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
.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

JUST BREATHE

My blogging buddy Bee Jay from Wales has prompted me into action with her kind inquiry into my absence and well being. 
It has come on a day which I had vowed to spend like this !


I'll tell you why.

March

I had only been home from Hervey Bay where Dad was recouperating from his surgery ( he has melanoma cancer in his leg ) a short time when we flew to Sydney for a family celebration for Sally's 40th birthday....... Yes, I have a child who is 40 !!!!! How did that happen ?
Four days of eating out and walking kilometres around Sydney in very warm weather and then home, arriving about 8:30 pm .
At about 8:45 pm I received a phone call from my brother to say Dad had been rushed to hospital suffering from toxic shock and it didn't look good. Hasty preparations ensued and I arose at dawn and headed north arriving about 8:30am to find , to the amazement of the medical staff , that Dad seemed to be improving and the prognosis was more hopeful.
 He is an amazing man and in the following two weeks gradually this feisty 94 year old fought his way back. He has had all the lymph nodes in his upper left leg removed in a bid to stop, or slow down, the spread of the cancer as he is determined to be around to look after Mum ( also 94 soon). He's been looking after her for seventy years now and intends to be around as long as he can as she is beginning to struggle with her memory.
Eventually Tony flew up to drive me home as I was suffering from a severe ear infection myself.

April

As it is when you have a prolonged absence from home I was struck with a home decorating bug.
In my absence Tony had remodelled the garden on one side of the house.


It is so neat and tidy now. ( well, except for the hose ! )
It prompted me to do a drawer cleanup so armed with lots of different sized containers I set about the task of bringing some form of order to my drawers.




Phew ! That felt good and I can often be found gazing fondly at the beautiful sight of everything in its place !
We then moved on to redecorating. 
I love the French Provencial look. You know, white painted furniture with a little county pine combined and have finally convinced Tony that the clean cut modern look will never be welcome here. 
Our dining room has always been a little cramped with a sideboard and mirror on one side of the table and a very large bookcase containing a display of blue plates and books on the other.
We emptied the bookcase - a lovely piece of furniture but just too large. It won't fit anywhere else in this house so has been reluctantly put up for sale on Gumtree. Unfortunately no takers yet !


We've moved it temporarily here but it will travel to the garage next weekend till it is sold.
In its place on the bare wall will go a large photo - one of ours from our travels. We've moved the wine rack further down and Tony is going to give repainting it cream a go. 


This is not the permanent photo but you get the idea. 
Beside it on the wall will go a plate holder with blue plates when I find one.

The blue plate collection - just pretty plates, not valuable ones - now lives here.


The plates look so pretty with the light background.


As a final touch we added some very fancy new light fittings to the lounge and dining room.



Very posh indeed !
Then we moved on to the entry.

We replaced this 


With this


Once again using some photos from our last holiday.
We take so many photos when we travel that we have decided to use them for our artwork on the walls to enjoy them and they can easily be updated when we have new ones.
There is still more to do as we paint some coffee tables cream . 
I'll keep you posted !

I also made a quick visit to Hervey Bay to check on the Oldies. They are going OK but the leg is now an ongoing problem treated daily by visiting nurses, my brother has had a fall and now needs a shoulder replacement and his partner is recovering from a recent hip replacement !

Sally meanwhile has decided to study to become an animal physiotherapist ! This involves enrolling in Liverpool (UK) university to do a Masters and a move to the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane where she can do practical training with a dog physiotherapist. ........and to do this she must sell her duplex ......and to do THAT involved sprucing up her place and a HUGE cleanup !

Guess who helped there ?????





Let's hope it sells quickly.

May
 
Tony's mother turned 95 so of course we marked this milestone with a family party.




Her 82 year old sister flew up from Melbourne for the occasion and stayed with us for several days


Which meant daily visits to Nana while she was here.
She left yesterday, it was lovely to see her.


So today looks like this


And the laundry looks like this !


So that's it. 
The year has  been a bit busy.
Very tiring and taxing.

A holiday in Austria is being planned for September ( all being well ).

If you have managed to get this far with me in this marathon post, I thank you.
My blog is a bit like a diary so I needed to catch up.
I miss my blogging and will try to get here more often from now on.

And thank you Bee Jay for the caring message.

Cheers.














Saturday, February 13, 2016

EXCUSES, EXCUSES !

