Archive for April, 2010

This is a big long story that I’m going to have to write in stages – mostly so I don’t get writer’s cramp or RSI….LOL.  Well, where do I start??  It was February (ok, so I’m a little behind on my news….) – and the whole family’s off to the Big Smoke!  Sydney!!  Yay – we’d been looking forward to this for 6 months and we were finally going to see Acca Dacca in concert WOOHOO!  We hooked up with some good friends of ours – Jeff & Trish and their 2 teenage kids, Katie & Bryce – and with AC/DC tickets safely stashed, off we jetted. Touch down in Sydney – saw the Opera House, Harbour Bridge,  Sydney Tower, skyscrapers blah blah etc etc from the plane – how awesome!!!!!!!  My son took lots of photos of the clouds for Grandma (she likes clouds….) .  The journey out of the airport terminal was fairly uneventful, no luggage went missing or anything so I didn’t have an excuse to replace any of my daggy clothes (bummer), however I cannot say that the journey to our hotel in the middle of Sydney was peaceful and not fraught with a few tense moments due to the fact that I have never seen so much traffic in my life!  Especially traffic that sits within about a quarter of an inch from the bumper bar of the car in front and I could pass a sandwich to the person in the car next to me without having to stretch my arm too much!!!  OI!!  What happened to personal space??  Doesn’t apply in Sydney, apparently.

Clouds.....from the plane

Anyway…I digress….got to the hotel – in one piece (wonders will never cease!) checked in, checked out the room – nice and big and really good apart from the concrete bed…… We all decided to trot off for a little stroll down the middle of  Sydney city to Circular Quay.  There were loads of amazing little el fresco eateries and stuff – none of us could make up our mind what to have, too many choices!  So we made our way to the Sydney Opera House and stood just inside the entrance – just so we could say we had been “inside” the Opera House!!  Wow!  It really is outstanding, our Aussie Opera House and next time I go to Sydney I’m going to go and see a show there – doesn’t matter what it is, I’m going to see it anyway!  We took lots of photos of the sun finally going down (at like… 90’clock at night!)  and lots of photos of all the people – masses of them – going about their business or just being tourists like us.  There was a huge passenger ship berthed in the harbour – that was a sight to see.  Everything in Sydney is big and imposing – crowds, buildings, ships, shops, prices…….they even have double decker trains!  How cool is that!! (Did you know that the trains only stop for about 3 hours out of 24 hours  in Sydney – we know ‘cos our hotel overlooked the Central Train Station and that’s the only time we got any peaceful sleep!).  We even stopped to watch this mad street performer who defied all the odds and actually rode this 5 meter tall unicycle!

Finally we decided on stopping at the “Belgian Chocolate” eating place – we could apparently get some “normal” food there – like pies and fancy sandwiches – as well as the dreamiest of naughty desserts and coffee….  Finally, after gorging ourselves……we went for a stroll back “home” which actually felt like it was 20 kilometers away (but wasn’t really).  I couldn’t believe the amount of people still around at 11pm – hordes of them!  Now where I come from – that’s the time when we’re all tucked up in bed and the streets are empty!  Anyway……the end of the first day of our holidays……..Next time I’ll tell you about Day 2!

Bryce & Jake & Opera House

Hubby & Son & Harbour Bridge

Crazy Street Perfomer

BIG Cruise Ship

Delish Dessert

Harbour Bridge & Ship

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Hi fellow lovers of glassy things!!  I got some new beads to show you….just in case you’re interested..

Lampwork Vessel - "Flower Power"

Lampwork Heart Pendant - "Angel Heart"

Lampwork Vessel - "Genie's Treasure"

You can catch these and more, on my website……..

Have a great weekend – catch you on the flip side!

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Hi again – guess who??  I’ve got some news that I just had to share…..my young son is in his second year of high school (groan….the teachers call this a “very trying year for students and teachers alike”…..you know – raging hormones and the like!) and during the last week, made it to the Grand Finals of the Junior spelling competition – which is held every year at his school.  Well, to say his Dad and I were chuffed (proud) would be a massive understatement!!   The night before the competition he brought home 2 whole pages of words to practice!  He would only be tested on 12 words in total – but it was random selection so he had to know how to spell them all.  So we dutifully practiced his words the night before the competition and hoped for the best.  There were 9 Grand Finalist children in his grade and 27 children overall vying for the title of Grand Champion.  I was soooo nervous for him – and I could see that he was really nervous too – but he did so well!!!!   He was in the top 3 going into the final round and the kids had to spell words that weren’t on the practice sheet, so that was a bit of a challenge.  Well he didn’t win Grand Champion overall  but he did get second in his grade and Mum and Dad and Grandma were just bursting with pride!!!

Now what makes this all the more special and incredible is that our boy has ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) – Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as Tourette’s Syndrome!  For him to not only get up on that stage on front of a whole heap of people – but to participate to the extent he did and do so well – was a truly major and momentous achievement!!!  All our years of occupational therapy, training, teaching, perservering, drawing pictures,  helping him to gain confidence and grow as a person – paid off in that one night.  I am very privileged to be a part of this very special, fine young man’s life.

It’s a long weekend here – so if you guys have days off over the break, and are taking advantage of it by going away for a couple of days R&R, please take care if driving anywhere – and I’ll catch you all later!



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Hello fellow Bloggers – this is my very first post here!  I have been blogging on my website but I am running out of space and can’t seem to upload pics so I decided I would ramble on in this space and see how that goes.  If you would like a bit more background to some of my posts,  feel free to nip along to my website and fill in a few gaps.  You can find it here:-     http://www.sandypandybeads.com/pages/MyBlog.htm         Well I hope you find my ramblings a little interesting,  sometimes funny, maybe sometimes a little sad……feel free to leave a comment…..

I just had my very first sale on ETSY!!  YAY!!!!!!  Very exciting – I am truly amazed that anyone notices my lil’ ol’ listings when there must be a good couple of million people selling beads there.  Anyway, thank you to the lovely customer who bought my bead – I hope that you love it lots and be assured that much TLC went into the making of it.

I have been trying very hard to keep new listings happening on my website on a regular basis. My resolve is this:   every bead and item of jewellery or bookmark or keychain (or whatever) that is to be listed on the website will be listed before I reward myself by lighting my torch and trying out some of the new bead ideas I have been busily scratching down in my journal for the last couple of months.  I really have to restrain myself from adding yet more beads to the pile that already needs something done to them.  I also reckon that once my head is cleared of the backlog of beads to list, I will have a clear run – creatively speaking….

We’ve come back from Brisbane and Keith Urban’s concert………Best hubby, best son and best mum (that’s me!) are getting ready to hook up our camper trailer and head up north to a place called Eungella (pronounced ‘yungella’) which is near Mackay about 3.5 hours drive from where we live.  We were supposed to leave the day after we came home from Brisbane but our camper was not quite fixed from when we had our accident at Easter time in 2009 (now that’s yet another story – oh ok, here goes…..quickly……picture this…..camping, isolated national park 8 hours drive from home,  no-one else around,  ominous black sky, big rains are coming, …..axle smashes on trailer  –  sooo scary – hubby saves trailer smashing into car and  from crashing into bush due to excellent 4wding skills, no phone or UHF radio coverage,  leave dead trailer by side of road, drive to nearest town 100km away, arrange for towing – bill for towing $2000, lucky we have insurance! – continue home, hit kangaroo – no damage luckily to us or the roo – get home very very late, next day arrange for trailer to be recovered and repaired – again,  lucky  we have insurance!)…..

Anyway, we had a few things left to do to the trailer before we could go.  Just little things like….wire up the electric brakes and tail-lights, plumb the new under body water tank, pack it full of our gear, etc…not much….just everything!  So, we left a day later than planned.  The area we went to had no facilities – no shower, toilet etc – which is perfectly fine, we are seasoned bush campers and come prepared with all our own gear.  I might just inform everyone at this point, that moi does not “rough” it when we go camping.  There is no sleeping bag under the stars or a rough bit of canvas strung in a tree, no squatting in the long grass hoping to goodness that the thing  tickling your bum doesn’t have half inch fangs  that belongs to one of the world’s deadliest slithering, scaly creatures – a species which just happens to reside in the nearby bush. Oh no! – we have the Taj Mahal and we like the comforts of home such as a nice warm comfy bed, comfy chairs to park ourselves with a good book, proper stove for nutritional meals, hot showers and if not a flushing dunny, then at least a dunny chair so all that “squatting” can be avoided!  Now, you might ask “Why do they go camping if they’re not going to do things a bit ‘roughly'”.  Well, the answer is this:  I am far too old to be sleeping on the cold ground with creatures crawling all over me!  This is the Aussie bush – we have lots of crawly things here!  We like to enjoy ourselves when we go camping and being comfortable helps me not be grumpy!  (BTW – For those of you not familiar with a “dunny” chair, just ask me and I’ll fill you in on all the gory details…LOL)

Well we camped next to a beautiful creek with running water – it was gorgeous.  There are platypus not far from where we were but they are very shy creatures and come out early in the morning (did I mention that I don’t “do” mornings?) or late afternoon. We never actually saw any, but there was evidence of them having been there.  The campground was deserted when we arrived but over the next couple of days, several families set up camp around us.  One such family was mum, dad, 2 pre-teen boys and a gorgeous little fox terrier dog called Picasso.  One boy was close to our son’s age and they got on famously!  They went swimming together, shared Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Darwin Awards II, III & IV and droned on for hours about Dr Who and Star Wars.  Mum – whose name is May – is an artist  (now do you understand how the dog got its name?) and it was so lovely to chat about arty things to someone whose eyes don’t glaze over 20 seconds after you mention the “B” word!  (That’s “beads” by the way….LOL).    We had the most glorious week away, read a couple of books, swam in the cool, fresh water, counted the falling stars at night – had a great time, basically recharged some seriously worn out batteries.

The time came to pack up the Taj Mahal and all the gear and head down the mountain, so we said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch with our new friends.  We had not long gotten down the mountain when the rain started and it just got heavier the closer we got to home.  But it was a great holiday – apart from getting stung several times by the  ferocious and  nasty jumping ants – boy, they are huge!! About an inch long and a massive stinger in their butt which is soooo painful when they hook you.  They are actually in our book of Australia’s Deadliest Creatures – I kid you not!  My son identified them straight away, I thought he was kidding….should have known better than to question his knowledge on  dangerous creatures – and we’re looking forward to more camping soon. I took my camera out to get some pics of the goannas that often traipsed through our campsite, but the batteries died and we were miles from any shops that sold them – so sorry, no piccies.

Next time I will tell you all about my trip to Sydney and the AC/DC concert – yes I got piccies!!  Now it’s time for bed – hope you got a chuckle from my ramblings….Catch you later!

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