Cruisin part 2 – more photos

I figured that in my main cruise post I’d spare people the pain of scrolling through the oodles of photos we took that don’t contain us in them, so the rest of the photos are all here!

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After enjoying the cruise I did with the Red hatters, I convinced hubby we needed to go on a cruise, but because we booked it a year and a half in advance, we didn’t want to make MiniObsi have to wait that long (we assumed she’d be excited to go!) so we tried to keep it a secret until a few months before we went.  We figured her birthday (Oct) was a good time to let the secret out 🙂

Since the “boarding pass” you get is just a plain boring piece of paper you print off yourself, I made Mini a faux boarding pass (based off boarding pass tickets I found online) that we gave to her for her birthday.

Faux boarding pass = cool!

Millions of photos to follow 😀   I’ve tried to keep the number of photos down on this post, so there’s another post here with more photos of just scenery and the ship. Continue reading

Come to the Dark Side – We have Chocolate Eggs!

We’re not really big on celebrating easter, and we’ve never done the easter bunny, but we do normally do a hunt.  When Mini got old enough, we started doing clue based hunts instead of just hunting for eggs.  This year MrObsi Eggcelled himself with an eggstra special and most eggcellent easter egg hunt eggver! 😉

I wondered why he kicked me out of the lounge room for a a while – I thought it was because he was hiding stuff in the lounge.  But no, he had other plans!

It started with MiniObsi being handed (my) Stormtrooper Pez.  Inside was a message!

“Imperial spies have gathered intelligence about where various rebels are hiding.  We must find them before they make contact with their command centre.”

and the first clue was:

“The clay buildings of Tatooine may seem empty and desolate now, but much can survive in them with a good moisture farm.  We know the rebels have many friends there.”

We needed to decode the Aurebesh letters to find where the clue was talking about.  The clue decoded as “pots by window”

Poor C3P0 – doomed to wander the desolate wasteland of the garden pot 😛

He also had the second clue nearby (and a mini egg)….

“Many hide on Coruscant, concealed within its building from the world outside.  Yet we have been given an address within a metal storage pod by a landing bay”

We didn’t need to translate that one – we guessed the garden shed next to the carport!

Leia had the next clue:

“The word is that Jabba the Hutt has captured a rebel and has them locked away in a cage”

Mini guess that one straight away – a metal brazier thing we have rusting away on the lawn

Hidden in the cage with him was the next egg and clue:

“We have received communications from a post that it has been taken over by a rebel”

Although I’d already spotted the next one, it gave me a huge chuckle to read the clue.  It was of course the letterbox 😀

It’s a Trap!!!!  and another clue:

“One is said to have fallen into a Sarlacc pit but may have survived. It is on dry land.  You will find water there no more.”

This was referring to the old pond, which we are trying to fill with any spare leaf litter/dirt we can find – but is still a (shallow) pit.

We rescued Han from the Sarlacc and recovered his clue:

“Signals have been received from near the swamp in Dagobah”

I’m rather insulted at the insinuation that my pond is a “swamp”, even though it is a bit green at the moment 😛 (and in need of a weed)  But we went there to search for the next clue.

This one next made me really laugh.

“Sporadic rays of power have been detected from a shield generator on Jakku.  Rebel activity was last reported there over a decade ago, but it might be worth checking.”

The “sporadic rays” clued me in instantly – it’s the solar panel for the pond fountain, which has been annoying in its sensitivity (we have to keep moving it through the day and haven’t found the best position for it yet).  And sure enough, it was there.

(Although there’s a significant amount of green here on the green garden pot it’s resting on 😛 😛 Rey obviously didn’t travel to this part of Jakku 😉 )

His clue had us guessing for a bit, we had to decode this one.  A bit intellectual for us I think 😉

“The Force has been sensed strongly on a planet not on any of our maps.  It comes from an island covered in symbols of another island”

The code translated as “wheelbarrow” – of course!!!!   We have a wheelbarrow filled with dirt and weeds, and that’s where the last guy was hiding.  Can you guess who it was????

It’s Luke!…… Then I finally got it…. the wheelbarrow is like an island….. and it’s filled with clover-like weeds, so those are “symbols of another island” – very clever!

