Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Mon, 9 Jul - We attended the funeral and cemetery service for Tom Anderson, long time friend and husband of Virginia Anderson.  Tom was Scottish and they had a bag piper at the cemetery.  It was a sad day and a happy day - all at the same time.  We were able to be with heaps of old friends and enjoy reminiscing about the past and sharing memories of Tom. We spent the rest of the day with Rhonda Crosbie and then went back to the Jeffree's for a good night's sleep.  Boy was it cold as there was NO heat in the house during bedtime and the temperature got down into the low 40's F.

Tue, 10 Jul - We had a delicious (and large) breakfast cooked by Katie Jeffree.  Then climbed into the car and headed for Grafton.  We did make a short stop by the LDS Distribution centre to pick up some primary supplies for Sister Cave.  We stopped just outside of Coffs Harbour (at Halfway Creek, if you must know) and visited with Barry Ward and his dogs - Honey & Midnight for about an hour before finishing the last hour of driving home.  Ah, it was good to be home.

Wed, 11 Jul -  No seminary this week - hurrah.  We visited with a few of the sisters & husbands in the branch.  Elder Haley went bowling with the Elders Quorum and young men - a way to get the two generations to have some fun together.  We did have heaps of fun, ate pizza and rolled the ball down the lanes a bit (and sometimes in the gutter).  No world records in the bowling world were set tonight at the Grafton 10 Pins place.

Thu, 12 Jul - We worked at Family History this morning.  Then ran more errands and Sister Haley worked on her pillow dress for the Relief Society activity.  Elder Haley worked on the lock on the front door of the meetinghouse - to no avail, so we have to get a new lock installed.  We also met with the seminary teacher some more and did some final planning on our trip to the Brisbane temple this coming Monday. Normally the Temple is not open on Monday, but it will be this coming monday for some of the young missionaries, so we are taking Sister Kerry Arthur up so she can be sealed to her parents.  Her sensitivity to magnetic waves and radio waves means that special consideration has to be made by the temple so she can be an environment that is as "safe" as possible for her.  Bless the temple President and staff who are doing this for her.

Fri, 13 Jul - It was not such a bad day, for Friday the 13th.  😨😱😁 We met with the seminary teacher to see if she could use Skype in the meetinghouse, but it was just way too much electromagnetic & RF for her - so back to the drawing boards.  We then played taxi driver for one of the younger members of the branch.  He bought us double Big Macs which ended up being a life saver as we had no time for dinner before meeting some others at the meetinghouse for the weekly cleaning.  Then we popped in at the Normans for a few minutes to visit with Ex-Elder Ta'ala who came back from NZ for a short visit, after completing his mission

Sat, 14 Jul - We went over in the morning to help fix a vacuum at one of the sister's homes.  Than home for lunch before the start of Branch Conference training meetings.  Branch Presidency training from 230 to 4pm.  Then Auxiliary & quorum leader training until 530 pm.  Then Pizza - hurrah.  The final meeting was on Family History and it was quite instructive on how to learn the history part of finding family names.  The class was presented by President & Sister Denley and was quite good.

Sun, 15 Jul - Branch conference Sunday.  We held all 3 hours of meetings in the chapel as one combined group (men & women).  The talks and instruction were good. The talks in the sacrament meeting portion were instructive and uplifting.  We had a potluck luncheon afterward which was also enjoyable.  Then home for a few hours before going to sleep, as Monday will start early - it is our day to drive to the Brisbane Temple with Kerry Arthur.

Katie Jeffree - one of our Aussie daughters

Elder Haley in the Jeffree family room

Mike & Paulette Phillips

The fearsome, foursome - Rhonda Wakeley, Helen Jeffree, Rhonda Crosbie, Sister Haley

Tom Anderson memorabilia.  Note the army medal and scottish tartan

Tom Anderson and some of his professional soccer photos

Virginia Anderson, Daemon, Sarah & Dennis Phillips with his back to the camera

Sister Margaret Haley & Paulette Phillips

Dennis Phillips and Elder Haley

Ambika Phillips, daughter of Luke Phillips

Charlotte Jeffree and Ambika

Katie and Tallulah

Tallulah, French bull dog

Grafton Branch Elder's and young men bowling team.
Pearce, Karl, Clive, Tom, Peter, Dave, Richard

Are we good looking or what?

The infamous lock (upper deadbolt portion) that will need to be replaced.  Oops,it started working and will not be replaced at the moment.

Margaret & Emma Helen Norman - with her wardrobe (sure looks like she is a girl, huh?  More clothes  than she could ever wear.)

Are we done yet?  I am getting bored and hungry.

Peanut butter & Chocolate Shard.  The swirls are made when the dark chocolate is poured on top of the peanut butter/white chocolate mixture.  Then the dark chocolate is swirled with a knife to give the fancy, swirl look.  Way to go, Sister Haley.  This dessert is for the branch luncheon.

