thoughts from the wee small hours . . .

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Time moves on, things change… this I have always known but several years into living the reality of my long-dreamed aspirations it’s apparent there are certain matters I need to take stock of. Thoughtfulness around such things takes the opportunity of early morning serenity. My contemplations in the early hours of this morning included…

Sleep vs creativity. Today’s writing is a comfortable and familiar muscle memory exercise of fingers on keyboard beginning at about 4.30 am to exorcise thoughts which had been eddying since 2.30 am. Perhaps finally an opportunity after several years of catching up on and enjoying more sleep than our city-working lives allowed to persuade my body on an ongoing basis that the wee small hours are a propitious time for peaceful creative endeavours.

Wee small hours
Collecting my thoughts from the wee small hours

Pickles. It’s almost show time: back in the day of my city office job and long hours communing with my own thoughts, one of my cherished dreams was firstly, learn to make; secondly, enter a jar of pickles in our local country show; and ultimately win first prize… of course. Several Macksville Shows have come and gone since I began pickle making, circumstances conspiring to delay the dream’s fruition: the pickles were all eaten; we were out of town; the pickles were made outside the cut off date. I have a cupboard full of Choko pickles I made last week. However, I admit to myself, the dream has died… it is enough that I enjoy the process of making something out of almost nothing and that my family and friends enjoy eating them.

Choko pickles
Homemade Choko pickles, I declare you a winner in my household

Wellbeing. While I manage my blood sugar issues well enough, yet again my body is struggling with old foes psoriasis and candida. After recent flareups I stumbled upon research that suggests there may be a connection between all three. The resultant tumbleweeds of investigations via a plethora of online sources roll around in my head*. I am long familiar with their respective natures. Environmental and dietary mould, fungi and their host conditions are not my friends. I’m loathe to exorcise too much of anything from my life… everything in moderation is my motto. However, accomplishing an effective balance isn’t easy. Certain things I’m very fond of such as sourdough, pickling, baking, mushrooms, cheese, wine are moot. More research. Sigh.

Sauerkraut kit
Dabbling in sauerkraut… moot

Dad. My seventy-six-year-old Dad’s health challenges of the past few years continue. A week on from his recent Easter long weekend visit with us he looms large in my contemplations. In my head, I know most likely it is what it is but in my heart I wish there were magic words I could say to kindle the lifestyle changes he needs to and could make if the incentive was preferable to the status quo. Sometimes I feel too far away, other times not far enough.

Dad on our verandah
Dad enjoying the sun on our verandah with the G.O.

Blog. My writing-blogging crisis of confidence -exacerbated by innumerable demands on my time- continues. Does the world need my thoughts in long form… does our oversubscribed culture need more of anything? Many of my longstanding blogging community are absent, sporadic and/or moved on to other creative projects and/or migrated to the immediacy and brevity of alternative social media offerings.

Page from Sketchbook Project
Other creative endeavours… a page from my Sketchbook Project

Big. Corporate, Food, Pharma, Chemical, Agriculture, Government… Have you watched Stink? Have you listened to this ABC Conversations podcast interview with Beth Macy author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America? Do you worry about pesticides in food? Despite being as diligent as our time and means allow, the G.O. and I are increasingly chemical sensitive, and disheartened about the welfare of our environment.

I worry about Glysophate and wheat…

Cupboard. My latest project which goes some way to explaining the aforementioned innumerable demands on my time.

The cupboard project… rescued from the neighbour’s wood shed, stored under our house, ready for a clean up today

And, ever-present… will the photography course I enrolled in last semester then cancelled by Tafe be offered for the later part of this year… will I be able to continue with my studies… if not, what will I do with my time… life… in the vege garden, if the Elephant Garlic doesn’t shoot should I plant beetroot?

In my garden…

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.” ― Glen Cook, Sweet Silver Blues

*Links re Candida, Psoriasis, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome:

It’s only life that we’re wasting…

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I gave myself today off work but kept to my usual weekday early morning routine which includes a walk around the park although I dallied a little and communed with the swans and ducks.

As I wandered home via the bakery to grab a sourdough loaf and croissant, and walked along King Street, Newtown I noticed a new item of paste up street art.

A timely reminder, it vindicated the choices I’d made about today.

2012 has slipped by. In a couple of weeks I’ll have been blogging for a year. I’m not going to write [yet] another post about why I love blogging. That I’m still doing it is testimony enough. And then there are the bloggers who have become an extended part of my household via their blogs I read & comment on as they do mine…

The past year has seen subtle change, shifting and settling for me. I am no longer constrained by time and space. I exist happily physically more than I ever have, connected virtually with people who have the care and interest to participate in a global community.

Nothing will change how we coexist with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and people on the street, but I believe we are amongst the forerunners of a connected, informed convergence interrelating within another but no less real dimension.

