Greetings mes amis!
I have recently been fortunate enough to have had some creative opportunities pretty much fall into my lap. I take this as a sign I am on the right track. Finally. I won’t go into detail yet as from experience I have learned that this is a surefire way to shoot myself in the foot!
What I will say though, is that great opportunities don’t always come cheap. So to this end I have decided to reanimate Paperdoll Cabaret, my Etsy shop (It Lives!). It will be a little different this time than before since my focus has shifted (as far as my need to make stuff goes) from making jewellery to painting. I am currently in the midst of a little flurry of activity designing what I hope will become cool items to put up. I’ll let y’all know when I’m up and running again. I’m going away on Friday for a few days and while this won’t really interrupt the design process, it will definitely cause a bit of a delay in actual production. But hopefully it won’t be too long…. to be honest I can’t afford it to be. I’m not going to miss the boat this time 😉
On a different note, we had great fun last Wednesday (our 31st) dressing up and giving out candy to the local trick or treaters. In Australia (being in the Southern Hemisphere), and in the context it’s celebrated here, it is not a serious celebration. That, I believe would be the 2nd May here. However kids these days are really getting into it and it was so much fun to watch their little faces (and not so little, there were quite a few older kids in the mix) light up when I opened the door in my pointy hat with my “pet spider” dangling from my finger. It was though the chocolate bars I handed them were priceless. It was wonderful! And it’s all harmless, healthy fun. However, and there always seems to be a however, there are a lot of people around here who don’t agree and get quite upset about the whole thing. Even some people who work in shops that sell Halloween-related stuff. They can get quite snotty when you buy fake spiders etc. Go figure! I was told by some of the parents who were walking around with their children that they had received a frosty reception and worse from “Halloween Haters”. To all those people I blow a big, fat RASPBERRY! Don’t take it all so seriously! We put a spider on the gate to show that we were “Halloween friendly” and will continue to do something along these lines each year. Viva Halloween Australian style!!!
I am still unable to post any of my own photos here. I think there must be something wrong with my account settings. I can’t believe I am quite this hopeless. Then again….. 🙂 I will contact support through the week and see if they can help me sort this out. I’m not a great photographer but there have been a few photos I would’ve liked to share with you.
Oh yeah. A few days ago I purchased my first piece of jewellery from Shalottlilly. It’s currently away being photographed and it has to travel all the way from Texas so I’m not sure when it will arrive, but I can’t wait! This lady’s work is beautiful. Check out the Shalottlilly Facebook page to see for yourself.
And last, but certainly not least I hope anyone who has been affected by hurricane Sandy is ok now. I really hope you all stayed safe.
Until next time
Since this area seems to be a haven for Blue Tongue Lizards, I thought I’d write a little bit about them for the readers in other countries who may not be too familiar with these very cool reptiles.
I come across them everywhere here – not just the backyard. When I walk Cindy (the dog) I see them poking out of drains basking in the sun, crossing the road and just generally hanging around. They appear to be so used to humans and other animals I can always get a really good look at them when I pass.
These lizards are slow moving and quite friendly. They are likely to let you get really close. I wouldn’t advise picking them up though unless they are really familiar with you, because if they are scared they do have a nasty bite, latching on and not letting go.
There are six types of blue-tongued lizards in Australia (hereafter referred to as Oz) :-
Eastern Blue Tongue Lizard – These dwell in South East of Oz and are the kind that live around here. They grow to about 30cm in length (not counting the tail). They are grey with brown stripes across their back.
Northern Blue-tongued Skink – These guys live on the savannahs of the tropical regions of Oz.
Central Blue-tongued Skink– Another vulnerable species.
Blotched Blue Tongue – From the Southwest of Oz, lives in highland areas. They are dark brown with light coloured splotches across the back.
Shingleback – Found west of the Great Dividing Range. It has a short, stumpy tail and large rough scales.
