Category Archives: Australia

Cosy Coffee Corner

So, after years of my verandah being a junk collection of assorted pots with a variety of plants in various stages of life and death (can you tell I’m not very good at gardening?), I decided to tidy up and create a cosy coffee corner for myself. 

The lucky find of a round glass-topped table for just $10 at a thrift store was my incentive to change things around.

First, I cleared the verandah of everything, so I’d have a clean slate to play with. Then, I put the glass-topped round table in one corner and rearranged some potted plants around it and on top of it, til it pleased the eye.

It was good, but it lacked something.

So I went and Manifested some garden chairs to go with it, to create a cosy corner where I could sit and read or relax or play chess with my son Jack.

When I say I Manifested some garden chairs, I mean I simply thought about getting some garden chairs, envisioned a couple of them around the glass-topped round table, and kept thinking about that vision every day, whenever I was out and about driving from one dog visit to another.

Et voila! A few days later, I decided out of the blue to return some library books. As I was driving down the road, what did I see but 3 garden chairs stacked up on someone’s verge for anyone to take. 

The Council designates dates every year for different neighbourhoods to throw out their junk for what they call “verge collection”. Once stuff hits the grassy verges outside homes, if you see it and you want it, you better be quickest to it! Some people drive their cars with trailers behind them, scouring every road in the neighbourhood for salvageable junk, which they’ll clean up, repair or give a fresh lick of paint, and then try and sell on Gumtree (Australia’s version of Craigslist) or at car boot sales.

I made a note to check out the garden chairs on my way back from the library. If they were still there, and they had indeed been thrown out, and if they weren’t too shabby or broken, I’d take them. If they fit in my car, that is.

And Thank You, Universe! Yes, they were still there on my way back! I pulled over and had a quick look at my finds. One of the chairs had really rusted front and back legs, but the other 2 were fine. They were the plastic fake-wicker type of 1960s chairs, almost black in colour. 

Into the car they went, in a jiffy. 

Perfect! The chair with the wonky legs went to the side of our pool area, but the other 2 were exactly perfect for my corner. 

But…now I need some cushions to go with them.

Manifest, manifest, manifest! On my next drive, I told myself that the perfect cushions for my 2 chairs would be at the first thrift store I went to. I visualised a botanical theme to the cushions, maybe flowers or butterflies, some greens and reds. They’d be in the section where cushions were displayed, and they’d be ridiculously cheap.

And there they were. They were even sitting next to each other. 2 fat cushions for the back of the chairs, and 2 flatter ones for the seats. The 2 fat ones had butterflies, a ladybird and the letter “B” on one, and birds, leaves and writing on the other. The 2 flat ones were a plain dark green.

Perfect again! Thank You, Universe!

I’ll need to rinse off the dirt from my verandah again, as I did some more rearranging of my flower pots and troughs to fit the table and chairs in the corner. So, please excuse the dirt on the floor…but I now present to you my new Cosy Coffee Corner.

Total cost: AU $18

Table $10

Chairs FREE

Cushions $8 ($2 each)

Now I just have to Manifest a power pressure washer to wash away the dirt from the verandah 😄!

Leaves : Autumn & Winter

Here in Western Australia it never gets cold enough to snow. Well, we Might get frost and hail, but very, very rarely do we get any real snow. I think it might have snowed somewhere in Western Australia a couple of years ago…but maybe it was just heavy frost, or a smattering of real snow. Certainly not enough to be making snowmen or having snowfights. 

Anyway, I sometimes wish the winters here would be cold enough for it to really snow. That would be so magical. But instead, all we get are maybe some cold temperatures under Zero degrees at night, followed by days in the mid-teens. Never so cold that you need to wrap up in 3 or 4 layers. You don’t even need to wear gloves. Thermal underwear, what’s that? Just throw on a scarf and off we go!

I found these lovely photos of autumnal and winter leaves on Pinterest. Just sharing them with you here. Readers in the Northern Hemisphere are probably rejoicing to see the back end of Winter now, but here in the Land Down Under we’re meant to be at the start of Autumn. 

