Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years love poem

A year is quite the strangest thing;
To mark our lives with the changing of seasons,
By a calender of months, which pass us by;
Keeping count of days, and naming them names...
Rising with mornings,
sipping tea at noon;
and playing music, on into the night...

I love our years, and I treasure our days,
Ever aware we do not belong,
Just renting a little piece of the Earth for a while,
Until we can go home, to our Father.

In the meantime I am here with you,
Marking my life with the changing of seasons,
With calenders and days which pass so swiftly by;
Rising with you, and with mornings,
(hoping I'm) sipping tea with you at noon...

And still my escape, from every day's challenge,
Is coming home to you.
Is laughing at our lives, and loving all we can,
and playing music, on into the night.

- Happy new year!
to all who read this here,
In my heart held dear.

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Summer produce

I had never grown anything in my life before this veggie garden we planted earlier in the year.  I am so proud of it's produce.

Patience and time.  Water and sun.  How I do love this beautiful world!

Shell xx

Monday, December 29, 2008

a change of scene...

Well I am not long back from my very first camping trip!  Tired are my muscles from climbing up hills and exploring through gullys, but refreshed is my soul from a change of scene and a wonderful adventure.  Here are some of the beauties captured along our walks...

Like diamonds in the rough, there appear little yellow bush flowers amongst the bark and gum leaves...

And also do little girls emerge!

My favourite was the round gum bushes with the red tips, roughly finished leaves, I love the disheveled perfection of the Australian bush.

Of course dinner was nothing short of gourmet!  I brought a home made salsa, and coleslaw, we fried onions, pure beef and chilli sausages and mushrooms over the fire.  For desert we boiled up the billy and made tea which was accompanied by Kathleen's home made chocolate brownies and Anna's home made ginger biscuits.

And into the night we sat around the campfire singing, playing, laughing...

Shell xx

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tea Party

With Christmas dollys.

To find them playing this together, makes my heart sing!

Shell xx

Friday, December 26, 2008

Summary of a summery Christmas

I shall start this post by summing up...

I have had a wonderful Christmas.   I have laughed and sung and celebrated, and tried my best to savour every moment.

I was up late into the night on Christmas eve waiting for my children to go to sleep, and finishing my sort of homemade present for my sister and brother in law (whom I affectionately refer to here as the newlyweds).  But there was strong tea and pavlova with all the fruity toppings to sweeten me up through the night.

It is a recipe book which I bought from one on Canberra's best paper shops, that I have been writing all the Tully family recipes in for them to cherish, and enjoy for their new lives together.

The children enjoyed the morning of opening presents, I was pleased by how sweet they all were, not greedy or selfish.  Just enjoying the gifts given in love, and also enjoying giving the gifts they had made for their cousins, aunties and uncles.

I scored a couple of lovely things myself...

An home dried flower from my beautiful sister in law Anna.

And this fantastic hat, from myself!

Don't you just love a summery Christmas!

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Christmas gift.

I rushed out the door early this morning to collect some last minute gifts and a few groceries.  Upon my return I discovered a package in the mail box which made my heart sing!

It contained some beautiful homemade Christmas gifts from a friend I have found here in this blog world.  Many of you may know her as the windhover.  I found her in a paper shop one day, and we began talking instantly about music, religion and the delights of leather bound notebooks...  

I have since discovered, and so enjoyed her artwork and her blog, both of which come from a heart so beautiful.  And just as the Lord would have it, forming this friendship has also served to inspire and awaken my own spirit from a sleep I didn't even realise I was in.  A sleep which wasn't remembering to slow down and just smell all the flowers, admire the leaves, and think about how every blade of grass was placed there deliberately by God.  

This is only a brief explanation of how I feel, but I hope I have been clear.  I just mean that sometimes you can get distracted by all the work and plastic goings on in life, and forget to feed your spirit with love of creation, which in my opinion, is at the heart of all inspiration.

So thank you Windhover.  For the gifts, and for your heart.


I was also given a firm instruction today, to enjoy my homemade biscotti and gingerbread with lots and lots of cups of tea...

An instruction which I am joyfully carrying out!

Shell xx

Monday, December 22, 2008

Glory to the new born King!

 - I said I'd be back to share some more...

I have taken to wearing flowers and or feathers in my hair of late.  It just seems like an outrageously jolly thing to do at this time of year!

My love of yellow roses is such that I have planted them all around my garden, this way I can go outside and harvest a hair ornament whenever I please!

* * * * * *

Now, I must tell you what a wonderful time I had singing at Carols by Candlelight last night for the Salvation army.  I arrived at the end of a busy weekend, with a slightly tired voice, expecting to sing some carols and then head home for an early night.  But I really was struck, as I am every year by the beautiful, Christian words in those special and ancient songs of praise.  Equally as much was I struck by the beautiful people I found there.  Servants of God, who devote their lives to helping others, I was inspired and uplifted, and revived.  I sang and sang, and my voice held up all evening!

Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born king
Peace on Earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled...

For me one of the most special ways to celebrate Christmas is through music.  I hope you will put on some carols in your home or your car (or your iPod) before the season is out.

Shell xx

Dear Sir or Madam...

...I humbly apologise for my recent silence in the blogosphere.

I have sung at no less than a Christmas party, a birthday party and a carols by candlelight over the weekend.  But I can guarantee my heart has been here...  I am always composing my next post in my head where ever I am and whatever I'm doing, I'm thinking, is there a good post in this?!  A story that can be told, or a lesson learned which can be shared...

I took the opportunity to make the band set look suitably festive over the weekend.  How happy am I at this time of year to be allowed to put gold tinsel on everything!

More to share very soon...
Shell xx

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas music...

I love the old time Christmas songs, with that jolly, jazzy flavour.  Judy Garland, Bing Crosby...  It's just not Christmas without carols, and there is something more real, and warm and festive I think about the old time songs.  

This year, I did a little searching and found some fabulous Ella Fitzgerald Christmas songs on iTunes which I have been bopping to all afternoon...

Jingle Bells!

Shell xx

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tasting Summer

I love it when summer fruits are abundant and fresh at the green grocer.

When macadamia nuts fill your hand!

And when new shoes are are strappy and sparkly! 

Sparkly like the season!

Shell xx

Monday, December 15, 2008

a Christmas to-do list:

* Fill the little advent calender stockings with goodies each day;

* Enjoy the smell of a beautiful, decorated pine tree in my house;

* Put tinsel in ridiculous places;

* Decorate the tree outside the sunroom;

* Finish making the present for my newly-wed sister and brother-in-law;

* Play/sing "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" on the piano (Judy Garland style)

List to be continued...

Shell xx

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Good morning

Anybody who reads me regularly, knows, I am the biggest fan of mornings.

Especially, Sunday mornings.

When you sit, and eat toast, and absorb tea slowly, and lovingly into your bloodstream...

I try to do everything a little more slowly and lovingly on a Sunday morning.

Shell xx

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Love... extra special.

I have been married to my precious best friend for twelve years today!

We were but kids then, now a little older (all of 30 & 31)!  

I feel like I understand,
so much more about myself,
about the world,
and about my own heart.
But all along, there would have been no growth,
no life, and little point,
without my dear friend, 
to grow up alongside.

I thank the Lord every day for this friend,
And his beautiful family-
Who have given me a home, and a life,
a chance to grow;
and still make me laugh!
Twelve years on...

Shell xx

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Love...

...Is taking time to listen to the rain,

How is relaxes and soothes you,

It is looking out the window at thirsty plants finally getting a drink...

Is contemplating,

the true, pure, real meaning of love this week, how I've enjoyed this...

Is love,

Shell xx

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Love

Is working very hard to get a smile from the lady at the checkout : )

Is the delight of buying good food for my family,

Is an evening walk all by myself with the Canberra sun setting,

 and Prospekt's March playing in my ears,

making me dance, and skip home, and become inspired...

Is coming home and writing a little ditty on the piano,

Is afterwards, tea with my love on the couch 'til late; laughing...

Is love.

Shell xx

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Love

Is an early morning, a long drive,

all together in the car for hours...


at each other, ourselves, and funny little Tara,

Looking out the window at Australian hills and trees,

Being forced to sit still in the car and listen to music *smiles*

Is helping one another with the shopping,  is only arguing over who pays for lunch!

Is love.

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday Love... a kind word (even if I feel rushed or pressured).

Is a smile to a stranger.

Is befriending and playing with somebody's child in the coffee shop.

Is doing chores cheerfully.

Is thinking of my sister, and giving her my attention and conversation.

Is love.

Shell xx

Monday, December 8, 2008

What really, is love?

I am going to post something everyday for the next week that I think really expresses the meaning of love.  Something personal and otherwise unsung, without ceremony, drama, or pink tissue paper and red love hearts!  Daily happenings which I think are extra relevant at this blessed time of year...

Tonight, it was Campbell spilling his enormous cup of  hot milk all over the kitchen bench tops and floor, being worried that I might be cross, me giving him a hug and helping him clean it up, without a care, or crossed word.  He felt bad, so why would I make him feel worse?  Don't I love him more than I love my feelings about cleaning the mess?  Yes, I love him more, and made sure that he knew it.

-Campbell Maurice Tully-

Shell xx

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New chapters...

Today the newlyweds returned home to us.  Full of stories, and happy boisterous banter, with photos to share.  Most of them pictures of each other, or both of them together with beaches in the distance...  Very sweet, and young, and nice to see.

