Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

This little door was created by a very clever lady, Sally  J Smith 

It reminds me of another door I came across a few years ago and their little film "A Knock at the Door". I have been interested in doors ever since. Where might this one lead, what treasures hide behind that one and what new friends may be waiting through there.

It is a perfect subject for NYE. Having survived an epic year, I find myself wondering if the coming year will bring relief or just more of same  - heaven forbid that it should be worse (let's not get on that train).

Do I bother to make any resolutions given my appalling record of keeping them and if so what should they be?  I could definitely be a better friend to my liver; cutting out the amount of cheese I eat, drinking more water etc. My heart would thank me for losing some weight and excercising more . My spirit could do with more meditation and what the buddhists would call "mindful living" although I think "mind-empty-of-rubbish living" might be more helpful.

But I think my resolution this year will be to do whatever I need to do to look after me on every level because it became quite clear this year that (and I know this should be obvious) if I don't I am unavailable to help, comfort or give to my family and friends - and I end up getting sick. So....I resolve to do all the above and be careful what I read and what I watch. I resolve to do my best to avoid vexatious people and situations. Most of all I resolve to do my best to accept what is and not beat myself up if I can't....... Here I sit with raised eyebrows and smirking. Well, we'll see.

2011 will see the Chinese year of the Rabbit and although I have not looked into what this may mean, I am hoping that being a Rabbit it may turn out to be a good one for me.

Having been very Syrencentric, let me now wish you all a very Happy New Year, may we all manage to keep our resolutions and may the coming year prove kind to us all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

I know, I know - this is out of order however, given the year we've had it doesn't seem that inappropriate :)


Summer Solstice evening found us (who were interested enough) congregating on the hill above Hungry Head beach. For us it was a spur of the moment decision, for others it was an excuse for a picnic and meeting up with friends which turned out to be a meeting of more friends than expected!!! One very organised person even arranged to bring a telescope, he was certainly popular - especially with the children all lining up to take a look.

Information gleaned from the web suggested that the eclipse would be happening at moonrise but we were all wondering if we would see anything at all given the covering of light cloud on the horizon. Just in case we might be disappointed nature put on a spectacular sunset so, at the moment we should have been facing east, most of us were looking the other way.


The sun had set by the time we saw a hazy thin smile appear in the sky and as we watched the smile grew.

We did not stay to watch the complete unveiling of the full moon as Huon becomes extremely anxious in the dark so as we drove home we continued to watch and by the time we arrived home the moon was wearing a lopsided cap. As I went to bed she was beaming full, bright and gorgeous and I sat on the end of my bed watching her through opened windows serenaded by didgeridoo (next door), frogs, crickets and cicadas.


Merry Christmas

To everyone in blogworld - although it's already 28th December. Despite problems with malfunctioning ovens, digital scales and unforseen hiccups to the schedule which precipitated moments of intense hair tearing (was Mercury retrograde?) in the days leading up to Christmas, the day itself was lovely. Contrary to worries, the food turned out well and everyone had a great time.

Huon has been enjoying all his presents even if they pale into comparison with his cousins' Wii games. Well, if he wants one for next Christmas it will be the only present he'll receive.

One of the things I really like about Christmas is.... leftovers. I haven't had to cook [seriously] other than cheese on toast and make salads (which doesn't count) for a couple of days and the other plus is that the leftovers taste just as good - must be all the alcohol in the food.

Since Christmas day fell on a Saturday this year, the powers that be decided to give everyone a public holiday on Monday and Tuesday so Ian has really had a chance to unwind. Lucky for him it has been raining so all the things I'd like him to do in the garden are still waiting (sigh). Ah well, this way the hedge trimming will be more satisfying ;)

Lots of holiday reading done and to be doing: The Book Thief, The Secret Life of Bees, Hunting and Gathering, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. And thanks to my parents-in-law I have the exquisite pleasure of browsing and choosing a book to buy with my voucher to look forward to(this cannot be done with child in tow so must organise babysitter).

Gone are the days of partying all night (at least for the forseeable future). NYE is a quiet and intimate event for us. I'd really like Huon to like fireworks so I could take him to see the NYE display in Coffs Harbour but they terrify him, so there's really no point, in fact it would be cruel to do so. NYE will probably see us sitting at home with a bottle of Brown Brothers' Dolcetto and Syrah watching the (early) Sydney fireworks on TV, recording the later ones at midnight while we sleep so we can be relatively bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5.50am when Huon wakes us up!!!! I wish everyone (however they choose to spend their night) a joyous night, happy and prosperous 2011 and a miraculously hangover free January 1.

Trying to type around cat who insists on sitting between me and the screen and purring loudly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mothers' Day

My boys, both big and small outdid themselves to show how very much I am loved and appreciated. 

Although very tired the night before and with my earnest wishes for him to sleep in, alas it was not to be - Little Tree was up at 5.45am. Sigh. (I did manage to get back  to bed a little later for a quiet cuppa.) He took great delight in opening my presents for me - a clay pot and flower he had made at kids' club and a lovely pair of bead earrings in just my colour which, of course, I had to wear all day (and probably will have to all week). 

Mr I cooked up a magnificent breakfast and by the time Grandmama arrived, midmorning, he was just pulling a batch of apple and cinnamon muffins out of the oven...... mmmmm.  Mr I packed up the car and drove us all out to Never Never Creek for morning tea.  Unfortunately, I lack the both the talent and vocabulary to do justice to the beauty, peace and serenity of this place so I'll have to make do with photos - very poor substitute for the real thing.

We returned home for an Indian banquet lunch which included my favourite dish of saag bhaji with lots of crispy pappadums.

I received a months worth of hugs and kisses from Little Tree. Those of you who know about autism will recognise just how special this is.

I hope all of you, mums and others had a lovely weekend and that someone close to you made you feel loved and appreciated.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gretel was right. Good neighbours make a world of difference. Our second day we were welcomed by Laura next door with delicious gluten free (yeah) chocolate brownies - yum.  Maureen is quiet and likes her privacy so we hardly see or hear her and the two young men who moved in on the other side a week after us have, so far, been so quiet I've sometimes wondered if they were home.

We are slowing becoming accustomed to waking up in new rooms, glasses and plates in the "wrong" cupboards, new sounds and discovering what we have growing in the corners of our garden. Gradually we are making friends with the house and it with us. I love the sound of rain on the tin roof, I love the sun pouring into my upstairs bedroom window in the morning.  I'd spend all day up there if I could - gazing across the valley over rooftops to the fields beyond.  I love the sound of the neighbour's rooster reminding me of my childhood home - even if it's 2am!!!! We have coastal casuarinas planted along the driveway so we are visited regularly by the gorgeous yellowtailed black cockatoos Calyptorhynchus funereus  whose cries herald wet weather. These huge birds are truly magnificent in flight. I love being able to walk to the growers market down the bottom of the hill and maybe meet up with friends for a chai and brunch before arranging with them to go out to Never Never Creek for a swim (brrrrr but worth it) which we did a couple of weekends ago (I wonder how much longer we'll be able to do that before autumn turns really chilly).

Do I need to say I am not missing the dysfunctional neighbours we left behind, or the rowdy swimming pool crowds, or the noise from the playing fields, or the constant traffic drone from the main road through town? No, I thought not *smile*.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cyberspace Withdrawal

Revel by Autumns Goddess aka Jena DellaGrottaglia 

Tomorrow we lose broadband so my morning ritual of checking into my favourite blogs will cease until after we move and are reconnected with a new carrier.

I will miss contact with the wider world but I will also be busy with packing so hopefully I won't miss it too much.

In the meantime, may you all be blessed with happiness.

Moving House II

This week has been spent sorting and throwing out.  How can three people manage to accumulate so much stuff in under six years? 

Having to move to a smaller house has certainly made me look at all our things and seriously consider whether we want/need the particular item in question and whether we really can be bothered to lug it to the next place. So as we are clearly  not going to have another child (excluding one helluvan accident) I will be selling cot, playpen, portacot and child's desk that Little Tree has outgrown.

Mum has given us a stack of empty animal feed bags and we have filled all of them with rubbish to either be burned or go to the tip.  We have a couple of bags  several bags of clothes to go to op shops plus toys that are no longer interesting enough to play with. We were thinking of having a garage sale but have run out of time so I will be putting up a list on the notice boards in town and hoping that it all sells. And I am definitely not lugging them to the new house.

