Category Archives: Day-to-Day stuff

Update (Finally)


It has been a long long winter, a winter that continued well into late spring.  Month after month of freezing rains, downpours that went on for days & weeks on end.  It was like full-blown monsoon, except not warm rain, but icy in huge drops pelting down. The freezing gale-force winds driving them sideways. Snow & hail melting as it slid down the window glass.

So much water for so long roads made unpassable, the railway line washed out causing all trains cancelled for months, & on-going flooding including the  Yallourn coal mine filling with millions of litres of water as the mine walls collapsed and Latrobe and Morwell Rivers fell in…and they are still struggling to drain the opencut…or Lake Yallourn as the locals have dubbed it.

We live on the side of a hill and walking to the veg garden, the compost heap or the back fence was like trekking through a swamp, feet sliding & sinking into grass covered wet mud.  It was amazing, after so long a drought, to each day see how the ground moved, holes appearing where there had been small hillocks and small hillocks replacing dips & holes in the lawn. 

Lawn?  What lawn?  It was impossible to mow, too wet, too muddy, the mower sinking into the boggy ground, hardly a day without more downpours. Once Spring arrived (if spring is what you can call it, a couple of days with 40C temps followed by more weeks of wintry gales) the grass took off, growing more than four feet in places.  It just about hid the compost, nor once cut was the grass any good as compost because it all went to seed.

Yet the leeks flourished.  Growing tall and strong.  Some we used in soups but most of the 40 plants are still out there, now sending up flower stems.  These will look so pretty when the flowers bloom.

It was a hard winter for me as well.

I’ve never been much of a cold weather person. Since getting Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia cold weather is sheer torture. And this past winter was one of my worst.


more later.  i need to rest.

Overdoing it!



It was a lovely day outside today. High cloud, brilliant sunshine and only a whisper of  cold breeze.

I spent as long as I could enjoying the sunny day.

I took a fork and turned over a garden bed…it’s about 3’x 4’area.  Many months ago I dug out the weeds & overgrown grass then put a thick layer of grass clippings, mulching to kill weed regrowth.  So it’s been overdue for digging it over again.  The soil is not too wet.  Not exactly dry either but okay for forking. Hopefully sometimes on the weekend I’ll be up to putting some bulbs in.

On the front porch there’s a bag of flowering bulbs…five different kinds, a handful each .  I bought them at a market stall in Trafalgar and have had them so long I can’t remember what sorts of flowers they are.

Grandma’s Magical Mystery Garden.

It’s a mystery what plants I’m growing…oniony things that turn out to be 40 leeks & two garlic plus a pineapple happily surviving the frosts. Oh and the spuds too, born from peelings  And now tulip/dutch/iris/jonquil/maybe daffs or even hyacinth…have to grow them to find out…lol. 



Pell’s Mell


Isaiah 66: 1–6

Says Jehovah, The sky is my throne and the earth my footstool:  what house is there that you should build for me, and what place that should be my resting-place? and all these things my hands made and these things all came to be, quoth Jehovah.  But at this I look, at one who is submissive and dashed in spirit, and is alarmed at a word of mine.  The one who slaughters a bull is killing a man; the one who sacrifices a sheep is breaking a dog’s neck; the one who makes an offering puts on hog’s blood; the one who presents a memorial of frankincense blesses mythical beings.  They have chosen their own ways, and their fancy takes to those disgusting objects of theirs; so I will choose ways to pester them and will bring them the objects of their terror, since I called and there was nobody that answered, I spoke and they did not listen, and they did what I disliked and chose what I have no fancy for.


Listen to Jehovah’s word, you who are alarmed at a word of his:  your brothers who hate you, who excommunicate you because of my name, say “Let Jehovah be something glorious and let us have a sight of your gladness”—but they will be brought to shame.  A sound of hubbub in the city, a sound from the temple—the sounds of Jehovah paying off his enemies!


Micah 3: 5–7


Says Jehovah about the prophets that mislead my people, that bite with their teeth and proclaim peace, and against him who does not put something in their mouths they declare war:  Therefore you shall have night cutting off vision and darkness cutting off soothsaying, and the sun shall go down on the prophets and the day turn black over them, and they shall all veil their lips, because there is no answer from God.




Micah 6″: 1—8


Listen to what Jehovah is saying:  “Stand up, upbraid the mountains and let the hills hear your voice.  Listen, mountains, to Jehovah’s upbraiding, and give ear, foundation of earth, because Jehovah has a case against his people and is having it out with Israel.  My people, what have I done to you and how have I overtasked you? testify against me.  For I brought you up out of Egypt and ransomed you out of the slave-quarters, and sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.  My people, remember what King Balak of Moab proposed and what answer Balaam the son of Beór gave him, and from the Acacias to the Gilgal, in order to know Jehovah’s loyal work.”  With what shall I advance to Jehovah, pay homage to the transcendent God?  shall I advance to him with burnt-offerings, with yearling calves? will Jehovah accept thousands of rams, millions of rivers of oil? shall I give my eldest son for my crime, the fruit of my wife for the sin of my soul? 


He has told you, man, what is good;  and what does Jehovah demand of you but to do justice and love friendliness and walk sanely with your God?


A Sticky Situation


What is it about marmalade that no matter how hard I try, or how careful I am, I always ALWAYS end up with sticky fingers?

It doesn’t ALWAYS happen with jam or honey or any other spread…only marmalade.

I mean, I can sit in an armchair, or even in bed, munching on toast or biscuits or whatever and manage not to drop so much as a single crumb.  (Well, some of the time anyhow)  And the toast can be just about dripping with jam or honey…and yes, sure, sometimes my fingers will end up sticky…or honey dripping down my forearm…but not EVERY SINGLE TIME.

But with marmalade it’s guaranteed.  It’s not only once the icky sticky stuff is on the toast.  Just opening the jar…my fingers get sticky, then getting it out of the jar and onto the toast…fingers, hands, sometimes my toes as it falls off the knife.  I’ve even managed to end up with marmalade down my front simply by carrying the plate of toast & gooey stuff across the room. I haven’t actually tasted the stuff yet and I’ve washed my hands a dozen times in a futile effort to prevent it spreading to the rest of the kitchen.  And if I persuade someone else to put it on the toast for me, THEY end up having to wash their hands too…AND the kitchen bench-top.

Then of course, eating the toast and during that moment when there’s the slightest lapse of concentration,  glop! it jumps off the bread and onto my fingers.  Guaranteed!

Like I said, this doesn’t happen with any other type of spread…not every single time.  Only with marmalade.

Everyone else I’ve discussed this with has the same problem.  Most readily admit to always ending up with sticky marmalade fingers, hands, dressing-gowns, pyjamas, slippers.  Every occasion marmalade is on the menu, sure enough…sticky fingers!   Doesn’t matter how careful they are.

Some try to pretend it doesn’t happen to them, yet they avoid meeting your eye and you just KNOW they are hoping no one finds out they too are made to suffer the social faux pas of icky sticky fingers.  And if challenged they are sure to end up sneaking off to the bathroom hoping no one will notice.

So what is it about marmalade?  What gives it this unique very special ability to render anyone & everyone in close proximity sticky? 

Surely with the abundance of scientific studies floating around the planet…surely there must be at least one where the researchers,  have sought to solve the whys and wherefores of marmalade stickiness.  Surely there is, somewhere, a proper double blind study with the resulting peer-reviewed published paper with pages glued together with marmalade.  Surely.


Oh bugger…now I’ve got it in my hair!!!

From Aldi’s, I brought a jar of “English-Style Grapefruit Marmalade”

When I went to open it at home I read “Made in Germany” on the label.

For a Gerry try it’s not too bad…

… not too much sugar or added preservation … other than pectin …

not enough grapefruit tang…


almost but not quite English Marmalade…



Week’s End.



It’s Friday and another wet, cold, rain falling in gentle flurries.

There is snow falling on Mt Baw Baw…and on other mountains in the High Country I should think. A pretty winter wonderland soon to be filled with skiers. Best viewed on a postcard.

I woke up feeling like I’d been run over by the proverbial Bondi Tram.  The bed’s been a torture rack.  How can a soft mattress be so hard?  Sore in a lot of places, a lot of sharp pain deep in my hips.  Had to get up and make the coffee.  Walking around the kitchen, slowly loosening up my spine & hips & shoulders too, stretching ever so carefully while the kettle boils…gritting against protesting tendons & muscles. Ouch, ouch ouch!

It takes about 2 hours to coax my body into moving without excess pain.  Slowly but surely I can flex most fibres with less & less pain.  Pain never goes away completely…ever…today though I’m okay without the morphine. At least, for a while yet.

I made it outside…wandered down to the compost heaps, circled the tomato bed & back…twice.  It may be a cold wet day but the view across to the Jeeralangs is wonderful, with thick black clouds roiling across the hills.   I took a couple of photos…and patted Puss the miniture panther, who came to say hello. The sun came out & warmed my face…the rest of me was well covered. 

Inside I washed a couple of dishes, managed to dry & put away the cutlery (mostly teaspoons).

another cuppa and back to bed…where this laptop is set up on an over-bed trolley…relaxing with Bob as he wakes up.

In a while, I’ll wander back to the kitchen…probably on my way through on one of my multiple trips to the loo…and check out the cupboards for lunch.  There’s fresh bread & some cold meat…or I could attack the strawberries.  Or both…depending how I feel.

Bob has just left for work.  He may be back later, about 6 or 7-ish…to eat …maybe tomato soup & cold lamb sangers…sounds good…then maybe around mid-night if it’s not too busy. He’s a taxi-driver, and a very good one (& I’m only a little bit biased).  He is also a good man…a rarity I treasure…Amazing to think we’ve been together 11 years. And still enjoying each others company…well…most of the time.  Bob works long long hours night & day shifts, most weekends.

More about him later………..maybe.


for sure…

It takes a fair while to type this…and lots of backspacing & other corrections.

I love typing…some people love playing pianos & other keyboards…but the qwerty keyboard is my thing.  I used to be able to type 65 to 70 wpm…my shorthand was never that fast…lol

I would type to music…keeping the rhythm, the keystrokes dancing to the beat.  Can’t do that now…not yet….one day I will relearn the skill…maybe.

One of the first signs of M.E. was suddenly mis-typing words…such as department…& it kept coming out on the paper as departmnet…time & time again I found myself having to backspace & correct…time & again I’d type it again…departmnet.  I later found this was due to the nerves in my right arm firing quicker than those in the left. d=left hand e = left hand p = right a=left r= left t= left m = right  e = left n = rightt t = left.

and the n right stroke kept hitting the key quicker the e left stroke.

At one stage the electrical activity was looked at by a neurologist…Nerve Conduction Test. 

I thoroughly do NOT recommend this one.  It was soooooo incredibly agonising painful…yet the neurologist, after affirming the slowed nerve conduction…lost interest.  He was too totally into Epilepsy…and M.E. wasn’t on his agenda.  Not his field of neurology.  Still at least he proved I didn’t have a pinched nerve in my carpal tunnel…though my GP actually asked for the nerve conduction test to investigate my neck & wasn’t done.  But there’s no way I’m volunteering again to be zapped & zapped with excruiating electrical pain.

There’s no cure anyway…so why bother.

Hmmm….yep. More later: