31 December 2008

31st December: Hip Hip Horay!

December 31st is a very special day this year as it is my Grandma's 80th Birthday.
I thought that today I might share the story that I have always loved to hear her tell about the excitement of what happened all those years ago.

A local shop owner had promised to give a pram away for free for the first baby born in the New Year. And so sure was my great Grandma that it would be her baby, she did not buy a pram.

This pram had been in the window for most of the month of December and soon it would be taking my Grandma home.

It was always at this part of the story my Grandma would tell me how she never did like to take her time, and to this day she likes to be early to any appointment.

True to form my Grandma surprised everyone by arriving very close to midnight on New Years eve. I'm sure great Grandma must have been a little put out on having to go and buy a pram after the baby was born only minutes before the count down.

It was only today Grandma was saying how every year there are fireworks on her birthday. As silly as it sounds I had never thought of that fact before. Though how exciting that must be, most everybody ready for a celebration on your birthday.

So it is there I will say, Happy Birthday dear Grandma!

30th December: Resolutions

I know that the discussions regarding to write resolutions or not is one that is brought up quite a bit as the new year approches.

Being a hopelessly avid list writer my personal view is to write down those resolutions. Other than putting down things you'd like to do, I am also a sucker for pain, and often add a few challenges to be completed. (You know the regular type, read X amount of books, write X amount of words each week, ect.)

My list it grows throughout the year, as whenever there is something new to add, (no matter the time of year) it is added. So very often, these pursuits flow on from year to year.

I came across a wonderful list of resolutions by Jonathan Edwards. This list has encouraged me greatly.

29th December: Summing Up 2008

Like many people, at this time of year I like to stop and have a look at all that has happened throughout the last 52 weeks.

I have learnt many things this year. The importance of those you love, that beauty is always there it's only waiting for you to find it, the difference between dreaming and doing; though I think above all of these, I have learnt (and truly understood) that there are things that are out of our control. It is not in giving up that makes us stronger, but in keeping to our coarse when the fog of doubt and fear is thick.

This year has seen me run a food stall at a festival, spend countless hours in front of those beautiful black and white key of my piano, try my hand (and mind) at writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, help do up a house for my grandparents, make new friends, attempt to learn a new language, work on a building that soon will be our shop, read a number of good books, read some not so good books, buy my first car, turn 20 years old...

How do you sum up a whole year with words? When there are things I'm sure I haven't even realised to have learnt. Could a life ever be recorded properly? I don't believe so!

28th December: Wonderful things

Wonderful things about this weekend...

# Having a friend over
# Taking a walk around the town with said friend
# Splashing in puddles
# Dancing around while it rains upon our heads
# Arriving home happily drenched
# Starting to do something only to talk instead
# Not minding at the relaxed pace
# Eating (way) too much pie
# Staying up late into the night talking
# Watching season two of Doctor Who
# Swimming for the first time this year
# Writing thoughts under the shade of a tree
# Enjoying a BBQ feast
# Having lazy days
# Plans to get together again next weekend!
# Sharing ideas for upcoming projects
# Sleeping in late

27th December: Pocketful of Dreams

Johnny's got a pocketful of dreams-
it's patched and there are cakecrumbs in the seams-
to you it may not be a lot
but all the treasure Johnny's got,
he carries in his pocketful of dreams-
a beetle in a match box, a tiny piece of string,
some sealing wax and carpet tacks,
a bell that doesn't ring-
When Johnny grows to be a man,
into a world that's tough,
he'll soon be told his pocketful of dreams
won't be enough-
but if he owns a great big car,
a swimming pool and yacht,
he'll never be as happy
as the time when all he's got
is a beatle in a match box, a tiny piece of string,
some sealing wax and carpet tacks,
a bell that doesn't ring....
~Nan Witcomb~

This poem, (along with most of the thoughts of Nanushka) has inspired me to try, approach, dream, wonder, hope, understand, agree, laugh, cry, and want to find thoughts of my own to share.

As a gift to a dear friend this year, I made her a pocketful of dreams.
I do believe that it is our own pocketful of dreams that makes us the happyest, not what is sold to us as happiness.

26 December 2008

26th December: Caught on Christmas

My brother and I on our way to Christmas breakfast with the family

The table spread

My brother was so happy taking this shot

My Family; Dad, Mam, Aunty, Brother, Sister, (sitting) Uncle, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunty.

My older Sister, 'little' Brother and I

Hope Everyone had a happy Christmas!

25 December 2008

25th December: Comfort and Joy!

"God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born upon this day:
To save us all from Satan's power,
When we were gone astray:

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy."

(My own version of carols by candle light!)

24 December 2008

24th December: Christmas Eve

Often I have wondered what it is that people do on their Christmas Eve's. I think Christmas Eve is greatly over looked as simply being the longest day as it is the day before opening the presents (Not so in our family of course), the day before you are expected to sit and eat way too much food with your extended family, and even marked as being the last day to get any presents that have been forgotten.

This was my Christmas Eve...

Morning coffee with my favourite four people in the world. (Father, Mother, Sister, Brother) At which we shared stories, ate cherries and opened numerous fortune cookies.

Side note here; Why is it that I can never get those fortunes that say 'your going to have a good day' or something of the like? Instead I always get theses sorts. -Not that we get fortune cookies often-

There was time spent trying to get my motorbike started. That involved my brother sitting on the seat while yelling at me to run faster in an attempt to roll-start it. We must have look quite crazy, dashing down the slight raise at the front of the house.

I tried my hand at making Norwegian cinnamon swirls. They turned out alright, though the sugar on top turned rather dark. (I don't want to admit to them being burnt!)

To finish this day off as being everything you're meant to enjoy at Christmas time, was a perfectly cooked ham dinner. Quoting my Dad, "We eat like kings!".

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.
Oh and if you see someone like this at your door tonight,

Bonk him on the head because he's not Santa!
A friend of my brother's recently bought himself a new(er) motorbike, which was to replace the rather old and run-down bike he had been riding around on.

As I have had a ride on this old bike of his (and rather enjoyed myself), I decided that it would be quite fun to fix it up a little (with much help from my father and brother, I wouldn't know where to begin) being able to do some riding in the paddocks around here.

We were not sure if this friend wanted to even sell it, though my Dad did all the bartering (He loves asking if that's the best someone can do), and we picked it up yesterday afternoon.

So today I am the proud owner of a Suzuki TF185! (And yes, I did have to memorise the model)

23 December 2008

23rd December: Family Traditions

It has long been a tradition in our family to open our presents to each other before Christmas day. Keeping to tradition there was no exception this year.

Very excitedly we each handed out the gifts that have been under the tree for the last week or so.

My wonderful family gave me a three book collection of Shakespeare works. I have read some of his plays and poems; (always wanted to read all of them!) And now I have all the time I will need to do that!

I also got a compass which came in its own little box. I love things like this.

At this time of year there are a few of us having birthdays close to Christmas, so we like to make a bigger fuss of each persons birthday. I think sometimes when you get too carried away worrying what to get people you forget the whole reason you wanted to give them a gift in the first place. As far as I'm concerned that defies the point of giving.

This year I would like to say, enjoy this time you get to spend with those you love. Because too soon the lighthearted spirit of the season passes, and life begins again. Too soon stresses find there way back in, and distractions come between us just that little bit more.

22 December 2008

22nd December: It's All About a Shop

It started as a dream... My mother telling me how she would love to own a shop of her own one day. As I got a little older (maybe around 12-14) it was talked of more, thoughts and ideas were tossed around. I was too young to appreciate the time spent on research that had already been given many hours.

The turning point was an innocent request for an hour or two spent in the rain picking blackberries; the location, a run down road house in our hometown.
A number of things came to my attention that day. Firstly I was cold, and berry branches sting. (Really??) Secondly that I was the only one putting berries in the bucket, while others were only taking out, -Don't think I didn't notice that!! (You know who you are)- And thirdly, now looking back, I see how it was the launching pad for what has been a very busy past few months.

We currently run a family owned steel/manufacturing business. (My dad's life dream) Mainly the work we do is for commercial companies. The new shop is the front to the creative side of what we already have.

It has been difficult trying to explain over the last months exactly what it is we shall be opening. A show case of steel products for homes; gallery seems to explain it the best. We will be making beautiful steel products for homes and gardens, practical/useful items, as well as decorative creations.

We know steel. It is the industry that I have grown up into.

Though being as we are located in a small rural village, and there is plenty of space in this building to fill... We are opening a cafe/bakery within those four walls.

When that wonderful day arrives that we open the doors for the first time, that will be the same day I take off my overalls, (and steel-toe boots), and adorn myself in an apron. Seeing as there will be both aspects of the steel side of things to handle; my sister and I together will be taking on the cafe. How fretfully exciting I have found the thought (reality) to be.

The idea behind the cafe/bakery is to offer real, wholesome pies. Savoury and sweet. Along side a good cup of coffee, or tea if preferred. While being surrounded by a one of a kind steel gallery.

All the ideas are there ready, waiting... Time is stretched thinly, and the amount of work to be done piles higher. Though who said reaching a dream would be easy?!
One thing I have learnt through the whole process of getting things ready, is that sometimes reaching for a goal (and having trouble in the attaining there of) can make dreams turn into nightmares. But that is only today, I promise that those grey clouds will pass, and that anything worth having is a LOT of work!

21 December 2008

21st December: Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer or Sillyness??

My Brother and I having fun in our hats!

Sometimes it is hard to hold onto your Christmas cheer when normal daily life continues as it has all year. Though I have found maybe just a small way of keeping the mood light, I have been wearing my Christmas hat all day long; while tidying up around the house, while leaning over the engine of my car when my dad was pointing out the problem there in, while eating lunch and sharing cups of coffee with my family. How can that not make one smile??

20 December 2008

20th December: "From My Window"

"The book is an attempt to express a point of view. What does life look like when one tried to observe it calmly yet eagerly, and sometimes with (I hope) a good-natured smile, from the window?
For each of us has a window behind which he may withdraw and look on for a little while. To do this implies a degree of leisure and detachment; and perhaps some of you who may read this book are too absorbed and involved in daily living to find either the opportunity or the mood.
Nevertheless, a man who makes a journey in difficult country will do all the better if he has a map; the successful fisherman is he who knows and studies the stream in which he angles; and a golfer may save a stroke of two on his round if he is familiar with the general lie of the land. So that it may be interesting to you, perhaps (though I shrink from the presumption of this) even helpful to you, to see how like looks from somebody else's window."
-Taken from the first chaper of "From my window" by 'Philemon'- (Bought on our trip to the southern highlands)

I like the very idea he puts forth, that of taking time to see what is going on around you before rushing into the busyness blindly.

The view from my window...

And the dog that has been barking at me from underneath my window...

19 December 2008

19th December: Concert!

Today was the end of year concert my piano teacher likes to put together. It was not a very big one, there were 8 of us performing, and ten of us all up. So small, and (hopefully) meant to be a relaxing kind of concert.

I was ok while sitting listening to my fellow students play their pieces. It is always encouraging listening to others who are in the same boat as you; still learning, and being a little nervous at having to get up, tell what it is they are about to play, and then proceed to the playing there of.

When it was my turn at the keys, suddenly my body decided to start shaking all over. With knees knocking, and goose bumps all down my arms I played my first pieces. Tchaikovsky's 'October', true to form a beautifully romantic tune.
I also performed (for the very first time) a little song of my own that I have been working on for the last couple of months. It was a very delightful feeling being able to share a song with people that you have written yourself, like you are sharing a little part of who you are, a little part of your soul.

All round it was a lovely couple of hours. After all is said (played) and done, you feel such a fool for being so nervous. What better ordiance could be asked for then those who love music, and are learning it along with you?!

18 December 2008

18th December: Out and About

Drives are always exciting, often because you are rewarded for sitting patiently still for a number of hours by arriving somewhere you may not visit all that much.

My reward was a 'girls'(Grandma, Mother, Sister) day out in the Southern Highlands.
Over the years we have learnt that taking Brother, (and if for too long Father), is considered in their eyes a kind of bitter-sweet torture. Bitter, having to go from shop to shop; Sweet, getting to stop at numerous cafe's for coffees and cakes.

One shop that has been a family favourite over the years, (Yes even the men), is Peppergreen in Berrima. There is one (or hundreds) of everything and anything in there.

Cabinets of vintage ribbons, cottons, buckles, and thousands of buttons.

Old estate jewelery, (I could not resist taking this photo!)

Bone china plates, bowls, rolling-pins, thimbles, and many other china items...

Walls full of antique quilts, sheets, fabric, napkins.

Old kitchen utensils of all kinds...

Tins, and books, glassware, the list could go on. Before I knew it I had taken near on thirty pictures in that one shop alone!

Lunch was consumed at the charming Elephant Boy Cafe in Bowral. What a delightful little spot! I found my food (Which was Divine) going down in lumps, as I was too curiously looking around. There's a lot to be seen there.

All up the day brought many smiles, and laughs, and long talks. Me getting way too excited entering some shops, not knowing which way to point first!

