Sunday, December 23, 2012

An early Chrissy, but a great one.

 G'day. This was our Christmas day that was celebrated on Saturday just gone. Only immediate family this year due to the hasty change of days. My son and his partner really excelled themselves with all that they managed to pull together at such sort notice and their house looked just stunning.

I baked the ham on the Friday night. The smell throughout my home was mouth watering. The glaze was one I hadn't tried before and I can assure you it is now a family favourite.

The last picture is of the gorgeous urn and cherubs that stands in my son's kitchen area. I just love it and keep telling him that if he gets tired of it, I will look after it for him. So far there has been no luck on that happening. As you can see from the clock, he loves Paris as I do. Three weeks tomorrow and we will be flying out. Look out Penny, we're nearly on our way !!!

Hubby is cooking us Christmas tea tomorrow night. Though I have asked him not to go to too much trouble because I will be having a lunch at work with the residents of the nursing home and the other staff that are on duty. Another day of over eating. I can see it all now. But I can assure you all, that I will enjoy every minute of it.

Merry Christmas, have a great day. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
Take care.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

G'day. I have been a bit quiet on the blog front of late and am ashamed to say that I haven't kept up with reading all the blogs that I follow. Time to do everything my friends, has been against me. My place of paid employment has taken up more time than would be usual. Some weeks have seen me working six days. Trying to cram as much as possible into one free day is not easy.

It's now 6.05am here in my beautiful part of Oz. I have been awake for some time, with thoughts and plans for the day swirling around in my head. Our Christmas  lunch plans have now changed somewhat. Because I am working both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we were going to have our big traditional lunch at my son's home on the Monday, Christmas Eve, but, alas that has now been changed and after hasty re-arrangements, lunch will be held today, Saturday. Due to staff shortages, I am now working Sunday through to Thursday. I could of course say no, but for some reason, that is not a word that comes easily to me. I have a strong commitment to my job, a job that I love. Before agreeing to work, I did talk to my son and daughter and they were both happy to change our day and so hubby and I are heading down to Keysborough where my son lives, for a grand Christmas feast. As my daughter said to me, it doesn't matter what day we celebrate, the main thing is we celebrate it together. How lovely is that.

The picture of the angel was taken in my son's backyard, shortly after he moved in. The area behind  and around the statue is now all garden, with lots of roses in it. He too, is a rose lover.

Well, it's only three weeks or so now till son and I fly to France. How quickly the time has gone since we first started arranging this adventure. We are now getting very excited. I am looking forward greatly to meeting my blog friend Penny who lives in France. Penny and I participated in a craft swap some time ago and have kept in touch. Penny's son lives in Paris and she has kindly arranged to visit him while we are there, so we can meet for the first time. How fabulous.

 My only concern is that we might not be prepared for the cold, which I have been warned about by a good friend, who just happens to be French and lives not far from me. Oh well, I am sure we will be just fine and will love every minute of it, cold or not. I will have lots of pictures to share when we return.

It's now time for me to start getting a few things done here, we will be leaving in a couple of hours to go to my son's. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may the New Year be a safe and extremely happy one for you. I have greatly appreciated the comments that have been left on my blog, over the last year. I think of you all as my friends and I wish you nothing but good health and happiness.

Take care. Liz...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wonderful memories of years past.

G'day. Last week I went with a friend into the city of Melbourne. It's our capital city here in the state of Victoria where I live and every year one of the largest retailers, Myers, have their Christmas window display on. I haven't  seen the display now for many years, but when I was a child, my mother would take me in by train so that we could see this beautiful sight. It was a tradition that my mother stuck to and we continued to go up until the time that she got too sick to go anymore. We would always take the train, even when I had my car license, she didn't like to break the tradition and plus the fact that she really did like the train trip as I also did. We would have lunch in the city and make a real day of it. When I married and had children of my own, in we would all go, year after year. But, sadly time marched on, my mother who was a heavy smoker all her life came down with cancer and passed away 32 years ago. I continued the tradition and would take my two children to see the display, by train of course. But as happens, kids grow up, gazing in Christmas windows is replaced by boyfriends and girlfriends and other exciting things to do, though they would still humour me and continue to come for many years, even when they were adults themselves.  Before I knew it, Christmas would come and go, taking the windows with it. Oh well, we will go next year, I would say to myself, but next year would come and go also. It has been a very long time since my very grown children and I have seen a Myers Christmas window together.

The day I went in with my friend, I made a point of having a quick look at the windows, sadly time was against us as my friend had to be home by late afternoon and we had to hurry to catch our train and I only took my camera so that I could get another memory card for it, as I needed one that will hold many photos for my trip to France in January. I quickly pushed kids and adults out of the way, just to snatch these couple of pics. Not very good ones, I admit, but better than nothing!!

