plans…

Best-laid-plans

Yes. Well. This is how it goes around here:

I make plans for tomorrow, the day after, the whole week. I have a diary I keep my appointments in. I make lists of things I need to do – today, tomorrow, the day after, etc.

Then something happens. Nothing ever goes as planned… do you find that? Things I meant to do today get moved to tomorrow or the next day or next week. I do things today that weren’t on the list for this year. I shuffle papers, never use a pen in my diary (learned that the hard way), write new lists.

Surely I’m not the only person who’s life seems to have a life of its own?

Don’t expect any insights or clever solutions in this post. In fact, if you have a solution please share.

I know the theory: Write things down. Make lists. Prioritise.

I DO THAT.

Then things change and I need new plans and new lists. My plans are organic in nature, growing and changing…

I make lists and number things in order of priority as well as geographic location. I mean, how else will I manage to do everything in a time-and-fuel-efficient manner?

Will I ever get this under control or is this terminal do you think?

z

tidy here, mess up there

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Its a universal truth.

In order to clean up one room/area, you mess up another.

Or is it just me?

The other day I tidied up the living room. It was due. There was more dirt on the carpet than in the yard. No one can accuse me of not being house proud…

In order to clean and tidy the living room I had to remove certain items. Like the baskets of towels and other bathroom stuff which I’d put there while we were renovating the bathroom. Months ago.

Like the laundry baskets full of washed clothes waiting to be folded and put away. Ok, I’m down to one only, not so bad.

Like the pile of odd socks which have lost their sole mates.

You get the picture.

One reason for tidying was to lay down the new/used rug I’d bought. Cause one day I’ll rip up the carpet in there and we’ll need rugs for warmth. So I removed all the unnecessary don’t-belong-in-there items and cleaned and put down the rug.

Where did the extraneous items go you may ask? Well… they had to go somewhere. And that someone had to be out of the way, yet accessible in order for me to put them away at a later date. Probably much later.

The doorway to the guest room.

Is it just me, or is everyone’s life a matter of just moving things around? From here to there, from there to further over, then a couple of inches to the left?

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I’m sick of it. I’m feeling the itch again. The itch that says ‘get rid of it’.

I get that itch now and then, mostly due to the frustration of not having enough space for the crap we accumulate. The porch is full of things I put down months ago cause I would need them for something, like the final touches to the bathroom… The mud room is full of stuff that came out of the house to be put in its place later.

I’m gonna cry.

Its raining today. Our plan for today was to pick up a load of hay. Ain’t gonna happen in the rain. So I have an indoor (mostly) day to do some cleaning.

Or I could clip the poodles, who are looking a bit like woolly mammoths right now.

Or I could make the spanakopita I’ve been planning to make for the last 3 days.

Or I could just sit here and do nothing…

z

i once wrote a book

Like many people, I lived under the illusion that I could write (and illustrate) books for a living. Especially children’s books.

Do you know how hard it actually is?

Anyway, one day I actually did write a book which I self published on Lulu.com, the DIY online publishing place. This was quite a few years ago, there may be other places now, but back then I think that was it.

This is the book:

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Scooter was my second toy poodle ever. He was the first one I got while living in Australia. He was a real character, a little man with a huge attitude. He was hilarious. When we lived in Fentonbury the paddock next door was sometimes home to cattle and Scooter was game to take on anything. This is a true story. It happened one day while I watched. It was too good not to capture and share.

I think I sold about 10 copies. All to me. Ok, maybe a couple to a friend or two. The problem is that Lulu charges so much, its a ridiculous price to pay for a slim book!

I actually made heaps more selling the original watercolours on ebay.

I began illustrations for a book about Billybear, my other toy poodle, but never got past that to the story. One day I’ll finish it. Maybe.

You can see a bit more about my Scooter book and, if you have $$ to spare, you can order it online here.

Meanwhile, remembering this book got me to thinking about writing in general and beginnings specifically. I remember hearing somewhere that starting was the hardest part. I beg to differ. I can start anything, at any time.

Its finishing (or continuing) that’s the hard part!

In my mind I’m always writing first paragraphs for books. Its fun!

Like this:

The man lay in bed, watching the neon light outside the cheap motel window flash pink then red then white. He couldn’t sleep. He was too conscious of the loaded gun on the bedside table next to him. If he failed tomorrow he was as good as dead.

Or this:

Megan was woken by the cold. She reached for her comforter but something was wrong. She couldn’t move her arms or legs. Her eyes flew open and she looked around the dark unfamiliar room. She was lying on a mattress on a dirty floor, cable ties around her wrists and ankles. She remembered the man in the mask and she began to cry.

