Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bloody Tourists

It's Easter weekend.

Over Easter, our town holds it's annual Easter Fishing Classic, which is a weekend long fishing competition.

The population more than doubles over the Easter weekend. Good Friday is the sign up day and then each day after that has live weigh-ins and dead weigh-ins, and there are prizes for all children's age groups and also for adults. The prizes cover different breeds of fish and crab.

Each day from noon, there are rolling raffles and prizes include assorted fishing gear including rods and reels and eskies. The big prize for the weekend is a boat, but you have to be in attendance to win it.

This fishing competition has been running for over 25 years and brings a lot of money to the town and our local charities.

It is always a very successful weekend and I can't even tell you how much I dislike it!

My town fills with loud, disrespectful, inconsiderate, arrogant out-of-towners. They litter our streets, riverbanks and waterways. They take over our club and pub. They fill the seating at our local coffee shops. They create massive queues in our supermarket and shops. Their cars fill every car space in town. They provoke ramp rage at the boat ramps. They break the rules on the water. They don't monitor their kids who commit crimes late at night. They speed through our streets.

Unfortunately, they also provide enough income for our local businesses to help them stay afloat for the rest of the year, so it doesn't matter how much I bitch about them, I am constantly reminded that the town needs these tourists.


I do my utmost to remain indoors over Easter and avoid the ugly crowds.

I was asked to do the photography for the weekend, but respectfully declined. It's a 'love' job and takes many many hours of precious time. It's also a thankless job. I did it for the first two years that we were in town, so I know what I'm missing and am grateful for the opportunity to say 'NO'.

Anyway ... today was ART day!!

I stained my clay bust ...

... and our work will be fired in a kiln in The Bay some time over the next couple of weeks.

Our next project is a clay tile.

I selected this photo ...

I had to draw it onto a leather tile and then use a leather cutter to slice pieces out of the picture. This is the first stage.

Later, we will cover the tile with soft clay so that the clay fills the holes that we've cut out (like a mould), then we wait for the clay to dry, paint it and then fire it in the kiln. Interesting concept hey?

I just love my art class. The other girls are great value. It's very informal and relaxed and we have some good laughs at each other's expense. All very different personalities when it comes to creativity, and we each take turns to bring lunch every Saturday which is usually sandwiches with GF bread. I love that they take me into consideration and always provide something that I can eat.

After I returned home, I spent 90 minutes taking photos of my jewellery. I did it outside where the light was good, but my silver jewellery seems to have photographed more gold than silver! This is bloody annoying and means that I have to start all over again. They are also not very sharp.

Adoring Husband is going to set up my Lightbox for me tomorrow and we'll see if that makes a difference to the colour. I'm not a fan of the Lightbox, but it might be my only option. I did attempt to set it up myself a couple of months ago, but it just didn't seem right. Let's see if AH is cleverer than me ... there's a challenge for him!!

Here are some of the jewellery pics. A few of these pieces are quite large and the chains aren't included.

So many more to photograph yet! That's my priority tomorrow. Two full days to power through some work!! Wahoo!!

Enough for now. Time for bed.

Nite all.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Good Friday

Best Cousin in the World and Marco Polo came for lunch today.

I got out of bed at 9am and cleaned the bathroom while Adoring Husband vacuumed and steam cleaned the tiled floor.

I chucked some chicken wings in a baking tray and poured a mixture of Raspberry and Chocolate balsamic vinegar, honey, fish sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper, slices of fresh ginger and one chilli roughly chopped over the top of them. Baked them in the oven at 180C for 45 minutes, turned the oven off and let them sit in the residual heat.

I made up three salads.

A coleslaw with mango mayonnaise.

A rocket pear and salty caramelised walnuts salad. I made a dressing of avocado, chilli coconut mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.

A salad of baby spinach, lettuce, rocket, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, boiled egg and chopped mint. No dressing for that one.

Adoring Husband cooked some steak on the barbecue.

It was an easy lunch that was prepared (except for the steak) before they even arrived so I was able to sit with everybody and chat until AH cooked the steak and we brought all the remaining food from the fridge to the outside table.

The weather was nice outside today. A sunny day with a cool breeze.

Best Cousin in the World drank a whole bottle of red wine and I drank 3/4 bottle of Oyster Bay SB over four hours.

I drank the wine because BCITW gifted it to me. I spent most of the afternoon after they left in the bathroom suffering the consequences of my actions (and no, I wasn't drunk). At the time, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing some alcoholic beverages with good company, but I guess it takes me a while to learn my lessons. Wine simply doesn't agree with me anymore.

Adoring Husband had SES duties this evening and was gone for about 4 hours. This would have been a perfect opportunity to get some work done on my site, but between my bathroom visits and the football on TV, no work was done by me.

It has been a good Friday.

Tomorrow is my art class, which I'm very much looking forward to, but I'm looking forward, also, to having no commitments so that I can focus on my work on Sunday and Monday.

Seeing that it's only just after 9.30pm and the final game of footy is almost done for the evening, I might just get an early night, in preparation for an early morning.

I just wanted to mention, as a follow on from yesterday's post, my gratitude and appreciation for the support and encouragement that I received from Happy Harry, Lady Lynn and Adoring Husband at the funeral. It was thanks to them, that I found the strength to stand up and read the tribute. Thanks guys xox

Nite all.

The Party is Over

Today we said goodbye to Mum H.

At the service, there were about 100 people in attendance and there were quite a few people out of town and unable to attend.

All the bowlers turned up in their colours and formed a guard of honour as we left the chapel.

The eulogy was lovely and everybody learnt something new about Mum H.

The TV screen at the head of the chapel showed so many photos of her with so many different people, at parties and functions and events. There were photos of her as a young child and wedding photos. A lifetime of photos that made everybody smile.

The music was amazing .. just one song to tug at our heart strings, but the rest were upbeat happy songs that Mum used to love dancing to, and the final song to say goodbye was the old classic "Eagle Rock".

One representative from the Bowls Club was invited to the podium to say a few words on behalf of the bowlers. He spoke well and only faltered at the very end.

In my purse I had a two page written tribute that I had every intention of reading. I practiced at home and I timed myself. It was just two minutes long. I imagined myself standing at the podium, strong and confident and articulating my words clearly and precisely.

As the moment drew closer, I took some slow deep breaths. My stomach and my throat felt tight and I concentrated really hard on relaxing. Happy Harry offered to stand beside me at the podium for moral support.

My biggest concern was getting to the podium and falling apart before the first word was uttered. I am such an emotional blob of jelly in these situations!

When the bowler's tribute was over, the celebrant asked if there was anyone else who wanted to speak.

This was the moment.

I stood up and walked directly to the podium. I did it so suddenly that Happy Harry didn't have a chance to support me! I glanced briefly at all of those people sitting in the chapel. All of those people who were there to say goodbye to Mum H. All of those people who loved her and wanted this opportunity to pay their last respects.

I could feel the emotion welling inside me.

I took a deep breath.

I said to myself "You can do this. Just do it!"

I looked at my printed sheet of paper, opened my mouth and through my quivering emotional tight throat, I spoke.

Almost immediately, I felt myself losing it, but I pushed myself to keep going. My voice faltered so many times and I was terrified that I wouldn't make it to the end. I heard Adoring Husband give a little emotional cough. The last line of my tribute almost wasn't uttered ... but I made it.

I made it to the end.

The people were pleased. I received hugs of praise because my words described Mum H so well and everybody could relate. I think a lot of the hugs were sympathetic hugs because I was such a wuss!

I think Mum H would have been pleased. Her family were grateful too.

It was the best way I knew how to say goodbye and I'm glad that I pushed through the overwhelm and the emotion.

Now I am drained and exhausted but unable to wind down. It's almost 1am! Ugh.

Nite all.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Boring Stuff

For the next couple of weeks, this blog is going to be a bit more boring than usual, because I'm spending most of my waking hours at my desk or with my camera.

I attempted to take photos of my stock today, but couldn't quite get the light right, so I gave up and did some research on marketing and copywriting instead. I also got part way through a course from the Academy - which is always inspiring and helpful.

The photos will need to be taken in the early morning light .. which I will try tomorrow.

Adoring Husband was kind enough to make lunch, which gave me extra time to work.

I did a proof read of the work I've done so far on the website, which was interesting, because I hadn't looked at it for more than two months. It looks pretty good!

I've now laid out a time line. It's basically a 'to do' list and each item has a 'do by' date. I'm hoping that will push me a bit harder and make me more accountable.

Every small step takes me closer to my finishing line.

I read that the first 20% of a project is easy and fast and full of enthusiasm. The next 60% is fairly smooth sailing but the final 20% is the toughest to get through. That's where I'm at.

Tomorrow is a wipe out day. Mum H's funeral is at 12pm, followed by the wake at the Bowls Club and drinks at the Pub and finally the raffle night at the Bowls Club. There'll be no work happening tomorrow.

Good Friday will be another wipe out day because Best Cousin in the World will be visiting for lunch and she will pick up her Le Reve order.

Saturday morning is out, due to my art class which hogs my time from 9.30am - 1.30pm.

Saturday afternoon, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be full time 'head down, bum up' working working working.

I am going to make it happen!

I've created a new story for me ...

"I am capable of anything that I put my mind to and I am in control of my own life. I am smart, intuitive, creative, happy, healthy and vibrant. I can create and develop my own business ideas and make my own income that will help us live more than comfortably. I have a wish list that I plan on fulfilling. Negativity is no longer an option and I will fill my life with abundance and joy. My life has purpose and meaning. I AM GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!"

