Friday, December 31, 2010

Hangin' With My Bro!

Today, my older brother, Gabe, and I went to Garden City and hung out together.  It's something we don't get to do very often alone and we had fun; but it was also a belated birthday lunch from him too.  He hadn't gotten me anything for my birthday this year; so he took me out on the last day of the year and spoiled me instead.  How cool is that?
He picked me up at around 10:30am and we drove to the shopping centre and parked, grabbed a coffee and I got the lid on the mine for the first time in about six months without spilling it everywhere.  I was so happy; and Gabe wondered why... well, I had to tell him about the time - about 6 months ago - when I spilled my ice moch/coffee everywhere because the lids didn't fit properly; and I had gone through about 4 lids and when I thought the lid was going to work; it made the whole container slip and not only did I wear it, it went down half the side of the counter and the next customer was splattered by it too.  He couldn't believe it!  I told him that I hadn't put a lid on my coffee until today because I terrified of spilling the stuff on myself.  He joked saying it meant I was growing up. :P
He bought me a pair of sunglasses that were very cool; and replace my old pair that I've had for about 15 years.  Now, I've been meaning to buy a nice pair, but each time I've done that - and believe me I did it once - they didn't last 3 weeks.  So, I forked out $10 for my next pair and they lasted me around 15 years all because they looked butt-ugly enough not to be stolen.
Anyway, we went into different shops and had a look around and then I checked out my extra Westfield Voucher that arrived in the mail and found it was still active (if had not been and had been canceled, I would have handed it straight back); so that gave us more money to play with, a plus for us! 
Well, we were off to Zellows to get either a store credit or my money back; and we ended up getting a refund.  And seeing the bag was a gift, I gave my brother the rest of the first Westfield Voucher I had (around $50) to spend on anything he wanted.  He was amazed.  I said that I had one to play with already and to that the money was something that would be better spent there by him than me.  Unfortunately, he ended up giving it back just before we went off to lunch where he paid and we sat and talked for a bit about everything and anything.  He asked about my neighbours and we talked about Asia and how life is there and how we are too stressed out here and how we are making ourselves sick from being too clean and having too many vaccines for the flu flying around the place.  We agreed on a lot of things and it was great to just chill and talk.
We were off after a while looking at a music shop, getting some beer and a few things from 'Wild' then it was time to head off home.  We had enjoyed our day; and we don't do it enough I reckon.  
It was the best day I've had in a long time... and on the last day of my year of 2010.  Normally,I would have spent it hanging out here reading or computing.  Today was so much more exciting and fun and I totally enjoyed hanging out with my older brother.  Until my next post... which will - ironically - be next year!  Take care and party on!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December's Something Different!

This month has certainly been very different.  From the very weird weather to the shopping, I have had my Christmas totally turned around.  How about you?
Now, normally, I would have my present shopping done in one day during the first week of December; however this year, I was relying on the delivery of a $100 Westfield Voucher; only that it didn't arrive and I had to pay for all my Christmas shopping out of my own pocket.  It wasn't exactly great as it set me late in the grocery shopping too.  I finished my Christmas Present shopping on 14th December when it was supposed to be a fortnight before.  Then, my last pay before Christmas was three days before the actual day.  So, I was stuck out there shopping in the over-crowded shopping centres on a wet day; and I had to make sure I got everything I needed so I didn't have to tackle the crowds again.  Fortunately for me, I forgot only one thing and that was yoghurt for Christmas Eve; so I didn't do too badly.
During this month, my family went to Pullenvale to celebrate my Aunty Marj's birthday.  It was another wet day; but with the people there you wouldn't have thought so.  We saw Riley there along with Gabe and Kat.  Then, we had other cousins we hadn't seen in ages.  During the day, some of the kids played their instruments; one of the boys plays the guitar, one of the girls plays the flute and another plays the piano.  All very gifted.  I showed the young flautist my photo with Sir James Galway and his wife, Lady Jeanne and she didn't know who he was.  I told her about him and recommended that she acquaint herself with his music as well as all other different type of flautists.  When I talked to her Dad about James, he said that James was 'too European'.  I found him very much close-minded about James; and have found that people often do this with a lot of musicians and artists; whereas I haven't.  I tried out his favourite flautist (Jane Rutter) and I don't like her style; and she's too heavy when it comes to her playing style.
This month, I bought Little Miss Stevie's very first Christmas Ornament.  It's a gorgeous blue colour with her name in glitter on it... and a silver ribbon on top.  The whole thing comes in a box of its very own; and I bought it for $21 at Garden City.  I thought that seeing she's over 5 years old, she deserved to have an ornament as lovely as this.
Also, this month, my 'Tea, Read & Journal' Book Box arrived home from its long stay in Indonesia.  It landed there and the person there drank all the tea and mixed up all the books; then thought I'd forgotten about it.  So after a few firm - yet useful - e-mails, I got her to send it back to me.  This book box had been traveling around the world for just shy of two years and when it got to the last person, I had to push her to get it back.  Now, that sucks.
A few weeks before this happened, a generous, loving Bookcrosser was taken away from us by Cancer at a young age; and just when the Ornament Exchange was about to start.  So, as Christmas came closer, my ornament still hadn't arrived.  I let TexasWren know and found out that the BCer who passed away was my partner.  TexasWren was lovely enough to ask oi-reader's partner in the UK to send her ornament to me instead.  So, it arrived with a little note at the post office.  So, there I was crying the post office with a little kid asking me if I was okay.  I had to say I had something in my eye and it'll go away soon.
Then, I did a quick look at the year that was 2010!  And what a year!  I got so much done and so many books read, so much rain has fallen, piano practice and had so much fun doing all of the volunteer work, painting a TSB and enjoying all the photography on 365 Project that I'm almost sorry to see this year finish... our first decade of the 21st Century; and it's gone by so quickly.
On 15th, December, Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and the Redland Bay area copped their first howler of a hail storm!  And what a storm it turned out to be!  I put my film of it up on YouTube and have a lot of hits on it since it's first viewing; over 100 actually.  Otherwise, but it's been fun doing watching Mother Nature have a go at us; and bring all this rain to us.
Then, Christmas Eve was wonderfully celebrated at Oma's place with food gifts and lots of fun.  We got home around 10pm or so as it poured rain outside.  And I got to bed around 1am; as I was still full from eating too much food.  I had spent a lot of time online that night; so I got to talk to people overseas on Facebook.
On Christmas Day, I woke around 6am and unwrapped my pressies, put on my 30th Anniversary of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' while I put together my laundry hamper and gave Little Miss Stevie a cuddle and then got ready to go to Gabe and Kat's place for breakfast.  It was a great day of eating, gift-giving and looking at photos of Asia.  It still rained, ants were everywhere and I photographed the chooks and other things around the place.  
Over the last few days, I've indexed my dvds in a large book, found out the annoying bitchy neighbours are away (and have been since Christmas Day night; but for how long, that's the question).  Then, we found out from my plumber that the knocking pipes is actually neighbour's fault if they did anything in the bathroom that changes anything to the shower; well, they probably took out the water arrester and had made my house knock since April.  So, he's coming in next week or so to check my place, make a report and then something will be done.  My nails are still long... and have been since I went to see James Galway. Yay!  I think I've kicked a lifetime habit!  Then, I went out yesterday and used my $100 Westfield Voucher at Garden city; and spent only half of it ... how cool is that?  I love it that it's so hard to spend that kind of money.   I bought a Dr Who mug, a pair of shoes and two books.  I want to buy things I'll actually use and enjoy for a long time and not just use once and throw out.  Well, it's been a very different month.  The sun has finally come out today and so, I've done almost all the washing (not including the hand-washing), posted off something to Mum and Dad, mowed the lawn (as it was up to my ankles) and paid my gas bill... all before 10am!  Now, that's how much energy I've had because my next door neighbours haven't been here to bug the crap out of me or anyone else.  
Well, until next time, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year in 2011.  Take care wherever you're celebrating; and remember that it's best to arrive late than not at all, and don't drink and drive.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Westfield Sales!

Today, I woke up and looked outside to a moderately decent day.  There was no rain, but the clouds were still blocking the sun; never mind, I didn't care about that.  I was going to Westfield Garden City to spend up big on my $100 Voucher for the place that I won through Triple M.  Thank you to this music station; I must say as they are the most wicked people in the world to give us Music Jury Members this prize for finishing their 2-hour music survey at the end of November!  I love it that they give away so many things to us.
Well, this morning I was on my way to the bus stop armed with this little red card, my blue trolley and a fair idea of what I wanted to buy.  One of the things was something to do with Dr. Who; another was a nice calendar to put in the kitchen.  And most of all, I needed a new pair of sandals to replace my old slip-ons I got from 'Rivers' outlet store at the coast three years ago.  So, I went through some shops I don't normally go into and searched for shoes, cruised through David Jones and found myself in 'Spend Less Shoes'... and yes, I sneaked a look in at QBD (of course, how could I not get a sneak peek in there?).  And I came home with a small collection of things and still had $53.80 on the card to have a go at for another time.
I bought a pair of sandals at 'Spend Less Shoes' ($20), Dr Who Mug ($12.99), Retro calendar with posters on it (half price at $15.00) and two books at QBD ($13.99).  Not a bad day out if you ask me.  And one of the books is a Matthew Reilly book that one of my old job search people had told me was brilliant; and this was about three years ago (and for me to remember that is pretty good!).
Well, my day out was great.  I loved getting these bargains; and got a wonderful idea on the way home.  With the calendar of retro posters, I thought it would be fun to get myself working in my house to make it look retro too.  So, next year, I'll be looking at charity shops to find things that will make my house look and feel like you've walked into a place from the 1960's or so.  I'm halfway there with the credenza, kitchen table and the piano; all I need to do is change the painting over and I'll be doing that soon enough to make this place look good.
Well, until my next post, take care and I hope you have a Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day Rain and Sleepiness

Well, it's finally Boxing Day.  This is the day when we all sleep in after the orgy of greed; after the presents have been handed out, after we have all eaten ourselves into a stupor and then not wanted dinner... and worse of all... we can't sleep because we're all overtired from all that socialising on the big day of Christmas.  Yep, Boxing Day is the day where we all kick back, relax and drink in the day as we wait for our brains to catch up with whatever we've missed out on otherwise.  
Today, though, I woke to a day that was as dreary - or worse - as yesterday.  It's raining, cloudy and boring; except I have all my presents ready to use.  My laundry hamper is sitting just outside my bedroom door in use right now, I put the metal fish my brother bought in Asia on top of the sub-woofer (to keep Little Miss Stevie off it) and my Zumba Kit is sitting by the dvd player waiting for me to use it.  And this afternoon - around 3pm - I'm going to put in one of the dvds and give it a try.  I hope I like it; and I'm sure I will.
Today, of all days, we as people don't want to go anywhere or do anything too extreme.  Today, being Boxing Day, the sales are on, the bad movies continue on television and the weather should be nice, hot and sunny; but it isn't.  So, people have taken their kids to the movies and grabbed the best dvds from their collections, jumped online and pulled out the books they've been meaning to read.  After all, it's school holidays and this is the time when people get into the things they don't have the time for during the year.  
For me, I have this day reserved to do absolutely zilch.  It's a day where I sleep in, kick back and watch the day slip by and not feel horrible about it.  I have movie marathons, read a few chapters from a book, leave the washing up for another day (but I didn't this morning.  It badly needed to be done).  Today has been fun for me to do nothing much on the computer and not feel bad about it; not feel as though I need to be somewhere.  But tomorrow, it'll be different.
Yes, tomorrow, I am going to begin sorting out my dvd collection and putting it into an Index book so I know exactly what movies I have and they'll be in some kind of order.  Plus that index book will be stored with the dvds in the cabinet or nearby somewhere so I can keep tabs on what ones I get; seeing my collection is rather big now.
Tomorrow, I'll be finding places for my gifts.  Okay, I've begun doing that, but the rest of the it all will put away and the place will have a quick going over; as I didn't have the energy yesterday or last night.  So, seeing today it the nothing day for most of us, I'm looking forward to tomorrow... the day where I get into working on my things for everything to begin looking good again.
Until my next post, take care and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas; receiving all you wished for and more.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Day of Giving And Receiving

