Monday, August 31, 2009

What was I SAYING?!

Did I rather foolishly mention something about summer? I take it back. Today is overcast and showers. Standing in the city waiting to cross the road, it truly felt like August. The wind was cutting; my face, ears and neck were freezing. I was wearing my one and only jumper with a jacket over the top. 3/4 sleeve knit top, lined skirt, stockings and sketchers.


The week has flown by. I've been devouring my books. And alas, I fear that may be detrimental. Like a drowning man, I've been grasping the books and of all that I have bought, most are finished. Well, perhaps I exaggerate slightly. I've finished two and three quarters; I have three left. Not to mention the one I borrowed from a workmate and finished on Saturday.

Ah. The joy of reading!

Most of the week has been prep for the return of the Mac. Well, no. The return of the Elder. Briefly. To collect belongings. Jawsome was also supposed to be returning but due to reasons to which I'm not privvy, had to delay.

The Teen lit out on Friday evening as is her usual. And returned Saturday morning to wait the arrival of the Elder. They were going to hang together. But Elder had been delayed by work matters. And alas, the Teen had to depart for a 21st birthday dinner before she arrived.

Saturday morning, I bit the bullet and decided that it was time to replace my favourite tote. It's a great size, I've had it for years, it always got comments but I can no longer use it without taking blood samples. Yes, the plastic on the outside is breaking and splitting. While that was happening on the bottom corners I could ignore it. Not now. The replacement is about the same size, has several zippers/pockets and is shiny red reptile print. I likes!

Late evening arrived, bringing with it the distinctive shound of Team Shitbox. Yes, it's still going!

We spent some time together then let her set herself up for the night. Around ten o'clock the doorbell went. The Teen had arrived back home after the dinner. She was very impressed with her meal....

Sunday morning, MOTH and I went out to Wogboy's new abode so Teen could collect her gear. I asked MOTH to come along so he could drive. He knows the way so much better than I you see. *beaming smile* We left Elder at home. She had stuff to pack you know!

Sunday afternoon, we three ladies lit out for the city. We had planned to see if we could book passage for the Teen to visit Elder on her turf during the school holidays. No such luck! The travel train office was closed. We thought it might be, but you never know. Turns out it only does business Monday to Friday.

Oh dear. Well, I shrugged. We'll just do it online when we get back home. Elder was starving so we decided to have foodage at Coffee Club. Where Elder's friend Ranga works. She's also one of my 'daughters'. I like her a lot. She's always cheerful and glad to see us.

Or so it appears....

Eventually after stuffing ourselves we managed to get up from the table to make a move home. But only made it as far as the dessert cabinet. Back to the table then! Elder had mudcake with cream and icecream. I think she got preferential treatment - she had more icecream than I did! I had key lime pie with cream and icecream. The Teen is watching her food intake, so she had a plain choc chip biscuit. Or maybe it was fig and pecan. I wasn't there when she chose it but she did mumble something about fig during our conversation. We spent a lot of time talking about strange things and laughing. I would love to know what snatches of our conversation were picked up by passing wait staff! Must have been good from some of the strange looks.

Time was getting on and it was time to head home. On the way back, we indulged ourselves kicking those hard seed pods that litter the ground this time of year. Someone went to kick one. The Teen or the Elder, I'm not sure which. And she missed. And staggered. I looked at one of the older ladies coming toward us. They were grinning. As was I.

Further down the street we approached the pub. There were three doormen lurking. And some random bloke walking toward us. He passed, and Teen turned behind him, making faces and waving her arms. When we finally stopped giggling, I looked up and one of the doormen had a smirk on his face. I leant toward the Teen. I think you were spotted. The Elder grinned. So it wasn't just me noticed that then, hey.

We arrived at the crossing; ready to push the button. I don't know what Teen had been smoking but she leaned forward to push it. With her head. Which apparently connected before she was ready. She heard the bang before she felt the hurt. I thought Elder was going to expire. She was laughing hard and gasping for breath at the same time. Luckily, there was no drool!

When we eventually calmed down we found our footsteps wandering past the Ed Hardy store. Teen noticed the OMG SALE sign and turned in. Just so we could look. The Elder had already dismissed a stop earlier in the afternoon; the opportunity had now arrived. There was some good looking stuff. And a totally great sale! Teen wanted to purchase. After some consideration of finances and spending money for the trip, she purchased a t-shirt. It was reduced to $50 - from $150. A good bargain.

On the way home she discovered she had drastically miscalculated and overspent. Oh dear! But what the heck! You, my dear, now own for the first time a proper brand label. And for cheaper than eBay. Well done!