Bloggers, not with the intention of imposing but simply by sharing their thoughts, questions, perspectives, lives, opinions, experiences and expertise are stepping away from pay-for-say and mono-cultural society commanded by governments and big business served by commercial media and advertising, into a powerful but subtle authentic collective.

elladee_words started simply as an outlet of expression for my frustrated spirit, and as my spirit unwound my eyes opened and the elladee_images blog happened, underwritten by the credo “There is art in the everyday. It’s easy to walk through the world and not see. Time moves on. Things change. I’m taking the time to look & stop & capture moments & colours of ordinary things & day-to-day life in snapshots.”  The commenters and followers of these blogs were the first to expand my world and elladee_places was my effort at reciprocation.

merci mes amis

you’re our reward

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The WordPress community is my home away from home. It rewards me every day with inspiration, laughter, stories, camaraderie, wisdom and a glimpse into others lives. Occasionally I’m rewarded with award nominations.

Early June, Blessed with a Star on the Forehead nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award & Very Inspiring Blogger Award, at a time I’d accomplished the not-so-mean-feat of responding to a flurry of award nominations. I set the nominations with the kitchen herbs while I regrouped, and waving the watering can over them last week spotted new blooms. Check out Blessed with a Star on the Forehead, it’s a beautiful, entertaining, heartfelt blog.

Afterwards, I discovered in a jewellery box with Diamonds & Pearls, a Sunshine Award nomination circa mid June from Richard Guest. Richard’s images with clever commentary and song titles elucidate people and London.

Later, I extracted from my bookshelf in the holding spacefor her much anticipated novel, a mid-June vintage pick-a-box of award nominations from Robin CoyleKreativ Blogger, Reader Appreciation, Tag! You’re It!

Generic award posting rules encompass: acknowledge & notify the nominator; state a varying number of things about yourself; nominate similar number of deserving bloggers; and contact them to notify the nomination. Notifications I believe, have become quite unfashionable, and I do have my fashionable reputation to think of, so I’m hoping pingbacks will take care of it.

The blogs below, some nominated previously and some not, are deserving of all or any they choose of the above awards if they don’t have them already, or even if they do. Regardless, they are worth a visit.

Lastly, inspired by dodging commas‘ “I am” post, I’ve been playing with I am, and extracted a selection to cover the things about me feature of the rules.

I am from lives past and from eras not yet here.

This time…

I am from taupe paddocks and midnight blue mountain ranges.

I am from family loving, imperfect, loved.

I am from beliefs, grief and silence.

I am from provincial, industrious, commonplace culinary.

I am from tennis playing, town visiting, football barracking.

I am from beach walking, shell collecting, rock pool gazing.

I am from photograph album memories.

I am from sisters… finally.

I am from music on the radio, and books, endless books.

I am from reminiscing, stories, recipes.

I am from cat loving, dog devoted, missing.

I am from city, assimilated, animate, mundane.

I am from faith, tested, wavering and winning.

I am from true, tried undiminished love.

I am from words, images, ideas discovering.

I am from new world connected, wireless, timeless.

The Church – Our Reward

…You’re our reward
So unpredictable
So delectable
So undetectable
You’re our reward…

sowing the seeds

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“I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.” Herbert Rappaport

I’ve been merrily posting while ignoring this, the last item in my to-do pile. I was tagged by  in a get-to-know-other-bloggers post. Much as I love promoting other bloggers, I’m glad to have reached this point, as the neat freak aspect of my personality hates loose ends.

*The rules are were:
1. Acknowledge the tagger.
2. Post the rules.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven questions to ask people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag eleven people and link them to your post.
5. Let them know you tagged them.

The 11 questions Maggie Mae asked:

  1. What does your favorite outfit consist of? Pretty much what I change into as soon as I get home from work – old jeans, t-shirt & havvies. In Winter substitute uggies for the havvies & add a flannie. Yep, I’m all style!
  2. Do you like Ice Cream? Not particularly thank goodness because I don’t need any more bad habits, but if I go to  I’ll have a scoop of their divine plain gelato.
  3. What is a holiday tradition for you? Escape the city to our house up north, relax with a G.O. bbq dinner and a glass or 2 of wine.
  4. Who is the closest person to you in your life? Me. Wherever I go, there I am.
  5. What is your biggest goal? Be happy.
  6. What have you done to work toward achieving this goal? Practice makes perfect.
  7. How do you feel about spelling? The neat freakiness extends to spelling but I try to chill & focus on what I’m reading not spelling errors.
  8. Do you like vehicles? Life’s a journey, so yes.
  9. Significant other? My silent (& sometimes eye rolling, refuge seeking) blog partner, the G.O.
  10. What is the easiest decision you have ever made? See #5.
  11. What is the saddest day that you remember having? See #6.

From this point I’m going to deviate from get imaginative with the rules.  I like to follow the award/tag game to a point as I believe it’s a good way (especially now given the changes to the Topics functionality) to find excellent bloggers, and how better to do it, than via recommendations from a blogger you follow, but all the responding, tagging & linking can be draining, and isn’t for everyone…

*So, EllaDee’s Rules:
1. Acknowledge the tagger.
2. Post the rules, any rules.
3. Copy my 11 questions & add your own answers, or make up questions & answers of your own.
4. Include links to any amount of blogs you choose for whatever reason you choose, let them know you tagged them or rely on pingbacks.
5. Do none of the above.

