Karen In Sydney, Australia

1920s Morley Style

Embee Louise

In The Navy (with Brisbane in the background)

30 January, 2011

Aussie Aussie Aussie OI OI OI

Well has there ever been prouder time to be Australian, or a Queenslander.

The last couple of weeks have shown us, prob something that we already knew but just hadn't witnessed for a while that when the chips are down, Aussies and Queenslander's are there to help and support where needed.

You know they say that there are certain moments in life that you will never forget. Like (depending on your age!) where you were when Elvis died, when Princess Diana died and more recently when Michael Jackson died. There are pictures that stay with you as well. Over the last few weeks I have added to my memory a couple of those photos.

I will never forget seeing on the TV, the lines and lines of volunteers, broom/shovel in hand, ready to help out wherever needed. How proud I was to witness this site in my life. How very very proud I am that I am a Queenslander an Australian.

This week we celebrated Australia Day. And you know I think the Australian of the Year should have been - Queenslander's! I honestly do.

And what could be more Australian than a Public Holiday!! :)

Here is a pic from a couple of years ago of me on Australia Day!

And is there nothing better than smelling a BBQ being cooked in your neighbour's back yard! Baby Jake cooked us a lovely BBQ for dinner, nothing more Australian than that Groover's. Well of course I didn't get pissed (drunk for you overseas kids) so that kinda makes me half Australian I think hehehe.

But I did spend the day floating around our pool and laying in the sun. Only thing about a mid week Public Holiday, you gotta go back to work the next day :(

Well as some of my Facebook Groover's will know I was called up by the Department of Communities late Friday afternoon for five days of what they call community recovery starting from Saturday.

I am based at Windsor and in what they call an Outreach Centre. This is where we go out and visit people in their houses, to talk about damage, esp to their contents. If they meet all the requirements, and if we are able to, then and there we write out a cheque etc.

Community Recovery is all about being a presence within the community, being out there talking and listening to people, helping them with paperwork for grants by the State Government and also providing them with a form for the Premier's Relief grant which is money from all the money that has been donated, as in from the telethon and private donations. So this money is to now slowly be given to people. So whilst they might not be eligible for other things this they are.

I am into Day 2 today and have 3 more days. Yesterday was spent around New Farm area. And today we went to Milton, St Lucia (near the Uni) and Toowong.

There are a few things that I would like to share. One is that if you have a mobile, and your message bank only allows people to leave a phone number only, well I would strongly suggest to change to a message bank service where someone can leave a message. Here we are wanting to come out and visit people and try and write them cheques. But just leaving only a number, some people would be well I don't know that number so I won't ring them back.

The other thing and this is a big one. Take a few seconds, stop, just look around you where you are sitting, if you are at home that is. And appreciate you all see. We take so many things in life, people, things we own, the house/unit where we live. Some people in life don't even have that. Even before the flood. This insight into some peoples lives are very sad. To see how they are living, what they do not have.

The devastation that Mother Nature can inflict on us is something that words cannot describe, as I am sure some of you have seen recently with your very own eyes.

We all help in different ways whether it be by donating money, helping a friend clean up, making food for volunteers or even just listening to peoples stories.

What I noticed where we were in the last two days is that there isn't the media coverage anymore, not alot of volunteers on the street. Mind you alot of work has already happened, but the rebuilding of peoples lives will continue for some time to come.

Sometimes in life we think we have it tough, that our life sucks in some way. From what I have seen over the last two days, I have said to myself, get over yourself Morley. Look at all you have in this life, the friends, family, nice house, somewhat nice dog hehehe. Ploiseeeeeee you have so much to be thankful for, don't ever forget that.

And Groovers tonight, as I type and am stuffed may I just add!!! I leave you this week with these same words: You have so much in your life to be thankful for, even if at times you cannot physically see this.

The next week will def be interesting to see what the two cyclones that are due to hit Queensland will bring. How can anyone really know how it will play out. But to take a certain phrase from a certain person "The make us tough this side of the boarder. We are Queenslander's. We are the people that get knocked down, but we get back up again!

Good Luck to you Queensland, stand strong, stand proud, you are amazing in all that you do and I am thankful that I live amongst such an amazing group of people!

Love ya

Me xxx

23 January, 2011

Back to normality... well if it exists!

So here we are another week down for 2011.

Monday I had to take my Mum back to Redcliffe hospital for a check up on her shoulder and thank god she is on the mend, sling thrown in the bin! It's been a long three months of appointments but hopefully for now anyways that is that!

Jake and I also checked out a retirement village not far from us for Mum. Looks great, long waiting list but hey it's worth a shot!

And then there was that very special purchase for Embee Louise! I know I mentioned it last week but this time I decided to go ahead with, wait for it.... are you sitting down.... yessssssssssss Embee Louise has her very own brand new spakin LIFE JACKET! Complete with a little zip pocket, you know for personal things that girls need when they are out and about! hehehe

The sad news is that we had to return the first jacket as it was a bit too small for Embee Louise's child bearing hips! So on Saturday we exchanged it.

Jake could not wait to test it out, IN THE POOL! Here is the evidence:

Tuesday it was back to work in the CBD (Central Business District). I wasn't sure what to expect, having seen everything on the TV over the last week or so. But I have to say I was surprised, the city didn't look that different, there wasn't any smell and prob the only things I saw that were different was that the lights were out on our block at work and the cafe's didn't have much of a menu, due to not being able to get any food in.

And I have to say it was nice to go back to work. After a week spent on the lounge watching the events of the week with the floods on TV, it was one of those times that you should turn away and not watch so much, but you were just so compelled to keep watching at the events unfolding before your eyes. So I think to go back to work, back to routine is a good thing.

And this is just me, who wasn't affected at all. It makes you wonder how the people that were affected are coping and I am sure they would love to return to their own normality... if they could.

Tuesday had the hair done, I mean if one has to be evacuated you need to be stylish! Says me who ate loads of garlic and was in my hot nightie hehehe on that fateful Tuesday night when the floods were hitting. But I had booked myself in months ago and have to say its always nice to have the locks done!

And on some days when I get up to get ready for work, Embee Louise just cannot get herself out of bed, so this week I thought I would show a picture of the evidence:

Wed night I caught up with my friend Deb for dinner. I hadn't seen her for quite some time and we had some good old laugh whilst a very bad storm hit. We were at the Murrumba Downs Tavern at the time and later I read on the internet that the storm had something like 6000 lightening strikes! So I think we were in the best place, for when we left most of the storm had passed.

Here is a pic of Deb and I:

Thursday I attended what they call Community Recovery Training through my work. What this means is that now I have completed this training I am now on a list that if there is a disaster in Queensland I can be called upon to help out. For now what this would mean is if I do get the call I could be working in a Recovery Centre and helping people complete the paperwork to apply for grants that the State Government are approving.

I actually received a phone call on Saturday to update my details on the register they have. So who knows what this week will bring. What it would mean is having two days travel time and five days working and then two days off. Even though I can imagine that it will be emotionally hard I feel like if I can help in anyway then I would like to. Even if this means having to advise people that they are not eligible, I think I would just like to help.

The one thing about these weekly Morley Reports is that I like to share stuff going on in my life. However with both Facebook and The Morley Report, I like to try and keep it up beat and don't dwell on the negatives etc.

But what I did want to say is that over the last few months I have had my ups and downs, many things have gone on in my life and when I talk about my friends, being there, supporting me, even if its with funny comments on Facebook, they truly mean the world to me.

Over the weekend I have had a couple of emails from people offering words of support and at the down times these def help me alot to stay afloat.

I guess life is full of ups and downs, for everyone. I also hugely believe in talking opening about things in life, talking helps, ALOT.

But having said all of that in the future with these blogs I want to talk about all the positive things that go on with life, my life, other peoples life. But for just now I wanted to thank everyone for their friendship and support.

