Friday, December 30, 2011

Up in the middle of the night!

Well, it's almost the middle of the night here - just 20 minutes before midnight. Have had a couple of those nights where I haven't been able to get to sleep - or in the case last night, slept for about 30 minutes then was wide awake for hours.  Managed to drop off about 4am then slept late till nearly 8.  I guess when  this happens, one tends to just try too hard at getting to sleep - then it never seems to happen.

Well I think the last couple of days my mind has been overly active - at least more than usual - and I was kind of 'wound up' and things were going through my head at a real rate of knots.

Yesterday I spent the day on the computer trying to sort out some information for DIL's family tree.  I did get quite a bit done though for which I  was pleased.  Today the morning was fairly quiet with watering the garden and grocery shopping but after lunch DH and I decided to go to the movies.  I had library books to return as well so we got seat bookings online to go to "The Iron Lady" which I've been wanting to see since I heard it was being released.  I really enjoyed it - and Meryl Streep's acting was superb as one would expect.  I love her movies - she is so skilled.  We talked about the movie later in the day, and about Margaret Thatcher, where she lives now and how old she is and of course  my mind stayed pretty well active until bedtime.  But despite doing a little reading to relax, sleep has evaded me again tonight. 

So after a warm drink I'm planning to head back to bed and hope I can drift off to sleep this time.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2011.  It's hard to believe, the last week has just zipped by so quickly - I guess that's what happens when DH is home from work between Christmas and New Year break.  Looking forward to seeing the wonderful fireworks display tomorrow night to mark the end of the year and the beginning of 2012.  Hopefully will stay up and see the 9pm show but it's debatable whether I last the distance for the midnight extravaganza.  We won't be heading off into the city to see it live - it's pretty good to watch on the television!  Sydney is well renowned throughout the world for its New Year's Eve fireworks display and I have no doubt tomorrow night's will live up to expectations.

Happy New Year everyone - and blessings in abundance through 2012!

Sydney Opera House 2007

Monday, December 26, 2011

Long time catch-up

Christmas Day is over!  It seems such a long time in preparation then so quickly, food is eaten, gifts are opened and it's clean-up time.  And we'll do it all again next year I'm sure.  We will have forgotten all of the negative things about Christmas and the lead up to it, but in our hearts I believe we can remember the most positive aspect of Christmas for the whole of the year. 

Yes, the fact that Jesus was born, died at Calvary and rose again is an amazing thing - the way it all happened and was planned by God the Father is something our finite minds find difficult to grasp and hold - but the most amazing thing of all I think, is that God loved us all so much that he not only planned it immaculately, but carried it out - just so that we have the opportunity of eternity with Him.  Oh how I long for that time!

Happy Christmas dear friends and a bright and wonderful 2012.


 Carving the turkey

 E with new camera

 L with new camera (and a sticky mouth)

C, C, L and E waiting for the turkey!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Convicts and bonnets

The craft group I belong to are making Convict Bonnets as part of a living sculpture called "Roses from the Heart".

Conceptual artist and Artist in Residence at the Cascades Female Factory, Hobart, Tasmania and Christina Henri have designed this as a tribute to the convict women of Australia.

The "Roses from the Heart" project aims to have 25,566 bonnets made, one for every woman transported to Australia between 1788 and 1846 when tranportation ceased.  To date about 20,500 have been collected from all over the world.   Many of the bonnets already made have been adorned with a convict woman's name, the ship in which she arrived and the date of arrival.

This link will give you more information.

There are 3 convicts in our family from my husband's side (must have been a bad lot! LOL) however they were all male so to honour a convict woman on my bonnet I have chosen a person with the same surname.  She was Elizabeth Double who was sentenced to transportation on 14 January 1818 and sailed in the "Maria" to Sydney in NSW.  She was in Sydney until 1820 when she was sent to Tasmania and shipped on the "Princess Charlotte" to Hobart. 

It's been a really interesting exercise for me to check out not only this woman but the three rellies who were sentenced two years apart - Joseph in 1842, Edward in 1844 and John in 1846.  Although from the same family name of 'Double's', none were directly related however Edward was a nephew of Joseph.

It's hard to imagine what life must have been like in those days - so hard - most of the crimes punishable by transportation then, would not even rate a mention today - although one of the above was charged and sentenced for arson - burning down a barn of hay! 

Some of the records make interesting reading!


