Friday, June 29, 2012

June Is Something Different!

This has been a month of being busy in every way!  I've been out and about socially, enjoying the bustling sounds of West End in Brisbane City on the first Sunday of this month to see my friends; and getting home in the dark.  It's always nice to catch up with people I only see once a month.
Then, I got talking about why we wait until the perfect time to use our good things.  I think it's because my Uncle Allan's passing got me thinking about using all my good glasses and everything in my house; because he did.  Yes, he lived life to the fullest before he passed away.
We received our first wet, dull weekend for the Winter and I got in and did a few things around the house.  However, when the fine weather returned, it was short-lived as it came back again and stuck around for the last week of the month; freezing us Queenslanders into our homes... and that was also the first week of school holidays too.
But I've also been busy while the days and weeks have been passing by.  Over the last few weekends, I've been attending a Collector's Exhibition workshop at the Logan Art Gallery where collectors of all kinds of things.  We have a model maker - who loves trains - a person who collects animal bones, another who collects spoons, one lady collects containers (as she's found that her whole family has nothing in common with each other; so she feels as though they are each in their own container in their lives.  What a metaphor!). As for me?  I'm a collector of books; and so I'll be displaying something to do with them... well not precisely my collection, but an artist rendition of my collection.
I've added a new tag/label to my blog here.  It's to do with philosophy; my take on life.  It's not going to be anything deep or weird, just a few posts to make you - and me - think a little about life and what it's all about.  Some will be fun, while others might be a little more on the serious side.  
So, there's my month.  It's been wet, cold, Wintery and busy and fun all wrapped up in the first month of the Australian Winter.  And we have only two more of this season to go!  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brisbane's Cold Snap

Wow!  Is it cold!  I've just put on two more layers of clothing and have a blanket over my knees... and I'm only feeling warm now.  Yep, a cold snap has hit Brisbane and it's raining as well - just to make sure us Queenslanders know what it feels like to have Winter suddenly show up on our doorstep.  

And it's only June.  I'd hate to know what July has in store for us!

Anyway, this week started out plain and ordinary; with not much going on.  I thought it was going to be a good, week to stay home and do nothing much but read a few books, do some knitting and watch a couple of movies while the rain and cold did their thing.  However, I was wrong!  
Socially, I had the guys from Pirroth Wine Company drop by on their annual wine-tasting afternoon yesterday.  This was the same company that was supposed to come around last month, but the guy was a no-show.  I just figured he got his days and weeks mixed up and didn't worry about it too much.  So, I didn't call them about it; not until they called me on Monday night and they told me that the guy who was supposed to come to see me was no longer with the company and that he stood me up was not acceptable.  So, yesterday, the two guys arrived with a lovely bottle of German Pirroth wine in hand - along with the gift that I was supposed to get on their visits - and then we sat down and did some tasting.
This wine is great.  It's got no preservatives in it and is beautiful in bouquet as well as taste.  When you've swallowed it, the after-taste sticks around for a while instead of quickly vanishing (as a lot of bottle shop wines do).  And the  best thing is that these wines aren't cheap; they are well-priced and the company sell by the case.  And if anything goes wrong with the case you've bought (like if one of the bottles goes off or if your palate changes over time), you can get your money back or have the wines changed over.  It's a great company.  And this is why I have them come back each year to see what they have in store; even if I don't buy from them, as least I know what they have.  I did give out Geoff and Vivienne's number to them; as they're the type of people who don't like preservatives in their vino either... also, they know people who like good wine around their area too.

Then, today, I had a guy from Super-Geek come and have a look at my computer.  It's been stuffing up lately by restarting over and over when I turn it on in the mornings - how frustrating! - so I thought to  get it looked at by a professional.  When he arrived, he had a quick look and said that my sweet puter was on her last legs... everything in it was beginning to show the signs of being overworked; and this was why it's beginning to restart on its own.  It was good I defragged it on Monday; but it wasn't going to do it much good seeing it's an older computer.  He asked me if I played any games on it - I don't - and he asked if I stored anything on it - just photos.  I said that I've been storing my important stuff on my usb sticks as I've found that the computer has a habit of losing things on me.  He smiled and said that's a sign it's putting it where it can find it, but I can't and it's trying really hard to work efficiently.  Sad but true.  So, he said that it'd be a good idea to get a whole new computer - which will cost me a bit, but it will cover everything in it and I will save myself a lot of money; instead of updating one component, then another then another; where it'll cost me more than a new computer.  I agreed with him on that.  

The rest of my week is going to be just as full as the beginning.  I've got to go out to Mum and Dad's area to pick up a handbag from getting fixed, drop off the bottle of wine to them and then chat to them about the computer and see if Dad can help me with getting the money for it to be worked on.  As for Friday, I'll be out at Garden City to pick up a magazine, go to Medicare and sort out some stuff from last year.  Then, on Saturday, I'll be at the Gallery for the workshop for the Collector's Exhibition... lots of fun. 
Yep, a slow week, turned very busy almost overnight.  Interesting how weeks do that to us once in a while.  What I'm not looking forward to in the next day or so is going out in the cold and rain.  Oh well, I guess I can't choose the weather I want to be out in, right?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember I'm always here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Moody Monday

