... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

Tuesday Tunes {Bleed by Cold}

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

celebrate the small things | April 24

Friday, April 24, 2015

What a week it's been!  A truly marvelous one with lots and lots to celebrate!

1) my cosmos flower bloomed!  I'm especially proud of this because it's the first flower I've ever grown from a seed :)

2) my baby white winged dove is learning to fly!  it's amazing, and so fun, to watch.
(for those of you that know, yes, there were two baby doves - but we had a pretty bad storm here last weekend - hail and all - during which both babies fell from the nest... only one survived).

3) Will's aunt Amy came to visit!
Always sooooo much fun!

4) Will's mother came to visit!
I totally loved playing tour guide and drove her (a real first) around to some of my fave places in Austin: County Line on the Lake/ the Oasis and dessert at Chey Zee's. Will was out of town so it was great to have a real girl's day!

5) i've saved the biggest and best 'til last; and for added suspense I'll start by saying that it's taken many months and many denied applications ... but I've finally got a job back in the finance industry (what I was doing before writing... yeah yeah contradictory I know!  I guess I'm blessed to be both right and left brain-abled or maybe I'm not at all, since writing hasn't worked out... anyway), I feel silly for fretting over those other total loser jobs!  This might be the job of my dreams.  It's for a super-chilled company that specializes in business lending and other finanical services to small businesses so I'm stoked not to work with individuals!  But it also stands out because it encourages personal growth, hones individual skill sets and has some of the nicest, happiest employees I've seen anywhere.
Added bonuses include:
- peeps my age
- close to home in a brilliant wooded area that feels more like a country retreat than an office
- catered lunches EVERYDAY
- super laid back dress code
 - 7.5 hr work days

Yep, I reckon I've hit the jackpot.  I hope every one else has had a week as brilliant as mine :)
Right now I'm off to celebrate and make this weekend count since I start work on Monday!

Tuesday Tunes {├ćnema by Tool}

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Basically the second my puberty arrived, my taste buds changed dramatically and overnight I went from listening endlessly to The Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls to rock and roll.  I think it's rather fortunate that this occurred in the 90's when rock was borderline mainstream and there was no shortage of purely awesome bands.  Out of my favourites (Deftones, Korn, Placebo, Limp Bizkit, Staind, Godsmack....) few have stayed in my adult playlists.  One of the ones that has - and probably always will at this point - is Tool.

I remember how shocked my devout Baptist mother would be at their album art strewn around my room: exclaiming the symbols were 'witchcraft' and the images were 'blasphemous' or 'devil worshiping.'  I grew up with a lot of fear instilled into me regarding many things, but I was never afraid of Tool's visuals and I used to stare at the album art on Lateralus for ages, thinking it was beautiful. I know I'm super lucky mum never saw any of their video clips though! That would have ensured immediate disposal of all Tool contraband! (  :) love ya mum!) 

While I believe the band intentionally set out to shock people for greater impact, to me Tool never appealed from that stand point.  I always thought that aside from their amazing, genuinely unique sound and time signatures; they were great because of their thought provoking lyrics that challenge societal structures/ government systems and expose the discontent that many people feel with the world - all the things true rock was supposed to be about in the first place.  

Although I eventually outgrew the anger and daddy issues that attracted me to heavy metal rock bands like Korn and Staind, Tool's lyrics became more and more relevant as my journey through life and self discovery continued... it was like: 
yes, I feel numb.  
no, the social clicks, partying and fashion labels aren't filling the void.  
yes, i feel disconnected from my peers and colleagues -
the religious people in my life seem so hypocritical and judgmental.
no one seems to care about what i care about: the environment/ true love/ real relationships,
yes, i feel chewed up and spat out.
no, i don't have any corporate aspirations. no clue what i want for the rest of my life.
yes, that makes me feel mental.
no, i don't know the answer.

but it's ok.  
i'm actually not alone.
because of music like this, i feel more normal than I believed. 

