Looking back on 2016…

Greetings and Salutations my Friends,

I thought I would do a quick “New Year’s Eve” look back on the year that was 2016.

How did the year fare for you?

I have to say that it wasn’t THE worst year for us, sure we had a lot of illness in the family, and Paul’s job finished, but there has been a lot of good things happen too….here is my year:

On January 6th, we adopted our Rudy from the RSPCA ~ he has turned out to be the loveliest dog we could have asked for.  Somebody put a lot of time and effort into this dog, and after a short period of anxiousness, he has settled into not only our household, but that of the neighbours too!!

In Feb-March 2016 I was working at TAFE SA, where I contracted a nasty virus that I haven’t been able to get rid of this year, and I have managed to pass it onto both Paul & Caetlyn at some stage.  Even towards the end of 2016 Paul & I both have our up and down days with this virus (which keeps coming back) – it has been such a bad one that we have put on extra weight (because we have been too ill at stages to have proper food and have fallen into the junkfood is quicker syndrome).

May 2016 I started back at my old job at “DEWNR”, I was stressing that I wouldn’t be able to do the job as it might have changed quite a bit – all unnecessary as I am totally Rockin’ it…..I have signed a year contract whilst the other staff member is on maternity leave…so we will see what happens in May 2017!!

June 2016 – October 2016 were hellish winter months for us, all it seemed to do is rain…so again I sat, lethargic – not a jot of energy – eating a lot – and putting on weight….though we did attend a Halloween Party at the end of October where we got to dress up (even if we did only last a couple of hours there)!!

July 2016 Paul’s job came to an end ~ but that was not really a bad thing as I got my chauffeur back + his health was extremely bad from all the chemicals that they used there.  His asthma was through the roof, he had to have the nebuliser twice a day + asthma medication all day!

November 2016 I started riding my bike on the days that were not raining still….45 minutes there and 45 minutes back ~ I always dread it because it uses up so much of my energy, but I always feel invigorated when I do it, which gives me a little bit more energy + satisfaction knowing that I am doing something towards my health.

December 2016 I celebrated my 56th birthday by having a week off as annual leave – which was nice, all I basically did was sleep and relax as I still didn’t have any energy to trip the light fantastic!!  I don’t think I am doing too bad at this age, because I am not on any regular medications and am fairly up and happening (except for this virus)…

Then it was Christmas and I scored another week off as “DEWNR” closed their doors until the New Year….another week for doing not much but resting…though we have started back in the gym again ~ trying to give ourselves some more health and energy…we have been eating a lot of salad rolls, sushi, and lighter meals as well…Paul has lost 3 kilo already!!  I haven’t bothered to weigh myself yet, I don’t need the disappointment right now!

I have been trying to find clothes to fit into, but have found that I am between sizes at the moment – size M (12-14) is too tight and size L (16-18) is too big….which depressed me greatly.  I am feeling too uncomfortable in my skin at the moment and need to get this under control as I can’t wear any of my nice clothes (and I have lots of them).

So it’s New Years Eve ~ soon to be 2017…..

I can say that if you were a celebrity in 2016 you are blessed if you are still with us, it seemed every other day another celebrity died…it’s been a shocking year for deaths – even non-celebrity.

So what have I learnt this year?  Patience, life doesn’t always go the way you planned or wanted it to go, sometimes it goes in a far different direction ~ you just have to sit back, take it as it comes, take a deep breath and get through it.  Sure make plans still, there is nothing wrong with that, but be patient when things go awry ~ like this illness that we have, all in good time it will get better, I have to be patient and work towards building my immune system, cleansing my body, not eating as much and exercising.  I’m sure one day I am going to wake up and feel on top of the world!!  I am counting my blessings!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Years and I hope that your lives will be blessed in 2017 with an abundance of health, happiness, prosperity, peace and love…

New Years Blessings,


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Season’s Greetings….a small catch up…

Hello Everyone,

Well it has been a busy December and also one for illness in the family, which is the reason why I haven’t been updating my blog of late…but all is getting better and moving forward now.

We were late putting up our Christmas Tree this year (I wasn’t going to bother as we are not really into Christmas), but at 11:30pm, Paul decided that he and Caetlyn were going to put the tree up – so they cranked up the stereo with the “Twisted Sister Heavy Metal Christmas” album and did a wonderful job:

Christmas Tree (with light on)

Christmas Tree (with light on)


Whilst they were doing that I decided to make some Christmas Tree Shortbread for us all to enjoy – they turned out ok (still not used to my new oven yet – but I’m getting there):

Christmas Tree Shortbread

Christmas Tree Shortbread








We were going to go away in our mobile home “PANCHI” for Christmas Day, but Paul was still feeling a bit under the weather and didn’t know if he could really drive a long way…and to tell you the truth, I really hate travelling on Christmas Day plus the weather was too hot, so we decided that we couldn’t be bothered, we stayed home and had THE most lovely Christmas ever…

I knocked up a quick Chrissy lunch, which included TURKEY, Roast Potatoes, Roast Carrot, Roast Sweet Potato and Pumpkin, Broccoli, Green Beans, mixed veggies and gravy, plus a side of herb bread:


My Santa Toothpick holder

My Santa Toothpick holder

I made it look as “Christmassy” as I could with the reindeer placemats, Green Serviettes, Gold Cutlery, Santa & Reindeer salt & pepper shakers, and real Austrian Crystal Glasses….just to make it a bit special for the family.

I even made jellies from scratch for desert, though we were too full from the main course to eat any – so that will be for tomorrow!!


Christmas Tea Light Centrepiece

We then watched Christmas Movies – “The Muppet Christmas Carol” & Disney’s “Peter Pan” (well the second one I fell asleep in..hahaha), then Paul & Caetlyn had dinner and we played scrabble until the wee hours of the morning!!

I am on holidays at the moment and don’t have to go back to work until the 3rd of January 2017… YAY!! (So I don’t have to get up at the crack of stupid ~ so thankful).

Speaking of 2017 ~

I have decided that 2017 IS going to be a better year than 2016 (which has been for the most, a very horrid year for a lot of people), but I will write about that in another blog soon. (I have already started making new beginnings ~ I have changed my Instagram from “Blue Strawberry Health” just to “DARKWENCH”, the Blue Strawberry Health Natural Therapies has been put on the back burner for a while as I feel I cannot dedicate enough of my time to do it properly).

So until then – I hope your Christmas Day was wonderful, and that you spent it with family and friends, happy and contented, grateful for any blessings that came your way.

Until next time ~ 
Catch you later,

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Stepping out of my comfort zone….

Greetings Dearies,

It’s not very often that I do something socially as I am very much a hermit, but we were invited to go to a Halloween Party this weekend (yes I know, it is BELTANE here and not SAMHAIN but we do love a bit of fun too).  So we donned on our Halloween glad-rags and decided to participate in this gathering of ghouls and misfits…


Caetlyn went as the Vampire Queen, Paul went as the Grim Reeper and I went (naturally) as a green witch.

I must say I was very proud of us, we lasted a whole 2 hours before we got the jitters and had to leave….I think that is a record for us hermits.

I must admit to you that I don’t like being out of my comfort zone, and even though I try my hardest not to let it show in social situations, I get very anxious and want to run away from people and hide in my own little world.

There was only a few people that we knew at the party – mainly people in the theatre industry, but once we had chatted to them, had a couple of drinks, I just wanted to go home.

Both Caetlyn and Paul are no better than me in that respect either….Caetlyn was bored and getting eaten alive by mosquitos and Paul was chatting to a few people, but wanted to leave as he was getting eaten alive too by the pesky little insects (BTW – they don’t eat me, I must have poison in my veins…LOL).

So we were there from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – a record for us I think!!

It was fun to dress up, but it was lovely to come home and relax in our world.

We are such hermits!!!

I think it will be a long time before I come out of my comfort zone again!!


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The Night the Earth stood still – or at least in South Australia…

The day started out with beautiful blue skies and sunshine, it was quite warm for this time of the season, so off we all went – to our respective jobs.

Everyone in the office was commenting on the lovely weather and saying “well, maybe the Bureau of Meteorology were wrong”, for they had predicted a really bad storm was going to come our way. We all looked at the blue sky – with not a cloud visible – and laughed…

An hour later I looked out the window and the blue skies had turned to gray…the storm clouds were rolling in, but we didn’t realise at that time how mighty this storm was going to be.

Then the rain and the wind hit, the skies were a dark gray – almost black, but we were dry in the office and thought nothing of it. The lightening was spectacular and the thunder shook the building it was that loud…. sent tingles up my spine!!

It wasn’t until 3.45pm that the power just went out… Computers, lights, lifts in the building etc., at that stage I didn’t know if it was just our block or if was wider.

There was nothing for me to do but leave work (as I normally leave at 4.00pm anyway), 5 flights of stairs down to the outside of the building and out into the rain. My thoughts turned to people who may be trapped in the lift and I messaged my work colleague Jan, who had left a couple of minutes before the blackout, to see if she was trapped in the lift…luckily she messaged me later to say she was OK.

