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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

That raffle...

Yesterday, after months of working behind the scenes, we had the drawing of the K4BN Mothers' Day Raffle, one of the two fundraising ventures that the group does each year. 
We had 33 prizes...here they are lined up in order, ready for the draw...


My co-organiser Helen, not only wrapped the large majority of the prizes, but also made these wonderful labels for each prize...very professional! :-) great job Helen!

It took quite a while to draw all 33 prizes but that was just the beginning of our next lot of work...we then had to organise how the winners would receive their prizes. In the next photo Helen and I are looking through our lists and organising where, when and who for delivery of prizes. 

Luckily most of the winners attend the various Knit and Natters so many prizes could be handed over that way. Some will be delivered personally by members and a few will go by mail. We don't have the final total of monies raised from this raffle, but we estimate it would be somewhere over $800...very pleasing and a great help in buying toiletries for the 'hygenie' packs that the group distributes to the homeless, those in women's refuges and any other needy group. 

And look who won something! 
 
And 2 of the lovely ladies from Sunday Stitchers, Marilyn and Maureen also won a prize. This group are always so supportive of K4BN, so it was great to see some of them win something. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

I've been in denial, but I'm ready to move on now...

A while ago I wrote a post with the subject, 'Medically Speaking' in which I commented that DH and I seemed to be seeing an awful lot of the inside of a couple of hospitals; Greenslopes P H for me and Holy Spirit Northside for him. I also mentioned having a Myocardial Perfusion  Study...these have tended to replace the old Stress Tests.
Well unfortunately this 3 hour procedure showed that the blood supply to parts of my heart is reduced...so my doctor then organised an Angiogram for me. 
An interesting and rather clever procedure, the angiogram is a 'probe' that is inserted in the femoral artery and it then snakes its way to the arteries of the heart. (DH's cardiologist prefers to use the wrist as a point of entry) The wire probe is of course equipped with a camera so that the medical staff can check for blockages and or narrowing of the arteries of the heart. I will admit it...the whole idea of this procedure frightened the day lights out of me! 
Dressed in the 'garb' ready for the Cath Lab, and shaved....
My charming footwear...

The results of the angiogram showed that I have narrowing in the arteries in 3 places...the worst one is a 50% narrowing. Apparently I should have severe angina pains, but I honestly don't. I was told that I have heart disease...and of course I went straight into denial...and didn't want to talk about it with anyone. 
Now 5 weeks later, I've moved through that stage...I still have plenty of energy to do my daily exercise; I can still walk up stairs and hills without any worry. The use of the CPAP machine has resulted In my having heaps more energy, which is wonderful :-). So life not too bad I reckon. So what does a girl do in such circumstances? Why...buy more Liberty fabric and sign up for 2 Liberty project swaps...that's what! Lol
Fabric from the UK...
Some more from a local business...

Hmmm...10% off my next purchase from Ava and Neve...
Two lots of Liberty from EBay...
Some 'scraps' of vintage Liberty...
And some more...
And some more; this time from the US...

So life goes on...and once again life is good! 

(My cardiologist will not put stents in the narrowed arteries as that would mean I would have to take a blood thinning drug for at least 12 months. I have a problem with 'storing iron' and each year I have an iron infusion to replenish iron levels...apparently the blood thinning drugs would cause problems) 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Night with Friends...

Last night was FNwF; lots of people around the world working on projects and then sharing via our blogs. 
My evening turned out to be a little different to what I had expected. Yesterday, my part of Queensland was deluged by heavy rains which caused flash flooding in some areas. The road north was cut off in a number of places due to water over bridges etc. DD1 rang as she was leaving work asking if she could come to our place as she couldn't get home...her housemate was in the same predicament so she would be comng to us as well. I raced around changing bedding and bathroom cleaning, but I could have taken my time as the traffic was in gridlock...a 10 minute drive took nearly 2 hours. In that time J's (DD1's housemate) car had broken down and a police officer had helped push it to the side of the road. My wonderful DH went to 'rescue' J and eventually we had both girls home here. There were lots of tears, but hot showers, dry clothes, food and red wine soon helped. 
The girls took a 'selfie'...they were dressed in track pants and some new T shirts of DH's...they looked so cute in the 'big clothes' :-)
Eventually the girls and I sat down in the lounge room and I started my FNwF crafting...
This month it was crocheting again...I've continued to take small/tiny squares and make them bigger. The pile of 10 inch squares was growing, when another K4BN member dropped in last Wednesday with some donations, including some crocheted squares. This meant that I almost had enough squares to make a new blanket...
Yvette's lovely squares..

