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Hooray for Holidays

Only 3 more sleeps until Christmas and we’re getting very excited. My Mum will be arriving in Casino tonight on the Countrylink train and we are looking forward to having her stay over the Christmas/New Year break. Hope she’s enjoying her 10 hour train ride and not too uncomfortable. We’ve cleaned the house and made chocolate mousse for dessert all ready for her.

Minnie has lasted her 2 week trial period and we’ve decided she’s staying with us. She’s still barking lots but not nearly as much as she was. She has learned to sit and is learning to stay. She’s even playing with some other dogs which is so good to see. I take her for a bike ride every morning around 6am and she runs alongside my bike not caring about the cows, horses or chickens she sees. We take her down to the river and she’s getting more adventurous in the water, even going down some of the little rapids. She loves fetching a stick but doesn’t like to give it back and loves playing tug-of-war with her rope. All the toys we buy her? Well, she takes them straight under the house and buries them. Weird dog.

School holidays have started and it’s been lovely and relaxing so far. We went to the movies a couple of days ago to see The Trolls. What a fun, colourful movie with so many good songs to sing along to and a really great message. I thoroughly recommend it! This morning we spent time sewing little felt bunnies. It was actually really nice to spend a couple of hours with the girls teaching them how to sew. We would never have had the time when we were back home, always rushing from one thing to the next. Back home we were spoiled for choice of things to do, beach, parks, ice skating, reptile park, shopping, movies, anything you could think of was at our fingertips. Here, we have to learn to make our own fun. It’s hard that activities are so far away but I’m hoping we cope okay for the next three years.

We’re getting more and more produce from our garden, cherry tomatoes, basil, chives, shallots, zucchinis, beans, nasturtium flowers. So delicious and the girls love going out picking (even if they still won’t eat any of it!). We also have a big crepe myrtle tree in the backyard that has started flowering in a beautiful pink/purple colour.

The weather the past week has thankfully cooled down (though yesterday was 38 degrees again) making it much easier to sleep and more comfortable during the day.

We’ve put some Christmas fairy lights out on the front verandah to make the house look a little festive. It’s so pretty at night to see and I played around with some night photos of the girls practising with different light and I really like how they turned out.

Hope you like them too. Until next time xx

Merry Christmas

I’m finding it really hard to believe that the last day of school for the year is tomorrow and Christmas is next week. It’s really sprung up on me this year and I feel so unorganised. At least the Christmas tree is up and I think the girls have enough gifts to keep them happy and excited, that’s a start I guess.

Mum is arriving next week to stay for Christmas so it will be lovely to have a guest in the house. Hopefully we’ll find enough to do for the 10 days to keep her occupied. Luckily there are lots of little towns we can visit if she doesn’t mind a long drive to get to them. I’ve driven through Bangalow a couple of times and it looks like a great place for coffee or lunch so that might be our first trip.

Minnie is going well. She’s still barking more than we’d like but I’m trying to gain as much knowledge to help with her training and I think she’s improving. At least I hope she is. Just like Alice and Lucy, she doesn’t listen to me so we are working on that too. We’ve been trying to socialise her with other dogs and she’s responding so well which is a huge relief. I think we’ll keep her after all.

I’m not too sure what we will do in the school holidays. I’m hoping we survive without too many fights. It’s hard when they are the only kids in town. I’ll have to make sure we plan lots of day trips to keep us occupied. We do have 2 weeks back on the Central Coast to break up the long school holiday, we are really looking forward to that. It’s going to be a very rushed 2 weeks but I hope we get to catch up with as many family and friends as possible.

That’s about it from us this week, it’s been a quiet one.

From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.



December 15, 2016 - 5:47 pm

lois - kathryn, have you heard of the Bangalow markets? i think (like avoca) they may be once a month, very simealr to aboca, lots of homemade wares, organic oroducts, food, live music and kids stuff! going for a cucle with karen this sat, first one since u left xxxx

December 16, 2016 - 2:31 pm

Andrew Burgess - Thankyou Kathryn, and the same for you and your family. With all the renovating, school, dance, scouts, piano, and now swimming, stuff before the usual chores, and Mikey’s stuff, Im totally with you on the sneaky Christmas theme. Hope to do better next year. The town exploration sounds exciting. Ive snuck out twice this week to see movies at Ettalong, so this has helped reset the machine and eliminate the monotony! Cheers

December 19, 2016 - 2:35 pm

admin - Sounds like you’ve been super busy Andrew. There’s always something on when it comes to kids isn’t there? Have you seen any good movies? I haven’t yet found where the closes movie theatre is but I’m hoping to take the girls to see The Trolls during the holidays.

