daily life 101

Our tree & decorations are staying in the cupboard this year. ‘Tis the season of Christmas lite… festive baking and fragrant oil burning is all we need to get us in the mood. Wishing you all the very best for a festive season & 2017 with love and light and happiness. ♥ EllaDee

daleleelife101.blog the new identity of my EllaDee blog heralds a fresh start, my answer to the oft asked question Where to From Here? Before I go ahead with that, it’s important to know how I got here.

2016 feels like it turned in a series of circles, bringing us back to the chapter we commenced a year ago, when we relocated from our city existence to life in the country.

We are living the life we dreamed… in our rural village in the Nambucca Valley hinterland, in our home with its wide verandah and backyard overlooking green hills.

Already we’re supplementing the dream; adding a dog -Diesel, a Koolie adopted from the RSPCA days after we returned from our around Australia roadtrip, and a sizeable vegetable plot enclosed within a wire cage to grow, firstly our own soil, and then enough veges to go a long way towards feeding ourselves.

To be able to do this at a relatively early stage in our lives – the G.O. is 61 and me 51- we spent ten years living & working in the city with the purpose of being debt free with sufficient immediate-use financial savings, and moderate reserves locked away for longer term. We then swapped our city cash flow time poor existence for a modest lifestyle where time is our currency rather than money.

The process of setting ourselves up began from rudimentary beginnings a decade before the pay-off. But any starting point is better than none. Recognising the watershed moment, when enough is enough, is the real art.

We could have remained longer in the city: working, saving, spending, working, saving, spending… And our dreams would have patiently waited for us to let go of the ring and grab them. Or would they? What happens to dreams that aren’t pursued, are parked while the dreamer quests for more and better? Too many times we hear anecdotes of dreams faded to What Ifs and shrivelled to Might Have Beens.

Where to From Here…

We’ve enjoyed a self-funded holiday during 2016, fulfilling that plan. For 2017 I’ve enrolled at Tafe to study Horticulture, a basic Certificate III course two days each week at nearby Coffs Harbour: a new beginning realising a long-time aspiration. However, not everything has gone to plan. The G.O. is currently -literally- hobbled with an injured knee which will likely need keyhole surgery some time in 2017. But that prognosis rather than a knee replacement is good news. The intention he had of finding work and/or self employment are in hiatus. For the time being there’s plenty he can gently apply himself to catching up on small projects around our 1930’s house that have waited more than a decade for attention. He really did need to slow down -one of the reasons we left Sydney- so it’s not all bad.

Our daily life 101 maxim is Live Simple Home Made Grown Local Creative Better. Our lifestyle is authentic, modest, about trying new things, doing it ourselves, and in turn inspire & assist others.

Then, after 2017? That comes under the wonderful realm of Possibilities.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ~ Shel Silverstein

In the immediate pipeline is a few days spending Christmas with my Dad, followed by festive season houseguests and a Taylors Arm January staycation which if all goes to plan I will spend lounging around reading blog posts & books, and maybe writing a blog post or two.

Below is a selection of photos from the two four six eight ten busy weeks since we arrived home from our roadtrip around Australia.

Diesel: Charming clever funny best four-legged furry friend, writing muse, thong-jandal-flip flop & tool thief, ball-cat-kookaburra chaser, kitchen buddy & taster…
Garden cage: Devised and constructed in injured knee accommodating stages by the G.O. with the assistance of our neighbour & Diesel.
In the meantime: Our interim vege potted garden is in much the same style it was at the end of 2015.
Summer in the garden (clockwise): We’ve been fortunate to get enough rain to fill the tanks and water the garden which delights the passionfruit on the fence. The Cherry Allamanda is beginning to flower alongside the white flowering Mandevilla Sanderi we planted for contrast and to fill in the fence eventually. We moved day lilies, apricot gladioli, walking iris & red geranium to gain space for the back garden adding colour to the front. A shade sail carport for my car constructed in injured knee accommodating stages by the G.O. with the assistance of our neighbour & Diesel. Moving what we thought was a flowering ginger to make room for a path along the side of the shed we discovered turmeric… gold.
Of all the things that encroach into My Time I least mind being in the kitchen. It’s where I make food for us to eat -most of our meals are cooked & eaten at home- and weekly make our staples of yoghurt, ricotta and bread. It’s where I try my hand at new-to-me homemade goodies (clockwise): baked beans, frozen ginger & turmeric cubes, summer tomato sauce, biscotti & mustard.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~ Mother Teresa

For glimpses of our everyday life you can see my Instagram snapshots on the right (hover cursor over the pics for the captions) or if you’re an Instagrammer you can follow me at daleleelife101 and the G.O. at welshy055.

33 thoughts on “daily life 101

  1. I like your Words for 2017 🙂 I’ll look forward to seeing how you’re applying your Horticulture learnings when we’re down in May, and I’m already lost in admiration of your vegie cages! I’ve got to the point where the passionfruit harvest is now outstripping my ability to use them up, so I’m just pulping and freezing them. The mangoes are another story – eaten as soon as they’re ripe enough, and they are small but unbelievably delicious. Home grown is definitely the best, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So many good things to recommend a passionfruit vine… tasty, abundant, freezable. Our mango is still young but has 2 fruit just hanging on. I love being able to wander out and pick some herbs or rocket leaves for dinner.
      In May hopefully we’ll be enjoying lovely late Autumn weather ♡

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s all looking brilliant. A shame about Wayne’s dodgey knee but good news if the keyhole surgery can do the job. A cage for veggies! We saw one of these in Scotland a few years ago. Great idea. Very best wishes to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ella, I need the GO to come and build me one of those cages. We are letting a lot of our fruit trees go by the wayside as the birds get all the fruit and I figure it is not worth our effort keeping the trees alive just to satisfy the birds. I dream of a cage like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily Diesel is gorgeous… he’s not a fan of cats or anything that comes into the yard, other than people who he greats enthusiastically.
      This, despite making enquiries before we even looked at him if he was cat friendly, advising them we had a share cat, and the RSPCA testing him in situ with a cat while we were there. He was calm & uninterested. When Diesel came home Sossie-Cat gave us a miss for a few weeks but when she ventured over the fence he chased her back. A state of affairs that makes me cry as I miss her. However, I hold out hope that he will settle down. Meanwhile Sossie-Cat is fine next door and I still see her.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Why? Simple answer, we saw a garden cage in a lovely old overgrown garden and thought… we, well the G.O. could build one. It would keep the birds, bandicoots & possums out. It could also be adapted in part for chooks maybe one day. Then we adopted Diesel and it made even more sense. We don’t have a big backyard so it expands the available space upwards as we can hang shelves & stuff off the roof & sides. It would be great to keep your peacocks out, or in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How wonderful to be living the life you both planned. I can feel your contentment and peace. Diesel is delightful and the perfect companion in your new life. The GO will be happy to have the knee pain gone, but, maybe, slowing him down has its advantages too. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes we think… oh wow… we did it, we’re really doing it. We dreamed it for so long. This year it’s nice just being here enjoying the pre-Christmas weather & feel. All the sweeter as last year we were unpacking & post-move organising. And we know now the holiday year is over, in 2017 we will re-engage fully with our new world, during which the G.O.’s knee will be fixed… but sometimes there’s a silver lining. The worst thing in the meantime is strong painkillers & anti-inflammatories don’t agree with him so the G. O. is mostly toughing it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Karma with the knee I think! I cannot believe the sense of liberation I’m experiencing since having left work. I have actually had to tell myself it’s ok to do things I enjoy and take the time doing them without feeling the need to justify every single second. Looking forward to seeing the veggie patch evolve and I love the wares on your Christmas alter. Wishing you a very happy, safe and content Christmas and New Year! Cheers, Maree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admire that you have embraced your new freedom. We’re improving but still working on wrangling time… it goes so quickly. A few work days end at 7 pm or later, and we’re sometimes eating dinner at 9 pm. We mostly follow weekday – weekend pattern because by Sunday we need a day off!
      Your garden photos have informed & inspired us what can be achieved with a backyard garden ♡
      I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so I like seeing my ever changing bits & pieces on the shelves.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG, I LOVE Diesel. I look forward to reading about his antics. My Max is enjoying the snow we continue to get every weekend here of late. I’m very proud of all you’ve accomplished. Glad to have you back safe and sound. Good luck with G.O.’s knee. Hope he’s feeling better right quick. Will you be going off on anymore excursions in the future?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so inspired by your plan and implementation…we get so caught up in fear of the what-ifs….fight the fear, fight the fear becomes my daily mantra. I will read this post when the mantra isn’t working!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful! I’m very happy for you as you continue on your journey–a journey that reminds me of my own.

    I love this paragraph:
    We could have remained longer in the city: working, saving, spending, working, saving, spending… And our dreams would have patiently waited for us to let go of the ring and grab them. Or would they? What happens to dreams that aren’t pursued, are parked while the dreamer quests for more and better? Too many times we hear anecdotes of dreams faded to What Ifs and shrivelled to Might Have Beens.

    I sometimes find myself wondering whether I should have waited longer. But I think you’ve nailed it. One can always rationalize waiting just a little longer, pushing the dream back until it fades away and never happens. Instead of living the life you’ve dreamed, you die at your desk. Dreaming.

    All best wishes for a happy Christmas season and many to follow.

    We didn’t put up any decorations either. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a great… but awful image… so recently having escaped my desk it really resonates. I did a lot of productive dreaming at my desk which helped me survive that life but it was no where near as satisfying as living the dream is.
      So many of us are eschewing the trappings of Christmas which were once part of our festive spirit. It’s almost as if the commercial excess we’re being encouraged to pursue has made us take a step back to distance ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Cheers! (well, maybe not so about the knee, but hopefully that will be mangeable) Gorgeous dog companion.
    Now to wrap things up, a litle bit:
    Waiting for sunset on Christmas Eve is like standing toes-over-the-edge on a high diving board.
    Every year we’d cruise casually by the window to keep an eye on the sun’s progress until it was officially evening.
    Then the shout “Christmas Eve Gift!” would ring out.
    You see, the traditions says that the first person to voice that phrase on Christmas Eve to another would be graced with good fortune and joy all the next year.
    (And of course, whomever was first won. Everything was a contest…)
    It’s more difficult to be first now with caller ID.
    As all those who have become my friends in blogland are spread widely across time zones, I’d like to wish you all “Christmas Eve Gift” now.
    And as I already feel so fortunate to have such wonderful readers and writers in this neighborhood, I wish to share any phrase acquired good fortune and joy with you in thanks.
    No matter where you are or what you are guided by, hope you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of adventure and joy.
    Peace on earth and goodwill towards all creatures great and small.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you ♡ You may be able to relate… as well as smiles etc we have lots of dog hair! And I’ve had to pause in the throes of tapping a response to defend a licking attack from the Diesel-Dog after being located in my blog reading position on the verandah futon 🐕


  10. Oh, EllaDee! I am so happy for you both. It is great to see you enjoying the fruit of your planning and hard work — and courage. You went left when the world was pulling you to the right. You resisted, though, and ow you’re living the life of your dreams. Good for you both!
    Continued success and much happiness to you and your G.O. in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ♡ What a year it has been, still getting accustomed to our new life but we are settled and know it was the culmination of a lot of right-for-us choices. I share in the hope that it might just make a difference for others contemplating a change.


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