"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

as they say - thems the breaks.

the outlook for Paul my brother in law is not good. Today he was given the news that he has maybe a year. the tumour is inoperable and radiation will only delay the inevitable. he will be kept comfortable but each day we visit he is downhill even more.
that is all I can say right now.. it's not fair is coming to mind.. or why him? why not someone else who is not a nice person. someone who isn't a wonderful father and husband.
but no words can change this. I could shake my fist at God or I could stamp my feet in anger..but that doesn't do a thing. like they say. thems the breaks.

we go on with our lives right now.. with a kind of sadness knowing that we cannot do a thing. with an emptiness that we know is coming for us. an ache in our hearts. we must keep living though. I know that. we must laugh. we must be thankful that we have had this wonderful soul in our lives and be blessed by him.

so I ask each of you to keep him in your prayers, your heart, your thoughts or wishes.. whatever it is you do at times like this. that he may not be scared, that he may be comfortable and that he may know he is much loved xo

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

found among the paper stuff....

in my old suitcase, there is a collection of paper stuff, otherwise known as ephemera... while looking for some old words to embellish an embroidery, I came across an old exercise book, owned by someone, long ago. hand written in gorgeous script, all flowing, like they did back then ..... I have no idea if this is a famous piece of poetry or if it was written years ago by a person unknown. But the words are delightful and I just had to share.....

The clouds, little grim black faces, come and go.
One tall tree stretches up against the sky;
It lets the rain through, like a trembling hand
Pressing thin fingers on a watery eye
The moon came, but shrank back, like a young girl
Who burst in upon a funeral sadness;
One star came - Cleopatra-like, the night
swallowed this one pearl in a fit of madness

Sunday, 22 February 2009

what to do on a rainy day

it has been raining here at Woodford for nearly two weeks. strong, soaking rain. sorting through all my bits, ideas started to make their way to my creative self.... grab bits of this and that, I heard. take some ribbon:

add some buttons:

buttons that were rescued from Nana's clothing or gathered from various jaunts to junk shops. way back in times before it was trendy to gather bits like this:

you can even add a buckle or two if the whim takes you there:

get to work, tying knots, sewing buttons and if you can find an old crystal chandelier prism, you can add that.. until you get it just how you want it.. then you ask Buddha, if he would mind being a model yet again. -

after that, you can gather together broken bits of old jewellery...a kilt pin, some brass rings. old buttons, chains and a crystal prism. And you can make yourself a gorgeous pin to adorn a winter woolie. enjoying the sound of the rain as you go

we visited Paul yesterday.. the preliminary report says stage 4 malignant tumour. Next week they meet with the oncology team to see what can be done. He is a bit disorented from the surgery and has lost some movement to his left side. I saw Paul's eyes yesterday and he is scared. Please keep them in your prayers and heart. Miracles do happen, don't they?

there is a National Day of Mourning today here in Australia. For those who lost their lives in the Victorian bushfires. I will light a candle on my altar.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Mother Mary come to me..... has Miss Robyn converted yet again?

For many years now, I have been collecting catholic icons.. mostly St.Therese & Mother Mary but I am especially drawn to old rosary beads. I was not born catholic.. hell no.. my nan would turn in her grave if she knew that I had converted to catholicism and I was just about excommunicated from the family when I did. My mother was heard to say that she felt like she had lost a daughter. But at the time, it was where my spiritual path had taken me and with great gusto I embraced the teachings of that faith.

I was drawn to Mother Mary from the start - feeling such love coming from statues in the church. Was told by many that it was just a statue.. but did they not feel all those prayers, wishes, hopes and dreams that had been said in front of that statue? Did they not feel the utter hopelessness of some people who had knelt in front of the statue in times of great need. Not knowing what to do or who to turn to?.....

time went on and I travelled through life.. taking different paths... finding my roots but always still having a fascination for all things of catholic iconic origin...

just lately Mother Mary has been around me.. I was fighting this so much because I am not a 'practising catholic' now... I don't really know what I am. does it matter? Mary is not Catholic. I am convinced that she is the Goddess.
Even the Beatles sang of Mother Mary in 'Let it Be'(yes, I know there are 'theories' that the song is not about the Mary I talk about, why do people always need to find a deeper meaning in songs ??)..........
Mother Mary is there for all. to help us through times of trial and in our hours of darkness.. speaking words of wisdom..

I am still drawn to my rosary beads especially. When ever I hold them, I can feel the hope, wishes and dreams of those who have fervently prayed in times of stress.

