Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Is Something Different!

This month has really been something out of the ordinary; honestly, I haven't been so busy in my life!  I'm not really sure where to begin... well, at the beginning of the month, of course!  But that seems so far away and a long time ago; and not thirty-one days ago.
On the first week of this month, I went out to see the last days of the Matisse exhibition at the GoMA.  There were so many people there - not to mention school groups!  And I met up with Will afterwards for something to drink and eat.  But the day was so very hot; and such a change to our cooler Summer.
Then on the Sunday, I saw Will again at the Meditation Sunday where we all got together and hung out at New Farm Park.  It started out as a lovely sunny day, but it soon turned overcast and we had a few showers; but the main heavy shower came in the afternoon just before we all sat down to do our meditation.  On that day, Will also gave me a necklace of Black Tourmaline to help me be more grounded; and it works!  I gave him a burnt copy of a 'Jamiroquai' album I have in my collection.  We all had a great time and packed up soon after the meditation finished as it was beginning to get dark.
Then, I did a stupid thing: I stumbled down the last two steps in my house and broke a toe.  Yep!  The day after I went to my chiropractor, I went and stuffed up all her good work and turned into a clutz.  So, for the last few weeks I've been limping around with a walking stick feeling horrible.  And it's been only the last week that I've ditched the stick... thank god!
This broken toe caused me to have to change the plans for many things the following week.  I had to cancel my CRS appointment and get Mum and Dad to take me to do my grocery shopping in a wheelchair.  I also couldn't attend a costume party where I was going as Cyndi Lauper... damn!  And I had the whole thing set out on the bed the morning I broke my toe.  Well, this gave me the good excuse to clean the house up and make sure my lounge had enough space on it for my foot so I could rest it.  My downstairs hadn't been so tidy in its life!  Well, okay, the kitchen floor wasn't, but then, I wasn't worried about that.  The lounge were clean and the countertops were too.  
And the day Mum and Dad took me shopping it poured rain!  That'd be right.  The one day I had to go out, it rained and the rest of the time, when I didn't need to be in a chair, the sun was out.  But each time I was in a shop - and the shop assistants knew me - they were stunned to find me in a wheelchair; asking what happened.  I told them the funny and short version of the story; and fortunately, the next time they saw me, I was only limping slightly.
On St Patrick's Day, I was out and about doing a lot of things that aggravated my sore foot; but it was for a good cause.  First, though, I was out at a community thrift store at the Springwood East Community Centre where I bought up big some new plants... very cool!  Once we got back to Mum and Dad's place, I got changed and ready for the World's Greatest Shave event and drove down to the Springwood Centro to get my hair coloured and shaved... that was fun to do; and I shocked the hell outa Mum.  We went and bought some things and got back to the car and went back to their place.  Then I arrived home in time to have a hot shower and get the colour out of my hair and let it dry on its own.
During the second half of March, I was very busy - despite having to hobble around on a walking stick.  I didn't want to be stuck on my butt and thinking about what I could be doing when I could actually be doing it.  So, I asked Mum and Dad if they could help me transport some gardening supplies from Bunnings to my house one day.  This day was on 19th, March... a Monday afternoon.  I grabbed a trolley, put the stick into it and found the gardening section.  I put 4 bags of potting mix onto the bottom of the trolley and then we found some decent terrcotta pots - one round one and two tall rectangular ones - and then I looked at the sculptures.  But none of them were worth the money, so I put them back.  I bought some solar lights and a happy plant (for indoors; which is going well!) and then we were off.  I spent around $100 all up on my gardening gear and Dad unloaded almost all of it for me.  The next day, in between showers of rain in the morning after breakfast, I took one hour to pot all the new plants I had bought on the previous Saturday.  It was great fun to get my hands dirty.  However, I still had a problem with my garden... I had a favourite plant which had a Green Ants' nest in it and didn't know how to get rid of it.  On advice of some friends online, I drowned the little buggers - and killed their Queen also - and repotted it successfully into a lovely new pot.  Now, it looks gorgeous and can grow bigger and better than it has in the last 6 years.
On the same day that I repotted my plants, I also checked the mail and found that a $250 voucher had come in from Triple M for JB Hi-Fi... how cool is that???  So, I called Dad (as Mum was off playing Mah Jong) and told him I was going to Garden City.  He said he'd take me there and we could look around.  Well!  We ended up with a new television for me and a couple of cds and a $50 iTunes card.  I also went and bought some new detailing brushes and a tub of white paint from the art store across the way from the new JB Hi-Fi store there... it was on the same floor; so why not?  We had a look around at Harvey Norman, where he bought something there, and then dropped the things off at the car then came back and had lunch.  I just wanted to spend some time with my Dad - something I don't do very often.  He expected me to want to go home, but really I was getting tired of being home as well.  We spent an hour or so getting the new television set up and going; and I spent the rest of the night getting the settings right and giving myself a headache with the brightness of the picture; not very pleasant.
On 26th, March, it was Epilepsy Awareness Day.  This is where you wear purple to bring out into the public the awareness of Epilepsy and how it affects people and their families.  I went all out and wore everything purple... hat, scarf, shirt... the whole lot.  It was fun!  I had a great day; even though I was at home.
Then, something bad happened on Blogger.  It's been a recent thing.  Since around Tuesday or Wednesday, I've been unable to comment on anyone else's blogs; well the ones where I have to prove I'm not a computer anyway.  Since I have turned off that part of the commenting procedure, each of my followers don't have the problem... that's why you all can still comment here and on my other blogs.  However, if you try commenting on any other blog on my sidebar, you may run into some problems or your  comment will vanish altogether.  Well, I've made a formal complaint (along with other bloggers) to Google and they still haven't fixed the problem completely.  Let's give it a week and see how it all goes, eh?
Well, that's about it from me this month.  It's been a busy month, an exciting month, a painful month and a fun one too.  And just this morning - before I began this post - Dad came by and picked up some gear to take to the tip (rubbish tip at Browns Plains) to get rid of.  The stuff has been sitting around in my carport for over a year and now there's only one item left and I'm giving it to Life Line for their warehouse at Woolloongabba which was burnt down a few days ago; and they lost everything!  I'm also donating my old television and HD box with books and remotes.  Seeing they all still work, it's only right that somebody else has them.  Well, until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Been Busy & New Stuff

