Jumping into January – Our first Homestay

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” said David Bowie. That’s me, as I start this year of surrender and unknown paths. 2023 has begun slowly but with intention. In January it was to find a house sit for a week or so, nothing too far away, maybe three hours, so we could be back in Melbourne for our son’s birthday.

Three home stay applications later and no response. Not meant to be. Then came an unexpected last minute listing in Wodonga.

Perhaps I shouldn’t say “unexpected” because when we picture with intention it usually eventuates. it’s all in the timing. The only thing unexpected is the way it arrives.

The assignment was nine days looking after a home on half an acre while the owners were away. The pets? Two dogs, eight chickens and one rescue galah. It was three hours away and the dates fit perfectly.

Don’t you love it when the Universe responds.

A few messages and a phone call later and it was arranged. And when I met the owner, Stacey, we hugged like we were already friends. I felt at home right away. Complete with pets.

A Cast of Characters

Meet Captain, a one eyed rescue Kelpie who, will chase a ball 24/7. It’s his favourite pastime. And Rosie, a sweet natured beagle, much older, and much slower. Her big soulful eyes say “love me “ or maybe it’s really “feed me!”

Hampton, the one year old galah, is the resident bird, rescued after being injured and Stacey, softie that she is, tells me it would have been put down (like Captain) if they hadn’t taken her. Whilst I don’t like seeing birds caged an injured galah wouldn’t survive long in the wild. Hampton seems perfectly content in her large enclosure. She squawks, chats and says the odd choice words but mostly it’s “big wings.”

The chickens, (all named of course) well, they do their own thing but I’m reminded of why I love them. Not only for the fresh eggs but because, in giving them scraps from the kitchen, there’s so little waste.

Exploring the Area: Back to Yack

Wodonga is a perfect spot for exploring the best of the High Country. The historic towns of Beechworth, Yackandandah, Tallangatta and Myrtleford are all close by.

It was great to head back to Yack, a favourite place of ours. The trees have grown and there’s more cafes but otherwise it’s the same. Same charm, same wide streets and historic buildings, same friendly hospitality. Of course nothing truly stays the same, not ever.

“The one who travels like a lover searching for a new passion is suddenly blessed with new eyes, new ears, new senses.” Anais Nin

We did find a gin distillery with a new cellar door that we’d never tried previously, Yack Creek distillery. It’s nestled by the creek and is a gorgeous place to enjoy a beer and a gin.

But there was more than beer brewing.

No plonk could ease Doug’s back pain which had been building up over the week, and hit with a vengeance that night. Fortunately I got him in to see a chiropractor in Wodonga. Our slow pace slowed even more and the sumptuous king sized therapeutic mattress in the house was a blessing.

Beechworth and Woolshed Falls

On day five we headed into Beechworth, famous for many things including the old jail (which now houses outdoor movie nights) the scrummy Bakery and Billsons Brewery.

But it’s the Woolshed Falls I love the most. It’s one of my favourite places we visited with our kids a few years ago. Now, all grown up, forging their own paths, it reminds me of our journey as a family and now this, our next stage. My motto at the moment:

Less doing, more being. Don’t fight the flow, be the flow.

It was the perfect place to be on a hot day, sitting amongst the rock pools at the top.

Simple Joys and Little Guests

Can you see the lizard to the far left of the water bowl?

One day a blue tongue lizard crashed the homestay dynamics and caused quite a commotion. Captain was curious to the point of being a pain in the butt and the lizard seemed to not care about anything. But it was vulnerable so Doug relocated it out the front.

Captain’s favourite pastime slowly became mine. And inadvertently after I’ve thrown the ball a dozen times I’d end up on the trampoline, not jumping on it so much as basking in the warmth, under the shady backyard canopy. Captain often joined me.

Lying back, gazing up at a brilliant blue sky, with Captain and Rosie nearby, I felt the knowing. It’s ok to just “be”. We often feel we have to be busy all the time. But dogs know when to play and when to slow down.

The simple joys are the best. This year stop and smell the roses a bit more, jump a little higher, unleash your inner child and play as often as you work.

This year give yourself permission to slow down.

Follow your intuition, live in each moment and try not to get caught up in the needless worries and the noise of the external world.

This year open yourself up to receive miracles and blessings.

