changes {Spring in Autumn}

I've been slowly updating and making just a few changes to my blog. Nothing big, but a cleaner and crisper feel. I haven't messed with the template or html as that's too big for me at the moment. Making pretty labels and sidebars is where I'm at! 

Prettiness all around!

If you normally read this in some sort of reader thing (do you? What do you read it in? I'm really curious.... I never read blogs in anything other than at the blog home - I like visiting that way), do come and check out the new-ness.

I found this image from last Spring, in my files. Oh isn't it beautiful. The blossoms. It's Autumn here now, and while I'm loving all the foliage turning yellows and reds and oranges, I'm also loving seeing all the blossoms on Instagram. And imagining our blossom trees that grow near to where we're building our home. I'll be able to see them from my bedroom, and from my kitchen table. And for that reason, I can't wait for Spring!

Is there new-ness happening around you?
Or are you making it happen?
Are you snuggling in ready for Winter?
Or is are you watching the last of the snow and dreaming of those little green buds?
Wherever you are, on this rainy Autumn evening, happy mid-week to you. 

My friends xxxxx

feeling floral

Summer is over! Yep. Done. And it rained most of the time. 

My garden, what there was of it, is a big overgrown heap of weeds and grass and green. It's surely looking lush. And moss and lichen really are super pretty. But what I'm craving most right now are some blooms. Oh yes oh yes. 

I keep seeing Spring happening all over Instagram (another of the wonderful things about the web is being able to experience other climates and destinations without leaving home). It's so wonderful seeing flowers opening and new fresh beginnings. 

Here the leaves have slowly started turning. The peach trees and the persimmon trees are the first. Almost as soon as Autumn arrived, the baby persimmon tree started to change it's hair. And I love that. 

But this here is really what I want. To brighten these grey gloomy days that have been dragging on for oh a teeny bit too long for most of us around here.

*All images can be found on my Floral pinterest board, with links to sources. {my internet doesn't like these rainy conditions and is being too temperamental for individual linking}.


The magnolia is blooming.
I can smell the perfume when I walk outside.
And inside as well, one bloom in a simple vase. Oh - the things that can make one smile and a tear well in my eye too.

A little bee was taking nectar. Full yellow pollen on it's back legs. Oh little bee.

Friday is my mama's birthday. I am thinking I will perhaps bake a cake for her. To think of her. And talk about her with my little ones. Maybe we'll light a candle and smile and cry a little too.

My mama planted this magnolia tree many moons ago. A lifetime ago, in fact. And now here it is, keeping me company in my here and now lifetime.

What things keep you in the past. In a good way. A simple jig to remind me.
What is it that brings a tear and a smile?

connected / connections

I am loving and soaking up everything that's happening for my path right now. Letting things evolve and happen and trying really hard to not put emotional energy into bad things, or invest too much into the outcome. It's about the journey. 
And about the daily connections. 

Yesterday really brought it home for me. I spent the morning taking photos with my Hey Maker girls, and chatting about mothering, daughters, child changes. Laughing and sharing mothering help, advice, comfort, and cups of tea and simple avocado on rice thins. 

Then I went for a coffee and yummy lunch wrap in town. All on my own, with my new book (more about that later - so delicious). I barely got to open my book. Moments after my coffee arrived, my neighbour / friend walked in the door. She sat and had her lunch and coffee with me - normally we chat at the bus stop, or school gate, and run off again. 

Then a short time later another up-the-road neighbour (who also happens to be the kids' modern dance teacher, and lives in a converted church) and her friend walked in for coffee. During that chat I discovered that her friend is actually the mum of one of Ari's school friends. The friend he's been asking to visit for the past year; and I've been saying I don't know his parents. 

And then, you wouldn't guess it, but my friend Jo walked in to buy some ground coffee. And while I'd only seen Jo at our Hey Maker meeting hours before, we still had lots to talk about. 

I know I live in a small town, but it's not that small. I guess when you hang out at the best coffee shop in town, where the hostess knows everyone's name (except that group of people who had just climbed Mount Warning, but we know their names now).

How good to have that nice warm coffee shop connection. I walked away afterwards with tears pricking at my eyes - for the good, solid, warm feeling of the connections that have been made since moving back 'home'. It made me think of my mum; and how we couldn't walk down the street without her stopping to endlessly chat to another person who she knew, who she connected with.

