Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, September 30, 2010



I've heard it said that Heaven must be a fantastic place.
People are dying to get there.

All your problems fade into insignificance, or disappear instantly, as you step through the Pearly Gates.

Health problems? Gone.
Wealth problems? Gone.
Panic attacks? Gone.
Assorted phobias? Gone.
Tooth decay? Gone.
Ditto dandruff, weak fingernails and split ends.

Why does Heaven have Pearly Gates anyway? Since there's no fence, I would think you could just walk (float?) in anywhere. Yet movies and cartoons have a beautiful set of gates, with a line of souls waiting to pass through.

In Heaven, you no longer need to work. You just lay about on fluffy white clouds. Maybe playing a little harp music now and again. If you get too bored just laying about, I understand that you can volunteer to polish halos, or fluff up the new sets of wings.

In Heaven, if the TV advertisements are to be believed, you can eat as much Philadelphia Cream Cheese as you like. There doesn't seem to be any other food up there, not even chocolate. Now that is a sad state of affairs. Chocolate should be available everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

In Heaven, everyone wears white. What's with that? I like colours. Yet angels are never depicted wearing anything but white. Unless they're sent down to earth to help someone out of trouble, because the angel herself (or himself) has been not so good in real life and needs to earn his or her wings and halo. Then they dress as normal living people.

Apart from all that laying about on clouds and wearing white, there doesn't seem to be much to do in Heaven. Well, there's the Philly Cheese picnics....

But there hasn't been any mention of libraries up there, for those that love to read. Surely, a love of reading doesn't stop when you walk through those magnificent gates.

Love woodwork? Carving or constructing? Where are the Heavenly sheds?

Love music? There are the harps of course, but maybe you prefer drums? Honky Tonk piano?
Steel guitars? Are there any of these up in Heaven?

I'm inclined to think that Heaven does have a few bowling alleys, that's where the sound of thunder comes from. Right?

So possibly, there ARE other facilities in Heaven. Not everyone has to loll about on the fluffy white clouds.
Perhaps there are different parts of Heaven, just like there are different countries down here on earth.
Nationalities are ignored. As they should be down here on Earth.

All the wood whittlers have a Heavenly little shed with a never ending supply of wood.
Readers have a Heavenly library with endless stacks of books.
Musicians have a Heavenly auditorium, where they can jam singly or in groups as the whim takes them.
People who love colours can have a rainbow of robes and wings to choose from. Even their fluffy clouds needn't be white. They could reside in the part of Heaven where rainbows come from.

Even Nerds could have a Heavenly Internet Cafe to hang out in.

I have to say, if the Heaven that I get into doesn't have anything but fluffy clouds and white, I might just decline to walk through those Pearly Gates, and come back here. Or find another Heaven.
Where there is colour and variety.
Heaven is supposed to be a happy place, after all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

oops, I did it again

Waited at the bus stop,

flagged down the bus, went into the city and caught another bus.

Out to Collinswood, where I stopped in here, for a burger (soggy bun, tasteless meat),and fries, (too salty).

Then I walked across the road to the ABC building,

(not such a good picture), where I joined Peter Goers and two lovely ladies, known as Goers Gals, for an hour long, on radio, gossip session.
I was a little nervous, but Margaret and Pam were lovely and Peter always puts everyone at ease.
Peter chose the topics and each was touched on briefly with all of us putting in an opinion. Or three.
It was great fun. I wouldn't mind at all doing that again.
There were a few checkout related discussions; plastic bags, those little dividers put between the groceries of different customers, buying multiples of any particular product. Which then briefly morphed into a discussion on stockpiling and do we do it?
We discussed the awful mistake made by Sarah Murdoch when she named the wrong girl as winner of Top Model. If I'd been her I would have wanted the floor to open and swallow me immediately.
Hair and fingernails were talked about, in particular how people always want what they haven't got, especially in the hair department. I used to always want hair thick, silky and long enough to sit on. These days, I'm happy enough with what I've got.
The footy grand final was brought up too, with mention of how everyone who had plans for the following weekend now has to either change them or miss the play-off. It's my opinion that on the day, they should have played on until someone won.
Quite a few other topics were discussed, and the hour went much faster than I expected.
Time flies when you're having fun.
As we were leaving, a sheep was being wheeled in, in a cage on a trolley. Yes, a real live sheep.
Apparently, Peter is going to have a go at shearing......I would love to be a fly on the wall for that.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

sometimes my brain is a fog of bewilderment

I sometimes wish I was "Big Bang Theory" smart.
I'm not.
Most of the time I'm happy enough the way I am.
But I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

When I was very young, I was constantly praised by my parents for being clever.
To the point where I was convinced I was practically a genius and would someday be someone very important.
After all, I did learn to read when I was three.
(I've since realised that I was being compared to my older sibling.)

