What I Found In September and October

“The full morning moon is a wonder, made even more so by the ordinary and regular things that live beneath it. I have to remind myself to sometime stop look at life with a wider angle. It all counts. It is all part of our formation – the light, the dark, and all the dim space in between” Emily P Freeman

Time to stop and take a look at what I’ve  done and found and enjoyed and been inspired by in the month/s just past.

A way of

  • saying thank you
  • showing gratitude
  • receiving my own right now life
  • paying homage to the small and simple and everyday and ordinary because they are my kind of things. They talk soft and quiet and sometimes you  have to press your ear in close to hear what they have to say.

Mostly it reminds me that this is a good life full of good things freely given and no amount of  the hard “being a person” stuff changes that.

September is a favourite of mine. My boy was born in September and the weather is always something else. Its when the light starts to change. The cold not quite done with us yet but there’s a whiff of summer in the air most days. It’s when we can still pretend the year will stay right where it is and not be in such a hurry to reach its end. The calm before the proverbial storm. But then October arrives and scares the heck out of me with its reminders that Christmas is just around the corner and the years about got away and what have I  done and how shall I account for myself.  It seems early but its when that sense of overwhelm  can set in.

So I’m gonna go ahead and call this the anti stress edition of  What I Found and share some good things I’ve happened upon that might help if your feeling  the craziness creep up on you already.

But first to a few finds and a couple of projects and a random thought or two.

Finds

1. The Next Right Thing Podcast by Emily P Freeman

Short, sweet and breathtaking

and in particular Episode 5

Offer Your Work With Hope

If you have ever wondered if anything you do is worth its salt or felt scared to do what you truly want to do well this episode will do some good.

Click on the links above or download from iTunes.

2. The WordPress App

You know how I have this little online space called a blog. Well these days  I’m hard pressed since 1. I’ve been working and 2. Olivia downloaded her Sims game on my computer  to edge her out  for five minutes to work on a post. I resorted to my iPad for a bit which proved slow work  and then somehow the heavens opened and I came across the WordPress App.  Of course anyone else who blogs has been using it for donkeys years.

Not I

So I downloaded it on my phone and bingo I can now write in my lunch hour and at baseball practice and in bed and I can upload pics straight from my phone onto a post.  So much easier than from the computer.

So I feel suddenly all up to the minute which of course I’m not as I still can’t work out how to do a basic Insta story and a million other technical things.

The moral though  – find a short cut. If its important to you and it’s not working the way it was, look for a new way, seasons change and as much as I resist it at times we have to adjust right a long with them.

3. 15 Ways to Leave Your Clutter (so you can find a little peace)  by Courtney Carver

I’ll read anything that gives me ideas for keeping the clutter going out and the clear open space coming in and I like  this lady’s relaxed and easy writing style.

A lot of tips she mentions in this post I do in one form or another but heres a couple that were new for me and have worked well.

  • Empty it – sometimes looking in a drawer or a cupboard and trying to work out what should go and what should stay can be overwhelming so I jumped at this idea. Completely emptied the cupboard under my sink  and the cupboard with all the plastic containers in. I took everything out and have just started bringing things back in as I need them.   Now it means I  have a large stand up garbage bag full of “stuff” which is the politest word for it, standing in my bedroom but it avoids the intense decision making process and what doesn’t get retrieved from this bag will go. The other one we have tried is
  • Saying good bye and thanking things for there service – yes sounds all nuts I know but his has worked really well for Olivia letting go of some toys and dolls that she knew she no longer played with but still felt a bit attached to.  She fixed their hair and clothes up nice, had a chat with them, kissed them goodbye and away they went. Some stuffed toys got the same treatment. Sounds heartbreaking I know but previous to this they had been shoved under her bed, or in boxes, dolls with arms missing and legs askew. Better they go where they are enjoyed and played with.
  • One in and two out – I’m trying this one out at the moment. Simple idea and a very a good one given my tendency to find things by the road and bring them home – ahem see below. There is constantly a bag of things leaving my house so I thing all in all there is far more going out than coming in.

4. Just One Thing

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This is an idea that has been saving my life of late. It fits into the small change, big difference category.  You will know yourself that on any given day there might be forty possible things you could do in the time you have available. Thats where my problem sets in. I get caught in the headlights. So much to do, a small amount of available time, I get in a fluster and end up getting nothing done or five things half done and theres no satisfaction in that. Usually while I’m at work I’ve now started writing down one thing (one only) that I want to get done when I’m home. It might only be as minuscule as “fold a basket of washing” or or “clean top shelf of fridge” or it might be something more fun like “hang picture” or “paint table”.    So far its worked well. It bypasses the stress and getting one thing done is better that three things on a list not done.

