Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Session Two Begins

It was an easy and relaxing morning preparing for my trip back to the Sunny Coast. Adoring Husband provided my morning coffee in bed and there was minimal packing to be done, because I'd left almost everything behind at the Sunny Coast - just my make-up and some odds and ends to come back with me.

The train trip was uneventful and comfortable until Gympie.

There is track work being done somewhere near Caboolture. The carriage staff were very annoyed that this decision had been made for the school holiday period and let the passengers know how frustrated and sorry they were for our inconvenience.

We were offloaded in Gympie and directed to one of four different coaches for the remainder of our trip. I was the luckiest of the travellers, because I only had to spend thirty minutes on the bus. As I alighted, I wanted to turn around to face them all and wish them the best of luck.

The coach was very scary! It squeaked and clunked and the wind was whistling through the cabin. The gears crunched loudly every time the driver changed them and I didn't feel in the slightest bit confident that it would successfully complete it's journey ... judging by some comments that I overheard, nor did many of the other passengers.

The Bare-chested Chef and Chicklet were sitting in the car waiting for me when the bus pulled in at Cooroy more than 30 minutes late, but both with big smiling faces.

By the time Chicklet and I began to play, it was well after 2pm, but we fit plenty in before bed time!

We created some sticker pictures ...

We built a castle ...

It has a moat, a throne ...

... and a dragon cave ...

This was me dressed as a Knight with a face shield, a hand shield, a sword and riding a horse that looks amazingly like a unicorn!

We got a little bit of Minecraft in before bath time and then it was a story before bed. Chicklet was asleep before 7.30pm.

I think I'm done for the day.

We are going to the Farmer's Markets in the morning, so I'm off to get some sleep.

Nite all.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Positive Results

My email to Fantastic Furniture had a very positive result today.

Dee, the Manager of The Bay store, phoned me this morning to apologise for our situation and made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.

I did explain to her that it wasn't the fact that we hadn't receive our furniture yet, but the more serious problem was that FF did not make contact to keep us in the loop. We were the ones always making contact to find out what was happening.

She explained that our choice of fabric was very popular and the manufacturers had run out of stock some time ago. This meant that the waiting list was growing longer by the day, and the length of time that we would have to wait was also increasing. She could not give any guarantees, it would still be weeks until our lounge was ready, and so she made us this offer.

She had three of our lounges available in three different colours - cashmere, turquoise and charcoal. The colour we ordered was black.

Cashmere is a lovely colour, but just wouldn't work with our colour scheme ...

Turquoise is also lovely, but this is quite a bit darker than the blue in our selected colour scheme ...

We decided on Charcoal, and it is much darker than this photo indicates, so it should fit well with our colour scheme.

Our new lounge will be delivered on Monday!

I've booked my train travel and will be with Chicklet soon after 1pm tomorrow! I'm excited to see her again and have enjoyed my week at home very much. I haven't even had a chance to practise Minecraft! Ugh.

Ah well, I'm sure she will enjoy holding the power to all things Minecraft for another week!

I'm watching my team play in their finals game against Cowboys right now. They are losing, but I'm sure they can win! There are 12 minutes left in the game, so I'm off to focus all my positive energy into their game. As I typed those words, my team scored and are now in the lead!! Wahoo!!

I'm off!

Nite all.

Our Personal Valentine's Day

Earlier this year, on the day that the entire world celebrated Valentine's Day, Adoring Husband and I decided that we were going to select our own date for Valentines.

We had three reasons for doing so. Firstly, Chicklet's birthday is 13th February, and because of this I have not spent Valentine's Day at home for 5 years. Secondly, flowers become ridiculously expensive for the week leading up to VD and thirdly, unless you plan well in advance, the best restaurants are booked out quickly

The date we selected was 15th September. That's the date that we met face to face for the first time. (For anyone who doesn't know, AH and I first met in an 'over 40s MSN chat room' on line)

So, today was the day.

A couple of months ago, I bought a free standing plaque that reads 'Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favourite', and at the local markets, I found some hand painted cards and I selected one with a bright red heart in the centre with vibrant colours radiating all around it. Words flowed from my heart when I wrote inside the card and I placed the gift on AH's chair for him to find this morning.

We drove into the The Bay where AH bought me two large photo frames so that I can hang a couple of my favourite photos on the wall.

We visited Fantastic Furniture to follow up on our lounge which still hasn't arrived after seven weeks.

When we purchased our furniture, they advised us on a 5 week wait. The lounge is manufactured in some factory somewhere. 'Apparently' there was a problem with the fabric that we selected (they ran out and had a problem ordering more). 'Apparently' they received the fabric two days ago and 'apparently' our lounge will be manufactured 'soon'.

Still absolutely no idea how long it will take for the lounge to be completed and delivered.

Seven weeks ago, we asked if we could buy the store display lounge, but they told us that wasn't allowed. It was gone today and when we asked about it, they told us that they sold it! That made me angry.

