Thursday, July 28, 2011


Chris had a red setter as a best-est friend when he lived in Canberra in days gone past.  I love hearing the stories about Seamus, his wonderful dog companion, and love the enthusiasm that this beautiful red dog had for life.

But one of my most favourite stories is the one about Hide and Seek. 

Chris, who has always worked successfully with dogs, used to wander into the backyard at his home in Canberra, where Seamus would be waiting expectantly for any sort of game or fun to begin.  One of Seamus' favourite games was Hide and Seek. 

Chris would tell Seamus to go and hide, while Chris counted to 10.  Seamus would quickly hide in one of the large shrubs, and then wait excitedly for Chris to find him.  Meanwhile, the whole shrub would be shaking and quivering with the excitement held within Seamus' tail and body, as he secretly hid!  Chris would wander around the garden telling Seamus that he would find him and that he was getting warmer, while the shrub just kept shaking more and more frantically!

Eventually out of just sheer excitement, Seamus would jump out at Chris, almost as if saying: "Here I am, Silly!  Fooled you!  Ha! Ha!"

I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet Seamus.  He sounded like a great pal!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


When I write a post to my blog, it takes some thought sometimes - it isn't always just an 'off the cuff' kind of thing.  If I wanted to write in that vane, I would just post an inane statement to Facebook- doesn't everyone?

Feeling somewhat 'blocked', I asked Chris what I could write about - writing for a journal or a paper is much easier--they give you the topics--

Chris suggested Teddy Bears - my friends.  "Bears?  That's a bit lame", I replied.  But then I remembered.  ....

I have been very fortunate in my adult life that people around me have embraced my love for Teddy Bears as much as I have.  I have so many of them and so many memories because of them.  When I pick one up, it's just not picking up a stuffed bear, it is like embracing a memory, a moment, a time when that bear really meant something to someone, and something to me.  It is for that reason that I am going to tell you the story of my Unforgettable Bear.....

When Chris and I got married, it was after a very sad and emotional time in my life.  My first husband and father of my three daughters had recently died from cancer, and then six months later my 19 year old daughter died tragically in a car accident.  Not a good time.  But Chris was there.  He knew what I was going through, and experienced each moment of grief with me.  We were such good friends, and shared a rare humour together.

Then, one day, we realised that it was OK to be acknowledging this friendship, and to realise it for what it was - Love!  To cut a long story short, we married, in a wonderful ceremony, surrounded by friends and family, and laughter and music.  Our theme song for this partnership (and still is) - 'Unforgettable' by Nat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie Cole.  It played at our wedding and was the song that played during our wedding waltz. 

Well, this year, on Mother's Day, as I woke up in the morning, I noticed that Chris had disappeared, and as my 2 daughters were no longer in my home, but living their own life, I sort of layed there and felt a bit sad and sorry for myself.  I remembered the burnt toast mornings of breakfast in bed, with a tray of spilt juice, and cold toast and mutterings, as it arrived proudly to my bed each year.  This year was just quiet.

Then, Chris opened the bedroom door with a tray of food, and a present.  I sat up on propped pillows, and surveyed my surprise bounty, and gave him a very good appreciative look and kiss.  As I was enjoying my rare breakfast in bed, Chris urged me to unwrap my present.  (We are like peas in a pod--we almost enjoy more the act of giving a present to someone more than anything else! )  He was beside himself!

I took the ribbon and paper from the the wrapped  bulky parcel, to discover a brown Teddy Bear, holding a mobile phone, and wearing a red t-shirt with the embroidered message: "You're so Unforgettable" emblazoned on his chest.  I looked at it's cute face, and couldn't help but smile, feeling that even though at the moment I was feeling like a lost and forgotten Mother, at least Chris and this crazy t-shirt wearing bear loved me.  Then I touched a button on his hand and he sang to me, in his own teddy bear voice, how 'unforgettable' I was.  I think I ate breakfast, it's hard to remember if it was soggy or not.  There were tears of love, and happiness, and knowing that no matter what --to someone I am 'Unforgettable'.

(Post note:  Maddie sent a wonderful Mother's Day present to me, which arrived a couple of days later, and was sent with much love - so I was double blessed!)

Anyway, this is a clip of our theme song:  Enjoy!  -

Saturday, July 16, 2011

There's no place like home....

We have  FINALLY done it. We have finished our renovation work on this multi-level house, and have listed it on the market.  It has been a journey...

This was the house of my dreams back in 1987, when we first saw it, and evenually bought it.  We have raised 3 daughters in this house, and have had some wonderful memories. Many actually.   We have also had some sad ones.  All of those stories may make it into a story of their own one day, but for now, this is the story of this house.

When it was first purchased it sat alone, on the top of a hill, with only 3 palm trees, and 5 pencil pine trees to keep it company.  But, I could see its future, and what a life that foreseeable future has engrained on this place - it has been amazing.

This house has a spirit of its own, and responds to love.  I am sure of it.

As we have been renovating, and renewing her, this house has stood and preened and glistened, with every coat of paint that was applied, or every rebuild in one of her rooms.  She has sparkled, and loved the attention, and now stands very proudly, completely aware of how much younger and better she looks.  Sort of like an actress getting a faceflift, as the new acting roles come rolling in.  This house is very much in the same category.  She treats herself very well, and expects everyone around her to show her the same respect.
It's been fun to watch.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weather or not

It has been a difficult time here lately. I'm blaming the weather!  It just cannot make up its mind.  I mean, one day it is perfectly lovely, so I search for my T-shirts and summer type gear, then whammo--that night it is freezing cold (at least to me!).  Chris doesn't feel the cold, but to humour me he puts up with the heaters and the sight of me dozing by the fire.

This is why I have been 'off-air'. 

It is so cold down here in our family room at night, that I can only sit for a few moments to check emails and see what is happening in the world.  (I have found another heater though, so that is now a relief!)

Anyway, life has gone on, and we have had some big issues to deal with.  I'll tell you about them in later posts. Now I'm just dealing with a runny nose, and the need to sneeze. 

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Kanga family

Kangaroo and Joey, Bellarine Peninsula, Barwon Heads, AustraliaI drove my little blue convertible into town the other day to do some errands, and on my return, as I was coming up our 1/2 kilometre long driveway, I met my kangaroo family again. I absolutely love them.  They would be about 4th generation by now, and the Mumma 'Roo has a Joey in her pouch.

I was slowly driving up the driveway when I noticed her first.  (They know that I will stop for them to cross the driveway, but they also know that accidents may happen and others may not drive slowly, or even stop).
Anyway, I stopped.  I watched Mumma jump across the track before me, which had just been jumped by two other members of her family. Over the years I have provided water for them in the hot dry months, and left out scraps of 'Roo friendly' tidbits, during the dry periods, and as a result we live in tolerance and on my part,  admiration for their beauty.

I have been lucky enough to experience these Roos and their family members come and go over the years, and have been privileged to see their generational families growing and living here.  At times it has been as sad for us, as for them, to see a family member hit by a truck in the early morning hours as it sped down the highway, and I have always sent up a quiet prayer for their tired and mutilated body.

I think I will miss them a lot when we move.  They have surprised me so much over the years, and have shown a quiet respect for our space, as we have for theirs. 
Grey Kangaroo, Australia