Friday, July 28, 2017

Yes I am still alive!!!

Wow I can't believe I haven't posted since March. Yes I am still alive and have been pretty busy with life in general. One of my big happy times was welcoming a new member to our family.
Clare and Starr at eight weeks old
Starr is an American Staffordshire Terrier (Staffy). We got her when she was 8 weeks old and she is now almost 7 months. Her training is going well and thank goodness she is over the baby stage of wanting to eat us. She still has lots of puppy issues but slowly but surely we are getting there.
Starr at six months
I have also spent quite a bit of time up on the New South Wales coast at my sons house. It was great getting to spend time with my two little grandsons O'Shea and Finn. Rachel, Clare, Mikayla and I also headed up there for a week of the school holidays. It was such a beautiful time spending time with both my two (now grown) babies and my four adorable grandbabies.



Mikayla having just finished her strawberries
I was also given the fantastic news (a day apart) that my daughter, Rachel and daughter in law, Stacey are both expecting their third children. They are due within about a week of each other. So that will be even more JOY in my life.
Stacey and Rachel with my two new grandbabies
 I must say Clare, O'Shea, Mikayla and Finn are all pretty excited that they are getting a new baby in the house. I will ask them again about a month into the arrival. Their idea of a cute baby may be a little tarnished by then.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Nillumbik Art Adventure

This week I got back into taking myself out on a Tuesday Adventure Day. This time I thought I would seek out some of the outdoor art the in shire I live in. I have lived in the Nillumbik Shire for quite a long time and have seen some of the art on numerous occasions, but I have never made a conscious effort to find out the artists or the meaning behind the piece. Nillumbik Shire covers quite a large area soI started in Eltham and ventured out.
"Wall of the Moon"
(Homage to Miro)
Tom Sanders
Eltham Town Square
Wall of the Moon is  a ceramic mural made of earthenware tiles.It consists of a playful organic abstract design similar in style to the Spanish artist Joan Miro. Shades of yellow and black glazes are layered onto matte black and shiny bronze tiles.

Eltham Town Square resident Platypus

"Classical Landscape"
Cliff Burtt
Alistair Knox Park

Surveyor of Suburban Environs
Ernst Fries
Alistair Knox Park

The Eye 
 Surveyor of Suburban Environs is a polished stainless steel sculpture comprising an eye reminiscent of ancient egyptian hieroglyphics, which is held up with a tappered and jaggered tail like pedestal.

Eltham's Timber rail Bridge
 Is this art? I think it is. Eltham's Timber rail bridge was built in 1902 and is the only railway bridge of predominantly timber construction that is still in regular use as an integral part of Melbourne's metropolitan electric railway network and one of extremely few timber railway bridges in the state that still carries trains.
"Alan Marshall"
Marcus Skipper
Eltham Library
 A realistic depiction (almost lifesize) of the author of almost fifteen books, Alan Marshall cast in bronze with green patination. Dressed in a jumper and slacks, Marshall is shown perched on a crutch, holding a book to his heart, gesturing to his audience to come and listen to his words. Alan Marshall lived in Eltham most of his life and was a central figure in the area's community of writers, artists, sculptors, film makers,actors and musicians.

Close up of Alan Marshall beckoning us to listen to his words

Deborah Halpern
Nillumbik Shire Offices
Wayfarer is an excellent example of Deborah Halpern's tile construction technique and playful style that she is renowned for. I have always loved Deborah Halpern's work and am delighted when I come across yet another piece either in  the city or in other Melbourne locations.

Robert Baines
Civic Centre
This piece Transaction by artist Robert Baines is a large cascading form in stainless steel. Multiple rows of concave dishes set on long steel stems which progressively increase in size as they rise in height.
Susie and Naomi Kumar
Coventry Oval
Diamond Creek
The Kumar sister designed this sixty metre gently curving bench, Benchmark, in response to the topography of the site, Coventry Oval. The sculpture is designed to describe the boundary between the formal oval and the natural creek bank.

"The Breeze"
Edward Ginger
Opposite Eltham Little Theatre
 The Breeze is an abstract work made out of welded steel and painted in enamel in bush fire red. It comprises of flat, cut out shapes, interlocking at different angles, giving the impression of being hinged together rather than fixed. The circular cut-out in the eye mimics the sun, symbolising the intense heat in the Australian climate,while the colour red alludes to the history of bushfire within the urban and rural fringe.

Kangaroo Ground War Memorial and Tower of Remembrance
 The Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Tower is built on the highest hill in the district. It was unveiled on November 11, 1926 and is used as a fire spotter in the summer. It offers 360 degree views which take in Melbourne, the north-east suburbs and the Dandenong and Kinglake Ranges.

One of the Windmill Palms
 Surrounding the tower there are seven windmill palms which represent the seven States and one Territory of Australia. The oldest of these palms are over 60 years old.

Looking south towards Melbourne, unfortunately it was a bit hazy 

While sitting enjoying the amazing vies the silence was only broken by the beautiful catter from the magpies.

"Man and Fire"
Shane McGrath and the
St Andrews Men's Shed
2013 - 2015

"Lasting Memories Mosaic Seat"
Lasting Memories Mosaic Group
St. Andrews Hall
 Lasting Memories Mosaic Seat is a large concrete seat in the style of an organic chaise lounge. The Lasting Memories Mosaic Group began this piece just after the Black Saturday bushfires on February 7, 2009. After the horrific fires ravaged through St Andrews and the surrounding areas, a group of bushfire affected ladies bravely came back to St Andrews to begin their healing in an artistic way.

Plague beside the Lasting Memories Mosaic Seat

A closeup view of some of the various pieces used in the seat. 

Each woman created something beautiful and meaningful, using remnants of crockery, glass, tiles and bricks salvaged from their own properties. This artwork identifies who they are and tells their personal "life journey"and family heritage and memories of what they had experienced before, during and beyond Black Saturday.

This closeup shot really gives the feeling of how hot the flames were
and how the sun glowed red

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February - well that turned out different

Well how quick did February go? My February turned out totally differently to what I was expecting. We were all planned and booked to have a nice week in Echuca when Shane took ill and was off to hospital in an ambulance. After three weeks of hospital then rehab, lots of scans and test and also a couple of stressful misdiagnosis and then told they were wrong we are hopefully now off the rollercoaster we have been on. He came home today on crutches and still in a bit of pain, but at least he's home. But my time wasn't all spent visiting hospitals I did get a chance to catch up with some girlfriends,spent time with my daughter and my granddaughters and completed a couple of projects I have had on my to do list for a while.

My oldest grandchild Clare had her first athletics day at school. It was pretty cute watching all the little preppies doing their activities. Some loved it, some didn't care and some were in tears. Clare had fun but wasn't really into being the first over the line.
And she's off...

Egg and Spoon race would have been more interesting if they were real eggs!!!
I had a lovely catchup up with a a couple of past workmates Helen,Kaye and Kaye's daughter Ava for brunch in the city. Then to celebrate a friend, Melissa's birthday a group of us got the train into the city and then a ferry along the Yarra River to Williamstown for the day. The hour long ferry ride was a very enjoyable trip travelling under several high and very low bridges with some amazing views of Melbourne CBD.
What a great day with some great friends - having a bit of fun with the street performers. 

Me and Gold Man

Melbourne CBD from the water

I think the fish and chip tasted better eating them in the park

By the end of a great adventure on a very warm day  I was ready to finish with one of these
What will my birthday month March bring me? I have a few things planned but wherever it takes me I'm ready for the adventure.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Goodbye January

Well here we are at the end of our first month of 2017 and hasn't it gone fast? How was your January, hopefully it's been all you could wish for. My January has been filled with family, love and FUN. Those who know me well know my life word is FUN and I try and it is included in each and every day. My January started off looking after my two granddaughters Clare (5) and Mikayla (3) while their Mum and Dad holidayed in Vietnam. With help from their Nana and their Papa we all survived. We didn't head out too much as the weather was extremely hot, but we certainly were very creative while we were indoors.
Clare and Mikayla did have a lot of FUN creating their very own Fairy Garden

Beautiful Clare

Beautiful Mikayla
 Anyone that follows my blog also knows I am a Gypsy, with my regular travels throughout Australia. But for 2017 we have decided not to do a big trip where we will be away for months at a time. Instead the plan is to travel to a different location for about a week or so each month. So January's Aussie Adventure was spent a place called Broulee on the mid New South Wales Coast. It is also just happens to be where my son Shane lives and the beach is at the end of their street.

