Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, January 31, 2011

a big thank you

to "drb", who left comments on my last two posts, telling me my unidentified bug could be a fruit fly. That was my first suspicion, but I've never seen a fruit fly.


drb also left a website address and the phone number for the fruit fly hotline.
Thank You, I couldn't find that number in my phone book.



I turned off the computer and called the number, got an email address, and sent them the three photos I had taken to confirm (or deny) that what I had was in fact a QLD fruit fly.



The images on the website are drawings rather than photos, so it's hard to be sure.


It's definitely not a Mediterranean (spelling?) fruit fly as those are black and speckled, according to the drawings.


But it does look like a QLD fruit fly.



Then I got a screwtop jar and went outside to catch that bugger!


He's inside the jar next to my computer now.



I felt I had to do this, because there are backyard fruit and veg gardens all around my home, and many more in the neighbourhood. I can't be jeopardising those gardens, or indeed the rest of the state's fruit production, just because I think he's a pretty little thing.



I'll let you all know as soon as I find out for sure.


I think I will also suggest to the fruit fly website that photos instead of or as well as drawings might make it easier for people to identify these flies. Wasps too.


6:44pm; I've had a reply from the fruit fly people, seems my pretty little bug is not a fruit fly, so I've let him go back into the garden.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Selections #4

For this weeks Sunday Selections, I've chosen an old wishing well that I found at Hahndorf, here in SA. That's South Australia, not South Africa or South America.


I was wandering my way to the bus stop since it was time to start heading home, when I saw this from across the road.
Naturally, I crossed over to have a closer look.
Was it a functioning well?
Did it have water in it?
Where was the bucket?
Did people throw coins in to make a wish?

No. No. Long gone. No.




Set in an overgrown block next to a house, the well has a steel cable for winding up a non-existent bucket. The winding handle is also missing. I assume in older times this would have been a sturdy rope.





I was disappointed to find no water in the bottom, not even a few inches covered by a grid, for people to throw wishing coins into. Instead the bottom is filled in with dirt and a couple of rocks.
There's also a broken ring of some kind of metal, rusty, but not too eaten away.
I was pleased to see only natural litter such as leaves and twigs down in there.
A well such as this in the city would be filled with fast food wrappers, empty cans and god-knows-what-else.


After I'd taken my photos, I turned to see a young Japanese man eagerly signalling his request to have me take his photo standing next to the well.
He set his camera, I took the photo, then he checked the image to be sure he had what he wanted, before saying thank you and waving goodbye.
Too late I thought I should have asked to have my photo taken there too.



If you wish to participate in Sunday Selections, hunt up some previuosly unused photos from your files and folders, put them up on your blog and link back to Kim at Frog Ponds Rock.

Anyone can do this, the more the merrier I say.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

a surprise and a bug

When I checked my mailbox yesterday afternoon, I found this parcel. I didn't recognise the sender or the return address, but it was addressed to me, so I opened it.





And found these. Two boxes of Be Natural snack bars. Then I remembered entering a giveaway review done by Jodie from Lightening.
I'd completely forgotten that these were coming my way.


Here's a closer look, so you can read on the packet what is in them.



I've tried one of the currant/berry ones and found it to be yummy and chewy. Soft enough for my poor old teeth to bite into too. I don't like the harder snack bars that almost need a chainsaw to get through.
I'm looking forward to trying one of the coconut/apricot ones tomorrow.




Earlier this morning, I went out to hunt for caterpillars, but didn't find any.
I did find that two of my capsicum buds were now flowers. They're so tiny, about a cm across.




Notice the inside of this one is different from the other one above. It's probably going to be a different coloured capsicum.




Something else I spotted?
This bug. I've never seen one of these before, so ran inside for the camera.
Okay, I walked. I'm not a runner.
He obligingly stayed still for me to take his picture, then he vanished.



Any idea what he is? Anybody? Kim?











Friday, January 28, 2011

hand pollinating

I was outside earlier, watering the garden, and noticed lots more flowers on the mini rockmelons.


After putting away the hose, I went back for another look.


Plenty of male flowers, a few female flowers.
Since the previous females had yellowed and dropped, I didn't want to take the chance that these new ones had maybe been pollinated by bees or ants, so I got my tiniest paintbrush and twirled it inside a couple of the male flowers, collecting the faintest smudge of pollen on the tip, then twirled that inside a female flower.


I repeated this for all the female flowers I could see.
They're easy enough to spot, the petals are larger and paler than the males.


Did you all know that those tiny hairs on the stems and leaves prickle and sting? I didn't, but I do now.


I hope I've done the right thing with the flowers. I'll know soon enough if the fruit starts developing.


The pumpkin flowers had all closed for the night, so I'll have to check earlier tomorrow to see if any of them are females.
I have quite a bit of pollen from the males in a glass jar and I don't know if it should be used quickly or if it will last for a while before becoming ineffective.


I'm going to email one of our local garden experts tomorrow and ask him. He writes a gardening column for our local free newspaper.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've done a little more decluttering.

A hobby of mine is to search magazines and newspapers for home plans that I like.
I've always got my eye out for a good floorplan.
Something that "works".
Something that suits me down to the ground.
I used to attend open inspections just to get a copy of the floorplan.
I don't do that anymore, now I can look at them on the internet.


Anyway, what I do with these floorplans, is first do a mental walk through the house. I'll pretend I'm coming home from work or shopping, entering the front door, then....and this is where I start making changes. Is there somewhere to put down my bag while I hang up my jacket? Do I have to go through too many rooms, hallways, doors, just to get to a bathroom? Is the main bedroom, which would be mine of course, in a convenient location? Are there enough bedrooms? Is there a clear run from front door to kitchen? If I'm bringing in groceries, is there another entrance that leads directly to the kitchen? Is the living room too separate from the rest of the house?


If there are too many things which don't seem right or too many things which I would have to change to make the floorplan work for me, then a paper copy is ripped up and thrown away, an internet site is clicked away from.


Now and again, I find "the perfect house".
I'll dream of winning the lottery so I can buy or build it.
Hasn't happened yet, I'm still dreaming.


But when I've found the perfect floorplan, the imagination really goes into overdrive.
I plan colour shemes, furniture placement, where to install skylights....
I even plan the yard. Where to put a washing line. A vegetable patch. Maybe a swimming pool.
I'll cut pictures from magazines that would suit this "perfect house" and put them all in a folder.


Once "the house" is complete, I stash the folder in a drawer, and take it out often to drool over the perfection and picture myself and my family living there.
Until one day I don't.
The folder stays in the drawer, ignored or forgotten.
Then, one day, I'll find a new floorplan.
One that is so much better than the previous one.
And the process starts all over again.


Well, today I was putting my latest "perfect floorplan" into the drawer and decided to flip through some of the others that were in there.
I brought the folders into the lounge and spread them on the table.
Six of them.


I was surprised at how much my feelings for these once perfect houses had changed.
I even cringed looking at one of them, wondering what the heck I'd seen there to make me keep it for so long.


These are in display folders, so the "dream" pages are easily removed and this is what I did.
Ripped up and threw away the floorplans and magazine pictures of six houses that I'd once thought so very perfect that I'd never wish to live in anything else but "this one".


Huh! I'm so fickle!


So the dream house pages are in the trash/rubbish/garbage, pick your own word, and I have six empty folders to start dreaming and filling again.


Unless the folder I just filled yesterday really is the perfect one?
Time will tell.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

pesky caterpillars

Just look at what they're doing to my plants!
I go out twice a day and pick off as many of the tiny little buggers as I can find.






Here's one I missed because it wasn't on any of the vegetables. See how he's the same colour as the leaves he's eating?

That's why the tiny ones are so hard to spot.






Here he is on the palm of my hand. Big bugger isn't he?
Then I "accidentally" dropped him and "accidentally" stepped on him.






In spite of the caterpillars, they plants are beginning to produce fruit.
This pile of yellow is pumpkin pollen that I've been collecting via a paint brush ready to brush onto any female flowers that might decide to appear.
There was one female flower, but it was the only flower open and the males didn't appear until the female flower had died off. Now there are about 6 flowers, all male. Pfft!!




Woo-Hoo!! Tomatoes! Each of the bushes has four baby tomatoes in varying sizes. They're all different types, so they'll be ready to eat at different times.






Look at this. Tiny, tiny, capsicum buds.





This below is a baby mini rockmelon. See that round hairy bit behind the flower base? That's the rockmelon. There's quite a few of them, so I got very excited at the thought of all that fruit.
Since this photo was taken, some of them have turned yellow and dropped off, so clearly they didn't get pollinated. Hopefully the ones that are left were pollinated and I'll get some fruit.




My beans are doing reasonably well. I picked a small handful of beans yesterday to have with my dinner. Then I didn't feel like cooking, or even eating, so just had toast. I'll have the beans tonight.




Tuesday, January 25, 2011

physio-not fun

Apparently my shoulder exercises are causing me pain because my back muscles have become tight and stiff through lack of use. Also my neck is very stiff and sore, similar to whiplash stiff and sore.


So my doctor has recommended physio on top of the exercises.
I immediately went across the waiting room to the physio's office and made some appointments.
They're all in the same building, these doctors, the physio and the dentist too. Only the orthopaedic surgeon is a bus trip away in the city.


Well, so far I've had two physio treatments.
After the first one a heat pad was put on my neck and back to help the muscles relax. I relaxed so much I almost dozed off.
This latest treatment was a little more painful. Okay, a lot more painful.
With no soothing heat pad after.


Pressure is put on the trigger points, (whatever they are), and also on the tight areas where tendons and muscles don't stretch the way they should. Or something.
Treatment is so much more painful than the injury, but once it's over I can feel the difference while walking home.
Of course I'm stiff again the next morning, but the stiffness eases more quickly now.


I also have more exercises to do on top of the ones for my shoulder.
These focus on the neck mostly and a few to get the back muscles loosening.


I tell you, between these exercises and those exercises and blogging, I barely have time to go to work. Ha Ha.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh no! whatever will I do?

The background to this little tale can be summed up in one sentence.


I have bad teeth. Very bad teeth.
Okay, so it's two sentences.
No need to get picky.
On the other hand, I do tend to get a little picky myself, so go ahead. Pick.


Moving on.


I've inherited my mother's teeth. Largish, squareish, straight, but with very thin enamel and a tendency to root canal abcesses.


From the age of 17, I have spent many hours in dentists chairs.
Chairs which are clearly not built for someone only five feet tall.
These chairs are uncomfortable!



I have also spent countless dollars on fillings and root canal work.
With the result that now my teeth are about 95% filling and 5% actual tooth.



Root canal work means that the tooth is now dead and becomes quite badly discoloured.
Something I've lived with for many, many years. Because caps or crowns aren't cheap.
So veneers were the way to go. I rearranged my budget and put away a small amount each week.



Recently I had a talk with my current dentist, who agreed to fix the chipped veneers on my front teeth and also veneer the eye teeth, for an amount previously agreed upon, which I now had available, after many months of saving.



13 days ago, the work was done.
Yay! I now had 6 front teeth all the same colour!
I could feel better about talking and smiling with customers. And anyone else.



Today one of the veneers chipped.

Badly.

Half the veneer came off the tooth. I felt it in my mouth. I'd been eating a cheese sandwich, so was lucky I didn't swallow it. (Although it probably wouldn't do any harm, I just prefer not to swallow such things.)



So now I feel quite sad. I have 5 and a half matching front teeth instead of 6.
The simple answer of course would be to immediately get back to the dentist and have it repaired.



But he's off on his holiday........
Sigh.



I've just about had enough of all this trying to save the teeth.
After 41 years of dental work, maybe I should just get false ones?


Sunday, January 23, 2011

moved to tears

They are finishing the Oprah Aussie shows by singing "I still Call Australia Home".

I'm bawling my eyes out.

I love that song and I love my country.

Sunday Selections #3

Sunday Selections was thought of by Kim, from Frogpondsrock.


To participate, select a few photos from your files,that have not yet been seen anywhere on your blog, post them under the Sunday Selections title, then head on over to Kim's and add your name to the linky list.



This week's theme at Drifting Through Life, is "Waiting".




Waiting for the washing to dry.



Waiting for collection.


Waiting for distribution.



Waiting at the lights.




Waiting for a friend.
Go ahead, hunt up some dusty old photos, and link up with Sunday Selections.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

I dreamed I was running

Not running for a bus.
Not running to or from something or somewhere.
Not running in fear of my life.
Not chasing something or someone.

In my dream, I was walking through Rundle Mall, Adelaide, when I suddenly started running.
Just for the heck of it.
Just because I love to run.
In the dream, that is.
In real life, I don't run.


As I was running, I morphed into my much younger self.
My body thinned, my arthritis disappeared, and strangely, my clothes changed and I was suddenly wearing white shorts and a white t-shirt.


In my dream, I could feel the breeze on my face caused by the running.
I could feel my joints, my limbs and muscles working as they used to.
I could feel the smoothness, the ease, the flexibility.
I could feel the easy breathing.
There was no gasping or shortness of breath, so the asthma was gone too.
I could feel that I was really enjoying the running.
(Just as I now enjoy the walking.)
I wanted to run forever.


At the same time, I knew that I was dreaming.

Friday, January 21, 2011

mmm, strawberry sauce

After several weeks of eating storebought yoghurt, I decided it was time to start making my own again.
It isn't hard, I've just been lazy.
But taking a look inside my purse and wondering just where the heck all that money has gone, well, that was the deciding factor.
A small tub of yoghurt was costing me almost $3.
Making my own is a similar cost, but one packet of EasiYo Greek Style yoghurt base makes a whole kilo of yoghurt.
So it's much more economical.


I got out the EasiYo maker, half filled the yoghurt jar (it's plastic) with water, added the powder, mixed thoroughly, then topped up the container with more water. Screwed on the lid, shook vigorously, then stood it in the yoghurt maker thingy (which I forgot to take a photo of), which had been filled to the proper level with boiling water. Put the lid on that and leave it to stand overnight.


Next morning, I had a 1 kilo jar of yoghurt. Ready to put in the fridge to chill while I was at work.



I like to add things to my yoghurt, usually fruit, either fresh or canned, depending on what I have available. I've discovered that sliced or whole cherries are nice in it, but not grapes. Most other fresh fruit is okay.

Last summer, I discovered this oh-so-yummy strawberry sauce, which is really nice on the yoghurt, but oddly enough, much too sweet on icecream.




Look at this. A delicious daily serve of yummy calcium, in yoghurt form.





Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oprah....I'm more interested than I thought I'd be.

Right at this very moment, I'm watching Oprah and a group of friends climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 1200 steps, 440 feet up. Everyone suited up and tethered, making an attempt at a record for the most people on the bridge at any one time. They're making their way to the centre platform right now. What a photo opportunity! Here comes the helicopter, no, wait, it's stopped to refuel!! Ha Ha, they have to wait for the big photo shoot....
15 minutes later, several of them are sitting down while still waiting, and singing Christmas carols!!
26 minutes....and here comes the helicopter again! Everyone is waving at it while someone in the chopper takes the photo.
The aerial views are amazing!!


Like many others, I scoffed a little at the news that Oprah was, finally, coming to Australia.
I laughed at the news that she was bringing several American audience members with her.
I was heard to say, Why? Does she think we don't have enough people over here to fill her audience seats?


Well, I've since changed my mind on that last one. I think it's a wonderful idea for Oprah to bring some Americans out here to see our wonderful country. People who may otherwise never think to come here for themselves.
Also? It's about time Oprah herself came out here. All those years travelling hither and yon, but never making it to Oz?


I've been pleasantly surprised by this show, seeing Oprah interacting with our Aussie people, dropping in unexpectedly on a few. One woman she dropped in on was hosting a family barbecue lunch in her backyard, and naturally Oprah was invited to just sit down and join them, which she did.


Moving on, Oprah is meeting Russell Crowe and preparing to sail around the harbour and the Opera House.
21 sailboats are doing the trip with her. All have sails especially designed, reading "Oprah".
They all put up their sails at once and the display looks quite impressive!


Oooh! They're up in a hot air balloon now! That's something I would love to do.

And here they are watching the penguins, on some island I didn't catch the name of, before heading up to Byron Bay. For some much needed R and R. Strolling along the beautiful beach there.
One person actually spent a few months learning to swim before coming out here so that he could swim and snorkel in our ocean with our fish.

All people involved with this entire visit appear to be having a really fantastic time.
I hope this is not going to be a once only visit.
There is so much of Australia that Oprah hasn't yet seen. She needs to come back.
Again and again and again.....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

apologies to all blogs I don't get around to

I have many blogs on my reading list and I'd love to get around to all of you every day.

But just lately, for at least a week now, maybe a bit longer, I'm having trouble with my internet connection.

I'm online, reading away, when suddenly my connection is cut off. just like that, I'm staring at a black screen.

I press the power button to turn off the computer, leave it a minute, then start it up again and try to reconnect. Most nights? Nothing. Not even a dial tone.
Sucky, sucky, sucky, sucky, sucky.......

Tonight, after trying to reconnect, I used the start menu to shut down properly. As soon as it shut down, my computer turned itself on again. What's going on here??

It didn't dial a connection automatically like it is supposed to, I went through the start menu and dialled a connection that way.
So here I am back online.
For how long? Who knows?

I don't have broadband, I have a dial-up connection, I pay $34.95 for 45 days of unlimited access. That's unlimited access, people.
My current usage doesn't expire until February 4th.
So I don't see any reason for my connection to suddenly drop out.

Now that I'm back online, I'll try to read as many of you as I can get to.
If I don't leave comments, that's just because I'm trying to get through my list before the connection cuts out again.

the bookseat

This overly-bright-taken-with-flash image was taken when I first received this handy dandy little item as a Mother's Day gift almost two years ago.
Made in similar fashion to those giant beanbags that people flop into, this mini beanbag is for books. Only for small novels though, as it's about 22cm high by 26cm wide.





I spotted this cute little beanbag in Dymocks when I was there once with my daughter. I exclaimed over it and she asked what colour I'd prefer if she was to buy me one for a gift. I opted for red, since most of my bedroom is red in various shades.



It has a little drawstring thingy which can be loosened and tightened easily to fit your book and for when turning pages.



This is the small plastic holder that rests against the book and holds the pages open, so handy when both hands are otherwise occupied. You know, with typing on your blog, or eating dinner, or holding a hot chocolate when you're propped up in bed on a cool early early morning.




Here is a full view of the bookseat, sitting next to my laptop, holding the novel I'm currently reading.



Book:
The Lonely Dead by Michael Marshall.
It's a sequel to his earlier novel, The Straw Men.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'd like a few suggestions please.

Next March, just a few weeks away now, I'll be flying in to Sydney for the Bloggers Conference.

I'll be arriving on the morning of Friday the 18th and finding my way to the hotel, hopefully via an airport shuttle service.
Then I'll have time to wander around a bit, maybe meet a few of you who are already there?
Then there'll be dinner, etc.


Saturday is the Conference, a whole day. The dinner-dance after? I don't have a ticket for that, so I'll get dinner in another place, then go to my room and make notes of what I've seen, heard, learned.

Sunday, however, is another whole day that I have to fill.


(I'm making a little holiday of this and not flying back to Adelaide until Monday 21st. In the afternoon. )


So what does one do in Sydney on a Sunday?


I won't have a huge amount of spending money,
but there'll be a little after I've paid for meals etc.


I'll have my camera with me and a supply of batteries, plus an extra memory card.


So help me out here?
What can I do?
Where can I go?
What should I see?

Monday, January 17, 2011

online supermarket shopping? I'll pass.

Because browsing the aisles for yourself means you spot new stuff.


Like this new tuna flavour pictured below. (95g can)


I had a lightbulb moment.






A quick, mental, pantry/fridge check recalled rice,



spring onions and half a carrot. Only half? I'd better buy more carrots.


I cooked a little rice, about half a cup, and stirfried the vegetables.




Then I tossed the tuna and ginger, (drained of the oil in which it had been packed), in with the stirfry. Look at all the ginger shreds!