5.  By The Road

Yes found a few items discarded by the road once again that I couldn’t help but bring home. All before pics no afters as I haven’t done a thing with them yet  – kinda liking them the way they are.

The white cupboard  is going on eBay. I had my eye out for an old cupboard for the laundry that I can put a laundry sink into.  I thought this one would fit right along my laundry wall and do the job but its a tad too long. Thats where a measuring tape kept in the car comes in real handy when roadside shopping.  She’s a beauty but too big for my house so hopefully someone else will love her. The tin truck I might paint or put a trio of plants in – undecided.

6. Finally Ive kept the best  find till last – found not beside the road but literally just down the road from here.

A  sweet ol caravan.

I’m a little beside myself because 1. it’s like having a little mini house to decorate and 2. I’ve wanted a caravan for sooo long it feels an incredible blessing and an answer to a silent prayer I have been praying all year to finally have one and be planning some adventuring and memory making in it.

We only had a small budget which meant we were looking around for something oldish but in good original condition. Somthing ready for adventuring as is but that we could pretty up a bit as well.  My words not Kens.

It  fits under our carport  (just) so with our small house were feeling like we’ve put on  an extension. I can hide out in there and write and I’ve found  Olivia in there reading. It’s the spare bedroom we’ve never had. So now that the guest wing is up and in action if you need a cozy place to stay just holler.

Regards the prettying up  that will take some time but I  did do a quick round of the thrift stores to find a few  bits and bobs to go inside. Found these green cushions, some blue cups, two striped fold up chairs (almost impaled myself on one as the arms are quite pointy so will have to be careful there) and blue fabric which I might make into cushions. Most items $2 and nothing over $5.

I think there’s a blue and green theme developing. So I did have to buy this cushion  because it looked like it was made for my caravan. Everything else so far has come from the house or from our camping supplies.

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As none of these items have actually come into the house I’m thinking they don’t count in the one in two out rule.

Projects

In case I haven’t mentioned it a hundred times before I love to have a project on the go.  It does my home good for sure but it does my soul even more good. I’ts time out,   its simple creativity, its peace for a brain that works overtime somedays. Anyone else have once of those?

Shelving Unit 

Found loitering in my hallway. Around here anything the kids don’t want they completely disown by shoving it out into hallway. This one sat in the hallway for a month before I decided to paint it and put it to good use. A quick fix that I wasn’t too fussy about getting perfect.   Blends in with the wall  which was the idea  and covers a lot of cords and a big ugly power point. I haven’t put much on it which is how I like it. 

Before

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After

 

Oval Dining Table 

This one a little more involved than my usual slap a quick coat of paint on it.  You may have seen this oval table turn up in a few of my pictures. It came from my mums  place when she downsized and I was going to leave it as it was since it was a nice honey colour. Olivia though left a huge batch of slime that she’d made with white glue and Borax on the table. Well that slime took the finish right off so there was nothing else for it but to redo the top. 

 I’ve long admired this table from the inspired room.

So I was going for that sort of look.  It involved some serious sanding back, far more than I would ever normally choose to do, a lot of blue painters tape, measuring and then measuring again, white low sheen paint, wood stain and clear varnish.  

There were tears. I’m usually pretty relaxed about how things turn out but I wanted this one right. Ken being the expert painter decided he’d give the whole top a final coat of clear varnish which was a lovely idea except somehow we ended up with  light brown  streaks through the white. Felled at the final hurdle. So I dragged it back outside and rubbed back the clear varnish off of the white stripes and gave them another coat of white. I realised the finish I wanted was the white stripes to have a matte finish (ie no varnish)  and the wood part shiny so turned out for the best in the end after said cry. 

Heres how she progressed.

 

Finally

So now those reads if your finding yourself getting the pre holiday jitters like me.

  1. How To Plan Your Holiday Calendar 
  2. Four Veteran Mom Moves For Dealing With Stress and Overwhelm
  3. How to Receive Your Own Summer Life with Less Envy and More Gratitude

Friends thank you for being here. I hope you’ve found a little inspiration, enjoyment and calm among these words of mine.

Any finds your way? I’d love to hear.

Xx

Linking up today with Chasing Community  and Porch Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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… 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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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Linking up today with

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

 

 

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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And this is her dressed up.

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Makes a comfy  place to sit on our back terrace.

2. This Bag

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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.

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3. These Geraniums

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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And finally these

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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

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Chasing Community with Brenda Bradford Ottinger

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Love from my home to yours

Tracey xx

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What I Found in March

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

So time for a little looking  back at what I found during the month just gone.

Wondering why I do that ??  Well this post will fill you a bit. I like this practice of looking back , its simple but it does good work. We rush through life so quick . We forget so easy what’s held our attention and grabbed our hearts. We can forget what’s changed us.  This looking back at even the small incidental things slows me down and helps me take notice. Hoping it helps you do the same.

So March it seems for whatever reason had me up to my heart strings in memories of one kind or another. Totally unplanned, they just kept sneaking up on me and not  always welcome I might add.  Thats the thing about memories –  they don’t ask permission, they don’t make an appointment, they just hit you full on and right in the gut sometimes.  But lets starts with some good finds

At The Shops

Had a few good thrift shop and other store finds  – nothing over $5.00 and most under $2.00 that include vintage glassware (love) an enormous gold tray,  some pretty scarves  – one as big as a tablecloth which is what I’ve used it for, more gold in some collapsable storage containers, a woven planter and a few pots of greenery which always spend a good couple of weeks decorating my kitchen bench before they find a permanent home.

Any good thrift store finds your way?

At Home

I found this box of crafty bits and bobs, coloured letters, stickers, glitter, ribbon you name it left over from my scrapbooking days tucked away in a corner of my bedroom .

Olivia and I had  put a bit of a dent in it by the time I took the photo but this is what we did .

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Olivias

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Yes it feels kind of  silly to be spending time prettying up my diary  when theres a trillion other things I could be doing BUT it’s time spent with my girl and she thinks its a perfect  way to spend an afternoon. What gave it away? She kept saying “Oh I love this”  “I love doing this with you Mum”  so I’m thinking its kind of  perfect too and – – – – everything else can just wait.  In a blink this little girl will be grown and yes we’ll probably be doing other things together but for now that sweet spot  involves cutting and sticking and secret telling on a Sunday afternoon.

Online

This post

What It Feels Like When Your Kids Are Growing Up by Emily P Freeman

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On Instagram 

Good finds house shaped and heart shaped

  1. @my colourful home   Her words are in Dutch  but her decorating style definitely speaks my language. Soo pretty and so organised !!

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2. And these words from Lisa Jo Baker to celebrate International Womens Day on    March 8th. She nailed it as always.

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The Memory Keeper

Now  my hurtle down memory lane started with this sweet little vintage tin that came to me for safekeeping. It caught my attention straight up because it’s old and dinged up which is just how I like things and because of the pretty picture of Sydney Harbour (pre Opera House it looks like).

It belongs to my mother and she doesn’t recall when or where she got or what it originally had in it (I do  like to know these things) but I discovered that like a time capsule its crammed full of our family history.  Cards from long ago birthdays , letters written in beautiful old fashioned hand, birth notices, death notices. Joys and heartbreaks all jumbled up together because that’s how joy and heartbreak work. There are fragile newspaper clippings – a few lines about my parents wedding and a front page picture of my paternal grandmother in the 1951 Anzac Day March. I can’t help but wonder what she dreamed of, what did she want for her children, what road did she travel to bring her there that day.  I’d like to scroll back or at least enlarge the view.

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I’m conscious of the stories and lives contained in this tin,  precious souls whose lives and history have bled into mine. I daren’t stay too long or look too hard less it swallow me whole. There’s only the vaguest temptation to organise and catalogue and scrapbook it all into a meaningful whole but they’re not mine to do so.  Mostly I want to leave them as they were left. Untampered with, unorganised, pushed in and layered on top of one another as memories tend to be. Kept safe but at a safe distance. Grateful to be able to take a peek, to pay my respect and grateful to put the lid put back on on tight.

Now the second “incident” that occurred was a few Fridays ago watching an interview on ABC s One Plus One with iconic Australian singer John Paul Young. I’ll apologise right now that while the spirit of what Im saying will translate some of the references here might only strike a chord if your are an Aussie and are old enough to remember the seventies music of this guy. Anyone?  Now I’ll quickly admit  it was all a little before my time but I was alive and with a sister 5 years older than me who never missed an episode of Countdown this music  is (as I found out) apparently seared into my brain. I was only half watching until they played his first song Pasadena and then OMG!!!

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I was 10 years old again – all adrift and alone, the world a bumpy, hard, uncomfortable place – the memories vague but the emotions real and sharp.  Goodness me music can take us places and this place hurt my skin and had me ducking for cover.

I guess some recollections hit our emotions like a tonne of bricks because of whats lost and gone – our youth, our innocence, people,  things we dreamed for, time that can’t be gotten back. And there’s that pang of longing for a do over even when we know its not possible, a chance to do things better, to make different choices, to grab back and use every moment and second to its fullest because now we know what we didn’t then  – thats its gone in an instant.

But where it leaves me once I’ve pulled myself clear of that freight train is face on the ground grateful. Grateful for redemption and for rescue. Grateful that I made it out alive and with some hope still in tact. Yes sorry for whats lost but grateful for prayers prayed long ago that made a difference in my life. Grateful for fresh mercy daily and the opportunity to rewrite my story and to begin again. It’s easier said then done but that part is mine, what’s lost isn’t.

“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”
Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

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I like these words from Emily P Freeman

All we have is this day, this great right now. Let’s look around, let’s be all here if we can, and give ourselves permission to grieve what we need to grieve and to not be afraid.

Now I wont leave you on that melancholy note – heres a find that is totally for fun.  With my interest piqued by that interview and my weeping done I did some googling and found this great clip on youtube of John Paul Young in his heyday singing live on Sydney Harbour. Worth a look just to see Sydney Harbour circa 1976 and to see what everyone had on.  As I said a bit before my time but another song dogeared in my memory. I showed Olivia and her  response: “Oh I love that – I want to keep singing it” The fashions and dance style may change  but some music don’t get old.  Your welcome.

John Paul Young – I Hate The Music (1976)

Now your turn – any finds big or small your way recently? Would love to hear

Wishing you all a happy Easter and I’ll leave you  finally with this beautiful quote.

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God Bless

Lv Tracey xx

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Linking up today with

Friendship Friday  Fresh Market Friday and  Bloggers Pit Stop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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What I Found in February

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”  Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Ahh February – more a month of endurance than discovery wouldn’t you agree?

By February the new year has worn itself in and even the most sensible of our new year ideals have most likely abandoned us entirely. The hard work of the year is staring us squarely in the eye and I have fits of wondering if my courage will fail me and if my will to keep showing up will throw in the towel.

The weather it gets to us I think. Regardless of where we live, by February’s end we’re all longing for change. For some of you the comforts of winter have well and truly worn thin and your willing spring to rise up on out of the hard ground and for life to show itself in the trees. Down this way we’ve had enough of the heat that’s about seared us through. And when its not scorching hot its belting down torrential rain. We’re longing for calmer more civilised days.

February falls into Ordinary time according to the church calendar and yes ordinary it’s felt.

“Why does February feel like one big Tuesday?”  Todd Stocker 

but lets not underestimate  Tuesday .

and given half a chance ordinary can shine

Even our most ordinary days have their beauties and comforts –  we just have to search that bit harder. Yes we commiserate and whinge and lick our wounds for a bit but then reason and hope somehow kick in and we look for what makes sense and search for what gives meaning. We breathe deep and make dinner and do the next right thing we know to do.

So while I’ve well and truly had a run in with the blahs this February there have been silent prayers answered in the most unexpected ways and  many a  good thing to light my way  – good finds all of them and in no particular order.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Now this is where I  usually share a good thrift store find  but nary a trip to the Op shop this month. After years of thrift store shopping though Ive got a few beauties up my sleeve and I thought I’d share a favourite.

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This humble little painting never fails to lift my spirits.  It’s all the fresh blue and green and the rolling hills and little house on top and the hand made frame too with lovely hand hewn detail. Painted on an ordinary piece of board not an artist canvas, the frame most likely came from off cuts laying around.

It hung a long time in my laundry as Ive got a bit of a blue and green thing happening in there but just recently I brought it out to brighten up a corner of my back room that I look out onto everyday as its situated diagonally across from my kitchen bench where I basically live. So pretty and cheery to look at and it provides a lovely distraction from the great ugly black filing cabinet that has to live in that corner as well.

 

The cherry on top though is the story it tells. It’s always a treat to find items that reveal something of their history and this painting does quite literally that. The dear man who painted it took the time to write a few words about himself and the property he painted and attached it to the back.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Now I’m not familiar with the area of Dungog that he refers to which is North of Sydney but it sure looks pretty in this picture. Albion Park where Mr Kellner moved is just south of here which is I guess why it ended up in a thrift store near to me. Surprising that a family member didn’t hold it dear but how glad I am to have the chance to do so.

Quite appropriately I’ve just started reading “A Fortunate Life” by Albert B Facey An all time Australian classic about enduring hope and human will and a mans determination to pull a good life out of a broken start. In typically Australian “we’ll be right” style he retells the most horrendous and traumatic of circumstances in the most matter of fact  way.  Oh that pioneering spirit. Amazing.

A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey

“This is the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. It is the story of Albert Facey, who lived with simple honesty, compassion and courage. A parentless boy who started work at eight on the rough West Australian frontier, he struggled as an itinerant rural worker, survived the gore of Gallipoli, the loss of his farm in the Depression, the death of his son in World War II and that of his beloved wife after sixty devoted years – yet he felt that his life was fortunate”.

You realise as you read the book, that the title itself is a statement of hope and belief  and of not giving into despair. A lesson to my self pitying tendencies. A lesson on perspective. A reminder that hope and thankfulness is never to be underestimated.

So what is it with me and book titles lately. Heres another thats got me in its grips. I pounced on this book when it came my way purely and entirely because of the title. Now apparently you can’t judge a book by its cover but what about its name.

www.waterintowineblog.com

I’m still reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which oh my goodness is a great book –  a story that “illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another”.  And that title  just a few words yet they play like a song perfectly capturing the essence of the book and maybe of life. The darkest of times, the world gone mad but the Light not extinguished. Its encouraged me these past weeks as if to say see it’s OK, your not really in the dark, not ever, not nearly. The Light right there and even in our dark we have this extravagance of light. Maybe it just reminds  me of this:

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4&5

So to a few other finds

Online

Loved this post:  Why I Don’t Care My Van Is a Mobile Thrift Store

Loved this Link Up:

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

I found this weekly link up on Photalife where you share just one photo and words are optional.  Of course I can’t help but write me some words but oh the simplicity of it !! A short simple post is kind of like a power nap that works wonders in terms of refreshment and just plain making you feel better. Works like a medicine.  You can take a look at some of last weeks contributions here. A reminder that creativity doesn’t have to be complicated.

On Instagram

Some new favourites I can’t stop gazing at:

@blueberrylivingco   This one so fresh and pretty and  bursting with colour

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@marysevanliere  This one is all vintagy and mismatched and comfy looking and I would be happy  to move  right in.

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In My Garden

You know I’m always amazed by what grows and what doesn’t. I shoved the tiniest tendril that had fallen off another plant into a pot recently with just a whisper of a hope it might grow and promptly forgot about it.

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 Another of my plants I willed to grow, I fussed over it, pleaded with it, coaxed it along but it was having none of it – it curled up and died just the same. My forgotten little plant though when I bothered to look was growing strong.  Go figure.

We can sow the seed, we can pour the water but the growth – that magic isn’t ours.  We lament though over whats not growing, throw ourselves prostrate trying to will something out of the ground to no avail yet while our back is turned, in the place we least expect it we  find the growth and increase we are longing for. Ours to sow but its Gods to grow. A reminder to  not miss whats growing by fretting over whats not.

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At Home

I came home from work Monday and found my husband doing this.

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Stunned (and happy) but I didn’t say too much in case I disturbed him and he stopped . Now let me fill you in I’ve been waiting for this wall, that stretches the full length of our  back room to be rendered since we moved into this house many a long year ago. I always imagined it was going to be some monolithic project hence the years of putting it off. Not so – Ken  dragged one bucket of render out of the garage late in the afternoon, gave it a good mix and threw it on with a trowel – he had this bit done in an hour. Seriously. Why oh why do we put things off? But I guess theres a time for everything  and the main thing is that ugly orange brick wall is on its way out and I’m doing star jumps on the inside. So in that same spirit I’m launching into a project I’ve wanted to do for a while.

I always like to have project of some sort on the go so when I found this light shade made of book pages and lace  I thought I’d have a go at something similar.

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Aint it pretty – but this is what I’ve got to work with.

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Now you needn’t laugh – it looks a whole lot better than it did. It did have  ugly brown smoked glass panels all around it but they have been removed and disposed of. And yes I too am tempted to turf it out and buy a lovely new light fitting but with approximately one million other things we need to spend our money on at present this light fitting won’t be budging anytime soon. So what are my chances of prettying it up. I’m going to start with a metal primer, paint it black and go from there and  I’m telling you about it just to put a little bit of pressure on myself to get it done in the next month so I can show you how it turned out  next time.

So that my friends are my finds for February. Your turn now. Any good finds your way, any projects on the go. Would so love to hear . xxx

I’m  happy to say that I’m joining in today with  Emily P Freemans, end of season link up What We Learned  Now you might remember it was Emily’s posts that inspired me to start my own end of month round up. You can read about that here and see what other lovely people have learnt this past Summer/Winter depending on where you are  right here

Also joining in with Literacy Musing Monday.