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Monday, 19 June 2017

So Lucky.

Lovely weather, lovely family, lovely friends.  It was that kind of weekend.

Saturday schedules at the brigade involved a bit of this: 

Then we came home and set ourselves up with lots of this:

How I love a nice stack of dry firewood!  Some of that is gnarly bits that wouldn't split, now cut up with the chainsaw.  While Andrew was doing that. I was adding to these:

The tarped one is being kept dry ready for our druidy rowdy yule.  Our wickerman will go up on top if we can work out how to get him up there.  The other bonfire is waiting a few more weeks for some friends to come visiting.  Winter up here is amazing, and even better when you are sitting around a bonfire with warm soup and friendly chat.

We have an awful lot of lucerne trees that have fallen over this year or otherwise turned up their toes and it makes nasty firewood inside, so on the bonfire it goes.

Saturday night we went to Gogs and Thor's house and played Exploding kitten and Cards Against Humanity.   Exploding Kitten is my favorite of the two. I like the whimsy of it.  My fave card of the night:

No definitely not a version for kids, though I hear there is one!

I started my bro-in-law's afghan, too.  Again.  Yes it know, the original centre squares were all multi-brown but I decided to frog it and start again.  I like this better. 

Sunday I took my books along to a local gift store and am very happy that the owner decided to stock them, all of them!  However, first I want to update the spines on the cover so that my earliest works match my more recent ones.  There are, I think, five that need work.  So, my website design goes on hold while I do that and get the books ordered and on the way.  It will be a good first step to getting some more local recognition.

It's easy to see which ones need an update.  They're the boring ones!  I won't be able to get them quite as eyecatching, because my more recent ones have had the design go right across the cover, but I can at least make the font more interesting.

"Dog Slobber" isn't there.  I lent my proof copy to the store owner to read, because it was the one that caught her eye first.  I'm sure she'll enjoy it!

Today my youngest niece, Niamh, and I had fun playing ukulele together and writing a song, once more hunting out the patches of sun that we could find here on our shady land, laughing and chatting and singing while chooks scratched around our feet and the two Labradors kept watch.  It's lovely to have the energy these days to be able to help foster creativity in the next generation.   A truly Druidy thing to be doing!    



Friday, 16 June 2017

Beanies All Round!

It's the year of the beanie around here.

Nearly everyone's getting one whether they asked for one or not.  

Left to right, those are mum's, Jenny's and Uncle Greg's beanies.  Apparently Greggy has barely taken his off since he got it, but I think mum thinks hers is a bit too "Where's Wally". :D

Jen loves her though.

It really brings out her beautiful blue eyes.  (And just happens to match her gorgeous new jacket.)

And I finished the matching pointy beanie for Andrew's work mate Gary.  He tells me he loves it too.  They'll have to make them part of the uniform.   

 As for me, this is my new head gear for part of the day at the moment.  Just during screaming preschooler time at the school across the road. I'm told that parents know the difference but I'm not a parent, or perhaps it is the exact correct distance for all screams to sound the same, but in either case, it goes right to my lizard brain. With my chainsaw ear guards on, I go from nails-on-a-blackboard twitchy to sleepy-peaceful in a few minutes.  Ahhhh!

Obviously if I worked out of the home I would not be here to be bothered. Everything in this life is a mixed blessing.  These are better than drowning out the noise with more noise.  Quiet head space is important.

Cripes, think it is time to tidy my workspace!  I'm lucky I'm one of those creatives who works best in a mess!

And then there is always the peacefulness of our daily walks in the forest.  As you can see, winter is darkening the woods now.

May the weekend bring you quiet times and forest bathing and all good things.           


Monday, 12 June 2017

Pony time

I had pony time on the weekend with my fave little dude, Jerry (also known as Pegasus to himself.)

He is so woolly ready for winter, though the actual depth of his coat is only possible to understand if you feel under there.

As Andyroo and I would say, "Woolly!"  I don't know, where do couples get these silly shared sayings?  :D

This week I am practicing being Exuberant, even on my fridge!

I came across this quote in my journal from Dr Estes' book, "Women Who Run With the Wolves. "

It goes so closely with things my sis and I are reading and listening to recently, and have discussed, about how you need space to be yourself, to find your creative spark, to truly rest.  Social media and mobile phones are stealing that space away from us.  They aren't all bad, of course, but you need to be strong enough to limit yourself.

May you find the strength this week to give yourself space.

Or, if you really can't get away, that you at least find time to switch off the electronica, to get under a ruggie or into a blanket fort, and snuggle until you are all better.  


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Smoky Skies, Good Dogs and Chocolate Ripple.

The sky to the east the other night. 