Relief Society is continuing with the "fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" theme in August.  What do you have that could be used again or in a different way.  Sister Haley where are the pillow case dresses???????

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Mon, 2 Jul - Early morning seminary. The rest of the day was spent on errands and cleaning up the flat. No decluttering today.

Tue, 3 Jul - Early morning seminary.  Elder Haley baked choc chip cookies for the Wednesday Primary movie night. The Coffs elders were in Grafton for the day, so we took them to the Village Green for lunch.  Then we gave them a list of members to visit and sent them on their way.  They had some good visits and the members were pleased to have them here for the day - now to get some investigators for them.  We went out and visited one of our old neighbors in Junction Hill, Peter & Lois Robinson.  We had a good chat for a few hours.  They are taking a 3-4 month tour of northern and western Australia early next year, after they get their new caravan (mobile home in Yankee talk).  We got their email address so we can follow up with them over the years.

Wed, 4 Jul - Happy 4th July.  Early morning seminary.  Elder Haley met with the meetinghouse rep and discussed some things about building maintenance.  Then he set up the tv and dvd for the movie night.  Sister Haley worked on one of her (many) RS projects - how to make a dress out of a pillowcase, more of the "fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without".  I am not sure that she can make a shirt for me out of a pillow case, and I do not want to find out.  Sister Haley will go to Family History while Elder Haley goes to the movies with Primary (on the second floor of the meeting house).

Thu, 5 Jul - Happy birthday to my brother, Jim. We worked in the family history centre (FHC) in the morning.  Then sister Haley went decluttering at one of the sister's homes in the afternoon. Then we made a visit to another family and ended the day by delivering a "way to go" message from the Seminary director to our seminary student - who did quite well on the mid-term seminary test.

Fri, 6 Jul - Sister Haley went over to one of the sister's homes and help bake/ice cakes for a birthday party.  Mike (not Elder Haley) decided to get in his daily exercise by walking to the Hank's Kitchen in Junction Hill - about 4.6 miles round trip (not quite a marathon or even a half-marathon). Of course, to provide incentive for all this exertion, he had to buy an horseshoe pastry (puff pastry with white icing flavoured with passion fruit); thus negating any calories burned in the walk 😁😅😎 We played taxi in the afternoon and then had Scott over for dinner (beef stroganoff)

Sat, 7 Jul - A day for cleaning the flat and doing errands of various sorts. We did meet with the seminary teacher for a few hours and did some planning for the rest of the year.  We packed our suitcase for the trip to Sydney tomorrow. Our friend, Tom Anderson died last Sunday and the funeral is this coming Monday, 9 Jul.

Sun, 8 Jul - A normal Sunday with meetings starting at 0730 and sacrament meeting starting at 10 am.  Elder Haley is normally spending the 2nd and 3rd hour of normal Church meetings in Primary with the 3 to 11 year olds. Elder Haley is getting used to sitting on the small, primary chairs.  At the end of the 3 hour block, we headed for Sydney.  The drive was without incident and we arrived at Katie & Brent Jeffree's home around 830pm.  It was good to see and be with them.

Sunset in Grafton

Our flat's living room and dining area

Our flat's dining area and living room

The kitchen

The den and computer room. And also Elder Haley's dressing room because Sister Haley takes up all the clothes space in the bedroom.

The utility/laundry room

The bathroom with shower only - no bathtub which would never be used anyway

The bedroom.

The walking path from Grafton to Junction Hill

Some of the country landscape on the way to Junction Hill

Love the country life here in Grafton

One of the waterways on the way to Junction Hill

A lazy day in cattle country on the way to Junction Hill.  It was a nice, cool day and the cattle were enjoying being lazy today

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Mon, 25 Jun - Early morning seminary. It is declutter Monday for Sister Haley.  It is clean the flat Monday for Elder Haley.  Then a visit to hospital where one of the sisters is having gall stone problems.  Never a dull moment in Grafton, NSW.

Tue, 26 Jun -  Early morning seminary.  Out to visit with Joyce Wallbank later in the morning. Sarah is heading for Lismore where they can take care of the gall stones.  Playing taxi driver for Shane.  While waiting on Shane, we stopped by to visit with the cousin who was referred to us, and set up a time to return and visit some more.

Wed, 27 Jun - Early morning seminary.  Then out to Maclean to visit with Joan Hibberd.  Elder Haley usually administers the Sacrament to Joan since she is not able to come to the Branch Sunday meetings. The afternoon is with Primary Faith in God activity and then FHC/Young Women in the eveing.

Thur, 28 Jun - FHC in the morning.  Then off to Coffs Harbour to pick up the new Church phone - a smart phone.  We stopped by to see Barry Ward on our way home, but he was down and out for the day; however, we were able to talk with his daughter, Jane.  Then on home for the evening and try to get the new phone working - it did not work.  We  stopped by Arielle's home tonight to drop off a birthday Hanks Kitchen slice and carrot cake - Arielle's birthday is this coming Saturday, but she will be in Coffs so we celebrated early.

