Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Today I woke up with a stiff neck and headache, probably due to stress and not drinking enough water or cups of tea over the last three days (* see the bottom of the post for explanation). But despite the slow start the fine weather (after a very wet weekend) lured me outside and with the kids we went down to the bottom paddock to check the pond after all the heavy rain.

We took our goat Mumbai over to the other side of the pond and chained him to a line for a change of pasture. He doesn't really like being chained up, but with us nearby he didn't bleat too much!


In the paddock and shelter belt there were lots of different types of fungi, including a orange coral like one which I'd never seen before.We are still getting a few field mushrooms too which I eagerly pick before the animals knock them over. After I'd taken some photos I did some pruning and weeding with The Teenager (yes that was a recent occurrence!) in the garden around the pond. Miss L took some photos with my camera. I think hers are better than mine. What do you think?

And yes I grubbed the thistles in the paddock too - that was the only one that was flowering.! Hopefully the alpacas appreciate what I do for them.

* Today actually  felt like the first day of the school holidays, because the first 3 days (plus the Friday night) was spend at the local dancing competitions with Miss L. Now don't get me wrong I couldn't be further from a "ballet mum" but when your child has a talent you have to support them the best you can. For me this involves having dreams/nightmares about her hair falling out while I'm trying to get it into a bun!! Being so stressed about making it to the venue on time, and getting her hair and make up looking perfect - something I've never perfected with myself! But the most stressful time is actually when I'm in the audience and know that she's on next, and I'm waiting for the music to start, my greatest fear is that the CD won't work. I no longer worry about her forgetting her moves, as she's now old and savvy enough to keep going regardless.

Despite all my anxiety Miss L is pretty relaxed. She was a bit nervous for her first two dances, but then she got into it. We (yes the royal 'we'!) finished the weekend with three trophies - firsts in her demi character, barefoot and barefoot impromptu (in case there are any other ballet mums out there you'll know what I'm talking about!), a second in her classical ballet and a highly commended in her jazz/modern. Now I can relax and enjoy the school holidays until we do it all again in June!


Friday, April 12, 2013

dump shop score

A long over due catch up with Max and her op shop show-offs this week. Hardly a week would pass when I don't score something from the op shop or dump shop. This week was no different, but what was different is I'm actually showing something off. I don't often get around to taking photos of what I find. It's all a bit of a faff, finding a clear and clean surface to arrange said items on, group with some equally attractive and complimentary objects. Take a photo or two, downloading the photos, more faffing around on the computer, then writing a scintillating blog post about someone else's cast offs.

Nevertheless here I am on a Friday night doing exactly that. Not an op shop score this week (well there were a few, but they are too boring to take photos of), but instead its a dump shop score. Or to be more pc - the recycling centre. Now which one of these objects am I referring to, well it's the tall West German at the back. Yes $1.50 from the Richmond Recycling centre, I was expecting to have to pay $3 as that seems to be the standard charge per item, regardless of what it is.

When viewed from my bathroom floor or toilet seat you can't see the small chip on the rim, so I am very happy. It goes well with the smaller white West German, which may have come from the same place, and is also flawed  - a hairline crack on the neck. Once upon a time I was very fussy about chips and cracks, now I see past the imperfections and am more happy not to have parted with lots of money.

According to the laws of interior decorating you are supposed to group things in 3s or 5s, but I prefer the 4. Have a nice weekend.

Monday, April 8, 2013

fly my pretty

It's been an afternoon and evening of heartbreak. Our budgie Jackie escaped and there doesn't look like any way we'll be able to catch her. We have some many tall trees, the kids tried climbing them to get to her but she just flew to another, and then we lost sight of her and the sun set. I will spend all tomorrow looking for her in the slimmest of hopes that I can catch her before a hawk or falcon does, or the chilly autumn nights are too cold for her. The worst thing is that it was my fault. I cleaned her cage out on the deck and squirted the bottom clean with a hose and left the tray out to dry. While I was doing Miss L's hair for ballet class, I heard the flutter of her wings and saw her fly off. She had managed to squeeze out the bottom of the cage where the tray goes, which I had no idea was large enough.  If only I'd put the tray back in earlier, I  am kicking myself, and wishing I could turn back the clock.

We have only had Jackie since late December, but she has come to be a beloved part of our lives. I should start by how we came to "own" her, as that's a story I've been meaning to tell.

On summer's evening we were at Rabbit Island, a local beach, with my sister and her family having a bbq. As the night was drawing in we were getting ready to leave my sister and brother-in-law were driving some of us along the gravel track when we saw a flash of bright blue. Stopping the car we saw a budgie who was struggling to fly, but could still flutter about a bit. My sister tried to walk up to her when she was on the ground and catch her, but she flew away, only to return to the ground again exhausted. This time she threw her cardigan on her and caught her, I found a box in the back of their car and we transferred her into the box and took her home.

 I told the kids we weren't keeping a budgie, as they are dirty with all the seeds and feathers that they flick out of their cage, and also we already have enough pets. So I placed an advert on the lost and found pets section of Trade Me. Meanwhile, Jackie, as Miss L christened her - because she was caught under a jacket, and because we couldn't tell whether she was a boy or girl, was winning us over with her placid and friendly ways. We didn't have a proper birdcage, only one without a base that I use as a prop at craft markets. So she was put in there with a box providing the base. L could sit holding her stroking her head while watching TV and Jackie would close her eyes and go to sleep.

 We never found her owners, even although she had a red band on her leg. I think she must have been an aviary bird rather than a beloved cage pet, as after three days - by which time she had won us over - she reverted to her true self. No longer could she be caught and held, instead when ever a finger got near her she bit it - hard. We soon gave up trying to let her out of her cage for a fly around the garage (where she was kept) as it would involve poking her with the broom to get her off the garage door sliders. Still we were smitten, her beautiful feathers and crazy antics won us over. I brought a lovely cage for her on Trade Me, and she became part of the family.

All summer whenever we have eaten dinner out on the deck, Jackie has been there in her cage entertaining us with her silly feats of hanging upside down on one foot, climbing from perch to perch, ripping up newspaper etc. Today she even tried passionfruit for the first time and loved it. But in a split second she was gone, free again. Which is what I think she always wanted to be, but she doesn't realise it's a very big and bad world out there.

Now we are all devastated.  I've told the kids we will get another budgie., one who will hop onto an out stretched finger rather than attacking it. But we will never forget Jackie.