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Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Its nearly herre

Yes in just a couple of hours it will be 2009, well here in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne that is. Can't come soon enough as this year has been a bit of trial. The past few weeks have been a blur with my car making an almost daily visit to the local hospital to visit the Aunt.

There we thought she was settled in at the Aged Care Residence we found for her back a little while but nothing is ever certain in this life is it. She developed a chest infection that turned to pneumonia (hence the hospital admission) her confusion/dementia has worsened and the poor nursing staff have born the brunt of the aggression that accompanies this stage. She has been reassessed by The Aged Care team and now has been determined to need High Care which means she can't go back to where she was and we have to make more enquiries with nursing homes that have secure placements. Oh dear life is not a bowl of cherries at the moment - for me and for her also lol

I'll be back in a few days - once the year has started proper I'm sure I'll feel like chatting.

So for now its 'Happy New Year to you all' - 2 hours and 9 minutes to go

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I know, I know

I've been away a while and since we got home - life just seems to have got in the way. Theres been no blogging or checking other blogs - in fact I haven't been near this machine since we went away last month.

Hopefully after Christmas and the New Year I'll be able to chat more regularly.

These came into our inbox recently and as they are sort of Christmas related thought you'd like to read them. Both are to do with women in one way or another - and - we know women are very important at this time of the year - after all how would things get done if we all went on strike. Open minds with the first one please.

One Flaw In Women

By the time the Lord made Woman, He was into his sixth day of working overtime

An angel appeared and asked, 'Why are you spending so much time on this one Project?'

And the Lord answered, 'Have you seen my spec sheet on her?

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, and a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart and she will do everything with only two hands.'

The angel was astounded at the requirements.

'Only two hands! No way!

And that 's just on the standard model?

That's too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish.' said the angel.

'But I won't,' the Lord protested.

'I am close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18 hour days.

'The angel moved closer and touched the woman.

'But you have made her so soft, Lord.'

'She is soft,' the Lord agreed, 'but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish'.

''Will she be able to think?', asked the angel.

The Lord replied, 'Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate.'

The angel, noticing something, reached out, touched the woman's cheek.

'Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.'

'That's not a leak,' the Lord corrected, 'That's a tear!'

'What's the tear for?' the angel asked.

The Lord said, 'The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment t, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride'

The angel was impressed.

'You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing..'

And she is!

Women have strengths that amaze men.

They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice. They don't take 'no' for an answer if there's a better solution they go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel, cheer when friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies. They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail to show how much they care.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals.

They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have vital things things to say and everythingot give



According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should've known.... ONLY women would be able to drag a big fat fella in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Bye for now, Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a Banana

Another gem that arrive in our Inbox last week - makes interesting reading. After reading this you'll never look at a banana in the same way again. lol

Won't be around next week as I'll be up at Numurkah in the Riverland enjoying my (our) birthday present of a week at the Resort there. Even tho we desperately need the rain I hope its dry for us so the fellas can play golf and leave us girls to sit in the sun and chat.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre.

A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. Anaemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.

When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!'

PS: Not sure if this is true but I will add one here, want a quick shine on our shoes??

Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth.

Amazing fruit - my favourite

Monday, November 24, 2008

Win some Lose some

This past week has certainly been busy, no time to come here and chat but I did have some room to think about the saying ‘you win some and you lose some’

I’m not sure who is winning or losing where the weather is concerned - with a heat wave in tropical Queensland - terrible storms in southeast Queensland – snow in the Alps and Highlands of both NSW and Victoria – and the threat of flooding here in Victoria.

We lost out on the weather here in Melbourne last week as most of it was freezing and very wet but I had spent Monday cooking which meant we had meals in the freezer to use on those wet miserable days. The nice clean woollen blanket came out of the drawer and was laid over the bedcovers on more than one night and as it was so cold some days we actually had the heating on.

Part of the time lost in the garden ‘cose of the storms was spent visiting A Pam reassuring here she hadn’t been forgotten. She’s putting on weight and seems happy but in some ways is not quite the same as before. On those days the garden won with all the lovely rain making its way deep into the soil and I enjoyed my visit to A Pam.

There are a couple of ducks that live in the garden of the nursing home and she was telling me how they reminded her of some others ducks. I'd never heard her speak of ducks before so after some gentle 'prodding' I found out they reminded her of some that lived in the grounds of her home in Calcutta - she was raised in India so that memeory would have been from back in the 1920's. She is not remembering things that happened several hours previously and is retreating into the past more and more.

I spent many hours cutting out oodles of little nighties for our special babies so the programme won by having them ready for volunteers to sew and use in the gift packs. I will be away next week so this is my weekly commitment in advance.

I also won because I was so busy it kept me from rummaging through the cupboard for something to eat; I only stopped for a midmorning snack and proper meal times. Haven’t mentioned it for a while but my weight ballooned even more so I had to get real and start a proper regime and even tho’ there are still a few more kilos to come off I’d be ropable at WW if I gained lol.

I lost my car a couple of times when I went shopping – –well at least it wasn’t in the spot I normally leave it – found it parked ‘miles’ away and that’s when I remembered I’d parked elsewhere ‘cose of the full car park. And then there was a surprise 'win' as in my travels round the car park I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for ages so I sort of won that day :)

How come the crowds are out in force already, there’s a few more weeks until they normally fill the aisles and walkways and act as tho’ it’s the end of the world and they intend to buy everything in sight in case it disappears overnight?

I think I’m going to have to tie something to the aerial so I can see it from a distance as it’s quite embarrassing wandering round a multi story car park and knowing every person walking by is aware of my predicament by the darting eyes and strange vague look on my face lol

We (Australia) have ‘won some and lost some’ at sport during the past few days.

We won the Rugby Union test against France and the first Tran Tasman Cricket test of the season against New Zealand in Brisbane yet we lost the Rugby League World Cup to New Zealand in Sydney. Australia won a Soccer World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain the other day but lost the respect of their coach because of the way they played.

Didn’t think the cricket would get off on time the other day as the ground was very wet from the storms they had, the covers that are put down to keep the wicket dry had blown open during the night and there was water on the pitch.

I was listening to the cricket commentary on the radio (which meant I could get on with jobs in the kitchen) and laughed at the ABC cricket commentators reminiscing about the possible use of helicopter to dry the pitch many years ago during the early Packer time of World Series Cricket or the 'Pyjama Games' as it was called then ‘cose of the coloured clothing the players wore as opposed to the all white worn for Test Matches.

Must go now, hope to be back again soon

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Bank Loan

This is a funny little joke that landed in our Inbox this morning. Enjoy:))

The Bank Loan

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller.

