Friday, 23 March 2012

Back to Normal(?) .....

Things are finally settling down and we are getting back to 'normal' (well normal for me at least) .... Madeleine and Mum are back home now with her Daddy and big sister.

Big sister is very much taken with her new sibling ... a little disappointed that she can't read or draw or dance yet but apart from those obvious flaws she thinks she is okay  .... lol.

I spent the afternoon and evening with them all yesterday and it was lovely to relax with everyone and nurse both my grand daughters.

 Found a great CD for meditating to - very relaxing and I found it perfect -Il Canto De Tibet by Captanata.  - plus it is a Lama singing OM with a singing bowl so it is perfect for me.

You can listen to it here, it goes for just over an hour and runs at 432 Hz.

.

I have tracked down a copy of it and now have it in my collection.

I would like a singing bowl; found some on Ebay but they are very tiny, only 8cm and I would like one around the 20cm mark, that is not too expensive - did find one under $60 but they sold out and most that size seem to start around $200 and then skyrocket.....lol

No way I am spending that sort of money aside from the fact that I don't have it .... lol.  I am amazed at the price ranges - ones recently made in India are selling for as much as antique genuine Tibetan ones ... seems crazy to me.  The one I saw cheaper was a Tibetan one and it came with the striker.

 No luck on the Internet dating scene - seem to attract the wrong sort ..... married guys, guys under 30 or ones who are looking for a FWB or sex buddy or else those who just want a one night stand.

Surely there are guys out there who are not so sleazy who would like to meet nice women?  Unfortunately I just don't seem to be able to find them ..... rotfl.  I am greedy, I don't like to share nor am I the slightest bit interested in being someone's sex friend.

I do have Bob to keep me company - damn shame he can't take me out to dinner, the movies or for a picnic or two then I wouldn't even need to be on dating sites .....ROTFL! 


 
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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Welcome to Madeleine Suzanne .....

After her parents and grandparents thought she would arrive on Wednesday or Thursday, Madeleine Suzanne decided to take her time and arrive via emergency C section today, March 17 at 10.15am.

It has been an extremely stressful 3 days for us but, thankfully it all turned out fine in the end. But boy what an emotionally roller coaster .... I don't handle stress very well at all anymore .... to emotional ....lol.  The worst part is I am bingeing like there is no tomorrow - it is like relief that things are okay so now I can eat non-stop .... I could feed an African nation on the amount of food I am consuming ..... :(

But back to the most important things - Miss Madeleine .... weighing 4.18kg (9.2 lbs) and 54 cm long (21.5") - Mum and Bub both well.

May I introduce you to Miss Madeleine Suzanne P ...


Big sister Abi and Daddy
Madeleine Suzanne

Mummy and Madeleine

Madeleine in Daddy's big hands ..








 





















 
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Monday, 12 March 2012

Yummy Apples and Fruit Pies and EXCITING news .....

Took a trip out to Bilpin, on the lower Blue Mountains on Sunday; it is famous for its fruit ... plums, berries, peaches, pears .... but especially its apples.  It is about 55km from my house along the Bell's Line of Road and 623 mts above sea level.

The road runs through Richmond and then across the Hawkesbury River on the North Richmond bridge.  That same bridge was closed during the recent floods I previously wrote about.

Then the road heads up the mountain through Kurrajong and Kurrajong Heights and on to Bilpin. If you stay on the road it eventually goes through Bell then links up to the Great Western Highway at Mt Victoria.  From Mt Victoria you can go west toward Lithgow or back through Katoomba and back down the mountain.  Did consider making a round trip but it would be almost 200kms which is a lot of driving especially when you are alone and HFA - that needs planning .... lol.

Anyway, as you drive along Bell's Line of Road there are roadside stalls, little cafes and lots of orchards - most allow you to pick your own fruit.  I wanted some lovely fresh apples and I had decided I wanted to pick them myself.

I went to Pine Crest Orchard; they have a Facebook pages, as well as the website, and update people on what fruit is ready to pick and also the state of the ground.  They had warned that it was still very wet and mushy underfoot so boots or even gumboots were the best choice.  Plus once I had decided to go I planned out my trip and couldn't deviate to go to a different one .... rotfl.

The area is set along the mountain ridge so it is all up and down.  Naturally the apples I wanted (Red Delicious) were at the top end of the orchard so I wandered through the long grass smelling in the delights of blossoms, wet grass and mountain air.

There is something very satisfying with wandering through an orchard picking fruit straight from the tree.

Bilpin Fruit Bowl
On the way back down the mountain I called into a couple of shops - Bilpin Fruit Bowl and  Pie in the Sky and bought some pies - apricot, peach, apple & rhubarb, plain apple and apple & mango.

The name says it ...
The smell inside each shop was delicious - was very tempting; I wanted to sample all the different varieties.  Especially in Pie in the Sky - they had gourmet meat pies .... lamb, Angus beefsteak, chicken, and the list went on and on .... chunky diced meat definitely no mince.  I bought a vegetable pie and it was scrumptious ... filled to the brim and wonderful pastry.

The smell of apples and freshly baked pies filled my car on the drive back down to Blacktown.

a couple of my pies
Now my freezer has some fruit pies on hand in case ... let's face it a girl sometimes needs something sweet and yummy to eat!

The apples are sitting on my bench; I devoured two on the drive - oh my ... so sweet and juicy and crisp!!

There is no comparison between freshly picked apples and the ones bought in the supermarket - those are usually kept in cold storage from last season and tend to go floury.


NOW my really, really, REALLY exciting news - my latest grandchild is almost here!!!

The baby had dropped and is ready so it might even decide to come without any help before the 40 week mark.

Her mum is spending the day with DIL today and I will tomorrow, just in case.

It is such an exciting time - another new life.  So tiny and so new - my handsome grandson is my eldest grandchild at 9 and now we almost have another little one!

Can't wait to hold it; can't wait to see Nathan or Abi holding it - remember getting a great pic of Nathan holding Abi so will have to make sure I get one of him holding the latest addition.

So the next time I post I will be able to tell you all about the latest addition to the family!!

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Friday, 9 March 2012

Dangerous Woman ....

Goodness me!!  What is happening to the woman?

No man in my life anymore and was feeling rather lonely and down then decided suddenly I needed a new outlook on my life .... lol.

Had an epiphany about who I am and who I want to be; so decided I needed to rediscover myself, to find that spark of life from my youth.  Okay I am close to 63 but I felt I had got myself into a rut and lost my  'joie de vivre'; so -

  • New tattoo - OM symbol on my inside left wrist (the right will get mantra Om Mani padme Hum in Sanskit very soon)
  • new hair cut - shave one side and dyed bright pink, the rest is very very short but dark purple and dark browny/mahogany.  Next time I go ( early April) will have something different again, maybe all pink .... lol
  • Feeling very strong, feel great
  • Taken myself out for drives a number of times - yes this woman has actually LEFT the house!!
  • Meet up with some wonderful people who I have been online friends with for many years.
  • No depression
  • New anklet (broke my old one years ago & never replaced it) plus an OM to go on it
  • No sadness
  • Started going to a weekly Life Sketch club - if nothing else it will help my painting of nudes
  • No stress
  • Not feeling lonely
AND
  • shock horror - I have painted my fingernails bright red!!!

Okay that may not sound like much but I have not painted my fingernails since I was a teenager - so about 45 years!!!

My word the woman is dangerous!  Look out world!!

What do you do when you feel you need a change, need to take control of your life and move onward??

Do you re-invent, have a makeover or is there some other way you put a new spring into your step?

Mind you, I have no idea if this is all a sham in my head; another way of pretending I am not HFA or merely trying to overcome my feeling so inadequate and useless; so emotional defective or what .... but time will tell.



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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

"Compassion and Love"

Well I think it is finally finished.

Finished the monk's hair and put a few highlights here and there then tackled the tiger's fur.

Seem to take forever .... lol

Anyway - I think I will leave it for a week to make sure but I feel it is finished.  (BTW it is for sale).

Thank you for sharing this journey with me; I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did.


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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Trip to Warragamba Dam and the Floods ....

Last week up until Sunday we have had some of the heaviest non-stop rain in ages; so much so that the dam that supplies 80% of drinking water for Sydney overflowed.

When you consider that we had severe water restrictions and the damn level at 33% just a couple of years ago  and the last time it was full to overflowing was in 1998 you will realise just how much rain we had.

View from the Platform I couldn't get to
Anyway, I decided I would like to go up and take some photos of the spill - something that doesn't happen very often so was watching the Water Board site all day Friday as that was when it was expected to happen.

