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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

At last I can say something!

On Monday, late in the afternoon, DH and I received some news but we were 'sworn to secrecy'. 

But yesterday afternoon the 'news blackout' was lifted. On Monday afternoon at 3.16 pm, after 21 hours in labour, DsD2 gave birth to a little girl, whom they've called Anthea. The reason for the parents not wanting the news to be spread straight away was that they wanted to ring all their close family and friends first to tell them of Anthea's arrival. And they needed a fair bit of time to do that but first they needed to rest. 
As the little family were too tired to receive visitors that night, it was next afternoon that DH and I went for a visit and a lot of cuddles! 
Proud grandpa!
DH has chosen 'grandpa' as his 'title'. There are 3 grandmothers and the other two didn't want 'grandma' but I did! So Grandma and Grandpa Goodwin it is! 

So our first grandchild has been born and what a sweet little cherub she is. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So good to see!

A few years ago now, I taught 2 sisters. Not long after I retired in 2011, the family of 3 daughters and one son moved from the northern suburbs of Brisbane to Logan City. And as they were no longer my students I accepted the girls' Facebook friends requests. And that's how I discovered that their little brother had been diagnosed with leukemia. And there followed some pretty terrible times for the family.
There were many times when little Anthony was very ill...
Infections were the bane of this little man's life! 
At the end of 2014 Anthony spent a week in ICU, and against all odds he survived. 
Last year, Anthony's mum told me that he had seen some photos of novelty beanies that had been donated to K4BN, on my FB wall. He really loved the frog one. But we discovered that it was far too small for him.
Enter my friend Jenny, another K4BN member. Jen made Anthony a frog beanie...which he loved!

But that's not all; she also made him this one!
Yep, Anthony's favourite Ninja Turtle...whatshisname? :-)
In the last month Anthony has had his last chemotherapy treatment...and he is already training with a local footy club. His footy boots are his proudest possessions I think!
Looks like a different child doesn't he? 
How proud is his family of their 'baby'. And how kind and wonderful was Jenny making those beanies.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fussy/Finicky Eater...

Regular readers would know that our household is run by DD2's cat, who has lived with us for 'ever'. 
Eduardo has always been a fussy eater, despite howling piteously for food from 4pm onwards each day. He prefers food that is moist, so none of those 'loaf style' tins of cat food for him...and none with fish in either! He will eat the occasional meal of chopped up fresh meat or chicken...but not too often though. Lately he has been leaving 2/3 of his meal. If it has dried out, I put the bowl outside and the birds clean it up...hopefully with no ill effects for them! 

I realised that it was not cost effective buying the tins of cat food as most went to feed the birds...and the odd possum. So I 'gave in' and bought the little single serve containers of food...
So far he's eating every scrap of the Dine single serves. Long may it continue! Note his 'placemat'? And his dinner bowl?? Lol

I thought DH wouldn't be too impressed with my buying those as they work out much more expensive than the larger tin. But he pointed out that Eduardo had been eating the same varieties for 14 of his years so it was reasonable that he should be sick of them! Lol.
Definitely a 'First World Problem'!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Twiddle muffs?

What are these you may ask? Well they are another clever solution to help calm dementia patients. Some are sewn, others are crocheted and some are knitted. Basically the design is a lined 'tube' and attached securely on both the inside and outside of the muff, are objects such as buttons, beads and loops/bows. The dementia patients 'twiddle' with these attached objects and apparently this action is very calming for them. 
Recently, Cheryl, a member of K4BN made some twiddle muffs for the group to distribute to nursing homes for use with their dementia patients. 

At last Monday's Scarborough Knit and Natter, the ladies had fun trying out Cheryl's handiwork. 
Here's Karen, the founder of K4BN modelling one for us. 

Great job Cheryl! 
There are a number of websites that offer a pattern for the twiddle muffs. Here is just one of many. But they are all fairly similar to each other. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mt Coot-tha Gardens...

This weekend at the Botanical Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, there is a big tropical plants sale. DH and I headed off there yesterday morning fairly early. When we arrived at the car park, there was already a steady stream of people walking back to their cars with boxes filled with plants. Darn! Would there be any plants left???? But of course there were!

In the part of the auditorium in the photos above, there were lots of cordylines, coleuses, begonias etc but I was more interested in the section outside...masses of bromeliads! 
I walked up and down beside the tables a few times to see what was there. The third time, I was ready to start picking out 'broms' to buy. Dear DH carried the box for me. I did end up buying a few 'more expensive' ones as well as small economical ones. In the last 16 years or so I've grown to love this plant family...before that, I hadn't thought much of them. 
The ones I bought...
I also bought a plant that was new to me...

This plant is on the right of the photos in the previous collage. It has long flower stems that are a mass of tiny pink flowers.
Now the photo below is in one of the collages. It shows DH pretending to be excited by a bromeliad. Lol. But in the background there is a young woman in a blue shirt. Her grandparents, Olive and Len Trevor, started the Olive Branch Bromeliad Nursery here in Brisbane many years ago. This young lady told me that she now runs the Nursery, so it's wonderful that it's staying in the family so to speak. 

It's a shame Olive and Len weren't there yesterday, as I like to catch up with them. I taught their daughter so we have her in common as well as a love of 'broms'! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Took the photos; never wrote the blog post! #2

Today we received an email. Because my brain 'often races at a rate of  knots', this email caused my thoughts to jump to remembering  a day we spent exploring Vancouver last August.
The email was from Ross and Ann who so generously took DH and I on  a guided tour of some of the sights of Vancouver. We had never met them before, but they were friends of DH's eldest brother and his wife from when they had been exchange teachers in Canada. And as we were part of Keith and Sonja's family, we were treated as honoured guests.
Here we are having a delicious seafood lunch with Ross and Ann
We saw lots more of Vancouver that day, but in this post, I'll share some photos that we took on our first stop...Chinatown.

In Vancouver Chinatown there is a very shallow building; it is 6 feet from front to back.

As you can see, the builders 'cheated' a bit with the first floor, by building bay windows!

Then we walked a little way up the street...

  And Ann led us to a delightful 'gem'; the Sun Yat Sen Gardens.

These gardens were built 1985-1986 and opened in time for Expo 86.
The gardens are so can read a bit more about them here.

Now, about that email that prompted all these memories and an eventual blog post...Ann wrote to tell us that the cruise ship that her and Ross will be sailing on, docks in Brisbane on EasterSunday. So now we have the opportunity to repay their kindness to us. Our sister in law and our nephew and his family will collect Ann and Ross from the ship and then do some 'touristy' stuff and then everyone will come to our place for an Aussie BBQ lunch!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A very impressive throw!

Regular readers would know that I am very much involved with Knitting for Brisbane's Needy (K4BN). This group provides beautifully knitted or crocheted items, toiletries, toys, sewn clothing etc to the needy of not just Brisbane but for the needy throughout the state. In this post I want to write about another of our members, Jocelyn. 
My friend Helen and I organise the fundraising raffles for K4BN that are run twice a year. Jocelyn is always one of the the first to offer prizes for these raffles. Jocelyn also makes items for the needy. And recently she made the most beautiful throw rug to donate to the group for distribution. Stunning isn't it?
This throw is crocheted in Australian indigenous colours; red, golden yellow and black. Sadly, a disproportionate number of the needy in our communities are aboriginal people, and items knitted/crocheted in those colours are highly prized by them. 

Now Jocelyn's throw has gone to a very special recipient, an Aboriginal Elder who is 'doing it tough' health wise. 
Karen, the founder of K4BN, wrote :- 

'This  magnificent blanket is now with its new owner, an elder in Murgon. She has been battling cancer for a few years but still volunteers at lots of different places, especially schools! We have been told she cried when she was given this. Couldn't believe someone would donate something this beautiful to her!' 
Thank you for all that you do for the needy and vulnerable in our communities in Queensland, Jocelyn! It is very much appreciated.