Sunday, 25 March 2012

Counting down

That's what I'm doing, counting down until next weekend. Dobby is going for a 2 night bivouac for Army Cadets. She's been a right handful recently.

Anyway, to recap my week. Work. Work, sleep, work... that about sums it up. Dobby was supposed to be packing and organising herself. But, as teens are want to do, she left everything for this weekend. She got her webbing and a bag from cadets on Tuesday so I told her to go through the list and see what she needed. I also told her to clean her room as this was the last weekend for it to be done. But, that hasn't happened either.

Yesterday I asked her to pack then do her room. She took 4 hours to almost pack. As she went I was able to get her to mark off the things she needed. One of them is a waterproof sleeping bag. Well, today proved that no such animal exists. We went all over town looking for something suitable. The only water resistant ones are very expensive. She is taking the one from the van...

We did pick up a few other bits and bobs. She has packed. Mostly. Still a few things scattered around the lounge, which is driving me insane. Lazy thing she is. The room didn't get touched.

I had visitors for a bit today and I was quite ashamed at the state of my house. There never seems to be enough time in the day. I did get the floors washed but that's all.

This week I have a meeting on Thursday, Dobby has cadets on Tuesday, and guitar on Wednesday. Sigh. But, Friday she goes. Late though. 7.30. I hope they get there while it's still light out. They have to rig up a hootchie to sleep under. I also hope it doesn't rain because they'll all get soaked. Oh well. Toughen them up I guess...

I've been feeling somewhat crabby lately. Today I was ready to kill someone I was that annoyed. Eventually I calmed down but buy, I just want to scream with frustration sometimes. Don't know why. Stressed maybe? I don't think I can talk to Fluffy about it because he is under so much pressure himself. Work for him is an endless round of disputes, complaints, and men acting like children. He doesn't need to hear my prattle either.

So I'll just battle on. Try not to lash out, and try to hide myself here in the office working on pages for mum's scrap book. Yes, I did finish it, but now I'm doing the birthday party. Hopefully they'll come out okay.

Well, time to go make a cuppa then run the bath I guess. Hopefully that will ease the aching joints and soothe the grumpy mind... that and the bar of chocolate I have stashed in the freezer. Sure to help anyway...

Monday, 19 March 2012

Visual art II

So because I don't have too much going on right now, I thought I would pop up a few photos from my phone that I never got around to downloading before.

This last week was busy, with a SAPI meeting on Thursday at my place, then an Undercoverwear Party as well. Did okay there - I had $90 to spend and a half price garment. I managed to score:

1 long sleeved tee
1 top
1 pair black pants
1 knitted sleeveless vest, open at the front
1 jersey (trakky dak material) ruffle front black jacket.

All for the low cost of $66.50, and that was because the long sleeved tee and the top were on special so I had to pay full price for those. Neat.

I also went to a Miche Bag party on Saturday, where I purchased a purse for $50. Hope it does the trick now...

Anyway, on with my pictorial...

To begin our ride, the first two photos are of a play area at Noarlunga, not far from where Dobby does cadets. A few weeks ago we had a "meet and greet" with some of the support staff at cadets, and we didn't have time to come all the way home and go back, so we bought pizza and sat down at the playground. Pity it was so cold. But it was also our anniversary, so it was a nice way to spend an hour or so together.

This is a pic of Mother's photo albums all wrapped up for her.

These two old cars were outside RG's where Moose took us to breakfast on the Sunday after Mother's party. Neat, aren't they?

On the way to Cobdogla the other weekend, we stopped at the roadhouse at Blanchetown for a bite to eat. Lovely wedges they do there.... The sun was just setting, and we still had a way to go.

At Cobdogla (or Cobby as we preferred to call it) I took Lawsy and Dobby to see the train and history museum. It was a little place that had a few old pumps and pieces of machinery on display.

Cobdogla is famous for the Humphrey pump, which irrigated a large portion of the countryside for industry such as grapes and farming.

This fellow was awesome to see - HUGE! There are about 6 people sitting way up there. They got to go for a ride about 100m down the track and back again while the fellow did a running commentary.

