Monday, March 30, 2009


And I fell in love with this pendant by Carrera Y Carrera. I mean who wouldn't? It's made from a combination of quartz and diamonds set in 18k white gold. The larger butterfly connects the pendant to the chain, followed by a round diamond in a pave setting which is followed by another smaller diamond encrusted butterfly, then another round diamond and finally the briolette shaped quartz attached to an engraved white gold dome.

Apart from the fact that I love butterflies and briolette shapes, this is just more bit of bling to add to the ever-growing wish list.Perhaps I could move the Prasiolite drop from the last post and pop it on this necklace just to make it more luscious and I'd make this briolette into an enhancer for my pearls. Just thinking.


But I found this and I had to share.

It's Prasiolite, a form of green quartz (silicon dioxide SiO2) also know as vermarine but not green amethyst or greened amethyst considered misnomers by gemologists. It is usually produced artificially by heat-treating amethyst to over 900 degrees F. but natural deposits have been found. Since 1950, almost all natural prasiolite has come from a small Brazilian mine, Arizona and some from Poland. Recently quartz has appeared on the market that has been turned green by irradiation.

It has a Refractive Index of 1.55 and Specific Gravity of 2.65 with harness of 7 on the Moh's Scale, making it a durable stone for jewellery.
Intensity of colour and fine clarity are the most important aspects when buying a cut gem. The colour variations go from a pale yellow-green to a deeper, more lustrous green.

And this is going on my wish list along with the three or four hundred other gems I'd like.

Not yellow, not too dark a green and looks as though it was dropped into a clear pool of ice water.

The Mystic Lore:
Intuitive sources say that Prasiolite helps to link the physical and spiritual aspects of life, activating the heart as one's centre of conscious. It is said to strengthen one's mind, emotions and will, and to attract prosperity.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


And Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were great days for insanity central.

And No matter how I feel, I can deal with 3 kinds of crisis before 9 o'clock.

And I am crook.

And I'm sure the anti-biotics are laced with LSD.

And if I was a writer I could turn those wild dreams into a great screenplay.

And if you buy a raffle ticket, pray for lst prize so you and run away from home. $6,000 will take me a loooong way.

And if Ma says the stray dog in her house was the size of a small horse and you know it was a black staffie, don't bother telling her it's not true. She'll deny ever saying it.

And if Ma says the Meals on Wheels are giving her the same meals every single day from now on because they said so, don't tell her it's not true. She'll deny ever saying it.

And if Ma says the housekeeper is being taken away from her for having a coffee then check with the council and don't bother telling her it's not true. She'll deny ever saying it.

And if you try to explain to the Bouvier Sisters that she can't be believed, don't bother. They have the same denial genes.

And it's a good thing I'm not a hard drinking woman or I'd be too pissed to turn on the computer 24/7.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This is the top vent at the summit of Mount Redoubt in Alaska on March 21. Two days later and the volcano had erupted five times, sending an ash plume more than 9 miles into the air for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The ash from Alaskan volcanoes is like a rock fragment with jagged edges and has been used as an industrial abrasive. It can injure skin, eyes and breathing passages. Airlines have cancelled flights and the Air Force Base in Anchorage has moved planes into shelters to stop any damage.

The 10,200-foot volcano is roughly 100 miles southwest of Anchorage and in the last eruption sent ash 150 miles away into the path of a KLM jet causing its four engines to flame out. The jet dropped more than 2 miles before the crew was able to restart all engines and land safely. The plane required $80 million in repairs.

The glacier on the slopes flows into the Drift river and the raised temperatures have increased the melt water run-off. The heavier ash falls fairly quickly but the fine ash is suspended for longer and is easily blown for miles by any atmospheric wind.


I washed the blankets I put in the box up the side for the stray cat.

I put an old mat down for him.

I washed his dishes.

I blame the outbreak of kitten ownership and posting of photos.


MEMO: To Self

Before you start washing your smalls or in my case, my larges and panic about what you can hock to buy a new washing machine, CHECK the dial and see that it's on WASH!

I knew this cleaning up lark would have a bad effect on my brain.
It's all the tidyness.
Who can find things in tidy?

I'll be polishing potatoes with Marveer next.


Half of the book shelves are neat and tidy, dusted even. Another bag for the op shop is filling rapidly and I have been ruthless. I mean, for me I've been ruthless. My granddaughters will be here for Easter so the sofa bed will have to stay down for the moment which puts off the culling from the lace cupboard and the moving of another bookcase in the other bedroom.

Nothing from that bookcase is leaving the house. I have 25 years of wedding magazines, a treasury of wedding fashions. I'm not fussed about the naked shoulder look of weddings these days, low slung dresses always make me nervous especially in the presence of booze and groomsmen. This gown is gorgeous but look at the disaster in waiting, the tulle, the train and the straplessness.

The Italian books have the most outrageous and the most beautiful beaded gowns, the American books have the best bridesmaid dresses, the British mags have the most traditional but I have favourites marked in all of them.

It's not just that they're wedding dresses, you all know how I LOVE weddings (upchuck) but the fabrics, the laces, the designs. It's my comfort food for the eyes. They're staying, even if it takes me two weeks to move the lot to their new home, after I make a diagram of how they all fit into the shelves. I'm not taking them out without doing that, I remember the last magazine avalanche.

I did find treasures lurking on the shelves in the study, a history of Paisley shawls, 18th Century fashions in underwear, what there was of it, and how to take care of vintage clothes in case the colours came from potions like arsenic. A 5th Doll Fashion Anthology featuring that much maligned creature "Barbie". The book goes into great detail about how Mattel mirrored real life and television shows with each edition doll.

I never had much time for her but I don't know why she's always held up as a bad role model for girls. I never wanted a figure like hers nor did I want to play with Barbie. It was too much like hard work, all that role playing, undressing and dressing up, keeping her amused with pianos and ponies, talk about 'high maintainence'. But I loved the fashions, I really loved the fashions. I didn't want them on a doll, I wanted them on me. I made a dress for Barbie, once, and once was enough. Fiddly doesn't describe the torture of making that pissy little outfit so I'm always astonished at the high fashion gowns that are designed and made for the plastic princess.

I'm not into collecting ratty old dolls either. I only have four, um six, damn, seven, I forgot the porcelain baby doll which is still in the drawer away from the cats who used to take it in turns to sleep on it. I do have teddies, tiny teddies. One is sitting on the printer holding my glasses. See, I collect useful things.


The biggest marine reptile on record is a 21m-long ichthyosaur which I blogged about last year but this giant fossil of 15 metres long had a bite force of about 16 tonnes, enough to crush four wheel drive car.

The creature's partial skull was dug up in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. The Norwegian-led team from the University of Oslo's Natural History Museum thinks it might belong to a new species of pliosaur, a group of large, short-necked reptiles and that "Predator X" lived in the ocean 147 million years ago.

Researchers say the shape and proportional size of the brain resembles that of a great white shark.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This is the island of Surtsey, Iceland which started to form 130 metres below sea level and reached the surface on 14 November 1963. The eruption lasted 4 years when the island reached its maximum size of 2.7 square kilometres but erosion has taken the island's size to 1.4 square kilometres in 2002.

The first evidence of Atlantic Puffins nesting on Surtsey was found in 2004. Insects had already arrived via wind and water borne driftwood by 1964. Seals and Orcas swim in the waters and starfish and sea urchins colonise the submarine slopes. (I love Puffins)

This is Surtsey in 1999. The loose tephra from the initial eruption has been eroded but the remaining island material is made up of hard lava flows. Erosion or global warming might see it disappear again by next century.
Images and information from Wikipedia.


This is the same undersea eruption off the Island of Tonga, one year later. Geologists and vulcanologists are waiting to see if the eruption continues to form a stable island.

This is the view from sea level. While the ash fall has wiped out vegetation and animal life on an uninhabited island nearby, this will be the beginning of a new land form if the debris consolidates before any storm or wave action breaks it down.


