Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dearly departed

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

My mother apparently told my father, when they got married, that he had better be resigned to only having daughters, coming as he was from a family of predominately girls. Second in a family of 7, he was the only surviving boy, his brother having died in infancy. Just him and Grandad with all dem wimminfolks.

And while Grandad might have produced a son as well as a daughter from his second marriage, by the time we were both born only having two daughters wasn't really unexpected.

I couldn't say that I knew he had a favourite sister, as I think they are all equally special to him for their own unique talents and personalities. I think their growing up spanning the Depression probably helped make the bonds that continue to tie the generations together across the families that make up The Family.

One of his sisters, Louise, had a fine talent for the spoken and written word. Throughout her life, she was surrounded by people of words - writers, singers, public figures, civil servants and the diplomatic community. As a young woman and the wife of a foreign diplomat, she lived in countries around the world and became a single mother to three young girls when her husband passed away. Later, once more as a wife, with History in her veins, she traveled to collate data on our Family Tree that produced several fantastic books.

As a mother, she buried one of the young women she'd raised and watched the other two spread their wings and take off to explore the world. She saw one become a mother in her turn.

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, cousin and much respected and admired aunt; all these roles she fulfilled and fulfilled them admirably. Today, cancer took her from us.

31 of August, 1937 - 31st of March 2009.

What a dash, Louise.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shout it out

**pulls out a fresh tissue and flaps it**

A big shout out, folks to the person from Melbourne, Australia who came to visit here today via this link.

They even make the same typos I do.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

I grew veges this year, started recycling and composting household scraps.

I thought that was a decent enough sop to the Greenies and self-sufficients but no, now I gotta go and MAKE stuff with the veges. In the kitchen and I don't DO kitchens and cooking stuff - that's Ads role.

So I made Pickle - recipe courtesy of Mrs Flattie.

God help me - it looks right, smells right and tastes pretty damned good. Don't tell Her Ladyship, she'll never let me live it down that she contributed to me spending time creating this stuff in the kitchen.

PS - I don't have to stomp my own grapes to make my own vinegar for making my own home-grown vege pickle as well, do I? Cos, like, that really ain't gonna happen. Uh huh.

PPS - I wonder what I can make with butternut...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Out of my tree again

**pulls out a box of fresh tissues**

We used to have a loquat tree. Mum planted it there, on the North boundary 20 odd years ago.

Now, we don't.

It had fire blight and a split creeping right down the very centre of the trunk from its mushy, bug infested crotch. Now we don't because Flattie very kindly chopped it down for me last weekend, leaving the trunk still intact. That way, it can live on as a garden sculpture, hosting a climber of some sort while protecting the baby Maple I planted beside its roots the same day.

Kill one, plant one - but make sure it's one that won't need bloody spraying every three weeks when it invades everything.

I had a wee meltdown last night, been coming on for a wee while and I've been sinking for days and then snap! the body said "no more and down you go for a sleep and some rest". So I did.

After I cooked everyone dinner.

I had a whole bunch of shit I was going to ladle out for you tonight and now I've forgotten it all.

I do some of my best better thinking in those quiet, inner resting times when I'm physically/mentally/emotionally putting my ducks in a line and preparing for the next onslaught by that tricky wee MonSter.

Keep your eyes open for a new feature coming to the blog soon. It'll just rivet ya.

With real rivets.

