Friday, August 31, 2007

Father's Day, Sweet Memories & some tears

We have Father's Day this coming Sunday and I got to thinking while I was doing the dishes this morning.

John & I both have lost our Dads (& my Mum too). My Dad, Frederick (Fred) passed away almost 17 years ago, aged 89. He was in his mid forties when I was born, I was the last of eleven children. He was born in 1901. As you can imagine, he had a very tough life, coming from a not very well off family. His Mother was in a Mental Institution from the time he was 2 yrs old, Dad didn't even know she was alive until she passed away when he was 15. What can possess people to keep things like that a secret from children. He & his brother Gordon were mostly raised by his Maiden Aunt, Ida who, by all accounts, was an unloving woman & a strict disciplinarian. His father, it seems, couldn't cope with raising the 2 boys. He did have a couple of sisters, who he completely lost touch with.

He married my Mum, Minnie, when he was 18 & she was 17 and they raised all those children, through the Depression years when there was no work and Dad did all sorts of jobs, even chocolate making, to feed everyone. After the 2nd World War, he learnt a trade, Blacksmithing, which then became Welding and when he retired from the work force, he was one of the best in the business. He also had a wonderful singing voice, won many talent quests and I often think, if times had been different, what he could have been.

He was at times a hard father, but I always knew he loved us. I helped him through some tough times after Mum died 27 yrs ago, they had been married almost 60 yrs. He lost 2 children (& I lost a brother & a sister) during those 10 years. He carried me though some tough times after my divorce and thankfully, was around to see John & I marry 5 yrs later. This pic is of both our Dads at our wedding reception/party in my neighbours back yard, my Dad is on the left.

John's Dad, Edwin (Ed) passed away nearly 4 yrs ago, aged 86. He was a country boy from Victoria, he also lost his Mum early on and the family was scattered about. He came from a large family and fortunately, they managed to all keep in touch with each other over the years.
He was a train driver for most of his life and a heavy smoker for a lot of it and this resulted in him developing Emphysema, which eventually put a strain on his heart.
He & my Mum-in-Law lived in Queensland, and fortunately John had gone to visit them, because his Dad had been ill. His Dad had a massive heart atack that weekend & passed away in John's arms.
They were both wonderful, hard working men and loving husbands & fathers, grandfathers & great-grandfathers & we miss them very much.

RIP - Safe in God's arms. Happy Father's Day Dads, we love you.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sunny days, flowers, and butterflies

Today was absolutely the most gorgeous sunny day, not that I saw much of it. I was catching up on housework and taking pics for ebay, so mid afternoon I took my shadow, Maddie, around the garden for a walk with a cup of coffee (just me, not the dog, she's giving up caffeine). I took my camera with me, that's getting to be a bit of a habit now, never used to be. Finally sat myself down on our very shabby old garden seat in the back corner of the garden. We have some gorgeous African Daisies & an Abelia hiding a little compost heap up there. It's very sunny right up until the sun dips really low.
This is my mini camellia I planted last year, "Fairy Wand". Just falling over with flowers.

This is some gorgeous Iris, which haven't flowered the two years we've been here, but decided to this year. I think they like the drought. There's some lovely forget-me-nots sprinkled in there too. There's millions of them coming up in the garden, they seed like crazy.

A pair of butterflies, just the regular old Copper Browns, fluttered in amongst the daisies. Those daisies must be really sweet, because they kept coming back. Not only that, I lost count of the times one of them flew around me, across me and even alighted on the seat next to me several times, long enough for me to take a couple of pics. I've heard that it's really good luck if a butterfly flies in your Aura, so I must be the luckiest gal in town right now!

I still can't believe he/she stayed put long enough, I'm sure it knew I had a camera - lol. Anyhow, it is now an internationally travelled butterfly, in it's too short life, courtesy of blogger.
Hugs, Coll :-}

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Memories, Memories

Last week I bought a gorgeous old framed floral print on ebay, by a favourite painter of mine, Albert Williams. I have a beautiful HUGE print of his roses in my Lounge Room, and when I saw this one on ebay I had to have it. Only small, but gorgeous. So I bought it.