Alas, that also meant she didn't have enough for the train tickets. *sighs* But hey! She has an Ed Hardy tee! We went online to book and pay for the tickets. It's travel during school holidays and you know how quickly those seats fill! We decided what dates she wanted to travel. We decided what times. I went to fill out the booking form. I added the leg for the return. Nope, it couldn't book one of the seats - mind it doesn't tell you which one, and you have to start over.

I started over. I changed the northbound date. I booked the northbound trip. I booked the southbound trip. Now it's telling me I have a student fare north, and an adult fare south. No! No, no, no! I have to start over. I do it again. Still! Student north, adult south. I have to start over. Bugger! This time I do one leg at a time. I book the northbound trip for the original date. Nope, not available. Dang. I start over. I book the northbound trip for the changed date. Yes! I decide I had better book the return. I book the southbound trip for the original date. Yes! Perfect. She has the journey booked. And I'm down $95. *kisses and soothes credit card* It just means I must find other monies for our dinner out on Thursday. *sigh*

Will have to let you know how that goes in my next update, won't I....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hellooooo ... Summer!

How bad can it get I ask? Today's forecast is a top close the 30deg C. It's August! What will it be like when Summer truly arrives?

And now for something completely different....

This is the image of the engagement cake that I promised I would eventually post.

So. This last week. What can I say really? A week of indulgence. I do lead a simple life you know. It's all me Me ME!

Some time ago, I joined the book co-op on campus. And every so often, I'm obligated to actually purchase one of the things. Books. Not co-ops. I sighed. My wallet cried. And I pushed open the door.

I like it in there. It's almost impossible to find anything. Oh, it's all laid out neatly in its categories. But I never know what I want. I spent some time wandering around the shelves looking for a particular book which failed to advertise itself. It didn't. But lo! On the shelf was a paperback copy of Harry Potter's second volume *changes sentence from HP's number 2* which I no longer had. The Teen donated it to an aquaintance at school who never returned it.

While I was there, I thought I would grab John Connolly's The Lovers.

There. Obligation fulfilled.

And Friday afternoon, I was walking through the city on my way to the bus. Suddenly, my feet spun me off my course and detoured me down a side street. I blame my feet. What else could it possibly have been?

Right into Dymocks.

I wandered around the shelves in their new super small temporary store. And hey! Right there on the shelf is the book I couldn't find in the co-op book store. I checked the price and grabbed it. Hey. *shrugs* Books are my passion, but the wallet still rules. I went to step around the end of the shelf and did a double take. Whoa. One of the few authors I collect has a new book out. The start of a new trilogy. Ignoring the sound of my credit card frantically screaming, I took that one too.

So now I have three books to read. I knew I rearranged my bookshelf for a reason!

Saturday morning, I went out to the local shops with MOTH. Now there is something entertaining! *drips sarcasm* MOTH likes to amuse himself sitting and watching the world go by. I can handle it, but only for a short time. We'd already heard an ambulance racing up the street with siren blaring that morning. While on the road, we were keyed to another siren. Looking in the mirror, it turned out to be another ambulance! We moved over slightly and as we approached the traffic lights, ANOTHER ambulance moved through the red so the siren sounding one could pass. There, says MOTH, even other ambulances get out of the way.

Later that day, another went past the house. Lights flashing, but no siren....

Busy day somewhere!

The rest of Saturday was spent lazing about, playing the Sims. For the first time in ages. The Teen was not home to steal my laptop. Sunday was more of the same, with a bit of washing, sweeping and mopping thrown in.

*man! someone has a hot lunch and boy does it smell good!*

Sunday afternoon I was a tad restless. I wanted out of the house but where could I go? It's not like I could jump in the car and head off for the beach. *note to self: find close places to drive to that might be nice this time of year!* Not long after, the Teen called me. Do you want to come pick me up? I'm at Wogboy's new place.

w00t! Something to do on an otherwise altogether lazy weekend.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wish it were a nightcap!

What a week it's been.

I think I blogged most of the journey midway through the week. And it was good to see people I haven't seen for ages.

The amount of time that had passed between visits was staggering. You don't think of it until you step back and take stock. The last time we had seen most people was Uncle D's 60th birthday. Approximately 10 years ago.

One of the cousins that the Elder had played with at that time now seems to have kids of his own. *they breed 'em young out there* Kids who were teenagers then now have multiple kids of their own. I don't know who is who anymore. And this time, I felt like I was an outsider; all of them know each other and all the young ones keep in touch.

I had also made sure I spent money on getting mobile internet for my laptop. There were three of us going to be using it so I thought Yes. I would finally do it. It was $149 upfront, including $10 worth of credit. I recharged for an extra $60 for 750MB. That lasts 30 days and I thought it might do for all of us while we were away. Especially the Teen. You know how they get when they can't be in constant contact with the world. I had checked and our carrier did not do anything except telephony out there.

And you know, we didn't even use up the $10 credit. MOTH was on for a couple minutes before bedtime, and so was the Teen. I used it the most. And even then, not much.

Friday was spent catching up on the housework that didn't get done earlier in the week. Washing. Mountains of it. Dusting. The usual. And as I stood looking at the floor I thought, This is it. I am definitely going to buy myself a new mop.

Saturday morning I did it. Yes. I dragged MOTH to Bunnings. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a HUGE deal. I do NOT do hardware stores. Ever. Well ... usually. But they were bound to have a better range than the supermarket.

And I found something. A sabco broom that doubles as a mop. It has static furry stuff for the sweeping and microfibre for the mopping. Damp mopping and wet mopping. I haven't tried that side yet. Saturday I tried the dry sweeping. It picks up most stuff - dirt and hair - but solid heavy stuff still needs the dustpan. But I think that's ok.

While I was there we wandered around the gardening section. I stopped to buy a couple of herbs. I have a spot picked out in the garden, cleared it of weeds but not bought herbs to put in there. So this time, I did. Italian parsley and basil. And a new plant for the front garden. Something spikey with coloured foilage. I can't remember what it is, but it is shaped like one of those old fashioned Happy Plants, but doesn't grow tall like that. It has silver and green 'stripes' on the leaves.

Saturday night was the engagement party of an old neighbour. He is wheelchair bound and has finally met the girl for him. She is also on wheels. She seems very capable. Pretty, feminine but definitely with a sharp edge! The cake was lovely. A mud cake with fondant icing. It was shaped like a ring box, with a blue satin cusion and a large ring on top. The satin was also icing.

It was good to catch up with his parents. Since we've moved, we don't get to see them very often. Also attending were some old neighbours from further up the street and the Spanish couple who really held our end of the street together socially. They are a whole pot of fun. *yes, that is pot, not lot. or should i say wine bottle?*

Sunday I was up early and checking out the things I had planted. Wha?? Looks like SOMETHING had a party on my parsley! There weren't very many leaves left of the poor little things. Plenty of stalks though. The basil, on the other hand, looked just fine.

Off to Bunnings again for more plants. Oh, and a sausage inna slice of bread. This time I came home with a couple of strawberry plants, two azaleas, some lavender, chives and an african daisy. My gardens don't get a lot of sun so it's hard to choose something that will work. The herbs are in the second sunniest spot. I think. The lavender and the daisy are in the very front garden. It gets the afternoon sun, and I think it's the patch exposed to the sun the longest. The strawberries and the azaleas are around the back. The Teen wanted something pretty to look at out her back window. That area gets limited sun; mostly late morning.

Fingers crossed everybody. Cause heaven knows, I don't got green thumbs and they're going to need all the help they can get....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Part ... Duex

We had arrived a little earlier than anticipated. After much consideration on my part, midday sounded like a good plan. Here it was, 10.30am and we were ready to check in.

We took a drive down the main street to see what had changed. Or more likely, what hadn't. Mellors was still there! *a clothing store that had been there since Adam was a boy* Ooo look. A bronze statue I don't recall from last time proundly pronounced the Gayndah Jockey Club. It was, ironically enough, a jockey on a horse. I thought to myself that I would have to come back and photograph that. And hey! That's a gorgeous stained glass looking design in front of one of the buildings. I think it was promoting Gayndah. I would have to come back and photo that too. I wasn't driving, so we didn't actually stop to look at anything. What happened to that old tradition of parking and walking down the street, I ask you!

Needless to say, we didn't get back to take photos!

We checked in at the motel, and they were happy to have us. Even if we were early. And the rooms were a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting someting very old and shabby. But although they were very basic, they were quite well appointed. And you know, even the pool looked tempting!

The only other person to have checked in at that point had the room at the end of our block. The woman on reception asked if we were related. I had no clue - the name wasn't familiar. I found out afterward that she was Renae, Darryl's daughter.

After we had loaded our gear into the room an eaten our complimentary mandarines, hammed it up for the camera and taken stock of our surroundings, I decided to look at the local attraction The Big Orange. Right next door to the motel.