Fri, 29 Jun -  Elder Haley went to Optus to have them check out the phone - only to have it work there.  Now it is working just fine, so I guess we did not wait long enough for the SIM to be activated by Optus last night.  We had lunch with the referral and a good visit for a few hours; however, we were not able to get any Gospel discussion started.  We are not sure we will make much progress with the cousin, but she is a lovely lady to visit.  Then back home to play taxi for Shane and show him the table we have in the flat that we will need to donate when we leave.

Sat, 30 Jun - We picked up Joyce Wallbank and spent the day in the country enjoying the country and trying to find a platypus (we did not).  We did see where Joyce used to live out in the hills and hollers - a beautiful place in the woods.  We did make it to Jackadgery for ice cream, so the day ended up just as good as the rest of the day in the beautiful country side of the Clarence valley.

We feel extremely blessed to have had a chance to serve the Lord here in the Clarence Valley - with beautiful country and beautiful people.

Sun, 1 Jul - We got word that a friend in Sydney, Tom Anderson, passed away this morning. We will go to Sydney for the funeral.  After the church meetings, we took the Sacrament to Margaret Leach who is not able to make it to Sunday meetings very often.  One of her nieces was there and partook of the sacrament as well.  Then later in the evening we met with Sister Patricia Stiller and went over some Church computer things with her.

The welcoming committee at Joyce Wallbanks

A tree full of Rainbow Lorikeets - NOISY

Mr Australia with his Drizabone vest and Akubra hat.  On the march to check out the Clarence River.  Closer to the head waters and not so mighty here

Sisters Haley & Joyce Wallbank on the shore of the Clarence River, between Copmanhurst and Wine Grove

The Clarence River - heading towards the head waters

Welcome committee out to make sure we stop and say hi

Now, just who is the boss around here.  Apparently it is not us

The tree had grown out along an older barbed wire fence; hence the growths out both sides of the trunk

Australia cattle country

More cattle country.  Note the dead gum (eucalyptus) trees which are a fixture all over the cattle country area.

The Lilydale bridge over the Clarence river.  We are getting closer to the source.

Don't look now, but some of the neighbors are watching

Pick your pumpkin.  On the right are GrammerC pumpkins - the long ones.  We got one of the Kent pumpkins (rounded and in the middle group)

planted trees.  Come back in 50 years and cut them down and plant new ones.

A Campdraft show ground.  Campdraft is a cattle/horse sport where the horse & rider have to direct a single steer (or heifer) through certain barrels strictly by heading the cow in the proper direction.  The world championship Campdraft competition is held in Sydney each year during the Royal Easter Show.

A cow patty.  Sister Haley was wanting to know what they are used for and why would anyone want to burn them for fuel.

Going into Fine Flower - watch out for the traffic

There is Fine Flower.  There used to be a post office there many years ago when transportation was by horse and wagon

Mr mailbox

The trap door on Mr. Mailbox.  We just love the innovation used by Aussies in making their mailboxes.  Some how the US Post Office has missed out on a way to liven up the country side with the stale, same-o, same-o prescription mail box.

Cow patty hill overlooking the valley and far away mountians

And some of the contributors to Cow patty hill

Carnham creek, getting near to the Clarence

Coombadjha is only 4 km away

Get ready, the suspense is killing me

The bridge over the river Clarence

Elder Haley & Joyce surveying the still water area on the Clarence

On the look out for platypus

Well, no patypus, but a few cattle decide to mosey on

Mr. Australia (again). On the hill down to the Clarence

It must be lunch time - chicken schnitzel and smoked ham sandwiches.  with plenty of wonderful company

The "mighty" Clarence near its beginnings.

And more of the mighty Clarence

The bridge over the river Clarence, with our car in the far distance

Some lily pads in the Clarence

The rolling hills and mountains of cattle country

The lower, thin "cloud" is smoke from burn off.  The Aussies burn off large sections of the land each year to prevent build up of dead grass and to rejuvenate the grass that is there 

A typical dam in the cattle country where water can collect and cattle can get a drink

One of the locals, strutting his stuff.  

The hide on this one is really pretty - love the white/grey/black brindle

Some of the local campers at one of the campsites along the Mann river

A grass tree

The road near where Joyce Wallbank used to live.

The map of the area we traveled today.  the map is at the Jackadgery Caravan park where we usually stop for a giant ice cream cone.  We started in Grafton (lower right). Went on the north side of the Clarence to Copmanhurts, Wine Grove, through Fine Flower and crossed the Clarence near Coombadjha (center top).  Then winding down Cangai to Jackadgery where we headed back north-west to get to the ice cream at the Caravan park.  After having our fill of ice cream we drove southeast to Grafton.  It was about 250-300 km and took about 8 hours with stops (millions of stops to look at the beautiful country and take pictures) and lunch.

Sunset over the Clarence near Grafton. A pretty way to end the day.  We are sorry that the photos do not due justice to the colours and brilliance of the sunsets here.