My First Blog Post

Hi I am Janis. Iam just getting into my first blog. Please subscribe and take this ride with me.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Volunteering

I Volunteer for two days a week in an Op shop. The shop is very clean and presented well. Our rule is if it’s not good enough for you then it’s not good enough for our customers.

We have a washing machine and dryer, irons and a steamer. So everything is lovely before we price and hang or display in the shop. We are very lucky to get a lot of new clothes from our head office as well as donations locally.

We have a good if interesting team on the days that I work. All of us being over 60 except a young man with Autism who is a lot younger.

We are lucky to have a Supervisor on our days who is very caring and provides her beautiful home made morning teas, tarts, slice, quiche etc. very spoiled we are.

We get to meet lots of interesting people and where we are, is a bit of a holiday destination. So many travellers passing through. Great to talk to them and hear their stories. There are several Op shops in the town but I like to think ours is the nicest.

We do a display behind the counter of things to catch people’s eye. Beautiful dresses, evening wear. Even a lovely display of children’s clothes. As well as having mannequins throughout the store that we dress in eye catching outfits to fit with the season or events that are happening locally.

We have a lot of laughs and we do strike some customers that are challenging. A lady with mental health issues that was dropped off by a family member and left for nearly two hours. Our shop isn’t that big, and when she did leave we were concerned for her safety as she weaved behind cars. Very relieved when we saw her relative pick her up.

Then the local man who wants to try to convert you or tell you all sorts of crazy things about Covid.

The woman who comes in every day and buys things for her family. She has no English except, ‘Hello, how are you,’ so has to get her phone app to convert her language to English.

Then there are groups and singles who come in and steal things. They hide hangers and then put things in their bags or under clothing. But there is nothing we can do really.

Our team consists of a man who rides a motorcycle and does great things for children in community. A woman who crochets items for local markets. A women who seems to know everyone in town and chats to all. Another lady who has a routine of washing and ironing or steaming clothes and what we call her Zen place of cutting up rags for local businesses. She is also a wonderful seamstress. An older lady who comes just for a little while and irons and has morning tea with us. Our young man with Autism who has learned to use the till with support. Myself and our Supervisor who as I said before is a gem.

We have had some times over the years, a blonde wig that we all tried on, even our male friend. A tshirt that was so big that both myself and our supervisor fit in it together.

We have had some trial and error with the new till. Very modern and computerised. We have had some really good days and some, not so good.

The charity we work for identifies its volunteers annually with a badge and a voucher to spend in store and at Christmas they pay part of our meal out, which is very nice.

So , all in all, I enjoy my Volunteer work, it’s tiring but it’s also fun and you do feel that you are helping people in your own little way.

Life Tapestry 21/09/21

Cyclones and us.

It is cyclone season where we live and the most current one got me thinking just how much we are like them.

They form and are made by events that occur.

They travel and are unpredictable. They are sometimes angry and cause damage and sometimes just fade out and return to the status quo.

We are formed and tossed around by the circumstances of our lives.

We can get angry and cause harm by thoughts, words or deeds. We can fade away and dwell on things. We can hibernate or stagnate or just let it go. To start again another time.

We are formed by all the internal and external things in our lives.

Rain and storms in our lives, cyclones that we don’t want but must deal with.

Sunshine and good times, they all shape the Tapestry that make up our lives.

Cyclones and Hurricanes and other natural phenomenon are amazing, as our lives are amazing and our bodies and souls. All unique and blessed.

So if a cyclone is imminent, we prepare as much as we can and wait. Hoping and praying that we and those we love will get through unharmed. And life is the same.

I hope your lives are full of sunshine and not too many cyclones.

Janice Ireland

Life

I haven’t written for a very long time but feel the need to express how I am feeling.

Today it is 4 months since I had my hip replacement surgery and after two or three postponements due to Covid and lack of hospital beds, it finally happened last September 18th.

It went very well and I was not in hospital for long, 2.5 days and recovery went well. The worst part was the lack of sleep due to stopping all the pain killers that I had been on.

So 4 months on, it is working well. I still don’t have a lot of stamina but there are other reasons for that at the moment too.

