Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sorry, but only found how to use this now.
''wino'' passed away on 2-7 at home peacefully from cancer
So no more bloggs from her but I'm happy to be able to share her last few years of bloggs - it gives me some comfort that she was able to write so well and have some people make her smile :-)
I miss her more than words will ever say ....... THANKS (winos husband)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Is this how you get a bargain?

Husband was approached by someone he didn't know last week to see if he was interested in selling his 4WD - they had noted it was a particularly tidy example of the model and some of the features it has are a little hard to come by. After some contemplation (and a quick check of Trademe and with a dealer as to what it might be worth) he allowed them to check it over and test drive it.

They made him an offer. Which was about half what it would be on a dealers yard for and at least a third less than the price we agreed we would contemplate selling it for. When the would be buyer was informed of this he shrugged and said he wasn't willing to pay any more.

I guess if you approach enough strangers eventually you find one that isn't aware of the value of what they have... perhaps

Monday, May 03, 2010

The finished bathroom

Actually it still doesn't have a mirror so it isn't quite finished...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Thoughts

1 So a builder works on an hourly rate plus materials. Why does he think he can just put a number down for materials on the invoice without providing any proof? Second builder in a row has just done that - and second builder has just indicated he is offended at our lack of trust in asking for a materials account. We are talking some thousands of dollars here. If the vet can itemise some rubber gloves and a syringe why can't the builder itemise timber and nails?

2 Why, if I order cat food online do they send puppy food?

3 How come when a trader on trademe mismeasures an item it becomes my fault as the buyer when it doesn't fit?

4 Why do some men - in particular tradesmen, and this week in particular those involved in selling and fitting flooring, think that women need things explained to them three times, slowly and in words of two syllables. Actually I fully understood the issue before you finished telling me the first time.
Husband reports in his job that some men will refuse to discuss things with the bosses wife, when actually she knows everything, preferring to talk it over with the 'boy' who doesn't know what he had for breakfast most days.

5 Why does same tradesman as mentioned in 4 find it offensive when I suggest he stop treating me like an idiot? (maybe his wife doesn't answer him back, maybe she had half a brain and left him... )

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Big Boys Toys and Babies

And no those two things are not related like THAT!

Sometime after the autumn freezing/preserving/jam making urge sets in and passes again I usually get a winter evening creative urge. Once we start pulling the drapes at night and lighting the fire I seem to want to make something.

A few weeks ago I found out about Baby Beanies for Africa. So I fished out the spare bits and pieces of knitting wool I could find and have been knitting teeny tiny beanies while I watch TV. Apparently the babies in the Mowbray Maternity Hospital in Cape Town often leave the hospital dressing in an adult size teeshirt or in the worst cases wrapped in newspaper. I like the idea of doing something useful with the wool that would otherwise be thrown out.

Husband has been looking for something to have a mid life crisis over for some time I feel. A couple of months ago (or maybe a little longer) he found it. A motorbike. But not just any bike - a Harley Davidson. The very basic bottom end of the range model Harley Davidson but a Hog no less. Which yesterday we went to Hamilton to pick up. The average car dealer could learn a little from this bike dealership I think. It was an occasion - there were free tee-shirts and a bag, he was taken round to meet the parts department and the service department and generally made to feel welcome (come back any time and trade in on the next model up!). Anyway he's had a cheerful grin on his face for the last 24 hours which may last for quite some time and I suspect I won't be expected to collect small things from town (as long as the sun is shining) for many months.

Which left me thinking yesterday afternoon as I was discussing motorbikes, South African babies and Ugandan orphanages with my mother:

There are worse fates than being a middle aged middle class New Zealander

Friday, April 09, 2010

I'm still standing...

Swaying a bit on my feet admittedly but it's all right (that's what they make walls for isn't it? Actually I've been involved in enough renovations to know that walls actually hold up the roof - as well as completely sober people who are out of energy and having trouble holding themselves upright - and the completely sober bit is sort of sad too...).

Chemo brain has set in and I am now incapable 0f multi tasking. It will pass but it is boring while it lasts. But we potter on doing one thing at a time.

There are a fair few things going on so it gets a bit more complicated when multitasking doesn't work.

The main bathroom redo is nearing completion. Since it was started in January this hasn't been the fastest of renovations. Not really sure what the hold up was on it, it just didn't seem to progress fast. It has been a good reason not to have people to stay, but on the other hand people I would have enjoyed having round haven't been able to stay either, as I restrict the people I allow to walk through my bedroom to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night to very immediate family. I'm a bit sensitive like that. Anyhow it's now close to finished, waiting on the flooring and once that is down it will be all over in an hour (or however long it takes to fit a trendy freestanding bath, toilet and vanity unit when all the plumbing is in place and waiting).

