Sunday, December 23, 2012

A New Thing to Do

On a fellow quilter's blog, I found a photo project called Fridays Fences, so I thought I'd join in. The idea is to take a photo of a fence or through a fence, so here is my first effort.  Although it is Saturday here, it is still Friday in USA - I think.

My fence is historically very famous in Australia. It is of the Dingo Fence, taken when we were on a trip to Lake Eyre. We took some very out of the way outback tracks and found ourselves at the Dingo Fence. It was originally erected in the 1880s to keep dingoes out of the south eastern part of the continent. It is the longest fence in the world at 5614 kms.

Not the best shot in the world, but it was taken with one of those old fashioned (non-digital) cameras and then scanned. Will do better next time.

Liz Needle

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Koala Count

On November 28th we were involved in the Koala Count in South Australia. We were required to record any koala sightings on that day. All told over 1000 sightings were recorded , but this figure was probably lowewr than expected because we had a day of temperatures over 39 degrees.  Any self respecting koala would have been snoozing in the coolest spot it could find, not gallivanting about for silly humans to find.

Since then we have become quite obsessed with koala counting and regularly record sightings and photos on the Koala Count website.  Here are some of the photos I have been lucky enough to snap.

This beautiful boy has been around for a few years. We call him Kenneth and he is quite unafraid. He is distinguished by a white speckled patch on the bottom of his nose.

This is a younger fellow, lacking the white chin that Kenneth has. We have called him Kelvin.

                                                                                                     Kenneth again - or is it Kelvin. Not sure. Doesn't seem to be any white around his nose. Also seems to be a younger boy than Kenneth.
This female and her joey  have been in our garden twice that we have noted, usually in response to the very loud growling and calling from either Kenneth or Kelvin.

This is Kenneth again, You can clearly see the white under the nose.

This mother and joey were spotted while I was driving to town. Quite unperturbed by a noosey woman and her camera.
Below is the mother without her joey.

I hope you enjoyed our koala gallery.



I have joined the Scquilters Scatterdays group. Scatterdays is a bit like categories.  Every Saturday a letter and four different categories will be listed.  Scatterers have one week in which to find one thing for each category, photograph it and upload it to their blog.  The following Saturday surfers often cruise around to check out what you found.  After you have checked out other scattering blogs you can then start on next week's list..

This is the first week of Scatterdays and we have 2 weeks to complete the assignment.

The letter for this week is 'W' and the categories are:-

and a quilt related one
WIP  - for the uninitiated this means Work In Progress. (this might pose a problem as I don't actually have a quilting project at the moment - Quilters block!!!)

At least Scatterdays might make me get off my butt and do something with my blog. If you would like to check out what other Scatterdayers are doing, click on the Scatterdayers list of names.

Now to put on my thinking cap. Hmmmmm.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Story of the Nativity

Check out this video written and performed by children from a school in New Zealand. The story of the Nativity.


Liz Needle

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A New Toy

Don is having a ball. We have bought a new ride on lawn mower - a John Deere.  Our last one, although not really old - about 7 years - has been nothing but trouble, so we traded it in for something hopefully more reliable. Don also bought a trailer and he spent today mowing lawns with the new toy, which he pronounces much better to use and much quicker, and collecting and carting stuff in the trailer. 

We have nit sighted Kenneth the koala in nearly 2 weeks and are a little worried about him. I hope he has not come to any harm. However we have had some other visitors and they spent a warm afternoon under the pine trees.

There are quite a few kangaroos in the vineyard next door and Ollie and I often come across them on our daily walks. Ollie likes to chase them, but not for long. They are far too quick for him and he gives up quite soon.

Liz Needle

Sunday, October 28, 2012


More cleaning up today.
Ollie and Mark had a great time stacking wood and lighting a fire. Like most Jack Russells,

Ollie gets fixations on things and one of his is for fires. He loves them. He snaps and snarls and gets his nose in as close as he can. As a result he has very few whiskers left - just curly singed stubs. He finds branches sticking out, grabs them and pulls them out if he can.

At one stage he set fire to the grass, but he was onto it and let us know what was happening. He wasn't happy until Mark had stamped it out.

Liz Needle

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Down on the farm

This year the garden is looking the best it ever has, thanks to my retirement and Mark's extended leave. I have been busy weeding, planting, mulching and redesigning.Check out my garden blog for photos of the garden.
 Don is busy in the vegetable garden and keeping the lawns trim and Mark has been amazing - removing and burning dead trees, cutting down twisted and broken willows, building bridges and redoing the fallen down fences.

