Saturday, June 30

Loot!

Here is my pitifully inadequate photo of the true Full Moon, taken this evening around 5.30pm. It is taken facing East, just as the moon is rising on our horizon, & includes some pink from the setting sun. I know it is pollution, which gives the pink hue, but I cant help but like it.

And this next pic is of today's seriously great haul of fabric loot! Look at all this fabric I got for very little dosh! In the Oz vernacular, I got it for bugger all!

The night light photo does not do it justice, & there are some large yardages, which will be great for backing as well as "Eye Spy" quilts. And it is all pure cotton! Yay!
There are also 2 books there that I could not resist. One is Crimes that shocked Australia. The second is a Nicholas Sparks. I have read The Notebook & enjoyed it, so hope this is a good one too. It is The Wedding.
I also got a Cookie Barrel for my daughter, which I will have to take a pic to show. It is a huge cob of corn, with wheels, & the lid is a Pig in Goggles, who is the 'driver' of the corn cob. Our daughter loves pigs, & she also happens to love Cookie Barrels, so what else could I do?? I had to buy it for her. She told me she just loves it, & SG filled it with bikkies already.
Daughter J, & SIL have gone down into the City Limits to stay with our Son B to attend a party, so hope they all have fun for the evening.
GOM is wallowing in Footy on the Teev, & I am thinking I might just read some of the 'shocking crimes', in the comfort of my bed!
It is cold, but nice & cosy in our house with the benefit of the Airconditioner.
Hope you all have a nice weekend.

Friday, June 29

Once (or twice) in a Blue Moon.

This is my pic, inadequate though it seems, of tonight's Blue Moon.

I always knew the expression 'Blue Moon', but only recently - well, I am aging, so we are talking within the previous 10 years- learnt the meaning of "Blue Moon" . It is the occurrance of a full moon twice in one calendar month.

I am not sure of the significance or importance of such an occurrance, but it is not as rare as I once thought. But it has become part of everyday vernacular, with the 'once in a Blue Moon' reference used for infrequent happenings.

This was this evening's skyline, to the West. Not sure what it means, but it does not look promising somehow. (My Float, this is the 'lone Pine' just for you!)
And... proof that Internet friends are truly wonderful, this is the treasure I found in my letter box, from Joyce when I returned home from arduous carpet hunting!

A wonderful book, with instructions on how to make a Kimono! and instructions on how to tie an Obi- or more- I am unaware of the correct term for the plural Obi.
Just look at the wonderful photographic instruction for the Obi construction!
I should be able to get some semblance of accuracy on Midori, after all this.
******
In spite of requests for photogaphic evidence of (possibly) the world's worst haircut, I am resisting publishing any such thing. Huiliation has never been my strong point!!
I spent the morning with my daughter, who looked fabulous, & why didnt I take photos ???- mental flagellation here!!
She helped me check out carpet samples, & narrow down the 'field'.
And gave me good laughs, as she always does, & bolstered her mother's morale, by saying the hair is not 'that bad'. But!!! she can see how uneven it is, regarding the length of the sides, & also understands how upset I am by the decreased length.
Bless wonderful daughters!! Love you DJ.
*******
And the evening viewing...
Haha bloody hah!! What is it about those irritating shows, with the nasal, adenoidal *star* whose hair looks like the overblown thistledown ????
Is this to be the future of 'free' TV in Oz? Regurgitated crap?? (aside here, this is how I got my R rating, I mentioned death, hell, & crap!! crap was once!)
And, last, but by no means LEAST... the watch for Kim, & holding my breath for her safe delivery of her baby!!
I am such a sap for babies! I believe every one is a Masterpiece, & a Miracle!









Thursday, June 28

Sleep on it...

Futher to yesterday's whinge regarding the hair.
"Sleep on it." is advice that is often given about things.

Well!! I can tell you, sleeping on that mess didnt make for a good result. This morning I have been trying to find a paper bag large enough to wear on my head! Shampooing, slathering with 'product'- what sort of stupid term is that??- hairdryer....nothing makes any difference.

And in other news, GOM had a near death experience, yesterday, only he didnt realise it.

He was foolish enough to let the words 'pudding bowl' pass his lips, within my hearing. He will never know how close he came to a serious mischief!



I did take all your kindly advice to heart & have decided perhaps if I just ignore it all, it might go away, as in adopting an 'ostrich mentality'. I harboured thoughts of sneaking up, to take photos of the "heinous cutter"'s hair, as a warning, for others as to what they should avoid in a 'hairdresser'. But on second thoughts, I cant be bothered.


I decided to just do a few photos instead.
This, in bright sunlight, is some of the shambles in my spare bedroom, which is all in disarray due to carpet problems. A patchwork cushion I made, & actually dislike. It is supposed to be an Angel, but she is too weird for my taste. My daughter's 34 year old doll is sitting in there too, for some obscure reason. And that is my old Teddy I purchased to overcome severe 'bear deprivation', when I went nursing at 18 years of age. This funny old Ted's picture sneaked in here by accident, & I cant delete it, or I will lose all my photo uploads. He has a music box inside, but it doesn't work. He was a garage sale orphan, & I have posted his pic before.

This is Enya, the Angel doll I made, & she sits on our headboard, watching over us. Wish I had her hair!! haha. I took her wings off too, but she doesnt mind, they were only pinned on the back of her dress. I think they are lost!


And after reminiscing about my Grandmother's cooking, I started thinking about the old dishes she used to serve things in, & how I still have some of them, & still use them.

This was actually my mother's & was the main bowl of a Dessert set she had been given as a wedding present. It is about 66 years old! It once had 6 small desert dishes to match, but they crazed very badly, & seemed to all chip, so there are none left now.

This next bowl is one of my Grandmother's. She told me it was just a cheap one she bought just before the war years. She used to serve stewed fruit in it, or made junkets, which she often served in this bowl too. The only part of junket I liked was the cinnamon she used to sprinkle on the top!



And these old glass dishes are not particularly good glass even, but they look nice with a jelly in them, or fruit.
We have had another carpet man come to quote.
Leo is a very bad host, & I have been threatening him, he is going to have to have some Estrogen to calm down his rampant aggressive streak! He has just got a little too big for his doggy paws, & something will have to be done.
The sun is struggling to shine, but the clouds keep rushing over, & we are tipped to have more rain.
Oh well, good indoor sewing weather!





Wednesday, June 27

The positively last haircut!

After the last disastrous scalping experience, I have put off going anywhere near a hairdresser. I had more or less made up my mind to let it grow, hoping that over winter, I could get it long enough to tie or pin back, by the time summer comes around, with it's awful sticky heat.

It was getting me down, & GOM sort of hinted it was a bit 'untidy'. He learnt long ago, that hair is one of those dynamite topics, to be approached only by the very foolhardy or the totally insane, with a death wish.

I decided to try a salon owned, as I mistakenly thought, by a man, a Mr Tintinninni, with good hair tactics, for want of a better description. Women emerging from his 'other' salon, all appear happy & look completely sane, which has to be a plus after a hair cut.

So off we went, with fear & a little loathing, on my part.

I should have learnt by now, that if a girl approaches one/you with a severely burnt-end, frizzed, set of hair tufts, sticking straight out at all angles, one/you should be very afraid, And, if she is also bearing the body of an extremely emaciated 11 year old, whose very pelvic bones threaten to shred the vynyl chairs upon contact, one/you should RUN!!

But stupid me. I sat down, although I did almost bolt. I patiently explained what I wanted. I thought I described it in English which could be easily understood. I made it quite bloody obvious clear, that I did not wish to be SCALPED, nor made an object of ridicule or disbelief.

I wanted the overall length to be left, apart from a fringe area, & the back, nape of the neck area, which could be short. I explained I was growing a bob, with a view to having my hair longer.

Imagine my disbelief when the very first cuts, were in the wrong place, at the wrong length. I should have just jumped up then, & rushed out the door, flinging off all the neck chokers & cloaks, & other hideous draperies. I SHOULD have.

