Sunday, 25 May 2014


This post is a shout out to my friend Noelle who is the last few days has had her hip replaced.  Always willing to give others a laugh she is not feeling so funny at the moment.  I've watched a hip replacement op on YouTube (doesn't everybody - seriously my mother was going to have one) and it is brutal - very unladylike and i just couldn't picture my mother having it.

Gosh Noelle, that cartoon above actually looks a bit like you!  No one wants their friends to be in pain but sometimes its a welcome thing if it means a future without disabling pain every day.   Its been a long long wait on the public health waiting list and so we are all thankful that she finally made it up the list.  Not before time as in the last year things have deteriorated so much her quality of life has really fallen.

One of Noelle's favourite saying is "Don't get old, it stinks".  She is like my Mum in that they are both fully vibrant people with so much get up and go and plenty of things to do but trapped in old people's bodies.  Its so frustrating for them.  It makes me mad to hear much younger people in their 50's and 60's say they are too tired or too old to do things.

So, today its time to liven things up and bring a smile to my friend.  I'm hoping that the drugs are good and that she can make her way to a tablet or her PC.

I've sure gotten old!
I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes.
I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject t o blackouts. Have bouts with dementia.
Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92.
Have lost all my friends.
But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

Here is one Noelle for when you start doing your exercises - 

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour.
But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang.
Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him,
"Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77.
Please be careful!"
”Heck”,said Herman,
"It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

OK, lunch time is over.  If any of my readers know anymore funny stories to cheer Noelle up then pass them along.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Gavin's 50th and Weekend Mish Mash

That's right, Gavin (who really does need no introduction (Greening of Gavin)) is now 50!  He can now join the rest of us known as "old and wise".  Some might say this title comes much later and I'm well aware that i learn more every day, but i'd like to think that once 50 you've been around the block a few times and might have accumulated some wisdom from having made so many mistakes and survived to talk about it.

This is especially true with Gavin and there are many, many, many, many (OK, so he has a lot of followers and readers - don't rub it in) who have benefited from his wealth of experience and knowledge.  What i love the most is that if he doesn't know something, he researches it, masters it and then freely shares it with the rest of us.

I'm keeping both Gav and Kim in my "friend" book because when the world does go to shit and we have to start looking after ourselves a bit more, i want him close. Did i tell you i was 50 and therefore wise?

The opening picture was drawn by the lovely Kim (Gav's better half) and was on the front of MY invitation. Note that he carries a bottle of beer and a pizza.  I can assure you that this was an accurate representation of last night as the homemade pizza and beer flowed freely.  Nothing taste quite as good as pizza cooked in a cob oven.  His garlic pizza is to die for -  it had a sprinkling of sea salt on it which gave it the wow factor.

Mega Lasagna!!!   Loving this tin.
What i cant show you is how beautifully setup everything was.  My photos are really too dark.  Tables were grouped intimately, with candles burning and lovely table settings of rosemary, lavender and the odd pumpkin thrown in. Twinkling lights surrounded the roof.  A warming brassier was burning down one end and the heat from the pizza oven warmed the other end.  Lovely and cosy.  Jessie  (rabidlittlehippy) kept me in stitches most of the night and (lets just call him) The Wanderer kept us on our toes.  Hubby was also there and having met Gav for the first time has cheekily asked for a return visit.  The two tech heads can talk solar while Kim and I chat it up.  Gav needs to harness Hubbies big brain and lifetime of trade skills and bring him over to the self sustainability (Light) side.

The highlight of the evening was a musical interlude sung and played by Kim and the family.  The original song was titled "Its All About You" and it brought many laughs and the odd tear from Ole Gav.  My favourite lines from the song (which i have a very bad recording of) were:

Yesterday Teddy asked us how old are you
Holly said you were 92, Its all about youuuuu......

Bunty said your very cute, shes in love with youuuuu
The chickens, all agreed you're a hundred and twoooo...

Well you get the picture it was very funny and sweet.  It was truly lovely to see a family who obviously enjoy being together and having fun.

When Jess, Gav and I were huddled around the dying embers of the pizza oven we were playing phone wars showing photos of our garden. Thank God i had something to show as my garden is half empty and minuscule compared to theirs.  The following were my weapons of choice taken Saturday morning:

My first mandarin, ever!

Something is munching on my lemon tree - these are my first real crop of lemons.  Jess tells me i need to get my big girl panties on and pull em down to pee on it.  The men in my house have declined even though it would be so much easier for them since they come with a convenient hose!

Miss Tilly proof onion bed - looking good.  

Peas on their way up and podding already - crazy weather  

Miniature cauliflower

Lots of Cos


More lettuce and garlic chives

Pepper bush still going from spring of 12/13.  Something is eating the leaves on this as well.  

