Monday, March 29, 2010


Tomorrow we're off! A long awaited o/s visit to friends and distant rellies in the UK then to stay with eldest son, DIL and two grandies in Austin Texas. How we are looking forward to seeing them all again. For DH it's been 5 years since he saw DIL and the grandies, only 3 for me but no matter the kids will have grown - now at 13 and 11 - quite the young 'adults' to get to know over again.

We plan to attend an Easter service in an English cathedral. Have been looking forward to that. I'd love to get some photos inside but don't know if that's permissable so will just have to wait and see. Up to Aberdeen to meet a distant rellie for the first time then back down to the south coast of England to stay with dear friends we worked with in Zambia. Last port of call in England will be with 2nd cousins right out on the east coast. We hope to see some beautiful English Spring country side.

So friends, I'll be missing for a while - but if I get the opportunity to call in here and there along the way and tell you how it's going, I'll do that. I know we'll have a marvellous and memorable time.

Have a blessed week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Last night we went to a function at our church - a pot luck supper to which everyone contributed then a fun auction to raise money for a street school in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Everyone had the opportunity to bid on an item - which was not so much products, but time. Many people had donated some of their own personal time and others bid on them. What a variety to choose from. Car washing, gardening, pet minding, child minding, swimming lessons, massages, facials, flower arranging, calligraphy lessons, handyman hours, cake baking and decorating, music and maths lessons, even how to put a computer together (which DH bid for and won), house cleaning. and so many other offers which very generous people had made. It took quite a long time to get through all the items but right at the end was up for bid, a weekend for two people at 'resort-style' accommodation close to one of Sydney's great beaches - Friday night to Sunday midday, meals included. DH had told me he was planning to bid on this item and we thought it would be popular. It was - but finally DH claimed the winning bid. We are planning to take this weekend away later in the year probably when the weather starts to get warmer again. A nice little getaway to look forward to. The auction made just over $4,000.00 which everyone was absolutely thrilled about. An estimate at the beginning of the evening was $500!

This money raised will provide much needed educational aids for the street school run by two national young men who attend our church in Lae. They have had little formal education but certainly knew much more than the 200 or more kids that cram into a small room eager to learn what they can. About 12 months ago they began with nothing except the kids in the room. Then someone donated a white board and pen. A friend of ours is working in PNG at present and she was able to get donations enough to provide each child with a notebook and pencil. That is all the equipment they have - until now. Can you imagine what $4000 will purchase in this developing country? Education in PNG is not compulsory and the majority of parents do not have the finances to send their kids to schools which are expensive. We were so thrilled to be part of encouraging these young men in their endeavour to give of themselves to help these youngsters learn so much more than they would ever have had the opportunity otherwise.

A very satisfying evening!

Have a good week - Bless you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I went to get my new lenses fitted yesterday and foolishly didn't really give them a good test before leaving the shop. Went to read some stuff during the afternoon and found that I couldn't see the words very clearly. The multi focal lenses seemed to be blurring the words. I was annoyed with myself as the Optometrist is about 30km from where I live in a suburb called Chatswood. (There are several closer however this is the one I've been going to for about 20 years and am reluctant to change).

I was already late for a luncheon/Nutrimetics and Tupperware demonstration organised by some ladies from my church. The distance lens was fine so I was OK driving. After getting there late and leaving early I headed for my appointment at the chiropractor but phoned the Optometrist before I started the car. He suggested I just try them out for a day or so. I was a bit peeved as I didn't really want to be trailing back to Chatswood another day if I could help it. After a 35 minute solid neck and shoulder massage, and a few little moves from the chiro man I was feeling much easier and by the time I arrived home decided I could probably alter the glasses frame myself. I got out an old pair of glasses (to see with) and with the help of a little pair of pliers managed to move the little thingies that rest on your nose. (this is not meant to be a complicated blog but its getting more and more involved!) With moving them down a fraction, it has now lifted the frame on my face just a little and my vision is now much easier. I don't think it's quite right and I'm a bit afraid that I'll do damage to the frames if I mess with them any more so I might just have to go back to Chatswood in the long run. That will certainly teach me to check things won't it?

