Spring has just been the busiest time for me and my family. I have had little time to update my blog as I have been busy doing other stuff... spring cleaning, planting gardens, harvesting coffee beans and attempting to process them at home, making cake stands, selling cake stands, buying china, attending a dinner, a bush dance and camping with kangaroos!
Let's start with the camping trip. We returned to a campsite which we stayed at a few years ago. It is in a National Park and close to the river. The only facility is a long drop toilet but firewood is provided. We set up our tents, our gazebo and spent several days off- grid. There was no mobile coverage so no texting, no phone calls, no blogging, no facebook. The children went swimming in the rock pools during the day and in the evening when the sun went down and it became rather chilly, we sat around a campfire and toasted marshmallows. Each evening the kangaroos would join us. It was as if they were drawn to our family! A mother brought over her joey and they sat and stared at us. As much as I don't relish all the preparations for camping and attempting to roll up sleeping bags and fit them back into their tiny bags causes me no end of frustration, I have to say I rather enjoyed this trip - no rain, no mosquitoes either and I had time to read a wonderful book called 'Almost Amish' by Nancy Sleeth which is the story of one woman's quest for a simpler, more sustainable life. Very convicting and the chapter on technology made me feel less and less guilty about not updating this blog!
We did leave the campsite to go and do other activities. We enjoyed our second trip to Australia's best theme park (in the opinion of my younger children) and it is nowhere near the Gold Coast. All the rides are made from metal pipe! It is a 'fair dinkum' adventure playground that still allows adventure unlike most of the 'ultra safe, low to the ground' playgrounds you come across today. Even has an animal park with 'fair dinkum' Australian animals. Forgot the camera on that day so these pictures were taken on our first trip there. This slide is actually quite high but there is a much bigger waterslide and it was open for the first time this year. Even I ventured up the steps and found out at the bottom how cold the water was!
It even has a roller coaster!
This guy was still there to greet us!
As was the friendly dingo!
The next day we introduced our youngest to the more sedate thrill of fossicking for sapphires. We didn't go out into the bush this time. Just went to a local caravan park that has onsite fossicking. He was soon absorbed in this activity which is so much fun for children - a real treasure hunt. They did find some small sapphires but nothing which was worth having cut.
Which was a shame because on Sunday I discovered that the sapphire my son found on our first ever fossicking trip had fallen out of my ring. On Saturday night we had attended a 'fair dinkum' Aussie bushdance. (Always wanted an excuse to use that description 'fair dinkum' in a blog post and now I have 3 times!) It was the best night with an amazing bluegrass band playing and we had so much fun. I'm just guessing that all the exuberant bush dancing, hand clapping and knee slapping caused my gem to become dislodged. This means one thing -we will have to go fossicking for sapphires again soon! And pray one of my children finds one!
I did find some other treasures on our camping trip. We stopped at some little antique shops that were crammed with lots of lovely china at very reasonable prices. I bought some plates to make into cake stands, silver teaspoons and other tea time accessories for the collection we are putting together for a vintage china/high tea hire service.
This is the recent addition to my china collection. It is one of nine antique and vintage china tea sets I purchased recently with some of the money the business has earned. We had the pleasure of visiting a home in the country to view and purchase the china. The couple we bought it from were so lovely and so hospitable. We were given a tour of their home. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Wrought iron balconies, antique furniture, four poster beds, dressers and hutches full of beautiful china. I had to rearrange a few cupboards at home to house the china we purchased. And now I have to catalogue it all and turn the plates into cake stands.
Thought you would like to see one more picture of my collection of teacups and bone china trios. I now have close to 100 teacups and hope to double that in order to cater for weddings and larger events. It also means anytime we have a tea party at home every person gets to choose a pretty cup. No more chunky mugs and definitely no paper cups at this house!
So pleased to have finally updated my blog but I'm still not sure when the next post will be up. I'm learning that you should never promise blog posts. If we have any success this year in drying and roasting our coffee beans I might share about that but I have one more weekend before the last term of the school year begins. We have someone coming to stay next month and my daughter is traveling to New Zealand arriving home a couple of days before her eighteenth birthday for which she has planned a celebration - at home of course!
Looks like I'm going to be busier than ever. Please continue to pray for rain - there has been no rain for months apart from an occasional sprinkling. There is smoke in the air from a bushfire caused by lightening strikes further up our valley. The worst bushfire season in 40 years is predicted for this summer.
I pray your spring or fall season is as productive and satisfying as mine. Never feel guilty about not updating your blog. Spending time with the people that matter most in your life is far more important!
Until next time