We Are All Exhausted

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“He’s our rodent control officer. He doesn’t catch mice, he just terrifies them.”
~ Lilian Jackson Braun

 

I’d love to be writing an interesting and wordy blog this morning, but we are all exhausted. We being Harry, Bert and I. Ben is lucky enough to be somewhere else just now. Of course. He always misses the excitement.

Shortly after I hopped into bed and turned the light off last night we heard a faint scratching noise.

And then again.

After which we heard a squeak.

Harry was prepared to ignore it. I was vaguely concerned but thought it could wait until morning.

Bert? Bert leapt off the bed (oops, shush, dog on the bed, don’t tell Ben!), and went snuffling and wuffling over to the wardrobe. He wouldn’t let up until I opened the door.

Snuffle, wuffle wuffle, and then to my surprise a tiny mouse darted out of a box Ben had recently brought back from the farm.

Bert raced after it, and so it began.

All night Bert and the mouse ran all over the house (Try til 2am!) until finally he cornered the little critter in the cupboard under the sink in the downstairs bathroom, whose door I had left open to remind me to replenish the toilet paper in that room.

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We reached an impasse. Bert would not move, and in my sleep-deprived state I had no idea how to catch the mouse. I left Brave Sir Bert standing guard over the small rodent and went to bed.

This morning Bert was still guarding the mouse, which had died in the night, probably from fright.

Hopefully the mouse had no other friends, and tonight we shall all be able to get some sleep!

 

Join Me For A Letter Writing Challenge?

Image from imgkid.com

Image from imgkid.com

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”
~John Donne

“Only write to me, write to me, I love to see the hop and skip and sudden starts of your ink.”
~ A.S. Byatt, Possession

“Harry picked it up and stared at it, his heart twanging like a giant elastic band. No one, ever, in his whole life, had written to him. Who would? He had no friends, no other relatives ~  he didn’t belong to the library, so he’d never even got rude notes asking for books back. Yet here it was, a letter, addressed so plainly there could be no mistake:

Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging
Surrey

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

 

Hello, Lovelies!

Today I’m asking you if you’d like to join me for a letter writing challenge.

In the top drawer of my desk I have some very precious letters that have been sent to me over the years. One of them was penned by my mum, when she went into hospital to give birth to my little sister. That’s my earliest letter. I  have cards and notes from old school friends, love letters, and precious letters from my grandparents – all of whom are now deceased.

I treasure a box full of letters and cards from clients and students.

At my lowest or loneliest moments I have found solace in those scraps of paper and card. They have made me laugh, they have made me cry, and they have waltzed me down memory lane in a way no text message or email ever could.

There is also a special timber box at my farm full of letters for my Secret Dream Project – a project where I invited people to write me letters, so that I could support the space for their most secret dreams to come to fruition. I read the letters, and then programmed a crystal for each one.

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Letters can be transformative for both the writer and the reader.

Over the next six weeks, every Monday, I shall post a theme and ideas, and ask you to pen a short (or long!) letter to someone, and then pop it in the post to them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your favourite pen or writing implement
  • Writing paper, cards or postcards
  • A small crystal or stone
  • Between five and thirty minutes each week to sit down and write your letter.

Will you join me in sending some love and positive energy into the world?

If the answer is yes, write your name below or pop over to my facebook page and say hi. (Of course you can always just join in the challenge and be anonymous, but it’s so much fun to connect and join the party! – Either which way, I honour you.)

Lots of love, Nicole xx

I’m-just-a-little-pencil-in-the-hand-of-a-writing-God-sending-a-love-letter-to-the-world.―-Mother-Teresa-Quotes

Waiting for Matooluff

Image from apps4kids

Image from apps4kids

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

It’s about this time of year that I start waiting for Matooluff.

When I was just a tiny little girl, maybe three or four, my baby sister and I stayed overnight at my grandparents’ house while Mum and Dad went out to a Christmas Party. Pa promised that while they were gone we would have a party of our own.

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Before dinner Pa invited Nana, my sister and I into the TV room, a modest room at the front of their house. It was Pa’s lair – set up with his desk, a television and two chairs, and a wooden cabinet built into the wall that housed a radio, a record player and Pa’s bar where he made the Happy Hour drinks for he and Nana each night.

Pa made my sister and I pink lemonades in stylish glasses with little paper umbrellas poked into glace cherries on the rim. It was incredibly glamorous. There were also snacks – cheezels in a little crystal dish, and some cheese and biscuits in a wooden bowl. Nana and Pa drank scotch and ice with soda water from Pa’s special soda-making bottle.

Image from Kate Beavis

Image from Kate Beavis

Then Pa placed a record on the turntable for us, and I was mesmerised by a song about Matooluff bringing twelve days worth of incredible gifts for Christmas. Lords leaping, maids milking, swans swimming and partridges in pear trees.

The whole tune played out in my head in fantastical images.

When the song finished I asked Pa, “Who’s Matooluff?”

Pa thought for a minute, and then he said, “Santa’s most magical elf, of course.”

I heard the same song on the radio yesterday, and I was transported back to that time in my life where I’d wait in bed each night, hoping for Matooluff to turn up.

I’m still waiting, and I’m sure he’s out there somewhere. :)

Here’s the song, from the very album…

 

Harry Dog Update

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“Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”  ~ Dag Hammarskjold

 

Young Harry is feeling a little brighter each day, and if we get the all-clear from the vet today we will take him home to the farm tonight!

He’s still quite tender and sore, and needs his rest.

How do you keep a crazy cattle dog quiet?

That’s no problem…

Nurse Bert saw Harry not resting and hustled him back to bed.

Good Nurse Bert gets a biscuit!

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I should be grumpy this morning…

Image from lalal

Image from The Bump

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”Henry Ward Beecher

I should be grumpy this morning.

Really, really grumpy.

I have now completed my third drug-free week from my lyme treatment, letting my liver have a break. At first I was so grateful to not have to put fistfuls of pills into myself. The drugs themselves are a nightmare, and I was celebrating not taking them. My body sighed with relief and my toxicity levels dropped. For a moment I felt marginally better.

But then some of the old symptoms I haven’t experienced for months flared up. Bartonella pains, babesia night sweats, lyme brain, chest pain. No fun at all. And it has become steadily worse. Worse enough that I’m looking forward to starting those horrible drugs again next week.

Each night now I endure pain, and insomnia. Last night was especially uncomfortable, and I didn’t get much sleep at all.

I should be so grumpy.

But last night I lay awake and listened to the sound of rain on our city roof. I peered into the bright screen of my iPad, loaded the weather radar and watched great clouds of rain dumping their load over the farm, imagining how the parched land would be sighing in relief.

I lay in the dark, hours later, and listened to the soft regular breathing of my husband, newly home from hospital. I reached my fingers out to him in the darkness and settled my hand on his chest.

Finally, after endless hours of misery I fell into a restless sleep.

I was dragged up from a disturbing dream by a persistent tugging on my arm.

Cafe Dog (known to some as Harry!) had my arm in his mouth and was trying to pull me out of bed. He let go, nudged my face and licked me. Then he bounded to the door.

Everyone was already up. It’s a glorious day. The air is fresh and clean from all the rain. The sunshine is dazzling. All my loved ones are happy.

So, I should be grumpy, but I’m not. Life is blessing me right now, and I’m not going to miss a moment. I can nap later, but right now morning calls, and Cafe Dog is keen for us to go to our favourite Brisbane haunt for an early breakfast, some writing and a little socialising.

No matter what is going on right now that is outside of my control, I can choose how I feel in each moment.

I choose love.

I choose happiness.

I choose gratitude.

How about you?

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Home, away from Home

dogs

“I don’t care if we have our house, or a cliff ledge, or a cardboard box. Home is wherever we all are, together,”
~ James Patterson

It hasn’t been the same, without Ben at home – while we’ve here, in the city, waiting for him to be well enough to leave hospital.

We’re not used to city life anymore. I’m realising how much time I spend in my garden back at the farm. How much I rely on my vegetable patch and my pots of herbs. How conditioned I am to having access to fresh produce at the roadside stalls and farmers markets. In Brisbane the vegetables I buy are already old. There is nowhere to compost my scraps. No cows waiting at the fence for the tops of the beetroot, or a frilly edge of lettuce or cabbage leaf. It feels quite disconnected.

The dogs have slouched around during the day, sleeping fretfully or standing by the door, gazing out over the street, waiting for Ben to return, waiting for us to all climb into the truck and head back to the farm. They are yearning to get home to the paddocks, to run wild down on the flats, to swim in the river and dams, to have the wind in their hair and the sun on their back. So am I. We’re all so homesick.

