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Sunday, 30 April 2017

"Message of the Trees" on Anglo-Saxon Lyre/Harp.

Yep, I've been at it again. I wrote this one.  Trees have shared some very good wisdom with me.  I hope you like it.

I know that to some this might seem a bit bonkers, but all I can say is that if you sit with a tree, and let your mind go oh so quiet, you might just find that they can talk to you too.

I don't know how it is possible. My feeling is that perhaps it is via a connection you both have to the Great Whatever that allows your differences of being to be passed by and a pure soul connection to be made.  At any rate, it works, and plenty of people other than me have done it too.  It is so peaceful, and they are in general very wise beings.  I guess standing around observing and thinking and not running like a loon everywhere might have something to do with that.


Friday, 28 April 2017

New Beginnings and Other Stuff

I resigned as Equipment Officer for my Brigade this week.  It is affecting my health.  It is not the fires or caring for the station and vehicles, though you would expect it to be those.  No, it is the bloody meetings!  Jeezuz!

This is the card I got from our darling 1st Lieutenant. So nice to know I am appreciated.   

A fellow dog lover, as you can see.  :D  The crochet reference is because I crochet during the meetings, which he says rather reminds him of the ladies who would knit while sitting in the front row audience of the guillotine during the French Revolution.  Sometimes, the meetings feel almost as deadly!  Crocheting gives my fingers something to do when I get upset and makes the long pointless hours of conflict seem to be more useful.  Seemed.  Ha!  No longer!      

I'll still be going to fires and a member of the brigade, but as a non-officer I don't have to go to meetings, and I am having a rest from doing their social media too.  I would not say I regret the last two years, because it has taught me so much, given me wonderful new friends, and shown me new aspects of my own courage and ability, so it is all good.  Change is good too, as is letting go of that which is not serving your best interests.       

With my mind and time not taken up with brigade matters and stresses, hopefully I can find mental space to start writing the next novel. Novel number 12!  Who'da thunk it!  Next will be a sequel to Chicken Soup for Satan.  I think.  Am rather tempted to write another Freya novel, since I have so much fun writing her stories and I think I need some light writing, because Land of Giants took it out of me a lot.  I put so much into that book and it shows, but it was hard too.  We'll see.  I would love to be back in the world of Satan Smith and his lovely dog, Ghost, too.  I've missed them, especially Ghost.  The characters of my books, especially the animal ones, become so real to me because when I write them I can really see them and know their moods and likes and dislikes and funny ways, and miss their presence just as if they were one of my own pets.  Sometimes I want to own a White Shepherd just so I can have Ghost with me again, but of course she or he wouldn't be him anyway.  I'll just have to write him another story.    

My sister PJ's photo of the original art on her wall, together with the print book.

Let's see, what else?  My chookies made me giggle a lot this week when they discovered our pile of jarrah sawdust and took to dismantling it with great gusto.

Nobody knows how to enjoy life like a chicken!  Please ignore Nanny Ogg's vulture-like appearance.  She is currently molting, apparently only on her head and neck!  It is growing back in fairly quickly, thank goodness.  She was genuinely bald at first, with nothing but grey pins all over her head and neck.  Yikes!

Niamh's afghan is still growing and getting close to finished. Not sure how many more rows,  Perhaps six or seven, but the rows take quite a while to get around now.  There is something so cosy about snuggling under something you are still making.

This has been my view a lot this week.   I took four pics to take in all of the the tree, and google made them into a panorama for me.  

My tummy has been a lot better but i haven't felt up to much work around the place yet.  What I have been able to do is drag a chair around the autumnal driveway, following the sunny spots and playing my lyre.  This is the Singing Jarrah who lives right by our cottage.  I have been practicing my tree song ready to record it, and this tree loves me to sing and play near it, in fact it enjoys being near all of our daily interactions. I hadn't expected that when I went to talk to it.  Most trees are very communal and interested in other living beings and even humans, especially trees who live in close proximity to us.  As you can see, this one is very close to the cottage indeed!

What else?  Oh yes, I said I'd show you an 'after' shot of the tv/bookshelf area.  This is it now.  Much neater, and now we can get to the books behind by just rolling the cabinet out.  

Not the most spectacular sunset for colour, but it was so very gentle and pretty and hopeful. 

As the sun sets on one thing, it rises on another.  I have plans for new ways to be useful to my community.  More on that soon. 




Monday, 24 April 2017

Is That a...

We were having a morning tea picnic down in the paddock and what did we see down there but...

Is that a...  chicken?  All the way over there?  Yes!  It's naughty Spotty, who has been making a lot of morning forays into the world before I have let them out for the afternoon.  She is really getting cheeky being this far away from the pen, though, and I rarely see them risk hawks or eagles by coming out into the open like this.

Thinks she'd decided discretion was the better choice too, because soon after I took this pic she was making a beeline for home.   Heh heh, those three youngsters can run.  :D

The Virginia Creeper took its time deciding it was Autumn this year,  but has now gone red in only a couple of days.   Ahhh, I will never tire of seeing this.

There has been quite a lot of this going on:

The weather continues to be lovely.  We have had some absolutely beautiful clouds, with thunderstorms around, but none making it here to rain directly over us. I love how these big thunderheads seem grow and roil upwards.

Google keeps sending me these animations. Sometimes they are so funny!

As usual, I was taking lots of pics trying to capture both dogs looking gorgeous at once.  Actually Rosie is blinking in this one but it does kind of look like she is smiling and being goofy, while Tuppy is her usual alert self.

I had some Shaman healing done for me yesterday and some nasties got removed along with some other work being done.  Hopefully I will begin to perk up soon. Feel better already and had such a lovely calm evening last night.  After a lot of night-time anxiety lately, it is a gift beyond price.  Thanks Frances! 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

I Love Autumn!

The days have been perfect here.  25 to 27C each day.  Cool nights for sleeping, no need for an inside fire and no need to hunt out shade by day.  The trees are breathing sighs of relief that summer is over.  I heard a gardening lady on the radio describe what the plants endure here in summer as being like running a marathon.  I can well believe it!

The birds seem very active too. Both the Red- and White-tailed Cockies are in town.  We had both flying by us yesterday evening as we sat in the paddock to watch the sun set, with their different calls ringing into the darkening sky.  These Red-Tails were sitting in the tree right outside our door the night before.  See if you can catch a flash of spreading red tail as they fly away.

Noisy buggers, aren't they!  I love them though!

This week we had a good time doing a Burnover Drill demo for the local Communications Brigade that Andrew is also a member of.  Well, actually I am now a member too.  I joined up so I can be uniform officer for them.  I like doing that for Sawyers, so why not do it for both?  Next year I won't be Equipment Officer for the fire brigade, but I will retain the uniform part of the job as long as the new EO is happy with that. 

The Comms Brigade runs the Incident Control Vehicle at large fires. It is a new lot of learning for me, but the people are lovely and I'll be able to do this job long after I can't drag my carcase around a fireground any more.     

The demo went really well thanks to Jenny, Angus and Andy.  I was supposed to be a part of it but am still not well enough.  Stupid stomach, you are ruining my life!  Ah well, I got to take photos instead.  I like this shot of Andy, with Angus signalling the approaching imaginary fire and beginning of the burnover drill, and Jenny womanning the pump. 

I was very proud of how well Andrew talked the demo through, and of course of how handsome he is.

A little lovely thing that happened was one of the Comms Brigade ladies said to me, "Andrew is such a lovely man isn't he!" and I said, "Yes," and jokingly added, "And I still think that even though we've married twenty years," and she said, "Oh!  I hadn't realised you two were together."  :D

I love this pic of Jenny, because it shows her as I see her; strong, brave, gorgeous, and with a twinkle in her eye.

Cooler weather makes this stage of Niamh's afghan very pleasant to snuggle down under after dinner.

And kitty has been doing his usual trick of enjoying lying on new things.

From piles of inviting crocheted afghan...

To what doesn't look like comfortable bedding at all, like Andrew's stiff and smelly new Firey pants that I was halfway through rehemming.

Hey Mr Fitty Kitty, can't you go find somewhere else to lie down?

No of course you can't.  Not until you are good and ready.  What was I thinking?  I'll go find something else to do...



Monday, 17 April 2017


I'm sick again.  Not moving fast enough on lowering my stresses to suit my stomach, I guess.  There is a thing called Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome.  Think that might be what I have, and am currently unfortunately in a cycle.  That or the Porphyria acting in a new ways.  Or the multiple chemical sensitivity.  Maybe it's all the same thing.  Whatever it is, I lost the will to live some time late on Saturday night, but my usual resilience is working hard to spring me back.  I'm improving but not feeling very bloggy today.

I've still found a little energy for music, mostly very low key practicing of my new Anglo-Saxon Harp song about the messages of the trees.  It's coming along really well.

Oh yes it is!  Or the right notes in the case of the lyre!   Thank goddess for music!   

I've also used some of my down time to get further onto that final proof-read on the print copy of Land of Giants.  I know that my covers aren't very in vogue, what with all the blended photo-shopped images they use currently, but oh how I do love this cover.   It is such a joy to pick up. The swirling blues of it delight my eyes. 

What doesn't delight my eyes is all these folded corners.

Yep, every one of those is a typoe, at least one.  All I can say is, never do a proof-read when you have just had an operation!  Can't believe what I missed!  Yikes!

Ah well, there is a reason why I like to do my final proof-read on a printed copy; you can definitely see more in print.  It just usually isn't this scary!

Speaking of scary, I was worried that our local bees in the big Marri tree might move out when the smoke from our burn blew across their hive.  It got pretty smoky at times! 

Great pic by Phil.  Thanks Phil! 
Luckily they seem fine.

Can you see the yellow combs in the black area high up in the tree?  I could see bees flying in and out, but had to blow up the pic to see the bees en mass, still gathering at the base of the exposed combs.

There are so many!  Wonder if they are planning a swarm soon?  Seems very late in the summer for it, but the season has been so odd.  Rain and cooler temps have allowed many spring plants to flower again in autumn, so perhaps it is a very flush year for them.  Good luck on your journey if so, you brave bees!