Paul was waiting to pick me up and then we had to try to get home. Then I realised that it wasn’t just our block, but the whole city… Trying to negotiate road junctions with other nervous road users, people taking silly risks and not being patient… I was so glad to get home.

We found out that the whole of South Australia’s power was down – and the Power Company didn’t know when it would be back on either, stating, “that it could be down for a long time”.

Lucky for us we have a gas cooker, so we have been boiling water for hot drinks and we have had a good old standby – bacon & beans with toast…. just to keep the chills out, all by candle light. Then Paul stood there with a torch whilst I did the washing up…LOL…


So we have been lighting candles all over the house (It’s kind of romantic), playing music on an old tape deck that runs on batteries, all rugged up with blankets and hot water bottles.

Outside the storm still rages, but it is eerily dark everywhere – no street lights, no lights in neighbour’s houses…all very spooky.

I stepped out in the back garden and could hear sirens, alarms going off, and even what sounded like gun shots.!!

This concerned Paul who made us get a few weapons of choice up together just in case – he believes there will be trouble tonight – maybe not here, but it is always good to be prepared….and would we use our weapons to defend our property….you better believe it!! We have locked the front gates, pulled down all the front roller shutters and secured the garage and side gate…. The only way into this house is through the roof, and if you get in that way – good luck to you because we have a pitbull… I bet he can chase someone down no matter how scared they are!!

We have no idea what is going on as the Internet is down and Vodafone has gone to SOS mode only…

So here we are, back in the dark ages – well that’s what it seems like, the earth has stood still for us – not a lot to do (unless you have a laptop and can write a blog in Word…LOL)…. It is charming to sit in candlelight and listen to lovely music without the noise of the world coming through at you from everywhere.











I have to wonder whether I will be going to work tomorrow if the power is still off…. There won’t be anything for me to do and I doubt if I will be able to get in the building…

The other thing I worry about is the $500.00 worth of food that I have in the freezer, which will spoil if the power doesn’t come on soon. The power has been off for just over 5 hours now. (I know, first world problems)

We are lucky though – we have a roof over our heads, clothes and blankets to keep us warm, food & drink, and the ability to have some light… I have to wonder about all the homeless on night’s like this – I bet all the hostels and refuges are full to overflowing….so sad..

I have predicted that the power will come on around 11.00pm – we shall see if my prediction is correct – or I am a fraud…LOL…  (PS – writing the next morning to tell you that I am NOT a fraud – the power came on at 11:01 pm)

Here is a poem I wrote in the silence of the night:

In the darkened, brooding skies she did wait,
To cast her rage against those who betrayed her in the earth below.

Out of her finger tips vivid strips of cracking light refracted through the clouds,
Her tremendous roar being heard like an earthquake throughout the land.

Tears streaming from her saddened eyes flooded the plains below
As her fire and ice breath circled around through the trees.

Enduring her pain she cast a spell to those who betrayed her heart,
Absorbing all their power from below, leaving them in the dark and cold,

The land is laid baron and forlorn,
Retribution has been made..

And she moves on…

They call her STORM!!









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Looking at things through different eyes…..

Greetings my fellow lovers of life,

Today I wish to talk to you about viewing  life from a different perspective.  Lately I have been feeling rather down, mainly due to the winter months….feeling fat, sick and tired all the time….but the other day – on our Caetlyn’s birthday, we went for a lovely drive down to the copper coast and had a most lovely day looking at nature, being fascinated by sheep, crows, beautiful scenery, old houses, farms, clouds, sunshine, the skies and the rain.

Paul and an old farmhouse that has been left to ruins.

Paul and an old farmhouse that has been left to ruins.

It got us (as a family) thinking about priorities in life, what we want out of life and how we want to go about achieving it.  Caetlyn decided she needed to cut back on Social Media, so she deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts – with doing that she has achieved writing some music.  Paul has decided that rather than spend all night after work just watching movies, we will watch one or two episodes of a series after dinner and then turn the television off around 8:30pm so we can do other things.

I have decided to return to my study and start taking care of my health…today I did half an hour on the treadmill and had good food to eat….I hope to carry that through for the rest of this week so that I can be fitter to start riding my bike to work when spring hits in a few weeks.

Paul found this picture which really has stopped us in our tracks and made us think about what we do in our lives- Mind Full vs Mindful – I think this say’s a lot of how we are in society these days – so much to do, jobs to rush to, relationships, keeping households and cars running, kids if you have them (we don’t)always having to think about stuff constantly can wear you down….unlike a dog who lives in the now and just enjoys the moment..


This year I returned to my former employer (Department of Environment, Water & Natural Resources) after being away from them for 18 months….when I left I was drained and tired and hated being there……after I had been away from there for that all time and working in other Government Departments, I come to realise and appreciate how good it actually was there – so it has changed my whole perspective of the place and how I approach my workload.

So onwards and upwards for us, let’s hope that we can learn to be present and enjoy our special moments so that we can appreciate what we have in this life instead of complaining all the time about what we don’t have!!

How about you? Do you live in the NOW?

Have a great week everyone!!

Cheeries Dearies,

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Winter Blues!!!

Hi everyone in Cyberland,


It’s winter here in Australia at the moment, and I find myself once again being affected by it ~ they call it Seasonal Affective Disorder or the SADS – I call it the Winter Blues, as I do not feel I have a disorder of any type.

We are half way through the season and I really am hanging for spring right now.  I know the weather is going to get much worse before it gets better, so I am slightly miserable and depressed ~ all I feel like doing is hibernating away from people (which makes it difficult to go to work…LOL).  We don’t get snow where we live but we do get rain and very high winds that seem to go on for days at a time.  If we got snow at least I would have something to pretty to admire!!

All I want to do is stay home in my sanctuary and sleep ~ but somehow, sleeping doesn’t come easy as I find myself awake more than I am asleep – plus I am constantly tired.  Even typing this I feel my eyes getting heavy!!

I really need to exercise as I have put on so much weight (I can feel my clothes are just too tight), but I feel I don’t have the energy….I used to have energy….I think….it’s sort of a distant memory…..maybe!!

Just going to the shops wears me out so much that I need to crash afterwards..

Today I did the grocery shopping and by the time I got home I was exhausted and wondering how I didn’t stab anyone whilst I was out (stupid people were everywhere today)…and I haven’t done much since (except yawn a lot)…I guess it doesn’t help that everyone else in the family are not feeling well either…makes us all a miserable bunch of so and so’s!!

I don’t know when my turning point will come – I hope it is soon, but until it does I am just going to go with the flow and not stress about it too much (because if I stress about it things will get worse).

So how do you deal with the “Winter Blues”….tell me your secrets!!


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I haven’t forgotten you…

It has been a very long time since I have posted here….
I haven’t forgotten you all…
Just been very busy!!
I have a lot of ideas on what I want to post about ~ I just haven’t had the time…
I will be back soon!!
Until then, take care – smile often – love forever – keep well…

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I have a new toy…..

Hello my little peaches,

I have a new toy……oh yes…..I am blessed!!

excaliburThis is my Excalibur 9 tray Dehydrator.  Now I can make raw snacks and crackers, pizza bases, raw wraps, dried fruits and vegetables, including dried tomatoes.

Any excess in the garden can be dried for later use.

Also for my herbs for my herbal medicine, and when I go Witchy making my smudge sticks and kyphi incense.

The first couple of times I have made KALE Chips and I have dehydrated bread crusts to make my own bread crumbs (after all, shop bought bread crumbs have a whole load of different chemicals and numbers in them – I like to know what’s in the food I eat).
Kale chips

Here is a picture of my HUGE jar of Kale chips.

I also made some that have a cheesy taste to them – without any animal products – it’s made with a cashew cream, made cheesy by adding nutritional yeast (which is full of vitamin B12, which is really important for a plant based person like me).

I am so looking forward to creating new and exciting things with my new dehydrator and will post recipes on how to do it eventually (once I have sorted out the ingredients and quantities etc).

Until next time,
A happy witch

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The Witch within….

DARKWENCH LOGOMellow greetings my lovelies,

I haven’t written about this subject for a very long time:                      WITCHCRAFT.


I seem to have lost my way over the last few years, however I am now looking into my WITCHCRAFT journey as I feel I NEED this now more than ever.  I have let the so called “normal” world take it’s place and I find myself drained, lacking in energy and motivation to complete the simplest of tasks.  I find I suffer more from depression and the miseries a lot, and find myself just sitting on my derrière  and dwelling on it.  Diet has a bit to do with it, which I am endeavouring to clean up , as does exercise, which I am trying to do half an hour a day walking plus some gym work during the week (in our home gym in the garage) – but there is also another aspect – spirituality and nature awareness is needed to feel more complete.  I NEED this – always have and always will – to me, Witchcraft is a Nature based belief, and to me (my spirit) very essential.


