Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

manna from heaven

A very close friend of mine, renting a house, lives right next door to the landlord.
Said landlord and his wife have an extensive fruit and vegetable garden.
My friend, my lucky, lucky friend, gets to share in this home grown bounty.
Not all the time of course, but often enough things are brought over.

Grapes, red and green, or the nearly black, tiny currant grapes.
Tomatoes, and bottles of home made tomato sauce.
Gallon bottles of cold-pressed olive oil from the home grown olives.
Baked goodies at Easter and Christmas.
The latest offering?

My very favourite fruit.

My friend has received an enormous bowl full of these golden fruits. Easily 5kg.

I was visiting the day after and asked if I could bring some home. Yes, of course!
I have a full kilo of apricots in my kitchen and have just eaten two of them.
Two apricots that is, not two kilos.
They are delicious!

From the tree to me, no truck miles, no warehouse storage, certainly no cold storage involved. And no inflated supermarket prices.
Sweet, full flavoured, juicy, manna from heaven.
I'm saving the seeds. (Don't be acting all surprised here, you knew I would.)

Between these new seeds and the ones I got from my neighbour V a while ago, surely I can manage to grow at least one tree?

In other news, I went to see how Missy was doing yesterday. Only eight days since the vet saw her and the change is great.
Already enough hair has grown back on her hind legs that the bald spots are almost gone. There is no sign at all of the raw and scabby sores. Her coat is softer and beginning to shine again. The best part? Her bright yellow eyes are once again shiny and alert.

Trees of Christmases past

These are some of the Christmas trees I've had in past years. 

You'll notice some years are missing, that's because there are children or other family members in those photos, so I can't put them here.

1992  All the kids were still at home, mostly, the two oldest ones often stayed with boyfriend/girlfriend for days or weeks. See the blankets on the couch? Hubby taking a well earned nap, after supervising the decorating of the tree and placement of wrapped gifts. 

1998 this is the only photo I have from this year that doesn't have assorted grandchildren in it.

2003 first appearance of Harvey Banana and the puppies Vanilla and Fudge, they're stuck in the tree. 
I'd been sleeping on the fold-out couch because the bedroom was just too hot that summer. 

2004 the purple and blue year (and the usual red and gold)

2010 my last Christmas in that unit. The purple is still there, but the blue is gone.

I have a great photo of my 2008 tree, but can't show it as there are photos of the kids behind it.

2011 the all gold year, my first Christmas in my current home.

Friday, December 19, 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?

Delores is taking a break from the challenge for a few weeks, so I’ll be putting up a piece (or six) of my own that I wrote without Delores’s words. I hope I haven’t already featured these.

Here is my story:

Damn this was upsetting! Jacob Turner wanted to cry, but as a ghost, he had no tears.

He'd never been lonely before, why did he feel loneliness now?  Before Mr McKay had bought this abandoned old farmhouse and fixed it up, he'd been alone for close to two hundred years and never minded.

Jacob streaked through the house on the gust of wind that had blown the door open. The catch had never worked properly, Mr McKay had held the door closed with a large brick.

Jacob had resented Mr McKay at first, how dare he move in and disturb his silence? Hammering this, repairing that, painting and moving furniture all over the place..but as time went on he became used to having him around, even developing a psuedo kinship of sorts.

After seventy years occupying the same house, Jacob could have sworn Mr McKay could sense him, maybe even see and hear him sometimes. They'd sat side by side near the fire in the antique wing chairs Mr McKay had brought down from the attic and cleaned, enjoyed listening to classical music on the radio, even laughed at the same comedies on television.

There were conversations too, where Mr McKay might have been talking to himself, but equally so, he might have been talking to Jacob and hearing Jacob's replies. One conversation had been about kilts and how Mr McKay preferred the old MacGregor tartan over other tartans. MacGregor had been Jacob's mother's clan....

Jacob sat on the stairs and brooded. How was he going to cope with being alone again, now that he'd known friendship and enjoyed company?

Eventually a new owner would move in, maybe with a family. What if Jacob didn't like them? What if they couldn't see or sense him? He could well spend the next two hundred years alone again, in a crowd, but this time he'd notice and feel the loneliness.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday Thoughts # 25

From Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher:: 
“…and various politicians who all seem to fall on a spectrum somewhere between the extremes of “crook” and “moron.”

Today's Thought:

I've enjoyed reading the Harry Dresden* series of books, they're full of magic
Good magic. 
Things happen that wouldn't normally be seen by regular mortals and I like the idea of my world having magic in it, even if I don't see most of it. 

I see some of it, the bits we all see: 
a lovely soft pink sunrise, a brilliant fiery sunset, rainbows, newborn babies, trees and flowers blooming again after a long hard winter. 

A lot of people call these things miracles, I call them magic
Of course there is a scientific explanation for rainbows etc, but isn't science a form of magic? 

And maybe, just maybe, all of this continues to happen because there really are people like the fictional Harry Dresden, doing their thing and keeping the world from imploding, or being taken over by the dark side, the black magic.

* I'm not at all happy with the ending of the final book!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

everybody hates it

except me.

I have a hobby. One of those foolish dreams type of things. I cut pictures from magazines and keep them in a folder; pictures of things I love that I would one day like to have in the house of my dreams.
Garden ideas, kitchen pictures, a picture of something totally ugly, but with a great wall colour in the background.
I even have pictures of houses that I like and the floor plans too.

