Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tegan, Tim and Anastasia

Tegan and Anastasia
Originally uploaded by Mister Tim
These are my beautiful first daughter Tegan, her husband Tim and my gorgeous first grandchild. I am so proud of them and more than a little besotted. This photo was taken on 9th October 2008. Anastasia is about 7 weeks here and as you can see is smiling. It is so exciting to see each new step in a baby's development and to watch them grow and develop their own distinctive personality. When Anastasia was born she was the image of  Tegan and her siblings as babies. For me it was a case of deja vu. Several relatives and friends who knew my children as babies have commented how like she is. Anastasia does have her father's mouth and ears though :) I am very grateful to you both Tegan and Tim for producing this gorgeous grandchild for me and sometimes allowing me to cuddle her! Clever Tim for taking such a beautiful photograph too. Thankyou.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More of the tulip gardens

Here are some more photos from that beautiful day at the tulip gardens.
 The first photo shows the native backdrop to part of the gardens. I love the 

texture and colours in the bark of the eucalypt (gum) tree, its flowers and trailing leaves. The colours of the gums are more muted than the bright colours of the bulbs but beautiful nonetheless.

The daffodil was exquisite and the pansies just one of many bedding plants used in the gardens. They looked so cheerful and again I was attracted by the variation in the colours. So many....... I will probably use some of these photos as inspiration for my quilting or crocheting at some stage. 
How many colours can be found in these pink/red/burgundy/salmon pansies?The fallen petals of the forsythia made a beautiful carpet under the bushes.
The bees were very busy that day. Here is another bee in the blossoms, this time on a glorious crabapple. 
My apologies for the poor layout of these photos. I have yet to work out how best to import and add text to give a pleasing appearance. Any tips would be gratefully received :)

The Tulip Gardens

On 5th October we went to the nearby tulip gardens with a friend. It was a glorious day and we spent several hours pottering around, taking lots of photos and sitting under the blossom trees enjoying a concert by an Irish folk band.  What better way to while away a beautiful spring afternoon? We enjoyed poffertjes (Dutch pancakes) and coffee while listening to the band. We were amused and pleased to hear an American expat couple at an adjacent table reading "The Man From Snowy River". They too were enjoying a leisurely afternoon. Do you see the bee hovering over my head in the blossoms?
We spent some minutes watching this little girl collecting blossom petals from the trees - it was such a joy to see her 
so happy and absorbed in what she was doing, like watching a fairy at the bottom of the garden :) Her family was picnicking nearby. 
This tulip is a rogue - it must have sown itself right next to the trunk of a blossom tree. Not in
 the garden beds but very pretty nevertheless.
This is one of the many varieties of tulips planted in the gardens. I particularly like the dark tulips. They have interested me since studying a story called "The Black Tulip" while I was at school. We were told the statistics but I am not sure
 of them now. I believe there were something like a million bulbs and a thousand blossom trees. 
It certainly seemed like it even if my memory fails me. The display was magnificent. The gardens are developed more every year. 
Our last visit was a few years ago. 
Somehow spring seems to bring on all sorts of happenings in our family and we don't get there every year. We really must go to Floriade next year - it is even longer since we have been there.

 There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we would like. How can we get more hours in the day do you think? Finally here are some distance shots to give you some idea of the scale of the gardens.

Afterwards we took Elizabeth
 home and Max fed the poddy lambs Elizabeth was babysitting. They were very glad to see us. We were rather late for their 4 o'clock feed because we had enjoyed the gardens so much and then spent some time choosing plants to bring home.
 We chose a beautiful rich red rhododendron called "Gibraltar". That seemed appropriate as the big hill behind Bungendore is called Mount Gibraltar. We also bought some rosemary plants in tubestock while Elizabeth bought some rhododendrons and bulbs. A fitting end to a wonderful day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I have a spring cold but fortunately it is not too bad and has improved a lot. We had to miss out on going to my cousin's house in Gosford for a visit last weekend because I would have been infectious. Fortunately I was past that by Tuesday when we had to go to a funeral in Sydney. We buried my mother-in-law's younger brother, the last of her siblings. He died on the 1st October aged 88 years.Here is a photo of Rita waiting to go to Sydney, rather sad under the circumstances. Would you believe she is 92? What an amazing woman she is. It is such a privilege to have her with us still.

Rita is very active for her age. She walks more than a kilometre to and from our place and the shops at least 2 or 3 times a week, further to the post office or library. She also goes to a weekly craft group, a weekly exercise class and a weekly outing group. Once a fortnight Rita takes herself and her walker on the bus to Queanbeyan to go shopping there. In addition she likes to do most of our washing up and brings in and folds the washing. Oh and she still does the puzzle magazines and has won some prizes, reads, does crosswords, watches news and interest programs as well as movies, Antiques Roadshow, whodunnits etc, crochets handtowels and sachets and makes her own birthday, Christmas and other special occasion cards. Not to mention waiting hand and foot on a very demanding 9 yr old cat we adopted for her a year or so ago.  Midnight certainly fell on her feet when she came here. Poor Midnight had a traumatic year before being surrendered to the RSPCA. She is now being well and truly pampered!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beautiful Bungendore

These photos illustrate how different the weather can be here. The first 2 photos are rather blurry because the batteries were low. They show the aftermath of a hailstorm we had on 14th August this year. Our back verandah was coated and the remnants of it were still there the following morning. The second photo is even more blurry but you can see what happened to the quilt cover on the washing line! I had to unpeg one side of it the next morning and tip out a large quantity of ice, by now looking more like snow as it had melded together. The weather was lovely when I hung it out! The storm came on suddenly and lasted about 20 minutes.

By contrast, here is a photo of the same verandah after it rained mud on 26th September 2008 - taken the next day when the mud had dried to dust.  The dust coated the table, the boards, the plants and everything else in sight. I was out in car in the "rain" so the car, too, was coated in mud. The dust comes from out west of the State - pity the poor farmers losing such good topsoil, carried away on the winds and dumped on poor unsuspecting cities and towns. We don't need it but the farmers certainly do. Unfortunately we have been getting this a few times a year since the drought began several years ago. Rain like this does not help anyone. We had a wind storm only last week which also deposited lots of dust - inside as well as out. The weather had been glorious in the 20s C on the day so the front and back doors and some windows were open. I am still trying to get rid of the dust. The TV screen was completely coated.

We do have beautiful weather here too....  More photos next time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New beginnings

This is my first post on this blog. I don't know how it will go but I thought I would try it out. I have a miserable cold and this was something I could do sitting with my laptop in front of Midsomer Murders on the television. Perhaps not the best reason for starting a blog but my reason nevertheless.

Quilting is my passion after my family and friends. I first learnt in about 1982 or 1983 - I do not now remember whether I attended Pam Tawton's beginner classes before or after the birth of our 4th child and only son; probably after. I made my first quilt earlier than that though - before the birth of our first daughter in 1986. It is a simple 9 patch with eye spy seersucker. It was bagged and turned through then quilted by adding ric rac braid to the seams with a zig zag stitch. Very basic but actually quite effective. My second quilt was also made about this time - a whole cloth pram quilt using a printed heavy cotton curtain fabric. Both quilts would have been made with remnants I picked up cheaply and sewn while I was at home waiting for our first child to be born. I was very pleased to find both of these quilts recently while clearing out, along with quite a few baby clothes I had put away from when my babies were little. My youngest is now 26. I have just realised I don't have photos so will have to get the camera out when I am feeling better.

Enough babbling for now. I hope I haven't bored you all out there in blogland :)