So, as it currently stands, Fantastic Furniture have at no stage, made any contact with us, to advise of possible delays. They cannot give us even an estimate for when the lounge will be ready. There have been porky pies told about the situation - because the elaborate stories just don't add up.

We looked at other furniture stores in town and the prices are more than double for a similar product and the wait time is 8-10 weeks, so if we cancelled our order with FF, we would still have to wait a ridiculous period of time for our lounge.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

This evening I went onto their website and complained in a feedback email. I also sent a private message to whoever manages their Facebook page complaining bitterly - there is nowhere on the FB page to post a public complaint.

Not happy Jan.

We did get to pick up the beautiful bright yellow single chair though, so at least that was a positive to come out of the FF debacle!

By the time we finished with that store, it was lunch time and Adoring Husband shouted me a delicious prawn and mango salad for lunch, which we enjoyed on the water front in the newly refurbished Aquavue Cafe. It's our favourite place to eat in The Bay, so it couldn't have been a more fitting location for our first Valentine's meal!

On the way back to the car, we browsed through an interesting shop where I tried to convince AH to buy me an amethyst crystal cave, but he considered $37,000 too extravagant. Perhaps I should have asked for a Powerball ticket instead!

We decided to look at beds.

Our bed is now twelve years old and the quality really wasn't that great to begin with. It is showing it's age and losing support in the well worn parts of the mattress.

We had a lot of fun checking out various beds, some with vibrating bases and where each end of the mattress could be raised or lowered with a remote control. It's amazing how much pressure is relieved from the spine when the ends of the bed are slightly raised! We spent a lot of quality time in that bed.

The Beyonce bed was pretty spectacular - on sale for $8,500, but INCREDIBLY comfortable.

The racing car framed bed looked like fun, but could only be bought in the single size and two of them probably wouldn't fit in our bedroom side by side. I also liked the dinosaur bedding. This too was only available in the single size.

In the end, we did not make a decision on a bed and are still contemplating our options.

We stocked up on our kombucha supplies, coconut ice cream and yoghurt before heading home.

Upon arriving home, AH collected his cordless drill from the shed and proceeded to put the chrome feet on my yellow chair for me. The chair now sits proudly, but very alone in the family room.

Except for Fantastic Furniture, we have had a most pleasant day together. Since I didn't get the $37,000 amethyst crystal cave or the $8,500 bed, I came home and shopped online to buy a new sandisk sd card for my camera and $150 worth of jewellery pieces that I hope will be waiting for me when I return home next week.

It's now rapidly approaching 1am. I'm off to bed.

Happy Valentine's Day AH xox

Nite all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sunrise Surprise

Yes! You may be surprised to know that I climbed out of bed in the darkness, and with my camera, left the house with Adoring Husband, before 5.30am today. He dropped me at the beach on his way to work.

I was hoping for a nice sunrise, and there was actually a touch of mackerel sky, which had the potential to create a lovely sunrise, but alas there was a heavy bank of cloud on the eastern horizon which prevented any colour from appearing anywhere in the sky.

However ... it was still a beautiful morning with a deliciously cool breeze and I thoroughly enjoyed being on the water's edge at high tide as the sun finally appeared above the cloud.

After work, Adoring Husband appeared with our coffee and sat with me on the bench seat to enjoy the view. We had a couple of locals stop for a chat and it was a very pleasant way to start the day.

We returned home and after I freshened up, I rode down to the Seat of Knowledge to see my boys, who were very happy to see me after my long absence. It's been at least a month since I spent time with the boys.

Morning tea with the girls was next on the agenda and the only absentee was Beauty, who is travelling on the road at the moment. There was lots of chatting and laughter and noise from our table and after two hours we said our farewells.

While pedalling home, I received a phone call from Mrs Bucket, who now lives in Gunnedah. I stopped on the side of the road and chatted with her for about thirty minutes. She had lots of news to share, which is nothing unusual for this woman about town!

I arrived home, just in time to start preparing lunch.

What a busy morning.

I spent the afternoon planning a website, which I hope to create upon my return from the Sunny Coast at the end of the month. I have lots of ideas which I mapped out today, and I found some fabulous 'how to' information that makes it look much easier than the last time I attempted this task, which was quite a few years ago.

I'm still very aware that I have to finish editing photos from Rebel Mardi's family photoshoot, and I may be able to get a couple done on Friday afternoon, otherwise it will be the end of the month before I can get to them again. I can't wait to have the time to really focus on those photos and finally shoot them off to the family. Thank you Rebel Mardi family for being so patient :)

On that note, I will leave you with my boring photos and head off to bed. It's 11pm and it's been a much longer than usual day for me!

Nite all.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Perfect Day

What a nice day I've had!