NASA's Aqua satellite took this image off Tonga in March, 2008.
The bright blue green of the water is due to suspended particles with the bright white patch likely due to released steam. Above this is a raft of pumice, the stuff we use for keeping our feet smooth. It's very light, made from solidified ash and floats on the surface.
The columns of steam and ash shot 10 kilometres into the air.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Just one more thing, I said.

The fecking earthquake last night ate my phone.

Telstra thinks I'm a nutcase because when I ring the line is clear. Well derrr! When I rang with the line crapola they couldn't hear me. Techie coming tomorrow....again.

I spent four hours in the afternoon downloading security only to have the computer refuse to allow its installation. Fecking computers.

While it downloaded, I moved books. Did you know that books talk? I heard them. I moved 20 books out of one bookcase and I could clearly hear the others, "move up, move up, expand before she jams another load on the shelf." That shelf is dusted and tidy and there's no way I could get another 20 books to go there.

I need a bigger ladder..... with safety rails. I tried to replace the bulb in the ceiling and it was scary up there and the replacement globe was the wrong size and I'm standing on the second top rung with the old globe in my mouth and the new one down my bra and one hand on the roof like a gecko and I'm thinking I need a bigger ladder.... with safety rails.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Telstra tech arrived in the rain so took his boots off before walking on my carpet. Hahahahaha!

It was the point in the other bedroom. When he unscrewed the cap, the copper wires had oxidised to a lovely green colour. I don't know if he replaced them or not. He did something and said there might be a water leak in the wall so I should take off the covering every month and dry it with a hairdryer. He says water leak and I'm thinking cat leak and trying to remember how long ago little Sir Pissington passed to the big litterbox in the sky.

That cat determined that that room was his personal space and sprayed every surface including books, walls and desk. He was particularly adept at pissing upwards so that the underside of anything would be coated and because it couldn't be seen, it dried over time. Weeks later, the pungent wafting would begin and so would the search for the source. The sliding door that went up the side last week still had dried spots on it from where I couldn't reach to clean it. I kept the Nilodor and Fabreeze factories in the black. I finally moved the books to new bookcases and ripped up the carpet and he had done the job so well that the concrete took weeks to dry before I could put down new coverings. That was in 1989. Would it take that long for copper wires to corrode?

I'm not going on the roof to check the spouting which usually leaks over the front door. I will take my chances and use a hair dryer. It bothers me that I didn't ask if he'd fixed it. I was busy putting back the answer phone and connecting the internet. Memo to self: wipe the ex's handwriting from the memory buttons especially the number connecting to one of his girlfriends.

Then the van comes from the Op-shop and loads 20 years of craft magazines and anything else I could find that I don't need. I didn't know he would have a mate with him so I dragged it all out of the house so he wouldn't have a rupture but I think I did something nasty. It will go with the bruise on the left one which I probably copped when I tripped on a hole in the carpet while carrying a load of books. I remember pain and swearing and having to pick up the books.

Then Ma rings. Why haven't I called in with the groceries? Well that would be because it's Tuesday and I shop for her on Thursday. Yes, I'm sure it's Tuesday because yesterday was Monday and I remember the trauma of it all very well. Disaster sobbed down the phone in the morning. The pointy thing that goes in the square thing that plays the round things had broken and the round things wouldn't play. Translation, the plug from the transformer that goes into the player for the DVDs had finally given up the ghost after two years of Ma pulling it out instead of turning the machine off at the power point.

Nowhere in Southland stocks this particular transformer. I have to find the distributor and see if they'll sell me one. Thanks to the sweet young thing in Tandy who told me, very seriously, that I could just solder the copper wires (them again!) together. Do I look like the soldering type? To sweeten the blow I gave the old girl a custard tart for lunch but it was gloom all around as she lay staring at the ceiling before remembering she had a television to play with.

Phone call from the BrickOutHouse last night and all was well. He was a soldering type of person and had fixed it all. She'll still pull it out but he's wrapped enough tape around it so it won't matter. My heart sings.

And the eco-globe in the lounge room blew this afternoon. The replacement globe looks too big to screw in and I have to climb the ladder. Good luck that I didn't send any candles to the op-shop.

It must be in the stars. Stuff March, bring on April.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I haz internet......for now.

