Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Yey! for Marmie!

My Marmie is visiting.

This is a Yey!

My Marmie has a very strong constition and lots of energy, even at 66.

This is a Yey!

We had lots of fun going shopping.  I enjoyed being able to look at clothes without a bored wenchlette telling me I don't need them and they don't suit me.  I can figure that one out myself, but Marmie gets excited over pretty fabrics with me and pretty pure silk tops, THEN we comment that it doesn't suit and I don't need it.   We also found her the swishiest, hot, hot, HOT pink top that looks ever so pretty and was on sale.

This is a Yey!

Marmie bought the Princess a Wii, because she has one and wanted to play Mario Kart with the Princess.  (Have I mentioned my Mum is sorta cool?)  Which was hilarious to watch and play.

This is a Yey!

My Marmie just took me shopping for two exhausting days and then arrived again this morning, bouncy and gleeful, wondering what to do today.  I said I was tired.  She disagreed.  After half an hour of incohrant conversation and long gaps while my brain tried to comprehend basic english and firmulate replies... she decided I was right and has sent me to bed.

This is a TOTAL YEY!

Nigh nigh!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Flomping and Blomping are so real words. Just really new. Like today new.

One (glorious) trip to the cinema, so much overwhelmingness in art, circus and life, too much driving and after three years of so much draining, I am not broken, but I am at a very low ebb of energy.

Two years and two days ago, the family tragedy happened and blew away the new and tiny reserves of energy I had regained after the depression and near death ectopic thingy.  Since then, I have been running on what I can draw from the air, from the mist, from everything around me.  Living.  Not just existing, but blooming with the joy of being alive and grabbing all of the adventures life offered.  Because each day might be my only chance to do this amazing thing or  have that fun experience.

My emotions are stronger, my health improved somewhat, in general things have improved again, but today I realised that I have no energy reserves at all.  Like being a mother of a newborn again.

When my mind or emotions aren't pulling me onwards like an excited five year old who's just seen the Mr. Whippy Ice cream van, I slump. I flomp. I blomp. 

Time to look at my life and slow down.  Build up some reserves before I dive into the next wonderful adventure.

Edit: and then I go to Circus training and come up with a fun idea for a macabre act for our Horror Cabaret and decide to choereograph it while I'm at it...

Still no energy, but oh so happy.  Maybe this is just how it is?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

"As she move like the Diva do, I said I love to Dance like you"

The Princess and I are going to the Cinema tonight!
Doesn't it sound exciting!  Oh, the images that come to mind immediately, the foyer with fancy carpeting, the smells of popcorn, big posters everywhere showing you a hint of the delights in store for you should you choose to purchase a ticket.  The thrill of getting your seat, the worry of having a very tall person sit in front of you and then, that moment.  The moment when the lights go down and you know you are about to be transferred to a magical world for a while.

One where you can laugh at things and know no one knows it is you laughing.
A world where you can cry, but leave the heartache behind in the cinema, walking out cleansed and refreshed.
A place of magic where you can become so absorbed in someone else you can forget yourself for an hour or two.

I love going to the cinema.

Especially our local cinema.  I know the prices, the parking, the toilets (very clean!) I have a favourite cinema (3 - big enough to overwhelm the senses, the seating is evenly set out so I don't have to deal with that feeling of imbalance I get in Cinema 4 and it's right next to the ladies.  Cos face it, I rarely make it all the way through a movie without at least one trip.)

Tonight, we are going to a gorgeous Art Deco cinema, which is playing my third favourite movie EVER, The Red Shoes.

I just had to run AFK as I remembered to pack tissues.  The Princess and I watch this every few years, as I did before she joined me, and sob our eyes out at the end.  Before that though...we will be uplifted to magical heights as she dances, agonise with her over her choices and wish, oh wish so much that we could dance like her.  With her Red Shoes on.

All this is wonderful.

