This year has been one of changes, one of strange weather and one of interesting things to happen to me and for me; as well as one of great growth too.
I spent the first few months of this year getting a lot of rain. The neighbours moved out of the townhouse next door and it was empty for a while. And I did some house sitting for Gabe and Katrina while they were away on holidays out at Emerald. This was in March… and before I knew it, April had come around – so did the 25th anniversary of World Expo ’88. This brought back so many memories for me. This was the year I spent the least amount of time at my high school because I had a season pass to the place. Strangely enough, I passed pretty well that year, and really badly the following year; and yet I knuckled down and studied hard in year 11.
The first year of Uncle Allan’s passing came and went and I was reminded of how he helped us all in our lives at Garden City. Two girls had chosen a box of ‘Golden Gaytimes’ by Streets and were standing in line to buy them and I remembered he worked on making sure those factories were working properly in Sydney and Brisbane to keep the ice-creams looking normal… it makes me sad he had so many great ideas that were always going through his mind and yet he didn’t have enough life to be able to put them all out there.
On the same day we all hung out at Stones Corner for brunch, I was invited to the Kingston Butter Factory to help launch Ged Maybury’s new book: ‘Nosebleed’… and what a great book and honour it was to be invited to do this a mere few months after he friended me on Facebook. Anyway, once I got there, and we were both up, I found out why I don’t do public speaking! I’m such a nervous person in front of people! I even tried that good old ‘picture them all in their underwear trick’… nope didn’t work, I just started laughing nervously and blushing to boot!
In May, analogue television disappeared forever around Brisbane. Yep, they switched it off and kept on the digital signal. However, instead of making it as stable as possible, they added on more stations and made it unstable… so the whole thing of making our television viewing is just crap really.
By June, Mum and Dad had been to Karumba in Far North Queensland and I was house sitting their place. And I still had the fishies to look after. So, I put a feeder in the water – after cleaning out the tank – and took off to their place. But when Dad dropped me home a few days later, we walked into my house to a strong smell of ammonia… yep, one of the fishies was floating on top of the water with the other on the bottom! I rushed up, opened the lid and pulled the dead one out. But within 48 hours, Fred died too… How sad.
This month, I went furniture shopping with Dad. Yep it was time to buy something new. I wanted to get a new bedroom suite for myself for my 40th birthday. So, I asked Dad about it and he said it sounded like a good idea… so we started shopping around and found a bedroom suite I liked – and I mean, really liked. It took a bit of talking places like Harvey Norman to tell us of other places, but they eventually did. And within 2 weeks of purchase, my new Queen sized bedroom suite was delivered for free!
Within a week, I was in hospital to get an operation done at the Greenslopes Private Hospital. I was getting an ovarian cyst removed and an IUD put in to help me with my cycle. I had Mum look after me for about 4 days and help me around the house and do my shopping… then before you know it, I was off to Brighton to house sit and recover properly at Gabe and Kat’s place while they took off to New Zealand! Wow! What a way to go to recover!
By the beginning of July, I was back home and ready to tackle the cleaning out of my house head on! Mum and Dad had headed off overseas and I had the use of the Pajero! Mum’s Pajero that is… yes…I was allowed to use her car for the first time ever – instead of just taking care of it! When I heard I was allowed to use it, I found all the plans I had for this place flood into my mind… it was amazing what I had put off until they gave me the use of it!
And so, over the next four months, I did a major project I called ‘The Four-Month Makeover’ and it took up a huge part of my life and pension… and you all got to read about it and see photos of how much my house changed too. Very cool! I injured myself while I fixed up my front garden, organised the plumber to fix the taps and put a cover on the sewage vent out the back yard and he wrote report for the landlord next door to get him to fix the plumbing up so I don’t hear water hammer anymore (this part of the project took longer than I anticipated, but it did get done). Over July, I cleaned out the home office, the kitchen and the bedroom… and then I gave away a lot of stuff to charity and worked hard on making sure my house is tidy.
In August, I had finished the front garden and started on the back yard; which I had neglected until now. The craft area was being worked on too. I wanted to be able to have all my painting and craft stuff in a place where it was nice and neat and where I could get to it if I needed to; which makes sense. Then, I had the best idea! What would happen if I made my Crafty Pegs a small home business? Well, I bounced it around at the Art Gallery and they referred me to the Kingston Butter Factory and when I was rejected there, I jumped on Facebook and created a page… and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the first weekend in September – which was Father’s Day – I created my Crafty Pegs business. But I spent the next month working on my Craft Area, where it was going to be set up, business cards and advertising… this was stressful, I was broke all the time and I found it exhausting. I crashed all the time at night as soon as my head hit the pillow and I was always tired… but I loved doing what I did. And September zoomed by remarkably fast!
By my birthday, I was so close to finishing my ‘Four Month Make-over’ it wasn’t funny. I had everything in place, the Crafty Pegs business was on its feet and my front and back gardens looked wonderful. I had earned enough money to buy an outdoor setting to finish up my backyard and give it that finishing touch! I loved it… and my plants were beginning to blossom too!
Then, Mum and Dad came home from overseas. After 4 months of traveling they were coming home to a house full of food. It had been cleaned, vacuumed, washed and dusted within an inch of its life and Mum was amazed how much fresh fruit and veggies I had bought for them… and she said it was great that they didn’t have to go shopping for about a week or so.
And when they visited my place they were amazed at how much my house had changed. The front garden just changed the appearance of my house completely and my backyard was simply something else! Dad was proud of me that I had discovered lawn food… and that I had bought him some for his place. But it was far too dry for him to put it onto his lawn as it would kill it.
As November loomed, I was working my butt off at my Craft Table/Area up to 6 hours a day and around 3 hours at night. I had put my name down for the Creative Markets and had to work up some serious stock. In between any free time I had – or what little of it there was – I had doctor’s appointments and visits to my folks’ house to pick up some things and borrow stuff for the market. By the time a week before had arrived, I decided to have around 4 days to myself to get a haircut, do some cleaning up, grocery shopping and working on making sure I knew how to set up and clean up my area. Then, get myself some serious sleep… and this was something I did get fortunately.
The Creative Markets were fantastic! I had a great time and enjoyed myself. Despite the really early start, I found it was a great experience and will be doing this again next February with a smaller stall. I only just broke even and made a profit of $3.00.
However that time of year has come around… yeah you know the one. Christmas. I don’t really feel very festive as it was around this time of year last year that I had to break the news that my little sweet ball of fluff died of heart failure after suffering a stroke. She was such a sweetie and I loved her dearly too; and she was such a member of the family too… I still miss her very much. But this year, putting up the tree without her was very trying and I just kept on falling apart every time I went anywhere near the damned thing. So, this took a few days to do… I had to feel right to get it done… and so it took me around 3 days to get it all finished. I hope next year is easier for me.
And to add to this emotional problem, my next door neighbours were asked to move out for a few weeks so their landlord could fix their house up and fix the plumbing so that I didn’t hear water hammer in my house. I’ve suffered through 3 years of this noise knocking through my house since 2010 and now, it’s over, I’m getting a great night’s sleep and I’m able to work on my books and craft as much as I want to. And I have absolutely nothing to do with my next door neighbours whatsoever.
However, when they returned, they decided to have a 12 hour party… not the most desirable thing to do to the neighbours, but they did it. Our caretaker told them to pack it up before midnight. At 1am I asked them to pack it up and then, finally at 2:30am, I called the police after screaming at them to shut up rather rudely. An hour or so later, the police did show up as they decided to go inside… which was a little too late, but they had a word with them anyways. And I told our caretaker about how long the party went for eventually… and that they got rude and some of their friends told me off. Well, long story short, the caretaker made sure there’s no more parties and the people involved were informed to not do that kind of prank again on the neighbours; no matter who they were really trying to prank (which was me actually).
But I’ve had a great year. It’s been busy, fun, difficult, interesting and, did I mention busy? Yeah, I did. However, it has. Currently, I’m preparing for the Christmas Holiday period and totally enjoying it. I’ve finished my present hunting/purchasing and now, it’s a matter of making sure I have enough money to take to the coast and that I just hang about there and enjoy myself; which I will.
So, what’s been going on during your year that has made it interesting? I know we have lost many people who were brilliantly famous and made our world different in so many ways. Nelson Mandela and Doris Lessing were just two of them I really looked up to and they both passed away over the last month. Then there was Paul Walker, from the Fast & the Furious franchise… and his death could have been avoided; but then, fast cars, fast lives and rich people seem to be have destructive effect on people in certain cities and places.
Anyway, this is my Christmas Newsletter for 2013. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading… it’s taken a long time to write it as there was a lot going on in my life. So, today, I thought it would be a good idea to finish this newsletter before it turned into a novel or a trilogy... hehehe.. only kidding. Merry Christmas to you all!