Saturday, December 29
It also had a lot of UK and some Ireland house sits, but strangely they have all disappeared. There must be another site with these details, or no one in these parts needs a house sitter. I had hoped that I might find one in the UK or Ireland for July 2008, as I may well be over there and getting some house sitting opportunity would be great.
It would not be very easy to co ordinate dates, but if I was booked in to house sit and arrangements were made over the next few months we could arrange our arrival and departure times to suit.
I'm surprised how many people do use house sitters these days - and I'm also intriqued that some folk wish to charge house sitters for caring for the house. I always think I'm good value and I'm happy to pay for phone (though I always use my own mobile/cell phone), and anything I use.
I think that it would cost a lot of money for the owner to use alternate pet care solutions.
Anyway I shall watch the sites to see what opportunities come up in July 2008.
Friday, December 28
- The best blogging techniques.
- How to get traffic to your blog.
- How to turn your blog into money.
I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.
Thursday, December 27
All is well with the house sit - I've kept the remaining cat in all night so I see it each morning before it runs out the door and does it's rounds of the suburb each day. Initially the cat just ignored me - in fact I think avoided me. I was OK with that, but I know that the cat runs hot and cold.
The last two days it has been very friendly - over friendly in reality, and needs to sit on my lap. It is not easy to do things while a cat is "glued" to your lap, and she doesn't take too kindly to being moved.
On Christmas morning I fed her early, and then went to my real home, then my daughter's home, and later our son's home. Opening Christmas presents and celebrating as the children had a wonderful time. I must say I was a big gobsmacked at all the toys that the children received. So much money - and really so unappreciated. Not that the children didn't enjoy opening their parcels and finding more "loot" but I can tell that some will have little use. There were so many that it must have been overwhelming for them. No sooner had they pulled the paper of one present, but another gift was thrust to them to open.
In any case it was a big morning, and we came home from the Gold Coast after midday. Nice to see the police active on the highway. We have cruise control on the car, and it "amuses" us to see other cars passing us as if we were going backwards. The police caught many. :)
Since Christmas the cat has been exceptionally friendly - irritatingly friendly. I can't seem to do anything without her trying to get on my lap.
Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time reading and writing - and hope to do that later this afternoon and tomorrow.
Friday, December 21
From memory there were 150 cats, 25 dogs, 300 chickens, various other birds and animals. Well, as much as I like animals it is not my scene. You can see the film here - click onto the Video entitled Help look after 50 pets. They left one of the 0's off. Click here.
Sorry, it is not a job for me!!!
Tuesday, December 18
I've not brought much stuff with me yet - as I have been back home frequently, but I will bring my printer and a few other things tomorrow. I hope by the end of tomorrow I'll have completed my Christmas shopping, cards etc. So it will be a big day.
On Sunday before I moved in here, I worked at the Manly markets selling flowers. While there I bought a lovely sarong. It's funny, when I saw it, there was a connection, but I didn't realise then what it was. Today I discovered it. As I was walking through the loungeroom at the house sit, I saw an identical one draped beautifully over an unusual chair.
Saturday, December 15
The permanent markets behind the "real" Eumundi Markets.
Friday, December 14
It was quite a warm night and we sat on the deck of the school master's house, and savoured every moment. Corned beef and vegetables, and a scrumptious caramel pudding, followed by rum balls and coffee. I don't enjoy coconut so I passed on the rum balls but they did look good.
We had a lot of laughter and we all chatted like old friends. Kramer sat under the table and made new friends, and growled if any of the bigger dogs came by.
The next morning we all met for breakfast at the school master's house. One of the bigger dogs had been banished. On the morning walk he chose to roll in some fresh cow dung! Again a great breakfast - this time fresh home grown paw paw and rockmelon, home baked bread rolls and muffins, followed by eggs and bacon cooked on the BBQ.
A wonderful lazy Sunday morning breakfast. Afterwards it was departure time for us, so we loaded our goodies in the car, along with Kramer and set off for a different drive back home. We called in at the South Gympie markets and bought some avocado, but nothing else.