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At night the dogs have been on high alert, keeping me safe from cars going down the street, possums on the roof, pedestrians and neighbourhood cats. Of course, with all of the G20 helicopters roaring around the Brisbane rooftops at all hours of the night, the stimulation level has been insane. All night Harry and Bert tense and bark and worry, protecting me from threat. It’s exhausting for them, after which they mostly sleep during the day. Me? I’m so sleep-deprived I feel like a new mother.

But today Ben is home, and the feeling we all have is relief. To all be together, no matter where we are, is enough.

We need to stay in the city a little longer, close to hospitals while Ben completes his recovery. That’s okay. We’ll nap and catch up on some rest.

It will all be fine. Home is here, in our hearts.

Harry sums it up well for all of us…

We just can’t stop smiling!

smiles

A Newsy Update and Writing Reminder

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“Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
“No,” Sunny answered.
“Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives, Let’s go.”
~ Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

 

This will be quite a newsy post, hence the title.

Breaking News and Announcements:

  1. Husband Update: Ben is doing better. He has even been able to enjoy the delights of hospital jelly. Mmmmm….. Jelly! I’ve been able to spend hours and hours of quality time with him – just him and me in a room, talking about life and the meaning of the world, shooting the breeze and laughing about the dogs. There is nothing like a health hiccup to help you refocus and re-prioritise. Thank you so much, everyone, for your kind thoughts, messages of support and visits. We love you xx
  2. Dog Update: The first two days of being in the city went quite quickly. But now the boys are over it and wishing that Dad was home, and that we were back at the farm. They have taken to being completely and ridiculously overprotective of me. “Mum, there’s a possum on the roof – let us jump on top of you while you sleep, waking you abruptly while completely squishing the life out of you. Now we will bark as if the house is under threat from hostile military invasion. Feel protected! Now Bert will fart. Badly. Because he always does that when nervous or afraid. When’s Dad coming home?” Meanwhile Harry keeps wanting to take me to the car so we can go get Ben and then head to a cafe. It’s been way too long. 2014-10-28 18.49.13
  3. Halloween Update: Candy Munchers Beware! All I have for you is organic apples and oranges. No time for spooky cupcakes this year. Oh, alright, maybe a few… fca376c2e92039abbc46c8b756401488
  4. Me Update: It’s my second week of being completely drug-free while my liver and kidneys had a Lyme Drug Holiday. Oh my goodness – I’m beginning to remember what human feels like! This week I realised how much I depend on Ben for just about everything right now, and how my world crumbles when he is under threat. Love that man so much. Just want for us both to be well, and able to be out in the world enjoying life again. Upstairs, if you are listening, enough already! Okay? Also, why did you make Bert part skunk? Just sayin’… We’re dying here. Even Harry, who is a dog and who you think would adore farts, is not coping with Bert’s sudden onset stress and defense mechanism. 2014-10-28 18.57.56
  5. NaNoWriMo: Yep. National Novel Writing Month. That month-long insanity where we use November to write 50 000 words and get our book done. As a shitty first draft anyway. Cos what could be easier? It starts TOMORROW, so writing buddies I am calling out to you to pony up. It’s nearly time. Sharpen your pencils. Organise your favourite beverages. Muster your thoughts. We’re doing this! And it’s not too late to join us. More details here2012-05-17 07.34.52
  6. Journalling Challenge: We have two more days to get this week’s activities finished. Tune into my facebook page later today for details of our facebook party tomorrow, where I’ll be online to chat and answer all your questions. Also, there will be an awesome give-away. So join us, and be part of the fun. I might even give away Bert! (NO! Just kidding…) 2014-10-26 08.26.16
  7. End Of Year Spiritual Retreat With Me: Need a recharge? Some very personalised guidance? Pampering and organic food? Healing and energy work? Some cool artsy and spiritual workshops? Meditation and journalling? Fun and friendship? Learning how to use your own spiritual gifts? Ready to work out what’s stopping you so that you can truly make the most of 2015? Want to hang out with some beautiful Soul Sisters? Come join us in Byron Bay. Details here.

So that’s my news. Happy Halloween from all of us!

Wishing you some Creepy Cupcake Madness,

Lots of love, Nicole and family xoxoxo

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