This morning, I was woken up by my alarm at what felt like an inopportune time:  6am.  After a 1am curfew from spending Christmas Eve at the Koppenol's house, I felt tired and grumpy and didn't want out of my bed at all.  Just looking out my window described my attitude: bleak.  It was cloudy and raining.  Some Christmas Day it started out to be.  So, I reset the alarm and closed my eyes; only to be woken up again by a text message from my brother talking about Jebus Krost and how is was his birthday; and his gift to my brother was a passport into his own brain... hehe... yep, that's my bro!   I replied that I thought I was the only one who got that present; then I got up, dressed and began getting ready to go out.  Today, was going to be a long one.
I went downstairs with my camera, shoes in hand and everything else to the tree and found my presents I had bought myself; and I unwrapped them.  My first one was the 30th Anniversary Edition of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon'.  I love it as I was born the year it was pressed; and so I thought to get it mainly for that and the great music on it.  I also got myself a beautiful new laundry hamper I put together while the vinyl played on my turntable.  It was a great morning; and I totally enjoyed my own pressies to myself.  I had also gotten myself a Leftie's Day Diary too 2011.  Not bad, eh?
Before long,  I was out the door with the presents for everyone else packed and meeting Mum and Dad down the front on the footpath.  It was raining gently and the roads were slick and almost empty all the way to Gabe and Kat's place; we were grateful.  But as we drove, the rain became heavier.  And as we pulled up to their house, I rolled up my trouser legs so my cuffs wouldn't get wet or dirty, grabbed my bag of gift, the umbrella, my bag and camera and another bag or two off Mum and Dad and headed in.


After we had the presents put under the tree and I had been introduced to Lynn from next door, we got into some delicious pancakes and tea.  Then, after we had filled up a little, Katrina put on the sparkly hat and played Santa; handing out the gifts to everyone.  We all had a great time getting out gifts, ripping off the paper and being surprised.  I received exactly what I wanted this year:  a Zumba Kit.  I asked for one thing; and that was it.  Everyone enjoyed what I bought them and Mum loved the block of chocolate and the $20 Bunnings voucher I gave her.  Gabe and Kat loved the two bags of Single Origin coffee and storage container I got them (I told them about Garden City's 'Gloria Jeans' and they said they had to have a look at the ones that are bigger and have the coffees for sale around their area; as they don't know of any).
Then, we grabbed more food of eggs, fried ham, avocado on freshly made bread that Gabe made... all wonderfully, delicious food and we jumped right in!  We ate until we were stuffed; and then Gabe made us freshly brewed coffee!  Yummo!  After cleaning up, we were shown their photos and movies from Asia and I played on their video game machine,  Mum played the one-armed bandit and I went outside and got some lovely photos of the chickens.  
Lynn is a lovely lady; and a real card!  She has a great sense of humour and isn't your average old person.  She's quick off the mark and can carry a good conversation without getting boring about anything.  We all enjoyed her quick wit and humour; as she made us laugh at everything this morning.
Too soon, it was around 3pm and time to leave.  Mum, Dad and I were off to Cameron and Kelly Killips' house to see the family there; and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us.  But as with this morning, there wasn't much traffic on the road; so it only took around 20 minutes to get to Holland Park.  Once there, we found Natalie and Stuart were there with their little girl, Arabella, and we stayed for a few hours eating cheese and biscuits, chocolate, Christmas cake and Almond Crescents over coffee.   All the while Matthew and Harrison played and ran around while it sprinkled rain.  By around 7pm, we decided to leave and head off home.  I got home by around 7:20pm and showed Mum and Dad what I had gotten myself for Christmas and they were really impressed with the vinyl and the laundry hamper; and Mum loved the ornament that was meant Bookcrossing's dearly departed member, oi-reader.  
Well, I have uploaded my picture for tomorrow today.  I have put away my drink - which I never used today - and I've put away my pressies and haven't found any places for them yet.  But I will.... don't worry.  I hope you spent a wonderful day with your family - or whoever you normally spend Christmas with - and enjoyed your day.  No matter how you spent it, together with family, or on your own enjoying the day flow quietly by, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To You All!

It's been a busy, busy week of cleaning, shopping and getting my shit together.  But it has worked out in the end.  This week started out okay and orderly.  I had the shopping list in full swing and I was running around the house with a blue notepad and a pen writing down pretty much anything and everything I needed on it.  I had to finish up the knitted scarf I did for the K-Mart Wishing Tree and find the card for it to take in on the Wednesday and make sure I had enough money for the day; then catch the right bus too.
Tuesday was the day I was making sure I had all the laundry done; the day was lovely, with a cool breeze and the sun was out too.  It felt like Autumn had come around to dry our laundry and everyone was in getting as much on their clothes line as they could.  I even got some painting done that afternoon after I pulled out some long grass along the edges of my garden, mowed the lawn and had a nice hot shower and washed my hair.  It was a good day.  Then, it turned cooler and I had to make sure Little Miss Stevie was warm as the rain began to fall again.
Wednesday was shopping day. I posted away a few things, had the scarf and made sure I had my camera with me when I took off with the blue trolley; as well as a good umbrella.  As soon as I got to the bus stop, it began to rain.  It was such a pity my neighbours had decided to do their sheets at 6am that morning; and it was pouring rain by 9:15am.  While I was out getting Little Miss Stevie her Christmas gift and my fruit and veggies, it showered heavily.  I just had to time my walks between shopping centres and make sure I walked fast enough.
Anyway, I donated my hand-knitted scarf and beanies to the K-Mart Wishing Tree and had to go back and photograph it (as I had forgotten to do that at home) and then I headed off to 'Venus' Cafe' to meet up with Susan Waaga; a wonderful friend of mine from college.  We have made it a habit to meet up before Christmas for a coffee and a chat to catch up.  It's a great way to keep ourselves in contact with each other when we don't see each other during year (even if we do e-mail each other on a frequent basis and I do look forward to her e-mails).  And when we looked outside, I asked if she could help me with my shopping and a trip home as the cabs would be hen's teeth at this time of the year and in this kind of weather.  She was pleased to do it.  My shopping only took 45 minutes or so and I bought everything off my list and she drove right into my driveway; then helped me with my shopping.  Susan hadn't been to my house before and so I showed her around and she loved Little Miss Stevie and Grandma's piano.  I lifted the lid saying it wasn't sounding its best because of the moisture in the air; but once it dries out a little, it plays really well.  Then, I showed her my books collection and Susan was amazed at how many books I had here and she said that it's so good I read so much.  She didn't stay long; as I didn't wish to keep her from anything she might have been wanting to do, which she said was some Scrapbooking she had to catch up on.  Otherwise, she said that my house was lovely.  It was so good to catch up with her; despite the weather.
Thursday was a strange day.  I was over at the post office when a car on Kingston Road cut across from the right hand lane and headed straight for me.  I had been standing on the road a little to see past parked cars (only by about 3 feet) in the rain when I noticed this car doing this; and I thought to get off the road and onto the footpath.  Well, I was on the grassy part of the footpath and the car's front end mounted that, so I back onto the concrete and almost into somebody's front yard!  I was standing there right next to the boundary as the car stopped around 10 - 15 feet from me with the front end on the footpath and the back end on the road.  A man got out of the driver's seat and he had a strong accent saying: 'You fine, you okay.' smiling at me.  He acted as though he knew what he was doing and he did this all the time.  I didn't move from where I was standing until he finished fiddling around in the back seat of his car and drove away.  And even then, I waited until the road was absolutely clear.  I mean, bloody hell!  Two days out from Christmas and some nut does this to me!  I told Mum last night and she said that she was always concerned about me crossing the road where I do there, but is happy that I do take notice of the traffic like that.
Today... well, I've been working on the house.  I've swept the kitchen floor, vacuumed the lounge, checked the mail, been online here for a while and I'm hoping to get more work done around the place... just little stuff to make my life tomorrow easier when I get home seeing it's Christmas Day; and it's going to be a big one.  
So, this might be the last post until Sunday or Monday... so until then, take care and have a very Merry Christmas.  Enjoy the day, drive carefully and don't ever drink and drive.  If you feel you've had too much to drink, call a taxi/cab don't risk it. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Shop Before Christmas

