A pain in the neck? I can help that.

 

neck warmerMy sister-in-law was visiting us recently and she has had on-going pain in her neck.  While she was here she purchased a neck-warmer to help alleviate the pain.  The neck warmer was filled with lupin seeds which are supposed to keep the heat longer than the usual wheat packs.  She discovered that the neck-warmer didn’t keep the heat for long at all.  I suggested that I could copy the pattern and make her one with wheat which I have now done.

neck warmerI think I may have filled the warmer too full but I will get her to try it and then remove some wheat if it is too full.

Kookaburra sits on the washing line

kookaburraWe have had a resident kookaburra for the last couple of weeks.  He has found a plentiful supply of grubs in the bed below the washing line.  He sits patiently on the line until ready to pounce.  There are many holes in the garden bed so he has obviously found plenty to eat.

We also have a group of satin bower birds hanging around the garden.  They are attracted by the berries on the lilli pilli and the Tuscan Kale.

kaleThe kale is getting shredded by the birds so we will need to make sure we get our share before it all disappears.

A chocolate treat

At the beginning of the month we had Mothers’Day.  It seems such a long time ago.  One of the presents I received was this.

chocolateMy children do know me well and my elder daughter sent this present to me.  My love of chocolate and my love of reading combined!

The book is a lighthearted romance along the lines of Chocolat by Joanne Harris.  We visit France in the story and there is plenty of chocolate involvement.

From the cover:

Christmas Livingstone has ten rules for happiness, the most important of which is ‘absolutely no romantic relationships.’

In The Chocolate Apothecary, her enchanting artisan store in Tasmania, she tempers chocolate and creates handmade delicacies.  Surrounded by gifts for the senses, in this shop chocolate isn’t just good for you, it’s medicine.

And then one day a stranger arrives at her front door – a dishevelled botanist seeking her help.  She really doesn’t need Lincoln van Luc to walk into her life, even if he does have the nicest blue eyes, the loveliest meddling grandmother and a gorgeous newly rescued dog.  She really doesn’t need any of it.  Or does she?

A lighthearted novel that was easy reading but be warned you need the box of chocolates to accompany this novel.

koko black

Sasanqua and japonica

We are almost in winter and the garden is still managing to show some colour.

japanese maple

The Japanese maple is starting to lose its leaves and we have had a wonderful show of blooms from the camelia sasanqua. You can see by the petals on the ground beneath the tree that there have been lots of blooms.

sasanqua

We have also had our first bloom on the camelia japonica.  This particular camelia reminds me of a waratah.  It is the camelia hybrid var. “Volunteer”.  It was named to commemorate the International Year of the Volunteer in 2001.

camelia japonicaThe banksias are also in bloom at the moment.

banksiaNature has  a way of cheering you up.  A wander round the garden always seems to lift the spirits.

How fortunate we are to have family

Family-is-like-branches-that-grow-in-different-directionsThe last few weeks it has really hit home to me, even more, the vital role that family plays in my life.  I already appreciated the fact that I have come from a large family and that I am very fortunate to have my husband and three wonderful children but the last week has made me appreciate that good fortune even more.

I am one of seven children.  I am the third youngest. One elder sister died before I was born so I didn’t know her but I know lots about her.

family

My little sister died recently. She had an auto immune disease and so the end was a release from her suffering but it doesn’t make it any easier for her husband and family to bear.

If joy can be taken from death then the remembrance service for my sister was full of joy. Joy at a life lived to the full and the joy she gave to others in the way she lived.  We had the opportunity to say our goodbyes and her children did a wonderful job of capturing the life of their mum in the words they delivered at the service.

The reason I mention family is the fact that sons and daughters along with brothers and sisters were there to support each other as were cousins, and my brother-in-law had his extended family and friends to help him in his grief.  A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.

Give your family members a hug.  Hugging speaks volumes.

joy and sorrow

Almost new kids on the block

On the weekend we had our monthly Metung Market on the village green.  I have blogged about this before but this time there were a couple of stalls that I hadn’t really noticed before.  It is a while since I have been to the market so maybe they have been there for a while.

Wombat Gully

One stall that really caught my eye was this one.flowers

I had a chat to the owner of the stall just to find out a little more about it.  The owner had moved to Metung two years ago and the flowers are the product of her labour.  She operates the stall with her daughter whom she said was the creative side of the enterprise.

flowersThe flowers that were on display had been beautifully presented and my amateur photography doesn’t do them justice.  There were beautiful little posies which were ideal for children to buy for a couple of dollars as a gift  for their mum for Mothers’ Day.

Wombat Gully Flowers

It is so nice to see a local enterprise making a go of things and I wish them every success in their endeavours.

Another stall that was new for me was one that was selling Soy Candles and melts.

I didn’t take any pictures of the stall but the candles were very reasonably priced and the scents were delightful.  My sister-in-law and my brother bought me some melts for my burner.

Candles

 

Almost floored!

concrete floorWe are in the process of having our kitchen, family room and hallways re-floored.  The previous covering was carpet and tiles and both were looking very dated and the carpet was well worn.

We have chosen a laminate floor and we have been through the process of having the tiles  and carpet lifted.  The carpet was easy but boy what a mess when the tiles were lifted.  The floor had to be ground back to the concrete and there was concrete dust everywhere.

wood laminateWe now have a floor ready for the wood laminate to be laid today.  There will be a bit of paint touching up to do when it is all finished.