Keeping in mind that it is Mid Autumn and we should all be starting to rug up and have all our winter crops well and truly in, Melbourne's weather for the last two weeks has been crazy:

Temps in Celsius

Wed 14  - 21
Thur 15  - 22
Fri 16     - 23
Sat 17    - 24
Sun 18   - 21
Mon 19  - 24
Tues 20  - 26
Wed 21  - 22
Thur 22  - 23
Fri 23     - 23
Sat 24    - 21

This is the longest run of over 20's ever recorded in May.  I don't think the veggies and other plants know what to do.  There are so many things flowering they must think its spring.

Early Saturday morning my big sis turned up bearing orange juice, bread and bacon.  I guess she wanted breakfast.  Coooool.  We later went SHhhhhhh  "shopping" for some winter clothes (on sale) and spent the afternoon visiting another friend who was supporting her daughter's new business venture selling Oasis Homewares.  If you are interested in anything or looking at a catalogue, please email

I don't need any more homewares but this stuff is made from recycled materials and environmentally sound products like bamboo. So to give support as well, I bought a large glass bowl and matching smaller ones with visions of a trifle (i seem to have misplaced my usual bowl),  parfaits or a bowl of my lettuce in a salad sitting on a table looking marvellous.  The bowl is made from recycled glass.

Karen was one of my Shoestring leaders when i was first starting out on this gardening adventure and so i was keen to see her garden.  She now works full time and so she had not been out there for a while.  It was amazing to see what grew all on its own with no attention.  She reached down and grabbed a hand full of leaves and pulled up a bunch of heritage carrots all sizes and shapes.

Funny how men go all silly when they see a misshaped carrot - well mine do anyway.   
Well Karen, who seemed embarrassed by her offering, today those carrots became carrot soup for lunch and they tasted like yummy carrots to me.

Time to Escape to the Country (my normal Sunday wind down viewing) and some yummy cottage pie that has cooked whilst I've been entertaining you (or myself).  Made from my slow cooked meat pasta sauce from the freezer, some added veggies (peas, corn etc) and covered in garlic mash a bit of cheese.  Yummmm.

Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Politician Bashing with Humour

My 70+ friend Noelle never misses the opportunity to take a swipe at politicians.  Today she sent me the gag below about Billy the Bushman which probably isn't too far from the truth.  As you can imagine, politicians are about as popular here as they are everywhere else in the world.

For my OS readers the big push here at the moment is to lift the retirement age (meaning eligibility for an aged pension) to 70.  As an office worker i can see that it would be possible for me to do so and i have threatened that ill still be there when I'm 80.  Their response was that they would put in a ramp.  Given the opportunity id be home right now, playing in my garden and being as self sufficient as possible.  How do you expect a tradesman, manual worker, nurse, cleaner etc. that has worked physically hard all their life and is probably worn out by the time they are 60 to go on another 10 years? What of our strict OH&S rules?  Is a 69 year old expected to be on their feet for a full 8 hr shift, or lift the same weight as a 20 year old?  I can see it being a minefield of regulations and disparities.  How many older people will be made redundant or sacked and end up on job seeker welfare?  Will those that aren't physically capable of working be on disability pensions?


I saw a photo of an older tradesman holding up a sign the other day.  It said "Only a politician who had spent their life behind a desk would come up with a retirement age of 70".  The look on his face made me so sad.

Think politicians, think, not just in the box but left & right & up & down.  I remember when I was studying economic theory (Monetary, Keynesian etc) each system had their pros and cons but none of them worked because the decision makers have other agendas other than economic stability, like staying in power.  Don't do what's right, do what will give me votes.  I thought serving in public office was all about serving the people not yourself.  If there are not enough tax payers to fund the pension then find another income source and give honour to the people who have worked hard, paid their taxes and deserve a few years enjoying themselves (not that the pension is so great that it allows for luxuries, it breadline only).

When the bottom line isn't running in the black there are three things you can do:

1. Increase Income/Sales
2. Decrease Expenses/Overheads
3. Increase productivity & efficiency

I'm not sure where this verbal diarrhoea came from and most people wouldn't think a serious though passed between my ears.  Someone sends me a joke about politicians and all of a sudden my fingers were typing.   I don't expect everyone to agree with me, these are my thoughts and I'm generalising like mad.   Perhaps I am gullible, naive and live in a bubble (as i am often told) but I love and respect our older people.  They don't make a lot of noise but they do have one very powerful tool at their disposal - A VOTE.  They need to use it.

