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.


Sunday, September 2, 2012


Rest in Peace my dear Mother.........
Nanna Clarke....taken about 2 months ago in Brisbane
I'll keep this short for now (as I haven't had time for a full post for months, and certainly aren't up to it at this time), but I'd like to announce the sad passing of my mother this week.........

Mum suffered a long battle with bowel problems along with other medical problems including Diabetes and Kidney Disease.....
Two weeks ago I called an ambulance due to mum suffering with violent vomiting which then turned into vomiting what I though was bile. It was diagnosed that she had suffered an obstruction in the small bowel.

After 9 days in the hospital, Mum began to recover (us thinking how great it was that she would not be needing corrective surgery)..... only to start asking for strong pain relief again. More investigation showed that at she had developed another bowel obstruction which perforated within 24 hours. The infection that developed also began to shut down her kidneys....... Once this was known it was decided by family and surgeons that she would not benefit from any surgeries, but only suffer more.....
The enormously tough decision was made to...... 
'just keep her comfortable for the next few days'.......

Mum kept up the good fight for quite a while.....after all, she's the strongest woman I've had the pleasure of knowing.......
I guess she decided for herself that those who needed to say goodbye...had done so...Mum had many loved ones visit over the last few days....even travelling from Brisbane and Victoria.

Some say that maybe she even knew that her 78 year life was beginning to come up short......planning a trip to Wodonga (600km) for a visit with two life long, very ill friends...(I worked it out that the three of them hadn't been in the same room for more than thirty years)......
Cynthia, Freida & Mum
Reunited after more than thirty years.
I loved making this trip for mum.
..........Followed by a trip to Brisbane (1800km), accompanied by my son Lloyd......"Thanks matey...your Nanna could never have made such a huge trip if you didn't give up your entire school holidays to go with her and help her cope." I'm so proud of  you Lloyd.....
Lloyd with his Nan
This would be the last time Nan had any photos taken
This Brisbane trip was to meet for the first time....her two great-grand daughters Eliana and Nikaya from her 2nd born grand-daughter Marie...(Marie is a wonderful photographer).

*Mum also has two great-grand sons from her first born grand-daughter Shona.
A 2nd trip for Eli and Nikaya to see their 'Gate-Nan' was planned for before Christmas, but this was not to be......
Nikaya, Nanna Clarke and Eliana
After gathering family from all over, I gave Mum many opportunities to finally go be with dad....
(Giving your mother permission to leave you, in a room full of other people that also don't want her to leave...is really tough, but she asked me to do this for her many years ago, if the situation ever presented itself).......So with this plan that she had always had....I guess I just thought that once she had 'seen everyone' she would gently pass away with many loved ones around her...which would have been nice......
With me busy putting all those plans in place....I never dreamed that it might be me, that would leave the room while she passed away.......

Mum's passing........
Both myself and my niece Shona (Marie's sister) kept a very tight bedside vigil with her for the last 48 hours. We had ordered pizza at 12 midnight, which was to be delivered at the hospital at roughly 12.45am. I told Shona to put her feet up and shut her eyes until I picked up the pizza from down stairs...I figured 45 minutes of shut-eye would be good for her as she had not rested since driving from Victoria with her two young boys. I planned to take the time to just tidy up the room a little and have room to serve the pizza.
Time passed and the pizza guy rang...Shona said...."That was a short 45 minutes"....and I looked at my watch...which read 12.21am.....I went down to the main entrance to collect the pizza. I was gone for a very brief time, as he was there waiting for me already. With pizza in hand, I casually walked down the long hallway of the ward...smiling at familiar faces who were still awake....and when I opened Mum's door.......

I could tell that her health had declined drastically.....I ran for the nurse and it was figured that it was probably less than 30 seconds before I entered the room that she gave her last breath. When the nurses entered her room she had already began losing her lovely glow......I knew by then, that my Mum had passed away. Shona and I both looked at each other with tears in total disbelief and soon decided that Mum passed away at 12.25am on 01 September 2012. Shona and I rang family to share the sad news, and after formalities and packing up her room, we left the hospital at 4.45am Saturday morning.

Mum had a gap of roughly just 3 to 5 minutes of being alone..... The perfect time I guess...if you don't want to cause your daughter or grand-daughter the pain of seeing you breathe your last breath and leaving this crazy wild world..........

[[Dearest Mum.....you have no more back pain, no lack of circulation pain, no kidney troubles, no diabetes to worry about daily, no more nasty meds and injections, no more skin ulcers developing from your extremely thin skin, no concerns of going into a home, no worries about losing your memory like your mother did.....  You were a great peace-keeper, the best I know, calming and stopping many wars....and you were a very generous person. You've taught me many skills along the way, skills I'm grateful for, skills that make me some of the mother I am today.....