During the last few weeks, I've been getting some new things, getting rid of old things and finding that I need to get into some new routines.
The garden was fixed up with some of my own funds; and it's looking good (even if I need to replace the batteries with new ones or have to take back the lights because they're not working).  I'm looking at getting a new park bench next time.  It'll look good and be placed on the current tiles that are there and make the place look lovely and just the way I want it to: a book-reading haven.
Well, I've won a few things and bought a few things; much-needed things.  And I'm glad I did as they have led to me having the need to let go of them at the right time; and that time is just after my broken toe has healed up and I've taken up walking to get myself back into shape.
Yes, I have begun to walk up the road to Moss Street, cross over, then walk back down to collect the mail, then, walk down to Park Road and cross over there and come home.  It's a good 10 minute walk or so when I do it to music; and very pleasant seeing it's taken after breakfast and in the early hours of the morning.  However, I'm doing it to get my foot back into shape and to work the muscles in it properly again.  It hurts, but it's supposed to until it gets better; and that'll be soon.
Today, I didn't get a chance to walk early.  Instead I was off to Garden City nice and early at around 9am to pick up my 'Good Reading' Magazine then come home.  However, I ran into my Aunty Helen and we chatted and caught up quickly before parting ways.  She told me that her husband loved my book 'Graveyard Shift' which I had gotten published on Bibliotastic and he loves it.  Well, I was so happy another of my friends and family have read it.  Which has gotten me thinking of putting together another one in the coming months.
Not long after we parted, I went off to find some Sustigan at the chemist and found it was very expensive; priced at $27.99!  I was astonished at how much they were charging!  So, I said I'd give it a miss and went and bought myself a coffee at a new place called '1st Avenue'.  It was an ice coffee - which was rather expensive seeing I asked for no ice cream - and I was charged $5.90; and it was the most tasteless thing I'd ever had.  It was mainly just milk and cream... there wasn't much coffee taste to it.  I could have gotten a better ice coffee at Gloria Jeans - and probably gotten a free one there anyway with their discount card.  Well, I read my 'Good Reading' Magazine and was off to the bus.
I got off the bus at Compton Road and walked to the chemist and bought my Sustigan and decided to walk home from there.  So, I plugged in my iTouch, picked out Jamiroquai and boogied my way home with that band's great music playing through my head!  On the way home, I picked up the mail of my Gas Bill and a parcel of a prize from Triple M of 'Gold Watch' by The Hoodoo Guru's.  
What a great day!  I was online here for another few hours with a drink by my side before one of my friends - Cate - called me and it was time for me to help her put drops into her cat's eye.  Her cat, Gus, got some grass seed into his left eye and it became infected.  Now, we have to battle him and get some drops in twice a day to save his sight.  I'm on the night shift for his medications... he doesn't like me and I'm allergic to him - so we make a great pair.  Anyway, Cate appreciates what I'm doing and I don't mind walking over there and back to help out; that's what friends are for.  Well, it's getting late now and I must be off to bed.  Tomorrow is yet another day of tidying up - and this time, I must vacuum upstairs and put all the laundry away!  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

No Comment

Okay, so, I might not be the only one who has noticed this... maybe not.  And don't worry, you're not being rejected by anyone.  You may have noticed that you can't comment on anyone's blogs of late.  Yep, neither can I.  It's nothing to be concerned about, it's just a big glitch in the system that occurred yesterday - and as usual - will be cleared up soon.

This doesn't mean you can't post blog posts - like I am doing now or chat on forums or get onto your Facebook account.  It just means you can't comment on blogs; annoying but it'll pass soon.  Just thought to let you guys know, you're not losing your minds - and neither am I - and that everything will be back to normal soon.

Otherwise, today, I've been busy.  I did three loads of laundry, washed up, fed the pets, put out the rubbish and went for a walk.  My foot was feeling a little sore halfway through the walk, but it's going well.  I walked to music on my iTouch; and will most probably do it again tomorrow if it's not bothering me too much.  It was lovely to get out and about around my area and enjoy the fresh Autumn air.  The breeze was nice and cool, the sun was warm and the traffic was horrendous, but I had a good time.
I returned home in time to hang out the last load of laundry and to wipe up a little bit.  However, it's been a pretty boring day otherwise.  I'm looking forward to Saturday night - Earth Hour - where I'll be getting into playing the piano, reading a book I'm getting into and writing a little on the typewriter; all by candlelight.  Are you taking part?  If so, how are you doing it?  And what will you be up to?
I did my shopping yesterday on my own - and on foot - and enjoyed it.  I scored myself some great things at Life Line (and did you hear about the Woollongabba store burning down this morning?  Dreadful!).  I'm looking forward to testing out the lambs wool bag; which I might try tomorrow while at Garden City for the morning.  It's from New Zealand.  I came in under budget by $18.00 and have saved that towards the next garden renovations.  
Well, there's not much more to report.  This week has been good, sunny and has been feeling very much like the Autumn that we've been expecting.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's On Your iPod?

Over Christmas, I received a 4th Generation Apple iTouch.  It was something I've been wanting for the last year to update my music gadgetry as my MP3 player wasn't working all that well and didn't hold all the music I wanted it to hold.  Dad tried to get me work it the way he worked his; however I kept on insisting was very old technology and was time for an update.
So, since Christmas, I have been uploading and purchasing music for my iTouch.  It's a lot of fun to work this little machine; and amazing how much it actually holds.  The brilliant thing is that one of my friends, Ruth, downloaded a lot of free music from her iPhone onto my computer just in case I happened to get one either an iPhone or iTouch in the future.  And what do you know?  I found a use for the music!  I ended up with such artists at 'M People', 'Kate Cebrano' and 'David Geutto'.  There's a bit of music there I really have to be in the right kind of mood to listen to it.  So, I've been uploading all kinds of music to my iTouch.
Over the last two years, I have rarely had to buy a cd to play on my stereo; as I've won most of my music off Triple M.  So, all of the music - and other cds I own - have been uploaded to this thin little piece of metal and glass for my entertainment.  On it, so far, I have Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi (2 albums), Madness (only 3 or 4 tracks), The Living End, The Cure, Jamiroquai, The Cruel Sea, Pink, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mozart (only one album, but it's got 57 tracks!), and Joe Satriani (2 tracks of his that I love from 'Surfing With the Alien').  And along with the others that Ruth left with me including two albums of The Wiggles, Kate Cebrano, UB40, The Doors, Queen and The Black Eyed Peas, that makes one heck of a lot of music I have; and the thing is only half full.  
However, I have found many other uses for this thing; other than just playing music on it.  I can take photos and make videos, access the internet on it, turn it into a phone (if I wish, but I don't) and take notes on a day.  Then, I can make appointments on it with the calendar, and then remind myself that I have made those appointments!  How very cool is that?  I can download books and magazines and newspapers, change the backgrounds on it, the settings and sounds in it... there's so much more you can do with an iTouch!  I could sit and fiddle with it all day if given half a chance; but I don't. 
The best thing I did was buy a lovely protective case for it a few days after I received it for Christmas from my folks.  It's a cute little Jaffa-type case and I love it; so does everyone else.  And the best thing is that it's so eye-catching that I can't lose it. 
In the last week, Mum has talked to me about iTouch's and asked what you can do with them.  I told her and have a feeling she's thinking of getting one for herself as well for her music.  I'll have to teach her how to purchase off the iTunes store and upload it all onto her iTouch if she decides to go in that direction.  It's so easy to do once you get the hang of it all.
Well, do tell, what do you have on your iTouch or iPhone that keeps you listening?  Is it all classical music or trance?  Love to know.  Leave a comment and fill us in on your musical tastes.  Until my next post, take care, safe and warm and remember I'm always here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Epilepsy Awareness Day

Today is a special day.  Besides it being a Monday, the beginning of the working week, it's also Epilepsy Awareness Day.  This is a special day of the year where all over the world, we all wear purple shirts, clothes and anything else we want to show our support and bring awareness to this brain condition; and to bring it out of the shadows.
It's a very hidden condition because it's not always diagnosed properly and some people can be born with it while others have sporting injuries or car accidents and it is forced upon them.  I've heard of women who have been in good health for their whole lives and when they hit menopause, it happens to them.  This condition isn't a very fair thing to have as when you're sick, you're horribly sick; but when you're well, people think you're 'cured' and you can just go off your pills and you'll be fine.  Now, all of you who are my friends and are reading this know I can't do this (and yes, I do have this condition) with my medications and don't intend to.  However, I have met people who think that because the seizures go away that I'm okay now... that my brain is fixed up so I can go off the medicine.  No, it's doesn't work that way.  Never has and never will.
And Epileptic's brain - one who is born with the condition - is wired completely differently to a normal brain.  With medication, it will work like a normal brain, however you take the medication away, and it won't.  There are people out there who are going to say to me that there's no such thing as normal anymore, but unless you suffer from this condition, and you take the medications I do, and live my life and walk a couple of miles in my shoes, you don't know what it's like.  And until you do, please don't talk to me about being normal.  I asked my neurologist to help me get back to how my life was in high school - that normal where I could sleep in until 10am and eat what I wanted - and she helped me.  I am now very close to being that normal, but I'm on medications twice a day, I take vitamin supplements, I'm a vegetarian and I don't eat junk food.  I'm very careful about what I eat when I go out as I can't have artificial sweeteners, MSG or most food additives because I have a reaction to them.  Anyway, I don't eat out because I can't afford it on a Disability Support Pension.  So, I've learned to cook a good percentage of my meals at home; and have become a very good cook.
However, I do have my talents.  I'm a writer and an artist.  And even though I'm not good at maths, I'm able to keep time with music and sing and play two instruments - the flute and a little of the piano.  In recent years, I've been getting into gardening to help with keeping myself physically fit.  Besides, I love to get my hands dirty; and it's a lot of fun designing something and using my mind.
So, today, wear something purple and remember and bring awareness to Epilepsy.  It's a hidden and not well-known - yet very common - brain condition that isn't well-controlled.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Is Beauty?

I read in the paper today that eight people were asked what beauty was to them; and they came up with completely different answers from each other.  I thought to pose the same question to you all - as my followers - to see what I'd get from you.  Of course, I'll let you in on what I think beauty is as well.
To me, this whole world we live in is an example of beauty.  From the smallest of creatures to the largest of trees, mammals to the dullest-looking things we can find in our houses, everything has a certain beauty about it.
Being an artist and a writer, I have always seen the world from a different perspective and have observed it in such a way that the way I photograph it, the way I paint it, the way I write about it wouldn't be the same to others.  There's the small things like Lady-Beatles which come in all kinds of colours and sizes.  I love these things, they stand out on the green blades of grass in my back garden and look gorgeous as they run along the large leaves of the Frangipanni however, they look like any other winged bug flying through the air while in flight.  Bumblebees are the same.  I love their oversized bodies, their droning sound as they come along - as though they're really working those wings in top gear!  And really they are!  Poor little critters aren't really supposed to be able to fly seeing how fat they are; and yet there they are buzzin' away.  What I love about them the most is that they seem to just hover in front of us as thought to tell us off in their own way, then fly off looking half-drunk.  I got one inside my house once and he hovered at the window waiting for me to help him outside.  And once I did get him outside, he was gone with the wind currents without any fuss... now, you wouldn't get that from any other insect.
Beauty in this world is far and wide as well.  I've traveled a bit in my life and seen many things.  There's been buildings that have been around for hundreds and thousands of years which are still standing which I've been to see.  One of these is Stonehenge.  Now, some people would think it's not much to look at - seeing nobody of the public is allowed near it - but when I saw it in the Summer of 1997, I was in love with its beauty.  the gorgeous white/grey against the stark blue sky and the evenness of the green plains around it.  My imagination played around this very monument, taking away the cars on the highway, the other modern facilities that had been built and the other people... my mind took me back to the times of the pagan ceremonies and how this place was used all those times ago.  Yes, this was how I found this place's beauty.  And I do have a photo of me with it in the background.
However, beauty - in general - can mean anything.  Personally, I find beauty in everything around me from music, the colours I mix on the palate, to the food I cook for dinner to the colours of my bird's feathers while she preens herself to her song.  My garden is beautiful - even though sometimes it's full of weeds.  I see its potential and work on it all the time with what little money I have.  I mow the lawn and smell that wonderful scent that freshly cut lawn puts off - which takes me back to primary school - and I see what cleaning up the edges of the yard does, pulling out the long grasses around the pots and making sure the plants are all watered and cared for.
There's beauty in books.  I love collecting them and reading them.  I love looking for the First Editions and reading them.  I adore the new books and treasure the old books that may not in print anymore.  However, it's when I find one that I have been hunting for years that I feel relief; a kind of happiness that I have found one of the books I no longer have to look for and then I add it to my collection; and that's a great feeling.
So, what is beauty to you?  Is it the world around us today?  Or is it more skin deep?  Leave a comment and let us know.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Big Week!