Then this week the builders arrived and are currently making short work of fitting new French doors, relining some walls and doing a few other things in the basement area. When we initially decided to do the work (again in January) we found the last builder we had used and liked (as opposed to the ones we didn't like which are all too easy to find unfortunately) had decided there wasn't enough work in Tauranga and gone off to Auckland. So we had to interview new builders (and let them think they were deciding if they wanted the job and quote on it). As usual there were the interesting ones - for instance the guy who turns up unannounced two days after he was supposed to and opens the conversation with a comment at the front door that old houses are terrible and he hates panelling and timber floors, then carries on to say he wants an hourly rate of $60 cash and has no idea how long it will take as it looks a bit complicated. We shrugged and crossed him off the list but he rang up three weeks later under the impression he had the job... which sort of reinforces that he isn't that bright either. Happily the guys we ended up choosing seem to work fast and know exactly what they are doing. They should be almost finished tonight with a few final bits and pieces to tidy up on Monday. And it is starting to look fabulous... well when it gets gibstopped and painted and carpeted and things it will be looking fabulous.

Have two cats on the walking wounded list this week too. First my water sharing friend Zena had some teeth out and lay round feeling sorry for herself. She got up and demanded vegemite on toast this morning for breakfast so must be getting over it. And her yellow mate Herbie (the other burmese who rules our lives) got into an argument with something and ended up with an ulcer on his eye. Some trips to the vet later he's still not right and is due back on Monday morning if he doesn't decide to open his eye over the weekend. So far he isn't showing much inclination to do more than squint. He's got sort of resigned to having stuff in his eye four times a day and painkiller jammed down his throat every 24 hours, but I suspect he'll punish us later for that - he holds grudges and his claws are sharp.

Apart from that we went to Horse of the Year which was great, and that really is about all that has happened. Though the sawdust and bits of giboard and loose wiring and piles of stuff all over the place is enough to go on with.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I was meant to have chemotheraphy today but didn't as my blood counts are still low from last week's dose. The nurse was concerned I might be upset by that but that is fine by me - I would rather wait a week than get some bug and end up extremely ill because my immune system is compromised.

So that isn't what is irritating me. The thing is we had to traipse into the hospital this morning after I had taken the mind numbing anti nausea drugs I have to take first to find out that the blood test that were available yesterday afternoon suggested that I didn't need to be there and definitely didn't need to take the mind numbing drugs. A phone call would have been helpful.

It's 4.30pm and I am still not fully functioning from the pills I took at 8.30am - hope they wear off soon (at least I don't need to take the evening dose)

And thanks Sue and Lou for the blog awards - I'll deal to them when my brain works properly again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vale - Dick Francis

Being a horse fanatic and an inveterate reader I've been a fan of Dick Francis for about forever. I loved that he never wrote a book I couldn't somehow identify with, the detail of some of the subjects he included (flying, photography, glassblowing), the plot twists and clues that kept me amused and pondering throughout. Not heavy literature by any means but guaranteed entertaining.

A bit over three years ago when we got to see horses training in the early morning mist in the Cotswolds husband and I said to each other "it's like something out of a Dick Francis". His words had described the scene so well that that was the first thing we both thought of.

I was actually reading my way along the Dick Francis shelf in the bookcase this last week, noted over the weekend that I appear to be missing a book I wanted to reread and went online this morning to see if I could find a copy. There the news came up the Dick Francis died yesterday.


Friday, February 12, 2010

I didn't think I was finished yet - but maybe I am...

It has been a very bad couple of weeks.

Weeks that involve hospitals are generally bad of course, though when they combine morphine with the hospital experience it gets marginally more bearable. Not much, but slightly.

As absolute low moments go the late evening when a surgeon stood at the end of my bed and suggested that there was a possibility that they had perforated my bowel and if so I would die in the very near future as he wasn't going to operate given I was terminal anyway was probably a once in a lifetime low. (But I guess if they had actually perforated my bowel it would have been worse - thankfully they hadn't) He then had the audacity to say he knew how I felt! I told him fairly sharply that he had no idea how I felt at all and couldn't possibly and he did have the grace to look slightly abashed.

Anyhow he wasn't the only person who used the terminal word. And they combined it into sentences that were instructions, like "You need to accept you are terminal".

Actually I don't have trouble accepting I am terminal when I stop to contemplate it. I have no problem understanding that this cancer will kill me. That has pretty much been a given for a long time since there has been a complete disinterest in actually doing anything to positively improve my chances of survival for the last five years. I have a great deal of difficulty getting my head round time frames (of which there are none but sooner seems to be used rather than later - though they've been wrong about that for about four years too) - and we are all dying after all.

So in the spirit of being a good patient I wrote down some funeral instructions and a quick list of items I want to go to certain people. I guess that is admiting that sooner rather than later might be a possibility.

Anyway I'm home now, should survive the weekend, no longer subjected to hospital jelly or carrot soup (who on earth invented clear carrot soup!) and life is on the improve.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Apparently. Me that is.

At least I went shopping for a new bra today. I didn't buy any. It seems that as a C cup I can now only buy boosting enhancing type bra with padded cups or a sports bra. I just wanted a standard underwired model, maybe with a bit of lace.

Now peering down my front and standing sideways in the mirror I don't feel under-endowed. A reasonable boost northwards is always welcome but there is a bust that I ... umm.... thought.... was adequate for the purpose.... more or less....

Not so according to the bra manufacturers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sob sell goes wrong.

Just had a phone call from a charitable organisation seeking my money - you know $25, $50 or $100 whichever I would like to donate. (One of the things that always perplexes me when they do that is what happens if I look in my wallet and find I have $47 can I give that or can I only give one of the stipulated amounts?)

Anyway this woman was telling me earnestly about how tough it is to be a child with a particular disease. She tells me these children need so many things and my money is needed to help them in the Bay of Plenty area.

So I'm listening to this earnest sell and it occurs to me to ask "so how many children in the Bay of Plenty does this affect?" She's not sure. She starts to pull numbers out of thin air and thinks better of it, "Maybe fff... no I'm not sure" Hmm okay.

So while I'm assimulating this I carry on through the thought processes "So what do these kids actually need?" I ask. I'm having a minor potential grand gesture moment, I have contacts in all sorts of places, if these kids need something specific that the current health system isn't providing I might even apply myself to getting some of that. The answer isn't that helpful "money to buy things" is the reply. "So what does the money buy?" I ask. "All the things they need" she says. "But what are these things?" After an umm and an ahh she admits she doesn't know.

Really if you want my money you'll have to do better than that sorry.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Grumble of the day

How long have ATM machines been round? I can't remember but longer than 20 years right? Seems like as long as I can remember anyway.

So why is it that some people still don't understand how they work? I am not referring to the elderly or anyone impaired in any way, but apparently able bodied, middle aged and younger people seem to have such trouble getting the card in the right way, putting the correct PIN in and getting the money they want out.

And why - when I park somewhere I shouldn't be parked as I figure grabbing some cash will take about 30 seconds - do I end up waiting behind one of these people who can't make the ATM work?

Getting too close to your pets

This is Zena, seal Burmese and a bit of a lounge lizard though she does attempt to be a real Burmese sometimes such as when there is a car to ride in.

She also does have the basic belief that she is a human occupying a feline body (as many burmese do). That means a feed of chilli washed down with a beer is her sort of meal, and onion dip on a potato crisp is good too.

The sharing has gone a little far though

I nearly always take a glass of water to bed with me so when I wake up at 2 am thirsty the water is within reach. Which worked for me... until Zena was discovered drinking from it. I do wonder how long that habit has been going on - did she always have a quick lap while I was in the bathroom I wonder...

I'm now taking a sipper bottle to bed.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Just pondering

We went to a funeral this week.

Ngaire and Jim Prendergrast are local institutions. Jim has been in the area all his life and Ngaire all the almost sixty years of her married life as well as some of her childhood. Jim and Ngaire are who you ring when your dog goes missing, or you find some stock out on the road and aren't sure who they might belong to or you need someone with a front end loader to dig a hole in a hurry.

Sadly just before New Year Ngaire slipped away, peacefully in her own home. She was 83 and had been fit and well until the last few years of her life (was climbing mountains well into her 70s!). If you have to die (and it is inevitable) this would be one of the better ways to go I think.

As you can imagine it was a well attended service. Ngaire had touched many lives over the years and was loved and respected throughout the district. Someone said during the service that she loved her family. I knew that already, it was evident when you talked to Ngaire that she loved her children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and their partners, completely and unconditionally. The way she and Jim spoke of each other and to each other was indicative of a long and loving partnership which was heartwarming.

As the coffin was carried out at the end of the service I thought for a moment how hard it is for her family to be without her. That the gap she leaves will be huge.

Then I thought how incredibly lucky they had been to have her. How fortunate to have a mother, grandmother, sister or aunt like Ngaire.

Few are so blessed.