Thursday, 27 December 2012

Bah Humbug

So, Christmas has rolled around for another year.  I always have a bit of a giggle because it seems every year to be a mad dash for one day.  Shops are so crowded you can't get a park then take hours to get through the register, work gets super busy.  It's like the whole world goes mad, and for what?  A single day of the year?

Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas as much as the rest of the world.  But admittedly, it doesn't have the same connotations.  There are only three of us.  We don't celebrate with other family or other people.  That's a geographical thing though.  We live in a different state to the rest of the family.


Anyway, this year, the build up to Christmas was the usual frenetic hive of activity.  I got everything done I needed to do at work, and was very happy to divert the phone to the boss an hour later than I was supposed to.

We had a work Christmas party this year, with both old and new bosses, plus Fluffy and Dobby.  It was fun.  The food at Singapore House was lovely.  I had red curried prawns.  Great!




There was the usual round of sending out Christmas emails to everyone, making sure customers had their orders in before the break so we could make sure they got them in our absence.  Getting shipping organised is fun too.  We have many tanks on the water and luckily this year I have the work lap top so I can go online and check emails etc.  Lucky because there was an issue with one of them.

So this holidays, I have done.....nothing.  And boy, did I need the break.  I finished at two on the Friday, and didn't move again.  I had done all the necessary shopping (apart from a few perishables I picked up Christmas Eve).  We had nowhere to go and nothing to do.  Fluffy finished early too, so we all just relaxed.

Saturday I decided we were going to Lobethal to do the Lobethal Lights festival.  Well, to look at the lights.  But, as is typical for us, that did not go well either.  We got a park miles away from anything, and took up a spot outside the Bank SA, as per the website, to wait for the bus.  There were a few busses further up the street, but nothing our way.  So eventually, after the appointed hour, we realised that the busses were leaving from up the road.  We were not happy as we'd been waiting about forty minutes.  When we got up there, everyone was cranky.  So we sat and waited for the next round of busses.  Nothing.  After the appointed hour, we realised the busses left from where we were before.  Not happy Jan!  We eventually went back down the road to wait, about midway between the two places.  Another hour of sitting doing nothing.  Screw this.  I took Dobby into the markets for a look.

Eventually we got a bus, and sat right up the back.  It was a tight squeeze in there, but we got to do what we came for.  And that was drive all around Lobethal, way too fast to take any photos, for about half an hour.  We couldn't wait to get home.  I made the comment that if we were different people we would have handled that totally different.  Instead of all getting grumpy we should have explored the rest of the festival and just caught the next bus.  But no, it's far easier to get cranky it seems.




Christmas Eve we stepped out for a bit, Fluffy finished work early again, and we just relaxed again.  Christmas Day Dobby slept in, despite going to bed early.  We had home made bacon and egg mcmuffins (well Fluffy did), Dobby had toasted muffins with tomato sauce and cheese, and I had bacon and an egg.  Then we did presents.


So once the present thing is done the rest of the day is an anticlimax.  I always get looked after at Christmas, though, by Fluffy and the rest of the family.  This year, Mother gave me a Target voucher and a Proud's Jeweller voucher, SOL gave me a box with 4 bath bombs from Lush.  The best thing about those is that you don't need to use a full one, you just crumble some into the tub.  Wonderful!  Fluffy gave me a very fine white gold chain (I have a couple of silver pendants and only a chunky chain to put them on), a silver silhouette heart necklace and earrings set, and a lovely Citizen gold watch with mother of pearl face.  I really did very well.  Oh, he also bought me a new hair dryer!  Rat also gave me a kitty mouse pad and a lovely tin door hanger with a cat motif.  I won't hang it till I get to our new house.






As I was doing lunch, cutting up ham, cooking chilli prawns, etc, Dobby and I had a fight.  Then Fluffy got angry at me and I embarrassed myself my bursting out crying.  I left them to have lunch by themselves and sat outside for an hour.  I came in to clean up.  I got my chilli prawns at 3.00pm.  Stupid of me.

So that day was a write off.  But Boxing Day was better.  We all just sat outside for ages, did nothing.  Ate plenty.  The weather is lovely and it has been so nice to just stop.  Today, the first shopping day, I had the pleasure (??) of taking Dobby shopping.  She was given a Supre vocher that just HAD to be spent today.  We bought Fluffy an external hard drive, checked out a few other bits and bobs, went to Supre, and then grocery shopping.  Home again Now to kick back and do nothing until it's time to cook chilli for dinner.  Bought corn chips, tortillas, salad fixings, and Fluffy is picking up sour cream.  Should be a great night.  Oh, followed by mango cheesecake.  Just doesn't get any better, no siree bob!





Monday, 19 November 2012

Untitled No 1

I can never think of anything witty to title my posts so I give up.

This week has been interesting.  Kind of.  The usual work stuff, of course.  Archiving.  Well, finishing the archiving.

I had done most of it is preparation of Rocket's visit from interstate Melbourne Cup week.  But as he got called home I didn't get it finished (I had planned to get his help with the last bit).

When I finally got some time, I finished it off and got that all ready.  He flew back in on Saturday.

However, Friday afternoon I got a call from the school.  "I have something to tell you that you may not like.  Dobby left the school at lunch time and did not sign out or return to the school.  We have looked around the school grounds for her but she's not here".  Great.  Her dad was never at school so how do I handle this one?

I called her.  No answer.  Called again.  Many times.  Eventually she sent me a message "I'm in class, what do you want?".  Hmm.  No you're not, says I.  Where are you?

Turns out her friend and her thought it would be a good idea to take off after their excursion.  Silly girls.  She told me some sob story about having a fight at school with the other girls, not being friends, and wanting to leave the school.  I got upset, because I don't know how to handle this type of situation.

Anyway, when I got home I stuck my head in her room and said when she's ready to talk come see me.

Later, she did.  And we had a very good, adult, conversation.  She told me the truth.  There was no fight, she and her friend just decided to leave.  This is the same friend who she has been with when she's broken curfew - 4 times.  I pointed out this was number 5.  She knew.  But she likes this girl.  After speaking to the girls mother, I now understand the lass has some mental health issues.  She likes Dobby as she seems to understand her and have patience with her where her other friends have turned their backs on her (she is quite high maintenance sometimes, but hopefully medication will sort that out in the near future).

Anyway, I told Dobby that if she wants to continue her friendship she has to take responsibility for doing the right thing and making the proper choices.  She has said she will.  Today she had to face the principal, and was given a three-lesson internal suspension.  It goes on her previously clear record and she's saying she has learned her lesson.  Guess we'll see.

Anyway, over the weekend, this friend asked if she could go stay with her.  Actually, her mother did.  This friend was upset because she felt she had convinced Dobby to wag, and gotten her in trouble.  I felt it was probably good for them to get together, under the careful eye of the mum.  And besides, I wanted some time alone with Fluffy.  Works for everyone I say.

We dropped her off after lunch, and set about looking for a new camera bag.  Fluffy suggested a back pack.  My problem is that with my joint issues I struggle with heavy bags and stuff.  So he suggested the back pack because we could all carry it.

We found one, which hold a laptop against the back part, then has space at the top for other stuff (my ipad, purse, and other stuff will fit in this), and the camera equipment goes in a bit at the bottom of the front section.  You have to lay the bag down to get to the gear or it will fall out, but it's a great idea.  The bag is black, with yellow interior.  Comes with a good warranty, and she gave us $5 off.  Nice.  Fluffy also bought me a little zipped pouch thing to hold SD cars, card reader and notebook.

Then we went home to relax.  I took my time to get ready, and we tarted ourselves up and set off for the Perfect Cup cafe in Melbourne Street.  Rocket was flying in at eight in order to pick up the stuff and car early the next morning.  We decided, Fluffy and I, to have dinner first.  This place is part of the Meridien Hotel, where Rocket was staying.

Parking was minimal so being the cheeky people we are, we used the motel car park.  Well, we were meeting someone who was booked into the motel so why not?  We were told before hand that there were two large groups having functions so meals would be late.  We didn't care - we had all night.  We found a lovely plush leather lounge and got comfortable inside.  The waitress set a table for us outside, but it was right outside the party group.  The weather was perfect so we just sat in the little bar area for awhile and had a drink (bottle of merlot for the man and juice for me).  Our starters arrived while we were sitting there, so we ate them there.  Very nice.  It was a share plate, with chicken tenders, salt and pepper squid, spring rolls, and another roll cut up.  Very, very good.  Would do as a meal on it's own.

