Five Minute Friday – Support

Five Minute Friday  = prompt word, five minutes, just write. No overthinking, no over editing.

This weeks prompt word SUPPORT

More-FMF-Square-Images-10

Support looks like different things on different days

This past couple of weeks  its looked like my lovely neighbour giving my family free access  to  her downstairs toilet – – – – – .

I”ll fill you in.

Three weeks ago we bought a new toilet.

Two  weeks ago the old toilet was removed.

Two days  ago the new toilet went in.

I’ll let you work out the difference.

With old toilet gone and  new  toilet sitting in the middle of my laundry  in the way and completely useless  – we were  in what you might call a little bit of a pickle.

Ten minutes though before my neighbours left on holidays for two weeks I had a brain wave and ran next door to see if they could help out. Now these are the kind of neighbours that make you think twice about ever moving house, like grand parents to my children, they have been incredibly generous and kind over the years with their door always open. But I still felt like this was quite an ask. Being the people they are though they handed over the keys to their downstairs granny flat for us to use at will for as long as we needed without a second thought. Now that’s support of the life saving kind.

Support is generosity and kindness and unconditional love and having your back and undeserved grace all rolled into one. And what would we do without people like that in our lives.

The support of a good friend is something I’ve thought a lot on this week

My best friend is away on a cruise at the moment,  totally off grid and I’ve been counting the days down till she’s back. Not that we talk everyday but knowing she’s there not too far away, always ready for a talk or to head off for a quick coffee is something I rely on a lot. She is as generous and good and supportive and hilarious as you would ever hope a friend to be and  I’m missing her big time.

Chosen  www.waterintowineblog.com

This as well.  I’m happiest when I talk to my sister on the phone a couple of times a week. As sisters do, we kind of know each other in and out and the last couple of weeks for a number of  reasons – a dodgy iPhone with a mind of its own, early starts at work, busy afternoons  – who knows what else –  our phone catch ups have been few and far between and on the inside it feels like I’m missing out on something really important and grounding and calming.

All of it has been a  good wake up call.

A reminder that I’m a person thats supported at every turn by the very best and dearest of people. Those mentioned and others. In real life and online too.

Thats no small thing.

Thats a blessed life.

So I’m off to ring my sister and I never imagined a toilet could look so beautiful.

 

img_0331
cropped-picmonkey-image.jpg

Advertisements

What I Found In August

 To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. Mary Oliver

 

Time to take a look at my best finds for the month just past.  I love to do this as it slows me down and helps me take notice. These days roll on by so fast – I think we can all do with some slowing down and taking notice.

This month I’m linking up with Emily P Freeman and her What I Learned this Summer (or Winter) Link Up  and a few other lovely links ups – see below.

A good mix of house shaped and heart shaped finds this time round  – heres my best five finds for August with some random thoughts thrown in for good measure

1. By The Roadside

If you’ve read here for a while you’ll know  I tend to find a lot of my “interior decor”  by the road. Now ask anyone who does this too and they’ll tell you – the benefits are many. The risks are few.

  • there are no store opening and closing hours to contend with
  • no snooty staff telling you not to test drive the furniture
  • no price tags,
  • no dodgy return policies
  • no credit card debt
  • no eating toast for a week because you blew the budget.

I call it a no risk shopping experience and you never do know just what you might find. The only tools required are a sense of adventure, not caring what people might think and maybe a pair of gloves and a torch if its a late night find.

Anyhoo  this month was no different. So, at the risk of you thinking every item in my house is a road side find – its not – I’ve another to share with you. This one I’m calling “the sun lounge”

Found  by Ethan and myself  not far from home it looked just about new and passed the sniff test with flying colours. This you must do as you want no nasty surprises once your home – so yes that’s probably one risk of road side shopping.


So Ethan claimed it for his room for a good while but he’s done a spot of reorganising of late and I found sun lounge stranded in the hallway.  Now these winter mornings I have the most beautiful sun streaming in my bed room window and do I love a spot of winter sun.  So with only the smallest amount of effort and a few things thrown the way of the charity store (see below) I made room for it right below my window with all that sun streaming in. I read here, I eat breakfast here, and after a quick wash I’m able to gaze out the window here.

It also motivated me to give the whole room a spring clean and to change out the ripped  flyscreens on the window – so all in all a good result. And here’s one of those random thoughts I promised.

