What I Found in October, November (and December!!)

Time for us, and then some to take a squiz at a few things I’ve found throughout October and November and given we are deep in the throws of this lovely Christmas season let’s throw December in for good measure.  I do this because I love a good find and it always gets me thinking and remembering and taking notice.

So a random bunch of finds this time round both home and heart shaped and in no particular order.

At my sisters garage sale

This picture  – yes another little find for my walls which when I first saw it, was hanging sideways in the dark right up the back of said garage. Looked at first like  the side  profile of a gorilla. Still got my attention but in better light the right way up I saw it was chalk drawing of the mountains behind my home that I look at everyday. Came home with me

What I like about it – apart from the fact that its of Wollongong is that it’s  been done in what I would call a naive  style –  simplistic almost like a child’s drawing and I always tend to gravitate towards these.  Close up though it has lots of lovely detail. Almost impossible to get a good photo of because of the reflection from the glass so please forgive the shine and the wonky angles. Better in real life.

www.waterintowineblog.com

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A pair of  terracotta pots – yes they’re a little worse for wear but that’s kind of what I like about them . They are standing sentinel in my carport now marking the walkway through the car port up to the front door.

www.waterintowineblog.com

I’ll be the first to admit this area is not the most inspiring space – its an ordinary old carport in front of an ordinary old garage door that tends to be a handy dumping ground for all the garden paraphernalia and anything else coming out of the house that hasn’t found its way into the garage yet or the bin which I’ll tell you makes for a soul destroying view as I pull my car up of an evening. So last week unable to stand looking at it any longer I threw an hours time and attention at it. No paint involved, no repairs, no redesigning (although it could do with all three ) just some old fashioned elbow grease. I’m convinced that 9/10ths of decorating is a good clean and sometimes just a little bit of pretty can go a long way to redeeming a space. It’s still an ordinary old carport and an ordinary old garage door but I no longer want to weep when I arrive home of an evening.  I found the plants at Big W. They are Heucherella “Stoplight”. They like shade and I like the bright green foliage. Looking a little fragile at the moment but the tag on the plant assures me that I’ll have “cars come to a screeching stop if I plant a mass of these foliage plants by the road” and I can apparently expect “large screaming yellow and red centred spring leaves and summer leaf colour that is bright green and red” – – –  I’ll let you know.

At the Community Book Swap

www.waterintowineblog.comHow great is this idea. Just down at the my local shopping centre they have created a book swap . The idea is to donate a book/s and then take a  pick yourself. Operates on an honour system. Its a lovely few minutes of distraction between the grocery shopping and hauling it all into the car and heading home. My reads these last months have mostly come from here and were both hit and miss

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult – this murder mystery was enough to keep me reading to the end but the characters were one dimensional and unengaging so I just couldn’t elicit the sympathy for them I’m sure I was meant to. An easy read though in between phone calls at work.

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah – gripping from the first page to the last. I’m officially never allowed to whinge about my life again. Why ? because I didn’t grow up during the Cultural Revolution in China or any where else in the world for that matter that is at the mercy of cruel and in humanitarian government . Truly astounding what people can endure and survive. A reminder of the human capacity for cruelty and malice – – – – but more importantly of the human capacity for love. Yes Hope is made of stronger stuff.

My third pick The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I’ve only just started reading  this one but I can tell I’m going to like it. Its the story of Dinah, Jacobs daughter, from the book of Genesis. Told in the first person Dinah   “reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood”.

Online – this website that might just save me from the constantly rising tide of stuff in my house

I found this very practical, breath of fresh air website A Slob Comes Clean Reality Based Cleaning and Organising  Written by a lady who enjoys not taking life too seriously and who has developed a whole bunch of helpful ideas for keeping your house clean (that don’t require a spreadsheet). She’s very straight to the point with some fun thrown in which is just the way I like my information.

Heres a couple of posts that caught my attention straight up with their simple ideas for keeping on top of the mess when time is limited and energy is low.

Why I Have to Run My Dishwasher Every Night

www.waterintowineblog.com
This picture to remind me I need all the help I can get.

And because this time next month a little decluttering may be very high on all our to do lists.

