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

Advertisements

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

Lessons from an L Shaped Hallway

This post written for Women Connect. You can read more about that here .

“the in-between place is still a place” Christie Purifoy 

I read these words a few weeks ago now and as sometimes happens with words that strike a chord, they’ve stayed with me.

They made me think of my narrow L shaped hallway.

IMG_8553Its an in-between place.

In between the living areas of the house and more business end of the house.  I charge down this hallway arms full on one mission or another day in and day out. Another towel being delivered to the bathroom because no one in this house remembers to take a towel with them to the shower. Or on my way to the laundry, another load of clothes to go in or come out or be hung up, sometimes all three. School uniforms to be ironed, hair to be washed, a bath to be filled. Always something.

Theres the familiar give in one tiny section of the floor where a board has cracked that my feet always seem to find. Dust collects along the skirting boards and gathers in corners and seems on a mission as well – to constantly collect in great heaps just to taunt me. Swishing a mop along those edges right up to the front door feels like a victory in itself but that dust  – it has a way of finding its way back.

 

IMG_8540

I wonder how many miles I do in a day,  early morning, late at night, up and down – how many do we all do –  feeling like we’re getting no where fast

And yep a  lot of life is lived in in-between places. Not where we were but not where we want to be either. Between what was and the place our hearts compass has us pointed – the longed for job, the house finished, our goal weight, the debt paid off, something to come or something to go, a big break, a move, a healing,  an answer.

And a couple of things can happen.

We can either be in one heck of a rush to put some space between where we are now and where we want to be or we get a lost in the throws of the everyday hard work,  the up and down of the same hallways, the in and out, the dust piling up again and lose sight of where we are headed. Drowning not waving.

Either way the difference its the same – we can miss  the gift that is the “right now”, we can miss the unique shape and rise and fall of it, we can miss what it might tell us and teach us, we might even miss its beauty.

And I get it  “right here” might not be where you thought you would be because you know as well as I that  life can’t be trusted to stay the same or to do whats its told. Right now  might feel about as  bent out of shape as it can get with so many “not yets” and “what ifs”, with so many questions and so much waiting –  that somedays we might wonder whose life we are living because it sure doesn’t feel like ours.

Yet even in the in-between place are signs and signposts of the eternal running right beneath our fingertips, just below the surface of our daily work. They point the way , they remind us of who we are are and where we are going, they remind us  of the story God is writing with our lives right here, right now.

So I’ll tell you a few other things about my skinny hallway

Ken  calls it “the gallery” as a bit of a joke but space is short in my tiny house so each part has to play its part – even the most ordinary of parts. So its lined with paintings  – mostly the thrifted kind and mostly Australian landscapes  because I love a country landscape and they make me feel peaceful just looking at them. Photographs too – wedding photos and the cutest of the squishy faced baby photos some in ornate frames some in old vintage frames because I like the mix of the old and new and I love their little faces. I’ve positioned them all in groups so there is a “view”  as you come out of each door. Destinations for my eyes – like mini breaks and a diversion from the dust.IMG_8547IMG_8546In one corner theres nothing. A  hall table was there for a very long while and now that its  moved the clear space too is a relief for my eyes. No furniture to wash around, nothing in the way just clear uncluttered space.

On the walls theres maybe a 100 tiny nail holes  that have been made in the wrong place – evidence of my picture arranging and rearranging and arranging again and not measuring ever. I’d like to think I was more precise and methodical but the nail holes tell the real  story.

Theres a bookshelf  too – an ordinary looking bookshelf except that it isn’t. My father made it for me what must be 30 years ago now and its still standing strong despite its age. Me too I hope. It was pushed into the hallway just to get it out of the way and it seems like it was made for this space. A happy accident. Its narrow and tucks into the wall barely noticeable but its a spot to put a few nice things on and the extra storage goes a long way.IMG_1335IMG_1337It just so happens that it covers a hole in the wall too. That hole was first made by Ken years ago now. He hit it out sheer frustration when our boy Ethan 18 months old broke his leg for the second time in a year and it felt like our world was coming apart again.  Our only job to protect him and keep him safe and we couldn’t seem to do it. Ken patched the hole later and painted it over but a few years later it was opened up again. Exact same spot. This time by Ethan himself. His hand went through it running full pelt up the hallway playing chasies with a friend on his back. Yes a house full of kids, a birthday party I think, a rollicking good game being had and Ethan a force to be reckoned with. My heart full. I remember Ken being a bit annoyed at the time with the kids “wrecking the house” but truly that ship had sailed a while before and I reminded him, as good wives do why the wall was weak in that spot. I reminded him that Ethan running full pelt anywhere was our prayers of years ago answered, our dreams come true with his bones gaining strength all the time and him growing fast and big and strong. Yes even the things we think broken and gaping, the things we might choose to cover up carry messages of our redemption and are reminders of where God has shown up in our lives.

