Thursday, September 24

End of the World... or Just another Dust Storm..

When I awoke, early on Wednesday morning, I could see a blood red light in the gap of our bedroom drapes.
As I rolled over, I thought it was odd...
I decided it was either the End of The World... or another violent Bushfire Sunrise!
As you do, in this country of extremes.

However, when I rose at 5.50am, & noted the odd blanket of cloud, I knew what it was. I knew it was a dust storm. We had experienced one, of a much lesser degree, back in 1983, when we first resumed residence in this (now) beloved country.


I took this view from our front room windows, around 6 .15am.

I had already taken this view of the same area, at approximately 6am. I am not sure why the light appeared so different in each photo, but visibility fluctuated as the day wore on.

Eventually it all appeared clear by around 4pm. We were warned it was not really all clear!
Warnings for today.
All appeared clear,but we are warned there is 'talcum-like' sediment remaining in the air.
******************
"I Love you Too!!"
Here is my Grand Nephew.

And here he is, with his doting Grandfather! He takes him for rides in his truck, up & down their driveway!!


Here is N with his lovely Daddy!
What a huge Grin!!



I suppose I have to go to bed??


But Daddy, this is too much fun??


**********************
This is true 'free treat' territory...


Alas, it was no more, after the dust storm.
Nothing remained untouched.
It was amazing how the dust storm destroyed some things.
The neighbour's beautifully blooming Azaleas were laden with wonderful blossom.
They are the Bridesmaids to the coming marriage of the Summer!
The Bride, perhaps, the Double May, or the White Azalea, looking every bit, the '50's Bride!!
What short lived glory, once the Dust arrived. It left it's red calling card all over everything.
We will spend months cleaning, the red of the interior top soil, from our cosy lives, here in the city.
I spare a thought for the Farmers of the Outback whose dreams may be dashed, & ruined with the loss of the topsoil. The Loss of the crops to come...

The red dirt from the interior of New South Wales, came to settle on our Eastern Coastal space.
How do the small bugs & beasties know where to settle? How do they know how to find the tender, young rocket? I am selfish, & do not wish to share with them...

Red Dirt Girl, Emmy Lou Harris.

Tuesday, September 22

The Black Dog Seeks a Rest Nest...

The wretched Black Dog has called again.
In fact, it is romping around 'the garden of my life' to quote my Beloved Brother. It is peeing on things it has no business to know about. Indiscriminately p!$$ing!
Promiscuously p!$$ing in fact!!

It appears, too, to be making a temple 'Nest' in my garden.

I have been in this pit before. I should know the secret code to get out...


It has it's extremely Black snout, inserted in every-day smallness.

It is debilitating. It is crippling...in fact, paralyzing!

The Black Dog does love a 'death' in my life. It would seem to feed upon the emotion. Should it hear of a 'death' 'passing' or even a 'Near death' it is sure to come running!! (what harmonic note, does it hear, I wonder??)It would seem to see a clear pathway to terrorise & 'monsterise' (which I am sure is not a word, but it is MY word, & I will use it!!) & reduce me to tears, a bed, preferably with covers to pull over the head. Or...better yet, oblivion, as in "I shall never walk this way again".

I know I should flick it off. Kick it's mangey butt right out the door of my yard. Yet, it slinks back inside.

GET the HELL OUT!! YOU STINKER!!

A PS here. I don't really think it IS a Black Dog.

I love dogs. I feel we do dogs an injustice naming such a debilitating condition a 'dog'. We need a new term, a term which would indicate all that is evil, & sapping, about this affliction.

My choice is the Black Chasm. This maligns no human, no animal, no insect, nor yet, any plant!
There might be 'Chasm' fans out there who object??
Come on, I need the laughs??
Hit me with your Best Shot!!


In the frantic search for Blackness 'oblivion' it is amazing what one can find...
http://ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html

Should Knitted Penises be your ultimate goal, seek no more...
http://ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com/2009/04/penis-parade-knit-dicks-by-marianne.html

And, just becuase....

