The sunrises have been so gorgeous this week thanks to skies filled with scudding rain clouds. They almost make up for getting up at 4:30 a.m. in the winter to feed goats and dogs and assorted ducks, geese, and chooks. Shiver!
In all honesty, once the initial shock of stumbling around in the frigid darkness wears off, it’s downright magical to be out there under a sky full of stars, the dogs so excited to see me as they wriggle in for pats and belly scratches.
One of the first things I noticed about Australia is how different the stars are. I’m used to Northern Hemisphere night skies where I can spot the Big Dipper and North Star in just a few seconds. Now I look for the Southern Cross. Gazing up at the strange skies always gives me a bit of a start, a strange yet rather delightful feeling that perhaps I’ve fallen into another world by accident. When the weather warms up I’m going to drag a few of my folks outside on a clear night to point out Aussie-style star pictures for me.
This week my friend Jackie talked me into selling my wood-burned items (pyrography) at local Queensland markets, so I’m having the jolliest time dreaming up new patterns and picking out new items to burn. Bear is in on the action too, helping me figure out the best woods to use, which ones need to be preserved and which are best just on their own.
This week I started on wood-burned rolling pins and I can’t keep from smiling when I look at them. They’re such cheery little things and make me want to dash out to the kitchen to mix up pie crusts or cookie dough just so I can use them.
The first market is next month, so if things are a bit quiet here from time to time, just picture me curled up in a big, green armchair listening to audio books and old movies whilst I burn, burn, burn.
I’m also excited to make plum brandy for the first time. Doesn’t it seem like the perfect drink for chilly evenings by the fire? I can’t wait to try it.
What is your favorite creative pursuit at the moment? Is there anything in particular you’d like to learn to make?