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.

β€” 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.

Why Life Tapestry?

Someone asked me why I called my blog Life Tapestry.

There are so many names and ideas out there to describe our lives.

I had a mentor in the past that used to describe our life in the following way, which is lovely. They used to say that when we are born, we are the Sun.

The world revolves around us. Our parents live to care for us. Family, Friends and neighbours come from all over to see us, hold us and bring gifts to us.

Then, as we grow, we start to make mistakes and clouds begin to float across our Sun. We don’t shine as bright as we did.

We may have troubles at school and more clouds cover our Sun to dim our light further.

Ultimately, we are dulled by all the clouds and unless we work on ourselves to clear these away, we can settle for this dullness.

Now, a lot of people are religious and believe that their Lord will forgive them of everything to make them shine again.

Some work on themselves with help from Shamans, Psychologists, Therapists, Counsellors etc. Do courses to rediscover their light or find themselves. The list can be endless.

I have done all of the above. I spent a huge number of years being super involved in a church. The patriarchal system did not suit me well, luckily, I was blessed to have a priest that encouraged me to seek out what sat right in my heart.

I have worked with a Shaman, courses, therapy, Witchcraft, Wicca. I have read so much about all beliefs.

Now, I feel that this is all a part of my Life’s Tapestry.

I like to think that we are weaving our Tapestry everyday. Each coloured thread represents a part of our life.

Darker colour may be sad or troubling times. Lighter colours where life just seems to cruise along. Bright colours are moments of great happiness and strides forward that make our hearts sing.

I have come a long way, I believe. My Tapestry is filling up and one day will be complete. I will have learned what I needed to this time around and will go to be with loved ones on the other side.

I hope that I am shining my light as much as I can. My Tapestry is a beautiful mix of many colours with some stitches a bit out of line but that’s ok. I am not perfect and neither is my Tapestry but that is how we learn what we need to know.

So, whatever you believe and whatever your Tapestry looks like, it is yours and even if the stitches aren’t perfect and the colours are all over the place. That is life and we are blessed to have our place in the Sun as we are unique.

And so this is why my blog is Life Tapestry and my stories are about life as I experience it.

Janice Ireland

It is a beautiful world.

The picture above was taken by my 11 year old granddaughter on a beach in North Queensland. It’s a beautiful setting and a great picture and that is why I have used it for my title page of my blog. ‘Life Tapestry’

Tranquil and calming.

In this world today, when everything that happens is beamed to us via social media, TV and other forms of technology, we are bombarded with mostly negative images and words so it’s refreshing to see beautiful images of our land, Mother Nature and animals.

We have so many threats to our lives and planet. Global warming, governments destroying the planet in the pretence of economic sanctions. People destroying themselves and others in the name of religion or their addled thoughts due to drugs.

So I look to bring joy and comfort and support to the people, animals and my corner of the world. We can only do our best and hope our example inspires others.

I feel truly blessed to live in Queensland in Australia. I live near a beautiful lake surrounded by rainforest. Native animals roam around like the kangaroo and curlews below and eat my strawberries when the land is dry as the grass dies while it waits for the rains to come.

We are so blessed living where we do. We do not feel persecuted if our beliefs or the way we live is not the mainstream.

We can practice our faith freely. We can grow our vegetables and fruits and pick them fresh from our gardens.

Women can step out and do what they want and work at jobs that they were not considered for, in the past.

Gay couples can marry openly and not be looked at as different.

As I said before we do truly live in a beautiful country. We have extremes in weather. Our country is in drought in some places and bush fires claim people’s homes as I write this. Then we will have a Wet season and there will be water everywhere.

So many extremes in weather throughout the country.

The lake I live near has many seasons, low, full and medium. Always stunning.

I love all the seasons of the Lake as they all have a purpose in the grand design of the seasons. I love the rainforest as it shelters our native animals. The fog on the hills and the mist on the water, it’s all beautiful.

