Sunday, March 17, 2019

Rain and Other Funny Things

Well! On Thursday last week, I got my head shaved for the World's Greatest Shave! It was done on the most humid of days, it was on a Thursday (14th, March) and Mum and Dad were there with Ellie the Grand-dog... and we had a great time at InVogue Hair Designers.

Then, that afternoon, we had a huge storm and it poured rain all night.

Okay, then, is that what it takes for Brisbane and half the state of Queensland to get rain? I have to shave off all my long red hair and donate it? I'll have to remember that one the next time Australia goes through a big dry spell again.

Only kidding!

Anyway, I've been busily looking through things, throwing out rubbish and watching my back yard green up over the past 48 hours. And man, have we been getting some big falls too! I'm so glad the rain is here! And it's getting cooler, but I'm all prepared for that too, with warmer hats and beanies - some of which I've made - and other warmer gear too.

But last week, I was out every day, either looking after Ellie, or getting the hair donated, or doing some errands around the place or going to the Logan Artists Association (but that didn't work out, so I came home). 
This week is turning out to be busier than last week, with me having two appointments on almost every day... and I'm hoping to remember them all. 

This weekend has been a good one. I've finally begun writing again. It's a slow start to a new book, but it's something at least. I hope it goes somewhere; as my character is a new one I'm also getting to know. Oh well, let's hope she's a good one. I might pair her up with another one I've written about before and it'll pull the story along into a better dimension. 

How's your week been going? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Few Rough Days

Over the past week or so, I've had a bit of rough time. It's been tough getting along into this new year without Hannah in it; but it's even harder to wait out the Writer's Block I have too.

So much is going on this year, and I'm so happy with how fast this year is going so far.

Thus far, my air-conditioner in the home office crapped itself and Dad and I pulled it out and put in a screen to let the air flow through again - and it's been great during the night to have that nice cool air upstairs.

I'm on the fund raising track again for the World's Greatest Shave - and this year, I'm shaving off all my hair and donating it, just like I did 4 years ago. So, by this time tomorrow, I'll have no hair, and it'll be on its way to Melbourne to be made into toupee's, wigs and fringes. 

Today, I was out and about catching up with things and doing small errands around the place when I found a little bird - kind of like a sparrow - sitting on concrete outside the post office. Well, it wasn't looking too happy, panting away there, and I picked it up and decided to look at it.
When it screamed at me but didn't bite me, I knew something was wrong. And when I found there were no fleas on this bird at all, I knew there was something really badly wrong. Fleas - you see - are the one thing which love blood flow. They feed off an animal with blood flow. And when the flow of blood is really low on an animal, they go elsewhere for their food. So, to find no fleas or mites on this bird was a red flag for me. This bird was sick and coming to the end of its life - actually when I looked closer at the bird, I realised it had suffered a huge stroke and was waiting to end its life. 
I made the decision to stay with the bird and make it comfortable, by keeping it cool. When birds have a stroke like this, they can't keep themselves cool, because they don't sweat. So, when we as Humans do this for them, it helps them comfortably die - I know this sounds morbid, but it's not. It stopped panting and I thought to move it into a tree. I couldn't leave him/her alone though. So, even though I put him/her into a lower-most branch, I stayed until it died. You see, it was blind; and so I stayed by so it wouldn't hurt itself. The stroke had blinded this poor little bird completely - as most strokes in little birds do. 
And it's been so hot lately, that a lot of little birds are really suffering from heat stroke and they're suffering from massive strokes too. It's a sad thing to realise this in my busy day of running around, but it's something to keep in mind.

I knew what to do with this little bird because my little budgie suffered a massive stroke in 2012, and I stayed by her until her last moments. It hurts to see a little bird leave this planet, but it does show us Humans that we must make sure we're here in the present moment to help the little animals - to see the smaller things in life - and not to ignore them; which so many people did when I was tending to this tiny bird.

