Saturday, 6 April 2013

           Not much of a blogger of late.  I haven't been in here much. Which was somewhere I chose to release my creativity in the past.
 Ah! the joys of parenthood, laced with the results of becoming the parent of a parent, and savignon blanc mixed with those stresses.
My Mum is now 90 years old and has been living with my husband Pete and I for the last 6 months. Taking turns as her carer over the last 12 years or so since my Dad died. She has been increasingly difficult to handle. Hence the comment " Parent of a parent." Increasing hearing problems which she refuses to acknowledge.  Resulting in complete self absorption and regularly occurring tantrums. Today was a classic example. I tried to talk to her and reason to no avail, resulting in her admission that it was all my fault for being selfish and not giving her everything she wants and her own way at all times. Or; words to that effect. Today I asked her to put in her hearing aids, which was very obviously an enticement of my abuse and her tantrum. The latest of a probably fortnightly occurrence of her tantrums. So she hides in her bedroom after telling me what she thinks of me and refuses to eat, drink, or communicate despite my attempts to placate her. I know the drill and the resultant behaviors well now. AHHH, I just want to scream!!!!!

On a brighter note. I recently enjoyed a trip to the other side of the country to Western Australia to visit my sweet daughter Annie and her partner Jesse.  They live at Kalgoorlie which is a gold mining town in the central south of the state. They moved there about a year ago, even though she left home several years ago. Western Australia is just that tad too far away to be seeing each other on a regular basis and I miss not having easy access to her. I hadn't seen my baby in nearly 12 months.
I am so proud of the two of them. Being so young and making the step of home ownership at their ages. A proud achievement.So, the above pic is of the mining museum at Kalgoorlie. it was once a real mine, as the derrick at the fore front or the museum attests.
While we were there we purchased a hire car which enabled us to drive around tow and make several side trips. One of which was outside or Kalgoorlie to a small mining outpost of Ora Banda. Interesting place. Ostensibly being a mining outpost consisting or not much else than a local pub. We went there to have lunch. Very interesting. Most interesting to me though, on that trip was the marvelous diversity of vegetation in comparison to the bush we see back here on the eastern side in Australia which is mostly cleared farmlands and very different vegetation. The trees over there, absolutely marvelous. The salmon gums with their pink/ orange smooth bark and leaves which seem to sparkle in the sun. And the slightly smaller gimlet. Another type of eucalyptus which has a bronze colored bark.They also seem to sparkle and reflect the sunlight, I guess to reflect back the heat that is endemic to that harsh outback landscape. The understory of plants in that area is wonderful too, although at the time we were visiting, the famous western Australian wildflowers were not in full bloom, we did have a lesser display of flowers to ogle over. They are so different and diverse compared to what there is on the eastern side of the country.
While we were there, another side trip was to a viewing area of a huge salt lake which encompassed another mining town. Amazing place. Red soil and rocks glimmering in the sun overlooking a huge flat salt pan. A place called K

