Community garden

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Turning into a nanna...

Happy New Years dear friends!  May your New Years be lovely and the coming year see you with many oppertunities to live your authentic life.  We look forward to continue to grow, learn and walk this simple living path.  To continue to move our lives from the lives we have to the life we value.  


I have zero intent to see in New Years, it's 10:30pm and I dug up one of Grants comfy cotton tee shirts, and am off to bed.  What a grand place to be! **Yawn**

The kids are sound asleep next to us, teddies in arms, the fan is whirring, all is well with our beautiful little family.  

Sweet dreams everyone, may the new year bring you all much love, laughter, learning and enjoyment of the simple everyday things in life.   


Much love, 
Emma
Xx

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Holiday Rhythms

The holidays are in full swing and our mornings are spent pottering about at home.  The boys play - or fight.  There seems to be little difference at the moment.....Though they have moments of sweetness which makes it all worth while.  Henry is the one winding everyone up I have decided, feisty little fellow!  Though he looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, don't let those clear blue eyes and blond hair deceive you.  This child has given me more greys then the other two put together!  But he is a sweet little guy really, who just wants to be big.  What a frustrating time for him. (and his brothers....lets be real.....)

They can get along quite nicely.....

Play-doh has been made, costumes worn, cooking has been done, movies watched, the camping tent and their beautiful swags they got from their Grandparents are rolled out in it in the room we will be renovating soon.  This has proven to be a hit!  After the fires I think they are more comfortable camping inside near us at the moment.     

Yesterday we all went to town and bought some irrigation supplies, I have never been so excited about planting a decent patch of lawn in my life.  A friend is lending us his post hole digger and Grants been busy ripping down and patching up the old sheds along the side.  Some are patch worthy, and some will need pulling down.  We will use the scrap iron for patching or take it to the metal yards for money which will in turn be spent on the garden.  Soon the garden structures and basic design will begin to take shape.   

As the end of the year draws to a close I have been doing a lot of reflecting, about how we have lived a life that is authentic to our values and also where we have fallen short.

Rushing is still something we struggle with, we are busy, as all families are, but quite often in the last 6 months with all that has been going on with contracts, moving, renovating, bush-fires, two children's surgery.  I have (quite understandably) got caught in the trap of rushing instead of slowing down.  For very little reason and no change in outcome except we all become flustered.  I have been focusing on breathing through this, reminding my self to go gently.  Slowly but surely the pressure valve that has been busting at the seams has eased off a little, I feel more like my old self.  Looking for the beauty in the small moments, the humor. 

One of the most delightful things about getting our new thermomix is my passion for cooking has returned.  We have been eating soups, pastas, desserts, smoothies.  I have been making sauces, stock concentrate, grinding herbs.  Its been amazing - oh and I found my baking tins!  Chocolate cake, that's whats been missing.  Its bound to help, no?
Cloth napkins, hand embroidered linen runner and basket sourced from my grandparents linen stash.  

Cooking and meal planning is something I need to bump up the priority list again.  I have a beautiful budgeting wallet which will help me to sort out the budget and stick to it.  I always work better when dealing in cash.  Now we are living more rural meal planning will need to come into play to avoid unnecessary trips to town.

This budgeting wallet has various sections for different categories.  Food, petrol, entertainment, other (ie clothing) 

We are currently working on gratefulness and generosity with our boys.  Our boys are good kids, and really quite generous but with the "me first" culture in society, it means we need to remain extra focused on this at home.  In the last 6 months with all that has been going on, clearly the culture in our house has changed a little and I have noticed a tune of entitlement slip in which we are nipping in the bud.  Chores are being given, conversations had, "no's" been handed out.  It sounds tough, but we need to say "no" to the things that don't matter so we can say "yes" to the things that do.  Board games have been pulled out, a deeper focus on family dinners and giving thanks, setting the table, TV turned off, and boredom allowed so they can use their good little brains to think of a game.  We are finding our rhythem in the little old cottage.  Slowly but surely.

Anyway apparently it is time to do some painting according to Henry, so best be off.  

Much love,
Emma
xx






Sunday, 27 December 2015

Before, during and after; Lounge renos!

I thought it would be fun to do a snap shot of our lounge before, during and after.  It still needs its skirting boards, my photo wall hung and a few finishing touches, but it is certainly getting there.

