Tuesday, 27 February 2007

In a screaming heap.

G'Day , Yes! I'm falling in a screaming heap. My diet is out the window. I have been eating naughty things and last night I made a batch of golden syrup dumplings and had one of them with a scoop of ice cream. Very yummy though. It hasn't shown up on the scales yet but if I keep slacking off like this it certainly will. My excuse? I'm female and mother nature does not want me to be skinny and it is bloody hard work resisting temptation after a shit day. Pete loves golden syrup dumplings, they are an old fashioned favorite. Gooey and sticky, yummy and fattening. Probably not much nutritional value apart from filling you up. Here is the recipe in case you haven't had them. Let me share my sin with you!
Syrup; 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoon margarine, 1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup. Put in big pot and bring to boil.
1Tablespoon of margarine or butter, 1 cup self raising flour,1 beaten egg, milk to mix into a soft dough.
Rub margarine into the flour. add egg then enough milk to make into a soft dough.
Put desert spoons of dough into boiling syrup turn to low heat and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes. Can be served hot or cold with cream or ice cream. I like them hot best. Makes about 6 dumplings. Good cold weather comfort food, not that it's cold here at the moment.
Golden syrup is good stuff, but I don't know if they have it in other countries. It's basically a honey like partly refined sugar and is part of australian folk lore. A bit like treacle but sweeter and not as dark. It's good in cooking and just by itself on bread with butter, and when out camping it is known as cocky's joy if you spread it on damper cooked in the camp fire. Its also a key ingredient in Anzac biscuits. They are a biscuit that was sent over seas to soldiers fighting in the first world war by red cross ladies and family, made of oats etc , I like them thin and crunchy but other people reckon they should be soft and thick. How they turn out depends on how long you cook them and if you sneak in a bit extra butter and syrup to make them go thin and crunchy. A.n.z.a.c. stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Golden syrup is also great in the bottom of the pudding basin if you make a steamed pudding instead of using jam. The company is probably owned by some one from overseas nowadays like most Aussie things are because other places like America buy up the things that are successful or lots of things can be manufactured cheaper overseas. America even owns the rights to our most famous folk song "Waltzing Matilda" which was at one time thrown around as a contender for our national anthem. I think choosing it was dumb anyway because it's a song about a swaggie (an itinerant in old Aussie slang) who was caught stealing a sheep and then committing suicide by drowning because he got caught. Yes you may laugh but there was quite a bit of support for the idea! Not really my idea of something that I as an Aussie wants to be remembered for in other countries.
Its starting to get darker in the mornings here now. This morning when I left to go to work at 6.20 it was quite dark but about a week ago the sun was already low in the sky and it was light. I guess it will soon be cooling down and autumn will be here. On my last days off I spent a bit of time working in my garden weeding, fertilizing and swapping plants around, I also sprayed soil wetter around ready for some rain when it comes. My soil becomes water repellent when it dries out in the hot weather and severely limits what I can grow successfully without wasting heaps of water on, so I need lots of mulch etc to try to hold it all together. I also chopped out a big monstrea plant that I reckoned could be the cause of my favorite Mr Lincoln rose being so sick and sorry looking. The poor second flowering blooms, are about a quarter of their normal size and drying out before they get much of a chance to bloom, despite my watering carefully. Anyway I covered the bed with dolomite and horse manure and soaked it. I also have a gorgeous velvety dark purple clematis in that bed which should benefit from the treatment. We did have a light shower of rain this morning though nothing exciting and still nothing to show that there might be an end to the drought in sight.
My poor old Freddie dog is 16 years old and I think he is starting to down hill fast. I bathed and gave him a haircut a few days ago and he is very skinny now and getting wobbly on his feet and is almost blind. He's a dear old thing. What is 7 times 16 years? When he was younger I said he was the puppy that never grew up as he was always full of enthusiasm and bright and bouncy and ready for a game with his tennis ball and frisbee, or a walk, and he loved to bite the water from the hose or sprinkler as it flowed out. He is a poodle mixture and we got him when he was very tiny because he lost his mother on the road. She was a pure bred show dog. He was in a box outside the local farm produce depot with a sign "free to good home", he has been a great friend, he loves me and thinks I'm his mother. I will miss him when he goes as I think things are almost to the point where it is cruel to keep him any longer. I remember a childhood rhyme.
I had a little Poodle dog
A poodle dog was he
He lifted up his poodle leg
and poodled over me................ not my darling Freddie.
We named him Freddie because there was a song around on the radio at the time "I'm too sexy" by a pommie group called "Right said Fred" so we called him woof said Fred. I liked it at the time.
Anyway it's late so it's bed time. Good night.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

bloody puters!

