Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Greetings from the Grimes'

Greetings from the Grimes’                                                                                 29 December 2009          

Wow…it has been an eventful year and Peter and I are very blessed to be enjoying a bit of a break between Christmas and New Year’s.  God blessed us both with permanent job this year – I am currently working with the Department of Education and Training in Human Resources and Peter was successful in obtaining a Senior IT position with a division of the Department of Mines and Energy at SIMTARS close to our new home.

Yes, we had to leave our rental property in Forest Lake so we decided to move closer to our church home – Westlife.  Peter’s morning commute has been shortened substantially, but I am blessed with a wonderful friend who I receive regular rides to the Brisbane City every day with.  Our new home we found has enabled us to keep our puppies Jessie and Jake and has a reasonable sized yard and a water tank which was a real bonus. Not to bore you, but I created a slide show/video mainly for overseas family and friends-email me and I'll send you the link if you'd like to check it out.

My other big news was I had the opportunity of joining the Crown Law Choir in the City and in addition to performing 8 times in Government Buildings, we recorded and sold CD’s to raise funds for the Ecumenical Coffee Brigade.  The music “The Little Drummer Boy” playing on the slide show/video of our new home is from the Crown Law Choir CD.

The other big news from our family is… We have a Graduate! Congratulations Chase – Well done! Those who are friends on the fabulous facebook will have seen Chase’s Formal Pictures and she looked beautiful!  She did extremely well and achieved an OP Score 1 – for my North American rellies and friends – this is the bestest (yep, love my good grammar!) and means that Chase’s opportunities are wide-open; e.g. whatever area or uni she wishes to study at would be pretty much a guarantee.  She truly deserves this as she has been extremely disciplined balancing her studies, dance and work all at the same time! And Chase’s other exciting news – she has her “P” plates and her own car – this gave her a bit more independence and flexibility during her senior year and will be a real bonus next year as she starts Uni to study Physiotherapy!  Her father and I are very proud of her and were able to celebrate her OP score with her recently and look forward to having our Christmas soon!

Peter put Computer Solutions Sales and Service Forest Lake to bed earlier this year but he continues to challenge himself, looking for new business opportunities.  I won’t recount all of this year’s past memories; e.g. my surprise trip back to Canada; but rather encourage you to check in with Peter and I every so often with our blogs which we both enjoy writing. Mine is: and Peter’s is We always enjoy connecting with you by email, facebook, blog, etc.

God bless and we trust that you had a good 2009 and are looking forward to an awesome 2010.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To Be Or Not To Be - One Of The Questions

Now, I have never been a historian, so I really don't know if the video below is completely accurate in that Albert Einstein said these things to his professor or not, but what I do know that it is a very profound video and gets us to thinking and this is good.

I had a look on a couple different websites and I believe that as Albert Einstein got older, he changed his views and did, in fact, believe in God.

For anyone interested in pursuing this further, I recommend reviewing Louie Giglio's DVD series.

One is Indescribable - Here is a small taste.

Another one is entitled "How Great Is Our God".Again a quick introduction to show you why you need to buy it!

The message on the DVD will give you something to think about.  Why not do a google search on Laminim.  Or check this out!

And then, there is Kirk Cameron's website (which is were I researched a bit about Albert from) - it is an excellent reference point as well.  The Way of the Master

Happy investigating!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Amazing Architecture

Caught up with a friend last night who showed me some pictures of a trip she made to Canada and took me a bit down memory lane.

She asked if I was familiar with the Fairmont Hotels.  "No" I said; however, the one hotel she showed me a picture of reminded me of the Chateau Laurier that my college friends and I had the privilege of staying in for Canada Day Celebrations on Capital Hill in Ottawa - a couple of times...thanks Jo-Ann.  But alas, these were then known as the Canadian Pacific Hotels - that is how I know them.

Check out the beautiful Chateau Laurier.

View of the Chateau Laurier from the Rideau Canal.  It is located immemdiately beside Parliament Hill where we watched the amazing firework display one year right from our hotel window!

Looks beautiful at night.

And check out the Capital Hill Parliament Buildings.
A view from the Rideau this is a rear view.
Front view.

Winter view.
Frozen Rideau Canal - ice skating in winter is a common style of transportation.

A closer shot.

Another Canadian Pacific Hotel was the Royal York in Toronto - this was also bought out by the Fairmont Company.

There are so many beautiful hotels.  I remember staying in a hotel in Toronto that I think was called the L'Hotel, but cannot find it....I'll have to check on that one.

There is one hotel that I hope one day to be able to stay is: Chateau Lake Louise.
How amazing does this look, eh?  Lake Louise, Alberta and of course, there is Banff and the hot springs....hope to visit there one day, too.

Well, I think I'll wrap this entry up for one day.  I really do need to unpack some more boxes and get more settled in our new place.  I'll write more about that another time.


8 Nov 09 - An addition to above article.

Thanks Janet for your comment.  To answer your query, yes, the beautiful Chateau Frontenac is one of the Fairmont Hotels, originally known as the Canadian Pacific Hotels.

Check out this photo I found on Wikipedia.  (You may need to click on it to view the whole pic.)
Beautiful.  In fact, it says and I quote,

"It holds the Guinness World Record of "The most photographed hotel in the world".

Now I know that the information is only as accurate as what people post on the website, but hey, sounds good to me!
A scene in the Fall.

And now, here's an old shot...I found a good picture of the Banff Springs Hotel.
Love it! Particularly the Black and White shot!

It is so much more fun to write and research photography and take your own photos than working in Recruitment. can I turn this into a job!?  Now, that would be fantastic! 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Salvation Army Memories 125th Birthday 16 May 2009

I created this slide show a few months ago now, but my hubby just taught me how to post it into my blog, so here we go........I still enjoy watching it.....and it was a lot of fun putting it together.

Yep, that's me singing....."The Colours of Your Love" by the Archers.  Great song and not bad singing either, eh?

Taking a Short Break from Packing - Vegemite!

That's right read right! After living in the great land of "down under" for 7 years, I think I have taken the plunge to the land of Vegemite!.....and if applied correctly, not too thick....just a nice thin layer for taste (on toast...haven't done the bread thing, it is actually quite tastey.  Particularly when you have a hankering for something savoury!  I've been told to give it a try, too, toasted with cheese.  I reckon this would be nice, too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wow....Darlene Zschech - Who would have thot?

Pretty exciting evening ahead.....

Off to Hillsong Brisbane tonight (our Sister Church now to Westlife) to Celebration Practice and Darlene Zschech will be there.

Who would have thot that me, Brenda Tough Grimes would be living in Australia and within an arms reach of an exciting musician.  I'm pretty excited.

Just finishing eating my tea (dinner for my North American friends and rellies) at work and then off to catch the bus to Brisbane Hillsong in Mount Gravatt.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Bye for now...Don't want to miss my bus & be late.

Brenda :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Packing and Moving House Helpful Hints!

We'll be moving house in the next couple of weeks - yep, we found a place! God opened doors and we got a nice place and they accepted our puppies, too!  Woo Hoo! Bonus! Double Bonus - it has a rainwater tank which is so important here in Queensland with the drought and the house is insulated - another plus and we got a long lease - 28 months!  Move date is Saturday 10 October 2009.

No, we won't be using minimovers for this move, but they offer some great moving and packing advice which I have made reference to, so I thought I would post it on my blog - you never know who might need it!


  1. Packing. Almost everyone underestimates the packing time needed to pack small items. If packing yourself, start well before the moving date and check our hints on packing your small items section . You can also view our video, Packing and Moving Made Easy. Our packing hints are designed to help you pack properly. Unfortunately our written guarantee of care does not cover items that you have packed yourself. If you are concerned by this, and want your small items covered, then call us and we can send a professional MiniMovers packer, who will pack whatever you need.
  2. Items to empty. Wardrobes and desk drawers must be emptied. Chests of drawers need to have breakable, loose, and heavy items removed. Light clothing may remain. Never tape drawers shut. As a rule, furniture with doors must be emptied. Gas bottles and equipment such as lawnmowers must be empty before we carry them.
  3. Pack in good boxes. Lots of small open boxes (that cannot be stacked) take a lot longer to move than goods packed in the right sizes boxes. On the other hand, using boxes so large that they become overweight can dramatically slow down the moving process. Using proper removal boxes will not only help ensure a safe no damage move, but it also speeds up your move. 
  4. Reduce the number of items. Moving your small items yourself will reduce MiniMovers moving time. However, doing many trips in a car will end up costing you more than it would to have us move it, especially if you loaded the small items while the MiniMovers crew loaded the larger items. The number of items can also be reduced by tying loose items such as brooms and mops in bundles. Leave drawers in dressers.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Yes, I am a Canadian but I call Australia my home in the Sunshine State Queensland in the River City - Brisbane. My husband Peter is an Aussie and our two puppies are true Aussie dogs - Kelpie/Cattle dogs - Jessie and Jake. I love writing and photography, so I thot I would have a go at a blog which enables me to enjoy both. Hopefully this will help me develop my writing skills so that I can put them to use doing something else down the road!

To read how a Canadian and Aussie came to be together, check out our story.


Hi there,
Now, this is really article I received that I wanted to share on my blog - hope you enjoy and perhaps the message is something for each and everyone of else to stop and consider in our own lives!

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about 'a thousand marbles.' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.... 

' Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  It's too bad you missed your daughter's 'dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'

'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.  The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. 

'Now then,  I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.' 'I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.  So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had.  I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.' 


Sunday, September 13, 2009


This is the ad that appeared in the local paper wishing Mom a very happy birthday!  I got Mom's endorsement to use this picture!

Mom is the Queen of her Red Hat Gals Group (or Red Hot Mamas I think they also call themselves) and they usually wear red hats at their gatherings/outings.  But when it is their birthday, they wear a "purple" hat which I think is an excellent choice - a colour of Royalty and of passion and many other beautiful qualities that match mom really well!
I sure hope that I look as fabulous as she does when I'm 70!

Love ya Mom. xo

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad

This is the template of what appeared in their local paper.
Mom and Dad were married 50 years to the day of their Golden Anniversary!
They were married in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.  Those are the Falls in the background of their wedding picture.
The above is a picture I organised as a gift for mom on Mother's Day a few years ago.  I gathered all of the newspaper articles that were written about her wedding and the bridal showers that were held in her honour and had them framed as a keepsake to ensure they are preserved!


So yeah, despite the fact that we have been good tenants for the past 4 years, the owner of the property has decided it will be easier to perform the much needed repairs to the house without us in it!  You see, the house has been on the market for sale for almost a year now and he finally got an offer a few weeks ago, but alas, it did not pass property inspection....funny that!  Nope, we were not surprised.

You see, Peter and I have made the property management agent aware of several issues that needed tending to by the owner, but our requests seem to land in the "we'll get around to it" pile.  So, there are roof leak issues in several areas of the house and yep, I've got pictures (must look funny when prospective buyers take a walk through the property and see the dining room light fixture on the living room floor).  Now, it is not that I wouldn't like to put the light fixture back up, but I run the risk of it falling from the ceiling as it did once in the middle of the night and I can be thankful that it actually didn't break away from the electrical cords or the clasps and shatter into a gazillion pieces from the impact onto ceramic tile -  you get the picture I am sure.

The pergola....well, it looked nice when we viewed the house from the inside prior to us leasing it.  We couldn't actually walk outside at our property viewing because the tenants were not home and they had outdoor pets and the property management agent was nervous to go out because the dogs did not know her  Fair enough, but property hunters, beware.....make an appointment to view the place when the entire place inside and out can be will thank yourself later!  So, it is like the saying "You can't judge a book by its cover!"  The pergola leaks all the way around, not to mention that the roof doesn't really go out far enough, so when it rains, it splashes back onto the patio; hence, my puppies have virtually no dry area and condition of pets must live outside!!!  But hey, don't get me started - that's another blog entry!!!

We have not received the "formal" notification to vacate yet, but when we do, the 60 day clock will start to tick.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Imagine.......a freshly brewed mug of coffee and a donut for only $2.17!!!
Yep, you read correct my Australian family and friends reading this blog.  What a great deal, eh?
The coffee is freshly brewed fresh every 20 minutes.  Tim Hortons have mastered the art of great coffee.  No, it isn't a fancy latte or a cappuccino or frappuccino but it is great tasting and smelling coffee - that I can guarantee!

And convenient?  Oh yeah!  Drive through coffee!!!  Imagine you have just finished your Saturday afternoon shopping at the grocery store or you are just exhausted after a busy day at work or from running your children around to their sports events and appointments and you don't have time to stop at a Cafe, just go to the Tim Hortons drive through and voila, you can enjoy an awesome tasting and refreshing and perk-you-up coffee for pennies! (yep, pennies are still currency used in North

Friday, August 28, 2009


Me and my Grandma Mason!

I'll keep this entry short, but will try and write more later........... Grandma Mason didn't miss a beat - she recognized me immediately when I came into the library where she was having her dessert.

You see Grandma is suffering a bit of dementia, but hey, she is doing well for 89.

A big thank you to my little bro John and niece Allison and nephew Nicholas for organising the visit and for the great Sushi Lunch Feast!

My beautiful niece was so excited to see Grandma and she was showing Grandma the pictures from the special celebratory day we had recently at Aunt Barb's.

Love this shot!


I have alot to be grateful for - I have been blessed with very special friends!

And I wanted to see everyone on this trip to Canada, but my time always goes by too quickly and travelling around the place is pretty tiring, so I arranged for the visit to be a bit different this trip! And it worked out great!

I emailed an invitation to friends (& family, too - yep, some can be both believe it or not!) to visit me at my parents' apartment in the hometown where I spent most of my growing up years! Not everyone could come which I completely understand - it was a bit short notice (remember, my trip was a surprise, so noone knew I was travelling overseas until some received the invite), but I really appreciate everyone that made the effort because some had to drive in from out of town.

We had some nibblies - savouries and sweets and punch - raspberry/cream soda & sorbet.

Here's my spread.

It was great seeing all of you and thanks for the emails and phone calls, too!

Here's a collage I created from the day!

I found a great coffee mug in the Christian Bookstore yesterday and I love what is written on it!

The Joys of a Lifetime are times shared with Family and Friends.
Favorite People, Favorite Places, Favorite Memories of the past - These are the joys of a lifetime. Those are the things that last!

I'll say "Amen" to that!

PS - Can't wait to enjoy a coffee in that mug, too!

Friday, August 21, 2009


What a great cake! Happy 70th Birthday Mom (Bev), Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad (Bev & John) - top left, Happy Retirement Uncle Gary - top right, Happy Recovery Karen - bottom left and Welcome Riley - bottom right.
Aunt Barb gave a lovely speech and handed out celebratory Hawaiian lei's to the special people. Aunt Barb said it beautifully, too - our family had a lot to celebrate and to be thankful for! Yes, is too short!

Aunt Barb - can I post the picture of you giving the speech? Thanks Aunt Barb.

Aunt Barb had a beautiful bouquet with flowers from her garden and I love these 2 pictures... The photo of mom and dad was taken by me - we were going to a wedding that day...I'll have to look in my album when I return home to work out the date. The other picture is mom and her siblings with Grandma Mason. God bless Grandma, she is still living, but has recently been placed in a nursing home in Simcoe - I'm hoping to get to see her.

This is a picture of mom and dad I took on the day of the party. Love you mom and dad.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Who doesn't like surprises? Well, I have got a good one to share with you.....

My Mom and I were co-conspirators in the plan to surprise my dad and family and friends for a very special occasion. You see, it is Mom's 70th birthday this month, Aug 5 to be exact and Dad and Mom celebrate their Golden Anniversary this month - 50th - on Aug 29.

So Mom's sister Barb was organising a special day for
the family to get together on Aug 16 and mom sent me an email on a whim back the middle of July hoping that I may be able to make a special trip to help celebrate this momentous occasion. Well, God blessed me with His favour to allow the plans to work out and yep, the surprise was successful.

We couldn't tell many folks because we di
d not want to risk any information leaking out and someone writing something up on facebook, and nope, dad nor my brother John could believe it when Mom told them the news of my arrival.

Thursday morning Aug 13, Peter and I headed to the Brisbane, Queensland, Australia airport at 8:30 am and after 24 hours of travelling, I arrived at my parent's apartment at approximately 11:00 pm the same evening in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada (yeah, do that math, eh?).
Stay tuned for tomorrow when I post a follow-up article and more pictures of my trip so far and the big day we had celebrating with family several significant happenings.

Also, more details to follow, but I'm planning an open house at Mom and Dad's for friends and family this coming Saturday to pop in for visit if you are free.

Well, it is late now here in Canada....12:44 am to be exact; so I'll wish you all a good night or good afternoon depending on which time zone you are reading this post in!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em...Join 'Em

And why wouldn't I want to join 'em, 'cause it really is a cool thing to do....blogging and people who know me, know I enjoy writing. In fact, I have been told that I write like I talk which is narrative style writing. Nope, I'm not a bullet point sort of person and that can be problematic when I am communicating to the some people and more particularly the male species; my husband for

So, yeah, I have joined the ranks of Bloggers and may even still join the Twitter folks, too; but hey, one thing at a time I say. I am already a big fan of facebook.

Enjoy your afternoon everyone and see you again soon.

Brenda :)

PS - Here's my pizza creations from last night....getting better at my thin crusts!