Monday, June 18, 2018

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Mon, 11 Jun -  Sister Haley is out decluttering and putting junk out for the council kerb side pickup. Elder Haley is updating the blog and trying to make sense of the Optus prepaid data sim that he uses to get internet access at the house. Ah the joys of living in the digital world - NOT!!!!!  Around 1:30 pm Elder Haley went over to the declutter house and helped move things from the house, backyard and garage out to the kerb for the council kerbside pickup.  We left for home (and dinner) around 5 pm.

Tue, 12 Jun - No seminary this morning as the seminary student needed to be at school early this morning.  Elder Haley worked on renewing our US Medicare once we get back to the US. The Primary Presidency met today, instead of last week, and worked on several things for Primary.

Wed, 13 Jun - We did have Seminary this morning, taught by Sister Arthur.  Then Margaret and Mike called Mike's mum, plus our son Ryan and his wife, Marisol, who were over visiting with Mum Haley. Primary activity was held a bit late, but we had a good time.  Then FHC in the evening.  YW was cancelled due to illness with YW President - all will be better next week.

Thur, 14 Jun - We had FHC in the morning.  In the afternoon, we made a test run in our car with Kerry Arthur - to make sure the electromagnetic fields in our car were low enough for her, before we drove up to the Brisbane Temple on Monday,16 July.  We drove out into the country along the Gwydir Highway.  We then took a drive in Kerry's car to see if there was any difference in the EMI readings - not really. So we have decided that using our car for the Brisbane trip will be ok.  We learned one thing (maybe more) - The wheels of a car generate significantly more electromagnetic field energy than the rest of the car.  The EMI readings on the floorboards near the wheels was in the range of about 3 to 5, versus a reading on 0.3-0.5 on ones lap. And Mag wheels generate significantly more (7 to 9), so the moral of the story is to stay away from the wheels if you are susceptible to  electromagnetic fields.

Fri, 15 Jun - In the morning, we drove up the Summerland Highway (B91) to Casino, NSW, to the Primex Rural Ag show - basically a farmer's day out to see all the new farm equipment.  There were food booths as well, and a few clothing, etc booths - but most was tractors, farm equipment and earth moving equipment.  We went up to see the Alpaca Association booth and find Alpaca yarn for one of our daughters, and other things for Mike's mum.  The Alpaca booth had two young Alpacas in a pen for people to see and touch. We also went over and watched the bull & heifer sale - making sure we did not raise our hand or scratch our nose.  Bulls and heifers were going for no less than A$ 2,500 and we did not have room in the car for one of them. 😂😎 We then saw some cattle dogs (Kelpie breed???) practicing herding cattle, so they would be ready for the competition on Saturday - grand prize was A$1,500.   We had a good day at the show. 
On the way back to Grafton, we stopped at one of the Tea Tree fields so that Mike could verify that they bushes we saw really were tea trees. Yes they were/are.  The farmer was harvesting tea trees that day and the entire air was filled with the smell of tea tree oil. So we drove on up to see how they harvested tea trees - they use a sileage harvester to cut the tea tree and chop up into sileage (tea treeage).  Then they bring the wagon of chopped tea tree up to the plant where it is dumped into a big pile.  They then use a front loader to load the chopped tea tree into a special wagon that is taken into the oil removal plant.  A lid is dropped down on top of the wagon and clamped down.  The lid has a large set of stainless steel pipes that are encased in a larger air vent pipe.  The process goes something like - a coal fired boiler produces steam that is piped over to each of 4 wagons.  The steam is run through a steam hose into the bottom rear of the wagon.  The steam then works its way through the chopped tea tree extracting the oil as it goes.  The steam/oil vapor then exits out the top through the stainless steel pipes which are cooled by cold water running through the larger air vent pipe.  The condensed water & oil drip (or actually run) out of the stainless steel pipes into a large vat where the oil floats on top of the water.  the oil is drained off and the water is allowed to flow out the bottom of the vat.  The oil is collected into 55 gal drums and carried over to a larger oil vat.  The oil from the vat is then poured into larger containers that are shipped off to the tea tree oil retailers - Maleluca and Thursday Plantation.  The farmer recommends that we only buy from one of these two vendors to make sure we get 100% pure tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil is used as an antiseptic, but also can be used on burns to reduce damage and keep scarring from happening.  The farmer has also heard of people taking 2-3 drops in water to cure ailments/infections within the body.  We then left for home after thanking the farmer profusely for all his time and explanation.

Saturday, 16 Jun -  In the morning we helped with deep cleaning the meeting house.  Then back to clean up and change clothes before driving up to Yamba for lunch with Fraser & Lydia Mathieson. After lunch we took a tour of Yamba - a lovely little holiday town.  We were appropriately impressed.  We headed back to Grafton around 5 pm.

Sun, 17 Jun - Almost a normal Sunday.  Tevita & Tia To'ia had their baby son, Benson, blessed today.  After the Church meetings we were invited to their house, along with others, for a little get together.  They had a whole roast pig on a spit - Tongan style. The meat was really tasty.  We also had veggies and purple sweet potato.  The blessing (during Sacrament meeting) that Tevita gave his son, Benson, was very touching and we could feel the love that he & Heavenly Father had for Benson.  Later in the evening we had the Coffs elders over for dinner - not as good as the roast pig.

The kerb side pickup pile from the declutter house

What is wrong with this picture? Our mottled bull calf is missing.  Where he has gone, we do not know.  It is a sad day in mudville.

We were in timber country on the Summerland Highway between Grafton and Casino

A peacock mail box.  One of the fanciest mailboxes we have seen

At the entry gate to Primex, Casino NSW

Belmont breed of cattle.  They have some Brahma in them

This is Mr. Belmont himself 😁

And we thought we were in Australian, but apparently we are in Brahman country

Mike talking with a Brahman cow (laying down).

Brahman bull

Quite a lot of beef in this picture

Two young (6 month) Alpacas at the Alpaca Association booth.

Here they are again.  The fleece (yes fleece, not wool) is quite soft and curly

Read all about Alpaca in the fine print

Margaret taking a picture of the young Alpaca

Some of the Alpaca wares on display and for sale at the Alpaca booth.

 Margaret talking with Lorraine Binskin at the Alpaca booth

more Alpaca products

oh, just one more look.  I promise I will not take too long

For the ultimate DIY man - your own home saw mill

Cattle dog on the job, herding 3 calves

ok, now just lay low for a minute and then spring into action

At the bull and heifer sale. They were just selling 1 breed at this time, but I forget which one it was.

Two heifers prancing on the sale floor - what am I bid?

Mike in his new drizabone vest

Margaret with Brafords - a cross between Brahma and Hereford

Margaret with tea trees

A close up of the tea tree

Tea tree oil coming out of the cooker into the round glass container on the top of the collector

the cooker wagons.  Lid on top with the long condensor duct on top.  In side the condensor duct are the stainless steel tube carrying the water & tea tree oil

another shot of the production line and collecting stills.

A pile of tea tree residue/mulch after the oil has been extracted.  This is used for mulch, but the market is not good any more.  So the farmer is looking at making bricquets to be used as fuel on the bbq.

Primex program

The layout of booths at Primex.  It was larger than the layout appears.

Alpaca yarn for Mum Haley - green (of course) and grey

Some Alpaca yarn.  The brown/white on the left was hand spun by Lorraine Binskin

An Alpaca knit hat, by Lorraine

Some of the cliffs at Yamba which over look the beach

Yamba beach from the cliffs

The Clarence River spills into the ocean between the two rock jetties

Fraser & Lydia Mathieson and the Haleys

Some of Yamba bay

Sunset on the way home

Sunset again - the human eye makes these look a lot more beautiful than what the camera can catch

3 of the Paewai children - Marama, Kama, Manahi

Back to business drawing.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Monday, 4 June -  Ah yes, it is early morning seminary day again.  Sister Haley and Elder Haley will be administering the mid-year assessment on Tuesday & Wednesday, since Sister Kerry Arthur will be having some dental work done those days. We were able to talk with Heather, Simon & Makeda this morning via video chat for a bit.   Sister Haley is now over at the Monday declutter project.  Sister Haley spent all day running the declutter lady around town for doctor, scripts, etc. Elder Haley is doing ironing, wash and updating the blog.  Then more tasks around the flat.  We are waiting to hear if Beth Norman has delivered Emma yet.  Beth went into hospital Sunday at 3pm to have the birth induced, but we have not heard if Emma is out and still clinging to the insides of her mum 😎😕😝😥 Elder Haley to meet Clive at the bank later this afternoon to make the tithing deposit since we had coins in the tithing receipts and we cannot deposit coins through the ATM.  Autumn has really struck here in Grafton - low of 48F and high of 70F.  Since we do not have any central heat we do turn on the space heaters in the bedroom and living room.

Tuesday, 5 June Early morning seminary was cancelled due to the illness of our seminary student. Sister Haley spent more time with the declutter lady, running her around town for more doctor meetings, etc. We had a taxi ride cancelled and Primary Presidency meeting cancelled, so we hit the grocery store for food that we will need this Sunday for the branch luncheon.  We received word that Beth Norman gave birth to Emma Helen Norman at 3 minutes after midnight today.  Hurrah, it is about time Emma decided to come out into the world.

Wed, 6 June - we administered the Seminary mid-year Assessment.  The Seminary student, Arielle, did very well on the assessment.  We are really proud of her and her teacher, Kerry Arthur.  Mike talked with his mum after seminary.  Then home for brekky.  We headed for hospital after brekky to see Emma.  Home for lunch.  Then play taxi for one of the sisters.  Then to the meetinghouse for the Wednesday Primary activity.  Home for dinner and then back for Young Women (YW).  The girls are working on Family History tonight. For their personal progress activity they need to log in at least 12 hours on Family History.  They are putting Elder Haley to shame - he has to get his act together.

Thur, 7 June - FHC in the morning and then head off for Newcastle (a 5 hour drive).  The Zone Conference is scheduled for Friday, 8 June, and we want to attend it as it will be the last Zone Conference we will have with President & Sister Checketts.  There will be a change of Mission Presidents on 1 July 2018.  We will make a short stop in Coffs Harbour to pick up a collectible Omega watch that belonged to Mike's dad and is being rebuilt by a watch repair person there.  It will be nice to have the watch back and working. Then on to Newcastle with a short stop at Heatherbrae's pies - we got a fruit pie and not a meat pie this time.   Got to the motel at about 7pm and Mike was glad to stop driving.

Fri, 8 June - We stayed for the entire zone conference this time, as President Checketts  was going to give his training last.  The Zone leaders  and Sister Checketts taught first about the new Chapter 8 in Preach My Gospel.  Sister & Elder Haley participated more today than we have in the past.  We also received training on sharing our testimonies on Fast & Testimony Sunday - NO MORE than 2 minutes and make sure whatever you talked about was tied back to the 5 main principles of our testimony- Jesus is the Christ, we have a loving Heavenly Father, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saint is His Church, The Book of Mormon is the word of God, Joseph Smith was a prophet and we still have prophets today. I do bear witness that each of these 5 are true.  I am so very thankful that we do have a loving Heavenly Father and a Saviour, Jesus Christ, who are loving and patient with us as go through this life trying to be more like them - picking us up and brushing away the dust as we stumble along the way towards them (we must never give up).  President Checketts talked about our journey and the 8 steps that we go through as we live, learn and follow the Saviour towards being like Him.  We left the Charlestown meetinghouse around 4 pm and headed back to Grafton.  We stopped at Heatherbrae's pies and had a meat pie for dinner and a fruit pie for dessert.  We also picked up a large fruit pie for the Youth to eat after their video fireside with President Nelson. We finally got home around 10:30 pm ( a short 6 hour drive for those who have a problem with a 20 minute drive to the stake centre).

Sat, 9 June -  We spent most of the day cooking and baking for the youth fireside to be held at President Norman's on Sunday and for the potluck at the branch after Church meetings.  We made a meatball bake that Margaret found in an Austrlian cooking magazine - it was really tasty, by the way.

Sun, 10 June - We had President & Sister Sadler visit the branch today.  President Sadler is one of the District Presidency counselors. Then we had the feed after our meetings.  Elder Haley spent the 2nd and 3rd hours with Primary, which has become his normal routine for Sunday. We took Pearce out to the Paewai farm after the youth fireside. The farm is about 30 minutes from our house, and is south of Grafton.  It is fairly close to Joyce Wallbank's place on Arora Road.  Karl Paewai, one of the sons, gave us a tour of the farm and explained what they were raising or growing.  They are trying to become self supporting and it looks like they will do well.

Elder Haley with his new Aussie apron - complements of Elder & Sister Cox

Emma Helen Norman - 2 days old

Dad Haley's Omega watch (circa 1971) after a major overhaul by Lewis Jewelers in Coffs Harbour

Elder Jeong from Vancouver, BC Canada

Newcastle Zone picture

The Haleys with Elder Su, Taiwan.  Elder Su worked with us in Sydney at the Hyde Park YSA ward

Elder Monteiro and his "signature" tie - a white tie with notes & comments from various missionaries

Sister Harper, USA, and the Haleys

Sister Haley and Emma Helen Norman, 4 days old