Tuesday, July 31

Rose & Lorna.

In a time BQ (before quilts) I made porcelain dolls, as a hobby. I love every aspect of making the dolls, & I also love to make the clothes for my dolls.

It is an expensive hobby, & I made clothes for others, who didnt sew. I also constructed the dolls bodies for students who didnt wish to do it for themselves. This way, I could still afford to keep making the dolls.

We had a little local shop in the suburb where we lived, that sold fabric, laces, ribbons, buttons, & some clothing. All at bargain prices. It was a sort of offloading shop for a clothing manufacturer in the city.

As I was often in the shop, I got to know the girls who ran the shop, quite well. We became friends, & would share a laugh or two.

Rose was the Manageress. She had the most beautiful golden hair, & a lovely smile. Her mother had come to Australia from Poland, I think, & she said her father & mother had fought loudly & fiercely until her father left. Then her mother began to have a series of boyfriends who behaved badly, & she & her sister spent many fearful hours hiding in the wardrobe in their room.

By the time I met Rose, she was married & was expecting her first child. She had a beautiful little daughter, who had her mother's gorgeous hair, & dimpled smile. And within 3 years Rose was having another baby, & another little girl was born. Rose often had the second baby at the shop, and she was a dear little girl too.

Lorna was the other permanant assistant at the shop, a quieter girl. She had Scottish parents, & told the story or how, when her parents had been about to emigrate to Australia, her mother had consulted a fortune teller. The woman had told her that she would be moving to another country, & that she would give birth to another child in the new country. Lorna said her mother had scoffed. There was no way she would be moving country, & certainly NO way she would be having another baby.

But her parents did move to Australia, & her mother gave birth to Lorna.

There was another girl, called Margaret, who did part time assistant work at the shop, & she was a single mother, who was fiercely proud of her 8 year old son. She began another relationship with another man, & we heard the ups & downs of the relationship. Then, Margaret got pregnant again, & she was advised not to have the baby, as she had a problem with her heart. But Margaret swore she knew the baby would be a girl, & she was determined to have the child.

The father of the baby left, & Margaret was once again alone with her son. She did give birth to her little daughter, & was so happy. She arranged for her daughter to be cared for & returned to work, part time, as before.

One morning Rose opened the shop & waited for Margaret to arrive. Lorna was having the day off.

Rose rang Margaret, & her son answered. He told Rose he couldnt wake his mother. Margaret had died in her sleep. Which was just so horrible to think about. The children were in danger of being split up, after Margaret died. I think her sister wanted the daughter, but didnt want the son. I dont know what eventually happened to her children.

But that terrible death, was how I came to be the new casual part time assistant at the shop. I had not been into the shop for a time.

We had moved, & been through all sorts of harrowing times with a court case, for unfair dismissal, which we won.

What a hollow victory that was. It cost us almost as much as we ended up with financially. After the appeal, -by the ex employer- we were awarded more than the first Judge had awarded us, we were advised to take our case to open court where, the 2nd Judge assured us, we would be sure to receive much more money, than could be granted in the Industrial Court.

The toll it took on both of us was very high. Both emotionally & physically. It came at such a bad time, & was quite crippling in a lot of ways.

However, at last GOM found another job, & I began my new career as a Bank Teller. Which I loathed! I cried every weekend because I would have to go back to the bank on Monday.

So, after a stern self lecture, I told myself not to be stupid, I was 50 years old, & could bloody well do as I pleased, & no job was worth that kind of misery. And I quit!

And went to visit the little shop to purchase some small items for sewing. And was pounced on by Rose & Lorna.
"Where have you been ?!" "We have been waiting for you to come in!!"

A little shocked, I asked why? Then they proceeded to tell me about Margaret, & how they had both decided that they would like me to work with them, if I was willing. My lucky day! I just asked how soon could I start! And I loved it, & as we worked, I learned the stories of their lives bit by bit.

Rose told me how she had had a very bad love affair, & she had decided to kill herself. As she lay taking pills, her cat came & planted itself on her chest, & meowed at her so plaintively, she changed her mind, & began to think of the cat, & how no one would care for it if she wasnt there. And she chose to live instead. And then met her husband to be, & they married.

I really did enjoy working with those girls. They were such different personalities. They had such different backgrounds, & different lives. But we all got along so well.

Bread, Everything I Own.

Monday, July 30

The Emporers New Clothes.

I was treated to a nice little act this morning.

When GOM got up- later than usual- he rushed off to have his shower, & came out dressed in his 'working about home' garb.

This consists of trackpants, a T shirt, & a Polar fleece top. For years, he refused to wear trackpants, on the grounds that they very often look quite indecent, & tend to display men's 'kit & kaboodle' rather excessively, and/or obscenely.

I finally managed to convince him, if they fit well enough, they were perfectly acceptable, & were twice as warm as conventional trousers, & also given to a greater degree of comfort.

As he is mostly very reluctant to purchase new clothes since his retirement, I quite often buy things for him, out of desperation, since he tends to wear things until they are falling apart.

One particular pair of trackies, were on sale for some ridiculously cheap price, so I bought him a pair. When I got them home & he eventually tried them on, it was obvious they were a touch large for him. In fact they came up to his armpits almost! If he pulled them down to the area that now passes for his waist, the arse bag is almost down to his knees.

So of course, they are the cause of much hilarity to the whole family. They call him 'Harry High Pants', when he wears them. I offered to take them to exchange for a smaller size, but in his little display of perversity, he insisted he was keeping them, & wore them, so I could not exchange them.

So this morning he came out with the large trackies pulled almost to his armpits, & I burst out laughing. Then had to tell him to please not make me laugh, it hurts. He then proceeded to do an impression of a lumbering ape, with hands to his knees. Capering about, grunting, & leering at me. Which of course made me laugh harder.

I think he has a sadistic streak in him, somehow.

And I recall, a shirt I once bought him, once again on sale. When he tried it on, he was appalled that the sleeves, which were meant to be short were almost to his wrist. And he insisted on wearing it, & mocking me each time he did. We had had a series of shirts that had been far too small for him, in spite of being labelled XL for Extra Large. So naturally I was trying to prevent repeats by getting him XXL.

He flapped about saying he was about to depart on safari, & would just go & change into his tent.

And it reminded me of a man we knew who had been stationed in Singapore with the Army. His wife, was apparently a very large woman, & he used to tell stories about her. (We never met her) One of his stories was when she had wanted to buy a new bra, she had gone to the largest Department store in Singapore, & asked for the Undergarment section. The assistant had asked her what she wished to buy, & when she told her a new bra, he insisted the assistant had said, "Yes madam the tent section is over there!" A patent lie of course, but he got a laugh.

I get furious with GOM at times for not being sensible, & just buying himself much needed new clothing. He will look at shoes for months before actually buying a pair, whereas I make a choice with lightning speed & just buy them. I cant understand all the pfaffing about. If they fit, get them.

I have finished all the extreme pain meds, & am the normal Paracetamol for pain relief. I just feel as though I have been socked, good & hard on the jaw.

All the little floating ends of the stitches are quite disconcerting. I wondered if some passing insect had wandered in there, while I was sleeping slack jawed, but realise it is only the ends of sutures, & they will dissolve.

Ben E. King, Spanish Harlem

Sunday, July 29

Only When I Laugh.

Well, the Evil Fang was safely dealt with on Friday morning. Very painful, but I wont dwell on that.

I must say, the Surgeon is a very kind & caring man, who has a wonderful manner. And the lovely young nurse who assisted him, is also a lovely person, so they both did their best to minimise a hideous experience. And were full of apologies over the missed appointment.

And I was happy to note I never caught sight of Ms Whipped Hairdo- perhaps she was away having a blue retouch, & another pot of 'product' applied!

I have spent the last 2 days zonked out with painkillers in bed, just dozing, & being waited upon, by attentive GOM, so I cant really complain too much.

He has been feeding me slops & generally making sure I am ok. It has not really been as bad as I anticipated, & the old frozen peas seemed to work very well to minimise the swelling. I only hurts when I laugh too hard now!! haha.

I had a phone call from a sister, in NZ yesterday. She had no idea I had had my tooth out, & was surprised to learn I was lying in bed. She told me she was also recumbant, having cracked a bone, & torn tendons in her ankle. She said her "Kitchen Bitch" has been waiting on her hand & foot, & she has even got him trained to anticipate her needs now! He sounded very cheery, & only too happy to be waiting on her. They had just had a holiday when she damaged her ankle, so at least they had most of their holiday time to enjoy themselves.

Before the Fang came out, GOM & I had done a little grocery shopping. As we strolled around the aisles I did my usual people watching. A proud Grandmother was wheeling a baby, & the daughter -or maybe DIL- was moping about the bread aisle, & muttering about vegetables. The G suggested "A piece of pumpkin perhaps?" The DIL mumbled "We dont actually DO pumpkin" To which the startled MIL said, loudly, "Pardon??"

I hate the fact that 'drug' expressions & phrases seem to have entered every day language. Or is it only me? What the hell is "DOING" pumpkin?? What happened to eating? or even just liking or not liking?

It is a slightly cloudy, but sunny day here today, but seems to be very chilly. Kind GOM has been off to get me further painkillers, & made me a coffee. I had dog bodies to keep me warm in bed, but they have gone off outside today.

I have been reading all the blogs I missed out on over the past couple of days. It soon mounts up, when you are not reading them regularly. While I was dozing I thought of lots of post ideas, but they seem to have drifted off when I woke.

I am sure they will return.

Still getting all my music back upstairs.

Neil Diamond, Morningside.

Thursday, July 26

Extreme Happiness.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has commented on my last post. It is a comfort to know I have someone on my side. And nice to know it can make others laugh- I laugh to cope with some of these little life curves!
So, thank you All for taking the time to comment.

Well, one thing went completely 'right'! The new carpet got laid in good time yesterday, & we are very happy with it! It is a type of honey colour, & little Honey sort of blends in with it. We are going to tell people we wanted a matching carpet for our dog. The TV was my biggest fear. To get everything reconnected is a major puzzle of wires & cords threaded through a maze of holes in the rear of the unit. I have trouble getting down onto the floor, what with the dud knee & all, & once down, I am more or less 'cast', like an old ewe!

GOM just doesnt seem to have an affinity with electrical appliances, so it always falls to me, to do the connections, & ensure all is up & running. Anway mission accomplished, I am happy to say. And I managed to get off the floor, with a little help from the GOM.

While I was down there, I took a few moments to just enjoy the nice new carpet, & admire the colour. You know, ... make every moment count! haha.

The cheery young men who laid it were very efficient, & have done a beautiful job of it all, so we are much happier, now that it is all done at last. Has the approval of Adult Granddaughter, & Daughter J, so that is a plus as well.

Now, it may be going to take a month or more to get things back to normal. I am hoping to do a little culling of the 'stuff' while it is all 'out in the open', so to speak. GOM has actually been quite restrained in his comments at the sight of all the 'secrets' revealed. I did hear him muttering about a 'garage sale' with a friend.

But I figure I will deal with all that once the Fang has been dealt with, & the healing has taken place.

And on the culinary front, I made a Meatloaf for our tea, the evening before carpet laying. I am sorry there are no progress shots, but here is the end result, half eaten. haha.

Please dont mock my ancient burnt orange bench tops. I try not to look at those, when preparing food.

Here is the recipe for the meatloaf, which has served us well for two nights now, & GOM is partial to slices for sandwiches.
500 grams Mince -I used pork mince, since I dont eat beef.
1 cup of diced mixed vegetables, fresh for purists, or frozen for people in a hurry like me. I used the carrots corn & peas mix.
1 good sized diced onion. I precook mine in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Just seems to work better in the finished product.
1/2 cup of either mixed seasoned Bread crumbs, (stuffing mix) or plain bread crumbs with 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs.
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt & pepper to taste. I use about a teaspoon of Maggi seasoning mix.
I also added a tablespoon of Sunflower seeds just for a bit of crunch.
Mix all the indgredients well to blend.
Pat into a loaf tin.
Pour 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce -ketchup for USA users I guess- over the top of the loaf.
Gently pour a half cup of boiling water over the top.
Bake at around 180 C for approximately an hour or until done. The water evaporates, & the result is a nicely glazed meatloaf which is nice & moist.
I have also made a large batch of Pea & vegetable soup, & will make another different version today, so I will have plenty of slops to live on while the jaw heals up.
Connie Francis, Among My Souvenirs

Tuesday, July 24

At Least One Thing worked out

This is the patched floor.

All being well, tomorrow should see the new carpet laid.

The Evil Fang is still in situ!

I think my subconscious must have known it was not coming out yesterday.

I seemed unnaturally calm all day.

Then, when we arrived at the surgery, we were informed that they were running a "good 20 minutes late" "Would you like to go for a wander, for a while?"
Biting back the urge to scream NO! we left & drove off in the car.
GOM thought he would just & register the car, in the spare few minutes.
Didnt happen. Queues abounded, & time ticked away, so he came back out, & we zoomed back to the Oral Surgeons.

To be met by Mrs Mutton-dressed-as-lamb Mrs Whipped Hairdo, indicating me, with a stab & saying "Is this the patient?"

I instantly knew, this could not be good. Mrs Whipped Hairdo proceeded to inform us that the Surgeon had been urgently called to operate at the Hospital, & so he was unavailable to do my "Proceedure".

Which irrating term now seems to be what they use, instead of the actual, factual, 'removal' or 'pulling' of the tooth.

I was so angry I couldnt speak. She made a new appointment for Friday morning, at 8.15am. And I suppose there are no guarantees that will work out either.

GOM had a face like thunder. We left speechless amid Mrs Whipped Hairdo squeaking "It cant be helped. We are sorry. But someone's in trouble"
Which just seemed to make it worse.
I felt like yelling "JUST SHUT THE FECK UP!!"

Monday, July 23

The Basket Post.

I have a bit of a 'thing' for baskets. I love the idea that someone made each one. Spent time weaving the cane, shaping the basket. And, most likely, got paid very little for making it, & using their skill to ensure it is a worthy vessel. I dont love that aspect of the baskets. I hate to think of how little the weaver got paid, & how much the trader asks for the basket once it reaches our market shelves.
I have quite a collection of baskets. None of which, I have paid the market asking price for. I have purchased mine at garage sales, for a few cents, very likely paying close the what the creator of the basket may have been paid.
I got to thinking about my baskets after reading Tanya's post "Hell in a Handbasket."
It reminded me how much I love my baskets. I love the natural colour of the cane, & the differing shapes I have. I just love their handmadeness.
Mine are certainly suitable for going to Hell in. The particular one I have shown in the photo is the only one that hasnt been banished downstairs, in preparation for the Great Carpet Laying.
It does not have a flat base. It wont sit flat. But I like it all the same.
I have various sizes, of baskets. Some are empty, most contain a WIP (work in progress) of some sort, or just some fabric I like.
I know they are really impractical for storing things. They dont stack, they are the wrong shape for tucking into corners. They take up more space than they need to. But, I still love them. I like them for fruit, or eggs in the kitchen. Not that any of mine are used for that purpose.
GOM fails to see the attraction in the baskets. He cannot understand my love for them at all. But he tolerates my basket passion, so I cant ask more than that!
Perhaps if I was a poet, I could write an Ode to a Basket!
Today is to see the carving out of the Evil Fang.
I have been trying not to think about it.
There was supposed to be a visit from a floor person, to fix the soft mushy spot outside the bathroom door. He will not be here till tomorrow morning at 7.30am. I have made plans to booby trap the underfloor & do him a serious mischief
I had several colourful thoughts when I was told that news. I am sure I will be in no state to complain tomorrow. I have been warned my jaw will be EXTREMELY swollen.
Slava Grigoryan's whole album, Another Night in London. Very soothing.

Sunday, July 22

Sunrise it is.

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

This would seem to be pretty accurate.
I found this over at Mrs Goodneedle's Strawberry Patch, so thought I would see what the verdict was, for me.

These days, I am a morning person. I was not always a morning person.

As a child, our mother would come into my bedroom in the mornings, & fling open the curtains, saying "Rise & Shine!" or "Wakey Wakey!"
How I came to hate the sound of those curtains, & those words.

I was like a bear with a sore head in the mornings. I just wanted to stay in my warm little cocoon of blankets, in my bed with the saggy kapok mattress on a wire wove base. It was like a warm little hammock. I would reluctantly stumble out to wash & dress, & have my breakfast.

And as I got older, my disposition didn't improve in the mornings. I would get out of bed reluctantly, & grouch & grump out for breakfast. My mother & brother wouldnt dare speak to me. I would sit glowering, scowling, & surly, radiating a positive aura of "I DARE YOU TO SPEAK TO ME". I am sure my brother will remember it well.

I have no idea, really, why I was so hostile in the mornings.