It was crazy out there!  There were kids, parents and anyone else crazy enough to go shopping out there today grabbing the groceries today... and yep, I was one of them.  I had to buy Little Miss Stevie's Christmas pressie and then rush through Woolworths and the walk to K-Mart Plaza, hand in the Wishing Tree present and meet Susan - a great friend of mine - for a coffee before I went shopping for the fortnight.  I handed in the scarf and two little beanies and the lady by the door said they looked just lovely; and was very impressed that I had made the myself.  She commented that not many people go to the trouble of doing that kind of thing; especially at this time of the year for people they don't know.  I think it doesn't matter who you know - or don't - everyone deserves something hand-made at least once or twice in their lives.
When I met up with Susan, I asked if she could help me with a big favour; and that was to take me home from shopping because cabs were going to be hen's teeth today.  She said she would; and I made sure I wasn't putting her out.  So, we sat down with our coffees and chatted about everything and had a good laugh about things, before we took off to Coles and she walked through with me picking up some thing for her home on the way too.  We got through the checkout and looked outside to see it was pouring rain!  Well, we walked out to the car, packed the boot and got in feeling a little damp but not in spirits.
She drove the car right in under my car port and helped me in with my groceries as she looked around my house; as she hadn't been here before.  She loves Little Miss Stevie and thought she was the cutest thing; even if she didn't say anything back.  And Grandma's piano was smaller than what she thought it would be; but sounds just lovely.  I showed her my office upstairs and she was blown away by the amount of books I had collected over the years; knowing I loved books this much.  
It was a good few hours to spend with my wonderful friend; even if we spent some of it shopping.  The main thing was that we caught up with each other this year.  We enjoy keeping in contact via e-mail and will continue to do so.  It's still wet outside and I just realised I forgot the yoghurt for a dip I have to make on Christmas Eve.  So, I have to go for a wander to the shop down the road to get it.  Well, no rest for the wicked... until my next post, take care and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Here in Brisbane - and Australia - it most certainly it is!  We've had storms, flooding rains and dreadful heat; and that was in the last week alone, and it's not yet Christmas.  As I look out of my window here in my spare room (which I have long ago turned into a home office full of books, bookmarks and old artworks of mine), it's grey, wet and the temperature has cooled off so much I've changed out of knee-length skirt and into a pair of jeans.  
Yes, the weather outside has most definitely been frightful alright.  It's had me wondering what's in store for us over the long weekend that's coming up this week.  We have four days off; this is to include the public holidays for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which means Monday and Tuesday are days for us all to be stuck at home and inside if it's going to be raining!  With the kids on holidays, the Christmas pressies are going to become very boring very quickly for them.  So, what's going to be going on in your house?
For me, I'd thought to let you all know, that I'm not going to Brunswick Heads this year.  It's been too wet and miserable and there's been far too many storms for Little Miss Stevie and me to move from the comfort of our home and into a caravan for 7 - 9 days.  So, I've decided to keep us here this year.  Also, I don't wish to waste my parents' money on what will be a horribly wet time for me and them.  I'd rather have unlimited access to my internet, the piano to play, my dvd player and the stereo to use as well as a bigger kitchen than what's in the caravan (even if there's the camp kitchen, I really don't like using that one either).  
On my agenda here in Brisbane, I'll be hopefully seeing 'Tron: Legacy'.  I remember seeing the first one when I was very young and loving it!  Even if nobody else did.  My family enjoyed it too.  Otherwise, I'll be going to the After Christmas Sales and buying a few things I need... like calendars.  I haven't gotten a single one this year.  So, I'll be getting a couple for around the house.  Then, there's reading.  I've sorted out my Mt TBR and it's been whittled downed to about 25 books - all wonderful and brilliant books I've wanted to read this year and some I haven't read before too; like 'Legacy' by David Suzuki... what a great man!  I've wanted to read some of his stuff and now I have something of his I can't wait to read it.
I recently got some dvds off layby and may be watching some of those at night.  But if there's a fine day or so in the new year, I'll be off to Bunnings to purchase some potting mix and a large pot and a few little plants.  Yep, I need to get the yard back into something looking like garden and not an overgrown weed heap.  It looks a little like I've pulled out some long grass - which I have - but I need to work on it more.  It's got me thinking what I may yet do to it.
Anyway, that's my Christmas hopefully filled in with reading, music, gardening, and cleaning.  With all this rain around, it's all I can really do.  So, what have you got planned for the holidays?  Until my next post, take care and Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Storm Season Comes In With A Bang!

Yesterday, we had a big storm hit Brisbane at around 4:30pm; then another hit later that night on the other side of town.  Yep, Australia's storm season has begun with a bang; and not a whimper.
The day felt very hot and sticky and nothing I did helped cool me down.  Birds were going nuts, the fan was brought out of storage, all the windows were open and even Little Miss Stevie was thrilled to be in the breezeway for once!  But when those threatening clouds darkened our skies, everything began to take on a different feel.  I went outside and took as many photos as I could before the thunder began to grumble around the place; and before I had to begin thinking about closing up the house.  However, if it wasn't the rain and wind that brought in the water, the noise of the hail was horrifying.  I taped it on my camera from my carport while I was on the phone with Mum.  She couldn't believe how noisy it was and put me on speaker on her mobile so everyone down the coast could hear too.  And just look at the size of them!  I picked these up from my backyard; and have kept them in my freezer in a bag to show my folks when they come home for Christmas. 
And if yesterday was just a taste for things to come, today was something else all together!  I hadn't noticed anything was out of the ordinary until I looked up from computing at around midday or so and the sky was dark, the house dark and everything was very humid.  So, I turned the sound off on the speakers and heard thunder grumbling just off in the distance.  Quickly, I switched off the computer and unplugged everything; including the modem.  Windows were half-closed, I grabbed the torch, a book, found the battery-run radio and prepared for a storm; because this one looked like something I could read through.  Just a bit of thunder and lightning and rain.
Boy, was I wrong about that!
This storm was anything but tamed.  I was soon running around opening the side gate and keeping it open with a length of wood, sweeping out the carport - because it flooded - and wiping down the glass of the windows because all of them had to be shut.  This storm came from all directions; not just one direction, then turned around and then the other.  It was wind, rain, blinding lightning and thunder that made me cringe when it crashed through the clouds.  I really didn't want to be out in it, but had no real choice.

By the time it had ended, and I went outside to see the damage, I found that my front door stoop had flooded, my carport was just draining from the inch of water that had turned it into a river, my back lawn squished under my thongs and we had had 41mm of rain in about half an hour.  But it felt like the storm lasted a lot longer than that.  I broke a broom while I was sweeping water from my carport; so had to use my other one.  In the end, I got wet anyway; but not as soaked as I did yesterday.  The one thing was thankful for was that the storm drain next to my house was still open.
Well, we're in for more storms until Sunday (as I said) and so, it's going to be a bumpy few days.  Until my next post, take care and Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Shopping Craziness!

There are some days I wonder why I go out at all; but then I remember the reason and realise that if I didn't, I'd regret it.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had to go out, but I really didn't want to battle the crush of Garden City and all the shoppers, kids on School Holidays, children meeting Santa and me getting my Christmas shopping finished up.
The worse thing was that I had to bus it in and back; which made it even worse because that's the time-muncher.  Just waiting for buses and how long they take to get anywhere is draining; and yet a good majority of us do it every day.
Garden City was chock-a-block full of people!  The moment I got off the bus, I wanted to come home.  I don't like crowds; and never really have liked them for a while now.  However, Christmas shopping is something I normally get done before this time of the year... sometime at the end of November and withing the first week of December; it saves me being anywhere near too many people.
Anyway, I had my list of who to buy for and money in my pocket... I was a woman on a mission and I was hoping to get home before 2pm; before everyone began rushing to get home to make dinner.  I had something to buy for Gabe (my brother), Mum, Little Miss Stevie and I wanted to buy a major present for myself from Howard's Storage I saw in their catalogue; and maybe drool over a portable clothes horse while I'm there (you know something to buy for the new year).  
Well, all was going to plan until I ran out of money and had to get some more; which I did.  I then thought Riley might like some from Smiggle; and didn't spend too much there as it can get expensive in that kiosk!  But there's so many cool things there... and I know I could have gone overboard; but I bought something she'd need.  And it was then I remembered I had forgotten to buy my Nivia Day Cream... so I had to walk to the other end of Garden City again and then all the way back again.
By this time, I wanted a coffee; my brain was screaming for one.  My feet were bugging for me to sit down.  I found 'Gloria Jeans' and got myself an Ice Coffee and a seat and relaxed in the dull, drone of the coffee house.  I do love this place.  No matter how noisy it gets here; I do find a little piece of solitude in it.  I wrote out what I had bought for everyone and was pleased with my day out.  More than please, I was content.  This meant I didn't have to go out again until next week... and even then, it'll be for a top-up shop and that's it.
While I sat at my table in Gloria Jeans, I chatted with a lady who had her 3-year-old son and her 5 month old baby boy there.  She was taking a breather too; and she said that I looked tired from all my shopping.  I said that I'm pleased that I no longer have to go Christmas shopping.  It's been stressful and horrible because it's normally finished by now for me; but my money's been all over the place so I've had to split it into two trips instead.  
Once home, I put everything next to the tree and I headed upstairs to check the net.  I've been running my last bookbox surprise this Christmas; where I wrap up gifts of books, put them into an Express Post bag and send them off to lucky Bookcrosser... so far I have four people who want in.  And seeing they'll be wrapped in Christmas paper, it makes it all the more exciting.
I've also begun cleaning up the yard, sweeping out the carport, sorted out my Mt TBR and re-organised a part of my garden to look like what I want it to look like.  And so far, I'm pleased.  Now, all I need to do is save a bit of money and then go to Bunnings and get some stuff there (potting mix, plants, large pots and of the like) to make my back yard look lovely.  But I have been pulling out the long grass around the edges; and it looks great; and looks even better with the lawn mowed too.
Well, that's all from me so far.  I've had a morning of washing up, laundry and knocking pipes (again).  But I'm surviving; as usual.  Until my next post, take care and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Around the Corner

At long last, the sun has come out and heated up Brisbane; but not for long.  It's muggy and the cicadas are ringing around the place on their ever-changing, maddening chorus on the air.  Yes, it's hot during the day, warm at night and we're all drinking more water all the time.  I feel like I'm getting nowhere fast with my Christmas shopping; as I've still got a little ways to go on it.  Christmas cards are dribbling in one by one through the mail and I'm reading more books as the time comes closer to another thing around the corner from us - besides Christmas.... New Year's Eve.
This year, I'll be spending it up here in Brisbane instead of at Brunswick Heads.  I think the early rain - and the rain yet to come - has put me off going to the coast this time around.  Last year wasn't fun seeing how wet it turned out to be; and the year before, the annex collapsed in on us, holding many litres of water before my alarm went off.  That was not an experience I wish to repeat again too soon!  And I don't think Dad wants that either (he didn't exactly handle it all that well).
So, this year, I've got plans to read, play the piano and just simply hang out around my house and tend to my garden.  I've got some potted plants to help, some shrubs to shape and some other lovely things to do around the place as the Summer rolls on; and I'll be using money from my accounts to do it, as well as some money I've saved up from shopping and my pension.  
This week is my last posting away on Bookcrossing; and it's going to be a fun one called The Christmas Bookbox Surprise.  I pick out some books, wrap them separately in paper and send them to a lucky Bookcrosser I choose off my list of ones who want to be in the draw.  I've gotten them to send me their addresses via e-mail first; so I don't have to tell them who's won, the parcel just shows up in the mail and they get the surprise for Christmas!  Sounds like fun?  It is... and then by around February next year, I'll have my house and garden looking and feeling lovely for another year because I've been looking after it in between the showers of rain; and I'll be on my Bookcrossing fun'n'games again!
Well, this is my holidays planned out ... roughly... there's not real plan; it's just something I find that if I have a rough guideline, it helps.  I've yet to:

Organise my Mt TBR for next year
Tidy up the home office
Clean up the bathroom, laundry and kitchen completely (I have a plumber coming before Christmas)
Vacuum and Dust everywhere
Put away all my laundry
Finish my Christmas Shopping

And this is just this week I have to get all this done.  The gardening stuff will be done over the school holidays and so I'll be working on it a little bit at a time; as I love my garden and how a little bit goes a long way with it.  Mainly, I need to repot my Large Leaf Jade.  It's getting low in the pot and so needs a few bags of potting mix put in underneath the tree itself.  Seeing it was a housewarming gift, I'm proud to see it has survived 8 years so far with me quite happily by the fence - even when possums have fallen on it off the compost dome and off the fence by accident.
So, there are my plans for this year.  What are yours in your part of the world?  Be it inside keeping warm or outside enjoying the warmth of the Australian sun, what are you up to at this time of year?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Year - A Quick Look At 2010!

This year has certainly been very different... a lot of things have changed in my life; and a few things have stayed the same.  But mainly, I've seen a lot of changes in my life; some good, some interesting.

I arrived home from Brunswick Heads to a house without any 8-legged residents waiting for me.  I was thankful my plan to poison my house within an inch of its life before leaving was a good idea... about 5 months later, I got my first spider... YUK!  
I joined up with 365Project.  This is a site where you upload a photo a day which shows what you've been doing each day.  I found it hard at first; but then once I got into the swing of it, it began to be fun and my photography improved too.
Mum and I both pulled a ligament in the same foot!  How weird is that??? We had to get our left foot strapped by our podiatrist and he told us to take it easy on our feet.  I did mine in by my orthotics not being properly installed in my shoes; they were moved forward a little, thus the pulled ligament.

This month, Little Miss Stevie has some health problems.  I was worried she might have been losing her sight, but when I got her to Greencross Vets, the vet told me she was overweight.  So, I had to cut back on her food and make sure she was exercising - flying around the room three or four times a day.  
Mum did out her Tupperware cupboard and I got first dibs on it... so I could toss out anything that was worn out.  Yay!  Now, this stuff has a lifetime warranty on it... very cool. I've been using it all too.
This month, I began doing out my house.  This was the year to try and keep my house tidy; or try at the very least.  So, this month, I began cleaning out cupboards, rooms and areas of the house that were screaming out to be cleaned out.  And I made great leaps forward too.  The kitchen pantry was attacked first... as was the Second Pantry upstairs in the office.  Then, I cleaned up the Mt TBR and started tidying up here a little.  It was looking good. The lounge was opened up and sprayed for any creepy-crawlies that may be living in it and the fridge got a good cleaning out.
I was given a credenza by some friends of our who were moving to a retirement village.  It's from the 1970's, so it fits all my vinyls in it, tapes and other things too... a very nice piece of furniture.
This month, I also received my 10 year badge for being a volunteer in Logan City and at the Logan Art Gallery.  Mum and Dad were there and were proud of me.  Another 20 people also received their badges too; and Doug Cartright retired from there.


I put down my first book from sheer boredom... it was 'Under The Dome' by Stephen King.  It's a tome of a book and just wouldn't get on with the story.  So, being bored out of my mind, I put it down.
On 8th, I went out with friends to 'The Globe' Theatre to see 'Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars'.  Unfortunately, it was getting too flashy for me and smell of the mould was disgusting; so Geoff took me out of there to New Farm Park where we walked around for a while at a photographic exhibition... very cool.  I was out for dinner too; and had a great day out.
26th, March was Purple Shirt Day.  It's to remind people that Epilepsy is something to be noticed in the community.  So, I went all out and wore not only a purple shirt, but purple, socks, undies, scarf and took along a purple bag and mobile phone holder too!  Very much my colour!


This month was horrible.  My next door neighbour of two years, Abdul, sold his house and new people moved in.  Each weekend, they worked from 7am - 5pm on something about the place for about 5 weeks.  It drove me nuts.  They've got loud cars and dug out two trees from the garden.  They painted the inside, played loud music and were rude to me when I asked if they could turn it down.  Well, she was; but another wasn't; he compromised.  They got their pipes fixed by their son but this made my pipe hammer; which isn't good for my house.  
I've had Little Miss Stevie for 5 years.  So, on 365Project, I put forth a theme of Animals of April; and a lot of people took part.  For each day of April, I put up a photo of Little Miss Steve from the last 3 1/2 years; and nearly every day, she was on the Popular page.  Such a cutie.
I got my 'Victor' Paling & Co. piano tuned this month... and found out it was from the 1920's!  This lovely old piano means more to me now than ever did.  And it sounds just so lovely too.


I scored big at Rockaways with some great vinyls at a vinyl sale... how could I say no?  It was a great feeling to get some wonderful pre-loved things that I know somebody else enjoyed.
8th, May saw Mum and I going to Meadobrook Park for a Volunteers Day.  This was to thank all the volunteers of Logan City; and was put on by Logan City Council.  We got to meet Dean Vegas too!  He was a great performer; despite his full-length Elvis suit being incredibly hot for him to wear.
Between 17th & 22nd May, Mum and I went off to Mooloolaba.  I had won a three days up there thanks to Triple M Brisbane; and Mum was the person I chose to take with me.  So, we had a ball.  Mum also pegged on another few days to make it decent break.  Dad got to care for Little Miss Stevie and we got to see the lovely days and nights on the Sunshine Coast.
29th, May was a sad day.  I found out that Gary Coleman died aged: 42.  He had had a lot of problems and was a very angry young man.  Now, I hope he rests in peace.


