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.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The easiest Stir-Fry Ever!

Ingredients:
3 Honey Soy Chicken Skewers from the Coles Deli
1 packet of Asian Stir Fry from the vege section in Coles
Soy Sauce
Seseame Oil
Rice Bran Oil

Take the chicken off the skewers and fry in a tablespoon of both oils in a wok.  When cooked throw in the packet of Asian Stir Fry Vegetables.  Stir Fry for a few minutes with a splash of soy sauce.  Take off the heat and enjoy.
Time taken:  about 5 minutes!



Saturday, 27 April 2013

I love technology.....

that can turn my old yellowed photographs into "fairly" decent photographs.  
I decided to purchase a Digiframe scanner and scan all my photos to an external hard drive. I use Lightroom 4 to make adjustments and then save them as a slideshow so that we can watch the photos on either our TV or computer or even the I-Pad.  I've even worked out how to add text to each photo so that anyone watching will know what they are looking at!


From This



Via This


To this device
Turns this
Into This
And This

Into This


The first photo was taken in 1977 and the other was taken in 1981, so they are more than 30 years old.  Boy, hasn't technology come a long way. 
 I love it!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Anzac Day

I'm spoilt for choice as to how to celebrate Anzac Day.  There are Dawn services in both Mossman and Mt. Molloy and parades in Port Douglas and Mt. Molloy.  I intended to go to the parade at Mt. Molloy but I had an unexpected phone call from my son and DIL to say that they were going to be in Cairns and would I like to have lunch with them.  Would I ever!  We met at Salthouse at the Pier in Cairns and had a delicious lunch that was over all to soon.  I couldn't have had a nicer Anzac Day.
On the way home I stopped at Ellis Beach to see what photo opportunities might be available.  Not much unfortunately at 3.00 pm, but I did enjoy watching this gentleman with his "best friend"  the red dog.  They were both so comfortable just sitting in the shade on the beach watching the waves roll in.




Friday, 19 April 2013

Port Douglas Night Photo Shoot

The Douglas Photographic Society had a night photo shoot at Port Douglas last night.  It was lovely.  The night was balmy and perfect for photography.  Unfortunately the sunset was a little disappointing but the marina at night looked quite beautiful.  Of course I had to photograph "St Marys By the Sea".....the beautiful little church overlooking the Coral Sea.  I had to cut short my photography of this icon because two very drunk hobos decided to annoy me.  I had the backup of the rest of the group so that was a relief.

Here are a couple of my favourite photos.

The Port Douglas Marina

St Marys By the Sea

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Spiders and Webs

As soon as I woke this morning and saw the heavy fog I knew that there might be a chance to get some  interesting shots on my morning walk with the dogs.  I grabbed the camera and off I went.  The first thing that I noticed was the cobwebs.....everywhere.  The stringy kind that you walk through and they cling to you.  How do they get there and what spiders build them?  I will have to ask somebody knowledgeable about that one.  Here are some photos that I took.







Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Reminiscing

We have been home for eight days and to tell the truth it has taken that long to recover from the cold/flu that we contracted whilst overseas plus a bit of jet lag.  So now it is time to remember all the lovely places that we visited, people that we meet, food that we ate, and the knowledgeable tour guides that were so patient with us "Aussies".  I didn't post any photos of our "suite" on board the Scenic Diamond because they are not great photos but I decided to post anyway to give you all some idea of the "spaceship".  There were 170 guests on board the ship and 35 staff members.  Compared to other cruises that we have done with many thousands of people on board, this was very intimate and easy to meet and talk with other guests on board.

The ensuite was very compact but the shower was a marvel with three shower heads!

Very roomy vanity

King singles made into one bed were extremely comfortable.

The balcony would have been fantastic on a warm day.  The full length electric window could be set at any height

Not seen properly is the flat screen TV attached to the wall on the left.  It was actually a Mac that came with a keyboard  for  access to the internet.  Free WIFI onboard was very useful.

Would be do this trip again.....in a heartbeat.....but in the warmer months.  We have placed the river cruise from Paris to Barcelona on the "bucket-list", but not before 2015!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Homeward Bound

We arrived into Kuala Lumpur at 3pm Friday after our 12 hour flight from Amsterdam. We both managed to get about 8 hours sleep on our flight so that was a bonus.  We were told that there was great shopping in KL and as the shops are open until 10 pm we decided to check it out.  The cab driver that took us from the airport to KL told us to go to Times Square for some great shopping.  It was just across the road from where we were staying at the Parkroyal so that was convenient.  The shopping however was disappointing.  Nine floors of everything that you could wish for but nothing that grabbed our eye and when we did find something we found the price to be much the same in Australia.  We headed back to the Parkroyal for a nightcap and sleep in readiness for our flight back to Australia the next day.

