Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

RUBY'S BIRTHDAY

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile
Albert Einstein

It has been a really busy week so I am a bit late getting this post out.

I have been busy sewing a birthday present for P:-)'s 2 year old granddaughter, Ruby.

I made a felt name to hang on her wall.



It took quite a bit of time to make the rabbits.







I ended up having a really late night and early morning in order to get it completed.


I packed it up in cellophane.


It was a fun party for the 5 children who attended Ruby's birthday party on Sunday. I don't usually post photos of people but I'm sure Ruby's parents wouldn't mind.



Everyone had a turn at swinging at the pinata with a baseball bat.






I had another sewing lesson at Vera's Sewing Machine Centre at Fairy Meadow and learned to make buttonholes !


Vera's Sewing Machine Centre

I have been using  a sewing machine close on 50 years - since I used to make dolls clothes for my Barbie Doll at the age of 10. I have made all sorts of things but never made a buttonhole. My mother is a wonderful sewer and very good at button holes, so when I needed button holes on something I had made, Mum did them for me.

Now I have a sewing machine that makes all types of button holes I am anxious to start making my own.

The paperbark trees in my front yard are blooming.



 Sadly the blossoms are too far up to pick and put in a vase inside.


I had got rid of a lot of my stuff including glassware because I thought I was going to have to sell my house and move in with my mother. (I was unexpectedly made redundant last year. Luckily things have made it possible for me to stay in my house.)

Mum bought me a lovely blue glass bowl. It sits perfectly on my table.











My daughter R painted the frog for me many years ago and she bought me the brown frog on the table.I have kept all the frogs both my daughters have bought me over the years.

My next project is some little felt birds for P:-)'s 5 grandchildren for Easter.






I hope to get 15 of these little birds made for Sunday as well as a carrot cake for Easter lunch with P:-)'s family on Sunday.


Interesting sites
1.


Small World, Big Idea

Photo source
On Christmas Eve, Kevin Johnson received the following gifts: a bed and mattress, a blanket and sheets, a desk and chair, a toilet and sink, towels and washcloths, toothpaste and floss, and a brand-new house. Click here to read more.


2.
 Giving

Photo source

 ..........by adding value to other’s lives, we get satisfaction. But that’s not all we get. Truth be told, we always get more whenever we give.
The key to giving is simple: add value first without any expectation of receiving anything in return. Do this with enough frequency and you’ll get way more than you give. Click here to read more.

3.

 The hand of the Atacama Desert

Photo credit
 In the middle of the Atacama Desert, a giant hand rises from the ground like the remains of an ancient civilization. In reality, it’s a pretty modern sculpture – an art piece called “Mano del Desierto” and created by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal in honor of the victims of injustice and torture during the military regime in Chile. Click here to read more.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

EBB AND TIDE AND A HEAT FROG

 We should make the most of every single day, walking in love and blooming where we’re planted.
   Michelle Medlock Adams 

I love the birds that come to my garden - especially the Catbirds. I have a pair of Catbirds that frequent  the swamp oak outside my window.


But for some reason this bird keeps flying into my window this morning. It makes a terrible bang. I have been trying to get a photo of it hitting the window but just haven't been able to click at the right time.

Have faith in your calling.

I don’t think God gives us dreams or talents or passions at random; on the contrary, I think he calls us to follow the path he has envisioned for us, the one that allows us to live life to the fullest.  I honestly believe that writing is not just my lifelong dream, it is my calling.
Listening to that little voice in the back of your head that tells you to GO FOR IT can be downright terrifying sometimes, but it is also exhilarating.  If there is something you’ve been wanting to do or a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or a voice that has been nudging you to take action, DO IT!  Don’t wait.  Take the leap of faith and start today.  In the end, you’ll only ever regret the chances you didn’t take

Read more at http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/02/07/how-to-make-a-dream-come-true/#U46Q5AuTQ51bj064.99

Have faith in your calling.

I don’t think God gives us dreams or talents or passions at random; on the contrary, I think he calls us to follow the path he has envisioned for us, the one that allows us to live life to the fullest.  I honestly believe that writing is not just my lifelong dream, it is my calling.
Listening to that little voice in the back of your head that tells you to GO FOR IT can be downright terrifying sometimes, but it is also exhilarating.  If there is something you’ve been wanting to do or a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or a voice that has been nudging you to take action, DO IT!  Don’t wait.  Take the leap of faith and start today.  In the end, you’ll only ever regret the chances you didn’t take

Read more at http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/02/07/how-to-make-a-dream-come-true/#U46Q5AuTQ51bj064.99


don’t think God gives us dreams or talents or passions at random; on the contrary, I think he calls us to follow the path he has envisioned for us, the one that allows us to live life to the fullest.  I honestly believe that writing is not just my lifelong dream, it is my calling.
Listening to that little voice in the back of your head that tells you to GO FOR IT can be downright terrifying sometimes, but it is also exhilarating.  If there is something you’ve been wanting to do or a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or a voice that has been nudging you to take action, DO IT!  Don’t wait.  Take the leap of faith and start today.  In the end, you’ll only ever regret the chances you didn’t take

Read more at http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/02/07/how-to-make-a-dream-come-true/#U46Q5AuTQ51bj064.99
I have been working on making a new awning for our caravan. The original one has just worn out so I am making a new one from an old tent. I am not sure how it will go.

