Sunday, June 18, 2017

Been Depressed, Been Working On It

A few weeks ago, I was really depressed... and I mean, I just couldn't get myself out of it. But I've been slowly working at getting myself out of that and back into my happy space.

It's not easy, but I'm getting there.

I'm back into reading again; and that's a start. I'm also painting again too. I'm into the last fine bits of my painting for a raffle at Murarrie State School; and I'm looking forward to it too.

It's Winter and I'm hoping to get my butt into my garden again  as well with the pots I scored from the Logan City Council and some potting mix. And recently, I scored some cuttings of white Frangipanis which are going to look just lovely in a few years' time, once they get going in their own pots!

I'm still decluttering the house - the most recent item I've cleaned out is the entertainment unit. I've found so many VCR tapes and we have to look into getting them digitised as we can't view them on digital televisions as they're analogue tapes.
And I'm still tightening up the house so much. I still want to add a few more wall-hangings - but I just can't find them at charity stores. So, it looks like I'll have to find pictures of what I want a painting of and duplicate it on my own, find a suitable frame and hang it myself. 

Really, I'm hanging to move out of this place still. I do need a real house - not another townhouse as the body corporate fees are just too expensive - to live in. The extra space would be good for me and so would the extra yard for me to use for a garden... seeing I've started expanding my garden into a forest of its own now. 

Yep, I'm still fighting the Black Dog on a daily basis, and I'm winning. In the last week, I came down with Laryngitis and I'm getting over it quickly with antibiotics which make me feel like throwing up and falling over at the same time. Either way, I'm sleeping at night and my voice is returning quickly - unlike last Thursday and Friday when it wasn't with me at all. Well, I'm hoping to get myself to my art class tomorrow... I have missed it dearly. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Been A While

I'm sorry. It's been a while, and I haven't written anything here. It's not because I haven't got anything to write - or say - I do.

It's because I'm not happy in myself and I don't really want to burden you all with it.

I hate depression. It really does get me down and I wish it would go away; and normally it does. However, this time it's sticking around longer than it usually does. And I know why. 

I'm not happy with where I'm living. I've lived in the same place for almost 15 years and I really don't the space to do what I want to do around the townhouse. Every time I want to do any sewing, I have to move things off the kitchen table, open it up, pull down my sewing machine and do my sewing all in one day. Then after I'm finished, I have to put it all away so I can eat dinner at the same table. 

If I want to paint, I have to do the same thing at the work bench. There's only so much room I have around me before I have to pull out another table, move the chair - and I can't get around the extra table to get to the toilet or outside. Then, when it's time to finish up, I have to pack every last thing away so I don't trip over it later that night.

There's simply no room for me to just leave my gear where it is and go into another room and let it all alone for a day or two. 

Another room... now that's what I need... a 3rd bedroom so I can have a craft room where I can have all my things out and ready to use; where I don't have to put them away all the time, where I can just sit and sew or paint and draw or read art books and magazines. However, to have that 3rd room, I have to move out of the complex.

Herein lays the dilemma. I can't get out of here without a bank loan - which I'm unable to get from any bank; believe me I've tried. Nobody will lend me the money to buy a house off my own bat because I don't have collateral (which I'm still fuzzy on what that is exactly). I don't have any debt, no credit card, and paid off my last car in record time; so why I can't get a loan is beyond me if my credit rating is perfect and I'm unlikely to lose my pension anytime soon. And speaking of which, I'm unable to get a deposit together because the pension doesn't really allow you to save anything up - unlike the normal pay packet - it only just covers what you need to live; and that's it. So, how am I supposed to get a place of my own without relying on renting off somebody else? 

This means I'm stuck here until further notice... I hate this but it's true. I want to move, but can't - not won't - and am hating my position in life right now. 

So, this is why I haven't written for a while. This is heavy shit that's been on my mind for a long time; and is bubbling to the surface. My brother has been talking to me about it and knows I want to move as well. So he's more than glad to help me out with this too. I'm so happy he's on my side... but this will take time. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The War On Waste - Part 2

Tuesday night was the second episode of this 3-part series on how wasteful we are as a nation.

