Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Well here we are on the last day of 2012 and what have I achieved?
My goals were as follows -
in 2012 I will try to......
•Become more self-confident and organised, use my diary and journal  - getting better at putting dates/appointments in my phone STRAIGHT AWAY, journal was a fail.
•Lose weight and get fitter - fail due to sickness I put on weight big priority for 2013
•Become more cost-effective - use what I have FIRST success!!!!! Have been finishing off/using up craft stuff I have had for ages and have given lots away.  Same with clothes
•Eat much more healthily (but Im NOT giving up chocolate!) Oddly enough I dont eat much chocolate now, and have tried to eat a LOT more healthier
•Save money Done!!! Even bought some shares
•Stop worrying - trust God to supply ALL our needs trying, trying, trying......
•Take a trip - took lots of day and a few day trips with the leadership program
•Learn something new - crocheting???? Done! I can now crochet
•Be Less Grumpy Hmmm you will have to ask my family about this one!   So 2012 the year that was - I didnt really have a great one at all - losing my father, beloved cat, an ovary, etc.  Did things I didnt want to do - trip in an ambulance, hospital stay, etc BUT - achievements - two lovely granddaughters - Addison and Maddison, graduated from the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program, started renovating our home, and have a new love for my lovely husband and familiy and life in general. Come on 2013 Im ready for you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 christmas letter

 Dear All,

Well here we are already at the end of 2012, and hasn’t this year just flown?

Unfortunately this year we have had lots of down moments and sadness, my stepfather died in August which was a real shock although he hadn’t been well for some time. We also had to send our beloved cat, Speedy, to heaven which was also sad as she had been with us for 15 years.

We have had trouble with cattle being sick, dying of blout and various other “incidents” as well as Dianne being extremely sick and being

hospitalised for several days and Gary being injured by a cow!


There were some highs as well – we welcomed to our family two new granddaughters – Holly and Daryl’s first child, Addison and Aimee and Jason’s daughter, Maddison. They are both gorgeous!

Sarah has finished university (studying photography) and Megan has completed year 12 (as well as taking an alternative “schoolies” trip to Cambodia). Number 1 granddaughter, Mia graduated from kinder and is starting school next year. Adam continues to live and work in Mildura.
Dianne graduated from the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Programme and has been appointed on several boards – North Central Catchment Management Authority and a steering committee for Dairy Australia.

Gary tries to fit in a game of bowls when farm duties allow and has caught the renovation bug.

We are also starting to renovate our home and have so far replaced half the windows in the house as well as removing the outer walls on the front of the house and replacing with hardi-plank. Next year comes the new kitchen and a couple of walls to be knocked out – should be fun!

Gary and I continue to run our farm as a partnership and try and make godly decisions as we go. We both love God and are continually amazed how He blesses us (even when things don’t look that great)

We hope and pray that 2013 will be a year of blessing for you all (and for us too!)

Love, hugs and blessings Gary and Dianne Bowles and family

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him”

Monday, November 12, 2012

a finish and a start

Today I finished this wall hanging for Mum - she started it years and years ago and has had it pinned onto the curtains in her kitchen for I dont know how long.  However its now done = embroidery finished, quilted, bound and a hanging sleeve.  At the moment Mum is on holidays with her cousin in Newcastle - I think this might make a nice welcome home present for her.

Yesterday there was also a start here - the builder arrived to start our renovations - we are having all the old windows replaced (hooray no more louvers in the kitchen!!!!), guttering replaced, door that we dont use covered in and vinyl cladding on the outside front wall.  Gary got to have fun ripping down the facia and guttering yesterday - I got to watch and make cuppas.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

my graduation

Friday night saw Gary and I take a rare night away from the farm and head to the All Seasons Motel in Bendigo.  It was my graduation from the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program - something that I have been participating in all year.
A group of 24 of us have visited towns and communities throughout the region, met inspiring speakers, learnt leadership skills and learnt a lot more about ourselves.
Its been a great journey, Ive made some life long friends and have changed in myself.
Our graduation was a great event and we were blessed to have Adam Elliott winner of an academy award for his short film Harvey Krumpet as our speaker and presenter of our certificates.
P.S. It was also lovely to get dressed up and have a night away from the farm with Gary!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Megan has her licence

Megan achieved another milestone today - she passed her driving licence.  So no more taxi driving for me (hoepfully).  She is so happy and I am so proud of her - she is a great driver and I wont worry too much about her out there in the world (well Ill try not to!)
I have been pondering how much changes in a young persons life when they turn 18 - voting, able to drink, drivers licence, end of high school and exams and choosing what to do next year etc etc . Its a lot all in one go!
Megan will be driving Gary's old car - the good old mazda 626 station wagon, yes its not the most fanciest car but it will get her around for now, and Ive put a flash stereo in it that plays her iphone etc so she is happy I think.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

why we pulled an all nighter

 Oh how nice it would be to tell you that we had been up all last night partying and generally having fun.  Well the first part is true, but not the second. Yes we were up all night - raking, baling and carting hay but no partying.
Finished up around 5 am and this photo was taken not that much later.
The sunrise was gorgeous - all lovely pinks etc.
Helped Gary milked (and yes I managed to get through a WHOLE MILKING!!!)
Even managed to hose out the yard and help the vet with two sick cows, so fairly proud of myself.
And what was it all for....this (or this below - 119 bales of vetch silage, which I might add the cows had a sampling of tonight and virtually liked the ground clean.
As for me - Im off to bed!

