Monday, 30 March 2015

What Sherri Did in March

In General

During March we drove up Gladstone way to visit my mother in law. My husband's brother and his wife had driven across from Western Australia. As they live in WA and we live in Queensland this was the first time I have met them in person, though we have spoken on the phone of course.  It was lovely spending time with them.

We stayed here , so I could sneak away for rests and Nana naps.

What I have been reading

  • A new language for life - Happy no matter what! By Louis Koster. This from the book caught my attention:

 " When my financial situation was difficult, I decided to move my attention away from what I was lacking. I started to acknowledge what I was grateful for in my life.

Realising that life manifests as a response to my state of being, I created a focus on serving and giving with every patient who came into my surgery. Serving and giving reflect a state of abundance. Slowly my finances turned around and abundance manifested in my life".

  • Mrs de Winter by Alice Hill. This was written as a sequel to Daphne Du Maurier's "Rebecca"

This is from the outside of the accommodation.
It was across the road from the Boyne River. The gardens were very nice.

What I have been watching

Could you be a latebloomer? I found this report from the CBS News site interesting.  

Best of the web

What I have enjoyed most this month from the web;
  •  Be kind to your future self resonates with me because it is using the same type of perspective as I use when trying to live deliberately.  
  • Interested in keeping bees? How about a hive that has honey on tap? My husband cut this article on the Flow Hive out of the newspaper and bought it home for me to read. It is too good not to share hence the link.

These coat hooks were mounted by the front door. Very sweet. 

Permaculture Studies

I have carried out soil testing and water testing on my property. 
I have submitted worksheets on;
  •  Local water data and observation of water flows on the property,
  • The results of the soil testing
  • Home Energy audit

How was your March? 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A groovy kind of love

"It is in loving, not being loved, the heart is blessed;
It is in giving, not in seeking gifts we find our quest;
Whatever be your longing or your need, that give;
So shall your soul be fed, and you indeed shall live."

You might remember that back in November I wrote about nourishing ourselves in mind, body and spirit, and that I  listed what feelings I wanted to experience in my life more consistently.  Danielle Laporte describes this succinctly as core desired feelings. The point behind discovering what feelings I want more present in my life is I can use that information to set my goals and make my decisions.  For me this is all about making sure I don't have my ladder up against the wrong wall

My list of essential desired feelings is recorded in my November post. Today I am writing about my core desired feeling, love.

In February I wrote how I was going to include more joy into my life. Writing about what brings me joy was easy, I just had to spend a little time with my memories, thinking back to when I felt joy in my life.  I found it more difficult to work out how to bring more love into my life. I have wonderful people in my life who love me and who I love, so it wasn't love from outside myself I was wanting more experience of. I was stumped. And then I remembered reading early last year an exercise from Louise Hay's book "You can heal your life".  It is a simple exercise called "I love myself" and all it entails is taking a pen and paper and writing "I love myself; therefore" and finishing the sentence in as many ways as possible. In part my list looks like this:

  • I love myself; therefore I speak to myself in kind, upbuilding words
  • I love myself; therefore I allow myself plenty of time to do the things I want to do in the order and manner I choose
  • I love myself; therefore I acknowledge I am responsible for meeting my own needs and wants and other people are responsible for meeting their own needs and wants
  • I love myself; therefore I think in a loving positive way about others knowing what I measure out will come back to me tenfold.
  • I love myself; therefore I take time to listen to my favourite music
  • I love myself; therefore I dress in clothes I feel good wearing
  • I love myself; therefore I practice thinking deliberately and feeling deliberately
  • I love myself; therefore when I am feeling and thinking negatively I reach for a better feeling thought
  • I love myself; therefore I let my higher self and God handle my life for me and I remain receptive to their guidance
  • I love myself; therefore I listen to my bodies needs and treat my body with dignity and love
  • I love myself; therefore I acknowledge that when I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change.
  • I love myself; therefore I welcome order into my life
  • I love myself therefore I create a life I love to look at

 I will write the next post in this series in a few weeks time, when I will be looking at playfulness. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Catch and Store Energy

"Make Hay While the Sun Shines"

Today I am sharing my thoughts on the second permaculture principle; Catch and Store Energy. Please go to this link for my discussion on principle one. For expert information about the principles of permaculture you may like to check out the website of David Holmgren.

Catch and store energy is about designing systems that catch energy and store it before it is moves on to where we cannot use it. In a self-supporting house hold there are many opportunities to implement this principle. In our times, the most pressing reason for implementing this principle is peak oil and its effect on the economy.   “We can take action now to anticipate climate change and peak oil and adapt, or we can postpone action and be forced to adapt later at far greater cost.” (from “A Call for Action” Brisbane City Council. An internet archive of this report can be found here. ) We cannot continue with a “business as usual” attitude if we are going to navigate our way through the changing tides of energy decent.

Some examples of catching and storing energy are:
Solar hot water systems
Water stored in dams and water tanks.
Building homes with good cross ventilation.
Solar electricity
Solar powered water pumps
Solar powered livestock fencing.

A great example of some someone who is catching and storing energy is  Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne, who has built his home to catch and store energy and it produces more electricity than it uses. His home design is based on passive solar principles. For more information on Josh Byrne's home take a look at his website .

Are you familiar with permaculture? How do you apply the principle catch and store energy in your life?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Living in Daytight Compartments

"So let’s be content to live the only time we can possibly live: from now until bedtime."