We celebrated Christmas with our son, who took the lovely pic above of Lake Tinaroo. Always brings me joy, pics of the Lake and nature.

So, 2020 was a awful year for the world with Covid raging, people living with restrictions and many losing loved ones.

We hoped and prayed that 2021 would be better. Covid still rages with new strains in other countries and vaccines being trialled.

But for us, the 2nd of January bought a sadness that will be hard to get through.

Our daughter called us at 2am on the 2nd to say that her husband was gone. He had a heart attack and although the paramedics and our girl worked on him for over an hour, he passed away.

He was 45 and our daughter is 41 and they have three beautiful girls. As I write this, it still seems so unreal. They were coming to see us on the 4th to have a belated Christmas with us.

The service was a celebration of his life and it was done well but it is so sad.

Life is fragile and we need to hold on to the good and bad memories we make with our loved ones. They will all give us comfort down the road.

Our girl is a strong woman and her girls will be too but it will be a hard road that I wish with all my heart, they didn’t have to face.

So hold your loved ones, say the things you need too. We don’t know when it will be the last time. Our son in law did live his life, loved our girl and their daughters and would never have chosen this.

But the memories they made will sustain her and get her through. Living their lives for him.

Live, love and make memories.

Don’t Judge a book by its cover.

It is amazing how these few words carry such a strong message. I first had occasion to think of these words, when our son was little.

At that time, I was running a girls group for the Anglican Church as I was well involved then. As the leader of this group of girls, we had talked about going to a street festival in the city where we would meet with lots of other girls and walk together with our balloons and banners to the park for more festivities.

So we organised ourselves to catch a train to the city which was a bit of a distance. At the time our son was little and came with us and had just gotten the knack of toilet training.

All went well until we were a few stops from our destination and he needed to go. There was no toilet on the next station so we decided that my co-leader would catch the driver or conductors attention while I raced him to the back of the train to wee on the tracks, not electric trains back then.

So she was holding the door open and yelling out when a young man all dressed in black with lots of Tatts and piercings and long black hair came over and in a gentle voice offered his help. He ran along the station waving his arms and yelling and told the driver what was happening. They waited for us to get back on board and we all thanked him and all the girls were yelling our thanks to him as we continued on our way.

We talked about this with the girls and I think it was a lesson to us all.

A conversation on this subject came up with our son recently as he now manages a workshop and he told us about his new customer who is a huge, well defined muscle man.

Our son though oh oh what is this going to be about? But this man was another quietly spoken gentleman who own a local gym and is now bringing his vehicle to our sons firm for all his needs. Can’t judge a book by its cover.

Also, having worked in the disability field for 20 years. I am truly aware of how these beautiful people are judged by how they appear.

I have many beautiful people in my life who walk their own paths and live how they choose and wear what they want. Including me.

I am 65 and have long grey and purple hair and tend to live in long hippie skirts or jeans as that is me. I don’t judge a book by its cover. But I am sure we all have done this sometime in our life.

So I think we should replace the title with Live and let live. What do you think? That way we just enjoy our own life and celebrate the rich diversity around us.

So, let’s not judge a book by its cover instead, live and let live.

Janice Ireland

Yesterday

The words of the Beatles song popped into my head when I thought to write this.

‘Yesterday, all our troubles seemed so far away.’

At the time of writing this, the whole world is in the grip of a Pandemic. Coronavirus is spreading throughout the world.

It apparently started in China and now it is everywhere.

This is an insidious virus that no one knows they have until 14 days after exposure and that is why it is spreading. Also it has the capacity to live on things like doors, chairs, etc for a length of time.

With today’s world of travel throughout the world it is able to spread.

Today is Sunday the 29th of March in Australia and all our borders have been closed unless you are an Australian returning home. Then you can enter but have a 14 day quarantine period.

Our country’s leader has changes that are announced almost daily as this virus rages. Lots of non essential businesses are closed and schools are closed. Really, if you don’t have to go out, they ask you to self isolate.

