after a six-hour drive, I arrive just in time to join my family at the hospital. We cried, hugged one another, laughed as we remembered the good times, and shed tears over the loss of a beloved family member.

The funeral is Friday and I will stay with my sister until after we say our final goodbyes to her husband. She has never lived alone before and the days and months ahead will be a time when she will have to make adjustments to the new life which has been forced upon her. Thankfully, she will not have to face the future completely alone – a beautiful girl with unruly curls and floppy ears will keep her company.

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe

Change is inevitable, but for the last month of the year I am hoping for a calm, peaceful time at home. The twenty-eighth October to the twenty-eighth of November this year has been a memorable month, for many reasons.

lucy

 

 

challenges · Changes · gardening · In My World · photography · respect

Words on Wednesday…

Alma

Have you ever found yourself living life on a roller-coaster, both emotionally and physically, when all you really wish for is peace? Managed to get conned into playing the lead roll in dramas, whist yearning for a quiet place back stage?

When your deepest desire is to yell out in your loudest voice, “Stop the world, I wanna get off”, you know it’s time to force yourself into a backseat position, where you can flick through the pages of your book unnoticed, hide in a quiet place in the corner of the garden to take photos of flowers and birds, switch off the phone (and/or take the phone off the hook!), batten down the hatches, take a few deep breaths of sea air (how long is it since I went down to the beach??) and get a hold of your thoughts and feelings.

azalea

When I visit Tess’s Azalea, shown above, I yearn for my quiet, loyal, well behaved old dog, wishing she could still be the pup in my life. She’s been gone now for eighteen months, yet a visit to her grave usually has me with tears in my eyes, remembering. Don’t for a minute imagine that I don’t love and adore my three grand-pups, Porter, Bella and Forrest….they just aren’t Tess, they don’t walk at my pace, they don’t see the world through my eyes. They are not my pets.

butchie

For the last three weeks, just Forrest has lived here, the other two have moved away, and I’ve been able to encourage the birds back into the garden. They fall for bribes of mince and mush every day, and now they are seeing a minimum amount of Dog-Danger about, they are timidly taking their chances and returning to the bird food table.

double decker

The kookaburras are the bravest birds, along with the maggies. Nothing scares them away for too long, not even the pooches! And Forest pup is very young, and trainable. She’s beginning to learn the meaning of the word “no”, which is said often, when I see that little cheeky glint in her eye and suspect she is about to chase a bird!

(Now if I could just train her to stay out of my garden beds!!! Who knows how many “well-matured” dog bones I will find during my future gardening adventures!)

full moon

For my birthday this year, husband gave me a fancy new camera, and when I have saved many, many dollars and cents, I will be in the market for a zoom lens. The lens the new camera came with is marvelous, and the close up photos I have been taking are as clear as a bell, which is very exciting! But when it comes to taking photos of the moon, nothing beats the zoom on my little Canon PowerShot.

gerberas 2

Last weekend I took a visit to our local garden centre to find some colourful flowers for the garden, and arrived back home with a car load. I planted a few, whilst weeding and mulching the new, long garden down beside the driveway, but ran out of daylight. Autumn and winter are wonderful seasons for gardening here, except for the shorter daylight hours!

I’m concentrating my gardening efforts on the front yard right now, as the back yard is a construction zone. An area of the paving at the back of the house had sunk, so a new retaining wall is in progress, the paving (and there’s a lot of it!) will be lifted and replaced and we may even be adding a covering for the patio area, all being well. (It depends on that little matter of the dollars and cents again!!)

happy faces

My son and his lovely financĂ© will be married this September, right here in our garden! So everything around the house and garden must be just right by then….Adam has lived in this house his entire life, and his baby will have the same address on their birth certificate as their Daddy, when they are born in November.

Last Friday, I had brand new carpet laid in the room which is to be the baby’s nursery. It was Adam’s nursery once upon a time, and now he and Mary are preparing the room for their own tiny baby.

How long will the new family live here? I’m not sure right now. They need security, they are so very young, and with the love and support of both families they should have themselves sorted within the next year or two.

honeyeaters (2)

With so much movement within the house recently, every room ended up in a state of chaos! With my daughter and her two dogs leaving, I took the opportunity to have most of the carpet in the house cleaned, so rooms were emptied. Then rooms had to be rearranged and reorganised. And some rooms ended up with the remains of “items no longer required”, which I have mostly sorted through this past weekend. The sorting, tidying and cleaning has seemed to be a never-ending job!

misty day

My work room/office/sewing room is the last room to clean and tidy, although it isn’t in too bad a state. I spend a number of hours every day in this room, and I simply cannot function in a complete mess, so the room stays relatively tidy. Just a bit of a quick clean should see it as good as before.

We’ve had a lot of rain here during the last week, with the valley being invisible behind a huge cloud of mist some days. I love living on higher ground, where the clouds sometimes find you, and you can hide away from the rest of the world. The temperatures are cooler here than ten minutes drive down the hill too, so I can enjoy a tiny patch of winter….my favourite time of the year. 🙂

misty morning

I took the photo above at around 7 am one morning last week, when the low-lying mist sat on the floor of the valley, covering the sugar cane fields and looking as if the ocean had made its way slightly inland overnight. It’s a beautiful sight to see when this happens.

valley mist

I miss blogging. Actually I’m missing a lot of things that are usually an important part of my life. Husband and I try to have an afternoon cup of coffee together every day, just to chat, and to retain some normality in our lives, as some days it feels like everything is moving too fast and spiraling out of control. Even if we don’t agree on all family matters, it’s good to have an ally, a person around the same age, who views things in the light of people of our vintage. By that I mean as opposed to the younger generation who, as much as we love them and have taught them right from wrong, can at times be strongly influenced by significant people in their own lives, who were not raised with our values, yet they wish to try and enforce their ways onto our family.

moody blues

Recently, I’ve had to put my foot down, so to speak, on a number of issues, which goes against the grain for me! I rarely raise my voice, let alone yell, and a couple of family members have pushed my patience to the nth degree recently, seeing a side of me that is rarely shown to anyone. I don’t apologise for being slow to anger, I would hate to be a hot tempered person, and my family knows I’m serious when I do yell! And sometimes, unfortunately, yelling is called for, when a quiet voice is not being listened to.

Now that peace reigns supreme in the household again, I don’t ever want to be placed in an unpleasant situation like that again!

wet

My two cats have remained my constant, cuddly companions this year. My old Phoebe girl, who turned sixteen in February this year, has the most beautiful soft fur, she’s half Persian, half Tortoiseshell, which often blurs in a photo, but my new camera shows her cuddly coat in photos looking just as it does in “person”, so I’ve been taking more photos of her lately. My last photo shows Phoebe in one of her favourite positions, right in front of the window, where she sees the outside world, which she no longer ventures into, yet I’m sure she remembers.

Phoebe

 

Last Wednesday I posted a “Wordless Wednesday” photo, just to keep in touch. I can’t promise that I will return to regular blogging yet, what with all of the “happenings” in my world, but I will try to add a short photo post occasionally. “Silent Sunday” may be another option for me whilst the craziness continues.  My mind is a-buzz with the things that I want to do, yet many a day my body travels through the hours taking care of all the things I have to do!

Until next time, take good care of yourselves, be happy, and I hope events in your world are treating you kindly. xx

The-way-you-treat-yourself

Uncategorized

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Window

A window through a window.
A window through a window.

Whilst choosing photos for my Byron Bay Lighthouse post yesterday I had difficulty in deciding which photos to add. This lighthouse is very photogenic indeed! When I read in my emails this morning that the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for this week is “window”, it opened a window of opportunity for me to add a few more photos taken in and around the lighthouse. 😉

Three windows and a door.
Three windows and a door.

I like windows, and taking photos of windows, I also like to take photos through windows, so this challenge appealed to me. Actually, it’s really no challenge at all. Even if I hadn’t taken so many window photos in and around the lighthouse, I would have had no difficulty whatsoever in finding other window photos. 🙂

A view from the lighthouse keepers house.
A view from the lighthouse keepers house.

“I discovered windows one afternoon and after that, nothing was ever the same.” ~ Anne Spollen.

Portal to the Ocean.
Portal to the Ocean.

“The window of opportunity opens and closes as fast as a camera’s shutter.” ~ Warren Criswell.

A deep window sill, used as a display shelf in the downstairs room in the lighthouse.
A deep window sill, doubling as a display shelf in the downstairs room in the lighthouse.
authenticity · freedom · happiness · inspiration · new beginnings

An Authentic Life

???????????????????????????????