These are links to my most recent follows. I’m tagging them as they are fresh & new to me. Some found me & some I found via other bloggers’ award nominations. Stop by and say hi 🙂

‘You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.’

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“one day bats & butterflies flew outa my toaster I didn’t know what else to do but smile”

It became apparent this week that I: live in a bubble of sameoldsameold – park, train, city, office, apartment, neighbourhood; am on a first name basis with more cats in my neighbourhood than I am people; love taking random photos but the love disappears when I feel obliged.

Inspired by a magic feeling at the cusp of the afternoon & evening last Friday I opened my eyes and embarked via elladee_images to post a daily photo journal of my everyday, and having completed the week I can say it was tough. I got lucky with a few photos but on Wednesday resorted to Photoshop “exalt the mundane” (thank you The Wanderlust Gene), and by Thursday I was over it.

On Tuesday I indulged in a brief soap box moment but in 2D the everyday is flat, and in order to savour, some days survive the everyday and for it to be truly a life, I need to engage all 6 senses.

While many aspects of the week were photographable, possibly supplementing them with words will still serve only to describe rather than truly convey:

  • Hope in my heart & soul every circuit I make of the park lake and see mother swan on their nest.
  • Pleasure of early morning walks, greeting the day, enjoying the space, sunshine & crisp air, bird song, other people out & about, happy dogs, hungry water birds.
  • Delight with which Ginger Boy, our street’s by-choice-homeless cat, greeted us, gave us pats & devoured his dinner, and the softness of his fur.
  • Fragrance of the ginger flower at the doorway to the communal garden.
  • Simple joy of having access to abundant fresh basil to embellish our dinners.
  • Satisfaction of the G.O. & I combining our talents to make an Autumnal casserole & mashed potato, and savouring the tastes of our masterpiece.
  • Old fashioned kitchen smells when baking vanilla biccies.
  • Childlike awe watching a crystal orb in the sunlight make rainbows dance around the room.
  • Happiness of Jasper the black lab seeing us as we pause on our way home from the train station to play games through the gate of tug-o-war & fetch with his dirty, smelly, disgusting, chewed plastic-bottle-stuffed-inside-a-knitted-sock toy.
  • George, our cat friend’s recognition “it’s you!” as we stop so he can rub himself all over our feet & legs and walk away dragging him attached to our ankles down the street.
  • Miaows & joy with which Jasmine another of our cat friends greets us… and the many welcomes from the neighbourhood cats of our attentions.
  • Laughter & conversation of a dinner date with Mrs S. and a happy, lingering feeling of friendship.
  • Camaraderie of a simple shared lunch with work colleagues, more laughter and necessary workshopping of idiotic behaviour.
  • Smiling, catching a glimpse through the throng of commuters of the G.O.’s fluoro orange jacket waiting for me at the top of the train station’s stairs.
  • Gut reaction of how wrong it was for so many people to be lined up to purchase lotto tickets when the patient volunteers for the Australia Paralympic Committee sat ignored.
  • Awful feeling of watching, waiting in case I had to intervene, and the conflicting urges to berate the useless dog owner who couldn’t call off “Woossy” the hunting dog pursuing our cat friend George amongst the parked cars, or to be polite & not make a fuss as the dog owner had a toddler in tow.
  • Frustration of a beautiful sunny day devolving to surviving a senseless battle with scheming colleagues through solidarity & integrity they lack, and a sense of triumph of the good guys winning, surpassed by exhaustion and a loitering sense of futility.

I’m glad the week is over, and I can resume normal what-when-&-how-I-feel-like-it transmission.

I did take away a motto, “one day bats & butterflies flew outa my toaster I didn’t know what else to do but smile”.

What else can you do?

* Quotation by Dr Seuss

Too good Thursday

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“If it seems too good to be true it usually is”


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Waiting around Wednesday

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“Knock, knock! Who’s there? Ben. Ben who?
Ben waiting around for hours!”



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Get it together Tuesday

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Tuesday was an ordinary day until the opportunity for outrage presented itself…

Opp. #1. It wasn’t until I passed the queue of last chance $70 million lotto ticket suckers purchasers my feet took me back to the little table where there was no queue to buy fundraising tickets for the Australian Paralympic Committee. To be honest, ordinarily I wouldn’t have spent money on either but it was so wrong.

Opp. #2. If your dog won’t come when you call, put it on a leash. Pretty simple. I hope the child belonging to it’s mother who was the owner of the unleashed pointer-type dog hunting our cat friend George amongst the cars on Flora St grows up smarter than she (didn’t look like it would be a stretch). Extra points lost for naming your dog “Woossy”, and stepping into traffic with same toddler in hand to stop cars so they won’t run over the dog you can’t control.

he that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked” St. Thomas Aquinas

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Missed Start Monday

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Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending. ~ Author Unknown

I woke up missing sleep from the early hours, and missing cognitive functionality.

I arrived at work to find out I’d missed seeing the super moon, and a super sunrise.

I passed the day somehow, and just caught the sunset as I was leaving the office.

Akin to roughseasinthemed’s converging verticals, the only way was up & I headed off for a dinner date at Lynn Shanghai Cuisine with Mrs S.

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Hello simple Sunday

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“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder