Sunday, August 30, 2009

A huge day!!

Today we headed off early to the airport as Sharron went home to Hong Kong ready to start school again on Tuesday. There were a lot of tears at the airport as she didn't really want to go home although she was looking forward to seeing her Mum and Dad. It broke my heart seeing her walk through those doors waving goodbye with tears streaming down her face.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A little advice required!!!

It is now 2 weeks and 3 days till we leave for our holiday in the US and boy oh boy are we getting excited!!! Must admit I am getting slightly frazzled as the list of things still to do is enormous!!!!!! and everyone else in the family just fronts up at the airport expecting me to be organised for them!! Now the advice I need is about tipping in the States. We generally don't tip here in Australia, occasionally if it is an exceptionally great meal but thats about all. The other thing is the 'horsey' one has decided she needs? an IPOD and we have heard they are a lot cheaper in the US. Any suggestions about where to look for one? She also needs swimming bathers, are there still plenty around in the stores??? So many questions...................................
There will actually be a crafty post in the next day or two - stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Wildlife Park

Sunday we headed off to Halls Gap to take Sharron to the Wildlife park. We had attempted to go the previous Sunday but the stormy weather kept us at home. The girls had been warned this week that it didn't matter if there was rain, hail or snow we were going regardless!!!! Luckily it was a reasonable winters day so with our coats we were quite comfortable. Mum met us there (it is one place she'll never pass up a trip to!!!) , the 'horsey' one, Sharron, a little friend of hers and myself. Over the years we have visited this park regularly. It changed owners about 18 months ago and now
we are seeing a lot of changes , all for the better. They are updating the buildings and exhibits while still keeping the character. There are a group of deer that follow you around the park begging to be fed with the pellets you buy on arrival. The older ones are cheeky and have been known to poke their noses into your pockets!! There are kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats, tasmanian devils, alpacas, a camel, dingos, possums and probably more that I haven't remembered. There is also a nocturnal shed with owls and snakes - I didn't spend much time in there!!! Oh and there is a lot of bird life including these beautiful peacocks. I don't remember
seeing a white one before but it was just majestic. Mum was in
trouble with the 'horsey' one for getting too close and making them
move and spoiling the artistic photo she was trying to get!!! Our
favorite for the day though was this little fella 'Tusk' a 13 week old
dingo pup. The girls were allowed to cuddle him and while we had
our morning tea (we had taken the thermos of hot chocolate with
us) he was attached on his lead to our picnic table to play. The
'horsey' one fell in love with him. He was just like a normal puppy
except for having lots of little sharp teeth! All in all we had a great
day here and would recommend it.
At $40 for a family ticket for us, 2 adults and 3 children I thought it
was quite reasonably priced. They have bbq facilities and a
playground so you could spend the whole day there. An added bonus is that the park itself is framed by the majestic Grampians. We headed in
into Halls Gap for lunch and a mandatory icecream at the wonderful icecream shop there. The girls wandered down the creek and all in all we had a great day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Worth a peek!

Well she's done it again! Kris from Missie Krissie has a new product available for sale in her shop and I love it. I have bought her personalised necklaces for many family and friends for birthdays this year (still a few to go Kris) and now she has designed a ' recycled jewellery tree' made mainly from old cutlery. It is just beautiful and something that really appeals to me. It is already on my Christmas wishlist!!! I have said before that the service Kris provides is outstanding, fast, reliable, packed beautifully and great quality. Go and have a look at her goodies and while you are there you can enter her giveaway for a jewellery tree, you have until Sunday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Spoilt again!

SH is always on the road for work and often is in the area where Mum lives. He usually calls in and sees her for coffee or lunch. She has been sick with a flu since she returned from England so he made sure to check on her on Friday to see whether he had to physically escort her to the doctor. Luckily she is a little better so she has a reprieve for a little longer! As he was leaving she gave him a parcel to deliver to me. Inside was some beaded blackberries which I will put on a key on my hallway dresser and two little patchwork, beaded purses, one for me and one for the 'horsey' one. They are gorgeous (like everything Mum makes!). I chose the little blue and pink one while the 'horsey' one has the other which has a very cute dog button on it. We feel very spoilt. Apparently she is now felting away madly and has made us bags today!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Scratch n' sniff......