Dobby was quite fascinated by the old motors, and actually said she would like to be a diesel mechanic because she loved the smell of fuel and oil. I'd like to see her do that, actually. She'd be good at it.

The train was about to leave so we jumped aboard for a look. It wound it's way slowly out through the back of the grounds, past the caravan park next door where we were all staying, and around some of the wine country.

Pretty area, and the weather was perfect for the day.

Just to finish off, this photo was taken on Monday morning out on my back patio. Daylight saving must be drawing to a close when we get sunrises like that after 7.00am!

Anyway, that's it from me this week. Catch you next time.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Go fly a kite

So, this last week has been a nightmare. Because I took two days off work at the most crucial time, and because of things happening at work, and because I got sick and was told to take a day and a half off, I am so far behind I could easily just curl up and pretend I don't exist.

And to make matters worse, the geek has to give me an unlock key for a program he has updated half way (I'm on a trial version until he can give me the full version), and he's offline. I need to use that program today to get myself anywhere near caught up. Sigh...

Anyway, this last weekend was the Adelaide Cup long weekend here. Which, of course, means a caravan rally! This time we headed more than 3 hours north east to Cobdogla. Cobdogla is a little place on the Murray River, population about ten I think! There are a few towns close by, but this place has a pub, and a rail museum.

We headed up after work on Friday, arriving in the dark at 9pm. Would have been a little sooner but Fluffy was pulled over for speeding. He was doing 90 in an 80k zone. But the copper was nice, letting him off with a warning. Fluffy copped lots of flack back at camp :-)

Saturday dawned sunny and cool. Perfect sleep in weather. But no, the girls, having gone to bed relatively early, were up just after 7. I crawled out of bed and up to the shower, feeling a tad more normal after.

We didn't have much planned for Saturday, with Kids Club being changed to Sunday due to the organiser being late arriving. There was plenty of time to sit and relax.

Dobby and Lawsy (her friend from Cadets who came with us), decided after lunch to go kayaking. The caravan park had kayaks for hire, but one of the other families invited the girls to go out with them in their spare kayak. Actually, there were 3 adults and the girls.

Do you think they're having fun?

One of the other adults was giving them a hard time so they decided to tip him into the water by ramming his kayak. He had a spot of trouble getting back up but soon found his way.

But in true good sport form, he soon got his revenge...

There was a lot of tipping out after that. Looked like a lot of fun from where I was standing (which, I might add, was safely out of the water on the shore!)

The club put on a bbq dinner Saturday night, so we all sat around and chatted, while the kids played Spotlight, running about like mad people. There were 19 children at this rally, plus the two vans behind us had a handful as well. Quite the noisy place to be.

There was a spectacular sunset happening over the river, too, which I took advantage of.

I like this one the best... see the stars?

Sunday was quite as well. After morning tea there was time to relax. The lass who was running Kids Club took a drive into Banrock Station, a local winery (see here), and was taking orders. A lot of the girls drink Moscato, including SOL and Moose, so I asked her to pick up a red and a pink for me to try. She also brought back some merlot for Fluffy.

In order to pay her I needed to find an ATM, and was directed to the club down the street. We went for a walk, deciding also to visit the rail museum. Just as we got there, the little train was getting ready to leave so we jumped on for a ride. It was just a little short ride around the back of the place and through the winery district. Very enjoyable.

After the ride we wandered around looking at the machinery. Cobdogla was famous for inventing the Humphrey pump, which helped irrigate the surrounding districts for a very long time.

After lunch the kids gathered for Kids Club. This time they made kites. And they were great! They flew too. The kids ran around with those kites all afternoon until the icecream truck came by...

After kids club was dinner (we joined Leanne and her parents) at the local club, then it was time for the social. We all gathered with a camera, torch, and a pen. We were given a sheet of questions/things to find or do, and off we went. We got one question wrong so we missed out, but it was a lot of fun.

Along the way there was time for another lovely sunset...

Eventually it was time for bed. Dobby joined a couple of friends she hadn't seen for a while, and Lawsy joined some new friends she had made. That left Fluffy and I childless. So I went to bed early... he was busy playing with the big boys, seeing who could peel the paint off the games room wall I believe... phew!

Anyway, Monday was pack up and come home time. We left around 11.15, and were home at 2.30. Long drive, but relaxing all the same. Two loads of washing and I was done!

Anyway, this weekend will be busy, and this week will be flat out. I think I need a holiday...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Achoo! And Happy 70th Birthday!

Well, what it week it was. Work flew by cause Boss was away and I only had a 4 day week. Have to love 4 day weeks. Should be more of them.

Tuesday night Dobby had cadets, Wednesday I had a hair cut (except she took offense at my brown hair and made it orange again. Why the heck do I let her do that to me??), Thursday was some last minute shopping (found a bra and some shoes), and finish packing.

Friday morning we were all up at 4.15. Except me. I was up at 3.45. Just couldn't sleep. Gave up in the end. Headed off to the airport about 4.45, and made it with heaps of time to sit and relax for a bit (Dobby and I like to do that). Slow breakfast and get settled.

The plane took off on time, and arrived in Brisbane on schedule. We had just enough time to disembark (which was not easy, carrying a camera bag, small suitcase thing, and a tote bag with 3 photo albums wrapped weighing it down!), and luckily we were at the same gate our connecting flight left from.

Sitting waiting in Brisbane was SOL, and she accompanied us up to Rockhampton. She sat behind me and I am pleased to say did not kick the back of my seat. Well behaved for a change she was.

We got into R0cky about 9.50 and wandered over to collect the hire car. For whatever reason, my booking wanted to charge me more so the chick redid it, and upgraded me from a Corolla to a Ford Focus (I think it was). Very nifty anyway. It was typically hot out in the carpark, but with the airconditioner going full blast, and SOL navigating (sans glasses to start with, so that was fun) we headed off to visit Moose at her workplace. It was way out of town. Well, not way out, but in the outer suburbs. Nice place, too. We met her workmates, and picked up the house key.

Blonde moment of the day was, when speaking of someone SOL knows, Moose asks "So is Fatty her real name?" Dead silence for a beat, then I said "yeah, and her last name is Boombah". We all laughed but sadly I broke out into a fit of giggles that I could not contain.

*Edit - SOL reminded me too that Moose did protest that "Fatty" could stand for Fatima or something...*

SOL came back with "That's Mrs Boombah to you!" Well, I just lost it completely. I couldn't stop laughing, the tears were flowing. And that line set the tone for the rest of the weekend...

Soon we were off again, heading down to Gladstone, after stopping for a Maccas run. Not sure what I was thinking - I can't drive and eat a burger. So mine had to wait. But, I can report that the Quarter Pounder BLT is very nice, even almost cold!

We got into town around one, I guess, went to Moose's place and unloaded our crap. Then headed out to Calliope to see the Birthday Girl. Mother was 70 on Saturday.

She was very happy to see us. Not long before we arrived, my brother Andy and his family arrived too. It was lovely to see him, as we hadn't since dad's 70th, 3 years ago. His son has grown. He, Lyss and Dobby are all the same age, with only 5 months between all of them.

Eventually we made our way home, unpacked a couple of things, and dagged about before Moose got home from work. She works in Rocky, which is more than an hour away from Gladstone, a couple days a week, so the last thing she wanted to do was cook. And it was hot. So we jumped in the car and headed out for Chinese food. Yumbo! Unfortunately Moose paid, because she wanted to use her club card. I still owe her for that, she wasn't supposed to pay for mine!

On the way home we stopped for refreshments, and then flaked out in front of the fans. One thing Qld is known for is humidity. Unless there is a breeze, the place is a killer. We helped Moose set up the bedding for the pump up bed before we went out, and after dinner we noticed that the bed was almost flat. Well, what do we do? Dobby and I were supposed to share (Moose's room and the spare are air-conditioned, so SOL had the stretcher in Moose's room).

Never mind, says I, I'll sleep in the lounge on the sofa bed. So that's what I did. An extra set of sheets for Moose but comfy all the same. The bed was way down in the morning but Dobby said it was still comfy.

SOL went to see her girls and we stayed at home, telling her that the house would be locked up if she failed to turn up at 8.29... she was late and it wasn't...

Saturday morning was the Birthday day. I was up early (Moose is a habitual early riser and the cat, Bobby, had puked. She and SOL kept me awake listening so I decided to go down and say good morning. Then I got my camera and took this:

Poor SOL arrived with the sniffles, which quickly turned into a full blown head cold. The worst part is that she cannot take anti-histamines. Imagine how uncomfortable that would be. *shudders*. And, Moose developed a migraine. Fun for everyone.

Still we had a good day. Pop approached me on Friday saying he wanted to get a table centerpiece for Mother's dinner Saturday night. But he was unable to get to the phone long enough to call Moose. Leave it to me, says I. So Saturday morning a trip to the chemist for me was followed by a visit to Lindcraft. Pop had also purchased a lovely engraved wine flute for Mother (although why is a mystery as she doesn't drink, but his reasoning was that it was something lovely to put on the table), and it was beautifully wrapped, but he was worried about the stem snapping.

So I suggested a gift box lined with tissue paper. Hence Lindcraft. I eventually found what I was looking for, but not at the price I wanted to pay. Still, it is one she can use again. I found black tissue paper to line it with, and while there, Moose and I decided that instead of a fresh centerpiece we should get a fake one so she can keep it.

I knew what I wanted to do, and I managed to find a bunch of red roses and lillies with some greenery interspersed. I also had to buy dry oasis to set it in. Then what to put it in? I settled on another little gift box and we were off.

SOL walked down to the nearby shopping centre and we collected her when we were done. A trip out to Calliope to see the family (and collect some wire cutters). I gave Mother her gift - the 3 scrapbooks. She loved them. Everyone had a look, too. It was nice to be able to see her face when she received a gift I had given. That's half the fun, but I don't get to do it often. It was a labour of love, and to see it so greatly appreciated was very special to me.

We stayed for a help-yourself lunch. It was very nice and lots of fun. Dobby and I sat with all our friends out on the patio. When Dobby had left, Tanny joined me. Moose was sitting at the kitchen counter on a stool. I said "grab your chair and join us". Next thing she wandered out with a plate (not seeing Tanny sitting out of view). She gets there and says "now just where am I supposed to sit?" I looked at Tanny and said "what exactly did I say?" Tanny repeats me with a laugh. Moose realised that she was supposed to bring her chair, and decides it is too difficult to get the stool out and goes back to her corner :-)

It was hot, and Moose wasn't getting any better, so we decided it was time to make a move. We said out see-you-laters and we left SOL in the care of Elder. Moose, Dobby and I went back home so Moose could grab a nap, stopping on the way to collect the cake. You know, cakes are expensive here in Adelaide, and you get a top notch job. But this one, was comparatively cheap, and still looked fantastic. It came out better than Moose had imagined, so she did a great job with ordering it.

By the time she did Dobby's nails and a few other bits and bobs, I had made the centerpiece and it was already time to take the cake up to the restaurant. We tossed the centerpiece in a bag and took that too.

What do you think?

Back to Moose's and she got to have a lie down. Not sure she actually napped. Dobby and I put on Ghost Town (Ricky Gervaise) and I wandered down the hall to take a cool bath. Man, there is nothing on earth like a soak in a tub, I reckon.

Moose had the fan going flat out - I wondered why she didn't put the aircon on to cool it down to rest better? So she did.

Eventually SOL made an appearance and it was time to get ready for dinner. I put the aircon on in Dobby's room and got my make up done. My hair was a write off. I got it trimmed earlier in the week and, as I said, it's now orange. And in the humidity, it was a pointless gesture blowing the fringe straight, which actually looks quite nice. So I scabbed a headband from Moose just to try to make it look reasonable.

