Monday, April 25, 2016

broken hearted + blindish


It's funny how some weeks go by and when you look back on them after wards it feels like nothing much has changed; we made food, we drove the girls around, we dug in the garden and we wrote some things on lists and ticked other things off. Then there are the other weeks where something happens that make us feel like we will never be the same again. Although we might look similar on the outside, it feels like every atom inside us has been altered. Although we still do the same driving and digging and feeding, somehow even those actions feel different.

Since I last wrote my blog one thing happened that has changed me forever on the inside, one thing happened that has changed me on the outside, and lots of other littler stuff has happened, not as significant but still part of the picture. Truthfully my mind and my heart are a bit messy. I find myself tearing up at the drop of a hat, I'm finding it difficult to focus on anything for a prolonged period of time (that might be the end of a month of school holidays) and I'm feeling a bit unmotivated despite the incredibly glorious autumn days.

I think perhaps the best way to explain myself and to obtain some sort of order is to channel my farmer boy and write a list. I'm hoping that as well as giving me some clarity and recording this moment in time, it'll also help me feel better. It's worth a try anyway.


one - Not last Wednesday but the Wednesday before, our beautiful grandfather died. As well as being an amazing man, he was the most wonderful grandfather. I feel that at some stage I should honour him with a whole post of his own, but for now it feels too soon, too raw.

My Zeida Saul Same lived a life filled to the brim with all the most important ingredients - love, family, friends, success, love, travel, recognition and then more love. Even though he lived whole-heartedly for 97 and a half years and slipped away peacefully when his time came, I still feel devastated by his loss. And losing him has brought back the best memories of my grandmother which Alzheimer's had stolen until now, which is in part a blessing and in part just adding to my sadness.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have loved and been loved by him. I have zillions of amazing memories to cherish and I'm pretty sure our girls do too. But I no longer have my Zeida, I no longer have any grandparents and that is incredibly sad.

This article ran in the Australian newspaper that week.


two - (ugh it's hard to move on to two, my eyes are filled with tears and everything else feels little, but I'll try). About a week ago I had my eyes tested and now I wear glasses. All my life I have felt proud of my perfect vision. I could read far away signs, thread the finest needles and spot the tiniest louse in the thickest jungle of hair. But a little while ago things started to change and I found that I could no longer see which emoji was making what expression on my phone, it became difficult for me to focus on the tiny sock stitches I was knitting and I found myself with a head ache on some days for no reason at all.

So now I wear glasses. It's early days and I'm still getting used to them and feeling a bit self conscious but I'm hoping they'll be good.

Glasses wearers I'd love to know your tricks for cleaning them, it's driving me a bit crazy actually.


three - a few days after my beloved grandfather died, our girls went to stay with their cousins in Melbourne for two days. Even though we had organised their stay a few weeks before, the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Our country girls spent a couple of days having the best city adventures and we had uninterrupted time for mourning, for looking after each other, and for just being.

Thank you D, M, S, D, R and R we love you xxxxx


four  - After I finished the seven Tomorrow When the War Began books which I loved, I reread my Mum's book Alzheimer's A Love Story.

Although it was quite painful at times, reading my grandparents' histories, reading about my grandmother's gradual decline into that horrible disease and remembering their great love story was a such a precious gift to me. A treasure.

I have no doubt that I'm biased when I say that my Mum tells a story so beautifully, that it will have the reader laughing and in turn weeping as she turns its pages, but I'm not the only one - this book was chosen to be published before it was even completed. I'm so proud of my Mum all over again and I highly recommend this book for others caring for friends and family struggling with Alzheimer's and those just interested in stories of family and love and Australian history.
.

five - I cast off a pair of socks for my farmer boy. Nothing new or ground breaking here, just a reminder of that deep feeling of satisfaction and joy that comes from making something for someone I love.

The Ravelry details are here.



six - Tomatoes. We're still picking them by the crate full, preserving them by the jar full and drying them by the tray full. It's getting to that time in the season where the birds and other critters are making a bit of a mess of them and that deep tomato smell is making me hold my breath as I reach under the sticky vines, but I'll keep gathering them until the first frost does.


seven - We've been listening and loving my dad's radio program - Track of the day! -  each week day morning on the breakfast show at 8.05am on Hepburn Community's radio station. One song each day relating to the date is educational, fun and often unexpected. Yay Dad!


eight - It's funny that even though we have been growing stuff here for fifteen years, until now we've only ever really been interested in growing plants that will feed people or animals. For some reason I can't remember, this year we decided to grow a few beds and rows of flowers and although they are feeding the bees, the main reason for their planting was their prettiness.

There is no underestimating the happiness that a row of swaying blossoms brings as you spy it through the forest. There is nothing quite like watching Miss Pepper pick herself a bedroom posy every few days. We've pressed them, we've given them, we've drawn them, we've photographed them, we've made fairy houses from them and we've absolutely felt that they've fed our souls if not our hearts. We're hooked! Flowers forever!


nine - We closed our farm stall. It really has been a wonderful season. People have come from near and far to visit our pretty little stall and stock up on delicious apples. I feel grateful for how well supported and loved our stall has been, but also a little sad that it'll be so many more months until we throw open those cute doors again and fill her up with goodness. But next year is our biennial on year and it's bound to be huge - so watch this space!


ten - After it was damaged in a storm and lay in a pile of wood for many, many months, my farmer boy rebuilt his pole lathe. Often as I drove past the pile I did wonder if he'd ever have the time or the memory to rebuild it again, but then one day he decided to and then he did.

So far he's made me three chop sticks to wear in my hair and a single spoon but I can see by the way he takes every opportunity to run outside and play with it that he's hooked. I'm excited about all those little wood curls, I'm excited about the possibilities of spoons, bowls, chair legs and even knitting needles. And of course I'm thrilled that he's fallen in crafty love. That he has that addictive feeling of wanting to make all the things. And that he has an escape, a way to run away from the have to's and get into the zone.


And that dear reader is that. Perhaps a little more than you bargained for but still...a little slice of my life.

I hope you are travelling well my friends.
I hope you are reading a great book and have yummy things to eat.

Sending love, love, love

Kate xoxo






54 comments:

  1. Sweet and honest post, Kate. Isn't life a clanger at times? Much love. xx

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss, I have lost all my Grandparents too and on days like today when my Grandfather and my Dad would walk with me between them for the march it was just the best feeling ever, now I have just memories of a wonderful gentle soul who left me with countless stories and a love of good cheese. I will keep you in my thoughts xoxox

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  3. Kate, I feel for you. Grandfathers are special beings and I treasure every moment I have with my Pa who is in his nineties. I am sure you treasured your grandfather and he would have known that. Time and wonderful memories will ease the pain (or so my grandfather tells me).

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  4. Such a warm, genuine post Kate. Take care. Despite the sadness I can just tell there is still so much goodness at your place xx

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  5. So much good and so much sadness all smooshed in together. Ah, life. x

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  6. Dear Kate, I'm so sorry for your loss. Celebrate a life well-lived and well-loved. And enjoy your flowers. A beautiful post.

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  7. Dear Kate, I'm so sorry for your loss. Celebrate a life well-lived and well-loved. And enjoy your flowers. A beautiful post.

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  8. Thank you for writing what is on your heart and mind. Your everyday is so inspiring. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  9. Aww, bloody hell. So sorry to hear about your grandfather. These loses, the stories, the love, they leave gaping holes, but it IS the way of life, is it not. I garden - as do you on a much grander scale than I - so I feel I know the ebb and flow of the seasons. It's never easy though, this loss.

    Ah, I am a spectacles wearer from way back. I have a lot of fun with mine. Bright, bright pink. Neon almost. I have more than one pair. Look for frames in the op shops and ask people for what they have tucked away. Your optometrist can fit your prescription to what you find. I bought a pair of 1960s frames that are fat and, as my optometrist's framing person (they have a professional name, I just can't recall it) said 'f-ugly'. He was honest but once he'd fitted them to my face, he admitted he did indeed like them. The frames were $3 from Vinnies. Who's calling them ugly?

    Other tips here: http://katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/grandpa-glasses.html
    Here: http://katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/new-reading-glasses.html
    And here: http://katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au/2008/11/spick-specs.html (These are the 'f-ugly' ones)
    And last one here: http://katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/glasses-indicate-bookish-type.html

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  10. Sorry to hear about your rough few weeks....not long after my 17 year old brother died I was at the funeral of my friends Grandfather who I also knew and used to visit with her. I balled at his funeral as well even though knowing he lived a very long life compared to my brothers life that was cut short by a selfish drunk driver hit and run accident. When people close to us die it's sad even if they have lived a full life so my heart goes out to you and your family. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane (ps...I was thinking about you a week ago because I was thinking I was going to have to write to you asking you to knit me a beanie like my sisters after I had a breast scare issue. Thankfully it ended up turning out okay and all thoughts of things went through my head after my sisters situation. Hope your week improves and those sunflowers looked awesome.

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  11. Dear Kate, I am so sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing. Their memories never leave us but it is hard. My last grandparent passed away when Lachlan was 5 years old and he is 22 now. I sort of feel like I still have some though with Paul's grandmothers both in their late 90's and just starting to get a little worn out now. I hope that your heart can heal a little each day until their memories bring a smile to your face. I hope that you can enjoy your glasses. I had my eyes tested last year and they said that they were really good for my age (I do not know if that is a good thing) and the last 2 months my eyes have been really dry and sore. I have trouble trying to read a knitting pattern or the newspaper as the print is too small for me. I bought some magnifying glasses but they seem to make my eyes sore if I wear them for too long so I may be joining you in wearing them too. I love your farmer boys socks, what a gorgeous color. I hope that one day you will make your own wool and he can make some knitting needles. Just think how great that would be, totally handmade! Hope you have a fantastic week!

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  12. Hugs to you and your family.
    Thanks for sharing, your flowers are gorgeous and the picture of your farmer boy crafting is delightful. I love to see someone lost in the act of creating.
    cheers Kate

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  13. So sorry for you loss. As for the glasses, I buy boxes of cleaners that were not available when I first started wearing them years ago. They work wonders. I do get the trouble adjusting. DH just switched from contacts to glasses and he's still struggling adjusting to the physical aspects of glasses. You will get there.

    We put in bulbs years ago and the tulips are just starting to pop up as it is Spring here. That has been one of the greatest gifts we gave ourselves because our main focus is on food, but we still get the beauty of flowers each year. This year we got an early start and planted some beautifully colored pansies out front and the colors brighten my morning.

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  14. Much love to you, Sweetpea. One tiny (handmade-sock-clad) step after the other. xxx

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  15. Sorry to hear about your grandfather - wow 97 is impressive and how about being described as the nicest man in Australia by Bob Hawke!! My father was born 7 years before your grandfather (my Dad was in his 50's when I was born) and he too was in the airforce during WW2 and I wondered if they ever met (sounds silly I know). Sounds like he had an amazing life. Love your Cosmos - I have just planted some seaside Cosmos seeds and I think they are similar colours - just beautiful. I have had to wear reading glasses for a while now and the cleaner stuff they give you (or sell) at the optometrist is great although I hate the initial smell of it x

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  16. So sorry for your heartbreak. I read the post in your paper wow 97 and what a beautiful way to have lived your life. So much packed in and so much good from the heart now that's the way to live a good life. Just look at all the goodness he spread not just by deeds but from just being him. He was so obviously so well loved within the family also which he must have felt and glowed in. Time does heal but it can take quite a while. Look on it as a way of honouring him because you loved him so. Jackie

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  17. Hi Kate, just wanted to send you loving thoughts on the loss of your beloved grandfather. He sounds like a very special man and how wonderful that he was around for so much of your adult life. Losing your last grandparent is a big milestone though and a shift in your place in the universe somehow. Give yourself time to heal and adjust as you move into autumn and winter. It has been lovely seeing the pictures of your flower patch. I always make room for flowers in the veg garden. It looks great and the insects love them too. They bring a smile to my face as well. I have worn specs since I was 3 and they are really part of me. Probably as a result I don't treat mine with much respect and tend to clean them by washing them under a warm tap!!! Take lots of care of yourself. Elaine xxx

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  18. As I read through your list, I could not help but wonder at what a wonderful legacy your Zeida (and all your other grandparents) have left behind. What an amazing accomplished, generous and thoughtful family you have, both you and your farmer boy and your girls. But also hearing about your mum and her achievements and your dad and his radio show. Fabulous. I'm sure he was so amazingly proud. x

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  19. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like an amazing man. X

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  20. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like an amazing man. X

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  21. I got so frustrated with cleaning my glasses that I bought a little ultrasonic cleaner. Water, a drop of dish soap and three minutes in there followed by a quick swipe with a dry rag and they are perfect. I don't quite know how I managed before I got it.

