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Monday, 30 October 2017

Well, That Was Fun!

That was a busy weekend of interesting things!

Friday night we went to one of the local pubs, the Mountie, and had a dance to a band, The Heights.  Good value!  Haven't done that in years.  Luckily there are no photos of this because we were definitely dancing like no-one was watching!  It was a really friendly atmosphere.  Well done to the pub and the band. 

Had a bit of a crappy night afterwards with one of my good old reactions. That's twice now that I've reacted to very loud music.  Does it make defective mast cells activate?  Wouldn't be surprised.   It was worth it anyway and wasn't too bad compared to earlier in the year.  Haven't actually vomited since I had a polyp taken out at the gastroscopy a few months back so hopefully that bit at least is sorted. 

Saturday my darling sis, Jen, and I went off to the Gidgegannup show.  It is an agricultural show that still has a very country flavour.  Jen's two younger kids had friends to run around with, so they went off on their own, which they can safely do there, and Jen and I did the same thing.  Our faves were the animals of course, and being a small show we got to get up close and personal with quite a few.

This guy was so huge and prehistoric and snooty!

I think this is a Plymouth rock. Just adore those feathers!

This lovely lady is called Pythena.  I haven't had many chances to touch snakes so getting to stroke her and look at her up close was lovely.   She has beautiful eyes, like living mercury.

And here's my fave of the whole show, a nameless ( to me) but friendly and interactive Anglo-Nubian nanny goat, although my choice of fave was a close run thing with some of the young Saanens that were there.  I loved all the goats actually.  We had some really nice bonding moments. Goats are so intelligent and interested in people.   Think I need a couple!  Maybe one Anglo-Nubian and one Saanen?  Hmmm...

Niecey took a pic of me bonding with my favorite girl.

Sunday, we did some garden chores, I did some baking (GF raspberry, apple and white chocolate muffins and they are TOO good) and then I spent time meditating and making music in the paddock, where some ravens came to join in.  It's mostly black because I turned my phone over to get the sound better.   Rosie was panting over it at the start too, but I think you can hear the ravens and how it matched with my singing.   

And then Jen rang to say come and see a horse she is thinking of buying.  So I did, and I had a ride too!   Second ride in six years, if you don't count hopping on Mahlee bareback to go and shut the front gate before letting her go for Jen on Saturday.

He is a grey Australian Stockhorse, name of Bandit, and he is totally adorable.  Such a people-person and so kind.

I even jumped him over a few small jumps, which luckily Andrew did NOT capture on video!  I like  seeing my grin afterwards, though!

And no I didn't go and jump the bigger jump.   I decided that lumping an unfit me over the smaller ones was quite enough for Bandit to do, though he was very kind about it.  He likes to jump.

This cantering pic is a funny one.  It looks like we're floating, frozen in time and space.  (I guess that's what photos are, but you know what I mean.)

This one too.  Like everything is rotating around me and I am still.

I'm not sure if Jen will buy him or not, but he has my vote!

My niecey has forgotten the tune of this song we wrote a while back, so I uploaded the little bit of video Andrew got of us playing it as we worked it out, to help her remember.  I figured you'd like to see it too.  She took to song-writing like a duck to water.  I wasn't needed at all by this stage.

It's easy to forget a newly-written tune if you don't record it. I have a cool recording app on my phone so I can do just that while I work out stuff.  Otherwise the next time you go to play it, it's gone!  (Unless you are one of those clever people who can write and read music!)




Friday, 27 October 2017

Tree Tapping and Cat Napping

Well, not really tree tapping, but it looks a bit like it.  The nice fellas from Dieback Treatment Services were back to treat our Jarrah, Persoonia and Banksia trees for that evil fungus, Dieback.  I think it was the fifth time they have come out, and they come every three years, so you can see we've been at it for a while.  We did lose one big Jarrah two summers ago, and we've lost a couple of Persoonias too, which was more likely related to the shrinking water table, but otherwise so far the trees seem to appreciate a bit of help to beat down the fungus, which can not be cured but can be held back.

For one day, nearly every tree on the place suddenly sprouts with strange white and pink protuberances, as the injectors do their work of pushing the antifungal into the cambium layer of the trees.

It's always nice to chat to Glenn and his guys.  They are as passionate about trees as I am!

I hit the 40 000 word mark in my latest book this week. I've been writing in some interesting places. 

But, apparently I'm boring.

"Yes, you bloody are!"

"Might as well go back to the bed!  At least that's snuggly."

It's not easy being the feline owner of a pet author!   

Sunday, 22 October 2017


It's all spooky here at the mo.  With Halloween coming in the Northern Hemisphere, and half-arsedly being done Downunder too, plus me currently writing my scary sequel to Chicken Soup for Satan, I've found myself talking ghost stories with people a bit.

Like a lot of people, I've had my moments with the unexplained.  My most teeth-chattering moments have happened when I was still quite young. First there was a haunted house we were doing up to move into because the rent was cheap, but it told us it didn't want us in no uncertain terms.

I'll never forget having to creep back in by day to get something I'd left behind in our rapid exit, after a whole roomful of us had been scared out of our wits by a window suddenly moving back and forth incredibly fast with no wind to drive it.  By then we were well primed by the coldness, the creepy feel, and by the way lights kept going off and on every time you turned your back.  The window was the last straw.  It took a lot of courage to go back in, but my boom box (yes I'm that old) had been left behind and money was tight.  In I went all alone just at sunset, and out I came like a sprinter!  Brrr!

After that came a share house down near the beach.  An old two-story that we called the doll's house because it was just an up-and-down box.   It was the party house for all of our friends (and not so friends) because we were the first people our age to move out of home.  Nearly every night the lounge-room floor was littered with drunk and/or stoned people who didn't want to go home.  I was riding racehorses at the time, starting stupidly early, so I got the reputation for being a bit of dragon because I'd get up and come raging downstairs and kick them all out if they kept me awake for too long.

This night, though, all was peaceful downstairs as I crept down to go for a wee in the only toilet at the rear of the house.  The moon shone in lines through the front horizontal blinds in the big window that fronted the lounge-room.  There were the usual silent sleeping figures on couches and even floor, looking colourless in the stripes of moonlight.  All was still.   I tiptoed my way past them, and began to turn the corner to go to the rear of the house, and came to a sudden stop.  In the opening that led from the front to back half of house, hanging from a beam, was another grey figure. It was sort of misty, shining in the moonlight, and it was very obviously a hanged person.

It was super scary, and I hightailed it back upstairs and never risked coming downstairs at night again.   Later, what struck me was the strangeness of how the humans in the room were not aware of the ghost, and the ghost seemed equally unaware of the humans, as if it was just going through the motions, night after night, of replaying its own death.

It goes along with that theory I've heard that some ghosts are aware and some are merely memories of a traumatic event.  The first was very aware of us.  The second seemed oblivious.

Do you have a scary experience to tell?  I'd love to hear it!   

Friday, 20 October 2017

Our Labrador Babies Are Six!

How did that happen?

Mama Rosie, Baby Angus, Baby Tuppy, Grandma Lynne, Grandma Tess.
Seems like only yesterday that these two beauties, and all their brothers, were being born.

Pretty sure this is baby Angus, or Rocket as he was promptly named on his birthday, because he came out so fast, right behind another puppy.

Yes she's on the couch. She had them all on the couch, apart from one puppy that she had when she was supposed to be outside for a quick wee!  Yes of course we had a lovely whelping box for her.  She preferred the couch!
I'm sure Tuppy is in this one, but I can't honestly remember who wore what bit of yarn, and telling black lab pups apart from a photo is impossible!

Rosie looks so young in that photo.  I guess we all looked younger!  Luckily, we're all wiser now too, to make up for it.  :D

The usual dog-photographing chaos ensues!

Ah well, in other news, this was one of my writing spots this week:

37 000 words written by the end of this week.  Almost at halfway!  A Firey friend has started reading 'Chicken Soup For Satan' and told me he's really enjoying it, and to hurry up and get the sequel finished.  I'm working on it, young Drew!  :D

This morning, we put on our comms brigade hats and went and did a rural urban interface exercise with a combo of a lot of brigades.  It was pretty chaotic at first.

But we soon got it all sorted out and the Fireys went out to do assessments of house defendability, then to set up house defense, as the huge imaginary fire got closer.  I got to try a new job; being scribe for the Operations Officer.  It was really interesting and fast-paced and I got to listen in on all of the planning, which was cool. If you don't think you can fight fires, there are plenty of other jobs you could be doing in a local brigade!

At the end, we all came back together for a debrief.  It was great to know so many people there, and I really enjoyed the human interaction.  There are so many lovely people in the Firey organisations!

