18 December 2016

18th December

17th December
Well our life has been really busy and not always for the happiest 😦
So what has been happening????  Well quite a bit.
4th November We spent three nights in Cecil Plains whilst making our way up to Caboolture to get the van serviced and on the 7th November we moved on to Kumbia ( a little village south East of Kingaroy) and spent two nights there in a  low cost camp at the Apex Park.  Toilets and showers ($2 for 3 minutes hot water) and if you get in quick enough (which we weren’t 😀) you could hook up for power at $1 per hour.  The first night her we met some lovely people from Toowoomba who were making their way to Bjelke-Petersen Dam for a Combined Caravan Clubs of Queensland Christmas meet.  A lovely couple named Brian and Wendy Wisley and his friends Allan and Faye McCalman.  Brian does lovely Australian scene paintings and it turns out that Allan is a cousin by marriage of my Aunty Pat Pendrick.  Allan’s Uncle Heuy married Aunty Pat’s Mum and Allan lived with them for a few years in his early teenage.  Such a very small world that we live in.  Darryl and I hope to catch up with them all again later next year.
9th November we moved on to Kilcoy for the night.  The council have re-done the camp spot at Anzac park and there are now no powered sites available and the huge tree in the back corner, near the creek, has been chopped down.  This helped with no bats at night but made for a hot time in the camp ground as not much shade available now.
10th November we headed down to Caboolture and handed the van over to Daniel and Mick and went to visit our friend Marj who was camped up at a free camp 20kms away.  It was so good to see her and her dog ‘Daisy’ and catch up again.  We have met in some out of the way places but it is always a pleasure.
We did not get the van back until after three as they found that one of our solar panels had a large crack in a top corner and most of that panel was out of action.  Because leaving Caboolture at that time would have put us into the peak-hour traffic heading out of Browns Plains – we decided to camp the night at Caboolture showgrounds.  It was a fairly warm day so when we arrived – the Air conditioner was cranked up and we had a lovely cool evening. 😀
11th November we headed out to Jimboomba and arrived about lunch time. Was great to be there when the grandchildren arrived home from school.  A busy time with the family over the weekend.
15th and 16th November we had doctors appointments and then on the evening of the 16th November we went to Beaudesert State High School to witness the presentation of the Year 12 Certificates to the graduating co-hort – all 270 of them!!!!!

  17th November was the Year 12 Formal and Bradley wore a lovely white suit with Black pants and black trim on the jacket.  He was accompanied to the ‘red carpet’ at the Golf Club by his girlfriend – Ashley – and she was dressed in a lovely white dress with black polka dots.

  Because Ashley graduated last year – she was not permitted to go with him to the celebrations at Movie World on the Gold Coast.  All those graduands attending were bused to the coast and back again – arriving back in Beaudesert just after midnight before they headed off to their ‘after parties’.  Brad went to one not far from home where all who attended had to have an I.D. on and paid a small fee to cover the jumping castle (yep – I know 😀) and the security team and all were back at their own homes by 7am.
 Brad and Beckie

19th Beckie, Darryl and I whipper-snipped, mowed and trimmed the yard.  It took us all day and we all got just a tad sunburnt – but got it all done.
22nd –  We started out the day remembering my Mum – who got her Angel wings on this date in 2013.  I attended a meeting of the Jajari Jimbaljin women’s group and we all had a great day weaving.  Was so good to be back with my fellow weavers.  That night we went to the ‘Summer Concert’ at Jimboomba State School and listened to Gemma play the Flute and the Violin and Max played the Cello. It was a very pleasant evening.

 Max concentrating

Gemma ready for Violin
 Gemma receiving her 'Most Improved' medallion for Flute

24th Darryl and I travelled to Park Ridge and had a lovely dinner with our friends Karyn and Peter. The night always seems to go so fast but we will have to do it again sooner rather than later.
Gemma had her swimming carnival today and came third in couple of the novelty events – but wasn’t happy that she didn’t place in the ‘official’ events.  We told her to keep trying.
25th Max had his swimming carnival and came home with two massive blisters on his feet.  One on the sole of his left foot up on the pad and one on his right little toe.  Both kept growing for a week before the burst of their own accord and began to heal.  He has no knowledge of HOW he got them and all we know is he went to school without them and came home with them.  A mystery.  No wonder the poor boy couldn’t walk on flat feet. 
 Blister on his left foot once it had popped 😒

We had a busy weekend with the children.
29th I was off to another meeting of the Jajari Jimbaljin Women’s Group.  It was a great day again and we were preparing for the Christmas party next week.
This weekend the children were going to their Fathers.  So Beckie and Darryl and I did a lot of cleaning and packing and getting them ready for their house move on Wednesday.  The reason for this move is known to most of the family and more will be able to be divulged later next year.  BUT at the moment all I can really say is that they were moving. 😞
On the 5th December we started the day remembering Darryl’s Mum who got her Angel Wings on this date in 2010.
6th  Darryl and I left early to go to Wellington Point to attend the Christmas party and lunch for the Jajari Jimbaljin Women’s Group. 

  A lovely day with great women and then we headed back to Beckie and the Children.  When we arrived we had to move and re-position the caravan so that the removal truck could come in next morning.
7th The removal truck arrived at 8am with three men and it took them 2 ¼ hours to put everything into the truck.  Bradley and I left the house and headed to Toowoomba to collect keys to the rented home so that we could be there and open up ready for the truck to arrive.  We got there at 11.30 and the truck arrived at 12.30.  Everything was in the house by 2pm and Brad and I ensured it was all secure before heading out to get some lunch and then head back to Jimboomba.  We all stayed at the house this night (Beckie and the children sleeping on the remaining bedding) and us in the van.  We found it easier to have take-away for dinner and then were ready to do the final ‘bond’ clean of the house the next morning.
Beckie had had to go to the School from 9 – 11am as the school presentations were on.  Max was presented with a Science award and Gemma was given a Senior Leaders Badge for 2017.  Unfortunately with her moving schools she would now not be given this badge.
8th the Bond cleaner arrived late (10am instead of 8am) but was all finished by 4pm.  The children were at school as they were having secret Santa’s and rewards day.  When they arrived home, Gemma came with us in the van with Bob the dog and Hulk, Misty and MC Norman (the cats) [MC Norman stands for Midnight Cocoa Norman.  He is a black kitten that has very strong chocolate undertones. 
 MC Norman when he arrived for minding

 snuggled up with his biological Uncle 'Hulk'.  MC Norman is the son of Hulk's sister 'Luna'.

Beckie and the children were babysitting him until an owner could be found but unfortunately that didn’t happen – so he moved with Beckie and the Children]. and we travelled up to the house in Toowoomba.  Misty was supposed to stay at the home with the very old and frail cat – Sparky – but Beckie was told that Misty was NOT to stay and she had to take her.  So she mewed ALL the way to Toowoomba and ALL night in the house.  She sounded VERY hoarse the next morning.
Gemma slept with us in the van and we started sorting out furniture, putting beds together, and putting boxes in their correct rooms the next day.  Max went to school on Friday (being the last day) and Luke spent time at their friends playing with young grandchildren.  On Saturday the boys were dropped to their father and Beckie came up to the house.  We all worked together sorting things over the weekend before Beckie headed back to Jimboomba to collect the boys and bring them up to their new home.  The children all get great joy out of hearing the trains tooting and going past.  The tracks are about 3 streets away.
The children are finding it a little difficult to think of neighbours being so close (they were used to 1 ¼ acres and now are in a suburban block).  The two younger cats have settled in nicely and Misty is settling slowly and Bob the Dog is settling also.   We went to the ‘Mister Minit’ and got name tags for all the animals – just in case they get out.  We have met some of the neighbours and the children love the fact that the three homes opposite are all lit up for Christmas.
16th We all went shopping – each adult with a specific child so that they could buy gifts for the others.  We even had to hide/camouflage the shopping so the others couldn’t see. 😀
That night Beckie and I took the children to see “Toowoomba’s Christmas Wonderland” in Queens Park.  Lots of lovely Christmas lights all supported by different businesses in town and also the Lion’s club.  Such a great display.

17th Beckie and the children headed back to Jimboomba for 2 Christmas Parties and Darryl and I headed for Taree.  We have made it to just north of Glen Innes for tonight and will head out again in the morning.
We will spend a couple of nights in Taree before heading for Condobolin for Christmas and then back up to Toowoomba in the New Year to get things serviced and our bodies checked out and pills dispensed before we head to Melbourne to travel to Tasmania for 4 months.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May 2017 be VERY good to all of us.
Lots of love

Barb and Darryl

04 November 2016

Campertrailers National meet and then on to the Australian Caravan Club National Muster

4th November 2016
Time has once again slipped by BUT now that we are in an area that has fairly constant internet access then I hope to be able to get this blog updated.
So we will go through the events of the past – nearly 2 months – since the last update.
On the 15th September Darryl and I left Jimboomba and Beckie and the Grandchildren (and BEN) and started to make our way to Ganmain for the Campertrailer Group National Meet.  We travelled as far as Inglewood and it rained most of the night.  Next day we travelled down through Goondiwindi and to Bellata.  We had to travel through 4 lots of water over the road before we reached Moree. 

  There was evidence of lots of ‘self-sown’ canola along the sides of the road.  We camped the night at Bohena rest area in the Pilliga South of Narrabri.