To remind those who are new to this blog, this is what it was like when we bought it....
The boys chiping back the old, salt damp damaged plaster  which they treated later.

Applying the brown coat.

The fire place needs its tiles grouted, and blackened, and the flue repairing.  We keeping an eye out for second hand/salvage parts on our gumtree trawling.

My beautiful painting "two hands" by my artist friend Elizabeth Close takes pride of place above the fire!

That blank wall is screaming out for all my family photos.  

The ceilings are huge in this place - I need to add a panel to the of the curtains so the sheer is the right length.  We tend to put a simple roller blind behind and hang a simple white sheer in front.  I like the light and airy effect it gives, and it has the advantage of making the most of the whole window, allowing in maximum light which can be lacking in old homes.  It's also a frugal option, so a winner all round.  

The blind was about $45, the sheer was $30 and we already had the pole to hang it.  I will lengthen the white sheer with contrasting material from my stash.  We were advised by Williams Dr to keep all window furnishings as simple as possible to minimise dust for his allergies.  This way the blind can easily be wiped down and the sheer is cotton and machine washable, unlike traditional rubber backed curtains. Which if anyone has ever tried to wash them, you know what I'm talking about! 

To get this room stripped back, salt damp treated, walls re-plastered, painted and floor laid by trades would have cost many thousands, but by doing it ourselves we managed to keep the cost down to approx $1000.  This figure doesn't include the split system air conditioning that will be installed once we upgrade the power as its not in yet.  We have budgeted about $1800 for that.  We will buy it in winter and try to find a good special.  Well worth the time and effort.  

We are going to spend some time in our garden now, fixing sheds, the chook yard and the fences, and we have a bunch of new heratige chooks, and a friendly rooster on their way from friends that are moving interstate at the end of the week! 
So our current rooster will be dispatched for stock this week.  

It's lovely to take a break from the dust and the grit of renovating for a few weeks and trade it for the mud, dirt and straw of the garden! Ha! 

Much love, 
Emma 
Xx

Thursday, 24 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

To my dearest readers,

Thank you for taking the time to pop in here, to read, to share this space with others, to comment on this little blog of ours.  I love hearing and seeing what others are doing and I love that you care enough to visit our little family here.

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and very Merry Christmas!  Go gently in this silly season, listen to your heart, don't be scared to say "no"to the busyness of this time of year, and enjoy the ones you love.  

Some last minute hand made gifts, vanilla bean sugar and salted caramel sauce.  Oh and pickles with a stack of left over cucumbers from our shop I didn't want to waste. 

Christmas here will be spent with extended family, eating too much, going to the beach, exchanging presents and catching up.  Hanging out with the kids and all the chaos and fun that brings.


We have big plans for this little cottage in the  new year.  We are keen to get stuck into the garden structures and designs for this place, ready to start growing at least some veggies in Autumn, fixing up the chook shed so we can get more chooks, planning compost heaps, improving soil, researching permaculture methods and designing spaces so we can all have our needs met in this little cottage.  The gardens need to be dog resistant and child friendly as well as productive and water wise.  I look forward to sharing and hearing any tips you might have.

The kitchen and second bedroom are on the cards also, they will be BIG jobs.  Cealings to come down, plastering, painting, a wall to pull out, a kitchen to install.

There will be cooking to do, sewing projects on the go, kids to wrangle, one going off to big school (how did that happen?!) no doubt lots of  laughs, chaos to embrace and plenty of learning and love along the way as we delve deeper into this simple living journey we are on.

Much love,
Emma
xx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My newest baby!

So after two years of thinking about it, this happened....
(Here Im making home made vegetable stock concentrate from fresh veggies, fresh picked herbs from the garden, salt and olive oil.  It's an awesome base to soups/casseroles/risotto, you name it.)

Yep, I joined the dark side and bought a thermomix.  It is a SERIOUS piece of kitchen equipment.

Primarily because of this oven.  I fell in love with her sturdy, vintage, solid charm but I just don't want to be tied to her all day while I cook everything I need from scratch....and well, she is a little bit of a moody thing compared to modern ovens.  (I have to type that quietly or I SWEAR she will hear and burn my porridge, the second I turn my back....)

Also the reality is my microwave died a year ago, my stick blender is on the verge of death, my ken-wood food processor/blender is sparking at me when I turn the dial, and my blender is lagging in power, also dying a slow death.  Essentially the bulk of my appliances are either finished, or on their way out.  It bugs me that things are only build to last a few years these days.