Monday, October 29, 2012

something else finishing up

This year I have been part of loddon murray community leadership program  Its been a great year taking me to places and meeting people I never thought I would.  From dining in the members dining room at Parliament House to meeting every day people doing amazing things in their communities.  I have also made some great friends along the way.  Last weekend we had our final retreat at Echuca, with a lovely dinner cruise on the Pride of the Murray which is a paddle steamer.  All that is left to do now is our graduation evening which is in a week or two.  I've learnt lots about communities and also about myself - its been great.  If you feel this would be a good thing to do, I highly encourage you to - maybe not necessarily this program but there are many around. Have a go - you never know where it might lead you 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

almost the end of an era

Well its almost the end of an era for me - yesterday was Megans "muck up" day at school - the last official school day for year 12 students before they tackle exams and are finished with high school.  Once that happens I will no longer have any kids at school (except for uni but that doesnt count does it?)  So it was a happy/proud but sad and poignant moment for me -and doesnt Megan look so cute dressed as a giraffe - a great costume which we bought on ebay from China for the princely sum of $20!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

not enough hours in the day

Musings from me today -
What has happened to the number of hours in a day - I thought it was 24 but I must be mistaken
It certainly doesnt seem like that to us.
On the farm we are trying to do the following (all at once I might add)
- milk twice a day
- feed calves
- lead feed calving cows and check the same calving cows for any problems
- feed out hay when required to all of the above
- irrigate paddocks
- mow other paddocks for hay
- make hay from abovementioned paddocks
etc etc etc
How do other farmers cope?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


How good does this look? It's the poisy mobius that I started a couple of days ago (for in the chair knitting!)  the colours are just gorgeous - it's very warm around my neck though so I dont know if I will be wearing it anytime soon as we are heading into the warmer weather - but Ill see

Sunday, October 21, 2012

and the grandies came to visit

 What a lovely weekend - my two gorgeous grandchildren here to visit - what more could I ask for, and I dont think many words as required!

Friday, October 19, 2012

making good use of my chair

I've been making good use of my new chair.  Its in the outdoor area, near our back door and with a wooden box we have as a "coffee table" I'm all set up - todays effort is posie-moebius (ravelry link) which I am knitting due to a group I'm in on ravelry.  You put up some yarn that you have that you dont quite know what to knit with it and suggestions are made for you - and then its on to the one whose choice you went with to choose next (hope that makes sense!).
As you can see ipad and cuppa are also nice and handy, so I can listen to an audio book (currently Eye of the World by Robert Jordan) and sip, relax and knit away!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

happy birthday to me!

Its my birthday and its a special one - 50 - goodness Im half way to a hundred.
This oh so comfy air chair is what my lovely husband bought me for me birthday - he says its so I will sit and rest!
My girls gave me a beautiful pandora necklace and earrings and I was spoilt with lots of other stuff too!

Monday, October 15, 2012

starting to do stuff

Hooray! I'm finally starting to feel like I might be able to do some stuff around the farm.
Yesterday morning while Gary was chasing irrigation water, I got the cows up ready for milking - and managed to be able to put one run (18 cows) of cups on at milking time.
Tonight I did half the milking with Gary -and I just loved it!
No Im still not "well" but I do feel some improvement, but I do wish it would be quicker!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

scandinavian rose

I've finished the first three blocks of the scandinavian rose quilt I am making - Im getting it as a BOM (block of the month) so that helps me keep on track - I've got block number 4 here to do (and its a huge one bigger than any I've done yet) and two more are ready to come in the mail, so it certainly keeps you on track.
While I am stitching I love listening to audio books - its sort of like doing two things at once.  I've just finished listening to the first four books of song of fire and ice series (audible link) and have just loved it, well over 100 hours of listening but a good saga.
I've now just started the first book in the wheel of time (audible link) series by Robert Jordan and it seems pretty good so far.  I'm not 100% sold on the narrator but Im getting used to it.  A good narrator can make or break an audio book.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

where did that little baby go????

