Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Show and Tell

During the week after Lauren's death, our house was filled on a continual basis with her friends and ours, as we worked through our grief and shock together, and then we started our story sessions--our remembrances.  We would find ourselves laughing, with tears streaming as we wiped them away.  During this time frame there seemed to be an on-going communal planning process happening in our lounge room, as we listened to suggestions from her friends on how we could handle her funeral(s). We planned a formal mass observance at Holy Family, our local parish church, and then an additional service at the crematorium.  There are so many details I could go into - but this prelude to this next story was as an introduction and perhaps an explanation regarding our views on how we handled her death. 

While we all missed Lauren, and mourned her intensely, each in our own way, we also celebrated her, which was emphasized strongly during the wake after her funeral. That afternoon, many musicians from competing bands and groups in the local community all joined forces, shared equipment and amplifiers, and held a mini-rock festival on our large front lawn.  There was food and drink, and music and stories.  During all of this afternoon, Maddie, who was one week into her 7th year, was invited and encouraged to take part in the music by Lauren's friends and fellow musicians.  She loved the drums the best! 

A few weeks passed, and one morning I walked through the lounge room here at home, on my way to start breakfast, when I saw Madison sitting on the floor in front of the television.  She was sitting on the skateboard she had shared with Lauren, with Big Ted (her favourite teddy bear on one side of her), and Lauren's box of ashes propped on the skateboard on the other side of her, with her arms around both companions.

I hesitated, then asked:

"Maddie, what are you doing?"

"Lauren and me are watching Rug Rats"

"Oh. OK.  You look like you're having fun!"

"Yeah.  Hey, Mum?"

"Yes, Darlin'"

"Could I take Lauren to Show and Tell today?"

"Maddie, I think Laurie would have loved that, but something tells me that maybe your teacher, or some of your classmates might not understand...so maybe we should just leave her here for now, OK?'

"Oh...OK.  Mum, could I take our skateboard instead?"


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Early christmas reflections

You know, for some reason, I am always so reflective leading up to Christmas.  Christmas would have to be my number ONE holiday - a time of year of such joy and giving--but leading up to it for me is almost painful.  You don't understand that do you?  I don't blame you--I almost don't either.

Maybe if I explain by saying that I don't just have emotions---I FEEL emotions when I acknowledge them. Physically and emotionally.  Especially at this time of year.  I always have- even as a child.  While my friends were making Santa lists and happily dreaming of 'Sugar Plum Fairies', I was concentrating on - OK- what I wanted for Christmas, but also worried about how children in the world would feel if they didn't get any Christmas surprises. I mean, Santa was special, but even he could make mistakes! Even as a kid I thought too much!

My way of coping with this 'syndrome' was to lay under our Christmas tree, which in Iowa was a real pine tree, and look up at the lights on the tree, and contemplate--Alright--I wasn't a normal kid--but, today who is!!  As the years passed, and I survived and enjoyed each Christmas holiday, and eventually had children of my own...a funny thing happened.  My second daughter, Lauren became a contemplator--and it was not unusual to find her laying under our Australian artificial pine tree, looking up at lights, and thinking about 'things'. 
I used to ask her what she was thinking about, and she would just tell me: "...I feel safe here, Mum.  Just want to feel it's quiet."  I knew what she meant, so I would leave her alone.
So, as we begin this wonderful holiday season, I wish you all much happiness....and then maybe a spare moment to contemplate--on your life, your happiness, and what yet you could do...maybe a random act somewhere...for someone.  Not everyone has a Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lauren's Sundays

I've written about *Lauren a few times. 

Anyway, in one of my last blogs ('Packing up memories') I spoke of her Sunday morning DJ radio spots- and it's special meaning for me.  She was a young girl who at the age of 17-18 approached a local community radio station  and said that she wanted to have a radio spot, and would they give her air time.  It was a radio station which usually focused on soft music, leaning towards old rock and easy listening.  In fact, it often played more classical music--depending upon the DJ's focus.  Most of the volunteer DJ's were middle-aged and in a very different zone from Lauren's world.

Lauren was a punk musician in the making, and was a different breath of wind to this radio station.  For some reason, they said yes.  She started out with an easy listening Wednesday, late afternoon drive time radio program.: 4:00-7:00 pm.  Sometimes I would bring pizza to her into the studio, or phone in requests in the beginning--then suddenly she had an audience.

 By the age of 18, she had added the Sunday morning easy listening time slot to her radio program schedule. In this time slot, from 9:00 to 11:00 am, she played my music--music from the 70's.  Often she would dedicate songs to me.  But my best memories of Sundays would be after the radio program- she would stop at the local markets in town and buy 'stuff' from the pensioner's stands, with her meagre savings (She loved the pensioners and the stories they would tell her.  She often sat with them and found out how their week had been)  Then she would buy a 20 cent ring to give to someone.  She loved 20 cent rings!

She would then come home, grab her little sister Madison, who was 5-6 years old, and they would go skate-boarding in the closed parking lots of the local shopping centres.  Madison adored her, and vice-versa.  They had quite a bond!

Lauren was heavily involved in the underground music/punk music movement in the local community, and as she had two bands, she performed in a lot of venues and local night-time events.  Sometimes she would DJ a wedding or party, anything she could do to keep involved with music and people. 

Then out of the blue, one day the radio station decided to have a leap of faith, and gave Lauren her own radio spot--'The Smelly Show'--which aired on Thursday nights from 9:00 - 11:00 pm.  In this time slot Lauren aired her preference for punk music, and promoted young local talent, with pre-recorded interviews, and introduced new up-coming talent in the area.  She also interviewed travelling music legends prior to their concert performances, faking an intro to them with her 'Smelly bags" - airplane sick bags which contained our local city's promotional material and always a tape of someone's music! 

She never stopped--she was hosting three radio spots, studying full-time at university, was involved in two bands, held down a part-time job, and still did photography and wrote music. 

But most of all, on Sundays she was mine.  During her Sunday morning radio program, while she played my kind of  music, she would occasionally drop a one-liner to tell the local radio listeners how much her Mum meant to her--she always referred to it as unconditional love.  Sundays were days for Lauren and I- but others were always invited to come along!.

*(Lauren died in a tragic car accident at the age of 19, on her way to a rock concert festival. She died one day after Madison's 7th birthday.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving - a time of reflection

Many of my American family and friends will be sitting down together on Thursday, 25 November, to celebrate Thanksgiving, an American tradition.  A time for giving thanks for what you have received in your life and a time to appreciate your family and those loved ones in your life (at least, that is what it always meant to me.)

In Australia, we don't have that tradition, probably due to the fact that we weren't rescued as pilgrims by friendly native Indians, showing us how to survive in the harsh environment at that time and sharing their supplies with us that first harsh Winter.---although I'm sure the Aborigines could have and probably did help early settlers learn survival skills in these harsh Australian conditions during its early settlement time!

Some years ago, I came up with the idea of a 'Thanksgiving Under the Stars' dinner party, as in November we are entering late Spring/early Summer climates here.  I have held several of these 'feasts' outside under our stars, with the last one celebrated about 2 years ago---when I baked a large ham, and a lamb.  ( In Australia turkey isn't a favoured meat--so never makes the menu that often!)  This was all served with many accompanying vegetables, sauces, gravies, and desserts--I have taught myself to make pumpkin pie from scratch - it's the pioneers and me, Baby! - all laid out on a large table on our front deck.  I had set up the long tables for our friends and family, with candle-light and decorations, and about 16 of us dined and laughed under the stars that night, to good food, good company, maybe some good music, and lots of laughter....it was a fun night- and a chance for us all to give thanks to each other and our extended families. 

So, I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may you all find time somehow, sometime to give thanks to each other!

