Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Girl's Day Out!

Once in a while, Mum and I have a day out together. We don't really plan it, but it's always fun. Today, I picked her up at her place, piled books in the boot of my car and took off to my place (to grab more books) and then we were on our way.

She was stunned at how terrible my unit complex was. It's been left in such a state by the on-site manager (and he lives here) and yet nothing is being done by the Body Corporate to right the situation. There's a letterbox front that has been stolen, wheelie bins left out after collection day, nothing is tidy, the pool is constantly needing work, none of the trees are clipped, then there's the gardens and the units which look terrible too. But mine is one of the tidier ones - inside and out.

That's what Mum noticed when she came up to my place. Sure, there were leaves in my car port, but once inside the place she saw that my house was a home. It had a feel all of its very own; and she's pleased I've made it into a 1970's haven.

It's such a pity about what's happening outside my door.

Well! Once we were on our way, we headed towards the Logan Artist's Association at Loganlea and totally enjoyed the place. It's bigger than we first expected. there's a pottery place, a kiln area, another area for teaching and a wetlands area where you can go and sit and paint, sketch or just hang out. Then, there's Able Gallery, where you can hang your artworks. I'm hoping to get my work in there next month for the 'Black'n'White' Exhibition for the Female Form - it's for International Women's Day. 
Mum loved the place. I paid my joining fee and handed in my application form; and I've yet to do my bio for the piece (which I can hand in next week anyway) and then I'll see if it's accepted.

Once we were finished there, we drove off to Browns Plains to lunch at the Browns Plains Plaza where we both had spuds... yummo! And then, we also went off to The Really Good Bookstore to exchange some books, but we got our exchange rate for books up instead. Oh well, next time, I'll see what I can buy.

By this time, it was around 4pm! Seeing it was close to peak hour, I thought to drive home the long way around on Chamber's Flat Road and take us to the very end of it - to Kingston Road; right where we had begun our day at Loganlea. It was nice to get there... but man the sun was hot!

Once I dropped Mum off home, I wanted to come home too; so I did and snacked a little, had some water, cleaned up and enjoyed some down time to myself. 
After making some stewed apples with cranberries, I settled in for the night and enjoyed some 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' on dvd tv show; and did some work on my art piece for the exhibition. Yep, it's been a long day! How was yours? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember I'm always here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February and Hot!

The heat is on... as the song goes; but not everyone loves this sticky, tropical heat. I don't and so when it comes down to it, I think it's just a matter of time before other people think it's high time we got some much-needed rain.

Well, over the past month, I've lost 2.5kg in weight; just because I've cut back on ice coffee drinks and started drinking a lot more water. I've also cut back on sugar as well and had a good look at my house... yep, I've been decluttering. And to go with the decluttering, I've started a new blog (yeah, I know, another one!) which works around my journey of decluttering my place. 'A Work In Progress' is my new blog and I'm hoping it takes off into a new direction for me. I talk about decluttering being a very personal journey, a difficult thing to do, and how hoarding isn't something to be ashamed of but to work on making sure you work through. However, having too much stuff can be just as bad as having too little stuff. So, a happy middle ground is best. Anyway, go and have a look at it and see what you think of it.

While I've been working on that, I've also been working the security of my blogs. You see, my Flash Fiction blog has had a stalker on it for the past year; and he's become very political, very much an arsehole and I'm not going let him bother me anymore. So, I'm afraid that the security of the blogs (all of my blogs) have had to be upped on a permanent basis. I'm sorry, guys'n'gals, but to keep this stalker from insulting my good name I've had to do this.

Anyway, I've been out and about doing things to raise funds to The World's Greatest Shave. I've been to my Dad's 70th Birthday and I've been also working on the large tapestry of Lake Como... it's really coming along well! I have also started up craft group again too. 

So, seeing the school year has started again, what's been going on with you all? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Busy Month!

This month has been one long, sticky heat wave of a month - and tomorrow being February and all, it's not going to let up. It's going to get hotter and stickier and we're going to drink more water than we've ever drunk.

But I'm going well. 

I've begun my decluttering of my house - and it's going better than ever! My master bedroom is looking the best it has ever looked. The bathroom has been cleaned out completely! The kitchen is being completely tidy - no thanks to the ants trying to take it over every time I leave anything on the sink (so I have to make sure I wash up no matter how late it is at night). 

