Friday, 30 January 2009

Sunday Scribblings "Regrets"

Regrets, hmm regrets. Yep I have lots.
Mostly to do with my lack of self esteem holding me back.
I never could beat that one,
but I am trying.

Could haves,
Should haves,
Would haves,
Could not,
Should not,
Would not,
Did not.

If I was just a bit braver,
If I did not tell me
I would fail
so why bother trying
It is not worth the risk.

If fear did not beat bravery back,
If I did not give in to,
or myself,
or make excuses.

Where would I be now
I guess I will never know.

Not now.


So what have I been doing this week.
Working , sweating, sleeping , eating. All that boring stuff that pays for us to jump back on the merry-go- round and do it all again. Living.
It has been so hot here. I have been really feeling it and while I have been at work the perspiration has been pouring off me, a most uncomfortable and ugly occurrence.
Trying to sort the new school that we have been given to clean. I have not got it right yet but will learn it given time. It has only been 3 days so far. I hope my back can keep up when the weather starts to cool down again in a few months. The people there seem nice though. The school is spread across two sites and is quite a big one put together. At one of the schools they are still completing renovations that will add to our workload considerably when the work is finished. Meanwhile there is a lot or dust and mess to fix up. We have not yet restarted the 2 other schools that we normally do because school in this state does not resume until next week. The new school is over the border in Queanbeyan.
I was a bit disappointed tonight, my boss took the boys out for dinner and drinks and I was sort of uninvited because I am older and the only female. They said I could come if I wanted to, but they were not encouraging. I know that logically they would have been happier without me (boys night out) and I probably would have been out of place if I had gone but it would have been nice to be included just the same. I said no for those reasons anyway. Why would a 49 yr old woman want to go out with a group of young blokes?
Chris, one of the blokes passed out at work today from heat exhaustion. He was on the carpet steam cleaning machine, but he was o.k tonight. I am sure that I didn't suffer as much as this when I lived in Junee, the heat is drier there even thought the thermometer shows a higher reading than here in Canberra. They are having temps of above 40 Celsius there. We have been in the high 30's here but with more humidity. We are just starting the hottest month of the year, with a vicious heat wave.
That is about all for tonight.
Love Linda.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Sunday Scribblings Phantoms.

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Phantoms".
Well since I have just been on a trip to Brisbane for the weekend I thought I would work that into the prompt.
I love plane travel. I have not been in a plane for about 8 years or so. Air travel is so quick compared to car travel which is my usual mode of transport. Price wise it is o.k for one person but not if you have to pay for a family group to air travel. Compared to car travel pricewise, well you just don't do it.
I took the above photo from the plane window on my way north to Brisbane on Saturday morning. The trip took 1 hour and 20 minutes compared to probably 24 hours solid driving, that's not counting stopping and rest times, a big difference. I flew back this morning. Anyway the cloud picture.
Looking out across the early morning sky I was loving seeing the changes in the cloud formations. I thought they looked like snow or soap bubbles or something solid that I could just step out into and walk through. I loved seeing the layers and different heights that they were formed in and how they seemed like phantoms because you could not really tell after a while of staring at them which was land and air and sea because they were all blended in together. The way that they flew over the wings of the plane that occurs during take off look great too.
I could also imagine those clouds being phantoms because in my country when there is drought we all watch hopefully while clouds build up and wait for rain and rejoice in it, but it seems that sometimes they float away to drop their precious load somewhere else and not over the parched land where it is so desperately needed.
The reason for the trip was to spend time and meet up with some of my family. I don't get to see them often due to distance but I thought that as a late new years resolution I should say that I will make a resolution to follow up on the people in my family instead of leaving things until another day and time. Finances permitting of course. When you do that you tend to sit back and the years fly past so quickly , kids grow up you miss a lot of their lives etc, etc, you know the deal.
The picture above contains my sister, my great nephew Joel, his wife Erica, their sons Jayden and Caleb who are my great great nephews and 9Th generation Australians on our side of the family, and my great niece Ivory.