No phone for Saturday and Sunday but this morning when I ring Telstra, clear as a bell. The technician is coming tomorrow morning between 8am and 10am which meant moving the sofa bed and the treadle machine with the heavy electric sewing machine on top so he could get to that phone point.

There was a message when I rang faults saying this number is still under investigation. I've been noticed.

I hauled a bag of stuff down to the op-shop and told them there was probably another two loads to come so they're sending a van. There's going to be some throwing out now that I don't have to carry it. I have empty boxes and empty shelves and books all over the floor but what else to do when there's no internet, no blogs to read and no way to deliver an insult to Sedgwick.

Don't even ask about the mother.

Friday, March 13, 2009


  • Bureaucracy and mother, what a combination. I'll do this in dot form.
  • No joy with Tuesday's experiment and internet connection.
  • No phone at all 24 hours Wednesday. The snap, crackle and pop on the phone line was insane.
  • A mildly clear line on Thursday morning and a super intelligent FEMALE at the call centre meant I was given useful information.
  • A change of phone at the Telstra shop and the purchase of 17 metres of brand new line at Tandy. $29, if you don't mind and I could have bought a handheld phone for not much more. The fun part was me trying to convert 47 feet of line into metres.
  • Full of hope, I connected everything up to have two hours of sloooooooow internet where I collected emails and read three blogs before I gave up when I was disconnected again.
  • Before this, there was a phone call from Aunt Patty. Ma had rung her to ring me to ring her because my phone wasn't working. My phone was working, clear as a bell (before internet) but the speed dial daughter button on her phone has died after 3 years of sterling duty.
  • This morning another call from Aunt Patty to ring Ma which I had been doing for 20 minutes.
  • I walk over in muggy heat to re-do another speed dial button and put a sterile dressing on her leg which she'd forgotten to tell me about on Tuesday. This ulcer treatment is really important but I'm not a mind reader and it's not my fault I don't have x-ray eyes to see through clothing.
  • I leave after screaming match about meals on wheels. I don't care if she doesn't eat them, they're in the fridge and they're paid for and that's that. I am never going back to cooking for her again. Buying her an apple cake at the bakery on the way over is the limit.
  • I was heading for the pub when my shoe broke so I came home instead, Friday 13th, I can read omens.
  • I am now back where I started. Computer is hooked up to the phone jack in the lounge and the bedroom phone is new and hooked up with the expensive new line. It's also crackling but mildly. The phone in the lounge is a tiny thing I used to use in my workroom but it does have 15 metres of line which I drag round the house and outside.
  • Mother wants new phone as well. She can't have it because the new ones don't have speed dial buttons, they have memory and I haven't worked that out yet so lord knows what she'd do to it. They don't have speed buttons because everything now is geared up for text messages and that sort of crap from mobile phones.
  • I sincerely hope that when Yankee Sol takes his ill-gotten gains from Telstra and heads home to sod's own country, he trips on the first step and breaks something vital, like his wallet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I'm trying a new tack. I've disconnected everything from the point in the lounge including the line to the computer. Then I ran the line all the way into the bedroom phone connection. So as of 6.10pm I'm online. If this works then it's the point that's gone and it'll stay gone until I can afford the excessive Telstra call out fee.

There will be no betting on how soon I will trip over the phone line running through the house.

Memo to self - lift your bloody feet.

Monday, March 09, 2009


The answer phone is unplugged but the main Telstra phone is still buzzing, squeaking and squealing but not all the time. My download speed this afternoon was 24kbps and at the moment it's 31.2kbps ?????? I could be disconnected any second. I'm in a very bad mood.

I have a bruised finger, black and blue. Stinking Ikea furniture with stupid little studs that can't be removed to re-arrange bookcase shelving and when I did remove them I had to bash them back with a hammer. I caught my finger in the pliers.

I have bruises on my legs, both. But I do have the six foot solid pine bookcase in the wardrobe in the study. I moved the treadle sewing machine and the sofa bed. I'll let you guess which one ran over my foot. Did I mention about the bad mood.