Sunday, September 20

Time and Tides...

First of all, look what I got in the mail! I won this wonderful pattern, in an incredibly generous Giveaway, at The Red Boot Quilt Co!! Lucky me!!
Go and visit!
It seems it is a TIME for Toni. Congratulations on your magazine work too!!
Thankyou thankyou, Toni!! I love the pattern!




Tears for the death of this man, who was the dearly loved husband of my Cousin.

RIP, A. You made L a very loved, happy person.
********
Another loved Cousin, with her Dear Great Nephew O. He is such a bonnie wee chap. We all get pleasure in seeing him.
What do you suppose he is thinking, as he looks in amazement at this wonderful Puppet Bear?


His Grandmother is a Teacher, and she takes this Bear to school sometimes, to the fascination of her little pupils.
***********
Garden news is very slim. I have not made much more progress with my plantings.
SG is coming to visit today. He is very keen to see if the mushroom garden I bought has produced any mushrooms yet. He will be a little disappointed...





Thursday, September 17

Interviewing the Oranges.

In my curmudgeonly GOWness, I become enraged about strange things.

I see no reason to have thrust upon me, stupid interviews with talentless who the feck cares anyway sets of mammaries or muscles, of supposed talent.

I really don't care what some stupid bimbo is doing with her body or partners or what names she is inflicting on her kids. I dont care who is currently attempting to 'sing', or even 'act'. (Unless of course, it was the hopelessly flat & tuneless male, polluting the whole mall with his ghastly 'singing' of old Italian songs, such as Amore, Funicule funicula! (I apologise for the perhaps wrong spelling here.) His white hair appeared tinged with Ginger! Had he dyed it? Or is it some new fashion? I concluded they were attempting to drive what little custom they have left, out of this dying Mall.

Later I spoke to a woman who was 'delighted by the singing' & 'so thrilled when the singer kissed my cheek when I joined in'. Good grief, I had better hold my toungue, then!

It is true. It takes all sorts to make the world what it is.

You may notice I have updated my header with our lovely cream Clivea, which literally is a Free Treat, since a kind neighbour gave us the plant.


*************************
Here, for my entertainment, is,
Interview with the Oranges.

"Good morning Orange. I see you have an odd scar there? May I ask how you acquired that?"

"No, you may not. Well you may, but I won't be able to answer you. It happened when I was a very small fruit, hardly out of bud, really, so I have no real memory of it. Even if I did, I am sure I would wish the trauma to be forgotten, so I don't really appreciate your asking about it. Nor photographing the scar."


" Oh! I am sorry to hear you feel that way. I did not ask to offend in any way. I just thought it an interesting feature, & felt people might be interested in knowing the story behind the, er, the blemish."

Orange, snarling a little now, "There you go again. Why persist with something you know makes me uncomfortable? Do you have to take another picture? No wonder we hate being interviewed!"
Turning to the next in the bowl,
"Wait a minute! You are not an Orange are you? You are a lemon, pretending to be an Orange! Are you hoping for some of the spotlight to wash onto you?"
Lemon, a little huffily,
"I dont need reflected spotlight! I am glorious enough in my own right! I just stumbled in here by mistake! Don't you go accusing me of something I did not do! I am more than happy to be Lemon, & certainly do not wish to be an Orange!" Door slamming.
"Haha, that did not exactly go well did it? Now, where was I? Oh yes I was about to ask you, Orange, about your prominent & extremely noticeable navel?"

Seond Orange is outraged.
"There you go again, focusing on the completely useless and most negative aspects of us, as Oranges. How dare you spotlight such a personal matter?"
"Well, I really had no idea it was such a delicate point. I was just curious & thought the viewers or reader might be interested too. I can't help but notice, some of you have hardly noticeable navels. In fact you could be confused with other varieties of Orange? Grapefruit perhaps?"
Orange rearing up, appearing utterly outraged, ready to storm from the interview.
"Grapefruit? Grapefruit?!" Screams can be heard, then sobbing.
"Can't you see what a trauma it was to be separated from my mother? I mean, I still bear evidence of the wrench. Then you have the temerity to suggest I could be a Grapefruit?"
"I had no idea what a touchy subject this was. Do you have some sort of grudge against Grapefruit? They seem harmless to me."
"Everybody knows how damaging they can be for sufferers of high blood pressure! How dare you put us in the same category! Hmph, I dont wish to be interviewed further."
Dashes off.
Shuffle of papers. Frowning at the unfortunate turns the interview has taken.
Then suddenly, like a spot of sunshine, a very different Orange appears.

