Australia · clouds · kitchen renovation · Mount Warning · rain · spring · subtropical weather · Tweed Valley

Mountain in Hiding

We have had yet another storm this afternoon, constant rain, and no sign of the mountain.

This afternoon I stood on my back veranda and took a couple of very uninspiring photos, basically to mark the day as being a bit of a dud, weather wise. I know the garden is lapping up every luscious raindrop though, after being parched for the last few weeks. We are coming into our rainy season, so I suppose I will have to get used to the idea of more rain over the coming months. This time last year we were in the midst of a drought, so this year is a definite improvement. I can cope with the occasional grey photo day – rain is precious.

Today I emptied out some kitchen cupboards, and when husband arrived home we began dismantling the kitchen. It’s the original kitchen from when we built the house in 1994, so it has served us well. Now though, it’s time for a change.

Here is a before photo –

I forgot to take a photo before I emptied the cupboards, but never mind. I have plenty of photos taken in the kitchen over the years to look back on.

After husband removed a few cupboards, this is what we have now –

I can still cook meals on the cooktop, but hopefully – maybe – fingers crossed – I’ll have my new range installed by next week. I think the next job is to repair and paint the wall where the cupboards were removed. I’ll add more photos as the work progresses. 🙂

Australia · blessings · books · family · freedom · memories · Mount Warning · rain · reading · spring · sunset · Tweed Valley

Monday Musings

5:45am in the valley.

There were storms about last night – plural. Thunder with no rain during the afternoon, which subsided. A rain storm between around 6pm to 8pm, which also ended. Then overnight, another storm. Bowie cat, I discovered, is scared of storms and slept all night cuddled close to me.

I didn’t know what to expect in the valley this morning, but I woke to a very pretty misty fairyland scene, even if Mount Warning was hidden behind mist and clouds.

Each day since uni ended I catch up on a neglected chore, yesterday I pressure-cleaned the front veranda and part of the driveway; today I spent ironing.

Ironing is a pretty brainless task, and as anyone old-fashioned – like me – knows, whilst ironing and alone, your mind wanders off in all directions.

Today, I contemplated the risk I took in deciding to take photos and add a post to my blog every day, while I studied. It was a risk because I wasn’t completely sure I’d have time to post something every day, but I did. (Except for that one night when my sister called, and we stayed on the phone until after midnight. That was worth missing a day of posting.)

I decided to take that risk and make the committment, another committment – but an enjoyable one – which would distract me from the tunnel-vision I am prone to while studying and writing assignments. As much as I enjoy the study and writing, it drains me. I needed a distraction.

My conclusion at the end of the three month semester is that it paid off. Forcing myself to take time out each day to walk outside and take photos gave me something else to think about. It was a very worthwhile distraction. And even more rewarding has been my reconnection with blogging friends, most of whom I have known now for many years. The risk was worth the effort in many ways.

I’m not much of a risk taker though, which led to another thought. I feel content right now, I’m getting my home and garden back in order, and I am looking forward to Christmas. Through into next year, and when semester 1 of uni starts back, I will continue blogging. Decision made. But I also know I want to hold on to my peace of mind.

Here in Australia, there is a state election on Saturday. It’s not for my state, but the outcome will directly affect us as we live so close to the border. And next week, there’s the big election in the U.S., the outcome of which will have an impact on Australia. I’ve decided though, that this week, I will not listen to any news. Regardless of my opinions, the outcome of both elections will be whatever they will be, so I will save myself the agony of speculating on “what might be”. When the outcome of both elections are known, regardless of which party wins and which one loses, the world will keep on spinning.

Another thought I had was about the year – 2020 – which the multitudes seem to consider is the worst year ever. I understand why many people feel that way, but I don’t. Last year was more difficult when my husband and I had to organise aged care for his parents then sell the home they had lived in for twenty years. In 2015 my first grandchild, baby Samuel, was born, but never took a breath. The next year, baby Braxton, now aged four, was born, but we wouldn’t have Braxton if Samuel had survived. 2002 was an incredibly trying year when my husband had a serious accident and could have lost his life. He survived. I thought my world would end when my mother left me in 1993. The world kept spinning though, and her absence gave me the opportunity for the next five years to develop a closer relationship with my Dad.

