Monday, December 09, 2013

Furbies are top toys again

I have finished my Christmas shopping! Yay me! Usually I'm doing the last of it Christmas Eve eve. That's what it's for, right?

Now I'm thinking about having to get the sedation for Jerome, enough for 2 x 4 hour trips, and 1 x 8 hours. I have no idea if it's even possible but maybe even a couple of hours might help. No, Jerome doesn't travel well at all. He tries to break out of the carrier and yowls like a Siamese for several hours. Oh, and if I decide to take food up north, what do I take. And how am I going to take it. I would really like to bake a ham. Or roast a duck. For Boxing Day as I won't catch up with the kids until then. Or Christmas night.

Note to self: Alcohol. Don't forget alcohol. Moscato. Lots of it. And a sparkling red. Yeah, gotta get that...

When I get home MOTH has refilled the bird feeder. There are some rainbow lorikeets, and two galahs. I giggle as the lorikeets very carefully monitor what the galahs eat. There's a 'keet on the ground and the galahs join it. It thinks they're getting too much and sees them off to the edge of the spilled seed. I've seen them hold off two cockatoos they thought were eating their seed!

There are two weeks to go. I'm mega excited but I'm also beginning to have panic attacks. If I can just not think beyond the end of the year I should be alright. Yes. I will be alright.

MOTH notices a microwave/grill/convection in a catalogue. On the way back from somewhere he decides we will go and look at it. And we do. We're looking, discussing and thinking about it. No rush, right? And suddenly I find I'm paying for a new microwave/grill/convection and a new tower fan. Oh my. Well, I used to use the grill to cook my chops and sausages. I've sort of missed doing that as the one we have seems to only microwave these days without setting off the safety switch. So, now I have a new one. It comes with a Matt Moran cookbook. But it seems I have to claim that from the supplier web site. Darn. Don't like doing that. Okay, and when I look at the website it seems we've managed to get the appliance for about $200 cheaper in store than the RRP. Whoo!

The Teen made me giggle. She was going to her first ever work Christmas party and like the nerdy girl at school going to her first ever party she didn't know what to wear or to do. Later, someone posted a video of her without sound. I would have loved to have heard it. She's waving her arms about then suddenly jumps up and begins to dance and pose. I giggled like a mad loon.

Elder has decided to give Freddie a clip for summer. She sent a photo but I couldn't believe it. I thought I was looking at a photo of Hefe. Freddie looks totally different!!

I have suffered from a moment of madness and done something I thought I would never, ever do. I've joined the Wankiness club and have personalised license plates. They haven't arrived yet but I'm eagerly looking forward to their arrival. They'll look exactly like this ... but different.

I'm really looking forward to Boxing Day when I hope to catch up with my kiddies. Elder, Teen, Burrich, Asian, Barbie, and maybe even the new one. We haven't really met yet. Hopefully he's a teeny bit scared.

So. Two weeks to go. Probably going to be the longest two weeks of the year.

Ah, so much to do at work, and so little enthusiasm....

Monday, December 02, 2013


Watched a video posted on Facebook that involved the Teen creeping up behind the couch *butt in the air* and letting go with an air horn. The video might have been better if Barbie hadn't got the giggles and stopped filming. Then again, maybe that's a good thing because I'm not sure my ears could have handled the language....

Meet Titus Groan, my wallet...

It's been a wickedly busy week at work. I nearly had to tell Super that I couldn't meet a deadline! Admin2's work was getting in the way. Customer service rules and someone wanted something done that took a very long time to do. It's still not completely finished and I shall have to continue. Obviously. *that's me, captain obvious*

It is only about three weeks till Christmas now and I have most of my shopping done. *is totally amazed. isn't that what Christmas eve is for??* Only Mouse left to go. She's given me some *ahem* helpful suggestions but I was looking for something a little different. I will have to revert to her suggestion though I think!

As part of my leaving work, I have to give back any equipment I have taken home. This includes the monitor that MOTH has been using. So he has his present early. Bet you can't guess what it is? *purely rhetorical question that* He is very, very pleased with it and the picture quality is amazing. So clear! It's a HP 21" flat screen monitor but I can't remember what model. I've voted myself an early present as well.

The BMW, being a somewhat older model, does not have an auxiliary port to plug in an iPod or similar. Or phone either for that matter. It does have a CD player though. A single. So how am I going to drive up the coast with half of the way not covered by radio and no one in the car to change the CD? Hmmmm. I could get an aux fitted. But I decide to buy a new iPod instead. Terribly capitalist of me but I have had my Classic now for about seven years. I go for a touch. And while I'm at it, some speakers. I think I can find a way to mount them or put them in the car.

The hardest part is the waiting. I tell MOTH he can't go out cause I'm expecting a delivery. He does, thinking I'm joking. And I sort of am because I didn't know which day it was arriving. Sure enough, it arrives while he's out. He does a redirection for delivery and I have to wait an extra day *dies* because the parcel has to be signed for. The speakers arrive before the iPod. I get them together and the speakers are fantastic. I've decided that maybe I can use velcro to mount the speakers in the car. Apparently I'm taking a little too long to get the velcro on it as MOTH decides to give me a hand. Honestly, I think sometimes he's more excited about my gadget collection than I am. Okay ... but wait! Don't do that yet! But I'm just helping! Yes, but I need to give this some thought before you go wacking them on. Like, will I need the charging dock in the car? No, I don't think so. In which case the dots can go on the speaker base. But if I do that, will the dots prevent the contacts for charging touching? Oh.... so we get it sorted and I can velcro the speakers on to the dash mat.

We haven't had a chance to take the car for a long drive yet. Well, relatively long. We decide to head down the coast to Harbour Town, a shopping precinct full of outlet stores. My wallet groaned at the thought. I didn't. Oh, and while we're at it, we'll try out the new GPS as well. No fun trying it out when you know where you're going, right? The GPS seems to be working great, even lane previews at intersections. Excellent! And ... then it dies. Whoops! I set it up and forgot to plug it in to the charger. I'm trying out the cruise control as well. MOTH is sitting in the passenger seat for the trip and looks very pale. He tells me I'm scaring the hell outta him. I admit that's isn't difficult because he doesn't feel comfortable anywhere except the driver's seat. I don't notice if he's hanging onto the 'Jesus' bar, but a car ducks in front of us. Lookout! he nearly yells. Yes, I've seen it. I want to change lanes and I indicate. I speed up a bit to position myself properly but the driver behind me speeds up too. I take the gap anyway. Watch him! from MOTH. Yes dear, I know he's there but I need to turn and I'm taking this space. I'm running the cruise control but traffic is a bit up and down. I downgrade the speed but get a little close. MOTH mumbles to himself. A little while later he tells me again to be careful because I'm scaring the hell out of him. Not that that is difficult. He's pale when we arrive so I ask if he wants to drive home. I was hoping, he says. I'd feel better. Ok...

We stop for lunch at Nonna's. They have a steak menu, a seafood menu, and an Italian menu. MOTH orders off the steak, I order from the seafood. We're placed at a table 'outside' *still under cover* and the breeze is really nice. The meals are great and when we pay for it I'm handed a 10% off Candyland voucher. I'm so there!

We stop at a pet supply store. I want a harness for Jerome. I find the style I want in a lovely royal purple velour. That will do. I take it to the counter where I am served by an older woman. We chat a little as she's trying to read my t-shirt. It says "I'm only wearing black until they invent a darker colour" and she laughs when she reads it. She comments the leash is a lovely colour. I mention it should suit, the cat is black. She looks at me *i'm wearing a black t-shirt, a black skirt* and she looks at MOTH *he's wearing a black polo* and put her hands in the air. Of course it is, she exclaims. Everything is black! I look at MOTH and we laugh.

I've spent way too much and I'm glad that MOTH is driving home. I'm kinda worn out and ready to nap. It's too late when I get home though for napping. I try the harness on Jerome. He's happy, happy, happy as he lets me begin adjusting the size. It means he gets to go outdoors and he sings his praises. I let him out for a couple of minutes on the leash. He seems to be content with that. He hasn't been out for a couple of days as MOTH caught him outside the fence on his last unsupervised outing. He has also been catching the giant skinks and bringing them indoors. Jerome was in the front yard when MOTH found him. He dived for the fence but the ground on this side is much lower than the ground on the other. He jumped, didn't make the height, hung off the fence then gave up and dropped to the ground. MOTH bought him indoors and he's been sulking ever since. *jerome, not MOTH*

So beginning to get ready for the trip up north. Music sorted. Christmas pressies bought. Accommodation booked. Since we are leaving when I finish work and having to take two cars we are planning to overnight Christmas Eve about halfway. Just have to organise sedation for Jerome. Wish he travelled better than he does! Oh, and decide what we're packing into the Bluebird *the car we are giving to Teen for Christmas* to hopefully clear space in the garage for our stuff instead of the Elders! Hopefully it's going to go quickly!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Airconditioning, where are you?

Bright Monday morning and the work air conditioning is failing. Yoiks. It's now 27C in the office. Stuffy! And I only mentioned to MOTH this morning it was almost a pleasure to go to work for the air conditioning. Looks like I broke it.

I've had my weekly meeting with Super. There are plenty of things on my To Do list now. And I have had some clear deadlines set. They might be a little tough to meet, but this makes things easier and I wish it had been done before. Things are going a little smoother but it's too late now.

Filled the car with fuel the morning, and I can't wait to get to work. Because I love driving the car. MOTH is having to get used to the view from the passenger side when we go out. And I don't think he's happy.

Christmas shopping today. But I allow MOTH to join the Club first. This is seriously going to decrease our chances of getting a park at the mall I want to shop at. For both the big malls you need to arrive early. Parking is very much at a premium by 10:30am. We joke with the others that we need peace, and karma, good will, and a parking space will be available for us. Traffic is very heavy when we finally get to the mall. There are cars everywhere. We decide that we will check where we normally park for the Dr and if there's nothing there we will go home and shop early on Sunday. Nope, nothing. We exit the upper car park ramp to go home and there, right there, across the other lane of traffic a space opens up. I put the indicator on and wait for someone to let me across the traffic. We park and head for the shops. Now most of my shopping is done, only three more to get. I know what one is, but have no idea what to get Mouse and Rabbit. Not a clue.

