Monday, October 31, 2011

Jock and Strap -- poor sookie babes

Today was a somewhat live able day weather - wise.  We turned on the ceiling fans, and went about our business.  But, woefully, Jock and Strap sprawled their border collie bodies against the sliding glass door wall and lay there looking pathetic.  Finally I had had enough of their feel sorry for me attitude!  One would think they were teenagers instead of mature men dogs - what sooks!!

I had previously turned on the ceiling fans on the patio for our two gentlemen, but no - that just didn't cut it!  I suppose they wanted their gin and tonics or ice teas delivered to them - being the gentlemen dogs they are - but hey!  Get real!

So I moved outside with the broom and swept away all the doggie hair and dirt that had accumulated, put Squirt's large cage on wheels out on the brick walk-way, in the shade, and hosed down the patio, refreshing it, and then set upon the living critters!  I called Strap to me, and holding the hose on a gentle squirt totally wet his body, like I used to do to my kids on a hot summer day - he just stood there smiling!  Just smiling!  I wet him really well--he then ran off and rolled on the lawn and there was still a smile on his face- he couldn't fool me!!

Then stopping the pressure on the hose, I called Jock over to also receive the same treatment. Now Jock, if you have been following my blog, would never, I mean never, allow his person to be squirted by a garden hose - how common! But, slowly and hesitantly, he came towards me, and just stood there while I gently soaked him. He loved it!  He wondered away somewhat mystified by what he had just experienced, but was not in disagreement with his treatment by me.  He approved.  Surprised even me.

Squirt was next - I held the hose as though it was just gently raining into her aviary/cage, and she loved it.  She actually sang in the shower!!  She jumped around and came back for more.

I love these guys - they are all so individual, and yet fit into our family so well. We all respect each other, and after today, I think I know what treat they may like best!  I love spring!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We have arrived - Part 2!!

It has been 5 days since the movers arrived.  Now beginning the 6th one today.  The kitchen is almost totally unpacked--heaps of loads of laundry have been done on my new washing machine, as I unpacked towels and/or sheets etc. wrapped around 'treasures'.  These clean towels have now been placed in my linen cupboard, and still I unwrap boxes. 

             We bought a new tv and surround sound system for the media room.  It was set up yesterday -              good  sound - great screen!

My ankle injury is taking vengeance on me, and flares up like fire by the end of the day - stupid ankle--stupid injury!  Hint:  Don't hurt any body item before planning on taking on a huge moving exercise - it's not a great idea, and really slows you down!  We went shopping for essentials for the house the other day - cool stuff like- mops, buckets, brooms, cleaning stuff, all the great stuff,  so much so that when you get home, you can't wait to play with them--Yep!  That's how I felt, as I limped around the house.

Today, I am determined to finish the kitchen unpacking, and start on the media room, with the de-cluttering of boxes, and the setting up of the 'environment'.  I want it to be the kind of room, where at the end of the day, one just goes to and relaxes.

I really want to take a day off to just go play, and visit all the wonderful areas that are here, and are really the reason we decided to move here.  But a couple more days of determination will see us clear enough to live here, with just some simple unpacking to be done after that.  Roll on those days!!

The dogs are still a bit sooky and won't leave the glass sliding door patio area outside of the family room.  It's like, if they can't see us, we have deserted them again, and will most likely put them on one of those scary flying machines again.  But, slowly but surely, they are taking baby steps away from us.

Squirt on the other hand is trying to organize a live-in bird fest.  She talks and sings all the time, and now the birds from all around come here, and sing back --really kind of nice....I'll have to stock up on birdie treats for her big party!!

I'll keep you informed on our progress - but surprisingly, we really have accomplished a lot - Please God - just give me strength to keep on keeping on!!

Check with you later...........

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We have arrived!


We are now in Cairns!  How exciting!

We have had to transport 3 vehicles, 2 border collies and a lorikeet by air, and ourselves, including the moving van which held the best of our belongings from our 2 houses etc. It has been quite an exercise--but we did it!

