19 June 2018

June 20 2018

Well the weather has turned icy here in Toowoomba ---- Yes I know --- just like everywhere else 😊.
We went out today to watch Mr 10 participate in his School athletics events.  He did very well in the discus and the Long jump.  Unfortunately he didn't place in them BUT he participated.
Thursday they will have their track and field events.  The wind today was making it very difficult for the discus throwing as it was moving it backwards, rather than forwards.

I have had a great time this semester teaching the students at the Primary school with coiling weave.  Some have 'run' with it and others have struggled a little but each and everyone of the young girls have persevered with learning this skill.
 all enjoying their weaving sessions

I was also asked by the High School to teach their year 8 and 9 Indigenous girls with the coiling weave.  We also did string bags.
 string bag making

 concentrating

coiling weave

I had a really great day teaching four ladies how to do the coiling weave on the 2nd June.  The time just flew past.  The ladies managed to make a small bowl each in the five hours and requested another day, so we are having another session on the 7th July and there are currently 11 women booked in to do weaving.  Should be a great day.
 Weaving with Raffia

 Concentrating hard on coiling weave

 My students and their work

We met up with Ben and Brad for Bradley's birthday on 11th June.  It was a lovely evening and the meals we had at Ashmore Steak and Seafood were huge.  I think we were full before we even started
 contemplating his Fettuccini

Can I fit in that Seafood basket????

Nice Steak

   my grilled fish was HUGE


Darryl is good.  He has a review with his cardiologist in July.  We went out to Hogs Breath for his birthday on the 14th June

I am off to the immunologist this Thursday to see if he can shed any light on whether he thinks I do have Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR).  My muscles and joints have improved greatly with the prednisolone - so will await his impression.

In September we will be heading to Western Australia for our Australian Caravan Club National Muster at Denmark (on the south coast).  From there we will head to Perth to visit family and then make our way up through the center of WA [hopefully see some wildflowers] and hopefully catch up with more family before moving on to Darwin to visit friends and Darryl's relatives before heading to Wagga Wagga for Christmas.

I also have been booked in to teach four 4-hour classes of weaving to the children, at the Child Safety group here in Toowoomba, in July school holidays.  That should be great as well.

 kits in preparation for weaving and string bags


Ben has moved stores with Woolworths and is now based at Helensvale on the Gold Coast as the Grocery [?long life?] Manager.
Bradley is moving into his second year as a baking apprentice and still loving what he is doing.
Beckie and the children are settled in Toowoomba and all doing well.

 coiling weave basket with twined handle


 twined basket base using flax and raffia and lomandra

24 May 2018

may 24 2018

Hi everyone
We are busily looking after our friends home in Toowoomba.  We have had some quite cool nights but no frosts as yet - even though the weather people keep predicting it.
I have been busy doing weaving with the primary school students and for 6 weeks I am teaching the grade 8 and 9 students how to make string bags and also how to start and do coiling weave.

I am holding a weaving day in Toowoomba on the 2nd June from 10am to 3pm.  I currently have 3 people coming so it will be a very personal class - at this stage anyway.

Today I had the pleasure of watching the 'Arts' faculty at the Harristown High School have their inaugural performance - and it was good. Miss G was in a skit from Matilda about the 'naughty children'.
The students are also doing a play over the next three nights called - The children of the Black Skirt.  It is about an orphanage in Australia and the scene we saw today was quite thought provoking.

Went to the movies on Saturday - for the first time in months - and saw the documentary on the life of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. A great musician and a great insight into this man and his culture.  If you get the opportunity to see it - I think you would enjoy it.

Hope you are all keeping well.