It's been a big week of new things, unusual things and loud things going on here at home and around the unit complex.  And it's also been the first week of my garden changing from its dowdy, old, weedy existance and into something I'm going to be proud of over the next year.  However, allow me to begin right at the beginning; as it's usually the best place to start.
About two months ago, I bought a new Gardening Journal, as my old one wasn't being used and wasn't big enough for me to write down everything in absolute detail.  It was nice, but it didn't open right up on a table complete and I needed something that was going to last me longer.  So, I bought a Garden Journal from The Book Warehouse for $4.95... what a steal!
The next thing I had in mind was to begin saving up like crazy to work on my garden.  So, I did, I began putting away as much money as I could and ended up with around $100 (actually more!) to spend on the garden.  
Then, this week, I had my list of items from Bunnings I wanted to buy and asked my Mum and Dad to see if one of them would help me transport my items home.  They said they would; and this was after I bought up big at a Community Thrift Sale at Springwood of plants - four gorgeous plants for under $20!  Now, that's a bargain.  By Tuesday morning - in between heavy showers of rain - I had them all in their new pots with new potting mix and sitting out in the gorgeous rain getting their nutrients from the sky.  
I had also received my prize from Triple M; a JB Hi-Fi voucher to the value of $250!  How great is that?  And this was only one day after my HD box had screwed up royally.  So, Dad and I drove up to Garden City to the place and he suggested I invest in buying a new television with a tuner inside it.  But I had plans for my voucher; just a few other plans... not many.  I wanted two cds and a $50 iTunes card - which I got - and the television was also included.  
Dad and I looked around Garden City after the big purchase, and after I bought some brushes and paint at Riot Art across the way from JB Hi-Fi and then we had some lunch.  Next thing we knew, we were on our way home to my place to set up the television.  While I made him coffee, he put it together on my coffee table and we tuned it in and made sure it was working.  I have spent the rest of the week sorting out the settings.
Anyway, I began working on my self-portrait again with my new brushes - and after sorting out my older brushes - organised the garden (again) so that the plans that love the sun, get it, and the ones that don't mind the sun but love the shade too get that as well.  So, that was this arvo.
However, this morning was also exciting.  I was eating my breakfast when the recycling truck came around to pick up the bin at the back of the complex.  It swung around the second-last corner and clipped one of the carports, taking it down!  Wow!  Did it make a loud noise!  I thought something on the truck dropped, until it switched off and hadn't moved for a few minutes.  So, I went out there armed with my camera to see what happened.  And what a mess!  The whole thing was pulled forward, ripped off the wall of the unit and onto the car that was parked there!  The resident was standing outside with a cup of coffee looking very sleepy had been sleeping at the time as he was a night-shift worker.  He told me it felt the whole unit shake and thought it was an earthquake and came outside to find his carport on his car.  Well, JJ Richards (the rubbish company) came out and took photos, got the driver to write a report, took photos of the damage on the car and then organised to take away the damaged carport.  They are taking full responsibility for the whole thing and offered to pay for the damage on the resident's car too - which a weight off his mind.  By 10am, the carport was taken away, the resident was back asleep and his car was parked in an empty car spot nearby.  All was quiet again around the complex... excitement over.  However, the Body Corporate Chairperson was notified about it all.
So, that was my Friday all done up and over and done with.  It's late, quiet outside and quite warm tonight.  And tomorrow, Queensland residents have to vote on a new Premier to run our state.  Personally, I used to love to vote, but now, I hate it; as the advertising campaigns are back-stabbing little games from one party to the next.  And we don't need to know what each party thinks of each other, we want to know what they are going to do for us.  Are they going to improve the roads?  Are they going to improve the health system?  What about getting all of the buses in each and every town running on the same damned timetable?  Is it too bloody hard to do that for people who would love to spend more time in the city but who live out at Logan City?  Or is the Queensland Government too dumb to realise us people in Logan City and Beenleigh have friends beyond Garden City and Mount Gravatt? 
Okay, sorry about that... had to vent.  I'm off my soapbox.  It's very hard to get around when you don't have a car and only have public transport to use.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New! New! New!