Eventually when the sun had gone down a bit we ventured out to the patio.  Our meals came not long after - steak for him and Cesar Salad for me.  I couldn't finish it.  We had not long finished when Rocket told us he had arrived and was on his way.  I told him we had bought the lobster and a few bottles of champagne and charged it to his room, was that okay?  No worries, he said.  Heh.

After dinner Fluffy and I went back to the quiet bar area to our previous seat and Rocket saw us when he walked past.  He came and said hello then checked in.  He joined us, had the last glass of wine in Fluffy's bottle, then told us to put our meals on his room tab.  Nice!  Then he bought another round of drinks.

The bar area closed at 9.30pm so we packed up and walked down Melbourne Street to The Lion hotel. This place has won awards but it was packed.  Outside though, we found a relatively quiet table area.  The boys had to line up to get in the door so they bought double drinks and eventually, after I had thought they had picked up a couple of birds, they returned to the table.

We had a lovely evening, and it was only when Rocket said he was getting a bit chilly that we realised it was almost one AM.  A lovely evening.  We walked back to the motel and he used his gate key to let us out of the car park, bidding us farewell and expressing his gratitude for a great night.  He said that after the last week (with the accident last week and all) it was the first time he had relaxed and had a drink, and actually laughed.  We felt honoured.

Sunday morning Fluffy and I just sat around and relaxed.  I was even still in my jammies at eleven.  We just sat outside and did nothing.  We even talked a bit.  When I say that, I mean, we are not great conversationists.  We just enjoy each other's company.  But we seemed to have plenty to chat about.  It was very pleasant.

But all good things must come to an end and after I made us lunch we headed off to the shop and to pick up Dobby.  She had a good weekend, although she did realise she probably should have spent the time doing an assignment.  Sigh.  Some things never change...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Whoops!

Sorry, just felt the need to clarify something about my little rant last weekend.  After reading my blog back, and reading feedback, it seems I have not gotten my point across correctly.

You're right, Sparkling Merlot, it's not about me.  It was never actually intended to be about me.  I didn't mean that my friends didn't support me, just that when push comes to shove, I thought I could count on people to get on board and make a donation.

I did want to raise $300.  I thought I had enough friends and contacts to make that happen.  That's what is disappointing.  If all my friends or relatives (who could) donated $5 that would be that much more that could have been given to the Cancer Council.  I am disappointed that people didn't seem to care enough about the cause to help.

That was all I intended.  Every dollar raised is a dollar more.  And I am glad to have done my bit.  I am just saddened that people who couldn't make it to the fundraising night didn't make the effort to help out online.

Okay, nuff said, it's time for dessert.  Night folks!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Am I a bitch...

to be somewhat disappointed with people?  Let me start from the beginning.

As you may know, I hosted a Girls Night In this weekend, to raise money for Breast Cancer Research.  The daughter-in-law of a very dear friend of mine has gone through this, and in fact her sister is still going through it.  When she found she had it she urged her sister to get checked and the results were positive for her too.  Luckily they both seem to be winning the battle.

Anyway, I decided to do my bit and host a Girls Night In.  I had visions of a group of ladies, having a drink, sharing some laughs, dancing, sharing nibblies, and having a good night.

I even sent out the message to my interstate friends and family, so that people who couldn't come could help the cause by donating online.  But I seriously think there is something wrong with me.

One by one, they all declined.  Initially four ladies said they would come.  One of those dropped out.  One of the attendees invited her mother (luckily).  A couple others sent messages to say they couldn't come.  Most just ignored me.  Including my interstate folk. 

Close to the night a lovely friend donated online in case she couldn't make it.  She and another friend did make the effort, meaning I had six ladies actually attend on the night, and one who stopped by on her way home to make a donation (of $50, thank you very much!).

I had been worrying what to do with 6 raffle prizes (one didn't bother to drop off her promised goods, so I had to go out and buy something small to add to the pool), and only 4 ladies coming.  My Nutrimetics lady dropped off a $60 face cream and some raffle books, telling me to pre-sell them, and offering 10% of sales if I got a few orders.  Luckily this was just before the last rally.  My wonderful support team spent around $70 on raffle tickets and donations, which kick started me off. 

On the night, there was a small enough gathering that everyone had plenty to talk about.  Three ladies won prizes, with the other three going to club members.  Everyone said they had a good night, which is the main thing. 

But what really bothered me was, that from the 144 ladies I invited, only half a dozen turned up, and only a dozen even answered.  Three people donated online, and one of them was me.  Surely it wouldn't have been too much trouble for my interstate friends to donate $5 (not you, SOL, you're excluded from this rant x). 

I set my goal at $300 thinking that with all my friends this would be easily achievable.  Apparently I don't have as many friends as I thought.  I came in under $250 from online donations and raffle sales.  I can't decide if I'm grateful, or hurt that I mean so little to people.  How could I possibly have thought people would actually want to come to something I held, or to support me by donating, anyway?  I am so grateful to the ladies who did (both at the rally and the party).  That meant the world.  But if every one of my friends who could not make it donated, I would have reached well over my goal.

Anyway, enough said on that topic.  I just needed to get it off my chest.  Note to self - no more parties or gatherings of ANY kind, cause people just don't care enough to come. 

In other news, I had the interstate boss in town last week.  He brought his Toyota Prado and trailer over, with the view of taking back archive boxes (and helping to clear some space in my office).  He arrived Monday afternoon, and we killed a couple hours chatting while I was doing some work.

Tuesday morning my local boss went to a Melbourne Cup luncheon, and wouldn't be back for the rest of the day.  Sydney boss took me to lunch.  We were still eating and just on our second round of drinks (juice, thank you!) when he got a call.  He was obviously distressed, and I knew the news wasn't good.

While on the phone, we left the restaurant, he paid with one had, and we raced back to the car.  In a break between calls he told me that there had been an explosion back at the site in Sydney.  Turns out they had been venting a tanker trailer, and without following certain safety procedures (from the look of it), they had brought it back inside and started working on it.  Vapours have then ignited when a forklift drove by and the young fellow working on it was badly burned from a flash fire.  Luckily a nurse working near by ran up and immediately put the hose on him to cool his burns.

Needless to say, boss was distraught.  He continued to make calls, and in fact I made him pull over and finish a call or the police would have pulled him up for sure. 

We raced back to the office in record time.  He packed up his gear, booked a flight (with me standing over his shoulder reminding him to click here, click that etc).  Back to the motel to check out, and back to pick me up. 

He drove to the airport and told me to just take the car and use it.  He would rather it be driven.  So I drove it back to the office.   When I phoned him later he said to just keep driving it.  So  I have had it all week.  My little Shazza is still parked at work...

No word yet on when he'll be back but I suspect probably Monday or Tuesday.  The fellow who got burned is in the burns unit with burns to his nose, ears, and exposed skin on his arms and legs.

The irony?  He was going to be let go next week.  I think that added to boss's distress.  The guilt factor.  When I spoke to him on the Wednesday he thanked me.  What on earth for?  I had felt like a spare dick - totally helpless and unable to do anything.  No, he said, I kept him grounded.  Must have been all the idle chat I kept him tied up with on the way to the airport, and all the "Rocket, deep breath" I kept saying.

So, anyway, it's been a rather stressful week, with the party to worry about and how everyone in Sydney was faring.  They are like a family over there.  I have worked closely with them for the last five years, and have met a few of them too, so I feel like I know them all very well.  It's been very distressing for them to the point they had counselors in over the weekend to speak to them all.

Well, not much else worth rabbiting on about.  Thanks for letting me rant.  I promise to be more positive next time.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Balaklava

So this weekend the club went to Balaklava.  It's a lovely little town north of Adelaide.  Very strange to drive though - I got lost on both occasions I went foraging.  Odd.  However, it has all the mod cons - Foodland grocery store, pub, Thrifty hardware store, Ford car sales yard.  And this take away/tobacconist/bakery/pizza shop.  Wonderful junk food.  Quite well priced too.  I didn't  cook this weekend...

