Sunday, September 25, 2016

School Holidays

I seriously don't like school holidays - and I don't know any parent who does. 

All the kids are home all the time and a lot of the times they're bugging everyone who will listen that they're bored! But they don't want to do anything around the house which looks anything like chores, because ... well, that's just boring!

And when you live in a unit/townhouse complex, having kids right outside your house and near your car port makes life that much more stressful.

We're coming into the second week of the Spring Holidays and the kids around here are pushing the parents to breaking point. One of the kids here annoyed the crud out of me and other people last week with her smart mouth, and this week has started off the same way - and this time, she's bullying the younger kids, then telling the adults off as well.

Before we condemn this child though, I have to tell you about her background. She comes from a broken family. Her Dad is a nice guy. He's trying his best to bring her up in a good, stable home, with lots of love and compassion and strict house rules at the same time... but her Mum is where her attitude comes from, and her smart mouth. A few months with her Mum and all his love and hard work is all undone. And this is where he wishes he could have her all the time; and sort her out properly.

Today, I talked to him about how much she lies and smart-mouths people. He ended up going and talking to her and she lied to him again, at which point he asked her the question of why would I lie to him about what she was saying and her attitude (as I told him that I would never make anything up about her, and what I was telling him was the truth - he believe me as he's had complaints about her before). So, this afternoon, he made sure to keep a close eye on her - closer than he did last week - and she behaved herself. But she only behaves when he's around; and he knows this.

It's such a pity that there's kids who don't have the love of both parents; when one parent is trying so hard to do the right thing. This is the one time I really don't like living in townhouse complexes... and it'd be better for me to live in a real house away from others.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

All In One Morning!

Today was a 'Claus Day'. This is named as such due to one of my childhood friends who was killed in a car accident when I was young - he was only 21 years old and engaged to be married. His name was Claus Skov; and a really beautiful, sweet, charming young man from Denmark I had grown up with when him and his family migrated from that gorgeous country to Australia when I was still in primary school.
My family had to reteach them English because every second word they said was 'fuck' and 'shit'. Hey, what can I say? They climatised in Mt Isa... they picked up their English from the locals there and brought their rather broad way of speaking to Brisbane. I remember fondly how they called their first pet - a white kitten - Little Shit. It was hilarious at how my brother and I tried to get him and his sister - Lena - and brother - Lars - to change the name by asking what they were going to call their cat when it grew up... Big Shit, of course! I think we settled on Snowflake or Fluffy - I don't remember. 

But today was a Claus Day... it was lovely and sunny. There wasn't too many clouds in the sky and there was a gorgeous cool breeze to lift our spirits - just nice enough to make us stop and sigh at how nice it was. Yep, that's what a Claus Day is. It's a day where I can picture Claus approaching my folks' house just to have a cup of tea and a chat. I could see his white/blonde hair fluffing in the breeze as the sun shines off it. His shirt flapping in that breeze and that wonderful smile he had. 

Like I said, he died so long ago. It was down near Beenleigh and I don't remember quite how it all happened or the details to the whole thing; but one day he was in our lives - and the next? Well, he was just gone; along with his fiance, who died in the crash with him (only a few minutes later). Really horrible and sad isn't it? My family knew him for so long and his life ended so young. 

But yeah... I had a good day out today on this day. I got a lot done in only three hours. I checked the mail, went in the search for a tapestry frame - which are as rare as hens' teeth and just as expensive as I thought they'd be once I found one! Yep, I'm going to have to make one! 
Then, I was off to the junk store at Springwood where I found some of my Birthday Buddy's present and searched for oversized pegs to paint for the markets. I then went to a Vinnie's store in search of a tapestry frame (you know, to see if they had any just in case somebody had tossed them out), but nope, not today! I did score a very cool dinner set... very retro!... for only $10. And then? Well, I went to the bank and deposited what money I had left. 

Yes it was a lucrative day.