The sky to the west at the same time.

 Why we are getting so much colour in our dawns and sunsets just now.

A lot of hazard reduction burning going on because we have still not had any rain so conditions are perfect.  This was ours on Tuesday.  That's Pierre out there, also known to me as Thor, even when he isn't looking as mythical as that.

Some amazing sights of smoke with the sun filtering through.

I got these while standing on a private property with a Light Tanker, making sure I was ready to put out any ember that hopped the fence and tried to set those pine trees alight.  There wasn't a single one though. It was all very controlled, as it should be.   Ben is in there somewhere.

A nice 'cool' fire.  Not too many small beasties hurt and certainly none of the big animals, birds or trees will mind this sort of burn.

After I left the fireground, I popped round to let our Lt's dog, Harley, out for a wee and give him his lunch.  We walked up their block and had a sit at the top.  Harley is such a nice person, despite his hard start to life.

Is there anything better than sitting admiring a vista with a good dog leaning against you?  I think not!

Niamh's afghan is finished!  All ends woven in and washed soft, all ready to go to its new owner.

And the new one is begun.  I still haven't worked out how best to get the shape and the pattern I want, but I do know that this variegated brown and cream yarn makes me keep craving chocolate ripple ice-cream, or maybe vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce mixed through, a variation of what, in my family, we call Secret Food of the Gumbas.  We get that from my Uncle Greggie, who used to bug my mum with mixing his food to make Secret Food of the Gumbas when he was little.    Yum yum!  Chocolatey good!  


Monday, 5 June 2017

Winter, but...

It is winter, but is is still so warm.  Still dry enough to do burns, on a good day.  These pics were taken by Dave from the brigade.   

Jen and Rob

Ken and Andrew

The guardian of the 1.4

In the end, the burn was all prepared for and then too damp to light, so we are going back to do it tomorrow.

Oh well, it was nice out there in the forest.

Jen took this one

With a cheerful crew.

I did pike out a bit and spend much of my time in the 1.4, guarding it and doing the radio comms.  There were a lot of us and I was worried about leaving the appliances unsupervised with all the weekend warriors hooning around in the bush out there.  Must admit, at times in recent weeks, I have felt very tired and ill all of a sudden, then good then tired again.  Not sure what is up there.  My iron is getting low again, dammit, after my lovely iron infusion last December, but it also could be the Helminths getting settled.  Hope it buggers off soon.  It feels awful. Glad it come and goes!   

On Saturday Arvo, we had a birthday do for Uncle Greggy.  He got given his new beanie and wore it at once.  Warm it may be for us, but it is cold compared to down on 'the flats'.

My darling sis and gorgeous oldest niece.

We had fun playing 'exploding kitten' with some Firey mates on Saturday night.  It's a card game.  Don't worry, no kittens were hurt!  It's a fun game but not in any way child safe, though I believe we were playing the adult version and there is a kid one too.

Yesterday I was pretty quiet (even had three naps!) and today has been a Monday holiday.  Jen and I walked our dogs together early then had a cuppa back at her place.  Her two dogs are now firm friends.

Little Pippa, on the right there, is so snuggly.  She always likes to be touching someone, even if it is Kelly.

This evening I got in some lyre time down in the paddock.

The chookies came down too.

While Mr Fitty Kitty continued his afternoon love affair with the bed.

Wise Mr kitty.         

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Cafes, Community and Crocheting

Well, here I sit after a couple of recent AGMS,  the new Resources Coordinator for the Mundaring Fire school, and also the Uniform and Amenities officer for the Darling Range Brigade too.  I like looking after people and I'm good at it, so these roles suit me to a T.   I'm pleased to add these roles to my community service, though I am still a Firey at my original brigade.  I very much admire the work that both organisations do for locals and beyond, and this way, I'll get to meet and work with lots more lovely people.  Win-win all around!

I'm dying to show you the website as it is so far put together, but I will be patient and make sure i have all the bells and whistles working before I share it.  I'm working through a very useful tutorial on Youtube. Ahh, Youtube, what did we do to learn new skills before we had it?  Wear out the patience of our more cluey friends, that's what.  :D

I'm madly crocheting, but can't show you them all because they are gifties.  I can show you this one, though, because the recipient doesn't look at my blog.

Cafe crocheting today with a good friend.  Cuppa, cake, chat and crochet in the winter sun. How can you go wrong?

I met two lovely dogs this week.  Murphy the Mastiff cross was first. Such a sooky leaner. I love dogs who lean on you. Not so much when they are giants and stand on you.  :D

Second was at the cafe this morning, this dear little Welsh Springer teenager called Holly.  Argh, so many lovely breeds of dogs, so little lifetime left in which to own them all! 