Today was a cold, overcast day.  But it didn't stop me from doing all the things that needed to be done.  I had pancakes for breakfast; even though they weren't as good as last weeks, they still tasted good with maple syrup!  I went for a walk and checked the mail before coming home to start on today's work around the house.
But today, it started out cold and pretty much stayed that way.  I just couldn't warm up the house or myself.  So, I got into doing some work around the place.  Dad dropped by to pick up Uncle Allan's car that was being stored here for the last six weeks; and while he was here, I noticed one of the palings on the side fence of my yard had fallen down.  So, when I returned home, I pulled out the hammer and nails and tried to put it back up - rather unsuccessfully.  So, Dad came back to pick up his car and found me around the side swearing at the fence and trying to pull the bent nail out (I did hammer it straight, but it bent on its own).  He helped me out by putting plenty of nails into the rest of the fence to keep them all from falling down.  Then, he went off home.
After that job was finished, I did two loads of laundry and tried out some new knitting patterns.  It was good to sit down and have the time to get into the ones I haven't tried out yet.  This wasn't successful either; so I just ended up hanging up the laundry on the clothes horse and planning my dinner for the next few nights; and realising I needed to go to the new fruit shop, the thrift store and the newsagents to get some things tomorrow.
By this time, it was around 3pm and I was getting a little bored with what wasn't happening in the day; which wasn't much.  It was too cold to go out again and too late to get anything done that was going to take a lot of time.  So, I organised myself some hot Milo and afternoon tea and put on the television and watched my reruns of sitcoms and cooked myself up some of my famous Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Carrot soup with Garlic... yummo!  
Tonight was a bit of a hit and miss with television as well... not much on and if there was, it wasn't very interesting.  So, I concentrated on knitting a new scarf with a new pattern - which I've altered successfully - until around 10pm.  In between advert breaks on the television and knitting, I've washed up and put out the rubbish then covered Little Miss Stevie over and deadlocked the doors of the house.  Before long, I found myself on here.  But I today, I have found I've had problems with the computer.  It's been restarting itself for no reason for the last week.  So, I defragged it and cleaned out the fans and vents; but to no avail, it's still doing it.  So, it looks like it's time I brought in a professional for them to have a look at the problem (seeing there's nothing my virus protection program has caught and told me about).  I'll have to see if Super-Geek can help me with it; as it's driving me nuts.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's A Certainty...

A lot of things were most certainly happening this weekend.  The cold weather here in Queensland has come in on us; even though the sun was out, it was still cold and many of us had to find our wooly jackets, scarves and hats.  This led to the next thing was a certainty:  comfort food.  I love this time of year due to being able to make nice hot comfort food.  And don't we all!  When Winter comes around and we all keep our doors and windows closed against the drafts and chilliness outside, it's always lovely to keep the house warm with a slow cooker or a dutch oven slowly cooking away in your stove.  
For me?  I love having hot breakfasts.  Be it not-bacon and eggs with all the fixing of mushrooms and tomatoes and toast, or freshly made pancakes (from scratch) with fruit and maple syrup drizzled over the top and a nice hot mug of coffee or tea to drink with it, hot breakfasts always take on a whole new look at this time of year with me.  I pull out the recipe books and really get into cooking up a storm.
I find a lot of things happen for me around this time of year too.  I get into my paintings, arts and craft and reading a lot at this time of year too.  I think it's because I'm all toasty and warm inside my house and it's cold outside and there's not much to do around the place except wait for the warmer weather to show up.  Yeah, that's gotta be it!  Otherwise, I find that Winter really gets me concentrating on my art, volunteering and working inside my house as well as planning my garden for Spring.
There's always a certainty for this time of year with Winter here in Australia.  Flus and colds are a certainty; as they go around and hit almost everyone who can catch them.  Some get them, some don't and some just know how to get rid of them quickly.  Otherwise there's also the other side of the globe I get thinking about where it's coming in Summer; and I know for a certainty it's very hot there now.  They are enjoying their ice-creams and swimming and sunny days out as well as their storm seasons too.
Certainly there are certainties that will be always be around; life is full of them.  As certain as the sun will rise, the moon and stars arc across the sky at night and the clouds will move across our daytime skies at around the same rate for each season - and we don't even realise it.  Certainties are that most of us will have a roof over our heads, while some of us won't, and a few of us will never see the inside of a house in our lives.  There are some other certainties as well, like there will always be poverty and war going on in the world that nobody can do anything about, no matter how much we try to stop it (I know this sounds horrible, but it's true; and I hate to write something like this here).  
Other certainties are out there as well... books will always be around, e-books will never take their place.  Vinyls will always be here and iTunes could never replace them either (I know because I own both an iPod and a collection of vinyls and they work well together).  There will certainly be people who love their houses and gardens so much they will win awards for them; but then their neighbours may certainly have the garden that is full of weeds and it's overgrown.  There's a certainty that there'll always be crime in our neighbourhoods, cities and countries; and by the time we all grow old, we would have all born witness to some kind of horrible event that affected the world in some way.  And by the time we've all grown old, we have also witness all kinds of gossip from Hollywood, Bollywood, all kinds of weirdness from famous people and when you're old enough to be married and have had children, nothing much really surprises you anymore.
However, having certainties in our world means there's a rhythm in our lives, a routine, a way our world is running... a type of track it's running along. We can't see it, feel it or understand it, but we all know it's there and we are on the same train.  As soon as we were born, we were on this train and - no matter who we are or where we're from - we are all on the same train going to same place.  However, it's a certainty that we're not really sure where that place is.  Well, I don't...

Friday, June 22, 2012


It's the end of another week; and the beginning of school holidays.  I've had a busy week and today is my only day before my uber-busy weekend of art outings and housework free to get a few things done that I'd like to do.
Yesterday was a big day out for me, though.  I was out of the house at around 10am and off to the chiropractor's to get my neck looked at.  It was sore, I had a headache and I was very dizzy; so much so I was feeling sick in the guts.  Once my adjustment was done, and everything was fixed up, I went for a walk to Arndale at Springwood and dropped off a Trent Nathan handbag.  It was a nice one but the handles needed work on them.  I talked to the guy who recommended getting in having the replaced with hand-made leather straps; and they'd take a week to do.  I said yes, do it and he took the bag off my hands until next Thursday.
I picked up a few things at Coles and walked back to Mum and Dad's place and we had morning tea.  Mum and I went through Uncle Allan's photos and some other things as well.  It was a good day to hang around their place and look on the net for a bit.
Mum gave me some souvenirs from New Zealand and then - too soon - it was time to come home; it was beginning to get cool.  We arrived here and she saw all the postcards that had arrived through the mail and my little Kiwi toy I had bought from New Zealand when I was there in 1993.  She said she could just see them now, on 365Project as a couple of funny little guys taking up my time and becoming a usual stunt double just for a laugh in my calendar for a while.  
Today, I have gotten in and did some handwashing, checked the mail and chatted to a friend across the road I haven't seen in a while.  It's a lovely sunny day outside.  And the recycling truck has just been and gone for the week.  I'm hoping this weekend is good for the workshop for our collections exhibition.  Tomorrow, we're going into the city to look at exhibition sites around Brisbane; on how things are exhibited in different ways. It should be good.  I'll be taking my camera.
So, what are you up to this weekend?  And if you've got kids, what have you got planned for the holidays?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Photos for this post:

Best Buddies

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Busy Shopping Day

I was away late today. However this morning wasn't without its hiccups before leaving.  I opened up the house to let in the sun and the rubbish truck showed up just when I thought to let Little Miss Stevie out for a little bit.  She saw that massive thing coming toward our place to empty the bins outside it and she took a flying leap onto my chest and ran onto my shoulder and hid under my hair!  How funny is that!  She really hates that truck... I gave her cuddle and settled her down and stayed with her until it went away.
After collecting the bin, I quickly got myself ready to leave.  The mail was checked and I caught the bus across the road and was out starting my shopping day in no time.  Finch seed was picked up for Little Miss Stevie and I chatted with the lady at the pet store.  While there, an African kid came in, looked around and found the fish area and immediately stuck his hands in the tanks to try to catch the fish.  The owner of the shop stopped him quickly and said it wasn't the done thing.  He asked a few questions and then asked if they sold frogs and after she said no, he left.
I walked to Triple C Shopping Plaza and dropped into Life Line - as usual - and found a bag I really liked.  But the straps needed work on them as they were beginning to give out on it.  So, I'll see what the guy at Arndale can do for me on Friday and see if he can reinforce them for me.  And I bought a little pedicure/manicure set; very cute.
Woolworths was okay.  I noticed it was much more opened up than usual.  They had worked on the place - like they said they were going to in the adverts and on the news - and so I went about my normal vegetable hunting routine and bought my chocolate as well.  But I forgot my cashews; oh well, next time.
I walked to Logan Central Plaza, paid off some of a layby at Woodys' and sussed out some picture frames in K-Mart and then headed off to the chemist for a prescription.  I left it there to do my shopping - which didn't take me all that long - and I stuck to my list.  Then, it was back to the chemist and picked up my prescription; and then it was time to fight the trolley and my blue trolley's control to get myself to the cab rank.  Before I arrived there, I ordered one on the public phone and was relieved to sit down.
I arrived home by around 12:30pm and then had the task of putting everything away.  This didn't take long; and I do enjoying knowing what I've bought... it's always fun to know what's in my pantry and what's not... and then I made myself a milk coffee drink and jump online.  
Yep, it's been a good long day of spending money, working on art projects (even a little bit) and picking up my meds.  However, it was a good day to be out walking in the Winter sunshine of Logan City.  The day wasn't too hot.  I found I had a stiff neck; but it wasn't anything three panadol couldn't take care of quickly.  Other than that, I am looking forward to making nachoes for dinner tonight... yummo, comfort food.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Busy Morning

