Monday, September 8, 2014

September 7, 2014

Time flies!  I had not idea it has been almost a month since I posted anything.  So I will try and catch everyone up with my activities.

Sunday, August 15, Pat and I took a walk around the neighborhood after church.  There were a lot of items on the curbs.  Pat kept teasing me about picking up a toilet as a planter for our balcony.  We had walked about three blocks when we came upon two wicker barrel chairs and a settee on the curb.  As we were looking at them a man came walking by so I asked him what was going on and he explained if it is on the curb it is for the taking.  There was a free community pick up the next day.  We were trying to decide how we could get the furniture back to our apartment.  The man said he had a friend down the street who had a ute (pickup).  He left to find him but came back with a different friend.  The ute friend was not home.  The two men carried the settee to our apartment while Pat watched over the two chairs.  I was to bring the car back to load the chairs but realized Pat had picked up the keys just as we left the house so back up the street I went.  She met me half way after realizing she had the keys when I did not return as soon as expected.  We got the car and returned to the corner just in time to see a woman fondling our chairs.  Pat jumped out of the car and told the woman kindly that we had just taken the Settee home and the chairs had been claimed.  She was very nice and said okay.  Well we could only get one chair in the trunk at a time so I sat in the other chair waiting for Pat to return.  I was not very patient so decided to roll the chair down the street.  That worked for a short time and then I picked it up and was carrying it when a car pulled over to the curb and a young woman hopped out and asked if I needed help.  I was really grateful for her help.  She carried the chair about a block and a half when Pat came down the street and we loaded it into the trunk.  We thanked the young girl for her help.  We were blessed twice that afternoon with two different good Samaritans.  The three pieces are in amazingly good condition.

Sete before
Went to Costco on Saturday to purchase items for a potluck dinner the following week to celebrate a new couple coming to the Mission and President Henderson’s birthday.  He had no idea we were including his birthday.  SURPRISE.....and we pulled it off.  It was a Mexican theme dinner with chicken enchiladas, salad, 7 layer dip, chips and of course cake (several kinds).  We had a great time and got to know two couples from up North who were in Brisbane.  One couple to attend the temple with a couple from their area who were being sealed and the other couple going home to Cody, Wyoming.  The couple who came into the mission that week are from St. George.  He is a well know doctor there and will be helping Sister Henderson with the missionary medical issues.  He was also my uncle’s doctor before he came on this mission.

The Costco here is just like home for the most part.  They sell a lot of American goods but also have a number of Australian items.  We met two different families who are members of the church while in the store.  Our badges tip them off and they always speak.  It is so much fun being able to connect with the people here.

So this week we had a bit of an incident at our flat.  We had never checked our mailbox so for some unknown reason I checked it on Tuesday.  Lots of junk mail but there was a note from our neighbor who was complaining about our heater.  It was too loud and he requested we turn it off by 8:30 each night so he could sleep.  It did not sound loud to us but he was disturbed because he had lived with this for a whole month without saying anything.  We took the letter to the landlady who said that was ridiculous and she would take care of it.  A couple of nights later about 9:30 PM we began to hear this banging on our wall and a voice yelling turn it off.  Funny thing was we did not have it on.  This lasted until 11:00 PM about every 20 minutes he would bang on the wall.  Pat finally called the landlady but she did not answer so Pat left a message.  At this point Pat decided to go out on our balcony and see if she could communicate with the gentleman.  He did not respond but surprisingly the banging stopped.  The landlady called the next day and was very sympathetic.  She had spoken with our neighbor and he said it sounded like a fan was running.  But we did not have a fan running.  He may have been hearing the unit outside that brings in the air for the heater but we did not have it on the night he was banging.  Our landlady said he was a bit of a pesky neighbor.  Just so happens he owns his flat.  She ultimately told him it was not acceptable to bang on the wall and if he had a problem he was to come to her.  A week or two later he had a party at his house which we thought had ended about 9:00 PM but at 1:03 AM they came back and were pretty noisy for an hour or so. We were kind neighbors and did not bang on the wall.