Yesterday as I dusted, I touched the rosary beads that sit around Buddhas neck.. and I felt something I had never felt before. I felt the spirit of the woman who had held them. Anguish, yet such hope came through my fingers... a calm amidst a storm..... yes, those rosary beads, the beads that are worn through with use, the beads that have lost their lustre replaced with shiny worn beads from so much use.. those beads attract me more than new ones ever would.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

chairs and tables...

not only is change happening in my soul but as it does, change is happening in my home. I have an old dining room table.. probably 1930's. I would call it vintage but am a tad tired of that word. How it has lost it's true meaning these days. Just about everything on ebay or etsy is listed as vintage. Not. the word that should be used for that is repro. My table is not a reproduction, it is old.... anyhow, that is not what I am posting about...

the chairs. The chairs that came with the table need a little bit of pizzazz.. a little bit of would the french say it?? .. .... the fabric was in need of a change. it was getting a little jaded.

grab a fistful of fabrics, all different:

explain to husband that it will look wonderful if these fabrics could be covering these chairs... wishing & hoping that he will get the hint and offer to do it for you.

.... and he did!

next on the list is something or some kind of Trompe L'oliel (and that is not the correct word, I know.. but it sounds good and it is suiting my 'french' mood of today very well... and i know what I mean) on the wall under a painting of a rose... of course it will have to be the usual 'La vie en rose' which apparently means 'bed of roses'... perfect. My life is truly a bed of roses.

what is happening at Inglewood? my tanks are overflowing with all the rain we have had the past week. I am not sure if autumn is on the way or if we are in for some hot humid weather when the rain stops. The crickets are chirping loudly which to my friend Peter means that autumn is here... but as it always does, autumn will come eventually. I have two large pumpkins on my vine and tamarillos are forming on the tree.
No news on my brother in law Paul. He had surgery yesterday and we are now waiting for the biopsy results. UPDATE: it seems that the tumour is cancerous and now we are waiting to see if it will be responsive to treatment. The prayers that are wrapping us all in love and care are definitely helping.. so thank you again. so much
(if I haven't been to your blog to visit.. please tap me on the shoulder.. I am still tracing each of you but with what has been going on, I may have missed some)

Monday, 16 February 2009

rediscovering my creative-self

over the past few weeks, something has changed or shifted in me. It is like a veil has lifted from my creative eyes My home is changing as well and as you can see so is my blog. ..... Mother Mary is making a presence in my life and it is a comforting presence for me. I have been fighting this for quite awhile now but after some loving guidance from Sr.K... I am accepting more and I have come to an even greater sense of personal peace. Like all the years of searching for who I am have kind of settled... of course, this could also be a calm before a storm.. of which I am used to now. Most creative people seem to experience this. And I am happy with that.

many years ago, I made cloth dolls to sell.. selling many to shops all over Australia... at the time, I didn't consider myself an artist.

Last week, I was asked to create a doll for an auction, this reignited my passion and at the moment I am in midst of creating .. not just the doll, but also a piece of art to hang on my wall under the words IMAGINE.. I am having fun choosing bits of fabric and buttons to adorn a dress and experimenting with paper mache... inspired by an artist who I only discovered last week - Julie Arkell. Which led me to some gorgeous fabric art blogs one if which is Hens Teeth.. HEN'S TEETH, a fabric artist. Reading her blog made me realize that my preferred medium is fabric, dabbling in others when the urge takes me. Rediscovering bottles of buttons, lace and other vintage ephemera, long forgotten in my cupboards, to create art. Hence my new banner.

I have started to knit myself a scarf for winter and have even started to alter a jacket that I bought last week. I am also playing around and trying a few methods of creating my own brooches from broken and discarded vintage jewellery - lots of fun!

On Tuesday, my brother-in-law Paul, is under going a 5 hour operation to remove a large tumour on his brain. It is aggressive but we still don't know if it is cancerous. That will be revealed once all the results come back after his operation. We are both quite close to Paul. He and his wife Tina are the couple who we went with on our two week cruise a few years ago. Paul and I would do our daily laps of the ship, together. I thankyou so much for your continuing prayers and thoughts.

what is happening at Inglewood? - it has been raining for about 4 days now. quite heavy. good soaking rain for our garden and my tanks are all full... I think the garden is beginning to slow down in readiness for autumn.

oh and when I transferred over to my new computer, I lost all my favourite blogs... so slowly I am retracing my blogging steps... and will eventually find all of you..

