Autumn Leaves are falling down

Autumn Sunrise with low fog
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My alarm goes off around 7.30 am, regardless of what day it is at the moment. I know mum does not get up for at least another hour, so this is MY time, time to reflect and time to enjoy the splendour of nature at my own pace.

 

It has been a hectic, sometimes stressful and confusing year for me so far. Hence why you have not seen much action here either. After a fairly uneventful Summer I travelled from Australia, into Spring in the Netherlands mid March, where my cousin was waiting for me to help her get organised, in case a bad situation would eventuate with my elderly mum, to be prepared for everything. We found a fitting nursing home with a large garden and arranged as much as I could fit in the 4 weeks I stayed, like meal deliveries, meetings with care staff, doctors etc., to keep her living independently as long as possible, along with spending time with mum as well.

Upon returning home in Australia late April I got a phone call the next day, still groggy from jet lag, after which I found myself working an extra 5 nights a week, while trying to catch up in my garden at home and get that ready for my absence during Winter and work in the nursery part time! Well, no rest over Winter either, with record snowfalls, more lodge guests than ever, and keeping my promise from last year to my manager then, of attending more ski training this season! I had to leave a week before closing of the lifts, to fly back to the Netherlands for mum, who had deteriorated badly over their unusually hot Summer.

So here I am, finding myself utterly confused after Summer followed by Spring, followed by Winter and now in Autumn, but thankfully healthy and well. Something I unfortunately cannot say about my mum, who is physically doing very well, but mentally in need of full time support.

 

I swiftly throw on my ‘trackies’, hoodie and sneakers, over my pyjamas to keep the chill of the early morning out and quietly sneak out of the door. I am so glad mum chose to live at the edge of a small town in the Netherlands, from where it only takes me a few minutes to walk the street that brings me to the paddocks showing the Sunrise in full glory. I savour the wide open space, still in peace and quiet this early in the morning, especially during the weekends when work traffic is absent.

When I walk I focus on my surrounds, nature waking up along with myself and my body. It is easy to get sidetracked during the day and fall into bad habits in regards to posture, but during the stillness of the morning it is easier to focus on walking with a straighter back and shoulders relaxed in the right spot, arms swinging loosely in harmony with my stride. It feels so good to take a deep breath full of life’s most important energy that somehow feels more rejuvenating at this hour than the rest of the day.

 

I take many deep breaths during the day as well, but most are for the purpose of keeping my sanity and composure while mum asks me the same question for the 30th time in an hour and still fails to understand my calm explanation. She easily gets upset when this happens and I find myself repeating to her many times that it is ok and that all is organised and will work out just fine.

I know she just hasn’t got the synapses to connect the dots any more as dementia is slowly stealing her mental abilities. I also know that giving her an answer calmly with love is important, despite the seeming pointlessness, because she will ask me again in a few minutes. Important, for it gives her a feeling of being heard, loved and respected. I am sure she feels that I care for her as she still treats me like her daughter, even though she gets confused and thinks I am still in Australia, and much younger than in reality, lol, if only… Occasionally she believes me, mostly she puts her ‘stubborn hat’ on and is convinced I am telling her fibs. Reality does not make the same sense to her as it used to.

The way I mentally deal with the current situation is reminding myself of the old quote a Buddhist monk told me, that if I CAN do something about it there is no need to worry and if I CANNOT, why worry? Another one that helps me mentally is from Wayne Dyer, that it is NOT the situation or circumstances that stress people out, but the thoughts created about it. I take one step at a time and file my upcoming responsibilities in my phone, which gives me a beep when something pops up that needs attention.

 

The one thing that still cheers her up and takes her away from her worries and suspicions that everyone is out to deceive her is Nature. She really calms down and comes home a different person. I am so glad about this, as it is so good to see her marvel at it’s beauty too when we go for an afternoon stroll in the nearby forests on the milder days. It is ‘nature therapy’ for both of us! We stop and look at the many mushrooms showing themselves and we walk the leaf covered paths surrounded by old deciduous trees in beautiful Autumn colours. Something I have not seen much of in the last 15 years when I have always visited around her birthday in Spring.

Autumn Trees

Autumn Trees

We pick up a few treasures to take home and arrange in a shallow pottery dish on the table, acorns, pine cones, a few leaves and a tiny feather she found with the most vibrant blues. I take photo’s of the mushrooms, better left in peace where they are. Besides, my knowledge of them is insufficient to know which ones are safe to pick, let alone any names.

She still walks unaided and really well for her 87 years, but I am carefully monitoring her gait to see whether we should keep going, or returning to the car soon. Surprisingly she generally knows her way around quite well, despite being bad in many other ways. It is a blessing now that she moved back to the area where she grew up when dad was still with us, because she retained a lot of her older memories so far.

Mushroom coming up among Autumn leaves

Mushroom coming up among Autumn leaves

I am always fascinated with these little surprises of nature, here one day, gone the next. Perhaps it is the shortening days and decay all around that makes me feel melancholic. For a moment I think about the issues at hand and cannot help but see the fleetingness of all we take for granted. A hint to make the most of, and be grateful for each day we are blessed to experience.

Mushroom covered tree trunk

Mushroom covered tree trunk, found off the beaten track

Red and white mushrooms

Spotted these red and white ones only on passing a second time, surprisingly, as they are quite striking

I ponder about memories, which are not much different. As we walk along our lives we collect and grow them, we treasure and share them, but when decay sets in with old age, they are like the falling leaves of Autumn, we drop them slowly one by one on still days, or many at once when a storm hits….

I am so GLAD that my own ‘tree’ still has many leaves that, for now, are securely attached.

Leaf covered road

Leaf covered road

Feel free to comment ūüėČ

With Gratitude,

PollyEsther

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Questions answered

Seeds
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My¬†jaw dropped this morning when I looked at the first Face Book post of a lady who befriended me only a few days back. I don’t know her at all and thankfully I do not get a lot of strangers befriending me on Face Book. It would be na√Įve not to be slightly wary.

In this case I reluctantly decided to acknowledge her request after seeing a lot of natural health and nutrition posts on her timeline, which is something I am always interested in. I send her a friendly¬†‘thank you’ PM to satisfy my curiosity as to why she befriended me, asking how¬†she had found me and what her reasons were, seeing we had never met, had no common friends¬†and lived worlds apart. No reply so far…

Walking the dog last week my attention was drawn to some¬†unusual yet ancient¬†looking fruit on the footpath in front of an elderly man’s home nearby. Some of the fruit had been squashed by passers-by or kids and looking up I¬†saw a bush that was as laden with fruit¬†as an over decorated Christmas tree! I¬†had no idea what kind of fruit it was and if it was¬†edible or not, but felt a strong urge to do some research and find out, so picked a couple off the ground underneath.¬†I thought maybe I should try cut it in half¬†and see if our ‘resident’ Possum¬†chose to eat it¬†to get a better clue whether it might be safe for human consumption or not, but haven’t as yet.

It felt a bit like deja-vu from around 8 years ago, when I first found Feijoa fruit on the footpath out the front of another house just around the corner. When I asked the owners about it, they told me I could take as much as I wanted, because they did not like eating them nor cleaning the footpath! I loved eating them so much, that I grew my own bush with lots of patience from seed and had my first fruit at the end of last Summer. (More about it: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/feijoa.html)

First harvest from my Feijoa bush, grown from seed 8 years ago

First harvest, April 2015, from my Feijoa bush, grown from seed 8 years ago

When the dog and me¬†walked a visiting friend back to the local bus stop, I showed¬†the mysterious bush¬†to¬†my friend¬†in the hope he might know or had seen it before, but he knew as much as me. At home things got busy with all my other¬†internet projects and listening to time limited seminars about health and wellness and the sample fruit I brought home was just sitting on the shelf in my kitchen¬†reminding me of my intent to do more research…

Coming back to my¬†jaw dropping moment this morning, my new ‘friend’ posted this: http://drhealthytips.com/index.php/2016/05/07/are-you-worried-about-clogged-arteries-start-drinking-this-immediately/…

I now had a bit more than just a piece of fruit to do research and found a few more helpful links on-line: https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-pomegranate/ and: https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article19.aspx for anyone wanting a few different perspectives. I excitedly emailed the link to my friend and as I was writing explaining what happened it dawned on me…

All my questions had been answered! What kind of fruit I had found, what the benefits are and possibly why some stranger befriended me on FaceBook out of the blue.¬†All this without any effort on my behalf! Well, I did ask an internal question…

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

I am so Glad and exited about this, I¬†could not resist¬†sharing it in a blog post, not just to show how questions get answered in mysterious, ‘serendipitious’¬†ways, but also to share the amazing benefits of the Pomegranate!

I ate both and went back today, got a few more to eat, collect seed and the image above.

Please share your comments, experiences, more info or recipes below.

All I had to do was “ask”

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Driving to work this morning, while sipping my regular strong black ‘coffee with 2’ from my travel plunger mug, I was thinking I really need to get going again and write another post. About what? It seems that keeping busy with work and other projects had stolen my inspiration! I could not think of anything that had happened to me lately worthy of sharing for the purpose of making my readers happier.

Well, I did write, a course. “How to get happy and healthy”, https://www.coursecraft.net/courses/z9QvH/splash, but don’t think my blog audience would like to read about me advertising that here. I am in the process of setting up a separate page for that, but it is taking me longer than I thought to make it happen. There are still some minor details to be improved to the looks of the course, like the picture of me acting like a Galah in Spring snow and ski boots.¬†It is taking me¬†a bit of time to get the hang of my¬†just acquired¬†graphic design program being totally new to that sort of thing. The important part, the content,¬†is all good to go, so why not tell everyone?

Just in case anyone reading this is feeling a bit down lately and would be interested in enrolling, enter the special coupon code “Esther” and you will receive a 50% discount, just¬†for reading my blog ūüôā

Ok, I’m getting sidetracked here. It was a beautiful still morning with a blue, albeit a little hazy sky just after sunrise with a forecast temperature of a pleasant 26 degrees Celcius. The drive to work was smooth with only a bit of slow traffic at a merge of freeway’s where the sun was straight in your face making it difficult to see the road. Because car sun visor’s are designed for taller people, I wear my cap to be able to have a clear enough vision of what is happening in those situations.

It was promising to be a beautiful day and I was assigned the task of moving and weeding all stock from one of the shade houses in the whole sale nursery to another area. The light changes a lot very quickly at this time of the year when the shadows are getting longer heading towards Winter in Australia. It was nice¬†to be working outside again for a change as lately I had been doing a lot of¬†fun jobs in the potting shed. Pushing the heavily laden trolley around¬†and squatting to pick up the pots and weeds is great exercise for my legs to get strong for the snow¬†season, so I don’t mind at all being paid for getting fit in a beautiful environment!

The downside of wearing a cap is that sometimes obstacles are not seen before feeling the impact with the head and after nearly loading up a full trolley I hit a hose. Thankfully this was not as painful as the metal protrusion that gave me a bruise there last week. The hose however was part of a retired overhead watering system and sagging badly off its wire, in need of a cable tie or two. It was really in my way there and I scanned the gravel to see if I could find a bit of metal wire maybe, that is often discarded by technicians around the nursery. No luck though, so I carefully hooked it as best possible a bit higher up.

Within five minutes of keeping at weeding and loading my trolley, I heard the familiar sound of my boot hitting a bit of…metal wire in the gravel! It was too thick and short to bend into a small hook to serve the purpose. I laughed at myself for “forgetting to specify” in my earlier thoughts that it had to be bendable and stuck it somewhere out of the way, just in¬†case I found a use for it later. It had not even crossed my mind that I had actually “asked” for it to appear and the finding reminded me of the thought again.

Not long after this incident I heard another bit of metal rattling on the gravel from my boot hitting it. As I looked down I found a perfect piece of fencing wire that did the job beautifully! It reminded me of the beach walk I wrote about in the story about the wind chime in my book, where nature just kept providing me with whatever I was thinking of next I needed to make this wind chime!

Morning tea time came and one of the other ladies remarked about my vibe, asking why I seemed so chirpy. I told her I felt so good, because I just found the inspiration for another blog story!