Since starting this post I have sorted through every cupboard and every drawer and thrown out so much it's obscene.  It feels fantastic to have pared down everything. It's now time to pack and I am now impatient to be on our way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gratitude II

I've said this before but I still find it wonderfull and surprising to find exactly what I need just when I need it. Some would call it serindipitous, some coincidence and some synchronicity. Visiting blogs this morning, the first three each had something to say to me.

This too shall pass.

On this path no effort is wasted.

What seemed like drudgery yesterday is a gift to me today.

Blessings to these people for sharing their thoughts and reminding me of these truths.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Moving House

 gate into vegie and fruit garden

We are moving. Finally, we have found a house that I think we can live in happily. Phew! Of all the houses we looked at this is the only one I did not walk away from in tears.

Since this is such a pretty little town there are very few rental properties and high demand. The house we have found is a long term rental - the owner has stated he has no intentions of ever living there so we shouldn't find ourselves in the same situation we're in now. 

Our new house is so different from our present one. It is on the other side of the river for a start and further to walk to the shops (I may have to go out and buy that bike I keep telling myself about). It has been designed to be ecologically friendly and passive solar so it should be more comfortable in the really hot weather. Having said that, there is also airconditioning and a gas heater so I suppose we will have to wait and see. There are two bedrooms upstairs whereas now we only have a single level home. There are two loos so there'll be no more hasty exits to make way for Little Tree. It is on a battleaxe block so it is away from the road - not that it is a busy one anyway. According to all reports the neighbours are quiet. I will not miss our domestic violent neighbours, whose arguments Little Tree is starting to mimic.  Or the noise from the public swimming pool close by (lots of loud happy children, aqua aerobic classes with dreadful music, midnight swims by squealing teenagers - you get the picture). The big drawback is that it only has a postage stamp garden, albeit very private, so I'll have to be very inventive in growing herbs and vegies.
vegie garden august 2009

There are some things I am heartsore at leaving. I will miss the garden here, my vegie plot, the reserve below us and the trees beyond. All of which has been balm for my soul.  I suppose I'll get used to having less space, at least I hope so, as I don't want to be moving again soon - unless it is to a house we own, then watch just how fast I can move!!!  So I may well have to resort to more visits to the beach and walks in the bush to get my fix of open spaces and trees, respectively. The other thing that I don't particularly like is that there are no doors on the built in wardrobes. It looks very messy and is unhelpful feng shui.  This may be quite deliberate, given the humidity we experience - with greater airflow around garments maybe there will be less mould. Still, I will be investing in some screens to keep me calm.

visitors in the reserve

The other big hassle is that our communications carrier no longer can provide service to us. It's a long story about line rentals and new cabling blah blah blah and I won't bore you with it. Suffice to say we have to transfer our phone and broadband to another carrier but keep a dialup arrangement going with our current carrier for 12 months. We may be without both phone and internet (how will I cope without blogsphere?!!!) for a couple of days over the move - thank goodnes for mobile phones.

This all sounds quite melancholy, which in part is true but I am also excited. I will have a lot of fun setting up the new house and rehabilitating the neglected garden, replacing dead herbs and putting in some flowers as well as sorting out where to place all our pot plants, which include a cumquat and a couple of frangipani trees.

We will hire a truck for the day and a number of able bodied friends have volunteered to help. In turn we will reward them with a hearty meal for lunch and a few beers at the end of the day. Not too many for us though since we'll have to go back and clean this house and I really don't fancy doing that with a hangover.

climbing rose in the courtyard

Our landlord sounds unique in that he, quite sensibly, is happy to spend money fixing things sooner rather than later. In addition, he also seems quite open to discussions about any improvements to the property. I am sorry to say that I find I'm reluctant to believe this.

Since starting this post, I've discovered that there is a community garden within walking distance, so maybe my gardening at the new house will be reduced to herbs and flowers.