A positive showoff of an Orange. Flashing & turning to pose.
Flaunting the bright stripe!
"Aha, I see we have a definite *Star* of an Orange here?
What a beautiful Stripe you have, so distinctive. Do you think this will be to your advantage in the search for Orange fame?"
"Well let's just say, it can't hurt, can it. I mean obviously, I was born for stardom. I don't wish to seem immodest or appear boastful, but honestly, have you ever seen another Orange quite like me?"
Turns a little, the better to catch the light.
"Well, I must say you are certainly very attractive. Very attractive. In fact I am tempted to eat you, to see if you taste any different from your peers.
I really want to say Thankyou for being so gracious. Your fellow Oranges did not seem to appreciate the spirit of this Interview!"
***********
The interviewer/GOW steps out to the garden to admire the new plantings of Lettuce & Rocket.
Notes how quickly beastly little insect has discovered tender rocket leaves!

This GOW has devised a cunning plan to foil the Garden Vandal.
If all the herbs, lettuces, vegetables etc, are planted in planters, surely the GV cannot use the excuse he thought they were weeds?
Since the GV has denuded the gardens of all vegetation, this has caused the largely clay-like soil to compact into something resembling brown concrete.
Concrete completely beyond Meggie's capacity to dig up.
Planters are being acquired. I got a beaut, large, terracotta pot for $5 at a garage sale. I have been thinking of using cardboard cartons as planters to put vegetables in. They should last the time needed to grow whatever, then they can just simply rot back into the garden once their purpose has been served.
Recycling & enriching the garden I hope!
Appearance does not matter, it is our sheltered back yard, & only we & friends would see the cartons. I can imagine SG's delight when he sees all the growing things! He is so in love with plants. Perhaps he will inherit his great Grandfather's love of gardening. It seems incredible to think that Gom's father was such a great gardener!



Now some fabulous Kiwi Music. Bows to Amanda!





Monday, September 14

Ghosts from the Peripheral....

Those glimpses of scenes past. The sudden recall of an emotion.

Mine haunt me. As terrors. As links. As gems, gifts of gold.
As ghosts.




Sitting in a Hospital bed, in a ward containing perhaps 20 beds. More like a Barracks really.
The patient in the next bed, happens be known to me. She is actually related in some mysterious and secret way, to my husband. One of those mysterious stories that no one is willing to share.
She is, perhaps, suffering from an emarrassing condition, which involves her Doctor asking her loudly, is she passing wind?
This, while the ambulatory patients are seated at a trestle table erected in the centre of the Barracks, to take their midday, or evening meal. His timing for visits is predictable!
The flimsy curtain is barely drawn between us, but I can see the glow of her bright red blush, and hear her squirms in the stiff bed linen.

The OCD affected -Very Odd Daughter-daughter comes to visit, with her long-suffering husband.
Having been told of my identity, they acknowledge my prescence and settle into the 'visit'.

I have limited movement, having broken ribs. I would prefer to get up and run.
I try to read, and pretend I am anywhere but here. I worry about my children.

"Listen to this Dear" says husband, who is reading the paper. "A wife has been diagnosed as being allergic to her husband, after she began vomitting violently every time he was near her."
"At least we haven't quite reached that point" says the Very Odd Daughter.

'Mother' is not amused. Blame has been heaped upon her head for her Daughter's Oddness. Unfairly, I believe, but then, she is rather Odd herself.. to me.

I discreetly ask the Sister on the ward next day, if one of us can be moved to another location in the Barracks. Or, better still, can I go home.

