Saturday, 27 December 2008

Sunday Scribblings, I believe.

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt is "I Believe"
I believe we all have a voice inside of us that tells us the right thing to do.
We don't always listen to it but if we do, it will guide us towards the right path.
If we are tuned in to it .
I know I have this voice.
I don't know if it comes from god,
a spiritual being,
or guide,
or Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket,
or the ancestors,
But it is there, I have heard it many times.
I ask it questions and it helps me through.
I believe it is that special something that looks after me.
Maybe a greater being?

I believe in Mother Nature.
I believe in Mother Earth.
And their ability to heal, nurture and create.
Making our beautiful earth.

I believe in Family.
Even when they annoy the shit out of you.
I believe in Love.
I believe in Pete, my partner in life.
I believe in our future together.

I believe that 98% of people are good.
But that you have to let them be good.
That they will treat you as you treat them.
That that 2% who are not good are sometimes the ones with the biggest voices.
Refer back to the first bit for this.
I believe good people make bad choices led by the 2%.

I believe in
I believe I am lucky to be blessed with them.

I believe in education.
Where would we be without it.
I believe it is infinite,
I believe that if I learn for the rest of my life,
There will still be a world full of things that are left to learn.
I believe that I have the choice to choose that which I want to learn.

I believe there are more things unseen
and misunderstood in our world
than what can be explained logically by the sciences.

But most of all I believe in,
the beauty of the earth and its inhabitants.
her flora and fauna,
and the intricate connections that balance her,
that if we cause an imbalance we will definitely pay the price.

Love Linda.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas.

It is Christmas Eve here tonight. I just wanted to share a bit about my Christmas.
My three kids are here together with my Hubby Pete, my Mum and I. It is quite cool here today considering it is Christmas in the antipodes, not cold through as it is for Christmas in other parts of the world. I think it was in the mid twenties today but that is cooler than expected. It is cloudy and we have had some nice rain over the last few days. God knows, nobody in Australia would curse a rainy day after the drought we have had for the last seven or eight years. So I am not complaining. I love it, the more rain the better. The cloud is meant to clear today but is still hanging around keeping things cool.
Anyway the first picture is one I took today to show off and brag about one of the best benefits of having Christmas in summer. Wonderful, wonderful summer fruits and berries. The platter is made up of some of the best, strawberries, blueberries, lychees, nectarines, cherries, and one big fat juicy mango.
This is another one of my day lillies. If you can get a closer look by enlarging this you can see the tiny ants working away inside it pinching its sweet nectar.
Same flower, further back.
These are some of the sentimental bits and pieces I have kept and put out on display on my Christmas tree each year. The little knitted Christmas stocking is one I got from a school fete many years ago. An old lady had made it and was selling them. I have 3 of them, one for each of my kids and each year I put lollies in them. They have chocolate balls in them this year but they are just the right size to hold a packet of life savers which is what I usually have in them.
When my daughter was in about yr 5 in primary school she used to go to an embroidery class on the weekends and she made this there.
This is a star that my eldest son made in primary school. He is now 26 yrs old.
I think Annie made this little peg reindeer in preschool. She is now 20.
The boys made these fabric covered balls when they were in scouts many years ago.
I cant remember which of the kids made this star but I have had it for a long long time. it is a bit scruffy but is still holding together.
And....Here is the tree, all ready to go. My daughter she does each year... is trying to talk me into letting her open a present. She knows I will always give in, as I do each year. But it is a fun little game we play anyway.
I better go and play the game. :)
Merry Christmas.
Good night.
Love Linda.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Sunday Scribblings "Late"

