Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Busy Little Week

It seems that whenever my folks go out of town, for any length of time, I get a huge social life.  It's amazing what I get up to when I really look around.

On Sunday, I didn't do much.  I hung around the place, read the paper over pancakes and did some reading in my lovely Reading Chair. Otherwise, it was a nice day to keep to myself here at home. During the day, I did some knitting to finish off some dishcloths and my next door neighbour's boyfriend asked me if I could drive him to his new work on Monday; I said yes.
The next day, I was up early to take him around to his employment agency to find out where he was working.  We had to get uniforms for him and I had to go to the bank to sign something there, then we were off back to the unit complex until later that afternoon when I drove him to his workplace for his first shift.  The bummer thing for that Monday was that I missed my craft afternoon; never mind, there is always next Monday.

During the week it rained on and off and we had some really cold nights. Otherwise, I have been working hard on looking for magnets for my next lot of work on Crafty Pegs, without success.  

On Sunday night, I got talking to a great friend of mine, Ben Pommerel, who I hadn't seen in years!  We organised to meet up for lunch on Thursday and look at vinyls at Carindale Westfield Shopping Centre; and did!  It was a great day out and I bought 'Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' I Love Rock'n'Roll... great album and a remastered vinyl of Etta James. I also scored an adult colouring-in book titled 'Animal Kingdom' by Millie Marotta. What a book!  I bought it at Riot Art and it's just the most gorgeous book that I might photocopy a few pages first before settling in and colour in the originals... dunno yet.

Well, on Friday I didn't do much.  I just stayed home and tidied up a little and found magnets in bulk on ebay... now I swore to never get involved with ebay again, but I really, really need magnets; and they are sold on there for absolutely dirt bottom prices - and the lot I found were right here in Brisbane and shipping was free! So, I thought to get them sent... over 500 magnets for just $14.00! What a bargain!

This brings us to today - Saturday.  I've done most of my laundry - all 3 loads - and I've been able to hang it outside where it's fine and windy (for a change). The rubbish has been put out.  I've played both my new vinyls and am enjoying my first weekend to myself in a while... because next weekend, I'm going to busy yet again. 

So, how has this week been for you? Busy I bet! Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life Changes For the Better

A few years ago, I started on changing my life for the better; it began with cleaning out my townhouse. I didn't really know where to start, so I looked up Peter Walsh on Facebook and looked at what he was advising people - and I started taking on his challenges to clean out my house.

I threw out so much rubbish and gave away so many things to charities around my area - and I don't miss any of it!

Then, I had to start on getting into doing things that made me happy... and I didn't just mean getting a good night's sleep and drinking green tea every night; this was where I had to find out where my Happyness disappeared to.

Yeah, I wasn't happy with my life.

I thought I was, but I wasn't. 

So, I traced back to the last time I was truly happy... it took a bit of digging around (okay, not a bit, a lot!), and I found I was happiest when I was in my late-teens! The things which made me happy then were books, reading, writing, music and cooking and gardening; which surprised me as they are just basic, ordinary things.

Who would have guessed that the ordinary, plain things in life would make somebody like me happy... I really didn't. So, I got into making my place - which was starting to look good by this time - into a home. I really didn't feel as though my townhouse was really my home.  It wasn't personalised with anything much which said it was my place.

I didn't have a front garden where I had done it all myself.  There were no photos on the walls of my family. I didn't have anything up-to-date... a lot of my things were old and outdated - except my stereo system and home office desk; but that didn't really matter. My place wasn't really my place... it honestly looked as though it was a rental.

But the changes I wanted to do around my house were huge... and to make them I had to start small. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. To make something big happen in your life, you have to begin at the smaller end of the scale: get the photos of your family on the wall, work on the plants in your garden, sort through a few more drawers in the spare room and throw out more junk - one room at a time.
And you know, it's true when you start small, things just seem to snowball. I started with looking at my bedroom... and knowing I needed a new bed. But then, when I looked through the catalogues, it wasn't just mattress I was looking at, it was the whole suite I was looking at - and I was dreaming of upsizing too!

So, I did out my wardrobe and organised that first. I know that doesn't sound like I was working towards a new bedroom suite, but I was. I had to have everything organised enough to make sure I wanted the size of the drawers I needed - and you know something? I haven't looked back. Once I organised the bedroom, the rest of the house kind of followed it. 
I searched for a year to find the exact hall table I wanted - a full year! - and even though it's about 20cm too long, it's just right for what I need it for. I love it! It holds all my family photos, two terrariums and all the hooks, chargers and some light bulbs I'll ever need in the drawers.