By this time the rice was cooked, so I drained it, added it to the stirfried veg, then added an extra teaspoon or so of soy sauce, since there didn't appear to be much in the can, probably just a little to flavour the oil, which I had drained off.





Served it in a bright bowl, to add to the visual appeal. It looks nice.....tasty......






And it was very nice. Tasty without being overpowering in any way, this is a meal that could be served to children, there are no strong flavours to put them off, yet it's not so bland as to pass for baby food. Simple, quick, acceptable food.




Although next time, yes, there will be a next time, I'll use two spring onions instead of just one.
And maybe use the chopsticks.

Live and learn.





me? little old me?

I'm a little excited. Just a little. Maybe a little more than that. Oh heck! I'm doing backflips here!
(mental backflips, I can't do physical backflips.....)

After I posted about the beehive last Saturday, January 15th, I emailed the local council and also the local free newspaper, The Messenger.
You know, in case they'd be interested in a local story of something not normally seen on a roundabout at an intersection. I said they could use the article and the photos if they wished.

As it turns out, they are interested. A nice lady named Jane phoned me this morning and asked if I'd like to have my photo taken at the beehive site so they could feature me along with the story.

We had a nice little chat, then decided to take a photo of me this afternoon, at 2pm, standing by the bees, with my camera.

Well, I raced into the shower and washed my hair........because I can't appear in the paper with messy hair now, can I?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Selections #2

Welcome to Sunday Selections part two.
Sunday Selections is the brainchild of Kim, at Frog Ponds Rock

For this week's selection, I've chosen "things I use everyday".

These photos were taken when I'd just learnt how to set the macro lens.
I went a bit nuts going all over the house taking close-ups of every damn thing that caught my eye.

Zippers on my handbag. This particular handbag has six of them.


Pen. All day long. Taking notes, jotting things down, making lists.

Keys. I lock myself in, I lock others out, I lock things away....


Clock. I glance at this to see how late the TV programs are running. They're almost never on time.


I-Pod. If I don't hear at least a little music everyday I go a little crazy. Mostly I listen while walking to and from work.


Veggie peeler. I love my veggies.


Phone. Gotta stay in touch.


Kettle. Mmm, coffee.


Forks. So handy, for beating eggs, mashing pumpkin, stabbing food to bring it to my mouth.


Spoons. Coffee, icecream, soup, pudding.









Saturday, January 15, 2011

nature at work

Took a little stroll around the block, with my camera, because you never know.....plus a friend tipped me off.....
You won't believe what I saw!





We've all seen access lids like this on streets, footpaths, roundabouts, right?


Well, here's one in a roundabout.
It's a water meter box.


Let's get a little closer.
Can you see that the lid is off the box?



Here's an even closer look.
Can you see there's something inside the box?
Would you like to know what it is?


Bees.
Many, many, bees. Building honeycomb. Two strips, one down each side of the box.
Yes, I did get up close, bees don't scare me and I'm not allergic.
But I was slow, calm and careful, because there's so many bees and taking unnecessary risks is silly.
Getting this close is probably classed as a risk, but the bees seemed to be ignoring me and I was using the zoom lens.
I did try for a macro shot, but couldn't get close enough without bees flying around my face, so I backed off a bit.


This is the comb down one side, completely covered in bees.



Just look at them!! Nature at work. Beautiful.


Here's a more aerial shot, so you can see the lid is about a foot away.
See those two white lumps on that green lid thing?


Here, have another look. It's two broken pieces of comb that must have been attached to the lid and got dislodged by whoever opened it.


This is a clearer shot of the two combs inside the meter box.


In this next photo, you can see bees busily working on the small piece of comb still attached to the lid.



It is quite an amazing sight, and I stayed for quite a while snapping photo after photo, getting odd looks from passing motorists.
I'm wondering if I should forward these to the local council, the bees should probably be moved on. Exposed like that they're in danger from persons who might try to annoy or otherwise harm them, also they're a danger to anyone who might be allergic to stings and gets close enough when the bees might be less calm than they were today.
Yes, definitely send photos to the council, although they won't get them until Monday.