~Dale Carnegie

Do you ever find yourself agitating over past mistakes or worrying about what might happen in the future? I must admit I do. However I try to limit these thoughts because of the negative feelings they bring. I tend to worry more about the future than agonise over what has happened in the past. I can easily let "FEAR" take over. It's not "fear" folks, it is  "FEAR - Fantasised Experiences Appearing Real." You might be familiar with this type of thinking yourself, it is when you let all the "What if's……" run away with you until you are full of anxiety, panic and misery. When  I become aware that I am engaging in this type of negative fantasising, I stop by reminding myself to live in "Day tight compartments".

On a Sunday evening in April 1913, Sir William Osler gave an address to the students of Yale, entitled "The Way of Life". Osler was a physician and one of the founders of the John Hopkins hospital. He was instrumental in the establishment of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and became one of the institutions first professor of medicine.

During his address to the students of Yale, Osler recommended they develop the habit of "Living for the day only, and for the day's work;  Life in day tight compartments."

Osler recommended, 'Change that hard saying "Sufficient to each day is the evil thereof"  into the "goodness thereof" since the chief worries of life arise from the foolish habit of looking before and after'. He pointed out that one finds peace when they are neither looking forward or backward. During his lecture he went on to speak about his experience standing on the deck of a great liner. A signal was sounded and all over the ship the water tight compartments were closed. The captain explained to Osler that this was the most important safety factor. Osler went on to say to the students 'Now each one of you is a much more marvellous organisation than that great liner and bound on a much longer voyage. What I urge is that you so learn to control the machinery as to live with "day-tight compartments" as the most certain way to ensure safety on the voyage…..Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, the iron doors shutting out the Past - the dead yesterdays. Touch another button and shut off with a metal curtain the Future - the unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe, - safe for today!'

So this is a strategy I use when I start to worry about the future. I remind myself I am engaging in "What if…" thinking which is making me "FEARful," I remind myself to live this day and be fully present in it, to enjoy it. I remind myself that I have no overdue bills, I have a roof over my head and food in my home. Sufficient to today is the goodness thereof.  I am fully equipped to get through today. More than that if I stop to think I can find many things for which to be grateful. I stay in that moment experiencing the gratitude for the bounty I have. I give thanks for it. All is well in my world.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

In my Garden in March, 2015

"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust."
~Gertrude Jekyll

Hooray it is Autumn! March is still a hot month here in sub-tropical Queensland. I consider the Easter break as the divide between summer heat and autumn's cooler weather. We have been picking passionfruit over the last few weeks. Our new plants -  the callistemon, fraser island creeper and the jasmin - are doing well. 

So what things do I want to do in the garden this month?

Remove the excess suckers and the dead leaves from the bananas and apply organic fertiliser pellets. One bucket full per tree.

 Lychees reach peak water needs this month, so I need to keep my tree well watered.

I would like to plant tomatoes and zucchini this month. I have read that it is good to prepare the ground before planting tomatoes by applying a handful of dolomite as it helps prevent blossom end rot.

We had some branches down and this tree was uprooted by TC Marcia.

I have some dracena and cordylines that need trimming and I would like to get that done during the month, I can use the prunings to fill in spaces in the garden. I have a gardenia that needs pruning, once pruned I can fertilise all the gardenias.

 I am hoping Don will find the time to prune our largest mango tree. It has become too big for gathering fruit.  I also need to find the time to  apply potash to the mango trees, I will use wood ash, and this will supply the trees with potassium. As wood ash acts as a liming agent, it also deacidifies the soil. The calcium in the wood ash raises the pH. As well as potassium and calcium, wood ash also contains magnesium. It is also time to feed the mangos with organic fertiliser pellets or compost.


My mandarin tree and my lemon tree need skirting. I can also feed the citrus, once again with either compost or organic fertilser pellets. 

 Fertilser can now be applied to my ginger - they apparently like chicken manure .

What are you planning to do in the garden in March?

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What Sherri Did - in February

"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."

~William Morris

In General

February saw me return to work for the first time in just over 12 months. I started off at one day per week and am now working two days per week. Unfortunately I also had been diagnosed with labyrinthitis a few days before returning to work. Have you ever had labyrinthis?  Some of the symptoms are dizziness, vertigo, loss of balance and difficulty focusing one's eyes. According to my GP it is most likely caused by a virus and it is seen in clusters - that is a number of the local population have been affected. There were some locals admitted to hospital because their symptoms were so bad.  I also experienced lots of fatigue in February, much more than I had in January. 

Of course it was also the month that many locals felt the earthquake that had its epicentre near Eidsvold. And, too, tropical cyclone Marcia crossed the Queesland coast in February. 

My husband bought me beautiful pink roses for Valentine's day and we celebrated by going to the movies. 

Certificate IV in Permaculture

I purchased a printer in February for my studies. I haven't owned a printer for a few years. The printer was very hard to set up and I think I need to re-install the software so the machine will work to its full capabilities. This new printer has the capacity to print up to A3 size. So now I can print an A3 aerial photo of our property. Being A3 size means I can include more details on the site plan and the overlays.  

What I have been reading

  • The woman in black by Susan Hill
  • A year by the Sea by Joan Anderson
  • Think  by Michael R. LeGault - I have been taking my time reading this as it takes a bit more concentration.
  • Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel - now Rhonda is writing her third book I thought I better get myself organised and read her first.

What I have been watching

  • Worldwithout Jam - this is an oldie but a goodie. This is a presentation on climate change prepared by the UK's Women's Institute.
  • TheStory of Broke, brought to you by the same team that made the story of stuff. This made me think what would happen if we took our democracy seriously, how would our lives and communities change.  
  • I think I first heard this illustration in the 80's but it is still good to reflect upon.

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