And on that note, I have had a lovely weekend, just spent at home, doing my housework, appreciating that I have a house to do housework in. Today Jake, Embee Louise and I swam in the pool, enjoying the sun, the water, listening to the birds. All good things that sometimes we take for granted sometimes in life.

Right now as we type I have Embee on the left, asleep on the lounge on top of a pillow and Jake on the right complaining about and I quote "God how much can you type?". Ahhh pure bliss hehehe.

On that note Groover's, have yourself a good week and see you Next Week! Same bat time, same bat channel.


Me xxx

I have been meaning to tell you all that it would be great; if you wanted to of course, no pressure LOL, you could subscribe to my blog! This would be a good way incase you miss me posting it on Facebook and for my non Facebook friends a way to keep up to date with all the Morley goss. Just a thought and please I honestly don't mind either way.... Just thought I would mention it!

16 January, 2011

Yep! That was def A WEEK!!!

Well I promised to write my blog weekly this year, Rain, Hail or Shine.... Two out of three ain't bad!!!

Where to start, well as The Sound Of Music says: Start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start....

This last week feels like six months as last Monday feels like a lifetime away. But from my very distant memory it went a little like this.

On Monday, I booked another Holiday, as you do in times of drama! hehehe. I personally think Holiday should be my middle name hehehe.

I have booked a week away in November with my friend Barb Dart for my birthday this year, and we have booked at Peppers Bale at Kingscliff, which will mean this time I will be swimming, drinking and eating there legally. Not so sure it will be that much fun doing it the right way this time around, but hey you gotta do what you gotta do!

Peppers Bale Pool

Now my friend Barb lives in Ipswich! So at this stage we were very excited (and still are considering...) to go away together in November. And on a side note: can I just add that Barb, her Mum and her two boys (her dogs) are all safe and sound as is their house!!! They did have to go to stay with friends but didn't have any damage.

Monday night Jake and I packed up our backyard and stored it in the shed and even talked about getting some sand bags and where we would put them. The sandbags didn't eventuate as the queue's the next day were atrocious.

Tuesday I got ready to go into work, drove to Aspley (about 20mins from here) and just missed my bus! Strange how things work out, but waited for the next bus, hopped on and as it starts its route from here, we were just sitting waiting for more people and I got to talking with the driver and another passenger about should we even be going into work and I had a missed call on my phone. So I rang back and it was work and they told me not to come in. How nice is that! So I asked the driver not to leave and the other lady who worked for Dept of Health said to me, yep I am going to get off too. So that's what we did.

I rang Jake from my car and then remembered that I had plans on the Tues night to stock up on food, so I went back into the shops there and did a huge shop, got caught in very very heavy rain but wasn't going to wait around for it to stop, got some cash out, got drenched and drove back home. Just down the road I got some petrol and helped two English people in a car find their way back out to the highway, as they were driving north to Eumundi for a few nights at a B&B. I told them about the highway being closed at Caboolture, so not sure what happened to them after I got them back out onto the highway.

Then I switched on the TV and that's where I spent the next few days. I have to say that in times like this what you honestly realise is that all that matters is that you have your family around you, close by, just together. Nothing else matters.

I spoke to Jake a few times that day and eventually his work let him leave, thank god. Took him two hours to get home from the other side of the city as he works at Morningside. I cannot being to tell you how relieved I was to have him back home.

There have been many pictures on the internet of animals trying to escape to higher ground. In our own backyard I spotted the biggest Praying Mantis that I have ever seen! Take a look:

Tuesday night they evacuated the other end of our road which is prob about 5-10 mins drive from us, so a while away, but from this we decided to pack a bag just incase. Then that brings you to thinking about Embee, what would happen if they wouldn't let you bring her??? So safe to say Tuesday night was an anxious nights sleep!!! Later in the week the pet shop down the road from us were selling Dog Life Jackets! Currently I haven't bought one, but I could just see Miss Embee Louise floating in a stylish life jacket :) But if you had told me that I would consider buying one I would never have believed you.

This is a pic of of the end of our road, Dohles Rocks Road.

