Saturday, 24 March 2007

It's Raining!

The weather man said there would be rain today. He said it last week and I didn't hold my breath but yep, it is actually raining. And on the day he said it would. Bloody amazing!!!!!!! It started about 6 this morning and has not stopped yet. Its almost 11.30 now. We had a nice bit of rain 2 days ago too. The news man said that they didn't expect enough to stop the allocation of irrigation water to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area farmers (M.I.A.) , being withdrawn on the 31st of this month, so they are still very worried for their livelihoods. I have heard that lake Eyre has water in it and is filling up which is also a positive sign of more rain coming for us. Cross your fingers for us. Lake Eyre is a huge dry salt lake in central south Australia. Dry most years anyway, it fills up when the cyclone season rain is big enough to drain down into it from northern Australia. In the Wagga paper this morning it also said that the stock market has been improving with the end of the latest El Nino cycle. One thing with the rain though , it has shown us this morning just how badly the guttering around our house needs replacing. It leaks and overflows badly. Not a problem we have had for quite a few years with the drought.
I was woken up at 5.00 this morning by a noise at the side gate and went outside to have a look, well, what I could see wasn't much at that time of the morning, as the torch was safely kept in the car. It wasn't my poor senile Freddy dog as I had expected, but the big white and tan pet rabbit from next door. It was trying to get into the back yard so it could attack my garden and eat my silver beet that I've been nursing along since I planted it a few weeks ago. No bloody way. The neighbors can't keep it in it's cage and it's a bit mad so they don't try to catch it. I caught it once and gave it back to them and found out the hard way that it is quite capable of defending itself. It was back out of it's cage the same day. I caught 2 of the doves they let out and I don't want their bloody rabbit as well. Nice people and good neighbors but not really responsible pet owners. Both the doves and bunnies easily survive in the wild here and are an introduced species that become feral.
I am looking forward to the trip to Melbourne which is only a couple of days away. We go on Wednesday, coming back on Saturday. This afternoon we are going into Wagga to go to the annual food and wine festival. Weather permitting, as its held outdoors around the civic center. There is live music and local wines and food stalls from the many different ethnic communities which have now settled in our area. There will be Indian, Egyptian, Lebanese, African, and modern Australian foods that I know of. Should be good, but I would rather have the rain if we can still get it. It is also birthday drinks at my second son's house as he and his house mates birthdays are just a few days apart and are celebrating together. He will be 23, on the 27th. He wanted a set of plain black seat covers for his car that he could have embroidered but we could not find any that did not already have something on them. We might be able to find some in Melbourne.
I also need to get groceries for everyone for while we are away. My Mum loves to get into the grocery shop so I have to take her with me. It keeps her happy but drives me mad because she takes an hour and a half to do what I could do by myself in 15 minutes and I come out with lollies, cakes, biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks that I don't like to have around but she fights me to have. Oh well better get on with it, I can't win, it's a give in or have a temperamental unhappy mum to put up with situation.
Bye Love Linda.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Oura Beach, Murrumbidge River

I took these photos of Oura beach last year, which is about a 20 minute drive up river from Wagga. The photos show my Mum standing under the eroded roots of a huge river red gum tree that has been clinging onto the bank ever since I can remember and probably a lot longer than that. She is a bit less than 5 ft tall nowdays. Another shows the beach area looking up stream with water over the sandy bit. It isn't flooded, the sand is covered due to water being let out for irrigation. The other photo shows the view looking downstream from the reserve along our muddy Murrumbidge river. The other is of the tree my Mum was standing under earlier, taken from further back.I spoke about river red gum trees in a post I published earlier. (feb 16th) They are beautiful aren't they. I hope you can work out which is which because when I looked they were not in the order I put them.
Love Linda.