As I gazed wistfully at the windows, I was transported back to another time. A time that was happy and joyful, as a child, a teenager and then as an adult. A day spent with my precious mum, enjoying each others company, enjoying the day out, enjoying the train ride. Enjoying the Myers Christmas windows. Take care. Liz...

Monday, November 19, 2012

A lot of hard work

G'day. We have been very busy here the last couple of weeks. I took this photo before going to work one morning last week. This is our front yard. The guy with the excavator was coming to dig all this up a few hours later. We planted lavender under the two front bedroom windows not long after moving in and it made a great difference to that area. The three roses in the background were already there. The beautiful bougainvillea on the trellis screens our front veranda and it truly a magnificent sight when in full colour. It's an absolute show stopper.

This is what the front looks like now. It has had about six inches of soil removed from most of it, though the guy didn't take any away from the edge of the driveway for some reason, so he has to come back.

Because of the gas and water pipes, we had to keep the slightly higher area near the neighbours fence. Hubby said he wanted large rocks to border that part off from the lower section, so off we went to the property where he does some plumbing and got the biggest and best rocks we could manage to lift. Some of them have a touch of pink because of the soil they were embedded in and we sure did have fun trying to get them on the trailer. I of course, had to choose ones that were a touch on the big and heavy side, much to hubby's dismay. They actually don't look too bad in the scheme of things. The ones at the base of the fence will not stay there, they are what was left over, they will most likely be scattered around once the plants are in. This area will be planted out with roses, mainly pink ones. The front area will have a load of topsoil put on this weekend and there are eight standard roses waiting to go along the length of the front fence. I can't quite decide what design to make in the main area, but whatever it is, it too will have roses in it. All we have decided on, is that there will be some lawn. It would be an easy choice if the soil was great, but it's not. This is solid clay. Even with a truckload of topsoil, it won't make much difference when it comes time to dig in plants. It will be hard yakka. But, somewhere down the track, it will look lovely. We are in no hurry.

After moving from the farm and the three hundred plus roses we had there, I said I wasn't going to go the rose route anymore. I just can't seem to keep any promises. Already we have twenty one, including the three that were here. There are the eight standards, plus another four in pots waiting for there turn to be planted. Where will it end?? Don't worry, hubby is asking the same question!!

I am pleased to say the those lovely little Willow boys that came to stay with us arrived safely in the Northern Territory. This is their last Aussie home before flying to New Zealand. From what their host, Sarah said in her email to me, was that the heat up in the top end of Australia, may lay them low until they get used to it. If you would like to follow their further Aussie adventures please check out Sarah's You are sure to enjoy reading about their time in another beautiful part of this glorious country I am fortunate to live in. Take care. Liz...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A great day out.

G'day. Last Sunday, hubby and I went on the last steam train trip for this year. Due to the hot weather coming and the days of "Total Fire Ban" that we will have, the steam trains do not run. After all, we can't have them starting bushfires, now can we? Wonder how many were started back in the "old days" when all we had were steam locomotives.!!

This trip was to the beautiful harbour side city of Geelong, about an hour by road from Melbourne. Once again we left home at an early hour to get to Southern Cross train station and on board we hopped, looking forward to another great day out.

The day promised to be a warm one and it was true to it's word. In fact it was quite hot, even with the sea breeze.  There are quite a few bollards around Geelong and these great looking guys are in the park near the water. There was a terrific market happening in the park, but didn't see anything that leaped out at me and said "buy me", much to hubby's pleasure. Though of course I did get a few crafty ideas from some of the stall holders.

As I type this I am still in my PJ's and it's nearly 3.00pm. How disgraceful, you are probably saying. But wait, there is a reason and it's my story and I am sticking to it. I have not been well over the last few weeks and have not been at work. The steam train trip was probably something I shouldn't have gone on, but hubby had paid for the tickets in advance and he was really looking forward to it, being the great steam train buff that he is. Anyway, back to me. It's nothing serious, just a bladder prolapse and the insertion of a pessary to hold it all up. Well, the jolly pessary has caused pain, ulcers, infection and bleeding and had to be removed three weeks after going in. So I am not a happy camper. But all is not lost and I am sure I will feel better tomorrow and if this is all I have to worry about, then it's not too bad after all, is it?

I am still playing with my new computer, though I have had  a few glitches with it. It is so darn touchy, that the screen moves before you realise it. Hubby doesn't like it one bit. He prefers the old one.  I think I could really do with a course in how to use it to it's best advantage. The help books that came with it are not that useful. The computer genius is only a phone call away if I need him and I suspect he will be hearing from me soon. Take care. Liz...

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm in love...