Off we head to the beach
Family FUN at the beach

Handy for Shane who has just started surfing

O'Shea seems to be getting the hang of it too
I travelled up there with my daughter Rachel and her daughters Clare and Mikayla to spend a wonderful family beach holiday with my son Shane, his wife Stacey and my two adorable grandsons O'Shea (5) and Finn (3). We visited Mogo zoo which is a fantastic privately owned zoo, lots of time at the beach and having lots and lots of FUN.
Mogo Zoo is certainly somewhere I would recommend everyone visit. 

Icypole time at Mogo Zoo

The last week of my January has been spent doing some home maintenance, setting and keeping my 2017 goals and planning where we will head for our February Aussie Adventure.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

This is just a short post to wish everyone out there a very HAPPY and SAFE  2017. 
May your year be filled with all you desire and all you need, even if you don't know you need it.

What will 2017 bring us all?

What do you want to accomplish in 2017?

My main desire for myself in 2017 is to accomplish 
one thing each day
 - don't let a day go by without living it to it's absolute fullest. 

I think the January picture on my 2017 calendar 
pretty much sums me up. 

"Gypsy Soul"

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Farewell 2016 - Hello 2017

Well here we are looking back over yet another year, 2016, and the beginning of another life adventure in 2017. How come the older I get the quicker the years fly past? That is why I promise myself today, as I have for a number of years, to live each and every day to it's very fullest. But, I must admit I do love this time of the year. Looking back on my year, reflecting on what I have accomplished, what I didn't get around to doing and where I have grown, gives me great satisfaction. Then looking forward to the next twelve months, making goals and planning what adventures I want to experience fills me with much anticipation.

How was your 2016, did you accomplish the goals you wanted to succeed at? I have found this year more than previously there has been a majority of bad news bought to use on our 6.00 news. I myself have made a conscious effort not to watch the news and just read what I want to on the internet. With all this bad news being thrown at us we sometimes forget about all the good things that have happened during the year.

The first five months of 2016 was pretty much indulging myself in my friends and family and accomplishing some goals I had set. Then from May 12th we headed off in our camper Myrtle for another Aussie Adventure. This time it was up to Cape York to the very tip of Australia, across to Karumba, the prawn capitol of Australia.

It was a bit of a hard walk to get there, but it was worth it. 

The best seafood buffet I have had in a while
The three day rodeo in Mount Isa was a highlight and the dinosaur triangle was certainly an eye opener. Along the way we also saw many more amazing sights, learnt so much about our homeland and met some lovely, interesting people. It is nice to now be home, but the travelling lifestyle is certainly in my blood and I am constantly researching where to next. 
I think I have become a bit of a rodeo junkie!

Amazing discoveries

The trail of our Aussie Adventure 3
What will 2017 hold for us all? Do you set yourself some goals (I dislike the term New Year Resolutions)? If so, what is one of your goals you would like to accomplish in 2017? I used to do the whole New Years Resolution thing but I found that just set me up for failure. It was to much for me looking at the whole twelve months as a whole. I now break my year down into months, weeks and even days. I have a monthly goal chart that I stick nine things I would like to accomplish during the month. Some of these goals do carry on through several months or even the whole year, depending on how much I am progressing with the challenge.  I also have my daily diary where each night I write down some things I want to accomplish during the week or following day. Yes, I know I am a list person, always have been. I find it works most of the time so I'm not changing now. 

My monthly goal chart
So what monthly goals am I going to set myself for 2017? That is the question, I don't know yet. I find on January first the goals seem to just flow to me. I'm not sure if we will be departing on another big Aussie Adventure, this year might include smaller adventures to places where were will concentrate on a smaller area. I will definitely still be doing my Hometown Adventures while I'm in Melbourne. It's very satisfying learning about the history and goings on of your hometown.

I would also like to thank each and every one of you here on my blog and on facebook for joining me in my adventure this year. I have loved all your comments and have enjoyed having you all along for the ride. Here's to the ending of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 and look forward to seeing what we all can accomplish.