Spent the day in Bendigo yesterday at a meeting, having more test and most importantly catchin up with Aimee and Sarah as I wont see them for their birthdays on Wednesday and of course to see Mia and Maddison.
 Hard to believe how much Maddison is growing - and she is trying to crawl !
And of course she loves her big sister Mia very much

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

what I'm working on

 Currently these are the three main things I am working on at the moment.  Firstly this quilt made of squares of Christmas fabric that I received in a swap I took part in in 2007 - refound them while I was cleaning up and having been putting it all together, it might even be ready for Christmas 2012.

This knitting is what I've been working on in the evenings while watching tv - the pattern is water and stone (ravelry link) - I started this in July and was kicking myself as its such a lot of knitting to do.  I'm using lovely madelintosh sport yarn which is a pleasure to knit with and I'm actually suprised how quickly it is going now that I have been applying myself.

 And finally this stitchery block is block number two of a block of the month pattern I'm working on called Scandinavian Rose by Rosalie Quinlan.  I've finished block 1 and as you can see almost done block 2.  Using lovely cosmo threads which are a real joy to stitch with.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

a rose by any other name

How lovely is this? and its growing in my garden!
I had to move my rose bushes 6 months or so ago as Gary was threatening to get rid of them, so instead of having them all together I've spread them out throughout the garden and hoping that he wont notice them (he hates roses btw and I love them).
Im not sure of the name of this one but its just starting to bloom and do so beautifully.

Friday, October 5, 2012

a finish - great granny quilt along

Thanks to the lovely Linda I now have a quilt made from scraps, batting used was scraps joined together and even the backing was a piece I had just sitting waiting to be used.
As mentioned earlier, Linda has mentioned on her blog that she was making these great granny blocks, and as I was just home from hospital I was inspired.  Not able to scrounge around in my fabric tubs, I found that I could delve in my scrap tub - and this is the result.
Lovely and bright and sort of free!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

sort of sorting

No photos today - the place (well my crafting area) is in a mess being tidied.  I've just stopped for a break.  But lots has been achieved and got rid of.
I've been fairly ruthless - stuff I dont think Ill ever get around to using or doing has gone into one of four (yes four!!!) garbage bags and I've taken them into the local trash and treasure for them to sell and make money from.
Yes I could have tried to sell them on ebay or one of the online groups that I am on, but I wanted to get rid of the "stuff" NOW and not wait and not change my mind.  And the profits from the trash and treasure goes to a good cause.
I've now got a fairly largish pile of stuff I want to finish off - at least 8 things I think in the "immediate pile" so I will see how I go.
P.S. I dont even know how some of the stuff got here - cos some of it I dont even remember buying!

Monday, October 1, 2012


When my father died - the local secondary college, of which I have been school council president for the last 4 years, gave me a beautiful plant - a magnolia.
I wasnt sure where to put it in the garden, but finally have settled, and Gary has agreed on the area outside our kitchen window.  So put it in the ground today - hopefully I can build up a little garden bed around it with maybe agapanthus or something similar - watch this space!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

grand final day

Well its grand final day in the afl today - hawthorn are playing sydney swans.
Im not really that fussed who wins but if I have to choose Ill choose Hawthorn.
And what have I been doing - apart from watching a bit of the footy as its broadcast live?
Finishing off stuff - this time a pair of socks hermiones every days socks and a table topper I've made from a "Dessert Roll" that someone gifted me years ago - its my own design, nothing flash but I quite like it! I buttonhole stitched the centre flowers after attaching them with vliseofix and pieced the background from the roll strips
P.S. Swans won by 10 points

Thursday, September 27, 2012

how's this for a bill?

Received this bill in the mail from Ambulance Victoria - for my little trip from Cohuna Hospital to St John of God Hospital in Bendigo - it took an hour and a bit to get there.
Thank goodness we have ambulance cover as our annual cover which is less than $100 for a family fully covers this.  Make sure you have cover too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

prepared earlier - sort of!

If you are a regular reader of my blog you might have noticed a bit of a theme lately.  Since I havent been well, I seem to have returned to doing stuff I haven't done touched been interested in for quite some time i.e. embroidery/quilting etc.
And how good does it feel!
Thankfully I prepared and thought a lot ahead - years ago - and have actually been able to be quite productive without having to spend a cent - how smart am I?
Today I was sitting quilting a smallish table cloth type thing that I have made with a "dessert roll" that someone gifted me years and years ago - prepared earlier?????
And I was loving it!
I've also been managing to post here on this blog every second day - have you noticed?  I've been trying to alternate it with farm stuff and crafty stuff and it seems to be working.
Hope you readers are enjoying it too!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's the simple things

It's the simple things in life that give us pleasure.  Today I was able (finally!) to get the cows up for the afternoon milking from the other farm.  Didn't go on the motorbike as that is not quite allowed yet but I did drive the ute and thankfully they were very well behaved - and our dogs were excellent and helpful too!  As you can probably gather it doesnt take that much to get me enthusiastic at the moment!

