The Joy Of Rain


“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ~ Bill Watterson

Down in our part of the world we’ve been in drought all Summer. The land has been so dry that the pasture has become crunchy and brown beneath our feet. Great cracks have opened up in the land. Our dam is down to a few bucketfuls of water, a little mud and a last few waterlilies grimly hanging on. So many plants have died. And all the moss, the lichens, and the soft native grasses.

I haven’t planted out my usual Summer vegetable garden. Too hot. Too dry. Too hard.

The staghorns and elkhorns are dying and falling from the trees from lack of water. The ground is covered in leaves as if it were Autumn aa the trees have struggled to survive.

But now?

Rain.

Slow and steady, gentle, easing rain.

My cheeks are wet too. Thought not from the sky. From gratitude.

Is there a more beautiful fragrance that rain upon parched earth?

In celebration I’m going to have a Flash Sale tomorrow. My way of giving thanks. One day of deep discounts and bundled bargains. Stay tuned!

Big hugs and love, a very happy Nicole 😊❤ xx

Holiday At the Farm!


“There is more to life than making a living. Do not work more than you live.” ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Hello, Lovelies!

Right now we have a friend and her little girls vacationing with us here at the farm. Each day the girls have farm chores to do – watering the gardens and fruit trees (it is very dry here right now), feeding the goldfish in the big ceramic pot that sits by the front door, and feeding some hay to the cows and all the new little calves. It’s a late calving season this year, and we’ve had three new calves in the past week and another few will probably arrive soon too!

Amidst all the farm work there has also been time for breakfasts at our favourite Byron Bay cafe, swims in the pool, outings to the bookshop, cooking lessons in my little farmhouse kitchen, time for reading and for colouring in our January Mandalas.

I’ve still been working, sneaking off into my office to write blogs, work on our retreats and courses and to do readings for clients. But work has that relaxed holiday feel to it, and it has been a pleasure to sit down at my desk every day to write and craft our projects for the year ahead.

Yesterday was particularly exciting. We decided that dinner would be a cocktail party on the verandah. No special reason – just because we could.

It was compulsory to wear a flower in our hair, and we all put on some party clothes. Ben chose a great selection of music, and then we sat outside and snacked and talked and laughed the night away. We also had a great box of cards that we took turns choosing, that prompted us to share something we were proud of, grateful for, favourite songs, achievements. That part was probably the highlight of my day!

I made non-alcoholic mango cocktails for the girls, and we adults shared glasses of Prosecco with preserved hibiscus flowers in the bottom of each glass for a fancy party effect.

Our food included fresh local oysters and prawns (shrimp), and a selection of cheeses and dips, crackers, olives, cold meats, fruits and snacks. Delicious. And of course a few morsels seemed to slip off those platters and into our dogs’ tummies. Although I can’t see how that happened!

What can be better in life than creating new shared memories with friends?

Today? More Planner time for me, a little writing time and cooking lessons: foundation biscuit mixture and variations, and later we’ll make tacos for dinner.

I’m wishing you a year of balance, connection, fun and meaningful work too.

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

Are You Weathering These Recent Storms of Change?

“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.” 
― Roy T. Bennett

The energies right now are all about change. Lots is coming up to be dealt with, things that have been hidden are being forced out into the open, things that need to be acted upon are being thrust upon us and where we aren’t in alignment there is opportunity for shift and growth. It’s messy, but ultimately positive, even if it feels like we are in the middle of a hurricane.

I’ve needed to make some unexpected and hard decisions this week – shutting doors on some situations so that I can open new ones that may lead to better things.

By last night when I left the city to head back to our farm I was beyond exhausted. I’ve had too many things on my plate lately. Deadlines and workloads and stresses piled up upon each other so that I was glassy-eyed and hollow after days of late nights and worry.

As we sat in traffic I sifted and sorted through paperwork, talked with Ben, put a plan together. A good plan. I could feel it in my bones. A feeling of peace came over me. Many of us are deep in change and repositioning right now, and all of it is for the greater good, as painful as it might feel in the moment. I knew last night that somehow I had passed a significant milestone, and that after being stuck lately things would begin to gather momentum again.

Clouds gathered as we left the city behind us. An eerie green twilight descended. Eventually I put my work away and using the weather radar on my phone we navigated to miss the worst of the storm cells which were dark with hail and heavy rain. It took two hours longer than usual to get home and we arrived to find the power out.

All my ideas of sitting at my computer went out the window. We unpacked by torchlight, took our showers by candlelight and then went to bed.

Rain came soon after, loud on the tin roof, blanketing our little cottage in a comfort of peace, white noise and solitude. There was nothing to be done but snuggle beneath the blankets and watch the sky light up from time to time with a fierce bright blaze of lightning followed by the rumble of rolling late-night thunder.

This morning I have woken full of hope. The air is clear and clean and crisp as a new apple. The power has come back on in the night. I can see my way forward and I’m excited by the opportunities this change has created out in front of me.

How about you? How are you navigating life’s storms?

Know that we are in a significant period of clearing, shifting and healing right now. Embrace that as a positive thing. Pull back when you need to. Have a Doona day if it helps. Trust that things have a way of working out better than you might have planned. And if you’ve been hanging onto things for far too long that are no longer working for you? Let go. Choose again. Choose something new.

We can’t have a rainbow without rain, and storms are sometimes needed to sweep the past away and give us that fresh start we never knew we needed.

Sending so much love your way, and holding the intent that you find your rainbow too,
Big hugs, Nicole ❤ xx

 

I Thought I’d Recorded A Relaxing Meditation For You, But Then This Happened

“The world is too quiet without you nearby.” 
Lemony Snicket

I decided to record you a guided meditation yesterday.

