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Oprah’s Impressions of Australia

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tomorrow night in Australia – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights as well as Sunday – Channel 10 is showing the 4 programs that Oprah made during her visit – at least in Brisbane. I guess the same will be shown at different times throughout Australia!!

I also am guessing that this means the programs have been shown or are about to be shown in USA.

I know that a lot of Americans will think how lovely the country looks, that there are so many things to see that a holiday might be worth doing even though the distance is so great.
They will then think of the floods that have been so devastating in Australia recently.

Please do not let the pictures you have seen of the floods put you off – tourism is our life blood – and we will need that to recover totally.
You have seen my pictures of the recovery (see my blog – Hope rises from devastation in Brisbane) – these scenes are happening throughout the flooded areas and will be repeated in Victoria as soon as the floods recede.

We are already seeing the heart return to the cities – this was just a bump in the road,
By mid-year I know that there will be little sign in the main tourist areas – that restaurants and hotels will be open as normal and that food supply will have returned to normal.

A lot of Americans have asked me personally what they can do to help us in our recovery – my answer is – maybe come visit Australia, tell your friends that we are open for tourism, that we will welcome tourists and that they will see life that is “normal” here.. Tell people that we have put this behind us – we are open for business!!
And I am sure my fellow Aussies will agree with me in this , besides there are vast areas that have not been affected by the floods – that are “normal” still and will remain so!!

See you “Down Under”!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FATHINSN 1/27/2011 8:11PM

    My friend visited Australia - twice! - and she kept giving praises on how well-organized you guys on recycling and handling trash, so clean compared to our country (we're practically neighbor, I'm from Malaysia), how's everything environment-friendly. She also took some pictures and the scenes are breathtaking, I wish I can go there, too!

I guess this time of year, our this side of world is flood-season, what with the rain, storm, unpredictable weather. And sadly, mosquitoes and frogs breeding season, haha.

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SUNNYWBL 1/25/2011 11:19PM

    A trip to Australia is at the top of my things to do list, if I win the lottery. In the meantime, I enjoy all these glimpses that you continue to show to us. Thank you so much!

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SKIPSIDE 1/23/2011 6:47PM

    Australia - well worth the long flights from the other side of the planet literally!
Only saw bits and pieces of Oprah's footage but it brought back some great memories.

I'd be back in a flash ....when I get my next opportunity.

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401YVONNE 1/21/2011 5:25PM

    I did watch Oprah's shows in Australia. She did go all over, not just in one place. You country is so beautiful. I pray that one day I can visit your beautiful country (and my cousin).

Oprah did show the floods and asked the people of Australia to help the people who have been affected by the floods.

I pray that you are doing well. God Bless, my friend!

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1BEACHWALKER 1/21/2011 8:21AM

    On my wish list to visit...since I don't know when! Wish it wasn't so expensive to get there and such a long flight or I'd be there tomorrow! Oprah's show has been great! Aussie, Aussie OY, OY, OY-loved them chanting that! Love the spirit and friendliness of the Aussie's in the show! What a beautiful country-you have reason to be proud! I will get there one day! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/21/2011 8:21:53 AM

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JILL313 1/21/2011 1:20AM

    Visiting Australia is on my "Wish List"!! I've heard it is beautiful there. . .I'll have to be in better shape to consider a long trip like that! I can Do this with SP and friends help and motivation! emoticon

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JAZZIELORI 1/18/2011 6:17PM

    God Bless you honey! I don't watch Oprah but I have seen many shows about your beautiful country! And don't get me started on your accents! I love them!! I do not know who is head of your country but he/she needs to get in touch with you because your country would get floods but not of water ..of tourists

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/18/2011 4:20PM

    My childhood dream - visiting Australia. I have yet to make it but I will before I die ... a promise to me.

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STEPHIEKNITS 1/18/2011 3:11PM

    Australia is still on my husband and I's travel list!

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THATS_LOVELY101 1/18/2011 1:50PM

    I wish I could afford to go out of the country as well! One of these days :)

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LIBBYFITZ 1/18/2011 1:29PM

    I am planning to visit Queensland in April/May, i have a lot of Sparkfriends who live in an around Brisbane , I am having thoughts of a Sparkpeople get together? What do you think? emoticon

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SPARKLE72023 1/18/2011 11:20AM

    Hmm, that's a novel idea - - visit Australia. Sure wish I could. I'd fly out in a heartbeat. It's always been a magical dream of mine to visit that enchanted continent!

Lord willing, maybe one day I will have the health to visit the beautiful land of Oz. In the meantime, come on all you other better-able-bodied Sparkers. Think of organizing a visit. You won't be disappointed by the scenery or the people.

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KERRIEH2 1/18/2011 4:02AM

    Anne, you have said it all, we are always open and our spirit is amazing

Love Kerrie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TWOTIMESS 1/18/2011 3:12AM

That's great! "We are open for business!"

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IRONGRANNIE 1/18/2011 12:14AM

    I absolutely endorse Ann's comments. We really have the best country on earth and even though much of it has been hit hard there is still 10 times that much that hasn't (like all of my state, New South Wales!)

Doors are open and everyone is welcome!

