The Tawny Family Shows Off Baby!

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“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”
~ Shel Silverstein

 

We have a family of Tawny Frogmouths that nest in the teak tree outside our kitchen window every year. They are nocturnal creatures, and seldom seen, so I always delight in having them in plain view.

During the day Tawny Frogmouths camouflage themselves by lifting their heads, staying very still, and trying to pretend that they are part of a branch.

After a big storm about a month ago they abandoned their nest, and in the unseasonal heat that followed the youngest fledgling baby was unable to make it back up to the tree where the family was roosting and took up a position in the shade of one of our machinery sheds, pretending to be part of a wheelbarrow. (Great info here on what to do if you find a fledgling Tawny out of the nest.)

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Very cute, don’t you think? We kept an eye on her, and Mum and Dad came down to feed her each night until she was ready to fly back to a higher position.

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After another big storm here at the farm (that knocked out our power and internet for almost a day) we went for a walk and found Mum, Dad and the eldest baby perched on fence posts in the deep shade of the coolest corner of the house paddock. The oldest fledgling was up above, in one of the trees and I couldn’t get a good picture of them!

The baby has gone from a little white ball of fluff to something that very closely resembles her adult plumage colours. She’s still adorably fluffy though, and I keep finding her soft downy feathers on the ground, which I’m keeping to make another talisman.

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Mum looks so cross with me for getting close, and I still kept my distance so as not to frighten them. That expression in her eye! They are a fine family, don’t you think?

Apologies that the pictures are not especially crisp. They are taken on my iPhone from a distance, and my dodgy eyes are still not all that crisp themselves, making photography a little more of a challenge than usual. Still, I am making great progress with restoring my vision, and I’m hopeful that my sight will continue to improve.

Sending hugs, love and a cuppa your way, Nicole❤ xoxo

(PS – in case you’re not sure, a cuppa is a good cup of tea!)

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Today, I’m Off The Grid…

Image from www.wallup.net

Image from www.wallup.net

“While you’ll feel compelled to charge forward it’s often a gentle step back that will reveal to you where you are and what you truly seek.”
~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

 

I’m bone tired.

Lots going on and an action-packed weekend so soon after my surgery meant that this was bound to happen – that I’d wake up this morning and be aware that every cell in my body was asking me to Stop. Rest. Reconnect.

So, that’s what I’m going to do.

Even though my head is full of ideas. Even though I’m itching to sit at my keyboard half the day or more. Even though….

 

All that stuff can wait.

Phone off. Computer off. Distractions off.

I’m dedicating today to rest and spending time with loved ones. Some time in nature. Good coffee somewhere. Maybe a movie. Definitely a nap.

I hope you do that for yourself too sometimes; just pull back and remember to live a little slower after crazy-time.

See you tomorrow, lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo

Some Early Reflections on Death

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
~ Helen Keller

 

Hello, friends. Welcome to my Wednesday series on Death and Dying.

This week, I’ll kick off the series by discussing some of my own first experiences of death. I’m choosing to start here because I see life and death quite differently to many people – and I always have. Perhaps this is because I am a psychic, and was born this way. Some of my knowing though, has happened by witnessing events that have thrown traditional views of life and death out the window – because these events have not supported the traditional views, and yet they happened. These events support  my belief that life and the place that is beyond this current life we are living is something  complex and beautiful. I believe that we continue to exist beyond this life. And I know that love goes on forever.

We’re all going to die. Some of us soon. Some of us not for years. But none of us are getting out of this world alive. Death’s something we will all know, for our loved ones and for ourselves. I hope you find these experiences I share comforting.

 

When I was a very small child I found life very confusing.

I thought that we were all dead, actually. Or asleep. Trapped in a dream. Living in a fish bowl. Life didn’t seem quite real. I kept trying to make sense of it. Each night I went to bed and expected that I would wake up back in my proper place. My real life.

Instead, each morning I would wake up and here I was. Still ‘alive’. But not the life that I remembered. The only comforting thing for me was that I also remembered other snippets of dreams (or being dead?) where I was living in a different time, and a different place, with mostly different people. I had several fragments of other dreams I had lived. They were as clear to me as movies, and the details never changed. In one of them I lived in a grand two-storey house made of stone, near an old castle. There was a big circular driveway for the carriages, and stables down behind the household gardens where all the horses lived. I had loved that place so much. I’d been very happy there.