Last night I enlarged the last few squares and with the 9 from Yvette, I had the 30 that I needed.


The pile of tiny squares is getting smaller...

And I even started to crochet the squares into strips...

Update on the girls...J's car still won't start and the RACQ is unable to attend to all calls, so the girls have gone home to Griffin in DD1's car and will continue to call the RACQ number. It's a lovely sunny day and the washing machine is working hard! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tut tut...

My friend Helen and I are once again in charge of the Knitting for Brisbane's Needy 's (K4BN) Raffle. We had a very successful one last Christmas and our Mother's Day 2015 is doing pretty well too. Helen has been busy wrapping the 33 prizes and as the draw is next Monday, we have been anxious to get all the ticket butts of tickets sold so far, and get them folded and into our covered bucket. 
Last Tuesday we were given hundreds of butts from tickets sold mainly at the various Knit and Natters. Helen had asked for the used ticket books but a certain kind person wanted to help us and had removed the staples and then 'folded' the ticket butts. 
These had then been placed in a large plastic box from which we planned to transfer them to our bucket. ( our bucket for the draw is one we are recycling...it originally contained hundreds of lollies that we packed into Christmas stockings for distribution to the needy last Xmas)

Now back to that box of ticket butts... I took the lid off the box...
And what I saw made me tip out the contents...the tickets had been screwed up a bit...might make it hard/unfair to draw tickets...
So Helen and I smoothed each crumpled ticket and then folded it neatly...
We are starting to fill the box again here...
And just as well we did smooth them out as we found a lot of cases where 2 tickets had been screwed  up together! All fixed now and ready for Monday at Scarborough Knit and Natter. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A friend of a friend...

So many people are aware that I belong to Knitting for Brisbane's Needy, so that when these people are told of some yarns etc needing a new home, they think of me! And so it was that a friend at Sisters of Stitch knew someone who was giving away a box of brand new polo shirts. These shirts had various sponsors' logos and some had first names printed on them. Elizabeth thought of K4BN and brought the large box of shirts to our SoS meet up last Wednesday. 

The photo below is just a small part of the box full...the shirts were still in individual plastic bags, folded with a square of tissue paper behind the button placket...beautiful colours and fabrics! 

The box of shirts is now in the K4BN warehouse ready for distribution. Thank you to Elizabeth and her friend!  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

ANZAC Day...

The other day I asked DH whether he had any photos of his grandfather, George, who served in WW1. So that's how, still dressed in his PJs, DH went through a case and box of his mother's memorabilia of her father. 

The little bundle of items soon piled up...I scanned documents and photos...



Despite the repair with sticky tape, what a find is this? DH's grandfather received a note from George v after winning the Military Medal. 

I took photos...
Not all these are DH's grandfather's medals...some are badges collected by my MiL... 

The medal in the left foreground is from the Boer War; DH's grandpa served in the Tasmanian Army during the Boer War. Note the badge celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Gallipolli Landing...
The medal on the left is the British War Medal and the one on the right is the Victory Medal. No one knows where the Military Medal is.  

We've consequently shared these photos and scanned documents with other family members,who were thrilled to get them. Some had not been aware of their great grandfather's war record. 

Yesterday I happened to be at Greenslopes Hospital which used to be the Repatriation Hospital. This private hospital also cares for veterans which was part of the conditions of sale of the hospital. In the Reception Lobby there were all these giant poppies which were for sale...made by volunteers at the hospital.

Lastly, a photo from social media showing Federation Square in Melbourne which is just a sea of red poppies to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipolli Landing. 


 Lest We Forget...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Another Encore Post; ANZAC Day 2014

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day and last year DH and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in the French town of Villers Bretonneux in the Somme region. (So much of WW1 was fought in this area and many Aussie 'boys' lie in graves in France and Belgium)
This service was one of the most memorable events of our holiday. However, this year we will watch the service on TV. This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing with our Prime Minister visiting Turkey for the Commemoration.