From Wodonga we headed northwards and spent four blissful nights camped by the river at Mitta Mitta. Close by The Witches Garden weaved it’s magic on me. Then it was back to Melbourne.

On the horizon I see more home stays, more giving, more connections, more adventures and of course more writing and more stories.

I see lots of love amid the mess and madness of the world and I also see a big blazing light at the end of this tumultuous tunnel we’ve been in. Believe in yourself this year. Let’s all step into our personal power and potential and create the best year we possibly can.

Shine on in 2023. With love and peace always.


A mindful moment at The Witches Garden
There’s always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman
Life flows when we trust in where we’re going even when we don’t know where it leads.
At Woolshed Falls
By my bed at the home stay, my Gratitude Journal and this coaster which sums up exactly how I feel these days. “All things are possible if you believe.”


50 thoughts on “Jumping into January – Our first Homestay

  1. I’m sitting here in my favourite cafe by the sea, sipping my cappuccino… I settle into my WordPress app and up pops out and about! Posted 22 minutes ago! So good day to you dear Miriam, so pleased life is flowing and you’re embracing this year… no matter what it brings! Your post makes me smile and I love seeing your photos and quotes! I’m sorry but your post also gave me a giggle too when I try and say your funny town names! Yack, Wodonga… etc… how do people come up with these names I wonder! Anyway, enjoy your upcoming birthday celebration… mine in coming up too next week! 22nd! It all feels good and let’s continue being the change❤️ much love my dear friend🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Barbara, how lovely to see you here again. I can just picture you enjoying your cappuccino by the sea. I’ve not long finished my short black by the river!I had to chuckle at your reference to our crazy place names. Trust me, these are just the tip of the iceberg! 😂 May your year flow with grace and ease my friend, sending an early birthday wish to you and much love your way. ❤️

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  2. Miriam, first I wish you a wonderful and creative 2023 and it seems you’ve started with just the perfect house sit! Captain looks very content and the area is beautiful and lots to explore for you. I hope your husband’s back pain eases and have fantastic birthday celebration with your son! As always, a post full of harmony and wisdom – a joy to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Annika, so nice to hear from you again. And yes, I agree, the house sit in Wodonga was the perfect way to begin the year. A very happy and creative new year to you too my friend. Hope it’s a wonderful one for you.

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    1. Thanks very much Jill. Hubby’s back has improved greatly since writing this. Two back surgeries? I hope life is treating you well these days. Sending love and best wishes. 💗

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  3. Happy New Year dear Miriam and such a wonderful and beautiful post as always. Nice to see you as a family and such lovely pictures of the pets. I completely agree with you we need to be thankful for everything that God has given us. Thanks a lot.

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  4. Mariam, you took me back in time to my pet-sitting days, and I couldn’t help but smile seeing the faces of your little companions. I met so many wonderful people and pets, and though it wore me out, I’m glad I did it. I’ve got so many stories to tell. How exciting for you! Your photos are gorgeous, and you and Doug are beaming. I can relate to the bad back thing, so I hope he is feeling better. You are grabbing hold of the unknown and carving your path, and it inspires me. I plan to write a post about it, but I will tell you first. I begin a leave of absence from work on April 28th and am going to travel for a year. I can’t believe my dream is about to come true! My dad and stepmom died 15 months apart and I haven’t had a chance to regroup. My job is incredibly stressful so I’m not in the best physical shape. I need a break and new horizons to heal my soul and repair my body. Thank god I have a supportive team at work. So that glass of wine together might happen sooner than we thought. 😀 🍷I’m super happy for you, Miriam – what a beautiful life you have created. ❤️

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    1. Aww Tanya, yes, we have. And I do feel blessed.❤️ I actually got goosebumps reading your words. Am so excited knowing the journey you’re about to embark on, “grabbing hold of the unknown and carving your path”. It’s a thrilling and liberating feeling, scary too, but I guess that’s all part of surrendering to the unknown. Good on you! Is Australia in your sights at all? I would love for that glass of wine together to eventuate. Regardless, enjoy all the planning, preparation and anticipation. Life is to be grabbed and cherished. And you’re doing just that my friend. How wonderful! 🥰

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      1. Thank you, Miriam. It’s all very exciting, and it still doesn’t seem real. The only thing I know so far is that I have to be in Spain on June 22nd, and that’s all I got. My friends want to take off in May with me, but we don’t know the details yet. I’m, of course, considering Australia/New Zealand, so there is a strong possibility I will see you! 🤗In the meantime, enjoy every second of your adventure! ❤️