MOTH keeps the bird feeder stocked with seed. I've thought about putting out some honey for the lorikeets but they seem happy enough to eat the seed. We usually get crested pigeons, turtle doves, rainbow lorikeets, and crows by the ... too many. Occasionally we get a galah or two *quiet peanut gallery!* and a cockatoo. MOTH really likes this cockatoo. He's been close enough to notice it's banded so maybe it was once someone's pet. It comes to the fence and if there is no seed it screeches loudly. And often. Till MOTH comes out and puts more seed out. It sits on the fence near the feeder and watches MOTH will a beady eye till it's satisfied there is enough. MOTH can stand directly below it and hold up his arm. It doesn't jump on, but nor does it fly away. MOTH waits patiently for the day it steps onto his arm.

Wet season is beginning to come through. There have been some big storms but we keep missing them. We get some rain, a bit of wind, thunder, and a lightening show. And a sticky hot humid day the next. I don't mind some rain but it never seems to help. If only a cool breeze would blow after so things aren't so hot and sticky. The weather makes me torpid and more angry than usual. Even though I wake up sweaty, I keep dozing off and can't muster up the energy to do much of anything. I even turned off the computer on Sunday....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Song sung blue

I kept the eye paint. I could wear one of the blues. It's a dark grey blue. And I didn't bother getting the refund. It was less than $10.

So I'm staring at the light, blinding myself and watching the fan go round. Trying to think of what I did last week. Must have been exciting!

Things have been alright at work. It's like ... maybe she's taking lessons. She's not been over my shoulder as much. She stopped to listen to Admin2 and said "as good as that sounds, I think we should..." Very surprising. Work has mostly been preparing for Admin2 to go on leave. She takes six weeks so it's a big build up. She has to rush to complete as much as she can before she hands over to me.

MOTH has been in a great deal of pain, his back in spasm. I ask if he needs a carer for the day but he insists not. Darn. It's still grabbing but as I walk to the back door today after work I notice he's been busily chopping trees. Naughty, naughty, very naughty.

I drive the new car to work. MOTH says it should be okay but I'm a little wary. I am right to be. I slow down to stop at the lights, she's not too happy to get moving again. I slow down for the next lights. I miss them - she won't move. The engine revs and the car stays put. Uh oh. I turn it off. And turn it back on again. Yes, I know. Totally geeky, right? She moves again but the process repeats when I have to stop at the next lights. Eventually I make it to work and phone MOTH. He calls me back later and comes to take the car to Ash. Ash, the service chappy. That is where she is right now. Waiting for a part. And a gearbox service. I hope that she doesn't require any more. *crosses fingers*

Please hurry up and get that part!

I hope to meet with Super today. Her suggestion, but she's too busy. I'm okay with this as I'm sure she will want to go over what I've managed to accomplish and take me to task for what I haven't. She reschedules for tomorrow.

I have a meeting today to discuss something for the conference next year. We have the discussion and it's suggested that I look into stuff and take on a project for next conference next year. I say nothing. She schedules another meeting for this afternoon. And changes it again. I decide I will have to take the initiative.

So this afternoon I have handed in my notice. It's totally terrifying. But it's done, effective at end of year.

Super appears to be gobsmacked.

MOTH and I go out for dinner. I order a seafood plate. And this arrives at the table....

I HAD TO PEEL THE PRAWNS MYSELF!! *ugh* MOTH spent time laughing at the faces I pulled and noises I made as I peeled them. A waitress came over with a plate for the shells. Not long after she came over with a bowl of water with lemon wedges. She chuckled a little and said "you might want this too". I reckon the staff may have been laughing at my faces too....

I ate most of it. Especially the calamari. I like the stuff they cook there, tasty coating and tender squid. I left the salad and chips and one of the seafood sticks. MOTH laughs at me as I pick up a chip with my fingers and dip it in the sauce. Typical you, he says, out to dinner and you do that. I just grin....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Now I know I have feet.

The last two weeks have gone quickly. Too quickly. I remember on a Tuesday that I haven't updated then, bam, it's Friday again and I've still not done anything. I think I've made a big decision, and had a really great time as well.

Right now I'm wrestling with a dilemma. I ordered an eyeshadow from Avon. They've substituted a different one. It's twice the price of the one I paid for. But of all the ones they used for substitution, it's the one duo in the palette range I won't wear. It's blue. Grey blues, but still blue. Do I send it back for a refund or not? Ah, first world problems!

I make it to induction. There is not a single person I know there. I'm feeling a little strange and I sit down the back. They introduce themselves then break up into teams. I'm in the Guest Management team so we head out of the room to sit. We are the largest group as our area covers quite a bit. There's a small chat and then we break into smaller groups to get to know each other. Then it's back into the big room for the rest of the session which covers quite a few topics. Of course, there are the usual people who ask the weird and the dumb questions. I sign the disclosures and other stuff about understanding health and safety and off I go. The volunteering session looks to be a lot of hard work! I wonder how I'll go?

I've been given THE LIST at work with all my tasks and my expected deadlines. My super has stressed that all deadlines have to be met. I've missed one of them so far, but I wasn't particularly worried. It was something small, due on Friday which I handed over on Monday. I had a quick question for another manager but I didn't expect him to want to call a "committee meeting" before he gave me the answer. Ah well. So, I'm working to my deadlines so "I can learn to use my initiative and judgement". I've been working on reports. I need to complete about 70 of them before end of this week. A tough call but I had to wait for others to review the template and first couple of reports. I wasn't going to prepare a heap of them just so I could go back and change them! I do have about 20 of them prepared now, but this time they've let me review them myself and send them out without further review. Amazing!

It's Friday night and I have to see if I can get across to the Valley to meet Nicole for a briefing. It's nearly 6pm when I get there. There are other volunteers sitting around and a small woman standing with them. Her name is Jade. I'm left with her while we wait for Nicole. Eventually we find her. She's a little brusque and checks to see if we are people she's been emailing. Apparently there is no briefing tonight, it's too late. She sends us back to Jade. More waiting about and eventually we find out that I'm on line control, and marked as a "cover". The cover is the person who 'cover's the other's lines when they go to break. I have four lines to cover. Eve is a spare. We're told our call up is at 8am on Saturday. Right. Till then, then.

8am Saturday and I'm ready for briefing. There are some of us gathered around. Most of the table, line, and barrier set up is done. Jade does a roll call and half of those who are supposed to turn up aren't there yet. She tells us to organise ourselves into small groups. There are a couple of younger ones standing near me and they look like they know each other very well. I said well I'm supposed to be a cover and they jump to my side. Ok, that's our group. Briona knows where she wants to be and we head off for those lines. Jade takes Beau and Kirsty away and I get a line to myself. I'm line control for Todd Lasance. Whoo. Another girl joins us to look after the line next to me. She seems a little hopeless and unprofessional. She sits on the floor when she's not supposed to. She doesn't look as tidy as she could. She spends all her time on the phone. Not good.

I'm on my feet all day. Jade drops by occasionally to see if we have breaks covered and what we are doing. We're fine. We call her the ninja because she appears when least expected. And with no fanfare. It's hard work but I'm enjoying myself. It's a great line to begin on as it's not terribly busy and I have time to figure out what's expected of me. I'm checking to make sure no one takes photos, and everyone has a token to get the signature *no freebies!*. I need to liaise with his PA to make sure that I'm ready to fetch anything they might need. His PA seems very efficient.

I've forgotten my phone today. And I have to contact MOTH to come collect me. I have notes, but no change for the phone. Hmmm. I'm so tired I don't figure out the solution till I'm halfway home. Hopefully my end station has a vending machine!

Home for a soak, and I crash to bed about 9.30pm. It's not a good night and MOTH wakes me in the spare bedroom at 6.20am. We need to leave at 7am for an 8am call time. Again. I know what to expect this time. Or thought I did. This time we have a full and proper briefing. I notice the hopeless girl has missed the briefing. It seems the PA on the line she was minding put in a formal complaint. There's a chance she might be moved. She moves briefly to the merch store and is back again at 10.30am. Not long after she says I've been told I have to go. We don't know what she's meaning but she says she was told to just go so off she's going. Briona and I look at each other. And I have two lines to mind. I'm not worried. I'm having a blast. My feet are not, but I am.

Our boys are all from Spartacus. Liam McIntyre, Todd Lasance, Christian Antidormi. Only the three best looking blokes on the entire guest panel. Ok, so Joe Flanagan, Sean Maher, and Dominic Monaghan are easy on the eye too!

The day ends, the volunteers pack up and fall. I head down to HQ for a snack and to sign out. Jade is there and thanks me for my help. She also tells me I was awesome because I could self manage. The lass looking after the sign outs tells me they don't often get that. I'm very very happy. Confidence back and I know it's definitely not me then!

MOTH collects me from the station. He's slumming it because he has the bluebird. He's walked out of the house and forgotten to fetch the BMW key from my desk. My feet are sore and swollen. I can barely walk. Luckily I thought to take tomorrow off work so I can recover! We'll see how we go....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Think I Blinked...

And a week went by. It seems it did. Now how did that happen? Not that I was busy, or doing anything exciting. Or much of anything really. It just seems to have ... happened.

I was on holidays and doing not much of anything except catching up with some washing. I would have said housework, but I didn't seem to have mustered up that much enthusiasm.

Oh, and I applied for a loan. To consolidate debts. I thought I would try and see if I could live without a credit card. I've had one for years so the challenge is on. I applied online and it took almost a week for the approval to come through. As the ad says, why does it take them days... I filled out the online application. Two days later they contacted me for the supporting documentation. I sent it same day. The next day they tell me I've sent the wrong one. I send the right one. Two days later they tell me it is conditionally approved. But I have to wait for it to be processed before I find out if I have the loan. Saturday they finally call me to say I have the loan. And the appointment to sign the paperwork at the bank is scheduled for the next day. Wait, isn't that Sunday. Yep, that's right. They trade on Sunday.

I open an account at the bank and the money is in there straight away.

I've managed to pay funds onto one card, but have forgotten to get a payout figure *d'oh!* so I will have to wait for the end of the billing period to get the final payout.