I love almost every Tool song I've ever heard, but I chose to feature ├ćnema because this song is one of the most direct about the discontentment of the current human condition.  It's raw, it's honest and - in true Tool fashion - the video clip is a confrontational visual aide for the turmoil felt within.  To me, it portrays what happens to our soul when we  disconnect from our higher selves and replace decency, comradery, simplicity, compassion and community // with competition, materialism and jealousy.  Very powerful in conjunction with the the lyrics, included here.  I believe 'learn to swim' is a metaphor for 'wake the ffff up' and I don't want to just pick on LA - to me, the whole world's a mess in need of a wake up call (...though not necessarily mass genocide through natural catastrophe as the song implies).

Ok, I'll include a more mellow song too - one of Tool's most popular/ mainstream in fact: Schism.  This is a beautiful song of hope for mankind 'I know the pieces fit, cause I watched them fall away...'  I love this song - but again, beware of the video, it will stir any emotions the lyrics fail to unsettle.     

PS/ I've since learnt that the controversial album covers in question were the artwork of Alex Grey - a Buddhist practitioner, subtle healing energy expert and what many in the spirit science community would call a guru. His art portrays what we would (do) look like if we were (are) pure energy - a topic that is often brought up in Tool's lyrics. 

PPS/ The symbols upon the cover are in fact wicca... Ooops. Sorry mum. 

the white winged doves

Monday, April 13, 2015

About a month ago, just after the official beginning of spring, Will and I were sitting in our living room playing chess, when we noticed two white winged doves mating in the live oak tree right in front of our balcony!  Yep, we saw the whole shebang - ruffled feathers and all!  We watched as the male dismounted and flew away a short time later, leaving the female alone with her thoughts in the aftermath.  She sat there for a long time, barely moving and I wondered what she was thinking about... whispered echoes of abandonment resounding through my hollow mind.

After that day, we'd see one or both of those doves returning to that exact spot very frequently - from what we could tell, several times an hour.  When I couldn't stand it any longer and curiosity got the better of me, I peered over the balcony railing - hoping to discover any visible trace of significance to the birds; when I noticed they were building a nest!  I'm not sure whether this is typical, or if Will and I simply have two of the most sentimental white winged doves ever heard of, but I was paralyzed in that spot that day as I watched their nest take form in the very spot they consummated their feathery love.  I felt grounded by the weight of this new revelation unfolding before me: love is truly all around.

this was the very first pic I took of the nest, at the beginning of spring and
 just after they'd finished building it.  Look, there was still pollen in the tree!

As the days went by, Will and I watched the doves take turns sitting in their now completed nest.  We saw two perfect little eggs and felt the loving concern of the parents who never once left their side, waiting for one to arrive before the other took flight, fixed the nest after every storm or strong wind and ferociously protected them against intruding birds and squirrels.  Before long, the dogs were as curious as we were - Baxter endlessly watching the glass sliding door and letting one of us know every time the doves stirred.  "Shift changes" became our favourite event to watch: the restless parent upon the nest would make a few of those 'whoo' sounds and the other - obviously never far away - would arrive promptly to take up its shift upon the nest so the first one could fly and feed.  We didn't realize for a while that there were only two shift changes a day - each parent spent roughly 12 hours on the eggs each!

a murky through-the-glass photo of a 'shift change'
(yes, I fumbled and raced like an idiot to capture this. you're welcome). 
Baxter ceaselessly watching the doves <3
that tree beyond the rail is literally where they nested!

The doves became part of our family.  We even named them: Patricia and Walter/ a.k.a Pat & Wally.  I guess we became part of theirs too, because after a while they no longer reacted to our presence out on the balcony and would sleep through my plant waterings, Baxter's bark-greeting everyone that walked by and evening telephone conversations over coffee right beside their tree.

Then last Monday (April 6th) our white winged doves became more active than usual.  Pat, as ever sitting on the nest, was visited by Wally several times an hour, when he would mount her and then fly off again!  I saw the exchange clearly from my spot at the dining table where I sat working.  Again, curiosity got the better of me and I abandoned by draft, moving closer to the glass sliding door so I could see what he was bringing her during each visit.  Food I thought... but I was wrong.  Wally was bringing sticks!  And as Patti sat, he'd climb on top of her and arrange the sticks beneath her - fixing the nest before taking off again for more.  Damaged by the wind, I thought... but again I was proved wrong, when Pat shifted slightly to one side and I saw a piece of broken eggshell fall slowly from the nest!  WE HAVE BABIES I howled into the phone at Will a second later.  And indeed we did.

