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, 28 December 2013

A quick demolition

A few posts back I mentioned that we were getting rid of the old vegetable garden and building a new one.  I mentioned that the old one was ready to fall down.  Well, it has…..with a little help from the weaners.
We came home from Christmas to find that the weaners had pushed against the back wall of the vegetable garden and it had collapsed.  I would love to have been there when it happened because I'm certain it would have scared the living daylights out of those cattle!
Thank goodness a few weeks ago I took everything out of the garden that I wanted to save and transplanted to a new area, because anything that I left behind was eaten.  Who would have thought that cattle liked turmeric, ginger, tarragon and chilli because that was all that was left in that garden!  Asian cattle?

And down it came!
Anyway, it is now time to do a full demolition of the old stables/vegetable patch and look forward to the new vegetable garden after the wet season.


One of the little fellas got into a bit of a tangle with some baling net

Devouring everything in sight!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas 2013

I love christmas and everything that goes with it.  The buying of gifts. The wrapping of those gifts. The tree with those presents neatly lined up underneath. The house adorned with fairy lights.  The hanging of the christmas wreath that my gardener so kindly made for us. The grocery shopping of all the things that are not considered healthy the rest of the year.  Going to our local butcher to pick the perfect ham.  Going to church on Christmas eve to sing carols that I sing as loud as I can because I know them all by heart.  The wonder of it all.
The christmas wreath made by our gardener
Christmas this year was spent at Palm Cove.  We arrived on Christmas Eve and as soon as we unpacked our suitcases for the two night stay we headed to our friends apartment that was a five minute walk away.  After a delicious two course dinner cooked by our friends,  K and I drove to Kuranda for the christmas eve service at her local church.  The men decided that the beer was a better choice!  It was not a late night so we were in bed early so that we could make the most of christmas day.
Christmas Breakfast
No Christmas is complete without Rum Balls
We again headed to our friends for christmas breakfast and champagne.  Yummm.  My favourite meal of the day!  After breakfast hubby and I drove home so that we could give the dogs a feed and a run.  It is an easy 45 minute drive.  We were back in plenty of time for lunch at the Grand Chancellor at Palm Cove.
Wow.  What a feast.  Everything that you heart desired.  Seafood, Hot and Cold Dishes, Desserts of every kind and a fantastic cheese board to round off the meal.  Drinks were included in the price and we complained that the service was not fast enough but then again there is such a thing as responsible service.  Ha ha ha!
I was lucky enough to win the lucky door prize at lunch…... a night for two at the Grand Chancellor with breakfast included.  We will look forward to that in the new year.
Hubby and I at the Grand Chancellor Palm Cove
After lunch and a little nanny nap we headed to the pool for a splash around with the kids.  It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.  After the swim we went to the cool of the apartment for nibbles and drinks.  No large dinner for us as we were all still full from lunch.
K and Hubby enjoying a joke



A unique use for a swimming noodle

Ice Cream by the pool
It was the perfect christmas.  The only thing missing was my son and DIL who couldn't get away from home because of the lingering drought.  We did however have a nice chat to them that certainly made my day complete.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The little blue heart.

On Friday we gathered with hundreds of other friends and family to say goodbye to a little girl.  A little girl taken too young….just eleven years old.
As I talked to the parents after the funeral I wanted to say so many things to them, but in the end all I said was "there are no words".  Because I know that there are no words that can help you through the devastating reality of losing a child.
I would have liked to have said to the parents that time really does heal even though, when it was said to me I wanted to scream at that person "how much bloody time"! But most of all I would have liked to tell them about the little blue heart.
Sometime after we lost our eldest son I was lying in bed trying to talk myself into getting up.  It was one of my lowest points.  I just couldn't find a reason to get out of bed and go through another day filled with sadness and grief.  I found myself staring at a hat stand in the corner of the room.  It had been standing in the same place for almost twenty years.  It was covered in hats and belts and handbags and anything else that I could fit on that stand.  But something caught my eye.  It was something twinkling at me.  It was blue.  I slowly rose from the bed and walked over to the hat stand, and there it was.  It was a blue satin heart with the words "I LOVE U MUM" stamped on it.  I burst into tears.  My son had given me that little blue heart when he was about six years old.  He had bought it at the school fete and when he gave it to me my heart almost burst with love.  I had hung that little blue heart in the hat stand and it winked at me all the time, but fifteen years later, that little heart had been buried under hats, belts etc etc.

Of course the question "How did it suddenly shift to the front of everything on that stand" came to my mind.  But I knew instantly.  It was a message from my son.  He was telling me that he loved me and that even though he was not physically here he was most certainly spiritually.  I think it was about this time that I started to heal.
This extract of a sermon by Henry Scott-Holland (Canon St Paul's Cathedral 1847-1918) was sent to us via fax shortly after we lost our son.  I put it aside for a long time but now I read it quite often.  It is beautiful and comforting and something I will send to the parents when I think the time is right.


"Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"

Friday, 13 December 2013

A Muso at the local Pub

Our local pub is called the Highlander and I am reluctant to call it a pub because it is so much more.  Recently the owners renovated the (I shall call it) Tavern to include a huge deck area.  It is furnished with very comfortable dining chairs and tables and a cozy corner complete with armchairs so that you can sit back and take in the breathtaking views.
Last night they had a muso playing there.  A few of the yoga ladies had heard him play at a wedding earlier this year and were very much taken by how talented he was. We all decided to take ourselves to the tavern for dinner and to listen to him plan.  I was slightly reluctant about going by myself, but hey, beats sitting home alone!  I am so pleased that I went.  The muso was  incredible.  He had the most amazing voice and could sing anything…..in fact he kept asking for requests.  There were not many people there so he set himself up in the "cozy corner" and we simply  gathered around him whilst he sang.  It was extremely interactive and we found out a lot about him and his lovely wife who was also there.
He lives at Julatten (who would have thought!) and they live on a farm where they grow cocoa and make their own chocolate.  They are the only people in Australia that produce chocolate from the seed up.  They sell their chocolate at the Port Douglas markets so I will make a trip down there on Sunday to  buy some. We asked if he had brought along any samples, but alas, not.
Wouldn't you know it, I left my camera at home so all I had was the iPhone and it was almost out of battery.  The video moving around is me bopping to the music!

Here is a short video of the muso singing "Sylvia's Mother"

video


Thursday, 12 December 2013

A new bed

When we moved into our new house seven years ago (this christmas!) we bought a new bed.  We loved it.  We were thinking of our "old age" when it might become difficult to get in and out of bed so we chose one that was low to the ground, so low in fact that I couldn't get a broom or vacuum cleaner or mop underneath it to clean!  The only way I could clean under the bed was to take off the mattress (which weighs a tonne!) and then move the bed.  This was a big task so consequently not done often.  I started thinking about all the dust mites that might be living under that bed and it really "bugged me" (pardon the pun).  Besides, the bed we had chosen all those years ago was too dark for the pastels in the room.

 So after surfing the internet for months I finally found the bed of my dreams…..well not exactly….I would have loved a solid brass bed but the price was way beyond my budget.  But, this is the one we choose and love.  It has a little bit of brass and porcelain knobs that look so pretty.


I purchased some sheer curtains from Big W that were on sale for $5 per drop…$20 all up..WIN! I would like a new bedspread/doona but as yet haven't found the one I love.  I know it is sitting on a website somewhere just waiting for me to find it.  I just have to keep looking.
 I kept the bedside tables and painted them the same colour as the bed.  I am still to paint the drawers at the end of the bed but I need hubby home to help me move them outside.  They are very heavy.
The room looks and feels lighter and brighter AND I can now vacuum and mop under the bed!
We took the old bed down to Mossman Lifeline who were thrilled to receive the donation.  They apparently "on sell" them to second hand dealers making it a win/win for everyone.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Breakfast ritual

I find breakfast to be the most enjoyable meal of the day.  I really take my time over it, sometimes an hour.  I almost always have some form of protein for this most important meal, usually bacon and eggs. It is my favourite and something I never tire of.  I am an early riser and find it difficult to eat breakfast straight out of bed so I take the dogs for a walk and then hop on the quad and move the cattle that need to be moved.  This  takes me about an hour if things go smoothly so I don't sit down for breakfast until about 7.30 - 8 am.
Breakfast is always eaten outside at the table on the veranda.  We have spectacular views so I make sure that while I am eating breakfast I simply breath in the beauty.
After I have eaten breakfast I take out the iPad and read the paper, blog posts, email and twitter.  I also play on-line scrabble with my mum and a few friends so this is a good time to catch up.
This is my everyday ritual and I love the routine of it all.

The view to the left of the veranda

And the view to the right.  

Feels like xmas when you place  tinsel and candles on the veranda table!




Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wouldn't you know it…...

after months of very little rain we had over 250mm in 10 days.  I really wish I could have sent this rain west but it's no use wishing for the impossible.
My lawn exploded out of the ground with all the lovely rain. Time to mow the lawn.  The lawnmower has been sitting in the shed for months with very little use so I should have known there might be a problem but I fuelled it up and set about the mowing…..for five minutes.  The blade engage cable snapped.  That was the end of the mowing.
I had almost stepped on a snake a few days prior so I new that the grass really did need mowing.  There was nothing to do but call "ghostbusters" the "Groundsmen".  Two gardeners arrived with the biggest meanest looking lawn mower I have ever laid eyes on and a garden trimmer that chomped the edge of my garden like it has never been chomped before.  After two hours my lawn was the best it's ever looked.
I'm tempted to hire them on a regular basis, but because I really do love mowing, and they are quite expensive, I've refrained.
When hubby was home on the week-end he replaced the cable on the lawnmower and then proceeded to tell me that there was nothing holding on the front wheel! Another parts order.  Maybe it would be cheaper to employ the groundsmen!