About Me

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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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Planted - WHAT?

This lovely picture of one of our grandaughters is the reason I find it hard to drive round the streets at this time of the year.
Hard rubbish collection weeks mean everyone clears out their junk and leaves it on the nature strip for others to look through and take away.
People rifle through the things and take away what they want, can repair and use, the original recycling way
Oh no, thats not the reason - it just seems that way.
Thats how it was decribed to me when we moved here but now some councils are not happy about that and have bylaws saying they will prosecute anyone caught removing goods.
Anyway, thats how I got those lovely wicker chairs in the picture.
Picked them up at the side of the kerb, removed the seat part and tidied them up a bit. Gave them a scrub and a coat of varnish then found round hanging baskets that fitted and planted them with petunias.
In those days we were a bit short of cash and had just starting clearing the garden so I had to find something different to plant in while the shrubs developed.
I love to take something ordinary and use it for a different purpose
I read about Planted Chairs on a site called Garden Web (the Garden Junk forum) and was hooked.
At one time I had several hard backed chairs minus their seats and with square plant pots insitu dotted around the garden filled with annuals but then DH got a bit funny with it and slowly they have been removed.
DH thought I was a bit loopy the time I planted succulents in some old running shoes but they looked ok and it was cheap. I cut a few holes in the soles, filled the shoes with some earth, broke of some pieces of Echivera and popped them into the earth and waited. They soon took root and filled out the shoe and got lots of admiring glances.
Unfortunately with our water situation I find it hard to spare some for pots that will dry out so for the time being there aren't any fun things in the garden ............................cept for those runners that I saw under a bush the other day.
LOL those type of plants will survive any drought known to man :))

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where have you been all the day

Busy thats what lol

Life’s been very busy these past few days so haven’t has time to talk.

Plus I’m trying to finish some knitting to take away in a couple of weeks so that’s been No1 time user and not the computer.

Its definitely cooling down at night so changed the bedding during the week and now have the woollen blanket and a warmer underlay on, ‘cose I can’t sleep if my feet are cold I find being warm underneath helps as much as being warm on top. We have the window open slightly at night and on really chilly nights I lay another blanket across the foot of the bed to keep those chilly draughts off my tootsies.

Have lit the pilot of the heater and had a test run to make sure its working ok.

We were quite nice and toastie the other night but can't let it become a habit until the really cold days and evenings start.

It certainly was very cold this morning at 5am when we – DH and I – left home to drive to the city.

Why you ask are you out at that very early time……………….well we were volunteering at the Run for the Kids which was a fun run to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Last weekend - Easter weekend (Good Friday) in Melbourne is traditionally the culmination of the fundraising year for the Children’s Hospital and this was part of that Appeal. Run the week after but still a fundraiser event for 2008.

Over 27,000 runners and walkers (actually 27,498 entrants) took part with a long course (14.5kms) for the diehard runners and a short one (5.5kms) for families and others to run or walk. The organisers were able to give a donation of $378,941.43 to the Good Friday Appeal which was fabulous news.

Can you see the fabulous passage of the balloons over the skyline just as we arrived at our spot. These can been seen as dawn each Sunday morning and one of these days if I can persuade the family to give me a ride as a treat for my birthday I'm going to be in one.

Our role was a Drinks Station Assistant and basically we helped man the drinks tables you see along the roadside of these events. Not only manned them but set up the trestles, laid out, filled several layers of cups and handed them out as the runners passed by.

Then just after the last stragglers went by we had to take it all down and clear the roadside up and leave it as tho we had never been there. lol

Within half an hour of this being taken the traffic was flowing along this side of the road as tho it hadn't been closed for the best part of the morning !!
It was such a fun morning and even tho I got a bit wet it was the sort I enjoy - giving my time to the community for the love of it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Here comes that rainy day feeling again

And it’s fantastic:)

Have put my plastic wheelbarrow out in the middle of the garden in the hope of catching some of the water:)

I found one like this at Bunnings about 3 years ago and its been so handy.

I don't have to worry about it getting wet if its not put away in the shed - I know - until this week there hasn't been much chance of that happening recently lol

I've had another fabulous one for many years thats so easy to handle but has lost some of its bottom 'cose its been left out and rusted. It has great big wheels that pump up and one long handle to pull it around and still gets used for things that won't fall through:))

Pottered round this morning doing little jobs in the house and then when the rain started just after lunch I started a new book.

Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves

A ‘who dunnit’ set in the north of England with lots of local dialect to listen to in the dialogue, it isn’t a hard book to read and it kept my interest the entire wet afternoon.

Will be going to an early bed soon complete with said book and a hot Milo and if it gets any colder maybe a HOT water bottle for the tooties

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finished, Frugal and Fantastic

FINISHED - Well we managed to finish clearing out the garage yesterday. It now looks fabulously tidy and quite spacious:))

In the end it was untidy more than overcrowded and apart from some computer boxes (metal not cardboard) there wasn't a lot of rubbish in there. Unfortunately the shire won't take computer parts so we have to find another way to get them recycled.

Dh was really good about the whole thing and agreed that hanging on to stuff he's not going to utilise elsewhere is silly and if someone else can use them by adding new innards he'll let them go.

I've given him some time to try to find a new home for them so he's going to ask around if no joy they are going to a recycle place close to the city - if I can remember the name that is.

We have Burmese cats - they are adorable and over the years when I was breeding we had quite a few queens as well as pets - no entire males tho. My girls always went out for mating.

However they have one trait that has always caused a little friction in our house - they think they are human and where I went they wanted to go. Right from kitten they assumed they slept on the bed with us and no matter that they had lovely beds all round the house sleeping on and in our bed was what they wanted. When there was just one or two it was no problem but as the population grew DH put his foot down.

Closing the bedroom door meant nothing to them, they scratched, howled, whined, ran round like hairy monsters and were absolute pains so during the summer they all began to sleep in the outside runs. When the girls were on call they weren't in the house anyway but were penned outside so it didn't bother them and those with kittens were inside with their babes and otherwise occupied.

Winter time I began to utilise the garage, no car in there and so they had big beds, cardboard boxes, heating pads, litter trays, water bowls..................they had all mod coms and were warm and DH was happy 'cose he got a good nights sleep.

Now to the FRUGAL bit

There are some very good paper litters that can be used inside that are fantastic for removing 'bits' and controlling odours and I used these when I had kittens however they are expensive so for the others I would loook for a cheaper alternative and talking to other breeders found out about a furniture factory not too far away that put huge bags of sawdust out side for anyone to go and take away.

For FREE yes FREE - for nothing - so you couldn't knock that back.

It has one drawback tho and that is because it is fine it seems to go everywhere, its all over the floor near the trays and gets into their beds. This is what made the place out there look so messy, after seeing to the trays each morning I then had to go and sweep, and shake or change the blankets in their beds most days. These cats are creatures of habit and when they are inside the house they ask to go out and then use the tray in the garage instead of scratching around in the dirt lol. I've seen them run from the bottom of the garden and use the tray in there.

At the moment I've put sheets of newspaper under and around the trays to try and catch the rubbish but I'm contemplating going back to the paper litter which isn't messy for a change and a break from the constant housekeeping in the garage of all the places - even tho it will cost me a fortune - I can get the biggest bag for about $20 in a fodder store close by and even tho we are down to 2 cats now with daily changes its gone quite quickly.

Decisions Decisions

FANTASTIC news - it rained and rained and rained last night and the sky today ( Tuesday) is threatening with huge great black clouds and there are gale warnings out for various bays.

It did more than rain last night - it poured and the thunder roared and the lightening flashed and it was glorious. Kept hitting the nearby hills and rolling back over our place. I jumped a mile one time with the huge bang and expected the power to go off. Several places seemingly had cuts but not our area.

Sometimes the weather man does get it right :))

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fun on a Sunday

Here are the words for this week - from LunaNina

See how you go - remember put down the first thing you think.

Paranormal :: Unusual

Alarm :: Fire

Operative :: Working

Changing :: Weather patterns

Framed :: Cross stich

Beer :: Australian

Referral :: Dr's - to a medical specialist

Unmasked :: Revealed

Movie star :: Doris Day

Handbook:: instructions
Bye for now

Friday, March 21, 2008

One day it summer - the next its winter

As if on cue the weather changes the day the winter football season starts!!

Last night and today I have had warm clothing on, socks and slippers as well. It’s quite cool outside and - guess what……………………..last night it tried to rain.

Not heavy, just simple drizzle, enough to wet the paths but not penetrate the soil but look, we aren’t going to give a D for effort rather an A for trying. Seemingly next Tuesday is THE day for rain or so the weather bureau says so I’ll let you know if they get it right or not:)

It’s the start of the autumn equinox here in the southern hemisphere, we have the hugest moon outside and it’s becoming noticeable now, that the length of the day is shortening; at the moment there’s almost equal day and night but the long days of summer are leaving us and things are shutting down before winter. It’s only just becoming light about 7am, which on a cool morning like today made me want to stay in bed a bit longer.

I decided instead of a shower to have a bath this morning, so nice when its cool as it’s an easy way to get warm. So with book and coffee for company I step in and probably close to half an hour later I get out. :)

Only one thing wrong with doing this is that I then because I use so much more water than a shower – remember, we are still without rain and most of the country is still in the grips of the longest drought on record - I feel I have to give it to the garden.

So after a couple of hours drying off and lazing around the bucket and me become friends and up and down the hall I go giving a drink to the roses out the front. It certainly makes me think about whether I want a bath or not – I suppose if we had hooked up the diverter this year I wouldn’t have to do that but then I can’t have it all ways because it only took the water to the back garden and not the front.

Judging by the traffic reports and camera footage on TV there can’t be many people left in Melbourne this weekend. For those not involved in religious activities the long Easter weekend is usually a fun one; visiting family and camping seem to be the number 1 thing to do although from the amount of people in Bunnings yesterday I think home maintenance and renovations is also high on the list of things to do lol

We used to be known as the Land of the Long Weekend but various governments and changing work practices have put an end to the amount of public holidays and time off that once was the norm.

So when there is one we Australians make good use of it:))

Anzac Day (April 25th) - which is a National Public Holiday - is on a Friday making it a 3-day weekend and then the next one here in Victoria will be the Queen’s Birthday Holiday in June, which is also the start of the ski season.

Not going to think about that one as its the first day of winter here and usually cold by then :(

I think I have just about persuaded DH the garage is top of his To Do list for tomorrow, with my help of course.

Its good to have him home again – he makes nicer coffee than me and I was getting fed up drinking tea:))

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It doesn't take much to make me happy

Tuesday March 18th

Nine o’clock in the evening and all is well

The cool change finally arrived and it is 16c/62f outside my back door

All the doors and windows are open and it is heaven.

Might even have to put a nightdress on tonight

Oh that’s too much information isn’t it :))

Monday, March 17, 2008

If your Irish

Deep down I am Irish but because of circumstances I was born in England
My father was born in Ireland

Because of circumstances my mother was born in England

All my grandparents weere born in Ireland and all my great gandparents were born in Ireland

I choose to live in Australia but I think I have enough Irish blood in me to warrant wearing the green today :))

Have a great day

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fun on a Sunday

Wanted a little bit if fun this morning and Lightening pointed me in the direction of this.

Called Unconscious Mutterings or Free Association - After each of these words you write down the first thing that enters your head.

Here goes:

Homicide: Police

Divisive: Nasty nature

Flash: Photography

Steaming: HOT

Crunch: Cornflakes

Look out!: Lovely view

Anticipating: Waiting

Slim: If only

Navel: Oranges

Help: I need somebody

The list changes each week and can be found at LunaNina

Have a go and see what you come up with - if not this week, try next week.

Bye for now

Friday, March 14, 2008

A day in my life March 2008

Well now where do I start in telling you about my day – oh yes at the beginning lol

My friendly motorbike alarm clock woke me as usual at 6.30am. We have a neighbour who leaves for work each morning at that time and for some reason can’t move off when he starts the bike but leaves it running waking everyone in the surrounding houses.

I lay there for a while listening to Red on ABC 774 (the old 3LO), let the cats out, thinking about the stinker of a night it had been, looked at the thermometer near the back door (27c/80f) and thought about how hot it was going to be later in the day.

The radio weatherman said A Total Fire Ban Day and a forecast of 40c/104f and that definitely wasn’t what I wanted to hear so I made a cup of tea, brought that, some cereal and yoghurt back to bed (Dh is out of town so I can do that lol) and read for a little while.

My book of the moment is The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, a very different book about several women during the 1940’s and how their lives were interwoven both during and after the war.

Stripped the bed and put the sheets and other washing on and then started on the dishes.

Flylady would not be very happy with me, as I’ve been a bit busy over the past couple of days and certainly hadn’t shone my sink the night before.

Consequently there were a few (well more than a few) possibly most of the cups (plus a few plates) we own sitting there all nicely stacked but unwashed. Doesn’t happen when DH is at home but I tend to get sidetracked and involved in other things and dishes are the last thing I think about.

Washing on the line and freshly showered I remembered to pull down the outside blinds and I was off to my Friday volunteer commitment.

I am involved with a programme that comes under the umbrella of Sids and Kids Victoria where we provide layettes and other items for families who lose a baby pre-term. A volunteer myself I co-ordinate the volunteers who make all these tiny items and also give some time to the newsletter so it can be quite taxing most weeks. I give 2 days a week to the programme but as I said sometimes it’s a lot more than that in actual time.

Had a busy morning helping to size garments and adding new names to the database. One of ‘the girls’ had a birthday so we had a fabulous morning tea, which meant I didn’t need much lunch when I got home :)

I remembered to pick up my coffee grounds from the little cafĂ© close by, had two containers waiting so the roses will be happy but I wasn’t happy to find a very very HOT steering wheel waiting for me outside – guess who forgot to put the shiny cover on that sort of keeps the heat off it :(

Hot as it was I walked up the drive to the post box for the mail and brought the washing in as soon as I got home. Put the dishes away while the kettle was coming to the boil and that certainly made a difference in the kitchen. A clean sink area and bench top really helps give the kitchen a calm appearance. My kitchen can sometimes be like a war zone as I’m not the tidiest cook but less said about that the better lol

Once I’d had lunch I typed out a personal carers’ roster for my aunt. There’s so much information on the weekly sheet they send her, she doesn’t understand it all and becomes confused so to make things easier I give it to her in a simpler form.

I moved on from that to putting together a new shoe rack to go on DH’s side of the wardrobe. The one he uses now is getting rickety and the Reject Shop had some nice white metal ones that will look good when the wardrobe is refitted soon. Its slightly longer as well which means the shoes aren’t touching and he can get an extra pair on each shelf. He’s worse than me for shoes and runners!

3pm and 35c/95f, decided I really needed to turn the cooling on.

Still in the bedroom had to make up the bed or I would have been sleeping on the uncovered mattress tonight. Since my moan the other week about the chest of drawers never being tidy I have made an effort to keep it clear and pick up clothes each morning which means I’m not getting as stressed about it now - all I had to do was make the bed up fresh and the room was finished. I love a bed with fresh sheets so am looking forward to getting in there later on with my hot Milo and book.

Of course the washing that came in off the line had to be dealt with, sheets and towels folded and put away, clothes that don’t get ironed hung up and put away, all the other stuff folded and put in the ironing basket. And there was also some other washing from the other day on the couch waiting to be folded – told you DH was away and I’d been busy with other things :)

After all that I was glad the phone rang and gave me a chance to sit down and do nothing:)

Heard from DH in Penrith where it reached about 29c, quite pleasant he said. ‘Slept like a log, nice and cool’. Little does he know these hot days are supposed to extend right into next week ha ha.

Made a small naked ham salad for dinner – ‘naked’ coming from the hilarious waiter we had one time who told me thats what he called a salad without a dressing and that’s what we've called it ever since. I'm a very plain eater, sometimes I'll have a bit of English Salad Cream on the side of the plate but a tossed dressed salad is not for me.

There you are, Friday 14th March in my house. If you got this far I commend you – It’s been a long hot day for me as well.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I have decided to join Little Jenny Wren in her ‘A Day in my Life’ project.

This means that I will take note of the happenings in my life on the 14th of each month and let you know what I got up to on that day.

As it will be a different day of the week each month the writings will vary quite a bit, I have volunteer commitments as well as social and household commitments but you’ll find out about these as the months go by.
If you are interested pop over to her blog and see for yourself and maybe join up as well

Too hot to handle

The pictures above (taken on our cruise to Alaska a coouple of years ago) show rainy, misty cloudy, call them what you want skies and wet ground -something we haven't seen here where I live for a while.
Its something I wouldn't mind seeing again.
Its been so long since we had weather like this I think my gum boots will have dried up and will leak if I tried them out in the bath. lol

Anyway as much as I love summer I am getting tired of this really hot weather. The days should be cooling down - they started to but then stopped, we shouldn't still have forecasts going up into the 30's, this is Autumn, a time to wind down, not feel jaded and weary. We have another week coming up with high temps and no sign of the days getting cooler.
Poor Adelaide, capital of South Australia, has just recorded 11 straight days with a top temperature over 35c/ 95f - and there is more forecast for next week - read about it here.
As I am on my own this week, DH has gone off to Sydney to help with the Oceania Canoing championships, I was looking forward to getting lots of things done.
Meaning I could make a mess and then have it all put right before he arrived home next Monday.
Unfortunately its been so revolting outside I haven't got into the garage for a clean up which was No 1 on my list so he's not going to be happy. The shire hard rubbish week is coming up and I sort of promised him I'd have a look at some of the extra 'stuff' lurking out there and make a decision one way or the other.
Well - hard cheddar cheese DH I made the decision I wasn't going to cook myself out there and cleared out some more of his side of the wardrobe :))

It has to be emptied for the new one to be fitted so I'm making it easier now, choosing what stays, so we won't have words when that time comes round the first week of April. lol

Fairs fair tho - I'm being ruthless on my side as well.

At the beginning of each year I turn all the coat hangers round the other way so they point out instead of in and as things are worn and rehung they are put back in the usual way, pointing in.
That way I can see what I've actually worn over the past year.
Often there are reasons why some of the clothes haven't been worn (wedding funerals etc) so they are returned and given another chance. Its the other unworn things that are a problem.
I'm a Libran and a ditherer, I think about all sorts of occasions and situations and consequentially have more than I really need. But to my delight at the moment there is a bag by the door ready to go to the Op Shop once its cool enough to go down the street.
And as theres another 2 weeks before the big truck come trundling round to pick up things from the nature strip, I'm sure there'll be a cooler day in that time for both DH and me (they do say two heads are better than one) to do something with garage - won't there??

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A hot day in Melbourne

It was a very hot Monday yesterday - top of 37c/nearly 99f so I think you could say it was hot and this is what I did on a hot Monday here in Melbourne.

I took part in a parade - well - rather me and my other Red Hat friends took part in a parade. A few people from several chapters came to town to show Melbourne that turning 50 doesn't mean you have to give up on fun.

The annual Moomba Parade as well as other festivities and world class waterskiing events on the Yarra take place during the Labour Day weekend. We walked down Swanston Street and over Princes Bridge right here in the heart of our lovely city.