Anyway, have a giggle over Noelle's joke which i guess resonates with me being a country girl.
An old  station hand named Billy was overseeing his herd in a remote pasture in  the outback when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a  cloud of dust.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes,  RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the old  man, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your  herd, will you give me a calf?"
Billy looks at the young man, who obviously is a yuppie, then  looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, why  not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook  computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a  NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an  exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite  that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution  photo.         

The yuppie then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop®  and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany  ...        
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot®  that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an  MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spread sheet with email  on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a  response.      

Finally, he prints out a  full-colour, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet®  printer, turns to Billy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and  calves."         

"That's right. Well, you'll be helpin yourself to one of me  calves, then, since you won it fair en square." says  Billy.      

He watches the smartly  dressed yuppie select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as  the man gingerly picks it up & stuffs it into the boot of his  car.
As the  yuppie is carefully brushing the dust & hair off his suit, Billy says,  "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what work you do & where you come  from, will you give me back my  calf?"         

The yuppie thinks about  it for a second, wondering what  this wrinkled up dirt encrusted  uneducated old man could possibly know?    He grins and  then says, "Okay, old fella, why not? I'm a believer in fair  play."

"You're a politician  & you work in Canberra."  says the old timer.              
"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but, tell me  how on earth did you guess  that?"          

"No guessing required." answered Billy "You showed up here  even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I  already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars  worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and  you don't know a thing about how working people make a living - or about  cows, for that matter.  This is a herd of sheep.

Now give  me back my dog."

Thanks Noelle, always good to look at my emails when i get home and find one of yours with a joke to make me laugh.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Potting Magic - More Renewing and Reusing

How awesome is this - gosh I'm pleased.  This potting bench started out life as a freebie gifted to me by one of the workers at my factory.  It was languishing in the deep recesses of his shed and rather than toss it out he gave it to me.  This is not, however, the condition in which i received it.

As you can see from the bottom left hand side of the pic, i  brought it home the same time as i brought home the cable drum.  This potting bench is not for the serious gardener, and was certainly not strong enough to hold anything.  When you gave it a shake it moved about 20cm either way.   Enter bracing by one super husband.   He added a diagonal brace at the back, two side braces to the top and then added a panel at the back of the shelves so that items wouldn't fall through.

Now it looking much stronger and much much prettier.  Once again I've/we have used things we had at home including the paint, screws and wood.   The tiles came from Bunnings and were 60 cents each and attached using double sided tile tape.  Given that its outside it had two coats of exterior paint - the same used on the cable drum table nearby.

There is small section in the top with a very small receptacle.  One that is certainly not big enough to hold enough soil for potting and so i will use it to put those small items, like garden ties, whipper snipper blades and plant labels.

So as the the small badge at the front says (which hubby prised off and polished for me)  - I AM A DIYWOMAN!!!    I feel like i should keep on singing....... "hear me roar, in numbers too big too ignore....".

Our other big family adventure this weekend was taking Miss Tilly for her first proper big girl groom.  When i was at the Amaze Autism Conference recently i met another Aspie Mum who had a grooming service in Gisborne.  She showed some of her own "fur babies" and it was clear to me that anyone who loves their own dogs as much as she did would be a good choice for Tilly.   Having now experienced her services i can only say that she is now known as The Dog Whisperer.  Tilly was perfect (she would be, wouldn't she, just like your children behave everywhere but at home).

Those not in the picture should know that Tilly is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff.  As such, she has two coats - a soft undercoat which is like down and a top much longer coat of hair.  Try grooming the top when the undercoat is matted.  I was expecting Til to be completely shaved but she managed to keep some of her undercoat and it is so so soft and lovely the cuddle.

Before i cop any flak for not grooming daily to avoid this sorry state of affairs, this dog gets so much attention each day from all three of us.  She loves nothing better than rolling around in the compost heap or in the wood chips and as she has free access to the house its a case of every day she comes in totally covered in bits and pieces and deposits it all over the carpet.  She doesn't like to stand still, especially for grooming and so its a case of wedging her between your knees trying to get as much off as possible before she bolts.

 Have you ever tried to trim black nails - scary stuff when the foot is constantly moving.

So i figure that this grooming business requires a professional and since i am an Accountant not a Dog Groomer i figure I'm best paying for it to be done regularly.

Oh Mum, I'm having a bad hair day/month!
When we picked Miss Tilly up she even had a bow in her hair and smelled like she'd been rolling in roses powder.

No Laughing OK!  

At least with all the hair gone you can see her physiology and why this little girl (all of 5kgs) can jump almost to my chest height and literally spring boards across the room from couch to couch.  Her rear legs look like that of a rabbit.  

All this playing with projects and in the garden has left the house in need of an overhaul and so i think that will be my next weekend project.  Lets hope that something interesting happens this week or that i get inspired to write something worthy of reading.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mums of the World.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz