Baby Remy {a photography session}

This beautiful shoot never made it to the publishers due to a technical hitch, so here it is only 2 years later!

I was recently honored to photograph newborn Remy and his lovely family.

we had planned a maternity shoot; which ended up being the day of birth!

i met this gorgeous bundle when he was two weeks! ahhhh sweetness.

he slept for the entire first 1 and a half hours! then peeped open for a few family photographs.

May you have a good and happy life on earth xx

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new babies never fail to leave me in awe of the powerful mystery and strength and surrender possible in a woman’s being, and the magic that man and woman can co-create.

Well done you mama! a living miracle xx

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Bateau Bay Floral Reserve

On the Central Coast of NSW, the Bateau Bay floral reserve is delightful in spring! High above the sea the wildflowers and trees sing.  I walked this track with Cedar, Lily and Jesses mama Jane in the week after our return from Europe. Walking the land and basking in the wildflowers, views, textures and scents helped me reintegrate my arrival. It’s an easy, level path, forest/scrubland walk. We walked from the Rushby street Carpark in the direction of Crack neck lookout. 

  
    
   
   
    
    
    
    
    

 
   
    
    
    
    
    

    
    
    
    
 

Taking Stock

Returning home and taking stock. Thanks to Pip at Meet me at Mikes for the word list.

  Making :

time to stroll around outside before children wake up. counting leaves and flowers and feeling that everything is really happy I’m home

and fantasise about all the gardening I will do… I have some cheeky plants that went ballistic while I was away and still a few gaps to plant in….

Cooking : snow pea, red capsicum and pineapple sage flower salad with lemon and mandarin dressing, also young broad bean and leek sauted in lemon juice. Mmm

Drinking : mango smoothie, mangoes foraged by Jesse. What a man, he brought in about 300 mangoes last season! Now we enjoy the last frozen cheeks…

Reading: our ash grove blog, beautiful and creative and wondering how does life look homeschooling with 5 children?

Pondering: how to grow with the children and stop my default repeats.

Wanting: a massage, a shiatsu or a kahuna therapist to knock on my door right now…

  Looking: at cobwebs. Lots of cobwebs. Overflowing suitcases, washing and general debris of returning home. Flowers! Lots of flowers!  Also looking at some of my favourite things. Is this really my home?

Playing: a game where i am employed by this house for domestic duties and I get paid holidays and good hours… And other perks…

Wasting: time searching for cherry red flannel sheets on the internet. I know winters over right, but  maybe for next year… 

Sewing: lots in my imagination! Like a whole new rack of simple stylin lady fashion. 

Wishing: spring was 6 months of the year, I could teleport and whistle really genuine bird calls. Not at the same time.

  Enjoying: the reward of planting bulbs at Easter and seeing a bed full of freesias bursting with colour and fragrance in spring . No instant gratification involved. Patience. I think I’m growing up!

Waiting: to grow up and be more patient. To get a hold over this overactive mind. To visit  my newly moved mama and papa in Tasmania!

Liking: the morning sun as I meander the gardens and check on the fruit tree buds and seedlings and the caress of the cool breeze and bird song. Spring mornings in Bellingen are delightful. 

Delighting: in the wild creatures, on the night of our arrival home we are greeted by the first cicadas, the fire flies and a python on the verandah. Welcome home!

Wondering: if I will be able to do all I dream of in one day.

Loving: gathering my family for a home cooked garden dinner by candlelight, at home, at our own table for the first time in a long time. Sweet.

Hoping: the children will have a great swathe of warm memories from their time in our care.

Marvelling: that Cedar has just had his first doctor visit! I was a bit out of depth for this cut and am grateful for the medical help when needed and to Jane for holding my hand and standing up to the pushy Dr. And so grateful he has been a well boy thus far. I know dr help is a big part of some families reality and it’s fantastic when you need them and there they are! 

Needing: to practice to say what I think even if it might be uncomfortable. 

  Smelling: something delightful on the air, floral, springy, mystery blossom.

Wearing: daggy old clothes and feeling ok about that. 

Following: my own adventures on my own blog. Now that’s good for perspective!

Noticing: sometimes I write something I’m proud of. Sometimes I take a photograph I’m proud of! 

Knowing: I need to practice believing in my gifts and talents.

Thinking: about the simple gift of a safe home to go back to and all the people who don’t have one right now.

Feeling: a bit helpless to make a difference right now on a global scale and remembering to practice peace at home.

Bookmarking: hmm. Any suggestions?

Opening: an illustrated envelope, with a handwritten card containing old photos of myself and friends from another life, a gift from a dear friend today to make me smile!

Giggling: at the sweetness of being seventeen.

Feeling: incredulous that it’s only 6 years til I have my own sweet seventeen year old child! 

Quoting: family life is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but all together a sweet melody.

  
All photos from my springy garden! I didn’t shoot the crazy bits.

An alpine birthday

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth 

And we wish you a good and happy life on earth!

