Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keeping things in focus

DH has finished the painting of the kitchen cupboard and finished the doors and handles.

There are two great blog posts I want to share with you.

I have been following both of these blog writers for several years now, and I think what they have written is quite profound.

Over at Simple Green Frugal Co-op FT has been thinking about what people settle for in life, and wondering why they would do that.

Norma Jean at Down to Earth has done another of her surprising and wise choices -to choose quality of life over income.

I would encourage you to read both of them and consider what is really important in your life, and whether it is still the focus of your time and energy.

Today I am at home, working on our life here. I am keeping the accounts, and waiting for a plumber to come and do the next part of the renovation -installing a water wise toilet for the main part of the house.
Geraldton Wax flowers in my garden -first flowers from a new plant.

Life is short, and those we share it with, will not be here for ever.
I hope we can all keep the really important things in focus.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whale watching in Albany

We have been down to Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. Usually we go in summer, but this year we managed a few days in winter, which is when the whales migrate up our coast from the southern oceans, to the warm waters around Ningaloo where they calve. I am not a great sailor, but we took the chance on what looked like a reasonable winter day and went on the Whale Watch catermaran to see if we could spot any whales. (No, this is not me - I preferred to hang on to something a little more substantial!)

We spotted some humpback whales in the water along side the boat. I guess we saw 8 or so individuals. We saw the water spouts and several of them dived down deep, showing their tails as they went, but my camera doesn't do quick shots very well so I don't have any tails to show you.
Then someone noticed our catamaran was being followed by two whales, who obviously were interested in what kind of thing we were.

All of a sudden we had two whales on one side of the boat, and one on the other, surfing along with us for several minutes.
Our skipper said it was the first time this had happened in the 7 years he had been taking tours out of Albany. We were very excited and happy to have such a unique experience.

I am also feeling quite proud of myself, as I am not much of a sailor but I was able to enjoy this trip very much.

If you ever get a chance to see some whales, do try. It is such a special experience.

Friday, July 22, 2011


All sorts of progress was made this week at our place. For one thing, Dora made it to the top of the bed, after being hidden underneath for most of the week. She is getting more relaxed with every day.

But the big news was that this horrible purple bath was resurfaced. The process was rather stinky, but as you will see, it was well worth it. From this:

To this:
I hasten to add that the bathroom renovation is not finished yet. Those tiles look even wilder now than they did before, and will leave permanently in a few weeks.

DH and I are off to Albany for a few days R & R. Hope we might see a whale or two.

See you when we get back

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dora is in the building -somewhere!

This is the best shot I have got so far of Dora, who has just been adopted by us.

Dora is a young cat who has had a hard life. You can read about her story on my son's blog here. My son and his wife had been fostering Dora, while her owner is trying to put her life back together after one of those difficult times which come to some people.When my son and his wife had to move to a new pet-free home, Dora's owner made the hard decision to give her up so that she could find a permanent home with us.

Dora is making herself at home -very slowly-with us. She has a safe place under my daughter's bed, where she performs cat magic by making herself flat enough to fit.

Each evening and morning, she gets a little braver, and explores a little further. Today I managed a quick photo when she briefly wandered into my bedroom. She made little mewing noises -the first time we had heard her voice.

She is still very skittish, and scared of every movement and every noise. We are taking it slowly, just letting her do things in her own time.

I hope to get a better picture sometime soon. I would love to show you her pretty little face, which has a white nose with a funny black smudge on it.

Maybe next time

Monday, July 11, 2011

Winter sun today

I took advantage of a break in the rain, to go out with my camera and take a few carefully framed photographs of my garden in the winter sunshine.

I have to frame them carefully so that you can't see all the weeds which are growing, and the pruning and feeding which I haven't done yet. The rain has brought on a growth spurt and everything is looking plump and happy.

Let's not spoil it -most gardens look a bit like this in the winter, don't they? If you want to be outside gardening, it is too cold and wet. Yet when you are at work all day, you get a brilliant sunny day!

My DH is planning a couple of weeks holiday -starting in a few days' time. We both hope he gets a bit of time in the garden -I am OK at pottering about, but for garden blitzes he is the person we need.

Thankfully the work we have done earlier has produced some nice results -for example we have Kale growing this year, and the peas are looking good too.

I put some of our rainbow chard in the latest loaf of bread I made -which gives it these cute red flecks. It also has feta cheese in it and nutmeg -so not much good for spreading with jam, but nice with vegemite and cheese.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tuesday -Knitting and Quilting -ideas and effort

I often pick up yarn at Op Shops -and also find quite a lot of other haberdashery there too. Most of the yarn in this box is Op Shop yarn. When you find your yarn this way, you don't get lots of balls which are exactly the same -you have to be prepared to mix and match to make something. What you do get, however, is often good quality yarn at a fraction of the price in the shops.

That is why I saw this book as a real treasure: Margaret Radcliffe's book The Essential Guide to Colour Knitting Techniques -a bargain at just $4.95.

The book suggested that I use a circular needle for a certain project. Now, as I said, I usually try to buy all my yarn and needles from the op shop, but no-one seemed to have thrown out any circular needles so I had to actually buy some at the Big Girls Toy Shop (my name for a large haberdashery store).

I have never used one of these circular needles before , but I can see that it will be very useful -particularly as someone on the Aussies Living Simply website has sent me a link to a very sweet tea cosy which I plan to make -and which also requires circular needles.

I had some lovely bamboo yarn which my daughter had given me for Christmas, and which I had in mind for a new scarf. I will add some of my Op Shop yarns to this. Did you notice that this scarf is being knitted side-ways?

The knitting makes a welcome change from the other activity which I have been doing each Tuesday -making Disappearing Four Patch blocks. I have completed 25 and still have 6 to go. To help me pass the time I am listening to radio programmes. I think I will be adding sashing between the blocks -so once they are finished the rest should come together a bit more quickly.

I like quilting, but the repetition of the same block is my least favourite thing. This is what I want to do next -UnRuly Quilting! This book came today and I am very excited about it.

I won't allow myself to start however until this other quilt is completed. My one rule is "NO UNFINISHED OBJECTS!"

The only thing to do is to keep on keeping on -and then I will really enjoy breaking out and making something in which I don't need to repeat myself.