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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Another Baby Shower...

Last Sunday we gathered for DsD1's baby shower. It happened to be a very hot day so we were very glad of the aircon in DsD2's loungeroom.
The party started with some bubbles...😉

The guest of honour looked lovely...

There were some games, food and even some drawing! On the floor were some blank sheets of paper and some felt pens and guests were invited to each illustrate a page of what will become an alphabet book for the baby.

One game was 'pictionary' where each guest would have to illustrate a 'pregnancy/baby' related word that had been written on little pieces of paper and put in a container. The people in my group who had turns before me got some real doozies of words like, 'placenta' and 'post natal depression', so it was with a bit of trepidation that I put my hand in the container to draw out a word...and I got 'bib'! which even I could draw! Lol!
And the best part of the afternoon was watching the guest of honour open the gifts!

DsD2 wrote down a description of each gift along with who had given it; very handy when writing thank you s!
DH and I had earlier given DsD1 the money for a pram with a bit left over for whatever, so she didn't expect a baby shower gift from us...but of course I organised something else...

Here's a closer look at the 'nappy cake' which I had bought from a local young mum who makes these as a little sideline business. Because DsD1 and Dan had been staying with us I had had to hide the gift in my sewing 'cave' until the party...

The cake had nappies (diapers), towel, washer, muslin, baby lotion, baby soap, toys and some other items that I've forgotten 🙄. It looked lovely and DsD1 was charmed by it. I found this gift to be very cost effective so win win!
On the same afternoon, DD2's best friend was having her baby shower and I sent a nappy cake with DsD2 to that party too.

On Monday DsD1 and Dan headed back to the farm, 6 hours away from Brisbane. Despite having a large vehicle, they couldn't fit everything in their car. ( while here in the city they bought all their baby furniture, pram, pantry cupboard and were given a clothes drier by DsD1's mother and sisters)
So we have some 'overflow' items that were left here...and some stored under the house.

So the plan is that next Saturday DH and I are driving up to Toowoomba with these items to meet up with DsD1 and Dan who are driving down to there from Wandoan for an antenatal session. Toowoomba is where the baby will be born in early March as where they live is a long way from hospital. DsD1 will come to Toowoomba 3 weeks before the due date to await the birth.
City slickers like me have no real concept of what it must be like living in these more isolated areas and not being close to doctors and hospitals.
PS. DsD1's friends and family in Wandoan have another baby shower planned for her so the coming baby will certainly have lots of 'stuff'  by the time she arrives.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

During the Christmas break I noticed that when I cleaned my teeth, my mouth would bleed. I found where the problem was; way up the back on the left hand side of my mouth. It's where a wisdom tooth is just peeping through the gum. It has never come through any more than 3 little tips of the tooth. The other wisdom teeth have never come through at all.
Naturally the dental practice closes over Christmas/ New Year, so it wasn't until yesterday that I was able to get an appointment.

My lovely dentist diagnosed an infection in the wisdom tooth ( which though a bit uncomfortable didn't warrant antibiotics) and discussed options.
1 Remove the wisdom tooth. This would be difficult as most of the tooth is buried in the gum. After the extraction there would be some discomfort.
2. Instead of pulling out the wisdom tooth, remove the tooth beside it. The benefit of this is that there would be quicker healing after the extraction...less pain etc. Apparently this next tooth is preventing the wisdom tooth from emerging out of the gum and this is the primary cause of the discomfort and also making it easier for infection to invade.
The idea is that the wisdom tooth would then gradually grow upwards in the gum. But my dentist said that sometimes the wisdom tooth doesn't emerge...ever. Another 'con' is that by removing a perfectly good double molar tooth, my lower matching molar would have nothing to match up with, thus affecting my bite/chewing.
By this time my head was reeling with all this information...but I decided on option 1 so on February 1, that pesky wisdom tooth will be history!
So it will be back to that funky waiting room!

PS All my other teeth passed inspection and the 'clean and fluoride treatment' was over in a flash 😁

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Wool on Sunday

The first 'yarny' post for 2018; joining in with Janine over on the Rainbow Hare blog. Janine's post was a bit about Christmas and of course some of her projects. The shawl that Janine made is stunning. Check out her blog post Here.
I've started the year with 2 big bags of blankets made from crocheted and knitted squares which 3 wonderful ladies have given me.

