Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Colur Blue Again

There must be something about me and blue. It occurs all the time. I do try to go for other colours, but it keeps rearing its pretty head. In this case it was luck. The car I wanted, the features I wanted, the price I wanted and the colour!! Our new Mazda 2 Genki. This one is an automatic and we really prefer a manual, but hey, it is easy driving.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

The colour Blue

The recent hot summer days have seen my garden start to dry out and look tired. I look back on the carefree days when we were able to water at will and the garden was green and fresh during summer. Those days alas are gone and my garden is suffering.

The one bright spot in the garden are the glorious agapanthas with their striking blues. I delight every time I pass a window and look out on the clumps of blue. They lift the garden and lift my spirits.

This dark,almost navy, blue is a stunner. This is the first year they have flowered.

I still like the original colour though. They make a lovely show and are in all the Hills gardens at the moment.

This little sunny spot is called Granny's Grotto because my mother loved to sit here and read. Over the past few years it has had a lot of changes as it suffered a lot of damages when a willow came down in a storm. Before that it was a very shady spot.
I'm sure Granny would still enjoy it though.

New additions to the garden are these delightfully quirky flamingos - a wedding anniversary gift from some very old and dear friends.

I'll have to think of a name for them. Any ideas?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No news

Well, they say no news is good news, but I am not so sure. Don's angiogram showed there was nothing wrong with his arteries - all clear.

So where to from here. More tests I guess. He's a bit worried that the specialist will say his current health issues are nothing to do with his heart. At least while we thought they were, we thought it could be sorted. Now we start again.

Not the way we thought we would be spending our retirement.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Bad with the Good

A very mixed day today. First Don had an appointment with his heart specialist. He had a pacemaker put in a couple of months back and it has taken a long time to settle down - or so we thought. He has been feeling generally unwell and put it down to getting used to the pacemaker. Every time he rang the specialist's office about it, he was told the pacemaker was working fine and he had to be patient.
Last week he went to gym and felt really unwell. pains in shoulders, arms and jaw. He thought he had done something to his pacemaker, but when he checked with the monitoring service it was working perfectly. However when he described his symptoms he was advised to see his GP asap. He did and they were concerned enough to hospitalise him overnight and give him a cardiogram which showed a few irregularities. That was last Thursday. As he had a cardio appointment on Monday he was told to go home and take it easy over the weekend.

Fronted for his cardio appointment and the proverbial hit the fan! The specialist put him into hospital straight away, muttering that it was time GPs learnt how to read cardiograms properly. The upshot is that he is to have an angiogram tomorrow because he has angina and will need further treatment depending on what they find. And we thought the pacemaker was going to solve all his problems. But then we thought that about the two ablations and all the other procedures as well. Poor fellow. I keep my fingers crossed that eventually they can sort it out so he can once again enjoy life as he used to.

On the brighter side, we had planned to buy ourselves a new car today, but I finished up going it alone. Quite exciting really. I eventually signed my life away (or my long service leave payout) on a totally gorgeous Mazda 2 Genki. I am in love!! This photo is not the Genki, but close. I could not fit the real picture in my scanner. I pick it up on Friday and Don is green with envy because he may still be in hospital for the big event. It is 11 years since we had a new car, so it is a big thing for us.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Moving on

So, with the cleaning up inside done, we move on to the garden. It's actually in reasonably good shape thanks to the work we put in before the party, but there is one area that has been totally neglected. Once a flourishing rose garden it was let go when we were no longer allowed to water it and Don got too sick to help out in the garden.

Now with all the time in the world, I decided to 'reclaim' the rose garden. I wish I had taken a photo of it before I started, but this will give you an idea. It was totally taken over by weeds and tall grasses; there were blackberries everywhere; the old climbing rose had run rampant and many of the others had reverted to root stock and had to be removed entirely.

The soil was dry and hard and removing weeds took some effort, especially as the kikuyu lawn had invaded a large part of the garden. We laid newspapers on the bare soil, then spread bark mulch to hopefully slow down regrowth and help retain moisture.

A couple of weeks later and the transformation is complete. We will have to do some replanting, but overall we are happy with our labours.

What next? I'll have to go for a wander and see what else needs to be done. After all a garden is never finished.

Liz Needle

Friday, February 03, 2012

That room!

The Wedding Anniversary over, I put my energy into cleaning out the sewing room. It is the last room in the house with the original baltic pine flooring, but sadly the borers have made a meal of it. For some time little holes have been spreading and now it has become paper thin in places - I actually put my foot through a floor board a few days ago - and I don't really weigh all that much.

And this isn't the worst part of the floor - just the bit I forgot about.

Sewing room partly cleared.

Much better. Just a couple more big things to move and then we find someone to replace the floor.

With Mark living in town,the granny flat will now become my sewing room/office/computer room and whatever else I wish to use it for. But first it will be used to store all the stuff from the old sewing room while a new floor is installed to make the room available as a spare bedroom and also the many boxes of accumulated school resources/rubbish until I have time to go through it and throw out what I don't need any more - most of it I think.

Sewing stuff moved - well this is a bit of it. Still more to go. It is now a lot more messy than in this shot.

The school stuff at the other end. This is actually a lot better now as I have thrown out a lot of it.

As well as this stuff I have been busy preparing our application for the Old Age Pension and sorting out superannuation. Hours of paper work, but I have to say I have been really impressed with the help and service we have had from the Centrelink staff. Fantastic. Hope it lasts!!

Liz Needle

Post script: Mark has just told me he has to move out of his shared house and needs to store some of his stuff at home. Also needs a place to sleep until he finds new accommodation. Guess where he will be sleeping? You got it!! My new 'maybe' sewing room!

And so retirement

Well, I have retired!! And here was I thinking I would have all this time on my hands to keep up with my blog. Not so.

First there was the 50th Wedding Anniversary to organise with all the accompanying preparation. The day was a success except for the weather, but that didn't really dampen spirits. So nice to catch up with people we haven't seen for years. In fact I was so busy socialising and checking on food and drinks that I forgot to take any photos. I'll have to chase up family and see if they took any.

My kids and grand kids camped on the lawn that night in tents, so I did get a few shots of that. Always amusing, not to say hilarious watching the male members of the family putting things together or up. This time they did reasonably well.

The girls loved having their own home. And Ollie was pretty happy with it too.

Liz Needle