Friday, July 29, 2011

One down, two to go

Oh look, Shiny, Glittery and never to be worn by me except in dreams. Actually I could wear them as long as I used those poles, the ones skiers use to stop from falling over. I worry about those heels though, whether they've been industrial strength tested.
Finally I made an appointment to see the podiatrist on Monday and she better be worth $62. I do get some back but it means a bus trip to Southland and a walk past the book sale. I woke up in the middle of a dream the other night because of shooting pains in my big toe, the one that didn't get the toenail ripped off in January. So there I was in the middle of the night with nail clippers in one hand and a torch in the other, just making sure I didn't have an ingrown toenail that had become infected in the few hours since I'd taken off my slippers. Yes, I know it sounds insane but turning the light on would wake me up too much so I used the torch and if you think I'm going to tell the podiatrist why my toenail looks lopsided you're crazy.

Another pair of frou-frous that are not for my fat footies. Try saying that after a few beers. How on earth does one walk in these? But stupid me, if you can afford to buy these, you don't have to walk, the chauffeur carries you to the red carpet. That brings me to the last photo and the joy of my life.

After a week of walking home from the station, walking to and from work in stilleto heels, my first pay packet went on the latest from London. Lovely flat heels, funky colours, painless walking. I paid $5.00 for them, a pretty aqua green and did I mention, flat. I haunted odment bins since I have moderately large feet which is why I fall over a lot, my feet get in the way but with my size there were always sale shoes for the grabbing. Anyone my age will know the feeling that I get from the knees down when I see fashion parades or stars waltzing around in hightower heels. Fashionable they might be but I still remember the relief of those green shoes.

My second pay packet started a lay-by for a jewell. Now that hasn't changed at all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five days to B day.

I don't want to be another year older, I already feel 105.
I looked in the mirror today and I swear I saw wrinkles in my neck.
The BrickOutHouse has got some dire infection and his eyes are puffing up as though he's gone 3 rounds with Mike Tyson.
His girlfriend is back, upchuck.
Crap to online banking that has a glitch which Westpac did today but they let me put my money in without telling me. I'm glad I had 5 bags of odd silver coins that took the teller ages to put into official bank bags especially since she had the most godawful false nails in 'zombie grey' colour and couldn't pick up 5 cent pieces.
I had at least 3 great things to blog about and couldn't write a word. And I really wanted to tell you about the Great White Shark, you know those GW's that leap out of the water and this one landed in the research boat, all 16 or so feet of it, with teeth. The researchers kept it alive until another boat came and slung a rope round its tail to drag it back into the ocean. No go, so they dragged shark and boat back to harbour where they got another rope on the dorsal fin and finally dragged it off the boat. It promptly swam in the wrong direction and beached itself so another rope around the tail and it was towed out to sea (a long way) and let go. They needed a smaller shark or a bigger boat.
I have finally taken to porridge and it is good for dieting, a breakfast bowl of that and you never want to look at food all day or ever.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, terrific, great, brilliant even watching jammed between a drink slurper and two popcorn munchers.
BooHissBoo to all the columnists who have written really rotten comments about the books and the author. Harry Potter doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is, all things to the fans and it will never win a Pulitzer or Nobel prize for literature so why the venom?
My right arm, left knee, left back muscle are healing nicely. Thanks to stupid nurse who jammed Ma's wheelchair in the door frame. I know it's heavy to push but I wasn't prepared for the feeling that I'd just shoved a Mac truck halfway to Sydney.
The little alzhiemer's bloke who likes to strangle grabbed another nurse last week. And made another escape to the wilds of Mentone.
And that brings me to what really pissed me off last week and this week and probably next week.
The lady in the bed opposite mum is dying but some members of the family will not accept this fact. They want her in hospital to have tests, they have been giving her drinks because her kidneys are shutting down, they make her sit up in bed because she might die lying down, ffs, she is dying but not peacefully. There is a time that you have to look death in the face and stand away, to stop chaining them to this earth. Yes, I know this will not sit right with a lot of people but I have had to give two "no resusitation order' for my father and three for my mother and for my son, I had to sign the papers to turn off life support. Reality is a bitch. So why is it my business, it's not but it is upsetting my mother who looks across at this every day. Even the last time Mum was ill at the home, she was firm about leaving her alone and not doing anything unnecessary except make her comfortable. Of course, Teflon Tessie made it through as always but I sat beside her quietly just for company. I just wish this family would think of others besides themselves. Okay enough mumbling and grumbling and imposing my views on the blogosphere. If you have a differing opinion, shove it where the sun don't shine.

