Search This Blog

Friday, 30 December 2016

Labradors and Purrs.

I like this resting time after Christmas.  It is especially resty for me of course because my tummy is still a bit fragile, but we have managed some nice times as well as some peaceful ones.

I've seen a lot of this view as Monseiur Cyrano de Purrrgerac feels he has to help me rest.  

Here is 30 seconds of peaceful kitty patting to soothe and calm your day.

I've got all the rows of my latest afghan crocheted together now, so all I have to do is a few full rounds of the outside, then a final fancier row and it is finished!  It is already pretty big.  It has been unseasonably cool here so having it over my legs and feet (and usually a kitty on top) while I work has been nice. Not so sure how that will feel next week when it is back up to 38C!

Oh and as you can see, I also have a million more ends to weave in now!   Arghhh! 

The other morning we took our two Labbies and their Uncle/Brother Kelly and the new addition, Pippa, down to the river.  Jen felt sure she'd like water as, a typical lab, she likes to snorkel and dig in her water bowl, and sure enough, she took to it very well.  It really helps to have other dogs who love it to lead them in, and also if you can make sure the water shelves nicely with no sudden surprises. Before she knew it she was swimming and even trying to help to fetch the toy.

We were all suitably excited at her cleverness.  I love being part of a doggy family.  :)

Wednesday night we had our Christmas do for the Brigade.  No photo can truly capture such an event, but we did have a very lovely time.  I like this pic because that Is Allan in the foreground laughing there. He has the most catchy laugh ever and can always find something to laugh about, even when life is not being fair to him, which it currently isn't. He and his lovely wife, Heather, are just two of the special people we have come to value highly at our brigade.    

I like this one taken by Nikki, even if I was blinking.  That is me, my sis Jen, and my Assistant Equipment Officer, the cheeky Pierre.  He calls me Chief or Small One (to my face, goodness knows what they call me behind my back, he and his bro Gogs do love giving people witty nicknames).  What do I call him?  Mon Petite Pierre of course!

I recently got called Madame Equipment by another member.  Think I'll make that my name if I ever become a bondage mistress!   :D    

Another sign that it is Christmas time.  A Christmas spider, decorated and beautiful.  I have no idea what they do for the rest of he year, but they are certainly only around at this time of year. A mystery!

May these quiet times between Christmas and New Year bring you replenishment and peace.  Don't make plans to punish yourself with new year's resolution diets and body hating. Instead find a word that sums up what you want this year to mean to you, and maybe make up a dream board of words and images that match the feel of your word, and keep it by you to help you more forward to your dreams as this year progresses.  That will be far more useful to you, more lasting, and far more fun.  

My word for this year?  Exuberant!  I have been having to hold back for a while now between anemia and the op.  When I am allowed to get moving again, look out!  I feel like I am going to sproing out joyfully in all directions!  Weeee!


Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry and Happy to All!

I hope you all had a nice time.  We are having Boxing Day here today, another holiday day, with the prospect of tomorrow off as well.

The last couple of days have been quite busy and social but very nice.  First we had to wrap prezzies, with Cyrano's help as is traditional for cat households.

Oh, so helpful Mr Kitty!

Then it was time to go to Saturday Schedules, where I once more sat on my backside while the two vehicles both got a lovely polish.  It was a very friendly and pleasant morning. This year so far has been great with hardly any fires in our area, though other parts of WA haven't been so lucky.  We're still keeping our brigade primed and ready.

Don't know how Gogs stood wearing those shorts!  The march flies were savage.  Long pans have been the order of the day for weeks now.  Luckily I have a very light pair of work pants to wear when outside so it hasn't been too hot, but better hot than bitten to pieces.

It's all very well to love nature, but I don't think even a mother could love these buggers!

After that it was Christmas Eve at my Uncle and Aunty's place, where we had a delightful time as usual.  So glad my family is so lovely.  We sat under the oak tree that is grown from an acorn from my Great Grandma's tree.  I took this pic when we'd just arrived as it is hard to capture the tree later when it gets dark.

What a beauty it is, and very well loved by my Uncle Greggy.

