Look closely

Hidden amongst the trees. Day 172/365.

Saturday, 14 May 2011, Day 172/365.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

The photo above appears to be trees and some grass but if you look more closely you might see some people there. It’s the effect of the photo that’s made the people pretty much disappear.

Exhibition

Gus Clutterbuck's ceramics. Day 171/365.

Friday, 13 May 2011, Day 171/365.

I have some clever artisty friends so occasionally I get to to to art exhibition openings, one of which I attended on Friday evening. I was there mainly for this guy. He’s doing some great work, some of which I’ve got in my house given to me as a gift for my 40th.

Junk mail

Junk mail. Day 170/365.

Thursday, 12 May 2011, Day 170/365.

This isn’t my letterbox but I get junk mail in mine just the same. I need a new letterbox then I will put a No Junk Mail sign on it. As I’m in non-consumer mode at the moment I don’t even read it and if I want to research something I will use the internet to do so.

Although because of the lack of online shopping available in Australia that’s not always easy anyway.

I wonder how much longer businesses will bother producing this junk mail.

I wonder if its demise will happen as the online shopping websites in Australia improve?

Remote

Remote. Day 169/365.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011, Day 169/365.

Sometimes when sitting and watching television or a DVD I get confused as to which remote is which. The above four remotes are for the television, Tivo, DVD player and stereo.

There never seems to be a universal remote system and I know I’ve left instructions for house sitters on how to operate the things.

And as my eyesight deteriorates with age I need better light to see which buttons are which on the various remotes. I’ve learned where the common buttons are but if I need to use a button that I don’t use v ery often I have to go closer to the light or put my glasses on to see what’s what.

Keeping warm

This pile of wood was in the driveway till I moved it. Day 168/365.

Tuesday 10 May 2011, Day 168/365.

Every year I get a ton or so of wood delivered so I can use my slow combusion wood heater.

Unfortunately it cannot get dumped where I’d like to keep it so it has to be moved from the driveway to this spot. I had a bit of help from my son but I moved the bulk of it myself.

Ten years ago I was eight months pregnant when I got the firewood delivered and I moved it all myself. I know, it was stupid. I can only guess what possessed me to do it myself and not ask for help. Pride? Nesting instinct? I don’t know, but I did it and it didn’t bring on early labour.

I’ve added the date I took this picture here because on Flickr photos taken with the iPhone are labelled as being taken when they are uploaded to the website not when they were actually taken. This is a tad annoying.

Mother’s Day

I’m not really into Mother’s Day even though I am a mother and I have a mother. I don’t like how there are a bunch of expectations placed upon us to buy stuff. It’s another one of those holidays along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day where we’re supposed to spend money and acknowledge that special person in our lives.

I also feel for those who’ve lost their mum, or have troubles becoming a mum – it can’t be a great day for them.

Frankly I’d like to be acknowledged as a mother and a lover/girlfriend every day, not just on the allocated days.

All of that aside, my son made a very special effort to show me his love this year.

Mid last week I mentioned that a friend was popping in after school on Friday and immediately JJ said that he’d like her to take him shopping so he could buy me a Mother’s Day present. I said you’ll have to ask her if it’s okay for her to do that so he rang, left a  message and then when she rang back went to speak to her privately in his bedroom to organise it.

They went shopping on Friday afternoon and he took his last $20 he had left from the recycling money he earns from taking 10c bottles and cans back to the recycling depot. (Of course I take him there to do that but he keeps the proceeds.)

As we were staying at The Surfer’s on Saturday night I reminded him to pack what he needed for Mother’s Day – not that he probably needed reminding. He did spend a while in his room wrapping the present like a pass the parcel present he told me.

Sunday morning came around and I got up and had breakfast with The Surfer and hadn’t yet seen JJ. Eventually he wished me a happy Mother’s Day and gave me my present which took a while to take the six or so layers of newspaper off.

I was very spoiled. This is what he bought me.

The pendant with the stone in the middle can have the stone replaced and I already have some to interchange that JJ has bought me previously. The quartz necklace also has a matching bracelet.

The shop where JJ bought these he absolutely loves because he’s right into crystals and one day wants to work in a crystal shop so he can be amongst them all the time. With some of his Christmas money instead of buying an electronic game or similar, he bought a lovely amethyst crystal.

I guess he knows that I have a weakness for jewellery so he’s fed that weakness. I would have been stoked with anything but the fact that he put so much thought into it just made me really proud.

However, he did forget the card that he made at school so I didn’t get that until Monday morning and I love the card too.

But the inside of the card is very special. It looks pretty, but …

On the inside there are little cards that each have something written on them:

  • I will clean my room for one year
  • Breakfast in bed one time
  • To feed Monty 60 times
  • I will give you a massage on the shoulders for two minutes one time
  • To do the rubbish two times
  • To do the dishes
  • A hug when you need it to last forever.

I know the teacher came up with the concept, but I LOVE the concept. This card is definitely to go in the keep pile.

I love you JJ – and not just on one day of the year – every day.

Positive thoughts

Floyd. Day 155/365.

A few days ago I was out of sorts. I hate feeling in a funk like that because it’s hard to just snap out of it really quickly which I’d like to do. Instead it usually takes me a day or two to get over those feelings and this time was no different.

I can see how easy it would be to wallow in the feelings of self doubt, pity and all the rest of it and I can’t pinpoint exactly what helps me get out of a funk. Here’s some ideas though:

Time is definitely a factor. If I’m having a bad day then usually the whole day will stay that way and I just have to hope that the next day will be a lot better.

Talking to friends. It’s isolating staying at home by yourself. I know this full well from being a single mum with a young baby. Nearly ten years ago I didn’t have the online network that I have now with blogging, Twitter and Facebook. I only had the phone and if I didn’t speak to an adult on the phone at least once a day I think I would have gone mad. Now that I have the social networking available to me it helps the feelings of isolation but I still need to talk to people.

Getting out and doing something. I’ve got a dog so I need to walk her while she’s still up for it. She’s around 14 years old so I’m dreading the day when she just doesn’t want to go for a walk. I also try to make lunch or coffee dates (although not too many because of the financial situation). But I don’t always have to leave the house because just even keeping busy around the house helps keep my mind off things. I got out the furniture polish to do some polishing yesterday, something I rarely do. I usually just get a dust cloth for the dusting. And I’ve been watching The Love Boat – some good escapism.

Thinking positively. I think this is the hardest to do but probably one of the best things and let me tell you why. I have to constantly remind myself that I am a useful member of society and have something great to offer the paid workforce, whether it’s in a freelance capacity or otherwise. I’ve got some excellent skills and people who’ve seen my Resume recently have commented  on how impressive my skillset is. I had a Facebook message yesterday from a friend who works in wine marketing asking for my help with their Facebook page. I haven’t definitely heard yet whether they will get me to help (but I’m hopeful) and it won’t be a stack of work, but it’s something to start with and I don’t think this opportunity would have presented itself when I was feeling really down the other day.

Now, I do need help with procrastination. I’ve bought myself and started setting up my own website to further my professional branding but have been sitting on it without really adding any content. I find mrketing myself quite hard to do but I’m going to have to swallow my pride to some extent and just do it.