This week has been a week of new, new things!  Honestly it has!  And it's only Wednesday.  I think it's only going to get better. 
On Saturday just gone, I bought some new plants at the Springwood East Community Centre thrift store.  They only cost me $14.00 all up.  I love getting cheap plants; especially when they are going to grow and work well in my yard.  And the great thing is that they were growing in other people's gardens before they came to me... so I know they were florishing somewhere else beforehand. 
Then, on Monday, I was out and about again with Mum and Dad at Bunnings spending up really big on new terracotta pots, potting mix and solar lights for my garden.  I hadn't spent money on my yard in... well, ever.  And so, around $100 later, I have the beginnings of a great garden of peace and harmony.  I did find a plant I wanted to repot that had a Green Ants' nest thriving in it, however I've since gotten around it and been able to repot the plant successfully without becoming a meal for those ferocious ants.
Then, yesterday, a JB Hi-Fi voucher I won from Triple M arrived in the mail.  It was for $250 and I began to wonder what I'd spend that much money on as I waited for the heavy shower of rain to pass at the post office.  Seeing I had a sore foot, I wasn't in any hurry to be anywhere; so I just sat down and waited and used my imagination.
Once home, I called Dad and asked him if he could take me to Garden City, or if not, I was going up there if he was looking for me.  He said he could after lunch.  So, we drove up there.  I was hoping to replace my set top box that had screwed up the night before in a royally bad way for over 2 hours.  However, Dad had other plans.  He suggested we spend the whole voucher on part of a new television for me.  I wanted to buy some cds (as I've always won cds I've gotten over the last few years; how cool is that?).  So, I was shown the music section of the store and the cd of the Chili Peppers I was after and I found there was another one by The Cure I wanted too.  And I also wanted to get a $50 iTunes card as well while I was there.  So, after all that, we had the television (which Dad and I sort out the paying of the difference of) and then he wanted to look at something else instore.  I said I needed to get something at the Riot Art store across the way.
I was in Riot Art for less than 10 minutes when I came out of the store and looked around and found Dad making a phone call... to my phone.  It was funny.  He said he was calling me to find out which store I meant.  I pointed out the one I had come from.  Well, JB Hi-Fi didn't have what he was looking for and he wanted to go to Harvey Norman.  So, we went there to look for electronic photo frames; and we found one.  He bought it and sussed out some lounges and Ezyboy chairs... noice!  Then, after we put our items into the car, we were back at the lunch court for something to eat.  I had a veggie-whopper value meal and Dad had a pork curry... both our meals were nice and we were off home to put together the television set and set it up.
This didn't take long.  I made him a coffee and he had a chat with Little Miss Stevie... who was a real flirt all afternoon.  By the time he left, I was fiddling with the lighting on the television, the colour and contrast and backlighting.  It took me all night, but I think I got it right... and I also copped a headache from the thing too!  But tonight, I'll get it all right and it won't be so bad.
Before repotting - and with problem Green Ants' nest.
After repotting and fixing the Green Ants' nest... but they'll return.
Today, I had to fix a plant up that I had problems with the other day.  It's a favourite of mine that has a Green Ants' nest.  Some of my friends on Bookcrossing advised me to dunk the whole plant into a bucket of water and leave it there for 2 hours.  I did that and the nest was abandoned long enough for me to repot the plant.  The ants weren't all that pleased about being relocated, but at least the plant can grow now; as that's what I want it to do in its new pot; and just look at the difference a new pot can do for  plant!
Well, that's been my week so far... and it's only Wednesday!  Wow... what else is going to happen?  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Garden! - Phase One

Yesterday afternoon, Mum, Dad and I went out to Bunnings to pick up supplies for my garden re-vamp.  I bought 4 bags of potting mix, 3 new pots and I looked around for a statue (but they were all chipped and looked like crap).  Then, I found a nice little Chinese Happy Plant and added that to the cart and looked around for solar lights to put into the yard.  
There were such a variety of lights!  We had a good look at all the styles and how many for how much and what they were made with... wow!  I didn't know there was so much to it!  But I made my final decision and bought some white, stainless steel ones for around $15.00 and added them to the cart.
Once we made our final decisions on all the things we wanted, we made our way to the checkouts and separated out our purchases so we could pay our ways.  My purchases came to a little under $100.  Thankfully, I had a budget of $130.  I pulled out the cash and was so pleased with what I had bought!  This is the first big purchase I had made on my own, ever!  We got it all back to my place and locked it away in the back courtyard until this morning when I potted all the plants I had bought last Saturday; and also repotted some of the plants that needed repotting badly!
I love gardening as it's so satisfying.  It makes the place look refreshed and pretty.  Also, it's a great use of money and time in your yard.  This is phase one of my garden revamp.  In about a month or so, I'll upload phase two.
Where all the potting mix usually sits until I need to use it.

One of the more expensive purchases... and it was something Mum pointed out.

Two other pots Mum pointed out and I loved ... we chose the colours.
A Happy Bamboo Plant... I've always loved these...:)

Freshly-potted new plants... but the round pot at the back is old.

Freshly repotted Basil... hopefully it'll grow properly now. :)
I'm looking forward to the next few months where I'll be going out and buying more things for the yard.  I still need another three large pots to repot some Aloe Vera, my Frangipanni, and a small-leaf jade... otherwise, until then, I'll need to save up big.  But it won't be long before I'll be back at Bunnings and buying another lot of things for this yard and updating you all on my garden again.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Paddy's Day!

Yep, today is St Paddy's Day but Brisbane had their parade for it last week - how strange is that?  So, really it felt like any other day.  Why is that?  Well, today is The World's Greatest Shave Day... where everyone who has raised money around Australia goes to an event (well over the last three days really) and gets their hair coloured or shaved.  I had a bit of both done.
But my day didn't start out at the event.  It started out somewhere completely different.  I was at home, at around 8:30am getting ready to leave to go to the Springwood East Community Centre for their thrift Sale.  Everything there was under $5.00!  What a bargain!  So, Mum picked me up and we drove straight there, parked and walked in.  I looked around quickly and then went back to look at the plants that were on sale.  I wanted to see what I could get for the best prices.  I bought four plants; two were $5.00 and two were $2.00... what a great deal!  And the best deal was that one of them - a collection of succulents - had their own little terracotta pot; and it was only $5.00.  I loved it immediately.  Dad thought I got a great deal; seeing I'm trying to fix up the yard a bit and get more plants for it.  This is the best place to buy the plants you want for your yard; as they are from other people's yards where they've grown them themselves.  Now, to buy some new - larger - pots and good-quality potting mix and I'll be under way to make these plants really grow.  
Once I had bought myself what I wanted from the Thrift Sale, Dad drove me to their place and he made Mum and him some coffee.  It was good to have a rest before the event of the World's Greatest Shave.  I got changed into an old shirt and Mum returned home with some plants and a few books.  And she had a look at my books while I looked at her choice of books; then the next thing we knew, we were off again!  We drove to the Centro at Springwood and parked underneath Woolworths, walking up to the event where we could hear them talking about it all.  I signed in and was the next person up for my colouring... but I had a plan!  I wanted to get a bit of shaving done too.
I asked the hair-dresser to quietly shave some from the back - underneath my hair - and she asked the other hair-dresser to help her.  The MC didn't know what was happening either - and Mum was asking me from the audience:  "What are you doing?" I started to laugh!  It was hilarious!  I started to laugh as the MC began to make fun of me and the hair-dressers!  What a fun time!  Then, came the colours!  I said to have fun with the colour; but not blue.  She said that blue wasn't given to them.
Well!  By the end of the whole thing, I had been shaved a bit and had a head of hair that made me look like a melted packet of Skittles... yep, I could just hear the motto:  "Taste the Rainbow" in my head... as that's exactly what I looked like!  Very cool, very funny and I'm enjoying my very new hair-do! Mum's not sure of it, Dad thinks it's different but I like it... it's fun.
It's been a long day and I'm looking forward to a nice early night tonight.  I am happy with my new plants; and I'm looking forward to reading the books I bought.  Until my next post, have a great St Paddy's day and don't drink too much green beer!  Keep safe and warm and remember I'm always here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Up And About!