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Baby birds and birthdays

I rushed out to rescue the washing from the clothes line - it certainly wasn't dry, but too dry to get wet in the rain that was threatening.  I was casually watching out the kitchen window at the rain as it absolutely hosed down and to my great surprise I saw a brilliant flash of fire then smoke rising from behind the trees not far from our back fence.  Almost instantaneously our power went off.  The lightning must have hit a transformer supplying electricity to our area.  At a guess I'd say a good inch and a half of rain fell in the next hour.  Absolutely pelted down!

The power was restored a couple of hours later.  At least there was enough light by sitting close to the window, to read for that length of time.

But no matter what the weather, baby birds continue to feed, and birthday parties happen.  For the past three days, Mr and Mrs Scaly Breasted Lorikeet have brought baby SBL to my window.  I simply love their huge black baby eyes as they stumble around the tray trying to make out what they are supposed to do with this stuff that mum and dad seem to be wolfing down their throats.  It hasn't taken long and he/she has gotten the idea of what to do, but despite that still needs some from mum as well.  It is amazing thing to watch at such close range!

And parties!  Grandson E had his today to celebrate his 8th birthday. Daughter had asked me to make the cake so after trying to decide how to decorate it, finished up with a 'Mario' theme since the kids at the moment are all crazy for DS and Wii games featuring this cute character.  The water is really too cold at this time of the year but the new pool has a heater installed and after 12 hours switched on overnight, the kids were able to swim and play in 30C warmth!  A bit chilly getting out though! 

The storm has now gone and the skies are clear-ish but tomorrow we are promised from the weather bureau a bit more of the same - and rain throughout the coming week.  At least we won't need to water the garden or top up the pool!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

It's Monday!

Monday - public holiday - Labour Day!  Has been a kind of 'nothing' weekend I guess - weather foul, wet, windy, cold - first time I can ever remember having the fire going in October!!

Despite the weather our Mr & Mrs Butcher Bird are still waiting each morning for a hand-out!  I hope they will bring their offspring to visit soon - they must be about to fly the nest I would guess.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Floriade 2011

Weather was not great!  From warm Spring temperatures a few days before, it had zoomed backward to winter - cold - windy - rainy. Still we ventured out into it, after all this is what we'd come for - to experience Floriade 2011, an annual Spring event in our Capital, Canberra.

We had  been fortunate indeed to secure an overnight accommodation booking so our first port of call on arrival in Canberra was to check the whereabouts and get keys and address of our apartment.  We were surprised and delighted to find it was in a security block, and very new.  Beautifully appointed close to all tourist attractions Canberra offers, it was all we could have hoped for.  After surfing the net for over an hour and almost giving up hope of finding anything under $400 per night available, this was amazing!

Wrapped up in winter woollies and armed with camera we joined the thousands of people all heading for Commonwealth Park.  It didn't disappoint.  The colours, sights, smells were all we'd imagined.  For the most part we stayed dry - the one huge downpour struck just as we entered a huge marquee where we sat and enjoyed a cooking demonstration for the time it took for the rain to stop. Fortuitous indeed!

So many photos taken, which to choose?  Just a few of the amazing colours we saw!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Would an anaesthetic do that?

I guess I'm just looking for an excuse to blame for my slackness!  I'm doing well in terms of recovery and rehabilitation - just lacking in things to say.

Have had a couple of nice outings in the last week or so however my life at present is still rather mundane.

We travelled to the city to join with about 60 others to help a very 'young in heart and mind' 80year old celebrate her birthday.  It was a 'high tea' event but held at 1pm which I guess was more like a luncheon.  We gathered in a big city hotel which was all very 'swish' and spent a couple of hours mingling and nibbling with her, her rellies and friends.  It was a very happy time and her daughter was so pleased it had turned out so well.  It had taken her 18 months to actually persuade her mum to have the celebration.  'Do you know people treat you differently when they know you're old' was her comment.  Now if ever an elderly lady didn't look her age it is this one!  So I'm sure that no-one will be treating her any differently now that they know her real age!

The Bible Study I attend on a Tuesday is run from the local Anglican church (not my regular worship place) and is held during each 4 school terms.  Towards the end of each term, we forgo our study on one morning and join at a garden centre which isn't too far away, for a social get together and morning tea.  It's really nice to just chat.  This morning was our last day until after the school holidays are over. 

Have started making some Christmas cards too.  On our recent trip to Perth our niece showed me a really nice design for a card which opens up like a shallow box.  I'm doing some to give as gifts this Christmas and will place a small remembrance inside.  Once I have some finished I'll get a photo up.  After I'd put my camera up on the shelf last week, it fell out and onto the floor.  I did check it and it seems OK but I'll have to really give it a good run soon and make sure it hasn't been damaged.  Fortunately the lens was locked! 

Many blessings! 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Monday

Despite the inclement weekend weather, the last couple of days have been good. On Saturday morning we attended a Spring Fair at a local retirement village - our real motivation was to view one of their units currently for sale.  Although we feel we are probably not quite ready for village living, we are trying to think ahead to get an idea of what it might be like, what the accommodations are like, what charges we'd be up for etc.  Although lovely and in beautifully set out grounds with so many facilities, the actual unit was very tiny.  Two reasonably sized bedrooms, small living area and two huge bathrooms. We felt the bathroom situation was rather overkill however it may be that they were planned with wheelchairs in mind.  We'll keep looking over the next few months to get a feel of values but truthfully, I'm not sure that kind of living is for me - just yet.  Ideal for a single person probably.

Enjoyed getting out to our worship service on Sunday morning - my first time since surgery.

Put the fire on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons as temps still quite chilly. This is the first September ever I can remember being cold enough for fires. Global warming eh?

This morning's U S Open win for Aussie Sam Stosur was a great feat - today was just her day!  Shame about her oponent losing her cool at one point and would certainly not go down as good sportsmanship in the eyes of many.  Good for Sam to overcome when her emotions might have easily over-ridden her calmness.

Our Butcher birds are back - cheeky as ever!  Normally a shy and fairly elusive bird, they perch themselves on the pool fence just outside the back door waiting for the ground beef I throw out for them.  They take the morsel in their beak and fly off to the next which I've discovered is in a neighbours high tree. I look forward again to the time when they will bring their babies to visit.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Back to wheels

I'm so happy - I'm allowed to drive again!  No, I didn't lose my licence to drive but had to have a break after my surgery however I've now been cleared to get back behind the wheel and my first 'outing' today is to the public library to get more reading material.

I'm feeling really good and although I still have to be very careful and cautious of what I do - no lifting, twisting etc - I'm doing well and so grateful for such a terrific recovery.  I am confident that if I 'stick to the rules' I'll be 'up and at it' in no time at all.  Of course I'm not going to be silly about those things like vacuuming and putting washing on the line at present - especially when DH is such a darling and so willing to do it for me!

Thanks for all your good wishes dear friends!


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Fathers Day Downunder

It has been a perfect Spring day!  Temperature warm and sunshine. Beautiful! What has made it more special is that today in Oz is 'Father's Day'!

Talk about being waited on - a visit at lunch time by son and DIL with gifts (gold pass for both of us to the cinema) plus a beautiful roast dinner for us each for tonight.  We were just finishing up lunch with them - home made chicken and vegetable soup which DH made yesterday, when in came daughter, SIL and two grandboys.  More Fathers Day wishes and chocolate cake to celebrate.

We are so grateful for such a loving and caring family.  Thank you Lord!


Friday, September 02, 2011

Took a little wander this morning

I'm getting stronger each day.  Took a visit to the library today - my book needed returning and I need some extra reading material.  DH drove me and did the shopping while I mooched.  Was good to get out of the house for a little while.
Thanks to those of you who have cheered me with your kind comments.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm so glad to be home

The surgery's over and I'm back home. I'm so pleased everything seems to have gone extremely well and the surgeon was happy with what he did.  I'll have a better idea what that actually was when I see him for my post op appointment in a few weeks.

Meantime I have a wonderful (DH) nurse and cook looking after me and all I have to do is now slowly get back to normalcy.

Thank you Lord for a (so far) great recovery.


Monday, August 22, 2011

A legitimate excuse

I'll be missing for a little while and since only just returning you'll be wondering why in fact I'm 'off line' again.  Tomorrow I enter hospital for my spinal fusion surgery so I'll literally be 'on my back' for a little while.  Hospitalisation probably about 5 days then at home to slowly get back to 'better than ever'! 

I'm a little apprehensive about the procedure - although I've had this kind of surgery twice before, it doesn't alter the fact that it is surgery after all and quite a long one at that (3 hours).  I know though, that my Heavenly Father has everything in His control so from that point of view I am totally confident that I'm in His hands and He will be guiding all that happens in that theatre tomorrow. 

So although I'll be able to look in on my friends in a week or so, it'll be a bit longer than that before I'm up to actually writing anything here.