Nan Caleb, Jayden, Ivory, Chloe, and Cassie.
Jayden, Caleb, Erica.
Me with Chloe, she is the newest member of the family and I had not seen her before. She is such a happy,sweet natured little cherub.
The newest member of the family and the eldest. I love this picture.
My niece Janelle lives in Brisbane and Jayden 8yrs is her eldest grandson.
My niece Tatham. We shorten her name to Tatie or Tato. This was at the pub yesterday afternoon where we all sat together enjoying the passing parade, the band playing and each other. She is 19 in a few more months. She and my sister live in Biloela 7 hours drive north of Brizzie. In this pic she was playing with her neice Ivory's dummy.
My niece Cassie with her daughter Ivory. They live in Grafton, 4 hours drive south of Brizzie.. Sharing her love heart lollipop with mummy. In a few months time Ivory will have a new sibling to play with.
And below Ivory and I playing in the water at South Bank in Brisbane, it was so hot and steamy I was dying to get in the water with her. So called because it is built on the south bank of the Brisbane river. It is an entertainment area and this is at the man made beach and lagoon. ( I did get to have a swim under cover of darkness at the motel pool later that night.)
Brisbane is the capitol city of Queensland and ( I think) the 4Th biggest city in Australia. It is warm all year around there and on the weekend it was humid and steamy because it rained intermittently all weekend. Brisbane had floods not so long ago after being in real trouble with the drought, their water storage for the city was at dangerously low levels and they were almost out of water. Why would you let a bit of rain bother you? It did not stop us doing anything. On Saturday morning we went out and sat on the sidewalk watching the passing parade while we had our breakfast. We had to move tables twice because of the rain, but it was not a problem. Then we walked along the road a bit and found another little cafe where we propped for another half hour, drank tea and listened to a young girl playing the clarinet because it was still raining too heavily to go back to the apartment where we were staying. Very nice and civilized.
So back to the prompt.
Don't let your family get away from you and become phantoms from your past.
Don't let some painful memories from your past and the people there let you stop doing that.
Time goes too quickly, we need them for today and they need us in their today too.
This has become more important as I have got older and look back on the times that I enjoyed and sometimes did not enjoy with my family in the past.
Some of the people in your family are getting older and may not be there forever.
We are making memories for them, young and old, as well as for ourselves.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sunday Scribblings, "Pilgrimage"

Ruth and Terry.

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Pilgrimage.
This weekend I went away to Sydney and had myself a sort of pilgrimage. I went to pick up my Mum who lives with us as she had been to visit my eldest sister Thelma at Morisett near Newcastle. Sydney is about half way so we met up there. I had not been anywhere for a long time so I used the opportunity to go and visit some of the places I know and love along the way. And meet up and touch bases with some of the people I love too.
I emailed my cousin Ruth who lives in Sydney and asked her to meet up with us in the city and have yum cha for lunch. My sister Thelma, got her son Terry and his daughter Olivia to drive them there and Ruth was being visited by her Mum and sister Joan, so we all met up in the city.There was 8 of us.
The first picture above was taken this Saturday at the shopping plaza above Paddy's markets in china town.The people are my cousin Ruth and my nephew Terry. They were laughing because I got Terry to hold all the handbags and shopping.
The other picture above here is of a very nice sized Goanna that was in the park at Audley. He was very shiny looking, as far as Goannas go, so he must have recently shed his skin. Goannas or more correctly, monitor lizards have sharp claws and can run really fast if they want to. They eat carrion so if they bite you they cause infections and supposedly the bite comes back every year at the same time but I think that is just legend. They are also pretty funny critters because if you startle them one of their defences is to run up the nearest tall tree and if they think you are that tree...well, funny, albeit painful. They also eat birds eggs, bugs and other lizards and are really good swimmers. Sorry this is out of sequence for my story but I made a mistake and had to re post this picture and so this is where it will stay. For sanity's sake. He he.
This picture is a bit out of place in here too but it is of the evening sky last Thursday, viewed from my front porch. Pretty.
On Friday morning I left Canberra and headed north then turned down the Appin way to get to the coast at Woolongong which is just below Sydney. This is taken from one of the lookouts alongside the road above Coal cliff, (appropriately named as that is what is mined there), looking south towards Woolongong and Port Kembla. The coast line is spectacular along here, and as you can see, the escarpment that goes the length of the eastern side of Australia crashes into the sea here. There is a new bit of road here that I wanted to drive along. It is a bridge set above the ocean out from the cliffs. Last time I drove along there they were just starting to build it and the road was closed. There was always a problem on that part of the road because the old road was cut into the cliff face and always had rock falls and they had to keep repairing it. The new bridge is quite on engineering feat.
This is the little beach at the bottom of Stanwell Tops.Looking south.
Stanwell Tops beach looking north. The headland you can see above the beach in this picture is famous because hang gliders and kites are flown off it on the weekends, there are lots of people watching and you can see all along the coast looking south towards Port Kembla. I remember seeing the gliders when I was living in Sydney, where we moved when I was 10 years old, we would go for drives through the Royal National Park and down to there and buy an ice cream and sit on the cliffs to watch them.
This is the board up on the cliff at Stanwell Tops. If you enlarge it you should be able to read about it.
Looking north on Stanwell Tops. You can see one of the Hang gliders in the distance.
This was taken at the southern end of The Royal National Park which is one of my favourite places. If I remember correctly it was the first national park declared in Australia and covers an area from Stanwell Tops in the south to the southern shores of Botany Bay in its northern end which is where Captain Cook set foot on Australian soil and claimed it for England. He just beat the French to it, they were just outside the heads to the harbour. It suffers from bushfire damage each summer. But as far as I have heard it has been safe so far this season.
The park encompasses a variety of habitats from remnants of rain forest like this picture shows.
To low windswept coastal heath vegetation like this.This was taken on the roadside down to Garie beach.