There was another place, or may it was the same place, where upside-down coracles were used as buildings. I remember walking to see them in the fields, and the wind being cold and sharp. I knew the word ‘coracle’ and I knew that it was a boat. Some funny people put their boats upside down and turned them into houses. I told my mum this and drew her a picture, but she told me I was being silly. Then she told me only fairies would live in a house like that, because it was imaginary. Fairies were imaginary too, my mum said. She’d only believed in them when she was little. Eventually I stopped sharing my ‘silly stories’.

I knew, deep in my bones, that adults talking about death and being dead were wrong. Especially the ones who were frightened of death, or who believed that when you died there was nothing. That you just ceased to exist. No, I thought. That’s when you wake up again. That’s when you are home.

These are strange thoughts for a child who has not yet gone to school, or watched television, or read books about bigger concepts of the world. Or gone to church.

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Image from www.contours.co.uk PS – Mum, see, people DO live in them and they are real!!!

 

As an adult I have met other ‘strange children’ who have strong memories of previous lives or other times and places. You can click on the links to read the full story of each one.

There was the baby who kept staring at me in a cafe. He and his parents were strangers, and I’d never spoken to them. This baby communicated psychically with me, and I was overwhelmed with a series of images of two very young boys – twins – on a farm. There was an accident with a gun and one boy died. That boy had now ‘come back’ as a baby to be with his brother. I shared the information with the father, who -after initially being very angry with me – confirmed all of my information. It was emotional and traumatic, but when the information was shared both the baby and the father became deeply peaceful.

Then there was the little girl, Beth, who insisted that her mother bring her to see me. I had ‘seen’ this little girl before she was born, as a bright bubble of light in her mum’s aura. Beth’s mum had major fertility issues  and had not expected to become pregnant, but then she did and Beth was born. I’d never met Beth, but she knew me straight away. And she had news. Her brother William was coming to be born too. Her brother who was always being her brother. Of course, some time later he did come.

Kevin was a normal little boy until somewhere around the age of five, when he began screaming every time the family car drove under a long overpass or entered a tunnel. The first time this happened his hysteria was so severe that he actually passed out and needed to be taken to hospital. His mum brought him to see me after drugs and psychotherapy had failed to take away this little boy’s terror of tunnels. This wasn’t the only strange thing though. Kevin remembered very clearly being called ‘John’ and having another family with a different mummy. He also remembered how he had died in a previous life. A tunnel had collapsed during the London bombings when he was a little boy. His family had taken shelter there during an air raid. Kevin’s mum researched the things that Kevin told us during their session with me, and they checked out. Kevin had to be telling the truth. He was only five. How could he have made all of that up?

 

I have too many other stories to list here, but I’ll include one more. An adult this time, who contacted me after his sudden death, in order to save his daughter’s life. If death were a final ending, how could this happen? How could he contact me? How could what he told me save his child? The story is too long to recount here, but you can read all the details at this link: The Power of a Father’s Love

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Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll be talking about how to care for and be with people who are at the end stage of their life. If you have any questions you’d like me to cover in this series, please contact me here on the blog or at cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.com

Holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, Nicole❤ xx

This Dawning Day

“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.”
~ Oscar Wilde

 

I woke earlier than usual today. 3am. The night air was cold, the comforter pulled right up to my chin, warm and snug around me. Outside it was raining. Cities are so different to farms. I could hear the occasional faint slick of tyres on wet roads, the sounding of a train’s horn and then the click and clatter of the rails, the muffled roar of a jet engine as another plane lifted off and headed for far away.

In the dark beside me was Ben’s rhythmic breathing. My ankles were pinned by the weight of Nurse Bert’s heavy head. Harry Dog stirred, crept up from the foot of the bed, and then nestled in behind my back. Too early by far to get up yet, but not to meditate. I eased myself up into a sitting position, reached for my mala and began.

An hour later it was still dark. Still raining. Around me everyone slumbered peacefully in the pre-dawn quiet.

I would have liked to creep down beneath the covers and go back to sleep, but my mind filled with busy-ness. I knew there would be no more sleep today. Instead I slid out of bed as quietly as possible and shuffled for the door.

I’m always so stiff in the morning.

As my feet made tiny halting movements in the dark, more sliding than stepping, I suddenly knew my grandmother’s body as my own. This is the way she would walk, old and frail but stubbornly independent. There are not many mornings I haven’t shuffled in the past twenty years. Most times I move freely once I warm up. But sometimes I hobble all day.

On the way to the bathroom I do my daily check. Glands up. Morning fever. Throat not sore this morning. Good. Pain? I note all the places. I rate them on a scale of one to ten. I rank my fatigue. My level of alertness. Can I form thoughts? Is my memory there or gone?

When I hit the light switch I wait to see if my vision stays blurry or whether the world around me becomes clear.

Not clear.

I still have limited vision from my left eye. It’s been three weeks now, this latest stretch. A lyme thing. To be one-eyed means that the world around me softens and shifts to two-dimensional. I have no accurate way to judge depth or distance. You’ll know if I have an eye thing. I’m always covered in bruises from where I misjudged the edges of my world. Thank goodness Ben drives me where I need to go, and helps me cross the road or navigate obstacles.

I have a host of coping strategies, and once I get out of my mind and my body and into my plans and dreams I am just fine. Life rolls on. I have found so many ways to thrive and keep going despite current circumstances. Overall, my health has been steadily trending in the right direction. I remind myself of this. Much, much better. I am much, much better.

It’s still raining. Still cold.

Harry Dog has snuck downstairs now to keep me company at my computer. I cradle a mug of ginger tea to warm my hands and my insides, and he curls around my feet and goes back to sleep, one ear cocked for any possible sign that it might be Cafe Time.

I’m on edge today, as much as I am trying not to be. I am off to the hospital this morning for scans. An old problem. One that sat in the back seat with a band-aid solution as my doctors and I worked on more serious issues – like heart failure and multi-organ failure, all of which are now sorted. Health problems are always triaged. I understand that. But this one has caused me no grief for a few years. I’d almost forgotten it was there.

I admit it. I’ve had a crisis of faith these past few days. To enjoy an overseas vacation, to feel health and energy and strength in your body, to feel almost normal, and then…

…and then to have increasing pain, increasing fatigue, a sudden recurrence of old problems. For these problems to escalate and then keep escalating. For your doctors to be suddenly concerned and taking urgent action – more scans, more bloods, more tests, more scans.

Well, it’s taken me a while to get myself back on solid ground again. For me to drag myself off the floor and be ready for whatever comes next.

I’m up now. I’m ready. Or I tell myself that anyway as I sip my ginger tea.

It is ironic, I think, that at the moment when it all goes to shit for me (again!) the pipe in our city house bursts, the rooms flood, things become a soggy stinking mess requiring immediate action. And it has been a glorious distraction. Thank goodness. Maybe that was perfect timing after all. Symbolic too, of everything needing a major clean-up, re-install and renovation.

I’m okay, and I’ll be okay.

That’s a well-used mantra in my house. It works. Trust me.

I’d better dress now. Fasting bloods for me at 6.30am, and then Cafe Time for me, Harry and Ben, while Bert gets a little more shut-eye, all snuggled up on our bed.

Today will pass by in the blink of an eye and tonight I’ll be meditating again, waking in my own warm bed again tomorrow and reaching for my mala beads. I’m okay and I’ll be okay.

Much love to you all.

Nicole xx

An Update from Nicole

“Life can be like a roller coaster with its ups and downs. What matters is whether you are keeping your eyes open or closed during the ride and who is next to you.”
~ Ana Ortega

 

Hi, Lovely Friends.

You may have noticed I’ve been absent for a few days. I’ll be honest in saying that these past few days have been one crazy roller coaster ride.

Usually after retreat we bring everything home to the farm, dump it in piles to sort through and pack away later and I collapse for a few days to rest and come back into a normal operating schedule. Usually it would be nap time and cafe time and outings with my boys time. This retreat conclusion didn’t go like that.

Just before retreat ended we had notifications from recent medical tests that required us to be urgently back in Brisbane for appointments early on Friday, and then again on Monday. So we dumped everything in the shed, packed some to bring back to the city, tumbled into bed for a few hours sleep and then got up in the dark in the early hours of Friday morning for another long drive.

No rest for me. Just mad rushing around.

To add to the craziness and drama, a pipe broke in our city house while I was on retreat. The upstairs toilet overflowed – soaking the carpets and then cascading through the ceiling and down the walls into the kitchen below. Neighbours turned off the water to the house and friend did a mop up of the water on the floors and benches as best she could. Ben raced back to inspect the damage, a plumber came and repaired the pipe, and an insurance assessor came and set up big industrial fans and dryers, which are still roaring away. Ben assured me it wasn’t too bad…

But all of the food in the cupboards has been soaked. All my cookbooks are ruined. The oven, the toaster, the kettle, the pots and pans and more besides were filled with a rank brown liquid that stinks to high heaven. Somehow the men missed that, and back then, when it first happened, I’m sure it didn’t smell!

So in the middle of doctors appointments we are scrubbing and sorting and doing our best to clean up. Doors are swollen shut, things have buckled and deformed and it sounds like we are living in a wind tunnel.

But anyway, here we are.

Life.

It’s a mad ride sometimes, isn’t it?

I’ll be back to blogging, answering emails and updating the Year of ME activities in the next few days, as things settle down. Sorry, but all I can do right now is ride this mad roller coaster.

Thank goodness for meditation, and for moments standing barefoot in the garden.

This morning I am SO having a coffee!!!!

Hugs and love to you,

Nicole xx

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Day 5 – Oracle Card Challenge

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” ~ Richard Bach

Friendships and Family

Today’s cards will help give you insight into your relationships with the key people in your lives.

Here’s what you need to do:

Take your crystal, and complete this short guided meditation:

Hold your stone in your cupped hands, close your eyes, and slow your breathing. Bring white light into your body until you feel peaceful and calm. Then bring white light into the crystal too. Allow yourself to connect to the stone. You may feel it tingle, or visualise a colour in your mind’s eye. When you are ready, open your eyes. Keep your stone near you, and hold it when you write.

 

Before you shuffle your cards, choose up to five important relationships you’d like to ask about. These people can be friends, family members or work colleagues.

Now shuffle your cards, while picturing the first person in your mind and asking the question to yourself ‘What do I most need to know about this relationship?’

When you have shuffled the cards and they feel ‘done’, select one card using the method that feels right for you.

Place the card face up in front of you.

Clear your mind by closing your eyes and taking one deep breath in and then out. Open your eyes again. Take a minute and look at the picture.

What stands out for you today? Is it an image or a colour? Is it a number or a word? What are your first impressions? What thoughts come into your mind?

Write these down in your journal.

Now let’s go a little deeper. Think about this person. What feelings or words does this card evoke in your mind when you think about the card and its images in relation to the question ‘What do I most need to know about this relationship?’ Take five minutes and write some stream-of-consciousness thoughts down. Don’t censor or judge them. Trust the process. Draw a second card for clarification if you need to.

Do this process for each person you want to ask about.

Finally, read back over what you have written.

Stay open to synchronicities happening around these people in your life,

Nicole xx

Ready For Going Home!

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“Mr. Fred shook hands with her, said he was glad to see her, drew out a wet Coke from the machine, wiped it on his apron, and gave it to her.
This is one good thing about life that never changes, she thought. As long as he lived, as long as she returned, Mr. Fred would be here with his…simple welcome. What was that? Alice? Brer Rabbit? It was Mole. Mole, when he returned from some long journey, desperately tired, had found the familiar waiting for him with its simple welcome.”
~ Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

 

Nurse Bert and Cafe Dog have pronounced Ben well enough to travel. He is still sore after his knee surgery, but getting better every day.

Truth is, we’re all missing our farm…

We’re longing for wide blue skies, the smell of the rich earth and the fragrant trees, the gentle movements of the cows as they wander through our paddocks, the birdsong and the spaciousness and the chance to earth again.

We miss the beach and our early morning swims followed by good coffee and breakfast. We miss our friends. We miss afternoon naps with a good book, and digging things out of the garden.

We miss farmers markets and Sunday markets and stores and cafes where organic produce is normal rather than a novelty.

So today I’ll pack us up and drive us home.

Home for Christmas!

What a beautiful thing.❤