How To Declutter Without Making a Bigger Mess

A few finds of the heart shaped variety

Weirdly in a season that has me juggling more that I will ever care to and completely out of my comfy cozy zone, Ive been finding out a thing or two about resting.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Lets call it How To Stay All In and Not Die. Being a person who generally thrives on quiet and calm and the phone not ringing – staying All In with the people Gods given me and the job I have is a challenge. I’ve discovered the thing making the  biggest difference for me at the moment is REST. Rest as in physical rest, as in going to bed early, as in sitting with my feet up on a chair for a bit and reading kind of rest, and rest as in soul rest, as in not stressing about what I’m not able to do and what’s out of my control. I know its not popular, I know we see rest as a sign of weakness and a wasteful extravagance when theres so much to be done, but that I think is why we end up going down in a screaming heap physically and/or mentally now and then – from trying to keep everything done and all the corners tucked in all the time. Getting the rest we need is part of what keeps us sane and doing what we need to do well.

So I’ve been slowly, and I mean slowly because I’m slow to catch on to new ways of doing things – including in the rhythm of my day opportunities to rest and replenish and revive.

Heres what I’ve found

Rest is being OK with an imperfect present Sally Breedlove

Rest means leaving some things undone.

Rest means doing one thing and not thinking/stressing/obsessing over the ten things not being done.

Rest means being flexible with how things are done and  how my prayers are answered. Rest involves losing some control.

And rest for me means allowing time for the things that keep me centred and calm –  often sporadically but it pays off in spades in a calmer, happier, saner personage. I choose to do things that refuel and revive me on the inside and it seems even more important to do it now even though theres a trillion other “more productive” things I could be doing. Twenty minutes here and there – reading, making something look nice, writing, rearranging the pots out the back, taking a few photos, making a Christmas wreath I don’t really need but couldn’t help myself – (see below) a bit of creating, a bit of quiet and I feel like I can do anything, like I can take on the world again. That’s good rest.

www.waterintowineblog.com

So I know its not a season we associate with rest right now – the Christmas season pushes and pulls us in all directions and asks an awful lot but who says we can’t make  small steps towards doing  things a little different this year? Lets try for a little more rest, a little less perfection, flexible expectations and a whole lot less frazzle.

If your needing a little more rest in your life heres some good reading along those lines:

The Practice of Ruminating to Save Your Sanity

On Idelness, Solitude and Daydreaming

Hospitality but Not the Kind You Are Thinking Of

And some finds just for fun

I found out how photogenic my chooks are.

How  sweet are these little ladies – restful in themselves – just doing their thing, not rushed, not worried and happy to see me each time I wander out there.

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And to finish a Christmassy find.

Of all Christmas decorations wreaths would have to be my very favourite.  They’re so self contained and simple – you can make them out of anything that can be fashioned into a circle – wire and vines and random thin bendy branches that you can find in the garden are a perfect example, theres no rules as to what you put on them and you can hang them anywhere. I have a little bit of a collection now, all of them have a story and although I officially don’t need anymore ever I can’t help but have a go at making a new one each year – it is my sole Christmassy craft. So I found two of these metal wreath frames  a few years ago and as I do took a photo of what I found. A bit on the blurry side but you get the idea.

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It took me two Christmases but finally the small frame turned into this.

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I only ever use bits and pieces of ribbon and fabric and decoration that I already have – part of the challenge. On this one I incorporated the remaining pieces  of a  sweet set of 6 Villeroy and Boch Christmas ornaments  that were special to us as they were given to us by Ken’s mother and sister who are no longer with us. Lovely as they are/were these ornaments  were not designed for little fingers grabbing at Christmas trees so they didn’t fare well over the years. We have one ornament from the set left intact and it hangs high and brave on the tree and I’d kept some remnants from two others that I tucked into this Christmas wreath. A little reminder of two beautiful people who LOVED Christmas time and who we especially miss this time of year.

www.waterintowineblog.com

As for this years project – I had apparently put the larger wire frame under my bed at some stage because thats where I found it a week or so ago.  Hadn’t planned to make another wreath but then I found the frame and my fingers started to twitch. So I have used only stuff that I had. Some green, sparkly gauzy type fabric and these branches of berries that I bought maybe two years ago to use at this wedding. Have used them constantly at every event  and non event I’ve decorated since. Last year they turned up here.

www.waterintowineblog.comLove the red colour and so do the cockroaches who have eaten the colour right off some of the berries so this was a rescue mission in a way. Here’s how she turned out.

