moving right along…

James Eaton Whirligig

Gosh, people, where have I been? Up and down the highway back and forth to doctors, it seems.

Monday; to the City to visit my “old doctor” for a regular visit. I do visit a local doctor, but I just can’t form a real relationship, as yet, so I tend to return to my City Doctor from time to time. This was for regular scripts and a referral for a colonoscopy.

While there, it was decided to remove a mole low on the side of my neck and a few other skin issues related to my childhood spent in the Australian sun, but of course that couldn’t be achieved that day, so I had to return on Wednesday for that. The mole removal resulted in three stitches and it is just where every movement of my neck pulls on the wound. The driver’s seat belt also rubs right over it, something I didn’t realise until a few days later when Mr FD wasn’t chauffeuring me about the countryside, and I was solo in my car. Necessity being the mother of invention, I was therefore sighted driving down the highway with a cardigan rolled up and placed between neck and seatbelt! Viola.

I also had the “good fortune” to slot into a cancellation for a colonoscopy, on Friday 10th, which is still vacation time and so not needing a day off work, but we had to go back to the city for a preprep appointment and to collect my instructions for the days ahead. Things are moving along, shall we say. I have to take Movicol twice a day, start a low fibre diet from Monday, and then have the “explosive fun night” on Thursday. We have to present at the city hospital at 6.30 am Friday, meaning I have to rise at 3.30 to drink and do, before an hour’s drive to the city. Oh happy day!

Petite Fille and her Mummy came to visit for a few days as I was zipping up and down the road. One day, the local show (fair) was on, a shadow of what it was in my childhood, but Petite Fille enjoyed watching the dog show, the cows being prepared for judging, and the chickens. A man on a big red vintage tractor drove by and that topped our morning off. However, the best thing was the whirligig on a long stick that Grandma FD bought for Petite Fille. There was sheer joy on her face as she walked along with the whirligig spinning in the breeze. Priceless, as they say.

And please, do not say “there is a spotty dog” to Petite Fille, who will only reply that it is called a dalmatian. Get it right, Grandma! On the plus side, I just have to say the word “tough” and Petite Fille falls into giggles. I adore the mind of a 2 1/4 year old.

I actually followed them back to the city on Saturday, as it was Daugher1 and Mr Boy’s fifth wedding anniversary (yes, five years!) Mr Boy had asked me to babysit while he took his beloved to a fancy restaurant. It was quite the evening, where they sampled salmon, black ants and apple. Yes ants. Mr Boy stated his tasted like lemon, but D2 said the ants gave her move of a shock or zing in her mouth. They also feasted on duck egg, truffle and toast, which I had money on daughter selecting when Mr Boy shared the online menu with me. Daughter1 knew she was going out for dinner, but not which restaurant so it was a fine selection by Mr Boy.

Petite Fille and I feasted on kranksy sausage hotdogs at home, before retiring early. It was a full evening.

So week one of the holidays down! Body maintenance is the theme of the holidays. Stitches out Thursday also.

Do you ever think you sabotage yourself?

sabotage

I believe I threw a challenge out to the Big Whatever last night, when I declared I was going to sleep in. Despite ensuring the alarm was definitely switched to the off position, and checking it twice, I woke not long before dawn. Dawn!

That was it. My brain snapped into activity. Still wondering how to adapt an ICT coding unit for 10 learning support students (in one class!) who have numeracy and literacy levels equal to a year one (some less!) A couple are do not report students, meaning they don’t get A,B,C…E, but rather just comments about what they did and achieved, but they still need to be included in all acitivities. Luckily, next term, I will have a Learning Officer (current term for school aide) to assist with the class, but they are high support students – 10 in  a class of 14! Luckily it is a far smaller class than usual. My other ICT class has 24 students, only two are learning support.

No best solution there, but then my mind just wandered my inner world. Up and down, over there and back here. It didn’t help that Augie Dog slept by the side of my bed the entire time. Not only slept, but snored! He didn’t move until I sat on the side of  my bed and placed my feet beside his nose! He was to his feet in an instant. A shake of his fluffy golden retriever body and he was ready for his Saturday. I wish I was!

Wondering out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, I flicked on the morning news. More terrorist attacks. Then, I heard President Obama burst into song, singing Amazing Grace at the service for Clementa Pinckney. It brought tears to my eyes. Such a simple, but powerful moment. A gift to see a leader with humanity, a rarity in Australia these days.

