Monday, April 28, 2008

Where is this?

Can any of you children Alan, Vicki, Marcus or Bruce, or even you Peter tell where this photo was taken , or what it used to be?

It will probably make you a bit sad, as it means another peice of your childhood has disapeared.
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

More craft

As well as making bears and the bags below, I have been making these wraps of late, they have also proved quite popular, and I have been able to knit while we have been away travelling, in Oz this time, mostly seeing relatives and friends. Those of you who read "Holties House" will be aware of how things are with our daughter Vicki. At the time of blogging she is no better but no worse either, a visit to her doctor tommorow may help change that.

We have only spent about 10 days at home since the beginning of the year, and I must say I am quite looking forward to getting home on the 7th May. All things being equal we should be able to stay there for most of the rest of the year, yippee!!!

I will blog about some of the things that have happened, or that we have done, once we are safely home again.

"There are no problems, only solutions"

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bags 2

For some reason, best know to itself, blogger decided to publish the bag photos before I had written anything, so am catching up now.

I have been back from our sojourn to South Australia for a week or so, but life has been rather hectic, part of which was going to the "Ritzy Tote Workshop" last weekend, over the two days, which gave me the excuse to be able to stay overnight in a lovely B&B in Bunbury, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The workshop was great too, good bunch of "girls", good teacher, good location, and a lot of fun and laughter as well as some serious stitching. The photo below of the green/burgundy (in real life the colours are darker) is the one from the workshop, and because I finished before the finish, I was able to start the black/brown one. Have made the shells for two more, just need some more supplies to finish them. I already have a buyer for one of them, it will be good if I can keep selling them that easily.

I am off to book club tonight, the book under discussion is "The Language of Threads" by Gail Tsukyama, it is a follow up to "Women of Silk", and it would have been better if we had read it first. Never mind it was quite a good read anyway

I have a little book called "Food for Thought" this today's ..

You move towards the picture you create of yourself


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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Test post

Testing publishing of photos.

The whole gang at Alan's 50th.

The four kids at Jenna and Craig's wedding.

It happened again!!!

I had a post drafted before we left home, but blogger wouldn't post it and it was quite relevant to what I am about to post here.

After an uneventful 14 hours driving we arrived at Madura Pass where we stayed the night, we left there at about 6.30am and headed east again, I had just drifted of to sleep when I heard an expletive from Walter and then heard and felt a big thump, Walter spent the next few seconds trying to keep us from rolling over and we ended upon the wrong side of the road facing the way we had just come.

Yes we had hit another roo, and a big one at that. The front drivers side of the vehicle was extensively damaged as well as the headlights, driving lights, bull bar and of course the radiator.
All this in the middle of nowhere. Walter started looking under the bonnet (hood) and I walked up and down the road picking up peices of lights etc. Two cars sped past and I started to pray, the next vehicle pulled over, and a young man and his son got out. We were still about 9oo kms from our destination.

With their help Walter was able to take off the broken fan and cowling, we then filled up with water and cautiously started to drive away, we limped along to the next road house, topping up with water as often as necessary, where Walter got some stuff, supposed to stop radiator leaks but to no avail.

Another young man walked past where I was standing and when I told him what had happened he said that years ago, his father had successfully stopped a leak by using Blue-tac. Well this outback roadhouse actually had one packet of blue-tac, which Walter used to seal the leak, it was where the tank and core meet. Once again we set off, stopping a couple more times to check and fill up.

The blue-tac held and we were able to drive the last 300kms without any problems, I was never so pleased to drive into Vicki and Rex's property. For those that don't beleive in the power of prayer, the chances of our being able to continue our trip in the way we did, were so remote as to be non existent, without divine intervention.

What I has said in my other blog was that I never wanted to drive across the Nullabor again.
Now even Walter has said we are not driving again!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Graduation Day

This is my beautiful grand daughter Aimee Sara at her graduation ceremony, how proud we all are of her. (She is 6th from the left in the second row, Peter , just in case you were having trouble locating her.) She is probably going to work for a year before she goes on with her education.

I spent the day taking down and packing away all the Christmas decorations, it is quite a job, as I am besotted with Christmas, and love to decorate. It looks very bare and somewhat larger inside the house now. I even managed to remember to label all the boxes this year.

I needed to get it done as we are leaving for Wudinna,where my eldest daughter Vicki lives, on Monday, and it will be time to put up the Fall decorations when we get back.
Vicki has to see a specialist in Adelaide next week as she has a suspicious looking mole on her arm, it has changed in the last few weeks, and she needs to get it checked, we are all praying it wont be anything serious.

We are driving across, I never thought I would ever say that again, it is such a long way, two long days driving to get there, and then another six hours to Adelaide, Oh well, at least the air conditioning will be working in Walter's vehicle. He really enjoys the drive, not me though, after having done it at least 20 times, I would much rather fly.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Beach Mission

We are back from the Beach Mission, it was a great 10 days, the weather was mild, the food was good the team great and we all had lots of fun, as well as doing some serious work.

I teach scrapbooking to the adults, mostly the mums, and grandmothers of the kids at the program. The BM has been running at Turner's caravan park, Augusta for 45 years, and we have a number of generations that keep coming, one of my ladies has been going to Augusta for 50 years, I can't imagine going back to the same place all those years.

The weather here had been quite hot, so the garden is looking a little the worse for it, and we are about to leave to go to my daughter and son-in-law's farm. We will be away for a few weeks, so it will just have to survive, I will try to drought proof some of the more recent plantings.

I am really tired tonight and I must say am looking forward to sleeping my own bed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Credit where it is due

It was very remiss of me not to acknowledge that the only reason I am able to post again is due to Peter (holtie's house), encouragement (or was coersion), whatever it doesn't matter, and for his setting up my new blog, for which I have thanked him personally, but wanted to say it again here.