G'day. Yes, you may think by the heading that I love our gorgeous little dog "Lucky" and you would be right, I do. But, I now have another love, much to hubby's dismay and I am playing with it right this minute and have been besotted with it for the last three or four days. This thing that has captured my affections is my lovely new laptop. I just can't leave the jolly thing alone.

Of course, my excuse is that I have to learn how to use it and that this has necessitated it occupying my every waking moment, well almost!! Yes, the housework has suffered and there may even be one or two weeds in the garden. Meals have been a bit on the late side, as I begrudgingly have to leave my new best friend to make sure both hubby and I don't starve and that beloved pooch still gets his meal as well. In fact it's 10.55pm here now and I have my beauty on the bed with me. Hubby is sleeping in the spare room, but don't panic, it's not because he thinks the computer has replaced him, but only because I have not been well over this past week and have been very restless throughout the night. I have also been home from work all week and even though I have not felt the best, it has given me a chance to try to figure out this piece of modern technology.

There have been a few hitches, it hasn't all been smooth sailing and things are still not perfect, but I am learning and haven't managed to blow it up just yet.

I still haven't got it all figured out and there were a few moments when I doubted my logic in getting something so state of the art and not to mention a few worrying minutes (hours really) when I realised that the email programme that I had used for the last few years, won't work on it. This caused me a major headache, so off to the retailer where I purchased it and took them up on their word that they would help if I got into any bother and boy, I bet they were sorry they said that, because I was still there an hour and a half later. We discovered my email programme is not yet compatible with Windows 8. From what the computer genius told me, it appears that Microsoft brought out Win 8 and some companies were caught napping. The company that supplies my email programme was one of them. So I am now using the email supplied by the phone company that our home account is linked with and I am finding it a touch difficult. Truth is I want my old one back quickly. I will have to keep bombarding them with emails, telling them to hurry up and get their act into gear and get up to speed with Win 8.

Oh dear, it's now 11.27pm and I guess I had better try to get some sleep. How time flies when you are having fun. Hubby and I have to go out tomorrow and will be gone most of the day. I wonder if hubby would mind if I took this sleek little number with me !! What do you think? Take care. Liz...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The boys are on their way to the Northern Territory

G'day. I said a fond farewell to Ratty, Toad and Mole and wished them a safe journey as they head to the Northern Territory for the next part of their Australian adventure. I was sad to see them go, they have been great little guys, but I have some wonderful photos to remember them by.

While we were in Bendigo waiting to walk back to the train, hubby spotted a second hand book shop, so in we all went and as I was browsing around, this is what I saw, it seemed like fate that this display was sitting there. The store owner saw me looking and said that the Wind in the Willows was his favourite book when he was a child. I promptly took out Ratty, Toad and Mole and explained the story behind them and their world tour and he was most impressed. he then went on to tell me to choose one of the books and it was mine, no charge. How could I refuse such an offer! I choose the book on the left. I did offer to pay him, because I said that I would have bought one of them anyway, but he wouldn't hear of it. It really seemed as though we were meant to go into that shop.I thanked him profusely and he even wished the Willow boys a safe and happy adventure on their travels. How good was that?

The boys of course, told him all about where they had been and all the great people they had met and that they were looking forward to the rest of their journey.he listened patiently and said that he was mighty pleased to have met them. Even hubby was impressed that this man entered into the fun of the Willows.

I look forward to reading all about their next adventures soon....

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pom Pom and Mags for having me join in the Willows tour and thank you to everyone who followed my blog and left wonderful comments on what the boys and I were up to. I greatly appreciated it...

After I posted off the boys, I went and picked up my new computer. I have been threatening to get rid of this old one for some time now, as it has been no end of trouble and has been costing more to fix it than it was worth. I went to do something on it on Saturday morning and the jolly thing wouldn't start, then when it finally decided to play ball, it shut itself off half way through what I was typing. That was it for me. I was so angry and frustrated with it, that I really could have taken it outside there and then and got the sledgehammer onto it. I told hubby that I was going to the local store and was getting a new one, that I was sick of talking about it and was ready to take action and back up all the talking. So I am the proud owner of a new laptop. Mind you, I am typing this on the old one, who would you believe, has not played up since!!! Only reason I am still using this is because I have not fully worked out the laptop and have not connected it to the Internet yet. I have not had a laptop before and I am looking forward to the space I will now get back on my sewing table, where the monitor, keyboard, hard drive and printer all reside. I somehow have a feeling that I will be contacting the computer genius who luckily lives just down the road from me, for help, even though the man in the store assured me I would have no trouble etc, etc. I have found things are never that easy. Maybe my next post will be on my new toy!!! Then again, maybe not. I had better end this post before this computer spits the dummy. I don't think it appreciates being upsurged by a new, slimmer,sportier model. I am sure it is going to close itself down any second now. Take care. Liz...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Off to see more of Australia.

