Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oh boy, I don't need this . . . .

So much for me talking about critters this morning!!!

I weeded out there for quite a while, then decided to come in for a coffee.  Had just made it and sat down to relax, could hear Merlin coming galumphing up the back stairs, but didn't pay too much attention till he walked past me here at the computer - with a KICKING RABBIT IN HIS MOUTH!  I promptly yelled at him to take it outside, he figured he was in big trouble and dropped the rabbit on the lounge room floor!

Rabbit lies there twitching and Merlin does a bolt back outside.  I go in search of Ewan McGregor - he is tearing around outside looking for the rabbit.  Will he come in?  Not on your nellie!!  I got the lead and encouraged him to come inside which he eventually does.  I say "Get the rabbit!"  He tries to go back outside.  No, no, it's in there!  He tears around the corner into the lounge room, almost runs past the prostrate rabbit but then sees it, grabs it, it squeals, he half drags it, half carried it not outside, oh no, but down the hall towards the bedroom!!!  I scream, he drops it and also does the bolt.

I stand outside on the back verandah for a while and contemplate life in general and the finer details of the ad I will put into the paper to advertise two dogs for sale .

Then I arm myself with my trusty old hoe and a bucket from the laundry and after giving the rabbit a nudge with the hoe to check that it was in fact now a late departed rabbit (which I'm relieved to say was the case) I manoeuvred the carcass into the bucket and carried the bucket on the end of the hoe handle outside where all good rabbits should be.

Came back inside and drank my getting cold coffee.

The dogs?  Well, they are still tearing around outside looking for the rabbit . . . 

Early Autumn, what a joy . . .

The nights are starting to cool down at last.  This morning is so clear and fresh that I feel really inspired to get out in the garden as quick as I can, even if it is just to pull out weeds!

My walking friend called round one afternoon last week, to see if I wanted to go for a walk.  Well, she walks, I hobble.  While I got my shoes on, she wandered along the path at the front of the house to the roses on the western side.  As I came back out the front door, she said "How come your roses are flowering so well when your garden is such a mess and uncared for?"  OUCH!!!

I must admit that they are all flowering well at the moment.  All the rain we got came later this year than last and it seems to have suited them.

Crepuscule on the archway at the side gate.

The Icebergs outside the lounge room window.

Here is the 'uncared for' western rose bed!  You know, she's absolutely right!!

Here is one of my Mum's hanging baskets.  For some time now, I've watched a wasp construct this elaborate looking nest -

Not really fond of wasps, but I can cope with the mud nest ones much better than the paper wasps which are evil critters with very foul tempers.

Speaking of evil critters, Mike was using the whipper snipper on long grass near the western rose bed the weekend before last and saw something fly out from under the blade.  It was another brown snake, only about 12 inches long, just a baby!  I guess enough venom to kill a few hundred people or so.  Rotten uncared for garden!!!

And here's my last critter story for today!  We have a number of Orb Weaving spiders in the garden at this time of the year - huge webs of the most sticky thread you could imagine.  

Here's a photo of an Orb Weaver web from a year or so ago

Lately, there's been a web hanging quite high above the ground on the western end of the house, between the window awnings and the guava tree.  Yesterday evening, while talking on the phone, I happened to glance out the window and there hanging in the web was a baby flying fox!  They are also one of my least favourite forms of wildlife but I had to rescue it.  I used the long pole from the pool broom to break the web a few inches above where it's feet were entangled and here's a good indication of the strength of the web, I carried it suspended by the web all the way round the house, through the side gate and across the front to the wattle tree where I did my best to get it hanging from a reasonably sized branch.  The web was still on it's feet so I kind of draped it across the wattle foliage.  Got up this morning and went out to see if it was still there.  The web is still there but the little critter has gone.  Maybe its mum came and picked it up.  Maybe Grandpa, Grandma, Mum and Dad and all the other little brown snakes came and got it!!

Good grief, I need to get out there and get working!!

David Austin 'Charlotte' - again.  Lovely rose!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why . . . ?

Do you remember when we used to have to line up at the bank to do our banking?  When we used to write out a cheque and post it off to pay our bills?  Now there is 'Internet Banking'.  Well, there's internet everything else so there may as well be internet banking.

Remember when we didn't have credit cards?  When there was absolutely no such thing?  You saw something you wanted and you saved up your money by any method you fancied and when you had enough, you went and bought the thing you wanted.  Now that internet shopping has created the need for internet banking, the credit card is in everyone's pocket and is a seemingly essential part of everyday life.

I broke my own rule of alternate gardening days this morning and spent a couple of hours pulling out nut grass.  Such an easy, mindless thing to do - and just as well because it is a job in my garden that will NEVER END.  All the learned experts tell me, once nut grass is in your garden, it will be always in your garden.  I'd like to think that if I pulled it all out six million times, that by the time six million and one times came around, there would be nothing left to pull out.  That's my theory and I'll have to go with it, otherwise the reality will get me down too much.

After my stint with the nut grass, I made a coffee and sat down at the computer to do my 'Internet Banking'.  Paid the Council rates, paid the Community Association levies, transferred money to my credit card and checked the balance - WHAT THE . . . . !!!!!!!!