So, I knew we only had about a ninety minute drive, and we are on daylight savings, so we didn't bother finishing work early.  We were all home by 5 and on the road by 5.25.  Would have been earlier but Fluffy was busy trying to get his CB to send.  He could hear me (I guide him out of the tricky driveway) but he couldn't answer.  Must get that looked at.

The drive up to Balaklava is long and boring.  There are miles and miles of nothing.  It's all farm country.  There was clouds (well, it was actually pretty much overcast) so the promise of a lovely sunset was there.  But nothing really grabbed me by the time we arrived.  The caravan park was tiny - probably only about 15 sites.  We held 9 of them, plus there were a few permanents.  The whole area seems to be a community centre.  There is a small building with a squash court and tiny kitchen/hall area.  Very tiny.  The toilets were in this building, accessed by a single door that opened into a hallway with the handicapped toilet at one end, and the Mens and Ladies branching off to the right.  Quite an odd set up but I liked it.  It wasn't open and in fact, one could walk between them all with no problem if one was so inclined.  There were only two showers and two toilets but that never seemed to be a problem.  They were very clean and serviceable.

Behind the toilet/kitchen/squash court is a playground, and beside on one side is the swimming pool (sadly only open Dec, Jan and Feb, cause we would have ALL been in there Saturday otherwise), and on the other side is the bowling green.

These pics were on the pool shed and the squash building.


We were not the last to arrive - The Palace arrived after us.  The Queen and her husband were not sure if they were going to make it.  Queen's dad is very, very ill and it's just a waiting game.  But at the last minute (literally) she decided that's it, we're going.  I'm so glad she made it, she has been under tremendous stress.  It was good to see them.

After we had set up Dobby and I went in search of sustenance, finding the above mentioned take-away.  Burger for Fluffy, chips for Dobby and a piece of fish for me and we're back.  We had dinner then went to join the other folk around the fire.  Not that we needed a fire.  I think it was more symbolic of the gathering herd.  Now that fire season is in, or will be soon, we will have to gather around something else.  Perhaps a full esky?

Dobby piked out quite early for her (not other big kids to hang with, she got bored).  I went at midnight.  Fluffy wasn't too far behind me.

Saturday we rose to a warmish day.  Rain threatened, though, and Fluffy and I decided to put a side on the awning.  But angle it out to give more room.  He wanted to use the solid canvas, but I suggested perhaps the mesh one.  We used the mesh one.  I'm glad we did, because the rain didn't last.

I wandered about and took some pics.








Queen's daughter drove up.  Apparently she has been having a very rough time lately and everyone was quite concerned for her welfare, but she seemed to enjoy her day with us.

The day warmed up.  We had club game after morning tea, and then spent the day sitting in the shade under trees.  That pretty much summed up the day.  Of course, we all got sunburned.  Typical.  We forgot what it was like to be hot, it's been so long.

Happy hour saw other friends join for a couple of hours.  They borrowed another camper's bbq and stayed for dinner.

I am hosting a Girls Night In to raise funds for breast cancer research next weekend.  I had been very worried because only 5 ladies are coming.  I have somewhere between 4 and 6 raffle prizes planned, depending on if the last two follow through.

So I took the suggestion of my Neutrametics lady (who donated a skin cream valued at $60 plus 10% of any sales on the night), and thought the rally would be a good chance to pre-sell tickets.  I took a couple of orders and sold heaps of tickets.  I have kickstarted my fundraising with $70 raised from the weekend.  Have to be happy with that!

It came over cloudy again Saturday evening and we thought we'd get rain (see photo below) but we only got a few drops.  Enough so that I put the camera away but not enough to shift positions.




Anyway, late in the evening on Saturday, we had a bit of an incident.  A young lad from the family camped behind us started to cry quite badly.  Investigation found he had been bitten by Ozzie.  Oh crap.  He's never done that before.  After seeing to the boy (luckily the skin was only grazed and lightly bruised) he was okay.  Turns out that he was running past our van and Ozzie ran to play with him, nipping at him as he does (well, probably at the ball the fellow was going for) and misjudging his nip.  Fluffy was very distressed and we were both terribly embarrassed.  It quite ruined the whole weekend.  The family were so good about it.

Sunday morning they came to see Fluffy expressing their concern because the lad who was bitten was worried Fluffy would get Ozzie put down (once they bite you can't trust them).  They wanted to stress that it was only an accident - he did not go for the boy in anger, or attack him.  They also wanted to reassure Fluffy that the boy was not frightened of dogs and held Ozzie no ill will.  In fact, he came over, sat down, and Ozzie quite happily curled up against his lap (as he does when anyone sits on the floor).  They were friends.  Whew.  We were very concerned.

Beside our caravan was a gum tree, and there was a flock of parrots in it.  They started quite early in the morning and frankly, I cant' think of a nicer way to wake up.



So, we were all heading off after a lovely breakfast cooked by the park.  The park was not actually manned as such, but the caretaker came by each day to clean and check we were all okay.  His wife and daughter cooked the breakfast - eggs, bacon, sausages, tomato and toast.  They provided everything from butter, sauce, food, to plates cups and cutlery.  It was lovely.


We were home by one, and had the first load of washing out half an hour later.  I have spent the day just putting through two loads of laundry (I left the 3rd in the machine) and doing not much else.  I had done pretty much everything early Friday morning before I went to work.  I should iron before I go to bed so Fluffy has work uniforms, but that's about it.  Sometime this week I need to vacuum, and that's about it.

After breakfast the ladies had some leftover cut up tomato and some eggs.  I scored six eggs, and a colander with about 8 tomatoes, halved.  So for dinner tonight I cooked chicken rissoles, poached eggs, toast, and I put the tomatoes into a shallow dish, drizzled oil and balsamic vinegar over them, added a little sprinkle of cheese, and cooked in the microwave for about 8 minutes.  Very nice.

So, now I am going to run a bath and then I think it will be early nights all right.  This week sees my boss from Sydney in the office.  He wants to take us to dinner Tuesday night so he can meet Fluffy and Dobby.  That will be nice.

 So, until I decide to blog again, TTFN.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Surprised?

Yeah, me too.  I don't really have anything to blog about anymore.  And no one reads this anyway (except you 3, you know who you are). 

So, what's been happening lately?  Stuff all.  I had the iron infusion, as posted about in my last blog.  I had my birthday.  Nothing terribly exciting there.

The infusion seems to have worked a bit.  I do feel a bit more alert.  I feel like doing the housework now.  Well, when I say I feel like it, I am actually getting  more done than normal.  It's only my back and ankle that stop me from doing more.

Recently we had a rally to Padthaway.  Not going to bother putting up photos here, there wasn't much to take photos of.  But it was a good rally.  I took the Friday off, as did Fluffy, and Dobby was home from school, so we drove down early Friday morning.  It took 4 hours.  With two stops.  And one where I thought I had to vomit because I stupidly thought I could eat chicken.  Sheesh.

Anyway, we got there and were greeted (well, Fluffy was) with a little white paper bag holding assorted brochures, a sprig of Lavender, and two chocolates stapled to the side.  Lovely.

Our site was small but plenty of room for the awning and the tent.  But the weather couldn't decide if it wanted to be sunny or rainy, so we put up two walls of the annex.  Not annex material, more like shade cloth.  It helped protect against the wind and rain.

Saturday most of us trundled the half hour or so into Naracoorte for the day.  But, somewhat surprisingly for a small SA town, everything closed at lunch time.  I mean, when you go into a bakery at 11.30 and they say "the sandwich bar is closed, as we are closing in half an hour", it's a bit of a shock, right? 

We wandered over to the "Tiny Train" ride at the local caravan park, and all the kids had a ride around this track sitting on the back of the carriages.  They enjoyed it.  Then we all drove down to the Naracoorte Caves for a tour of the Victoria Caves. 

These were lovely, and we had a guided tour.  Our Forward Planner had been quoted a particular price, then we all lined up to pay.  The first two went, and when it came to me, I was going to be charged over $60 for the three of us.  This was way more than we were quoted so I questioned it.  Turned out the price he was quoted was waaay under what we should have been charged.  After much negotiation, they came up with a new price which was less than the adult price we were quoted but more than the kids price.  Everyone was happy and we made our way down to the cave entrance.  One of the club young couples was on dog minding duty and off we went.

It was very interesting and lovely.  On a couple of occasions our guide turned out the lights.  Pitch black.  I occasionally get claustrophobia but there was no reason to with these.  It was wet down there, due to the recent rain, but very lovely.

I did well with walking around the caves, even up ladder-like steps.  But the last bit, on the exit of the cave, was a 45-degree angle and that killed my calves.  And everyone else's I think.

Anyway, we exited, thanked our guide profousely and the rest of the team made their way off to the pub for dinner.  As we had Ozzie we chose to go home instead.  I had bought a pasta bake from the supermarket so I put that on. 

Sunday we had pancake breakfast.  That was fun.  There is always some left over but surprisingly this time, not that many.  Only about a dozen.

After that we just sat around.  Another couple and their daughter and future son-in-law (AKA the dog minders from yesterday) decided that because it was the mum's birthday, they, and us, would go for a drive to the two local wineries.  I thought we might stop and sample some of the food but no one did.  We bought a few bottles and I took a couple of photos, and headed back.  The weather sucked anyway.

There was happy hour, and then dinner.  But I started to feel ill.  In fact, I developed a headache, chills and a not very happy tummy.  It was no better Monday, and indeed the tummy thing settled in for the week.  I suspect food poisoning because no one else got it.  If so, the only thing I can say I ate that no one else did was maple syrup on my pancake.  So perhaps I have to get rid of that?

Anyway last week I had my counterpart from Sydney in the office.  He did his usual thing putting my accounts into MYOB, then on the Wednesday started teaching me to use it.  Crash course.  I think I'll be okay with is.  I have some more to do on Monday so I guess we'll see wont we?

Other than that, I had a follow up doctor visit yesterday and he took some more blood.  Literally.  I had just missed the nurse and as I had fasted just in case he wanted to do follow up tests, he took the blood himself.  So much quicker than the nurse. 

Dobby has a friend over and they want to go to the beach.  I'm off to lunch today with my 80 year old friend, and then I'll take them after that.  Unless her dad takes them while I'm out.  Leave that up to him to decide.  We (when I say we I mean mostly he) have been doing work around the yard.  Cutting back vines, throwing out rubbish.  Yesterday he got in and scrubbed my shower.  I can't do it, I can't get down there.  He did a great job.  I did the rest of the bathroom.  Through the week I'll tackle other stuff.

Until then, it's time to go see about getting changed for lunch.  Don't know what I'll wear - nothing fits me anymore.  Sure I'll find something in huge baby tent....

Monday, 24 September 2012

Feeling the love!

Isn't it lovely when you receive positive messages from folk?  Given my recent hospital stay, and my birthday, I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the good wishes I have recently received.

But, let me start from the beginning.

As you know, I had to go into hospital for an iron infusion last week.  For whatever reason, I was required to stay overnight.  Don't know why, it's a 3 hour procedure...  But, anyway, stay I did.

My wonderful friend Marg came to my aid again and dropped me off at Ashford hospital.  I bought her a birthday gift and left it in her car.  She is a mad tiger freak so I bought her a resin one, about 30cm long.  She phoned me the next day to tell me she loved it, and had named it, well, Fluffy's real name!  Sweet!

Anyway, I digress.  So, I got to the hospital, and was delighted after a phone call to find I didn't have to pay the $250 admission (my health fund declared I only have to pay it once a calendar year, and i had already paid it this year).  Nice.  I had not long sat down (after a loo visit) and was called through.  They have a couple of elderly ladies who volunteer their time, to assist patients to their rooms.  A lovely use of people, I feel.  I might look at this when I get a bit older.

The poor lady, though, dropped me off in a crowded room with people waiting for day procedures, then just as I got squished into a corner, came back to get me to take me up to the ward.  She had misread my paperwork.

Up we go, and I share a lift with an elderly lady in a wheel chair being pushed by a lady my age, and followed by an elderly gent.  We proceed down a hall and I glance into rooms which I think look rather nice.

Around the corner we pass the nurses station, and head for the room directly across the hall from their desk, the same room as the other occupants of the elevator are headed to.  Oh.  So much for a private room.  oh well.

I go sit on the bed, and eventually a nurse comes and checks I am who I should be, says she'll be back soon.  Ok.  I sit and twiddle my thumbs.  The room is  minuscule.  And drab.  And in need of some sprucing up.  Sigh.  the lady next door has a recliner beside her bed.  Nothing will fit beside my bed.  The bedside table is all.  A chair like the doctor's surgery waiting room type chairs, with wooden arms, is sitting at the end of my bed, but in direct view of the door.  So I sit, rather uncomfortably on the side of the bed.  I am not sure what I am supposed to do with anything, and there is no table across my bed i can pull up to read either.  So I just sit and wait.

Lunch arrives.  I had ordered fish, chips, pears and custard.  I got it.  The fish was dry and the chips soggy but I was hungry so I ate all the fish.  It would have been rather lovely were it not so dry.  Dessert was left (the dry fish was sticking around my band so I couldn't eat any  more).  The nurse later put it in the fridge for me.



Eventually someone comes along and takes my blood pressure.  It's high.  It always is in hospitals.  A lovely irish nurse comes to find a vein to insert the catheter for the IV.  Despite me drinking heaps of water before arriving, she can't find one.  She has a go in one elbow but is unsuccessful.  She goes off to find help.

More waiting.  I sit in the chair.  Put myself on view.  Get out my ipad and start reading.  Another nurse comes along and finds a vein in my right hand.  It'll hurt, says she, but it's the best we can do.  It doesn't really hurt.  But because they tape it up, I can't do much with that hand.  And I'm right handed.  Great.  I head to the loo and use one hand to pull the dacks down etc.  Lucky I wore jeans that are loose and stretchy... hmmm.

Back to the bed and wait a bit.  Eventually they come to get me started.  I ask if they can pull the table across my bed so I can read or do something.  I lift the head of the bed and try to get comfy.  I pull out the ipad and my crime book and settle in.

But they don't pull cross my table so I prop the ipad up in my lap.  The blood pressure cuff is put on one arm (bloody hell those things hurt) and the oxygen monitor clipped to my finger, and the IV is hooked up to my other hand.



I'm left helpless in the bed for 3 hours, without the table, with my ipad propped awkwardly in my lap.  Sigh.  Oh well, I settle in to watch Megamind.

That keeps me occupied.  I have to keep taking out an ear piece so they can take my temperature.  My blood pressure is still high, as is my temp.  No surprises there.  When the movie finishes I take out my crime magazine and try to read some of that.  And go of Facebook, and chat to SOL.  But it's hard to do anything without the use of my right hand.  So I lay back.

Eventually I need to pee. So I ask the nurse to give me a hand.  She has to take the IV machine off the bed pole and hook it up to a wheeled unit.  Takes a bit of untangling and stuff but we manage.  Off I go to the loo.  When I come back, the nurse brings me my pears and custard for afternoon tea.

Did I mention the old lady has a walking frame and is somewhat mobility limited.  Going to the loo for me means removing her commode seat and putting down the toilet set.  Great with one hand.  But I manage.

Back to bed I trundle.  Eventually the machine starts beeping.  And beeping.  And beeping.  After a few minutes one of the aids follows the beeping and rescues me.  It's stopped so she unplugs it and unhooks it from my catheter.  Free!  But my fingers are still taped up somewhat.  Not too bad though.  But the tape across the top holding the end of the catheter still is wrapped around my hand.  One of the side effects of the infusion seemed to be, cold clammy hands and feet.  Or maybe it was just me.  Anyway, that meant the tape came unstuck.  But because it was stuck to the clear tape patch they put over the needle site, I can't take it off.  The ends flap annoyingly.  Sigh.

Well, now what do I do?  It's four thirty.  Boring.  Once I have finished my treatment, I am left alone.  The lady next door's visitors leave, and she falls asleep so it's deathly quiet.  I read.  I sit back in my chair for a while just to move about.

Later it's dinner time.  The lady's daughter comes back up to visit.  The neighbour gets her dinner.  She's scottish I think.  The daughter is Australian.  I am sitting back on the bed, and they are watching TV.  The daughter asks a question I know the answer to, so I poke my head around and tell her.  She invites me to sit with them for a bit, so I pull my chair over.  We have a chat for a bit.  My dinner arrives.  We giggle - I ordered caesar salad.  I also ordered some mashed potato.  A small serve I say.  Well, I got a small serve alright.



Now, I don't know about  you, but I thought caesar salad was lettuce, egg, chicken and bacon... with dressing.  The white at the top left of the plate is potato salad.  The grey on the top right is chicken thigh meat, full of gristle, with a few shreds of bacon through it.  There is cucumber, carrot, and a wedge of tomato.  A square or two of dried bread for croutons.  With a dollop of warm mashed potato on top.  Served on a small bread and butter plate.  That was dinner.  I was a good girl and at it, except for the chicken.  The fruit salad was nice, and it came with a chocolate milk.  And a little tub of ice-cream, like the old Dixie Cups we used to get as kids.  That was the nicest part.

After dinner I decide to go put my jammies on.  Didn't bother with a shower, I didn't have a towel and her shower chair was taking up all the tiny cubicle so I just didn't bother.  Felt better to be in my jammies.  The daughter left and the old lady settled back into bed to watch some TV.  I sat on my bed.  And read some more.  My how time goes slow when you're flat out.  I found the only draw back to wasting the day as such, is my heel spur seized up.  Well, the tendon area puffed up because I just wasn't using it at all.  Very painful it became.

Later, after waiting till about 8pm, I decided to watch Mulan.  Just to kill time.  I settled in.  The domestic came in and offered me tea.  Heck yeah!  with two  little shortbread biscuits.  Yummy.

Eventually I turned off the ipad and put the magazine away.  Just before ten I thought I may as well go to sleep.  But my pillow was uncomfortable.  And my back was aching.  And the nurses were talking outside at the station.  But I dozed off.

Ten minutes later the old girl got out of bed, and wandered around to my bed.  She was confused.  She didn't know who I was and was quite surprised to find a stranger in her room.  I told her gently she should go back to bed.  She did.

Then, for the rest of the night, just as I dozed off she's start yelling for someone to come and tell her what's going on.  Why weren't they going down to get her husband from downstairs?  He'll be wanting his supper.  Someone should come help her get his supper.  Several times a night nurse had to put her back to bed.  Or bring her a bedpan (because they raised the rails on her bed, which really miffed her because she couldn't get out of bed).  She didn't use the buzzer, she didn't have to.  They heard her.  And I heard her.  When it wasn't her it was the nurses laughing at the desk.  Sigh.  At around 3 someone actually stuck their head around the curtain and saw I was awake so took my blood pressure.  But other than that they never once came to check on or look in on me.  From when they took the IV off me, that was it.  Their job with me was done.  I was so stiff in the neck and had a headache.  But I found that if I elevated the head of the bed just a fraction it helped.  Dunno why I didn't think of that in the first place.  Du-uh!

I gave up trying to sleep around 5.  The nurse noticed I was awake and asked me if I had slept.  Don't be silly said I.  She said sorry, but even when I said half the problem was the nurses at the desk she didn't seem to grasp I was saying THEY were as bad as the old girl.  I couldn't blame her, she wasn't herself, so she can't be aware she was keeping everyone awake.  But the nurses should have had more respect.  Anyway, I had a headache and felt like death warmed over.  But what could I do?  I just sat and read.

The old lady woke up, and they tended to her.  Breakfast eventually came around 7.30 or something.  By then I was sitting in the chair on public view.  I was sick of lying in bed reading.   So I was sitting in the chair reading.  Resting my poor head.  The old girl came and sat in the chair next to me.  She was saying she wanted a longer gown to wear.  The hospital one was open at the back and left her butt exposed.  She was wearing a pair of Depends, and the lining was hanging out.  Poor love, I felt so bad for her.  So I got her long dressing gown for her, and she was very happy with that.  I tried to look after her as much as I could.  I even got her to drink some water - she was very stubborn in that nature!

My breakfast was porridge, yoghurt, warm like, sugar, and tea.  I really did enjoy that.

While sitting there, I  noticed this sign at the end of the bed.  Rather made me laugh.  I can't imagine why anyone would be UNDER the bed... but obviously someone was at some time!



I go get changed and brush my hair and teeth.  Feels so much better.  Eventually they come to take out the catheter.  That's a relief.  Just a bruise around the knuckle to show for my effort.

I sit around and wait some more.  The young aide comes in about 9.40 and says whenever you're ready I'll take you down.  I laugh and say I was ready two hours ago.  Oh, she says, well lets go then.  As we are walking to the door Fluffy comes around the corner (flirting as he always does with the nurses.  Gosh he's a giggle).  He comes back down with the nurse and I and I am free.  He has dog hair on his shirt.  He says the dog we are babysitting, Ruby, had done a runner that morning and he had to chase her all down the street and through people's hards.  So glad I missed that.  Dobby had a friend over the the house was a pigsty.  She had not done the things Fluffy had asked.  Aah, don't you love coming home to such a situation?  I just wanted to go back!

Anyway, I got passed it.  The friend eventually left and I ducked out.  I went and bought crickets for my girls, and stopped in to find something to wear out to dinner for my birthday.  I found a rather nice little black dress, all pleats and hanging straight, and on special for $47.  I also found a silver and black long chunky necklace, $20, black earrings with diamonds, $10, and a silver small bag with a chain handle, reduced to $10.  Thank you I'll have that.  I also bought Dobby a lovely clutch for her new outfit.  I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself.

I spent the rest of the day tidying up and stuff.  I also made potato bake ready for a BBQ.  We went up to the other side of town and had a lovely evening with friends.   Great food, my potato bake was a hit, and we chilled out till around 10.30.  Fluffy had had a few drinks so I drove us home.  A pain killer (for my back and ankle and headache for me) and straight to bed.

Sunday I did some house work.  Dobby had been invited by friends to go to the movies.  I was going to drop her off.  But then she said one of them was at Castle Plaze (near home) so could she go now?  She walked down and I didn't have to go anywhere.  Suits me.  I told her to be home by 4 as we were going out.  At 3.40 she sent me a text - what time should she be home again?  Good grief.  I told her 4.  She said uh okay.  But she'd be a bit late.  Hmmm.  Eventually, just before 5 I asked her where she was.  Apparently they had missed the bus and walked!  It's over an hour's walk!  I told them I'd come pick her up but the others had to keep walking.  She apologised so I wasn't too hard on her.

We all got dressed to go out, and Dobby took a couple of photos of me and I of her.  I don't have them yet, they're still on the camera.  I'll put them up next time.

During the day the weather changed.  An awful icy breeze blew up.  I forgot we weren't going to be able to park close to the restaurant (which is beside the beach) and was so totally under dressed.  Luckily I had a black sequinned jacket, 3/4 sleeve, but it was still so cold I actually got chills.

Dinner was lovely.  The restaurant had a house special from a set menu, $36 for 4 courses.  Fluffy and I had that.  Dobby had an asian inspired beef (or was it lamb) salad.  The food was lovely and we shared with Dobby so we all had plenty to eat.  Even dessert.  It only cost us $128 including drinks.  We staggered back to the car (I did find out that those shoes I bought, while comfy, are not conducive to walking any distance, for me anyway.  Very painful on the balls of my feet).  But it was such a nice night.


So today, my birthday, I have been very spoiled.  Because I had already bought myself stuff, plus dinner, we didn't worry about something for me from the family.  But Mother sent me the Amy Winehouse biography and money.  Sister Tanya gave me money.  Wally gave me a lovely little coin holder money box shaped like a frog.  And some gold coins to get me started.  Then, at work, I was given a gift voucher from David Jones by my boss (he had hidden it behind my computer screen - if he hadn't told me it was there it could have been there years! lol!).  The new bosses in Sydney sent me flowers.



And my Facebook page has been inundated with messages.  It's so nice to have such wonderful messages sent to me.  Some made me feel very special indeed.  At work it was very quiet, and now I'm about to go home and cook some lamb chops.  Dobby doesn't have to go to guitar so I can kick back and do nothing.  My favourite!

Hope this wasn't too long and boring for you, or that I didn't sound like I was whinging too much.  That wasn't my intention, just trying to relay my experience.

Have a great week, folks.  Catch you next week. xx

Monday, 17 September 2012

Just a short note

this time, cause I ain't got much to say.

Last week has been busy at work.  Boss was away in Sydney, but Thursday and Friday I had RV over from the accountant's office (the new one in Sydney).  He is indian (Hindu) and very shy.  An amusing chappie and we work well together.  But come Friday afternoon, the work and done and I am caught up.  Even with all my sick leave.

Speaking of which, I have to have another next Friday.  I saw the doctor last Friday and he has booked me in for an iron infusion, but the hospital has changed the rules and it's now an overnight stay.  Yay for health insurance.  It would be nice if I could actually use the time to relax.  Wonder if I can sneak my laptop in??

Actually it's going to be a busy weekend next weekend.  I am going into hospital on Friday, the Jack Russell Ruby from over the back is coming to stay Friday, Saturday Fluffy is taking us out to dinner for my birthday, and Sunday I plan to do as little as possible.

This last weekend my back has been giving me so much trouble.  I took Dobby shopping to the Supre outlet.  Mistake.  She went wild.  They have a lot of cheap clothes and she bought lots.  But then she topped it off with some dearer articles and it ended up costing a bit more than I anticipated.  However, her summer wardrobe is set now.  NO MORE!

I think I also felt bad for her.  She just split up with Lurch.  But, being the trooper that she is, she did it with dignity.  She showed me the text message he sent her.  She sent him a long one back, asking if he couldn't have done it face to face.  His answer - "how, I never see you".  Well, anyway, she wasn't upset or anything.  She just shrugged it off and went about her business.  I am so proud of my self-proclaimed "tough bitch".  She handled herself very well.

So, anyway, not much else to prattle on about.  My work mac is lying dead on the conference table at the moment.  Apparently while I was on sick leave Boss told Geek that there was a huge problem with that machine.  I didn't notice... so he arranged a new hard drive for it.

But when Geek went to install it, the thing wouldn't work.  So he has had to go see if he can swap it for another.  Lucky I have the laptop....

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Brrrr

It's been cold and wet this winter here in Adelaide.  I'm really kinda over it.  We managed to have a few days in the low twenties last week, which would have been nice, had I not been inside the entire bloody day!  It was cool again by the time I left work so I didn't get to enjoy it at all.

This weekend looked like it was going to be lovely, and indeed here in Adelaide it was.  Pity we were in Nuriootpa!  The newly named Family and Friends Caravan and Camping Club had our first rally up there, and it was lovely and warm when Dobby and I left Saturday morning for the drive, but periodically overcast with light misty rain thrown in for good measure, all weekend up there (an hour's drive away).  Here I am sitting in the office at home, and it's bloody cold.

Anyway I'm getting ahead of myself.

So I've been quite this last few weeks.  Really, nothing at all has been happening.  Until last week.  I have been having health issues.  As you 3 who read this know.  One of the tests I had to do, as an elimination thing really, was an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.  For those who don't know, that's a camera up each end... I seriously hope they washed the blasted thing!

The preparation is very hard on the body.  When you're tired and vauge at the best of times, being food deprived does absolutely nothing to help that!  I started by stopping my usual medications on Monday evening.  Tuesday I could only eat bland white meats (microwaved or grilled chicken or fish - I cooked up some chicken breast Monday night and salted and peppered it), as well as a plain boiled potato or very well cooked pumpkin, white bread (plain or lightly toasted), plain biscuits, cottage cheese.  That's all.  I also had to drink plenty of clear fluids, such as apple juice, coke (Chris, you'd be happy there), water, lemonade, yellow jelly. tea or coffee (no milk) or, oddly enough, beer.

I drank plenty of apple juice and Zero on Tuesday, plus a slice of toast with cottage cheese for breakfast, and some thinly sliced chicken for lunch.  Dinner was more of the chicken.

Wednesday I could eat breakfast (two slices of plain toast, no butter or toppings) with black tea, and that was all.  I had to drink plenty of fluids, then I finished work at 12.  After running a few last minute errands I headed home.  At one I had to drink a preparation drink that tasted something like the Staminade we used to have a skids.  It was fizzy but not too unpleasant.  Than drink a litre of water or juice.  Then at two I had to take another concoction that tasted like Salvital.  Not so nice, (even prepared and refrigerated earlier).  I had to drink it one cup at a time, followed by other fluid in between, over the course of an hour.

It was a wonderful laxative.  Hence coming home from work early.  Then I had to drink another two litres of fluid through the afternoon.  My poor little botty was raw.  I also started to develop a headache.  By the time Fluffy came home from his meeting Wednesday evening and I could go to bed, I felt terrible.  And I couldn't take any medication.

Thursday Dobby was going for a sleepover, and then to the Show the next day, so she packed a bag Wed night.  Thursday morning I had to wake her then take some more of the Staminade-like preparation.  This time, because I was physically so hungry and probably dehytrated, my headache was making me feel physically sick.  I ended up having to ask Dobby's friend, who I usually took to school, to ask if her dad would mind taking the girls today.  He is so lovely and agreed.

Eventually I felt well enough to venture out to buy some last minute necessities for the others before my friend Marg came to pick me up for my hospital visit.  I still felt so terribly, with the headache and nausea, but a little better.

At the hospital I was way early but they didn't mind.  I didn't have to wait long until they brought me in to undress and don one of those wonderful backless gowns.  This place gives you a blanket to wrap around yourself for modesty sake.  As there were several doctors doing the procedures in-house there were a few of us waiting.  I made friends with another lass from the country.  We chatted a bit to waste some time.

She was called and not long after I was also summonsed.  I had to lose the knicker then, and got to make myself comfortable (as much as I could with my stinky headache) on the trolley with the blanket over me.  I met my anaesthetist.  A very lovely chap named Andrew.  Quite dishy he was.  Oh to be 40kg lighter and 25 years younger!  They ended up wheeling me into the room the wrong way and as they were turning my bed I quipped "Ooh, procedure and a circus ride".  Heh.  So, they lay me on my side, put the drip in my arm, and next thing I was out to it.

I woke up before they had finished and my first vision was Andrew.  Aah.  He let the doc know I was awake and he finished up (thankfully).  I had been spun around again while asleep so I know they started with my throat (thank goodness! lol!).

In recovery I still had my headache but i lay there for a few minutes.  Probably about fifteen.  Then they walked me over to a lovely recliner and fed me a cup of tea and an egg and lettuce sandwich.  Although the headache lingered I felt much better.  They phoned Fluffy to get him to pick me up but it was an hour before he came - he had missed the call and didn't get the message.

Anyway, on the way home we had to stop and buy him dinner and I was still hungry.  So I also bought myself a piece of battered fish.  Yummy.  Later we had cheesecake.  Geez, I'm not doing a very good job of taking it easy and eating healthy am I!

After sitting watching TV for a while I took a headache tablet and we went to bed.  As Dobby was at her friends it was lovely and quiet and I got quite a good rest.

Friday, Fluffy went to work till lunch time and I pottered about.  I was eating normally although being careful just in case.  I managed to pop out to do some grocery shopping and get some last minute things done in the caravan.

Fluffy came home at lunch time, hooked up the van, and headed up to Nuri.  I checked the Show website and found out that the fireworks Dobby and her friends were checking out weren't going to be on until 9pm.  That gave me the whole afternoon and evening to relax.  I did just that.  I didn't get up off the couch except to top up my drink and nibbles or go to the loo, as well as soak in the bath.  Total bliss!

She got home about 9.30 and the friend's father had bought them Hungry Jacks for dinner.  That man is so good to the girls. She then proceeded to open all her showbags and put the stuff out on the couch for me to admire.

After a while I insisted she clean up and head off to bed.  She did.  Saturday morning we got up early and were on the road by 7.45 am.  We stopped for fuel and got to Nuri at 9.00 pretty much on the nose.  We found the rest of the group, and wandered around to see who was there.  Fluffy was happy to see us, and Dobby was happy to see him (as, of course, was I!).