G'day. I have been telling the Willow boys that they will be going to visit with a lovely lady in the Northern Territory. This is up towards the top of Australia and covers a very large area. It is a magical place and has some beautiful scenery. The boys will have a fabulous and exciting time.

They have asked that we finish the tales of Hoppy the Kangaroo and so we are gathered around the book and the boys are eagerly awaiting to see what adventures Hoppy gets into next.  

Hoppy was near Melbourne  and he met Danny the Dingo who was in a hot air balloon and going across the ocean to Tasmania. Hoppy asked could he come along and Danny said he was happy to have the company. I explained that Dingo's don't live down in my part of Australia, they are mainly found up around the top. They are essentially a wild dog, but have been known to make an excellent pet if reared from a puppy. They are a beautiful looking animal, but sometimes have been given a bad reputation. Toad said he hoped he didn't meet one, as he thought it might try to bite him. Ratty and Mole agreed. After arriving in Tasmania, Hoppy next met Walter the Wombat. Wombats are small solid creatures who dig a burrow in the ground and that's where they like to live. I told the boys that Wombats are my very favourite Australian animal. They too can be tamed, but generally if in the wild, it is best to stay clear of them. They have very sharp claws and sharp teeth as well. Mole was most impressed that Wombats live underground, he though he might meet one and tell him tales about his underground home.I think he is feeling a bit homesick, poor little chap.
Hoppy then  went on his travels and met Paula the Platypus. Ratty really liked Paula when I said that the Platypus spends all of their time in the water. He said he was missing his river also. Next Hoppy came across Terry the Tasmanian Devil. These are great looking creatures, but are very fierce, you really don't want to tangle with one of these guys. They are only in Tasmania in the wild, though there are many in zoo's across the country. All three boys were rather frightened of Terry and I don't blame them. 

Well, that's the end of Hoppy's adventures across this beautiful land I call home. Ratty, Toad and Mole were sad to see it end, but they all said they will have wonderful memories of the animals they have met through this fabric book. 

It is sad for me as well, to see my time with these great little Willow guys come to an end. It has been so much fun having them. Thank you Pom Pom and Mags for allowing me the experience. Thanks to the boys for being such good company and for being so well behaved. I have loved every minute of it. Even though the boys will be on their way tomorrow, I still have a few photos to share in the next post or two. 

Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh, those dear Willow rascals...

G'day. I know that I left you all in suspense with the tale of the Willow boys. Hubby indeed took his attention away from them for a short moment while he was eating his lunch and when he turned around the three of them were gone. 

When I returned from the toilet, he was frantically pacing up and down near where we had been sitting. His first words to me were "They have run off, I can't find them" This caused a bit of concern, but I knew they couldn't be far. As we started to walk around the area, I heard some very quiet laughter and hubby happened to look up and there they were, sitting quite happily in one of the large trees nearby.But, before I had a chance to grab them, Ratty who was in a fit of the giggles lost his balance and landed on the ground.Luckily no harm was done, except maybe he had a slight headache.Mole and Toad couldn't stop laughing at this turn of events and thought it very hilarious that poor Ratty had taken a tumble .But then before they knew what was happening, they too were soon to be heading towards the ground. Hubby, fast on his feet, saved them and after picking Ratty up, we all went and sat back on the seat to calm ourselves down from all this excitement.

Much to the boys delight a Galah landed nearby. Mole wanted to get a closer look, but the bird got startled and flew off, only to come back again. Galah's are beautiful birds and usually you will see them with their mate or in a flock.This lovely one was on it's own. It made Ratty, Toad and Mole very happy to see one of our native birds so close.

After a full day with lots of great things to see and do, it was time to walk back to the station and get the steam train back into Melbourne, then drive home. It was a very late night for all of us and we were all glad to tumble into bed. The boys chattered about their adventures for a while, but then all was quiet and we all got some much needed rest.

Sadly it's time for these three great characters to visit their next new friends. Someone else is looking forward to sharing adventures with them. They will be going to the top end of Australia, to Darwin and from there they go across the sea to beautiful New Zealand. Though before they go, we will finish the adventures of Hoppy the Kangaroo, over the next day or so.

Hooroo from Ratty, Toad and Mole and Liz...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Train trip continued...

G'day. Ratty, Toad and Mole are still chatting about the steam train trip we went on last Sunday. The boys had a great time, as did hubby and I. They had their own seat in the carriage as the picture shows, though because of the sun streaming in, the boys are a bit hard to see. 