Once we were ready I thought I might take some snaps. I am very disappointed with my photography this time. Nothing seemed to work, and when I get all the photos printed they will be grainy and dark. Wish I had used the flash. *kicks self in large arse*.

Still we had some fun playing silly.

This was a serious one - the only one I think...

Then it was off to the restaurant. They had done a lovely job, with the little alcove we were in done in red, black and white with a mirror along one wall. We were all seated below the mirror. Lucky I had made the centerpiece in the right colours!

We were first to arrive, followed by everyone else, who had come from the same place. Teen gave Mother a large box of chocolates, which I am sorry to say were not opened the whole weekend we were there! Bugga!

As chief photographer, I bagged the seat directly opposite the birthday girl (why not?). Do you think she looks happy?

Anyway, I decided to help Tanny with ordering for the kids, and chose a pizza for them to share, with chips to share on the side. I had salt and pepper squid (which was TO DIE FOR!) and Dobby actually ordered a Chicken Cesear Salad. I told her they didn't have wedges as a main, and when they brought out Andy's plate of wedges (their entree) she shot me daggers and got all hoity toity. Wedges are her staple when we eat out. Still, she did enjoy the salad.

After our meals Moose and I wandered out to the bar, and the waitress asked if we were ready for the cake. Sure are!

This is the moment Mother spotted the cake - a tell-timed piece of photography if I do say so myself... (note the reflection of the cake in the mirror?)

The sparklers went out before the cake could be cut so the waitress suggested we light some more (brilliant thinking!).

I took some shots, and lined the waitress up to take a group shot. Then Teen took some of Mother, Pop and us kids.

Then we decided we had bothered the Indian couple sitting behind us long enough and while apologising for interrupting their evening, made our exit.

Once home it was early to bed for Moose, pump up Dobby's bed again, and pull out the sofa. I actually didn't mind sleeping out there. The first night Bobby sniffed my fingers and woke me up with a start, the second he jumped onto the bed for a quick hello. The third he slept on the floor in front of the kitchen door all night.

Sunday it was oppressively hot. I remember now why I live in Adelaide. My goodness, I don't think I could ever live up there again. Moose's head was no better and poor SOL was a red, sniffly, drippy mess (nothing unusual there I hear you say). There was no breeze blowing at all, everything was stagnant.

So we did what any self-respecting southerner would do - we got into the air-conditioned car. Moose had arranged breakfast at RG's, which she paid for (two meals! Bless me! We were spoiled!) She had also arranged for a mutual friend of SOLs and hers to join us. I had met the fellow before so it was a nice meal.

While we were there Moose spoke to a fellow at another table she knew, who was there with a vintage car club by the look of it. There were two old cars parked out the front. I took photos of them too, but perhaps I'll put them up another time.

After breakfast it was back to Chemist Warehouse for Moose to get some pills for her head. Then I dropped SOL and Moose off and Dobby and I headed out to Calliope to visit the rest of the family.

It was sooo hot out there. Mother was going through some of her old jewellery and offered for Dobby and I to look to see if there was anything we wanted. Dobby made the comment to me that she would be interested if Gran had Rosary Beads (she feels she would be "safer" with a set of those). As it turned out, Gran did indeed have some - 2 sets from an old friend, and a set still in their leather pouch which used to be my grandmother's (Grandma Wilson would have been 100 today, 6th March, were she still alive! What a party that would have been!)

We looked at some other photo albums, had a bite of lunch, it was time to go see my in-laws. We had a lovely visit with them, till Fluffy's brother turned up. Now, I do not like to say bad things, but I just don't like them as parents to their girls, and they have to have the best of everything. Enough said. Then poor Nanna was so upset because she was telling me some of the issues the eldest girl has, and how her parents don't want to do anything about it.

Anyway, as I was coming home I checked my phone. OMG I was popular. Moose asked could I bring custard home for dessert (hell yes!), and Wally was mad keen to contact me to visit (we had planned a get-together for after dinner, but her domestic circumstances dictated she needed Wally time away) so I told her to come to Moose's. Not a good thing, as a guest, I know, but Moose knows Wally and was only happy to have her visit.

Moose had a lovely sausage hot pot going and I was worried we were holding up dinner, so Wally left, and just as she was Rat arrived. So we sat around (sweating because there was no breeze to speak of), and, well, shot the breeze... It was lovely to catch up with my girls. I don't see them enough anymore.

I started sniffling...

Early to bed for everyone as Moose had to get up early for work on Monday. She had to go to Rocky. I woke up with SOL's head cold. Thanks. Heaps...

We staggered about in the humidity (it rained but that didn't help any) and saw her off. Once she had gone we finished packing ourselves, cleaned up the beds, and SOL cooked breakfast (it was bloody good scrambled eggs!).

We headed out to Calliope to say farewell to the family. It was so muggy out there. Mother, Dobby and I did an ice cream run up to the shop, then because it was so muggy we decided to put SOL out of her misery and head off. It was sad, really, because we had the time to spend the day with Mother, but it was just too uncomfortable.

The ride up to Rocky was lovely in the air-conditioned car, but I admit I was having trouble staying awake. We went out to the shopping centre and had lunch in the food court. Nice to sit in the cool and have plenty of time to do just that. Dobby still had a few dollars left on her birthday (last April) vouchers at JayJays so she went for a look. She found 3 tops for $10, and a bikini for $5. Mind you, she wears those under shorts and a tee. But they fit and they are very nice.

Then we put fuel in the car and headed out to the airport. Once there I discovered Moose's umbrella under the back seat. Oh dear. Will have to either send it home or send her some money for her to buy herself another. Will speak to her about what she wants to do later (unless she comments here...)

We found we were unable to get seats near each other on the plane, with SOL way up the back and Dobby and I up the front. But I as the seat beside me ended up vacant (someone missed the flight), I asked the attendant if SOL could join us. She did, but under duress I fear. I don't think she wanted to really. It was s short flight so she didn't have to stay long anyway.

A quick dash at the Brisbane airport to our departure gate. SOL beat us there, as the back of the plane had exited faster than the front. We said our goodbyes and Dobby and I boarded our flight.

I felt horrid - nose was stuffed up, tummy iffy. This was going to be a long flight. Not long into it, Dobby was complaining it was hot. It was hot. I was feeling terribly stuffy too. Just as the food cart stopped at us, I was overcome with the need to stand up. I felt like I was going to pass out. I must have looked bad because they shifted the cart up the aisle so I could flee to the loo at the back of the plane. There was a lady standing outside the loo waiting, so all I could do was grab a sick bag out the seat pocket of the last seat in the row. I discreetly stepped around the back into the "kitchen" area, and luckily all I did was dry retch. OMG I felt horrid. Once I had finished, though, I felt better. It was considerably cooler back there. I went to the loo, then realised I was stuck. I had to wait for the two carts to come back before I could get back to my seat. Poor Dobby was worried. And, the fellow who was sitting with us got stuck with our food. I had to ask him if I could stick our drinks and crackers on his tray so I could close up mine and flee.

He was very good about it. The rest of the trip was better. Dobby and I watched Madagascar 2 on the iPad, and that made the trip go fast.

During the descent of both flights, my ears blocked completely. For some time I couldn't hear anything at all. And the pressure behind my ears was quite painful. It was very hard. I was chewing gum, yawning, everything but nothing worked.

At last we landed and made our way outside. It was so lovely to be cold again. It was about 20 outside. Quite cool. Fluffy picked us up and it was home to a clean house, a cold tablet, and my own bed. Doesn't get any better than that.

Today my ear is still blocked (feels like I have an ear plug in) but the pain is gone. Now I just have a headache, bad chesty cough, and extremely painful chest from coughing. And my nose is blocked. I believe SOL is not much better. Share the misery, I say, what? I got some time off work today, and he told me to phone him if I wasn't any better tomorrow. But I know full well he wants stuff from me that I have to get done. I think I'll just wander in, do some stuff, then come home again. Suits us both that way I think.

Anyway, it's almost time to get Dobby. Catch you again next week for more adventures. And there will be too...