Whatever species, the most noticeable feature is, of course, their blue tongue. Like all reptiles they are ectothermic which is why you see them sunning themselves during the mornings. When it’s cold they stay inside because they need a body temperature of 30 to 35 degrees C to be active.
They love to eat snails and slugs but will eat whatever they can get hold of, including dog food.
For most of the year they like to live alone, but during the mating season (September to November) the males pursue the females, which is why we see three-legged Louis (he is so cute, his little stump does the walking action too) making his trips up to the old barbecue to visit Lisa.
Mating seems like a rough old process. Many females carry scars from the male’s teeth during mating.
Their babies are born 3 to 5 months after mating. They are born live (not eggs) and have to look after themselves right from the start, beginning with eating the placenta, and go off to discover the great big world within a few days of being born. The Eastern Blue Tongue can have up to 25 babies at once and they breed annually where other species only breed on alternate years.
Blue Tongues can live for many years, up to 30 and like other lizards can drop their tails to avoid, daze and confuse predators.
The biggest dangers to Blue Tongues include :-
Cars – they love to lie on the road’s warm surface and tend not to move out of the way of cars.
Snail baits – cos they love to eat snails.
Lawnmowers – they hide in long grass and again tend not to get out of the way when the mower comes near them.
Cats and dogs – need I say more?
Other predators are eagles, poisonous snakes and large goannas.
So, there’s just a little bit about these excellent creatures. There’s lots of info around if you want to find out more. I love them.
When I came up here a couple of weeks ago what struck me most of all was the silence. After living right on King Street in Newtown (and anyone who knows the area – I’m talking Newtown in Sydney – will understand just how busy and noisy it is), I was not used to the quiet. For the first few nights here the quiet actually felt like a physical presence, thick and heavy. Now, a couple of weeks on I’m starting to recognise the sounds within the silence. I’ve taken to laying in bed after I wake just listening – something I could not have done just a short time ago. I used to have to get up as soon as I woke, before the thoughts kicked in, otherwise it would feel like the air would get sucked out of the room and I’d start sweating and shaking. How far I’ve come in two weeks!
Now within the silence I can hear the different bird calls both near and far away, and other sounds – some recognisable, others less so, and I lay there just breathing and listening.
I feel alive again.
Love V ❤
I caught a train yesterday (approximately 6 1/2 hours) up to visit my Mum on the mid north coast. It is a multipurpose visit. I wanted to spend a bit of time with my Mum, plus I want to be around when she gets some biopsy results next week. But I also realised that I am very unhealthy right now. I am not in good shape at all. Here there is clear air (I think this is why always for the first day or two I’m here I get dizzy spells – the air is a lot cleaner here and my lungs are used to sucking in dirty city air). Plus I needed to put some physical space between myself and some complicated situations in Sydney. I need clear space to think. I was digging myself a dirty little city grave. I can’t believe I have been treating myself so poorly.
So, I’m taking it easy for a couple of days. Already I have spent the morning watching pelicans wait for the fishing boats to come back, done some Op shopping (I bought a dress, a top, and an antique-looking necklace, all for $7.50! Yay me!), done a bit of harmless, friendly flirting with the man in the cafe bookshop, and caught up with my uncle (the husband of my very favourite aunty-she is no longer with us, unfortunately).
I spoke with my brother on the phone (he lives in Nth Carolina)- I don’t get to speak with him much as I only have a cell phone, so it is always nice to actually here his voice.
There are some Blue Tongue Lizards that live in the yard here. There is Louis, the three-legged big daddy one who lives under the house. Lisa who lives under the old barbecue, and various babies when it’s the season – there’s some little ‘uns there now. Plus, there seems to be a new man on the scene – a rival for Louis. Poor Louis, apparently Lisa and her new fella were canoodling up there the other day and poor old Louis was off a little ways, all on his lonesome. Louis, maybe you need to woo her. Bring her up some tasty snails or something!
I haven’t got any pix yet from up here yet. I tried to take some from the train yesterday, but the window reflection is on all of them, but I will take pix in the days to come and put them up.