There is the orange itself, attached to a small tea and souvenir shop. You can walk inside the orange and look at some of the history painted on the walls. Of course you are welome to sign the guest book. I didn't, but as I glanced, I noticed it had been signed by Sophie, from France. She had been fruit picking and seemed to have enjoyed herself.

In truth, there wasn't much to see. I wandered back to the motel. Ma and Pop eventually arrived along with Uncle C and his better half, and Uncle G and his other half as well.

The time to head off arrived and I had had to text a sibling to find out the address of the church! *shakes head* The day has turned out to be warm and somewhat sticky. Not cold at all. I signed us in while they searched for seating. Where had they seated themselves? I couldn't see them in the crowds. Eventually I found them. Right at the back and tucked into a corner. We sat there for a short time. I suggested we move to the Reserved for Family area. There were so many people, they had to open the annex to allow access to the rest of the seating. We moved.

I wasn't game enough to go to the casket. And no one else had either. Not even anyone else from the family. It was golden oak with silver handles. A huge arrangment of flowers, purple, yellow, and some Australian natives sat in the centre, with Dud's favourite hat and his stockwhip. A slideshow of photographs played in the background along with Slim Dusty. A photograph of Dud stood next to his hat.

I thought I would be okay. Then Walt led Jeff to the seat in front of me and I knew I wouldn't make it. Luckily I had waterproof mascara! Jeff broke down sobbing and Walt led him outside. I was alright after that.

The service was led by Pastor David Jack.

Billy - Dud's son - spoke of Dud growing up; Richard - Judy's son - spoke of Dud joining them. Billy hesitated on a couple of words; Richard became shaky. He made reference to the church youth groups Dud had led, and read a note from one of the backpackers Dud had befriended. Her name was Sophie. She was French.

A guest Pastor who knew Dud and Ruby very well also spoke and read a poem that Ruby had written many years ago about Dud and his friends growing up. They were typical larrikins!

After the service, the Pastor asked on behalf of the family that we move quickly to the cemetary and that greetings be saved for the hall where light refreshment would be served. We trickled out following the casket and indeed the service did move quickly up the hill to the graveside. Pastor David committed the casket to the ground while people filed past. And it was over. He disappeared shortly after that and gradually people moved off to the Gayndah Bowls club where refreshement was to be served.

So many people! It was a veritable crush; standing room only. We drifted a little, somewhat at a loss. I don't know most of these people! Even the relatives. I couldn't identify most of them.

I discovered later that I had missed most of the photo oppotunities because most of the family had moved out the back to the bowling green and were talking out there. One of the big disadvantages in not constantly keeping in touch is that you feel like an outsider when everyone meets. All the others know who everyone else is.

Christine came to fetch me. *nearly called her christine m till i realised there were 2 christine ms!* Apparently they were doing a cousins photo. I'm thinking that if she hadn't fetched me for this, I wouldn't really have been missed.

It took a long time to find individual family members I knew and chat quickly to them!

But because I had been called to the cousins photo, I actually managed to be in the right place for a family photo!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tomorrow today

So where was I up to?

Ah yes. We decided to take the Burnett Highway rather than the Bruce. Google told me it was at least half an hour quicker that way.

'Karen' - MOTH's pet GPS - was all programmed up and we were ready to be off. It was 6am. I think Karen might have still been a little sleepy; she told us to take the Brisbane Valley Highway about 5 metres before the turn. I happened to be looking that direction and saw the sign. Whoops! We had to do a Uturn and go back.

Car fun. Now why doesn't this camera have an image stabliser? Even my darned phone has one of those!

We passed through Wivenhoe and Esk

And wound through the ranges. And I think that was where I left off yesterday. We passed an accident around Blackbutt in the ranges there. A truck had gone over the side. I had heard about it on the radio but had forgotten about it. It had happened, apparently, at around 1am. They were doing forensics at 8am when we went through. I didn't have my camera ready. Luckily, the driver had been rushed to Esk hospital *Esk has a hospital??* so I took that as a good sign, rather than off to Brisbane.

We made good time. Much better than MOTH was thinking we would. While MOTH took a wee break at Goomeri, I staggered out of the car and sat on a bench at the service station.

And we arrived....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mobile. At last...

I'm sitting in the car as I type this. Somewhere out back of beyond it seems. Somewhere out past Esk. After a rather spectacular sunrise

the temperature dropped quite considerably and I am FREEZING.

Mind, by the time this uploads it might very well be midday!

We've been through Wivenhoe, and a little spot named Esk. Argh. My signal has dropped out again. I'll update later today, or maybe perhaps tomorrow. When I'm not having to rely on an intermittent signal.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dessert. The most important meal of all.