I had to keep a firm hold of them because of the huge crowd that had gathered to welcome the return of the locomotive.Toad wanted to rush around and talk to people, but when I explained to him that he ran the risk of being trampled, he settled down and behaved himself. We decided to go up the steps and cross the overpass (as did scores of others, I might add) and look down on some of the proceedings from there. 

By this time we were all getting hungry, so hubby suggested we walk to the 
park and have our lunch, we all cheered and said this was a great idea.

Ham and salad wraps were to be our fare and the boys jumped up and down and tucked in as soon as I could get the wrapping opened. They eagerly devoured everything and then settled back and were content to watch some of the people strolling around this beautiful park area.

I left hubby in charge of our friends while I went in search of the toilet and he promised to not take his eyes off them. They also promised to be good boys and sit quietly in the sunshine and let hubby enjoy his meal.Of course, they are scallywags and the temptation was too much for them, wasn't it? and hubby, bless his heart, must have blinked or looked the wrong way at the wrong time, because they scampered off.

To be continued.........

Hooroo from our little runaways, Ratty, Toad and Mole and of course. Liz... (Though I didn't runaway)...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A great day was had by all...

G'day. Last Sunday we all went on a steam train trip and what a fabulous day we had. The Willow boys were up early in anticipation of an exciting day and they weren't disappointed. I did tell them that we would have a very early start, but they didn't seem to worry about that and when I went to wake them at 4.30 am, they were already up and rearing to go. After a hasty breakfast, we were in the car at 5.15 making our way to the big smoke (The beautiful city of Melbourne)

We arrived in plenty of time to take some photos before the train left, though to be honest, I did get a few strange looks when I was posing with my three new friends, but who cares. As I said to hubby, those people will probably never see me again anyway. Hubby got into the swing of it and was quite happy to snap away.

This trip was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Bendigo line and the relaunch of the steam locomotive R711. The city of Bendigo is only about an hour's drive from where we live, but to be on this train, it meant us driving into Melbourne,to Southern Cross station where the  steam train was leaving from,then the loco trip took a couple of hours because it was running on our metro line a lot of the way and it had to stop frequently to let the Metro trains pass, because they of course have a time table to keep. The early start and excitement was a bit much for poor Ratty and Toad, they needed a snooze, but Mole was taking it all in and was trying to jump up and look out the window. At one stage, I had to hold him down or we might have lost him on the track somewhere. Hubby and I, like the big kids that we are, had the window open and were hanging our heads out, inhaling the smell of soot and  getting smoke in our eyes. Mole of course wanted to do the same .Ratty and Toad slumbered on.

We will continue this story again soon.

Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ratty, Toad and Mole are so excited...

G'day. Oh, those lovable Willow boys can hardly contain their excitement. I have promised them a trip on a steam train next Sunday. Hubby has long been a steam train buff and a month or so ago we went on a day long trip on one of these mighty locomotives and like the big kids that we are, we were kneeling on the seats with our heads out the window. Doesn't matter about all the soot that gets in your hair and eyes, it's such fun.

So, this time Ratty, Toad and Mole are coming along for the ride also. I have warned them that it will be a very early start and a really late night, but that they can sleep in on the Monday morning, while poor hubby and I have to go to work. They didn't seem to think that would be a problem.They keep talking about what they will see and all the new friends they might meet and of course, will there be nice food to eat!! They are starting to count the days.

They are of course, still very interested in the adventures of Hoppy the Kangaroo and love looking through the fabric book and commenting on some of the native animals we have here in Australia. Next on Hoppy's travels he met Clarence the Kookaburra and I explained that Kookaburra's make a sound that sounds like a laugh and that they are really lovely birds, though Ratty was very afraid when I told them that these birds feed on mice, rats and lizards. Poor Ratty,he ran and hid under the bed and it took quite a while to coax him out. Once Ratty regained his composure, he was very intrigued with the picture of Kathy the Koala, who had her baby on her back. Please can we meet her? said Toad. She looks so soft and cuddly said Mole. I am sure she would like to get to know us!!. I told them that yes, Koala's are soft and cuddly, but they have very sharp claws and would not think twice about giving you a good scratch if they were in the mood. Ratty asked me why she was eating leaves and I told them that Koala's eat the leaves from  Eucalyptus trees, it's their main food. I told the boys a story that some years ago, hubby found an injured Koala on the side of the road near where our farm was and that I rang a local wildlife sanctuary and they said someone would be there to meet us soon. By the time this lady  got to us, the Koala had managed to climb up a tree and was about twenty feet or so from the ground. Hubby and I watched in awe as the woman climbed the tree,with a blanket and a syringe, this was to sedate the hapless animal. She asked us to take up a position at the base of the tree in case the Koala fell. This is exactly what happened. Much to hubby's alarm the animal, now very groggy lost it's grip and fell right into his outstretched arms. Luckily it was soon sound asleep, those claws are dangerous, plus Koala's have good teeth and they can give a nasty bite. This was a great opportunity to have a nurse of such a beautiful creature and when she handed him to me, I didn't want to let him go. I rang some days later to see how he was getting on and was told the good news that he was ok and would be brought back to the area and released. Ratty, Toad and Mole all cheered when the heard.