Some people have gone mad and panic shopped, buying out so much that there is a lot of empty shelves in the supermarkets and for some reason the toilet paper was the first thing they all bought out. So much so that there is still a lack in some places today.

If you venture out to get some groceries, there are security guards in the shops and they spray your hands with hand sanitizer as you enter. We have also made up a batch of this that we keep in the car for after going into a shop.

This virus seems to be taking a lot of lives, mainly of people who already have underlying illness. The elderly also are at risk but then, we all are really. We just wash our hands a lot, use sanitizer and stay isolated if possible. Our emergency, medical, truck drivers, farmers, supermarket and pharmacy workers and everyone that is keeping the country going needs a reward. They are true heroes, putting their lives on the line, putting up with people being rude, disrespectful and ill to save us.

Our children are possibly losing their jobs if not for good, at least for the time this pandemic lasts. The government are providing help which is a good thing. Our granddaughters are no longer at school.

The world is changing. The death tolls in some countries is horrendous, I believe Australia stands at 14 at this time. Of course, there are always people who are greedy and self serving but for the most part, people are reaching out in many ways to help others.

Random acts of kindness are happening all over the world. And Facebook pages are being set up to share good news and beautiful kind things that are happening.

Also, in Australia there is a general movement to buy local or Australian made products. Online sales are going well as we are not supposed to go out if we can avoid it.

Old fashioned home made food is being cooked and simpler life enjoyed. Money will be tight for a lot of people and lots of people are doing big cleans and clear outs of their homes as people start to really treasure what is important.

So we make our plans to finish projects or make new ones, to clean or read or rest. To survive this virus as best we can, to help our families and friends as we are able.

It is early days for Australia and things change all the time. But we can always look at the natural world and be reminded that our world is a beautiful place.

I hope and pray that you who read this will be safe and well. The world is a smaller place and we are all equal in this sort of emergency. Take care. Blessings.

Janice Ireland

Meditation

Those who know me well are aware of my love for Meditation. I have meditated for almost all of my adult life.

I have found so many different kinds of meditation over the years and will share some with you.

Meditation can be short or long, sitting or lying down or walking.

I have been taught to meditate by a Buddhist monk, a Christian priest, a Shaman and a First Nations American. As well as what I have learned on YouTube or through friends and books.

There really is no limit to the places you can learn about the in’s and outs of meditation.

There is the Asana pose with has come to mean any pose or position you are comfortable with.

I love a simple one that I do if I need immediate stress relief and that is to stop and breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth three or more times until I feel calm and can make a good decision.

I also love to rest for around 30 minutes a day and do a guided meditation. There are so many on YouTube that you can find. You just need to ensure the person who is walking you through this meditation has a calm and easy to listen to, voice. Some of them, I find are trying too hard to sound calm and it is more irritating than relaxing.

I also love one that is just going for a walk, doesn’t matter if you have 10 minutes or 30. Whatever you can spare. Just as you walk, be in the moment, mindful. Really listen to the sounds around you, the smells, the touch of the breeze, plants, rain. The taste of the air, plants that you know you can taste and what you see and sense. Are their birds overhead calling. Is there music or children’s voices. Beautiful clouds or dark ones. Just taking this time to be present as you walk is refreshing and a form of meditation.

Another meditation that I have done is to program a piece of jewellery with a beautiful memory so that I can touch this ring and feel back in that moment. This is also handy if I feel upset or stressed. This takes several meditations about visiting your memory and seeing and experiencing every part of it all over again and holding the piece of jewellery in your hand. Your mind then relates touching this jewellery to your beautiful memory.

I used to hold meditation groups in the past and have tried to get one going here but no interest unfortunately. I have been pretty housebound for months now and find that I look forward to my meditation time as it gives me rest, relaxation and renewed energy.

A meal can be a meditation, a picture, a colour, a tune. It is what you make it. Concentrate on your breathing and see how you go. I hope you try. I hope you feel the benefits. I know that Meditation is a daily thing for me and I love it. Blessings.

Janice Ireland

Reiki

I feel called to talk about my Reiki healing practice.

Every morning, I send dedicated distance Reiki along with my prayers to all I know and through my Facebook page, Serenity 4 You, to a list of people who have asked me to, from all over my country and the world.