However, the greatest thing about this show on the ABC is that they're not sugar-coating anything. The journalist has been telling us exactly what's been going on, who's avoiding him, which emails are saying what and who's giving him mixed messages in those emails too. 

We are being told that we are a wasteful, throwaway society, unable to fix things, refusing to accept old things or second-hand things. And yet, when I had to change my living room around - and update it to what I wanted it to be - I found that getting somebody (anybody!) interested in my 30 year old sofa-bed was impossible. 

Not a single charity wanted it. Life Line complained about the 20cm tear in the arm. Vinnies did the same (and yet they never saw it, they just said no over the phone). And I refuse to go anywhere near the Salvos because they sent out a guy who had just gotten out of prison to pick my last donation - and he left me with half my furniture and was rude as hell to me.

So, today, Dad and I took the sofa-bed to the Browns Plains 'Smart' Tip to see if the store over there would take it off my hands.

But no... they heard about the tiny tear in the arm and they said it would go to landfill.

Now, I'm watching that show 'War On Waste' and we are being accused of being wasteful. And this is one thing I'm not. I have second-hand furniture, second-hand clothing, second-hand books, second-hand vinyls and second-hand kitchenware... and yet, a dump store wouldn't take my second-hand sofa-bed. 

Before you all ask me - no, there's nothing wrong with the bed. It's fine. It's been used all of 3 times in the 15 years it's been with me; and that tiny tear in the arm? Well, that's been that size since I bought it at Springwood when I first moved into my place. Before that, the people we bought it off - through 'The Trading Post' - had had it for another 10 or 15 years before me. 

Why is it that after I've done all the right things to get rid of my sofa-bed, it ends up in the very place I didn't want to end up? 

I tried selling it on Gumtree - but nobody wanted it.

I tried giving it away through friends and family - but nobody wanted it.

I tried giving it away on Facebook sites - but nobody wanted it there either. And the person who did, unfortunately had unexpected health issues and couldn't pick it up.

I tried donating it - and none of the 3 big charities wanted it because of the 20cm tear!

I took it to the Browns Plains 'Smart' Tip - and they said no because of the 20cm tear! And told me to dump it!

This is getting beyond a joke! How long will it take until we realise that a tiny tear in the arm of a lounge or a chair won't destroy the ego of the next person who gets it.

It didn't destroy my ego when I bought the lounge. I needed a lounge - so I bought it with the tear. So whoopie, it had a tear! that tear didn't get any bigger over the past 15 years... this is why I got a cover for it, so it wouldn't. 

So, before you go on Gumtree or any of the charities (who are really fussy as all shit about what you're going to donate - honestly they are), just take all your furniture to the dump and throw it away. It's just not worth it, people. I know that sounds depressing - and it is - but really, if I couldn't sell a 30 year old sofa-bed with a tiny tear in the arm, how are we going to get rid of any of the clutter in our houses without adding to landfill? 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The War On Waste

Last night, on the ABC television, I watched an hour of television which really educated and saddened me. It was a documentary which showed me how much food we are wasting in Australia - and yet, the government is blaming us, the consumer, for this problem, when it's got nothing to do with us.

It starts at the farmers. They pull in more food than we can eat - that's enough food to feed over twice our population - and yet they are forced to throw away over 40 tonnes of it every day because it doesn't look right, it's too long, it's too short, it's too thick, it's too thin... sounds like I'm describing something disgusting, right? Well, I'm not. I'm describing bananas. Our farmers are throwing away so many bananas where there's nothing wrong with them except their size and yet, they're wasted because the big shopping centres think we don't want to eat them.
But this is to their strict standards of how food should look; making us fussy customers - which in turn makes the farmers waste so much on their farms. Putting it in ordinary terms: the farmers throw out about 40% of what they pull in every day - something they could be donating to food banks, sending to people who can't afford to eat and making sure we all eat.

Another way food it being wasted is at the shopping centres. There's big industrial bins out the back of the places where so much food is being thrown out instead of being used in the food banks. There are people who bin-dive to survive on the food there; and they are the most unlikely people as well. 
Over 20 years ago, when I was younger and working, I used to skateboard around the back of one of the local shopping centres and bin dive to find they threw out the best things! There were magazines, bread, fruit and vegetables, bags of chips and nuts... all within date. When I was spotted by security, the shopping centre whacked a padlock on the bins. Were they in denial or did they do that for my own safety? I'll never know. But if that was happening over 20 years ago, I wonder if they're doing this still.

