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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Back on course...

Yesterday, DH played his first game of golf in 5 1/2 weeks; the time which has elapsed since he collapsed on the final hole of that same golf course, early in December.
This was his chest a day or so after the pacemaker was implanted...still a bit swollen then of course. 



The plastic adhesive over the wound meant he could continue to shower as normal. The dressings were taken off a week after the operation and over the weeks the swelling and soreness had completely disappeared. Golfing was off the agenda for a while as the electrodes which had been attached by tiny screws into heart tissue could be ripped out by the action of the golf swing and the  follow through. After 4 weeks the electrodes would be anchored firmly by tissue growing around them.
Yesterday's game went well with him being placed 18th in a field of well over 100 players. So he came home feeling rather pleased.

But one day last year in July he was even more pleased with his game. After 40 plus years playing golf, he finally achieved that 'hole in one!' And in November we both attended the club's presentation night so that DH could receive his trophy.

The table all loaded up with the various trophies...

The main guest speaker for the night was another member of the club, who happened to be an Australian tennis champion from the 1950s to the early 1970s, Mal Anderson. My mum had been a really big fan of Mal and I remember how chuffed she was when her granddaughters had tennis lessons with him at their school. Mal was a very entertaining speaker having embraced golf after his 'tennis days'.  
 
 
After speeches, it was time for the trophies to be distributed...DH receiving his...
 
 
A close-up; it is the actual ball that he used that day. The club takes it and sends it off to the trophy maker to be incorporated into the piece. There were a few 'holes in one' winners last year; not all on the same hole as DH. His achievement was on the 16th.
 
 
So it's good to report that DH is now back golfing and possibly hoping to replicate last year's achievement; the hole in one that is...not the collapse or 'dispsy doodle' as he described it! lol

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Golden Gumboot...

In a recent post I wrote about the signs that rain could be on the way, i.e. the 'visits' from ants and the green frog. Well it did rain last Sunday...quite a bit in some areas but by Monday, Brisbane was once again sunny and very hot.
All the talk of rain though, had reminded me of our recent trip to Far North Queensland. We had lovely fine weather during our short stay back in November, but the area has had lots of rain in recent weeks. Three towns in FNQ vie for the wettest town in Queensland; Innisfail, Babinda and Tully. The higher rainfall is the result of monsoonal rains and cyclones.
My cousin took us to Tully for a look around. It is a town 'built on the sugar industry'. And in a park there is a tribute to the early days of sugar...my dad started cutting cane in 1926 so I reckon the display with horses being used to cart the cut cane would have been like when my dad was a canecutter.

Many of the sugar mills in north Queensland have closed but the mill chimneys at Tully dominate the  skyline and it is very obvious that it is still a working mill! 

A big tourist attraction in Tully is the 7.9 metre ( 25.9ft) Golden Gumboot, which was erected in 2003.  This height represents the highest rainfall recorded in Tully and this was way back in 1950.

A couple of interesting points;- the floods that Tully experienced in 1967 and 1973 were caused by rainfall greater than 8 metres and Babinda has had even higher rainfall levels than Tully in the last 40 years.
So here are our photos of this tourist attraction...

Little me standing beside it to give an idea of its height...

A closer view of the frog details too...

My cousin has some favourite shops in Tully and we went to a few...a wonderful toy shop, a kitchen wares shop, a fish shop and a popular teashop/café/florist. Many of the stores had art deco frontages...just like Innisfail! I also took photos inside the café.
I loved those novelty clocks on display in the café!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wool on Sunday...

Once again I'm joining in Rainbow Hare's Wool on Sundays, where bloggers write posts about anything which is yarn themed, and then link it to Janine's blog.
Last year, in a few Wool on Sunday posts, I wrote about a baby blanket that I had been working on. Each post showed the progress I was making. Well just before Christmas, I had finally finished that special project and after a little photo shoot, it was posted off to its new home in Victoria.
Here it is laid out on the bed in one of our bedrooms. Gerald Bear and Dolly who normally 'reside' on this bed, just had to be included in photos.

Then it was all folded up and tied with ribbon...


Now it just so happened that around the same time, the 'mum to be' posted some photos of the newly decorated baby nursery on her Facebook page. I have asked her if I could share those photos on my blog, so here they are.


And on the wall is something very special. My friend, who is the grandma, still had some baby clothes that had been her daughter's. My friend had them framed for the nursery...so precious!


And just a little while ago, little Sally was born and is now home in her lovely nursery.
Thank you Janet and Iain for allowing me to use your photos.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A few wildlife encounters...