(Alternative birthday ditty)        The traditional pancake breakfast substitutes for a cake when we are camping. Lush toppings, fresh berries, cream, yoghurt and maple syrup. I eat renegade savoury pancakes first, gruyere cheese and pesto.

  Craved farm animals from Werner reifentiere. Found at Pastorini in Zurich. Up up up on the cable car from Falkenberg to Oeschin. Summer tobogganing.       The ausblick/outlook is enthralling.     Postcard moments. Oeschinersee. The lake is turquoise. Crispy clear and cold, it is fed by the snow melt and glaciers.       I am enchanted by the alpine flowers and the children hunt out wild strawberries and raspberries. It keeps them busy and happy for an hour and I can soak up the incredible environment at 1500 or so metres above sea level. We are blessed with mostly sunshine and wonderful cloud pictures being sucked on by the peaks.       Another gift was a junior Opinel whittling knife . The end is round so not quite as perilous but just as sharp. There are sticks of softest pine to be found in the woods. This fellow hiked up with his alphorn! I opened conversation as we had all been guessing what was in his pack, and he willingly took it out and played for Us some folk tunes. The harmonic singing of the horn was beautiful to me. It seemed so fitting in this environment. I couldn’t have imagined a better spot to hear it for the first time since childhood.   The sound carried across the water and the long tones needed the space. Magic.   There are many carving and sculptures along the lakeside path. Cedar played his own little birthday Sansula and enchanted us.  

     

 The folk art and carvings on the buildings continuously impress me in Switzerland. I have been guessing they are winter arts to keep hands creative when indoors for much of the year. Strong traditions. The little model house had a barn full of cows like Cedars birthday cow Tulip.  

  Jesse dared to leave the signed pathway (incredibly practical signs for Wanderweg/walkway with distances and times, everywhere in Switzerland. I love the walking culture. This has been a focus of our trip) and despite our resistance ( I’m imagining lost on the mountain in the dark with hungry tired little people) found us a gorgeous place to have a fire for our traditional Swiss sausage roasting. 

  

   

Who loves chocolate and hazelnuts in fire cooked banana s? Have you tried this? Wait  until you have a bed of embers then lay upon it bananas with their side split and chocolate stuffed in. Yum.      Walking down the mountain is not always easier! I think the grade was about 16%. Sore knees and ankles. 

So happy to get to the playground at the bottom! We walked back to camp at 9 pm via the restaurant for slices of cake and warm milks. I took candles and we had a mini birthday celebration there. A super special family day! Hooray Cedar!

To you we sing

And happiness we bring

To celebrate your birth

An angel here on earth. 

Thanks to friends for this song

The walk

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I am drawn out with the soft grey dawn, awakening bird songs lure me into the day. The wind softly guides me up the ridge line walk. I am cocooned in layers of wool like paperbark and I soon enter a walking meditation, every rhythmic step the goal of my experience.
Each footfall quiet and attentive.
my awareness extends, to touch bird melodies and leaf whispers, though I think I am quiet, a walkaby at 50 metres scampers away through the rasping grass.
my soft steps continue the meandering morning path. Pale light and muted colours.
There are fewer melodies up here now. I am dreamily passing blood woods and casuarinas, the old ones, bladed grasses and fallen limbs.
I’m leaving the rumble and play of the creek noises and entering a quieter hillock. I’m present to the sensations of my walking body, swaying limbs as branches and sound chasing.

Until I find myself thinking about journalling my experiences and story.
A chuckle for myself.

This morn I’ve risen chirpy like a wee yellow breasted wren. Nothing will dim my song. My quiet escape fills me with glee.

The landspace subtly shifts and now I have a view over the ridge to the cascading forest across the valley. Each bunch of grey/orange/blue/greenery swaying its own direction. Spun and waltzed by this buffeting wind. Ah this wind! it lifts me high into its embrace,
my face turns and smiles into it like a happy farm dog on the tray of a ute.
Joyous in the face of windy thrills.
my senses open once more and slowly i step along. Observing all the sheoak saplings culled by the last burn off.
I note some of the soft leaved branches will help our fire start this drizzly day. I step over the exposed roots of a large blood wood giving honour as one of the sentinels of the woods. There aren’t many left up here.
Ahh my heart sours, a treasure of fairy pink by my foot print. A solitary pink fairy orchid offers me rain drops from her petals. I delicately catch them and pray with this tiny gift of bush magic. We commune until I am beckoned on, where a forming balga spear has immature flower heads adorning the top foot or so. It is smooth and strong and a wondrous display of natures contrasts. The slender pointy leaves forming a protective cushion below.
I read recently, look under the green growth on wet days, there one can find a cache of dry tinder. I note this also for my fire efforts.
It’s only on my return I notice the balgas grow on the higher ground and I’ve unwittingly left their domain. I’m too hungry to turn back.
I feel drawn on until I can view the little mountain adorned by turtle head rock. Its clear I’m not to wander there this day. The wind tugs and swirls around me. I am expansive and generous in my exchange.
Up here I notice the diverse bird song again, the open woodland carpeted with grasses and granite beds. The balgas grow more prolifically.
I wish I could translate their tunes and calls, but I am not yet a devoted bird nerd.
The day has brightened and my mood with it. This spontaneous solitude nourishing and adding to my collection of stories. I run.
My body fairly hovers downhill pausing only for tinder collecting and slurping rain drops from sheoak fronds as i pass their domain. I run my mouth along a bundle of new growth and catch a small mouthful of plant gathered sky juice.
I return with my happy heart anticipating the smokey perfume and family shawl I shall wear this day.