This is a leaf from a London Plane tree among the gum leaves. Just because I thought it was beautiful. It was a huge tree and was probably planted at Audley in the very early days of the parks establishment when Sydneysiders came here to visit.
London Plane trees are commonly used as landscape trees in towns, parks and on roadsides in Australia but they grow huge and damage buildings and pathways with their roots. They are excellent shade trees planted in the right place.

Cockies, or more correctly named, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos in the big paperbark (melaluca) tree at Audley where I stopped to get some lunch.

The boat house at Audley. You can hire water bikes and paddle boats here to row on the Hacking river. Very pretty spot. We went there and got boats a few times when we were kids.

This is Terry and his Mum, my eldest sister Thelma. She did not know the chopsticks were behind her head. Our family has a tendency to try to play tricks on each other and get it on camera. He he.
She would not be impressed by me putting this photo up, but she does not have a computer so I think I am safe.

The next picture is of me with my Auntie Joan, she turns 80 in a few weeks. Cheers with the Chinese green tea at the Yum Cha restaurant. Yum Cha is sort of like a Chinese version of brunch, except it goes most of the day. They bring around little trolleys that are full of dim sum, steamed dumplings, gow gees and vegetables and all sorts of interesting tasty little morsels for you to choose from.Good fun. It worked out at $26 per head for lunch which is pretty good. That was including drinks and dessert.
My sister Thelma again. Smile sweetly for the camera Thellie!
My cousin Joan. She is 5 years younger than me. She is a great person and talks your head off. A family failing or what? Nah! I like people who can do that, they are good to have around as I don't have that verbal skill.

Last picture is of my Mum, Chopsticks and noodles she is now 88 years old. We didn't tell her that my auntie Joan and cousins were meeting up with us in the city so we could surprise her. It worked really well and the look on her face when she saw them was priceless.
So I had a pretty good weekend, a family pilgrimage, a drive down memory lane and some quiet time by myself to dawdle and do what I like to do, namely enjoy the beautiful earth.
I stayed in a motel by myself on Friday night in Liverpool and at my cousin Ruth's house in Merrylands on Saturday night which is the most time I have spent out of my own bed in probably a year. Almost a year full of change and adjustments.
Today on the way back to Canberra I had a sticky beak at the Sturt school in Mittagong. It is well known as a place to find top quality arts and crafts, especially in my area of interest, Pottery. There is work on display and for sale by the top potters and in the school holidays they have a variety of week long workshops. I have not been able to attend them as yet due to financial constraints but they are definitely on my to do list.I also took a drive up Mt Gibraltar above the town. Wow! You should see the houses up there! And the Gardens! Talk about nice to have money.
That is about all for tonight. I will try to get back to putting a post in here twice a week as I have not always managed it, at least not lately.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Interview Me.

Yesterday I was the doing the usual weekend entertainment thingy and going around the blogosphere reading what my favorite bloggers had been up to when I came across a game that I liked the looks of on Shadow's blog, she is, on my side bar. It is called Interview Me.
Here are the rules.
1. Leave a comment saying Interview me.
2. Comments with email addresses will not be published to preserve privacy.
3. I will email you 5 questions. I get to pick the questions.
4. You can answer the questions on your blog.
5. post rules on your blog with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you wanting to be interviewed.
6. Anyone wishing to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions on their blog.
7. It would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger
Shadow sent me these questions.
Describe your favourite season of the year.
Spring of course. I love spring because after the cold of winter when everything has been dormant and damaged by frost as it is in this part of the country is reborn. Spring is the season of our worlds rebirth. It is chance of a fresh start when plants come to life and animals and birds breed because they know the world is kind to them then. It is the reassurance that no matter what the world is still turning and going through the annual cycles that keep us all alive. It is kind of like the movie A Secret Garden when it shows the scene in time lapse photography of the progressing of plants and animals awakening and coming to life. I love that scene.

