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 22, 2015

Weather Worries

The weather is looking awfully ominous for Monday.

It is currently raining and the rain radar on the BOM website is showing lots more rain to the West and heading in this direction. The forecast shows 80% chance of rain tomorrow and Monday. Fingers crossed for dry skies at 10am Monday!

We bought umbrellas in preparation.

More family arrived late last night and while they stayed with BGWLBH's brother last night, they were booked into a motel for the rest of the visit and left us late this afternoon to book in. We spent some time with them during the day, and tomorrow, the last brother and his family are due to arrive.

More flowers were delivered this morning, along with a giant fruit basket that included cookies, tomato relish and semi dried grapes.

An elderly neighbour made an emotional delivery of a very large container of home made pea and ham soup (which was Dad W's favourite) and some warm date scones wrapped in foil.

It was nice and easy to heat up soup for dinner. Minimal effort. Minimal cleaning up.

BGWLBH and I cracked open some of our wine that we purchased on our road trip and had a glass each with dinner. It was as good as we remembered.

I was informed that there is a resident Chlamydosaurus in the garden and one of the relatives actually got a very nice photo of it sunning itself on a fence post while I was out today. I wonder if my little Chicklet knows that a Chlamydosaurus is a frill-necked lizard??

Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to take some photos of this little gem before I have to return home.

I ran into an old work mate today. One of my favourite girls, 'Sharpy', and we are going to try for a lunch together next week some time. Fingers crossed our stars align and it happens.

I thought I would share a couple of photos that I took yesterday ...

I love the second one with Mum W laughing. She's one of those people who can't stop talking while the camera is on them, so I demanded that she "shut up and smile!" She thought that was funny and I pressed the shutter button just at the right time.

On these occasions, the big smiley moments are few and far between, so it's magic to capture them when they happen.

I'm sorry to say that my footy team lost their match tonight and now have to share equal first place on the ladder. If they don't pick their game up, they will slip a place or two in the coming weeks before the finals begin. Maybe that's their plan!

It feels warmer tonight, with the rain, I may have to open a window and get some cool fresh air in the room!

It's heading fast towards midnight, so I'm off to get some sleep.

Nite all.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

All Set

We are all set and ready for the onslaught of friends and family over the weekend.

It took us half the day, with a lot of help from BGWLBH's friends and colleagues from school, to finish, print out and fold the booklets. 200 of them! We dropped them into the funeral director on the way home.

While BGWLBH attempted a much needed nap this afternoon, I typed up the eulogy, most of which had already been written for a family reunion document a couple of years ago, and then emailed it to the celebrant.

Some visiting family who couldn't stay for the funeral, due to circumstances beyond their control, left after lunch and more family will arrive at about 10 o'clock tonight. There will be many arrivals over the weekend but most are staying in motels and will visit the house at different times.

There has been a regular procession of flowers arriving throughout the day and there are seven beautiful bouquets adorning the living room as I speak.

Corned beef with white sauce and veg for dinner tonight, which, even if I do say so myself, was delicious!

Going by Indi the dog, there are storms coming. She is scared of storms and can give a couple of hours warning before the storms hit, just by her attachment behaviour with BGWLBH. Rain has been forecast for the whole weekend and for Monday. We are hoping the rain will hold off for the lawn service, which will be at 10am.

It's Friday night and I'm hoping that my name hasn't been drawn out for the Members Draw at home .. I would hate to miss out on over $1500. Surely Karma will be kind to me and wait until I return! I hope you girls are all missing me :)

I've been taking photos of the beautiful birds all converging on the clothes line to eat the seed provided for them every day. I hope the photos turn out well enough for me to enter one of them into the flickr challenge this month, which is themed 'Australian Wildlife'.

The football is about to begin on TV, so I am off to settle in for an evening of sport .. but will probably head to bed before it even finishes. I am feeling a little weary.

Nite all.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Griffith, I am in you!

I can't remember the last time I was here.

I believe it was before the tornado .. it seems that my entire life is now measured by 'before the tornado' and 'after the tornado'!

I've just remembered that it was 'after the tornado' in January 2014. We kidnapped Mickey Mouse Wizard and took him on our road trip that year.

So much has changed in town since then. A lot of shops have closed. A lot have moved location. A few new shops have opened.

There is still evidence of the mini tornado that ripped through one section of town, where trees were stripped bare, others ripped out completely, some just missing limbs and others purposely cut down due to age or damage. It brought back some fearful memories.