The paper with him read:

The last Jedi…. get it?  😀

Well played MrObsi….. well played!!!!!  😀 😀 😀 😀

and the funny thing is that he wrote all those out last night, and Mini just happened to be wearing a Star Wars shirt today!!  Spooky!


(So he’s kicked me out of the lounge so he could borrow my Minifigs without me knowing 😀 He very nicely said he took care not to get them dirty or anything and he took a photo of them all first so he could put them back where he got them!  He’s a good man!! :D)











House beautification

In addition to getting a start on some garden organising, I got stuck into getting some of the house cleaned and organised.  I decided to start on the bathroom since that seemed the easiest point.

I (finally) convinced hubby that painting the window/door frames black was a good idea.  Ideally I’d paint them white, but that would require paint stripping and sanding and frankly that’s too much effort.  Also I can’t have white in the bathroom and brown elsewhere, and doing them all is a daunting prospect – so I figured a coat of black over the brown should be easy to do, not require sanding and not look that drastically different to the brown elsewhere.

The house came with a turquoise bathroom cabinet.  While I appreciate colour, it’s just a bit weird there!  So while I could paint it white, after seeing some pins on pinterest where people had used wrapping paper to back cupboards, I remembered that Ishka has awesome paisley wrapping paper, so I decided to go with the theme!


I also painted the outside black, and also the window/door frames.  Added a few plants, bought new teal bathmat and hand towels.



Makes a huge difference just for a bit of paint and a few little changes! 😀

(The hanging basket thing is going to have a hanging “chain of pearls” in it, when I get one 😀 )

We also did some work in the kitchen…..  When the old bench hotplates was cut out the tiles fell off the wall beside it and the upper cupboard was cut out to make way for the rangehood but the old cupboard was just left with no side from where it was cut.  We never got around to putting a side on it… but now we have!  And the bare plasterboard is now white (I didn’t want to paint it cream to match the rest of the wall, we’ll put a bit of molding there to hide the join.  Hubby had made thin cupboards to fill the spaces beside the stove, but they were never painted – just plain chipboard, with metal tops (so I could wipe them).  So I painted those.  (One day I want doors on them too…)


I was also sick of the pantry.  When we moved in it was just bare chipboard, which was gross, so before I would even put my food in there, I needed a quick fix, which was to put black faux-marble contact on it, with electrical tape on the edge – but that made the pantry very dark (although easy to clean), and the tape got old and lost its stick so it got stickytaped on 😛   So I ripped all that out and painted it all white.






And I found a cute way to display all my cupcake wrappers!


I’ve also painted and covered with more paisley paper a shelf we use in the toilet.  It was a “shabby chic” thing that was painted to look old, and the stained with brown wood stain, but it always just looked dirty, which is especially icky in a toilet 😛   So it’s now black and purple paisley 😀  Much better!


I’ll be painting the window/door frames in there black too, and I’ve bought a black metal toilet roll holder, so I’ll take a photo of there once it is all ready.

I’ve also become quite a fan of succulents.  So I bought some and planted them in little pots and things for around the house

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*Gasp* I’ve been inspired to garden!!!!

Got inspired to actually do something in the front garden yesterday and today!
We’re not gardeners, we don’t like gardening and we’re no good at it 🙂
But we went for a drive into the hills and I always like looking at other people’s houses (and wishing mine looked like that :P). I was thinking how much I love hydrangeas (they are everywhere up there!) and would like to have a nice looking garden even though gardening is right up there with going to the dentist on my list of fun tasks to do 😛
Because every single time we’ve tried to do gardening we’ve put effort in to doing something and then everything just dies and it’s depressing and I figure what’s the point trying again. Especially when we HATE gardening and we’re always so busy.
Also almost everything we’ve ever put in there (with the exception of the lavender hedge that didn’t work and the irises and daffodils that never grew) – are plants we’ve only put in there because they were cheap or we were given them…. not plants I actually liked or wanted. Mostly because we’ve not really had the money to spend on the garden, but it might inspire me to get into gardening if I can look at plants I actually wanted to put there, rather than plants I’m obligated to look after because otherwise the yard looks like it’s an abandoned house 😛
The few times I’ve suggested to hubby that we should grow hydrangeas he’s said no, because they are “Grandma plants”. Which admittedly yes, they are 😛 But I still love them (well, the purply-blue ones anyway). So yesterday I didn’t ask, I just declared we’re getting some 😀 Once we do some work on the garden to have somewhere to put them.
So now I’m inspired to do something with the garden because 1). I’m sick of our house looking like we’re squatters  2). I’m excited about the concept of actually having plants in the garden that I like!
So first step yesterday was removing the pond…. took us 3 days to carve it out of the clay/rock we have instead of dirt 😛 and it took only a couple of hours to completely remove it *sigh* But it was just a bit pointless really.  It was made as a frog habitat since I love frogs and wanted to encourage them into the yard.  They say “build it and they will come” – but it’s been 11 years now and they have not come!  (I can hear them in the area, but behind the house and obviously they won’t travel to my pond).  Since it was made specifically to be a frog habitat we couldn’t have goldfish in there (they can eat tadpoles), so only smaller fish that you can’t even really see in the pond – so it’s not like you can see fish swimming in there or anything…… it’s in the side of the front yard that I NEVER go to….. it’s just collecting leaves (the trees near it have grown more to overhang it) and mosquitos (when the fish in there eventually die off – as they do)… so now it’s gone.
Pond before (admittedly when it was looking nice, before it got overgrown)
Pond now 😀
We’ve filled it with leaf litter I raked up from the lawn and footpath – as we didn’t have spare dirt…. nor room in our garden waste bin…. so we’ll work on filling the hole up later  (Probably will have to buy a load of topsoil), for now it’s a weird dip in the lawn but at least it’s no longer filling with water and breeding mosquitos.   All the rocks that were around the edge will now become a new rock garden next to my NEW POND! 😀
Several years ago we found a small fibreglass pond in someone’s hard rubbish pile, so we rescued it and had been planning on making a second pond in the backyard (closer to where the frogs in the neighbourhood sound like they are coming from).  But that never happened… and I’ve given up on the idea of having a pond for frogs…..  but I would very much like to have a goldfish pond!  And one where I will actually see it!  So I’m going to try setting up a new pond and rock garden (more our level of gardening effort :P) in the disgrace for a garden we have by the front entrance.  Where, by complete contrast to everywhere else in the yard where nothing will grow – nothing will stop growing in there!  Seriously, plants just self-seed into there and go insane!
It looks like it’s just grass, and there is some grass in there I’ll admit, but most of it is some weird grass-like plant (something in this family it seems –, and I just cannot get rid of it.  You can’t pull it out because it just snaps off and leaves a clump at the base, and it has all these weird roots with alien-like pods (“tubers” I think is the technical term) running all through the garden bed, and try as I might I’ve never been able to remove it all and they seem to grow from those bizarre pods, so it’s a never ending struggle and they are like the headlice of the plant world 😦  …..
The pond will *just* fit into that space there (phew), and we’re going to have to nuke the stupid grass-like plant I think (I don’t normally agree with using poison in the garden, but I’ve made an exception here), then put down plastic and place down all the rocks from the old pond and have a pond (with goldfish) and a rock garden with the aloe vera plants I have (which miraculously I haven’t killed yet!)…. and also in that steps area is a cute wandering plant I adore, which will grow on just concrete stairs!  No need for dirt even, it’s amazing!!  so I’ll let that grow among the rocks too.  It should look pretty!  I can sit on the steps here and watch the fish!!
