A friend of mine from primary school in Adelaide, tagged me in a class photo on Facebook today! Apart from being simply amazed at what a bad looking, scruffy, half wog I looked (!) I was staggered by the similarity between me, and my son Campbell, only his looks have been much improved by the addition of my husband into the genetic mix!
It has been a marvelous day in Tully land today - the sun has been shining, and I can see, in this beautiful world, how lucky I am. My unexpected blast back into the past, made me remember being a child - I looked at the jacket I was wearing in the photo and thought, 'I remember that jacket', and how it felt to hold onto the thick ribbed cuffs, stretch my arms outwards and pull at the sleeves... I dunno, the things you remember..?! *shrugs*
I remember my teacher, Mrs Hurrel. She was very special. She taught me to read, and noticed my interest in writing creatively. She encouraged me with my poetry. And always had me get up at school assemblies and recite latest work! She was my first talent scout, my first devoted fan, my first teacher, in the purest and deepest sense of the word.
She died of cancer not long after I left that school, and my family had moved to Taree, NSW (one of numerous moves made throughout my childhood). It was very sad. She was one of those angels that you meet only every so often in life, who know you better than you do. Who look straight into your soul, know what you need, and save you. I still sometimes feel her warmth around me, like motherly arms. I can remember her voice a little bit, and see her smile in my mind.
It was wonderful to have someone so encouraging at such a young age, and I can see now that she was placed there carefully by God to love us all in that class and school. I am old enough now to be thankful and inspired by someone so good, and endeavor to be that light if I can for someone, if God should think me able...
Mechelle Tully (nee Frentsch) - middle row, 4th from left
I love nothing better than a lunch made up of left overs! I love going through the fridge and finding things from dinner the night before, or yummy things I had forgotten all about from several days ago, and making a hodgepodge luncheon extravaganza of it all!
It really is very satisfying to make another meal out of bits of beautiful dishes previously made...
...Then admiring your empty plates (note the plural!) at the end!
And to make the hodgepodge gourmet lunch complete, tea with a McVitie's chocolate wheat bicky!
Over the last few years I have noticed that I am becoming someone who cannot help but speak up when there is an injustice. And the more injustice I see, the more passion I feel to help make things right.
I was shopping at ALDI yesterday, and while in the cue, loading a whole trolley full of groceries onto the unusually long conveyer belt; a young boy, between 18-21 years old, asked me if he could have the place in front of me as he only had a few items.
Now, I have to say, I find this logic confusing in any event! I could no more ask someone if I could go before them in a cue, than I could ask them to pay for my shopping! And I do wonder what our world is coming to if a young man of able body sees it fit to ask a mother with a trolly full of food to wait for him.
All of this passed through my mind in a split second, and I answered him, 'yes,' and I must have not looked convinced of him being in dire need of early relief, because he apologetically replied, ' oh thank you...'
As I stood there with this kid in front of me, with his box of wine bottles I said to myself, 'why did you say yes then if you're now cross about him being let in?' and I suppose my answer is, that when confronted with this odd request, I didn't want to seem rude. In our culture we are supposed to pick up a coin for a stranger and hand it to them, hold a door for the person behind, and apologise to the one who bumps into you! Because the aim is to show servanthood, and to avoid unpleasantness. And you know what? I like it that way. I like to be polite, so that's why I said yes.
But I still felt the twinge of injustice, somewhere between my lungs and my belly... it didn't help when I noticed him adding family members to the place in front of me, and even some more shopping! I thought, I could not let him go without a quiet word... So as he thanked me politely and turned to walk away - with seemingly growing family members, and grocery items - I let the serge adrenalin give me the courage to just say, "remember, that by asking to go before me, you're kind of saying that your time is more valuable then mine, and I don't think that's right."
Well, he didn't know what to do, or say; and so he just agreed in that non committal way and got the hell out of there! It was kind of sweet, in that not really sort of way! I wasn't cross with him, but I did want him to know that I thought it was impolite. And to make him think maybe next time about servanthood and all that...
So you see, I cannot seem to help it, I must speak up when I see injustice! And not just for me - but for anyone I see badly treated. I don't seem to be able to harness my passion for righteousness in this beautiful world, and I have a feeling I am just getting started...
I walked this morning in the misty cold. With crunching of ice beneath my feet.
I was hesitant to go out in it when I got up, looked out the window and saw the frozen terrain. But I put on my coat and went anyway, looking for the sun...
And close to the top of the hill, there! I found him. Hiding behind the silhouette of a tree. And there, I swear, he too found me!
So we rose together, for a while...
Then I got home, and went inside.
All day he waited out there for me... Kept light on my house, and warmth through my windows for morning tea.
Got smothered by clouds, then chased them away - he waited out there for me, all day...
And then in the afternoon he shone, right into my cold and dingy room. He begged me to join him out of doors. We walked together, and he led the way, with light and life; and soon he started to fade away...
I was sorry I hadn't been with him for long. But he told me not to worry, that there was a new day tomorrow. And he would come.
So I said I would rise in the morning, and go out a walking. No matter how cold, or dark or windy, or glum... I will put on my coat, and go find the sun.
There are few things as gratifying as bringing ingredients into the kitchen, and making them into delicious food for the family! I think that mothers/wives, or whoever has the wonderful job of cooking for a household, is entrusted with wonderful powers of love, which can bind a family together...
Hence the saying; "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach..."
And in order to be politic, I shall add that I also support the reverse!
I have always thought it, that food is not just about eating. It is a way of loving, those you make it for, or being loved by those who make it for you. Why is it that in every culture, the family sit down together for at least one meal a day? Because it is binding.
So this is what I have been thinking about today - the recipe for life; we use only the best ingredients, we stir and season each other lovingly - then we reap the reward of a delicious life together!
And then to pass the love on to our children, and, God willing, so on...
...I never was one much for phones - I see people walking around texting all day and I just feel a headache coming on! So I rationally thought that the best device for me would be an iPhone...
Now lets make this clear - I am a Mac fanatic! I was first introduced to Macs when I was at high school and we did our computing lessons on them, and I have been in love with their intuitive nature and good looks ever since!
So I am very excited to have the latest thing from Apple! And this afternoon, me and Mac went for a walk and took photos of my shadow...
While listening to Regina Spektor, and, with internet access should I need to google anything...
I nearly forgot to mention, it is a phone as well, so... Call me!
As I walk past the piano at home, I often have to put down whatever I'm doing, not be able to help myself - and sit down to play a little song...
I am enjoying a new skill of late, learning favourite covers for my solo gigs at Gloria Jeans. At the moment I am playing about with Regina Spektor's "Us" which I have always been meaning to learn, since it came out several years ago... My sister in law was playing it on guitar last night at home church, and she inspired me!
Speaking of inspiration, have I mentioned how much I love winter bulbs that think it is spring therefore are flowing out of control?!
And have I mentioned how much I love Tara in her little red winter boots?! She is wild, and wonderful! She gets into everything, follows me around all day, and is my best little companion...
The other thing I have achieved today is finishing the framing of my two beautiful prints by Miss Emily Burtt. I highly recommend you check out the shop here...
I am surrounded, it would seem by many inspiring and talented young women today!
I love that still, quiet sense of achievement you get when a big job has been done, and done well...
I just feel strong, and settled, and proud of myself today in the wake of my BBQ luncheon yesterday.
When I was a little girl, my parents didn't have dinner parties, or BBQs, or get togethers - and I have really had to learn how you play the perfect hostess by watching other people who looked like they knew what they were doing!
I have in the past supposed that I couldn't cook for, and take care of people in my home because I was too shy for all that. But I can see now that I was just too selfish and clueless instead.
Practicing hospitality is just that; practicing! It does take time to learn how to take care of people. And I have come to understand that it has to start in your heart. It has to be genuine. It has to be how you would treat the Queen if she came in for tea!
So like riding a bike, or learning to sew, I am learning to serve. And loving the still, quiet sense of achievement that follows good, hard work.
Today was the day that some of Jamie's friends from work were coming over for a BBQ lunch.
The food, the laughs, and the friends were all top notch!
I find it very pleasurable to serve people home made food, and have them groan with delight as they eat it. To have honest and real conversations - and I have to say, I enjoy cleaning up afterwards (which might be a clue that I am crazy!)
I am so excited when I see there a new comments on this blog! It makes me even more inspired to share my life, and my heart with the world.
Today the sun came up, which is wonderful in itself I always say! It was a cold but bright and beautiful morning. I am always interested to see what the new day will bring. Sure we all have our plans and our commitments, but I am ever aware of the bigger picture around our existence on this Earth. So I know the plans we make often have little to do with what actually becomes of our lives...
Reminds me of the profound John Lennon "life is what happens while you're busy making other plans..."
I have been listening to some wonderful music this week. I have been on a real album kick, rather than just assorted songs, I really enjoy the whole story you get from a great album. I have been loving, Sam's Town by The Killers, Blue by Joni Mitchel, and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John. I just think this is one of the most wonderful album covers ever!
If you haven't ever seen it in the 'flesh' then it's worth a look at the art work if you ever see a copy. My wonderful Mother in law has the original vinyl edition - and this continuos maze of drawings all intertwined completely cover the front, back and inside of the sleeve. It's just cool!
Back to life happening while we're busy making other plans; I suppose all we can do is not get too carried away with our own solo existence. Remember the trees, and the sky, and the people you love. When you feel empty and bored, do something for someone else, selflessly. And having given, you will now feel completed yourself.
I find myself tired but happy as I sit down here with you tonight. Thanks to the miracle of wireless broadband I can sit in my lounge room, with feet up, dressing gown on, and talk to you with laptop, on lap!
It has been a lovely day. I must say that I insist on every day being a lovely day if I can help it. And I think that 90% of the time, you can help how you feel, and I choose happy! I think this is my theme for this weeks blogging - happiness is a choice!
I wish I was in Sydney so that I could wonder around the city during world youth week and hear the singing, the praising of God and the love of life. I am not a Catholic, but I believe that if you have love in common with another religion, then you have God in common. And God is far above, and away from the labels we put on Him...
I am enjoying tidying up the garden in anticipation of visitors for lunch on Saturday. And I am shocked that tomorrow is Friday! Where did the week get to?
I have noticed that in life, it takes a lot of confidence to be happy! I have observed that people really take to you - or not, as a result. There don't seem to be any in betweens...
Somedays when I walk around the city with lots of people rushing by, all being so serious and avoiding eye contact - I just want to start singing, and dancing, you know, in that broadway Gene Kelly kind of way. And somedays, I do!
I'm reminded of the quote by Oscar Wilde, that "life is far too important to be taken seriously" and I just think that it's wonderful when you meet someone else in this life who is what I call, awake, and confident enough to just be happy!
It always inspires me when I'm out, to talk to a stranger who is warm and alive, and I hope I can inspire someone else with my warmth. I think that must be how we are supposed to be in this life. An inspiration to one another. If you do something kind, that you might wake someone else up from a deep sleep and inspire them, to be happy too.
Today I performed at Westfield Belconnen for Gloria Jeans Coffees' Coffee & Chords. I had an absolute ball! Lots of wonderful people came out to support local music and I thank them for their kindness. My heart was full of passion to give everyone a great show, and I think it went really well!
I am always on cloud nine after a gig, and today is no exception! Life is good, and I am so happy to be able to sing my heart out for the folks out there!
Now I'm off to pick jonquils, put them in vases, and smile to myself, a lot!
We've been to Sydney today. A couple of errands to run. Firstly, we popped into IKEA for a few goodies...
This is not what we bought - I just thought this lamp was cool! I got a couple of cute things for my kitchen and we looked, and dreamed about designing a new kitchen for ourselves some day!
And secondly, to take little sister Anna, to her appointment at the Sydney Eye Hospital. Anna is the funniest, sweetest, fruitiest person I know! She is 15, and when she was just 3 months old, she was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma which is cancer of the retina. She had a series of tests on her eye, in hospital in Sydney. The whole family was in fear and abject terror that this perfect new little baby was going to die...
The day that the operation was scheduled, for the removal of Anna's eye, the discovery was made that the cancer appeared to be gone!
Anna's story is a miracle. She is a piece of heaven who was given back to the Tully family.
She has ever since undergone numerous tests and operations to adjust, and monitor the eye. So there are lots of trips to see the professor at the Sydney eye hospital, and we're all convinced that Anna and the professor share a special bond and understanding, that this is the baby, given back to us. Praise the Lord!
She is to this day a fine young lady. She is an artist, an amazing photographer, a beauty, a comedian, an intellectual, an entrepreneur! ... and above all, a miracle.
I have mentioned previously that I love dresses, and for my birthday, my family are paying for me to have a dress made. So today was the day for choosing fabric!