December 19, 2016 - 2:37 pm

admin - Hey Lois! I have heard of the Bangalow Markets but haven’t yet been. They are on Boxing Day so I might make the trip then. I’ve been to the Channon Markets and Byron Bay Markets and I think a lot of the same stallholders go to all 3 so I imagine they’d be good too. Hope Karen didn’t kill you on the hills!!! I miss having people to ride with. I’ve hardly done any exercise since moving here. Love you xx

A much needed weekend away

A weekend away couldn’t have come at a better time. The heat here has really been getting to me. It’s constantly over 35 degrees and extremely high humidity. It’s only the start of Summer, I don’t know how I’m going to cope for the next few months. I usually love Summer but have always lived near the ocean where the extreme hot days don’t usually last more than a couple of days and we can usually cool off at the beach in the evenings. The weather here is so different, it just doesn’t seem to let up. Even with the evening thunderstorms, the temperature is still stifling.

So a weekend in Byron Bay was a perfect time to recharge our batteries and get back to the ocean we love. We stayed in a caravan park just out of town that had a great water park with slides and swimming pools. We were only a short drive to the surfing beaches and the shops. We spent Sunday morning surfing and playing at the beach. The cool ocean breeze was perfect and I felt immediately calm and relaxed.

Byron Bay is a lovely colourful town with so many beautiful murals and artworks. It’s very busy with lots of tourists and locals and always a good place to sit and people watch. On Monday morning we drove out to The Farm and had a wander around the fields and checked out the animals. We stopped in for some coffee and amazing pastries.

On our travels we came across some very artistic Christmas trees, one that was made from recycled bicycles and the other decorated with red surfboards. I’m always really impressed by unusual artworks.

Before heading back home, we drove up to Brisbane to collect our new pup Minnie. She was awesome in the car driving three and half hours back home. She’s a beautiful little pup and seems happy in her new home though it will take her a little while to settle in I think. She’s been barking a lot at the other dogs around town and I’m not too happy with how much she’s barking. I really hope that it’s just her getting used to her surroundings and it won’t be a permanent thing.

Fingers crossed she settles into a lovely dog that doesn’t bark quite so much and gets along with other dogs. I think it’s going to be a very long work in progress.


Here’s to new friends

What a crazy busy week it’s been for me. The girls and I drove up to Brisbane on Saturday afternoon to meet the Kelpie pup we’d seen on a pet rescue site. It was a long drive but so worth it. We fell in love with little Minnie the 6 month old Kelpie X. She’s not had a great start to life and really needs a family that will love her and devote some time to keeping her active and continue with her training. We think we are the perfect fit for each other so we’ve agreed to adopt her. We are driving back up on Monday to bring her home with us. We’re all very excited and hope that she loves us as much as we love her.

I’ve told Linden he’ll need to put a fence around his vege patch or she will destroy it but he thinks she’ll soon learn (I think I’m right but I’m not going to argue with him). The vege and herb garden is growing beautifully. We’ve been able to pick a few zucchinis growing and the basil is thick and healthy. It’s fantastic to be able to use fresh garden produce in our pasta. Alice has taken to watering the plants every morning for some pocket money.

The weather has been really hot and as we are only on tank water here, we’d love to get a bit of rain to help fill the tanks. Some afternoon/evenings we get a big storm with lots of thunder and lightning but it rarely rains more than a few minutes. The river behind our house is really low at the moment too which makes it a bit scummy and not great to swim in. Fingers crossed we get some good rain soon.

Arriving here I didn’t think I would be able to find work but I’ve been pleasantly surprised this week. I was offered a couple of days’ casual work as an SLSO (School Learning Support Officer) in the high school where the girls go to school. I’ve only just started my course so really don’t know what I’m doing yet, but this is exactly the type of work I’ve been wanting to do. The high school children aren’t what I’m used to, having only volunteered in primary school before but I’m keen to learn and hope they accept me soon. I love feeling like I’ve made a difference in someone’s life and helped them learn. I really feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. Casual work with school hours and at a school my own girls go to so I don’t have to worry about before and after school care is absolutely perfect.

Oh and I’ve made a lovely friend!! She unfortunately lives 50 minutes away so I only get to see her every couple of weeks but we sit and chat for a couple of hours over coffee and she is such a positive influence on me. We are in the same situation, moving to a town for our husband’s work and not knowing anyone. Our husbands work together so we have lots to talk about and stories in common. She is a breath of fresh air and I can talk so freely and easily with her. It’s been difficult for me to sit and chat to people previously, I’ve always felt like a bit awkward, like I didn’t belong or had nothing important to say. I’m surprised at how easily I find talking to her and look forward to our coffee dates.

My next post will be all about our Byron Bay weekend and our new family member.

Until then x


Our First Visitors

We’ve only been here one month and have already had our first visitors stay for the weekend. My Sister and Brother in Law arrived on Friday afternoon and stayed until Monday and we had such a lovely weekend together. We showed them around town, our swimming spots on the river and took them out for lunch in Lismore on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday we did a tourist drive through some really pretty areas, visiting Tooloom Falls and Bean Creek Falls, through Yabbra State Forest and ending up at Bonalbo to take the girls to a birthday party at the pool for one of their school friends. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much rain here lately so the Falls weren’t as spectacular as when they have a lot of water in them. Bean Creek Falls actually had no water running but the drop off and pool at the bottom are pretty impressive. We even saw turtles swimming in the pool and heard what we thought were dingoes howling in the distance. The photos I took are of Tooloom Falls and the girls had a quick swim in the bottom pool. It was a great weekend with some late nights chatting and catching up (well anything after 9pm is late for me!).

I think I’m really settling in to the quiet life. Our house is massive! We have 12 foot ceilings and the bedroom sizes would probably be around the same size as our old loungeroom. I honestly don’t know how we are going to go back to a smaller house. We’ll feel so cramped in comparison. I’ve started to get into a slight routine each week. Wednesdays are generally my home day where I clean the house, edit photos, write and sometimes bake. I enjoy just pottering around listening to the birds.

We think we may have found a rescue dog that will be a perfect fit for us. The girls and I are going to meet her on Saturday to see if she likes us and if we like her. She’s a 6 month old brown and tan kelpie cross and from the photos we’ve seen of her, we think she’s beautiful. If all goes well, we will be able to adopt her and bring her home with us in a couple of weeks time.

The blueberry season is coming to an end so we’ve been stocking up on the cheap blueberries for the freezer so I can keep baking yummy treats. I joined the local CWA Branch last week and will go along to their monthly meetings. They seem like a nice group of ladies and I’ve offered to start up a Facebook page for them to promote our Branch and the CWA. In May, we have a blueberry day so I’m researching some treats to make for the stall. I’m thinking my Monte Carlo biscuits would be delicious with a blueberry cream filling instead of the raspberry one I usually do. Possibly also adding blueberries to my banana bread recipe. I’ll have to test it first. If you have any suggestions for great blueberry recipes, please send them my way!

I hope you’ve been enjoying our updates. Until next time x


November 23, 2016 - 10:43 am

Janelle - Loving your blog, Kathryn. Takes me back to my daughter’s early years in Mudgee – exploring the countryside. Thanks so much for sharing. Great photos xx

November 23, 2016 - 10:45 am

admin - Hi Janelle! Thanks for taking the time to read it. I’m glad you are enjoying it. Makes it more enjoyable for me to write and share out experiences when people enjoy it 🙂

November 23, 2016 - 10:58 am

Carl - Loved the time spent, will definitely be back up your way, not until after February I figure. Your blog is so entertaining, and photos are great (as always), although surprised by the ‘sneaky’ one you got of me at Paddys Gully crossing

November 23, 2016 - 11:46 am

admin - After February is totally fine. Mum will be here in December and we’ll be back on the Coast in January anyway 🙂
It was great having you here, hope it was okay to post that photo – I thought it was a good one.

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