Friendly Rivalry

31 05 2009

It’s cold enough this afternoon that Mum has decided that the fire should be lit.  I offered to light it for her, but she elected to light it herself.  It was roaring away nicely, for a few moments.

Then it died, well nearly.  I saved it, it’s now going again.

Mum until recently (she decided to retire once my Dad got really ill just before he passed away) was the District Leader of the Girl Guides for her area.  I, very many moons ago, was a Boy Scout.

So it was with great delight, once the fire was going properly that I told her:

“Once again the Boy Scouts save the Girl Guides”…  *laugh*

There’s probably a slap coming my way sometime soon. 😉

Scraping in

30 05 2009

It’s just a few moments before midnight so this post is only just going to make it, and it’s going to be short.

The day was an eventful one, I caught up with some friends, had a few glasses of wine and dinner and managed to unwind a little.  Now I’m ready for bed.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Letter to Pets

29 05 2009

Firstly, a Welcome to the newest member of our family.  Today, Mum got herself a new lifetime friend, she rescued a beautiful grey and white cat from the RSPCA.  The very same one that my dog Dolce came from.

So far, we don’t have a name for him, but Buddy has been a temporary one for the moment, but we’re still brainstorming.  What I will say though is that he’s a lover.  He’s all about purrs, cuddles, headbutts and all manner of smooching.  He’s very much aware of the fact that he’s been saved, and his fortunes have changed, and that he’s in a new home and is very grateful.  As I told Mum this afternoon, she’s lucky I live in Seattle now.  If I lived locally I’d keep him for myself.  He’s beautiful, and has already joined me of his own volition for a nap earlier today.

Moving on, but staying on the topic of pets, here’s an email that I thought amusing enough to share.


Letter to the Pets – To be posted VERY  LOW on the refrigerator door – nose height.

Dear Dogs and  Cats,
The  dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other  dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in  the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming  your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the  slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not  a racetrack.  Beating me to the bottom is  not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you  can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very  sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the  couch  to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when  they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other  stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking  tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to  maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is  not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there  and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow,  try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the  door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been  using the bathroom for years — canine or feline attendance is not  required.
The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the  other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough!
To pacify  you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front  door:
To All Non-Pet Owners  Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:  
1. They live here. You don’t.
2. If you don’t want their hair  on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That’s why they call it  "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people .
4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter  who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak  clearly.
Remember:  Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
1. Eat less
2.  Don’t ask for money all the time
3 Are easier to  train ( except Terriers and Shih-Tzus)
4.  Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don’t  hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don’t smoke or drink
8. Don’t  have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don’t want to wear your clothes  
10. Don’t need a ga-zillion dollars for college, and…
11. If they  get pregnant, you can sell their children.

Seniors Moment

28 05 2009

This one comes courtesy of my Mum.  I found it while sifting through my email looking for statements for my Tax return, a much appreciated diversion.


An elderly lady  actually wrote this letter to her bank. The bank manager thought it amusing  enough to have it published in The Times and this newspaper thanks  him most sincerely.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three ‘nanoseconds’ must have elapsed between his  presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to  honour it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my  Pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight  years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of  opportunity, and also for debiting my account
£30 by way of penalty for the  inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial  ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.  My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and  hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.
Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal  Act for any other person to open such an envelope.
Please find  attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete.  I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as  much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be  countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.
I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled  it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account  balance on your phone bank service.  As they say, imitation is the sincerest  form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.  When you  call me, press buttons as follows:

1–  To make an appointment  to see me.
2–  To query a missing payment.
3–  To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4–  To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5–  To transfer the call to  my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6–  To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7–  To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required.  A password will be  communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized  Contact.)
8–  To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1  through 8
9– To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then  be put on hold, pending the  attention of my automated answering service.
While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new  arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

Addendum from The  Editor:
IMPORTANT to REMEMBER that this letter was  written by a lady who is a 98 year old woman; DOESN’T SHE MAKE YOU  PROUD!!!?

Sound the alarms! I’ve got the Plague!

27 05 2009

I’ve been back in Australia since Mother’s Day, Sunday 10th May 2009, and before I even made it out of the airport there was a Quarantine scare on the plane.  Apparently someone spent the entire flight coughing, sneezing and being all feverish, enough that noone could disembark before we’d had Customs on board.

