Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too
.

Monday, April 14, 2014

COUNT DOWN

AsIt is exactly two weeks today till we jet of on our much anticipated holiday in Italy.
We're counting down the days and ticking off the jobs that need to be done.

1. Visit Brett and Sarah in Sydney .... Tick

2. Visit Mum and Dad in Hervey Bay....... Tick

3. Get new suitcases down from wardrobe and dust them off...... Tick


4.  Get technology organised...... Tick

This means the purchase of a brand new iPad for me !
A lovely new, THIN, light ipad5 has made its way into my possession and I am writing this post on it to see if I can post and place photos scattered amongst the text.


As you can see from this photo I am also learning how to do screen shots on the iPad!

5. Begin to gather clothes together. ........ Tick


So that's five ticks and this iPad post seems to be working well too. 
I'm sure that I will get the hang of it as I use it more while on the holiday.
I'm hoping to get back into blogging more when I have more to blog about while traveling around Italy.

Cheers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CELEBRATION WEEKEND

 
A weekend visit to Sydney was in the wind as we gathered to celebrate the engagement of Brett and Sarah.
To say we are delighted they have decided to take this big step would be an understatement !
 
Leaving home at 6:00am we first drove to the Gold Coast to pick up Sally then on to Coolangatta airport for a 9:00am flight to Sydney.
 
 
The Gold Coast looked its sparkling best in the early morning sunshine
before we headed south to Sydney.
 
Due to the fact that Queensland does not join the southern states in switching to Daylight Saving Time over the Summer months, we lost an hour on the one and a half hour flight and arrived in Sydney at 11:30 am.
 
It was lovely to catch up with Brett and Sarah for a while before we checked into a nearby motel and dolled ourselves up before setting off in the late afternoon for the city by ferry.

 
 We started off with bubbles - the best way to begin any celebration -
 
 
at the Argyle Hotel , a very trendy spot in the historic Rocks area.
 
 

When we emerged darkness had fallen and the famous Sydney landmarks were all lit up

 
 
Our restaurant for the night was one of these lined up below
 
 
complete with tall ship masts as decoration

 
It was a lovely night.
We met Sarah's family for the first time and were soon chatting like old friends.
Exciting times ahead planning a wedding for later in the year.
 
 
Sunday's weather began fine but cool.
Just enough time for a delightful breakfast but
as the day progressed the weather deteriorated until we said goodbye and headed home
  in this
 

 
 
 
Cheers.
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

LANTANA

Do you remember this post where I wrote about the pesky plant Morning Glory ?
 
 
A pretty but invasive introduced plant here in Australia, but one I've seen in plant nurseries in England.

Well here's another one.



It's called Lantana and was introduced to Australia as an ornamental plant. It comes from  the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Central and South America.
 
Its first recording was in 1841  but it quickly escaped the colonial gardens and thrived under the favourable tropical, sub-tropical and temperate conditions of eastern Australia.



Pretty isn't it?
 The flowers are small and many, and it comes in several different colours.
It is flowering a lot at the moment in my area, an outer suburb with lots of open paddocks for horses and also plenty of areas of bush.


Lantana is one of Australia’s most debilitating invasive weeds.
It currently infests more than four million hectares of land across Australia, mainly in areas east of the Great Dividing Range in NSW and Queensland.

 
Lantana grows up to four metres high and often forms dense thickets.
Flesh of the plant produces a strong, aromatic odour when crushed.
 
In our family we call this BO ... Bush Odour
and it fills the air with its distinctive smell as you drive through heavily infested areas of Australian bush.
 
Lantana is a dry, scratchy, unattractive plant with square-shaped stems and short, curved and hooked prickles.
 
It is a very versatile plant preferring rich moist soils but able to survive prolonged dry periods.
It will tolerate poor soils and sand and will grow on stony hillsides as long as moisture is available.
 
In other words perfect for the east coast of Australia where it quickly invades areas that have been thinned or cleared for grazing and takes over preventing the growth of pasture grasses. 
 
 
But this is not its only bad feature.
 
All forms of lantana are toxic  to stock, and of all the colours the red-flowered forms are the most dangerous. Poisoning of stock due lantana can be quite substantial particularly in times of drought when there is little grass for the cattle to eat.
 
Horse owners always check their paddocks to keep them clear of lantana as death from lantana poisoning is slow and painful , usually occurring 1-4 weeks after the appearance of symptoms like constipation, frequent urination and jaundice.
 
Death is due mainly to liver insufficiency, kidney failure and, in some animals, myocardial damage and internal paralysis. 
( I've been doing some research !!! All I knew was that it was poisonous !)



Worse still this devil of a plant is very difficult to kill.
 Even bushfires don't kill it off
 and it regrows quickly from the base of the burnt off plant while the bush around it is slower to recover allowing it to get a bigger hold than ever.
  
There is a variety - low growing and spreading but not  invasive which is cultivated for people's gardens.




It has very pretty yellow or purple flowers which densely cover the plant giving a very pretty show



but you won't find it in the garden of anyone with any connection to farming the land !!

Cheers.
(all photos today from the Internet )

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/11/12/3631060.htm

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WHAT'S HAPPENING ?

