Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Monday, 8 Jan -  Margaret helped declutter the sister's house.  Mike ran a weedeater (called a Whipper Snipper here) for 2 hours cleaning up the edges of the sister's yard.  Then Mike went home and did the same for our own yard and cut/trimmed some of the bushes.  We then went visiting 2 of the sisters and Mike was able to spend some time with one of the husbands - listening to his discourse on politics.  Then home for dinner and finish up the blog for last week. The blog takes about 2-3 hours to write and post - much of that due to the slow internet speed we have here.  Time to go to bed as Mike wants to start walking again in the morning after a 3 week vacation.

Tuesday, 9 Jan - We had a house inspection today by our realtor. We also went out into the country to visit one of the sister members.  She does a lot of fishing and camping, so we were able to get some ideas from her on where to go to see platypus.  Back into town to visit another sister who has recently gotten out of the hospital.

Wednesday, 10 Jan - Mike had his usual Skype call to his mum.  Then off to the Branch meetinghouse to put up the last of the curtains in the activity room - glad that is done. Organised the "shed" where tools and equipment are kept.  We visited another family in the branch and then scooted home to fix dinner for the missionaries.  After dinner we held the weekly DTM (district training meeting).

Thursday, 11 Jan -  It is overcast and cloudy today.  Mike did get in his walk to the river and back - it is about time he stops sleeping in.  We went out to Halfway Creek to visit one of the members living out there - a 45 minute drive. We had a good time with him and his two dogs.  The dogs (Honey & Midnight) like to play catch so we are always throwing their ball out into the yard for them to catch and bring back. We talked a lot about family history today.  The road department is redoing the side road to the house, so we had a bit of an adventure getting to the member.  On the way there, they had to move a track based shovel or excavator (our grandson Toby would call it a digger) out of the way and find a place for us to get from the highway across the work area to the side road.  After meeting with our member, we drove back on the frontage road to the highway, only to find that more of the frontage road had been dug out and there was NO way to get from here to there in our car.  Not to worry, the blokes working on the road were super friendly.  The digger operator had a pile of crushed up bitumen (asphalt for the Yanks) and he piled it up and smoothed it out, and then ran his digger up and down on it to compact it.  Then he gave us the thumbs up and off we went with a hearty "THANK YOU" to the road crew.  These guys were really super nice.  We are now home and have fed our bellies.

Friday, 12 Jan - Margaret went Visiting Teaching this morning with the RS (Relief Society) President while Mike went to the Branch meeting house and helped clean it up. The Oldfields from the farm came in for the afternoon and we spent some time with them.  Mike had a Branch Presidency meeting later that evening.

Saturday, 13 Jan -   President Monson's funeral was held this morning (Friday afternoon USA time) and we watched it on  Mowed the grass.  Ran errands and a nap. We had one of the Branch couples over for dinner.  We had a good time and stayed up way too late.

Sunday, 14 Jan - We have started the "Teaching in the Saviour's Way" or "Come Follow Me" teaching in the 3rd hour. It will take some time to get used to all that is desired, but the branch Priesthood and Relief Society are making good progress in adapting to the new council approach to teaching.  We had the Elders over for dinner in the evening.

The "eye" on Monday.  back to almost normal.  Mike's cheek and eye have been healing faster than expected.

Fabric with the map of Australia.  Margaret will use this to make a quilted table runner for one of the senior missionary sisters who will be leaving in a few months.  So Margaret needs to spend less time with Mike and more time on the sewing machine -bummer

From the highway through the torn up frontage road to the bitumin frontage road.

On the way home - oops, well not going anywhere yet. There is a dump truck in the way, plus a torn up road that the car could not traverse.

The digger to the rescue.  on its way to smooth out and tamp the dark pile of bitumen and dirt in the middle left section of the photo.

The digger operator was good.  He probably could pick up an egg with the shovel.  Here he is spreading and smoothing out the bitumen.

More smoothing and some compacting

Smash that stuff down and make it hard packed for the Yanks.

Just a few finishing touches to make the ramp nice and smooth for the car.  These guys were super nice and friendly.

New fabric with the map of Australia

Some aboriginal prints

More aboriginal prints

and one more

Sister Haley the master table runner/quilt maker at work using the Australia map fabric and figuring out which other fabrics to use.

Love the floppy ears of the brown calf - part Brahma

Here are the floppy ears again.

Sunset in Grafton with Margaret's silhouette 

one of our neighbors laying down on the job.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Monday, 1 Jan - We spent the morning recovering from staying up so late.  Mike mowed the grass before the neighbors brought in a hay baler.  Mike went over to one of the neighbors and asked them to help him grind off some pins on a shovel head since Mike broke the handle and had to replace it.  It is a bummer to not have our tools here, but it gives us a chance to mingle with the neighbors.  They told us that they like having us here and appreciate our friendliness.  Staying inside for the rest of the day until it gets a bit cooler (from high 80s to mid 70s) and then off to the meeting house to demantle Zarahemla.  Well, we did get Zarahemla demantled and then Mike started working on taking down the entrance to Bethlehem.  He had a small board that he wanted to bust in half with the 2kg hammer, but the thought came to him that if he hit the board with the hammer that a piece of the board would fly up and hit him in the face.  So what did he do - he hit the board with the hammer AND SURE ENOUGH A PART OF THE BOARD FLEW UP AND HIT HIM ON THE RIGHT CHEEK JUST BELOW HIS EYE.  This dummy is lucky to have a right eye that is still functioning 100%.  Angels were looking out for him while he did a very dumb thing.  With blood dripping down his face he went to Margaret and asked if he was bleeding (duh).  Margaret took him home and they washed the wound and applied antibiotic and a band aid. There was a reasonably sized gash in the right cheek, but we did not go to the doctors.  See picture of the dummy below.  Next time he should listen to the Spirit when he speaks. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Tuesday, 2 Jan -  More care on the cheek and Mike's eye is turning red and the surrounding area is black, blue & red.  Mike called a trades person in Coffs Harbour to request a quote on some repairs to the Coffs elder's flat.  There will be no response until next week when people start to come alive again.

