Delights from the holiday season

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. Norman Vincent Peale

Our tree this year... we had a bit of a bird theme - love the little bird houses that adorn our tree... from The Department Store at Wauchope

Big thank you to Santa's elves at The Department Store at Wauchope, what a delight to see such a wonderful display in the window. We had such a beautiful shopping experience there this year, it was so inspiring to visit the store and see the beautiful care and inspiration that had gone into creating a magical Christmas for their shoppers.

Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness. ~Bob Hope

Remembering Rusty our much loved little yorkie this Christmas

Christmas catch ups and Riverbank Loveliness

Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday season

Well Christmas has come and gone again... Are you as weary as we are? Christmas is fun, but it's so nice to stop again, and rest. We had a gorgeous catch up with family at Gladstone on the riverbank. If you happen to be on the highway travelling and looking for a stop around Kemspey, it's a lovely little stop off, or a destination point.

The cafe and very tempting art gallery are located right on the river bank.

River photo from total

It's a very easy place to sit for a few hours, have something delightful and watch the river.

I'm having a bit of a love affair with little bird houses at present and loved their tree out front...

Christmas 2013 Thong Tree At The Beach

Appreciate the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things. Robert Brault.

Off for our walk last night, we were delighted to see the thong tree back again at the beach. I don't know who puts this tree up, but it is such a joy to see and it brings smiles of delight to so many people. (Update... we found out the tree creator's name is Mary Pavicich)

We went up to the tree to take a close up photo,
and this time we noticed a message at the base of the tree...

On the back of the tree we read...

It was such fun, like looking for buried treasure.

So we dug up the book and wrote in our wish for the season.

Then we safely buried it again.

It was such a heart warming process, we wandered off with the loveliest feeling. I'll remember that for a long time. If the people who did the tree ever happen to read this, thank you so much... you've brought us so much joy, and so much joy to so many people walking the beach in Port. I've seen so many faces light up when seeing it. (Gee don't we all need more of that in our world and our lives?) We wish you and yours and everyone reading this a Christmas full of heartwarming wonder and love.

If you happen to be in Port Macquarie and are wondering where it is, I'll give you a hint... if you happen to find Lighthouse Beach and go for a walk, you just might find it.


We're having fun decorating our house this year, lots of baubles around the fence lines and on our front yard. The first year we did it, the neighbours teased us badly, but after all the kids going past saying how much they love our decorated tree out in the front yard, we've got over the teasing. Every so often I attempt to capture the kangaroos at our back fence but my photography skills are sadly lacking. I can either get the baubles in focus or the kangaroos, but not both. Oh well... the spirit's there. How's your Christmas preparations going?

from-the-rooftops: Christmas art....

Can you believe it is so close to Christmas already. We've been out hanging lights on our house and getting all the last minute decorations done. I wanted to do a Christmas Art Canvas for our deck this year, so I've been blog hopping looking for inspiration on some hand crafts for Christmas this year. I stumbled across Gaye Todd's lovely work...

You can visit Gaye's blog here...from-the-rooftops: Christmas art....

What to do with an otherwise boring wall...

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

On what would otherwise be an uninspiring wall that makes up a lane way in our town, someone has created a loveliness. I'd love to let more artists loose on walls that need to brush away the dust of everyday life. I know not everyone will agree, but it looks better to me than dusty old boring brick walls with graffiti plastered all over.

Have you ever wandered around your home town taking pictures of what delights you?
It occurred to me that I always do that on holidays, but I rarely do that in my own town.

I love this little doggie curled up here...

“Where is it written that houses must be beige? Any dun colored house would look better if painted pineapple, cream, ochre, or even a smart sage.”
― Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun

Everyday Gratitude

Here's a little exercise for you... think about all the things in your home, that you normally see everyday, that you enjoy or find helpful, and take pictures of them. Simple everyday things that make our lives easier, or things that if they weren't here anymore, you'd miss. I notice when I am away, I am more conscious of the little things that I have at home, that I enjoy using.

It's usually because another home doesn't have the item, that makes me conscious of it's absence... does that make any sense at all? One of my favourite everyday items is a salad spinner, not many homes we've minded have one. I only started using one a couple of years ago myself, but now I use it a lot.

I'm grateful when I visit other homes for all the homey touches, but sometimes forget to be grateful for the everyday items in my own home. I invite you to join me and take some little pictures and collage it up and think on what you're grateful for...

Thank you for visiting here today...