I could go on forever but this time around it's not my story to tell and I thank God for that one! But if it had kept raining my story could be very different. We are not linked to the Brisbane River, but we are not far from the North Pine River and across the road from our house is bushland, which is part of the Petrie Paper Mill where the North Pine River flows through.... but as I said, for now it has stopped raining so we are very thankful for this! There was however some damage to the bridge across the North Pine River and I believe this bridge is still closed.

This is a pic I took of a Van in the River, at the other end of our road on Thursday morning!

I had just turned 7 when the 1974 floods hit Brisbane. I remember only a couple of things but we were living at Paddington with my Grandparents, not far from Lang Park/Suncorp Stadium and living on a hill, we were fine. I remember my Grandad pointing out houses that had gone under in our area, driving up to Mt Cootha where their creeks were at full force, but that's prob about all.

To watch the devastation on TV this week has been heartbreaking. You feel both relieved and guilty at the same time that your place has been spared. It seems strange when you go out on my side of town and see life just moving along as though this hasn't happened. But I guess life must go on, the economy must keep moving on for Queensland to continue.

I work in the heart of the city and at this stage word is that we go back to work tomorrow, but in staggered shifts so that people are not all on the road at the same time.

Yesterday I had to collect my Mum from her retirement home to take her to the doctors, where she lives was fine, although initially they had been cut off twice on the highway but they live on a high point there and actually had other places calling them, so she was in a good place and safe.

So Mum is staying with us just for a couple of nights and tomorrow I have to take her to Redcliffe Hospital for a check up on her broken shoulder that some of you know about that happened at the end of October. She is doing much better but can I just say its been a tiring few months since it happened..... but as they say things happen for a reason and we have moved her up to the next level of care, which I think is a good thing and she is very happy up there.

I think without my Grandad being around to look after her up there, well she just needed that extra bit of help and companionship and so she is much more happier being surrounded by people at Sunset Lodge. I know Grandad would be happy to know she is doing ok :)

So tomorrow we do the hospital thing, which is such fun!!! and then I will return to work on Tuesday. I have asked if I can maybe volunteer through my work to help with the floods, so we shall see if this is at all possible. I work for the Department of Infrastructure and Planning,for the Queensland State Government so as you can imagine my work will be very busy for some time to come.

Baby Jake too has been doing his bit and yesterday went over to Fairfield to help out a lady who he works with that lives there and had a two storey home. They lost their lower level and one the second level it went about a metre up the wall. He worked very very hard helping out all day and last night when I got home he was passed out on my lounge! And today was like an old man with a sore back and took him a while to get up and walk around.... poor old boy!

The old man asleep on my lounge!

And speaking of last night a good friend of mine, Sandra had her 40th birthday party. To be honest I didn't think it would go ahead as they live in Hemmant and had experienced bad flooding the week before our floods!! They had stayed put this time around and rode it out and lucky they were fine as was their house.

Here is a pic of Sandra and I, the long and the short of it! hehehe

I felt quite strange getting ready and going out, but I know it was important to Sandra that her party go ahead as they had many interstate people arrive during the week for it. And I have to say I had a very lovely night! Lots of laughs, some good stories and I made two new friends - Sharon and Lee from Perth! I may be even seeing Sharon in a couple of weeks with a little something that Lee her husband and I have cooked up, but more on that in a later blog! A girls gotta have some secrets hehehe.
I also received a call to cancel a hotel booking that I had in the city for February. Obviously they have realised that they wont be ready until the end of Feb for bookings, poor things. They are right on the River so I can imagine will have alot of work to do to fix things.

It's been a big week to say the least. On Thursday night I woke up to hear heavy rain on my roof. It only lasted a few minutes and normally I would love that sound, but now it brings mixed emotions. A feeling of being anxious mixed with a tinge of being scared. Who would have ever thought.

