JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Saturday, 17 February 2018


We have just arrived home after spending a week at Noosa for a wedding.  We haven't had the pleasure of staying at Noosa for many years so we were surprised at how fast it has grown!  Hastings Street, where we stayed at Bella Casa Apartments, is extremely busy - especially on weekends. But thank goodness weekdays were much quieter.
We spent many hours walking the National Park path that meanders around the headland between Noosa Main Beach and Sunshine Beach, and lazing on the beach or bobbing around in the ocean.  One day we drove to the Maleny/Montville area and another day we made the two hour journey to our sons place at Gundiah.
My mum joined us for the week and it was very special to be able to enjoy her company.  Mum is 81 in a couple of months and is still quite active.  Good work Mum!  We all met up at the Brisbane Airport where we picked up a hire car.  Mum arrived by bus from Toowoomba and returned the same way.  It's a really great service.
The wedding we were invited too was the youngest son of our very dear friends Lynn and Jack.  It was a beautiful wedding held in a very romantic place.  The wedding ceremony was laid back and so refreshing.  Words spoken were spoken from the heart and we truly felt the love between the bride and groom.  The only thing that probably spoilt it a tiny little bit for the bride was that it was such a windy day and her beautiful blonde curly hair was almost straight by the end of the ceremony!
The wedding was a canapĂ© wedding at the famous Bistro C restaurant in the heart of Hastings Street. We ate, danced and drank the night away.  I don't think I've enjoyed myself more at a wedding.  I certainly have never danced so much!
Here are a few photos from the week.

Meet and Greet at The Beach Club

Lynn and Jack congratulating the happy pair and welcoming Kelly to the family

Saturday, 3 February 2018

We always seem to be busy.....

I don't know how we manage it but we always seem to have everything happen at the same time.  Take for example our week two weeks ago.  We drove to Cairns on Monday to drop our camper in to have a new hot water system installed.  We drove back to Cairns on Tuesday to pick the camper up.  We drove back to Cairns on the Thursday to have the Toyota serviced and then on Friday we trucked cattle (see my last post).  Why we organise these things to happen all in the same week is beyond me!
Anyway it gave us opportunities to go to the movies to see Pitch Perfect 3 and The Post and to have a couple of really nice lunches.  Our favourite place for lunch at the moment is Ozmosis at Edge Hill.
We both ordered refreshing and energising smoothies to start and then Philip had a Chicken Ceasar Salad while I ordered the Turkey Club Sandwich.  The meal was delicious and very fresh.

Last Monday was Philips 62nd birthday so I invited a few friends and family to help us celebrate.  My hubby certainly did celebrate and had the pain the next day just to prove it!  I didn't get any photos from the lunch but here is the menu....

We continue to eat as healthy as we possibly can and my weekly trips to the Mossman Markets give us a bountiful supply of fresh vegetables.  I love wandering through the markets to see what is in season and then plan in my head, the meals that we will eat the following week.
I enjoy trying new recipes and I found a Pineapple Fried "Rice" recipe this week that sounded interesting.  I have lots of pineapples growing in the garden at the moment and I also had a bag of cauliflower "rice" in the freezer so it was a perfect way to use the produce.  We had some fish fillets in the freezer so I crumbed them and served them with the "rice".  It was very healthy and delicious.

We are heading to Noosa next week for a wedding so I have been trying to get a little colour on my body before hitting the ocean.  I find that if I do that I don't have to endure sunburn, and besides it's nice to have a little tanning on the body.  Of course when I set up my chair on the lawn my faithful lab, Hudson, comes right up beside me and makes himself at home.  He turned 11 in December and it looks like he will be around for a long time yet.

When we built our Queenslander back in 2006 we didn't really think too much about the maintenance involved in owning a timber home.  My goodness me.  It never stops.  Last weekend we spent a whole day guerning down the verandah railings.  This weekend we are attacking the slats around the bottom of the house.  I guernied the slats this morning and now Philip has started on the painting.  It is a joint effort that we hope to complete over the following weeks.  

That's a wrap for this week my friends.  Hopefully next post will be all about Noosa!

Saturday, 20 January 2018


Yesterday we sent the last of our cattle (except two steers that will be for the freezer) to our son at Gundiah.  It is with both sadness and happiness that we did this.  Sadness because we love our cattle but happiness that they are going to a good place and that we will get to see them again.  Can't say that about any other cattle that we have sold.
I freely admit that I dislike working with cattle in the yards and Philip only called upon me as a last resort.  However, the "last resort" was happening more often so I am happy that is now finished.  What I will miss though is the morning walk when I could say hello to the cows and their caves, and get to know their individual traits.  Some of our cattle are "pat quiet" others look at you with disdain. One thing is for sure though that they are all quiet cattle and by that I mean that there is no vice in any of them.  You can walk through them in the cattle yards and they just quietly move out of the way.
So, yesterday our morning started at 5.30 am. when Philip mustered the cattle into the yards and we drafted off the calves from the cows.  By 7.00 am our "cross loading" body truck had arrived and by 7.30 am we had our first load ready for the the B-Doubles waiting on the bitumen pad 100 metres from our gate.
For those of you that don't know what cross loading is I will try to explain.
The B-Double trucks cannot enter our property because they are too long so we get the truck drivers to wait at the bitumen pad while we load a body truck that then transports the cattle to the waiting trucks.  The body truck reverses up to the B-Double and the cattle then move, via a ramp, from one truck to another.  As we had six decks of cattle to be loaded it was twelve trips for the body truck that carried a half deck.
It poured rain yesterday while we were loading the cattle, that seemed like a fitting way to say goodbye to the cattle.  They now have a journey of almost 1600 km that will take about 36 hours to complete.  We gave the cattle plenty of room to move around on the trucks so that when the truck drivers have to stop for a log book break the cattle will be able to lie down.  It's the best we could do.

Cross Loading

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The week that was.....

We've had a busy week catching up with friends.  First at Palm Cove where our great friends and hosts cooked up a delicious meal for the seven of us.  Love, love, loved the salads that Kate made to compliment the bbq lamp chops, sausages and chicken.  And lets not forget that curry.  To die for.  It was such a beautiful balmy night sitting on the verandah at our friends Palm Cove apartment.  As usual, the conversation (and drinks) flowed easily. We stayed the night and next morning......ham and eggs.  What else!  Thanks guys!

The three amigos

Anyone for a bbq?

Sunday evening we were invited to our gardeners house.  Her parents were coming for a visit and she really wanted us to meet them as they are ex westerners (from the Hughenden area).  Boy, did we hit it off.  We had so many friends in common, it was quite amazing.  Trude's husband was home after doing a four week stint at his FIFO job in PNG.  He didn't get to have christmas with his family so Trudi cooked up a beautiful ham with all the vegetables and trimmings.  It was another fantastic meal.  After dinner we took our chairs downstairs and sat around the bonfire that the kids had built. Another memorable night.
Dinner at Trudi's place

There is nothing more relaxing than sitting around a bonfire.

Saturday morning I rose quite early to get down to the Mossman Farmers Markets to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables.  I made a resolution at the start of the year that I would do this and also to eat from the freezer more often.  By that I mean eating some of the frozen meals that I religiously place in the freezer to eat when we are short of time.  Of course, they don't get eaten!  I have enough frozen meals to feed us for at least a month.....
This lady was selling "red avocados" that I googled and they are in fact Mamey Sapote.  I bought two and will make them into a healthy dessert. 
A lot of the produce comes from the Atherton Tablelands at this time of the year.  
Last night we were back in Cairns for dinner at our friend Jane's home to check out her renovation.  What a great job the builders have done and kudos to Jane for her fantastic taste in furnishings.  It is a lovely home with a "heart".  We all took along a food contribution and started with a cheese ball, and crackers followed by garlic prawns with crusty bread.  For the main meal we feasted on Stuffed Mushrooms, Asparagus Spears with soft friend Egg, Potato Bake, Steak and Sausages.  To round out the meal Jane had made a lovely lemon tart.  We were as "full as googs" as we said goodnight to our friends.

Dressed to kill

Today we are watering the garden.  It is very dry for this time of the year, but then again January can be a horrible month as we await the start of the monsoon season.  I went around the garden and picked a few flowers before we started watering.  The garden is looking lovely at this time of the year.

Next week we are going to be extremely busy as we send all our cattle to our son at Gundiah.  We are starting to "wind down" as we head towards retirement.  Bring it on!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Vale John Edward O'Neil

On Thursday we sad our last goodbyes to my mothers partner for the past 19 years.  He had just celebrated his 80th birthday.
John came into Mum's life shortly after my dad passed away but had been a family friend for many, many years.  John worked in Main Roads in those days and passed on a lot of work to my plumber father.  They were great mates.
I can't say that it was easy to accept John into mum's life, but it really didn't take very long for his charm to rub off and for us to see that he was good for mum.
They both built lovely houses on Ogilvie Road in Warwick but it wasn't long before Toowoomba called and they found the perfect place in Hume Street.......identical town houses side by side.
Every morning John would deliver the paper to Mum after he had read it. That was their way of checking on each other.  They also shared their evening meals in front of the TV.  Mum would make up her tray and walk the six or so steps to John's place where he would also have his tray made up.
They enjoyed wonderful holidays together seeing much of Australia until mum's health restricted her from traveling too far, so it was either the Gold or Sunshine Coasts along with the yearly visit to us her at Julatten.
John could be very opinionated and we did not see eye to eye on lots of things but he was also one of the kindest, generous big-hearted people I know.  I am going to miss him greatly.

RIP Johno.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017....A year in review

Here we are on New Years Eve and once again I am grateful for reaching this point.  Looking back through all my photos from 2017 I sometimes wonder whether we are ever home!  It has been a busy year.
New Year 2017 saw us on the Sunshine Coast celebrating with friends and family.  We always enjoy that and it is a great way to see in the New Year. This year we are in Toowoomba and sadly we are here for John's funeral.  John and Mum were together for 18 years so he has been like a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.
Now onto the year in review.
January we are usually sitting around waiting for the wet season to commence but we did make our way to Rex Smeal Park in Port Douglas to watch the "new Australians" become part of our community on Australia Day.

February was, for us, a relatively quiet month but a trip  to Tinnaroo Dam for a spot of Kayaking is always fun.

March was a great time to have my two sisters come for a visit.  It was wonderful to spend the time with each other even if it was only a short visit.

April is the Dirt and Dust Triathlon and my husband has competed in almost all of them.  This year we were joined by friends from Cairns.

April also saw my mother turn 80.  We celebrated with a "Girls Only" lunch and afternoon tea.

May.  It may not seem such a big deal to many folks, but we finally laid bitumen on our access road.  Why didn't we do this years ago!

June saw us travelling to PNG and Singapore with our wonderful friends.  It was a fabulous trip and memories that we will enjoy looking back on for a long time.

July saw us having friends visit and it is always a time for me to test my culinary skills.  I love good food and enjoy trying out new recipes but I am actually enjoying the cooking side less and less.  I guess it is an age thing.  These days I try to keep it simple, but there is nothing like a good cheese platter to impress the guests!

August is my birth month and this year, being my 60th, was quite a big month.  My dear friend surprised me with a beautiful birthday cake, made with her own hands.

We also spent a week in Bali for my birthday week and were joined by friends.  It was a special time with lots of eating, drinking and lots of laughs.

September our son came to visit us.  It was an opportunity to set him to work and help us with the branding.

October we sadly said our last goodbyes to Philips mother.  She would have been 82 in December and lived a very full, exciting life and always made the most of every situation.  We will miss her enthusiasm for life.

November saw us on another road trip.  Gosh I love these trips.  Everything is just so easy and I have repeatedly told Philip that I could easily live in our Camper for an extended amount of time.

November we saw John for the last time, although we did not know it at the time.  John sadly passed away on Christmas Eve.

December, with all the Christmas hype, passed very quickly.  It was the first time in our forty years of marriage that we spent Christmas alone and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

So, that's a wrap for 2017.  I wish you all peace and happiness for 2018 and god willing I will be sitting here again at the end of 2018 writing another post just like this one.  Namaste.