Friday, March 20, 2009

You know how it goes

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

Some weeks, Life just sort of takes over. Like last Saturday Ads got his bi-plane ride and by Sunday he had a bad cold that became a full blown head or sinus or something infection that eventually needed the vet doctor when he started blowing handsful of green and yellow snot every time he blew his nose (50 times a day) and kept him off school all week. And then on Tuesday when it rained torrential rain for 8 hours and, after I'd knocked my legs out walking around the supermarket, came home to find water coming into the front foyer from the overflowing storm-water drain that couldn't cope with our water and the added deluge from the neighbours whose tree has lifted the driveway and changed the natural water path, necessitating an hour out in the rain digging hurried trenches to try to get it moving away from the area. Wednesday was pretty quiet and laid back - not being very mobile sort of brings that on - until late evening when H and Woowis went out to dinner and a movie and neglected to tell me what time they would be wanting their ride home from town and both neglected to charge their cell phones meaning I didn't end my driving duties until 11pm, several hours after the pills and bed would have been appropriate and just before finding out my TV set in my room and done its chips and I had no company at night any more. Thursday was spent mostly asleep, getting over the rest of the week (and hoisting the Old Man's spare 14inch TV out of his garage) with a quick trip to Te Puke to pick up my latest Trade Me bargain which I loved at first sight too much not to bid $2 on, and Friday, well as usual today I did far too much and hurt myself.

This is my purchase - you can see why I couldn't resist, eh

Tomorrow's highlights include a visit from our much adored Very Special People from Thames for lunch, the application of Flattie's chainsaw to chop the top off my poor, beleaguered Loquat tree before it splits in half to the base and swapping the upstairs couch for the downstairs one (and vice versa) because I waited 20 years to be able to buy the suite I loved and decided someone else should NOT have the benefit of it when I could be sitting on it instead.

Next week is gathering together sand and cement and getting the concrete mixer running - it's judderbar across the driveway building time. I'm too old and sick to dig fucking trenches in the torrential rain to divert water that shouldn't even be cascading across my property in the first place. After 10 years flooding my house, the suffering will come to an end.

I might even spray paint it shocking pink - my very own statement of displeasure that even the neighbours can't miss, but only on the outside face cos, like, I don't want to be looking at a shocking pink judderbar now, do I? After that, I'll gradually fill the space between our fence and theirs with soil 18 inches deep and stop the rest of their bloody water coming in along the side boundary and the next time they want to whinge that my trees block their sun in the afternoons in winter time, I have three little words for them.

Amen isn't one of them, but suck it down will be in there somewhere.

PS Sorry Michy, I haven't had a chance to reply to your email, but I will, I promise.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

High flyer

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

After a couple of rides in the Yak, today Ads got a seat in something a little slower, chillier, less sophisticated but ultimately just as satisfying - the AgCat, a bi-plane.

It's like wind-in-the-hair motoring, but faster and at higher altitude.

Not a bad payment for a few hours washing down planes, including one of "his" beloved Harvards.

He also had a hand in the Catalina Restoration, which was finally raised last weekend. Very satisfying for the team.

I spent most of last week in bed, made up for it by doing far too much over the last couple of days and have a bit of burning, wriggling and writhing going on tonight. While sleep might be out of the question, blogging isn't.

Being in bed during the day gave me an opportunity to watch a bit of TV, specifically an item on Discovery Channel, Superweapons of the Ancient World about the Claw of Archimedes, in which they built a replica of it and a Roman war galley, thus proving that it could indeed have done as legend suggested.

Clever fuckers, those ancient Greeks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


**pulls out another pillow**

Sleepy. Zombied on pills. Numb hands, arms and feet. Alone. Clumsy. Fed up. Misunderstood. Can't cope.

When will this nightmare end?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Big is good

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

I started putting the "cladding" around my summer house today. It's now been christened "the Cabana, like something from an exclusive Caribbean holiday destination. Only, it didn't blow away in the winds we so recently endured like it might have there. And there is currently a lake at the bottom of the hill from thr torrectial rain we've just had, not a lagoon. It's a bit of a big job but I cut it down to size by using big bamboo, and big bamboo that had died and dried in the clump and lifts out. This does, of course, make things so much easier as the cutting thus involved only requires a sharp saw, a steady hand and to be seated at the picnic table previously marked out in measured lengths as a cutting guide.

Dead fucking easy, so easy that I only incurred one new wound from the pruning saw this time and my legs almost made it to the end of the day, going on strike around dinnertime tonight. Ads rolled his eyes at my cut thumb when I wrapped some surgical tape around it and just kept going. I told him to harden up, no job gets done sitting around in the house bemoaning a wee cut (or three). Not until one runs out of surgical tape, anyway - Note to self: buy more tape on shopping day.

I wonder how a cabana would look with a deck?

On the subject of decks, have a giggle at this. It's my favourite comedy guys in action.

When you finish giggling at the double entendres in there, catch a little more...

I could watch these guys all night, if I didn't have more sleep awaiting and an alarm to catch at 7am!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cloth eyes

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

Some days are really, really good.
Some days are OK.
Some days are mediocre.
Some days are a bit rugged.
Some days are vacuum days and they just suck.

Today was a vacuum day, which followed a vacuum night - the worst I've had in a while. So it's not really a surprise that the excessive pressure I have in my eyes which my optometrist has been monitoring for a while (and quite intensively for the past few days), is the worst he has seen in my visits to his clinic. So bad that, if it's still this excessive tomorrow morning, he is going to refer me to an eye specialist for further investigation. Currently being in a very messy MSy phase sort of makes me think that it has always been MS related right from the first bout of optic neuritis at onset back in October 2001 when the pressure was already abnormally high in my right eye. Besides, he says that if it had been glaucoma, I'd already be blind.

OK, different kind of blind. At least both are playing up now so I can't be one-eyed.

I heard that, I'm not bloody deaf, you know.

Blind Pew said it best...

I should get my virgin lobes pierced one day. I'm sure it would help. It appears to have helped Pew :0)

In my mail today...


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


**pulls out a fresh towel**

I've been very slack again, haven't I!

I've been taking those bloody Pams in doubles every night and they just fuck me up to the point I can't string together a coherent sentence after 11pm. Running the cable into my room to watch Sky in the wee smas in an attempt to keep me in bed when I'm awake instead of staggering around the house annoying the dog with my blunderings has worked. Seeing as how I don't have a laptop, I don't post at 3 in the morning the same. It's sort of a win/lose situation really.

My hands are manky and my brain isn't too flash, so I've been practicing my own occupational therapy (it occupies me, right?) and been making stuff in the garden, stuff that I can sit down to do, seeing as how my legs are feeling a little weak and wobbly.

This is what I've been making - the aforementioned bamboo screens:

First I started with a shaggy bamboo hood over the swing seat, just to get a feel for the fabric of it all *snort*

It's ok. Needs work.

Then I made a vertical one where some blue (yuk, yes blue) shade cloth was

That was better. I really like it.

So then, I started on the sides of the summerhouse, the next stage of which was long overdue

These I like, to the point they have encouraged me to continue on 3 sides, purchase at an extremely cheap price a couple more Yucca of good size to enhance the area and also a large green plastic table that can live at Ian's until I decide I need it here in the summerhouse. I also acquired an old bath from Rae, not sure where that is going yet but the idea of a second Lotus pool appeals, especially with a yellow Lotus in it. And some more fish.

Speaking of fish, we have 14 goldfish now, spread between the two troughs and the guppies are breeding like mad. At least something is getting sex around here.

I also added to the berry garden by buying a rather large boysenberry plant for $8.40 at the Red Shed in their clearance area.

So many pots on the go, so little stove space. And I need more fingers for all the pies I have to shove them in.


Being physically limited pisses me right off but the more I can get done before I ask for the chemo, the better I will feel about doing nothing but throw up, lie down and cry when/if the time comes.

Oh, and I took myself off to the eye man for a check and a chat about this problem I'm having that, specs on or off, I can never seem to focus on whatever it is I'm looking at up close. It's confirmed - I officially have old person eyes and have just ordered my first pair of progressive spectacles from the US. Then all I have to do is get used to the bloody things, but I refused bi-focals. Just because I have old eyes doesn't mean they have to look like it, eh? To compensate for the emotional damage being pronounced aging did, I dyed my hair purple again last night.

It helps.

I will strive to be more regular - blog-wise, that is.