Saturday, December 29, 2012

One more day...

One more day till the end of 2012. An eventful year?  Yes! The big '7 0' birthday,  the big '5 0' years of marriage, eldest grandson engaged, so much to be thankful for with all of our family well and happy. Sadly my mother was told she could no longer live alone and was moved from hospital to her new 'home' in an assisted living facility. On the last day of this year I will be winging my way 'across the ditch' to see her.

This past month has been busy - as it always seems to be leading up to Christmas but we've spent a very lazy week since the 'big day'. Reading and eating have featured large!  Now the task ahead is to shed those unwanted kilos which have sneaked up on me. 

I've recently had a real sewing (machine) frenzy and finished making some tote bags and hanging hand towels which have been given as gifts.  Now I must get on and finish the Scottish Thistle sampler I began at least 6 months ago.

My brother turns 70 next June and I plan to make this sampler into a cushion cover for him.  The chart is by "M Designs" (Thistle Clock and Sampler) and I am stitching it on a seeded oatmeal colour #14 Aida cloth.  I fear it will be the last cross stitch project I will complete as my finger joints are now very swollen and painful with Hebeden's arthritis. 
As I reflect on 2012, there have been so many 'showers of blessings' which have come from God through the Holy Spirit.  Some say twists and turns of fate - I say only a loving Heavenly Father could have planned them at just the right time. 
I look forward to what He has planned for me in 2013 and rest on His promise -  'for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' (Jeremiah 29:11 BNIV) My future is secure in Him.
May the blessings of God be with you also in 2013!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Am I ready for Christmas?

Tomato Relish is made...

Shortbread out of the oven...

Christmas pressies finished...
Is my heart ready to receive Him?


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chit Chat

Last day of November!  I guess we all have a tendency to say 'where's this year gone?' and in some ways I feel that way too but I also can look back over the past few months and realise I've crammed so much into those days and weeks.
Today is the day I remember my youngest brother who passed away 5 years ago.  He would have been 64 today had he lived but he was a person who lived life to the fullest. He had travelled the world, loved the sea and its creatures, and was passionate about whales and dolphins and in the early '70s was an instigator of Project Jonah when the anti-whaling movement in New Zealand was in its infancy. Many times he frolicked with dolphins, they seemed to be a magnet to each other, them coming right up to him and nudging his face - wonderfully lasting memories we have on film.
So - one more month till we bring in 2013 - quite often so busy we reach Christmas day exhausted - but this year, I'm hoping for quieter days. Christmas gifts for the two little grandies already done - thanks to a well organised daughter - Christmas cake made 3 weeks ago - sweet!
The weather forecast for today and tomorrow is not so good though - we have a heatwave and no relief until Saturday night - meantime though I have a trim to my very 'out of control shape' hair this morning - and a 'Santa' beard to purchase (if I can find one). DH is being 'him' for our church again this year.  The 'suit' is one I made 30 years ago and is still in fairly good 'nick' but the beard has become rather tangled and 'itchy' to wear - so I'm on the hunt. Let's hope there's a few Christmas shops around that I can search through.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cockatoo Island

Woke to an abysmally dull and overcast morning - disappointment - afternoon outing with our "Top of the Hill" bunch from church looked unlikely.   As time drew near for our departure from home the sky brightened so with rain jackets packed we left for the railway station. An hour's ride into the city, a 15 minute walk to the ferry at Circular Quay and the sun shone and sparkled on the water underneath the Harbour Bridge. It was cool, but the 30 minute ride to Cockatoo Island was pleasant. Alongside at the passenger terminal was the massively large white  'Radiance of the Sea' cruise ship, and  passing under the bridge with myriad of yachts and other boats of all sizes bobbing in front and past us caused large waves to send our little ferry comfortably up and down. 
Cockatoo Island is within the Sydney Harbour, steeped in history but retaining all its character.  It was used as a convict prison between 1839 and 1869 and was recently inscribed on the World Heritage list because of its significant convict history. The Fitzroy Dock, built for the Royal Australian Navy, was carved by convicts in leg irons in the 1850's, often waist deep in water.
For many years the dockyard of the RAN, some 4000 men and a few women were employed on the Island during World War 11, building some of Australia's largest ships and its first aircraft carrier. 
With its remarkable historical landmarks and the worlds first urban waterfront campground, Cockatoo Island has much to offer both overseas tourists and Aussie dwellers alike. Recently it has been the venue of the Redbull X-fighters final and the Southern Hemisphere's biggest Street Art Festival, with the upcoming launch of the Cockatoo Island Film Festival.
Another half hour ferry ride back to the main terminal set us right below the train station where we boarded our transport back home.  We arrived a couple of minutes before 6pm, armed with our bundle of hot fish and chips purchased from the local 'takeaway'.
All in all, a very pleasant afternoon!
Approaching Cockatoo Island
Old historic homestead
View of the harbour from cells
 Old Jacaranda tree in grounds of historic homestead
 Back view of Harbour Bridge

 Spectacular Opera House right at the ferry wharf

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I seem to recall...