The car is running better than it did last month. The battery is going well. I'm saving up money for the rego and everything else that goes with it. And I'm making sure the whole vehicle works well.

My vacuum cleaner blew up on me. But then, when you think of where I live, how long I've had it and how much dirt and dust and crap would be in the filters... well, I'm not surprised it did. And no, I don't trust something blew up once and then works again when somebody else turns it on. Just because it works when it's cooled down doesn't mean it's going to behave itself when it comes back home with me. So, I'm going to save up some money and buy another vacuum cleaner - a bagless one, so I don't have to change bags all the time.

The dashcam is going really well. I didn't know there were so many stupid drivers out there - okay one of them is me sometimes - but really, do people think that they're going to be able to try and shove me out of the lane I'm in just because they're in 'the wrong lane'? And don't get me started on pedestrians... stop looking at your stupid phones and walk down the street normally!

I scored a 3mx3m gazebo for nothing... and I found out why it was free. It had broken and been fixed and when Dad and I fixed it again, it broke again! OMG! I can't believe it did that to me... us! So, I tossed the whole frame and kept the canopy. There's nothing wrong with it. 

Anyway, that's my month. I'm still cleaning out my house. The place is beginning to look good now. I've moved some furniture around and now there's more cleaning out to be done ... yep, more fun to do this year! Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember I'm always here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Plans For This Year

This year, I'm working on so much already. There's markets next month, and I need a gazebo with walls because it's an outdoor market. I have already sent off a huge haul to the charity store and taken a bag of old bathroom towels to the RSPCA as well. I'm also working on Peter Walsh's 31-Day Challenge; and doing quite well too.

So far, I've cleaned out the bathroom, done something with the entry-way table, thrown out some clothes, started doing weight-training and stopped eating so much sugar. I'm also looking at my budget and working on saving up big for a gazebo for next month's market by backing off on buying so much food... yep, I'm going to budget like I did last year when I had to pay back Dad for the kitchen table. I already have the money for the walls and the waterproofing, now I need to save up big for the gazebo itself. I'll get halfway there and see if Mum or Dad can help me with the rest of it. It's a pop-up one where you can do it on your own. 

Anyway, I'm hoping to go through my wardrobe and toss out clothes that are either too big or too small for me, or clothes I no longer wear. This will take a while, but if I do it bit by bit, I'm sure it'll be something I'll really get into; and it'll be a good way to be able to rework my wardrobe for next year.

This Winter, I'm hoping to buy some big pots for the garden - and I mean good-sized ones to replace smaller ones. Then, I'll use the smaller ones to pot up the other plants in tiny pots... and then I'll start off another season of new plants for next year. And then? I'll start saving up for a whipper-snipper for the garden to keep the lawn looking better. By this time, I'll have an edger (one of those things you run along the edge of the concrete to cut off the stragglers of the lawn) and the garden will have different levels of plants and will really start to look like a bit of a forest. I'll also see if I can get my hands on a couple of statues for the garden to make it really take another step in the right direction.
At Christmas, I'll do up the yard in Christmas lights... not the front garden (they'll get stolen), the backyard. I'll see what I can do with it and make the place look nice. 

By this time, the rest of the house will have been tidied up more and been more organised. I'll be at the markets working my butt off selling things all over Brisbane, and I'll have my little hobby business working well for me. And things will have started to really pick up. 

That's this year I have planned for myself. It's going to be busy. It's going to be difficult on the finances. Most of all, it's going to be fun! So, what are you hopeful plans this year? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Back At It Again!

It's been about a week and I've been cleaning out my townhouse for the 5th year in a row. You wouldn't believe how much crap I actually do toss out in the bin! 

Then, there's other crap that I give away. But that's stuff I didn't want to part with last year, and have thought it's time to do it this year. I know that sounds weird, but you do have to work through your own problems with your own junk before you part with it. 

This year, I'm hoping to part with more junk, throw out more paper-junk than I did last year. I've already been to Vinnies and given them a huge delivery of junk I don't need anymore and January's not out yet - and my Donation Box has other things starting to fill it up again. So, I'm doing well.

