Autumn in the mountains

26 April 2011
Dear Everyone,
I'm having a wonderful time here in the mountains with Tricia.  It's been cold and raining the past two days and although I'm cold, I'm really enjoying it. I have gloves on while typing.  I have a few photos to show you where we've been.

All photos can be enlarged by double clicking on them.

This first place is Brown's Siding Store and Cafe. It's owned by a friend of Tricia's, Kerry, who used to work for Martha Stewart.  We had lunch there, the food was delicious - I had a Ruben sandwich and hot chocolate, Tricia had the smoked salmon and potato cakes.  Apparently the cafe is packed to the rafters on the weekends - we arrived late for lunch so there weren't so many other diners there. Afterwards I had a look around and found wonderful stock like German scrubbing brushes, goats hair dusting brushes, pure soap, liquid soap, jams, tea, packs of trail mix, cake and brownie mix and many beautiful bags, cups and odds and ends.  The goods for sale are beautifully presented and excellent quality. If you're in the mountains, this place is in Medlow Bath, right next to the railway station and just off the highway.  It's well worth a visit, especially for the hot chocolate. : - )

One of the delights of being here over Easter was that I was able to spend time with two of my four nephews - David and Daniel. Danny came up a couple of times to help Tricia with various jobs around the house and David arrived Easter Sunday armed with Easter eggs and chocolates for everyone. David stayed that night after he and Danny erected a small shed for Tricia to store her garden tools and mower in. We had lunch at David's home on Easter Saturday where he cooked us a lamb roast and Tricia and I made cabbage rolls and up-side-down plum cake. Daniel is back again today to fix an original 1919 Singer treadle sewing machine he bought for Tricia recently.  He brought fresh croissants with him!

Yesterday, Tricia and I went to the Megalong Valley Tearooms which is about 10km from Tricia's home at Blackheath. What a wonderful place that is! The tea room has been run by grandma, mother, and now, daughter since the 1930s.  It used to serve tea with scones, blackberry jam and cream from the dairy cows out there, now they serve breakfasts, tea and coffee all day and lunch. Blackberries grow wild there and blackberry jam and cream scones are still on the menu - naturally we had some.  The tea is still made using the old cast iron urn grandma set up way back then.
 When we left the tearoom, we came across a heritage centre with many interesting carts and old wagons.
Further along, we stopped to let a trail ride pass by. It was quite a sight to see all the people, single file on their trained horses, wandering along through the bush.
The photo below shows the drive back to Tricia's. It was cold and bleak and definately the perfect time for knitting and the heater.

When we got back home again, the oil heater was on, I got out my knitting, Tricia was hand stitching her quilt and we watched Kirsty's Handmade Home. I had never seen that program before and enjoyed it very much.  It was the perfect end to a brisk Autumn day in the mountains.  I promise you that we are doing a lot of things that don't involve eating. LOL It seems that's all I've been writing about.  I have been working on my book almost every day and will keep at it because the typesetter's deadline is looming. Tricia is pottering around her home fixing this and that and making patchwork cushion for her rattan sofa on the back verandah.  The gas man is coming to connect the stove tomorrow, we're going for a drive through the highlands on Thursday and on Friday, the chimney sweep arrives.  I doubt I'll move an inch when there is a fire glowing brightly here.  Never fear, I have plenty of Vivian's beautiful eco yarns with me which I think make the perfect partnership the warming fire.

BTW, Sharon will post an update about the swap.  It's closed now and soon your swapping buddy list will show who you will be swapping with.  I hope you're enjoying your knitting.


  1. Sounds delightful ~ All of it... makes me want to go and find some nice tea rooms here!

  2. You must be having a wonderful time. I'm intrigued by the clay pots on the tops of bamboo tipis?! Is there a practical purpose to that, or just cuteness? :)

  3. Aren't the mountains beautiful this time of year. We live in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, so not too dissimilar. Sounds like you have had lots of good times on your visit. Enjoy the rest of your stay and hope there is a roaring fire to sit in front of soon. I know when we have our fire going, it always makes me reach for my knitting. Jacinta

  4. OH so wonderful to hear about your sisterly adventures. Sounds wonderful! I wish I could do more with my 3 sister's but their lives don't allow much time for that. Enjoy the rest of your adventure.