I came home and cleaned up the new dinner set and set about figuring out what to do with the old mis-matched one. My old 20 year-old one is chipped and has bits missing from it, so I'm going to throw it out in the bin. It's not worth giving to charity if it's not complete. Well, that was my busy morning. It was only three hours for me to get this all done! Woah! What a morning! Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Other Plans And Life

Things have been really happening around here. I'm busily writing a new book - offline in a notebook I bought last week. I'm finding it easier to write it this way, instead of on the computer somehow. I don't know why, but I am.

Then, Spring sprung onto us. We've all changed our bedding onto our Summer sheets and put away our winter clothing as the temperatures changed almost overnight. Speaking of night-time temps - they are still a bit coolish, but they're nice. And we're getting rain again too.

I'm still working on pin cushions seeing a majority of mine are at the Logan Art Gallery. I can't wait to see them in the store. I hope to sell plenty of them over the next three or four months... and I also hope they become something of a permanent thing there.

Otherwise, I'm still cleaning out, cleaning up and working on my place - as usual. I bought some nice Corning ware from Vinnies and had to clean out the kitchen cupboards to make it fit. Otherwise, I'm happily making sure I have all the things I want in my kitchen and home now. 

Just recently - as recent as two weeks ago - I have been here for 14 years. I feel as though my life has been in two places at the same time in this time. I'm either standing still or going forwards; either way, it's something which keeps me thinking about what I wish to do with the rest of my life. I know I'm not a spring chicken anymore, and yet I'm not so old that life has gotten away from me.

So, what to do with myself? I'm still working on Crafty Pegs and getting in new things which may - or may not - work at the markets. And I'm hoping to get in and sell some of my work next year. Otherwise, this year has been busy with me figuring out what I want to do in the next three or four years of my life.

This week has been busy, though. I've been catching up with laundry, making pin cushions and watching the results of my garden since I fixed it up during Winter. It looks wonderful! I can't wait to see it in Summer at its height. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Only Thursday

It's Friday ... no hang on, it's Thursday!

Yep, today, I forgot what day it was!

I've had one of those weeks where I've been so busy over the last week or so that my brain hasn't kept track of the days.  Sometimes this is good, and sometimes this is bad.

For example, this morning, it almost slipped my mind that I have been living here in my townhouse for 14 years. It's been that long to the date and it's gotten that way where nothing surprises me anymore. Yep, no matter what people do, I just don't feel that shock anymore.

I'm looking at doing new things though.

Today, I was very busily driving around and getting things done this morning; then came home and vegged out with my next door neighbour who was figuring out her phone and stuff before she took off to do some shopping. Meanwhile her two darling cats were lounging around us getting a pat from both of us. 

I dropped of a collection of pin cushions to the Logan Art Gallery which are going to be in the store there from October to December. Then, I bought some tiny sinkers from BCF and half a metre of size 18 tapestry from Spotlight. I checked the mail and bought some calcium pills (which I normally take at night before bed) and then scored a cute notebook and two purple ink pens from Office Works before I headed on home.

On the weekend, I'll be doing some work on pin cushions and writing. Otherwise, not too much in the way of going out. I'm hoping to get more work done on a book where the character falls in love with the reader - which is a difficult thing to do, but I believe it can be done. So, there was my day today. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, September 2, 2016

To Be A Hermit....

You know, sometimes, I think people who have gone and hidden away from the glaring lights of the public have got the right idea.

They've said: 'Go away.'

They've said: 'I want to be alone!'

They've demanded: 'Do not disturb me!'

And the public tries and tries - so does the media and they still ignore them all until one day these people emerge from the woodwork with a new book, script or have quietly passed away in their own part of the world - their own bubble away from the limelight - and into the history books of just how quietly famous they really were.

Yep, they have the right idea all right!

Now, I don't mind having people talk to me where I live - and living in a townhouse complex, it kinda hard to not have people talk to you seeing we're in such close quarters. However, when your neighbour's have big break-up, it's difficult to not get involved.

I'm good friends with the woman and we hang out and chat all the time now. But the ex-boyfriend keeps showing up like a lost puppy. He keeps on stressing us out at 8am in the morning, knocking on our doors and asking the question of 'Why?'.