Today Jamie and I talked about a road trip holiday for the six of us.  That is Jamie, Moi and four munchkins...  Very exciting.  Thoughts of getting away from the daily routine for a little while are filling my head and making me giddy!

Today there was a feeling of things having come full circle...

Today lots of things feel completed; and new adventures, trials and triumphs await us all...

I don't know if maybe it's just me, but today feels like the day you finish the book.  And tomorrow is new, and near, and and here to be rejoiced in.  

Looking forward to writing new chapters...

Shell xx

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Emma's world...

Having been completely inspired by the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, (you know the one with Gwyneth Paltrow from 1996) my very own Emma, who is a bit of a princess like the character in the story, took it upon herself to make a little globe from paper mache as a wedding present for Sarah and Scott.  Much like the one that Emma presents to the newly married couple in the film.

We have sort of made it together, bit by bit over the last several months.  It has been a fun and successful project.  She has made it a Tully's globe, pinpointing all the places in the world where there are members of our family.

She presented it to Sarah and Scott at their wedding last week, and it was very much adored by it's recipients.

It has been very sweet to see her put so much love and attention into something which is a gift for somebody else.  It is also nice to see her take such pleasure in the Jane Austen adaptations, especially when she is so fortunate as to have one with her own namesake!

Shell xx

Friday, December 5, 2008

-Hey, this is my 201st post!

* * *

Many months ago I posted about my aspirations of having a thriving little veggie patch to eat and enjoy.  I took photos of the little tiny seedlings and signs I had written on to mark the spot where each wonderful vegetable had been planted; well now, here is a glimpse of the proper vegetable forrest we have created!

It took time, water, love and care, but we have gotten there!  I feel so proud to eat the things I have grown.  The other day I picked enormous swedes from the garden and brought them inside to boil and mash with carrot and butter and salt and pepper!  To think we sewed those seeds into the soil only a few months ago...

I am not somebody who knows a lot about gardening, but I am learning.  I think all you need is a passion for life and you can learn to do anything.  

Today I feel such passion and pride that my garden is ready to eat, my heart is full of love; and now I must away for the tea is ready to be consumed!


Shell xx

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On the third day of Christmas...

I have found myself -

* Singing along with carols playing in the shopping centre,

* Devising plans to hang large ornaments from the mushroom shaped tree in my backyard,

* Thinking about this years wrapping paper theme, last year was solid colour w/ gold ribbon, this year, I just want everything purple!

* Imagining my lounge room with an enormous pine tree in it!  How I cannot wait...

But mostly - 

* Making sure that I remember to feel it all, every candy cane, and each special moment.  

I think I have finally grown up enough, that I remember to create wonderful times with my friends and family, which become wonderful memories.  What I do today, I want to be proud of, and/or to have learned from for tomorrow.  

Tis the season to be jolly!

I want to practice deliberate acts of kindness and generosity this season, and I want you to do it with me!  I really want us to do it everyday, in all sorts of ways, and I am hoping you will post your suggestions, and your good deeds done.

I think to give, is to grow, is to learn, is to turn away from selfishness, and embrace love - all year long.

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Post wedding post

For once, I am a little speechless (which accounts for my recent blogging inactivity). 

I am just, quiet this afternoon.  Thoughtful.   And so very aware of this new season for my dear sister Sarah, whom I love.  And for Scott, who has waited a long time to be her husband.

They were beautiful.  And it was right.  

It was time, and everybody was happy.

The setting was home, and the place looked so beautiful...

I felt honored to be a part of the music, to give the gift of song with all my heart.

As the sun went down we danced and sang, and took no notice of the rain or the chilly night air....

The newly wed bride and groom were caught up inside chatting with their guests and keeping dry.  But outside in the rain were the champions!  We who helped put this day together; we did the Nutbush, the "shake your tail feather" Swing Kids, Irish jigs, and really "ham" 80's songs! We let loose, and let go, of all the work, preparation and anticipation that had been the last six months, or perhaps the last two years...

When I watched them come out to say goodbye to Mum and Dad, I felt a tear...  I have known this girl since she was the age that my own daughter is now.  I have loved her and laughed with her for many years and now she is off to become a grown up, a wife.

It is a wonderful, happy time here at home.  But the reality, and the enormity of new seasons in life always make me shed a tear, make me sit back in my chair and think quietly.  Trying to get my head around the changes and the chapters of this life.

So if you can forgive my silence of late, I am sure to make it up.  The more that happens to me in my life, the more inspired I become.  The more quiet thoughtful hours, always give me cause to make a lot of noise after reflection!

It is late in the day again, and I don't know where the time has gone.  But when I do work it out, I'll be sure to share it here, with you.

Shell xx