Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another day!

Today the tiredness set in - I woke to rain and thought about staying in bed. I have however made a commitment to a friend to participate in a personal training session each Tuesday - I didn't want to go.

I was lucky in that the weather eased for a few hours and we managed to have our group on the patio - there were 8 of us, including Elizabeth and me. I like this idea - we do a mixture of boxing and exercises. We have been concentrating on improving our stomach muscles.  Well, what muscles are those?  I lost mine about 21 years ago when Elizabeth was born. So when the trainer talks about pulling in the transverse of the oblique, I just laugh - I don't think I have those.

So at the end of week 2 - I am still doing well. I manage to keep up with the class (most of the ladies are a good 10 years younger than me & much fitter), so I hope it helps.

No photo I am afraid - maybe in a few weeks, when I begin to look good again - I will let Elizabeth take a photo of me in my workout clothes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The camera makes the photograph?

This morning I was awake at 4am - Cleo decided she had had enough sleeping.  So by 6am I was up & dressed - it was a misty morning, so I decided to head to the river for a few photographs with my new camera.  I have been taking an hour in the early morning to do this and have some quiet time to myself - what a treat.

Anyway here are some of the results - taken with my new Canon EOS 600D digital camera.

Australian Native Mina bird in our garden

A spider web of water droplets

Lapwing Plover
 And this is one of my favourites - I am titling it - Don't cry for me!

And these two have to be Beauty and the Beast  (Beauty above - Beast below)
 Another great Duck close-up
 I loved this feather floating on the water - I tried some creative editing to improve this photo
 and again in this one!
 And finally as I was walking up to the car - this little fellow kept hopping in front of me - as though to say - please take my photo - so here is the Magpie Lark.
I am loving my photography again - after a few years of using point & shoot cameras that almost made me give up photography.  My frustration with the results was huge - so many out of focus and the colours just horrible. 

I hope you enjoyed the birds.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day Two and a successful weekend

First of all I want to say thank you to my amazing daughter Elizabeth - she was the motivation and driving force behind this garage sale.  Her dislike of clutter, forced the issue and her constant help over the past 10 days has meant that we have achieved miracles.

Sarah, although 8 years younger has been amazing; she has helped every day and I am so proud that at age 13 and a complete hoarder - she has finally relinquished many of the toys that she was hanging onto - despite having grown out of them.

Matthew, your muscles, strength and endurance have been invaluable over the days as we have moved and carried boxes, tables and set up for the sale.

Today we have beautiful weather after the rain of yesterday - although it was Sunday - we still had a few buyers which was good - and over the two days made almost $1000 profit - not bad :)  Now the stuff that we didn't sell will be donated to a wonderful local charity - The Ipswich Hospice.

And on that note - I want to say thank you Mum - you are wonderful - your energy & enthusiasm puts us all to shame & your organisational skills make everything run so smoothly.

Matt helping to pack up

Sarah saying farewell to some special friend.
And now for the highlight of the day:

My Dad - a very special man.

Exhaustion had set in, we were all getting a little cranky and we couldn't think what to do next. Dad was looking through a few of Matthew's shirts to try on and the next thing (with Matthew's help) he came out of the house to show us an outfit that he loved and wanted.  Well, we all just burst out laughing - none of us could do anything. So hopefully, this last photo will give you the smile you need on your day.  Dad you are wonderful!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Garage Sale Day One

Our morning began really early - well it really started yesterday with us setting up everything and then overnight it began to rain . . .

Luckily we have a wide front porch/verandah/patio so nothing got wet, but as I lay awake at 2am listening to the rain - I realised that numbers may be down a little.

We were all up at 5am to set up and get ready, expecting the 'dealers' - but there were very few of them. I think the GFC - is even effecting them.

Still we enjoyed each other's company and soon a steady stream of customers began.

 Despite not wanting to sell anything, Sarah did an excellent job - she is the consumate sales person showing no signs of anxiety, shyness, or nervousness - she chatted to adults & children alike. Working hard for most of the 7 hours of the sale.
 It drizzled with rain all day - luckily no wind - so everything stayed dry - and we need the rain, so it is a blessing.
 This photo of me, shows how tired I feel - oh dear!