My Doctor arrives to give me most agonising cortisone injections, in full view of dining ambulatories. I snarl at him to have the decency to close the flimsy useless curtain.
"Oh!" he says, surprised. Snaps the curtain along.
I screech at him that I am sure those people do not wish to see, or hear, my pitiful cries of utter bloody agony distress whilst attempting to eat!

I beg to be allowed home. I am assured I am far too ill to go home, as my bed is moved to the center aisle of the Barracks. No such luxury as a flimsy curtain there!

I am informed I will be given further cortisone injections, seeing the first gave no relief.
I do some informing of my own, declaring there is no way in Hell I am having that done again!

Next day I am discharged. Far too ill, did not compute with no available beds.
Never mind. I survived.


A view I see every day. Almost like a secret path, from my perspective.
Except it is a very public path, not secret at all. Just my peep-hole like view give that impression.

In a patch of my life, when I was alone, in a strange City, not sure of my next move, I would often walk along the river which runs through that city.
I would watch the ducks, and smell the water running ever so slowly to the sea. The Autumn winds became chill, the huge leaves of the Maple trees cloaked the ground. A part of the river, close to sea was somewhat tidal, and would smell salty at low tide. Not quite unpleasant, but not really sweet, either.
I would later spend happy hours with a wonderful friend sitting watching the river, the strollers, the dogs. We would laugh together about things we noted. We had a favourite location, where the grassy river bank was wide, with many trees, and space for him to park his car.
Lots of people passed that way, and we had such fun, wondering about their lives.
He was one of the best friends I have ever had.
I still hear his voice, his laugh, at times, on the periphery of my audio/vision . I still cannot believe he is no longer on this earth.

It is true that some memories blur with time. It is also true that some remain sharp and clear.
I do sometimes wonder, if our memories of the ghosts which seem to remain clearest, are as they really were, or if the focus has altered to suit our preferred memories?
I am sure in my mind that the feelings, emotions, involved in those memories and ghosts remain sharp.






Friday, September 11

Fruit and Vegetables

Last week, I had occasion to take little SG, who is Small Grandson, to the bus stop early in the mornings. We had some time to spend, once his mother had gone, so we talked about school, and what he is currently doing.

He had a paper thing he called a Chatterbox. I have seen them before, we used to play with them at school, and later our children had them. You fold the paper certain ways to make the box. We mostly made them with colours and numbers and slightly rude/insults, things were always written under the final flap to lift.
I should have taken a photo of the one SG had, it was printed on paper, and the children had coloured the fruit & vegies. The final flap asked how many fruit or veg you could think of beginning with a letter of the alphabet.

The children are obviously being encouraged to learn all about healthy eating, & urged to eat more fruit & vegetables. I asked SG what his favourite vegetable is.

He stunned me by saying "Eggplant".
I know for a fact he has never eaten eggplant in his life! I asked why he chose that, & he replied he loved the colour. Fair enough I guess!
One of these days he might discover the joy of eating prawn stuffed eggplant, a Chinese dish that his mother, sister, & I adore!!

At the bus stop, standing in the morning sun, I looked at his little thin legs, so white, under his baggy pants. I took some photos, but they did not seem to record what I saw.

"Look Nanna! I am standing on your head!"

We had missed the bus, the morning before. My fault really, since we were discussing a class room full of sniffing little children, & how awful the teacher must find that! Bus roared past, so we had to belt up & tear around to the third bus stop. I swear the driver drove faster than normal!


Gom has been a kindly neighbour & mowed the lawn of our friend Mr NN, (Nice Neighbour)who has just had surgery to remove Gall stones.
Mrs NN sent me home a bunch of these lovely flowers. I think they are of the Protea family, but am not totally sure about that.