It was a wonderful market, but not a lot that we wanted on that day. Driving back onto the main highway we headed south until just before the famous Matilda servo, and turned left and wended our way through the quiet country road to another winery.
Dingo Creek Winery has a grand history, and is apparently famous for its Jazz and Blues Festival each year. Hundreds of people camp out on the property, and some illustrious jazz muso's move in for several days of crazy jazz! Sounds fun. I wonder if we could make it next year?
The Winery was on the market, but proposed new owners are planning to continue with the famous Festival. We had a wonderful chat with one of the owners, and had a little look around the property.
The wines were wonderful and I bought a bottle of tall elegant bottle of Muscat.
The countryside is very green as they have had much rain lately, unlike other parts of Australia.
We were back on the "old" road, winding through some of the towns in the hinterland that we had driven through many years ago, prior to the motor way being completed.
Thursday, December 13
Tin Can Bay
Meals at Lagoon Pocket are on the swish deck of the host's house, which was the former headmaster's house of the Lagoon Pocket school. Much upgraded of course, but it does come with interesting history.
We set off for breakfast at 8.30 am - and found our hosts ready and waiting with the tabled beautifully set, with home baked bread, home made jams, some wonderful fresh sweet pineapple, fruit juices, and scrambled egg on muffin. And a pot of tea each. There were other guests in that night, but they had left early.
Kramer sat under the table - and hoped for some titbits.
After breakfast we set off to do some exploring. We had decided not to go on the Mary Valley Rattler - it had been raining, and we weren't sure what to do with Kramer. We'll save that for another day............
We drove into Gympie and through to the Tin Can Bay Road. We had been to Tin Can Bay - a long time ago. It is on the mainland - adjacent to the Military Camp where our soldeirs and others train. The road between Gympie and Tin Can Bay is surrounded on both sides by pine plantations, in various stages of their lives. In some areas there had been recent harvesting, and the piles of timber neatly stacked on the side of the road were waiting to be transported to timber mills.
Tin Can Bay is a pretty seaside village really, which has undergone many changes since we were last there. We drove around and had a look at the area, some beautiful homes, and a pathway that was popular with walkers and cyclists.
We bought some wonderful fish and chips from a shop on the waterfront. The tide was out, and there was a most pleasant faint breeze. We sat under one of the shelters with tables and seats. I had our picnic basket - so we had tablecloth and plastic plates. The meal was wonderful.
While we were at Tin Can Bay we visited the House Boat office, to get some information on hiring a houseboat one day. We have done this on many occasions on the Gold Coast Broadwater, and would love to take one out from Tin Can Bay as the fishing there is excellent.
On the way back we took a detour to a Winery. Sweet Water Winery was quite a distance from the main road, and some of the road was gravel, but we kept going. When we arrived we heeded the notice "Toot on Arrival." We went inside to be greeted by Tony, the owner, who is a very funny guy originally from Hungary, who had us in fits of laughter as he told his life story to us! Very funny man! We tried a number of his wines, and left with a bottle of his fabulous Port.
Eventually we got back into Gympie and made the short trip back to Lagoon Pocket and prepared for the evening meal, dining with the hosts and the other guests.
Our suite was large (they are probably all the same size, but we only saw inside "ours". There was an entrance vestibule with small fridge, and coffee making facilities, wine glasses and two bottles of the house wine.
Inside the fridge were two slices of very tasty scroggin. We'd had pizza for lunch at Imbil, so we were happy to snack on cheese, biscuits etc and a glass or two of wine. Kramer was quite funny. He was a little insecure for a while, and it took him a while to get used to the slippery floor, and the new surroundings.
As the sun went down at the end of the day, he stood up and with his tail erect, and growling he advanced to the sliding door. I wish I had my camera, but I'd have had to be quick. It was all over in seconds. As he got closer to the glass door it was obvious to us that he was growing at his own reflection and when almost to the door, he let forth an almighty roar and sprung at the "other dog" only to bang his face on the door, and realise his mistake! We did laugh! Poor Kramer.