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Berries were  secured to the wreath with pieces of copper wire that I already had out. Looking at it I could probably play with it for another hour to get it just right, it could probably do with double the number of berries and some other pretty things but I don’t have an extra hour and I’m all out of unchewed upon berries – so this is where resting and leaving some things undone and not stressing about what I haven’t done comes into play – so I’m calling it done and I’ve hung it in the bathroom because every bathroom needs a Christmas wreath in my opinion.

So thats my finds for October, November and December .

Any good finds your way? Would love to hear

Friends thank you for reading along and being kind as I write my words. I’ll leave you with just a few more

Blessings on your eyes, Blessings on your children, Blessings on the ground beneath you. My heart is a ladle of sweet water, brimming over”  The Red Tent – Anita Diamant

God Bless and Happy Christmas

Lv Tracey xx

 

 

 

All In

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life – – – Psalm 23:6

Theres a little sign attached to a low red brick wall that I pass each morning as I walk the few blocks from my car to work. Im almost at work when I pass it, breathing heavy from fast walking, a thousand things in my head yet this small sign all washed out and faded that shouldn’t even be noticeable any more always gets my attention. It marks the entrance to a car park and it simply says IN .

www.waterintwineblog.comA lot of days I feel about as faded and washed out as that inconspicuous sign but every morning it prods me with the same question.

You IN ?

My answers the same as I make that last dash to get to work  each day.

Im IN  I feel it under my breath, in rhythm with my feet  I’m IN, Im IN. Im all In

Both hands, both feet, whole heart.

www.waterintowineblog.com

I need that prod, I need  to make that decision  – – – because when life feels like its all a bit too darn much as it has done lately I have a tendency to look for the out.

Not physically but mentally

When I’m stretched out thinner than what I think I can handle, when I feel in over my head – – –  I’ll start to tune it all out. Dial everything down, create a good arms length, hide from the kids, stop answering the phone and just generally ignore a whole lot of things.

Works for a bit –  but avoidance is always, always counterproductive and creates more stress than it ever alleviates.

And theres a few people that need me  In

The people at the end of the phone calls I take each day need me In – not distracted, not dismissive or disinterested – all IN

And My kids need me In – not distant, not put upon, not crabby,  not slamming food down in front of them and not keeping a safe distance so the noise doesn’t deafen me. All IN because when the ground isn’t level and their heads are full of questions I know what they need from me are open arms and an easy smile and ears that are listening. They  need me finding joy on the hard days  and laughing at the crazy and trusting God against the odds because thats how they’ll learn to do it.

www.waterintowineblog.com

That little sign reminds me to pay attention,

To be all In the moment with the people He’s given me, to give the best I’ve got right then and there whether that moment brings warm breezes and sunshine or whether it brings a pile of clothes about as high as me in my back room, a great load of dishes in the sink and the kids fighting over the TV.

If I  run, if I hide, if I tune out to avoid the hard  – I might miss the good and the worthwhile and the lovely.

I might miss the magic of finding God right here with me.

www.waterintowineblog.com

So a  different or a hard or a crazy busy totally in over my head season doesn’t mean its not a good season.

Change can throw us off bad, so can a lack of control –  I can resent what the season requires, I can  tune it all out – – – or I can  recieve  it all as from the hand of God.

So when I pay attention what I notice is the beautiful and the good pressed right up alongside the ordinary and the hard. They’re mixed right in together.

And when  I pay attention what I notice  is the abundant generosity of God in every area of my life.

“life is better when we let ourselves feel lucky” Shannan Martin

You IN?

Lv Tracey xx

Now I  realise no-one is likely to be losing sleep wondering about this one but I thought I’d let you know I haven’t forgotten my “What I Found In” end of month post for October. I decided I’d do a  a double whammy  that will cover October and November – lets call it Octember  – and it’ll be coming your way soon.

Linking up with Three Word Wednesday, Works For Me WednesdayTell His Story, Coffee For Your Heart

Tell His Story www.jenniferdukeslee.comCoffee For Your Heary www.holleygerth.comWFMW-LogoThree Word Wednesday www.kristinhilltaylor.com

What I Found In September

So time to take a little bit of a gander at what I’ve found in the month just past.