Some readers would recall some of my posts about my thoughts on the bush turkeys, native animals that thrive not only in bush land areas but also in suburbia. Well I learned something new about them on our little trip to Port Macquarie.
Sure, the one strolling through the ground floor car park of our apartment block didn't surprise me...



But on our second evening there, I was sitting on the balcony and I noticed some rather large black birds roosting in a large tree on the other side of the resort's pool.

 I thought I was seeing things because these birds sure looked like bush turkeys...and gradually the tree's branches were filling with birds roosting. DH agreed that they looked like bush turkeys and he took photos with his 'you beaut' camera with lots of zoom. But the photos weren't too clear when we checked them when we were back home, so he deleted them. In the meantime I had checked Google and found out that the turkeys, do indeed, roost in trees at night. (although the big trees in our yard  aren't to their liking...thank goodness! )
So some photos from the web...

It's been quite hot here in Brisbane (and in most parts of the country too!) and for quite a few weeks the little black ants have been invading homes and gardens. Surprisingly, they not in our shower recess, and usually they are there all year round. Normally I have to clean up both the ants and the 'specks' they leave on the floor of the shower before showers in the morning. At the moment, the ants are getting into Eduardo's water bowl and his food bowls which is to be expected...but they are also trailing along under the eaves...can we expect a lot of rain soon and the ants are getting their 'provisions' up high???


And one night last week I noticed this beautiful fellow (lass?) sitting on the top step at the back of our side veranda...the frog didn't seem the least bit perturbed when Eduardo stood on the step to get a closer look at what DH and I were looking at!

We are fortunate to have such lovely big green frogs in our garden as the toad population tends to overwhelm the frogs, causing their numbers to decline.

One night recently, while eating dinner on the veranda, out of the corner of one eye I had noticed a movement and saw that some creature was drinking from Eduardo's water bowl. It was a brushtail possum and it was quite unconcerned by the audience while it drank.



We noticed it had some cuts on its head; probably the result of fighting with another possum. It came back for a few nights for a drink and to check for leftovers in the cat's bowl. I left a bowl of water and some chopped up fruit downstairs for a few days and gradually less and less of the fruit was taken. So we like to hope he was feeling better.

Now for some not so 'wild life'...
When we were in Cairns in last November, the greeting committee in the Cairns hotel was Bruiser, who loved under chin tickles and ear scratches. He was lovely!

And lastly, this is a rather smug Eduardo. On this night, we realised after dinner, that Eddie had actually been fed twice...I fed him at 5pm as usual and DH fed him an hour or so later. The cat ate both meals, leaving nothing! He was only 'sprung' when DH noticed 2 tins rinsed out and left on the sink draining, ready to go into the recycling bin...

Ninety-nine percent of the time I feed Eduardo, so he must have felt quite chuffed to have got another meal out of DH! lol

 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A bit more 'doing a bit to help others'.

For a few years now, my friend Helen and I have been organising 2 fund raising raffles per year for Knitting for Brisbane's Needy; Mother's Day and Christmas. And so it was early last December, Helen and I headed off to the Beenleigh Knit and Natter for the Christmas Raffle Draw. Beenleigh is south of Brisbane and north of the Gold Coast.

The bucket with all those ticket stubs all folded up and ready for some lucky winners to be drawn out.

Helen and I 'encourage' our lovely donors to give gift cards and vouchers as prizes as they are easier to post to winners if needed. So here are all the prizes all lined up, including a beautiful quilt made by one of our members.

Every one of the ladies at the K&N had a chance to draw out prize winners. We passed around the bucket twice.

Here's Karen, the founder of K4BN on the left...

Her husband Peter also gave a lovely speech thanking everyone after all the prize winners were drawn out...

The lady on the right in this photo is Pam Tatt, the founder of Knit for Charity. It was lovely to meet her in person.

After our morning's work, Helen and I decided to lunch in Beenleigh before our drive home. 😊

The proceeds from the raffles help to buy yarn and toiletries for the needy that the group helps each year. And in December 2016 K4BN also were the lucky recipients of a cash prize from Channel 9's Knock of Cash...$10000! We were all thrilled that Karen and Peter and the group's  work received acknowledgement of all they do for the community!  The group desperately needs a new vehicle as Karen and Peter drive thousands of miles each year to give out donations in western and central Queensland, as well as many trips around the south eastern part of the state. Their vehicle, although well maintained, is elderly, so hopefully this cash boost can help.





Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Doing a bit to help...