This month was incredibly busy.  From 1st, June when I helped Doug Cartright with designing a blog for an interstate artist... then he let me make a jewelry box in his studios, to the end of the month; I felt like I didn't have any time to myself to scratch.  Especially seeing my neighbours have been quite noisily leaving the house by around 6am or before.
4th, June, I was at the GoMA to see Ron Mueck's artwork.  Photography was encouraged; but we were all asked to turn off the flash of our cameras.  So, I got some great photos, had a good look at them outside, then went back and got some more.
8th, June, Mum and I went to see a preview of 'The A-Team' courtesy of Triple M Brisbane.  It was at Garden City and we loved it... such a funny film and it was like a movie-length episode of the television show.  And seeing we enjoyed the tv. show, we enjoyed the movie too.
Throughout this month, the Big Tidy-Up continued - as it has for the last few months - and 'The Mixed Favourites Book Baggie' arrived home from its trip around Australia.  I also bought a 'Clifford' dog at the Garden City branch of QBD... such a cute little thing!
Then, I found out my neighbour didn't like me playing my piano.  I had bought some music to improve my dexterity and tried it out on the Queen's Birthday Weekend.  Well, the first try of anything is going to be hard; so I did my best and was patient.  Then, suddenly I heard a shrill scream:  'Stop playing that!' I didn't because it's in my house and I wanted to get it right.  Eventually, I did because I was getting nowhere with it and went for a walk; at which point my neighbour watched me leave my house and then 10 minutes later she watched me come home.  Really creepy.
24th June saw Mum and I at the Epilepsy Symposium at the P.A. Hospital.  It was a long day and very informative.  My neurologist was there and we chatted quickly before she was on the podium for her talk.  It was so good to see her.


I had an allergic reaction to a generic brand of Topamax... this is something I bought to save money; and instead I found it just plainly didn't work.  So, I'm stuck with the more expensive brand now.
On 11th, I had friends drop by and the power drop out.  So, once they went off home, I called Energex and they told me that it was going to be restored later and later in the night.  Bummer.  Oh well, I was going out anyway.  So, I got ready early and used my reading light to read my books and a head lamp to play the piano until I got bored and Mum and Dad picked me up and we all went out to Katrina's birthday at Punjab Palace in West End.
27th, Mum and I went to see 'Inception' at the movies.  And what a great movie it was!  I loved it.  Gotta get it on dvd when it comes out!
Also in this week, my paints for the Urban Smart Projects arrived at Mum and Dad's place.  This is something I've been looking forward to doing for a while.


I was very ill for the first week or so of this month horrible headaches.  So, I was off to the chiropractor and he said that I had moved my head in a funny way and my neckbones had pushed up against the base of my skull causing the headaches... ouch!  Once he moved them off there, I felt immediate relief.  Thank you, Dion!
For a good part of this month, Mum and I painted a Traffic Signaling Box across the road from my unit complex.  We had fun doing this and enjoyed all kinds of weather.
I won preview tickets to see 'Salt' in the city courtesy of Triple M Brisbane.  And of course I took Mum with me to see it... and what a movie!  It was fantastic!  


I read the most inspiring book this month by a doctor in Toronto.  Dr Norman Doidge, M.D. wrote 'The Brain That Changes Itself' and when I got into it and found bits of myself in it, I was kept awake at night thinking he was talking about my brain and how far it's come.  Being a person who can recognise numbers, but doesn't know what they're value is, whose comprehension was terrible when she was two and had lost her co-ordinations completely after a massive seizure at that age, I've come an awful long way.  A part of my brain may never work again, but the rest of it is always learning.  Thank you Dr Doidge for not only writing the book but for also for answering my e-mail; you're brilliant.
I found a bag of vampire romance books outside a house on my way to a bus stop.. .picked them up and took them home.  What a find!  I have yet to read them still, but I do look forward to getting my nose into them all. 
On 3rd, September, Mum and I finished the Traffic Signaling box.  It's not a Da Vinci, but it's lovely and really does stand out on a dull day; and that's what I wanted it to do.  It's called 'Spring Comes Early'.  


For the first week or so of this month, I did a complete clean up of my unit; with the rain around, there wasn't anything else to do... I was officially bored out of my mind enough to tidy my house within an inch of its life!
So, it looked good for my birthday.
I received some good pressies on that day... most comprising of $50 lots.  There was a $50 book voucher, a $50 Rockaways voucher and other things too.  Dad got me a book that he keeps asking me if I've finished yet... unfortunately, I haven't gotten to it but it's on my Mt TBR to get my nose into it.
On 9th, saw us all at Gabe and Kat's place to celebrate Gabe and Riley's birthday as Gabe and Kat wouldn't be in the country by the time they came around.  So, we had the birthdays then.  I gave Gabe a bottle of scotch and Jeff Beck's 'Truth' from 1967-68 studio recordings.  He was stoked about it; but there was no turntable to play it on yet. Bummer.
On 16th, we froze our butts off at Uncle Allen's house for his birthday.  It was a lovely affair and he brought out bottles of unopened scotch that was from years ago... and he didn't know when he had gotten it.  Even poor Jay didn't want to freeze and found the warmest room in the house; smart little woofy.
Halloween was fun.  I carved two pumpkins, dressed up and watched the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' on my new surround sound system.  Then, some kids came around and got some lollies off me and I walked them around the complex to trick'or'treat and saw them home.  


Melbourne Cup Day was on the Day of the Dead; so I dressed in black for the occasion.  Mum and I went to the Epilepsy Queensland Luncheon for this day.  I had put down my bets at the TAB; so had Mum.  There was an Elvis Impersonator there and we got a table right at the front and with the big screen in front of us.  Lunch could have been better for vegetarians as the meat eaters got a better deal.  But I won $88 and Mum won too. 
Less than a week after Melbourne Cup Day, I was off to see Sir James Galway in concert.  However, I had a bad sinus infection; but that didn't stop me from going.  I totally enjoyed concert and waited in line to see him again - as I had met him before when I was 13 in 1986.  I showed him the photo of us then and he was thrilled to see it!  I asked if he could sign my first vinyl that I bought when I was young and his book; and he was happy to.  And yes, I got another photo with him and his wife, Lady Jeanne.  The moment I got out to the car, I went to tell Dad about the concert and found that my voice was completely gone.
Not long after that, Dad replaced my clothes line.  He was here all day; and heard my place knocking all day; saying it was dreadful.  Now the new one holds four loads of washing - better than the old one by far!
On the last weekend of November, the Logan Art Gallery went on its annual Christmas Party.  This year we were off to the Gold Coast Art Gallery.  Mum couldn't make it this year as she went to attend Ted Lane's 80th instead.  Ted has Prostate Cancer and I was thinking about him the whole time; wishing they had the net and I could upload photos for them to see.  Oh well, I guess if they don't wish for it, you can't force them.  The Gold Coast was lovely, humid but not raining.  We walked around the famous Sculpture Walk and went to Jupiter's Casino for lunch.  What a day it was.  We had lots of fun and dozed on the way home.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Emotion-filled Week