Hah! Tell that to the weather, which still insists on giving us daily temperatures in the 30s. Hot, muggy days without a breeze…NOT my favourite thing really. 

But, back to these leaves. So cool.

“Kate Bush”

You may have read in a previous post about my 2 Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) trees that I named Carol and Daryl, after characters in the series The Walking Dead. Carol and Daryl were repotted in plastic barrels and then left on the floor by the TV in the living room, while I figured out where to site them on a more permanent basis.

Well, I was in Big W in Kwinana, after petsitting a dog, and came across a whole bunch of Fiddle Leaf Fig trees for sale. They were somewhat larger than Carol and Daryl, and by the look of their leaves and trunk, I surmised that they were the “bush” type, as opposed to the “trunk” type, which grow taller and have their leaves bunched towards the top.

So I came home with a new addition to our family. I wanted to get the same barrel pots that Carol and Daryl were in, but sadly Bunnings had sold out of them.

Seeing as the “bush” type of Fiddle Leaf Fig only grows to about 3-4 feet high, compared to the “trunked” type which can reach 7-8 feet high, I decided to get my new plant a nice big pot that could be her permanent home, no more repotting after this.

As for a name, I figured because she’s a “bush”, why not Kate, as in Kate Bush? 😉

All 3 have now pride of place by the big picture window in my living room. You can see in the photo how Kate Bush (in the middle) is bigger and bushier than Carol and Daryl.

Kate Bush

Carol

Daryl

Butterfly

I came across this beautiful Monarch butterfly today at my local Bunnings hardware store. At first I thought it was an artificial butterfly, a fabric prop used to attract the eye towards the display of flowers. But upon closer inspection, I saw that it was real. 

What a beauty! 

And it wasn’t alone either, in appreciating the sweet allure of the pink flowers. Swarming about were several bees. Here’s one:

So good to see that at Bunnings at least, Mother Nature is well and flourishing. 

Not

I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to the poems of Erin Hanson, a young and very talented Australian poet. Whenever I come across one of her poems (she signs off as “e.h” or The Poetic Underground), I always save it to my Pinterest board. 

Today I’d like to share one of Erin’s poems with you all.

We seem to forget so easily that what we do is not who we are. Neither are we what Society declares us to be. We get stuck in a rut because people, or circumstances put us there, and we foolishly believe that this is our lot for the rest of our lives. And, like fools, we act out the scenario and in our minds, it becomes real. 

Our friends and relatives are careful to play along, to cement the thought in our mind that this is it, this is how it is and how it will always be. For they too, slumber under the same dreamscape. 

But the truth is, it’s all a game, a shadow play, a charade. It’s not real. We All have the ability to change our future, to change our lives, simply by changing our thoughts. By aligning our thoughts with what we want, rather than with what we Don’t want, we CAN change our destiny. After all, aren’t we the Captain of our own Ship? 


My New Friend

This friendly and curious magpie was sitting minding its own business when I came along and decided to try and make friends with it.

Notice how there appears to be the silhouette of a blackbird on the white patch on the magpie’s back? How cool is that! 

The white and black birds you can just about make out in photo no.7 are a small flock of pelicans. Yes, we’re exotic like that 😄.

This nature reserve is called Lake Richmond, and it’s just a couple of miles from where I live. The reason you don’t see water sports and crowds of people on and around it is because it’s a protected wildlife area, and restricted to pedestrians on foot only. Dogs must be walked on leash. It’s a haven for all kinds of flora and fauna. There’s even a lookout from where you can see the whole lake, and the houses close to it. Less than a mile out from this unique freshwater lake is the Indian Ocean.

The following 2 images are from Google Images:

Apparently there’s a colony of thrombolites somewhere along Lake Richmond. I have only just read about that here so when I do find them on my next visit I’ll be sure to write about it. Here’s what the Department of the Environment says about the Lake Richmond thrombolites: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/conservation-advices/thrombolite-microbial

Carol and Daryl in Barrels 😄

After blogging about Fiddle Leaf Figs in my previous post, I decided that I just Had to get one for my living room. They’re trending right now, appearing in many homes & interiors magazines and on television, so how hard can it be to get one, right?

