Sunday, 21 September 2008
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Thursday, 18 September 2008
I've posted about our "Bucko" before. He has beak and feather disease, and we were told he would only live a year. That was over two years ago now. Although Bucko still doesn't have feathers, and his beak often cracks and my daughter and the Machinist have to gag and bind him to file down his splitting beak, he still seems happy with a good outlook on life. Sometimes, he catches one of his claws on the poles and we find blood splattered newspaper at the bottom of his cage. The other day, we let him walk around the workshop, and he once again caught one of his claws which bled like a human head wound. Bucko didn't seem perturbed, though. He continued exploring the concrete floor, while leaving a paisley pattern from his blood stained toe.
Today, at lunch, the Machinist asked "Why does the bird keep on pecking his butt?"
"He's massaging his oil gland, Dad"
"An oil gland in his butt?"
"No, it's the little lump you see just above his butt. It looks like a wart. He uses the oil to prune himself."
Sure enough, Bucko began his bird boudoir right before our eyes. He used his beak to spread oil to his toes. Using his toes, he stroked his head and gangly neck. Lifting the one wing, he seemed to 'nibble' at his armpit. Then the other wing. Finally working his beak down his back, looking like an avian contortionist.
Straightening up, he was still for a moment on the perch (probably allowing his blood pressure to adjust and to 'sit out' the dizzy spell). Suddenly, a couple of full body shakes, a few more prods here and there with his beak and he was done.
His cage stopped rattling. The cats lowered their heads and resumed their nap.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Each day when I wake, I have so many great intentions of getting great things done INCLUDING blogging. Most days, I dont fit everything in, and it is especially frustrating for me NOT to blog, because I... well.... I ..... I like to blog. Some days, I get the opportunity to blog, have so much to say, but can't seem to get it out and on here. Then I start reading about other people's lives and run out of 'awake' time and get frustrated with myself all over again. Perhaps I should read Don Aslett's book. Again. For the umpteenth time:
I suppose many bloggers have this problem, after all - there is nothing new under the sun and tomorrow is another day...
For now, though, it's off to bed, sleepy head. I'll be thinking about the scenes and stories from Gladys Taber's writings - http://www.gladystaber.org/ . Beautiful. Sorry, Don, but I'll get to you later.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
And they must have had this conversation today.
The Machinist and son were up at the Shop, erecting a wall, which will one day surround the commercial kitchen of Metalsmithery Cafe. I was on the sofa, wearing the Machinist's dressing gown (which I bought for him and which he has never worn) watching a makeover: home edition show on tv. It was the second day of feeling out of sorts and my mind was spinning with thoughts on what had to be done. You know how it is - you try and rest and not think about work or washing dishes, or putting another load of laundry on, but pictures of you actually performing these tasks stubbornly remain in the cinema of your mind's eye. Then you feel obliged to re-enact them in 'real life'.
Before I got up from the sofa, the howling began. In the distance, I could hear a loose piece of corrugated iron fence, flapping against a wooden post as it submitted to the wind's fury. It wasn't long before the rain came. I had to fight the temptation of sitting back down again, while pulling the chocolate-brown, fluffy blankie over me.
But.... I knew. I knew I had to go and check the Machine Shop. Our small country town, although situated in the Tablelands, can cope with days and days of rain, but when the rain comes down fast and furious, the stormwater drains overflow very quickly, and being on the lower side of the street next to the creek, the Machine Shop always floods with the surplus. It takes at least two people to sweep the water out of the workshop and into the drain, and they have to do it fast.
I shut the puppies in my office (with the heater on) and started to remove some jobs the Machinist had left near the sliding door. I heard voices. The Machinist and son had returned. Yay! They had suspected the workshop was flooding. I graciously left them to the sweeping and retreated to the office to comfort the puppies who are both scared of thunder. (I just had to console them!).
The rain pelting loudly on the tin roof didn't last long. The sun was trying to shine, too. Suddenly, the silence was broken by the phone ringing.
"Ok, I'll come up now", assured the Machinist and put the phone back in it's cradle.
"I've got to go up to the Grands. Water is bucketing into their kitchen..."
After Grandpa, the Machinist and Son had mopped the kitchen floor, and I had mopped the kitchen benches, I decided to hang around and help the Machinist by passing him the last few screws for the villaboard at the Shop.
"A girl can't even rest on her sickbed", I mused. The Machinist smiled.
"I'm so glad I picked a strong girl like you, Helen...."