*I heard an interesting program on the radio on Sunday, about the i-Disorder: the psychology of technology. And I wonder if it's true, perhaps to some extent; but I think I feel good and real connections with people who I've "met" online as well.

*I love that these flowers, which were on the table at Modern Grocer coffee shop/deli yesterday, were brought in by a customer. Just another reason why living in a small, local, lovey town is a wonderful thing!

about to bloom

i'm on the brink of some wonderfulness

these flowers bursting open in our garden are pure beautifulness
i planted them last year, and thought that was it - but they've grown up again, from the ground into full bushes. and now they have buds all over them.
on saturday morning when i walked outside there were three buds sitting there, ready to burst. with rain droplets scattered across the leaves, and sitting stuck to the full budlet shape.

and now there are all opening wide. stretching back their petals to soak up the warm sunshine we had today.

how a simple thing like flowers blooming in my garden can make me so happy and see the joy. oh yes.

le fleur

there's a lot of green around me, where i live. a lot. different sorts of greens. amazing greens.
there are also flowers, moss, mushrooms, leaves - oh leaves of endless colourful brightness to entice me and enchant me.

but sometimes. just sometimes.
i'd like to be able to slip into a beautiful florist shop. to stop and fill my head with the aroma of such a space.
and to stand and ponder and drift off on a little dream. as sometimes can happen, in fact perhaps has actually been known to happen, in a beautiful florist shop.

alas there are none near to where i live. and if i'm near to one - well it seems silly, or frivolous or just down right unfair to even enter and tease myself. so.... i don't.

but i have been dreaming of being able to bring home a crazily over-the-top bunch of gloriousness.deliciousness.splendiferousness...... oh yes i have. do you know that feeling?

instead, i'll try, just try, to fulfill a little of that hunger with some of these images. i'm pinning more as i find them. share some with me too, if you dare xxx

images used with kind kind thanks from:
1, 2 & 3 Saipua - so much goodness there! / 4 House on Hill Road /5 by me, taken at my friend's wedding last year, at dear sweet Kate's house / 6 Sweet Eventide / 7 Broadturn Farm / 8 Sonia Pell / 9 by me

little day dreams.....

I picked this little posy today, from our garden. I tied it up with a little bit of twine that was sitting on my table.

A purple sweet pea - oh, it smelt simply divine. That lovely perfume.
And some yellow orange golden calendula flowers. They really are very cheerful.

I can't wait until there are more sweet peas blooming. So far we have only had three little blossoms. This pink one was pretty. I planted a dwarf version, really wishing I had planted a regular size plant that would stretch to the sky. I do have some seeds; perhaps it's not too close too Summer. Perhaps I'll try anyway, and hope for the best - rather than keeping the seeds for a whole year.

Anyway. about the day dreams.....
Looking as this posy made me start to drift off and ponder on the shop I'd like to one day own. One day in the future. In my little shop I'd sell posies like this, and other little blooms picked from the garden and roadside. Simple, hand-grown flowers, for putting into tiny vases and glass jars. To remind us that beauty comes in the simplest of ways - we don't need big showy blooms or long-stem roses to proclaim our love. A simple little posy of the most delicious blooms is enough for me!
Of course there'd be lots of of other wonderful loveliness in my little shop as well..... oh yes.

and the sun streamed in like butterscotch....

just as i was strolling out the door to pick the boy up from the bus stop,
the sun streamed in the window
like butterscotch.

do you know that song? {you can hear it here}*
i think of it at moments like this. with the sun coming out from behind the dark clouds that have been dotting our skies lately. and the strong light shines in. if only momentarily.

this was the scene on our table. with the sun shining on it. and me heading out to the bus.

and of course, the kids come home from school / preschool and things change.shift.the sun goes away. the afternoon fades towards evening.bed.sleep. tomorrow.again.
and some times some moments during that time we have a little moment, perhaps two or more of contentment or peace or just to be. but sometimes not.

{these lovelies are from outside, in our 'garden'. the yellows are weeds, which burst open. the seedpods are the most amazing little shapes that look like woven baskets holding their seeds}

*I have just decided that I need to now get all of Joni's music, some how or other... raid my Dad's CD draw perhaps!

about today

this morning did not really go so well.
the big boy (my nephew who has been staying with us for almost three weeks now) and i had some not so nice words with each other, in not so very nice voices.
i did not react to his behaviour the way i knew.know i should. i forgot to breathe. to stop and breathe. to stop and remember the little quote on the side-bar of my blog {it's in the side-bar of my brain as well}.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. 
In that space is our power to choose our response. 
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl
I have to keep reminding myself about how to respond to all situations. Right now, that is my journey, my lessons. I am trying. To remember. Trying to breathe
We did hug, when I dropped him off at school. I saw the tears in his eyes, and felt the tearing in my heart. I tried to smile with my heart, to his heart, with my eye to his eye. 
Later, when I was home, in the few quiet hours between the preschool committee meeting, and then the back to pick everyone up afternoon routine, I did stop and breathe. On my own, in the quiet of the house, by myself. I let the quiet, rainy day wash over me and ease me. I let the guilt go, the anger, the upset at the situation having got to the point it got to. I tried to remind myself that I need to breathe, when I'm in the situation. {And when this afternoon came, and there was still some anger from the big.little boy, I did breathe, and talked to him in a good and calm voice}.
Right now, bed is calling me. There are two little children and one cat in there, waiting for me. (With Sam in Brisbane for a few nights, the kids have clambered into bed with me; and let me tell you, I love it - their warm little bodies, feeling their dreams skitter about in their sleep. I have such wonderful memories of sleeping in the bed with my own mama). The rain is falling on our tin roof. A good sound, despite the fact that it means the outside will be muddy, and the grass too wet to mow, too high to run easily in. (And more more more rain means house building ideas slip week by week along....). 
Tomorrow will start all over again. And tomorrow, I will try harder to breathe. To remember my response and reaction.

These are some photos that I took today, while having my lunch. My eggs were slightly more than the just slightly soft boiled that I like them; I think due to stopping to take photos and not peeling them straight away. But they were still nourishingly good anyway. Isn't that an intense orange - need I even say that they are local and free-range (though not our own, yet. I am still waiting to build a chook pen and bring some hens home).
This little purple lilac bloom was the only one of the whole plant. I told the girl to not pick it, to let it be and enjoy it, to see if any more would grow. I was watching while I walked past each day. But she picked it - she does so like picking little blossoms and blooms and bringing them in to place in a glass, jar or other vessel for us to look at. And you know what - each day I was walked right past looking at the mass of flowers (all three blooms that there are!), but not appreciating the detail. Now that they are sitting on our table, I am looking and so enjoying seeing those delicate petals.lines.shapes.colours up close. One looks as if someone has done the most delicate of embroidery stitches along the petal seamline, with the prettiest of thread colours. I keep expecting to see fairy silver dust sprinkled upon it!

peonies + pippi

My sister gave me these beautiful beautiful flowers last week. She brought them home from the market on wednesday, as a little surprise gift.
They arrived as tight buds, and have slowly unfurled over the days to this full glorious bloom.
I love their pungent, earth, musky perfume.
Sometimes we (Sylv + me) say to each other that we don't deserve fresh flowers unless our house is nice and tidy. But sometimes the nice and tidy doesn't happen, or stay for long enough. And beautiful flowers are what one needs to ignore/life with/tolerate the mess that happens with two small (crafty.messy.playful) children combined with the rest of things that happen in life. {yes, my house is a mess again!}.

Thank you Sylv for these very very beautiful flowers. I'm enjoying watching and enjoying them in our front room. And even taking some fun little photos with them.

{these two are fuzzy, due to low light-photography conditions, 
but i love the shapes and lines and colours. don't they look like frilly dancing dresses! 
especially with that ripple of pink along the top edge of the petal.}

We are reading Pippi Longstocking at the moment. I bought it, on a whim, at the bookstore, in mind to keep it for a Christmas gift for the kids. It's illustrated by Lauren Child, of Charlie + Lola fame. The kids are loving listening to the crazy antics of Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. We've been reading one or two chapters each day for the past three days now, and they both sit and listen with rapture at the funny things pippi does and says. And wait for the great pictures of Pippi rolling out biscuits on the floor, or riding her horse to school.

I love that they are both old enough now to sit and listen to chapter books. Old classics are the best way to go - we've been working on Wind in the Willows (which I think they are a little too young for still). Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox, George's Marvelous Medicine and Charlie are also much loved readers.

a perfect day for it

It's raining here. We've had about 100mm of rain in the last three days. Our water tanks are overflowing. The yard is all soggy and muddy. Walking to school with a pram has been "fun", but only because we can come back home again and get warmed up.

So we've been doing lots of wet weather appropriate things.

{Some gardening over the weekend} We bought two lovely wine barrel-style wooden pots, and planted up our tomatoes, basil, lettuce, rocket and parsley. I think we'll get another pot of tomatoes growing soon, as we do eat a lot of them in our family. This was a lovely activity that we all did together; the kids + me digging in the soil and then the plants, while Sam built some wire cages to keep the cheeky possums away. We also put in some flowering plants at the front steps; both kids chose sweet little pinkish flowers, and I choose some sweet peas (I cannot wait for these to grow and flower. At our front door, too. OH!).

{Baking batches of biscuits} We made up a yummy batch on Saturday, that was meant to last at least for Ari to take to school on Monday. hmmmm. Nope. We had to whip up another batch on Sunday afternoon. Both recipes came from this book, but of course I changed things a little bit. And, just for fun, I let the kids ice them - tiny little sprinkles of icing making them happy. 

{Making fairy princess crowns} Using eco-felt and scraps of fabric and ribbon (came upon Mishi cutting some of my ribbon into teeny tiny unusable pieces - so had to make use of them. I guess that was her plan!). And playing queens and princesses all day.

{Teaching my daughter the love of simple polenta} I make this the quickest and easiest way possible - just put it in a saucepan with some water and stir stir stir. It can stick a little, but I've never really had too much trouble. Depending on if you want to have it as wet polenta or dry/fried polenta you put in more or less water. I make it wet, and often put in things like spinach, herbs, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese and some pepper. You can make it as flavoured or simple as you like. I do like it when the feta melts through, and goes all gooey. She loved it, even licked the plate clean. 

{Playing Barbies} Dressing and undressing those little things. One is the mummy, one is going to kindy and one to school. Hmmmmm - sounds a tad bit like our life. Of course, they all have quite trendy, shimmery, shiny very fitted pink outfits with matching pink shoes. Mishi has two new Barbies and two older second hand ones (that I found for $5 one day). Not sure if I'm the only one who's ever noticed this, but the new style Barbies are very different looking to the older ones (that we had as kids). The new ones have larger eyes, plumper lips and rounder faces, compared to the older ones. Check it out next time you're at a toy store. (I wish I knew where our Barbies were, as we had so many really lovely clothes that were passed down to us and that we made....).

{Reading} The latest issues of both Mixtape and Thaw arrived in the post yesterday. We've all been slowly reading through them. Sam included.

*Biscuit pictures taken by Ari, with his camera. I do like seeing his viewpoint of our life.

on a thursday :: roses and cakes

this vase is right beside where we walk past, i bend down many times a day to inhale the intoxicating perfume.sylve, my sister, who gave the flowers to me for my birthday, saw them today and said that even though they haven't lasted a long time, they were worth it.
the roses have started dropping their petals.
the girl bent to pick these petals up, at the same time that i reached for the camera to take photos. sometimes still life that i see gets caught up in the flurry and movement of life. can't be helped.
yesterday the boy made some muffins / cup cakes / baby cakes.
at the age of 4.5, he is already a very talented and intuitive cook. he does lean towards sweet things, though he often makes great savoury snacks.
he collects everything needed to make the cakes. remembers the general guidelines and ingredients. pours in a little milk and some cocoa, with sultanas and berries, sometimes coconut, and flour. spoons them into the little cases. and we put them in the oven for him.i am slowly trying to teach him to clean up when he is finished.these were a little tough and chewy. when i said that perhaps it was because he had put the flour in first and mixed it too much, he said 'i didn't know', as if a 4.5yr old should know things like that. but i think next time he will know that.

take notice - if you don't feel your children afternoon tea in time, they will make it themselves! some days i only have to make dinner around here.