Life has been a complete whirlwind of events since I last posted.
In fact I’m still trying to get my head around all that happened so you will forgive me for giving you run down of all that happened starting from Wednesday January 11.
On Wednesday 11 January Ashley and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary. It’s still so hard to believe we have been married for twenty years and still happily married I might add. I was thoroughly spoilt with Ashley giving me a Canon EOS 550D camera. Sorry no photos cause the old camera just isn’t up to the job after using this little beauty. Check out the link here for all the info stuff on it. I love it, love it, love it and am slowly learning all I can do with it. I have to say that my photos have never looked better. That could be the subject matter….kids, dogs, flowers and anything that moves are all prime material….vbg…….but it’s also super easy for a very bumbling photographer like me to use. It was a combined Anniversary/Birthday present which couldn’t have been nicer. We celebrated the day very quietly and just Ashley and I went out for tea at the local Chinese Restaurant with the kids paying for our meal. Lovely.
Sunday saw Elise, Nicola and I packing our bags ready to head off to Bendigo for a mini vacation on Monday. The plan was we leave for Bendigo after the mail came as Elise was waiting to see if she would receive an offer for University, we would stay in Bendigo fora few days, flat hunt, shop, have braces removed (Nicola) and then head home on Thursday the 19th.
Well the mail came Monday morning but no offers – very disappointing. What made it more difficult to work out was the teachers had told all the kids they would receive their offers in the mail first thing Monday morning. VTAC (the governing body) didn’t release any offers until 5 pm that night. The Herald Sun was publishing them at 4 pm so we decided we would look on line in Bendigo to see how Elise went. Off to Bendigo and booked into the most amazing caravan park – The Ascot Caravan Park . No affils but if you are in need of accommodation in Bendigo this is the ants pants – clean, quiet, friendly and easy to get to and a beautiful fully self contained cabin for three nights that was the equivalent price of staying in a motel with no kitchen facilities.
Monday afternoon saw us sitting in McDonald’s logging into the Herald Sun only to find no mention of Elise’s name. Damm!!!!! Elise thinks she must have ticked the box that said not to publish her offers. So, disappointed, we headed off to the local supermarket to pick up something for tea. We are in the supermarket when Elise’s phone rang. It was Ashley. He had finished work early to check the results on VTAC at 5 pm as Elise had given him the details he needed to log in. Success at last!!!!!! Talk about get some funny looks. The three of us were jumping up and down and generally acting like complete looney’s. Hey we didn’t care.
So now my girl is off to University to do a Batchelor of Education Degree in Primary School Teaching. We are so very proud of her and excited and a little scared. Having one baby fly the nest – especially the first one is incredibly hard but it’s an adjustment the whole family will make…we couldn’t stand in her way of studying for a career in something she is so passionate about.
Elise and I had been looking at the real estate agents websites in Bendigo for some time and had picked out about six houses and flats/units that we thought would be suitable so Monday night we hopped in the car at 8 pm and drove around these houses. Two were discarded immediately – not what we were looking for at all but others had distinct possibilities.
Tuesday (in incredibly muggy heat) saw us popping into real estate agents to put our names down for house inspections. These days it’s make an appointment for a group viewing and you have a whole 10 minutes to make up your mind. Not the easiest way to find a house but luckily the first house we saw – managed by a real estate agency that is all women – was the one we wanted. We did check out another house with the same agency but it wasn’t a home like the first one was – it was just a rental house – yuck!!! So that afternoon saw Elise putting in her application with the agency and was told we would hear either that night or the next day.
Ok shopping here we come. I was just debating the merits of some rather nice wool in Spotlight when Elise’s phone rang – it was the agency to say she had the house…..a whole two and a half hours after we had put in the application. Now from what I have heard that is pretty amazing as most times it can take 48 hours to a week before you hear. The next day (Wednesday after Nicola’s Orthodontist appointment) we cancelled any other viewings we had, signed the lease and paid over the bond and two weeks rent, bought a tape measure, borrowed the keys for an hour (with the agency’s blessing) and measured and drew up a plan of the house so we know what furniture will fit where then went and had lunch. Elise takes possession of the house on February 1st….only two short weeks away.
