Five years blogging and another year starts …

It is five years this week since I started my blog – a lot has changed in those five years! A lot has stayed the same too.

As I look back over the past year and look toward 2016 I wonder what lies ahead. I am sitting on a fence in time between the old and the new.

I am not looking for adventure or to do anything great. I just hope my friends, family, neighbours and fellow bloggers will keep well, enjoy life and know love and peace in their days.

Augusta 27 August 005 (2)

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Friendship

I am doing some journal writing most days lately. It is a really insightful activity. I set myself the goal of writing around 500 words a day. Most days I don’t really feel like writing but do it anyway.

It brings me new awareness about my life. Just recently I have thought and written about how important friends are. Not just now, but in the future. My husband and I live a long way from my siblings and both parents have passed away thus making a network of friends even more important.

Also, I want my sons to enjoy their lives and families and not have to be concerned about me as I get older. I want to be part of their lives but also want my independence.  Once again, hopefully friends will play an important role in my life.

I think Epicurus was on to something with this quote:

Friendship

What does fear mean for you?

I used to be frightened of lions and elephants when I was a child. That may have been reasonable if I lived somewhere near the jungle or even a zoo – I didn’t. Some of the children’s stories I grew up with were very scary – Hansel and Gretal, Red Riding Hood – even Cinderella with those ugly step-sisters.

My two brothers really enjoyed scaring the daylights out of me. They would pretend to be prowlers outside my bedroom window – that’s the joy of being the youngest of five children – a real sucker for some fun and teasing.

I needed to overcome fear lots of times throughout my life. If you do it often enough you end up being quite courageous. There is a lot of wisdom in the popular book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. Over time those courage muscles get to grow if you use them often enough.

What sorts of things are you afraid of?

FEAR

Old photos and an old song …

I must be feeling nostalgic. I was looking for an old photo today – one of me on my brother’s shoulders – I was terrified at the time. I couldn’t find it but, as happens with photos, I got caught up in looking at photos at my parents’ home when my children were little. It was always such a busy place with people coming and going – the kettle was always on!

My parents had fifteen grandchildren and most of them lived close by. I left home when I was seventeen and wasn’t able to visit as often as I would have liked. My Mum was an amazing grandma (considering she worked full time as a nurse as well) and really loved each and every one of her grandchildren and later, great grandchildren. Here are a few photos that give a bit of a feel to what it was like at “Nan and Pops” place …

What’s new in the garden?

I have tomatoes, silver beet, two varieties of parsley, potatoes and a watermelon plant growing in my above ground garden bed. I also have some plants in pots that belong to my son, Joel. I am only looking after them short-term. I gave up trying to have a nice water feature and decided to plant some petunias instead :-). There is a range of herbs growing in the stand. I don’t use them as much as I could as I grew up only knowing how to use mint and parsley. I experiment from time to time 🙂

What my grandparents told me …

Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa and Grandma

I was thinking about my grandparents this morning and some of the things they told me when I was little – and I believed them!

Consider the following:

  • Don’t pull faces because, if the wind changes, it will stay like that forever.
  • Grandpa always insisted on walking closest to the curb. He said that a gentleman should be willing to take the splashes from the puddles in the road.
  • Grandma said she couldn’t go to the swimming pool because it would overflow if she jumped in.
  • They both said they couldn’t go to church because the roof would fall it (an old excuse :-))
  • Grandpa always insisted it was very rude to wear a hat in the house, unless of course you were a lady.
  • Grandma treated my gifts of jewellery from the lolly shop as though they really were very valuable.
  • I am sure there are many more gems of wisdom they imparted over the years.

Grandpa (1884 – 1969) married Grandma (1889 – 1983) in 1911 in Kerang, Victoria and went on to have eight children – one of whom was my father. We lived next door to them for many years and I spent a lot of time with them and have fond memories.

I can’t help but wonder what they would make of our world today.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be …

Turning sixty was reasonably painless after all! We had some of the family stay on Friday and Saturday night and then met the other family members (who could make the distance) join us for lunch on Sunday at Flutes Restaurant.

Flutes is my favourite restaurant in the South West/Margaret River region. The food is really good and the views are tranquil and beautiful. The company was great too.

Today I am in recovery mode from too much good living! But then someone gave me a big box of chocolates today. It looks like I might have to postpone the return to healthy eating for a while longer.

So I guess turning sixty isn’t such a big deal and I can enjoy each day as it comes. Soon I will start planning for Christmas 🙂

P.S. I have it on good authority that I can now do as I want, having reached this age – so I didn’t ask Andrew and Joel’s permission to include them in my blog :-). I won’t make a habit of it though! Tom didn’t mind.

Sixty 008 (Copy)

My Three Sons – a gallery over the years

The photos below are from 1985 and 2011. I scanned them and saved them on my computer. I thought it would be great to see them in a gallery and WordPress came to mind.  They may not be of much interest outside the family so I hope other readers will allow me to indulge in these photos of my three sons. Thanks to my lads for their permission to post them 🙂

Weekly photo challenge: Fray

This is a photo of me taken in the last couple of years. Each year I make Christmas Puddings following my mother-in-law’s recipe. When she passed away I inherited her bowls, old kitchen scales, rolling pin (to crush the almonds) and even the frayed apron. The responsibility for producing the Christmas Pudding is now solely up to me! Such responsibility :-). I still have the apron and don’t have the heart to throw it out and get a new one!

Christmas Pudding time

Christmas Pudding time