A Sense of Spirit · authenticity · gardening · gratitude · photography · remembering · spirituality

My Year in Review, Through Authentic Eyes.

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A continuing joy to my every day is the visit from my feathered friends.

Deja vu closely followed the thought, “It doesn’t seem that long ago since I last decorated the house for Christmas”. I thought the exactly same thing, whilst decorating the house during December 2013. Where has the year gone?

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In May, this tree flowered profusely, to the delight of both myself, and the Rainbow Lorikeets.

 

And now, it’s the last day of 2014, and as I ponder whether 2014 has been either a good year or bad, I realise that, for me, it has been a year of learning. Everything has happened for a reason. And I haven’t resisted the changes that have occurred, realising that I am in the right place, at the right time, and everything happens just as it should, when it is ready to happen. The way it is meant to be.

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I love taking photos in the rain, the moody light adds so much warmth to the photos.

 

I re-read my first post of this year, remembering, as I have continually remembered throughout 2014, my chosen word for this year ~ “Authentic”.

I have planted a lot of old-fashioned hydrangeas in the garden this year.
I have planted a lot of old-fashioned hydrangeas in the garden this year.

We are old friends now, this word and I. At the beginning of the year, I felt their presence constantly. We had to get to know each other; we were virtual strangers, passing each other throughout my life thus far like ships in the night.

Cockatoos visited my garden on the morning of my birthday in May, when my dear friend, Keith, was visiting Australia and staying with me and my family for a few days.
Cockatoos visited my garden on the morning of my birthday in May, when my dear friend, Keith, was visiting Australia and staying with me and my family for a few days.

Oh how I had wished to jump on board that ship! My authentically beautiful friend must have known the feelings and longings of my heart, as this year, they did not give up on the hopeless cause of this mere human, filled with faults and uncertainties. No, this year, when the ship of authenticity drew up beside me, and threw out a life-boat, with just a molecule of trepidation, I dragged myself into the calming warmth of their being. And how quickly we noticed the way we could co-exist, half way between my physical life and the true soul of my inner being.

I have decided that Allamandas are the single most photogenic flowers in my garden.
I have decided that Allamandas are the single most photogenic flowers in my garden.

In contemplating a new word for 2015, I feel myself continually pulled toward my Authentic self, not wishing to leave this relatively new friend behind, as I venture into another year on earth. And whilst I know that my Authenticity will continue into tomorrow, and all the other tomorrow’s that in my life I will enjoy, next year will see a progression of my new-found contentment. What that word will be, as yet, I do not know. My word is still searching for me. Authenticity is screening every word that crosses my path, so when my word arrives, I can feel assured that the right extension of this year has found me.

When I added a hanging basket to the back veranda, a Noisy Minor thought the basket insert would be just the thing to add comfort to her nest.
When I added a hanging basket to the back veranda, a Noisy Minor thought the basket insert would be just the thing to add comfort to her nest.

As I cast my mind back over this year, the day before it changes its status to “last year”, my first thoughts are of Tess. Her gentle canine soul has warmed my heart during so many moments this year. I still feel the sting of tears when I remember her physical presence is gone, even though my Black Velvet girl sits beside me as I remember her love and loyalty.

My Begonia sits in a pot on the front veranda, and amazes me every year, as I watch the brown soil shoot new green growth into the world!
My Begonia sits in a pot on the front veranda, and amazes me every year, as I watch the brown soil shoot new green growth into the world…and further, produce the most brilliant flowers!

I know with every ounce of love in my heart that when my next fury friend is ready to find me, she will. But she isn’t ready to come to me yet, and I believe there is a reason why this is so. This year, in September, my son Adam brought home his girl, Forrest, and whilst I love this baby girl dearly, I know she is not for me. She is a loan-puppy, just the same as Porter and Bella, who moved back home with their “parents” in August. They will be leaving again when their new home is built, and the “family of five”, which includes the gorgeous Sammy cat, will settle into their own little spot of Paradise.

Tess has her own garden now, in a shady area beside the pool. I planted a Fushsia in Tess's Garden a few months ago, hoping it would be happy there, and as you can see, it is.
Tess has her own garden now, in a shady area beside the pool. I planted a Fuchsia in Tess’s Garden a few months ago, hoping it would be happy there, and as you can see, it is.

A part of my Authentic year has kept me away from blogging. My Muse completely disappeared for a while there, although for the first time, I have consistently kept a daily diary, the old-fashioned, hand-written kind, recording events of the day, both mundane and significant. A personal record of my year, which I will continue into 2015.

Father & Son ~ The mottled Magpie is one of three baby birds I had the pleasure of hand feeding during this year.
Father & Son ~ The mottled Magpie is one of three baby birds I had the pleasure of hand feeding during this year.

My Muse has pulled up the most comfortable chair right now, and is making themselves feel right at home on my right shoulder, (Tess is to my left,) sharing the words and feelings that have often escaped me during this year. Will they remain? Will 2015 be The Year of The Muse? Only time will tell.

During May, I helped my son, Ben, renovate his investment unit. The Tweed River runs behind the block of units where I found a peaceful and welcome oasis from the chores.
During May, I helped my son, Ben, renovate his investment unit. The Tweed River runs behind the block of units where I found a peaceful and welcome oasis from the chores.

Dear friends, as I feel my way into a New Year, I will share a small verse that I discovered the other day. The words struck a chord of love for me, as in spending the last year being true to myself, my feelings, my thoughts and desires, I have also learned to accept the flaws in myself, as well as in others. Mostly in others. Authenticity has invited acceptance into my world, acceptance of both people and events. Furthermore, a knowing that I create my own happiness, my own contentment, my own world. And so do you.

Another new plant in Tess's Garden, a sweetly fragranced Gardenia.
Another new plant in Tess’s Garden, a sweetly fragranced Gardenia.

This is ME….
I am not perfect
I live on the planet Earth where humans live
Humans are not perfect
Never have been, Never will be
So I don’t always wear the right clothes
I don’t always use the right shoes
My memory sometimes fails me
I don’t look like a fashion model
I don’t cook like a French chef
I don’t always do what people expect of me
I am human, I am IMPERFECT
But there is no one else like me in this whole wide world
I am unique, I am a MIRACLE
I am what I am
Nothing more, Nothing less
So therefore; Love me for what I am
Not for what you want me to be!
~Yvve Berglund~

Our pets live their lives true to Authenticity ~ we can learn so much from them, and they accept us, just as we are. :)
Our pets live their lives true to Authenticity ~ we can learn so much from them, including acceptance. 🙂

 

 

freedom · friends · new beginnings · photography

The Muse Who Disappeared

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I haven’t had anything to say here for months. That’s not because I’ve had nothing to say, I’ve been talking plenty, both to the people in my physical life, and those who I know online.

Every now and then I have been visiting my blogging friends blog pages (as you will know!) and I love reading your thoughts, and hearing about what you have been up to. I have even continued adding a photo a day at blipfoto, which I really enjoy, as it keeps a daily record of what I’ve been up to, and I pop into Facebook nearly every day too.

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Then I go to the dashboard of my own blog ~~ and there’s nothing.

Why?!

I seem to be in some kind of slump, but I don’t know why. So taking matters into my own hands, rather than awaiting the return of my “Homelife Muse“, here I am. Babbling on about nothing.

But it’s a start…..right?

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I do have a rather wonderful event to talk of (maybe my Muse just came by for a visit!) My husband and I just had a four day trip away together, just a two hour drive from home, but the best part of the trip was that it was just the two of us!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children to the moon and back. But you know, they are all so grown up now, they have their own lives. And I will always be here for them if they need me….but they can live their own lives now, independently of me….I can actually go away with their father for a few days without the sky falling in on them!

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My photos today were taken while we were away. I’ll tell you more about the area we went to another day (I don’t want to exhaust my Muse while she’s here!)

I took over four-hundred photos during the four days, and I’m still sorting through them all. But I’ll be back soon ~ Pinky Promise!

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“Mistress Creation keeps calling my name… I long for her, and she, for me… we will be reunited soon. In the interim, I bide my time dreaming of her, writing about her and stretching her across the vast landscape of my imagination. “Soon”, I whisper to her, “Soon”.”
~ Jaeda DeWalt

friends · inspiration · sewing

Cee’s Share Your World ~ Week 2, 2014.

The old stone bridge at Alport in Derbyshire. One day I will walk on the ground that my ancestors walked on.  Photo credit ~ My dear friend, Keith Talbot.
The old stone bridge at Alport in Derbyshire. One day I will walk on the ground that my ancestors walked on.
Photo credit ~ My dear friend, Keith Talbot.

Cee’s Share Your World questions spoke to me this week. About to begin my sewing, with plans to continue for the day, I quickly peeked through my WordPress reader (just a moment wouldn’t hurt, I told myself).

So here I am, an hour later, writing a new post of my own as my heart advised me to, and in doing so I know that I will focus on the events of my day ahead with clarity, which I would not have done without writing first….

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

England. It’s always been England…always has, always will be. My parents left the country, with my three elder sisters, years before my birth and I have never visited the country. So how do I know the country so well in my heart, I wonder.

Music or silence while working?

Ah ha, another easy question for me. A few days before Christmas I bought a tiny “music machine” on which I could play old CD’s of my favourite Christmas carols (which I did) and today, as I work, I will be dragging out more old CD’s to listen to throughout the day. I had already planned this morning on listening to music as I worked today, then Cee asks the question.

I agree with Carol, she is showing her pink personality. :)
I agree with Carol, she is showing her pink personality. 🙂

What is your favorite color?

Well, seeing as you ask Cee, I took a photo yesterday of a red flower, which showed up as a pink flower on the screen, to which Carol commented, “It’s her pink personality she’s showing – not quite as forceful as her red personality”. In the Psychology of Colour, red, my old favourite colour for many, many moons is a rather forceful colour. These last few month I have become more drawn to lighter colours, mostly pinks. Perhaps, like the flower, I am showing my pink personality more these days.

Do you have a bucket list? What are your three items? A bucket list are things you want to do before you die.

No Cee, I don’t actually have a bucket list. There would be way too many “to do” items on my list and if I had a list, as I ticked off each item, I would feel that it was a day closer to my demise. Yes, I hear you all saying, “but that’s exactly what every day is anyway, regardless of a bucket list!”, which I realise. I just prefer it this way. But I do plan on travelling overseas someday to even more countries than just England, visiting some of the areas I have yet to see around Australia, buy a house in the Blue Mountains where I grew up, see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, work some more on my family tree website, do more work on my garden, take a flight in a helicopter (over water though, ground below seems scary!)…..Cee said three things, , I know, but remember, this isn’t a bucket list!

Thank you Cee! As always, the questions were fun to answer. 🙂

Australia · friends · new beginnings · quotes

Just sidling by….

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“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne, from Winnie the Pooh.

Today I am impersonating Piglet, sidling up to you just to say hello, with nothing in particular to say.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have plenty to say. My mental list of blog posts is longer than my arm, but just now I’m focussing my attention of Other Important Things. I need this time to stay focussed. See what a great job I’m doing with staying focussed? Just had to drop everything and write a quick blog post, between completing This Job and starting The Next Job. 😉

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“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”~ A.A. Milne, from Winnie the Pooh.

Actually I have achieved a lot today, sitting here at my desk, attending to work that I have put off simply because it is way too boring. Even boring jobs have to be completed at some stage, and today I have managed to cross a few of those jobs off the list.

It hasn’t been all boring work though, not by any means. Do you remember a while ago I spoke about starting up something new, work-wise? Today I have registered my new business name, (it’s all so exciting!) and I have a very clear image of what I would like to achieve. When I have all the details in place I will tell you all about my new venture. It is going to take a while to set everything up and it will be continually evolving, but that’s just what I need right now, work that I enjoy, which changes and evolves, which I can do from home.

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“Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”~ Charles Lamb.

Since the weather has cooled down here in my part of the world I have been getting into some spring cleaning too. Yes, I know, it’s nearly winter here. Let’s just say I’m getting a head start. Honestly, by the time spring arrives, around about September, I’ll want to spend every spare moment out in the garden, not cleaning the house!

I’ve been doing a lot of forward planning lately, but for now, I’d better get back to The Jobs at Hand. If I concentrate on those jobs, without getting distracted by wondering how my blogging friends are getting on, I’ll get through the work much faster, right? 🙂

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“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ~ Linda Grayson.

These photos today show just a few of my regular feathered friends who have visited lately. So many new birds have appeared too! I have so many photos to show you all and will do so soon. We have some of the most unusual looking birds here in Australia, even I’ve been amazed by some of the new arrivals.

“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.”~ A.A. Milne.

For now, I will get back to my organising, chores and planning. The sooner I get through these things, the sooner I’ll be back to regular catching up on my blog, and catching up with my blogging friends, which is a very happy place to be.

I just had a thought. I called my blog a distraction….perhaps it’s the jobs I have to get through that are actually the distractions, keeping me away from what I really want to do! Either that, or I’ve just been reading way too many Winnie the Pooh quotes….. 🙂

Changes · dad · father · inspiration · new beginnings

Prattlings of a blogger out of hibernation.

Hello!
Hello!

How fast the last seven weeks have flown by. Seven weeks, since I last added a post here at Home Life!

