Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On my mind....My Nan, My inspiration

Edeline Parrish was the 6th child born to George Albert PARRISH & Emily Cooper on 22 July 1916, born in Kangaroo Valley, Edeline was one of 8 girls and one boy to George and Emily.

She married her sweetheart Richard Cady in Berry in 1933. In 1934 Edeline and Richards first child; Joyce, was born. Joyce is my mother and for whom I am thankful for giving birth to me and much more. Edeline & Richard went on to have 2 more daughters and 2 sons.

Nan lived a very simple life raising her family on a farm in Foxground....When they moved to Oak Flats to build the family home...it was too new and made Nan uneasy...she soon bought the local Doctor’s surgery from up the street...and had it put on the same large block of land....At this time Oak Fats was still very much unpopulated and these houses were the only ones in the street.

I remember Nan telling me that the house cost $450 pounds....and when Pa came home from work one day...she told him she had spent all of their savings...Nan used to laugh when she told the story of how when they moved the house...having it transported on a truck; they only broke 3 bathroom tiles.... she was very proud of this story and told it to those who would listen.

I have many fond memories involving my time spent with my Nan....When I was little we made the yearly 10 hour drive to spend Christmas with Nan and Pa.....they had these little foot stools that Pa had built....and us kids were allowed to use the magnifying glasses to burn graffiti into them...It was so cool...AND the only time we were allowed to do it too...On our visits, we made kites, went fishing, played at the park, fed the ducks, got shirts made for us out of Wheat and Flour bags......those were the days....Nan never used a pattern either...and only years later had her Singer Push Pedal converted to electricity....

When we went to feed the ducks...I’m sure Nan broke her bread up smaller, just to make the outing last longer....she got a big kick out of feeding the ducks...and even sacrificed fresh bread if we were visiting....I can hear her laughter still.

Nan spent many hours in the kitchen stirring jams and pickles...and preserving other fruits too...but I mainly remember the jams, pickles, pies and KB Rolls....she was a life member of the Red Cross and donated a whole bunch of baked goods for every stall, she never missed one while she was healthy. She tended a great vegetable garden down the side of the house too....which she loved to show off... When visiting years later, I still enjoyed the afternoon walks around the garden with Nan explaining all the things that were going on....

When I had had my first child, we made the big move to the Illawarra...and it was then I was able to help Nan out and spend much more time with her...I used to take Nan to do her shopping...I left her to do her own thing occasionally...but always had one eye on her while doing my shopping.  This way she was able to keep her independence for longer.

I enjoyed those morning phone calls to let me know that IF I was going to bingo that she wasn’t doing anything for the morning and she would come too if I wanted the company…..It was rather funny playing bingo with Nan....having to sympathise with her that she hadn’t won for so long....but knowing full well that she won the previous week or a few weeks before last.

Nan loved to go swimming at the baths at Shellharbour early in the morning. We would do laps starting on the ocean side and we would laugh how we got washed to the other side by the waves lapping the side of the pool....We’d start on one side of the pool, and by the time we had finished the lap....we were on the other side.

Whenever I took Nan for a drive....she was always amazed at the amount of cars lined up in the streets...especially in Oak Flats at the Shopping Center. “Look at all the cars” she would laugh.... She would always be amazed at how much we could achieve together in such as short time having the car to run around in.  I guess my car is a lot faster than a horse and cart…Nan never got her licence, she couldn’t see the need for both her and Pa having a licence.

I can still hear her bursts of laughter when I took her through McDonalds drive through for an ice-cream.... “What! You don’t have to get out of the car to order it?”, “They even hand you the change through the window” she would say....”Now I’ve seen everything....what a silly thing to do....being handed your ice-cream through the window of the car”.

with son Donald
Back row: My Mum and Nan
Front row: Irene, Joe & Evelyn
At the Berry Show
Christmas 1982
Christmas 1982
Evelyn, Don, Pa, Nan, Joyce, Irene
Another Christmas lunch at Nan's
Oak Flats with Douglas (my now DS19)
Oak Flats Rowing Club jetty
Swimming at the baths at Shellharbour
Swimming at the baths at Shellharbour
Nan & Pa's Golden Wedding Anniversary
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary
4 Generations
Me, Nan, DS19, & my Mum
Cleaning out the flu 
Back Row: Uncle Don, Pa, Nan, Aunty Heather, Uncle Ike (Isaac)
Front Row: Aunty Irene, Uncle Joe, Aunty Evelyn and Joyce (my Mum)
3 sisters
Nan, Aunty Eva, Aunty Millie
I convinced Nan to climb in my father-in-law's truck...
abt 1989
Look how much fun she is having.
Pa & Nan with baby Joyce (my mum)
Pa & Nan with baby Joyce (my mum)
My sister Sue with Nan
Nan survived her sweetheart by 20 long and lonely years...waving to a photo of Pa on her dressing table every morning, saying...”I’ll be with you soon”.  She left behind 14 grand-children and 24 great grand-children and died nine days before she would turn 88 or 14 days before her first great-great-grand-child Callum was born..........