Take care my blogger friends - blessings!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just another showery day

Yesterday was so beautiful - sunny with a cool breeze.  Today is one of those misty, rainy kinds of day - snuggle up by the fire kind of day.  Four or five daffodils are poking their heads up - Spring definitely is just around the corner. 

Saw the funniest thing this morning (at  least I thought it was funny)!  In the lounge room opening up the venetian blinds to the dullness of the day when up the driveway strode a duck.  Now there was once when a pair of ducks flew in to our back yard and promptly dunked in the pool - salt water pool that is. Anyway  it was a rainy sort of day then, and they proceeded to peck around the grass looking for the odd grub before they winged their way again to who knows where.  As far as I know, the nearest place to us where ducks may congregate is around 4 kilometers.  Maybe this lone one came from there - perhaps on its way to another watering hole.

Anyway I digress!  From the waddling position on the driveway it suddenly lurched into upward flight and perched on a large branch on our huge gum tree.  There it sat, peering around in all directions. I wonder if it was looking for a mate maybe lost along the way to who knows where.  Anyway I left it to its own devices in that high perch - can't imagine it would have stayed long with so many native birds invading using the tree for their own romancing.

Got a lovely surprise yesterday in the mail - a beautiful 'Welcoming Angel' (Lordi) gift from our Texan DIL - a thankyou after their stay with us recently.  Entirely unexpected and appreciated!  Thank you so much R - you are a treasure!

What to do today?  A few things cross my mind - grocery shopping (now out of spuds), card making (got some new cardstock yesterday), laundry (no - out of the question today with the sprinkling happening), I'm sure I'll think of something!

Have a wonderful Friday with blessings!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I was just thinking...

I was just thinking... do they kick you out of blogger if you don't blog enough?  'They' would have every good reason to do that to me if my recent non appearance had anything to do with it.  Over 8 weeks since I was here and you know when I think about it I really don't have a very good excuse.

Well, l must say our USA family (the Texas Connection) did come stay for over 4 weeks and in that time we drove to the Gold Coast in Queensland and spent 10 days in a lovely resort.  There were about 16 of us all told as we had planned it to be a family reunion holiday and we had such a great time.  It was so very sad to see the family leave for their home - this time with no plans in place to go visit - that was an eerie feeling not knowing when we might see them again. 

During that time DH has finished work, had a few weeks break, then a few weeks working two mornings a week, then finally 2 weeks ago after being offered another job, began working full time again.  Quite a whirlwind of emotions for him considering he is now past the official retirement age by a few years.

We have purchased another car to enable him to take one for work transport. We were'nt looking for a hybrid but came out of the dealership with a Toyota Prius. It's 2 years old but like brand new - beautiful to drive and so quiet - so far is proving to be quite economical as well.

Over the past months my lower back has been acting up again and is now at the stage where I require more surgery.  Have been seeing my Professor neurosurgeon over the last 3 or so months and last week we made the decision to have an extension to the fusion in my spine which was done in May 2 years ago. The surgery will take place on 23rd August and I'm hopeful it will relieve the pain.

It's been quite a cold winter and we've been so grateful for the lovely cosy fire.  Mostly we use it for most of August but we're hoping by September we can clean it out and not use it again until next winter.  One can never tell in Sydney, already a couple of weeks ago we had a few days of 23/24C degrees - was a bit of a rude awakening to go back to 17C or so which it has remained. 

Some of our Spring bulbs have flower buds emerging and I'm looking forward to seeing the cheerful yellow daffodils - a sure sign that winter is almost over.


 Four brothers and their wives

 Beach fishing sunrise Currumbin Beach


Family Group

Friday, June 10, 2011

Funny that!

A niece sent this to me in an email and I thought it worthy of passing on - I love it!

Ode to English Plurals

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and
get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

 A Language for the Verbally Insane

Let’s face it—English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England. We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship. We have noses that run and feet that smell. We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

by Eugenie A. Nidia
It seems that it first appeared in the EFITA Newsletter in January 2006...
The original title is “Pluralities.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Photography excursion

I recently joined a local service club for those who are considered geriatric those who are over the age of 55.  One of the benefits of being a member of this particular club is being able to join any of the many groups which have been formed and which members coordinate  - one such group being photography.

