Tuesday, 20 December 2011

It's almost Christmas

Feeling a bit unsettled lately. There is so much sadness and badness in the world. I have a lovely friend who has family troubles, another whose husband has just passed away after a long illness. Another whose mother may be forced to sell up due to an influx of refugees. Lots of angst in the world.

I really just wanted to try to bring some positivity back. So this is for all my friends and friends I haven't met yet. I want to send you love, peace and happiness this Festive Season, whatever religion or belief you carry. I am a Christian, a proud Christian, and I believe personally that this is a time to remember that God loves you, and that I love you.

We should be casting aside our troubles, and focusing on a new beginning in 2012, and taking a few moments to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Reach out to the person next to you and tell them they are a valuable human being, smile when you walk past someone in the street, and phone that friend or family member you just haven't had time to contact in ages.

Believe me, positivity starts with you. So here's my bit. Have a Merry Christmas, may your days be filled with peace and love, and may God bless each and every one of you.


Monday, 19 December 2011

Almost there...

Wow, this year has certainly flown by. So busy getting Christmas out the way I just realised on the weekend I have to get myself organised to get up to Gladstone for mum's 70th birthday in March. We can't all afford to go, so for Dobby and I, flights into Rockhampton are going to set us back close to a thousand dollars. Into Gladstone itself will add another two hundred.

So, once there, we then have to book a little car, because we'll need to get around. Then, we'll need somewhere to stay. Accommodation is scarce as hens teeth up there at the moment. One of my best friend's will be away, the other only has a single bed.

And I believe my sister will be staying with mother so that rules that out. Sigh. Expensive birthday present! But, we made it up for Dad so we cannot afford not to go for mum.

So, this week has been busy. At work I was furiously getting caught up to date. I decided that because I'll be away as long as most of my customers, I am not going to stress about getting everything done. It will sort itself out. My big concern is getting November up to the accountant, but I can't do anything further with that (always waiting for people!). So, if its ready, it's ready. If not I do both Nov and Dec and take it up when I come back.

In other news, I had a couple more appointments to do with this trial I am doing for osteoarthritis. On Tuesday I had to go for a ECG. That was all good. Thursday I was to go up after work, but she called and asked if I could go at lunch time. Boss said ok, so off I went.

I had to fill out a form, have a blood pressure test, then in to get my needle in my knee. It hurt like a bitch, but what made it nice was the doctor, Martin. He wad from Argentina. Yummy!

I am not sure if I got the placebo or the real thing. From the x-rays they took, it looks like I have some issues on both knees, so I have been using my left knee as a guage. If the pain in the right is better than the left, perhaps I did have the real thing. Hard to tell, cause as any sufferer will tell you, you have good days and bad.

On top of this I have had serious issues with my back, which actually make my knee pain pale in comparison. I had a back x-ray (which cost a fortune and showed nothing, as opposed to the knee one, which was free and actually showed something!). Apparently there is no cause for my extreme pain. I have had two physio sessions. Each one makes some difference but over the days between it gets bad again.

I had to go back to the knee people on Friday for a quick ECG again, and some bloods. But I had to wait half an hour for the blood nurse to come back from a difficult patient. I hate that feeling, when you're supposed to be at work and something is taking your time. It's a guilt thing I guess.

Anyway, it's all good. Dobby had an appointment on Saturday with her psychologist. They both seem to think that she has the tools needed to deal with her anger. We'll see. But she did say that Dobby can come back anytime, she'll be happy to see her. I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with my doctor and he burned off 4 sun spots. Two of them came up in HUGE blisters. Painful they were. Okay now though.

After her appointment I took her to a friend's place for a sleepover. That kid, you know, is always wearing jumpers and jeans, and it's the middle of summer!

I managed find a carpark at the local KMart and stopped in to pick up some cotton sheets for the van, a tri-pillow, and a light summer comforter for our bed. The frog blanket needs a wash and the only other one is a heavy winter doona. I put the sheets on the beds in the van and got that much done ready. Not much else to go now.