So instead of cluttering up my kitchen with several new appliances, I decided to buy just one.  And make it the BEST I possibly could.  These are built amazingly well, and whats more actually built to be repaired, rather then thrown out.  Which appeals to me on so many levels.  I simply cant afford to buy crap that breaks at the first sign of serious work, which seems to be a common place in retail today. 

And I must say its a little bit of love.  I was concerned I would not use it enough to warrant the hefty price tag, but I can see I'm reaching for it constantly.  Its going to mean I have to change the way I cook a bit, but its a change for the better.  Which came as a surprise, I must be honest.  Its going to help me to really lean into cooking from scratch to a deeper level then I have ever been able to, or had time to do before, in a more relaxed manner. 

It is a luxury, a lifestyle choice if you will.  You see I love to eat, I love to eat fresh, home made food.  But I'm NOT in love with being tied to the kitchen.  I don't mind cooking, at all.  If fact I quite enjoy it.  But you know what I like more?  Hanging out, reading and being with my boys.  I'm happy to include them in cooking, this certainly wont replace all the prep work we do.  But it will HELP.  The other day we had a simple risotto with home made broth, and custard for dessert for lunch.  For LUNCH people!  Hot meals for lunch a a real treat here, and this was virtually effortless!  Soo many less dishes too.  William helped me weigh/pop the veggies in,  and then while it cooked, stirred and did its thing, we all sat and I could give them 100% of my attention.  It was just lovely.  That machine is just so smart.  Those German designers really know their stuff.

When we bought this house, we intended to replace the oven, but now as we are keeping it, we bought the thermomix with the money we had budgeted for the oven.  The reality is the old stove is gorgeous, but it is a two burner, and I use more then two burners at once often.  I have ZERO desire to crank up the wood oven in our 40+degree summers!  LOL!

I thought I would share the recipe for the vegetable stock concentrate.  You don't need a thermomix to make it.  You could finely dice the veggies, then simmer gently until cooked through and whiz with a kitchen whizzy stick thingo also.  But no matter how you make it, its awesome, fresh, and lasts for about 3 months in the fridge.

If you ever cook with stock cubes and are looking to get that base flavor quickly, while cutting out colors/flavors/preservatives this is the perfect recipe.  Its all fresh, healthy and incredibly simple to make.

Note: The recipe is high in salt but when you use 1-2tblsp in a dish it balances out, I promise.  The salt is a preservative also as your dealing with fresh veggies.  It allows the paste to keep for 3 months in the fridge in a well sealed jar.  This recipe is also not mine, but grabbed from the "Thermomix Basic cookbook"

vegetable stock concentrate.

200g celery stalks
2 carrots
1 onion
1zuccini
1 tomato
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1-2 sprigs basil
1-2 sprigs sage
1-2 sprigs rosemary (leaves only)
8 sprigs fresh parsley
150g rock salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Dice/grate all veggies, cook well on gentle heart with olive oil, add salt, whiz up.  Store in clean containers, will keep for approx 3 months.

This recipe can easily be altered.  Basically you need 850g fresh veggies to 150g salt.  This ratio must be kept but add mushrooms, whatever herbs you have on hand.  What ever takes your fancy pretty much and is looking dodgy in your fridge.  (That's how everyone else meal plans, no?)

Anyway, I'm off to make salted caramel sauce and vanilla sugar as a little Christmas gift for our extended family! 

Much Love,
Emma
xx 








Friday, 18 December 2015

Photo Friday!

Today I thought I would simply share some random happy snaps of us messing about here at the little old cottage.

The boys are here first thing on a warm summers morning picking and eating mandarins, straight from the tree.  This was a small moment but a huge one for me.  It was a moment of pure joy, and they searched through the over grown tree for the best mandarins together and ate them, sweet and juicy.  This is what its about.  The simple joys!




The boys sometimes go and play in the van when there is dusty work going on inside.  Its like a grand cubby to them at the moment!  Ronnie sits guarding them.  A boy and his dog!

A little craft we did a while ago.  There are many "fairy gardens" for girls but this one is a dinosaur garden.  They boys love it, and I admit, its pretty cool.  It usually lives on our kitchen table but we have a Christmas decorations there now.  Its happy in the heat outside.  