Yesterday I joined with some of them and armed with our variety of cameras, visited a local park.  It had rained overnight and the prospects of good weather didn't look promising but the sun began to shine eventually and although it was quite windy, the morning proved to be most enjoyable. My attempts at photography are purely amateurish however I do enjoy using my camera and even though many shots are deleted on editing, here are a few I saved.  The park offered so much variety and was divided into gardens of international interest  including Italian, English, American, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Australian. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just had to show these

Mothers Day gift 2011 - Asiatic Lilies

Wedding Anniversary flowers 19 May

I feel truly blessed!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cross stitch, tomatoes and airplanes

Over a month has passed since my last entry! I'm feeling rather sad that I've let so much time elapse - it seems a lot has happened in that time and yet when I try to remember what, I find it difficult to recall.  I know some of it was taken up with school holidays and child minding, another 10 days was spent in Auckland visiting my mum who was discharged from hospital after 3 months and spinal surgery - other days I just felt lethargic and unable to focus on too much.  A long awaited visit to my back specialist has revealed from another scan that I'm in strife with my spine again.  2 years ago I underwent a spinal fusion and at that time felt sure that would be the answer however that has not proved to be the case and I now have to face the fact that more spinal surgery (to add to the fusion already in place) is most likely.  To check whether the pain was originating from the nerve root, I had a cortisone injection into the 'spot' and that has brought relief from the pain.  I expect it should last about 10 weeks - another appointment to the back specialist will sort out what to consider as next on the treatment list. 

I've been taking a rest from my Daisy Girl cross stitch recently as the small count makes for hard work on my eyes but I've done a little on a little 'sale' item I picked up and rather liked. 

Today is our 49th wedding anniversary (date).  I can hardly credit that many years have passed.  God has been good!

The 'winter' tomatoes I planted are doing very well and now have fruit on each plant.  Need a bit more sun to ripen them.  The little black cherry has produced the most fruit and I suspect we will have a real 'glut' once they all begin to ripen at once - the mini cabbages and spinach are doing well too but the brussels sprouts have no sign of 'sprouts' as yet. The first time I have attempted them so not sure what to expect.  I think the fact that huge toadstools have decided to crop in the same bed over the past few weeks may have something to do with that - I've been assured they shouldn't have any effect but I'm not sure.  I think the spores may have come in on a summer tomato plant I put into the same area during November.  Apparently the fungi makes good compost so will wait a few more weeks then dig them all in and hope there's no more sign of them disrupting spring seedlings.

Our visit to Auckland went well in that I was able to visit with mum each day. The family feel she would really be better now in assisted living however she has to make that decision for herself.  She is very slow in movement and has people coming in to give her assistance a couple of times a week.  She has recovered from the spinal surgery but it has taken a toll on her general health as one would expect at 92 years of age!  Beautiful view of Sydney harbour on our way home - the pilot gave us a wonderful view of the city as we circled towards our landing.

Our weather is now cold and the lovely heat from the fire is so comforting. 

We are so looking forward to the visit of our family from Texas at the beginning of June and will be gathering together in a family reunion on the Gold Coast while they are here.  Another reason to  be grateful for the good effects of that cortisone injection!

Blessings dear friends!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I suppose my excuse for not writing here for so long is probably one many could use at this time of the year, however it is legitimate! I simply have not been feeling 100%.

A month ago E7 came down with a roaring viral infection and was home from school for more than a week. Eventually after doctors appointments and chest X-Ray, pneumonia was suspected however an antibiotic saved the day for him eventually. For 3 days of that week grandmother was on child minding duty. The following few days saw both daughter and grandmother and then L5 succumb to the same infection. All of us battling through then eventually getting antibiotics when mine turned to bronchitis and L5's to pneumonia.  I managed to struggle through the child minding duty again for the following week while daughter managed to make it to work.

Coming right on top of that, school holidays commenced - 2 more weeks of child minding - I have to say that I am relieved that one week is now over and because of Easter next weekend, there will only be 3 days next week. I'm getting too old for two very active and rambunctious but very normal little boys!

To top this off, I have been having problems with my lower back. This has been niggling since before Christmas but over the past few weeks has steadily become worse.  I do have a referral to see my specialist, have had a new CT scan done and am awaiting his office to phone me for an appointment. He is difficult to get to see at times so I may have to be waiting for a while longer. Meanwhile standing and walking is becoming quite aggravating.