On the plus side, I am still in my pyjamas. I shall cling to them like as to a life saver today.The good thing about vacation is that there is always time to nap.  And Augie? Same activity, different position. Asleep, beside my chair. It’s a dog’s life.

truth to tell

mac flamingo I kind of lied this morning. I didn’t actually feel unbridled happiness; more tired, bitter and twisted. Bone wrenching exhaustion accompanied me as I limped across the finish line, but I got there!

Today was a day of farewells to a couple of long standing staff members, both of whom are spectacular teachers who gave more than a 110% to their students and their colleagues, but neither could find peace with the new regime and so have chosen to move on. They will be missed. More than a few other teachers are feeling the same.

I don’t feel that I want to move on, and to be honest we in our fifties don’t find it easy to find new employment these days, if we ever did. I am not unhappy, just a little frustrated that things have become so governed by the rule book. That said, it is far better than the last regime – they were cruel and inhumane in their treatment of individuals and I was so glad to see them exit.

So, obviously I need this short break to recharge and regain my mojo.

Mr FD has been away the last couple of days. He and his sister have gone south to visit their aged uncle. I never enjoy the trip, so I am grateful that they decided to go while I was still working. It has been very enjoyable having the bed to myself for a night or two, however. I dare say they may arrive back tomorrow as Uncle is not the easiest of people to spend time with, but duty calls!

Next month Mr FD is having his knee replaced. A week in hospital and then he has elected to go to rehab for a couple of days before returning home. I dare say, he will enjoy the nurses fussing over him, despite the pain of the operation. He is having the operation in the same city that I teach in, so I can just run to the hospital after work each day. Joy. Not looking forward to the recovery period at home, as Mr FD can be very “needy” at such times. It will be nice though, to have him walking about again, and not in pain after as little as 10 steps! Maybe he will start taking Augie for walks – they are both a little overweight from lack of exercise!

I may sleep in tomorrow, in fact, I feel a pyjama day coming on – and I think there is rain forecast. Perfect winter holiday! carol landis

The benefits of a staycation

trailer park

Nothing like a Pimms in the early afternoon. Imbibing a drink (or two) at home, means that when the inevitable drowsiness that always follows when I drink alcohol, I can toddle off for a little nap in my favourite place in the whole world – my bed.

I have never been into camping. For me, there is no sense in going somewhere when I will be less comfortable than where I live.

I want cleanliness, (to be honest, if the place was cleaned to my usual home standards, even I probably wouldn’t want to stay there! Cleanliness. in this case, means pristine.) I don’t want to be reminded that someone else has slept in the bed, or sat on the toilet before me – even though they have. Probably, thousands, have!

I want airconditioning. No humidity, no sweltering heat, no freezing in the middle of the night.I have that at home. Okay, if I went to a country where air conditioning was not available due to national decree I would make the most of it. I am talking about “if” I have choices.

I need somewhere I can plug a hairdryer in, if I wish too. Better still, if they supply the hairdryer and I don’t have to lug it from home.

I don’t need a stocked minibar, but I do love room service. I like my late night snacks. Some nights, after a day of sightseeing or travelling, the thought of leaving the room and seeking food is one activity too many. Let me order in a bowl of fries and I will be a happy woman.

I demand ample tea and coffee making supplies. During our last trip, to Melbourne, the cleaner told us the room allocation of tea bags was four per person, per room. Hello, no. We developed the habit of walking down the corridor as they cleaned and self catering our needs from their trolley. Otherwise, I would have purchased my own. One must have tea. And milk. Never enough milk. I drink milk in my tea and coffee.

Once, when staying in Adelaide, we found a blood stain on our white sheet – prior to us entering the bed. Ugh. It was not a happy trip. It was also not the only error in that particular choice of Mr FD’s and he is still learning his lesson on that one.

The bathroom also needs good ventilation. I do not want to have to travel with a candle in a tin to rid the bathroom, and our room, of bodily odours. Not that I have any, but Mr FD is sadly human. Doesn’t take much to install a bathroom fan – in fact make it a fan heater and your will score top marks, Mr Hotel Manager.

Late checkout is a blessing. Not being charged for a late checkout is utterly civilised, but seemingly more rare these days. It is nice to be able to freshen up before that trip back to the airport.

motel 1

I don’t want to hear the neighbours. I have more than half an acre between our neighbours and our house, at home. I realise that is impossible in a hotel, but at least make sure I can’t hear their voices, their television, or their plumbing. And never their children!. I want to pretend I am the only person there, except for Mr FD. If I can pretend he is not there all the better.

I need decent pillows, and more than one per person. I have neck issues, I don’t function well with a pillow that instantly flattens to the same width as the fabric of the pillow case. If I wake with a headache, your day will not be a happy one.

I don’t think any of that is too much to ask, do you? I am worth it, and if I am going to make the effort to stay in their hotel and be nice to the masses enroute, it is the least they can do.

I like cable television with a full range of channels, as I do, at home. Not just sky news and fox sports. I mean, think of the marketing if you get some unsuspecting visitor hooked on decent cable, and then they might go home and subscribe for the services. Cut a deal. It is the least you can do, for me.

Oh, and towels that don’t smell mouldy. Thick towels that are line dried fresh in the sun. Yes, I have that at home. Not greyish towels that smell like they were picked up from the floor and rehung for the next guest.

The simple things in life really are the best, and a happy Flamingo Dancer means a happy world – for everyone else. Just do it!

motel

Toast eating dogs and mulch covered trees are a few of our favourite things

FD topiary

Saturday.

Brisbane had its coldest winter morning in over 100 years this morning. Our Village is always colder than Brisbane in winter and usually hotter in summer. Lucky us. I didn’t peep my nose out form under the blankets until 9am and then only because I knewI needed to clean floors for Petite Fille’s visit tomorrow. Nothing like a visiting floor dwelling toddler to get floors cleaned!

Augie Dog appeared to me miss while I was away, and has been over excited ever since I returned yesterday. He can be quite enthusiastic in his love, and may I add that having a 40kg golden retriever land on my cold, bare foot is not one of my favourite experiences. He still garnered a slice of peanut butter toast for breakfast though. It is that GR face, and his all encompassing love!

Son pruned the shrubs at the front of the house during my absence. Some of them had grown to roof level and do provide some nice shade in summer, but as this is the dead of winter it is a good time to cut back and allow the afternoon sun to warm the living room. Our house is double brick walls, and we are finding that there is usually an 8 degree difference between interior and outside, which is something to be thankful for in winter!

The shrub branches were mulched and spread under the fruit trees, which were fertilised as well. Spring should be fruitful! Our lime, orange, mandarin and lemon trees are all doing well, and hopefully will grow to good fruiting size this season. It is wonderful when Son is on a break from university as he spends his time in the garden. I suspect that in another life he may have been a landscape gardener, but for now IT is his career path.

get well

Mr FD is still suffering post wisdom tooth discomfort and it must be over a month now, but I am happy, ecstatic! to say that the pain is lessening, and he is slowly improving, though it had been a long haul, especially for me! It is a year since his knee surgery and we appear to have done little except sort out niggling health issues for him ever since. A high maintenance Mr FD!

Another frosty night forecast, so I need to encourage MR FD into bringing in some wood for the fire…

 

Dry those tears, she hath returned!

"La Reina de Corazones" (Queen of Hearts) - Jose Louis Muñoz

One would think that as Flamingo Dancer, the one and only, that any grandchild of mine would have little doves fly down and take their poop to heaven. It has come as somewhat of a shock to discover that this is not in fact true. Proof was the “granny jackpot” I aced this week while staying with Daughter1. I was “lucky” enough to get three poopy nappies (diapers) on each of the three days I was with them. Petite Fille, may I add, has a robust and fully functioning bowel. (Won’t she love to come back to this page in years to come and read these comments!)

I read Petite Fille’s copy of the Play School Nursery Rhymes Book at least 8 times each day. We particularly liked Mary Had a Little Lamb, and the Grand Old Duke of York. Humpty Dumpty was not far behind, especially when Grandma sang the rhyme.

She has also learnt to climb couches so Grandma got quite the workout racing across the room to snatch up falling baby girls before they toppled backwards off couches Grandma had  not in fact seen her climb. Grandma also multitasked by pushing a swing and blowing bubbles simultaneously, or at least wheezing bubbles until stars started appearing before her eyes.

One morning we wandered Ikea, until Grandma could walk no further and begged to be released – and it had been my idea to go there in the first place! Petite Fille may have added a stuffed Pig and a Fairy Doll to her growing toy box. The Pig is the out and out winner, much to her Aunt’s delight when she was sent a photo of niece and pig, as Aunt’s own collection of pigs is secure in a corner of the garage.

christmas fd 1

 

Daughter2 is flying home for a friend’s wedding this weekend, and will be with us on Sunday, along with her Lovely Boyfriend. As they won’t be with us on Christmas Day this year, we (I) have decided to make  Sunday lunch a mini Christmas in July – at least it will be cold and we can eat more “traditional” Christmas fare. No tree as I am too busy (lazy) for that, but the table will be decorated. Hopefully Petite Fille won’t be too confused and require therapy to adjust to the reality that in fact there is really only one Christmas and it is in the dead of summer!

 

Then it is back to work on Monday – Term 3. Minerva texted this morning and asked if we could send in a message that the library would be closed for another week due to lack of interest from the staff! Any guesses as to what my reply was?

I is for iron

iron

Monday

The excitement never ends!

After a day of rest on Sunday (yes, rest from rest. It can be done, I have perfected it!) Monday rolled in, a hair combing day. Drove to neighbouring village to purchase a new steam iron.

I do not like to iron. Minerva irons tea towels. I barely iron any clothing, and then only my own. The need must have been low as it is easily three weeks or more since our old iron broke (the temperature selection dial ceased to select a level and so remains cool if not outright cold) but back to work next week and needs must to securing a replacement.

I remember when Mr FD and I married,  to receive an iron as a wedding gift was an amazing present, as they were quite expensive. And no, it was not the era of Mrs Potts irons on the wood stove, there was electricity! Today, the store was offering an iron for just $14! Less than the price of a pizza!

However, it did not offer automatic shut-off, my only prerequisite as Mr FD is somewhat forgetful on the iron switching off front. We spent too many years retracing our drive from the end of the street to unlock the house so that we could check the iron was switched off and wouldn’t burn the house down in our absence; or presence on more than one occasion!

My purchase was $59, well within my projected budget, which allowed me to also purchase three new cotton blouses for work that my new iron will slide over with ease.

I was so excited about my outing and equally exhausted by all that civilised behaviour that an afternoon nap was called for.

Stay tuned for Tuesday – a blood test and a visit with Daughter1 and Petite Fille. Oh the action never ceases!

it is all very subjective, really

mememem

Saturday

Feeling a little bit not me, today. I am not sure who I am, perhaps you, which wold explain everything… or not.

The phone rang twice today – incredible need to rise to niceness.

First call was my sister to report on her preemie granddaughter who will be four weeks old on Tuesday. She now weighs 3 lbs. The baby, not my sister. Is still having a little air to support her breathing, and small doses of caffeine to help her remind her to breath (I think that was the explanation). I wonder if she is going to demand morning coffee in her bottle? All going well though for Mum and Bub, though sister is yet to meet her fourth grandchild as she has had a chest infection and therefore banned from the hospital. Good things are worth waiting for though.

Second call was from Daughter2 who arrived home from 6 weeks in Europe. It was the first time I had heard her voice in about 7 weeks so I was a wee bit excited. They had a grand vacation, and I am sure would have missed me if they had just remembered me, but such is the mother’s lot. I have been told that they won’t be with us for Christmas Day this year, as they will be with Boyfriend’s parents, which is fair enough, but, but – this is me! She is rejoicing in that she won’t have to assist with Christmas this year, just be a guest, and I thought, wow, that would be nice… ah well, be careful what we wish for, right?

Neighbour’s Daughter met Augie Dog and asked if she could take him for a walk, and Mr FD said YES! He didn’t warn her about how STRONG a 40kg golden retriever can be – and is, or that Augie Dog makes up his own mind on where he will or won’t walk. Then again, Augie, loves the girls so may just be a meek little puppy. Don’t lay money on that though.

So, how is your day? Any suggestions on who I might be channelling today and how do I send them back?

keeping the home fires burning.

firewood

Friday.

It was all go today. HAHAHAHAHAHAHhahahahaha.

We had a local supplier deliver a half yard of fire wood. High excitement. We didn’t have to buy wood last winter as our neighbour had chopped down a tree and gave us the wood, plus we gathered wood from our own garden, but supplies have run low for now and so a half yard of wood was the order.

The previous owners built a little raised hide for the wood, so hopefully there won’t be any snakes in this wood pile!

So we have a lovely warm fire heating the house tonight. I never get tired of sitting and watching the flames flicker and flare. Very meditative.

Holiday – one week down, one to go.