Friday, 1 February 2019

Grandkids,A trip away and Australia Day Celebrations.

Mostly in the Christmas school holidays we have our youngest daughter's children  come to stay here at the farm for a week as their parents are working and it's a great opportunity for us to spend some more  time with them.
This year as is often the case the weather was horribly hot for the whole week. We still found lot's of activities to keep busy, our daughter had sent along a few craft activities with the kids  which we usually did out on the verandah each morning. We found ourselves at the local pool most afternoons.
There is always great interest in the poultry and  they loved letting them out each morning, collecting eggs and locking up at night.
The tractor always is very popular and Pop has to constantly find small jobs to do with it that they can ride along with him.
Down in the orchard the pear tree had some fruit which wasn't fully rip but the parrots were starting to attack and destroy the fruit so we decided to pick it with the help of our grandson.
All we got was a bucketful of fruit.
I decided to preserve them into jars, but as they were under ripe, I thought I would   simmer them in a light sugar syrup before canning them into jars to hopefully avoid or at least downplay that under ripe taste  and I think we were  successful.
They will be a handy addition  to the pantry and we have already sampled one jar and it was good.
We did a couple of trips to the park when the weather allowed and our sweet new mother cat and kitten also proved to be winners, filling in many hours with their care  and attention.
Sadly we received  the news that a good friend who was also both of  our  daughter's Brownie guide leader has passed away, so we reorganized our plans a little and met both our daughter's in Newcastle to attend  the funeral service, before  taking the children home to Wollongong.
After spending the night in there we headed off the next morning to Brian's sister and Brother in Law's home in Goulburn.
 They have bought a beautiful older period home and have lovingly restored it, keeping many of the internal decorations  in keeping with the age of the home. They have done a wonderful job.
I especially love the round glass porthole windows that match beautifully with  other lead light single and french doors throughout the house.
In his spare time our brother law likes to restore cars and his last 2 pet projects have been this beautiful old Mini Cooper and Ford Falcon. They are beautiful and from the early 60's, he is very proud of them.

We had a wander around Goulburn, a coffee in the famous  Paragon Cafe and lunch out to celebrate a belated 70 th birthday  to Brian's sister.
We also had a wander around a lovely nursery and bought a few  small bit's and pieces and while there spotted this gorgeous metal dragonfly sculpture.
Brian's sister is a keen gardener and  This wonderful healthy chain Of Hearts was hanging on the back verandah.
There are hedges  along the driveway and hidden among them are little cut out pockets where friendly little meerkats , frogs, owls and others  hide and pop their heads out. I found them very sweet.
We had a lovely visit, staying two nights before heading towards home.
We travelled up through Crookwell and were totally amazed at the large number of wind farms  in the area.
I love this old bridge we pass over ,
We had a good run home,stopping in  Milthorpe  for morning tea  and Wellington for lunch.
Now that we arn't travelling with a dog it is easier to take time to stop a little more for  leisurely breaks along the way.
After we returned home  it was into Australia Day  weekend, our older daughter and the three grandkids came to visit for a few days.
It was horribly hot and so we tended to be out back in the mornings, early cuppas and breakfast nearly always eaten  out on the back verandah and then move in as the temperature rises.
Our littlest man found the dishwasher and had a great time .
This year as in the past we had volunteered to help with the Australia Day arrangements, our little town has the 7 am time slot which is  brilliant as we  have our ceremony early and can escape the heat of the day.
The afternoon before we (The Progress Association volunteers) went in to help the Men's Shed boys move the tables and chairs from the local school to the park ready for the next morning.
There are some wonderful volunteers in our town but sadly the average  age of all these groups is about 70 years, there is a major lack of young people stepping up to the plate, there are a few and they are wonderful and are doing an amazing job , but they are few and far between.
The next morning we were into town around 5.30 am to  set up.
The  Park is beautifully maintained by The Men's Shed boys and it looked a picture as usual.

The Orbital Swing Band from a neighbouring town always generously volunteers their time to come and play at our ceremony, They have been doing this for well over 10 years and are a great bunch of musicians  who are a pleasure  to listen to.
This year in our  Volunteers Service Award ceremony they were  presented with a certificate of appreciation. Our Australia Day Ambassador this year is Katryna Robinson, an It recruiter with over 20 years of experience  who founded a company called "Every Little Bit Helps", which  sources, packs and distributes care packages to the  homeless and people in need. In over three years the  company has distributed over 25,000 packages.
There were several other  presentations to worthy volunteers  who have given generously of their time over many years.
There were also some presentations of grant  money to a few of the local groups from the council.
The Mens's Shed, The Progress Association and The Show Society.
There was also a presentation of appreciation to our Australia Day Embassador Katryna for her gift of time to come and speak to us and help  with the presentations.
At the conclusion of the official part of the morning, the Progress Association ladies served tea/coffee and Juice and the ever ready Men's Shed boys cooked up a  tasty barbeque breakfast for the crowd.
This social part of the morning is wonderful as we get to catch up with people that we only see occasionally.
What a great "Breakfast In The Park" it was,
Congratulations to Everyone that  received a very well deserved award, they have given much of their time and energy to our small community and continue to do so without wanting or asking for recognition. It is people like these generous hard working people that make our small Australian towns great, no matter how small they are.
We all need to take a look around and see where we too can step up and volunteer in some capacity.
I hope you all enjoyed your Australia Day Weekend as we did,
Take care  until I catch up again,
Cheers,
Jane and Brian.

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