 And finally, the sales team!
 At 2pm our cut-off time, the heavens opened and it began to pour - we managed to get everything covered in plastic and roped off and now at 4pm, I am bathed and sitting editing photos and typing on my Blog
Tomorrow is Day Two and if we do as well as Day One - it will be a great weekend.  If not our local Ipswich Hospice Charity will be receiving a huge donation of items to sell.   Whatever, way it works, I will have de-cluttered my home and sorted out many possessions that I no longer need.

Now all we need tomorrow is a little sunshine and heaps of customers!

Friday, August 26, 2011

You Know you are Tired When . . .

If you have been following my Blog, you will know that we are preparing for a HUGE garage sale.  It has been almost 2 weeks of hard, daily work to sort, price and today layout a large number of items. Selling starts tomorrow, even though we have already made around $200 - so am excited.

Today however, I discovered how tired I really am!  I took Elizabeth out to an appointment, and decided to get out of my tracksuit pants, work shirt and trainers and get a little dressed-up.  I felt really nice.  We were a little early, so decided to treat ourselves to breakfast.

Well, I was standing in the queue waiting to order and I happened to look down at my feet . . .

I couldn't believe it - there was one brown shoe and one black shoe.  They are the exact same style and my most comfortable shoes . . . but, both pairs sit next to each other on my shelf.  My walk-in-robe is dark, unless I turn on the light and this morning I was just too tired.  To be honest I didn't even think about it.  So here I was in the middle of the shopping centre.  I started to giggle . . .  I couldn't stop.

I walked over to Elizabeth and asked her what was wrong with my feet, at first she couldn't see it and then, she too joined in the giggles. Well, that was my day!

So next time you are really tired - please check your shoes!

Smiles are pure happiness

Today I thought I would post a few special photos of smiles.  What is it that makes a smile so valuable? It lights up your life, the face of the person giving it and the heart of the person receiving it; even when it is not given to anyone in particular - it is just wonderful. I hope you enjoy these smiles.

 Such a feeling of joy - when you celebrate your 73rd birthday
 A peaceful smile

 A smile for a new haircut & braces
 Mother & daughter smiles and finally just something to make you smile along - our Cleo

So today share a smile, share some happiness - thanks to Matthew Ferry who inspired me to write this post - choose to share some happiness today, choose to smile.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some photos of our Garage Sale preparations

 We decided to get creative in our display of all the clothes we have for sale - this is just some of them. They are all such good quality, and this way we hope that people can see them and buy.

 Not only did we work all day again on the garage sale preparations, but we also did our first personal training - boxing/stretch class yesterday - hence the exercise gear.  It was great fun, but my body knows all about it today.
 Our garage in a mess - it is filled with toys and boxes - most of the stuff is marked and now we just have to move it up to the front verandah
 And this is the section I am proudest of - our Sarah loves cuddly toys and we have managed to persuade her to part with some of them.  After many years of tears and fights, she has conceeded that she has grown out of some of her toys.  It is sad for her to say goodbye to many of the memories, but now she is ready to move on and allow some other children the joy of them all.
More pics to follow on the day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Too Tired to Type

Excuse the alliteration (T...T...T...T) - couldn't resist :)

I am sorry I haven't been posting again, but I am really tired.  For the past 5 days, Elizabeth and I have been preparing for our HUGE GARAGE SALE.  We are going to go all out on Saturday and Sunday and try to get rid of 7 years (probably more) of accumulated (much loved) junk. 

We have toys (that the children have owned since birth) clothes that I have owned since then and books, games, puzzles, etc, etc, etc.  It is going to be massive; but of course it all needs sorting, pricing and getting ready for the 2 day push.

Whatever isn't sold is going to be donated to charity, so on Monday or Tuesday next week, I will have a far emptier house.  We are long overdue for a serious declutter.

