Help me, my friend….

image: pexels.com

Hey friend,

This afternoon was blocked out as a working window to write. No, not lovely blog posts but the more serious, academic stuff that I have engaged with called the PhD.  But things have happened and my day has not quite evolved as planned.

I have however, had a tyre fixed and refitted. I have explored the possibility of upgrading from a Queen size bed to a King. Any advice? I have done several loads of washing and read 4 academic papers. Then there were bills that I paid, emails that I responded to and a book I read speedily over lunch. So I have been productive but have not aligned all of my energy into the very thing that I must do today. And it is almost school pick up time. Hmmm.

I am getting close to 1000 blog posts on this humble little blog space. It started out as a family journal of life with small people, feeding them and nurturing them. Since 6mouthsfeed we have become 7mouths2feed and now, as the big 1-0-0-0 approaches I have been  considering stepping away from this story. It has been a grand jaunt, through the grim days of motherhood and babies, school days and making memories with my kids. Blogging has kept me writing and reading when everything else felt too hard.

Nowadays there is so much to read and consume I am a little overwhelmed at times by it all. But for me,  blogging has helped me make sense of it all. I don’t pretend to be an expert. I just do better when I am part of a team. Thank you for adding to the discussion, sharing a post or trying a recipe. If you have been following a long for a time you will have no doubt tried to bake bread with me, made a never fail chocolate cake, experimented with the no sugar way and perhaps dabbled in some good reading. We have shared faith stories, debated the latest parenting approach or enjoyed a new movie or tune. This blog is many things.

So what should I do? Make 1000 posts, celebrate and slip away into cyber land? Is it time for a new more grown up blog. A makeover perhaps? Some Q and A. Help me polish this story, 7mouthsfeed and find my next Big thing.

Yours, S x

Everything Falls Apart

I love this song. There is grace each new day when everything is falling apart.
You said you’d never leave or forsake me
When you said, this life is gonna shake me
And you said this world is gonna bring trouble on my soul
This I know
(Chorus)
When everything falls apart your arms hold me together
When everything falls apart you’re the only hope for this heart
When everything falls apart and my strength is gone
I find you mighty and strong, you keep holding on
You keep holding on
When I see the darkness all around me
When I see that tragedy has found me
I still believe your faithful arms will never let me go
And still I know
(Chorus)
Sorrow will last for the night
But hope is rising with the sun, its rising with the sun
There will be storms in this life
But I know You have overcome, you have overcome
(Chorus) x2
When everything falls apart your arms hold me together
When everything falls apart you’re the only hope for this heart
When everything falls apart and my strength is gone
I find you mighty and strong, you keep holding on
You keep holding on

  Fee,  Hope Rising, 2009.

I’ll Just Check….

I saw this image on social media and laughed. I don’t watch Netflix in bed, but a last minute check of FB or Insta…..maybe. Sometimes I do that. But why? It wrecks my sleep, it can make me agitated and cross. And I find I have hundreds of new ideas buzzing in my head. When really I need to be winding down….

Secretly I know I am not alone here. You take your phone to bed don’t you? We use the alarm, some are tracking their sleep, noting their overnight breastfeeds, checking their bank accounts, flight details. Do you need a reason? We are on auto when it comes to our phone. A touch and we are there, transported to every world but the land of NOD. I am writing about this because it is time I edited this one little habit from my routine. I need a tech free hour before bed. More cups of peppermint tea, a bath, a book and some quiet.

So will you join me? Real quick, you and I can change the world, one good night sleep at a time.

The Photo

image : unknown

I fell for Elvis back in 1977. Yes the year he died and I was a young poppet. In the years following I manaaged to work my way though viewing his films, black and white wonders with his Elvis style music.

Then in my teens I grew up with this young girl, Madonna. We parted ways after music became less important than style, image and exploring identity.

I was quite taken aback to see this image. The young Madonna finding her way to the Rock’n’ Roll King himself. Making a connection.

Images are powerful. They can transport and transform, transcend time and place. There is power in what is said and unsaid. What is revealed and what is left out of the picture. What else is going on in this photo? Who do we not see? Is there some important action that is taking place to the left or right that we will never know about?

All I know is here is the King and maybe the Queen of the music world. In one capture.

The Right Time

My gut tells me this statement is all wrong. Not now. Later. When I am ready, better prepared, more balanced, more grown up…..Do you find yourself having these late night chats with yourself?

And yet I know that if you came to me with a new idea, project or opportunity I would be encouraging you to go forward and make the most of it. This does not mean that I would want you to jump blindly into something you could not handle but I am aware that for many women we struggle to start the new thing because we ‘feel’ under qualified. Men on the other hand – fake it until they make it, well some of them do.

Let’s take back some of that courage and bravado and do it now. Now is the right time. Are you with me?

Taking your Tween, Teen shopping

Shopping with your kids. How do you go? I am not talking doing the grocery run with tired and grumpy per-schooler. I  mean serious clothes shopping for the tween, teen and young adult.
Here is what I have learned.

Waiting.

There is always a lot of waiting. Whilst the mission of our shopping expedition may have been outlined before our departure it always seems to be difficult to stay on course. Looking for a new pair of jeans can evolve to browsing jewellery, boots and a new jumper. Be prepared to muster much patience. See image above-  I got bored and started taking selfies for Instagram.

Opinions.

At times it is seriously important to offer advice about style, cut and fit, even if the comments are not welcome. This is after all the role of the mother to guard against your child (daughter?) showing too much here or there and to be realistic about what style suits them not some celebrity. But there are other occasions when positive remarks are called for – there is nothing more frustrating than not fitting into an outfit because some body part is too big or too small. So encouragement and perseverance is required.

Negotiations.

The adventure to shop for jeans can quickly turn into shopping for several pairs of jeans. So be prepared to negotiate price, payment ( are you paying or am I?) and all the practicalities of making a purchase.

Teaching.

And this outing with your older child can be a great teaching experience – how does EFTPOS work, what is lay-by, budgeting, saving and so one. You can also teach about quality over quantity, buying clothes for seasons and being able to flexible with your expectations of what you had in mind.

Other.

Very often there is a child or two who actually hate shopping. So the ‘buy in bulk’, try on outfits at home and then do the returns later have proven to be great options. This can also translate into online shopping. We don’t have access to the full range of shops for special items – think undergarments, formal dresses, black tie and so on. So shopping together at the computer can be rewarding. Just take care to read all the terms and conditions about returns and postage.

Shopping – I am not good at this, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind shopping. But as an OP Shop Queen from years gone by I find it actually harder to make a purchase when I have choice of style and size. I have been conditioned to look for the treasure and the absolute bargain in the local thrift shop. And you can find great things…..it just takes time, patience and a whole of negotiating of expectations. Teaching your kids to op shop, now that is another blog post in the making.

Shells

I stopped collecting shells some time ago. I didn’t intend to do it. Perhaps it was because my girls tended to leave each beach trip with buckets of shells which we then had to wash, dry and sort. So I just stopped looking. They did enough beach combing for all of us.

 But the reality is I love hunting for treasures on the sand. I am in awe of the colour, shapes and textures of each fragile shell. The pattern and composition. The unexpected act of mindfulness and connection to our creator the beach walk brings.

Tiger, Tyger

Melbourne Zoo 2016

The Tyger
by William Blake

 

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 

When the stars threw down their spears 
And water’d heaven with their tears: 
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright, 
In the forests of the night: 
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?