Friday, April 19, 2019

Gratefulness works in mysterious ways

Gratefulness is something I do not do enough of.

There is much that has happened since the start of the year that has been challenging. Amidst all these challenges I have not taken the time to make time for me or my self care. I have soldiered on and the cracks have started to show, big time!

I have thought once I get over this I will take time. But as soon as one challenge is done with another is there to take it's place and I have not had time to breathe.

I did however at the start of the year begin to write a couple of days worth of gratefulness down. I was inspired after reading Osher Gunsbergs' book, Back after the break.

It is actually quite good to go back and read, and quite interesting! Interesting in that I would have never have ever guessed that I would be looking back at my first grateful thing on the 23rd January, and today not having that job.

The gymnastics club I was so excited to become a coach at two years ago is not the same club as it is today. It isn't even the same club that I left for summer holidays at the end of term 4 last year.

The dynamic has changed and over the last term it had become a source of stress and not a great place to work in. I won't go into it, other to say I resigned on the last day of term. It was last Friday. I also got the bloody flu on that day, so the last week I have been suffering. I have been sick and emotional.

In better news, we are currently in Adelaide, set to fly to Sydney for a couple of days and then cruise out of Circular Quay to islands in New Caledonia. What is even better, I can totally relax, knowing I don't have to come back to work. I have new adventures on my horizon to conquer!

Like writing down my gratefulness everyday.

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Friday, April 5, 2019

I must be having too much fun....

How the hell is it Friday again?! How is it April?!

My poor old garden and house is being sorely neglected right now, and to add to the crazy, Izzy fractured her arm during the week. We spent all day in a&e after she had her xray, to go home with a referral at dinner time. I don't know why the doctor that looked at her xray and sent us to accident and emergency, couldn't have written the referral then and there. It would have saved us waiting six hours in emergency. It sucked watching a days worth of patients go before us in triage.

We are back up the Mount this afternoon for her appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon. That after, not forgetting to mention, I make sure my son gets to his appointment for his monthly jab of medication.

I heard someone say "If you want something done, give it to a busy person".

After the gym club AGM last week I am now club secretary It's been a week and I've hardly been able to look at any of it.

Summer begins her netball experience on Saturday morning. She's been training in Tantanoola in the junior twos. She was SO excited to get her uniform last night.

Come Sunday I will be perched in the local IGA selling Easter raffle tickets for the gym club.

Bring on the end of term next week! I will be up to my neck in planning for Term two in the first week of holidays, then off to New Caledonia on a cruise for the second. Yes please!

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Muntrie picking at Canunda

It's that time of year when we go out into the wilderness, well the Canunda National Park to get our annual feed of muntrie berries.

We headed out after searching for a few geocaches in Millicent(Izzy's favourite thing to do), and one at the Mayurra Wagyu tasting rooms gate, which is on the way.

Muntries are a native berry to our region, formally called Kunzea Pomifera. They would have to be my favourite native flower. They flower in Spring and the  sweet apple like berries are ready to pick now.

I've been bringing the girls out here to pick muntries since they were little. Izzy's a bit over it, but Summer still squats by a patch and eats her little heart out.

They're a bit dusty straight from the patch due to the white metal road, which was awfully corrugated after a lot of use over summer. This road has been well used by four wheel drivers in that time, to get to the beach and tracks that take them all the way to Southend or Carpenter Rocks in the other direction.

After my encounter at Lake McIntyre, I was wary of snakes, as we've seen plenty of brown snakes through here in the past from the safety of our car.

I wasn't long before we had enough muntries to take home, the kids were ready anyway. I've been eating them with my porridge in the morning and have frozen some for putting in hot cross buns closer to Easter. It has become somewhat of a tradition. Summer is already asking when I am making muntrie berry buns.

I took the stony back tracks home, meandering through rocky farming land and wind farms. I pulled up right next to a windtower, turned the car off and we listened to the mesmerising whoosh of the blades, before finding our way to Burkhills Lane and home again.

Izzy's photo of me, picking berries

Dusty muntries
The small amount of washed muntries I didn't freeze and my porridge in the pan, ready for the stove. 

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Grateful for what we have

I guess there's a lot of people who take where they live for granted. There's probably a whole lot more who never get out to see how great, what they have in their own neighbourhood is.

It annoys me to hear locals and ex residents bag our local area.  Did they even go out and experience what we have here in the Limestone Coast?

We are so lucky with the natural playgrounds we have on our doorstop, drop in some friends and it makes for a great weekend.