I have also realised that I hate fashion.  In the 'good old days' one would buy new clothes when the old ones wore out - then some 'idiot' invented fashion.  Now each season we are convinced to trade in perfectly good clothes for new colours and styles, when the old ones were just as good.  So my new motto is - I am going to keep my comfortable, good clothes and if I buy something new, I am getting rid of something old - instead of keeping it because it is still good.

I will take some photos soon of all our stuff and send you all some pictures from the sale days, but in the meantime forgive me as I wade through our possessions.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sarah's Home schooling poem

Yesterday & today I set Sarah some home-schooling poetry work, I love poetry and she used to write great stuff.  This is a great book, with exercises and challenges in different styles.

She enjoyed it so much that she asked me for a topic - I said 'Moving House' - meaning to move from one house to another, but my amazingly creative girl - did something very different - here is her poem.  Read through it all and you will get her meaning. Well done Sarah.

Moving House
By Sarah Adair

Speeding down the fast highway, is our house our home to stay
Bathroom, shower, toilet, kitchen;
a steering wheel in our home -  a car of steel
In the back is our room, a king-size bed for only two
Lamps, lights, all by gas; every house is not as fast
The house is red, with a lightning bolt
Sadly, but rightly soon to be sold

A fast moving house is good when you’re young
But now we are old and need to move on
Now a house, small and comfy doesn’t move like our old RV
Our house, white, on top of a hill
Just me - old Mary, and my husband Bill.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A few more Mt Glorious photos

We had three cameras working on our trip to the rainforest, so I thought I would post a couple of great photos taken by Sarah and also by Mom.

Mom took this lovely photo of the group of us, as we started on our walk.

 Sarah took this lovely photo of Mom and I.
 We decided that this tree needed to see if we could push this tree over - Grin ---- it gives some perspective as to the size of the trees.
 Another great photo of Elizabeth . . .
 a smiling one of me . . . .
 and this cheeky one of Sarah

What an amazing young man!

Last night was Matthew's semi-formal (Grade 11 - second to last year of school). It is a great safe evening for the kids, to let their hair down and celebrate. So here are some photos of my handsome boy.

 We had the traditional photo shoot, with our boy.
 Even standing uphill - I cannot believe how tall my young man is. I am a very proud Mum.
 I love you Matthew!
 Matthew and Elizabeth share a close moment.  Elizabeth was quite emotional seeing Matthew so grown up.  He has always been her 'little brother' and she said it suddenly hit her that Matthew was now a young man.
 And of course a photo with his 'not so little' sister. Sarah and Matthew had some fun, taking photos, but I finally managed to get this one that I could post :)
Granny and Grandad came up to see Matthew and have a photo taken, as well.

Matt's evening began at 6.30 with us girls dropping us off at Woodlands of Marburg - just up the road from us.  We all went to pick him up at 10.30pm - the girls didn't want to miss out on any of the gossip of the evening.  He was hoarse from talking and shouting, and had sore feet from dancing - hailing the evening a huge success.  His school group had a table to themselves and they all danced the night away.  Matt had a chance to have a few professional photos taken, so I can't wait to see these. 

My baby boy is so grown up. I love you Matthew

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mt Glorious Forest photos

Check out the previous post for some amazing portrait photos taken yesterday at Mt. Glorious - I am so happy with them. But, here are now some actual forest pictures - Hmm, which ones to choose?

 Looking through all my photos, I realised that I had really focussed on the unusual and funky yesterday, so I hope you enjoy.

 There were lots of fallen trees, and I decided to take some photos of the insides - this one is amazing as it has been hollowed out completely and the light is shining through from the end.
 This is the root of the big tree that has fallen across the path.
 And this is looking down the gully, you cannot even see the end of the tree, it is so big.  It has also cleared the canopy and brought down some of the smaller trees, giving light to the undergrowth.
 I couldn't resist adding a 'people' photo!
 If Dad could have carried this large, heavy slab back out to the car, we would have - it would have made beautiful carving wood - although it is hardwood and I mean really hard wood - so maybe not.
 Inside another tree, luckily I met no residents - I love digital, as I just placed my camera near the entrance and let it do everything itself - no heads or hands inside.
 And to end a funky 'look-up' photo - one of the very tall trees.