Looking back on this now, I know that I learnt to read, not by picking up a book and having the squiggles called letters suddenly form themselves into words that I could understand, but by listening in and watching the words, as my mum spent hours and hours every single week helping my older sister learn to read. My sister is three and a half years older than me, and was born retarded. Use whatever politically correct term you wish, the meaning is the same.
I'm told that one day, after my sister once more broke into tears because she could not read the first page of Dick and Dora, I picked up the book and read the whole first chapter to show her how easy it was.
From then on I read everything I could get my hands on.
Starting school was a disappointment since we had to learn to read Dick and Dora and I already knew them.

So, I was convinced I was clever. And for a while, school reaffirmed this for me. Primary school work was easy for me, I coasted through it.
High school was a shock. I had to learn to pay attention, something I'd barely bothered with before. Homework was expected to be handed in. On time!

My dad didn't agree with homework, as far as he was concerned, the teacher taught us in school, if she couldn't get through the lessons, we shouldn't have to finish them at home in our own time.

He didn't realise and wouldn't be told the true purpose of homework. He said I didn't need to do it. So sometimes I didn't, especially if it was French homework. I hated French! More correctly, I hated the French teacher. Naturally, I failed French, so got bumped down to the B grade class in the second term. Where I discovered I still had to learn French, but I'd lost my favourite Latin.
Ho Hum.

I knew already that I was only going to school until I was old enough to leave, so didn't bother trying too hard. But even without trying too hard, I was good at several subjects. English, History, Science, Math.; consistently scoring in the 75-80% range. In Math I was even top of the class a couple of times, in the end of term exams. This reinforced my "I'm smart" belief.

But, once I'd left school, at 15, I was expected to get a job. (I was also expected to get married and raise babies. Because that's what girls do. According to my dad.*)

Working was a whole different experience! I was in an environment with people who had gone further in school, and who had worked for some time. I felt like a fish out of water. I'd lost my comfort zone. Senior workers were asked to train me in whatever position I was learning and because they'd done this work "forever", they knew the job inside out and showed me what to do without really explaining how and why things were done. I felt stupid when I didn't pick things up immediately, and even more stupid when I made mistakes and they'd sigh heavily and show me again.

Once I'd learnt something, I was okay with it, so if I was in any job for long enough I became quite skilled, and felt comfortable doing my work.

Fast forward to my present job. I've been a checkout chook for 8 years now. The first year was hard. I'm not really a people person, and wasn't comfortable having to make conversation with customers. (Possibly my hearing loss may have something to do with this.)
Add to that my scanning and packing skills hadn't yet developed enough for me to be comfortable, I was forever anxious that I'd make a mistake and the boss would come breathing down my neck.
Several months into it, I realised things had changed. I knew what I was doing. If I made a mistake, I knew how to fix it, without calling for help. I began to relax into the job and it became fun for me. I even discovered that I could talk to the customers without breaking into a clammy sweat.

Fast forward again to my current predicament. I'm unable to do the checkout work, so I'm being employed as a "floater".
Filling in and helping out. In different departments. Where I don't know the work well enough.

I'm being shown what to do, by people who are in a hurry to get back to what they are doing, so it's a case of do this, this, then this, and off they go, leaving me to try and figure out what the heck they meant. A lot is easily worked out, but sometimes I have to go looking for this person. Asking what have I done wrong? Why is this machine not working?
Feeling stupid because I haven't understood. I know it's wrong to feel this way, but there it is. I do feel it, then I'm pissed off at myself.
Yesterday, for instance, something was explained to me and another girl, fairly quickly. She understood immediately and the two of them carried on while I pretended to understand and learned by copying what they were doing. I didn't want to ask even more questions and appear stupid.
This morning, I remembered what I did yesterday and the work went without a hitch.
But tomorrow if they throw me another learning curve, I'll feel the fog closing in on my brain again.
I'm left wondering, am I stupid? Or have I just not learnt how to learn? I avoid new things because I'm afraid of appearing stupid.
New information seems to just breeze on through without sticking. Unless I go over it and over it. Once I've learned it, I tell myself how clever I am. But am I really?

I see people around me who are able to assimilate knowledge of a large range of things, more than one at a time and much faster than me. I'm envious of this ability.