WARNING
A Sunday morning rant.
Sitting outside in the indecentunseasonal heat, enjoying peace and tranquility of mind....
ROARRRR, ZOOOM, RACKET RACKET RACKET. ZACKETTA HACKETTA RACKETTA.
I have moaned about this sad ruination of my peaceful Sunday before. Why do the neighbourhood inhabitants choose Sundays to mow, hack, whipper-snip & generally run motors of reeking petrol, or spray some hideous glue/paint/resinous substance, which we end up ingesting unwillingly & probably most unwisely???
Our son tells us Switzerland has the right idea. There is nothing of that sort allowed on a Sunday. I do not think it is because they are particularly pious. I think it is because they realise there is a need for some tranquil peace! One day a week seems not too much to ask.
Or perhaps I am wrong...




Sweet Child o Mine, Sheryl Crow





Wednesday, September 9

Looking for ...

More on this later. I wanted to post views from both ends of this. If I move it now, it will not 'embiggen' to use a blog term. which I happen to love, even though I am usually a stickler for what is 'right'
Curiously, there was a motorised invalid chair at the site, which is visible at the lower left of this pic. I wonder was it stolen? Left for it's owner to later claim?

There is a Bus stop beside this mural. There is also a Phone booth. There was a person of indeterminate sexuality making a phone call, when I was taking these pics. This person had a bicycle beside it, & was making a phone call within the booth... but using a mobile phone... life's mysteries treats continue....





Spring fever perhaps.


I seem to be looking for something.


No idea what, but I will know it when I find it.


Do you ever have days like that.




Will it rain again?








We have had some rain, which is always welcome. Even if we would prefer not to actually experience it!



Very good friends gave me this little pot plant as a gift. It is called a Goldfish plant. See the little orange blooms, they do resemble little goldfish, with open mouths. It likes to be misted, & has wonderfully glossy leaves, when it is not flowering.




Difficult to get a good closeup pic of the little flower.




I have spent a time today, treating myself to some photo taking, of things about the district which have caught my eye.


I also spent some time at the local Nursery, choosing some herbs to replace the Gommed plants. Hopefully, they will live to serve me well.


**********



For Quilting friends, have a look at Reeze's wonderful quilt, at Morning Glory Designs. She is giving us this quilt pattern, as a BOM, (For non quilters, BOM stands for Block of Month) & I love it's very bright colours, with the wonderful instructions.


Reeze is having a lovely giveaway too, of a delightful pattern for a table runner. Visit, & be in the running to win. Plus, I am sure you will fall in love with her crisp, bright, designs.


**********
For some time now, I have looked at this amazing tree, with it's apparently twisted trunk! Every time I pass it, I feel it has grown with a little twist every so often, for some mysterious reason.


The wonderul plant at the base is a Grevillea, which is in full flower at present. I have long wanted to stop to photograph this lovely tree, & so today, I made it a mission.


While out there, seeking, I finally got to take a photograph of this wonderful mural, which has been done on a wall at some local shops.


I think it is excellent. It is in an area which is not known for it's 'well behaved' citizens. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am constantly amazed it has not been defaced.




Another view of the Twisted One. I should have gone further back, to capture more of the top of the tree. Perhaps on another day...




Wednesday, September 2

Agreeing to Disagree.

There are many things in this world, about which Gom and I agree to disagree.

One of the current disagreements, is whether or not politician's bedroom lives concern any of us.
Surely it is none of the general public's business what, or who a politician decides to bed. well, perhaps 'what' might be a bit of a worry

A Politician has just publicly 'fallen on his sword' to use an unfortunate euphemism perhaps, to declare his resignation before all & sundry. The cause is an extra marital affair. This, he has admitted also, terming it a 'wrong personal choice'.

I am sure his wife ~who has made some 'wrong personal choices' in her very public political life, ~has been wounded by the whole affair.

My view is, it is nothing to do with his performance in his political capacity. As to his performance in any other capacity, well, I could not care less.
Of course the salacious details are being drip fed to the public, via the ever greedy media.


No doubt they will say they are performing a public duty to our benefit. The other half of the wrong personal choice, blew the whistle to the media, claiming she feels a fool, and can now not understand why she was ever 'fooled' by the Politician. I say it takes two to tango, and I also say, if she feels such a fool why is she gouging and stabbing cruelly, at this man's reputation, now that it is exposed, at her deliberate revelation, to media.

