31 August 2015

Fun at the Farm

Got back yesterday from a lovely visit to Harry's Grandparent's farm. The weather was beautiful and the wattle smelt amazing. Spring is definitely in the air and it was exciting! I had a lovely time wandering around the farm, just me and my camera, while the boys were off feeding horses and helping Pa with the daily tasks of being on the farm.

 Harry got to go out collecting firewood with the new toy chainsaw his Daddy brought home as a surprise recently. He pitched in, cutting and sawing, then collecting chopped up bits to go in the trailer. He looked so sweet with his little ear muffles on. He felt very special and just a little bit important I think!

It was also a weekend of wildlife. A new bird for the life list, The Double-barred Finch, a gorgeous little owl-faced bird. A Bearded Dragon that was accidentally woken from his hibernation inside one of the logs. Gave us all a bit of a fright when he popped out! Also a long necked turtle wandering across the road on our way home to the farm.. Harry was loving it!!

The evening was exciting too, with the largest moon I think I have ever seen rising up over the hill behind the farm. So beautiful! And soooo big!! Overall it was a wonderful weekend away and definitely recharged my batteries for the week ahead.. getting ready for market day on this Sunday!!

28 August 2015

Flashback Friday - Babyland General, Georgia

One of the more obscure places we have visited was the home of the Cabbage Patch Kid in Georgia. T'was a little surreal and just a wee bit strange! Just the sort of place I was hoping to see on my visit through America!!

If you grew up in the 80’s you may well be aware of how wonderful it was to get your first Cabbage Patch Kid. I remember looking at the wall of dolls in the toy store in the Venture Arcade in Penrith and the excitement I felt when I picked out my own kid, Renita Loveday Low!

So going to Babyland General in Cleveland Georgia was kinda like re-visiting that little girl I was when I picked out my ‘baby’. This was the site of the original cabbage patch that Xavier Roberts discovered! But as a 30-something girl, it also came across as really bizarre that this place existed. I had to stifle laughter..  a lot!
We entered the reception area and there was an older lady dressed as a nurse, stethoscope around her neck and all, who welcomed us to Babyland General and asked us to sign the hospital registry.  She seemed quite nice and explained to us how to enter the ‘nursery’. I thanked her and asked if it was ok to take photos.. ‘of course, the babies would love that!”..
o…kay.. *stifle giggles*
The place was quite overwhelming with the amount of crying babies..  speakers in the walls with baby wails going off! and loud mechanical sounds as cabbages moved to reveal newborn babies! Hilarious!

It was basically a big shop with a twist! The original kids were there behind glass.. and worth a fortune!

I did not leave empty handed and all the girls in the Durrant household will be very happy to see me when I return at Christmas ;)

22 August 2015

Sunny Day Painting

What a beautiful day. You can smell spring on the breeze and the sun beating down prompted sunscreen. Windows are open for the first time in months and I feel energised.. which also hasn't happened for months!

Harry and I spent the best part of the morning in the garden getting some painting done. We were out of his custom wrapping paper, so an arty day was overdue.
These sorts of activities, when it doesn't matter how dirty you get are the most fun! Nothing a bubble bath can't fix :)

20 August 2015

Echoes of the Past

This week we spent the day searching for a message from the past. Hundreds of years ago the Wiradjuri tribe had left their mark on the walls of an impressive area not too far from our home.

A magnificent and secluded area that took some sleuthing to find. No signs to direct us, just the instincts of Harry's PaPa who had visited this place once before. What we found was an ancient gathering place of the local aboriginal tribe. The walls rose up impressively before us and as we walked in we could feel the vibrations of the past and the importance of where we were.

Extraordinary rock formations, beautiful bird calls and wattle blooming. We scanned the walls for the evidence of the Wiradjuri people. When our eyes adjusted, there they were. Hand prints.. a reminder of how our planet should be treated, with respect and care.

So delicate and fragile, and so close to an area almost destroyed by 4WD vehicles and not far from where the local mine is having a devastating effect on the environment. I hope this place is only discovered by others who can respect the wonder and importance of history and nature. My wish is that these echoes of the past are still existing for Harry to bring his grandchildren to see.

17 August 2015

A Simple Act of Kindness

The other day we headed off to the train station to meet Harry's daddy after work.
As seems to be our little tradition Harry picked one of the little purple wildflowers that grow in abundance as we near the station. Every time we catch a train, he asks to pick one and every time I tell him to give it to the first pretty lady he sees. We have probably had this same little conversation dozens of times when he sees the flowers. This is usually where it ends. The flower either gets left on the train if it is even still in his hand when we board.

 On this particular day we arrived at the station and I had forgotten about the little purple flower until Harry spotted an elderly couple waiting for the train on the seat next to us.
'Mummy? Lady?' he said holding up his flower and then motioning to the elderly woman. I nodded and watched him timidly walk up and stand about a metre away from the couple. 'Say excuse me, Harry' I encouraged, which he did.
The couple looked confused and I explained that he wanted to give her a flower. Harry held out his hand and passed over the little flower. As soon as it had reached it's intended recipient, he came running back to hide his face as he hugged my legs.
Both the man and woman seemed so very touched and the gentleman told Harry that he had made her day!
I was so very proud of my little boy at this simple kindness that warmed my heart.
As we alighted from the train at our destination, we passed the lady who was still holding the little purple flower in her hand.

14 August 2015

Flashback Friday - Graceland

As it is Elvis week it seems appropriate to have this weeks flashback be to when we visited Graceland. What a great place!

Originally posted on August 20 2010 over here
(images are not working so well on certain devices.. if this is the case for you, click the above link to read!)

Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

Wow! What a place and what a man! I have been reminded about why I was fond of Elvis in my teens and The Boy has a new-found respect for the King! So much Elvis but not as tacky as I was expecting!
I honestly thought Graceland was going to be a garishly, tacky and vulgar amusement. But my goodness! I would be so proud to have that place as my home. The decorating in the house was not short of awesome! We were both blown away! It was just so cool and surprisingly understated. The rooms were not very large, but then again at the time Elvis bought it, they may have been! It seemed he put all his money into cars! He had so many (very cool) cars it was a little over the top (Ah! There you are Elvis!)

We spent over 4 hours immersed in all things Elvis, wandering around Graceland and its grounds as well as some exhibition halls on the other side of the street, adjacent to our accommodation, The Heartbreak Hotel!
The Heartbreak Hotel turned on the tack as if to compensate for Graceland’s lack of! Elvis pictures everywhere, the  Kid Gallahad Fitness Room, 24hr Elvis channels (3 of them!) and a giant screen playing concerts down in the bar, The Jungle Room! Did I mention it was on Lonely Street? hehe
Here’s my boy letting out his inner Elvis in our room..

Another trip highlight for us both :)

12 August 2015

8 August 2015

My Creative Space

I am the type to work in a state of chaos. I tend to spend the first 20 minutes either cleaning up or hunting for what I am looking for. Organisation has never been my strongest trait and I actually feel comfortable in cluttered spaces. I am far from minimalist!

Luckily I have a loving husband who understands this (sort of) and has allowed me my own room in our home to do with what I will, in exchange for turning a blind eye to the fact that we have climbing ropes hanging from doors and other rock climbing paraphernalia scattered about the house.. but I'm getting sidetracked..

The reason for this post is that love to see other people's creative spaces and thought I might share with you mine.

7 August 2015

Flashback Friday - The Grand Canyon

Today is 5 years to the day that we set off on our adventure across America living in our beloved Chevy Astro, Toby.
We don't do as much travelling these days, so I thought I might have a little flashback every now and then to past places I have visited.. some I will be drawing from an old blog of mine like this post. 

original post date : August 24, 2010

What goes down must come up!

Day 1.
I am writing this blog entry from the very bottom of the Grand Canyon, but will be posting it when I reach civilization again! If that does not impress you, it should, because it sure impresses me! But wait til tomorrow, the 15.3km hike out of here is going to simply astound me! the 11.3km hike in today was tough enough! Going down hill for that long, sure puts a strain on the ol’ legs! Took about 4 hours!

