Monday, December 31, 2012


Visiting the Port Fairy ED on New Year's Eve wasn't on our itinery this year but when a walk on the beach turned nasty & I thought Big Sister's husband was having a stroke we did just that. Being the bossy kind I made her take him to the local hospital where he is now staying for fluids & observation. Nothing like a bout of gastro to ring in the New Year! He might be able to see the fireworks from his hospital bed and maybe we can re route the parade to pass him also.

I had a lovely post composed in my head with musings from the year passed but talking about my fitness when he feels so poorly is bad form. I hope we don't suffer a similar fate.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday time...

We arrived safely in Port Fairy after our 3&1/2 hour drive. We set up our camp in about 2 hours and are very comfortable in our tent. Sharing facilities with Big Sister means we are have everything we need on hand.

Already we've walked up hills...

 walked along the beach...
seen wild life...
 and life savers
 I've even had a latte by the beach.

We are all set for a great week.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

We're off...

We'll be back in a week!

Friday, December 28, 2012


I thought I would have lots of time after Christmas Day to be organised for our week camping. I didn't get the decorations down but I did freeze some meals for those who are staying behind, pack up the trailer and scrap the last few pages I needed for my goal of 50 for the year.

I've readied the dog feeder and the garden waterer. I've left instructions for the washing machine. I want to leave the house tidy and expect it to be that way when we get back.

 I've charged all the appliances and have packed enough for a long stay but still have the feeling I've forgotten something.

Here's to an early start and a safe trip.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas cheer...

It has been a wonderful Christmas Day.

We've had gifts, family, wine, food, sweets, laughs and of course photos

 Erin misses her sister & was getting anxious to get into the presents when Hayley was a bit late this morning.

 Who knew that a $2 box of bon bons could elicit so much fun & competition

 ambushed again
So from our motley crew to yours...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

One week countdown...

One week to go...

One shift to work....

A few gifts still to buy... mostly other people asking me 'what can I get for ...?'

And I heard this today and thought it was the most true thing I had heard in a while.

"The bigger the child the smaller the boxes under the tree get."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winding up...

I have had a lovely day off today pottering around while Erin was at the movies with her friends. I was able to finish another layout towards my 50 goal and oil the timber outdoor furniture . I also made some mini baked cheesecakes for tonights tennis breakup.

I think I have finished my Christmas baking and now have the challenge of balancing the different containers in the pantry and fridge. Amongst the treasures are my panetonne, rum balls, white rocky road, ginger shortbread, christmas cake, peppermint truffles, almond/pistachio bread, chocolate fudge, cranberry/cashew bites and macadamia/apricot balls. The apricot macaroons got finished off at work and Erin's vanilla stars are nearly all gone. I think we will have enough sweet treats somehow. During the week I will think about what vegies & salads will go with our roast meats on Christmas Day. Part of the fun is browsing through the books looking for new treats.

I finished this layout and it is number 46 for the year.

no: 46

These photos were taken on Christmas Day last year when we were hit with a tremendous storm & flooding rain. Luckily on that day we did not sustain any damage. It makes me wonder what weather will come this Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Year 9 ends...

School has finished for the year.

And in typical Melbourne style, the unseasonally hot mid December day falls on the last day of school. It was stifling hot and windy and we had to make our way into the city centre to attend Presentation Night in the only venue in the whole of Victoria that can hold all the senior students and their families. Every year I get irritated by the peak hour travel after I have worked all day, the time it takes me to get there (85 minutes last night) and the heat. The students are meant to wear full uniform, which means tights, kilts, ties & blazers but can wear summer uniform instead in extreme weather. Every year it is the summer version.

This year Erin was presented with her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

There she is down there with 60 of her class mates. Only 67 of about 150 Year 9's finished it this year.

She now has the next 7 weeks off. I will be off for 3 of those weeks to enjoy some of the summer with her. I have just 3 working days next week before we can finalise our Christmas and camping plans.

Just as the heat can put a spanner on things, today it is raining which has changed my plans twice already. No tennis and doubtful running.

