Australia · blessings · books · family · freedom · memories · Mount Warning · rain · reading · spring · sunset · Tweed Valley

Monday Musings

5:45am in the valley.

There were storms about last night – plural. Thunder with no rain during the afternoon, which subsided. A rain storm between around 6pm to 8pm, which also ended. Then overnight, another storm. Bowie cat, I discovered, is scared of storms and slept all night cuddled close to me.

I didn’t know what to expect in the valley this morning, but I woke to a very pretty misty fairyland scene, even if Mount Warning was hidden behind mist and clouds.

Each day since uni ended I catch up on a neglected chore, yesterday I pressure-cleaned the front veranda and part of the driveway; today I spent ironing.

Ironing is a pretty brainless task, and as anyone old-fashioned – like me – knows, whilst ironing and alone, your mind wanders off in all directions.

Today, I contemplated the risk I took in deciding to take photos and add a post to my blog every day, while I studied. It was a risk because I wasn’t completely sure I’d have time to post something every day, but I did. (Except for that one night when my sister called, and we stayed on the phone until after midnight. That was worth missing a day of posting.)

I decided to take that risk and make the committment, another committment – but an enjoyable one – which would distract me from the tunnel-vision I am prone to while studying and writing assignments. As much as I enjoy the study and writing, it drains me. I needed a distraction.

My conclusion at the end of the three month semester is that it paid off. Forcing myself to take time out each day to walk outside and take photos gave me something else to think about. It was a very worthwhile distraction. And even more rewarding has been my reconnection with blogging friends, most of whom I have known now for many years. The risk was worth the effort in many ways.

I’m not much of a risk taker though, which led to another thought. I feel content right now, I’m getting my home and garden back in order, and I am looking forward to Christmas. Through into next year, and when semester 1 of uni starts back, I will continue blogging. Decision made. But I also know I want to hold on to my peace of mind.

Here in Australia, there is a state election on Saturday. It’s not for my state, but the outcome will directly affect us as we live so close to the border. And next week, there’s the big election in the U.S., the outcome of which will have an impact on Australia. I’ve decided though, that this week, I will not listen to any news. Regardless of my opinions, the outcome of both elections will be whatever they will be, so I will save myself the agony of speculating on “what might be”. When the outcome of both elections are known, regardless of which party wins and which one loses, the world will keep on spinning.

Another thought I had was about the year – 2020 – which the multitudes seem to consider is the worst year ever. I understand why many people feel that way, but I don’t. Last year was more difficult when my husband and I had to organise aged care for his parents then sell the home they had lived in for twenty years. In 2015 my first grandchild, baby Samuel, was born, but never took a breath. The next year, baby Braxton, now aged four, was born, but we wouldn’t have Braxton if Samuel had survived. 2002 was an incredibly trying year when my husband had a serious accident and could have lost his life. He survived. I thought my world would end when my mother left me in 1993. The world kept spinning though, and her absence gave me the opportunity for the next five years to develop a closer relationship with my Dad.

My point is, life goes on. I thought a lot about that today, whilst ironing. I can’t control the world, my country, my state of residence, my town – I have no control over the actions of anyone other than myself, and it is my responsibility to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Making that decision feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I think also that if I stay away from watching television this week, I will get a lot more reading done. 🙂

Husband and I have been planning a renovation of my kitchen, so tonight he called me into the kitchen to discuss the height my new rangehood should be installed at. The discussion had to wait though. I looked out the window, and after all the rain, and storms, and mist we have had, look at the sunset sky! ❤

Australia · blessings · bushfires · colours · gardening · memories · Mount Warning · native Australian birds · photography · rain · remembering · spring · sugar cane · Tweed Valley

Rain today … and concern over fires in the USA.

During the past week I’ve heard a few squabbles among the kookaburras and this morning they were fighting for top position on the clothesline! They are such funny characters and as you can see, this kookie is acting quite indignant over being challenged to his top spot!

The rain we have had during the last week has brought the brilliant greens out in the cane fields, so I just had to show you all how luscious the sugar cane is looking just now.

I have been working on a uni assignment today again, but during the afternoon husband asked if I could give him a hand with a few things in the back garden. He didn’t need to twist my arm! So after I had finished writing I grabbed my camera and joined him. He was pruning the tropical pear tree in the orchard, which is right down the bottom of the garden near the rear boundary, so I took a photo of the uninterrupted view of the valley from there.

While I helped with the pruning, I left my camera in the fork of the mango tree, wrapped in a flannelette shirt as there were a few spots of rain about. I had to grab my camera again though to take a photo of this little cutie, perched on the corner fence post, eyeing off the ground for sight of his dinner. (The fence is due to be replaced soon!)

The rain became a tad heavier just as the battery in the chainsaw died, so I headed to the shelter of the bar-be-que area to wait for the shower to pass. It was quite late in the day by that time, but I still managed to catch a photo of the raindrops hitting the pool water in the dimming light.

Over the past few days, my blogging friend, Carol, has been on my mind a lot. She lives in Oregon, near where the horrendous fires in the USA are, and she has been on constant evacuation alert. Carol spoke of the red orb of sun, and I knew what she meant as the sun took on that almost glowing, eerily red appearance during the latter months of last year and early this year in New South Wales, where I live. At that time I wasn’t blogging regularly, so I thought I’d post some photos that I took around that time today.

We lived with this strange yellow sky for about two months during November and December last year. The fires blazed across all of eastern Australia, but by some strange stroke of luck, our area remained safe, even though fires surrounded us for weeks.

This is the sun, taken on the 10th November, 2019. I remember the first day I noticed the change in the appearance of the sun. I was driving home, and I wondered why the moon was so bright, and so big, and in the western sky during the afternoon. It took me a few minutes to realise that it was actually the sun. It sure didn’t look like the sun!

Mount Warning looked hazy, and the sky yellow for weeks. Weeks went by without seeing any blue sky and the sun eventually turned into a glowing red orb. Everything looked so scarily unnatural and surreal.

Looking back on these photos now, they are so unreal that they seem as if they were Photo-shopped! Unfortunately, they are genuine. This is just how the sun looked in December last year.

I am posting these photos today as I don’t image – well, I hope and pray – that we will not have another summer the same as last summer. It was unsettling, to say the least. Complete towns were burned to the ground. During the year though, we have heard that fire trails have been cleared. We have also heard that many Aboriginal people, who understand the benefits of controlled burning to rejuvenate the bush and to prevent bush fires from burning out of control are now being listened to. I don’t know why it took a catastrophic event for the authorities to listen, but at least they are listening now. Also in our favor, we have had rain, after living through drought for most of last year. Also, more rain is predicted.

As for Carol in Oregon, I wish her well, and hope the fires surrounding her are soon under control. Carol can be found at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind. ❤