The neighbor,  the boys are training him to eat out of their hands.  They love it, though Ronnie the boarder collie is quite disgusted at this development, he does his hardest to deter him but the sheep has called his bluff and takes zero notice of him.  He has decided the food is worth it.


Tessa the lab has made the cool floor of my outdoor laundry her home.  

Ronnie chilling out under the almond tree.

This gnarled old perrper tree is an amazing climbing tree, except the bees love it too at this time of year!



Looking towards the back of the cottage.  I cant wait until we get stuck into the gardens and green this place up.  Establishing the veggie patch will be first priority, pruning the fruit trees and a small patch of lawn near the house will be the first push on it before we get stuck into the kitchen and the second bedroom.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Much Love,
Emma
xx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Life in the little old cottage.

William is doing well, thank you for the well wishes, still sore of course so quiet home days are on the agenda this week, I ended up with gastro whilst in hospital trying to care for him, and little Gus had it at home with Grant, so it has been a long week for us all.  

Its 40+ degrees here, a tree change to Tassie is looking good!  Though its good for William to sit and have movie fests and rest, the house is closed up, air con on and we are chilling out.  

We have our split system booked to come in end of January beginning of February.  We need to do a bit of re-wiring to support it and have booked in the local sparky to do it.  In the mean time we bought a wall air conditioner and popped it in the window for now so the main house is at least a comfortable temperature.  The air conditioner will end up in the back half of the extension later on.  Its half the price of a second split system and seemed like a good compromise.

Gosh I love air conditioning.  Really what an amazing invention.  This old house does stay cool-ish for a few days but after about 3 days of 40+ degrees its anything bit cool.  It was possible to stay kind of comfortable though, undies, fans, wet flannels draped on us, which is how they would have done it in the old days.  I'm happy to take the modern convenience of air conditioning though.  We are all far less irritable.

I'm afraid I don't have any "pretty" photos of the new room, we started to unpack things from our shed to bring into the cottage and its all coated in ash.  Its going to take days of brushing off, dusting down and wiping clean bit by bit to bring it in.  Its a bit heart breaking if I'm honest and am feeling a little flat.  


But each time I bring something in I love I feel a little more at home here.  The boys were happy to see some more of their toys, today I hope to clean and unpack some of their books as we potter about here.  I am happy to see my rocking chair! (Such a Nanna I know...)

The fire place needs blackening still, and the tiles need to be put in as they are just sitting there.  

There are curtains to hang, the rug to bring in, pictures to hang, bits and bobs to do, but the room is mostly done, it just needs its touches of home to be brought in.

Today I thought I might list 5 things I'm thankful for.  To try and focus on the positives that are around me, when things are seeming difficult.

- I'm grateful for modern medicine, a safe procedure and William to be recovering well, and pain relief.

- air-conditioning - need I say more?!

- The man who paid for my car park ticket.  I was at the ticket machine having just left hospital with Will and all our things both feeling quite miserable, him post op, me nauseous and weak facing a 1.5hour drive home and I realized the ticket machine only accepted credit cards or pay wave.  Neither of which I have.  I nearly burst into tears as I realized I would have to trudge us both back inside the hospital, to find eftpos to remove cash to pay the $20 ticket fee.  The man kindly, without hesitation took one look at us and paid our ticket.  That was an angel right there.  I thanked him profusely, I would have given him a giant hug except I figured if I passed on gastro to him it may just be the last good deed he ever did.   ;)

- Snuggles from my boys, as they all piled into bed this morning to snuggle with their Mama my heart grew full as I breathed their sweetness in.   This is why we are working so hard, for these little guys.

- Modern appliances.  My vacuum and washing machine have cleaned up more ash then I ever thought possible.  In times like this I think about the women of the old days.  Doing it all by hand.  I'm grateful to be able to have the choice.  The best thing is this choice gives me the ability to switch off to a degree, I get to throw in dirty things and they come out fresh without me having to re-address them at every stage.  This makes a difficult process a little easier.  A little more gentle.  For that I am grateful.

Much love,
Emma
xx    



Monday, 14 December 2015

Renovation progress and hospital.

We have been pushing hard on the renovations as William was booked to go to hospital to have his tonsils, adenoids, and nose passages cauterised to help with his breathing.

He is in theatre now as I peck this post out on my phone to distract myself from waiting.  So if you pray, please pray for him, his Drs and nurses, and for a smooth recovery.  He went under absoloutly cacking himself with laughter from the gas, which was infectious amongst us of all in the room!  He has great Drs and nurses and I'm confident he will be just fine.  

We have brought his precious "Oscar bear", "Barkley dog", his raggedy rug I made him years ago, his own pillow to bring him comfort.  As well as a bunch of DVD's.  

We have been pushing to get the renos done so he comes back to a clean, fresh, familiar home.  I can't wait to unpack our stuff!  To fluff my nest and make it "homely" again.  We have been kinda camping in the house amongst the renos until now.  Though we are doing really well.  The lounge is done except a couple of small jobs, it needs skirting painted and installed, and the fireplace needs its repairs but other then that it's done.  The hall is simply waiting for the flooring, which Grant will do tonight before we get home from hospital and the master bedroom needs its timber sash window painted, skirting and floors laid.  So we are a week out, but very nearly there after some hard days work and late nights.  

This is the salt damp treatment we are putting in the walls.  It's a special kind of thin silicon based/water resistant chemical.  First you drill into the walls at a particular height at a downward angle then pump this stuff into them.  The stone absorbeds the chemical and the wall above the chemical dries out, creating a membrane in the wall that the damp (and the salt it brings with it) sits under, creating a damp course in the walls.

I attempted to take on a supervisor role of the painting situation! 

But promptly got the sack and sent up the ladder to paint the fiddly wood work.....doh! 

Grant's busy laying the laminate flooring.  This was a real compromise for me.  I LOVE natural materials, and really wanted oak timber floors but doing this cottage on a shoe string budget ment it just wasn't possible, no matter how I crunched the numbers.  But this stuff is strong, durable, simple to lay and we can easily do it ourselves which adds another cost saving element.  It's also low allergen for my highly allergic-to-everything William, which has been a central consideration in all of the plans of this home.  

I actually forgot to take photos of the room finished last night!  So you will have to wait until tomorrow so I can show you.  ;) Anticipation and all that.  

Well, I best get going back to the ward and wait for Will to come down, my coffee is about finished and I'm ready to look after my sensitive boy who I predict is going to be especially miserable about the whole thing.  

Much love, 
Emma
Xx


  

Friday, 11 December 2015

Schools out - na, naa, na, na!!

Ok in my head there is a tune that goes with that title, but the essense is - ITS SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!!! Woo hoo!!

Lazy days, gardening, walks, swims at the local pool, movies, the beach, coffees with dear friends!!

I'm ridiculously excited about having the time to re-build our family rhythm that has been so badly missing this last two months among the chaos of buying selling/moving/bush fires.

Max the cat is clearly excited too.....


The first thing?  Get the front two rooms finished over the weekend.  We are going a huge push over the next few days to get the master bedroom and the lounge almost finished by then end of the weekend.  Then we will bring in our furniture, move our family to the master bedroom and get this cottage set up into a slightly more functional manner.  Mostly excitingly I get to set up my sewing room.  Priorities here people, priorities!



The next step will be to focus on our diet, to whip that back into shape.  Moving, and renovating has not been good for my cooking rhythms.....My baking tins are somewhere in the shed and once we begin to unpack more then the bare essentials that we have now I'm hoping to uncover them.  I very nearly bought new tins but I restrained myself....I have perfectly good baking tins stashed in the black hole that is the shed.  (Moving fail right here - take note!)


Anyway I'm off to make myself another cuppa tea, whack some washing on to hang before the day heats up and check the animals water.  Our rooster's days are numbered.....we have had him from a baby and he made the grave decision to fully and relentlessly attack me and chase me across the yard as I was quietly feeding him and the girls.  I screamed like a little girl and ran for my life!!  My thongs were laying flung across the yard along with their food bucket and my legs ended up all scratched up from stacking it in spectacular style as he CONTINUED to attack me!!!!... He was crowing proudly with his success as I limped inside but I know who wins this one....Needless to say chicken soup is on the menu this weekend. If only I can find my slow cooker....hmm....

I wish you all a wonderful Friday and look forward to sharing lots of photos of the completed two rooms early next week!

Much love,
Em
xx

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Rambling reflections...

I'm going to admit, I have been doing a whole heap of thinking since the fires.  A whole lot of reflection on my life and how I live it.

There are somethings Im very happy with, I'm really content and happy with the overall direction of our lives, our values and the things awe are trying to do, though its not all rosy.  There is always room for improvement!  