Packing up memories

We are about to have some work completed on our family home, and then it will be re-painted and freshened up for the sale market.  In the process of doing this we have come across many memory makers--photos of family trips, photos of my three daughters as children, and at various stages in their lives as they were growing up.

I have found cassette tapes of my daughter Lauren's radio shows - mainly her Sunday morning show, during which she would play music that was my kind of music--music of my youth.  Sundays were special for this reason.  Some of these tapes were given to me by her radio station after her death.  As a bit of a memorium.  I have also found video cassettes of her recording her first CD with her band, and other videos of other local bands in the area at the time, on which she would sometimes appear.  All really good keepsakes.

Lauren - her last Christmas with us

Both my Mum and my 19 year old daughter have passed on, and yesterday I carefully wrapped my Mum's cut crystal pieces--her serving bowls, candy dishes, sweet bowls, and other special pieces in bubble wrap for storage, as we make our plans to move from this family home.  I had already carted these pieces from Michigan, USA to Queensland, now they are getting ready to travel again.

I then turned to Lauren's art pieces--her life size guitar sculpture, her pottery dragons, and her other pieces of artwork.  Each piece was carefully wrapped in bubble-wrap, and placed with care on top of a soft blanket in a very large plastic container, for its planned journey to our next home--somewhere in Cairns--we still have to make those final decisions. 

'Lauren's Guitar' sculpture- stylised by Madison Liston
For now, my pieces of memory of my two very much missed people will be put safely in storage, until we make that next journey to our new home.

Chris, Maddie and I are very busy packing things into boxes, and sorting through what to keep, what to give away, and what just needs to be thrown away--it is sometimes a difficult journey emotionally for me.  While Chris and I are excited about starting our next adventures in Cairns, we are also sad to be leaving this home. There is a lot of of us which we have put into making this a welcoming home, it holds a lot of memories.

Madison will be moving down to the City to go to university - a big step in her life, and at about the same time, we will be moving to Northern Queensland - about 1,718 kilometres away from where she will be. (3 days by car, but only about 2.5 hours by flight).  So this is a big upheaval in all of our lives---but despite the sadness which can't help but be felt, there is also great excitement---and we're taking our memories with us---that's the best part---we all have adventures ahead of us!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rainy days lately...

On a typical rainy morning lately, this is what we all go through, when waking up.  As we leave the bedroom, Chris opens the back door to check on the dogs and the weather and I head up the small set of stairs to start my day, and think about breakfast.  At this time I also uncover the pink sheet from Squirt's aviary, and Squirt and I start our daily conversation. She lives in our usually sunny plant-filled central hallway--so rainy days are foreign to her--unfortunately, Jock and Strap, our two border collies don't have it so good!  They have been living in the rainy elements lately, and don't need much encouragement to come inside to the dry, lower  hallway, and unfortunately, cream carpeted bedrooms!

(Snippet from yesterday's conversation as I attempted to uncover Squirt's aviary and start my day...)

"OK, I'm uncovering you, Squirty. --Hello, Squirt!"
"Allo--Hello, Strap!"
"No. Let's not call the boys--their feet are very dirty---you should see the mess they made on our bedroom carpet yesterday when you called them in!"
"Hello, Squirt!" I say, as once again I try to get her attention away from the poor, wet boys and just try to talk with Squirt, my very colourful, and very cheeky lorrikeet.

 "Let's just talk about you today..." 
"Hello, Squirt - (squawk!) Squirt! Strap! Strap!"
"No!  Not Strap--we don't need him to come inside today...just Squirt. Do you want a cuddle?  Yes?  OK - Up on your perch! Good girl---No!  No biting!  That's my good Squirty!" (I say, as I  gently tap her beak)--"We don't like biting do we?"
"Strap! Hello, Strap!"
"Squirt--stop it!  We don't want the boys to come inside--stop calling them!"

Suddenly the sound of the back hallway screen door is heard opening, and the sound of dog claws hit the tiled floor..

