Monday, April 26, 2010

April's Something Different!

This month has definitely been something different.  Autumn has been slowly, but surely showing its face.  It's been raining a lot.  And I got new neighbours.  Yep, Abdur/Abdul sold his unit and I had some people move in next door who - within the first week acted as though they were on a marathon television show to fix a house up.  I know the sarcasm isn't a good thing to show, but really, they drove me nuts with booming loud music, chainsawing two trees in their backyard over the Easter Weekend and getting their plumbing fixed (which is still affecting my house by making my pipes hammer).  Whatever they did isn't doing my house any good.  Otherwise, they're nice people.
This month, I've had Little Miss Stevie for 5 years.  And so, I decided to get her well-known around the place and suggest a Month of Animals on 365 Project and a lot of people thought it was just the cutest and most thoughtful thing I could do... and jumped on board to showcase their animals too.  I said it could be from any year and they were all into it.  Now, it's coming to the end of the month, everyone's pumped how cute my Little Miss Stevie is; and I've gotten more followers than ever on this site.  

I had another one of those Sunday Afternoons out and about the city.  But I went into a different part of it.  Gabe and Katrina went into West End at the Boundary Hotel on Boundary Street and his band played a set there for the afternoon.  So, when Mum and Dad dropped off Riley, Dad suggested out of the blue (well, to me) that we drop in on them, I said that I hadn't brought my meds.  We had a fight about it and I said that I didn't think I'd be home after dinner... well, I didn't.  Anyway, we went there and hung out and I took some photos of the band and a film of it on my camera too.  A few days later, I transferred them over to a cd and posted it off to Gabe's work attentioned to him and he loves what I did.

On 16th, April, I had the most amazing time!  My 'Victor' Paling & Company piano was tuned!  Finally, I was going to hear what this beautiful instrument was supposed to sound like!  It had been out of tune my entire life and I had been waiting 8 months to get it tuned.  When Martin from Dittmans Music came in, he said it looked lovely; but his mouth dropped when he pulled the front panel down and told me that my 'Victor' was from the 1920's!  I'm so thrilled I have such an old piano in such gorgeous condition!  Well, Martin couldn't do much with it on that day, just tighten 'er up a little.  Then he returned on the following Tuesday and and finished the tuning... he kept saying he was going to 'make her sing, make her fly.'  He also offered to tune her for the rest of my life... I of course said yes.  We got talking about it more on Tuesday and he found out how I got to own it and why it wasn't in tune at any point in my life.  But he said to learn to play jazz and blues - as I've planned - because it is from that era and it deserves to have that played on its keys.
A few days ago, I thought to update my profile on the 'Collectors' site.  It's a bit dated and so I thought it was time to get to it and finish what I started.  I uploaded around 15 photos of 'new' bags and coin purses, re-wrote my piece about me, put in 2 links to 2 of my blogs and made sure it looked okay before leaving my photos to be accepted by 'Collectors'.  And now those photos have been accepted, I've been in to have a look at them all and I'm happy with them.

Yesterday was ANZAC Day.  I went to the Springwood Park to commemorate our fallen soldiers from World War 1.  It was a beautiful day; the skies were blue and the sun shone hot and bright in the sky.  We were all crowded around the cenotaph (which I've never seen; but found it was lovely and very fitting) as the Australian Army personnel stood at attention at the corners in the heat with their weapons lowered to the ground and guest speakers talked about fallen soldiers, the ones that came back to us and the others who have come back mentally scarred.  There was a General there who talked passionately about how there are people who don't wish for ANZAC Day to be commemorated anymore.  He gave the most poignant speech about why we have been remembering our soldiers for 95 years now; and why we will be doing it for another 95 years.  This day makes me proud to be an Australian and I don't wish for it to be removed from our calendar because of what other people want.  Mum did notice that there weren't any Muslims or Islamic people at the ceremony.  I hadn't really been looking for them until she mentioned it.
So, this was my month of differences... didn't seem as exciting as last month.  But I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Today, I attended a later ANZAC Day service than I usually do; and it was just as touching as last year's Dawn Service.  However, we didn't go to 'Diggers' like we usually did, instead Mum, Dad and I walked up to the Springwood Park and attended the 8am service up there.  And what a warm one it turned out to be!
We had missed the parade from the Springwood Community Centre and so we got there just in time for the whole ceremony to begin.  I found myself a good spot to take some very nice photos and found we were amongst hundreds of people from all around Springwood, Rochedale, Underwood and other parts of Logan City.  The Springwood State High School band was there and I was seeing for the first time the cenotaph that had been placed at the park for this purpose; and it looks wonderful!  The Australian Army personnel marched out and took their places, stood to attention with their weapons pointed to the ground for the whole ceremony as a General made a poignant speech about how ANZAC Day is important to us as a nation. He told how much some people didn't want it to be celebrated anymore and how much it should be and why.  I felt very moved by what he said; and thought it was a well-written speech.We had the laying of the wreaths after a poem was read out, a prayer was made by a female priest and 'Amazing Grace' was sung.  I found the whole ceremony was wonderful and sad at the same time; and got some good photos to mark the moment.

