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Quote for the Day : Pointed Things

“…If you don’t feel the pointed things in life,
you’ll soon take the soft ones for granted…”

–John Everson, Cage of Bones & Other Deadly Obsessions

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Aloe
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Spring Finally Arrives…

This has been a weird Spring.  Many people have reported on the Spring Deficit experienced this year.  Everything from people feeling more moody due to the extended SAD we’ve been subjected to throughout September and October (where is the sun?!) to business experiencing a down-turn in revenue (you try selling ice creams in the middle of a freezing cold, wet and blustery day that goes on for weeks!).  Neighbourhood plants have been very confused too – never knowing from one day to the next as to what season it is.  My garden (such as it is at the new house) is a bit hit and miss, with things that should be flowering NOT flowering, and things that should have stopped flowering STARTING to flower.

But, as of this last week, Spring appears to making some effort to show up.  We’ve had some lovely sunny days and temperatures have started rising.  My garden is responding to the warmer conditions and beginning to look a bit more colourful and I, in turn, have been whinging less and dressing more like someone who lives in Australia, rather than a native of Antarctica.   My beautiful pelargonium is finally in flower – isn’t she a stunner?  I’ve had this plant for years and have had many cuttings from her, all of which have flowered prolifically.  She’s actually a little more purple than the picture shows, and I think she is a Spanish Angel, but don’t quote me on that – the label disintegrated a long time ago!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been busily re-potting a lot of my poor plants that have been very neglected during my move (and the months preceding it, if I’m honest).  Even my cacti were feeling a bit sad and unloved.  I re-potted them and in a matter of days they started to look happier and less, well, dead.  My little bunny cactus is much more sprightly looking now (if a plant can be sprightly!).  He is an off-shoot of my original cactus from a few years back, and is only a couple of inches high.  Adorable.

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My much-loved aloe is doing really well (he never lets me down even when I treat him badly and forget he exists) and is even sprouting a flower spike, which I take to mean he is happy.  I have given him a bigger pot and he is going great guns.  If he could smile, he’d be giving me a big, toothy, cheeky grin.  Possibly a wink and a “How YOU doin;?”
He’s just that sort of guy 🙂

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I even have a couple of sad little lemons starting to develop on my potted lemon tree.  It desperately needs feeding but I keep forgetting…

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My white geranium is blossoming too.  Love a nice pristine, white flower.  I also bought this one at the same time as my original bunny cactus, and it has been a regular healthy bloomer ever since.  I love geraniums – they are essential in a low maintenance garden.  So pretty and prolific and easy to take cuttings from.  They don’t die very easily, which is a bonus when you’re a black thumb kind of gardener like me.

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The aeonium cuttings I pinched from my rental unit are doing nicely too.  They are all in flower and just so pretty.  I’m glad I managed to salvage a few pieces when I moved out – they are such great plants and so easy to look after and keep alive!  Plus they grow so quickly and are very water-wise.

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Also in my garden area, but not something I have potted or grown myself…this little guy.  I believe he is an Australian Jumping Peacock Spider .  Isn’t he cute?  I didn’t get the best photo because he was so teeny-tiny and my camera is pretty rubbish.  Also, because he wouldn’t keep still and kept leaping about (as jumping spiders do).  He is about 5mm long and has a bright red and blue pattern on his butt.  The blue is hard to see in this picture, but it is very striking.  I love jumping spiders – they’re awesome.  I’ve never seen one like this before – or maybe I just haven’t paid attention (more likely).  I hope he is good at eating mosquitoes…

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So, Spring has sprung and is working its magic, not only on the garden but on me as well.  I  just function so much better in the warm weather and get a lot more done.  I think my house is going to be pretty hot in Summer, so I may be regretting those words soon.  Until then, I am happy to see the sun shining every day and feeling its heat in these old bones.

Hope your day (or at least your heart) is full of sunshine today 🙂

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Cactus Girl

Hello everyone.  I’ve been doodling and card-making over the weekend, despite not feeling the best and having squinty eyes.  I actually had my eyes tested last week – the optometrist said my eyes were healthy but that I would probably need glasses in the next 12 months.  He said if I was coping ok and not getting headaches that I could probably manage without.  I’m very long-sighted but my general vision is ok.  I am finding it hard to do very close work now though so I think I will have to bite the bullet and get me some specs.  At least for my crafting as I will insist on doing teeny, tiny, detailed stuff.

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I had a weird episode this week where I suddenly got flashing lights in my eyes and blurred vision.  It was horrible – I thought I was having a stroke or going blind or something (you know me – always has to be worst case scenario).  Looks like it was probably just a silent migraine.  I do get normal migraines from time to time – this was just one of the painless silent ones.  That make your eyes go weird and your head foggy.  Freaked me out.  But the doctor assures me my eyes are healthy so…

But I will get glasses in the next week or so.  I am getting far too squinty and that can’t be good.  I’m not opposed to glasses and it will complete my librarian look I suppose.  I keep getting that quote from Grease in my head though :

Marty : Do you think these glasses make me look smarter?
Rizzo : Nah, you can still see your face.