This morning, I was up at around 8am, grabbed the laundry, and downstairs by 8:15am.  The pets were fed, Little Miss Stevie wasn't pleased I pulled her covers off and opened the curtains, but she seemed happy enough to give me a cuddle without biting me.  And once the laundry was on, I made myself breakfast and sat down.  
Today was going to be a day of either being very busy or being lazy - or both! - who knows.  Either way, I had to put away a lot of things and tidy up.  I ate breakfast, hung out the first load of laundry and put away the clothes horse (after folding the towels on it from last week) and put on the next load.  Then, wiped down the counter and went out the back to check on my Basil plant.  After uncovering it, I moved it out of the way and pushed the rotting palings back into place and shifted it back, then noticed a piece of wood was underneath the large white table.  Kneeling down, I found it was one of the supports from the middle of the table... hell!  I need a new table in the next few months before this one falls apart on me in a major way!  
Well, I left the piece of wood nearby to remind me to start looking around for a new outdoor setting and went back inside to organise the lounge room - it was a mess!  Since Saturday night, I hadn't done much as I was so tired, and then yesterday I got into the front complex garden and then watched Hawthorn kick butt at the MCG; whipping the Brisbane Lions' in the mud and pouring rain and cold.  The rain was so heavy even the commentators were having a hard time trying to figure out who was who on the field.  But it was a good game to listen to while I fixed up my self-portrait.
But today, I left the portrait alone and tidied up the lounge, put away the VCR remote control, put any clothes and books upstairs that were supposed to be in my bedroom and office, then hung up any bags sitting on the lounge and straightened out the cover.  Yep!  I was expecting company; namely my Dad.  He and I were going out to pick up my turntable - which had been left at Woodys' for a few days - and his new stylus.  Before he arrived, I folded up kitchen towels and had put away some recipe books from the weekend of cooking pancakes and put the Sunday Mail next to the entertainment unit.  Then, I had to hang out the laundry just before we left the house.  
It's been a busy morning... can't say it hasn't.  But the house is a little tidier than it normally would be.  And the great things is that I received more postcards this morning in the mail from New Zealand!  That's great!  I put them in date order and stuck them up around the calendar in my kitchen/dining area for everyone to see.  Well, this afternoon, I've got my mind on reading more of 'The Gunslinger' by Stephen King and then cooking up a nice pasta dish for dinner after I get in and write up the shopping list for Wednesday.  Otherwise, I've got a good slow afternoon of not much to do.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Exhausted Sunday

This morning, I wanted to get up and put on the laundry, vacuum the house and wash the floors...  I wanted to, but I'm just too darned exhausted.  Yesterday took everything out of me and all I want to do today is laze about here and around my house and play vinyls.  
However, the turntable won't be here until tomorrow because Mum and Dad stayed over at Gabe and Kat's place last night after playing cards.  But we might see about what will happen with that yet.  I might bus it over to the Woodys' and then cab it home... dunno yet.  I don't wish to wait another day for my turntable; and yet I don't know what to do to get it home without bumping it around too much.  This kind of thing drives me nuts; but it looks like we'll be picking it up tomorrow.
Yesterday was a great success.  I worked in the morning on my own - as my partner in crime at the desk was down the flu - and then I was in the Collector's Workshop for our first week.  I'm looking forward to getting my artworks started; and then looking at installing it at Pineapple Park on week 6.  However, it took 4 hours for us to all chat about our collections, how we got started and why.  And it was hilariously funny in a lot of parts too.  When it came around to my collection, I wasn't nervous and I found it was great to talk to like-minded people who have the same kind of passion for collecting as I do.  My collection was inter-connected with my passion for books - as an ordinary thing to collect - and my passion for reading and writing books as well.  So, my fellow collectors found there was a deeper meaning to my collecting than just finding out-of-print books or the signed books.  And they asked me some brilliant questions on how to know which books were first editions, how to tell an out-of-print book from one that's still in print and signed books - how to tell a fake to a real signature.  I said that a lot of my research has been done online; and I have met some authors as well - so have known their signatures well.  It's been a great journey to find, read and collect the written word - no matter what language it's in - and they were astounded that I knew so much about my collection and that I'm still learning about it too.  What got a few of them thinking was what will happen to my books once I'm not around anymore.  I told them that if nobody in my family wants my older books, they will be sent to the Queensland State Library Archives for preservation; so that they will never be lost.  I don't wish for them to be lost; not after I took so long to find them.  They all agreed with me and were as passionate about where they'd go too.
Next week, we're off into the city on a bus trip to look at art spaces and locations; to see how things are displayed in different places around the city.  I'm looking forward to the day out.

Today, I made pancakes for breakfast.  It was a lot easier this time around as I did some prep work last night and didn't use the electric hand-beater for the eggs and sugar this time.  Instead, I opted for the whisk and found it was a lot easier to use and better to make the batter when it came to adding the egg, milk and sugar ingredients to the dry ingredients; and it all mixed in faster too!  They were so much more fluffy and delicious as well!  And yes, this time I ate them with Maple Syrup... what a treat!

Today, I have a few things to do.  I really need to clean up a little.  The kitchen needs a tidy up, the recycling needs throwing out, I have to mow the lawn and pull some weeds and then, I'll work on reading more of 'The Gunslinger' with a nice warm drink by my side.  Yep, this sounds like a lot of work, but really, it's just a lazy Sunday afternoon of not much work and little bit of what needs to be done.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.


Collector's Workshop - Week One 16/6/2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday - At Last!

It's been a good week... not wet, but a little on the cooler side.  However, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  Tomorrow, I'm off to the Logan Art Gallery to work my shift, then attend my first of five workshops to make an exhibit of some of my rare books.  I have to take along a few of my books with me; and there's going to be other people attending as well.  And seeing I don't know what they collect, it'll be a big surprise for me to see their collections.

But this week, I've been without a turntable.  It's been at Woodys' awaiting a new stylus.  Yes, I know, I bought one a few weeks back.  However, that one didn't work out and the owner of the store wanted to hang onto my turntable and change it over himself to see if it was the style of it or if it was something I did (as I've never changed a stylus over before on my turntable.  So, we did that and I'm hoping it'll turn out well.  I just miss my turntable, my stereo looks very naked without; but I have had time to look at - and dust off - my cds.  Over the last few days, I've been playing cds I haven't heard over the last five years!
Yesterday, I pulled out all of the ingredients to make a Ratatouille.  However, after cutting up 5 tomatoes, 5 zucchinis, 3 cloves of  garlic and getting out the parsley, I found that when I cut into the eggplant, it was grey and rotten - and so was the other one I had in the crisper.  So, I began writing a list for today to go shopping.  It was set this morning for me to catch a bus to Logan Central Plaza to get my veggies and then come home.  However as the bus turned the corner into Smith Road, I spotted The Big Apple Fruit Store at Argonaut - which had been preparing for the last month - has just opened.  So, I got off at the next stop in front of the school and walked down to it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the prices were great, the veggies were well worth it and I found exactly what I was looking for at a better price than at Coles.  And the best thing was that I could walk there and back instead of busing it; saving me a bundle of money and time!  I'm thrilled!  The place was packed too!  There wasn't a car spot spare in the place and it hasn't been like this for years!

Last night, there wasn't anything on television worth watching.  So, I put on the dvd player and watched 5 episodes of 'True Blood' from Season Two.  I have been meaning to watch the rest of that one; and work on Season Three; as the forth one came out on dvd just recently and I'll be able to purchase that one soon.  And once I have them all, I can watch them at my leisure.... very cool.  Then, next year, I'll be buying the last three seasons of 'Supernatural'; as that finished just recently being aired on television.

So, there's this week done.  I've yet to wash up from yesterday.  Yep, I didn't do it last night as I didn't feel like it.  And I'm still knitting a new hat I started yesterday; and I finished off a scarf for my friends' baby who is due in December; but I'm working on this stuff for when their bubby is 6 months old... so it's older stuff I'm making, not new-born items.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.


The Big Apple - 15/6/2012 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunny Day at Last

It's been strange weather lately.  Wet, cold and blustery.  However, we've been expecting it as it's Winter after all.  But as this time has come, my family has begun dealing with the personal effects of Uncle Allan.  On Monday, Mum and Dad took me to his house to look around and pick up some vinyls and books.
I found there were so many vinyls there that I didn't know where to start; so I thought it best to wait until I returned home.  And then, when I did, I began cleaning them and found a lot of them were filthy.  My cleaning rag - the lint-free cloth I usually use - turned black in no time flat!  I've had to wash it for the first time in a year.  But that's okay, it gave me time to clean dust off the turntable that I hadn't noticed until recently.  Once that was cleaned up, I fiddled withe the stylus a bit to get dust off it and the darned thing broke!  I only broke it a few weeks ago.  This happened yesterday... so Dad and I took it into Woodys' (where I bought the stylus) and Gary looked at my turntable; to make sure it was the right stylus for it.  And it was, but we nutted out a solution.  We decided to leaved my turntable at the store to let him look at the new stylus in case it was sitting low and dragging - as I said it was.  This will take around a week to arrive.  So, I'm without a turntable.  My little Sony stereo system looks very naked without the turntable on top... it really does!  And I'm kinda lost without it as vinyls are pretty much all I play now.
As I said earlier, I found some books that interested me at Uncle Allan's place.  They were mostly gardening books.  However, there were some sci-fi books and one was a book written by a cleric that looked interesting; so I took that one and added it to the collection as well.  I've yet to look at it properly to see what it is about.  However, I did find a copy of 'The Red Dwarf: Log 1996'  talk about hilarious!  I love that show... it was brilliant UK humour at it's very best; and I do miss that show something bad. 
Anyway, today, I did some laundry and the sun stayed out!  What a difference that's making to everything!  Little Miss Stevie is quietly fluffed up and nice and warm on her perch and I'm looking outside and knowing it's going to be a good day... well until my laundry is dry.  This weekend I've got an art workshop to attend.  I can't wait as it's the first of 5 workshops that will end in an exhibition of a piece of art.  Sounds good, eh?  I hope it works out.  I have written a more detailed post about it in 'A Natural Background' if you wish to know more.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Photos for this post: 

Some of the books I chose
Uncle Allan's old vinyls

A Small Problem - Solved!

You may have noticed that I'm no longer uploading photos onto the blog directly.  Well, no problems.  I've just run out of room on my blogger account to upload them. So, what I've done is create an album on Photobucket - and a link to it on the sidebar - for you all to go to so you can find the photos I'm talking about.  Right now, there's two photo links there.  One is of my collections of books and coin purses and the other is of the same name as this blog.  Now, what I'll be doing is uploading photos for the blog posts and dating them so you can look at them at your leisure and you can then relate them to each blog post.  It's easy.  And as each album becomes a little full, I'll establish another and then another... and don't worry, I'll keep you guys posted about them by reminding you where to look and in which albums.  And as time goes by, I'll remove the older albums to keep this as confusion-free as possible (for all of us).  

So, there you go, photos are still around, just in another place.  I hope you guys still enjoy my posts and don't mind clicking onto the album link on the sidebar.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dull Wet Weekend

Wasn't Saturday lovely?  Not too bad on the cool front, but lovely and sunny, yep, we had that in spades.  Then, overnight, it turned, dull, cold and windy.  Today, it's Monday - the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend here in Australia - and it's not the best time to have a BBQ.  But people are out there in force trying to make the best of the bad weather.  I suspect, they're taking the kids to the movies because they are sick of them complaining that they're bored.
Today, Mum, Dad and I went to Uncle Allan's house.  This was the first time for me since his service; and there's a lot to go through.  I was allowed to have the vinyls and any of the books.  So, now, I'm home and they are all stacked away under the stereo system waiting to be searched through, cleaned, played and thought about and sorted.  The ones I do sell will be ones I don't know much about; and the money will go back to Mum.
I look forward to hearing the music Uncle Allan played years ago and I hope to share them with Mum and Dad when I've made my selection of vinyls.  There's about 4 box sets that I will keep; as you don't find them anywhere anymore.  And there's one vinyl where there's traditional Greek music on it; and I love that kind of music.  So, I can't wait to play all of them over the next few weeks and see what they're like.  The great thing is that they weren't laying down; nope, they were all standing up, none of them are warped as far as I know.
As for the books, I found a few good ones that I brought home.  I grabbed all the gardening ones (as I need as much help as I can get with my garden, seeing it's in its infancy.  And then, there were some sci-fi books and poetry books and a book written by a cleric I found interesting.  This all came home with me too. 
Now, I'm back here looking at all of it as it waits for me work on it and listen to it and read it.  How exciting is that?  Very cool, and yet very sad at the same time that Uncle Allan isn't here to give us what he wants us to have in person.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Home Again!

Today, my parents come home from New Zealand.  They've spent three weeks there traveling around the North and South Islands of that beautiful country and have seen it's wonderful scenery.  They also saw the first snowfall!  
And now, after a few e-mails, two postcards and a couple of phone calls (made at their place to their mobile), they are both coming home in about an hour from Auckland.  Gabe and Kat are picking them up; and I let them know about an hour ago that I had done some grocery shopping yesterday to see them through the next 24 - 48 hours.  I even bought them a bit of fish in case they felt like a simple meal of fish and veggies tonight and nothing too heavy to eat.  There's fruit and veggies, bread, eggs, two types of milk, yoghurt, grapes, cheese (two types there too) and I made sure anything that looked off was thrown out in the bin.  So, the fridge is full of nice fresh food to eat... and they don't have to go to the shop for anything after their two flights home.
I've had three of the busiest weeks around; picking up mail, going to their house, working at the Logan Art Gallery, shopping, visiting Gabe and Kat's house to hang out with Riley while they go to a Prince Concert and then doing the laundry while it rained outside.  And has it been cold!  I'm so happy I bought that new clothes horse!  It's been used so many times and everything dried on it too!  Frank - one of Uncle Allan's friends - dropped around to sort through his mail and figure out what needed looking at immediately and what could wait and what could be thrown away.  He and I caught up with what we've been doing after Uncle Allan's service.  I do miss him a lot; especially since this is the first time my folks have been overseas and usually I call him and we have a chat... and he's not there to talk to anymore.  I really felt lonely on that one night I wanted to talk to him.
From Wednesday to yesterday, I was busy as busy!  I did almost all my shopping on Wednesday.  Then, I was home.  Then, on Thursday, I caught up with laundry and cleaning up... only to have the house messy again.  Yesterday, I didn't stop!  I felt as though I spent most of my day on a bus... then in taxis that weren't going to show (as you can read below).  
However, today, I'm relieved to say that I can concentrate on working on a few art projects I've been invited to, my knitting and tidying up the house a bit.  The sun is playing hide'n'seek with the clouds and it's still quite cold; even though it's just gone midday.  So, not long ago, I put the covers back on my little bird's cage so she can keep warm - as her feet were ice cold! - and so I'll be off now to tidy up the lounge room and make some nice hot coffee.  I have a book to edit; and it may be last time I use Mum's laptop to do it before I do it here on the desktop again.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Busy Shopping Week

This week was pay week; and I received more money in my account than usual from the government.  So, I thought to get myself a few new things around the house; namely replace the things I need that have worn out.
I went out shopping and bought myself another pair of pajamas from K-Mart.  They're purple and have flowers on them and are silky ones.  I love them as they're a bit big; and I can move in them while I sleep.  Then, I found myself two pairs of jeans at Life Line!  How cool is that!!! I'm wearing one pair now, and they are so warm!
I paid off some of my layby at Woodys and bought up what I wanted at Coles and some things at the Chemist and then came home with a whole lot of groceries.  It felt good to have most of what I wanted.

But today, I needed to go out again.  I wanted to get a few more things at K-Mart that I had missed out on.  So, I thought to head up to Garden City and look around there instead of my usual stomping grounds.  I bought myself two more pillows for my bed (and also in case I have anyone staying over.  It's always good to have two spare for the fold-out lounge), a 3-cup coffee plunger and a new pair of slippers.  However, as I sat in Gloria Jean's Coffee House, I checked my bag for Mum and Dad's house key and found I had forgotten it!  How embarrassing!  So, I caught the first bus home, dropped off my purchases, grabbed their house key and caught another bus to Springwood... I fortunately didn't have to wait too long.
But when I arrived at Springwood, I found I only had 15 minutes until my appointment at the chiropractor's.  So, instead of going to Mum and Dad's place, I walked there and waited for my appointment.  Once I had my adjustment, I was off to Coles to get some shopping done for Mum and Dad before they arrived home from New Zealand.  I stuck to my list and it didn't take long; but short trip to their house took almost an hour!
I ordered my taxi, went to the rank and found there were two older ladies waiting there.  They had been there an hour in the cold waiting for their taxies; and one of them was about 80.  So, when my taxi came, I let her take it.  She was so stiff from waiting in the cold - on a cold, metal bench - for so long, she couldn't get up or walk.  So, I helped her along with another lady to the taxi.  The driver assisted her into the Maxi-Taxi and took her home immediately.  One of the guys at the rank went and called another two cabs when a Silver Service taxi came and we gave it to the other elderly lady to get her home and out of the cold.   It was awful to know those two ladies were suffering so much in the cold afternoon and no taxies were coming to get us.  And it took another 20 minutes for another taxi to show up!
Once I arrived at Mum and Dad's - and cab driver helped me with my groceries up the stairs - I put everything away, returned a phone call and then I called yet another taxi to take me home as it was beginning to get really cold and cloudy outside.  I thought it might start raining.  
When I walked through the door of home, I immediately covered Little Miss Stevie with her heavy covers and closed up the house.  I was starving!  I put away all the things I needed to put away and started on dinner... it was only 4:30pm but I needed something substantial in my stomach.  So, I made nachoes - quick, easy and hot.  They really hit the spot!  It's late now.  I didn't really watch much on tv... no movies were worth watching.  And so, I turned off the television and gave my dear sweet budgie a cuddle before covering her over then turning off the lights.  I'm now about to head off to bed myself.  I really need a good nights' sleep.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why Wait?

I was given a set of wine glasses when I turned 21 by my Aunty Helen.  They're hand-turned, blue/green at the base and gorgeous!  I love them.  But I've been waiting for the right occasion - the right time - to use them.  And until around this time last year, I didn't.  So, I pulled them down from the high shelf in the cupboard, washed them until they sparkled and used them.  I was 37 years old; and I waited all that time to use these glasses.  

And why did I wait for so long?  I'm not sure.

Why do we wait until the right time to use the beautiful things that sit in our cupboards and in our china cabinets?  Why is the family china sitting in its box still - unused - all because we're scared one piece might be dropped and broken?  There are people out there who have had complete sets of things in their cupboards and wardrobes and have never used them because they might break them; and they grew old waiting for the right time, the right occasion, the right place, the right people or the right night to use them... but that time never came.  The occasion never happened and they grew old and passed away only to have their family pull the box out of the closets and cupboards, never knowing they were there and wondering why these things never got used.  It's sad really; and not something we should leave to chance.
Since cleaning out my kitchen, I have found I brought out a set of plates from hiding; all because I was waiting for the right time to use them.  So, what I did was:  I washed them all and put them with the other white dinner plates to be used every day.  They are my Nan's plates; and I don't wish for them to go to waste all due to me waiting for the right time.  I did the same with two sets of glasses I found in a cupboard above my stove.  They were from the 70's and 80's and they are beautiful; but I never used them.  So, down they came, got washed up and now I used them all the time.  Not only have I saved myself a lot of money in replacing the old ones I was going to replace, but I also found some lovely glasses that didn't cost me a thing!  How cool is that!
So, why do we wait for the right time to use things.  I have clothes in my wardrobe that I have bought; and believe me, I have worn every single piece of it!  I find that if I don't wear the clothes, I end up giving it away.  It's the same with my shoes.  I don't have a lot of shoes; but the ones I do have all get worn - and worn well.  
I play all of my music, watch all my dvds, read as many books as I can and use all my perfume and use all my make-up, hair products and soaps people give me.  I don't wait for the right time to use these things; as there is no right time.  The time is now... we are alive here and now to use what we have in our lives; so why not enjoy what we have in our homes and lives right now?
When my Grandmothers passed away, I found each of them had kept some toiletries I brought back from the UK for them.  The whole pack - one of them was of rose, the other lavender I had bought specifically from The Chester Circle - were all still together with not a thing used out of them.  I found it kind of sad that they didn't use them and wondered if they didn't like the souvenirs; however when I asked, Mum told me Nan wanted to wait for the right time to use the products.  I never found out why Grandma didn't use hers.  But within months, we had used the products and they were lovely on our skin; the scent not too bad either.

Recently, my Uncle passed away.  He lived life to the fullest and wasn't all that old when he left us from Prostate Cancer.  He had travelled all over the world, owned a good collection of cars, vinyls, books, booze and knew how to throw a great party at his house in Holland Park West here in Brisbane.  He totally enjoyed life and squeezed every atom of it out of this one he was given; and he will be missed by us all.
I don't wish to miss out on anything in my life.  In recent years, I've become a little more spontaneous and gone out on a whim, enjoyed playing music at night instead of watching the same old television shows.  I've stayed up and read a good book way past midnight - just because I want to know what happens next.  Life is definitely for living.  And our good things that are locked away in our cupboards and closets which are kept safe because we think we might break them were purchased to be used.  So, go and get out that nice bone china tea set and make some tea; just for the heck of it... because it's nice to drink out of something damn fine; not because you're terrified you'll break it, but because it's there to be drunk from.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Three Monkeys

Yesterday, I was out and about in West End for my monthly get-together with friends.  I love getting into the city on this day of the month as it gets me away from Logan City and the house and it's a lot of fun to sit and chat with friends who I don't see all month.  Yes... I'm becoming a lot more social than I used to be and love it.  
It took me only half an hour or so to get into the city.  On the way in, I saw people catching the bus from Garden City to The Gabba to catch the Lions play.  When I asked who they were playing against, the guy said West Coast and that both teams were at the top of the ladder; then turned to his mate and said that I was a 'stupid chick'.  When he walked past me on the bus, I said that I supported the Hawks; who are also at the top of the ladder as well.  Yep, they were younger than me... silly really.
Well, I made it to Southbank and walked up Melbourne Street, past the Fox Hotel and to the corner of Boundary, Moullini Street (where there's a structure there that looks like an alien space craft just landed).  I walked past the Commonwealth Bank and looked up at the side of the next building and found The Three Monkeys Cafe and Teahouse.  This place is a cool place that is always packed out!  I walked in and found myself in a completely different world... of dark woods, small niches everywhere, mirrors, plants and a family-friendly atmosphere.  It appeared small but the place sprawled from the tiny insides to out the back where it opened up to the beautiful half-covered areas where natural light played and plants gave cool shade.  I felt right at home immediately, but I had to find my friends first before sitting down.
So, I joined in the line of people and tried to decide on what to get to eat.  It wasn't easy.  I knew what drink I was going to get - a latte - but the food was something of a gastronomical delight; from what was written up on the boards.  So, I ordered some cake - at $7.95, I wondered if I had ordered something worthwhile.  I took my table number and went outside to the first big table where some young girls had quickly abandoned it because it was 'too damned cold to be out here'... and so I  grabbed the table.  Will showed up and so did my cake; which he took one look at it and was almost ill.  He had pulled himself off sugar over the last few months and anything that looked this sugary was sickening to him.  I took one mouthful and found it horribly sweet; sweeter than I anticipated, and only made it through two more mouthfuls before pushing it away and opting for my home-made cake I had brought with me.  Will grabbed some of my cake and loved it... saying it was just lovely and not too sweet.  
We sat chatting about what has been happening over the last month when a few more people showed up.  They ordered their drinks and food and we all settled in for a good talk for a few hours.  It was great to enjoy the company of other people for a while and not worry about what was happening around us.  
By around 3pm, two of the people took off home and said their farewells.  Then, Will scooted around and sat next to me and us for still chatted for a while before I said I had to go to catch the next bus before it became too dark too quick.  So, we all left at the same time.  Hugs were exchanged all around and we went in our own directions.  I walked to the Southbank Bus Station and caught the 555 to the Hyperdome - getting off at Springwood - and then caught a cab home as it was getting dark and I had missed the 550 to Browns Plains.  
Once home, I made myself a pizza and watched a little television, taped a cool sci-fi writers' show on sbs and then shuffled off to bed.  It had been a good day... a long afternoon... and I had a headache from all that travelling and I was overtired.  I crashed and woke at the early hours of this morning to my alarm; not wanting to get out of bed.  The best thing was that this morning... the sun was out and has stayed out.  How great is that?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Busy Fun Weekend

I woke this morning with a thousand jobs and unfinished work I had to do around the house running through my head; and yet, I wanted to stay in bed and crawl in under the covers.  Jumping out of bed, I forced myself to get dressed, make my bed and get downstairs to put the laundry on.
The pets were fed, the washing was started and I put out the rubbish from two days ago; then I went outside and uncovered the Basil to let it get some sunlight, as it's been struggling to get through the rain clouds this morning.  I made myself breakfast and picked up the list from yesterday and last night and looked at what needed to be done next.  You see, last night, I sat in front of the television and sorted through two bags of rubbish from the home office and have only one bag of useful things and one bag of things to be shredded and tossed out a purple rubbish bag of stuff into the bin before I went to bed.  And did it make me feel great!  Of course it did!  Nothing like spending 3 hours on a clean-up that you needed to get done three weeks ago and you go it done in one night when there was nothing on television to watch.
After doing that, I washed up, closed up and went to bed... that was last night.  And now, this is today.  The radio is on, the sun is battling with the rain clouds to dry out Brisbane City and I'm hoping that the cake I made tastes good (well, of course!  It's got cranberries and blueberries in it!).  
Today, I vacuumed the lounge room, hung up one load of laundry that really needed to get done, then brought the laundry basket upstairs and quickly tidied up my office so it looks good for the next week.  I'm hoping to do some serious editing of my books and short stories.  
Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to going out to see my friends at New Farm Park.  I haven't been there for two months and I'm hoping we can all meet up, scoff down good food and talk.  I also have a birthday present for Will - whose birthday was on Friday - and I hope he likes it.  I bought him Peace Flags for his place.  They ought to look good; and they're just a good, colourful thing to have in your place.  
Well, today's not yet gone and I have gotten a lot done.  I have Frank coming around this afternoon - a friend of Uncle Allan's.  We've found a few things arriving in the mail that just aren't right; so he's coming around to have a good look at it all seeing Mum and Dad are overseas.  The kitchen table is still a bit of a mess and I have to tidy up a bit and dust.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.