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).
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.
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.