But, stupidly, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. The other hairdresser, who had heard my requests had gone to get coffee. And I watched in transfixed horror, as my hair fell at the snips of the skeletal fingers wielding the scissors.

I cowered & cringed as the other girl returned with her coffee, another client appeared, then another hairdresser, then a male. Finally I told the skeleton inept idiot "JUST LEAVE IT!" as she was about to do more damage to the front, as her final touch. I STUPIDLY paid, & rushed out the door.

GOM looked stunned. He knew better than to utter a word. He put a comforting arm about my shoulder. I sooo badly wanted to cry.

I could not believe the stupid cow creature had cut one side shorter than the other, & somehow thinned it all out as well. And had left tons of hair on the back, where I told her I did NOT want it.

I am left with a lopsided haircut, that can only be corrected by cutting even more hair off. I just cant face that. I rang Mr Tintinninni, who sounded not one bit surprised at my tale of woe. He told me has sold the salon. I told him it is giving him a bad name, since it still bears his name. He offered to try to fix my hair. He told me to ring the owner to complain.

As I explained to his sympathetic ear, I could not complain at the time. No one wants to burst into hysterical crying in a shop with 4 other staff goggling on. Plus one client. He agreed I was right to leave.

I am still waiting for Simple Simon -the new owner- to return my call. I gave no indication it was a complaint. I will bet they knew though.

***
We have had one quote for the carpet. The nice man brought along the sample we had tenatively chosen. It looked like a dead, & extremely dirty elephant, lying on the floor in our lounge. We wont be going with that choice!


Does anyone have tips on what to eat to encourage hair growth?? I wish I had the guts to just go the shave option.

There is a lot longer than a week between this bad haircut & a decent one!!

Tuesday, June 26

Are You Sweet, or Savoury?

If someone offered you a choice of chocolate, or pizza, which would you choose?

I have to say, I would choose the Pizza every time.

GOM would choose the chocolate.

If I have the choice of more vegetables, or a desert, I would rather have the vegetables, usually.

I do love fresh fruit though, so if there was fresh mango or tropical fruits available, perhaps I would forgo the vegetables or salad.

When we were growing up, my Grandmother did most of the cooking, as our mother was often away at work.

And our Grandmother was a really good cook. She had come from Yorkshire, & she could make Yorkshire pudding to make you weep, it was so delicious.

And there was almost always a desert, or pudding. She made quite a few steamed puddings in the winter, or Jam Roly Poly, or Treacle pudding.

And we had Feijoas aplenty, & in the summer we would have them fresh or stewed. I never liked them as much cooked.
And I loathed junket, & semolina, or rice pudding, which my Grandmother loved. I guess it was my dislike for dairy, that made me feel vegies were nicer! And I always enjoyed boiled rice, though we didnt have that very often.


And she often made a Ginger cake, that she served with stewed fruit of the season, and cream. Perhaps that is why I never liked rhubarb, the horrible tartness with the awful curdly cream....


She told us that a lot of poor families in England used to have their sweets course first, to fill up, as the meat was too expensive for them to be able to afford it often.

My Grandmother's family were tennant farmers, in Yorkshire, & they were probably quite a lot more comfortable than many people, & I dont think they had their pudding for first course.

We had a lovely large vegetable garden, that our Grandfather used to tend, when he was alive. After he died it was a lot smaller, & was cared for mostly by our Grandmother.

She told us that in England, when she was growing up, pumpkin was not considered fit for humans to eat. They grew it for their animals, to eat.

This seemed incredible to me, as I have always loved pumpkin. However, my poor brother loathed it, & I am sure he wished it was only fed to the animals in his childhood! I can remember our Grandmother making him sit at the table until he ate the pumpkin. I felt very sorry for him, & tried to get him to pretend it was egg yolk, mixed with his mashed potato, so he wouldnt get into trouble.

I am of the school of not forcing children to eat things they loathe. What is the point. Sure, offer it to them, and encourage them to taste, but if they genuinely dont like it, forcing them, to my way of thinking, only sets up a resistance that is likely to last a lifetime.

I speak from some experience here, as GOM was forced to eat Broad beans as a child, & he wont touch them now. It took me years to get him to eat many vegetables at all. He only ate peas & potatoes when I first met him. All as a result of being 'force-fed' his vegetables.

His mother told us that when he was sick in bed, she would take his meals in to him. She was always amazed that he always ate his vegetables when he was sick. Later she found a suitcase she had stored under his bed, was full of rotting vegies!! I always laughed at the story, & couldnt help but think it served her right!

*********
Here is a pic of a cat I knitted for SG when he was a baby. It had a nice face, of felt with green eyes. He told us Oscar, the Granddog, ripped the face off the cat. Hmmmm, I wonder if it might have been SG in a fit of rage?
He has asked me to make another face for the poor cat.

And here is a sensible little girl. Sweet Honey, all curled up on the lounge, among the cushions & the crochet rug.
It is another cold day, & I need to make some more thick & rich vegie soup, to keep warm, or I could cook a pizza for lunch.
And I could curl up with a good book, to keep warm under a quilt. Mmmm, pass me a piece of pizza, while you enjoy your chocolate.

Monday, June 25

Could it be?? Is there REALLY a god???

John Laws is retiring.
For those who dont live in OZ, this wont mean a thing.

He is/was a radio whingebacktalk/back host. He was once described by another radio/TV journalist as the "Pock marked Prince of Pain" . Which I found to be surprisingly accurate.

His -to me- fakeness, was ugly.

His "redneck stirring", ugly also.


Now all they need to do is shoot "the Budgie".

Life could be perfect.

There MAY be some sort of "GOD" Deity.

I expect to wake up dead tomorrow.

Or at least with my mouth full of soap!!

MIZPAH

Mizpah:

"May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other."

This is a family heirloom locket, which has been handed on down to me. The word "Mizpah" was a fashionable thing in the era when my Great Great Grandmother, gave this locket to my Great Grandfather, who was her first born son.

This blurry pic- sorry about the quality, I couldnt get clear pics- shows the beautiful engraving on the other side of the locket.

And this even blurrier image is of the open locket, with a photo of the old lady, with a lock of her hair on the other side, which had been carefully curled around a fine gold wire, on which there were seed pearls threaded, through the lock of hair.



My Grandmother was given the locket by her father, & she gave it to my mother. Apparently it was fashionable in the time when the locket was made, for mothers to give their sons such items of jewellry. My Grandmother told us that her father was somewhat disgusted, & never wore it himself.


Which seems a little sad to think about, now that I am a mother myself, & know how precious my children are to me.



And this is the story of a 'heinous crime'. (Though it was never referred to in quite that manner!)



When I was little, I 'got my hands on' the locket. Apparently I broke the catch & so my mother had to take the locket to a jeweller for repair.



My mother swore they had opened the piece which contained the hair, she thought to see how it was done, & when she got the locket back, the gold wire had been broken,& the seed pearls had all fallen off the wire.

I was always told the story of what had happened to the locket, & my mother was always so accusatory, about this.

It made me miserable every time she told someone the story. It made me feel so guilty for years.

But finally I felt anger. Anger at her for being careless enough to leave the locket where I could gain access to it. Anger at her for insisting on repeating the story so many times, to all who would listen.

I cringed & curled to think I had been guilty of such destruction of a beautiful item. And cringed even more, because it had meant to so much, to the mother who had given it. I was sure she would have hated me!

I dont feel guilt about it now, but it has made me miserable for years.

Whenever one of my children 'got their hands on' something & damaged it, or broke it, I always blamed myself for being careless enough to leave it where they could gain access to it. And I always made sure they never felt guilty about it too!

I know my mother didn't realise how badly she made me feel. And I suppose there was a part of her, that felt so bad, & so guilty for allowing that to happen, that she wanted to 'blame' someone else, so she wouldnt have to feel so bad.

I remember I finally flared up at my mother when I heard her telling one of my nieces about the locket. And she was genuinely startled at my fierce reaction.

