Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July's Something Different!

The month isn't out yet and my computer has stuffed up more than once!  It all began last Friday night not 24 hours after Firefox upgraded its browser and my computer began having a hissy-fit about everything from passwords to my Hotmail (which I still can't get into unless on another computer, now dumbarse is that???).  So, when I switch off this computer each day, my computer has a bout of short-term memory.  It doesn't remember me from one session to the next.  I have to open new tabs, type in my passwords from scratch, introduce myself to my computer over and over and it still thinks I'm new to a website most times.  And all I did was delete my Cookies.... grrrr!

Besides this problem - and my computer having the habit of restarting itself all the time - I'm going well.  This month has been full of busy things.  I've finished my art project for The Home Festival, which was postponed no thanks to the weather being dodgy until next month.  So, now I can take my time and iron out the mistakes and any problems I have with the artwork I had originally.
Then, Dairy Farmers did a brilliant thing:  they removed the permeate from milk!  Now, I can drink milk to my heart's content without feeling bloated or sick to my guts.  Yes, it wasn't good for me; and you know, it was something that was banned other countries - so why use it here?  I ended up dropping Dairy Farmers a line on their website thanking them for making milk - well - milk again. 
I posted a few philosophy posts about housework, sugar being poison (as I've been hearing about it and yet, it's been around for so long, it's something that's seems to be getting a bad rap) and then I did a post about the meaning of life - or 42 - finding your happiness; and how you've done it.  Have you done it or not?  I did another post on uses for basic things which received a lot of comments - and I was happy that some people didn't know a few of the things I've been using around the house instead of chemicals.  However, it's good to learn new stuff isn't it?
And then, over the last few weekends, I've gotten into my reading again and did two book reviews on My Reading List blog and have found myself looking into reading more of my reading pile next to the office door (Yay!).  How good is that?  Well, I think it is.  I finished one baby blanket for a couple who are expecting their first little baby and began another one because I have the yarn for it.
Then, I had a really busy, long weekend of traveling and volunteer work this weekend just gone; and I feel like I've lost a day because I went away on Friday and was out all day... and it felt like Saturday.  Silly really, but it can happen.  
This brings me to the last few days.  My computer screwed up, I'm trying to make it work and I've been to Garden City and back this morning.  While there, I bought 'Good Reading' Magazine for August, cancelled a layby I couldn't afford, bought some purple paint and really tiny canvases and then found a book by Dean Koontz which wasn't a horror novel (go figure!); it was about his dog.  And seeing I love books and stories about dogs, I thought to see how it reads.  Well, that's the month of July for ya.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Computer Stuff-Up

My computer has stuffed royally.  Seriously.  I'm currently using my Mum's laptop to write this at my parents' house as I have no way to get onto any of the sites I'm normally permitted onto.  None of my passwords works and so I'm constantly a guest on my blogs and as for Hotmail?  Forget it!  I click on it at the ninemsn site and I have a blank, white screen come up... how inviting is that?  So, on top of all that, I am also unable to use picmonkey, update any programs I normally do and so getting onto the net is virtually useless to me at my house because I can't talk to anyone anywhere, blog or anything.
Sure the computer is fine as an off-line computer, but otherwise, it's the dumbest thing in my house.  So, I'm not going to be using the computer as much as I normally would over the next few days.  So, if I'm not here as often as you hope, don't worry, I haven't vanished on you, it's my computer screwing up.  It's a programming problem and not me.  I'll need to get somebody to look at this problem; and this has only occurred to me since the London Olympics have opened.  And the problem is getting worse.

So, am I the only one who has gotten these problems?  Or I am an isolated case?  I have tried clearing my cookies - which cleared not only my cookies but also all my passwords and anything else connected to a website where I'm known as a regular.  I have tried to restore my systems, looked at virus checks, the computer has been totally defragged and ... well, nothing has worked.  So, is there anyone out there who can suggest something to help me?  I'd like to check my mail, I'd like to talk to somebody online, I'd like to blog from my house, I'd like to have a few things done online that I need to do, but my computer won't allow me to.  This is a post for a call for help... until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Long Weekend

My weekend started out earlier than it normally would for most of you.  Mum, Dad and I took off to Toowoomba for a day to visit a friend who is living in a nursing home.  He's not going so good, and has been moved from one home to the next - and this one's a good one.  We stayed with him for about an hour and then went out to lunch at the Toowoomba Golf Club.  And what a place to eat!  It was beautiful!  But it was also hidden away so well, you didn't know it was there until you found the driveway to the car park... strange but true.  
We caught up with our friend's wife and daughter - who didn't know I was coming up to see them - and we had a lovely chat with them.  Too soon, they had to leave and pick up children and be on their way; pity, there was so much more to talk about.
Well, we left too soon after and drove out to Allora - where my Grandma was born and brought up - and we visited the Allora Cemetery where Mum knew most of the people laid to rest there.  The township was next and Mum found a lot of the houses were still there and the main street of Allora was a typical small, country town.  The one thing I noticed about the place was that there were no bars or large steel roller doors to protect the fronts of the businesses; unlike ones that are here in the city.  It was so quiet and pretty and the people were lovely and in for a nice chat about anything.
Soon, it was time to head off home as the day was becoming late and we were feeling the cold as the sun had turned west.  We found our way to Old Talgai and Glengallen Homestead where some of our family used to spent time and live.  We knew this place when it was a ruin and visit it when I was young; and it wasn't all that attractive to anyone and people drove past it without casting an eye to it from the road.  However, now the Heritage Society has been looking after it, Glengallen Homestead has become a tourist attraction and a place to drop into on the way out to Warwick, Allora or Toowoomba.  It's a historical place to see and costs a little bit to see it.  But we were too late and we arrived when it was closed to the public - after 4pm - so Dad parked the Pajero outside the gate and Mum and I walked in through the back gate where it was open and had security pads (and we had to know codes to get through).  We took some lovely photos of the house with the sunset reflecting off its back wall as the temperature dropped dramatically to 11 degrees Celsius and we still walked around in the cool of the night before climbing back into the car and getting back onto the highway to drive to Cunningham's Gap and through to Brisbane.
On the way home, we stopped off at a truck stop to have dinner and chatted with a truckie who was eating his meal.  While he ate we all chatted to him about things and travel and how he said the the roads are never wide enough.  I found a cool thing about this truck stop, and that was the toilets were spotless!  They didn't stink of anything but an air freshener and were totally clean in every way!  I was amazed at this.  Our meal was brilliant, hot and lovely.  However, the lights in the restaurant needed to be fixed as they flickered all the time down one side of the place and - after a while made me feel sick.  I let the owners about the lights - they know about it - and then we went on our way.  Dad got some petrol and we plugged in my ipod and found some Ella Fitzgerald Greatest Hits to play on the way home.  Her music filled the car and the time all the way back to Brisbane nicely; and I got home at around 8:30pm.

