Friday, 22 August 2014

this moment

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama





Don't forget my blog link up Reconnect with Nature will occur again on Wednesday 27th August at 9pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (Sydney time). See here for more details.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Reconnect with nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.

Welcome Swallows prepare for Spring
This week's post really is a case of nature connecting with us, rather than the other way round! 
A few weeks ago l noticed a pair of Welcome Swallows hanging around the front of the house, acting quite territorial.  They were swooping a Flycatcher, hunting it away from a particular corner of the house.  Straight away l thought they must be nesting, but l searched the front of the house for a nest, and couldn't see anything.
 
 
Welcome Swallows are Australia's most widespread and common swallow and together a pair makes their mud nest.  It's so amazing to think that these tiny birds, which probably don't weigh more than 10grams, carry mud in their beaks and build their nests bit by bit.  What an amazing effort!

Weeks passed and l still couldn't see anything, at one stage l thought they may have been getting into the roof cavity and were possibly nesting in there. But then one morning l looked up, and there was the unmistakable beginnings of a nest.  Since then they've been busy birds, steadily building up the mud walls.
 
 
But the birds could be on borrowed time.  If it was just me, l would let them nest there but Dan's rightly concerned about the damage they could cause.  I've left it to him, but l know that if there are babies in the nest he wont do anything until after the young have fledged.  So far the nest has remained, and if Dan wants to remove it before they lay eggs l think he's going to have to get a wriggle on! Of course l'm secretly cheering them on.
In preparation l have read on-line that you can put up a little platform under the nest that will catch most of the droppings, and to be honest l'm not really worried about lice or anything.  It's a fresh nest and in my experience healthy birds don't usually have lice. 
Certainly another sign that Spring is on its way though.

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.
 
Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

So.......am l addicted to being busy?



I’ve had plenty of time to think this past week or so.  I suppose you can say that’s a positive from being flat on my back with the flu.  A week alone with my thoughts, with my wishes and desires, the observations from family and friends…. all sloshing around in my head.

Most of my thoughts centred on how busy we are again.  I thought once we had moved and settled into our new home that things would slow back down, but they haven’t. 
And the conclusion l’ve drawn? I think l might have an addiction……to being busy of all things. To be honest l feel a little crazy to think that, let alone to write that…….l mean how can you be addicted to being busy?
But the more l think about it the more l’m convinced it might be true.
My One Little Word has been on my mind too, You remember that?  Way back in January l shared my thoughts and introduced my word for 2014 – simple.
My One Little Word has been really important to me over the past few years, and something l’ve been pretty diligent at.  But here, it’s the middle of August and my progress with simple has been well pretty poor all round.  And sure, we’ve had a lot on like additional work projects, selling our home, buying another and moving….but the last monthly prompt l did was back in February! 

During the week l picked up my One Little Word journal/album and re read some of my thoughts and intentions from earlier in the year.
Whilst l’ve made some progress with l guess the easier aspects, the big things l’m yet to tackle and l’m wondering why.

At the start of the year l wanted less busyness and more meaning, less activities and more freedom. 
And then l took on an extra work project, that gobbled up all my free time.

At the start of the year l didn’t want a list of goals, priorities and a yearly planner filled with activities. 
And on my fridge right now is a calendar with not a free weekend between now and October!

Why is simple such a challenge? 
Why when l want less commitments, less busyness, do l continue to fill our calendar?

And don’t get me wrong.  l’m grateful to have a full life with many different interests and friends, so it’s a little hard to admit that sometimes all these activities just leave me feeling a little exhausted.  Instead of enjoying each of them fully, being in the moment, my mind is often jumping ahead to the next activity, the next commitment and what l need to do to prepare. 
And when Ali, who runs the One Little Word project, asked us in January to list what we feared most in 2014….that is exactly what l wrote. Bang, there it is folks.

It’s so hard to say no, and it’s even harder to value and protect down time after years of not doing so.  That’s why l think labelling this as an addiction is probably not such a crazy idea.  The continued repetition of behaviour even though you don’t want to do it, and it has negative consequences? Sounds like it.
So here is goes, l’m raising my hand and saying Hi my name is Chrisy and l’m a busy-aholic ….

And perhaps l'm not alone.  In Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly, which l read earlier this year she talks about busyness and how our current culture equates that with our importance.  She suggested we wear our busyness like a badge of honour.  Brene suggests "busy" is one of the shields we use to numb ourselves against vulnerability: "One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call crazy-busy... We are a culture of people who've bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won't catch up with us." In short, we stay busy to deal with our "fear-based shame of being ordinary."
So if l really do want to simplify my life, I can see now that l've got quite a journey ahead of me.  The past eight months have shown me that it's going to take a lot more than good intentions to break this habit.

But it could be one of the most important journeys l make and l'd love to share with you.

How about you? Could you be a busy-aholic too? Do you yearn for the simple life? Or are you well on your way to a simple life? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, 18 August 2014

morning, noon and night - Sunday 17 August

{morning, noon and night}
Linking up with the wonderful Kim from Mothering with Mindfulness
Sharing three little peeks into our day.

 9am Perhaps Spring is on its way? The first of what Dan thinks are peach blossoms?

 12:30pm The latest arrivals at the River Cottage.  Last week Dan brought home some Barnvelders.

5:30pm The last of the days rays poking through the stands of bamboo that line the other side of the river bank.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

We chase the winter sun

As we count down the last weeks of Winter and anticipate Spring's arrival, we find ourselves soaking up the late winter sunshine.  Here in the subtropics of Australia we don't experience the marked seasons that other areas do, but there are some differences. 

To me the biggest difference is in the sun. Winter gives us a few months of the year where it's very pleasant to sit in full sunlight. The sun puts out a gentle warmth that not only warms your body, but seemingly something deeper as well. It just makes you happy, and as a result we tend to chase the winter sun around the house and yard to soak up its goodness.

In the afternoon the yard gets bathed in sunlight.  

 They look like they're sick or dying don't they? But this is three Barnevelder hens and one rooster, all sunbaking in the chicken yard.


And then there's Max the wonder dog.  Nobody worships the sun like this dog.  



Our pet birds got moved out to the veranda for their dose of sunshine.


Meanwhile inside the sunshine isn't being wasted either.  

I love this photo, yes they are dog slobber marks on the outside of my glass door.  Hooray for life with animals.

The last rays peak through before the sunsets over the western riverbank. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

this moment

{this moment}
 
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Linking up with Amanda from Soule Mama
After more years than l can remember, influenza has made an unwelcomed return to our home. Pretty much all of my week has been spent lying on this lounge, under these blankets. So scary how quickly you can become really unwell.  Thank goodness l'm on the mend now, and touch wood, it looks like nobody else in our family has come down with it.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Reconnect with nature - one photograph at a time

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time.
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.
 
 
Lemon-scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora)
My moment of reconnecting with nature this week has to be when my friend Gwen visited last Saturday.  Gwen and l have been friends for many years, and have a common interest in native animals and the environment in general.  Originally from France, Gwen has learnt a lot about Australian plants and animals and has done a lot of bush regeneration on her property.  I'm always amazed at what she has learnt since arriving in Australia, and was really keen to show her around our new place and to pick her brains on some of the plants we have growing here.
As we walked around the yard we looked at all the different trees, with Gwen identifying the species that she could.  We weren't sure on a couple of them, including two very big gums trees which are very spectacular. 
 
 
Dan was mowing the lawn at the time, and as he passed by these two trees we could smell a most wonderful lemony scent.  Soon after Gwen realised that the two trees in our yard were lemon-scented gums, and the smell was from Dan running over the fallen leaves with the mower. 
 
 


Lemon-scented gums are naturally only found in tropical Queensland, but have become very popular and are now planted throughout Australia. As the name suggests, when their leaves have a wonderful lemon scent when crushed.
 

I've since read on-line that the oils found in the leaves can be used as an essential oil, which is particularly good at repelling mosquitos.  Hmmmmm......something to keep in mind for when Summer comes around! 
 
 
 
It's so wonderful to explore our new home, and get to know all of the plants and animals that live here.  I'm sure there will be many more discoveries to be made!  
 
Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.
 
Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post.