31 July 2008

Updates and other frivolous things on my mind...

We'll I have been slack in the posting area of my life so I thought I would at least attempt to put something out there. I just never seem to come up with posts about things that are weighing on my mind or things that are bothering me in the the world. Maybe I'll give it a go here in the next few days but until then the best I can do is share a few updates on things that have been happening around here and maybe share a few frivolous items on my list of things to do or that are just floating around in my head. So here goes:


  • It will be four weeks tomorrow that I had my back surgery and I'm doing well. I'm still a little sore in my lower back but hopefully that will go away eventually. I have a review with the surgeon and the neurologist at the end of August so I'll let you know then if we achieved anything positive out of this other than saving me from totally losing all feelings in my right leg.
  • My partner has started back on his second semester going for his Masters degree in Education. He received excellent grades last semester. They grade a bit different here so he received like one excellent plus and three distinction marks. The grade of distinction is the best you can get. Needless to say I'm very proud of him, but then again I've always been very proud of him.
  • Winter still has it's hold on us but soon the daffodils and tulips will be blooming. Interestingly we have had some jonquils start coming up so it's not been that cold this winter. In fact I had four of them actually bloom the other day and I've got them in a vase in the house. ...and they say there's no global warming.

Frivolous things-

  • I have a doctors appointment tomorrow which also means it's my monthly voyage into the city to shop. Since I don't drive I only get into the city once a month and I make the most of it by doing all of the odd lot shopping I need to do like buying candles, DVDs and checking out what's new on the clothing horizon from Rodd and Gunn.
  • The hormone shot we had the vet give the cat has worked a treat and she has stopped fighting. However, as a side effect, as warned by the vet, she has become extremely clingy and wants to be held constantly. I mean constantly! At the same time she is spending a lot more time inside which is a good thing. She'll be due for another shot in October as they only last 6 months.
  • I've fallen in love with a biscuit (cookies for my American friends) called a Monte Carlo. Now they may have these in the state but I have never had one until I moved here. They are basically two sugar cookies filed with a thin layer of raspberry jam and a generous layer of vanilla butter cream frosting. There are a few variations but only with the biscuit part not the filling. Anyway, I found a new version that has an oatmeal type biscuit instead of the sugar cookie and I've fallen in love, when I say in love I mean addicted. They are made fresh daily and sold at various cafes and specialty food shops here in town. I've decided I'm going to try my hand at making them because I'm getting embarrassed asking for them every other day when we pop into our local food shop (Hill Street Grocer). Everyone that works there knows us and now they just ask me how many I want as they have to get them from the baked goods display counter.
  • Oh and I'm really pissed at Apple for messing up iTunes with their recent upgrade to 7.7. I like many, many, many others am unable to make changes to my iPod or add new music because it is freezing up every time I connect to iTunes. This has been going on for at least a week and Apple still has not acknowledged that there is a problem. I love me some Apple but if they keep this up I could be tempted to go back to my old PC, viruses, windows and all. OK, maybe I'm not that mad but they damn well better get this bug fixed with a new version and they better do it quick!

That's enough punishment for one post. I'll put you out of your misery right now and stop rambling but at least I've given you a peek into what's happening around here. It's not very exciting but then again I never said it was. Until next time. Enjoy...

(Update: Apple has sent a new upgrade that has fixed the problem. Well it fixed mine, I'm only assuming that it fixed everyone else's)

26 July 2008

Friend, visitor, guest or enemy???

It seems we have a new addition to our house for how long I don't know. They have been here before and they only stayed for a few weeks. Now the strange thing is I wouldn't necessarily call them friends as we have not really been formally introduced. I would not and am not opposed to being friends but that will be entirely up to them. Now as I said they have been a visitor in the past and actually they have been visiting us quite frequently as of late. It seems that over the past few days they have decided that they would like to be more than visitors and more like actual guest with all of the amenities that come with being a guest.

I'm sure they wouldn't be a problem except that they sleep all day and then they run around all night. They're always looking around to see what they can make for dinner. I don't mind them eating our food as long as they clean up after themselves. I mean it's only fair. They are very tidy and they have impeccable bathroom habits. All in all I can't think of a reason why they can't be a guest in our home.

Oh maybe I can think of one reason and then that's when they would become the enemy. You see I just don't think they get along with our cat Molly Brown. They are really allergic to cats and Molly thinks they are taking over the house. In fact we have never had an argument with them but I think I came home once and they were in the back yard fighting but stopped as soon as I came out side.

I just don't know if it will work out. We'll just have to see. Oh here's a picture from their last visit. you can see why we want to be friends. They are a great couple.

25 July 2008

Friday night at the movies...

Gosh I can hardly believe it's Friday again. The weeks just fly by. I mean it's already July and the next thing you know we'll be singing Christmas carols. Anyway, let's move on to this weeks installment of Friday night at the movies. Now I'm not sure if any of you are enjoying these little weekly installments because none of you seem to be taking a stab at guessing the who, what and where of the quotes but even if you don't want to take a stab at guessing I'm still going to keep posting. You may learn a bit of trivia and if your lucky you might even get a chuckle off one or two of the quotes.

So last weeks answer:

"There's nothing more inconvenient than an old queen with a head cold"

Character: Toddy Todd
Played by: Robert Preston
Movie: Victor/Victoria

This weeks quotes

"You have to kiss some ass to get a piece of it."

Character: Clayton Boone
Played by: Brendan Fraser
Movie: Gods and Monsters

Your turn

"I hope you bring the cocktail sauce. She's got the crabs and I don't mean Dungeness."

Character: ???
Played by: ???
Movie: ???


23 July 2008

Sophia, Sophia, Sophia...

I'm saddened to hear that Estelle Getty, who played Sophia on the hit series Golden Girls, passed away today. Estelle made us believe in Sophia. I know I would have loved to have had a grandmother just like her. Sophia was a women full of life and I'm sure that was only because Estelle Getty was also full of that same life. Estelle may be gone but I can guarantee you she will never be gone from this household. We watch the Golden Girls at least once a day to bring a little laughter into our daily world. There is nothing better than laughter and the Golden Girls knew how to make people laugh and they did it with the wisdom of a little old lady from Sicily.

Picture it Sicily 1933...

20 July 2008

Food for thought...

It's Sunday and I'm bored so what better to post than some bits of trivia that will be of no help one way or another except to maybe amuse. Enjoy...

  • Milk chocolate was invented by Daniel Peter, who sold the concept to his neighbour Henri NestlĂ©.
  • An ounce of chocolate contains about 20 mg of caffeine.
  • The world's oldest existing eatery opened in Kai-Feng, China in 1153.
  • Coffee is the seed of a cherry from the tree genus Coffea
  • Melba toast is named after Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931).
  • Three quarters of fish caught are eaten - the rest are used to make things such as glue, soap, margarine and fertilizer.
  • The world's most expensive jam (jelly) is Confiture de groselles. It is a redcurrant jam (jelly) from a 14th century recipe made in the tiny French town of Bar-Le-Duc.
  • To make one kilo of honey, bees have to visit 4 million flowers, traveling a distance equal to 4 times around the earth.
  • Botanically speaking, the banana is a herb and the tomato is a fruit.
  • Bananas are the world's most popular fruit after tomatoes.
  • Approximately 44 million tons of bananas are produced annually, compared to more than 60 million tomatoes. Apples are the third most popular (36 million tons), then oranges (34 million tons) and watermelons (22 million tons).
  • The scientific term for the common tomato is lycopersicon lycopersicum, which means, "wolf peach."
  • There are more than 10,000 varieties of tomatoes.
  • In the Middle Ages, sugar was a treasured luxury costing 9 times as much as milk.
  • Over 90% of all fish caught are caught in the northern hemisphere.
  • Wine is sold in tinted bottles because wine spoils when exposed to light.
  • Approximately one billion snails are served in restaurants annually.
  • Vitamin A is known to prevent "night blindness," and carrots are loaded with Vitamin A. One carrot provides more than 200% of recommended daily intake of Vitamin A.
  • Carrots have zero fat content.
  • Tea is said to have been discovered in 2737 BC by a Chinese emperor when some tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water.
  • Ice tea was introduced in 1904 at the World's Fair in St. Louis.
  • An onion, apple and potato all have the same taste. The differences in flavour are caused by their smell.
  • China uses 45 billion chopsticks per year. 25 million trees are chopped down to make 'em sticks
  • Chocolate is the number one foodstuff flavour in the world, beating vanilla and banana by 3-to-1.
  • Watermelons are 97% water, lettuce 97%, tomatoes 95%, carrots 90%, and bread 30%.

18 July 2008

Friday night at the movies...

It's Friday again albeit your Thursday but it's my blog so I say it's Friday. Anyway, it's time for Friday night at the movies and time to guess who said what in which movie. You know how we play the game, I list two quotes along with the characters name, the actors name and the movie from which it all took place then I list the second quote but leave all the other information blank for you to fill in. I know it's not much of a real game and is more of a filler as far as post are concerned but who knows you might learn a little trivia and depending on the quote you might even get a little chuckle out of it. So let's get to it

"Chewing gum helps me think"
"Sweetie your wasting your gum"

Character: Celsius
Played by: Luca Tommassini

speaking to

Character: Albert Goldman
Played by: Nathan Lane

Movie: The Bird Cage

"There's nothing more inconvenient than an old queen with a head cold"

Played by:

Until next week, Enjoy...

15 July 2008

It's all in the recovery...

Well it's day twelve after my surgery and based on most peoples view, apparently I'm doing very well. I have to admit I thought I would be in more pain than I have been. The worst part is the pain associated with all of the muscles I have to use to help offset muscles I'm not allowed to use. I'm going to have certain muscles in my legs so well developed by the end of this process but the problem being is I won't know what to do with them after I'm recovered and no longer have as much need for them. I'm also getting some great arm muscles out of the deal. Oh and as an added bonus to all of this I lost 6 kilos (13 lbs). So the downside of this is that I'm a little less heavy, I've got great legs and arms but in between there's just a plain middle aged man. Ah well, such is life.

Today I start my back strengthening exercises. I would have started them a few days ago but James has been on night shift the past few nights and of course then he has slept the following days. Now you might ask what does James' work schedule have to do with rather I start my exercise program or not. Well you see the program requires me to lay on the ground and do a series of three different exercises. I don't have a problem with the exercise. I have a problem with rather or not I would be able to get up from the floor once I got down there. I had visions of me lying on the floor for 10 hours or more waiting for James to come home and eventual rescue me from my peril. Anyway, now that he is off for the next few days I feel it is safe enough to start said exercises.

I am venturing out of the house today (James will be driving of course) as I've got prescriptions to be filled and I need to go by the bank for a few items. Maybe we can even try to have breakfast while we are out. I'm still not allowed to do grocery shopping etc. I mean I can go to the store and point at items we need or want but I can't carry anything so it's not really much help to James. All in all though things are going well and the only person who is really having a hard time with all of this recovery is Molly B (the cat). She just does not understand why I can't/won't pick her up for a cuddly. She weighs like 9 kilos and I can't pick up anything heavier than 2 kilos. She follows me around constantly meowing pitifully for me to pick her up and sometimes it gets to the point of me sending her outside because I can't stand it. Anyway, she'll survive as will I.

Well, that's all I have for now and as I've had my 30 minute limit of sitting it's time for me to get up and walk around for a bit. Until next time Enjoy...

11 July 2008

Mission accomplished...

No not that ill-gotten, self-serving, unconscionable, etc., etc. mission. I'm referring to "Mission Crack-n-Back". As you may or may not be assuming, and we all know what happen when one assumes, you would assume correctly that I am out the other end of my surgery. I won't make this long as we only got back yesterday (your Wednesday - my Thursday), and I can only sit for periods of 10 - 30 minutes before I have to get up and move around.

So real quickly, the surgery went off without a hitch. (YEAH) I'm not in as much pain as I thought. (YEAH) I'm forced to use muscles that I would not normally use all the time to offset and protect my back, and those muscle being used to protect and serve are what's really painful. (BOO) It will be 2 - 6 weeks before I'm basically up to speed with most normal activities like doing the laundry etc.
(yes that includes all activities, if you know what I mean) (BOO)

OK, I need to go for now but will try to make a better post when I can sit a little longer. Thanks everyone for all of your kind, sweet word of encouragement and well meaning. Your comments and notes meant so very much to me. I appreciate that you care and I hope I can return the same in kind some day ten fold.

2 July 2008

Snow on the mountain...

Well winter has really and truly arrived here in Tasmania. There is finally a pretty fair amount of snow on the mountain with more to come. I don't think we will see any at the house this time around but we still have a good eight weeks of winter to go and the times before that we got snow at the house it is always in August. So at least if it plans on snowing at the house this winter it will wait until I get back from Sydney after I have my surgery.

Speaking of surgery, this will be the last post I make before the surgery. We fly up tomorrow and I go into hospital on Friday morning at 6:30 am. The surgery is the same day, in the afternoon. I think I mentioned in a previous post, I'll be in hospital until Wednesday barring any complications. I'm still not sure when they will allow me to fly home. I've done a little research on the net and the best case scenario I can see is that they will make me wait for 10 days before I can get on the plane. The worst case scenario is a few weeks. Lets hope for best case scenario!

I'll be staying at James' parents for the days after the let me out of the hospital. I'll just rest and do as the doctor orders. I'm taking the laptop with me so I'll post something after the surgery and the drugs wear off. I won't be able to bring the lap top back with me because after the surgery I'm not supposed to pick up anything more than 5 pounds. Boy is the cat going to be pissed at me when I get back. James will bring the laptop back when he goes up next time to see his mum.

I'm not to worried about the surgery as they did something similar a few years ago but around my neck. This time it is on my lower back. I know there are always risks that's why the make you sign the "If I should die before I wake papers". As I said I'm not worried as we have the best neurosurgeon and because it's all going to happen so fast it will be over before I know it. All I'll remember is the anesthetist telling me to tell him about my morning and I'll say "Well, we got up at 5:0..." and the next thing I'll hear is "Wake up Mr. Gardner. It's all over and you've done very well." Then the anesthesia will wear off and hopefully the morphine will be not far away.

Okay one and all I'm out of here. Mum, John and everyone else we will let you know how it goes as soon as it's over. I leave you with two pictures I took this morning between rain and sleet showers. The mountain sits at the end of our street so I apologise for the electrical lines etc. Enjoy...