And I would carry the ill humour off with me, to catch the bus to work. Thankfully, by the time I reached work, I would be in a better frame of mind, & be able to be pleasant to those around me.

When my Best Friend J came to stay, I was, perhaps, a different morning person. I would get out of bed, & go out & make us coffee, & toast with lashings of butter, & marmalade, & take it back into my room for us to eat in our beds, laughing about our previous night's fun- or not.

When we married & had children, there was not much choice about rising. Babies dont care about such things as mother's sleepins. And small children are always ready with boundless energy in the mornings, for breakfast, mischief, & play. And the days needed to start early, to fit all of life's chores into the hours.

When I went to stay on the farm with my Aunt & Uncle, the days always began early. And I never seemed to mind in the country atmosphere. I loved the early morning mists, & wonderful stillness upon the world, before the day 'began'.

The busy warm bustle in my Aunt's kitchen, where the coal range would be going, started by my Uncle when he rose first. And my Aunt would cook lamb chops for his breakfast, with eggs, usually. And he would ride off on his horse to begin his day. Or walk down to the shearing sheds to begin the day there.

Now, I love the solitary time spent in the mornings. I dont always want to rise so early, but Leo often dictates the hour. And I find I can read peacefully, or read blogs, now. Or sew, if I am swept up with a project.

I used to get up, & walk in the misty mornings, before my knee decided that was not the way it would be. I loved that early morning time, and all the world seemed your friend. The few souls out & about would say 'Good morning' or at least grunt at you.
And if it has rained, the wonderful early morning chorus of birds' pure joy! They seem so appreciative of the rainwashed freshness of everything. I am always reminded of Don McLean's Winterwood!

And now, I know you are just dying to know about the mouse?

Well, I can report it is well & truly departed this life.

Leo got my up rather early on Saturday morning. An urgent trip outdoors was required it seemed, & as I rushed into the pitch black kitchen, I almost fell over as my foot skidded on something.

Cursing & muttering threats to the dog, thinking he had crapped had an accident, I flicked on the light. To discover, to my horror, I had slipped on the extremely small body of the (hopefully, already dead) mouse. I felt very sorry when I saw it's tiny black body. I am well aware of the disease potential they have, but I still felt sorry it's little life had to end.

I hope it didn't have any relatives with it. It was a very small little critter. And of course, in death it looked even smaller.

I dont believe Leo had even noticed it. Far too pampered.

And the arm. Well it is not a pretty sight, but I am sure it is not infected. It is not painful or red, & is just simply ugly! Heh!

Joan Baez, Lily Rosemary, & the Jack of Hearts.

Friday, July 20

Just mundane slog, mumble mumble.

No drama, disaster or anything much.

Thank goodness, the painter has been & done our ceilings very neatly, & efficiently. A man of pride in his work. He told me he was 'Not a messy painter.' And he was right. He told me he came from Serbia originally.

I was amazed to see he drove a Mercedes Benz, & had his ladder, & general paraphenalia in the back seat, and his painting equipment, & drop sheets in the boot When I mentioned it was a fancy car to carry painting gear, he shrugged & smiled & told me it would only sit in the garage otherwise. I thought, what a good attitude!

And now, my 'sewing room' is no more. We have packed most of it away, so I feel a little naked without my clutter about me. Bare bookshelves, & the machine all folded away. GOM carted all my books downstairs. The room down there looks like a bomb has exploded.

The dogs have had an anxious day. Very concerned when the painter came, so GOM took Leo into our room, & I had Honey in here with me.

My arm is very sore. I have used that spray on bandage, which is amazing. It is even water proof. Leo didnt mean to do the damage, he was struggling to get free while I was brushing him, a task which he does not like much. Just an unlucky strike with his claw.

There has been no more sign of the mouse, so we are hoping he has eaten his fill & gone off to seek water, which is supposedly how the bait works.

It is darkly gloomy with clouds & a cold wind, so a day inside has been my choice. We have had the Airconditioner going to warm the cold rooms.

Reading over at Stomper's about lovely linens, has reminded me of how much I miss having flanellette sheets. GOM claims he cant abide them, they irritate him, & so we are 'not allowed' to have them. I could never survive without my electric blanket! If we have to have cold cotton at least it needs to be warmed up before I get into bed.

I was reminded of a wedding present we received when we first got married. They were 2 sets of horrible white sheets, whose giver shall remain nameless. Let's just say it was not from my side of the family. ( Yes that is a little nasty! heh!) About the 3rd time we used them our feet plunged through the very fabric! ( And no comments about newly weds vigourously ripping them, need to be made here!)

I think they must have been so old they had just about rotted away in their packages! I am sure they were a recycled gift, & they were supposedly twill cotton. I was happy to toss them out!

As I have aged, I have got much braver about such things too. When we first married, I agonised over some chairs we were given. They had been gifted to GOM for his first marriage. I am sure most of you could relate to how much I detested those chairs! I couldnt wait to get rid of them. And to add insult to injury, one had a hole in it! And a canteen of cultery, that my MIL had given the first 'happy couple' as a wedding present. I was apalled. I never used them, & preferred my cheap collection of odds & ends, from my single days. At least they were mine, & had no sad history.

It never seemed to bother GOM, I suppose because they had been gifts from his mother, but I felt it in bloody poor taste to inflict them on me. Sure we were paupers when we married. Had about 25 pounds between us, but we were happy, & both worked, so we could save, & get things gradually.

Well tomorrow is another day. Let us hope it is a bit warmer.

Shane Nicholson, Keep It Together.

Thursday, July 19

Mediocrity Reigns

A fine example of Leo's design capabilities. Remodel some pictorial drink coasters. The ones depicting beautiful scenes of New Zealand's scenic wonders. Just chew them to shreds, & we can sit & contemplate the beauty that once was.

That used to be Franz Joseph Glacier! I have never seen it in reality. And now, thanks to Leo, I cant see it pictorially either!

And here is the bastard, small dog that wreaked havoc on the Coasters.

Isn't he just the picture of innocense hah haha.

And here is Honey curled up next to him. "I am not part of this! I want you to know, that when you go out, I just sit & watch that destructive little demon chew things to death. Never mind that I wish I had the nerve to do it. I DIDN'T!! So he is the naughty boy!! I think he should be chastised, ...& punished!!!"

"But I am soooo cute! I didnt mean to! Honest, I was just joking! Really, I am such a gooood Boy!!"

"Really, I AM a GOOD BOY!"
Please look away if blood offends you! I know it is not a pretty sight. I think it will be OK. I have sprayed it with some virtual bandage. It has stopped bleeding.

I thought Leo has 'mortally' wounded me. He has dug a claw into my arm, & peeled off sheets of *^&** "blinkety blink" scads of skin, on my arm. I probably should have gone for a Tetanus shot, but hope springs eternal...as they say.
I will pretend I have deliberately soft focussed the pic! So you wont vomit at the sight of! Not a pretty sight.
I am getting pretty chicken hearted at the sight of blood.
When I first went nursing, I was not bothered by blood.
But, My Gosh, did I feel different once I had given birth to children. I cant explain the change. And if one of said children showed blood... a calamity, of indescribable proportion. Panic. Illness. Stomach cramps. Pain in the centre of your being.
Your whole uterus is cramped with panic. What is happening to the fruit of the womb??
Impossible to describe, unless you are another woman. And you will know the feeling. Uterine. Almost to the bowel. Impossible to describe. A type of disembowellment.
Being a 'MOTHER' is never an easy burden, nor a light load.
But the rewards are indescribable.
Augie March, Mother Greer.

Wednesday, July 18

Tiresome Details.

I love this little rock, with the little lichens? or whatever the little colony is.
They remind me of the diseases they grow in petrie dishes.
I discovered it, while waging war on the fish fern, which I dont mind in small patches, but it had invaded this garden, & it took a lot of hard work to tame it, after a fashion.

It creeps in under the neighbour fence, seeking haven & life in our garden.

I have had 'one of those days'.

The little details, & trivia that can be guaranteed to just tip the balance between a good day, & a mediocre one.

It has been very cold, -in fact yesterday was supposedly one of the coldest days for 21 years or something. Why do they bother with 'facts' like this?? Does it matter??

Our bodies tell us it is bloody extremely cold. That is all that counts as we skip about on our bald floorboards, & dance between the meagre drops of water, in our watersaving shower head!

Urgent phone calls to the repair people have solved the painting dilemma. The painter is now arriving at 7AM!! Friday, to begin painting the ceilings. Ye gods, couldnt they have made it a bit later in the morning...