Here it is lying on  my backroom floor before being stitched together.



This is the awning so far. We attached it to the caravan to check it out.


So far so good.
P:-) and I had planned to be away at the moment, but we are having some trouble with the brakes on the caravan and P:-) has had difficulty obtaining the parts as it is quite old. As soon as the brakes are fixed and we are free of appointments we will be off to Davistown. Can't wait!

Part of fixing the brakes on the caravan required taking it for a short drive. We drove down to Towradgi Beach about 10 minutes away. I love this beach . It is where I grew up.

Towradgi Beach


Towradgi Beach

View across to Wollongpng from Towradgi Beach.

We walked around to Corrimal Beach and had coffee at the Ebb and Tide Cafe.




It was great coffee.


P:-) and I are both on pensions now and in order to make ends meet I have begun making birthday presents. P:-)'s youngest child B had her 26th birthday recently. I made her a heat frog.


Filled with barley and lavender it can be heated to make it quite warm.


It can be used on sore muscles or just to keep warm in winter. I attached some instructions.







Interesting Blog

Have faith in your calling.

I don’t think God gives us dreams or talents or passions at random; on the contrary, I think he calls us to follow the path he has envisioned for us, the one that allows us to live life to the fullest.  I honestly believe that writing is not just my lifelong dream, it is my calling.
Listening to that little voice in the back of your head that tells you to GO FOR IT can be downright terrifying sometimes, but it is also exhilarating.  If there is something you’ve been wanting to do or a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or a voice that has been nudging you to take action, DO IT!  Don’t wait.  Take the leap of faith and start today.  In the end, you’ll only ever regret the chances you didn’t take

Read more at http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/02/07/how-to-make-a-dream-come-true/#U46Q5AuTQ51bj06
I have just started following a blog named Emily Eva Alice which is very interesting as well as informative.

Photo source

  It is written by a young woman who is in remission from cancer. She is very positive and writes about her life. Click here if you would like to have a look.

Interesting sites

1.
 The Thousand Islands
Photo source
 The Thousand Islands is an archipelago consisting of exactly 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 80 km on St. Lawrence Seaway, but the largest clustering of islands falls between Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay in the United States and Kingston and Rockport in Canada. The islands range in size from over 40 square miles to smaller islands occupied by a single residence, to even smaller uninhabited outcroppings of rocks that are home to migratory waterfowl. The number of islands was determined using the criteria that any island must be above water level all year round, have an area greater than 1 square foot, and support at least one living tree. Click here to read more


2.

 Incredible wall murals

Photo source
Artist John Pugh is world famous for creating incredible wall murals that give the illusion of a three-dimensional scene behind the wall the art is painted on. Pugh has been creating his murals since the late 1970s and his particular mural style sparked the term known as “Narrative Illusionism”. Click here to check out some of his creations.


3.
 Grim images of Rana Plaza disaster

Photo source

The glitz and glamour of New York Fashion week was interrupted by grim images depicting the reality of the fast fashion industry this week. Labor activists forced designers and fans to acknowledge their contribution to the suffering of those who were killed or injured by the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. Labor activists were able to beam the faces of Rana Plaza’s victims onto the exterior of Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week. Protestors also marched upon The Children’s Place, one of several retailers that have failed to compensate victims of the disaster.Click here to see more pictures.

Monday, 31 March 2014

NATURE REFLECTION







I began my blog for myself. My main aim was to reflect on my life and look at the positives in it. The past few years for me have been quite turbulent. I am getting through them with God's help, but sometimes find I don't take time to 'smell the roses'. So my blog is a lot to do with smelling the roses and if you enjoy following what I do then Welcome and Thank You. 

I call my blog Piggywhistles - the nick name my father had for me as a child. He died many years ago. You can read a little bit about him here.

This last week I have spent some time appreciating my back yard. I took a walk down there and further on to the creek. I love it because it is so green. It is a bush garden, mainly filled with natives.

I have a renewed appreciation for it as it looked for a while as if I was going to have to sell my house because I had been quite unexpectedly made redundant. (You can read a bit about it here and the posts before and after depending on how much you wish to read about it.) 


