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family

It Rained Today.

It rained today. I adore the rain. It reminds me of Pa. He was a farmer and he loved the land. He’d tell my Mum “10 points of rain is better Read More

Connections. Fate?

Hey Gorgeous Sunday.

“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level, belong together….”

You belong together. As lovers, as friends, or as family, or – as the words above say – or as something entirely different. I love when that connection with someone happens don’t you? And it can’t be ignored. Gracious who would want to ignore it?! I think it’s pretty  Read More

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

Today was such a glorious day. Good gracious I adore Fridays! We finished our week with simply hanging out in our little backyard. William, Scarlett, Henry and I had a spirited (read competitive) soccer match and then a jump on the tramp (to cool down) while we counted down the minutes Read More

Two Little Visitors.

Hello Friday night.

I miss writing.

My sister, that I adore, is in Sydney this weekend having a well deserved R&R with her best friend. I owe her big time. She was the one who looked after my brood during visits home when we lived overseas or during the birth of yet another baby. She was always there to support, nurture and love – as only a sister can – during the days of the awful ‘process of separation’. My sister was, and is, always there for me. No matter what. No questions asked. I am, and always will be, so grateful.

Now I’m in a position to give back. Read More

Art Journal, 2014 | Pa.

Hello Thursday!

For my Art Journal post with Get Messy this week I’d like to remember my Pa. He died on Sunday. He was 100 years old. And while I nod my head, smile and agree when everyone says what a wonderful, remarkable, milestone of an age he reached my heart still hurts for him. I know that he was 100 years old. I know that he lived an amazing life. I know that we were all so lucky to have him for so long… But still I hurt. Selfishly I miss him. Selfishly I miss them both. My sister, my brother and I had a wonderful, happy, Read More

Our Pa will be 100 tomorrow.

Hello Wednesday!

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Tomorrow is a very, very special day for our family. Henry Davis York’s turns 5 years old. Henry shares a birthday with the man he was named after. His great grandfather, my grandfather, James Henry Davis. Our Pa. He will be celebrating his 100th.

You could not meet a more dignified, honourable, loyal, and loving man.

My parents, sister and her babes and William, Stella, Scarlett, Henry and I are all driving in convoy to visit Pa this weekend out west in Peak Hill to celebrate. I’m sure there will be a lot of stories told, memories had of our late Nan, hugs given and received and possibility the odd rum or two.

I love this man so very much.

This beautifully written article about Pa was in today’s Parkes Champion Post. I wanted to share it with you.

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Congratulations and cheers will be the order of the day when Peak Hill’s James (Jim) Davis celebrates his 100th birthday tomorrow.

Born a week after the outbreak of World War 1, Jim jokes how a mistake by his father in registering his birth as August 27, 1914 (instead of the actual birth date of August 14), has seen him celebrate twice a year all his life.

“My father travelled into the Holbrook Court House a couple of weeks after my birth to register the details, but mistakenly put that day’s date, so I’ve taken advantage of the situation ever since,” Jim laughed.

Tomorrow will be a quiet celebration with family, many of whom will travel from across the state to share in the special day.

They will include Gaile and Bob Hart who have just moved into Parkes, Jan and Bruce Ellis (Dubbo), Peg and Tony Booth (Warner’s Bay), Robyn and Robert Morphett (Moama), Rhonda Martin (Bathurst), and Carmel and Bob Allan (Maitland).

Not one for too much fuss, Jim is still mourning the death last year of Dulcie, his wife of 76 years.

“I miss her very much. She was my partner in life and I still expect to see her walk through that door,” he said.

“If she was still here with me I’d jump at the chance to really celebrate.

“So tomorrow I’ll be toasting her memory more so than my birthday.”

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Jim retains his simple philosophy on life.

“Loyal dinky-di friends is all you ever need and I’ve been blessed to have many throughout my life.

“I was also very lucky to meet a beautiful woman whose parents were very accepting and made me welcome.

“It made a big difference, you know!

“And of course our six wonderful daughters who have gone on to marry and provide us with 18 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren.”

Jim was born in Germaton – so named because of the many German settlers in the village. The town was later renamed Holbrook.

Both Jim’s parents were English migrants. In fact his mother was born on a boat travelling to Australia in 1879.

She married James William Davis on March 2, 1899, and the couple had 11 children.

Today, Jim is the sole survivor.

Educated in Holbrook, like many of that era, Jim left school at 14.

A visit by his grandfather and uncle proved the catalyst to his future.

“Mum sent me back with them to the property “Oondooroo” at Tomingley to work as a farmhand,” Jim said.

“After a year or two I got a job share farming with William Tink on a neighbouring property for several years.”

Jim met Dulcie Hoy at a regular Saturday night dance in Tomingley, swept her off her feet and they married in 1937. He was 23 and Dulcie 18.

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During the ensuing years, Dulcie gave birth to six daughters – Gaile, Jan, Carol (Peg), Robyn, Rhonda and Carmel while residing at the Tomingley property “Spring Valley.”

“I really want to pay tribute to Dulcie. She was a wonderful wife and mother to our six daughters,” Jim said.

“She prepared wonderful meals in the slow combustion stove, used the old wood-fired copper to wash our clothes. She helped milk the cow, made butter, we collected eggs and grew our own vegetables.

“The changes in this regard alone over the years have been mind-boggling.”

Jim and Dulcie purchased “Spring Valley” which they had leased for many years after Carmel was born in 1950.

“Ours was a mixed farming business that included lambs, cattle on the odd occasion, and cropping.

“Over the years we certainly experienced many ups and downs and a continuation in improved farming techniques – especially in regards to machinery,” Jim said.

“I remember the days of having to use horses to pull the ploughs; life is all so different now.”

Times were often tough and Jim remembers having to leave Tomingley in 1941 to seek work to pay of a machinery bill he had chalked up with Howard and Sons.

“It was one ofonly two occasions I ever left the bush, the other was in 1978 after we sold `Spring valley” to Jan and Bruce.

“Dulcie and I purchased a unit in Coogee where we lived for five years before deciding to return to the country and live in Peak Hill.

It really was a case of that old adage – you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.

Jim has always involved himself heavily in the community and still remains a Patron and Life member of the Tomingley Picnic Race Club of which he first became part of the committee some 70 years ago.

Today he is a Life member and Patron of the Peak Hill Bowling Club, a Patron of the town’s Trotting Club, and a former committeeman of the Peak Hill PA and H Association.

Jim even dabbled in the trotting game where in partnership with Col Elliott bred a few trotters but with limited success

Blessed with good health, Jim was 90 when he had a pacemaker fitted.

Although he is almost blind, he still resides at home with the assistance of a live-in carer where he enjoys the simple things in life while at the same time missing his independence.

“That’s what comes with getting old you know.

“But I’m looking forward to next Easter for our biannual family reunion.

“We always have about 200 attend the weekend where there is a big dinner get-together and cricket, golf and bowls.

“There’ll be a toast to absent friends and I have no intention of being one of those absentees,” Jim said.

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XO

Choosing to be wrong…

Hello Tuesday!

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It’s a bit hard though sometimes isn’t it, swallowing your pride.

Grab a cuppa. I want to tell you a story.

This weekend I went head-to-head with my mother on the topic of how I keep house. Long story short is that she thinks I don’t take enough care with my housework. And it’s probably true. Although it’s not that I don’t care. I would love to have a neat-as-a-pin, immaculately clean cottage with a perfect garden every single day of the week. I really, REALLY would. And I totally agree with her that having an organised house frees your mind to cope with and do other things. And I would really, REALLY love that too. I am not a lazy person, which my mother agreed. But in her not so humble opinion I lack the ability to priorities my time correctly. With everything that I have going on I found that opinion difficult to swallow.

The thing is I try. I try really hard with everything I do. I’m constantly striving to simplify my life in every way. De-clutter, use what I have around me instead of buying more, culling, finding better storage solutions, etc, etc, etc…

My reason for my ‘imperfect’ cottage is simple. My time limited. But in a gloriously, wonderful way.

I have four happy, active, lego playing, craft loving, school age children that do not stop until they are passed out and snoring in their beds. We have an incredibly busy weekly school schedule which includes after school activities every day except Wednesday, a fairly heavy homework load x3… And then, of course, there are the times that they need their mum to listen and talk through tough or happy emotions, that extra book read, those extra special snuggles and cuddles at the end of the day. All of which is x4.

We have our beautiful family and wonderful network of friends who we catch up with regularly for love, sanity and fun purposes.

We have two fluffy friends and of course those darn, adorable guinea pigs and birds to care for and love.

Oh and I almost forgot. My creative business! Yep, that’s also on the list of things that take up time during my day and sometimes into the early hours of the morning.

All these things are not excuses. They are reasons. There is a big difference. I choose to embrace these reasons and I choose to focus my time on them because they are important to me.

I am juggling a lot. But I feel happy, alive and like my life has purpose.

My house isn’t unclean. I make it a priority to live in a ‘clean’ house. But the other – the toys, the craft, my creative chaos, to a point, doesn’t bother me. One day it will just be me and I won’t have to worry about treading on lego or picking up scraps of paper with masterpieces painted on them. That day is getting closer and closer and way to fast for my liking.

When I was having the emotional discussion with my mum (and all our mother/daughter confrontations seem to get emotional) this weekend about my lack of talent in the housekeeping department I felt resentful that at the age of almost 38 I was needing to justify how I spend my time. After lots of talking, crying, trying to explain my side and mum trying to explain her side I realised that there was no way that either of us were going to agree with the other. We have been here many, many times before. It’s exhausting. But I’ve never backed down. Oh yeh, I can be stubborn.

Until now.

This situation is the kind of silly situation that can drive a wedge between two people. Not the topic itself but the ability to loose focus on what really matters to you, as a person.

This woman who was standing in front of me, voicing her concerns in her up-front, I’m-your-mother-and-I-said-so way was my Mum. She was hurting me but only because she loved me. I respect her and I value her opinion, even if I don’t agree with it. Did I mention that I love her?

Yesterday I choose to be wrong even though I knew I wasn’t wrong simply because I valued our relationship so very much. I value my mother as my mum. I value my mother as the beautiful, caring grandmother to my children. I value my mother as the person who, whether I like it or not, will tell me what is what whenever she feels the need.

The end of this situation and how we move forward is up to me. How do I take her advice? Do I get hurt? Do I change what I choose to embrace and enjoy in my day to day life so that I am seen as a talented housekeeper and prioritiser? Do I take the advice on board so much that I begin to doubt that I am coping and making the right choices? Or…

Do stand up, be brave and be me, believing that I am trying by hardest to make the world around me and my children a happy, pleasant, relatively stress free one while being respectful and sensitive to Mum’s opinion. Not agreeing with her but also no blowing her off. Just admitting that I could improve in areas, promising her that I’ll try even harder, meaning it, and moving on all the while having that self-confidence that I am constantly trying and, for the most part, doing a good (not perfect, but good) job.

I’m choosing to be me.

Needless to say, the cottage was looking amazing by the time the kids came home from visiting their dad. And Mum and Dad were both here to welcome them all home. It was the usual loving time.

Yes. Mum and I ended our mother/daughter emotional argument with hugs and love yous. As always. And I ended my long weekend a little stronger, a little wiser and a little more mature.

Personal growth and valuing our relationships, regardless of pride, has to be a good thing right?

xxxxx

PS | while I was cleaning and tidying up our little cottage yesterday and after my ‘chats’ with Mum I had this song in my head… It made me giggle. When I found the YouTube clip I burst out laughing. That is definitely NOT how I looked whilst sprucing up our cottage. Hope it brings a smile across your face too. xxx

And then there were 6…!

Hello Sunday!

Are you an animal lover? I am. My love for animals took the back seat for quite a few years. We lived overseas. We moved a lot. And the kids Dad wasn’t a fan.

Things are different now.

After moving 3 times in the last 18 months we are now settled in our own little cottage. We don’t have a lot of room in our home but we have a heck of a lot of room in our hearts.

I grew up with animals. We had dogs, cats, fish, budgies, peach faces, chooks and rabbits. My mother and father worked hard to give us those beautiful life experiences as children. We didn’t have much growing up but what we did have we adored. We lived outside with our furry friends, jumping on the tramp, playing fairy games in the garden, building tree houses, roller skating under our carport, spending hours and hours in paddling pools that Mum picked up from Big W, playing backyard cricket and soccer and tennis in the street. Our childhood was simple, fun, loving and spent as a family.

I had promised the kids that once settled we would think about getting a few more pets. They haven’t let me forget this promise asking daily if I thought we were are settled yet.

(The secret is a felt settled in our little cottage the moment the first box of our belongings was delivered here.)

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We already have two adorable pups. Jasper and Missy. They aren’t inside dogs however we do let them in for a treat. As you can see, they are pretty comfortable. I swear Missy thinks she’s a cat sometimes and Jasper thinks he is part human. I love how he has his paw comfortably resting on my dads leg.

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Stella turned 9 last week. We went to one of our local pet shops with the plan to adopt two budgies. That was Stella’s birthday wish. A little budgie. I was always going to buy two so that they would each have company. Then I spied Scarlett sitting next to the guinea pig hutch in the shop. My heart melted as I watched hers melt for the cute little fluff balls. Then Stella looked at me and I knew that she had changed her mind.

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We eventually walked out of that pet shop with the two budgies (Blu and Pink) and two guinea pigs (Blackie and Sparky). I couldn’t leave any of them behind.

As we filled the car up with cages and boxes and the 4 animals it was Scarlett who started to cry. I put my arms around her and told her not too. Everything was fine. I had said yes and I told her that I thought she should be happy, that things were going to be so much fun. She looked up at me and smiled with little tears on her cheeks and replied “Oh Mum. I am happy. All my dreams are coming true”.

I know how she feels.

xxx

PS | this post is dedicated to Petra and her beautiful family who recently lost one of their furry family members. Thinking of you guys xxx 

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