Wednesday, 3 Jan - Received a call from our friends Bob & Susan Errington who are serving a mission in Brisbane, Queensland Australia - just up the road from us, by 4 hours. Visited some of the members in one of the nursing homes in South Grafton.  Bought a long pole for the fruit picker that Mike got on eBay - now he can pick mangoes from the public land trees.  District Training tonight with the elders.  This will most likely be the last DTM with Elder Mitchell.  He has been a good District Leader.  We heard that President Monson died on 2 Jan 2018 USA time.  He was a good man, but I am sure he is happier now than he was a few days ago.

Thursday, 4 Jan - Ran errands.  Played taxi for one of the sisters. Worked around the house.  Margaret met with the RS president and they planned out the year 2018 for RS.  Mike added the list to the branch activity list and we should now be ready to publish to the members.  Mike had to take inventory of the vacuums at the branch meeting house and report back to the area facilities office.  We will have to return one of the vacuums as we have more than we are allotted.

Friday, 5 Jan - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MARGARET.  Thanks for putting up with me all these years.  I am so glad that you married me and thought that I would make a good husband for you.  I love you very much.  Thanks for going on a mission with me, or letting me go on a mission with you. Cleaned the chapel in the morning and took the rest of the day off to celebrate our anniversary. We drove out into the Jackadgery area west of Grafton.  It is about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  We turned off the Gwydir Highway onto the Cagain track that runs along the Mann river.  We crossed the Mann river a few times during the drive.  It was pretty country and a fun drive - rock road all the way. When we got back to the Gwydir Highway we realized that we were kind of near (30 minutes) the farm that President Dave Norman works at, so we turned around and drove back 30 minutes on the Coombadjha road.  We found the farm and spent a few hours there talking with the Oldfields (inlaws of the manager of the farm and 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency - Clive Best).  We had dinner with the Oldfields and then headed back home so we could be on the paved highway before dark.

Saturday, 6 Jan - We visited with some of the members today.  Did some errands and did some work around the house.

Sunday, 7 Jan - Attended Church.  It was Fast Sunday and the testimonies were good.  We are now back to making tithing deposits on Sunday.  Since we are the only organisation that uses the night deposit box we now have to call the bank each Monday (I forgot to do this, so will call on Tuesday) and let them know to check the night deposit box.  We did try to visit a few of the members later in the afternoon/evening. On our way home, we took the long way and checked out some of our favorite fields where the Roos eat dinner.

What a dope.  Listen to the Spirit and do what it tells you to do or not do.  Lesson learned the hard way.  Mike with his right cheek wound. Taken Monday, the day the accident happened - more like a self inflicted wound, truth be known.
On Friday, it is getting better

Monday, the swelling is down and much of the coloring is going away.

A mailbox on Back Lane near our home.  Aussies have/use the most intriguing things for mail boxes.  This one is an old dryer

The country out near Hanging Rock

Cattle run loose out here

The road and the country near Hanging Rock

Our first crossing of the Mann River

The water was running faster than we thought

Oh, to have a tube and ride in this.

Slow down for the pedestrians

Cute little bull calf

not so cute Brahma mixed cow

The road to somewhere and we are on it.

Here we are at Hanging Rock, but we never really saw a hanging rock

Beautiful, green county

Crossing more of the Mann River.  The water is kind of close to the top of the bridge

A close up of the water and bridge.  A good thing we did not have any rain to raise the level of the river

Margaret and the Mann river

The other side of the island and more river

The Mann river

Just in case you did not know we were at the Mann River

the sign on the Coombadjha road showing the way to Hanging Rock.  If we had turned right instead of left we would have driven to the "farm".   But we turned left and drove to the Gwydir Highway.

Who owns this road, any way????

Ugly horns, but pretty hide

Driving the Coombadjha road

coming up to Gundah Creek, where ever that is

Back at the Gwydir highway.  This is where we found out that we were close to the "farm"

The sign pointing us back to where we had just come

one of many cattle grids on the road.

Yep, there were cattle ahead, just as the prior photo/sign said

The farm house

Haleys and Oldfields at the farm

Coombadjha Creek

The sign saying we are at Coombadjha creek

The farm from a distance

It must be dinner time.  Hey, stay in line and stop cutting in

For once the cattle knew who was boss and ran out of the way.

Jackadgery.  the area on the Gwydir highway that is near the turnoffs for Hanging Rock and Coombadjha Creek

Roos in a field near our home, as we drove home after visiting some members

More roos

And more

And a close up.