So when the world tries to bring you down with media reports or Facebook negative posts. Go to the window and breathe the air and just stop for a minute. Give thanks for what you have because it is a beautiful world.

Janice Ireland.

A Mother unlike any other.

The beautiful lady that I am going to tell you about is not my Mum but my husband and sister in laws Mum.

She was born in 1931 and was an only child. As such, she had to amuse herself a lot because she was a little shy. She was very small and delicate in stature but had a huge and loving heart.

I believe that she met the man who would be her first love when she was around 19 years of age.

She was very close to her Dad who was a school teacher and her Mum who was a homebody. Although she had a falling out with her Mum, they were grew closer before her Mum passed at 94 years old.

Her husband was her love as they grew up together and had first a daughter and two years later a son.

She was truly a mother unlike any other. She protected her children as her husband grew into a man she no longer knew or liked very much. Alcohol played a nasty part here.

Her children came first for her always. She never had a drivers license but managed with help to move out of the home she had made with her husband and start a new life. She was a really good seamstress and there was a big need for her work in those days, so her working career helped her get by.

By this time, her daughter had a husband and family of her own and Munnie was born.

What I mean by this is that her first grandchild was a beautiful little girl who got the name wrong that Munnie had chosen to be called by her grandchildren and Munnie it has been ever since.

Munnie, some might not understand but this name ended up being perfect for this beautiful lady.

The relationship between Mum and her firstborn, Jann, has always been so close. More than just Mum and daughter.

A Mother unlike any other.

A Munnie unlike any other.

Mum eventually remarried and this man looked after her well and called her ‘Bossy’ but in a nice way meaning she was the boss.

He passed away after heart surgery unfortunately, although at this time, Munnie was starting to have her own health issues.

Mum accepted all the partners of her children and welcomed us like we were hers too. I am blessed to be her daughter in law. She had her Daughter and son and their husband and wife, then her grandchildren, 6 of them and their partners and then her great grandchildren, 8 of them.

She made everyone feel loved and cherished.

In her later years, her health began to fail and she went to live with her daughter.

Even when her illness made her forgetful, she remembered the ones she loved. Although at times she had lots of pain and she got frustrated with herself as she forgot things. She wrote notes everywhere to try to remember.

She never forgot Jann and Jeff, her children. They were and are the ones she really lived for. She sometimes forgot the names of her in-laws or grandchildren or great grandchildren but never her children.

Her final years were spent in Tasmania and for a lady who had not left Queensland in her 80 plus years, all of this new home was an adventure for her. The visits to the mountain in the freezing cold and seeing snow. The gorgeous landscape and historical places and delicious meals out.

She had to accept that she could not be as independent anymore and had help with most things by Jann or support workers.

But Jann always let her be as independent as she could. Mum liked her space and had many photos and books and her pet bird.

She didn’t like going to respite much but they loved her there. She always really was that shy child inside.

Mum went to hospital at the end of March this year as she had breathing problems that could not be supported at home.

She was only there for a couple of days before gently slipping away.

She passed as she lived surrounded by love, both in the living world and her loved ones who already had passed were there with her to help her over.

Her service was perfect and I feel she gave us a thumbs up at how all was done. Her family was there for her.

Today would have been her 88th birthday and we are all very sad that she is not here physically anymore. But we know that she is ok now and out of pain and will be with us and waiting for us when we pass.

We look for signs from her and are rewarded by a gentle warm feeling of love or a cheeky black and white bird singing or a dragonfly or butterfly or finding a feather and we know these are signs of her being with us and love continues.

So today, as we feel you close, we just thank you and thank the Lord for you really are ‘A Mother like no other.’

Janice Ireland 🌹

Sometimes it’s hard.

Life throws so much at us Sometimes.

So many of us live with chronic illness and the pain and discomfort and changes that come with it.

You may have lived a active life and suddenly due to accident, illness or ageing, you just can’t do what you used too.

What do you do?