If there was something you could change about where you live what would it be?
The cost of housing. We are priced out of the market as far as purchasing a home of our own and the rent we pay is a lot of money out of our weekly earnings which cuts our disposable income level down to much much lower than it was before we moved here. Maybe I am too fussy or too spoilt because of what we had in Junee with a lovely yard to dig and plant in and a small mortgage payment each week which was much less than what we pay in rent here. As we are getting older we are scared to stick our necks out too far because we wouldn't be able to afford a mortgage here when we retire. So that means leaving here when we do retire. I don't really want to have to do that because I like it here.

Every child gets asked the question"What do you want to be when you grow up?" What was your answer to that and did you get to do it?
The very first answer to that question I can remember giving was "I want to be a mummy". Well I did get to do that but there have been lots of times where I have doubted that I have done a good job and that makes me feel useless.
Other things I thought I would like to be were a secretary because when my Dad took me to work with him I liked playing on the typewriters in the office. He he. Then later on I had this day dream that I wanted to be a photographer and travel around the outback taking photographs of animals and birds and scenery in one of those funny old slide on the back of a truck camper vans. Ah yes, I am a dreamer. I still like the sound of a nomadic lifestyle but nowadays I have adapted it to traveling with a caravan but with a base to come home to.

What is better Christmas or Birthdays and why?
I don't really know. Though I think birthdays are less trouble than Christmas with all the commercialism and hype that it has attached to it for just one day. Christmas is nice too though because it is commemoration of our religions beliefs, even though it has been proven that it was not set on the actual birthday of Jesus.

Tell me about how you met and fell in love with your partner?
When we were young I used to go out to the discos at the local clubs in Wagga. They were on probably 3 nights each week at different places around town, we would met up with friends and dance etc even though disco was not my favorite choice of music. I was 17 bat the time which means I used to have to sneak in there underage. Peter used to sit with some other friends we knew and he used to always be looking my way when I looked in his direction and he would wink at me and I thought is that bloke winking of has he got a twitch in his eye, so every time I looked around he would wink again, I couldn't work it out, but I thought he was pretty cute anyway. I still love bright blue eyes and reckon you can tell a lot about someone from watching their eyes. Anyway we were introduced and danced etc, which was a big thing for him because he still hates dancing. He he. When we started going out he used to have this big black panel van with the back all fitted out with a mattress etc and I was really scared he would drive it into Mum and Dad's driveway and they would take one look at it and say "What The.... no bloody way are you going out with that bloke". But they didn't and the first time he came home to meet my parents I couldn't get a word in edge ways and they liked him straight away which is more than I can say about some of the other blokes I took home.
We had warm summer days playing in the water, and lots of cold winter nights and days steaming up the windows of that old van , and sunny afternoons laying part naked on a secluded river bank in the long grass and driving around just because we could be by ourselves together.
Anyway things progressed and I was really bored and sick of him one day and I was thinking of dumping him and then I thought O.M.G. I can't. I must love him. Light bulb moment. We were driving along in his van, I remember the exact place and even what song was on the radio. A remake of the old song "My guy".
When he asked me to marry him the first time I was not ready for it and said "Don't ask me yet, ask me later". Then later I told him I was ready, He he. I really though long and hard about that because I never wanted to be labeled the girl who just wanted to get married, and I had seen too much pain caused by people who had married wrong to take that risk. We are still together after nearly 4 years courting and 28 years married. there have been times though when I could have and probably should have walked out. We grew up together during those years. I am so glad I stuck it out and took the risk. That light bulb moment stuck.
That is my questions answered. If you would like to participate please let me know so I can send you your questions.
Love Linda.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Organic Gardening

