Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Happy Birthday to me.

Today was my birthday. I am now 48 years old. No silly secrets about my age, that's nonsense to do that. Its not an issue with me, in fact I am quite pleased to be this age. There's nothing I want to go back for, (though I have had some fun along the way) .You should work with what you are given and not try to be something you are not.
I worked today and told Di that it was my birthday so she snuck down the street and got me a birthday cake which we all shared for lunch. We always get a cake to share when it is someone at work's birthday. Nice. Pete is going to get me a worm farm for my birthday, I guess that sounds funny to a non gasrdener. Annie got me a necklace, Dave got me a Santana cd. The rain water tank is still not connected but Pete spoke to the plumber Ray today so maybe it will be done next week. We went down to the Junee ex serviceman's club (exies) and had a Chinese tea tonight. I have been spoilt!
Yesterday was another extra hot day, it got to 40 degrees here. Today was a bit cooler , tomorrow it is supposed to be just 25 degrees. The sugar cane mulch seems to be doing its job well in my garden. My plants don't appear to be suffering with the heat after the few nasty hot days we have just had. S'good. I planted out a punnet of 6 Grosse Lisse tomatoes last evening. They are small but should take off pretty quickly. I planted 3 tomato plants a while ago but they were not a success as I left them sitting in a plastic tub in the sun before planting them and they got stewed. One died the other 2 are still struggling. They are probably not worth the trouble to keep trying to rescue.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Grafton trip, wedding, gardens

Today is the last day of my 2 weeks annual leave. I that time I've been to my niece's wedding in Grafton and visited the Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin near Cessnock. When I got home I arranged the annual curry night food for the Potter's club. Thank god that's over for another year. It must be someone else's turn next year to do the organising. I never can get the amount of food right and we always end up with too much.
Anyway I took some good pics while I was around and about. The pic at the top is at the gardens and is of a male water fowl, I know them as coots but I don't know what their proper name is.

This is my great niece Ivory. She is a gruby faced angel in this picture. She is now 14 months old.
This is a double pink hibiscus flower in my sister's front yard.
It rained all the while we were in Grafton. This shows the Jacaranda trees in flower, for which Grafton is famous. They were past their best because of the rain but were still beautiful, forming a carpet across the road and footpaths. The car is David's Commodore coated in fallen flowers.
A jacaranda dam in the gutter out the front of my sister's.
This is a sculpture that I loved in the Hunter valley gardens. It is a tribute to grandmothers and is situated in the centre of the rose garden.
These are called water poppies. I hadn't seen them before. Very delicate, aren't they pretty.
At the gardens again. Taken about half way up the man made water fall.
The gardens were divided up into themed areas. This area is the indian area. The doors behind my Mum are antique elephant doors inported from india and are about 150 yrs old, made of solid teak. The guide bloke said that if elephant statues have their trunks pointing up and one foot forward and raised it is a sign of good luck.
This is part of the beautiful detail on the Indian tea house. All hand carved, it is also very old and solid teak and over looks a good sized dam.
I love this pic of a magnolia grandiflora bloom . Please click on it to get a closer look. There are several bees busy working on it. The little fallen bits on one of the petals are bits off the stamen. You see lots of these trees around the parks in Sydney. They grow huge and the flowers are about 20cm across. They don't grow in my area. Not that I have seen anyway.
This is a huge antique cast iron urn imported from spain. It had to be set in place by 2 big cranes when it arrived at the gardens. I wanted to take it home but it wouldn't fit in the car, it was a bit heavy too. The gardens are owned and run by the Roche company and are only 5 yrs old.
A baby coot. There were a lot of these around the gardens.
Me being silly. I'm not a big swimmer. The water thing was a carved piece of granite.
The centre bit with the grandmother sculpture in the rose garden. There was a rose extravaganza on at the gardens while I was there but the rain they had had had spoiled most of the blooms. But I got the idea. (Had in triplicate)
My threee metal heads dressed for the wedding. Right to left, David, Annie and Michael. At the wedding Dave got up after much coaxing and had a dance with us all. He even danced to an Abba song which I thouht was hilarious considering his musical tastes and I took a picture to prove it too. I told him he was never going to live that down. Lol.
The bride and groom with my mob. Who is that fat lady?
Genevieve (Cassies 1/2 sister) with the bride Cassie and Ivory.
My youngest neice Tatham. She is 17. We call her Tato or Tatie, with her boyfriend Lee. She was the chief bridesmaid. All my babies are grown up. Ohhhhh!
Below is a pic taken of my 2 beautiful neices, Cassie and Tato. The headpeice she is wearing was handmade by her husband Guy's step grandmother. She used 27 foot of solid silver wire and treaded garnets and crystals throughout it. Something worth keeping eh!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Wedding, Grafton trip. Home.