On the last Friday of most months our parish has a morning tea at which everyone and anyone are welcome. Some of the ladies take the opportunity to cook the most calorie laden items possible, which balances out the cheese and crackers that I bring along! Some months we all bring along an item for a theme that has been set the month before...such as favourite china items, favourite poems, books etc. These are all designed to really get conversations going.
But having parishioners gather like this is always a perfect reason to get a 'few jobs done'.

So at our October morning tea we all pitched in and packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child which is run by Samaritans Purse. This task entailed packing gift items into shoe boxes and these would then be sent overseas to designated countries and distributed to needy children. In a previous morning tea we had brought along suitable items to start a stockpile for the boxes.

 Items for the boxes are based on 6 themes; something to wear, something to play with, something for school, something to love, something special, something for personal hygiene. Of course, different ages and boys and girls are catered for and the labels we place on the boxes show this.

Our parish contribution included not only filled shoeboxes, but also 3 bags of items that we couldn't fit into the boxes we had collected. Each box has to be accompanied by a $9 donation to cover costs of shipping. Again, generous parishioners donated more than enough to cover that cost.

There are those who feel that 'charity should begin at home' and frown on sending items overseas, but I know a number of people who have been doing Samaritans Purse for quite a while, so when our parish decided to become involved, it seemed perfectly natural. At the same time in the last few months of 2016, our parish collected toiletries and other items as gifts for the Mission to Seafarers gift giving program for any merchant seamen in the port of Brisbane in December. We also were collecting non perishable food for local charities to distribute. So all, in our small way, can help so many others.

At the November morning tea, before we sat down with our 'cuppas' we packed home baked biscuits (cookies) and slices ready for sale at our Christmas Craft markets the next day.

 
The tray of chocolate coconut slice that I made was packed in some boxes that we had left over from another function.

Throughout the year we save wide necked jars to pack the baking in and then decorate the jars a bit to make them look festive. 



In 2016 I made sure that I was available to help 'all day' at our Christmas Craft Market( really only 7.30am to 2pm), as our number of helpers is getting less each year as the older people move away...or pass away. Other years I've just done a few hours early in the day and then headed off to another commitment that I go to on the same Saturday every month. So I helped in the kitchen with the morning teas until 10 and then manned the parish stall until close of business...and it was fun.
The collage shows some of the stallholders at last year's market; most are regulars who book a table every year.
 
A view of the parish stall which I looked after. The big gap on the table was caused by the 'roaring trade ' I was doing with our home baking.

The parish made a nice profit from the market, so that was good!

I think we skip morning tea in January as it is around Australia Day, so February will be our first one for 2017.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

A few outings late last year...

Last year, despite being lovers of live theatre, DH and I didn't book us in for many shows. The previous 2 years with the odd 'medical drama' meant that a number of our tickets had to be given away as events conspired to stop us from attending performances.
But DH had booked some tickets for the show Matilda. The performance we were booked in for was a matinee in the second week of December. Yep! You guessed it, DH was in hospital. He insisted that I still go and very reluctantly and feeling mighty guilty about it, DsD3 and I went to the show. Loved it! 

There are 4 actresses who play Matilda, and the one who took her turn for this matinee, was exceptional.
Right at the year's end DH had got a special price on tickets for the Fawlty Towers Live show, so off we BOTH set to the Playhouse on New Year's Eve.
We usually drive to Alderley Station and catch the train from there...it's a building site at the moment but should be great when the renovations are finished. There will be a lift then! ( although I don't mind the walk up and over the railway bridge/steps, except for those days way back when my children were little and I had to get them and the stroller up the stairs and then down the stairs!)
 
We had been warned by an email from QPAC ( Queensland Performing Arts Centre) that extra security would be enforced due to NYE. This is because the complex is adjacent to Southbank Parklands where there would be big crowds for the evening celebrations. 

Bags were checked for alcohol...and weapons too maybe??? 

I took a few photos of the part of Southbank near the theatres. 



And who could resist a photo with the cutout Basil Fawlty? 😆

The show featured a number of vignettes from the tv shows and just like the tv shows, we laughed out loud and at times we sniggered and I even cringed at times too.



The cast was very good and I particularly liked the performance from the actress who played Mrs Richards. ( the hard of hearing lady who complained about the view from her room and also claimed to have had money stolen.)
She looked and sounded familiar and during interval I checked her out on my phone. The actress was Deborah Kennedy, an Aussie actor of some note, but is perhaps most known for a Yellow pages advert she was in, some years ago. Her saying, 'Not happy Jan!' has actually entered the nation's lexicon for using when someone's behaviour has disappointed you. We Aussies are a funny lot, aren't we??? A You Tube of the ad is here...
It was an enjoyable afternoon.