It's not just food being wasted either. 

There's clothes, furniture and other essentials in life which makes our lives so much more comfortable which is being wasted by being tossed in landfill. 

I recycle everything I can before I have to throw it out. Almost all my clothes are from op-shops, so are my books, vinyls and furniture. 95% of my house is filled with second-hand and op-shopped items - the acception being my bedroom where I bought myself a brand new bedroom suite with a new mattress after 20 years of sleeping on the same bed (and the springs in it started poking through into me). 
When my clothes no longer fit me I donate them if they're in good-enough shape. Or if they're falling apart, I cut them up into rags and use them to clean my paint brushes or to polish my furniture. Once those rags are no longer useful, I cut them into strips and use them to tie to garden stakes (yep, I haven't used plastic ties in over 5 years, it's gentler on the plant). And once they're threadbare, it's then I throw that out... and this all takes around 4 - 5 years to take place. 
I donate everything from shoes to hats, handbags, jeans, pajamas and socks... all washed and cleaned properly, folded up and ready for use. But the one thing I don't donate is my underwear (after all if I don't want it, who else will?). 

Now, this didn't just happen. This took time. I had to take a careful look at how much money I was spending on things, figure out where the op-shops were in my area and make sure I knew what I wanted from them, knew what I could live without in my home and know how to be just happy with my lot in life... which is something we have to learn to be again. 

And this is the problem with out society. 

We have become a society of socialites, of greedy little grommets who want more, and more, and more and never think about what it's doing to the world, our bank accounts or what it will do to the future generations that when we do look around us and realise exactly how much in debt we are, how little we really do want our things and how unhappy we actually are with 'our lot in life', it'll be far too late. 

The time to act is now. If you're looking at buying new furniture from a big place like IKEA or Freedom, instead go to a Life Line Supa-Store (where the furniture is being sold) and look at the furniture there. It'll be in lovely condition, may be a little old-fashioned but will last longer because it's built properly. Some of it may be only a few years old, while other pieces will be over 40 years old and just lovely and will last longer than the 'retro-style' that's made now because it's got that weight it needs to keep it together.

And before you all start commenting on the expense to me, let me tell you something about how I've afforded to op-shop. I'm on a pension - which only just covers my rent, my bills, getting food into my stomach and my medication and putting petrol into my car - and yet, I can put aside $40 a fortnight into a bank account to save for something I really want at any op-shop around Brisbane. All you have to do is know where to look, be picky about what you want, and enjoy yourself. You're out shopping in a store, which has a bit of everything in it, and it's for a good cause too, and all you have to do on your first few visits is look... but donating to op-shops is even better for you as you don't have to throw your unwanted clothes in the bin, somebody else will enjoy them as much as you did. And besides, there's a lot of things you'll find in an op-shop you'll never find anywhere else.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Are They Charities?

Years ago, when you gave something to a charity, they took it from you, no questions, no problems. It didn't matter what was wrong with the item, the charities took it off your hands and if they couldn't use it, they threw it away. 

That was then.

Now, I have tried to give to a number of charities and they've acted as though I've given them something covered in cat hair and fleas. I have been trying to sell and get rid of my 15+ year old sofa-bed. First I put it up on gumtree and had a good price on it. It was there for 3 weeks, had 90 views and made to page 10 without a single person asking me anything about it before I deleted it. If it didn't sell there, I didn't see the point in lowering the price and trying again.

Then, I tried friends and family. A lot of them have never see this piece of furniture up close. But none of them wanted it. 

So, I tried out some of the mainstream charities I knew about. Life Line was the first place I thought of. They came out yesterday and took one look at it and said no. This was because it's got a small tear on one arm. After owning this second-hand sofa-bed, which came with that tear, for 15 years, I'd say it's in very good condition for something that' had 2 owners. The bed inside it is in very good condition and yet they still wouldn't touch it. 

They suggested the Salvos - and I said not them. The last time the Salvos came by here on two occasions, they wouldn't take my television because it wasn't a new one. And then the second time, the guy who came by didn't like my bedroom suite and only took the bed, leaving a solid timber bedroom suite behind for me to get rid of! 
So, they suggested Vinnies. I called up St Vincent De Paul and they asked if 'it needed mending or fixing up'. I told them about the small tear and straight away, the lady on the other end refused it. When I pushed her about them being greedy for the money end of it... asking if it's just the money they're after seeing that they're only after the good stuff, and leaving anything damaged behind instead of fixing it... she hung up on me.

So, when you do think about it, the mainstream charities aren't there to give anything to anyone who really needs it. They're there to line their pockets with our money. They won't pick up all our donations, just what they can make money with, and leave anything damaged or old with us. 

My question to those charities we hoped to rely on so much is: what the hell are we supposed to do with these things when you don't want them, when we can't sell them, when we can't give them away? Tell me where we are supposed to take them that doesn't lead to landfill.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ghosting

I've been out in the dating pool again... yep, it's been difficult for me to get out there and start trusting people after so long, but I'm doing it.

I'm in it for happiness, for the company of another human being... to connect with somebody else. Is that so bad? Well, I didn't think so.

And so, I connected with somebody, and we met up away from my place at first. We got along really well - had so many things in common. Both of us loved to read, home-cooked meals and enjoyed just talking about everything. We both loved retro things as well... it was great!

After three dates, I thought we were going to head out somewhere once we got into a rhythm of hanging out. But I guess it wasn't meant to happen... after all, this person just vanished into thin air on me.

This person did what is commonly called 'ghosting'. It's the gutless way of getting out of dating somebody you've grown away from. It's disappearing from a person's life completely. What you do - if you're going to be the complete arsehole about this - is unfriend them stop all communications; but do it gradually. Tell the person trying to keep the lines of communications open some useless detail about your life that has nothing to do with what's going on with your dating life - like what I received: 'I'm doing a deep oil treatment'. Exactly what that's got to do with anything I'm not sure. I asked if I had done anything wrong, and I got that as a last message. For a week, I had absolutely zero clue that I was being dumped by some gutless person who was ghosting on me.
Then the next thing you do is unfriend that person you were dating from Facebook... but do it at a time of the day you know they won't be on there for a while, so they won't notice for about week that you're gone from there, not until they don't see your posts and haven't seen your name up on their Friends list for a while. It took me about a week or so to figure out this person had ghosted on me, because one of my friends on Facebook told me about it; then I started Googling and found out it's a real thing.

Exactly how gutless do you have to be to not want to sit down and talk to somebody about where you see - or don't see - the relationship going. No matter how hard it is, you have to actually face reality and do this at some point in your life and not run away from people, disappearing from their lives, when things get too hard or heavy, or when the relationship isn't going where you were thinking it might be.

I was brought up to have the heart-to-heart with people and let them know what I'm thinking - in person - and respect them enough to keep them in the loop of knowing my life isn't going in the same direction as theirs. But when someone is being an arsehole and does this to me, I wonder exactly how much they really respect me... how they were brought up and wonder who they've done this before? I mean, surely I'm not the only person this person has done it to, right?

And if 'ghosting' is the 'in' thing to do to people during dating, what are we showing our next generation of kids? That's it's okay to vanish from a person's life and disrespect them by not telling them there's a problem in the relationship? Is this where the world is going? Are our kids going to just dump people by 'switching off' and 'ghosting' on everyone they don't like because it's convenient and easy? If so, our world isn't going to be an easy one for them. We must teach them how to face up to people, talk and communicate properly and learn that there's consequences to their actions - and ghosting on people isn't the absolute and right solution to social problems in life. Talking it out is - and has always been - the right way of dealing with people... well, that's how I was taught by my parents.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Strangely Busy Month

It's been a busy time for me this month; so much so, I haven't really had time to write here - or even in my journal. 

I've been decluttering in the biggest way: with my furnishings. Half my living room furniture has been put on Gumtree to be sold off to the highest bidder and I'm looking at revamping my living room with really nice, second-hand chairs; making it more streamlined and feeling more homey. I have no use for my sofa-bed and so that's on Gumtree, so is my large 1970's coffee table and the hat stand I got when I was 16 years old... all three items were put on there over the Easter Long Weekend; and I've had people looking at them.

