Where I live Feed

Where I live

I was so excited when I saw this.  It was only in the distance and the photo isn't too good but I saw a whale breaching in the channel between our island and Stradbroke.

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Monique and I were walking on the beach and in the distance this magnificent creature broke the surface of the water.  How cool is that?  The whales are on their way back to the Antarctic and this one had wandered into the bay.

Spring is starting to make itself felt. Lots of new flowers in my garden.

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And notices like the one below.  Those birds have been busy.

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A bit of home organisation

All this thinking and pondering over my stitch club activities has made me not see what is under my nose.  I have missed some of the basics like making sure all the linen in the kitchen is up to scratch.   I have stepped back, tidied all the draws in the kitchen, discarded old tea towels and replace them and had a look at the hand towels.  My home is on three levels.  From the living level, where the kitchen is, I go up to the bedrooms and bathroom and down to the guest rooms, bathroom and laundry.  ( My husbands workshop and office is down here as well but that is not my concern.)

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What it does mean is that there are stairs to ascend or descend if you need to wash your hands.  Who is going to do that?  This results in the tea towels being used to dry hands.  There is nowhere to hang a hand towel so I have resorted to the type you buy in markets with the crocheted tops.  The draw back with these is that they have to be changed every day.  My solution is to make a version that suits me, and, as I need at least 7, are a lot cheaper.

I start with a packet of tea towels from the supermarket.  Five for $10, that makes me 10 hand towels.

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I cut these in half, overlock the cut edge and run two lines of machine gathering to pull the top in.

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I then do a line of double crochet with a cotton thread over the gathering.  I use a No 2 steel crochet hook, this goes through the fabric easily, and a soft cotton thread, about a 4ply.  I keep these supplies in a see through bag so they are just there if I need them.

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I don't count how many double crochet I do across the top.  This very much depends on how tight the gathering is.  But after the first row I work 2 more across the top.  It gets smaller with each pass.

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I then switch to treble crochet and  evenly decrease in the following rows until the work is the about the width I want the hanger to be.  When decreasing I do make sure I end up with an even number of stitches.  When I think it is long enough I make a button hole by working to the centre and then back to the edge.  I then return to the centre and slip stitch back down to where I began and work the other side.  This takes me back to the outer edge and I crochet all the way across again.  I then work 2 rows of treble crochet followed by 4 or 5 rows of double crochet descending at the beginning and end of each double crochet row to round the end off.

I find my biggest problem is finding the buttons, which need to be a good size, to finish off.  After this lot I am down to just one large button in my stash.  I usually source these from the Guild sale table or St. Vinnies but non of these are open at the moment.

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I find I can complete 2 towels in an hour or so.  I have tried a more sturdy hanger and although this looks nice it takes more materials and time, so this easy version is the one for me.

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in these times when hygiene is so important I feel a lot more comfortable with this.



The wild ducks

I am so luckly to be semi-isolated in such a beautiful place.  At this time of year the days are cool but sunny and there are not a lot of visitors to the island.

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But I see that the wild ducks are pairing up.  Must be time for some new ducklings.

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There is a small creek that runs behind the beach and it is here that they are building nests.

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There are lots of frogs by the noise I can hear.  I just hope those snakes stay away.

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Winter Wattle

I do love this time of year.  Cold nights and crisp cool but sunny days.  It is time for the winter wattle to bloom and there are trees flowering all over the island. 

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I took a couple of sprigs to put on the kitchen table. 

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This makes a nice watercolour print.

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Bringing the sunshine inside.

Bossy Birds

It is beautiful Autumn weather at the moment and lots of trees and plants are in flower.  This has brought the birds out in force.  But those lorikeets, although beautiful colours, make lots of noise and are very bossy of the other birds.  I have an Agave in bloom out in the front garden and the super sweet nectar has attracted lots of birds, especially the lorikeets.

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But they refuse to share.  Oh boy, you should hear the squabbles.

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Those blue eyed honey eaters are not small birds but he has their measure.


As I walk

Now that I can walk, I do.  Every morning and every afternoon.  I walk around my island, which sits in Moreton Bay and this song keeps playing in my mind.  "Moreton Bay."  It is a great walking song.  Not too fast and not too slow


As I walk I ponder on who walked here before me on this and the surrounding islands?  There are actually 365 island in the bay from north to south.  We are in the southern bay.   I know Matthew Flinders stood here on Coochiemudlo and looked down the bay to the border ranges.

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Maybe he could see the hollows the stingrays make in the sand below the shallow water.

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I look over to Macleay Island and know that this is where the slavers brought their cargo of Pacific Islanders before they were shipped north to the Sugar Cane farms.

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East I see Stradbroke Island off in the distance.  The British brought the first convicts to Moreton Bay here before the settlement up the Brisbane River was established.

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The Noonukle people opposed the British who sent in troops to wipe them out.  But, they were warned by the convicts what was going to happen so they all "went bush".  The troops were so set on killing that they went further North to Moreton Island where they set about killing just about all of those people.  There were so few survivors that they were moved to Stradbroke Island by the government in future years.  Only problem was that these two tribes didn't get on and still have little to do with each other.

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I can just glimpse Moreton Island on the horizon.  To the right is Stradbroke and on the left is Peel Island.  For many years this was a Leper Colony.  It's story was dark and not a lot is known of what really went on there.

My little island had no permanent water supply, so was left alone.  There was water in the aquifers that run under the island but they didn't have to technology to get it up and the tribes people didn't let on that they knew how to access the water, so it was left untouched until much later.  The tribes people hid much of what was precious to them here, like their grinding wheels for making flour.   This was found only a few years ago and returned to the people who it belonged to who didn't know what had become of them.  We were all told that aboriginal people were hunter gatherers but they grew crops as the grinding wheels show testatment to.  Further north on Bribie Island there were permanent villages. Not just humpies but robust houses.  How much of the true history of the original people been buried or forgotten?

All this I ponder as I walk.


Getting Ready to Sew

So I have the new machine out of it's box and set up on the bench.  I have read the manual from front to back and I now just have to start sewing.  But there is a problem.  The room is a mess.  I need to put everything in it's right place before I can begin.

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I think this is part of my problem.  Nice to have it in a poster. So I spent a whole day just getting my room in order.  I could blame it on the weather I suppose?  The weather has been completely out of control.  A drought, then the fires now more rain in a few days than we have had in over a year.  It is hot and humid, rather like a sauna.  The seed that I put out for the birds has grown into grass! I wonder if it will develop into flowers?

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And flowers that should be finished are in bloom again.

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The rate of growth is just amazing.  This is the climber two weeks ago.

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This is it now.

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and next door's vine has completely covered the new fence behind the clothes line.

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The weather has driven Larry into the house.

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Some other poor person found this when they opened their sewing box.  I'm glad it wasn't me.

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Besides the rain we have also had King tides.  The creeks overflowed and the tide rose so high there was a meeting of fresh and salty waters.  Now we will have an explosion of baby cane toads and mosquitos.   I'm procrastinating again.  I have to start sewing!!!!

The birdbath

I finally got my birdbath.  It has taken ages to get here and this is it's second column,  my husband dropped and broke the first one.  It is very solid but I kept the old one as well because it is so dry here.

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The little bird should sit on the edges, but he kept being attacked so now he sits in the tree.

Keeping Cool

 I am trying to stay in the airconditioning.  The fires are still burning all over the place and the air is heavy with smoke.  I see it has even found it's way across the Tasman to N.Z.!  One thing it has done is give us some spectacular vistas.  (I never realised how difficult it is to take a photo of the sun.)  This shot was taken at about 3:30pm that reflection on the water is unreal.

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I walked up the beach from the jetty where this was taken.  The white heat of the sun is what the camera captures but that red around the edges is what the eye sees.

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I ran into a couple of French backpackers who were also trying to get shots.  They had come down the bank, which is about 12 metres high, nearly having a nasty accident.  The actual path was only a few metres away.

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I am now setting up my sewing room to sew mittens for koalas.  The notice on facebook said that patchwork fabric was just the thing they needed to be made of.

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So I am aiming for 50 pairs.  Hope I can do that this weekend.

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