Saturday, 23 February 2013

          I am  back in my blog tonight, doing a bit of an update on where I am up to. 
We are now back in Wagga after moving here on 28th of December 2012. It sure was a busy and tiring Christmas and New Year this year. Moving house is always a very difficult and trying time. In the long run things will be good.
The employment situation doesn't seem to be going any where at the moment. Pete has put in for quite a few jobs and as yet has been unsuccessful. My friend Janelle, an old workmate, has given me a job for 12 hrs a week at her cafe.  I am so grateful to her, but 12 hrs work isn't enough to pay the bills. She has helped me out and I di think her for it, don't get me wrong. My cousin's wife got me a fill in job at a motel where she works but there are even less hours involved with that one. I did some training there and didn't seem to fit in with the other girls so I wasn't called back to do more. I will be filling in when someone is away though. I put in for a hotel services job at the local hospital but bombed out with that one. 
 I did predict that work would be hard to get here in Wagga. The cost of housing in comparison to Canberra is very good though. The lack of employment is daunting, but I guess I am happy to have come back here where I have, in the last few months, been back in contact with many old friends and relatives who still call me friend, after not seeing them for many years. Work in Canberra was easy to get but I had nobody to have some girl talk with, not like I have here. So plus and minus. Oh well, something will come along.
 We have been enjoying demolishing and renovating this yard we now have. 
Here are some pics to accompany the progress.
 First pic is showing one of the over grown and neglected garden beds before we moved in. We dug and chopped and pruned and weeded and, and and!
 The next pic shows the work on this garden bed half done.
 The garden bed is now cleared and some plants have been planted.
The pink oleander, the salvia and the 2 old neglected roses are all that was worth keeping in here.
My old friend Jeanette came for a visit the other day. She and I started pottery lessons together almost 30 years ago now. I moved away to Urana and left her behind. We knew each others children as babies and toddlers. Now our children are grown, she has grand children and both her girls are married. I am now officially an empty-nester for the first time in 30 and a half years. Strange how the years can pass, then when we met up again, via face book, she came to visit and the years seemed to disappear. We clicked back in together. As she said "We are lifetime friends". Anyway, she is now a horticultural teacher. She advised me that this bed would make a better vege garden that the other bed I had planned to put my vegetables in. So as I had planted some plants in here already, and didn't want to remove them. I decided to mix the two in together. There are now, spring onions, parsley,  rocket and silver beet planted in here. They seem to be doing well, especially the silver beet which seems to have doubled in size in just a few weeks. I fed the soil this afternoon with dynamic lifter and had previously added worm juice when I did the plantings. My neighbors will hate me for stinking out their weekend, hehehe. Oh well it is only temporary.
 I have also had a lovely visit from another friend with whom I worked. Alison, she bought me a house warming present, a pretty wire plant hanger with three herb pots in it for me to plant.

Other additions since moving into the house have been built in wardrobes. Which are greatly appreciated because now I have storage.
 The broken air conditioner has at last been fixed. It took them 2 and a half months to do. I got very angry with the business provider and made a few nasty phone calls before they actually handed the job over to another business and it was done a few short days afterwards. Grrr. I was really sick of their mode of operation. Seems they kept us at the bottom of their list for who knows what reason and we had to go to the solicitors to get things going.
 Another pantry cupboard in the kitchen and a cupboard for the bathroom. White venetian blinds in all the front windows so they all match, the old ones were broken.
A new king size bed which is great. Pete's joke the first morning we slept in it was. "I was going to send you a text message to say good morning" because we were so far away from each other in the big bed.
We hope to soon have a solar electricity system installed on the roof. Just waiting for them to finalize things for us and come back to do the work. The system will provide most, but not all, of our energy needs with the option of  any unused power that is made being sold back into the grid.
 Garden bed at front is now planted up and mulched heavily. I think the rhododendron has got some nice new growth on it since planting it out into the ground. It has been in a pot for probably 10 years and been carted around from place to place with me. I hope it is happy where I have chosen to plant it. The silver foliage plants either side of it are Western Australian natives. They are grafted, as they are known to be sensitive to root problems that make them fall in a heap. I liked the contrast in the foliage they provide. It is called Eremophilla nivea, it gets blue/purple flowers. The gladiolus in this bed were here before me. I just shifted them around.
 Two of the rose bushes out the back looked promising. They were very old and leggy, with lots of tangles and dead wood in them. Before I decided if I was going to keep them I pruned them back and forced them to flower to see what they were, even though it was the wrong time of year to do this. The poor stunted flower in this picture is from one of those bushes. I think it may be a peace rose by the looks of the flower.  Btw I made that table cloth, hehe.
The other larger rose bush I pruned back to force it to flower may be a Mr Lincoln. A big strong crimson red rose. It has lots of small flowers on it at the moment. The flowers will continue to improve with feeding, watering and TLC.They will both be staying.
There were lots of horrible briar roses around the yard that I also removed. Also removed were the  noxious weeds, privet, broom and cottoneaster. There is vinca in amongst some of the beds. It is an absolute pain to get rid of. It will take vigilance and work for that to happen.
 A huge viburnum dominated one side of the yard. It was cut down but it's stump is like iron, you can't chop it with an axe it is so hard. We also tried digging and poisoning it but it has now begun to re-shoot, so I poisoned it a second time. Wayne, our next door neighbour has offered to help remove it, as he has a chainsaw and is the owner of the local sharpening business so can repair the chainsaw,( his words, not mine) Hahaha. He is a nice neighbour.
The lady on the other side of us is friendly but her husband has twice turned his back on us and won't acknowledge us. Go figure? Our conscience is clear, so I don't know what his problem is. Suffice to say, he won't get another chance to snub us.
 The man across the road waves to us, but we haven't met him yet.
 Wagga people are quite different to Canberra people. They walk down the street and look at each other. In the city people don't look each other in the face and talk in hushed voices. In Wagga they talk out loud and laugh together and stand around in the street talking. They dress and drive differently too.
There is a box in the shed that has several hundred bulbs in it to be replanted. We found them all over the yard, so there must once have been gardeners here. As the many garden beds attest to. I am hoping the bulbs are daffodils. They look like either daffodils or jonquils. I guess as they have been neglected for many years they may not flower for me the first year. I hope with feed, water and TLC they will flower the following year.

