22 March 2015

Adventures Continue

Followers of this blog please note that we have moved to a new address. So that I could keep my crafty creations and our wonderful adventures separate we now have two separate blog addresses.

If you are following our adventures we can be located at The Rambling Retirees where you will find a more current journal about our Adventures B4 Dementia.

The Crafty Retiree can now be found creating at One Creative Miss where you can be inspired and motivated by the delightful creations of this Crafty Retiree.

At this time I am not planning on adding any further posts on this blog but I will continue to monitor any comments made.

Safe travels and happy stitching to all.

15 April 2013

Goin' on a 'venture

Only one more sleep to go and we will be starting out on our next adventure.

Whew! What a month and a week this has been.  A wedding shoot, an embroidery workshop, and a mad "spring" clean throughout the house all in one week - I am exhausted but very excited that we are about to start our travels again.

Our High Tea event was a wonderful success - despite the rain (the only day over Easter that it rained!) and I raised a whopping $705.  My gratitude to all who made a donation to the cause, it is wonderful to know I have such great support from family and friends.  More photos on my MS fund raising page:


Wellies were order of the day

..and rellies in the mud
 The wedding shoot was a wonderful success - the rain even held off until we had finished photographing the happy couple, and even then it was just a very short shower.  We managed some beautiful shots and I'm sure Dale and Calam will be very happy with the end product.  Here are a couple of shots.

My embroidery workshop was really taxing but I quite enjoyed learning some new techniques and will endeavour to complete the project before we return from Tasmania in August.

Our mad "spring" clean has resulted in some very big bags of clothing being taken to St Vinnies and our cupboards have not been so organised since we moved into the house twelve and half years ago! Even the "tupperware" cupboard is organised - whew that took hours!

Carpets have been cleaned, rubbish deposited, windows and floors washed.  My we are a clean shining house!

The "Truck" is packed - and I'm not sure how it will make it up our hill with all that gear - but we are certainly all ready to go.  We head off to Brisbane at 11.30am on Tuesday,16th April, where we will board the "Spirit of the Outback" for the first leg of our adventure. Once we get to Longreach I'll attempt to make the first entry in our travel blog.

This will be my last blog entry on this, our home blog, until we return at the end of August.  However, for those of you who might like to follow our travels you can track us on our travel blog:  www.theramblingretirees.blogspot.com.au

Until we return, stay safe and enjoy life - we certainly will be.

25 March 2013

Time Flies By

Almost another month has passed and things are beginning to get a little more frantic in the house as we prepare for our upcoming adventures.

The Old Grey One is happy with the purchases made over the past month in preparation for our trip out west - a fridge/freezer (that will make my life easier for cooking meals); some adapter thing for the dual battery (so we don't get a flat battery running the fridge I think); and a solar panel (to assist in charging our battery operated equipment); and the little woman bought a food-saver machine - vacuum seals meats, veg, etc. for longer lasting whilst travelling.

The fourbie is already partially packed but there is still a lot to do around the house in preparation for the arrival of our house-sitters.

However, this coming week will be extremely busy with preparations for our fund-raising event on Sunday.  Unfortunately the whole thing looks like a bit of a fizzler for me.  After sending out almost 50 invitations there have only been 19 replies with only 7 of those replies being acceptance to attend (a total of 10 people attending).  Very disappointing after my excitement about the planning of such an elegant event. Never mind - just means less cooking for me I guess!

A definite POSITIVE from all this is that The Old Grey One has been working hard in the garden to bring it up to scratch and it looks FANTASTIC - especially after the storms last night. I think he was secretly looking forward to having a large group here too.

The next three weeks will just fly by. After our fund-raiser on Sunday we have a wedding shoot on 6th April - have been out practicing with my new camera just for that day.  We had a fab day at Boyce Gardens in Toowoomba, where I spent a great deal of time photographing (or trying to anyway) a satin bower bird in its bower.  Not sure that bird photography will be one of my greatest photographic talents but it was worth spending the time learning different aspects of my camera.

After the wedding shoot I have a two-day embroidery workshop (8th & 9th) and the following week we will be on our way for our western adventure. And so, time flies by.

For all those interested in following our travels, we will have a new blog site and this current home blog will go into "recession" until we return in August.  

Interested?  Then leave us a comment and we'll be sure to stay in touch through our Travel Blog - The Rambling Retirees.

I shall probably post again after the wedding shoot.

10 March 2013

And a "Happy Birthday" it was

Another year has somehow managed to slip away from me - but no damage done!

What a lovely day, despite the foggy damp start to the morning and well into the afternoon, my very own day had some beautiful, sunshiney moments.  More happy memories to add to my book of life.

Breakfast in bed - something I have always treasured as marking special days - was my first 'gift' and provided a leisurely start to the day.  Time to read, have a manicure, a long hot shower and time to open a big brown box that had arrived from Sarina three days ago, but I was forbidden to open it, or even peak, until Saturday morning.

What a lovely gift inside - a beautiful teapot and teacup with a very special message attached.  Thank you Mr & Mrs K. - it will certainly play a part in our upcoming High Tea and Garden Party Affair at the end of March.

Of course, the 'Older Crafty One' spoiled me with his gift - a wonderful digital camera.  A Canon 1100D - wow, will I be taking some great photo memories with that little beauty.  Watch this space over the next few months.

Messages galore came through from Facebook all day long.  Thank you to all those that posted messages - I love this tech era where everything comes on your mobile phone! 

It was our 'rostered' day at the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre so there were no plans for lunch.  However, Margot and Jo at the Centre, certainly didn't miss the opportunity to make my day even more special.  Afternoon tea was a lovely surprise with a musical birthday candle surrounded by three strawberry cupcakes and yummy star shaped sweets - I even had my very own birthday sash for the afternoon.  Thank you ladies, it was fun.

Apparently we were going out for dinner with our friends and neighbours, Robyn and Clayton, as a surprise but unfortunately the Old Grey One hurt his back during the day and we cancelled the dinner date.  However, not to be denied a special dinner, the birthday girl ordered Thai takeaway and invited Mr & Mrs B to join in the celebrations around our special dining table.  We had a lovely evening - even better than it would have been going out.

Looks like it might be my turn to play Carer for the next few days until the Old Grey One is back to normal duties - always interesting in the Rayward house.

02 March 2013

We are having an "Affair"

On this very wet and cool second day of Autumn here in the Garden City, I thought it would be good to bring a little sunshine into our lives and announce that the Raywards are having an "affair".  

That's right folks.  The first big "affair" we have had since Mrs R. was diagnosed with MS.  In fact, it's because of MS that we are having this "affair".

You all know I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006, but do you know what MS really is - how it affects the life of people with the disease, what it means for people living with the disabilities MS inflicts on individuals, what research is being conducted?  Did you know there are different types of MS with varying degrees of symptoms?   Did you know that MS conditions can be exacerbated by stress, or a lack of vitamin D?  

Do you know how many Australians are affected by the onset of MS? Did you know that it doesn't just affect the person with MS (PwMS) but that family members, especially partners, and relationships are also casualities of the disease?  Often the partner in the relationship has to become the carer, and taking care of a PwMS is no easy task - just ask Mr R. after Mrs R. has suffered a relapse.

So because of MS, and to answer some of these questions, and raise the awareness of MS, we are hosting a 'GARDEN AFFAIR - High Tea in the Hills' at our home on Sunday 31st March.

This special "affair" will be a fund-raising event as part of the MS Qld campaign called "The Big Dinner Party Fight for MS". Our "affair" will be my contribution to that campaign and I hope to raise at least $100 (more if my guests and followers choose to dig deep).  Not a large amount in the greater scale of things, but my belief is that every little counts a lot.

As the 31st March is Easter Sunday I thought it very appropriate to host a Garden Party and High Tea in our beautiful Garden City.

Traditionally High Tea was served between 4 and 6pm to appease the hunger of affluent members of the community between their lunch and evening dinner.  Whilst the latter was always a very formal affair,  High Tea was a little more informal but there were still protocols to be followed.

Formal invitations were always sent to selected guests, and ladies and gentlemen would arrive in their carriages always fashionably dressed. High Tea was served in the garden or conservatory, or if inclement weather threatened, it was held in the fashionable "sitting room" in an almost intimate atmosphere. 
Tables would be laid with fine linen and napkins, and fancy teapots, matching cups and tea plates, and silverware.  The hostess would offer a variety of fine teas, delicate finger sandwiches, delectable pastries, and scones with jam and cream.  All prepared fresh in the household kitchen.

In contrast, a Garden Party, usually held between 1 and 5pm, would be an opportunity for the hosts to "show-off" their beautiful gardens in a less formal and more relaxed atmosphere.  The grounds would be immaculately groomed and adorned with small tables, chairs, umbrellas, garden swings, and flower pots and statues.  

Female guests would wear fashionable dresses with beautiful hats and parasols, and the gentlemen would wear fashionable sports jackets and slacks.

There would be platters of delicate sandwiches and pastries, served with champagne and fresh juice or lemonade.  Music of the era could be heard all around the gardens and guests would wander around the grounds gossiping and admiring all in bloom.

Well, our "affair" may not be quite as grand as in the Victorian era but we'll have a "jolly good time old chaps".  There will be traditional faire offered, fine teas served, even some "bubbles".  The garden will reflect the theme and we hope our invited guests will come dressed to also reflect the elegance of the "affair".  Music will be "piped" into the garden and there are a few extra little "surprises" planned for our guests.

But of course, we mustn't forget this will be a special "affair" - a fund raiser for MS.  Guests will be invited to make a donation, small or large, to support MS Qld - all tax deductible.  For those unable to attend but who would like to follow the progress of my efforts, there is a website set up for my "affair".  All contributions acknowledged.

Might I now say after all that, the only reason I am able to have this special "affair" is because I am currently in a "remission" period.  Unlike many diagnosed with MS I consider myself very lucky with only Remit-Relapse MS (RRMS) and have a very good prognosis for the future.  But how wonderful it would be if research could find a cure for this disease so that even people with RRMS, and their famililes, could lead a normal lifestyle.