Yes. I obviously love crime and suspense books. Does it show?

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Ok, how about:

Amy looked up as Troy put a large coffee on the table in front of her. Soy milk latte with a dash of vanilla, just the way she liked it. He sat down opposite her and smiled. He was such a nice guy, considerate, kind, attractive. They had heaps in common. He had a good job. Her parents loved him. Yet Amy looked watched him stir sugar into his coffee and felt like the walls were closing in around her. 

The second paragraph? So much harder to do! LOL

z

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i’m back. sort of.

Its been almost a whole month since I last wrote and a ton has happened.

First I went off to the mainland, as I do most years, to groom poodles for the big shows. This year I went to Melbourne for the Poodle National and the Royal Melbourne Show.

I stayed with my good friend Iris, and groomed silver toy poodles for her, and her grand daughter’s white standard poodle.

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The gorgeous Kismet.

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The beautiful Mishka.

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The elegant Mystique.

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The cute Piper.

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The handsome Sonic.

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Retired from the ring now, the stunning Armani.

I had tons of fun playing with poodles and enjoying the smell of hairspray in the morning, but it was also exhausting and hard work.

I did manage to go out one night and catch a band, a great rockabilly/hillbilly trio called The Rechords – it was great to catch up with old friends and even have a few dances.

Unfortunately I got some bug on the flight over – not surprising, an airtight tube with a heap of people in it, you’re bound to catch something! – and spent my entire 10 days there living on cold and flu tablets.

I still had it when I came home, only worse. I spent the first week home feeling I was going to die and sounding like I had kennel cough. I’m still not over it … Still coughing, still blocked ears, still going through tissues at an alarming rate.

As a result, not much has been done around here. Priorities, right? I had to groom, its my job, so I concentrated on putting all my energy into that, then I’d crash out in front of the TV (or in bed) for the rest of the day.

The house looks like its been occupied by squatters for the last year, the yard looks like the weeds staged a coup and have taken over. Well… its spring and its been raining a lot and the grass and weeds are growing like WEEDS. Today Wayne took matters into his own hands and let the horses in to do some landscaping for me. As long as they don’t eat the precious few plants that made it through winter I’m happy. At least I can see the garden beds now.

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I also came home to an injured dog. Montana was run over by a car and had to have surgery to put in a plate and screws. She’s on the mend now thankfully, but coming home to her in hospital was awful. It really makes it hard to go away again. Between that and getting sick every time I fly, I’m considering putting down an anchor and staying put forever…

Anyway, I hope to get back to things soon. The bathroom is still not finished, the house, well, the less said about that the better, ditto the yard… The To Do list is staggering and I’m still spending more time on the couch with Montana, just existing and recuperating.

I hope you’ll forgive me and hang in there till I’m up to creating and sharing again.

z

the monster has woken

I haven’t posted for a while. I know. I’m a disgrace to blogdom.

I’ve been busy. Working. Creating. Being a social butterfly.

As a matter of fact, I’m reverting to an older version of myself. Or I should say – a younger version. I just wish I was as fit as I was back then…

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Me during my Robert Smith period…

No… not that far back. I’m actually talking about my rockabilly days. Gosh I miss those days – dance competitions, going to pubs to dance to live bands 4 days a week and twice on Sundays. I mean that literally – two pubs, 2 bands on Sundays.

Those were the days. sigh…

So, it all started about a year ago when I decided I was going to join the local radio station (TYGA FM 98.9) and play my rockabilly music so I could listen to it again. I played my music, singing out loud and dancing in my head (or bopping around the station when no one was around).

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Banner for my Facebook Rockabilly Rebel page.

Through the show I met some great people. This led to some nights out, the creation of a rockabilly night at a local cafe once a month, and last weekend… a live band!

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I started on the road to Rockabilly Rebeldom way back in Melbourne when I decided to learn how to dance R’n’R. I took a 6 week course and I honestly learned nothing. I just did not ‘get’ it.

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When I first started dancing, my flatmate and I took R’n’R lessons together.

The class would go to the odd band to practice and one of the pubs had dance lessons before the band. I went every week and made a nuisance of myself with the teachers, and one day it just CLICKED. There was no looking back from that point.

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Getting ready for a 40s ball.

I would go to venues and watch the guys dance and pick the best ones, then I’d go ask them to dance with me. I had a lot of girls hating me at that point. But I learned how to dance by dancing with lots of different guys who had different styles. And I loved it! I would dance all night, never stopping. I was pretty darn fit.

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Can’t be a rockabilly chick without a car!

Then life changed for various reasons and I moved to Tasmania and became a country girl. Living a long way out of the city and having to drive in every day for work meant that when I got home I didn’t go out again. And I couldn’t find any ‘scene’ here either. I gave up on dancing…

Do you have any idea how amazing it was to be out again, listening to a great live band and dancing again? I walked in and saw a couple of ladies dancing and I was up there like a shot, asking for a dance. I was chatting to the band during their break, I was making new friends all around.

The monster has awoken! I’m back baby!

z

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Long hair!

not enough time to do it all?

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I think I’ve always known that I might have too many interests, but it hit home last night when I watched a show on TV a friend told me I needed to see. It was about a woman who’s entertainment area was so full of ‘stuff’ no one could use it. Her ‘stuff’ had encroached in other areas of the house and was affecting her family.

The problem was that she was a crafter. She liked to do all kinds of crafts. She painted, beaded, sewed, knitted. Among other things. Everything she’d collected was stuff she thought she could use, remake, recycle, DO one day.

Now, I think I’m insulted that my friend thought I was that bad.

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I have outbuildings full of stuff. My house is livable. Ok, leave my office out of it! That’s my space and I’m the only one who has to squeeze in there…

But I do see her point. Grudgingly. I think the issue is with wanting to do too much.

On the show the ‘expert’ forced the lady to pick three hobbies and get rid of everything else in order to organise (and limit) her space.

I think he missed the point. Its not about having too much stuff, its about not having enough time to do all the stuff!

I know there isn’t enough time in a lifetime to do all the things I want to do. That’s the real problem. I don’t want to give anything up, but perhaps the old saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is true…

I think I found the answer:

Take it in turns!

Concentrate on maybe 2 things at a time then move on to something else. Maybe a week at a time, or a month. That way you give yourself a chance to do a bit of everything and finish a few things along the way.

Problem solved. Maybe. Sort of.

Anyway…

Enjoy the funny craft related pics I found on Pinterest.

 

z

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one thing at a time

Disclaimer: This is a post I wrote last week, before Erik took huge chunks of our hearts with him. I was in a great mood and words came easily. I haven’t felt like blogging since, but I saw this and wanted to post it. Life goes on, doesn’t it? It has to.

I know I’m not alone, but it sure is nice to see confirmation that there are others out there struggling with the same serious, debilitating issues as I am on a daily basis.

The problem is ‘zoning’ or becoming too focused on one thing till it takes over and eating up your time and overwhelming your brain.

What I’m trying to say is I have a problem. I look around me and see so many things that need to do be done (or I want to do) that I become paralyzed by the choices. Cause one job isn’t just one job. One job is a week of mess and hard work.

I read Donna’s post on Funky Junk today and she has the same problem. Turning “10 minute tidy job into a week long event that requires a trip to the dump”.

I can relate!

Cleaning up my office isn’t just tidying the office. Its starting to pick crap up off the floor and putting it away where it belongs, then putting up shelves so I can store things better, which means cutting wood, painting it, finding brackets, putting them up. It involves buying cheap boxes and spray paint to paint them all white so they match, which means a couple of days of layers of paint, then labelling them and finally filling them with stuff and putting them on the shelves. It means filing all the paperwork I picked up off stacks on the floor. Picking up and sorting all my fabrics into stacks according to use, colour, whether I’m likely to use them or not. It involves filling bags with rubbish and boxes with stuff that needs to be elsewhere – some of it needs to be photographed and listed for sale on Facebook or ebay, some of it needs to be scattered around the place in better spots.

Needless to say, cleaning up the office has been a week long job and is still not finished.

The grooming room? Well, that’s on the home stretch now. The main stuff is all done, Its usable but there are still things to do… and will always be things to do cause I know myself.

But an offshoot of doing the grooming room (and moving into it) is the old grooming room – now crying out for help. I go in there and am instantly overywhelmed by the piles of boxes and drifts of dust, dead bugs and dog hair which have accumulated in corners over the last 7 years. Aided by the ripped bag of dog clippings. Thanks poodles.

And the workshop? sigh. Remember the garage sale that never was? All the preparation that went into that… locating everything I wanted to sell and moving it into the workshop for easy access…

Well, most of that is still there!

I can’t work in the workshop cause, well, its full of stuff I need to get rid of.

When I want something, like a screw driver or my circular saw, I have to step over power tools, squeeze around chairs, lean over frames and, oh no… its not there! Look on the bench, under the boxes and drop sheets, oh, there’s my hammer. I’ve been looking for that for 3 days!

z

PS. Have you seen my circular saw?

i was featured!

I’m still not in a place where I want to share much. Its not just what happened with Erik this week but ongoing issues in my life that have to do with my employment…. not my dog grooming.