How I imagine the love flowing through my hands.

This time I spend each morning is sacred and a beautiful blessing to both me and those that I uphold. It is one time in my day that I quiet my heart and mind and say each persons name aloud and in my heart as I use the symbols of Reiki to send this gentle and calmness to all.

There has been lots of debate in all sections of the community, religious and other about the benefit and authenticity of Reiki.

I was a Christian when I did my training in all the levels of Reiki except my Masters and I believe that honest people who use Reiki to help others are no different from Religious leaders who use laying on of hands or anointing with oil etc.

Of course, there are dishonest people in every area so ours is not protected from this either. But people like me just try to bring comfort, love, peace and healing to those in need.

To live each day by the Reiki guides above brings a life that is calm, is grateful and spreads kindness. And that is how I try every day to live my life.

Reiki has its roots in Japan and has been around for a very long time. Google it if you are interested in the history.

I am pleased to hear that Reiki is being used in hospitals and nursing homes and Palliative care. So far it is in a lot of American hospitals and in some states in Australia. Doctors have noted that it calms people and enhances healing.

There are many benefits to Reiki as mentioned above. But the very least you will feel is calm and surrounded by loving energy.

So if you hear of a Reiki practitioner and you feel inclined, try a treatment, it might give you the peace you need.

Blessings,

Janice Ireland

Not a traditional belief.

My belief system has changed over the years. Grown and developed into more than the faith that I was baptised into as a child.

The fire and brimstone of the church back then was more like if you don’t believe what the priest says, you will go to hell.

I was lucky to have people come into my life to help me explore the writings that are the bible and discover the way it was written and how certain books were selected and others not, to make up the book that is the bible.

I was able to look at world religions and experience how they worked. Most western religions were run by men as women did not figure highly in these faiths. Some even believed that women were to be subservient to the men, father or husband.

Well, those who know me would realise that this is not how I believe it should be. I believe that if there is a loving God then there is a loving Goddess too. Yin and Yang.

So more exploring and researching and experiences through meditation with a beautiful Buddhist Monk and dancing with and learning from, a Native American Shaman and wise ones in lots of faiths and beliefs.

I have found that Goddesses have power and loving energy to share with us too. Reading ancient mythology and having investigated further.

I have found Witches have an old and abiding knowledge that do gooders tried to destroy by destroying the midwife of the village or the one that used herbs to cure illness. The list goes on. I have ancestry here in the 1500’s a relative of mine was burned at the stake due to a man having an archery wager and he lost. She was in the vicinity so it was blamed on her instead of his lack of skill. He told all around that she had put a hex on him, so she was tried and burned. A very cruel world then and not great if you were a woman. They have a symbol of protection. Not unlike early followers of Jesus had the fish symbol as it was not safe to be known as a follower then.

Fish symbol, early Christianity.

Pentagram, protection symbol.

So my journey has been deep and interesting. But faith and belief is more than just the written word. More than just what the priest, minister, Shaman teaches.

It is indeed how you feel, that inner knowing, intuition. What sits right with your heart.

So many symbols.
Many more symbols.

Most religions, beliefs, faiths, walks have a symbol and some are above. There are many more, this is just a glimpse.

Lots of wars have been and continue to be fought over religious ideals. Lots of awful things have been done in the name of religion from the beginning of time and probably will continue until the end of time.

But, saying that some amazingly beautiful things have been done too. So, for me, I have decided to follow the old ways and if you want a label, an Omnist, Witch, peace and nature loving person.

Omnism

I do respect some parts of all religions, as people are free to have faith in whatever they choose. Lucky to live as an empowered woman in a country that doesn’t hurt people for saying that.

I love the Witchy side of me as ritual is important and we all have rituals if we stop and think about things we do. I love the appreciation that is inherent, for the moon and sun and all things natural.

I appreciate some of the stories in the bible and I love the fact that some religions or beliefs, paths have a similar verse. Like ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ ‘ Do as thou wilt, but harm Ye none.’ ‘Do as you would be done by.’