Wondering why I do that ??  Well this post will fill you in a bit but really its because like most of you I love a good find – whether its a good book, a good basket, a burst of colour in my garden, the gift of a few minutes to write or think straight or a post thats grabbed me.  Anything that helps me do home or life better –  well it might just get a mention here.

So lots of little finds for sweet September.

At The Shops

Bit of a storage and organisation theme happening when it came to op shop and store finds. Maybe its spring that’s got me tidying up and throwing out and getting things all put away and clutter free –  who knows but it was  a month all about throwing stuff in things and I must say the house looks all the better for it. These two pots and my kids dropping  the most amazing array of items on the kitchen bench every day got me started.

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Pens & pencils, toys, hair ties, loose change, batteries, Nintendo’s, sunglasses, lollies, lip gloss – I could easy go on. My solution  was to throw “all the things” into these two pots sitting close by on the end of my desk. Bought them with every intention of putting plants in them but this was a more pressing need. Worked a treat.   Everything easy to find when they want it and a clean kitchen bench in a jiffy.

Lets call it “casual” storage at its finest (and on a budget). Heres a rundown:

  • Cute as a button yellow and white pot $1.00 from Target good for loose change
  • Gold planter from the Reject Shop  for $7 that as said I use as a hold all because it’s a really good handy size to throw odds and ends in.
  • Vintage yellow Tupperware in perfect condition at the kids school fete thrift stall for $2 each. Used for biscuits and Weetbix
  • Red basket tray /random paper file from the op shop for 50c .
  • White cane basket from Freedom Furniture that I’ve had for a while but only just found the right purpose and place for. Less sturdy than my usual basket finds but a whole lot pretty – its now corralling the towels in handy reach of the bathroom.
  • Wire basket from Kmart for $9 – a place for all the  lounge cushions to go apart from the floor when not propping up someones head or back. I don’t get why they can’t stay on the lounge but they  just never do.img_6505

Got any spring time/fall time organisation going on at your place?

So to other not so practical finds:

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Found this little landscape at the school fete.  I always seem to be on the look out for a pretty landscape – beautifully executed ones yes  but I tend to like the ones that look a little bit “home done” too, a bit imperfect like someone was having a practice. Every now and then one will jump out and come home to live at my place for a bit. A way of me saying “I know your not a Rembrandt, not even close but your still lovely, your still inspiring, you  still have something to say so just go ahead and be you”. I don’t say it out loud or directly to the painting so I think we’re OK there. So this is one of those – I like her soft colours and lines  –  sitting on my desk at the moment, giving me something peaceful to stare at while the words percolate.

In My Inbox

Some AWESOME  posts

Why We Must Not Stop Grieving by Christie Purifoy

http://www.christiepurifoy.com/2016/08/30/why-we-must-not-stop-grieving/
christiepurifoy.com

Loved this post which explains why I want to cry buckets  when I look at my kids baby photos.

And this post  from a woman who writes like no other

When You Fell a Bit Busted and Old: The Traumatic Disorder of Everyday Life by Ann Voskamp

http://disorganized72.tumblr.com/post/148704937347/studio-finch
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This one hit every nerve and more than once. A great read.

On My iPad

img_6475Roots and Sky ~ A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy  – no words for how much I loved reading this book so I’ll use someone else’s.

” I have been terrified of hope. Because if hope disappoints, does that mean that God is also a disappointment? Christie reminds us that hope like dreams, is made of stronger stuff. She invites us into a year of her life lived in real time in an old Pennsylvanian farmhouse, choc full of hope and decay, promise and weeds, work and wonder” Lisa Jo Baker 

Not too far in I found a paragraph that was a relief to read. Not so much inspirational words but real words that summed up entirely the frustration I  felt for so long  living in what felt like like a broken down, busted up house especially in the early years and no end in sight. The  frustration too of feeling like everything –  EVERYTHING – was working against me trying to make something lovely of this pile of bricks and mortar.  A feeling that almost stopped me writing a blog about making home when my own home  felt and still does at times like its limping, with too many frayed edges, with too much  undone and worn out and a limited capacity to set it all to right.  – – –

This was the paragraph.

