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I have moved - click My Web Page for direct link to new blog
Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Can there be too many characters in a book

I'm not sure if you remember the book I was going to start reading the other week
Deborah Crombie - Water like a Stone

Some warm days recently - just right for doing nothing - meant I could settle down and do just that.
To tell you the truth
even tho it was an easy to read novel there was something about it that kept confusing me.

So many characters arrived in such a short time that by page 48 I had to start a list so I could keep up with them and keep tabs on who was who.  They all seemed to have had 'doings' with each other lol
Heres the proof!!
A policeman and his 'partner' (also in the police force) take his son and her son (oh and their two dogs) to spend Christmas with his parents in Cheshire and thats where the story begins. Two 'murders' or rather deaths did keep things moving along - as well as the descriptions of life on the canals and the narrowboats - sometimes called barges but I believe there is a difference - as well as all the intricacies of families and how they relate to each other.  Teenage fears and worries, marriage breakdowns, corporate crime, social work - all that and more in 500 pages lol

Even tho it had lots of what I call side roads (some people call them red herrings) and there was flashbacks in italics that were supposed to give an insight into one of the characters (unidentified so you had to try and work out who they were) which to me were a pain in the ......... I did enjoy reading the book and might even look for more of what I believe is a series about the two main characters (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James) at the local library.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Window Dressing # 2 Todays Flowers

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
and so are you
see here for the origin

This week I found some small isolated rose buds on the nearly empty bushes
 Just the right size for dressing my kitchen window sill
(Mid season its hard to find many - hopefully the bushes will be covered in a few weeks)

The cluster of pink blooms is from a bush called 'The Fairy'
unfortunately the white one is called 'unknown'
This label as well as lots of others seems to have gone walkabout over the years!
There were also some slightly larger lone blooms
they made it to a little Mikasa vase which sits nicely beside the tiny one
My smiling curly tailed friend is there as well lol

Those are the last of a cherry tomato crop - no matter  how long they sit there they don't seem to go red.  I did wonder if thats the colour they should be 'cept the picture on the label is red.
Have to say not many of them have actually made it on to a plate either
as they are in a handy snack position lol
Now here's a quote that to make you think!

Life is a rose - Beware of the thorns

More beautiful flowers can be seen here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My word for 2012

I know for many others these things seem to be decided early in the New Year
so it would appear I'm late to the party here.

I've decided my Word for the Year 2012 will be ‘communicate'

Not because of any fears or worries I may have had recently
Thank you for all your kind words and emails on that prickly subject
I have resolved not to let it bother again.
If it rears its head again I'll just knock it down with my party shoes lol

Last week I was in a large shopping centre and sat down to rearrange my bag – another lady sat down and started talking.  Well, I don’t think she speaks to many others as by the time she ‘stopped for breath’ I’m sure I had been filled in on all her worries and woes as well as what she was having for dinner that night!  She did say she lived alone and really enjoyed ‘our chat’ which would explain a lot. 

Then just the other day as I finished talking to a very old friend and was saying said goodbye, I happen to say 'I'll talk to you another day' which is what I often do when saying goodbye.  Her reply to me was ' please do Cathy as I talk to so few people these days'

Her family is busy - she has many friends (widowed like her) but they all seem to be busy - some don't like to talk on the phone others can't get out - she does drive and visits them but says its always her that makes the effort - is happy with her own company yet she doesn't want to end up closeted in her house lonely

So the one objective I have this year is to communicate in as many ways as I can.
Not only with friends and family and not only with words
I'll be going back to Wednesday Warblers - the community singing group I attend where we get together and 'just sing'  There are some mentally challenged men who come along with their carers and it gives them the opportunity to recall some of the songs they knew years ago.  With a song sheet projected on the wall they can follow along and even if they can't actually sing the words its often obvious at times from the humming or hand movements they are having some memory recall. 

I have some charity knitting planned as well as Aged Care visits
to the nursing home where Aunty Pam lived.  
Touching is communicating:)
As for what else, well my thinking cap is going on!!

So what are they dogs doing here?
(Seen in our caravan park - Bowen Far North Qld - August last year)

These beautiful black labradors waited patiently by the 'van door while the owners did last minute packing chores
But it all got too much for them - not a word was spoken (woofed)
One just stood up and as if by magic silently 'communicated' they wanted to be on their way lol

Not two minutes later the doormat, the chair and the dog's bowl had vanished
the 'van was hitched, dogs and owners secured in the car
and they were all on their way     
I'm sure Lois will know exactly what was going on there lol
Lois has two labs living in her home -
She also write a blog about life on land as well as at sea

Curser Catcher

Now here for your amusement I present something time wasting and useless

It is merely something to have fun with
Click on the link

When the man stops running hover your curser close to the top of his head

Then watch what happens lol

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Harbour Views

Having a little look at the photos from our cruise last November and I remembered what we saw as we waited for sailaway at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.  The miserable wet weather gave the water in the harbour a cold univiting appearance also a very grey look to the Harbour Bridge

Compare this to the view 14days later on our return from New Zealand.  Sunny blue skies and clear horizon gave the harbour and the Harbour Bridge a very different appearance   I wonder how many people form their memories on the look of water?

Watery Wednesday can be found here

Friday, January 20, 2012

The fog is slowly lifting - long

Its strange when you feel disconnected from the rest of the world – sort of there but not – sort of on the outside looking in but at the same time on the inside looking out.  I think I now know the reason for this feeling that’s persisting at the moment – I don’t want to grow old - I’m afraid of growing old!

Last year with the death of my aunt I became the oldest person in ‘my’ biological family.  Aunty Pam was the last link to the generations before me.  My mother and father have passed on, all my aunts and uncles as well as their husbands/wives have passed on, as have all my grandparents  – my sisters and brother are all younger than me – I was the oldest child and grandchild and as I mentioned above I am now the oldest person alive in my family tree and that makes me sad.

Next week my oldest son will be 50 - how did that happen! 
It wasn't that long ago I was a new mum and he was just a little bub
March 1962 

 In fact, come to think of it, it  wasn't that long ago I was the one celebrating my 50th birthday lol. 
Big Birthday Trip October 1992
Mataranka Nr Katherine Northern Territory  

There is just one thing I'm going to have to watch out for and make sure it doesn't overshadow his special day and that is the worrying realisation (for me) that later this year I will be celebrating my 70th birthday!

With his sisters Christmas Eve 2011

Me with my 'girls' Christmas Eve 2011 

I think part of my problem lies with the fact that for many years I have had a ‘bad back’ – put simply I have a condition called facet joint degeneration or even more simply I have osteoarthritis of the spine.  Its not something I talk about, its just something I accept.    I can go merrily along my way for years (being a bit stiff now and again) and then something will cause a flare up and all hell is let loose as I suffer the sciatica pain that occurs.

I know when I keep my weight down and exercise regularly all is well but some times things get out of hand - like last year when the weather turned cold and wet and I couldn’t be bothered to go to the gym, so ate more comfort food that usual which led to me weighing more than usual.    I was so disheartened by the whole thing that when the weather turned for the better I tried to get over it by doing too much, like putting in the veggie garden, which then led to weeks of horrible pain and discomfort. 
The episode I wrote about last year was the worst I had experienced - hopefully I don’t experience anything like it again but you never can tell.   It was after visits to the chiropractor, taking ‘PanadolOsteo’ and trying some very basic stretching exercises at home (which did help) that I finally found my lifesaver.

I discovered a Dru yoga studio in a suburb close by and joined a class.   As soon as I saw their web site I knew they were the ones for me because there on the home page for all the world to see was my philosophy - Live Love and Laugh - see my profile above.   http://www.totalyoga.com.au/
This yoga is slightly different to the Hatha form I did during the 70s and 80s as there is music and movement involved to achieve the postures but all I can say is it has definitely helped.

Anyway back to my 'problem' 
(the one with my emotions lol)
Lots of deep thinking has made me determined to move on.  

I don’t want to grow old with the negative connotations that word can have these days - maybe becoming dependant on others- having to watch what I do all the time – telling people my age and seeing their reaction (oh I didn't know you were 'that' old).

I want to live life the way it is now - not worry about the 'what ifs'
To travel and be independent
To enjoy this stage of my life 

I will take onboard a fun quote that's doing the rounds
We do not stop playing because we are old;
we grow old because we stop playing!

And to He** with growing old!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Communication breakdown

No nobody has rubbed me up the wrong way its just that I’m finding it hard to communicate at the moment.

I have letters to reply to – as well as phone messages -  emails to answer – comments to acknowledge – and yet all I want to do is stay quiet in my own little world. 

I know I will surface soon and the words will flow just like they have before – its just if I let this deteriorate and get too much out of hand I’ll be gone for a while.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Window Dressing #1

I can't let these nice clean windows go to waste can I?
My Gardenia is flowering and smells so nice and sweet
I just had to bring a couple of blooms indoors
The tiny rose in the jar is labelled
A late pre packaged bare root buy in its first year
it could be mislabelled as it certainly isn't the colour or the height described on the label
But there will be more seasons to come so it may mature and look 'right' next year
Each time I see this funny little cat with the curly twisted tail I have to smile l
He really makes my day

Its been a while since I took part in Todays Flowers
so I hope you enjoy my window dressing
There are more flowers from around the world
to be seen here

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hidden Treasures

I was under the impression there were no more 'Hidden Treasures' in our house
but it seems I was wrong
 Look what I found tucked away on the bottom shelf of a bookcase in the back bedroom

Quite a while ago, (read years)  we used to frquent a discount book warehouse
that dealt in returns and nothing was priced over $5

We'd have a trip to the city a weekend before the Christmas holidays and stock up for the summer
At the time it was fun as you never knew what would come home with you
You didn't know what stock they had - some would be fairly recent
Other could be older works bought from businesses that had closed down

I'd read what I bought and then pass on to friends  
After they'd done the rounds here
they would then be passed on to intestate friends when we saw them wherever

So I was surprised to see these ones I'd obviously forgotten about
From a quick glance I know I've read some of them
Others I'm not so sure about
There are question marks against some of them
Why did I buy these??

For instance 
Book 1 and 2 from The Crowthistle Chronicles by Cecilia Dart- Thornton
Described as Fantasy novels
they are supposedly about the adventures that befall a cursed and gifted family
Both are thick!

Then there's these
Book 1, 2, and 3 from the Chronicles of Kydan by Simon Brown
He's described as a Science Fiction author
yet these are deemed to be a fantasy trilogy

I did find this description on the net of Book 3 - Daughter of Independence
FROM THE AUTHOR  A final confrontation between old and new, between tyrannical magic and freedom, and between an empire and a growing nation-state that will determine the fate of millions-and not least the brave band of colonists who set out from Hamilay to settle Kydan with courage and hope in their hearts

 However I'm going to start on this one 
It looks less complicated
What are you reading at the moment?
And have you discovered any hidden treasure lately?

Friday Fun

You all know that one of my likes is to be near water
Can be a river a lake or an ocean
Doesn't matter
 Theres somethg about water that seems to clear my head and sort me out

 So for Fun this Friday I'm going to share some 'Watery Jokes' with you

The Magician and his Parrot

A magician on a cruise liner had a parrot who'd seen all the magician's tricks a jillion times, long ago having figured out the magic behind the magician's disappearing acts.

The parrot got bored, his owner growing stale and not developing  any new tricks that the  parrot couldn't figure out.

One night in the middle of the magician's performance, the ship hit an iceberg and sank.

Everyone drowned except the magician and the parrot.

The magician managed to swim to a piece of  wreckage and climb aboard immediately collapsing from exhaustion.

Soon afterward, the parrot flew to the magician, perched on the edge of the makeshift raft and stared at the magician.

For a whole day the magician was unconscious and all this time the parrot didn't take his eyes off him. 

Eventually the magician started to stir.  

Looking up, he saw the parrot still eyeing him intently, not even blinking.

Another hour goes by, and finally the parrot squawks,
.'Awright, I give up. What did you do with the ship?'

The Pirate and the Seaman

A seaman meets a pirate in a bar.

The pirate has a peg-leg, a hook and an eye patch.

'How'd you end up with a peg-leg?' asks the sailor.