10 May 2018

May 10th 2018

I tell you time just flies by soooo quickly these days.
We have finished farm-sitting for friends at Groomsville (near Crows Nest Qld) and have moved into Toowoomba and are assisting friends by House-sitting their property whilst they travel.
It was lovely being out on the 40 acre farm and helping our friends Sandra and Tom.  Mr Puss would come to the van every morning about 6am and meow on the step.  He really enjoyed the cuddles every couple of days.  I think he was really missing the company of Miss Pippy (the kelpie) and any human contact.
In town now and looking after this fine property until the end of June.  Whilst here I am helping the indigenous students at Harristown State School and teaching them coiling weave.  We have a great group of 10 students and we talk about aspects of weaving, gathering and community during our 3/4 hour session each week.
Today I had the pleasure of working with some year 8 and 9 students at the high school and showing them how to make a string bag.  The girls grasped the technique and were making good headway within the hour.
I have been doing quite a bit of weaving and have been asked to do an adults class - so this is in plans for the 2nd June.  Fingers crossed I get some participants πŸ˜ƒ.  I will have raffia and some grasses for people to weave with.
Beckie and the children have settled into Toowoomba.  Ben is currently over in Thailand with his cousins Julie and Dan and Aurra.  Having a wonderful time.  Once he returns home he is moving stores with Woolies.  He is leaving Victoria Point and moving to Helensvale.
Bradley is into his second year apprenticeship as a baker and still at Helensvale.
Darryl is doing ok.  His hand tremors are worse when handling plates but he ignores it 😦.  His legs are so much better than they were in January 2017.  He wears his compression sock every day and the doctors are very impressed with their current condition.  Hopefully this will keep his cellulitis at bay.  He still loves to play his computer games until midnight when he has access to 240V power.  Otherwise he reads - a lot.  His Kindle has about 700 books on it.
I have been diagnosed with ?polymyalgia rheumatica [PMR].  There is still some query as to whether this diagnosis is true - so have been referred to a rheumatologist - whom I will see in June.  The pain in my upper body muscles and hips have improved by 85% since starting the Prednisolone; and I am now able to change position in bed, pull up the covers; re-position myself in the chairs without feeling like my body is going to explode; get things out of my trouser pockets and I can get up and walk without all those little dolly-steps.  So I am feeling much better in myself and will have to await review at the end of June.
The weather is finally starting to cool down in Toowoomba but it is still so very dry.  Hopefully we will get a wet winter to help during the summer.
That is us for now......

27 January 2018

Jan 27th 2018

Hello Everyone.
We have had a busy start to the New Year.
After Christmas with the grandchildren we travelled to Kalbar for New Years with our members from Caravan Club - and we had a fantastic time - albeit very hot with afternoon torrential storms.
We left there on the 3rd of January and travelled to Armidale to spend time with a distant cousin - Helen Nancarrow.  What a wonderful hour and a bit that we spent with her and we hope to go back and spend some quality and quantity of time with her.
From there we travelled as far as Glen Innes and spent the afternoon beside the Beardy Creek and watched the trout swim by.  Darryl didn't get the rods out as he wasn't sure what licence he needed and didn't want to have the fisheries men catch him.
The next day we travelled to Walcha and had a lovely couple of hours wandering the town and did some grocery shopping before travelling out of town to the rest area and met up with Mr and Mrs Hart - parents of Tim Hart the golfer.  We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and early evening with them before heading in at 8pm to prepare dinner.
On the 5th January we headed down the windy road to Wauchope and pulled in to the Timbertown RV stop for a 4 night stay.  Whilst here we visited Darryl's Mum and Dad at the Innes Memorial Garden and cleaned their headstones and filled them in on what was happening with the family.

We visited with Uncle Max and Aunty Kath and then on the 7th we helped Uncle Max celebrate his 90th Birthday with friends and family.  It was a lovely luncheon and then back tot he house for a few quite beers and some nibblies before returning to the van.

Monday was not a good day for me with my Meniere's rearing its head and I spent most of the day in bed with the air-conditioning on.
Tuesday we left Timbertown and headed down to Taree and caught up with Shirley and Neville and the family. All are looking great and are well.  Sam's little girl Lucy is meeting all her milestones after a little rocky start to her life.

Amanda and Ally and Mark are living with Shirl and Nev until they can get a place of their own.
John, Kiarna and Noah are going great and are expecting a new family member in late June/July.

We then travelled to Grafton and spent quality time with Amanda and Peter and saw Jared and Alyssa over the weekend.  It was a great three nights and fantastic spending time with them

Monday we headed back to Queensland and arrived at Groomsville about 3pm and set up at Tom and Sandra's farm.

 We are looking after the farm whilst Sandra and Tom have commitments in Victoria.
We have spent time with the grandchildren and witnessed their first week back at school.  They all seem to have enjoyed it.  Miss G is in Grade 7 at High School,  Master M is in Grade 5 and Master L started Prep.  Bec starts back at Uni next week.

Ben is still with Woolworths in Victoria Point and looking forward to a holiday in Thailand in May with Julie, Dan and Aurra.  He is still planning a trip to the Octoberfest in Germany and then on to the USA with Bradley for next year.
Bradley is still doing his Bakery Apprenticeship with Woolworths at Helensvale and awaiting his assessment by the Apprenticeship Board to progress to second year.

Darryl and I will be at Groomsville until about 10 Feb and then returning about 26th March to caretake the farm until the end of April/early May.
I am also going to be teaching some local school students basic coiling weave during this term.  I am hoping to be asked back to the Spinners, Weavers and Dyers group for another session also.

We hope that you are all keeping well.

27 December 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hi Everyone
Hoping that you all have had a very Merry Christmas with family and friends.
May you all have a very Happy and a prosperous 2018.
Hopefully next year i will be able to be more productive with keeping the blog updated.
Love to all from Barb and Darryl

08 December 2017

8June 2017 and onwards..

8 June onwards
We have had a very busy time over the past 6 months.
We have had several times where we have helped our friends by caretaking their small property at Groomsville out near Crows Nest in Qld.  This has been a very nice rural setting and still enabled us to visit the Grandchildren in Toowoomba. 

The family have just had to move rental homes as the owner of the one they were in, wanted to renovate and sell.  They are now in a slightly smaller home but it has a much better yard for the children and “Bob” the kelpie.  The cats are settling in.  We were really lucky as Ben was able to come up and helped with the loading of the heavy stuff onto the truck and after two loads the family were moved in.  Beck has been spending the last week, unpacking boxes and getting them settled in.  The new house is less than a kilometre from the other house and the children can still go to their current school.

Miss 11 (I am using the monikers that their Mum would prefer, as she says the children can make their own cyber imprint when they are old enough) Graduated from grade 6 this week and is off to High School in the New Year.  She has had a great year participating in the schools Indigenous Dance Group and performing on many important local occasions.  She hopes to be involved with the High School group also.
Master 9 did exceptionally well in the schools swimming carnival with achieving AGE Champion.  Bec said that considering he does NOT regularly swim, he did very well with breaking 4 of the school swim records.  He loves to play Soccer and participated in the inter-school competition held in term 3.
Master 4 has thoroughly enjoyed his time in Pre-school and has loved the Introduction to Prep in term 4.  He is getting excited about going to the same school as Master 9 next year.  All these young children are growing tall and will soon out-do Nanna.  Nothing new in those stakes.

Mister Bradley is doing his Bakery Apprenticeship through Woolworths and is awaiting the apprenticeship assessors to come out and do his on-site work assessment, so that he can move up to Second Year.  He is living with his Uncle Ben in Eagleby as it is closer to his work place.
Ben is still with Woolies and is at the Victoria Point store.  He and Brad have plans for travelling overseas in 2019.  Will let you know more details as this progresses.
Bec is continuing with her Teaching Degree and hopes to complete it at the end of 2019.  She loves doing the 'prac' component and gets very good reviews from her preceptors.

Darryl and I are continuing to travel in the van between caretaking bookings.  We really do love caring for this small acreage.  
We still haven’t decided on a FINAL place to reside – so until we find THAT special place, we will continue to do what we are doing.

I have just finished  two weeks of teaching year 6’ers some weaving.  The school has asked me to come back next year on a weekly basis to instruct some grade 4,5 and 6 students for the first half of the year.  We will decide about the rest of the year after that.
I also did a day instruction to the members of the Toowoomba Spinners, Weavers and Dyers group which was well received.  Some of the ladies would like me to go back next year.

Last week I informed people that I have started a Facebook ‘Shop’ for my weaving.  This was at a suggestion from Bec and many other people, so that I can sell my weaving instead of just hoarding it in the van. The Facebook page is:- Barb’s Weaving  with the hashtag @barbsweavingsite  as I photograph more items for sale I will post them. 

