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Archive for October, 2012

Another win

Another (major) thing to cross off the to-do list. My crappy old formica kitchen counter top and unstuck sink have been replaced by a shiny new (secondhand) stainless steel counter top. The only thing is that it sits one inch higher than the old one and so doesn’t join nicely to the other counter beside it (also yellow formica but I can’t afford to have that one replaced). Never mind. At least now we won’t have water pooling at the wrong end or leaking down to the cupboards below. Yipee!

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to continue spring-cleaning.

More window/door frames cleaned.  Some of the garden, front and back, tidied.  Lawn mowed.

Bathroom ceiling painted!  I need more paint to do the walls now.

I’m getting somewhere, slowly but surely.

Meanwhile still going through the Agatha Christies, re-reading them one by one, to see which to keep.  So far, I’m giving most away.  The bookshelf is getting large gaps now.

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I had a long hospital appointment this morning – pre-admission check-ups.  The boss told me to take the morning as sick leave and take the afternoon too if I wanted it.  I did so.

It’s interesting, that because I knew I’d be there for at least two hours, I didn’t mind waiting in between seeing people.  First it was a nurse taking down the basic details and asking about my health, taking blood pressure, etc.

Then it was a young dude with short dreads in a ponytail.  His pants seemed too long for him and he slouched a little.  His face was quite thin with a sparse goatee and he looked a bit mean.  However, all assumptions flew out the window when he smiled and spoke in an English accent.  I am a sucker for an English accent.  I remember once, I forgave a traffic cop for pulling me up for doing 60kph in a 50kph zone purely because he had a nice English accent.  I don’t mind going to my dentist either, for the same reason (as well as being easy on the eye).  Dreads dude asked more health questions, checked my neck and chest (I’d said I had a bit of a tight chest).  All was fine and he said I was in excellent health.

A bit more waiting and then it was the anaesthetist, an Indian guy.  He asked similar questions (in fact many of the questions were pretty much identical).  He then said I was in good health and there’d be no problem.

The nurse gave me some paperwork and a script for blood tests.    I went up to the lab and recognised it from about 15 years ago – it hadn’t changed.

All done, I walked back to the car, parked on a main street.  I hadn’t wanted to pay fees at the hospital carpark.  I felt achey all over.  Another symptom.  I was interested to hear from the dreads dude that dizziness and headaches were another symptom.  A few weeks back I had a dizzy episode at work and got quite worried.  I did my usual sort of remedy of having something to eat, drinking water, and taking an iron tablet.  The dizziness passed and there hasn’t been another spell, thankfully.  Nice to know it’s linked and not something new.

I headed home to take some panadol for the headache and backache.  The other aches disappeared.  I decided to stay home.  I checked my work email to see that there was nothing urgent waiting attention.

About a week to go til the op.  Strange that I’ve only told three people about it, not even my brother.  I hate talking about health problems – writing them is much easier.  I tried to find a suitable time to mention it at bro’s but the opportunity didn’t arise.  I will have to say something to the colleagues I get on with at work, of course.  I can’t just leave work one day and not come back for over a week.

Finally back to work tomorrow.  Only two days left of the week, thankfully.

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I attached the door knobs!  Those plastic packets are a challenge to open.  I think it took longer to open the packet than it did to screw in the knobs.  Tick.

I de-moulded the bathroom ceiling.  I finished painting the ceiling trim in the bathroom, as well as bits of the cupboards I’d missed.   Tick. Two walls and ceiling will be next on the paint job list.

I did several loads of washing.

I went around the property finding the pesky tree suckers from the street tree and put poison on them.  Tick.

I cleaned the walls of the hallway.  Tick.  I then painted the test pot paint on a patch of wall.  Tick.  It looks good and I’m glad that the paint covers up some minor scratches.

My list for today was rather ambitious.  I didn’t paint the bathroom walls and ceiling.  I didn’t mow the lawn.  I didn’t remove the moss on the deck, and I forgot to do hand-washing.  (I also forgot to consult the list!)  All the above took much longer than I thought.

I did do stuff that wasn’t on the list like cleaning some doors and frames.  I also discovered I need gap filler and more sugar soap.

And I got in a bit of Agatha Christie-reading in the sun!

Time for dinner and then off to belly-dancing class.

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H and I planned to leave earlyish on Saturday morning for my brother’s place in the Wairarapa (earlyish means about 9am – very early for H).  We had a couple of things to do in town, mainly return the 5 DVDs we had rented.  Out of the five, the two French ones were the best.  I found ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ disappointing.  Great actors but hard to follow.  I haven’t read any John Le Carre books but they must surely be easier to follow than the long and disjointed movie.

Anyway, by the time we’d returned the DVDs, bought some beer, and browsed curtains at The Warehouse, it was about 11.50am by the time we were on the Pahiatua Track.  We ate a sandwich on the way.  The forecast had been for gale-force winds.  There were none.

It was sunny but with a cold wind at my bro’s place.  If it weren’t for the cold wind lately, we’d be having really nice weather (when it’s not raining).  We met the orphaned twin lambs.  The mother died about 4 days after the birth so they’d had to bottle feed and fight infection in a sick lamb.  They looked happy and healthy now and were like dogs, following us around.  We fed them, then had a look at bro’s new ‘man shed’.  Now my brother’s man shed would be, and was, totally different to the stereotypical one.  He had cleaned out a room in one of the outbuildings, carpeted and painted and placed my father’s big old desk in there, complete with computer and sound system.  One of my parents’ bookshelves was on the wall with a few old books and nick-nacks.  He also had a cheap two-seater couch.  All he needed now was a bar fridge.  It was his haven from G, my sister-in-law.  I was pleased to see some old paintings on the wall as well.  My grandmother had painted two of them, one from the cottage where she lived in North Wales.