Here is what I wrote last year...

ANZAC Day 2014...

This day, April 25, is like the Aussie and New Zealand version of Memorial Day in the US, where service men and women are paid tribute for their efforts in times of war...and especially those who died while serving. Services, marches, and ceremonies honour these people. This year DH and I were fortunate in that we were able to join some friends of ours at 2 ANZAC ceremonies in France. In France...you may wonder?? 
I had heard over the years of French villagers who continued to honour the Australian soldiers who, during the First World War helped save these villages from the enemy...I had read articles of how these villagers came to idolise the Aussie soldiers...and this was passed on to the subsequent generations. One such village was Villers Bretonneux. They have never forgotten...each year there would be wreathe laying ceremonies on ANZAC Day. Just outside the village there is a war cemetery where Allied soldiers are buried. 
There is also a huge Australian War Memorial which is the scene of an ANZAC Dawn service each year, attended by dignities from government ( Australian, NZ, Canadian, British, French etc) and all 3 military services plus thousands of ordinary Australians (and some NZ ers)  and many employees from the Department of Veterans' Affairs in the Federal government. 
My friend Carmen's great uncle lost his life in this area and is buried in one of the war cemeteries, and we teamed up with her family and another friend, to be there. ( I also saw another friend who was also there among the 6000...she knew DH and I would be there from Facebook but we didn't know she was even in France...lovely surprise) 
It was the most awe inspiring and emotional experience to have! 
Our alarm was set for 2 am but none of us had gotten much sleep after we had said goodnight at 10pm after meeting up for dinner the night before in Amiens...
We had to meet at the square near the Carlton Hotel in Amiens at 2.55 am to catch our shuttle buses which would take us out to Villers Bretonneux...it was a five minute stroll from our hotel. There were hundreds of people already there when we arrived at 2.45 am...
The buses start to arrive...

We were on the B series of shuttle buses so we had a little longer to wait. My friend had brought over some wreaths made with sprays of wattle (artificial of course) which she would place at the 2 ceremonies.

The drive to the war memorial took approximately 30 minutes. When we arrived we saw the huge numbers if people making their way up the hill to the memorial. It was eerie...people walked silently in the dark...plastic matting made temporary pathways thus avoiding the muddy wet ground.
The Australian flag and the French flag at half mast...


An army officer who served with Carmen's son stops to have a word with him and his family...
The camera crews at the side rush to get footage of a French soldier who was obviously very important...
Before the service, music and vocalists were provided by the Australian Army Band and choirs from The Hutchins School and St Michael's Collegiate School of Hobart. And images from WW1 were projected on the wall of the tower of the memorial.
Near the end of the service was the wreath laying...governments first and finally families...Carmen and her son laid the wreath of wattle sprays...


By the end of the service the sun was up and it was very very cold...
The names of the dead are on the wall you can see in this photo above...they are grouped by battalion and battlefield of the Western Front as it was known in WW1.



I said it was cold didn't I?
Some of the war graves of Commonwealth soldiers who died in battles here in World War 1
After a very welcome hot drink in one of the hospitality tents we headed to where we had to meet B4 shuttle bus which would take us to the village for the next ceremony.
The banner on the village hall building...
The Town Hall was decorated with green and gold bunting and sported 'kangaroos' grazing on the lawn!
Three of the ladies in the centre of the photo are employees of the Dept of Veterans Affairs in the Australian Government and they were organising before the ceremony began... 
A representative of the NZ military hands in a wreath to be presented during the ceremony...
More last minute organising...
Part of the lovely memorial in the village...
The second ceremony was much shorter and of course had more speeches in French from the local dignitaries.the Australian government was against represented by Julie Bishop...the Foreign Minister.

Carmen gets instructions from the paparazzi before she lays the wreath...she ended up having to do it twice ...
And just a few more photos in this lovely village in the Somme district...

We'd seen 2 ladies with glittery Stetson like hats with Aussie flag scarves the day before...sure enough we saw them at the smaller ceremony...here's one of the ladies talking to our bus organiser...

Even though we were exhausted by the time we got back to Amiens...we wouldn't have missed that opportunity for anything!