Having been in hospital for nearly 3 months, Mum is finally being discharged next week.  My brother has been working through all the govt processes and trying to find a vacancy in a reputable assisted living facility.  We thought it was pretty much signed and sealed however in the past few days, Mum has decided against that option and is planning to return home to her independent living unit.  Her consultant feels her progress may be delayed if she were to move into assisted living when she really didn't want that.  It means the pressure will be on both myself (from a distance, certainly) and my brother, to make sure she is OK by herself. She will have assistance on a daily basis provided by the hospital for a while so we will just have to see how things go - time will tell!  She will be 92 in a couple of weeks time and DH and I are making the trip to see her and make sure all is OK when she goes home.  I'm sure she still thinks my brother and I are in our 30's - I had to mention to her recently that at nearing 70, we will soon have to be thinking of assisted living facilities ourselves! 

Our weather is cooling off substantially although this past week has been sunny. Today is simply pouring with rain - a lovely Saturday to stay indoors, make soup and generally have a lazy day to catch up with myself.

With blessings to all of you my dear reader friends!

E7 & L5 after feeding the ducks yesterday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why is it?

Why is it that simply days can go by and I can't think of a single thing to write - despite all that, life has been busy.  Take these past few days for instance - grandson E7 started off the week with a cough which has gradually gotten worse. No school but mum still had to get off to work - grandma to the rescue - sitting with the little fella while he coughed his tummy sore!  Friday came and another doctor appt plus Xray - possible pneumonia!  Second doctor appt on Friday revealed Xray results not pneumonia but chest infection.  Prescribed anti-biotic and hopefully might be well enough for school on Monday.

Easter is not far away - daughter pleads "can you make E7  an Easter hat for the school parade?"  Oh boy I think - what next?  "Mum, you know you could do it so much better than me" - oh well, what's one more thing to line up?  Made a start on it this morning but will reserve the photo till it's finished.

Hasn't rained for weeks - since beginning of January - did the washing this morning to hang on the  line - including bed linen etc - now pouring with rain! Oh well - have hung some on the clothes airer - the rest can stay in the laundry basket until tomorrow to see if the weather takes a turn for the better. 

Garden is looking OK and carrots and mini cabbage are doing well.  I've erected a little netting cage over the top of them trying to keep the butterflies from laying their little eggs and caterpillars chomping the beautifully tender green leaves.  It seems to be working so far.  Put in some more purple runner beans a couple of weeks ago and they're up about 6 feet so far with flower buds just appearing.  I hope the weather stays warm enough for them to fruit.  The 'winter' tomatoes are all doing well - the Giant Tree Tomato has its first flowers open - boy are they big for tomatoes!  Can't wait to see the fruit once it starts. Have taken 7 pumpkins from the vine and one still left hanging. They're looking good too so shouldn't have to buy any for a while.  Cut the first one when I cooked roast lamb the other night.  They could take a  little more ripening but nice and sweet. 

Picked up a poor specimen of a begonia at the plant nursery a few weeks ago - reduced down in price. It seemed to have had far too much water. Let it dry right out and now blooming a beautiful red!

Had a visit yesterday from a baby kookaburra.  We hear them occasionally in our many trees around the yard but don't often see them.  This cutie perched himself in the old dead wattle tree over the back fence - he didn't seem in the least perturbed when I got as close as I could to take a shot at him - photo that is of course!

A couple of birthdays in the family in the past two weeks and a wedding anniversary - made cards to give and was pleased with the frangipani theme I used for E19.

Booked our flights to go see Mum at Easter time.  She's still in the hospital and hopefully is rehabilitating reasonably.  For a couple of weeks after her surgery we were extremely concerned about her condition but she did 'turn the corner' and is now back in the 'older people's ward' recuperating.  Hoping that there will be some kind of assessment by Easter regarding her ability to go back to her apartment and live independently.  If not, then assisted  living may need to be an option.

Have had contact from another second cousin in the United Kingdom who we'd never heard of before  - I am amazed that in the last few months no less than four distant rellies have made contact.  Genealogy is certainly a very popular pastime.  It is so good hearing from these people and being able to link extended families together. 

All for now - blessings!

Baby Kookaburra

Pretty red begonia

Birthday card for E19

Giant tree tomato plant with basil seedlings

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

This morning it is Autumn

Ah that wonderfully fresh air with a touch of coolness - I feel it on my feet as I sit here at the computer with the back door open. While the temperature today is predicted to be 26C, this morning's coolness is so refreshing.  Autumn is my favourite season of the year!  The only downside to it is the termination of summer daylight savings time.  But that won't happen for another few weeks yet - but the nights are drawing in quickly now. Once the clocks are put back the early mornings will be so much darker - harder to get out of bed.