They will stay on there for the whole month for the free advertising; and if they don't sell, I'll try out the adverts on the Logan Sell, Trade & Swap Facebook Page... if they don't go on there, I'll get Life Line to pick them all up. But I'm sure somebody in Logan City will buy them off me if they see my advert.

Anyway, I have been looking at my house and wondering what else to toss out into the charity bin. I have my bigger things to get through - seeing I have the cupboards already working for me. But really, the furnishings are the one thing that are going to be the biggest things that I really am going to be working on.

I'm also working on my social life... I really haven't had one for over a year and so I've gotten my butt out there and have made an effort to mingle with the arty types. This meant joining the Logan Artists Association and getting in and working with my friends I've known for years. I'm looking forward to doing more courses there as this place is an art school, and I feel comfortable going there. 

I'm also working on publishing a book later this year. Yep, I'm back on editing and writing again. This does mean long hours on the computer editing my work - that is if my monitor doesn't burn out on me before it gets finished. One of my art friends told me about a self-publishing site where I upload my book, they help me work on a cover and I get an ISBN and it get published through Amazon and anyone who wants it can download it as an ebook or print on demand... I'll see how I go with it. I'm going to do my Flash Fiction first, the ones from 2015 first and then work on the ones from 2016 in a second book and so on... seeing I have over 100 flash fiction, and they're all on my blog, I've decided to write an alternative ending to quite a few of them... to show my readers how it turned out if the story went 'the other way'. I do have alternative endings for some of my stories; but just don't use them. It's always fun to keep 'em guessing, right? 

Well, the garden is going well. I have a massive wasps nest hanging off my house and the car had a huge leak a few weeks ago - which Dad and I fixed. I'm no longer going to a chiropractor and I've cured my arthritis with the most simple of remedies - molasses tea in the mornings - and I've lost 4kg over the past 3 months through a very healthy diet and weight training. Yes, this year is about looking after myself, keeping everything as healthy as possible and working on what is good for me and mine. 
So, what have you all been doing for the past few weeks - and months? - that has been good for you in every way? I've gone from 73kg to 69kg almost overnight (in a good way) and I'm feeling so much better for it... I'm drinking more water than ever and have found that my joints no longer ache and my back doesn't hurt anymore. This is a step in the right direction for me. Well, until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

This Past Week

I've been so busy in the past week, that this week is looking just as busy.

Over the next year, I'm hoping to get myself into working on my living room. The first thing I did was buy a new lounge chair - which will prompt me to sell my lounge. So, once the lounge is sold, I'll get in and work on getting in and buying another lounge chair - but I'm not hurrying into that.

And nothing brand new... I'm going to buy it second-hand, so it'll be a matter of me looking at Life Line Super-Stores and making sure I watch out for the next time they refill their stores (which is every month or so). How good is it that I'm in no real hurry?
But last week, I was busy every day. I had shopping day, picked up Dad from Sunnybank on Tuesday and Monday was my art class at the Logan Artists Association. Friday was me out and about looking at lounge chairs - and finding that one and bringing it home.

I'm looking forward to this week. Tomorrow is my art class, Tuesday I'm out and about and then for the rest of the week, I'm hoping to get in and sell my lounge, coffee table and the hat stand and then? Well, it's a matter of making sure I get in and work on finding just the right pieces to fit in my living room. And seeing I'm not looking for a 3-seater lounge, the lounge room will look and feel roomier and better. I'll be able to move the chairs around the living room and do whatever I want with them in the future - very cool.

Well, that's my catch up from me. The footstools I purchased from Moorooka are upstairs with me for now, and so will make an appearance in the next few weeks downstairs. Oh! I'm so looking forward to getting my living room into what I want it to be! Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cyclone Debbie Fallout

It's been a really weird week. 

Really weird.

We had Cyclone Debbie hit the coast up north and then after it devastated the Queensland coastline, it turned into a tropical low and came to Brisbane, drenching us in rain, wind and thunderstorms.