It is overcast here this morning, but the forecast is for a very hot day, hope they are wrong because I hate hot weather. At least Augusta is on the beach so temperature should be a few degrees cooler.

Hope everyone has a splendid New Year as I plan to do.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I'm back

It's been quite a while between blogs, and lots has happened in between, I hope to be able to post about some of it, the more interesting parts anyway. If anything my life has become busier as I have got older, three score and nine, I had been labouring under the misapprehension that as one got older one could take life a little slower, and maybe stop and smell the roses.

As you can see the photos are posted in the wrong order, guess it will take me a while to used to things again.

The past week has seen us take a 600km round trip to Perth to share in the european tradition of Christmas eve with Walter's sister and family, then have Christmas day with his daughter and her family.Then home to Bridgetown for our own family celebrations over the weekend, as work and other family commitments prevented us being together before then. So I have had up to 15 people here in the house for the last four days, have prepared copious amounts of food, but haven't always had to do the washing up.
I love my family and I am always sad to see them leave. We are going to Augusta, about 90 minutes away, for the SU beach mission tommorow, so guess I wont have time to miss them too much. I teach scrapbooking as one of the activities for the grown ups.

Not sure if I'll get the opportunity to post during this next week at Augusta, but I'll be back again soon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Weather stations

We have finally had some rain, which is good news, but of course it is too late for some farmers, like in the pictures below. Walter is obssesed with the weather, and watches all three TV channels each night for the weather forcasts. Not content with that he had a small weather station set up here at home, it told the min and max temperatures, humidity etc. which would have been enough for most people, but...

Neil, one half of the couple, whose 50th anniversary we went to last weekend, is a farmer and also a salesman, and yes, you've guessed it, he sells weather stations, you beaut weather stations, weather stations that cost $250 wholesale, and guess who now has one. It tells you everything from the temperature, to wind speed, rainfall, and there is even a little computerised guy, who shows you what clothes to wear, he even has an umbrella, which he is holding at this very moment.

The weekend went very well, it is so good to spend some time with old friends and family, it was a four and a half hour drive from here, and so we stayed over for a couple of nights, which was excellent. 50 years is a good long time, as someone was heard to say, " you don't get that for murder", and they have raised 4 lovely daughters, who have produced 11 grandchildren.

This is my first chance to blog for almost a week, and it is not going to get any better in the near future. I am very busy bear making to take to my outlet next week, when we go to Perth to pick up our friends from Victoria. We will be spending 4 days in Perth with them, and then they will stay with us here for 2 weeks, then we take them back to Perth to catch their plane. From there it will only be a couple more weeks till we fly out ourselves, to Germany and then to the USA.

So I have decided I am going to take a leave of absence from blogging, I will try to keep up with my reading of the blogs of family and special friends, and leave comments when I can, but with so much going on, I think that would the best way for me to go. Hopefully once we get home again, I will have some more interesting travel tales to share with you all. Walter will be home early in November, but I am staying on in Vermont, as I am determined to share in another Thanksgiving, and see snow again. Maybe this time I will find somewhere to have a sleigh ride, one can dream, can't one.


In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, and a bridge to our future.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Wheat Country

This is what the country was like for hundreds of Kilometres, it is usually green and growing wheat at this time of year, some of it had been worked up but not planted, and where farmers had put in seed, there was the occasional tuft of green, just heartbreaking, for those on the land. They have had no rain, in fact rain has been very scarce all over, we had a good downfall yesterday, and for a while it actually looked and felt like winter. We have had some very cold mornings, with frosts and fog, but no rain.

I tried to post these photos on the former post, but we all know how blogger has a mind if it's own, and it just wouldn't let me, so that's why there are two posts tonight.
Walter's trip wasn't nearly as good as he hoped, even he is noticing just how far it is to these outback places. Then of course the weather let him down as well, he even took a pair of shorts with him, but apart from two days when he was able to have short sleeves, it was quite cold.

Have a good weekend everyone, will probably be back on Tuesday.


An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Mahatma Ghandi.

Mt Augustus

Mt Augustus

MtAugustus is the biggest rock on the world, it is just over 2000 feet high, is 5 miles long and about 34 miles around. It's situated about 560 miles north of Perth. Goolinee, is a permanent water hole closeby, looks very picturesque, but it is very remote, nearly 400 miles of dirt road to get there. Walter enjoyed his visit, but certainly wouldn't be going again. The yellow in the Mt Augustus picture are wildflowers, paper daisies or everlastings, they actually feel just like paper, and are very hardy, they have to be growing in such harsh condidions.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


red dirt road leading to Murchison
preparing the Polo ground
outback architecture Wooleen woolshed
exterior of same

These are some of the photos Walter took on his trip last week, the tanker had to keep watering the ground so that the competitors could see each other, and the spectators could have some idea of what was going on. Not your usual Polo tournament, one of the instructions : Please make sure your horse is securely in the yards provided, this paddock is 200 square miles.
It seems everyone enjoyed themselves, which I guess is what it is all about.

I have been AWOL from blogger for the last few days, no particular reason, it takes some adjusting to having another body in the house after you have been able to do what you want when you want. My life is much more regimented when Walter is home.

We are off to Beverly, this weekend, to the 50th wedding celebrations of some old and dear friends, Neil and Joan McQuinn, I actually went to school with Neil. Joan came out from England in 1955, they met through work, married and had 4 girls, much to Neil's chagrin. After their last daughter was born, he arrived at the hospital wanting to know what was Joan's excuse this time.

About 20 years ago they bought a 360 hectare farm at The Dale, and have really loved their life there. Joan had gone to boarding school in England, and was quite refined, but to see her inoculating and marking (castrating) lambs it would be hard to tell. She has a beautiful voice and leads the choir at their little church. We are looking forward to a couple of days there, catching up and just enjoying each others company.

Live as if you were to die. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Winning team

Just finished listening to my football team, the West Coast Eagles, win in another nail biting finish, that's four games where they have come from behind, and well behind to snatch victory. I can't bear to watch the TV, I just have to listen to the radio broardcast. Tonights game was against the team who beat them in last years grand final.


One of my friends sent me this

Computer Technology for Country Folk.

LOG ON Making a wood stove hotter

LOG OFF Don't add any more wood

MONITOR Keeping an eye on the wood stove

DOWNLOAD Getting firewood off the truck

MEGA HERTZ When your not careful getting the firewood

FLOPPY DISC What you get from trying to carry too much firewood

RAM What you do to get wood into a tight place

HARD DRIVE Getting home in the wintertime

PROMPT What the mail isn't in the wintertime

WINDOWS What you shut when it's too cold outside

SCREEN What to shut when it's mozzie season

BYTE What them mozzies do

CHIP Munchies for the TV

MICRO CHIP What's in the bottom of the munchies bag

MODEM What you did to the paddocks

DOT MATRIX Old Dan Matrix'x wife

LAP TOP Where the kitty sleeps

KEYBOARD Where you hang your keys

SOFTWARE Them dam plastic knives and forks

MOUSE What eats the grain in the shed

MOUSE PAD Hippie talk for rat the hole

MAINFRAME What holds up the shed roof

PORT Fancy flatlander wine

When your husband gets the credit card bill and you can't remember what you purchased

Hope it made you smile.

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it

Friday, July 14, 2006

and home in just 3 months

We went to Emerald, Ruby and I think Sapphire, all places where they fossick for these gems., we bought 3 pale blue topaz, which were made into a ring for me, it is quite lovely. Other places we saw were Katherine, Mt Isa, Lake Argyle, and on to Broome. Thats a pretty big chunk of our country in one sentance, but there's not much out there. We did go up Katherine Gorge, and took a sunset cruise on Lake Argyle, it sure is enormous. There is so much water up there in the top end during the wet season,( with most of it just rushing out to the sea), and so little down south, there has to be a way to get it to where it is needed. It just needs a bold polititian to spend the money for a pipeline or somesuch thing.

After a few lovely days in Broome, we headed south through, Port Hedland, Roeburn, Karratha, Dampier, Carnarvan and Geraldton. From there it was just a short hop to Perth, 300 miles, to visit with family, and then the last 300 home to Bridgetown. There were only about three occasions that we ventured of the main highways, at Katherine, Lake Argyle and Kalbarri. We had been away just 3 months.

It wasn't till much later that I found out that Walter was worried about having another heart attack. This, despite being told by the doctors and specialists that they had fixed the problem, and 6 years laterwith no further problems, has proved them right. Anyway that was the reason he was in such a hurry, plus he was labouring under the misconception that we could do it all again, but I had kept my promise that I would go once, and for me that once was more than enough. This horrifies some of our family and friends, but there are some that agree with me.

That is the end of my travels, until we get back at the end of the year from Germany and the USA.


I took the little car that has been loaned to me, for a trip to Bunbury today, 100 kms away, mainly to see if it might be suitable to buy, but it was quite uncomfortable to sit in for that length of time, and it is older than my car, so we think the best thing to do will be to get another motor and fix the Hyundai, because the rest of it is quite good.


The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

So continue we did.

It was on through Melbourne and Gippsland visiting more relatives, and then to NSW, somewhere on the road up the coast we discovered a small Amish community, with a lovely store and restaurant, unfortunalely we had just eaten, and couldn't fit anything else in. Sydney, The Blue Mountains, The Olympic sites, it was just before the Olympics, Darling Harbour, where I ran into a friend who had lived in Bridgetown, and now resides in Esperance, which we hadn't been able to get too, as the roads were under water.

Went to Bowral, to the Bradman museum, that was great, visited some friends at Lake Haven and on up the coast and into Queensland. We didn't do any of the touristy things, like to Gold Coast, Movieworld, etc, but we did stop at Gympie, and spent several lovely days with Peter, Lyle and Margaret. Going to Montville was a highlight.

We only went as far north as Rockhampton, and then turned inland as Walter really wanted to go to Longreach, The Stockman's Hall of Fame, the Quantas museum, and Matilda Country.
We enjoyed some lovely evenings around campfires, especially when there was a bush poet, my favourite of these poems, is "The Damp Eyed Bloke", and of course there was always damper and billy tea.
We stopped one night on a property, by a bill-a-bong, purported to be the one from "Waltzing Matilda", whether is was or not it was a beautiful spot, and the stars were reflected in the still water, it was quite magic.

Yes that is me saying that, there are some really wonderful places out there, in the enormous country of ours, it's just the long, long stretches of nothing in between that I find too hard to handle.


I talked to Walter this morning, and he is quite disappointed with his sojorn in the north, the first two days were warm, and since then it has been cold and windy, so he hasn't left the house.
The first of the Polo people start arriving tommorow, so hope they bring some warmer weather with them, for his sake.


The only safe thing to take is a chance.

So continue we did.

It was on through Melbourne and Gippsland visiting more relatives, and then to

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's only the mettwurst

Walter had always had the dream that, when he retired, he would take a trip around Australia, having grown up in war torn Germany, the idea of such a trip was irresistable.

He and his family had first lived in Adelaide, South Australia, but after his first marriage broke down, he moved west, with his two daughters. His parents, sisters, brother and son all still resided in SA, so he was no stranger to long drives, crossing the Nullabor,a distance of over 2000 miles every year, for 15 years, and he actually enjoyed the long stretches of emptiness.

I, in my former life had made the trip many times, too, not as many as Walter, but enough to know it wasn't something I'd choose to do if I didn't have to. Before we got married I promised him, that I would go once, lots of people keep doing it, around the country with him, and so early in 2000, we bought a mobile home, quite nicely fitted out, with air condidioning, a must, and set off on the grand trip.

Most people on a trip such as this go clockwise, but we chose to go anti-clockwise, towards the east, which as things turned out was a very wise choice. We headed towards Esperance, and on our first day out, ran into a plague of locusts, they were so thick you could hardly see through them, the front of our vehicle was a real mess. Next day we reached my daughter and her husband's farm, managed to clean up the mobile and after a couple more days headed for Melrose, at the foot of the Flinders Ranges, where Walter's oldest sister lived.

From there it was on into Adelaide, for more family visiting, and a memorial service for Walter's father. His dad had been saying to him for years that it was times he got married again and settled down, so he was delighted to come to our wedding. He was 82, and quite frail, but he had a fine time at the wedding, but two days later we had to put him in the hospital, and he just quietly slipped away. I beleive, that he had seen his son settled, and he felt his life's work was done, and it was time to let go. He was cremated here in Wa, and we took his ashes back to Adelaide so that he could be with his "mutti", which was his pet name for his wife.

After that we drove through the Adelaide hills, stopping at Handorf for some German mettwurst, and on to a beautiful little seaside town called Robe. While walking around, Walter complained of chest pain, which he kept insisting, was just indigestion from the mettwurst, so after resting for a while, we did some more sightseeing, spent the night, and next day set off for Kybybolite, where Kim, Walter's son lives.

Sometime during the night, Walter woke me and said that I should get dressed so we could go to the hospital, after I was ready, he said, no, it's alright, get back to bed, which I did. An hour or so later, he woke me and said, he thought we should go, just as I was dressed, he said, go back to bed, a while later, the same thing, this time I got back into bed with my clothes on. Just as it was getting light, he finally agreed to being taken to the hospital, where, of course, he was found to be having a heart attack. So much for the mettwurst!

Ten days later, the doctors wanted him to go on to a larger hospital, where he would have a proceedure done on his heart. Instead of going back to Adelaide, he wanted to keep going forward, we went on to Geelong, not with Walter driving of course. My oldest friends live in Geelong, which gave me a place to stay while he was in the hospital. After several weeks there, the doctors said it was quite alright for us to continue our trip.


In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Teddy Bears Picnic

A further installment to the "When Jacqui met Walter" story.

The above photo is of 4 of my very dear friends, who having decided that I, the bear lady, could not get married without any bears being present, so they collected and decorated the restaurant, with as many of my bears as they could find, and then went further than that. Morna, the white bear, composed new words to "The Teddy Bears Picnic" that went like this...

When we came out of the woods today, we all got a big surprise,

When we came out of the woods today, we couldn't beleive our eyes...

The Bridgetown Teddy Bear Lady they say, gets married to her Walter today

and she didn't invite her teddy bears to her wedding.

So we went back into the woods again and told all the friends of ours

to dress up quickly in festive gear and follow us to Ford House.

We didn't get an invite - who cares?

Our Jacqui can't get wed without bears,

she's got to have some teddy bears at her wedding!

As you can see they all donned bear suits and sang the song to us. I had absolutely no idea what they were up too, and it was a delightful surprise.

The 10th of July, is just about smack in the middle of our winter, and is normally very cold, yesterday for instance didn't get above 11degrees C., but on the day it was beautifully warm and sunny, the ceremony was conducted outside under a beautiful rose arbour, and it really was a perfect day.

I really am blessed to have such very special friends, they are just one more reason why I love this little town where I live. Bill, the one responsible for our meeting is the big bear on the right.

When I asked Alan, my oldest son, to give me away, he replied "Only if you are sure Walter is going to take you," they are all comedians, my sons, and take great pleasure in teasing me, but I love them anyway.


The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.

Monday, July 10, 2006

When Walter met Jacqui

As today is our 7th Wedding Anniversary today, I thought it might be a good opportunity to tell the story of.........

When "Walter met Jacqui"

As you mostly all know, in 1997 I took myself off to the USA for a wonderful 3 month holiday, on my return I was quite unsettled and really felt that I would like to have someone to share the rest of my life with. I was going dancing twice a week, here in Bridgetown and wherever else in the South West, I had a couple of friends that I went with, in the hope of meeting that special someone.

Months went by, with me moaning to my friends that I hated being on my own, I had always felt we were made, man and woman, to be together. Well finally in August 1998, Bill, and dear friend came up with this idea. He composed an advertisment to go in our south west paper and it went like this....

WIFE classic 1938 model, Australian assembled, German engineering, well shod, low maintenance, a trifle noisy, been around the block a couple of times but running well, promises years of service to considerate, courteous owner, expressions of interest invited and tender documents returned, no tyre kickers please.Box #5266

Well after much discussion with family and friends I decided to put it in the paper.

This was the reply that came,

Dear 1938 BMW,

As I am also a 1938 vintage, German made, imported in 1954, with no ties, willing to give lifelong faithfull service and care to a classic model like this, ring me on 97263329,
Your hope to be future mechanic,


Well after being called a BMW, what choice did I have, but to ring and after several phone conversations, we agreed to meet at a neutral place, and as we both liked what we saw and heard, we started going out and after a wonderful family christmas, we decided to get married the following July.

As one of my sons is a chaplin, he agreed to marry us, and Bill came to the rescue again with this wonderful invitation..

Family and friends of Jacqui Allen and Walter Berzel will be delighted to learn that their darling parents, Grandparents and friends have found new spouses. They intend to marry, by hook r by crook, come hell or high water, in the sight of God and Man and anyone else who cares to peer through the window at 12 noon 10th July 1999 at Ford House, Bridgetown WA.

As St Paul the apostle said;

"They cannot contain, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn."
1 Corinthians 7:9

Jacqui cannot be contained, dislikes being burnt and loves Walter very much.

Walter on the other hand, being a chap of mechanical bent, has "checked the old girl out, run her around the block, prodded the upholstery, kept a careful eye on the economy and declared her "sound", and now wants her transferred into his name.

The end result is the same. They are a good mixture of opposites, love each others company and wish to be together for the rest of their lives.

You are hereby invited to witness their marriage and partake of refreshments later. You will also witness the rather unusual sight of Jacqui's son Marcus officiating at his own mother's wedding.


Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you have been up to.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

About hair and other things

I am enjoying my weekend, my football team won, I am having my meals when I remember, not when the clock says, and just generally doing what I please. Walter is German and he tends to be very regimented, whereas I have mostly flown by the seat of my pants, we both got to be 60 doing things our own way, and it has taken a fair bit of compromise to make our relationship work.

I have thought several times about posting how we met and married, will have to do it while Walter is away, as he would be horrified.


I enjoyed doing the Fours Meme, from Granny's blog, so am going to try the one from Meow's.


Five things......

In My Fridg

Lite start milk. Avacado's. Cheese. Cooked brown rice. Greek style yoghurt.

In My Closet

Jackets. Wraps. Skirts. Tops. X-rays. (only shelf wide enough to accomodate them)

In My Purse (Handbag)

Money. Stamps. Old shopping lists. Face wipes. Pen.

In My Car

Water. Raincoat. Road maps. Bear. Blanket


The girls braids on Granny's blog, reminded me of the torture my sister and I endured each saturday night for Sunday School and family visiting on Sunday's.

We were both Blessed!! with straight hair and our mother insisted on us having our hair done up in rags, wonder does anyone else remember them. The hair would be washed and while still wet, divided, a bit like in braids, and then wound around longs peices of fabric, starting right at the scalp, and tied off securely.
When you lay down, it was agony, as the hair was pulled, and it was like laying on sticks as the wrapped hair was quite hard. I am flinching even as I write about it.

The other way, mum would make our hair wavy, was to wash it and braid it, and when it dried, it would have all these corrugations in it, I'm sure there is a photo somewhere, will have to look for it.

Back then it was thought to be more attractive to have curly hair, now of course girls go to all sorts of lengths to straighten their naturally curly hair, even ironing it, if a straightener is not vailable. Despite this weekly torture, I had a very happy and loving childhood.


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Four Memes

Walter has just rung to let me know he has arrived safely, it's quite a long drive on your own, and he usually has a little nap after lunch, so I was glad to hear from him. It's warmer up there so I know that he will enjoy himself. It has been a quiet and uneventful day here. My days will be be full, I have quite a few projects that I want to do, and there other things that need finishing, I've made a good start so far.


I'm going to try the Fours Meme that Granny suggested.

Four jobs I have had.

Receptionist for a millinery firm. ( I just love hat's and back then it was OK to wear them)

Receptioist for Real Estate firm.

Waitress for large catering firm, sometimes doing four weddings in a weekend.

Partner in Craft Shop.

Four movies I would (do) watch over & over.

When Harry met Sally.

Steel Magnolias.

On Golden Pond.

Sleepless in Seattle.

Four Places I have lived.

There are actually 28 of them but I'll keep it to the four.

Northcote where I was born and had a very happy childhood.

Birchip where I lived when I was first married and our first son was born.

Mirboo North where I had a lavender farm.

Bridgetown, which I love.

Four TV shows I love to watch.

The West Wing.

DIY Scrapbooking.


Law and Order.

Four places I have been on vacation.

Lakes Entrance, beautiful seaside place, with a ninety mile beach.

The Faltz?? the area in Germany that Walter comes from.

Vermont, especially in the Fall.

Nantuckett, The faraway isle.

Four sites I visit daily.

Holt Press

Holties House.

Heron's Nest.

Roc Rebel Granny. Junie Rose.


Note to Cara, thanks for your comments, I tried to email, but it came back, love AJ.


Devote today to something so daring even you can't beleive your doing it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The next day

Now that I have recovered somewhat from the trip home yesterday, I'll try to write something more positive. No decision has been made about the car yet, a friend is going to loan me a vehicle, he is too old to drive any more and was going to sell it, but in the meantime I can use it.
I could actually manage quite well without a car here where I live, the Doctor, hospital and shops, are within walking distance, unless you are trying to get the weeks groceries home, and there is always someone who is willing to take me if I have something urgent to do.

Walter is leaving on friday, to go to visit a friend from here, who now lives at Murchison, a small settlement about 650kms north of Perth, if you add the 300 from here to Perth it makes it a long days drive. He didn't want to go and leave me without transport, but now that I will have a car he is back to looking forward to the trip. Murchison is one of those outback places, there are only 7 buildings and it is hot, dusty and remote, Des loves it there and Walter will too, as he really dislikes the cold weather.

They have a big Polo tournament there each year, so, as that is happening next week, it is an added attraction to go at this time. Des will also take him out to MtAugustus, a monolith bigger than Urulu,which I know he will really enjoy. I was invited to go too, but with all that driving through miles of nothing, the dust and the heat, I am quite happy to be staying home, and he can tell me all about it when he returns.

I will do more civilised things, like going out for coffee with friends, taking walks along the river, stitching, and other pleasant things. I often think I am not very Australian, although the sound of our national anthem, always makes me feel proud, as I am one of a very few people who are quite happy to avoid the vast empty spaces, red dust etc., that epitomizes what Australia is. I do love the parts of Australia, that are green, cool and hilly, like around here of course, so perhaps I am not a lost cause altogether.


