Thursday, 31 December 2015

Reflections and thoughts...

It's 2.15pm and I am sitting on my bed having only just had my shower after a blissfully lazy morning and early afternoon of reading on my bed and doing absolutely nothing else!  The feeling is amazing and a well needed intense relaxation session which is helping me to feel ready for the year ahead and to sort a few things out in my head.  Perhaps too there is a bit of divine intervention as I happen to be reading a book at this very time where women from different walks of life are being forced to come to grips with who they are, embracing that and beginning to live their truth...hmmmm.  You see I am a person who likes to understand how and why I work the way I do, I love to learn from experiences and to grow and believe there is never an end to that.  I will be growing until the day I take my last living breath, of this I am sure.

For me 2015 has been a hard year...for quite a few reasons...but the beauty of hard is the gold that comes out the other side.  Having been through 'hard' a few times in my life I now know that while I may buck, cry and protest against the hard and give into the thoughts that it may break me, in my soul I know that there is gold coming and I just need to hang on, to learn and to grow.  It's painful and some days I don't want to grow or learn but instead curl up in my bed, feel sorry for myself and stagnate so on those days I let myself.  But I also know that I can't stay there for long or the very life that courses through my veins, the hope, dreams and strength starts to die and then all those hard times will be for nothing.  So I allow myself a small break and then tell myself to get up and keep fighting.  This comes from my mother by both nature and nuture.  My mother role modelled to me every day of my childhood that when life knocks you on your rear end you take a breath and get back up...and so we do.  I will be forever grateful to my Mum for instilling this into my very core and for getting up every day and fighting and not giving up, for choosing to see good in amongst the crap, for teaching us the things in life that really hold true value which are by no means material possessions bought with money, but they are the rubies and gold worth fighting to hold on to.

So with all that said 2015 for me has been a year of growing my patience, learning to find happiness in the small things not my circumstances and learning that security is a fluid illusion so not to stake my sense of self in that sinking sand - and that right there is my gold from 2015.

One of my biggest stumbling blocks in my life journey, that I feel it is really time to start overcoming, is my fear of confrontation, being voiceless when I want to be heard and for allowing others to sometimes have too much control and say over my journey.  Now I am a strong person, passionate and persistent and consider myself very capable when I want to be but I have an irrational fear of hurting those whom I love by saying what I truly think in the times I really need to so I tend to stay quiet.  I am easily hurt by words and actions of others and am extremely sensitive to rejection and disapproval especially from those I love so much.  I am sensitive...this is both a blessing and a curse and there have been some life experiences that have heightened this side of my personality and while I am not a victim or defined by those experiences they nonetheless sometimes affect my filtering and consequent reactions to certain situations. Therefore due to my fear of confrontation, setting boundaries is definitely not my strength and I often find myself saying yes when I long to say no which breeds resentment and contempt which is not healthy for anyone involved! Work in progress right here!

With these great big frustrating stumbling blocks in mind, 2016 for me is going to be about having a voice.  Now I don't mean having a voice in a selfish and unkind way as I still believe kindness is a life key and is incredibly important to the human race.  But rather that having a voice and setting boundaries is being kind to others by not getting myself into situations where I resent them and doing things out of contemptuous obligation rather than honest willingness.  I am responsible for setting my own boundaries, not assuming that others will read my mind and just that is the quest for 2016.

A couple of years ago after some pondering I decided upon the three things that were most important to me and my journey - be kind, have courage and live truth.  These three things are what I strive for, in my relationships, in my parenting, in my interactions with family and friends and in my decision's not always achieved that's for damn sure, but I do try. So my quest for 2016 embodies all three aspects of what I hold important for my journey, as I am not living truth, being courageous or being kind when I am not honest about my own boundaries with those I love.  So time to take it up a notch and stretch the old tent pegs.

And my final thought for 2016 is inspired by the an Oprah interview a few weeks ago and the one line she said that resonated in my soul and has been at the forefront of my mind ever since - 'our legacy is every life we touch' - that concept is so powerful, inspirational, motivational and freeing! It changes my view on everything - the difference we bring to this world does not depend on what we do or what we have but on the lives that we touch every day!