"Squirt!  I told you this would happen!"  I had to turn and go back to the bottom hallway, only to find Strap already inside, and Jock standing with his nose holding the hallway screen door open, eyes up- looking at me expectantly.

"Strappy Boy--sorry mate--I know you hate the rain--but go outside again please--you're a mess--you're full of mud--good boy--outside now!" 

Suddenly the dejected look of his black and white face meets mine, and with his head down, he slowly opens the back screen door and heads outside, with Jock standing just outside the back screen door - knowing now that they won't get away with coming inside.  Not only do they leave their dirty feet calling cards, but the wet aroma of rain dog fills the lower hallway for the time being!

"Squirt!  See what you did!  It's OK for you--you're in a dry aviary--the boys aren't--it's not nice to tease!"
"Hello, Squirt!"
"That's right!  Good girl--just Hello Squirt!"
"Strap! Strap! Strap! Hello, Strap!"
"Squirt! Stop it - they cannot come inside!"
"Strap! Strap! (Squawk) Strap!"
"Squirt!  Stop it! "

Once again I hear the back screen opening, and I know it's the boys--if nothing else, they are persistent!
"Squirt! I'll talk with you later!"
"Boys, No!  Go outside! I really give up - Sorry boys!" 
Heading back towards Squirt's aviary, I mumble under my breath:
"Stupid Smart Alec bird! Stop hanging upside down and looking at yourself in your mirror - you know what you did!" (Why is it that Lorrikeets know how to smile--at least this one does!)

"I'll talk with you all later--it's too early for this!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stick by me

Last night, when scrolling through the myriad of TV channels to find 'something to watch', I came upon one of, what I would call my classic films- 'Stand by Me' - based upon a short story by Stephen King, which highlights the relationship of 4 boys in their pursuit to find the unfortunate body of a dead kid hit by a train.

This movie has always been our family favourite, in the first instance because of its underlying King-like death presence and the possibility of not knowing what was going to happen as a result, but more so the over-riding strength of friendship in a time of troubled youth. This classic theme eventually confirmed it as a family favourite, because--how did one ever find better friends than those you had as a child?

Somehow, we do.

I don't know about you, but I sometimes wonder how that happens.  I mean, the first best girlfriend I ever had was a young girl who was 3rd born in a family of 4, about my age, and a neighbourhood childhood life mate.  She was about 4-5 and I was a year older---we were people who could defend ourselves against the travesties of neighbourhood game squabbles and big brothers!  We were strong!

We had so many adventures together--the bad ones because of my curiosity - like the day I tasted freshly dropped tar by the City Council on the street past our house, because it looked like liquid licorice.  ( I know--don't ask...my imagination will be the death of me!)  In order to get the tar off my teeth, we sat together in her backyard, in the tractor tire rimmed sand pit, and scrubbed at my teeth with her brother's toothbrush, mainly because we thought it might work, but mostly because he was a bully and needed to have his toothbrush treated this way!  I don't remember what eventually worked--but those methods--especially sand and tar were pretty awful!

Her Dad had a car which didn't seem to get driven very much, and to my memory looked like a gangster car like in one of those old black and white movies that came on TV. In my memory it was grey and boring, and had great rounded edges with lots of metal space.  It needed help--maybe if it looked better--they would drive it more often--so my trusting friend Kimmy and I decided that all of the half used paint tins in the garage were probably put there to eventually make that poor, sad car look much better!  I have vague memories of painting sections of the car with large brushes - I had seen my Dad remove paint tin lids with large screw drivers, so I sort of was was the expert here.

Anyway, after working fairly hard to cover the dull gray car with pink, blue and yellow paint, in patterns we thought might help it to feel more accepted and driveable, we were finished. We stood back and surveyed our work, and a dark cloud flew through my brain. 'Maybe this had been a bad idea!  Maybe we shouldn't have done this!'  But I soon dismissed this thought, put the lids back on the tins of paint, and went on with another adventure with Kimmy. 