I have been away for a bit over a week attending my beautiful niece's wedding in Grafton. We drove up there, Pete drove the caravan and I took David's car as we couldn't all fit in one vehicle. Dave's car is newer and nicer than my old car, and as he has lost his licence I was chauffeur. He has a black commodore with mod cons. Including cruise control which I learnt how to use, good for keeping to the speed limit and avoiding speeding fines. Pete and I slept in the van as I am a princess when it comes to my bed. It has to be just right or it is Just not right!
The wedding was lovely but of course a busy couple of days for all involved. I was general gopher, (go for) on the morning of the wedding and did the first reading during the ceremony. Cass is lovely and tried to give everyone jobs to do so they all felt included and a part of things, which was nice. Her dress was stunning as were the brides maids. Hers was ruby red , beaded, shot silk looking like and 18Th century ballgown, and the girls wore black. When she walked down the isle i got all teary. I don't cry at weddings and had to pull myself up real quick to do the reading. I do get teary over babies and new life though. I was not happy with 2 of my children's behaviour. My eldest is a boring, cranky, self spoiled, stick in the mud and my daughter got drunk so she missed most of the reception . Not funny, not impressed.
On the way there we dawdled and took the coast road through Sydney and stopped at Cessnock to visit the Hunter Valley Gardens. I have wanted to go there for the last couple of years since seeing them on a gardening show. ( we tried o visit there once before but it was a 40 degree day so we gave up on it) They were great, well worth the visit. I didn't feel so dumb there as I knew what the guide was talking about with my bit of garden knowledge. Lol. I took lots of photos.
Second night we stopped at Forster in an apartment. A very nice apartment !!! But we probably should not have paid quite so much. It was 2 bedrooms, 2 and a 1/2 bathrooms and a big balcony which overlooked the town/ocean beach. We all had a turn in the spa bath and I over did the bath bubbles a bit. I only had a little bit of water in the bath but when I turned on the spa they overflowed. Shhh! don't tell the owners.
At the wedding I met my 2 great great nephews for the first time. They came down from Brisbane. Jaiden is 7 and Caleb is 2 yrs old. That's pretty bad that I haven't met them before isn't it. Brisbane is a long way away. I also got to spend some time with my great niece Ivory who is 14 months old. She is a real cutie and I think she will be a strong willed little person next year when she reaches the 2yr old phase. She had a few days of being handled by different people during the lead up to the wedding and was pretty tired. At the wedding when they were doing the speeches she was really funny because when people applauded she thought they were clapping for her and sat up and looked around proudly and smiled from behind her dummy (pacifier). So cute! I spent time with my 2 sisters Thelma and Ellen, the brides mother, and saw my niece Janelle whom I haven't seen for about 6 years since my Dad's funeral.
They have had a lot of rain up there on the nth coast, the Clarence river was quite high and everything was lush and green. Diffrent plants to what grows around here too, I collected some seed pods to bring back. Grafton is known for it's Jacaranda trees which were in flower but not at their best because of all the rain. I need a magic wand to get the rain back here where we need it, they have got enough up there. It is also hotter here than on the coast despite it being further north that us, the temps were in the low to mid 20's while we were there.
That's all of my ramblings for tonight, I have another few days left to organise the potter's club dinner so I will be busy and get back to this blog later.
Bye . Love Linda.

Cassie's Wedding, Grafton trip. Home.