I have never worn the locket, but I often look at it, & wonder about my Great great Grandmother. I wonder about DNA as I look at the grey hair, so carefully coiled in the little window.

I wonder if she mourned the fact that her son took his family, & emigrated to New Zealand. I suppose she did. She never saw him again.

My Grandmother said her Grandmother was not a very warm woman. She had not approved of her son marrying my Grandmother's mother. And therefore, I dont think she had been particularly fond of the six grandchildren. My Grandmother said her Grandmother was very strict, & they dreaded going to visit her. How sad.

Sunday, June 24

"Bad" Language

What do you think about 'bad' language?
I tend to the idea that there is no 'bad' language. There is only 'language', & depdending on how or where it is used, it all has a place in our thoughts, speech, reading, & entertainment.

Sometimes I find swearing to be extremely funny. Depending on how or where it is used. And on occasions, a simple damn, can have more insult & venom than any other word.

Friends of ours have young children. Of course they bringing them up not to use swearing, & as they live in an area bordering on some rough elements it is inevitable that the kids will hear all sorts, at school.

The father was very intrigued when the younger son, of 7, came home & said, wide eyed, "Dad my friend knows all these swear words. And he even knows both the "F" words!"

Our friend didnt want to ask what the 'other' f word is, so we are left in the dark over that one.

We recently watched the movie "Little Miss Sunshine" which made us laugh, & it contains a fair amount of swearing, but all in context, I feel, & all humourous.

I can remember when I was young, I first heard 'real' swearing at school really. My Grandparents didnt swear, & our mother didnt swear as far as we knew.

As we got older we realised our uncles did a bit of swearing occasionally, especially at the dogs, at shearing time, & during mustering, but the word of choice was usually bugger or bloody.

Our Grandmother frowned upon us if we said damn or hell! Which seems unbelievable now!

I remember the boys at school giggling behind the bike sheds- yes, we really did have bike sheds- teaching all the girls swear words. And smoking. Somehow smoking & swearing seemed the perfect partners, in our young school days.

*************

I would like to thank everyone for offering advice for the crossing out, & it is peeving me, as I cant find a reason to try it out, so maybe I will just try anyway.

These wonderful blocks have been left over from experiments, &/or projects I changed my mind about.

The colours have not shown up true to real life. The block on the extreme right, has a very loud yellow with the bright pattern, & the green is a lot brighter too. The central heart is actually a purple. I could use the house block for a label- I think that is originally what I made it to use as, but somehow it has languished in the box of unwanteds.

I see Finn is using hers, & has been posting about using orphas blocks, so it got me thinking about mine. I do have others, but am not sure where they are -haha. Time to have a clean up.

It is cold here today, & though the sun it out, & the sky is blue, it still seems very chilly.

I have just made a huge pot of very thick vegetable soup, so I will slurp into some of that to try to warm up!

Hope your Sunday is enjoyable.

Saturday, June 23

Life's Mysteries

Remember the toadstools of yesterday? Well imagine my surprise when I went out to view the garden, & they had all vanished!

Smashed, down & away by The Garden Vandal- aka GOM!
I was stunned. I couldnt believe my eyes. When I asked him why? he just shrugged, & said "They were no good, they needed to go, they dont 'do any good'!"
When I again asked "Why? Why would anybody do that?" I got no answer.
He had gone to collect all my slashings, to stuff them into the green waste bin. I usually let them lie for a day or so, to wilt, so that more can be fitted into the bin.

I must say, I felt like just stuffing GOM into the bin!!
***********

I had a very vivid dream last night. The kind that just haunts you all day, & keeps popping back into your mind. One of the people in the dream was Peter O Brien, the Aussie actor. I dont know anything about Peter O Brien apart from what he looks like, & cant for the life of me work out how he ended up in one of my dreams.

**********

This morning in the shower, I was enjoying the warm water, feeble though the stream seems to be, now we have fitted the new 'water saving' shower head we were supplied, free, to help save water.

The 'nether regions' of the body hang out in the dry cold, while the hot patches burn, under the thin stream of water. It is enough to make me think of sneaking the old shower head back on again!

My mind was flitting about planning the day. Happily applying conditioner to my hair.... only to discover I had grabbed the shampoo again, by mistake.
Dont you hate it when that happens!! Wool gathering! Where the hell was my mind??

***********

The carpet debacle continues.
We have been told to get a quote for the replacement thereof.

We went off to visit a carpet outlet on Thursday.

It has been many years since we had thought about carpets, really. We had no idea what was available or what current 'fashion' decreed we might need.

We looked at several extremely ugly samples, we had thrust at us, as being worthy of consideration.

Rearing back in horror was my main reaction.

The Salesman asked what we were looking for etc etc. He kept thrusting hideous samples our way. I kept thinking there must be something nicer about.

In the end we had narrowed down the field from the 'too hairy' ones-my description- and the 'too hard cold' ones, to something we both felt we might be able to live with.

We await measure/quote time.

And yesterday, we took a friend with us, & visited another carpet outlet. Where a lovely polite, handsome, married, 12 year old... er I mean, young man, gave us information to base our choices upon. He is coming to measure/quote next week also.

GOM & I, being chalk & cheese, very rarely like the same things. But we surprisingly often detest the same things.

I dont know how we are going on the carpet front. I would like to try a different colour, but guess I will stick with the neutral safe option. He tells me he 'doesnt care'. We will see.
***********

And now, while I am in 'mess-of -a-post' mode, I would like to ask for some help?? Anybody?? Please??

Why can I no longer see my Neoworx visitor list- I really enjoyed seeing the countries where my visitors came from. It appears to be still on my Html but will not appear on the sidebar. Neoworx have not replied to my query about it.

And how does one get the line to strike out a word, or phrase, when you want it to remain visible?

And how, can I motivate myself to knuckle down & try to lose some weight!! I just know I really need to, but cant seem to convince my appetite or some part of my brain, that I MUST at least try to diet.

Phoebe Snow, No Rerets

WTF?? This wont publish?

Friday, June 22

In Dark & Secret Places

This is a little green frog I discovered happily sitting under a ginger leaf, in our front garden. He had bright orange eyes, but I didnt have my digital camera, so it is not a very clear picture. This was taken about 2 years ago. And these photos were taken yesterday, as I cut & lashed about in the garden, trimming wild vegetation, which needed to be readied for fresh growth next Spring.

Isnt the colour of these hidden toadstools wonderful. I once found a bright almost neon yellow toadstool in a plant pot, & have always regretted not taking a photo of it.

And this little 'village' almost, hiding under the ginger leaves, among the Xanadu.
For some reason, toadstools & mushrooms fascinate me, always have. I was so excited the first time I ever saw a red toadstool, with the white spots. Previously they had only been illustrations in childrens fairytale books.
The slashing attack on the garden was a good stress reliever. It was a dull overcast day, & vigorous activity was needed to keep warm. Then my paper skin got nicked, & I began to bleed & it wouldnt stop so I had to come inside to deal with it.
Who ever thought I would one day have my Grandmother's skin! haha.
**************

