Thursday, 30 December 2010

Some love the rain and some don't

When you're a green tree frog rain is delightful. You can spend all day napping on a leaf and all night calling to your friends. Lately our pond has become party central for the frogs.

Spiders don't seem to mind the rain either. There are still plenty of insects flying about.

The birds get a bit sick of being constantly wet though.
This little fellow found a dry spot under a palm leaf.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

What to do when it's raining

Just like everyone in Queensland this year we had a very soggy Christmas. No real flooding thankfully just everything damp. In some parts of Queensland people are evacuating their houses due to flooding.
With the grandchildren visiting, the question became what to do with two small children to keep them happy and amused while the rain keeps pouring down.

There was a sandpit to play in (undercover on the back patio) and cartoons to watch.
For a brief moment one day the sun came out so they had a paddle but the water in the pool was too cool for a swim.
Then it was Christmas Day and there were toys left by Santa and some from us as well.

By the magic of the internet I got to talk to our grandchildren from Cairns on Skype on Christmas morning, to see them open their presents and open my presents from them. Cyclone Tasha (who is causing all this rain)had just crossed the coast but they were all safe and having a wonderful time.

We also got to talk to Pippa and Mel in Katherine on Skype, so even though we couldn't be with them all, we could share Christmas with all of our grandchildren.
By Monday we were all getting a little tired of the rain. Luckily we found a fun thing to do. 

 The Ipswich Rail Museum had "A Day out with Thomas" - mostly undercover. As well as a replica Thomas, all their usual trains had faces like the trains from Sodor. They also had a large room filled with toy trains and tracks. While the rain poured down outside the kids played with the toy trains and the life-sized ones.

They've left now to visit their other grandparents.

I'm venturing out to check what's surviving in the garden and what's not - as soon as the rain eases.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ho Ho Ho - Santa was a hit.

Santa made an early visit last weekend, but he's promised to return Christmas eve.

John's extended family have a Christmas get-together on the Sunday before Christmas each year. This year it was at Monica and Chris' house.
Santa was a hit with the kids, but Lucy knew he wasn't the real Santa because she saw the string holding on his beard. (Girls of 4 almost 5 know these things)
Even if he wasn't the real one, Santa was very jolly. He had presents for everyone and posed for photos with the littlies and some of the biggies too.

Anthony and Lucy thought Santa did well. How did he know Buzz was Anthony's favourite?

Hayden and Harry weren't particularly impressed but went along with it. Next year they'll be playing with the big kids.

and Monica has a bit of a thing for Santa we think.

It rained for most of the day (as usual this Summer) but everything was under cover so it didn't spoil the fun.

When it did stop raining for a while, the kids burnt off a bit of energy having races in the backyard. Of course, they were the ones the needed to burn a few calories after lunch.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

I’m sure some people wonder why seemingly sane, sensible and quite frugal middle aged adults turn into Tragic Christmas Nuts on the 1st December each year.

We don’t deny it – our house is a bit Christmassy.

Our Christmas decorating each year depends on what is happening and who will be here. This year we have the grandchildren from Canberra visiting for the week before as well as over the Christmas period, so it’s over-the-top Christmas throughout the house.

This year each room has a different theme with it’s own tree.

In the lounge room we have the blue tree. 
There’s a white tree in the TV room (to contrast the wall colour) and a white fibre optic one.

There’s the original “family” tree with the presents piled beneath it.
Many of its decorations honour various family members (including Missy).

There are also a collection of Santas.
The Christmas goodies tree.
On Christmas Day the kids will pick the candy canes and gingerbread from it to eat.

We transformed the office into a Christmas Cave - the Magic Bear Cave.
There are quite a few animated or singing teddies they can play with.

There are teddies and other soft toys of all sorts that can be cuddled and touched.

Why do we do it?
As they get older our grandchildren will understand the meaning of Christmas, but while they are tiny we want to make it a time of magic and wonder. We want them to vividly remember their childhood Christmases, especially the ones spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

It began slowly - a tree, a train under the tree, then some teddy bears with Christmas hats.
The next year there were more teddies and we purchased a couple of animated decorations.
Then we made a cave designed to make a child’s eyes widen and sparkle … and so it grew.
Friends give us Christmas decorations or teddy bears as gifts to add to the collection. We also buy a couple more each year… and so it keeps growing.

