I will be absent from this blog for approximately 12 days. I am flying to New Zealand at dawn tomorrow, to be with Family & friends to attend the funeral of my Beloved Aunt.
After the death of my Mother 11 years ago, my Aunt stepped into the gaping hole in my life, in as much as anyone can, when your mother dies. My Aunt has always been in my life, & she has truly been a Gift to my life. I will miss her sorely.
This is a photo of her garden, which I took in December 2006, when I went to stay with her. At 84, she still took great pride in her garden, & cared for it by herself. It is only recently that she has been unable to keep it tidy by herself. It upset her not to be able to do that.
This is a pic of Little Pipi, who was 'born' in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty. She is named after the Pipis that live at Papamoa Beach. If she is lucky, she might get to return to her 'home beach', - just for a little visit!
Friday, April 18
I will be absent from this blog for approximately 12 days. I am flying to New Zealand at dawn tomorrow, to be with Family & friends to attend the funeral of my Beloved Aunt.
Thursday, April 17
My Aunt died this afternoon.
I could not wish her back.
But she will leave an unfillable void.
Love into the chasm, that is left with your passing.
17. 04. 2008
No, not another post about old age. This time it is about marbles as toys. We had SG again today, & I decided a visit to a local Op Shop was a good idea. So off we went, SG & I, to explore the wonders of the newly relocated Op Shop. Gom opted to remain in the car. SG & I leapt through the hidden puddles hiding in the grass, & the dancing drops of rain, & into a wonderland.
The new location is more spacious. There is a book room, with a whole section of books for children. Being school holidays it was well attended! A whole room for clothes. Another for Bric a Brac, another huge room, for assorted goodies with tables of toys, kitchenware, furniture, electricals, computers begging for new homes.
We wandered about inspecting all sorts of things. Knitting needles, yarn, pattern books. A Fat 1/4 pattern book was tempting, until I saw it required templates. I am a fast roller cutter girl now! Too old to fuss about with hand drawn templates! Too short of time- while the marbles are still present?
There was a fascinating 'washing centre' which intrigued SG no end. It had a washing machine, with agitator! A dryer! Both of these had wonderful timers! An ironing board- with iron tucked away in the dryer. and a coat hanger. Very tempting, as it was heavily reduced. I could see Gom's frowning face. I could see his mother's sighs at another bulky toy to house. So we let it be.
SG's father is very good at laundry, & very good at ironing. I encourage SG's interests in that direction! As I encourage his cooking interests. His father is also a very good cook now, after our daughter's tutelage. I taught our son to be a good cook, & see no reason why a male should not be as accomplished & capable as a female. Especially in this day & age.
Gom grew up seeing his father often cook the family meal at night. His mother worked full time, & his father usually prepared the vegetables for the evening meal. Gom, for all his faults, is not helpless in the kitchen, & made a very good fast food cook in our Hotel Restaurants. He can turn out a very nice meal, & if I get ill, I will not starve in his care.
Yesterday, Gom & Darcy made a chocolate cake together. They carefully measured, & mixed, & beat, & ladelled. A beautiful cake was the result. The icing was duly made, but it was a little too sloppy for SG to take some home. So it waited until today, when it was cut & celebrated! Very nice, after our return from the Op Shop expedition.
Which is where the marbles come into play. In the Bric-a-brac room, we found a bag of marbles, priced at $1. I was fascinated with marbles, & their pretty patterns when I was a child. I still find them attractive. So SG was delighted when I suggested he could have them if he liked. We went to pay, & found they were reduced to 20c!!
Home we came, & SG chose fabric to make a bag for his marbles. What fun, as he stood next to the machine as Nanna sewed.
"Is it a bag yet Nanna?"
"Not yet, D"
"I am so excited, Nanna, is it ready yet?"
Mummy arrived, breathless, running a little late. She had been going to take SG away for an hour or so, to give us a break. We told her things were going well, to go off & have a little break. She had an afternoon meeting to attend, so off she went. Nanna completed the marble bag.