 Even city girl Mandy joined in helping when she was here and had a ball - "Just like when we were kids."

Next on the list of 'Things to be done" are a hen house and yard - our own free range eggs!!


Monday, October 22, 2012

The Disappearing Koala

The koala saga deepens. This morning there was no sign of mother koala and her baby, but there in his usual tree was the big male koala - Kenneth!!  And we thought he had turned into Katie.  But no, he is back again as large as life and doing his usual 'nothing' all day. At least Katie and the baby were fairly active which
 surprised us when we thought Kenneth had become Katie.

Our old friend Kenneth

But what of Katie and her little one?  Where are they?  Will we ever see them again? Is Kenneth the father of Katie's baby?  Will we ever know?  So many questions without answers.  I hope this story continues to develop like "Days of Our Lives".


Sunday, October 21, 2012


Last year sometime I posted some photos of the koala who visits the garden on a regular basis. We call him Kenneth as it seemed to have a nice ring to it.

Well, Kenneth hasn't been around for a few weeks and we were beginning to feel as if we had been abandonned. Last Thursday I came home from school and was immediately dragged out into the garden to, "Come and see what has happened!".

I was led down to the native garden area and told to look up. I obliged.  There to my amazement was Kenneth, perched in the tree  -  except Kenneth has turned into 'Katie" with a baby on his/her back.

How exciting!!!!!!!!

I haven't been posting much lately - too busy gardening, but I will try to do better. I have started a blog devoted to the garden where I hope to record a year in the garden. If you are interested it is

Liz Needle

Monday, April 09, 2012

Dance of the Flowers

This is a truly beautiful video - if the link works!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In the Garden

This weather is just perfect for gardens - not too hot, but pleasantly mild with rain every week or so. More to come tonight.

The vegetable patch certainly appreciates it with a great crop of just about everything. This summer all we have had to buy have been onions - everything else has been harvested in abundance. We have picked tomatoes - 4 varieties, cucumbers, zucchini, baby squash, artichokes, french beans, broad beans, peas, sweet corn, aubergine, capsicum, chillies, potatoes, green onions, garlic, carrots, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, salsify, radishes, lettuce, bok choy, spinach, silver beet, cabbages, Chinese cabbages and butternut pumpkins.

Some of the root vegetables have been very large.

And quite weird shapes

The good weather has meant that other areas of the garden are also thriving and I have had mt time cut out keeping up with the weeding and trimming. I guess it keeps me fit.

But it is worth the effort.


Monday, March 05, 2012


Isn't this just the most beautiful photo.
Just love this sunset taken from our back verandah.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Colur Blue Again

There must be something about me and blue. It occurs all the time. I do try to go for other colours, but it keeps rearing its pretty head. In this case it was luck. The car I wanted, the features I wanted, the price I wanted and the colour!! Our new Mazda 2 Genki. This one is an automatic and we really prefer a manual, but hey, it is easy driving.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

The colour Blue

The recent hot summer days have seen my garden start to dry out and look tired. I look back on the carefree days when we were able to water at will and the garden was green and fresh during summer. Those days alas are gone and my garden is suffering.

The one bright spot in the garden are the glorious agapanthas with their striking blues. I delight every time I pass a window and look out on the clumps of blue. They lift the garden and lift my spirits.

This dark,almost navy, blue is a stunner. This is the first year they have flowered.

I still like the original colour though. They make a lovely show and are in all the Hills gardens at the moment.

This little sunny spot is called Granny's Grotto because my mother loved to sit here and read. Over the past few years it has had a lot of changes as it suffered a lot of damages when a willow came down in a storm. Before that it was a very shady spot.
I'm sure Granny would still enjoy it though.

New additions to the garden are these delightfully quirky flamingos - a wedding anniversary gift from some very old and dear friends.

I'll have to think of a name for them. Any ideas?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No news

Well, they say no news is good news, but I am not so sure. Don's angiogram showed there was nothing wrong with his arteries - all clear.

So where to from here. More tests I guess. He's a bit worried that the specialist will say his current health issues are nothing to do with his heart. At least while we thought they were, we thought it could be sorted. Now we start again.

