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A Visitor at Last!

Quite some time ago I got a couple of bird baths to hang in my garden.  I have a lot of birdlife in my neighbourhood and, with the Summers being so hot, I wanted them to have access to water.  I thought I would have lots of happy birdies availing themselves of the amenities I provided.  But no.  Not a one.  I figured maybe they just chose to turn up when I was out or at work or whatever.  As the months went by I came to the conclusion the local bird population was snubbing my water station and frequenting some other location for their hydration needs.

I didn’t take the bird baths away, but I did forget to refill them regularly (possibly the reason the birds chose to stay away).  Wally, my garden Wattlebird (cranky guardian of my grevilleas) sits near them every day and watches me eat my breakfast through the window (I mean he watches through the window…I’m not eating my breakfast through a window – that would be strange).  I’ve never seen him partake of any water though – even on the hottest days.  He is a quite large bird though, so perhaps doesn’t feel safe perching on the swinging bird bath.  He’s also quite territorial so it’s possible he has been warning all the other birds away.

My little Willy Wagtail, whose melodic song means Spring is only a few short weeks away, also likes to hang out NEAR the bird baths but I haven’t seen him actually perch on them or take a drink.  I think they’re just mocking me now – my water isn’t up to their standards apparently.

But, hallelujah!  This morning as I ate my very late breakfast ( I slept in – it was glorious, but now I have wasting-the-day guilts) I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a bird DRINKING OUT OF THE BIRD BATH!!!  A bird I had never seen before in my garden, was happily having a long drink out of my bird bath, swinging away in the breeze and enjoying a spot of sunshine (it’s been raining heavily all morning – hence the bird bath actually having water in it!).  I managed to get a couple of sneaky photos of him before he noticed me, peering out of the window and doing a silent happy dance.

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I think he is a Grey Butcherbird. I have seen them before, mostly down by the foreshore, but never in my garden before.  I was so happy to see him!  But then a bit sad because I will be moving soon and will have to start the whole wooing-birds-into-my-garden process all over again.  I don’t really even HAVE a garden in my new place (if I ever actually get to settlement) so will have to put in lots of natives to attract the local bird population.  A garden with no birdies is so sad!

I didn’t know a lot about Butcherbirds, so did a bit of research.  I found that they have a lovely, warbling song, a bit like a magpie (listen HERE) and that they can be quite aggressive during nesting season.  I also read that they “..prey on small animals, including birds, lizards and insects, as well as some fruits and seeds. Uneaten food may be stored in the fork or a branch or impaled. Grey Butcherbirds sit on an open perch searching for prey which, once sighted, they pounce on. Most mobile prey is caught on the ground, though small birds and insects may be caught in flight. Feeding normally takes place alone, in pairs or in small family groups…” (Thanks, Birdlife Australia)

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He’s a handsome fellow and I’m glad he stopped by.  I’m hoping he feels safe enough to come again and maybe bring a friend.  Maybe sing a song or two (now that I know what I’m listening for!).

Thank YOU for dropping by, too.  My blog is a little lack-lustre these days due to being in the midst of packing boxes and house-buying dramas and just being in a general state of disarray.  Please bear with me while I muddle through my messy life.

🙂

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Blogging Challenge – Day Five : Your Proudest Moment

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This is a tricky one.  I have the world’s worst self-esteem so I don’t know that I ever feel proud of myself.  Which I should probably work on, I know.  I like to think my proudest moment is yet to come – that something really great is just around the corner, and that I’m not “done” yet.

Today I am proud of myself for signing mortgage papers.  Proud, and terrified.  I’m proud of myself for taking this giant leap into adulthood (albeit a few decades late) and I am proud that I didn’t back out or delay it for another few years.  I am proud (and somewhat surprised) that I am even in the position to be buying a house.  Me!  Little, timid, non-ambitious Me!  I am buying a house!  It’s kinda crazy and hard to believe, because I really didn’t think it was something I would ever be brave enough to do.

There is lots of fear – will I be able to afford it, long term?  What happens if I lose my job?  What if I have made a terrible mistake?  All those things go through my mind a million times a day.  Which I am sure is normal.  It might be the one time in my life I am having normal thoughts!  But I can’t live in fear forever – I have to put my big girl pants on and be a grown-up and stop hiding behind my worries.

There is still settlement to get through and that will be a long and drawn-out process, if the rest of the experience is anything to go by.  But I have to just trust it will be ok and get sorted eventually.  I will be proud of myself for staying calm, if I can do that, and holding my ground if negotiations go awry.  I hope it is settled on time though, and without further complications, because I am not brave and I am not very good at handling anything outside of my usual realm of daily drama.  I have very little reserves, to be honest.  Something else I should work on.  Add it to the list.

So, today I am allowing a little pride to creep in.  It’s an uneasy pride, but it’s there nevertheless.  Just because I have come a long way and am doing this on my own and making big decisions and securing my future, as best as I can, in my own way.  If I can keep meltdowns and conniption-fests to a minimum, that will really be something to be proud of.  But we still have moving day to get through yet, so let’s not get too optimistic 🙂

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Have a happy day everyone and be proud of yourselves x

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Be You – (and try not to hoard)

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For your consideration today, a couple of doodled Little Peeps cards… I’m trying to pack everything up in my house and, unfortunately, that includes all my craft stuff.  So, doodling is about the best I can do right now.  Otherwise, I will do like I’ve done in the past and have stuff EVERYWHERE and try to create things in the midst of boxes, packing tape and general chaos.  Like the year I made a whole bunch of Christmas cards, despite the fact we were moving in a few days time and I was supposed to be tidying up, not making more mess.

As I pack up my stuff and decide on which pieces I should cull before I move (SO hard – you know I can’t get rid of stuff, right?), it occurs to me perhaps now is the time to develop some sort of decorating identity based on what I actually like, and what speaks to my nesting soul.  I am going to try and keep only what really resonates with me and not what I think I SHOULD keep, for whatever bizarre reason.  But this new plan has some fatal flaws.

For instance.  I have an ugly, stained-glass rooster lamp.  My cousin gave it to me when I moved in to this place, my first rental by myself.  It’s ugly, the lamp.  And slightly demonic-looking when lit up.  But I keep it because I love my cousin and she bought it for me because she thought it was quirky and different.  Like me, she said.  How can I get rid of it, knowing she bought it because she was supporting me in my individuality and going completely against her own decorating taste which would, in all honesty, have burnt the rooster lamp as some sort of effigy to the design-deprived?

I have ornaments that sit in boxes because they don’t really appeal to me, but the person who gave them to me does.  Getting rid of them would be like telling the person I no longer have a need for them.

I have teddy bears given to me when I was ill in hospital.  I’m 42 years old and I don’t need teddy bears, don’t particularly even want them, but there they sit, in my lounge room, on their own chair.  Because someone gave them to me.  Out of love and a desire to bring me some comfort when I was at my lowest.  I feel like I should keep them just because of what they represent.  Even if I really don’t have room for them, and the people who gave them to me in the first place would probably tell me get rid of them anyway.

So, this packing up process is going to be a tough one.  But probably an important one.  I need to stop hanging on to things that really don’t matter, and focus on what does.  I should surround myself with things that say “This is Me”.  As opposed to things that say “Someone really nice gave this to me and I like them a lot so I can’t get rid of it, even though it clashes with everything else I own and doesn’t actually fit anywhere and kinda makes me a bit miserable because I could actually put something nicer there that speaks to my soul and makes me feel good”.

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I should probably have a chaperone.  Someone who will shake their head and say “No, you do not need that broken teapot/frayed cushion cover/doll-with-no-legs and [insert friend or family member’s name here] will not mind if you remove it from your home. In fact, they will probably wonder why in the heck you have kept it for seventeen years…”

I WILL do it.  I will.  Maybe.  Bit by bit.  With a few relapses every now and then.
Although, my new place will most likely have an extra bedroom so, y’know,
that means extra storage space.