 My niece Judy was here over the school holidays visiting her father and spent some time with me, which was lovely. She is an art teacher, when she was leaving she gave me this woven basket that she had made from found rope and string, dyed with turmeric. I added some twiggy legs to it using trimmings from the big old grevillea shrub that I removed from the back garden and hot glue. The yellow thread is antique sylko thread which I had in the back of my sewing kit.
 I don't think I have posted these in my blog before. Before I left Canberra I made some candle and tea light holders out of imperial porcelain clay. These are 2 of them, they sit on the windowsill in my lounge room now. Porcelain clay is quite different to the usual pottery clay I use. It can slump and tear easily and is more fragile and temperamental, especially before it is fired.
The pure whiteness of it lends the clay to become almost transparent when used thinly so it is good to use for candles, as the light will illuminate it and shine through. Lovely stuff.
I am now back at Wagga Potter's club as a member again. I went there to do my first duty day in the shop today. I have missed that place. They had the AGM a few weeks back. I took on the workshop person's job.
The Canberra potters society was great and I will miss my Thursday drop in group friends. It had government funding so the facilities there were extensive and I will miss that. But..... Wagga potters club is like an old friend to me. Some members have gone, some have stayed and there are a few new ones too. I made 6 small candle holder/tea light holder pots from imperial porcelain today. I hope they survive, I made them very thinly.

 The pic above is my second son David and my Mum on Christmas day 2012. Due to the move back to Wagga we cut right back on this Christmas. We went to the banquet at the Southern Cross club in Canberra for our Christmas day lunch. It worked out well. No cooking, no left overs, no food shopping. Easier than doing it myself. The banquet was great, even if it was a bit expensive. In fact it was much nicer than I expected it would be.

 Nan, my Mum, 90 years old, bending Santa's ear.Hahahaha.
A very young Santa with an old child.

 Myself, Pete and David. Christmas dinner at the club. The pearl necklace I am wearing was a christmas present from my Mum. It is lovely, I don't think I have ever had real pearls before.
Rufus doggie. On Christmas morning we opened our presents. Rufus got this blankie off Santa. He loves blankies and completely wraps himself up inside them, especially in the winter. His old blankie was too big for him. It was actually an old fake leopard skin fabric dressing gown of my Mum's that she had given him and I got sick of it always being dragged out and left in the middle of the floor. I got him this one, due to my guilt in throwing his old one out, hahahaha, he loves it.
 I have to get my baby car re-registered next week. It is such a nuisance changing registration from one state to another. I hope nothing needs fixing first, I may need to get 2 front tyres soon, but am hoping that they will let it pass the test.
This week we purchased plane tickets to go to Western Australia to visit our daughter Anne-Marie. We haven't seen her for a year so have been missing her. Having her move to the opposite side of the country was just too far out of reach for us. We travel next month. She lives in Kalgoorlie. She and her partner Jesse have just purchased their first house and only got the keys to it a couple of days ago. I am so proud of her, especially considering their ages. She always was a determined kid.
 Summer is almost over. It has been hot and dry here where as in other parts of the eastern side of the country there has been catastrophic flooding closer to the coast and summers dreaded bushfires.
Gotta Love Australia.