Well, now I am going to put my feet up, and read a book.
I used to. I used to believe it so much that when things were not going so great in my life the idea of there being someone out there, my soulmate,the perfect fit spurred me on. It’ll be ok. Love conquers all. Blah, blah,blah. I’m not happy that I don’t believe in soul mates anymore. It feels that everything one clings to or holds up as a shining beacon gets snatched away. We live in a stark and brutal world. I wasn’t sure whether or not I should answer this question because I don’t want to hurt anyone out there who is still clinging on to “the soul mate” idea plus I don’t want to offend. This stuff might work for some. Help them get through an illness or other difficult time. And that’s awesome! But as for me, my “soul mate bubble” burst quite a way back.
I came across a new flower yesterday! Well, it’s new for me anyway. It’s called Orchis italica or Naked Man Orchid. I got quite carried away pinning images onto my Pinterest board – In The Garden. These flowers are intriguing and I wanted to find out more.
When I decide to do a bit of research on something I love to be bombarded with information and images. Well, there were lots of images, but information seemed to be a bit more thin on the ground. What I have found is mostly sourced from Wikipedia with some more sketchy little bits from others, but here goes….
Orchis is a genus within the orchid family. “Orchis” (Greek) means testicle, and these plants are so named because of the appearance of the paired subterranean tuberoids, which they have instead of pseudobulbs (which as far as I can gather is what other orchids have). They are extremely diverse in appearance. There were originally more than 1300 names contained within the genus “Orchis”, however, since it is polyphyletic (derived from more than one common ancestor or ancestral group species), it has been divided into several new genera – Ponerorchis;Schizodium;Steveniella.
These orchids have an erect stem and start flowering at the base, slowly progressing upwards, except for the Monkey Orchid (Orchis simia) which flowers in reverse order.
The Orchis italica – the central subject of my search appears to be from the Meditteranean region. The flowers appear to have little man faces on them (well most, I believe), plus arms, legs and penis. What more could a guy want?
I have also discovered there is a Naked Lady Orchid. I saw some photos of both Naked Man and Naked Ladies taken in Abruzzo, Italy, so I am figuring they are quite abundant there.
I’ve only added a couple of photos. still trying to find out how to work that photo thang properly, but there are lotsa images out there, or check my In The Garden board. I think I ended up keeping about 5 pix.
PS: Since beginning to write this post I have also come across more on the Monkey Orchid. Amazing! – some links to articles below.
Sometimes I can’t breathe. It is like all the air is suddenly sucked out of the room. It feels as if there is a great stone sitting on my chest. There are things I want to say to certain people-like please open your eyes Miss C! Ask me questions, rage at me, wonder why. I wrote her a letter, I thought that may lighten some of the weight, but I realised it was not a good idea to send it as it could backfire and affect someone else dear and important to me. So although I have lightened my load in that I have a letter I can carry around, ready to deliver at a more appropriate time, till then I still have to carry it around. It is a burden that was placed upon me unfairly by some people who thought it was a good idea to mess with me and eventually try to destroy me. After almost 10 years I still don’t know why. I still don’t know why I couldn’t fight back. I still don’t know why I internalised it-punished myself. Tried to be what they wanted, and failed then broke out and tried to shock. What did you people want from me?… Oh, I see. Well, I am really dented, but they weren’t the first and I’m sure they won’t be the last and I am still here.
I will continue to inhale, and exhale. When the air leaves I will keep breathing. I will bring it back. I will keep going-for myself. I will talk to God (my idea of God, not the religious, dogmatic idea of God)-sometimes He/She/It listens and there is an exchange, other times I have to accept the silence. That’s when I know I have to work a bit to discover the answers, find the help for myself. God is still there, just not talking to me at the time. Because I know this, I have been able to keep going.
I don’t know what it’s all about, but it’s about Something. There is so much more than our tiny human brains can perceive or understand.