And we think we have a 'soft spot' now, in the bald flooring. No answer, re that. An answer was promised. Mr Smartypants Insurance Repairer lectured me on NOT phoning him. "Does the paperwork name my foreman?" Sheepishly, "Yes."

Smarmily, "Well, you phone him then."

So, I did. O yes, on his mobile, because the office doesnt answer. O no. And the result is, he will call me back from the office, when he gets there.

Blah blah blah, mutter mutter mutter.

In the end, we are driven out, into the frigid air, to shop for luxuries such as medication, dog food, vegetables, soap.

Home again. No message from Mr Smarmy's Deputy, on the answering machine.

A friend arrives to share coffee. A welcome change of thought patterns.

Come wearily in here, later, to perhaps blog a little.

Disconcerted by a small black mouse scurrying into the room, & vanishing under the computer desk.

Drat!! Damn!

Call the dogs. They are too well fed. Couldnt care less!

So I will have to set a trap. Always supposing I can find it.

I can hear the little blighter rustling at the window end of the room.

I suppose it want warmth in this cold winter we have suddenly had arrive in our corner of the country.

Bread, Diary.

Bread, If.

Tuesday, July 17

Memories of my Mother.

Today would have been my mother's 87th Birthday.
She was born on July 17th 1920. She died on August 17th 1997. Here she is just a little girl. She was the only daughter, & had 3 brothers. Two elder brothers, & one younger. She loved them all dearly.
Here she is happy with her Brother-in-Law to be, at one of their country Dances, when she was young.

Here she is with my Beloved Brother & I. I still have the gold buttons off the dress she wore for that photo.

Here she is with me, on my wedding day.

Here she is with my Beloved Brother & his Wife on their wedding day. I am on the left. Thank goodness hats had gone out of vogue by then!
Here she is Proud Grandmother with my Brother's 2 eldest boys.

And here, she is with my Brother's youngest son.
Because we lived in the South Island, I dont have many photos of our children with Mum.

In this one, she is Proud Mother, Grandmother & Great Grandmother.
I still miss her, even though it is almost 10 years since she went.
In many ways she had a sad life. But she loved her family dearly, & she was a fiercely loyal little person. She had no desire to be called a 'Lady', always said she wasnt one.
I was lucky enough to manage a visit to stay with my mother on average of at least once a year, for most of the years I lived away from her. And she would come to stay with us when she could.
She had a wonderful sense of humour, & could be very sharp of toungue if she disagreed with you. She was an extremely hard worker, & she made a lovely warm, & welcoming home for all her family.
In her last years, she lived next door to my Brother & his family, & I know she got a lot of pleasure out of those boys, & they loved her. My children also loved her dearly, though sadly, they didnt know her quite as well because of the distance, but she came to stay with us often, & would be sure to be on their side most of the time, if there was conflict. She was a great Grandmother. (Though, I always told her she was too thin! Grannies are supposed to be portly -like me!) haha.
For you Little Mary:
Anne Murray, Little Snowbird.
Fleetwood Mac, Albatross.
The Seekers, The Carnival is Over.

Monday, July 16


I love this painting.
It belongs to my Neice, & I am sorry I cannot remember the name of the painting or indeed the artist.

It so moved me when I visited my Neice, I took this photo of the painting.

It was purchased in Queensland, from the Artist, by my Neice when she & her husband were over here on holiday. It now lives in New Zealand.

Over the weekend we have seen a fair bit of our Small Grandson. Some of it has been slightly less than attractive. He seems to have developed a habit of almost hanging, physically, from his mother, when she is trying to converse, or give attention to anyone, other than SG.

He does not act like this when he is here alone with us, & it is very vexing for his mother.... as well as the onlookers. I confess, my fingers itched a little, & perhaps if he was my son, he would feel the sting of a clip about the legs.

DJ does not believe in hitting children, to her credit, but I cant help but feel there are times when a well timed little smack can work wonders.

As things have worked out, our two grandchildren, who are both our daughter's children, have ended up being raised as 'only' children. Our Granddaughter is an adult now, so she is (almost) done with her childhood. And now our Grandson has all his growing up to do, more or less as an only child.

I realise children get bored in adult company, & it is always harder for a lone child to amuse themselves, than it is for children with siblings. Though some children seem perfectly capable to do it alone, & our Granddaughter was never as demanding as SG seems to be.

I was lucky to be raised with my brother for company, and our children grew up having each other for company.

Over the years I have often felt sorry for lone children. I realise life doesnt always work out the way it may have been planned.

I have a friend who had a son, & tried & tried to have another child, but it just didnt happen. Then, when the son was 5 she had 3 more children in quite rapid succession- to her dismay.

The eldest was by way of being a 'horror child'. Not sure why, but he did some very bizarre things, to both animals & other children, his siblings included. We never left him alone with our children.

And the worst little witch 'darling' only child I think I ever met, was a girl of about 6, who was the only child of a couple who had achieved the pinnacle of material goods. A huge mansion of a house in the best suburb, a huge yacht, with membership in the top Yacht Club in the city, a successful business of some type.

I was invited for a day out on the yacht. Shouldn't have gone. Loathe being on the sea. In it, yes. But not on it.

Anyway this child was the absolute darling of the aging parents. The beautiful but faded & very tired looking wife, whose lined face, & drooping hair seemed to belie the money that must have been available to spend on pampering. (Though, it was in the days before plastic surgery, & botox etc) The posturing husband, who, I swear tinted his hair, & seemed decidedly vain. Wearing his sailing get out, complete with appropriate cap, to denote his standing in the Yacht Club.

And the child, who was an uglyodd looking duckling- & who knows, she may have grown into a swan- whined & whinged & was rude to all who were invited for the day's outing. I caught the eye of my girlfriend, & she pulled a murderous face behind the child's & parents back. My girlfriend's fiance was intent on impressing the father, so he was being treacly sweet to the child.

The final straw came when the child gazed up at my girlfriend & said, very slowly & loudly, "You are ugly!"

There was a horrified silence, & my friend, who was in fact a young & pretty girl, just shrugged & went bright red.

But the mother's reaction just floored me. She smiled in her faded way, & said dreamily, "They say children tell the truth."
I was so shocked I wanted to lash out & slap both the child and the mother. I had to leave & go up on deck for some fresh air.

As I see it from this distance of time, I suppose the mother was jealous of my girlfriend's fresh youth. I suspect her husband was a flirt, if not a playboy.

I think the parents did the poor little child a disservice, but who knows. Perhaps she grew to be a complete B!tchlovely person.
I suppose it must be very hard, when parents have longed to become parents, & cannot believe their luck when they actually do have a child, not to spoil that child, & give it every possible thing it ever wants. But surely raising a child with so little disregard for others, in such total indulgence, is not really doing the child any favours?

I loved my kids, possibly too much. But there were certain boundaries they were taught, & certain morals and rules to respect others.

Sure all children will blurt out inappropriate things, at inopportune moments. I am sure there is not a parent alive who cant recall some redface horrifying utterance from a child. But there is a vast difference between that, & actually condoning & reinforcing a child's utter disregard for the feelings and rights of others.

OK I will get off the soap box. I am sure I made as many mistakes raising my kids as anyone else.!

And, I have known many lovely people- & children- who were only children, & their parents didnt make them into monsters!

Phoebe Snow, Sweet Disposition.

Sunday, July 15

While you make plans...

While you make plans, LIFE has a way of taking the decisions away from you!

We didnt get our lunch date. We had a plumber call to deal with drains. Not exactly the way we had planned to spend our anniversary 'lunch'.

So, enter plan B.

It was a very cold day, so in the afternoon, wrapped in a quilt, I snuggled down for a snooze. GOM came to keep me company, & discussed an evening out.

We ended up going to a Club & had a meal at their excellent Chinese Restaurant. And it was very nice, & we enjoyed ourselves, & we had a few laughs about how often things go awry, only to perhaps end up being better than the original may have been.


****Thank you so much to everyone who left comments, wishing us well.*****

Yesterday our son came up to stay, & we spent a lovely evening with our children & grandchildren.

And so, today I will have them for lunch before our son is off back down to his life in the city.

So, once more thank you for you kind wishes.

Tracey Chapman, If Not Now.

Friday, July 13

HOW Many Years??

Well, here it is, our 41st Wedding anniversary.
And this was taken on the day. And I dont need rude comments about the hat thankyou! They were all the 'go' back then.
I dont really know how I came to wear it though, as I hated hats, & never wore them as a rule.
Over the years I have been asked did I keep it to use as a family 'po'. Family can be so unkind! Actually I did keep it for a number of years. Cant imagine why, as I never wore it again.
The day got off to a good start, here this morning. 5.45am we are woken with retching sounds coming from Honey.
How odd to think I had posted about such a terrifying sound, recently. You guessed it, we never got her off in time, so we got up, changed all our bed linen, & GOM said he would remain up.
I insisted he go back to bed, it is still cold, & he would be lost if he got up so early in the morning. So we wished each other "Happy Anniversary" & I began my day, & he returned to slumberland.
No idea what the problem with Honey was, she went off outside, then returned looking for some breakfast. She seems perfectly happy now. I felt sorry for her, as she always endeavours to get off the bed in time, as a rule, if she is not well.
We still havent decided what we are doing for our little celebration. Lunch probably, as it is too cold for oldies to go out at night, haha!
At least the choice of food will be much improved on what we had on the evening after we were married. We might go to a nice Chinese Restaurant for Yum Cha, as we both enjoy that.
We went to what was considered one of the top Restaurants in Auckland, for our 'wedding breakfast', in the evening after we were married. They had such delights on the menu, as Mushrooms on Toast, as an entree. And I can report, they were tinned mushrooms, because I asked. And the reason we can remember the menu so clearly??
My mother in law stole a copy of the menu! I was so mortified. She stuffed in under her jumper, & kept her coat closed. The waiter knew it was missing, but he wasnt about to frisk a large woman in many layers of warm clothing!!
I really cant remember why we got married in the depths of Winter. As I recall, I think GOM, who of course was NOT GOM in those days, just went off & made the booking. So there we were. It was a Wednesday. It was about 3.30pm.
We had to rush off to try to find a wedding ring to fit me. I had really slim fingers, & all the rings we found were too large. With no time to have them altered. And I wanted a broad wedding ring. Finally we found a small jeweller who had just the ring I wanted. He happily obliged us by altering it while we waited, & laughed when he learned we were getting married that very afternoon.
Then GOM had to rush off out to the airport to collect his mother, who had not actually been invited to the wedding, but decided to invite herself! And invited herself to stay with my mother! We had figured since we weren't actually having a wedding as such, we wouldnt bother about invites. And GOM's family all lived in the South Island, so it never occurred to us anyone would bother coming up. It was GOM's second marriage, & I was not the flavour of his mother's month.
My mother was quite stunned on meeting GOM's mother. She had never met anyone quite like her. However, she made her welcome, & did her best to find conversation. And I dont think she stayed too long. That is a little detail I have forgotten.
And despite all the predictions to the contrary, we have had a happy marriage mostly. Sure it has had it's share of ups & downs, but we have had a lot of fun along the way. With more to come, I am sure.
Roy Orbbison, anything.
Dusty Springfield, I only want to be with you.
I hate blogger, for not publishing with all my carefully made paragraphs!!grrrrr.

Thursday, July 12

All the Blue you Could Want.

This is today. All the blue you could wish for. This pic was taken about 4.15pm, looking to the East. A few clouds out over the ocean. It has been a lovely day as far as weather goes.This was yesterday, a nice enough day, bit chilly, & a little sullen in parts, but fine.
We have spent the day packing up our 'stuff' in the lounge. It is just amazing how it all accumulates. I think it mulitplies while we are sleeping & then establishes itself in dark cupboards. Then before we notice it, we have mega masses of glasses, kitsch, nic nacs......
My knee is protesting in a nasty way, about having done multi trips up & down stairs today. My back thinks it has been assaulted & is about to cease cooperation.
We had SG here for a couple of hours while his mother attended a meeting. He was very good, & wanted to help pack up. As long as he thinks he is helping he is happy. His task was putting all the photos into a bag to carry downstairs. When he saw his photo taken when he was about 18 monthd old, in a football jersey, holding a football, he told me that when he was little he used to kick the football everywhere.
He was sporting a large scrape of skin off his face. The 'best friend' had pushed him off a bike at pre School. He didnt seem overly worried about it, just shrugged. Best way to be, I guess. That particular best friend seems a little prone to be rough, but SG still likes him.
Now we have a date for the laying of the carpet, 2 days after the removal of the evil fang. So it will be wise for me to get all the packing up done before the tooth pulling, which is to be on 23rd, & I dont think I will feel too chipper afterwards. It must be playing on my mind, as I dreamt about it last night.
GOM has been a very busy man, carting loads of boxes downstairs, & he made us a cup of tea, & we sat outside & took a break this afternoon. I dont drink 'normal' tea, only herb tea, & I see he decided to have one this afternoon too. SG had Milo, so he was happy.
A neighbour dog barks all day, & it sets off our dogs. I wish I knew the secret of getting our dogs to ignore the barker. I feel very sorry for neighbour dog, it must be lonely.
Now we have the plumber here, to repair the leaking drainage pipe. I doubt that it will be fixed this evening, but the pit has to stay there for another day/night until he gets back.
At least our leaking roof is supposedly now fixed. A man came & leapt about & banged & clanged & knocked & replaced 2 tiles so hopefully it wont leak again. This is the 4th time Insurance has 'fixed' our roof after storms. Now we have to get the ceiling painted in the lounge & the kitchen. It seems to be one of those patches in life, where things clump together, & all happen at once.
And here is the ugly mystery item revealed. It is a plastic dog bone toy, in a Xmas theme. It is so hideous, I have been tempted to ditch it, but Leo seems to think it is quite nice, & he roars up & down the house with it in his mouth. It is such stiff plastic, he cant make it squeak, so perhaps it can stay. I guarantee, the minute I get on the phone to some important poo bah, he will find a toy that squeaks, & give it a super duper workout.
Tomorrow is our 41st wedding anniversary. I think we might dine out. It might be a lunch date. I can remember countless anniversary lunches, where either one of us had the flu, or it was so bitterly cold we wished we could stay at home. We usually just celebrate it quietly together & have never made it a family occasion. We never had a 'Wedding'- it suited us to have a quiet little Registry office tying of the knot. Never regretted it for a minute. And it has lasted a lot longer than a lot of full blown weddings. And a lot longer than predictions would have had anyone believe it would!
Roy Orbison, Blue Bayou.
Roy Orbison, Shahdaroba


Wednesday, July 11

A different perspective.

I find I can get caught off guard, when confronted with everyday items in odd or unusual places. I dont seem to have a process whereby I can work out what the heck the object is or is part of.

Photographs of objects taken out of context, or out of sight of the whole object, get me every time. I am no good at those guessing games, "What is the mystery object?"

This little item, horrified my Granddaughter this morning. She looked at it, & kept say "EWW!"
Showing her the second view didnt really help either. It still looked "Ewww!"
No prizes for guessing. I will just leave it to your imagination. I am sure you will all have a better idea at working it out than perhaps I would.
I have never kept a regular diary or journal. When I was a teenager I had diaries that I kept intermittently. I would find whole weeks would go by, & I would not give a thought to writing in the diary. And then when I did remember, I would not have clue as to what had happened in the missing time spaces.
As an adult I have also had intermittent diaries. Re reading them has not always been a great idea. Some years, have been years from hell. It has seemed throughout my life that the bad patches have come in waves. Sometimes the bad parts have been veritable tsunamis of cr@p! Health, illfortune, mishaps, disasters for children. Wave after wave, until it seems there have never been any good times.
I used to write regular letters to my mother, since we lived so far apart. My mother kept a lot of those letters, & it was like reading my life, when I reread them after my mother had died. I still havent thrown them away. But I will.
My Aunt told my brother that she had kept all the letters she had received from our Uncle, while he was a prisoner of war. And he had kept all her letters to him. And, it is now 12 years since our Uncle died. Recently, our Aunt said, she had destroyed all the letters.
My brother was horrified, & told her she was a naughty woman. But I sympathise with her, & know how she feels. As she said, they were nobody's business but hers, & her husband. Which is how I would feel. I would not like any one to find my diaries & read them. I would not like letters I wrote to someone in a very personal vein to be available for public reading.
I can see my brother's point of view also. There have been a lot of historical letters which have been made available for public reading, well after the person or persons concerned, have died. I am sure some people have no thought of anyone reading their letters after they have died, & wouldnt be concerned at the thought that someone might, one day read them.
I know our mother had letters our father had written to her, while he was away overseas during the war. She must have destroyed those, as there were none among her things after she died. I dont blame her.
As a record of people's lives, letters can be very revealing. As diaries can be. But would you want someone reading your innermost thoughts or feelings. I wonder.
And here are our two woolly 'babies'. Snuggled up on GOM. He is not really asleep, just pretending to be. It is another cold day here, though at least it is not raining, & there is a bit of sun struggling against the chill winds that are blowing.
Neil Finn, Secret God.

Tuesday, July 10

Tagged Again.

It seems I have been tagged by Finn for a 5 things meme.

5 Things I wish to do before I die.

This is hard. I feel myself thinking, but I have done most of the things I wanted to do before I die... does this mean I am ready to die?

1. Travel to Canada. I would love to see Canada, it looks so beautiful.

2. Ride a huge Roller Coaster. I know in my heart that I would die, if I ever did.

3. Visit Heidelberg. I used to send telexes & faxes to Heidelberg, & would love to see it 'in real life'.

4. Write a book, -or even just write. I never really thought about this, until recently.

5. Make many more quilts.

5 Things I Can Do.

1. Laugh about most things... not always at the time, perhaps. But give it time..

2. Make really good, come-back-for-more, fattening, rich, gravy! My family love my gravy. I have seen members have it on toast for breakfast! I have seen some of them drinking it!

3. Make a quilt. I am proud that I have mostly taught myself how to make passable quilts that people love.

4. Read & enjoy reading. I know that sounds simple & perhaps silly. But so many people cant read, or dont get the chance to read. I am so lucky to have time to read whenever I like, & also have the ability to concentrate & enjoy books. I recently spoke to a man who has had a stroke, & finds he can no longer read for any length of time, & he loses his concentration. He really mourns this loss in his life.

5. Make family feel welcome & comforted. My daughter tells me she always feels better after talking to me, if she is worried.

5 Things I Can't Do.

1. Yodel. Oh I cringe when I think of how hard I tried when I was young. Luckily, I did most of the trying out of earshot.

2. Play the Piano. I always wanted to learn. I dont suppose I ever will.

3. Get enthused by snow. I have no desire to get to know snow any more than I do already. We lived about an hour from top ski fields, but I never felt I needed to get to know them on an intimate basis. And I certainly never felt the need to ski. I have met snow, I have watched snow fall, I have played in snow with my children. Enough for me.

4. Get interested in sport. Just doesnt happen for me.

5. Ever eat tripe. I dont eat any other part of a beast...why on earth would I want to eat it's innards. (sorry for the squeamish among you).

5 Things that Attract me to the Opposite Sex.

1. Eyes.

2. Sense of humour.

3. Conversation.

4. A slight (or more) tendency to 'chubbiness' has always worked!

5. Love of children & animals.

5 Celebrity Crushes. This is a bit hard, I have never really been one for celeb crushes. Boring little solemn realist. If I cant meet them, dont care about them.

1. GOM, when he was HYPH. (Happy Young Publican Husband) I guess he was a 'celebrity' in our world.

2. Robert Redford. Liked his acting, enjoy his directing.

3. Robert De Niro

4. Cant even think of his name...the actor who plays the Sheriff in Deadwood. Drop dead gorgeous, dark, brooding good looks.

5. Paul Newman. Amazing eyes.

Now, I am supposed to nominate 5 more I would like to do this meme.
So here goes. No pressure!

1. Lone Grey Squirrel.

2. Kim at Ragged Roses

3. Mrs Goodneedle

4. Zita

5. Sheila, aubirdwoman

I hope this is not an imposition. I was going to choose a man, as they can alway give a nice twist to the mix, but perhaps next time. Or they can feel free to join in with it all.


The SIL has rec'd his quilt, & seemed duly delighted. A fight almost ensued about who would use it first. He gave me 2 kisses to say thankyou. I think SG was so happy to see it in their house. He always said it had to go there.

It is not really funny, but they took SG for a haircut today. The hairdresser got half way through the cut, stopped, & told them he has lice! They, of course were appalled. Who knew....

They have been down the road with all the over priced useless treatments available at GREAT COST from the Chemist. They found through trial & error with Adult Granddaughter that plain old thick conditioner, laboriously combed out with a nit comb is the only solution.

I know I am tempting fate here, but I have never had them in my life, & so I am hoping I will avoid it this time around. I remember what a terrible disgrace it was considered when I went to school. I think they called them cooties, & were treated like pariahs. Poor kids, it is an ongoing scourge to mankind. They seem to be immune to all the chemicals that are shaken at them. Very unsettling.

k.d. lang, Till The Heart Caves In.

Monday, July 9

Woo Hoo A Finish!

I finally finished Son in law's quilt yesterday. All I have to do is make the label & it is all done. I have backed it will flannellette, so it will be nice & warm, & my daughter assures me she is going to use it on the top of their bed, when he is not using it in the lounge. They love their quilts.
SG will be very glad it is going to their house- he wanted it to be his, & when I told him it was not for him, he said well, it needed to be in their house!
I am going to call it "Something to Crow About".
I saw the meme about Horrifying Sounds, over at Bec's & decided to do it myself.
I am not limiting myself to recent events here.
1. GOM, calling plaintively from the bowels or our Pantry, "Do we need to keep this?"
That can be horrifying on so many levels. Why is he delving in the pantry again? What hideous find has he discovered this time? What forgotten food has been quietly rotting while I was unaware it was even there?
2. A bloodcurdling scream from a bedroom.
We witnessed several of these. Perhaps the worst one, was from a child with a cut foot which is literally spurting blood all over the carpet. She had done hand stands on her bed, fell on a drinking glass -forbidden in the bedroom- & badly cut her foot when it landed on the glass. It took years to have all the glass removed finally from her foot. We had friends who kept pigs, & our son had been reading the various pig books they had. He had been reading all about black pudding. He said we needed to keep the spurting blood in a bowl for black pudding.
3. A bloodcurdling scream from the front door when it was shut - at my request.
Daughter shut door, not realising son had finger in the door edge. Result, one severed finger. Luckily it was reattached.
4. Now any child's bloodcurdling screams send me into paroxysms of horror.
5.Retching sounds from the dog, who happens to be lying on your bed, in the middle of the night.
You know you are not going to make it out of bed, & grab the dog before it actually vomits on your nice new quilt.
6.Retching sounds coming from the guest bedroom, where a very drunk guest has gone to spend the night.
What else can you do, but clean it all up. The guest is beyond doing anything for themselves, even stand. Resist urge to kick them while they are down.
7. Another horrifying sound is the sound of your thoughts, in your head, as you plot revenge, for said guest letting themself get in that state. Why dont these men learn!
8. Tinkles coming from a package that you just know should not be tinkling.
And no one will accept liability. Suck it up & wear it.
9. For a final horrifying sound, our recent sewage tainted flood, out into our carpets.
Now neccessitating replacement of the whole house full of carpet.
Which will be nice,... but a hell of a way to get new carpet, I can tell you.
Don McLean, Winterwood

Sunday, July 8

The Thief Post

I have decided to steal a meme off H & B, because my brain is on holiday.

This is the Wikipedia Meme, where you type in your birthday minus the year,
then list 2 birthdays, 3 events, & one holiday.

Sounds easy. Then you get there, & there are so many things to read the eyes glaze, & nodding of the head begins. Perhaps it is too early in the morning. Sunday sloth.

19th February.
2 Birthdays.

Tim Shadbolt, Mayor of Invercargill. A Kiwi whose life & times have been extremely colourful in parts. He wrote a book called Bullshit & Jellybeans.

Karen Silkwood, Amercian activist. She was fiesty & brave & clever, in spite of being treated like an idiot female!

3 Events

1600 - The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina exploded in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
This seemed a suitably huge event for the date.

1861 - Serfdom is abolished in Russia.
I have always hated the concept of serfdom or slavery in any society.

1878 - The phonograph is patented by Thomas Edison.
My goodness what a favour he did! Music for the masses. Music is a vital part of my well being.

1 Holiday. Well, there are no holidays!! This was the only interesting item I found.
February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

I seem to want to just sleep. I even fell asleep on the telephone yesterday! Luckily the person who was talking to me, didnt realise what had happened.
Once the call was over, I just sat & slept!

It must be wind-down after the anxiety of the tooth, sort of post panic inertia.

Had a trip to a Mall with DJ yesterday, & we had SG with us. He was quite good really. We visited the pet shop to see the poor little puppies. They look so sad to have to sit on shredded paper, & just beg to come home with us. They are so expensive, most of the people who would give them good & loving homes, cannot afford to pay the huge asking price.

