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Retreat is actually the name of the farm my uncle owns. 

We went over there a week ago to celebrate my granny’s 80th, while wandering the farm I discovered a ladder leaning against the main shed. It did not actually occur to me to climb up there until my other uncle (not the one who owns the farm) suggested we could, he also offered to hold the ladder while I went up. It was slightly terrifying, but I got good photos, which is what matters right. There are a lot of chooks at the homestead too so of course I took a lot of pictures of them as well. So without further ado, here are a very few of the hundreds of photos I took at the farm. 

The chook pen is beside the Homestead but you have to go through this really cool gate and vine covered arch to get there. It makes me think of portals to other times and book covers, but it is terribly hard to get a photo of it that looks any good. This one turned out okay though, thanks to the chook. 

 The old homestead at Retreat has recently been done up and is a lovely place to stay, all our family actually fit, with rooms to spare! Which is just not possible anywhere else, because there are so many of us.

Said ladder, that I was not going to climb.... because it was way too high.... but I did anyway.

 The photo below is probably  my favourite shots I took, well today anyway.

And from on the shed roof...

 I was very pleased with how this panorama worked out it is a 180 degree, shot from the corner of the roof.

 even solar panels make nice photos.

 The morning we left I walked out to the hay shed and got some photos there, before hurrying back for breakfast and to help pack up. 

Where have you gone for recent holidays?
Do you have a favourite photo?

My sisters and I have been waiting expectantly for the day Rogue One: A Star Wars Story released, of course we did not go during the middle of the night, we do kind of like sleep. But we went today. Naturally we decided that cosplay was necessary, Even my mum joined in, wearing my Jedi cloak that we made last year. 
Alice and I went full out though. 

I present to you Jyn and Rey. I was a bit disappointed that Jyn has such a boring hair style, but for once all my short fly away hair came in handy. The colours are off, but I thought I did pretty well.

Alice, AKA Rey had a much more interesting hair style I had not even noticed it much before I was wondering what to do with Alice's hair, but I watched a tutorial and then did it up for her.

 I could not find any finger less gloves, but I made some, it was quite hard.... to cut through that thick leather. They are not brown but the worked.

But onto the movie. I promise I won't spoil anything even though I kinda want to. Overall I loved it. I must say though that I was a bit disappointed that the movie did not begin with the scroll of words like every other Star Wars movie does, but I'll forgive that.  It also did not begin with Star Wars music. which was sad, just a big bang of sound and space, stars and a planet. 

I do think that this movie managed to add to the previous ones, mostly in how it gave a good reason for the Death Star, having the fault in it that could be exploited in a way to cause the whole thing to blow up. It made so much sense and was another whole new story.

K-2SO (the black droid) was actually funny, or at least more so, Then C-3PO, as much as I love C-3PO he is sometimes too stupid and too silly, like he is trying too hard to be the funny comic relief. K-2SO made some really good comments that were funny, and not forced, or added to what was going on in a good way. SO I really liked that.

There was lots of cool action, explosions, and fast moving things. My personal preference may have been to have a bit less of that, but it is Star WARS after all. The characters were pretty cool too and they were all quite different. Though there was one that did not seem to have much purpose other than in being there, and carrying a really big gun. Well he had purpose but he did not seem to have any goal other than to protect the blind dude, (who did not need much protecting) and to shoot things with his big gun.

The music did not quite have that same feel to it, because it was not the same composer, but it was still good, I don't actually remember thinking much about it while watching except for some parts missing the right music, like the very start and a Darth Vader scene.

But I enjoyed it quite a lot, and the cosplay made it even better.

Are you going to see Rogue One?
Have you even gone to a movie in cosplay?
 Recently I went on a photographic journey to capture some of the open cut coal mines around where I live. It is very hard to get photographs into the mines from the road. Of course you can't get permission to take photos in the mines I have to make do with what I can see. I got these first two shots by climbing a hill, in a place where the road cut through to top of a hill. From half way up I could see some of the mines on either side of the road. 

 I took most of the photos using a zoom lens because the machinery is often a long way of even if you can see it. That little yellow truck is actually gigantic.  I did stand next to one once and even just the wheels towered over me.

And then of course there is the dust, one thing our area is well known for. This shot rather proves it, as does the fact that a day after I have dusted the house there is a layer of dust again, and the dust is black.

Just a few days ago there was no hill of dirt dividing me from the mines, and you could see right down in. But by the time I got out there again while on my little trip they had built one of their barrier hills... probably to block sound and dust a tiny bit... maybe to stop photographers taking photos. It is notoriously hard to find a place to see in. There is almost always bound to be something in the way. 

So to get these shots I stood on the window sill of my car..... and also climbed a tree. There were some other better trees but the first branch was quite a way up, and I was alone so it was not the safest thing to do... so I very sensibly stopped with the low tree.

Anyway I hope you found my mine tour interesting. If you want to see any more photos from that day you can check them out on Austockphoto, there are heaps.

My family recently came back from holidays and since then I have had four photo shoots in seven days, (One of which was a wedding) so that equals a lot of photos and when you count all the photos from holidays as well that is a lot of editing to deal with, I have completely lost count of how many photos I am up to now. But I have got some shots I really like. And so to apologize for my almost silence, here are some nice photos for you to look at from my holidays.

It is about time for another book review. Well that is what I am writing about today anyway. This e-book, Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland can be bought from K.M. Weliand's store and some other places for free. Probably because once you have had one taste of her writing you will want more. And I am saying this simply because her writing is excellent and I want everyone else to have the opportunity to read her amazing books. Dreamlander is the third book by K.M. Weiland that I have read, the others were just as good. But onto Dreamlander

What if it were possible to live two very different lives in two separate worlds? What if the dreams we awaken from are the fading memories of that second life? What if one day we woke up in the wrong world?

The characters are what makes this book so amazing. But even without all the cast of complicated interesting, endearing, funny, exasperating characters the book is still very well written. The concept is so cool too, I really liked how the dreams were not just dreams but an alternate reality. Even with the two worlds it did not get confusing but flowed well, and some questions I had at the beginning about how that world/dream traveling worked were answered later in the book without any info dumping but it showed the things I had questions about happening.

There is always so much going on in the book and I feel for the characters so much, they are such real characters and their struggles feel true and the choices they must make are so so very hard, I wanted the same things as them and believed with them what they believed and learnt with them that they were wrong. There is so much more to this story than meets the eye. There are good lessons to be learned though they are not all very obvious. 

Did I mention the characters are amazing? oh I did, right...

The book is epic and fast paced and the poor characters are never given a breather. All over it is amazingly written, and some sentences are just beautiful. I also liked how there were words in the book I did not recognize and know the exact meaning of, I enjoyed looking them up and seeing how well they fit. There is so much action but also a good amount of description to balance it off. 

AND THERE IS A MAP, sadly it is hard to look at when you have an e-book, but there is one!

There was quite a lot of violence and some of it, especially the battles are, lets say, well described, so I'd recommend it for older readers. Particularly when a child of another non-human race and a human are executed, and also when some people or again a person from another non-human race are seriously wounded in battle. There is also a tad of romance. But I just loved this book even though the last few chapters did have me in tears.

Have you read any books by K.M. Weiland?
If you are a writer, have you checked out her blog on which she posts writing related tips, regularly?
 I have not done one of these post in a long time. I wrote this as an article for the Shining Stars Magazine that I often either write for or submit photos too. My sisters have ended up on the front cover of the magazine before, not something they thought would ever happen! And as I am away now (providing this published when it was meant to) and for the rest of this month, I thought I could schedule this to post then, because there is no chance of me posting anything else.

Our family bakes a loaf of bread almost every day (in the bread maker). Occasionally if there is some event coming up or we are having people over we will bake two or three more. Among our church friends and family The Farrelly’s Bread is quite famous, and everyone goes back for more. We eat some of our bread every day; we dribble honey or jam over a nice soft slice with chewy crusts or wrap sausages or steaks in it, toast it and eat it with vegemite and butter, or as a toasted squash sandwich, or whatever we feel like that day. I think that the bible, the word of God, is just like The Farrelly’s Bread. We eat our bread every day, it sustains us. So also we should ‘eat’ the word of God every day. Our bread we eat each day gives us energy to continue on. So also does the word of God.

We really enjoy eating our bread too and eating it in all different ways. Likewise the word of God is something we need to take into ourselves each day. We need to ‘eat’ it to sustain our spiritual life. As it says in Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”

I would get very hungry if I could only eat bread on Sundays and bible study nights, even if I ate something else instead I would really miss eating a slice of our home baked bread each day. And it may not be a good for me either. So while reading other books is nice I think we should all take a bite of spiritual bread each day. Just as I eat bread each day, I also need to ‘eat’ the word of God. Daily bible reading will help sustain our spiritual life and will strengthen our spirits. 

Often we don’t just eat bread once a day but a few times a day. Often we eat it for morning or afternoon tea, like reading bits of scriptures through the day, listening to bible based preachers talking and teaching on bible passages. Sometimes we will even have bread for tea as well, maybe dipped in soup or with some warm vegetable and meat stew on top. So also we can be ‘eating’ God’s word many times a day. Just like we need to eat food during the day we need to read the word because like bread it is a staple food for living a happy healthy life.

When and how each member of our family eats bread each day looks different and some do more so than others. I does not look the same for everyone in our family and it does not have to, but we all eat the bread. We all feed on the word of God and delight in it, sometimes alone, other times together, because we all belong to God. Often we don’t remember what we ate three days ago, neither do we remember what we read, but what we read in the word helped get us to today, and sustained and strengthened us so that we are where we are now.

Because as it says in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”