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September 11, 2017 / diannegray

The RUC Stairs

It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on the RUC. We’ve been working on the front stairs for a few months with our trusty builder Mick Black.

I call these butterfly stairs, but I have no idea if that’s the correct term – I’ve just always known this design of stairs to be butterfly due to the separation of the lower steps.

I haven’t finished painting the balustrade yet, and probably won’t until next year. The reason for this is that I’m going interstate soon and I don’t know how long I’ll be away – but, believe me, I’ll stay in touch with some very exciting news.

Until then…

Enjoy the building of the RUC stairs in pictures.

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***Have a great week!!!***

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August 22, 2017 / diannegray

Some tropical fog

It’s been a lovely cool winter here in the Australian tropics. This type of weather is something I savour before that dreaded tropical summer blasts its way into our lives.

I took this photo from my front porch at 6:00 this morning . My trusty thermometer revealed it was 12 deg C (or 53 deg F).

Foggy morning in the tropics

The front stairs of the RUC are almost finished so I’m hoping to get the before and after shots up here within the next week (fingers and toes crossed).

I felt like the paparazzi the other day when I was taking shots of the birds. Is this the angriest bird face you’ve ever seen?

Birdface

I didn’t realise how cranky that little guy looked until I was going through all the photos I took that day.

Have a great week – and (hopefully) I’ll have pictures of the RUC stairs in my next post.

July 17, 2017 / diannegray

Life in threes

When I visit my local op shop I’m always on the lookout for things that come in threes. I wasn’t always this way, but kitschy things from the ‘60s and ‘70s seem to come in sets so I’ve kind of fallen back into the trend.

Here are some of my threesomes (ok – not a great word for this family-style blog, but it’ll do).

Budgies on branchMy latest acquisition – three budgies on a piece of wood

Flying ducksThree  flying ducks on a part of the unfinished kitchen wall. They have fallen off a few times and broken, so I just keep sticking them back together again!

Happy ElephantsThree happy elephants

Salt, pepper and toothpickSalt, pepper and toothpick thingy

Kitten angelsThree kitten angels that came out a bit blurry in this shot.

Three jarsThree jar things and I have no idea what to do with them – other than let them sit on a shelf

Graciela Rodo Boulanger _ Holiday on WheelsGraciela Rodo Boulanger _ Holiday on Wheels
I bought this at the op shop for $10 because I liked the three ladies on pushbikes. But once I got it home and took a good look at it I realised it’s probably worth a whole lot more than I paid for it. It was framed in the 70s and I need to have it appraised to keep my mind at ease that it’s not an original (or I’ll have to add it to my home contents insurance!) 😀

***Have a great week with all good luck coming in threes!***

June 20, 2017 / diannegray

Cows are home, birds are fed

Things have been crazy busy around the RUC in the past few weeks. I pulled up the floor in the spare room last week and am now in the process of raising it by about 2 centimetres (or half an inch). The floor had a distinct sag in it (even though it was built with all new wood) because the beams on the edge were thicker than the ones in the middle – like some of the builders who didn’t notice the difference when they laid them.

I noticed when I drove to town the other day that all the cows were safely back in their paddock so I don’t have to worry anymore about riding one home after dog walk. Those cows certainly added some excitement around here (as did the cowboys).

The bird bath/feeder my neighbour made for me is a HUGE hit with the birds. Check them out below.

Birds_1

Birds_2

Hey buddy – what are you lookin’ at?

birds3

Um yes – my lawn needs mowing, but aren’t they cute! And I think they’re here to stay.

***Have a great week!***

May 18, 2017 / diannegray

Cowboys and bikers

Just over a year ago I wrote about a calf I saw in the paddock of a property close by. Here’s the picture of the little cutie.

Calf2

I put that picture in this post because something weird happened here on Saturday night – something to do with cows (and I didn’t get pictures).

I need to set the scene:

It was Saturday afternoon.  A cattle truck drove down our road to the left. That road goes nowhere, there are another two sugar cane farms and then nothing but mountains, and behind those mountains is the blue Pacific. Hubby and I thought the driver must have been lost because the farm with the cattle on it (as per the picture above) is in the other direction.