Will have to hit the shops instead.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


My partner and I played in the club championships today and played a lot of tennis, 8 sets in fact. We didn't win any of them but had a good hit. I ended up with sunburnt legs and am now feeling both sorry for and cross with myself. We were out there on the grass courts for 7 hours. The groundskeeper had done a great job with the courts but I don't like the unpredictable bounce and the way the ball just dies or skids along making it near impossible to return. The tennis season is winding up and we will have to look forward to February for more competition..

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Self portraits...

I had an idea for a layout to finish off the year with a collage of images of me from 2012. There is an idea circulating that we don't take enough photos of ourselves, that we are always behind the camera or are too self conscious of the way we look. The digital camera has helped with this phenonema enormously, much easier these days to get yourself in the picture. Being happy with the way we look in photos is another thing entirely.

I made this collage on Smilebox and want to print it up to put in my scrapbook. I might use my big Sister's idea and print the page via a site she found. Her Canada holiday snaps were printed this way and look great and were an economical way to do it. She even scrapped them and put them into an album!

Looking back on the year it seems I have done a lot of running and taken lots of snaps of running. I might do another collage dedicated to running and sweating and looking puffed out.

I have finished another 2 paper layouts and have nearly reached my 50 layout goal.

I am really pleased with this one, the coloured octagons suiting the page so well.

A good way to spend a hot day, browsing through photos and making collages. Much better than other things that make you go outside.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Back in the picture...

I now have photo capability on this blog.

Thank goodness as it meant to be a pictorial record as well as my musings.

Expect normal programming to resume.

I have added some photos from the Tennis High Tea and the Colour Run for your viewing pleasure.

I was helping a friend set up a blog so she can fill us in on her adventures with her husband and children in China. A technical hitch for her as blogger and blogspot aren't available in China, along with hundred of other sites such as twitter, you tube and facebook...Yikes. But apparently you can blog through Skype so it will be all good in the end.

I had a very hot session of cardio tennis today and then could only run 3.5 kms with my running buddy before feeling like I was going to expire on this hot day. Club championships are coming up on Sunday and the hot weather should have passed for us to enjoy a couple of sets. The boys will have to go on the Toy Run without me this year.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5th already...

We are just 3 weeks away from our Christmas celebrations. I think putting up the Christmas tree and lights has helped me get in to the holiday spirit. I have even started on the baking and have the cake in the oven tonight. I have made inroads into the gift list and acquiring but I have the feeling that I might be leaving it a bit late for online purchasing.

Erin is nearly finished school for the year, not sure if the exams had knocked her around but she hasn't been very well and has missed the start of the 'Headstart' program for Year 10. It is a busy time with breakups, Christmas functions and holiday planning to do. And to top off the expenses at this time of year they throw at you a $400 booklist and other things I don't want to think about.

I managed to get through to confirm our camping site at Port Fairy. When their communications tower got knocked out by a recent fire they had no land lines, mobile coverage, EFT or banking etc. Very inconvenient for both them and me...probably more inconvenient for them though. But they had it working in time for me to pay my fees so we are all set.

We are madly trying to reschedule patients and treatments to give both them and us a break. It's a grim prospect knowing your chemo falls on a day that is meant to be spent with family and friends. Some reshuffling will work it out.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Erin was so keen to get the Christmas tree up yesterday she did most of the work herself. We have gone again with the blue/silver theme and it looks really pretty. Of course Mum had to pack away the empty boxes and finish the bits that were boring but that is usually the way. Our white bud lights have been twinking already and Chris in his bah-humbug way keeps saying they are going to give him an epileptic fit. I will have to get him up the ladder today to check/install/replace the house lights outside so the neighbours can tell we have the Christmas spirit.

As Christmas Day celebrations have made their way back around to us this year I have a list of other jobs to complete before the family get here. The major one being the pergola roof. I am happy to say it will be able to be ticked off once the remainder of the flashing is done. During the storm yesterday we stood under the colourbond sheets and checked for leaks. There is a couple of areas to address but we will be dry and shaded from here on in.

While I was searching for the decoration boxes in the garage I found a Meritorious Service Award for Significant Achievement that I received in 2000 when I set up the Pre Admission Clinic for the Health Service. I'd forgotten about that one but I could look pretty impressive if I had an office to display them in!

The pool room is looking fuller by the day.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I had to go into the city for a training forum today so I decided to go on the train. As usual it was torturous with delays, cancellations and unreliable signals. We spent some frustrating time in a dark tunnel going nowhere. I don't know how people do that trip on a daily basis.  I was late, which I hate, and missed my morning coffee, which added to my grumpy state.
The only good thing about the extended time spent on the train was that I read a book lent to me by my niece. The Giver by Lois Lowry is aimed at an adolescent audience but was a really good read and I can see it being used as a text prompting much discussion.

Next time I'm going to drive myself and even if the traffic is frustrating I won't have to put up with smelly people squashing me, I'll have a seat and I can vent with the radio turned up loud. I might not get any reading done but I hope to be home quicker and less grumpy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hot tennis...

We played a couple of good games of tennis tonight despite the intense heat of the day but as the sun set and the temperature was still about 30 degrees, about 5 kinds of flying insects started to bombard us. The cicadas and other bugs hovering around the bright lights  and our heads made some shots very challenging. I'm very glad that we had 20 mls of rain earlier in the week so I didn't have to squeeze in watering the garden after this hot day before I headed down to the courts. This freaky hot day is over and it looks like we won't have another for a while.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today was the hospital AGM at which I was to be presented an award.

This recognition was a Meritorious Service Award for Outstanding Achievement. I was honoured to receive this acknowledgement of the work I do in the role of Transfusion Nurse. I still think that most people have no clue as to what that involves but someone has noticed the work I do and the benefit it has for the Health Service.

Yay me!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A very colourful run...

(I so badly want to post pics of today's glorious run but alas I haven't worked out my problem yet.)

Hayley came with me and took about 500 photos of all the colourful action. We dashed around the 5km course at Flemington racecourse and got covered in colourful clouds of colour. They added a hill and a sprint down the main straight. The grass was quite difficult to negotiate but we managed. At the finish they had a festival area where we were bombarded with more paint and enjoyed the fun. They even had a blow off area to clean up before the trip home. All this fun benefitted the para olympians.

It was  the best most fun 'fun run' I have ever done.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tennis with High Tea...

today was the High Tea Tennis Tournament. This inaugural event was run to raise funds for Djerriwarrh Health Services.

The day was very well run and the weather was perfect. My partner and I only won 1 of our 4 matches but had a lot of fun in the process. Playing on grass is a lot different to the synthetic surface we play on on a Monday or Thursday night, the bounce is not as high and the uneven surface can catch you running the wrong way. Of the 96 women who played about 90 had a hit and a giggle and just enjoyed the day, the other 6 were determined to smash and drive to win. My best win for the day was a bottle of Chardonnay from the raffle. At least I didn't add to my sunburn which is subsiding nicely.

these girls played the whole day in their costume, that was to distract us from the fact they had never played tennis before.

I wanted to post some photos from the day but apparently have exceeded my 1G limit for this blog. I am going to try to work something out so I can continue journalling this way. Any hints on how to do this without spending money which is what they are wanting at Googleland. I'll just ask Google first if there is a way around this little problem...

edited to add: I now have pictures!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Painting with a hint of...


I painted the newly denuded pergola yesterday on what was a sunny pleasant day. Too bad I thought about the sunscreen a little late and ended up with sunburnt arms. I could start a new trend. Have you seen tattoo sleeves that end at the wrist? Well now I have the equivalent in redness, sunburn sleeves that end at the wrist where my gloves were. I am really cross with myself for getting burned but am pleased the whole structure is now freshly painted and ready for the roofing sheets to go on.

While I was painting I couldn't help but think about Sarah Cafferkey's mother and how she is coping with the loss of her daughter in such awful grizzly circumstances. Her life will never be the same, how will she go on without her beautiful child. These thoughts haunted me all day. Our little town is abuzz with this story. Seems everyone knew her or is related to her or went to school with her or knew the mother of her ex ex boyfriend, etc etc. What we can't get over is the how and the why. Our town should be known for the Strawberry & Cherry festival or the Farmers Market or the way we rally around for  someone in need, not for this shocking news.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Saying goodbye...

We went to Gordon's funeral today and it was a poignant affair.

I was impressed by the celebrant who did a very nice job of farewelling Gordon with some reflection and sage words of advice. Lauren was very brave and spoke about her father and mother and her childhood memories with poise and grace. During the photo montage Lauren had chosen some of her father's favourite musical songs to listen to, one of them being Eidelweiss. After we had watched, laughed and sniffed, the celebrant made a very interesting observation. She thought that Eidelweiss was a very fitting tune for a farewell. During the song when it gets a bit hard to sing the family steps in for support and then the community steps in for support also. Much like when someone is grieving family and community support is so important.

I felt a bit lost when my mother died, without parents to turn to my sisters, family and friends became so important. Lauren does not have any siblings but is surrounded by family and friends who will help her through this difficult time. She has nursed her father for some years now and there will be a huge gap without that responsibility.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Our thoughts tonight are with Lauren who lost her father today. He had been very unwell over the past few weeks and she had cared for him diligently. Without siblings it all fell to her and now she feels the acute pain of losing both her parents.  Erin has been messaging Michael for comfort over losing his grandfather and I remember that lost feeling also.

RIP Gordon.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A sunny weekend...

has ended.

I played tennis yesterday and had a lovely social game. Erin spent the whole day at the Djerriwarrh Festival and came home late, after the fireworks. I missed out this year as she was with her friends. I really like to watch fireworks and they usually put on a pretty good show.

So today I spent some time with my tennis widow husband. We were in the back garden making a plan for replacing/painting the pergola roof and got stuck into some pruning. We lingered under the shady vine covered verandah and patted ourselves on the back for the progress of the garden thus far. We didn't know we were being watched

 We have made a couple of nice areas to linger in and once the roof is re-done it won't matter if it is hot or wet on Christmas Day we will be OK.

On Friday I made 2 more pages, I am inching toward my goal



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

News & nearly news...

News in, the new neighbour moved in on Friday and it has been all quiet on the home front. Hayley's friend was in the removalist team and provided some information, an older woman on her own. I've barely seen or heard her in the last few days, quite a good result.

I made this card for the tennis coach and his wife,

They are expecting their 3rd child any day now, Steve let slip that this one is a boy to add to their two girls. Maybe tennis on friday will be a washout or a babyout. I punched those little elephants from a thin foam which to my surprise slipped into the punch and worked well.

I also have 2 more layouts to share

Reluctant Relayer, no: 40

number 41
I am getting myself into a groove within my new space, popping in randomly to create when I feel like it. Today I was looking for a particular die I had used on this Turbo layout and couldn't find it anywhere. I went to look in the waste bin but it had been efficiently emptied for bin night tonight. I ran out to the street doing my best bin scab impersonation and found it amongst the paper scraps. I'll have to stop being so tidy!

The biggest news I have tonight is that Hayley has resigned. She no longer has the will to continue and her desire to travel is stronger than sticking it out at something she hates. She is going to pick up work so she can save and jet off asap. I am a bit sad for her that she didn't get her qualification but we will support her in whatever direction she takes.

I will head back to work tomorrow after a lovely 5 days off and thank the idiocy that gives us a public holiday for a horse race. I wont say no to a day off, but don't get involved in any sweeps or betting. They had a perfect day for the tennis tournament on the grass courts and we had just 6 drops of fat rain after some spectacular thunder.

Two more days then another rest. Its a great life.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The difference...

The saying goes 'what a difference a insert time frame here makes'.

I was going to start out with 'what a difference a year makes' when I put up these two pics.

Lara 2011

Lara 2012
Perhaps that is what I will call the scrapbook page.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another race report...

this time from the Lara Fun Run.

I only decided on Thursday to participate in this years run and I'm very glad I did. It was a beautiful morning and set out on a really good course. Last years race was run in cold and wet conditions around the township of Lara. This year they changed the course to Serendip Sanctuary.

We started off from the Pirra Homestead (which at one point in its history was a home for wayward girls) and then returned to recover on the expansive lawns.

I was really happy with my pace and endurance and enjoyed the run. My time was 4 mins faster than last year. This year the conditions were better and my fitness has improved. Still not a winning time but I'm pleased.

 On the way back to the car I snapped this pic of the grain with the cars parked in a cleared area, nice of them to do that for 690 participants.

Now I am showered, refreshed and refuelled I'm off to enjoy the rest of this magnificent day.