P.S. Would the person/people who keep putting advertising on my blog comments Please Piss Off!
I am not interested and I will not follow the links you have added there. I advise anyone who reads my blog to also not open these links. They are a nuisance. I do not want them. Do not put them on here!

That's all for now.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

          Goodness me!
 Has it really been 3 months since I have updated my Blog?   Yes...... well as the date says.
 Lots has happened since my last post.
 Pete and I have bought a home of our own, back in Wagga Wagga. Canberra was too expensive for us to purchase a home and stay there so , yep we now have a home of our own again. A home of our own is something I have craved since giving up our home in Junee to move to Canberra 4 and a half years ago now. This time has been scary for me because to get a home of our own has meant a big change, using Pere's superannuation and the full amount of the proceeds from the sale of our Junee home plus a loan to make up the small difference in the price of this house. Plus leaving secure employment in Canberra where we were making a nice living to trade off for the purchase of this house. We are now both unemployed. Scary stuff eh.
 Anyway, we have a house of our own again. We have been here for one week now.
So..... about the house!
 It is a double brick cavity walled house in Wagga Wagga , which is the town I was born in , but haven't lived in for 28 years now. Probably built in the late 1940's by the look of it? 3 bedrooms, Lounge, dining and study area, very good sized rooms and a block of land a bit less than 900X 2 square mtrs in size. Solid as. So far we have erected a garden shed and done a few things to it, (mostly Pete's handiwork, which he has enjoyed doing.) See pic above. The soil looks good, the yard is quite overgrown and needs lots of work, but the inside of the house is pretty good. We have been waiting for the replacement of an air conditioner that is sorely needed ever since we have been here, there has been a monstrous heat wave across the southern part of Australia. The solicitor has told us that it will be actioned tomorrow, Monday, It better be. I hung the thermometer outside his afternoon on the clothes line in the back yard and the temperature showing on it came to 46 degrees Celsius. OUCH! Same is predicted for the rest of this week. I must be getting old because this has been unbearable.I had a drink this evening of diet cola and tullamore dew whiskey and now I just feel sick. Eeeeeewwwww. Afterwards a soak in the cold bathtub and a very light salad for the evening meal, but still feel yucky.
 But....... onwards and upwards.
Last night here there was a spectacular dry storm, with lots of lightening and very few raindrops to accompany it. Scary stuff when it is so tinder dry as the lightening had the potential to start many fires.
 We are both looking for work. My friend Nellie has offered me 6 hrs per week at her Cafe in the early mornings doing food preparation but that isn't enough to pay the bills. Though I am grateful of the work. It is a start. At least I have friends in Wagga , long term friends which certainly beats Canberra where I only had acquaintances.
O.K. other news. My eldest son has stayed in Canberra and is living with his girl, Amber, in a home unit.
My second boy is in Wagga and my lovely daughter is now living in Kalgoorlie which is on the other side of the country from me.
My Mum is back living with us here in Wagga, She had her 90th birthday a few months ago. She is feeling this heatwave terribly. She was quite sick from the heat last night. As I am tonight. We are taking care with her and keeping an eye on her.  This broken air conditioner really sucks!!!.
I haven't started gardening here as yet though I have a nice collection of potted plants that I intend to transfer into garden beds later, it is too hot to do at at his time of year. I have requested a quote to clear the tangled mess of plants throughout the yard here. This seems he way to go at the moment as a bloke with a small backhoe would be able to clear gardens, trees and noxious weed stumps much easier that we could do and remove the debris as well for us, so that I could begin planning and planting when the weather cools down again.
Goodness When I was laying in the tub tonight I thought of all the good words that I should write to update and share in here tonight, but as I sit here at the keyboard they elude me.
It is soooo hot.
Love Linda.