Anyway, Fluffy and I had a barbecue to go to. I wasn't really up to it, but we went anyway. The weather has been nasty so it was quite wet and stormy. The little room was crowded but most of our caravan crew was there so it was fun. It degenerated into a food fight (wouldn't expect anything else from our lot!) with peanuts and Jatz crackers being the projectiles of choice.

Fluffy went to work on Sunday so we left about 10.30. It was nice to have a couple hours spare time on Sunday morning. I stripped and remade our bed, but it was raining so the washing I did do had to go onto airers inside. Typical! So I settled in to catch a couple of episodes of Dexter. Just getting into it and it was time to pick up Dobby.

I took her shopping to pick a diary for her to write in (as per her psychologist) then home to face the rest of the housework. Although I did get most of it done the floors still need a vacuum. That's about it.

Now this week I just have to do the shopping for our trip, make sure the cat has food and kitty litter out ready for the lady who is coming to feed him, and I'm done. I sure do need this holiday. Four days of sitting and doing nothing at one caravan park. Then take the van across to another, meeting up with some of the club, get that set up, then bring Dobby back to town to meet up with her friends. She gets a week at Streaky Bay. We get five days with the club, then leave the van there and come back to work. The friday after we'll go back and stay the weekend, then bring the van back Sunday.

Really looking forward to it. Not sure what internet time I'll have to update here, so this may be my last post till we get back. I'll be on Facebook though! Catch ya soon!

If I don't get back here, Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and safe New Year! xxxx

Sunday, 11 December 2011


So now I know no one reads my blogs! I wrote an epic one and only got two comments. Sheesh, people! BTW, thank you to the two people who do read this :-)

Anyway, this week has been full on, and sadly next one will too. Not with interesting stuff, worth blogging about, just busy busy.

Last week Dobby had a trip to the zoo, and her final Cadets meet. Sadly, her zoo adventure gave her nasty chaffing so she could hardly walk, so had to forgo Cadets. She doesn't go back now till the end of January. Next year she has agreed to make the commitment to go as often as possible. With some gentle persuasion!

This weekend was nice. We had a send off bbq Saturday night for one of the caravan club members, before which I had a physio appointment, but more of that later. The party was fun, a few of us dressed up. We had 3 arabs, two ladies with burkas, a lady with a Dr Livingstone type outfit, and 3 soldiers. It was a great night, but a late night.

Saturday I was woken by the builders across the road at 6.30am. After not getting to bed till after midnight, I was none to pleased! But I had plenty to do. Dobby had to be up at Blackwood to the doctor by 9am, then we headed to maccas for breakfast. Then home to clean the house in preparation for visitors for nibblies and bbq at 4. That was a great afternoon. Just us and another couple. The weather got cold just before they left, around half nine.

Today was pure bludge day. Dobby and I went to the shop for some purple tulle (but that's a whole other story) and a Khris Kringle gift for her for school tomorrow. We took longer to get served at Spotlight then we did to find what we needed. Goodness it was busy. Needless to say, my back was killing me!

I have decided to partake in a medical experiment. It's to trial a new drug for osteoarthritis. It entails an injection in the right knee of a human stem cell product, and monitoring for the next month. We won't know if we have received the drug or a placebo, and nor will the people injecting us.

So last Thursday I went for a screening session. It involved filling out a quick questionnaire, and going for an x-ray on my knees and a blood test. I found out that I have bone on bone in both my knees. No wonder they are a tad sore.

The irony to all this? I am actually far sorer in my back. The pain level in my knees sits around 4 during activities, but otherwise doesn't bother me that much. I have difficulty standing up from seated on the ground (or in the tub) and I cannot kneel, and stairs hurt, particularly descending.

But lately my back has been so painful, it's brought me to tears of frustration. I finally made the time for a physio visit. He made me cry too! He gave me some pressure treatment and then acupuncture, and I have to go for an x-ray. I am going to have to schedule that for Tuesday, unless I am lucky enough to be able to get in Monday.

I also have to go back for an ECG on Tuesday morning before work. Then Dobby has her guitar on Wednesday, I have to go at 4pm for the injection Thursday, followed by a physio appointment, then back for a follow up for the injection on Friday after work, followed by a trip to the hair dresser! Whew!

Then Dobby has a doctor appointment Saturday lunchtime, after which she may be going for a sleepover. Saturday evening is a bbq for us with some of the caravan club folk and others.

I think I need a holiday!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen!

At last, the post you've all been waiting for! The Annual SAPI Caravan and Camping Club Christmas Party!

Well, what a weekend it was. As part of the committee, I had a small role to play. I had to organise the cake that traditionally Santa cuts, but sometimes the club president does. Plus another to cut up and pass around after dinner with a glass of Port. Just a tradition that has been part of the club for many years.

This year I wanted to do something nice. So I found a boxed cake from Coles for $16, and asked my lovely friend Eve to ice it. See, recently, Eve and her daughter Kez had done a cake decorating course. So I asked if they wanted practice. As Kez would like to do it for a profession, she readily agreed.

There is the result. And I have to tell you, it went down a treat. It even got a mention at the farewell morning cuppa, where it was cut up and passed around.

But, first things first. There was a bit of preparation go do. As you know, Terry was a recent addition to our family. But to work properly he needed some modifications. So Fluffy got the electric brakes put in, then put the reverse camera in. He was not sure where to put it, as he didn't want to make any modifications to the duco. So he devised a little stand thing, which goes on the tow hitch. Clever man he is. I don't have a pic of that, but needless to say, it looks great.

Anyway, the big day arrived, and Fluffy took Friday off work so he could go up in advance. Dobby wanted to go too but being the bad parent I am I made her go to school. Horrid, I know. I was able to finish at 2.00 pm so I had time to race home, get the washing in, have a quick shower, pick up a few last minute bits and pieces, and head off to pick up Dobby.

My sat nav decided to take me the long way around, and as we got to the edge of town, it told me to keep right. Well, sadly "right" turned out to be a right turning lane off the highway and I ended up on another major road that went all the way across the northern suburbs. I had no choice but to keep going, adding another fifteen minutes onto my journey.

Anyway, we made it to Riverton about 5.30, and did the rounds, greeting everyone.

The park is a lovely little one, which was quite full. Fluffy had gotten us a nice corner block, and I parked Shazza across the way.

Another couple, their three kids, and us 3 made our way to a small pub a few minutes walk from the park and had a lovely meal.

Fluffy hadn't put up any decorations, and I didn't feel like doing it that late, so I thought perhaps we wouldn't this year. So I put them away.

Saturday we had morning we had morning tea, then we were pretty much left to our own devices. Some members used the bbq for breakfast preparation. As we were sitting close by, we decided to use the bacon I had bought and do the same. No eggs. They fell out the fridge and ended up scrambled all over the floor. Fluffy did a wonderful job cleaning those up.

He cooked the bacon crispy, just the way I liked it, and I made bacon sandwiches. He scored a couple eggs from the family we had dinner with, so he added those to his sandwiches. Yummo!

The rest of the day was slow. Some of the boys (big and small) decided to kick a ball around, which kept them active and amused for a while. Then at 1 it was kids club, which was a round of activities designed to tire the kids out. They had knock over the Santa face games, water games (which deteriorated into a "get wet" session, instigated by the adult helpers of course), and many other little activities.

Our neighbour Sally decided to decorate her van (just a token effort but it still looked festive) so I thought I would get ours out afterall. The aim was, each family was given two sheets with a list of each family. Two columns were for a score (1-5) for day display, and night display.

I found that I really was hopeless. I didn't know where to plug stuff in, or how to hang the lights, and I didn't have a step high enough to reach the awning.

