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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day here in Australia; a day where we honour those who served in wars and in particular those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The date chosen is actually the day that was known as Armistice Day when finally WW1 ended. 



It’s 9 years since I retired but I still remember the ceremonies that school communities would hold on both Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day. At my last school, Year 7 students would run the ANZAC commemorations and Year 6 would run the Remembrance Day ceremony. Being the Year 6 teacher for a few years, my classes and I worked hard to make each ceremony meaningful. 



Due to COVID-19 restrictions, things have been different this year of course.  I was always going to write a post about ANZAC Day 2020 but some how never got around to it...until today! 
Due to lockdown restrictions, public gatherings for ANZAC Day were not allowed. Instead, Australians were encouraged to ‘Light Up The Dawn’ and stand in their individual front driveways with candles and follow the dawn services that were being streamed. 




DH and I stood on our front verandah and various neighbours stood in their driveways and others stood on unit balconies. It was very poignant and as we participated, the sun rose. 
We used battery operated candles...



We streamed the RSL service on my iPad...


A few days before April 25, inspired by photos being posted on Facebook, I decided to make some felt red poppies...


And then I thought I’d have a go at making a wreath...


And the 2 teddies I’d bought from Legacy stalls years ago were brought out and into service for ANZAC Day too. 
Then I decided that I’d have a go at making a knitted wreath too! 😉


So  all in all, ANZAC Day 2020 turned out to be rather special. 
Today, the ceremonies were televised once again as large gatherings are not allowed...unless it’s a football match...but that’s another story and I must resist the temptation to suggest that hypocrisy is alive and well! 🙄🙄

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Wool on Sunday...

I noticed that Janine from the Rainbow Hare blog had just written a post for Wool on Sunday. As it’s been ages since I wrote any blog post, I thought I’d make an effort to remedy that situation. I have been pondering on the fact that I don’t seem to have done much in the knitting and crocheting situation this year, but I looked through photos on my iPad and found that perhaps I’d been a bit harsh with myself. 
Early in the pandemic, I did some Christmas knitting...I made some knitted decorations. The photo is masked with a call out as some of the recipients of these read my blog. 😉



Because of the increased demand for warm items for the needy in the community, for many months I focused on joining donated squares into blankets for distribution. To this end, I also crocheted the most granny squares, I’ve done in many a year...with that ultimate goal of providing yet another blanket or two for Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy to distribute. 
In the next photo, I have sewn some donated circles on donated squares. The circles were a bit wonky and squaring them up would  have also made a square that was a bit open. 


Some more of the blankets I put together for K4BN; I used bright colors, that’s for sure! 






I think that my tally for blankets was 11...but it could have been more. 
At one stage I started a baby blanket using oddments of yarn. The plan was to make it to donate to K4BN, but a week or so after I started I found out that my nephew and his wife who live in Sydney, had had a new baby daughter about 6 weeks before. ( my brother thought I knew so didn’t bother to tell me...hmmm 😜)  So the newly started blanket suddenly became baby Zali’s gift and I quickly finished it ready for posting. 



And then there was the throw that I knitted for our parish art and craft show, which this year was all online. DH warned me that it probably wouldn’t sell as being a photo in an online catalogue isn’t the same as seeing such an item in ‘real life’, but I wanted to feel as though I was contributing to our parish’s main yearly fundraiser. And it didn’t sell which meant I could take it to Sunday Stitchers that month as my Show and Tell. And of course, I have a throw available to give away if the need arises. At Sunday Stitchers, the lovely Helen took this  next photo of me holding up the throw. 


With the restrictions on meetings due to COVID-19, our regular Knit and Natters were discontinued for a time. Eventually a very, very small number of venues were reopened with strict protocols in place and with very restricted numbers. But at one Knit and Natter, we started bringing a chair and having an alfresco Knit and Natter beside the car park of the library venue. ( With the social distancing regulations, only 4 of us could meet IN the library...so that would NOT have worked!) 




And in these strange times I decided to use as my knitting bag, a bag I bought from the merchandise counter at The Addams Family Musical. It seemed appropriate 😉😜





Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Wool on...any day ending with a ‘y’.

