Saturday, 28 January 2012

Grew like Topsy

It's not Uncle Tom's Cabin but with Georgia in charge of ideas for a birthday present for her little cousin who will be a whole year old in a couple of days,  the phrase "grew like Topsy" comes to mind.

The original plan was to make a little car out of an ice cream stick I'd saved and thrown into the box of "stuff" she uses when she is being creative. 
She gets an idea and expands on it. Half a day later we end up with this:

Her ideas are gettting harder and harder for me to help her implement.  We had to call upon her father for assistance with the steering wheel rod.  

I've tried and tried to convince her that if we cut the bottom out of the box so Aiden can walk around in it (when he starts to walk which he is close to doing) that it won't hold it's shape.  I say she can stick them on to the side, she says they must go round and round.  During the standoff she got busy and made the wheels and now they sit beside the car while she waits for me to "think harder" and come up with a solution. It wasn't until she was nearly finished that I noticed she had raided by sewing box!

That was yesterday, and somehow somewhere along the line I hurt my back.  So she's going easy on me today.  We've made cookies because I feel more at ease standing and walking, we've been for a walk and when we got home she announced she was a bit tired.  But does she lay down and have a nap?  No!  She sits and picks up her ideas book  - and I have a sneaking suspicion something is brewing in that little blonde head of hers.  

Friday, 27 January 2012

FSO - Delicate

Delicate and I are not usually mentioned in the same sentence.  Doesn't mean I don't appreciate delicate things.

I delight in the delicate everyday sights around me - water flowing gently over rocks.

and other natural things:

Delicate bubbles in a glass of milk fresh from the cows:

The same cows delicately eating their meal:

But I also like man made delicate things:

I really enjoyed this topic.  And I know the rest of the team will have come up with some great shots.  Just go here to check them out.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Letter to the girls

I've been looking after your animals.  But I haven't seen Fiji since you left!  Maybe it was her who is responsible for this I found on the deck this afternoon.

Or maybe it was young Mother Cat teaching her babies how to hunt.  The way they gobble their food, you'd think they haven't been fed for weeks!  They get their food everywhere but always clean up their mess.

I went up to the house early today because I could hear Mini crying out.  She didn't sound happy.  And no wonder!  She'd jumped on and off the trampoline so much, she'd shortened her chain to the point she could hardly move.  But she perked up as soon as I moved her to fresh grass and the shade of a tree.  Hope that tree isn't important to your mum.  She might be cross with me!

Georgia, Franklin is happy.  Well, I think he is.  It's a bit hard to tell with a turtle!

Jack and Roxy?  They're OK.  Jack only cares about his food, and I suppose he's enjoying his holiday from farm work.

I think Roxy is OK, too.  What do you think?

Have I forgotten anyone?  Ah yes, the lamb.  I know it looks after itself but its there and looking fine.  And, really, we are going to have to start calling it a sheep!

See you all soon.  Can't wait!

Sad Sammy

The family are at the beach.  The are missed by Sammy, their lovely little dog.  He spends his time either on my deck or sprawled on the lawn.  Over the weekend he trotted back to the family home on the hill, only to return about 10 minutes later.  I guess he thought they might have returned while he was sleeping.  He's accompanied me on walks around the farm but has just trotted along at my heels, none of his usual adventuring and exploring, as if it's no fun with just me.  

Poor, sad Sammy!  I miss them, too.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


Some sayings live on and on.  Someone in my childhood, it may have been my grandmother, said to me, "The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude."  It didn't change my attitude towards picking potatoes but I remembered it.  And I heard it again yesterday.  In my head, that is.  All a bit silly really as cows don't understand my mind talk.  

It wasn't a bad attitude day, I was full of the joys of summer as I took my walk.  And I had no intention of upsetting anyone or anything.  The other cows I disturbed while they were scoffing their feed either ignored me or shifted their position so I wouldn't get too close.  This beauty usually stands out in the crowd because of her colouring but yesterday she also took a different attitude.  While her mates ignored me, she flicked her ears, stood her ground and definitely gave me some attitude.  

Today didn't start out too well weather wise, overcast and gentle rain.  Should I have been able to predict that from the sunset last night?   A light wind has blown the dark clouds away, replacing them with the white fluffies, the sun is shining again. 

Every evening for nearly a week I've been drawn outside by the sunsets.  They aren't dramatic; to me they seem mellow and placid, Mother Nature smiling softly.