He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack.

'Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday'

Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name.

The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog says, 'Sure. I have this,' and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty explains that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, 'There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral.'

She holds up the tiny pink elephant.

'I mean, what in the world is this?'

(folks, your gonna luv this)

The bank manager looks back at her and says. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

'It's a knickknack, Patty Whack.

Give the frog a loan

His old man's a Rolling Stone.'

You're singing it, aren't you? I know you are. . .

Never take life too seriously!

Come on now, you grinned, I know you did!!!

Have a lovely day. . . . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

And the winner is

A lot of the big shopping centres have had a slow down in sales recently and the one here in the eastern suburbs at Ringwood called Eastland is no exception.

Their very swanky glossy brochure was delivered last week – this one is advertising Christmassy things and many of the shops put out what I call teasers. A small number of shops advertise one product and hope the public will flock in to buy more.

There is lots of blurb about browsing the big department stores and the 230 speciality shops – not sure where they got that number from as I wouldn’t have thought it was that many – and as well as pushing Santa Photo times, Community Gift Wrapping times, Eastland Gift vouchers it also states the fact that there is loads of free car parking.

The brochure won’t be delivered out of the local area and anyone who is from the area and has shopped there is fully aware that there is oodles of parking and it has always been free. That’s why loads of Ringwood rail commuters park there lol

Anyway the slow down in sales had produced another incentive – Free Fuel from Santa.

The catch is……………………..you have to spend at least $250 in centre on Monday December 8th and then take proof of purchase to the Service Desk and while stocks last you’ll receive a Free $50 Fuel Card.

No indication of how many cards there might be - just while stocks last.

Somehow I think the winner here will be Eastland Shopping Centre

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Day in My Life - November 2008

Another month has gone by and here is how I passed A Day in My Life today November 14th 2008. Read here at Little jenny Wren's blog how others all over the world spent their day.

After two very hot days here in Melbourne it was lovely to hear the rain come down.
Started last evening and went on for most of the night – lots of rolling thunder and wind meant I had to close the windows over as the vertical blinds were making a racket blowing here there and everywhere.
Didn’t sleep too well and had very gritty eyes when I finally got out of bed at 7.20am. So glad I took the wool blanket off yesterday – even tho the cotton ones spent most of the night on the floor they were so much easier to pull up this morning.
Had breakfast, then a shower where I could have stayed forever but had to check emails before I went out the door to the volunteer centre about 9am.

A lot of rainy stories on the news………………….one poor rather strange chap was cleaning his gutters about 6.30am (not sure why, maybe full of leaves and they had overflowed during the night) and got hit by lightning. Poor Connex – the company that runs our local train system –are having a hard time at the moment with problems it would seem all last month – culminating in no trains at the end of Oaks Day. Well the train system was in array this morning ‘cose of rain and lightning strikes. Never rains but it pours for them lol

Have a laugh at this tho – I was sitting in the loo about 8am and saw a lightening flash and then there was this enormous (and I mean really really loud) bang right at the same time.
I jumped a mile – I could say I nearly............…….. myself but that’s not ladylike :)
The rain did clear up during the day and its quite cool out there now.

One of the volunteers brought in a cake for morning tea and we had several volunteers who hadn’t been for a while drop in about that time so a lot of the morning was spent catching up on goings on and latest news. Some days things are all go but today most of us were running on automatic and it was nice just to sit around and talk. Left about 1.30pm and the lack of sleep was just beginning to tell.

Coffee and a sandwich and something I’d not done for ages; I put my head down for a nana nap. Only for a short while but it was worth it as I felt refreshed and started sorting some more things I’d brought home from the centre.

Much of out baby clothes arrive in plastic bags and as we ‘work’ on a limited budget we tend not to throw anything away that may prove useful so plastic bags are just one of those things. Normally I can keep them in some sort of order, one size in another bag and so on but there are times when things get a bit untidy in the back room and a clear out is called for.

So today – don’t laugh – I brought home several large bags full of plastic bags (mainly the zip lock type) to be sized and placed in other ones so they are visible and readily accessible when needed. I was going to take a photo of the lovely clean lounge room floor all covered in piles of plastic bags but thought that a bit too much for you all to handle lol

Job done I decided on another coffee and a sit down. Dh was home from golf by that time so we chatted and then I nipped up the shop for a few bits I didn’t have the energy to pick up this morning. Light dinner this evening (poached eggs and a bit of salad) watched the ABC news and then came in here.
Not been a hectic day but I’ll be glad to get to bed this evening.
LIttle addition here - rereading yesterdays post and where I was cleaning windows, I made a little slip up in writing I used bleach in the water - what I should have said was I use a drop of vinegar and washing up detergent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A windy day

It began as a normal one then turned into one of those flow on from here to eternity type days.
You know the ones where starting one job leads to another and then down another path and before long you wonder when you’ll actually get the first job finished.

I did do as I said I would and started on the front room, then decided that as it was going to be another warm day with a strong breeze to change our bedding, to wash the woollen blanket that was coming off as well as the cotton ones that were going on.
The sheepskin chair covers from the front room got put in one of the wash cycles – can you see them on the line along with the blankets.

click to enlarge

So as the chair covers were being washed it seemed silly not to do the cobwebs before I vacuumed and as I was brushing around the window frame thought it would be a good idea to take the net curtains down, give the flyscreens a brush and clean the actual windows.

So out with the steps, down with the curtains and a short while later clean windows.

Inside and Out lol

For years all I’ve used is a soft cloth dunked in a bucket containing warm water along with a drop of bleach and a drop of washing up detergent, then rung out well, dried them with a piece of newspaper and never had streaks.

I believe in using easy ways and have the same no fuss attitude with the nets.

I soak them in the laundry trough in warm water with washing powder, roll them over the edge into the machine, give a short spin then rinse with fresh cold water in the machine followed by a very light spin. I've learned that hanging them wet means they dry with no creases.

We now have a nice tidy room that has a clean floor (under as well as around the furniture ) along with clean windows and window furnishings and no cobwebs:))

All the baby clothes are in the car and the only question I have now is - how long is it going to take to sort out all of the ‘ornaments’ I cleared off the table next to my chair that are now residing in a plastic bag, the bags of wool and other paraphernalia that was behind the chair and the various books that were on the floor beside the chair??

Most of it does have a proper home but at the moment it is now sitting just inside the spare room door waiting for me to have another burst of energy lol

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What secrets are you hiding today

Daisymum had a post today talking about 'Super Mums' and expectations of Self, Family and Friends. You;ll find it here so please pop over and read.

The other day she spoke about 'things' that didn't get done 'cose other 'things' cropped up.