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  22. Sending you love & empathy from Massachusetts in the USA. So sorry for your loss, so glad you had such a wonderful grandfather.

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  23. Sending big virtual hugs for the loss of your Zeida .... so sorry to hear of the grief you've been going through... and sorry you no longer have any grandparents... two years ago I lost my last living grandparent and it really was so very sad... not only the loss of my dear gran, but it was the end of an era... grandparents enrich our lives in such a special way, there's a huge void left when they are gone, especially when they have been quite involved in your life. When I read that line that you no longer have any grandparents I just welled up with you, I feel your pain and sadness and it reminded me of mine, for the very same reasons. Sounds like your flower garden bloomed at the perfect time, never underestimate the healing power of the flower x

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  24. This is a beautiful post Kate. I'm so very sorry for your loss, and sending the biggest warmest hug to you x

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  25. Sending hugs to you and yours, grandparents truly are the best gift we receive as grandchildren xx

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  26. Hello, Kate. What a long and full life your grandfather had and, from that, there'll no doubt be so many memories that you have to treasure and keep in your heart. Loss, while new and raw, is hard so perhaps go looking for joy and smiles among your flowers. Perhaps this year, and at this very time, they are blooming for that reason.

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  27. Many condolences on the loss of your Zeida. I"m glad you have many happy memories of him.
    Glasses? I use a microfibre cloth. We got a big cheap pack of them (I try to buy stuff that either rots or can be recycled but in this case? Worth it) and the one cloth has been cleaning my glasses for over six months now. Admittedly I can't take it with me everywhere but it works so much better than those little ones that come with glasses.
    It's rough when you have to give up cherished ideas about your identity.
    Vegies and fruits feed the body and the mind but flowers feed the soul and creativity. I love having all of them.

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  28. I am so sorry about the loss of your grandfather. Best wishes for peace and comfort.

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  29. No matter how long you have them you want them to stay till you are ready for them to go and that day never comes as you said you all have great memories and while you have that they will never be gone peace for you and the family

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  30. No matter how long you have them you want them to stay till you are ready for them to go and that day never comes as you said you all have great memories and while you have that they will never be gone peace for you and the family

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  31. So much love to you, life is too short even with 97 years and even more so when it's an amazing person gone.
    I never had a problem cleaning my glasses until I got the anti glare coating and that has been a huge pain, I use warm water and a little soap and dry with the glasses cloth that works better and seems to stay cleaner for longer weirdly

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  32. What an incredible life your grandpa has lived and contributed to the wider community. So much to be proud of and an incredibly sad loss. xx That sucks about your eyesight!I'm going through a life changing health issue and it sucks big time. xx

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  33. Beautiful post, Kate (as ever!). So sorry for your loss - he sounds like an amazing man. xx

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  34. "Grief is like the ocean, it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim." - Vicki Harrison .... Sending white light and love, always. xxxx

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  35. Oh grief is hard, be kind to yourself. Praying for you and your family.
    You come from such a talented and creative family! Your grandfather, mother, father!! but I shouldn't be surprised, talent and creativity runs in the family.

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  36. Hello Kate,
    I almost missed your post in my feed as our last few days have been so ridiculously full. I'm so glad that I spotted it lurking at the bottom.
    Your photos are, as always, beautiful and your words are perfect too. I'm so sorry about your Grandfather. It sounds as though he had a full and happy life, which is what we all hope for when we reach that age. I really don't know what to say, but if I was there in "real life" I'd want to give you a hug.
    Be kind to yourselves xxx

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  37. Oh, I feel your sadness for the loss of your grandfather. My gramps was the most important man in my life for a long time and I was heartbroken when he died and the truth is, I still am. Also, I know how you feel regarding the glasses. I got my first pair about 6 months ago. I wore them today in a meeting at work for the first time and looked up to see if anyone had noticed and realised that everyone else was wearing glasses so I guess I've just joined the club! And so have you. They are a blessing really, particularly for reading in low light and I'm sure you will get used to them. I don't think I have ever commented on your posts before now, I have just been lurking...bx (I live in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England).