Afterwards, I went back to Mum and Dad's place for a cuppa and uploaded my photos onto their computer and ended up coming home at around 11am or so.  I'm thinking of taking it easy this afternoon and doing some reading or playing the piano a little; I'm not sure. I do know some friends are coming by to drop off some books and hang out for a little while.  We might play some piano together.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Long Wet Weekend

What has started out to be a nice sunny weekend to do my towels, has turned into an annoyingly wet one.  It's around 3pm Saturday afternoon and my bathroom towels are now out on the clothes line wet with the rain - which is getting heavier - and I have nowhere for them to go to dry them off.  This is a big problem.  Now a few of you will say to put them in the dryer.  But you see, they've gone beyond being damp and the dryer isn't to be trusted.  Yep, it's that old and broken I just don't trust the stupid thing.  The timer on is busted, the lint collector around the back near where the lead comes out is blocked and the whole thing is a fire hazard.  I haven't turned it on at the wall in about 6 months; relying instead on the sunny days that have been coming and going during our steamy hot Summer.

I've been busy today too.  I got off the net at around midday only to have to get back on it an hour and a half later.  I had forgotten to upload photos onto the 'Collectors' website of my other coin purses and weird and wonderful handbags.  Yes, I want to get onto the show and let people out there know there's dainty things to collect like these types of handbags and coin purses aren't a thing of the past; they are a work of art instead.  And I have over 100 coin purses and about 30 handbags.
I've also been doing a month of my dear little bird, Stevie; as this is the month 5 years ago that I got her.... um... him.  Yep, I bought a boy and he turned into a she in under a year and I had a bad-assed bird with an attitude problem.  So, there I was with my little bird who had a love-hate relationship with me.  And over the last two years, she's stopped pulling my ear-rings out, piercing my nose, lips, ears, eyebrows and eyelids (yes, the last one is very dangerous and does hurt a lot!) and has become very affectionate towards me.  But she's become a very jealous little bird when another person comes towards me.  Well, I guess I can't have the best of both worlds.
Tonight, my brother's band is playing in West End.  I've been invited, but I feel uncomfortable going into the city at night.  I get all turned around and confused. Often I have gotten lost because I don't drive anymore and my inner compass is put out at night.  But during the day, I'm fine.  I can go anywhere in the daytime and I'll find my way back to where we were before the sun goes down.  Kinda silly, eh?  Or does that happen to everyone?
Well, I've gotta go.  There's still my laundry to fold and put away, some knitting of scarves to get into for the Marter Children's Hospital and other things I've promised myself to do... and I've yet to get done.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy Morning

Wow!  This morning started out okay; and then got busy really quickly.  I had a lovely hot shower and washed my hair and then went downstairs to see Stevie had a new fashioned statement of keeping her left eye closed.  However, it wasn't until I noticed that she hadn't been anywhere near her seed that she actually couldn't see it.  So, I found I was feeding her breakfast after I ate mine.  At this point I called the vet and they told me to wash her eye with saline; however, I didn't have any and had to walk to the chemist to get a few vials of it and a small syringe.  
After I checked the mail and bought some milk, I came home and had the fiddly task of getting some of the saline into Stevie's eye.  She hated me doing it.  Now, though, she's opening her eye more than it was being opened this morning.  And I've moved her food so she can find it; also she's been blowing me more kisses than earlier this morning.  She's such a sweet little thing; she knows I'd never hurt her and it's good that she has such trust in me to do whatever it takes to keep her well.

Right now, it's past 11am and the heavens have just opened up.  I'm so thankful I decided not to do the laundry today as it did look like rain this morning; I just didn't know when it was going to.  And while I was out and about at the chemist we had a few showers (fortunately, I took my large umbrella with me).
This afternoon, I've got the piano tuner coming to finish fixing my 'Victor' piano.  Martin has been wonderful about this instrument; in fact, he's enjoyed doing the work on it.  From the moment he saw how old it was, he offered to tune it every year for me.  And seeing I had done my homework on the piano tuners, I agreed to take him on as a tuner.  He's great at his work too.  
Yesterday, Mum dropped me home and she heard the work that Martin had done and was impressed.  She said the 'Victor' sounded like it did when Grandma and Grandpa first bought it.  But she told me that they stopped getting it tuned because Grandma thought the tuners were doing it wrong.  So, that's why she told me to not waste my money; not because she didn't think it would hold a tuning.  It's such a pity Grandma played an out of tune piano for such a long time.
Today, though, I have some work to do before he arrives.  The place is a bit of a mess and it needs tidying up... yep, I've been a little bit lazy lately.  But with the rain about, I'm sure I'll get in and get it all done before he arrives.

Well, wish me luck with Stevie, the house and everything else.  I'll keep you posted about it all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crazy Saturday

I had to  go out yesterday and get a few things done at Garden City.  And it began being one of those days right from the get-go.  As soon as I had a shower and the pipes began to hammer, I knew it was going to be a weird old day; and they didn't stop hammering right up and after I left the house to catch the bus.
And once at the bus, I realised one thing:  I had forgotten my mobile phone.  Oh well, nobody called me while I was out anyway, so I didn't go back and get it.  Instead, the bus was 20 minutes late and all 5 of us who were waiting to catch did and I went did my stuff at Garden City.
The banking was first.  I got out the money for the piano tuner and some other money to spend for the day. I did a bad thing and walked straight to QBD and checked out their bargain boxes (bad, bad, bad thing to do when I've already got about 500 books at home).  I ended up buying two books from them. 
Then, I walked along Logan Road to where I thought was a charity store; but it must have moved.  So I walked back to shopping complex and went Oxfam where I bought a pill box and a coin purse.  It was then I remembered I needed a canvas to do a collage on and so I went to a cheap art place and bought one and dropped in Sam's Warehouse across the way from it and bought a few things I needed from there.  By this time, it was heading towards midday and I thought a coffee was called for.  So, I went to the nearest Gloria Jeans and bought a de-caf ice coffee (scoring myself an upgrade when I got their riddle correct) and the most horrible thing happened!  I was struggling with the lid when the whole container slipped on the counter and it tipped over tipping coffee everywhere!  It slopped all down the side of the counter, onto the floor, my shoes, my bag, inside my bag and splattered onto another lady standing nearby... OMG!  I just couldn't believe I could have dropped something like this!  I think half the food court heard me say:  'Shit!' and I apologised profusely to the lady and tried to clean up some of the spilled coffee... but the people at Gloria Jeans told me that the cleaner was on his way.
Well, he turned out to be the nicest person.  He said it happens sometimes; but I said it was the first time I had ever dropped anything like this.  He looked at me smiling saying: 'Well, a first time for everything.'  Within minutes the coffee was cleaned up, the counter looked like I had never spilt the coffee and Gloria Jeans had provided me with a free coffee... they were so nice about it.  But the people who were waiting for their coffees stayed well away from me in case I dropped it on them; and personally I don't blame them.  I would've done the same.
When I got home, I found milk all through my carry bag, in the plastic bag that had my soap-on-tap and it dotted my two books I had bought at QBD... bummer!  Why didn't it get my canvas?  At lease I know it would have been coated in paper and other glues in the end.
Yes, my crazy Saturday turned out to be an okay one I guess.  I did get home just on lunch time and I enjoyed my day more than I thought I would.  However, it felt more like a Friday and by around 5pm, I almost put on the television to watch MASH... oops... I guess I was a day behind as well feeling like the day was a little crazy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ageless Beauty

Last year, around September, I wrote a post about getting my late-grandmother's piano pulled out of storage and installed into my home.  Well, today, I had the little darling tuned.
And what a tuning it turned out to be!  Martin, the
piano tuner, came around to my place and pulled the whole piano front apart and placed it on the floor.  From one look, he said that my 'Victor' piano was built around the 1920's and was in better condition than he thought it was going to be.  And he said that he'd give it a quick tune before coming back in a few days to give it more intensive tuning; so it didn't sag.  
I was amazed at the year he gave it and had to call my Mum (who's at the north coast with Dad and a few friends right now for a few days away).  She was gobsmacked to say the least!  Martin said he'd come back with a book on Tuesday and we'd be able to look at pinpointing exactly how old my piano is.  I'm so stoked about this!  I even e-mailed my brother about this news and he said it was so awesome to know and that he was sure that his daughter would look after it if I decided to give it to her (which I will as she loves playing it).  
Martin has even said that if I decide to keep it in tune
he'd happily do it for me.  I said that was my main aim to keep the piano in as best shape as I get keep her.  You see, I had asked my Grandmother if she had wanted it tuned when I was working and she had refused sadly; and I had always wanted to hear the piano at its best.  And now I have the chance to play it and learn more about it, I'm making sure it's going to sound good (also because sound in this unit complex really travels!).