And I started small... really small. And it's taken me over 3 years to have the house anywhere near what I want it to be.  Okay, it's got mess still, but not as bad as it used to be. I have art gear everywhere still, and yet my painting projects are all in one area because I built a work bench for my hobby business this year.

So, life changes are for the better when you start small - tiny - and they could be eating better, starting to walk every day instead of driving, reading three chapters of a book you've been looking at on the shelf for the past three months.  It can be anything, but it'll be small to start with... and it all begins with you making those changes.

I did; and I'm still doing those changes every day, every week - and I'm a better person for them. Compared to five years ago, my life is a total opposite today. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This Busy Week

Winter is most definitely being felt around Brisbane and Australia.  Yes, it's nice and chilly and some of us are enjoying it completely.

I've gotten in and made some table cloths at Mum and Dad's place just last Saturday.  It was great to be able to spread out there and do some serious work and enjoy not only the house but to also feed the birdies too... they loved that I was there.

Then, I made some scones and took them to my craft group on the Monday and everyone loved those, while I worked on my dish cloths. I'm starting on more than 2 at a time, to boost numbers for the markets. There's more colours and sizes to pick from as well, so they're going wonderfully well.

I'm working on more things around the house, as it was raining this week, and I didn't really get outside much.  There was laundry to do, cleaning up, reading and a lot of other things to throw out while I was around the house.

Then, there was my grocery shopping day - and now my house is chock full of food! Wednesdays are always fun for me - the midweek run around to get the rubbish bin out, make sure it's filled to brim with everything I don't want in my house and lined up outside for the rubbish truck to collect... sometimes I forget, but not often.  The truck almost always comes here late, which is good; but there sometimes, it comes early in the morning, and people go running out to it to put their bins out. It's funny in a way to see them do that.

Thursday was busy for me too.  I was out and about at a friend's house for a visit. She was feeling down about not hearing back from a job interview a few weeks ago, and I dropped by to chat. We shared some fresh scones I had made that morning and talked about everything on our minds.  It was a good day, but before long, I was off home; as I had laundry to bring in and stuff to get done here at home.

Friday seemed to be the only day I got to stay home and finish up my housework.  I put away my laundry, made the bed, cleaned up the kitchen (mostly) and sat down and did some serious knitting of the dishcloths... I ended up finishing one that afternoon! Very cool.

Then, on Saturday, I was out and about again at a book launch at the Logan North Library for Karen Tyrrell's children's book: 'Harry Helps Grandpa Remember'.  It was all read out in a pantomime - what fun! - I haven't been to one of these in years, since I was a child actually (and back then, I didn't know what was going on without the words the actors were supposed to say). 

Yep, my week was busy... and next week is going to be busy too.  So, has your week been as busy as mine? Hope so.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Busy Shopping Day

I love shopping days... it's where I go out to do my grocery shopping and the day just unfolds and I pretty much do whatever I want for the day, bringing home all kinds of bargains and food for the house for the next fortnight.

Isn't that fun?

Well, it is for me.

Just because I have a car doesn't mean I drive it all the time.  It means I drive it when I need to, not because it's there.  And shopping days are those days where I love to drive it.

Anyway, I enjoy the way my car just carries everything I need it to and safely carries me home.  But I enjoy unpacking it and putting away the food because I can see what I've bought then. More often than not, I've got more food than I know what to do with, but then, that means I don't have to do too much shopping.

Today, I spent more time at the Rochedale Fruit & Veggie Markets than usual, looking around at the other aisles of goods and found some soap on tap there for $1.00 for a 2-pack, and there was some olive oil I normally bought for $8.00 for just $4.00 there, so I got that too.  Then, I found a jar of Rice Syrup... ohh... this stuff is made from brown rice and has natural sweetener in it, and looks like maple syrup... and when I got it home, it tasted like it too!

At Life Line, I found two wooden picture frames which were nice, and a Book Bed (the latter is something I've always wanted to own; but they were always too expensive!).  These Book Beds were always around $40 retail in bookstores, but I scored mine for $15! How cool is that?  I don't mind the florescent colour either - bright yellow! At least I won't lose it.  While I was walking to my car, I saw a nice little bag in the window and it looked hand-made and so I bought that too... and I'm going to use it at my craft days for my crochet yarns and needles instead of taking along my big basket.

From there, I jumped in the car just in time for it to pour rain for a few minutes and it stopped as I was pulling into a parking spot at Coles... how's that for timing! Well, I spent about 45 minutes at the Logan Central Plaza doing the rest of my shopping before dropping into the gallery to pick up some money and then coming home just after midday... what a day!

It was a great day.  I unpacked everything, threw out another two rubbish bags and a box (from the market) and then an hour later, the rubbish truck collected our bins. Otherwise, it's been raining since I sat down on the computer.