I didn't craft much this year for Chrissie.  I did make my sister a dragon that she has christened Trifle.

And I made a quick cartoon for our Brigade friend, Angus, who we invited along to Christmas breakfast at the last minute.  Harley is his dog and often comes out with us on training runs, but we don't let him drive!  

It's handy being able to use your art skills to fall back on instead of having a generic box of choccies ready.  :)

I also got my latest book, Land of Giants, ready to send out to my first readers just before Christmas, since I figured they might like to have it to read over the holiday period.  It's a little rougher still than I would usually send it out, but I'm sure they'll forgive me.  I had a bit of a set-back due to one thing and another before Christmas!

Last news, but most exciting, my sis's family has a new dog, another Lab!  This is Pippa.  She is 7 mths old and such a darling.  She is a re-home, not a rescue, and they really lucked out.  What a sweetie!  
I'm always happy when a new dogs joins the family.  The more the merrier, in my opinion, when it comes to dogs.  With the proviso that it is only so long as you can love, feed, train and care for however many you have, which for me would be three or so (or maybe a couple more if they are little ones?) so it's nice to have a family that loves dogs too so I can have lots of extras in my life! 



Thursday, 22 December 2016

It's My Birfday!

51 years old!  Does anyone ever think, when they are young, that they will get to be this old? It doesn't feel so old from this side, and yet at the same time it seems like forever.

I'm still recovering from 'the op' and there has been a lot of this going on. 

Cyrano kitty loves this stage of making an afghan.  Think I'll have to make him his own little one for extra happy lap sitting events in between afghans!  It will have to be blue to set his lovely colour off best, though.   

This is my view.

Yes he's purring.  :)

And the inevitable selfie...

Hee hee, funny kitty face!

It's stupidly hot here, of course, but Pilgrim just brought out a video for their lovely song, "For Winter." It is perfect for this time of year for you Northern Hemisphere types!

Not much other news.  My baby chookies are growing up. they all have very different personalities to go with their different colours.  Red Rover is boldest and is sooo tall and brightly-coloured, I think she is throwing back to a proper Rhode Island Red.  That's her in front, then Spot, who is still a bit flighty, and Fido who is middle of the road for colour and nature.  Soon they can come out to free range with the big chooks but I want to make sure they aren't too fluttery and peepy to tempt the dogs.

Work on the newest book is going well.  Here's an early rough sketch of the cover art.

Lots of action going on there!  I'm further along now, but will save further stages for a surprise when it's done. 

Happy Christmas, or Alban Hefin, or however you want to name the solstice holiday season. Make it good.  Fill it with love and joy.  Do your best to avoid expectations of perfection and enjoy it however it comes.  That way lies happiness!

  (As does getting treats for sitting nicely for mummy to take a photo...)


Sunday, 18 December 2016

So Close to Christmas.

Blogger not letting me post photos for some reason today so you'll have to make do with a couple of links to music videos.  

Things are a still bit quiet around here, as you might expect, while all around me busy Christmas people buzz around like blue-arse flies, as the lovely Aussie saying would have it.  I get a bit frustrated, but I know it is finite, unlike in the lyme disease days, so I am managing.

I've started work on the cover for Land of Giants more seriously, and am on my way with drawings now.  Not past the dread of the white page yet, but pushing through.  The novel-writing bit of all this definitely comes more easily to me!

Musically, I had a lot of fun yesterday beginning to work out my next song on the Anglo-Saxon Lyre, a cover of this cracking good bit of music by Hauk.  For some reason, Mondream really takes well to metal songs, as do I, and together my lyre and I have got a good bit of it worked out.  Will be a while before it is ready to video, though, so here is the original for you to enjoy in the meantime.  Epic!    

Speaking of cracking good music, here is Brian Henke, who can make a guitar do things I never could in a million years. Very different to Hauk, but so atmospheric and beautiful.

Was a lot chuffed to find out that the video of my cover of Damh the Bard's, "Cauldron Born" on the lyre has been added to somebody's playlist. I've arrived.  :D


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Life Heads Towards Normality.

On the way anyway! 