KL from our Hotel window

Nine floors of shopping at Times Square KL

We are now home.  It all seems surreal.  Two days ago we were walking in snow and today we are walking in bright sunshine.  I'll take the sunshine anyday!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Amsterdam Part 3

After such a replenishing sleep last night we were ready to hit the streets of Amsterdam again.  But, one look outside told us that it was not going to be a pleasant stroll in the park.  It was snowing - again!  Fortunately the snow did not last long so we boarded a "Hop-On-Hop-Off" bus for a trip around the city.  After the bus tour we jumped on the giant ferris wheel for a scenic view of the city - or at least I thought so.  DH was not impressed and slightly terrified!  After that we strolled back to our hotel via the "Red Light" district.  It was very sobering.

Your eyes are not deceiving you - the buildings are sinking.

The floating flower markets.   The boats are painted with murals on the canal side.

Amstel Hotel where all the rich and famous stay.

A slightly terrified DH on the giant ferris wheel

We were high but the people on the "swing chairs" were higher!

The Red Light District.  Under each red light is a little room with a full length window where the prostitutes are on display.  It is very sad.

We are now at Amsterdam Schiphol International airport waiting for our flight to Kuala Lumpar where we have an overnight stopover.  It is 6.36pm and our boarding commences are 7.35pm.  The screen says that it is a 20 minute walk to our gate from the KLM lounge so you can well imagine the size of this airport.  We arrive into Malaysia at 3.00pm Friday afternoon so we hope that will give us some time to have a stroll around.

Amsterdam Part 2

We said goodbye to the Scenic Diamond today.  It has been a lovely journey even though it has been the coldest March on record.  We are thankful that we had snow rather than rain, and that we had a lovely ship to bed down in each night.  We are thankful for the great friendships that we have made and  for the staff that made us feel like kings and queens.
Today the sun was shining in Amsterdam so we took the opportunity to do our canal cruise.  It was a leisurely paced journey that showed Amsterdam of the old and new.  We wanted to have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe but their was a line-up of at least fifty so we made our way around the corner to an Irish Pub for a tasty lunch with Irish Coffees.
We had drinks in the Sky Lounge on the eleventh floor at the Hilton Hotel (where we were staying) just on sunset and elected to skip dinner and head to bed early.

Some skilled riding!

Multi-tasking


You have to cross the streets in Amsterdam very carefully.  The cyclists come from nowhere!

An alternative way to see the canals is by pedal boat

Amsterdam as the sunsets










Amsterdam Part 1

We arrived into Amsterdam at about noon today and everybody is slightly more subdued.  We only have one more night on the ship and tomorrow we will have to say goodbye to all the wonderful people that we have met.  Tonight everybody onboard is invited to Captains Cocktails and Gala dinner.  We will be farewelling the staff who have been so attentive to our needs.
Our tour today was to a cheese-making factory and then on to the windmills and clog making demonstration.  It took us forty minutes by bus to arrive into the Beemster area of the Netherlands.  This area was the first area to be reclaimed from a lake, the water being extracted by windmills.  We drove past the dykes that hold back the water.  The Beemster area is about two metres lower than the water on the other side of the dyke.

The dyke holding back the water in the Beemster area


Another photo of the dyke

Inside the windmill where the flour is stone-ground




Clog making demonstration

  

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Cologne & Dusseldorf

We disembarked at Cologne and joined our tour guide for a one and a half hour guided walking tour of Cologne then free time to take in the lovely city.  It's lovely to take photos with a blue sky background and today didn't disappoint although it is still very cold particularly in the wind.  Cologne is dwarfed by the Cathedral standing proudly in the city centre.  At one time it was the tallest building in the world.  We asked why it wasn't bombed in WWII and it is thought that the allies used it as a landmark for their bombings.  Cologne was bombed more than a hundred times during the war.  Once our tour finished we boarded the bus to Dusseldorf and our ship.  Tonight all passengers were taken by bus to Schlossburg Castle for a guided tour, dinner and entertainment.



Lovely Cologne (Koln)



The magnificent Dom


This is called crossing paths!


Inside the Cathedral

Embassy Road in Dusseldorf

Schlossburg Castle

Entertainment inside the castle

Our "Spaceship" docked at Dusseldorf