All these are taken just outside my house or a little along the track.  I must walk further, to get past that scraggy tree in future.

Friday, 20 January 2012

FSO - Glass

Glass - a bit tricky for me.  Haven't got much.

A messed up glasses behind glass:

Glass marbles in a glass bowl:

Glass windows in my work office and my (almost) reflection:

If it's glass and holds water I'm likely to call it a vase and plonk some flowers in it.  Especially at this time of year when everything seems to be in bloom.    These are picked from the roadside and my garden.  And there are a couple of other glass things I find useful in the shot.  The blue bottle at the back on the right was picked up from a drain and given to me by my grandson when he was four (he's 18 now) with the declaration that it was a "treasure" - and so it is!

6 pm and conditions look good according to the weather glass:

Did I say 6 pm?  It's been a lovely warm day and I've done enough work, so it's time for this glass:

I wonder what the rest of the team has come up with?  Just pop over here to have a look.

Blogger is being a pain in the butt at the moment.  I received an email saying, "I'd love to know why I can't see your Glass posting.  Can You?"  No, I cannot but there seems a logical explanation for that, I haven't posted it yet.  But then I looked for it and sure enough it says I posted it 21 hours ago.  That would have been last night when I uploaded the first three shots you see here.  But I didn't publish it.  Ah well, I will have forgotten all about it by the time I finish that glass.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A winner at last

You know how some people just seem to be lucky?  I'm not one of them.  Oh, I am in lots and lots of ways, very lucky indeed, but not when it comes to winning prizes.  I don't win raffles or prizes in Lotto.  I'm still encouraged to buy Lotto tickets because I won $30 in 1993 - and I had to split that with my daughter and her friend.

And now I am further encouraged because I won Dawn Treader's, 3rd Blogoversary giveaway.  I heard the news of the win on 13th and today it arrived.  Pretty darn fast considering it came all the way from Sweden.  And it's fabulous.  I'm lucky!!

I'm not sure about the connection with being lucky and this next bit.  But somehow I saw it.

Today at work I was interrupted mid-sentance by a man I have never met before asking, "What part of Australia do you come from?"

Ah yes, that is connection, I'm lucky that after over 35 years living with the Kiwi accent I retain enough of my Aussie roots for keen ears to detect my Aussie accent. My Aussie family will laugh because they think I sound like a Kiwi these days....but not totally..... obviously. 

Monday, 16 January 2012


In an effort to improve my photography, I try to take a photo each day.  Some days it is easy, others I struggle to find something different to aim at.

Today was one of those difficult days and I was thinking I'd have to resort to another flower shot in the garden.  I never seem to get any better at those so was a bit gloomy.  I was nearly home before I spotted a dark shape and turned up the side road to see what it was. And there he was, a nice young bull, looking not one bit concerned about being separated from his mates, just mildly curious about what I was doing pointing that thing at him. I almost like this shot but there is something wrong with it and I can't figure out what it is. Should there be a bit more sky above his head?  Adrian?  GB?  Anyone?

Don't worry, he has now been been put safely off the road side.

I really am a simple soul.  This little encounter cheered me up so much I came home and tried another flower shot with fresh confidence.  And like it.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Logic saves the day

"Pride cometh before the fall" I muttered to myself as my big, clumsy fingers struggled to fashion doll clothes.

Why did I agree before I knew the size of the doll?  Because Georgia appealed to my pride.  "Niamh has a doll but doesn't have any other clothes for it.  They know we make things, so can we make the doll some clothes?"  And what does muggins say but yeah, sure, but we'll have to have the doll to get the size right. 

It never entered my mind that the doll might be a skinny little Frankenstein's sister. 

And where is the other half of the royal "we" I wonder?

It was a struggle to get the tights off her; who makes these clothes?  They are quite well made and finished, would put the tights I made to shame.  I can picture little fairies with tiny fingers and tiny sewing machines doing it, but not your average adult. 

I got the vest off but darned if I know how the dress is meant to come off.  Guess that will be a job for one of the children.  Actually, I hope they don't succeed because I really don't think I could make another anything like it. 

I took the easy way out and made her a cape. 

 For some light relief, and to keep myself up there with the clever people in Georgia's estimation, I mended her much loved cuddly puppy.  He's a bit like me, has had the stuffing knocked out of him.

 Half an hour later and I'm feeling better about being guilty of one of the Seven Deadly Sins - and on a Sunday, too!

I found this explanation of "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" as in the King James version of the Holy Bible.

It is interesting that a proverbs quotation has turned into what it has, and it has because of popular interpretations of what is meant by "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." When read as it is written, this is hardly saying "Pride comes before the fall." When anyone of us are facing certain destruction, the first thing to go is pride. This is as it should be since there is nothing to be proud of when facing destruction. That a "haughty spirit" comes before a fall is also self evident. Weaker spirits rarely rise high enough to risk falling. Pride has been unfairly attacked as an unseemly character trait. People suggest that we should forget pride and seek out humility. If you are living life, I assure you, humility will seek you out and there need be no rush to meet it. Humility will find you with or without your guidance. Pride, on the other hand is not so easily found. Pride is recognition of accomplishment.
Love that logic.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

What rain?

Three days ago I said the weather forecast was for showers every day until Sunday.  Later that same evening I looked out at this sunset.  That didn't look like a no rain tomorrow sunset to me! 

The colours were even more intense in the direction that I don't have a good view of the sky.

Sure enough, we haven't had any rain since.  Today has been lovely, a little windy but warm, just lovely.  Actually, by the time I'd been walking about 20 minutes it felt quite hot. 

One of the many good things about living on a farm is I can see and appreciate the benefits of lots of rain.  I posted this photo of the maize crop on 18 November just as it was coming up.

Today, it is above my head.  This shot is taken at eye level; love the greens.

Further around the track the turnip crop is also thriving.  You can see the maize on the hill in the background.  They are on a bit on a lean, I didn't notice that the fence post I was using to rest the camera on wasn't even.

And look at the size of this turnip.  Might be past it's best for (human) eating, I think.

Everywhere I looked today everything seemed perfect.  The land, the sky, the cows, even the wildflowers and weeds.

For those who thought it took some nerve to ask the policeman for my Long Arm of the Law photo - I very nearly didn't!

The police station was quite busy, a few people waiting to see each of the two civilians manning the desk.  I caught a glimpse beyond them into the offices behind but couldn't see any police officers in uniform.  Assumed they would all be upstairs in the offices and I figured by the time I asked for a uniformed policeman/woman to take a photo, there would be other people lined up behind me and I would feel like I was wasting everyones time.  So I chickened out.  

But, as I walked out the door I saw just what I wanted on the other side of the road waiting for the lights to change to come towards the station.  And I know a nice face when I see one!  So I waited for him to cross and asked him.  He thought I was trying to pluck up the courage to go in and ask but I told him I'd already been in and come out again.  I think I amused him.

I've only been turned down once when asking people if I can take their photo.  And have no conscience about firing off shots without permission if I don't think they will notice.  And, for some reason, people very rarely notice.  

But the one time I was refused stands out as one of the funniest experiences I've had in years.  It was the winter before last.  Can't remember why but I wanted photos of elderly people.  I'd gone to see a play where there was a dinner beforehand served by theatre volunteers.  An extremely handsome white haired gentleman was serving the wine at our table.  He had a very aristocratic demeanour, was as deaf as a post and was amusing those at my table by serving anything except what was requested.  

When he left the room I followed him and asked could I please have his photo.  He straightened his back, and looked very regal as he suggested the blood red wall in the hall would be a good backdrop.  Perfect, I thought.  That wonderful full head of snowy white hair would look fantastic against the deep red. 

BUT, just as I was about to take my shot, he asked what I was going to do with the photo.  I explained about the Friday Shoot Outs but he only heard "internet" and went off on a bit of a rant.  No, no way, he wasn't going to be on the internet, he knew all about the internet, he had grandchildren (couldn't quite see the connection there), no way was he having any part of the internet.  And every time he said "internet" it was with more venom. 

I thanked him politely and telling myself I never thought I'd see the day that a man that age didn't appreciate my attentions, returned to my friends. 

For the rest of the evening, every time I looked around that man would be somewhere glaring at me.  I felt like he was keeping a very sharp eye on this loose woman who went on the internet and making sure I didn't influence any of the decent people around me. 

I really enjoyed my night of being seen as a wicked woman!

Friday, 13 January 2012

FSO - Arms and legs

Loving arms:

Father's waiting legs

Mother and son's waiting legs:

Friends in arms

The long arm of the law:
(The lovely policeman said he didn’t mind if his face was showing but in the shot where it is, he is sticking his tongue out – cheeky beggar! I notice the truck driver in the background is having a good look to see what is going on.)

I’m sure there will be some very interesting takes on this topic. Hop over here to have a look.