Testing the pond does fit there…. I test filled it with a bucket of water because unfortunately someone had drilled holes in the bottom of it and plugged it with silicone sealant, but one of the holes was leaking a little.  So I had to pull all the sealant out and reseal the holes  – hopefully I’ve done a good enough job and it holds water!!!  (I used aquarium sealant so it’s not going to be toxic for any fish).
You can’t really see but we’ve dug out all the dirt from one section now…. down about 20cm.  I wanted to keep the garden edging even though it is a bit crap…. saves buying new stuff.  So we’ve also thoroughly sprayed weed killer all over that exposed dirt and the edging.  I’m praying that with the plastic will kill that plant off forever!
Since the dirt we removed from there is all infested with the roots/tubers from that stupid plant, I don’t know what we’re going to do with it….  When I say that annoying plant infested the garden, I really mean it.  Check this out:  The whole garden bed was like this!
I’ve tried several times over the years to weed it all out, but you can never get it all, so it keeps growing.  It can’t go anywhere in the garden or it will sprout new plants 😦   I don’t even want to put it in the garden waste bin for the same reason.  We might have to shovel it into garbage bags and leave it sit for a few years until it all dies?  I don’t know…. while we’re figuring out that conundrum we’ve temporarily shoveled it to the other side of the garden bed so we can focus on the bit where the pond is going…. we’ll deal with it on the weekend when we’ll be digging all the dirt out from that side too and putting the plastic and all those pond rocks in there.
So now we’re waiting for the sealant to cure… and the weed killer to take effect…. also for the next few hot days to pass 😛   Then we’ll line the hole, put the pond shell in and work out what we’re going to do to fill in the space around it (buy potting soil (which may grow weeds) or stones (probably cost more))….  We’ll need to get water plants set up for a few weeks before we add fish, so I’d like to get that done ASAP.  I’ve also bought a cheap solar powered water pump off ebay, so we’ll have a little sprinkle of water to give it some interest… by the time that arrives it will be time for the fish!
Elsewhere in the garden…..
I’ve decided that our front “flowerbed” (more realistically “plant graveyard”) needs to go.
It’s better to just bring the lawn down to the footpath (as it’s attempting to do itself anyway) and do away with the idea of having a garden there. So we’ll rip out the sad attempt at a lavender hedge (where only half the plants survived and those that did went all woody and crap)…. and the 3 things that decided to grow there on their own (no idea what they even are!) I also want to remove the old wooden edging and put 2 rows of bricks there instead.  Since with the amount of leaf litter the tree on the nature strip makes (that tree is responsible for the fact nothing will grow in the garden there), it really needs to have an edge to be able to sweep up to.
Then we’re going to remove the oval “graveyard” from the centre of the lawn too.
(hahaha, it’s so pathetic!)
It’s like half sand half dirt for some reason (came like that) so nothing ever grew there either (except some spindly stuff I don’t like but mum gave to us to put there and occasionally a sad looking iris or daffodil). Both that and the front bed have a sprinkler system buried in there that has never worked, so that will have to be removed too….
Then along the house… where I’d attempted another hedge like situation using 2 different purple hebe plants that dad gave us – the lighter purple larger plant we planted between the windows and the darker purple smaller plant we put under the windows – but only some survived, and only the lighter ones I didn’t like as much *sigh*.  Which was the point where we said “F*ck it, I’m sick of this gardening caper” and neglected the garden ever since 😛  As the photographic evidence shows 😀 😛
Problem was by the time it was obvious everything had gone to hell and we needed to just remove everything and start again, not only was our care factor ZERO, but also everything is all full of dead bushes and grass, so removing it all is going to be a nightmare…… and with the knowledge that most likely whatever we replace it with will die too, it’s making us less inspired to do anything 😛
So ideally I’d like my hydrangeas along there, but it’s full sun and they don’t like that (damn you house position!), so I’ll have to take out the camellia in the corner that is in partial shade and put the hydrangea there, and then I don’t know what else for along the front – but I’ve given up on the neat ordered hedge type idea now, as I know that DOES NOT WORK.  So what we put in there will just be a random assortment of stuff, so if when something dies we can just shove something else in its place and it won’t matter.









Mini wanted a budgie, so we got her one 😀  After much deliberation it’s called “Cheeky”, short for Blue Cheeks.   Although a week or so after she named it, we realised we should have called it R2 or something Star Wars related because it’s blue and it sounds a bit like R2D2 😀



Townsville Holiday & Wedding

My Sister in law got married in Townsville, so we went up for the wedding and a few days holiday too.

How’s this for coincidence – we get on the plane, look over and we just happen to be seated across the isle from other family members flying up there!  Not only were we on the same plane, but of all the seats in the plane – we were in the same row!  Amazing!!




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