The moving van left yesterday about 2:00 pm, and we wearily unpacked the box which held our clean sheets and bedding.  I thought if we made up our bed first, we could then collapse from exhaustion when we needed to and not have to worry about doing it then. (Smart thinking, huh!)

We have our privacy, which is good, but we are in a friendly walking distance from our neighbors.  Squirt, our lorikeet is in 7th heaven!  She is finally outside on the shaded patio, which even has ceiling fans!  She sings all the time and I think in time will teach the various birds around us, to speak also.  She talks all the time!!  If a bird could smile, she is grinning madly!!

But our 2 border collies, Jock and Strap are struggling a bit.  The trip by air up to here has thrown them a bit, and they just lay around a lot.  Strap especially doesn't seem interested in doing much other than lay and relax, like a good Southern Gentleman would, you know??!

I hope that in time that they adjust, and begin to enjoy their new life.

It should be fun for all of us!!

Things to do list...unpack a zillion boxes...yay!! (Not!)  (Insert smile showing pretended enthusiasm.......)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Size 9 catastrophe!!

After my bought of accidents recently - ('Oops, I did it again' ), I was telling my daughter Bronwyn about my shoe sizing catastrophe from last year.  She was laughing so hard - that's what happens in our family when one of us gets hurt--we laugh--kind of like watching the ol' Charlie Chaplin films I guess- once it has been determined that the family member is OK, we just crack up at their discomfort---well this had her really cracking up!

I had been out shopping one day, and my shoes were feeling tight and my feet were really hurting, so I went into one of those less expensive shoe stores, with grocery type shelves of shoes, and tried on a pair that just felt so good.  I told the salesgirl to wrap up the good leather shoes I had been wearing, and I wore the new beauties home.  They were a size 9, and I usually wear a size 8 shoe, but perhaps my feet were swollen from all the shopping I had done, as they felt great!

When I got home, I put them in my cupboard until the next time, and went about putting my shopping away.

A few weeks later, I had a big shopping day ahead of me, so I grabbed and size 9s and jumped in my car.  It all started out innocently enough:

I had been in a large discount department store, in a major shopping centre, and was coming out after paying for my purchases, carrying a bag, and giving some smiles to people as I walked quickly to my next shop - when suddenly, my foot slipped, I slid across the floor in front of a lot of people and fell straight down on the floor with my purchases splaying out in front in me!  Embarrassed, I got up, collected my bags, and stood- looking at the floor like one does, trying to find a way to blame it- not me!  I hurried on, and went to my next shopping centre, for my next errand.

This time I had purchased my items in another large well known department store, and was walking along the shopping food court, when whammo-bammo--I slipped and fell again - this time straight onto my bottom!  My feet had just slid and I fell as if in slow motion!  I sat there stunned for few moments, looking once again at my packages sprawled out in front of me, and was a bit embarrassed again, but getting used to it somehow, and smiled at offers of help as people near by jumped up to assist me.  I brushed myself off, this time looking at my feet and mentally asked them what they were playing at!  I had always treated them fairly!
I limped a bit to my car, trying not to touch my very sore bottom, and putting my packages in my car's boot, I did a sudden side-ways slide to the driver's door!  I was beginning to suspect these size 9-ers may be the culprits!

I had one more stop at another well know grocery store in a very busy shopping area.  I was carrying one of those little red plastic baskets with my small array of groceries in it, when I got about mid-way down an aisle, with a young lad standing on a tall ladder-type stand, stocking shelves.  I looked at him, and tried to quickly go around his ladder, before the lady coming towards me with her huge grocery cart blocked my way.  But no!  My size 9-ers decided to have one more go--I slid a full foot on the floor and then dropped straight down on my face, catching myself with my basket in one hand and my other hand protecting my face which had a pair of glasses on it!    
I decided to just lay there for a while. Maybe everyone would just go away, and I could get up and leave quietly. But no!! They all gathered, with the young lad asking if he could help me as he started to descend his ladder. I sat up, and with as much dignity as possible, replied in a quite matter of fact tone:

"No, I'm getting used to this today!"

I stood up--inspected my front, brushed off my knees, checked for blood--appreciative that physically I looked OK---just stupid, and gathered my red basket and by now limped to the check-out!

I laughed all the way to my car!

People kept looking at me, and I just kept laughing.

I got home, walked in the door, barefoot this time, put my shopping in the kitchen, quietly gathered a bag from the cupboard, put my shoes into it and put it in the spare room for the next charity shop delivery of goods.

What a day!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dad's Worming Tongs!

In my tribute to my Dad, in "Happy Father's Day, Dad",  I wrote about  special electronic worming tongs that he used..  They need further explanation, as Dad and I used to have fun with them.

I have done a bit of research on the making of these tongs, and from what I can understand, they were powered by a car battery.  All I can really remember, as I was fairly young, was that Dad had made them, and they had block wooden handles with metal sticks/prongs inserted into the wood.  From the metal area near the wooden handle there were wires, which I am assuming must have connected to perhaps the electronic source, (ie: car battery).

Anyway, all I knew was that they were fun, and I always looked forward to the dusk evenings when Dad would bring them out for worming.  He would normally do this on a Friday night, especially if we had just had a good rain, as the soil in the back yard would be moist and a good conductor for zapping those ornery worms!

That usually meant that the following Saturday would be a fishing day!

Sometimes Dad would water the lawn to create the moisture, and then I would know that there was a strong possibility that the worming tongs would make an appearance.  I loved them for some reason!  Call me strange!

When it was just Dad and I , we would sometimes play with them, and he would chase me playfully around the back yard, threatening to zap my legs.  (He got me sometimes, and there was a zap!  Not a dangerous one - but a zap all the same!)  While he was doing this, our next door neighbour, Bud, would sit on his back step, and watch us, occasionally displaying his pocket knife, which he always threatened to use to cut off my ears - so no escape there (What a wonderful neighbourhood I lived in!  A zapping Dad, and a ear lopping neighbour!!)

Sometimes, for distraction, I would tell the neighbourhood kids that Dad would be worm zapping, so after Dinner they would appear, and wait for Dad to set up.  We all had worm gathering tins - filled with moist soil, so that when a worm jumped out of the ground we could gather them.  Sometimes Dad would threaten all of us with a zapping, and Bud would just watch, grinning, while he polished his ear lopping pocket knife.

It was fun, and usually meant that a good fishing day was going the occur the next day - sometimes Mum and their friends all came, and we went to Lake Geode- for a picnic and fishing.

I love those memories - much better than the computer games the kids play with today!

Friday, October 14, 2011

We are moving - finally!

For the past few weeks we have been busily packing boxes and making arrangements to move not only our earthly possessions, but also our 2 border collies and 1 spoiled lorrikeet.  Adding to that mammoth task we are also transporting 3 cars, and as we are moving a fair distance away from our current address, we have decided to move our animals and us by air, while the rest of our 'stuff' follows us by transport.  It has been a large undertaking, and yet - it appears to be being accomplished - thanks to great professionals who know how to handle even the trickiest problems, and somehow make it all appear simple.

There has just been one hiccup---Me!  If you read my previous blog about my current bout of injuries, you can just imagine what it has been like for me to try to pack boxes and show enthusiasm, when sometimes, it has hurt just to breathe or move.  Stupid accidents!

Well, yesterday I was in the spare bedroom, which had become our 'storage' area where Christmas ribbons go to die, and yesterday's treasures have suddenly become today's problem.  Do you have an area like that?? I used to think it was a good idea -- it isn't. If you don't use or want something that instant in your life - don't have it!! Get rid of it. Don't save it in case you change your mind - just don't hold onto it, because maybe one day you 'might' want it! If you haven't wanted it ever, you probably never did!  Does that make sense?  It sure does to me now! Wow! Now that was knowledge that I could have used over the years!!!

