Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lost, and hopefully found

I don't like Mondays. Really I don't. But I don't really want to shoot it down. That takes too much effort. In middle of my trek from the carpark to the office I came across a family of wood ducks. The grounds are full of birdlife. This family was on the walkway, and making several pedestrians slow their pace. Mother, father and 5 very fluffy yellow and brown ducklings. Mum and dad jumped the path edging and up to the grass, followed by 4 of the little ones. One was a little smaller than the others and didn't make the jump. It ran further down the path as the rest followed it, calling encouragement. We'd stopped by then, Zman, myself and someone just outside my peripheral vision.

It tried again. And lo! Success. How cute! the voice behind me comments as she walks past. I could take a lesson from this about perseverance, or possibly being cute, but hey it's Monday and I don't like Mondays. They really were cute though.

I see a girl get on the bus the same time I do. She chooses the seat in front of me. The fringe of her dark hair is pulled back. She pulls the rest back into a high ponytail. Then she combs the tail. She pulls it out and puts it up again. She pulls it all out, combs it and puts it up again. She grubs around in her bag. A compact is found and she checks her face and repairs her makeup. She pulls her hair out and puts it up again. She pushes the contents of her bag again and this time lathers lotion on her arms and hands. For heaven's sake girlie, this is NOT your bathroom! Get yourself organised BEFORE you go out in public. Most of us don't like to watch you toilet yourself. Sheesh! She redoes her hair. Just before she gets off at her stop, she pulls it all out again.

It's only been a 10 minute bus ride....

Sometime during the week I get a call from the Elder. She and Subs are no longer together and she wants to come home. Things haven't been the best between them for some time and we've been gently hinting to her that a separation might be the best thing for her and she should come home. The black dog follows this one, and we hope that by moving home we might be able to help her start to keep the dog at bay. She's busy beginning to make arrangements.

A storm came through late afternoon on Thursday. I had to make a quick trip to the bathroom down the hall. What? The rain is splashing through the louvres. I get wet.

Saturday morning I realise that we've not got anything for any treat seeking missiles this weekend. We don't always get them but you can guarantee that if we don't, they'll arrive in droves. The budget is very small and when I get to the supermarket, most of the cheap stuff is gone. There are actually empty spaces on the shelves. Still plenty of the expensive stuff left! *read multipacks of freddos, milky bars etc*

None turned up Saturday night - I would have thought they would be out then being school following Sunday and all.

Just before bed I get a text from the Teen. Skywalker has accidentally knocked her iPhone out of her hand and the screen has 'shattered'. She doesn't know what to do. Frankly, neither do I but since she can still use it we'll look at it on Monday. How she asks? MOTH will look at it when he goes up to help the Elder.

It's been determined that MOTH will help with a hired ute. I'll be 'baching' for a couple of days. Haven't slept by myself or come home to an empty house for what feels like a couple of years. Shall be interesting. I'm thinking I'll be so bored I'll be scrubbing walls. If not climbing them.

Sunday lunch we popped out to Bestie's house. Things were a little tense for a bit as her disposal unit had kicked the bucket and hubby was out looking for spare parts. He tried to fix it when he got back but with little success I think. He left it be and things relaxed. The lunch was basic yet lovely. Marinated chicken, salad, steak and boston baked beans. Delicious. wound up when she left to take the little takkers out trick or treating before it got dark.Home now and relaxing before the onslaught of the missiles. I'm hoping they don't turn up and we get to eat the lollies ourselves...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Planes, trains and automobiles.

Have you ever lain awake at night listening to the hoons race up and down your street? First they roar one direction, then they roar the other. I often wish they'd run into a tree or a pole, but the unfortunate thing is that type of driver never seems to take out themselves. It's usually a mate or an innocent driver minding their own business.

I think every idiot on the road went past at some point last night.

It's been a slow quiet week this week.

Monday evening, Zman went to a Metallica concert at the entertainment centre. You'd better catch a bus into work tomorrow - I've no idea what time I'll be home says he. So I do. This morning I decide to walk up the hill to the other bus stop. I have two to choose from. I usually pick the closer one, being the lazy thing that I am. This morning I'm feeling a little more energetic, so I take the 15 minute walk up the hill.

I'm daydreaming and I hear a bicycle bell ring twice behind me. It gives me warning and without turning I move to the left. He goes past me without rushing - an older gentleman, not some fool who thinks he's a car. Wish they were all that polite.

Whoops. I had a travel information session for work today I was supposed to attend. I'd forgotten to put it in my calendar, and I'm reminded by Admin2. There is still plenty of time to attend as it hasn't started yet; I've used the system plenty of times so there is very little that I would be learning. And it's not the coffee session where they hand out some freebies. I don't end up going.

Zman decides to leave work a little early. We're dropping the car off at the service centre tonight as they'll want it early for service tomorrow. He's hoping they will give him a decent car for a loaner. He gives me the directions and says I can navigate. Oh lovely. He has no street directory and only something he's printed from the web which contains some limited directions and a couple of small sections of map that show only the corner where he needs to turn. Luckily, it turns out that Zman has some idea of where he needs to go already. I'm off the hook.

The loaner car turns out to be a ford Mondeo. It's very comfortable. Zman declares he hates it. It starts with a key! I think it's because it's not Zippy. Yes, he's named his car. I tell him that'l like calling a rottweiler Fluffy. He disagrees. And they've given it to him with the fuel light on. He has to put fuel in it to even get home.

The following morning he concedes that if he were looking for a nice family car, the Mondeo would do very well. But he still hates it.

That afternoon we leave early again to collect Zippy. All seems fine. But then Zman notices a white patch on the guard - THEY'VE SCRATCHED HIS CAR!! He's FURIOUS! They try to tell him that it was already there, but he's having none of it. I'm standing a short way off and I'm not sure of the outcome, if any. We get in the car and drive off, Zman cursing. Took it for a test drive. Yeah he says, A 30KM TEST DRIVE! He's a quiet furious though, so I spend a fair deal of my time quietly laughing to myself. I can tell he's so angry he can barely articulate it. Although he articulates well enough to flip the bird at a tailgaiter.

He's busily apologising.

Thursday morning he's still apologising. And still vowing he'll never take it back there again. If they don't cough up and fix the scratch - it means a full recoat of the special finish on the entire guard - he'll escalate to Ford Australia.

Friday morning and I decide not to go to work. I seem to be taking a lot of sick days lately. I'm feeling very run down, lacking motivation. Being dissatisfied with my job doesn't help with the motivation either. I'm stuck there because I think I want to move on, but I would like to stay with the University. They pay well, conditions are pretty good and the super is great. There is very little on the job board though to tempt me to apply. I want to finish the conference project I'll be working on till May 2011. So I stay where I am.

Friday night is fish in a garlic cream sauce. It's divine. The fish is perfect, light, white, flakey and just cooked. The sauce is the same one I used for the garlic prawns and again is rich, but not enough to overpower the fish. Which may be why MOTH isn't as impressed as I. It's fish, he says. Not his favourite dish but he eats it because he knows he should. Next time we have fish it will be in the form of fish fingers so he had better like those - they're crumbed....

Inspection is coming up next Tuesday so this weekend is spent tidying up the yard. Well, MOTH did that. I've been taking a duster to the cobwebs in the ceiling corners. Not an easy task, I'm short and the ceilings are 9 feet high. Thank heavens for extender handles! There is still one corner I can't reach above and behind MOTH's television, so I've left that for him.

More of the same today, but this time the fans. How dare they collect so much dust!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm confused. No wait ... maybe I'm not.

Just lately I seem to be busy. Not a good busy or a great busy, just ... busy.

After all the rain last week, it begins to ease off. The yard is soggy but at least there is a little sun. I've decided to cook some mustard cream chicken dish. Slightly modified of course as the original recipe is for pork. Two tablespoons of mustard hey. Well, the dijon should do for that ... ... wait a minute! I don't have any left. Ok, let's try the powder. I'm down to a mere sprinkle there too. And the seeded has a teaspoon left. What gives! I've usually got mustard everywhere. The only one left is ... hot english. Don't think I'll use two tablespoons of that.

I've downloaded a game patch this week. And wondering if it's the same one as last week. A friend assures me that perhaps it won't all download again, it will just pick out what I don't have from last time. It still takes a while though. I can't back out of it either. Whew. Wishing I hadn't done that. Gameplay is shocking. And it seems I'm not the only one with trouble either.

I'm riding the bus home on Thursday evening. It's not raining and I see a girl out riding. Her bicycle is the same shade of pink as her tshirt! What are the chances? Not far in front of her are two other riders. And flying frantically in front of them is a pale headed rosella. He finally dives off into the trees and I wonder what it looked like from the cyclists perspective.

It's sunny today on Friday. MOTH has finally been able to mow the lawn. I suddenly realise I've not yet mended the shirt that Judah dropped off for me some weeks ago. The job is so small, yet it's so difficult to start.

I'm chatting to someone and we're talking about cross stitch. I've not done any for years and have thought about getting back into it. I've told her I would look through my stuff - you know, that stuff that never seems to get unpacked after a move - and see if I can find it. It's nearly finished and I'd like to place that last thread.

Gameplay is improving. I've read through forums trying to find information. Don't you love it when you have to research before you can play a game?? It seems that you can access the game before all the updates are fully installed and perhaps that was the problem? It's still not perfect but better than previous.

Friday night I light a candle for the lost babies. It burns for an hour, but I've only a tea light. I've used it to kindle the scented wax. I've not lost a baby, but I know some who have...

Saturday dawns and it's like the wind has blown the sun across the sky. I've wandered out to the kitchen; instead of shining with intense ferocity directly through the window the beams slant obliquely across the grass. The wind pushes the palms and the trees about, the clouds are light and white. The sky is blue, the air is clear. I hope it continues like this - it's going to be a beautiful day.

I pop out to the shops, including *gasp* Bunnings. But that's alright, I'm only visiting the gardening section. My purchases today amount to some coriander plants, parsley plants and lemon grass. Most importantly, Cadbury strawberries and cream. Mmmmm.

I shift the ladder to begin looking for the cross stitch. I'm standing there, looking up at the boxes most of which are about level with the top of the ladder. No, I don't think I'm wanting to finish that cross stitch after all.

For something different Sunday I shall do a roast for lunch. While it's cooking, I've washed the glass outdoor table and 4 chairs. I shall leave the other setting for another time. I've pulled some weeds. Vacuumed and mopped the tiled floor. Done the washing. It's coming to 11.30 am and the roast is ready. Maybe a little more ready than I would have liked. After carving it's still tender, but a little dry. I think it was probably ready at 11, but I wasn't sure how long it would take. I've cooked it for 3 and a half hours on 150 deg C. It's still good though.

I've talked MOTH into setting up a television in the dining area. It's the only place left that has a co-axial connection. And I want to tape Sherlock. The series looks good but it's up against Bones. I've watched the first two episodes of Bones already, but really it's a no brainer.

I watch Sherlock this morning and it seems it's three movie length episodes, different stories each night. Over three consecutive nights. That's my viewing for the next couple of days sorted then...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Elvis, babies and wasting time.

Work has been a bit of a rush this week. One of the managers has asked me to put all aside and concentrate on completing a stocktake of all our hardware. This is a huge job. She would like it done by the end of the week. Mmmm. It's the following Monday and no, it's not yet complete.

It's Wednesday morning. Zman remarks that the traffic is heavy and seemed to be a bit slower than usual. Not that we are usually V8 supercar drivers. We get further down the road and the traffic seems to be merging into the inside lane. Uh oh. Yes, there it is. An accident between a old model ford like a fairlane and a new model holden astra. We can't see what happened but somehow the front wheels on the fairlane are out of alignment; the rear passenger side wheel of the astra is completely torn off. A paramedic is comforting the driver of the fairlane; someone has pulled up a little further down the road and a man is jogging back to the cars.

The astra remains in the middle of the lane with the hazard lights flashing. Everything looks to be under control and we continue.

It's only later as we we gossip about what we have seen that we realise there wasn't an ambulance in sight. The paramedic must have been one of the accident victims, perhaps on her way to or from work.

My immediate manager decided that we might spend some time in the mornings doing a tour of the Great Court, a large grassed area surrounded by sandstone buildings and archways. We take about half an hour to do three circuits. I'm hot and sweaty by the end of it, but I think that's more the weather than any effort on my part!

Thursday they were mowing the courtyard. Even though it's full of people. This patch of uni is VERY popular! The mower dude is tearing up and down, and we notice the witches hats in the middle of the ground. There in the middle of the hats is a plover. Standing tall, wings outstretched and yelling for all it's worth! The hats must mark a nest! The bloke on the mower just ignored the whole show.

For those not in the know, witches hats are a colloquial term for orange traffic cones.

