Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A+ for Procrastination

I'm really pushing my luck and putting myself under pressure to do everything that I planned, before I head to the Sunny Coast this month. Why do I do this to myself?

I had the perfect opportunity to put in a whole day of study today, but instead, I chose to go visiting and spent more than two hours with The Motivator, before buying six sand crabs from her. It took me 90 minutes to get all the meat out of the crabs and I sat down with my plate of crab meat and my study material, when I received a text from Vegan Chickie asking if I had felt the tremor!

A 5.6 tremor was felt between The Bay and Brisbane. I didn't feel it at all, however, another one an hour later, at 5.3 moved our house! I felt the floor under my feet move from side to side, giving me a feeling like vertigo .. and I was sitting down at the time! I could feel the couch move as well and the house made rickety, crackling sounds.

It didn't last very long, but it was long enough to make my heart race!

That rattled me enough to take my focus completely away from studying.

Meanwhile, last night, I finally decided on this photo for the flickr challenge...

It's the eye of a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.

There have been some great photos submitted, so I won't even get a place, but at least I honed my procrastination skills by wasting ridiculous amounts of study time worrying about a photography challenge that I had no chance of winning .. and for which there is not even a prize, other than a boost to the ego!

Honestly! Where are my priorities?

Here are a couple of pics from the black cockatoos yesterday ...

... and on that note, I'm off to bed. Aside from study, I'm going to make the Raw Chocolate Raspberry Tart because my oven is STILL NOT FIXED!! Hopefully this Wednesday will bring me oven happiness. I miss my oven!

Nite all.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Here They Are!

Most of these pics are straight out of the camera, unedited ... because I've lost my usual editing program (iphoto has been discontinued and it was my favourite editing program because it was easy to download and do basic editing there and then import them to other programs to get into the nitty gritty) and I'm still trying to figure out what program to use now.

I think you can tell that most people were having a pretty good time! 

I'm posting this early so that I don't have to worry about it tonight - especially since I promised pics.

I've spent the morning doing housework. Vacuuming, changing bedding, washing and finding a home for 8 pairs of my shoes lying round the house! How did that even happen? 

I also found my four black cockatoos again this morning and I knew the person whose yard they were in, so I got quite a bit closer than last time. I'm going to have a quick look at those photos now and see if any are worth sharing here.

There are a couple of good ones, so I'll save them for tomorrow. I've just realised that this is my last chance to submit a photo to the 'simplicity' challenge!  Eep!

I'm off to do that now. Watch this space tomorrow .. hopefully, I will have come up with something interesting!

Nite all.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bingeing Socially

I feel that I must confess to recently developing a social binge drinking problem!

Yesterday was lady's luncheon day at the Golf Club in The Bay. There were about twenty of us who car pooled and met there at midday.

Their menu was excellent, with a good selection of gluten free meals available. I enjoyed grilled king prawns with slaw, sweet chilly sauce and aioli. I also enjoyed sharing two bottles of wine with Apple and then a couple more glasses at The Speckled Hen's house where a few of us met after lunch.

I phoned Adoring Husband to come have a drink with The Speckled Hen's husband, The Dirty Old Man, so he arrived and sat in the shed with TDOM drinking beer.

We were having a lovely time, laughing and drinking and telling stories when a horrible accident happened.

Apple's chair snapped underneath her and she fell backwards, hitting her head on a house post. There was a lot of blood. Luckily, sober AH with his fresh first aid qualifications was handy. He came to investigate and then suggested that we call an ambulance.

We are very lucky to have a resident ambulance paramedic in town, so he was in the driveway quick smart and came to Apple's rescue. She passed all the concussion tests, but it was difficult to stop the bleeding. Apparently it was 8pm before the bleeding stopped.

AH and I decided it was time to come home and the last thing I remember, is pulling into our garage. Apparently, I cooked dinner! I do not remember that! I made spaghetti bolognese with zucchini noodles. Yes, scary isn't it?

I woke up in my bed at midnight, fully clothed.

This is my third such episode in a matter of months. I think it's time I take control of it before IT takes control of me!

Needless to say that I had a late start to my day this morning. Out of bed at 9am and out on the trike for coffee. While I was out we experienced an earthquake!! It was a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that was felt as far north as Yeppoon and south as far as the Gold Coast.

I felt nothing. Lady Lynn felt nothing. Adoring Husband was on Fraser Island and he definitely felt the tremor, phoning me immediately to see if I had felt it too.