We have set up our tent and now are relaxing after a refreshing soak in the creek. (It’s about 35 degrees) The temperature got warmer the lower into the canyon we got. It was interesting to watch the vegetation change on our descent. The leaves became broader to soak up more sun.
Sitting here taking it all in, there is an abundance of wildlife. Butterflies all around! One just landed on my finger.. a snow white moment! Love it! And the cheekiest of desert rock squirrels is stalking our camp – he’s already had a chew of my back pack while my attention was turned the other way! I’ll be glad if we don’t see all of the wildlife though, there is something called the Giant Hairy Scorpion that lives around here. Sounds awful!
Down her in the inner canyon there is an excavated Hopi Indian Kiva  and we are off to a ranger talk in an hour about the first inhabitants of this very secluded  area.

Day 2.
It was difficult to sleep due to the heat and the thought of the following days hike out! But we headed to bed early with the fly off our tent so we could watch the stars and the dozens of little bats flying around the night sky.
We awoke in the middle of the night to a mule deer nibbling at the bush next to our heads. The closest I’ve been to one! It was too exciting and I had trouble getting back to sleep.
The alarm went off at some ridiculous hour and we were packed and heading out just as light started to seep into the the outer canyon. We wanted to get some miles under us before the sun really woke up.
Our legs had stiffened over night from the hike in and the first part of our walk out had me very nervous indeed! But sure enough as the walk became a climb, new muscles were introduced to the Grand Canyon!

The first half wasn’t too bad and we made the half way point by 8.30am.  I was pretty chuffed. We rested a little and felt a bit rejuvenated. This feeling didn’t last long! The sun was getting hotter, the legs sorer and the terrain steeper! Suncream and sweat was dripping off me and I just felt awful.
The closer to the top, the worse it got! (& the worse we looked) And annoyingly the more people we encountered heading down looking all fresh and lovely.

Unlike the hike in, I forgot about the scenery (except at rest points) the camera battery died on us on the way out but i was unlikely to use it as we just looked so dreadful! (Kind of a blessing in disguise!)
When we finally reached the top, 7 1/2 hours after we left, the feeling was awesome! I am very proud of myself although I can hardly walk and my shoulders ache like crazy (did I mention I was the water bearer??) Without a doubt, the hardest hike I have ever been done and so so satisfying!
Though the canyon is Grand from the rim, I would never have realised how deep and intricate it really is and how much it plays with perspective if we hadn’t ventured to the inner canyon!
One of this trips biggest highlights so far! Though my legs don’t agree! :)

5 August 2015

Cosy Cubby

As I have talked about before, cubbys and forts are quite popular around here. Especially as the cold winds and rain of winter has kept us a little more house bound than we would have liked! Yesterday I made up a little canopy we can drape over the couch to create a little hideaway to watch TV, read and generally snuggle up..

I gave Harry his first taste of it this morning and it has been greeted with much enthusiasm.. He's been reading to Woofy and keeping a 'lookout' through the see through butterfly material in the back!

The day outside is very bleak but we may brave the weather for a little walk and some fresh air a little later. However, while the temperature outside is at 1.8 degrees, I think we might stay inside this cosy cubby and read some more!!

4 August 2015

Market Day!

Another wonderful day at Blackheath Community Markets on the weekend..
Though the wind felt like it was going to cut me in two!! I can't wait to enjoy the warmer months at this lovely place! 

The people I have met there have been truly lovely and very welcoming. It came at the right time for me as well, after feeling some pangs of loneliness last week in what I still consider to be a new environment and home. Being the stay at home mother of a little one can be a very lonely experience at the best of times.. but when friends are far away, it adds to the isolation. After this weekend, however, I feel more positive with where I am and feel I may have met some new friends.

Harry and I spent yesterday doing a spot of op-shopping and visiting my favourite fabric store. Both practices are also very good for the soul. I have been sewing up a storm this morning, creating a new play space for Harry. Still some minor adjustments to be done but I hope to share my creation on here tomorrow.

Luckily I can guarantee Harry will pick my spirits up too.. most of the time ;) Here's a lovely little shadow I stumbled on this morning before breakfast!