Thursday, September 30, 2010

going walkabout

this weekend is a long weekend for NSW.. not sure why.. I think Labour Day or something silly like that. anyhow, the fact is that Joe & I are getting on the Harley and travelling west. to a town called Parkes..
I hope to find my spiritual mojo, I hope to find my inner wise woman.. I will seek and they say, that I will find.. is that not how the saying goes? cause lately, I feel as if I have been in the spiritual desert - completely separate from my wise woman. I gotta find her again. on the back of a Harley.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

another memory for Villa Maria

On Children Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

today, Joe & I took our daughter Sophie to the airport. for the much planned trip to Holland. only a week. 7 days. she is taking part in an advanced colouring course for hairdressing and doing a teeny bit of sightseeing.
I am excited for her

we came home & I went to bed. 3pm. I felt lost, bereft, empty. I cried. I walked past her room & I noticed on her bed, that she had left her long time companion Ted.. telling myself it is only 7 days for heavens sakes...

this afternoon, Joe & I sat on the lounge, together. me trying to keep it together. and I just said 'I feel so alone & empty.' and he looked at me and said 'so do i'.....
i let me tears fall

how do other mothers deal with this life change? when the babies spread their wings and fly. I always thought I would be ok with this.. always looking forward to the empty nest. dont' get me wrong. I love my life - but these emotions have come as quite a shock to me.
what did my ancestral grandmothers do, in times like this. when their soul felt empty.. what did they do?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

adventures on a Full Moon at Spring Equinox.

a few weeks ago while sitting in my favourite little cafe in Winmalee, I spied a dessert called 'La Montagna Full Moon' & I promised myself that next Full Moon, I would treat myself to this.. and here we are today at Full Moon
religiously, for a few years now, I have followed the wheel of the year & always celebrated with a meal, altar decorations and other rituals. But today, all I could do was mark the day with a special dessert & looking in my garden.. as I settle into Villa Maria, I hope to bring that part of my self into play once again.. but for the time being it has to be simple.

Joe & I went for morning coffee before he toddled off to play golf..

for someone who does not usually drink coffee, I thought that maybe this shot or italian espresso, coupled with the Full Moon, may have an affect on me..

I had to pour the coffee and the melted chocolate over the icecream

then eat it, spoonful by sinful spoonful

what is blooming in my garden at Villa Maria?... azaleas & the citrus have blooms, promising lots of fruit next winter. the sage is shooting madly - good, I will have enough to make my sage tea for the hot flushes. it works. 4 or 5 leaves daily.. chew or make tea.

and the most divine rhododendron. gorgeous enough to make even Joe gasp.

this Spring Equinox: connect with plant energies. Choose a plant and spend time exploring the leaves and stem in great detail, being careful not to harm it. Use a magnifying glass. Feel the textures and inhale the scent of the plant. {what do you see in my glorious rhododendron flower?}

Monday, September 20, 2010

the weekend that was

for the past few weeks, around and about, banners and signs have been advertising a fete at a local nursing home.. I had been looking forward to it for ages - plans to buy cakes and maybe some old fashioned geraniums to put in my garden here at Villa Maria.

Joe & I walked up to the fete early Saturday morning. me taking my much loved trolley. walking along paths through the bush to the nursing home fete.

when we arrived the first stall we visited was the garden stall. Not alot to choose from in the way of plants.. but plenty of cut flowers for sale

[buckets of clivias, cut fresh that morning]

[and bouquets of lavender for $5 a piece. the colour took my breath away]

I had promised myself that I would have a devonshire tea when I was at the fete but the sausage sizzle tempted my senses

[so I shared one with Joe. there is nothing like the smell of sausages sizzling on the BBQ!]
after that little snack, we wandered around looking at the craft & jam stalls.

[pink hats seemed to be the order of the day]

then it was time to sit under the umbrellas provided and enjoy the treat that i had promised myself.

we shared our table

[with young ones]

[and old ones & ones inbetween]

then it was time to visit the white elepant stall...

[chairs for sale]

[and all manner of other old junk] - I bought myself an ugly glass bottle & a glass vase type thing.. one mans junk is anothers treasure so the saying goes..

I struggle often with my spirituality - never knowing if I am Christian or pagan or something in between... can one be something in between - is that possible?
I love going to Catholic Mass & I have been missing that. I love the serenity and peace, the tradition, the feeling of being connected to all those that have gone before me, who leaned on their faith.
I also love my ancestral roots - the Earth wisdom. the following of the wheel of the year and celebrating each turn.
moving back to Springwood, living not far from my former parish church has given me the opportunity to go to Mass as often as I like, to renew my faith and to try and combine all my beliefs into one.. and to try not to feel an ounce of guilt.
a perfect time on Sunday just gone, to attend Mass for the first time since I moved to Villa Maria - and around the time of Spring Equinox - I think God may have a hand in that - a new beginning.. a new faith blossoming.. I am so looking forward to this Spring Equinox coming up!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

a day out on the train ~ [& Maria Santissima Addolorata]

yesterday, Joe & I decided to catch a train to Katoomba. the plan was to go to the co-op to get our fruit & vegies, visit a few op-shops & have lunch.
the day dawned and it was raining, but not to have a plans dampened we donned our coats and drove to the station.

just last week, I had found a vintage shopping trolley. One like my Nan had. Perfect for my planned jaunts on the train!

[Joe had to play around with my camera while I stood waiting, for the train to pull in at Springwood station]
the trip takes about half an hour, the train climbing through mountain villages. we even went past our old home Inglewood!

once we arrived, we walked down Katoomba St, in the wet. me feeling very much like my grandmother as I pulled my canvas trolley along.

our first stop was morning tea.. so many cafes to choose from. we chose Mountain Harvest. a place that sells a large assortment of teas. I chose China Rose and a coconut nest with melted chocolate. Joe had his favourite, toast with peanut butter. very simple. we are simple folk

after we had finished, we decided to do a few op-shops. there are about 5 in Katoomba and various other second hand, junk or antique shops - call them what you wish.. all selling a variety of stuff.

[After a Fashion clothing - second hand clothing. a fun shop to go to]

I love going into op shops looking through racks of second hand clothes.
I gathered quite an assortment of dresses, tops and shoes.

I am beginning to feel like I am playing dress ups. what a fun thing to look forward to: for the rest of my life, I can play dress ups - op shops are my dressup box and it doesn't really matter what I look like - this goes with that and everything in between. dresses from the 80's are taking on a real fashion statement.

when I was younger, I always dressed a little 'out there'.. over the past few years, I really don't know what happened.. I had lost my creative spark in the way I dressed.. but since moving to Villa Maria, it is like something is awakening & I am finding that I dress differently. I still love my 'uniform' of jeans and tees but more so moving into dresses and such.. like i use to wear years ago.

[I spied this tourist bus and just had to take a photo for you!]

Katoomba is one of my favourite towns in the Mountains..

a place where people paint their cars.

an eclectic mix of people - buskers, tourists with the jumpers tied very fashionably around their shoulders, japanese tourists walking with the hand behind their backs, teenage school boys spitting on the footpath [made me feel sick.] locals just sitting on sidewalk cafes talking to friends. others going shopping.. backpackers.

then once we had our fill of op-shops and my trolley could take no more parcels.. we had lunch. choosing a place we use to frequent when we first met. The Paragon. where we use to have pie & peas with chips n gravy

built in 1916, the Paragon has actually declined from its former glory and no longer can you buy pie n peas. more's the pity.
so I had soup and Joe settled for a late breakfast of scrambled eggs and mushrooms

the Paragon is famous also for its chocolates which are made upstairs above the restaurant. I didn't buy any this time.

'dark wood panels with Grecian style carved designs'.. decorate the booths made from various Oaks.

and then home.. I think this train trip to Katoomba is going to become something we do often.

today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows so I decorated my altar in honour of that:

some pink flowers & white candles.. I read that somewhere.. chamomile flowers are used to but none flowering in my garden at the moment.. so the pink azaleas will do.

[you will notice that I no longer call Joe, 'dutch husband'..not sure why, it just doesn't feel right here at Villa Maria.. things have changed - alot.]

Friday, September 10, 2010

Villa Maria speaks to me

not a day goes by without me knowing that I love living here. I feel blessed. it is like I have just finally slotted into the life that I am meant to be living, here. it is all coming together. nicely.

funny thing is that when I moved, I bought alot of my 'things' with me.. favourite curtains and alot of furniture, which bit by bit has been sold or swapped for something different.
- decorating Villa Maria has taken on a life of its own. it is as if the house is telling me what to do

My previous home, Inglewood was a true mountains cottage & I had it decorated in a kind of comfy, english look..

when we first bought this house, I had plans of creating a french look with an eccentric twist here at Villa Maria

but as I play house here, Villa Maria is taking on an Italianate look - vintage of course.

lots of gold is coming in to play.. lots of deep reds, tassels and gaudy pieces of furniture. accessories which most people shudder at. but you know, it is coming together really well. I love it.

op-shops have taken on a new purpose. with us finding our love of treasure hunting once again [I think both Joe & I had become stale in our passions of hunting for stuff we loved] but now, we have that excited gleam in our eyes as we spy yet another second hand junk shop or op shop on our travels.

I am looking for lace curtains which I absolutely abhorred in the 70's.. I have found a few and the best thing is, it seems I am the only one with a passion for this vintage italian look that is making itself known to me.. and things are very cheap. take for instance a lovely vintage curtain for $3. absolute bargain.

ebay has been fun.

I have found some gold velvet chairs and re-possessed a gold and glass table that I had given away.

I have swapped my large yellow floral lounge for a small, pink velvet one. seagrass table has been sold and in its place i have bought a chunky wooden table which to my surprise has crosses engraved in the top.

I have even swapped my antique bed quilt for a 1960's velvet fringed bedspread.. bought on ebay from a woman whose mother in law bought it with her when she migrated to Australia from Italy, in 1960. it has been stored in a linen cupboard since then and never been used. like new. ...
I have even bought an old ceramic italian holy water font to hang in my entrance, near my altar.

the garden too. I have planted olive trees along the nature strip. lots of geraniums are going in along the rock wall, to spill their bright blooms down over. a large urn sits in the corner of a garden, holding geraniums whose ancestors belonged to my great grandmother.. aromatic herbs are planted amidst the garden.. hopefully to give of their strong perfumes in the heat of summer... even the garden is taking on a life of its own.
yes, I truly love Villa Maria.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?




and thyme..

I have been taking time each day to try and sit in contemplation, to spend time with God.. and it is helping my spiritual life. I feel alot more settled than i have done in the past weeks..

spring is certainly upon us here in Springwood.. my new home town. The bluebells are out, many of them. Azaleas are blooming, birds playing their funny mating games.

the front fence is painted and I have a garden along the front ~ planting sedum Autumn Joy, english lavender [I was going to plant italian lavender, but the english is alot more sturdy] & lots of colourful geraniums. we have started work on the courtyard in the front garden - many pots, lots of herbs and eventually a vine covered 'secret place'

around the garden, I have been planting herbs in readiness for summer & salads.

worms are making their way to the garden at Villa Maria and the earth is teeming with them now. there are two blackbirds who greet me every morning and just this afternoon while Joe & I were working side by side in the garden, a pair of magpies came to visit.. the first since we bought the home... every day I say to myself 'I love living here at Villa Maria'

Saturday, September 4, 2010

yesterday. a day in the city ~ [with some trivia links]

[Central station Sydney. Our mountains trains depart and arrive from here. we get special trains for the mountains.]

my friend Peter, supports a charity called the Lantern Club [which raises money for the Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children] and he has been trying for many years to get me to join.. but with my children little, I just didn't have the time ..

years went on and I became a grandma & little Harry was born just over 2 yrs ago :Introducing Harry.. he was just beautiful

[and of course, still is]. Harry - August 2010

Harry was slow in talking and after quite a few tests, he was found to have a very slight hearing problem and was fitted with hearing aids to help him identify certain syllables... He will wear these for sometime, while his hearing is re-trained.
I love all my grandsons but well, when I look at Harry, it is like looking into my own self. he is very much like me to look at when I was a child. we have a bond.
when we found out about this little hearing problem, I looked up and said to God. 'well, if it takes this to make me join the Lantern Club, then I suppose this will be my pet charity'.. and I joined.

yesterday, dutch husband & I, went to Sydney. on the train.

standing on one of the stations at Central ~ I remember coming here with my Nan, dressed in my best clothes. Ladies would be dressed in their finery. Hats and gloves were a must when going to the city.. times have changed and people are dressed so differently ~ I wore a vintage green cardigan. tights and black skirt. lovely rosary beads around my neck, sent to me from a friend.

to a very lovely, swish hotel

[The Menzies]
for the annual luncheon fundraiser for the Lantern club.. we travelled by train with a lovely group of *older* ladies, some in their late 80's!!

& sat with ladies we didn't know.. chatting and making new friends

Joe & I had alot of fun. He has recently retired and we chatted as we travelled along. I told him that I wanted to take some photos for my blog and then we got to talking of maybe oneday a month, coming to Sydney by train and exploring. there is so much to see in the city. China Town. markets. Parks & museums. Art gallerys. and of course the famous Harbour bridge..

so many adventures to come......
[click on photos to enlarge]
"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)