Friday, June 19, 2009

A few years ago, with the help of other Steley descendants we organised a family reunion and a cousin and I wrote their history for the occasion. This is a poem I wrote about my first Steley line descendant who came to Australia.

Abel was a humble soul
As was wife Leah too,
They must have felt a pressing need
To start their life anew.

They packed up all their chattels.
They said their sad goodbyes.
They did not know what lay ahead,
When they broke the family ties.

Their daughter kept a log book
To post to Eleanor.
It tells of many weary days
To bring them to our shore.

Alas! This great new country.
Held trials to overcome.
But they toiled and sweated and battled on
From dawn to setting sun.

They tried the "Rock" and "Mary"
But didn't settle there
They chose a little township
The "Burrum" a treasure rare.

There wasn't gold or diamonds
Or other gems to wear.
It was a bit of blackend rock
To the best of coal compare.

It looked as if the troubled times
Were finally at an end
But some folk, in whom they trusted
Turned out as - not a friend.

Abel to his maker went.
He's suffered, triumphed, stumbled, been down, but rose above.
Leah was there to support him
His one and only love.

He became a local Legend
His children spread afar
Leah's greatest wish
Was to follow Abel's star.

She was buried a child of Isreal
Beside him, her partner brave.
She too had joined her maker
A dedicated Christian slave.

Some of us still walk the streets
Where they placed their well-worn shoe'.
Some of us have left this land
Like them, to start anew.

Some of us have not gone far
A few miles or hours away,
But the memories of our forbears
Are with us to this day.

We are the descended children
Bound by family chains
The blood of Abel and Leah
Is forever in our veins.

Why do I love this part of the world (south east Queensland, Australia)? Our night temperatures get down to about 3 degrees C, enough to know it's winter, but the garden still produces an abundance of brilliant tropical colour. They get very little attention except a bit of water and occasionally the Great Dane tosses a bit of fertiliser at them.
These two beautiful Hibiscus bushes grow just inside our front gate.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is my one and only attempt at a portrait painting.
It is of one of my four sons, when he was 10 years old, from his school photo. I started it in about 1987, the year after he was killed in a car accident when he was nearly 18 years of age. Each time I have come across it, I've told myself that I must finish it but it always felt a little painful to attempt to do so. Well, today I did it. Although it's no masterpiece I'm pretty happy with the result.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sold my first painting. Only another artist would know how that feels GREAT.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A new painting I have started.

Lying on the sugar can mulch in the sun is the place to be on a cold winters morning if you are a cat or a dog. The "Puschka" the cat likes the vege garden and the "Couch" the dog has chosen the rose garden with the ornimental duck for company. The cat about, 16 years old has never welcomed the dog about 5 years old and the only contact it has ever made with the dog is a swipe across the nose if he got too close. The two gardens are seperated by a fence, mainly so the dog doesn't dig in the vege garden and that suits the cat to have his own private garden. The cat, a Devon Rex is the strangest natured cat we have ever had in our lives. He has never liked being nursed but will park himself on any lap that appeals to him when he chooses. He can drive you up the wall with his talking. He will starve himself rather than eat anything that doesn't appeal to him at the time, though that may have been his favourite food last week. We do have a foolproof test to see if he is on his last leg of not. If he hasn't eaten for a few days and is almost skin and bones then we buy expensive whitting fillets, fresh (and only fresh not frozen) from our local supplier and if he goes berserk and eats up to 4 fillets at once then we know he's likely to be around for a while yet. It usually gets his appetite going again. He likes to open cupboard doors and is pretty good at it. If there's room he will occuply it too, until he is found or pops out for a snack. I think the Rex (Royal) part of his breed has gone to his head. But we love him. Enough about the cat.

Couch on the other hand has a good bark to keep strangers away from the gate but he is the gentlest and lovable animal and gets on really well with kids. Even kids who have been afraid of dogs up to date take to him. The sugar can mulch on the garden must be nice an warm to lay on as the Great Dane only laid it around the roses a few days ago and this is the first time the dog has chosen to lay there. It's also nice and close to the gate so if he can get away with it he can spot and bark at any other four legged animal who goes past. He sort of makes up for the difficult nature of the cat. He's not a million dollar dog but a three thousand dollar dog, yes. He took a liking to Bauple nuts (Macadamias) from a tree we had growing - would crack the shell and eat the kernal. However, a couple slipped down uncraked at different times, caused a major blockage of his intestines, 1.5 meters o which had to be removed as if was going gangreous and he would have died a painful death. The tree has been removed. He would love to be a lap dog but unfortunately at 28 kg + that's not an option and he has to settle for his head on your lap and receive the necessary pats.

Just found this picture of our seafood lunch last weekend. Gee it was nice to share it with great friends, sorry you weren't her to join us.

A few of the Great Danes orchid and bromeliad collection.