Whoa…look at the way-out prices some of these babies are commanding online! $300 for a potted houseplant? Are you kidding me? 

I also found out that there are actually 2 variations of the same plant. One’s bushy and smaller, resembling a kale plant gone mad. The other type has a trunk with its leaves gathered towards the top. The former only grows up to 3 feet high. The latter can reach 7-8 feet high and is sometimes referred to as the Fiddle Leaf Fig “Tree”, as opposed to the smaller “Bush”. It’s the Tree that I’m after.

I rang 2 Bunnings Warehouse DIY & Garden Stores near me, and just as I was about to give up hanging on the line, a very nice lady named Patsy came on and said she had 2 Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, happy days!! So I asked Patsy to place them on hold for me, and said I’d pick them up within the next 2 hours.

And they were only $14.10 each, as they’re still babies with a lot of growing up to do. Yay for affordable houseplants!

I bought 2 plastic barrel flower pots and trays for my 2 newest babies. And back home, as I repotted them, the crazy thought came to me that as they were in barrels and there were 2 of them, why not name them after 2 of my favourite characters from The Walking Dead i.e Carol and Daryl ?

So here they are, Carol and Daryl, in barrels. Daryl’s the bigger of the two.

Out on the verandah, right after repotting and getting a good drink of water:

Inside the house:

Room by Room…

I have yet to move into my new rental, but I’ve already started daydreaming about how I’ll furnish it, room by room. 

It’s going to be fantabulous, I know it! My Pinterest boards are burgeoning with pinned interior decoration ideas. Oooh, the possibilities! And, the best thing is, if you’re cash-strapped like me, it doesn’t have to cost the earth to create these looks. All you need is your Imagination…and a sprinkle of Fairy Dust.

I have this gorgeous turquoise colour on a wall in my current home, and I’d love if the owner of my rental gave permission for me to paint the walls any colour I like. Right now, everything in that house is white, except for the jarrah floorboards, which are a deep reddish brown.

Again, with the turquoise wall…and now add a dash of blue velvet. I’d love to have this chaise longue, but I’ve never seen its type here in Australia.

Of course, one must have a cosy corner to curl up in and read a book, or watch the world go by. Not sure about curious passersby looking in, though…the front garden is open to traffic.

Still, the idea has a certain cottagey charm about it. I love the fairy lights idea.

And during the day, with crystals like these hanging where the sunlight streams in, there’ll be rainbows dancing on my walls. What’s not to like?

I think I might even decorate the trees in the backyard like this!

The backyard is fully enclosed, and dark as there’s no lamp post on the street outside. Hanging some solar-powered fairy light strings will give the garden a magical feel at night. A bit like fireflies.

Get a shallow circular planter like the one in the foreground. Fill it with pebbles at the bottom, compost, sand and fine gravel, then plant succulents in it. Makes a spectacular, easy to care for display. Succulents are about the only plants I’ve ever been successful with.

The kitchen is ultra-modern and ultra-white. So I’ll inject some colour using green houseplants. And maybe a dash of colour by way of vibrant Mediterranean/Moroccan-inspired crockery.

This verandah is very similar to the one at my new home. It even has the grapevines growing in the same corner! Some potted plants with lush green leaves, and a splash of galvanised metal ought to do it.

My bedroom will be simple, with a riot of jewel colours by way of Kantha bedlinen and cushions. 

I’d love to have these iridescent rainbow aura mosaic tiles in my shower, SIGH…maybe in my next home? 

(Update: Well, I might NOT be moving into the rental after all…due to unforeseen circumstances and the extremely fickle nature of Australian mining employers. The Ex had a 3 week shutdown job up north, which would’ve paid for the rental bond and deposit. But he was back after only 4 days, because the employer decided to cut numbers by 10. SIGH…it always seems to be 2 steps forward, 3 steps back in this country. So, we are going to do our darndest to hang on to our current home instead. It’ll be a real struggle to get on top of the mortgage arrears and to keep the wolves at bay, but I know if we work together, it Can be done. Maybe THIS was the lesson, after all).