We are off to Port Macquarie in January to visit family and then on to Taree to visit Darryl’s family.  We will also stay with our great friend in Grafton before returning for some more Caretaking.


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

08 June 2017

27 May to 8 June and back on the BIG island :D

Hi all
We had two quietish days at the Blue Wren Tea Gardens at West Ulverstone before leaving and lining up for the ferry on Sunday 28th may.  We arrived early in the line and then went and had a lovely coffee at 'Fifteen Tables' just up Murray street from the terminal.  We were through the checking process and lined up for 1 1/2 hours before being permitted to drive on to the ferry.
We were warned that there was going to be lots of rain and rough seas on the crossing with a 30knot wind.  Well - they weren't wrong.  We had our cabin [which was cabin 7 right at the front of the ferry] and I went to bed at about 10pm and then I rocked and I rolled (and I think I counted every wave we crested) until at 3.32am we arrived at the Port Philip Bay heads - the rocking stopped and we travelled at a sedate pace - but alas, there was no sleep for me.  So up, showered, bags packed and then in search of coffee.  Very thankful when the pantry opened at about 5am. [The staff member in the Pantry suggested that next trip we request a cabin towards the middle or back of the ferry as the ups and downs weren't as bad] Everyone was woken at 5.45am and breakfast was ready to be served to those who wanted it, and then we all waited to be called to access our vehicles.  6.35am we were driving off the Spirit of Tasmania 1 and back onto the BIG island.  By 7.50am we had made it to the Shell Service Centre on the Hume Fwy (M31) and were awaiting our hot breakfast, and then we travelled to Casey's Weir at Benalla.  The windscreen on the car kept fogging up as it was COLDER in Victoria then what it was in Ulverstone πŸ˜•The phone was telling me it was -1C degree and we had had +4C degrees in Ulverstone.
We arrived at Benalla at 10.30 am and Darryl and I went for a nap as neither of us had had sleep overnight.  We slept for just over 3 hours and then we got ourselves organised.
We had a couple of COLD nights out by the weir where we awoke to find ice on our hatches and VERY cold water dripping onto our heads.  On our second night at the weir we were visited by fellow ACC members Marion and Bob from the Sydney City Slickers.  Was so very good to see them.
On the Thursday 1st June we travelled into Benalla and checked into the Gateway Lifestyle Van Park and prepared for the ACC Border Hoppers Muster.  We met some lovely people from around the Wagga area and also some from northern Victoria.  We said our farewells to them all on Sunday morning at 9am and headed for Wagga to meet with family for lunch.  We arrived in Wagga at 12.30pm and set up outside Jenny and Peter's home and had a nice lunch before having Lyn and Charlotte arrive.  Was lovely to see Meghan, Jason and Jaden also and to get messages from Pauline and Kayla.  Had a great dinner that night with Nanna Fulmer also.
Off the next morning and travelled to Condobolin to see Ian, Wendy and Holly.  We didn't rush as we knew they were at work, but had a lovely evening with the family.
Tuesday morning we were off again, up through Narromine to Gilgandra and up to Coonabarabran.  Between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran the engine, in the car, began to 'miss' beats. 😟 so we stopped at Coonabarabran Caravan Park and contacted our mechanic Paul.
We got a fuel additive yesterday morning (thinking that we had picked up some dirty fuel at Gilgandra) and continued on our way.  We had hiccups along the way but once we got new fuel at Bellata, the car didn't miss a beat UNTIL we were nearing Pittsworth (just south of Toowoomba).  We limped it to Beckies Place and had to wait until this morning to contact Paul again and he referred us to Diesel Care in Toowoomba.  They were great - we took the car straight to them and we picked it up again at 2.30pm.  We have a new fuel filter and a secondary fuel filter as well and fingers crossed the injectors have not been affected.
So our plans are now to help care for the children whilst Beckie is doing her teaching prac [high school English and Science] before we have to take the van to the Gold Coast to get the damage [from our incident in February] repaired.  The repairers will need the van for a week.