Yesterday, I was off to the Logan Art Gallery to do my shift there for the afternoon.  I worked with a young man named Rys.  We chatted while I knitted and then laughed at a few things on his computer and the played a computer game or two before he went home.  We were both tired from the night and day before because - in our own ways - we had tiring days and nights.  
However, not many people had showed up for the afternoon; and only two or three showed up to ask where the Logan Central Library was.  It's funny, it's been down near K-Mart Plaza since around March 2011 and people still don't know where it is... and the place is massive too.  Well, I guess people don't notice things as much as I do.  

Today - Sunday - I'm at Mum and Dad's place using their internet as mine is playing up. I think it's the Olympics coverage online doing it to my Broadband as I just can't get into my hotmail account.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I've been considering the secret to a good, full and happy life.  Is it money?  Is it grandeur?  Is it having everything you want around you?  Is it having nothing but just the essentials?

I wish I knew.

However, whatever I read and whatever shows I watch on the television all give a differing angle and definition on was the meaning of life is.  For some it's having it all; while for others it's the smaller things that make everything worthwhile. 
For me, well, it's an accumulation of things.  There's love, family and the smaller, simpler things in life that make it all come together in what I call happiness.  When my health is good, I'm not stressed out, my garden is growing well and everything is going well, I find that life is good in more ways than one.  However, it's the small things that get the big things to work out better; the details that make the bigger picture look great.
However, for other people, there's other things that make them happy.  Money is a big one that makes people happy - but this can also come between people, split up families and destroy even the closest of friendships.  And yet, the adage that 'money makes the world go round' seems to keep coming around to haunt us when reality it seems to destroy a lot things leaving us wondering why it's so important to us when there's so much poverty and so many people don't have anything - let alone a shelter - and yet they still live from day to day and they are happy in themselves.
I have found, since being on a Disability Support Pension, that the things that make me happy are normally the things I used to bypass when I was working.  Books, gardening and taking a walk each day were things I thought I'd be doing in my twilight years; and yet I'm doing them now and I'm not yet 40.  But it's these things I'm enjoying while I'm young and they are keeping me healthy as well.  I've found time to read the books I've wanted to read, do the gardening I have always wanted to get into, learn to cook all the meals I've ever wanted to learn... seeing I have been given the opportunity to have the time for my happiness now in this part of my life, why not use it?  It's also become an important part of my search of my 42 - my meaning of life - and the why I'm here and nowhere else on this planet right now.

So, how have you found your 42 - your life meaning?  Or have you yet to find it?  Have you found a happiness in certain things you thought you'd never find it?  If so, what are they?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

If I Thought Friday Was Busy.....

Man, oh, man... did I have a busy weekend!  Friday was just the tip of the iceberg. I woke from a deep sleep on Saturday, made myself some pancakes and scoffed into them - even though two of them were undercooked - and drank some lovely plunger coffee and thought to take the day to relax.  I had this weekend to myself for the first time in 5 weeks!  And also  the Home Festival wasn't on, so I was sitting pretty for the weekend - wasn't I?

Nope.  I had forgotten something.

Mum called at around midday and asked if I was still on for that night and I drew a blank.  She reminded me of an art opening at her hairdressers and I then remembered it and accepted the invite. So, I started sorting out what I was going to wear, which bag I was taking and all that kind of thing and made sure my camera had fresh batteries (nothing worse than taking along your digital camera and the silly thing dies on ya!).  So, after eating two eggs on toast, Mum picked me up at around 6pm and we were off to Holland Park and found the opening was well under way with the bar outside, the paintings well-displayed inside and music playing as well.  It was a great array of colour, fun and portraits by the new up and coming artist Sandra Hosking who uses mixed media to produce her work; and I loved her stuff.  So I asked her if she'd like to put in an application for the Logan Art Gallery - to see if she'd get in there.  She was thrilled I offered; but I said I only volunteered there and seeing her collection was complete, it may be the thing they'd go for; and it would be up for 6 weeks instead of only 2 days.  Her secretary took down the details on how to get onto the Gallery's site and thanked me very much.
Mum and I left around 8pm or so.  So, it wasn't a late night, but I was very tired; and got to bed around 10:30pm and was out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow. 
Yesterday, I was up early again; but I had my usual porridge instead of bacon and eggs.  I was also dressed and ready to leave the house by around midday with everything to take into the city.  Mum and I were out again together!  We were heading to a Bookcrossing Meet-Up at O'Malley's at the Wintergarden on the Queen Street Mall.  I met Mum and Dad out the front of the unit complex and they picked me up with my blue trolley and Dad dropped us at the bus station.
All the way into the city, I was sitting there on the bus next to Mum thinking I had forgotten something.  I didn't know what it was, but I knew there was something I had forgotten.  As soon as I got off the bus, I wondered if I had my keycards and other cards to get around the city with; and when I looked inside my Bookcrossing Briefcase, I was really mad at myself to find that I had left those cards in my other 'Beatles' bag hanging off my kitchen chair nearby!  How dumb did I feel doing this?  Yep, very dumb!  I felt dumber asking her for money. 
O'Malley's was a nice place to meet.  The atmosphere was lovely.  There's an area called 'The Library' where you can have a pint and read as well if you want some peace and quiet; and that's where we all met with our books.  There were 4 other ladies who had brought along their books to swap.  I was glad to have brought along my trolley as it carried two tote bags (one for me and one for Mum), 6 books, Mum's book and it still had enough room for a jacket and a bag if needed.  We all enjoyed ourselves, got some drinks and had lunch; which was Guinness Pie (this was a beef and Guinness Pie that was the size of a dinner plate!  All 4 ladies ordered one each - and that was the small one!).  I ordered a small bowl of wedges and I couldn't finish those!  But they were very moreish as they didn't have that dreadful seasoning on them that most do - which gives me mouth ulcers - and all they had for dressing was sour cream and sweet chili sauce; yummo!  
We arrived back at Springwood at around 4:30pm not wanting to eat dinner.  I ate 2 pieces of raisin toast for dinner and that was it; but I still had my tea and bit of chocolate with ginger cordial and mineral water... just habit I guess.  But I did turn off the tv at around 9pm and head off to bed around 10:30pm.  Yep, a very busy weekend; which has led into the beginnings of a busy week. 
Today, I got in and did two loads of laundry - including one load being hand-washing - fed the pets, checked the mail, put the wiping up away and made breakfast; then I got a chance to read yesterday's paper.  Now, I'm just hanging out online before I get in and read more of 'The Gunslinger' by Stephen King and hopefully get closer to the end of it (by another 30 or 40 pages).  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Busy Friday Afternoon!

Fridays are always busy as hell... I've found that what starts out as something that is simple turns into something that's not.  Ain't that the truth!  
Today, I was off to the Neurologist to have a chat with her about the Pill.  Last November, I was carted off to the ER at sunrise via my most 'favourite' mode of transport - and ambulance - when an ovarian cyst ruptured causing me agonising pain!  So, after a few tests and scans, I was on the hunt for a good Gynecologist; and was recommended one by a couple of my closest friends.  He wanted me on the Pill; and this is how I ended up at my Neuro.
It was good to see her again; as I hadn't seen her in around 5 years and she wanted to summerise my file up and make it easier to access for the future.  We chatted and she asked how I was doing and I told her of my arty endeavours, showed her the book cover of the Altered Book, said that I had been stressed out because of it (but had that under control; and she was pleased about that!) and she was happy to see I was in good and healthy condition; and amazed I had gotten involved with a great art project like the Home Festival too!  And she thought it was a good idea to help regulate the cysts - and my cycle as it's out of kilter by a long shot! - with the Pill.  We got a photo together (taken by my Mum who went with me into the city) and then we were out of there before our hour was up for parking outside.  
Mum and I took off to Garden City to have lunch at Deli Sushi - a new place we've discovered over the last few months that has great food and delicious Green Tea! - and we were off to Medicare to get our money back for the appointment and I hand to hand in a form from last year (which was grossly overdue and I had problems filling out).  Then, I bought a new pair of sunnies and then... it was the hunt for mascara that wasn't black, black-black, glossy black or noir-black, dramatic black or Holy-Batman-That's-Black! (okay the last was is made up... but really, do we really need this much black mascara on the market?).  I wear brown-black waterproof mascara and trying to find it was like looking for hen's teeth!  I swear it was as though the make-up industry is purposely ignoring redheads and fair-haired people in this world who - if they wear black mascara - look like Broom Hilda!  Well, Mum and I found some at Price Line and bought it.  And before long, we were at Katies sussing out some nice clothes - but only window-shopping... then we came on home, where I made Mum a lovely cuppa plunger coffee and gave her some cake and grapes that I love from the fruit store down the road... they're just so sweet and juicy and lovely!  She had a look at my new little cage for the Geranium and thought it was the cutest thing around!  And then, she headed off home as she had to make dinner for Dad and it was beginning to get late anyway.  
Well, that was my Friday afternoon.  A lot happened in the 5 hours Mum and I hung out together; but then you can squeeze in a lot in an afternoon.  What did you all get up to?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Day - Shopping