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  38. Love how you write so authentically about the messy bits too. Lots of love. You are such an inspiration.
    deb xox

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  39. Sending you love and continued happiness. Hope you are wearing your glasses to read this! I have just had to start wearing mine all the time and it is a bit of a pain but I am getting used to them. The only time I really struggle is when I am digging - I take them off and just have a fuzzy world then. Jo x

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  40. Just discovered your blog :-) Beautiful pictures and so much love in your words. Hugs from Sweden.

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  41. So sorry for you loss Kate.

    Ah, glasses - they come to us all I believe. xx

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  42. My heart breaks for your enormous loss. Thank you for sharing. Sending you all my love from California. xo

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  43. We need more people like your grandpa, Mr Same - a king with the common touch. I was so pleased to see him in the firm embrace of the Labor Party. You come from a wonderful family, Kate, and it doesn't surprise me at all to know how you're feeling at the moment. Growing old is difficult, dying is difficult and although we all die alone, being surrounded by one's family as the time approaches is the best it can be.

    I've worn glasses for a loooooong time. I use the optometrist's cleaning cloth when I'm out and I wash them with a drop of ecostore dish liquid and warm water the rest of the time. I dry them with a piece of flannelette.

    Look after yourself, love. xx

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  44. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandfather, may we all live such rich lives.
    As for the glasses, my optometrist told me almost everyone needs them around the time they approach or hit the big birthday starting with a 4 and anyone who doesn't must be shortsighted to start off with. I needed them at that exact time. I have no clue on cleaning them, most of the time mine are terrible!
    Love the new flowers, I planted white cosmos last year and they self seeded and came back this year! yay!
    Love the socks too.
    Take care.

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  45. Dear Kate, what a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man. I wish you and your lovely family so much love. The flowers are gorgeous, your apple stall looked so inviting and those tomatoes so yummy.
    Big love, Lucy xxxx

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  46. So sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing even the heavy times with us. One day at a time, is all we can do. For the glass cleaning, I've found that microfibers do the best job and gentle for the lenses, and the best part they are washable. I cut small squares from them and stash them everywhere. I totally agree, veggies feed the body but flowers feed the soul. The book I'm reading now is an old one, One Man's Wilderness An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith.

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  47. Glasses - cleaning: Every morning after my shower, I put soap on my fingers and rub it on the lenses and then rinse off with warm water and then dry on a clean towel. I do this because I find that lens cleaner DOES NOT WORK. Soap and water does work.

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  48. I have been following your blog for a long time, but I have never commented. Your blog is so wonderful it inspired me to make one, as well. I started documenting the fun things and adventures we had as a family. 4 months ago, time stopped. My two year old son passed away suddenly in his sleep. They couldn’t find a cause. I am a completely changed person. I have been updating the same blog I always kept to help with healing. I have posted a link below. From this post back are all the posts from when we were complete. From this post forward is life without my Wesley. Sending love. Thank you for inspiring me to document life with my family. I am so thank for the year of posts I have with my son.

    http://gneissweiss.blogspot.com/2016/01/wesley-mahkato-racine.html

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  49. Saddened by the news of grandfather. Sending hugs

    wanting to know how do you preserve your tomatoes in jars? What do you add to the tomatoes? spices?

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  50. Sending you lots of love and wishing your grandfather a wonderful journey, grateful for your candid post, inspired by your family and your garden, and wishing you a gorgeous Mama's day tomorrow xx

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  51. I am very sorry sor your loss. I know howmit feels to lose a grandfather and this post makes me remember vividly what it was like those first days and weeks after. Sad, crippling, unfair. I still think of him, esoecially now that I am getting married and he is not here. But he will always be in my memories and so will yours be in your memories. Eventually it will only be the nice things that stay. I am sending you many many hugs. Take it day at a time, hour at a time. Xx

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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