We left home for a three week pre surgery trip. We went to New South Wales.
Along the way Covid happened and our state got locked down and my husband’s surgery got cancelled and so the nurse called and asked “Are you in a new caravan park?!” We we’re in Batemans Bay by then on our way home. We told her “Yes it’s quite nice” she said “Well stay there your surgery has been cancelled” my husband quickly said “No thanks we’ll go north to the warm”
Our initial goal was Gladstone to meet my penpal and her family it’s been 10 years between visits, but the higher we got the more we enjoyed the warm weather and so by the time we got to Cairns my husband made the call.. “We’re going to the Tip!”
Cape York Peninsula or “The Tip” as it is commonly called is the most northern Point in mainland Australia and we are 459 kilometres from there. We’re slowly wending our way North to have that iconic photo.
Yesterday we made it to Weipa 3,600 plus kilometres from home and it was lush and tropical and hot! 32c while back at home they’re struggling for 11c and it really occurred to me as we ate an enormous hamburger washed down with icy cold beers and watched the most awesome sunset, that this right here! Is where my life has been leading.
We’ve done the jobs and the scrimping and saving and brought houses and cars and campers and STUFF, we’ve raised five children into well functioning adults who have beautiful children of their own, except the youngest one so far! And now I’m a modern day gypsy, an end goal but each day comes as it will. We get up we think about what we might do we have no hard or fast plans. For three days we sat by the Coen river and fed the little fish cheese because they liked it and we didn’t need to be anywhere or do anything!
We watch the sun set and very occasionally we might see it rise, but if sleep has us in her grips we stay there. One thing is certain in this life… there WILL be another sunrise and sunset!
Right now we are in Weipa by the Gulf of Carpentaria in Far North Queensland. Our first sunset here was amazing it went on forever and frankly l can’t wait for tonight’s!
And so as l look forward to the next half of my life (I’m not middle aged yet!) l’ve decided that this right here… this gypsy life of not knowing and no plans works just well for me and l will NEVER DO WINTER AGAIN!!
Monday we brought home our precious bundle! and her Aunty and cousins came over for a visit. Then later on another Aunty came to visit.
Tuesday we managed a nice quiet day at home, walking the dog was that days greatest effort
On Wednesday l spent the morning watching Aria and Harvey, at the same time my husband had his pre op assessment for his hip replacement in June, and later on Wednesday the midwife Ash, who delivered her came for her first at home check up and she had gained 80 grams back from the 100 grans she’d lost at birth. So that was exciting news.
Thursday my Bloke took me on a date day into Melbourne we caught the train and a tram, he spoilt me with a walk through the laneways full of Art! And then took me to an exhibition called “She oaks and sunlight” Australian impressionist at the National Gallery of Victoria, l hadn’t been there yet so that was a lovely surprise! After the gallery we walked along South Bank and ended up at Crown Casino for Chinese lunch. Then some more art down alleyways. With a stop at Young and Jackson’s Pub, famous in Melbourne. Had a beer and a cider in the roof top bar, checked out the famous art the nude- Chloe on display in the lounge! We ended up walking 17 kms during the day! My poor feet!
Friday- Violet is one week old, sheesh, where did that week go??!
Today we went to Castlemaine to visit our eldest son Kit and grandom Rafiki who is not feeling very well, but he was happy to see us! The best bit about Autumn is the coloured leaves and so we enjoyed those around Castlemaine. I got a few blog posts done this week and maintained my weeks worth of art for #bloomingmarvellousmay it’s been a week and frankly lm tired!
Today l had one job, to watch Aria and Harvey while my daughter Jasmin went to school to help on Chase’s schools Mother’s Day Stall. The Bloke had a pre op appointment before he gets his hip replacement in June so he dropped me at Jasmin’s house at 8:00am.
I had one job to watch these small people while Jasmin went to school with Chase for a few hours. Put Harvey down for his nap at 11:00am and that was all- easy really.
So we did our usual cuddles and watching their shows, each had a favourite show for me to watch and then we decided to do silly photos!
So Harvey wanted to get into the spirit because we were laughing he wanted to play the clown and so up onto the coffee table and he was dancing.
Before l even had time to tell him to get down he fell! Straight into the window, l’ve never run so fast or scaled a coffee table so quickly as l did today. Telling him “Stay still Harvey!” He was so good he just stayed still till l could make sure he wasn’t injured and oh my gosh hugged his little being till l almost crushed him!
All he was worried about was his Mummy would be mad! But l reassured him “Mummy will only be mad at Grandma not Harvey!” l checked him over so thoroughly and made sure he was all in one piece, then l issued Aria orders.. “Where does Mummy keep the vacuum cleaner? Watch the kitten doesn’t go bear the glass, stay over there right away” She was so good showing me where the vacuum was and then showing me how to work it 🤷🏼♀️ in the meantime she’s reassuring Harvey “It’s ok Harvey you’re not in trouble” turned my back for a second the kittens trying to get through the hole, luckily Dookie the dog was on the other side keeping her in. For about 10 minutes it was bedlam! And Jasmin had been gone less than an hour!!
My “Clown boy” suddenly became Grandma’s cuddle bunny. Aria was keeping watch on the clock to make sure Harvey was on time for his nap, she had a vested interest she could have her iPad time when he went to bed.
As he snuggled down he asked for his Mummy l said “When you wake up Mummy will be home” he nodded and said “Mummy mad!” No l told him not with my Harvey boy, kissed him and told him “I love you” he grins “Luff you too”
As l made coffee and lunch for Aria it hit me just how badly that might have ended and l told myself “You had just one job!” And l’d messed it up! I also thanked my Soul Sister in spirit for catching him and not letting him be damaged. Luckily my Bloke got home and patched the hole with some MDF panels until we can get a glazier in but then l had to break the news to Jasmin, and pray she wouldn’t yell too loudly!
As soon as Jasmin got home l explained and thankfully none of us got into trouble but l will pay for the glass because they’ve only been in their new home two months and l’ve already let a window get broken!! “You had one job Grandma!”
On other subjects… Baby Violet had her home visit from the midwifery team today and it was Ash who delivered her. When Vi was released from hospital she’d lost 100 grams that was Monday, today is Wednesday and she’s up 80 grams! Yay Violet!! She’s a good baby so far!
My renewed creativity is going well and this months art prompt is “blooming marvellous May,” each day of the month you do a floral piece. I did Violet first so l decided to do each of my seven grandchildren, Chase wasn’t a flower so l did his name and added some Climbing Jasmine to his letter C! Today ironically was Harvey’s day, no flowers or plants called Harvey, so l wrote his name and gave him a floral hibiscus border!!
I wonder if l’ll be invited back to baby sit again!
I say that so many times for so many reasons. I’m going to try and restart that exercise program (after hurting my back in Jan!) I’m going to try and incorporate more vegetarian/vegan meals in to the menu (apparently the rest of the family’s opinions matter more than mine!) in April I said “I’m going to try and do a monthly Blogging challenge (tick) and a monthly art challenge where you do some form of art for a given prompt. (BIG ✅) not only did l do both the blog and art, I realised how much l’ve missed both of them!
So this month I’m going to try and do both again! So I’ve decided to try #kickinthecreative’s monthly challenge for May it’s called #bloomingmarvellousMay and each day of May you can produce a piece of art, any size, any medium anything goes and you post it and add the hash tag so that the gals Sandra and Tara from Kick in the Creatives can find your work. Some people take photos, some use real flowers in their submissions, some even write poetry on Blooms really anything is open. Does any one want to join me?
My first submission was called “Violet Avonia” these names as previously discussed are family names but l only found out yesterday that apart from Violet being a flower Avonia is a flowering succulent and her surname Campion is a flower as well! We have a bouquet of beautifulness!! So I thought in honor on Violets birth “I’m going to try and paint a Violet” despite only getting three hours sleep and being a bit like a zombie l think this turned out ok!
Then l wondered about the names of the other grandchildren and how l can make them into works of art for this challenge I’ve got some great plans.. follow along if you like! Today I’ll be creating for Violet‘s big sister Scarlett, then I’ll work my way through the rest of the Grandchildren that gives me a weeks worth of inspiration then l’ll be looking for suggestions so if you have a favourite flower yell out and l’m going to try and do a whole months worth! I’m not saying they’ll all be good! I’m not promising they’ll all be on paper or in water colour or paint, I’m going to try and mix things up!
I’m going to try and get back into regular writing and creating of art because part of me felt lost last year when it all went away! I’m going to try to find my way back!
Today my letter “V” arrived! How clever was she to be born on her due date. April 30th 2021. Weighing in at a good 8 pound 8 oz, head circumference 35.5 cms and a long 53 cms.
My daughter Amber was doing some family tree research during Covid lockdown and realised my Maternal Grandmother was named Violet Jane and her daughter, my Mother was named Eileen Avonia. So she took Violet and Avonia and created this bundle of joy!!
We got to the hospital for a check up this morning at about 10:40am and up to delivery at 12:00pm. At 6:00pm she was 4 cms dilated and so they gave her some morphine at 6:50pm she was pushing and then at 7:46pm Violet was born. The last bit sped up really quickly.