Why ask me why? I don't know... I didn't break up with him, she did. It's between those two, not him and me... exactly why he showed up at my door (before I had had my coffee - which is a bad idea to do that by the way) and ask me stupid questions as to why they broke up isn't for me to answer. I kept saying that it's between him and her, that I didn't want to get this involved in their lives... and I didn't. He just wouldn't leave me alone - even after I told him I wasn't really in the right mood to be talking (aka: I haven't had my coffee!), but that went right over his head.

Now, my question to everyone, why is it that when your next door neighbours - in a townhouse complex - break up, at least one of them keeps on wanting to know why, and they ask every single person around them instead of looking at what they did?

This really pisses me off. I hate being the piggy in the middle of things like this. 

Now, he tried everything to get a seat at my kitchen table (he actually wanted to come inside and have a drink of water, I said no, and brought a glass out to him), and I said I didn't want that. He didn't know why I unfriend him on FB and I told him my reasons were clear but he didn't understand it... oh well, I ended up saying that all my friends have their lives together. They have full-time work, go to university, have families and/or businesses of their own... they have their lives well and truly together. However, I couldn't have one person who didn't - it just doesn't gel in my life to have a person like that in my life. And I hate that my standards are so high like this - but they are.

I think it's my family who have made me this way.

But I can't talk - for a long time, I didn't have my shit together, and over the past few years, I slowly pulled together my life and my money woes and savings. I sorted out myself. You know, it took only 10 years and I had myself figured out - even when my health wasn't so good, I was still working on myself as a person.

Now, it'd just be nice to be a hermit crab and live in my own little bubble sometimes and come out when the weather is good, things are good and everything is - well - good... but of course we can't all be like that, right? Nope. At least it's a nice fantasy.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Living In the Past

I think I have a love-hate relationship with the future... there's things about the past I love more than things that are going on about now.

Things were much simpler when I was a kid. If a kid bullied you at school, that's where the bullying was kept to - the schoolyard. You didn't have them bugging the crap out of you on your phone, while you were looking things up on the computer or while you were walking down the street; because 99% of the time the parents were the ones who took full responsibility for how their little grots actually acted. I had a bully at school whose parents knew their child was a horrible little grot, so much so he even picked on his little sister - yep, not just me. But he was one of those kids who made primary school so horrible for me that when it came time for me to go to high school, I asked my folks to send me to a different one than the one they had planned for me because of him.

It's not just the bullying aspect though. I have found that other things have changed as well. The way people cook is making us all so lazy. Instead of everyone cooking their family meals from scratch and sitting down at the kitchen table, most people are relying on satchels of powder where you add water, milk or cream and then you add it to something in a microwave pot, pop it in the microwave for ten minutes and hey, after cooking some rice up on the stove (yep, that's just about all people know how to cook now - besides boiling eggs and water), dinner is ready and they go and sit on the lounge and watch 'Gogglebox' or 'Survivor' or some reality television show which makes them dumber. 

Now, I'm not speaking for everyone here... but I've seen some people just pull the oddest things from the pantry and say they're 'going to cook dinner' when really they're not cooking anything, but making what I've dubbed 'plastic food'. I make dinner from scratch - and it takes over an hour to do. I buy my fruit and veggies from a farmer's market where if I don't eat it, the food actually rots in my fridge or on my benchtop in bowls (where I put fruit ready to eat!). I have milk, organic cream and full-cream, salted butter in my freezer and in a butter dish on my bench - where the latter belongs; not in the fridge where everyone seems to think mixing it with margarine is a great idea. 

I've gone back to eating the same way as my Grandparents and have felt so much better for it! My weight used yo-yo, but now it's stable. My blood pressure isn't up and down either. My blood sugars are also a very normal 4.6 - and don't move at all. And for a person who is from a family of Type II Diabetics, and has naturally low blood pressure, the doctors are very happy for me to stick to the 1960's diet I've 'discovered'... you see, it's not really a discovery I've made. The retro 1960's diet is one which is something which has been forgotten by society. 
Okay, we're a lot busier nowadays, but it shouldn't mean that we have to let our diet suffer. And just because I'm not doing paid work, doesn't mean I'm not working on anything in my life. I'm always busily do something to improve myself, my way of life or I'm working on something around my house.  I don't always have time to make dinner - but I make sure I have time to eat good food.