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

I’ve been admiring the poems of young talent Erin Hanson, who writes as “e.h” aka “The Poetic Underground”. And I came across this one, which resonates strongly with me and is also a very relevant lesson that everyone should heed.

Remember, the next time you come across one of those New Age, Bohemian, Free Spirit, Rebel, Renegade types: not all who wander are lost. Maybe, just maybe, these folks have found themselves, and are enjoying and appreciating everything The Universe has to offer. And instead of looking at them with pity or scorn, try looking at them with fresh eyes.

(Image source: Google Images)

The Specifics of Manifesting

Be careful how you word your Intentions and Wishes. I’ve learnt that you have to be Very Specific with what you ask The Universe for.

For the last 2 months, I’ve been Manifesting Mazda cars in Soul Red. Now they seem to appear everywhere I go, in various guises – in the flesh, in magazines, in ads on Facebook even. I’m still working on trying to manifest Ownership and Possession of a Mazda in Soul Red. I’m not going to stop until I get the ownership papers and car keys in my grubby little hands 😄.

I also fell in love with a dinky little house for sale close to my current home. Over the past 2 years, the Ex has let the Home Loan slide so much that the bank now wants to repossess it from him. I say him because although technically, as his wife, I am entitled to half the property. But on paper, he is the sole owner as I’m not named on the Home Loan or Title Deeds. We’ve been really struggling to service the loan and all the bills etc since the economic downturn. We’ve been living hand to mouth, with small mercies and little lucky strikes here and there.

Anyway, 3 Hydra Close was for sale, and I brought along my son Jack and my dear neighbour and close friend Diane, to view it. It was love at first sight. It was perfect for us, it even had a swimming pool for my dog Shelagh. 

Fast forward a month later. There was another viewing, and this time I decided to bring the Ex along. He’d been telling me about his Filipina girlfriend wanting to come over to Australia to live with him. So I suggested the Ex rent a place for me and Jack to move out to, so he could then do whatever he liked with our current home – sell it, or pay the arrears and live there with his girlfriend. 

I reckon I must’ve confused The Universe. I’d been telling It that I wanted Ownership and Possession of 3 Hydra Close, but my mind was also thinking “How can I get it, I’m only employed casually and haven’t got 2 pennies to rub together. Maybe I could rent it instead?” When I asked the owner of the property if he would consider renting it to me if he hadn’t sold it by March, he said Yes! So I then tried Manifesting a Rental of 3 Hydra Close.

But, as Life would have it, when my Ex and I went to view the property last weekend, there was a lot of interest in it from the other people visiting it. I emailed the owner again asking if he’d consider renting the house to us now…

And was told he’d received 2 offers from the last viewing. Hurrah for him. Not so hurrah for me.

But, as Luck would have it, 2 days after that fateful viewing, I happened to see a home viewing listed for the house next door, at 1 Hydra Close.

Well, it’s got a new kitchen and bathroom, and all the paintwork is fresh and white…but the garden is not a patch on the house next door. And it hasn’t got a swimming pool. But it has a huge workshop/shed where we can put all our junk. And it’s enclosed, so the dogs will be safe. 

So we put our names forward to rent it. Ideally, I’d have liked to rent it in my own name…but beggars can’t be choosers at this present moment in time. So it’ll be the both of us renting it as housemates, until my financial circumstances improve and I can take over the lease from the Ex. By that time hopefully he’ll have a better idea what his future with his lady paramour will be like, and he can move on from the rental.

So, although I didn’t Manifest Ownership and Possession of 3 Hydra Close, The Universe did hear my plea and has granted me 1 Hydra Close as a Rental instead. 

I can’t wait to start packing up and moving in, in 3 weeks’ time. I feel like my Life is starting to Move again.

Thank You, Universe! Now please Manifest my Lottery Win of AU$10 million dollars tonight, thanks so much! 😄