What fun SG had with his bag of marbles. He tipped them all onto a tray we keep for his use. It has legs, & a melamine base with wooden sides. He swished them from side to side, he found out they sound like the sea, rushing onto the sand. He tried paper on the tray, he tried all the different sounds they made, as they landed on different surfaces. He tried dropping them onto the marble bag.... "Super Quiet!" he declared.
I am kicking myself I didn't get photos. He spent a long time with the marbles, discovering all sorts of ideas & playing possibilities. A friend called. SG played at making a Marble Bridge. He is quite inventive with his ideas. His mother & sister arrived, so we had further demonstrations. He took his bag of marbles home, for further wonderful playing possibilities. We are having him tomorrow. I wonder if he will remember to bring his marbles.
And here, just for fun, are pictures of the wounded Plumbago. Click to enlarge, to see the total lack of order to the trimming.
Before the Gom attacked it, it had quite a compact shape, & quite a few flowers. It fills an awkward spot, & provides a bit of greenery on a bald wall.
This is a wider view, which probably gives a clearer idea about my wonderment at the haphazard nature of the wounding.
Though my Beloved Aunt is not travelling well, my life is still filled with 'Free Treats"!
Tuesday, April 15
I have a touch of the Grouches. It is raining again, & in this country, it is never good to complain about rain, since we never quite know when we might get our next lot.
It is grey & gloomy, with low glowering black clouds in the skies. Autumn is usually the most beautiful of seasons here in Australia. This year we have had the 'Summer that wasn't' & now we seem to be having the 'Autumn that isn't'.
I took myself off out into the garden, amidst the spits of rain to take some photos of the Camellias. Obviously this one is very happy with it's share of rain drops.
The white one has been flowering steadily, & though the flowers don't last very long, they are quite pretty while they last. The ants adore them.
It is now the School Holidays, here in New South Wales. Our Daughter J said on Saturday, Small Grandson was marching about the house declaring he was "So bored I can't stand it!"
He began pulling at his hands, saying "I will have to rip my hands off & kill myself!" "I am can't stand having no school to go to!"
His mother pointed out to him, it was only the weekend, after all, & he always has that off, & it wasn't even the proper holidays yet!
Goodness knows where he gets his sense of drama from, & we have no idea where he got the rip his hands off, & kill himself part! As my Beloved Brother pointed out, if he had ripped off his hands, it would be impossible to do much else.
I do believe we are to have SG for the day tomorrow, & also part of Thursday, so I hope we can find entertainment for him. His mother has prepared a 'craft box' for him, & he can often spend quite a lot of time with crayons & paper, so we have those all ready. I have gathered a few items for him to play about with also, so he should be happy.
My beloved Aunt is still with us, but very ill, & still in hospital. She had her 86th Birthday yesterday. She had told me she didn't think she would see it, but she has. Her children have been told they can probably only expect to have her for months at the most, but the outcome is not looking as promising as that, at present.
My brother went to see her, on Sunday, with our cousin, her son. I had phoned the hospital, but she was too weak to speak to me. My brother said she roused herself a little, & sharply told them to "Get out! You are sucking all the energy from the room!" They laughed, as it was definitely a spark of her humour!
I can imagine what she is thinking. She has confided in me often over these last months as she has battled her mystery illness. I suspect she feels her life has run it's course. She has lost all her siblings, but one. I think she feels ready to go.
Next, it will be our generation's turn to start popping off. I think a lot of us feel the same. Somehow we are surprised we have lived so long anyway! When we were young, & the Beatles brought out the song 'When I'm 64', it seemed an impossible age, & we used to laugh about it. When we reached it, my Best Friend J, & I we could scarcely believe it!