Today we shopped for clothes to wear to the funeral. I had an outfit planned, but my brain was in Queensland mode and my choice is just not going to be appropriate for the cold, wet weather predicted for Monday.

I bought some long black pants and some ankle boots. Both were on sale at ridiculously low prices, so the purchases were not at all painful.

Speaking of weather, there was a heavy frost this morning and it was freeeeeeeezing cold! I stayed in bed til after 8.30am snug and warm between the flannelette sheets and a few light blankets.

Today, we decided to create the Memory Booklets for the funeral service ourselves! *insert a 'what was I thinking?' look here*

I have a program on my computer, which I have never used before, to create an eight page booklet, and I have spent many hours today trying to figure out how to use it. I think I've got it worked out now, but I also have to figure out how to connect my laptop to the printer here and hope that it all works.

We bought some cheap paper to have some practise runs and we have til Monday to perfect the process, so hopefully that will be enough to create a successful masterpiece!

We have lots of photos to add to it, all provided by various members of the family.

I must say, that I've enjoyed listening to the family stories being shared around the living room and they can only get better as more and more family and friends arrive in the coming days.

The brothers have provided some wonderful tributes which I've elaborated on, edited and typed up to pass on to the celebrant.

We are yet to attempt the eulogy, but it's going to be so interesting because even BGWLBH is learning new stuff about her Dad from his early childhood through to his young adulthood that she never knew.

Dad W was the expert on all things family. He was always the 'go to' man whenever anybody needed a year or a name or some other details, but he's no longer here to ask! Hopefully, with some brain storming and some team work, the family can fill in some gaps together.

Tonight, I cooked a nice healthy dinner for Mum W, BGWLBH and I, while the rest of the family ate take away Chinese .. I would have cooked for everybody, but we all got our wires crossed and didn't know what each other had planned. I'm not sure that they would have cared for my healthy meat and veg anyway.

So, needless to say, it's been a full and busy day, but I feel like I'm doing exactly what I should be doing and love that I can be so useful and helpful in this hour of need. I love that BGWLBH knows what she needs and isn't afraid to ask.

The burden of organising everything has been heavily place upon her shoulders while her family struggle to cope with the trauma of losing this great man, so anything I can do to slightly ease the burden makes me very happy.

On that note, it's time for me to go turn my bed into a cocoon and sleep the night away.  I need to rest this weary brain, so that it can figure out the really tricky stuff tomorrow!

Nite all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Have a Little Faith

I've always had a fear of flying, although these days it's just a small niggle in the back of my mind. Years ago I would throw up as I walked across the Tarmac (before the days of electronic bridges that take you directly from the plane into the terminal), and then I would use up any number of sick bags ON the plane.

I apologise to all of those passengers who had to listen to that over the years!

My fear has mellowed with age and with experience.

I've been thinking today, about how much faith we need to have in our fellow humans, just to take one flight from point A to point B.

You hear stories about terrorist bombs in various random locations around the world, or just some 'nut job' who woke up feeling angry with the world, about planes disappearing in mid air, or being accidentally shot down.

You hear about people getting drunk and trying to open plane doors mid air, or pilots attempting suicide and taking everyone out with him/her.

With those few scenarios aside, you hope that the ground and maintenance crew are on the ball and doing their jobs diligently. You pray that the control tower staff are not hung over or suffering from insomnia or being distracted by some other stress in their lives.

You hope that none of the passengers are using 'ice' or have decided on this day to cease taking their medication for a mental illness.

People these days are so unpredictable and life can change in just a split second.

So I sit here at the airport, having completed the first leg of my journey, grateful for 'so far, so good'.

Watching the world go by. Watching so many people (including me), absorbed in their electronic devices. Watching. Waiting. Listening. Wondering.

It reminds me a little of when Dad died and after we left the hospital, while it felt like my world had come to a standstill, I watched the rest of the world continue on regardless.

It's kind of surreal that someone important in your life has suddenly gone and someone even more important is hurting, but the world just continues on.

It also reminds me of that ad on TV about depression, where the everything is happening in fast motion, while the person with depression stands there with a blank expression.

Anyway, today, I have complete faith in all of my fellow humans. I have faith that you will all be doing exactly what you should be doing, to keep my world, and everybody in it, as safe as humanly possible.

On a brighter note, I was pleasantly surprised to find the option of a delicious pumpkin and coconut soup with Thai spices for lunch, at the airport! I enjoyed it very much, followed by an equally delicious latte!

My flight will be boarding in about 35 minutes so I'm off to do some more people watching.

Nite all.

PS Don't be concerned by my melancholy xo

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Few Pics

Here are some of the pics from last week ...

