A Simple Woman's Journal

FOR TODAY Thursday 29th December 2011
Outside my window...
There are four beautiful, double-headed, deep pink, hibiscus flowers from a large bush. There are also the large blue agapanthus pompoms fighting for attention. And just reaching up to the window are white rose buds...they're not out just at the moment because the first flush of flowers have been and gone, but I did as my Grandmother taught me and dead headed them after the first flush....and da-dah... lots of new ones have appeared. I can see the side gate and beyond the sun soaked trees, gently swaying, a blue sky overhead and a few wispy clouds.

If you're a regular reader of my journal you'll probably be aware by that description that I'm in another room today. I'm not only a day late posting this journal, but it's the end of the day and not the beginning.I'm in the dining room with my back to the french doors.
I am thinking...why does my son have to play his music so loud....although usually I have mine playing at 115dB (translated means high decibels like a loud rock concert!) It's a good job this isn't a recording blog because depending on the music, I'm singing as loud!
I am thankful...for sunlight!
In the kitchen...dinner is cooking hence I can finally nip here to post. There are a few mince pies left but the sticky toffee dish is empty....yep...empty! There could be tears tonight? The dishwasher is battling to keep up with the onslaught of dishes, but doing a stirling job!
I am wearing...Jeans, t-shirt, bare feet and damp hair. I'm fresh out of the shower after pottering around the garden today.
I am creating...hopefully a dog that looks like a shih tzu. I decided upon hearing that the temperatures are due to rise towards this weekend to give Muffin a clip. I also gave her a bath so I'm waiting to see the result once she's dry :-?  I think it will be an ongoing creation because every time I catch sight of her, I see a section that needs another little snip!
I am going...to join my daughter outside on the loungers. Possibly with a cuppa to make the most of today's sunlight as it starts to sink. I may even manage a sundowner? Well it is Christmas after all.

I am wondering...where we will be having lunch tomorrow. We're being taken out to lunch in the city and with so many restaurants catering for every culture....who knows what delights are in store?
I am reading...A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. It was my mystery book club present. I've only just started to read it so can't really comment too much. I do like the writing so far. It has been the number 1 New York Times bestselling novel. 


The curtain rises in 1907 during a Wisconsin winter "cold enough to sear the skin from your bones." Ralph Truitt, the wealthiest man in town, stands frozen in place on a train platform, but inside he's burning with the unsated desire of 20 solitary years.

Ralph is waiting for his mail-order bride, a woman he requisitioned through a classified ad: "Country businessman seeks reliable wife. Compelled by practical not romantic reasons. . . . Discreet." That may sound as horny as Sunday school, but Ralph isn't entirely what he seems, standing there on the platform with "his eyes turned downward, engraved with a permanent air of condescension and grief." Inside, the 58-year-old widower is startled by the intensity of his desires, consumed with thoughts of sex and murder and madness in homes all around town. "Sometimes his loneliness was like a fire beneath his skin," Goolrick writes. "He had thought of taking his razor and slicing his own flesh, peeling back the skin that would not stop burning."

When Catherine Land finally arrives, looking prim and dour, she isn't what she appears to be, either. She threw her extravagant party dresses out the train window a few miles from town, and she has hidden jewels in the hem of her black wool dress. She's not even the woman in the photo she sent Ralph during their summer of tentative correspondence. And she's carrying a bottle of arsenic and "a long and complicated scheme."

Poor Ralph has some awfully bad luck with women: the matrimonial equivalent of sailing to Europe on the Titanic and flying home on the Hindenburg. "This begins in a lie," he tells Catherine sternly as he picks up her bags. "I want you to know that I know that. . . . Whatever else, you're a liar."

All Ralph wants -- or pretends he wants -- is "a simple, honest woman. A quiet life. A life in which everything could be saved and nobody went insane." That's so hard to attain when your new bride hopes to poison you straightaway. But damned if he doesn't almost die in a spectacular riding accident while bringing her home from the station. Poor Catherine finds she's got to nurse Ralph back to health before she can start killing him.

Don't worry: I'm not giving anything away. Neither of these two steely people are playing straight with the other, and Goolrick isn't playing straight with us, either. The floor collapses in almost every chapter, and we suddenly crash through assumptions we'd thought were solid. Goolrick keeps probing at the way people force themselves not to know something -- not to believe the truth -- in order to fulfill their deepest longings.
I am hoping...that the temperature doesn't rise too high whilst my daughter is here. At the moment it's perfect. Don't forget she's usually in Scotland so if the temperature hits 30c she's likely to melt.
I am looking forward to...carrying on with my blog into the new year. 2012 will hopefully be a very good year {not only for me and my family but for all my readers and their families}
I am hearing...as previously stated loud music so I can't hear if there's anything else...oh yes, my son's now singing! LOL ; D

Around the house...are my family...what more could you want?
I am pondering...We had a drive further out into the country earlier this week and it brought back certain images of the worst bush fires ever recorded, which happened nearly three years ago. The black, charred remnants of trees with the new fresh green growth underneath are a stark reminder.
The day the disaster happened {February 2009} is now known as 'Black Saturday'. The landscape is still scarred and clearly visable. It must be a constant reminder for people who live or have lived in the areas concerned. I wonder how people coped and are coping. I've attached a photo below and a link.
One of my favourite things...starting to read a new book.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Lots but I'm running out of time to even begin to list them. I've been back to this post four times today and I've still not posted it....eek!  
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This photo was taken near Kinglake. We just stopped the car to appreciate some scenery and noticed the forest walk. No signposts, litter bins, picnic benches....just a beautiful walkway. The birds were amazing and very vociferous. I think this fern portrays the regrowth and regeneration taking place after the disaster on Black Saturday. But I do wonder about the people that the disaster touched...I wonder even this long after the tragedy, how they are managing? When I saw the scene below it really struck me...
The beautiful scenery but with the caravan and container, probably still being used whilst a new home is being constructed. I wish everyone who has been affected by the disaster a safe new home filled with happiness and joy.
And that's it for this week . . . my day book, although a day later than usual. Don't forget to pop over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries : D