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Friday, December 2, 2016

Albany Museum...

It is nearly 3 months since DH and I had our holiday in Western Australia...time has certainly flown! While we were in Albany we visited an exhibition at the museum. 

The museum precinct has lots of lovely old buildings...

And even a post box that dates back to the reign of Queen Victoria.
A friend had told me of a special exhibition that had opened at the museum which focused on Adoptions. 
Near the entry was a video of a former PM, Julia Gillard, and her speech of apology for the forced adoptions throughout our history.
There were lots of information boards including these which documented adoptions decade by decade.
It made for harrowing reading. As did many such boards spread throughout the exhibits.







How poignant were these 2 next items?


Very moving and sad though this exhibition was, it was wonderful that so many women could tell their story...their heartbreak and often never knowing how their child fared. 
And there was even a section devoted to the fathers...

What a photo...all those babies in that hospital nursery waiting to be adopted.




My mother put up 2 children for adoption; one found his mother. The other child we know nothing of. My aunt not long before she died, mentioned to my cousin that her sister had had another child but she gave us no details, so perhaps she didn't know any more. I can but hope that he or she has/had a good life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wool on Sunday...

My Wool on Sunday post this week is about my new ( and very appropriate for me!) Christmas ornament  that my friend De made me. De was my Secret Santa at the Sunday Stitchers Christmas party last Sunday. 
It just so happens that I was taking random photos of Sandi, who had stepped up for the role of Santa's helper at present unwrapping time...and she was actually carrying my gift at the time.



And here it is and I love it!!

De has wound yarn over a styrofoam ball and made knitting needles from skewers cut to size, with beads glued on the end and then sprayed. Such a thoughtful gift. 
Our Secret Santa gifts this year at SS were an ornament ( which could either be handmade or purchased), and a bag. This is the gorgeous bag that De made for me...



So now a little bit more about our final gathering for 2016...
Setting up the room. As you can see in the photo a lot of the ladies brought along Christmassy themed projects to decorate the room. It gave the room such a lovely 'feel'.
Gifts too of course...this is my 'haul' from the other ladies...noting this doesn't include the Secret Santa gifts!! 
 The Birthday girls...each month those who have celebrated a birthday receive a fat quarter from everyone. Last Sunday we had both November and December birthdays. 
After the birthday parcels were unwrapped, the Secret Santa gifts were put on that small table ready for distribution after lunch.

Mentioning lunch...this year we used some of the money in 'the kitty' to have lunch catered by the local IGA. It was a lovely lunch but I only remembered to  take a photo after we'd filled our plates...

And what is Christmas party lunch without bonbons and paper hats! 😉

And these wonderful friends of mine also have been very generous to the less fortunate in the community. Last month they collected and donated sweets for K4BN's mini Christmas stockings project and again this month, I was given some more lollies. And 2 of the ladies had also made some mini stockings! These, plus some stockings knitted by a friend at Sisters of Stitch, meant that K4BN received 76 filled stockings on Monday. 
Linking with Janine over at the Rainbow Hare blog for Wool on Sunday. Janine has knitted a beautiful jumper but unfortunately one of her 'nearest and dearest' has made the following comment which I don't agree with by the way...“That is horrific! It’s the worst Christmas jumper I’ve ever seen!” 
 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

More family news...

My DD2 gave DH and I this big surprise a month or so back and I have had to keep it all a secret until the tests showed all is okay. I knew about this a little ahead  ( well maybe quite a bit before) of the other grandparents but that's a 'mother of the mother's perk' 😉 
A week or so ago DD2 and Adam finally let their respective siblings, and then their friends know of their exciting news. And then Saturday of last week we had the 'Gender Reveal'. What's that you ask? I did know about these events after having heard them mentioned on other people's Facebook pages 😆. Basically friends and family gather and a special cake that has been baked is cut. Inside the cake is either blue or pink...hence the 'revealing of the gender'. DH was heard to mutter some comments about this, but to me anything that gets loved ones altogether for a bit of a soiree, I'm all for it!! 

And so it was that we all gathered at the couple's house. My girl had been craving chocolate so that cake stand in the next photo was put together just for her...on the lower level were some chocolate croissants ( her favourite treat as a teenager) and chocolate brownies, strawberries and grapes in the middle layer and chocolates on the top! 😉




Some people brought gifts...blue and pink! 

One set of grandparents with the happy couple...

Some of 'our mob' 😊

The cake in the photo was made by DD2's friend Nicky. The doctor had given DD2 the gender info on a piece of paper sealed in an envelope. This had been passed on to Nicky who then made the cake. 
It seemed to take forever for the cake to be cut...but at last the moment came. And there were lots of squeals of delight...


I think that by her reaction that DD2 had been hoping for a girl...
But best of all...after 5 years of 'not talking' my two daughters are now reconciled again...and I couldn't be happier. 
And here is another photo that I took that afternoon; DH, baby Anthea, DsD2 and DD1. 
So an exciting year ahead in 2017; a new grand baby in May, DsD1's wedding in July and DD1's wedding in September. 💕💕

Monday, November 21, 2016

The 'crochet hook' saga...Wool on Sunday.

As I mentioned in my last post, DH and I travelled to North Queensland last week. The main reason for the trip was to visit long lost family on my father's side. This year has turned out to be a 'real year of the family' for me after having my DNA tested late last year and we've had fun meeting or catching up with cousins throughout this year and travelling to a few places around the country has been a bonus.

So that's why early on Monday morning last week, DH and I were checking our luggage  into Brisbane Airport at 6am. Knowing that our Aussie airlines have relaxed those strict rules about knitting and crocheting on domestic flights, I carried a bag of yarns with me, fully intending to crochet on the flight, just like I did when we went to WA in September. Well...best laid plans and all that! 

The woman at check in asked me did I have knitting needles in my bag of yarn...I answered no, but  said that I did have a crochet hook. She told me that I MUST put the hook in my checked through luggage or otherwise the Security staff would confiscate it...hello??? 
Where did it say that on all the signs in the terminal???

I should have stood my ground but like a lamb I complied. But I did 2 things before my flight. I put a rant on Facebook and I sent an informal preliminary complaint to Virgin Airlines. A friend, after reading my FB post, sent me a screenshot from the airline's website. Ta dah!!! ( you may have to click/tap on the image to make it readable) 

I was actually amazed at how many items are now allowed on domestic flights. 
Now this same 'charmer' on Check In also claimed our hand/cabin luggage was 2 kg over weight and had to be checked through. Again, hello??? I had my toiletries bag in it and my zippy bag with eye drops and my iPad in this bag...I KNOW that didn't weigh over 7kg. ( Later when the plane was in mid air I realised that my iPad hadn't been put into flight mode! Ooh wah...but everything must have been okay as we did safely get to Cairns). 
By the time we reached Cairns, Virgin had sent an apology (of sorts), but best of all...I'd forgotten that a friend's son in law is high up in administration in Virgin. She contacted him after reading my FB rant and he apparently was quite angry at my treatment. He vowed to track down the woman and organise more training as she was lacking in customer skills and obviously had little knowledge of the airline's policies. 
You know what? I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt for getting that woman into trouble! I would never flaunt safety rules so to be treated that way, the 'Miss Goody Goody, scared to do anything naughty little girl' in me had felt quite bad. But I knew I hadn't broken any rules...*shoulder shrug*...

So it was a very determined woman who turned up at Cairns Airport on Thursday. I did however put my bag of yarn and the hook inside a tote bag. And there was absolutely no hassles or hold ups, either through Check In Baggage Drop or Security. 
And so it was that I was at the airport food court and I still had my crochet hook! 

And during the flight I crocheted granny squares without any interference! 😄
Linking up once again with Janine's Rainbow Hare Blog for Wool on Sunday. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Remembering...

Way back in July this year, I wrote a post about my friend Jenny who had just been diagnosed with MND (ALS). 

So many of you wrote loving thoughts on this post. The prognosis then was that she would 'have 2 years'. Sadly this was a trifle optimistic, and the disease progressed quite rapidly with Jenny passing early this month.
I was very sad, but I realised that life was getting more and more difficult day by the day for my friend. She had gone into a nursing home and in the last week or so of her life, breathing and swallowing had become difficult and she was in pain. So the fact that she slipped into unconsciousness one night, was transferred to hospital and then slipped away there the next day without regaining consciousness...it was such a blessing.
On the Sunday after Jenny's passing our group of friends met at one of her favourite coffee shops for our regular monthly coffee morning. We shared stories and tears. As a memorial to our friend we all put in $10 each to make a sizeable donation to be sent to the Motor Neurone Association in memory of our friend. 

The funeral was delayed until her son and his family could arrive from the UK and it was held last Wednesday. I was so disappointed that, as things turned out, I would not be in Brisbane as I was visiting family in Far North Queensland.
By a strange coincidence DH and I spent the day visiting memorials to his older brother and 10 others who perished in a plane crash to the west of Cairns in 1990. ( the passengers were all Councillors returning from a Local Government Conference in Airlie Beach, except for the pilot and a nun, Sister Nadia who was given a seat when one of the Councillors decided to drive home. How lucky was he?) 
The first one we visited was the memorial at Tolga on the Atherton Tableland. DH and I were guests when this refurbished memorial was unveiled by the then Governor, in May 2010 which marked the 20th anniversary of the crash.

Some photographs were called for; last time we were here there were too many people around to get some quiet time to read and photograph the plaque.

 


The next memorial we visited was in the Bicentennial Gardens in the town of Mareeba...


There is a memorial near the Cairns Council buildings but this visit, DH took me to the one in an old Pioneer Cemetery in Cairns. This memorial honours only DH's brother, who at the time of his death, was the Mayor of Cairns...
A nice little band rotunda...
And plaque...
Surprisingly, visiting  all these memorials was not a sad experience...rather it was quite uplifting due to the beauty of this area of Queensland.