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt is "Late". These pots are pretty late. Almost didn't get them done for Christmas. The Canberra potter's society got a grant to build a new kiln shed which they recently finished so all firing has had to wait a while. The new kiln shed is great, very spacious and room to fit all of the kilns in together. They have been very busy catching up on the backlog of firing accumulated while the work was being completed.
I made all of these pots about 3 months ago at the pottery course I enjoyed. The course was called repetitive throwing. We started off with the cylinders, the first picture is of one of six I made that were supposed to match in size, weight, decoration and design. Well they are not perfect but they are not too bad either, anyway pottery is supposed to look handmade and I don't like perfect. I decorated them the same to match and they are now a set of tumblers. Pottery tumblers are great for drinking cold drinks because they keep your drink cold for longer. Good for wine on a hot summer days.
This is the (sort of) matching set of 4 bowls, 4 mugs and the tumblers. I turned them upside down for this picture so you could see the lines I like to turn into the base of my pots. They serve a couple of purposes. Decoration, a bit of a trade mark for my pots, but they also serve a practical purpose of stopping the glaze from running too far down the pot and possibly sticking it to the shelf and also making a definitive mark to wipe the glaze back to before the pots are fired.
The platter above is one I made while still in Junee so it can really be classed as late. I bought it here with me already bisque fired so I only had to glaze it. It is glazed with the same glaze as the other pots shown here but it's extra colour comes from the clay it was made from which contains iron. I made it after a visit to the south coast on a sea and sand idea I had at the time. It is one of two, and is a second as you can see, because it has a few cracks in it so I will give this one away and keep the good one to use at home.Someone can use it as a plant saucer or something. Not that it couldn't be used for food or cooking in, as the crack is only on the edge and the crack that you can't see on the bottom of the pot is only a surface crack and does not go through to the other side, but, as a second...well you know.
The other platter and the second one are shown together here. I actually like the glaze pattern on the second one better than the good one. It looks a bit like it has foamy waves breaking on the sand.
The pots above and below are of the mugs I made at the repetitive throwing course. I really like this glaze, but I feel as if I have cheated a bit as it is a club glaze available for members to use and not one of my own. As well as the fact that I didn't fire it myself. But isn't it a lovely glaze, it is called speckled white and is oxidation fired in an electric kiln to a stoneware temperature of 1280 degrees Celsius. I have already tested my new mugs out. I sort of made them with soup in mind but I will use them for everyday tea and coffee. The rims are good, which is an important design consideration. I am sure everyone knows what drinking out of a comfortable mug feels like as opposed to one which does not balance nicely in your hand and has an unpleasant rim against your lips.

All of these pictures were taken today out on my back table. I only picked up the pots this morning. I wanted to get them before Christmas as I told my boss Brett that I would give him something from when I did the course as he filled in for me by cleaning the office we do of an evening so I could get there.He can have the 4 bowls and the seconds platter too if he wants it for something. So, not too late for Christmas.
There are still 2 dinner sized plates that hadn't been through the glaze firing yet, but they should be ready on Wednesday. One of them is in the speckled white glaze , but I carved a pattern in the bottom of the second plate as I was getting sick of trying to repeat things by then and cut into it. I glazed thatone in a clear green glaze to see if it would fill up the carved patterns. It should, I hope it does. I was supposed to make a set of four plates as well, but I wasn't having much luck with them and gave up. I learnt a lot from the course and it was worthwhile. The tutor, Cathy, did lots of things different from the way I had learned them so that was good. Un learning my old ways might be a different matter. It is being run again but as my work hours clash I thought I had best not push my luck too much and have a look at something else later next year instead. The potter's society has lots of great courses running regularly. Hopefully some of them won't clash with my work hours.
I am feeling quite happy with myself and the results of these pots,and looking forward to doing more stuff with them. The guy who is the administrator at the club said he had been admiring my pots and they were well done before I came to pick them up this morning so I was quite chuffed to get a compliment off him, he is a very good potter. It was his wife who taught my course.
Well that is my post about late pots. Sorry if I bored people uninterested in pottery. I could write heaps about pottery, just like others might who are interested in sport, or politics, or whatever.... I am not into sport but I love my pottery.
This morning before going to the Potter's Society to pick up my pots, Mum and I took a detour to the farmer's markets. The little pull along shopping basket I bought in Melbourne a few years ago was worth it's weight in gold today, he he. I really like shopping at markets and find it much more enjoyable than going to a supermarket to get my stuff. Anyway I had a lovely time sticky beaking at everything. There are some really interesting things there. Apart from the fruits and vegetables, you can get cheap plants and exotic breads, jam, condiments, meat, ready made recipe bases, coffees and teas, etc etc...Good fun. I had a cup of the best home made chai latte and we shared a punnet of freshly picked blackberries. It was funny, while we stopped to look at something on one of the stalls a chinese lady came past and saw the punnet of berries that we had put down beside us for a minute and she thought they were free samples and helped herself to a couple of them. Mum and I looked at each other and cracked up laughing. I think I spent about $60 on all sorts of bit and pieces. Yummy things you couldn't get in the country where I lived before here.
It is never too late!
Bye for now.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