Over the past week, we've witnessed two perfect little dove babies growing and changing rapidly.  They don't have their white wings just yet, in fact they've barely stopped resembling freaky, featherless aliens, but these babies whom only a mother could love actually have a loving, devoted father who still comes and sits on them his equal share of the time, fixes the nest frequently to allow for the growing twins and regurgitates his food dutifully as well!  Our white winged babies were born from love, in a spot significant to their parents, they were incubated in love and are now completely surrounded by love with an adopted human/ canine family that's sworn to play their part in protecting them from harm.

If I was able to see auras, I'd swear the entire tree glowed in the colour of love... whatever colour that is... green?  I can feel love radiating from and around that spot whenever I'm out there, whether night or day and whether my eyes are opened or closed.

It's hard to explain what I feel when I look out of my glass doors at the little bird family in oak tree.  Seeing firsthand that nature is all around us and exists just the way it's portrayed in National Geographic documentaries spreads a uniquely wonderful, serene feeling through me.  It's clear that humans are so disconnected from nature these days and Will and I are no exception.  Somehow sharing our space with another creature family has made us aware of, and saddened by, our lack of involvement in the world of nature surrounding us.  We've begun to ask the question: is distance from nature is also distance from true, unwavering love?

I once wondered what Patti thought after Wally flew away that first, fateful day.  Was she scared?  Full of regret?  I now know that they had a signed contract before the deed was even done and she felt secure, knowing irrevocably that he'd see his part out.  He'd support her.  Be a good, nurturing father.  He'd come back every day to help her and watch them.  They are a team. It's only humans that have forgotten what true love is.  Only us that can feel afraid or abandoned after the act of making "love".  We think we're superior to any being on the planet, but even birds to it better!  They're better partners, better parents/ no excuses, no cop-outs.  They got together to do something and by god: they DID.  I can tell it's not easy as I watch them day and night.  Regurgitating meals several times an hour/ not eating as much as they'd like due to being stuck in the tree/ balancing for hours on end upon the fragile bones of their precious babies/ being stuck in the same spot no matter the weather...

Patti, in the rain 
Let's be honest, most humans would have tapped out by now.  It saddens me for the state of humanity but also fills me with hope that love (and commitment) is not dead in all the world, when there's such a pure example right outside my balcony.  Their babies continue to grow and change while I continue to stand and stare at the spot where just over a month ago, two white winged doves acted out springtime and built a family from love; hoping that my family will likewise withstand the weather, the hard times and sacrifices.

a treasure hunt on a rainy day

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ahhh Saturday! Everybody's favourite day of the week...  As soon as your eyes open in the morning, you are filled up with the joy of endless possibility that comes from the complete freedom of not having to work.  You are free to do as much - or as little - as you please!

At our place, spring Saturdays usually mean the outdoors: hikes, picnics, visiting new places and having new adventures with the pups.  Then again, waking up this morning painted a different picture: it was cold, gloomy and miserable so our day trip had to be postponed and we needed a new plan. (Can I just add here how useless weather apps in Texas actually are?  I mean we've been promised a thunderstorm all week and instead it's been sunny/ then this weekend was meant to be 'partially cloudy' and it's freezing and raining instead! Grrr! Whatever Texas weather apps,whatever!)
After warming up with some coffee, Will and I decided to head over to Nature's Treasures - Austin's largest gem store - in search of some new crystals.  Recently, we've become quite taken with tourmaline: a gemstone with the incredible ability to literally repel negative energy!  W & I have some all around the apartment, in our cars, bags and even pockets most of the time.

Even if you don't believe in the metaphysical properties or energy transfers of crystals, you've got to admit, it's a beautiful stone!  With it's smooth, shiny jet black surface and vertical grains that form wands of either polygonal or triangular shapes - they're unlike any other crystal W or I have seen.

With a new tourmaline each and a spectacular crystal cluster for the coffee table, we headed home to watch movies with the pups and binge on antipasti for the rest of this rainy day.  Here's hoping tomorrow brings that highly anticipated thunderstorm at last!  (Then again, the weather app says 70% chance, so probably not!)



About unwavering me

Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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spring in Austin TX

spring in Austin TX

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