My regular routine kicked in toward the end of last year, which is being overly busy around the end of the year and the beginning of the new year, with work. I should be used to it by now, I’ve been working the same way for the last twenty-seven years.

The weather is turning cooler at night, bringing beautiful folds of mist to the valley in the mornings.
The weather is turning cooler at night, bringing beautiful folds of mist to the valley in the mornings.

Twenty-seven years! I can hardly believe that I’ve done the same work, year in, year out, for that amount of time.

Making school uniforms from home has had its benefits throughout those years. It helps that I love to sew, the business has grown (or shrunk!) depending on the stage my life has been at, at various times. It has been a portable business too. I began the business when living in Sydney and it moved north with me twenty-one years ago and continued to flourish. And you know what the best part of my business has been? I have been at home for my children, during their growing years.

My children are all grown up now though, all except for Adam, but he is a teenager and will be finished school by the end of next year. And being a boy, he isn’t demanding either!

Miss Tibbs is always contented, so long as she has food and a warm place to snuggle.
Miss Tibbs is always contented, so long as she has food and a warm place to snuggle.

I’ve been thinking about me lately, about what I want to do myself, where I want to be, the work I want to do. I think the time has come for change.

During the last couple of weeks I’ve caught up on life, you know, cleaning the house, tidying a few things up, getting through some paperwork and sorting through my desk. Doing the things I don’t have time to do when I’m making uniforms for schools.

This week I began catching up with some of my blogging friends. I haven’t caught up with everyone yet, but I will. And I’ve written, lots.

Little Butcher Bird, waiting for his breakfast.
Little Butcher Bird, waiting for his breakfast.

On my family history blog, I’ve added a story of some old postcards, from Whitley Bay. Next, I’m looking forward to writing about my grandfather. I’m really loving the way this blog is progressing, albeit slowly! All of the posts I write seem to come together so effortlessly and I really love the look of the website. It’s very personal to me, like my baby, and a site which I am hoping that future generations will also appreciate in time.

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote for “A Sense of Spirit”, but I finally did so yesterday. I have so many ideas of stories to add there, yet when I do begin to write them, sometimes the words don’t come easy. Yesterday’s post, however, simply bubbled onto the page! When I feel what I am writing, deep in my heart, the words flow so easily. On the downside, the writing can leave me emotionally exhausted! I must attempt to at least write one post a week there though.

Tibouchinas flower spring and autumn. They are now covered in beautiful autumn purpleness.
Tibouchinas flower spring and autumn. They are now covered in beautiful autumn purple-ness.

In “Memoirs of my Life” I remembered my dad’s birthday. He would have turned ninety-three last weekend, if he were still here. I added a photo on the post of the two of us, hand in hand, taken only about a month after we lost my mum. Dad was so sad at that time and seemed to never smile, so unusual for him as he was such a happy man. I love the photo though.

This week, I have even written a few poems, something that I used to do years ago, yet haven’t even attempted in the longest time. Surprisingly the words seemed to flow easily and I even started up a brand new baby blog to add them to. (I’m not promoting that blog here, by the way!) An awful lot of poets have already discovered the new blog, adding “likes” to some of my poems. I feel rather wary of some of the poetry I have read by some of these people though, as I have read what I would describe as some really “dark” words! Poems that include glass to cut with, and rivers of blood. Eeeeekk! Perhaps I live a very sheltered life, but I prefer to read poetry with meaning, or at the very least, uplifting! Having said that, some of the poems I have read have really made me smile; a good thing!

Palm trees, wighed down with bunches of palm seeds, looking stunning against the mist.
Palm trees, weighed down with bunches of palm seeds, looking stunning against the mist.

So, while I have been writing, and contemplating change, I have decided that I will see if I can find a buyer for my little business. I would hate to just leave my customers high and dry, with no supplier of their school shirts. Besides, I have more sewing machines than I need, if I stop with this business. There is someone out there who is looking for just what I have to sell, so when they find me, and I find them, we will both be happy!

When I think of selling my business, I feel so liberated! Time for me, to keep up-to-date with my life, all year round! Time to take more walks, to take more photos, to start up something new, something that fits my life more comfortably, work-wise!

My lovely friend, Larry the Kookaburra, is still frequenting my garden restaurant.
My lovely friend, Larry the Kookaburra, is still frequenting my garden restaurant.

Having spent so much time in “blogging hibernation”, I have prattled on a bit today! I’ve added a few photos to break up my ramblings a bit, with no particular theme, just photos taken recently that I like.

It’s good to be back and I sincerely hope that this time I’m back, I won’t be disappearing for weeks on end, ever again. 🙂