Today is the first day I've had to myself since I finished my Altered Book.  It's amazing that I began it around 2 weeks ago and just last night I completed it.  It drove me nuts, was always wet and now, it's finished and it looks and reads amazingly well!  I can't wait to show it at the Home Festival at Pineapple Park, Kangaroo Point this Saturday (which I hope is still on as I haven't received an e-mail advising me that it's postponed to another date).  
Well, my shopping day turned out to be something which made me feel like a yo-yo!  I was in and out of my house like a blue-arsed fly and my poor little budgie didn't know whether I was coming or going.  But the first place of call was The Big Apple down the road to pick up my fortnight's fruit and veggies.  Now, normally, I get this stuff from Woolworths, but this week, I wanted to see how much it would cost me to get it from this place instead.  And you know, the price was $20 cheaper than one of the bigger stores!  Brilliant!  So, I brought it all home, unpacked and dumped it all in the kitchen and took off again to catch the bus to Triple C at Logan Central to find my next major thing... a bird cage.
Now, as many of you know, I have a sweet little bird who is - most of the time - just a little social butterfly in my house.  She got a nice spacious bird cage that she has marked quite well as her own; and I have been considering getting her another and thought it bad idea.  Anyway, I also have had problems with possums munching away on my Geraniums in my garden.  I only have one Geranium plant, but it has yet to get any leaves on it because of pesky possums sneaking in at night and eating every last one of them before they even become anything looking like a plant.  So, I hunted from one charity store to another looking for a bird cage - without success!  Then, I asked Woolworths and K-Mart and they didn't have any either.  So, I went to Dollars & Sense and came up with this wonderful bird cage to protect my sweet little plant from their paws and taste buds.  What I didn't consider was that I had to drag this around Coles with me to finish off my shopping.  I had all kinds of people complimenting me on my bird cage, from the ladies at the chemist to the guy at the checkout, then there was a little girl who had arrived at the cab rank with her Mum and she jumped out of the cab and said I had pretty bird cage, then pointed it out to her Mum.  How sweet is that?  The little girl asked if I was getting a birdy.  I said that I already have one, but this cage is for a plant in my garden to keep possums from eating it; and she laughed, thinking it was a joke. 
I got home at around 1pm, not a bad day out.  Seeing I don't have to be sitting at the kitchen table to work on my artwork or paint or glue anything I'm kinda pleased about being able to hang out on here for a little while until around 3pm or so.  I don't feel so stressed out... and I know I won't be crashing so much at night after this.
But I do have a house full of food now.  And that's great.  I love shopping day all because of that fact.  It makes it so that I'm free to do all that I want to cook and eat everything because I want to prepare it whenever I want to.  Yeah, shopping day is always fun for me as I get out of the house, away from the unit complex and I get to see things I don't normally see, and that's great.  What do you love about shopping day? Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Uses For Basic Things

I've been using a lot of old-fashioned things for unusual uses lately.  Like vinegar - for example - is great for cleaning out drains when you mix it with bi-carb soda.  That bubbling effect is fantastic!  I love how it fills the whole sink and looks like something that'll take over everything; and yet it disappears down the drain and won't harm the environment.  My plumber has even told me that vinegar and bi-carb are the only things you should be putting down your drains as they don't eat away your pipes.  
Vinegar is also great for washing floors.  Well, okay, not just  washing your floors.  Use the Handy Andy, but once that's done, get a hot bucket of water, throw in some vinegar and give your floor another going over with it.  This makes sure your floor is easier to tidy up when you drop something that might stick - like cheese.  And believe me, I've tried it and it works!  It's great.
I also throw vinegar into my laundry instead of softener; as I'm allergic to ordinary clothes softener.  That stuff just makes my skin itch like no tomorrow; so I asked Mum what Grandma used to use and she told me vinegar.  And once I began using it about 5 years ago, I didn't stop.  Then, when my washing machine began to grind and I had to get the maintenance guy out to fix it (to put in what he called 'goop' to keep me from having to replace the gearbox), took the whole tub out and was amazed there was no build-up.  He said my machine was nice and shiny and asked what softener I used - if any - and I said vinegar.  He grinned and said that I was the first young person to figure out that washing machines aren't built to take all the build-up from the softeners.  And you know, my clothes are as soft as anyone else's, and they don't stink of anything like apples; just nice and clean.  
And I use Earth Choice washing liquid... great stuff that.  But be sure to read the instructions and not just throw it all onto your clothes.  The stuff can't come in direct contact with your clothes or you'll end up with white spots all over them.  I've seen somebody borrow some of it off me, not read the back of the container and wreck her housemate's washing - and his clothes weren't cheap.
The best thing I've found lately is to throw in a quarter cup of Bi-Carb Soda into my wash to make my laundry liquid work harder.  And it works!  I've done it a few times and there's no build-up and it works well with the vinegar too.  The best thing is that there's no smell to Bi-Carb Soda; and it soaks up bad smells too. 
In my last post, I told you that one of my drink containers made my milk taste like garlic.  Now, through washing up and using the same scourers on other things as well, the strong herb got into the container and permeated into the milk.  It was the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted and made me want to puke!  I told a friend about it last night; and she had read it in my post.  She advised me to get some Bi-Carb of Soda and fill the container up with it - dry - and leave it overnight.  Then, toss it out and rinse out the container in the morning.  So, once we finished our conversation, I did just that.  And this morning, I took it out of the cupboard, tossed out the Bi-Carb and took a smell after washing it out - and the smell was gone!  Brilliant stuff this Bi-Carb!  I also have a box of it in my fridge; hiding away in the back of it somewhere to absorb the smells of anything that's gone off or mouldy.

So, what things have you found work wonders around your house, but have been around forever?  Are they the most basic things and you've been using for years?  Or is it something you've just figured out in recent times?  Yep, it's sharing time!  Leave a comment about old-fashioned remedies for things that have been around forever and where you got them from.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.   

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Weekend of Busy

This weekend has been coolish and sunny; what a change from the last week of rain!  The good thing is that the sun has helped dry the altered book faster than it normally would; and the best thing of all is that my laundry has finally dried on the clothes horse.  Now, I can do more laundry and get it dried.

It seems that clothes horse is always up, isn't it?

Well, it doesn't matter, so long my clothes dry and nothing is wet for long.  I have gotten a lot done this weekend; and I'm happy.
The kitchen has been in some sort of messy disorder of either having the washing up just finished, or just about to be done, or the rubbish just emptied or about to be put out... the place never looked tidy for more than a few hours; and that was a pity.  But I really needed to eat because it's been so busy and I've been nibbling on cashews and cranberries and eating yoghurt as well because I've been working on my art project too.  And working on that has made me eat more because I work for around 2 - 3 hours each afternoon non-stop with my book and glue and paint and other things, then look up at the clock and the next thing it's almost 4pm!  Wow!  And my stomach is grumbling at me. 
On Saturday night, 'The Sound of Music' was on channel 99 and I watched some of it.  This was my Grandma's favourite film of all time.  She once told me - when I visited one day - that if given a choice, she would sit and watch it all the time and never become tired of it.  I think that's wonderful for a person to enjoy a movie like this so much.  I think it's how the songs really get into your head, the storyline, the scenery, the people in it and the way it was produced.  Personally, any type of musical from that era could be played for me and I'd love it.  Ones like 'The King and I' and 'West Side Story' all have wonderful, memorable music in them that - when we hear them - bring back scenes of them into our minds in full colour!  And I think that's what my Grandma was getting at about 'The Sound of Music'.  Since she's passed away now, I find it hard to watch the whole movie as it reminds me of her so much.