... and so it will be.

Nite all.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Moving Right Along

Coffee with the girls. Always a hoot! Even if they don't care about my health concerns!! (You know who you are!).

A stop at The Motivator's house to see her and her visitor, Queen of Crosswords. I spent a couple of very pleasant hours with the girls, assisting with a crossword completion, looking at and buying beautiful handbags and chatting about stuff.

I came home to make some lunch for myself because Adoring Husband was still in town attempting to have our car repaired. He was unsuccessful ... or I should say the car yard was unsuccessful.

The rest of the day was spent at my desk where I achieved little, but it was 'quality' little. I feel ok about my progress and since my sister, Squirt, won't be visiting as planned, I have the whole Easter weekend to work on my site.

Fingers crossed!

Another delivery from the gift fair arrived today! Will they never end? Hopefully, there will be one more before Easter.

And now it's time for bed.

Nite all.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Down Time

It has been a strange day for me.

I was keen to get into my office and get started on my website, but my desk and one cupboard had become a resting ground for everything that had come into the office over the last 8 weeks, so I spent about almost 2 hours tidying, clearing, filing, labelling, sorting and culling.

I sat down and found my 'to do' list.

It was long.

I began to research computer programs for keeping an inventory of stock. Ridiculous prices.

I looked at some apps specifically designed for that. They didn't sit well with me.

I gave up on the stocktake and inventory.

I decided that photographing my stock to put on the website was my next priority.

I looked at my camera.

I thought about my stock. I thought about the seven drawers full of jewellery, the cupboards filled with journals, the shelves with wallets and purses.

Where the heck do I even start? Where do I take the photos? How do I stage the photographs? Which stock will I do first? What lens will be the best option? Where will I find the best lighting? Will I use the tripod, or just hand hold the camera? Will I photograph ALL of the jewellery, or just a select few items?

Do I write out the descriptions as I take the photos, or wait until I edit the photos, or wait until I load them onto the site?

I gave up on photographing the stock.

I made lunch. Tuna and sweet potato fritters with a spicy tomato sauce.

I returned to my workspace, turned on the magnesium lamp and put some essential oil in the diffuser.

I shuffled some papers, checked my emails, completed a couple of pages from my academy workbook and returned a phone call regarding an order.

I suddenly felt tired and queasy in the stomach.

I lay on the bed and attempted to sleep.

I read for a while.

I gave up.

Adoring Husband suggested that we go for a walk along the beach, which we did. I felt amazingly better after that! Unfortunately, it was time to cook dinner, so I couldn't even take advantage of my newfound energy and mood lift!

This evening, I've done some work on my book idea, so I feel like I've accomplished something for the day.

A good night's sleep might help me for tomorrow's attempt at working.

Nite all.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

End of Tuan Time

They were very warm and fond farewells.

We were up, breakfasted (is that even a word?), cleared, cleaned, packed and driving away from Tuan by 8.35am, and what a team effort it was to have the house looking spick and span and the cars all packed with our gear in record time, so that we were ready to convoy out of the driveway earlier than planned!

Everybody had somewhere to be.

Even though we were sad to say goodbye to each other, we were all very relieved to say goodbye to the midges and mosquitoes

Unfortunately, our car suffered a recurrence of last month's medical condition and Adoring Husband was unable to pick me up, so The Nikonian, with great kindness, drove two hours out of her way to bring me home and then return to the Sunny Coast for an important appointment.

Adoring Husband greeted us with a happy smile and a small gift for The Nikonian to thank her for her kindness.

I unpacked my multiple bags ... containing food, clothing, alcohol and camera gear ... and then made my way into my workspace to edit some photos from last night ...

Suddenly it was lunch time, so I prepared a nibbles platter containing prosciutto wrapped rockmelon, smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, grapes, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, carrot sticks and guacamole dip with chilli.

We spent the afternoon watching football, until it was time to drive to the park to meet up with Lady Lynn, Happy Harry, Rebel Mardi and The Lifesaver for fish and chips by the river.

The evening was so pleasant, with a soft breeze, a pretty sunset ...

... and bloody sprinklers timed to go off at the most inopportune times!! Twice we had to move when the sprinklers came on and sprayed our picnic table. Time to call the council.

Anyway, it was nice to eat with our hands, share videos of our grandchildren and spend time with good friends.

I said my second lot of fond farewells for the day and we returned home to watch a replay of the football - Sharks vs Storm - and the Sharks won!! I tipped them!! Yay me!!

I'm off to sleep in my wonderful bed that is not surrounded by buzzing mozzies :)

A big thank you to The Nikonian for being a fabulous host over the weekend, and also to JMan and Earth Mother for providing nutritious healthful meals for us.

Nite all.