Now and then your reminded of some wisdom you already know but have kind of forgotten. This was one. I was reminded ever so sweetly that when  I stop and sit still for more than two minutes the kids somehow sense it and will come find me and just hang out for a bit. It’s like I’m a captive audience and they make the most of it. They sit and talk or read (Olivia) or show me something  funny on instagram (Ethan) or tell me a story from school that I never would have heard otherwise (both). Stopping and sitting for a bit – its not lazy or a waste of time – which is often what we think isn’t it? Lets go with this instead – it’s good work, its life saving –   and hearing those secrets and finding out what’s making them laugh – holy ground.

2. Other “Decorative” Finds

This huge basket.

Isn’t she beautiful. This one I found on top of a skip bin (which I think is called a dumpster in other parts of the world)  Notice I said ON TOP OF – I didn’t go diving through it.   She was sitting right up top and just waiting for me to take her home. She’s a no fuss, versatile and sturdy kind of an item and she fits right in around  here.

And this thing – not sure what to call it, a drum, a barrel, a bucket, a tub ? – whatever it is I found it at the Salvation Army shop for Ethans room.

Its a place to stand his baseball bat, cricket bat, random flags on sticks and his pretend rifle holder – all essentials apparently that are usually scattered across the floor. The miracle is – he LOVES it, he’s  using it and I’m not tripping head over turkey everytime I walk in his room  any more.

3. Online

This website

Be More with Less 

The best way to enjoy your favourite things is to only own your favourite things. bemorewithless.com

And this post in particular

DeCluttering Burst – Let go of 100 things in less than an hour

As you may know, as much as I love a good find I’m also heart set on letting go of all the things that have made there way in to my house that are no longer earning their keep.

This post took that up a notch.

Now I wasn’t going to recommend it without trying it myself. Of course I can’t do anything for one hour solid so I broke it into six lots of 10 minutes each. That means getting rid of approx 17 items each 10 minutes.

This was so easy to do it was scary.  I did two lots of 10 minutes in my bedroom in a flash and stopped counting each time after 17 items.  What I mostly got rid of was from deep in the bowels of my built in closet. Amazing what you can find in your everyday variety bedroom cubby. (See No: 4 below )  I had quite the stash – an amazing number of photo frames totally forgot I had and most of which I didn’t want, shoes I no longer wear,  forgotten clothes, bags, books you name it.

Letting go – oh its good for the soul. But a thing I’ve learnt about decluttering is this – for a long time, a LONG time!!  you feel like your getting nowhere. It’s like you’ve hardly touched the sides and every where you turn theres more stuff. BUT if you keep at it slow and consistently and with the occasional ruthless onslaught like this – one day you find you’ve turned a corner.  The results become clearly visible and you actually start to enjoy the space and lightness you’ve created.  I think I might be just turning that corner now.

100 less things in under an hour  – I can highly recommend it.

4.  In My Bedroom Cupboard

Yes same cubby as mentioned above. Amazingly I found some things in there that I didn’t want to throw away. Found a stash of  frames and wall hangy type things  – my yellow door knob, some wall hooks, the green frame with Ethans foot print in, a yellow patterned frame  – all things I’d put away for safe keeping for lack of a spot to hang them. I thought they would all go together on one fabulous gallery wall but things rarely go to to plan round here.  So some ended up here  on my bedroom wall.

 

And some here

img_0006

img_0008

I’m calling it the smallest gallery wall ever and I’ll share some more pics and fill you in on finally getting it and a few other projects finished in my next post. Let’s just say I do all things under this proviso.

5.  On Instagram

@ernsthale

This is just the prettiest Instagram feed. A simple  cosy cottage feel – it’s like a wee doll house with lots of soft muted colours. Take a peek.


So that’s my best finds for August so I’ll leave you with this beautiful Instagram post from Edie at @lifeingrace



In other words – do your thing, whatever it is, whatever it takes or we all miss out.

Your turn. Any finds your way? Would love to hear

Lv Tracey xx

cropped-picmonkey-image.jpg

Linking up with #porch stories and Chasing Community

SaveSave

What I Found in June and July

 

“I have been finding treasures in places I did not want to search. I have been hearing wisdom from tongues I did not want to listen. I have been finding beauty where I did not want to look. And I have learned so much from journeys I did not want to take”.  ― Suzy Kassem,

So time for a look at what I’ve found in the months just gone. I do this because I love a good find and yes good things are often found in the most unlikely of places. This looking back gets me thinking and remembering and taking notice and that always serves me well.

IMG_8663

June you were brisk in speed and in temperature,  July you followed suit yet the sun shone warm and faithful about everyday and that blue sky too seemed to take the bite right out of winter. These finds did too.