That afternoon and evening we played a few obligatory games of ‘Settlers of Catan’ with beer and snacks.  (It’s a tradition every time we visit.)

The next day, while G was selling her jams and chutneys at a beach market, bro, H and I headed to Greytown to check out their Labour Weekend events.

We wandered up and down the main street admiring some of the architecture.  Bro tried out his new camera he’d recently bought, so we looked like tourists.  H, for once, didn’t have her DSLR.  She didn’t want us all to look like we were on some photographers’ road trip and felt rather embarassed, I think.

Apart from a couple of art exhibitions (art which was not my cup of tea), there was really nothing happening.  We ate a couple of pies and took the long route back, via a winery for some wine tasting.  There was some lovely scenery on the way back, through country roads I didn’t know existed, including a gravel road which ended up at a village on the way to bro’s place.

H and I headed home after an afternoon game.  Just before we left, a cheeky pukeko was in G’s garden.

I went to bed quite early.  The winds had been blustery that day and it had tired me out.

Yesterday morning I did some spring-cleaning and put up a new curtain, replacing a rather ragged-looking one over the sliding door.  Unfortunately some of the rail loops had become brittle and broke as I tried to take the old curtain down.  A trip to town was in order.

We first went to the Briscoes sale and bought a new shower curtain.  It appears that all ready-made curtains, shower or normal, only come in shades of black, grey, white or dark blue this year.  We had managed to find a ‘beigey’ colour for the sliding door but ended up getting a grey shower curtain.  I bought some new rail loops, only to find them much cheaper at the next place we went to.  H was excited about us getting a new larger chopping board!  You can tell she’s fond of cooking.  We went to the next stop to look for more curtains.  Our lounge curtains also need replacing.  Again, black and grey were the predominant colours, and they were expensive.  Finally, we headed to two hardware stores.  At the first we bought a couple of test pots of paint for the hallway and H’s bedroom.  At the second I bought a couple of wardrobe door knobs for my room.  Only one of the two built-in wardrobe doors has a knob.  I never got round to getting new ones.  We also looked at replacing the kitchen cupboard knobs but it would’ve worked out too expensive, so we didn’t bother.

Home, and I replaced the broken plastic loops on the curtain rail and hung the curtain properly.  H made a yummy Thai soup with pumpkin in it.  An end to a pleasant and fairly fruitful weekend.  However, I have today off and have made a list of things to do, so I’d better get off here and do them.

Yesterday I created a spreadsheet of all the things that need doing in each room (along with what I need in order to do it) – it turned out to be a long list.  I’ll shade in a row when a task has been completed.  I included ones I’d already done, like painting the inside of the bathroom cupboards, to encourage me.  There’s not much colour on the spreadsheet….  Last night I rang up the friend who had said he’d pick up the new kitchen counter for me and he assured me he’d pick it up today and come over next week to install it.  Yay!  I look forward to shading in another completed task.

After years of not doing much around the house at all, it’s going to be a long, slow process of renovating, with H’s much-needed encouragement.  If it weren’t for her I’d be reading a book or mucking around on the computer…..

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As predicted, my grumpiness has passed. I’m back to ‘normal’, although I’m not really sure what normal is for me.

Last night I watched ‘Downton Abbey’ – always up for a good British drama series. Later in the evening I watched ‘Kath and Kim’ which always cheers me up.

This morning I drove to work with some ‘chillaxing’ music playing, while observing birds fly overhead, and half-grown sheep nestled against their mums.

At lunch I bought a soft toy little blue penguin, the proceeds of which will go towards helping out injured or sick wildlife. I then continued browsing a book on reconnecting with the earth.

Added to the above, the thought of four days off work this weekend, and I’m quite relaxed and content.

My moods seem quite random.

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I’ve been feeling very grumpy and apathetic lately.  I don’t care about anyone or anything.  Yesterday I was very tired.  I struggled through the work day.  I got home, uploaded some photos, played a brief computer game, fed myself, and then watched TV for a bit.  By 8.30 pm I’d had enough and went to bed.

I’ve had enough of fakebook and twitter.  I can’t be bothered with any work-related social media.  I can’t pretend to show an interest at the moment.  I’m only afraid that one of the ‘higher-ups’ overheard me make a negative comment to another staff member yesterday.  Perish the thought – negativity!  Gasp!  You’re not allowed to appear to be negative in any way.  I’m just being honest.  They can’t take honesty.  It’s got to be all patting each other on the back, aren’t we wonderful, bla bla puke.  The reality is, of course, entirely different but they close their eyes to it and don’t deal with it.

But anyway, that’s the way I feel at the moment and it’s probably due to the higher calcium levels in my blood which makes you tired, grumpy and depressed.  I actually have a physical excuse.

The weather hasn’t helped – yes, harping on about the weather again – but we’ve had 17 days of grey cloud and pouring rain and I’m fed up!  Just when you think you can put away the heater and the warm winter clothes, along comes October with its cold, wet, miserable weather.

But, I did hear yesterday that I finally have a date for the op – 1st November.  About bloody time.  I’ve been waiting since August last year.  The only trouble is, I’ll miss out on the opening of a wildlife centre at the university veterinary school and a work trip to Wellington.  And it’s my birthday the following day.  I am nervous.  The surgeon made it sound like a piece of cake – only an overnight stay and a week at home, but there could be damage to the vocal cords.  That’s my greatest fear.  A woman at work had the same surgery a few years ago and is fine, but she had a different surgeon.

I’ll worry about it later.  I have to now get motivated enough to get ready for work after my little moan.  I may feel better tomorrow.  These grumpy/tired episodes come on suddenly and just as suddenly go away for a while.

So, apologies for any negativity or swearing.  It’s the calcium talking.

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