The adventures of Hoppy will continue another day. The boys are wanting to go outside into the glorious sunshine and romp around the backyard with Lucky the wonder dog.
Take care. Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Monday, October 8, 2012

What great little troupers.

G'day. My new friends, Ratty, Toad and Mole have been such great little guys over the last week or so. They have had to entertain themselves most days as I have had so much extra work at my place of employment, that I have just not been able to be here to keep them occupied. They have been very interested in the story of Hoppy the Kangaroo and the travels that he got up to. Even though it is in book form, it gave them the opportunity to see what some of our native animals look like.

Of course, it would have been great to have shown them the real animals, but sadly time and distance to the nearest zoo makes this a bit hard. Ratty was a bit worried about the spikes on the back of Eric the Echidna, but Mole was impressed that Eric eats ants and finds them very tasty.Gloria the Galah is resting by a Billabong and I explained that a Billabong is a  watering hole and that Galah's make quite a screeching sound when they want to.But nonetheless, they are a lovely colourful bird.Ratty asked could he meet one. Well maybe, said I, as they fly over here all the time.

As I turned the page, all three little fellows fell back with a gasp of alarm, for there looking at them was Charlie the Crocodile with his fearsome teeth. Charlie wanted Hoppy to have some tea with him, but Hoppy knew better and quickly hurried away. Ratty, Toad and Mole said that they would get away as quickly as possible also.Hoppy didn't have to travel much further before he met up with Ernie the Emu, who he was more than happy to share a cup of tea with. Toad said he would like to meet Ernie, as he looked like a friendly bird. I told Toad that Emu's are nice birds, but sometimes it doesn't pay to get to close to them as the have very long and sharp claws on their toes. I told them a story about how many, many years ago when I was much younger and I was at an animal sanctuary and there was a Emu there that took a liking to me and followed me around, only trouble was the jolly huge bird was trying to peck at me. I have always been very wary of them ever since.

All of this excitement tired the three friends out and they decided that they were in need of some sleep, but they did ask if I could show them more of the book another time. Take care. Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Aussie breakfast

G'day. We have had a very busy weekend here. On Saturday it was the Grand Final for one of our biggest sporting codes, The Australian Football League. We had the TV on throughout the day and I explained how the footy rules worked, to Ratty, Toad and Mole. The teams playing were The Sydney Swans and Hawthorn (the Hawks) I was barracking for The Hawks as they are a Melbourne based team, but sadly they lost by 10 points. I think it was all a bit much for my three new friends, as at one stage I checked on them and they were fast asleep.Sunday morning was a bit on the cool side, but hubby and I knew we were going to be spending the day getting another garden bed on the go and The Willow boys wanted to be part of the action, so a good breakfast was in order for them. Of course, being in Australia, they had to have toast and Vegemite. I think they really liked it as I caught Ratty trying to open the jar when he thought I wasn't looking.

They were most intrigued with my breakfast as well and couldn't wait to gobble some of it down. This is my favourite breakfast and I have it most days. It's porridge, kiwi fruit, strawberries and a banana. Very filling and healthy. 
Toad took a great liking to it and asked could he have his own bowl of it tomorrow please....

After many hours in the garden, it was time to come inside and I had to finish a fabric book that I had started some time ago. It was a good time to show Ratty, Toad and Mole a few of the animals that live in Australia and with the map on the back cover, the three travelers could see exactly where they are living at the moment in this beautiful big country that I call home. My state of Victoria is in the lower right hand side, just above the lovely island state of Tasmania (where I was born) We live just off to the right a fraction from the centre of Victoria. Ratty, Toad and Mole said they would love to go in a hot air balloon, but I told them that sadly that is not on the plans. They were all very disappointed.

"Strewth" (means an exclamation) said Mole, "That's a funny looking animal, what is it?" I said that this is a Kangaroo and in this book, his name is Hoppy and he goes walkabout and meets lots of other native Australian animals. "Can we meet them too"? asked Toad. So our adventures with Hoppy and some of our other Aussie animals will be in my next post.

Take care. Hooroo from Liz, Ratty, Toad and Mole...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A good day to be home

G'day. I have a day off work as I am not feeling very well. It's been good having Ratty, Toad and Mole to keep me company, though it's probably been pretty boring for them. I ushered them outside after breakfast this morning, to do whatever a Ratty, Toad and Mole need to do and it was only a short time later that I happened to look out the kitchen window and saw the three of them huddled in a basket. The poor dears looked rather frightened, so out I rushed to see what was wrong. Immediately I saw what was worrying them. A storm was brewing and it looked to be a cracker. The sky was black, thunder and lightening was out in force and clearly my three friends wanted to be inside where it was safe and warm.

I quickly went and grabbed them just as a huge lightening bolt lit up the sky all around us. "That was a close call, you nearly went up in smoke" I said to them. "Fair dinkum" said Mole, using the Aussie slang word for really or truthful.So inside to the safety and the warmth of the house and we let the storm roil and boil outside, while we watched it from the kitchen window.

The little ones were quite happy to stay inside with me for most of the day, they knew I wasn't feeling the best and they were very well behaved and just sat around with me and watched a few DVD's or had a nap with me.

We are all looking forward to more adventures tomorrow.

Take care and Hooroo (Goodbye) from Liz, Ratty, Toad and Mole... 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Best of friends.

G'day. Well, as you can see, Ratty, Toad and Mole and our little dog Lucky, are best mates.This morning (Tues)  Lucky has been showing them all around the backyard and more than likely showing them where he hides his bones!!! I don't know if the three travelers are interested in bones, but at least it appears that Lucky is willing to share.

It's my one day off work and while I have been busy doing the usual stuff that needs to be done when I am home, I entrusted their care to their new four legged friend. The day is just lovely, weather wise, sun is shining and it's a great day to be outside. Shame I couldn't be out there with them, but someone has to keep the house running and today, that's me. Though I have found time to get another T shirt embroidered for the girl at work, to give to her two nieces.I left the backdoor open so Lucky could bring his new best buddies inside if they so desired and next thing I knew was that Ratty, Toad and Mole were up beside me, checking out the embroidery machine. They were very interested in how it worked and wanted to have a play with it. But after I explained that it was not a toy, they were happy to hop down and have scampered back outside to soak up some more sunshine. I must be careful and keep an eye on them. I don't want them getting sunburn. 

 They are really cheeky little fellows you know and have already picked up some of our Aussie slang . This morning they greeted hubby with "G'day Mate" and I am sure by the time they leave here, they will be able to talk like a True Blue Aussie. I'm sure they must be getting hungry now, I know I am, so it's time for some lunch. Take care. Liz, Ratty, Toad and Mole and of course Lucky...

Oh, they are daredevils...

G'day.Well, it looks like the lovable Ratty, Toad and Mole have recovered from their jet lag and are determined to make the most of their stay with us here in country Victoria (Australia). I left them to their own devices yesterday afternoon while hubby and I got stuck into making another garden bed and a short while had passed and hubby said "What's that noise"? Coming from the garage we could hear vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom. On closer inspection, there were our three visitors on top of one of hubby's motorbikes and Ratty was  was really going for it, jumping up and down yelling "vroom, vroom".

"Why won't it go"? chorused Toad and Mole. I think it has something to do with that key, replied Ratty, as the three of them scampered up to where the key dangled from the ignition.

Please can we go for a ride? asked our three visitors." Maybe another day replied hubby, Liz and I have a lot of work to do here first". Being good little troupers, they hopped off and scampered around the garden, enjoying the sunshine and seeing what fun could be had.

After running around, looking at this and that and asking a lot of questions, they were feeling a bit on the tired side and took themselves off to have a nap in one of the Azalea bushes.

Before we knew it, the day was over and it was time to think about getting tea ready. We were all tired and ready for a good meal.After filling their tummies with some good tucker, our three intrepid travelers were ready for a good night's sleep, with the promise of more adventures tomorrow. Take care. Liz, Ratty, Toad and Mole...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Willows have arrived.

G'day. Those lovable rascals from the Wind in the Willows have finally arrived here in Australia. Ratty, Mole and Toad were exhausted after their long flight from France and even though they had slept rather well on the flight, they still needed to recover from the jet lag.I decided they would surely like to spend the day in the garden with me. The sun was shining and the day promised to be glorious. After a quick tour around and a brief description of some of the things that we were still planning to do, to make our garden look lovely, I realised that my new friends were rather quiet. I think the sun may have been a bit too warm for them, so I left them on a seat and they could still watch what I was doing.

When I checked some time later, they were nowhere to be seen. I just happened to walk past my old wicker baskets and there they were, sound asleep and I am sure it was Ratty that I could hear snoring!!