Bring on the new year, bring on the new growth and bring on the new gold!!


Take care and till then

Thursday, 19 November 2015

one of those days....

Blissfully unaware of the morning ahead, due to my being a tad forgetful, I had turned my alarm off last night so I could get a few extra winks this morning rather than starting work at the usual 6am. Had an as usual fun time hanging with my sis just talking and watching the telly and in our normal form it was a late night - too many words to be said and too many laughs to be had.  Begrudgingly I pulled myself out of bed at 7.30am for my shower, got dressed, put my toast down and jug to boil, hung out the washing, loaded the dishwasher, vacuumed the lounge and put the kids crap from the lounge away.  It's just such a relaxing way to start the day when everything in tidy and sorted.  I was bringing my honey and peanut butter vogels and fake coffee to my desk chatting to Rob who by some miracle happened to have a late start today.  Usually he is out of here, with our only car, at 7.45am and home round 7pm sometimes later as he is currently a guide at The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company which is in Waitomo, a good 50 minutes drive from here.  Mid sentence my mind had a flash of memory, I almost feel like one of those phones that goes on the blink, working fine then turns off, or randomly displays something you didn't push, well my mind did that!  My work course!!!  I was meant to be on the other side of town at a work tax course at was 9.09am.. shit!!  Followed by a string of 'shit's as when I am suddenly and unexpectantly put under pressure I seem to become a dithering, hot flashing, sweaty potty mouth.

Rob was left in my wake wondering what on earth was going on and why was I saying 'shit' so much. I yelled at him from the bedroom about the course as I was frantically looking for my half decent work skirt in the wardrobe that of course couldn't be found in my flustered state.  I remembered the advice I had just given to the 14 year old this morning before she headed off for her exam, when panicking close your eyes breath and reopen to start again.  Although every fibre of my body was screaming SHIT and HURRY UP I closed my eyes and forced myself to helped a little...a tiny little smidge!!  Great for exams but not so great when running late for a bloody course that the boss has paid hundreds for you to attend!!!  Found the skirt and as I am hurriedly zipping the skirt up I accidentally zip my flesh....@#$##$#@#@!!  Carefully while sucking my tummy in and not breathing I unzip my flesh from the skirt and regroup.

Right calm which top....SHIT...SHIT.....SHIT..... I picked one which I quickly threw on, made difficult by my under stress hot flashes and sweatyness.  Not loving it...WHO CARES... really not loving it...HURRY UP...can't do it, by this stage I am opening draws like a mad woman, clothes flying and no draw seems to want to bloody shut because I'm in a rush!  Found a second top...that looks crap...WHO CARES... I FLIPPING CARE...YOU'RE LATE AND IT'S NOT A FASHION SHOW...look I'm going to be walking in late and I don't want to walk in feeling like I look crap too...OK??!!!  Found a third top...OK that will this stage I am a frazzled hot sweaty mess, the thing with hot and sweaty is that this leads to hot, sweaty and frizzy...frizzy hair that is...boofing out in every direction like I am some unkempt mad woman...fantastic, feeling really beautiful at this point!

OK no time for full make up here but I am going to be walking into a professional business environment where I'm not only going to be late, when it was advised all over the emails regarding the course to be there early, but I am more than likely going to be the most under dressed person attending.  Right so a quick brush of foundation powder over my face, won't do much but will make me feel a little better, now for some mascara.....BLOODY CASEY....muttering as I run to her room, which is a tip by the way, picking things up on the hunt for my eyelash curlers.  You'd think I had not bought her some of her own and that we hadn't had the discussion five thousand times about using things and putting them back.  Finally found them, quick mascara application taking care not to stab my eye as is likely in a rush and as has happened many a time on just such an occasion, feeling successful that this was avoided this morning, throwing things into my handbag, smoothing my frazzled hair, gulping my fake coffee and grabbing one of my toasts to eat on the way.  Oh shoot forgot to tell the child who is currently sleeping, as she has an afternoon exam, husband patiently waiting in the car, ran back inside to wake up said teen, good luck was fired at her with a fleeting kiss and as I was running out the door I yelled make sure you shut all the windows and lock the door when you leave!  As we are driving to the course and I am shovelling my vogels into my face to finish it in time, I remember that I forgot cash for the bus...*sigh*.

