We will all be old one day....

Yesterday I was at the checkout at the supermarket and helped a teeny tiny elderly lady to unload and reload her trolley.  The little dear was about 6 stone wringing wet and was so tiny she could hardly reach into the bottom of her trolley.  She didn't ask for help but I offered and she accepted.

So once she had left to get in her taxi, the checkout gal commented that I had more patience than she did and I replied ....

"we'll all be old one day"
"not me" she replied
"have you got other plans then" I asked
"well I won't be old, I mean look at Cher she's like 60 or 80 or something and she's so good for her age"

I laughed out loud!  Hard!

I am sure Cher would have a coronary if she heard that someone thought she was 80!  After all the cash she has spent trying to look young!  I checked it out and Cher is actually 65.  It really tickled me. 

Image from Wikipedia (Cher in 2010)

With the comedy also came a touch of sadness at the disaste the check out girl had for old age.  Maybe it's just me, but when I see an elderly person I have such a huge amount of respect for them and a genuine pang of warmth towards them.  Life can be hard, with all its twists and turns and lessons to be learned and for people who have lived through war and hardships, life was harder than I could imagine.  I have a lot of respect for people who have lived to a ripe old age, I really do.

So with the sadness was also a bit of anger that someone could not see all this.  There was also some fear that when I am old will someone think of me like that?
I was so fortunate to have my own Nan until I was 24 and she was an amazing lady.  We always lived close to her and I saw her practically every day.  When she was sick she stayed with us and I shared a room with her.  I was lucky to have been able to do this.  She didn't have a lot but I saw that every day she was grateful for the things she did have, she kept an immaculately clean house although I never saw her cleaning!  She was feisty when she needed to be and yet calm, gentle and wise.  Oh the widsom!  And she had a beautiful laugh that made her blue eyes squint up and get watery.  I loved that woman so very much and have so many beautiful memories of her. 

So the thought of someone treating her with impatience or being angry with her because she wasn't operating as fast as they would have liked... well it makes me angry.  And I guess that is where my sentiment for the elderly comes from.  Every elderly person is someone's family member.  Every elderly person has a story and has lived through adversity.  Every elderly person has got wisdom within them from their multitude of experiences.  And all this deserves respect... surely?

I turned 37 the other day and I get a little shock sometimes when I say it out loud.  Last time I checked I was 26!  I'd have loved to have asked my Nan how old she felt.  I bet some days she felt her age when her body was aching but I mean inside, how old did she feel?  And how old did the teeny tiny lady in the supermarket feel? 

So if by some small miracle you're reading this and you are one of the impatient people, please try and remember than no-one wants to feel old and slow.  No-one wants to not be able to do all the things they once were able to do.  No-one wants to feel like a burden who needs to rely on others.  And when someone is like this, be gentle and patient with them for one day you too will be old......

The End



Making eye masks

I've been enjoying sewing a good bit lately; practicing on my new machine and having a great ole time.  A friend and I have been discussing having a stall at a craft fair so I've been making bits and bobs to take with me.  With every project I make, I learn so much and gain a bit more confidence in my sewing abilities.  Yesterday I made a few eye masks and practiced using piping, ric rac and ribbon around the edges. 

 I'd never sewn with these edgings before and once I did one, I got more confident about it.  They are actually in order of creation from front to back.  On the one in the forefront I didn't quite get the tension right on the backing fabric so a little bit is showing.  As I got to the last two I'd got it sorted.  I put black fabric inside so that they are good and dark and I put soft terry type fabric on the back so that they are soft against the skin.  I like them all.  I'd buy one.

It has been stinkingly hot today.  At 9.15 pm it was 29.5 inside the house!  I checked outside and it was only 25 so I have opened up the windows in the hope of cooling the house down a bit so we get a decent sleep tonight.  :)

Cath Kidson sewing basket.... treats from England

The Hubby got back from the motherland last week and had posted a gift to me for my birthday.

How gorgeous is this?

Cath Kidson sewing basket

 He knows me so well!  What a lovely surprise.  I had actually been eyeing this off on the Internet recently and hadn't mentioned it to him.

I am currently in the process of organising my crafting equipment so this will be for all my useful 'everyday' type of gear.  I'll post a pic when it's filled...

I also got a whole selection of edible goodies including
  • orange clubs
  • penguins (orange & original)
  • fudge bars
  • picnics
  • a box of quality street (they were the 1st to go!)
  • after eight mints
  • jaffa cakes
  • frazzles
  • creme eggs
I am a lucky girl......

I am amazed at how inexpensive food is in the UK.  6 creme eggs for a quid!  Here in Australia chocolate bars are normally about $1.60 full price (I think) and are usually on sale in the supermarket for 2 for $3 and sometimes $1 each (45p - 65p depending on exchange rates).  Crisps are pretty pricey too.  Pringles are on special and are 2 for $7 (around 4.50 ish pound by current exchange rates).  That's the cheapest they get.  

Toiletries are also really expensive too.  There is little competition with the supermarkets as there are only 2 main businesses; Coles and Safeway and a couple of smaller businesses; Aldi and IGA.  The arrival of Aldi seems to have offered a bit of competition but I still think prices are high.  Saying that we do have a fabulous fruit and veg shop nearby where we get some bargains; bananas are 99c at the moment and strawberries can be 99c a punnet at times. 

On the subject of veg, look what's growing in my garden at the moment...

My head is a normal size I believe!
These pumpkins are huge and are surprisingly heavy; they're really tasty too.


Lets get nerdy and get to know a birdy.

Sometimes I really notice that I didn't grow up in this country and that there are definite gaps in my knowledge because of that.  I have always been fascinated with people who can identify things from their environment, be it wildflowers, bird call, trees, the type of clouds, tides & boating conditions, constellations; you know that type of stuff....

Print by Bold & Noble

So the other day I heard a bird call that I hadn't noticed in the 5 years I'd lived here and I wanted to ask someone what it was, and do you know what I realised?  Very few people actually know this stuff!  I did ask a teacher friend who said she wasn't sure but on a slight tangent she did inform me that there are no actual crows here in Australia... She wasn't 100% sure what those big black birds are called that I see in my back yard but we thought maybe they are ravens?? 

Think bird watcher and I think binoculars, funny hat and those hidey holes to sit silently in for hours and drink tea from a flask.  Not particularly appealling to me I must say.  But I think that like handy crafts this stuff should become fashionable again, I really do.  I think we should all know what type of birds are in our back yards and what trees are in our environment.

Image by enchanted learning.com

I read a post today from happy homemaker uk about an RSPB backyard bird identification project and I really recognised the importance and the gaps in knowledge that there can be in people who have moved country as lot of this info is passed down by generations.  So where do we find this stuff out from?  Whereas one day we'd have asked Grandad, now we ask Google.

So today I decided that I will make a concerted effort to learn this stuff, as I think it is really important and I want to be able to be the someone that other people can ask and I know some of these answers. 

I intend to become a modern day birdwatcher and to make it cool.  (not that I am remotely cool of course, but several years ago noses would have turned up in distaste at crocheted blankets, now they are totally COOL).... So come on and join me and revive the lost skill of knowing your environment.

So to begin....The bird call I heard the other day was cooee.  According to Grandad Google it came from here:

Common Koel / Flinders Cuckoo / Cooee Bird

How is your knowledge of your environment and where did you learn it from?  I'd love to hear...

 : )


He's back!

I had a month at home alone over Christmas and New Years while my hubby went back the UK to visit his family.  He had the most fabulous time and returned on Sunday.  It is lovely having him back.  

Some people were kind of shocked that I 'let' my husband go back to England without me.  Some people felt sorry for me being on my own ..... but I was fine.  I was amazed at how quickly I adapted.  For the first few days I was bored senseless, and then I found my rhythm and I had a great time.  I think it's good to have some time apart every so often.  I kind of took the time to reflect on being 'me' without any other influences (as I'm sure the hubby did too).  I was responsible for making my own entertainment and for making my life meaningful every day.... for one whole month.  I had to measure my needs and address them; when I was lonely I got in the car and visited someone, when I wanted to watch a film I chose a film that he probably would have wrinkled his nose up at, when I felt tense, I put on my mediation CD or sat in silence and when I wanted food, I ate whatever I chose.  And I enjoyed it all, I really did.  I look on these times as a bit of an experiment for myself, to see who I am when I am just me.  And it makes me realise that I enjoy alone time as much as I enjoy together time.

I feel grateful for a relationship where I have opportunities to grow and where there is freedom; a connected freedom.  Sometimes I need to remember that it is myself who attaches weights to my ankles so that my wings have to flap so hard it's hard to take off.  And in becoming aware of this, hopefully I can avoid getting myself weighed down by responsibilities and obligations that I buy into.  This isn't supposed to sound cryptic, all I mean is that I hope to hold onto the realisation that my husband gives me freedom in our relationship, but as a woman, I seem to impose rules on myself that make me feel restricted and I aim to be kinder to myself and quit this pattern in 2012.

The things I enjoyed over the past month
  • having a lie in or 10!
  • having toast for dinner if I fancied it
  • watching movies that I liked and rewinding them if I missed a bit
  • making easy peasy dinners and eating them for a couple of days in a row
  • sewing all day and not having to tidy my projects away
  • spreading myself out around the house; fabric, magazines, vision boards etc etc etc
  • not washing up for a couple of days at a time if I didn't feel like it
  • choosing the sounds in my home
  • meditating sitting on a cushion in the lounge
  • thinking creatively about the house; having ideas of changes I'd like to make
And there is no reason to stop doing any of these now that my hubby is back is there? Absolutely not!

Here's to toast for dinner when you fancy it!
Jo :) 

New Beginnings - My 2012 journal

This time last year I saw an entry Claire's fabby blog; Heart Handmade UK of her cutest of cute journal and I fell in love with it.  So much so that I remembered it at the end of the year when thinking of a diary for 2012 and did indeed pop it on my Christmas list.  Good ole Santa was kind to me.  Just look what he delivered.....

My phrase for this year is 'New Beginnings'

I had asked Claire what she thought of the journal and despite her reservations, I couldn't resist requesting it.  I do agree that it is indeed a bit squishy Claire; there isn't heaps of room to write.  I am using this as a handbag diary and although it does have space to journal daily, it's more for a brief overview than any in depth journaling (in my opinion).  It will suit my purposes well enough though as I journal my thoughts elsewhere in an A5 spiral bound book (preferably hard back).

This journal is open so it can be started at any point in the year.  This means that you have to fill in every day yourself and also have some options to decide on the categories you want to include in the journal, as there are some blank page tab stickers included.  I decided that I wanted a section for affirmations, quotes, movies to watch, music to download, hopes and dreams for 2012.  There are plenty of pages spare to add in a few other categories throughout the year. 

I haven't been using it every day; it does tend to take me a while to get into using a new diary.... I'm sure I will be using it more regularly soon.


And just like that it was 2012!

I have been on a blog fast of late and the whole of Christmas and New Years has been and gone.  One thing I am experiencing with blogging is the swift passing of time; one blink and a month has gone by!  I did have some sweet little makes to share but I don't feel much like showing Christmassy things off in January.....

So I have been home alone for almost 3 weeks now with the hubby being back in the UK for the holidays.  I got to spend Christmas with my family in Melbourne and we all got together for the first time in way too long, brothers, sister, inlaws, kiddies, babies, dogs, yummy food and lovely company.....  We had a bit of crazy weather here on the 25th with hail the size of golf balls!  Seriously.  I had heard about them but kind of thought people were exaggerating, but no siree.  They were mahoosive and they stung like hell if they copped you. 

We were eating outside (under cover) but they were pinging in at us of the fence from time to time.  It was quite funny really; every so often there would be a little squeal from someone under fire!

I did wonder how I'd fill a month of days, especially over the festive season, but I've had no trouble filling the days at all.  I'm having loads of fun doing anything or nothing as the fancy takes me.  I am spreading myself around all over the place, and making a bit of a mess from time to time. 
I've been gardening and tending veggies.

I've been doing a bit of sewing

A bit of vision board creating with a friend (this is her one).  I did mine on New Years day but am still looking for a couple of pics to add to it.

And some cooking & eating of my favourite five bean chili with brown rice....yumyumyum!

I also had a new sewing machine for Chrissy, it is pretty swanky and I'm still getting to grips with it.  It is computerised and is way more fancy than I really needed.  I spent a lot of time researching different machines and found that they all seem to have their pros and cons.  I am really happy with my new Husqvarna Emerald though, it even had alphabet stitches! 

I hope 2012 is getting off to a good start for everyone.  I do love a new year; a fresh start, like the first page in your new school book.  I will attempt to be back within a couple of days to share some other bits and bobs.  I'm off now to put some cream on a bit of sunburn I got today, I always seem to miss a bit with the sunscreen, one of these days I will master it.

until the next time,
Jo :)
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