My poor Mum is back in hospital again.  She's been there now more than 5 weeks - at first investigative tests and scans being done to get to the bottom of her severe pain - it seems she has the same problems I have had over the past few years - spinal nerves being caught and sending pain down her legs.  A decision by medical staff was made to do a decompressive laminectomy on her lower spine and release the nerves causing the problem.  That was done last Friday.  Her recovery is being hampered at present by a very low blood iron level so she is being given units of blood through transfusion.  We are hoping that may help her mental confusion once the iron level is normalised. Its fortunate that son CM has been in NZ on business for 10 days and weekends was able to make visits to the hospital.  Now phone calls to the hospital ward  to check on her progress and talk with her are the order of the day. Her birthday is in May and she'll be 92 - her recovery and rehabilitation may be a long tough road we're thinking, especially since this is the second major surgery she's undergone in 6 months.  Can only leave her in our Maker's hands, trusting that He knows what is best for her.

Even though the grandies are now back at school, I am being kept fairly busy. This week however is much less so for which I'm grateful.  Had the lounge room windows measured last week for new blinds - they will take about 4 weeks to make. Looking forward to them being fitted. Meantime I've been washing curtains and windows, and cleaning out in the garage - getting rid of stuff that's been accumulated for a number of years.  I'm not finished in there yet but a long way to being able to find things again! LOL

Have planted out some tomato seedlings which were a freebie on a gardening mag in January. These are specifically grown in cool weather as opposed to summer cropping so will be interesting to see how they do.  There were four varieties, two the little truss cherry type, one 'normal' and one Giant Tree Tomato which apparently yields fruit up to 500 grams each.  That should be interesting!  Also tried a couple of rows of carrots and they have now been transplanted into 4 or 5 rows - not sure how they will be now the weather is cooling. I think they do better in a warmer spring/summer season. Planted out a few mini cabbages and some spinach along with a final crop of purple runner beans.  Have had to spread bird netting over them all as a new neighbour's cat has decided our yard to be it's bathroom area - spraying citronella oil around helps but this guys' pretty determined! 

All for now - blessings!

Black Cherry tomato 

Giant tree tomato (with tiny basil seedlings alongside

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Not much to post

I'm fine!  thanks to all who wished me a speedy 'back to normal'.  I was shaken up a little by the fall but there was no serious damage done for which I am so grateful.  I will certainly have to learn to pick my feet up though - I seem to have a bad habit of dragging them LOL.

I've had a busy week - bible in 90 days is going well - in fact I find myself 2 days ahead of myself and I'm not sure how that happened so this morning I took a break as am nearly at the end of Psalms and they tend to be much of a muchness in content.  Am at Ps 134 so almost at the end of them and almost to day 45 - the middle of the exercise.

Have been doing a lot of family history stuff in the past week.  Sometimes I can go for a few weeks without doing much at all but in the last 10 days, I've had 3 people make contact with me from a couple of genealogy sites I have my tree listed on.  Have found I have a second cousin in England I never knew before, another in Western Australia whose great grandparent is a sibling to mine, and a slightly more distant rellie in England I've made contact with.  It is an exciting pastime and I really enjoy delving into the history of it all.  Amazing things can be found out about people from the past.  On a sad note though another person who made contact with me about 12 months ago - another distant rellie on my great grandmother's side of the family has passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.  I was so sad as she wasn't a very old person.  It's still a dreadful killer isn't it?

Our weather is blessedly cool with showers at present after that really beastly 8 days we had where the temperature was so high and sleeping was so difficult.  Nights at present are cooler which is a relief.

Grandson L5.5 has had one week of school.  His reaction on the first day when he phoned to tell me all about it - "it was  AWESOME!"  The next couple of days he wasn't so sure when it came time to leave home, but he's now made a couple of little friends from his class so he's feeling much more comfortable about it all. 

Have just come in from my volunteer stint at the Visitors Information Centre - it was a fairly slow few hours but is pleasant enough as I take a book or some cross stitching to do.  Haven't done anything recently on my 'Daisy Girl' but have been working on a very simple little Dimensions design on 16 Aida which is easier on my eyes.  I'll soon get back to Daisy though.

Have finished off 2 scrapbook albums in the past week.  One for a nephew's wife who had her 40th birthday last Saturday and has a nearly one year old.  Now she can put all those gorgeous baby photos in order.  The other is a surprise gift for someone who any day should have a new baby grand-daughter in the family. This album will cater for photos of her as well as her other little grandie, a boy.