We had a whole month's rain in 48 hours - that's over 300ml! 

The day of the rain, I found I had run out of breakfast cereal and took off to the shops to pick up only what I needed to see me through until today... and just as well I got to the shops at 8:30am because by the time I left at 9am, the undercover car park (where I had parked) had cars trying to get in, lining up outside, vying for the best spots out of the worsening weather.

Once home, I unpacked the car, turned on the radio and settled in and readied myself to have either the power go off in the first 12 hours and lose all my cold food or to be flooded out of my home. Yep, I charged up my phone, tablet and made sure I had my mp3 player working. The torches around my home had fresh batteries in them and all the candles in my home were within reach as well. I was thankful (as I always am in weather events) that I have a gas stove and hot water system; because then when/if the power goes, I can still have a hot shower and cook a meal.

It got dark early - I mean around 4pm - and the rain really came down hard. The wind came from the front instead of the back and the unit complex was dead quiet. I ate dinner, washed up, moved things out of the way and made sure I had a torch with me all the time once the sun went down. I don't like being caught out in the dark - as nobody does, it panics me.

Anyway, I managed to watch all of my television viewing and get my tapestry done, have a shower and stayed off the computer in case there was thunder and lightening around. The latter of which worried some of my friends on Facebook, but I told them later on I was okay.
The next day, I went out and checked all the storm drains around the place to make sure they were all clear from leaves and other things, as the rain was going to get heavier and those drains needed to let as much water through as possible. 

I didn't go out again until the next morning; and even then, it was on foot. 

Today, though, I was out in the car to Moorooka to pick up something I was interested in on Gumtree. While I was driving around, I found so many trees had fallen down from the wind and also the weight of the water on the leaves. I found I was driving a lot slower because I never knew what was around the corner on the roads with all the trees overhanging them.

Logan City and Beenleigh are still recovering from the deluge. Yatala Pies went under and are going to have to clean up big before they reopen, as well as the Rum Distillery and the drive-in movies not far from Yatala Pies. Anything low-lying around Logan and Beenleigh is still underwater. Roads are destroyed and a lot of people are still without power or running water everywhere (not just here in Brisbane, Logan and Beenleigh). 

I'm hesitating going to the Logan Artists Association in case some of the roads I have to use to get there are underwater... or the car park out the back is; and I can't park anywhere else.

So, do be careful out there my friends here in Brisbane. There's still a lot of cleaning up to do around our areas. Don't go swimming in floodwaters or near the storm drains. And if you do see a fallen power line, call the right people and don't go touching it yourself - it'll be the last thing you'll do. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This Year Looking Different

This year is looking so different now, I can't even begin to describe how things are going to be for me by the end of the year.

In January, I thought this year was going to be another stressful year of the same old crap that was going on last year.

But no, it's not.

This year, I've torn free of a few people in my life and have found a few new groups of people I want to hang out with, attended some art classes, have looked into an art school and have begun editing a book I'm going to get published by the end of the year.

And by my birthday, I'm hoping to have the living room looking exactly the way I want it to. I'm going to save more money than ever before by not spending it. I know that doesn't sound like me, but really I'm hoping to sell some of my art, work on getting an exhibition at the Logan Artists Association and saving up for a few things while getting rid of other things in my life. 
This is something I just can't wait to do. And while I'm doing this, I'll be learning to paint better, picking up more volunteer work and learning more things at the Logan Artists Association - like pottery. Yes, they have pottery classes! I have always wanted to learn that; and the good thing is that once I start learning, I'll be able to attend a social group an make things for Christmas presents instead of buying things. 

I've been looking at my life as well; in how my house is running, and have sorted out a new way to save money. It's just how I've been working it out - a little tweaking here and there and I'm saving money. Also, I'm looking into second-hand furniture again... I'll keep you posted about this. 

My life is going to take a different turn once this year has finished. I have only a few bags of junk to sort out; and then my place will be finished. I'll have a routine to keep it nice and tidy and it'll always look nice when I come home. I'll be able to have my folks over for dinner and things will begin to happen better for me. Life will be more relaxed.

As Peter Walsh has always said: 'When your home is clean you feel so much better.' or something like that. I always have problems remember his one-liners. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.