It was raining this morning when I woke up, I heard we got 4 points, no watering needed tonight, but the rain has gone away again now. I worked today, all went well so I had an easy day. There was a motorbike crash this afternoon and they had to take the bloke by air ambulance to Canberra. They treated him in the back or the ambulance here before going towards Wagga to meet up with the retrieval team. I don't like seeing upset relatives, I'm too big a softy and feel like joining in.
Last year our neighbor's doves got out of the aviary and stayed around our back yard, we fed them for a while but when Pete opened up the cocky's cage one of them walked in and had been living there ever since. On Thursday this week there was another one around so Pete caught it and put it in the cage with cocky as well. When I came home we moved them into the empty chook yard and they were quite happy there for a few days but managed to escape again. They are both very tame and are staying around the yard. I can walk up to them and be about one foot away from them but when I put my hand out to catch them they take off so I haven't been able to catch them, one of them follows me around the yard because it knows I feed it, but stays just out of reach. They are too tame to stay out because a cat will catch them, I will try to catch it and modify the chooks cage so they can't get out again, the neighbors are obviously not interested in having them back and I can't just leave them for the cats to hunt. I didn't really take much interest in them before this but I think the little dove following me around the yard looking for a feed has won my heart now so I better look after it. Besides that I don't think we need another feral species to add to the collection we already have in our environment. I think they are called Indian ring neck doves.
I got to spend a few hours in my pottery shed on Thursday. I started out wedging up a large bucket full of recycled clay on the cement table in the back yard. The clay was standing and soaking for several months and came out lovely and plastic and was easy to throw so I had quite a successful throwing session. I made 4 good sized bowls. Two of them were flat serving bowls and the other 2 were taller and deep. I guess they would hold 3 or 4 litres each. On the flat bowls I placed some glad wrap in the bottom and pressed the rose patterned candles onto it so I could continue the rose and melted glass idea I have been playing with. On the two deeper bowls I sprigged a small rose just inside the rim which I thought would help as a finger hold. The clay was white stone ware. I'm happy with the form of three of them, I'm not real sure about the form of the largest flat bowl. It might end up back in the bucket. I didn't see anything of the large brown snake that I saw in my shed a few months back so I guess its moved on, I hope so anyway. The whole shed is covered in a layer of fine red dust from the dust storms we have been having and needs a good clean up and hosing out.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Autumn garden

I have been busy renovating my front garden as it is autumn and our weather is becoming more gentle, but still no rain, and its nice to be working outside again. There are 2 circular garden beds in the centre of my front garden which have been neglected for years as most of my garden is out the back. I removed the yarrow and took up the bulbs in this bed and re sorted and divided them. Nan (my mum) sorted the bulbs and Pete helped me dig them. There were over 200 blue bells and a similar amount of spraxia bulbs as well as some babiana and ixia bulbs. I re planted the blue bells in a circle around the outside, then the spraxias inside that and the others in a small circle around the centre. Then the red and white yarrow back in over the top. I treated the soil with charlie carp, blood & bone and soil wetter. Should be good. The blue bells flower in late winter and the other bulbs flower in spring, the yarrow will form a mat over the top of them and help to conserve moisture in the soil. Yarrow flowers here in the heat of summer when not much else is out. The centre bed is heart shaped and has a good sized book leaf pine which I use to decorate as a Christmas tree each year. Along the front fence is a row of blue and white Agapanthus which Ali, one of my workmates has been eyeing off. She keeps reminding me that when I am ready to divide them she wants to help so she can get the left overs, so we will do that soon. Along the side fence is a snowball bush, a double white may bush and a Gymea lily. Here is a site with pics of it.
Gymea lilies are not supposed to grow here and I am quite proud that I have it. It has never flowered for me and I don't know if it will here out of its natural area but I have had it for about 10 years and nursed it through our frosty winters while it was little. I got it at the Canberra show. You are supposed to be able to get it to flower by placing a round pebble down inside the centre of it but I think I will leave it alone because I don't know if mine is big enough to support the huge flower spikes they get. They are known to be temperamental outside their natural area too so I am lucky to have it at all. I have not seen another one around here so if it ever does flower it will be a real event. I don't usually bother trying to grow plants that I don't think will do well here, it is stupid and self defeating and expensive but this plant is one of my favourite natives and spectacular, so I thought it worth a try.
We have quite a few very sick palliative cancer care patients at work at the moment, not nice in a small town where people know each other for most of their lives.
Today I want to clean out the chooks pen, they are moulting and look pretty sad at the moment. Later today we will take my daughter Annie in to Wagga. She is going to a responsible service of alcohol and gambling course. You need these certificates to work in a pub or club here, which is what she has decided she is going to try while waiting to get into uni as a mature aged student. I don't really believe she is tough enough or experienced enough to put up with working with drunks, but she wants to try it so, go figure. Put it down to experience or what ever. I want to buy a new digital camera this afternoon. Our old one died and I want one to take to the Melbourne flower show with me at the end of this month. We have booked a serviced apartment closer to the C.B.D. than the caravan park was, for 3 nights. It turns out it is only about a km from the flower show so we did well. Pete found out there is also a caravan and camping show on in Melbourne at the same time so we can go to that too. I don't know Melbourne well so will depend on Pete to get us around or catch a taxi. Melbourne is a scary place to drive for me because it has trams going down the centre of the road, so Pete can drive in the city too! I also want to check out their art gallery which is supposed to be very good. I'm looking forward to to the trip.
I also need to get into my shed to do some pottery as I have been calling myself a potter under false pretenses lately, and if I don't get back to it soon I'm sure will have forgotten all the skills and techniques I have learned over the years. The more gentle autumn weather will make my shed a much more pleasant place to spend some time.
Pete is sitting in front of the T.V. at the moment laughing at the disco clothes on a advert of 70's music. Pretty funny stuff.
O.k that's enough time wasted here for today.Bye Linda.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

A new month.