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des glaneuses {the pecan harvest}

IMG_0004in the fields the pecan trees drop their bountiful treasure

the cockatoos swing overhead and the ticks lurk below shadows

a basket of size or make, soon spills brown eggs to hatch small brown birds

the queen nut and her babies are captured lovingly

while children bounce, frolic, nest and throw.

oh to covet a fireside nut crushing eve

and invent our own fairytales

this kinship and little people wriggles

jaffles in moonlight and the bright silhouettes sway

the foragers filled and the gypsies sleep by the coals in mandarin cloaks

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*

nut tree nut tree

there is treasure hidden in your leaves

nut tree nut tree

drop your gifts down to me

*
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IMG_0082thanking thee dear friends.

and Miss F for the capture of me in the frames above.

pumpkin and pecan pie anyone?

pecan ice cream?

pecan truffles?

pecan and cinnamon cake?

pecan and mushroom soup?

pecan pecan hecan mecan?

xx

did you like my nutty poetree? and my nutty daughter?

because you are what you eat!!

more on foraging here.

 

Home made Mayonnaise ~ easier than you think

i have attempted mayonnaisse once before, it was a terrible gloppety glop which seperated in the first hour and no-one would eat. boo. condiment disaster.

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and then one day recently, like a home cooking queen, my dear friend Dalee {Owl and Snail blog} casually offers to whip up some mayo to accompany lunch as the rice is not cooked yet. WHAT? squawks I

what can’t this woman do?

whip up mayonnaisse? i thought it was a half hour hand whisking ordeal for secondary results?

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not anymore ladies and gentleman.

mayonnaisse, fresh, lemony, creamy mayo is within your grasp {if you have a power source/sauce and a blender}

no more sad sandwiches gasping for some moisture, no more shop tainted slaw,

read on and then

quick get your apron on and blender out…

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Dalee’s deelicious home made whip it up casually MAYONNAISE

disclaimer~recipe is just a guideline, adjust ingredients as you see fit…

pop into your blender jug

  • 2 good and fresh eggs and another egg yolk
  • juice of half a lemon or more
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or similar

whizz til smooth then with motor running slOWly pour in oil in a steady drizzle until mixture thickens to your liking… ta da!!

approximately more than 1 cup of good oil but possibly less than 2 {depends on the weather}

Dalee recommended a blend of olive and a lighter oil like sunflower, i agree after tonights recipe trial. i also added a sprig of parsley to dye it an appealing shade of rolling meadows green

then good people, dollop, slather, spread, dip, splat, lick, enjoy!
Keep it in the fridge. I can’t legally recommend an exact UBD but perhaps up to 7 days?? do not leave out of the fridge for extended periods as it contains raw eggs, food poisoning is a concern.

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try with roast potatoes, fish and salad {my dinner above. mm not bad… in another life i am a food shooter for culinary prints}

try it with….

vegie sticks

in coleslaw

in nori rolls

in chicken salad

egg sandwitches

in salad dressings

on frittata

on pancakes…?

IMG_0283well go on, make some soon and tell me what you enjoyed it with {as long as it’s food now}

looks good, tastes great and has raw eggs in it!

and what about Miss Dalee, artist, mama, musician, crafter, pioneer, yurt dwelling, homeschooling, mayonnaise queen. did you go look at her blog? or her skilled husband Jesse, who handcrafts beautiful Shakahachi flutes.
some more moments from my visit

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Lily plays for The Ridge children
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view from community house/kitchen to the sea

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the kitchen of mayonnaise heaven…

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Dalee also makes KimChi {fermented spicy vegetable condiment from Korean origin}

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Lily disappears into the schoolroom within arms length of the bookshelf

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playful artworks by Dalee and children

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The Yurt~temporary home while they build/wait for approval to build from council

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so cosy and light. furnished with many handmade pieces from the hands of mama and papa

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a wedding gift from Jesse’s dad

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circus fun

 

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jesse dalee and eltham

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my cute wee home for the night.

my cute wee home for the night.



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rainbows

peace

and mayonnaise

xx

there is another good mayo recipe and scientific examination of the sauce here

thankyou Ridge friends, you where the last stop on the way to Bellingen. i enjoyed my three fun days of inspiration with different friends and i left you feeling full and motivated and, well, inspired!