Friday, September 21, 2012

a decision made

I've finally made a decision after much thought and discussion - I was (a couple of months ago - before stuff happened) very keen to run for local council.  I had had many people ask me to run and offered their support and/or help which was very flattering.
However events over the past little while have made me realise that now might not be the best time to take on something as time intensive as this. 
So I've decided NOT to throw my hat into the ring.
On the plus and finishing side - I've finished something else - this embroidery sampler that Mum gave me I dont know how long ago to do for her - I think it was a freebie in a magazine or something, I dont honestly remember as it was so long ago.
Anyway its done now, and bound and ready to be given to Mum when I next visit her - btw got the border, backing and binding materials from Mum - she was so excited to go through fabric with me and choose them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

money in mud

Well if there is money in mud - we are quite rich at the moment!
Yesterday we had 31mm of rain - 20mm overnight and then a huge heavy "shower" at around lunch time that yielded another 11mm
The result - mud!
Everything seems much fresher and greener and hopefully a couple of sunny days will dry it out, enable crops to grow and then another rainfall would be lovely!

Monday, September 17, 2012

letter to myself

Dear Di
Why are you getting so frustrated with everything?
Considering what you have been through in the last two months you are doing quite well indeed.
Yes, you are still not back to 100% fit - but you are achieving lots.
You have got your quilting/embroidery mojo back which is a great thing - you've certainly got plenty you can work on - and what a great thing that you had "pre-stashed" all that lovely fabric, and patterns and notions - nothing needed to spend and you can have great joy in creating beautiful things.
You live in a lovely place - a lovely dairy farm - and are blessed to be living out of town, surrounded by land.
Your family is gorgeous - your husband adores you, as do you girls and your grandchildren.
You are truly blessed.
So.....stop feeling sorry for yourself, pull up your socks and move on!
You have a lot of life left to lead - so do it well.
Love your best friend

Saturday, September 15, 2012

today on the farm

Who wouldnt feel great waking to this this!  This is what greeted me when I took Gary up his cup of tea this morning, while he was milking.  Yes it was a bit foggy - but the promise was there for a lovely sunny day to follow.  Makes you glad to be alive!
On the knitting front - yes I've finally managed to do some knitting!  I've finished this pair of socks for me.  I've had three goes at using this lovely yarn for different patterns but the patterns just hadn't been doing the yarn justice - so went with a basic sock pattern ravelry link which I think looks quite good with this gorgeous yarn - monsoon designs sock in colourway earth from space.  They are at present blocking and as soon as they are dry they will be introduced to my feet!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I havent been idle - but actually quite productive - its amazing what you can get done when you are "grounded" (i.e. not able allowed to drive).  I've made these 6 blocks after seeing a post on Linda's blog - granny squares I think they are called.  Im using scraps from my scrap tub that I had already cut into 2 1/2' strips so no delving etc required - and so far so good!

Secondly, I've managed to finish another stitchery - this one a heart as can be seen here on the left.  I think the money for this went towards Breast Cancer research or something similar when I bought the kit.  Anyway it turned out pretty well - used the lovely cosmo embroidery threads and they are fabulous to use, they hardly ever knot etc.  Quite liking this rekindling of my love of doing stitcheries - plenty more in my stash to do!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

burning off

Oh how much fun you can have burning off a big pile of rubbish!
We are lucky on the farm that we can pile up all the dead branches, bits and pieces etc and burn off (when its not fire restriction season).  Today saw one of those days - the heap was huge but it burnt down well and is still smoldering due to a big stump in the bottom. Gary kept adding more and more as it was burning so the front yard is now devoid of dropped branches -which is great- and all ready for when I am able to hop on my ride on mower and mow it - dont worry Im not doing it YET - hopefully next week.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

new life

As I've hinted in my last couple of posts - I'm really reassessing what is really important in life.
The past several weeks have really made me look at things differently.
This morning I watched a calf being born - only 15 minutes old and already able to walk around - pretty tough these calves are from the word go.
And me- well I'm not that good at resting, BUT, I have been creating and have realised that I am blessed to be able to do this.  I've been doing some embroidery - something that I hadn't been really liking or interested in for quite some time -but I've rediscovered my love....and being able to listen to an audio book while doing it is a bonus as well.  This Christmas Wreath stitchery was started more than a year ago - but its now done, quilted and bound and ready to be hung this Christmas.

I have tended to do the stitching during the day, while sitting in the sunshine.  In the evenings I've been knitting a sock (well hopefully it will be a pair of socks one day).  This is the first sock which I finished knitting last night - and I immediately cast on the second one in case the dreaded "second sock syndrome" strikes.
And what is really important at the end of all this - my lovely husband and family - so this morning I made yummy homemade porridge and enjoyed it sitting in the sunshine with Gary.
What more could a blessed girl ask for?