Believe me young friend there's nothing - absolutely nothing

Every time we are on the northern beaches of Sydney I keep meaning to go back to The Basin in The Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. We used to go there as kids on days out with my uncle's work. It was such fun, we'd hop on a boat all together and head off - there were huge canvas eskys full of dry ice with ice creams - I'm sure there was other food but that's all my young self remembers.

"Believe me young friend there's nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about on boats" Kenneth Grahame

Waiting at Palm Beach Wharf we watched this gorgeous yacht being taken out to it's mooring

So seeing how we had a spare day on our hands, we decided to take advantage of being so close by and go visit.

Palm Beach wharf... photo from Google Maps by Marek Blaszczakiewic - view more here

We hopped aboard Myra and headed off across Pittwater

It's a short 20 minute or so trip from Palm Beach wharf to The Basin - a lovely little ferry ride... I wish it was a longer one.

Smokey day on Pittwater

The fires had been burning around Sydney and smoke haze filled the air. Only a couple of weeks earlier Barrenjoey had been alight with the lighthouse under threat, so there were restrictions about walking on bush trails.

When we arrived at The Basin, there were warnings to not go on any of the trails due to the fire threats, a police van was on watch for any signs of fire - ready to spring into action.

I'd originally thought I would go on one of the short walks my dad and I had done when I was a kid, but it wasn't to be this time around.

We saw some gorgeous Wallabies, one with her baby in her pouch...

and we so loved watching the baby wallaby feeding on the grass while still sitting in it's mum's pouch.

I was taken with the mother's face when she looked at us, it almost had an old man's face look to it, with white beard... I wondered if that was where the 'old man kangaroo' name comes from.

Time to leave, but hopefully we'll be back again to camp here

Coffee Hearts, Cute Cabins, Sage Quiches and Cat Wisdom

Off we go again... a quick stop over at home to collect our clothes and we are off to Sydney.

I was delighted when I saw a little heart in my coffee on our way to Sydney at Oliver's Newcastle

We found a lovely little cabin through Air BnB for two nights in Avalon - perfect for our stay in Sydney.

Our Avalon cabin... isn't it cute?

After connecting with our family, we had a lovely wander around Avalon to recharge the old batteries.

Yummy nurturing sage quiche and avocado dressing at Nourished

Loved their wall wisdom philosophy...

Life's Short stay healthy for it

Bit of cute cat wisdom on the wall

And a permission... in case you need one... to live

On a course I am doing at present, there is a lot of talk about permission slips. If you're anything like me, when you think of permission slips you're mind will go to school and kids. The ones we are doing in our current course are a bit different. Permission to learn to surf - even if you are 60. Permission to travel without a suitcase - scary. Permission to try something new - Italian cooking school in Tuscany - especially if you are 84. Get my drift? Little longings that we may hold within, dreams put on the back burner. Permission to be imperfect. Permission to get the grammar complelely wrong, hugely bigly wrongly. Permission to sing/dance/write... What would you put on your permission slip? Permission to swing on a child's swing in the park. A recent one of mine was to run through the kids park while whales spouted water, risking getting my clothes wet so that I could play with my grandkids. As I let go and played with the girls, I saw so many faces light up and smile. Boy don't we need that in life, more joy?

I first saw permission slips in a book I was reading by SARK called Inspiration Sandwich. Sark is a great believer in play and the power of fun. she's been an inspiration to me many times through her books. Below you'll find a video of her giving a TEDx talk.

If you haven't seen a TEDx talk before, they have an immense range of talks that you can tune into... TEDx talks are 'ideas worth spreading'. Another one of my favourite Ted Talks is Jane Fonda talking about life's third act.

But you'll have to excuse me, I've just written myself a permission slip to go and buy a swing to hang downstairs... what does yours say?

Colourful Lennox

Well we've finished our Gumdale house sit and we headed off to Sydney. Sadly we had a phone call to say we'd lost a family member during our last house first it looked as though Kevin would fly down while I stayed at the house, but as things worked out the funeral wasn't till a few days after we finished our sit. We were glad we could both be there for the family.

A quick stop on our way at Lennox Head for a coffee and a shiver as a storm passed through. Gosh the temperature is changeable at present, one day it's like mid summer, then next freezing again.

Loved the doggie bowl that matches the gelato bar

No I didn't eat any... I've got a month of walking to walk off the gelato from Manly

Big colourful pots dot the street

Love the octopus but I think my favourite is the mermaid

Although the turtle is pretty cute too....

Rainy day at Lennox

Loved the painting at Quattro

Yummy coffee and breakfast stop, and such great service at Quattro... I so admire people who enjoy what they do it seems to shine out of their whole being.