I always like seeing the mix of uniforms at these big things!

That's me in the blue at the back there.  Love our blue shirts!  That's Max who i'm talking to there. Max is an ex-captain, a whizz on the radio, and a kind teacher, and I learn a lot from him. 

Tom, who took the pic, was amused by the 'no standing' sign on the tarmac there.  Glad to see others enjoy these little quirky moments in life! 

Tonight we go to our brigade annual dinner, and I am looking forward to seeing my good friends there.

Tomorrow I go to Just Add Passion for the Stoneville fete, and will be there signing books and networking with my fellow authors.  If you are a local, come by and say hello!  We're friendly, I assure you! 


Monday, 16 October 2017

Hey, What Happened to the Weekend?

Apart from passing my truck license (Yep still pretty stoked about that!) it was a typical sort of week and weekend here. 

Writing outdoors with chickens in attendance...

And writing-ending kitty smooch-attacks...

There was walking in nature...

There was fire-brigade business to enact... (Check out the cool new jackets organised by me and put away in their new owner's pigeon-holes!  So pretty to see! )

There was property maintenance, mostly involving the chooks... 

The chook-dome is now completely Fort Knoxed!
A replacement for the fallen tree perch that finally fell right down. Yes, of course they hate it and are ignoring it!

Music was made, indoors and out...

And last but not least, art was done!  (Shhh, it's still a secret but I can trust you, right?)

Saturday, 14 October 2017

I passed!

I'm now a licensed medium-rigid truck driver. I can drive the fire-trucks all on my lonesome. 

And I'm totally buzzed!  That is all!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Bonfires and Creative Fires

 Our bonfire on Saturday night was so much fun!

Our Firey friend, Fifi, fed us so well to thank us for burning her pile of garden refuse that we felt much over-rewarded and we had a very jolly evening!

It's a family brigade!

And some of us also got a tad silly!
You definitely had to be there!
I stayed home from Fireys this week.  I wanted to catch up on some housework and baking, and do some peaceful creative stuff.   It was nice.  Like stolen time always is!   

I did some more work on the painting that I'm working on for a niecey's birthday. (With chickens, since nearly anything I do outdoors these days involves chickens!)   

I also videoed another song for you.  This is one my sis and I wrote a long time back and we had so much fun with it.  I think the idea was that the character in the song would eventually learn a lesson, but they were just too irrepressible in the end.  :D

It's been a musical afternoon today too.  Niamh was over to do some art and writing, so we did some sketching of our favorite subject (Cyrano Fitty Kitty of course!)  and then we worked on a song we've been writing together.

It's fun having other creative person in the family! 

I have a couple of truck lessons this week, then my test on the weekend, so I might leave my Friday post till lunchtime Saturday, so I can tell you if I've passed or not.  Fingers and toes crossed please!  I'll be fine as long as I don't do something silly due to nerves.  Why do I do these things to myself?  Because challenge is good?  (Remind me of that on Saturday morning!)


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Spring is Flower time!

The wild flowers are really coming out around here now.

I don't know all of their names, but these blue lovelies are Leschenaultia.

These pink ones might be a variety of Pimelia, but they are usually white.  Their leaves are rather Grevillea-like.  The trouble with native Oz plants is that the same class of plant can be a huge tree and a tiny ground cover, and there are very local variations in color and style just to complicate things!

These are some sort of orchid.  Maybe donkey, but they have more magenta on them than I am used to seeing.

These aren't native.  I think they are the last surviving bluebells. We used to have quite a few.
And this is the east side of mum's verandah, with Clivea flowering in the foreground and lovely deciduous trees beginning to leaf up in the background.

This Acacia Saligna is one I planted a few years ago.  It has particularly big flower balls.

And here is a flower of Arabian beauty, also known as Mahlee, as I led her up to dinner the other night.

Stop taking photos and get me to my dinner!    Ahh mares, I do love how opinionated they are!

Not flower related at all, but here is Andyroo doing a scary "Deliverance look".   I had to take the pic to show him how scary he looked, and you can't see his eyes glinting in there like I could!

We're off to another bonfire soon, with brigade friends again. The good people I have met there and become true friends with are some of the best things that have happened to me in a very long time!   Whatever else has happened there, and some of it has been really crappy, the friendships have made every bit of it worth while.  Love you guys!