Yet in my heart of hearts, I still don't feel 'old'. Of course some days I feel older than dirt! Some days when the itch is peaking,
Went grocery shopping with
For some reason the Cockatoos are screeching & they keep flying about the pine trees in great flocks. We haven't had any more on the balcony railing, but occasionally a huge Magpie comes to sit, on the balcony floor, & peer through the glass at us. I can never catch it with the camera though
More happy Camellia pics to finish this scrappy, cr*ppy post.
I had asked Gom to cut back the Budliea in the front garden. He went off for hours, & I stayed well away. I didn't really notice, until this morning when we went out, that the Budliea looked untouched.
All my little parsely seedlings, which I pointed out to him, & begged him to leave....you guessed it. They have been rooted out. One of these days....
As I said to one of my friends, there are days when I hate every fibre of the being of the "TPIM". For those who really want to know, TPIM stands for That Pr!ck I Married. Sorry to those among you who dislike such language.
The thing is, he has let me down emotionally over my Aunt, so I am feeling bitter & hurt. And that is TMI.
Enya, Marble Halls
Sunday, April 13
I read quite a lot of blogs whose authors are young, quite a few with children. I can feel sympathy & empathy with a lot of what they write, as I have 'been there & done that'. My daughter is in fact 'being there & doing that', also, so it is never irrelevant.
I also read a lot of blogs of, shall we say, more mature authors. Closer to my age, but not all of them of course. I like male & female bloggers points of view. I like deep, frivolous, funny, artful, talented... you name it! I follow other bloggers links, & have found myself incredibly moved at the writing & thoughts of other bloggers.
There is also the fun, the laughter, the hysterical coffee-spitting hilarity...& often pain, peeping out between the lines of seeming laughter.
There are many down sides to the body getting older. The aches & the pains & some of the parts letting us down from time to time.
There are many up sides too though. We are not always expected to leap up to do the dishes at family gatherings. We are not expected to run about the lawn playing vigorous games with the grandchildren.
We can feel perfectly happy, sitting for a couple of hours, with a sleeping baby nestled in our arms. We don't feel we need to be up & doing something. We have time for the baby, & it is soothing to just 'let it be'.
I used to worry about how I appeared when I was young. Was my hair neat, were my clothes the right type for the right occasion. Trivial things like that. Now I don't care if my hair is crappy
that is a blatant lie. When I go to get a haircut & come out scalped, I want to run home & hide for a month! I confess, I do care if I feel it is too crappy.
I can honestly say, I no longer care if my clothes are, or are not, fashionable. I might make someone else feel awfully superior when they look at my tired old garden variety clothing, so really I am doing them a favour! We don't live the social life we once did, so I don't feel the need for 'fancy' dress. Comfort is first consideration, & the fact that I don't care what others think, is a plus.
Reading one blog today, the writer, who is young & pretty, says she hates dropper inners. I used to hate them too. I remember the wife of our local GP saying she hated nosey neighbours, dropper inners, & other people's kids who wanted to stay. I felt a bit sorry for her kids & I thought about my friendly neighbours, whose kids spent more time at our place than theirs.
I liked my kids having friends over to stay. I had not been able to have friends to stay, when I was a teenager, & I enjoyed having a houseful of happy teenagers. At least I knew where they were, & what they were doing!
When I was younger, I would feel a bit nervous with drop-in visitors. I would hope the kids had not filled the toilet with shoes or toys. Or done other, unmentionable things.
Now I welcome drop in visitors. It could be the last chance I get to see them. I love people to feel welcome. I don't care if the house is in disarray, or the dogs have tramped grass & leaves inside. Or if our grandson has his toys out all over the floor. It just means we are living, & enjoying it. At times I have fabric all over the dining room table, which is where I cut fabric for my quilting. It might stay there all week. I don't care. We don't use the dining table anyway. If friends come over we can sit out on the patio & use that table.
I have very few housekeeping rules. I hate housework. I just like the beds to be made, the toilet, & bathroom to be clean, the kitchen to be tidy, if we are not using it, & the rest can be a bomb site. Gom likes a little more tidy than I do. He rearranges the pantry. It used to drive me crazy. Now, I try to ignore it. He has changed the order of things about, & I have come to the conclusion it is because he is right handed & I am lefthanded. Maybe?
I wish he had a hobby, but I can't force him to have one. He does read a lot, which is good. I hope we both keep our marbles. His memory is better for such things as movie stars names, mathematical matters, mine is better for other things.
I have a dearly loved Aunt, who is in hospital. I am distracted with worry about her. I know she is thinking she would rather be gone, for all sorts of reasons.
She has told me she can see her eyes have the far-away look that her husband & sister's eyes got before they died. It scares me to think about my life without her being here. There is a part of me that also feels if she needs to be gone, well, I would never wish her back.
I don't feel now is her time to go.
I wish I could be there to visit her, & help care for her.
Gracious Jackie, TMOTL has given me an award.
Thank you Jackie.
This Award originated here, do go & read her post about it, here. Very interesting!
Now, I do believe I am supposed to hand this along to others. There has been quite a bit of resistance to Awards among bloggers recently. I usually take the coward's way out, & dont nominate particular blogs. I like them all, or I wouldn't have them listed, or visit & read them. So if you are reading this, take a bow, take the Award, & thank you for entertaining me.
Dire Straights, Brothers in Arms.
Posted by meggie at 4/13/2008 07:46:00 a.m.
Thursday, April 10
These pics are the interior of the bush shelter, where I collect Small Grandson from his bus, when he comes home from school.
I have long admired the painting of the interior walls. Obviously, someone or several someones, have put in a lot of time & effort to paint this. It is Aboriginal in style, & has been carefully painted.
This is the side facing the oncoming bus. Just a hole, for watching to see if the bus is coming.
This side view is the other side, so no hole in the wall is necessary.
What ever happened to the wit of old, when hilarious or clever things would be seen written modestly on walls in public places, or public toilets- or even semi private toilets?
We used to find graffiti on our toilet doors or walls in the Hotel, from time to time. Not always of the "For a good time, phone Bella on *******"
Or "Lydia is a slut." To which some wit had added, "Is that the Lydia Teapot?"
One thoughtful soul had scratched " Beware the Limbo Dancers" on the door, which was about a foot clear of the floor.
Another had scratched right at the bottom of the door, "You are now sitting at a 45 degree angle".
Once on a trip to Sydney on holiday, we read, in huge letters, "The female orgasm is a Phallusy" . Which had a certain cleverness, & would indicate the writer had some brain.
Another, on a train, "Circumcision is no skin off my nose" caused muffled laughter as people spied it.
But the current scrawl of mindless 'foul' language & unreadable garbage does beg the question, have the perpetrators got any brain cells left alive? What possible pleasure could they derive from such mindless rot?
I have tried the Pinetarsol, & unfortunately, I have to report no decrease in the itch. If anything it almost seems worse, though I am sure that is not the fault of the Pinetarsol, but due to some other mysterious cycle my body is going through.
My Sister In Law,
She has very green thumbs, & has worked with growing for export, plants , specifically flowers, & in particular Roses. A consignment of rose plants were sent to China, by the company my SIL works for. It seems the roses all died through lack of knowledge on how to handle them. So now, her boss wants to take her to China to train the Chinese how to grow the roses.
My Beloved Brother is very excited for her, & has told her to go for it. I am not sure what she will decide. Having a new little grandson to love & cuddle is a bit of a deterrant.
Tuesday, April 8
No matter how young we feel, or really are, chronologically, we come to the point where we begin to think about our age, & how we will age, should we live for a 'long time'.
My Daughter J, works in the field of Aged Care. She loves her work, & has a real empathy for elderly people, who all seem to love her. She has the gift of relating to them all, even the ones who are suffering from dementia or Alzhiemers seem to respond to her cheerful disposition. She has a favourite who is 99 years old.
