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Friday, 29 September 2017

New life experience...

I did a radio interview about my books this week, specifically the two horse books, from the galloping plans series, because it was a horse show.  


I was ok.  No freezing up. I think the drive in traffic was harder for me than the interview.  I love to talk about my books and about writing, so I was pretty happy to chat along.

Also, lovely Kate was talking about preparing for fire season just after my interview, so since I'm a Firey, I could chip on in that too.  :)

I don't have much to say today, for some reason.  Life goes on.

I'm still writing.  Got to my 20 000 word mark on the new book. I'm still writing my course idea and doing little cartoon drawings for it.   That's been fun.

Been playing "Talderoy" by The Pirates Charles on my guitar too much.  I'm sure it's not because i get to swear.  Well, maybe a bit because of that.  A live version by them:

I've nearly worked out my next lyre song.  We've picked up a lot of branches and sticks.  We've done some good socialising.  We've fed horses and minded dogs for my sister.  I've driven the firetruck round and round the district, and have my test in two weeks time, which I have yet to convince myself i won't fail.  I'm crap at driving tests because my nerves get in the way.   Perhaps if I hum Talderoy to myself all the way around the test, I'll pass?       

Ah well, maybe by Monday I'll have something new to say!

In the meantime, here's squishy baby Pippa cuddled up on our couch.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

What a weekend!

We had a very busy day on Saturday doing trail support crew for the local Oxfam Trailwalker.  It's the sort of fun extra stuff you can do when you are an emergency services volunteer.

It was a very rainy and stormy weekend, so bad that the 100km walk was cancelled, but the 50km one went ahead, and a lot of the 100km people went on that as well instead, so it was a very busy start with around 1000 people heading out in two separate shifts 45 mins apart.  Here's Andrew doing traffic and walker wrangling just after the first lot started.

Look for the orange raincoat!

Despite the weather everyone was in a great mood and that continued at least as long as our shift.

Some teams were dressed up, so it was fun keeping track of them as we went up and down the trail doing this and that and they slowly progressed.  This team was easy to follow!

We handed out lollies between checkpoints to cheer people along, gave muffins to road marshals, and did whatever other jobs came up.  Towards the end of our shift we got a call to go and shift a light tower.   Luckily I had Andrew there, because I'd have been too timid to tackle the job, but he read up on it and worked it out just fine.  Thank goddess for handy blokes!

Special kudos to the walker who handed me a lollypop with a handmade "You're awesome" tag on it as she walked by.   Carrying lollies 50km just to thank the volunteers you pass is a special kind of lovely!

Also special notice goes to the two lively street marshalls who wore cow suits and blew bubbles and rang cow bells to encourage people past their point!

Andrew just sent me this pic of me, taken between checkpoints, cold and wet, but no more bonkers than usual.  :D 

The trial support vehicle was a Prado.  Nice!

Sunday we met with some of our local druid friends and had a lovely chat.  In the afternoon we went out to check a local tiny house display.  On the way home the wet weather turned into weather suitable only for ducks, with buckets of rain and even hail coming down in an extreme sudden downpour.  

The little jimny handled it pretty well but the windscreen never did unsteam completely.

When we got home our front path was a stream, but the rain had gone as suddenly as it arrived.

The wet weather isn't putting off the local flowers.  Here's a trigger plant and some blue Leschenaultia in the forest

 Mum's wisteria glowing in the evening light.

Google did this animation for me, and it's a weird one because it starts with Tuppy and ends with Rosie.  Took me a while to work out why there was a lead and then there wasn't! They must have been standing in almost identical positions when I took the pics and google has joined them up!   Even technology has trouble telling black labs apart.   :D

I'm sure spring will be back eventually, but the longer the wet weather holds back the fire season, the happier I'll be!   




Thursday, 21 September 2017

Fat is not a moral issue

Anyone who has followed my blog for a few years will be aware that I have lost a lot of weight in the past year or so. I don't usually post about heated topics on this blog because it is my place for sharing the stuff that affects my own life directly, mostly the good stuff.

I just want to say this, though.  I was not a bad person when I was fatter. I am not a better person now I am not so fat.

Being fat does not equate with being a criminal, being lazy, having no willpower or any other negative connotation.

Yep this is me. 

This is also me. still exactly the same me.

Being less fat does not mean you are stronger of will, more moral, or more deserving of love and respect.

I am the same person I was at either extreme and in the middle too.   

I long ago stepped off the billion dollar weight-shaming industry's carousel of suffering and decided to be happy and as well as I can be at whatever weight I am.

My current weight reflects many things, some good and some not good.  Weight gain would not be a bad thing if it happened because my gut had begun working better and I could one more eat and enjoy the foods other people take for granted.  More weight loss would be a good thing if it was because I felt so well that I could do more physical work and exercise. 

Is it easier being lighter?  Hell yes.  People treat you better. Clothes are easier to find. It's easier to walk up a hill.  If I had a job to apply for, I'd be more likely to get it.  That, my friends, is called weight privilege, and it's a thing, just like money privilege or colour privilege or gender privilege.

The best thing is not to comment on the size and shape of people's bodies at all. Any of them, and if they run themselves down, say only positive things back. Let's try not to judge people based on their size.  Let's all try to stay off the fat shaming treadmill, and that means to ourselves as well.

Much love to you all.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Self defense

Hey where did Monday go?  I'm posting on Tuesday instead!

We had a very cool, if tiring, weekend. Schedules with the coms brigade on Saturday morning were up at Wooroloo, which is a nice little town at the eastern edge of our shire.  We were parked under some very nice old pine trees.  I love pine trees.   Well I guess that's a given since i love all trees, but I love pine trees extra!  

This little fellow was rustling through the leaves near our post.  i didn't disturb him, but did get a dirty look for taking a photo.

I am not here.  

Saturday night was a bonfire with some of our favorite brigade people.

Andyroo with Tuppy on lead ready for guesty arrivals, pre-ignition.

It was a lovely evening  It's nice to have all your guests know and like each other well because you can be socially lazy and let them look after themselves, which is exactly what I did! 

The raging fire soon settled into a more mellow glow and we all sat around it and chatted very pleasantly.

Sunday morning, Jen and I took the two youngest kids to a women's self defense class. We decided it was time. We've both had experiences in the past that made us wish we'd learned this stuff much earlier in our lives, so we made sure the girls didn't miss out.  It was a GREAT class, held at the Bayswater home of Perth Wing Chun, so if you are local and want to do a class, I heartily recommend it!

This is me breaking out of a choke hold.

Why is everyone so much taller than me?  :D  I genuinely hadn't noticed at the time!

And this is me grabbing my partner so she can have a turn at breaking loose, with the nieceys in the background.  They loved it too!

And here we all are doing our "Back off!" signals.  Rarrr!

The scariest and most useful bits, were the scenarios.  I'd never done anything like that before, but am glad to say I didn't freeze.  I managed to talk myself out of one with a 'nutty lady' in a bathroom, and totally flubbed the other one by attacking my knife-wielding alleyway assailant while yelling, "I don't know what I'm doing!"  I do not recommend this as a self defense technique!  :D 

I think it's time I went back to martial arts class.  Too much of what I learned has gone from my reflexes. 

On a less physical level, I also did a few sessions on a painting, for the youngest niece, of Jerry the angel pony.  It's far from finished and I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I thought this pic of the part-done painting with the shadows across it was very interesting.   

I wasn't sure what to dress Niamhy in, so I asked her yesterday, "If you were dreaming you were riding Jerry, what would you be wearing?" and being a fairy-child she just thought about it and answered perfectly seriously.  You've got to love the arty ones!



Friday, 15 September 2017


Fionn's leg is on the mend!  Yay!  Stitches out today.  It still looks pretty nasty but the cut has joined up nicely, no infection, and his action is good so looks like his ligament has healed.  It's just to get th skin to grow back over now, and minimise proud flesh, which is a weird horsey phenomenon where too much extra flesh grows over the site of a wound.  A big shout out to Jill from Eastern Hills vets who has done such a good job!

Here he is having a nice hand graze after he had his bandage redone. It's a much smaller one now.

He can go back into his paddock now, and since he has been such a good boy under trying conditions, it is lovely for him that he no longer needs to be cooped up.  Such a great way to end the day!

We had a good day all around really.  We put in some work building a bonfire ready for tomorrow night. I got my daily words, and my full word count went over the 15 000 mark. I'm a week behind where i'd usually be at this point, but it's not bad going considering I have had some distractions.  I'm having a lot of fun writing scary things for Satan and Ghost to handle! 

After chores, we then went and had a lovely lunch with friends at a local pub.   We shared a few wedges with some cheeky 28's, also known as ring-necked parrots.

Some kangas came down too, waiting for real tourists to feed them.  One had a joey in her pouch, but she was a little more wary.  This mum and older bub were cheeky.