  5. Hello ladies!

    Ashley, that is the most commonly asked question on my blog. Here and at my home we mainly use the pots for cuteness but originally they were placed on top of sticks and climbing supports in the garden so you didn't poke your eye out when bending down.

  6. Looks like a fun weekend! I love going to the mountains~ I'm also wondering about those bamboo tipis

  7. I love Kirstie's Homemade Home too and I watched it yesterday! Great show. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time rhonda - loving the photos!

  8. Sounds and looks like you are having a delightful time. The wood fire has been alight here for a few nights as it's becoming chilly.

  9. Thank You for sharing your visit and adventures..Lovely.. Spring is setting in with daffodils blooming and birds singing here in Michigan...I love the photo's you are sharing~~HUGS~~

  10. Rhonda, Thanks so much for posting the lovely pics. Being in the U.S. it is a wonderful way to see what Australia is really like. Beautiful. Glad you're having a wonderful time and sharing it with all of us.

  11. Great to get your updates. I used to live in the mountains and makes me miss it reading this. Would've been funny to have bumped into you. Does anyone up there recognise you? Enjoy the rest of your stay.

  12. I used to watch that show when we has Austar and really enjoyed it. Your time in the mountains looks beautiful and very autumnish!

  13. Hi Rhonda, so glad your have a good time with your sister. Seems funny hearing about you being cold, I've only ever been very warm when I visit Australia. Think it's about time I planned a winter trip.

    Pippa x

  14. Hi Rhonda! You are in my neck of the woods! It is beautiful here especially right now in Autumn :-) May I be so bold as to offer a suggestion for a rainy-day-mountains activity? St Albans church in Leura is having their annual giant book sale. It finishes this Friday. I go each year and picked up a heap of bargains for our homeschooling clan! Lots of lovely cafes there too ;-)
    Hope the rest of your trip is really wonderful.
    With love,
    Lusi x

  15. ...sigh...sigh...sigh. I am having a relaxing time riding along with you and Tricia in the mountains.

    It warms my heart to hear about your two nephews helping out around the cottage and bringing Easter treats to boot! Family and friends helping and loving one another. All is right with the world when that happens.

    Thanks for the husband and I would so love to visit Australia and your pictures remind us why.

    Continue to have a wonderful time as you celebrate your birthday "season". That's what I call it when I have an extended birthday present.

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

  16. What lovely sights you have. In one way it could be in any country with small hidden towns, winding roads and beautiful scenery. There are small nuances that makes it Australia that shows the differences and I wish I could travel to your back roads. Lovely pictures, just lovely.

  17. There is nothing quite like "sister time" to restore your spirit and refresh your soul! I often tell my dad that the best thing he and mom ever gave me was my siblings.

    Also, thanks for your pictures of eucalyptus trees (do you call them Gum trees there?). I used to live in So. California where they are prolific but am now in the Pacific North West... and I have only seen ONE eucalyptus in 5 years. I love their grace and beauty.

    Squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of your holiday.

  18. Hi Lusi Thanks for the tip. We were at Leura a couple of days ago to visit a shop there. I saw the CWA ladies with their bake stall. Is the book sale there?

  19. Just came back from the Blue Mountains myself, and for once I didn't get to the Leura book fair! I know the Megalong Tea Rooms too, but not the place in Medlow Bath. Thanks for letting me know!

  20. I was just thinking about the Blue Mountains today, wondering what it was like there with the trees turning. I used to live in Hazelbrook and whenever we had friends visit we would go to the Megalong Valley cafe. Its a neat place, eh. Actually the drive down through the rainforest of the valley always reminded me of NZ...which is where I live now :)
    If there are weekend markets at Leura or Lawson, check them out. They are both fun.

  21. I was just thinking about MY sister in Blackheath (sometimes called Bleakheath by the locals for reasons you can now imagine!) and came here to find that is where your sister has moved to as well. It seems as though you are having a good time together - exactly the plan I have with my sister very soon.

    Take care, Rhonda, and all the best with that book. Ree

  22. Hi Rhonda,

    I'm so sorry that I didn't pop back in and see your question in the comments. Too late now but in case you are in the mountains again over the same weekend, it's in the church hall next to where that CWA hall was. Sorry I wasn't more clear!
    Hope you had a wonderful time anyway :)
    Lusi x



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