Today, I made pancakes and read a bit of the Sunday Mail before making myself a coffee/Milo drink and jumping online.  But I wasn't on here for long when I took my first sip of my drink and it tasted like.... garlic!  Blech!  So, I took the lid off (thinking it was the lid that had only the problems), but it was the all through the milk!  I had cleaned the container with a scourer that had been soaked in garlic all night (or had garlic in it when I washed it) and it had permeated throughout the milk!  Oh My God!  How disgusting!  So, I tossed out the container of milk and made another one instead... what a waste!
Well, I washed it again and it didn't stink of garlic.  I had used a new scourer and it's okay - I think! - to use again.

I hope!

Well.  This afternoon, I got offline at 1pm and worked on the Altered Book for 2 hours straight while listening to the 'Fame' soundtrack and W.A Mozart as well.  The latter is a great type of music to help artists and writers to focus on what they need to do.  I listened to two concertos and loved it because by the end of it, I found the book cover had been finished and it looked better than I thought it was going to turn out!  How brilliant!
I turned off the television early tonight as most of the movies were repeats and I didn't want to be stuck watching any of them.  So, I got in and washed up, put out the rubbish, said good night to Little Miss Stevie and locked up everything before turning out the lights.  It's been a good, busy weekend.  And I'm looking forward to the week being just as busy.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Sugar = Poison!

Over the last few years, I've been hearing a lot about the white stuff.  No, I don't mean drugs, I mean sugar.  It's been around for many centuries and we've been consuming it for just as long.  However, we haven't considered it a poison until now.  
I have noticed that people have been looking after themselves better; which is great!  However, there is such thing as overkill with how well you look after your health.  And I'm no throwing stones either; I also did this to myself when I cut most of the salt out of my diet.
Years ago, I cut a lot of salt out of my diet.  This was great.  I stopped eating junk food - brilliant for the waistline - and I didn't get takeaways of any kind.  My doctors loved me!  But, nobody could take me to a restaurant; where the salt in the food was dreadfully high - well according to my body and my tastebuds.  It was horrible.  So, I had to bring in a little bit of salt back into my diet; just so I could be part of the socialising world again.  
It's the same with sugar.  If people cut it out of their diets completely, nobody can cook anything for their friends if there's sugar in it.  One of my wonderful friends dropped sugar out of his diet and he finds it hard to go out and have anything to eat; as he finds everything out there chock full of sugar!  He's found that his favourite food - pancakes - off-limits because they are too sweet now.  However, if he learned how to make them himself, he wouldn't have the problem; and I let him know that he could make them with only a tablespoon of sugar and not taste it at all.

But really, sugar isn't that bad for us.  It's all in how much was have each day and week.  I don't eat a lot of sugar in my diet; as over the years, I've noticed that I have cut back on store-bought biscuits and cakes and rarely - if ever - have sugar in my coffees anymore.  So, when I go out now, I buy water or find places that make really good coffees; so good that you don't need sugar to sweeten them up.  And that's when a place knows how to make coffee.
So, why call it poison?  Well, like anything, sugar is only poison if you have too much of it.  Like the adage:  'Too much of a good thing is bad for you', well, it goes the same for sugar.  I have found that too much of anything is bad for you; and when I've talked to my doctors, they've agreed.  It's all about proportions - the same way we should be eating other foods as well - and if we watch how much sugar we consume on a daily basis as well as on a weekly basis, we really shouldn't have any troubles with it.  And really, once we can figure out how much sugar we eat and how much we can cut back on - without treating it as though it really is poison - then we can really look at ourselves as healthy people who are on the right track.  
Now, I'm not saying that I'm a saint.  Like I said, I don't eat junk food or sweet things, but like anyone, I used to have a sweet tooth years ago.  When I was growing up, I was a kid who ate all the wrong things.  At high school, my lunch was a packet of chips/crisps and a Chock Wedge Ice Block with a can of Fanta.  Yep, not all that healthy, and chock full of sugar.  And my weekends treats weren't much better either.  I drank Coke-a-cola all weekend thinking it was the coolest thing to drink.  
Now, I'm vegetarian, haven't touch Coke-a-cola in over 8 years and haven't had a Fanta in around 12 years.  Softdrinks don't have a place in my home.  I drink mineral water with a Ginger cordial-like stuff (where you use just a tiny amount to make a lot) and my dessert?  Well, I make a pot of Green Tea and eat a few small chunks of Whitaker's Dark Chocolate; and if I want something more, I grab some cranberries or saltanas.  I cook every meal at home and use less than a cup of sugar a week in my meals and drinks.  And I use raw sugar at that too and not the refined white sugar.  
This kind of lifestyle took a long time to get used to - and I did go out and buy a piece of cake not so long ago and I could barely get three bites into it as it was so very sweet!  However, I'm so much healthier for the change.  I sleep better at night, make better choices when I eat out and don't worry about missing out on anything if I walk past 'Hungry Jacks'.  
Sugar isn't our enemy.  Just look at how long we've been using it.  Throughout the 20th Century, and all the times of how much cooking, food and sweets of those times, and nobody ever worried about how much sugar we were eating.  And now, it's 2012 and we suddenly claim it as Enemy No. 1?  Nah, it's not the product, it's us.  We are looking at it from all the wrong angles.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good Fortune