The thing you have to do is be brutal with yourself. Sure, keep the stuff you need: bank details, statements (go paperless if you need to) and work on your wardrobe too. If you collect books, find a way to love them in the same way you used to, but don't let them take over the house. If you love vinyls/records, store them correctly and show them off as well. Art supplies can inundate a house, so make sure you can use them and just as easily put them away.

Storage is a huge thing when it comes to junk. If you have more than one hobby (like I do), make sure you have the room to keep those hobbies under control. I use old suitcases for yarn. I've kept the box for my sewing machine so I can put it away properly and still know what it is. Plastic storage boxes you buy from the cheap stores are great! They are bought for between $5 and $30 and most have wheels so you're not worried about doing your back in while trying to get them down off a shelf - and they're stackable!

I have put all my Christmas decorations into 5 plastic boxes. The first year, it felt weird. That was 2 years ago. But then, I found this year, that there was more room than ever and that was because the top of the tree fitted into the box of where it came from for the first time ever! So, I had more room than I could shake a stick at! I also ditched the boxes that my Gloria Jean Mugs came in and wrapped them all in newspaper - yay! Then, I also started writing on all the boxes of what's inside them with a Sharpie. It's so much easier to know what's inside boxes when you specify what's inside them.

Well, I've also been cleaning too. The kitchen has been kept clean for the past week... two more weeks and it'll turn into a good habit. Then, I turned to another part of the house I'll keep clean and work on that for another month; and keep it up. 

You see, I'm not a good housekeeper. And now I have a little more room to myself - and a lot of things are being sent away to the charities - I'm looking at townhouse where I need to keep it tidy. But there is a lot of paper. 
My brother has told me that I have a place with nice furniture, but I need a bigger house to enjoy that furniture... to give it space to breath. And he's right. I'm living in a quarter of a house - and the longer I live here, the harder it is for me to live here. I see everyone getting houses and splurging on big things to make them into homes. However, I've spent the last 15 years turning my townhouse - the place - into a home; and this place (this home) is getting tiny. 

Cleaning it out is a good thing to do... but moving is better. For one thing my collections are getting too big. I'd like a bigger garden, a craft room (everything has to be put away all the time and that's annoying as it takes me 20 minutes to set up and longer to pull down).

This is another reason to clean out the place. I want to have more room to do my hobbies. Recently, one of my friends told me that I could get models to come to my place and do one part of a project we're working on... exactly how do we do that when I have no room, no privacy and nowhere to do this single part of the project? Yet another reason to clean out is to get myself moved out of here. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My 15th Year

This is my fifteenth year here in the unit complex; and things are going to change here. I have changed a lot over the time I've been here, and yet people have been doing the same things to me when I become friends with them.

Lies get swung around. Words are twisted, and then, finally, friendships are wrecked.

I've been here long enough that nothing surprises me anymore - seriously. I've seen all kinds of violence, people screaming at each other, having to call the police in the middle of the night, an other shit going on. And you know what? I've had it.

I hate this place to the point that if anyone wants a friend out of me, they'll have to look somewhere else for it because I'm not going to be it.

I have enough problems in my own life - outside of this place - to take on their problems as well. People here wonder why I don't really want to get involved in their problems when I've seen all of the same thing over and over again. Nothing surprises me anymore.

So, in my 15th year living here, I'm going to be one of the neighbours who say hi to all, but I'm not going to get too close as friends. I've been here too long to have close friends - as an owner, too many times rentals move in, stays for a while, then move away; there's little time to make life-long friendships. 

I've got a car now - whereas when I moved in, didn't have one. My life is totally different than what it used to be. I run my own hobby business, I have a lovely little garden, I'm into the crafts, painting and cook. And if I don't want to get involved in the dramas of what's been going on, it's because I'm simply not interested in getting my head beaten in by the idiots who keep on coming here as visitors and screaming at anyone who goes near them because we've asked them to be quiet, go away or basically to turn off their damned loud music at 3am because they've woken up half the neighbourhood. 

People here don't think I have a life. People here think that because I'm on Disability Pension that I sit and watch television all day and do sweet fuck all. People think that because I don't go out at 5am and work my arse off that I don't do anything with myself... that I don't have days where I feel like shit, where I can't sleep at night (so I feel like crap in the daytime), that I may look okay, but my back hurts, my joints are killing me or I'm just feeling like I'm going to be sick because the heat is really bothering me. 