My best five finds for June/July

1. By the roadside

This mirror

IMG_8886

Yes I’ve been at it again – checking out what other people are throwing out. This find was kind of special though. It came on one of those blah days that sometimes happen when life is just springing more leaks than I can plug with two hands and I feel  like everything I do is adding up to nothing.  Finding this sweet old fashioned mirror on THAT day felt like an  “its OK, keep going” from heaven,  an “I see it all and its not for nothing”. Thats a lot to get from one dodgy old mirror but there it is. A sweet find. Seems to like it on my front verandah for now.

IMG_8891

This side table

Husband found this one. Road side again. It matches Olivia’s existing bedroom furniture just about exactly. Its narrow and fits along the wall nicely and will serve a few purposes. It can hold her school bag that always ends up in he middle of the floor for me to trip over  and a few other odd things she needs regular easy access too.

www.waterintowineblog.com

 Photos taken after it was unceremoniously shoved into Livvy’s room and the TV plonked on it. Real life, real mess and I might say one heck of a mess going on in there at the time of this photo but that story I’ll save for another post.

2. Online

This one was Olivia’s find  bless her – a story  of reclamation and rescue that she was soooo excited about. I’m sure you’ll love it too.

3.  On Instagram

A few of my favourite finds on Instagram

And these words from Ann Voskamp I’ve come back to time and time again in the last month – some words just grab on and don’t let go.

… Home may be the most powerful word known. And, you know, sometimes home isn't a place you find — but home becomes the place wherever you are. . Sometimes home is tiny, like a quiet crevice in a wild world you can crawl into & exhale & listen to your heart beat & hear His whisper. . Sometimes home is a dream come true simply because He who is Truth led you there. . And then sometimes home isn't what you hoped for but Hope can find you anywhere. . So the Farmer backed up his pick-up & hooked on to that #tinyhouse — the little @TheSelahStudio — to haul east, back across country, because maybe what all our worlds need right now is Selah, a pause. Maybe home is always about finding Selah — a sacred pause. A pause to create, to be safe, to be held, to gather, to circle round, to be. . Love is a roof & hope is a window & Jesus is the only door & He is our safest home. . He is always our way home. . (Tiny 🏠by our kind friends: @handcraftedmovement) #findinghome #tinyhousecrosscountry #tinyhouse #farmtoocean #Voscampers #TheBrokenWay

A post shared by annvoskamp (@annvoskamp) on

… sometimes you feel most at home where no one else feels at home at all. Sometimes where others feel out of place, is right where you get into your groove. . Sometimes you need your little ole world to grow smaller even when there's a whole wide world out there that says success means growing larger. . Sometimes when you feel like an outlier is when you feel most ushered into the presence of God. . So, yeah, you just go ahead & take the back roads & you just take the long way around & when others have all the answers, you just decide to have all the grace & taking the road less travelled may be how you become more. Do not be afraid — & don't be afraid of even being afraid. . Grace is always coming down every road to meet you & carry you toward home. . #tinyhouse 🏠by our friend, Matt: @handcraftedmovement #findinghome #tinyhousecrosscountry #farmtoocean #Voscampers

A post shared by annvoskamp (@annvoskamp) on

And a house shaped favourite.

This one will make you happy just looking at it – so much colour and of course that mismatched vintagy feel that is just my cuppa tea

 

5. Now to the bookshelf

In the last couple of months I’ve started on three books that I had to put down half way through out of sheer boredom. Some books promise a lot but deliver little in the way of believable /interesting characters and plot  – so after three duds I was beginning to wonder if I would find me one that I couldn’t put down which is is what I’m always looking for in a book.  This one I found at a local Community Centre that had a community bookshelf. You can take a book or two and then bring them or a few others back. Love this idea.

I struck a winner at last

IMG_8846

Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks (or Judi Hendricks) 

I chose this one purely because of the title.   Bread – simple honest, essential, nourishing – symbol of basic sustenance – worth a try.  After looking online I realised I have the cheap airport lounge copy with the awful graphics on the front and the small print  but – – – the contents are the same and such a good satisfying  story.

BreadAlone-cvr-thumb

How much prettier is this cover. The short of it – Wyn the main character gets unceremoniously fired from her “job” as trophy wife to a rich LA advertising exec – a life she hated but a husband she loved. With no other choice she heads north to Seattle to her best friend and accidentally  back to the  soothing charms of  bread baking – healing and  restorative – it  helps her navigate the path from a life she didn’t want or recognise to a life that feels like home  – “And soon she finds that making bread—the kneading of the dough, the scent of yeast hanging in the air—possesses an unexpected and wondrous healing power—helping her to rediscover that nothing stays the same: bread rises, pain fades, the heart heals and the future beckons”. Source.There are recipes, lovely descriptions of the bread baking magic, a good dose of humour and a relatable honesty about it that swallowed me right up.