After my reminiscences yesterday, about Ted, I recalled other details.
So here is another 'Ted' story.
I cant remember how or where I met Ted, & our relationship was really quite short lived. But the memories linger on with clarity, in some instances
Ted must have had a vehicle, as he lived across the city from where I lived. He would phone up, & invite himself over and make sure he stayed for one mealtime at least. He lived in a flat by himself, & boasted about what a great cook he was. We never saw any evidence of his great cooking prowess. Only his stunning appetite!
He once invited me to his flat for a meal, but as I recall, it was reheated, prepackaged, frozens, of some description, his excuse being, his oven was not working. I think there was limp lettuce too. He professed to be a 'healthy food' person.
One Sunday morning he rang to ask if I would like to go with him to collect his mother. So I agreed I would & he duly arrived to collect me. I had not met his mother previously, so he began to explain to me 'about his mother'.
She had rung him, pleading to be picked up. She was in some strange man's house. She had no money. She didnt know where she was, really but the street name was - well, I have forgotten, but it was a suburb unknown to both Ted & I, so Ted had his trusty map, for me to read & navigate for him.
His mother had a problem. She liked to drink. She liked to drink A LOT. And she got very lonely. So she apparently regularly allowed herself to be 'picked up'.
Sadly, this particular morning she appeared wrapped in an old blanket. And wearing a black eye, from the previous night's revelries. I never found out what had happened to her clothes.
I felt terribly sorry for both Ted & his mother. And I did admire the calm & patient way Ted dealt with her. No harsh words, no questions. He just took her home to her flat, & made her a cup of tea, & saw her off to bed. I had never seen anyone quite like that. I had never met anyone so broken by life.
His mother worked in a cafe, in the city. She was a small built woman, & likeable when sober. And rather attractive. Ted never said what happened to his father, & I didnt ask.
I did meet 2 of Ted's sisters. He insisted he would take me to visit his married sister, who had 6 children. He told me he adored the children, & would one day like to have children of his own.
He had just bought himself a treat. A Sibelius Arctic water Suite - I think- multiple albums. It was guaranteed I would 'love it'. We arrived at the sister's house, amid ruinous chaos. A huge tumble of children, dogs & cats. A warm child friendly home, to be enjoyed & not fussed about. There was a vague shadowy brother in law, but I dont remember much about him.
The eldest child had cerebral palsy, poor girl, & she obviously loved her Uncle Ted. She spoke very loudly, & was very hard to understand. All the children were so happy to see him. And gazed at me with suspicion, unsure what to make of a stranger.
The mother-sister seemed a very pleasant warm person, an ideal mother for her busy noisy brood. And she seemed geniunely pleased to see Ted, & meet me.
Then another of his sister's arrived. A very different natured girl. Not given to liking children or animals much, it seemed. Unwilling to sit, until sticky somethings had been removed between finger & thumb. O well, not everyone is mad on kids.
But as the afternoon evolved, I could hear Ted & Classy--snobish-sister trying to outdo each other in the 'I have a higher taste in music than you do' stakes.
And out came the Sibelius. Loudly. And the louder it got, the louder the children became. In the end there was this cacophanous din that threatened to cave in the roof of the mother-sister's roof. The Mother-sister was heard to snarl, at Ted, & Classy sister, "turn that rot off!". She made suggestions about where they could put it, & what they could do to listen to it. And I must say, I agreed with her. But silently, of course.
And then there were waspish remarks made about their mother, insults hurled about by Classy sister. And Ted trying hard to laugh it all off, and Mother sister deciding perhaps the visit had lasted too long.
Surely Ted & Classy sister had come to visit with Mother sister, & the nephews & nieces? Not to sit listening with eyes closed to some vast wash of classical music?
In a way it was an appalling introduction to some of Ted's family. He had other siblings. I never got to meet any of those.
I think it was just after that incident, that the decorating farce took place. And so ended our brief 'romance'.

Thursday, June 21

Interior Decorating

Over the years, we have lived in a lot of houses. We have had lots of different styles of houses. With many differing colour schemes- some, none too pretty either.

When I was a young child, I lived in many houses too. It must have been the pattern of my life to be somewhat of a Gypsy.

It had long been my mother's dream to own her own house. She worked very hard, & was a good saver, & a very good housekeeper. After living in a somewhat grotty inconvenient back flat, which had a copper to be boiled for washing, she finally had enough money for a deposit for her own home.

So began our rounds of looking at houses for sale. Always something wrong. Too expensive. Too shabby. In need of too much repair. But finally she found a warm house, with garish colours in every room. Unbelievable colours. Colours to make you sick- some of them looked like sick. All four walls, in each room, painted different bright & ugly, colours! Indescribable blues, greens, orangey brick, reds. All mixed by hand I would think, & most quite patchy as well. The 'new batch, hadnt quite matched', sort of ugly.

It was currently tennanted, by a family with young children. The young family were quite prepared not to stay on. And so, finally, my mother had her very own house.


As an aside here, the little girl who had previously lived in the house with her family when they rented it, continued to duck in, & use the toilet each day. Imagine my mother's surprise when *ahem* brown things appeared mysteriously, daily, in the toilet bowl. Finally my mother caught the little girl one day, & had to tell her she must not continue to use the toilet, as it was no longer her home! We never found out why she didnt flush, but it must have been so she wouldnt be caught.

One of the first things she decided to do, to improve the house, was to repaint all the rooms, to get rid of the ugly colours, as money would allow. I am inclined to use pastel or neutral shades for my choice in my house. Mum was much the same. So we painted away, & gradually the house became my mother's home.

One of the last rooms to get a makeover was the sunny lounge. It was, & still is, a very warm room, & always seemed to have a warmth quite apart from the weather or climate.



At the time, I was 'keeping company' (haha, dont you just love that quaint phrase!) with a young man, I shall call Ted Nitpicsty. Ted was a tall sallow skinned man, with long limbs that seemed to somehow 'dangle'. Ted professed to love most music, but was especially fond of jazz- I have posted long ago about a visit to a 'jazz' club, with Ted. St Vitus Dance sufferers have nothing on Ted listening to jazz.

Ted also loved Mahler, & once subjected me to a whole four hours of listening to some of it- at top volume! It cured me for life.

However, even though I cant really remember what the initial attraction was to Ted, the final straw in his getting 'the order of the boot', as my mother used to put it, was when he promised he was a great painter, with impeccable interior decorating skills, & would gladly paint my mother's lounge room for her.

And, he would lend us his paintings he had bought, to hang on the walls. Never mind the fact that the paintings were not really my mother's taste, & in reality not even really a good size for the space & style of room, my mother politely said that was very kind of Ted. So the pictures duly were brought & hung- before the painting of the walls had begun.

The weekend came, & Ted arrived to stay, & painting was to proceed. No sooner had the top been taken off the paint tin, than Ted was afflicted with a violent blinding migraine! He had to retire to the darkened bedroom, & all needed to be kept quiet, & very still.

So we closed the bedroom door, the passage door, & prepared the walls for painting. And applied the first coat of paint. Tea time. Mum cooking a delicious meal. Sheepish Ted, miraculously recovered, & ravening for food, appears. To wolf down huge helpings of said delicious food.

Next day, further preparations for the painting. Further painfully debilitating migraine attack!

More delish meals cooked, more huge helpings, disappearing down the gullet of miraculously recovered Ted.

This went on for several weekends. Finally we got it. Of course by then we had painted the damn room ourselves, with 3 coats of paint, needed to blot out garish prior painting.

Mr Ted Nitpicsty was given his paintings to take home, & his phone calls were not answered.

My brother will remember Ted vividly. I think he might have been awake to him, long before I was!

The house, is still in the family. When my brother married, he bought the house from our mother, & he lived many happy years there, until he built a new house, on the large piece of land at the back of the old house. Now my nephew & his partner have bought the house from my brother. It is still a warm welcoming house!

Wednesday, June 20

Blah blah

This is a little salt & pepper set my mother had for years. It was always in perfect condition, & I always loved it, for as long as I can remember.
The last time I visited my mother was during the weeks leading up to her death, but I didnt know at the time, that my mother was about to die. I was so lucky to be able to look after her until she had to go into hospital, just prior to her death. I noticed that some of her china 'treasures' which she had always had, were chipped, & that was a new thing about them. She always kept them in a glass doored cupboard, or a China cabinet, & was most careful about them. Some of the plates & cups & saucer sets had been my grandmothers, & Mum had treasured those too.

The little Shepherd has now got a little chip on the base, that was never there before. I still love them though, & love the way their little faces have been so carefully painted.

The little corks in the base of them are original too, & are obviously old. They are just under 3 inches high, so they are tiny compared to modern salt & pepper sets. My mother told me she had never used them, but she loved them as much as I do.

********

I see people have been blogging about the views from their bedroom windows. Or cosy corners of their houses. I have previously shown my hand sewing corner, so wont bore you with that again.

These are some corners of my house, today. Hacked out carpet. Into 2 bedrooms, & the passage way. Another corner, into the room I use for sewing, & blogging.

You may understand how it all getting me a little down in the dumps. With no resolution in sight, & no assessor apparently assigned to our claim yet, I had a little weep this morning.


Which didnt seem to ease the feeling, unfortunately.


Yesterday, our Daughter J came up on a mercy dash to use our clothes dryer. It was nice to have her here while the clothes dried.


SG came with her, & he gravely examined the carpet holes, & said "What happened here Nanna?" When I explained it to him, he said, "Well I will help you to get the rest of the carpet out then. It needs to go in the bin!"

Which is exactly what I feel should be happening.



*******

I dont think there is anything amiss with the lung harmatoma. It has grown, but it seems it is not too dramatically. I havent been back to Dr yet, but have read the report.
I had a phone call yesterday to tell me I could not have my tooth out on 9th of July, the Surgeon will be on holiday. I was about to explode, when she asked would I like to go on 6th instead? Of course I agreed immediately. Then she asked would I like to go if there is a cancellation. OF COURSE I $%&* would!!



And today was Mammogram day-- always an ordeal. I suffer from lumpy tender breasts. Those F***ing machines that mash them to pulp, are just pure torture. And nothing will ever convince me it is a good way to check for cancer. I had read there is a blood test which is far more reliable, & accurate.


I am sure if it was for men's prostate, or having their testicles stopped from being mashed, it would have been in use yesterday! No matter how pleasant, or apologetic, the person doing the mammogram, it never gets easier to bear. And it was freezing in the rooms, and the poor woman (mammographer?) had freezing hands. She told me she had been wearing gloves between each patient, to try to warm her hands.
The only nice thing about the visit, apart from the staff being really nice, were some Kimonoes hanging on the wall. I ventured to look at two of them, because I have never seen a real one up close & personal before, & was very interested to see how they were made.
Some years ago, I made a Japanese doll for GOM, at his request. I had no idea how to make the Kimono, & made one as best I could. I have never been entirely happy with it, & have never finished the hand stitching around the neckline, I am ashamed to say. After looking carefully at the real ones, I think I might just try to make another one of these days, for GOM's Japanese doll, who the sculptor named Midori.
I have been dreaming of babies, though there are none on our horizons. I have also been dreaming of haircuts..... another of my past blog rants. I am too frightened to get one. I am wondering if I could somehow let it grow, & tie it back. I think Joyce was very wise to let hers grow, & never have to battle with hair disasters ever again!!
I seem to have been feeling very very grumpy today, so didnt want another grumpy down post. This is about the best I could do.
At least GOM has been very nice to me, & he took me out to lunch to try to cheer me up!


Tuesday, June 19

Far Stranger Than Fiction.

The following is a true story.
I am sure there are readers who will not believe it can be, or will think I have embroidered or my memory is remiss.

It is the story of a little boy named Glen, whose life crossed ours when he & our son became friends when they first started school. He lived in the same street as we did, but a good few doors down the street.

We had just purchased a house in a nice seaside suburb, with a lot of modern houses, & many young families. It was a nice time of our life in many respects, & we made friends that we still have as friends to this day.

Glen had an older brother & a younger sister. I was aquainted slightly with Glen's mother, & spoke with her at the bus stop, from time to time. She was divorced, & worked, so her children used to spend a lot of time with a closer-to-us-neighbour who was a friend of ours, & who was very fond of the children & the mother.

Glen developed the habit of coming to our house after school, & he & our son played pirates, & Zorro & all the hero games little boys of that era loved to play. I made capes for them, and pirate hats, & masks to wear. I always made one for Glen too. They used our wooden outdoor setting of table & attached seats, as a Pirate Ship, & it also doubled as a Batmobile & various other useful vehicles.

Glen was a very polite little boy, & he loved to come into the kitchen & chatter away to me. His speech had a slight impediment, & sometimes he was quite hard to understand, but he would chatter away, & I would murmur answers as I cooked, not always listening intently.

Glen's mother met a new man, & before long, the new man had moved in with the family, & the children stayed home after school with the man, who, Glen informed me, "Is going to be our new Daddy". Glen didnt seem to like the 'new daddy' very much, & so he preferred to continue coming to our house to play, & would stay as late as he could. Glen's mother still worked, & the new man seemed to have a night shift job, I think. I told his mother I didnt mind Glen being at our place, & since he was no trouble, & he was good a good little mate for our son, he came as often as he could.

And that is when I first became aware of what Glen was actually talking about. He still came into the kitchen, still chattered away, & I still absentmindedly listened. But I began to hear that the 'new dad' was strict. That he made them stay in their rooms, he was 'not nice'. By this time, the mother had married the "new Dad", so his word was to be authority. I gathered the older brother had the hardest time of it, & Glen escaped to our place.

We moved about this time, into the inner city Hotel, & Glen cried when he knew we were going. He told me he wished he could come with us.

Imagine our shock, when we read in the paper, that Glen's mother had drowned, on a holiday on the wild West Coast, in a torrentially flooded river, supposedly during a 'comfort stop' on the bank of the river, while on holiday.

Then, after some months, the 'new father ' was accused of murdering Glen's mother. The evidence mounted, & police were sure he had pushed the mother into the river. He had forged an Insurance Policy, for a huge amount of money for the mother's life. He was arrested & charged with murder.

And while the police were conducting inquiries, they re-enacted the 'murder'. And a young policewoman drowned, in the same flooded river. It all seemed too bizarre & sad. The neighbour who had babysat the children was declared a 'hostile witness'. She said she knew the 'new Dad' was going to murder her friend. He had got violent, & used to threaten the mother, & the children.

The children were 'shipped off' to live with their natural father, who was not a well man.

The next chapter in the story seemed almost unbelievable. It was discovered that the new Dad had been interfereing with young boys, in his role as Scout Master. Fresh inquiries were conducted, & the father of 3 of the molested boys declared he was going to kill the 'new Dad'. He was a huge man of Island lineage, & it seemed he just may carry out his threat. The 'new Dad' was tranferred to a Prison further away down the South Island.

I kept thinking of Glen & his siblings. I kept racking my brains to recall the conversations & phrases from his kitchen chatter came back to me. I felt sick. I could see why children felt helpless, & didnt 'tell' when they were being abused.

Glen was a very sensitive child. He told me he didnt like his 'new Dad', but he also told me "Mum loves him, & she just wants to be happy, so we have to be good, & do as he tells us, no matter what." And, "He makes Mum cry." And "Mum cries when we dont do as he says. He tells on us when she comes home".

We wondered if 'new Dad' had murdered the mother because she had discovered what he was up to with the children. The neighbour friend swore she had found out. She said so in court, but was once more declared hostile.

The final chapter to the "new Dad's" story came in the Southern Prison. He was stabbed to death by another inmate. It seemed a fitting end.

As to Glen & his brother & sister, I dont know what became of them, but their natural father died. It just seemed to be too cruel a fate for three young children.
I often think of Glen, & wonder where he is today. He had the most beautiful brown eyes & a smile that could light a whole house.

Monday, June 18

Not a Picnic!

Some time ago, I was very lucky to be chosen as the winner, for this vintage Picnic Set from Peggy of Hidden Haven Homestead.


Peggy very kindly shipped it all the way from her home in USA, to my home in Australia. Arent I lucky! It took some time to arrive, but it was a bright spot in the midst of all our ghastly events here.

Thank You so much Peggy, & William, who actually drew my name!

I had planned on taking lovely picnicky pics, but with this dismal wet weather, there is no chance!

I have been out & about very early this morning, to have a chest Xray, which I am sure will be ok. Just a checkup really. I have a Harmatoma in one lung, & as it has been in evidence since 1989, I am assured if it wasnt benign I would be well dead! But nevertheless, it is growing, albeit slowly, so a check on it's progress is advised every 2 years or so.

As we had friends over yesterday & GOM had a very merry afternoon, I left him snoozing in the bed, & dashed off to have my Xray. I rushed into the office a little late for the appointment, at 8.15, but still had a small wait. Whilst sitting patiently- lol- I noticed to my horror I seemed to be wearing a dog hair top! Even though our dogs are both Poodle Maltese cross, & not given to shed, Leo seems to have inherited some shedding from somewhere & his white fine Maltese-y hairs cling to navy & black like magic. I have tried the clothes dryer to remove the hairs, & those sticky rollers, & clothes brushes, & vaccuum cleaning, but still they cling.

I felt like laughing, but of course one must not laugh when people are sitting waiting to learn the fate of their body's strangenesses. But, on the other hand, a little inappropriate laughter could just lift everyone's mood?? No?

I must be getting old & eccentric, as I catch myself wanting to dance, when I hear joyous music in malls. Or whilst out shopping for fabric. But then of course, fabric fondling -or shopping is a joyous event! And should be danced to, before it is too late, & arthritis cripples!

**********

I see it is Father's Day in other parts of the world, & there are tributes to fathers being posted.

I never really knew my father very well, but I loved him fiercely, & when he died I was utterly devastated. Part of that devastation, was the finality of his death, & the knowledge that I could never get to know him any better than I had. It seemed too sad, & too cruel.

He had died alone, in his bed, & that seemed to be terribly sad too. I travelled, alone, back to New Zealand for his funeral, which was held in the small church where he had married my mother many years before.

He had remarried, & it seemed unutterably sad, that neither of his wives attended his funeral. I know my mother would have liked to, as she remained very fond of him, though their marriage had not worked out.

He was buried, on what would have been his 73rd birthday, in the military section of the Cemetary in the small town, where he had married my mother.

The funeral was the first time my full brother & I got to meet our father's second family- our half brothers & sisters. Which seemed even sadder.

I clung to my father's sister, who is my best beloved Aunt. And I cried when no one else seemed to be crying.

Because I hadnt seen my father for some years, I went to see him before the funeral. They had pomped his hair into a grotesque shape, & he would have hated it. We all remarked on it later. I think one of the saddest things was seeing the little drawings & letters his grandchildren had placed in the coffin. I wished that my children had had the chance to know him.

It was a terrible bleak cold damp day, the day he was buried. I dislike burials at the best of times. I was totally stricken.

Later, at the RSA Club, we got to meet with our siblings, & found we really like them, & wish that the paths or our lives had been different. I would love to get to know them all. One sister was not present, & to this day, I have never met her. I understand she lives over here in Australia too.

I am so glad my brother & I went back to see our fahter's grave, on a sunny morning, on our trip last November. The pain was a little easier, & somehow the military headstone seemed something 'decent & proper' for the memory of our father. Whose life was ruined by his war experiences.

Bob Seger, Roll Me Away.

Pearl Jam, Given to Fly

Sunday, June 17

Apparently, I am a Cat?

I dont know about that. I married a Cat, or Leo to be exact.
Parts of the description sound about right, but other parts are not. I do like people, love having them call to see us, love spending time them.
I like to think I am a good friend, prepared to be there for people if they need me.

You Would Be a Pet Cat

Independent and aloof, you don't like to be dependent on anyone.
And as for other people, you can take them or leave them. You often don't care.
You live your life by your own rules. And you have deep motivations that no one truly understands.

Why you would make a great pet: You're not needy or greedy... unlike other four legged friends.

Why you would make a bad pet: You're not exactly running down to greet people at the door

What you would love about being a cat: Agility and freedom

What you would hate about being a cat: Being treated like a dog by clueless humans


The lady-? with the perfume smell is back visiting.
At least it is nicer than the real smell the house seems to have.


Shane Nicholson, Designed to Fade
Sheryl Crow, If it Makes You Happy

Saturday, June 16

Expectation

I saw this rainbow over the valley this morning, & thought it would be nice if it was a sign of better things to come.






But also thought of Dorothy.....




And the expectation that a rainbow will bring something good??

We are having more rain, wind & gah weather.


No one has been to see about the carpet, the roof or any other problems.

I feel the house is not a pleasant place to be.





The little grave out the back door filled with water, & became the little pool!





And Hitler & Eva, (as he calls me now, since I told him about my post) went shopping for some luxuries like bread!





I also had an outing with our lovely daughter to shop for batting & backing for the SIL's quilt.

And there was a sale on all sorts of things. And we got a dinner set each with new square plates for $10, reduced from $60, so we thought it must have been meant to be.

For anyone wanting to set up house they had dinner sets for $7- 36 pieces, including knives forks spoons! Amazing. It just so happens GOM had coveted a square dinner service - so now he has one!

Why does a little voice in my head keep saying "The food will get cold on those plates awfully quickly!" Which wont really worry me, as I eat & drink only tepid things anyway... I dislike hot.

In other thoughts for the day, I have been reading of 'favourite things'.. Thinking about favourite foods. Favourite music. Favourite authors.

When it comes to movies, I think my all time favourite scene is from the Movie Terms of Endearment.

It is the scene where Shirley McLaine is driving a drunk Jack Nicholson in the surf, in an open top car, & he is standing on the seat, & she cant really drive. For some reason that scene says things to me, that almost make me want to laugh and cry, at the same time.

And the most harrowing scene is where Shirley is screaming for pain relief for her daughter, who is dying of cancer. I feel that scene in the pit of my stomach, every time I see it. It never fails to move me.

Well, away to fun things like the ever present washing to dry. And the food to prepare. And the rain to listen to.

Buddy Holly, Raining in My Heart.


Friday, June 15

On other fronts..

Here is my little Honey, keeping me company, & soothing my soul. And here, this morning is the slightly doubtful looking sky scape above Rumbalara.

Most of our bad weather seems to come up from the South. This veiw is directly facing South, & there are patches of blue, but the tinges of pink are a bit of a worry. Rumbalara is girdled with a mist again, which usually passes. When the weather is really bad, we cannot see any of this, from our windows. The hills become completely invisible beneath the driving rain.
I have been 'looking up', in the form of reading blogs.
I was intrigued, reading Thirdcat to learn of her tendency to blog, when she perhaps, could be doing other things.
I find I do the same! It is very therapeutic. Let it all hang out, on the blog, in relative anonymity.
And I find reading other blogs very therapeutic also, it is such fun to read the various styels of humour, & the various ways of coping with life, that others employ.
As for me, well I should be getting things sorted into orderly piles or heaps or whatever, to deal with coming carpet joys. But right now, it is rather cold, & Honey is keeping me warm - well, warming my rear, anyway. And I just felt like a blog session.
I am sure there are liquid pools lurking in my vegie drawers in my fridge too, - unless PPFP (Pantry Plus Fridge Police- AKA GOM) has been in there. He doesn't have a strong sense of smell, & comes trotting in with various hairy looking things for me to 'sniff'. "Is this OK?" thrusting it under my nose - accusingly.
I usually rear back in horror, completely stunned that he is so blind! Of course he is not really. It is his way of 'shaming' me. I used to be so fussy about things like the fridge, & pantry, & bathroom. But since he has retired, & taken it upon himself to become so PPFP, complete with Hitler moustache, I just salute, shout "Sig Heil!", & scurry off to the computer or the sewing machine.
You would not believe how Hitler like he has become when doing the weekly grocery shopping. All I have to do is look at an item, & I will be told "We dont need that!" or "What do you plan to do with that!"
I look about me, & see other 'oldies' being bullied by their men, who need to keep some semblance of being 'in charge'. I realise with shock I have become one of the 'oldies'! It is so easy to forget, when in your heart you are still about 40 something, & feeling pretty damn good!
I just fancied some baked beans on toast for lunch. Who doesnt have baked beans in the pantry?? For feck's sake? Not one tin to be seen? Our daughter was here, she too, could not believe there were no baked beans. "But Dad" she said "Everyone has baked beans in the cupboard!" He just muttered & absented himself from the room.
Of course it has become a territorial issue now. I let him take over & have no chance of regaining control. He has the bit between his teeth, so to speak. He is 'the BOSS' again.
He has also taken over our filing system. Consequently, he can never find any document when it is needed. It took almost an hour to locate the house Insurance papers. What is that all about!
One area he has not tried to take control over, is the bathroom, & the cleaning thereof. Which is a pity, as I dont like doing that much. Still, I suppose it gives me something to do, other than sewing or blogging. haha.
Ah well, we can still laugh- albeit through gritted teeth at times.
You know, what my nephew & I refer to as 'The teeth grin!"
Oh and there is very happy good news. Our Daughter has just got a new job, which she really wanted, & which promises to be perfect for her!
Congratulations DJ!