One of the many things I love about my children is that they are all able to amuse themselves. Not only do they amuse themselves, but they amuse the Machinist and I, too. A funky walk, a spastic dance, a belly giggle, a foreign (feigned) accent, a lively debate, a passionate argument, - all make for good entertainment.
It came as no surprise, then, when my son came home with this footage. I love how boys (man-cubs) get really creative with scrap items.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Thoughts on a floor plan, decor, vignettes, the Metalsmithery cafe - haunt me. Continuously. Half way through loading the washing into the machine, I start to dream, chasing ideas by looking them up on the computer and getting lost in (even more) research. Eventually pegging out the washing, and passing through the rose arbour, I inspect its design and determine what can be changed for the creation of more, authentic, indoor and outdoor arbours. As I put the stash of commercial crockery through the dishwasher, I imagine each plate with a voluptuous piece of pie, partnered with a dollop of clotted cream. Vacuuming the carpets, I can almost 'taste' the dust which will be created when we use the commercial cement grinder to 'industrialise' the currently tiled gallery floor. Changing the bed sheets, I envision wrought iron beds with plasma-cut head and footboards, dressed with fine linen....
"I need you to type up a quote, Doll", the Machinist interrupts me, "and would you be able to pay the hardware account when you go into town later today?"
Did I plan on going into town today?
To go or not to go. That is the question.
Can you tell I need to let the creative juices flow a little?
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Out of the window, you can just see the back end of the shop area that housed the old cool room. This wall will be rendered in the same material as the cottage. You can also see part of the wooden cool room in the distance, soon to become Grandpa's shed (with a galvanised pitch roof added, as well as some climbing roses).
"Hello, please excuse my desk. It's messy, but I really am an organised person"
Me: "Oh, I know what you mean - I love organising myself"
Banklady: "One wouldn't think by looking at my desk right now that I'm not very organised, but I am"
Me: "Organising gets messy"
Much laughter between us ....
Banklady, absent-mindedly as she checks out our accounts on the computer: "I've had a few divorced or going through divorce customers in today"
Me: "It's easy getting a divorce nowadays. Nobody wants to persevere in their marriage" (That should do it! Did she think I was going through a divorce, too?)
Banklady: "Me, myself - well - I'm a bit of a prude"
Me: "Me too"
Banklady: "Us girls at the bank - we get a bit wild, but only after hours when the doors are locked. We have a good laugh"
Me: "A good laugh-till-you-pee-your-pants?"
Banklady: "Actually, yes. I must tell you what happened to me....."
The Banklady proceeds to tell me of the times that hearty laughter had caused her to pee her pants. I reciprocate with my own stories.
Sad, sad, sad....
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
"Metals? Over to the right, love" and "Domestic waste only? Straight up ahead, take a right at the 'Y' and throw it in the big pit".
Before we moved our engineering business to the home block in the country and the Machinist worked in town, the weekly garbage run was my responsibility. The children and I would load several rubbish bins onto the back of the ute, drive to the tip and head towards the correct area for dumping our waste. Sometimes, we nearly fell into the Big Pit, as we were tipping the bins upside down. (I come out in a rash just thinking about this).
On occasions when the Machinist had the opportunity to do the tip run, he would return with 'salvageable, valuable items'. The Machinist could always see the potential of many products in several departments of the tip, and often had fantasies of what he could make with them. To this day, we have overpacked mezzanine floors in the workshop - a testament of said fantasies.
Nowadays, however, we are not allowed to select products from the tip when dumping "the weeklies". Fees to dump have increased. Although there are Council employees at the gate taking the money, they have no passion. Several departments have been amalgamated, so even if one was allowed to shop, one would have to search high and low through several other items to find (or discover) the product one would want. Oops, I meant need.
This past weekend the Machinist and I took a trip to our local tip. We had a ute and large trailer load full. The Machinist bartered with the guy on the gate.
"You've got a lot there, mate", observed the gatekeeper.
"Yes, but most of it is metal for recycling"
"Okay, let me think what to charge you for ...."
"Fifteen dollars should cover it, yes?"
The gatekeeper was silent for a while, his eyes speedily scanning the contents of our vehicle.
"Ok. Fifteen it is. That'll do."
The Machinist passed me the money to give to the gatekeeper. I couldn't even look at the guy, and merely held out my left hand so that he could take the fee, muttering a weak, hushed 'thank-you'.
The Machinist sure can drive a bargain, but I hate to be around when he does!