Martin is glad I respect the instrument enough to do this.  I told him that I'm a flautist and that I've found it a good challenge to go from flute to piano, but it's been fun too to get my left hand moving more than what my right hand does; but it's making it catch up that matters.  
Well, he'll be back on Tuesday afternoon to fix the softener pedal and to tune it again.  However, this tuning will take about an hour and half as it has been a long time between tunings.  I'm just thrilled about how the good news keeps coming with this gorgeous instrument.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Winter's Almost Here...

I love this time of the year... when the days can be still hot; yet the nights are little cooler.  But today, it's supposed to be warm and it's not, and I love it when Winter decides to come for a visit.  I really do hope it stays. 
Thus far today, I haven't opened any windows or doors as it's just too cool.  And when I went out to the post office, at around 10am, I felt as thought I needed a jacket and almost went back home for one.  However, as the day's progressed, I haven't had the need for the air-conditioner (whereas I had to used it and the fan over the weekend seeing both Saturday and Sunday were very hot and muggy days).  And I'm looking forward to a nice hot meal tonight for dinner.
Yep, I think the last weekend of the Easter Holidays were the last farewell to the Summer heat as today began cool, overcast and a little drizzly.  And even my little bird doesn't want a breeze on her today; so the front window is closed up tight with the curtains pulled open to let the light in.
Tomorrow, though, it yet another day... who knows what it will bring?  We may yet have a few more hot days.  After all this is Queensland!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

Hey, I had another Sunday afternoon out.  It began around midday when I had lunch at my Mum and Dad's place it was a great spread of fresh food and wraps.  Yummo!  Then, Uncle Allan showed up and gave my brother an old film camera that somebody was throwing out and Gabe took it off his hands; after all it still worked. 
Not long after that, Gabe and Kat had to make tracks to West End for two gigs and so we go to take care of Riley for a few hours.  After we said goodbye to them, Riley and I hit the net and I uploaded the photos from Nick's 30th birthday party on to Mum's computer (there were some of Riley on my camera I thought Mum would like).  And Riley joined 365project and we ran around taking photos of the back yard and my car and trees, plants and the ground.  It was really cool... and she uploaded her first photo on to the calendar and then got Mum and I to follow her.  Very cool.  
Too soon, we had to take her to her Grandmother's house near the Gateway Bridge.  And that went well.  Riley and I talked about the French Horn and tried to figure out what what she had to do with some notes; and she got a little frustrated about it... saying I didn't understand.  I tried to understand what she was getting at, but she insisted that I wasn't getting the meaning. Oh, well, never mind.  
Then, we made an unplanned (well to me this was) trip into West End to see Gabe's band.  It was playing in two venues on Boundary Street and so when we got to them, they had established themselves at the second venue.  And it was cool.  I hadn't been this far into West End ever.  I found this area very funky and
full of culture, music and outsider art; and my camera was working overtime.  Once inside the pub, I took a few photos of 'The Spruce Moose' and they played a few great pieces before taking a break.  Gabe
saw me sitting there and waved and he when the break came up, he was so happy that I could make it.  I said they sounded great!  And just this morning, I sent him the photos I took to his workplace.  I hope they made it through.
Well, I got home at around 6pm (as I had forgotten my medication and wished I had taken it with me by the time we got to West End).  And as the night wore on, it got hotter and hotter... but my Sunday afternoon was a lot of fun.  So, what did you get up to?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Little Miss Stevie Is One Famous Budgie!

Now as a lot of you may - or may not - know, I have a sweet and darling little budgie named Little Miss Stevie.  How the name came about it is quite cute actually.  I bought her as a boy, he got into a fight at a young age with another budgie and then about three months later, I had a girl.  Voila!  Stevie-K became Stevie Nicks.  But the girlie name of the same famous person didn't suit her.  So, I just stuck with Stevie and wondered about the bird over about a year or so while she bit me and tried to pierce varying parts of my nose, lips, eyes and ears.  

