27 March 2008

Remodeling re-visited...

Do you remember a few months ago, like around Christmas, when I was telling you about the remodeling we were having done on the back of the house? Well here we are now in the last few days of March and the final piece of the puzzle is about to be installed. The new cabinets are bring fitted this morning. When we had the new windows and doors put in earlier, basically the entire back wall of the house was removed and replaced. A large cabinet used to sit on that wall and the cabinet housed most of our dishes and various odds and ends. That cabinet was of course removed and based on the new window/door configuration there is/was no room to put that cabinet back hence the building of this new cabinet.

We have been living out of our office for the past few months in so much as all of our dishes are currently residing on the floor of said office. I will be so happy at the end of today when I am able to put the dishes back into the kitchen and we can stop having to walk to the office for a glass or a plate. Not to mention we can finally get our office back. Remodeling is always a pain and very disruptive to the normal flow of life. I will not be sad to see the backside of this project. All we need to do after these cabinets are fitted is to have a few tiles put up as a splash back for the sink and then we can have the painter come in and finish the kitchen walls to match the work he did earlier on the new window and door frames.

All in all it's been an experience and we are extremely happy with the results. I'm sure we'll love it even more after today's activities are concluded. In saying that do I plan on any more renovations in the not to distant future or even in the near future? The answer to that is a very definite. HELL NO!

PS. I'll post some before and after pictures as soon as the cabinets are all in but unfortunately you'll have to see it with out the new paint job otherwise it may take sometime before you can see the absolute complete prodcut. Until then Take care!

25 March 2008

Here we go again...

Alrighty then, now that we are pasted the whole countdown excitement, it's time to get back to some regular posts which has to be a good thing, right? I mean you know how brilliant I am at writing jaw-dropping, earth shattering, colour-laden, mind-numbing and down right interesting posts, don't you? Given that knowledge I wanted to wait a day or so to let you come down from the high I'm sure that many of you were on from the unveiling of the countdown surprise. So let's get to a new nail-biting post.

Now do you remember a little over a year and a half ago when all at the same time I was having such a hard time with my feet, our cat had to be put to sleep, my dad died, and James' mum found out she had bowel cancer. You don't remember? Well it doesn't matter because I've just reminded you. Anyway, since then I have found a medication regime that keeps my feet pain at a minimum, we got a new cat, albeit she has issues but let's not go there, my dad unfortunately is still gone but my mum is doing better and moving forward and last but not least James mum finished her 6 months of chemotherapy and was given the all clear. Things are finally getting back to normal.

Well, normal that is until two weeks ago when we got a call from James' brother. I watched and listened to the phone conversation between James and his brother and heard James say things like "Oh no" and "Oh John". All I could think about was that John's dog had passed away, which would have been his second in the past few months. Both dogs were getting up in years so it's not like it was a surprise when the first one passed away. So after James hung up the phone I of course asked what had happened and to my surprise it wasn't the second dog, nope not even close. It was about James' mum. Her cancer has come back!

That's right the cancer is back and this time it's angry. Here we go again. James spent this past week up in Sydney spending time with his mum and helping getting things organised. She is going to have major surgery again which will include her receiving chemotherapy during the surgery itself and then another two days worth right after the surgery while she is still in hospital. She doesn't have a choice about the surgery. Well she does but the other choice isn't such a positive. She was told if she didn't have the surgery she is looking at 6-12 months at best.

James is being very calm about all of this and I think in a way he knows he needs to be because this time it's game on and he will need to make the best of the moments he has with his mum. She goes to the oncologist on this coming Thursday at which time they will discuss what is exactly going to happen and when it will happen. We expect the surgery will be scheduled within the next two weeks. James will be flying up the night before the surgery and plans on staying a few weeks after the fact to help out as best as he can. I will be staying here on the home front holding down the fort. I'm not even going to mention that while all of this is happening James' dad has been in and out of hospital with a nasty infection in his leg that is going septic. Good thing on that note is his dad gets out of the hospital today.

So, that's the newest thing happening in our neck of the woods. All I can say is life happens and as we get older this is how it plays out and it's never any fun. All we can hope is to weather the storm and hope that at the end of it we make it out to the other side. Until next time...

20 March 2008

Countdown ends and here's the big surprise....




Houston we have lift-off. Happy autumnal/autumn equinox to my readers in the southern hemisphere, from which I'm writing this post, and happy vernal/spring equinox to my readers (especially to my family) in the northern hemisphere. Okay, okay so the big countdown wasn't that big of a surprises but many of you know as well as I do just how bloody hard it can be to find something to post. For those of you that have prolific minds when it comes to post writing you have my envy and respect. As for those of you who made guesses as to what the surprise was, I say well done to those of you who either picked it spot on or came close. It was never my intention to make this a guessing game but it was an added bonus that I suppose was inevitable as people can be curious.