Actually, it's been a bit of a touchy month.  In the last few weeks, a lovely person on Bookcrossing passed away from cancer.  She lived in America and touched everyone's life in some way over the past few years through books and the forums online.
Then, recently, I received my 'Tea, Read & Journal' book box back from a bumpy ride through Indonesia.  It had been stalled there for almost six months and I found it almost impossible to get it home.  Once it was home, though, I found that this lovely lady (oi-reader was her screen name) had been on the list of people that this box was sent to.  She had made a journal entry and I read it on the way to the doctors.  It was written in August last year when she was at her happiest; when she made pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes and chillis from her garden while her dogs played with the butterflies; while she was falling in love with a wonderful man; while she remembered that her Grandmother used to say that August in the Mid-West was like living in warm applesauce.  Oi-reader wrote her entry at a time in her life when everything was at its freshest and best; and I'm glad it was when she received it.
Yesterday, a few weeks after she lost her fight with Cancer, I received an Ornament Exchange from another Bookcrosser in the UK; who was her partner for this year.  There was a note in the card that really touched me.  This lovely little ornament of a white dove cross-stitched onto a little red pillow was meant for oi-reader; however instead it came to me instead.  This lovely little ornament is something that oi-reader would have loved to hang on her tree at this time of year; and I'm honoured to have received it.  Oi-reader will be in our memories and lives for a long time seeing we received a lot of things through Bookcrossing from her.  I know I have a lot of books that she has registered in my collection; it's just a matter of finding them all and read them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Birthday Wishes in Pullenvale

On Sunday, there was a party we went to; and the whole family was going to be there.  Well, okay, Dad's side of the family.  One of our cousins own a large house out at Pullenvale.  Now, out that way there's a lot of houses on large blocks of land; and it's just lovely out in the country kind of area.
We arrived just in time for the rain to start drizzling down as we nibbled on some good food.  Lunchtime was when the rain poured; and we were glad of the large back deck area where the party was being held.  Three tables of adults and the kids were at another one inside.  It was most certainly a day of wonderful food and great company.  I took a long my famous Turkish Carrot Dip, Mum had two bowls of her Potato Salad and then there were three kinds of meat that were cooked really well (so I was told). 
After lunch, we all had a lovely dessert of Pavlova, cheese cake and fruit salad along with pine nuts to top it off.  In the meantime, we watched the rain and the birds flying around.  I spotted a lovely little Rainbow Lorikeet, we all saw and heard two Kookaburras laughing it up and a tree nearby and Mum and a few of us saw a little Mickey Bird trying its best to get a feed from a flower that wasn't giving up its nectar too easily.  The poor little bird was either too heavy for it, too short to reach it or couldn't reach around to the flowers; it just couldn't win!
Then, it was time of Aunty Marge's birthday cake.  It was lovely and big and the candles kept on being blown out by the wind!  Talk about funny.  We all took photos of her cutting her cake and it was delicious!  Then the young kids entertained us with their talents.  Ben played his guitar, Hannah played the flute and sang and the eldest girl played the piano with one of the other children, who played the clarinet.  Then, we were shown a blu-ray disk of the film clip of Brisbane Girls Grammar's 135th Anniversary.  It was great!  About halfway through, the house cat, Echo, came out to rub against anyone who'd pat her.  She ended up sitting in front of me while I tickled her ears, chin and gently ran my fingers down her back (as I can't massage her like normal cats; she's pretty old). Then, to let me know she had had enough, she turned around and gently bit me.  I got up and left her alone as she laid on her side and had a snooze.
Then, people began leaving to go home.  Gabe and Kat had already left to take Riley back to Peta's place.  Then, another lot had left to go home too.  By this time, it was our turn to go as it was beginning to get late.  I arrived home just before 6pm; and Dad still had to fix some plumbing works in my house.

It was a lovely day.  The photos were just gorgeous as was catching up with the family.  And what a place to celebrated Aunty Marge's birthday.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Just Not Christmas Shopping

Now, this year it a little all over the place.  If it's not for you, it is for me.  You see, my usual plan for Christmas is pretty simple.  November is the month where I get all the cards out to my friends.  December is the month where I get my shopping done; and that's all my shopping, but I do it on a particular week and on a particular day.  The week is usually the first week or so and the day is usually a Monday or Friday in that first week.  This year has been all stuffed up.  I don't have the money I usually would have and right now I'm waiting for a gift voucher to arrive in the mail; which thus far hasn't and it's got until next Wednesday to get here.  My December/January issue of 'Good Reading' Magazine has gone AWOL (as it has for many other readers; so I'm not the only one) and I've been out three times to get presents for my family; instead of only once.

This isn't good.  
So, instead of feeling relaxed about the gift-giving this year, I'm stressed out to the hilt.  The weather is horrible and wet - and we're all still wearing our Winter woollies.  I haven't been able to get much laundry done due to this problem.  I still do have a few people to shop for; but that's not a problem; it's just little stuff really.
Yesterday was my one day where I found most of the pressies I wanted to give to people in my family.  I also found a lovely Christmas ornament for my little bird and spent the money on it for her.  I've seen this woman up at Garden City with her glass baubles for a few years and thought I'd never get one; but this year, I picked out a nice blue one and got Stevie's name put on it in gold and silver glitter.  It was worth the money; and the best thing was that a lovely little box came with it so it's protected for next year.  Isn't it just lovely?  I think so.  It looks just gorgeous on the tree too.
Kory and Maria having fun at Garden City
While I was waiting for the bauble, I went to Gloria Jeans to get a pressie there and a coffee when Maria and Kory - my cousin's wife and his son spotted me picking up my drink.  They were thrilled to have spotted me.  Well, we hung out for a while and took Kory to a gingerbread icing activity where we got some photos of him having fun with red and green icing.  Kory really loved painting on the icing and putting on the jelly beans and smarties too.  We parted ways at City Beach where Maria and Kory were off to buy Anthony his Christmas present.  Me?  I had to pick up my little bird's ornament.  
Before I did, I looked around 'Howard's Storage' and found some lovely stuff I could spend my Westfield Voucher on and then I joined their 'Inspiration' club.  Then I was off to pick up Little Miss Stevie's bauble and then head off home again.  It was a good day of shopping and catching up with Maria and Kory... and I wasn't home for 10 minutes when it poured rain.  Now, how's that for good timing?  Until my next post, take care and Merry Christmas.