Most of the squares had been joined up into blankets late last year, but most of those still had some ends to weave in. And there were still some bags of squares that needed joining. The perfect opportunity arose in the week after Christmas. DsD1 and her husband were staying with us and she enjoys the opportunity when staying with us, of some 'binge' Netflix viewing.
A series she had wanted to watch was available, so taking advantage of the aircon in the lounge room, I sat with her, and joined squares, edged blankets and neatened ends while DsD1 watched some monster terrorise a group of US teenagers. It took a couple of days to 'watch' the 9 episodes which meant that soon 13 blankets were finished ready! 😄
(The show was Series 2 of Stranger Things; DsD1 loves her sci-fi 😉)

Possibly I will make use of my stockpile of polar fleece to make blankets for K4BN as that will clear some shelf space in at least one cupboard. And sometime soon I need to make an effort to start some knitting for some expected new arrivals. I do tend to knit all year round; just smaller projects in summer.

Friday, January 5, 2018

November 2017 passed in a blur... 

Last November, Queensland had a state election and once again I had some paid work.  DH had been quietly working away for months before the election was called, organising an electoral district, but my work was concentrated into just over 2 weeks before Election Day and then just over a week later. In the 6 1/2 years since my retirement from teaching, this was the 5th time of my being an electoral assistant. And this time those 8.30-5pm days were a bit of a shock to the system 😉.
A shop was rented in a local shopping centre.

The premises have to be big enough to provide not only office space and a training venue, but also warehouse space for all the equipment which will go out to all those polling booths (21 this time!) on Election Day.
Furniture has to be hired...very basic obviously!

Pallets of equipment are sent out which have to be checked...

These days a lot of the equipment is electronic so lots of charging up is required plus formatting of devices...

This time I got to help more in preparing the boxes of equipment ready for the polling booths on Election Day...lots of checklists to make sure everything is there ready.
One task was cutting lengths of string...over 100 metre lengths. The pencils in the voting screens are tied to the cardboard screen by a length of string! I just cut the lengths of string, the booth supervisors had to tie the pencils to a piece of string.

Boxes of equipment ready for Supervisors to collect after their training session...

For the 2 weeks before Election Day, the office would become a prepoll centre where people could come to vote early...and that is the main job that I do.

The assistant who worked with me was a dab hand with a vacuum cleaner and duster...

And after that day it's back to clerical tasks and packing up...all ballot papers are check counted...that's thousand and thousands counted again. And then there are the postal votes which arrive...

Have you ever wondered what happens to those Absentee votes taken at polling booths on Election Day? They all come back to the office in those envelopes and are sorted into electorates. Then they are couriered back to the appropriate electorate to be opened and counted. That sorting and envelope labeling takes hours...
There were 92 courier envelopes to go out....

Lots of cardboard comes back to the office...

And this time, it all got taken to the Recycle Area at a local Resource Recovery Centre...which used to be fondly called the Ferny Grove Tip by us locals! 😉
I finished work on December 1 and November was just a vague memory! Lol

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

It was a bit disappointing...

For Christmas, DH gave me a set of new hubcaps (wheel covers) for my little car. Over time, one hubcap had obviously fallen off and the last time the car was serviced the mechanic indicated that the attachment clip on another had broken, so then I was down to two. Can look a bit ugly so I was thrilled that DH had noted my hints and the new set was under the Christmas tree.
It wasn't until New Year's Eve that DH, helped by our son in law, got around to putting the new hubcaps on the car. They looked great!

DH parked the car outside our house for the evening as he needed access for his car. In the morning I went out to the car and noticed that the front passenger side hubcap was missing...but I'd seen all 4 wheels covered the afternoon before.