I am the kind of person that could potentially turn into a hermit.  I quite like my own company, to sit with my thoughts, to filter through them.  Often I get this time in sewing, or gardening.  When I do this I live a better life, a more intentional life.  I'm a better wife, a better mother, a better friend.

I have spent too much time this year saying "yes" when actually I wanted to say "no".  I actually thought I was pretty good at saying "no".   But upon deeper reflection this is not actually the case.  There has been a cost to this.  I still worry what other people think of me, not a lot, but its still there in the back of my mind.  Sometimes these "yes" answers have put my family second,and I want to change this in the coming year.  I have done things to please others which has not been in our own families best interests.  It has made our family rush, it has brought in unnecessary complexity and stress.   

I realized I have been rushing simplifying - oh the irony!!  Sometimes I'm so busy trying to keep things going that I don't always include the boys on the valuable life lessons around the house.  I don't include them in real and meaningful work enough.  We do not insist on them actually completing enough age appropriate responsibility.  They do work of course, but I'm too soft, I let them wiggle out of finishing the job, I have been letting them slide back to the TV in the last few months, a habit we have slipped into due to tiredness and rushing but badly needs to change.  Or I find myself taking over the job as its faster and uses less energy then instructing/helping them do it.

I am struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year, I think it will be a quiet one.  But I am ready to start afresh.  My mind and my focus is renewed after the fires.

I have realized I do not allow myself enough grace, there are small and do-able dreams I have I have not given myself permission to work towards.

The other day Oprah Winfrey was in the city for a single show.  I wanted to go, but I could not justify the tickets.  It was a big expense, the family comes first, its not a necessity I told myself.  Then the fires came and I was reminded of the fact we only live once.  It just so happened that on the day something popped up on my news feed and I thought to myself "I'm going to do it!" Its a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience something I have dreamed of for years.  So I rang my dear friend and we bought the cheapest tickets at the very last minute at $99, drove into the city and went!  We brought our own water, parked a little way away so it was free and it was a beautiful, soul replenishing night and a wonderful experience!  An opportunity I was not going to ALLOW myself to have.

You know what else I have always wanted to do but not done in fear of judgement?  Get dreads.  Little, neat dreads.  I have ALWAYS loved them.  To me there is just something beautiful about them.  Now I know they are not everyone's thing but in the new year I'm going to do it.  Because you know what?  Its HAIR.  It will grow back, they are not permanent, and if I don't I'm going to one day regret not giving myself permission to explore my own style because of what other people think of it.  My style is kinda earthy, a little quirky, and simple.  I mean seriously I'm 32 (33?) years old, whose permission am I waiting for?  I will be able to neatly tie them up, to pop them in a neat bun if need be.  Its really no big deal but I have never done it because of what other people think.  

Living simply does not mean depriving oneself of dreams and experiences and the occasional luxury, it means cutting away the excess to focus on what TRULY matters.  Spending the night listening to Oprah talking about living your best life helped me process the jumbled thoughts and reflections I have been having and trying to work though. 

I feel like the things I want to say "yes" too in the new year are clearer, and the things I need to let go of are as well.

It is not always going to be easy, but I feel like I'm well on the way to simplifying myself, and I think the flow on will be nothing but positive for our little family.

I have been reminded I do not need to try and fix others issues - I simply need to focus on what is im my heart of hearts to do, to help with and pour my energy into that.  To fulfill the call I believe God has on my life.  Control is simply an illusion, one I realize I had too tight a grip of and was sapping energy I didn't need to spend worrying about things I had no power to change.  These are things I knew, but bad habits that had slowly and silently crept up on me, as bad habits usually do.

The cause?  Rushing.  Not enough time in prayer, in quiet reflection, meditation.  What ever you want to call it.  Not enough time listening to my heart and my quiet inner voice and too much time listening to the louder, more demanding outside voices around me.  This is my fault - not theirs.  I alone am responsible to how I process and choose to interact with the world around me.


So next year I have a few thoughts that I'm praying over, waiting to see what comes to fruition.  But this is for sure, I will be doing far LESS, but giving those one or two outside things my best.

So I ask you all to allocate at least 15 minutes soon to sit in quiet, meditation, prayer, reflection and listen to the quiet voice in your heart.  Is there something like me, that you are missing?

Much love,
Em
xx