I have not put photos up on my blog for a while so today I thought I would share what was goin on around my back yard yesterday.
The above picture is of a little potato plant that has self seeded itself in the vege garden.
This is a Flanders poppy. The plant is a bit small and straggly as far as Flanders poppies go and a few weeks late to flower for Remembrance day, but it flowering happily now and I wll leave its seed to drop and hopefully pop up again next season.
Flanders poppy again.
This is a close up, detail picture of this weird looking succulent thingy I have had in a pot for years. I like it though and it is weirdly sculptural when it flowers so well, like it is now.
A further back pic of the succulent above. I made this pot too.
A lovely dark red day lily.I think this could be the last flower for the season on this plant but I have some others that have not flowered yet so there are more to come.
And Dianthus. These little guys are just about finished flowering now but they have been good this year, especially the double ones.
The carrots are doing o.k.
There are some big Grosse Lissie tomatoes that are half grown and will be ready in a few more weeks.
And some little tommy toes that are very prolific and grow like mad at this time of the year.
The snow peas are just about finished now. We have had quite a few feeds off them though.I love these cooked in the fry pan with a little big of oil, just enough to grease the pan, then a tablespoon of water and put the lid on to steam for a minute or two then put in a nice blob of oyster sauce to coat them and serve.They should have just lost their crunch but not have gone soft.
The silver beet. Something is eating it before we get to eat it, but it hanging in there and will probably come good a bit later.
This is the coriander in flower. It always goes to seed when the weather warms up and now I am waiting for the seed to dry out a bit more before harvesting it to crush to use in cooking and it keeps for ages.. But I love it fresh best. It is great just with bread and butter and mayonnaise on a herb sandwich, or as it is in a salad or stir fry.A must have plant in the garden.
There is also some rocket, and some strawberries and spring onions which are ready to use right now and corn and beans planted. I also had cucumbers and squash and jap pumpkins planted but they did not survive, the cucurbit family does not like me for some reason. Then there is mint, oregano and chives, parsley, thyme, bay and rosemary. Essentials. Funny, when I lived in Junee I had a patch of thyme and every time the chooks escaped they would bolt straight for it and rip it to pieces. They loved it for some reason and I couldn't keep it in the garden for them.

My friend in blogland but not too far away from me "Merle" has gifted me with an award. Thank You Merle. It is on my side bar now after some help from my son Michael.
The Rules
1. Put up the award and link to the person who gave it to you.
Merle is on my sidebar. Her blog is called Merle's Third Time Lucky and is full of great jokes and stories as well as a bit about what she is up to as well.
2.Tag 5 other bloggers to pass on the award to.
3. Link to them.
4.Tell them.
Right I tag;
Anthony North, who is a clever blogger, writing from the U.K. and I look forwards to what he has written each week on Sunday Scribblings.I don't know how to put on a link but you can find him via Sunday Scribbling which is on my side bar.
Annie at her blog in Queensland, she blogs as Bimbimbee and you can find her on my side bar as well. A very creative and clever lady.
Shadow in Africa, also on my sidebar who has a beautiful mind.
Martha my blogging sister and crazy about her pets, like me, in West Virginia, you can also find her blog via my side bar.
Sorrow a fellow potter who lives in USA and guess what, as I still can not put links on here she can be found on my side bar as well.
I liked the idea of being a superior scribbler, I don't know if I am or not but Thanks Merlie girl for including me.