Now I'm going to try and publish this but I have a feeling blogger is punishing me for ditching their following widget. Blogging used to be so easy.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Telstra's been already and the technician thinks it's the handheld phone with a misfiring battery.
Doesn't anything last these days? I've only had that since 1993 and it's had 3 batteries in it but this last one is dying much faster than the others. I haven't used the answering machine part of it since 101 messages came in which is a shame since I recorded when I had a bad cold and I sound smokey and all Nina Simone-like.

Fortunately I've kept the old phone so that's plugged in but I'm getting an extension cord. If I have to get up and down 5 times a night for calls from the Peter Sellers Memorial Call Centre, my language is going to get a bit ripe.


A 4.6 on the Richter Scale present. The epicentre was Korrumburra, coal country.

It rattled the old girl's teeth and frightened the cat. The BrickOutHouse rang and said the whole house swayed and shook for ages and so did Ma.

My house is on a very thick concrete slab and even that rocked. I get more noise than shaking although this time the boom was really loud. I could see the chandelier in the bedroom swinging.

The cyclone centering on northern Queensland is heading for a category 4 rating. So it's fire for us, floods for them, now an earth tremor and all on top of a recession. I didn't mention pestilence, Costello's been around for years.

Mother Nature's pissed.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Thank you Telstra for my wonderful dial-up connection which isn't. Another phone call this morning and someone will check the lines for the third time since December and maybe this time they will actually fix it.

It made this morning's phone call for the birthday very difficult, nothing new there. All week she's been confusing me with Aunt Selma and denying that Aunt Selma is her twin. Sis walked in last week as Aunt Patty was yelling down the phone line (it's not only me) because she couldn't make mum believe she had a twin. This afternoon she said she'd finally got the birthdays straight but I'm not sure about the twin thing yet.

My computer, my solace, has been denied me not only by the disconnects but by running so slowly it could be on pedal power. So in a last ditch, after I've taken off everything else I rarely use, I'm getting rid of blog following. It took two hours (on and off) yesterday to delete 12 blogs, that's how slow it is. But when I first put blog follow on, I'm sure I only had to use a delete button when a couple of blogs had the wrong URL. Now it's more complicated and where did the Google friends connect thing come from? So if one anonymous follower disappears from your list, it's only me. I clicked on the dial-up and the incoming was 3 times the outgoing bytes and I wasn't even web browsing so hopefully this will speed things up. It should only take another week or so to get the job finished. Except for Lord Sedgwick who seems to have a permanent sticking charm on his blog, I haven't been able to 'stop following' his blog at all.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Today's the 2nd which means a birthday on the 6th. She keeps telling everyone she's made it to 80. I'll tell her on Friday, she's only 79. The shock could carry her off. Who am I kidding? Ma and cockroaches will fight it out to the end.

After my battles with Telstra. Bye Sol, make sure the door hits you in the arse as you leave. With your millions. Bastard. Where was I, battles. This time with AGL and Ma's $612 gas bill which meant a call to the Peter Sellers Memorial Call Centre.
The good news is, they overcharged $95 on the last bill. The bad news is, due to some computer glitch, LAST JUNE, the direct debit was cancelled and not by me.

Also last June, there was a glitch with the bank and a statement wasn't sent out. I found a print out which I got over the counter at the National Arsehole Bastards, Southland branch. I was ill for most of July and August so the double checking of accounts was a bit slack.

But how did AGL let this account go until February without asking for the money? And why didn't they check the cancellation of a direct debit for gas when the direct debit for AGL electricity was still going through?

Talk about multi-tasking. I had all the gas accounts in order and the other hand was trying to find the bank statements for yelling ammunition and the other hand was full of phonely accented gentleman telling me I was wrong. Bad day to do that, what with Ma in full "I'll do whatever I want to even if I fall down and break something doing it" mode. AGL are sending another account and it better be right.

Also in the news. I had to turn down a wedding invitation in England, Hindu and English ceremonies and carriages for the guests to go to the receptions. That hurt. A man asked me out for coffee. That astounded me. I carried another 20 scoria rocks safely, walked inside and dropped a kitchen table on my foot. The same foot that copped a brass clock two days ago, not the foot that got pronged with a branch. Nothing unusual there.