I usually keep the witchy side of my life to myself, mainly because people can be so judgemental and nasty, but now I do want to sort of totally “Come out of the broom closet” so to speak.  Some of you who already know me personally understand that I have been this way for a very, very long time.  I just didn’t want you the new reader, to be shocked thinking that I have changed my tact from Health Professional to Witch overnight – as I do want to start talking about my witchy journey (as well as my health journey)  in future posts – let me explain further:

Ever since I was a wee slip of a girl I have been at one with nature, looking how things grow, how insects and animals interact with the earth, how the earth turns, how people mistreat the earth and it’s beings etc., and have always been interested in WITCHCRAFT.

I remember being in this huge field filled with buttercups when I was young, lying down amongst them and looking at the bright blue skies, just breathing in the scents and the warm air – being thankful to mother nature for putting it there for me to become one with, it just seemed so magical  – I felt so blessed (yes even back then I was very intense!!).

nature copy 2

My Mother being a stout Christian, didn’t like the idea of her daughter mixing in those circles, I’m sure she thought that I was going to get involved with DEVIL worshippers and have sex orgies etc,..LOL, and she tried through the years to get me interested in going to Church.  (well actually I was forced to every Sunday) – It just didn’t seem real to me, I couldn’t “just have faith” that the God  spoken about in the bible was viable. I couldn’t see him and how could he allow all the atrocities in the world to happen if he indeed was a loving God…I tried, I really did – right up into my adult life – but I found the bible to be truly horrific, full of killings and revenge, not at all a nice story to embrace, nothing to enhance ones spirit, all those parables that could have more than one meaning (sick of hearing every Sunday that I was going to hell, and that obviously you are not praying hard enough if things keep going wrong for you…it’s your fault, you should be on your knees 24/7 praying for forgiveness).  But I had to oblige up to a certain point as I was living under her roof.  I survived by going for very long walks in nature, sitting and earthing myself.

My Dad however, got off scot free – he  never went to Church, he just pottered around in his garden, growing veggies and flowers and herbs and all sorts of things.  He was the one who taught me all about nature and animals, the seasons, what to do, what not to do, when to do it, moon cycles etc., he was pagan and didn’t even know it.

When I was old enough to go to the local library I sought out books to do with witchcraft, wicca, paganism and the occult as I was fascinated with them, and over the years I have gained knowledge and nurtured that side of me so as to be more of an eclectic witch and green witch, basically taking bits and pieces from other witchcraft paths and making one that resonates with me and my garden on a spiritual level.   wicca scott cunningham

Books are my friends and my teachers, we have a whole library of books here at the Darkwench Castle – there is never nothing to read at any time.

Most Witchcraft is far from that ideal of satanism (as dear Mother would have thought it to be).  In most witchcraft there is no belief in Satan or the Devil, there is a belief in good and evil, black and white, yin and yang, in other words a balance of the light side and the dark side (feels like breaking into Darth Vader mode when I say this…LOL).  Yes there are some that do worship and believe in Satan, but I prefer to call them Satanists and not Witches, Wizards or Warlocks.  Most of us are not fanatics that wave our wands around willy-nilly, we mostly sit in nature, listening to the earth and it’s inhabitants, breathing the air, receiving the water and earth as it provides for us, feeling the warmth of the sun as it rises in the east and sets in the west.  I am an introverted witch, I steal inside myself to capture the spirit of the elements and ground myself to them.

I am a qualified herbalist, so yes – I do make up concoctions (potions, lotions, creams, tisanes, infusions and more) for my health and that of others if they so require, from my garden.  I make my own smudge sticks to purify and cleanse my house and property.  My garden is sacred to me and as of late I have let it down severely with neglect.  I will have to spend a lot of time out there and get it sorted so I can get it flourishing as before.

An Oracle of the wild Green WorldI also use RUNES, TAROT cards and ORACLE cards to give support and information regarding pathways to those who seek it.  I bought some lovely oracle cards the other day that just speak to me – The Faery Forest by Lucy Cavendish.  I love each and every card in this pack.  I have never used oracle cards before because I didn’t like some of the cards – but as I said, these ones speak to me.

So hopefully, after much study – I will be using these fairly soon.

I have also started to dress a bit more “witchy”, I haven’t done so for such a long time – my hubby is happy because he says he loves his witchy wife and wants me to dress to who I am, not to societies ideal. (I tell ya, I love that man to the moon and back – he is THE most supportive person I have ever met).

Anyway, so now I am looking at furthering my spiritual journey as well as my health journey…it’s just a total DARKWENCH JOURNEY, and this is after all what this blog is supposed to be about.

Even if you do not agree with my choices, I hope that you come back to my blog and catch up with me when you can – just park your broom (if you have one), pull up a chair by the hearth and have a cuppa with me – the cauldron is always bubbling!!

cuppaBut for now I bid thee a good night!


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