Guess what - other 'things' have cropped up here and this is how my living room looks at the moment.

Looking in through the sliding door from the hallway you almost wonder what hit the place lol
I've mentioned before how I 'work' as volunteer co-ordinator for a programme that provides right sized clothing to hopitals for families whose babies die preterm. When all the little garments arrive at the Volunteer Centre there are a group of us who sort and size and then make up the little packs for the Treasured Babies as the programme is called.

But recently some of the 'girls' have been away so theres been a bit of a backlog in the sorting dept.

Lots of the knitted garments came home with me yesterday and I made a start - unfortunately I was out last night, made it messier this morning, its nearly noon now and I have to go out this afternoon so its going to have to stay this way for a few more hours :(

You will note even Dh is a messy one leaving his slippers and his books right beside his chair
This is my trusty comfortable chair plus several other 'ornaments' on the side table that have homes elsewhere. I shifted everything back so I could use the floor space so I promise by this time tomorrow I will have moved the furniture to its usual postition and it will be back to its normal presentable state.
Just hope the 'phone doesn't ring in the mean time as I'll probably break my neck trying to answer it. Will have to go to one of the bedrooms instead.

Monday, November 10, 2008

How we look today

These are some photos I took today to follow up on my post about the side of the house.
Its a funny little 1960's house in the eastern suburbs that suits us down to the ground. There are lots of the blocks close by that are being subdivided and that doesn't sit well with me. I'm going to sound like an old lady here but I think families these days are doing their children out of the one thing they need.
Space to run around - thats what we have in our backyard. A quarter acre block with some flower and veg garden but also some grass for games.
Can you see the two trees we had lopped - well, even tho they look rather weird at the moment and it might take a while before there is a canopy at the top I can see they are starting to shoot at the sides again so there is life in the old dears after all lol
The arch at the side of the house with the little windy path leading up to it never got the rose it was waiting for - we decided it wasn't strong enough so planted a Buddleia that gets chopped back in Winter and then grows through the arch in summer.
The front of the house faces west which means that left hand fence is north facing (our hot side) so the shrubs on the left hand fence are all deciduous Spring flowering - Flowering Japonica, Weigelia and Forsythia. 'Cose the sun is lower in Winter having the bare branches means we get some light and warmth in the bedroom window and then later the lovely flowers to look at as well.
Those two large front windows have canvas blinds that help to keep the rooms cool when the hot Summer sun arrives sometimes before but usually after Christmas.

As well as some roses I have planted a lovely iris type plant called Sysirinchium Striata. I got a few pieces from a friend about six years ago and after dividing I now have it all over the place. Shouldn't speak too soon but nothing seems to kill it.
Can get a bit bedraggled as the old leaves die off during winter and nice geen ones shoot up in spring. I often just tip veggie water or even bath water over it (remember our water restrictions) and just go round and give the old leaves a tug and it looks as good as gold.

Its shady down the side of the house most of the time so I haven't planted much - the idea is to keep it tidy and useable - to get from the front to the back safely and in one piece
This is just that - front going down under the arch to the back. I put mulch part way then the decking and then mulch again at the bottom.

And heres the view from back to front. Shows the decking and the old oil tank which is slowly getting covered on one side by a Plumbago and on the shady side by a tall growing Fuschia

Sometime those two mirrors are finally going to be attached to the fence so that they will give a nice side ways view to anyone looking out of that bedroom window. Not going to say how long they have been sitting on the ground - but if you look caarefully at the earlier photos you may just see them there lol

Click on the the photos to enlarge them

Friday, November 7, 2008

Todays headlines

The forecast rain arrived - along with gusty strong winds. It started about lunchtime and came down all afternoon and is still going strong.

At times it has been quite heavy but mostly its been pleasant trying to get right down into the ground rain. Hopefully it will continue all night and then maybe tomorrow as well.

Unfortunately Melbourne Water say our dams are only at 34% full today so we need almost months of constant rain in the catchment areas to do any good. Somehow I don't think thats going to happen :(

I don't feel too happy when I read headlines that read like this or this:

Melbourne water prices set to double by 2013

Yarra Valley Water, who provide our supply are hoping to increase the bills by 97%. Not a happy thought is it.

The State Government is also reviewing water restrictions for the summer months.

Guess the washing machine won't be on as frequently and there will be more 'strip' washes than showers in our house :(

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The festive season is coming closer

Now I’m sure you would all like to know that December 25th is seven weeks away. That’s right – seven weeks today Thursday November 6th is Christmas Day. Lots of stores have been decorated for a while now and it will get worse as the weeks go by.

I don’t go overboard with presents for the grandchildren these days but one thing I do like to give them are books. For Birthdays and Christmas there is at least one book wrapped and given with love from us.

Apart from picking up the odd special interest one in good condition from Op/Thrift/Charity shops Dh and I love to go to a warehouse in Collingwood- Dirt Cheap Books - that sells new books for $5 or less.

Last year they started an email listing of customers and would let us know when they got new stock in etc.

Normally only open at the weekend last month they opened during the week just for their email clients and were offering children’s books at 3 for $10 – couldn’t have come at a better time.

After printing off the email – a necessity or no sale – we zoomed off to the city for a couple of hours of pleasure. Doubled when we got there and found they had also included adult books as well.

So not only have I managed to buy Chrissie stuff but have also been able to get some of those ‘’heres a little something for you ‘cose I love you’ gifts for during the next year.

For example one of the girls has started to take an interest in The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Even tho’ these are not brand new publications, by that I mean they have been in print for several years, our top price bookshops are charging about $12 a copy for them; Big W and Kmart charge about $9.

So I have been able to get 3 in the series for $10 which is close to the lowest price available to me retail.

One of the boys is starting to read Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer and they are even more expensive so I almost whooped for joy when I found a couple I knew he hadn’t read.

I suppose some would say it wasn’t a cheap visit – we paid $100 altogether – but I came out with 21 children’s books and Dh picked up some to keep him going for a little while.

I do put some cash aside each month for the grandchildren to get their Christmas presents so ‘my bill’ was already budgeted for lol

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Problem solving

Sometimes we have parts of our gardens that are a problem. The side of our house has always been that way. A nothing area - just a piece of land than ran down the side of our house closest to oneof the boundary fences.

For years we used oil for our heating and thats where the old oil tank has been situated. when we changed to gas the oil company wanted an arm and a leg to remove it and take away so its stayed there ever since. We used to store things there and it generally became a no go area.

There were trees on our side of the fence for years and then when we moved interstate and it was rented out we cut them down for safety reasons - next door subdivided, built another unit close to the fence line (within the guidelines so we couldn't really object) and planted these pittosporums on the fence line for privacy

Anyway a couple of years ago I set to and cleared out all the rubbish and brambles etc and tried to tidy it up. I used some old decking timber we saved when we renewed the deck - I keep things just in case - to try and make a walkway and was going to grow a rose over the arch.

At the end of this particular day I took these photos to remind me of what I'd achieved.
Later - when I got more energy I filled the top part of the walk and the bit near the bottom of the house with mulch and its stayed reasonably tidy since then.
Will carry on another day and show you what it looks like now

Monday, November 3, 2008

A golfing joke

This found its way into our Inbox this morning - open minds please:)

The 'Lady Golfer'

Four lawyers in a law firm lived and died for their Saturday morning round of golf. It was their favourite moment of the week. Then one of the lawyers was transferred to an office in another city. It was not quite the same without him.

A new woman lawyer joined their law firm. One day she overheard the remaining three talking about their golf round in the break room. Curious, she spoke up, 'You know, I used to play on my golf team in college and I was pretty good. Would you mind if I joined you next week?'

The three lawyers looked at each other. They were hesitant. Not one of them wanted to say 'yes', but she had them on the spot. Finally one man said it would be okay, but they would be starting pretty early at 6:30 am. He figured the early Tee-Time would discourage her immediately. The woman said this might be a problem and asked if she could possibly be up to 15 minutes late.

They rolled their eyes but said this would be okay.

She smiled and said, 'Good, then I'll be there either at 6:30 or 6:45.'

She showed up right at 6:30 and wound up beating all three of them with an eye-opening two-under par round. She was a fun and pleasant person the entire round. The guys were impressed!

Back in the clubhouse, they congratulated her and happily invited her back the next week. She smiled and said, 'Sure, I'll be here at 6:30 or 6:45.'

The next week she again showed up at 6:30 Saturday morning. Only this time, she played left-handed. The three lawyers were incredulous as she still managed to beat them with an even par round despite playing with her left-hand.

By now the guys were very amazed, but wondered if she was just trying to make them look bad by beating them left-handed. They could not figure her out. She was again very pleasant and did not seem to be showing them up, but each man began to harbour a burning desire to beat her!

In the third week, they all had their game faces on. However, this week she was 15 minutes late!

This had the guys irritable because each was determined to play the best round of golf of his life to beat her.

As they waited for her, they figured her late arrival was some petty gamesmanship on her part.

Finally, she showed up. This week the lady lawyer played right-handed, which was a good thing since she narrowlybeat all three of them. However, she was so gracious and so complimentary of their strong play that it was hard to keep a grudge against her. This woman was a riddle no one could figure out!

Back in the clubhouse, she had all three guys shaking their heads at her ability. They had a couple of beers after their round which helped the conversation loosen up.

Finally, one of the men could contain his curiosity no longer. He asked her directly, 'How do you decide if you are going to golf right-handed or left-handed?'

The lady blushed and grinned. She said, 'that is easy. When my dad taught me to play golf, I learned I was ambidextrous. I have always had fun switching back and forth. Then when I met my husband in college and got married, I discovered he always sleeps in the nude.

From then on, I developed a silly habit. Right before I left in the morning for golf practice, I would pull the covers off him. If his 'you-know-what' was pointing to the right, I golfed right-handed and if it was pointed to the left, I golfed left-handed.

Astonished at this bizarre information, one of the guys shot back, 'But what if it's pointed straight up in the air?'

She said, 'Then I am fifteen minutes late.'

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The games we play

Thought I’d let you know I have a name change – from now on in a certain house I am known as The Grand Queen of Monopoly :)

I had a sleep over last night with Shannon and her brother and sister, they only live in the next street so I wasn’t worried about being too far from home and slept all night long lol

Not sure about Dh who was home alone and had to sleep all by himself with no one else in the house for company lol

Younger Dd asked me the other day if I would mind them whilst she and her husband went to Ballarat, which is just a 2-hour drive from here but as they hadn’t been on their own for a while could it be overnight.

At the moment Monopoly is the game of choice in their house so the box came with them Saturday morning and we had fun from the start. Lovely day so we used the table on the deck, I kept plying them with drinks, lollies (sweets) and choc biscuits like the good hostess I was:)

Took a 2 hour break to go and visit A Pam who was thrilled to see them – I had to sort of bribe them with the promise of a new book to read as they turned their nose up when I first suggested going to the nursing home – ‘Oh Grandma it will be full of really old people’ yet they ended up talking to one or two of them in the end – so once we were home it was back in earnest for the afternoon.

Out to dinner about 6pm at the Club Kilsyth where they were little angels pretending to be out at a large restaurants in the city and then it was home to their house for the night. We decided not to carry on as being tired means sometimes we don’t make good decisions (and tempers can get frayed as well) so they watched the movie Freaky Friday on TV.

About a girl and her mother who somehow found themselves in each others bodies and even tho’ the kids ‘sort of’ enjoyed it I would have to say its wasn’t one of Jamie Lee Curtis’s better films but it did pass the evening away. Trevor got fed up (girly movie) and wandered off to a bedroom to watch Spiderman 2.

They slept in late this morning ……………………(not used to 10.30pm bed) so Dd is going to pay (and ‘curse me) this evening for me letting them have a late night.

After breakfast out came the board again and it was on in earnest.

I had the best fun with them and I realised they were very trusting as when one got low on cash they would ‘lend’ some to that person to be paid back when the tables were turned – ‘no interest charged Grandma’.

I had to laugh when they told me to remember it’s just a game Grandma, Mum gets really angry if the board is tipped over

And yes, when we totalled all the sessions up I came out with more property and more cash then any of them – oh yes and its only a game and gloating’s not allowed LOL

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not now but later

I went back through some recent comments and couldn't understand why some readers were saying enjoy my break - until I read the post where I mentioned going away again.

Honestly with all the comings and goings concerned with various things at the moment my memory is playing up- we won't be out of town until the end of November coming back early December - you'd think with the thought of 'freedom' for a week I would have that date imprinted on my mind. lol

It's been great these past 2 days knowing that A Pam is being looked after and I don't have to go running round to her place at the drop of a hat - am going to enjoy this weekend with racing on the TV. The weather man says a cool one with some showers so maybe thats going to be the best place after all - sunny days will mean I'll be outside clearing some more of those plants growing in wrong places ...............................otherwise known as weeds :)

The big race day is Tuesday - Melbourne Cup Day - a public holiday here in Melbourne and its such an well loved event most of the country watches or listens to the race as well. Chicken and Champagne Lunch, yum yum. Many of the Australian runners have been scratched for one reason or another but the crowds will still be there regardless.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Frugal Family Week

Its been a busy week with lots of thrifty things going on as well as family occasions.

We did have 1 hour of rain yesterday and then it stopped - with no more forecast for a few days.

Life is grim some times:(

As I mentioned the other day my cousin and I were due Monday to go and see another aged care facility and this one turned out to be as we hoped it would be. Warm and friendly with 'happy' looking residents.

A Pam is going in today for a fortnight to see how she feels - she has the impression its for a rest but we really hope she likes there and agrees to stay 'cose - as wait for it - she spent most of yesterday in A&E at the local hospital.

She took a tumble at home early yesterday morning and instead of pushing her alarm that hangs round her neck she just lay on the floor so when the personal carer turned up to shower her it was off in the ambulance for xrays and check up.

Its 2pm now and I'm waiting to hear when she will be discharged and then we are taking her over to the Nursing Home and safety.

This is what we have been trying to get through to her about the safety aspect of living on her own so maybe this one time she will see sense and put her unit up for sale.

Enough of my worries - Monday evening Dh and I went to another concert that Shannon was performing in.

School band this time. She's been learning the clarinet this year and loves it.

This certainly has been the year she's blossomed, she's not a girly girl or one of the 'in' crowd at school but loves her music, both singing and playing.

Only managed to get one shot of her stint on stage as that woman in front of me would not keep her head still and I gave up in the end. She's in the front row fourth from the right waiting for her part to start and as it was an early evening performance the kids are still in part of their school uniforms but minus the ties

Click on the photo to enlarge

Frugal days at home meant one day I rummaged through and cleared out all those lost looking veggies from the fridge - we ended up with a marvellous soup.

I actually had visions of another 'stew' appearing that day but didn't defrost the meat in time so parsnip, turnip, swede, carrots, celery, potatoes and half a red pepper made its way in to the pot. I had cooked down and blended a box of tomatoes the other week (one of my $2 finds) and froze it into several amounts so used one of them with water and veg stock powder for the base and just put it on to cook away till soft. Pureed the cooked veg and Voila Lunch................... as enough in the freezer for another day.

Sounds a bit of a mish mash but it really was quite tasty in a wintery veg sort of way.

Friday I made a visit to a local furniture factory for my enormous free bag of wood shavings to use for cat litter in the garage. Not indoors as they spread it all over the place - its much easier to sweep of the concrete floor than off my carpet lol

Saturday morning I scored another bargain $2 box of fruit and veg at the greengrocers.

Nice mangoes and avocadoes (a bit soft) but perfect for a fruit salad that same day, pears, apples, mandarins, big oversized navel oranges, lemons, tiny butter squash and asparagus, yellow beans, potatoes and onions. Not perfect but useable there and then and I certainly used them there and then.

We ate the oranges over the next few days, stewed and froze the pears and apples, sqeezed the lemons and froze the juice (didn't like the look of the skins so didn't grate the rinds) cooked the yellow beans with some green ones for contrast along with the squash and used the potatoes and onions in a shepherd's pie. I actually gave the asparagus away as neither of us like it.

Heres Shannon and her friends at Sofia's (an Italian chain) having a good time last Sunday evening at her birthday dinner. This is where the previous photo was taken.

click to enlarge
Earlier in the afternoon the choir she is associated with had given a concert so I took A Pam along. The mother of my daughter in law came over to say Hello and A Pam asked her if she knew her. She did not recognise Averil, any memory of times they had shared together had gone - all Averil could do was say 'yes they had met before' 'cose Pam had no idea of where or when.
Sad and indicitive of the decline that has come about during this year.
Must go now, will try to be back soon

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life moves on

Its really lovely to see how things change - like this tiny baby in my arms

To this beautiful teenager sitting beside me yesterday

Happy 15th birthday to Shannon my first grand child

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something to make you smile

For all of us who have been overwhelmed by our children when they were young have a look at this link.

Say Hello to Delilah who lives in Scotland and wish her luck.

If you read some of the other posts you will find out there are more of her kind living there and they have little ones too.

Going cheap

Theres a real b............. of a week in my house going cheap if anyone wants it. Its a week I don't want to repeat in the near future.

I'm not going to dwell on it too much 'cept to say I don't want to see the inside of another nursing home, shovel anymore wood chips or visit the vet again for a while.

Somewhere in Melbourne there has to be a nursing home that doesn't feel like its God's waiting room, somewhere that looks like it cares for its residents.

I would like it to be warm and inviting, not to be sterile or smelly, to give the impression it feels for its residents no matter what state of decline they may be in. Somewhere that provides peace and quiet, reassurance and also stimulation, its out there somewhere.

We have another appointment on Monday and hopefully this will be the one.

I am fed up shifting all that mulch - basically thats it. Dh helps for which I'm grateful but its a big task.

Theres a satifying feeling of watching the pile get lower and the garden beds being covered over which will help if theres no rain during the Summer but my back aches each evening and theres loads more to shift.

I do have plans for a lot of it but the remainder will be heaped behind the garage and left to decompose and then added to the compost slowly. In the meantime its sitting in my driveway and can't just get up and walk round there lol

My Vet or rather my cats' Vet has been a good friend to me and the animals for many years and this week had to pass on some unpleasant news. My darling Leroy has Lung Cancer. When I gather some photos together I'll write a post about him. He is a 16 year old Chocolate Burmese Cat and has lived with us since he was 3 months old.

If your cat has a cough and keeps gagging don't just assume its got a fur ball problem - get it checked out.

Now there has been one good thing happen this week - I'm going on holiday again in November.

Not planned but welcomed.

Dh and I have our birthdays in the same week and the kids have put in and shouted us both a week in Numurkah (northern Victoria) late October early November.

The unit sleeps 6 so our friends from Adelaide (the ones we met up with in Bowwen) are going to drive up and we'll spend some time together, the men are especially looking forward to the week as the nearby golf course gives free rounds for those staying at the resort.

Lots to do before then tho' - physically and emotionally. So I'm off for a bath now.

Nice warm water and some Lectric Soda Crystals will most likely do the trick - (even tho' we have really soft water here in Melbourne I use them in the washing machine as it helps get the clothes cleaner) - and I won't be bent over in the morning.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Its a groaner

A couple of my friends didn't get the joke when I told it to them.

Its a groaner, Look at the words.

It sounds like a couple of old fellas comparing operations - having a circumcions - its not the most comfortable thing for the male species but look at their ages. 5 years old.

The first one says 'I had it done right after I was born, I couldn't walk for a year'.

Of course he couldn't - it usually takes a baby 12 months to learn how to walk.