I have massive anxiety getting to this cinema, an hours drive away, unfamiliar parking, all those things about going somewhere a little more challenging that are one reason I stay home a lot.  For incentive like seeing this 1948 movie on the big screen for the first time in my life, I am willing to try.  I may still fail.  I may get halfway there and too many things have gone wrong and my coping ability becomes overwhelmed and I head home. 
Trickey is brilliant for this.  Now that we have mobile phone, I can call him and sometimes, he has managed to talk me through it, bolster me and I have arrived and been able to enjoy the experience of whatever activity I was hoping to be involved in.

I really hope tonight, I make it.  I will cry.  Princess will cry.  I want that to be happening in the cinema!

Kate Bush loves this story too.  This is her take on it.  This is the song I want to perform to at Caberet.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Frivolous Fresh Horses - a sight worth seeing

I so love Eden's Fresh Horses Brigade.
It stretches me, gives me focus, opens me up.
Here's something you maybe didn't know about me.
I have a Science degree in Photography.

So, you would think that Eden's new meme, Picture This. would be right up my alley.  

Exceeeeeept, I only finished my degree through sheer and absolute stubborness.  I barely passed and took an extra year.  I detested photography by the end of it.
I packed away my SLR camera, bought a "click click" and only took photos at parties and events.  It took 6 years before I even removed my Nikon from the camera case on the top shelf.  *grins* Which happened because I had this new baby girl and she was AWESOMELY photogenic!

Whenever I take the camera out, I feel the pressure to justify having spent four years immersed in photography (oddly enough, I found ways to do a lot of physics during this photography course - including one brilliant semester of acoustics).  Then I just shake off that pressure and take totally dodgy pictures, but enjoy myself anyway.  Wheeeeee!

So here are some of the frivolous photos from this week.  Not all taken by me, but designed and enacted by me!  Onwards to silliness! (and cats)  (you were expecting the cats, weren't you?)

This is what my geriatri-cat of a Diva Tabby usually does.  She has taken to the Princess's room of late (even though I have tried many techniques to entice her back to her proper place on my pillow) and was looking ever so adorable sleeping amongst all the cat toys that decorate the 12 yr olds bed.

Diva Cat

This fascinated me this week, driving to pick up Princess from her school up in the mountains.  When we were house shopping, twenty years ago, I declined to buy in this so lovely and pretty area after my Datsun and I spent an afternoon trapped in a ditch.  I saw this and thought... "I SO understand how they would have done this."  There was a little grass fire under it, but it went out even as I waited for the "slow" sign to be turned by the Ambulance officers directing traffic.

"Oh!  I totally thought I put it in reverse.  Oooops!
Out front of a Delicious Chocolate shop.  The driver was probably delirious from  cocoa overdose. (I would be!)

See that face??  That so smug, pleased with myself because I am the most awesome of Geriati-cats, with arthritis and I'm 15, but I can still climb that tree.  I think I love the Evil, Dominating, Shoulder Cat who rules our domain so much because she is so honest about her emotions and intentions.  No trying to be polite for company or putting on a good face.  If she's mad, she'll viciously attack you, if she's pleased she'll show it and if she loves you, she will smooch you and purr louder than a diesel truck going up a hill.
I'm good.  And you know it.  You can worship me, my pet can opener.

Steve and I were playing with the camera today at circus.
That's my arm.  And three, pretty, shiny, sparkly, lovely hoops.
Apparently, also the number 11.
This is the whole reason why hoops have the peppermint style stripes on them.  To get those cool patterns when you spin them.

One of our Boy Cats.  Being allowed to rest in peace because the Princess was at school.  We call him the Heat Sink because he will absorb heat from any source, sometimes becoming so hot that touching him is uncomfortable.  He loves indoor fires and will sleep close enough to get sparks burning his fur AND NOT CARE!
I have sun from the East, I have sun from the North.  I am also sitting above the heater.  Acceptable.
 There is talk of a Caberet style performance next term.  I want in.  I have been thinking of costuming for the act I want to present.  Digging around in my costume box, I found a friend's now-retired belly dancing skirt.  So I put it on.  It made me want to spin like a 5 year old and have the skirt do...  this!!
 Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (wobble) eeeeeeee (wobble wobble) eeeeeeee!

After 15 attempts at this, I was finally happy with this shot. *big smile*  And I hadn't fallen over.  *Bigger smile*  Trickey had barely even acknowledged that his wife was spinning in a circle skirt and tie dyed lycra pants in front of a camera... because he is used to me.

This was fun!  Have you got any pictures on your camera just waiting to shared?  Things that tickled your fancy during the week and you just couldn't resist photographing them?  This weeks "Pictures of your Pets? ".  *cheeky grin*  
I'm off to explore the other bloggers that have linked up with Eden's "Picture This" while listening to Blondie.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

Friday, 16 March 2012

Not a Sponsored Post.

Sooo, writer's block has hit this week, with many a first paragraph of a post done, but the brain couldn't get past that.
We'll blame my cold and move on shall we? 

 I have been inspired by Eden's post about sponsorship and knowing the value of your own blog.  Since I have no expectations of ever doing a sponsored post and it would have to be about something I totally supported, I wanted to try my hand at a sponsored post. 
Which got deleted.  It was baaaaaaaaad.  So I went to those unpublished paragraphs and finished this morning's attempt...and look what happened?!

*re the Klingon language you are about to encounter*
I am a Trekkie.  C'est la vie. 

I am a tlhuch (exhausted) Trekkie atm, for totally non Trek reasons.   It's just that I had my Klingon dictionary out and it is totally boch (shiny) and I am feeling Quch (happy) so it is sprinkling my language again.  Why do I not write whole sentences in Klingon, you yu' (question)?  Cos I never got the hang of their grammer. :-p

On Wed night, at the amazing Hoop class run by the equally amazing Jodie, I achieved something I have been trying to do since I was ten and got my first, chocolate Big M Hula Hoop.  *mmmmh, smelled sooooo good*

Starting with the hoop spinning gaily around my waist (yes, my hoops are rainbow coloured, why do you ask?) I managed to let it spin down to my knees and catch it there.  Then with some full on, over the top (possibly hilarious) shimmying, back up to my waist.  From there, it smoothly drifted up to my chest, one arm through, the other lifting it up to spin high above my head, glorious and delighted in the space it had to play in.  Then whoosh! it swooped down to my waist again, thus completing a full cycle!

YEYEYEYEYEYEYES!!!!!  Qapla' to the Nth!

Then... just to add sprinkles to the icing on my delicious Success Cake, I succeeded in doing most of that, but with two hoops, one going up to hand, then the other going down and back up, though I flounded at getting it to chest and then hopefully both on the hands.

I want to thank my four (over the years) amazing, clever, talented, persistant and altogether inspiring hoop teachers, Doogs, Laura, Ali and Jodie.  I love that you brilliant people are in my life.

Hooping is fun, brilliant core exercise, fabulous for cardio workouts and if you ever decided you desperately needed to look like you had been sweating profusely a lovely healthy glow to your skin, ten minutes of hooping will give you that.  However, don't be fooled by those hoops at toy stores.  They are gorgeous and fun, but they ARE made for three to six year olds.  Go look at a 3 year olds waist and then your own.  Logic dictates the size of the hoop be larger for an adult.

I am going to post a "how to make a hoop", but until you know how to make your own, here is an amazing site that I can personally refer you to as being reliable, awesome and SHINY!  Also a little SPARKLY!  There is some SHIMMER to go with the shimmy!

 *fans herself like an over excited 18th Century lady trying to find breath while wearing corsetry*  Oh, The shiny wonderfulness!  Semi Cirque sell travel hoops, which is so brilliant.  You can carry them to the park and then, click, click, click, you have a gorgeous and amazing hoop.  Going interstate and have no access to the gym?  Pack your travel hoops.  Just want some shininess in your day?  Hang the hoop on the wall as a decoration.  

Okay, so maybe I am the only one who does that

I love my hoops.  They are hung so as to sparkle in the afternoon light when I am in my craft room.  Of course, I took this photo at night... *blonde grin* Note, these are handmade, from the "Before I found Semi Cirque era"

Do you have a small child in your life?   How fun is it to hoop along side them? *I can answer this one!  It's thrilling and bonding and she loved that Mama was doing something with her that she liked too - and it was far more enjoyable for me than that time she tried to teach me how to play bakugan*
 Do you have a 40th to go to?  What a cool present to give the now grown-up hooper!  *is willing to have several more 40th's if people want to give me the blue one above, and the fire opal one with the fishnet taping, and the green hologram on gree....* Um,, yeah, sorry, got distracted.

I met some of the Semi Cirque girls at the last Melbourne Juggling Convention and they were so passionate about their work and we talked about Pretty Sticky tapes with great joy.  I have ordered from the site a few times and been delighted with their service, communication and the shiny, glitteryness of what arrived. 

When you try one of the adult sized hoops, it's an instant confidence boost, as it is so much easier to keep up than the child sized one.  And SO MUCH FUN to get any friend who visits to try and remember how they wiggled with that hoop in Primary school.

NB:  This post was not sponsored in any way.  I just love Semi Cirque, hoops, shiny tapes that sparkle.  I also love daisies, cats, aerial lyra, my daughter, Bleeding Edge Goth Dolls, Rainbows, the Spice Girls and Trickey. 

Did you hoop when you were at school?  What was your hoop like?  And who remembers the awesome that was the Chocolate, Banana or Strawberry Big M hoop?  If so... did you ever taste the hoop because it smelled so delicious?

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Aurora. Delightful. Omnipotence. These are a few of my favourite words.

Fresh Horses Brigade: Words
Imagine you had the mic, people were listening to you... what would you say?  What would I say?

Standing up there and saying, in a clear tone, the words, "Pedantic.  Delightful.  Aurora.  Persnickety.  Leviathan.   Omnipotence.  These are a few of my favourite words.  Thank you for listening." is probably not quite the intent of  Eden's Fresh Horses Brigade for today.

I do so love all those words.
And flibbertygibbet, though I am not sure if Laura Ingalls made that one up or it's a real words.

Words like Aurora and Omnipotence and Persnickety are simply a joy to say.  Go on.  Try it with me.

(discovers you cannot upload mp3's on Blogger.)  Well.  No wonder vlogs are so popular.   I can now recommend audacity as a fun audio recorder, just make sure you get all the Lame plugins. *giggles at their choice of name*

Even so, these are words that convey no concept, just a joy in how they sound or look. 

So what is the message I would like most to share, adore people to hear and have the chance to understand. I think, I think it might be... this.

"Think about why you do anything.  Why you work, why you go to doctors, why you take drugs, why you spend time with beloved people, why you play games, why you drink to feel more confident or escape, why you eat, why you wear clothing.  Why?

When I thought about this, I decided that I do all these things to BE HAPPY.
I work* for food, shelter and other survival/comfort reasons.
I go to the doctor to remove pain and become more able to do fun things like circus.
I take drugs to remove the pain, to heal.
I spend time with beloved people because they are the joy in my life.
I deal with the social anxiety I feel, even if some days it means I hide from everyone, because I know how much fun it is to have friends.
I play games to enhance my thinking so I can enjoy more, so I can remember the good times better.
I used to drink to help cope with my limited social skills or just to block out the pain.  (edit: this doesn't work)
I eat for comfort and survival.
I wear clothing for warmth, social reasons and fun.
I do all these things so that I can enjoy those moments when I am happy.  Find moments in which to be happy.  Find ways to be happy.  I stopped doing some of these things because I realised they weren't making me happy.
Easy is not necessarily happy.
Think about what you do.  Which parts of your life add to your happiness?  Can you change the others?"

Then I would probably say "polypropolene", cos it's another fun word to say, and ruin any intentness that my speech may/may not have created.

So grab yourself some Fresh Horses, take a deep breath and go onwards doing things that add to your and other's happiness. 