I just loved Harry Potter, I might go again next cheap Tuesday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Returning soon

Okay, not so good for the last week.
I haz a hurt, in mind and body.
But watch for me wading through the waves back to blogdom, soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Don't even think it!

No, not mine, never again.
The Home now has a resident cat for the residents. That isn't him but close.
He is a year old, neutered and just out of the shelter.
You know how the experts tell you to look at a puppy's paws to see how big he'll grow? Man o' man if this cat was tawny I'd be thinking mountain lion. The paws are huge.
They had a drawing of names and he's stuck with "Jinks" whereas I looked at him and thought "Snowball" until he turned around and I realized how innapropriate that name was in a home of gentile ladies.
Good thing he was fixed, he'd have had to cart them around on wheels.
He's a friendly boy, all over me like a rash and purring. At the moment he's still locked in one room until his routine is established. And now I have a place for the kitty litter and umpteen dollars worth of cat food.
A visitor thought of calling him "Angel" because he was so pure white. Another name that bit the dust after we discussed it, considering how many residents have fallen off the twig lately.
I keep thinking about those paws.
Perhaps we should call him "Yeti"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

There was recycling in them olden days

This is a magnificent portrait of the actress Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth painted by John Singer Sargeant. The photograph below is a sepia image of the actress in the same dress taken in 1888. Ellen Terry was famed for her portrayal of Shakespearean heroines and was mobbed by fans wherever she went.

The dress has just been restored at a cost of 50,000 pounds and that glittering shimmering gown was covered in irridescent green beetle wings, 1000 of them. No beetles were harmed in the making of the dress as the wings are naturally shed as part of their life cycle. The conservators collected the beetle wings that had fallen off the dress and had others donated to them.

"One of Mrs. Nettleship’s greatest triumphs was my Lady Macbeth dress…The picture of me is nearly finished, and I think it is magnificent. The green and blue of the dress is splendid, and the expression as Lady Macbeth holds the crown over her head is quite wonderful . . ." wrote Ellen in her diary in 1888.

The dress is 120 years old and the majority of the work was strengthening the fabric after the wear and tear of those years. Two years to raise the funds necessary and over 1,300 hours to repair and to bring it back to its former glory. The work was carried out by expert Zensie Tinker and her team and the dress will now be on display, along with items from Ellen's dressing room, at Smallhythe Place in Kent, a house dedicated to theatre history and stage costumes.

This fashionable dress from the British Museum is also decorated in the same beetle wings so Ellen's frock wasn't a once off.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Still in mourning.

I spent an hour yesterday putting all the dark coloured wool to the bottom of the basket so I wouldn't keep saying hello to it.
Deep mourning is still being observed and I feel I should be putting on a black veil and breaking out the jet jewellery.
How bad is he? He hasn't cared that the beloved Ute is still parked in the street during school holidays and possums are peeing on it from the paperbark tree.
At least he's inherited the maternal genes, the paternal side would have taken her out for a .22 picnic. He never had the farming genes. If they said roast for Sunday, he'd go and let the chooks out.
I think it's my fault that I raised two SNAGS. Now if I could just get him married off to a girl who loves him as much as that cat did.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Goodbye Precious

The Vet took this photo this morning before the scan and X-ray revealed the pancreatic cancer which had metastasized into the lungs. She wasn't in pain but would have been in a few days as she struggled to breathe.
We, or should I say I, made the decision and she wasn't brought out of that cosy sleep on the table.
Her "daddy" is a blubbering wreck who's just told me the best part of his day was coming home to play with her.
Last night she sat on my knee until after midnight as we watched another Stargate marathon.
He came home about 1 a.m. but the light was still on when I woke about 3. He was wrapped in his doona, sleeping on the lounge floor, his head on one pillow and the cat on the other with her paw on his face.
I paid the account, collected the carrier and watched the receptionist cry because she was such a sweet cat and went out to the sobbing father in the carpark.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A 4.4, pfft!

These new images of the Nabro volcano taken on June 29 finally provided a nearly unimpeded view of the summit,which had been hidden by steam and ash clouds.

Located in the East African nation of Eritrea, Nabro began its eruption explosively on June 12, 2011 and sent plumes of ash streaming over North Africa and the Middle East, killing seven people with thousands more affected both in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The volcano has eased into a quieter, lava-oozing phase. The top image shows the volcano in visible and infrared light (shortwave infrared, near infrared, and green). The hot lava glows orange-red, fading to black as it cools. The long flow on the west side of the volcano is mottled with black, a sign that the surface is cooling. The lava to the east and south of the vent appears to be newer, since little of it has cooled. It is possible that the cooling lava in the western flow diverted the fresh lava to the south and east.

The lower image provides a natural color view of the volcano. A small, slightly brown plume rises from the vent, and ash blackens the ground to the west and south.

The Nabro volcano has not erupted in recorded human history, but lava flows near the volcano are relatively recent geologically. Nabro is part of the very active East Africa Rift where three tectonic plates are pulling away from each other.

As the Earth's crust thins in the region, volcanoes rise in the weak spots.

Earthquake today.

The week is going from bad to worse. Lovely earthquake this morning but the house was shaking so much from the wind, I failed to feel the earth move. It was only a 4.4 but the tremors were felt throughout several suburbs and went on for almost 15 seconds.

The BOH slept through it. The cat slept through it. They've both had traumatic days. Thanks to Safeway's inept policing of it's dairy cabinets, the BOH has had food poisoning since Saturday night. I'm grateful to him because it could have been me but he hates mango so grabbed the mixed berry protein drink before I did. Of course he would feel better if he would re-hydrate the body but he's a bloke and they know everything.

It didn't help that I had to make the decision to take the cat to the Vet's yesterday. Him driving with the window part down so he wouldn't throw up on the cat, never mind me who was holding his precious.
Just getting into the car was fun. Don't put my foot in the bottle of oil on the floor, find the seat belt somewhere, click in shut somewhere, make room for the cat cage and the cat. As we're doing all that, comes a crunch. A branch from the gum tree overhanging the road has dropped on the car. Not a biggie and not on the black and silver ute. (Ute is selling for ten grand, anyone?)

The Vet is lovely, the cat is laid back, the BOH is shaking. He's about to find out if we have to do the right thing or the 18 year old food processor has a chance. What could I do when he's holding her and she's looking into his eyes while the Vet pushes and pries. It's the only thing in his life that loves him unconditionally. She has a mass of some sort which can only be identified by X-ray and Ultrasound so I sign on the dotted line for Thursday morning and mentally gasp at the estimate of $645, that's estimate. My sister says not to be heroic for something that old. She was not the one standing by her son (38) trying to be heroic about any decision. It makes me snigger later when she's stunned that her cholesterol has only dropped half a point in 12 months and mine is yoinks lower. Yes, family units can be bitchy.

BOH takes the puss home. I sit at the bus stop in the freezing cold because I just missed one by a whisker. Safeway tart (sorry River) takes the bottle, checks the docket and the use by date and says, "Do ya wanna another or just the money?". I took the money and put it towards a packet of Gastrolyte which he has yet to take, being a bloke and knowing everything.
I visit mother who says to take whatever I need from her Trust fund, after all it was her cat.

So the space heater has been going all night because the baby is not eating much and is very cold. I am the dumbo pushing its food through a tea strainer and paying the gas bill. I can't do anything less, every night she climbs up the chair and settles on my knee until I go to bed. But the BOH is going to have to beg, borrow or steal a backbone before Thursday and the big decision.

And we had an earthquake today.

Friday, July 01, 2011

How to negotiate the information minefield.

You don't!
I've been overwhelmed by so much information, a lot of it contradictory, and it's done nothing but dump me in a black hole of depression.
Two loads of bumpf arrived this week and two pages gave me answers to questions I've been trying to get answered.

Carbohydrates for one. Healthy eating is a plan that is low in saturated fat, sodium and added sugar and high in fibre.
The amount of carbohydrate required is based on gender, weight and level of physical activity.
But what foods have carbs?
Bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles.
Fresh fruit, tinned fruit in natural juice and dried fruit.
Starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato and corn.
Legumes including baked beans, lentils, chickpeas and red kidney beans.
Milk, yoghurt, custard, icecream and soy alternatives.

You have to eat a regular amount of carbohydrate at meals and regular snacks to level out the glucose during the day. So it's a matter of working out how much is going in the mouth.
There are approximately 15 grams of carbs in:
*1 glass (250ml) of milk (reduced fat)
*1 slice of bread
*100g or half tub of reduced fat yoghurt
*1 medium piece of fruit
*1/3 cup of cooked pasta or cooked rice
*4-6 dry crackers

The idea is to have around two to four exchanges of carbs (30 to 60 grams) at each main meal and one (15 grams) for each snack. The amount rather than the type of carbohydrate is a more important influence on blood glucose levels so low Glycaemic Index carbs are preferred. Bring on the wholegrain bread, sweet potato not potato, wholemeal pasta and basmati rice instead of jasmine rice.
Two hours after the first mouthful of a meal you have to check the blood glucose and if it's high then you have to adjust everything. And I tell you my levels are all over the shop. And anxiety, depression and emotional upsets do mess with the glucose levels. One look at my blood levels for the day and all of them go into overdrive.

At least the the special "diabetic food" products have been ditched in favour of a well balanced diet of actual food, as long as it's low in saturated fat, sodium, added sugar but high in fibre (seen that plan before). So treats can be had occasionally in small quantities.
*Jam. Toss out the diabetic jam and have 100% fruit spread as long as it's just spread thinly and eaten on wholemeal toast.
*Chocolate. All chocolate is high in saturated fat but sugar free chocolate is higher in fat than regular milk chocolate.
*Cakes. Bad news is there is no 'diabetic' cake but a piece of fruit cake with no icing (but it's the best part) is okay as long as it's a small slice.
*Other sugar free items, ice-cream, biscuits, snack bars and fruit juice are never completely sugar free. They still have more added fat to make them tasty which is bad for cholesterol which snowballs until it impacts on blood glucose levels. Besides which, have you seen the price of low sugar, low carb, high protein diet snack bars? One of which I'm supposed to carry with me, along with a bottle of water and a packet of jelly beans. The jelly beans would have a very short carry life but the snack bar is so blergh that it stays there until really needed.

Sorry to bore you with all this but even writing it down still doesn't un-confuse me (no surprise) or do anything about the anxiety of getting it all wrong. I do know now what the HbA1c test is and why Doc Marvin was so pleased the overall glucose level had come down from 8 to 7.5 in 4 weeks. And the Diabetes assoc. runs tours of supermarkets to explain the language on the back of food packaging but I suspect it's only at IGA Ritchies stores since they donate money to the cause. All I can say is, bring on the Red/Green/Yellow buttons on all food and make it easier for everybody.