I can sew a little. But I haven't been into a fabric shop with the view to having something for myself in a long time, it was very exciting, and I learned a lot about different fabrics. I had some colours in mind, but I learned that you really have to just see what is there, and what calls your name!
And this was the fruit of our search...
When it is finished it will look more like a beautiful 'springy' wrap dress with 3/4 sleeves rather than this Grecian off the shoulder look! Or perhaps I was going for the statue of liberty! The colour is chocolatey heaven in my opinion, and I have great hopes of feeling very confident and pretty in this dress! I shall post the finished product with me in it soon - I hope!
Somedays, I just don't want to be grown up with work to do! I look out the window and want to go on an adventure... I think in laymans terms - I feel like a holiday! I am looking forward to a day trip to Sydney later this week, and that will have to do me for now! I think I have mentioned how much I love Sydney, the big city in Canberra's backyard!
It has been raining here on and off for a day or two. Now the sun is just emerging from the grey clouds, then going back behind them again, just long enough for a few more sprinkles of rain. It is a bit of an undecided day all round. I feel a little here and there myself. Nothing a cup of tea won't fix. Won't you have some with me?
Somedays, when I think about the bills I have to pay, and the price of groceries, I just want to go and blow all my money on records, and shoes! I suppose being a grown up is daydreaming about such things at times, and then paying the bills, going to Coles, and knowing how blessed you are to have enough to eat and a roof over your head!
But the best part about being a grown up is...
I get to decide that my life will be a wonderful adventure!
...always a little random! I feel passionate, and nervous all at once. I imagine myself at the gig, I try to put myself right there in the moment. I want it to be a perfect practice, I think you have to always play the song right through, and always feel it from your heart, so that you can act it out in the performance.
After a while though, I get discovered...
...and then little fingers start playing discordant notes on my keyboard!
One of the things I loved about New York was the apartments. Those grand old doors, and stone stairs that lead up to them. Who lives/lived inside? Was this a scene straight out of You've Got Mail or Seinfeld? I normally don't get very star struck about anything, but I was a bit star struck by NY. We were only there for three days, but we walked all over the place, saw everything from the Museums to Central Park, to the classic New York Diner. Loved every minute!
It is the sort of city where you can become very inspired. I wrote a lot of music when I got back from being overseas. Fall Too Hard is probably the best example of my post traveling inspiration. I think it puts your life into perspective, when you go away, and then return again.
It's not that I wrote about being in big yellow taxis, (already been done eh!) but it puts you at a higher state of awareness of self and situation. I just felt clear, and inspired when I got back home and sat down at the piano...
Speaking of which, it is calling me from the other room, I'm thinking of a composition about NY - now I know why there are so many song written about the place!
I woke up this morning to some lovely, lovely emails which I checked before I went outside for my morning walk. Lovely comments on my blog - which makes my heart sing with glee! And a letter from my sister in law from Nashville making plans for coming out to Australia with my brother in law and their two daughters. As I'm sure you remember there is going to be a wedding here on the farm this November, my husband's sister Sarah is getting married, so plans are being made for family to come home - it's all rather exciting!
A couple of little pictures to start off the tale of my trip to New York...
Central park... It really IS as wonderful as they say it is...
(Jamie, and little Sean only 6 months old)
And the beauty found on every piece of stone... I could not stop taking photos of mossy stone work, and big old trees and grand old apartments...
More to come another day soon! Have a lovely, lovely day!
I'm very excited to have some new performance dates at Gloria Jeans coffee shop! All of the PLI paperwork is done (!) and now I just get to play and sing, which is what I do best!
The dates are Sundays July 13 & 27, August 10 & 24, September 7 & 21, October 19, November 2
So if you're in Canberra I'll be there then, then and then!
It's funny not working every weekend in the winter, when inevitably, people have less weddings and corporate functions. So at this time of the year when there aren't as many bookings, I like to focus on writing, learning new songs - special covers that mean a lot to me and my fans. I like to do more acoustic gigs, like Coffee & Chords. I like to stay home on Saturday nights and make soup! Then watch Grand Designs with Jamie.
Winter certainly has it's perks - the cosiness is great. But there is always a part of me that wants to go back to America in the winter to the Australian Festival in Nashville, like we did in 2005...
And then stopping over in Tahiti... how tough that was ; )
But before going home we had three days in New York - and then we know what all the fuss was about...
I think there needs to be an upcoming post totally dedicated to our little trip to NY. Coming soon, watch this blog!