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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.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Down the River

We found ourselves with a bit of a free Sunday, so off to the Swan River we took the dogs.  they had a ball of course.

Lots of tandem toy fetching going on!

These next photos make me laugh because they are before three separate throws, but look almost identical.  Tuppy is bonkers and intense in every one and Rosie is doing this thing she does where she goes out into the water and looks out just waiting for the toy to land in front of her, as if she can magically make it happen by staring.

Come on, hurry up, where is it? says Rosie.

I'm not entirely sure I want give it up yet, says Tuppence.

Alright, we're puffed. Time for treats, dad!

Thanks for the fun, mama!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

More Anglo-Saxon Lyre, At Last! (Jabberwocky.)

Well its taken me a while, so long that I've actually got two songs ready to be videoed, but one will do for today.

Jabberwocky has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a child.  I love the strange words and the somewhat creepy, marshy tone.  It always sets my imagination a-whirl.

This is me being all imaginative. 
So, I set out to work out how to play it on my lyre.  There is the classic Donovan version, there is an amazing one done by Omnia, but those didn't quite work for the lyre, which can be a bit finicky as to notes and such you can use.  Tuned from G up to E as it is, there are some songs I just can't get to work with it at all, at least when I just pick it. The range for block and strum is much greater but I prefer my guitar for strummy stuff. 

At any rate, I fiddled and twiddled and sang and messed around with it, trying to keep the right mossy tone to suit it, and came up with this. I hope you enjoy it!

I've written a new song from scratch too, but haven't videoed it yet.  It has passed the test of its first listeners liking it, so it won't be long.  Just need to get my act together to film it.  

Hope the weekend sees you doing lots of fun, creative and social stuff!  Weeee!  (Think the iron tablets are kicking in over here.)   


Sunday, 13 November 2016

More Bonfire!

Heh, I have a new phone and has been fun to work out what it can do that the old phone, a venerable one of Andrew's, couldn't.

It takes pretty good photos of sweet black dogs in evening light.
"It's nearly dinnertime, mama!"
And it takes good photos of husbands having too much fun lighting bonfires, even small ones to fit inside the current burning restrictions.

Yep, way too much fun!  

It can do this, which amuses me mightily! 

And it does good shots of the fire burning lower and lower.

It can even capture that scintillating moment where it is all just coals being lit and dulled by the breeze like so many twinkling Christmas lights.  Sooo pretty!  You should probably embiggen this to full screen to see the twinkling properly.

Rosie was looking up at me, waiting to go in for dinner, in that bottom right corner. My new phone's camera wasn't quite equal to the Herculean task of showing up a black Lab in the night, though!


Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Little Creativity and a Lot of Bleagh

I have to take iron tablets, and the tablets make me feel crappier than anemia does. Such is the life of someone post Lyme Disease whose body is still sensitized to every damn thing.

Ah well, I naughtily didn't take an iron tablet yesterday just to give me a rest from feeling half-dead, and it was a blissful day indeed!

One thing I was very pleased to get done was this drawing for the Mundaring VFRS cadets' t-shirt/hoodie. It is to go inside a shield and some other lettering and such but the drawing for the design had to be done first.

Not sure, think I'll add raised visors to the helmets, and the hoses need adjusting, but on the whole, I'm ready to take it on to the ink stage, and then we can scan it and play in GIMP with it to make sure it looks good as white ink on navy.  Might go for dramatic lighting and shapes rather than line, not sure yet.  I did a lot of scribbling to get the poses right.

 The cadets wanted it to be serious, so serious I did it.

I've also been able to do a bit more crocheting on the current secret Amigurumi.  I always love this stage.  They look so surprised!

Hee hee.  Poor surprised little Amigurumi.  I wonder what he will become?  (I know of course, but I can leave you wondering!) 

It was cold enough for a fire last night.  Might be tonight too, but after that I won't be surprised if we close up the potbelly for the summer.

The dogs won't appreciate that!

Wish me luck, I have a rough few weeks ahead of me with medical stuff, and no easy choices available.  It is a lonely place to be in.    


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Glowing kitties and chickens

This is what happens to an orange kitty when the setting sun shines through smoke.

He is already an extraordinarily dark orange, but add the orange sky and he really did glow.

Yes, that's the fly screen gazebo back up for summer.  Thank goodness, since I have been dodging mosquitoes while trying to get outside time for quite a few weeks now!  It is so relaxing not to have to keep twitching and slapping, and it is already too warm to cover up head to toe as I do in winter.  These days the mozzies here seem to have neither a time nor a season where they go dormant.

Here are our three baby chookies; Spot, Fido and Rover.  They love this perching spot but mostly the big chooks chase them off unless they are out free ranging.

The pics aren't perfect, as the evening was well advanced, but at least they were keeping still. They often run wildly about at this time of night, chasing after flying bugs, and I've even seen one up in the spindly end branches of a low-hanging lucerne tree, picking leaves off! 

Spot is far right.  She is by far the wildest and even pecked me when I had to pick her up.   Sister Jen suggested maybe that was because, with more white on her, she threw back more to the white leghorn in her heritage, and they are a notoriously wild breed. That theory makes sense to me!

Red Rover is darkest, and she is in the middle.  She is also tamest. Fido isn't bad either. I'm not one for handling my chooks all the time. Our set-up makes it hard to catch them, and everyone gets stressed, so mostly I don't handle them at all, and they get used to being around me unmolested.  That way,  if I do have to pick one up to check for lice or for doctoring, they are right under my feet, totally unsuspecting, ready to be snatched up. It works for me.

Here's another ginger character who doesn't much like being picked up.  He loves it when I sit down to crochet, though.   

That's a mystery Christmas-prezzie Amigurumi.  I wasn't sure about the colour mix at first but now I have got going I quite like it.

We had a nice quiet Sunday afternoon, with crocheting and music and such, after doing a lot of work in the morning removing fallen tree branches up at the block. The firebreak needed to move due to an even bigger fallen tree branch that is precariously hanging in another tree (you can see it in the background there, squashing the poor old olive tree) so we got to work and cleared up the new area into a bonfire pile and a pile of firewood.

In the afternoon, Andrew did a soul retrieval for me, too.  I needed it done and it isn't the sort of thing you do for yourself.  Having done that and an energy separation ritual that I needed to do for myself, I am back to heading further along the path of my Shamanism studies.

The physical, creative, social and spiritual, these are the things that make up a balanced life and even a balanced day.

The social came into it when we had a good Saturday Morning Schedules at the station. Busy busy busy!

The local Maggies are busy too.  They have a nest in this old Jarrah tree, The Touchstone Tree, I call it, right by the cottage.  Already I can hear the tiny peepings of a newly-hatched baby or two.  Maggies can be vicious in guarding their nests, but our family trusts us and lives in peace with us, and that is a lovely feeling.

The sky yesterday was amazing too, as you can see!