But the crops of Canola were spectacular

and so were the fields of DAISIES

On the 17th September we stopped at Dunedoo for lunch and then on to Gulgong Showgrounds.  It p’ed rain all night.  On Sunday the 18th I don’t think the rain let up at ALL.  We decided to go out and see the Henry Lawson museum and then from there to the main Museum (which takes up about a block) and then rain could be heard getting much heavier.  The original lady that greeted us was called home by her husband as the roads were started to flood.  We then went up to the BIGGEST and most diverse STACKS store that we have every come across.   A bit like a Dollars and Sense Store but MORE………  It is in the cellar of the store up above and is amazing.

 The store seems to go on forever :D

 Water gushing down the kerbing in Gulgong

 The depth of the water when we got back to the van

We stayed again at Gulgong as the weather was too inclement and lots of local roads were closed.  The next day – Tuesday 20th – we were informed that the road through to Sydney was clear and open – so we headed off down to Cowra. 
  The cause-way at Cowra had gone down by about 5 meters.  We were able to get through by the big bridge above.

  We stayed the night in the free camp opposite the information Centre and headed out toward Junee.  It had continued to rain all through the night and whilst driving the rain was almost horizontal.  And I think it was because of this that we had water ingress through the rear weather hatch.   We stopped off at Coolamon in the caravan park and waited until we were able to line up for the 10am registration opening on the 23 Sept.  We met up with a couple of other campers too.
Friday dawn overcast but dry, and  we headed toward Ganmain a whole 15 kms away.  We arrived just before 10am with about 12 other :D
We settled into our designated camp area up near the new toilet blocks, and watched as everyone else came in and got settled too.  The ground was very soft from the last 7 months worth of rain. Everyone was saying that they were SOOOO over it.  Needless to say we had more rain on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday we did a drive to my old home town of MARRAR

  The main Street and the Pub

 The Hall

 Uniting Church

 Fields of Gazanias

Sunday morning everyone headed down to the street for the markets.  WOW – great markets with lots of variety and no-one really complained about the rain. Whilst here I met two lovely ladies who were being taught to weave by the ‘Hands on Weavers’ of Wagga Wagga.  We arranged to meet up again on Wednesday.

  Some of the signs by the school children Welcoming the Campertrailer to town
 Campers and locals alike were out enjoying the day.  That night we had our Opening Ceremony and we had dignitaries from the Coolamon Shire there also.  I was busy weaving the base for a basket for Beckie during the proceedings and at the end of it a lady came running over to find out what I was doing.
  The base of the bag in progress
In the course of conversation, we found out that this lady was Margaret Fox (now Seymour) and the wife of the Shire Mayor.  Margaret’s Mum and my Mum had shared the same room at the Nursing Home in Wagga.
Over the next few days we had lots to keep us busy with information sessions, ‘Stitch’N’Bitch’ for the ladies. An Auction night and a Trivia night.  We had a community day on Wednesday which started with a  breakfast cooked b the men’s shed (thank goodness we were under cover as it was still raining).  Darryl and I did a trip to Coolamon and visited the new Coolamon Cheese and a couple of the other shops down Cowabbie Street (the main street). 
 Some photos from Coolamon cheese

 It was lovely catching up with Annette and Kim (weavers) when they came out to the van and spent the afternoon.
On Friday we had the Closing Ceremony at 4pm.  Unfortunately because of the continued rain, quite a few people had already left.  But we raised a substantial amount of money for the Show Trust as well as the Advance Ganmain Committee and the Men’s Shed.  That night quite a few of us headed out to the pub for dinner and whilst we were there the rain was torrential.  :C  So much so that Boggy Creek in town had come up to almost flooding level.
 boggy spot

ooops needing a tow out of the bog

Boggy Creek up again

Saturday we managed to get out of the showgrounds at about 11am – after watching many others nearly getting bogged.  We arrived in Wagga at about 2pm.  Daylight saving started that night (still not a fan). Went up to the Coffee Club on Monday to meet up with the two weavers (Annette and Kim).
We continued to have lots of rain over the next week and lots of roads were closed and some of them major roads.  All the areas that we wanted to go and see on our way to the Australian Caravan Club’s National Muster in Shepparton – were flooded.   So we decided to stay in Wagga with family and head off the day before we were due to Register in Shepparton.  
I finished the bag for Beckie

We met up with Cathy and Ted Roberts (who managed to find a dry spot to stay and get their shopping done) and then on Thursday 13th we headed off and met up with Marie and Wayne Adams, and Penny and Dennis Hynard at Uranquinty and then met up with Cathy and Ted again at Casey’s Weir near Benalla.
 Casey's Weir

  The foam just after the Weir.

We all headed off from Casey’s weir on Friday 14th and arrived for check in at about 10.30am and were all shown to our designated sites.   There were over 200 rigs camped on the Shepparton (Yorta Yorta Country) showgrounds for 10 nights.  Most of them arrived on the Friday 14th and left on Monday 24th.
  All set up :D

On Sunday 16th October there was a Market held at the showgrounds that was open to everyone.  Unfortunately there weren’t many stands (again due to inclement weather) and minimal outside traffic. 
 My Table

some of my stock

The program was full of tours and information sessions and we were kept very busy for the whole week.  On Saturday Darryl and I managed to get out to see Lesley Collis and her lovely family for a few hours.  It was great catching up with them all.  Sunday 23rd October was the closing ceremony and drawing of the raffle.  Unfortunately we were not the recipient of any prizes.  Over the week the ACC had raised near $56,000.00 for the Showground trust (in site fees alone) and almost $300,000.00 for the community.  A very BIG well done to all who were there.
Monday 24th we pulled out of Shepparton after receiving a parcel that I was expecting (more craft material) and then we headed out toward Howlong NSW.  The flood waters had gone down and we wanted to see the Whisky and Chocolate factory at Corowa.

 Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory
  We were disappointed – as this is only a chocolate factory :C  They DID distill whisky in May 2016 into barrels BUT it will be another 2 years BEFORE it is able to be tasted and drunk.   So off to Howlong we went and camped on the banks of the Murray with our friends – Chris, Cathy and Ted, Penny and Dennis and Marie and Wayne.  A lovely evening and it was amazing how much the water had dropped the next morning (about 12” or 30cm).
 Murray River at Howlong in pm

 and zooming in on the sign next morning, you can see earth :D
Tuesday four rigs headed off toward Cootamundra – up the Hume highway and stopped at Holbrook for fuel and then on to Dog on Tuckerbox (lunch)

 and then on to a rest area just south of Young.  We had about 8 other campers with us.
Wednesday we headed off to Gulgong and camped the night in the Showgrounds.  Everyone took the opportunity to top up with water, recharge big items and enjoy a shower where you didn’t turn off the water constantly.
Thursday 2 rigs headed out to Willow tree via Coolah, Premer and Quirindi and the other 2 stayed to investigate Gulgong before heading out via Merriwa, Scone and Murrurundi to Willow Tree.  We were arriving here for the official opening of the Willow Tree Recreational Ground Freedom Camp on Friday Morning.   The camp fees are $15 per night with power and water, showers and toilets.
 part of the camping area

 our set up

 part of the crowd

 The official Opening

 It is right on the main Northern rail line and there are lots of coal trains on this line.  Each time we counted the ‘trucks’ there were 82 of them being pulled by 3 engines.  We would wave to the drivers and also to the passengers on the Brisbane train whenever they went past.  We had had three days of NO rain and then at 4pm the skies opened and poured for about an hour – so once it abated everyone came out for happy hour and I sat and completed my latest basket.
The opening on Friday went really well and I was interviewed by the Channel 7 local news and I have been told that I was on screen for about 10 seconds during the aired interview.  After the opening was completed about 7 of the vans left and left 2 of us to sit back and relax.  We were joined about 2pm by another van.  The campground is situated right next to the Bowling club so we all headed off for dinner, which was quite nice.

Saturday 29th we vegged around the vans and I completed my sewing craft from Shepparton
  2 sets of Christmas Placemats using Chicken Scratch Embroidery

 and then on Sunday we went to Quirindi to do the shopping and take our friend, Chris, out to Wallabadah to the Memorial to the First and Second Fleets to Australia.  It was a bit of a shame that the grounds needed attention, but lots of campers were taking advantage of the camping available here also
Monday 31st we were going to leave but wanted to pay a visit to Nundle first.  They have working woollen mill there that was great and then after lunch at the Mount Misery Gold Mine, we went up to Hanging Rock and Sheba dams before heading back to Willow Tree.  We arrived back at 3.30pm so stayed another night.

Tuesday 1st Nov we said good bye to our friend Chris who was heading to Newcastle to visit her family, and we headed up to Manilla  to visit with our friend Sue and her lovely Mum.  We had a great catch up and a fantastic Lunch and then watched the Melbourne Cup with Sue and her Mum.  At 5pm we headed off and got to Barraba for the night.
Wednesday 2nd we went to Bingara (did the shopping) and made use of the dump point before travelling on.  I was not too good – had a pain behind my eyes, doing my ‘dance’ and feeling quite unwell.  Darryl kept driving and we arrived in Texas QLD and out of daylight saving and then I slept for about 4 hours.  My ‘dancing’ had stopped but the pain behind my left eye was still there whenever I coughed.  We spent two lovely nights at Texas.
Friday 4th we headed up through Millmerran (Got some more milk) and then up the track to Cecil Plains.  We are going to camp here for 3 nights before heading towards Caboolture to get the van serviced.

So there you have it.  Most of what we have been up too.