We worry about what happens when they dont sell, & they get over being cute puppies? Are they put down? Are they given to the RSPCA?. (which is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

Questioning the young staff doesn't elicit any answers. They squirm & their eyes slide away to the distance, & they murmur evasive words, which don't make much sense. Or, they insist that they all sell, & go off to new happy homes. I somehow dont see it being true.

They are 'designer' dogs, bred for the market. Mainly Poodles crossed with other breeds. Supposedly antiallergenic. Not all of them turn out to be 'pretty'. Some look unhealthy. I think those shops should be prevented from being allowed to sell those poor little things. They claim they are expensive so that only serious owners will buy the pets. I dont see that as true.

Perhaps I should become the mad dog lady, & mount protests outside the shops. Wearing my tasteful dog haired top. And tasteful dog haired pants.

And now, I can go & begin packing. Or I can complete the quilt for the SIL. Having restocked cottons for the quilting. Which is proving a very taxing exercise. I wont be doing too much more of that style of quilting! I will end up a hunchback.. in a dog hair outfit! Charming.

Augie March, One Crowded Hour.
Joan Baez, Cry Me a River.

Friday, July 6

Dont You Hate It When....

You get all psyched up for something... & it doesnt happen!

That is what has happened about the Evil Fang. It is still in situ.

I have been a nervous insane slightly overwrought wreck all morning. Had to quaff the wine in large doses to get off to sleep last night, so I wouldnt panic all night.

Filled in the time waiting for the appointment by reading favourite blogs. And trying not to even think about it.

So GOM decided to do another random pantry sweep. Just to keep himself occupied. It goes something like this;
"Do we need all this oil here?"
"What? what oil? We are out of Olive Oil, we need some."
"Yes I know, but what about this oil?"
So I get up & go to see what the hell his on about. I am in another room FFS surely he knows by now I cant see through walls??

He triumphantly waves a couple of half empty containers of oil at me.
" Oh that oil! Well, I think that is out of date, I dont use that oil at all, I think So & so gave us that when they returned from their holiday."
"Well, I may as well throw it out then?"
"Yes yes, throw it out" Mentally planning how I could pour it over him & just ignite it. Another near death experience he doesnt know about.

I turn to depart again, when I notice food scraps in the sink.
Ominously, "What is there food in here for?"
GOM, wheeling round with speed, " I havent finished yet! Pi** off out of this kitchen!"
"Well why do you pick stupid times to do these things! You called me in here"

Obviously he was a bit fraught too.

The worst bit was the realisation it is a far more complicated removal than I hoped. And I have to wait another two bloody effing weeks to have it done! More time to panic & hope I fall under a bus or something. So I never have to have the damn thing removed. Dentist talk, about splitting my jaw bone, cutting the gum, etc etc. I am far too big a coward to endure it all. And I will almost have to get a bank loan to pay for it. Hence, I wont be going to hospital to have it done, or I would need a mortgage on the house!!

I have been tagged twice, by SOLB & Paula to do the 8 Random thingy meme. I am sure I did one recently, but will give it another go. New weirdnesses about me seem to occur daily these days.

The rules:
Each participant posts eight facts about themselves. Taggees should write a blog post of eight random facts about themselves. At the end of the post eight more bloggers are tagged. Go to their blogs. Leave a comment telling them they're tagged.

1.I dislike red, for me. I dont wear it, it makes me feel very uncomfortable. I like to see it on other people, & I like it in quilts. I would never use it for decor, or clothing.

2. I need a knee replacement. Why did only one knee wear out? How come they are not both clapped?

3. I am not a big chocolate eater as a rule. But I have just consoled myself over the non removal of the fang by eating a whole Crunchie Bar! And, it was bloody delicious!

4. We got the ok on our new carpet. I cant face all the packing up we have to do so they can lay it. I know, I know...I have to see it as a good chance to tidy the positive tsunami of 'stuff' I have!

5. I hate sport. Not a new fact, but I wonder if it somehow radiated out of me. When I was a child I never got picked for sport teams.(To my everlasting relief!) I did get chosen for writing the school magazine & doing word quizzes.

6. I didnt really enjoy school, & yet, academically, I did quite well. I found as an adult I have loved doing courses for things. Perhaps I needed to grow up...

7. I dont regret my many mistakes & wrong turns I have made in my life. I accept them all. I could have made much worse ones, so they were blessings in disguise.

8. I really enjoy the blogging community I find myself a part of. I ask myself is this because I am a bit of a loner, & this way, people are 'at arm's length'? Close but not too close. It seems odd to think how close you can feel to someone you have never met in real life. And how much you care, if you think all is not well with those friends.

Now, can I think of 8 people to choose?
I think perhaps almost all my blogger friends have done this. Are there any lurkers out there who would like to do it?
We would love to hear from you.
I also hate to lay the burden as it were, but how about if I name folks, & they can choose for themselves, if they want to do it.

Tanya The Art Butcher, I love her views on things.

Helen, a fellow Kiwi.

Ms Soup, whose prose is so interesting.

Thimble Anna, who is always worth a read.

Sheila C, I love to hear tales of the Scot.

Keryn Quilting Twin, whose observations are so interesting.

Mereth, the other quilting twin, who kindly cheered me up, when I was down.

Anyone?? A lurker??

Joan Baez, Miracles.

Thursday, July 5

The Ultimate Hideosity!

I hope there is such a word as Hideosity. Because this has to be it!!

a Sh*te coloured Knitted Knickerbocker Suit!!

Or as we might describe it in New Zealand a 'Karitane' coloured knitted suit.

Karitane was an Institution begun by Sir Truby King, to protect the health of babies & mothers, & to offer guidance, & prevent malnutrition among babies, whose mother's could not breastfeed them. The institution, he began with his wife, helped develop formula for non breastfed babies. And the overall wellbeing of babies. It all led to the Plunket Society, which helped many distressed & confused lonely mothers. And, I am sure, saved many babies lives. Google him, he is a very interesting man, who did really good things for mothers & babies.

SG- Small Grandson- came to spend some hours with us. He made me laugh as usual. We didnt get to art, this afternoon. We had some good discussions though.

We talked about parties, & he told me he had got an 'intation'. To a Birthday Party. It was from a girl.

Nanna, "So how old is the little girl?"
SG, "Oh, she is not old Nanna. She is new, like me.
She is not old like you, with the bubbles on her neck like yours."

Who knew??? I have 'bubbles'???

And, earlier, "Nanna, you are going to die"
"Yes SG, we are all going to die one day."
"Yes we will all die!
But you are only going to die when you are REALLY old!"

Maybe there are a few years left on the clock yet??

I have just had news of incredible joy.
It seems my brother is to be a grandfather. It will be his first Grandchild.

My beloved nephew is to be a father! I am so excited. Bless you K & D. Good luck with it all.

I am planning a quilt as I write!!

Neil Finn, The Climber

Winter thoughts.

I needed a panoramic camera to take these in one large view.
They are taken looking South, & I rather liked the stark leafless trees against the skyline.
I think the trees are some sort of chestnut. I am not sure but they have large nut like fruit, with prickly cases. The cockatoos love them & will flock screeching & pulling at the fruit. I am sure they are not called fruit, but I am too lazy to find out what they are!

I took these photos because I was reminded of the Nor West Arch that was formed in the sky in South Island of New Zealand, over the Canterbury planes, when the Nor West wind blew.

The winds would come sweeping across the Canterbury Plains, from the Alps to the East Coast, & after crossing the warm plains, it would be quite a hot wind by the time it reached Christchurch, especially in Summer.

The first time I ever experienced this wind, I could not believe it. I have written before about Best Friend J, & I going to Christchurch, on the beginning of our 'world tour'. Which, you may recall, never happened for either of us.

We had never heard about the Nor Wester, & had no idea of how it was. We had a job in a hot room making hot water bottles, which is Tuesday October 17 2006, if you would care to read it. (I tried 4 times to get the link up, but cant get it to work!)

At lunch time, we would dash out & down to the shops for some lunch, which we usually took back into the workplace to eat. A favourite lunch time horror was something called a "Dressed Pie". These were mince pies, with a layer of mushy peas mashed on the top, then, a layer of mashed potato, and the final crowning glory was a slice or 2 of beetroot! Of course we all rudely referred to the pies as "Stuffed Pies". And they were stuffed in all senses. A food I would never dream of eating today!

We would rush down the stairs & out into the street before the queue was too long at the Pie shop. Imagine our shock when we barrelled out into the street to be hit by a searing scorching wind. It seemed to be so bizarre to be battered by wind, but be hot. It filled your lungs with heat, it seared your eyeballs, & your skin. It was one of those winds that can drive people mad.

The Arch formed by the wind in Christchurch was very similar to the one in these photographs, & the effect was a bit similar too. We have had 2 really mild summery like days, but the weather forecasters have promised us a day today with chill winds, & chill temeratures. At least the 2 mild days were not as heated as a Christchurch Nor Wester.

I have been tagged to do a meme. I have not forgotten SOLB, & may return to do it later.

I am trying to keep very busy. Tomorrow is removal day for the 'Evil Fang'.
And, as these things do, it has stopped hurting or twinging. But it has to go!

This afternoon, we are having SG for about 4 hours, so he will entertain me, no doubt. I might see if I can get him to do some further art works.

Bread, Soap.
Augie March, Bottle Baby.

Wednesday, July 4

Cringe Factors

I see Crafty has posted some fresh atrocities over on her blog.
I havent got anything like her camel toe, but here are some shockers from 'gift' booklets.

I keep looking at the poor Boxer in this picture & can almost feel his shame, & emabarrassment. I dont know that the Chiuaua is bothered. They do tend to get rather cold. But I cant see the Poodle being very happy about his vest.
Surely his hind quarters would be cold. Oscar the Granddog has had a skin complaint, & he was almost bald, & he cried all night from the cold, so daughter J bought him a woolly coat, & he has been cosy, again, so these dog coats do have a purpose.

Wouldn't this little beast give a baby a nasty fright!
I had to laugh at laugh at the camel toe pic on Crafty's post.
It reminded me of when DJ was young, & her friend used to spend most weekend at our house, & we would laugh about the hideous tight jeans some of the girls wore. The girls called them Helen Keller jeans, because you could lip read them.
(No disrespect meant to the real Helen Keller of course.)
I have been quilting the Rooster quilt for SIL. It is taking me a damn long time! I went & bought a special foot for the machine, to use for stipple quilting.
Talk about a learning curve.
Very colourful air surrounding the machine, & yards of cotton lying about on the floor. Think I am getting the hang of it now.
I was told there will be classes on 'how to.' I didn't really want to wait until September for the finishing of SIL's quilt. It will be almost summer again, before he gets it, if I do that. I was a bit disappointed to find the foot came loose, not even a packet, or a how to. Bit mean of them. Lack of packaging can only be good really, but on the other hand, a little leaflet with tips would have been handy!
Had SG here for breakfast. He had slept in, & his mother had to be off to work by 8am, & his father was at work by 6am, so it fell to me to get him dressed & ready for his pre-school. He didnt eat much breakfast, said his tummy was sore, but he seemed ok, & was happy to go off to school.
I had a Doctors appt. I told her I had been having a 'Nanna morning'. Rushed about, forgot my xray, had to go back to collect it. Got the all clear on various queries so that is good. And for once, in spite of the Nanna rush, my blood pressure was good! Yay.
GOM has been off helping a friend remove a heater from the wall so he came home smelling like a hobo handyman, & a can of WD40. I can't bear the smell of rusty WD40 so he got reminded he should change his gear.
I could hear him muttering swear words sweet nothings about fussy women.

Augie March, Stranger Strange.
Thank you sweet S.

Tuesday, July 3

Hah, Grandkids!

"Nanna, excuse me, but do you have a belly button?"
Yes, SG, ( Small Grandson) I have a belly button."
Oh, Good! Now I can draw you!"

I cant reproduce the picture, it was drawn using yellow chalk on white paper. It is a gem. But it wont scan, or reproduce.

The adult Granddaughter, availing herself of "Nanna's music" & the compter.
But, ... she left me some beautiful music. She is a gorgeous girl!

And later, ... Gom.
"I couldnt find any Pork chops to defrost".
Meggie, "We are out of Pork Chops?"
GOM, "Yes it is a Jewish word for Sex,!"
Meggie "What? I dont think Jewish people eat Pork?"
GOM, "I know. There is none!"

I think, after 41 years together, this is why we are still together. He makes me laugh.
And, probably, always will.

He used to sneak up on me, on crowded escalators.

He would say " Hello, Fancy meeting you here! Where is your husband?"
So, I would play along. "I dont know,...he is out of town".
He, " Oh, well, ... what say we get a motel for the afternoon? Would you like that?"
Me, still playing along, "Well that might be nice"
Gom, the rotter, playing to the 'gallery' as it were, "We may as well take the chance, while your old man is away. We will have a fun afternoon!"

The number of shocked, gasping, eavesdroppers used to make us both laugh.We would sedately leave the escalator, to intense scrutiny!

We still get a lot of fun from remembered 'games' replayed. We laugh about how the youger 'generation' still think they invented sex. And the enjoyment thereof/ If only they knew!!!

OMG! How old does that make us sound!! haha.

Arthur. Please Look Away, R Rated Post.

Before I get to the nitty gritty of this post, I want to welcome back Bec.
Go & say hello. We all missed her wonderful posts while she was away.

Today's post is dedicated to the memory of Arthur.
Arthur was one of our Employers. He was a wonderful, generous, humourous, and totally likeable man. He had great presence, & charisma. He became the New Zealand President of the The Hotels Association of New Zealand.

He had been a Colonel in the Army. He really was a diplomat, & a leader of men.
He was a most generous 'boss'. He was wonderful to our children, & treated them as grandchildren.

Sadly he died before he knew his own grandchildren.

This photo is taken of Meggie & HYPH, aka GOM, around the time of this story. He was Happy Young Publican Husband then, of course. This was taken in our flat, that Arthur had had made so pleasant.
We dont seem to have any photos taken with Arthur, though I know there were some taken at various Hotel Assn meetings.

HYPH was the licensee of the Hotel which Arthur owned, & we lived in a flat above the Hotel, which was a tavern.

The building was well over 100 years old, & the 2 upper floors were largely deserted, apart from our flat, & for a time, a hostel for staff for other Hotels in the city. That part was separate from us, & was administered by other people who leased it.

This is a photo of Arthur taken at his youngest daughter's wedding, not too long before he died.
Every Monday Arthur would come to the Hotel, & a Stocktake would be done. The accountant was Colin, & it became the custom for Arthur, Colin, GOM & myself to have morning tea together.

I often made pikelets which were favourites with Colin. Or I would bake some type of morning tea biscuits, slices etc.

Arthur loved us to spend time together & he would often tell us tales of his many trips overseas.

One morning, he came to the Hotel limping & in obvious pain. When we asked, with alarm, what had happened he told us the story. (this is the point where you look away if you are offended by 'colourful language').

Arthur said he had been trimming his rather high hedge, at his home, & he had a chainsaw, & was standing on a ladder.
Of course the inevitable happened, as he leaned too far over the hedge.
He felt the ladder begin to topple.

In his words- " All I could think of, was the chain saw would come down & cut off my cock! I tried to throw the thing as far away as I could, so I fell even more heavily!"

After 3 days of being in utter agony, everyone managed to talk him into consulting his Doctor who was a personal friend.

He went off to have his Xrays done. He returned to the Hotel, bearing a new vaccuum cleaner for our personal use, flowers for me, chocolates, a new vaccuum for his wife, a few toys for our children, & a boot full of gifts for his own children.

He called us into the office. And gave us the gifts, then the news.
He had been told it looked as if he had cancer. One lung was apparently riddled with it.

At the time I was running the Restaurant, & I just could not stop crying, all through the lunch time. Our Barmaid thought we must have got the sack.

Arthur asked us not to tell anyone else, of the cancer news.

He was sent off for surgery, only to be told it was not cancer, after all. There had been a mistake, it had only been massive bruising.

It all seemed like a hideous nightmare for nothing.

But the measure of the man, to me was his generosity. When he got the news he had cancer, his first thoughts had been to give all those he loved gifts.

Sadly there must have been cancer after all, though it didnt show up for some months. Then began the harrowing treatments, the surgeries, the hospital stays.

He lost his hair, & was so embarrassed. He had always been a neat & upright proud man. He wore a wig for while, but was not happy with that. In the end he took to wearing a Tartan Cap, in honour of his Scottish name.

He managed to live long enough to see his daughter married. He really was, a wonderful person, & true Gentleman.

He was only 62 when he died. It seemed far too young.

Mercury Rev, Endlessly.