What's going on ?

 
What's happening at my place?
 
1. Disaster averted !
 
I have been unable to get into my blogs!
Yes blogs, I have four on the go:
 
Helsie's Happenings
Helsie's Travels
Budget Baby Boomers' Travel Tips - abandoned but left sitting there
and Awesome Activities at Moggill - a CWA blog
 
Recently I have been unable to get into any of them.
When I signed in and clicked on Design to enter them I was faced with a blank page.
Nothing, just a white page with nothing on it!!
 
I tried my usual solution - rebooting the computer - no different.
 
I tried using another browser - no different.
 
I went away and came back the next day. Same thing.
 
I asked Tony .  No progress.
 
Finally, in desperation I asked two blogging buddies for help, the first step on going from blog to blog and putting the same comment on all of your blogs asking for help from any tech savvy bloggers out there.
 
Both of them set to work to find a solution for me and while Carol ( in Cairns ) was at work Sandy ( Tea Cup Lane ) found the solution for me !
 
Tony cleared my Cache and History and boom I'm back in business !
 
That's what I love about the world of Blogging.
When you have a problem your pals are always there to help you through.
 
Heartfelt thanks Sandy and Carol
 
2. Cooking
 
Recently there has not been much good stuff happening in my kitchen.
Tony and I have been dieting !!
Trying to get some weight off before our trip.
We both need it.
I need it more !
So we've been eating salads - easy enough in this weather - and not much else!
Needless to say Tony has lost twice as much as me !!!
 
BUT !
I've been seeing people making bread out there in the blogging world.
 
Artisan, no-knead bread
in particular
( on this blog and this one )
 
and I just had to have a go.
 
WOW ! Just look at this !!!
 


 
Yes, it is as easy as they say !

 
and when you slice it ......
 
 
 
Lovely holey, bread with a chewy crust.
 
I'll be making it again !
 
3. A Visitor
 
 
Yes, Scout has come to stay for a month while Sally is on holidays.
She ( Sally ) is spending two weeks in New York and 2 weeks in Whistler skiing.
 
Scout 's making herself at home.
 
 
Too much at home sometimes!
Not allowed on the new chairs Scout !!
 
Scout's habit of early rising is taking its toll on Tony.
 

 
 
4. Another disaster !
 
Sally's bathroom renovation has been a disaster.
 
Incredibly poor workmanship and $9000 down the drain so Dad and cousin Ben to the rescue.
 
They are jackhammering it all up while she is on holiday and organising and supervising the repair.

 
5. Exercise !!!
In an effort to help with the weight loss drama I am now swimming 1000metres - 20 lengths  -one kilometre - twice a week at the local pool.
As the pool will be closing in three weeks time for the Winter this will not continue but then it might be cool enough to do a little walking in the evenings with Scout.
 
Suffice to say exercise and I are not friends !!!
 
and now finally the most exciting of all
 
6. An Engagement !
 
 
These two special people
my handsome son Brett ( do you think he looks a bit like Bear Grills ???) and his lovely girlfriend and partner for about 6 years, Sarah
have finally decided to get married later in the year.
We are so happy for them and delighted to have Sarah an official member of the family.
 
So that's what been happening here !
 
Cheers. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

IN MY SPARE TIME ........

 
In my spare time,
while I'm watching TV,
I've been busy using up scraps of  wool  yarn to make granny squares.
 
 
All following the same
2 rows, 2 rows, 1 row
pattern.
 
A perfect size to work on in this heat.

 
I've collected all these scraps from the Moggill CWA ladies who are busy knitting rugs, scarves and toys to donate to their many causes.

 
Random, contrasting colours

 
that create quite a pretty effect.

 
My pile has grown to about 70 four inch squares.

 
Add these to the other 30 crocheted by another member and we have enough for a good sized knee rug for the elderly people in our local Nursing Home
 and being so multi-coloured it will please the men who don't like the pretty, girly ones !
 
Cheers.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A DAY AT THE BEACH WITH SCOUT

Do you remember Scout?
 
 
She lives with Sally and now she's all grown up.
 
Scout's favourite place in the whole world is
the beach.
 
Where she lives on Queensland's beautiful Gold Coast there are special beaches that are set aside for people and their dogs.
 


Recently we spent some time with them on the beach.
Scout's favourite game is to catch the Frisbee.
 


She fixes the Frisbee with a Border Collie stare,



gets ready
 

 
and she's off !
 
 
She's good ! Catching them in mid-air

 
on the fly !


The Frisbee gets covered in sand.
 
Scout gets covered in sand too !

 
Back and forth, back and forth.
 She tears up and down the beach with her precious Frisbee.



Sometimes other dogs want to join in .....

 
  but she never surrenders that Frisbee
 


and when Sally throws it into the water
 

 
she just charges in after it !
 


She's a great swimmer.
 

 
Doesn't mind putting her head under water

 
and often Sally joins her for a swim.


We played for over an hour until she was completely worn out.


 
  Then we sat on the sand and watched what the other dogs were doing for fun.
 
 
 
 
 Doggie Heaven !
 
Cheers.