Anyway, lets get back to the topic. As your days start to get longer and your nights shorter my days are now getting just the opposite. It took me a long time to get used to this reversal, but have now come to think of it as quite normal for where I am. I still enjoy what autumn means to me with the fall colours and cool nights and warmish days. Here in Australia I've not seen a lot of decorations with Indian corn and pumpkins, gourds or both. I believe the reason autumn is not a major focus here as it is in the northern hemisphere is simply because there is very little change in many places in Australia. Albeit everyone knows summer is over and winter is on it's way, winter is not something that fully felt unless you live here in Tasmania or in the Snowy mountains. but then again it's all purely relative. because if you live in Darwin and the weather goes down to say 15 degrees (59F) compared to 35 degrees (95F) you think it's cold. Sydney-siders get all rugged up (coats, scarves and gloves) this time of year on days of 13-15 degrees (55-59F) The display windows in the shops here are usually filled with colourful fall leaves and for me that is enough. On top of that Christmas in July is not far away. In the states it may mean a sale at the local mall here it literally means Christmas in July because it's winter and in some places there is snow and the holiday can be celebrated in full northern hemisphere fashion. However hearing Frosty the Snowman in the middle of July can still be a bit off-putting for me but I'm working on it.

I used to think of this time as a time of new beginnings and special moments. This was a time that as a child I went back to school and holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were right around the corner. It was also a time that my birthday came around so you see there was a lot going around for me as a child. Now when autumn comes around for me I still get that feeling but there are no holidays to follow let alone birthdays, or at least not within the next few months. Even still I feel the same as I did back then, to me autumn was and is something much more, for me it was a time of refueling. A time when my mind clears with the crisp clean air and my mind awakens to artistic thoughts as the leaves perform their changing of the colour guard so to speak. Autumn has always been for me that way and it always will.

So as I sit here and enjoy this very special time of the year. I hope that you will also be enjoying it, whether it is with cool crisp nights, warm fluffy doonas (comforters for my friends in the north) and leaves changing colours or be it warming spring nights, daffodils blooming and promises of sunny summer days not far away. Either way it seems to be a time of renewal. Some of us see the flowers blooming in spring and feel reborn but for me it will always be the changing in the leaves that brings the birth of my inner self. To each of you I say, Enjoy...

( I hope you weren't too disappointed in the big surprise. I at least got your attention and now that I've got it out of the way I've got lots to tell you, but that will have to wait until tomorrow)

As an added bonus here are a few interesting factoids about the equinox:

In the list below the terms March and September equinoxes are used when the celebration is fixed in time, while the terms spring and autumn equinoxes refer to those which are different in the two hemispheres.

* Sham El Nessim was an ancient Egyptian holiday which can be traced back as far as 2700 B.C. It is still one of the public holidays in Egypt. It occurs on Monday and coincided with the vernal equinox.

* The calculation of Easter in the Christian church (first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox), uses its own definition for the equinox — it always falls on March 21. The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore March 22.

* The March Equinox marks the first day of various calendars including the Iranian calendar and the Bahá'í calendar. The Persian (Iranian) festival of Nowruz is celebrated then. According to the ancient Persian mythology Jamshid, the mythological king of Persia, ascended to the throne on this day and each year this is commemorated with festivities for two weeks. These festivities recall the story of creation and the ancient cosmology of Iranian and Persian people. It is also a holiday for Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, India, Turkey, Zanzibar, Albania, and various countries of Central Asia, as well as among the Kurds. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday, it is also a holy day for adherents of the Bahá'í Faith, and the Nizari Ismaili Muslims, commonly known as the Aga Khanis.

* The September Equinox marks the first day of Mehr or Libra in the Iranian calendar. It is one of the Iranian festivals called Jashne Mihragan, or the festival of sharing or love in Zoroastrianism.

* The spring equinox marks the Wiccan Sabbat of Ostara (or Eostar), while at the autumn equinox the Wiccan Sabbat of Mabon is celebrated.

* In Japan, (March) Vernal Equinox Day (春分の日 Shunbun no hi) is an official national holiday, and is spent visiting family graves and holding family reunions. Similarly, in September, there is an Autumnal Equinox Day (秋分の日 Shūbun no hi).