I wish this was 'scratch n sniff' internet!! These are two of my most favorite things at the moment and make me smile when I use them daily. One is Palmolive shower soap 'Milk and Cherry Blossom'. It is such a sweet smell and I am surprised and delighted by it every morning. (Actually the family are sick of hearing about it which is why I am sharing it here!!!). The second is the Body Shop 'Peach' body butter - YUM! Apparently it is a limited release so next time I am near a body shop I will need to pick up another one. It smells like ripe peaches , I kid you not! Not an artificial smell but you can almost imagine biting into a ripe peach on a warm summer day. The 'horsey' one and I are besotted by it!
We attended the schools performance of 'Sound of Music' last night which was great. It is a favorite of mine which made it very easy to watch. To the family's relief I refrained from 'singing along' !!!! Think I will get the movie out to watch tonight and sing along - loudly!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blogging is the best!!!

I feel so blessed by the 'blogging' friends I have made. Yesterday I received a parcel in the mail from one of them 'Indigo Blue' (okay lets try a link again!!! ) in the UK. I knew it was from her because she has the neatest metallic blue postbags and I've received from her before, oops I've digressed!!! I was so surprised when I opened it to find she'd sent a parcel for Sharron with a card just acknowledging that she must be missing home and how brave she is to be so far away. She had made an elephant softie which slept with Sharron last night. I didn't miss out, I had a lovely note and a gorgeous crochet flower brooch which I wore to work yesterday when I worked with the oldies, they loved it and I wouldn't be surprised if there are some of their own versions when I return next week!! It was such a lovely parcel and so thoughtful. Andrea you are a very special lady. I know you wouldn't of sent it wanting to be acknowledged in this way but it is an example of the wonderful people you meet in this blogging world.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A new project!

Something else for the 'to do one day' list arrived in my letter box on Friday. I was lucky enough to win this Lanyard pattern & kit from Sylvia at 'Time to stitch' (gosh I hope that link works!!) . I am hoping to make it to use when I work at the boarding house and have to carry around a load of keys and 2 mobile phones! At least this would mean I could be stylish while doing so!! If you haven't visited Sylvia before drop in and say Hi, she is a compulsive and amazing stitcher and designs a lot of miniature projects, she is also a lovely person and someone I am lucky enough to call a friend.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Party Party Party!!!!

Last night we went to the best party! It was Tracey from OzCountryQuiltingMum's 40th Birthday party and it was great that we could help her celebrate. This is so not a good photo (of me) but the birthday girl looked gorgeous. Unfortuantly we were party poopers and left after the speeches and cutting of the cake (sorry no photo ) as SH starts work at 1.30am on Saturday mornings and wanted to grab a few hours sleep beforehand.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Warning: this post contains quilting content!

Meet Lucy , 4 weeks old today. She is the new granddaughter of one of my work colleagues. I have shared the excitement of her impending arrival for many months and of course in one of my mad moments decided this baby needed a quilt! Surprise surprise I was racing against the clock to finish it!! I haven't ever made a 'shaggy' quilt before but thought that backed in cosy polar fleece would be nice. Mmmm polar fleece is not the easiest to work with and stretches. As I was to meet Lucy yesterday I was determined to get the quilt finished. All was going well, it was in the dryer, I went to check it (our dryer is outside under our veranda) and Jimmy bless his heart decided he would like to check it out , jumped up and put muddy paw prints all over the cream backing...................Grrrr.....................if I could of caught him he would no longer be alive!!! Anyway I met Lucy without a present, rewashed and dried it after work last night and it is lready to pass on at work today. For my first shaggy I am happy and I will definitely make another, just not with the polar fleece on the back!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My new bag!