I haven't been in here for a while as I really don't know how to do all this stuff and had the wrong user name so I couldn't get in to write. I tried yesterday but all the entry disappeared and I couldn't get it back so I gave up in disgust. Anyway I'm back today. After much confusing button pressing to fix things up by my son.
Thursday night ( tonight) my second son Dave comes for tea. He lives and works in Wagga at a sign writing business as a spray painter. Not too far away. We are having fish and salad. There will be 6 for tea tonight, seven when my Mum comes home. She is away again in Grafton and has attended my niece's engagement and her daughter's christening. She is also going to Brisbane where my eldest sister lives to attend my great nephew's wedding which will be pretty special because with my Mum there, there will be five generations there. Something that I'm sure doesn't happen that often.
We had another dust storm yesterday and 6 spits of rain. They got minor flooding from the rain in central Wagga, but none of it reached here. I took a photo from the lookout on rocky hill which is just above my house, of the dust but it doesn't look that good. It does show however, the devastation of the drought quite well. I ducked back in the car real quick as there was a lot of lightening flashing around, and it,s quite exposed up there. The photo that is looking down the road is where the fires last year burnt up to, if they had crossed over there, the golf course and the nice new posh houses on the other side of that would have gone up and it would probably have been blown back closer to my place. As you can see the fires last year and the drought for the last 6 or 7 years have taken their toll on my little town. The dust storm we had last week was worse than this one.
When I went to Wagga on Monday I went to visit my friend Edie who is giving up her pottery and invited me to come and see if I wanted any of her stuff. She sent me home with a boot load of her earthenware glazes and colours to play with. I don't do a lot of earthenware stuff but I like garden pots and terracotta so I will be able to use them in combination with that. kiln is very slow to get to stone ware temperature so I use the one in Wagga at the club and just use mine for bisque and E.W. When I was there the care flight helicopter landed on the oval near her house and I found out today that it was taking a sick newborn baby, born to someone from Junee. I work with the mother's sister and aunty, who are both nurses. Sad, I hope all goes well for the baby (boy) in Canberra. While I was in Wagga I also got to dawdle by myself, around the shops and look at things without being hassled to hurry up like I get when I take other family members with me. It was lovely. I must have spent an hour in Spotlight which is my favorite shop. It has fabrics and home wares , Manchester and craft type stuff. I bought a white doona cover and a sewing pattern. Not bad since I went there to get curtain material and came away without it because I changed my mind again. Also went to the gardening dept. in woolworths and got a couple of little dahlias and some sweet basil to plant.
My eldest son got his learner's license again today. He has had it twice before but let it run out as he was sick and the second time because he was a passenger in a car crash and lost confidence. Each time he got up to a standard of driving where he was almost ready to go for his test, which was annoying as he should have had his license long ago. Never mind we will try again.
That's about all that has been going on in my life the last couple of day's.
Bye Love Linda.