We live so much of our lives with our hands tied behind our backs. With everything to do – more than we can possibly accomplish in one day – we are yet further hampered by illness, tiredness, a lack of money or time. This seems true even on good days. With twenty four hours in a day, how many must we devote to unproductive necessities like sleeping? Eating? Not to mention shopping for food or washing sheets or changing endless diapers. Some days we have more freedom than others but we are always, to some degree hemmed in by weakness, by need, by lack or by loss. We are hungry and needy as new born babies. we fool ourselves if we imagine anything else to be true. Roots and Sky Page 36

And then this:

This house is deteriorating. My body is dying. We are subject to the same terrible decay. But worth is not measured in such terms. Once upon a time, God called his creation good. And no curse of sin unwound those words. Gnarled maple trees. Plaster walls. An ordinary women’s ordinary body. All good. To care for these is to say to death, “You are not the end” Roots and Sky Page 54

Magic words. That’s right hope is made of stronger stuff. It remains, it flows relentless and regardless.  It keeps me looking for the good and God breathed and lovely even on the grittiest most ordinary of days and even while the gutters hang rusty and with the back fence caving in.

On My Phone

Along similar lines – this Instagram feed  @shannanwrites

http://www.shannanmartinwrites.com

Oh my, I love how this lady views life.  Her photos are of such ordinary things – sidewalks and streetscapes and swing sets – the things she sees as she walks her kids to school. A fellow lover of derelict houses as well. If you feel like your life is a little left of centre too than you’ll find a kind companion in Shannan.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BK8JgbNjO3R/?taken-by=shannanwrites&hl=en

http://www.shannanmartinwrites.com

You can take a peek at her Instagram feed here and her blog here

Found out this too:

Screen Shots are my favourite

What I realised putting this post together is how much I love and use screen shots  to capture info that I want to remember – things to read, podcasts to listen to, quotes I want to refer back to, recipes I want to try, rooms  that I love.  The reason it works for me – it’s incredibly simple – requires only a press of two fingers and its all nicely saved and stored. Anything more  complicated and I’m a goner.

Heres a sample.

So thats my finds for September. Any finds your way? Would love to hear

Big love and blessings from my  home to yours

Tracey xx

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Linking up with Coffee and Conversation, Works For Me Wednesday, Inspire Me Monday Link Party

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting Pretty

This chair  – – – 

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We’ve been keeping company now for ever so long – possibly longer that any other item of furniture I own apart from this bookshelf my Dad made. Not all furniture is created equal and not all designed to last the distance but in my books this one, she’s a keeper.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Can’t remember where I found her. Most likely the op shop because that’s where I find most things. Maybe a road side throw out ? I do remember I was living in Sydney at the time in my ancient flat that hadn’t a whole lot going for it except a magnificent view of  Bondi Beach. I was doing an upholstery workshop just down the road and I needed a smallish item of furniture that was portable and could be made over in a couple of weekends. This chair was the perfect candidate with  good solid bones – I loved the curve of the arms and the little rounded turned out legs, still do – but her springs were all saggy and needed replacing. So during the course of the workshop I gave her new springs and webbing and fresh fabric and well she hasn’t looked back since. A little worse for wear in places now because its been quite a while but still going strong.

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A random meeting that I can’t recall and here we are still together all these years later. Some pieces of furniture just seem to suit your house and life down to the ground and this chairs one. Versatile – she fits in anywhere with anyone, not precious – she doesn’t need a lot of attention or looking after which is a good thing around here, she’s light enough to be picked up and moved easily and her small proportions work perfectly for my tiny house. “Style wise” she dresses up easy – looks best with something soft and fluffy thrown over her and with a few  cushions thrown on.

So far she’s lived in every room of the house bar the bathroom and including the front and back veranda. She spent a long time in Olivia’s room. A perfect chair for story reading and for putting dressed up dolly’s on. In my room there was more clothes being thrown on than sitting on but out front of the house she gave us a lovely place to enjoy the winter sun. Then for a while she was in the entrance near the front door but again more throwing on than sitting in.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Right now though – – – 

She’s doing me a personal favour which is the reason she gets her very own post here today. I currently have her moved into the lounge room so I actually have a comfortable place to sit down.

See what I’ve noticed of late is that two children and one husband manage to take up all the available space on the two leather lounges we have, leaving me nowhere comfortable to sit. And forgive me but when I sit down to relax a little I don’t want to be squeezed in between and romped upon by an often less than fragrant  13 year old boy and the squirmiest 9 year old girl I have EVER come across.