Yesterday, I committed a sin in my house... this sin was watching daytime television!  Yes, it's a big no-no to turn on the television and watch anything from the television times during the day as it makes one a couch potato.  And this was a promise I made myself years ago; the main reason why my television is always switched off at the wall.
Anyway, I had finished stuffing around on the computer here and thought to go downstairs and see what I could do there.  My foot was hurting more than usual after my shower, so I thought to surf the channels to see what movie was on... not much, until I found 'The Doctors' on channel 90.  This is a panel of 5 doctors who are from different fields who help people through a television show.  There's an ER doctor, a plastic surgeon, a women's health doctor, a nutritionist and a GP.  And they all work together on this panel... it's a good show and goes for an hour.  Then, after it finished, I turned over to channel 7 where 'Dr Oz' was having fun with his audience; getting them to interact and look at their fingernails and understand about house hold cleaners... it was funny and good.  Meanwhile, I sat on the lounge and worked on a painting that had been sitting idle for about three months.  Over the two hours I sat there, I made it look good... and I'm glad I got something done on it.

Today, I woke up, looked outside and realised that yesterday's television viewing wasn't going to happen again.  I needed to get back into my usual routine of laundry and keeping the house running - sore foot or not.  So,I grabbed a rubbish bag from the office and stuffed my dirty laundry into it, tied it up and tossed it down the stairs where it landed against the front door.  Okay, that was ready to go, I readied myself to get down the stairs in a more orderly fashion.  
Once downstairs, I opened up the house, went outside and pulled the towel off the Basil plant and looked around, then put on the first load of laundry - towels - and started the washing up.  Then, once the first two loads of laundry were out on the line, and I had eaten breakfast, I readied myself for the long walk to the post office (I say long because my pace has slowed somewhat since last week).  
Anyway, once there, I faxed a bank, sent off a cheque from my health care fund and got money out and had a chat to the people who ran the post office as they asked me what happened for me to be on a walking stick.  It was then time for me to recharge my phone at the service station across the road.  So, I did that and chatted with the lady there too before returning home.
All of this took me about an hour when usually it took me twenty minutes if I didn't have the broken toe.  By the time I had returned home, I thought to phone Will and see how he's doing and we chatted for 20 minutes and he was happy to know I'm healing well.  He thought my shopping day was funny - with me in a wheelchair for the day - and said he had Sunday and Monday off and was looking forward to them. 
Well, that's been my day so far.  I've still got a few things to do around the place before I finish up for the week.  However, tomorrow is sure to be a big day for me as it's The World's Greatest Shave day... and I'll be out of the house before 8am.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Promises This Winter

I'm making myself promises this Winter to change a lot of things around my place.  And seeing I've got some thinking time to do just that, for now, I thought to get in and write them here.
I've been saving up big to get in and organise my garden.  Now, I've been saying that for a few years; and this year is the year where it will happen.  The crazy neighbour of the unit complex has left and now is the time to fix up the yard - to strike while the iron is hot - to make my place look classy and nice.  First the front garden area.  Years ago, I made it look a piece by making it into a lovey desert garden full of succulents and cacti.  However, some of my more selfish and destructive neighbours destroyed that.  So, I moved all the plants that survived out the back and let my front yard go to waste.  Now, I'm going to cover the ground with white river stones and border it with black uncut granite (they are bigger and less expensive) and leave the full-grown Small Leaf Jades in with the blue stone so that their colour pops more.  This will cost a bit, but I'll get that done first so it looks good now.
After I've saved up more money, I'll go and buy pots and potting mix and plants then get my butt into the backyard and repot most of the plants there while they are all dormant and 'sleeping' through the Winter.  By Spring and Summer, they'll be ready to grow and bloom again.  I'll also be adding to the yard some new plants to bring my yard some privacy, life and make it truly my own little universe.  
While I'm working on the plants, I'll also work on getting some statues and making it look and feel like it's bigger than it actually is; and find out what I can do with some of the space and work out some good little rooms I can create if I can.  I'll keep you posted about that plan of the yard.  I have photographed the yard in its present state, but what I really want to do is make the lawn space a little smaller and give it more character so I can look at it and know I've done a good job as well as not have to work on it too much (does that make sense?).  Well, until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.

Grocery Shopping

Today, I went out shopping with Mum and Dad's assistance.  They hired a wheelchair from the chemist down the road from them and picked me up.  This was a first for me - ever - to have this much help when it came to my shopping!  But it had to be done.  
As they arrived, it poured rain!  That'd be right... just as I was about to leave the house, I get wet and have to try and run to the car when the doctors ordered me not to do any kind of exercise.  Well, I made it to the car and hopped my way into the front seat without getting too wet and we were on our way; firstly to the post office.  Dad checked my PO Box and I found I didn't have any mail.  So, that was good - no mail, no bills.
We drove to Woolworths at Logan Central and parked underneath where it was nice and dry.  However, we though we might not find a park; but we did.  There were plenty of spaces to spare!  Mum picked one and the chair came out, I plonked my butt into it and we were on our way to shop at Woolworths for my fruit and veggies.  It didn't take long and we found there were a few things I couldn't get because they were going out of season; never mind.  It happens.
Once we were done there, we were back in the car and drove to Logan Central Plaza where we parked and I was back in the chair again.  But there's no undercover carpark here, so we had the weather to contend with and huge puddles of rain water across the carpark.  Dad and I jay-walked across the road, made it across to the footpath and Mum came up to us and said that a bolt fell out of the chair and handed over a long bolt to Dad... hmmmmm... wonder where that came from?  So long my butt didn't suddenly fall out of the chair I was happy.
Dad was off to the toilets while Mum and I went to Woodys' Music Store to pay off a layby.  Stephen served me and asked exactly what I did to end up in the chair; then laughed about how I broke my toe; especially when Mum said I was drunk! Hahaa.. gotta laugh at it really.  I paid off my layby and we went outside to wait for Dad.  He soon caught up with us and we walked down to Coles where he and I waited for Mum (as she was off to use the Ladies' loos).  And soon enough, she was with us and we were off going up and down the isles of Coles grabbing things off the shelves and getting into the serious grocery shopping.  I stuck by my list and made sure I bought only what was on there.  I did forget a few little things and added them to it; but I ended up coming in under budget.  How cool is that?  We also avoided anymore rain by walked up through the complex again to get to the car.  I had more people who worked at Coles who knew me as a regular customer ask me what happened and I told them quickly.  They hoped I was back on my feet again quickly.  Dad commented that a lot of people knew me; and I said that I always shopped there and so they got to know the regulars.  It's good to know that I'm one of them.
Well, now I'm home, the shopping has been put away and one of my friends has been around for a visit.  She asked how it all went today.  Truthfully, I'm tired from the outing and the half hour it took to put all my groceries away with just one good foot to lean on.  Otherwise, it's been a good day.  I will be sleeping well tonight.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thinking Time

With my whole week turned into slow motion with the assistance of a walking stick, I have found that everything has to be done in its own time.  I can't rush anywhere or I'll feel like somebody's pushing a sharp stick straight through my left foot!  And with that pain, I feel sick to the guts.  So, going slow, not twisting around too quick and making sure I'm on a flat surface does me wonders. 
I'm also planning ahead for the day.  Yesterday, I found myself hobbling around the lounge, tidying it up so I could stretch my left leg along it comfortably without bumping anything.  This was harder than I thought possible.  I had to make sure all the remote controls were within reach, as well as the cordless phone (thank god I got new batteries for that thing!) and my mobile, camera and my iTouch.  Then, I piled up the books from next to my bed that I wanted to sort out, my journal, the book I'm writing for Riley, a notepad for the shopping list this week and my knitting bag with my needles inside it.  It was then I had to also make sure the television was switched on at the wall as well and figure out if all the dvds that I wanted to watch were where I thought I had left them (and they were).  
By this time, I was out of breath and really needed a drink to pull my sugars back up.  I grabbed the walking stick and limped off to the kitchen and made myself a nice, tall ice coffee... yum!... and then found it twice as hard to take it back to the coffee table!  I had to play a silly game of relay with the glass!  I put it on the kitchen counter, then had to leave the kitchen, round the corner, down the hall, into the living room, grab the glass, put it onto the kitchen table, then move a bit closer to the coffee table and then, pick it up again make sure I didn't spill any as I put it on the coffee table as I balanced on my right foot along with the walking stick... it was like having a home version of an obstacle race in slow motion.  And it was annoying as hell too.
The best thing I did was call a friend of mine I hadn't talked to in months.  We've been friends since high school and can pick up from a conversation from last year after 6 months... and that's very cool!  She heard about what I happened on Saturday morning and said it will take ages for the pain to leave me alone, but I'll be okay.  Then, we laughed about funnier things - like when her brother cooked a rotten egg, thinking he could cook it out!  Yuk!  It was one of the funniest things I've ever heard!  I told her about the book I'm doing up for Riley and she reckons I'm one of the best examples of an Aunty she knows; one who is supposed to spoil their niece (because that's how it goes) seeing I don't have any children myself.  We talked about Dad's new car, relationships, hexes and other things as well before she had to go.  And when I looked at the time on the phone, we had been talking for 1 1/2 hours!  For the next few hours, I watched a few sitcoms, wrote out the shopping list and sorted through a couple of books that were piled on top of my coffee table, and before I knew it, 3 hours had passed!  It was a good afternoon of rest for my foot, but it was also time for dinner.  So, up onto my feet again I was!
Today, I'll be doing the same thing after I take a nice hot shower and washing my hair.  I wonder how many books I'll be looking at today.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Changed Plans This Week

Isn't it funny when you do one little thing that it can change your whole world for the next week?  Amazing, eh?  Well, as you've read, I'm off my feet - literally - for the next week.  So, I have to change my plans for a few days.
First things were first, I went out and bought a paper.  This took about 20 minutes; when it normally took 2 minutes.  How frustrating!  But I got to see and talk to people I don't normally talk to.  And it was a nice - if not slow - start to my day.  My breakfast was cold by the time I sat down to it... oh well, doesn't matter, porridge is porridge.  
But that's when I began planning what I needed to do for the next week.  I had an appointment to cancel at the CRS tomorrow morning and my shopping list to get written today for Mum to take me shopping on Wednesday.
However, I'm going to mainly be sitting down and reading and knitting today and tomorrow as much as I can.  I know that sounds dead boring to some of you, but really, I have had a pile of half-read books by my bed that I need to finish that have been there for the last 6 months!  I kid you not!  They are my guilty pile I keep running into and it's time I looked at them and figured out if I'm ever going to finish them; and this week is the perfect time to do just that!
So, today, I pulled out my trusty backpack and brought it upstairs with me and have piled about 10 books into the bag to take with me downstairs to pile onto the coffee table so I can work through them.  If I can finish a couple of them, great!  If I pick one up and find it dead boring, well, I suppose it's not meant to be.  I have a book or two that are borrowed from a friend; and he's asked if I'm finished with them.  The first one is in this particular pile and I'm going to look into reading this first book.  I hope I do get into reading it and enjoy it as it's a Sara Douglass book and she passed away recently.  
I've also got some serious knitting to get done. So, yesterday, while I was getting ready to go out, I tidied up my living room of all the balls of yarn and stuck them into the green bag by the credenza.  When I arrived home, I put that bag next to the lounge so I can easily pull my knitting out and work on it.  It'll still be there this week for me to work on when I'm not reading.  I've also got some dvds I'd like to watch before the week is out as I've got some looking at me through the glass where the stereo sits waiting for me to watch (and Mum got me them months ago and I still haven't watched them!  Sorry Mum, been busy) them.  So, I'm going to watch them too.  
Well, I thought I might be bored this week... along with my shopping day on Wednesday, I will have a lot to do.  I might even get in and do a little organising on the garden more... and see where I can save more money.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oh Man! I'm A Clutz!

Tonight, I'm supposed to be out at a '80's Icon Party for a birthday.  However, instead I'm here writing this post with my foot up on a dis-used, broken shredder.  Yep, you read right, my foot.  I have broken a toe in my left foot and it hurts like hell.  
Okay, today was supposed to be different, fun, enjoyable, relaxing, silly... anything but agonising and feeling like I wanted to cut off my foot and put it somewhere until the pain went away.  I know that sounds stupid, but that's how I feel about pain; I want to disconnect and have it leave me alone until everything's okay again.  But our bodies don't work that way; and it'd be dangerous if they did.  
So, after I organise the rest of my outfit, I trundled downstairs and missed the last two, ending up on my knees... not a great sight or feeling.  It was horrible.  I sat up, swearing and cursing knowing I was a complete clutz for missing the steps I normally knew were there; and yet, as I stood, I felt immense pain in my left foot and sat back down again.  By the time I pushed my foot into a shoe and gotten myself to the shop and back, I knew something was wrong... as it never took me 10 - 15 minutes to get there and back (and getting back took longer than going there).  So, I called Mum and Dad and then the doctors and by 10:40am, I was off the doctors (this was after I climbed the stairs and shimmied down them twice on my butt - stop laughing, my foot hurt really badly).  
Dad arrived with the same walking stick I used for the recovery from my Melanoma and took me to the doctors where she confirmed it that one of my toes were broken... damn!... and she wanted x-rays.  So, we were off to the one at Rochedale; which ended up being closed... double damn!... so Mum called up the people at Woodridge and we made it there in record time and I ended up being the very last patient for the day.  And yep!  I have a hairline fracture on the tiny bone between the end bone and longer bone that connects to the foot itself... how bloody painful can it get?  Thank god I took three painkillers before I left the house!  They worked a real treat for the day.  I hung out at Mum and Dad's place and stuffed around on the net too... it was a good day.
Mum made me lovely lunch with a home made ice coffee (a big one as I needed the sugar) and then, she gave me some very sweet seedless was a good day.  But soon enough, it was time for me to go home.  I just wanted to be in my own place to have something to eat and settle in.  
When I did arrive, the truth stared me in the face that I wasn't going to the costume party... bummer!... and I really did want go to.  I had to learn to navigate around the house with this damned walking stick and my foot in a flip-flop!  My foot stiffened up, so I massaged the arch and then the toes ached swelled up, so I iced it... and once that stopped, I put the packed ice back in the freezer.  It's not going to be fun, but I'm hoping to keep off my feet by doing something I can do on my butt.
This something is sorting through and reading what I haven't finished by my bed.  It's a good way to keep it all in some kind of order.  If I can finish them - great!  I'll do a review and pass them onto another Bookcrosser.  However, if I can't finish them, I'll just chalk it up to a book I can't get into and give the said books away in a giveaway (I'll think of a name for it yet.  I'll just have to find out how many there are of books that I haven't been able to read).
So, that was the beginning of my weekend... not a great one, but not a great loss!  How was the beginning of your weekend?  What are you getting up to?  Let us all know.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Which Mug?

As quite a few of you know, I've got a good mug collection in my kitchen cupboard.  And also, a few of you Brisbane-based friends and relatives of mine have been to my place for a cup of tea or coffee and have been treated to a few of my favourites.  
Then, just yesterday, I was treated to a lovely post on the Romance Bandits where one of their writers talked about mugs and how many they have and what types, styles and colours.  Well!  We were asked about our own collections and I told them of mine.  I had never had so many questions about my own collection before.  To me, my mugs are just a part of my furniture; something that isn't all that special.  However, to my dear friends on that blog, these mugs are lovely and to behold.  So, I thought to talk about them here.
I have about twenty or so (which shocked a friend of mine on the phone yesterday; who has only 3 mugs in his collection).  
I have a JRR Tolkien mug which has a crack running through the handle - so I can't use it - but it stays in the collection.  I has a lovely drawing of him and a large paragraph down the side.  It's very nice and cool; all in black and white. 
Then, I have a Dr Who Mug, which I picked out myself at the ABC shop.  It was a good price at $12.95; and I love it.  I keep this one at the front of the cupboard and enjoy it because of what it's about and would love to get another one soon.
There's my two Gloria Jeans Mugs which I bought on two separate occasions; but they hold a lot of tea or coffee.  And to add to them, I have a Gloria Jeans Christmas Mug Collection (which stopped being made in 2010 because the coffee house found other things to support at the time and never made another lot of Christmas Mugs; what a bummer!).  I love these mugs; they hold so much tea or coffee!
There's my Stefen mug which I scored for free in 1998 at a jobs day at Brisbane City Hall when the man himself made an appearance to talk about how he made his money and where he came from.  I found it inspiring; and have never given away this mug because I love the colours.
I have the W.A. Mozart mug that Mum brought back from Austria for me (along with a collection of other Mozart things too).  She also bought me my Hawthorne Hawks mug that she found in - of all places - Mooloolaba!  How it got to be there, we still don't know.  But it was there and she bought it for me.

I have two Triple M mugs - one from the 1980's and one from the 1990's - and I love them both.  They are so brilliant and very cool; and I still listen to the same radio station after all this time too!  I also have an X-files mug as well.  I don't know anyone who has one of those!  And I also have a Phantom mug too - this one has his face all over it; something that they don't make anymore, so I don't use it much.
I have three sets of matching mugs.  One set is from a wine company which came around to my house last year and they offered up a set of free coffee mugs with matching spoons.  And so that's how I got those ones.  Then, I bought the next set from Coles of black, green and white ones that look like vines.  And then, I have a set of 5 Loony Tunes mugs.  I saw them and couldn't resist them!  They were so cute and I thought they'd be funny to use; and they are!
So, what kind of mugs do you have in your cupboards?  Are they old-fashioned and retro?  Or are they up-to-date and sophisticated?  Leave a comment and let us know.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.