My point is, life goes on. I thought a lot about that today, whilst ironing. I can’t control the world, my country, my state of residence, my town – I have no control over the actions of anyone other than myself, and it is my responsibility to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Making that decision feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I think also that if I stay away from watching television this week, I will get a lot more reading done. 🙂

Husband and I have been planning a renovation of my kitchen, so tonight he called me into the kitchen to discuss the height my new rangehood should be installed at. The discussion had to wait though. I looked out the window, and after all the rain, and storms, and mist we have had, look at the sunset sky! ❤

Australia · clouds · Mount Warning · spring · subtropical weather · Tweed Valley

Storm Warning

We had word this morning to expect a substantial storm this afternoon. Just after lunch time, the thunder and clouds rolled in. I closed all the windows and doors, and waited.

Nothing happened. Not here at least, although we heard later that two nearby villages had a hail storm. But here, not even a single drop of rain. The storm was a fizzer.

Two hours later, this was our sunset sky.

Australia · Changes · daughter · Mount Warning · spring

Ten Minutes of Sunset (and a wet kookaburra!)

5:52 pm

The rain crashed suddenly onto the car as I drove south along the M1 Motorway. Sitting beside me in the passenger seat was my daughter Emma. She said nothing at all and I didn’t dare look at her although I could feel the tension in my girl, as I struggled to see the road.

At first, I wasn’t sure whether the loud crashing was due to millions of huge raindrops on the car, or hail. It could have been either.

5:52 pm A close up of Mount Warning in the south-west. Yes, there’s a mountain behind those clouds!

When Emma did speak, all she said was, “we can’t even pull over mum, we’re on the freeway”.

She was right. The visibility of the road ahead was perhaps two metres, we couldn’t pull over safely, freeway or not, as I couldn’t see to find a safe place to park for a while, whilst we waited for the deluge to pass.

5:53 pm, the southern sky.

I continued to drive, oh so carefully and ever so slowly. I knew Emma was scared; so was I.

Our exit off the freeway seemed to take forever to arrive and thankfully, by that time, the rain had eased slightly, so I could actually see our exit! We could have ended up having to continue over half an hour further south on to Byron Bay. Not that Byron Bay isn’t a lovely town to visit, but please, not today, not in this weather!

5:53 pm Looking directly west.

Five minutes later, (after we had reached our destination!) the rain had stopped.

Showers of rain continued on and off for the rest of the day, but nothing anywhere near as ferocious as the rain Emma and I had driven through, for perhaps ten minutes, on the freeway.

5:55 pm Mount Warning has been completely hidden by the clouds.

Late in the afternoon, when safely home and standing in my back garden, camera in hand, this is the series of photos I took, which also spanned a ten minute period of the day.

5:55 Looking south again, the sky is changing rapidly.

Did we need to endure the sudden colossal downpour a few hours earlier in the day, to be rewarded by this amazing sunset? I suspect we did, as I don’t remember ever having seen the sky on fire in such a beautiful and magnificent way!

5:57 pm Mount Warning is completely hidden behind the clouds.

In some of the photos you will notice Mount Warning peeking through the clouds here and there. Mount Warning is an extinct volcano and has been there for as long as time. I can imagine the sunsets that the mountain has seen over the years.

5:57 pm Within moments the view has changed again, and the top of Mount Warning is just peeking through the cloud mass.

These photos are straight from the camera, just as I took them, no editing other than reducing the size to download them here. This is the colour that I saw, standing in the garden, shivering, after what had been a sunny and pleasant morning. Isn’t it spectacular? I just had to share these with all of you.

5:59 pm Hello Larry!

And look who came to visit, just as I was about to head back indoors to the warmth of the house!

6:00 pm As Larry and I enjoy the fading sunset.

One poor, wet, bedraggled kookaburra. This is my very tame friend, who I have named Larry, due to his Three Stooges hairdo!

6:01 pm Here’s a close up of Larry. He really is very tame and will take bacon rind from my hand. 🙂

I would like to think that Larry was there to enjoy the sunset with me, but in all honesty, I have to admit that I know he was there for the bacon rind I feed him!

6:02 pm As the night sky overtakes the incredible hues of the setting sun.

I wouldn’t have missed this sky show, only lasting for ten minutes, for anything.  🙂