We had morning tea with the group, then Club Game.  After that we were sitting around our van magging when one of the other members asked if I would like to go for a drive with them.  I figured they were going to the lookout and wanted to know did I want to take photos so I grabbed my camera and left Dobby and Fluffy to hang out together (Dobby had just been complaining that she didn't spend any time with her dad so that was the perfect opportunity).

We drove up to the looking and I took some pics.  It was so bloody cold and overcast, but still interesting.  The looking is a park area with chunks of lovely marble and other rock carved into interesting shapes.

After we left there, we travelled to Kaiser Stuhl conservation park for a short walk.  We got to see a family of kangaroos beside the road.  One of the other folks (there were about 4 or 5 cars in our group) had a japanese student with her as well as her kids.  She was very happy (the student) to see the roos.

After another member got dumped in a small creek (her boyfriend had picked her up to step over the creek and overbalanced!) we all headed back to camp.  It was a lovely afternoon.  Kids Club followed and the kids had a blast.  The lass with the japanese student did Kids Club and she always has plenty of physical activities to keep them amused.

The club put on a sausage dinner (those cheese kranskies are to die for!) and we all chipped in with salad.  Some of the more adventurous made theirs, the rest of us bought ours from the supermarket.

At dinner Fluffy said he wasn't feeling well, and indeed went to the bathroom.  He had a bad pain in the belly and went to bed.  The teens Dobby had been hanging with went home (just visiting for the day) and she came inside too.  The three of us were just sitting inside.  Fluffy went to sleep and Dobby was asleep b 7.30 too.  Boy, talk about boring.  And the party was right outside our van, around the fire too.  I watched a bit of telly, then went up and put my jammies on.  Eventually I decided it was too early to go to bed so I joined the fireside again for a bit.  I checked on Fluffy again, and he was awake. Whatever it was, had passed and he felt better.  The fellow who, with his wife, took me for the drive, popped in to see Fluffy and eventually they both joined us at the fireside.

Rather later we all went to bed, early by club standards though.

This morning we all packed up (nothing for us to pack up, just roll up the awning and wash some cups up!) and Dobby and I left about 11.15.  We were home by 12.30.  Fluffy stopped at the office to talk to the park owners about hosting the 2022 National Rally there.  It's a huge event, with a budget of $8m.  He got home around one.  The van was tucked away back in the yard, and we were all veging out bu 2.  I've uploaded some photos to Facebook and done this.  it's now 4pm and I'm buggered.  Oh crap.  Just remembered I totally forgot to hang out the washing, and the weather was lovely here this afternoon!  Sigh...


Fluffy mucking around on the kids ride on the camp kitchen



Because the park fire pit was behind our van, Fluffy was Firestarter this time.  No one was allowed to touch his fire except while he was in bed convalescing.


This tree was behind one of the vans in our row.  Rather interesting it was, all hollowed out and showing signs of having been burned.


The view from Menglers Hill Lookout Sculpture Park.  Note some of the sculptures adorning the grounds.


Wattles always remind me of my mother, because she once told me one of the few happy memories she has of her childhood was stopping to eat her lunch under the huge wattle trees.


I rather liked this huge eagle.


Max through the eyes of the eagle.  Rather clever I thought.


Wildflowers on the hill.


Some of us milling about in the cold, waiting for the boys to plan where we were stopping next.


I'll take a picture of you taking a picture of me!


This is at the back of the parking lot on Menglers Hill lookout.  I didn't have time to read it, as we left just after I snapped this shot.


A little creek flowing across the path at Kaiser Stuhl conservation park.


I found this bit if fungus growing on a tree rather interesting.


This bloke and his family were sitting quietly beside the road.  They didn't seem to mind us stopping for a look.


Oh, for the record, my tests were all negative.  So, next week I make a time with the doc for a 3 hour intravenous treatment and then take supplements.  They made some money from our health insurance for nothing!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Goodness me

Blogger has changed yet again.  One way to get a bit of web experience I guess.

Anyway, it's been an interesting week.  Recently I was called in to the doctor's office to get some test results.  We have been working toward eliminating my pain centres.

We changed my medications - Panadol Osteo for the arthritis, Indocid for the back.  Coincidently the Panadol helped the back.  But it didn't help the achilles tendon, which worsened when the back went out.

Turns out I have some degeneration of where the tendon joins the bone, due to wear and tear.  Favouring the back has put more strain on the ankle.  And my iron levels are low again.  Sigh.

I left there armed with a note for an X-ray and ultrasound, with added steroid injection for my ankle, and a referral to a specialist for my iron levels.  Both in the same building.

But with my interstate visit, I deferred it to this week.  It's been a week of stuff going on.  First, Dobby lost her retainer, so on Tuesday I had to leave work early and take her down to the dentist to do another mould on her teeth.  Wednesday I worked back an hour, and Thursday I had to go to a meeting for the Family and Friends Caravan and Camping Club.  That's right, no more SAPI.  Sad, but exciting all the same.  It was also pouring down rain!  Amazing the amount of rain we had.

Thursday morning was also ankle day.  I was unable to get both the appointments for the same day, so it was just the ankle.  I had the X-ray, then the ultrasound, then the radiologist grabbed a medico and they gave me the steroid injection.  I have had a permanent limp for about nine months or more now.  Very painful.  I remember one rally where I could barely walk, I felt like a cripple.

So imagine my surprise when I get to the take away shop Thursday night, and walk limp-free down to the grocer and back.  It was amazing.  I am now pain free for the first time in months.  Well, in the ankle anyway.  That was way quicker than anyone expected.  I was told it could take at least 5 days.

Then, Friday morning was the specialist visit.  I parked the car a couple of blocks away, and as I alighted the car, I noted the sky was black.  Very black.  I popped the boot and as I was removing the umbrella from my bag, it started to rain.

I closed the boot, locked the car and while crossing the road opened the umbrella.  By the time I got it all the way open it was pouring!  And windy to boot!  I got to the crossing lights, and the rain had turned to small hail.  It was pouring, wet and windy.  The umbrella got blown inside out and I had to walk very fast (I simply do not run) to get to the shelter of the hospital.

I made it with time to spare but was soaked all down one side.  Never mind.  That aside, the visit went well.

I found out that my tiredness and blonde moments were typical to low iron (I already knew that) but I also found out that my restless leg symptoms are a direct manifest of the condition as well.  That made so much sense.  I have been suffering for some time with achy, tingly, jumpy legs.  Feels horrible.  I can't get comfortable and they don't seem to relax.  Jiggling them is the only way to feel any type of relief.  What an amazing thing to find the conditions are related.

Anyway, when I told him that's what I was experiencing, he changed his plan of attack.

First we are going to have an endoscopy with a colonoscopy.  Nice.  Not.  That is just to rule out any pathological reason for the low iron levels.  Once I go back for the results for that, we will make a date for a drip feed.  I could go on supplements again, but he said that for the restless leg symptoms, he would like to kick start my treatment with a direct infusion via IV, which takes about 3 hours, and has a faster effect.  The pills will take a couple of months but the IV will take a few days to a week.  I like that idea.

I was feeling a bit crap so now that I have my laptop, I was able to pack up a bag of work and head home early.  I also had to take Dobby back to the dentist to pick up her plate.  Poor lamb, though.  Her teeth have shifted and the once-straight front teeth have shifted and one now slightly overlaps the other. She is sooo not happy.

In other news, Dobby has a boyfriend.  I am not sure how I feel about that.  When we were young it wasn't done.  At all.  And add to that, she is 15, he is 17.  They don't see each other, she goes to a girls school and he lives in a small town outside Adelaide.  But they are in regular contact.

Apparently he has been pushing her to meet us, so we arranged for him to come to lunch Saturday.  They were both nervous.  Ain't that sweet?

So he comes over around ten Saturday morning.  He's very tall (around 6').  Has a stretcher and snake bites, glasses, short hair, and is quite imposing.  No, that's not the right word.  He's a presence.  Loud.  Dobby introduces him and Fluffy invites him to sit at the table where we are.  I ask Fluffy to make coffee but he doesn't move, so I make it.

Conversation is awkward.  He's not a great communicator, and I think the poor bloke was nervous.  Dobby was.  She was also doing the 40 hour famine, so she's not eaten either.

I send them off to the shop for cheesecake ingredients, which keeps them occupied for a while.  When they get back they disappear to Dobby's room (she at the desk, he on the bed, don't worry we checked!) while Fluffy and I go about our business.  I cooked Fettuchini Bolognese for lunch with a salad.  

There is a lot of laughing and chatting coming from down there.  That's nice.  He makes her laugh and she him.  Sweet.

At lunch he tells us he wants to be a body piercer.  No problem with that.  He is doing a type of bridging course equivalent to year twelve so hopefully he can get good enough grades to get into TAFE for his apprenticeship.  I hope he finds something he can do which he enjoys.

They again retreat to the room for a bit, eventually deciding to go for a walk.  They are gone 3 hours before Dobby comes back, but she was on FB so I asked what they were doing and she said they walked to Castle Plaza where she saw him off on the bus.  They both enjoyed their day and she had a great distraction from her hunger.

She came home, briefly spoke to us, then put herself into bed to watch TV.  When Fluffy checked on her later she was sound asleep.  We sat and watched Karate Kid together before heading off ourselves.  What a day.

Sunday sees the end of the famine at 12.00.  At 12.01 Dobby is at the kitchen table munching on leftover pasta.  Happy kid.  I am very proud of the job she did.

I brought work home on Friday afternoon so I had better do a little of that today.  Otherwise, think I'll just sit quiet.  Yes, think that's just what I'll do...

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Interstate Visit

This blog will be a long one, because it's got lots of visual art for your enjoyment.  I won't bother blogging about the last two weeks, cause that was just work and stuff, so nothing worth reading about there.  However, this last four days has seen a visit from my bestie Wally.

I'd like to say we turned on great weather for her.  She thinks we did - there was no hail or snow, so she's happy!  Today, she flew home, and the sun's out and there's not a cloud in the sky - typical! 

Anyway, where to begin.  
Wally arrived on Wednesday afternoon, while I was at work, and settled herself in at the motel down the road from home.  I picked up Dobby from netball and we headed over to collect her (and pizza for dinner).  It was lovely to see her again.  Dobby was also beside herself, seeing her Godmother again.

We brought Wally back home for dinner, but as she'd been a busy little beaver that day she called it a night before seven.  Piker... :-)
Thursday I had the day off work, and Fluffy took the van up to Port Wakefield for the weekend.  It was also the SAPI AGM.  He needed a few days peace and quiet and I needed serious girlie time.

Fluffy took Dobby to school, came home and hooked up the van.  After I saw him off Wally and I headed down to Hahndorf for the day.

We both were inrtigued by the candles in one store, and she wanted to buy me one, and I wanted to buy her one.  But she bought me a big one and only wanted a little one for herself, the wicked girl.  They had virtually no smell in the store, but when we got them home the smell was very strong.  Weird.

We stopped for a look at the Beerenburg farm outlet for some fresh jams and things.  I found some garlic sauce which looked very nice.  Wally found some other little delights.


After this we parked a bit closer to town and did the walk up the street.  We had lunch at "the top pub" although I think we should have gone to the "bottom pub".  Poor Wally had to go to the bathroom almost immediately after.  Badly.  While she was in there I took advantage of the flora outside the toilet block.





Kept me out of mischief for a bit anyway.

Then we crossed the road and did the other side.  Wally's dream has been to see the pandas, so you can imagine how excited she was to find this:



What she is pointing to there is the initials TW, scratched onto the Panda's forehead.  She swears she hasn't been here before to do that... we wondered if her sister hadn't been here before her!

Eventually we decided, after spending more money, on afternoon tea at a dear little bakery, that had three tables with massive cow-hide covered chairs around them.  We chose a berry mousse type dessert and scones with jam and cream.  Lovely.



One of the more unique things we did was "make our own candles".  This little shop tucked up the back had some lovely (but expensive) candles.  They are made with wax particles which are melted.  We had the opportunity, for $14 each, to make our own.  Wally shouted, because it was a unique expereince.  The lass in the sorter advised us to keep them upright, but of course, that was near impossible.  This is what happend when you don't.  Each colour is a separate scent, but although mine didn't do too bad, poor Wally's all blended together.  She didn't mind at all.  This one is mine.  I tried for the rainbow look...


Eventually it was time to go home.  Dobby was waiting excitedly for our return.  I bought her a coffee cup with a delicious bubblegum scented candle inside it, so she was happy.
Chinese for dinner in front of the crime channel completed the day.

Friday Dobby got the day off school so she could go to the zoo with us.  Fluffy came back later that afternoon to pick her up and take her up to Port Wakefield with him, to give Wally and I some girlie time.  Bless him...

Pretty much the first stop (after the flamingos) was the Pandas.  This display was outside, and the girls had to stop for a pic.




Wally was in heaven.  Don't blame her really.  This one is Funi, she's the female.  She was happy just lying in the sun sleeping.



See Funi in the background?



This bloke is Wang Wang.  Wally nearly wet herself, because he was sitting so close outside eating.  It was wonderful to see them upclose and active.  Lovely creatures they are.



After the pandas we wandered about looking at the rest of the animals.  The seal feeding was interesting too, but I didn't put up any photos of that.
We walked through the bird sanctuary, and right inside the door was a black cockatoo.  He was jumping all around the railing, making himself quite known.  He was very friendly too, you could get right up close.  Dobby took her chances and he let her pat him very carefully.



Mum would have loved that bit.  I think we would have had a hard time getting her out of there.
These monkeys were cute.  They were the white-cheeked something or others.  The little white baby was playing with her black father.  It was sooo cute!


The other animals that took my fancy were these lemurs.  They always remind me (and everyone else I guess) of King Julian from Madagascar.  Lovely creatures they are.


Wally bought us both gifts from the gift shop (Dobby loves her owl, it went to Port Wakefield with her) and I love my bookmark and bag).  We dropped Wally off at the motel and Dobby and I came back to wait for Fluffy.

After they left I had time for a quick shower then off to pick up Wally for dinner.  We had to make a stop first to see a lady about some skin care samples.  That took a bit longer than I had planned but we eventually made it to the Buffalo Bistro. 

Adelaidians will know where I mean.  For the rest of you, the Buffalo is a ship that sits in the water at Glenelg.  It's a lovely old place, although it's not very busy.  I believe it's in a spot of financial bother too.  But the food (although in the uppper end of the price market) was fantastic and the service lovely.
Here are our desserts...





After dinner it was back home.  Wally was happy for me to drop her off home for an early night. On the way out to the car I dropped my scarf.  As Wally was bending down to pick it up an elderly lady walked past and farted.  Well Wally just lost it.  She says "that old lady just farted".  I'm giggling like a loon trying to get her to shut up, but she's adamant the lady should have said excuse me.  Very embarrassing but totally hilarious as well.  We couldn't stop laughing all the way home.  You just can't take some people out in public.

That evening, the frogs decided to croak.  Roger came for a look...


Saturday we had to drive up to Port Wakefield for the AGM.  This was an important one, as we had to vote in our name change.  Fluffy has a hammock set up outside the van.  Wally decided to try it out...


I didn't get any photos of her exit.  I was too busy laughing....

This tree stump was beside the caravan.  I was quite taken with the worm markings on it.


After the meeting, we acknowledged that the SAPI Caravan and Camping Club is no longer with a ceremonial lowering of the SAPI flag.


We are now known as the Family and Friends Caravan And Camping Club.  Here's to new beginnings.

Wally and I drove home after the flag lowering, and I said my goodbye's about 6.15pm.  I had a giggle actually because I had planned on letting Fluffy know I got home, but Dobby phoned me just as I was driving down the next street.  Had I gone directly home and not taken Wally back to the motel, I would have been just parking the car.  Great timing.

Anyway, last night I got the place to myself, nothing to do, no one to answer to.  I really have enjoyed the peace and quiet.  I sure did ned it.  Even the cat likes me again.  When Dobby is home he seems to gravitate to her (dunno why, she doesn't even like him).  So he has been sleeping on my bed and smooching all around me.  Lovely.

Today it's going to be a quiet morning, then off to buy some crickets for the frogs.  I have done one load of washing (sheets) then it's just the second load to do and vacuum the floors before the others come home.  I wonder when I can convince them to go away again?  I'm not sure if the cat misses the dog or is enjoying the quiet - at the moment he's asleep on the dog's bed...