The heavens opened up, closing the day quite fittingly for the drive home. That is with each of us getting wet as we walked back to the car from the other end of town.

17 December 2008

17th December: An Epic Search

During the excitement of the weekend, I have mislaid my purse.
This has brought about a few realisations.

Firstly, as I have had that same purse for a good 5 odd years, I did not realised that I had reached the age that loosing it caused quite a bit of upset. (Or rather complications at having to get a lift into town for a new licence.)

Secondly, how personal the item is. Its not the cards, or the money, rather the fact that someone somewhere might be going through YOUR purse.

And Thirdly, I just had to giggle at some of the places I thought it necessary to look... Through the pantry, in the hair-goodies draw, through the workshop, the medicine cupboard. (The fridge did cross my mind)...

But I know me, I can wait for a week before canceling and replacing cards, after which within ten minutes I will find it. Or I can cut out the week.
What's a girl to do?!

16 December 2008

16th December: Dear Garden

The wind has brought with it, what I consider to be the Australian version of tumble weed.
(I am unsure of its proper name.)

It doesn't matter if it has only just been blown in, it has a wonderful way of making the place look abandoned.

My poor garden has been looking after itself this past month. As time is already spread thinly between working on the shop, normal house cleaning and meal making, and a few festive events.

My lily is hiding in there...

The weeds are higher and thicker than the plants. (I've wondered at the speed those weeds can grow at. All other plants take so long to establish to a degree that they can withstand the weather conditions.)
Soon dear garden, soon I will give you the attention you deserve!

15 December 2008

15th December: Shop Talk

Day of busyness,
Sanding window frames for the shop-to-be.
I only just realised that I have not mentioned much about our shop.

We are still working on the building. With hopes of getting a lick of paint on the outside walls this coming week (into the weekend).

At this stage Feburary is still the desired (and reachable) time to open up the doors to the public.
It will be wonderful to open those doors for the first time too.

I find it very easy to get lost in the lists of things to be made, fixed, finished, research ect. Yet I have great faith that all these things will find their way to getting ready in time. The reality of life is that everything HAS to be ready.

As that is what I spend most of my time doing these days, I will be writing about the shop a lot more from now on. (Pictures coming soon!)

14 December 2008

14th December: Reflections

I have always believed that life at this moment is what we see before us. That to change those things in our lives we do not like, one must find a different place to view life from.

How different things can be in a reflection,turned round, and now behind us.

Maybe understanding life, is looking in the mirror and understanding yourself.

13 December 2008

13th December: A Poem

The wind blows strong against these four walls.
How I trust on their strengh to withstand the force thrust up on them.
I watch through my walls of glass the trees bending,
Leaves holding on for their dear life.

There is no end to the blowing,
Make it stop.
Tears running down my cheek,
Eyes puffy, in the stinging.

Goodbye my almost lover.
Did you come and go with the wind.
When did I make it that easy to walk straight in and out,
Of my life.

Where did my four walls disappear to?
Did I have too much faith in you?

I have wondered so far,
That the wondering turned into lostness.
Is there anyone here with me,
Where did my hometown go...

Time has seen me here before,
When did he become a friend of mine.
So fast he is taken away,
No matter how fast I chase, I miss him.

Do they run because of me
These two fast and uncatchable forces?
Why is there a desire within my heart
To be free as they have become.

Could I escape these four walls,
That from a refuge turned into my cell.
What was once glass,
Now houses iron bars.

Fear the ruler of my heart.
Fear of singing, of seeing, of believing,
Of living, of finding happiness,
Without you in it.

You became the aurora of my world,
Colours that let me smile,
Music to make me dance.
Shows that we were united.

Each day my soul cries to dance again with you,
My eyes long for your glow.
To be rid of this tyrant of fear,
I'm ready to breath in the sun again with you.

Let this wind take me with it,
The girl I once was is now the ghost.

12 December 2008

12th December: There's Plenty of Room...

It says everything there is to say.

By Christopher David Ryan.

11 December 2008

11th December: Time to Practice

It never fails to amaze me how large a part music is to my soul.
That is the playing there of, as well as the listening.
There is nothing greater than having a few hours to spend in front of those black and white keys.
And how fast those hours dissapear in the tunes that fill them.

It was always my dream to one day be a music teacher.
The way I see it, is that I want to be able to teach others
the 'thing' that has given me such happiness
and forfilling enjoyment.

10 December 2008

10th December: Soccer!

Tonight was the second week of community soccer. There are many things I like about living in a small community, and the 'local's' soccer game is one of them.