People around here just don't damned well think of why I'm on a Disability Support Pension - and how damned hard it is to get on that! The government doesn't give it to just anyone... you have to have a bloody good reason to be on it.

In my 15th year here, I'm going to stop explaining myself to people. 

If they don't like me - fine.

If they think I'm a bitch - okay, think that.

If they want me to do something for them - maybe. What's in it for me?

And another thing: I've been here for 15 years. I may not look like it, but I'm hard as nails, won't take shit from anyone and will swear at you as soon as you're an asshole to me (because I'm usually pretty nice to you first off until you insult me). I'm over 40. I don't care what people think of me or what I say anymore... it's my 15th year in a unit complex in Woodridge in Logan City. I'm a hard person. I know that. This is what happens to somebody when you live in an area like this for this long.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ice

I'd like to talk about something which is ruining lives everywhere; and I have found has touched my life in the past year, and has pissed me off to no end because of how I've found out about its affects on my life, and the family of a close friend.

Last year, I sent out Christmas Cards to everyone I normally sent them to - and received cards in return. However, there was one person who I didn't receive a card from. Now, I have been concerned about her for over a year, and have been trying to track her down since Christmas 2015 without success. Her parents were the ones who informed me that she wasn't ill from Cancer or any other sickness; but it was a drug she had gotten hooked on - yet they wouldn't tell me which one.

Another friend of mine, who I've known within my unit complex, and I had dinner one night before he moved to New Zealand; and we got talking about my friend. He asked me to tell him about what's been going on, and he shook his head, saying that he's dumped a lot of his friends because they've been hooked on ice. And he's sad to tell me that it sounds like my friend is also another victim to this dreadful drug.

He told me that I will never hear from her again.

Today, after weeks of trying not to think about it, it suddenly hit me: I will never, ever see my friend again. I had just finished with my shower, dressed and done my hair and stopped. I don't know how long I cried for, but this thought has shattered my heart. I went to high school with her. I remember watching her three boys grow up from babies. I remember when she told me of her first pregnancy... that I was one of the first people to know about it. 

And now? I feel as though I've lost a precious gem at some point, but I don't remember when.

I have tried calling her. I have been to her house. But she won't take my calls and she won't let me into her house. It's a big thing I feel as though she's kept a huge secret from me when I've been open and honest about everything to her my whole life. I've always asked if she wanted me to drop around and we'd catch up and talk - but she's always said no. And the more she said no, the more I have wondered why; and the more I asked her why she didn't want me around, the less she talked.

So, if you have found friends or family members are acting like this, please find them help. They will not ask for it, because it's something they won't be able to do. It's something the drug takes away from them. I have lost a close friend, and it hurts like hell... 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Fire Rooster Year

Last year was a bad one.

Really bad. 

There were so many celebrities who passed away I knew and loved and I felt as though I was losing friends through some of the greatest television shows I watched as a child. And don't get me started on the musicians who died either.

I've been at the coast for a few days calling in the New Year of 2017 and I'm really hoping it's going to be a much better year than last year.

It has to be.

When I drove down here, it took 2 hours to get here, only to have my car die on me when I pulled up outside the bowls club for a few minutes. That little 10 minute phone call to my folks I made on the side of the road cost us a new battery from the NRMA roadside assistance people - thank goodness I have that all paid up. 
And it's so busy down here and filled with so many people that I can't drive anywhere around Brunswick Heads because there's nowhere to park. So, it's all walking or cycling (if you can find a place for your bike). Plus the weather is lovely during the day and sticky and hot at night... not exactly what I'd call perfect.

The upside is that we are in for some storms tonight and rain for the rest of the week. I love it when it rains here. Things get so quiet and easy for us. The rain settles everything down and makes it easier to sleep at night as well.

We had a great NYE right on the banks of the Brunswick Heads River with about 25 other people on a long set of tables. There was so much food; and we were all dressed up in costumes and there was a trivia night too... so much fun! My family were given India as the country we had to work with; and we totally enjoyed getting into the cooking, making up the trivia (which had to be real facts about the country) and dressing up for it all too. Fortunately for us, I own a bindi kit. And Mum and I were sporting a lovely bindi on our foreheads for a good part of the night... made from proper bindi power and gold dust too. People were very impressed!