So this seat has become MY seat and mine alone for now.

I read this earlier in the year on one of my favourite blogs and it’s somehow  stayed with me.

I felt a little lost in my own home. I can see my mama in my memory sitting on “her” end of the couch every single night with whatever book or cross stitch she was working on tucked into the end table beside her. I decided it wasn’t wrong in the least bit to stake my claim on my own spot complete with all my favorite books stuffed down beside me in a $2 yard sale ammo crate. Heather, Recollected Design 

Well I’m with Heather and her mama – we all need a sweet spot to call our own in our own homes , where our favourite book is in easy reach and theres a place to put our cup of tea or something stronger.  A place no one else is allowed to sit on or put their feet on or leave half of their sandwich or their school bag on.

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I’ve been missing that for a bit. Maybe I’ve just noticed it more since I have been working and don’t have time at home on my own during the day. Organising myself a comfy relaxing place to sit for a while in the evening, its such a basic thing that’s felt like such a luxury. I read more, I relax more, I enjoy Netflix more (which can definitely be a good thing at times)  and the real bonus I hang out with that odd smelling boy and that squirmy girl more. I think the squeezing in and having my cuppa tea bumped about put me off doing that for a good while. My two just love it when I stop all the rushing around and just be with them – – – – the rushing around a necessary part of life I know , but the sitting down just as much too. So while its been a small change, its made a big difference and they’re my favourite kind.  So if someone could just pass me my cup of tea please we’ll be all good.

Got a favourite piece of furniture ? Need to get  yourself a sweet spot. Would love to hear.

Tracey xx

 

Linking up with Home Matter Linky Party , Works For Me WednesdayBloggers Pit Stop

What I Found In July (and August)

Hi Friends,

Well I am well and truly late off of the block this month putting together my “What I Found ” post for July so I thought I would do a two for one at this stage and include some lovely things I found in August and who knows I might just find myself slightly ahead.

Now if your wondering why I’m telling you what I found in July and August ? Well its a way of tricking myself into paying more attention to what I might be learning along the way. So I’m taking notice of what I’m doing and enjoying and finding because that has a way of telling us things too.

“When we begin to see the ordinary as worthy of a closer look, everything changes”  Shannan Martin

And who doesn’t love a good find.

So let’s  just get to the big one straight up – – –

 

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I found a  job

I’ll fill you in real quick.

At the start of this year I knew in that way  you just know things that there were going to be some changes. Exactly what that looked like I didn’t know but  I had this idea that it might involve me getting a job. Early 2016 things “felt” different even before they were. It “felt” like Ken was now home even while he was still flying back and forward to Western Australia for work and me  – – – I had this odd feeling of being at a bit of a loose end, like I was just marking time – weirdly unsettling for a homebody like me – normally so totally content pottering around fixing up my house, writing,  DIYing etc. The job search had begun but despite many a job application there were no employers falling over each other trying to get to me. Deafening silence in fact. Very encouraging and confidence boosting.

Its a strange feeling when you sense a change but nothing has really changed. Like living in limbo – – –  applying for all types of jobs, waiting, scared stiff I might actually get one and have to start living this different life. I’ve never done the real life working mum gig before and I wasn’t at all convinced I had what it takes.The thought of change – particularly if its out of my nice cozy area of “expertise” — well it has a way of truly rattling me. Anyone else?

Any hoo we hit crisis point in June and as it goes it often takes a good crisis to get me moving. So with a fire freshly lit under me, I went at it with a bit more gusto and in the space of a few weeks I had two jobs on offer. Still scared, still wondering if I could really do this but in with both feet.

Sometimes we are waiting for all our questions to be answered before we move forward but really we just need to move. What we need for the journey doesn’t turn up until we are on our way, until we get  started.

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I wrote this Women Connect post about the starting.

On Leaning into the Curve ~ 20th July, 2016

Today I start a new job. Its officially only a part time job  but I have to turn up there on time, five days a week for six – eight hours in presentable clothes, with my hair done and probably some make up on. I haven’t had to do that for a very long time. I’ve had the luxury of staying home with my kids —- probably for longer than I  should have.