There is no age limit of who can play, it doesn't matter if you're a boy or girl. These games are all about... WINNING! (Ok, I know I should be saying they are about having fun, getting some exercise, building community spirit etc, but let's be honest, who doesn't play to win??)

This is the game many people dream of playing, neighbour v's neighbour, friend v's friend, brother v's sister. Everyone has their moment of glory, (or plain luck). The luck part comes in if they have managed to come out of a tackle by me without being kicked in the shins, totally not intended on my behalf.

Of all sports soccer has always been my favourite. I even amaze myself with how excited I can become chasing a ball of air around a field. Just to clear one thing up, when I say field, I mean, long(ish) grass, some pot holes, clumps of dirt, oh yeah and goal post either end.

This evening I found myself a little out numbered; I was the only girl to show up. Though I guess someone needs to bring along the team encouragement speaker. And the goaly!

09 December 2008

9th December: Oh My!

When first coming up with this (insane) idea/challenge to write a blog post every day, I had no idea it would be as hard as I have been finding it to be.

-Having days when the Internet isn't working and it will not let me up load it in time doesn't help either.-

I feel a little ashamed of myself. It hasn't even been ten days yet.

Though I find sometimes when you have been busy all day, it is very hard to put into words what it was that has kept you busy. (Sometimes you do not even know yourself what you've been up to all day.)

Yet there are also the days when I cannot wait to be able to share something. Thinking all day how I shall write it.

Hopefully I shall have many more days with lovely things to share!

08 December 2008

8th December: Maggie Alarm

I have a new alarm clock. He is black and white, with grey fluffy feathers under his body. He sits in the tree by my window, the branch not two meters away.

Early in the morning (about the time of the sparrow's fart) as the sun turns the sky a glow; He starts, beak open - screaming at his mother till she finds something to put in there. The snippet of food only keeping him quiet for a moment.

There is no longer any peace in the morning. Instead there is a nervous wreck of a mother bird frantically searching for something to stop the cry of her little one. She must be tired.

As I have been unsuccessful in getting a picture of my own menace, while looking around for one I found this image. What a classic shot hey??!

07 December 2008

7th December: Lazy day

The day which I woke to with the best intentions of getting things done.
A morning that saw that motivation soon dwindle.
An afternoon that brought many unexpected activities.

#Reading through the 'Epoch Times' my grandpa dropped of early in the morning for me. (My favourite news paper)
#Watching some episodes of season two Doctor Who - thank you A!
#Long talk with a friend, many laughs
#Drive into town, and back
#Treats of ice cream and chocolate

Now I enjoy cool summer air through my window as I settle in for a good read.
Oh how I love the lazy December days! (They come so few and far between.)

06 December 2008

6th December: Meme 6x2.3

The lovely Karli has tagged me in the Meme 6x3. So without further ado...

Six things that I value, love, and am thankful for:

1) Grace, the mercy God has given to me. (And the world)
2) My loving family
3) The beauty that can be found in life
4) Music of all kinds
5) Books, books, books
6) A good steak

Six things that I do not stand for, support or simply do not like:

1) Hypocrisy
2) Greed for wealth
3) Mushrooms
4) Cruelty to animals
5) Dishonesty
6) Selfishness in people

I will do my best to keep this going by tagging the two people I can think of at the moment.
The talented Emily (and) the Machinists Wife.

05 December 2008

5th December: Decorations Part Two

This year I decided to try putting everything out in groups.
Sidetable a glow with lights, and candles:

We have collected a few glass domes, which I put little things under.
What time? Christmas time!:

The tree looks very much like it does every year.
Oh Christmas Tree:

I started making each of us stockings a few years ago. I never ended up making as many as I had hoped. I was rather proud of these three though.

Our lounge room has a high ceiling on the one side. So to make the most of this I have tied baubles from string right across the top of the room.
Bauble garland:

With the left over baubles, I love how delightful they look in glass bowls.

This little silver tree does not get packed away with all the other Christmas things.(It brings us too much pleasure to hide away.) How sweet are the little mirrors all over it. And how they make the light dance.

Another shot of the grouping of candles and lights. How that part of the room shines with all the different types of light.

A much needed reminder of how it might be if Christmas was to be white. I just love snow globes!

It took me two days to getting it looking as I had hoped it might. Now, as I have been saying to my Mam, we just need the get the house smelling of Christmas. (For me the Christmas smell is cinnamon.) There are a few other photos up here.