And in my rushing up and down that hallway I only have to catch a glimpse of those sweet little baby faces and I’m reminded oh this place is good and this life is good. My prayers were answered and I can believe they’ll continue to be answered. The questions and the frustrations and the overwhelm are real but they find there place smaller and less significant than they seemed before because life is a whole lot of dealing with the “bad” but look how glorious is the good.IMG_8549IMG_8548IMG_8550

“Even in the waiting, the listening, and the watching for what’s next, there is still so much right here”. Emily P Freeman

So much goodness, so much life, so much of our  story, so much of God,  more than we often see with our eyes or even touch with our hands.

Even narrow L shaped hallways can remind us of that  somedays

In an in between place:

  • Create some diversions from the dust – some mini breaks for your heart and soul. Make some room for the the things  you love and that make you feel better and more you just by doing them. Even in the smallest increments its like sunshine to our souls and help bring a measure of the peace and perspective we are yearning for.
  • Leave yourself a little blank space, lets call it breathing room. Just give yourself a minute now. Leave yourself some unscheduled time free of lists,  have to do’s, planning, scheming, scheduling or doing. Call it pondering, praying, doodling, staring into space or at the garden or out the window time  –  even just for the littlest of bits it works wonders.  “Choosing to leave practical things undone is a brave act of trust and relinquishment.  And relinquishment precedes the miracle”  Shelly Miller, Rhythms of Rest
  • Let the nail hole shows. Remember our mistakes tell our story as much as our victories. They’re signs we haven’t given up on ourselves or on our dreams or our destination. They’re signs that we are still trying and learning and giving things a shot. No shame there. “Lets not fear making a mess,  lets not fear broken things” Christie Purifoy
  • Celebrate  the “happy accidents” There is so much more good then we might think at first glance –  unexpected goodnesses that come our way by sheer grace –  not planned on, not worked for – just given. The company of a good friend, a good word, a sunset, a blue sky,  a last minute reprieve, ten minutes of silence – windfalls for the heart, just at the right time, in the right place.  They carry us further than we think. Easy to miss, easy to overlook if were not paying attention but “when things aren’t perfect, which is always, you have to choose what you are going to focus on” Myquillyn Smith
  • And finally  – look for the  handprint of God in your life, trace its lines, run your finger along the imprints left and see  how far you have come, see where He has been. Remember “right now” is part of the bigger story being crafted with your life.  Now that casts a better light, that brings some form and meaning and place to the present.  This place is for a reason so lets call it good.

“Surely the Lord is in this place and I wasn’t even aware of it” Genesis 28:16

Yes  God is found in these awkward in between places, in the cracks and crevices of our lives, in the places we feel stranded or squeezed in tight.  The very One who sent Jesus down low to the ground with a purpose,  to embrace us travellers still dusty and dirty from the road  “to steadfastly whisper, I’ve got you, keep going.”

xxx

 

Linking Up with #Porch Stories with Kristin Hill Taylor and Chasing Community with Brenda Bradford Ottinger and Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee

What I Found – April May Edition

“Pleasured equally, In seeking as in finding” Langston Hughes

Time to take a peek at what I’ve found for the months just gone. A two for one this time around but doesn’t April  feel like forever ago, May too – the days  sprint by so fast and if not for a diary where I scribble and an iPhone full of photos how much of it would I remember, how much would be dogeared in my mind. Its why I’m fond of this monthly look back at what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been finding and occasionally what Ive been learning – its slows me down and  it helps me take notice.

So today I’ve narrowed it down to my six best finds for April and May

1. Outdoor Day Bed

IMG_8612

So this curb side find was actually Ken’s find not mine. I’ll admit I groaned  a bit inwardly when I came home from work and saw something loaded on his truck because he hasn’t always backed a winner when it comes to finding things by the road. But bless him I can’t complain as he only does this kind of thing because of me. See the curb side browsing is my problem and lets just say Ken learnt the hard way that when I holler PULLOVER!! out of the blue when he’s driving that its not a medical emergency nor are the police behind us – no need for the white face or  shaky hands or even the bewildered stare – it just means I’ve spotted something really good.