Funny how  the tiniest perfection can make you believe everything’s going to be all right.  Bread Alone

I put off reading the last chapter because I didn’t want it to finish but  the other thing I was happy to discover online is that there is a second novel taking up where the first left off. Called The Bakers Apprentice I think I might be downloading that one on my iPad.

So thats my finds but before we go  – – – –

To finish – a quick couple of projects because they’re my favourite

IMG_8900

I do love a tiny table – hall, side, coffee – I don’t mind. They work so well in small houses and can be easily dragged all over the house at will for various purposes whenever they are needed or I feel like a change. The round side table was not so much a find but an inheritance from my mums house when she was downsizing. The hall table I found at a market years ago and left it just the way it was until inspiration recently.

The shape of this one I liked but the dismal brown I did not.

IMG_8190

IMG_8196

Round table got a coat of orange paint along with my hall table – a much more delicate looking creature altogether.  Hall table got its second coat but the paint had dried up by the time I got back round to doing the second coat on the other. No photo with first coat of orange paint sorry  – too busy painting.

Heres a quick before and after of my hall table.

IMG_8189

IMG_8497Paint was slapped on then sanded back a bit once dried to make it look a bit chippy. No skill required whatsoever but I’m happy with the result and now in my bedroom – a handy spot for iPhone and iPad charging

 

 

Back to the round table  – I had to come up with a Plan B for the final coat so I had a forage in the garage and found a a soft  grey green that I thought might look nice. Once it dried I rubbed it back to reveal a bit of the orange and thought I had a total disaster on my hands – Olivia agreed and she’s usually my biggest fan.  I left it for a day or two while I came up with a Plan C  and in that time decided I quite liked it after all. I just repainted the top of it as I’d gone a bit overboard there with the rubbing back. Goes to show its worth stepping back for a bit before launching into disaster control. Not my finest painting effort but I like it anyway. More proof like many things in my house that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. 

IMG_8899IMG_8903IMG_8904

So thats my finds for the months just past with a random project thrown in for good measure.

Any finds your way? Any projects in progress? Would love to hear.

Love from my home to yours

Tracey xx

cropped-picmonkey-image.jpg

Linking up today with

#Porch Stories with Kristin Hill Taylor and Chasing Community with Brenda Braford Ottinger

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

More or Less Part Two

I’ve been thinking a lot since I wrote this post.

IMG_6711Thinking and staring into cupboards and rifling through drawers and wondering if I’ve even scraped the surface of this decluttering thing.

I’m convinced less is more

My heart says yes

but my cupboards aren’t so sure

and the drawers say not even nearly.

I’m no hoarder, not even close, I don’t need an excess of stuff to keep me feeling OK in fact its quite the opposite but still I find my cupboards filled to the brim and more than a few of my shelves  laden down.

Its taken me a while to work it out.

While I’ll happily let go of things we no longer need or have grown out of or that are broken or for whatever reason  I no longer want

There are other things I have a whole lot of trouble letting go of.

Things:

  • that might come in handy one day,
  • that are still useful or  pretty or I really like but for whatever reason I never use.
  • clothes that I love that I wore when I was  pregnant or thinner or younger, T shirts and outfits the kids wore and wore and loved when they were three and I look at them and remember how tiny they were
  • favourite toys from when they were little

These are the items that do my head in because they have that heart attachment.

Heres the other thing I haven’t been good at letting go of –  the excess of volume. Its the difference between having five sets of pillow slips and twenty five, same goes with towels and sheets and maybe shoes and plastic containers.

So its the excess I’ve been working on recently rather than the heart attachment stuff simply because its easier and less mentally draining.

Before we get into that though heres a couple of things I have worked out from underneath this mountain of stuff

The  space is worth more to me than the stuff.

Even if I do let go of something that I may need later on – its OK –  the space I have created is still more valuable that the item I may have to replace somewhere down the track.

An excess of  stuff steals your time, your peace, your enjoyment of your home and it just takes far more than it gives.

Letting go of unneeded, unnecessary things makes room for the things that actually matter –  heart wise, home wise, soul wise.