From February 2016 I wrote dozens of monthly posts titled Wool on Sundays. The idea of bloggers sharing posts about fibre arts such as knitting, crocheting and stitching was the brainchild of Janine who organised the link ups through her delightful Rainbow Hare blog. 
Times and directions change, and this forum for sharing ‘yarny’ projects is no longer a formal monthly feature. And even though I’ve been a bit slack at blogging in recent times, I’ve found that I really miss chatting about projects. So here’s my version, Wool on any day of the week! Lol

In a previous post written in the last month, I showed some photos of blankets made for Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy; a combination of crocheted squares given to me and some granny squares made by me. The solid squares made by my friend Susan were perfect for a plan I’d finally come up with on how to use a big bundle of crocheted motifs that had been passed on to me a few years ago. 


Originally I thought I’d square them up by crocheting more rounds. But I went off that idea as the motifs were quite thin which I thought would not make the resultant blanket warm for the homeless. So I’ve stitched them to the solid squares; the stitches disappearing into the crocheting, so the backs of the squares are neat. 


All the squares laid out ready to be joined together...


Finished blanket ready to keep someone warm. 


A few months ago I bought some Bendigo Woollen Mill’s Classic 8 ply online. It took a while to arrive which wasn’t surprising as on the BWM Facebook page they showed a photo of huge wire bins full of parcels ready to be posted. The company had been overwhelmed with the support from knitters all around Australia. And apparently the orders are still coming in  as witnessed by this recent FB post. 


Some incredible statistics there! And this is what I’m making with my order...the variegated Shepherd yarn was in my stash...completely forgotten about for a number of years too 🙄😉


It’s lovely working with wool again. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Easter 2020...

In a way my story of this year’s Easter started back in early March. I bring out the Easter decorations early now that we have grandchildren, as they love to help set them up and love hearing the stories behind some of the older pieces. 
We had been in the habit of taking Anthea out on an ‘adventure’ each Thursday and one of our last Thursdays before Lockdown, we went by bus to Toombul Shoppingtown. Riding in a bus is an adventure in itself for the grandies! 


And of course morning tea was on the agenda when we got to the shopping centre. 


Of course a ride on the escalator painted in rainbow colours was a must as well 😄! 


I love the decorations that Bed Bath and Table sell, so the next stop in the centre was in that shop. The plan was to let Anthea choose an Easter decoration to start her own collection. As in every other year the store had the most beautiful items on display for sale. I have  to admit that I tried to steer her away from the snow globes because of the glass but she really had fallen in love with one...so after discussing how careful she would have to be, we bought it. 
Back home at our place, she was just so delighted with her gift. 


A few days later Anthea and her little sister came for a visit and with their help, we started decorating the hutch. 






And it wasn’t long after that, that we went into Lockdown. So I rearranged the display slightly and put some of the more fragile ( and sentimental) pieces on lower shelves. There was no risk of accidental breakages lol. 


As Easter got closer, I went out and found some lovely Easter eggs in a quiet local shop. I made up 5 packages for the granddaughters plus some for our neighbours. Luckily our out of town grandie was in Brisbane for appointments so we were able to give her her package in person. Two of the other households, we did drive bys and left them on doorsteps. The drive to Kallangur was actually breaking the regulations as it isn’t a near suburb, but we didn’t see any roadblocks on the highway to or from there...phew! 


I used the last of the bunnies that I bought at a sale a few years ago. They held the little eggs. 


Just before Easter, restrictions eased to 2 visitors as long as it was either in your own suburb or adjoining ones. So we went to morning tea at DsD2 and her family’s place taking the Easter treats we had for the girls. 
Nom nom chocolate 🍫😜! 




We had some FaceTime with Miss Holly and her mum so she could tell us how much she liked her package that we’d left at their place. 

I wore my bunny ears for that session. 


We joined in Zoom services for Good Friday and Easter Day...and maintaining a little tradition in our parish, the females all wore hats/Easter Bonnets. 




And our neighbour came and joined us for the Easter Day service...

So there you have it...our Easter 2020. It was certainly different but the essential elements were still there albeit a lot different. 
For our children and their families, Easter was very different this year. Most years they go away for the 4 days but travelling was banned so they all stayed home. The 2 families who camp couldn’t, as parks and grounds were closed, as were barge services to favourite islands such as Moreton and Fraser.  Since retiring, DH and I rarely travel at Easter any way as accomodation is always at higher prices, so we had usually travelled in off peak times. 

 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Lots of ‘firsts’...

I’m gradually recording the life changes and adaptations that have occurred in my life throughout the lockdown, social isolation and social distancing measures caused by the Pandemic. Pondering has become quite a big thing in my life and one conclusion I’ve come to is that life in recent months has been a whole series of ‘firsts’. In this post I’ll write about one of the first ‘firsts’ that occurred...worship in a pandemic. 
Like many parishes, we went online. Firstly we tried out a free version of the Zoom app but that is limited to 40 mins per session, but it was good to get a feel for the technology. A lot of us were familiar with FaceTime and Skype but many parishioners weren’t. But even our 90 year olds started to embrace the system. Very soon, the parish moved to a paid version of the app (paid for by the Diocese so we were no longer restricted to 40 min meetings) and not only was it used for services, but also parish meetings and training sessions for our trainee priest placement. 

Palm Sunday was a ‘first’. I wanted DH and I to have the little palm crosses so I had looked around the garden for leaves I could use as we don’t have a Queen’s palm tree that is traditionally used. I thought, dianella, liriope or lomandra leaves could be used but thought I might try strips of the leaves of the pony tail palm which apparently isn’t a palm tree after all. 




It worked perfectly! I used what I had available and it had worked. But I’d been prepared to try those other leaves if it hadn’t worked out. You know that old saying about ‘necessity’ and the ‘mother of invention’. 


And I cut a frond off another palm-like tree which was self-sown  years ago in our backyard to place behind our chairs in lieu of the normal Palm Sunday procession. 


We used an iPad for the Zoom meeting which only has room on the screen for 9 participants. You have to scroll sideways to see everybody. But some people used their PCs and this friend with a large monitor sent us all this photo. 



And through the wonders of Zoom, we had Bishop Jeremy as a guest preacher. We were all in different places but could be ‘together’ in another sense. 





Soon I’m going to write a post about Easter 2020 and there will be ‘firsts’ in that too! 

Family celebrations After COVID-17 Lockdowns

So I’ve already written a post about 3 family birthdays we celebrated this year before COVID-19 changed so much. 
It was DsD2’s birthday in early April when no one was allowed visitors in their homes. Our son in law made a cake and the little family of 4 celebrated this event. 



It had been organised that the rest of the family would sing Happy Birthday to DsD via FaceTime from our respective homes. 
And then we were able to watch the candles blown out...


And then we watched the cake being cut and watched enviously as the slices were eaten...😀


In May it was my turn to celebrate a birthday. By then restrictions had eased a little and people could have 2 visitors to their home. DD1 and Carrie were the first to come on a visit to help me celebrate. It was on DD1’s day off, a week before my actual birthday. DD1 organised lunch from a local fish and chip shop, delivered by Uber. 

It was lovely spending time with them.
On the night before my birthday I had 2 surprise visitors...DH had known they were coming. Anthea and her mum had made me a cake and delivered it to me. 


Naturally we all had a slice there and then! It was a delicious carrot cake with yummy cream cheese icing.
 
That next night, DH organised a takeaway for 2 from my friend’s cafe...lasagne ( my friend’s mum’s recipe), salad and for dessert, tiramisu. So out came the candles and the fancy glasses...

At 7pm, the family came on Zoom, and sang Happy Birthday to me. Then we chatted for quite a while as they wanted to know what sort of a day I’d had. 

DsD3 had stopped by in the morning of my birthday to drop off a gift from 5 of the family...

Always a winner with me! 
The next day, DD2 and Holly came to celebrate my birthday, bringing morning tea and gifts...I was still being spoiled. 



DH’s birthday was at the end of May and restrictions had eased even more...by then you could have 5 visitors. So we had 2 sessions, half the family at each; a roast dinner on the Friday night and a takeaway on Saturday lunch time. ( we had 2 little girls at both sessions as their mum was working on the Saturday) 

DsD2 made a beautiful (and large) chocolate cake for the Friday night so on Saturday I just turned the cut part away from the camera and we had the candle on top for DH to blow out. 


So now we are in July and once again restrictions in my state have eased considerably more than in late May. We can now celebrate in clubs, pubs and restaurants and can have up to 100 at our home. DH says even our family isn’t that big! Lol 

Later in May on a week day when our local Bunnings tends to be quiet, I had fun spending my birthday gift card...




I wonder how we will celebrate the 2 family birthdays in September?