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Monday, 30 January 2017

It's Raining!

Yay! 

We still went dog walking.  Who wouldn't love a walk in the rain when it hasn't rained here for over 2 months?

The dogs, being Labradors, designed for much colder climes than ours, really enjoyed it, rain or no rain.  Little Miss Tuppence needed a ruggie afterwards until she dried off, though.  She is a bit of a thin-coated dog.  She doesn't have a proper Lab double coat like her mama.  Her widdle ear tips were cold, which is my sign that she needs warming up, and we have no potbelly fire to dry off by at this time of year, so on with Buffy's old coat.  It still gives me a heart pang to see it, but Buffy loved it and it is so very snuggly. 


This is often Tuppy's spot when I am here at the computer, on the dog bed under the table. Where Tam once leaned her whole body against me, now, instead, there is Tuppy's head on my foot, especially if I've just got home from somewhere.  She is not a touchy-feely dog, unlike Tam, but she loves to do this, as long as I don't pay too much attention to what she is doing and embarrass her.  She's there again right now as I type, minus ruggie now.

Writing news is that I have the proof copy on the way for the print version of Land of Giants, and the Kindle version will go live any day.  Weeee!

Now I don't quite know what to do with myself, since I haven't started writing again yet, and I feel really well with all the iron in my system!  I plan on a week or two of serious spring cleaning, plus some decluttering.

After that I will be rereading,"Chicken Soup for Satan," and starting to plan the sequel.  "Satan Smith: Demon Hunter," will be the title, I think.   It will be fun to get back into the world of the handsome but shy Satan and his gorgeous White Shepherd, Ghost.

Check out our Illawarra Flame Tree still blossoming away like mad.  It looks even better during the current grey, rainy days.





Look at the carpet of blossoms on the ground!  I can't stand to rake them up.


Tuppy says, "Meh, they don't taste nice. What good are they?"

To delight the eye, Tuppy my love!  To delight the eye is quite enough!   
  


            

   




   

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Lyre song, "Raven Wings," by Hauk.

Well I feel like I've turned a bit of a corner with my recovery.  Really beginning to feel good now, though at times I overdo it and my tummy decides it has lost all ability to carry itself.  I'm told this is normal and all good.  Shopping trolleys are currently my number one enemy! Who knew how much you needed your stomach to wrestle those critters?  Not me!

I've finished my cover art for the latest book.  Am dying to show you but for now here is a little detail to whet your interest.


Heh heh, lots going on there!

I've nearly got the manuscript ready to go too. Phew, this book has taken me nearly a year from go to woah.  It's a biggie though!

In the meantime, I've been messing with music again.  Here is my latest effort on the lyre.   I well understand the sentiments in this song by Hauk.  Hauk Heimdallsman really has a good handle on songs that rise out of dark places.  Anyone who has lived with Lyme knows about doing that!


I'll try to video the next one somewhere else, but this is where I sit to play of a summer's evening, and in there the flies and mozzies can't get to me and distract me, so for now, in the gazebo it is.

Here's the original! It's a TAD heavier than mine.  :D



I know a lot of bloggers are talking politics and such lately, and I do have feelings on the topic, especially women's rights, fairness, and the environment, but really, the whole thing makes me so frustrated, and it is nice to be away from the subject here on my blog.  At any rate, I'll be keeping my medieval clothes close to hand because I think soon we'll be needing to wear them again.  Those jokes about turning the clocks back 300 years aren't really that funny.  Argh!  The world has gone nuts! 


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Horsey & Afghany.

I went on watched my middle niece and my sis have a lesson on Sunday morning. It was perfect weather; warm but not hot, nice gentle breeze, shady spot to sit.  I got some great a photos of them.  Hard to pick a  favorite but these four come close.

Fionn and Jen are going great guns. This is their first private lesson. He has been under saddle just over a year now.  He is looking quite magnificent. 




 He is such a character, I spent a lot of the lesson laughing along with Jen because he is just so funny!

Molly's pony, Mahlee, is a complex character, the sort of intelligent, opinionated mare you often see in Arabians and Part Arabians like her.  She reminds me of my Sherry.  Molly has done so well building such a good relationship with a horse who isn't easy.  I'm proud of her.



It was fun to watch mother and daughter have their lesson together.



 

I didn't feel any urge at all to be out there riding, though.  I keep waiting for the desire to come back, but it hasn't yet.  Maybe it never will. I'd never have thought that horses and riding would stop being a passion but there you have it. Life changes.

Molly also became the lucky recipient of my latest crocheted afghan yesterday.

Here is Andrew, who was off to do chainsawing but stopped to hold the finished product up for me.  I like the 'Hellboy' earmuffs poking over the top.


The colours look wrong there.  I think they look more true to life in this next pic, and I love how the edging came out.


 And I had one very happy recipient!  Yay! 

  
There was time for music in the screened gazebo too.  My patient girls watched the world go by.


While Fido played King of The Castle outside.


Those young chooks, they love their foraging so much.  It's a pleasure to be out there watching them and playing music, while my loyal Black Watch wait for the lyre to be put down ready for walk time. 


  

      

Thursday, 19 January 2017

What a relief!

6 weeks post Op!  I finally get to vacuum my own floors!  It's taking me three goes to do it, and I'm holding my tum with one hand while I do it, but it is still a great relief.  I'm not sure anyone loves cleaning floors, but it is awful to be unable to do them when you want to, the way you want to!

I've been knuckling down on getting Land of Giants going this week.  The book's cover art is now ready for watercolour.  I'll do a 'stages of art' post soon but for now here is a detail of Lem from the final drawing. I love it and think I have managed to keep that feel in the ink stage.  Hopefully it will remain into the colour stage too.  If you've read Land of Fire, you'll remember Lily's housemate, Lem.  He gets to be front of stage this book around!


The Illawarra Flame Tree is still flowering but a lot of the pretty blossoms have started falling.  The car looks like it is going to a wedding, and the road outside is covered in red flowers that have blown away as we take off.


There are a lot on the ground too.


Sweet Rosie.  This morning mum met the guy who owns one of her litter brothers, Ranger.  He reckons he is a fantastic dog and they love him to bits, and people are always asking where they got him because they want a dog like him too.  So lovely when your planned litter turns out as well as that one did.  You can't always be so lucky even when you do your best to get it right, but mum really did it right, and got lucky too, with Rosie and her brothers and sister.
"I'm kind of interested in the ball."
What a dear girl she is.


Funny Tuppence is a bit more 'complex,' shall we say.

"I will hyp-not-o-size the ball to throw itself with the power of my gaze!"
Whose turn will it be?
Angus is somewhere in the middle between his mama and sister.  He is certainly more complex than Rosie and has a lot more up and down moods, but he is nowhere near as intense as Tuppy.  They are all so different, aren't they.  To say that any dog will turn out the same as long as you raise them right is doing both the dog and the owner a disservice.  They require individual training and management just like any parent of multiple kids will tell you.  To think anything else is to reduce dogs to mindless automatons of response, which they are definitely not!   

Note husband's grubby, dusty feet from two circuits of the paddock.  Yep, summer is here now!

Ok, time for the next and hopefully final stage of floor vacuuming, then time to do some more editing on my book.  Have a good weekend!  Put some fun and adventure in it!        

     
 


 

    

      

Sunday, 15 January 2017

20 years!

It was our 20th anniversary of being together yesterday.  We celebrated by taking some friends to see La SoirĂ©e, and if you ever get a chance to see them, do eeeeet!   It's a mix of circus, vaudeville, and burlesque, and it is funny and jaw dropping, sometimes at the same time!



 
You weren't allowed to take pics or videos during the show, which was fine by me, so these are from their own site.

  

We all had a lovely time laughing, cheering and gasping! 

The whole crew in our very own booth.
  
Nikki, Jules, Gav, me, Andrew and Michelle.

Andyroo and Gav comfortably wait for us to get out of the inevitable queue for the lady's loo.

Two beautiful ladies, mother and daughter, and their beaus!

Jen and Craig.

Tina and Andrew.

 

Here's to another 20 years!  Many thanks to our friends for coming along and making our night so much fun, and thanks for the great photos!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Poor Andrew!

When your missus blogs, you're never safe from being photographed.

When the phone rings while you are half way through a shave and she comes in and thinks you look sexy rockin' your braces...

 

...to when you get an eye test and she thinks you look all steampunk.  :D


Some of the plants here are looking pretty good too, though not as good as Andyroo.

I put this Illawarra flame Tree in the ground at least 20 years ago. It is one of my all time fave trees.  Right now it is doing that thing it sometimes does, which is flowering.







Google offered me that last one as an artistic rendering. It kind of captures the feel of it better than the ordinary pic.  The camera can't quite get the flare of the red.   

The blues and purples of the last few fresh flowers on the pet hydrangea, Pompom, caught my eye yesterday.  So pretty!


She's a pet because they require a lot of water and she's pretty much the only plant we have like that.

We've just got back from a ride on Andrew's motorbike, known as Whim, because he bought her on one.  Whim needed a longer run since she's been a bit neglected lately, so we took her across to a hills pub in Gidgegannup and had a drinky on the high verandah.  I took this pic of our trusty steed from up on our airy perch.  We played rummy in the shade and had tall, icy, non-alcoholic Fire Engines.  (Red cordial and lemonade, with a slice of lemon.) Never let it be said we aren't exciting people!   :)

 
Being on the pillion isn't as much fun as riding for yourself, which I used to do, but generally I always chose to take the car so the dogs could come and my bike was not used enough and I sold it long ago.  I only get the urge on lovely days like today when it is warm but not hot, or on hot nights after a stinking hot day, when to ride through the night feels like bathing in warm milk.

Actually, as to being a bit boring these days, the weekend looks like it might be a bit lively.  I'll see how we go and report back!

My recent writing foray is finished. I wrote a Freya shortish story for my good friend Gavin for his 50th Birthday.   The nice thing about the Freya world is that you can pretty much do what you like, and I did, and had a lot of fun doing it too!  I might put it up to Goodreads or somewhere for you to read, or here if it isn't too long.  Perhaps I can do installments?  Wait for it!

The baby Pink and Grey Cockies are starting to arrive in town.  They are on the wing now and following mum and dad around driving them nuts.  I got video of them but they are a bit far away. I'd have cropped the video but actually what I love best about it is the magnificent Marri trees blowing in the wind.



The endless sawing sound is the baby nagging, then the weird noise is her being actually fed by the parent, who has their beak down her throat.

I always think it is mean of the babies not to give the long-suffering parents a rest after a feed, but they always start nagging again straight away.  Yesterday I saw one or the other parent lose their temper and give the baby a bit of a biff as if to say, "Shut up, you little brat!"  It was probably dad.  Daddy birds are less patient than mummy birds, as a rule.   :D

If you want to see a close-up, this one is much better.


I'm lucky bird noises don't bother me, because between all the nagging and then the feeding, it can all go on for a long time!              
 


  

Monday, 9 January 2017

Ok, bored now.

A week and a bit more before I can do all the normal things.  In the meantime, I got to take pictures while the others did practice at manoeuvring the vehicles at the station via hand signals and then again just by radio.

Getting ready to try the maze.


Sister Jen driving, Pierre guiding.
 

Oops!  That's a carton of beer!


Jen guiding, Pierre driving.  They were both laughing by this point. 


I'm driving again now but only the automatic.  Not up to those clutch pedals yet!   No fires for me yet either, but so far that hasn't mattered.  We haven't had a single call in ages, which is brilliant news for the trees, birds and animals of Mundaring.  There is a big one down in the Swan Valley today so we may yet get a call to take a shift down there, but so far we haven't, and if we do I won't be going.   

Today my middle niece, Molly, and I are spending some time exploring Druid-y and Shaman-y things like meditation, divination and spirit journeying.

She isn't standing on anything. I really am that short!  :D
I'm back now.  We had a good time.  I figure if you have to be a grown-up, you might as well be one who knows that there is more to life than what our current society wants you to think there is!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Archie the Character.

Archie is the last horse I owned, bought sight unseen as an 18 month old from far away in the eastern states. He's a Gypsy Cob cross. 

It was a mistake for a lot of reasons, not least because our characters turned out to be chalk and cheese.  There was that, and there was the fact that I still wasn't really well enough to care for him and Jerry, the elderly pony I borrowed from my sister to keep him company.

This is what he looked like as a VERY naughty, hairy, bored 18 month old.




This is what he looked like as a baby.  (Awwwww!)





He is turning five about now and his new owner Louise had these pictures taken of him this week down at the beach.  She is an amazing trainer who suits his cheeky personality down to the ground.

Pro pics taken by and bought from Vickiphotos.

Look at that opinionated bottom lip!  :D  She calls him Labrahorse because he is more like a dog in many ways than a horse, and he was annoying them all by getting his nose into everything in their camp on the beach, then he got bored and went off and bothered other people instead, so she made him go and lie down for a time out.  

This is him sulking in time out.

Cheering up a bit.


And finally, the best shot of all, another pro shot by Vickiphotos.  Beach baby Archie complete with umbrella and hat.   The perfect postcard photo!


I have never had a moment's doubt that I sold him to the very best person to suit his 'out there' personality.  It's a good example of how we should never hold onto a horse if the match is not working.  Someone out there is waiting for their perfect horse!