Friday, December 30, 2011

Garden at dawn

Woke up very early this morning with cramp- around 4.30am - and couldn't get back to sleep, possibly because I fell into bed at around 9.00pm the night before - very early for me. By 4.30 I'd had my usual 6-7 hours sleep and my body didn't want any more.

Got up, made myself some Milo then worked at the computer downloading photos. Don staggered up at about 6.30 to find me the early bird for a change. He went back to bed, but I took advantage of the beautiful summer dawn to get some photos of the garden - well, the parts I have been working flat out on so that it doesn't look too bad for the 50th party.

Almost new

Here is a photo of the new colour for the back of the house. It was taken very early in the morning, so perhaps lacks some of the warmth it shows later in the day.

Still a mess around the veranda, but I still have the woodwork to do before I can tissy it up and make it look smart.


With our big day coming up - 50th wedding anniversary - on Jan 8th, I decided it was time something was done about painting the back of the house. It was renovated in 2004, but the outside painting was never done. We could never afford to have it painted professionally and were waiting until we could find the cash. Of course that never happened. Then Don got ill and we had other things to worry about.

Finally I decided a couple of weeks ago I would have a go myself. I had my left shoulder done in September and that was feeling reasonable. Don has just had a pacemaker put in so I wasn't expecting help there. Daughter Jo and her partner Steve offered to help out.

So, this morning I bought paint etc and got started on the taping and cutting in.

Before I knew it, Don was out there with a roller and got started on a wall. It took about one and a half hours and we were humming along and very pleased with ourselves. Jo and Steve turned up and took over - by then my shoulders were about to give out. Three hours later and it was done. And looks great.

Now I just have to play with the woodwork and we will have a new house.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A regular visitor to our garden has been this fellow. He comes in every week or so, eats the new shoots on the eucalypts, then moves on. On this occasion he was intercepted by one of our dogs and took refuge in a nearby tree. Didn't appear at all fazed by the locals - aka me. Let me take his photo, then continued up the tree.

We have named him 'Kenneth'.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I constantly seem to berate myself for not getting on with my blog, but really I am the only one I have to please because I am the only one who reads it! So, enough of that nonsense. Time to write again.

I recently had three wonderful days in Sydney with my daughter and grandchildren. Bliss to see them again. We did all the things that one does when one visits Sydney and I took all the usual tourist photos. I just loved the gorgeous clivias in the Botanical Gardens. I struggle to keep my one alive. Just too cold up here in the Hills, I think.

And the cream ones are just stunning

Of course I snapped the Opera House. Who doesn't?

And the girls loved the Japanese lion/dog?

A very enjoyable day with three gorgeous ladies.


Monday, August 22, 2011

10,000 Steps

10,000 Steps

Very pleased with myself. I have passed the 19 million steps mark. On my way to 20 million this year I hope.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Such an age since I've blogged. Nearly 3 months. Why I wonder? Too little time? Busy Life? Nothing new to say? All of those things I guess. Sad really.

Tonight we were watching Morse on TV and something came up about taking communion. Don made a comment about it. I replied semi-automatically - as one does.

"Did you used to take communion?" asked he.

Well yes, I did," was my reply. And then I felt obliged to explain.

As a child my parents did not really enforce the church bit. They were products of a mixed marriage - Lutheran and Anglican. Both were forced to go to church as children and both being very intelligent thinkers questioned the norms as young adults. They determined that they would not force their children into churchgoing.

I went to an Anglican girls school, for no other reason than my father was public school educated in England and my mother - a delightful woman always felt envious of and inferior to her cousins who went to private schools in Adelaide. I had been christened quite late (about 8) at the urgings of both school and very religious aunt and uncle who had migrated from England and lived with us for 12 months in the late forties (10 pound Poms) So at school I was urged into confirmation and for some time as an adolescent had the religious fervour to attend church. Besides we had a great priest, a very vibrant youth club and BOYS!!!

We didn't have much money to spare after mum paid private school fees. No decent clothes. I wore my school uniform to church, which was OK when I was in my early teens, but became less appealing as I grew older.

We moved house and I moved church, which was OK. Good youth club. BUT, although by now I had clothes - because I learnt to sew and was good at it, I DID NOT HAVE ANY HATS!!! and one was expected to wear a hat at Anglican services in the fifties!!! Especially in the area in which I was living.

So, I stopped going to church!! How embarrassing for a 16 year old to have to wear her school uniform to church because she did not have a non-uniform hat!!! And what a reason to stop going to church. BUT it was a very valid reason for me at the time.

And the Anglican church was pondering over the reason why the younger people were not going to church!!

I have never really gone back to church - never felt really comfortable, never felt the need. My kids were christened early on, but none of them are church goers now. Is it any different now. I honestly don't know. And do I care? Not at all! I live my life according to my principles. And they are basically christian principles.

What did I get from going to a church school and to church.

I learnt that there is a social hierarchy and that going to a private school did give you entry into some elite circles - if your parents moved in those circles! I learnt that a lot of people went to church because it was the expected thing. I learnt that if you didn't have a decent hat then you felt uncomfortable because you got stared at. I learnt that there were some priests/ clergymen who genuinely felt about the young people in their church and did their best to help and support them (but I could never tell my priest about not having a decent hat). I learnt that lots of cool boys went to my church. I learnt that I could live like a christian without going to church. I learnt that you didn't have to be a christian to live a good and decent life.