Why do we do it?

Because it’s FUN!!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone.

I'm joining in Mosaic Monday at Dear Little Red House. I'm sure today many will have a Christmas theme. 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

GBBD December - A feast of flowers and foliage

Missy's garden loves the summertime. While I may sometimes complain about the rain and the heat, the plants certainly love it. There is an abundance of colour in the garden at the moment. It was hard to choose just a few.

Don't frangipanis just scream summer.

The ixoras are in full bloom.

Of course the bauhinia is still flowering.
The beehive ginger has started to flower. They will get larger as the season progresses.

Mr Snail is already enjoying them. With all the rain we've had latley the snails are everywhere,

and so are the grasshoppers. The bugs are certainly having a feast. They love the fresh new leaves and even have a go at some of the flowers.
Look what someone (I'm guessing a grasshopper) did to this hibiscus before it even had a chance to open.
I think it's time to make some of my chilli spray to deter them.

But, you don't always need flowers to have brilliant colour in the garden - just look at these.

Persian Shield  Plant (Strobilanthes) with it's iredescent purple leaves

Coleus and croton.

more coleus

Maybe someone can tell me what this is - I don't know, but if I keep it pruned low, it makes a great ground cover.
and I can't forget the cordylines.

As you can see, we will be having a very colourful Christmas.

For more flowers in Garden Bloggers Blooms Day visit Carol at May Dreams Garden and for foliage delights visit Pam at Digging

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Weekend BBQ

You would not believe it.
The rain did not look like it would ever stop.
The forecast was for even more rain for the next two weeks plus a strong chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
Then, just before the weekend we looked up and saw a strange new colour in the sky.

We were able to get the lawn mowed and a few weeds removed from the garden. Don't weeds just love heat and rain? Grass grows well too.

 In summer the grass needs cutting every weekend. Missy doesn't trust the lawnmower. Anything noisy that invades her garden gets barked at.
She couldn't understand why we would prefer to mow and pull out weeds rather than play with a dog. After all the rain had stopped and we were outside - surely we would want to play. She even tried to tempt me with her favourite toy.

Finally the yard was all "ship-shape" or as close as it was going to get.
Saturday morning the forecast was for rain increasing throughout the day and in parts of Brisbane the rain poured down, but we were so lucky. We had a couple of light showers but the kids could still go for a swim and they were the only ones getting wet, except for Jason who was doing lifeguard duty with the kids when a rain shower came over. 

We hung the piñata under cover.....
but other than that, the rain didn't worry us too much.  

Everyone brought food to share. There were lovely salads with the steak and sausages, savouries, fruit and cheese beforehand and  fruit salad and icecream for dessert. The hit of the day, though, was Sandra's rum balls.  The rain didn't spoil our day after all. Our guests seemed to enjoy themselves. I know we did.

Sometimes you can be lucky.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Rain, rain go away - just for a couple of days please

We have thirty or so people coming from John's workplace for a pre-Christmas barbeque on Saturday. The plan was that they would spend the afternoon swimming in the pool, wandering through the garden and maybe having a game of badminton or backyard cricket on the lawn, or just relaxing with a cool drink in the shade.
Lovely plan - except it hasn't stopped raining. The grass is long and too wet to mow and the water in the pool is far too cold to tempt anyone to dive in.

We haven't been for a swim yet this year. Maybe I'm a wimp but there has to be a few days over 30 degrees Celcius to warm the water up before I'll venture in.

The frangipani are trying to flower but they haven't seen much sun. The grass is growing very well though.
The ladies are not happy. Their pen is soggy and muddy and they're spending most of their time in the purple palace. They only came out because they saw me with the camera and thought I had food.

Not happy, not happy at all.

At least with it being so wet outside, I've had some time to do some Christmas decorating.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Colourful broms

Favourite plant - that's so hard to pick. My favourite changes day by day. But if I have to pick one -- the neoregelias.
The bromeliads I divided a while back are all colouring up for summer


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