Have you ever had days where you thought you'd probably be laughed at, but you weren't?  Today, I had one of those days.  I'll start with the beginning though - yesterday - as this is where I'd have to start.  
I went out to check the mail and buy an Eggplant for dinner.  I was hoping to cook a Eggplant and mushroom pasta for dinner last night - delicious meal!  It's one of my own recipes and I usually love making it.  Well, I bought a big one and thought to divide it up so that I could make it stretch for two meals; instead of one.  One of them was the pasta, the other was a Ratatouille.  
Some great plans can fall flat; and this one did!  The moment I cut open the Eggplant, I found it had black rot all the way through it!  Yuk!  So, I wrapped it in cling wrap and put it into a plastic bag, found the docket and wrote myself a note on the fridge to return it.  I looked around the fridge and found yellow squash to substitute for the Eggplant; but wasn't the same.  The skin of the squash was tough and it just didn't have the same flavour.  Darn... oh well, I ate all the garlic bread instead.

Today, I went out to check the mail and return the Eggplant at The Big Apple Fruit'n'Veggie place down the road, and when I arrived, the same lady who served me yesterday was there today.  She remembered selling me the Eggplant and was as disappointed about what happened as I was and said to get a replacement.  However, while I was there, they were taking deliveries of new stock; so the owner was there.  He listened to what had happened and saw I had one Eggplant as a replacement and said: "Why don't you go and get another one - have two for your inconvenience.  And if you have any other problems like this again, don't hesitate to come back and we'll help you again."  How good is that?  What great customer service!  
So, I've decided to do all my fruit and veggie shopping from there as of next week instead of Woolworths; for a few reasons:  it's a friendly place, it's only a 10 minute walk from my place, they will replace anything that's not right (so long you have the docket) and it's far cheaper to shop there!  So, have you had good fortune lately?  If so, let us know (no matter how small the good fortune is).  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Housework - Is It Really Women's Work?

I was doing my laundry this morning and watching it rain outside and it got me thinking:  is housework really the domain of only women?  No.  Okay, back in the 1960's, advertising aimed appliances towards us women and how much we'd love to have a blender, a vacuum cleaner or a new stove, but really guys have used those things at some time in their lives - haven't they?  And if not, why not?
Life hasn't become so busy that when we head off home, the men still walk in the door, grumble about their day, expect their slippers and glass of scotch and slump into their recliner and switch on the television, bellowing out: 'Hey, honey, I'm home... what's for dinner?'... has it?  Because if there's the wife in the kitchen - who has also come home from the office, in the other car, tired as hell and she's kicked off her shoes and has just sat down; the very last thing she wants to hear from her husband is that statement.

Except, on the other hand, there is the Stay At Home Mum; who is the accountant, the laundrywoman, the cook, the taxi-driver, the nurse/doctor, the grocer and - well - everything else in between.  She also has to keep the house nice and clean and try to have a bit of a social life on top of pleasing the whole family too!  Now, this isn't easy for them; and I've known a few of them.  They love what they do, but they also find it hard.
My Mum was a Stay At Home Mum for a period of time; until she had to go out and find a job to help make ends meet and make extra money.  It was harder on us kids because we were given chores to do when we woke up (like make our beds and clean our rooms - something we didn't quite get the hang of) and there were chores we had to do after school (like walking the dog, taking out the rubbish, cutting up the veggies for dinner and setting the table for dinner as well).  It was the small things that made the house run well; and if we missed out on a few of the small things, sometimes the house didn't run well.  But that didn't happen often.

Now, I've lived in a shared house once or twice, and it was fun.  We had our share of bills, shopping and working out who was buying what.  I sorted out what we bought with the groceries; and used my car - as it has a massive boot/trunk - and the bills were split three ways.  We all had our own jobs to do; and I offered to keep the house clean instead of paying rent... which went down well with two guys who didn't vacuum or dust or do laundry.
That was when I was 24 years old.  Now, I'm much older, and living on my own, I have found that everything - and I mean everything - is done by me.  I am the gardener, grocer, laundrywoman, billpayer, exterminator, nightwatchman, vet, doctor/nurse... I'm the lot and there's just me to do everything.  Living on your own and doing everything is much harder than having a partner to help take up the slack... because you can't rely on anyone else by yourself; and you don't want to ask for help in case you seem weak.  So, if and when I hurt myself, I rarely tell anyone unless somebody asks how I am.
But my housework gets done when it gets done.  I find that my laundry is done over a week instead of a whole weekend as my clothesline isn't big enough.  When it rains, I have a clothes horse I use inside and it takes only a small load.  I must wash up every night or I'll get cockroaches - and put out the rubbish into the bin as well for the same reason.  I dust three times a week (only for the stuff to come back a day later!) and I find that no matter how tidy I try to be, the house is never tidy enough... 
So, does anyone have these problems?  Have you had these problems throughout your life where no matter what you've tried, you just can't keep your place clean and tidy?  And does it occur to you that the housework does seem as though it's the domain of only the women and not that many men are taking part; or is that just my imagination? 

Monday, July 9, 2012


Tonight, while I was sitting on the lounge watching reruns of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', I heard the rain pour from the darkened skies outside!  It was so wonderful to hear it; and just in time too.  This is because I've been busy over the last day or so in the garden; and very pleased that I got it all done in time for the rain tonight.
Yesterday, after I closed down the computer, I went outside into the cool afternoon and found the lawn was a little long.  So, I pulled out the mower, pulled up the solar lights and mowed the whole lawn.  It looked pretty spiffy.  Before I put them all back, I decided to sort out the mess that I was calling the corner garden.  So, I pulled out all the pots, put them off to one side and took out two more large solar lights I had acquired from elsewhere and pulled out all the Wandering Dew and tossed it.  Then, I re-organised the pots so they looked better and there was more room around the garden; and I could reach the fence without having to move any pots around.  A few other pots were re-arranged before I was happy with it all.  Then, I pushed all the solar lights back into the ground, put the mower away and went back inside to close up as it was getting cold.

Today, I was busy with the Altered Book I've been working on.  However before that, I went outside to check on the garden and found a paling had fallen down.  So, instead of struggling with pushing it back up, I just pulled it out and left it of the fence.  It was just leaning against the posts anyway; so why try push it into doing something when there's nothing supporting it?  Anyway, I pulled out my camera and took some photos and made a lovely little collage and then went inside to work on my art works.
I did up a page and some writing and glued 4 pages together.  Tonight, I have to wait for it to dry.  Tomorrow morning, I'll glue 4 more pages together and work on the next lot of pages in the afternoon once they're dried.  The whole book is looking good.  I can't wait until it's finished, painted up and ready to go.  
Late this afternoon, I knitted three lots of the Irish Moss Stitch of the Baby blanket for Geoff and Vivienne and so got a lot more of it done than I usually would.  It's looking great so far; and I can see it's going to work out well over the next few weeks.  If I get this one finished before time, I might do another one with a blue yarn I have which is thicker; and they can use that one too on the same needles, but in a different stitch.  I'll see how I go.
Well, I ate nachoes for dinner - home made ones - and turned off the television at 8:30pm to wash up, clean the counter and sink, take out the rubbish and wipe down the splash back and some of the doors in the kitchen, then swept up the kitchen floor.  Then, I locked up and came upstairs.  It's been a good, busy long day, ending in rain... lovely, cool, rain... and so I might head off the bed and get my nose back into 'The Gunslinger' by Stephen King and aim to finish it by next week or so.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Relaxing Sunday

Am I glad it's Sunday!  Really it's been a very busy week of running around and I found myself unable to the amount of things I wanted to until today.
Last week, from Sunday through to Tuesday, my afternoons were dedicated to me being hunched over the kitchen table and working on my painted pages.  I had to wet them with tea, paint them while they were still wet and then set them off to one side and wait for them to dry.  Between those three days, I managed to get 23 pages done and dried.
Wednesday was shopping day.  I had promised myself not to spend too much money - and fortunately, I didn't.  I took my time and found it was a good day out; even if it was a little chilly outside with the wind.  However, I did need to head off to the doctors the next day.
So, off I went on Thursday to the GP to get a prescription and the chiropractors.  I thought to make a day of it and stayed at Mum and Dad's place all day.  while I was there, I surfed the net and made them dinner of pumpkin, carrot and onion soup with home made garlic bread (well, I used the bread already there, and made the garlic butter).  When they arrived home at around 4pm, they really appreciated it the work.  And Jay, the dog had been fed too.  
Friday was my day off.  I was exhausted from doing everything in the week, so much so, I didn't want to do anything on that day but bludge; so I did!  I ended up knitting some of my friend's baby blanket, and getting a long way into it too!  It's coming along really well, and I'm pleased with the progress.  I really think they'll love it.
Yesterday, I was off early to the Logan Art Gallery to work on my project for the Home Festival.  I needed the space to cut up the magazines and organise what was going where and which pieces were going to be used in the Altered Book.  Then, the laminater arrived and they plugged it in and we waited for it to heat up.  Before long, my painted pages were all done up and laminated, finished up - for now - and I had gone through my 10 old magazines a few times and it had just gone 3pm!  Wow!  Where did that time go?  I smsed Mum and she came and picked me up; but not before having a look through the gallery first (as she hadn't been there for a long time).  We had fun with one of the interactive displays called Sci-Art, filled in the form for the monthly competition and then we were on our way.
When we got back to my place, she helped me inside, pulled the curtain for Little Miss Stevie and saw what I had gotten done at the gallery - and loved my work - and then I gave her some of my leftover Ratatouille from my fridge to take home.  She took it and a few hours later, called me up saying it was delicious!  Dad wanted to know where I bought it.. hehee... so good when a recipe works out. 
Today, I was up around 8am, went and bought the Sunday Mail and made pancakes for breakfast.  Yummo!  They taste so good with Maple Syrup on them!  I read the paper while eating and then hung out the washing, took out the recycling up to the bin at the back of the complex and then trimmed the shrubs outside my place.  I really have to look into pulling the bigger weeds out soon before they flower.  Then, I jumped online and hung out on here for a few hours.  This afternoon, I'll be catching up on my reading and cleaning up the house a little more; seeing how much housework I've missed out on in the last week.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tiring Week

It's been a busy, tiring week, but one where I hope next week isn't as busy.  This week I worked hard on my art project for the Home Festival; but I felt as though I didn't get very far.  Because of the cold the pages took a long time to dry, so I couldn't write on them, well, not until today.
And I had two days off to do other things around the place which couldn't be avoided.  
On Wednesday I had my grocery shopping day.  It was a strange morning of road works and the bus driver unable to drop me at the stop I wanted to get off at because it had been closed down.  Oh well, it's not the driver's fault she couldn't stop there; so I didn't blame her and thanked her for getting me as close as she could to my stop.  Besides, I didn't mind the walk, it warmed me up on the cool morning.
Then, I helped an elderly man find his way to Logan Central Plaza as he was lost and had parked in the wrong car park.  He and his wife hadn't been to Logan City before and said everything looked the same before thanking me and going on his way.
I know I didn't buy everything I wanted that was on my shopping list; and really that's good.  I have saved a little money, and I'm proud of myself.  And yes, I'm beginning to save up again to work on my back yard over the next month or so.  It will take time but not very long really.  I'm looking at how much I'm spending and what I'm cooking and what fruit and veggies I'm buying and my budget should begin looking better soon.  And seeing I've got a fruit and veggie shop down the road from me, I might make my Woolworths purchases smaller and start buying my fruit and veggies from The Big Apple instead; just to save some money and see how far it goes.  And the best thing about this is that the place is only down the road, so I only have to walk there and back - no buses needed.
When I arrived at Logan Central Plaza, I paid off some of my layby at Woodys' - as usual - and then went to K-Mart and bought more picture frames for the project I'm doing here at home.  It's good they've got such a great variety; and I'm looking forward to working on it when I get all the frames I need together.  Then, I spotted a book I've been looking for of The Dark Tower Series - 'The Drawing of the Three' - and I've been hoping to get through 'The Gunslinger' fast enough to find the second book soon.  And now, I have the second book, I can read it straight after it.  How's great is that?  Okay, it was an impulse buy, but I'm glad I found it! 
The rest of my morning went well.  I could afford all my purchases.  There were kids everywhere annoying the crud out of their parents before going back to school.  And I tried not to run over any with the trolley I had (and even then, it wouldn't have been my fault as kids never watch where they're going half the time).  I arrived home and unpacked after I met the new back neighbour - a nice elderly lady and her friend - and had a chat about everything and introduced myself.  He thought I was nice and tried to get the lady to come out to say hi, but she wouldn't.  Well, give her time; she will eventually.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Permeate Free Milk

