>The Future I Believe In (From Memory)

> I am reproducing below a  piece written by a young man on Facebook, Tanner Richey Bills, as I believe these are lovely, uplifting words with hope for the future.  He has given me permission to reproduce his writing, so if you’re interested, please forward what he has described about the future to those who may enjoy his words. Please just remember to give credit to this young man as the author.

I have come back from the future, and I can honestly say that it is the most beautiful thing anyone could ever dream of! The environment is safe for all, and there’s a certain feeling, it’s in the air, it glides along and radiates from all the life around! All the people are loving, caring, understanding individuals, no longer quick to judge and assume. The world is one giant organism, and we finally treat it that way. Schools are more personal with patient, calm, and understanding teachers; eager to help students learn, and find their true interests. The generations to come will benefit from this transformed mindset on humanity! We no longer see ourselves as separate, we care for each other, we are sympathetic, and understanding. Society has been through so much over time, there are many grudges held and debts to be settled. Somehow it just happened though, we all forgave each other, as people, and as nations. The ride you are about to embark on is a roller coaster that will fluctuate between the highest of peaks and the most treacherous of depths. Each and every one of you plays a part in turning that roller coaster into the space ship that will send us soaring to incredible heights! We did it, and it wasn’t easy. There were times when it seemed like giving up would be our best option. We said no! We won’t give up! We changed… we changed into what we were waiting for everyone else to change into before we would! We changed because we realized, if you want to see a change, you have got to be the change you want to see! We wanted to see the people unite! So we did! We set up a community based society no longer dependent on mega-huge corporations. We give, give, give, and not because we think that there is something in it for us, but simply because we care. It didn’t happen overnight, and there were those that fiercely resisted, as with any change. Eventually though, the realization spread throughout the whole world! Corporations who have controlled the population through politicians and the media for so long have been stopped; and this has allowed us to tackle climate change and many other hurdles that corporate America has blinded us to for so long. We use only renewable resources; big oil was dragged kicking and screaming into the mental hospital where it belongs. And the first step, was to realize that the true nature of the human being is to be sympathetic, understanding, loving, caring, and infallibly unique. I’m not asking you to be like me, all I ask of you is this: please, be the change you want to see! If you want to bring about world peace, then be peaceful, be loving, be open, and understanding, send that out into the universe and see if anyone else catches on. But if you want pain, anger, hate, fear, greed, or anything else for that matter, well, you can make your choice. In the future, we chose peace and love, and it is plain to see; it started with a few, as all changes do. In time, the ideals spread across the globe! Each and every one of you, right here, right now, is shaping the future, so please, make it what you want it to be!
                                                                                       – Tanner Richey Bills

>Garden plants attracting birds, bees, butterflies & other insects

Thought I’d pop in photos of two of the plants in our backyard which are absolute trojans at attracting birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.  The one on the left is a bottlebrush and, whereas they used to bloom a couple of times a year, as the climate is changing, so they’re blooming many more times. 

The flower on the right is a grevillea which again, brings in the birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. 

If you’re wondering why I’m banging on about gardening, it’s because I didn’t used to know one end of a plant from the other.  When I first met my husband, it was just before he had to return to the UK. He bought me two potted plants before he left, his first gifts to me.  Unfortunately, the two of them carked it before he got back.  And then I was left with a dilemma – how to break it my beloved that his two presents to show his love were no more, they’d died, they were literally pushing up the daisies.  So the weekend before he got back, my friend and I spent an ENTIRE weekend trawling through garden centres until we found almost the exact replicas of the original plants.  And guess what?  Bryan was in the UK for around three months and had had quite a stressful time so by the time he got back, he’d clean forgotten about the damned indoor plants!

But since then, as Bryan’s a keen gardener with fabulous green fingers, I’ve gradually learned the names of plants and can actually identify what they are without having to look at the little identifying card attached. 

I have also become far more aware of Mother Earth and the bounty she offers us, and I love the awareness that I live on a huge ball of beautiful life, even though I occupy a miniscule part of this wonderful planet.

>Changes to blog

>You’ll have noted that there are some changes to my blog, some of which I’ve created with complete understanding, due to the new Blogger dashboard.  And since it’s called a dashboard, I think the background change is very dashing indeed.  I have somehow, and this is completely accidental, managed to change the background colour of the blog, which is an interesting development.  It may, or it may not, happen again, depending if I can stuff around and find the whateveritwas that produced this rather amazing improvement to the written blog’s appearance.  So stay tuned as I fiddle with all the bits and pieces, and we’ll see what eventuates .  I actually feel like a kid in a playground and since this is a period of all things new, I’m happy to see what new fancy bits I can find and make appear on my blog pages.

>Some astrological reminders


We are in for interesting times as we’re now in a period of Mercury Retrograde, which means that from our viewpoint on earth, it looks as if Mercuy is going backwards. Which of course it isn’t, if it did, we’d all be in dead trouble. It’s simply the view from Earth. But it is a time to stop pushing, take some deep breaths, get patient if there are glitsches in communications, don’t have a hissy fit on the floor if your computer spits the dummy, and just enjoy a rather laid-back period (if you can, of course, in our busy, busy society), getting things in order, and getting ready for Mercury to return to forward motion again. 
The volcano in Iceland erupted at the start of this period of Mercury, and I guess you could say that this was the earth have a major, major hissy fit as the ash brought flights over the UK and parts of Europe grinding to a halt. I actually thought that this was an almighty hiatus which perhaps would give us pause for reflection on what we take for granted these days in terms of communication and international travel, and how easily what looks like a permanent part of our lives can fall over unpredictably and how our lives can change overnight. It might also perhaps be a future view of what is likely to start happening on this planet of ours if we don’t get our act together, take global warming seriously and take BIG steps to mend our relationship with Mother Earth.
Now on to some other interesting phenomena. Uranus is moving back into opposition with Saturn. If you remember rightly, this happened exactly on the day in the US when the Presidential elections took place. Given that Obama’s slogan was “change”, it’s not surprising if he gets the short straw as Uranus and John McCain gets stuck with Saturn. It’s a situation where Saturn, representing the status quo, things as they are, structure, etc., is facing Uranus which is about all a new era, new approaches, letting go of old, lousy habits, and so on and so on. But of course, new stuff and change is, for many and also depending on your astro make-up, quite terrifying. I have a strong Uranus/Aquarius influence in my astrological make-up so I’m quite happy to move into the future skipping, hopping and jumping around (although I draw the line at backflips). On the other hand, if you can Cancer strong in your make-up, you might find the idea of the familiar changing rapidly a bit alarming and you’d really like to retreat into your house, like the Crab you are, and huddle among your familiar, comforting clutter accumulated over your life.
If you look at the US, you can see this expressing itself in the political divisions flaring up over health care, global warming and immigration. But it’s not the only nation. If you look around, you can see tensions between the old and the new in the British elections, in the stand-off in Thailand between the Red and Yellow shirt groupings, in Iran with the Old Guard and those wanting more open government, in Australia with divisions between the Federal Labor government and the Opposition, in the strains between old religious structures of all kinds and a new, evolving, less hierarchal spiritual movement. And so on and so on, but also springing up in much smaller and less publicised ways in our own daily lives. Keep your eyes peeled for challenges in this period so you can shrug your shoulders, mutter “c’est la vie”, or perhaps “c’est la nouvelle vie”. If power plays pop up, let them pass you by with supreme indifference and carry on creating a constructive, passionate tango with all the changes you are opening your arms to in your new, shining bright, exciting new period in your life.
We really are entering a period of great, evolutionary change. We can approach this with grace and ease by welcoming these new energies and clearing out old stuff from our own lives. Or we can cling to the old and try to hold back these huge galactic movements of change and dig in, kicking and screaming, against anything which is unknown and threatening to things as they are. Yet, if we look back at history, change is constant whether it’s the subtle changes that accompany each generational change or in-your-face as it is was with the huge explosionf of the Industrial Revolution or more recently new technology like mobile phones, laptops, notebooks, internet, and so on.
Added on to this mix – as it this weren’t enough – there is a Full Moon coming up, on Wednesday, and it’s in Scorpio. But it really is a great time to have a super-duper clean-out, detox, de-clutter, sweep clean and all other stuff in this direction.
So be aware of the cosmic currents swirling around you, tune in and move forward in a grace-full Tango, passionately in love with life and all its enchantments, excitement, miracles and new openings.

>Our new garden


We mainly concentrated on mowing the lawn and back and front verges when we first got our new home in Bowraville. But now we’ve got the house in some sort of order, we’re building up the garden. My husband, Bryan, is the green fingers of the household. I look at plants and they droop and wilt and get very depressed at my being in the vicinity. When Bryan works in the garden, all the plants bow and scrape to him and do little happy dances.

So we are getting rid of all the square bits of the garden and putting in round and curved garden beds. Here’s a pic of the biggest garden bed (I do have to be honest and say also that neither of us are fans of great swags of grass as they require mowing and look lousy if there’s little rainfall) so garden beds are a neat solution to a) getting rid of grass and b) bringing a bit of colour and variety and interest into a fairly flat back yard.

This is the original planting but Bryan’s put more in since. So far we’ve planted grevilleas which have lovely flowers attracting butterflies and birds; some grasses we found tucked away on the edge of our garden; some prostrate bushes to give ground cover and flowers; a big basil bush which is now starting to seed so hopefully we’ll get new basil plants next spring; a lemongrass; portulaca which are giving some colour with yellow and orange flowers; thyme and oregano for ground covers.

In front of the verandah we’ve got beds of marigolds, begonias and lissianthus (which would have to be my all-time favourite flower because they’re tough, have beauitful flowers and are hard to kill, always a plus in my book). Down the side we’ve also put in a Snail Creeper which would have to be one of my all-time favourite flowers, it literally does look like a snail as it starts opening up:

The front garden is always in shade and is very moist as we’ve got a sloping block so that area collects a lot of rain. Bryan’s dug up heaps of ferns which were hidden under the house and replanted them along our front fence, and we’ve also put in bromeliads which are now throwing out beautiful flowers.

We also have a rather lovely Bleeding Heart vine which was lurking when we arrived but, with a bit of TLC, has now started climbing up the front post and hopefully at some time will start growing along the latticework of the front verandah. Here are a couple of pics of this lovely vine:

One thing we have learned in living in sub-tropical or hot areas: watch what creepers you put in. When we lived in Fremantle, Western Australia, we planted a moonflower creeper. It is really brilliant – huge white, sweetly-scented flowers which open in seconds just as dusk is falling. It must be some level of darkness which sparks them off because they always seemed to be open when we went outside. It was only one evening that I happened to be close to the vine, heard a rustle, turned around, and there was a moonflower unflolding in seconds into its big, white disk, luminous in the twilight. However, the downside is that it went bonkers and we were worried about the damage it might cause to the roof, so sadly we had to rip it out.

Then we had the bright idea of putting in a passion flower vine. It’s not a passionfruit vine, it only produces the most spectacular flowers. But like the moonflower, it too went berserk, and we wondered if we’d wake up one morning and find it had invaded the bedroom and was trying to strangle us. So out that went and finally we settled on a wisteria which grew relatively fast but was far more amenable to staying within reasonable boundaries.

In Queensland, we planted heaps of bougainvilleas, only to find that they went even more berserk in the heat and moisture of the south-east corner. One developed wicked spikes and seemed determined to get us every time we went past. Luckily, the verandah was only waist-high so it was easy to prune these plants as they really provide so much colour and look spectacular virtually all the year round.