I've not seen my regular GP as she is on leave. I work out with another that I can go back to work full time. I think I can manage it although my level of enthusiasm is way low. Except the first day. That's still a five hour day so we can work out what jobs I need to be doing when I'm back full time.

We've seen interesting looking vehicles on the web. I've even looked on eBay. I found one I liked but it was interstate. That's not a problem, I am sure I can work out how to get it up here. But no go. The listing ends, is relisted but comes down again within 24 hours. MOTH pokes about on Gumtree. He finds some to look at. And we do. There's one he likes the look of at a wholesaler a couple of suburbs over. We head out for a look. There's a small BMW hatch with red leather seats. In reality, it's not as great as it looked on the web. The red leather of the seats is actually more of a darker red brown. The price is right though. The passenger window is broken out. The dealer assures me it will be replaced before we pick up the vehicle. I sit in the driver's seat. Nope, this is not the car for me. I buy my cars this way. I sit in the driver's seat. The car must "talk" to me. There's another car nearby that takes my fancy. It's unlocked. MOTH looks at it. He likes it. It's unregistered. I sit in the driver's seat and yes, this is the car. The seats wraps itself around me and welcomes me. Everything feels right. The interior is in very good condition considering. It's a 2000 model BMW 318i. But the price is $1000 more than I want to pay.

We wander around the lot and look at other vehicles. There are some that catch our attention but they are all out of my price range. I expected this. You can't get a lot for the price I have in mind. We discuss it further and decide that to heck with it. We shake hands with the dealer and I walk away after having signed the papers with a BMW to pay for and make arrangements to pick up. It's in "as is where is" condition so I have to look after the transport, roadworthy, and registration myself.

I get an email unexpectedly. Well, I guess I'm expecting it as it should be a reply to an online application I've submitted a while ago. I open it and am shocked. It's FANTASTIC news. I've been accepted as a volunteer for Supanova2013. A pop culture expo. Induction is this coming weekend. The geek in me is sooooo excited!

MOTH has spent the week running about finalising car paperwork, getting roadworthy/safety certificate, CTP insurance, registration papers. Isn't he marvelous?? He has a bad experience at the registration office with a very rude clerk. He didn't have the money to make the payment for the registration as it was higher than expected. And guess what. I've cancelled the credit card so we can't transfer any money. Oh no! MOTH tells me later that the clerk just walked away from the booth and left him there. He didn't know what to do and she had kept the paperwork with her.

I went with him the next morning. He's on edge and short tempered, not liking having to deal with government departments. We grab the ticket from the machine and are called to the counter straight away. Today's clerk goes through the paperwork and asks where the original RWC is. MOTH explains it was taken the day before and not returned. The clerk goes to find it and a short time later and about $450 later we walk out with the plates.

We spend time that night playing with all the buttons in the cabin. Oh dear. No AUX jack in the CD player. Darn. I can't connect my phone for my music. But whatever, I'll get by. I take the car to work the next morning. DAMN! The transmission light is on. I'm not sure what to do about this.

The induction is today. I'm SO NERVOUS! It's been a long time since I've stepped outside my comfort zone to put myself voluntarily in a room full of strangers. It's an interesting morning though and I wait for more information about what I'll be doing that weekend. I've been allocated to a team, but there is a chance this may change. I'm expecting to be keeping people in lines.

Whatever they put me on, it's going to be a full on weekend! I'll be totally exzzzzzzzz......

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Surf, sun, and sand equals ouch!

It has been so long since I've been in the sun long enough to get burned that I'd forgotten how much it stings. OUCH! Apparently I missed some places with the sun screen. *is sheepish*

I've finally given up on my glasses. I check and the last time I had new lenses was 2009. Oops. I've upgraded but now I need to wait for them to arrive. My wallet is still recovering from the shock. Last time was a two for one deal and the whole gig cost me around $400. This time just the lenses for one pair is $380 or so. Ouch!

The part is this weekend and I've managed to stretch my stay out for a few days to catch up with family as well. For a long time I thought I couldn't go but at the last minute I managed to grab some cheap flights and a bit of a balance on my credit card. For the saree too. Poor overworked credit card! I'm leaving after work so MOTH and I have spent some time thinking about timing.

The flight departs on Wednesday night. Boarding is delayed about fifteen minutes. Not too bad and we arrive very much on time. It's great to see Elder and Burrich at the airport.

The Teen is eager to catch up and badgers me to attend a concert with her. All those young people going mad in the mosh pit? I don't think so! I agree to meet with her before the gig though. She's happy to settle for that. It's also a chance to meet one of her good friends. Teen makes me welcome because she's always happy to see me but sometimes I feel a little out of place as the only old person there. Never mind.

I spend some time out at Ma and Pa's place. It's great to see them. Elder drives me out and it's a good opportunity to catch up with Froggy as she passes through on her way back south. Frogs travelling south for the summer. Quite a novel idea. We spend a lot of time laughing and talking, eating cheese, kabana, and pickled onions. The day is warm but a breeze blows through the kitchen so it's not unbearable. I'm a dreadful stirrer and Ma is easy to spook. I take full advantage of this, after all I have plenty of time to catch up on! I stand close behind her but don't make a sound so she startles when she turns around. Elder is lifting a picture down from a high spot. She can just reach. I cry out she is going to drop it and turn in time to see that Ma got the fright, not Elder. We collapse about giggling.

I have two supervisors so to speak. One is my official one from my team, the other from a different team which I also help out as part of my job. While I've been away my duties for the second team have been sent elsewhere and he is now on Paternity Leave. His wife had their second child - a little girl - just recently. Super2 is away for a couple of days so I have been asked to do that part of my job for a day while I am on leave. Luckily it is the one day I haven't anything planned.

It's nice to spend the day just relaxing around the house. A glass of Nestea peach flavour and the laptop set up on the desk in the room where I'm sleeping. Even though I'm working it is relaxing. How odd.

Mouse isn't ready to collect me until mid afternoon so I spend the morning at the shops and mucking about with Elder. Mouse comes for me and we head off. I haven't seen her house before as she's moved recently. Oh wow. The kitchen is great. Sort of galley style but much wider. The house itself is not at peak condition and there are sandflies galore. But it does have a cozy feel and the breeze circulates much better than her previous abode. The kitchen window overlooks a park and the scene is very tranquil.

We nip around the corner and pick up Minx on the way to the party. It looks great when we arrive. A welcome table. Everyone is in costume. The decorations are great. There are a couple of pavilions set up with couches. There are lanterns. A food table. A lolly bar. We bag a table. The metal chairs are unbelievably comfortable. We stay there all night but are joined by plenty of people circulating through.

There is a slushy machine! I love it! Fruit tingle or Pina Colada. Choices choices. We go Fruit Tingle first. It's delicious. Think I have about three or four. Then switch to the other. It's nice, but I'd rather the Fruit Tingle. Minx likes the Pina Colada. The food comes out. Butter chicken. Chicken korma. Lamb rogan josh. There are things that look like coconut ice but are not. We sample some of those as well. I finally realise they must be halva. And someone said that there was a salad. I couldn't see it very well so didn't sample. Someone commented it had carrot in it. WELL WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE SAY SO! I LOVE THAT STUFF! I've made it myself once or twice. I help myself to a couple of spoonfulls. It tastes much like caramel. I usually eat it with vanilla ice cream.

It gets to half ten or so and we call it a day after the cake cutting. I was stuffed full of food and starting to get sleepy. Maybe if I hadn't eaten so much I would have wanted to stay till party end. Who knows. But I had a really great time.

The following day Mouse is sick. She didn't drink anything so we suspect that something she ate must have had cheese in it. Poor chook. I send her back to bed to nap and I reach Archie and Veronica comics. Elder comes to pick me up.

It's a public holiday and we are headed north to pick up Teen and head for the beach. I want to spend time with them though I'm not keen on sand and seawater. I don't have sunscreen or a hat. Luckily Elder has sunscreen. I must find out what it is too. It certainly worked. Where I put it on that is. I missed some patches and boy are they red and sore! I haven't been burnt like this since I was a kid. Elder thinks it funny because one of the red patches has a white finger mark on it, complete with joints. She giggles at this.

Some of Teen's friends join us on the beach and it becomes quite a crowd. The day is sunny but the breeze is cool and I have found a patch of shade. I stay there. Elder has brought the dogs and they manage to kick sand and water over most of us. Hefe also managed to stink out the car on the way up. Gotta love dogs. Not.

I doze on the trip home and we managed to get there with enough time for me to wash off the day and finish up the last of my packing. Once again MOTH has arrived too early and had to circle through some very heavy pick up traffic several times before he can collect me. I'm not waiting for him all this time, I come out and wait. He doesn't circle past once while I'm there. I try to convince him that I'm happy to pay for parking if he arrives early. But he doesn't want to spend the money. Mind, he's not happy to circle continuously either. Can't win there.

So home to relax, to a very happy hubby and kitty....

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I love parcels!

Packing, packing, packing, where for art thou packing? I should be, but yet I'm not. Not yet. Wow. Once upon a time I would have been sorting my clothing about three weeks out from a trip. But I'm heading out next week but no packing yet. I'll get MOTH to get the suitcase down later.

This marks the first week of five hours back to work. I'm coping ok but still taking my work slowly. I'm not pushing myself too hard. My Super still hasn't put me back to a full workload and Admin2 is away so things are still progressing slowly. I am doing ok though despite the fact that the work itself is boring. Super has left me alone on the most part so that is making things better.

*huh. i put perfume on this morning around 7:30am. Thierry Mugler "Angel". a little on my arm and some on my skirt. it's now nearly twelve hours later and i can still smell it on my arm*

MOTH has been having a lot of trouble with his phone. It's a Samsung Galaxy S3. It keeps freezing and he has to pop off the back and remove the battery to get it to restart. It's becoming very frustrating. We check when he can update the phone. It's only been just over twelve months since he upgraded to the S3 so no, not yet. Not without a $900 penalty for early termination of contract. And the phone is out of warranty. Typical! Thank you Optus. And at that price, it would be cheaper to buy a new phone outright. One of the other options is to downgrade the plan to a lower level and make repayments on the new phone plus installments on the penalty. Sigh. Never ends, does it. It's something to think about anyway.

My eyes are getting worse. I finally bite the bullet and have MOTH book me an eye exam. When we look, my last eye test was 2009. Oops! No wonder my glasses are no longer working. So I need to get the lenses upgraded. It's only going to cost me $387. Ouch! Poor wallet. And that's using my own frames. Last time I had two pair of glasses with frames and lenses for not much more than that. These however are the extended focus lenses which means I can use them for close work on the computer and for reading without having to change. A single focus will give me one or the other to best effect but not both.

I have a party invitation lined up for this coming weekend. A friend is turning 50 and has decided on a Bollywood theme to celebrate. I've given some thought to whether to get a saree from eBay. Or a costume? I don't like costumes because wearing something that someone else has worn previously and often doesn't fit properly is somewhat of a turn off. Who am I kidding. It's a total turn off. I've browsed eBay and not found anything that takes my fancy. I look at a couple of web sites that sell sarees and finally find one. It needs to ship from overseas somewhere. I choose the prestitched option - that means the petticoat and pleats are stitched and I don't have to tuck and fold it - and it turns out to be expensive for something that I may only wear once. I think the result looks alright though.

I speak to Mouse and it turns out that a mutual friend who didn't want to go by herself asked Mouse to attend because she likes to dress up. So, looks like I will be attending with my sibling! It will be interesting as I ask Mouse what colour her saree is. Ummm ... a golden orange. I laugh. Wonder what the third member is wearing. She asks. Umm ... orange! We had better not stand too close to each other. I haven't seen my friend for some time and it looks like she has invited all the party animals she knows. She's gone crazy with the decor and decorations so I am really looking forward to seeing what it looks like.

I've been toying with the idea of buying another car. The only drawback is that my budget is very small so I'll only be able to afford an old one. The biggest problem is that I am very, very, VERY fussy about the interior of my vehicles. Not so much the outside, a few scratches or a minor dent or some paint off doesn't bother me. Torn upholstery though ... that's another matter altogether. Just lately there seems to be a few cars parked on the side of the busy road. One of them is an older model BMW with a tag of $3500. After passing it a few days I stop for a look. A bit of sun damage, some scratches, nothing major. Then I peek in the windows. EEEEEEEEEEEK! It's dusty. There are crumbs on the front seat. The steering wheel is peeling. The upholstery on both front seats is worn through to the foam. Nope. No way, no how. Not ever. I drive on.

I browse through There's an Volvo S40. Looks pretty good. I talk MOTH into an inspection on Sunday afternoon. They reverse the car out of the garage for us. I look at the outside. Oh, a missing blinker cover. I'd have to replace that. A few scratches on the duco. Nothing too bad. Pop the door open and .... oh dear. It's not been looked after as well as it might. There are tears in the upholstery. MOTH asks if I want to take it for a test drive but he tells me later he can see I don't want to sit on the seat. We drive it though. It feels very heavy compared to the other Volvos I've had. We notice small things. The rear window doesn't power up. Nope, not the car for me. The price wasn't too bad but much more than I would have been prepared to offer because I'd have to fix all the other things.

At a loose end we drive out to look at the car yards. It's been a long time since I've done that. This time however we only look at the wholesaler yards. Pretty limited because they are few and far between. Still, it's a nice way to spend some time. There's nothing in the yards we look at that piques my interest as a possible consideration. Of course, it doesn't help that I keep gravitating to the more expensive ones! Never mind, no rush. If I'm meant to have a new car I'll win the lotto, right? ... Right?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Change is as good as a holiday they say.

MOTH is feeling unhappy with his phone. It keeps freezing. It's not out of contract, but out of warranty. Typical. They won't replace it, either repair or payout is going to cost a fortune. So we're kinda stuck but it's no use having a phone that won't work. We've opted to update the phone which means we have to pay out the contract. Luckily we can do this in installments! Why do they make you take a 24 month contract but the phone is only good enough to last 12 months? Grrr.

He gets the phone and is eager to play with it. Wait! It doesn't fit in the case. What's going on? He goes back to the outlet to check. It seems they've given him the wrong model and now he has to wait until Tuesday to get the proper one. Oh dear.

I've used MOTH's new toy a few times now. Probably more than he has. When you're used to a machine that rattles and "walks" all over the laundry floor in its enthusiasm, it's odd to use one that doesn't. It's heavy and solid. And quiet! It is a front loader but we've been using one for ages. When we first began looking I asked MOTH if he had a preference for top or front loader. He also has trouble with his back and knees. He didn't have a preference as he has to bend either way. We laughed together in one of the shops. It was a big top loading machine. I almost had to climb into it to be able to reach the bottom of the bowl. You never know, if I do washing I might need to be able to fetch a sock from there. So as I mentioned, this one is a front loader. It sits on the floor but I imagine you could put one on a table or something. It would have to be strong though. I find it easy enough to throw the clothes in and to remove them I put the laundry basket under the door and pull the clothes out into it. MOTH manages as well although he does find it a little difficult on his bad days.

I rearranged the rumpus room again. I think it looks kind of weird, but hey, I only have myself to please. The fan is in the middle of the room so it's difficult to find a spot for the desk where I can get some of it in the desk area. I'm back to the wall again on the other side of the room. I can feel some air movement in this spot and I hope that come summer it will be alright. MOTH growls at me and says You have that! *points to airconditioner* Use it! Yes boss!

I spend time with the Club this morning. It's the first time in quite some time. Being back at work makes it difficult to socialise! Special K is there. And so is Luigi. Luigi monopolises the conversation most of the morning. I like his style of talking. It means I only have to listen and don't have to contribute much. He has us in stitches frequently and my cheeks and jaw hurt from laughing so much. Even Wombat can't help to laugh, even though it was ruining his bad mood. Special K tells him that he'd have to let it go cause he couldn't stay mad. Wombat laughs and agrees.

Work seems to be going alright so far I think. Next week I'm on a 5 hour roster so we shall see. I've finished the task I was set and I'm ready to take on something else. Admin2 has gone on 2 weeks holiday so I don't know how much of her work will be given to me. I'm still finding things that have been done outside our usual process. Admin3 tells me of a petty cash claim that had been made. It wasn't recorded anywhere and Admin2 didn't know anything about it. So how did they manage to get a $100 petty cash claim processed without the usual paperwork the Cashier asks for? I might have to check. If there's a shortcut, I want to know about it!

I'm sitting at my desk and Admin2 says something. I look up and a brush turkey is on the top of the steps peering though the glass door. We watch it for a short time as it paced the top step, peering through the glass all the while. I think that it must have been trying to find a way in to the rest of the turkeys inside. Eventually it walks down the stairs and disappears. Later I see a male wander past.

There is a cat who likes to hang around the grounds. We don't know where it comes from but it's definitely not feral. It's a beautiful apricot and cream colour, well kept and well fed but doesn't wear a collar. Admin3 does volunteer work at RSPCA and mentions it is a burmese. She's worried that someone will run over it and wants to know where it comes from. It's very friendly but likes to lie in the road and kill the wildlife.

She sends a message to the property mailing list but no one can provide an answer.

Work tomorrow and I think I am really going to miss being able to walk out of the office at 1pm....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quiet! Smell that? I'm thinking.

I'm thinking about what has happened this week.

Made it through another week of work. I'm slowly getting the upper hand with the left over travel paperwork, should be finished soon. Then I guess I'll have to discuss with Super what to do next. I think she's angling for me to hurry and finish with this stuff.

MOTH has been spending quite a bit of time in the rumpus room in the recliner watching Foxtel. Well, some occasional time anyway. I asked why he's gravitated to there instead of his area. Dunno, he says. This Foxtel has more of the stuff I watch. Although I am sure the Telstra T-box does have at least one of the channels he watches on it. I don't mind, I just think it's funny.

I'm not sure that Jerome has worked out if he likes MOTH's transition or not. He has taken over the recliner and usually has to give it up when MOTH decides to watch TV. Jerome was sitting on the window sill, close to the recliner. MOTH decides to sit in the empty recliner. Suddenly Jerome clears the space between the window sill and the recliner in one leap! He throws himself in the recliner and spreads out leaving no space for MOTH to sit. If only I had captured it on film! It was hilarious. MOTH giggled a bit then shifted Jerome to the couch. Jerome huffed and stalked off. We still laugh occasionally, MOTH even chooses the couch sometimes if Jerome is in the recliner.

I get a quick notice from Elder that they will be coming for an overnight trip to collect their bed. Fair enough. But this time, I don't bother to do much of a clean up. Heck, I don't think I've even made space on the bathroom vanity this time. They finally arrive, yay! The house is noisy once again. They've brought Asian with them. He's one of my favourite non-children. They dump their gear, get settled, nip out for some things and head out for the evening, yay! We provide a door to door drop off service. Just to make sure they've gone. Asian provides directions from the front seat but when we get there, he can't remember the number of the house. I know what it looks like though! We drive up the street and he decides maybe we've passed it. U-turn and back down. Wait, there it is as Burrich calls out the number from the back seat. He's checked it on his phone. Clever!

I've made sure they have house keys and checked to see if they can find a way home. I'm not keen on the idea of heading out to the railway station for pick up at some ungodly hour. They have keys and they might get a bus home. Alright.

I hear a noise. I look at the clock and it's 1:48am. I know what's happening and I check to make sure that MOTH has his pyjamas on properly. You never know, he's kinda pale so he could glow in the dark. The screen door rattles, keys turn in locks, someone says something, the doors close, and three shadows flit past my bedroom door. Elder leads the way, Burrich comes second, and Asian brings up the rear. It's like a scene from a movie. MOTH and I lie in the dark discussing which one gets picked off first. The front, he says. No, they always start at the back I say. Haven't you watched any of those movies??? He chuckles and we drift off to sleep.

Elder and Burrich have to wait for the ute owner to wake up before they can make arrangements. He's way out on the northside and has asked if someone can come and drive in with him. Instead they want to meet a friend in the city so they decide to meet in there. They're gone for a couple of hours and return with the ute owner in tow. He seems nice enough. Elder is stressing badly, yelling at everyone and I try calm her down. Not sure if I succeeded but things even out a bit and total meltdown is avoided. She insists the tarp must go on the bottom however a quick look in the back of the ute and I reassure her that things are sitting on a rubber mat and all is good. All she needs to do is put the mattress on top and cover it with the tarp. She isn't sure but calms a little.