Friday, 16 February 2007


I'm tired. Friday, today is my first of 4 days in a row to work. Today I was Tea and sweets lady. Not a bad job, especially when the hospital is not too full as it was today. I like doing this one. Quite a bit of patient contact, and 98 percent of people are nice, so I enjoy that.
As far as being tired goes, that might have something to do with a sore neck and shoulder. I ordered a new mattress and pillows for my bed yesterday so I hope that will go a long way to solving the problem. Whinge, whinge, whinge! Tomorrow I am early cook. Ha! they call heating and serving precooked food and making sandwiches and salads cooking. The actual title is food regeneration. Theres a bit more to it than that but basically it's not cooking. There are lots of rules and regulations though that we have to follow because the food is pre cooked, like proper temperatures for storage and serving and what we can and can't serve because of listeria bugs and salmonella etc. Special diets etc. Getting to know all of our longterm patients likes, dislikes and peculiarities. We actually have a lady in at the moment who can eat neither gluten or dairy. Doesn't leave much does it. I never thought I would learn or remember it all when I first started there 13 years ago but it has become second nature. I easily memorize who (30 long term patients and many of our frequent fliers in acute care) has what in their tea or coffee. Ask me what I did yesterday and my poor old brain would only remember 1/4 of the details. Its funny how your brain sifts through and forgets the trivia.
Tonight when I got home @ 6, there was as usual nothing taken out of the freezer to cook for tea. My adult children can't think that far ahead for them selves, no matter how many times I ask them to. I guess being Friday night they were hoping for take aways. Pete was at work too and the last thing on my mind trying to get out the door in the morning is not what to have for tea when I get home, so I didn't take anything out either. The main thing on my son's mind is the computer and on my daughter's mind is Brett, her beloved. I had some frozen pizza bases so I put topping on them. I of course had to consider Brett's dietary habits as he doesn't eat lots of stuff, So I had to make three different pizza's for everyone to share. And she has the hide to tell me that I make her do all of the house work if I ask her to do anything! I'm such a hard cruel mummy. I know I'm lucky to have had her be good and not do the naughty teenager thing but now it has finally hit ( she is 18) it's hard to put up with. And yes I know that at her age breaking free and moving away from your parents is the norm but that freedom surely should mean taking financial and adult responsibility and independence with it, she would still like to be looked after. So Pete and I go to work, come home and run the house and pay the bills and she and her brother get the benefits. Whinge! Whinge! Whinge!
Rufus our pup is back. So my house is complete again. We took him to the river on the way home and he didn't think much of the water even though it was a hot day. He took the most interest in his lead which he likes to carry around with him and see if he can con someone into going for a walk with him. There is a place in Wagga called Wiradjiri reserve where I like to go. It is a bend in the river so has a nice deposit of river sand and is the closest thing around here to a beach. The reserve is called Wiradjuri after the local aboriginal tribe which is the largest aboriginal group in our area and covers much of this state and down into victoria as well. I am proud to have a small bit of their blood lines flowing through my veins. I had an aboriginal grandmother 5 generations back on my Dad's side. Though most people would probably laugh at such a tiny amount. It's one of my favorite places. You can actually see the reserve below Wagga on the Google earth site. I remember what a treat it was to go there to play when I was very small with my sister to paddle in the river and dig in the sand. I had a cousin that would go there with us and it was funny because she had this magnet inside her that always made sure she always fell in the river while climbing over logs at the waters edge, no matter what the weather. I think she was even clumsier than me. There used to be big beautiful river red gum trees there and over the years they became unstable with floods washing the soil away from their roots so they had to be removed. There are still lots there though. Anyway when I was a child I would marvel at their size and partly exposed roots that you could climb in and around. River red gums are gorgeous trees and live for hundreds of years. There are big ones down there at the reserve that were most likely there before white people came to this country. Their wood is a deep rich red hardwood but it wasn't used for furniture until recently because it warps and splits. It gets used a bit now though as someone discovered you could use it if it was carefully and slowly dried in a kiln. Years ago it was mostly used for railway sleepers and fence posts or very hot burning fire wood that was known for burning out fire boxes. (Sleepers are the wooden beams that the tracks sit on.) Most of the sleepers around here are presently being replaced with cement ones and there is a new factory opening up in Wagga to manufacture them. River red gums are however in decline as they depend on seasonal flooding for their survival and that doesn't happen often any more as the river is controlled by dams and is used for irrigation, and of course there is the drought we have been having for the last 6 or 7 years. The ones along the Murray river are especially in trouble as the water has become salt affected from changes to the water table and the use of agricultural chemicals. I guess our river the Murrumbidgee would be the same though. I was trying to find a picture to add of a huge red gum tree at Oura beach near Wagga as an example that I have, but I couldn't find it. I will include it later if I can find it.
O.kThat's All tonight. Bye Love Linda.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007