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

*So, I don't have a job, but I work around the house.  Work doesn't, in itself make me happy, but the results of work, a good meal, an educated child who is healthy, these things make me happy.

And I have to link to this, cos it my earworm on repeat while writing this.
"When we sing,
just a breath away from my hand,
breaking into tiny pieces,
and we will not take a shot at you for flying"

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Circus play time!

Or, as I tend to describe it SO MUCH FUN!

Far too exhausted to post much about it, but I so want to write down the whole weekend, that it will appear here eventually.
All images are copyrighted and may not be used without my express permission. 

So for today, I will show you pretty pictures!  Of Circusy goodness! 

Me, showing what gracefulness does not look like!
Honestly, this hoop splitting feels much more graceful than I make it look.  I wasn't terrified at this point, as it was the last act I was in, we were near the end and this was the last difficult trick for me and I had succeeded!  The quick but very knowledgeably applied massage to get rid of the terrifying anxiety I had before going on stage definately helped, too.  Sometimes just having someone acknowledge that you are scared is all you need.

Sometimes... performing is even exciting.  Adrenaline rush.  Endorphins to the max. 
Other times, it is something I want to have over and done with and the whole reason why I do it is to have an end purpose, a reason to be doing all the amazing fun preparation of learning new tricks, rehearsing, making costumes and enjoying the incredible bonding between performers.

Cinderella taking centre stage while the Ugly Stepsisters stand back trying to look beautiful and not too jealous of Cinderella's amazing hooping talents.

"Spinderella, cut it up one time."
So awesome!  5 hoops!  Of an amazingness!

Also, her hoops are of a shiny, holographic goodness, that when the sun comes out, they sparkle in a way that looks like a rainfall of diamonds.

And that makes me happy every time.

When was the last time you picked up a hula hoop?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Esse's How to No. 1 - Oatmeal soap sachets

This morning, I am making 6 oatmeal soap sachets for use throughout the week.

I have a lovely range of itchy rashes, brought on through skin intolerance to things like soap, shampoo, air, clothes, sun, pollen, food, you name it, it's gunna make me itch.  Except oatmeal.  Oatmeal dissolved in a bath is like swimming through cool silk, soft and soothing and leaves me feeling that little bit stronger against the outside world.

And after embarassing myself yesterday, I need some soothing.  Social awkwardness is such a fun life skill.

Here are the instructions.

1.  Dig around for half an hour, trying to remember where in your heavily cluttered house you keep the muslin.  Ditto for scissors.  Decide the whole concept of trying to find rubber bands will probably include tears into the mix and since there is no need for salt in this recipe, go to the sewing box and grab some expensive embroidery thread.

Cut the muslin into 6 squares about 20-30 cm wide.  Cut 6 lengths of embroidery thread to 20 cm.

I am using the red thread because I bought heaps to do a cross stitch of Lt. Uhura from the Starship Enterprise and naturally never got past the planning stage.  Any colour is fine. ;-)

 2.  Look in the cupboard for the oatmeal you have bought in preparation for today.  Notice it's missing.  Look at Trickey's homemade muesli mix, become aware it has a lot of rolled oats in it.  Wonder if Trickey's muesli will work the same as oatmeal.  Sigh.  Go up the shops.  Buy some chocolate more rolled oats.
Left: His muesli, looking suspciously like rolled oats have been mixed in.  Right: The remnants of my rolled oats.

3.  Find your new grinder, since you blew up the old one last year.  I'm guessing for those without grinders, rolling them with a rolling pin on baking paper will have a similar effect, but you'll have to make the "bzzzzz" sound yourself.
This is one of the fun parts!  You can add other things to the oatmeal to make it more fun.  Almonds, sunflowers, cinnamon, ginger and if you are afraid of vampires/the opposite gender, garlic.   I have added my chai spices, which is cinnamon, cardamon pods, cloves and vanilla.  These I previously ground up to make a yummy tea.