IMG_8614

This time it was all him and it was this  – a daybed – the frame  in tact and solid – just your standard powder coated frame somewhat worse for wear around the edges. The winner though  was the mattress that went with it. Now mattress and road side find are not two words you usually want to put together but this one complete with spotless cover looked amazing.  I went over with a trained eye before it even left the truck. It looked entirely unused, very solid, with a cover made of waterproof type outdoor fabric. To me it looks like its been sitting in storage and is a total winner. The frame could do with a coat of paint – undecided on colour  but we have set her up and I’ve now a spot for all the throws and cushions that seem to find there way to the lounge room floor.

Full disclosure – this is her naked with rust spots on show and no longer entirely spotless since we’ve been throwing ourselves on it.

IMG_8574

 

 

IMG_8572IMG_8573

And this is her dressed up.

IMG_8614

IMG_8608

IMG_8611

IMG_8603

IMG_8609

Makes a comfy  place to sit on our back terrace.

2. This Bag

IMG_8340

For  my birthday I took a day off work and in addition to eating a beautiful breakfast not cooked by me and having a lovely pedicure while sitting in a massage chair  I got to  wander around a favourite thrift store. Not in a rush, not with just minutes to spare, I got to stroll at leisure for a good while. There were a few finds – a sturdy white bowl because I can’t seem to pass up a handy bowl, a basket of course and some lovely yellow striped fabric – but the best of them was a  new handbag.  This one caught my eye because it stands up all on its own so I can just toss things in easily and it has the magnetic closure clip that I like. It was unused which is a nice bonus and still had that new bag smell. So why do I mostly buy handbags at thrift stores? Because I can get a much better quality bag than  what I would get with the budget I have at a normal retail store. This one was $9.00 and I don’t want to be anywhere near a bag I could buy for $9.00 at Strandbags. The other thing – because Ive only paid $9.00 I don’t feel like I have to keep it forever  which is how we feel if we have paid $150.00 – easily done when buying a nice bag. This one I can pass on any time if I want without feeling like I’ve been awfully extravagant but after a few weeks  she’s still doing all the right things so I’ve no plans to move on quite yet.

IMG_8371

3. These Geraniums

IMG_8576

I have four pots on the back terrace that have been empty forever waiting for just the right plants. Officially I think you would call them urns and I got them when I did this wedding .  At Christmas time I always fill them with bushy greenery from the garden but apart from that they sit empty.  So walking into the shops with Livvy recently she asked me what we getting (I have no idea now what we were getting) but I do remember saying “what I really want is four matching plants no more than $2.00 each – what are my chances?”.  Quite good as it turned out because I found geranium plants for $2.00 each all a similar size.  I found plastic drainage pots just the right size to fit into the urns and with the bag of potting mix it was about a $15.00 project – all in all a good shopping day and I now have plants in urns prettying up the outdoor area.

IMG_8579

IMG_8580

IMG_8532

4. Anne with an E

Livvy and I had this new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables that just came out here on Netflix devoured in a jiffy. We had been counting down the days and while we were waiting watched the 1985 CBC mini series on DVD.  Livvy was enraptured of course and me not far behind. Now its worth watching just for the opening music and graphics  which are so good (see below) and for THE HOUSE !!!  All spare and white with big open rooms and fires and solid hand hewn furniture,  then the prettiest blue green in the good front room because they had parlours in those days !! I stopped short of sketching out the layout.

A lot has been added to the original story in this retelling and being a bit of a purist when it comes to an original story its annoying at first. The simplest way to say it is they have expanded on the underlying themes hinted at but not discussed in the original book. Big serious themes like child abuse and child labour,  abandonment, coming of age, lost love, discrimination, class discrimination, the education of girls and the role of women in society – yep it has the works and makes for a whole lot grittier story thats kind of at odds with the lightness and innocence of the original. For me once  you come to terms with the change off pace it that regards then its captivating viewing. Acting therein is AMAZING, scenery, music and that house are amazing and we are waiting with bated breath for Season 2 but I am hoping it doesn’t get too much darker

You can read a review here.

5. Online

IMG_8583

If you like the idea of a spontaneous mini break but don’t want it to cost you an arm and a leg have a read of this one. Agent Grace has some really great ideas for keeping the costs low and the relaxation high.

Operation: MINIBREAK 

And a couple for the heart.

http://www.christiepurifoy.com/2017/05/25/gardenbound-a-maplehurst-tour/
Photo by Christie Purifoy 

This ladies writing unfolds like a melody and if your a gardener, a would be gardener or you just like staring out windows at gardens you will enjoy reading this.

Garden Bound:  A Maplehurst Tour by  Christie Purifoy

http://emilypfreeman.com/feels-like-long-road-back/
Photo by Emily P Freeman

I’ll read anything Emily Freeman  writes but some posts seem to arrive with perfect timing. This was one.

When It feels Like A Long Way Back by Emily P Freeman

6. In My Garden

Always amazed and inspired by what I find with a wander around my garden.

I found these layered pots in a shady corner on a quick early morning turn around the garden before work. This always does me the world of good if I’m feeling a bit blah as happens  at times. I’m a home body at heart and the trek off to work each day  as much as I love the job takes its toll. Give me ten minutes in the garden though and I feel a whole lot more like I can take on the world.  A reminder that “ordinary places can become sanctuaries” Emily P Freeman These guys were almost totally covered by fishbone fern with the plants looking a bit sad and neglected. I  dragged them out of their forgotten corner and they are  now sitting by my front door where they can be admired and given a bit of attention

www.waterintowineblog.com.au

And heres what else happened in a forgotten part of my garden while I wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention. My “flapjack” plant only tiny when I shoved it into a pot  had without any help from me been growing madly in great leaps and bounds. It has at least quadrupled in size if not more and I found it bursting out of the pot it was in. Now in a much bigger pot with room to breath and stretch and grow some more Ive placed it in prime position so I can admire her each time I walk up my car port stairs. What I learnt from this humble plant? – bloom where  your planted, don’t let lack of attention or applause or less than ideal circumstances stop you doing your thing whatever that is. Hemmed in on all sides – tucked away and hidden ? – grow anyway, bloom anyway, start where you are, give what you’ve got and just do your thing.

IMG_8407

And finally these

IMG_8531

Which is what happens when you don’t mow your grass for two months. Unbeknownst to me the pumpkin plant from next door grew under the fence and spread out at leisure across the lawn  and these are what I harvested when I mowed the  jungle of a lawn last weekend. Sometimes its scary what happens when your not paying attention.

So thats it for my finds big and small for the last two months.

Any finds your way?

Linking up with:

Emily P Freeman’s What I learned This Spring Link Up. Yep its Autumn down this way but the idea is the same – we are all learning things all the time so share away in the comments below if  you’d like.

Porch Stories with Kristin Hill Taylor

Kristin-New-Porch-Stories-Button-Border

Chasing Community with Brenda Bradford Ottinger

Linkup-button

Love from my home to yours

Tracey xx

cropped-picmonkey-image.jpg

SaveSave

Five Minute Friday – More (or Less)

Five Minute Friday  on  a Monday night but it still works the same way. Prompt word, five minutes, just write. No overthinking, no over editing.

This weeks prompt word is MORE

We always think we need more, if not for now then for later, for just in case. Survival instinct I guess – the more we have the safer we feel.

But what if we used – really used – what we already have. Used it  to its fullest potential without waiting for more. What if we wrung the day dry of its possibilities and opportunities –   use up every bit without waiting for more or better before we begin. Wouldn’t there be more just by doing that- more contentment, more joy, more peace – bound to be.

I think sometime I’d like more house.

I live in a small house and there is always the temptation to think all my household woes would be solved by more space. Sheer square footage would be nice but I’d settle for more just in the way of storage space – cupboards and closets and just generally more places to shove things.

But more isn’t always more. More space can get filled up with stuff you don’t really need exactly the same way your existing space can and your no further ahead. A big space can be unfunctional and uncomfortable and unmanageable just the same as a small space can. Big or small, more or less – its all in what you do with it.

If I think about it what I’m really wanting at home is not so much more space – what I’m wanting is less chaos and less clutter and less crazy and for that maybe I don’t need more  – maybe I need less.

I know from experience the one thing that makes the biggest difference in a small house is less stuff. That right there my friend is easier said than done and an ongoing process in this wee house. The pay off though of opening a cupboard door and not have things fall on me, the pleasure of an empty shelf and a clear line of sight and drawers you can open makes it worth the tough decisions and the ruthless and relentless decluttering.

I’ve such a long way to go with this , theres still stuff piled up around here and too many cupboards shoved full.  But I’m heart set on making the most of what this little house has to offer, set on  uncovering her beauties and on making more of what looks like less to the untrained eye. This idea of rescue and redemption and bringing back from the edge is one that runs fast through my veins and a challenge I can’t help but rise to.

What about you, what are you wanting more or less of?

You can read what other people have done with their five minutes here 

Or you can join in with some story telling and heart sharing at #porchstories right here.

www.katemotaung.com

Kristin-New-Porch-Stories-Button-Border

cropped-picmonkey-image.jpg