I've been looking around the extensive site of potter/musician Brad Sondahl who lives in Spirit Lake Idaho. Very interesting bloke. As a potter I find there are a lot of similarities in tastes i.e gardening, pottery, cooking between potters. We all seem to have a love of natural things regardless of where we live or how much pottery we produce and how involved we are. I've never met a potter yet who didn't at the very least become very involved with a potted plant, let alone love their gardens. I've also looked at a site of some potter's in France who took photos of their local environment and wildlife etc. Except they were health nuts, not like me. I can't remember their names. Brad has an extensive web site well worth looking at and I have spent many hours reading different areas of it. If you read this "G'Day Brad".
Tonight Pete and I had a look on the web for accommodation in Melbourne where we are going next month for the Melbourne flower show. We booked an en suite cabin in Coburg caravan park. I like to stay in caravan parks. There is more room and you get your own cooking facilities plus they are usually quieter than city motels. Its really nice now that the kids are older and don't need to tag along, we get to spend a bit of time by ourselves on short breaks like this. Its something we enjoy and hadn't been able to do for many years.
Michael had to finish cooking tea tonight because I sliced my finger, he didn't really mind and I think he enjoys eating things he has cooked himself. We had sausages cooked in onion and tomatoes with extra (commercial) tomato sauce added to sweeten it. With veges. My tomato bushes have been very poor this year due to hot weather and scarce rain here. A bit of a loss really and not worth the water and time I put into them. Probably half the crop was destroyed because they cooked on the bushes before they were even ripe properly. Apart from that, the beefsteak tomato plant I brought, turned out to be a cherry tomato. I s'pose someone thought switching the tags was funny at the nursery.
After whinging about work in my last entry, today I decided to not worry about busting my gut to get everything done and worked at my normal pace. I didn't finish everything as we had a meeting and I am sure there will be comments when the sheet that we mark our duties off on is checked, and the supervisor sees that we can't get everything done. I'm not the only one complaining. Tough luck Baby!
Rufus our pup has gone to Wagga to be with my son David for a few days. David dog napped him as he is on holidays and thought it would be fun to have Rufus entertain him. He has become such a part of all our lives and we are all missing him. The cat is looking for him and meows around the house and to us for her entertainment. They usually play great together with us telling Rufus to be gentle with her and the cat (boo) teasing hell out of him and taking advantage of the knowledge that she is being protected by us. Our old dog Freddy has been whining around the back door and looking for him too, but when Rufus is here they are competitive for our attention. And... I miss his cuddles and yes ! even when he tries to kiss me on the face and gets in trouble. Dave usually comes out for tea on Thursday nights so I guess he will bring Rufus back with him then. The picture up the top of this entry is of Rufus . He doesn't like David to wear his hat so he hops up on the back of the lounge chair and takes it off his head.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Summertime, and the living is....Dusty!

