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.

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

Our time in Tasmania

We decided to spend a week over Christmas with my husbands sister and brother in law this year. It was the first Christmas since their Mum passed and we felt the need to be together. We usually spend Christmas with our children and granddaughters but they understood.

I was extremely nervous of how I would go on the flights with my chronic Arthritis let alone getting on and off the planes. We had wonderful airline staff who got me a wheelchair to travel on and off all planes. It was such a relief although I felt a bit useless. Pain was a bit debilitating, But hopefully once I have my hip replacement, things will improve and I will get some independence back. I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful husband though.

My beautiful sister in law had organised lots of outings and special things to do that she thought I could manage and would enjoy. Their home is lovely and has a view of the Derwent River and Mount Wellington. Beautiful.

The weather in Tasmania was cold to begin with and then some lovely days. The first day we went for a drive to an old building restored to a tea house and bed and breakfast. The lady who owns and runs it makes the most beautiful scones and served with homemade jam and cream and a big pot of tea on pretty china. So lovely and surrounded by rose gardens and chickens and a peacock or two. A lovely way to spend a morning.

Another day we travelled to a place called the wall which was all hand carved works by Greg Duncan. It has a tribute to indigenous peoples of the area and then you follow the story of the hydro electricity installation, both his story as a man who went away to work on it and her story as his wife who stayed behind to raise the children. Also spoke of the extinction of native animals and plant life.

The details are simply amazing and had me in tears with the grief etched on the woman’s face and the fact they are all carved from native woods. They almost move, such is the detail. I bought some of his books as no photos are allowed to be taken there. I only got one of an eagle outside the building that houses the Wall.

We stopped on the way to have lunch at a place called the hungry wombat and the staff there were so friendly and the toasted sandwiches were huge and delicious. We stopped at some nice little coffee shops with so much history also. It seems like there is history and something to discover at every turn in Tasmania and it’s almost like stepping back in time.

One place we went to had a row of bricks along the footpath all engraved with names and sentences of convicts sent there from England. And so many were made of rock and hand made bricks.

We went to meet a friend, Sandra, that we have on FB and it was lovely. Had lunch in a lovely park and then went for a visit at her home and met her grandson. She has a lovely cosy home with a pot belly stove and her husband, Mick has a big man cave, that was a hit with the men. And her gardens are lovely with many flowers and carnations that smelled wonderful.

We had a lovely Christmas Day and enjoyed a new tradition in memory of Mum. For breakfast, Watermelon and Grapes followed by croissants then little pavlovas. All of these hold memories of what Mum loved. To finish the new tradition, later that day, we all did a big crossword puzzle and had a toast with Baileys Irish Cream as Mum loved crosswords and would have a Baileys every night. And so the tradition will continue each Christmas wherever we are.

Of course there were tears and lots of reminiscing but lots of laughs too. My beautiful Sis, Jann, also received a message from Mum to let her know she was with her. A beautiful bubble floated across in front of the door. Mum loved bubbles and played with the great grandchildren with bubbles and we blew bubbles after her service. That bubble travelled from many houses away to reach Jann. Thanks Mum, it’s what she needed.

My lovely Jann and Robert too made our stay so lovely and their back garden has many bay trees and lavender which I was able to bring some snippets home and in the middle is an apple tree that is not big yet but loaded with apples. Such a pretty place to sit and meditate and breathe the fresh air.

Such beauty both at the front and back of their home.

We were going to go the the Salamanca Markets but unfortunately I was not up to it so we visited a few Op shops looking for a book, Jeff is after and then lunch out at a bakery.

All too soon our time came to an end and we were heading to the airport for home.

Due to the fires in Sydney the visibility out of the plane window was not wonderful but just as we were leaving Hobart skies these rows of fluffy clouds assured me that we were safe and blessed. Just beautiful. We had a lovely time and the people in Tasmania are lovely, not a grumpy person anywhere we went. The air is clean and the scenery is so pretty. There is so much history at every corner and if it were a bit warmer, it would be perfect for us. I can see why people move there as it is a gentler pace than most other cities.

Travelling on the road that was built across the water. I know it’s like a bridge but more like a road.

.

So that was our time in Tasmania and it was lovely. Thanks to my Sis in law, Jann, Brother in law, Robert and friends, Sandra and Mick and Trent. And the lovely people of Tassie. 💜

Janice Ireland

A big dry.

I am writing this story in November 2019. Most of Australia is very dry, no good rain has come for a long time now.

Our country has some catastrophic bushfires and droughts, people have lost their lives, homes, animals including our wildlife and property.

People are praying for rain, good soaking rain. And it will come as it always does and there will be the Wet season in the top end where I live.

The grass and trees will again be green and soft instead of brown and crunchy underfoot. Crops will grow and animals will have lush food again.

But for now it’s just very dry.

We have lived here for about 7 years now and have seen lush, dry, a dam almost empty to overflowing.

But we had not seen fires so close to here.

Last week fires started on the hills behind where we live.

We watched them through the day and then how the red lit up the hills in the night. Smoke billowing as the wind kept changing direction.

I was starting to get worried and had a grab and go list ready.

I contacted the manager of our complex here to see what was happening and she was on her way down the hill to check it out. Others had also contacted her.

We are truly blessed to have a Rural fire brigade right here and the president lives in our complex.

He was on top of it thankfully. They back burned at the bottom of the hill so that the fires had no fuel to burn once they hit there and the channel that runs from the lake and the small flow of water would also stop the fires.

The fires have almost burned themselves out now with small ones still visible in some parts on the hills but it was a scary experience.

I totally understand how terrifying it must have been for the people who have lost so much in this dry season. I am thankful for the work of these amazing and brave volunteers.

I give thanks that we are all ok and I continue to pray for the rains to come.

We had some clouds today that look promising and their are ants coming inside, Black cockatoo and storm birds and what I call white bugs which are usually a wet season insect.

Praying rain and healing for all so that the big dry is finished.

Janice Ireland

Trees

Have you ever stopped and considered the old standing ones or trees.

I have been sitting out the back under our covered area where we look out to tall trees and rainforest and usually kangaroo.

We have not had rain for a long time along with many parts of Australia. And at the moment horrible bush fires are ravaging parts of our country.

I have been contemplating trees..

In the last week or so the management of the Lifestyle and Leisure park we live in have been chopping and mulching a lot of trees. They were diseased or dangerous of course but I can’t hell but feel a sense of loss and just unsettled about this. I love trees.

As I look out and see the trees here that are big and old and not super green at the moment, I wonder at all they would have seen over the years.

A while back, none of these buildings were here and the lake wasn’t either. The river that ran through was dammed to provide the crucial resource to the tablelands farmers. And the little town is under the water.

A lot of houses and buildings were relocated before the waters flowed but still relics are found in the dry times.

The poor wild animals are searching now for some green without much luck as all is very dry and crunchy under foot. They used to eat my strawberry plants but there is a fence and dog now.

Some of the trees that I can see from where I sit are very tall with dead branches and one has a dead branch right at the top where a cockatoo was sitting yesterday giving cheek to my dog.

I feel that these old ones have seen many seasons like this one and when the rains come and they are nourished again and turn their leaves to accept the rains blessings, I wonder do they give thanks like we do.

The birds are still plentiful and our mock orange trees are shooting again and little birds come and congregate there in that little patch of green.

I give thanks for the old standing ones and think that it would be great if they could talk. Imagine the stories they would tell.

Janice Ireland

The Story of Us.

My husband and I worked for Sister companies back in the 70’s and got to know each other through that link.

I was then a switchboard operator and he was a Motor spare parts interpreter.

He used to give me cheek as I put him through to the person he wanted to speak to.

One day he said he was coming down to deliver something and would come and say Hi. Well, he told me I would recognise him because he was 6 feet tall with long blonde hair and a tan cause he was a surfer.

2 out of 3 were true. Long blond hair and a tanned Surfer but definitely not 6 feet tall.

He said Surfing made him shrink. He is 5 feet 3 inches tall. So I knew right then he had a very cheeky sense of humour.

We got on so well. We used to meet up whenever we could at work things or anything really. I was 16 and he was 17 then.

Well life got in the way for a time and we finally got together as a couple about 3.5 to 4 years later and we have been together ever since.

3 children and all the ups and downs of their lives. They have grown into beautiful adults that we love dearly. We don’t always agree with what they do but it’s there lives to live.

The constants of our lives is that we love, trust, support and compliment each other.

We have had and still have health battles but being there for each other, gets us through.

I always say Jeff is my leveller, when I am stuck, he shows me ways of looking at things differently and I feel that I do the same for him.

We have granddaughters that we adore and a tiny home in a piece of paradise. We live simply and are happy.

He is still cheeky and my blond, long haired, tanned surfer is now a bald, tanned walker and still shrinking and I adore him always.

And our life goes on.

Janice Ireland