We've got an early Christmas present from Ma. She insisted we open it. I love to wait and often will tuck my presents away until later in the day. This annoys the Elder and Teen no end. Anyway, she insisted we open it. We weren't sure at first - the box contained assembly instructions but no indication of what it actually was. Mmmmm. We scratched the label that she'd scribbled over and lo! It's a planter box.

It's raining still on Saturday. We spend Saturday morning wandering around Bunnings - in the rain - looking for things to put in it. Lots of potting mix, some gravel to line the bottom and some herbs. It looks good. If the herbs survive, I'm putting more in. I need lots of coriander and parsley! Come Sunday and it's STILL raining. It's been raining all night. We've got some smoking planned for the barbeque, but if the rain continues like this it might not be going ahead. I've got a new recipe for smoked pork ribs I want to try. It's been raining for so long, MOTH hasn't been near the garden. The lawn is racing ahead in leaps and bounds and let's not look at the weeds, shall we? I've lost the garden and all I see is dandelions and cobblers pegs. Wretched things. I'm out in the rain - it's only sprinkling at present - pulling weeds. The ground is muddy and I'm wearing gardening gloves. Not real ones, these are the leather heavy duty ones. My finger tips hurt by the time I've cleared a couple of small stops. No, I might have to wait, the job is too big.

I'm indoors now, and inspection is coming up at the end of month. I've polished mirrors in both bathrooms, cleaned off the benches and scrubbed a wall. I think that's enough for the day.

MOTH checks the recipe but we don't have all the ingredients. We substitute the cajun seasoning with bush spices. We're set up and ready to go. But here's a word from the wise - if the recipe calls for 3kg of pork ribs and you're only working with 1kg, shorten the cooking time to suit, yes? The ribs were very over done; crispy and dry. But in one or two places they were not. And delicious there to boot.

Today is up early. MOTH has been scheduled for day surgery. No breakfast for him and because of the timing no breakfast for me either. We're on our way to the hospital and it's 05:45. It's still raining. Heavy with squalling gusts of wind. We find a park and fingers crossed, sit in the car waiting for it to die down. Fifteen minutes later and no such luck. The brolly is in the car boot of all places. Sigh. We grab it and made a damp dash for the entrance.

Among other patients is a heavily pregnant woman. A little eavesdropping establishes she's in for a cesarean. Her partner walks in. Whoo! It's ELVIS! Late 70s style, with long dark hair and full sideburns. Although dressed in shirt and jeans, not a sparkle to be seen.

Eventually MOTH is seen and we head off for the pre-op clinic rooms. We check in, find a seat and wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually, his name is called along with two others. We're sorry they say. Clinic has been cancelled and your appointment has been rescheduled. What?? Apparently there is quite a number of staff who couldn't make it in that day.

So now we wait another month. The only upside is that I get another day off work.....

Oh, and Elvis had a baby girl....

Monday, October 04, 2010

Flight plans. But not mine alas!

The weeks just fly by these days. I blink, they're gone and I'm left wondering what it was I actually managed to accomplish.

A lot of nothing methinks!

Monday. I'm home sick with a headcold. A bad one, and the medication takes a while to kick in. Like up to 48 hours. Sigh. I'm discovering that day time television doesn't offer much by way of viewing and my selected viewing is Magnum PI. Rockford Files. Knight Rider. Gosh, The Hoff was easy on the eye back then. The Teen has a friend over this afternoon. He is here quite often when she visits. She is happy because I've told her we will take her home on the weekend. One of the friends brings me in a drink. Apparently it has a name which I have forgotten, but involves vodka, raspberry and lemonade. It's making my head swim.

Tuesday I'm home sick as well. Arrrrgh! I spend a lot of time sleeping. Getting to the end of the day and things are calming down a little.

Wednesday is crunch day. Do I go to work or the doctor and get a medical certificate? Well, it's only a cold and they can't do much to help me. Except give me the certificate. I go in and snuffle and sneeze my way through the day. The sneezing has calmed a bit from yesterday and I'm dosing myself on the cold tablets pretty regularly. My workmates don't seem particularly impressed to see me for some reason. I'm getting a lift with Zman so make myself stay for the whole day.

Thursday I decide that no, I'm going to stay home again. I'm still sniffling and they don't like sick people in the office! I should have stayed home yesterday. I've let work know that I will be away for the rest of the week. I didn't even bother to get out of my jammies. The bed looks tempting and I sneak back under the covers for a couple of hours.

We decide that we would head up to take the Teen home a day early. She's excited and can't wait. We plan to leave at midnight and I think I'll have a shower before I go to bed rather than at midnight. MOTH announces that he'll go for a bit of a kip before we head out. And there goes my option for a shower... *he's a VERY light sleeper. if i wake him, he won't get back to sleep* Somehow or another the Teen and I talk, facebook, chatter some more, watch television and now it's midnight. Dang. I've not had any sleep. MOTH is up and now I can have my shower.

I get first driving shift so I get to go through the city. With Karen of course. Danged if I'm doing that unassisted!

The trip is kinda long and boring. By the time you add in rest stops and driver changes, it clocks out to about 8 hours on the road. Jerome isn't travelling as well as he did the first time. I don't know if it's because it's night time or not. He's restless and calling, although in his harness but not the carry container.

At some point I see something standing on the side of the road. Or is it moving? *my eyes are shot for long distance. middle distance is ok though* We get closer and it's a dingo! Wow. First time I've seen one outside a zoo. He's long and lean, very sleek with a red tinted coat. Beautiful in a predator like fashion.

Friday I'm weary from lack of sleep. We visit with mum for a short time then head in to town to drop the Teen off home. She's happy to be back and tells me her housemate is too. We catch up with the Elder on the way and she joins us for a trip back to mums. I elect to go with her and MOTH heads off to visit friends while he's in town. He'll come back later. We go a different way and boy, there's some work been going on in town. Back roads! Linking suburbs! And landscaped and supposedly scenic too. Amazing. *but i'm not moving back!*

Mouse comes out to visit. It's good to catch up. Day's end and I'm falling asleep on the couch. I'm off to bed, but in typical fashion when I tuck myself in I'm not sleepy anymore.

Saturday night and we're out to dinner at the local CBD restaurant. We're waiting for first course and there is the Teen's best friend! He's come in with his family for a party, but he's not staying.

MOTH has mushroom soup for starters, the rest of us wait for mains. Mum chooses a chicken dish, Dad has prime rib, MOTH has chosen sole and I have beef medallions. They come as two, layered with something that may have been a type of mushroom and swiss cheese. No veges! I was disappointed because it was supposed to come with prawns as well. Oh, wait, there they are. There are two of them, hiding on the top of the medallions. MOTH loved his fish.

Dessert was worth the wait. A trio of chocolate mousse. White. Orange. Dark. Melt in the moth divine. The orange tasted like jaffa! It's almost a struggle to get it all in, but I managed. Whoo!

Sunday we're homeward bound. We leave mum's around mid morning with a quick dash into town to say goodbye to the girls. We drive the Elder over to pick up her car - left for the night at Sub's brother's place - then head off to see the Teen. She has a house full of friends who've crashed there for the night. We're introduced all round. We meet Pukas, her new squeeze. He's little!

We're on our way and have decided to head back via the Burnett Highway. To see how it goes. We're told the way is narrow, but you miss a lot of the heavy traffic.

Karen is fine with this until we hit the turn off and leave the main Bruce Highway. Then she is terribly confused and keeps trying to send us back to the Bruce. MOTH is having none of that and ignores her pleas to perform a u-turn when possible.

She's getting on my wick. He mutes the sound and we continue on our way. We've not gone this way for some time and are a little unsure. But we manage. Turns out to take about the same amount of time. MOTH has saved it to the trip log so we are hoping that next time we head that way, Karen won't be quite as upset. One day he'll surprise me and actually follow her directions.

Slightly used and disgruntled GPS anyone?

It turns out that yes, you do miss a lot of the traffic. The way is much more scenic as you pass through several small towns, and see the occasional house on the hill. Wild flowers colour the side of the road. We're cruising and coming toward us is a little old car from the vintage era *well, maybe from the 50s or 60s* and towing a caravan from the same time period. And they colour match. We pass a hotrod parked outside a store. It's powder blue and the roof is black vinyl. Someone has a Ned Kelly mailbox complete in his classic pose with two guns raised. It's been raining lightly as we near the end of our journey and for a brief moment, we can see a triple rainbow. It's beautiful.

I think we might go this way next time we head north. Which isn't till Christmas time thank heaven!