Living a good life

12 July 2010
I'm happy to tell you that although Sharon is not out of the woods yet, she's showing some signs of improvement.  She's still in ICU, with all the bits and pieces attached to her, but it looks like she turned the corner.  Her family was overwhelmed at the outpouring of support and love for Sharon here on the blog.  You might have noticed that Sarah, her daughter, left us a note of thanks in with the comments.  Sharon's husband, Claude, sent a couple of emails yesterday to keep me up to date with her progress and to thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.  Please keep Sharon and her family in your thoughts during this period of recovery. 

Hanno and I kept ourselves busy during the past few days.  I never understand when retirees say they're bored and there's nothing to do.  We took a little trip in the car down to Ipswich, a city close to our State capital, last week.  I have to tell you that road from Brisbane to Ipswich is very scary.  It's narrow, curvy and has a lot of B double trucks speeding along.  I was pleased we came home along the back road with little traffic and a lot of beautiful scenery.  I sat there with my knitting as we ambled along, just gazing at the passing parade. Life moves slowly along the back roads, it's more to my pace. We passed through a little town called Toogoolawah on that backroad.  It's typical of small Australian country towns now in that it had a pub, a grocery store, newsagent, garage and a few antique shops and not much else.  But they did have an old movie theatre and in the great Australian style of Saturday night pictures, which we all used to call it, they showed The Prince of Persia and Marmaduke this Saturday night just gone.  The Prince of Persia could easily have been an old film from the 1940s, starring Victor Mature or Van Johnson, but it was a new film, with people I'd never heard of.  I'm sure everyone enjoyed it though - a treat for the whole family at the end of the week.

We always look for road side stalls to buy those vegetables and fruit that we don't grow ourselves.  Hanno found a little stall with reasonable pumpkins, and although their sign advertised Granny Smith apples for $2.99, he said they weren't worth buying.  That turned out to be good for us because when he went to the farmers market yesterday, he found a fairly local grower with superb Delicious, Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples and they were $1.99/kilo.  And, all picked in the last week.  We shared a very big Delicious apple, one bigger than any I have seen for years.  Hanno said the farmer told him he grows for Woolworths (a big grocery chain here) and they were too big for them.  They all have to be a regulation size, so these beauties were rejected.  I shouldn't complain, because we benefited from their short sightedness, but it's insane to pick fruit for size and not for flavour and freshness.

When we came home, we closed the gate and settled back in together here, in our home, growing, sewing, making, relaxing, knitting and living the good life.  I did some sweet baking to keep us going for our morning teas over the next week and last night I cooked curried prawns and rice for our dinner.

Yesterday afternoon I made a fleece coat for Alice.  I had some old fleece given to me by my DIL Cathy.  She had a throw-out a year or so ago and asked if I wanted to look through it.  I found a number of pieces that I've used for fund-raising aprons and bits and pieces here, and now Alice has a coat.  Now that she's old, she's not covered by hair as much as she was in the past and she's lost weight in the past year.  I'm sure she'll like wearing her coat at night while she sleeps.  I used a doubled over piece of fleece, cut the fabric after I drew the pattern with tailor's chalk, and used old cotton tapes to keep it on her.  It's simple but it looks like it keeps her warm, and I think I heard her whisper that she likes the stars.

It will be another busy and productive week for us here. Hanno found some good rye flour at the shop last week so I'll be making rye bread today.  Hopefully I'll have photos for you tomorrow. We have a lemon tree full of fruit waiting to be picked and juiced and Hanno has some seedlings to plant out.  I am hoping to do a couple of hours knitting today as I want to finish Hanno's jumper off before it's too late this year to wear it.  I've almost finished the front and just have the two sleeves to go.  I hope you have an interesting and productive week too.  If you have time, let me know what you're up to.