Sunday, February 26, 2012

On the nature of happiness.

What makes us happy? The latest Indian-guru inspired movement would have us believe that "happiness makes us happy" and that we have only to laugh and happiness will follow. Something to do with the release of brain chemicals I believe. Well, I am willing to give it a try but there are occasions when the laughter may turn a little hysterical, that said I guess if we dwell on the negative it makes for a very gloomy outlook. Are we born either positive or negative? I believe we are but it is possible to change according to circumstances. What is happiness anyway, is it moments of pleasure dotted through life? Surely we cannot expect to be happy all of the! this is getting deep.
Anyway hang on to those moments of happiness and remember that a smile is your greatest asset, it will surely make you more friends, either that or they will regard you as a smiling idiot!
Despite their fearsome reputation as  killers I have always loved hippos and they do seem to me to be smiling when they open their comical mouths wide. That is what you would call a big grin!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rain rain go away.

Summer has deserted us and La Nina, that wet, cyclic weather phenomenon has us in her thrall. The garden is sullen and prematurely aged, leaves have fallen in anticipation of an autumn which should not happen for a couple of months yet. Closets are musty, shoes sprout gardens of fungus, fruits and vegetables refuse to ripen, all in all a rather dreary season. There may yet be a burst of Indian summer which will give the coup de grace to the plants and cause a stampede to the beaches to refresh pallid people before the winter chill.
At Casa chaos, house guests have departed leaving mountains of laundry to be got dry in between downpours, clothes dryers having been shocked into silence by the receipt of our last electricity account. Even the solar cells on our roof are not enjoying the weather, production is down by at least 25%.
Thus a suitably gloomy etegami, the words are a ditty chanted by children, petulant at not being able to go out to play, I know how they feel.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A sense of wonder.

There are Monarch butterflies in our garden at the moment, frantically fueling up for their migration north for the winter. While not undertaking the epic four generation migration of their North American cousins, these butterflies in Australia  are not compelled by freezing temperatures to overwinter in the tropics, they do however appear to seek the warmer temperatures of Queensland when temperatures drop. Curiously Monarchs were not seen, or rather noted, by Europeans until sightings in Brisbane in the 1870's when it was thought they had been blown here from  Vanuatu during a cyclone (thank you Wikipedia).
Apart from their beauty, the distances they travel, propelled by a heart the size of a dot on the page inspires me to wonder at the world and it's creatures and the amazing variety in it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A heartfelt Valentine.

This one is for the Prof. He is the one who has always taken the responsibility for providing a nest for us and he  has done a great job. I just want to remind him that the love and tolerance he has shown have been the most important things in 'feathering' our nest in our 48 and a half years together. Aaaaw!
BTW, I expect chocolates!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cherry ripe

Cherry Ripe is the name of a well known candy bar here in Oz, rumour has it that it is actually made from cherry flavoured pumpkin, cocoanut and chocolate ! Nevertheless, it tastes good and is probably as bad for you as any chocolate bar. Seeing one the other day made me think of cherries (real ones) and, wandering down the old synapses and ganglia, I stumbled over a favourite quote from a very funny lady Erma Bombeck who had a very quick wit. That led to the following etegami...Phew!, took a while but I got from there to here!
I am enjoying carving stamps at the moment and they suit the type of blank etegami cards I have (no nijimi). I still have not been able to get hold of a waterproof ink stamp pad so rather than paint them I am using coloured pencils. Shungo's lovely bamboo pen that he carved for me works very well on them too.
Don't you love the smug little smiles on those cherries?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sometimes it is hard to remain cheerful, your dog dies, your husband  takes a long business trip leaving all the domestic dross for you to sort out, not to mention the dire state of the world (can't do much about that beyond a token) but some things do cheer me up.
In my 'cabinet of curiosities' I have a tiny wooden skittles set which makes me smile every time I pass by it. My granddaughter found the set at a jumble sale and after heavy negotiating (not to say haggling) she agreed to sell it to me. She has similar tastes to me for the obscure and downright bizarre and it was quite a wrench for her to let it go. However, it's mine now (evil laugh) and I really do enjoy it more so now that I have made this stamped etegami.

The set would only originally have cost a couple of dollars but let me tell you I paid a premium to get my hands on it, that child will go far!
Unaccountable this matter of taste, something I have pondered often, thank goodness we don't all share the same likings, if so perhaps the world price of chocolate would go up, oh wait, it has!
What else can I say, "just keep smiling!"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sticking my neck out.

I am trying to  practice what this card preaches and not get bogged down in day to day worries (also, any excuse to paint a giraffe!)

Life goes on here after the demise of my dear old dog...oh I know I had threatened him harm on days when his demented barking  would not let us rest but I was pleased to see him go so easily. A sudden heart attack and four hours later he was gone. There was a witness to the attack so no foul play can be alleged. He seemed otherwise in good health and spirits right up to the end, I kind of envied him really. He was overly pampered and I vow not to make the same mistake with our remaining dog.
The Prof is in India and apart from a case of Delhi Belly is enjoying his work reviewing scientific programs on the subcontinent. It is about his millionth and one overseas trip of our married life and he has vowed this will be the last! (I have heard this before, but, wave an airline ticket in front of him and all you see is a cloud of dust!) Of course this is sour grapes on my part as traveling is so difficult for me but now we are no longer looking after a disabled dog I am seriously planning a trip to Singapore to see the family, it could happen.