So, yesterday, as I sat on my 'bum' (Aussie speak for using the human bottom as a cushion), I discovered a lot of this stuff.  Some of it, I must admit I was glad I kept.  Like letters and cards from friends and family celebrating birthdays in my life with their wonderful, love-filled sentiments!  I must admit, as I sat there on my 'bum' which was turning a bit numb by this stage - remember --IT was the one I fell straight down on after that fateful shower episode! Refer to:

Anyway, as I sat there, and the tears of sentiment crawled down my cheeks, I was very touched, and felt loved and fuzzy that these wonderful people loved me enough to have written all of their wonderful sentiments to me.

But enough of that I said to myself, as I reached for another tissue, and put them all in my saver pile.  My discard pile was growing larger, and I was feeling like I was finally accomplishing something until I managed to stand up. PAIN!   

Now, since all of my fateful accidents, PAIN has become a pretty common companion, but yesterday, it introduced a new symptom--MAKE EVERYTHING HURT ALL TOGETHER AT ONE TIME!

So, I had to call it quits then.  I am forever confident tho', and today is a new day - and so far, I think things will get accomplished, and by hook or crook - We will be moving according to schedule - poor ol' Chrisco may find tho' that he is packing more boxes than he originally intended!!  

Don't you just love life!!!!! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oops! I did it again!

About 4 weeks ago, I was in the kitchen and reaching into a lower cupboard, suddenly discovering that I had released the fury of two very heavy stainless steel saucepans.  As they jumped out of the cupboard and onto my feet, I also discovered that my reactions, while still fairly swift, just weren't protection enough.  As the heavy saucepans fell towards my feet, in my panic to get away from the falling little devils, I jumped back and apparently put all of my body weight, or at least a good majority of it, on my right heel.  Mistake!  Bad mistake!

Well, this resulted in bandaging and icing, and a very swollen ankle, which eventually resulted in a very bruised and swollen heel.  The result--a very sore heel which was swollen, tender, and needing to be raised--as the girl at the Chemist shop said - above my heart level--and as I don't do yoga and have trouble raising anything above my heart level unless I lower my upper body to a ridiculously low floor level stance, my heel became the bane of my life, and the saucepans in question were relegated to the cupboard to indefinitely live out their days in regret!!

So in time I started to heel.

A week or so later, I was in town, and noticed that Blue, my lovely little convertible needed fuel.  Now I normally go to a very quiet petrol place which has become a favourite of mine.  Since I don't like pulling fuel--this station is quiet, and peaceful, and Blue and I like it there!  Well, this particular day my fuel was very low, and rather than risk trying to make it go my favourite stop,  I pulled into a larger, more commercial truck stop petrol station.  All was going well, and I had finally paid for my fuel and was heading out to Blue, when whammo!  I fell off the curbing just outside of the entrance door to the shop! Fell in slow motion, inescapably unable to stop the fall, and landed on my left side.  When I got over the shock and embarrassment of the fall, I sat on the curbing which had tricked me, as it had suddenly appeared and sent me flying, and I surveyed my wounds.

I had a badly grazed and bleeding left forearm, a wrist which was swelling while I looked at it, and very sore ribs!  I was a mess!  No one came to my rescue and I eventually got off the curbing, and holding my bloodied arm, limped to my car.  Blue looked at me sympathetically, somewhat embarrassed herself, and we drove home.  Shopping trip had abruptly ended for the day!

It has taken quite some time to recover from those injuries - but I am recovering and can finally put weight on my ribs, and my large gross scabby arm is healing very nicely, thank you very much!!

About two days ago, I slipped my feet  into my thongs (flip flops) and headed out to the garage to wash my car--Blue had been neglected lately and looked like it.  As I was spraying water on her with the hose, and getting rid of the dust and grime, my hose suddenly became lifeless, and I discovered that it had disconnected itself from the tap.  Water there was spraying everywhere, and Blue and I stood there with a hose which did not give forth any water.  Drat!  I tried to fix the connection, stepping into the mud and fighting back the spraying water, and eventually just gave up.  But before I could go back to Blue's half finished dirty surface, which was now turning from a dusty back end to a dirty muddy back end, I stepped up into the garage, and my right heel, which had eventually started to feel better, suddenly screamed out in pain, as it descended on a large pebble and cut through new pain thresholds!!  Yelling out and kicking at a bucket that I only wished was there - I limped painfully into the house - angry that an old injury was once again raising its horrible head! Not happy, Jan!