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SUSIEPH1 1/17/2011 11:03PM

    Thanks Ann for a great blog!... I have lived in this wonderful Continent Australia for 44 years.... It is my home and my heart.
There is such diversity of regions... Desert, Rain forest, Bush, and City's that are equal to anything in this world.
Come down under and see for yourself ..
You will be given a true blue Aussie welcome!! emoticon

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    What a great idea! I'd LOVE to come to Australia! Only right now, I can't afford to get out of the COUNTY! emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 1/17/2011 9:17PM

    I love seeing Australia through your eyes, as they have yet to build a bridge to it, therefore, I can't come and visit emoticon


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MS.ELENI 1/17/2011 9:10PM

    If I was healthier and had more money I would come in a flash. It sounds like a wonderful place

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K__IERRA123 1/17/2011 8:37PM

    What an amazing post. It has always been my dream of visiting Australia, my dad grew up in Brisbane.

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FEATHERDUST 1/17/2011 8:29PM

    Australia is AMAZING. I'm an American that lived there for five months - down in NSW - and I'd go back in a heartbeat if I had the money/time. I never got up to Brisbane, but that's an area I would like to go visit someday. :)

I really hope the floodwaters recede soon - and that there are no more deaths - so people can get their lives returned to normal. It's too beautiful of a country to be devastated by a disaster like this.

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Hope Rises from Devastation in Brisbane Queensland!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Salvation Saturday and Sister Suburb Sunday!!
This blog, and the pictures in it, give me great pride in my fellow Queenslanders and Australians. I wasn’t going to write more on the floods here – but the world needs to know – that we are already bouncing back – “the weather may break our hearts but it will never break our spirit!!”
On Salvation Saturday – the Saturday after the floods in Brisbane – the Council asked for people to help clean up.

They were over-whelmed by the response – estimates range from 35,000 to 60,000 people turned up to registration points – and were briefed on what they were to do and what to take care of, and where they were being sent, then were bussed out to all the areas that had been flooded. They worked in 2 shifts, morning and afternoon.

From the air it looked likes swarms of ants descending on the city

They were supposed to register and show photo ID – as a form of control as they were going into strangers houses, businesses and private property to clean up, however twice the number that registered also turned up to help!!

They stripped houses of spoiled things, hosed off things they could save, cleaned sporting areas, child care centres, schools, pressure hosed rooves, scraped mud off roads, cleaned out businesses and others even turned up with bob-cats and back end loaders to help

There were lines of trucks taking rubbish away – and all this was freely donated, the time, the equipment they used, the vehicles – everything!!

They were even showing Queensland pride – or maybe defiance!!.
As well a lot of tradesmen turned up to help, donating time and expertise, – builders, electricians, plumbers etc – all going round assessing houses to see the damage and where the owner needed to start on repairs.

Help came, and is coming from local to great distances away – I just heard of some wonderful people coming from South Australia to help – and a few have even flown in from overseas.
The volunteers were asked to bring their own buckets, and cleaning things, water (to drink) and a snack. They were told to wear rubber boots or strong closed shoes, long trousers and a long sleeved shirt and to wear gloves!!
They found rubbish everywhere – a safe on top of a pergola roof, and all sorts of things in washing lines!!

Even frogs that had got washed up were rescued

Everyone who can is helping in one way or another – some are even cooking BBQ sausages for the workers, some are feeding (literally) the workers so their dirty hands don’t come in contact with the food,

4X, the local beer company, took a pantechnicon (huge truck) full of beer round the suburbs and gave out free beer to helpers, Thankfully for Queenslanders who are quite fond of their beer, the brew house escaped flooding and most of their stock was kept away from the brewery so was OK. The main buildings, though, were several meters under water!!

The same happened on Sunday as well as Saturday and will continue all week at least until the work is done!!

It is strangers helping strangers, all pulling together to get the city cleaned up and working again!! And its giving hope to the people who were so badly affected and had almost given up!! Its putting smiles on people’s faces and creating friendship that will last a lifetime!! But most of all – its Magic!!

Photos from the local Brisbane Paper

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRI289 1/21/2011 11:49AM


I knew that the Aussies would take care of each other!

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DEBIGENE 1/18/2011 9:57PM

    I truly believe in the good of mankind, this is proof before our eyes. Thanks for sharing this beautiful sight.

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WILSLM70 1/18/2011 7:22PM

    Thank you for showing all the geat Aussie spirits in a really well written and moving blog.

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GARDENQE2 1/18/2011 2:27PM

    Wonderful! Wonderful! People can be so noble!

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SUNNYWBL 1/17/2011 6:14PM

    Once again I have shared your message with friends and family across the USA showing the awesome Aussie spirit!

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GOANNA2 1/17/2011 4:55PM

    Proud to be a Queenslander.Thanks for showing the world.

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LYNNOTT 1/17/2011 12:58PM

    How wonderful mankind can be! Such great pics! What great Australian spirit!

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SUNNY112358 1/17/2011 4:14AM

    So proud to see the true Aussie spirit at work. Thanks for sharing!

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KERRIEH2 1/17/2011 2:38AM

    Ann, I saw it on the news, we have a wonderful spirit here in OZ land,
Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie. It brought tears to my eyes, and I knew this would happen. We all get in there and help.

Love to you

Kerrie emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AYAMMAYA 1/17/2011 2:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Our Australian Friends are so strong of heart and spirit!
You all inspire us!

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TWOTIMESS 1/17/2011 2:14AM

I love this spirit!

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JILL313 1/16/2011 11:39PM

    You are right to be so proud of Australia and the people there. It is so inspiring how Australians responded to help each other--truly priceless. I honestly didn't realize how bad the damage was until I read and looked at the pictures on your 1/14 blog. I don't usually watch the TV News as it is too depressing most of the time but I love hearing about people helping others in need. God Bless Australia and Australians!!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 1/16/2011 11:11PM

    Ann, Thank you so much for sharing the Aussie Spirit and these great pictures with us. This is a side I haven't seen on the news. Continuing prayers for all in need as well as the volunteers. May God continue to fulfill the needs of everyone...
Please continue to keep us updated.
Blessings and hugs,

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NIKALE 1/16/2011 10:08PM

  Hey Ann
It's my first time on since Christmas and honestly, I was, and still am, so worried about family and friends in Qld, it didn't even occur to me I have a whole other community of SP folk to be looking out for. Your blog is inspiring, so thoughful and well-researched with the pics etc. - well done you! Lotsa hugs to all our Down Under Sparkies affected by the floods. As the waters recede and the sun shines again, may we all be able to take a few minutes a day just for ourselves amidst the chaos, to remember, cry, smile and laugh again.
N emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/16/2011 10:09:32 PM

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NURSNANA 1/16/2011 9:43PM

    WooHoo! Sounds like God heard and answered all our prayers, and He sent in an army of very good people to pitch in and help clean up! This is amazing!

Thanks Ann for sharing these pictures, enjoyed this blog very much!


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YW84FRIDAY 1/16/2011 9:09PM

  That really is something to be proud of... Thanks for sharing.


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26M8J7 1/16/2011 7:29PM

    Thanks so much for the update. So inspiring, thanks. emoticon

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LEXIE63 1/16/2011 6:11PM

    That is just superb to read and see. It warms the heart to know that so many people are willing to do this.
Wonderful! :-)
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARENA-G 1/16/2011 3:34PM

    Thanks for sharing this. I am filled with hope. emoticon

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JAZZIELORI 1/16/2011 3:24PM

    Oh my word i had forgotten you were from that part of our world...I wasn't watching tv until people began to talk of it and oh my what a tragedy..looking at the people being saved in boats brought me right back to katrina..I am so sorry of all the devastation

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LIBBYFITZ 1/16/2011 3:04PM

    What can I say! I have tears in my eyes! So proud to be an Aussie! It is amazing what people power can do! emoticonThank you so much for taking the time to put up this wonderful blog! This is what does NOT get on the news where I am ! emoticon

I have sent your blog to my Facebook page as i want all my Facebook friends to know how wonderful we are as a country!

Comment edited on: 1/16/2011 3:07:33 PM

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    Wow... these photos are truly moving! Thank you for sharing them! Thanks for the note on my page, too!

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JEANHOW 1/16/2011 1:42PM

    Thanks sweetie for sharing. I've been worried over here in Michigan. Keeping you all in my prayers. Keep us up to date ok? *hugs* Jean

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BIBLIOMANE1970 1/16/2011 11:49AM

    It's just amazing how tragedy can bring a community together! Gives you such a feeling of pride in where you live :)


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MS.ELENI 1/16/2011 11:21AM

    What wonderful people. Thanks for sharing these photo's of kindness

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DIASTER 1/16/2011 10:18AM

  Fantastic response, it says so much for character, compassion, and doing what is right. Love your neighbor in action.

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CAROLYN0107 1/16/2011 9:55AM

    I've been watching all the flood news on TV. Thanks for sharing all the news of the volunteers who showed up to help!!


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TEDYBEAR2838 1/16/2011 9:12AM

    I could hardly read this, my eyes were so filled with tears!~ Breaks my heart to see the devastation but fills my heart with tears of joy the most, because of the response of people both near and far.

God Bless Your Country! AMEN!~


Comment edited on: 1/16/2011 9:12:34 AM

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OPALMOON 1/16/2011 8:07AM

    Anne, thanks so much for this update - these pictures are really heart-warming! So great to see our Aussie spirit and mateship in action!

Blessings to all, those affected and all those helping in whatever way they can!

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SPARKLE72023 1/16/2011 5:34AM

    It warms the heart to see how closely knit the people of OZ are as many travel far & wide to pitch in and help Queenslanders in their time of need!

Like you said, these new friendships will last a lifetime. God Bless each volunteer who is sharing the finest part of their loving spirit with y'all.

In these cynical days it is always a welcome sight to read about neighbor helping neighbors . . . . the way God intended.
Stay safe and thank some of those volunteers for the rest of us who can't be there in person helping you guys out.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/16/2011 5:34:51 AM

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TAMI1691 1/16/2011 4:41AM

    Thanks for keeping us up to date.

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2MUCHRUTHIE 1/16/2011 3:35AM

    Thank you for the update with photos. How proud you must be of your countrymen and women. Beautiful team spirit! Blessings to all of you as you continue the clean up!!




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Comment edited on: 1/16/2011 3:37:25 AM

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DEDICATED2HIM 1/16/2011 2:55AM

    Blessings be on your country...and indeed you already ARE blessed by the spirit and national pride of your countrymen. We could use a bit of that here! Awesome that people are willing to dirty their hands to help their compatriots who are suffering.

Many prayers for your people. God sees your need...

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1BEACHWALKER 1/16/2011 1:37AM

    Wow-such great spirit your countrymen show! Thanks for sharing and hope all is cleaned up and running really soon!!
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    My heart is full as I read this blog. I am so proud of your countrymen pulling together & spreading love & kindness. This is how people SHOULD help one another. How wonderful, not only for those who are benefiting from the help but for those who are showing great character & reaping good karma by providing the help. Bright blessings to all of your spectacular countrymen! Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 1/16/2011 1:05AM

    Brilliant! my friend ...just brilliant!
The Aussie Spirit just keeps on keeping on!!.
How lucky are we, to live in such a great nation as Australia.
It makes me so proud to be a Australian!!
Thank you so much for such a truly marvelous portrayal of the Aussie Spirit!.
Hugs Susie emoticon

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CHIBIKARATE 1/16/2011 1:03AM

    I just got back from Brisbane and things get better real soon cheers mate emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A few “must see” flood photos

Friday, January 14, 2011

On day 23 these floods seem to be over as far as Queensland is concerned, water is either dropped or receding fast, roads are opening and clean-up is started.
The death toll is 16 confirmed to date, but 55 are still unaccounted for.
75% of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone

A comparison of Australia and USA, with the State of Queensland defined by the black lines (its an approximation but gives a rough idea of the area that has suffered flooding)

86 communities were affected by the floods
Several communities have been flooded twice or even 3 times
Many thousands are in evacuation having lost their homes canters
The bill will be many billion $
Many businesses have been wiped out
The pride, spirit and unity of the Queensland people is showing through strongly.

These photos are from various sources – but show a different side of the floods in Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley that occurred this week.

Everyone pitches in to try to save one person’s things!!

Debris from the flood in the Lockyer Valley – a rail bridge!!

Queensland’s main wholesale market and supplier of fresh fruits and veges!!

Maccas is starting a new trend – swim-in!!

The clean-up begins!!

Road closed? What road??

Aqua-bikes only!!

Touring the streets of Brisbane!!

Sorry Fuel shortage. Back in 5 metres!!
Sign on door of shop.

Road Closure
For a high speed (boat) rally in this area
Dates – 11/01/2011 – 15/01/2011
Hours – 24hr
Promoter – Brisbane Sporting (yacht) Club

A modified sign seen on a road in the flood area!!

And – finally – “The little tugboat that could!!”
Steering the broken walkway between the pylons of the Gateway Bridge in a very flooded, fast running Brisbane River, saving the bridge and many other pieces of superstructure from certain destruction!!.

Our thoughts now turn to the people in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and West Australia who are getting heavy rain and flooding, West Australia for the second time this year.
Also to the people of Brazil, Philippines who are getting floods and Norfolk Island who are getting a Cyclone.
And to the many other communities who are experiencing extreme weather.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YICHE12 1/24/2011 6:53PM

    I've been following the news of Australia on CNN. It's terrible. Thank you so much for providing some pictures. God bless these people going through this...

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HAPPYBASKET 1/19/2011 8:46PM

    Oh my, Ann dear, what your people are going thru & now for it to be all over your country. There is nothing that can be said. Your heart is hopefully being encouraged by those of us who love you. Keep up the spirits.

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SUNNY112358 1/17/2011 4:11AM

    Thank you for sharing these photos.

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SECRETMUSIC 1/17/2011 12:57AM

    Thinking of you!

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JOANOFSPARK 1/16/2011 11:36PM

    my thoughts and prayers are with you all in Australia as well as all the other places that seem to be getting hit so hard with the rain......thanks for keeping us informed about the situation.


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JILL313 1/16/2011 11:30PM

    Hi Ann, I just looked at the unbelieveable and devastating pictures of the flooding there. . .My heart and prayers go out to you and all of Australia and other countries in dire straits. Are you and your family & friends ok? Has the flooding where you live stopped? Keep the Faith. God Bless. emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 1/16/2011 9:16AM

    Thank you for sharing the hard time. My prayers and thought are with the People of Australia.

Love you Much emoticon

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RH8478 1/15/2011 9:41PM

    Wow.. what a mess.. It takes a hit on our normal routines like this to get us as humans back to being just that,human with each other sometimes.. Hope ya/ll dry out down there and send a little moisture our way if you please..

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HONEYBEAR1461 1/15/2011 7:16PM

    Living in South Australia we feel so helpless. A couple of young guys we know are heading up to help out with the cleanup.

Mother Nature can be so, so beautiful in one breathe then so devestating and destructive in the next.

All those involved are in my constant thoughts and prayers.

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DEBIGENE 1/15/2011 6:08PM

    Until I met you here I didn't even know about these floods going on there. Thank you for sharing this news and pics as sad as it is though. Know that my prayers are for you and yours to be safe and the people all over the area to be in God's care.

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TERRI289 1/14/2011 8:28PM

I have read a few of your blogs-so glad that you were able to get some food, especially the food for your dogs,and that the water seems to be receding. Thanks for posting the pictures and keeping us informed. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

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KATRINAKAT23 1/14/2011 7:59PM

  Thank you for sharing your photos and story with us. People all over the world are praying and rooting for Australia. I hope you stay well and safe.


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SPARKLE72023 1/14/2011 6:28PM

    Amazing photographs. Thanks for sharing these updates with us.

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26M8J7 1/14/2011 5:41PM

    Thanks so much for keeping us informed and for the pictures that really tell the story. I want you to know that my prayer group is still praying for you all. Take care of yourself and please continue to let us know how you are doing. emoticon

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SUNNYWBL 1/14/2011 3:15PM

    I am continuing to forward your reports to my friends here, stateside! I hope that is OK with you. It puts the scarce news into a much larger frame. We continue to send our prayers to all of you 'down under'! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NURSNANA 1/14/2011 2:32PM

    Thanks Ann for the pictures! So sad to see the devastation! Isn't is wonderful how people pitch in to help each other in an emergency?! The humor was great, especially for McDonalds!! I am so thankful you and your DH are safe and sound and hopefully finding enough to food and supplies now. What about your water supply? Has it been affected? I may have missed or forgot your comments on water. We all appreciate you taking the time to share the pictures and keep us informed of what is going on in Australia. I am sure praying for Australia and all the people affected by this flooding.

Take good care my friend.

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PATRISNA 1/14/2011 9:27AM

Thanks for sharing the photos. The signs show that people haven't lost their sense of humor or their spirit. Glad you are okay.


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    Nature can be so very cruel.

I do hope things return to normal soon.

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MS.ELENI 1/14/2011 9:10AM

    Thanks for sharing. It is so sad.

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1BEACHWALKER 1/14/2011 8:27AM

    So sad- all the destruction! Glad you are safe though! Take care!

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OPALMOON 1/14/2011 8:12AM

    It is great to see people helping each other, keeping a sense of humour - true Aussie spirit!!!

Prayers and thoughts go out to all affected.


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LEXIE63 1/14/2011 7:29AM

    It is good to see that folks in the floods haven't lost their sense of humour. MacDonald's Swim Through. LOLOL
Back in 5 metres! ROFL
I continue to keep everyone affected in my thoughts. So much devastation going on around the world at the moment. So sad...
Take care,
Lex xxx
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LIBBYFITZ 1/14/2011 7:14AM

    Thank you for a great pictorial update. My heart goes out to everyone! Very sad! Also some wonderful examples of our sense of humor, just love it!

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ROSY_TIAMO 1/14/2011 5:46AM

    This is heart wrenching, so much devastation. It is so scary because we have no control over what is happening. My prayers are out there for all those poor souls.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 1/14/2011 4:22AM

    Thank you for sharing this, Ann. I have read about it but this actually tells the story!! Continued prayers being lifted...

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SUSIEPH1 1/14/2011 4:16AM

    Excellent Ann!! Very well portrayed ..
What an absolute disaster ... It is so hard to believe this could actually happen.
Hugs Susie


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CHERYLMIRABAL 1/14/2011 3:52AM

  Glad you are ok, our prayers are with you and the people of Australia.

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Stories washed up by the floods!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

As I go about, down town and talking to people – I hear a lot of stories that have come out of the floods!!
A few are strange and even amusing, a few are of tremendous bravery, a lot of tremendous sadness and a few are of the best and the worse side of people!!
A few are worth repeating here – but remember these have been told to me – all except the tugboat – I saw that happen on TV!!

Among the strange was a story to come out of Rockhampton –
A farmer lost a prize and very valuable Brahman Bull – washed away in the floods. He was very sad as this was his way of building up his stock again after the floods.
About a week or so after the bull went missing – he got a phone call – please could he go and collect his bull – it was grazing quite happily on Kepple Island, He was amazed – and sure enough when he got there – there was his bull calmly grazing on the lovely long grass – it had swum or floated 40miles down the river and across the sea to Kepple Island – an off shore island. Problem was to get it back!!

Among the many, many acts of bravery was sight of the “Little Tugboat that Could” - it guided a long piece of the River walk that was washed off and into the fast flowing river, down stream to safety. The walkway was at least 200m long and flexible – like a line of supermarket trolleys – and made of concrete and steel. He guided this structure down a very fast flowing river to the safety of the mud flats, through bridges and past wharves and boats moored with people on them – in safety with a tiny little tugboat. Had it hit the pylons of the Gateway Bridge it would have done a lot of damage and that is the only river crossing still open so was very important. He undoubtedly saved lives too.

Then there is the story of the woman in a food supermarket – when she picked up 3 loaves of bread, was told that since supplies are limited she may only have one loaf. So she started ranting and raving and took the loaves and emptied the slices over the floor and stood on them, then walked out, still ranting!!
Or the story of the woman going through the checkout with 3 trolleys of frozen and perishable items. They asked if she had huge freezer and fried space – she said she had a freezer but it eas nearly full and her fridges were full too!! So we fear half or more would go rotten before it was used. The mind boggles – by the way she lives in a normal type house with a husband and 2 kids!!

But to counteract that sort of thing – there are many of the good side of people – like the huge number of volunteers that are turning up at evacuation centres to help, the many people who are turning up to strangers houses to help clan up, the many times strangers have gone into evacuation centres and taken elderly strangers to live in their homes, and the mounting piles of household items, clothes and other things being donated to the evacuation centres.

But things are on the improve, and the sun is out, the rivers falling, supplies have got through overnight to our town. There will still be shortages for a long time of odd things – but the main things are in – milk, bread, eggs, etc, Petrol was in but fresh fruit and veges will take time to return.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSJERRYBUSH 1/16/2011 11:04AM

    Amazing stories! God bless and protect you all.

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SPARKLE72023 1/14/2011 6:24PM

    Yikes . . . fortunately most of those stories were positive.

God Bless the good hearted people who are helping others and even taking some under their own roofs! They will one day be taken under the 'roof of Paradise' for their loving generosity.

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ANNEBURNELL 1/14/2011 11:04AM

    Great blog... your writing is excellent. Do you have a blog on Wordpress or Tumblr? Perhaps you should consider. You have so much to share.

We hear of the devastation in Australia on the media here - ruined crops, homes lost, poisonous snakes on the loose.

That's Mother Nature. We are also amazed by human nature. The community clean-up efforts and the resiliency of the people gives hope that acts of God help us do God's work - assisting our fellow man.

Good luck down there!

Stay strong,

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PATRISNA 1/14/2011 9:31AM

    Thanks Ann for a great blog.

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LEXIE63 1/14/2011 7:33AM

    It is so good to hear about some of the wins in among the losses. There have been some incredible feats of bravery and determination, and a lot of good fortune going on in all the sadness, and that is always good to know. :-)
Take care,
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon Words just fail me. I am sure that you are as overcome. Thank you for sharing the news with us. LOVE YOU! -Dawn emoticon

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FRACTALMYTH 1/14/2011 2:41AM


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GWENAEL 1/14/2011 1:03AM

    My thoughts are with you!

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KERRIEH2 1/14/2011 12:32AM

    there has been some wonderful stories of bravery and pure luck. I focus on them as the others are showing the wrong side of our wonderful people.

Love Kerrie

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NURSNANA 1/13/2011 10:43PM

    Thanks Ann, for sharing those stories. What a miracle for the man who lost his bull!! And, it's amazing what that tugboat and it's captain was able to do! Glad things are starting to improve. It is bound to be a slow process when there has been so much devastation. I really feel sad for the ones who lost family members, their homes, everything they own.
Thanks again for the updates Ann.

Take care my friend. I will keep praying for everyone over there and especially for you and your DH.


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MS.ELENI 1/13/2011 9:01PM

    I am glad things are improving

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WENDYJM4 1/13/2011 8:45PM

    Thanks Ann,
Times like this brings out the best and worst of people. I hope there will be a lot more of the nice to be told. emoticon

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IRENEHUD 1/13/2011 8:41PM

    Great blog, I am glad that things are getting better. emoticon

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1GR8FULGAL 1/13/2011 8:31PM

    Glad your household is all OK and will keep praying for the others. I've been wondering but battling my own stuff too. Finally had a chance to pop over here and check in. Take good care, bet ya had some stuff and/or knowledge from all the preps we went thru before the cyclone. Nancy

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GARDENQE2 1/13/2011 8:28PM

    I enjoy reading your blogs. Thank you for bringing the story to us. Great job! It will be a long road back, but difficult times show what people have in their heart.

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SUNNYWBL 1/13/2011 8:22PM

    It was a bit of a miracle for both the farmer's bull and the work of the heroic tug boat!

Courage on the long road back to normal.

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SHANTISHANTI 1/13/2011 7:43PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Mary Ann

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LIBBYFITZ 1/13/2011 7:26PM

    Thank you so much for giving us a "look" into the lives of some people in Queensland! I saw the tugboat on u-tube, what a marvelous tugboat captain! So sad to see the loss of life and the heart ache, and thanks for showing us a lighter side also. emoticon

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26M8J7 1/13/2011 7:14PM

    Thank you so much for this update of the conditions there. The man and his bull is an inspiration. I can hear the concern in your words and I can also here how thankful you are.
Hang in there my friend. There are a lot of people here praying for you all as well as sending aid.
God Bless You,


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    Times of stress always bring out the best - and worst - in people.

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YW84FRIDAY 1/13/2011 7:02PM

  It is amazing what people will do when they are panicked. Unreal!


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SUSIEPH1 1/13/2011 6:43PM

    Great blog Ann.
Many thanks ..

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I am "gob smacked"!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I am honestly left gob smacked at this moment – I don’t know if I should laugh or cry!!
This morning I dropped into the biggest supermarket(Woolworths) in the town – its new and huge and should be full of foodstuffs.
We were there at opening time, as were half of the rest of town
The bakery had cooked bread – a bit – and were handing it out, 1 loaf per adult person or couple!!
Then we turned into the main shop -
It was all but empty!! The shelves stretched the length of the shop – empty!! Many foods were totally gone – eggs – were rationed at 6 per adult person or couple – and things like disinfectant – and loo rolls – all gone as were all frozen goods, fresh meats, delicatessen items - I did find some tins of dog food thank heavens!!
It was like a war zone!!
Then we headed to the Produce shop – we get dog food there – and were able to pick up a good supply!! To me – they are most important – its hard to explain to dogs that there are shortages so they have no food!! LOL!!
Then I headed to the Vege barn – it was packed – they had a few bits of things – we got a few carrots, a pumpkin, a sweet potatoes and some nectarines!!
They were sayng that the Brisbane Markets where we usually get supplies from – are closed for at least the next 2 weeks!! The Boss of our store was saying that he and a truck driver are going down to a farm that is supplying them – 600mile round trip – to get some veges – but they were taking them at any cost, however the big stores are flying fruit and veges in from tomorrow!! That should really help keep prices down!!
Then we heard that 2 tucks had been escorted through by police – full of bread, a few veges and eggs etc – they were up at the airport and were laying things out and there were crowds – thousands there waiting, the police were controlling it – but I have NEVER in my life seen sights like this!!
People seem to be panicking that they might not get some food they are used to - like bread or milk or eggs!! They are stockpiling it!!
But its possible to use other foods – even make scones (biscuits) –
We might be in for other shortages that could be more important – the miners are flooded so the electrical generating system is getting short of coal – and it will be months before the mines are back working – ooops – electricity cuts!!
Then there is petrol – or any fuel – and the refineries have closed – so guess what – petrol shortages!!
Then there is gas – LPG – this will get short too!!
The rivers are dropping – the roads will clear soon – we will get supplies through – but there will be months of shortages so people need to understand it and go with it – work out ways round things – change the menu!!
I am horrified at the attitude of some of the younger ones - they have no conception of "make do".
For me - its only a case of adapting - I have ived in Africa for 5 yrs - and food shortages were the normal - we managed!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYBASKET 1/19/2011 9:12PM

    All of your blogs have been very eye opening to all of those who have never known what the word "Need" means. No I did not say "want" as you stated, too many people have never had to do with out or be inconvenienced. I did have to laugh as you told about the Loo rolls being gone. Hope that those people that panic know about using the old Catalogs. & how you softened the paper between your knckles like washing clothes. My children were in awe of me softening the magazine pages that were in some of the public places in Europe. Our daughter still remembers it well & we have a little laugh about it now & then. It is heart warming to see all of the Good Will with the people coming in to help & those who are putting them up. For those who are hoaring, "What goes around, Comes around" So they will get their dues on down the road.
God Bless you & all of your Countrymen. You all are an inspiration.

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1BEACHWALKER 1/16/2011 1:44AM

    It is really something what happens to people when things like this happen. So many horrible stories came out of the disaster that hit New Orleans LA, when Hurricane Katrina hit - a Cat 5 and destroyed most of the city. Some parts 5 years later are still rebuilding. So many things get effected by a disaster. Unfortunately we never find out until it hits and we are in shock! My heart goes out to all that have been dealt this horrible blow from the floods. Take care and so glad you are safe! emoticon

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DEBIGENE 1/15/2011 6:16PM

    You are a remarkable woman.

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PATRISNA 1/14/2011 9:41AM

Sorry to hear that some are hoarding. Fear does things to people. I hope they can get supplies through soon. Thinking of all my friends there and praying for all of you.

I remember when we lived in Florida after one hurricane our neighbors all pulled together and shared meals of food from our freezers. We had no electricity for several days. One of the men smoked and grilled all the thawed meats for us. There were stories of people fighting over a truck loads of bagged ice and bottled water. The police had to ration it out.


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NURSNANA 1/13/2011 10:23PM

    So very sorry Anne. It really sounds overwhelming. I admire your courage my friend. Sure wish I could send you a Care Package! I am glad you were able to get some food and dog food for your pets. Thanks for the updates. We are all watching the videos on the news and it looks very scary. I believe God hears and answers our prayers because He loves all of us so much. So, I will keep all of you in that area in my thoughts and prayers.

Please hang in there my friend!
Love & Hugs,

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YW84FRIDAY 1/13/2011 6:58PM

  That's hard to comprehend if you've never been through it. I'm glad that you have the experience and wisdom to adapt. I'm not sure what I would do.


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DIASTER 1/13/2011 4:40PM

Glad the water is receding but think it will be a long time before things get back to normal,we are praying for all the people still missing and all the heartache. It often does bring out the best in people as they work together to get back to normal. Bless you all.

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CT-FL-SNOWBIRD 1/13/2011 3:16PM

    You know how to make the best of a bad situation and that's a good survival technique! You might invent some new recipes this next few weeks!

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LYNNOTT 1/13/2011 2:17PM

    As I read your blog Ann, I was thinking that we all take too much for granted - food, heat, transportation, etc. and that it takes a posting such as yours to realize that it could be taken away at any time. I hope that it starts getting better for you ( you as in all the people affected by the rain/flooding) soon and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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GOANNA2 1/13/2011 10:34AM

    I think this will be an ongoing problem. I went shopping this arvo and my local Woolies was stocked but they have whacked up the vegies. Lettuce was understandably $3.48. I went to Aldis and got cheaper vegies and believe it or not, bananas wer 99cents a kg.

People were filling their trolleys up as if they were going for a famine.
But what has happened to the Rocklea markets will affect us for a long time to come, so we will be paying for it all over Australia.

Let' s hope that thinks get back to normal, whatever that is.
I find it so surreal as if it is not happening to us.

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    I have never witnessed that to the extent you have, but I have seen people go crazy when a hurricane is coming or snow is threatened.

I have learned to just stay away from the stores - I have no shortage in my larder so no reason to panic. I even have plenty of bottled water "just in case". Never allow myself to run low on "loo-paper"!

What always shocked me is people loading up on perishables when they are afraid of power failures. You never see canned goods in the shopping carts, but plenty of cold-cuts and chips.

You're a trooper Ann! I have complete faith in you!!

Still praying too!!

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OPALMOON 1/13/2011 9:21AM

    We have seen TV coverage of that supermarket with bare shelves...and also that defence force air craft are heading to Qld from Sydney with stocks of all sorts of foods. Here in Adelaide a few wonderful people have begun charity drives, either where people are dropping off all sorts of things - clothes, household goods, toys etc. to be transported to Qld when the way is clear; and another where boxes are being put together of all sorts of small items - toiletries, etc. to be sent there as well. At times like these we all need to do what we can to support each other, in whatever way possible. It is so sad to hear of the loss of life that has occurred - and those who are left to face that. My heart goes out to them. So glad you were able to get pet food - our pets are dependent on us more than ever in such a situation.

Blessings and hugs, Nattacia


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LIBBYFITZ 1/13/2011 5:10AM

    I so agree with you! The same thing used to happen up north in the Kimberley's of WA. There would be a cyclone warning and people were buying enough food to feed an army! Just ridiculous! There will be a lot of adjusting to do over the next few months. It is going to take a while for things to get back to what they were!

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KERRIEH2 1/13/2011 4:39AM

    This does not surprise me, on the Sydney radio this afternoon they spoke to a man from Brisbane, that said his wife went to one of the shops and it was almost empty, that they had trouble getting bread but they had enough milk to open a milk bar and hoped the electricity would not get cut. He also said that the police had to be called because one shopper and a staff member had an disagreement over being served as there were not enough staff members to serve customers and to took over 3 hours to get through the checkouts.

Sending love to you


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EUPHRATES 1/13/2011 3:07AM


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FRACTALMYTH 1/13/2011 1:46AM

    At least the furbabies will be fed! Imagine what would happen if there was a real long term emergency. Complete CHAOS. Hugs. Take care :D

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RUFFESS47 1/12/2011 10:42PM

    Your Blog was very interesting.
Recently I watched a TV show by the National Press Club and they were talking about how the younger generation will cope in adversity.
When they have had it all too easy all their lives.
They said they would find it very difficult to live with shortages for they have no concept of it.
1 saving
2 adapting eg cooking as you suggested scones or making do
All because they have had no wars or deep depressions to live through.Jobs have been plentiful and well paid.

So glad that I taught my lot how to live cheaply and to make do

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SUNNYWBL 1/12/2011 9:30PM

    I can't even begin to imagine this! You have drawn us a very vivid picture of these events! May God give all of you the strength to carry on.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 1/12/2011 9:00PM

    Our Fruit and Veggies are also quite sparse in the supermarkets this morning here in Victoria.
I agree people are stockpiling ... I think they are worried about the river flooding here !!
Also so many of our growing regions in Victoria and South Australia have been decimated by rain let alone floods !!.
Rocklea markets in Brisbane we have been told, are flooded ... and nothing can get in or out of there.
also Canarvon in WA has been underwater... so no fruit and veggies coming from there
I also believe that Bowen further up in Queensland has lost all their Crops ..

We have tomato's, lettuce, spring onion, beetroot and carrots in our home garden . so should last us the rest of summer. as for anything else we shall have to resort to frozen or tinned.
but it is the People of Queensland that my heart goes out to!
So many have lost their homes,perhaps their lives or that of their loved ones , their beloved pets , their livelihood, and their hopes for the future...
It is just so devistating to watch the news broadcasts, and see so much despair and anguish on these Peoples faces.

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IRONGRANNIE 1/12/2011 8:42PM

    We had the same thing here after the fires in 2001. People just went nuts buying everything they could as if there was never going to be food in town again. The ATMs also ran out of money.

We ate some weird meals but really, we were never going to starve!

I hope some food gets through to your area soon. I have not noticed any impact down here yet but I haven't been shopping for 2 weeks.

I've been watching the floods all morning on TV and it is mind-boggling!

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26M8J7 1/12/2011 8:19PM

    It is so good to hear from you and that you and your family are all right. We are keeping up with the conditions in Queensland on the news and of course we are praying for you all. I cannot imagine what you all are going through right now but I know that God is faithful and I believe with all my heart that He will supply all of your needs, like His Word says, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.
Take Care and keep us informed.

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MS.ELENI 1/12/2011 8:18PM

    Glad you were able to find dog food.It is going to be very hard for many people.You have been on my mind

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    I am so sorry to read this. Devastating. I continue to keep you & your countrymen in my prayers. I believe that things will work out... but you are right... people must be patient & help themselves... and conserve. I wish I were closer & could help. I love you my friend. -Dawn emoticon

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CATHYJR73 1/12/2011 8:11PM

    Wow Where do you live for these shortages??? Everything is so plentiful where we are that we never see your experiences here!! I am like you though I would adapt and you just have to make do. We try to stay well prepared but one just never knows.

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MADKAPKID 1/12/2011 8:10PM

    When you see something like that for the first time it can really rattle your world! I have been seeing how the floods are effecting your country. It has to be unsettling. I keep praying things will soon remedy themselves. I pray that people will somehow find peace in this situation. That there will be enough, if people play by the rules. Thank you for sharing. I think its good for us to see what is happening in the world other than in our own little corners of it! Find some joy....and have a good day, Karen emoticon

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MRSBENNETT2 1/12/2011 7:59PM

    Wow! Hubby and I were just talking about this last night. Just wow. That's all I can say. I hope for everyone up there it's just a matter of organisation after the water goes away and then they get some semblance of "normal" again. Everyone will need it!

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