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.

NicoleFluffyJacket

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.

bert misery

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

Halloween-Cupcakes-5

Can You See My Baby Brother?

Image from Vk.com

Image from Vk.com

“For truly we are all angels temporarily hiding as humans.”
~ Brian L. Weiss

*Note – all names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

Last year Beth’s mother brought her along to a session with me because Beth had been insisting on seeing that lady.

I need to see that lady. I need to see that lady. I need to see that lady, Beth chanted over and over again as only two-year-olds can.

What lady? Beth’s mum asked.

The one who saw me before I was borned.

Yep, that would be me…

Beth’s mum has been a client of mine for fifteen years, and I’d connected to the soul who would become her daughter in our very first psychic session, before she’d ever met her future husband, Beth’s dad. Beth was a bright little bubble of light in her mum’s aura.

Beth’s mum was skeptical that first day. She had PCOS and had been told she would never have children. Over the next  decade I saw Beth’s mum a few more times. She met a wonderful man. They fell in love and married. They tried everything, but there was no baby. They resigned themselves to being childless and adopted two small dogs instead.

Then, at the age of thirty-six, she became pregnant. They’d long ago stopped using any form of birth control. She didn’t realise until she was nearly six months along, such had been the erratic nature of her cycles, and then three short months later Beth was born. A healthy baby daughter. They’d been worried she might have had problems – Beth’s mum had been on aggressive drug treatment for acne when she fell pregnant, but Beth was fine. In fact, she was thriving. Beth’s mum sent me a long email and lots of photos of their adored little girl. I was thrilled for them.

Last year, Beth and her mum came back to see me. Beth’s mum booked in for a top-up session, and cleared it for her to bring her toddler along. Just for a visit. Beth’s mum promised me that her daughter was very shy, and would sit quietly in her lap, or play on the floor with her toys.

Um… no. :)

When the doorbell rang, and I opened the big old wooden door, a tiny person charged inside, her mum hurrying to catch up with her.

Hello, said this little poppet, looking up at me with her big blue eyes. I remember you. Do you remember me? I’m Beth, but my proper name is Grace-Margaret. The way she said Grace-Margaret, the tiny girl sounded like a Southern Belle. That’s my last-time name, she added, but Mummy didn’t know. It’s okay. I don’t mind being Beth this time. It’s a nice name.

Beth’s mum looked at me, confused. I gave her a hug and assured her that everything was fine. Meanwhile her little daughter had walked into my reading room and had climbed up into the chair meant for her mother.

We need to tell Mummy about Will-iam, said Beth in her baby, sing-song voice.

Who’s William? Beth’s mother asked, completely unnerved.

I pretended as if conversations like these happened all the time around my dining room table.

Is he your Guide, darling? Beth’s mum prompted. Or an Angel? Beth’s mum was very into Angels.

See! Beth said, looking right at me.

What shall we tell Mummy? I asked brightly. But I knew…

He’s coming, Beth announced proudly. Will-iam is coming to stay. He’s going to be my brother. And then she rolled her eyes as if the joke was hilarious. Again! she said. Will-iam is going to be my brother again. Like last time.

Image from Bumble Button

Image from Bumble Button

No, Beth’s mother said gently. Mummy isn’t having any more babies. You are my one miracle.

See? Beth said to me. She won’t believe me. You tell her. You can see him, can’t you? You can see my baby brother like you saw me?

But before I could say anything, Beth’s mum held up her hand, and her eyes filled with tears. Please, she whispered, can we talk about something else? The doctors had assured her there would be no more children. Ever. No matter what she tried.

Beth hugged her Mum hard. It’s alright, Mummy. He won’t be any trouble, she said. And then she sat down on the floor with her colouring book while her mum and I talked about other things.

In February this year, Beth’s mum left a message for me on facebook. She was pregnant again.

Last night I received another long email from Beth’s Mum. Attached were several photos of Beth proudly holding her little brother, William. Another healthy child.

Image from Red Rose Mummy

Image from Red Rose Mummy

William looks quiet and wise, and very peaceful. The love between Beth and her brother shines bright in every image. It’s so fulfilling for me to see the souls I have met firstly as energy, now made human in their form once more. Especially in the presence of so much love.

Life is the most amazing mystery, isn’t it? I take great comfort from that. Great comfort, indeed.

 

Kindness Challenge – Week Three

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
~ Lao Tzu

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
~ Robert Fulghum

 

Hello Lovelies! Welcome to Week Three of our six week Kindness Challenge.

To participate in today’s challenge all you need to do is select and perform one of the following kindness activities. The beneficiaries of our acts of kindness for Week Three are our Loved Ones.

Loved ones are those souls who are closest to us. It could be our partner, our children, our parents, our pet, a best friend, a brother or a sister. It’s the family we were born into, or the family we make for ourselves.

Sometimes we get so busy, or time slips by, and we take our loved ones for granted, or fail to show them just how much they mean to us. This week lets us address some of that imbalance.

Naturally, if you choose to do this activity more than once, or to work on one each day that’s absolutely fine. In fact, it’s marvelous. :)

Okay, Kindness Ambassadors, let’s go!

  1. Make a phone call or a skype call to a family member who lives too far away for you to visit easily. Let them know you’re thinking of them, and send them all your love.
  2. Send a card to a dear friend. One they can find in their letterbox. Just because!
  3. Visit an elderly loved one. Spend time talking together. Everyone appreciates a visit.
  4. Do someone else’s chores for them.
  5. Make your loved one a cold drink, or their favourite hot one, and take it to them for them to enjoy. Maybe include a tasty treat too. :)

    Image from risewall.com

    Image from risewall.com

  6. Knit, sew or craft something as a surprise present for someone you love!
  7. Leave a loving and encouraging note in a loved one’s lunchbox or diary.
  8. Wrap your loved one in a big hug, and whisper in their ear how much you love them.
  9. Make a favourite food from your childhood (or their childhood) to share with a loved one.
  10. Offer a back rub, foot rub or manicure.
  11. Say sorry for that thing you did. Mean it. If you can’t say it to their face then write it in a letter. Let there be space again for healing and love.
  12. Forgive a loved one for that thing they did. Let them know they are forgiven.
  13. Acknowledge the struggle of a loved one. Sometimes the best kind of support is actually not being invisible to the ones we love.
  14. Recognise and praise the efforts of a loved one who is making changes in their life.
  15. Pass on a book/movie/music that you’ve enjoyed.
  16. Read a bedtime story to your child, or anyone else you love who might enjoy one!

    Image from Wikipedia

    Image from Wikipedia

  17. Organise a get-together for no special reason.
  18. Tell a loved one how much they mean to you, and why they are important in your life. If you can’t do it in person, write it in a letter.
  19. Send a newsy letter or email with some photos to someone who loves you but who doesn’t get to see you very much.
  20. Play. With your children, your pets, your lover, your friends. Playing is good for all of us.

    Image from This is Me

    Image from This is Me

  21. Give a loved one the gift of your undivided attention.
  22. Let a loved one sleep in, while you take charge. Better yet, stay in bed together!
  23. Meet a loved one for a picnic lunch, or a simple picnic dinner. What matters is that you spend time together, making new happy memories.
  24. Do something together that you used to do when you first met or knew each other.
  25. Leave a meaningful treat and a loving note for that person you love. It could be a bunch of flowers, a chocolate, a batch of homemade brownies, a warm pair of socks or a book from a much-loved author.

Kindness is all about spreading the love around. Thanks for being part of the magic. Bless xoxo

Image from BeemBee

Image from BeemBee