Well no more to tell - must away and get dinner started - roast lamb tonight!


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Feeling a bit sorry for myself!

Oh my goodness -  have just come in from the library where I fell up the steps!  What a silly old moo I am!  My watch took the  brunt of the fall and I've cracked the glass and belted it up a little - grazed knee, took a bit of skin off my hand and a sore forehead where I landed. Thank goodness I didn't damage my specs apart from a little scratch on the side!  A dear old lady came rushing over to me and helped me up - she was so kind - one of God's angels there for me.  I'll really have to watch my step (no pun intended) - must be my advancing age I think and not picking my feet up properly.  I guess I'll know tomorrow if bruises emerge where else I might have landed.

My mum's back in hospital. My brother phoned me from NZ to let me know she has been in a week. He was not supposed to let me know (orders from her) however he felt I should be told.  I've spoken to her a couple of times on the phone and she doesn't sound too good.  The problem is pain in her lower back, hip and knee but especially down her right thigh.  I feel strongly that she may have a pinched nerve in the lower spine as I've had similar pain in the past myself.  There is not much that seems to relieve it.   Anyway she is having all manner of tests carried out and I just hope that before long a diagnosis will be made.  It's not good being so far away at a time like this.

We've just had 7 days of heatwave!  A record has been broken for Sydney - 5 days was previously the longest over 30C (86F). For most of those 7 days, it reached 40/42C (107F) and has been most uncomfortable - especially sleeping at night.  For those of you northerners reading this, we 'downunder' as a general rule don't have air conditioning/heating built into our homes although having said that, more and more people building new homes these days are certainly doing just that.  We mostly have brick homes too and once those bricks heat up after a number of hot days, it takes a while for them to cool down, even with insulation etc.  Yesterday we got a predicted cool change mid afternoon which brought the temperature down by about 15 degrees in quite a short time.  What a blessed relief.

Australia has certainly had dramatic weather conditions in the past few weeks.  Floods in Queensland, Northern NSW and Victoria, Cyclone Yasi has devastated many towns on the northern Qld coast and a few hundred miles inland and in the last few days, Western Australia around Perth has been battling dreadful bush fires.  It's all happening here folks!  All we in Sydney have had to cope with has been the heat. We consider ourselves more fortunate than our neighbours in other parts of the country.

Recently I've been feeding the Rainbow Lorikeets sunflower seeds instead of grain bread.  I was really being a bit aggravated by the brown Indian Mynah birds which are so aggressive, even to their own. The seeds are working out much better as the 'brown bombers' are not seed eaters.  I am putting out 3 trays each afternoon with the seeds and the birds come down and really get 'stuck in' to it.  I took a couple of pics of them with their heads down, tails up feeding - they look so comical!

Youngest grandson L5 1/2 started school this morning.  I am anxious to know how it all went for him.  His daddy was planning to take pics of him and big brother E7 before they left.  I'll post them here if he manages to send them on to me.

Well that's about it for now.  Hope you are all doing OK and thanks for popping in.


sunrise during the heatwave

scrambling for best position
heads down, tails up!

and a drink afterwards!

Friday, January 28, 2011

STAMPING - no not my feet!

I really love the Magnolia brand rubber stamps! I've never been a great 'stamper' but recently I purchased my first 'Tilda' and made some of my Christmas cards featuring her.  I just love the 'chunkiness' of them - just great to colour and since I began using Copic markers, I love them even more.

Now this is not a free commercial for Magnolia or Copic - I just wanted to show some of the cards I've been making recently.  So without any more ado -
ta da!!

I deliberately left these cards bereft of wording - I'll just add something appropriate when I choose to use them.  This weekend I'm planning to give the baby boy away with a small gift to a new mum who's recently had a little boy named Malachai - so I'll add a cutesy 'something or other' that I think is exactly 'her'.

My visit to the eye specialist yesterday went well.  It seems one tear duct may have been partially blocked but after a squirt of saline from a syringe through a mini-mini canula, it seemed to unblock with a squirt into my nose! A strange feeling.  After a couple of drops into my eyes which made my pupils dilated and another examination, it seems I have the beginnings of cataracts. Oh well - that's aging for you I guess. It's not concerning me - it could be years before anything needs to be done about that particular situation. I spent the best part of the rest of the day though, worried by my dilated pupils - fortunately the sky was fairly dull for the drive home but my sight didn't right itself until late in the afternoon.  Not too much of a problem though - and so on that note -
All for this time