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.


Friday, December 16, 2011

On my mind...Thinking of loved ones passed

Many thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth for this concept.
This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you're part of "On my mind". Please write a new post, don't link to an older one. When you've done that, come back here and add a comment below, with  a link to your blog. 

I warn you, reading this post, you may need a box of tissues.......
I was going to write about the beetroot I have preserved and the stuffing balls I have made....but after reading Rhonda's blog post today..I think this is more appropriate.......

Christmas is a time when we reflect...a time for celebration yes, but also in many households...a time for sadness. Sadness for the pain of missing a loved one....sadness maybe because you are not where you wish you could be at Christmas. My thoughts go to the people who have recently lost a loved one, or that have a family member who is not long for this earth. Christmas is a time for me, when I reflect how fortunate I am....fortunate to have two wonderful sons, fortunate to have a wonderful husband, fortunate to still have one parent alive....fortunate to have good food at the ready, and good protection from the weather with a warm cosy bed at night.

I am fortunate for the love I am surrounded by.

One Christmas holidays 11 years back, I lost two nephews in the short space of 2 months.
One to each of my siblings....Such sadness, such heartache........

First was new years eve involving my sisters youngest...aged 20; he fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from work.....died instantly in the crash and was buried 10 days before his 21st birthday......

We still miss you David...Your sisters both miss you very much...
You would have made a wonderful priest. 

Second was on the 25th Feb, when my brother found his newborn son with no life, in his cot.....they call it Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Donny was just 84 days old.....I guess angels are needed at all ages.....

Donny, your parents miss you very much, and so does your big sister....You have another sister and a brother now, who often think of you too.  

Having not met my nephew Donny until his funeral, I held his little hand....and whispered to him...."I'm your Aunty". 
Donny had a traditional Kiwi funeral at the house before being buried back in New Zealand beside other family members passed.

Growing up, Christmas memories have not always been the best for me...but becoming a mother has made many new and lovely memories which have replaced the bad ones......

I love my children, and am very appreciative that I have both of them in my life....We've had some extremely close calls where I thought my first born would be taken from me......having had a 'failed cot death' when he was just 2 months old, and a horrible skate boarding accident just a few years ago......

So yes, take time to reflect on your loved ones who are still with you.....and how fortunate you are....
But also give thought to the ones who have passed..........

Over the following weeks.....I will also be thinking about my niece and nephew in my husbands family.....who lost their father in a fatal car crash...at such a young age, not being able to remember him, not having the chance to get to know him........
I know you both miss what you could have had very much....Natasha and Zac, your father loved you sooo much.

Today, take joy in the family you have around you....you may come from a large family...or you may be an only child....you may have children, or you may not.....either way....somewhere.....you have family, because you were born....Think about the family that are not with you now.....especially the family you never met, because you were not born yet when they passed......

Take comfort in the family you do have around you.....
tell them each day, how much you love them......


  1. Such sadness, Narelle. I miss my Grandmother SO much ~ she's been gone 4 years. Christmas is very difficult without her as she was the light of everyone's heart and life and this special time of year was very important to her. Yes, we DO need to speak of them and remember them but also live for the living. My Grandma would NEVER want us to be sad thinking of her - she would want us to be smiling and laughing, fondly remembering all the wonderful times we had together. XO

  2. Christmas has always been hard for us as it is Joshua's birthday straight after christmas, the thing that has helped me over the years is to include him in our christmas by putting his name on all the christmas cards l send out. His name is always put in brackets, this shows people that he is still part of our family.

    cheers Gail & (Joshua) (poodle lover)

  3. A lovely post, Narelle.

    I have commented on a few blogs about how I was feeling 'grinchy' in the lead up to Christmas. We are hosting hot Christmas lunch at our house for my side of the family - 24 adults and 14 children. I work and therefore I am stressed!
    Then all of a sudden, I thought... I am so lucky!
    I have all of my family coming who actually enjoy being together. We have a great time. We have only lost my Dad in our family (22 years ago) and Mum is 81 years old. I have 4 older,lovely sisters, 3 brothers-in-law, 8 neices and nephews and they have 17 children between them.
    I worked out the menu yesterday and every family contributes to the meal. What I thought was going to be a chore, is now planned out and will come together very easily.

    Not all families get along - Christmas can be a time of fighting and bickering - our family has never been like that.

    I give thanks that my family are all alive and well and I can't wait for Christmas now, it's going to be a fun day!

    Cheers - Joolz

  4. Sherrie dear, don't get me started on how much I miss my Nan....her loss is still too painful for me too. When my Nan was alive, we all knew who we were having Christmas dinner with. Since she has passed away, every year is different with no tradition....I look forward to the day I am the Nan with everyone gathering at my home, the way we gathered at Nans.

    Gail, I think that is a lovely way to include Joshua each year....If only my brother would allow me contact with his wife to tell her your idea....(my brother: a whole other story)

    Joolz, It's ok to get a bit gloomy around Christmas...Wow, I would be stressed too if I was feeding that many people for Christmas....don't forget to delegate jobs to others...even peeling carrots can be done by the younger ones. I am glad that you are seeing how lucky you are to have your family with you. You are very blessed....and you have lots of helpers...I'm sure you only have to ask....
    Your correct when you say that not all families get along...I deal with that every day with some of my family.
    Do remember to enjoy the day along with everyone else...I'm glad you are looking forward to it.


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