Sunday, 15 January 2017

Going For a Paddle

As we had nothing pressing to do today, during the week I suggested to Mick that we should take his kayak out for him to have a paddle somewhere. You see, he's had it for about three years and used it about three times, and not at all in the last couple of years. The next question was where to go? That I left up to him, and he decided that Oberon Dam would be nice. Whether or not any of this took place was then in the laps of the weather gods, hopefully not too hot or windy.

Those gods were looking down on us, as today was cooler than last week, and next week it to hot up again. Oberon is also quite a bit cooler than Bathurst, so off we set.


All ready to head off for a paddle and maybe, by sheer fluke, catch a fish.


Oberon dam, or "Lake Oberon" as it is now known, is a really pretty spot. We drove out here a while ago to have a look see in anticipation of some paddling. The good old blog archives tell me it was back in October 2014, and it has taken all this time to actually get here. You can check it out here.

There is a bit more water in the dam this time. However, it was somewhat greener last time we visited. I'll show you a few comparisons.


2014 - Nice green paddocks around the rocks.


2017 - It must be summer.


2014 - Notice the rock just behind the tree and the tree stump down closer to the water's edge.


2017 - Notice the rock at the water's edge and the tip of the stump out in the water. That gives you an idea on how much more water is in the dam this year.


When we visited last time there were no amenities, but now the access road is much better and there are loos and picnic tables. A sign advises that all this took place in 2015.


So, what did I do while Mick paddled? Just a little hand stitching. It was lovely and quiet, just me, sitting in the shade under a tree, with a slight breeze in the leaves and the occasional bird singing. There were a few other kayaks on the dam, but they'd taken a picnic to have somewhere else.


There were a couple of blokes just a bit along the bank fishing. They didn't have much luck there.


Another couple of blokes came back to the car park with a nice little haul of red fin.  


Two dogs came to visit the dam with their owners. This fellow "Bob" was quite happy sitting in the water and would not obey any commands to go back to the ute.

After Mick had had enough of paddling (no, he didn't catch anything, just had a couple of small bites) we headed back into Oberon to get some fish and chips for lunch.  


I noticed a rather quaint letter box on the way back into town.


We sat in a park we haven't visited before "The Town Common".  After we had finished eating we went for a bit of a wander.  They seem to be doing quite  a bit of work there, improving the facilities with new barbecue areas and exercise machines. The centre piece is a small lake.


We were quite taken with the pictures set in the Local History Wall.


And finally there is a floor in a gazebo decorated with scenes from the district, including the Oberon Dam.


I think the poem in the middle of the floor sums up the town nicely.  Sing it to the tune of  "I am Australian".

Another nice day, exploring somewhere close to home. Oh, and I think it even fits in with my "Reconnect" theme for the year.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Looking Forward to 2017

It has been interesting reading how people have looked back on 2016 and then looked forward to 2017.  Quite a lot want to shut the door on the old year and never look back, while others have had a wonderful year.  

Ours was a bit of both.  Nothing terrible happened, which we are very thankful for, but there were some rather stressful times. 

The Stressful

Firstly, and obviously, moving house.   We both packed and moved what seemed like a million boxes, however, the actual moving day was left to Mick.  It is much simpler if I go to work and stay out of the way, then come home and start unpacking boxes.  

Secondly, Mum moving to the retirement village in August.  She is now is a one bedroom unit.  It has a nice sized living/dining area, but still it was quite a task to minimise her possessions.  I kept telling her to "be realistic" when deciding what to take and what to leave.  (Poor Mum got sick of hearing it.)  Then Mick would tell me to be more ruthless, which I struggled with.  This was all then repeated in November and December as we did the final clear out for the sale of the house.  

Thirdly, my work was crazy busy over the last six months, peaking in December, when everything else was happening too.  It all got a bit much at times.

The Good

This certainly outweighs the not so good, although it didn't seem like it at times.

We had our lovely trip to Tassie.

We moved into our nice new to us home and started to make it our own.

We collected our new caravan and had a relaxing week travelling home.

Seeing Mum settled in her new unit.

Looking forward

After a week or so at home over Christmas everything seemed to settle down.  So what for the next year?

As I have said earlier, hopefully this year will be a bit calmer.  No moving house, Mum settled, our yard sort of sorted.

Last year I did a blog post entitled "Am I Biting Off More Than I Can Chew?" with my goals for the year.  The simple answer was "Yes". I don't want to make that mistake again.

Lots of people have a word for the year.  I've usually thought that was definitely not for me.  However....there were about a dozen of us here for a New Year's Eve get together.  Some of our guests have been friend of ours for a very long time (over 30 years) and we don't see enough of them, mainly due to their lives revolving around their families.  Now their kids are independent there is more time.  

After reflecting on our evening I this year I think I have a word......

RECONNECT

After a hectic few years it is time to reconnect with friends, things we enjoy doing, just being with each other. When you get down to it, that is why we moved back into town in the first place.

Here are a few thoughts I've had.

READ  MORE BOOKS  Maybe one a month. I used to always have my nose in a book, but that seems to have been replaced by screen time.  We have a bedroom full of boxes of books. We have to go through them to see what we have and decide which to keep or donate.  I think I may have to read a few before they go.

EXPLORE  This is definitely going to happen.  We have another trip planned for later in the year and we always like to go exploring our local area either on the bikes or in the car.

CREATE  Well, that is pretty obvious.  I have so much sewing that I want to do.  UFOs are high on the agenda, but I don't want to jinx myself by over committing.  

ORGANISE  There is still much to be organised and decluttered in our new home. Hopefully I can make some serious progress this year.

NURTURE  I'm not quite sure what I mean here.  Jenny from Elefantz refers to "Gentle Domesticity".  I think that kind of covers it.  More cooking, gardening and home making.

NEW EXPERIENCES Who knows what they will be.  That's something exciting to look forward to.

ENJOY the company of good friends. It is time to rekindle old friendships and spend more time with all our friends.

CARAVANNING  Well, we bought it.  We'd better use it.  It will be nice to get away occasionally.

TAKE TIME  Once again, this is a bit vague.  Maybe it is to smell the roses?  Maybe make a quilt? Maybe be super organised and efficient (as if)?  Only time will tell.

I hope I haven't bored you too much with my ramblings.

It will be interesting to look back at the end of the year to see if any of these wishes have been achieved, or if we continue to be crazy busy.

Here's to a wonderful 2017.









Thursday, 5 January 2017

2016 in Review - Part 4

Here is the final installment of 2016.  I find these summaries quite handy to look back on, so here goes.

OCTOBER


Firstly, we continued on our trip back from Melbourne with our new caravan.  We enjoyed visiting Hay.


I continued to work away on my sampler blocks.  Sadly, these are the last two that I have completed at this stage.  There are five more to do, plus I want to make one more so that I can  make a square quilt to suit our bed.  


Mick got the vege gardens all done and planted as well as getting the paths gravelled.  He was so happy to have no more dirt in the yard.  The garden continued to bloom.


At the end of the month we visited the open gardens, as we do every year and were inspired to keep working in our yard.

NOVEMBER


Not a lot to show for November.  Mick put the finishing touches on our gardens, and it is so nice to now be able to enjoy them.

We went over to Gulgong to the Swap Meet, playing the tourist at Sofala and Rylstone along the way.

I completed and sent my SSCS gift to Marica in Sweden.

In the background we were working hard to get Mum's house ready for sale.  It kept us quite busy.

DECEMBER


We had fun decorating the house for Christmas and putting up some fairy lights.


My SSCS parcel arrived from Steffi in Germany and I made a Christmas place mat for Mum.


On the day after Boxing Day we went for a drive.  I'll do a separate post on that shortly.

Which brings us to the end of the year.

Last year I commented that we had done much more than we realised.  This year I feel exactly the same.  We are really pleased with what we (okay, 99% Mick) achieved in the back yard.  There is more we want to do, but there is no urgency now.  I had forgotten so many of the little things, the fun things.  We also realise why we always seemed to be busy....we were.

Hopefully, 2017 will not be quite as hectic, and we can enjoy our new home and get to use the bikes and caravan a bit more, but who knows.  I'll tell you in twelve months time when I do the next wrap up.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2016 in Review - Part 3

We continue with the review of the last twelve months.  I'm finding it rather interesting looking back.

JULY


It continued to rain and the Macquarie River reached minor flood levels, and covered the low level bridge.


In the middle of all the wet weather Bathurst held its Winter Festival over two weekends. Amazingly, the weather was fine for both evenings.

Mick continued with his shed, pouring a slab to park his trailer on.  It never made mu blog at the time, but we had a little garage sale......on what turned out to be one of the wettest, bleakest days we had.  We didn't do very well, but got rid of some things.


We escaped the cold weather briefly, attending the Macquarie Towns Classic Bike Rally at Windsor.  We took the scenic route home, via the Putty Road and Bylong Way.


I kept up to date with my sampler blocks, made some coasters and caught up with the ironing....quite a feat.  

And that is about it.  It must have been winter.

AUGUST


And even less was blogged about in August.

We didn't go anywhere!  It continued to be wet, with the bridge being flooded again.  Mick pulled the old box to bits and it is now hanging on the wall.  We had a stunning rainbow one morning and it was so joyous to have a blue day.  Having the daffodils come out is always a nice, bright sign of warmer weather ahead.  I threw out my old school books, after checking out my childhood writing. I made one block for the sampler and a secret block for Shez's birthday quilt.

SEPTEMBER

Once the weather started to warm up we seemed to come out of hibernation.


I made some cheerful tea towels.
I still kept up to date with my sampler, Mick built the vege gardens, it flooded once again and we went for a drive to see all the wet landscape. ( I hadn't blogged about this at the time.)


I also hadn't blogged about our garden coming to life.  It was so colourful.


The Bathurst Blog Meet was a great weekend with the girls.


The highlight would have to have been our trip to Melbourne to pick up our caravan and our trip back home with it.  Despite the inclement weather we had a thoroughly enjoyable time and saw so much.


It was about now that life got a bit hectic in the background.  I didn't blog about it at the time, but Mum moved into a retirement village in August.  She is 87 and doing pretty well, but she could not keep up with the garden or the large house and is having a few health issues.  Nothing serious, just niggly things.

It was a hard decision and a hard job to downsize from a family home she has lived in for 38 years and the garden she loved to a one bedroom unit.  It has a nice sized living area, but still so much had to be let go of.   Things have been sold, donated, brought home by us and my brother and a lot tossed.  

She is settling in well and her house has just been sold.  It is going to be a family home again, with people she knows living in it. They have retained some furniture.  My bedroom will be a little girl's room, complete with my dressing table and wardrobe.  A happy outcome.

 All of this has been a focus of the latter part of the year for us. 

There is just one more part to this review, before I look towards the year ahead.

More soon.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2016 in Review - Part 2

I'll continue with my review of the last twelve months.  I must say I was amazed at what we had done in the first three months. If you had asked me I would have said "Go to Tassie and get ready to move".  So much I had forgotten....that is why I blog....apart from meeting some great people along the way.

So, without further ado, onto the next three months.

A lot of these things weren't blogged about at the time, but in later catch up posts.  I wonder why I didn't seem to find the time or inclination?  Maybe I was just plum tuckered out?

APRIL



Considering we had only just moved house we were out and about quite a lot.  Mind you, it is the busiest time of the year for happenings in our area.  Firstly, we assisted with marshalling for the National Ariel Motorcycle rally.  Then we had a day out to visit the Springwood Quilt Show. We headed down to Sydney again, this time to kick tyres at the Caravan and Camping Show......only to buy a caravan...not what was on the agenda at that stage.  The Motorhome Club had their National Rally at Mount Panorama, so we went up and had a bit of a sticky.  Anzac Day rolled around once again, so we attended the dawn service and took Mum out to the afternoon service.  Finally, it was Bathurst Show time, with all its colour.  We discovered that our front verandah gives you a grand stand seat to the fire works.  Bonus.  It makes me tired just thinking about it all.  We were hardly ever home.



At home, things were happening too.  We watched our street tree in the dawn sky, the fog and on a glorious blue day, before it lost its leaves.  Our vintage mirrors found a home at the end of our hall and Mick trashed the back yard, making a start on his shed.  I haven't shared this picture of my sewing room before.  Bad isn't it.  Much is unpacked, but much isn't.

MAY



Wow!  I did some stitching.  Nature's Journey was completed, which I am so pleased about and it took a few minutes only to sew together my scarf, which saw quite a bit of use during the winter.



We ventured to Rylstone to have a stall at their Swap Meet.  We were delighted when a rally of Model T Fords turned up.  Lifeline held an Air, Bike, Car and Vintage Show at the Airport, which was a real treat for the city. Finally, it was car rally time for the Historic Car Club.  Never a dull moment around here.



At home, Mick was busy coordinating shed building.  It was finished at the end of the month, just as it started to rain....for our wettest winter on record.

JUNE

Things were a little calmer in June, but it is winter and we start to hibernate........and it was wet and dreary weather.



After having only completed the first three blocks of the HST Sampler, I got stuck in and caught up with the schedule.  Starting to look good.  I also made place mats, coasters and a coaster tray for our new outdoor table.



Mick had the driveway installed for the shed and put the tanks in place down the side of the shed, after a bit of maneuvering.



The highlight was snow in the area.  We had to drive to Sydney on the following morning.  The highway was closed, but one of the back roads was nice and clear and oh, so scenic.  It was a lovely drive.

And that's a wrap for the three months.  Things starting to settle down a bit as the days shorten, but still fairly busy.

More soon.