I actually woke at 6.30am to discover a coffee on my bedside table, so I sat up in bed reading and drinking my coffee and easing myself into the day (thanks Adoring Husband).

After showering, I jumped on my trike for a ride around town. I had a delivery for Lady Lynn, the PO Box to check, groceries to buy and The Motivator to visit - to say goodbye to her Mum, who is returning to Sydney, after a seven week holiday.

It was another glorious Spring day. The sun was shining, there was a cool breeze blowing and people were out and about enjoying the weather and eating ice creams. The local ice cream cones seem to be really popular at the moment! Everywhere I turn, there's a group of people eating cones with a multitude of different ice cream flavours.

Suggggaaaaaarrrrrrrr!!! (don't get me started)

I bought four sand crabs from The Motivator and ate half for lunch and half for dinner. She sells them for $15 per kg and I have just calculated that potato chips, when on special, cost $14.30 per kg (when not on special they are $22.85 per kg). If only I could get freshly cooked sand crab all year round! I would replace my potato chip obsession with a sand crab obsession .. a much healthier option and sand crab would come close to being my favourite food.

The remainder of the day was spent quietly relaxing with AH.

It's nice to be home. I wonder what my little Chicklet has been up to today. I hope she is having wonderful adventures with her Dadu.

I was going to share a link to some Minecraft videos, but decided that you probably wouldn't be that interested, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. It ends here.

Nite all.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Sometimes, though not often enough, I take a step back, look at all that I have in my life and feel overwhelming gratitude for how lucky I am.

Sometimes, it's easy to focus on the little things that aren't perfect and dwell on those small negative elements until they become bigger than your reality.

Despite the difficulties that life has thrown at us in the thirteen years that we have been together, Adoring Husband and I are so lucky to have found each other and lucky to have had the opportunity to create a life that brings us such happiness.

We have our health. Aside from Adoring Husband dealing with Parkinson's and issues with his back and shoulder, he has overcome other major health issues, including cancer, a heart condition, high blood pressure and gord. We are working on, and improving our health every single day

We have healthy adult kids who seem to be thriving and creating happy lives of their own.

We have a few good, close friends that we know we can rely on in hard times (I hope they know they can rely on us too!) and with whom we've had a lot of fun and good times, creating lasting memories.

We live in a beautiful part of the country that provides peace and tranquility.

We own a lovely comfortable home which we built and decorated ourselves.

We are two very lucky humans!

You may wonder why I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy and sharing it here with you.

I've just had a glorious seven days with my little Chicklet and I cherish every moment that I get to spend with her. Even though she lives only 2.5 hours from here, it's still far enough that we can't have weekly dinners, or do regular grandparent/granddaughter stuff and I only see her once every 6-8 weeks.

I could have had twenty two full days with her, this trip, and that was my original intention, but I missed Adoring Husband, my home and my life so much, that I took the opportunity to come home for a few days while the Bare-chested Chef has a week at home on leave from work.

So, as much as I cherish my perfect little Chicklet, I also cherish the other parts of my life and I've figured out that there are only three things that will take me away from home and Adoring Husband for extended periods of time. The first is time with Chicklet, and the second is my annual road trip/holiday with BGWLBH and the third is when any of my kids are in need.

Nobody else on earth could offer me anything that makes me feel better than home does.

Dorothy was right. There's no place like home.

Nite all.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Return Trip Home

I'm heading back home tomorrow, for five sleeps.

At the end of tonight's shift, the Bare-chested Chef is officially on holidays, so he has planned a few adventures for he and Chicklet over the coming week.

Chicklet is not happy that I am leaving, but I'm sure she will have a good time with her Dadu and will be excited to see me again next weekend. No doubt she will have honed her Minecraft skills by the time I return and she will have some more to teach me.

Minecraft update: I am now a Knight with shining armour and I have a horse of my own! I have learned to gallop around the golden castle, weaving in and out between the forest trees. I have learned that I cannot sleep in my bed 'with' my horse and that I have to dismount my trusty steed first!

We didn't play for very long today. Once again, Chicklet's iPad ran out of charge soon after we began playing. Minecraft uses the battery up very quickly, and she had been creating a new world with her Dadu earlier in the day.

Most of our day was spent at the kitchen table drawing pictures.

Chicklet has created two 'travelling lizard' characters and has drawn a series of pictures with the lizards holidaying in various locations. They have a tent to camp in and today they holidayed on a farm, at the beach, in the forest, in space, on a mountain etc.

She also drew this spider ...

Coloured in Cat Woman from the Day 7 envelope ...

Today's drawing request 'A superhero monkey riding a bicycle on the moon'.

... and finally, for lunch today, a poor attempt at a Minion.

We also played Superheroes vs Joker for quite some time after lunch.

I didn't suggest the park today, because it's Sunday, and I didn't want to have to compete with other kids for the use of the facilities. 

Time for me to sleep. Big day tomorrow.

Nite all.