Some fatuous media twat twit asked the man in question if he thought he had been 'set up?" WTF?? I am sure no one but himself could have placed his member where it should not have been?

I felt a measure of pity for the man, standing with his head held high, admitting his dismal choices. I still say however, it is not a matter for resignation. Last time I looked it was not illegal to commit adultery. Foolish maybe, but not illegal!

I felt a measure of pity for the 'duped' woman, but feel she should not be claiming to have been misled or whatever her excuse is, for laying herself open to the 'wrong choice.' She was well aware he was married.
She is claiming she feels so stupid, she wants to remain anonymous.

I would like to take a wild guess, as to how long she will actually remain anon.
How long it will be before she is 'persuaded' by some media hound, that it is her 'duty' to reveal herself. She is obviously proud of herself on some level. Why else cause such a ruckus.

I detest hypocritical protestations about actions of Politicians when caught with their clay appendages hanging out! I am sure 60% of all people wish they could do the same.

As our son is apt to say, "People are no damn good!"

OK ranting suit off.
****************************


Goodness me! What do we have here?

This is a Pork Pot Pie which I make from time to time. I often use mashed potato for the top, if I can find the instant mash in the pantry.

The following is the recipe if anyone is interested.
2 TBSP Olive Oil
500 grm minced pork- or any other meat of your choice I guess.
2 leeks sliced.
2 cloves of crushed garlic
4 sprigs of thyme~ this is not possible if the Garden Vandal has killed said thyme.
1 large parsnip chopped finely ~ this is so Goms dont recognize it as parsnip!
1TBSP of flour
1 3/4 cups of chicken stock or whatever the hell type of stock you prefer.
A generous slurp of Dark Soya Sauce, - I like the one with Mushroom.
Preheat oven to 200c.
Heat oil in large pan.
Add leeks garlic thyme & mince & cook for 5 minutes stirring to break up the minced meat, until browned.
Add flour & cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add stock stirring well until thickened.
Add the soy sauce, it is optional.

Spoon mix into pots or dishes, or if you dont have individual dishes, just plop it into a dish to fit.
Either mix up real or instant mashed potatoes to cover the tops/ top.
Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
I use pastry if I am feeling lazy. Either way, Gom loves this meal, & served with some green salad with tomatoes it makes a nice change.
I try to make some to freeze, but they never make it to the freezer.

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

Minding my own business, poking about in my garden, taking random pics, to pad out the blog.



I find these Strelitzia very mysterious. The purple mixed with the orange, & tinge of blue make a lovely combination for quilting.


On I go, around to the front, where a very sad, miserable little Azalea struggles to survive the horrible stoney clay ground.

It is attacked by the lace beetle thingy that get Azaleas. I am always amazed when it manages to produce some flowers.


More Bird of Paradise. Exotic is how I see them.


As I venture out onto the verge just off our actual property, I am accosted.
Well perhaps accosted in not the right word.
I am approached by a strange little female holding some rather mashed looking Jasmine flower vine.
'Excuse me. Could I ask you something?'
I feel my hackles rising, my warning radar begins to buzz.
'This is not GOD is it?'
'Why yes, it is!'
Why do these people feel the need to try to inflict their beliefs upon me! GRRR.

This is NOT god!
I suppose if you need a god or feel there is a god, a flower is as good a place to seek or find it.

My quiet commune with my pitifully few flowers was quite spoilt.
I retreated inside feeling very disgruntled.
'What's wrong?' says Gom stretched out on the sunlounger.
'Godsquadder' says M.
'Ahh'. It is one of the things we do agree about!
**

I would just add, I do not wish to offend any of my friends who do 'believe'. It is just that I dont, nor do I wish to, but nor do I wish to interfere with their beliefs, or try to convince them of my thoughts.


****


Has anyone else noticed how the blog search thingy does not work anymore? I have been trying to locate a recipe I posted, and it just wont play nice with me!