After letting them get some well earned rest, it was time to come inside.Toad jumped up on my small cupboard to see the little ceramic dog in the basket. Mole and Ratty also seemed very intrigued about this animal. "Why is he just laying there"? asked Ratty. "We want to play with him" said Toad. I explained that the little dog was not real, he was one that I made a lot of years ago when I was still doing ceramics. I did tell them about our real dog, Lucky and that they would get to meet him when he and my hubby came home from work. They were very excited at this news and were talking among themselves about this new playmate they would meet soon.

But, it wasn't long and the three weary travelers were fast asleep again. I quietly tiptoed out of the room and let them sleep. 

We will have more adventures tomorrow.

Take care. Liz. Ratty, Toad and Mole...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A great time to be in the garden.

G'day. I have spent most of the weekend pottering around in the garden. The spring weather here has been just lovely, to nice to be inside. 

I purchased this lovely wrought iron, three tier plant stand last Friday and it is just perfect for the three cyclamen that I have had for some years. I think they were meant for it, don't you? 

 I mentioned some time ago, that I am hosting three of the lovable characters from the Wind In the Willows series. These have been made in fabric and hand painted and they have been winging their merry way around the world. They have been visiting with Troc, Broc and Recup in France and have been having a great time and are now on their way to me here in Australia. I look forward to having some fun times with them and letting you all know what we get up to.

One of the girls at work asked me last week would I embroider a Minnie Mouse on a couple of T shirts for her nieces. After saying that I had only had the machine for a short while and was still practicing on it and didn't feel confident about doing something like that just yet, but somewhere down the track I might give it a try. I would have thought that  all of that was plain enough and  that I didn't want the responsibility of tackling it and stuffing it up. She didn't listen. Two days later, in she came with two store bought T shirts. I nearly fell off my perch to say the least. I patiently explained once again that I was still learning the machine and embroidering on a T shirt was totally different than just on a single square piece of fabric. She was not to be deterred. So, after asking various people, visiting the shop where I bought the machine, (this is an hour away and luckily we had to go up that way last Friday) I with much trepidation sat down yesterday afternoon and gave it a go.I had purposely stayed out in the garden all day Saturday and much of Sunday, so I didn't have to do the blessed thing, but in the back of my mind, I knew it was waiting and that I couldn't put if off. It took a bit of working out to get it centre, which is not as easy as it sounds and also I had to pull the back of the shirt completely up and out of the way of the needle and hold it with my hands to keep it free. This shirt is a size 4, a small size here in Oz, so it had it's problems. But, I am proud to say, it turned out perfectly. I am sure it was just a fluke, a one off lucky chance. I had spent considerable time worrying about tackling this project. But, it is not over yet, there is still the second one to do, that is a size 7, a bit bigger thank goodness, but nonetheless, still a headache. I must learn to say no and put my foot down a bit harder. Some people just won't accept that you are reluctant to do things for them.Of course it's not all her fault, I am just as much to blame for not being louder and firmer with my "No". Take care. Liz...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Won't be long now.

G'day. It's just a little over four months until my son and I go back to Paris. I have just heard from the travel agent, in whose capable hands I trust for everything to go smoothly. She has never let me down.

She contacted me with the good news to say that the hotel we booked some months ago, will now serve us breakfast each day at no extra cost and because we have a very late evening flight when we leave Paris,  they will let us have the room also at no charge. This will be handy in case we want to have a rest or a shower before our super long flight home. This hotel is costing us quite a lot of money each, mainly because of it's location to the Eiffel Tower and the time of the year, which probably still comes under the New Year period, that's their story anyway and breakfast was not originally included in the price, but we could have it if we wanted to part with something like 20 Euro each and that in Australian dollars is close enough to $38.00 a day. Way too much for us. So at last some good news.

Anyway, enough of Paris. I have been having great trouble with my blog, only for the simple fact that Blogger said I have a problem with something malicious trying to worm it's way in. Though, when I contacted them, my site was coming up clean all the time. Through much angst in trying to sort this problem out, I was advised to remove all blogs that I follow and in doing that, silly, silly me, removed all followers as well. Oh dear, what can I say? Hubby would say that I was having a blond moment. It appears that by removing the sites I follow,the problem has gone, at least I hope so.One of those sites (I couldn't isolate it) had been hacked. If anyone has trouble with my site, can you please let me know, as another blog friend (Michelle) did last week.

Beautiful weather in my part of the world today, gorgeous blue sky, only a few white fluffy clouds. All is well and everything is pointing to happiness.I am going to brag now and tell you that at the Weight Watchers meeting last Tuesday night, I had lost another 1.5 kg. All up, it's 18.1kilo off now and I am hoping for a good result tonight. My goal was to get 25kg off before our trip, if that happens, well and good, if not, then so be it. I am proud of myself. I can even get my favourite jeans down now, without undoing them if I so wanted!!! Take care. Liz...