Not that I'm sayin' that MOTH is dessert, but the dessert pic looked a bit lonely by itself....

Monday, August 03, 2009

Remine ... remenes ..... remembering old things....

This morning I was excited and happy. My spirits soared at the thought of a new adventure. The bus missed it's turn off and as we headed up the busway and it missed another possible point for turn around I thought w00t! A cross country trip.

But it turned out that the new busway is open...

I must have missed the fanfare somewhere. Ok, so I don't follow the news much, but I thought there would have been SOME announcement. The new trip did take us a little way cross country into almost virgin territory. Well, some bus would have been there before us, but hey, it was new to me. And maybe even, if I hadn't had my nose stuck in my Harry Potter novel, I might have even looked up and seen a bus on the new way as I had passed beneath it earlier.

But I digest. I'm supposed to be providing an entertaining wrap up of the week just gone. Or something.

This was the week of the test for the Teen. We fronted up to the surgery on Wednesday for the test; the Teen has been suffering from a chest infection which is lingering. I had to postpone the orginal test as the medication would have played with the results of the test. So, off to the surgery and boy. What a mood. I put it down to the fact she was nervous. After a short while, our turn came and she was called up for a weigh in and height check. She was so very less than impressed with the weigh in. She informed me it was close to Wogboy's. *shrugs* I'm sure the weight she was expecting is like, child level, and she IS no longer a child.

So the Holter device was attached, and they ran a test to have something to measure it against. Typical, the reading came back in the range of normal. For those not in the know, a Holter test is a mobile ECG. You have the dots/leads attached and you wear a small over the shoulder harness which holds the monitor. She had to wear it for 24 hours. MOTH had one many years ago, just after his heart attack. Mind the size of the monitor has changed. A LOT! Oh, they also gave her a small form where she was to note anything strange, an event, so they could check it afterward.

Wednesday afternoon, she mentioned she had lost the diary. D'oh!

Thursday we headed back to have it removed. No worries. The young chap who removed it asked if there had been any events. She said there was, but we'll wait and see about results.

$200 later and all is finished and detached. Except adhesive residue and complaints about itching. And then I found the diary.

Friday night Wogboy was going to be staying. When I arrived home, MOTH informed me that Teen had gone out, but he didn't know if she would be back. *shakes head* Sometimes I wonder that he can find his own way down the hall. I went to find out what was going on, and there was a text message to tell me that she would be gone for the weekend.

Which suited me fine. I actually had somewhere to be on Saturday.

Saturday we had been invited to a work bbq, held for a colleague who has been in the office on a short term contract. He's been there just over two weeks now, and will be returning to the Netherlands at the end of next week. It's been a very fast 4 weeks! We rocked up at lunch time; as usual, the first ones to arrive. Except the bloke who bought the protein. And we even arrived after the start time.

There was a pretty decent turn out, and most of them were people I have a lot of fun with. MOTH likes them too - he tells me they always make him feel welcome. There was plenty of food. And for something to do, I even took a photo of the desserts. Perhaps I will upload it. It's on the home computer though.

Sunday I didn't do much. MOTH went out for the usual bread and paper stuff. I stayed home. I did the washing and got it all pegged out. I looked at the floor and decided it needed some work. But couldn't quite bring myself to plug in the vacuum cleaner.

This morning while suspended in that twilight just between sleeping and waking, I came to the conclusion that I know why everyone is having so much trouble with chest complaints this year. Even I'm coughing a lot. And I don't think it necessarily has much to do with the fact it's a rough flu season. While I was attempting to tidy a little, I actually used the dustpan and brush. I had to clean up the 'potato dirt' that had accumulated on the floor in front of the pantry where the potatoes live. And as I swept it into the pan, the angle of the sun showed me how much DUST was actually circulating with each sweep of the brush! An amazing amount. COPIOUS amounts. And each sweep set it swirling into the air. I have noticed the house is terrible to keep clean. One morning, I swept the same area three times and still kept finding bits that seemed to have missed the broom, and by the time I finished, it didn't look like I had done anything at all.

So this morning, I swiped the pledge duster around the floor. Perhaps I need to consider getting one of those things that pick up the dust instead of pushing it about. *sigh* I hate housework.

And on the way up to the office this morning, I watched a girl walking along the path in front of me. The way her converse lowtops scuffed across the ground as she walked. And it brought back memories of the way we scuffed through the schoolgrounds in our gymboots and sandshoes. And playing 'lastics in our lunchhours for weeks on end...