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Monday, 28 August 2017

I Had a Pony Ride

My first ride in five years!  It was lovely too.  Mahlee has always reminded me of my own Sherry.  She is small, pretty, part Arabian, very opinionated and a little hot.

She's a little over 14hh.  A year ago I wouldn't have even considered riding her, but all the stomach trouble has shrunk me down to where Jen and I felt it would be ok for her, though I wouldn't want to ride her every day.

Mahlee's pretty carrot face!

Sis and I went straight out for a bush ride.  Golly I look like a sack of potatoes there in my baggy jumper (everything i own is currently baggy, and my old jodphurs fell right off so I wore jeans.)  Actually I felt pretty good, like I'd never been away from riding, and Mahlee was happy so that's what matters. We enjoyed each other, I think.  I certainly knew how she was thinking, and for a first ride together we were pretty sympatico.   

Jenny says this next pic makes her happy. It certainly made me happy to have that priceless view through a good pair of horse ears once more!  Jen's boy, Fionn, is a lot taller than Mahlee, as you can tell from the photos!  

Jen says she's very used to seeing this view of me riding in front of her on a hot pony, so it was like old times.

We were out for a couple of hours, and although my butt bones are a bit sore, I pulled up pretty well.  It was definitely worth it!

Not sure how much riding is in my future, but I won't be saying goodbye to it forever just yet, that's for sure!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Sunshine at Last!

Woohoo and likewise yay!  Sun!

Plenty of time for this:

Plenty of warm spots for the chooks to do this:

Nothing looks much more contented than a bunch of chooks having a sunbake.  I love how they all cluster up to the first one who flops down, and throw themselves down as well.  A mass sunbake event doesn't last long, as they tend to be up and moving about pretty quickly, but they do love them.

I've started writing again in earnest now, and thanks to Andrew's technical help, I am now mobile with my writing.  Yesterday and today I took an ipad and keyboard down the block and wrote outside.  Lovely!   Got my word count in no time, and with good company too!

See the chooks in that second one?  They like it if I go down there, because they feel safer being out in the big paddock with me around. Not sure what I could do to thwart an eagle or hawk attack but anyway, if they feel happy that is all that matters.

A lot of our natives are flowering well now.  The Wavy-Leafed Hakeas:

The net bush.  To me their flowers look like tiny constellations:

  And the Bastard Bush (also known as Variegated-Leafed Hakea):

I've finished my chicken tea cosy for a good friend who also loves chooks.

And I've had two truck lessons in the 2.4 firetruck.  They were fun in a challenging kind of way.  Now if only I can remember to get a photo!

I did remember to get a photo of Rosie with her one broken bottom canine. I took these pics yesterday.  

The vet says the broken tooth is ok to stay in, luckily.  No need for an operation to remove it.  
But then, this morning, she was grinning up at me again, waiting to go for our walk, and bugger me if she hasn't broken off the other canine bottom tooth almost exactly the same way!  What the hell is she doing?  It can only be bones, or from messing around mousing in the chook pen.  She hasn't had her own bone in a while, but she did pinch one of Tess and Angus's yesterday.  Poor old snaggle-tooth dog!  She's only nine.  She won't have any teeth left at all if she keeps this up!

This pic gave me a giggle.  Phone used slow shutter speed because it was dark, she turned her head, and I ended up with a spooky eye!

Yikes!  :D

Still not great pics, but so cute. "Can we please have our walk now?"

"Please please please?"

I wonder how much I would walk if I didn't have dogs to get me out there? 


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

All socialised Out!

What a fantastic weekend we had, and we never managed to get a single photo of any of it!  Argh!  What sort of blogger am I?

On Saturday a bunch of us had a combined brigades' training event at Chidlow Station.  For the practical bit, Jen and I jumped ship from our own trucks and went and joined the Chidlow guys in their big 4.4 (that means 4000 Litres of water and 4 wheel drive). For comparison. our Sawyers truck is a 1.4( meaning 1000 litres of water and four wheel drive) so it is much smaller.

Here are the Chidlow guys in their 4.4, taken from our 1.4, at a fire back in the summer of 2015/16.

Me ol' joints really felt the strain as we climbed in and out of it lots of times practising our drill for preparing for a burnover.  If you'd like to see what a burnover might be like, this video, taken in South Australia, is very gripping viewing.

Those guys have deluge systems which we do not yet have. You can see the water begin to sluice down the windscreen as it sprays the cab, and it also dowses the tyres and other crucial areas as well. Hope they come soon!  Think they make a huge difference as to whether you walk away from a burnover or not!

Anyway, we learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and really enjoyed the day.  Thanks Chidlow!      

On Sunday morning, we walked the dogs up at the sculpture park and fell over the preparations for the "Habits of Horses" Festival that would be held there later.  The jumps for the hobby horse show jumping were adorable.

That magpie is so well done that I thought it was real at first.  :D

There were some new sculptures on the theme as well.  I liked these wild running ones.

This one grew on me.  He seems very cheerful, but at full size he is a bit scary.

Later, we socialised all over the place, with lovely chinwags and cuppas with some Druid friends in the morning, then straight off to a local pub for lunch for the Bro-in-in-law's Bday.  It was a really lovely afternoon, with good company made up of friends and family.

One of our pets enjoyed us being away more than others.  Guess which one?

 Later again we popped over to check out the truck I'll be driving to get my medium rigid truck driver's licence as part of my further Firey training.  Goodness knows how I'll go, because I have to do some interesting contortions to reach the clutch!  Being a shorty isn't always a good thing.  My first lesson is tomorrow with gorgeous George from Chidlow brigade.  Lucky me!  George is very encouraging, and I'm going to need a bit of confidence till I get a bit more used to that truck.  Ah well, it is good to challenge yourself!

On Monday morning I went out weeding with the Black Cockatoo Rerserve group and got this pic of some lovely Donkey Orchids.

And this morning we came across this nice clump of Hovea.

Spring is coming!

The vegie garden is looking pretty woeful, but I did dig up this pretty bunch of potatoes today.  We're going to eat some of them for dinner.  Yum!

The latest project, the tea cosy, is nearly finished. It was going to be a rooster but when you put it over the teapot it looks like such a nice fat hen, I think I'll just leave off the rooster tail and call it done.  I did have craft eyes on it but they looked all wrong. It looks quite good without any eyes, but I'll embroider on some sleepy eyes and see how they look.  Can always take them off again.

 I hope your weekend was fun and busy too! 






Friday, 18 August 2017


Here's my lovely latest crochet project...  What the?  Nooo!  It's all going dark!  Kitty Eclipse!

"Whats your problem?  I'm more interesting than any crochet."

Yeah maybe, but here it is anyway.  Rooster teapot cosy on the way.   See the neck just starting?  I have no idea what I'm doing because I'm making it up as I go along, but I have a very vague idea of how I want it to look.  I'm happy so far!

The crocodile stitch is so nice to handle.  It's plump and textured and stretchy.  Nummy!

The afghan is still coming along too.  Anyone else see a friendly  robot face there?  

Oh ok, only me?  That comes of being a novelist and having too vivid an imagination.  I've been having fun this week researching and planning for the second Chicken Soup book.  That has really got the juices going, and already new characters are taking shape in my mind. Soon they'll begin to have a life of their own and then all I'll have to do is let them loose.

I've also been reading up on this stuff, the Karpman Drama Triangle, at first with an eye to understanding what is happening in our fire brigade, but then with more and more interest in how it can apply to all aspects of my life.  Many thanks to Frances, whose chance remark sent me off on a researching quest!  It's long, but very interesting, and I would recommend a read to anyone who has trouble working out how they ended up getting dragged into drama in family or other human interactions.

In a non dramatic moment, we came across some more work from the phantom rock-balancer this week, in an old railway cutting along a different bit of the bridle path.  I love coming across these.   Thank you, whoever you are!  

It looked especially lovely set against the wet black of the granite outcrop.

They always make me take an extra moment to return to centre and feel at peace.

Fido likes to be in the centre too: In the centre of any action that is going on!
Nothing to eat here, Fido, nothing to eat.  Move on, please!  I have more branches to drag!   (So many branches.)

We took Timmy the Jimny into town this week.  So funny how often we ended up juxtaposed with huge white 4x4's.
Wait for me, Mama!
The weekend promises to be a busy one, with a training day at a different brigade with some of my fave team members on Saturday, and on Sunday we have two different outings with friends.

The day today feels like spring is a comin' in, though tomorrow another storm is forecast. That's ok, I know it will be dry, hot summer before we know it. Bring on the rain!



Sunday, 13 August 2017

And the Winner is...

Dancing Donkey!  Andrew just picked your name out of the hat! 

I've been following the Dancing Donkey blog for years so was very happy when that name came out first.  Congratulations!  You can go back to the site now and read the book pages with the intent of picking your prize of any one of my eleven print books!

I've been re-reading, Chicken Soup for Satan, ready to write the sequel, and giggling away, wondering how I even come up with this stuff.  It's very true that when you begin to write in flow, what comes through you is far more than you can ever come up with yourself.    

What other news is there?  Ohh, I have such an exciting idea but I'm not ready to share it just yet!  Soon...

In the meantime, life goes on as normal, if you count normal as everyone growing webbed feet like ducks.  We've had so much rain, so very much.

The dogs and I went down to see Jane Brook the other evening.  It was just a little bit full.

I know this sort of dark, peely-barked place is not really associated with Australia, but there it is, evidence that we do have some areas like that!

What do you think?  Fairy home?  I can just see them tripping lightly across that tree trunk and popping down into their hole there.

Pippa and her friend Fergus. How gorgeous is this little dog?  Isn't our family lucky to have her?  Win! 

Andyroo is feeling pretty lucky right now.  On Friday, we bought him a Jimny to replace the motorbikes he used to ride everywhere but no longer feels the same way about.

As long as I've known him, he's got on his bikes, rain or shine, but maybe age (or good sense) is catching up with him because now he just doesn't want to do it any more. Instead he wanted one of these...

The Jimny should be heaps of fun to drive around in, and they have very good 4 x 4 capability too, so the tracks around here beckon, and he can cover it in aerials as well.  :D  Life changes.  Old love affair out, new love affair begins!

Now if we can just come up with a name for it that isn't Timmmyyyy the Jimnyyyyyy!   Too late, I suspect.  It is very dangerous to joke around too much when naming things.      




Friday, 11 August 2017

"Cherokee Girl" on guitar, plus dog and kitty.

There's been more cold and grey weather for us the last few days, with storms forecast for this weekend too.  We've caught outside time when we could, even if it's been so grey at times that the gold of the flowering wattles seems to shine out of the darkness.

This little Wavy-leafed Hakea has gone bonkers!  It think it is about four years old.  One of our babies. 

Angus doesn't care if it's grey at walk time. He had the zoomies this morning while the girls were busy mousing. 

Funny boy!

This grey old man roo wasn't impressed when we walked by the other day.  He and his wife watched us very carefully.

It's easy to see why the roos around here are gray instead of red.  They camouflage into the forest so well.   Can you see him now?

It's been the sort of weather where staying in and crocheting or playing music makes good sense.

I recorded this song the other day.  Cherokee girl by Charles de Lint.  It's one of my faves to play because I love his writing and music, I love the writing of Terri Windling that inspired the book he wrote this song about, The Woodwife, and because I love the song for itself.  It's got a very cool message.

Kitty feels that the dark, cold mornings require warming himself under the table light beside the pot belly fire and being disapproving.

"I disapprove of you saying I disapprove of things!"

The paintings on the tanks up at Chidlow yesterday where we walked were a nice touch.

They're so gorgeous and bright and I especially appreciate the local birds they've painted.  I do love community art!

This weekend I get some Shaman healing from my friend Frances, and we go to a funeral for Jerry the pony.   Now I have to go and find the right thing to say about our dear little Pegasus pony, whether my own writing or a quote.

Have a lovely weekend!   On Monday I will draw the name of the lucky winner who will receive a free print book from me, to be sent anywhere in the world.  Please go to my site then comment somewhere on my social media to be in the chance to win a book.  Last chance to be in the draw!