Nothing to do with the op at all lol

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Been busy these past few days - have had grandchildren over this weekend so its a short post tonight with this funny (to me) joke. Will be back another day

Two five year old boys are sitting in a hospital waiting room,while their respective mothers are signing them in for surgery.

One leans over to the other and says,"What are you here for?".

The other boy says,"Circumcision".

The first boy says "Oh man! I had that done right after I was born. I couldn't walk for a year"!.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A day in My Life October 2008

Ok well its that time of the month again - the time when bloggers all over the world write about their day.

Pop over to Little Jenny Wren's blog and you will find the rest of the participants of this monthly event.

The morning came quickly or at least it seemed like I'd no sooner gone to sleep than it was time to get up. I couldn't hang around enjoying the luxury of a lie in as we were expecting several hefty burly fellas also known as tree fellers (well I thought that funny lol) to arrive about 8am.

We had a dead tree to be removed as well as some other heavy pruning to be done so Jim and his crew were coming to do the job. Over the past few days I spent loads of timeoutside clearing pathways so they wouldn't step on other plants or trip over hoses and pots and present me with a compensation claim.

Brought the cats indoors as it would be a noisy morning, made sure there were clean water bowls and litter trays as well as some dry food available as I was going out - Dh had nothing planned so was staying at home to oversee and ring me if there was a problem.

After breakfast and shower I tidied the bedroom and kitchen, was about to put a load in the machine but remembered it couldn't be hung out as the men would be in the area near the line and inwardly hoped the fine weather would last all day as the weatherman had forecast so I could do that load later.

I manage a volunteer centre on Tuesday and Friday mornings and apart from the dishes there wouldn't have been much for me to do at home plus the noise from the chainsaws would have driven me crazy and also the other 'girl' was going to the Dr's so that meant' I had to go in. Had a busy morning on my feet apart from a couple of calls so I was glad to get home at lunchtime.

Quite a changed landscape when I got home, 2 of the heavy prunings were at the front of the house and it was as if a big hole in the sky had been opened up.

I'm sure those trees will shoot out again (some say pittosporums are weeds but they are very shady weeds ) they had become very leggy and ghastly looking and I'll get used to the look as time goes by but it really was shock to see the trunks with nothing at the top lol

It was peacefully quiet, the men had gone off for lunch and to look at another job so Dh made lunch and I sat for a while with 2 cats on my knee and talked about the morning. Whilst I was there I'd had another call form my cousin about 'The Aunt" - I know quite a few of you have been through the distressing time we are experiencing and I appreciate all your comments and good wishes, I also know we will be on tenterhooks the whole time till she is housed in special accomodation.

It may seem strange to want that instead of caring for her at home, I love her dearly and have qualifications in dementia care but we have an unfenced property and my cousin is working full time. Her son lives on the other side of the country and between you and me doesn't seem at all bothered about what happens to her :((

The truck returned to pick up the large logs ( lol I hadn't seen the cats move so fast for a long time) and I had to make the decision about keeping all the chippings or letting the neighbour have them. I couldn't see myself using a whole truck load as mulch but the chief man said there wasn't that much so I let them tip it on the driveway - they lied lol - its an enormous pile and we are going to have to move some of it fairly quickly as its difficult to get out of my car. If the truth be known its hard for Dh to get out but to keep the peace we have changed car spots :))

At long last I was able to get the washing machine going, the sun was still shining and there was quite a breeze. It had been a bit fresh whenI left at 9am but now mid afternoon the temp had risen to a pleasant 20c/68f just right to tidy up the bits and pieces and return some of the garden stuff to its proper position.

Hung out the clothes and then remembered the fruit and veggie peelings to be chopped up for the worms. I do this in a food processor, as long as theres nothing wet it chops the peelings into small bits as the worms seem to enjoy it better than giving it to them whole. Sat down for while on the back deck and enjoyed the nice weather, Dh put down his book and made another hot drink whilst I just sat and knitted. I enjoy these quiet times. The washing dried in record time but to be on the safe side I hung it on the clotheshorse to air overnight.

We had plans to go out in the evening and as I had to pop to the shops we did something we haven't done for a while................................I bought Fish and Chips for dinner and we ate them on our knees watching the news. Top story (apart form the world economic crisis) was the Federal Government 's gift to pensioners and others. As a couple we will receive $2100 just before Christmas, I certainly won't say no thank you. Wish I'd said no to Dh's suggestion about the Fish and chips tho - the shop had changed hands and they were awful. That'll teach me to plan at least a day in advance.

I think I've mentioned our once a month (2nd Tuesday night) outing to the Victorian Folk Music Club -well last night's event was a cracker.

Margret RoadKnight was the guest artist, a talented muscian who has done so much and been to so many places. After all the spot acts were over and supper (Tea and cake ) we sat for over an hour in the little hall at East Ringwood listening to her sing and were very reluctant to leave at the end.

Home at 10.30pm and straight to bed. Not a bad sort of day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Todays news from another angle

Ok so it’s like this, I’m fed up watching and listening to all the gloom and doom in the financial news and wondering if there’ll be anything left in our pension funds at the end of all this debacle so I’m going to talk about what happens at the other end of the news bulletin. No not the weather – we could talk all day about that particularly as I live in Melbourne – but the Sport.

Changing seasons mean changing sports and Melbourne is reputed to be the sporting capital of Australia so heres what’s making news around the place at the moment.

The Winter football games - Aussie Rules and Rugby League are over for the year.

Manly won the ARL Premiership

Hawthorn won the AFL Premiership

That means that the Cricket season is just starting.
A summer sport played mainly in countries that were part of the old British Empire and with rules totally incomprehensible to those not familiar with the game. Here in Oz cities, towns and even small settlements have a local cricket ground.
The Australians are in India and the local kids and adults season starts tomorrow

Lots of girls and women here play Netball, also a sport associated with England. Australia is currently World Champions and play spirited games against countries like New Zealand, Jamaica and England.
There is an International series on at the moment and the local Spring Comps are starting this week, 3 of my granddaughters play and another (aged 9) has her first game tomorrow. Same as cricket and football there are netball courts in most places but many of the games are now held at big complexes and the local courts at the ovals are just for fun.

This weekend sees the Bathurst 1000 where Ford and Holden battle it out to see which driver can become King of the Mountain. The late racing driver Peter Brock was a favourite there and a memorial statue was unveiled the other day

Now one of my favourite sports is horse racing and the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne is starting right now. This culminates on the first Tuesday in November with the Melbourne Cup.
Its called the Race that stops the nation and there are sweeps in most offices and workplaces where in days gone by things really did come a stop while the race was on.
As well as the racing there’s also a lot of emphasis on clothes and hats – Fashion on the Field gets a lot of publicity with the ladies trying to get picked as Best Dressed.
I have a personal interest in an event this Sunday - yes it Melbourne Marathon Day again. After the thrill of running her first Marathon earlier in the year one of our Dds will be pounding 42.195 kms of streets again. Wish her luck everyone lol

The cycling season is in full swing with many of our cyclists back from the events in Europe and raring to go here. Lance Armstrong will be making a comeback to the sport by cycling in the Tour Down Under thats held in South Australia in January each year. This is professioanl racing but for the normal run of the mill theres the Great Victorian Bike Ride later in the year. Feel like riding for 9 days over 590 kms - well this is for you :))

Any surfers out there?

On todays news we heard that World Champion Surfer Layne Beachley was finally retiring - a nice girl with a good attitude but theres lots of other girls trying hard to reach her standard and the current world champ Stephanie Gilmore is also an Australian. We love our water sports
In fact we love any sports :)))
Lots of links there so I hope you click on someof them to gain a beetter understanding of sport here in Melbourne

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've been home a few weeks now and must mention a couple of awards that have been given to me.

I'm not really au fait with all these awards that seem to be out there but its was nice to think someone thought about me and enjoyed reading my blog.

Anyway thank you to Denise at An English Girl Rambles and also to Laura at Frugal Domesticity for passing them on.

They are supposed to be passed on to other bloggers but I know so few so feel anyone reading this can be nominated for them anyway.

Denise is/was an An English Girl who has lived with her Dh and son in the US for many years - but look what happened to her in September - congratulations Denise. She's a bit like like me in that she talks about anything and everything - she also shows us some wonderful photographs.

Laura talks about her life as a homemaker, her writings always give me something to think about, whether its about living life in a simple manner and using her resources to the best of her ability, economical recipes or the way the price of goods and services in her town are rising theres always something of interest there.

So Thank You to both these bloggers and I certainly encourage any of you to drop in and see what they have to say.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trauma Teddies

I have been a Teddy maker but most of mine have been fur clad teddies so when I looked at Barbara at Barbara Blundell's Blog today I was interested.

She had a post today about what she calls Teddies for Tradgedies.

Loads of the little things seem to find their way to her house lol

Anyway it reminded me that I used to knit a similar teddy for our Red Cross in Australia but we called them Trauma Teddies.

Anyone interested can find the pattern here.

They are really simple to knit and a great way to use up leftover wool especially the bright colours.

I'm sure any charity that deals with children would love to have some donated.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Life and Habits

OK pity party coming up :(

This past week has flown by, lots of stress associated with my elderly aunt meaning along with my cousin I have to start looking in earnest for a nursing home with a dementia unit attached. Even tho they are becoming the norm its not easy to find one with a space available in the near future. We will just keep on looking and hoping.

Luckily we had some good weather during the week and over the weekend so I’ve been able to get outside and prepare some more ground that had become a bit over grown.

I’ve begun to cover some of that ground with the mountain of newspapers I’ve been hoarding in the garage and will cover that with mulch from the trees that are being taken down and chipped next week.

At the moment it looks like a sea of soggy grey white (wet from todays rain) covered in broken house bricks, needed them to hold the paper down so it doesn't blow around in the wind. lol

With the dry weather washing has dried and been put away by the afternoons and I have even managed to sit down some of those afternoons and do a bit of knitting which seemed to ease the worry.

Its funny but I can knit and listen to the radio and relax but digging the ground didn’t seem to do that, the hard work didn’t clear my mind and it was always thinking of her and wondering what she was going to get up to next.

I don’t want another repeat of last weeks episode with the gas stove.

Change of mood :)

Daylight saving started this past Saturday night.

Unlike many people I have no problems with it as it means I can spend more time outside in daylight during the warmer days of the year 'cept at the start it has a down side as to begin with I have trouble judging what time it is outside first thing in the morning.

Daylight at the moment is/was about 6am so I’d got into the habit of waking slowly, once my eyes were open I had the choice of getting up then and maybe doing some early jobs (more like take advantage of the computer before Dh got up) or just lying there listening to the radio.

So - as it wasn’t light this morning when I woke I lay there for a long while, didn’t look at the clock as I was trying to go back to sleep. When it did get light and I finally looked at clock………….yes you guessed right…………….putting the clock forward meant it actually was 7am so I will have to be on my toes for the next few days and check the time when I wake up lol

Now Dh uses those huge great bath sheets for his shower but seems to soak them each time - his skin tends to hold the water (hairy monster that he is) and for ages I’ve been trying to get him to form the habit of doing what we were taught (mainly because it took ages for towels to dry in England and Mum would complain all the time) that is to ‘wipe down’ with a flannel/face washer when he’s turned the tap off and before he gets out of the cubicle.

I even gave him his own little pile of old flannels that the grandkids had when little (don’t throw anything away in my house lol) but it didn’t seem to sink in - that bath sheet would be in the wash basket after 2/3 uses.

Well, he finally seems to have understood what I meant and is now in the habit of taking a clean one out of the drawer and dropping that in the wash basket when finished. They are far easier to launder and dry and the big bath sheet lasts for the week – unless something untoward happens to it.

Bye for now

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


About this time of the year I begin to think about how we have managed on our 'pays' during the year and whether we can move along at the same pace next year or whether I'll have to rethink all the finances and money allocation in the new year.

We live quite simply these days, our bills are no where near as high as they were years ago - in relation to the amount of energy used, goods bought, food consumed and number of people living in the house - so for the two of us living on the age pension and other monthly pension payments hasn't been such a problem I thought it was going to be.

When friends start complaining about the price of things I tend to agree but not make as much of a fuss as them. I look for lots of bargains and try to find a cheaper alternative at the same standard if I can.

However I wasn't too happy when the Shire Rates arrived last week and they have risen by nearly $100. That's for home owners on concession rates so goodness knows how much they rose for those paying the full amount.

In with the yearly 'Valuation and Rate Notice' (thats its proper name, we just call it the Rates) we get sent us a lovely coloured brochure detailing where the money is going to be spent which you can believe it if you want..........................

Somehow I don't think much is going on vehicle maintenance as the bin men wake me at 6am every Monday morning 'cose the brakes on the truck squeal every time they slow down in front of each house so the long bendy arm can jump out the side of the truck and pick up the big wheelie bin and upend it. lol

Now as we pay them on a monthly basis that means I'll have to find an extra $10 each month, for us that isn't too much of a problem but will be for some. But thinking about it that $10 is what we spend if we go to our local cinema - $5 a head for seniors - or one of our admissions to the folk club concert we go to each month .

