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Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not now but later

I went back through some recent comments and couldn't understand why some readers were saying enjoy my break - until I read the post where I mentioned going away again.

Honestly with all the comings and goings concerned with various things at the moment my memory is playing up- we won't be out of town until the end of November coming back early December - you'd think with the thought of 'freedom' for a week I would have that date imprinted on my mind. lol

It's been great these past 2 days knowing that A Pam is being looked after and I don't have to go running round to her place at the drop of a hat - am going to enjoy this weekend with racing on the TV. The weather man says a cool one with some showers so maybe thats going to be the best place after all - sunny days will mean I'll be outside clearing some more of those plants growing in wrong places ...............................otherwise known as weeds :)

The big race day is Tuesday - Melbourne Cup Day - a public holiday here in Melbourne and its such an well loved event most of the country watches or listens to the race as well. Chicken and Champagne Lunch, yum yum. Many of the Australian runners have been scratched for one reason or another but the crowds will still be there regardless.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Frugal Family Week

Its been a busy week with lots of thrifty things going on as well as family occasions.

We did have 1 hour of rain yesterday and then it stopped - with no more forecast for a few days.

Life is grim some times:(

As I mentioned the other day my cousin and I were due Monday to go and see another aged care facility and this one turned out to be as we hoped it would be. Warm and friendly with 'happy' looking residents.

A Pam is going in today for a fortnight to see how she feels - she has the impression its for a rest but we really hope she likes there and agrees to stay 'cose - as wait for it - she spent most of yesterday in A&E at the local hospital.

She took a tumble at home early yesterday morning and instead of pushing her alarm that hangs round her neck she just lay on the floor so when the personal carer turned up to shower her it was off in the ambulance for xrays and check up.

Its 2pm now and I'm waiting to hear when she will be discharged and then we are taking her over to the Nursing Home and safety.

This is what we have been trying to get through to her about the safety aspect of living on her own so maybe this one time she will see sense and put her unit up for sale.

Enough of my worries - Monday evening Dh and I went to another concert that Shannon was performing in.

School band this time. She's been learning the clarinet this year and loves it.

This certainly has been the year she's blossomed, she's not a girly girl or one of the 'in' crowd at school but loves her music, both singing and playing.

Only managed to get one shot of her stint on stage as that woman in front of me would not keep her head still and I gave up in the end. She's in the front row fourth from the right waiting for her part to start and as it was an early evening performance the kids are still in part of their school uniforms but minus the ties

Click on the photo to enlarge

Frugal days at home meant one day I rummaged through and cleared out all those lost looking veggies from the fridge - we ended up with a marvellous soup.

I actually had visions of another 'stew' appearing that day but didn't defrost the meat in time so parsnip, turnip, swede, carrots, celery, potatoes and half a red pepper made its way in to the pot. I had cooked down and blended a box of tomatoes the other week (one of my $2 finds) and froze it into several amounts so used one of them with water and veg stock powder for the base and just put it on to cook away till soft. Pureed the cooked veg and Voila Lunch................... as enough in the freezer for another day.

Sounds a bit of a mish mash but it really was quite tasty in a wintery veg sort of way.

Friday I made a visit to a local furniture factory for my enormous free bag of wood shavings to use for cat litter in the garage. Not indoors as they spread it all over the place - its much easier to sweep of the concrete floor than off my carpet lol

Saturday morning I scored another bargain $2 box of fruit and veg at the greengrocers.

Nice mangoes and avocadoes (a bit soft) but perfect for a fruit salad that same day, pears, apples, mandarins, big oversized navel oranges, lemons, tiny butter squash and asparagus, yellow beans, potatoes and onions. Not perfect but useable there and then and I certainly used them there and then.

We ate the oranges over the next few days, stewed and froze the pears and apples, sqeezed the lemons and froze the juice (didn't like the look of the skins so didn't grate the rinds) cooked the yellow beans with some green ones for contrast along with the squash and used the potatoes and onions in a shepherd's pie. I actually gave the asparagus away as neither of us like it.

Heres Shannon and her friends at Sofia's (an Italian chain) having a good time last Sunday evening at her birthday dinner. This is where the previous photo was taken.

click to enlarge
Earlier in the afternoon the choir she is associated with had given a concert so I took A Pam along. The mother of my daughter in law came over to say Hello and A Pam asked her if she knew her. She did not recognise Averil, any memory of times they had shared together had gone - all Averil could do was say 'yes they had met before' 'cose Pam had no idea of where or when.
Sad and indicitive of the decline that has come about during this year.
Must go now, will try to be back soon

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life moves on

Its really lovely to see how things change - like this tiny baby in my arms

To this beautiful teenager sitting beside me yesterday

Happy 15th birthday to Shannon my first grand child

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something to make you smile

For all of us who have been overwhelmed by our children when they were young have a look at this link.

Say Hello to Delilah who lives in Scotland and wish her luck.

If you read some of the other posts you will find out there are more of her kind living there and they have little ones too.

Going cheap

Theres a real b............. of a week in my house going cheap if anyone wants it. Its a week I don't want to repeat in the near future.

I'm not going to dwell on it too much 'cept to say I don't want to see the inside of another nursing home, shovel anymore wood chips or visit the vet again for a while.

Somewhere in Melbourne there has to be a nursing home that doesn't feel like its God's waiting room, somewhere that looks like it cares for its residents.

I would like it to be warm and inviting, not to be sterile or smelly, to give the impression it feels for its residents no matter what state of decline they may be in. Somewhere that provides peace and quiet, reassurance and also stimulation, its out there somewhere.

We have another appointment on Monday and hopefully this will be the one.

I am fed up shifting all that mulch - basically thats it. Dh helps for which I'm grateful but its a big task.

Theres a satifying feeling of watching the pile get lower and the garden beds being covered over which will help if theres no rain during the Summer but my back aches each evening and theres loads more to shift.

I do have plans for a lot of it but the remainder will be heaped behind the garage and left to decompose and then added to the compost slowly. In the meantime its sitting in my driveway and can't just get up and walk round there lol

My Vet or rather my cats' Vet has been a good friend to me and the animals for many years and this week had to pass on some unpleasant news. My darling Leroy has Lung Cancer. When I gather some photos together I'll write a post about him. He is a 16 year old Chocolate Burmese Cat and has lived with us since he was 3 months old.

If your cat has a cough and keeps gagging don't just assume its got a fur ball problem - get it checked out.

Now there has been one good thing happen this week - I'm going on holiday again in November.

Not planned but welcomed.

Dh and I have our birthdays in the same week and the kids have put in and shouted us both a week in Numurkah (northern Victoria) late October early November.

The unit sleeps 6 so our friends from Adelaide (the ones we met up with in Bowwen) are going to drive up and we'll spend some time together, the men are especially looking forward to the week as the nearby golf course gives free rounds for those staying at the resort.

Lots to do before then tho' - physically and emotionally. So I'm off for a bath now.

Nice warm water and some Lectric Soda Crystals will most likely do the trick - (even tho' we have really soft water here in Melbourne I use them in the washing machine as it helps get the clothes cleaner) - and I won't be bent over in the morning.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Its a groaner

A couple of my friends didn't get the joke when I told it to them.

Its a groaner, Look at the words.

It sounds like a couple of old fellas comparing operations - having a circumcions - its not the most comfortable thing for the male species but look at their ages. 5 years old.

The first one says 'I had it done right after I was born, I couldn't walk for a year'.

Of course he couldn't - it usually takes a baby 12 months to learn how to walk.

Nothing to do with the op at all lol

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Been busy these past few days - have had grandchildren over this weekend so its a short post tonight with this funny (to me) joke. Will be back another day

Two five year old boys are sitting in a hospital waiting room,while their respective mothers are signing them in for surgery.

One leans over to the other and says,"What are you here for?".

The other boy says,"Circumcision".

The first boy says "Oh man! I had that done right after I was born. I couldn't walk for a year"!.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A day in My Life October 2008

Ok well its that time of the month again - the time when bloggers all over the world write about their day.

Pop over to Little Jenny Wren's blog and you will find the rest of the participants of this monthly event.

The morning came quickly or at least it seemed like I'd no sooner gone to sleep than it was time to get up. I couldn't hang around enjoying the luxury of a lie in as we were expecting several hefty burly fellas also known as tree fellers (well I thought that funny lol) to arrive about 8am.

We had a dead tree to be removed as well as some other heavy pruning to be done so Jim and his crew were coming to do the job. Over the past few days I spent loads of timeoutside clearing pathways so they wouldn't step on other plants or trip over hoses and pots and present me with a compensation claim.

Brought the cats indoors as it would be a noisy morning, made sure there were clean water bowls and litter trays as well as some dry food available as I was going out - Dh had nothing planned so was staying at home to oversee and ring me if there was a problem.

After breakfast and shower I tidied the bedroom and kitchen, was about to put a load in the machine but remembered it couldn't be hung out as the men would be in the area near the line and inwardly hoped the fine weather would last all day as the weatherman had forecast so I could do that load later.

I manage a volunteer centre on Tuesday and Friday mornings and apart from the dishes there wouldn't have been much for me to do at home plus the noise from the chainsaws would have driven me crazy and also the other 'girl' was going to the Dr's so that meant' I had to go in. Had a busy morning on my feet apart from a couple of calls so I was glad to get home at lunchtime.

Quite a changed landscape when I got home, 2 of the heavy prunings were at the front of the house and it was as if a big hole in the sky had been opened up.

I'm sure those trees will shoot out again (some say pittosporums are weeds but they are very shady weeds ) they had become very leggy and ghastly looking and I'll get used to the look as time goes by but it really was shock to see the trunks with nothing at the top lol

It was peacefully quiet, the men had gone off for lunch and to look at another job so Dh made lunch and I sat for a while with 2 cats on my knee and talked about the morning. Whilst I was there I'd had another call form my cousin about 'The Aunt" - I know quite a few of you have been through the distressing time we are experiencing and I appreciate all your comments and good wishes, I also know we will be on tenterhooks the whole time till she is housed in special accomodation.

It may seem strange to want that instead of caring for her at home, I love her dearly and have qualifications in dementia care but we have an unfenced property and my cousin is working full time. Her son lives on the other side of the country and between you and me doesn't seem at all bothered about what happens to her :((

The truck returned to pick up the large logs ( lol I hadn't seen the cats move so fast for a long time) and I had to make the decision about keeping all the chippings or letting the neighbour have them. I couldn't see myself using a whole truck load as mulch but the chief man said there wasn't that much so I let them tip it on the driveway - they lied lol - its an enormous pile and we are going to have to move some of it fairly quickly as its difficult to get out of my car. If the truth be known its hard for Dh to get out but to keep the peace we have changed car spots :))

At long last I was able to get the washing machine going, the sun was still shining and there was quite a breeze. It had been a bit fresh whenI left at 9am but now mid afternoon the temp had risen to a pleasant 20c/68f just right to tidy up the bits and pieces and return some of the garden stuff to its proper position.

Hung out the clothes and then remembered the fruit and veggie peelings to be chopped up for the worms. I do this in a food processor, as long as theres nothing wet it chops the peelings into small bits as the worms seem to enjoy it better than giving it to them whole. Sat down for while on the back deck and enjoyed the nice weather, Dh put down his book and made another hot drink whilst I just sat and knitted. I enjoy these quiet times. The washing dried in record time but to be on the safe side I hung it on the clotheshorse to air overnight.

We had plans to go out in the evening and as I had to pop to the shops we did something we haven't done for a while................................I bought Fish and Chips for dinner and we ate them on our knees watching the news. Top story (apart form the world economic crisis) was the Federal Government 's gift to pensioners and others. As a couple we will receive $2100 just before Christmas, I certainly won't say no thank you. Wish I'd said no to Dh's suggestion about the Fish and chips tho - the shop had changed hands and they were awful. That'll teach me to plan at least a day in advance.

I think I've mentioned our once a month (2nd Tuesday night) outing to the Victorian Folk Music Club -well last night's event was a cracker.

Margret RoadKnight was the guest artist, a talented muscian who has done so much and been to so many places. After all the spot acts were over and supper (Tea and cake ) we sat for over an hour in the little hall at East Ringwood listening to her sing and were very reluctant to leave at the end.

Home at 10.30pm and straight to bed. Not a bad sort of day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Todays news from another angle

Ok so it’s like this, I’m fed up watching and listening to all the gloom and doom in the financial news and wondering if there’ll be anything left in our pension funds at the end of all this debacle so I’m going to talk about what happens at the other end of the news bulletin. No not the weather – we could talk all day about that particularly as I live in Melbourne – but the Sport.

Changing seasons mean changing sports and Melbourne is reputed to be the sporting capital of Australia so heres what’s making news around the place at the moment.

The Winter football games - Aussie Rules and Rugby League are over for the year.

Manly won the ARL Premiership

Hawthorn won the AFL Premiership

That means that the Cricket season is just starting.
A summer sport played mainly in countries that were part of the old British Empire and with rules totally incomprehensible to those not familiar with the game. Here in Oz cities, towns and even small settlements have a local cricket ground.
The Australians are in India and the local kids and adults season starts tomorrow

Lots of girls and women here play Netball, also a sport associated with England. Australia is currently World Champions and play spirited games against countries like New Zealand, Jamaica and England.
There is an International series on at the moment and the local Spring Comps are starting this week, 3 of my granddaughters play and another (aged 9) has her first game tomorrow. Same as cricket and football there are netball courts in most places but many of the games are now held at big complexes and the local courts at the ovals are just for fun.

This weekend sees the Bathurst 1000 where Ford and Holden battle it out to see which driver can become King of the Mountain. The late racing driver Peter Brock was a favourite there and a memorial statue was unveiled the other day

Now one of my favourite sports is horse racing and the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne is starting right now. This culminates on the first Tuesday in November with the Melbourne Cup.
Its called the Race that stops the nation and there are sweeps in most offices and workplaces where in days gone by things really did come a stop while the race was on.
As well as the racing there’s also a lot of emphasis on clothes and hats – Fashion on the Field gets a lot of publicity with the ladies trying to get picked as Best Dressed.
I have a personal interest in an event this Sunday - yes it Melbourne Marathon Day again. After the thrill of running her first Marathon earlier in the year one of our Dds will be pounding 42.195 kms of streets again. Wish her luck everyone lol

The cycling season is in full swing with many of our cyclists back from the events in Europe and raring to go here. Lance Armstrong will be making a comeback to the sport by cycling in the Tour Down Under thats held in South Australia in January each year. This is professioanl racing but for the normal run of the mill theres the Great Victorian Bike Ride later in the year. Feel like riding for 9 days over 590 kms - well this is for you :))

Any surfers out there?

On todays news we heard that World Champion Surfer Layne Beachley was finally retiring - a nice girl with a good attitude but theres lots of other girls trying hard to reach her standard and the current world champ Stephanie Gilmore is also an Australian. We love our water sports
In fact we love any sports :)))
Lots of links there so I hope you click on someof them to gain a beetter understanding of sport here in Melbourne

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've been home a few weeks now and must mention a couple of awards that have been given to me.

I'm not really au fait with all these awards that seem to be out there but its was nice to think someone thought about me and enjoyed reading my blog.

Anyway thank you to Denise at An English Girl Rambles and also to Laura at Frugal Domesticity for passing them on.

They are supposed to be passed on to other bloggers but I know so few so feel anyone reading this can be nominated for them anyway.

Denise is/was an An English Girl who has lived with her Dh and son in the US for many years - but look what happened to her in September - congratulations Denise. She's a bit like like me in that she talks about anything and everything - she also shows us some wonderful photographs.

Laura talks about her life as a homemaker, her writings always give me something to think about, whether its about living life in a simple manner and using her resources to the best of her ability, economical recipes or the way the price of goods and services in her town are rising theres always something of interest there.

So Thank You to both these bloggers and I certainly encourage any of you to drop in and see what they have to say.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trauma Teddies

I have been a Teddy maker but most of mine have been fur clad teddies so when I looked at Barbara at Barbara Blundell's Blog today I was interested.

She had a post today about what she calls Teddies for Tradgedies.

Loads of the little things seem to find their way to her house lol

Anyway it reminded me that I used to knit a similar teddy for our Red Cross in Australia but we called them Trauma Teddies.

Anyone interested can find the pattern here.

They are really simple to knit and a great way to use up leftover wool especially the bright colours.

I'm sure any charity that deals with children would love to have some donated.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Life and Habits

OK pity party coming up :(

This past week has flown by, lots of stress associated with my elderly aunt meaning along with my cousin I have to start looking in earnest for a nursing home with a dementia unit attached. Even tho they are becoming the norm its not easy to find one with a space available in the near future. We will just keep on looking and hoping.

Luckily we had some good weather during the week and over the weekend so I’ve been able to get outside and prepare some more ground that had become a bit over grown.

I’ve begun to cover some of that ground with the mountain of newspapers I’ve been hoarding in the garage and will cover that with mulch from the trees that are being taken down and chipped next week.

At the moment it looks like a sea of soggy grey white (wet from todays rain) covered in broken house bricks, needed them to hold the paper down so it doesn't blow around in the wind. lol

With the dry weather washing has dried and been put away by the afternoons and I have even managed to sit down some of those afternoons and do a bit of knitting which seemed to ease the worry.

Its funny but I can knit and listen to the radio and relax but digging the ground didn’t seem to do that, the hard work didn’t clear my mind and it was always thinking of her and wondering what she was going to get up to next.

I don’t want another repeat of last weeks episode with the gas stove.

Change of mood :)

Daylight saving started this past Saturday night.

Unlike many people I have no problems with it as it means I can spend more time outside in daylight during the warmer days of the year 'cept at the start it has a down side as to begin with I have trouble judging what time it is outside first thing in the morning.

Daylight at the moment is/was about 6am so I’d got into the habit of waking slowly, once my eyes were open I had the choice of getting up then and maybe doing some early jobs (more like take advantage of the computer before Dh got up) or just lying there listening to the radio.

So - as it wasn’t light this morning when I woke I lay there for a long while, didn’t look at the clock as I was trying to go back to sleep. When it did get light and I finally looked at clock………….yes you guessed right…………….putting the clock forward meant it actually was 7am so I will have to be on my toes for the next few days and check the time when I wake up lol

Now Dh uses those huge great bath sheets for his shower but seems to soak them each time - his skin tends to hold the water (hairy monster that he is) and for ages I’ve been trying to get him to form the habit of doing what we were taught (mainly because it took ages for towels to dry in England and Mum would complain all the time) that is to ‘wipe down’ with a flannel/face washer when he’s turned the tap off and before he gets out of the cubicle.

I even gave him his own little pile of old flannels that the grandkids had when little (don’t throw anything away in my house lol) but it didn’t seem to sink in - that bath sheet would be in the wash basket after 2/3 uses.

Well, he finally seems to have understood what I meant and is now in the habit of taking a clean one out of the drawer and dropping that in the wash basket when finished. They are far easier to launder and dry and the big bath sheet lasts for the week – unless something untoward happens to it.

Bye for now

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


About this time of the year I begin to think about how we have managed on our 'pays' during the year and whether we can move along at the same pace next year or whether I'll have to rethink all the finances and money allocation in the new year.

We live quite simply these days, our bills are no where near as high as they were years ago - in relation to the amount of energy used, goods bought, food consumed and number of people living in the house - so for the two of us living on the age pension and other monthly pension payments hasn't been such a problem I thought it was going to be.

When friends start complaining about the price of things I tend to agree but not make as much of a fuss as them. I look for lots of bargains and try to find a cheaper alternative at the same standard if I can.

However I wasn't too happy when the Shire Rates arrived last week and they have risen by nearly $100. That's for home owners on concession rates so goodness knows how much they rose for those paying the full amount.

In with the yearly 'Valuation and Rate Notice' (thats its proper name, we just call it the Rates) we get sent us a lovely coloured brochure detailing where the money is going to be spent which you can believe it if you want..........................

Somehow I don't think much is going on vehicle maintenance as the bin men wake me at 6am every Monday morning 'cose the brakes on the truck squeal every time they slow down in front of each house so the long bendy arm can jump out the side of the truck and pick up the big wheelie bin and upend it. lol

Now as we pay them on a monthly basis that means I'll have to find an extra $10 each month, for us that isn't too much of a problem but will be for some. But thinking about it that $10 is what we spend if we go to our local cinema - $5 a head for seniors - or one of our admissions to the folk club concert we go to each month .

Telstra have just advised us that line rental will be rising and in the post today is a letter from TRU telling us that gas prices are about to increase. We use gas for heating, cooking and hot water.

Guess its my turn to complain loud and clear.:))

Heres another of DH's corny jokes

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of trousers?

In case he got a hole in one

Boom Boom!!