Its exciting because new things bring new possibilities but to tell you the truth – I’m freaking out just a little bit.

I’m concerned about a few things.

  • that I might I hate it
  • that I might not be able to keep up
  • that my house will look like a tip after a week
  • that my life will be a blur of work at work and work at home and not much else
  • that I’ll miss out on time and activities with the kids
  • that I’ll shrivel up for lack of time to do the things that make me come alive on the inside

Now I know that there are those that thrive on routine and being super organised and running a tight ship and right about now I wish I was one of them. See I thrive on making things look nice and stringing words together and lots of quiet and wafting around planting things in my garden and taking photos and doing projects  and I’ve got used to generally having a whole lot of unscheduled time. Can you see why I’m a bit worried?

Talk is cheap until your in at the deep end.

Change, weather its welcome or unwelcome or a weird combination of both brings challenges and uncertainty and moments of sheer panic and all sorts of adjustments and working things out all over again.

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But heres what I know.

That this is the right thing for right now.

That this is what the grace of God is for – to help us do what we are scared we can’t do. To help us do what we haven’t a chance of doing on our own.

Grace to negotiate the curve, when your leaned way over and your ear feels awfully close to the ground. Thats where the grace is – between your soft side and the ground.

I’m counting on it.

Grace like an oil that makes a new wheel thats sticking a bit (or an old one! ) begin to turn and move with ease. Like an ointment that softens and heals – you can feel it doing you good. A buffer between us and the sharp edges of a new season. Its room to breath when air seems short.

While I’m yet to find out how this new season will play out what I can encourage you and myself with is, whatever the season you are currently in, whatever the curve your negotiating – lean into it, He’s got you, your not hurtling out of control, your in the process of getting somewhere new. God is there with you and there is plentiful grace.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28 Amplified

So no more driving the kids to school in my nightie and now that I’m more than a month in here’s what  I’ve found:

It didn’t take a week – the house looked like a tip about three days in – – – – but we’ve bounced back – — – sort of.

www.waterintowineblog.com

You know that old saying about the less time you have the more you get done. Well its kinda true. I still seem to be getting the basics done even with far less time to do it. I’ve just started doing a couple of things each night when I get home in addition to the normal round of feeding and lunch packing and uniform washing. I clean one thing, fold one basket of clothes, hang out one load of washing, write one paragraph. The iPhone time is just set permanently to twenty minutes. Ethan and Olivia are now doing a couple of chores of there own – which is nothing short of miraculous in itself.

It’s not pristine, its not all done, it never was.

We haven’t starved –  turns out there is  a Woolworths supermarket about three feet up the street from my work and in the direction that I walk. Small mercies that make a whole world of difference.

http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2014/10/loaded-potato-soup/
Loaded Potato Soup – find the recipe here

And it seems I’ve turned into one of those mums. You know the ones that use slow cookers and actually think about what there having for dinner before the clock hits five. I read on one of my favourite blogs a year or more ago “If I have an onion sautéing by 9 am, good things are bound to happen!” Life in Grace.  Now that was a dialect I just didn’t comprehend at the time. A cup of coffee by 9am yes. An onion sautéing – ah no. Well things have a way of changing and in the last month I had said onion on the go at 7am. Here’s proof.

www.waterintowineblog.com

This all got put into the slow cooker with stock, Italian soup mix, pasta sauce and a few other random ingredients. Slow cookers are magical things. You can throw just about anything in them and it tastes good by the end of the day. I wont start with handing out recipes because I tend to just use whatever I have on hand but there are some amazing soup and slow cooker recipes right here on Edie’s blog. I’ve tried a few. You won’t be sorry. She is known as the soup whisperer for a reason.  And these two posts of hers are a great read if you need a bit of inspiration in the kitchen.

Five Ways To Bring The Magic Back To Your Kitchen

http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/category/homemaking/from-my-kitchen/
Life In Grace

My Best Trick For Getting Dinner On The Table

I don’t hate it – in fact this job feels like it was kinda  made for me.  I’m sitting down (ha), I work on my own but there are people around, I’m learning something new and  interesting, its a supportive and friendly work place, I’m helping people – LOVE DOING THAT – I’m all good. The only down side is getting my head around a very complex computer system,  remembering all the details  and making sure I’m ticking all the boxes but I’m up for the challenge.

Yes it’s tiring – I’m sure you know all about it. The everyday push to be up and organised and have the kids to school on time and me to work on time  is a challenge and exhausting but all in all we are not too much worse for wear. I know that my tiredness has me sitting down enjoying things with the kids a little more than I once did so there is an upside there.

I haven’t shrivelled up for lack of time to do things I love – theres less time for it and in shorter spurts but I’m appreciating the little pockets of time that I do have to write, take photos, do projects etc. And what I hadn’t thought about before I started was this lovely thing called a lunch break where I can sit on my own and read or write or go for a walk undisturbed without the pressure of thinking I should be doing something else. Heaven

www.waterintowineblog.com

So if I have learnt anything I think its that seasons change and if we give ourselves half a chance we go on and change with them and the changes often suit us better than we ever imagine they will. Amazing

So to a few other finds

In the Op Shop 

www.waterintowineblog.com

Another travel book for the handsome sum of $1 which of course is not so much about the places this lady  travelled  but about the personal journey she was on.

Without Reservation, The Travels of An Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach starts with this.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer” Zora Neale Hurston

And this

It was a lesson I hoped to learn in the months ahead: how to stop rushing from place to place always looking ahead to the next thing while the moment in front of me slipped away unnoticed.

Need I say more except that I was very happy to join in on the journey. In each destination Alice writes herself a postcard and posts it home to herself. The postcards become a kind of travel memoir, preserving and recapturing the feelings of certain moments during the trip, a missal of the moment rather than a remembered observation of a past event.

You can read a review and  find a copy here.

In My Garage

www.waterintowineblog.com

This stack of chippy old  plates. But not just any old chippy plates – they are Wedgwood “Queens Plain”  – part of the set we received as a wedding present. Yes the “good set” that we used everyday for everyday use because I’m not one to put things away to gather dust when they could be gracing my dinner table. And when you use things the way we do they chip, Wedgwood and all. We  still use the huge soup bowls which somehow survived our rough treatment but most of the dinner plates and smaller bowls were relegated to  the garage. I couldn’t throw them out though, I knew I’d want them at some stage for some reason. So after reading this post I’m thinking they need a little Kintsugi love.

http://www.thehappyhomeblog.com/2016/07/beautifying-and-highlighting.html
Photo by Belinda Graham – The Happy Home

Not sure it will be at all easy because of the decorative edges and the obvious curve but I’ll let you know how it goes.

In amongst my sons reptile paraphernalia

www.waterintowineblog.com

This light cage was doing nothing useful and looked to me  like it needed a plant in it.

So take one light cage, add fibre from palm in the front yard, potting mix and a sweet little slightly worse for wear “FlapJack” succulent that needed a new home. Took about fifteen minutes.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Hasn’t died yet – most succulents don’t which is why I love them so much. Any little projects happening at your place??

In my Inbox

This post that caught me heart soul and spirit. about “receiving your life”. Not summer here in Aus but applies the same to any season of life. Too good.

 How to Receive Your Own Summer Life, by  Marian Vischer

and this one

Hospitality and the Secret Power of Weakness by Micha Boyett

On my phone

My new favourite IG feed. The Jungalow. It’s colourful, vintagy, mismatched, with oodles of green leafy things and just enough white space to make me want to move into some of these spaces.  Heres a few of my favourite images.

http://www.thejungalow.com

 

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Oh those green subway tiles !!! Find The Jungalow on Instagram here and the blog here

In my back yard

A few pot plants that the chooks haven’t eaten and that are loving the spot I have put them in. Sometimes its a bit of trial and error and moving things around to find just the right spot light and shade wise to suit a particular plant. These ones are all smiles.

www.waterintowineblog.com

IMG_6067www.waterintowineblog.comwww.waterintowineblog.com

And remember this fence paling planter I made. Well everything I put in for ever so long  died a quick death. I tried numerous places and plants and everywhere was either too hot (or too shady) or who knows  but I think it finally likes its current position because I found that the last lot of tiny cuttings I put in there are actually growing. Yay!!

www.waterintowineblog.com

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So that’s my finds for July and August. Found anything interesting your way? Would love to here.

Tracey xx

 

Linking up with Inspire Me Monday Link Party, Celebrate Your Story and Works For Me Wednesday