Don't try so hard, the best things come when you are least expecting them.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The disatrous trip home....

Well I'm home again, had a lovely time in Perth, and was driving home this morning, when I saw smoke coming from the rear of the car and it just died, so I quickly pulled over and stopped, there was smoke pouring from under the bonnet/hood. On opening it I discovered that the top radiator hose had split, and as well as that there was oil everywhere and where it had gathered under a cowling there were flames. Luckily I had some water in the car and was able to put them out before they did any major damage, the real damage was already done of course, with the motor having seized.

A man had stopped to help when he saw the smoke etc., but there wasn't anything he could do. Very soon after that the volunteer fire brigade arrived, someone driving by had called them, once again there wasn't anything for them to do, so after making sure I was alright, they went back to work.

I called Walter and he first drove 100 kms to hire a car trailer, and then another 100kms to where I was stranded just south of Mandurah, all this took him about two and a half hours. We then winched the Diahatsu onto the trailer, secured everything and then made the long slow trip home, arriving here just after dark.

I was pretty shaken and worried about the whole thing, but Walter just kept saying don't worry, it can be fixed, and I guess it can, but I am worried about him doing it and hurting his back again. One of the reasons for him going to Perth was to see his doctor there and having an injection, which has worked quite well this time and I don't want him to do any more damage.

A nasty end to what had been a productive and enjoyable few days.

Life is a book, and anyone who has not travelled, has only read one page.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Some bears

These are a few of the bears I have been busy making, I get a lot of pleasure out of making and dressing them, and as they sell quite well, there are people out there who like them them too.
The ones standing up, are from a design of my own, they are quite tall and slim, odd for bears I suppose, but they are very popular, and I have made lots of them. They are collectors bears of course, not suitable for young children, just those that are young at heart, and there are lots of them out there.

We had a store here in Bridgetown, where 9 of us crafty ladies, made and sold their wares, we were rostered for our days in the store, but our numbers reduced, by people moving, dying (most inconsiderate), and taking full time jobs. We were in business for 8 years, not bad for a purely hand craft shop, in a small town. When we got down to just the four of us we decided that it was time to move on, and so we retired, gracefully I hope.

I have still sold my bears in other places, like fairs etc., and it was from that, that I was approached to put them in this store in Perth. They, the bears have gone all over the world, with lots of them taken back to the US, Ireland, England, Japan, Canada etc., and most states here in Australia.


A couple had two little boys, aged 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievious. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that if any mischief occured in their town, their sons were probably involved.

The boy's mother heard that a clergyman in town had been succcessful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak to her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8 year old first in the morning, with the older boy to see the clergyman in the afternoon.

The clergyman, a huge man, with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?". The boys mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God!!?". Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD!?"

The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him, he asked "What happened?"

The younger brother gasing for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time, mate. God is missing - and they think WE did it!"


Delicious ambiguity; life is made of moments, small peices of glittering mica in long stretches of grey cement.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Warning signs

We are away to Perth at the weekend, it's Walter's youngest grandaughter's 2nd birthday, so I have been busy making some new bears to take to the outlet I have found there. Well actualy she found me, having bought one of my bears, and really loving it, she asked me to put some in her lovely store, it's in an outer suburb of Perth, called Kalamunda. Taking them up by car is the only reliable way of delivering them. I also have to deliver one that was ordered,so I'm happy about that.

Walter has decided to join the local Woodturning club here, one of our friends has introduced him to it and he has decided to give it a try. They meet every Thursday, so it is a good way for him to have some male company. He is going to buy some tools in Perth while we are there. He has always hated working with wood, he complains that it gives him splinters, so it will be interesting to see how it all goes.


Some how we all seem to be preoccupied with growing old, perhaps because that is what is happening to us, anyway I found these and thought I would share them.

How do we know if we are already "over the hill" or simply teetering at the summit of that slippery slide to oblivion?.

Some warning signs.

You start saying things like: "In my day... When I was young... In the good old days..."

You can't see the numbers on the bathroom scale without holding your stomach in.

The gleam in your eyes is the sun hitting your bifocals.

Your doctor sarts saying things like, "Considering your age..."

Your back goes out more than you do.

You find the glasses you have been loking for on your head.

You can't stand intolerant people.

Your golf score is twice your age.

The candles on your birthday cake trigger the smoke alarm.

The thought of exercise makes you sweat.

You can't stand the toilet paper hung in the "wrong" direction.

You have to rely on grandchildren to program your video.

A succesful session in the bathroom is one of the highlights of your day.

You realise the only way to look thinner is hang around with someone fatter.

You can't name a single top 40 song, and you wouldn't like any of them anyway.

You feel like the morning after the night before, and you haven't been anywhere.


Angels exist, only sometimes they don't have wings and we call them friends.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Not a perfect world...

Here in far WA we tend to beleive we are immune to much of the crime that happens in the more populated states, but in the last week we have had two terrible murders, a 15 year old girl strangled by two of her so called friends, in a small town about an hour from us here.

And then yesterday in Perth an 8 year old girl, out shopping with her uncle and big brother, went to the toilet and when she did not return, she was found in the disabled toilet, having been raped and murdered. Thankfully the person responsible was caught, a 21 year old, part time shop assistant at the mall.

I'm sure these sort of acts are influenced by all the voilence that is a constant on all the media, the computer games etc., kids seem to get immune to all the killing or something like that.

I feel so sorry for the families, not just of the victims but the perpetrators as well, it must be heartbreaking to think that a child of yours could do such a terrible thing.

I have three 8 year old grandchildren, and you tend to think that they are old enough to do some things on their own, and in a perfect world they would be, but of course we don't live in a perfect world.


The loss of the Soceroos in the World Cup, pales in comparsion, but of course all things are relative, and we were badly treated by the referee's. Our team certainly did us proud.


We have had a few interesting days here trying to stop a leak in the bathroom. The wall on the other side was wet. First of all we thought , it must have been the tap leaking, nothing as simple as that. So next Walter took some of the plaster wall off, it was so wet and had to be replaced anyway, it was very wet in there but it still wasn't evident where the water was coming from., it still looked like the fittings though. There was nothing else to do but take the bath out, since the tiles had been put on after the bath was installed this was a very tricky job, and we did manage to break two of them.

At this stage I suggested that as we no longer had small children coming to stay we could leave the bath out and just have a shower recess, Walter didn't take to kindly to this suggestion, not wanting all the work it would entail, or the expense either, Oh well one day perhaps, it would give us more space and be one less thing to clean.

By this time it was getting late, so, no shower for Walter and we would have to attack it again in the morning. Because it had been so wet the floor had rotted and the frame that holds the bath up had dropped in the corner, which had broken the seal around the bath, which had made it leak worse, so, as you can see what looked like a small job had nearly turned into a major bathroom renovation. I'm glad to say that everything is back in place, and showers are able to be had again.


We have had a lovely lot of rain today and it is pouring at the moment, I'm sure the farmers around will be very pleased, as it has been the driest June on record.


Rules for happinss: Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Green and Gold Malaria

Green and Gold Malaria

by Rupert McColl

The day would soon arrive when I could could not ignore the rash.

I was obviously ill and so I called on Dr Nash.

This standard consultation would adjudicate my fate.

I walked into his surgery and gave it to him straight:

"Doc, I wonder if you might explain this allergy of mine,

I get these pins and needles running up and down my spine.

From there, across my body, it will suddenly extend -

My neck will feel a shiver and the hairs will stand on end.

And then there is this symptom that only man can fear -

A choking in the throat, and the crying of a tear."

Well, the doctor scratched his melon with a rather worried look.

His furrowed brow suggested that the news to come was crook.

"What is it Doc?" I motioned. Have I got a rare disease?

I'm man enough to cop it sweet, so give it to me please."

"I'm not to sure," he answered, in a puzzled kinbd of way.

"You've got some sort of fever, but it's hard for me to say.

When is it that you feel this mst peculiar condition?.

I thought for a moment, then I gave him my position:

"I get it when I'm standing in an Anzac Day parade,

And I get it when the anthem of our native land is played,

And I get it when Meninga makes a Kiwi- crunching run,

And when Border grits his teeth to score a really gutsy ton.

I got it back in '91 when Farr-Jones held the cup,

And I got it when Japan was stormed by Better Loosen Up.

I get it when Banjo takes me down the Snowy River,

And Matilda sends me waltzing with a billy-boiling shiver.

It hit me hard when Sydney was awarded the Games,

And I get it when I see our farmers fighting for their names.

It flattened me when Bertrand raised the boxing kangaroo,

And when Perkins smashed the record, well, the rashes were true blue.

So tell me, Doc," I questioned. "Am I really gonna die?"

He broke into a smile before he looked me in the eye.

He wiped away a tear and then gave me this stirring speech:

"From the beaches here in Queensland to the sweeping shores of Broome,

On the Harbour banks of Sydney, where the Waratah's bloom.

From Urulu at sunset to the Mighty Tasman Sea

In the Adelaide cathedrals, at the roaring MCG.

From the Great Australian Bight to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The medical profession call it "Green and Gold Malaria"

But forget about the text books, son, the truth I shouldn't hide.

The rash that you've contracted here is good old "Aussie Pride".

You'll die with it, young man, because there isn't any cure."


Just a couple of expressions explained for our overseas visitors.

melon ..head


Meninga..a rugby star

a ton...100 runs in cricket

"Better Loosen Up" .. a race horse

Bertrand/boxing kangaroo...when we won the America's Cup

Perkins......long distance swimmer

cop it sweet...take it

MCG...famous cricket ground in Melbourne.


I just loved this poem when I heard it yesterday, hope you all do too.


Why don't sheep shrink when it rains.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

No more travel tales

No more travel tales at the moment, we are trying to arrange our plans to travel to Germany and the US starting in September. We have agreed that as soon as it gets cold Walter is coming home and I am staying at least until Thanksgiving and longer if it hasn't snowed. I really want to experience a northern fall and winter again, and unless we win the lottery, this will be the last overseas trip, so I am determined to make the most of it.

No posting yesterday as Walter was trying to help a friend download something, we have two computers but only one can be connected to the internet at a time. Well, the attempted downloading went on most of the day and into the night, all to no avail, I'm glad to leave all that sort of thing to Walter. Like most men he hates to be beaten.

I took advantage of a beautiful day here, to do some work in the garden, I had bought a pond liner at a garage/yard sale and decided to install it. It was a deal of hard work but looks very good now that it is in place, just need to get some plants around it now, and maybe a waterlily or two to really set it off. It is just of our back porch, and as I love the sound of trickling water have installed a small pump which is sending water through an old tin watering can. I am very pleased with the effect. It was time to cut back the roses and other plants that had got out of hand. I ache in a few places, but that's OK.


1st Woman: "Working full time and trying to do the housework really gets to me. After work, I came home, washed the clothes and the dishes, tommorow I have to do the floors and the front windows....."

2nd Woman: "What about your husband?"

1st Woman: "No way! he can wash himself!!"


It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.

Friday, June 23, 2006

New Orleans to Los Angeles

Check out the tyres
THE Chevvy!!
Loved the NO architecture
Walter on Burbon St
Louis Armstrong park


Next morning found us on our way back to Vermont, it was like coming home to be with Ron and Kay again. Their boys Amar and Kyle came home for Thanksgiving. Much preparation, cooking and tasting went into the feast that was Thanksgiving dinner,(at lunch time) and it was all wonderful. We were all invited toanother dinner at friends of Kay and Ron, this time there were over 30 of us around a table groaning under the weight of the food. It was a glorious night outside, it had snowed, and with the moonlight shining on it, it was breathtaking.

They have some wonderful traditions, and Thanksgiving is certainly one of the best, we count ourselves very fortunate to have been able to share with these wonderful people.
For the next few days Walter helped Ron with some finishing jobs on the new house, they enjoyed each others company. While this was happening K ay & I took the opportunity to spend some time together, doing what we enjoy, shopping. I had a great time, as the stores were full of things to do with christmas, some of which I couldn't resist buying.

Because we had enjoyed our train journeys we decided that rather than flying to LA, we would take the train again, this time going down through Atlanta and New Orleans. After a few more great days with the Clark's, we bought a 15 day rail pass and headed for Atlanta, and on to New Orleans. We are so glad now that we did this, as I don't suppose New Orleans will ever be the same after the terrible floods.

We stayed in the French Quarter in another super little B & B, see photos, we went out to a plantation, had a boat trip through the swampland, where we saw aligators in the water, Walter even got to hold one, a very little and docile one of course, it was all just like we see in the movies, water, trees with moss dripping from them, the little shacks etc.

We ate some great southern food, walked along Bourbon St., saw the paddle steamers, Louis Armstrong Park, altogether N. O. was another excellent place.

Our last train journey was from N.O. to L.A., where we were supposed to arrive at 7am, but owing to some amazing mishaps, it was 11pm, when we finally got to Annahiem where we met Ed. Thank goodness for mobile phones, as I was able to keep updating Ed and Cherie on our estimated time of arrival. That trip was another whole story, which I wont go into here, suffice to say we did arrive and were able to spend a couple of lovely relaxing days with Cherie, Ron's sister) and her husband Ed.

Ed has this amazing 1955 Chevvy., he and his son Matt, had spent the last few years restoring and modifying it. It was red of course and although it is licenced for the streets, it is actually a dragster. He took Walter for a drive in it one evening, when they returned Walter's eyes were as big as saucers, he was really blown away by the experience.

Just two days later we again reluctantly said goodbye to them, as we did all our other lovely friends from the US, Sweden, and Germany and headed for Auckland on the second last leg of our journey.

As I have previously mentioned it was the people that touched our lives, in large or small ways, that made the trip something that we will always treasure, their friendship, care, help, thoughtfulness and love wherever we went, that will live long in our memories, and we hope they will continue to think of us with the fondness they showed.

Writing this has refreshed my mind to the wonderful time we had and I can only hope that you have enjoyed reading about our travels too.


If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

New Orleans

Walter and "Satchmo"
Louis Armstrong park. NO.
Shack in swamp, NO
Swamo, NO
Walter, with aligator
Louisianna swamp
Plantation outside New Orleans
Our hotel in the French Quarter, New Orleans
Walter & Jacqui training between NO and LA
Times Square
Thanksgiving dinner with the Clark family, Ron, Kyle, Amar, Kay and Jacqui

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lancaster county and New York.

Guess this one speaks for it's self

An Amish farm and family wagon

An Amish phone box
A corn crib
A wagon park.


I had a wonderful few days at Windy Harbour, it is such a treat to be able to just sit and read, or stitch or even just sit, and know that there is nothing else you should be doing. I did take some long walks, but I enjoy that anyway. So after playing hookey for a few days I had better get on with the travels.


Our next stop was Lancaster, PA, in the heart of Amish and Mennonite country. We were able to visit the dear lady, Mary, that I had stayed with before, she had retired as well as getting married, we had lunch with her and Abner. He has since died, he was in his 90's and Mary is 75.

She was able to send us to another B & B, this time run by an exceptional Mennonite lady, named Verna. She and two friends has visited Australia the year before and are planning to come again. What a wonderful place it was to stay, Ellmaker House, at Gap, PA, it is a fully restored old stone home, our room was sumptous, the bed so large that we had a step stool to climb into it.

I mentioned to Verna that I had been taken on a tour by a lovely lady called Ada, well she turned out to be her aunt. We quickly set up a tour with her, she is now 82, but so with it and so full of knowledge, it was people like her and Verna that made our trip so enjoyable.
She took us to some quilt, candle and furniture places, all done with no electricity, that is one thing that makes the area unique, no power lines everywhere.

The country side is just delightful,, with farms and their barns, little schools, and quaint villages, and the food, always the food. The phone box pictured above, is one shared by several families, they are not able to have the phone connected to their houses, so they share one like this.

Walter did not want to go to New York, but we had to change trains, so he agreed to stay overnight there, this allowed me to contact my friend Adona. We arrived at 8.30pm on a Sunday, and after we had booked into our hotel, Adona came to meet us, it was very exciting being there again and seeing her.

We took a cab to Times Square, saw Broardway, the cabs, and all the lights, then we walked to a lttle restaurant for dinner. We then took another cab across the Brooklyn Bridge, intending to walk back, so that Walter could seethe Manhattan skyline, but it was a bit far with our limited time.

Instead we stayed in the cab and drove to the corner of 11th and Bleeker where there is the wonderful Magnolia Bakery. Even at 11.30 pm, on a sunday night, it was full of people, so as it was Walter's birthday we bought 3 cup cakes and a candle and proceeded to this little park opposite, where we sat on a bench and sang Happy birthday to him. Something you could only do in New York. After that we walked Adona back to her train station and reluctantly went to bed. Altogether it had been a magical few hours.