This morning I've been doing some retail therapy - having to pack for both cold and warm temperatures has been good in many ways! I've just simply had to buy a couple of things to take. So I'm now home with a new pair of little flat shoes and a 'drape front' cardigan. Sounds kind of 'posh' doesn't it? Here's a photo of them so you can visualise what I'll be wearing - well some of the time anyway! LOL

While I'm about it, here's 3 of my beautiful roses which always have the most vibrant colours when they bloom in autumn.


Purples, mauves, aquas and grey

Princess Diana of Wales

Julia's Rose


Monday, March 22, 2010


Not too much of the past week has been especially noteworthy. Got some long overdue correspondence to aunts and cousins in New Zealand done and posted. I only write every couple of months to these particular people as none of them have computers and it's a 'snail mail' job. Interestingly, despite all the emails I seem to get on a daily basis, I still really enjoy getting snail mail in the post. There's just something about the opening of a letter and physically handling that paper with hand-written words that gets to me every time. I get rather frustrated these days if I have to hand write anything as long as a letter - it takes so much time - and my brain races ahead of my words - then often I forget what I was planning to write when I get to the end of the sentence. Maybe it's not frustration - probably just old age! LOL
Daughter, SIL and their two boys are leaving this morning on their long awaited holiday. They were to have left last Friday however a tropical cyclone made it unsafe to travel by air to the island resort they had booked and the airline cancelled their flights for that day. Fortunately they were able to make new reservations at both the airline and the resort and we've been watching the weather reports over the last few days to see whether it was likely they could get 'off the ground' today. The cyclone passed over the coast on Sunday morning with winds of 200km per hour but although lots of flood damage has been done further inland, the island resort only seems to have suffered badly from booking cancellations and postponements. As I write, they are driving to the airport with two very excited little boys. They are celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary and we pray their 10 days away will be all they hope it will be.
DH and I are preparing to go on holiday ourselves and leave before they arrive back home so it will be a month before we see them on our return. We are excited about visiting friends and distant rellies in the UK then go on to Austin Texas where our son, DIL and two grandies will have us for 10 days. It is a bit unfortunate that they will both be working and the kids at school while we are there but we are grateful for the opportunity to catch up with them again. I saw them all 3 years ago but DH hasn't visited for 5 years. He'll see such a difference in the kids who are now 13 and 11.
I wanted to take some cross stitch with me to keep me occupied while away so sent for a Teeny kit from The Sweetheart Tree. It is entitled "A For Angel" and I'm looking forward to working on it. Hopefully by the time we get back home it will be finished and I'll be able to post a photo.
Brother-In-Law was discharged from hospital just 4 days after his brain surgery and able to go home to recuperate with his very new wife to look after him. Unfortunately the tumour that was removed proved to be a malignant melanoma so he now waits to attend the oncology clinic to see what the next move will be in his ongoing treatment. He has made a wonderful recovery post operatively and after 4 hours in surgery had medical and nursing staff amazed at how well he has done. Of course he and the family visiting him were quick to testify to staff of the healing power of a loving God and Heavenly Father and they are very confident that will continue. We do praise Him for his faithfulness!
The purple runner beans I planted a couple of months ago are now beginning to fruit and I picked the first ones yesterday. I had feared they would not be ready before our departure but I should be able to get a few more off them before we leave. The rest will go into the neighbour's pot! He is a dear and will mow our lawns and water any plants that need it while we're away, so I reckon he deserves to collect the beans.
It is now autumn here in Sydney howeverthe temperatures are certainly not reflecting that, and we continue to have what some might call an "Indian Summer" but for me, I'm just looking forward to cooler temperatures. Admittedly early mornings are somewhat cooler however overnight temps are still staying warm. I think our first breath of coolness will be when we step out of Heathrow into the early Spring temperature of London. Probably by the time we reach Austin, they will be having weather much the same as we are experiencing here in Sydney at present - oh well - a 2 week reprieve is better than nothing. The only down side to this is having to carry both summer and winter attire in our baggage!
Had my eyes tested last week as I had noticed quite a difference in distance vision. I do have to get new lenses and will go and have them fitted today but found out that the reason my vision is changing more quickly now is because my eyelids are drooping! I thought that was quite funny at first until I was told that this causes the eyeballs to change shape because of the weight of the eyelid pressing on them which then has the effect of changing the vision. I'm grateful at this stage that change of lens will compensate but looks like eventually I'll be needing an 'eyelid job'! Oh my goodness!
On that note, I'll sign off! Have a good week friends... Blessings!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


More than a week has passed since I wrote - the days are just flying past - I know people say that's what happens when we age but this is ridiculous! LOL

An update on BIL's health. His surgery last Thursday went well. The whole tumour was removed and now he is amazing the medical staff with his progress and recovery. The biopsy result won't be in for another few days but we are still praying that it will have been found to be benign. I'm sure his speedy recovery and progress are a direct result of him being uplifted to the Great Physician in prayer - plus the fact that his very new wife is paying him so much attention that he cannot help but want to get well and home. Haven't heard yet when that might be - maybe the doctors are waiting for the results of the biopsy. We still leave him in the Lord's hands.

Granddaughter E18 had her party on Saturday night. It was themed 'a character from a movie' so most of the younger set who attended dressed accordingly and there were some very good ones including 'Queen of Hearts' 'Zorro' (and his wife in typical Spanish getup including the rose between the teeth) Captain of a pirate ship, Cleopatra, Moe and Homer Simpson (Homer's large belly being attributed to a near due pregnancy) and Wonder Woman. Many others - Cruella de vil from 101 Dalmations made a grand entrance with her Indiana Jones husband - all were excellent. Small 'oscar' trophies were given for Best Couple, Best Female, Best Male and Most Outrageous. E18 had a ball and all in all it was a great night for her. DH and I were the first to leave at around 10pm - having had a heavy dose of allergy (hayfever) since the afternoon, by then the noise, laser lights and 'smoke' were adding to my very stuffy head.

I was very happy visiting the new doctor last week. She was thorough and pleasant to talk to. Blood work results need watching and I'll have another lot done in 3 months. Meanwhile a jab in each arm to fight against this coming winter's flu bugs plus pneumonia should set me straight as the season approaches, despite two fairly painful and swollen upper arms! All is good, the swelling has almost gone.

Runner beans are doing really well with heaps of pretty purple/mauve flowers but I'm not sure if there will be enough heat in the sun now that autumn has arrived to bring the bees for pollination. Even if that happens, I fear we will miss most of the fruit as we plan to be away soon. Oh well the neighbour will harvest them I'm sure. The few lettuce I planted out have all matured at once as I thought they probably would but there's only 4 left so they won't take long to consume.
Have a good week friend - blessings!
Granddaughter E18

18 Candles

Moe and Homer Simpson

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Today is grand-daughter E's 18th birthday. I've just come in from having lunch with her - a very quick 25 minute 'grab' as she is working today at her part time job - but it was nice to spend even that time helping her celebrate a very momentus day in her life. She will be having a real celebration next weekend at her 'theme' party when all her family and friends will gather to mark the occasion.

I didn't take her gift with me because although the actual quilt is finished, I've still to stitch the 'pioneer story' to the back of it. (thanks to Susan and Shelagh for their info re this - it worked out a treat!).

Update on BIL in Perth - he has had a good few days with a home respite visit on Saturday. His new wife needed to get him back to the hospital by 10am Sunday otherwise he would have 'lost' his bed. The health system here is in disarray but despite that he has confidence in his doctors and the treatment regime he's under at present. The full body scan last Friday revealed no other abnormalities and we thank God for that. Now he just has to concentrate on surgery for the removal of the tumour behind his eye and then to get well. We believe he is in God's hands and are praying that His will shall be done.

Attended a baby shower for little 'Anzac' - code name for a little 'nearly due' bub whose mum is an Aussie and dad is a Kiwi. I think its rather cute actually and the name has actually grown on us all that know this couple. In fact we have heard of at least one baby who is now about 7 months old who has been named Anzac. Anyway the shower was a huge success. Played silly games like collecting a baby safety pin from someone each time the word 'b a b y' was used - the person with the most pins at the end of the afternoon won a little prize - and one I thought was rather cute, a tiny plastic baby had been frozen in ice cubes prior to the afternoon and at a given time, everyone was given a cube to place in their drink and the first 'baby' to be born (or thawed) was the winner. A quiz using the names given to baby animals also kept us amused for quite some time. Many of them I didn't know so learned something new. Taste testing purchased baby foods was also something that was an interesting game and most of us declared that home cooked food was far superior in taste.
DH and I are looking forward to visiting our US family at the end of the month. It is 5 years since DH saw the grandies and DIL and 3 years for me so it will be a good 'catch up' time for everyone.
Meantime our weather still remains so hot and humid. Feel like a grease spot most of the time. Even though nights are cooler than they have been, it is still not easy to sleep with the humidity being so high. As I sit here typing the perspiration is just rolling off me - even after taking a shower, once I get out and dried, I feel like hopping in again! A catch 22! Roll on Autumn.

Purple runner beans I planted about 5 weeks ago are just flowering and I'm hoping we will get a few to freeze before we leave. I feel sure we will if this heat keeps up another couple of weeks. The lettuce are almost ready to pick but those I planted in a tub I've been using for over a week now. They are so tender and I'm just picking the outside leaves off as they get large enough.

I visited a new doctor this morning as I plan to transfer from the one we've been attending for the last 11 years - long story which I won't bore you with - but I mentioned to her that I've been trying to lose some weight over the past 3 or 4 months and have succeeded so far in only shedding 6 and a bit kilo (14 pounds) so when she weighed me and measured my height was surprised when she told me definitely not to lose any more - my BMI is now right for my height. I didn 't think I'd lost that much really, however I'll take her word for it. Am still planning to continue on with the same kind of regime but will now begin to add a little more carbs however I don't think I run any sort of risk of losing anything more - I've remained fairly static for the past few weeks despite not deviating in food intake.

That's about all for now - blessings all and have a good week!

Our family members at 'Anzac's' baby shower - from left - 18yr old grand-daughter, expectant mum, her MIL, my DIL, me and my niece - all with surname McInnes!

Friday, March 05, 2010


was busy. At least that's how it seemed to be. The weather has certainly been more to my liking (not that I'm being selfish here you understand) however autumn definitely has kicked in, with heavy dew in the mornings and cooler night time temperatures with that beautiful 'frosted' look about the rose petals each new day - definitely my time of the year - leading into the best time - winter!
However, I digress and as usual got sidetracked from my week. A funeral mid week of a young man who had barely begun to live life, laid him to rest. He went to sleep after watching a movie with his mum and in the morning he was 'gone.' So sad for his family and friends.
News of DH's youngest brother's hospitalisation and the subsequent diagnosis of a brain tumour behind his right eye has not been a happy part of the week. An MRI of the brain on Thursday has suggested it is in a very accessible position and a whole body scan yesterday was to check if there are any other areas to be looked at. Surgery to remove the tumour mid next week is to take place after a weekend respite visit at home for him. We are praying for a miracle and asking that doctors and surgeons to be guided by the Great Healer himself. Can you imagine this situation happening just a couple of days after being married? Well it was a wedding celebration just a week ago and two days later a hospital admission. Not the best way to start to married life! Happily though new wife is coping admirably and both are extremely positive about the outcome. We pray it will be true.
Trips to the shopping centre to pick up travel stuff, another day to check DH's newish iPod nano which had frozen - fortunately there wasn't anything radically wrong and is now functioning as it should - dropping grandkids to school and pre-school and picking them up again - purchasing a cabin bag - making an appointment to see a new doctor for a regular checkup - laundry - just a few of the things that have occupied my week.
This afternoon I'm off to a baby shower - this long awaited baby due in 5 weeks time will be the first grandchild of DH's brother and SIL - a celebration of combining one Australian parent and one Kiwi - baby's codename "Anzac" - isn't that the cutest thing?
Have a good weekend friend. Blessings!