Forgot to show my purchase from Sheepvention yesterday! My new bag for 'the holiday'! I love it and can't wait to use it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lots of sheep and a chef or two!

Yesterday was our annual Sheepvention in town. I guess it is a cross between an agricultural show and a field day. It is huge for the town and the preparation begins weeks ahead with putting up a tent city at the showgrounds. The weather is generally cold and wet with plenty of mud underfoot. Accommodation is booked out months ahead and up until this year all of the schools had a holiday on the Monday (it goes for two days, Monday and Tuesday). This year the public schools have been given a day in November for Melbourne Cup day instead, something that doesn't really have the same impact on us here. I took the day off to go with my kids and to show Sharron something about the sheep industry!!! Mum came over for the day to go with us as well. Ran into Oz Country Quilting Mum there, looked like she was about to buy a very trendy washing trolley and tub!!! For those who pop in and say hi to her from time to time she is having a very special birthday this Friday!We always spend quite a bit of time watching the sheep dog trials. We especially love watching the young dogs who might be on their first outing. Mum decided yesterday that it was the sheep at fault when things didn't quite go according to plan!! Also proved to us just how 'uneducated' Jimmy is!
Wandering around the invention tent (of which none made much sense to me being a 'townie') we happened upon the shearing competition which was very entertaining. No idea who won but gosh they have a hard physical job.

There was a lot of displays of farm equipment there, massive big things. There were also displays of pools and caravans too, not sure how many farmers get the time to relax and use these!!
One of my favorite exhibits each year is the Alpacas. There are generally some very cute babies and this year was no exception. Lots of unusual colors and coats and beautiful eyelashes! Each year there is a huge fashion parade. The models come from the city as do a lot of the fashions. Not sure I have ever seen anything there I would actually wear but lots of fun to watch. Mum and I didn't get to this yesterday but the 'horsey one' did and said it was great. This incorporates a young designer competition (to make a wool garment) that receives a scholarship for a study tour to Milan. This year it was won by a young man with a striking red jacket.
This year for the first time the Shire sponsored a 'Great taste' tent with foods and wines from the region showcased. They had 2 celebrity chefs demonstrating throughout the day , Lyndey Milan and Riccardo Momesso. We were thrilled because HS's hospitality teacher chose him and another girl to assist the chefs throughout the day yesterday. They are both interested in getting into this area as a career, HS has wanted to be a chef for some time so it was a great experience for them. This isn't a great photo but that handsome lad assisting up there in the hat is my boy!! Think he will have slept well as they were on their feet all day and then assisted waitering at a canape / drinks evening last night.
I finished off my sheepvention by going to an informal gathering for past students and parents of the school I attended. They have a display at sheepvention and always have a little gathering for people associated with the school from this region.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Burnt badly!

I've thought a lot about whether to share this story or not. It doesn't paint me as being particularly clever, in fact I feel rather stupid! but maybe just maybe it may stop it happening to someone else! This week hasn't been the best, we have been the victim of 'phishing'. I have been well aware that there are numerous email / internet scams out there and I am always so careful and lucky that our security software is so good. Unfortunately I was caught!!! I applied online for American visas for our upcoming trip (the new process since January this year is to apply online), however I used a google search to find the appropriate website. It had the right name, it stated it was the official website, it asked the right questions and charged for the privilege of applying for the visas. I had processed Mums, my own and the two kids before SH sat down to do his and first accessed the Australian government website 'Smart traveller' to find something else out and there written clear as day was a warning about bogus websites charging for American visas which are actually -FREE!!!! After a major and then minor panic and many tears our credit cards were cancelled and we have begun the process of applying for new passports which hopefully will arrive in plenty of time for our trip. This process has been made more difficult as the 'horsey ones' full birth certificate seems to have grown legs and vanished!!!! I am feeling better about it all now but it just proves what scoundrels are out there and how easily it can happen.
Back tomorrow with news of our day, a bit of excitement (and some good news!!) happening!!