I've been reading a lot and writing poetry here too. It seems this is the only place I write some of my best poetry. I don't write very good poetry in Brisbane. The longer I'm here in Brunswick Heads, the better my poetry becomes... the sea air much clean out my brain cells. I don't know what goes on.

Well, it looks like we're in for a storm soon, as over the back, near the mountains of Ocean Shores, have turned all dark grey. I hope we get a storm tonight and it rains at some point this week. So, how was your New Years' Eve? Did you guys party or stay in with a small amount of people? Or did you just chill out, watch 'Star Wars' and remember Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds? And I found out today that we lost another great actor: William Christopher. He was the quiet priest on M*A*S*H. Such a lovely man I've heard. Alan Alda was known to say that 'Bill wasn't acting when he played the Father. That was him as a person.' What a way to be remembered. Well, until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Last Days

It's the last day for the Christmas Rush and I hope everyone has survived it this year without too much hassle. 

I'm going okay I guess.

The car is wash, waxed, polished, cleaned and the stuff under the bonnet looks good too. Then, I took it for a drive and nearly got cleaned up on Springwood Road because a driver backed out of their driveway and didn't look where they were going. On such a wide road - where there's a huge emergency stopping lane - you'd think they'd pull into the curb before joining the traffic. But they stuck the butt of their car right out into my lane and I couldn't stop, so I had no choice but to swerve and blow the horn. It was scary and yet I wondered what would have happened if the road was more crowded... it wouldn't have gone as well as it did.

Anyway, today, I took the time to do what I needed to get done. The presents are all packed up and ready to go to my cousin's house tomorrow night. I have the makings of a pasta salad all ready in the fridge; just to throw together and take with me in my Corningware dish (I just hope nobody scratches the crap out of it) or drops it. 

And tonight, I almost got all the first bit of the Lake Como tapestry completed! I'm so pleased! It looks so great! Well, I hope you have all finished up working on what needs to be done. Until my next post, take care, stay safe this holiday season and remember, I'm always here. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Last Minute Craziness!

Okay, who hasn't finished their Christmas Shopping? Put your hands up... I knew it, there's some of you out there who leave it until the last minute.

I don't.

I started looking around at present ideas for Christmas during the mid-year sales. Then, in September, I start buying presents for Christmas... or making them... then, it gives me time to save up for the big ticket items people really want or need. And I always buy my presents last; that's so if I miss out on my presents, I can buy them at the after-Christmas sales.

But then, at this time of year - two or three days before the big guy shows up, I'm usually at home painting, reading, writing or watching movies. It's the best time to stay home and not go to the shops. This year, I've been going out to friends houses and cooking with them. Otherwise, I'm working on paintings and a huge tapestry of Lake Como. It's nice to just chill out and not do anything stressful for the next few days, unless I'm going out to see the Christmas Lights at night or checking the mail (and trust me, that's nothing too interesting). 

I'm hoping to just enjoy my time with my family over Christmas as one of the neighbours in the complex isn't here for this week - our week has been very quiet, when normally it's noisy. I'm looking forward to having a day or so to myself where I don't spend too much money on my groceries and put quite a bit of money away next week into my ANZ account before the New Year (as I've missed a few weeks lately). 

Otherwise, I am looking forward to working on a novel, editing some Flash Fiction and reading a couple of books over the few days I'll be at the coast for a bit. It's always nice to be able to get away for a while... I do look forward to coming home to my own bed though. Isn't it funny that when you head off to the holiday at the beach or the country, the one thing you really miss is your bed? Yeah, I find that interesting too. 

At least I don't have the last-minute craziness most people do. I've been a very organised person at this time of year because of how I've had to live on a such a tight budget. I sent off my Christmas Cards around mid-November. By then, I have got around 80% of my Christmas Shopping done and hidden in a part of the house, the wrapping paper has been bought the year before and there's plenty of sticky tape and labels. All I have to do in the month of December is send off an ornament to my Ornament Exchange Buddy (from Bookcrossing) and then buy a new decoration for the house from the Christmas Shack. It's a thing I'm doing each year... I'm hoping to do the whole house up to be totally Christmas-y in about five years - seeing I've found this place!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I'll still be posting here before the New Year is upon us. I just thought to get those wishes in before I forgot to say them. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.