Then, this little vicious, female bird started being nice to me.  She began preening me and stopped trying to pierce my left earlobe again.  She stopped acting like I was the enemy and began looking at me as though I was a friend and we began to trust each other.  And then, she became a little miss... a spoilt one.  So, I began calling her Little Miss Stevie; and the name stuck!  It was such a catchy name that everyone began calling her this wonderful name and now she answers to it.
And to add to the family fame, Little Miss Stevie is turning five this month.  So, to celebrate her five years of a rollarcoaster of a life with me and my family, I've decided to propose a theme of a month of animals throughout April.  We've even attached a tag to the photos to see how many we get:  animals_of_april.  It's going well so far and I'm enjoying sharing photos of my dear sweet little bird; and everyone else online loves reading about her little antics that makes her
what she is in my life. 
So, join in the joy and love and laughter on 365project and watch over this month as everyone who follows my album gets to know my little budgie.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Long Weekend, No Relaxation

It's that time of year and I have found that whenever this time comes around, I either love it or hate it.  This year, I hate it.  Not only are my new neighbours trying to fix their house in record time to be able to live in it, but my Dad is trying to get me clean my house up so it passes his inspection.  Dad's inspection is tough.  Dad comes from a time where if you are at home all day, cleaning a house is all you do with your time.  You cleaning, dust, vacuum and cook for you man until he arrives home and you're supposed to greet him at the front door with his slippers and a glass of scotch... oh, and dinner must be ready to eat on the table.  

Well, times have changed markedly and a lot of people don't eat that way anymore.  However, my Dad seems to think that because I spend a lot of my time at my place, that my house should be nice and tidy at all times and that all I seem to do is stare at wall until a visitor shows up - if anyone does - so that I don't dirty the house up too much.  And if my house is messy or unorganised it's because I haven't been keeping up with my chores lately.  
I keep up with my chores just fine; the problem with this little equation is that I don't have anyone to help me around the place.  I don't have a man in my life to make things that little bit easier and I have to do all my own heavy lifting on my own.  I put out my own rubbish, put out the wheelie bin, wash and wipe up, cook, clean the floors, sweep up, clean the bathroom and toilets (yep, I have two!), do all my own laundry, mow my lawn and re-pot all my own plants... all this on my own without anyone else running around doing the heavy stuff for me.  Now, if he thinks I don't do anything around the place, he's got another thing coming.

About a year or so ago, he got in and did some housework.  I think around his house.  I think he vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom and toilet and washed up and did the kitchen/dining room floor.  By the end of just the little bit, he complained that his back was killing him, his hip (he has a bad hip) was in agony and he was dog tired.  And he had to put out the laundry and do another load before lunch (I think it was laundry he had to do, I'm not sure, but I knew there was another job).  Anyway, I said that I often got jobs like this done around my house done very quickly and still had another six to do; and got them done in the afternoon.  He didn't believe me... but I had told him the truth.

Yet, you know, he's forgotten all about that day of painful housework.  I really don't understand men.  They expect us to get in and do the house work and be their slaves when they want to sit on the couch and watch the footy/racing/cricket while drinking all the beer in the house and being a pig too.  But once you get them with a mop in their hands or a toilet brush, they complain they can't do the job.

Strange that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

80's Music Weekend!

This morning, I turned on the radio to find that my favourite rock'n'roll station was playing all the old music from when  I went to primary school!  Don't you just love it when that happens?  It brought back so many funny and weird memories from that time; and what's more, I remembered all the words to the songs!  
I love this kind of music for a good reason too.  It's got a beautiful sound to it.  It's not artificial or pimped and it hasn't been polished to the point that it sounds too good to be true.  I just love it for what it sounded like.  And being a lover of vinyls, I do love to hear the sound of a stylus landing on the edge of one of those things!  I don't know why I do, I just do... I guess it's the way I was brought up.  I know how to put the arm of the turntable across, take a deep breath, let it out slowly and then place the needle on the first track without it sounding like I dropped it from a great height.  And only people from X-Generation and before know how to do that... believe me.
I have been trying to teach a young girl (one of the neighbour's daughters) how to do it with a crappy old vinyl and she still makes it sound like it's being dropped a little and misses the first few bars.  But the last time she had a go, she almost got it right.  She just needed practice and to be patient enough to do it.  However, it's not her fault she hasn't been taught this kind of thing.
You see, it's the technology that is lacking in this world.  Kids aren't being shown the old technology that was around in the past that has made the new technology possible.  Yes, it's great to hear my old 1980's songs... but originally they were on vinyl and now they are found on c.d.  I do enjoy both; however I do believe the songs sound better on the old flat black beauties!  But I think that's just me getting older and feeling a little left behind sometimes.