* Tamil and Bengali New Years follow the Hindu zodiac and are celebrated according to the sidereal vernal equinox (14 April). The former is celebrated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and the latter in Bangladesh and the East Indian state of West Bengal.

* Earth Day was initially celebrated on March 21, 1970, the equinox day. It is currently celebrated in various countries on April 22.

* In many Arab countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on the March equinox.

* The September equinox was "New Year's Day" in the French Republican Calendar, which was in use from 1793 to 1805. The French First Republic was proclaimed and the French monarchy was abolished on September 21, 1792, making the following day the equinox day that year, the first day of the "Republican Era" in France. The start of every year was to be determined by astronomical calculation, (that is: following the real Sun and not the mean Sun as all other calendars).

* The harvest festival in the United Kingdom is celebrated on the Sunday of the full moon closest to the September equinox.

* The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, and is an official holiday in many East Asian countries. As the lunar calendar is not synchronous with the Gregorian calendar, this date could be anywhere from mid-September to early October.

* World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling, celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern.

Factoids source: Wikipedia

Countdown cont'd


5 March 2008

Banner and colours...

As we start into our fall season once again here in the land down under I've changed the banner and colour scheme appropriately. I hope you like it. Enjoy...

2 March 2008

This is a test...

I'm trying a new web browser called "Flock" and I'm testing out it's little in's and out's to see if it is a viable web browser. I currently use either Safari or Firefox but recently read about Flock so I thought I would download it to see what it was like. I'm a a sucker for new gadgets. Hell it can be new gadgets, food, music, books, whatever; if it's new I'm interested. Anyway, this is a short post as I'm testing the posting interface made available with Flock which supposedly allows me to publish right to my blog at anytime with out actually going through Blogger's posting system. So, I'm going to end this post and hit the publish button and see what happens. Fingers crossed.

Blogged with Flock

1 March 2008

I have not left the building...

...Contrary to popular belief, okay no one really thinks I'm gone but some people may wonder if I'm okay. Just to let everyone know I'm doing just fine. I've just been a little distracted as of late and like many of you I have found that there is little time to focus on sitting down and writing up a witty, thought-provoking post to keep each and every one of you enthralled and maybe even glued to your seat waiting for the follow up post. Besides, how many times do I write a post like that anyway? I mean really, you're usually lucky if I drag some 50 question meme out or if I look up some absurd word and post it with an esoteric quote by some dead person. I mean now that's a post. NOT...

With that said, I have been out of pocket recently as we have been up to Melbourne (we went to see Cyndi Lauper) and back a few days ago and now we have house guest for the next 5 days which will occupy even more of my/our time. I just didn't want anyone to worry. (Hi mom!) The only other exciting thing happening at this end of the world is that the carpenters have been in to measure up the cabinet space and they are finally building our new kitchen cabinets as I type. Well, there not building today as it's Saturday but you know what I mean. Hopefully within the next two weeks or so we should have the kitchen finally finished and then all we have to do is call the painter and the renovations will be complete. It's taken 3 months so far and adding the time for the cabinets to be finished it will all up be 4 months that we have been living semi-camping style. Not that I have anything against camping, in fact I like camping except I believe it is meant to be done outside in the woods by a lake and not within the confines of my home. In the end It camping or no camping will be so very nice to get my kitchen back.

Other than that nothing else is that exciting around here so maybe it is for the best that I have nothing to write as it would be like watching paint peel and you wouldn't be watching it you would be reading it, which is sort of the same thing I suppose since you need to use your eyes to do both things. I think I'm rambling so I'll put you out of your misery for now and who knows I may come up with witty story to relay or something extremely fascinating will happen while our houseguest is here and if it does I'll be sure to let you know. Oh just as a side note, it looks like autumn has arrived here in Hobart town just a little early as we have had snow on the mountain for two days and just maybe it's a sign that your spring is around the corner so hang on there.

And last but not least today marks the passing of nine years since James and I decided to make something out of our friendship and as of now nine years later I can tell you that we are still the best of friends and as an added bonus along the way we have discovered that it is very possible for two men to live together and love each other in a very real, deeply committed and caring fashion not unlike the relationships that are all around us except for the fact that those relationships consist of a man and a woman. It's not that we ever had any doubt but I just wanted to point that out because people say it's not possible and either I'm delusional and/or the past nine years never happened and even though I'm on huge amounts of pain medicine for my neuropathy and I have been known to make a few things up in my head the one thing I do know for sure is that I love James and always have and always will and no one will every be able to tell me otherwise much less take that feeling away from me just because they don't think it's normal. So here's to my husband, Happy anniversary sweetheart! I Love You!

I'm just sayin'...