I learnt that I could still talk to my version of God without going to church.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

TV Fan

Ollie has developed a passion for TV. Initially he was interested in the wild life shows and was fascinated with the animals - started with dogs and cats and gradually extended to other animals. Now he will watch any show that is on and especially enjoys football. I suspect it is the movement which attracts him At least now in the evenings I get a rest from throwing the ball - TV is far more interesting!! Liz

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My Baby Jane

Feel like a challenge? I decided to make a mini Baby Jane for a project our group was working on - but never actually finished. The blocks were from the beautiful Dear Jane quilt that so many of us have attempted (and not yet finished in my case!!)Here is my miniature quilt - all 2 inch blocks. I did this in a bit of a hurry and fully intend to sit down one day and spend more time on it. I really enjoyed making this little quilt.

I think I could get addicted to miniatures one day.


Monday, March 07, 2011

More Civil War Blocks

Here are my next Civil War Challenge blocks. I am having fun making them although the strange measurements drive me mad sometimes.

This one is 'Birds in the Air'.

Cotton Boll

Lincoln's Platform

Texas Tears

Log Cabin

Seven Sisters

The link for this challenge is Civil War Challenge. Join in. It's fun.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Civil War Quilt

Well, I have found a project to get me going again. I just haven't felt like sewing anything except ATCs - and then not very many!!

Barbara Brackman has a Civil War Quilt challenge - a block a week for the year. The blocks aren't all that difficult - except she has designed them all as 8 inch blocks, and that is proving a challenge - sizes like 3 3/16ths etc. Still I am enjoying it. Has a number of plus points for it:

1. It is using up many of my old repro fabrics - oh goodie, an excuse to buy new ones! Some of mine date back 15 years and there are so many lovely new collections around that I couldn't justify buying while I had boxes of the earlier ones!!

2. I love repro scrap quilts and I can indulge to my heart's content.

3. I also love the old traditional blocks, though I like using modern methods of making them.

4. I have a week to finish a block - that I can manage.

5. I am enjoying the online group - Barbara's blog and the Flickr group with comments and photos. Amazing how computers and quilting can bring people of like interests together across miles of land and ocean!

Here are some of my blocks - not always to my satisfaction, but hey - I have a year to play with them if I don't like them.

Catch me if you can

North Star


Kansas Troubles

More to come.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My Kindle

Great excitement. My Kindle, a Christmas present, has arrived. I love it!! Just one problem that I cannot solve. I bought the model with Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, only to find that I am unable to connect at home. I can drive 6 kms to the nearest town where I teach and connect straight away but not at home.

I really have no idea how all this technology works. I wish I had my Year 7 boys from last year: they were able to help me out with all my computer problems. Where are they when you want them?

I think the problem is that there is no 3G coverage where I live, although my mobile phone works here. I am probably going to have to get a wireless thingo so I can connect that way. I wonder whether that will work?

Meantime I can get around it by ordering books online from home and they download as soon as I get to school next day. Very frustrating though!

BUT, I love my Kindle and am having fun finding books for it.


Hydrangeas etc

That very wet Spring has done wonders for my hydrangeas, though they did burn a bit in that short hot spell. I love the range of shades on the same and adjacent bushes.

A very pretty little Fuchsia

And a colourful rose - 'Shady Lady'.

Luckily the weeds are not showing - and there are plenty of them.


Friday, January 14, 2011


This Christmas was one of mixed feelings for us. Don went into hospital on Dec 16th for a knee replacement having been given the all clear by his heart specialist. He was expecting to be home about the 23rd and we planned to have christmas at home as he probably wasn't going to be able to travel by car.

Three days after the operation which had gone very smoothly, he had a massive heart attack at 6.00am and was raced to Intensive Care with all the drama of a TV soapy - doctors working on him as they raced the crash cart down the corridors, nurses following carrying all the paraphenalia. They didn't tell him until later that they actually thought he wouldn't make it as his heart stopped and wouldn't start for nearly 2 minutes. By the time I got there, the crisis was over and he was actually giving the nurses cheek.

The conclusion was that they overestimated the strength of his heart and the trauma of the op plus all the drugs he had been given was too much for an already dicky heart. Strangely though, his heart which had been in fibrillation before the op is now beating steadily.

With all this drama happening we decided that Christmas would be at Jo (eldest daughter) and Steve's not at our place and I really didn't have the heart to even do anything about a tree. The Sydney contingent were due to arrive on the Thursday and they were staying with Jo.

Mark surprised me by cutting down a lovely tree for me on the Thursday and the girls and grandkids came over on Christmas Eve and decorated it, as is our custom. My youngest GD even commented that the tree touched the ceiling, also according to a long held family tradition.

What with racing up and down the hills to Adelaide sometimes several times a day, worrying about Don, trying to do all the necessary work around the place and coping with Christmas, I was not really in a Chrissie mood by the big day!! However it is difficult not to feel Christmassy with kids around and although I didn't celebrate with my usual gusto, I did have a very pleasant day. I did feel for Don stuck in the hospital - he does love Christmas so.

Jo's tree - and all the pressies.

Don came home 5 days after Christmas and was able to spend some precious time with the girls before they all went back to Sydney. The knee seems to be an unqualified success and although he gets tired very quickly, we are hopeful that he will soon be back to his normal self.