So thankfully I was actually only five minutes late but like a naughty school child I was reprimanded by the course leader who said 'there are seats at the front I'm sorry as that is all that's left, if you had been here early like advised you would have had more choice" to which I smiled sweetly and took it!  Now the course was great, as great as one can get for a tax course, met a nice lady who also works from home and we talked about having coffee some time next week so that was a plus.  However, forgot I am now caffine free in all that rushing and had not one but two coffee's in the course break while chatting to someone and didn't realise until they were gone.  Went into the second half of the course hoping like mad that my body doesn't do anything crazy as a result of having caffine after nearly two weeks without it...I'm sure you are all aware of the laxative affect that caffine can sometimes have and this was in the forefront of my mind as we delved into deemed dividends and associated persons tax rules!  But it's OK people nothing happened in that department and there is no manic twitching either, which was my other concern, it seems to have had absolutely zero impact on my body...phew!

Right so the bus timetable would have worked beautifully had I had the cash needed to get a ticket, but since I had forgotten the cash I needed to walk in the opposite direction to get cash by which time I had missed the bus.  But silver lining was that the place I got cash from was Spotlight so taking every advantage of the sucky situation I found myself in I indulged in my guilty pleasure of buying fabric just because I like it and came away with some beautiful fabrics.  Have I told you how much I love fabric?!  I LOVE FABRIC!!!

I was walking with my lovely bunch of fabric to the bus stop when I suddenly realised I didn't have my drink bottle anymore (this may seem not important but anyone who knows me knows that I go nowhere without my trusty drink bottle, and it's a metal one so it keeps the water nice and cool - I know I have issues!!)!  But the bus wasn't going to be there for another half an hour so I had time to kill.  I turned around and retraced my steps...not in the hotel toilet...not in the hotel conference room...walked all the way back to Spotlight and found it on the counter.  Now back to the bus stop and by this time the chaffing in my inner thighs was getting a little stingy as each inner thigh  was fighting for position - skirts in warm weather (or when one is flustered and sweaty) when one has to walk further than the kitchen for fake coffee or the bathroom for the toilet is not a good idea...and I know this...but yet I still choose to wear the skirt...hmmmm.  So with each step hurting a little more than the last, I fantasised about the leggings I would soon be wearing at home and reminded myself of what one of my wise teenagers said the other day "Mum do you know that pain is only in your mind - it's not real"...Hannah I tried rolling with that but girlfriend inner thigh chaffing is real and it HURTS!!  

At least there was a seat at the bus stop and a mural that made me smile and twenty whole minutes later the bus finally came.  Two buses and over an hour later I was finally walking down my driveway, thankful that we live down a long drive off a culdesac as the teenager had done a stella job of locking the doors and shutting the dining room window, however the window right next to my computer just next to the front door was wide open!  As were all the bedroom windows round the back...teenagers!!  But maybe just maybe she had had a morning like mine and so I need to give the girl a break because sometimes it's just one of those days!

Take care and till then

Sunday, 15 November 2015

more of the journey...

Oh my goodness...just sitting down to write a post to update the journey progress and I am interrupted by having to tell one of the teenagers the same thing I have told said teenager fifty million times and still it is news to the said teenager every bloody time I say it!!  I just know that the mummy birds actually get their little clawed foot up and give the nearly ready babes a fair boot out of the nest...I just know it!  I'm telling you it's getting crowded in the Red Delicious nest and the wings of my babies are getting too full of feathers and in my face and there are moments when I am really looking forward to them flying out on their own and having some room in my nest again.  But then the flash of annoyance and impatience passes and I look at the photos of them all at six months old that hang on the wall just in front of me as I write this and a flood of memories come at me of the years gone by and I know that I am not quite ready for that next stage...not yet my little babies not yet.

Anyway I digress, so unlike me I know!  So we are approaching the end of week 3 of the new journey, I mean the actual journey is in it's 38th year but I am referring to the one I spoke of 2 weeks ago where there were goals of lots of walking and no eating of chocolate.  How has it gone you ask....

Progress report so far (day six of third week)...
walking is actually going swimmingly, while I have missed the odd day due to excuses that nobody really cares about or wants to hear and while some days I have to force myself to get off my very generous behind and out the door, I am actually really enjoying the walking...shocked the heck out of me!  Not only that but I am really noticing the benefits of walking and how different my day goes when it includes some form of exercise, no seriously now!  I mean I have heard all that talk for years and thought yeah yeah sure whatever floats your boat but now that ones body does not have the bounce back of a young perky spring chicken the benefits are more glaringly obvious.

Not only that, but I no longer feel like a penguin in a wet suit walking down the road in my 'exercise gear' feeling totally uncomfortable with the wind, my too tight sports bra and my shorts eating thighs situation.  I may look exactly the same, I try not to study that too much, but I 'feel' better and that's what this journey is about right?! And let me tell you when you walk fast, listening to great music with a 90% success rate of holding back the song longing to burst forth for fear of looking like a crazy loon, a girl can work up a sweat.  And boy walking the streets of Hillcrest (for those who have no idea it is a hilly case the name didn't give that away) these legs of mine feel the burn, this may not be the case for those of you with obvious muscles but for those whose muscles are a little 'hidden' shall we say it is a flipping good work out.

The only down side for me is the swollen hands situation, which is the original reason I have always hated walking as opposed to going for a run.  For some reason walking makes my hands swell up and I become 'Kelly sausage fingers' ...let me just say not the superhero power I was after or would ever choose.

My hand right now as I am typing this
My hand post walk
Sausage fingers aside...another interesting development is that I have suddenly become a person who takes copious amounts of flower photos....yes I know!  I am that person!!  My instagram feed is taking on a very floral feel and I actually have to stop myself from posting yet another picture of yet another bloody flower.  I just can't help it, it's spring and when you are walking you just notice all the amazingly beautiful plants as you walk past and why not stop and take a photo right?!  I am rather stoked that I did finally manage to get a photo of the elusive bee - do you know how many photos I have taken trying to get a bee photo and then by pure accident I capture a bumble bee mid flight with it's little tongue out - magic!

 And as for the chocolate - well I am pleased to announce that not one chocolate bar or block has been purchased or has touched these lips and I am feeling just a wee bit proud of myself.  Not only that but I took it one step further to see just how far I could take the deprivation and have changed to decaf coffee.  I know right!! The headaches were ridiculous, it was not a fun couple of days for the smaller members of the house who can't help but up the annoying quotient when one least needs it.  I was a grizzly bear out from hibernation far far too early, snapping and snarling and panadol was basically a placebo as it had no affect on the vice like grip of caffine withdrawals.  However, I am now out the other side and it's been a full week on fake coffee, decaf - the coffee when you're not having a coffee!  Why you ask did I put myself (and my family) through this - well it was prompted by my visit to the Occupational Medical Specialist that ACC sent me to and while the outcome was not what I was wanting I think it is actually far better.  Turns out I have OOS not tennis and golfers elbows meaning that I will never be covered by ACC but also that the work I do on the computer as an accountant is 'hurting me but not harming me' - best words ever!  With those words all my worry and fear left the building and now it's about managing the pain when I have it instead of worrying that one day I will be brushing my teeth using my toes.  In that appointment he mentioned that caffine was not good for OOS as the whole problem is muscles not relaxing properly.  And let's face it for this girl caffine is not taken to relax oneself but rather to prop oneself up when one is a night owl in an early birds life and far to defiant to change ones ways so consequently burns ones candle at both ends.  So I made the plunge and bought some decaf and now not only am I the flower loving, no chocolate eating person who raves about the benefits of walking but also the decaf coffee drinker!  Wonders never cease.

Right so onwards and upwards and the setting of new goals...

my two goals for the next 'undetermined amount of time before I blog about my progress' are...

1. get more sleep - I am not setting times here as I am a bit of rebel when it comes to 'having' to be in bed by a certain time and even though I set the time I still defy myself - I have issues OK?!  So what I am looking for here is to be conscious of how my body is feeling and aiming to be kind in the sleep department rather than staying up just to watch telly!

2. cut down to one teaspoon of sugar in my fake coffee from one and a half teaspoons- sounds ridiculous but for a sweet tooth who has recently given up chocolate for a season this is not that ridiculous

OK I think that's enough said for today as I am looking at this page and there is an awful lot of words!  Why is it that always when I am thinking about writing a post or writing more frequently that I think I have nothing to say and then I start writing and out comes a novel?!

Take care and till then

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

how does my garden grow...

It's about time for a long overdue garden update of what is season two for the Red Delicious venture into gardening and growing ones own veggies.  Well...a month has passed (or there abouts) since I last posted about my garden (just realised that was on Facebook not here!) and it has been a month full of gardening woos for me.  In summary I would say the last month has been the war of the snails.  I'd come home full of anticipation and excitement with my new baby veggie plants and lovingly replant them in my garden, give them a bit of water, a bit of gentle conversation and leave them to grow for the night.  Next day I would check on my little babies horrified to discover that all that was left was what one could only describe as a plant nub!

Now I just want it known that I really tried to warn them, I sprinkled those sharp little egg shells everywhere round the garden, I mean they should have received the message loud and clear that the Red Delicious gardens were back in full spring swing and their presence was not welcome.  But no....I replanted the courgettes three bloody times!!!  That is some flipping expensive snail food I was buying each week with the groceries.  So I'm sorry to tell you I just had to resort to snail bait which I must admit made me a little sad, but then I looked at my baby veggie plant nubs and sprinkled that stuff everywhere with reckless abandon and no guilt!  I would much rather that they just heeded the egg shell warning but I'm afraid that the consequences of their non-compliance was death!!  The garden did indeed become a snail graveyard for a good week but now fear reigns over the snail kingdom in our garden and we have won the war.

So snails in line and the garden now a blanket of egg shells (just in case!) my little veggies are finally starting to grow and I still get so much joy from watching them.  In the back garden I have a rhubarb, two courgettes, two baby belle capsicums (one was ravaged by the snails but has made a miraculous comeback), a cucumber, spring onions and a sea of spinach.  In the pots on the deck the cherry tomato plants have taken off and are doing really well and this year I went for two different types so will be really interesting to see how they compare.  The replanted strawberries that my Mum gave me are doing really well and so far we have had two delicious strawberries from them and lots more growing all the time.  And the self seeded lettuces that I replanted into pots for the deck are producing plentifully and we haven't had to buy lettuce for a few weeks now.  Most of the herbs are ticking along nicely, the basil, oregano and thyme are doing well and I have the ingredients in the cupboard to finally make my first ever pesto.  The rosemary is finally starting to grow a full year after I first planted it but sadly my mint looks sicker every day so I'm thinking I need to buy a new one and start again.  'Mint is easy' they said, 'it will grow like a weed' they said...well apparently not for I give off anti-mint vibes?!

And that my friends is how my garden grows so far in season two of this beginner's venture into gardening.

Take care and till then

Thursday, 29 October 2015

the journey...

The journey - doesn't that just sound so delicious, full of intrigue, mystery, heartbreak and happiness? Can't you just hear the emotive background music swelling as the camera swoops in to see a profile of my face looking determined yet deep, my hair softly stirring as a gentle breeze embraces me, staring into distance at the mountain range that lies ahead, symbolising challenges and triumph, as I am about to embark on the trip of a lifetime??  Do I watch too much TV - eh maybe but I love it so I'm going with that!  Although I did read the other day on a post that someone kindly put on facebook the things that successful people do with the flip side list for those not quite so successful and guess which side TV watching was on - yep the unsuccessful list!  There was a moments pause pondering if it was something I could look to give up in the quest for success....only took a few seconds, TV and me - friends for life!!

Anyway onwards and upwards and back to my journey.  So I am 'fit and healthy' challenged with a whole lot of extra loving, too much for one person really.  I guess you could say that I am one of those people that is wearing their 'issues' on the outside.  Very easy for others to see and much like parenting every Tom, Dick and Harry feels the need to give advice or bring 'lite' food options when coming for a visit under the guise of being helpful.  Let me tell you right now on behalf of all of us who carry our struggles for all to see, if we haven't asked for advice, tips, guidance and we haven't asked for 'lite' food to be on the menu then just don't do it!  Unless we can bring a counsellor to our next get together to go over your issues which while they may not be on the outside like mine, we all know they are there!  And like Katniss Everdeen I feel the sudden urge to salute mankind - salute our togetherness in this thing called life, staunch and brave but connected by our flaws and struggles...cue dramatic I wish life came with a sound track, the music always makes the moments!

That is the beauty of the journey and humans really - we are all flawed yet amazing, we all have strengths and weaknesses, we all have raw and healed, we all have ugly and breathtaking and there is always someone somewhere who understands and has experienced the struggles you have and are facing.  It constantly amazes me, the more you live your truth, ugly and all, doing the journey and being honest about the process, the more you connect with others.  There is nothing as amazing as connecting, truly connecting with another person, being heard and seen, belonging and feeling understood - best feeling in the world!

Boy do I digress!  So I am nearing 38 and I find that the lack of care for my body over the last 20 years is catching up on me big time.  I am suffering from tennis and golfers elbow in both arms which leaves my arms weak and some days very sore, I have knee issues, shoulder blade issues and archilles issues.  I am the type of person who has always been all in or not at all, a 'rush pants gung ho' type, a 'if I can't do it right straight away then I'm not interested' type and consequently I have always been blase about stretching and caring for my muscles.  After months of no activity, carrying extra weight and eating too much chocolate, I would decide to go for a run because who really wants to walk, it's far too slow and beginner like!  And for the most part this was fine when I was younger and the old body bounced back and coped but now, well... now I have knots and so many tight unhappy muscles they are all protesting and I am feeling weak and old before my time.  And then I saw this video clip...

...every time I watch this I feel horrified, inspired, terrified and amazed!!  Uncomfortable yet intrigued - very confusing!  Then the other day the girls were doing that thing where you hold your legs up in the air with your butt right off the ground and it brought back fond memories of when I was a kid and did the exact same thing.  Now, I'm still pretty flexible so I should have this right, I mean last year I surprised my children and husband by pulling out cartwheels when the youngest was learning, I still sit cross legged on the ground like a 7 year old, yeah I got this....very very wrong!!!  Here are the girls doing this......

and then here is me...I could not even get my butt off the ground!  I was...speechless!!  And this only served to reinforce to me that it was time to get strong!

So not one to sit around too long feeling sorry for myself I have a new plan, a new stage in the journey and a new challenge.  Sure weight loss would be great but what I really want is to be fit and strong.  Because as I have found lately, when the body starts losing it strength and you start to feel weakness taking over, it impacts on your emotional and mental strength at the same time.  I have always considered myself to be a strong person in a holistic sense, emotional but strong, well lately I have let the injuries I am dealing with get on top of me and I have been giving way to defeat and hopelessness.  But also being a person who believes there is always a way forward, who likes to find solutions, a plan was bound to emerge.

So the plan is to let this journey not be about a number, I will not be weighing myself (which isn't really an option as my scales are broken anyway!!), to take one step at a time and to move forward, no matter how small the step as long as it's forward, towards being strong, fit and healthy.  I plan to have two goals every couple of weeks (some will be small while others will be bigger) that are geared at permanent changes to build on and I am going to share them here on my blog when I set new ones with a bit of a progress report.  I'm doing this so that I am accountable, it is easy to give up when no one is watching and trust me that has been my thing for quite some time when it comes to this particular area of my life.

Right so this being my first week my two goals are...

1. exercise for at least 30 minutes every day and for now that is walking and that is OK with me

2. no blocks of chocolate or chocolate bars - I've had enough to last me a lifetime!