Now that we know where we are moving to, I have made up a social story for Little Tree about moving with photos of the new house, a map and calendar so we can countdown to moving day. He is very anxious about it at the moment but by the time moving day comes, having read the social story everyday,  hopefully he will know what is going to happen, his role in it and that everything will be alright.

coffee tree

Today we will start the process of sorting and throwing out before we start packing. I can hear the whip being cracked as I write.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today I'm feeling blessed, humble and so grateful for friends both in blogspere and elsewhere. I'm feeling so lucky to have so many supportive people in my life at this point in time. We've had offers of help in moving and friends are keeping their eyes and ears open for anywhere appropriate.

Thank you especially to Bo for his blessings - hugs and wishes for abundant happiness. Also to Adam Goddard who went to a lot of trouble digging around for a piece of music I'd requested. Adam, I have had the piece on repeat all morning - may your week be filled with wonderful, blissful surprises.

Apologies if this gushing is too much.


I am a fan. I have seen it twice now and hope to see it once more before it finishes at the cinemas.  We had a choice of seeing 2D (cinema is closer) or 3D. I'm so glad we chose 3D and drove those extra few k's. I have not been so moved and awestruck by a movie since seeing Star Wars IV (now I'm showing my age!!!).

I loved the environmental message. All Lovelock devotees would have appreciated the huge nod to Gaia. I am in awe of the artists that came up with such a heartachingly beautiful world - I admit I cried at times. I did not enjoy the battle scene at all but I suppose not only did it get "bums on seats" it also served to magnify the difference in outlook on life between the Na'vi and the greedy western mindset. It certainly was anti-corporate and anti-military. I'd be happy to watch a "documentary" about the Na'vi - you know, a year in the life of...  type of thing, just to see more of the flora and fauna and the connection the Na'vi have with their world.

Anyway, loved it and my movegoing experience from now on will be measured against this so, chances are, I'm in for a lot of disappointment.  Having said that, I am looking forward to Alice in Wonderland in 3D.

Letting Go

Wow. Such a lot seems to be happening at the moment.

The older I get the less I like change. I used to revel in it  and look forward with excitement to the new. Then around my Saturn return I made huge changes in just about every aspect of my life, I did those things suddenly and in a state of shock - locking away my old life in a separate place within and cutting off that person I was. Now whenever change is happening I always view it with suspicion and fear. Those unresolved issues are now coming back to bite me and I feel I'm living in a echo of that Saturn return. So the time has come to gently acknowledge, own and integrate those memories and experiences and move into the next phase.

The week before Christmas my  mother became too ill to look after herself so having arranged for someone to look after her place, we picked her up and brought her back here to convalesce.  Let me set the scene for you - she is in her early 70's and owns 10 steep acres. On it she has numerous goats, sheep, chickens, two dogs and one cat. She has lovely landscaped gardens around the house and all this she looks after on her own, my Dad being deceased for many years now.  In addition, she is also involved in music, mah jong, buddhism, local organic farming group, teaches buddhism at the local school and volunteers. Mum has finally acknowledged that it is all too much for her and has decided to sell up and move to something smaller. I'm finding it very hard to see her living somewhere else - she always said the only way she would leave was in a pine box. The farms that she's owned have always been a sanctuary for me and I will grieve for that loss of space and peace where I don't have to worry that I'm trespassing or that I will be bothered by strangers happening to wander into the same space. All this did have a silver lining - Mum was with us for Christmas and through to the new year which was very special, especially for her and Little Tree.

Since starting this post, we have also been given notice to vacate this house. Our landlords, who have been very good to us, have now retired and wish to move down here from the big smoke to be closer to their daughter and granddaughter. Oddly enough they want to move into their house!!!! So we are now on the lookout for a new home in a scarce rental market. I would, of course, love to buy and I've seen just the house but the bank would just laugh at us with the deposit we have or more to the point, don't have.

Some really good news is that, after nearly ten years, Little Tree is now eating something other than pancakes with spreads/toast with spreads and fruit.  He has, for the last two weeks, eaten vegies, nut loaf, lamb, lentil burgers, pasta, fried rice, baked beans, dried fruit. Wow! This is a HUGE milestone and I've been doing little celebratory dances every night. You have no idea how concerned I've been over his limited diet and the lack of nutrients he was getting.

Last year was difficult, laying the foundations for change, this year seems to be one of moving into those changes. So I've put my wishes out there into the universe, let them go and now we'll see what the universe can come up with.

Life is far from boring, that's for sure.

Blessings to everyone for 2010.