So, back to the thing everybody hates.
A picture of a bed.

I love this bed! I want this bed.
Of course I can't have it, I don't have the cash or the space available.
Nor do I know where I would get such a bed.
I've had the picture for several years now and I still like the bed.

Many times I've been flipping through the folder and come across pictures of things I no longer like and have a ripping time disposing of them.
But the bed remains, as does one of the houses and the best kitchen in the world.

Tell me what you think. Be honest. If you hate it, let me know.

To me it looks like the sort of bed where I could sit up surrounded by pillows and quilts, reading and drinking hot chocolate while a storm rages outside.
I love the size, the style, the colour, see where I stuck a small square cut from a paint chart? I matched the colour as closely as I could, in case I ever have a bed frame again, I can at least paint it in the colour I like. I even like the wall colour behind the bed.

I'm here a lot today aren't I?

Eastern Rosellas

A couple of Sundays ago, I mentioned my surprise at seeing Eastern Rosellas in a tree in my street; usually the only parrots we see here are Rainbow Lorikeets and Corellas.

We do get sulphur crested cockatoos flying over and the parklands have plenty of galahs, but they rarely land in the neighbourhood trees.

Yesterday, in our local Messenger newspaper I spotted a small article explaining why the Eastern Rosellas are here.

Nesting boxes!!

"Nesting boxes are filling fast.

An Unley council nesting box program has been hailed a success.
Two eastern rosellas were sighted nested in a box on Windsor St, Parkside. An adult rosella and five chicks nested in another in Aroha Tce, Black Forest.
Residents said a pair of kookaburras used a box in Grove St, Unley Park."

Well then. 
Nesting boxes supplied by the council are bringing a wider variety of birds into the suburbs. This makes me happy.

A few days ago, fishducky posted  funny images of people doing silly things, one of which was someone attempting to dive into an above ground swimming pool (missed and bounced off the side), and it brought back a memory for me. 

Many years ago, we were living in Enoggera, Brisbane, soldier hubby, me, a toddler and a baby; we had a house on a large block of land that sloped from the front fence all the way down to the back fence, I think the only piece of completely flat land was the carport. 
The house was near ground level at the front and up on supports at the back. I'll see if I can find a photo....

you can't really see the slope of the land, but the front porch was ankle height to me, this is the back of the house. This is me about two weeks before baby #1 was born. forward a couple of years and a friend gave hubby his old above ground swimming pool.

this is not it! This is a googled image. Thank you google. 

The pool given to us was similar in size and style as that one above, but several important bits were missing, like about half of those circular sections that clip around the top to hold the PVC insert in place and a couple of the outside support struts. 

We didn't know this until hubby had put it all together, but it seemed sound and should hold together, right? We'd patched a couple of tears in the liner with duct tape. We're not giants and were only going to splash around in a couple of feet of water, what could go wrong? 

Oh and there wasn't any ladder either. 

But that wouldn't matter....we were on sloping ground, a run and a jump should do it.

Hubby got the hose and started filling it with water. After half an hour he got tired of holding the hose, so coiled several metres of it in the bottom of the pool and let it run while he came upstairs for lunch and a beer.
Eventually the pool held enough water to satisfy him and the hose was turned off and removed. 

Now came the important moment. 
First swim. 

Hubby backed up the slope a bit, ran towards the pool and took a leap.

Remember this pool is standing on sloping ground, we knew nothing about having to level the base and put down a ton of sand etc. 

So, the run, the jump.

He landed on the water causing a tidal wave to flow right across to the other side which promptly collapsed and all the water flowed out, down to and through the back fence with hubby sit-surfing on the surface. 

Funniest thing I'd ever seen. 
And of course I hadn't thought to record the occasion on camera. 
We laughed ourselves silly.

Next day, when the ground had dried enough, we reconstructed the pool, put in about six inches of water and lifted the kids in to splash around. Well the toddler splashed, the baby was only a couple of months old, so I held him sitting in the water and splashed his tummy. Being on a slope, I had to remember to always sit on the high side so my weight, a mere 52kg, wouldn't cause the low side to collapse again. 

We eventually packed it away and stored it under the house and I don't remember what happened to it after that. 
I know we did get another one years later, brand new so all the necessary bits were there and a bit smaller too. A Christmas gift for the kids.

We'd moved into a house in Watsonia, Melbourne and the back yard had a large, flat, circular patch where previous residents had placed their pool. 
In Watsonia, I remember waking up very early one summer morning to the sounds of splashing coming from the pool. I knew all the kids were still in bed, (we had four kids by now), so I sent hubby out to see who was in our pool. 

Two kids who were visiting for a weekend sleepover next door! Only four years old, the twins had seen the pool, sneaked out of the house and climbed our side fence to get in the water. They were sent to their room where they responded to the punishment by throwing all the bedding out of the window and half the toys too. 

Luckily the pool was near empty, because we'd had the baby in there the day before, at ten months old he didn't need four feet of water to have fun. 
We marched the twins back next door and emptied the pool until they went home.

Five months old. Baby #4  
This was winter, before we bought the second pool.

Whimsical Wednesday # 154

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.

Got your Christmas sorted?