Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, January 30, 2015

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. interference
2. plunging
3. magnanimous
4. gentry
5. brush
6. indelible

we also have:

1. impartial
2. thatched
3. glower
4. birdbath
5. inhumane
6. iridescent

What a selection!

Here is my story:

Mr Thomas Walford Jnr, ran his house with a tight rein. There was a strict schedule and no interference was allowed. Precision ruled his days. Things must happen in their proper time and place. Even small matters such as the cleaning of his hairbrush were fixed in time and space.

Every Saturday morning at precisely nine-thirty, Thomas showered and shampooed his hair. Therefore, at nine am, his brush must be washed, rinsed and left to dry in the sunshine. One simply must not brush freshly cleaned hair with a dirty brush.

He had been this way since that fateful holiday ten years ago, when he and Simon, both nineteen, had been para-sailing off a remote beach in Havana. High above the ocean, the wind had suddenly dropped and Thomas's last memory of that holiday was of plunging towards the water at great speed while Simon watched, horrified and probably terrified too, from the speed boat which had been towing him. 

Thomas had woken a week later, with fear indelibly printed upon his mind, to find Simon sitting beside his bed and his father, Thomas Snr, glowering at both of them from a chair on the other side of that bed. 
The para-sailing had been a spur-of-the-moment decision, and those must never happen again. Planning and routine, that was the way to go.
Upon arrival at the near-primitive hospital in the village Simon had taken Thomas to, Thomas Snr had been pleased to find that his son was being treated as impartially as the rest of the patients. Being a member of the gentry made no difference at all to the doctors and nurses there.

Once assured that Thomas had no physical injuries, his father had arranged for a private jet to fly him to the Boston hospital he had been born in, the very same where generations of Walfords had been born. As a thank you to the doctors and nurses, he had magnanimously paid for a new ward in the hospital and new thatched roofs for the small village of fishermen who had helped Simon bring Thomas to that tiny hospital. 

Now, ten years later, Thomas appeared fully recovered, but the change in his nature was great. Gone was the devil-may-care attitude that had seen him almost expelled from college several times. Gone was the happy-go-lucky fellow that had endeared him to his many friends. 

Each morning at eleven, his therapist arrived and they would talk about the past, the holiday, and what Thomas had planned for the week ahead. Thomas would reach for his neatly written diary and review the schedule therein. The therapist, Mr Butters, wanted him to try a day, even half a day, without a schedule. Leave a blank page in the diary and just do what came to mind.
At first, Thomas had thought him inhumane, cruel, for pushing him this way, but after ten years, he was beginning to think that maybe Mr Butters had a point. Sooner or later, something unexpected was bound to happen and if he, Thomas was unable to "go with the flow", he might very well be stuck here in this precisely run house forever. 

He sat this morning in his garden, near the birdbath watching the dragonflies flitting here and there on iridescent wings and decided the time had come. He must begin to move forward! 
With Mr Butters' help and his family too, Thomas would leave an entire day blank in next week's schedule.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday Thoughts #31

"You can't improve on perfection. That's why it's called perfection."

"....went to the fridge. I made a sandwich of things. I'm an American. We can eat anything as long as it's between two pieces of bread. With enough mustard......."

"Thin, built like someone who ran or rode a bicycle on their weekends. Clean cut without being particularly memorable, medium brown hair, medium height, medium brown eyes.
The only exceptional thing about his appearance was that there was nothing exceptional about his appearance."

Hey, look at that. Three quotes for the price of one. Heh.

Have you all read the papers about this Robert Allenby  fellow who was "bashed and robbed"?
Our Saturday paper dedicated a full two pages to this story. I didn't read it thoroughly, just skimmed over, so I've already forgotten the details, but these two paragraphs caught my eye:

"And what of that star witness, a homeless woman seemingly destined for involvement in something like this from the moment she assumed the name Charade Keane?
You almost hope this ends up in court just for the spectacle of a woman called Charade taking the witness stand. 
"Miss Keane, could you tell us what you saw that night? Six words? First word? Sounds like?"

That would be hilarious!

Now let's get serious.
I'm a little upset. Okay, I'm a lot upset.

Reasonably close to my flat there are several large pine trees. Possibly not all the same variety, but they all have needles that fall and cones which the cockatoos love to eat and throw on the ground.

Last week, I noticed two of these, close to the back of one block were being cut down. I took photos of this destruction, as I do, and asked a neighbour who was also watching the chainsaw in action, if she knew why the trees were coming down.

Apparently the woman who lives closest to those trees had complained many times about the needles and cones filling the gutter on her garage and the garage being flooded each time it rained. 

So the trees came down. No shade anymore for her. Nor for the upstairs flat. None for the cockatoos either!

There is a maintenance crew which clears the gutters once a year on the buildings, maybe twice, but the garages are single storey blocks and I would have thought someone could be spared to clean those gutters more often. Perhaps someone sentenced to community service for whatever reason.

Yesterday, I heard the sound of the chainsaw and again today. 

On my way to the shops, I looked for it and saw the cherry picker platform, complete with chainsaw wielding tree bandit way up high in another pine tree, right next to one that had been reduced to a single branchless trunk yesterday. Branches were being cut, lowered and chipped. It seems these trees will also be coming down. 

I don't know the reason, maybe they are old and diseased. If I ask I'm sure that's what I would be told. But they seem healthy to me. And where will the cockatoos go now? Into the city parklands where I won't see them nearly as often? Into the city parklands where they will make a similar mess with the pinecones until people start complaining? Will even more trees be cut down?

these are the first two trees that were cut down. The shorter, lighter green one in front, with the larger tree several metres behind it.

only the trunk left of the shorter tree on day one and I thought that was the end of was the only tree hanging over that garage block.

then came day two...and the return of the cherry picker platform.

soon more branches were gone, from the big tree this time.

support ropes as that first trunk was cut at the base.

starting up the chainsaw,

cutting the branch,

swinging it down.

only the upper canopy left now.

this is what I saw when I got home a few hours later.
That trunk is gone now, through the chipper.

A break for the weekend, and yesterday it began again. 
I can't take more photos, I'll cry.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whimsical Wednesday # 160

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.

Today's funny comes to us via fishducky.

thank you fishducky.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

oh no, not again

I've just heard on the news here that a blizzard of historic proportions is bearing down on the USA.
Didn't y'all have enough of that last year?
Has Mother Nature misplaced her calendar from last year so she doesn't know where to send this year's blizzards?
Send one to the Sahara desert, they could use a little cooling down I'm sure.
Death Valley too.

Side note: what are "historic proportions"?  Would that be bigger than anything seen before in history?
That would be epic! 

I hope you're all ready. 
Got enough toilet paper?

Joanne; got enough road salt?
Delores; stocked up the pantry?
Pearl; lefty and stumpy in good condition? Know where your mittens are?
fishducky; wrap a quilt around yourself. insert a zipper to hold it together. cut armholes if you wish.

Monday, January 26, 2015

was I foolish or wise?

Remember the advice from the Heart Foundation?
We should all walk 10,000 steps per day in the interest of keeping our hearts healthy.

Sounds like a great idea. For a sloth like me, doing them all at once is probably not a good idea.
I think spacing them out over the course of the day is a better idea. Walking every day would be a good idea too. How far is 10,000 steps anyway? I never count my steps.

So here's what I did. 

I went to the movies. I saw Big Hero 6, it's an animated movie and quite good.
The cinema is quite a long distance away, (well it is on the map), but the bus trip doesn't take too long.
Anyway, I got out of the cinema about five minutes too late to catch the bus home and being a public holiday the next one wasn't due for an hour.

So I decided to walk until I heard the bus catching up with me. You know how it goes. Walk to the next stop, check and see if the bus is coming. Keep going.

Off I set, walking, walking, walking and it turned out to be not all that far after all.
It's a distance I used to be able to walk easily.
I stopped for a rest at a bus stop I knew well, another fifteen minutes walking and I'd be home. But just as I got up to start walking again, the bus appeared and I got on.

I expected to feel achy after sitting down here at home, but so far I'm okay. Was I foolish to walk so far when I haven't done it for some time? Time will tell. I may very well be stiff and sore tomorrow.
But I have things to do tomorrow, things which will use those same muscles, that should help ease any stiffness.

And I did enjoy the walking. I was kept company part of the way by four ravens (crows?) who cawed at me at each corner. I saw some lovely gardens too.
I wish I'd had the camera with me, but who takes a camera to the movies?

Here's a quote from yesterday's newspaper.

""Every time you make a typo, the errorists win."

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day, so I thought you might all appreciate an appropriate cartoon.

The great Aussie Barbecue.
Happy Australia Day!!

here is our national flag

and a description of the symbols

each state has their own version, that's mine centre top.

this is the flag of the indigenous people, the Aboriginals, original owners of this wide brown land.

and an idea for a new Aussie flag. It has a football, a beer stubbie, two sausages, uncooked by the look of them, and the black surface of the Aussie Barbecue.

Musical Monday #44

Now for something completely different, I bet not too many of you remember this.

Eddie Hodges.

I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door

I remember loving this way back when I was ....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Selections #208

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 The Elephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.
  Andrew often joins in too.

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week my theme is: 
Market Day.

Every month on the third Saturday a community market is held in the grounds of the Fullarton Community Centre. There are stalls with jewellery bits and bobs, stalls with books and dvds, stalls with plants, others with home baked goodies, still others with clothes. 

I went along yesterday with one purpose in mind. 
Herbs for my garden. 
I avoided the books tables as if the owners had the black plague.  I had only taken a small trolley with me, there would be no room for books.

Here is what I bought:

ha ha! eggs and tomatoes. I'd been to the supermarket earlier, but when I saw these delicious looking tomatoes for only $2 a kilo I remembered that I hadn't bought any and only had one left in the fridge.
The extra large free range eggs for only $5 per dozen couldn't be passed up either. 

just look at the gorgeous red and gold of these dwarf marigolds. There's no way I was going home without them too.

I bought the intended herbs too of course. This one is mint, for cooling summer teas.

'red' sage although the colour is a little more on the purple side, it will look lovely in the garden and you can't have too much sage.

regular green sage, another cooling summer tea which has several other health benefits too.

lemon balm, again, destined for the tea infuser, it has the added benefit of attracting bees to the garden when it flowers. 

oregano, for pizza and spaghetti sauce; this one also brings bees to the garden.

here they are all crowded by the front door, waiting to be planted. I decided to eat lunch first and read a few blogs, because it was too warm outside to be planting. They would all wilt immediately, so I waited until late afternoon.

I spaced out the marigolds in a curved line linking the other two groups of three that I'd planted a few weeks ago. I plan to eventually have a long line of these snaking through the garden.

the mint went into a pot of course, as I don't want it taking over the garden.

the green.....

and the red sage were planted side by side with about 60cm between them, they'll eventually grow into each other and make a nice two-toned mound.

oregano in a sunny spot,

lemon balm in another sunny spot between two trees so it will get a little shade sometimes.

the red and gold variety is my favourite of all the marigolds.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I have discovered the easiest way to worm a cat

Since he was a tiny kitten, I have allowed Angel to lick the spoon clean whenever I've finished eating. I'll scrape down the sides of the bowl and Angel happily licks off the remains of porridge, weet-bix, ice-cream, yoghurt, gravy. 
Never more than about half a teaspoon , I'm pretty sure large amounts of  ice-cream isn't good for cats.

Anyway, when it came time for his regular dose of worming medicine, I squeezed the dose onto a teaspoon, held it out and he licked it clean.

Finding a spot of skin to squeeze the flea treatment onto is a harder matter.
I just hold the scruff of the neck like his mama would and poke the nozzle of the tube deep between his shoulders and hope it's deep enough. 
Just look at this cat.

here he is asleep or watching TV

see how dense his neck ruff is? I can't part the hair anywhere and see skin.

waking up

settling down again
what you're seeing here is not overfed fat cat. It's fur. 
His tail hairs are 10cm long and  the body hairs are 7cm long with the neck ruff fur being a little shorter but more dense.

he squeezed into the little gap I opened for him and pushed his feet against the screen door until he'd pushed the front door back a bit. I don't like to open it too wide on hot days, I'd rather keep the inside cool.

his favourite spot.

I swear if this cat dies before I do, I'm having this pelt made into a hooded scarf, to be worn fur side in like the Eskimos do. 
Right about now, you're probably all laughing your socks off, those of you up there in the snow and ice countries. "She lives in Australia!" you're saying. "It doesn't get cold down there!"

Well, yes it does. Not below zero, ice and snow, blizzards and freezing, type cold, but compared to our searing hot summers, our milder winters do feel cold to us
And I rug up accordingly. 

I think a cat fur hat with the tail as a neck warmer would be great. Or maybe mittens and ear muffs. Oooh! Both!

Not that I'm wishing Angel would die soon, no, no, not at all, I love the little shit furball.
Just not at 2.30am. (*~*)

Friday, January 23, 2015

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. basement 
2. fulfilled
3. spastic
4. imbecile
5. swimming
6. gentile

we also have::in and out of time, in and out of rhyme, with you

Today I have just used the 6 words.

Here is my story:

Meckleberg's Bargain Basement was having a sale. 
A sale! And I had to go. I'd promised.
The designated bag holder, that was me.

A few weeks ago my wife had done me a favour and I had promised to return that favour whenever she had need of it. 
Today was that day. Going to the sale fulfilled my part of the favour promise and let me tell you, I never want to do that again. 

A favour for my wife, of course. But a sale in a bargain basement

Pushing and shoving through hundreds (thousands?) of women, I felt like a salmon swimming upstream. Watching the spastic jerking of arms reaching towards panties, slips, girdles etc all piled on tables with no order whatsoever was a nightmare I never want to see again. 

Meckleberg's is a Jewish store, (owned by Stan Meckleson and his cousin Hiram Goldberg),  and for most of the year 99% of the customers are Jewish women, but today there were Gentile women in the crowd and let me tell you, oy vey! when it comes to snatching a bargain from the hands of another, those gentiles were as bad as the Jews. 
This was worse than mark-down hour at the butcher shop!

I never heard such hissing and muttering before in my life! One woman even called another "imbecile" as the first stubbornly hung on to a blouse clearly many sizes too small, and those two were best friends!

Let me tell you, next time I promise a favour, I'm going to ask for specific conditions.
No bargain basement sales!