Later on that day, our artwork was discovered - instead of the praise that I thought would be heaped upon us, we were thoroughly disciplined. I don't remember this part very well--something to do with blocking out unpleasantt memories.

Well, the day came when Kimmy's family decided to move to California!  I remember jumping out of bed early that last  morning, so that I could run down to their house to say goodbye, but it was empty, and they had already gone.  I was devastated, and just sat and cried.  Kimmy was my first loss of friendship - there would be others, but at that time even sitting in her sandbox with Randy's toothbrush in my pants pocket didn't make the hurt go away.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Conquering my fear of horses

As I stated previously, my friend, Jackie, had a horse which she stabled at a really nice horse - I guess you call them - Stabling yards?

I always admired the way she would move in amongst all of them while they were in the main yard (corral).  I could never do this--something about their large size, their ability to kick me if they wanted to, and the fact that I didn't like human given 'horse bites' - so why would would I want a real one?

Well, Jackie used to say to me that the only way I was ever going to get over this fear was to just jump in, and let them rub against me, and crowd my space--I would learn to push them away, and become the boss---so I practiced this process at times when I was with her.

Well, one day, I knew she was at the stables, and I decided to drive out to see her and her horse and 'practice' a bit more.  But when I got there, it seemed quiet all around, and the only horse in the yard was a large beautiful dark coated beauty (in my mind it was a black stallion--but that's after years of making this memory a really good one!)

Suddenly I had no fear, and as I have always talked to animals I called this most handsome horse over to the yard's fence, jumped up on the wooden bars, and rubbed his ears and forehead - something I found out later that some horses just don't like!  Anyway, after talking with him for a while, and still not seeing Jackie, I just jumped the corral fence, and stood in the yard with this magnificent large animal.  I kept talking to him, and rubbing his side and neck and wondered where everyone was, as I wanted to show how brave I was being!

Suddenly I heard yelling, something like:
"Oh, God! Get out of there! Quickly!" I looked around to see what was going on - a few people were running towards the yard - in the background I think I saw Jackie.  I just kept on talking to this gorgeous horse, and rubbing his neck.
"I mean it now blondie--move!"
"What?' I replied. I assumed the blondie reference was being pointed in my direction.
"He's attacked several people today--get out!  It's not safe!"
"What! Are you yelling at me?"
"Crap! Get outta there!"

All the yelling was upsetting me, and my gorgeous new friend was becoming agitated, so I apologised to him, gave his neck one more rub, and jumped up on the yard's wooden fence lines--soon I was out of the yard and looking quizzically at everyone and all the noise--somewhat surprised at all the commotion.

Apparently when that horse had arrived earlier that day, he had been agitated and kicked at and fought against the stables' owners and some of the other horses--he had been left in the yard on his own for everyone's safety.  No-one had told me--I was brave now--I just wanted to prove it!

It hasn't stopped me from talking to animals though--I think we have a connection--he and I felt quite connected - pity about the others!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Hot August Night" - Springtime Style!

Jackie's red convertible held so many memories I have to quickly include this one!

It was Springtime again, probably the same year as I spoke of earlier when Jackie and I had shared our Golden Os with nature (This one's for Jackie) - and we were driving to Macombe Illinois to see a live Neil Diamond concert - 'Hot August Night'!  There was lots of excitement in that little red car as we sang the songs, and talked about being at Macombe University for that night--(If memory serves me correctly, I think we were probably squatting on the floor of Jackie's sister's college room that night, after the concert)--anyway--we just couldn't wait to get there!

It was at the time when Neil Diamond was at the height of his career, as far as we were concerned, and the concert didn't fail to impress Jackie and I!  It was brilliant, and we excitedly fell asleep that night, giggling and humming his songs under our breath while Linda shouted at us to "Go to sleep, and be quiet for God's sake!"