That’s all I’ll say about it, but the stress of it all has come to a head and with what happened this week I find I’m not coping well at all.

One lovely thing that happened is that my blog was featured on Talk of Town Link Party! I feel so honoured. I’ve never been a great blogger, I’ve been intermittent with my posts and all over the place with my projects.

To be featured is so amazing!

Thank you guys.

z

i’m baaaack!

Yes, I’m back. A lot has happened around here since I last posted, but I feel in a better place to share our life, news and my projects once again.
For starters, I’d like to share the old bike I rescued from a trip to the tip. It will eventually sit in the garden but till then I’ve leaned it up against the porch railing and started off some plants will which one day, hopefully, explode into colour and drape all over it.
I had a couple of rusty baskets, one of which was an actual bike basket for the handlebars. I lined them with plastic after poking some holes in for drainage, and filled them with potting mix. I then plonked in some plants.
I found this pitiful looking little plant at a garage sale – the daisies are so pretty I had to have it despite its one foot in the grave appearance.

Its looking like its going to the big garden in the sky right now so I may go ahead and move it to the embankment. Daisies obviously love it there, which is great, as I love the embankment covered in daisies.
When pulling weeds I dug up and added some alysum. Love that stuff. It grows anywhere – my kind of plant – and looks like clouds of white fluff.

The front basket got a gaura which was growing in a pot – it was a cutting… well, a broken branch from one of the established plants. I added a bit of catmint for its trailing propteries. Both of those are doing well, though the gaura will need to be moved as its way too big for a bike basket.

The garden is looking amazing right now with all the spring flowers. I’ve been sharing tons of photos of it on Facebook but might do a separate post on the blog about it soon.
Things on the farm are great. We have 6 ducklings in Stalag 13. The ducklings were easy to catch though I did throw myself on the ground in a most undignified way in their pursuit. The mother took us all day to catch. In the end we set up a dog crate and trapped her in it. I don’t think she’s forgiven us yet, but the ducklings are still alive! Unlike poor Little Herman IIs ducklings which disappeared in a matter of 3 days.
Sharing Stalag 13 with the duck family is a chicken. She hatched 3 babies who unfortunately got out of the dog house she’s using as a nesting box, then couldn’t get back in and froze to death over night. We were so upset. We’ve raised chickens in there before and that never happened before. Its always something. We now have a ramp so it won’t happen again. The hen is still sitting. She had 2 of her own eggs and I gave her 2 from another of the girls. Fingers crossed. More chickens would be welcome, though no more roosters. The older rooster is being hounded to death by his much bigger son. Its sad. Other than letting them sort it out I don’t know what to do. Chopping one rooster’s head off was suggested, but… um… no.
We have 5 goslings as well. Doris, the younger of our geese, hatched them out yesterday. Since then its been lovely to watch the group walking around the paddocks – Doris with her babies, surrounded by the boys guarding her. 
Annabelle, the older goose, is still sitting on her nest. They should hatch soon. Hank has made it his life’s work to guard Annabelle. We always know which boy is Hank, he has a squinty eye so he always looks like he’s watching you like a mafia boss. He’s also the one out front every time we step out into the paddock warning us to behave or else.
The youngest goose doesn’t have a name as we really can’t tell him apart from Jethro, the other original goose. It’s hard to tell pure white boys apart… At least the girls have different markings.
The horses are all in great condition thanks to all the feed in the paddocks. Wally is his usual cranky self, Dancer is as sweet as ever and she and Cass continue to dislike eachother. Little Chipmunk foundered again so he’s back in the starvation paddock. He’s not too impressed. We allow him into the casita (my workshop!) to get out of the weather and out of the mud when its been raining a lot. Now he’s bored he’s beginning to do naughty things. The other day he emptied the bag of rubbish all over the floor. I was not too impressed.
There’s been no progress on the new grooming room, but hopefully I’ll be taking all the rubbish/plaster to the tip soon and I can begin working on the walls. Which reminds me… where is the electrician? Hm… He was meant to come last week.
On a more personal note, I’ve taken time off work and am spending my days building up my home grooming business, painting, gardening, and playing with dolls.
Yes. You read that well. Dolls.
Ok, not playing as such, but remaking.
I’ll share in another post once I’m ready to show the world what I’ve been doing. Lets just say its a new hobby for me and I’m loving it.
So there you have it. For now. See you again soon.
z

one of those days

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m taking a break from blogging for a while. It might be a week (you’re thinking “whats new there?”), might be longer.

Chances are it’ll be a bit longer.

Not sure.

I’ll let you know.

I promise that if I decide to stop blogging I’ll post to say goodbye.

z