A quick check of the transactions on my credit card shows me that this very morning, two amounts, both in excess of $1600, were added to my credit card.  A quick call to the bank and the young chap there tells me the names of the two companies that now have the money, neither of which I have ever heard of in my life, let alone spent money at.  He says the purchases have yet to be authorised and that if, by some chance, it is a case of wrong digits or glitch of some sort, then the amounts will indeed disappear off my account.  Somehow, I feel that is unlikely.  Some nasty person has taken advantage of the fact that I have a credit card.  Not content to have their own credit card, they would prefer to defraud ordinary people out of extraordinary amounts of money.

I was most upset, more cranky than anything.  How dare they!

My next job was to go to the supermarket.  The pantry was looking bare and the fridge not much better.  My stint in the garden this morning served the purpose of making my busted ankle a little more dodgy, to the point where, when I got to the shop and managed to score a shopping trolley that went every which way but straight, I had the greatest difficulty in walking at all.  The ankle just refused to be even slightly flexible and I hobbled my way up the aisles, fighting the rotten trolley and feeling more miserable by the minute until by the time I made it to the dairy section, I had found an old raggedy tissue in my handbag which I surreptitiously used to mop up the tears that insisted on seeping out of my eyes.

Would it be easy to go back to not having these trappings of the 21st century?  Could we survive without our credit cards?  And our internet banking?  We could certainly survive without the scoundrels who have no conscience and think nothing of making our lives miserable.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Catching up on the news . . .

With my extended absence from blogging, I have missed recording some important news - I am a Grandma again.  My daughter and her husband were expecting last year with a due date of Christmas Eve, which kind of threw Christmas arrangements into a bit of a spin.

However, good things sometimes arrive early and their son was born on 20 December.  An auspicious birthdate - twenty - twelve - twenty twelve.  He is just gorgeous and she has settled in nicely to being a stay at home mum.

My other Grandson is now almost nine months old and is also just gorgeous.  My daughter in law has just recently gone back to work part time and so he is having three days a week at a local day care centre.

I could just eat him!

With all the rain we've had lately, the weeds in the garden have gone ahead in leaps and bounds.  A few weeks ago, I started weeding the rose bed on the western side of the house and at that stage, the summer grass was sprouting and was up to here (hand at about shin height).  Now, with the rain and the warm, oh so humid weather, the summer grass has gone to seed and is up to here (hand at chin height)!  Atrocious stuff!  I have so lost my gardening fitness - a few hours out there and I am so knackered.  And the next day, I have such sore and stiff muscles that gardening at the moment is done on alternate days only.

The roses are putting on heaps of new growth after the rain.  The dreadfully hot weather we had in January, getting up to 45 degrees C on a few occasions, combined with the lack of water and lack of care with me holed up inside the house meant that they had been looking decidedly seedy.  We had a few casualties of the hot weather, two geraniums in front of the verandah all but expired but have little patches of new growth although thankfully my Johnson's Blue survived okay.  The clematis on the archway near the front door looks like it has totally gone to God.  Strangely, it was just the common Montana which I would have thought was hardier than the other hybrids I have which both survived and are flowering at the moment.

 I can never remember the name of this rose - it is written on a little stake that is planted next to it, one day I must pull in out and read it!  I think it's DA Ambridge Rose - but I may be wrong.

This one is DA Charlotte.  None of these roses got to be pruned last year with me having broken my leg.

The western bed looks like a bit of a jungle - note the trash bag full of summer grass - one of seven I filled on Monday of this week.  Much more needs to be done here!

The last of the flowers on the cut leaf lilac.  This is the first time I've seen many flowers on it.  So sweetly perfumed.

The view along the front of the house with the now bare archway.  The banksia rose growing on the right hand side has been chopped to the barest stump, poisoned with Roundup, had every shoot removed countless times and still it persists in growing.  Maybe I should just let it be.

Mike bought me a new present.  Actually he bought it last July and it was finally delivered last week.

It's an AGA and I think I've wanted one for about a hundred years.  Such anticipation - what a pity it arrived damaged, with great chunks broken off the enamel - four new oven doors are in the process of being made over in England and a specialist repairman will be visiting me within the next few weeks to see if he can repair the damage to the body of the stove.  I was so disappointed.

New doors for the resized cupboards at the sides of the stove are being ordered and then with any luck, the whole of the kitchen, including the cupboards, will be repainted.  I like progress . . . but why does it all have to take so long?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sadness . . .

A long, long time ago, something very sad happened.  I went to sleep one night and my ability to blog fell out through my ear.

Prior to that, I felt that the life I was leading was somehow worthy of being recorded, even if only for my own benefit - I could look back and remember things that had happened or that I'd done.  Now I read old posts from the Kurrajong Garden Chronicles and I'm just amazed - I can scarely remember the joy I used to get from a good days gardening.  And somewhere, along with the joy of gardening and the rewards it brought me, went my joy of life in general.

I'm nostalgic for the way things used to be and more so for the way I used to be.  I have much to be thankful for and so I am on a mission to get back my old self, to work on my newish lack of mobility and find the old joy that I once had.

Now if only it would stop raining, I could go out into the garden and begin. . . .