That age seems somehow incomprehensible to me. The dear old woman is full of memories, & has her mind intact. Her body seems to be letting her down, a little more each day. My daughter has been told to prepare herself for her passing. Her Doctor has advised, her going will be rather swift, once it begins. My daughter, consequently, treasures ever day she can attend this lovely lady. She is slowing markedly, day by day.
Her daughter, who is not young herself, lives with her mother, & is there for company, night & day. My daughter is so fond of the daughter also, it is mutual, & often, when she is there for a respite visit, she stays to spend the time with my daughter. I wonder how they both will cope with the dear old soul's passing.
The daughter has no daughters of her own. She is so fond of my daughter, I know she will be doubly bereft, when her mother finally goes. It is not encouraged for the carers to continue friendships, with family, once the patient has passed away.It seems so cruel.
It is strange to think about how wonderful friendships can be formed with 'strangers'.
Or, how 'enemies' can be formed without our knowledge. I am always surprised to learn I am severely disliked by someone, who I previously had thought to be a 'friend', or at least, perhaps a 'neutral'.
The old adage about being able to choose your friends, but not your family is true, it would seem. I was shocked when I learned that my sister-in-law disliked me to an extent & depth, of which I had no conception! I had never been close to her, but had felt we got along ok. I have never quarelled with her, nor had 'words'. Not my style.
I know she has a very jealous disposition, & she has had a hard & bitter life. I genuinely never knew the extent of her hatred, & when I learnt of it, I was taken aback. Her own son was shocked. I was gratified to learn he was genuinely fond of me, & had 'defended' me, to his bitter mother.
My Gom is estranged from his sister now. They don't comminicate. I gather she was so nasty about me, my husband was shocked to his core. And, totally puzzled as to why. Thankfully, he has never told me the details. It is not our way, to dwell on such things.
I find I cannot sit in judgement on his sister. I have not walked in her shoes. She has a now-adult, elderly, daughter who is disabled. Our daughter could walk. Our daughter has lived a 'normal life'. Hers could not. I might be bitter & green, should I have walked her path.
Occasionally, I will visit a blog, & comment, to a wall it would seem. I recieve no feedback, or answering comments, & sometimes, read disparaging comments, which seem aimed directly at something I might have blogged about. I let it pass, telling myself it is imagined. But it seems to continue. Eventually, I decide that the person has an acitive dislike of me, for whatever reason, & I quietly stop commenting or visiting.
Such is life I guess. Not everyone is going to like you. Nor will you like everyone, either!
There are so many rich & wonderful bloggers out there, why bother with the ones we find 'don't fit'.
Look at this wonderful planter, my lovely Mrs Nice Neighbour made for her sister.
It is a bird planter, & is quite delightful!
With this wretched carpet, I wish we had the same customs as the lovely Japanese have in their houses, as blogged about by the lovely Tanya.
The slipper idea is what we need to keep our carpet clean!!
I do thank you all for the suggestions re my itching problem. I have not tried Pinetarsol but purchased some today. I consulted with my GP today, about another matter, & we touched on the itch. I have now got an appt with the Professor of Dermatology/Skin or whatever, & it is for 1st July. GP agrees, that is my last hope for an answer.
Oscar Lopez, Thinking Of You.
Monday, April 7
As she felt the pains,
And knew, this one, too, is gone.
It is leaving me,
Leaving my body.
In painful agony.
Why do these children,
I long for, so deeply,
Not want to stay within my body?
To stay, to become a part
Of our family...
Will my circle of love
not be sufficient,
to entice this one,
to become part of our lives?
The basic longing for this,
Or any child,
Is so raw,
Denial seems so cruel.
Each miscarriage is a slap.
A comment on fitness,
To be a parent.
The nurses sneer,
"You don't really want this child"
"What have you done?"
Lack of compassion!
These bereft wives
Of the Prisoners Of War.
After the War,
When they lost those precious,
Longed-for children, unformed.