I think there is so much commonality in a lot of beliefs really.

I will continue to be my Eclectic self, appreciating every ones right to believe what they choose. Having an openness to all the mysteries of life and living a life that harms none but sits right with me.

Blessings, love and peace. Namaste. May your days be filled with sunshine and love.

Janice Ireland

I can’t hear you…

Sitting here on this Summers morning and the sky is blue with just a few clouds floating around.

I have pottered around a bit just doing some Domestic Goddess chores and now the new medication seems to be kicking in so rest time.

I can’t hear anything today as I have ear infections in both ears and they are blocked up.

It is interesting really, how you feel so isolated. I don’t think that I would cope if this was permanent and my heart goes out to everyone who has hearing impairments or deafness including my husband.

I think that I picked this up while swimming with the granddaughters as the ears haven’t been right since then.

I am noticing how I use my other senses at this time. I am appreciating small things. Like burning gardenia oil in my oil pot. The fragrance drifting through the house is lovely.

And looking at my little koala crystals sun catcher swinging gently in the window.

I feel that our bodies are amazing in the way they adjust to changes. I have done a meditation this morning to commit to better health and I believe that I will have better health.

I had a friend a while ago now who was a Buddhist priest and he taught me to meditate. He was a loving gentle soul. He got cancer and meditated his way through the awfulness that is treatment for Cancer, but I always remember….He said …’I will beat this or I will show you how to die with dignity.’

He did pass from this disease but he was strong, gentle and beautiful and did indeed die with dignity. Much love David💜💜💜

So here I sit enveloped in a quiet fog almost. Just resting and letting my body do its thing with new medications and lots of water.

So hopefully no one will visit, it’s unlikely anyway. My neighbours know so they won’t pop in.

Cause all I can say at the moment is…. ‘I can’t hear you.’

Have a great day everyone lots of rainbows after the rain 🌸

Janice Ireland

Our girls

When I turned 50, our second daughter had her first baby girl and I was smitten. Then three years later her second and three years after that her third.

Jasmin, Jessica and Jaimee are the light of our lives. They are now 14, 11, 8 years of age and are beautiful girls. They are all rounders as they are sporty, musical, artistic and very tech savvy. They do well in school and also have great respect for the men and women and animals that fought for this country. They proudly take turns in wearing my Dads medals when they march in the Anzac Day marches or attend Remembrance Day services.

We were blessed to have them stay with us through the days over the last week as our son in law was working up near where we live.

We talk to them on the phone each weekend and so we organised what we could do while they visited.

They love to cook and so we agreed on homemade ice cream and they each chose a flavour to put in.

Jazzy chose peppermint aero, Jessie chose snickers and Jaimee wanted popping candy chocolate in hers.

Of course our little dog Merlin was where’ve the girls were, he loves them.

They then each picked something to cook. Churros with chocolate dipping sauce, salted caramel balls and rainbow cupcakes. They are great in the kitchen and everyone pitched in.

There were lots of giggles, chocolate mess and crazy curly churros and lots of fun.

We also did some rock painting and art with pastels.

They played noughts and crosses in a big set that their Poppy had made.

We spent a lot of time in the pool and on the jumping pillow. Jeff also took the girls to the park to play on the equipment there.

Notice the girls crazy pool hairstyles, they are characters. They love the slide in the pool and spent a lot of time on that.

On the last day of their visit in the afternoon, we were all feeling tired and lazy so Jeff dug our the Wii and PlayStation and they played some old school games, Mario and Baseball etc. they enjoyed it as it was different to what they have.

Our lovely neighbour who is a hairdresser trimmed their hair in readiness for the new school year.

And one thing that really made my heart sing was the girls appreciation of the natural things. They took these wonderful pictures below and when it started raining, they stood in it and tilted their heads back to try and catch raindrops in their mouths. I used to do that when I was a kid. Made me smile for sure.

So all in all it was a lovely time together and these are the moments that really count in life. Don’t need a fancy house or tons of money. Just doing simple things and taking that time is what makes life wonderfull day creates special memories.

We love our girls.💜💜💜

Janice Ireland