It's made us all remember how proud it is to be a Queenslander, how our community spirit has always been there, maybe not always on show but is there in times of need. It brings to the forefront how important your family are and that at the end of the day its not about what car you drive, what phone you have, what clothes you own. It's a about having the people that you care about just with you in times of need. Of being all together, no matter what. These are the the things that matter most in life.

It's also wonderful to hear from friends that are worried for you, that check to see if you are ok and need anything. And it's also being able to help out a friend in need, for just being there supporting them.

Life is def a roller coaster of emotions, experiences and all you can do is strap yourself in and experience all it has to offer, even though at times you may feel like giving up and wonder why these things come along. I guess at the end of the day these are the things that shape us into the people that we are, the good, the bad and in this week, the Muddy!

Take care my Groover's, keep safe and dry until next week!


Me xxx

09 January, 2011

A New Year has begun..... bring it on!!!

Well welcome back to The Morley Report.

It's been a while in between reports, alot has happened in my life, some not so good, but I am back kids! I have decided, after being inspired by my friend Barbara Dart (who has started her own Blog this year) to try my very best and create or some may say - torture... (Baby Jake, yes this is YOU!) to bring you a weekly Morley Report, on the adventure's, the non-adventures and just my thoughts in general on all things Morley!

After a very sad and lonely Xmas and New Year's Eve, with missing my Grandad who passed away back in August last year, I have decided to make 2011, a year full of happiness, laughter, with a sprinkle of adventures thrown into the mix!

It was back to work last week, for me and a return to normal life and structure. It's funny how these things can mean so much without really realising it. Of course the floods in Queensland at the moment are BIG NEWS!!

Through my work you can sign up for what they call Community Recovery. This means that whilst I am still employed by the Queensland State Government I can be called up to help. They don't call this volunteering as I am still employed, but I feel that it's a great way to help people in times of need.

I have hopefully training next week and then I wait to see if they call me up. Of course this will also depend on Jake being around to be there for Embee, so not sure how it will all pan out, but if I don't go this time I will be at least trained for the next time.... which I am afraid will always be there.

I also decided on New Years Eve last year that next year (2011) I would make sure I had something extra special planned. That special thing turned out to be a 11 night P&O Cruise departing Brisbane on 27th December, 2011 from Brisbane. So this was a priority to make sure I didn't change my mind and I ended up booking it. I booked it through a good friend of mine that I used to work with at Sunlover Holiday's who now works for herself and is a Travel Agent from home.

If you ever need a good travel Agent, this is the woman you need, organising your plans! I explain it like a good hairdresser, where you sit there and trust them 100% and don't have to worry about stuffing up your hair. This is what Karen is like, but as your Travel Consultant.

Soooo the big news was that Karen has decided to be my travel buddy! Can the Pacific Dawn handle two Kazza's at the same time..... well my friends we shall find out! hehehe.

I spent the weekend down at Mt Tamborine at Sandra, Glenn and Jake's (there Jake that is) house. Kim and her daughter Sarah also were there. It was soooo relaxing and the weather at the moment really gave it character. I felt like I was staying at a B&B. And we spent last night on their lovely deck, sharing stories and laughing and enjoying their amazing view. A great way to spend your weekend.

It's funny how people/friends come into your life. Some come and go, some are there for a while, others a while longer but occasionally you strike it lucky and have friends that honestly care for you and are just there when you need them.

Sometimes this goes without even saying.... when you find these people Groover's, hang on to them. Even if it means sometimes you don't see each other much, it's those people where you can just pick up from where you left it, that really can mean the most to you.

Jake has been bothering me to add something about him, like he is part of this Morley World. I say WHAT THE??? He says to tell you all he is awesome and that he is the only reason it's called "Morley"..... the kids on drugs, what can I say!

Here's the thing though, when I go away somehow Jake seems to do more work around the house! This weekend he cleaned and organised his house!

Whilst I am trying to type this he has come up to "My House" to get some attention.... chasing Embee, steeling her toys...., dancing for me! I think maybe I should have stayed away long hahaha.

Well there we go, Week 1 done and dusted.

Let's see what next week brings into The Morley World!
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