Mr Cyrano Fitty Kitty has to sit on Daddy's lap a night instead of mine, so he isn't entirely enthused about that.  That's not to say that he doesn't sit on daddy at other times, but he is a kitty of habit and evenings are for mama's lap.

I've had plenty of crochet time, so am moving along nice and quickly on joining up the daisy afghan.  I took it outside so you can actually see the proper colours for once.  Bright, I know!  I'm kind of glad about that, since all the green alone was a little too cool.  I hope my recipient likes yellow as well as green!

Note clever addition of shadow.  Looks like I am sticking my fingers in my ears and doing the waggle at someone!

It is barkfall time for the eastern states gumtrees again.  I'm sure it hasn't been a year!  I wonder if they do it twice a year? Mum's big Lemon-scented Gum is at it again.  I thought this combo of old and new bark with the same wrinkles was very nice.

And while I was getting that shot, Andrew was taking this pic of me. He found my choice of fashion to be daring but attractively piratey.

Well maybe not, but it amused him mightily.  What can I say, I was still wearing the compression sock things they give you to avoid blood clots when you are resting post op, and I'd tucked my tracky pants into the tops to stop prickles getting into the dragging cuffs  as we had a gentle stroll.  Anyone would do the same, right?  Arrrrr!    :D

This was the sky yesterday evening.  It soared and glowed. Truly, how could we not think we are surrounded by miracles of nature every day?

Makes me think of this comment by David Sklar in The Mythic Cafe on Facebook:

"Y'know, people say science doesn't care if you believe in it or not. But that's what I like about magic. Magic cares." 

Sunday, 11 December 2016

It's good To Be Home.

Day 5 after my operation and I'm beginning to feel a bit more like myself.  Did a little leatherwork today, tinkered on my lyre last night, things like that.

It was an interesting experience for someone who has hardly been to hospital in her life.  I last had an operation back when i was about 15 and that was just exploratory. A few stops by due to horse-related injuries, and then the one when i reacted to Penicillin the first time at 18.  That was fun.  Since those days I've become sensitized to so many things, and it is a credit to my Gyno and Anesthetist's research and care that I didn't react to a single drug they gave me, which was my great fear going in.  Acute Porphyria is no joke.  It can stay forever once triggered so it is well worth trying to avoid (think of the madness of King George.)

As you can see, like most people I was looking my best post op (Thank you Andrew, Dear One, for taking this.)

Look at me all pretty in matching blue.  :D  Actually I felt pretty good unless I sat up, at which time i got the woozies and felt sick. That has taken a few days to slowly get better.  I mostly dozed and did crosswords, which I found easier than trying to maintain concentration to read.

Actually, I did react to something in the hospital... the food!  I am told it is always pretty crappy there, and i do have food restrictions that make it harder, but really, who still makes food likes this?

One of those white lumps is rice and the other one is 'steamed chicken'.  I have never tried to eat anything so horrible in my life, it wouldn't even go down my throat properly, and that chicken pales to insignificance compared to the grey 'grilled steak' which replaced it, also with rice and veg, for dinner.  I have no idea what they did to the steak before they 'grilled' it... buried it underground for a hundred years perhaps, but it not only made me react, it didn't do Andrew any good when he ate what I couldn't.  Yeesh!  Good health is partly good food, and surely better food would make people heal better?  Luckily we took in lots of supplies from home, so when things like non-gluten-free toast arrived for my breakfast (I knew because it smelled too much like real bread and sure enough it was) I could turn to our own supplies instead.

The best thing about all of this, apart from my lovely hubby and sister who kept me company in hossie?  Going into this thing with my support crew of spiritual guardians.  I could feel them around me as I went into the dark of anesthesia, and on that first afternoon as I was still waking up and feeling so sore and sick, there were ravens outside the window calling.  I kid you not.  My window looked out onto a small garden between wings of the hospital, and outside were calling ravens.  Not coastal suburban birds like seagulls or pigeons, or swallows, or even the ubiquitous magpies, but ravens.  There is one calling outside the cottage right now as I type this.  Hail Odin!


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

More music.

