Sunday, January 24, 2021

The Grandkids Week Two

 We officially took the kids home Friday and drove back from Sydney yesterday 5 1/2 hour trip, which is pretty good now that the highway by-passes are all finished. Our 1/2 way point is Coolongalook, a very small town situated either side, with petrol, food, playground and amenities, the perfect spot for a break.

Lunch while the kids played on the swings

  The garage is across from the park, so very handy if you want a coffee, or sandwiches which is what we did on the way back. 

Amenities Block
 We arrived at 3.30 and our daughter in law mum came home at 4pm. took one look at the youngest's hair and discovered nits. I had no idea and he didn't say a thing, but when we picked them up originally Mum did mention she had checked and it was dandruff. 5 mins. later we were all lined up for KP24 nit shampoo, then combing. What a greeting, couldn't stop laughing. Eldest two diligently combed through my hair.

They had fun during the week. Our local daughter in law took the girls shopping and 6 hours later came back all carrying bags of stuff. I minded the 3 boys who did nothing but play online games.The boys following day were then taken to Spring Loaded, which is a jungle gym of sorts. The next day though they could hardly move, with sore back and shoulders. 

We had more rain and excitingly for the children lots and lots of hail. The storm kept going round and round and 4 lots of hail. Not a lot of damage done which was good. 

Rain was super heavy

Checking out the hail on the water
Next doors cover
Some hail quite large.

The kids helped me take some stuff up to the driveway for going to the tip, and I think enjoyed their last week. They were pretty tired when we got them to Sydney after two weeks of activity. Master W will be starting High School, the eldest in year 8, and the youngest year 5.

John appeared twice in the paper this week. The above one was in the Telegraph with a title of 

                             "I could Kill a Plastic Plant" Unlikely Leader of Award Coffs Coast.

 The next one was in the Advocate of Citizen, Bravery, Junior Sportsperson,Social Inclusion, RFS, and of course John was Volunteer of the Year 2021 -  Coffs Coast.

To date he has raised $100,000.00 and this week the new ride on mower is turning up for the Gardens. This will be used around the garden beds as the tractor mower is two big.It also comes with a little trailer that will hold a large sprayer for watering.  John will also be holding lessons also, especially for the ladies. 


Till Next Time.



Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Grandkids Week One

 As you can imagine it has been a pretty full on week with three grandchildren here. On top of that the dishwasher is not working but in actual fact I am finding it quicker to wash twice a day than filling the thing so luckily hasn't been a problem. Washing clothes though has increased, between towels and clothes, lucky we have had some hot weather. 

The older kids are addicted to their phones, the younger his tablet. I took them down to the beach 2nd afternoon here which was lovely. We took Einstein for a walk. I am getting a bit worried about him as his health hasn't been too good. The vet gave us doggy arthritis medicine, antibiotics and anti nausea but he is not eating very well so hard to get the tablets into him. 

During the week we had a day at Urunga walking the whole of the boardwalk out to the headland.

Looking back to the beach

The tiny baby fish in this area is amazing. I have never walked the full length of it before but with the nice weather was really good.

Notice the Mangroves in the distance

Across from the boardwalk you can see another beach, how they get there is beyond me, must be a backroad somewhere, somehow.

The Secret Beach

Swimming area with jumping platforms and ladders.

There has been a lot of work done to the swimming area, since we were last here. The river has new platforms for jumping and a deeper area has been made.Very safe for children. So after an hour of walking another 1 1/2 hrs.of jumping off these platforms for the kids while John and I sat waiting.

 

It was very busy as this is connected to the Caravan Park which was full, plus seemed like all the Urunga mum's were there in Beach Cabanas. Not a lot of shade around, I took my UV umbrella I bought in Singapore, glad I did now. 

For lunch we moved onto Mylstrom, 10 minutes away as I thought it would be less crowded. There is another swimming area in the river, more like an enclosed baths. Lots of shade trees as well, so after a quick lunch of egg sandwiches, the kids went back in.

Mylestom swimming area, in the river.
A favorite was jumping in the right hand end and floating with the tide.

Speed boats going by made waves, another favorite and lots of squealing and laughing kids. In this area is a large brick shed with tables, and a swings and slide area. Also a cafe/shop across the road. So if we go out again will bring them back to here. It is about 20 mins away.

We eventually got back at about 4pm and the next day Friday, they spent the morning with the cousins, on the trampoline and in the smaller blow up pool. Of course all of them told me they weren't tired but Saturday were like zombies and spent all day, lying around with the phones and tablets. I read lots of quilting books getting ready for when they leave. Grandma felt like a zombie.

Work to begin on sewerage pipe at Boambee Creek | Queensland Times
A Different View of the River Reserve, with Rail Bridge. Trees are the picnic grounds. Water at bottom goes to the ocean

 In the late afternoon, we went down to the local river to meet up for dinner with the cousins again. I actually had a swim this time, even though the tide was right out.

I think today we will just do nothing, well that is after I wash all the wet towels, swimmers, clothes, picnic stuff, make lunch, tidy the kitchen.....................................!!!


Till Next Time.






Sunday, January 10, 2021

Rain, Rain and More Rain

 Every day this past week it has rained every day, about 7 inches or 175mls, overall. This has made it very difficult to get things done outside, everything is so wet, including washing. I don't have a dryer so it has been a little hard.

The grandchildren arrived yesterday but earlier this week John went and got the mattresses out of the van, and found it had leaked through the  solar panel onto the beds. Everything is mouldy and damp.

I managed to save one set of sheets and a doona but the rest decided to just throw out and start again. 

Unfortunately the mattress have to go, so looks like we have to buy some new ones. They are smaller in width than normal single mattress and hopefully Jayco will have them available or some mattress place where they make these things. Lucky our Daughter in Law was getting rid of some single bed mattress, they had five but the bigger girls are now into double beds.


I have not seen the van yet, but some of the wood has been damaged with mould. At the moment it is covered with a tarp and I think Tuesday is hot and sunny 27C degrees. That will be a bit tough to take after our cool rainy days, but John will go and check the van out then. 

 In the meantime The Sydney family have arrived so I have 3 kids to look after till Sat week. One of the things if the weather stays reasonable is to empty this Gazebo, with their help.Fingers crossed.

I have a few outings planned as well. While taking that photo though, thought I would show you the mess that the nut grass is causing with all this rain, out the back.

Paved pathway pass my new roses.

Path in front of the shed

Part of the back garden with Lime Tree.

 Going to have to resort to using roundup, as getting to be a major cleanup I am not fit enough for at the moment. Will test one area and see what happens.

Till Next Time. 



Sunday, January 3, 2021

A Clean Slate for 2021

 "A Clean Slate" I read this comment somewhere, and thought how appropriate for this new year of 2021. 2020 certainly bought on some difficult times for many  people but also many adjusted to a new lifestyle, like wearing masks, teaching children at home, as well as working from home, growing vegetables for the first time, learning to knit and crotchet, slowing down, the list could go on and on in learning  new things.

What I see though is most of us adapted to these changes, and hopefully a lot of good lessons were learnt, but it is sad to see currently that there is yet another small wave of new clusters of virus in Australia, because of  ignorance, selfishness, or just plain bad luck, who knows! 

This article is the saddest thing I read for 2020, and for some reason people really believe that this virus is a hoax despite now that there is  1.83 million deaths world wide. 

SAN ANTONIO A San Antonio doctor says a man in his 30s who thought the coronavirus was a “hoax” died from the disease.“One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, ‘You know, I think I made a mistake.' And this young man went to a COVID party,” she said. “He didn’t really believe. He thought the disease was a hoax. He thought he was young and invincible and wouldn’t get affected by the disease.”

 

 A Clean Slate for me means let's start again. Re-write all the to do lists, plant new seeds and seedlings. Making decisions on whether to have my businesses, thereby giving up my crafts and just crotchet my life away in rugs or sew quilts. Maybe I should give up blogging also, with only 6 followers and very few comments I wonder sometimes if it is worth it? Then again my girlfriend in Victoria and  2 Daughters do read it so it saves me a letter each week lol. Lots of things though to decide about.

To start with, this week our first week back from Sydney, I unpacked, washed, iron, cleaned spare bedrooms all in readyness for the 3 grandchildren to arrive Friday or Saturday for a 10 day visit. Should be interesting.

I received from my girlfriend a fabulous garden diary that holds the seeds and labels in pockets set out for each month, plus a space to draw where I have planted things in the garden. Perfect for a clean slate and it allows me to work out a whole year so I started by digging up all the tomatoes,celery,lettuces, and some carrots. The rain has done a lot of damage, carrots rotting, things going to seed, and no sun for the tomatoes.

Old tomato bed took down the netting also.

Whats left of the cucumbers, trimmed them up and planted yellow climbing beans in spaces.

Rocket gone to seed so left it for salads. May move a clump or two elsewhere.
 
I also cut back the celery to see what happens it was going to seed.

Old climbing beans gone

So in the old tomato bed, planted butternut lettuce and pak choy. I gave in and went to Bunnings to buy some seedlings as no time to start seeds at the moment. January is usually not sub tropical time for growing as too hot but this weather has changed so much decided to give it a go.
New Apollo tomatoes where I had carrots. Never grown tomatoes in this bed before so relying on the structures to take some netting.
 

Butternut lettuce and Pak Choy in old Tomato Bed

The strawberries which produced well last year have taken off again with new runners. My dilemma is whether to keep the bed small or extend it out to take over. At the left hand end planted some dwarf beans which will start producing before the climbing ones. Using a whole bed for strawberries seems a bit much. My other alternative is to transplant more to the back garden with the rhubarb. None of the strawberries produced last year, probably because they were new runners then again I didn't cover them either and our water dragons love them. I am thinking about using one of the round gardens instead.

 
 The biggest disappointment is the nut grass. It has gone mad everywhere with all the rain, I keep clearing it but up it comes again. This below is the front rose garden which I weeded before going to Sydney. 10 days later and its a mess, as is most of the back yard. The paver path down the back rose garden you could mow. It is all getting a bit much for me alone to do so I am investigating concreting a lot of it.
 
My Enemy Nut Grass
 
Three days in to the year so not a bad start on my clean slate. There is a new calendar on the wall, a new 2021 planner, and I have lots of plans to think about now. Welcome everyone to 2021.

Till Next Time.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas in Sydney with Family.

 Only a short blog today, after a busy family Christmas, today we celebrate our youngest son's 41st. Birthday. I made a simple chocolate cake for the first time since he was 18, as our other daughter in law took over, because our youngest grandaughter has egg and gluten allergies.

BBQ again but this house has gourmet meat with great salads.


Eating on a verandah overlooking the Berowra Valley National Park. 

Interestingly one of two Christmas trees is a gum tree branch.




I received a fantastic holiday for two from the family to Lord Howe Island for a week. We will take it about Sept. or Oct.  I am really looking forward to it and we fly out from Port Macquarie, so not far to drive either.

Taken by the eldest son of the decoration next door.

As a result of the reindeer with masks our eldest decided that at this year's Santa photo, every one wore a mask as well. Something for a future memory.

The same family gave John this Christmas shirt.


I also  received a wonderful garden diary from my best friend and a subscription to Vasili's garden magazine.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas just as much.



Till next time. 




Sunday, December 20, 2020

Community Garden Christmas Party & A Surprise.

 On the 2nd. attempt we finally got to have the Pizza Party for the Gardens. The rain has finally stopped except for the odd drizzle now and then, and the weather once more is hotting up. I think about 25 attended so it was a good night. Taught everyone how to make pizzas properly as last year I was sick and it was a bit of a disaster. Luckily though the dough was donated so didn't have to fuss with that. John cooked all night. 

The little pizza oven was part of a grant and we have used it 3 times now. John has earnt the SCCG nearly $100,00.00 in grants as well his dedication to attending 3 days a week plus, and has been nominated for Volunteer of the Year, and yesterday received a letter to attend the ceremony, along with a few others. We haven't heard anything about Sawtell of the Year yet which is New Years Day, probably can't get both.

 
We had extra dough over so I turned it into a Loaf the next day. 

 The rest of the week I have spent wrapping presents, shopping, dodging the rain and as I am not sleeping well catching up on that, which wastes an afternoon as far as I am concerned, and very annoying.

This week I will do some packing and cooking to take with me etc for Christmas in Sydney. Covid has hit again there, but we are an hour away from it, so feel we will be ok, certainly not going anywhere that is for sure. 

We celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary on the 16th, and as usual, always wondering why do the years go by so fast. We had lunch at our favorite restaurant, by the river. It was certainly nice to leave the house this past week. We also had a spur of the moment lunch, the next day, with our ex sister in law and was great to catch up with her and partner, at another restaurant, also by the water. 

                                                         Surprise, Surprise!!

                                Janome S6 on special from Hobby Sew with bonus's,Workspace is 210mm/8.3″

I received a surprise this week as I ordered a sewing machine for my Christmas, Anniversary present, as better than the Bunnings card I usually get lol. 

They said it would be sent from Korea, which didn't worry me, no time now to sew, and lo and behold arrived Wednesday after confirming my address Monday by phone.

I know mind blowing!

It is very super modern with all sorts of bells and whistles. Even has a button for cutting the threads. My old machine is 25 years old computer driven and I wasn't expecting the upgrades this has, to that degree. Certainly going to take a while to learn. I am hoping to do some quilting with it to use up a large stash of fabric I have, from working at Spotlight years ago.

$400 worth of extras came with it as a bonus which is why I went for this one.

 Love the little pin cushion you put on top somewhere, and all these bobbins extra, plus the long extend table, and more feet. Look out 2021. A short no sound demonstration video if curious 


 


 

HAVE A WONDERFUL AND SAFE CHRISTMAS DAY 2020 EVERYONE.


Till Next Time.