It was BIG news and social media was alive with stories from people who were 'moved' by the experience (pardon the pun).

I had a quiet day at home, interrupted by a wonderful phone call from Vegan Chickie and Chicklet that lasted about an hour.

I watched an interesting movie called "Lucy" with Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. It was very violent and quite graphic, but the story was intriguing and the Lucy character was very strong. It was a good movie.

Tonight, I made another curry from our box of curry powders/spices. Parsee Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry Masala. I did a cauliflower fried rice with it. Delicious! It was the same curry that I taste tested at Childers.

Tomorrow, I will share some pics from the Christmas in July party and a couple more of the black cockatoos.

I hope that my body will get back to normal tomorrow and I can have a more productive day at my desk writing some more of my essay.

Oh! I also got a message via flickr to tell me that my twin tawnies photo had been stolen and was on a website for sale! So I've sent the site an email advising them of copyright laws and asking them to remove it immediately. This is the photo...

Do you remember it? How rude!!

Anyway, it's almost midnight, so I'm off to rest my toxic brain and body.

Nite all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Black Joy

There was a fabulous cold change last night and I climbed into bed with a strong icy breeze blowing through my bedroom window.  I literally smiled myself to sleep feeling that breeze caress my face as I pulled the doona right up to my chin.  My idea of bliss.

It was still nice and cool when I woke up, so I lingered in bed feeling that breeze some more and then headed off for morning tea with the girls.

There were seven of us this morning all taking turns to catch up with the previous week's events. Always enjoyable with my girls.

I picked up another coffee before I headed home, and decided to take a route that I used to take every day for a couple of years, back when I was obsessive with my photography. It takes me past bushland full of birdlife.

The reason that I chose that way is because there was a bushfire last night and I wondered if I might see signs of it from the road.

I didn't.

What I DID see, was a family of four Red Tailed Black Cockatoos!

I've seen quite a few black cockatoos lately. There were eight of them flying over the council caravan park before I went on the road trip and since then, three or four of them fly over the boat ramp in the mornings and head across the river, squawking as they go. But they are the yellow tailed black cockatoos, which are quite common and I've never been camera ready whenever they've been close, so there have been no photos of them for me.

I have been in search of ANY kind of black cockatoo for five years .. ever since I got my first good camera, so today, finding the red tailed birds .. was exciting!

There was a male and a female and a juvenile, but I'm not sure where the 4th bird fit in the mix.

There were a few problems for me. The light was ever changing because there was scattered cloud that kept hiding the sun. It was very windy, blowing the branches that the birds were perched upon and blowing their feathers all over the place. The birds were very high in the trees .. stretching my lens to it's limit.

Taking all of that into consideration, I was pretty happy with the few shots that I got. If only I could train the birds to stay perched on a branch, out in the open where I could get a clear view, half of my problems would be solved!

Needless to say, I didn't get as much essay work done as I wanted, because I was too excited about editing my black cockatoo shots!

Tonight, I played with a couple of photos from the Christmas in July party, hoping they would be suitable for the 'Simplicity' challenge ...

I'm still searching my brain for better ideas. Please feel free to throw ideas in this direction, if you have any.

I have a big lady's luncheon day tomorrow, so I'm off to bed for an early night .. looking forward to that cool breeze through the window again!

Nite all.

Much Ado About Raptors

Today was a beautiful day.

Some days just hit you with natural beauty.  I sat by the water at the Seat of Knowledge for almost an hour, soaking up the sunshine and falling more deeply in love with the natural beauty of our river. It was a diamond day.

After I collected the mail and bought my morning coffee, I returned home to study, but I got a little side tracked and did some housework first. I did eventually get into the study and put in a few good hours. Satisfactory progress.

Mid afternoon I went for a ride to get more coffee. It's unusual for me to leave the house after lunch, but the sun was still shining and the day was still glorious, so I decided to brave it. It was worth the effort.

I tried out one of the curry spices tonight by preparing one of the recipes on the sheet provided in the box of jars. It was a southern Indian masala curry and I used chicken as the protein.  I don't think I used enough salt, but the flavour was very nice.

After I had prepared dinner, I grabbed my camera and raced out on the trike hoping to capture a decent sunset. The cloud formation was just right and it came so close to being spectacular a couple of times, but didn't quite make it. I got a couple of shots but nothing worth sharing.

I worked on these two shots today for the 'simplicity' challenge ...

I doubt that I'll use either of them .. unless I get desperate, because I only have 4 days left of the month and ideas are scarce!

It's already after midnight and I'm watching a movie called 'Healing' with Hugo Weaving. My favourite thing about this movie is the birdlife. It's about a prisoner rehabilitation program where the prisoners are given the responsibility of healing injured raptors before releasing them back into the wild.

There are owls and wedge tailed eagles and other raptors, all beautiful birds, but the wedge tailed eagle just takes my breath away. Spectacular and majestic and captivating. What I wouldn't give to get up close and personal with a creature such as that .. or at least close enough to get the perfect photograph.

Not quite a wedge tailed eagle, but check out this video of a crow - has to be the cleverest of all the birds. This left me shaking my head in disbelief!

Well, my movie is now over, so I'm off to bed. I've got morning tea with the girls tomorrow and then I need to contribute some more time to my essay, so I need to get my beauty sleep.

Nite all.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Out of Control

It's been a big couple of days!

Saturday night was Christmas in July. A good time was had by all. The food was good and the entertainment got everybody up dancing. Great prizes for the lucky ticket holders (which was nobody at our table!) and everyone was happy on the night.

I met some new people and had some interesting conversations. I actually got up and danced, which is a rarity for me and it was also great to see a few business owners at tables supporting our local SES. Even nicer to have so many of our friends in attendance. It really made the night for me.

It was all over a lot earlier than I and a few others would have liked, because we were enjoying ourselves and wanted the night to continue for a bit longer.  Better planning next year should extend the night for another hour or so.

I did have a little more wine than I should have, hence the missed blog update last night!

However, not so much that I was too hung over to go to Childers for their annual Multicultural Festival today!

We were up bright and early this morning so that we could arrive in Childers with time to get a good parking position. We like to pay for parking in the Catholic School grounds because it's close to the festival and Adoring Husband is able to unload our shopping when it gets too heavy and be ready to start again!

Also, even though it's Winter, our experience is that it gets very very warm as the day wears on and there is nothing worse than having to walk a couple of kilometres to your car in the hottest part of the day, when you have already spent four or five hours on your feet.

So we arrived there just after 8am. The festival is advertised to commence at 9am, but all of the stalls were operating when we arrived and there was already music being played by some of the musicians at various points along the roadway.

The air was still cool and there were not many people about, so we could browse and take our time and buy without having to fight the crowds.

We bought a giant timber dinosaur for Chicklet, a couple of crystal rocks, a pair of shoes and a silver bracelet (for me) and a box of mixed curry spices, a couple of which we got to taste test in lamb and chicken dishes. So nice! Included in the box was a stack of recipes for various curry dishes, which I'm looking forward to trying.

After a couple of hours, we realised that having skipped breakfast, we were feeling very hungry. I was on the lookout for a Mexican stall that I knew sold delicious GF mini meals packed full of flavour, but after searching the entire festival, the stall was nowhere to be found.

We decided to get some Hungarian sausages with sauerkraut, onion and cheese. It was a great choice and AH went back for seconds. We found ourselves a shady spot under some trees, to sit and eat our brunch while listening to some music.

We enjoyed the sounds of two different bands and a solo musician. Slip on Stereo was the first band, which I enjoyed very much, then a guitarist by the name of Al Davies and then a jazz reggae band by the name of Jahbutu.

It was a great way to spend about an hour.

Eventually, we decided to go check out the rest of the stalls, but by this time, the crowds had built up to the point of 'impossible to manage', so I decided it was time to head home. I don't like crowds that size and it was impossible to see anything because people were two and three deep at each stall. It was even difficult walking up the street through the sea of humans all going in different directions.

It was a relief to reach the car knowing that we would soon be escaping the madness.

As we drove out of town, the parked cars went for miles and large groups of people were all walking towards town. It was obviously only going to get busier. So happy to head home.

It was a great morning. We were disappointed to miss the festival last year, for the first time in seven years, so it was good to reconnect with it this year.

I didn't take my camera today, so I have no photos to share. I DID take photos of Christmas in July, but I haven't had a chance to look at them yet, so watch this space later in the week.

Now I think I need to rest my weary bones so that I can focus on study tomorrow. No excuses this week. Full on study! Essay should be completed by Friday! I need to get ahead so that I can fit in a Chicklet visit soon.

So .. nite all.