Friday, 13 February 2009

this is life.....

my sister Judith, has just found out that she has squamous cell carcinoma on her nose. She had a piece of tissue taken out last week, cancer is in the margins... now the Drs want to do a punch biopsy in 4 weeks when she has healed to see how far it has gone. She is scared. I know exactly about being scared like that. You lie awake, alone with your thoughts. no-one can take the fear away. You can talk to many people but you alone are the one who has to deal with this.
Judith my sister and I have had our differences over the years. We have grown apart, come back together, gone our separate ways and moved away... but we come back together when there is a family crisis. This time it is my turn to support her through a frightening time in her life. I try to be strong, but I don't feel like I am. I feel helpless. I worry. what if.......
Please, please keep her in your prayers and thoughts.

then there is my brother-in-law - (my SoulMate's brother).. who has just found out he has a brain tumour and is having surgery on Tuesday to remove the tumour - please keep him in your prayers and thoughts also.

Prayers and the loving thoughts that go with them are the most powerful thing ever.... we say 'all we can do is pray'. yes that is ALL we can do. And it is enough.

changes are afoot...

please bear/bare (never know which it is supposed to be)... with me.. I am changing my blog. I am going through a tremendous personal change and with this new computer, I seem to be able to see more of my blog and didn't like the background... so I am playing... I don't have any wonderful pictures to put on my post so right now it is simple. very simple... I am stepping out of my comfort zone here.. ever since I started blogging 5 years ago I have favoured the scribe template.. but I want something fresh... oh and if anyone has any idea on how to work with these templates to get the widths different can ya please let me know. it is driving me nuts.

it is raining here at Inglewood...deep soaking rain. It is quite cold too.. we have a fire going here in our lounge room.. last week we were sweltering, gone are the days when you washed your woolies in lavender water and packed them away for the summer, seems we need to keep them on hand at all times...

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

a forced break away but before I go... trapped in my vacuum cleaner:

no, not this statue.. he sits on my verandah... but in my vacuum cleaner is the largest and ugliest spider you have ever set eyes on. I was vacuuming my wooden floors this morning when I looked up and saw a spider about as big as a dinner plate.. well almost as big. I grabbed the vacuum and proceeded to chase it all across the ceiling with the nozzle... hitting chandeliers and hanging baskets as I went. Finally I got it, sucked it up and stuffed the nozzle with a teatowel.. now what to do? I know it is not nice to kill living things but it is different with spiders and snakes I think.. I did tell mister spider that I was sorry.. as i vacuumed him up.. I told him that I have grandbabies crawling around sometimes.. and he didn't fit into the scheme of things.. that's ok, isn't it? Or will I be banished to hell for my transgression, maybe having karma notched against me

and my forced break away? oh lord. I am getting a new I must take this one to have my iTunes library installed onto the new one as i don't trust myself to transfer it all without causing complete and utter chaos. Already I am hyperventilating with just the thought of being away from blogging even for a few days....
in the meantime, life will still go on here at Inglewood as usual. I will still have my porridge sprinkled liberally with brown sugar, in my nana's floral bowl for breakfast. I will still try to find something delicious that I can create for dinner and I will still most probably have a nap on my gorgeous old cane settee, most probably tucked under the old comforter because today it is cold and raining.. the temp has dropped to 15C which is about 60F (my method of calculating the temp. was taught to me by a New Yorker.. I double my Celsius temp and add 30)..... I might even get the chance to tidy up my bookshelf in the room where my computer lives....

Sunday, 8 February 2009

it all seems so insignificant (update 2pm Monday)

the heat, the lack of water. my comfort. all of this pales with what has happened in our southern state of Victoria. 25 people lost their lives so far in the raging bushfires. countless homes have been lost. Heros, real heros are continually fighting fires in heat up and over 45 degrees C. (that is around 125F).....

once upon a time, I would not have known what you were doing nor would you have had a clue what I would be doing... but these days each of our lives come into each others .. many of you have emailed me about this dreadful heat and I thankyou for that. Now I ask that you wrap your heart around all those affected by the heat. those who are grieving loss of family and homes, the elderly, the animals and the plants for they too are part of us. Keep in your heart those brave souls who are battling the fires. xo

