Monday, November 30, 2015

If you're happy and you know it ...

... wear your happy shoes.

And even more reason to wear them if you're not totally cheery.  Fake it until you make it :)

I do believe part of my feeling flat has been hormonal (judging by the smug look on my husband's face when I mentioned this, someone else believes this too!)  It's also the time of year, rightly called 'silly season' - as I realize the big day is less than 4 weeks, panic begins to set in.  Then it's New Year which for unknown reasons fills me with dread - this year, however, I am relishing the end of 2015 and the start of 2016 as this has been my own personal 'annus horribilis'.  Blimey this is starting to sound really maudlin, it will improve I promise!

Today has been a good day overall.  My lovely HB came with me today to my little job running a crafty 'social inclusion' group (hate that term but nothing else describes it properly so we will have to stick with it).  She was my extra pair of hands lifting heavy bags of crafts and setting up tables.  We made angels - unadulterated Christmas fun today!  When we finished, she looked at my very smiley face and said "you'd like to do this full-time wouldn't you mum" and I just grinned even more stupidly in reply because it's true.  I love my work as a mental health support worker, but it doesn't speak to my soul if you know what I mean.  Maybe 2016 is to be my year for pursuing dreams of artistic business endeavours.  It would be really great to stop procrastinating and just get on with it, and it would be a really cool way to honour dad because he wanted to see me accomplish my dream. Better stop talking about it and get doing ('she's all mouth and no trousers').

Whilst I'm rambling on I can show you why I love red shoes so much - this picture shows I started wearing them at a very early age.  You will have to take my word for it that they are red!  (I will have to find the colour version of this pic and you'll have to believe me!)  You can see that I hadn't quite grasped the 'happy shoes' concept though!  Do you have special items that make you happy?

Friday, November 27, 2015

What's happening?

Shall I tell you what I've been up to?

I can only show you things I've done in a little while.  I've had the brakes put on my creativity by fracturing my left elbow.  All I can do is colour in or draw :(

But I've completed a chook hoose ...

Started on a messenger bag project ...

And had plenty of time to pontificate on my youth and present life - sometimes rather challenging!  Especially when I see parts of myself I don't like.

Hurry up and heal arm, I don't like having too much time on my hands!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Walking on ...

Yesterday as I was building my chook enclosure (that's a story for another day) I had time to think and ponder about what would help me move forward as I get used to life without dad.  I decided I'd like to do a spot of blogging, so here I am :)

It's nearly 3 weeks now since I did the Oxfam Trailwalker - departing Darlington at 7 am on the Friday morning, with the knowledge that it was forecast to warm up to 33 degrees.  Yikes!  Those of you who have followed me for a while know that summer is not my bag - that I melt even at the thought of the thermometer heading over 27 degrees, so I knew this would be a challenge before I started.

My mascot stone :)
I trudged slowly along hot, radiating gravel paths, had my hat filled with water by team mates whenever we came to a stream, drank tea at rest stops, had physio, chatted to team 69 every time we met, celebrated the night falling, thrilled at lightening in the distance and stood to have my calf massaged on the trail before I fell into Darlington 21 hours later and felt so ill that I finished my walk there.  Too much time in the sun had taken its toll and I knew there were several hours to go before reaching Lesmurdie and another roasting hot day.  So I called my hubby at 4 am to pick me up and waved my fellow 'hill bunnies' goodbye.

Far from being despondent I was very impressed with myself - I had walked 73 km, much of it in the heat and I had survived through sheer bloody-mindedness and the support of my fantastic team.  I was so pumped I vowed to do it again next year and finish it.  I'm still wanting to do it again after recovering (sore, crampy legs, 2 big blisters, not bad really) but I think I might train for it next time ...

It was a profound experience for me as I had to be really present to survive - I've been having trouble with that lately.  Here's what I wrote in my diary just after the walk:

"I was walking with 3 other amazing women, who made me feel part of the group and that I mattered as they helped me keep my cool and keep my spirits up.  I had to hunker down inside myself and find that inner strength to carry on.  No room for ruminations about the trivia of life - this was about survival.  I was fully present."

And dad was there with me every step of the way - I had my little foxy stone in my pocket.  It was the last present I ever gave to dad, it was for his birthday last year - it's a little reminder of him, and I had a feeling he was saying to me as I walked, "You're fantastic too."

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I miss his hugs ...

Dad and baby Larissa
Today is the first day I've written my blog in a long time, getting here has been difficult.  I still don't know if i can finish writing this post, but we will see.

The reason I haven't been able to write here is because my biggest blog fan, who checked up on me when I didn't check in here, my dearest Dad, died at the end of May and I couldn't see myself writing here if dad couldn't read it.

So today is a huge day - for me writing again, and because today is Dad's birthday.

Happy Birthday Dad.  Love you. xxxxx

It's also where I'm going to announce how I'm going to honour him every year on his birthday by giving a donation to a charity of $50.  This year I'll be giving the money to Oxfam Trailwalker, to our team the 'Hill Bunnies'. I'm sure Dad would have a cheeky joke about our name and I know he was proud of me becoming an 'adult onset athlete' and challenging myself each year with a walk, run or mini triathlon.

I tortured myself this week by buying a tiny wee gift-book called 'Dad'; but it has some beautiful quotes in it that make me cry and help me process.  Such as this one,

"... my father would pick me up and hold me high in the air.  He dominated my life as long as he lived, and was the love of my life."   - Eleanor Roosevelt

and this one, which I chose for my sister too,

"A father's love for his daughter is as soft as a snowflake yet as strong as steel."  Stuart and Linda MacFarlane

I can't believe I've actually finished this.  It was going to be bigger somehow, eloquently written, with loads of pictures, but this is all I can manage for now.  Life goes on, and I'm going to be kind to myself and take it one day (one step) at a time.

Wishing comfort to those who have experienced loss too, L xx

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I love my dog

My hero
A couple of days ago I went for a longish walk as part of my preparation for my 100 km walk in October.  To shake things up a bit - because I love living on the edge - I decided to reverse the direction of my usual 5 km loop and start at the end if you see what I mean.  I should not have done it; things look totally different if you start from the other end, and you realize that you probably weren't paying as much attention to landmarks and surroundings as you first thought.

I ended up getting totally and utterly lost.

Recognizing a road we came to - which wouldn't have been there if I'd been going the right way - and knowing I didn't want to walk up it with all its winding and curving, I did what I thought was extremely smart and went 'off piste' away from the walking track. 

"Let's go bush" I told Charlie dog, and all of a sudden there we were blundering around amongst spikey parrotbush and red rocks.

On the up side I found some treasure, remains of the old rubbish dump that used to be in the area.  Old pieces of pottery, reminding me of home, and some shards which could 'eventually' be used in a mosaic.

I also have a rather macabre interest in animal bones.  Don't ask me why.

On the down side, I had lots of prickly leaves sticking in places I rather they didn't and no clue how to get back onto the track towards home.

At this point, after patiently watching me fossick about amongst broken ceramics and animal fragments for reasons he could not understand, Charlie lost the plot and took control.  Which doesn't happen very often with our dog (both the plot losing and taking control, he's very much a follower and happy with that).  He strode in front of me purposefully, nose to the ground, determined to get home before tea-time. 

And found a beautiful, wide, clear track back to civilization.  I was so relieved I could almost swear it was surrounded by glowing, dancing lights and the voices of angels.

This is not a parrotbush - but to me it does look like someone waving their arms about - really, if you look at it with your eyes half-closed, it does ...
And I'd almost left him at home, because I complained that he slows me down too much.  If it wasn't for him, I'd probably still be wondering around in the bush 3 days later.

I love my dog.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


 It's 100 years ago that the ANZACs landed on the shores of Gallipoli.  I listened to one lovely gentleman (who was 92 years old) telling of his experiences, who said that 100 years isn't really a magical number, it's just important that we never forget, and I guess he thinks about his experiences in the war a great deal.  Still had a sparkle in his eyes though.
Of course, in the schools there was much learning about the ANZACs at Gallipoli and I learned a lot too as I helped Little Man navigate his assignment.  We decided to make his talk about the origins of Anzac biscuits.  On first glance, it may appear a rather frivolous subject, but they had a real and very important purpose.  It took almost 2 months for the biscuits to reach the men at war, and these lovelies could last the journey without spoiling.  With their ingredients consisting of oats, coconut, butter and syrup they were also very nutritious.  Before becoming the biscuit known today, they were called Soldier's biscuits or Anzac tiles - becoming the Anzac biscuit after the landing. 
But the main thing that really touched us was the fact that these biscuits were made by wives, mothers, sisters, girlfriends back home - with lots of love.  I imagine that these little biscuits warmed many a heart as the soldiers reflected on who had made them, and there's nothing like a touch of home to warm the spirit.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hitting the trail

It is the end of the weekend - and the start of a new week.

And I have an announcement to make!  I am doing a 100km walk this year and no flu this time is going to take me out!  It's the Oxfam Trail Walker in Perth and you enter in teams of 4.  I am now part of a team of very fit women, so I will have to train with a vengence this time round.  It is a charity event,  and I am going to match the donations I was given for my aborted Isle of Wight 100 k walk by very lovely people who did not let me pay them back.  So this walk is for them and all the people Oxfam help.

I so wanted to complete the Island coastal walk as it's one of my favourite places in the world, but as the beautiful hills around Perth are a very close second I'm not too disappointed!

Now I will have to find a widget with a countdown ...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thanks very much ...

Thought I would do a wee gratitude list today as we're all feeling a tad poorly and our spirits need lifting!  I woke up with what I thought was a hormonal headache, but as Duncan told me he had similar symptoms we concluded we had a bug.  He's a decent chap but not quite up to getting sympathy headaches ;)

So what am I grateful for today?

The beautiful cool autumn weather we are having at the moment.  Bliss ...

HB and Little Man enjoying each others company very muchly, as they look after each other and get used to number one son not being around so much.

Having fish fingers and chips in the freezer when we couldn't decide what to have for tea and felt too poorly to cook from fresh.

My robot infuser (a birthday present from Little Man and perfect for making Earl Grey tea for one!)

My gorgeously comfy to which I am going to retire as soon as I have finished this.

Night night!  XXX

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Trying something new

Life has been hectic and I have let a lot of things slip, not just my blogging.  I've not even been creating that much, just doing my chores, seeing lots of people and eventually wearing myself out!  Then I read a blog last night whose author said she is only going to blog once a week, on the same evening each week, as she is so busy; she also said she was telling her readers what to expect so there were no surprises.  I thought this was a pretty good idea and began thinking about when my ideal blogging day would be to make sure I get it done.  So I have decided to give it a go at the weekends for now.  My excuse for not blogging before was that I'm too tired from work but as I have the weekends free it would seem sensible to try then.  And here we are.
At the moment I am determined to finish some projects before moving onto new ones - I'm just amazed at how many works in progress I have lying around!  This is one that's been in the making for several years - back when I was doing my 'granny a day' which if I'm not mistaken was back in 2009!  Bit of a shocker when you can put dates on projects :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Last day of the holidays

Wow, where has the time gone?  It's been a while.

On top of the world, on a huge 400 year old Jarrah stump ... you'll see it again in a mo ...
School went back today.  Little Man and I needed to do something cool on the last day of the hols yesterday to make it memorable.  I asked him what he wanted to do, and he wanted to visit the local history village in Kalamunda.  We haven't been there since my mum visited us in 2009, so thought it might be due another visit.  I was also secretly impressed that this young man, who is at home with computer games and iphones, chose to visit history of a quieter time (and enjoyed every minute).  Here are some pics to show you why it's one of our favourite places in the world.

It tickled me that I was taking a photo of this telephone exchange with my lovely slimline iphone!
I can never resist mailboxes ...

Could you say I'm obsessed with crafts and sewing?

My favourite building in the village is the McCullagh house - a family from Ireland lived in it after they moved to Perth in the late 1800's - mum, dad and 6 kids - and there was only one front room, parents' bedroom with baby cot, girls' room, kitchen area, and the poor boys had to sleep on the verandah!  There is a beautiful bedspread made from yoyo's (fabric circles gathered up to make puffs!) - the fabric was actually wrapping from a laundry product!  It's inspired me to make a similar cover, but I think I will use quilting cottons :)
The McCullagh house
I love the particular Australian flavour to this recruitment poster for the first world war:
And here's that tree 'stump' again ...
As I write there is thunder and lightening over head.  We have had 3 or so lightning storms this week, very spectacular.  Some trees were literally blown apart by forked lightning - must show you some photos of that too, it's just so amazing, like woodland sculpture (only slightly dangerous, maybe extreme sculpture). 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015!

I feel compelled to write to wish you Happy New Year!!!!

And also to complain that today our thermometer hit 43 degrees. YUCK!!!!

We had planned to travel to Midland to watch The Hobbit, but there was no way I wanted to share a shopping centre with other hot and grumpy people ...

So I stayed at home and made art instead.  Here is a wee glimpse.  It's for my Lifebook project ... I would give you the link, but I'm too hot and grumpy ... promise I will rectify that when the temperature is less shocking.

Off for a moonlight swim before my brain explodes ... yes, it is stll bloody hot at night ... how is that normal??????