The next morning we eventually got into our little red convertible, and probably after a good feed of donuts, we headed back home along the freeway.  As it was a nice Spring day, at least compared to the dismally cold dreary, snow covered Winter we had just come through, any sight of grass and sunshine was an improvement.  So, being of good Iowan stock, we decided that the trip home would be even better with the convertible's top down!

Now, picture this--I had on my Winter suede jacket, albeit--not buttoned, but probably a jumper and jeans--it was still just early Spring--but Neil Diamond singing to us on a cassette as we drove for the few hours to get home, just made it all worth while!!!

The next day we both woke up in our respective homes with sore throats (probably from all the singing--couldn't have been the weather!) and went to our part time-time jobs at Giant Foods, barely able to talk---but we rasped our way through the day--still remembering the concert, and knowing that it had all been worth it!!

Just for you--Neil Diamond!


This one's for Jackie!

I don't know what made me think of this today, but the memory kept playing around in my head, so decided to add this wonderful little memory to my ramblimgs here...

When I was about 18/19 I was going to college in my hometown, studying for my first two years there before heading off to university to finish my 4 year degree.  During my second year, my good friend, Jackie, also decided to attend this college.  We were free spirits, and sometimes prone to snap decisions - usually resulting in innocent, but 'against the rules' behaviour.

On this particular day, I arrived a bit before 10:00 am for one of my first classes that day and was just parking my car outside of the college's back gates, when suddenly parking across the street from me was my friend Jackie, parking her red, 1965 Ford Falcon convertible. I think it was a Ford Falcon--it was red anyway!

 We had always had so many adventures in that car, which usually carried a bale of hay in the boot for feeding to her horse which was stabled just outside of town.

Anyway, without saying a word, I locked my car, jumped in hers and said that I could afford to skip this class if she could skip hers--it didn't take us long to decide.  We loved to go adventuring, and loved driving through the countryside, especially if the weather was good enough to put the top down.

After a short time of driving around town to check out our 'haunts' we decided to stop in at one of the local take away burger spots which was famous for its onion rings.  We went in to order, full of ourselves, ordering what we thought was 2 orders of golden Os (onion rings) and cheeseburgers--we had tried to show off and order in fast food lingo--but the sting came when we finally got our order and somehow our order had grown to 4 orders of onion rings and what seemed like a large bagful of other oddities.  (Probably the counter staff taking their revenge on us for being so stupid in our order!)

Knowing that we couldn't possibly eat this amount of food and still function, we headed off into the countryside, with the top down, and opening our bag of food, we yelled out to the wildlife as we saw it--"A Golden O for you, and a Golden O for me!"  We ended up at one of the Mississippi river access points along our route, (the river which ran through our town),  and pulled off the road to sit down with our 'mistake' of food, and share it with the fish and river creatures. 

It was a glorious sunny day, the beginning of a promising Spring after such a snowy and cold Winter.  This had all seemed like a good idea when we started off, but after finally emptying our food bag, we decided that we would drop off the bale of hay at the stables, check on Jackie's horse, and head back to class.  If I missed one more World Civilisation class, I would be never catch up!

It had been a fun spur of the moment adventure, and I suffered with onion ring over-exposure all through my 2 hour lecture that afternoon.  I imagine the people sitting around me also suffered!  But still---I wouldn't have missed the adventure for anything!  Onion rings--definitely--adventure--never!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We have lift-off!

For almost the past two years we have had two breakers on our electrical switchboard of our home that would not work.  As a consequence, we have been without ceiling lights during that time frame. 

At first it was frustrating, because we could not find an electrician who would spare the time to travel to our property to look at the situation.  So I started installing lamps--floor lamps, table lamps, hanging clip-on lamps--we have a mixture.  During this time frame, we have held major events and parties, all by lamp-light!  At night, candles play a large part in our living area, as the ambiance of candle light and lamp light is really very calming and relaxing!

Intermittently I have attempted to find an electrician who would assist us.  But came away frustrated every time. Then yesterday out of the blue, I found an electrician who agreed to come to our home at 2:00pm that afternoon.  He found the problem - it was broken springs behind the breakers--the only reason the breakers would not work and 'kick in' again.  Amazing.

While he was here I ran around turning on lights everywhere to check it all out!  It was like Christmas in here--everything was so bright!  Happily Chris and I thanked him, took some business cards from him to pass the word, and cheerily sent him on his way.

Last night I turned on the ceiling light in the kitchen, and felt almost blinded by it's brightness.  That light was soon turned off, and only the lamps used.  Chris and I noticed as the night progressed, that though it was great to have access to this bright light capacity, that we preferred our lamps and candle ambiance. 

So, not much has changed here - but it's nice to know it could if we wanted it to....Life is funny.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My early morning buddies-think I'm going to miss them....

I was up early again this morning, seems to be a routine thing now--maybe it's because I love the solitary peace of just me and nature, and believe me, here on this piece of property I have a lot of nature around me.

Anyway, in this peacefulness--it was about 6:00 am, and the day was yawning and stretching its skyward arms.  I sat at one of the tables on our front deck, when a Honeyeater jumped down from one of the palm trees that grow through the floor of our deck, and in which it makes its home, and sat at the table across from me, quizzically tilting his/her head ( I still don't know how to tell Mr from Mrs) as if to say--what treats do you have for me today?

  Well, I tried to explain to him that it was still early, and I hadn't checked my pantry yet--when suddenly a relative of Big Boy's family stopped by, and sat on the deck railing sort of asking me the same question--both of them tilting their heads and looking at me, as birds do, out of one eye.  In case you are new to Big Boy and his antics--he comes from the magpie bird family--and while they usually swoop and attack humans during breeding season, we are very much loved and respected here---they follow us around, sort of like pet dogs--kind of funny to watch a trail of them walking behind me when I am outside--but they walk with their wings folded, and heads down,---looking and waiting.

 Anyway, today, this particular Big Boy descendant just sat with this huge enquiring look on his face until I went into the pantry to see what I could find.  I finally came back with a couple of my favourite biscuits--a fruit and nut spice roll--no banana today--but we'll see what happens later.  I broke the biscuits up and threw them off the deck onto the lawn, (as we don't encourage them to eat from the deck--even though they still fly up here with their bits, and choose their spots to sit and nibble).

Nature is wonderful.  You just have to take the time to see it and enjoy it--it's nice to know that Big Boy's legacy is living on, and that the family of Honeyeaters is spending at least their 6th season with us in their palm tree....

I'm back--and it feels good!

My last blog was out of character for me, and I have had a lot of people asking me how I am and is everything OK...

Yep-- I will be fine.  In fact I will survive!

Just for you (and copyright people please forgive me if I am doing this link incorrectly)--but just for you--

My theme song!

Gloria Gaynor at her best--and my upbeat gotta dance to it--feel good theme song!  Enjoy:


Friday, November 5, 2010

Why I love my friends!

I have been going through a stressful time lately, for all sorts of reasons, and at one stage I was feeling very sad and prone to tears a lot.  I wanted to fight this feeling, but the sadness I was feeling was almost overwhelming.  (Doesn't even sound like me does it?)

Well, guess who pulled me out of it--my friends.  Poor Chrisco, my darling husband suffered through these few days with me, and as I write and communicate (even when I am sad), my dear girlfriend also wrote back to me every day --several times a day, and then I noticed something...

Suddenly friends I had not heard from for a while, just out of the blue, started to send me messages, and kept asking how I was, and as a result, I started to feel connected again.

This sad and upsetting period, which even affected me physically, made me stop and think.  Really, in a bad time those who care for you the most are those who probably you wouldn't suspect are out there thinking of you.

I hesitated writing this in my blog, as I am trying very hard to keep this blog upbeat about my life and my happiness.  But this particular entry is about my friends-the ones who are always there--the ones who have strong faith in me, and the ones I love. The real Jan will return, maybe tomorrow.....

Meanwhile, please have a good day!