'I was swept overboard in a storm' says the pirate.

'A shark bit off me whole leg'

'Wow! 'said the seaman.

'What about the hook?'

'We were boarding an enemy ship, battling the other sailors with swords  One of them cut me' said the pirate

'Incredible!' remarked the seaman.

'And the eye patch?'

The pirate replied 'A seagull dropping fell in me eye'

'You lost your eye to a seagull dropping' the sailor asked incredulously

.Naw' said the pirate
'It was me first day with the hook'

You know what they say
Smile and the world smiles with you -
I'm hoping I gave you something that made you smile today

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You know how when you lose something

The easiest way to find it is to buy another one!
Well in my house cleaning the windows or the car is one way to change the weather pattern

Now I have to set the scene for another discovery

Years ago – many years ago – way back in the late 1970s or early 80s I bought a few long caftans to wear in the summer when we had really hot humid days.  At that time we had no cooling in the house and they were fabulous to wear on those days.  Long and flowing caftans covered a multitude of sins - you could be overweight and it didn't show too much but for me one of them was that for comfort in that kind of weather the wearer may not have been wearing underclothes lol

Then not many years later as the kids grew older it was off to full time work for me meaning there was no time for swanning round the house in flowing gowns ‘cose there was always housework and other things to do – so shorts and t-shirts were the order of the day when it was hot – well that or I was flaked out indoors with the air-conditioning on.

I knew I hadn't got rid of them as they would pop up every now and again when I was tidying cupboards - as if to remind me they were still around if I ever had the desire to put them on again.  Well, when we had what I termed 'ghastly weather' pre Christmas and also over the New Year week these two jumped out and said Hello.  Right, says I, now is the time to turn back the clock and  be cool at the same time lol

There was just one thing wrong - over the years the stitching seemed to have deteriorated and there were big gaping holes along the seam lines. So after pinning and tacking - because I fumble too much trying to take out pins while I'm actually sewing it easier for me to tack and then I actually end with the straight seams I want - out came the sewing machine. 

Got it all dusted and set up - which means that first of all I had to find the book of instructions on how to thread the blessed thing - then I put the foot on the pedal and spent half an hour bringing life back into the garments.  And the beauty of all that work is that they still fit - mind you the labels do say 'one size fits all' but that doesn't faze me at all 

The fawn/blue one that looks quite uninteresting on a hanger is so comfortable to wear.  It's basically one long piece of cotton material with a hole cut for the neck and sewn straight up and down the sides.  There is a facing on the neckline which lies down to give a slight collared look and there is stitching in from the sides to form an armhole.  The hem si slightly rounded at the front and back but that doesn't seem to  interfere with walking.

When its on it takes on a life of its own - loose flowing and comfortable - I think its one of the best buys I ever made and I reckon has many more years of life left in it - as long as I remember where I put it lol

Now the red one is stunning and made from some really nice patterned cotton.   I don't remember when or where and for what reason I actually bought it, it has a Made in Thailand label yet that doesn't ring a bell either.  It's structured in that the raglan sleeves are seperate, cut quite wide at an angle to almost elbow length really showing off the border pattern at the end. The same 'dramatic' pattern is on the back and the makers have matched the border pattern at the lower seams.  It has a fitted feel to it, the scoop neckline had a facing so it sits nice and flat and there is actually a long zip in the back as well.  One of the side seams being open part of the way up from the hem which gives it a rather racy feel and it fits as well:))

So heres what I learnt from that task:- I obviously have undiscovered means and ways of changing weather patterns as today its freezing cold, its pouring with rain, it looks like and feels like winter  from a cold front that is passing over the state with the temp outside about 11c/52f.  

I'm sitting here in a fleecey top and trousers wearing socks and slippers and wondering when I'll get to enjoy the fruits of my labour by wearing those lovely vintage caftans.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

A job well done

I love the feeling of finishing something I really didn't want to do
then standing back to admire my handiwork
I get a satisfied feeling - knowing what started out as a chore has morphed into a pleasant surprise

With my shoulder playing up early last year from the injury I sustained the year before and then the osteo- arthritis in my spine causing me so much pain and suffering there were things around the house that hadn't been cleaned for a while. 

My kitchen windows for one - I had intended to do them before Christmas but like a lot of things time got away from me.  I am lucky in a way that they are under cover and aren’t at the mercy of the weather but even so this morning they were splattered and smudgy and looking really gross. 

Now what do we see here
Bright shining spaarkling clean windows 
Yes, for some reason I felt really motivated this morning
Actually I was fed up looking at them and knew I wouldn't be happy with whatever Dh did to them
one of my failings - not being able to delegate:(
So chore or no chore I got going and am I happy with the result!

I can now see that lovely tidy deck and way down the garden
without having to peer through the grubby curtain and water splashes  
Oh and when I had cleaned the outside panes I also tidied up the back deck 

BTW thanks for all the lovely comments you made about the cosy lived in look and feel of this space
Many of you called it a porch which I think is a lovely term but I tend to think of a porch as being at the front of a house and be quite a small area

This is at the back of the house up off the ground and running almost the width
but doesn't go round the corner
 so to us it's 'The Back Deck' 

At the moment it looks rather bare without all the stuff lying about
yet I know within a few days I'll get lazy and leave things lying around again:)

Oh and look at that
I loaded these without really looking at them and only just noticed someones tail there lol
Didn't take her long to claim her chair did it??

ps, all it took a dollop of vinegar and a smaller one of washing up liquid
in a bowl of warm water
then newspaper used to wipe the window clean

A tried and true method used in my house all my married days
carried on from when I had to clean them at home before that 

Are there any jobs you put off
and what motivates you to get them done?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Outside the back door

By the time I ventured outside today Kiera had already made herself comfy on one of the chairs. 
More often than not she fancies the old armchair but obviously it wasn't to her liking this morning. 
Looking around it struck me I hadn't 'tidied' up out the back when we locked up for the night 
Even tho' its reassuring to know the insurance company rates our neighbourhood as 'good' and I know there isn't much of value out there to be pinched apart from the barbie - and even 'value' is debateable in that instance - I still don't like to leave things out overnight. 
It certainly has a lived in look about it - one that makes it easy for you to track my day by what I'd left lying about

So where exactly did my interests lie yesterday?
Looks like gardening and reading about gardening 
Knitting with fine yarn  
There was sewing - of the dainty ladylike embroidery type - aka as cross stitch

And Christmas Decorations??
How did they get out there
A quick glance sideways as I came to the back door - no it didn't look any tidier from this angle lol
Here's part of my Santa collection 
I've no idea how come they were left there 
well I do really
I didn't use all the collection this year - just picked a few out of the big crate
then took the boxes back out to the garage

Each time I go out there I forget to bring them (the boxes) back to the house
Big Tin Santa and some of his mates are waiting patiently till they can take a well deserved rest.
With all that hot weather we had recently its a good job it isn't my Snowman collection 
or they would be in real trouble wouldn't they lol  
If you look at the way my old gardening shoes, dirty socks, gloves and hat
were discarded beside the chair its evident I was in need of a drink and a rest
After a cool start it got hot so they would have been removed mid afternoon
Thats when I had a wash and went on to other things lol

Another lacy scarf on the go - this ones for someones birthday
 And the cross stitch is for Dh. 
Its a sampler of historical buildings in Colchester - the place where he was born and bred.
I have sewn it once before but don't remember it being so fidly
There are lots of blended colours - you know - one strand of this colour and one strand of that colour
They give the buildings that 'old weathered' look but are a real nuiscance in the making lol  

And here on the shoe rack are shells from our travels
Extremely big ones and tiny tiny small ones
Some of the Grandkids love to look at them, sort them, touch them
and wonder how they came to be on the beaches where they were found.
There are sand dollars and pieces of dead coral along with a couple of pine cones from one of the enormous  pine trees that grew in our garden for years but because of age had to come down before they became dangerous.  Sad but thats the way it had to be.

The kids games are still there from Christmas time - easy ones - nothing to difficult
- Grandma doesn't play those lol
After surveying that lot and getting peeved because I left the handwork out there
I decided the best thing to do was take a leaf out of Kiera's book  
Just have little sit down - think about things- and enjoy the early morning sunshine :))