Lovers Down Under

Hi Everyone!!

Well, It hasn’t been easy trying to find a moment to get some of our time together in Oz into blog form.

I did catch a few photos of some moments, but also was often busy enjoying the moments and forgot to take any!!

Nonetheless, Larrie and I arrived in Oz the eve of Sept 6 and were collected by daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Pearl ( 9 mths ). We stayed with them for 5 nights before flying to Sydney.

We had a wonderful time at the baby dedication for Pearl, out in a lovely park on the Sunday afternoon of the 9th.

It was a lovely afternoon!
Here’s the little family…The cute family

That night , Our Fireside Romance performed at Spaghetti & Jazz…but still trying to get some visuals of that.
Soon after, we flew to Sydney, and my son, Paul picked us up and took us to my mum’s, then after a GRAET night reuniting with my 2 brothers and 3 sons and sharing some music, we went up into the Blue Mountains.. Woodford , where we stayed a while with my little brother, Jamie.

The airbridge to Woodford station, coz we did take a train ride into Parramatta so Larrie could meet one of my friends, Andrew, with whom he had connected on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed being with my family so much and Larrie had a chance to meet a few more and deepen some relationships with others he already knew.

we enjoyed a breakfast in Burleigh, a lunch at Green Day cafe ( I think) and did an impromptu gig in Coolangatta, after attending A friend’s CD launch

Some video of the impromtu Sunhouse gig in Coolangatta…
sorry the first one is sideways… sound is clear tho 🙂

 

And finally… some fun with Pearl. I thought I haad some of her with Poppa Larrie too… but…maybe next time.

 

 

Long Distance for 4th of July

Our Fourth of July Holiday
Our Fireside Romance had a lovely little break away from the Bay Area over the July 4 holiday.
We have friends that have a nice cabin in the woods on Lake Almanor, some 260 miles from our door. It was a lovely drive once out of the traffic and get on Highway 5 heading north.

Seeing pockets of gum trees along the went made some locations look reminiscent of home, although they lack any of the accompanying wildlife I’m used to. Our trees love the hot, dry climate of the west slightly inland from the coast and benefit greatly from a good burn-off. The East Bay Area never really gets that hot, constantly tempered by winds and/or fog, but there are tons of gum trees. Whilst they flourish through a good burn and their oil acts as combustion liquid, the native trees do not replenish so well.

One thing the road trip lacked, giving it away as NOT being Ozzie, was the absence of something “BIG” lol.

Many of the pit stops on the Pacific Highway, are the milestone icons, such as The Big Banana, The Big Medieval Knight, The Big Avocado, The Big Pineapple, The Big Prawn and The Big Merino Sheep, just to name a few. As well as, The Dog on the Tuckerbox and The Black Stump.  Attractions that grew up very organically within the local communities where they are encountered.

Larrie at the Big Banana and beneath the Big Prawn.

Of course, there are natural landmarks, fields of sunflowers full of glorious gold and green ( which just so happen to be Australian National Colours-even though our flag is red, white and blue!) We caught some great sights of the very tall, snow capped Mt Lassen, throughout our trip , but we also encountered a lot of smokey haze from one of those fires in Yolo County, obscuring hills and mountains on all sides of the vast valley plains.

We weren’t away for long and I had my heart set on seeing a sunrise on the water, since I hadn’t seen a sunrise at all since leaving home five months ago…and I was used to watching almost every day, and frequently over the Pacific Ocean. I was up early enough to enjoy two of the three mornings and had to walk a 30 minute down hill and 40 minute uphill trek to get them! Always worth it.

Our friends had a 4th of July party on the middle day which kept us busy from early till late. We had music and I videoed these three brothers (Bucky, Denny and Dave May), who were most entertaining. Our hosts videoed a little of us as well.

I collected a lot of photographic content for creating some momentos, and maybe gifts, but am yet to paint anything. Still, this is a version of a momento! 😊
Below is one popular view for local artists and their  en plein aire adventures which I hope to capture in water colour  as well. ( Will let you know when I do!)

My takeaway from this blog is…don’t wait to go away to enjoy the  beauty around you. One thing I noticed is that I enjoyed being to relish the different conditions, but I take time every day to soak in and savour God’s creation wherever I am-sometimes from a simple flower, or fluttering butterflies, or beautiful skies. Whether tiny or vast, such things are so easily missed in the busyness of many peoples’ days. I make a point of looking for them!

Create beauty in your own little corner-just for you and God to share-your secret place, secret garden. Using your imagination to escape to a beautiful place, right where you are, has been proven to be the ‘stuff of holidays’. People who practice creativity do it as a lifestyle, losing themselves wholeheartedly in an expressive endeavor or project-however small. This is attested as having the affect of a holiday, disconnecting us from the cares and stresses of the days in which we live.

 

The whole hearted aspect is the critical component.
My challenge to you: take a holiday daily. Set your clock for however long you can give yourself, select a positive focus or activity (ANYthing) and get to it, abandoning all thought for everything else till your allotted time is up. Increase your time whenever you can.

Take note of the effects on your soul and psyche…and please…
Tell me all about it!

Sharing Noble Thoughts

Well hello!
This is sooooooo exciting!
Our first blog for OFR ( Our Fireside Romance)-!!

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Singing together at Cafe Pascal, Richmond, California

As we get set up and rolling here, you can expect to find access to our music and information about performances, whether local or live streaming.
But this is no ordinary musical couple music site, because aside from great love songs and duets, we want to share so much with you and give you a whole lot of added value! So, of course there will be plenty of music for lovers from your favourite romantic duo, but so much more as well!

Larrie and I have a lot of skills we can share when it comes to music and singing, unique arranging and performing, equipment reviews, songwriting tips, creativity, inspiration and creative thinking, related artwork, chordal knowledge and voicing…just a bunch of great content! So get ready to grab some quality free information that is practical and helpful for developing your own creative and musical abilities.

But not just music…after all, we specialise in music for …lovers, right?

So why put all the focus on the music and not add great content for creative ways to develop your romance as well!?

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Taken when recording in Jon Otis’ home studio in Emeryville, Ca

We want to share some thoughts on our experiences throughout our long distance love affair -from finding each other to staying together for years, even across an ocean, and moving forward as a couple, finally living in the same place. All of these stages of our experiences brought so many challenges on multiple fronts ( step families, hurts and fears from previous marriages, insecurities and separation anxiety, building one life across two countries) and if sharing from our story can bring hope to others, we would love to participate in that! Even if you don’t need this encouragement, maybe you know someone with a cross-country love ( or cross -ocean romance) who does, and wants to know if their long distance relationship ( LDR) has a real and lasting hope.

And who doesn’t love a good love story?- Especially when it’s a musical! lol

That’s us! Our Fireside Romance-Music For Lovers-and all who wanna be! 😉

So…just for making it all the way to the end, we want to give you a special ‘welcome to our site’ gift!’

And we would also like to hear your long distance relationship stories (whether yours or someone you know-just leave out their names!) Tell us about your experiences, challenges, successes, hopes and fears…maybe we can help! 🙂