Make-up & kayaks – a Musing

I awoke in pain. Not unusual for me, very irritating, just not unusual. I went out with Youngest Daughter on Friday night to the NAIDOC dinner, had a lovely time, then trudged around Mornington window shopping the next day. Concrete and I are not friends. I did the best I could and paid with pain.

I do not want to end us as a fat old woman in a scooter and I’m very much afraid that is where I am heading. I took myself off to the pool today as it is the only place I can move relatively pain free and it has helped a lot. (Would have helped more if I’d remembered to take pain relief, but there you go…)

I’ve written before how much I love swimming. I love the water and will gladly be in it, despite the stares my large, tattooed, grey-haired self gets. I am currently searching for a way to go kayaking. My daughters tell me that I have to wait for summer, when it’s warmer. They’re right. Bugger it. I think I’ve found a way but if anyone knows anything, please let me know.

YD was my make up artist for the dinner. She gots loads of compliments on my make up. I’ll post a photo. She really is incredibly talented and I’m not biased at all. I made a comment about the yearly effort for my make up and she offered to do it more frequently. I looked at her and said, for what? Her response was oh yeah, you do all outdoorsy stuff. I’d never thought of myself that way and don’t know that I am. However, my idea of fun is an adventure. Taking a road never travelled (side tours are us), going to the beach, the river, the bush, parks… hmmm, now I think about it, she may be right. Not 4 wheel drive adventure but adventure all the same.

When they were young I took them on a secret holiday. I wouldn’t tell them where we were going until we arrived at Secret Valley Cabins in Deans Marsh, not far from Lorne. There was bush, feeding King Parrots, beach, a kids’ barn of games, a playground and our own fun. I once took them to Sydney on the train (13 hours) and we played the whole way, board games and cards. It was fun. I took them down the Peninsula to Balnarring and there was beach, cows, kangaroos, bush, kids’ activities and horses. These are all my favourite things.

I’ve never really been someone who dresses up and goes out to have fun. If you don’t get a bit dirty, has it been fun? Now, taking the compost to the garden beds hurts and has to be navigated carefully. I can’t balance to dig a hole and as most of my garden is on a steep slope, I would have to crawl to plant in it but my knees are ruined. I’m not complaining, I’m cross. I still want to do all those things.

I really want to go kayaking. I probably won’t wear make-up when I do.

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Saturday-a Musing

Today I had such plans. Nothing earth shattering, just running errands, laundry & spending time in my studio. Like I said, nothing earth shattering. I was still really looking forward to having some catch up time with myself. Plus I have art to do.

A phone call comes in. It’s my brother. I don’t have a lot of contact with the family that I grew up in, because… I am particularly fond of this brother & was happy to hear from him. I haven’t seen him for about four years so was pleased to hear he was in my state & headed my way.

Everything was put aside for catch ups, questions (from me), discussion about his family & mine, and his current life events. I got the laundry done, luckily had already run my errands, and took the dogs out. That’s it. No housework (so sad), no art work (now that is sad) & time spent with brother & my daughter.

Isn’t that just life?

Fluffy Floozies – A Musing

I have three little dogs. I love them. They are my little buddies and make my life so much better. They keep their little brown eyes on me and are my posse whenever we go out. They are my entourage to the front door, to the back door, the garden and the toilet. I often have to insist with the latter that I really can go by myself. It gets a little crowded at times, especially when the cat joins in.

When my grandson was crawling, my entourage expanded to include three dogs, one cat and a baby. My little poodle cross was besotted with him and would get up as high as she could to look down on him sleeping in his cot. My Pepe dog has a habit of lowering his head for a kiss. So did my grandson as a little baby. They’d sit opposite one another, bowing I turn.

My eldest dog, Wally, was adopted as a senior. He is very unwell and still insists on being chipper every day. Such a tiny hero. When the youngest cat, Billiemoo, joined us, he would roll over and let the kitten pounce on him and bite his ears and tail.

My animals are kind. My older cat, William, holds paws with me at night and sleeps along my back. He puts up with the youngest kit’s midnight attacks, with little complaint.

Recently my eldest cat died, Gemma. Her favourite thing to do was to sit on me. She was nearly 18 when she died. I miss her.

I am grateful for all my furry friends, their loyalty and idiosyncrasies, and their memory.

Jelly Belly Bunny – a Musing

March 26th is National Epilepsy Day. A lovely woman in our office suffers from infrequent but fierce electrical storms. The last episode nearly ended her life. We are celebrating our lovely colleague with a very purple afternoon tea on March 26th. We are grateful she is still with us and we are celebrating her determination to live her life despite these debilitating events. Jelly Belly Bunny comes from the Epilepsy Foundation and will be in attendance. Get purpled up, learn about epilepsy and celebrate survival.

Goofy Critters: a Musing

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Grumpy Baby Bird sat on my steering wheel and glared at me. I had made him a week before and still had not delivered him to his human, Youngest Daughter. He was not impressed.

I started needle felting Goofy Critters after doing a Felt your Inner Goddess workshop with Youngest Daughter last year. It’s taken over. I took a posse of Critters into work and they were all claimed within minutes. Now I sit and stab my fingers in the evenings, when not drawing, colouring, or playing games. Anything to avoid housework really.

Back to Grumpy Baby Bird. I swear his face looks like F@#K off!, so there was no doubt for whom he was destined. Youngest Daughter was delighted. Strangely though, after a week spend cruising around with me in my car, he no longer looked so grumpy. In fact, he looked down right anticipatory. Still fierce though, which suits Youngest Daughter well.

I met a mosaic artist at the Emerald Art Market who had crafted a platter with tea cups and a teapot suspended above them, tilted downward. She had crocheted little covers atop each tea cup and little flowers waving above on stems of steel. I can’t crochet, I said, but I can felt. I now have 15 little felted flowers waiting for the workshop to create my own teapot mosaic. I have no idea where I will put it but I really want to make it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Through the window – A Musing

It’s raining, it’s pouring, I wish I was still snoring. All the animals are inside, and slightly damp, the visiting teens are inside, and watching telly loudly. The view through my lounge window is of looming grey clouds and rain. All the plants are holding their leaves to the sky and laughing.

I’ve loved the power and light show though. Only because we have not lost power, for which I am most grateful. Parts of the town have. Trees down, creek rising but on the bright side, no fires. The ‘fire season’ is officially over. On the first day the fire bans were lifted, which was hot and incredibly windy, people went to town burning off. Guess what happened? Yup, fires out of control.

Reminds me of one year a neighbour down the road, lit debris at the base of a tree. The fire began racing up the trunk and the neighbour began batting at it with his plastic rake, sending embers off into the wind. I stopped and told him I’d rung the fire brigade. He gave me a few choice words as he ran for his hose.

Then there was the other neighbour who lit a fire near their fence and a tree. Youngest Daughter and I stood watching as the flames took over the fence and leapt to the tree. I called the brigade.

We’ve watched a fair bit of weather through our lounge window. One year, hail stones as large as golf and tennis balls bounced into our front garden. The car received a lovely array of circular dents in the roof. Youngest Daughter, being seven, raced into the front yard to collect some hail stones and proudly showed me three. We put them in the freezer to keep them.

Another view was our first year here in a bush fire area. It was Black Saturday. I was already freaked out and the power kept cutting out. I was very aware of how fast fire could spread and there were four big fires well within 20 kms of us. The winds of change could easily bring them our way. I was bravely staying, encouraged by a fire-wise neighbour, when Youngest Daughter went to the window. “Mum,” she said, “Look how pretty the sky is.” I whipped around and saw vivid orange smoke clouds. We cut and ran to our friends for the night.

Other views through my window have been spider webs of rain drops in the trees, gymea lilies silhouetted against the sunrise, children making mudslides down the embankment, cats sunning themselves and pouncing upon one another. I’ll keep watching and let you know what we see next.

I’m painting a tree on my wall

Over the past few years, life has changed dramatically. You know, life happens. One of the things has been to get rid of lots of stuff, including furniture. With spare rooms it has been shifted around and with daughters, it has been shifted out. I’ve always leaned towards large pieces of wooden furniture and it has been a substantial effort to move said items.

The result has been a spareness that is pleasing to me. My house looks a little bare. I seem to need to create the space for my mental health and wellbeing and to move on from very painful experiences. It has taken a long time to clear the wall in my kitchen/ living area. Longer to talk myself into painting the wall then believing that I can design and paint the tree.

I drew many trees over the past year before deciding on a curlicue version, much like my doodling. The challenge was then to believe I could transfer it onto my wall. I won’t describe here the many methods and techniques I considered. Eventually, I painted the wall and took chalk to it and began drawing. I erased the first two efforts and the third I am happy with. When finished, I’ll move the family photos to that wall. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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What spare room?

I have been keeping a spare room. Daughters have slept in it, mother and friends. It’s been good. I’ve kept the animals out of it because not everyone can sleep with a stack of furry bodies. But no longer. Youngest daughter has moved back in and it is now her room. Where will I sort my towels?

There’s been me and three dogs and three cats for the last six months. While what precipitated this alone time was heart-breaking, I have been happy living by myself with my Fluffy Floozies (ergo, ‘fluffy floozies’ collective description for said furry peeps). Now I have to share again.

Oh, I want to, happy to do it, more than happy. It’s just confronting. It’s been 30 years since I lived alone and as a young woman, didn’t do so well. As myself now, did absolutely fine, better than fine. Who knew? It’s been a revelation that I can live happily by myself. I hope it’s equally a revelation that  can live with my youngster again.

So, no spare room for awhile. Day trips are us for the rest of the family. Sharing a bathroom again. Ugh. Oh well, I’m thrilled to have her here, we will see what the future brings.

I’m staying up late…heh heh

Here I am, sitting at my desk at a time of morning I am normally just waking up. I am not enamoured of early morning sounds or light. I admit I have been in times past but I would rather be asleep. I am determinately an owl.

I have always had difficulty in going to bed early. I still have difficultly in going to bed early. I never want to go to bed early or even at a reasonable time. If I have lights out before midnight, it is a surprise. I still have to get up to go to work and really need a nap in the afternoon (not always possible at work, though it is amazing how much I can type with my eyes closed). I seem to function on a certain level of sleep deprivation. Yet, can I make myself go to bed earlier? Nope.

I have good intentions but there is always one more thing to draw, another game to play, one more episode to watch. It’s never, oh I’ll just get these dishes done or I’ll get this floor mopped now. Which would be bizarre but interesting at midnight. No, it’s always play.

Then I go to bed and read. Eventually when I cannot focus on the words any longer, I relax into sleep. Such good habits, if only two hours earlier.

I am completely baffled as to why my good intentions for a proper night sleep are never met. I suspect I never mean to. I often give myself a good pep talk (about everything really) to get myself to bed earlier and then still crawl into bed at midnight. I’m 53, it’s a long standing habit. I reckon I’ll still be doing it when I’m 83.

This year I am giving up insisting that I go to bed earlier. I’m going to let me stay up as late as I want. (That never worked with kids, I doubt it will work with me.) I’m still going to do it though. Stop giving myself a hard time about staying up late. See what happens.