Otherwise, I've been busily working in my garden, thinking of what else I can do for the birds and animals around the area to help them in the heat and during this year. I potted up more new herbs to see me through the Winter (as the other lots had gone to seed) and then? Well, I refilled the water platter for the birds, and thought I might get in and save for a nice one to put in the garden for the birds and animals, one closer to the ground and in the shade. Well, until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tip-Toeing Through Life

I have found that the past few years have been a minefield of apologising to everyone around me, being sorry for who I am online and stopping myself from saying the 'wrong thing' to people who don't like what I do.

And I'm not the only one it seems.

I've just spent the last hour or so saying sorry on Facebook and on another site I'm a member of for other people's bad moods - and I damned well bloody sick and tired of tip-toeing through the tulips all because others are insulted about what I say or do.

And you know something? Those same people are all ready to say and do things towards me which insult the way I live, who I am, what I've said and how I feel without even thinking about it... without editing themselves, without stopping and seeing if they're going to stand on my toes about what they're about to say.

So, right now, I'm sick to death of the insulted generation of people who are insulted by everything we say. They get insulted by all of the things on the news, the way people dress, the music that's from the 80's (and the decades before that) saying it's sexist and horrible. The insulted generation are insulted by how things were in the past and expect everyone from that time to apologise for being a part of it, being brought up in it and not knowing any different because it was the only way they knew how life was.

Well, you know something? I'm not sorry for who I am. And if you don't like it, that's too bad! I'm sick and tired of being the nice person who thinks twice before she speaks, dresses like Grandma because people will think she's showing too much leg, and goes out too much on her own - but really, what's it to you what I do with my life? What you should be doing is concentrating on your own life and stop looking at mine. 

I'm not apologising for anything I've done, anything I'm currently doing or anything I'm going to do in the future. And like I said, if you don't like it - tough!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

I'm Disgusted!

Yes, you read right! 

I'm disgusted!

As a lot of you know - or may not know - I'm currently fund-raising for The World's Greatest Shave; and this year, I'm shaving all my hair off to donate it. And there's a lot of hair!

So, I jumped into the fund-raising joys in December and the Leukaemia Foundation sent out my pack just before New Year's Eve... so I got myself into gear just as the New Year started out. I approached my local doctors at the Springwood General Practice to find they had changed hands and managers.

I thought, okay, no biggie. This should be okay.

Boy, was I wrong!!

A month later, I dropped in there to pick up a prescription to find my donation box and two posters were nowhere in sight! I asked the girls at the counter, 'Where's the donation box for the World's Greatest Shave, and the posters?' They acted as though I'd never been there... I craned my neck and found my donation box had been shoved onto a bookcase, out of sight of the public!

Oh. My. God! Where they kidding?

'What is it doing there?' I pointed at the box. They all looked at it and shrugged, 'And where are my posters I gave you.' they shrugged again.
One said, 'The posters could be in the office, I'll go and look.' and she did and said that they weren't there, 'You'll have to talk to Ruby.'
'I did talk to Ruby.' I said. 
Within 24 hours, the donation box was out on the counter, but I never saw my posters out.

Just yesterday, I went to check on the donation box. It's been 3 weeks since that incident, and I wanted to see how it was going. I found .30c in the donation box and my posters were *still* not out on the walls. So I asked, 'Where are my posters?' 
'Of what?' the two at the counter asked with doe-eyed looks on their faces.
'For the World's Greatest Shave. The donation box has only .30c in it.' I said, 'This is horrible.' 
These two shrugged at me, 'Oh, they could be in the office.' they didn't make any effort to see if the posters were in there, then one said, 'Or in the bin.' 
I left the donation box there and walked out, then stopped at the doors of the shopping centre, turned around and went back to the doctor's surgery, 'You know, this isn't going to work. I asked this surgery in good faith to do this for me - and this surgery has done this for me since 2011 - and you just... I'll move the box somewhere else. Forget the posters. I've more.' I walked out, I'm so disgusted in how I was treated, I almost started crying.

I walked straight to the Springwood Pharmacy at Arndale - across the way from the surgery, and talked to the owner there. Not twenty minutes before, he had offered to take the donation box off my hands and put it on his counter. 
He saw me and asked, 'So how much did it have?'
'Only .30c.' 
He was disgusted.
'And they ditched my posters.' 
He took the donation box straight away, 'After this, you can come here every year.'
'I'll bring posters on Monday.'

I can't believe a doctor's surgery has done this to me after all this time! This is the same surgery I go to to see a doctor - not just to drop off donation boxes. This is my own private doctors I see for everything. I can't believe that just because it's changed management, it's treating a charity like this. 

Yes I'm disgusted... and they should be embarrassed for doing this to me and to the Leukaemia Foundation.

Friday, February 15, 2019

One Month

It's just a month from when I get my head shaved and I donate my hair to get it all made into a wig!

Yes, it's not long now, and I'm looking forward to this event at Wishart, here in Brisbane. I'm hoping to raise plenty of money for the Leukaemia Foundation through the work of some great people alongside me.

The Logan Artists Association will be having a raffle where the money from it will be going straight to the Leukaemia Foundation and I've got a donation box at the local doctor's near me so people can donate money at the front desk too. I'm also hoping to get in and get people to help me with fundraising on Facebook too, through my official site where I do most of my fundraising... and I do most of that through the next 4 weeks.

So, during this time, I'm knitting up a storm and making hats for myself. And I'm also working on getting myself fit and healthy enough to get through Winter without a cold or a flu this time around. 

I can't wait to get in and do this so I can regrow my hair and do it all again in around 5 years' time. How cool will that be? It's gonna be great!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Year of the Pig

Well, by the way I'm throwing things out and donating things to charity stores, you'd think the opposite with me.

I'm making sure my house is cleaner this year. I'm not buying as much at charity stores either. In this past week, I spent only $9.00 when I normally would have spent over $20.00... so that's a good thing.

Anyway, this cleaning out thing has rubbed off on my Mum. She's seen how much I've tossed out through my photo albums on Facebook and wants to join in the big tossout. So, I'm helping her out soon.
Today, I've seen the first signs that the huge dry spell we've been suffering through is breaking. Townsville is flooding and now, it's Brisbane's turn to get some well-deserved rain... and man, I'm looking forward to it!

This year is a big one for me. I'm saving money, painting more and am looking at working towards getting another car. Well, okay not a car per say, but a van so I can travel around the paint what I see. It's a project I want to do as an ongoing thing in my life. It will be something which will make me happy - I know it. 
But it's not a 6-month idea, it's a long-term idea. This will take a couple of years to work on, and it's because I have to make sure I save my dosh and get myself and my life pulled together properly. 

The Big Clean-out this year is the biggest one I've ever done; and it's something which is going to make me really look at what I've got and push me to either keep or toss exactly what I want or not want in my life.
You see, over the past 6 months, I have had a turn of such clarity in my life. It's hard to explain it. I very suddenly know what I want in my life and - dammit - I'm going for it. I'm painting faster than I've ever painted. I'm cleaning out my house faster, and with better decision-making than I ever did. And I know exactly what I want to do in my life too.

In this month, I'm hoping to get in and finish some paintings, start another few. Then, save up big for my next vehicle, work on cleaning out the house (and seeing most of it has been done over the past few years, I don't have far to go). I'm also hoping to keep my opshopping to a minimum - only purchasing what's needed around the house and that's it. 

This year will not be without its challenges, you know, as I'll have the World's Greatest Shave in March where I'll be shaving all my hair off, then first year anniversary of the death of my dear friend, Hannah, I'll be seeing if I can sell some paintings to get myself a few other exhibitions. There's going to be other things going on in my life which I have yet to plan for. But isn't that the fun of life? Being spontaneous? Sure it is. I can't plan everything in my year... well, not yet, anyway. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Different Year

This year is different somehow, I don't know how, but it is. I've been thinking and feeling different about my life since last October and it's a good feeling.

I'm not sure if you understand how this is, but it's almost as though all my stresses which annoyed and stressed me out last year, have suddenly lifted and I'm able to focus on the main things I have on my plate in my life.

It's a great feeling.

And it's a different year for me.

Last year was a stressful, hard year of loss, mourning and not having any money in my pockets. This year, I'm looking at my life and realising it's got nothing to do with money - it's to do with happiness; and happiness doesn't need money really.

I've got plans and they will take time to work out - a couple of years - and I'm easy with that. It's going to be a good thing for me to slow down, enjoy the path I'm walking for now and enjoy the scenery of my life for the time being. And that's a good change for once, because over the past few years, I've been rushing, running and working hard and fast - been stressed out - to get thing done; and it's not good for me physically or mentally. 
Now, I'm going so well, since I joined a gym and I'm starting to push myself a little harder each week there. I'm feeling so much better, suffering from less headaches and less problems. I'm thinking outside the box more, and it's good.

Seeing I'm looking forward to working away from my home and towards the plans in my life, I'm trying not to let anything bother me anymore - well, yeah, things bother me; if I didn't I wouldn't be human. But it's a learning curve for all of us. 

I'm still enjoying my painting, my reading, my writing, and my gardening. But I'm taking it all at a good pace. I'm painting more than one painting at a time, I'm reading well-written books, I'm eating only when I'm hungry and I'm not watching crappy television shows (let's face it, life is way to short for shit like that). 

It's a different year and I'm going to make it count. So, why don't you? Make your next year count. Do something different each month - each week - to keep yourself happy, active and working forward towards your goals of what you want to do in your life. I may have waited until I was 45 to get my butt into gear, but at least I'm doing what I need to do to get my dreams done. And it might take a year or two to get them off the ground? So be it... I'm a slow-burn kinda person anyway. I'm enjoying each day with vigor, seeing each day as a new way of getting in and cleaning out my house, making room, donating items to a charity, making sure I have thrown out another few bags of rubbish in the bin... yes, it's all working towards my goal, believe it or not. 

So, what's your dream, your goal, your whale? Write it down, plan for it.... and take the steps - not matter how small they start out to be - to walk towards your dream job, or dream achievement in your life. And what your dream may be to you, isn't the same dream for somebody else. So, the people who think your dream isn't good enough, isn't what they think is something you should be doing, well, they aren't the people you should have around you. 

Your dreams are your dreams. 

Plan them. Work toward them. Live them. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Busy This Month

It's only a week or two into the new year and I'm busy as hell. I've been cleaning out the house on a really major scale - I've thrown out over 5 rubbish bags of just, well, rubbish. And I've gotten together on bag of items to take to the charity store. 

That's so far. 

I've posted off two parcels overseas in the past week or two and have written two letters for overseas as well. One of them is to my late dear friend, Hannah's Mum, Sue. She wants to stay in touch with me via snail mail; and I do as well. She still sees me as her 'overseas daughter' and I still see her as my 'overseas Mum'. 

But the garden is going well, even though we're not getting the amount of rain as we're supposed to be getting. And seeing Brisbane is a little dry right now, I've been doing laundry every moment I get a chance to and putting it out in the extremely hot days; which is good!

My little greenhouse is going so well, and I'm growing herbs and have to get rid of my tomato vine - as once it fruited in December, well, that was it! it flowers, but doesn't fruit anymore. I hate that. But I might try Roma Tomatoes next ... seeing how many I eat of those every year.
The rest of the garden is still a work in progress. I'm forever moving things, repotting things, throwing out plants I no longer need or buying new little ornaments. It's a ever-changing canvas of growth and I love it. It's most definitely not the same garden as it was this time last year.

I've been looking at selling my car and getting another car - one I can use as a camper. You see, I'm really getting into my landscapes and want to be able to get away and paint what I see. My brother and his girlfriend thinks what I want to do is a great idea! But my folks don't. They think I don't know what is involved in setting up a camper... but how do they know if they've never let me do something on my own? I want to do this and nothing will pull me away from what I want to do. I'm in no rush to get my car sold and to get another one; yep I know this will take time to find what I'm looking for. 

I've been working hard on my art series too. And I had a great win lately. I put out into the universe that I needed some big canvases - but I couldn't afford any new ones. So, I've begun saving up for them. The other day, I was contacted by one of my arty friends who offered up some canvases at their place - they were downsizing as they were moving house. When I got there yesterday, I found 2 big canvases! Woah! How cool was that? I told her about what I was visualising for my art and she said that positive thinking really does work! Well, I've now got enough new canvases to complete my series of work. This is one less stress on me now to do with this series. 

Well, that's me up to date. How has your new year started out? Busy like mine? Or humdrum with school holiday fun and pulling it all together for your kids to get back to school? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A New Year of New Things!

Happy New Year!

Well, if you think last year was a rip-snorter, just wait until you see what's in store for this year!

I'm going to travel... well, okay, maybe not this year exactly, but in the next year I will be. 

I'm planning on getting my car ready to sell and buying myself a Kombi/camper and traveling around around South-East Queensland and painting landscapes of my gorgeous state in every colour I can find in my oils palat! 

So, what do you think? 

I know it'll be difficult to do, and I'll need to be careful out there, but I think it's going to damned well fun as well!

And I've begun planning already... 

So, what are you planning and getting ready to do over the next year? I don't want to hear resolutions - I want to hear what you're doing this year.

Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What A Year!

Welcome to my yearly newsletter! 

Yes... it's been quite a year of great things, not so great things and some interesting developments; and all over 12 months!

Okay - are you ready for this crazy roller coaster right to get underway? No? Well, neither am I, let's strap in and hope and pray it's not too bad, okay?

Well, from January through to April, I hung out with my best friend, and wonderful ginger-sister, Tutasi Wesley-Tufuga. We had the best time while she was visiting here from the USA, even though the heat wasn't really treating her the best. And she spent Christmas here too. We had Thursday's out op-shopping and enjoyed coffee at Simply Beans together chatting and gossiping together... what a great time we had. We're best friends!

While I was doing that, I was also attending my second year of art school at the Logan Artists Association. Mondays were when my classes were on and I returned from the coast with a great idea for my year in my class. I wanted to paint a series of paintings of Brunswick Heads and have an exhibition to sell them all! My teacher told me that it was a good idea, but it took me time to pick out my first painting... yep, I took a lot of photos over the 2017 time I was at the coast.

In February, it was my Dad's birthday and I had made Mango-cello for is birthday present. He loved it, but it backfired as I didn't use a strong enough vodka to make it... the whole batch fermented and we had to chuck it all out. Bummer... oh well, guess you live and learn, right? But I started knitting big this month, painting big too, and my brother and his partner spent 2 weeks in Japan - very cool!

March was me being op-shop crazy! I donated a lot of stuff and bought a lot of op-shop things. And it was a great time of year to be op-shopping - even to browse. I also got my hair coloured for the World's Greatest Shave and raised a little over $100... next year, my hair will be long enough to shave and that's where I raise the most money!

In April, my ginger-sister, Tutasi headed back home. I was going to miss her badly. And the day after she went home, I was going into hospital for day surgery - at the time she had offered to help me out to look after me so my Mum didn't have to. Unfortunately, the best laid plans usually go astray.  

Oh man... May was the worst month this year. I lost one of the most wonderful people in my life I've ever known. Hannah Northedge, a jazz singer who I've known since I was 9 years old, killed herself; after months of me trying to help her from the other side of the planet. Yep, I was here in Australia and she was in the UK and we would chat over Facebook, but she wouldn't let me phone her. I really had a bad case of the guilts for a long time and have been in therapy about her death. I still have moments where it all feels really fresh. 

June had me finishing off a scrap scarf, pulling apart my garden some of the first few weeks of Winter and getting in and working on getting a greenhouse for my garden. A new stereo system was installed into the car - as the original one was stuffed - and I just kept myself incredibly busy as hell so I didn't think about Hannah at all... easy to do when you have a lot of things to do normally around your life. I also put on the very first Vintage Clothing Day in honour of Hannah Northedge on 5th June - the day she was laid to rest; seeing they really don't know when she died, only the day they identified her (which was Star Wars Day... I'm not going to ruin that day). If you missed out this year, I'm doing Vintage Clothing Day next year... don't worry, it'll be on Facebook as a public event.

July and August had me in my garden most of the time, organising it, cleaning it up, throwing out plants and making it into a useful and pretty place - all ready for the coming Spring and Summer months. I also joined a gym to get myself fit and healthy so I could lose some of the jiggled I hated about myself and gain some muscle I needed. 

September was Mum's Birthday. But we couldn't get together and have it as my brother's family were really sick - so we got together and had a party a week or so later at their house. I brought the vinyls and my brother and his partner pulled together a Japanese feast of grand proportions! It was a great night! Also in September, I bought myself my birthday presents of 2 sets of shelves from Stratco, and started working on new paintings in my own style away from the classes I have been taking at the LAA on Monday's.

October was a busy month for me. As I said before, we had Mum's Birthday this month for good reasons. Then, we had my birthday this month too. The day before my birthday, I was booted from my art class by the teacher. We had a disagreement about style and how things were done in my paintings - basically, he didn't like it that I didn't paint exactly like he did. So, I was out... I made an official complaint to the LAA committee and they've dealt with him. 
I got to mind my brother's dog, Ellie. Such a sweetheart she is. And then Halloween came around and nobody dropped by my place for any lollies... it just doesn't happen in a unit complex, not even if you dress up the house, so I didn't bother. 
I had dinner at my folks' house - a first ever for me. I found a Bush Turkey in my back yard - and scared the crap out of it enough that it never came back. I harvested my first Black Cherry Tomatoes and I began knitting and making Christmas presents... wow, yep, a busy month.

November saw me going on the Logan Art Gallery Christmas Party to Toowoomba. We had a great time, lost somebody (they had a bad sense of direction) and found them again, then we roasted and came home... what a great day. I bought a necklace I haven't taken off since then of a sterling silver archer's arrow. 
I spent time down the coast at Brunswick Heads, started a painting down there, went to the Tweed River Art Gallery and enjoyed my time with Mum. We made a toilet stop at a small town famous for its sugar mill... and when I opened the sweet aroma of molasses hit our noses! I was amazed! We had pulled into the car park of the bowls club and when I went inside the place, it looked like it hadn't left the 70's; right down to the toilets. Talk about stepping back in time! Well, at least I was dressed well enough. 

This month of December has been huge. I've been to 2 morning teas in 1 day. Have got artwork in 2 different art galleries and I'm still working hard on my series of paintings of Brunswick Heads. I've begun attending another art group, but it's a social group which gathers on Tuesdays, now and it $15 cheaper than the other class I was kicked out of. Not a bad deal, seeing it gets me out of my house. 
Christmas is just next week and I've got all my presents fixed up. I've learned how to wrap all my presents in cloth in the Japanese way of wrapping called Furoshiki - which I'm still getting the hang of - and I've just been to the optometrist today to find out why my left eye was bothering me. He's got all my glasses to upgrade all the lenses for me. 

Yep, this year has been huge for me... Hannah's 44th Birthday has just been. I'm going to stay in touch with her Mum through the mail and I'm looking forward to next year where I've got many other things to get myself into. Yeah, this year was my turning point year... lots got done, at home as well as in the world, and I'm not done yet - not by a long shot. I know I haven't been on this blog as much as I should have been - and now you know why.

So, I hope you all stick around the see what's going to happen next year for me. I do have plans, they're going to work out and yeah, they'll take time to do. Until my next post, take care, stay safe this Christmas season and remember, I'm always here.