🙂

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Blogging Challenge – Day Four : Your Dream Job

Apologies for lack of crafting posts… I’m packing up my house and unfortunately, crafty times are just not a-happenin’ at the moment…Bear with me x

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Ah, dream jobs…so named because they are, in fact, just dreams, for most of us.  As I have mentioned before, I’ve never known what I wanted to do when I “grow up”.  Now, in my forties, it seems a little redundant to start trying to figure it out.  But I still do try.  I read books on discovering your passion and take online quizzes about “finding your true calling” and all that nonsense.  Really, I just want someone to tell me what to do.  Give me some clue as to what I could do that would a.) bring me happiness and fulfillment, and b.) not leave me broke and living in a ditch or at my Mother’s.

I always wanted to be a writer, as a child, and I still have romantic notions about that happening.  But I have yet to write even one chapter of a book and I don’t even know what to write about.  I could write the story of a very boring girl who doesn’t have many life experiences, but I’m not sure who would want to read it.

So, grand writing career aside, I haven’t many other ambitions.  Most of this is due to a lack of bravery on my part.  I think about different careers but then talk myself out of them because they’re too risky (not enough employment opportunities), too underpaid (I have to live, after all), too stressful (I don’t do stress) or too something (basically I make lots of excuses).  Often, it’s just that I think I wouldn’t be able to do it, or I would do it so badly that somebody would die or lose their home or hold me forever responsible for a lifetime of woe and disappointment, and everybody would hate me.

The other side of it is that I really don’t know what fires me up.  Ask me what I enjoy doing and I will have trouble telling you.  Most of the time I just try and get through the day without falling over or having some sort of accident or getting fired.  I don’t know what I would like to do, if I had the choice, as a long term job.

But, dream jobs are not necessarily based on reality so, if I was going to just brain storm this for a while, here’s a few things I would like to be paid to do :

  1. Have my own doggy day care centre.  I mean, come on…playing with dogs all day, getting to watch their crazy antics and enjoying wuppet cuddles, licks and romps?  What’s not to love?
  2. Animal Massage Therapist.  I heard about this once.  It sounded ideal.  Getting to ease the pain of animals and make them feel better?  Awesome.
  3. Full time card maker.  I could actually do this, if I charged about $45 each for my cards.  As it stands, my prices are not nearly high enough to keep me solvent.
  4. Greeting card sentiment writer.  I used to love Mr Bickley’s job on Mork and Mindy.  You know, the grumpy old dude who lived in the apartment above M & M?  He used to write the verses and words that went in greeting cards.  What a cool job!  I would write sassy, humorous things.  Not all that generic greeting card nonsense you normally get.  But maybe some sappy stuff too, because people seem to like that.
  5. Working with baby sloths.  I don’t care what I’m doing – I will change their nappies or feed them or clip their toenails or read them bedtime stories.  I’ll do anything!  It’s baby sloths!  They’re so darned cute!
  6. Kelly Rae Roberts’ job.  Basically I want to make pretty things that people love and that make people smile.  I want to wake up one day and suddenly have talent I never knew I possessed.  I want to be brave enough to believe I have something to offer and that the world will want that offering.  And buy it.
  7. Cheese taster.  I don’t know if that’s an actual job, but it should be.  I would be excellent at it.  Fat, but excellent.
  8. Ice Cream Flavour Creator.  I seem to be on a food-themed slant here… I would like to ride a bicycle through picturesque villages, dreaming up taste sensations.  Lots of Butterscotch and Pistachio.  An ice cream Willy Wonka, if you will.  And my bicycle would have a little bell and one of those baskets with flowers on.  I might wear a beret and lots of gingham.
  9. Songwriter.  I think being a pop star would be scary and annoying.  But writing songs for pop stars would be ace.
  10. Radio DJ.  Playing music all day and sitting in a little box, not being bothered by other people?  Heaven.  I have a terrible, Minnie Mouse kind of voice though – I don’t know that anyone would want to listen to that.