Where we are is less hot and wet than south-east Queensland and Brisbane (and we won’t mention Far North Queensland which is tropical, very hot and very, very humid!), and we don’t get so much rain. So hopefully what we are now planting will grow at a respectable rate and, since we’ve learned from past mistakes, we know what to plant and not plant as far as creepers are concerned.

>Eagle sightings

>One of the great joys of living in the hills just behind the coast is that we get to see quite a few wedge-tailed eagles flying over the house. These are the biggest birds of prey in Australia and among the biggest eagles in the world.

You can tell they’re eagles as their wing-tips turn up at the end and, of course, they’ve go the distinctive wedge-tail which gives them their name. And if you’re wondering why you need to distinguish which is an eagle, we have a lot of ibis around here and if they’re a bit distant in filght, they’re wing span is quite big. They can resemble eagles from a distance, so you have to check for the spread-out, upraised wing feathers and wedgetail shape.

We have had one swoop down really low over our home and then look down at us just before it took off back into the air to start moving lazily upwards on the thermals around here.

The other day we watched one for ages flying over our house, looking for tucker, most likely, but it’s sitll an awesome spectacle. And as it started to move up again on the thermals, it was joined by a second one.

Luckily, wedge-tailed eages on the Australian mainland are not an endangered species, although their situation in Tasmanis a bit rocky.

Quite a few years ago I was driving in the north-west of Western Australia when my friend suddenly slowed his huge, solid 4-wheel drive vehicle (SUV). I asked him what was going on and he pointed out a wedgie on the side of the road ahead, feeding on a dead ‘roo which had been hit and killed by a car. These huge birds have no fear of predators so if they see a vehicle approaching them fast, they regard it as an enemy coming to nick their tucker, so they attack the car. Trouble is, it kills the eagle and causes a lot of damage to the car too. So canny drivers creep past wedgies by the side of the road with all due respect ot these magnificent creatures.

I know that, as we passed this particular eagle, it was one of the highlight experiences of my life to be eyeballing this arrogant, powerful bird which showed no fear whatsoever as we drove past.

Interestingly, we have found that seeing an eagle usually means we do a bit of travelling but I do have to say most sincerely – having only been in this lovely home in Paradise since December last year, I really don’t want anything to do with moving home for a fairly long time, lolol.

>Monster Worms!


No, you haven’t misread the title, folks. This is a rave about the monster worms which inhabit our garden, the largest we’ve ever seen.

We first became aware of the existence of these worms after we had mown the lawn for the first time. Until that time, our lawn had been overgrown and a sort of NORMAL lawn. And then, once it was nice and tidy, up came huge worm castings, a bit like mini-mole hills.

We tried flattening these mini-hills every day as they do tend to set like concrete and earth pyramids in the backyard we can do without. But back they came. Now the interesting thing about these worm castings is that they march across our back lawn in lines of three, a bit wavy, but they start in one corner, near the car, and move diagonally across the garden to our fence, and then they reappear in next door’s garden where they recommence their diagonal march. It interests me because obviously there’s some connection with an earth energy of which we’re totally unaware.

Unfortunately for some of the worms, as Bryan’s been digging out the grass to make garden beds, our mudlarks and kookaburras have taken great interest in the exposed earth and I’m afraid to say that they’ve had a very good feed on our monster worms. And they are big ‘uns, too. Bryan’s found a couple on the surface and they are no mini-worms, trust me.

Interestingly, there are no worm castings on the garden bed. So whether the worms take exception to grass overhead and do their best to create a bit of mayhem as a result, we’re not too sure.

What we are sure of is that, regardless of our lawn resembling a series of mini-mole hills each day, the worms are doing a grand job in enriching the soil which is some of the best we’ve ever worked with. It is now raining, so we can confidently expect some zealous worm activity tonight and even bigger worm castings in the morning. What a joy it is to live with nature!