Thursday, June 14

Quick update.

This is Gorgeous Beau. Isn't he beautiful. I guess, if like Isabelle, you are really a cat person, you may not see his gorgeousness. But he is really lovely, & a clever little guy. He looks as if he is smoking a cigar, but it is one of his Schmackos treats, that had been buried in the garden. He is Mr & Mrs Nice Neighbour's little dog. I wanted to post something nice & happy, & he is both.



A small update in the progress of rottenness. Last evening, I thought the washing just needed spinning dry. I thought the bowl of the washing machine was empty of water. Hah! WRONG!!

Suddenly I noticed a huge black mess creeping out onto the passage carpet. EEEK!! Sewagey water was spilling from the drainage hole in the bathroom out onto & into the carpet. The overflowing water was initially from the washing machine, which could not drain. I had no idea the machine had contained so much water.

Gom rushed about doing his own form of cussing, & mopping & grumping.

Today we have had drainage folk here, unblocking the drain, & locating the problem of the blockage. It seems my beloved Lilly Pilly tree is the culprit! So now we have a point of repair to work on. And the gaping hole in the wrong part of the patio!! GRRRRR! That is clay lying out on the pavers. Clay which will all need to be rammed back into the hole dug by GOM.

A friend called over, & I heard GOM telling him that 'Meggie is going in the hole!' Which is not fair! I didnt advise digging the damn thing!

I had a visit to the Doctor, & all would seem to be normal wear & tear on the bod. Just a chest checkup to be done, on the 'thing' growing in there, plus the dreaded Mammogram.

I rang the insurance about the carpet early this morning, & this afternoon some nice men came & cut large pieces of carpet out of the passageway, & the bedroom doorways, & sprayed a germicidal spray to decontaminate, & deodorise. I dont think it has worked!

IT STINKS!!

I thank you all for your kind thoughts. I thank Crafty for her lovely cussing!

I think, the 'silver lining' might be that we will have to have new carpet fitted, as the whole house is now contaminated, because of the wetness. It is not really nice to think we are still living in it. And, of course, it couldnt have come at a worse time, when all the storm damage is still being sorted out.

The men for the carpet began work at 4am. They wont finish until 6pm. They like to work they said, but they feel rather 'over it'.

Oh and the tooth aches on, cannot be removed until July! But the antibiotics should kick in tomorrow, & ease the pain.

Wednesday, June 13

OH! CRAP!

Some years ago, GOM asked me to make him a quilt. He wanted it to be a "Sports" quilt.

Sports & I are complete strangers. I dont partake, I dont watch, I dont listen, I dont understand. I loathe, in fact!! So, the best I could come up with, all those years ago, was this version.

I named it "It is not Sport, but it has got Balls" And this first pic is of the backing I used for the quilt.



It fits on the top of our Queen size bed. It has warmed us these many winters. I was so inept at quilting in the days I made this quilt, it is buttoned. With vintage buttons from my beloved Mother's button tin. And I felt quite proud that I found this ball print to use for backing.



And here is the front, which I spent many secret hours constructing. The image is very dark in this pic. The actual quilt is very bright, & was when I first realised that scrap quilts were my favourite type of quilts. I love every minute of making this quilt for GOM, & he still loves it. And still insists using it on our bed.




O.K. This is not REALLY a happy post!



The quilt for SIL had grown to gigantic proportions!! it is going to require a sh*tload of batting, which I currently dont have. And a sh*tload of backing fabric....which I also dont currently have!!
To say nothing of the quilting! Help! My shoulders will wilt, & I might run away from home!!


Actually, I cant believe how dark this pic looks on here. It looked ok in the preview, on our Queen size bed. Much larger than I anticipated, but then SIL is 6ft 2in, so I guess he needs large quilt, to cover!!

I noted a lot of you were horrified at the thought of a Rugby League quilt.. well so was I!! I loathe the game, cant change now.


In other hideous news...the 'tooth' is beyond saving! The only answer is an extraction. The 'Evil Fang', as Fifi suggested, is indeed evil! I am having to take antibiotics!

You can imagine the joy with which this news was recieved! Oral surgeon. Antibiotics. Double root system, necessitating surgeon. WTF??


Crap on crap.


Then I came home to this The back yard patio area is now dug up. GOM has a seriously buggered back, from wielding a crowbar, plus pickaxe. All executed whilst I was out recieving the bad news about dental matters.
We are going to have to excavate the backyard to find the drainage problems. Oh joy & laughter!! NOT!
When I read about the bird crap on Tanya's head I thought , What could be worse? So life teaches me lessons!! So, I wonder if I learn??
Somehow I cant let myself drown in this cesspool - I kid you not!!
Bugger, bugger, bum!! And any other little gems you would care to add!!!??


I have been looking up!

I have not been moping about the further heaps we have been given- just to keep us on our toes, I suppose. haha.

The roof leaked some more- well it is covered by Insurance, & will be dealt with in due course. Our policy covers the damage done in the storms, & compared to a lot of people ours is a minor. Some poor souls have had floods into their houses, & been looted into the bargain, so we have been 'fortunate'.

Friends of ours with the flooded carpets said the house is somewhat rank, in spite of the carpet having been all removed. So we do consider ourselves lucky.

Now our drainage has decided to cause us further problems, & we are not sure it it is directly related to just the neighbour privet, or the heavy rains have added to the problem.

One of my ankles has decided about now is a good time to have an arthritis flare, so hobbling downstairs to the toilet is not really a joy!

And, yesterday, my tooth decided it would be painfree for most of the day. So in the best delaying tradition, I neglected to call the dentist. Yes, I know wrists need to be slapped.

But! I was too busy looking up! I havent got time to worry about the minor irks. I am on fire with another project.

As my daughter pointed out to me, I have not made the SIL a quilt of his own. She is sick of him taking hers to snuggle into, or using Small Grandson's.

SIL is a Roosters fan. For those of you outside Oz, the Roosters are a Sydney NSW, Rugby League Team, officially known as Eastern Suburbs (I think! Not being remotely interested, I dont watch or listen, & it all washes over me).

So while going through stash looking for something else, I discovered this rooster fabric I had forgotten I had. So out it came & off I went on the quilt trail. GOM doesnt yet know who the quilt is for, so he happily went off to do the shopping yesterday- groceries, which I hate. And I got to sew on.

Then DJ came over, with Adult Granddaughter, & Small Grandson, so I had to hastily hide all the evidence of what the quilt was about. And another friend dropped by, so I had a break from the sewing for tea/coffee break.

Here is the production result of Monday. It is surprising how different things look when you photograph them.

A close up of the roosters & some chooks. Small Grandson loved all the bright colours & happily asked if I was making him another quilt. I didnt tell him who it was for, but did say it wasnt his. I always feel mean, as he loves to play with the colours & scraps & will sit happily rearranging them all- "For a quilt Nanna"

And here is the result of yesterday's efforts. Not all sewn together yet, but looking better. I am thinking to use a black for a narrow border for definition, then hopefully I will have enough of the rooster fabric to finish with a wide border. If not I will have to think of something else.

This pic is a bit distorting -it makes it appear oblong but it is square. The fact that the rows are not sewn together adds to the illusion. And the purple looks more blue in the photo? Sometimes I think the light does that?
The tooth is twingeing this morning, so I must make an appointment to have it dealt with. It is amazing how we can convince ourselves things are ok, when we are scared of the alternative, isnt it!!


Monday, June 11

A Sad Little Girl

This was a sad little picture taken of me when I was around 3 I think. Apparently I had almost cut off the tip of my left hand ring finger in a car door, & it was troubling me the day this was taken.

Today, I feel just like that sad little image looks.

I have a tooth dying. I have had so many of my teeth die on me, I know the feeling.

And of course, it would never die on an ordinary week day, when there might be a possibility of getting to my dentist for some relief.

No, my teeth have always managed to choose long weekends, or public holidays, so that I suffer maximum pain & discomfort- haha, to ludicrously understate it.

I will last out till later this week, or next, sometime. Then there will be all the gory detail of root canal, & emptying vast amounts of dollars from the bank account.

I am desperately trying to cling onto my remaining teeth. I have no joy from the false ones I do have, & wish to avoid having to get more.

I knew on Saturday morning there was going to be a dead tooth. I woke with paralysed chin, swollen. Told myself it was the facial nerve, which acts up since surgery on a parotid gland. But deep in my heart, I knew it wasn't.

****

Well, it would seem the rain is over. There are patches of blue, amid weaker lighter clouds. And yesterday, we discovered we have a leaking roof - again. This will be the fourth time we have had to have it repaired.
Compared to the damage others have sustained, we are lucky to get off so lightly. Two boring pictures of the wet damage on the ceiling, & there is another patch in the kitchen, which I have just discovered. But I will spare you that boring picture!


Somehow it fits in with the bleak feeling I seem to have.


I feel a sense of impending doom, some cold fist clenching my heart.


Why??


I am not sure.
I keep flashing back in my mind to a birthday party, when I sent my little son trotting off with his gift, for the birthday child, who lived a few doors up the road from our house, and was a little school friend, known by sight to us.
I just had this bad bad feeling about the day. GOM was off at work, as he seemed to always be, whenever there was a calamity, or catastrophe, or turmoil to be sorted.
About an hour after waving farewell to our son, he returned home, sobbing uncontrollably. He was so hysterical, I could not get a coherent word out of him. He just sobbed on, & nothing I did could seem to calm him down. He ran off to his room, & lay face down on his bed, his small body wracked with the sobs.
Eventually, I phoned the mother of the 'birthday boy'. She had no idea my son had even left the party- some hour or so later, which I found very disconcerting. She had no idea why my son might be upset. So sorry. I didnt really know the mother, & realised I certainly didnt want to, at this point.
Finally GOM rang to see how the party had gone. I put our son on the phone, & finally the sobbing subsided. Daddy had said the magic words that eventually calmed our son down. To this day I have no idea what had happened at that party, that had so upset our son. He was so upset that when the mother rang back to ask if he wanted his little bag of party favours, he shuddered & shouted NO!
I have this bad, bad feeling today.
I hope it is just my rotting tooth, & not more sh*t about to rain down on us!




Sunday, June 10

Washed out World

In our corner of the world, it is a very washed out looking place. There is a little eerie sun trying to poke out from thinning clouds.

We contacted friends yesterday, whose house has been flooded, as we thought they may need a dry berth for the night, but were assured they were ok. Hopefully they are still coming here for the afternoon, as planned, but it will depend on the state of treatment for their carpets.

As many suburbs were without electricity, we considered ourselves very lucky! After the one small outage in the morning on Friday, we have been well warm, & fully lit- one might say!

We also thought we may have to have our daughter & family here for the night, as their front lawn is like a 2 foot deep lake! But the house is set higher, & so they were safe & dry.

I dont think there was as much rain fell last night, & the highway was certainly not so filled with sirens screaming past.

Thank you for concern regarding my daughter's hand, it is responding very well to the antibiotic, & she is certain she wont require surgery for it, so that is good news.


Quite a few of you commented on Bronwyn Hayes, who markets her designs under the name Red Brolly. I have posted some quilts I have done using her designs, & though I have posted them before I am sure you wont mind seeing them again.

This photos shows Bronwyn's quilt pattern Country Cottage, & it was featured in an Australian Country Threads Magazine, Vol 3, No 10.

SG loves this quilt, & it is a regular favourite for making his Cubby Houses.
This pic features my favourite angel, & I have used this pattern for other purposes, putting on a bag I made for a loved cousin, & I have another I was going to frame.... in the to-do file! haha.

And this is my favourite cat block. I just love that lazy sleepy cat, so comfortable on the old chair.
This is the complete quilt hanging on the window drapes, after I had first finished making it.
And here is a pic of the quilt I made for my SIL's 50th birthday. I used the same cat pattern, but enlarged it & made a patchwork version. I designed the quilt myself, & featured flying geese on the back, so guests could sign the cream patches. I dont think she got it signed, as she didnt want harm to come to the quilt. I adore scrap quilts, & was very pleased with how this one turned out.
We are having some friends & family over today, so I had better get myself off this & tidy messy sewing off the dining room table.
I have started a new project... even though I havent sashed the spider webs! And I did get out a WIP & put the final round on it, so it is ready to be backed & quilted, so I felt the new project was ok. haha.
I dont very often buy magazines, except at garage sales or op shops, but one little treat I do give myself is a subscription to Autralian Country Threads magazine. I love their patterns & have used many ideas from the magazines. A particular favourite is Ruth Buchanan, whose designs really appeal to me, & I have used 5 of her patterns for quilts for family & friends.
Hope your weekend is safe & warm!




Saturday, June 9

Wintery thoughts

Last evening, while the winds were raging & lashing our corner of the world, & the temperatures plummeted to a chill 10 degrees, I thought it might be time to get out some of my WIPs- works in progress. I had been working on these little Bronwyn Hayes stitchery patches, & thought to get them out to work on, & finish. After scrabbling about looking for the magazine that featured the pattern, I discovered I had actually finished all the stitching on the squares. The pattern had four smaller patches worked & placed at the corners of the smallish quilt.

This is my favourite patch I think. I love Bronwyn's cats, & have done other work featuring her little cats, turning one stitchery pattern into a patchwork block for my sister in law, who loved a ginger Tom, who strayed into their lives. He was a very large & cunning cat, & was owned by noone, & he dined royally & largely, at several households in the area, & made himself at home whenever the mood suited him. He could be very aloof when it suited him, & made no secret that HE chose the moments he could be patted, cuddled etc.
My brother was never enamoured of the Gingey, & I suspect Gingey knew, & he would sit smugly beside SIL & almost pull faces at my brother. My second Nephew & I used to plot scenarios to get rid of the Gingey. But of course it was all in jest, & we would never have harmed him in reality.
I think he has gone off to the great cat house in the sky, as he no longer calls to invade their house, or eat the best of foods.
The world is looking very lashed & almost washed out. Our patio area is covered in dirt & leaves which washed down the path as the rain poured faster than it could drain away. One of my large heavy pots got blown over, but apart from that, we havent sustained any damage.
We are lucky we are situated on a hill, & so are never in danger of being flooded. We can see the Pacific Highway from our windows, & looking down on the river of almost stationary lights last evening made us glad we didnt have to be out driving in the atrocious weather.
It is our Queen's Birthday weekend here, so we get a holiday Monday. Many people come to our area for long weekends, & it is a designated resort area. Poor holiday makers will be in for a wet & rather chilly weekend, if they have ventured here. The night was filled with sirens screaming down the highway, & I was glad to think that none of my loved ones had to be out in the mess & dreadful driving conditions.
My daughter quite often works on a Friday evening, but due to her poisoned hand, she could not work last night, & said they collected SG early, & were all snug, warm & safe at home.
I am wondering if I should get out fabrics & see if I can get my little stitcheries into a quilt. And I have not made a decision on the sashing for the web blocks either. Hmmm, perhaps a visit to the fabric shop might be on the cards.
It seems the rain has eased, & the skies have brightened a little- I even caught a glimpse of blue earlier.
I am listening to Blue, Joni Mitchell. It is one of my all-time favourite albums.
Current track? River!