My dear mother, you will be sadly missed....It's been 25 years since dad died....and that's an awful long time to be alone......It's time now Mum, for you to finally rest with Dad. I'll make sure that happens for you. I love you.]]


  1. By Monday afternoon, I should know funeral details and begin ringing family and friends. I shall also post on here the details too.
    At this stage I do know that Mum will be cremated in the area with a service, then in a few weeks, once I am able to collect her ashes....I will take them down to Wodonga Lawn Cemetery and hold a with a grave-side service for her to be buried with Dad.
    Both friends and family will be welcome to attend either or both services.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautifully written account of your mother and her final time here. The photos of her a lovely. She looks lie a nice, cuddly Mum. I think the hardest part of being an adult is having to deal with our parents growing old and becoming infirm. My mother is 82 and has failing memory which is frustrating for her and us but otherwise she is quite well.

    As you said, she is now free from pain and can be with her dear hubby again. Treasure your beautiful memories and be happy that she was your Mum.

    Hugs, Joolz

  3. I've been wondering what's been happening.... I'm so sorry for your mum's passing. Loved ones often wait till they are almost "given permission" to leave the mortal earth, and your mum sound absolutely no different.

    I'm with Joolz above - she looks like the wonderful type of woman who you can just cuddle forever.....


  4. Dear Narelle, I am so very sorry for your loss. Take comfort in the wonderful way that she and your family have spent your time together. Beautiful photos of your Mum for you to cherish. Take care.

    Karen near Gympie.

  5. Oh my goodness Narelle. I knew something must've been up because I hadn't read a post from you for absolute ages. I was dreading the worst. I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. I know how close you were to your Mum. You may not know that I lost my Mum in March this year. She is now buried with Dad in the same plot. Yesterday was the first time I'd gone back there as I've found it all very hard to deal with. How does one live without their Mum? But you've put it so well Narelle. My Mum (who was 80) won't have to suffer from any debilitating illnesses like cancer etc. She went peacefully in her sleep from a heart attack but suffered terribly all her life from chronic nose bleeds and a heart murmur. I wish you all the very best Narelle, to you and your family. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    In deepest sympathy,
    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

  6. Oh Narelle, I too was only thinking of you yesterday and wondering if all was ok. I'm so sorry to hear of your Mum passing. At least you know she is now free of pain and no longer suffering. My heart breaks for you as I know how close your both were. Having lost my own Mum many years ago I know it will be a difficult time ahead.
    Be gentle with yourself, and don't be afraid to seek help if you need it.
    Thinking of you and your family
    Lisa xox

  7. Dear Narelle, so sorry to hear about your Mum,I had been wondering that you hadn´t written in a while. You have written such a beautiful heartfelt post, even though I didn´t know her or you, the tears ran down my face. You have such beautiful photos of her with the family, treasure the last beautiful days you spent together. Hugs xxx

  8. I'm so terribly sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. The photos of her with your family are just beautiful. I also lost my mother a few years ago and remember her telling my sister that she had a date the night with my father and wanted to go in and lie down for a nap where she passed in her sleep. The interesting thing is that my father had passed in 1962 and she hadn't mentioned him in years - I think he came to help her pass. I think your father did the same for you mum and they are together once again. You've always been such a wonderful caretaker for everyone, don't forget to take care of yourself too. Hugs and warm thoughts....

  9. Oh dearest Narelle, I'm SO terribly sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers. May your dear Mother rest in peace, free at last from pain and discomfort. Missing you terribly... XOXOXOX hugs across the miles...


  10. Dear Narelle, I'm so sorry to hear the sad news of your mother's death. At least you know she is now out of all pain and suffering.

    After my father died back in February, all alone in his hospital bed, one of the friends who had been taking care of him was extremely upset that she hadn't been there with him as he died. I told her what a friend had told me. When her brother was dying, one of the Hospice nurses told her that he would wait until he was alone before dying as he would not want to burden her or anyone else with the moment of his death. So it was with my father then and your mother now.

    Hugs and good wishes coming to you across the miles.


  11. very sorry for your loss narelle..thinking and praying for you and your family xox

  12. Hi Narelle, I am a new reader to your blog. I knitted cotton dishcloths because of you! I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your mum. My sincere blessings.
    Jo in NZ

  13. Dear Narelle, Andrew and boys
    I am shocked to read of your Mum's untimely death. My sincere sympathy in your great loss. She appeared to be such an integral part of your lives and so loved. Remember to take of your selves too. Best Wishes.

    Dell. from Sarina

  14. Narelle my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I am so sorry your mum had to go through this. My thoughts are with you.