Do you give up because it’s hard.

Do you persevere because it’s hard but it’s not going to beat you?

I guess that depends on you as a person.

Are you someone who quits life and gives up because it’s too hard? Some people can’t see there way out of the situation they are in, this isn’t always about chronic illness either.

Depression, bullying, hardship, sadness. There are so many reasons that people give up. It breaks their heart and Spirit.

I have a chronic illness but I am like the people who won’t let it beat me even if it’s hard.

Don’t get me wrong, I have times when I am down and sad about things I can’t do anymore. I am and have always been a determined person, some would say stubborn, and even when at my lowest, give myself a talking too about the many blessings that I do have in my life.

I am not trying to negate anyone’s feelings as we all have our burdens to bear. I just know for me, I stop myself from dwelling on the things that I have lost through this illness and think instead of what I have gained or still can do even if it’s hard.

I have never been terribly artistic but during this last 4 months of being house and sometimes bed bound, I have started drawing, painting and now writing.

A huge thanks goes to a distant friend for running me through the art basics via messenger video link. Thanks Lynn.🌺

Thanks also to the encouragement of Sam that I now have this blog.🌸

There are many fb sites that are there to really encourage you if you are inclined to look.

So, yes, sometimes it’s hard but you can get through. Try to keep a positive outlook, reach out to someone you trust as they don’t want to lose you.

This pic below and the words that accompany are a great message when you feel down. Stay strong and wait awhile, the time will come when you will be launched into something new and wonderful.

Janice Ireland πŸ¦…

The Fish Tank

My husband was given quite a large fish tank by our son in law, bless him, he knows that my husband was looking for a bigger one than the one he has already.

Now the new tank did not have a stand or lid but it was waterproof and I could see Jeff getting excited and making plans.

So the first step was the stand, now this had to be very solid to hold this tank full of water.

My husband, like most men keeps and collects things, just in case, they might come in handy some time.

Well, he had timber of all shapes and sizes, screws, varnish etc. the list goes on.

He has a book that he draws the outline of what he wants and then measures lots and away we go.

He is a man on a mission when he works in a project. He loves it. He is artistic in this way. He has made book cases, tables, even one with a chess board in the middle and wonderful shadow boxes for me.

Now the fish tank stand and lid came together without too much loud noise or swearing except when he tried to get the lid off some putty and stabbed himself in the palm near his wrist. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as he first thought. A bit of first aid and he was back at it.

Now I didn’t realise what a precise thing it is to get the fish tank gravel and water and plants all working well.

You have to build up the bacteria, so there was transferring water from small tank to new one and testing ph. Letting the new filter circulate the water and waiting for the heater to bring the water up to the right temperature. Finding just the right rocks, shells and coral to make it look natural.

Now the tank stand and lid and lights are in place.

The small tank will just be for bristle nose fish. If you haven’t seen these, they are a scream. They hang upside down and suck on the glass of the tank. They are so cool to watch.

Jeff put a couple of Guppies and sword tails in the big tank for a few days and then he will buy some pretty ones and interesting ones for his new big tank.

It has been an interesting process and I wondered what the fish think about the condominium they are in now.

The fish he put in the big tank went exploring, checking out all the plants, little tunnels and caves.

I really didn’t realise how interesting fish can be. Happy swimming in your new tank little fish and thanks to our son in law, Richard, for the gift. 🐟 🐠

Janice Ireland

Me and my shadow.

I was 30 when my shadow first appeared.

I refer to my Chronic illness this way as it is a shadow that follows me.

I woke up one morning in my thirties and couldn’t walk due to horrendous pain in my back.

At the time, I had a barrage of tests done to determine what was happening. I have always had Scoliosis since my childhood and remember Dad building one of my shoes up, how glamorous was that for a shy schoolgirl.

My parents thought they were doing the right thing by scolding constantly ‘ stand up straight ‘

Anyway, back to my shadow being discovered. The tests came back as Osteoarthritis in my spine. So I read everything I could find on the subject , diet, exercise etc.