Ok, so today I decided to take the frame apart, clean everything up and paint the frame, which was black. Behind the print was all this old newspaper, from January 1964. John & I had a great old giggle about some of the articles, brought back lots of memories. So I thought I would share them with you. This is the colour the newspaper was, I didn't want to change it.

Oh, my goodness, how would the poor nurses feel if they had to wear that headgear these days.

And don't you just love the old ads. They were for some airconditioning system, but who would know. Love the headband.

I'm going to put it all back when I reframe the print. Who knows who will find it one day.

Hugs, Coll :-}

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Finally, Sunshine, Yippee!!!

Today we finally got some sunshine. This weather is insane, it rains like crazy until all my plants grow webbed feet, but it still doesn't rain where they need it most, in the country. Our farmers are still doing it very tough and that, of course, is pushing prices up on everything. But as usual, it isn't the poor ole farmer who gets the loot, it's the big chains of Supermarkets who keep getting richer and the farmers still struggle on the land. Our fresh food etc keeps going up in price and you wouldn't mind if the money went where it should. Same the world over, I suppose. Still, it stinks!

Anyhow, back to the sunshine. I worked last night and was really glad to get home today so I could get out into the garden in the sun. Had a wonderful time, pulled weeds, planted some more lavender and some primula (pink & white, of course) and gave lots of things a good feed, as well as the snails. I know, I know, they are God's creatures too, but could God ask them to please not eat my primula.

So when I finally stopped and sat in my favourite old cane chair in the sun to have a cuppa (and a chat on the phone with Shannon), I couldn't believe how beautiful the late afternoon sun looked coming through the boughs of my gorgeous flowering cherry, which is set to burst into beautiful blossom in a few weeks. I took some pics and I am amazed at how the camera picked up the light as the sun sank lower, especially in the last pic. Just like a rainbow. Moments like that, you just know there is a God.

Hugs, Coll :-}

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My pretty kitchen window

Did some re-arranging in my kitchen yesterday. I have this huge window, which looks out onto my garden, with a nice window sill, which is just perfect for putting stuff on. Pink stuff, of course. My kitchen is all blue, it's old and shabby and I just adore the French Blue. Painted by my darling Shannon when we moved in here 2 years ago. It was the most repulsive timber stained yuk you can imagine.

Anyway, I have hated the curtains since we've been here, pretty lace, but cream and just a bit either side. Very nothing.

So, through the week I had to get some other curtains out of lay-by (will post them when they are up), so I shouted myself some new ones for the kitchen.

What a difference. Gives it a whole fresh new look, I get more light in, as it's on the shady side of the house, and I can see all of my garden, even if it does look a bit dreary at the moment, rain, no sun forever, and just about at the end of winter.

Not only that, now I have lots of stuff on the window sill too.

Could probably get more on there maybe - lol. I "need" some more pretty salt & pepper shakers. I now have 3 sets around the kitchen, is that a collection starting?

Ok, gotta go, working this weekend. Taking my guys from work out for a drive in the country for afternoon tea today and I get to pick up some pretty purchases from ebay at the same time. Pretty good eh.

Hugs, Coll :-}

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Garage Sale-ing & To-die-for Mountain Homes

Iwoke up early this morning and it was so nice and sunny, I decided I may as well get up, have a cuppa with DH before he went to work and then toddle off up into the Mountains and go Garage Sale-ing. Lots of beautiful old homes up higher, gorgeous gardens. Even in winter they still look wonderful, a bit like England really. So I did a bit of driving around and sighing enviously as well - lol. You've gotta love the pink house. The other is called Maple Lodge. Sorry the pics aren't great, they're out of a local real estate book. I, of course, forgot my camera this morning. As you do.

So I got to the garage sales finally. I have no idea why we call them that, very odd. I think in the States they're Yard Sales, aren't they? Anyway. I got some great bargains. Lovely old & very heavy flower shaped mirror with a bevelled edge $10, (she wanted $20), which I will probably shabby up and keep, just gorgeous gilt mirror $10, Depression Glass Dresser Set $10 (bit much but I couldn't resist it), Woods Ivory Ware Sweet Set $5, Tole Lamp $5 (wanted $10), this will also get a paint job and probably the shade recovered, and the sweetest little porcelain roses, which I am definately keeping. So I was very happy with my finds this morning.

After having such a good time at the garage sales, I had to go to K-Mart to buy a new keyboard for my computer, since mine decided that the b & n wouldn't work, very awkward, because I couldn't sign in to anything.

Ok, so I get home, put my treasures away and get set to install the new keyboard. So now, of course, the rotten thing decides to work agan. You get that, eh.

Well, at least I will have one here should the thing decide to go off the rails again.

Now I'm off to make a cuppa, the weather has turned lousy again, so I think I'll sit down and do some more envious sighing over that real estate book. Maybe we could buy the pink house, it's only $895,000. (C'mon Shann, we could ALL live in it, it's got 5 bedrooms-lol).

Hugs Coll :-}

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Gorgeous Girls (& a guy)

Okay, I have missed a few days, but I've just done three 24hr shifts at work with only one day off in between, so there hasn't been much time for anything. But just see what my darling daughter (Shannon} made for me yesterday. A Tussie Mussie. I think this is the first one she's made. Isn't it gorgeous. Haven't quite found just the place for it, you know when you walk around the house with something in your hand going "hmmm, maybe here", until you find just the right spot. I have some lovely silk Sweet Peas that will look wonderful in it.
And speaking of darling daughters, I thought I'd show you my other talented daughter, Tracey. She doesn't blog and hardly ever ebays, but her creative talents know no bounds, as you can tell from this pic. She has created four of the most gorgeous girls on this earth (proud Nanny talking). From left to right, Jessica (14), Rebecca (18) & Alexandra (16) & Kaitlyn (4). With them is her wonderful, long-suffering partner of seven years, Todd, Dad of Kaitlyn. What a guy! All those women in the house, and a female dog as well.

This is what the eldest three used to look like. Disregard "Nanny" in the background. Oh My, how time flies. They are, along with their little sister Kaitlyn and my Sam, the lights of my life.
What did we ever do without grandkids. And I haven't even started on John's lovely daughter's little ones. More pics to follow.

Hugs Coll :-}

(The pics wouldn't move, no matter how I tried. Help Lori!!)

Thank you

Thank you so much to everyone who sent well wishes to my Maddie. This is her & our Rotweiler, Emma, having a chat. She is back to normal again after a week on antibiotics. She will go back to the vet next week, but we have decided no surgery, she is too old, has a heart murmur & arthritis & I would be terrified of what might happen. She will be able to go on long term antibiotics, so I think this is the way we'll go.
Once again, thank you so much. And yes, we are soppy about our pets, they're family, right.
Hugs, Coll :-}

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Maddie's doing fine

Thank you so much to the gals who said a prayer for my Maddie dog. Love you all.

We did the rush to the Vet today and thank the Lord my little Maddie is ok. Isn't it ridiculous how we are about our pets, but I have always had a dog in my life and I guess I have always been soppy about them. They are part of the family, after all.

She evidently has got really bad teeth like most older dogs, we knew that, because she is getting on in years, but some of the back ones are so bad that they have caused a bad infection to spread to her sinus passages and she is in a lot of pain, but she is now on antibiotics & pain killers. They want to do surgery, but there is a big risk because she is old and also has a heart murmur, so I don't know. More prayers.

However, she had enough energy in her to terrorise Shannon's poor cats when we called in on the way home. Shannon is as bad as I am about her pets and insisted that we stop by before going home. Maddie walked in and cats went in all directions! And she looks like such an angel -NOT!

Hugs, Coll :-}

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


This is not a good night, I think my litlte bubbie dog (my Maddie) may be not well (she's 14). She has been moping around all afternoon, she ate her dinner (very slowly) but she is disinclined to drink and that is a real worry. If she is not better in the morning we will be straight to the Vet. Seems like she wants to drink but can't. I just know she's not good. Can we say prayers for dogs. Sorry gals, I'm a bit teary.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Most of the mess is still there

Well, I'm afraid to say that the computer/work room mess isn't much improved, but I did move it around a lot - lol. Suddenly it all seemed a bit much, and as we were having visitors come for a roast lunch the following day, I thought I REALLY should concentrate on the rest of the house, so I got stuck into the Lounge Room and boy, did that take a while. At one stage I thought I would never find my way out again.

Although I did read somewhere once that people who go from room-to-room and have stuff everywhere while they are spring cleaning, are actually more organised and get more done than people who do one room at a time. It's true, I swear. Anyway, that's how I work, and it did come together eventually, but lots of things are now residing in a new spot. That way, when I buy something new, I can just tell John (if he finds it) that I've had it for ages, I just moved it and he hadn't noticed it before. Sneaky eh.

Anyhow, our best friends came for lunch, we ate (and drank) too much, but had a great time. John even washed up after they had gone home. Well, I did cook, didn't I. One day that new dishwasher in the box in the laundry will actually get into the kitchen.

Thank you sooo much to sweet Dionne @ Cherub Kisses for awarding me the "Nice Matters" award. There are so many lovely ladies in blogland, I really appreciate it. You are so sweet. There are some other lovely gals who deserve this award too, so I nominate Sue @ Junkit Junction, Wanda @ Brushstrokes from the Heart, Lori @ Pink Faded Roses and my dear friend Debbie @ Purple Flower Fairy, even though she doesn't blog just now, I hope she will come back soon.
Take a bow ladies and accept your award and also give it to some other lovely ladies who deserve it.

Hugs, Coll :-}

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Oh Dear

Ok, I have to admit I can be a bit messy at times, especially when I'm working in my computer room, but this is really getting out of hand. I know I've been busy lately, but really!! Somewhere under all that "stuff" is a sofa (I must have been going through a purple phase). Would much rather it was pink, or covered in roses - he he.

Things seem to have been arriving in this room and not getting out again, so today I am making a concerted effort to CLEAN UP THE MESS!

I only did about 4-5 weeks ago. What happens. I have spend half the morning looking for my feather duster, I'll bet it's in there somewhere.

I think I have to do something about this room, put up some shelves or something. All my old lamp shades, which I WILL do one day, have found a home in our nice clean, dry shed in the garden, but some things just can't go out there, like porcelain lamp bases.

Yep, I'm thinking shelves, I have a nice blank wall behind that sofa, so maybe I better tell John I have a job (or three) for him.

Then maybe I can actually get to sit on my sofa (need to put some pretty throws on it though) and work on my lamps.

Now I just need a nice long coffe table or something. Hmmm, wonder what's on ebay.

Have a great day/evening, wherever you are.

Hugs Coll :-}

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Camellias & Chandeliers

Firstly, I have to tell you all, I made a conscious decision today to BLOG MORE OFTEN. I have been very remiss lately (according to Shannon). Lots of reasons, moving houses at work, too tired after 24hr shifts, trouble with my knees (but that's another story I won't bore you with) etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, I shall forthwith endeavour to keep up with the rest of you gals.

Yesterday Shannon, Sam & I went for a bit of a drive into the burbs to pick up a couple of Chandeliers I bought on ebay. I paid $122 for them, which I think was a bargain price. They are quite old, "Marie Therese" style I think they were called originally, all the go again now, but I've always loved them.

These two are beauties, but absolutely FILTHY, so I have got a big job ahead to clean them up.

Think maybe they might need rewiring from the top, looks a bit dodgy, but there is NOT ONE CRYSTAL MISSING, just a couple of lose ones, which this resourceful gal can fix in no time.

Can't wait to get them back to their former glory.
So, after the big trip back to Shannon's and then back home, I was enjoying a well-earned coffee outside in the sun. My gorgeous Camellias, which are in pots near my front door, are looking sooo beautiful at the moment, especially with the afternoon sun shining on them, so I decided you might all like to see them. Pink ones, of course. We do have lots of them in the garden, but these two are my favourites. They thrive on not much, just the odd watering, and reward us every year with the most beautiful flowers and lots of them.

So, now I have to keep up the good work, so I promise to keep on blogging. Really, Shann.

Hugs, Coll :-}