Telstra have just advised us that line rental will be rising and in the post today is a letter from TRU telling us that gas prices are about to increase. We use gas for heating, cooking and hot water.

Guess its my turn to complain loud and clear.:))

Heres another of DH's corny jokes

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of trousers?

In case he got a hole in one

Boom Boom!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Since we got home I have been finding it very hard to get back into the swing of things. I just drop everything and have taken that many breaks during the day it’s a wonder anything has been done at all.

Hopefully next week will be a bit better and I’ll get back into the general routine of life as it was before.

We have had some rather nice weather these past few days, which meant I spent a lot of the time outside – not just gazing into space but doing fruitful jobs. Or least I hope they will be

This patch of ground at the bottom of the garden has evolved slowly over the past few years. From a wholly grassed back garden - that way 'cose both of us were working full time and it was easier just to mow than tend to 'flowers' - to a 'pretty' garden has taken a while mainly because of the water shortage and lack of finances :(

The first photo was taken in October 2003, then October 2004 and the last in December 2006 so it has filled out slowly. October is Spring and December is summer so you can see how the grass suffered from the years when there was no rain at all. We were lucky with rain this Winter - we actually had some, so its green at the moment but that will most likely change once the hot dry days of summer arrive.

Of course its not helped by the fact I keep changing my mind as to what I actually want to grow there. Its now filled with roses and looks reasonable but a couple of roses turned up their toes last Summer so they were taken out when I pruned earlier in the year which gave me a bit of a hole in the middle of that bed.
Well I’ve decided not to replace them but use that space for veggies.
Yes I know its right in the middle but I'm hoping tomatoes will grow there and as there are plants at the front they won't be quite so noticeable.
So I've sort of marked out the area with some old pieces of fencing and spread in some old chook manure and also some of that horse poo that I was given and dug it all over. I'll put some tomatoes in there about Cup Day ( first Tuesday in November) and with a bit of luck they'll like it there and grow like topsy and give me lots of fruit.

Friday, September 26, 2008

One of our days out

This particular day DH wasn't happy 'cose the aircraft museum he had planned to visit was closed so we had a change of plan and he soon got into the swing of things when this little one came over to say hello :)

This funny looking fellow is a Rock Wallaby and lives near Mareeba in Far North Queensland

Going out from Cairns beyond Mareeba where coffee is grown there is a place called Granite Gorge Nature Park where you can walk about and climb the enormous huge granite boulders that just seem to be strewn all around the place. DH and I spent the best part of an afternoon there. Part of the fun is being able to hand feed some 'wild' rock wallabies.

'Granite Gorge, a privately operated nature park on the outskirts of Mareeba. Here the endangered Mareeba Rock Wallaby stages its last stand; it maintains a strong foothold at Granite Gorge where they congregate each afternoon to be fed, stroked, caressed and photographed by the daily throng of visitors. The mammoth strange shaped granite boulders of the gorge offers grand opportunities to explore the valley below. Picnic sites, natural swimming holes and overnight camping are all available at the gorge'

Click on the link to find out more about the park, also on the photos to enlarge them

Just one of our days out that I enjoyed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to reality

Been home a week now, its been a busy one and I'm feeling a bit jaded.

Wish I were here

Oops - that was taken 48 years ago in August 1960 just after I met DH. Looks like I liked the beach even in those days lol

Its certainly not shorts and t-shirt weather here in Melbourne yet. Bit chilly overnight and warming a little bit during the day, never the less we live in Melbourne so it will change there's no doubt about that.

Now this is where I would still like to be and we have already marked the weeks on next years calendar for a return visit. Go in and look at the site to see the view from the golf course, well that's just how it was. No wonder DH was loath to leave :)

We aren't part of the grey nomad brigade that tootle along all winter pulling a van behind us so DH and I stayed here while our friends were across the road in the caravan/trailer park.

There's a button marked attractions where it mentions Murals. These are painted on buildings all round the little town depicting life as it has been over the years. This is one DH photographed - wonder why?

Bowen played a big part in the WW2 especially during the Pacific and the Coral Sea Campaign so all round the town there are plaques on little old tumbledown houses telling who used it and for how long. Click on the photos to enlarge for a better view

I won’t go on about all the ins and outs of our time away ‘cept to say as well as the restful time we had here we wandered further north up to Townsville and Cairns which I'll talk about some other time.

Anyway life is going along ok at the moment. I emptied (as in ate all the food) the fridge freezer before we went away as it desperately needed defrosting and cleaning so have spent this week looking for bargains in any form to freeze and use at a later date.

I have to tell you about the best deal of the week – for me that is.

We have a fruit and veg place nearby that has started boxing up odd bits of maybe bruised stuff or bigger/smaller items that are still edible but would need to be eaten sooner rather than later.

At $2 a box I often wondered if it was worth parting with the gold coin for what I thought was rubbish – anyway the other day I took the plunge and here's what I got.

Enough small potatoes for an army, several onions, half a cauliflower, some bruised apples, a punnet of strawberries, lots of tiny mandarins, a whole cantaloupe and 1 huge pear. After discarding the big strawberry on the top that looked a bit off I cleaned them up then cut up the cantaloupe. Not much wrong with them that I could see so they are in the fridge for those 'I want something to pick at' moments.

Some of the spuds and the cauliflower we used for dinner last night, I’m going to lightly cook the apples and the pear to have with yogurt for dessert this evening. Not sure what to do with the mandarins as they are a bit tart, possibly just have them with ice cream or yogurt after a curry which will come from some of the beef I managed to get at a good price :)

Sounds like the machine has stopped so I'm off to hang the washing out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Home again

Yes I'm home again. Weary after driving nearly 3oookms/1865 miles in 3 days but looking forward to Spring.

Its just a memory now but we had the best fun for a long time.

Just doing nothing.

For nearly 4 weeks I did just what I'm doing in the picture below. It snowed at home (quite a rarity where I live) and here I was enjoying 27c/81f

Walking on the beach at Bowen North Qld. - enjoying the fact that apart from dh and me (and the person behind us) there was no one else to be seen along the whole shoreline.

This is what Dh and his friend did on most of those mornings.

They reckoned they could take on Tiger Woods any day lol

The golf course was at the end of the van park and the beach right there also.

During the first week away we went to see the grand-daughter who lives in Brisbane - and what do Grandmas do with grandchildren - they teach life skills.
This little one can't knit and her mother doesn't either so as there was wool and needles in the car we did a little bonding in the park close to her home.
I don't when we will see each other again so I treasured every moment that day.
We went to other places and I'll talk about those another day. Will be back soon
Click on the photos to enlarge