I can’t help but think that my beautiful Soul Sister was watching over us as Violet came into the world. From tears of sadness to tears of joy as l cut this little ones cord. Some one once told when one soul leaves the world another enters!
Now it’s 3:00am and Amber and l have tried to sleep but l think adrenaline has kicked in so we stare at this new little being who has joined our family and thank Jehovah for how healthy she is.
Now you REALLY have met my whole family! Five children, in laws, Cousin, Husband and seven Grandchildren!
Ahh my favourite subject. I love books l could talk about books all day.
My love of books began at a young age. My Father was one of those parents who lead by example he “always had his head in a book” as the Mother would loudly complain!
Now l look back l wonder was he using his reading to escape from us- his family? Did he read so much to clear his head after a day of hard physical labour? he was a Bricklayer, that’s hard work. But he also read to learn things like how to make mud bricks and sustainable living so that he was able to build his own mud brick home.
When l was about ten or eleven years old a library opened in our town. Dad had watched them building it and so we were in there when it first opened in line to get our library cards. I was too young for my own so Dad would borrow on his card. On that first day everything was new and fresh and shining. Dad asked the Librarian where to find the books for his “Baby Doll” she lead us to the Children’s section.
Dad went off to find his own books and returned to help me choose some books. A week later we were on a drive somewhere and l was reading my book there was a very sad part and l had tears streaming down my face, Dad happened to look over and was alarmed at my tears asking “What’s wrong?!” I told him l was reading a sad bit, he asked about it, l told him about my book about the character Poll and what was happening to her. We chatted for ages about my book and then at the end of the book he decided that he should read it too. I recently re-read that book “The Peppermint Pig” by Nina Bawden for a reading challenge with Dymock’s Book Stores. It was under the listing of “A book that makes you nostalgic” and yes! I cried again!
It began a tradition each Saturday morning we would go off to the library and spend an hour or more there borrowing books we learnt our way around all the sections and learnt to use the microfiche and Dad would encourage me to look at other sections of the library, encourage me to read from the adult section.
Once l had a school project to do on the Book “Storm Boy” l wanted to focus my project on the Pelican, so Dad was home it was a raining day no work, he says “Let’s go to the library and find some stuff” off we went we borrowed library books photo copied pages, a drawing book on birds, whatever we needed and back home we went to do “our project”
Each day we would work on this project and Dad did the final spell check and suggested some tweaks. I was so proud to bring that school project home with a giant A+ in red ink on the front cover to share with my Dad!
As l grew older my reading habits changed but the one thing that never changed was my love of books and reading. When l was a young teenager l saw Gone with the Wind on TV it was so long l missed the end of it but l was talking to Dad about it and he said again “Let’s go borrow it from the library” we both read it, and discussed it and this became a reoccurring theme, either of us would borrow a book discuss it with the other and most times swap it. Dad really opened my reading choices!
Many a time he would tell the Librarian “l need to re-borrow this please my Dolly hasn’t read it yet!”
We were never lost for gifts to buy Dad a book here, a book there, usually something he couldn’t find at the library.
I miss being able to share books with my Dad. Luckily l have a husband who is a reader and so he quite often says “I reckon you’d like this one Sheila!” And quite often l’d take him up on that challenge which has lead me to try new authors and genres.
We were trying to return some books to the library just before the pandemic struck and l started reading the first page of one of his books “The Great Zoo of China” by Matthew Reilly an Aussie author. It’s about dragons how good could it be? But let me tell you l re-borrowed that book and read it quickly! Which in turn lead me to discover Matthew Reilly writes in an easy to read way that l liked! I’m working my way through all his books!
In 2007 l did a challenge with some one on Instagram “The Year of reading Australian Authors” unfortunately l forgot to stop which means l have a bookshelf full of books which are written by Australian authors and honestly l love reading about places we might have been camping to or places l want to go to!
Last year l read 85 books because during lockdown l struggled with my emotions so l chose to escape in a book. I laughed and cried with characters, I saved the President of USA with “Scarecrow and the USM”. I travelled all over the place all from the comfort of my bedroom! This year lm aiming for 90 books and this morning l started book number 12. Turns out this author is from Melbourne like me!! This is her first novel AND the book has a red spine. I just ticked off three different reading challenges criteria- winning!
My Dad once told me “Always bring a book with you because if you have a book you have a friend” l wonder if perhaps my Dad was lonely. Maybe he didn’t have anyone to share his love of reading with except me. Mother was not a reader and would get cranky with us she always used to complain “always got your heads stuck in a book” in the end she decided if she couldn’t beat us she’d join us. She read a book slowly, not as many as us and she never really loved it or discussed it, we never shared books with her. I wonder if she felt left out.