This has meant I have to let go of the futurist way of life. 

Yes, I have the internet - as you can plainly see - but I don't play with my phone constantly. I have a Tech-Free day once a week, where I'll turn off the computer, the television and just go for a whole day without looking either one and enjoy the day away from it all - sometimes, I go for two days without the high-tech stuff just for the fun of it. I'll pull out the vinyls and read some books, put away some art gear, work on the garden, or a painting and enjoy life just how it used to be when I was younger... and you know? It frees up my mind and I get some great ideas for writing. 
When this happens, I jump in and get out the typewriter and type up some pages of work on the table. Yes, I have a manual typewriter just for these tech-free days, so I can get in and get right back to the good ol' days of writing. A typewriter makes me really think about my words before I put them onto the page... it's a great way of writing. 

I'm also in the throws of changing my furniture back into the 1960-70's style of furnishings. In the last month or so, I've bought myself a gorgeous Chiswell Dining setting, and now, I want to buy a lounge to match the rest of the house... as the lounge I have now is very 1990's, and it just doesn't match anything I have. Yes, it's the last piece which isn't a part of the house... so I'll be saving up for a lovely old lounge over time. 

It's not hard to live in the past... what does make it difficult is how the outside world affects you when you step outside your home. This is why I love my home the way it is - retro and cluttered with little things that make it look and feel so cosy. I hang out my laundry on the clothes line and it dries out there - and I've seen so many people dump their clothes from the washing machine straight into the dryer because they claim they don't have time to wait for their clothes to dry on the line. However, when you line-dry your clothes, they last longer, feel softer and have been disinfected by the sun. In a clothes dryer, none of that has happened to your clothes.

If you live a retro lifestyle - like I do most of the time - good for you! I've been talking to a kindred spirit. However, if you're hooked into the futurist life and feel as though I've been bantering at you about a 'long lost era which I'm just dreamin' about'... well, you've failed to see my point here today. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Tiring Week

Things have been weird this week.

I'm more tired than I thought possible; and yet my health is better than is was three months ago.

It's not me that has been causing my problems, the environment surrounding my place... and I'm not blaming my neighbours either. 

It's just life can get ... complicated sometimes.

With all this weather going weird - because it's changing from Winter into Spring soon - and so I'm not getting the sleep I'm hoping to get over the past few weeks.

It's infuriating that the weather can do this to us; and yet we put up with it. A lot of people say we're to blame, but I don't think so. Being a science-driven person, I think it's more or less the planet doing what it's supposed to be doing at the right time of its life. 

Planet Earth is a teenager going through the throws of puberty... and it's changing. It's only 3.8 million years old and has yet to do anything major with itself. I'm not surprised there's tectonic plates moving all over the place, and sink holes showing up and volcanoes doing what they're doing - it's just how a planet works, but we're here to witness it. I'm not worried about what's happening to planet; and no, we're not to blame. 
You see, when the Industrial Revolution was around, more pollution was shoved into the environment than we put out now. They burned more coal and wood than we do now; and so the air was more clogged with soot and smoke. However, people either don't think of this, or don't wish to know. 

Here on Earth, things are happening for a reason. Yes, the bees are dying out... however, if us Humans get back to our roots and work on planting out our garden more, instead of sitting in front of the television and running around after imaginary creatures you can only see with a mobile phone, the planet would be better off. 

I have become a retro-lifestyle person. My kitchen doesn't have a microwave. I don't watch television during the day, I don't have wi-fi and I most certainly don't feel the need to watch television if I don't wish to (and with all the crap on right now, really, why would I?). Retro living is a matter of going back to living like my Grandparents used to in every way I possibly can. I cook from scratch, I have solid wooden furniture, use Corning ware in my life and buy as much food as I can from a farmer's market - and only buy what I need from Coles. If I don't need to leave the house, I don't... I stay home. Yes, I have a car, but there's no real need to use it unless I absolutely have to.

It's how you see life that changes how you see the world... and it's strange how much you notice where people around you are so engrossed in their lives of computers, huge screens and phones as well as a faster way of life, that you have very much slowed down. 

I know I have slowed down compared to other people I know in my friendship circles... but then, in other aspects, I haven't. 

Yep, this week has been tiring, but only because of certain things that have been going on. I can't go into them (as they're personal and about a friend's business and isn't my place to talk about them on here). But it's something that I felt strongly enough about to help her out with. 

I'm looking forward to a nice calm weekend - well, I hope anyway - where I can work on my craft gear and enjoy being around the house; instead of being out and about all week. Until my next post, which I hope isn't so all over the place, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Life Stages

We all go through stages in our lives; and some are good, some bad. I'm going through that mid-life stage in my life where I'm settling into knowing exactly what I want... and it's funny I should have known I wanted this all along, but I didn't want people thinking I was being a dag about what I liked.

Isn't it funny how we all wonder how people what people think of us? Now, some of you will say that you don't believe in that baloney, but really deep down inside, you do. Before you leave the house, you look in the mirror at what you're wearing and wonder: do I look good today? That's you making an outside judgement of what others will think of you. For me, if I'm comfortable in my clothes, that's all that really matters; so long I have on matching socks, ear-rings and a nice necklace, and nice perfume, I'm set to leave the house.

But it's taken me until I'm into my 40's to realise that I love the 1970's way of living. The decor of my house has taken a huge step backwards a few decades and I'm hoping to keep it there. I have been happily working away at making it look nice, and enjoy the love of coming home to a retro-furnished home. However, I didn't realised how retro my house was until I bought my kitchen table to replace the Art Deco one; and the Chiswell one fitted in so well with most of my living room. The only thing which doesn't fit in now is my lounge - it's too modern; so it has to be replaced with something that fits in with the decor of the room; so make it feel right.

If you told me that I was going to be doing this with my furniture five or ten years ago, I would have laughed at you, asking what the hell you were talking about... and what would people think of me. Now, I'm older, I really just want my house to be comfortable, to reflect how I feel about life and how I want my life to be. It's another stage of my life I'm working through - it's a very cool stage; and I'm looking forward to finding that right style of lounge to fit into my living room. Then it's a case of getting rid of my old lounge... I'm sure that won't take long.

So, what stages have you found yourself going through in your life? Are they as sudden as mine are? Or are they subtle and less noticeable? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Having An Opinion Treated Like A Crime

Yesterday, I was on Facebook when I watched a video of a Lion taking revenge against two hunters who had gunned down another Lion. They were happily posing with the fresh kill in front of their vehicle, joking around and taking their time; not thinking any other animal would be around watching on, when another male Lion attacked them both.

My opinion to game hunting like this is that they got what they deserved - and I said so. This was my honest opinion and I'm allowed to have it. However, it seemed to piss off a friend of the person who uploaded the video who jumped on me and told me off - yes, he trolled. He called me an uneducated person and questioned me about my ethics, about how I could put up a recipe which had bacon in it and how I could be a hypocrite when I put animals above the lives of Humans. 

He didn't get what I was saying.  

In my country, we don't hunt game like this; we cull animals like Kangaroos because they become a pest otherwise. We have strict gun laws and not everyone has a gun in our homes - we don't have a right to own a firearm, it's not something I have in my own house, I don't see the point. 

But it seems that when we have an opinion about something, it's not a good thing to voice our opinions about it because there's always somebody out there who we're going to be insulting, stepping on the toes of or bothering. 

I was always told by my teachers at school that if we didn't have our own opinions, we'd all be sheep, being led around by the nose by the wrong people in the same directions - and this is the truth, people.

I'm not about to apologise to any bigoted people out there who think what I say is wrong. And if they don't like what I have to say about something on Facebook, in the newspapers, on the news or in public... well, they don't have to like it. I don't like other people's opinions and I say so; and if people don't like that I don't like other people's opinions? Well, you get where I'm going, don't you? We get into a huge argument and it all becomes a huge fight.

In truth, you don't have to like anyone's opinions - because they're like butt.  Everyone's got one, but not everyone wants to see yours on the front of the daily newspaper. However, if you're on social media, and you voice your opinion about something - or show a video that may ruffles feathers in more way than one - you have to expect more than one person will have different opinions in the comments below it. Don't let your friends get into a huge fight. Don't let one person blaze another publicly and don't let anyone make another feel like shit in that public forum when you've uploaded something that will make the shit hit the fan in more ways than you think. 

People and the public will always have their own opinion about everything... and what I find difficult is that not everyone will agree on the one thing every single time. You have to decided what is safe to put up for the public to see, what is safe for your friends to see and what is just for you to see. Keep in mind that once you've uploaded something onto the internet, it's there forever.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Being Sentimental

I've been catching up with all kinds of things since last week; since I bought a retro kitchen table and sold my late-Grandmother's art deco one within 48 hours of each other. It was weird. I found a Chiswell Dining table with matching chairs and got Dad to help me purchase it and sold a table and chairs I've known all my life to a lady in Beenleigh who wanted to do it up as her kitchen table. 

She loved it just as it was. I did say in the advert that it needed work on the chairs and the table was in good condition - and when she pulled the car into the car park next to my place she squealed with delight, saying it was gorgeous, it was perfect and just what she needed. She paid me and then put it into her SUV and took it home. 
Dad, Mum and I went in our own directions as we had places to be last Saturday. I had an Author's Day at InHouse Publishing to attend and then head off to my folks' house to finish up polishing the chairs and painting a stain on the veneer on the table before I took two of the chairs home. 

But it was when I arrived home, when I was confronted with that space where the old table used to be that I realised I what I had done. I had gotten rid of something I've known all my life. I've sold off a piece of my Grandmother's furniture I have only ever seen in her house - in her kitchen - and now I'll never, ever see it again; and this thought crushed me. I burst into tears and wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I phoned Mum and talked to her; and she told me that Grandma would have understood completely; she would have approved of the new, retro Chiswell table I've bought, that she wouldn't have minded me selling the old one at all. I know I sound like a sentimentalist about this, but when you've grown up with something like this in your life, and it's been in your memory for as far back as you can remember, it's hard to let it go. 

I'm one of those people who find it very hard to let go of things in life which hold a great memory for me. Now, that old kitchen table reminded me of all the meals that Grandma cooked at Tarragindi for us - all the roast lunches, all the times I dropped in to see her on Thursdays after Grandpa had passed away and I brought Red Rooster with me (we would watch 'Days of Our Lives' on the television in the kitchen and she'd tell me who was horrible and who was nice during the show). She always had a vase of plastic yellows flowers in the middle of that table on a green and white doiley she had made, and was always up for a chat. And after a huge lunch, she'd lean down, open up a cupboard and pull out a few Tupperware containers of slices and a cake and feed us more! Man, my Grandmother would cook enough food for the Army, the Air Force and the Navy... then there'd still be leftovers for the family! 

This is why I became so distraught over selling the table after it was gone. So many memories had been made around that table. So many breakfasts with my brother and Grandma and Grandpa on school holidays... lunches, morning tea and afternoon tea as well. Then, at dinner time when I didn't want to eat my brussel sprouts, Grandpa would leave the kitchen and Grandma would scoop up my and Gabe's servings and eat them for us, and then give us our desserts, promising us that she'd 'never tell Grandpa...' and she give a wink and a little smile. I still hate brussel sprouts and wonder if anyone would still scoff them down for me if I didn't want to eat them at dinner. Fortunately, now I'm grown up enough to say that I don't like them and don't want them on my plate.

I'm just so happy that my late-Grandmother's table went off to a lady who really wanted something that was Art Deco and pretty for her home; something she was going to use after she fixed up the chairs and get rid of the wobble in the table. But seeing how old the whole set is, it's in pretty good condition and has been cared for well. I just hope the lady looks after it and loves it as much as it has been loved over the last 30 - 40 years; as those types of dining settings were built to last - just like the Chiswell. And I'll never let mine go because of how well it's built.