Then all our power went off.  I checked the electricity provider’s mobile site. Unknown fault, Unknown timeframe. Blackout. Great.

We sat on the front porch watching the sunset (our regular end-of-day routine). Then several cowboys on quad bikes and a few cars we didn’t recognize drove by. That was odd – but it was Saturday Night Wine Time, so we didn’t take much notice, until…

ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!

Some newly delivered cattle had run through a break in the fence on the other farm, taken to the mountains, and ended up at the dead-end of our road.

There were cattle running around the road and in and out of the sugar cane paddocks. The cowboys on quad bikes were trying to round them up.  Cattle ran through the yard and the dogs went ballistic. The fact that there are so many farm dogs around here made the cowboys job difficult. All our dogs are fenced, but that doesn’t stop them from barking.

Due to the blackout we couldn’t turn any of our house spotlights on to assist in finding the poor cows, so the evening was full of flashlights and torches and car lights trying in vain to find them.

The problem was (and still is) that the sugar cane is taller than the cattle, so as soon as they get in they can’t be seen.

Sneaky little cows…

So the most part of the night was spent searching for cattle and then watching others search for cattle while we finished off our bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

They didn’t find them all so we’re still searching – don’t be surprised if I post a picture of me riding a cow home after dog walk.

Then on Sunday my neighbour, Joey, took me for a ride on his Harley. I was a bit tentative at first because I was sure we’d get half way down the road and hit a stray cow. Luckily that didn’t happen!

We went for a ride to Cairns down the long open road that leads to the city from our farms. A favourite scene of mine from Let Sleeping Gods Lie kept popping into my head – “She clung to him as he opened the throttle. The road lay out in front of them like a party streamer.” 

It was an amazing experience. I’ve only been on a motorbike twice before (many years ago) and I’ve never been on a Harley.

I’ve decided it was so good I’m going to do it again some day.

Harley Davidson1

I think we look pretty tough 😀

***Have a great week!***

moooooooooo

May 8, 2017 / diannegray

Somewhere over the rainbow

I spotted this magnificent rainbow during the dog walk around the farm on Thursday. I captured it with my iPhone (which I hate because the pictures aren’t nearly as good as my old Samsung). I’ve written about this in my blog posts before and can’t wait for my iPhone contract to expire next February so I can get my hands on another Samsung. The colours of the rainbow didn’t come out as well as I thought they would. Also, the rainbow was so wide I couldn’t get it all in one shot.

Rainbow

It was all going swimmingly until the cloud beneath that rainbow decided to dump on our heads! Needless to say we had to make a run for it to escape the tropical storm. You’ll be pleased to know we survived and I took a nice warm shower when I got home.

I regularly visit one of my neighbours for morning coffee, so the following day I took a photo of a beautiful tree in her yard. Again, the iPhone doesn’t do it justice, but you can probably understand why I found this tree so mesmerizing.

Tree

***Have a great week!!!***

May 1, 2017 / diannegray

Dianne and the Pumpkin Vine

One of hubby’s friends from work gave us a pumpkin from his garden a few months back. It was so yummy I kept the seeds and planted them at the front of the RUC.
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard of Jack and the Beanstalk – we now have Dianne and the Pumpkin Vine.

Pumpkin Vine

This baby has decided it just wants to cuddle the front of the RUC. It’s trying to make it’s way to the first floor!

There are biggish pumpkins

Big Pumpkin

And littlish pumpkins

Baby pumpkin.jpg

and flowers…

Pumpkin Flower

…some with native bees on them
(can you see that cute little native bee? They don’t sting and they make the BEST honey)

Flower and native bee

And to add colour to the garden, the hibiscus are blooming in orange, and…

Hibiscus

…red

Hibiscus 2

It’s almost winter here and I’m loving the cooler weather.

I’ve only got one question – how do I know when a pumpkin is ripe enough to pick?

***Have a great week!***