So I went to see Fluffy and he was good enough to come back and help me. We put lights like a little runway from the front up to the van door, flashing coloured lights around the edge, and a table with a knitted Inspector Gadget with a red bottle and two glasses on a Christmas table cloth. We also hung the solar lights we won two years ago on Dobby's tent.

Then we bought out the big guns. We have a blow up Santa on a motorbike, which has a little air compressor inbuilt to keep him inflated. He also has lights inside him.

We were satisfied.

Eventually the boys decided to go up to the pub for a drink/to set up the tables for dinner. Fluffy had a shower and Sally drove him up to join the others, the lovely girl.

At 3.30 we had a special visitor...

No one knew how he was arriving, and all the kids were waiting out beside the side entrance to the park, singing Christmas Carols. Eventually he arrived...

He teased the kids by doing a couple of laps up and down the roadway outside the park before coming into the park itself, and parking behind our vans.

The kids were so happy! They all sat at Santa's feet and received their presents, and sat on Santa's lap for a photo. Then the ladies. We all had to sit on his lap too, as did the men! It's a big game for most of them.

Then Santa was presented with a lovely bottle of Jacob's Creek red wine, and he made is way back out.

Then it was happy hour, and everyone kicked back and relaxed before dinner.

Dinner was at the other local pub, and it was fantastic. We had a room out the back, all to ourselves, and they put on a hot roast dinner for us, with 3 types of perfectly cooked meats, roast vegeies and gravy. Dessert was either apple strudel with icecream, or mini plum puddings with icecream.

Throughout the evening we had a raffle. We bought $10 worth of tickets, and won 3 lovely prizes. One was a fluffy white 2011 Christmas bear. Man, I had to keep my eyes open. Everyone wanted him! Another was someone's leftover easter gift, but it was still lovely. It was a plastic tube of blue and pink wrapped chocolate eggs, with a small fluffy bunny on the lid. Dobby claimed the bunny. The other was a gift box containing a wine bottle stubby-type cooler, a box of chocolates (Irish Cream filled!) a tube of apple martini mix, and a red plastic cocktail glass. Lovely!

Afterwards we made our way home and I cut up one cake, and bought the good one out for the president to cut.

We all walked around and rated everyone's vans. It was great to see such an effort.

Sunday we all started packing up. The committee held a meeting at the van of our secretary. She is notorious for sleeping in, it's her thing, so we all gatecrashed while she was in bed. She was expecting us so made sure she had clothes on...

After our meeting it was morning tea time. I cut up that fabulous cake and everyone raved over it.

During morning tea the winners of the decorated van were announced. There were 4 main players. They did only two prizes, but announced winners for best night, best day, runner up night and runner up day. We scored runner up night, which was nice.

However, the two prizes were for the best amalgamated (added up total) score. It was very close, with first and second scoring 176 and 175 respectively. We all knew who would win, but no one expected second place!

The winning van had a stuffed Santa sitting in a chair, with lots of fluffy toys and dangly bits hanging around. Looked so good that a lady driving through bought her elderly mother through, dragged her out of the car, and got her to stand beside the stuffed Santa. She took her photo. I wandered over and offered to take her photo with her mum. She gratefully accepted.

Anyway, I digress. At night, though, this van also had plenty of flashing colourful lights. I did look good.

So, to get second place was a real honour. Considering we weren't even going to bother this year! We were stoked! Prize was a box of 4 spicey sauces. Just what Fluffy loves! I think I'll keep them in the van for Christmas. Maybe I'll put one in for him!

Anyway, when all was said and done, it was time to go. We bade our farewells, Dobby and Fluffy in Terry, and me in Shazza. Although we took different routes, we made it home at the same time (literally! He came down one end of the street as I came down the other!)

We put the van on the lawn and did what we had to do, then called it quits. Dinner was hot chips and the last of the bacon (made into bacon sandwiches of course). Now it's cuppa and hot tub time.

Hope I didn't bore you too much.