So I go home and read. I lose myself in fiction novels, because sometimes the real world just seems too hard.
I watch TV. I watch The Big Bang Theory, because I "get" that the jokes are funny even though I don't always know why, so I laugh in the right places, then I feel clever.

* I was raised by my dad, because my mum left home when I was seven.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'll be there, will you?

I'm going to make it to the Aussie Bloggers Conference!!!

I'm very excited about this very first ever Aussie Bloggers event.

At first I didn't think I'd make it.

I looked at my budget and my heart sank faster than a lump of concrete thrown into the ocean.
I did a little figuring. Tried a bit of the "rob Peter to pay Paul" type of thing.
Checked the calendar for future incoming bills, like gas, electricity.

Uh-Oh, two of each due between now and March.

Damn. Bugger. Oh Dear.

Then I remembered my last resort option. If I could manage half of the cost, maybe R (brother) could help with the rest?
We don't stay in touch as much as we could, both of us being shy, and having spent much of our childhood apart, we don't really know each other.
Add to that, he lives in WA, and he is away from home a lot, working in remote areas.

I emailed him, crossed my fingers and hoped he would read his emails.

He answered this morning. Oh joy!! He can help!

I'll be at the conference.
I'm looking forward to meeting my internet friends.
I'll be the quiet, shy one sitting in a corner.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

coffee magic

At any time during the day, no cup of coffee is as perfect as the one I make at 4am, on weekends, when I'm wide awake, but don't need to be up yet.

As most of you know, I've been working the early morning shift at Coles for years now, waking at 4am, being at work by 6 or 6.30am.

I don't like rushing through my mornings, so I take my time over showering and breakfast. Coles is just a 15 minute walk away. But work days do not include morning coffees.

So on weekends, I still wake at 4am. This is when I make the best cup of coffee ever, and take it back to bed, with whatever I'm currently reading, and read until I get sleepy again. Or until I get up.

While I was temporarily off work, I stayed up a bit later than usual at nights, thereby sometimes managing to stay asleep until 6 or 7am.

But there were still a few mornings when I'd be wide awake at 4am, and I'd barefoot it to the kitchen, turning on the bedroom heater along the way to take the pre-dawn chill off the air.

Clearly, 4am is a magical time, as the coffee/sugar/water/milk ratio turns out exactly right and the cup of (instant) coffee that I sip in bed is perfect.

I use the same mug and spoon every time, so there is no other possible explanation for this perfection, than magic.

It's possible the deep silence of the hour is a contributing factor. That feeling of being the only person awake in the whole world.

With every successive cup of coffee during the day, I am unable to replicate this perfection.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

so I'm back at work...

Sort of.

My shoulder is much improved, although I still don't have the full range of movement.
Still doing the exercises 3-4 times a day, they still hurt, but it will be worth it in the end.

However, I've been told by my doctors to use the arm as normally as I can, as much as I can.
So I've been cleared to go back to work, with restricted duties.
No checkout work. I'm actually missing my "front end" workmates.

This means I'm there four hours a day, four days a week, doing......well, not much of anything really. I appreciate that I can't work to my full capacity, the injury is still there, surgery is still ahead for me. But.

(But, But, But. Must be one of the most commonly used words in the world. Not to be confused with butt, as in buttface.)

What was I saying? Oh yes, at work. I don't really "belong" to any of the other departments, so don't properly know the work, the routines, the methods. So I'm "helping out".
I'm a "floater".
Ha Ha, I hear you all sniggering, get your minds out of the toilet....

Checking the meat section first, any packages getting close to the use by date are marked down.
Meat department are usually so busy they run around like ants, trying to get everything done, so having me available to help is very handy for them.
So the "markdowns" are for me to do, as much as I can get done in the short time I'm there.

This is actually fun. There's a new whizz-bang item which scans the product, automatically calculates the discount and prints out a sticker to be attached. It's a great little machine. Unless the battery has gone flat.
Half an hour there, and I'm ready to do something else. Something that uses the arms/shoulders in a different way.

Because I'm not allowed too much repetetive movement.

So I'll wander up to the checkout area, collect any loose stock into a basket, just a few items at a time, and wander around the store putting things back on the shelves. Then I'll get the little trolley and collect the customer baskets and put them back near the entrance for the next wave of customers to use and leave by the checkouts.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of customers who remember me from my usual early morning shift and stop to talk, asking how I am, will I be back soon, they miss me. Miss you too, people.

I've helped in the fruit and veg section, stacking bunches of broccoli, (yum, love broccoli), filling the tomato shelf, where every single 1kg bag had already sold and it was only halfway through the morning! Rearranged a few apples....stacked bok choy, refilled the mushrooms.
No heavy lifting involved here, someone else put the produce boxes onto a trolley (called a flat top), for me and wheeled it out there.
Moving on to find something else.