Earlier this morning, when we walked up at the block, the Flying Jarrah was looking very happy with her little baby trees at her feet. This is the tree that was so angry and sick, and lonely for the trees that were cleared from her south and east sides many years ago.  I did her a soul retrieval and planted these especially for her.  She is so much happier now that she has her babies and knows how to journey for herself.       

The screened gazebo is put away for winter now, and this is the new lyre spot, under the old horse shelter to keep the chairs dry.

I like the aspect, but the dogs can now go and bark at passers by, so they stay a bit too alert, ready to run and bark at all the offenders.  Hmm.  Will have to think on how to stop that.  It's not peaceful for anybody!         

This was my gift from the Universe this week:  The biggest iridescently-bronzed Bronzewing feather I've ever found.  These coloured feathers only come from one patch on the birds' wings and I didn't even think they came this big.  Thanks for the lovely present, Universe!





Sunday, 28 May 2017

Naughty me!

I never did catch up on my last blog post.  Ah well, busy life means neglected blog!

We've had a bit of social whirl this past week. Andrew went back to work as a fire inspection officer for the shire today so we took our last opportunity for a while to be holiday people.  There was much cafe-going with friends and family, and there were also some brigade meetings and a going away party for one of Andrew's Firey work-mate friends.  Sorry, no pics of that one, I was too busy yakking.  What a great bunch of people!

We did another social event at our fire station on Saturday, inviting two other brigades to come along for brekky. It was good fun. I love it when we network.

Cheers! Great Pic by Dave Ramsay.
That's me bang in the middle wearing my blue Darling Range Brigade t-shirt and my black Sawyers Brigade jacket.  Torn allegiances!  The other Brigade that came along was Chidlow.  There was a lot of chat and much laughter.  Fireys are good people.       

Hi Phil the intrepid BBQer! 
That's my handsome bro-in-law Craig smiling there in the background.

We also did some interesting walks, including another one in a local reserve that is new to us.   It was a very drizzly day, and the water on the young she-oak trees along the trail made for a very pretty walk.

Once more we ended up going a lot further than we had meant to, and once more the sight of the car at last was very welcome.

Yay!  Time to rest my feets!

I finished Niamh's afghan, apart from all the weaving in.  Gawd the colours here are so off compared to the real thing. That yellow is actually a greenish teal, the pink is actually almost white, and there is no purple in it!

Full pic of the finished result soon.  I've also finished a beanie as a gift for someone and was a tad excited about it, because it is super cute, but I can't show you yet.  Oh and Andrew's pointy beanie is so much admired that people keep asking me to make them one, including a complete stranger we met in a shopping centre.  I have no idea why it is so much more noticeable than his old brown and cream one, but apparently now it is in bright colours it is desirable and eye-catching!  Well, it is pretty noticeable.  :D

Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't write up the pattern as I went.

Doopy the car is sporting a sticker showing my allegiance to a certain "Mr Wednesday with the one eye" as I heard him referred to the other day.

I had to buy some new t-shirts and got the sticker at the same time.  I do enjoy a t-shirt with interesting, relevant designs on it.  I hate wearing anything like logos for companies or other meaningless designs.  I love these two, though!

Mr Wednesday again!

Tuppy for sure!

As you can see, I'm trying to brighten up my clothing a bit. It's too easy around here to wear black all the time because of all the dirt, but that's no reason I can't wear something a bit more colourful to go out into the world.    

The native life around here has been going full throttle.  Almost the whole property looks like this at the moment thanks to bandicoots (quendas) digging for insects (loosening more dirt to somehow end up on my clothes!)

And this baby brush-tail possum was seen making for safety up the Illawarra flame tree when we came home from a meeting:
You can't see me. Really you can't.
They are so sweet to look at, but the screeching noises they make while territorial arguments are going on are truly horrific!

This week will be holding a lot of garden work for me, since there are many areas of the block here that need tidying up.  (I'll try to ignore that the block up the road needs even more work.)

I'll also be learning how to use the divi theme I have bought to help me make a whizz-bang Author platform website.  Wish me luck!  Andrew gave me a lesson on how the internetz works, on Friday, and bits of it his diagram that I really didn't need to overflow my brain with just had brackets with the word "magic" written in them.  That made perfect sense to me!  :D  Actually it is all magic even when you know more.  Humans can be so clever.

I twiddled about with the idea of a site icon//navicon over the weekend and came up with this little drawing of Bu, the dog from the Norse world tales.   She'll need some tweaking to make the design perfect for the job, but I love her. She is perky and brave, just like my characters, human and animal, so often are.

Have a good week!  See you on Friday!