I limped for a couple of days, tried to raise the painful heel to above heart level, finally conceding that just resting it on a pillow would do, and thought about all of my injuries.  What a run of bad luck!

Then yesterday, after my shower, I noticed a lot of water on the bathroom floor. I put my towels down on the puddle, and decided to use my left foot to move the towels around and soak up the offending moisture, when whammo- bammo! I slipped and fell straight onto my backend!  Talk about pain!  Not only did I yell out in disgust at my predicament, but then just sat there wondering what else could possibly happen to me.

It is now very early today--my bottom isn't as painful, my left ankle and heel are feeling fairly good, and my left forearm  bloody cuts and grazes are healing.  I can laugh without the pain of damaged ribs, and my left wrist, though tender is healing.

But it is still early--who knows what may happen today--I'm going in search of a large box of cotton wool--may just wrap me up in that for a while..............

Monday, October 3, 2011


Have you ever had a car that entered your life in a usual, maybe even ordinary mundane way, and realise at the end that her existence was an integral part of your life and your love?  That happened to me.  Her name was Nellie.

1983 Holden Commodore Vacationer (NSW) $7,490She came into our lives as we were moving to Queensland, and was the family car.  We drove her, in her new condition from Victoria in a 3 day marathon as friends helped us with trucks, utes and trailers to move our farming equipment, furniture, 2 daughters, and lots of hope for our future.  She was there when we started work on our farm in Capella, the neighbouring township to Emerald, where we had settled, and smiled happily at us as we settled into our community. 

She was shiny, but humble, and very strong.  It was her strength that was going to protect us until the end.

It didn't take long before I had started selling coldrooms, a new business venture that we had decided to
start, while John was at our farming property.  As our orders grew, we needed to make a trip to Victoria to pick up supplies, so with Nellie, a large 12 foot trailer and  the two girls, we headed off.

Nellie made a lot of trips to Victoria, and climbed some of the windiest and steeper hills in New South Wales, never flagging.  She built the business with us, and then when we got home had to sit in our driveway, without cover, dealing with the hot Australian sun, and occasional rain storms.

Eventually the business took off, and we started to make a pretty good living from just that.  We put share-farmers on to run our property, and concentrated even more on our cold  room and refrigeration business. We built a carport to protect Nellie, so that she could have some rest, but the harsh sun had already begun to do its damage.  Her once shiny roof was fading and small amounts of rust (cancer for cars) were beginning to creep in.

We built a factory in the industrial estate, and Nellie sat out in the open parking lot when I went there to work in the office.  We bought a truck to deliver the cold rooms, in order to be more efficient, and perhaps to let Nellie have a rest. She deserved it.

She still carried us to Victoria to visit family, and sat there grinning, resting her tires, while we all laughed and talked about our adventures.  On one of those trips, when we were almost home, Nellie developed a terrible crunching chest cold under her bonnet.  We struggled home with her, hoping that we could make it, as it was very late at night.  Slowly but surely she brought us to the front of our house, and then just gave out.  She just couldn't and wouldn't go anymore.

The next morning, her favorite mechanic/doctor made a house call, and found a small problem.  Within a few minutes her chest was cleared, the obstacle that had troubled her was replaced, at a cost of a few dollars, and she was once again - smiling.

A few years went by, and it was decided that as the family was maturing, that a new car may be needed.  The decision was made, and the new car was ordered.  Unfortunately, it meant that Nellie would be replaced.  At the time the shininess of the new car had us all hypnotised, so we felt it was OK to trade Nellie in.  She had done her job.

The early morning hours of the new car's delivery arrived.  I woke early and sat at the front window of the house looking out on Nellie, as she sat very sunburned, and full of many rust spots, and remembered all of our times together.  I started to cry and couldn't stop the tears.  Nellie had been so faithful.  I promised never to forget her, and this little story is my tribute to her.  I have never since then had a car with such heart and love that had enveloped our whole family.  I hope you get to have such an experience.  She will never be forgotten.