Progress report so far (day three of first week)...
wind oh how you humble me, stepping out in my baggy 'exercise' t-shirt feeling as good as I can thinking my lumps and bumps are away from the public eye, that is until I hit the main road and suddenly I have entered a wind tunnel and my once baggy t-shirt, friend of the size challenged, is now a lycra sports suit and all can see that yes my sports bra is a little on the small side and yes I have back rolls and a tummy that is rivaling my boobs in the who is bigger contest!!  Chin up, head high at least you're out here right, yes damn straight!  Now to just pull down the shorts that my inner thighs seem to have a hungry appetite for as they gobble them up with each step - thank goodness for tights underneath is all I can say!  On the plus I have noticed houses I never saw before and seen many beautiful flowers and plants that normally don't even register.  There is something really refreshing about getting out in the fresh air, moving and actually seeing the world up close and personal.  And on that note I will end this epistle with some images of flowers I have stopped to admire along the way...just so pretty!

Take care and till then

Sunday, 23 August 2015


...meh....this would describe the funky state that I have been in for the last few weeks or rather on and off for the last few get up and go has got up and gone...and taken my creative mojo with it!!  Absolutely void of all inspiration, energy and desire....*sigh*...

I feel like one of those old cars spluttering along with bursts of enthusiasm and ideas only to run out before truly getting started, sparking spasmodically but never really ablaze!

Now with September just around the corner I am feeling the beginning stages of panic that I have not yet sorted what I will be doing for Christmas presents for the multitudes of offspring my siblings and sibling in laws have produced.  I know that this sounds insane for some of you but when the brunt of the Christmas present production rests on ones shoulders one likes to start prepping early to avoid the manic last month rush to get them all made.  In saying that every year seems to end the same way with me living off sparse amounts of sleep frantically trying to finish it all and vowing that next year we are saving the money to buy them all...and like a fool I keep repeating this ludicrous cycle!  Well kids this year it may well be a candy cane with pipe cleaners fashioned around it to make antlers, googly eyes and a red pom pom stuck on it to call it Rudolph and a merry Christmas hug to finish it all off.

It wouldn't be so bad if I could just come up with some ideas as truly I do love creating and making but there is just nothing...nada...empty space where my ideas used to live...tumbleweed and a lonely whistled melancholy cowboy tune...sometimes crickets...and sometimes the slow loud ticking of a humongous looming clock!

Do women have mid life crisis's?  Should I be getting some extra piercings, a red convertible and a tatt...would that make it all better?  Maybe I need to get one of those toy dogs, you know..the Shihtpoo or Labradoodle or a Cockadoodledo breeds, a special dog carrying handbag, a gym membership and a wardrobe of colour coordinated gym gear.  Or maybe I should just stop shaving, embrace the natural way of life and start eating soy products.  Look anything looks good right now if it means I would stop feeling so exhausted and drained by my current journey and that my creative mojo would return along with some enthusiasm and energy!

Two main things not helping my current state of mind is my ever increasing list of injuries to my body and the amount of times I have been sick since returning to the Waikato.   Yet again I find myself in bed on a Sunday with a sore throat, a cough, a bit of congestion, no energy and feeling like my eyes are sinking into my skull....*sigh*  And my main 'injury' being golfers and tennis elbow in both arms means that some days after work my arms are just too sore and tired to even contemplate doing anything let alone picking up the needles to do a spot of knitting and crocheting....*even bigger sigh*

Pity party for one....going to town over here...celebrating big time!

But to bring some perspective to this raging pity party, I was flying to Christchurch for work just last week and began thinking about if the plane went down and that was the end for me how would I feel about that...morbid I know!  And what surprised me was what I found deep down inside my heart when I looked.  I have a husband whom I love, more than words can express (don't get me wrong there are still moments he drives me crazy but that's real love right there isn't it), three daughters who are not only beautiful on the outside but so beautiful on the inside it takes my breath away, I have loved, laughed, really lived and had character built in that journey as wife and mother, I am loved, I have a Mum, Dad and two sisters whose relationships I cherish and I am blessed enough to be close to them all, I have mostly been true to myself and for the most part love who I am as a person (still many improvements needed but celebrating the progress), I have created and made, I have dreamt and romanticised and I even got to visit New York (the one thing I longed to do in my lifetime) and I get to relive that visit often in my mind.

