Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whimsical Wednesday # 146

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for your googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

Express? I wonder how long it took him to hobble over to the chair?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

yes I know it's Time-Out Tuesday so I'm not really here....

Here's an example of stuff I wrote back in September 2010


I like warm things.
Hot chocolate.
Hot coffee.
Hot showers.
Heat from the heater in winter.
Snuggling under the doona.
Early spring days when the sun begins to warm these old bones.
When I sit outside in the old lawn chair, soaking it up.

Late autumn, ditto.
Hats, jackets, scarves, fluffy bedsocks, hot water bottles.
Hot apple pie.

You'd think then, that with all this loving of warmth, I'd be looking forward to summer.
Hot days. Searing hot days.
Hot buildings, hot roadways, (blisteringly hot if you like to walk barefoot....not a good idea), even the air is hot.
I should be happy, right?

Not so.

It's an entirely different sort of heat. Unrelenting. Never ending. All of those words that mean eternal. Ceaseless. Constant. Perpetual. (Let's not mention the glare, the headache inducing glare).

Heat not of my own choosing.
And this last one, I suppose, is the problem.
In the other seasons, I can choose my heat level.I can adjust the heater.
I can add or subtract layers of clothing to be comfortable.

In the summer, none of this is possible.
Except for the airconditioner that I now have, (which only heats or cools one room), regulating of my personal heat level is near impossible.

Icy cold drink? Cools you down, yes, but not for long.
Cool showers? Same.
Kick the doona off the bed? Makes no difference. The mattress is warm from my body. Hmpf!
Here's where a frozen hot water bottle helps.

As for subtracting layers of clothing.....well, there's only so many layers one can remove and still remain decently covered.
When the air itself remains hot for weeks at a time, months even, comfort is hard to achieve.
Clearly I can't simply stay in my living room for the next 3-4 months.

There's work to go to, (thankfully the store is airconditioned), people to visit, shopping trips, often on buses with no aircon, (or buses that are so icily cold I'm wishing for a blanket), one way or another, I must be out and about.

So I'm very grateful right now, to whichever gods are responsible, for the cooler, sometimes rainy days we are getting, as we ease into the summer.
Each hot day so far has been bearable because I knew a cooler day was on the horizon.
I'm hoping the weather continues this way for quite some time.

Maybe until next winter?

Monday, October 20, 2014

mini pumpkins

here's the verdict on the mini pumpkins.

There's not a lot of flesh inside and what there is, is quite stringy once cooked, so I wouldn't recommend eating them.

I'd say they were bred to be hollowed out and carved as mini jack'o'lanterns. 
I thought as much when I bought them, my opinion being based purely on their shape, but at least now I know for certain.

The question now is:
what to do with the one and a half pumpkins I have left?
Do birds eat pumpkin?
Can I carve it up into bits and put them in the garden for the birds?
Would the lizards enjoy nibbling on them?

how times change

I started this blog way back in May 2010 and just now I was searching those first posts for something I'd written and I am really surprised by how chatty I was back then. 

It seemed I had something to say almost every day. 
Natter, natter, natter...someone shut her up please!

So what's happened to me?
I'm so quiet these days. I have my Sunday Selections which is mostly photos, my Musical Mondays with a video from you tube, Whimsical Wednesdays with a googled funny etc, but there's not much of "me" in all of those. 

Even last year and earlier this year I was out and about with my camera and telling you all about it with photos, but still, mostly photos. No "me". No chattering about my opinions. I do a little of that now, on Thursdays. But not much.

Perhaps it's because I don't get out much, I no longer go to work and going anywhere at all usually requires at least one bus ride, sometimes two, one bus to the city, another to where I'm going, which doesn't seem like a problem, but factor in the time spent waiting at bus stops to get anywhere, then more waiting at bus stops to get home again. 
Leaving the house just doesn't seem so appealing with all that standing around and waiting time.

Even more time, (much more time), is spent simply resizing photos and adding the blog name, so I can use them in posts. By the time I get done with  a day's worth of camera shots, it's too late and I'm too tired to think of something chatty to write. 

So there it is. The blog is here, but "me" is not. I'm going to have to put in more effort.

Want an example of how I used to be? Zip down to my archives and take a walk through 2010. 

Musical Monday # 30

Musical Monday 

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 

I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.

Today’s clip is: Gene Pitney

I Wanna Love My Life Away.

Another golden oldie.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Selections # 194

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.
4. hop on over to TheElephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.

Andrew, Jacki K and Kakka often join in.