Looking down the river
Unfortunately it didn't happen until 7pm so I considered going last Sat morning until I found out there were almost 200 people waiting patiently on Friday night and more expected on Saturday. Considering the viewing platform would probably only hold about 20 people at a time and the car park even less, I thought I would leave it till  today (Tuesday).

When my kids were little I took them to the Dam; back then you could walk all over it; take an elevator down inside the dam and walk alongside the spillway.  Sadly now you get to look at it through glass in the Visitors Centre above the dam or you can look across a few hundred metres to the spillway at an observation platform a kilometre or so away.

So I drove the 40 minutes there - what a total waste of time!!!

Thar she goes .....!!!
They had blocked off the access road to the viewing area and you had to walk there.  There were cars everywhere; probably would have at least a 1 1/2 km walk there plus it was sprinkling.  So I thought, okay I will go to the damn itself and to the visitors centre.  I would still be able to get some photos there.

Guess what??  

Yep; they had closed off all the parking areas close to the visitor's centre and you had a 1 km walk.  Ggggggrrrrr.  

I can understand them closing the access to the viewing platform because the car park is tiny but why on earth would they shut all the parking around the visitor's centre when so many people are travelling out there?


Somewhere way down is the river
I was not happy.  Anyway, I pinched some of the photographs from the Water Board site to show you.


Decided I would drive to the Nepean River lookout spot near Mulgoa.  Bummer!!!


The final 2kms were dirt track with enormous potholes.  Then when I finally got there  ......
can you see the river in the photo?   Neither could I ......rotfl.


You had to climb down through the bush about 2 or 3 kms.  
The start of the track




As I was 
a) alone; 
b) overweight;  
c) and am definitely not athletic
I decided to pass.  Figured even if I attempted to go part way I would probably fall over and being alone it would not be a good idea ..... lol.

A few of the smaller potholes and washaways
So back into the car once more, after a quick coffee (was smart and had taken a Thermos of coffee for the trip) headed into Penrith.


Looking across the river all that's left of the tree from the previous photo
Drove past on of the bridges near Penrith but it was all blocked off and then decided I would go to Yarramundi.


I had taken some great pictures there that I am going to paint so I thought it would be great to see how it looked now.  The Yarramundi bridge had been under water but was now open.



Previously taken looking from the bridge into the distance little shallow area
Looking toward the little shallow area



The water was rushing past about 1/2 metre from the bridge.


So sad to see, all that water.  It rushed through Yarramundi then flooded through Windsor and Richmond and Pitt Town and further down.  People at least had some warning but so much damage.


Just in case you are interested here are some facts about Warragamba Dam.
  • Height: 142 metres
  • Length: 351 metres
  • Thickness at base: 104 metres
  • Width of central spillway: 94.5 metres
  • Volume of concrete: 3 million tonnes
  • Width of auxiliary spillway (at mouth): 190 metres
  • Length of auxiliary spillway: 700 metres
  • Capacity: 2,031,000 megalitres
  • Area: 75 square kilometres
  • Length of lake: 52 kilometres
  • Length of foreshores: 354 kilometres
  • Maximum depth: 105 metres
Catchment
  • Area: 9,051 square kilometres
  • Average annual rainfall: 840 millimetres
Pipelines
  • Diameter: 2,100/3,000mmm
  • Length: 27 km each
  • Capacity: 2,600 megalitres per day



The central drum gate and four radial gates open automatically when the dam reaches and passes full storage level by about 80 millimetres. They are rarely opened manually.
 
The dam forms Lake Burragorang and is filled by run-off from rain falling in a catchment area of more than 9,051 square kilometres. The Warragamba Catchment extends from south of Goulburn, north to Lithgow, east to Wollondilly and Mittagong, and west to part of the Crookwell local government area. 

The main rivers that flow into the Warragamba Dam are the Wollondilly, Coxs, Kowmung, Wingecarribee and Nattai.

Heavy rain falling in the catchment area can overfill the dam. The dam gates begin to open gradually when the water reaches 80 millimetres above the full storage level. The central drum gate gradually opens automatically at this point, and if water continues rising, the four radial gates start opening at 23 centimetres above full storage level. The progressive gates help control the flow of water

 Waiting for the Dam to fill and then the gate to open above and below.

 The Dam in 2009/2010

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