It's all over the television!  Dairy Farmer's Milk has begun taking the permeates out of their milk - and I say: 'Thank God!'.  I can hear you ask me why... well, it's been years since I drank a glass of milk without my stomach cramping up on me; and me thinking that I'm becoming lactose intolerant. So, when I tried out the milk without the permeates - better known as fillers - I didn't get one cramp, one mutter, one single problem from the direction of my stomach of anywhere south of that!  And for me this is wonderful! I haven't felt this relaxed in such a long time.  I can go to sleep without feeling as though I'm on edge, wondering if my stomach is going to cramp one more time from me drinking that hot chocolate I had made only half and hour before.  
And when I came home today from shopping, I jumped online here and looked up the Dairy Farmer's website and dropped them a line letting them know how good it is that they've done this.  Now, not only will they know it's going to be good for sales, but it's going to be good for people's stomachs too.
Now, it's got me wondering... has anyone had the same problems with milk lately?  And until the fillers were taken out, had stomach cramps and digestive discomfort, and put it down to lactose intolerance (like I did)?.  Or is it just me who has been suffering in silence all this time?  It'd be interesting to know if what they've been adding to milk has been making the public sick and they didn't know until they removed it, wouldn't it?  Just something to think about.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm, and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Busy Week

I have a busy week ahead of me; and it's barely started.  On Sunday and yesterday, I was here at home doing a catch-up on my housework, washing up and laundry.  And by the end of yesterday, it was all caught up and I was at my kitchen table painting up wet pages for the Collector's Exhibition.  But I only got 5 done in 2 hours.
It takes so long to get them done that I'm wondering if it's going to work out at all.  I just hope the people organising this aren't expecting too much out of us.  I'm doing my best and that's all I can do.
However, I can't push aside my other commitments all because there's an art show coming.  I have to clean the house, put out the rubbish, wash up, do my shopping, pay the bills and make sure I'm not tired to get in and do all this stuff.  And, I also have an altered book to fix up as well; which is in its beginning stages.  I've done 5 pages of that and have begun to work on the next stage of it.  I've yet to paint it up and make it colourful as well.
Tomorrow, I have to go shopping and fill the house with food again.  I won't be doing any artwork tomorrow as I'll be far too exhausted from going out; and I'd rather not burn myself out.  And on Thursday, I won't be doing any art in the afternoon either.  Instead, I'll be off to the chiropractors to get my back and neck looked at again.  So, there's two days where I won't be working on anything to do with the book or the pages.  But on Friday, I will be.  I may not be on here to do any computer work so I can catch up on the work I missed out on.  
Saturday will be the workshop day; where they will have expected me to have done 90 pages painted up, written on and ready to laminate.  They will be disappointed as there will not be that number; but there will be a set of pages ready and written on for the week.  I'll also show them the work I've done on the altered book and - hopefully - that'll help show how much my work has progressed.  If not, well, too bad.
So, that's my week.  Busy, busy, busy... and not a moment to myself to look around.  I hope your week gives you time to rest, have a laugh and smile about something.  I hope mine does too.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


The sun was out again today; and I thought to get into this wonderful day and put out all my washing.  I did the sheets on my bed, all the towels, all my delicates and anything else I could do.  Well!  That filled up the clothes line and the clothes horse... and that was four loads of laundry.  
The next thing I did was put away some books that had been sitting in a box - and I had carted around my house - for the last two weeks!  While I was finding a place for the books, I found a pile of 'Good Reading' Magazines that were 2 years old sitting underneath where Little Miss Stevie was in the credenza.  Well!  I was impressed I had kept them for so long and pulled them out to look at this afternoon.  I stuck them with the rest of the books and things I was going to use tonight.
This morning, I got upstairs and on here and stuffed around on the net for a while; uploading photos and talking to a few people and checking my e-mails.  Then, before long, it was around 3:30pm or so, and I was back downstairs and eating my afternoon eat and organising myself to sort through the magazines and cut them up.  This was easier said than done.  I had more words than pictures; but I think that as time goes on, I'll be able to work through them again and again and get more pictures from them. 
Tonight, I started on the altered book.  I had written out the rough draft of the text for the pages and kept it simple and easy to read so people could spot it in the book amongst the pictures.  Then, I made sure I had photos to go with my text and made up the first three pages of the book; which took me about two hours to get done.  And right now, it's drying downstairs for the night, so I can work on it either tomorrow or in a few days' time.  Otherwise, I'll be working on the individual pages of my other piece for the exhibition (which has other people included in the display as well). 
Well, that was my Sunday.  Busy, full of housework, art and paper; and paper is still sitting around my living room too.  I hope your weekend - and Sunday - was more relaxing than mine.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.