Well, tomorrow, I have to go out for an hour and then I'll be home again.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Cold-Buster Soup!

It's Winter here and everyone who's everyone has come down with the dreaded cold and flu; and I have a cold-buster soup to put that horrible thing out the door - or at the very least start it on its way.

I thought I had added it to my 'recipes' tag, but I haven't - and I was surprised about that, seeing most of my best recipes have landed here for all of you to have a go at.

Anyway, here we go!


1/4 pumpkin chopped sliced up and skinned (Jap Pumpkin or Kent Pumpkin work the best in this).
1/2 orange sweet potato sliced and diced.
2 carrots sliced and diced finely.
2 cloves of garlic chopped finely - not crushed - best to have fresh and not bottled(optional, but in this better for the natural antibiotic).
1 tablespoon of Olive oil 
2 cups of water.
Paprika, parsley, season to taste.
Sour cream
Crusty bread.


Cook the carrot first, then the sweet potato and pumpkin and garlic until soft. Add the 2 cups of water.  Once it starts to simmer, put it on medium heat and cook for 25 minutes. While it's doing that, put the bread in the oven for the same length of time (it will be ready by the time the soup is). Add paprika, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Once the timer has gone off, get out your potato masher, turn off the heat and mash it all up into tinier pieces, then pull out your one-handed electric blender and a towel and blitz it until it's either smooth or chunky (depending on what you like) and serve it up with the bread.

Dollop in the sour cream, sprinkle with parsley and ... yum!

enjoy... and don't just make it because you have a honky, disgusting cold; make it because it's also chock fill with great vitamin C and helps you through Winter as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Illegal Turns

Where I live, there's no two way road to drive out onto to. It's one way to the left and that's it. So, when I want to come from the other side of the street, there's a huge island I have to use the side lane (which cuts into the traffic island) to get across two lanes of traffic; and this is a main road too.

It's been a huge danger for people traveling along the road to have pedestrians walking along the island, kids stepping out in front of cars when you're trying to slow down enough to turn and keeping an eye on other traffic coming in the other direction... and then we have the idiots who come out from the Puma service station next door to where I live who think it's perfectly okay to perform a u-turn right where I'm trying to legally turn into my unit complex.

I've come across this kind of driver twice now.

The strange thing that's occurred on both occasions is that these drivers will give me a foul look - as though I was in the wrong for blocking them access to their little bit of illegal activity. 

Now, call me a tight-arse or a bitch, but I have seen enough people cause unnecessary accidents through doing this here.  And it's not just coming out of the driveway that this has occurred: it's also people using that lane to cut across onto the wrong side of the road and into the 'out' driveway as a shortcut. I've seen accidents happen when people have zipped across and not seen a car come out of the driveway, all because they were looking at the traffic they were hoping to avoid on the wrong side of the road - and smash! - they have caused an accident which really didn't need to caused.

There's another place where I've been trying to get a yellow line placed, but the Logan City Council continuously ignores the facts about the dangers. It's the space between the driveways of where the Slacks Creek Post Office is.  People park their cars and trucks between the driveways and cause people driving out of the 'out' driveway massive headaches because they can't see beyond that truck or car, and nobody can see anything coming out of Randall Street. I've watched people get t-boned because of this problem, and Kingston Road is half-closed for hours just so they can clean it up. This has happened a couple of times; and yet the LCC still won't do anything about it.

Why must we wait until a fatality occurs for the LCC to do something about traffic safety.  Even the police can see there's something wrong with the street there, and they've advised the Logan City Council; and nothing has been done.

Now, people who don't can't see past the trucks and cars parked to obscure our sight are squeezing out of the 'in' driveway while cars are coming off Kingston Road, causing all kinds of problems.  Not only can they not see beyond the cars coming into that driveway, but by making drivers come to a screaming halt suddenly, they are also putting us in danger of having a multi-car accident due to the amount of cars already on the road behind us having to adjust, and the cars coming out of Randall Street not realising there's a traffic problem just on the corner as well.

How the Logan City Council can't see this is going to become worse, is beyond me. There's ample parking within the small shopping complex - and if there isn't, people can either come back later, or find a park further down the street before the bus stop safely. Either way, something has to be done, or the post office and the shops inside there will begin to lose business due to the safety and road hazards being created by the Logan City Council ignoring what's right under their noses.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

To Declutter or Not to Declutter....

Aaahh... it's becoming an all too asked question online these days.  Do you declutter and throw away all those wonderful childhood memories of yours and your families, moving them onto a computer disk and into invisible memory sticks and thumb drives? Or do you hold onto them, displaying some chosen few of them on the walls, in cabinets and on the mantle so you remember them well?

Decluttering our lives has become a hobby of ours for years.  Some people have made it a living by coming into our homes, sorting through our personal items and throwing them out for us... and they hardly know us from Adam.  However, exactly what does that do for us? Does it really help us at all? 

You have to really ask if there's still a gnawing feeling that something deeper is wrong; even if we've pinpointed the problem and are 'working on it'. People who hoard and clutter their homes with things do have deeper problems... and believe me when I tell you that I've met a few people who just can't let go of their stuff - because Peter Walsh is right: our stuff has power.

When I moved into my townhouse, I had nothing. The most furnished room in my place was the bedroom; the least was the living room, where I had a bookcase, a folding chair, a box and a portable colour television on a small black tv unit with tiny tinted doors.  Yep, that was my living room... nothing fancy. I nabbed my late-Grandmother's dining table and that was it. 
Now, thirteen years later, I've updated nearly everything in the townhouse; it's barely recognisable. Actually I have everything you'd own in a full-sized house... but it's all squeezed into my townhouse.  Yes, I even have an IKEA fold out lounge (it folds out to a double bed for any visitors who happen to crash at my place - and believe me when I say, that's not very often). 

But I have collected a lot of stuff over those years; and about four years ago, I started cleaning out my house.  It really needed it.  I did have a problem though: every time I gave something away, it was promptly replaced within the week. I hated myself for doing it.
So, I sat down and looked for different ways of decluttering my life... and I found Peter Walsh's Facebook Page, where he gave simple solutions to do what I needed to do - I mean, I had ten minutes every day to clean out a drawer, don't you?

It's been four years and now, my house is 90% done. Okay, there's bits still around that need tweaking, but then, I was expecting that. My home office was the last room to get done and it took me two days to get 95% of this room cleaned out properly... how cool is that?

Now... I'm a collector.

No, not a hoarder - hoarders don't collect. On the television show 'Hoarders' when they go into those poor people's homes, their places are piled high with rubbish, they can't move in them. They physically cannot get around the house without walking on piles and piles of rubbish. 
My house isn't like that. I have stuff sitting around, but I'm forever throwing out and sorting through. I have a huge collection of books - all in bookcases and they are in one room. My vinyls are all stored in their right place in the living room. My dvds are all stored away too; as well as indexed... yes, this makes me a collector, not a hoarder.

So, when it comes to decluttering, I'm on the fence.  I don't mind having my house cleaned out ... but then I don't want to discard so much that my house has no character at all - what's the use of that? Why would I want to keep it so clean it looks like a scientist lives here? A house feels like a home when you make it look lived in, when you add those personal touches of what you're into around the place. It's not cluttering the place up, it's making it your place.

These people who are minimalists really aren't looking at life or a house as it should be: a place where you can come to escape the outside world.  I remember hearing that your home is your castle - and it's true of no matter where you live.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Crisp Winter Mornings

Over the last few mornings, we've woken to the lovely crisp cool of a Brisbane Winter.  How wonderful is that? 

I love Winter.  It's got so much to offer me to keep me either in bed snuggled under my duvet, or out and about in my garden re-potting my plants.

Either way, I win in this season.

I love the cold of this season, I really do.

You see, I don't catch colds or flu that often, and when I do get a cold, it doesn't last that long; and I work the markets - which means, everyone has a cold or flu goes there and spreads it.  However, I never catch it. I get the sniffles for a little bit, take care of it with a bit of rest, plenty of fluids and lots of garlic and I'm back on my feet within a few weeks.

Anyway, I love this season because of the cold.  With the cold, you can put on plenty of layers and cook the comfort foods, and it feels good to eat nice hot foods... whereas in Summer, you can only take off so many layers of clothing until you start offending people.

Besides, I seem to get more done at this time of year than any other time.  I get more of my craft work done, more gardening done, more cooking of my favourite meals ... more reading... and more sleeping.  I am seriously at my best in every way at this time of year than any other point in the year... it's amazing and strange to peak at the coldest time of year when usually everyone else is hibernating more and moving to warmer climes to holiday, and I'm out in the garden making it all work out for me.

Isn't that wonderful?

Well, it's been a busy day for me today. 

I've been out and about shopping - grocery shopping - and I received a text about my Reading Chair from the upholsterers; it'll be home tomorrow afternoon.  Yay!  I'll be able to move the hall table into my bedroom tomorrow morning and my new little table for it into that room too... readying the area for the chair.  Might even take out the light fitting and bulb just in case they need to lift the chair up; and they need the room.

But I bought up big today for the next few weeks... plenty of vegetables, some Miso Soup for the weekend and plenty of great stuff in the pantry; which is actually overflowing with food right now.

Well, that's it for today.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.