I seem to recall that I've said this before. In fact I'm sure I have - where has the time gone? No journal since I turned 70!  Was this just me being tardy or remiss?  Or was it a sub-conscious effort to not get any older? I'm not sure but I cannot get past the fact that it has probably just been plain old laziness that has prevented me from posting here since January.  If by chance it was my sub-conscious mind trying to prevent me from getting any older I can tell it right here and now that it hasn't been successful! (LOL)  For here we are almost at the end of another year and before I know it, I will be turning 71 - and no effort on my sub-conscious mind will ever change that.
I could say... where has the time gone?  But that would be rather boring and not at all entertaining for anyone who might chance upon this page - but then again, my life does tend to be fairly mundane - doing much the same things each week - but when I glance my mind's eye back through 2012,  I realise that there have been some times when life has sprung some surprises.
Many years ago we befriended a Korean family who had come to live in Sydney while the dad did 3 years of university studies. We have kept in touch over the years and in February they came back to Australia to be with their daughter when she married an Aussie fella! It was great to meet up with the family again and reminisce. In June, eldest grandson B22 left on a long-waited-for overseas trip along with his girlfriend and another young couple. In Venice while riding on a gondola, he 'popped the question' - and she said 'yes'! That was exciting news!
My mum turned 93 in May and was admitted to hospital in early July with a chest infection. She had taken a couple of falls at home during the early part of this year and it had been apparent to the family that she really should be in care. Time came when she was ready for discharge from hospital but the medical team felt she should not live by herself any longer - how sad to not be able to go back home where everything was familiar - but to be placed in a rest home where everything was strange and different. I was able to go to Auckland to close up her home and help resettle her and spend a few weeks visiting.  I am pleased to say though that she's now OK with it all, enjoys the meals and likes the staff who are very good to her plus she's now situated not all that far from where my brother lives - which is indeed is a blessing in itself.
Our friendly neighbourhood birds continue to come each day for their afternoon tea (or breakfast, lunch or dinner - whichever suits) and I continue to get pleasure from their visits.
Health wise, we've been fortunate this year - not even a sniffle! Life continues in much the same way - minding grandsons during school holidays - photography club - craft group - bible study - regular worship attendance - much to be thankful for - serving the Lord in my little corner - where He's placed me - and where He wants me!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

I just had to tell you...

It's been a dull old day - not at all like summer!  Temperature has barely reached 20C (average for this time of year around 26/27C).  For a long time I had promised myself I would sort out all of my embroidery threads and 'catalogue' them.  Today was a great day to do it.

As I was sitting at my kitchen table sorting and winding and labelling I heard a bit of a commotion outside.  Got up to look and saw the funniest antics I've seen in a long time - just had to tell you!

Over the past week or so there's been a family of magpie birds around the yard.  Mum and possibly Dad - with 3 big babies.  I say big because they look big - but they're still getting food from Mum as well as picking around the garden.

Three youngsters were having a total scrap!  I got my camera and got a few shots!  They were more like puppies or kittens than birds.  I was laughing to myself so hard!

One of them found an old corn husk in the compost heap and was playing with it like a dog would a bone.  Sibling arrives on the scene and tries to take it away.  No way, Jose!  First baby runs quickly to my laundry trolley and hops up into the peg basket.  Deposits the husk in and picks up a red peg.  All the while the other two siblings are trying their best to antagonise and get up to the corn husk.  Eventually when the three of them were back on terra firma, another little tussle ensued.  Biting each other's tails, rolling on backs, pecking, pecking!  Oh it was such a delight to watch!

I stood there at the kitchen window and hubby joined me - thoroughly entertaining!  Eventually the scuffle broke up and they continued their meandering around the garden.  I looked out a little while later as it seemed quiet and one of the babies had fallen asleep on the fence. So cute!

Love all of God's creatures!

Anyway I did manage to get all of the floss sorted and even ended up with a bag of duplicates.  Felt satisfied that the job that I'd put off for so long was done.


PS (sorry about the spacing of the photos. I don't seem to be able to do anything about it this time)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Years resolutions?

What better New Years resolution could we make - Paul's words say it all!

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Blessings on this first day of 2012 dear friends!