They shoulder, & wear,
the accusations, the blame.
For the lost babies.
That don't 'stay',
Because, they are imperfect,
They are the product of the Prisons,
Where their father's were held,
Prisoners of a War.
The ones that finally 'take',
The precious children,
That are born,
Every one of them.
Children of a hideous War.
Children, that are the hope for
For Man's future.
Who will sing the song
For those mothers,
Who endured those pains
To bring those children
Into this world,
For their turn at this life?
Janis Ian, This Must Be Wrong.
Sunday, April 6
The Autumn weather seems to have made me lazy & sleepy! I have been sleeping in later than usual, & have been very reluctant to get out of bed.
Temperamental dogs have not helped, as they seem to have been on a midnight run call every night, & in the end I have taken Honey back to our bed, & leave Leo on his own. Against all the best advice, but I just need to get some sleep. Leo seems to be better, & I think it has been Honey creating all the noise to get out.
The gift quilt has been given. I took this photo of it out on the clothesline in the sun. I called it 'Gratitudes', as it is by way of a small Thankyou for great friendship & many computer favours, as well as other favours such as music & movies. To say nothing of the laughs, by the bucketful!
We have been having lovely Autumn days with the cool nights. Last night we came off Daylight Saving time, here in New South Wales. I think my body clock has been ready for this for a few weeks, since I have been sleeping later & later.
This is the Question in the Title.
Someone sent me this joke in an email. I have seen it before.
To me, the question is quite real though. I don't believe either answer. I just find them both somehow impossible to believe.
I like to watch documentary programmes when I get a chance, & recently saw one about living matter, & the evolution of the earth. It made more sense than anything I have seen previously. Perhaps I have read the wrong books, or listened to the wrong information before.
My son finds it hard to believe I can not believe in either current theory. He is all for Evolution, & can quote far more about the subject than I can.
However, I do believe that all living creatures care about their offspring. The period of caring might me much shorter than a human span, but I dont doubt there is love & care, or surely, most species would have died out long ago.
Now that the colder evenings are here, I need to find some project I can work on while watching the idiot box, or movies. I found a host of great craft magazines at 5 for a $1 & so have plenty of ideas! I still have my granddaughter's quilt to complete too. I have some ideas for a wall hanging too, which are percolating around my head.
We haven't seen much of Small Grandson lately, except for 20 minutes last Thursday. He is still keen on his school learning so that is good. We collected him from his bus, & took him home, & he went to straight to his room to get changed!! What a good boy he is. We will be having him for a time this Wednesday, after school, so that will be nice.
His mother is almost recovered from her insect/spider bite. She recovered very well once the antibiotics kicked in, but she has been left with a very red lump on her jawline, which she says is itchy. She has no idea when or where she could have got that bite, but it was rather scary.
All I need now is a miracle cure for the itch!! I know most of you will be bored witless at the saga of this. I have a letter for the Specialist, which I have failed to act upon, recently, to try to get an appointment. Ever since I was told to try in another month, for the mere chance of an appt 3 months hence, I have scowled every time I think of it. I have this inbuilt fear/certainty that he will offer no answer or cure, & I will just be left with horrendous heamorrhagic holes in the bank account, & nothing else!
It is a curse, as, apart from the constant irritation, I wonder if I am scratching in monkeylike fashion out in public! I have to try to constantly remember it is not a good look, & hope I am not absently clawing at some inappropriate area! It might convince people we are definitely descended from monkeys!! Every bit of my skin itches, & at times I twitch with terrible itching I just can't deal to. Even my ears itch!
Scott Joplin, The Entertainer.
Thursday, April 3
I have never got tired of the image of the Owls.
Tuesday, April 1
This is the medium pink Camellia. It is beautiful. I wont move the photo down to the others, as it wont enlarge if I do. I am so happy to see these blooms, what with my severly brown thumb!! I bought them, & planted them, & they are rewarding me!!