Click on this link or on this one to find about the fun weekend we call Moomba.

The sides of the roads were packed with people, lots of families waiting for the different community groups and floats to come past.
We had such fun but oh it was so hot.:)

Sorry its a rather small photo - taken by another person's DH so I can't grumble but if you click it will miraculously enlarge itself (or at least I hope it will ) and you will see us in all our glory.

I'm on the front row over to your left with the red runners on, sorry not looking at the camera. Jen is the lovely lasy having her picture taken at the time.

We were so glad to be near the front of the parade, it must have been scorching for those who came later and I was so glad I put my capri pants on even tho they weren't quite the dark purple they should have been. :))

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Normal service coming soon

The glucosamine and Tiger rub as well as time seemed to have worked

The Dr said don't sit around as I would sieze up so I have done lots of things standing

I can now manage to get out of a chair in one movement :))

No stopping half way to go OOOH !!

Can get out of bed like a lady without having to slide out onto the floor

Don't have to have an xray :))

Life is nearly back to normal

Weather is fabulous - unfortunately - I do so want to turn some ground over but don't trust myself to be sensible and not end up back where I started :((

See you soon

Monday, March 3, 2008

So what happened last week?

Crooked my back for one thing – woke on Monday and felt an ache but took no notice but by the evening it was really noticeable.

Its not the first time this has happened so I used some Tiger Balm Muscle Rub before bed and hoped it would be gone in the morning. We’ve long been a believer in Tiger Balm (first used it when we were living in Singapore back in 1963) and I noticed this in on sale at Changi airport quite a few years ago. I haven’t been able to find it in Australia so we always pick some up when we are on our way thru going away or coming home.

Anyway no such luck – still there in the morning so for most of the week I’ve been moving quite tentatively and on occasions saying I must go and see the GP but also hoping it would just go away:(

Sitting has been the main problem – didn’t matter whether it was a hard (kitchen type) chair or soft easy chair I still faltered when standing up and as it wasn’t comfortable at the computer I haven’t updated here or visited many people.

So I have spent a lot of time on my feet or lying down but then I had the added problem of trying to get up off the bed (gracefully) lol - not a pretty site so I stuck to standing and doing lots of things on my feet.

Thought I'd do some cooking as I was on babysitting duties this weekend but it mean't going to the shops for extra ingredients and getting into the car was tricky so maybe Lizzies Cornflake Cake will eventuate next week. We had the children here so I did have some help from DH.

I finally had the elusive mammogram on Thursday - now that entails standing and having delicate appedages being gently (really - I don't think lol) squeezed flat all for a good cause.

It would be good if they could find a cause and a cure for Breast Cancer.

All round Australia in May there are fundraising events for the disease - the Mothers Day Classic is one.

I know there are events like this all round the world and I was surprised to see Holland America even have one on their cruise ships - its called On Deck for The Cure and now it seems other cruise lines are doing it as well.

This is me taking part in the 5km walk round the decks of the MV Zuiderdam in 2006. A good way (in several ways) to lose some of the extra weight I acquired on our trip to Alaska

March means its officially Autumn in Australia and in Melbourne we are having some fabulous weather. Great sunny days and cooler nights. No problem sleeping - cept for the backache - just need slighter warmer clothes in the mornings till there is some warmth in the sun.

I see next doors Oak tree has huge acorns this year and they are about ready to drop - that means they will be easier to pick up than the tiny ones and there will be fewer little trees growing from the ones I miss. It would be fabulous if we could have some rain but theres still none forecast.

With the thought of cooler days we are contemplating where to go this year for a trip. At one time it was going to be taken in August/September as another family and friends visit to England and Canada with some time in Northern Ireland but now we think it might be later and possibly as a trip over to the West to Perth.

This is actually a coach trip itinerary but it shows the things that can be done and seen in the 2,700 km drive across the Nullabor from Adelaide to Perth. Seems thats about the same distance as London to Moscow.

Bye for now - hope to be back soon