Suspecting NYE high jinks, we walked along the street looking for the missing hubcap. We looked over people's front fences in case it had been thrown in a garden. We looked in wheely bins that were sitting on footpaths...and the next street too...nothing, no sign of it. 😡😡
I got a bit upset as I hadn't even had a chance to drive the car before the hubcap went missing. But then I thought, why spoil my day getting angry. I thought of things that had happened to friends over the years; a friend who had 3 cars stolen from their property, a former colleague who had the 4 wheels stolen from his car while he slept upstairs, friends being in accidents that wrote off their cars or the lady in our parish whose mother was killed in a road accident just before Christmas last year. Or the little boy from Samford ( a township just north of us) who was run over and killed by his dad on their property in a terrible accident just last week.
It certainly made my 'whinge' pretty insignificant.
And then my 'white knight' came to the 'rescue'. DH's cousin's husband just happened to have some individual hubcaps in his shed, which he asked us to check out; some new and one which was used.  The best match was one from a previous car of DH's cousin. DH cleaned it up...

It has a few scratches, but you can hardly notice them...

For years I've teased G about his keeping things for years and storing them in 3 huge sheds...I think I won't tease him any more! 😂 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Well that was Christmas! 

Today is New Year's Day and the tidying up and putting away of all things Christmas is almost done. The weather has turned very hot and humid, so we've been a bit lethargic. DsD1 and Dan have been staying with us since Christmas Eve but today they headed off up to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast for a beach holiday. When you live on a cattle property 6 hours drive from Brisbane, with summer temps often in the 40s C ( over 100 degrees F)  a beach holiday must seem like paradise! 😄 
Christmas 2017 was lovely. Most of the family were able to be here for the family dinner on Christmas Eve, with just DsD2, her husband and Anthea  not here as they were having Christmas in NZ with Karl's family. But my nephew and his family were visiting from Sydney so that was a lovely bonus.
You may remember my blog post about the Sunday Stitchers Christmas which was held at Sandi's home. Sandi's decorating for Christmas was just stunning...mine is very, very modest. I tend to decorate little areas and because Anthea wasn't here, I could put out lots of Christmassy knick knacks...although she did come over one afternoon before they left, and loved playing with the knitted Santa and Reindeer in the little chair.

Both granddaughters got a handmade tree decoration from me...I made mini stockings for them but with a few extra things stitched on them compared to the basic ones I make for K4BN...

In 2016 I had made a hexie decoration for Anthea with the middle hexie being a photo of her printed on fabric. So this year I will have 4 to make!
The two babies who entertained us all at 2017's Christmas dinner are cousins...

The little girls weren't too sure about Grandma/Aunty Maria's antlers! Lol

My niece was once again wearing my early 1990s Christmas dress that I gifted to her a few years ago. Her baby brother is now so much taller than her!

Lots of good food; lots of good-natured banter and laughter...

And that was Christmas for 2017. 🎄🎁🎉

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Instead of buying you gifts...

'We've decided to all get together and build you and dad a back fence', so said DSD 2 a number of months ago. Despite misgivings from DH that it was an impossible job, the family were undeterred. The 5 daughters and 4 husbands/partners got planning. After all, when one son in law is a builder, another is a landscaper, one is a construction engineer and one is a grazier with a multitude of skills, we must count ourselves fortunate. 
The first working bee was to clear the fence line of saplings etc and try to dig out tree roots. The second working bee was a big one! Our wonderful builder worked out the supplies that would be needed and these were delivered just before our second working bee.

On the day the  girls worked hard...preparing the timber for the posts and the horizontal pieces...

The quickset concrete was amazing and meant a lot of progress could be made in the one day.

There were large trees growing on the fence line but the builder son in law had it all in hand...the fence would be built incorporating those trees.

At the end of the second working bee, the back boundary of our property looked like this...

The third working bee was held last Thursday...DsD2 and her husband were in NZ but DsD1 and Dan who live 6 hours away were staying with us, so Dan had his turn at helping...
Early in the morning DH and Dan laid out the palings ready...

A bit more concreting was done around the base of the fence posts...Dan took charge of that...

DH trimmed some more of the trees...

Adam and Cam started nailing the palings. Adam's work truck had the compressor for the nail gun...

The boys worked quickly...

And then there was the gate...

Ta dah!

And one last photo...the foreman who worked tirelessly to ensure everyone did things correctly.

So our new fence should ensure that grandchildren can't get out on to the road behind our house. And I'm hoping that it discourages the bush turkeys who walk into our yard to trash the veggie patch. They can fly but I've noticed they rarely do; preferring to strut/walk.
What a special Christmas present! But best of all was watching the family all work together.