G'Day people,
Today is the a nice quiet Sunday and I get to stay home all day. I went out for Tea on Friday night and to the pictures in Wagga for a girls night out. There was 9 of us. We had a late tea in an Italian restaurant after the movie. I had warm chicken salad which was very ordinary because the chicken was over cooked and had gone stringy. Last night a group of potter's club people and I had Chinese tea in Wagga again. We had a banquet and by the time the last 2 dishes were bought out we were groaning and saying God, please no more! But it was really good food anyway. My dietitian lady would have been shocked. I don't have to go back to see her until June. Medicare (Govt. run free health care) covers me for 5 visits free each year and I am waiting to go back again then, meanwhile I am just trying to maintain what I lost before. The scales still measure the same, so far so good. Tea last night was Di's idea in lieu of her exhibition opening. Di is a talented sculptor, though she terms herself a clay worker. We have in our club a monthly exhibition by one of our members and we reckoned doing tea was a better idea for the social part of it. We should do this more often. Which is what we say each time we get to go out together like that. But yeah, we will make the effort to go together more often instead of just worrying about the running of the club.
Last night I hit a big owl on the way home that was on the road. There was a car coming towards me and I thought I saw something there, but wasn't sure, and slowed down but I hit it anyway. They sit along the sides of the road on fence posts because they know that the car lights going past will flush out little mice or other small things and they can swoop on them, but if their timing is just a bit out it is a deadly way to hunt. I also had a gorgeous little Gecko in the house last night that I caught in a box and took outside. They are quite common. When we lived in Darwin and Singapore they were very common there and you could hear them barking. Well not really barking, more like a repeating short high pitched squeak but we called it barking. I used to get their eggs and try to hatch them in match boxes in cotton wool when I was a kid. The Chinese used to say that if Gecko's lived in your house it meant you had a happy house. They are so fine and delicate, really lovely, but my cat thinks so too. He has been inside a few times I hope he stays outside this time for his own safety. Michael took a photo for me. His little toes are no more that a millimeter thick and the suckers on his toes are the size of a large pin head. He is a pale pinkish gray color, but I think they can change color with what surface they are sitting on. They hunt insects. The wall is a mauve/ gray color.
Spell check keeps telling me my spelling is wrong, it's the American version I guess, my spelling isn't that bad, but I'll go along because I hate seeing the little red lines across my writing and it is my compulsion to fix them. We spell color as colour here, gray as grey etc etc. Funny:)
Today is quite nice the temperature will be in the low 30's, it was hot yesterday 38 degrees, I think between 37 and 38 is equal to 100 on the Fahrenheit scale.
Yesterday while I was waiting for the clock to tick over I drove out to Lake Albert in Wagga to kill some time and went for a walk around the lake. It actually has a bit of water in it at the moment as Wagga got some rain over the last week that drained into it. We got no more than a light shower here. I used to go there a lot in my teens. I often took my old doggie, Princess, there for a swim but she got scared when I went in the water and used to try to pull me out again which was very funny at the time. She was a white German shepherd and the best dog I ever had. She lived for 18 years and when I married Peter her surname was changed with mine at the local vet, so pete married my dog too. My sister bought her for me from the R.S.P.C.A. she had been abandoned. I used to think she was a farm dog because she rounded up cattle and goats and put them back through a gate near my house a few times. This was not a popular pass time with the farmer however! She was very gun shy and would panic at loud noises so I reckon that's why they dumped her. She hated motor bike noise too, so if she wasn't locked up when the postman came around she would terrorize him. She was the best dog though. She also tried to mother all of my children when they were babies and looked after them. She is worthy of a host of other stories too numerous for today's entry, so that's all about her for now. Suffice to say I will never love another dog the way I loved her. Anyway back to the lake. It has been closed lately because the water level was too low and there was a blue green algae out break in it which is toxic. Over the last few years because of the drought there have been a lot of really big Murray cod found dead there and other fish dying. It got down to only a few feet deep, so it was closed to water skiing as well. It looks o.k. now though, but the water level is still quite low compared to what it used to get years ago. People were skiing there yesterday. The lake is man made and bordered by upper class housing and a golf club and boat club. Council is now working on the last stages of a walking track and you will soon be able to do a full circuit of the lake. Should be good. O.K. thats enough ramblings for today, gotta do some house work.
Bye Love Linda.