I've just finished working six days straight and i have today off work. I'm tired but I have nine days work this fortnight so I will get a good pay next time round.
Yesterday we had some heavy showers and a thunder storm in the early afternoon. I had to run out in it to wind up my car window which I left down a little bit to let the heat out of the car as it sat in the top car park at work. It drenched me and it was beautiful. I felt like dancing in it but wasn't sure who would be watching so thought I'd better not. I won't have to water today.
We had a blackout for a few hours and the girls who were staying on the late shift were worried about getting tea out and also washing up without the dishwasher, and the temperature being maintained in the cool room, but the power came back on. Less than 5 minutes after the rain stopped we had a big dust storm come over the town which stayed for the rest of the day so had to run around shutting windows. I worked as a cleaner yesterday and had been cleaning up fine red dust all day, without this latest dust storm. Pretty self defeating work but essential. This morning at home I have been doing the same, you should have seen the amount I swept up that has blown in under the front door. My joke for yesterday was " Well the wind is coming from the opposite direction, maybe it will give the farmers back some of the dust we got yesterday." Pete is putting a barrier thingy on the bottom of the door as I'm writing.
Number 5 position is what I worked in yesterday. Not good for me as most of the work is by yourself and you have time to think too much about stuff. Like how much extra work has been lobbed onto us hotel services staff of late. I've worked out since we have lost a position we have lost over an hours work time from the extra duties. We have also been given a heap of extra duties like 4 more toilets, 2 utility rooms and a treatment room , on position 5 that would take between 3 and 10 minutes to do each. The management told us this was temporary for 2 weeks and that was 3 1/2 weeks ago now. Now they are working out new duties for nursing staff and talking about dumping the wards persons night duty position (who usually does these cleaning duties) so I suspect they will say, well you have been doing these extra jobs so you can keep doing them. Trouble is nobody stands up to these people at meeting and says" no this is too much and we cant keep doing it". Our supervisor says " I know what that work is , I did it for many years" well yes I know you did but that was 15 years ago, our standards these days are much higher and things have changed quite a lot since then, you also had a new building, new carpets and furniture and more staff 15 years ago.
Another thing I have been thinking a lot about lately, though not for the first time. I guess it comes under the heading of human nature or its frailty.
I often get annoyed at people who cant see the mistakes that they make are what their peers react to when they treat them the way that they do. Maybe that is what I need to think of when I whinge about things like I have in the last few paragraphs of this entry. I know I should be more outspoken and at the proper times to get results from management. But who wants to get howled down by people who have had training in people skills and effective communication and will probably have made their minds up what they will be doing before they even get to a meeting anyway.
I also think that as humans it is all too easy to judge others and not see what we are doing ourselves. We don't see our own faults. I'd better stop there because this is starting to sound like a rant not a blog entry.
In our little town over the last 4 of 5 days we have had some sad things happen. Firstly last week there was a crash on the Harefeild road between a local woman travelling back from Wagga and a Wagga man. I heard along the grape vine that the man had a heart attack, I dont know how accurate it is. They hit head on and the Junee woman and her son were very badly injured and pulled from the car just before it exploded. The Wagga man died. Its terrible to live in a small town and hear of news like that before the details are out and to speculate who might have been involved. You think who might have been on the road at that time whom you know etc. Pete said he was relieved to see me when he got home as I wasn't working and could have been in Wagga shopping. The second thing that happened was, a localwas out early doing the fitness thing on his road bike (push bike) early in the morning and was hit by a driver who had been (reputedly) drinking. It happened on the outskirts of town on Saturday morning and the man had his leg and face smashed up and has suspected spinal injuries. I've since heard that there is no brain damage. Pete has just returned from down the street and said that there is a siege going on down there with police cars, ambulance, and fire brigade. A young girl has barricaded herself inside a house and is threatening suicide. Bloody Hell is it a full moon or something!!!!
We have yet another brown snake. Peter fell over trying to get out of its way. The snake went one way and pete went the other. There must have been a family of them a couple of years ago and they are all still here because thats 3 we have had of the same size now ( four to four and a half feet long) Or at the very least we have seen one of them twice as we got rid of one of them. Thats 4 this season in my yard. Brown snakes are the 2nd most toxic snake in the world after the inland taipan which is the first. Both are Australian. They are very common here. My neighbor has had more than us but he has a lot of junk lying around his yard too. They don't usually attack unless cornered, but their bite can kill you in around 4 hours without treatment. They have short fangs that can't bite through clothing but as their venom is so toxic you only need a tiny bit for it to be lethal. We dont usually wear long pants or shoes when we go outside in out own backyards, its summertime and hot, but that is one precaution we should heed.
O.K. that's all today. Bye.

Monday, 5 February 2007

my pets

I thought I would write about one of my pets. This is Jack. She is about 30 years old. I inherited her from my mum. We got her off some people who had hand raised her when she was about three years old, they were moving interstate and couldn't transport her that far. She is a sulfur crested cockatoo, and quite a character in her own right, she has a personality all of her own. When we first got her we were not sure if she was a male or a female but she was named after a friend of my dad's so the name stuck regardless of gender. She lays an egg every few years and goes a bit clucky before hand with my husband whom she loves.
Sulfur crested cockies live for over 60 years and have been known to live up to 100 years. so they are a family pet for life and are handed on through several generations. My maternal grandmother had one in Griffith N.S.W. that we reckoned was over 80 and was sent to the pioneers park there where it died after many years. This cocky had a cage with a huge hole rusted through the bottom of his cage and never attempted to go outside. We used to bob up and down in front of the cage and sing "dance cocky dance" and he would do it back to us. When I was little my cousin Joe (we were known as the terrible twins) and I used to steal the cockys wheat and plant it down the side under the water tank and when it grew we would harvest it and feed it back to him. Budding gardeners.
They have very long memories and remember if you have been kind to them or teased them and will treat you accordingly. One of my old family stories involves a cocky that my paternal grand mother kept for many years and my uncle charlie. The cocky was a great watch dog and we always knew if someone was coming because he would yell out "shut the bloody gate" anyway when my uncle came home from the pub he would always kick the cage and say "get out you bastard" the cocky was out of his cage one day and no one heard uncle Charlie come home and it chased him through the house cornered him in the bedroom and bit the top of his finger off.
Cockies are excellent mimics and talkers. Jack being a female does not talk as well as a male but she does say quite a lot of things, not all of which we understand. She coughs like me, like she did for my dad when he was alive. She calls the dogs and barks like them. She says what ya doin jack? If she runs out of seed she marches up and down her perch and motions "come here " with her head. When the kids were little and ran around the yard she used to laugh at them. And when I can't get the chooks to go back in their cage and chase them around the yard she laughs at me and calls out "look out look out". When you stand at the cage and talk to her she will listen intently but won't answer until you start to walk away because she wants you to come back. Years ago we used to let her get on our arms but she gets a bit excited and won't get off again and her claws are sharp so we don't do that any more. But she likes to be patted and scratched under the wing and her head crest. When I pull weeds out of the garden she likes to watch me expectantly and if I give the weeds to the galah or the chooks before I give her her's she will sulk and not take them from me. The next door neighbour lost a few of their ring neck doves about a year ago and they are pretty tame. One day we had the bottom of the cage open cleaning out her water bowl and one of the doves walked in and has been there ever since so she has a companion now. I'm not sure if she likes that or not as the dove is never quiet but jack usually ignores it. Cockies can be very noisy pets at times too, screeching at dusk to each other and when there are other wild cockies around but jack isnt too bad compared to some that I've heard about.
The wild ones always carry on at dusk when they are finding roosting spots for the night. I love being down at the river late in the day when they come in to roost and watching them as they wheel around and settle in after several stops and starts. They are gorgeous.
Cockies can also be very destructive birds too, in areas around Sydney in the leafy northern suburbs they have been known to eat nice cedar balconies and demolish wooden parts on houses with their big powerful beaks. They have to chew things or their beaks can grow too long and they cant eat properly. Ffarmers used to poison them because they would eat the grain and dig up newly sown seed in the paddocks. I don't know if they are still poisoned. I remember when I was young seeing flocks of many hundreds of birds, you don't see big flocks like that any more, but there are still a lot of them around. They aren't endangered . In autumn when the wild almond trees across the road from my house have fruits on them, they wake us up very early in the morning fighting over the ripe almonds. They crunch them easily with their big beaks. I have a special perch covered in calcium stuff of some sort that if supposed to grind down jack's beak as it has grown a bit long but its not long enough to be a problem for her. As well as weeds and seed mixes jack enjoys apple cores, grain bread and grain toast, milk thistles, nuts, seed pods from native trees, and a little piece of fat from cooked meat as well as a bit of chop or steak bone to chew on. But I wouldn't give them too much of that, only every now and then. The fat is supposed to be good for her beak. My grand mothers cocky used to ask for toast and tea and get it too, every morning at breakfast time, though I don't give that to jack as I'm a bit wary as to weather sugar is good for her.
We used to have a kitten that took a lot of interest in jack when it was small. and tried to get at her by climbing up the outside of the cage. Jack soon set her right by nipping her feet. Kitty learned very quickly, dont mess with jack.
I often think about her as a bit sad because she is such a beautiful specimen and she should be in the wild and breeding but I couldn't set her free as she would not know how to look after herself in the wild, not knowing about feral cats or traffic and things like that and would not last long in the wild.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

G'Day ,
I am on my third of 4 days off work today. Yesterday was busy. I had Potter's club duty and the club's Annual General meeting. For P.Club duty I show up at the clubs shop/gallery and try to sell things from 10. to 4 in the afternoon. We get paid for whatever we make that sells less a commission that goes to club funds, which is less if you do the duty. While there I can use facilities in the workroom out the back or whatever. I played with the slab roller, which is a machine that flattens clay out into a nice even slab, a bit like a big sheet of pastry that can be cut and shaped or joined into whatever. I made some small square dishes with the rose pattern that I spoke about last post and a oval dish from white stone ware clay. I want to put a clear glaze on them with maybe a bit of light blue under glaze mixed into it. I might also melt some glass in the bottom of them as I have a new glass crusher that I had made up to play with. At the A.G.M. there was little change amongst the executives and I will be doing the secretarys job and the workshop organizers job again.
Last night the Junee poker run was on. A poker run is a fund raiser event where bikes come along and are given a card at the start of a ride, then move on to secret designated places to get given another card in different towns and when they get to the end of the run they hand in their cards and the person with the best poker hand of cards wins the prize. They are charged an entry fee for the ride and lunch is provided on the run as well as a B.B.Q. (at cost) tea at the end. It also included 4 blues bands as the nights entertainment. My husband is one of the organizers so he has had a very busy few days and lots of meetings preceding those. He went to work today even tough he is tired. He is the treasurer of the local Cancer assistance group who raise funds to help cancer victims with treatment costs, so had a lot to do as that group is the beneficiary of funds from the event. There was an incident yesterday where two blokes came off their bikes around a corner at high speed. One had a broken wrist and was discharged from hospital last night the second bloke has a broken leg and ribs and a punctured lung, but will be o.k. In the next town across from here Illabo) a drunk work up in the park and staggered out to see what was going on to the sound of 200 bikes rumbling past and said "Where the... did all those bikes come from?" my husband thought that was a great joke and has photos. There were 270 riders on the run but I don't know what the final tally of profits was at the moment. The riders came from as far away as Queensland and South Australia. I got home from the potters club and Wagga at around 6.30 and went down there but I didn't do much except serve a few steak sandwiches off the B.B.Q. and talk to people (or yell above the music) and spread bread for them but the music was good. I saw 2 of the 4 bands playing. The main raffle, a holiday was won by a local this year whom I know supports the cancer assist group so that was nice. We were surprised to look around to see a little boys face peeking through the back of the marquee. He came back a few minutes later and put his hand through the gap and tried to grab money. He lives near me and is about 5 years old, we are guessing his elder brother was coaching him. Starting young eh!
I've been out the back to the pottery shed this morning and yesterday and have seen no sign of the big brown snake that was there so I hope it has moved on.
I have to remember when I write in here to leave out the Aussie slang as if some people read it they wont know what the hell I'm talking about. As an Aussie I find that funny, maybe I should make that the subject for a post in the future. I've seen people from overseas wondering at our manner of speech at times. When I first moved here there was 2 Canadian blokes sitting outside a cafe and the girl behind the counter walked out and called to them "Do you want mayo on your buns" and they swung around to each other with horrified looks on their faces and said "What did she just say?" They had ordered hamburgers and here we call bread rolls buns. The looks on their face was priceless. O.k. thats about all for today.

Friday, 2 February 2007

feb 2nd

Today is Feburary 2nd, nice hot day that is going to get hotter as the day progresses into the high 30's. I ordered some work uniforms today and Annie conned me into getting her sunglasses out of lay-by from the local men's ware shop, Hook's.
Not feeling the best I might have a u.t.i? Also got a letter yesterday from the blood bank people to say my hemoglobin and iron levels are too low with a copy of the letter to give my doctor. I've never had this before and they refused to take my blood donation last time and took these tests. In Australia blood donation is voluntary, I don't think it is in some other countries and you get paid for it.
Pete is busy putting up a marquee and finishing arrangements for the Junee poker run. We expect up to 300 riders and 4 different blues artists playing that evening. This is the Can-assist groups biggest fund raiser for the year, last year they raised $17,000 (pretty great for a little town) but it wont be as much this time due to a different raffle. The raffle this year is a trip to Fiji and people have been hesitant in wanting to go there as there was a political coup a few months back, though it has been reported as safe now.
The gardenia out on the front steps has been repotted as its finished flowering and I tried a different potting soil so will be interested to see how that goes. It has water crystals and fertilizer included in it and cost more than what I usually buy.
Today I want to be brave and go into my pottery shed down the back. I saw a large brown snake in there a few days ago, I hope it has moved on. There have also been mice & rats down there so there is a food source and lots of hiding places, like empty boxes and benches to hide under. I think I would rather put up with the rodents than the snakes. We have seen three snakes in the yard this season. I get rats and mice every year after the local grain harvest, I don't know if they are disturbed in the fields or they come into town on the trains with the grain cars. Well this year there was no harvest because of the drought so I guess they are enjoying living in my nice sheltered shed. I must be brave. Our potter's club has it's A.G.M. tomorrow and I want to go down to the shed to get some clay to take into Wagga in the morning to use while I wait before the meeting. Our members do roster duty each month to keep our gallery open and I am spoilt because my roster day falls on meeting day each month so I only have to go one day. Also a few weeks ago I bought some nice white candles that have a deeply embossed rose pattern in them and I want to press them into some clay and then take their impression in plaster so I can use them in my pottery.
Yesterday Mathew my neighbour from up the road brought back the orange appliqued flag that I made for my mum's little electric go cart. He said one of the kids found it beside the road and bought it home. Mum was convinced that it must have been stolen as it always attracted attention when she went anywhere on her go cart. I thought it was cute anyway. It said Nan's Go Cart in black writing on it and we had been checking out all the go carts for it in town. Is'nt he a nice neighbour.