So I  bought a twelve pack of the largest garbage bags I could find – they’re the stand up on their own kind which is very handy but I found out impossible to lift when they are full  so maybe not such a good idea but anyhoo I  decided that I was going to fill everyone of them up for donation before Christmas arrives.

Three down – nine to go.

Unbelievably I filled one with just random things sitting around the house without even opening a cupboard so that was kind of scary.

I filled two cleaning out my linen cupboard. Now keep in mind I have cleaned out this cupboard many a time before but somehow things it just seems to fill up.

Heres the before – I accidentally chopped off the very bottom section with the random shoes and plaster casts and dust collecting and God knows what else.Unfortunately theres no way of making this before shot look good even with the morning sun streaming in .

www.waterintowineblog.com

Very bleak to open your cupboard door and be faced with that. So I launched in  one shelf at a time in twenty minute stints. No I didn’t pull everything out  onto the floor in one go and then step over it for a week as has been known to happen. One shelf at a time is far less dramatic but on the upside I retain my sanity and my motivation.

Heres the middle progress

And heres the after.

Not perfect but a vast improvement. As you can see I did a little makeover on the shelf fronts with an old map I had on hand – details are below. I had a rearrange as well and folded everything as neatly as I could which I might say is not as easy as it may sound. Now it may not stay like this for long but amazingly I can now find a pillow slip or a sheet when I want one.  The containers and tubs have always worked well for things like fitted sheets which are impossible to keep neat and for the smaller items like pillowslips to keep everything corralled and out of sight. And now that I’m done I see I could do with a few more cause those folded clothes aren’t looking too pretty to me.

Regards the makeover of the shelves I had thought about painting the whole interior of the cupboard but I didn’t want this to turn into a six week project. Somewhere in the process of folding sheets I got the idea to do something with just the shelf fronts.  I love a quick little project and this one was very  very simple. I cut five strips of map the width and length of the shelf fronts. I applied a coat of Aquadhere craft glue onto the shelves and just pressed the strips on. That’s where I discovered my cutting could have been a whole lot straighter but too late to worry about at that stage.  I let them dry overnight then sanded the edges very lightly to get rid of any slight overhang then I put on one coat of clear Estapol. That was it. I love the soft mottled colours in maps so I like the result.

This is what I let go of

  • Most of flat sheets because we rarely use them anymore.
  • At least 15 pairs of pillow slips.
  • The double bed sheets and doona covers as we only have single or queen size beds here now.
  • Some lovely table cloths that I never used
  • Anything I had to iron before it could be used
  • Everything on the very bottom shelf.
  • Scrap pieces of pretty material that I have had forever and haven’t used
  • A couple of random blankets

So I’m happy with the result, happy I can now find things in my linen closet and happy my little map project didn’t go pear shaped as I thought it might.

I thought I would keep photographing and sharing decluttering progress as I make my way through my various cupboards. I’m gonna just go ahead and assume your as interested as I am in what’s going on with other peoples cupboards and share away.

Now I’m no expert on the topic of decluttering or organisation so please feel free to weigh in. Any thoughts? any tips or tricks? anything in progress your way  – would love to hear.

Love as always from my home to yours xx

 

Linking Up with Chasing Community and Porch Stories today

 

 

 

 

 

SaveSave

#MySundayPhoto – Far From the Madding Crowd

 

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. Ralph Waldo Emerson

www.waterintowineblog.com
The Shoalhaven River, near Nowra, NSW

I had the pleasure of spending this last week gazing at clear blue skies, country roads and endless green. Now thats the romantic side to the camping experience. The not so romantic side is the freezing cold, sleeping in a tent which we discovered had developed a mysterious hole in the roof since we set it up last and some very chilly dashes to the amenities at all hours of the night.

But what  makes the sometimes “treacherous”  conditions worth it of course  is  the kids up to their armpits in the great outdoors. They had no other agenda than to play and have fun and play hard they did, riding their bikes all day, the dirtier they got the happier they were. Showers were few, sleep was limited but good old fashioned fun was plentiful. They discovered too that heat doesn’t always come by the flick of a switch, that hot water bottles are miraculous things and that they can get along very happily without iPads and wifi and fast food. Me too

I loved the smell and warmth of the campfire, drinking early morning coffee with the fog still hanging down low to the ground, cooking outdoors although tricky at times and the long sunny days spent for the most part reading and gazing at said sky.

Camping in the middle of winter – yes daunting but very doable and worth every little bit of inconvenience. My only tip –  take ALL the blankets and woolly things you own.

Take a look at what others have shared at  #MySundayPhoto 

http://photalife.com/my-sunday-photo/