That was of course not the only reason, for the event also reminded me of the fact that we are always supported and all we have to do is “ask”. I have seen so much proof in my life now that¬†thoughts¬†become reality and it still catches me by surprise all the time. I love and am so glad about¬†those small¬†positive surprises!

All this from a simple bit of discarded fencing wire ūüėČ

Next time you don’t hear from me here for a while, please message and remind¬†me to read this post again!

With gratitude,

PollyEsther

 

 

The sneaky flower

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Last Summer one of my larger cacti was about to flower just before we left on a mini trip over the holidays. I asked my watering friend to keep an eye on it and snap a picture when it opened. She forgot…

This Summer that same variety again had a flower bud just before our annual mini holiday of 5 days. I have many pots and am still unsure how often they all flower, but not every year! I had never seen the flower and owned this cactus variety for at least 3 years!

Again I asked my (other) watering friend to keep an eye out, urging to check every day because it is no more than a 24 hour event! I made sure my camera was easy to find and charged up.

Coming back I was eager to see the pictures, but my friend was convinced the flower had not happened yet and was still to come out. The bud did look a little sad to me and proved me right as days went on and it only shrivelled more…

sad flower

sad flower

Fortunately, this year seemed a good one for flowering cacti and I was treated to another bud coming out. This time I checked it two, three times a day! Surely I was not going to miss seeing this what looked like a promising magnificent event again! The previous ones from another variety were the size of an outstretched hand. The stem of the bud started stretching faster and longer on Friday, but surely the weather change was going to put a spanner in the works, I thought. Serious thunderstorms forecast for that night.

It was indeed a good, well needed downpour for the garden creating pleasant cooler temperatures in the morning along with some fascinating lightning.

I woke up early and refreshed and walked as per usual straight outside into my garden to wake up to the day and let the dog out. Of course my lemon tree check to gather the newly fallen ones for my morning juice and wander past my cacti…

Cactus flower after overnight rain

Cactus flower after overnight rain

It did not look like it had fully opened yet, so I resolved to come back with the camera after breakfast when the sun might be closer to lighting it up a little more for me.

This one does not like the sun!

This one does not like the sun!

Now it all started to make sense, how my watering friends and myself had never seen this cactus flower. It likes to do it in the dark, overnight! It has a beautiful sweet fragrance that to me comes close¬†to jasmine or frangipani. And another bud underneath…

Budding Cactus

Budding Cactus

A week later it opened up at night after I gave it an extra drink to ensure this flower coming out. It was the first one I saw this close to opening!

Cactus flower opening just before dark

Cactus flower opening just before dark

I made sure to take plenty of photo’s and even though the night time ones are not good enough to publish, I¬†did get some very early morning beauties!

It is so easy to feel gratitude for being witness to this special, just 12 hour flower that is not only beautiful, but smelled like heaven too!

Finally fully flowering!

Finally fully flowering!

Cactus flower in full glory

Cactus flower in full glory

With gratitude,

PollyEsther

I am grateful for…

Water lily
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All the kind people that are helping me with my book marketing, for without them things would be a lot harder for previously unknown authors ! I am so glad to be living in¬†this era¬†of social media and networking on line! It sure opens up a lot of previously hard to find opportunities for people like me. I know if it was not for computers, I don’t think my book would have ever been published!
Check out this wonderful blog that kindly listed¬†“Looking @ Life”¬†among some fantastic books!

https://brittneysahin.wordpress.com/authors-to-read/authors-to-read-multiple-genres-here/

Who knows, you might find your new favorite read or best Christmas gift idea amongst it!

With lots of gratitude,
Pollyesther

PS I would love to hear, and for you to leave a comment if you found a book to your liking there!

Free e-book for 2 days only

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Dear Friends, Fellow Bloggers and Followers,

 

First I would like to thank everyone that helped me out, downloaded the $0.99 preview version of my very first e-book “Looking @ Life”¬†and wrote a review for me¬†today!

The official release is now starting with it being available for FREE for TWO DAYS only, after which the price will go up!

I want all my friends, fellow bloggers and followers to take advantage of this, so grab a copy now if you have not yet!

http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B0184CLSOW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I would really appreciate it if you would leave a review on Amazon after reading.

 

With Gratitude,

Pollyesther