Except for a much needed and enjoyable morning tea with the girls this morning, it's been a long day. Time goes so slowly when you want, and need, to be somewhere else.

I'm all packed. I've prepared a couple of weeks worth of dog food. The freezer is chock full of bone broth, curry sauces and other food for Adoring Husband. I'll make some chocolate energy balls in the morning and then I'll be set to go.

This time tomorrow night I'll be where I should be.

I may or may not post here tomorrow night.

Nite all.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Depths of Sadness

My heart is breaking as I think of my bff, BGWLBH, and her family, who are right now, dealing with the passing of Dad W.

He was a big man with a big heart and he loved his family with his whole being. He has put up such a strong fight for such a long time and I can't believe he's gone.

I felt like he was my 2nd Dad. He was one of the first on the phone after the tornado, to check that I was ok. He tried many times, to have Skype calls with me, but we had trouble with our monitor microphones. He called me for advice about camera lenses when he wanted to buy BGWLBH a camera lens for her birthday. He let us use his car for our road trips. He always seemed happy to see me when I visited and loved to show me his wounds and injuries and scars .. because I was always excited about how impressive they were!

His passing will leave a huge hole in our hearts and even though we didn't see each other often, I will miss him.

I'll be travelling south on Wednesday to hopefully be of some help and support for BGWLBH and her family. It's going to be tough holding back the tears and being the strong support that I know she wants me to be.

I will do my best.

RIP Dad W.

Nite all.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015


By commitment-phobic, I mean that when I make a plan for myself, I simply cannot commit to it!

Yesterday's blog post is a perfect example.

I said that I hoped to get up early and go out with my camera .. didn't do it.

I said that I hoped to go through the photos that I took last week while I was away .. didn't do it.

I said that I was going to make a plan to methodically clean my house for Spring .. didn't do it.

I said that I was going to cook a roast dinner .. I DID do that!

For the first time, I used tallow to cook the potato, sweet potato and pumpkin in the oven. It cooked much faster than when I used other oils in the past and the vegetables were well caramelised and the potatoes nicely crisp on the outside. I didn't need to use much, compared to oil either.

So I'm liking the tallow, the duck fat and the ghee for cooking, as well as coconut oil.

I stayed in bed until about 8.30 this morning. An enjoyably lazy start to a Sunday.

I rode to get my coffee and while I waited outside at a table for it to be ready, a lady stopped with her very large dog (a great dane almost the size of a horse) and she asked if it was ok to leave her dog with me while she ordered her coffee inside.

She told me that because these dogs have such large hearts and their bodies are so heavy on their skeleton, their life expectancy is only 8-10 years! How horrible!

I googled "What is the life expectancy of a dog in Australia?"

Australian Shepherd  12-18 years
Shetland Sheepdog  12-13 years
Chihuahua  17 years
Boston Terrier 12-15 years
Jack Russell 12-13 years
Miniature Schnauzer 12-14 years
Shih Tzu 12-16 years
Dachshund 13-15 years
Great Dane 6-8 years (her dog is already 6 years old)

That's just a few from the list and is encouraging for us because we have 2 x chihuahua/maltese and one Shih Tzu/maltese. They were born 6 months apart, each to different parents and the oldest is now 10 years old.

We've been told by a couple of people to expect the worst because dogs only live to about 10-12 yrs.

I poke my tongue out at those people ... although I know that anything can happen, but at least it's nice to know that my dogs have a good life expectancy!

Anyway, while I was looking after this dog, many, many people stopped to pat her and make comment about how huge she was. My coffee came and so did more people, so by the time the crowd had dispersed and the dog returned to her owner, I had finished my coffee, so I ordered another!!

On the way home, I stopped to visit The Motivator and bought some crabs. We chatted til lunch time, mostly because we were often interrupted by customers wanting crabs! A busy Sunday for her!

It took me just over an hour to shell the crabs and put the meat into a container ... I'm getting faster at that!

I watched the end of a movie called 'Serendipity', by which time the footy started.

Adoring Husband arrived home from his SES flood boat training in time to see the end of that game and then watch the second game.

He was a very tired boy and headed off to bed early.

The Paleo Way stories were quite interesting tonight on '60 Minutes' and on 'Sunday Night' and it was good to see the two reporters have great success with their health results and with losing weight. It bothered me a bit that one of the stories still made out that Paleo has a high meat content, but I loved that finally, the stories were positive!!

Hopefully, tomorrow, I WILL have some photos to share here. Wish me luck on that one!

Nite all.