I became a vegetarian, did aerobics , rode my push bike everywhere when I could, took some medication which I weaned myself off. All the while raising three children and working part time.

Life went by and I didn’t have too much trouble , life was good and like a shadow only comes in the Sun, mine only came and was really bad sometimes.

Then, in my fifties , I started having knee troubles and you guessed it, my shadow had enlarged to take in my knees. Do meds again, stationery bike and rest as needed.

Kids grown and me working full time now.

Well, you just persevere don’t you?

Now in my fifties, I had a fall and cracked my pelvis. Pain was unbearable and has now localised in my hips.

So latest tests show bone on bone in left hip, right not bush better. Both knees and spine and right foot.

This is one huge shadow now.

I am listed for hip replacement surgery, not looking forward to it but may be able to go for walks again then.

This winter has been the coldest one since the 1980’s where I live and I have been out of action for the whole time.

So for now, I have a selection of walking sticks including a pretty purple one and really good quality shoes and lots of medication.

I do lots of things from home either sitting or laying down but my shadow is not going to darken my days.

My shadow will always be there, some days darker and some lighter but I am determined that life is for living, growing, learning, smiling and loving.

So if you have a shadow, don’t despair as the Sun will shine through.

Janice Ireland

Lessons from my Herb Garden.

Every home we have live in over the years, we have had a vegetable and herb garden.

We love the taste of fresh vegetables, nothing like it.

And over time, I have taught myself to use different herbs to brighten up ordinary meals. Amazing what a little bit of this or that can do.

As we have gotten older and have some mobility issues, our once thriving vegetable patch has reduced to just herbs now.

This got me thinking about the things we can learn from herbs.

For instance, Mint, great in iced tea and peas. But Mint is one of the hardiest plants around. You pull it out and think you have it all, then next day a shoot pops up in another spot. It’s like the Mint is saying, I am not going away, I am strong and will survive.

Then, the Basil, love the smell of basil broken up on pizza or in a spaghetti sauce. Basil grows here into a bush and blooms with flowers that we cut off and dry for next season. Basil is saying look at my beauty as my flowers come and how wonderful is it that I can be reborn through this beauty. Even though I die, I am reborn.

How about Parsley, such a good standby. Can be used in so many ways from chopped into mashed potatoes to mixed as a salad. Parsley is all about being there, reliable and steady. Counted on when you need it.

Rosemary grows into huge bushes here and the unique fragrance is wonderful for Lamb and tomato and potato dishes. It is a herb that says, I will help you remember what you need too. I will stir up but also comfort you with my fragrance.

Sage is wonderful for stuffings and dressings. Sage is saying that it is a cleansing herb. Dry and burn me to chase away negativity and doubt.

Oregano is what I use for any pasta or pizza dishes. A magical flavour. Oregano says I am hardy and strong and Unique.

Thyme is a tiny leafed herb that again is great in salads, stews or anywhere you choose. Thyme shows us that even though small in appearance, it can bring a big difference in your life.

Chives are many and lots of variety , ordinary or garlic are a couple we grow. They are used in garlic butters or herb butters, in salads and the list goes on. Chives are straightforward and no nonsense and no fuss.

Chillies so hot and spicy to add a kick to a curry or casserole. Chillies say they are hot stuff and burn brightly.

Fennel although not really a herb is interesting as it wants to take over the garden with its beautiful fluffy fronds. It’s like it’s saying, look how beautiful and fancy I am but ultimately it’s an aniseed flavour that a lot of people don’t like. It’s like it tries so hard to impress.

So as I look at my herbs and how they feel to me, I recognise myself and others in my family and know that although we all have these different traits like the herbs.

We all add the gifts we bring to better what we are mixed with.

Whether you are a variety of herbs or just one, the messages, traits and gifts you bring make your life and others more colourful and delicious.

Janice Ireland