At least here in Oz, winter is a good time for feeding because of all the Wattles and such that flower then.  They won't do badly as long as they can find good shelter.  Still can't believe that this hive has done so well exposed on the outside of the branch like that.




Friday, 14 April 2017

A Varied Week of Interestingness.

I enjoy weeks like this.  There was lots of variety.

There was an artist's date with myself to the lovely garden of Kinfolk Cafe to begin writing the song I want to add to my OBOD Ovate Review.  It really does help to get into a creative space if you take yourself somewhere away from the usual distractions.

I came away feeling peaceful, with the bones of my song already written.  The lovely piece of GF chocolate cake was an added bonus!

We began making a Wickerman (lucerne tree man?) ready for the Druidy midwinter bonfire we are having this year.  It is our first go at such a thing, so we aren't being too ambitious. Those things can get really big, but ours is only a bit taller than Andrew.  By midwinter he should be all nice and dry and crackly, ready to burn.

I did a bit more work on him today and when I looked at this photo I took, his face looks a bit scary now!  Yikes!

We took our brigade up to our block to do some hazard reduction burning on Wednesday, just under an area of ghosty gums that drop masses of leaves, bark and twigs. It needed it.  The cover was a bit thick so the fire burned pretty hot at times.  You can see the area to be burned here in this pic showing Andrew teaching Ziana how to use the 'firebug'.

The fuel load was so thick that we even got a mini fire tornado on this spot!

 But it was soon all burned and carefully blacked out by our friends.  Thanks guys!

I like this pic of Jenny through the smoke and flames.

And I love this pic that Michelle got of Jen and I.

Heh heh.  Yellow Vader!

Midweek, just as the sun was about to go behind the trees, we took a blankie down to the paddock and had an impromptu picnic.  Here is Rosie enjoying some popcorn on a 'one for me one for you' basis.      

Today was Good Friday, a public holiday here.  We had a jolly lunch at mum's.

It was lovely to see my niece, Teelah, having a bit of fun with Shannon with matching dyed red hair!  You have to have a bit of fun, don't you, and it is always good to see a young fella who can relax enough to let his hair down, so to speak.  :D      

Then, when Jen's family got home, they found this little guy, Ollie, down with colic, so it was all hands on deck to keep him up and moving until the vet got there.  Here he is happily full of pain killers and acting like he is all better.  Hopefully he'll be fine now.  I must say, the worry of colic is one of things I really don't miss now I don't have horses.

Fingers crossed for little Ollie!         


Sunday, 9 April 2017

A Firey Sort of Week

We had a fire to go to this week, and some fun Firey training on the weekend too.

The fire was far out in the forest, deliberately lit, in an area of pine plantation tucked into natural bush.  By the time we arrived the fire was mainly contained by the local parks guys, and we were put to blacking out one edge.  Blacking out means getting everything back to black and wet, with no smouldering left, for at least 30 metres in from the edge.  This hopefully stops any flare ups from traveling sparks later on when you have all gone home.  In bad fire conditions this might be extended to 100 metres or more, but since it is autumn, the Incident Controller felt pretty safe to keep it to 30 metres.

Blacking out can be a grotty, slogging sort of job, but with the right team it can also be fun.  We had a good team.

It was quite an unreal scene as the sun went down.  Beauty from destruction.

This one came out especially arty!

There were no hydrants out there, so we had to make trips to a nearby dam to refill our tanks, which gave us a bit of a break and a chance to see how the rest of the fire was behaving and being dealt with.

It was a good fire, if such can ever be said to be good. It was soon under control, there wasn't much damage to real bush or animals, and we were finished and home again inside five hours.  We even got fed a nice dinner!  We'd have been home even sooner if we hadn't got lost in the bush on the way home in the dark.  Never trust a GPS on bush tracks would be my advice.  It kept trying to turn us up tiny tracks that the 1.4 might have got stuck on!    

Having missed early turnouts in what was a very mild fire season, I was glad to get a bit of practice back under my belt.

Training helps to keep you in practice though. We had a good session on Saturday with hooking up the vehicles together using different water delivery methods.  We got bloody good pressure using suction on both vehicles!  Blimey!

That's sister Jen and I.  Doing stuff with Jen is always fun.  She is so enthusiastic.   :D

On Sunday I slowed the pace a bit and went over to Jen's to give old Jerry a bit of pampering while she rode her boy, Fionn.  Jerry loves attention.  I even found his rhythm beads and put them on to dress him up a bit.  As an old pony club pony, Jerry is very used to wearing bling and costumes and he reckons any fussing is his just due.   There were plenty of pieces of carrot too, of course!

At just shy of 28, he is looking fantastic thanks to Jen and her family's good care.   He still thinks he is Pegasus, bless him.  

He is a dear old boy and we are still fond of each other after him living here with me as company for Archie for a while a few years back.  

Speaking of which look, at Archie!  He was always meant to be trick pony.  I definitely sold him to the right home!

He will be in his first demonstration soon.  I can't go to that one because I am at a course for the brigade, but hope to get out to see him do his thing one of these days.