UPDATE 5PM: 49 dead, 1000 homes lost and whole towns have been completely destroyed.
UPDATE 9PM: 76 dead - this is just so awful. (Thinking of all those who are affected xo)
the worst thing is that most of these fires were deliberately lit by a fellow human. I have many ideas of what I hope will happen to whoever did it. One idea is to drop them in the middle of a fire like this and let them run for it. not nice. but truthful.
UPDATE 7AM Monday:
108 have died and many, many more are burnt, some seriously. My home is OK as I am in the state north of Victoria. Victoria is the state that Joe & I rode through just recently in January. I understand exactly what these people are going through as I have been in bushfire situations many times, as have most Australians during our summers.
UPDATE 2PM Monday:120 people have lost their lives. And the tally continues to rise as the fires continue to burn. Fire balls of up to 120kph. Many people are in the burns unit, some on life support. Severely burnt. Many have lost their homes. This will be my last update. I am sure all of you are hearing this on the news. I am going to sit in sadness for those lives lost.

a 15 year old boy has just been charged for lighting a fire just near our home. 15 years old. what is the world coming to.

at the other end of our country we have floods that are some of the worst our country has seen in many years. Please keep all of those affected in your hearts also. People are missing feared drowned.

(if you want to see how we coped on Saturday, there is a post below)

Saturday, 7 February 2009

what to do on a hot day....

go out into the garden and gather a bunch of fresh mint....

take your favourite water jug...

add some ice along with the mint...

and top with water...
pour into a glass, find some shade and sip ....

or you can come visit Grandma and swim in her pool. But don't forget to put on a hat, slip on a t-shirt and slap on the sunscreen!

or if you are too little to swim, you can stay inside and play with blocks. (yes, this is Harry, who is 10 mths old now)

if you are a bee or a butterfly, then when the garden is watered illegally, you can alight on the wet lucerne and drink in deeply and gratefully that your friend is a law-breaker. Lizards drink from water in leaves, birds gather gratefully around the bird pond that is topped up with fresh, cool water hourly.

not flogging a dead horse here, but Ms.Anon.. you have absolutely no idea.

Friday, 6 February 2009

i just gotta tell you...and then my lips are sealed

tomorrow, apparently I will be living in the hottest place on Earth, so our paper says in its headlines. Temperatures are expected to reach 47 degrees C... which is about 125F. quite hot. actually very hot. Even here in Woodford, where the nights are usually cool.. it hasn't dropped below 30 at night for over a week.
I am not complaining mind you. oh no, heaven forbid that I should complain in fear of Ms.Anon again... but I had to tell someone. I will be living in Hades tomorrow.. or at least it will feel like that. Like i have died and gone to hell.....
tomorrow when I wake there will be a much nicer post.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

morphing once again... hang on I am off on another journey... not a new blog but a new me.. lord help us.

most of you know that I am a Simple Abundance devotee. Right now I am struggling... very odd because I am in a good place, although once again,I can feel change blowing through my soul. It is not like before where I have to hang on for dear life.. wondering where the hell i am headed.

Most of you also know how much I have changed over the years and morphed into someone else. someone else in the same body. this is yet another hat perhaps?

I just know I am morphing once again and this time, I am going with the flow. Last year I spent much of my time wafting around in a spiritual cloud... listening to Gregorian chants or soul stirring music. Not grounded much at all. Just lately I have been playing Edith Piaf once again and i found some delicious Italian cafe music on iTunes..... but in doing this, I struggle internally. Sounds all very odd but here goes... listening to the chants or other 'spiritual' music makes me feel like I am connected, that I am a spiritual being... but playing Ella or Edith makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel guilty for not being spiritually inclined. But it stirs my soul. so that is good.... "The soul is here for it's own joy" so Rumi says... so it seems I am on the right track. Maybe it is time to blend the spiritual me with the everyday me.

I have started to look at my home with new eyes..... some crystals have been put away for the time being, I am changing my kitchen colours (thank heaven I have a gorgeous guy who is a builder specialising in kitchens!), I am changing alot in my home.. some pictures put up and others taken down... my home morphs along with me. I have rediscovered my kitchen.. cooking meals and singing along with Edith... gathering basil and tomatoes from my kitchen garden and making slow oven- roasted tomatoes to put into a pasta dish... having fun. being my authentic self. who ever that is at the time.

the other thing that is changing once again is my spiritual leanings... Mary has once again made her presence known to me... I have a desire once again to wear my miraculous medal. Not to go to Mass or say the rosary but to have her around me in the way of statues, medals and pictures. Luckily I have many of those here in my home already. I collect catholic religious icons. Love them. I still adore my Buddha statue.. it still brings me peace.

Simple Abundance has asked what is it that I love. And you know, I don't really know. I don't know what I love...... it is like I don't know myself. I sat with my journal and jotted a few things that came to mind: vintage religious relics, taupe, cafe au lati, mauves and pale blue wash. Chandelier prisms, rusty candle holders. french birds.....(and my garden, of course but that is a given...)... so hang on dear friends... we are off on another journey !! like I said, same place, same person. but different

Monday, 2 February 2009

thankyou anonymous....

if you go and read my previous post, I whined. I make no bones about it... but today, I woke and gave thanks that it had rained overnight.. still hot but at least my plants have a reprieve...

anonymous kindly pointed out in a comment in the previous post, that I am a whinger..."My goodness, you are such a whinger. You have a roof over your head and food to eat. Only 30 percent of the world's population have that" - yes I know that, thankyou. I know that there are many, many less fortunate than I am. I give thanks daily for all my blessings, but sometimes, just sometimes I need to complain when it is hot or when I am sick. Don't we all? I complain, then I move on. (actually anonymous, if you know me then you really should realize that most of my words are a little tongue in cheek...I am actually making fun of myself...)

I have no problem in accepting anything that anonymous (he or she) said... but at least I have the courage to put my name to my words... it is times like this that I feel like making my blog a private place just for me to air my thoughts.. to complain AND to give thanks....

Sunday, 1 February 2009

summer memories... it's hot (otherwise known as ya gotta laugh to cope)

the past week has been hot. sometimes over 40 degrees C... my poor friend Pam who lives in South Australia has been battling heat of 45 degrees C, every day.. that is around 120F !!! too hot for anyone. I try to remember the wise words of the elderly couple that i met while on my trip.. that this has all happened before and that it will rain but when the scare mongerers of the press keep carrying on that it is the driest since way back when... it is hard to stay positive..... i wonder about the first white Australians and how they must have felt when the ship arrived in January way back then... they must have thought they had died and gone to hell...... in the mean time, I open verandah windows trying to catch a slight breeze that might blow through Woodford... (I know air-conditioning is not at all good for the greenhouse... but geez, I am using it and I am sure my carbon foot print has doubled in the past week..)

It is times like this, when the heat is relentless that I cannot love Australia. Matter of fact, I don't love much at all. I could be a woman from the Old Testament.. there is a lot of gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands going on here at Inglewood. I sit and melt. And I water my garden. Illegally. And I don't care. I don't care if the water police come and put me in jail. The man across the road is allowed to wash his bright, new shiny car any day of the week, at any time. But gardens are only allowed to be watered 2 days a week.. and then, only a few hours at a time. Yesterday was not a watering day... but the rebel in me watered my plants. When the zucchini is wilting, the citrus are struggling and the daphne looks just about dead... well I just watered. I will not, I refuse to, let my garden die. And as I watered, in a kind of meditative state... cause that is what happens when I garden...... I remembered my childhood summers and how hot they were... but it didn't seem to phase me back then. we kinda just accepted what was.
We put on our cossies (an australian term for swimming costumes or bathers), Dad would connect the sprinkler up and we would run through it, screaming as the icy cold water touched our hot skin... and we would keep doing that til mum came out with a home-made ice block.. then sit under the berry tree, licking and sucking quickly before it melted away.

(my sister and I at the beach in 1961.. I am the little girl in blue)
Sometimes we were even lucky enough to go to the beach. That was a trek. Mum would pack up a picnic lunch.. lots of cold drinks. And of we would go in our old car. A two hour drive in the heat. But oh, how it was worth it.

We would sleep under the stars when it was hot at night. Mum would get a blanket for us, put it out on the front lawn under the eucalypt tree and we would lie there in the heat of the night, looking up at the vast Australian sky... no tent, no blanket. Not worrying about spiders or other night time insects. I wonder if there were mossies? there would have been I am sure, but they didn't worry us........
coming back to the present moment.. I continue to water...wishing I was someone else. Living somewhere else..... I read other blogs and sometimes i wish I were living that life...... does anyone else do that?

I know I am lucky with the life I have. I know it. I have food on my table. a gorgeous home. wonderful family. I am free and i am healthy..... but sometimes when I read blogs like Corey's Tongue in Cheek (tongue in cheek), I wish I were somewhere else, someone else....... oh lord, I just want to escape from this heat........