So far this year we have had  :

* 8 birthdays - including Dad's 94 th, 
* 4 wedding anniversaries - including Mum and Dad's 70th
* 3 family members in hospital for serious afflictions - including a 16 day stay for poor old Dad ( he's on the mend now thank Goodness )
* 1 death of a much loved elderly member

I've travelled :
*  up and back to Hervey Bay ( 5 hours each way by car ) twice and stayed over a total of 10 days
*  up and back to Townsville in one day to a funeral ( a two hour flight each way - 6:00am up and home around 12:45 am ) - a very long day.

So I've fallen behind a bit with my vow to return to more regular blogging.

Let's hope things change from now on !

Saturday, February 6, 2016

SNAKES ALIVE !


Summer is the time that snakes become more active here in Oz
and this Summer they seem to be more active than usual.


It's not so uncommon to see a snake slithering across the path as you walk in bushy, grassy areas in parks and gardens. 
Mostly they don't bother people but this year there have been a lot more people than usual who have been bitten by them.

The one below is a Common Brown Snake.


Brown snakes seem to be the ones that are most common in biting incidents and part of the problem may be in identifying them.
This group below are all Brown snakes and as you can see they are all definitely not brown in colour !


I like to give them a WIDE berth .......

and the one photographed recently in Cardwell, North Queensland (NOT a Brown snake this time ! ) would certainly have me moving in the opposite direction ....

F A S T.........!




Sunday, January 3, 2016

CHANGES

When we bought this house there was a large patio out the back.
In Queensland we like to sit outside when we entertain on these patios and they are often shaded by pergolas.
We were lucky as ours was under the roof of the house so there was not  problem with that.

The problem was that our house is on the top of a hill with a large exposure to the western, afternoon sun....
and the western, afternoon sun is fiercely hot in Queensland !

So to cool the house down and prevent the afternoon sun from boiling those inside the house
and to be able to use this outdoor area we enclosed it with shutters.
(Of course on hot days we just stay inside in the air conditioning. )


We furnished it and lived with it for ten years and were relatively happy with it but recently we felt ready for a change.



So off we went looking and before long the old stuff was packed up and sold on
and new furniture arrived.



This is the new look.
We're going French Provincial - a style I love and which suits our climate.
( I already have it in my bedroom. )


I love the white , it makes it all light and airy.




It's still a work in progress.



The coffee table has to go.
We think we (Tony !) will have a go at painting it white.


and we will just work on bits and pieces to enhance the look.



We're pretty happy with it so far.

Cheers.

COOK'S NIGHT OFF

Since the kids all went home a week ago I have to admit I've been taking it easy. 
Oh, I've changed all the sheets on the beds, washed all the towels and tidied up a bit but just a bit every day. 
Tony's done his bit with the vacuum and the mop but the rest of the time we've been relaxing, watching a few movies, spending a bit of time looking at our holiday photos blown up on our big screen TV.
Meals have centred around the BBQ and the large leg of ham we are endeavouring to consume before it becomes rancid ( it lasts about two weeks - That doesn't sound very nice but in fact is is a lovely ham  )   

Tonight Tony is the Cook.
That's his specialty apparatus out there under the light.                                                                          
                                                                              

It's his Weber Q. 
We use it a lot and he was keen to try cooking something new on it.


He decided we could use up some ham and give ourselves some variety by cooking a frittata 


And the temperature gauge on the lid is a great help so you don't singe everything.


So here is the result.


Not bad eh?


And no pots and pans to wash up but this one dish !





P,entry left for lunch tomorrow to.


Cheers.

THE BATTLE AGAINST THE HIGH COST OF ELECTRICITY

Here in sunny Queensland these days we have air conditioning to combat the heat. 

As well as high temperatures we have high humidity and that's a killer !
How we survived in days gone by without air- con I don't know. 
In my teaching days the heat inside the classroom (35 degrees plus ) with thirty hot sweating bodies after play break was unbelievable ( so was the smell ! ) and not an air conditioner in sight !

But keeping cool with air conditioning comes at a price...... A very high price !
The cost of electricity is climbing rapidly so we have finally taken the plunge and installed solar panels.
Twenty- one of them !


In a country with so much sunshine it is sensible to harness the sun


and even when the aircon is going all day we use the electricity we produce ourselves to power it. 

It's a simple idea really and very successful for us.
I just make sure I wash, bake, turn the dishwasher on, as much as possible during the daytime.


Our neighbours also have them.


Looking round the neighbourhood most houses have them.


Different numbers of panels......and different placements depending on roof shape


And the direction that the house faces.



We are looking forward to the day when we can store the electricity we make in the day so we can power our lights at night.
It would be wonderful to be self- sufficient

And great to be rid of those power plants churning out their horrible emissions into the atmosphere.

Cheers.