  15. I am sitting here in tears, I am so sorry for the you on the loss of your beautiful mum. I lost my Mum on August 9 and like you it has been 25 years since my Dad passed away. I shared a post about my mum on my blog if you would like to read it at some point, I posted the eulogy I wrote for her also.
    Take it easy, it is such a difficult time and I know for me that almost 4 weeks on it is still so, so hard.
    Hugs to you

  16. Narelle, I send my love and deepest sympathy to you and your family. Your mum was a strong woman who taught you well. I'm sure she was very proud of you. You'll need all your strength in the coming days. Take care of yourself. XX

  17. Oh Nelly I am so sorry. Your mum was a very strong woman and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Sending you lots of love through this tough time and if there is anything we can do just holler xxxx

  18. Such a beautiful (and beautifully written) tribute to your beloved mum. I hope you will be able to take comfort in the belief that your "peacekeeper" is herself now at peace.

  19. Here I am trying to type with tears in my eyes. My mother has asked the same as your mother wanted. I have been dreading it, but after reading your tribute, i think I can accept her wishes and let her go in peace. Thank you for sharing such a sensitive, sad moment in your life, and our thoughts are with you and your family. Your mum and dad are holding hands, watching over you and loving you. You will feel their love and support in tough times, they will always be with you

  20. Thank you for sharing this beautifully, thoughtfully and carefully written post.

  21. Nelly,
    What a wonderful daughter you were - heeding your mums wishes, and being aware of her needs. It is so hard to watch loved ones suffer, and you must have felt a sense of relief to know that she had completed that wonderful trip just before she had her final illness. You wrote a beautiful tribute to a Mum that clearly meant a lot to you. Bless you as you go through this sorrowful time.

  22. Dearest Narelle - I was just wondering if you were OK and missing you in Blog-land. My bery best hugs and thoughts are with you. It is very sad to lose your Mum, but as you write, better for her to be at peace now. My mum waited for me to leave the room too!
    Much love
    Greenie x

  23. Narelle, so sorry to hear about your mum passing..Seeing the photo's then reading she was 78 ...boy she looked fabulous...I was surprised when I read she was 78...So lovely that you got to spend those last days with her,what a blessing and how lucky was she to have a beautiful daughter like you...take care of yourself ...All my love Sherrie from Simpleliving :)

  24. My sympathies to all your family and especially you, Narelle. I bet your mother was proud of having you for her daughter! Blessings to you as you come to terms with your loss.


  25. Sorry to hear about your mother. Hugs and strength to you and the rest of your family.

  26. I will miss you dearly Nanna. Thank you for journeying up to QLD to see your Great Grand Grandaughters - it was a precious time for us all. <3 Marie

  27. Narelle, I'm thinking of you. Hope you're doing OK.

    We lost my grandmother a few months ago. Similar to your Mum, she waited until we were all out of the room to quietly slip away. She never liked to make a fuss.



    Passed away peacefully on September 1, 2012 of Warilla formerly of Rutherglen/Wodonga. Beloved wife of the late Horace (Nobby). Dealy loved mother and mother in law of Susanne and Jim, Richard and Missy, Narelle and Andrew. Much loved Nan of her grandchildren Shona, Marie, David (dec), Deserae, Donny (dec), Jordan, Kennedy, Douglas, Lloyd and her great grandchildren Callum, Kayden, Eliana, Nikaya. Loved sister of Evelyn, Joseph, Irene, Donald. Mum will be sadly missed by her loving family and many dear friends.

    Aged 78 Years
    Forever in our hearts
    Reunited with Dad

    Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral service for Joyce to be held at the Main Chapel Wollongong City Memorial Gardens, Berkeley Road Unanderra on Tuesday 11th September, 2012 at 11:00AM. In lieu of flowers donations to Diabetes Australia would be appreciated.
    GRAVESIDE SERVICE WILL BE HELD ON 17th September, 2012 at Wodonga Lawn Cemetery, Cnr Melrose Drive, Wodonga at 10:00AM.
    Friends and family are welcome to attend.....Followed by Tea & Coffee at my brother Richard's house. Address will be given on the day.


  29. NellyMary - I left a comment yesterday, but think it must have gotten lost in the sending.

    My deepest condolences on the passing of your Mum. May you gain solace from the knowledge that she KNEW she was loved, and that you were loved in return.

    Take care


  30. Nelly Mary My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  31. I am sorry for your loss. She is so pretty, isn't she? And young looking. Blessings to you and family.


  32. I have not been around for a while, it is so sad to hear about your Mum.
    My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

  33. Oh Narelle! I have only just read your sad news. Thinking of you and your family sweetie. x

  34. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your Mum. Go gently xxx


  35. I have been off line for couple of months and was saddened to learn of your Mum's passing. She was very pretty. I always loved the way you wrote about your mum here, the love you had for her just shinning through your words.
    Candace XX


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