I sat in the sun, with birdsong all around me, moved into deep relaxation, closed my eyes, and spoke into my little recorder.

Then I came back to the house and listened to the recording. It was marred by loud noises. I wasn’t sure what it was. Static maybe?

In fact I thought it might be the recorder itself.

So I tried to record three more times. But the same thing kept happening.

Then I saw this…

Problem solved.

Rufous just wanted to sit beside me while I was working.

I’ll try again tomorrow!

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

It’s Hard To Blog When You Can’t Find Your Slippers

“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.” ~ Al Franken

 

The mornings have suddenly turned cold here at the farm.
I’m meditating with a heavy prayer shawl around me for my 4am starts, and choosing to stay sitting up in bed so I can remain cosy.

Normally when my meditation is finished I’d pop out of bed, put my dressing gown and slippers on, go make a cup of tea and sit down at the kitchen table to write in my journal and then blog.

The early morning floorboards are too cold for bare feet. I need my slippers in the cooler months. But do you think I could find them today? I usually leave them under the bed. How odd that they are gone.

I’ve been searching everywhere for my slippers!
I eventually discovered one, tucked under the desk on the front veranda. Only one though.

Rufous the very good dog found the second slipper. He was obviously minding it for me so it wouldn’t run off again.

Good boy, Rufous!

 

Meanwhile, in Dog Land…

Rufous: Hahaha, this slipper is delicious!

Rufous: Why are they calling my name? I am innocent. Well, I will act like I am innocent.

Rufous: Oops… Would you believe I found it here on the couch? Is it yours? 

Sorry, Mum. It’s only just a bit chewed. And soggy. But it’s still good.

 

 

He Can’t Take His Eyes Off Me!

“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.’”
~ Rudyard Kipling; The Jungle Book

 

Finally we are home.

Harry Dog was overjoyed to see us when we arrived back at the farm, and has not let us out of his sight ever since.

When I took a walk in the garden yesterday afternoon, to check on how things have fared since we’ve been gone, Harry followed me everywhere.

He kept staring at me with this look in his eyes.

Don’t leave me again, Mum.

He has gone backwards and forwards between Ben and I since the moment we first walked through the door, nudging us with his nose and licking us madly. When he sits beside us he sits right on top of us, pressing his body against any part of us he can reach.

This morning Harry was right on my feet as I meditated, but now he’s at the door, looking back at me.

Come on, Mum. Come on, Dad. Cafe time!

I’m sure you understand. I can’t write more. It’s been weeks since Harry had a walk on the beach and breakfast at his favourite cafe. We can’t keep him waiting.

Cafe Dog must have his outing! I’m still on a limited diet, but that’s not important. Family time and our old routines, that’s what matters today.

And soon, we think, it will be time to find a new puppy brother or sister for Harry. Even though he was well taken care of I don’t ever want Harry to be alone and without family again.

See you tomorrow!

Biggest love and hugs from Nicole and her happy dog, Harry! <3 xoxo

 

Standing Under Old Trees

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
―~ Rachel Carson

 

This morning, after a restless night, I slept late.

Instead of sitting in meditation, Harry Dog and I went for a long rambling walk.

We said hello to the cows.

We saw the old tree that cracked in half and fell over late last night.

We saw where the echidna has been digging, and where a new bush orchid has taken root, cradled in a hollow of a big old tree.

We walked and walked.

And when we came back to the house again we were happy.

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Grounded Goodness

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
~ Rachel Carson

 

Yesterday was one of those days when my body just wasn’t cooperating.

At first it got me down. I had so many things to do, and I couldn’t see well enough to do any of them!

Ben came to the rescue and suggested what I needed was a walk and then a nap. He was right.

So, here, in pictures is my walk around the farm, and then the beginnings of fruit salad for dinner.

The bird is a tawny frogmouth fledgling who took shelter on the wheelbarrow in one of our sheds. Cute, hey?

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I’d Be Blogging But… Farm Emergency!

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“Our bravest and best lessons are not learned through success, but through misadventure… ”
~ Amos Bronson Alcott

 

Oh dear!

Poor little Frida has the molasses bucket stuck around her head. We’d hoped she might figure out how to get it off all by herself, but no…

So now we will have to chase her until we can catch her and pull it off for her.

Sorry, cow comfort has priority over blogging. Wish us luck!!!

And yes, Frida the calf is named after Frida from  ABBA, (see pic below) because of her lovely red hair.

 

Five Things I Love About Being Home At My Farm

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“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
~ John Burroughs

 

I have loved travelling, but there is something magical about coming home again.

These are five random things I love about being home here at my farm.

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1. I can go out into the garden on a cold and drizzling night, wearing my gumboots and pyjamas and clutching a torch, and come back in with enough foraged weeds, greens and leaves to make a tasty salad for dinner to go with our soup.

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2. No matter how busy my day becomes, there is always time for games and for sitting on the soft green grass, looking out at the trees and watching the koalas.

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3. The air here smells of sunshine and trees, or moon and stars and damp earth. The sky at dawn or dusk is filled with birdsong and a vibrancy that is hard to put into words.

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4. The beach is just down the road, and we can enjoy an early-morning walk, followed by breakfast at one of our favourite cafes. Byron Bay has some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet!

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5. All my favourite crystals are here at home. No matter what my mood I have a crystal to suit. There are crystals on every windowsill, and perched all around. There are crystals in the garden and beside my bed. Lovely, lovely stones. <3