On the way home, we took the Jimny down a gravel shortcut to get home.  The Prickly Moses and Egg-and-Bacon plants were blazing gold in the bush.

It's hard to capture, but the forest was truly glowing in the almost-midday sun.

I'm feeling so happy that Fionn looks like he is going to recover.   A warm spring day, chores done, and time with friends were all the icing on the cake!



Monday, 11 September 2017

Pretty, Ugly, that's how life rolls.

Pretty flowers in the front yard.   This is a mix of two creepers growing over a stump, and the leaves are very different, but the flowers looks so similar. 

Glowing Hardenbergia growing up a Jarrah tree on our walk this morning.

The very very first spring leaf sprout on one of the oak trees here, with additional Tuppence! 

First leaves on the birch tree.  

I feel a bit like a new-leafing tree right now.  With the urging of my Shaman friend, Frances, I did a dismemberment journey the other weekend.  I have felt very light of spirit and free since then!  Beings like sand people from Star Wars danced around my body and took each of my limbs off, then my head, then took my body apart and they danced around and around with them, then put me back together. So funny!  Not what I had expected at all, but then journeys rarely are!  

On a more practical note, Saturday morning saw us being part of a big hazard reduction burn that was also run as a training exercise. I got to give my first red flag warning on the radio.  Let's just say we're lucky it was only an exercise!

What did I just do?   
It was a busy event, and all went well, with the usual confusion to keep everyone on their toes and make us glad that we do lots of training! 

So what's the ugly bit, I hear you ask?  It's Fionn's leg.  One week from his accident, it is actually looking pretty good compared to how it could have looked but it's not pretty.  Don't scroll down if you are squeamish!

In the meantime, have a good week and make sure you do a bit of the stuff that lights up your joy!

Scroll if you have a tough stomach...


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Oh to be young again!

Not really, I wouldn't go back for quids, as they say, but I do love watching young Pippa enjoying life.

Spring has definitely sprung, although I noticed our deciduous trees have only just begun to liven up their bare twigs.

The Flame Peas on the reserve next door are flowering (and apparently interesting.)

And the Prickly Moses has gone nuts. This one was supposed to be a companion for the baby Jarrah but I think it might be being a bully instead.

Jen is doing well, and this arvo we get Fionn's bandage off and the vet will tell us how she thinks he's going. Fingers and toes crossed.  I've got really fond of him while helping out with him this week.  He's a big goober.

Jen took this after the vet visited on Monday.  I think he is a bit too big for me.  I can barely get his rugs back on him!

I've gone over the 10 000 word mark on my new novel and am really enjoying my characters and the story.  Being able to write anywhere really helps on such busy days.

Tomorrow we go to help with a big hazard reduction burn where they will be also doing training on it as if it was a bushfire.  I'll be in the incident control vehicle so am looking forward to learning a lot. Andrew is hoping to hotseat with a different brigade to learn more firefighting techniques form different mentors.
Have a lovely weekend, full of learning and fun and relaxation! It's always good to have the sort of mix of activities that makes you feel good on a Monday.


Monday, 4 September 2017

So Far So Good!

Fionn's leg looks ok so far.

The vet came today to re-bandage it and while we aren't out of the woods yet, at least it looks like all the stitches have held and his leg is moving correctly.

He was such a good boy for his rebandaging, and we gave him some hand-grazing and a bit of a groom too.  

Jen is ok, but looking a bit the worse for wear.  She broke four of the transverse thingies on her backbone!  Yikes!  Apparently it is quite a common injury for horse riders.

As you can see her smaller furbabys are making sure she stays warm and cosy.

We spent 'lazy' Thursday and Sunday mornings cutting back lucerne trees that were growing into the firebreak and down to the ground to make it hard for grass cutting.

Sorry, trees! 

Andrew's very much unapproved chainsawing technique!  Don't worry, he was using my littler chainsaw for this, but even so! 

 A bonfire up at the block.  Yep, living on acreage is lovely but it's not always easy. 

On Saturday I had a truck lesson with our very own Brigade Norse god, Thor.  Thor, you rock!  I learned so much and had fun too!     

Things are still a bit weird here.  Our routine is all messed up.  Hopefully we'll all get back to a bit of routine soon.  Routine isn't everything, but for creative people, there needs to be a certain amount to make space for the creativity.  Having said that, I'd give up every bit of my future creativity to have my darling sis still with me, which she very easily might not have been.  Hug your dear ones, and make sure you say everything you need to say.