Friday, 13 July 2007

Some in-between photos

The driveway finished. The garage door shows all the sample pots we used to try to find the right colour.

The small brown section on the very right hand side of the door shows where I have stripped the paint - that section took me about 4 hrs !!!!!

Another shot of the driveway

The front entrance now prepared for the pavers

The rectangle showing the pavers on the 45 degree pattern we have on the verandah, driveway, the entrance area (this picture) and on the front of the pub.

July 07 update

So much has happened since I last updated I hardly know where to start. Kaitlin went away on Sports Tour and had an absolute ball. They had decent weather most of the time and there was heaps of snow when they got to Snowy Mountains. She said she had a great time on tour and really enjoyed the skiing but was very happy to get back home. It is amazing how being away from home opens your eyes up to how fortunate you are - she said that she was really disgusted with how some of the children on tour ate as they had no table manners and didn't know how to eat properly !!!!!

The tour got in at about 8.30 on Friday night - we picked her up, got home and unpacked the dirty washing which needed to be washed, dried and packed again by 10am the following morning. The good thing about only being able to take 2 medium sized soft bags on tour is that you aren't able to take too much therefore there isn't that much to unpack and wash when you get home again.

10.30am saw her leaving on the bus with about 15 other teenagers - none of whom she knew - for the start of their 12 day Outward Bound experience. They split into 2 groups - one for the year 12 students and the rest of the kids in the second group. Kaitlin wasn't impressed that a lot of her group couldn't navigate their way to anything and most days they took the scenic route between camp sites !!!! This meant that they arrived at their camp sites in the dark so had to set up and cook in the dark - not happy Jan !! But she said she enjoyed this trip as much as the last even though they were both different. On this trip they had to spend 24 hrs by themselves - contemplating questions given to them and thinking about their values and morals, aims and ambitions - she did catch one mouse running up her shoulder while she was sleeping and managed to shake him off but not before he left her a little parcel on her glove !!! The worst thing was she had to tie her bivvie (piece of plastic to shelter her head) up over a grassy area and that wasn't good (apparently) as when you are in your sleeping bag on the grass and you move, it makes a noise and you don't know what made the noise !!! A stick kept close at hand which she used to hit the bivvie everytime she heard a noise seemed to get her through the night unharmed and in one piece.

She came back dirty and smelly (just like last time) and very appreciative of her home comforts - flushing toilet, toilet paper, bed, electric blanket, something to drink other than water !!! She got back on Wednesday afternoon and so had had two days to recover. Alan has been off the past two days as he got an ulcer in his eye this week which didn't heal so eventually yesterday morning the doctor scraped his eye and that seemed to do the trick - it is now healing nicely and today he has had to put in drops every hour or so - tomorrow we go back for our daily visit to the dr and hopefully the hole will be closed and all will be well.

While Kaitlin was away on Sports Tour we bought a new car - a Kia Ria 1.4 5 door hatch back. The white Toyota had to be put down - she was going to start costing us a lot of money to keep running and it just wasn't worth it. Charlie (the new car) goes like an absolute bomb and is so lovely to drive - really zippy and very comfortable. Plus she is so much lighter on fuel than the X-trail. Kaitlin was very pleased when she saw the new car as the Toyota has been the source of much embarrassment for her - nothing like being thankful she doesn't have to walk anywhere more a case of "Can't we take the X'trail rather" when faced with the prospect of having to arrive somewhere and be seen getting out of or into the Toyota - now she doesnt' mind which car we go in except that the Kia does only have windy windy windows at the back and she is used to having electric windows !!!!! We didn't think she would want to contibute the $1 500 to upgrade to the next model.

The other good news we have had is that Kaitlin has been offered a scholarship to go to a new school being started by Queensland Government called Queensland Academies for Health Sciences at Griffith University. These scholarships are being offered to brighter students following the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme ( if you are interested to see what they do) - basically it is a programme which is recognised internationally should you wish to get into a university outside of Australia. They have offered 150 year 11 scholarships - I don't know how many children sat the exam in total - there must have been about 200 students at the venue where Kaitlin wrote the exam and they did testing at venues throughout Queensland so you can imagine how extremely proud we were when the letter arrived offering her a position. They offered Health Sciences, Computer Technology and an Art programme. I have to be honest and say that I didn't think she had much chance - then the Friday before she left on Sports Tour we received an e-mail asking her to go to an interview (set for the week she was away which had to be changed) and after she showed me the questions she had had to answer at the interview, I really didn't think she would go any further so you can imagine my delight when the letter arrived on Tuesday before she got home on Wednesday from Outward Bound. Given that the date it arrived was 10 days after they said we would be told, I had really expected to get a regret letter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to make a 'pros and cons' list and then discuss what is going to be the best option for her. Will keep you posted on what decision we come to.

The tiler came today (finally) and all the grouting / paving / bull nosing is now all finished - YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY !!!!! I have to admit that there have been times over the past few weeks when I wondered if we were ever going to get it finished. The paving looks really good - will take some photos and post them once the grouting has all been washed and the pavers sealed. The entrance area is so much lighter now with the pavers rather than the slasto that used to be there and the pub looks really good. Al put the counter on last weekend (we think that is when he got the rubbish in his eye which caused the ulcer). Last weekend we managed to finally find the paint for the garage door and so I started to strip the garage door but, as per usual, it is turning out to be a bigger job than I originally anticipated. I am using paint stripper on it but it is still taking me a while. Will try to post some photos I took and you will see what I mean.

Tomorrow we have a couple of things on the go - and top of the list is the Mudgeeraba farmers markets for the bestest do-nuts in the whole wide world - for anyone coming to visit - make sure your time here includes either the 2nd or 4th Saturday of the month so that you can try them for yourself. I am not a do-nut person but honestly, you will not taste anything nicer. They are so lovely and fresh. All I can say is that thank goodness we don't go every 2nd and 4th Saturday otherwise my weight problem would be even worse than it already is !!!! Special occasions only - tomorrow's special occasion is that we haven't been for months and months !!!

Kaitlin will be back to softball on Sunday and I think that maybe I will send Al up with her (if his eye is OK and he can drive) and I will stay at home and carry on with the garage door otherwise it will turn into a never never project and I can't wait to get it all finished. Al wanted to have a combined birthday for me and outside area wetting but as we aren't really anywhere near finished, I said to leave it rather until the outside area was actually ready to be wet !!!!! Kaitlin is off baby-sitting for a friend of mine tonight and then tomorrow she is baby-sitting for our next door neighbours so the money is continuing to flow in for her.

On that note I am going to be off to see if I can load the last couple of photos that I took and then into the lounge room to watch some Friday night footy. The temps here have dropped quite a bit - now getting down to 3 and 4 degrees in the mornings - the weather forecast gives those temps for the Gold Coast but I don't think that is what we have at home - most mornings it is still about 12-14 inside the house. Thank goodness for our electric blankets - they have certainly been put to good use since we got them and I am sure, had we paid for them, we would have had our monies worth by now - instead we have had my folks monies worth !!!!!!

Take care everyone and drop us a line to let us know how you are getting on when you get a chance. Also, if you don't want to be included in the e-mail advising when I have up-dated our blog, please let me know and I will take your name off the 'mailing list'. Have a great weekend, go safely and (as a very good friend of mine says) try to do one lovely thing for yourself over the next two days.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Some before photos

The area in front of our old verandah - new verandah now covers most of this area

Old verandah

Original pavers and blue garage door - still busy choosing new colour for door to go with sandstone pavers

Our back yard

Some more before photos

Looking from the front gate back towards the verandah and the (small) back yard

Our front gate

Looking from the back yard to the front

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Sandstone going down

Waiting for the concrete machine to arrive

The verandah sandstone down waiting to be grouted

Laying more sandstone

The front entrance

Sandstone already grouted

Replacing the facias and gutters

Replacing facias outside the kitchen

Replacing the facias outside the diningroom

Al and Dan getting the facias up while Kerry waits for the next instruction

No verandah or facia along our bedroom and passage wall