We got the all clear, well at least I and the people in the front of the plane where I was sitting at the time did.  I started my flight in Economy (the cheap seats), but as I’d explained I was flying back urgently and needed to be off the plane as soon as possible so I could get to the hospital to visit my Dad faster, the lovely flight staff on my Qantas flight moved me into an empty seat in Premium Economy (there was also an empty seat next to me), so that I’d not be disturbed and could attempt to relax on what was going to be (and was) a very stressful flight.  They out did themselves when 45 minutes before landing I was moved into the First Class section to ensure I’d be able to get off the plane as a priority.

Thank you Qantas!

Back to the story, after disembarking, I literally ran through the arrivals lounge towards Immigration and Customs, only to be stopped and told to walk slowly past a line of infra-red cameras.  Apparently all passengers were being checked for signs of fever.  We’d also been handed declarations to fill out in regards to our health.  All of this due to the current Swine Flu scare around the world.

Again, I made it through all clear.  I wasn’t ill at all.

Not until 2 and a bit weeks later.  Over a week of minimal and no sleep from being at my Father’s side until the moment he passed away, and all the stress in the lead up to the funeral, I became very rundown and exhausted.  Enough that when my lovely little nephew, who I’ve recently nicknamed “Typhoid Mary”, “Bringer of Plague”, and “Contagion”, shared his lovely cold germs with me, and left me all congested and feeling awful.  Gotta love a child that’s so unselfish.  Ugh!

Of course this week I finally crashed and burned.  Monday started off well, then went downhill.  Fast.  Aches, pains, nausea, diarrhea, all the fun stuff, and I spent the rest of the day in bed with the toilet being my best friend.  I’m still unsure whether the dizziness was due to the illness, or spinning around over the toilet trying to decide which end to aim over it.

Tuesday was better, I felt a bit average, and still wasn’t in any mood to eat much, but finished the day with a lovely big bowl of homemade “Jewish Penicillin”.  Chicken soup made by my lovely Mother in-law Julia.  Thank you!  I felt much better. 

Then I went to sleep, and it all turned pear-shaped.  Fever, chills, sweats, not much fun at all.

By morning, Mum had been watching television, seen all the hype about the “Swine Flu Pandemic” and based on the symptoms on the television, diagnosed me as being positive for Swine Flu.


Admittedly, I did (still do as I type this, but not as bad) feel like crap.  So I made a Doctor’s appointment.  Of course, as is always the way by the time I arrived at the Doctors surgery I was feeling much better, and from what I could see around me, I was most certainly the healthiest person in the place, and probably in more danger of being infected, than doing any infecting of my own.

The Doctor himself didn’t seem to think I was in any danger of having the dreaded Plague that is in all the media right now (Swine Flu), but as I flew into Melbourne from Los Angeles, and all the current cases in Victoria came in from Los Angeles as well, and coincidentally on the same flight number (different days) to me, decided to prescribe the “anti-biotic dejour” Tamiflu, and told me to not leave the house until Friday, when I was to return to his surgery to receive the results of the throat swab he took.

So much drama.  It’s just not worth coughing or blowing your nose these days.  Especially when the tablets you’re prescribed are $75 for 10 capsules.   I believe (I don’t know from experience, I promise) recreational drugs aren’t that much more expensive! *laugh*

So, fingers crossed the results are negative.

Until then, let the drama continue.  All I wanted to do was curl up for a while with lots of hot lemon drinks, panadol/tylenol and rest.  So much for that idea.

If the results are positive though, does that mean I’m not Kosher?  Technically by birth I’m Jewish, as is my partner Mark.  This could create problems.  *giggle*

Goodnight all!

Not quite so green today

26 05 2009

After an evening of having my head stuck down the toilet vomiting, today was a much better day.

I even managed to eat something finally and keep it down.  Not that I’m so upset about having a day off eating, any bit of weight loss is good in my book.

At least today I can eat and drink without instantly regretting my actions, and I was well enough today to resume my role as family secretary and financier.

Another early night tonight, and some decent sleep and tomorrow should be a much better day.

I want to die

25 05 2009

I’m aware that’s melodramatic, and the timing isn’t great for that sort of humour given my Father’s recent passing, but the lack of sleep for the last 2 and a half weeks, different time zones, wheat laden food, cold, and general exhaustion has caught up with me today.

The day started off well, it was totally productive, until I felt my blood sugar start plummeting, unusual given I’d eaten a good breakfast, so I addressed it, then had lunch.  A lunch I didn’t want but ate because I had to eat something.

I’ve been sick ever since.  I feel hot, but I’m cold.  Liquids and solids are my enemy, as is the idea of anything even remotely food related.  I’m not happy.

I am however now in my pj’s, have a glass of Dry Ginger to sip on (when I can stomach it) and am going back to bed.

Here’s hoping the morning is a better one.

Weekend closure

24 05 2009

To say the previous week was a big and stressful one would be one of the biggest understatements of my life, but we survived it.

The next couple of weeks are still going to be very busy, but at least, I hope, they’re going to be a little less stressful.

The last 24 hours have been fun (mainly) though.  Mum and I baby sat my nephew Jack overnight so my sister could have a belated birthday party.  Fortunately he’s a lot of fun, and generally not too whiney, not unless there’s a reason, which there was, he has a rotten cold.  One that he shared with all of us a little over a week ago, so it’s been a complete snot fest for all concerned.

But again, we’ve survived that too.  Or have at least until now.  Although I keep getting looked at strangely when someone who knows I’ve not long flown into the country (in the last 2 weeks) here’s me cough.  They may not say it (most have though), but they’re all thinking Swine Flu.  Which it’s not.  It’s just a cold.

But as I mentioned, the week is drawing to a close.  It’s time for a nice hot shower, on with the pj’s, watch some television then off to bed.

G’night all!

A week today

23 05 2009

It’s a week today since my Father passed away, and his funeral was yesterday and yet it feels so surreal.  Like it never happened, that it’s all just a bad dream.

Unfortunately the reality is I know it’s not.  My mind just has processed it all fully yet.  I’m not alone though, my Mum feels exactly the same.

I’m keenly aware that time heals or at least lessens all wounds and pain, but right now the wounds are still fresh.

We did light a candle this evening at 6.37pm the time that he passed in his honour.

On a more upbeat note though, Mum and I are babysitting my nephew Jack this evening, and it really doesn’t matter how bad or maudlin you’re feeling, that child can bring a smile to your face.  I’m biased, but he’s adorable.

After an evening of story telling, game playing, and cuddling on the couch he’s finally gone to bed for the evening, and I’m not going to be too far off doing the same myself.

G’night all.

Good bye Dad, Rest In Peace

22 05 2009

DAD TITLE PAGE Today was my Fathers Funeral.  A sad day, but also a celebration of his life.

Everything went smoothly, and even despite a technical hiccup, one that I managed to circumvent, everything went well.  I may not have worked in almost three years, but I still know my event management.

The Funeral Directors did a great job, but during our final meeting last night they told me “there shouldn’t be any problems”.  Shouldn’t.  That’s not, there won’t be.

I’d already delivered all the music, the DVD of photos, and emailed hard copies of the music, readings and Order of Service, but being the paranoid planner that I am, not only had I done this, but I’d also prepared a folder of my own, with hard copies of all the items to be read, and 2 backups each of the DVD and the music.

Phew!  At the graveside when the final track was to be played and two CD’s failed, I had a spare.  It all went according to plan.

As for the day itself, it started off foggy, but cleared up.  The service, what I remember was beautiful.  To be honest, I barely saw anyone, barely spoke, other than the obligatory thank you for coming, and it would have meant so much to dad…  It was just too hard, I knew that if I became too engaged with family and friends that I’d lose control of my emotions.  I was fine, until the music started to play, and then the tears came.

When it came time for me to deliver a tribute to my dad I was fine at the beginning, but choked up on a couple of paragraphs, but overall managed to deliver it without too many issues.  My sister also managed to get her reading done as well.

Dad would have been proud.  More importantly everyone enjoyed the tribute, and the photo presentation, a great relief to me as I’d spent many days and nights this week working on them.

It’s been a very, very long day.  But one filled with family and friends.  But right now I’m exhausted beyond words.

I’ve been functioning on will power and adrenalin for the last two weeks, and now it’s time to rest.

If I get a chance I’ll share the tributes in tomorrows entry.

Until then, thank you to everyone who shared there condolences, love and sympathy, and many happy memories of my father.  Your love and support has been greatly appreciated.

Rest In Peace Dad.  You’ll be sadly missed, but you’re forever in our hearts.