Not the way we thought we would be spending our retirement.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Bad with the Good

A very mixed day today. First Don had an appointment with his heart specialist. He had a pacemaker put in a couple of months back and it has taken a long time to settle down - or so we thought. He has been feeling generally unwell and put it down to getting used to the pacemaker. Every time he rang the specialist's office about it, he was told the pacemaker was working fine and he had to be patient.
Last week he went to gym and felt really unwell. pains in shoulders, arms and jaw. He thought he had done something to his pacemaker, but when he checked with the monitoring service it was working perfectly. However when he described his symptoms he was advised to see his GP asap. He did and they were concerned enough to hospitalise him overnight and give him a cardiogram which showed a few irregularities. That was last Thursday. As he had a cardio appointment on Monday he was told to go home and take it easy over the weekend.

Fronted for his cardio appointment and the proverbial hit the fan! The specialist put him into hospital straight away, muttering that it was time GPs learnt how to read cardiograms properly. The upshot is that he is to have an angiogram tomorrow because he has angina and will need further treatment depending on what they find. And we thought the pacemaker was going to solve all his problems. But then we thought that about the two ablations and all the other procedures as well. Poor fellow. I keep my fingers crossed that eventually they can sort it out so he can once again enjoy life as he used to.

On the brighter side, we had planned to buy ourselves a new car today, but I finished up going it alone. Quite exciting really. I eventually signed my life away (or my long service leave payout) on a totally gorgeous Mazda 2 Genki. I am in love!! This photo is not the Genki, but close. I could not fit the real picture in my scanner. I pick it up on Friday and Don is green with envy because he may still be in hospital for the big event. It is 11 years since we had a new car, so it is a big thing for us.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Moving on

So, with the cleaning up inside done, we move on to the garden. It's actually in reasonably good shape thanks to the work we put in before the party, but there is one area that has been totally neglected. Once a flourishing rose garden it was let go when we were no longer allowed to water it and Don got too sick to help out in the garden.

Now with all the time in the world, I decided to 'reclaim' the rose garden. I wish I had taken a photo of it before I started, but this will give you an idea. It was totally taken over by weeds and tall grasses; there were blackberries everywhere; the old climbing rose had run rampant and many of the others had reverted to root stock and had to be removed entirely.

The soil was dry and hard and removing weeds took some effort, especially as the kikuyu lawn had invaded a large part of the garden. We laid newspapers on the bare soil, then spread bark mulch to hopefully slow down regrowth and help retain moisture.

A couple of weeks later and the transformation is complete. We will have to do some replanting, but overall we are happy with our labours.

What next? I'll have to go for a wander and see what else needs to be done. After all a garden is never finished.

Liz Needle

Friday, February 03, 2012

That room!

The Wedding Anniversary over, I put my energy into cleaning out the sewing room. It is the last room in the house with the original baltic pine flooring, but sadly the borers have made a meal of it. For some time little holes have been spreading and now it has become paper thin in places - I actually put my foot through a floor board a few days ago - and I don't really weigh all that much.

And this isn't the worst part of the floor - just the bit I forgot about.

Sewing room partly cleared.

Much better. Just a couple more big things to move and then we find someone to replace the floor.

With Mark living in town,the granny flat will now become my sewing room/office/computer room and whatever else I wish to use it for. But first it will be used to store all the stuff from the old sewing room while a new floor is installed to make the room available as a spare bedroom and also the many boxes of accumulated school resources/rubbish until I have time to go through it and throw out what I don't need any more - most of it I think.

Sewing stuff moved - well this is a bit of it. Still more to go. It is now a lot more messy than in this shot.

The school stuff at the other end. This is actually a lot better now as I have thrown out a lot of it.

As well as this stuff I have been busy preparing our application for the Old Age Pension and sorting out superannuation. Hours of paper work, but I have to say I have been really impressed with the help and service we have had from the Centrelink staff. Fantastic. Hope it lasts!!

Liz Needle

Post script: Mark has just told me he has to move out of his shared house and needs to store some of his stuff at home. Also needs a place to sleep until he finds new accommodation. Guess where he will be sleeping? You got it!! My new 'maybe' sewing room!

And so retirement

Well, I have retired!! And here was I thinking I would have all this time on my hands to keep up with my blog. Not so.

First there was the 50th Wedding Anniversary to organise with all the accompanying preparation. The day was a success except for the weather, but that didn't really dampen spirits. So nice to catch up with people we haven't seen for years. In fact I was so busy socialising and checking on food and drinks that I forgot to take any photos. I'll have to chase up family and see if they took any.

My kids and grand kids camped on the lawn that night in tents, so I did get a few shots of that. Always amusing, not to say hilarious watching the male members of the family putting things together or up. This time they did reasonably well.

The girls loved having their own home. And Ollie was pretty happy with it too.

Liz Needle