Asked the dairy boy if any shelves needed filling.
Okay then.

Grab a duster, wander around the store, dusting produce on the shelves, finding stuff that people have changed their mind about and shoved into the nearest shelf. Irritating usually, but now it gives me something to do. Put these into a basket that I just happen to be carrying with me, and put back in the correct place as I come to it.
Check the shelves as I go, pulling items forward to be more easily seen by customers, if the front row of items has been sold.

One of my favourite parts is having customers ask me where they can find this or that item. It gives me a purpose! I can take them to the correct aisle, even show them where the item is on the shelf! I could just say, oh that is in aisle 7 on the left side about halfway down....but walking with the customer is a conversation opportunity. Never thought I'd say something like that! Me! The quiet one who prefers her own company!

I've done this now for four days. It seems easy enough. Help a little here. Rearrange a little there. Restock this or that shelf. Dust the dog food cans, the soup cans. Really, the amount of dust that comes from the warehouse is amazing! They could start their own desert!

But, (hey, there's that but again!), I can see this getting boring for me. Soon. Very soon.
There's nothing I can do about that.
I just really miss the fast-paced checkout work.

Friday, September 24, 2010

more spring pretties

I'll leave you tonight with a few more of the lovely things growing around my neighbourhood.

The magnificent oak trees along Queen Street all have a lovely light green covering of new leaves.

Something pink, I'm not sure of the names of many things I'm putting here tonight. I have a copy of "What Flower Is That?", but many of the pictures aren't clear to me. I have other gardening books with pictures and descriptions, but can't be bothered hauling them out and flipping pages.

This unusual tree has hundreds of these dangling tassel formations. I think it's a Garrya, also known as Silk Tassel, Curtain Bush or Fringe tree.

This next one, I think is Elderberry. A tall dense shrub, with clusters of these tiny creamy white flowers, very heavily scented and usually avoided by me because of my hayfever.*

Some cheerful pansies inside the gate of a home that I pass every single day. The garden is made of pebbles, with pots of colour sunk into the ground, looking very pretty.

Another one that I don't remember the name of. Similar to the Iceplant family in looks, but with thicker stems and larger flowers, in this wonderful pinky purple and in vivid orange too.

This last one I'm fairly sure is a member of the Kniphofia family, also called Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily.

*the hayfever. I've recently changed medication for this, having taken polaramine for years, because it doesn't make me sleepy. The chemist I spoke to recommended Zyrtec, as have many of my friends, but I was afraid of changing because a) it can cause drowsiness, b) it's fairly expensive; anyway, she pointed out that the tablets are a once-a-day type and to counteract the possible sleepiness, many people take one at night before going to bed. That way they get a good nights sleep while remaining clearheaded all the next day. So I gave them a try. They're great! I can walk anywhere and breathe anything. I'm enjoying so many wonderful fragrances now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a memory

A long-ago conversation with my grand daughter.
She was three, very close to four, sitting at the table while I set out plates and cutlery for dinner.

GD; Nanny what is this knife doing next to my plate? Near me?
Don't you know that you shouldn't put knives near small children?
Because they could play with them and cut themself or get badly hurt.

Me; and if you leave it alone, just don't touch it at all, you'll be fine.

GD; oh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Swiss Glory Chocolate

On Monday, after my hydrodilation, I treated myself to a Swiss Glory Chocolate bar.
I don't often buy this brand as it's expensive, so I hadn't seen these bars before. Usually I buy coffee truffles or something similar and always only two. Showing great restraint here.

Well as soon as I got home I had a coffee and gutsed down the chocolate without even thinking to take a photo first.

So, the next day, I went here:

Burnside Village. It's just a short way along Portrush Road, and I've been known to walk there from my home, (takes about 45 minutes on a good day),but I caught a bus this time.
The Village is even bigger than when I lived closer to it, (across the road), and now there's even more construction going on! It's HUGE!

Anyway, I know there's a Swiss Glory outlet there, and that's where I was headed.
I bought these three bars, milk, white and dark.

You can see by the pictures they are chunky little things, sold without wrappers, being put in individual cellophane bags, (made in Cellophania?) when sold.
There's no information available regarding ingredients, (a secret?), not even percentage of cocoa solids.
So I had to rely on taste alone. Now, remembering I'm not a professional taster or reviewer, here we go.
First, the white. I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, and this one proved to be just as "not so nice" as any other white I've tried. It tasted and felt a bit like a solidified bar of buttery sweetened condensed milk, with a very light dryness and a hint of mustiness. Definitely a no-no for me.
Dark chocolate is something I don't eat, so I've sent this one to my good friend Kath. in Melbourne as she is a dark choccie lover and will give it the review it deserves.

Now the milk chocolate bar. Yes, we have a winner!. All these bars are quite chunky, being 12cm long, by 2cm wide and 2cm thick, with a nice little half cm "ledge" separating each chunk.
This one? It's very satisfying, in size and in flavour.
Not too milky, not too sweet, and I can taste the cocoa! Without any cocoa powder feel or grittiness. This is very smooth.
Dare I say it? In my opinion, it's better than Haigh's milk chocolate.
At $3.20 per bar, they won't be a regular part of my weekly shopping, but these milk bars will definitely be my special treat of choice.
They are heavenly!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

currently reading

The Red Cardigan by J.C.Burke

Here's a quote from the book:

"What's worse than being on the outer and no-one noticing you?
Being on the outer and everyone noticing you."

This is a Young Adult novel, not too long, being only 192 pages, set in Sydney Australia, with a crossover to Adelaide. Adelaide!! That's rare.

It's quite a powerful story about a young girl, aged 16, with a passion for vintage clothing, who is discovering that she has inherited her grandmother's psychic abilities as she helps to solve a 20 year old missing persons case.

It moves along at a good pace, with no annoying loose ends that cause you to flip back through previous chapters to find where your current page connects to an earlier part of the story.
An easy, enjoyable read. I finished it this morning after starting it after dinner last night.

The next book in my stack is this:

It's a tale of Drug Dealing Triads in Sydney. Should be interesting. I love the title.

exercise, one two,one two,one two, and a woo-hoo!

This is the sheet of exercises I was given to do, to loosen up the shoulder after yesterday's hydrodilation.

There's a whole bunch of information on what a frozen shoulder actually is.
Click on picture to enlarge to read should you be interested enough.

The pictures above are;

Top, pendulant exercise, lean forward from waist, swing injured arm from shoulder, back and forth, then from side to side; each being done ten times.

I also swing arms in a circular motion, clockwise, then counterclockwise, just to liven things up a bit. Because I can.

Bottom; flexion, lay on back, grasp injured arm with other hand, lift arm back behind shoulder as far as you can, hold five seconds, relax. Repeat ten times.

While I'm down on the floor (bed, it's softer), for these, I do some leg lifts as well. Just to pass the time you understand. Plus extra work means a few extra squares of chocolate allowed, yes?

Left side of form, top pictures, hold a lightweight rod in both hands,(I use a piece of curtain rod), keep elbows tucked in, use the uninjured arm to push the rod to the side so the injured arm turns to open the shoulder joint.
Hold for five seconds. Repeat ten times.

Middle pictures; hold a towel behind your head with the injured arm, at the bottom with the other arm. Raise the injured arm as if pulling up a zipper as high as you can. Hold five seconds, relax. Repeat ten times.

Bottom picture; Raise injured arm with elbow bent, grasp elbow with other hand, pull elbow across body as far as you can, aiming for the elbow to reach at least as far as centre body or further. Hold five seconds, relax. Repeat ten times.

Middle section of form; stand close to a wall, place hand of injured arm on wall as high as you can reach without straining. Try to walk fingers a little higher up the wall, hold five seconds, relax. Repeat ten times. The aim is to try and get the arm reaching higher, at least as high as the uninjured arm eventually.

I've written in pen just under that a couple of other exercises I was given;

a) try to grasp hands behind back, (impossible for me right now), gradually raising them higher, until you get to the stage of being once more able to unhook your bra without having to pull it around to the front.
b) rotate the injured arm as if bowling a cricket ball. Ha Ha

(Bottom pictures are just advertising on the form.)

I noticed the first time I did these that the back muscles were also getting worked, so rather than end up lopsided, I do these exercises with both arms.
I also found that it helps a lot if I lean forward and dangle the arms, shaking loose the shoulders for a couple of seconds between each set of exercises. Also it's much better to proceed slowly rather than rushing it.

The Woo-Hoo part? I've been cleared to go back to work from tomorrow as long as I do only light duties, such as putting away loose stock, cleaning stocktake numbers off the shelf facings, showing customers where items are when they can't find them. Absolutely no check out work allowed.

I still have the repair surgery to come at a later date, but this will keep the shoulder mobile as well as preventing my bum from assuming the dimensions of my couch.

Monday, September 20, 2010

hydrodilation at the Memorial Hospital

This is not my shoulder, this is a googled image.
Still, a bone is a bone is a bone.

This hydrodilation is quite an interesting experience.

I caught a bus into the city, then walked along King William Street, over the bridge spanning the Torrens, up into North Adelaide to the Memorial Hospital. Sat in the over-warm waiting room until I was almost asleep, finally got called through.

I was asked to remove all clothing from the waist up and put on the provided gown, but not tie it up. I couldn't reach back to tie it anyway.
So I went through to the x-ray room where the assistant asked me to remove the robe from my right shoulder, then she tied it behind in a very stylish off the shoulder toga look.

Climbed up onto the very narrow table and laid on my back. The equipment is so very different from any x-ray room I've ever seen. There's no sliding in and out of x-ray plates and staying still while the technician goes into the other room to take the picture. No No No.

This table is moved into positions by means of a foot pedal (I think), and above there's a huge round, something, that looks like a dentist lamp but with a dull surface instead of those blinding lights. This takes the pictures. It's fixed to a really big arm, which is again moved by a foot pedal. (I'm assuming because I'm staring at the ceiling so can't see how this is being moved.)

A couple of pictures were taken of my shoulder in different positions, then I was swabbed with an alcohol wash to disinfect the skin and minimise infection. After that came a local anaesthetic, which stung quite a bit at first, but was effective almost immediately, because a much larger needle with a miniature camera attached was then inserted right into the shoulder joint where I could feel it against the bone, although I hadn't felt the insertion at all. The position of this was checked against the screen.

At every stage I was asked if I was comfortable, which I found reassuring. I was perfectly comfortable, but I could imagine how others might feel frightened in the same situation, so the bedside manner here is to be commended.

A thin plastic tube was fed through the needle, and fluid was pushed through this to open up the joint. Lots of fluid. The technician doing this said I should tell him if the pressure got to be too much and he'd stop for a minute.

I could feel the shoulder filling up, the pressure building, the whole shoulder feeling very heavy and a little numb. Just as I was about to say please stop, there was a popping sound inside the joint and the pressure eased immediately. I mentioned this, "oh, that feels much better, something popped in there".
He said that was good news as it was one of the results they were hoping for.

The tube and needle were withdrawn, a bandaid attached, and then another two pictures taken of the joint.

The assistant who'd tied my toga then showed me a couple of extra (more??) exercises to do as well as the ones already given to me by the orthopaedic surgeon, then said I should keep the shoulder moving as much as I could, at least every 15 minutes, for the next four hours. Ha Ha.

So I dressed again, left the hospital and walked back to the city, then to the City Cross Arcade where the Swiss Glory Chocolate Shop is. Because after that kind of ordeal a girl needs chocolate, right? Right.

Walking on to my bus stop, all the way swinging my arm, raising my arm, shrugging the shoulder, rolling the shoulder. People were either giving me funny looks or averting their eyes.
Hey! I was just following instructions.......

Anyway I'm home now, have done the complete set of exercises once, and shrugged/moved my shoulder a lot as well.

Hopefully, I'll have the full range of movement, or at least enough movement by the time I see the orthopaedic surgeon again, so that he can set a date for the surgery to repair my torn tendon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'm a little excited.
There's to be a first ever Aussie Bloggers Conference!

Details at

This wonderful happening is the brainchild of Veronica of Sleepless Nights fame and some of her best friends. There is a link to the details on her blog.

It's to be held in Sydney, in March 2011.

Tickets are on sale now at a special early bird price, only available at this price until October 3rd.

There will be speakers on a variety of blogging subjects.

I'm guessing there will also be meetings, greetings, exclamations, "oh! so this is what you look like!", and even, "so lovely to meet the face behind the blog".

Hugs, laughter, much chatter, lots of photographs.

I'm hoping to go, but my budget is a bit up in the air at the moment.

There's going to be a bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul type of stuff going on here as I rearrange this and that dollar.

It promises to be very exciting for all who attend.

I'm going to buy extra camera batteries and another SD card, just in case I manage to get there.
I've got 5 months to sort my budget........

Saturday, September 18, 2010

spring has sprung

And everywhere things are growing and blooming.

Gardens are a riot of colour and new growth.

Pink geraniums enjoying dappled sunshine.

Red geraniums boldly turning their faces to the full afternoon sun.

The pretty pink-purple pea flowers of the polygala shrubs so popular in many suburbs.

Lilies are everywhere,

and lavender is too, with bees foraging for the nectar. So many bees this year.

This very pretty, (but oh-so-deadly-to-me), jasmine. One of many varieties, this one is Jasminum Polyanthum, also called pink jasmine, night blooming, or night scented. The fragrance from this one is released at dusk, to hang heavily in the air all night and well into the morning, often spreading as much as half a city block or more. This one plant, more than any other, causes me to lock myself inside as much as possible for its long blooming period. I'm allergic. And it's grown in every suburb. I don't think Adelaide has even one suburb where this jasmine isn't grown.

Nasturtiums, bright and sunny,

spilling over a fence taller than me.

These gorgeous orange clivias, growing in the shade of a large tree, blooms you could warm your hands over, like a fire. Such a great contrast between the blooms and the strappy dark green leaves.

Something yellow, climbing and spilling over fences. I know this as Carolina Jasmine, but if I'm wrong, please let me know.

Gerberas, hardy, cheerful, colourful, in driveways and parking lots all over Adelaide.

Lastly, this large yellow fungus growing through a crack in the footpath, looking remarkably like a giant piece of popped corn.

Here it is next to my shoe, so you can see just how big it really is.

Friday, September 17, 2010

the hunger games

I picked this up from the library this morning and have been reading it all day.

The Hunger Games-Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, set in post-apocalyptic America.

Book one is titled simply The Hunger Games, book three is titled Mockingjay.

I'm not sure what age group this is aimed at, there are readers younger than me reading it, my daughter is reading the trilogy, I'm 58 and enjoying it too.

The books centre on a handful of characters, most of whom are from "District 12".

In this series, America appears to be run by "The Capitol", a futuristic city where the inhabitants have as much of anything that they could possibly want and more, while outlying "districts" numbered 1 to 13 are kept in near starvation with little or no utilities or other facilities according to the whims of The Capitol.
Each district is responsible for their particular specialty, for instance mining or grain crops and so on.

Each year 2 young "tributes" from each district, are selected by The Capitol, these children are brought to the Capitol, then let loose in "The Arena", a vast wilderness, where they are given scant supplies and pretty much told there can be only one survivor. They must fight to the death until only one victor is left.

I'm finding this very un-put-downable and can't wait to get the third book from the library.
There's a waiting list with several people ahead of me....*sigh*

I'll eventually buy the trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, because I know this is something I'll read over and over.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

moving, moving, moving, get that body moving

Pictures courtesy of the LOLcats website, thank you lolcats.

For the past few weeks, I've been doing a lot of this:

then I saw a doctor, who told me to do some of this: stretch and hold for 5 seconds,

and some of this: more stretching and holding, sets of 10, three times a day.

Of course, I'm focussing on the shoulder, but I've noticed other muscles are being called in.
It's impossible to move the shoulder in the ways indicated on the sheet I've been given, without moving the back muscles too, and bracing the legs, holding firm so that the body doesn't twist while pushing/pulling the arm/shoulder to the left or right, up or down.
After a month of protecting the shoulder, I'm told I can use it as normally as possible to encourage it to move. So I pegged out my washing, carried home a lightweight bag of library books. Only two books, that's light, right?
The exercises are a little painful, but necessary, the aching in associated muscles not so welcome, but easily fixed by a little walking exercise.
The weather is great for walking, breezy, sunny, the ever present hayfever is annoying, but at least I'm getting up off my bum. So maybe it won't assume the dimensions of my couch after all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

shoulder update

For anyone who's interested: injured shoulder at work, have been lazing around the house doing nothing much for a month.......

I had an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon today who examined my shoulder and pronounced it frozen. There's a torn tendon in there, so I've been off work and not using the shoulder, because it's painful, but not using it has caused it to freeze. More than it already had.

So I'm to have an injection on Monday, (ouch!) and I have a series of exercises to do three times a day to get the shoulder moving again. Apart from that I'm to use the arm as normally as I can.

I wonder if that includes vacuuming? Because the dust around here is getting thick enough to resemble a desert.....

Then, next month there's another appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon, if the shoulder shows more flexibility, the repair to the tendon becomes possible.
Apparently there's no point operating to repair the tendon while the shoulder is frozen, because without movement there's no way of knowing whether or not the operation is successful.

So it appears that not using the arm because of the pain, has been the wrong thing to do, I should have continued using it, just being extra careful not to overstretch the shoulder joint.
Well, it's only been a month since I stopped working, so I don't imagine the problem has become so bad that things can't improve. I'll start with the exercises tonight, gently, gently of course.

Hopefully, I'll feel some improvement soonish. I'm not expecting miracles, I know it will take time, but maybe I'll be back at work before too long.

Before Too Long, hmmm, that's a song.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a little peek into my home

Several people have put up photos of their desks and I always enjoy seeing where the blog comes from that I'm currently reading, so thought you all might be the same.
So here are some photos of my workspace.

This table is a multi-purpose piece of furniture, it's where I do all my computer stuff, read, do crosswords, eat meals, and watch TV too.

It's not too messy right now, a stack of library books, remotes for TV and dvd player, my inhaler is close by since there's so much pollen around right now.
Usually there's a dinner plate and coffee mug crowded on there too.
There's a couch directly in front of it, that's where I sit after the computer is shut down for the night.

Here's a view from the other side, there's the fishbowl, the ever present tissues, (achoo!!), the latest copy of "That's Life", because the puzzles in that are really easy, so make me feel good about myself when I get them all done in just an hour or so.
The whiteout is for the sudoku puzzles, because I suck at those.

Over on the left side of the room, by the window, is the desk where the computer is supposed to sit, but I can't see the TV properly from there....
That's my printer/scanner/photocopier on the righthand side, with phonebook, and recipe book on the left, catalogues in the middle.

Behind me are three bookshelves, not as full as they used to be, since I weeded out all those impulse buy books that I only read once and found they weren't worthy of a second read. Now there's only my favourites and a few new ones that I haven't read yet.

Over on the other wall, is my oldest bookshelf, now holding about half of my dvd collection.
This particular bookshelf is the very first furniture item I bought when I was first married in 1971. It has travelled with me to 16 separate homes and stood up really well until this final 16th move, when it was almost dropped and now is a bit unsteady.
See the little troll doll in the corner by the candle?

Here he is again. He used to wear a bright green t-shirt with a "lucky" dollar sign on it. He's a Lotto troll that I bought years ago at a newsagency, by the lotto counter and he's supposed to bring luck. This week he did! I won $76. Yay me!

Here's the table without the computer, it's a very rare occasion when there isn't a crossword book on it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

lazy posting- -aka brain dead today

A long time ago, I was reading over at lunatic-kate and came across a list of funnies that made me laugh.

Here are some of them and I hope they make you laugh too.

  • My husband and I divorced over religious differences, he thought he was God and I didn't.
  • I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
  • Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.
  • I used to have a handle on life but it broke.
  • You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
  • Out of my mind; back in 5 minutes.
  • God must love stupid people; he made so many.
  • Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
  • Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.
  • A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
  • He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.
  • Ham and eggs; a day's work for the chicken, a lifetime commitment for the pig.
  • The trouble with life is there's no background music.
  • I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

artistic genius ?

My hubby, L, used to love going around the streets every year during hard rubbish collection time.
He'd bring home all kinds of stuff that he thought would be useful.
Half used cans of paint, old prams, boxes of nuts, bolts and screws, etc.
Most of these things ended up back in our own rubbish pile or just straight into the bin.
But there were a few things that made it into the garden as art. Broken or weathered statues for instance.
This owl pictured below came with bits chipped out and no colour on him. He was fixed with plaster left over from another project and painted with old paint that someone had thrown out.
The cage he's in was another find.

The two pieces of stained glass window you can see once adorned the prettiest little garden shed I've ever seen.

This bird statue (?) was carved from a piece of treated pine as far as we could tell. Dried out, cracked, unpainted, it came home one year to be cleaned, cracks filled in, painted with discarded green paint and decorated with model paint that L asked me to bring home on the way home from work. Tied to the edge of my washing line, it looks pretty good.

Here's a closeup of the head.

This door decoration was constructed from a plank of rough pine that was part of the shed wall. Eyes were cut from an old broomstick.
This is on the door to the smaller shadehouse along the side of the house. My fruit trees used to be in there. The shadehouse itself is put together from all kinds of bits and pieces and covered with discarded shadecloth in assorted colours sewn together with fishing line. it looks like it will fall down at any moment, but it's been up for seven years now.

Here's the head.

On one of L's scrounging trips, he found half a bag of plaster in good clean condition. He brought it home and made this little Meerkat family. Just from looking at a picture of some in a magazine and copying. Painted them with the same discarded paint as the owl in the top picture, and glued on tiny shards of broken mirror for eyes. They weren't at all weatherproof, so had to live in the carport. But after a couple of years, one of them broke when accidentally hit with a broom, (I was sweeping leaves and knocked it off the edge of the table), and in later years the rest began to crumble. Sadly, this year, they are no longer with me.

There are other little bits and pieces around my garden, some made by L, some salvaged from roadside dumps, some bought at the reject shop.