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections but this week I didn't spend time preparing, so I have a random selection.

Halloween isn't an Australian tradition, not many people go trick-or-treating and most of us don't gather candy to hand out, but that doesn't stop the shops from filling their shelves with themed goods.
I couldn't resist these miniature pumpkins, shown here against my smallest saucepan which is only 9.5cm high, as you can clearly see. 
Halloween parties are reasonably popular, with kids dressing in costumes and parents decorating a room or a back verandah, baking 'spooky' goodies etc.

soup for one.

Into my garden last year I had planted three (of six) apricot seeds which I'd kept, years ago, from the juiciest, best tasting apricots ever! Two of them germinated and grew to be almost eight inches high. When the grasses were removed, I moved the apricot babies as well, into a pot. Probably way too soon as I think they have now died. Spring is well advanced and they should have leaves by now, but there is nothing green there, just two brown sticks. 
So I found the envelope which I knew held at least two more seeds, and only found one in there, the others may have fallen out and be hiding in amongst other seed packets. I placed that one precious seed in a cup of water and air bubbles immediately formed on its dry surface.

he looks happy to be getting a drink after all these years!

It's just the shape of the seed, but that definitely looks like a smile to me!

here he is in a different light. 
Two days later, he has absorbed enough water to become heavy and sink. This is a good thing. If he absorbs enough to get the inner kernel germinating, I still have a chance at growing a tree.
A tree which will provide me with the best apricots I ever tasted. 

still in the garden; well on my front porch actually, the first lizard of the season has been seen. 
Our lovely garden filled complex has a very good colony of blue-tongue lizards living in the grounds. 
A notice was placed in each letterbox by another resident asking people to please be careful when driving and not run over any of them please.

Here is "my" blue tongue lizard. The shadows are from several people, including me of course, taking photos of him. ("mine" because he lives down in the gap by the downspout beside my front porch).

climbing up the step.
Blue-tongue lizards are not poisonous and do not pose any threat to people or pets. They are handy to have in the garden as they eat snails, caterpillars and other insects.

I tried to get a photo of his blue tongue, but I wasn't quick enough. 
Blue-tongue lizards are slow moving, (not this one!) and not aggressive. If threatened or cornered they will open their mouth wide and stick out their blue tongue to frighten off predators. 

Here he is making his way between my pots. After this we left him alone and he crossed my porch and disappeared down the gap by the downspout. 
They live under rocks or in crevices and come out during the day to sunbake and look for food.
This is one reason I put the birdbath down low.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge meme which she calls “Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. insubordination
2. inducted
3. despair
4. plethora
5. museum
6. retribution

and:: "coldly clinical....cunnningly calculating" 

Here is my story:

At 13 he'd been expelled from several schools for repeated disruptions of classes, fighting and truancies. In despair, his parents had Travis inducted into a military style boarding school they'd heard about, then researched extensively, situated on ten acres near the state border. 

One step away from what used to be called a reform school, it was a last resort for many parents whose young sons were out of control, or lacking most aspects of self discipline. 
On the long drive to the school, Travis's parents chatted brightly about the plethora of sport and academic options available there. 
The school grounds contained several out buildings, one was a gymnasium, one a very well stocked library, another a small museum of natural history. The grounds also offered a swimming pool where the boys would take life-guard lessons, playing fields for ball sports and even an army style obstacle course!

Travis listened without saying much, his face set in a scowl as he silently vowed retribution on a society that just didn't seem to understand him.

His parents continued with talk of how all the teachers were known to be firm but fair, discipline was strict with emphasis on the boys learning self control and why it was so necessary. It was well known that any insubordination would not be tolerated although no boy was ever punished unjustly or severely. (A psychologist on the staff helped a lot with talking to the boys and getting them to open up about any problems or fears).

Travis scowled harder while thinking all this discipline wouldn't be necessary if maybe people would just listen to him once in a while.

On arrival at the school, the newly rebuilt lobby and hospital wing appeared coldly clinical, at odds with the rest of the main building, a converted 200 year old mansion that had once been the summer home of a rich family. 
After giving their names to the receptionist in the lobby, they met the headmaster who looked kindly upon Travis and welcomed him, then said he would get a physical check before being taken to his room which he would share with three other boys his own age. 

His parents hugged him goodbye, promising to be there for every allowed weekend visit, then Travis met the Matron. She had a kind face, with a nice smile, but the kind of cunningly calculating eyes that could look right into your mind and see every single thought in there.