So, there’s a few jobs I would like to have.  Apparently, if I could combine food, animals, music and art, I would be very happy.  If you know of such a job, let me know.  I will apply immediately.  I have references 🙂

🙂

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Blogging Challenge – Day Three : Favourite Quote

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My favourite quote has been, for a long time, this one from A. A. Milne (as Christopher Robin, spoken to Winnie the Pooh) :

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

It just resonates with me.  I guess it’s something I would like someone to say to me.  I actually made this quote into a wedding card for my ex-husband but I never gave it to him.  It didn’t feel right at the time.  Probably should have paid attention to that little feeling at the time, in hindsight!  I almost use this quote as a gauge for how I feel about someone – if they’re worthy of these words, they’re a keeper.

What’s your favourite quote?  Do you have any words you live by or feel particularly strongly about?

Thank you for dropping by x

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Glad and Worthy Heart & First Homes

I made this card on a cold and blustery day one weekend when I was feeling anti-social and needing some quiet time away from the world.  Which is not uncommon for me, let’s face it.  I could probably do with a regularly-scheduled “quiet day” – wonder if I could work that into my job description at work…

I would like to say I have a glad and worthy heart myself but, at the moment, it’s more of a grateful but very weary and stressed heart.  I’m in the process of buying a house.  It’s a long process.  A long and anxiety-provoking process and I don’t know what I am doing.  Everything seems ridiculously difficult and complicated.  I cannot make decisions at the best of times and so, for something as monumental as buying your first home, I am going completely mental and am stressed to the max.  I’m also very grateful to be in the position to even CONSIDER buying a house.  Not everyone is so lucky.  But I have worked very hard all my adult life and have saved my money and lived within my means and not wracked up any debt or credit card issues.  I didn’t think I would ever be ready to buy a house – didn’t think I would ever be able to afford it on my own or be emotionally ready for the responsibility.  But when are you ever ready for such things?  And that’s what I keep saying to myself – If you wait until you are ready and feeling secure, you will never do it.  

The economy at the moment is pretty dreadful.  Australia has one of the stronger economies in the world but still, it’s in trouble the way the rest of the world is.  My job is not particularly “safe”, although perhaps safer than some other people’s in the organisation.  But if I wait for a “safe” time, I probably won’t be able to afford to buy and, anyway, who knows when that time will be?  Five years from now?  Ten?  I’m in my forties – time is running out for me to get and pay for a mortgage.

So, into the property market I go.  Tentatively and with much fear and trepidation.  I don’t know if I will even end up with the house.  There’s some issues with it that need addressing before I sign off completely, and so the settlement agent is dealing with that. I don’t want to buy a lemon, and I don’t trust the seller’s agent one bit.  He is well dodgy. But it’s altogether scary and I am so anxious.  I keep having little panic attacks where you can’t breathe and you feel really sick.  The kind that make you want to climb under a rock and stay there until it’s all over.

But, if it all works out, I will have a house of my own.  I can have cats (hooray!) and make a lovely garden and decorate how I like and not have to worry about rent inspections.  I will have some financial security for the future and a teeny bit of pride that I actually did this on my own, without help.  I can say “my house” and it will be true.

So, hopefully soon, I will have a glad and relieved heart.  Not sure about the “worthy” part, but hopefully the Universe sees me as somewhat deserving and cuts me some slack!  I need all the help I can get right now, just to stay sane.  Why do people like buying and selling houses???  It’s so tricky and frustrating and HARD!

I hope that wherever you are in life you are settled and happy, secure and at peace with the choices you are making.  And if you know a way to be like that ALL THE TIME, please let me in on the secret!

🙂

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