And the really interesting thing is I felt satisfied, blessed, truly happy and there were no regrets that sprung to mind.  It was very enlightening and freeing to realise that in all the things that truly matter I am rich beyond measure!!  So with that said I will ride out the 'meh' stage I seem to be going through and I will continue on continuing on with the daily grind of work, kids, kids sports, housework and the never ending energy sapping tasks that are part of the journey because I am grateful, I am blessed, I am alive, I am loved, I am rich in all that matters and spring is coming!

Take care and till then

Sunday, 3 May 2015

my little taste of the house on the prairie...

I am a dreamer, a romantic, an idealist...sometimes this does not work well with real life...sometimes that leads to a soul deep disappointment that life is not as I imagined it to be...the 'Free' song by Rudimental sums it up beautifully with the line 'this world ain't exactly what my heart expected'.

But sometimes the dreamer in me allows me to find joy in things that maybe others might not.  I love to read historical novels set back in the days when America was being settled, land being claimed and a new future was being forged.  Now I really can't even imagine how extremely hard that time of life was but the romantic in me loves what the novels portray as I read them, the excitement of that time, the new adventures and inventions, the community life and the fact that what they needed they made. 

The quilting circles, the home made preserves and bread, coffee on the stove, living off the land, the handsewn clothes and dolls, the rag rugs, the house raising done by communities when a new home was needed and the list goes on.  Now let's just remember being a romantic this view is just from the reading of many many beautiful historical fictional novels, and the watching of many many programmes and movies where the hard realities are glossed over by beautifully written words, fictional scripts, great actors, romantic notions and a 'utopian' view.

So with this in mind, for me, I find joy in the feeling that in my life I have a little taste of the house of the prairie.  Today with home baking done ready for the week ahead, the wood pile stacked and ready for the cold of winter and the stack of hand sewn squares being added to in preparation for two quilts for my two teenage daughters to be done completely by hand, I feel that joy at my little taste of times gone by.

This is what I mean by joy in things that others might not, like when I come home and see that wood pile it warms my heart and satisfies that place in my soul that lives in those novels and programmes. The hand sewn quilt that sits on my bed brings me joy each time I walk into my room because knowing that I have sewn the whole thing by hand makes me feel as if I am part of those women who have quilted for years, mostly out of necessity but also for joy, making handsewn treasures to be passed down to generations to come.  And I know it may sound silly but the fact that there is home baking for the week ahead (which trust me is not every week!) makes me feel a level of success that is satisfyingly connected to the women who had to bake from necessity to fill their family's hungry belly's.  These things make me feel grounded, centred and peaceful, they are a balm and tonic to the restlessness that sometimes creeps in when I get lost in the busyness of our modern day world and bring balance to my world.

So with all that said and feeling like I have a little slice of homestead in my rented suburban home surrounded by neighbours, shops and traffic, the romantic in me will celebrate the bliss, joy and happiness that surrounds me right at this moment.  I will continue to store up the precious life grounding moments like the firewood stack, the home baking and hand sewn quilts and find the joy in the small things, even if it is utopian, to help me survive the harshness that is reality.  Right in this moment at the red delicious 'homestead' the kids are quietly working on projects and homework, the husband is in the kitchen cooking up a delicious brew of butter chicken, the girls first games of the season have been played and enjoyed, the fire is on and warming our house, we have food to fill our belly's, clothes to keep us warm, cosy beds to sleep in tonight and so many many things to be grateful for, and I have a night of hand sewing ahead of me which is bliss.

I love that William Blake poem exert 'to see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower' - to me it has always meant to see the amazing greatness in the small details of life and as it turns out the longer I am on this journey the more those small details in life are in reality very very large!

Oh it just makes me so happy!
My babies just before their first games of the winter season
Quilts in progress

Harry our little fluffy bum!  I'm sure he's smiling
These two recipes are a winner!  Making them for the second week in a row due to popular demand
Fabrics for the nearly 14 year old's quilt
Fabrics for the nearly 16 year old's quilt
Take care and till then