For over a week now I have pondered my first post for 2014, knowing what is in my heart, but where to find the words, I contemplated?

I should never have bothered my brain, as the words arrived by magic in the form of an email this morning, from Rhonda Byrne, creator of The Secret.

“The New Year’s Resolution That Will Change Your Life

There’s one simple message that’s threaded through my books, and it’s the most important message anyone can hear if they want 2014 to be the best year of their life.

Do whatever you can to feel good, because when you feel good, life will be good. The better you feel, the better life will get! Think about, talk about, and focus on the areas of your life that make you feel good, and temporarily keep off the subjects that don’t make you feel good. When you do this one simple thing, everything in your life will get better, whether that’s better relationships, health, money, or better circumstances with your job. Nothing in your life can ever improve until you feel better, and when you feel better, everything will improve. Make feeling as good as you can your number one priority for 2014, and it will be the best year of your life!” ~ Rhonda Byrne.

???????????????????????????????



which brings me to the point of why I needed these words.

For the last few years I have considered, rather than making New Years Resolutions, what would my theme be for the coming year? Some years, the word I am searching for simply pops into my mind unannounced, other years I have floundered around, searching for my word, without any luck. It always arrives eventually, when I have forgotten my desperation for such a word and I least expect to ever discover it.

???????????????????????????????

“As you become more aligned with the truth of who you are, the question of liking yourself goes away. It is a natural state of being.” ~ Rachel Archelaus

This time, the word arrived during December, unannounced, without even so much as a tap on the door of my subconscious mind. It arrived disguised as a feeling, a longing, a simple knowing that this is the direction my life must always take.

My word steered me, ever so gently, into the feelings of knowing that from that day forth and forever more, I must live my life as an authentic human being. So you see, my actual word for 2014 found me and began to weave its magic at some time during December, or, I began my authentic life at that time rather than awaiting January 1. Which came first, the date or the word, is of no consequence, and I don’t remember the date, for it flowed smoothly into my life and took hold of its helm.

???????????????????????????????

Rhonda Byrne’s words resonate with my soul ~ do whatever you can to feel good ~ I feel good when I am living my life as the real me, the authentic me, the person I am when I stop trying to be what I perceive others believe I am, the person I was as a child before other well meaning beings decided what I should be and began steering my life for me.

That last train of thought rattles my equilibrium, so I will banish it from my brain. Old thoughts, old habits, old perceptions, must go, if I wish to improve the content of my life as another year unfolds.

“Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You…Be Free…Share.” ~ Steve Maraboli

???????????????????????????????

I already know, from both endless reading on the subject and having lived on this earth for over half a century (my god, I sound old!) that if you yourself are not happy, no one around you will be either. Happiness breeds happiness ~ isn’t that a comforting thought? It is so much easier to be happy than it is not to be and the condition is contagious!

???????????????????????????????

The following check-list that I came across recently poses the question “do you love yourself?” and asks are you


* Following your heart’s desire.
* Taking care of your own needs.
* Taking responsibility for your life and happiness.
* Treating yourself with gentleness and kindness.
* Laughing often.
* Being yourself inwardly and outwardly.
* Spending time with people who make you feel good and limiting the time you spend with                  people who don’t.
* Forgiving yourself for what you perceive you’ve done wrong or haven’t done.
* Accepting yourself the way you are.
* Allowing love into your life.
* Spending regular time having fun and playing.

All of the above options are available to anyone, with just a simple adjustment of mindset and a touch of determination. It’s a way of life, not a grand announcement. No one need be hurt in the pursuing of one’s dreams of authenticity and any souls who cannot cope with the reality (of you becoming authentically you) will exit the stage of your life over time. I know this, therefore tolerance to change is also required.

???????????????????????????????

“How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people. What is true is invisible to the eye. It is only with the heart that one can see clearly.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

???????????????????????????????

If I am to be completely honest, which is a prerequisite to being authentic, I have edged my way toward authenticity for many years already. It’s a habit, just as surely as any way we choose to live.

I’d really love to hear everyone’s thoughts on 2014. Have you a chosen word which will steer the course of your world throughout the year? This year has a positive feel about it to me, for no other reason than it’s just the way I feel!