Updated Living Room

Updated dining & kitchen
When Pat was talking with Jo (our landlady) about the neighbor she mentioned we did not have a TV or radio that might have disturbed him so a couple of days later when we were talking to Jo, she asked if it was by preference.  We told her we were not sure what it would cost us and we did not have a TV.  She informed us that a cable was  part of the flat.  Then she offered to loan us a brand new TV which had come out of our flat.  So now we have TV and can watch the news, etc.  What an amazing landlady we were guided to.

One of the other senior couples are looking at moving and have talked with our landlady and may be moving in sometime in the next two months.  Just found out today (9/9/) that they have the flat and will be moving in the end of October.

August 30, 2014

We went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary today.  We saw a lot of birds, many, many koala bears hugging their trees sleeping, two platypus, a wombat, and a Tasmanian Devil.

Curious Koala
I learned something about Koala bears.  I had always heard the reason they sleep so much was because the eucalyptus leaves have a drugging effect.  That is not true. The reason is because the leaves are mainly water with very little nutrients so they have to preserve their energy for when it is needed in case of a predator.  I also fed a kangaroo.  The first one was small about three feet tall and very gentle when he took the food out of my hand.  The second one was older but not much bigger but not as gentle.  I could feel his teeth on my hand.  The sanctuary is only about an hours drive from our flat.  Had an amazing day.

Sleeping Koalas

Kangaroo Dinner Time

Kangaroo Dinner Time

Tasmanian Devil
What a fun experience to feed a kangaroo..... I understand you don't want to try this in the wild.  They are much bigger and can be very aggressive.  Many are killed on the roads up north and in the interior.  Many Australian's do not drive at night in the outback because if they hit one it would take a long time for a tow truck if they could even get cell service to call one.

I purchased a picture for my bedroom at the sanctuary.  It was painted by a certified aboriginal artist in the aboriginal style.  I really like it and it will come home with me.

We attended two baptisms this evening.  Two men were baptized into the Enoggera Ward.  Those who spoke at the baptisms gave really nice talks which were inspiring for everyone in attendance.

August 31, 2014

We attended the Enoggra Ward again this Sunday.  We are trying to split our time between Enoggera and Bunya Forest Wards.  After church they had soup.  The members had brought a number of different soups and bread.  It was delicious.  They make a lot of pumpkin soups.  They do not make pumpkin pie or any sweet pumpkin deserts.  It is almost impossible to find canned pumpkin to make pie or deserts.  We can find almost anything we want except Crystal light.    I will check Costco the next time I go since summer is coming maybe they will bring some in.  I am sure there are other things but nothing I can't live without.

September 6, 2014

Today our wicker furniture received a good cleaning, a coat of white paint and bright pillows for cushions.   We also purchased 5 outside plants to brighten up the balcony as well.   We now have an amazing balcony which will serve us very well for the next 15 plus months.

Rejuvenated Wicker
September 7, 2014

Today we went to church and then took a drive to Cleveland to see the ocean.  The tide was out so I was not impressed with the beach but the park along the beach was very nice with great walking paths and eating areas.  We packed a picnic lunch of crackers, cheese, meat, chips, veggies, hummus and cookies.  It was not a very sunny day so that may have affected my opinion of the beach.

The work in the Mission office is going well.  I really like what I am doing.  Elder Montague is a very patient man and has guided me through the processes.  I have made a few mistakes but they are part of the learning process.

These two pictures are of the back of our complex.  The lap pool is the reason for the swim suit purchase Toombul Mall for $30.00 an unbelievably low price here. The prices are higher than in the US.   I plan on doing laps each evening when the weather is hot and humid.  The common area is very nice with a barbeque and eating area for entertaining when we have Family Home Evenings at our flat.  I think spring is just around the corner.  The spring flowers are beginning to bloom and a number of trees are also in bloom.  I love spring and understand there are some amazing gardens here in the Brisbane area.  Am anxious to visit them.  Maybe I will have pictures of the flowers on the next post....

More to come in a few weeks......

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