My Children are not book lovers, not one of them, and it’s NOT from lack of a good role model they’ve watched me read and write in my journals their whole lives, they’ve watched The Bloke and l swap books, maybe l turned them off reading, but lm trying hard with the next generation. I read to my Grandchildren l talk about books, l’ve started a journal with one of them, the eldest three- are seven l’ve got time!!
Do you like reading? Do you stick to a certain genre? Do you stick to an author? Is there anything you won’t read? If someone tells you a book is bad do you believe them or read it for yourself to find out?
I love books l’m a bookaholic let’s talk about books!! Let me know your favourite author and book suggestions!!
Of #the100daychallenge l finished a series of 10 postcards.
So l’ve been keeping busy in #lockdown gardening and doing different arty bits and pieces. My Husband has taken to walking with me and we have seen places we didn’t even know existed in our neighbourhood.
On First of June the government is unlocking us to allow us to go camping. I cannot tell you how excited The Bloke and I are!!
We have missed camping. We had to cancel a planned camping trip and my trip to America was cancelled. Hopefully we can reschedule but who knows when overseas travel will reopen. In the mean time Winter creeps closer.
In one of my art groups this months theme was “Nature” so l started a nature junk journal collecting bits n pieces on our daily walks. I had so much fun l plan to do one signature for each of the seasons!
So from my crazy locked up family to yours stay safe and wash your hands 🤪
I’ve been pretty slack with my art this year, so l decided to go for the challenge and l made it fairly loose, “create something for 100 days” but l know me and l know l’d go to the studio and sit there and think “What shall l make?” Which would probably lead to me making nothing and so l sat down and broke the challenge into 10’s.
I called them “Weeks” until l realised there are NOT in fact 10 days in a week… not one of my brighter moments!
Then out of the 10 NOT weeks l chose subjects like “Chakra and Yoga Symbols” there are seven chakras so l added three yoga paintings as well. That was my first “Not a week” series.
This “Not a week” series is “Collages” so l went a step further and broke it down into five subjects and l’ll make two of each. So last night l made “multi coloured collage” that was the second one today l made one of “Stamped images”
I am going to use both of these pieces in an upcoming “Not a week” series.
And last night while l was thinking about “What shall l create?!” I made a video of my art studio..
So l can honestly say l am enjoying #The100daychallenge its getting me back into my studio and keeping my mind active!!
I don’t know about y’all but I feel like this year has just flown by. Is it that as we age time slips away or we’re just so busy existing it flits by.
This year I have pretty much done nothing but art! It was my goal for this year to immerse myself into art and it’s paid off when one of the art teachers I am doing a course with commented that she has seen a real growth in my work this year, YAY! I wasn’t imagining it. I am loving that I set myself this goal, my husband brought me a year long art course and I have been working through that, not finished yet, BUT I am have also been signing up for any free class that I could, just to experience new teachers and new types of art, new styles, new supplies, new to me anyways! Some of them have produced really nice pieces and some well, they were free so it didn’t matter! I brought myself a class with an Australian teacher and loved her work. I’m currently working in my third sketchbook for the year and I’ve won a few competitions one to a year long art class with Tiare Smith and then I won a free art print from one of the teachers in my Lets Face it Class, his name is Robert Kelley look him up he’s beautiful.. oh and super talented! Hey come on! I’m an artist (I never say that aloud!) I can appreciate great beauty when I see it!
Another goal I had for myself for this year was to read 40 books… sadly I am not going to be able to reach that target this time, I think my latest look on Good Reads told me I need to read three books a week to reach my goal, sorry I cannot do that! I think I’m currently on book 35, so close but not quite!
My health progress has been up and down, weight lost, weight regained and inches lost. Started a 7 minute a day exercise program with a You Tuber called Lucy Wyndham Jones and wow! So easy but really effective, then I started work and stopped exercising and never got back into it… it’s all coming together in 2019!
This year I had a new Grandson Rafiki in July and another one due any day! So the family has grown, throw in a new boy friend and a new girl friend for children, Christmas this year is huge! All up 16 of us! Eeeekk! Where will I fit ’em all?!
Anyways I’ll be back next week to share with you this years wrap up and goals for 2019. I have decided my word for 2019 is YES! Its a small word but it’s powerful and I am quietly nervous about what it might bring!
How has your 2018 been? Did you achieve goals set for yourself? Do you make resolutions? Do you stress out about not completing them? Lets chat!!