#14 It Happened In New Zealand…or Was It Australia…

“workaway.info” Host Families:

More than bed & board providers…read on…

It’s not only about the exchange of bed and board for  3-4 hours of work each day, but about the time they enjoy spending with us after work hours.  Host families want us to experience the sights, the sounds, the tastes of their country.  It all adds up to a grass roots, on-hands “feel” for their culture. Geoff and Jan do this so well!

Family Dinners…

Our daily family dinners are memorable for both the making and the sharing.  We all take

turns cooking meals, including Geoff and Jan..  The most fun one was when we (at my suggestion) all contribute to last night’s leftover gravy.  Geoff  grills sausage, onions and mushrooms.  Len chops up carrots and parsnips.  Then all the above are tossed into the gravy pot.  Me?  Well, biscuits and gravy always go well together, so, of course, I bake the biscuits.  This stew concoction is…ummm…what can I say…oh yeah…the yummiest!!  All dinners end with a fruit salad dessert.  And Jan always adds the option of enjoying it with custard, cream or ice cream!

1/26…Australia Day….

I sleep in until 8:30am.  We do a little work (I continue painting the fence and fence posts) and then we “knock off” and get ready to enjoy the Mornington parade.

Jan packs our picnic lunch…we raid the picnic basket and enjoy sandwiches and fruit under a warm sunshiny sky…we take in the sights and sounds of the fair…we ooo and awe as fireworks explode over the bay…

then, it’s home for a good night’s sleep!

 Reunion with Renee…

One of the very special events to be included in my Australian adventure was a  get-together with Renee and her family.  Renee is the daughter of my college friend Jane who lives in Seattle, WA.   I haven’t seen Renee since she was 7 or 8 years old.  Although Jane and I  continue our friendship, the last time we got together (in Seattle)in 2007 , Renee was already living in Australia. Finally…an opportunity to meet and catch up!  Renee  and her son, Balty (age 6…almost 7) arrive at KeWarra (the name of Geoff and Jan’s homestead) the afternoon of 1/28. As yet, Balty hadn’t visited a farm so Renee was excited Balty would get a chance to see Geoff’s horses and Poll Hereford cows.  When I explained the visit to Geoff, he said he would give Balty a tour of the farm and introduce him to the animals.  What a thoughtful gesture that was!  Thanks so much, Geoff!!  It was a great visit!!

…♥…

Now it’s our turn to give back to our host family…

after a day’s work…of course…

There’s so much to see on their farm, and that includes the small, seemingly unimportant stuff like chunks of chopped cypress wood, discarded and piled up near the fence posts where Rebecca and I are painting.

Upon inspection, Len notices evidence of bug damage under the bark of these chunks of wood.  The evidence is the interesting  pattern left in the wood as the insects chew their way along the branch. Len’s idea is to create a piece of art and present it as a parting gift.

When Rebecca gets wind of this wood, she has a gift idea, too.  The pieces of wood are perfectly shaped for making a family Danish game called “Kubb.”  These game pieces will be her parting gift.

When Rebecca isn’t helping me complete our painting assignment…

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See this fence? Look to the bottom left and follow it up…keep going…up past the tree… way up past the tree and to the left is a tiny, tiny shed.

Yep!  Our assignment is to paint all those cotton-pickin’ fence posts…all the way to…well…tomorrow! OK…OK…maybe tonight…

I’ll let you know when I get there!

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…Rebecca  hides out in the barn and works on her gift idea.

Rebecca and Len collaborate on their ideas.  For starters, they both collect, saw and sand their chunks of wood.  Then their individual projects take separate routes.

Rebecca moves forward with her plan.  She paints her game pieces (kubbs and batons) white, lets them dry, then overlays the white with black  paint, which she wipes away exposing the bug trail (she overlays the white with red for the “king”) and finally paints the tops red for added detail.. This is what Rebecca’s gift looks like:

…♥…

 

Len’s gift idea takes a different route.  After experimenting with overlays,Trails in wood 2015 he decides the

best formula is to spray paint each block of wood with clear lacquer.

Once it dries, he paints over it with red, which he wipes away

exposing the intricate, artsy bug trails.  And, last, he details

the tops red.  All in all, Len makes three pieces of art, one each for

Geoff and Colleen, Charmaine and Geoff and Jan.  This is one of his

pieces of art.

…♥…

 

When Geoff, Colleen and Charmaine stop by to pick us up on 2/1 (Tasmania…here we come!!), you know what we do, right??  We split into two teams and play…KUBB!!

Team 1:  Len, Jan and Colleen vs. Team 2:  Gina, Geoff and Charmaine.  Team 2 wins the challenge, and, even though I don’t perform proud for my team, I have a rockin’ good time!!

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Back to work…THE GATES!  The gates are a mess!!  Wh20150128_105811at was white is now moldy green and covered with…what else?…mold AND lichens!  When the liquid poison/wire brush duo  fail to do the job (that’s me on the right still brushing away!), Rebecca (on the left…and what a clever girl she is!!) hooks up the…POWER WASHER…and voila’!…done deal and ready to paint!!  All in all, I paint 6 gates.  And that includes a few posts, too, if I do a sloppy job.  Geoff always expects the BEST from his workawayers!  Makes sense to me!!

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My fave gate pictures!  The one on the left is Gate #5 photographed in the early morning…artsy, huh!  The gate on the right is Gate #6, my last gate.  Len and I actually returned to Mornington (after three weeks in Tasmania) so I could complete my gate assignment!

Thanks, Geoff and Jan for a fun adventure on your farm!

…♥…

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