Monday, December 31, 2012

Quick trip up north

On Saturday morning 29th Dec, Richard found out that two of his brothers happened to be in Port Macquarie at the same time.
Philip ( who lives in Tassie) had arrived there as a locum vascular surgeon at the Port hospital over the busy holiday period. Tom ( who lives in Mackay, Qld) was camping with his family close to Port.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with them both ... plus Tom's wife Angela, son Gene, daughter Vanessa and families.
So 2 hours later we were on the road. We arrived there at 8pm on Saturday and spent the following day with the family. We stayed with Philip in his rented townhouse, visited the campsite, had a swim in the ocean and a take away dinner with the family back at the townhouse.

We visited "Ricardoes"- a hydroponic farm that grew strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers. It was just up the road from the Lamont's campsite at Blackman's Point. Such quality produce. Here is Richard with Angela and Gene.

After seeing our nephew Gene's children briefly at Wauchope, we got on the road to head back home.

 Gene with Maria (12), Georgia (8), Elle (9) and Will (6) arriving at Timbertown, Wauchope. They were about to spend the day there.

 ......with Pop Tom, Great Uncle Philip, Nanna Angela and Great Uncle Richard.

 ... and lastly with Great Aunty Janelle

We only stayed two nights in Port, but we fitted a lot in and had a really good time. great to catch up with some of the far-flung family.

The traffic was lighter than we expected, so we were home within 8 hours including several stops.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas at home

This year we stretched Christmas celebrations out more than usual.We saw the extended family in Sydney and in Canberra prior to Christmas Day. Then on Christmas Day itself, we celebrated at home with just our immediate family. This was a new and different experience which we all enjoyed. More time to relax and no driving meant that we had an enjoyable day.  It was lovely to watch Lois opening presents and enjoying the toys. She enjoyed ripping off the paper for everyone and it was a very special time for us to have a little one to share Christmas with.

We briefly caught up with our neighbours and their now grown-up kids.... with kids of their own, who had come from far and wide to be here for Christmas.

In the evening we joined with lots of friends for a lovely sharing "leftovers and more" meal at the Namgyals. Lovely to catch up with people we hadn't seen for months, or even a year or more.

 Dec 22 - Christmas Afternoon tea at Frazer's....

Christmas Day on the church steps. 

                                                        "I love you!"
Tea party with Cameron and Teddy.

 Boxing Day....

Boxing Day also happens to be Cherie's birthday, so we celebrated again. Lois ( now 20 months old) helped blow out the candles.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lamont Update 2012

January: We started the year off with a wonderful trip to Turkey via Hong Kong.
April:  Lois turned one and Stuart and Cherie celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary.
July: Stuart got a job with Hewlett Packard. Stuart and Cherie got a car. Stuart, Cherie and Lois moved out of our house and into a very nice apartment in Gungahlin.Cherie and Stuart also announced that they were expecting their second baby.
September: Our rooftop solar panels were finally operational after many delays and lots of frustration. It took 18 months!
October: Mum and Dad celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary ( 60 years)!
November: We celebrated our 35th  Wedding Anniversary.
December:  Got the 3 year "all clear" from the specialist. Found that I have a cataract that needs to be operated on in February.

Rick has liked having a contract all year with the Dept Health and Ageing. He has been working hard as president of the Canberra Men's Choir. He's arranged lots of gigs and has had to fill in for several months when the musical director was absent. His other mixed-voice choir has also kept him busy.

I am very grateful that my health has improved this year. The last few months, especially, has seen my body aches decrease markedly. So nice not aching all the time after 3 years! I have enjoyed working about 2-3 days a week as a casual teacher.

Cameron is doing well at work and has been able to go on lots of training courses. He is also lucky to have his own office. Richard works on the same floor as him!

We also had a few mini trips  to the Gold Coast, Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves and Taronga Zoo.
We have thoroughly enjoyed being grand parents  to our dear little Lois. We await the arrival of our second grandchild in mid January 2013.

We are staying home for Christmas this year and are looking forward to having Cameron, Stuart, Cherie and Lois here for lunch on Christmas Day.

All in all a good year with lots to be thankful for.

Janelle and Richard.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Early Christmas in Sydney

December 15th and 16th
Our family travelled to Sydney to have an early Christmas celebration with Mum and Dad. It was a very special time. Cherie, who has four weeks to go until the birth of her second child, managed well. It was lovely for Mum and Dad to see Lois for a longer time. Lois will be 20 months old by Christmas.

Stuart and Rick, Cameron, Ma, Pa, Cherie, Janelle and Lois
 After lunch, Paul and Deirdre and Paul and Jeni dropped in to see us. Emma came too with special goodies to eat for afternoon tea. That was lovely. It felt like Christmas.
 Lois instantly liked Uncle Paul

 Lois liked playing with Aunty Deirdre outside. She continually practised stepping up and down the gutter! What fun!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

November has come and gone

Where did November go?

I will have to cast my mind back to recall what we've been up to.

Lois playing in the "box cubby house" with Granddad. Our reverse cycle air conditioner finally died after only 34 years of constant use! This box marks the start of a new era of heating/cooling in the family room.

November 6 marked three years since my mastectomy. A lot has gone on for me (and the family) in those three years! I am due for my next check-up in two weeks.
Both of us have been busy working. I had about 2 to 3 days' teaching a week and Rick is working hard at the Dept Health and is enjoying the ongoing work.

Sunday November 11
 I had an enjoyable  time at a church picnic on Springbank Island.... in the middle of Lake Burley Griffin. I had never been there before. Rick stayed home because he was keen to catch up on some much needed gardening. When the enthusiasm was there, he needed to do it!

November 24 and 25
On this weekend, Rick and I celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary ( actual anniversary is November 26th).
How the time goes!
We had a very relaxing weekend at  Bateman's Bay. We walked near the river and on the beach, watched the cricket test in our motel room, had a lovely dinner and a refreshing swim in the ocean. It felt like we were away for a week!

Tuesday November 27th  I went for a routine eye test to get some new reading glasses.
I got a shock when the optometrist asked me to read the chart. My left eye was so poor that I couldn't read ANY of the letters! He even said, "Oh, that's not good!" Two more appointments later I had it confirmed that I have a fast growing cataract on the back of the lens of my left eye. I have now been referred to a specialist to see what needs to be done.   I have the appointment next Thursday Dec 13th.

Did I notice? I had noticed that it's hard to read some days and that the world looks foggy at times.... night time or in low light, but I just always put it down to being tired.
I hadn't realised how poor my left eye's vision had become in the last year. My right eye is doing all the work. If I close my good eye, I can't see anything clearly. With my left eye, I can't read the road signs at a distance other signs, so I am expecting that they will say I need a cataract operation.
I don't mind telling you that I felt very flat about this when I got the news. It was a shock and then it was all about having yet another thing to deal with. I have had one thing after another in the last three years! This one may not be related to the medication. Not sure if I'll ever  find out. It could be age or UV exposure related.
Anyway, I am over the shock and the disappointment and now ready to take on this next challenge.