It’s an older home owned by the same couple for the past twenty years and managed by the same real estate agency for the same amount of time. Three bedrooms, one bathroom, massive lounge, nice sized kitchen, freshly painted with new carpet to the hall and bedrooms and lovely small back yard. There is space for two cars under the carport and best of all Elise can have a cat for company. So now the hunt for the perfect kitten is on.
It’s in a really nice neighbourhood on the corner of two courts so there is no through traffic and by the looks of it most of the homes are owned by elderly people so it will be lovely and quiet. Aldi, McDonalds, the petrol station and a small shopping centre are 10 minutes up the road, further than that there is a huge shopping centre with fruit and veg stores, butchers, another supermarket as well as the usual shopping. Just around the corner is the “short cut” through to the university in one direction if you were to drive in the opposite direction it takes you the back way through Bendigo onto the road home to us. We really couldn’t have got a better home if we tried. It feels like a home – bright and light and very welcoming. None of those nasty creepy vibes if you know what I mean. If you were driving past you honestly wouldn’t know that it was a rental property it has been so well looked after.
So with Elise sorted we celebrated by going to the movies and seeing Nicola’s choice “Sherlock Holmes” the lastest one. It was brilliant and a perfect way to end the day and an awesome choice on Nicola’s behalf.
Wednesday morning saw us up bright and early as Nicola was to have her braces removed at 9.30 am. She was so nervous. Worried that it would hurt. Worried that her teeth wouldn’t be straight after all this time. Worried about the whole thing. Well I will leave the photos to tell the tale……
Nicola has the most beautiful smile and is super happy with her teeth. For the first time in two years she could eat pain free and without cutting her food into little tiny pieces. Brilliant. Back to the orthodontist that afternoon to get the retainer fitted – not so happy about that as there is a fair bit of pain until she gets used to it – but hey pain comes with beauty – doesn’t it????
That night we were all so exhausted we curled up on the couch, watched movies, Elise and I knitted and Nicola tried not to fall asleep.
Thursday was my birthday. I was greeted with a small box from the jeweller – lovely gold earring the girls had bought me and after breakfast and packing (who knew we had taken that much stuff) we headed home to arrive before lunch time.
James had made me a collage of pictures to put on the wall of my sewing room of me and the dogs and various other events that have happened. He did a wonderful job choosing the photos and printing them onto paper then putting it all together. Ashley gave me a hug as the main present was my camera. I was super excited to receive a lovely present from Lise (The Chocolate Cat) who made me a gorgeous mug rug (part of the swap we decided we would do months ago) a gorgous Mug that Nicola is insanely jealous of cause it means I get a bigger cup of tea than her, a lovely framed stitchery that is sitting on my sewing room window and a bag of chocolates which I have hidden from the rest of the family and am savouring slowly. Sorry it’s not in the photo – it was well hidden by the time I had taken the photo.
Friday James made me a birthday cake – we didn’t have time to make one on Thursday and it was delicious. Chocolate cake with lashings of icing, Happy Birthday written on it and candles. Yum.
So the last few days have been catch up days. Washing, tidying the house – although I haven’t got far there and just pottering. Saturday saw Ashley, Elise and I choosing white goods for her house – a fridge, microwave, washing machine and vacuum cleaner which will be delivered on Monday – she has everything else she needs. Next Wednesday Elise and I head off to Bendigo again to sign her up at the University then we will be madly packing to shift her down there the following week.
If anyone sees a slightly bemused looking woman who is reaching for the tissues cause her baby is leaving home it will be me. Luckily I bought some wool in Bendigo – sock wool and Bendigo Woollen Mills wool so I will have a little woolly goodness to help with missing my girl….grinning rather bashfully – so much for the yarn diet.
Now if you have managed to stay with me to the end of this long and somewhat rambling blog post I now give you my blessing to grab a glass of something cold or a cuppa, a block of chocolate or a biscuit and have a little lie down. Goodness knows I need one after all this. No wait – I have Mount Vesuvius of Ironing to tackle. Perhaps it’s me that needs the cold drink……..off to check out the fridge.