Boggy had no luck with the fishing on the beach. Izzy got a bit daring on her go kart. We made tracks in the sand. The kids found crabs in the rocks, and when it rained we played cards, scrabble, drew or read.

We enjoyed fresh fish from the ocean, caught from the boat in Bungalow Bay. The conditions weren't perfect, but it satisfied the older kids, who were keen to get out there and try. They caught mullet, trevally and whiting. It tasted amazing, coated in flour and fried in a shallow pan. Shared lazy bbq meals, with friends and family in our outdoor living space. How fortunate are we.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

My first scaly encounter at Lake Mac

Lake McIntyre is as good as place as any to get out of the house, out into nature. I visited last week with my camera for a stroll around the walking trail.

This is when things got interesting. I walked away from the walking trail to photograph this bird. I think they are what people in other parts of the country call bin chickens aren't they? Well in these parts, so far at least, they stick to their natural environment. I've never seen one raiding the garbage, just as well when visiting here you need to take your rubbish with you as there are no bins. 

I was fairly aware there are snakes here and the weather has been pretty hot of late. This particular day last week, it had cooled off, but I was still looking around for them though as I stepped of the track to get a better view to photograph the birds.

I caught the sight of some small wrens and butterflies flittering about in the reeds and moved about four metres to the left to try to capture them. I think I should have been taking a bit more notice of what was on the ground instead of what was in the reeds, because I looked down and there I saw a snake!

In that quick moment the first thing my brain registered was a plastic toy snake to the snap fast reality I was looking at a real snake. A real snake, less than a metre in front of me! Dark brown scaly skin, which wasn't shiny at all, and a yellow underbelly. It had found a patch of sun to bask in, to warm it's cold body.

I turned on my heel and ran as fast as I could to the safety of the trail. As I turned I could hear the russle of leaves as the snake moved, in which direction I do not know. I think I startled him as much as he scared the hell out of me.

I think my brain was working much faster than my legs, as I nearly faltered running away. My heart was beating so fast and it took me a minute to register in disbelief at what had just happened. I am thankful it was a cooler day and this scale creature wasn't so active as would be normally. I'll keep telling myself that, and thank goodness I looked down and not taken a step forward or crouched down because it could have taken this story to a whole different level.

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Escaping the heat

Last Friday was the first day of autumn, it was by no means a typical autumn day.

The temperature gauge peaked at 41 degrees. It was decided the best place we could be for dinner was the beach. We packed the ute with all we needed and set of for a bbq at Southend. Our neighbours joined in, it seemed every man and his dog were there.

I couldn't think of a better place to be.

How do you escape the heat? 

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Monday, March 4, 2019

F words for February

Another month down on the 2019 calendar. Is the world spinning too fast for anyone else?

February was a bit shit. I am still there actually, when did March begin?

It started out quite well. School had gone back and the first weekend of February brought the annual Rendelsham village market,  which is always a pleasure. 

But that's when it kind of fell apart.

The sudden death of a friend. Well an old acquaintance that I should have made more of an effort with, still a shock, the same. I had been thinking for the longest time to catch up, but never did, just a wave here and there. It has cemented in me that I need to act on instinct, not to put off anything, because there is no time like the present.

My son Jake also took a slide backwards with his mental health this month, he's still in hospital, but he'll be ok. 

There's been a lot of my energy being zapped by so many lately and I haven't really been recharging myself. I did start to walk again, I did so for two weeks straight, and now in dribs and drabs, but I realise it's an important part of being well. 

I am also aware that when I am stressed and low on energy, I tend to try to ignore the world and retreat into myself. I know this isn't a good thing, and I guess that's why I have become so quiet. I need to force myself to share, to talk, to socialise, even when I feel like hiding in my shell.

I become not so good at caring for others. Everything seems too hard to deal with, but I do it and suffer later. Knowing this is happening and being aware of it, is an important start to solving the problem. 

I started the year out doing the Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge, I even gave up that. I'd had a couple of people say how they'd enjoyed seeing my photos, so I should have found that encouraging, and I did, but it seemed like it became a little bit too hard. But I have started March afresh.

This brings me to a little announcement.

Lately I have purely sucked at being a link up host. Sucked I tell you. I am not ready to give it up though.

I like blogging, and I like all of you. So I have decided to change the day I do things and see how it goes. There is no Open Slather today and from now on there won't be another on a Monday. From now on, and I am referencing the Easybeats here, so bob your head from side to side, just like Stevie Wright, and sing along..."Monday, I'll have Friday on my mind".

Open Slather will now come to you on a Friday and will stay open for linking over the weekend. So please return on Friday and join me. I promise I will be here and sharing....something, no matter how small and non share worthy I may think it is. I will be here.

I am sharing over at Denyse Whelen's blog, who has a fab Monday link up where you can go to join in the linking fun on a Monday.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fortune favours the bold

Did you see the Bohemian Rhapsody film yet? I've seen it twice, and I would watch it for a third time!

If you have seen it, you might remember the line when Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) says "You will always be known as the man who lost Queen". Well our small South Australian town just became "the town that lost a Fin Dac mural".

Yes! Fin Dac had offered to come to our town and paint a free mural on a two story building at the entrance of our main street. Fin Dac is an irish artist, based in London, known for his murals of ladies. He has murals  all over the world including Spain, London, New Zealand, Melbourne and Adelaide. He had offered to come to our sleepy little town, but due to negative feedback and not being able to find an alternative building, the offer was declined. 

I was disappointed to say the least, devo actually and a little disillusioned as to the future of our town. If we can't get people to be inspired to stop, and this mural screamed stop and pay attention, what future is there for our youngert generation. 

I saw this as a coup, this would put our town on the map. I imagined tourists coming around the roundabout and being in awe of the mural of a Chinese lady in formal dress, inspiring them to stop. To stop and spend some money in our town.
The Fin Dac proposed mural. it would have sat next to an existing mural of historic Millicent. The past and the future in one place. You know I didn't like it at first, but I looked past the subject and saw how amazing this was for our town. I am so sad this will not feature here.

It was suggested that we opt for local artists, for a more traditional theme, something that related to us. Don't get me wrong, I am all for local artists. My own mum has been one of them for the last 25 years. Anyone who went to a Nangula market in the nineties probably bought something of hers, and still has it lurking somewhere in their home. I do know though, sorry mum, and to other local artists, who I would rather have paint that building. In fact, this may have well brought our local artists to light, not forgetting a local artist had been lined up to assist Fin, what an opportunity for a local, and the progression of their own art.

Another suggestion was something to do with farming. Well HELLO!, we are barely managing to keep our saleyards open! I am sure anyone who has driven 100km from Kingston, or 50km from Mount Gambier can clearly see they are in farming country. I don't think we need to portray that on a building.

As for the suggestion of depicting something local, like the vineyards at Penola, or our fishing villages of the Limestone Coast, I call bah humbug! Yes we are proudly part of the limestone coast, but as a town struggling to keep pubs open and shopfronts full, we want people to stop here, in Millicent. We want them to be inspired to stop, to spend money in town, to visit the art gallery, to visit local artists, to visit the tourist visitor centre where they can purchase local art, local photography and other wares. To walk through our BRILLIANT museum, see our history. While there we don't want them to go straight to the counter and ask "where are the wineries?", "where are the coastal towns?", and see them drive away. We want them to stay, for a coffee, for a meal, for a night! 

To quote another Bohemian Rhapsody, and the genius that is Freddie Mercury (looked how it turned out for him, not the dead part, the dead famous part), "Fortune favours the bold". 

I wish my town was more bold. I wish their minds would open to the possibilities. I wish they had set aside their reservations about the subject matter, and saw what this painting would have done for Millicent. Thought about (pardon the pun) the big picture. The Fin Dac would have complimented the other street art we already have perfectly. We could have marketed ourselves as the town with amazing art on it's buildings, including international artists. 

So in closing maybe we should just paint a big sheep there, for our farming, forgetting we can hardly sustain our saleyards. Because the way I see it, it represents our town perfectly. We are like sheep, we go with the expected flow. We don't stray down the path of individuality, we stay with the mob. Because it's safer there, it's what we know, and we don't have to deal with change. 

If only we could be more bold. Imagine the possibilities.

"The water goddess", painted by Mimby Jones Robinson, on one of our old buildings. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

January photo share

 I caught the reading bug this year, I hadn't read a thing for years, and I've already read eight books this year! It started with this one. So unlike me. I am enjoying the down time.
 I planted two zucchini plants last year, and now I have them coming out of my ears. 
 My favourite breakfast. I have cut down to having two eggs on one piece of sourdough. 
Dinner at the pub with my girls.
A brand new niece for me and cousin for the girls. 

 A few days at the holiday house and the obligatory holiday Monopoly fight.

 The Porch Sessions, held just out of town. Three fabulous music artists, wine, nibbles and a picnic blanket. Highly recommend.
 Quirky at the public library

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