I took some random photos of my back yard as I wandered down.



The sandpaper fig had some great lichen growing on the trunk.



  I walked on a little further to the creek, which was quite full after the rain.



My back yard wouldn't suit a lot of people and when I was thinking of selling my house I did wonder if my yard would be a selling point or actually a liability. There is no lawn. There are no garden beds. But I love it.

I got a bit of a surprise in my front yard a couple of days ago when I discovered a Port Jackson shark's egg lying near a couple of pots.


 I don't imagine it was left there by a passing shark. I think it must have been put in the garden by my children many years ago and has simply washed down in all the rain. That is the only logical explanation I can think of for this .

Keeping in the theme with nature are a couple of pictures of the sunset taken from  P:-) 's place last Thursday evening.




Interesting sites





1.

Photo source
Jessica Shyba, mother of three, and blogger at the site MommasGoneCity.com picked up their puppy Theo - a shar-pei and German shepherd mix - from a pound in Santa Cruz when he was about 7 weeks old. Jessica decided to train Theo to sleep in his pen, but the pup wouldn’t sleep alone. Unable to stand his cries at night, she eventually let him sleep in bed with her. The moment she introduced Theo to their bedroom, Theo climbed up on top of her two-year old son Beau, and “it was just the cutest, most natural thing," tells Jessica. Every day now, when Shyba puts Beau down for his nap, Theo follows and they sleep together for a minimum of 2 hours. Click here  to see some beautiful pictures.


2.

Photo source
                                                    
Wataru Itou , a young student in a major art university in Tokyo created one of the most stunning examples of Paper Craft in the world. It is a paper castle which took him 4 years to complete. Click here to see some beautiful photos of it exhibited at Umihotaru, a place which in itself is a major attraction: a service area in the middle of the ocean, right between Tokyo City and Chiba Prefecture.













Monday, 24 March 2014

A SMITH FAMILY REUNION AND A BIT OF A MIXTURE






It's raining hard outside and it is supposed to rain for the rest of the week. I love the view outside my back room when it rains.






 It was a busy week last week. I had various appointments and so did P:-). He sees a GP at Stanwell Park - quite a way from Berkeley.  Why P:-) sees her when she is 40 minutes away is a long story but she is very good. Stanwell Park is a pretty little village by the sea. 


I always enjoy the drive there and we usually call in and see P:-)'s daughter M and granddaughter Sophie who are in the nearby town of Helensburgh. They have just sold their house.  M and her husband B have spent a lot of time rebuilding and renovating it.

Photo source
It was a little old miner's cottage that they gutted and rebuilt and added onto extensively at the back. P:-) spent many weekends helping them. Click here if you would like to have a closer look at it and a tour through it.


 The Catbirds  have been eating more of my mangoes. I came home the other afternoon to find a well eaten mango on my back deck. 



There were only a few mangoes on my tree to start with. I think this was the last of them.


My daughter R was away last week so I had Jasper, my grand-dog for a few days. Here he is being spoilt by my mother.




We had a bit of an episode at the vet's at 5 o'clock Wednesday morning when Jasper seemed to be having trouble breathing. It turned out to be reverse sneezing, probably as a result of an allergy. He had to have an anesthetic to have his throat checked. Seeing the vet out of hours was not cheap but at least little Jasper is OK. He is still on antihistamines for the next couple of days.

We had a lovely day on Saturday. The descendents of P:-)'s grandfather , Pop Smith, had a get together at Cobbitty scout hall.




P:-) and I have been together for five and a half years and I have met many of his extended family, but it was lovely to put more names to faces. 

It was great weather and a good day was had by all.






 The afternoon was finished off with a rainbow.




 Interesting sites


1.
 The Tiny Project
Photo source
 Web designer Alek Lisefski recently completed the Tiny Project, an 8 feet by 20 feet tiny house on wheels. Since then, he’s been living in the house full-time, along with his girlfriend Anjali and their small dog. Click hereto see some really good photos of the fascinating interior.

2.
 Motor scooter in 1916

Photo source
Lady Florence Norman, a suffragette, on her motor-scooter in 1916, travelling to work at offices in London where she was a supervisor. The scooter was a birthday present from her husband, the journalist and Liberal politician Sir Henry Norman. Click here to read more and see more pictures.



3.
The TABBY

Photo source
If you've got the space and the tools, the TABBY can be put together in less than in hour: The TABBY  comes in both two seat and four seat versions, can integrate a fully electric drivetrain, an integrated hybrid engine, or an internal combustion engine, and fully finished models are said to cost between €4000 to €6000 ($5445 to $8168). Click here to read more.