Ah well, tomorrow I go in for an operation.  Probably I'll be fine and able to post here again by Friday, but hey, I'm a Capricorn and we always plan for everything, so if I don't come back, let this be my epitaph.  I'll be dancing with the ghosts of the open road!  See you there one day!


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Anglo-Saxon Lyre: "Fly Free, Carry me."

I must admit I get a bit of cringe about showing off my own songs, but hey, knowing I will be recording my own tunes does keep me improving and practicing them, so what the heck.

I wrote this song for Odin and his relationship with the mighty Sleipnir, but also for anyone who has ever had a special horse, one that the bond is so close with that you feel you can go anywhere together and do anything with a thought.

The lighting effect was pure luck:  I set it up, made a few gaffs and restarted, and by then the sun was down a bit more and bingo!  I love it!

The sound with my new phone is pretty good, I reckon.  I made the usual few mistakes but I know you'll forgive me for that.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Smoke and Blossoms

The Jarrah trees up the block are flowering. I planted this darling about five years ago and she is more than twice my height now.  This year she has really gone to town with blossom.  What a reward, well worth the effort of digging that hole and toting water!

I haven't planted anything year apart from one oak tree. Even my vegie garden is neglected when this time last year it had hip high plants of all sorts in it.

Ah well, give me a bit of surgery and a couple of weeks recovery and hopefully I'll be good to go by Christmas or Alban Heffin, as we Southern OBOD Druids like to call it, or Midsummer as the more general Pagans often have it.  

We had another fire call-out today.  It's pretty hard for me to see them go without me, but it is good to be able to be useful as they get ready and to close the doors behind them, leaving them one less thing to worry about.  This is how they sound heading out on the highway.


This is how The Beloved looked after a quick bit of blacking out and return to station. So far only small fires. Let's hope it continues like that, though we seem to have a new firebug operating locally.  As the saying goes, "If I catch him, you'll never know."  Hope the right person catches them!  Hope someone, anyone, catches them and locks them up all summer! 

I'm a tad boring just now.  Joining crochet squares, trying to summon up a little energy to play my instruments.  Ah well, I like how the squares are looking joined into rows.  The technique is fast and cute.  The unevenness gets sorted once you join the rows. Technique by Carina here

May or may not get to to posting in the next week or two. I'll do my best!  Wish me luck!    

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Fireys and Crochet.

Not your usual combination of topics but there you have it, this is my life.  :)

We had a busy weekend with the brigade, first doing a catering fundraiser at an auction.  Look at all these lovely faces!  Volunteering is fun, even when the temperature soars! (Though I must admit I piked when it got later in the day, leaving the field to the hardier souls.)

Then pretty early Sunday morning we got a call out to a smallish local fire.  I took Andrew down and station crewed for them but didn't go myself.  Low hemoglobin and smoke don't go well together.  I felt sad to see the team head out without me but we had a full complement for both vehicles so that was good!

Andrew drove the 1.4.

And in the back, a rose between two thorns, was my friend Michelle, who was on her first actual fire turn-out.  Way to go Michelle!

They were home again in a little under three hours, dirty and happy. Let's hope that if we have to have fires this summer, they'll stay small like this one was!

At home, I got busy keeping myself occupied.  The night before, I had done this:

Doesn't look very momentous does it, but in fact that was the last thread to weave in on the latest afghan, which has 99 squares, and every square had seven loose ends to weave in  Arghhhh!  It's a pretty design but never again!

So, while Andrew was at the fire, I decided to get all my squares organised. The first thing was to tip them on the bed and take a pic.  Doesn't look like months and months of work, I must say.

Then all of a sudden someone decided they needed more attention than the granny squares and brought Humpy the teddy to visit.

Directly on my crochet.

Yes she's sucking his face.  :)  What can I say, Rosie is a bit of an oddy.  You can see where Tuppy gets it from.

Anyway, after Rosie had some attention and got off again, it was time to sort the squares so that there weren't two the same in a row anywhere.

The four yellow ones ended up in a smaller square than that, nearer the centre, but I forgot to take another photo. Oh well, it can be a little surprise when it is all done.

Then it was time to pile up each row and label it, and now begins the long job of crocheting them all together with that same yellow.  I'm glad I'm actually using crochet to join them this time.  It's the crocheting bit that I actually enjoy!       



Thursday, 24 November 2016

Hazard Reduction Burns and What Have You

It's been a varied week.  Monday I went to a Hazard Reduction burn because I couldn't stand to be left out,  though am not a lot of use until I get some more red stuff back in my blood.   Still, I wandered up and down and turned on the hydrant for them as needed, and fetched dinner, so was, in another way, very valuable indeed.

The fire started out in the afternoon.  Andrew and sister Jen were both there, so that was nice.  Actually there were heaps of us.  A sign of a flourishing era for the brigade.  It meant that no-one got too tired and the fire was watched and managed very well.

Andrew manned the pumps at the 1.4, but did do a little light fire control over the fence.

Jenny got a bit hot. No she wasn't really getting wet.  It is an optical illusion. The tanks can get bacteria in them and are mixed up with a wetting foam at times, so we don't use the water to cool down and definitely not to drink!

Think she might need to tie her hair up a bit more.  She looks a bit flammable here!

I like this pic of Andrew.

As the sun went down, the night became a confusing mix of flames and flashing lights and reflective gear.

This is what it looked like from over the fence where I was, without flash.

And with flash, suddenly the fireys managing the fire show up, like aliens appearing out of the dark.

Andrew got this amusing bit of footage of myself, Jen and Michelle trundling our way back up the road, gear flashing in the lights from the truck.   

Tuesday we went to see a Gynecologist and the less said about that the better. Suffice to say, soon I won't be going on the fire-ground for a while, which sucks considering we are heading into fire season.  Ah well, hopefully after that I'll be good to go, and unstoppable!

Wednesday night was drumming, and I got a bit of video of Andrew laughing and messing around with some of the other guys, doing a pattern where they had to sometimes hit the drums either side of theirs.

I was a bit tired by then, but as so often happens, the others could hardly bear to stop, so interesting things often happen after we are supposed to be all done for the night.

This week I've also been doing some leatherwork to replace a broken whistle lanyard I made many years ago for a fellow Gundog owner.  It was good to bone up on the rusty skills.  I learned how to cut kangaroo hide laces, using just my thumb and a knife, from a marvellous old feller called Bob Cameron.  He taught me how to braid it too.      

Braided and partly spliced.

I've taken the Turk's hats off the old lanyard to put on the neck of the new one so she gets some continuity of luck. 

Next comes new Turks' hats to hold the ends of the splice and join neatly and prettily.  Of anything, I am pretty sure making Turks' hats has gone most from my memory.  The rest has come back to me as I worked, but will have to get the book out for this bit, methinks!

It's going to be hot here the next few days, and as you can see behind the next pic, our paddocks are dry already.  This Phoenicia is the best I have ever seen it, though.   I think they find it a bit dry here, though they are supposed to be locals, but with the extra rain this year this one has had a great season for flowering

I've begun work on the cover art for Land of Giants, though I haven't put pencil to paper yet. Still gelling my ideas.  It did mean reading a few bits of the manuscript, and oh boy, am so looking forward to diving in and reading it for the first time!  It's been 8 months since I began to write, and there is always an element of channeling that means you kind of write as a vessel for the Awen (divine inspiration) and don't really always notice what you are saying, so those first pages are almost as new to me as they would be to anyone else who picked it up.  I like it!        

Last night I went with mum to a singalong.  I knew nearly every song, which is a reflection of the fact that we often have the radio tuned to the local oldie's channel, Curtin FM.  I'm pretty eclectic with radio just as I am with any other sort of music, and we especially enjoy the mix of songs and the cheeriness in the mornings.

There has still been time for a bit of this too.

Summer's here!  Time for playing music in the gazebo while the mozzies buzz away frustratedly outside.  Jen came and played guitar with me one evening this week.  We sat out there and messed around working out, "Patience," by Guns 'N' Roses, but not for the first time.  Loved that band so much as a young tacker, and have great past associations with playing this song with sis, on good verandahs, with a glass of bourbon and coke close to hand.  These days it is water, but it is still blissful.