Monday, 27 January 2014

So true

A quick post today, as I'm about to unload the kiln and then reload it with more glazed pieces for next Saturday's markets.

I found this quote last week and wanted to post it here:

And so, for those who do buy handmade...

thank you

Friday, 17 January 2014

Too Darn Hot

This song, written by Cole Porter for his musical Kiss Me, Kate is on high rotation in my head, but not leaving my lips - it’s even too darn hot to sing out loud.

Here in Victoria, we're entering the fourth day of a heatwave. Yesterday and today again will be 44°C (111.2°F).
Residents in rural areas, bushland suburbs and firefighters are very nervous. Everyone is on high alert.
Erratic wind changes and predicted thunderstorms present threat of lightening strikes, which can create their own problems with spot fires or downed powerlines.

And, I won’t even begin on the subject of fire starters. There aren’t enough words (mostly expletives) to describe how I feel about these low-lifes.

As I look outside, and see the tall towering gums surrounding our home bend as their volatile oil-filled canopies sway, showering the house with discarded tinder dry leaves, I hold my breath.

I always worry about the creatures of the bush. Large to small. They all have their place in this world, and fire is fatal.

They adapt to the heat, I know, but I like to ensure that I keep the bird baths topped up with cool water for the birds (insects and possums too) when they visit, to refresh and stay a short while before they seek shade.
Their beaks open to pant, and wings part from their bodies to allow air flow to their skin, and I wish them well as they fly off.

Jack finds a nice cool spot on the kitchen tiles and doesn't budge, except to drink from his (ice cubed) water bowl, and a quick dash outside for a wee.
At night, the portable fan (no air con) is positioned so he also benefits from what air - these nights, warm air - comes our way.
Our fur kids, especially those with thick coats, suffer so in these hot conditions.
I despair when I hear reports that distressed, heatstruck dogs have been found left in cars in high summer - again, another subject I'll keep away from right now, as it makes my blood boil.

My studio is located on the north side of our home. The heat radiating through the walls during the day turns it into a Swedish dry sauna. Ugh.
And I have to be in there (avoiding it at the moment) to create and prepare for markets on Feb 1st.

And so, I've been grumpy the past few days.

But, this morning, I found myself ashamed at my grumpiness and whinging about the heat and lack of sleep.
This heatwave will pass. And, a cooler change will be here in a day or so. Relief.

As much as I'm SO not a summer girl, and dislike the heat, I remind myself it is summer after all. It is as necessary as the slumbering cold of winter.

The wheel of life. Seasonal cycles that are a part of this unique, beautiful planet.
I just dislike the potential devastation from the extremes.

I find myself thinking of the people of Adelaide. With sweltering temperatures soaring to 46°C (114.8°F) as they enter their sixth day of Hades heat.
Now officially declared the, “hottest major city on the planet today”.
I worry about the city’s elderly, ill and infirm, hoping and praying that they get through without the health dangers that high heat can bring.

My heart goes out to the people and animals (domestic and wild) that suffered as fires recently raged through the hills of Perth, our previous home city on the other side of the country.

Over 100 bushfires are burning across the east coast in these extreme conditions.

Here in Victoria, 11,000 hectares currently rage out of control in the Grampians – rugged mountain ranges of jaw dropping splendour.

I wish for the safety and protection of our firefighters. Brave souls who face danger as they strive tirelessly around the clock to dampen and contain the hungry flames that leap up to 100 feet in the air and raze the landscape, consuming all in their path.

I mourn the loss of wildlife. And it hurts to think of the panic and pain they experience. Baby birds and animals are just venturing forth and experiencing the world around them. Oh, the tears.
Wildlife workers have been inundated with animals and birds suffering from injuries and heat stress.

Many of you will remember this photo of sweet “Sam” the koala, found amid the charred and smoking forest, once her home. Rescued by the kindhearted Victorian fire fighter after the Black Saturday fires.

The image melted hearts around the world.
She was one of the fortunate few.

This vast country of extraordinary, unique, diverse beauty is suffering under a cruel weather pattern. As it always has. Some summers are worse than others. Nature’s gifts, and her burdens.

So, my personal complaints are truly minor.

I am grateful that I can take a shower when I can’t bear my own armpits any longer.
And I can fill my tall glass of water with frosty ice cubes to keep hydrated and cool.
Pot plants can be watered and kept alive.
I can get through these languid days, knowing it’s not forever.

Only, as I look out my window, I close my eyes and ask the Universe to please, keep our forest valley and all the creatures I’ve come to know that dwell here, safe.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Dog Days

I love calendars. There are always more than one in our house.
I have one by the computer, which serves to remind me when market and other associated fees are due, and supplies need to be bought, seeing as I pay online.

One in my studio, always art related, where I make little notes on what I create, what I need to prepare for, and which days I will be either bisque or glaze firing.

And, one main calendar in the kitchen, on the pantry door. This is the household day keeper. Where birthdays, appointments, events and general reminders are written.

Ever since Jack came into our lives, we've had a "Blue Heelers" version every year - it's now a tradition. Any other calendar just wouldn't be right somehow :)

I try to avoid the big shopping centres before Christmas (shudder), and after the New Year sales craze has died down, I'll venture in and find the sole remaining calendar vendor, usually near the food court.
By then, the calendars are up to 50% off. And there are always plenty of dog/cat/animals still available.
The calendars we buy usually have short quotes at the bottom of the month - lovely odes from man to dog.

This year, I thought it might be nice to include them here on my blog.

When I turn the page on the first of each month, I'd like to post the quote as well.
I'm sorry to be so dog-centric, and perhaps it might be nice if I also found some quotes to add in from time to time, on beautiful cats and other dear animals. Goats too, I love goats. But not too sure how many quotes there are on goats. I should look that up... goat quotes :D

And so, here is January's quote:

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
~Anatole France

This one speaks for all animals, not just dogs. And I so agree, don't you?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Should auld (and new) acquaintance be forgot

As twilight descended on the last ever evening of 2013, I grew pensive.

My thoughts turned to my beautiful far away friends on the other side of this wide brown land. How much they are so like sisters to me in every sense.
And, I poured a drink.
Now, I would’ve liked a drop of Drambuie, or even better, an aged Scotch whisky - which seemed fitting on the eve of a new year - but, as this was my second choice, my tipple was Kahlua. On the rocks. 

My gorgeous friends, I cherish our many memories, and miss you each and every day. With tears in my eyes, I sing to you,

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago.

May the bonds of love and sister-ship stay strong and never be broken, as time erodes the years.
Til we meet again

And, to my new, lovely friends here in blogland, I wish you all…

laughter and joy,
comfort and contentment,
good health in abundance, 
personal fulfillment and prosperity, 
kind words and gentle hugs to soothe the tears that may dampen your cheek, 
great company when you seek it, quiet solitude when you need it,
precious time to follow your dreams, and may your inspirational muse be always by your side.

May your struggles be minor, and successes be great.
May you be blessed with a richness in mind, body and spirit to rival all the kingdoms of gold.
And, may inner peace and balance calm you at times when the world around seems in turmoil.

Keep your family and friends close, and hug your furkids a lot!

I raise my glass and toast to friends, old and new ~ you're welcome at my table, anytime.