Yesterday when I took my son Christmas shopping in the city we went into a music shop where I found a DVD and I couldn't leave without it. I know... I know ...Christmas shopping is meant to be for other people but I got myself a present too.It was called "Barnes Hits".
I have spent most of this morning watching it and lovin' it. It is packed full of great stuff. And OH! what a voice! This guy is an absolute Aussie legend. The DVD starts with some of his music from the early 80's and continues on to the early 2000's. Love it, love it.
It includes some clips off his Soul Deeper album which is one of my very favourites. I love to have it on in the car when I am driving and after listening to it over and over again I never get sick of it. On the DVD you see Jimmy go from a very sexy young rocker to a mature man but still with that fantastic gutsy voice that never seems to loose its quality as he ages as you see some singers voices do. Also in the DVD there are duets of him singing with John Farnham, Michael Hutchence, Diesel, his brother in law, Tina Turner and the Badloves. I saw him recently with his daughter Mahalia, singing on a T.V.special, she too has that great gutsy voice. On this DVD there are some pictures of him with his children when they were little. He has another son in the music industry "David Campbell" who is very talented and obviously has a great portion of his father's genes. He is not such a rocker but is very well known here in Australia as a stage actor/singer. I saw them sing once together too and David can certainly hold his own up against his father's great voice. His brother "Swanee", and I have heard, his father, were musicians too.
If you want to see Jimmy Barnes in action, look him up, I know there are some clips of him on Utube. I found one of my favourite Aussie rock classics there a awhile ago called "Flame Trees" which shows him when he was very young and cute.
On another note... excuse the Pun....I like them...
I had all my hair cut off on Friday. I usually do it at the beginning of summer as my hair is very heavy and think when it gets a bit fuller and therefore hot for summer. Mum has been after me to book in and get something done to my hair for Christmas so tomorrow, Monday I have an appointment to get my hair coloured and have foils put in it. I am not sure which colours yet, I will wait for the advice from the hairdresser. I am getting adventurous in my old age as before now I have never been game to get a permanent colour put in my hair, bu..... this time I am doing it.So for summer I am re inventing myself, well not really just my hair style, but that is adventurous for me.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I knew in an instant.....

Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "I knew in an instant.."
What did I know in an instant.
The first thing I could think of for this was when my first child was born. I knew in an instant just how someone could kill. Kill to protect their offspring, which was really shocking to me as I consider myself to be mostly a pacifist and against all that stuff, despite growing up in a military family. I thought myself a lioness ready to pounce on anyone who might harm my baby. It was really strange for me. The nurse took my newborn son away and I saw a needle poised to go into his little thigh and I nearly jumped off the bed to aggressively question what they were about to do to him. It was a vitamin K injection but I was ready to fight. I know throughout the animal world that mothers of many different species will fight and die for their babies to survive and I felt that then. It was amazing to me just how vulnerable a tiny baby is, how dependent on me this little being was and how I would protect him. Strange.Sudden strength mixed with vulnerability.
What else did I think of for this post?
Well the mundane bits of our lives may seem that way to us but not to others. So I might add a bit about that. Many a good story relys on such details to set a scene, here goes.
My day so far.
This morning I snuck out quietly so I didn't wake my Mum and have her after me.
I shut the door to the office and sat down at the computer to see if I had any emails to read and send an email to Brett my boss about extra work he has lined up for us next week. He is a good bloke and looks after us, he said he had set us up some extra work so we could have the extra money for Christmas. I still have not done that because I keep getting side tracked but yeah that is typical of me , I will get to it later.
I went through a heap of funny emails sent to me and shared them around my friends. Not everyone likes getting these, but I do, and I do consider that before I pass them on.
Then I had a look at the Sunday scribblings prompt for this week. I went away to think on it, took my blood pressure and menopause supplement tablets and went to make my first cup of tea for the day.
I found the bag of fresh Lychees that I had in the fridge (yum!) , took the cuppa and the bag out to the back table and sat down in the sunshine. It is a bit cool here today and I needed to put on a light jumper. It rained all day yesterday and it was just what the doctor ordered. Yesterday was the first time in a long while we have had such beautiful steady rain all day without a break, in fact I can't remember the last time we had that. I was peeling and eating the Lychees, my little doggie Rufus was watching me throw the peel and seeds over my shoulder into the garden and running after each bit until he decided that it was nothing interesting for him to scavenge and gave up. He is such a funny little fellow, he was probably puzzled that we humans eat such strange things, but if we eat them they are certainly worth a try. Then Mum started talking, and talking and talking and I retreated back to the computer.
I should go and wash the kitchen and family room floor. I should. And fold up that washing and clean the bathroom and the bedroom, and, and, and ....... But I am not I am putting my own silly entertainment first. Those jobs will still be there waiting for me, and maybe I will be in a better mood to do them later on. I am so naughty I really should go and do them now.
This afternoon Michael wants to go into the city to a protest, something about the govt censorship of the Internet. While he is there he wants to do his Christmas shopping. So Mum's taxi will be running again. It would be good if we could go in there without my Mum as she is so slow and somehow she always manages to turn every trip around so that is all about her and nobody else gets to do anything they had planned to do. If I try to do anything without her though, she gets upset. I tried to bring this up with her the other day when we were in the shops at Tuggeranong when I told her I wanted to do the rest of my Christmas shopping by myself and she got a bit funny over it. Talk about reversed parenting! She has numerous presents for my nieces, which is just about all she thinks of and keeps looking for more stuff for them and I can't get anything done. I don't have a problem with who she spends her money on, but she forgets about some of the other kids in preference to these two all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love my nieces too... but....when you keep getting it shoved down your throat how wonderful they both are....
Ah well my day so far...
Better go and do that house work.
Love Linda.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Sunday Scribblings, Traditions.

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Traditions"
Appropriate since we are approaching the time of year that is most steeped in traditions all over the world. Christmas.
One of the prompts I read was by Liza who put up a film clip of the song Traditions from the Fiddler on the Roof movie.
It got me thinking, in my own round about way, of the traditions that we enforce on our children within our families.
There is a lot about this subject floating about. In many different forms.
I think that today we have moved away from a lot of the traditional roles that men and women have had in the past and these changes have in turn altered our society greatly. One reason being that to keep up with our standard of living requires two wages coming in to the house. Mum works outside the home.But to do this she has to have childcare services. The government will give her a subsidy to pay for said childcare, if it is with a registered childcare organization, so the children are taken away from their home environment to outside care. And because the government has done this, childcare is arranged through businesses that can cause the care to be very expensive for families to afford. Most probably grandma is still in the workforce for the same reason so she is unavailable for childcare as well.
The results of this social change , whether right or wrong will no doubt be seen in its effects on this generation as they age and become adults themselves. We will see.
I must admit I am taken in by today's consumer society and have followed the path of being outside the home to supplement the family finances and therefore uphold a decent, though not highly paid, standard of living for my family. I can well remember the days when we scrimped to buy basics for the kids and went without ourselves and I don't want to have to go back to that again.
I started work when my eldest son was 8 years old and my youngest child was about 18 months old and have been working ever since. I was lucky though there were no govt. subsidies to be had in those days so my Mum and Dad looked after my daughter for me.The boys had a teenage neighbour stay after school until I came home.
My eldest son was a monster of a kid and always up to some sort of mischief. I felt that he would punish me when I walked in the door after work for not being there for him when he got home from school in the afternoons, by being really naughty. The other two kids seemed to go with the flow much easier than he has done. I do not know if my working affected him badly or helped because of the rise in our standard of living. Either way mother guilt is a drag isn't it. I still get it and question myself over it.A myriad of questions over what could have caused his depression.
On another note, but the same subject., is gender roles that we enforce on our children. For example little boys traditionally play with trucks, little girls play with dolls. I don't know if we can actually be blamed for enforcing these as the different sexes do have preferences for different toys. Without much prompting they seem to choose these things for themselves.Girls are nurturers, boys are warriors, type of thing. There are of course, lots of differences in personal tastes to be taken into consideration here too. But, I reckon we are made different, we are built different, we are meant to be different, and we are different to complement each other. So woman's liberation aside, we will always be different.
I know that the traditional gender specific roles that were taught to me as a child have pigeon holed what I am today but they have also helped me to prepare for those roles. I am the person who looks after every one else. Mum, wife, sister, aunt, daughter, friend, employee, cleaner, etc etc. I have always done so. Even as a child I was the kid at the party or B.B.Q. or what ever, that had the job of looking after the younger kids.
This is a subject that I could write a lot about, so I had better stop before I ramble on and on and get diverted to strange places.
Love Linda.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Today is Monday. I am over the weekend and went back to work again this afternoon.
I took Mum to the hospital this morning to have a CT scan done on her adrenal gland. It is larger than it should be and the Dr wanted to measure it and compare the scan to one she had taken about 5 months ago.
We had to be there for the test at 8.00 so allowing an hour and a half for her to get ready, (yes she does need that long) and a 20 minute drive, we needed to get up at 6.00. That is pretty early for us. By the time it came to 2.00, which is when I leave here to start work, all I wanted to do was go to bed for a granny nap. But, I got my work done and am home again.
On Sunday the Tuggeranong community festival was on so I took Mum to have a look at it. There wasn't a real lot to interest me there in the afternoon so we just had a wander about. Rufus went with us to the park to have a look at the festival too and he was most excited to see other doggies and smell the food vans there. Plus the scraps that people had thrown on the ground, I had to take things out of his mouth several times before he ate them. You never can be sure what he might have picked up. Anyway, food and other doggies sent him into an excitement overload and he had a ball checking everything out. Mum hasn't been too well so we didn't walk very far.
In the evening at the festival there was a freebie concert on so when Pete got home from work we went back in there to see that. The headline act was Joe Camelleri, from the Black Sorrows. His earlier band was known as Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons.They have been around the Aussie music scene since the early 1970's that I know of, and allowing for different line ups have never been out of work. They have been one of my favourite old Aussie rock bands for a long time. Joe is very clever and plays a variety of instruments. Last night he sung as well as played the Sax, harmonica and guitar , a good entertainer. He has a great version of the old "Brown Eyed Girl" song which was one of the ones they played last night. Some of the other songs they had that were hits here are "Harley and Rose", "Hit and Run", oh there were heaps of them. Anyway he has not lost anything musically as he has aged and they still put on a great show. I had some of their music long ago on cassette, but as I don't have a cassette player any more, today I bought a best of type C.D. of theirs to listen to in the car. I saw them live once before at the Tumbafest weekend in Tumbarumba.
What was really nice last night at the festival though, was watching the crowd and the kids playing. The parents there were spending quality time with their kids.They had a nice fireworks show on after the concert on the edge of the lake.
There was one family that decided the one and only place that they should stand to watch the show was directly in front of us.There was lots of space all around but they propped themselves right there. That is so annoying! I sat there for a while and coughed a few times but they were oblivious so I took my chair and plonked it right back down beside where they stood and made a point of almost putting it on the woman's foot. I think they got the message, but with people like that you never know. I am getting rude in my old age and becoming a cranky old woman.
I got a few more Chrissie presents this morning after Mum and I left the hospital. I also bought a pair of 3/4 length pants for myself and a small bottle of perfumed oil which I have now decided I am not keen on so I have to find it another home. It is funny how you can try a perfume in the shop but when you get it home you don't like it anymore. Ah well.
I might have some extra work on Thursday cleaning a house renovation. I will look forward to that and the bit of extra money it will give me for Christmas.
The weather has been mild over the last few days, cool enough at times to wear a light jacket. Tomorrow they have predicted a temperature of 24 C. Mum has an appointment at the podiatrist in the morning so I will have another full day.
It must be time for bed. Good night.
Love Linda.