They get on their way eventually, the bedroom looks like a cyclone has hit. I'm hoping to clean it up eventually and using it as a spare bedroom with the single bed.

As it was before they moved in.

I've been very tired lately. Home from work and crash on the couch for a couple of hours. And if I'm not careful, a couple hours later again. Friday I thought I've had enough of this and I don't want to go to sleep. I like to window shop through electrical stores looking at everything from the small appliances through to stoves. *ok, i admit i'm weird* Let's go wander I say to MOTH. He's not sure but we go. And we decide to head for a different branch of Harvey Norman. We wander happily about. I see a couch I really like. A 2 seater and a 3 seater, fabric upholstery, in a beautiful teal colour. MOTH isn't necessarily impressed. We look at desk chairs. One is shaped like a racing car seat. MOTH pronounces it comfortable. I'm not so sure.

There are other couches I like the look of. MOTH goes for the ones with recliners. We ooh and ahh over carpet samples. We like the shorter pile, slightly darker colours that won't show use as much. Our current carpet is a longer pile, beautiful, soft, and creamy near the walls. Dirty grey and flat in the traffic areas. And smells terrible if the house is closed for extended periods during the wet season. The landlord isn't willing to upgrade though.

We look at dryers. We look at vacuums. We look at kettles. We look at fridges. We look at cameras. We look at washing machines. Did I say we look at washing machines? The salesman traps us there. We've been thinking about replacing the washing machine - it's about 8 or 9 years old. The life of the machine we have is rumoured to be about 3 to 4 years. MOTH hasn't fully decided if he likes front load or top load machines. But we're happy to look to see what's there. $1500 later we walk out with a Meile washing machine to be delivered Tuesday.

That's the last darned time I decide window shopping is better than sleeping on the couch.....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tea, glorious tea

I've found a new blend of tea. Actually two. Both of these I don't need to sweeten too much and I can drink them without milk. Glory be! Lipton green tea with mandarin. Lipton black tea with orange. I'm sensing a pattern here. So now I'm drinking a lot more tea. I am still to decide if this is a good thing or not.

I'm back at work part time and survived my first week. My supervisor is determined that I will work only on the things she tells me to, none of the other managers are permitted to ask me to do anything. So for four hours a day I work on the backlog of travel, fixing mistakes made while I was away. There's a lot of it. I was told that they thought the travel and credit card reconciliations were being kept up to date, but if they were any sort of manager they would have been straight onto finding out what needed to be done and making sure it did get done. You can't expect one person to do the work of two for three months when they have a busy job of their own to tend to. *whoo, look at me! defending admin2* And that's when micro managing would have been needed, not constantly in every other circumstance.

In the meantime, I have finished the story line of Tomb Raider and now I'm just going back taking my time and exploring areas I didn't complete last time. I'm still interested in taking up Minecraft but the budget insists I wait a bit first. I'm okay with that.

I miss not having the time to catch up with the Club now. I could do Saturday and Sunday mornings but now I'm back at work my weekends are once again too precious to spend out of the house. I use my weekends to unwind, relax, and recharge for the coming week. So, I spend them at home. Time out at the shops is wasted when I could be on the couch zoning in front of the telly, or gaming, or even occasionally pottering about doing housework.

I caught up with the Club for the morning. Wombat had told MOTH that I have really come out of my shell. So just for laughs I tackled Wombat for calling me a turtle. He was a little confused at first, then when he realised he laughed along with everyone else. This is a far cry from what he was like when I first met him. I don't mind having his presence at the table now. A new Italian fellow has joined them. The rest of the Club aren't quite sure as Luigi is very .... voluble. Which means Club regulars sometimes have a hard time getting their two bob in. Not necessarily a good thing for oldies who like to tell stories and chatter. He's a nice bloke though if he would just stop yapping...

Sunday I sent MOTH up to the shops by himself and I tackled some housework. And by housework I mean vacuuming and mopping. I only went as far as I could with the cleaner attached to that power point. Not quite all the way up the hallway, but the toilet, laundry, bathroom, second hallway, kitchen, and rumpus room got done. Jerome has learned that the cleaner won't actually do him harm and no longer runs for cover. Some days I would like to vacuum him though as he's losing so much hair! The house is full of tangles of black fur and blonde hair. We both must be shedding our winter coats. I have to empty the cleaner at one point and end up doing my usual trick. I dropped the filter in the wheelie bin. This means tipping it on its side while I retrieve the offending part. Luckily it's lined so I could lift the bag and grab the filter.

MOTH came home and remarked on the dust on the front of my pyjamas *yeah, i didn't get dressed first*. Oh yeah, I said. I needed to empty the cleaner and it exploded all over me. Did you drop anything? *what is he suggesting exactly?* Ummm, yes. I dropped the filter. He rolls his eyes. Did you get it? Well, yes, course I did. Okay, what about the rubbing ring *i swear the man doesn't trust me* and we pulled the cleaner apart to make sure I hadn't lost the rubber seal. Nope, still there. He has already had to glue the two halves together because I lost the other rubber seal. Oops...

I see an offer on Facebook from a page I like and I decide to bite the bullet and take it up. It's a Spring Package from a local salon for about $160. They state a saving of $234. All I know is that what they offer for $160 is a darned good deal. So, maybe a new me soon? We shall see....

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Can we fix it?

My last week of freedom before I return to the real world. Doctor says I can manage four hours a day for the next two weeks. Then we'll review again. I'm busy trying to find ways to convince her that MOTH needs a full time carer. A good plan.

Or maybe I could import my niece for twelve months. I'm sure that would give Ma a hand and I wouldn't have to work. At work. Cause my niece would keep me busy with a different kind of work. I'd just have to convince Ma. And that could be a lot of work on it's own. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll just keep working. There's too much work involved in this paragraph.

MOTH is busy cleaning up one of the front gardens. There are native trees, some weedy vine with sharp barbs that grip, and the bougainvillea is rampant. This is a work in progress as MOTH has been slowly progressing with it for a long time. Now the old chap next door has begun to lend a bit of a hand to tidy things up. One of the Club members has a small chain saw he's never used. *his daughter won't let him cause he's likely to damage himself* MOTH borrows it and begins to saw up some of the larger branches. It seems to work quite well.

I've installed skype. Lord alone knows why. I don't chat much and I certainly don't video call. I've added Special K and she thinks it grand. I can now tell tales out of school and she can rag MOTH when she sees him next.

One of the local grocery chains has the Nescafe Dulce Gusto on special. I think about buying it. The Elder owns one and she loves it. I watched her use it and it's very fast. Ours is a little slow and fiddly and won't take a full sized coffee mug. MOTH doesn't like to use it often for this reason. I use it frequently. I buy it and tell MOTH that's his Father's Day present from the girls. The coffee pod choices are a little limited flavour wise and none of the other pods seem to fit. That's ok, the flavours I can get are still good.

I seem to be the only one using it...

MOTH decides to tackle the tangle in the front garden again. He pulls the starter cord and ... the handle comes off and the cord disappears into the machine. Uh oh. That didn't take long. Looks like he's going to have to change his mind and fix it.

MOTH complains to me the new coffee machine is terrible. There's something wrong with it. He made a coffee and it was COLD! He had to zap it in the microwave. Did you do it right? I ask. Did you push the lever the right way? There's a right way? Yes, I tell him. The machine does both hot and cold drinks. Did you read the instruction booklet? The lever has a small circle on it, one side of which is blue, the other red. What circle? What colours? I can't see colours! *and he's right. in a fashion. he's colour blind, but he's not blind* He switches the kitchen light on and still complains he can't see the circle. I tell him, lever to the left for cold drinks, to the right for hot drinks. And laugh.

Tomb Raider is nearly finished. I'm about 74% through. Surprisingly, I haven't rage quit very often. Which is a big thing for me. Maybe I'm learning to be a little more patient and persistent. Or maybe I'm just enjoying playing this particular game. That must be it.

Jerome is due a visit to the vet. He doesn't like this idea. I've decided that I will have to buy a carrier but which one? I've looked at some but he's a rather *ahem* large cat so most of them would be a little cramped. I finally decide on one of the soft carriers which can apparently fold up. I leave it out for a couple of days and he doesn't mind going into it to inspect. He doesn't like going into it for real! He's wriggly, strong, and determined. This day he's due his annual booster and I discuss with the receptionist the feline aids injection. Since he's going outdoors a little bit and all. So today he's poked, prodded, donated blood, had a thermometer up his butt, been weighed and pronounced too heavy *and had his food intake cut back to boot* and jabbed twice. Not a happy kitty. He actually growled at the vet.

The vet has convinced me to join a scheme they have like pet insurance. $100 up front and $27.30 a month for 11 months. It's an annual thing. It covers a lot and I decide to join. It covers today's exam and needles and blood test and entitles me to a discount on flea products and food as well. There you go, she says, you've saved yourself $128 dollars. I don't know if this is a saving or the actual saving is only $28. Either way, it covers Jerome for the next two boosters to bring the aids cover in line. I guess that can't be too bad. I decide not to bother with the discount flea products *advocate 3 pack for about $45* as I can still get them cheaper online from

Poor kitty. Back for another jab in two weeks. Then another two weeks after that. If you're a good boy I might consider letting you outdoors again after that. Maybe....

Monday, August 26, 2013

Transmission baby!

I didn't end up dodging the germs. I've been hacking, coughing, and wheezing for the last week now. The sneezing has stopped but the coughing goes on.

The car needs a service. MOTH has done a list of the parts needed and we've gone to our preferred supplier to get pricing. Time comes to get them. MOTH thinks he'll get our local mechanic to do the work though. MOTH goes for a quick chat with him and the yard is full of vehicles. He must have a lot of work on. MOTH starts the work himself. It takes a while and he hasn't completed it by end of day.

Guess what, he says. I made a mistake. Oh? Yes, it seems I've emptied the wrong sump. The tale comes out. He completed the oil change, and started the car but it wouldn't reverse without effort. Suddenly the penny dropped and he realises he had drained the transmission fluid and topped up the oil. Without draining it. Oops.

We've picked up a lift to join the Club at the shops. Special K asks about the car trouble and I tell her that he'd drained the transmission fluid and realised he didn't have replacements. She's happy with that. I think MOTH may have mentioned something a little different to Wombat as he has picked up the chant and soon the truth emerges. MOTH has drained the transmission fluid and topped up the oil by mistake. Everyone is in fits of laughter. Wombat ribs MOTH about "Mr Fixit" and I laugh. I tell the tale of the running joke between Elder, Teen, and myself about his fixit skills. Don't worry, Dad will fix it! Groans, facepalms abound. Most of the time his fix it works, but his work could be considered a little slap dash by the girl's standards. Sometimes, fixing it actually made it worse. *giggles*

It seems MOTH didn't know this, and has now vowed to never fix anything again.

Uh oh.

The Club thinks this is hilarious.

So, we need to purchase the transmission fluid. There is a suppler fairly close but we don't have transport. I check the web to see where there are other stores. Wait. There's one a couple of suburbs over and it's on a bus route. We decide to head out on the bus together. When the day dawns, I'm not sure since I still have the headcold/cough thing happening and I'm not feeling chirpy. We go anyway and have lunch over there. It's a great way to spend an hour or so.

I go to bed feeling edgy and somewhat uneasy. I don't know why. I'm awake at 1am and can't seem to get back to sleep. I get out of bed and fetch the phone so I can play a game. I get a text. It seems that the Teen and Harry have gone their separate ways. I'm somewhat startled and can't go back to sleep. I'm awake now, so I leave the bed *again* and head to the laptop. Playing Bioshock and the next thing I know, a couple of hours have passed and I've played through the finale. Whoo! It's a great game. Have a look at it if you haven't already.

It's been a while but I think I'll cook a roast lamb leg. I've never managed to master the art of crispy potatoes if I do them in the oven. The only way I've managed to get them crispy is to shallow fry them in oil. Just like Ma used to. Maybe one day I will master that. I can cook a roast okay though, and it turns out well. However, although I like to cook, I would really much rather bake. I'm still determined to try making croissants. Properly. With lots of layers and the 2 day process. Yeah! I think I'll master that and go for world domination. Through sweet pastries...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gymnast: One who is trained and skilled in gymnastics...

Sometimes I have occasion to wonder if this is something the old bod desires without necessarily telling me about it. I seem to have put something out in my neck. Or done something to my shoulders. In my sleep no less. Certainly I can't recall having done anything to have set it off.

Though I might have made it worse today. Jerome broke out. I've been letting him roam a little while I peg out washing. He's gotten to the point that starting the machine or picking up the laundry basket begins the let-me-out-now dance. Jerome, not me. *ha!* He even stands still while I put the collar and bell on him. He doesn't wear it indoors. We go out together and I let him roam around the yard unsupervised for a little while. Today, I stepped outside with the second load just in time to see him launch himself at one of the native birds. With his bell and collar still on! I managed to hold him down while the bird got away. I pegged washing. He hung around. No, he roamed near my feet. Suddenly there's rustling on the other side of the fence and Jerome and the Next Door cat start yodelling at each other. Jerome walked down the fence line and suddenly jumped. I lunged and Jerome went over the wall. I just went over, and jarred my shoulder at the same time. See. Gymnastics.

I was a bit worried, but a couple hours later he sauntered back, nonchalant as you please, to wait at the door for admittance. Moseyed to his dish, turned up his nose and flopped on the floor to await a fresh food refill. Darned cat.

The Elder informed me she was coming to collect her gear. Whoo! It turns out though it's only her and Burrich in the Rio. So she isn't collecting ALL of her things. They come in Sunday afternoon. It's great to see them. They are tired so they sleep a little. She's trying not to sleep too much so she isn't up all night. They are off to bed early.

They head out to the city and the Ekka today. Things are quiet. They aren't home for dinner.

I've been wanting to go into the city while I'm on leave. Not for any particular reason, just because I like to do this for something different. MOTH asks me if I want to go in on Sunday. Why Sunday? Just cause. Who are you meeting? No one! I'm suspicious but let it drop.

Elder wants to stay an extra day but Burrich has to work tomorrow. With some gentle prodding they sort through some stuff and pack as much as they can in the car. Our garage is still full though. I've got a plan for that. If I repack some stuff I can probably make some space. I notice that when they packed up, they have thrown stuff in boxes without labeling things. Or packing properly. Some stuff can be combined in other boxes to make a smaller pile. I've started, and moved a couple of things and made quite a dent already. They head off at lunch time on Tuesday.

The rest of the day and Wednesday is quiet.

Thursday Teen and Harry arrive, fresh from their travel to New Zealand. Both of them have thick rattly coughs. And complain about the heat. But I guess that's to be expected when you come from snow to 27C temperatures. They've brought me chocolates from the Cadbury factory and MOTH a silver fern coffee cup. We giggle over the gifts they've brought for their friends.

Teen and Harry head into the city the following day and all is quiet. Seems to be a repeat of earlier in the week! Saturday morning we watch a movie, they repack and we head out to the airport. This time we don't accidentally detour and we stick to the tunnels all the way through. Yay!

Sunday we start the morning with a gathering of the Club. There is lots of laughing and digging at each other. Special K is there today. It's always rowdier when she's there. MOTH and I catch the train into the city. I investigate a new *to me* comic book store. I have plans to visit Dymocks later. And my usual comic store. MOTH leaves me at the new comic store as it's two flights up with no lift. We meet back at the food court where I find MOTH drinking a coke.

After a time, he ducks off somewhere and leaves me at the table. Someone taps me on the shoulder and I look up. It's Sapphire and her baby Jelly Bean! And her parents! She's holidaying over this side of the country at their place and thought she'd sneak in a surprise visit. Jelly Bean is seven months old now and I've not seen a happier baby. He giggles, and bounces on my lap. He smiles, chews on his fist, and gurgles. He even takes a nap on his mum's chest in the middle of the food court. We sit, have lunch and chat for a couple of hours. JB didn't even whimper during that time. I am impressed. She's managed to snap a couple of photos before we go our separate ways.

I head off to find my usual comic store. They've relocated and I'm not sure which end of the street they are. I think we've gone too far. I turn and look down the street. Wait! There's the sign for the shop they are next to. It's HUGE. How the heck did I miss that? I pop up the stairs and browse. MOTH heads to the nearby camping store. I buy volume 4 of the Basilisk Kouga Scrolls manga, and it's not till we are on our way home that I realise I've forgotten to visit Dymocks.

I'm toying with the idea of playing Minecraft. Yes please Joe, let me know what server you are on. Elder plays as well but doesn't play online. I'll have to delay the purchase a little though as I think I need to give these shoulders a rest! And I'll be busy dodging the head cold germs MOTH is blowing about the house right now. Thanks for the extra gift Teen!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Viva la Steam

I have been having a great time with the laptop. Hopefully I can make the most of the time I have left before I go back to work gaming, gaming, and more gaming!

At the moment I play Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. Both of these games run through a Steam account which is I guess similar to a Batttlenet account. It means that I'm playing "on line" instead of running a DVD on the local computer. Zman is thinking of talking me into setting up an account to play Star Wars: The Old Republic but I could only play on a free account. This doesn't give me full functionality so I don't know how I'd go. I've been asked if I play Minecraft. I think Bestie's boy would be uber happy if I did because it's his current obsession. I've looked at Burrich and Elder play it but my eyes keep trying to go square.

We thought of going out for dinner for our anniversary, and asked if anyone wanted to join us. It's the wrong fortnight really as no one had yet been paid. MOTH thought that perhaps he would like to go to the movies instead. We hadn't yet seen Pacific Rim *ha! i typed rum just then. one of those slips???* which is the movie he wanted to see when we ended up at The Lone Ranger. We decided to catch the 6:50pm session. We ate a quick meal before we left. I can't remember what it was nice. Something simple. I had hoped for a take away but it was not to be. MOTH really seemed to enjoy the movie. I thought it was okay. I think it's based on a game. Or maybe a game is based on the movie? There were some funny one liners, mostly from the dynamics of two of the mad scientists. One was played by William Defoe. Brilliantly, of course. Ron Perlman also enjoyed his part in this movie.

We celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary with dinner at home. We've asked John and Special K to join us. I don't mind as they are good company. Special K says she'll bring the wine. I don't mind but would have been just as happy if she didn't. She drinks red, I prefer a sweet white. Yesterday we've picked up a huge lamb shoulder roast. I think it's about 2.5 kilos worth. A lot of bone in it though as it includes the ribs and shoulder blade. MOTH slow cooks it and serves it with his stuffed potatoes, baked carrot and pumpkin. I've prepared lemon sago for dessert. It's served with cream and custard. We laugh a lot. They don't stay long and Special K offers to help with the dishes. I've told her not to bother as we have a dishwasher.

As far as the dishwasher goes though, I've broken out my special dinner ware for the occasion. So special in fact that when we moved here about ten years ago, it was packed for transport and never unpacked because I no longer had space for it. I wasn't sure where it was, except in a box in the garage. MOTH decided to look for me and found the box it was in. Very easy to find actually, it was close at hand.

Of course, the set couldn't go through the dishwasher. Darn. This set used to belong to my grandmother. I think it may have been a wedding present. It's about the same age as MOTH. The glaze is a pretty yellow and it's adorned with violets. I've wanted it for many years and when I turned 18 my mother finally gave it to me. It's mark says Royal Staffordshire Honeyglaze.

I love it to bits. I think pieces of this set are collectibles so perhaps I can find various bits and pieces on the net somewhere for sale, like a creamer jug and serving platter.

Out of the blue today, MOTH decides he wants to go for a drive some suburbs over and look at Harley Davidson motorcycles. I'm dreaming out the car window and not taking much notice of our surroundings. We arrive in the area but as usual, MOTH isn't quite sure where the shop is located. I looked at Google maps on the smartphone but as I found a map MOTH spots the shop. There's plenty of bikes to look at along with various items of merchandise. I contemplate buying a collar for Jerome. It's pink. Black words on it say "BAD TO THE BONE". It's really for a small dog but it's adjustable. MOTH says I shouldn't buy it. Pink isn't the colour for a black cat! It should be a black collar. I laugh. I toy with the idea some more but don't buy. MOTH looks at the bikes some more and chats to some of the staff. He's not going to buy, but it's nice to get out and look. Bikes are in his blood after all.

The bike he likes the most has a $50K price tag.

On the way home I ask why he wanted to drive out today. No particular reason. It's just that while I've been on leave, the fuel tank has barely left the full mark. It's payday soon and we'd be looking for a refill so yeah, why not get out of the house. That's fine by me.

When I get home, I leave a message to let Teen know about the collar. She tells me to give MOTH a punch as she thought I should have bought it.

The Elder lost someone in their circle to suicide on the weekend. She didn't know him well, but others she knew did. A young local boxer with a very promising future. She chatted to MOTH about it. He reports she was feeling very uncomfortable with this one. She spoke to him on Saturday. I looked in his eyes, she said, and I knew. I just knew. I could see me in his eyes. I wanted to reach out but I didn't know him. She's feeling better about it now but I was worried that she would get caught on the "what if's, if only's". Love her to bits and it can't be easy.

The Teen is living it up in New Zealand at present, on holidays with Harry and his parents. She doesn't have much access to wifi so I'm not getting a lot of updates. She's in the snow and having a marvellous time. I'm almost jealous, but my preferred place to travel is north. England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Las Vegas. One extreme to another for me! MOTH would love to visit Asia. Just like peas in a pod we are.

I believe there is a possibility that Elder and some friends might be descending at some point this month to collect some gear, though I think I've mentioned that already. I think I shall be happy with this. MOTH thought it would be good because then they could attend Ekka with me instead of him *wuss*. However, since I've bought the laptop I no longer have the funds to go party. Ah well...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

What's new pussycat?

I have been letting Jerome outdoors with me when I go out to peg out the washing. Now he keeps asking if he can go out. I tell him No of course. I mean at this point he's not collared and I'm not sure he won't be jumping the fence. Mind, these days if I pick up the laundry basket or even put a load in the washing machine he begins his song and dance to be let out. I used to take him out for a few minutes while he was in the harness but now he's out without harness but only while I'm out. The little terror doesn't like coming back in though and often runs just far enough to be out of reach when you try to pick him up to come back in. I'm hoping that if I give him treats when we go back inside that he'll learn that coming indoors isn't such a bad thing.

I've had my second session with the counsellor. She thinks I'm doing very well and we've agreed that I don't need any further follow up until after I return to work. My doctor has extended my leave until the beginning of September. She's also happy with my progress, my K10 score having dropped to 20 last visit from 38 at my first. She laughingly suggested that my best route to recovery is not to work at all. Ahhh, if only!

I'm getting out of the house more frequently, though not today. I was going to redye my hair, but now I'm not sure I really can be bothered. If I rebleach the regrowth it might be the last time. I'd love to be all grey but there isn't really enough grey to work that. And while the top might be light brown, it's still very dark underneath.

I've been enjoying my time with the Club while I've been on leave. I now consider myself formally one of the group - Special K has whupped me with a rolled up magazine because I gave her cheek. This caused much laughter. Sometimes the old boys even forget I am there and tell raunchy jokes they don't normally consider fit for ladies ears. *not sure i've ever seen a lady there though!*

So right now, I'm feeling the best I have felt for years.

Wombat suggested we all go out to dinner. A couple of the club are members of one of the local Services Clubs. They recommend the meals and we've been thinking of doing it for a while now. MOTH and I joined up as social members but are still awaiting final approval. The committee meets once a month to decide membership applications. And Wombat was right. The meals were very very good. I had sizzling garlic prawns, MOTH had ... barramundi I think. He thought his was ok, I really enjoyed mine. And I ate most of it too. The two mains, a can of coke and a bottle of Bundy red and cola came to just under $50. Which I think is ok for dinner for 2. Oh, and it was a Thursday so dessert came free with dinner. A small slice of cheesecake with icecream.

The company was great that night, Wombat even brought his wife and everyone told stories, laughed, gave each other a hard time. Even Wombat. I enjoyed it so much that MOTH and I are thinking of going back for our anniversary dinner.

I had been toying with the idea of getting a KitchenAid bench mixer with my tax refund. Or maybe a washing machine. Then I also wanted a GHD hair straightner. And to go to the Ekka. For those not in the know, that's our "show" with show bags, stage shows, food halls, art and craft, side show alley, equestrian events, showing cattle and other livestock, dogs and cats. It goes for a week and gets thousands and thousands of visitors through. I ended up putting all that aside and purchasing a new laptop. One I can use for gaming. Not something I need but something I will definitely get use from. The laptop is big enough for me to use as a desktop *ultrabook it's not!* and the iMac has been moved to the guest bedroom where I can still get to it if I wish. MOTH's laptop is an ultrabook, so small and light. Mine has something like a 15 or 17" screen and weighs a tonne in comparison.

The Elder is getting grumpy as her security job is not giving her shifts and she's busy trying to maintain a house and pay her bills. The only work she has at the moment is her work as a bouncer at the local nightclub. This though is the one she loves the most so I'm hoping that continues for many, many, and many more shifts.

The Teen has headed out to New Zealand for a holiday in the ski fields with Harry and his parents. It's her first time overseas and joy of joys, the departure flight was delayed several hours due to fog at Christchurch. At least, I think that's where they were headed, on the way to Queenstown. Or something like that. Her father in law has threatened to get her on the zipline, so we'll see how that goes. She's pretty excited to be there.

MOTH cooked one of his favourite dinners on Wednesday night. I had bought rhubarb last shop and thought I had better make the crumble he requested. He'd been out with the Club that morning and came home, telling me we would have an extra dinner guest. Apparently he made it sound so good that Stan was impressed and he would be arriving for dinner. Not a problem, we could do extra mash and cabbage and the crumble was big enough to stretch to three. Last time I made white sauce I kept some of the base. All I had to do for dinner was reheat and add the onion. I'll have to do that again next time! Stan really enjoyed his meal and dessert. MOTH enjoyed the crumble as well, eating most of it in two helpings. Yep, guess that might be requested to be made another time.

We might go out for dinner for our anniversary. The Services Club of course. I've mentioned it to the others if they want to join us, but it's not their pay week so they may not. Special K made us laugh as she had thought it was Thursday not Wednesday today. We wondered why she was with us on a Wednesday.... She tells the tale of getting ready to go with her brother to his specialist appointment. The time comes and goes but he doesn't show. Eventually she discovered she was ready on time ... just not the right day. We have a lot of fun laughing at this. And shall for some time yet...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time is not necessarily on my side...

I found a job to apply for yesterday. It closed last night. Alas, I couldn't last the distance to finish addressing the selection criteria, so maybe the next one, right??

Well, I made the effort to program the universal remote for the DVD player. It didn't work. None of the codes worked. So it only works the TV. And the only two buttons I use for the TV ... AV and UP to clear a message that pops up when I turn the system on. Yay! $20 for a two button remote. *see sarcasm font*

I've been improving healthwise I think. I've started doing some of my hobbies again. Baking. Gaming. Sudoku. I'm still not sleeping well and the mid afternoon sleepy time still leaps out to grab me but on the whole, it's not bad.

I have my next doctor review tomorrow. We'll see what she says.

So, here's my baking! These were cinnamon and ginger with a dash of brown sugar on top. Yesterday someone suggested caramel, so today's batch had brown sugar instead of caster (super fine) and Nestle caramel bits. They taste good!

Last night I made dessert for MOTH, something I haven't done for some considerable time. His favourite dessert is lemon sago. With custard and/or ice cream. Mmmmm! Luckily, there is still some left over today...

Which reminds me, I have to get something out for dinner. Decisions, decisions!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Australia's Choice: The Decadent Triple Chocolate Cookies...

Time is definitely slipping away from me. I've been on leave now for six weeks, with two and a half to go. Sometimes I forget what day it is!

I've had my review with my doctor. Although my outlook has improved a little, it's still not great and I've had my medication increased. At her instance, I've had to make an appointment with a counsellor as well. My next doctor review is at the end of month.

Tax time! It has rolled around again but I'm not sure what sort of refund I will get this year. Once again, the tax rules have changed and a simple dependant spouse rebate no longer exists. Sometime I think we have one of the most complicated tax systems in the world. MOTH is born after the cut off year, so I have had to look at another option. Since he received a disability payment, I've decided to try and claim the rebate under that exemption. This year his income is taken into account though so I only get half the rebate I used to. Never mind that his income is the disability which in itself is tax exempt. Darned tax.

Special K wants to go for lunch again. She's convinced her brother to come with us. We aren't sure if we can go. Sunny also wants to meet up for lunch. He asked first so I've arranged a time with him for Saturday. The Club wants to meet Thursday. This should work fine. Until I find out that I have an appointment that day. Still, we'll make it if we can.

MOTH had his birthday a couple of weeks ago but as yet hasn't got his birthday present. Not through any lack of trying, he's after a jacket or jumper without a hoodie. They seem to be few and far between! We spend some time in the morning at one of the larger shopping centres to see what we can find. We spot one of the men's stores is having a closing down sale and manage to pick up a lightweight jumper for half price. MOTH is happy with this. We look for jeans while we're there. The store doesn't have them, mostly stocking three piece suits and business shirts. We've checked MOTH's usual menswear store as well but they no longer stock them. We head for the cheaper chain stores and find two pairs, one for fifteen dollars and the other nineteen. While we stand at the check out, we notice that our favourite biscuits are available in white chocolate as well. We grab a box. They turn out to be delicious!

My appointment time for the counsellor rolls around. I'm nervous; I've never used the service before. I have trouble opening up so I'm not sure how I'll go. She turns out to be quite young, softly spoken and very friendly. I explain how I'm feeling and what lead up to the time off. She suggests some strategies I can try to help me cope when I return to work. HR had talked of a graduated return to work but I have not yet heard from them to make arrangements. I really would resign and look elsewhere if I could, however as sole breadwinner I don't have the option to take that drastic action. I'm putting the resume about and applying for jobs but haven't heard anything yet. Fingers crossed that something will come up soon.

Lunch with the Club is at the Tavern. This time it's a little cheaper as MOTH remembers to ask for a pensioner discount. He always manages to get his money's worth from a buffet but I'm not quite sure I can say the same for myself. The food isn't too bad and the company is good. Special K's brother didn't make it. He turned up early and as no-one was there, he left. That's a shame but I can understand. He's not well either.

Sunny advises he can't make Saturday lunch having been leg roped into helping his housemate and his parents move house. We reschedule for next weekend. That's good, it gives me time to wind down a little.

We've upgraded our broadband plan a little. Or maybe it's about the same but this time we get an extra appliance called a T-box. This is an extra service provided by our ISP which allows cable/satellite tv as well. The Elder has moved her Foxtel subscription to her current address. I missed it badly but had decided that I couldn't really afford to have it replaced. However, Foxtel had an end of Financial Year special whereby a person could sign up for six months instead of the usual twenty four. The first three months of this contract are free on the basic package. I was tempted but still couldn't really afford it. And then I remembered ... I'm waiting for season 7 of Murdoch Mysteries and if I didn't get Foxtel on, I'd never see it. I got it connected. But this time it's single room, and in my rumpus room. MOTH misses out, but I am the one who uses it constantly. But we've upgraded our broadband and now have the T-box. We've set it up today in MOTH's room. He's happy, particularly as he managed to get it connected to his surround sound and now all the programs including ordinary free to air programming are sounding pretty spectacular.

I've had to interrupt my setting up of my new universal remote to help him set up the T-box. I can't get the remote set up so I'm happy for a break anyway. My TV remote stopped working some time ago, so it's been strange to have to get up to change the channels. Since Foxtel has been installed I've only had to get up to switch it through the AV functions. Switching off is no problem as I've never used the remote to power into standby but prefer to switch it off completely. I'm still trying to decide if I want to use the remote for the DVD player as well... nah, probably not ...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My shadow is missing...

So I'm 2 1/2 weeks into my leave. It's getting to be that I no longer know which day is which. Sleeping in is a lost cause but I manage to lie in till about 6:30am or sometimes 7:00am. This is good as overnight temperatures are dropping to about 5C.

Jerome still wakes me about 5:00am though, asking for his breakfast. I put it off as long as I can but I usually give up about 5:30 or sooner, dive out of bed, throw some kibble in his dish and dash back. Usually though he's back asking me to stand near the dish while he eats. Since I've been on leave, Jerome has barely left my side, even taking to sleeping on top of me during the night. Sometimes he tucks himself down behind my knees but that's rare. If I lie on my back, he lays down on my stomach. If I lie on my side, he's just as likely to climb on my hip and ribs and lie there. If I lie on my back with one knee bent, he uses my inner thigh for a pillow. Some of the gymnastics I go through to change position!

A lot of days getting out of bed is about all I can manage. In the beginning I slept. A lot. I'd be out of bed about 6:30 or 7:00, go back to sleep for a couple of hours around 9:30, wake for about 3 or 4 hours, sleep again for a couple of hours and then go to bed about 9:30pm. I didn't eat much.

MOTH tries to get me out of the house occasionally, but doesn't push too hard. Last Thursday he insisted I attend lunch with the Club. We went to the local and dined in the restaurant there. I had salt and pepper calamari with salad. It was very very good. The calamari was lovely and tender. It was a struggle but I managed all of the calamari and most of the salad. The company was good and didn't push me to talk too much. MOTH ate a kilo of ribs and most of his salad. John and Stan were quite impressed.

We did the grocery shopping after, when it was all packed away I was exhausted.

I think I'm improving a little though. My appetite is returning. I don't sleep as much during the day. I have a little more energy. I realised that I'm not having to make a conscious effort to uncurl and relax as often. Yesterday was a good day. I cooked cannelloni from scratch for dinner and learned how to fold a fitted sheet.

I still have problems with the idea of going out and I am definitely not keen on returning to work as I know I will be going back into the situation I was having trouble with. But again, I'm trying not to think that far ahead. One of my friends reminded me of a suggestion I made to him, so long ago I had forgotten about it. A "burn book" where I could write down how I felt and destroy later. I can't even bring myself to do that, it's all just so "meh" at the moment. Perhaps I can do it later. But I guess by then I will have forgotten all the little incidents that added up to so much stress. Who knows...

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Dogs. Cats. Travel. Yay.

Time slips by so quickly, all the days blend into one. The black dog comes and goes and I just don't care anymore.

I've finally given in and am taking extended leave from work to get myself back together. The truly terrifying thought is at the end of those eight weeks, I'm back into the situation I left in the first place. Still, that's a way down the track and I need to focus on the now.

The work conference came and went this year, a mere blip on my radar. Enthusiasm for it has long waned so I don't have many photos. Twenty years of business this year so for something different...

This year Admin2 and I were told our presence wasn't required until Tuesday. No going down the night before, Tuesday morning as a normal work day so please leave home by 9am, go straight to the work room until bump in at 12:30pm. Off to a great start. The General Manager informed staff that partners were welcome to attend the conference for a day. Then we were told they weren't welcome at all. Staff kicked up a fuss, so then they were. Except for Admin2. She doesn't have a partner so she brings one of her brothers. Not this year. He's not a partner so he couldn't attend. So very unfair in my book. Penalised because she is the only single person in the office. Mind, while there, I did notice the General Manager not only brought his current squeeze, but his parents as well.

MOTH had to take me to the conference this year. I didn't get a work car, and since no one except Admin2 was travelling Tuesday. And my lift on Friday turned out to be leaving late, around 6:30 to 7:00pm. I didn't want to wait that long and I didn't want to spring the lift request on the other person who lived in my suburb. So he came to fetch me as well. Now I'm eggshells as to whether or not I will be allowed to claim mileage costs for both trips.

I have a visit with HR to discuss extended leave to be followed by a visit to the doctor. HR are supportive of me looking after my health and not allowing it to get the better of me. I suppose this may have something to do with a popular ITS staff member committing suicide last year. I go to my doctor and get eight weeks off. I have use my sick leave, my recreation leave and some long service to cover this. Not the best, but there isn't much else I can do.

The doctor gives me the third degree about symptoms etc and once again, pushes the CPAP machine and a further sleep study. I remain unconvinced. I've yet to hear of someone having a sleep study and being told they DON'T need a machine. I couldn't afford one anyway, they aren't subsidised for people in my wage bracket.

The Teen turns 21 this weekend. We're headed north to help her celebrate. The Elder has organised her birthday cake and it is a cracker. It's shaped like the Yellow Submarine. It's one of Teen's favourite movies. And while uploading photos, I've just realised I didn't get any photos of her. *bummed*

We got to meet Harry's parents. They seem pretty down to earth. Not quite the same as MOTH and I, but close. We slept over at Teen's and had breakfast with Harry and his folks the next morning.

I got to check out the new abode of Elder's. It's a pretty good abode. Sheldon and Penny like it. A lot. It's in a good area, though the rent is very high.

It was so great to catch up with everyone. Except Mouse. She missed out this time. The days seemed so full. And again, I didn't get to catch up with my friends while I was there. One day I will really have to make sure I have enough time to catch up with them all!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beef stew!

Yep, it's that season of the year again. Don't know why I love beef stew so much, but I do. But only when I cook it mind.

The conference draws closer and the preparation ratchets up. This week saw me fall in a heap. One of the tasks assigned me didn't get completed. This was to source labels for tagging cables to avoid loss. Between procrastination from the supplier providing the first quote and myself taking too long to provide the exact information required for price comparison the deadline was missed and people were not happy. I was devastated because this is very much out of character for me. When it was decided on the second quote there wasn't enough time to have the labels printed. The solution was to obtain them from a stationery store and print them ourselves. I can't use the work credit card so I assumed they would be purchased by one who could after I gave them the price. It never occurred to me they weren't passed to me for printing. And they weren't purchased. And it was my fault for not completing the task on time despite being reminded. Of course.

It's been a long week. Any joy I've had previously helping to organise the conference has well and truly been washed away under the tide of ... criticism, hopelessness, and thanklessness.

Things have been quiet on the home front. MOTH can't decide if he's happy or not that he will have four days by himself. Usually he would come with me but this year we don't have a house sitter/pet feeder. He's going to use the time to begin prepping for our next house inspection at the beginning of June.

Elder informs us they finally have a house to rent. WHOO! I don't know who is more excited, them or me. There will be three of them there. The dogs are welcome but the realtor doesn't know about the cats. I believe. The rent is very expensive so they won't have any money to play with but I'm hoping it all works out well for them.

The Teen will be turning 21 soon and is hosting some do or another to celebrate this milestone. Seeing as she's our daughter and all we kind of feel obligated to travel to attend. You know how it goes. I'm not looking forward to the drive *it's 8 hours of tedium with no scenery to look at only endless rolling brown hills with occasional trees and cattle* but I am excited to be seeing both the girls. And their respective other halves. I wonder if I can get into "party mode" this time? No facebooking any incriminating evidence ladies! Also this will be a great way to make an impression on Harry's parents whom we have not yet met.

MOTH is excited about the trip because when we travel up, Sheldon and Penny will travel with us. We still aren't sure what we will do with Jerome. Maybe we should bring him too? But then again, he won't get to visit Teen unless she comes to visit us while we are there. That might be something to consider.

Winter is finally coming and the temps are beginning to fall. Minimums are dropping to less than 10C overnight. There are only a couple of things I like about winter. And that's flannette sheets, doonas, minkie blankets and beef stew with dumplings. *ok, so maybe more than a couple* MMMMM! First stew of the season this weekend. And it's not even winter yet. I have to be careful not to have it often of course. Don't want to get sick of it. And MOTH doesn't eat much of it. Piker.

Decided to treat myself this weekend. MOTH saved a voucher from the shopping with a DVD rental discount on it. I like those. The day was bright and I had every intention of walking up to the shops. But I did some washing. And I pegged it out, unpegging the stuff that was already there. I prepped the beef stew for dinner. I cleaned up after the cats. And by then, I decided I was too pooped to walk so I drove. I brought back The Hobbit. I brought back Resident Evil: Retribution. And I brought back Wreckit Ralph. I watched them all one after the other and I loved them all. I thought The Hobbit might have been drawn out a little but no, I actually enjoyed it more than the other trilogy; a little faster paced I think. I was also surprised to find that this is also part one of a trilogy.

Conference next week so I suppose I should start planning what I'm planning to take with me. Who knows, I'm pretty sure that in spite of all my planning I will forget something... *too much planning = brain burn*