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        1. It all sounds so wonderful. Spain is a country I’ve always wanted to visit so enjoy that and everything else. I’m so excited for you Tanya and yeah, hopefully you’ll make it down under. Have a happy new week. 💗

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  5. You bring such inspiration with your posts, Miriam, especially this one! I adore your quotes, photos, & the ways you think about life in general. If you ever plan a trip to the Southwestern US, please let me know so we soul sisters can meet! Wishing you a new year replete with all good, simple, blessed things & experiences. 💛🌞🌻

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  6. Miriam, what can’t you pack into a post? You considered that January started off slow? Are you kidding me? Sounds to me like it’s jumping! First the house-sitting and all those wonderful words and pictures of those delightful pets and then off you go getting hubby’s back fixed (hope he’s doing better) and then on you fly through those crazy sounding towns. I wouldn’t even TRY to pronounce them correctly. I’m laughing out loud as I type this. LOVED your photographs!! I was drooling!

    And oh yes every single time when we ask or Intend and the Universe responds it is never in the way we thought It would. It keeps us on our toes and brings so much surprise and good tidings to us. I asked the Universe AND Intended that I show New Earth to my followers. Now here I’m thinking …. oh cool I’m going to be shown a portal and I can pop off to anywhere I want to …. but um no, instead I’m showing by “action” and through my illustrious creations called art what New Earth means. How interesting and how very much in awe I AM!

    So off we go together to the next adventure. I’m like …. in looking back I’ve learned this and that and the other and I’m OK with all of it (which is huge!) and now I’m waiting to see where this adventure next leads me and what else I’ll unlearn to learn NEW. How exciting!!!

    Much love to you!! Give hubby a big hug from me cuz I know what a hurting back is like. My advice? And I know it probably won’t be taken well yet I do it. He needs to strengthen his core muscles through exercise. Yep, that dreaded word …. exercise. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy, yep, I found you in my Spam, again! I’ve come to expect the unexpected. Thank you for your gorgeous words, some which made me chuckle and many which totally resonated when you spoke about intention. Yes, the Universe does listen but it also does keep us on our toes with what it delivers. Stay in awe my friend, I feel as though this is just the beginning of so much wonder we’ll be witness to, when we keep our eyes open. And I know yours are wide open. Thanks for your advice about Doug’s back too. You’re absolutely right, more exercise is needed so I’ve planned a big walk together for today. Sending big hugs and lots of love. xx

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Aww gorgeous friend, thank you but it’s not my birthday, it was Daniel, my son who turned 22! But I’ll accept the hugs lol. Sending big ones back to you!!! xxx ❤️

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  7. Ohhh…. I have been itching to get to your post I spotted in my phone folder the other day Miriam… But I find it difficult to comment using my very small keypad from there… And make far too many mistakes..

    So loved how synchronicity works… When its meant to be it is meant to be.. and You dear friend are IN THE FLOW.. 🙂
    Loved those gorgeous for legged and winged one that was your pleasure to home sit.. And those falls…. Wonderful…

    How quickly time passes when we look back at family photos of places we went as a family, and now they are all grown up leading their lives…

    You continually inspire me Miriam… In that you Are in the Flow… You are living in the Moment, and making the most of each second..
    Learning that it is okay to slow down, and relax, and breathe in the beauty…

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful way of living Miriam, and I do hope your hubbies back has healed and no more pain..

    Sending LOVE and well wishes we are all blessed to have you within our virtual lives… ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello dear Sue, how lovely to read your uplifting and encouraging words as always. Thank you so much, for your kind well wishes (yes, hubby’s back pain is slowly healing) and for being here on this virtual journey with me. Time is indeed passing very quickly these days. Here’s to going with the flow and trusting in it all. Sending you much love back my friend and trusting all is well there at your end. Big hugs xx ❤️❤️

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  8. Miriam, your 2023 has BEGUN ❤ And your crew of pets is just perfect! I love that you are go with the flow of the universe kinda gal. Its the best way to live an open minded and heart centred life. Loved all the little moments of pure bliss in this post. Lots of love and light to you ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. Thanks Zeenat. Yes I’m finding that when we go with the flow of the Universe, life unfolds with more ease and less resistance. Lots of love and light to you too ❤️

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