4.  Lay a muslin square on a plate, to avoid the mess of any ground oats that sift through the open weave of the fabric.  Carefully pour about a sixth of the mixture onto the muslin.  Wish you'd redone your nails before taking the picture.

Neat and organised

Realise there is no way you can judge a sixth like that.  Lay the other five out anyway and just clean up the mess later.  Avoid having hands in this picture.
Oh well.

5.  Gather each corner of the muslin at the top to make a bag.  Successfully avoid having chipped nail polish in photo but dismally fail at moving the salt and vinegar chippie packet out of the way.

Daisy plate!
Wrap thread around the middle of your sachet and tie in a double knot.   Do this for all 6 sachets.
Not very elegant, but since they are used once and then I wash the muslin, seems silly to put too much effort in.

Gather all of them together and giggle as you recall what your daughter used to call them when she was a toddler.

Pretty ghosties!
These are great in a bath, as well, especially when you add apple cider vinegar and peppermint leaves to the water.   

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The kiss of a breeze on my cheek (Fresh Horses Linky)

With anticipation, I clicked over to Edenland this morning, to see what the Fresh Horses Brigade challenge for this week is.  
"It's a sign!"  
All day it has been running through my mind.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

This evening, I am exhausted and somehow picking up energy from an imaginary place so I can write this, after a day of sitting in the rain, with cold, wet feet (having given up on my sodden shoes hours ago), hoping and longing for the rain to slow down at least enough to do even a shortened version of our hoops act at the Festival.  We hooped in the rain anyway, but just for fun.  If you spin a hoop fast enough, it DOES catch more of the raindrops, so we invented the "Hoopbrella!"

I love these blog challenges of Eden's.  So here is her challenge. 

What let's me know I am safe in this world?
What gives me that moment of comfort, knowing that I have been shown again, someone or something has my back? 
Eden asks "what's your own personal sign that things will be ok?"

I have thought much about this today.  Had interesting discussions with a friend.  Thought back to times when I might have needed a sign and tried to remember through the brain fog if I possibly found one.

And I didn't.  Don't have one.  Don't have a Guardian Angel, no mystical being checking on me.  That feeling has eluded me and while I can think of times I might have liked one, that sense that something greater is looking out for my welfare has not been an aspect of my life.

I have felt people nearby.  People who have passed on, like my Gran and my Cynthia baby girl.  My cat, Tayo, once.  They felt like they were visiting, saying hello and it was nice, because I miss them.  Even though I never met my Gran (well, once when I was two but I don't remember it) or Cynthia, of course, pregnancy loss no. 5 as she is otherwise known.

My Marmie's Great Uncle met me for the first time last year and he was quite startled by how much I resemble Gran.  Which was so nice, since we never knew how I fitted into the DNA of our family.   I feel a great affinity to this woman, whom I cannot recall meeting, whose shoes I wore as a teen, whose sewing box I keep my needles and threads in, whose eyes I look out through, who suffered the same PND and depressions I did.

I don't feel she is looking out for me.  Just there.  Occasionally.

After all this pondering, I think signs might be like religion.  They are something you choose to believe in, because it comforts you.  Without proof.  On faith.  And I don't have faith.  I don't believe in an afterlife.  I only believe in a NOW.

I do get vibes.  We bought our house because it felt happy.  I chose my first car because it made me smile.  The evil Diva dominatrix girl-kitten that I chose to share our lives was picked because she stood out from the others with a glow that was not visible.   If I pay attention to my instinct, it's usually pretty smart.

What does give me comfort... or at least brings a smile to my face, are those tiny moments in the day when I see or feel or hear something beautiful.  A nasturtium leaf with a raindrop nestled in it.  Feel a soft breeze caress my cheek.  Hear the trill my Diva Cat makes when she is content.  An unasked for kiss from my Princess.   Standing near the top of the mountains, in the morning fog, with the wind causing the trees to sway and blowing the cool mist into my uplifted face.
Waiting for the bus Thursday morning.  I could have stood here, face raised into the wind, for hours.

 The wind
I love the wind
Wind on my face
That makes the world feel right