Anyway, moving on.  I managed to squint my way through several cards which I will complete over the next couple of days.  First up, this little Cactus Girl.  Well, she’s supposed to look like a cactus but just kinda looks like a hairy green person.  Never mind.  Hopefully people will know she’s supposed to look prickly, as in cactus spikes, as opposed to prickly, as in my legs when I haven’t shaved for a few days 🙂

Hope your day is smooth and is free from prickles of any kind! x

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I like gardening.  I am not good at it, and I don’t always succeed in keeping things alive, but I enjoy getting my hands dirty and seeing things grow and blossom.  I used to love planting vegie gardens with my Dad when I was a child.  It was special Daddy-and-Daughter time which I truly loved and miss.  My brother was not one for getting grubby and so it usually was me out there in the rain and the mud, helping my Dad build fences and mark out rows, planting seedlings and watering in seeds.

We had a beautiful vegetable garden back then.  Potatoes and peas, tomatoes, cabbages and corn.  It was lush and green and abundant.  I can remember picking and shelling peas with my Mum and standing with my Dad at dusk, just watching our geese and chickens and ducks.  There is no better meditation than that.

So, while I am not the world’s best gardener, I do enjoy it, and continue to plant things and watch them grow, impatiently, just as I did as a kid.  I don’t have vegetables any more, although I am thinking I should perhaps give it a go again, but I do have my succulents and cacti, orchids and some other plants that I have managed to keep alive.

It’s nice to have green things around and, in the absence of any pets, it can give you the sense of having something to care for.  Do I talk to my plants?  Yes, I am guilty of that.  I don’t know if it makes any difference to their growth or wellbeing, but I do it anyway.  If they start answering back, that’s when I will worry.

May your garden always be green 🙂

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Swap Meet Sunday

Swap Meet Sunday

Brrrr….2 degrees?  Really, Mother Nature?  Really?  Don’t I have enough trouble getting up already?  I can’t physically wear any more layers of clothing and I’ve forgotten what it is like to be able to feel my extremities.  This is Australia for Goodness’ sake!  Sure, it’s Winter, but really!

Got up early on this bright and sunny (but frickin’ freezing!) Sunday morning to go bargain hunting at a huge swap meet in the Northern suburb of Wanneroo.  My two friends, FK and MD, asked me if I wanted to go (last night) and I thought about it for two seconds before saying an enthusiastic “Yes please!”  We set off early as the real “pro” bargain hunters go at the crack of dawn and we wanted to make sure there were still treasures to be found.  We rugged up (I even wore my knitted hat – that only comes out when I am beyond caring about what I look like and aiming for the prevention of frost-bite) and set out into the crowds, ready to snap up some cool stuff (hopefully).  We struck gold at the very first stall (always a good sign if you spend straight away) – lots of lovely plants for sale, predominantly succulents.  MD and FK LOVE their succulents and so they parted ways with the cash pretty quickly.  I too bought a little cactus – an adorable little guy that looked like a bunny.  Had to have it.  It was only $3.00. Will try not to kill it (yes, I can murder even a cactus with my black thumbs).

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Further on, I picked up a lovely white geranium – have wanted one for ages but they are always so expensive.  This one was just $4.00 and a good size and in great condition.  Gotta find a nice spot for it to go in my garden.  MD and FK bought a few more succulents to go in their respective gardens at home.  FK also snagged a bright green wheelie bin that she is going to use as a compost bin on her balcony.  Those bins are normally around the $20 – $30 mark.  She got it for $3.00!  Another stall-holder tried to buy it from her for $10.00 so he could sell it for more himself.  No chance!  Unfortunately, another gentleman thought it was a real bin and threw his half-eaten burger in it.  Ew.  He removed it again though 🙂

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MD herself also found a great bin, suitable for compost.  It’s asking price was $14.00 but we haggled the guy down to $9.60.  Bargain!  Of course they were now lugging around two big bins but it was too far to go back to put them in the car (we’d already done that with the plants).  I managed to pick up an awesome spice rack for $9.00 (I should have haggled but I’m not so good at that…still, it was a good price) which I am going to use for my beads.  It’s perfect for that and fairly compact in size so will save space and free up some room in my other bead boxes and jars.  It was bloody heavy though…wish I’d found it at the end of the day instead of the beginning!

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I also picked up these pretty Wood & Sons “Yuan” vintage plates for $3.00 (for the three plates).  Such a nice design and I love the blue. I’ve had a look around on the internet for prices for these plates and they’re going for anything from $5 to $40 per plate!  Definitely got a bargain here!  Doesn’t matter to me really though – I just thought they were pretty! 🙂

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FK found a watering can and paid $5.00 for it – it fitted nicely in her wheelie bin so at least she didn’t have to carry it as well.  I was happy to grab some paint brushes that were being sold by the bundle – only $3.00 a bunch.  The lady at that stall was eyeing off my spice rack – but I wasn’t giving it up!

MD got the biggest item of the day – a six-seat dining setting for $130.00 including delivery!  It was a nice set – expandable table with good, solid chairs.  We were amazed that the stall-holder would deliver on a Sunday and only charge $20.  Crazy!  But such a bargain.  The seat cushions were a little grubby but will probably come up nice and clean again with a bit of sponging or MD could maybe re-upholster them pretty easily and cheaply.

After three hours we were pretty pooped and ready to go home for a nice hot cup of tea and to look at our purchases.  Will definitely go again – maybe take Mum as she needs some new plants that won’t cost the Earth.  Love a good bargain hunt and today was no disappointment in that category.  The weather actually was pretty nice after the first chilly hour or so – beautiful blue skies and sunshine (although I still had a big jacket, scarf and my hat on!).  A nice way to spend a few hours on a Sunday.  I came home and made one card (meh…I’m still getting back into the groove with card-making) and a necklace (trying to use up my chunkier beads…).

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Hope you have had a good weekend – enjoy your week! 🙂