I learnt many skills over the years watching my Nan work....I like to think that she would be proud of me today...doing the things I do....I also like that I am keeping Nan’s memory alive through my blog.....I miss ya Nan!...but I'm happy for you; knowing your finally with Pa........


  1. What a lovely, touching and moving tribute to your Nan. It sounds like she was a very wonderful and special person whom you loved very much.
    I am sure she's proud of you. How could she not be?

  2. Very nice! (I can't imagine Christmas with warm weather!) love,andrea

  3. I write with tears in my eyes...what a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your family story. As a social historian myself I spend hours collecting people's stories and this is one of the most beautifully written and appropriate tales. Thanks and you bet your life Nan is proud of you!

  4. The tears are here too! How beautiful and how very lucky you are to have such memories. Both my grandmothers died within six months when I was four. I remember when I was growing up, what I wished for more than anything was a 'Nan'. It seemed I was the only one without one. I am a new follower to your blog and I think I can safely say she would be very proud of you!

  5. I love your story of your Nan. In the photos she looks like she had so much joy in her life. I grew up with my gradfather, Edwin Alexander McDougall, born in 1892. He was such a fantastic gentleman, tending his tomatoes, his apple trees and all of the neighbors tea roses. There is just something about that generation..... Your story reminds me of how much I love him and how much I miss him. Thank you

  6. Great post Narelle, just great.

  7. Nellymary you bring tears to my eyes,what a beautiful tribute to your grandmother.What bought the tears on was the photo of 4 generations, what a wonderful photo for future generations to cherish.I'm sure as I write this(still with tears in my eyes) your Nan is very proud of you.Hope you have a lovely day.
    p.s I now have have 4 jars of citrus cleaner sitting on my window sill , 2 mandarin,1 lemon,and 1 orange,wish I could send you some pics,but the camera had other ideas and decided to go into early retirement!

  8. Another one with tears! Nelly Mary, that's just about the best blog post I've read in a long time. Your Nan looked like she was having a ball in every single photo and loved living life to the fullest. How could she not be proud of you? You've done a wonderful job in writing your special memories of her and putting all those photos together. What a wonderful legacy for your sons too. Just wonderful! (I want more. xx)

    Anne x

  9. Love the history there! Those photos are fabulous. My nan was the biggest influence to me of anyone when I was growing up.

  10. That was lovely to see, Grandparents can be the best.

  11. That was awesome! I too, miss my Grandma so much. She was a major influence in my life (and still is) as a loving, joyous mother of 8 and fantastic homemaker. Although she has been gone now for 3 years, I think of her every day. I think that with truly wonderful people (like our Grandmas), they leave such a strong presence behind... one that isn't ever forgotten, one that doesn't fade over time. Lovely post!

  12. We just lost our 'Nan' a couple weeks ago (my 93 yr old mother-in-law)......but we called her 'Granny'. As a family member said to me, "I hope you'll all find, as some have in like circumstances, that your conversation with her doesn't end here, it goes on, now deeper to the heart."

    That is what you are finding with your Nan...and we are finding with our Granny. Our loved ones' legacy lives on in our hearts, memories and practices of life.

    Thus, may we bring glory to God, the Lord over all.

    South Africa

  13. Thanks for all the lovely kind words...I truly love reading all your comments....I'm glad I touched your heart...I've only ever known one Nan, and now you know her too.....I will be including more of Nan's recipes soon.

  14. Such a nice tribute. I can tell you love family history. Plus she is the name sake to your blog name.....

  15. Hi, Just stumbled on your blog and was surprised to discover that your nan was also from Oak Flats. By the looks of the pictures, we must have lived just a few streets away. We lived there for the first 8 years of our marriage. It was a unique little place in a fast (and scarily) growing area. We left in 2007. A lovely tribute to your nan x

  16. More tears over here, what a lovely post Nelly Mary, My Nana is my inspiration too, she gives me so much strength. No longer with us but I know she is by my side every step of the way. :)

  17. I'm really pleased with the response I have received for this post...I wasn't expecting tears from others, although there were some from me....Many thanks to everyone for reading my blog....and sharing with me some insight to your Nan's too.....

    Tania: did you know any of the Cady family from Oak Flats? We lived in Horsley rd for a while...and Nan lived in Lyne Street.


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