This weekends Sunday Scribblings prompt is "Organic".
Well I went into a couple of the on line dictionary pages to look up the meanings of this word.
Suffice to say the word can be used in quite a few different ways and different meanings. But as my interpretation of the word ....I thought: isn't everything in the world organic? It all came from this planet if it is here now, regardless of the mixture that we make out of any of the materials available here to us. Silly, if simplistic, eh?
Organic Gardening.
These words have become a trendy catch cry for people to cash in on and make money out of. Everyone wants to follow and believe in the benefits of organic food and living the latest healthy lifestyle trend don't they. But at my age with years of watching and observing these trends I kind of think that it won't be long before these trends are reversed, for better or worse, and something new comes along to take our money and we are told that no,
living the lifestyle we believe in now is wrong,
will give us all cancer, (doesn't everything)
is unsustainable in the long term,
or whatever.
I will just plod along at my own old fashioned pace, watch, and try to follow my own version of gardening and use a bit from both the organic and non organic methods of gardening. I will use a chemical if it means that I get apricots because the bugs don't destroy them first, or I will use a spray to stop a disease from destroying my plants but I will choose very carefully which chemicals I use. I will use worm juice and compost and return to the soil that which has come from it to nourish it. I will try to be sensible with water use.
Just a couple of generations ago the so called organic lifestyle was the normal way things were done and not a fashion statement but a necessity of life. Look at the way our grand parents gardened and recycled as a manner of living their daily lives. It worked then and it still works today. For an example look at the water tanks, worm farms, recycling and composting that is done today, that is no different from what they did then, it is however purported to be the new fashion trend for gardeners. Back then they supposedly improved it all by giving them wonderful new modern chemicals and look at the trouble that got our world into. We are still trying to clean up after that and feeling the effects of the damage which was and is still now caused by that.
One of my great grandmother's much quoted sayings was "You can't interfere with nature". I always liked that. How true.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Some old pictures.

I have not been in here for a while, neglectful blogger that I am. I have been busy else where.
My eldest sister, Thelma, has been for a visit and we have been going through my old photos and taking digital images of them to share with her. As you can see I have posted some old photos today. The first one is of my Mum, Dad, sister Ellen and myself, I am the baby. Thelma gave me this one. It was taken in the park in Junee, which is the town I just moved away from after living there for 18 years, the longest I have lived anywhere in my life. The park is still in the same place but has been modernized considerably since then.You can still recognize the building in the back ground and it is still being used as a garage today, 48 and a half years later.
This is a picture of Pete and I when we were first going out together, I was 18. Look at that hair. Pete's and mine. And, OMG look at those shorts he is wearing. He he.
This is me at about 5 years. I had that pram for years and loved it to bits. It got lost by the furniture removalist when we left Sydney and went to live in Singapore. It could fit a real baby in it, I used to take my cousin Ruth's daughter M'liss, for walks in it when she was a baby. Plus my dolls and the odd cat or two dressed up in clothes as well. M'liss has 2 children of her own now but when I was in my very early teens she was my real live baby doll.
This is my maternal Grandmother. She died when I was very young, about 4 I think. The only memory I have of her is when my cousin Joe, my terrible twin, as we were know as, and whom I later became great mates with, used to practice his judo on me and I hid in her room. She told him she hadn't seen me, then she made me get up in the bed with her and sing to her.She was a music teacher in her early days. She was quite ill when this was taken and died soon after from breast cancer.
Last week when my sister Thelma was here I took her and Mum for a walk in the park and around the lake. I took a picture of this altered sign. I found it highly amusing. Suits my weird sense of humor. He he. The first word was originally Caution, second word construction.
Mum and Thelma playing up with the sculpture lady in the park. I love this photo. Thelma is playing with her leg and Mum is trying to cover up her boobies.
Mum Christmas day.
Me with Santa. Look at those freckles.
Other than that I have been getting a nice bit of extra work this week. Today we cleaned a unit in the city and started on the big clean up that we do in the school holidays at one of the schools we normally clean.Yesterday we cleaned another unit and the day before we did the big clean up of the office we clean before it reopens next week. Tomorrow we clean another school. I am not looking forwards to that one though because I don't like that school and it is much bigger and dirtier that the other two we usually do, but it is good honest money so I wouldn't turn the work down.
Summer has finally hit with a vengeance. It has been pretty hot here the last couple of days but I can't really complain because we have had it pretty good so far this season. It isn't pleasant working in the heat though. I have to make sure we keep the fluids up because they have sure been running out of me.....via my skin. Not nice. Late this afternoon it was very windy here and there was a lot of dust in the air and we had a bit of a rained mud.
Right that is all for tonight. it is 11.35 here at the moment and I have to start work tomorrow morning at 8.30.
Gotta go into that other room next door where I can hear my dearly beloved snoring uproariously and try to get some sleep before then.
love Linda.