Saturday, 3 November 2007


It is raining.
The strange things that make us happy eh! I am obsessed with rain. It has been raining for half the afternoon and has been raining intermittently ever since. Yee Ha!
I was in Wagga today for my monthly duty day and potter's club meeting. I rang Fran tonight, who lives in north Wagga, and she said it was still raining there too. She had emptied out her rain gauge earlier today and had 6 points in it again this afternoon. Very nice. When I was driving home this evening there was actually water running down the sides of the roadway. Something I haven't seen for a long time. The arrangements for the annual curry night are falling into place. It is getting very close, just 2 weeks away. We are aiming to cater for 6o invited guests this year, which is more than the last few years.
Years ago, up until this drought hit us hard around here, along the Harefield road on the way home from Wagga, if it was raining the road used to be covered with tiny little frogs (and some big frogs as well) that came out to play in the rain. (or play squash on the road) They haven't been there of late of course, because of the drought, but maybe they will come back with this rain.
Side story; I have found burrowing frogs before when digging in my garden. The are frogs which store water in their bodies and they burrow underground to stay damp until there is rain again, so are drought proof, and then come out to party in their particular froggy way. Interesting little critters. Well, they aren't actually that small as froggies go they are a good size frog. I have also found big orange and brown frogs at night when it is rainy in my garden, hunting insects under my solar garden lights. I don't know if they are the burrowing frogs though they might be because there is no other ponds or creeks around close by that they might have come from. The fish in my pond would have eaten any eggs if they were laid in there.
I also re fired the pots today that didn't reach temperature in my kiln because it had a blockage. It took 9 hrs in the club kiln, which is a tad slow, (my fault, late start and non attention) but I don't really mind as long as it is finished.
The firing I did on Thursday at home in my old kiln was way over fired. The cones that read the temperature can be hard to see in a raging kiln and I couldn't see if they had bent over, and therefore reached temperature, so the glaze ran down onto the shelves and made a mess. The glaze , because it was over fired and had melted too much, was pooled in the bottom of the bowls and had formed pretty green crystals which looked really good. I had to grind the excess off the pots and shelves with the angle grinder but they came out passable in the end. I bet if I was trying to get crystals in my glaze like that they wouldn't have worked.
We got a big quarterly electricity bill yesterday, a bit over $500. With the bill for getting my kiln connected by the plumber that I have yet to pay, the water tank will have to wait a bit longer to get connected. That's a shame because of the rain we are getting that would have been able to fill it up, but never mind I will get there. I am still annoyed about the councils well advertised rebate not being available to us. Rip off merchants!
Annie, David and her Michael are down in Sydney last night and tonight to see bands again . Annie will be home tonight and Dave will be coming back tomorrow as he is visiting in Canberra on the way home. Nice to be young and have fun eh! Good on them I reckon, I wish Annie had a job to pay her own way though. She has applied to go to university next year, she had enough points to get in, we don't know if she is accepted yet. I guess that depends on who else and how many others put in for that particular course. Books for uni courses are notoriously expensive though, especially if you have to buy them new.
O.K. I had better stop whining about money, or scarcity of it and go to bed, it is late and I have another busy day tomorrow.
Bye - love - Linda. :)

Thursday, 1 November 2007

It is nice and cloudy this afternoon, I hope we get a bit of rain out of it, it is looking good. The clouds look full and heavy, where it will drop is pure luck and guess work. I hear that in the U.S there are floods in the south and fires have been in the Sth east. Wouldn't it be good if we could invent a way for one disaster to quench the other. Maybe have a big magic wand to put things where they are needed most. Yeah I know, I'm being silly. Not very amusing if you have links to these areas. But seriously, I feel sorry for the people who have lost homes and property.
I have my old kiln going at the moment with an earthenware glaze in it. It should be finished soon. The probe that measures the temperature inside the kiln has decided to pack it in this afternoon and is not giving me a proper reading, so I am carefully watching the cones. Cones are a little steeple shaped bit of clay that you sit inside the kiln in sight of the spy hole that will melt and bend over at a specific temperature to tell you the temp you want to get up to has been reached. I still have not seen the plumber to get him to look at the new kiln as I think it has a blockage in the system somewhere. I did however get the bill for him setting up the new kiln. It was over $400, so I might have to wait a while before I get him to come back to fix it. I also need to get him to hook up the water tank I got recently. When you buy a new water tank the govt and local councils will give you a rebate. Ha,I am quite annoyed because Pete went down to the council office to apply and they had all these conditions to getting the rebate which practically cut us out of getting the rebate. Some of the conditions were, the tank must be used to run the toilet and / or washing machine. I asked about getting the tank hooked up to run the toilet off and was told it is very expensive and is better done when building a new home. Which put me off that idea. I read a chart the other day which said that something like 50% of household water usage is used on the garden, which is what I wanted it for, and a much smaller percentage is used in the toilet and washing machine. No rebate for tanks used to supplement garden watering! C'mon! Also when Brian from the farm supplies place delivered the water tank he said that Junee people were so good at saving water that the amount of water going through the treatment plant is barely enough to run it. What a rip off. typical govt departments.
I cooked a batch of biscuits this afternoon. My not following the recipe version of Anzac biscuits. They are yummy I have already eaten 3. I like them thin and crunchy.
Recently on the news there as a story on blogging. It told of cases where people have followed up on reading others blogs to get information i.e. names, addresses, photos, birth dates, spouses names etc then having all the info they need to steal their identity. It made me pretty nervous. We as bloggers want to share a bit of ourselves and our lives and most probably wouldn't think twice about including details. Please beware.
O.K. thats about all of my ramblings this afternoon.
Bye Love Linda.