He settled down though several times during the night we could hear his footsteps on the floor. But he was very well behaved.
Monday, December 10
So I am always on the lookout for quality establishments, with reasonable tarrif, that also welcomes canine guests, and a few weeks ago spied an article in the Saturday paper, and quickly booked. We had decided to go away for our 40th wedding anniversary.
And so it was that on Friday last, with car packed and Kramer strapped into the back seat that we headed north to Gympie. Well, just short of Gympie actually.
On this occasion instead of going all the way on the main highway, I had suggested that we go off the beaten track somewhat. So we left the highway just before Nambour and drove past the old "Big Pineapple" which for many years was a very popular tourist attraction. In recent years it has lost it's "shine" and looks like it needs a revamp. We didn't see as many tourists there as we recall from our past visits to the area.
In Nambour we bought a few supplies at Woolworths, before heading off again. On the wrong road as it turns out. So we went quite a detour almost to Noosa, and back through Bli Bli. I recall going to the Bli Bli Castle years ago with the children.
Back onto the highway for a short distance before heading off towards Kenilworth, but turning right onto the Mary Valley Highway, and up through Imbil, Kandanga, Amamoor, and Dagun on our way to Lagoon Pocket.
Each of the little towns is rather quaint. Small town with a few shops, and people who obviously love living a quiet life. We had lunch at Imbil, before heading north.
When we approached Amamoor we were stunned to discover that there had been a storm two nights earlier, and the huge winds had brought down hundreds of trees that were strewn along the side of the roads, and in paddocks all over the place. At Amamoor the roof of the local hall had been peeled off, and all around were workmen and the sound of chain saws.
The storm had cut a swathe right through, even to Lagoon Pocket.
The Mary River and surrounding area is the site of a proposed huge dam that will inundate a huge area including some of the small towns in the area. There were signs all over the place protesting at the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam. "No dam" signs were everywhere, and signs indicating the water level should the dam proceed. I must say we were disturbed by it.
What the community must be going through as they fight to maintain their homes, properties and lifestyle. Very sad.
Eventually we arrived at our destination- the very lovely Lagoon Pocket Bed and Breakfast
Friday, December 7
He gave me a copy of his eulogy, as well as a copy of the order of service, which was wonderful - dotted with colour photos of her, and their family. He's now left to care for himself, and of course as it is only a short time since her death, it is pretty raw for him.
As a family they were caring for her parents, which he will happily continue to do. But he feels ill equipped to do so. He loved his wife very much and it will be a continuation of his love for her, that he will maintain the caring role of his in-laws.
I am an ex nurse, and in my last nursing role was an aged care nurse, and educator for aged care workers. I met one of my students in a restaurant last week. He was wearing a council worker uniform. Seems he found bus driving more financially lucrative and he didn't have to bear the burden of nurses who were less than professional in their care of the elderly.
But he did tell me that he used his nursing skills, when he recently returned to India to care for his ailing mother. He taught his sister to change the sheets on the bed with their mother still in the bed and he laughed as he told me of his memory of the lesson in which I showed the students how to do it. He valued the lessons I gave him as he was able to pass on this knowledge to his sister, and be of great assistance in the last days of his mother's life.
So many people get "thrown" in to the care of elderly people - and most are ill prepared. I found a great website which should be of assistance to anyone with elderly family members, and it has a great forum for discussion about issues.
What impressed me is that in the UK they use terminology that is different to ours, and I like the sound of it. They talk of a care home. Is that the same as our "nursing homes"? The words "care home" conjure up something a lot more pleasant than "aged care unit" or "nursing home."
In any case I will direct my recently widowed friend to the website. It has great information that I am sure will be helpful to him in some way.
How did we ever manage with the wonderful resources of the internet?
Wednesday, December 5
We had a summer storm today - heavy rain in parts, but not much here, but the humidity is excessive. I'm glad the house that I live in and the one I'm looking after are both air conditioned, so if we have more of the same weather, I'll not notice it too much.
There are heavy rains forecast for summer, but after such a prolonged drought, we will just have to wait and see.
I remember years ago when we first moved here, this hot and humid weather was common at this time of the year, as were severe tropical storms, flooding rains etc. Climate has changed, of that I have no doubt.
Some pundits are predicting flooding rains this summer.
Anyway next week, I'll get myself organised to drive the 2 kms to the house sit.
Meanwhile this weekend we are off to a place called Lagoon Pocket Bed and Breakfast, just south of Gympie. We are taking Kramer and his new furry friends at Lagoon Pocket are looking forward to meeting him. He's not usually friendly with other dogs, so we shall see.
There are lots of house sit opportunities at this time of the year, but I'm busy. I am booked and looking forward to it!
Monday, December 3
In the last year or so, our laws had changed so that hotels could offer alcohol and poker machine gambling from 7 am. Crazy? I would think so. Anyone who NEEDS to drink or gamble at that hour of day has a problem in my book, though I don't overlook those whose working life is not 9 - 5 and just might benefit from this long opening hours.
Anyway, we are seeing a flurry of changes - the very government (State ) that relaxed the rules, has now chosen to reduce the opening hours of these places - at least the hotels. The Casino is on a 24 hour licence anyway, and I guess that is fair enough. Perhaps it is because NOW we have a woman Premier! Smarter thinking.
But it has lead me to investigate on-line gambling. In Australia we do have some online gambling opportunities, but in the US and Europe there is much more interest in on-line gambling. Apparently there are more than 3000 on line casinos. Amazing. Isn't it clever - no need to leave home. Just visit an online casino!
Would some be a bit "shifty"? I would think so. How do you find out which ones? How do you compare such facilities? Research, research, research. Then trial and error, I guess.
There is a website that reviews online gambling sites - Pro 360.com. I think US and UK gamblers would find this helpful. I must say it is a bit overwhelming for me - I've never heard of all the games that are played and I think I'll stick to the poker machines. I do enjoy watching the activities on the casino floor - quite fascinating.
So, you don't need to go to a pub early in the morning for your gambling. Just check out the websites, especially those that review the online gambling "opportunities."
Meanwhile back in Oz - I'm impressed to see a woman take such strong control over the gambling in our state.
Saturday, December 1
My husband won't lose his easily. He seldom takes it out! I am constantly using mine. So a spare is essential. I spoke about doing just that when the old one broke down. This time I will do it.
Today is the Art on Florence, and I will go and after I am no longer needed I'll go to Harvey Norman at Carindale who have a Nikon on special. Today is my grand son's birthday. I will have to take a photo. Tomorrow I am taking our flowers to the Manly Markets. A photo or two will be taken. Must be!
And next week we go away. The thought of NOT having my camera for these events is to much to bear.
Friday, November 30
I’ve come across one company that is apparently the leading provider of shopping cart From what I have read it seems to be a good solution for folk who want to create a business this way.
I can remember when I first looked at information on this kind of software or shopping cart services that I was overwhelmed by all the information and in the early days the high cost of it. E-commerce software has become more comfortable for those of us who are not highly technically educated.
Why have I got interested in all this? Well, I have written a couple of e-books, but I also attended a Workshop on Google Adwords on Monday night, which I found very interesting, and will look to see how I can use my new found knowledge.
And something awful happened on Monday night. I was asked to take some photos at the Workshop. As it turns out, though I had my digital camera in my hand at the workshop, I did eventually get engrossed in the content and forgot to take any photos. And it was there that I lost my camera. I’ve been back to the venue, and the venue for my next meeting, all with no luck. Somewhere I lost my camera.
Gone. I’ve been traumatised all week. I only had a few photos that I had not downloaded, but it’s having to live without my camera that is distressing.
We can claim on insurance, but it is not likely to be processed quickly. I think I’ll have to buy another one.
Meanwhile – I’ll keep exploring the information about adwords and e-commerce. Interested in e-commerce.
Thursday, November 29
I do a lot of sitting because of my writing, and I am slack when it comes to walking. I am keen to do more and probably will when I do my next house sit. I seem to be more inspired when I am on my own.
I've been married for almost 40 years. It is a bit scary to admit that in a way. Extra ordinary so many people say. Which is true.
We are going away to "celebrate" next week. As much as anything it is just to get away from all the pressures we have been under in recent times.
We are planning something exciting next year, and I am continuing my TESOL studies which I hope to finish in the next couple of weeks.
A rest will be good. I'll post information about our proposed destination in a day or so. Meanwhile I am looking for my camera. I had it on Monday night at a meeting - but somehow it did not arrive home with me. I have no idea what happened. I've hunted everywhere - the meeting places I attended on Monday, my car and all parts in between. \
I've put up notices - I've spoken to anyone and everyone that may have crossed my path last Monday. All to no avail. I'm very upset about it.
Tuesday, November 27
I spent several hours walking the neighbourhood putting things in letter boxes. Letters and advertising material. As well I acted as scrutineer for the same gentleman - which required me to attend, with the team from the Electoral Commission to ensure that the voters in nursing homes were able to freely vote. There was little to do but observe, but it meant long days - and in many cases standing!
On election day I was up early and at my "booth" at 7 am, and essentially I was on duty all day, and after the polling booth closed, I acted of scrutineer for the count. All up a 14+ hour day! Boy the old body really felt it at the end of the day. I went to the "after party" but it was depressing. A change of Government was the result of the voting, and many of our party workers were both exhausted and depressed. I went home to rest.
The next morning the body was in severe pain! My legs and feet were terribly painful. I had to get up and pick flowers at the farm. When I eventually returned home, I put my feet up, and about midday poured a glass of wine.
And rested to let the body recover!
Tuesday, November 20
I am no longer working - so I am pleased to have time to catch up with things that I had not done for a while. I've neglected the study - the writing and the TESOL, and I feel like spending time cleaning out the house. Late Spring Cleaning I guess.
In the lead up to an election I always have extra things to do and this is no exception so much of the "spare" time I would normally have will not come about.
I have a to do list for today that I will be glad to tick off. I bought a new printer so that I can print off photos direct from my camera's memory card, but I only had about five sheets of photo paper, so I must replenish my supplies. I was originally looking at purchasing a HP printer that just does photos, but in the end I bought a HP that is also a scanner, copier, and I can still put my memory card it. It worked out cheaper, and if I send in the docket I get a digital photo frame so that I can run my photos independently of the computer.
Sounds like a bargain to me.
As well today I have to purchase my 2008 Diary - which I purchase from Franklin Covey. I have used their diaries for many years and can't imagine doing all I do without the organisation of the diary. I've never attended their training - but use much of their system. I'm already getting dates for 2008 - so it is a must have as soon as possible.
I've got a few other things to do and hope to be back to do some writing and studying early in the afternoon. I'll feel good about it all then.
Wednesday, November 14
I tried to wake him up - but he didn't budge. I waited until most of the other passengers had left the plane before struggling to my feet with him in my arms, and our four bags! It just didn't work. I tried making him walk, but his legs just wobbled and he didn't wake up. All the passengers and crew had left the plane and I struggled from row 22 to the front of the plane.
Fortunately one of the flight attendants saw what was happening and came back to help me. She picked up J, and carried him from the plane. He wrapped his little arms around her (much to her delight) as she carried him up the ramp to his mother.
His mother was hoping that this little fellow would run to her in excitement - but he couldn't even open his eyes. She carried him to the car, and after installing the car seat, he was put in and still didn't move. He remained asleep until 9.30 am the following morning.
Apparently his mother was stricken as she watched all the other passengers disembark - with no sign of the beloved son! She really freaked as she contemplated that we had missed the plane and were stuck in Adelaide. (Why, we surely would have phoned some nearly 3 hours before hand if that was the case!)
To her it seemed like a very long time that it took for us to disembark - and where I was, all alone with a little boy and too much luggage to leave behind it felt like a long time too!
Fortunately all was well. We all arrived home safely without a scratch! But both the little fellow and his grandmother (me) were exhausted. I know it will take a few more days for me to recover.
Tuesday, November 13
I discovered that whenever he was exhausted and wanted me to carry him, if I suggested food, he regained his energy for another hour or so. I was worred about getting him back home - but as it turns out C's son phoned, and offered to drive into the city and collect us! Saved again!
It gaves us some extra time, and we saw the zebras and penguins. The latter was his favourite exhibit. What a day! What excitement for a little fellow.
Back at the house it was time to bath a grubby little boy, pack our bags and try to fit in all the extra things we had bought, have a snack (eat! he has amazing appetite!) and leave for the airport!
C drove us to the airport, and we found our way in, checked in and waited for the time to board our plane. J was still wide eyed seeing all the planes, and knowing that he was getting on board to go home to see his mother, father and sister.
As it turns out we had to walk onto the tarmac and board the VirginBlue from the rear door and there he was walking UNDER the plane, with all the other plans standing around the tarmac. Again he was wide eyed!
Now he's almost a seasoned traveller! He climbs into his seat and puts on his seat belt and prepares for takeoff watching out the window as the night sky darkened. I had hoped he's sleep early on in the flight, but he munched his way through his own snacks and mine, and in the end fell asleep just an hour out of Brisbane!
Monday, November 12
We drove back home - and put him to bed. He took a while to get to sleep. During the night he came into our room and climbed into bed with me - around 2 am - and that was the last of my sleep for the night. He tossed and turned, and kicked me.
I was up at 4.30 am - giving me a couple of extra minutes to get ready. J was sound asleep but when I woke him he was "alive" and rearing to go. So we had a quick breakfast and set off for the airport with one VERY EXCITED little boy.
His eyes widened as he saw all the big planes at the airport and the chatted non stop. We had a short wait before we boarded and his excitement was almost explosive.
We found our seats and he immediately opened his presents. His mother and I had packed little gifts for him. He had most of them open before we took off. He had two books, two toys and a jigsaw puzzle. The toys had small pieces to them and before long a small silver magnetised ball had disappeared.
We purchased cheese and crackers and water on the plane, and he ate most of my cheese and crackers as well as his supply of snacks. He's some eating machine!
He watched as we flew above the clouds, and took in all the new experiences with a shrieking delight attimes.
When we landed in Adelaide we had a long walk - we were offloaded at the terminal most distance from luggage collection, and we had a long walk. A little girl "discovered" J as we were walking through the terminal and tried to hold his hand. He got quite upset - obviously he's not ready to "pick up" women yet!
We found our luggage, and made our way to the taxi for the short trip to meet my parents at the good ship Buffalo (a restaurant) at Glenelg.
Mum and Dad were there and a very excited little boy chatted with them. Volume on very high!
We went straight to their home and he enjoyed their company, and the gifts that Dad had for him.
Later that day we went down to the beach - we had come without swimming togs (swimmers) for him, but he was unperterbed and quickly took off his shirt and trousers and jumped into the shallows in his undies. He had a wonderful time!
Our next trip was to my sister's place - to wait for her to come home from work, so we thought, but she was already there when we arrived!
We had a very tired boy, and after a warm bath and a fish dinner, he was soon in bed, although he kept appearing downstairs with monotonous regularity. He was still too excited to get to sleep.
Saturday, November 3
Friday, November 2
J has not been with me on such a trip, and I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks, so I hope he is a little excited about it. His Mum and Dad are now fretting about the trip - probably wondering if I can manage an excitable young fellow.
Today I will be buying one of those "tethers" so that he will be connected to me - from his wrist to mine! Apparently he is a runner.
I have today "off" - not that I will have nothing to do - but at least I don't have to go to work, and I can do a few things at home that need doing. Housework - it never ends, there is always more to do.
I have quite a lot of writing to do too - so hopefully will get that done, and one more lesson on my TESOL course.
I have applied for a position with a language school here in Brisbane - but have already decided that I do not want it. In part because it is quite a drive away, and it is after hours (6 pm to midnight), so I can do without that. I'm fascinated that such a school operates from Brisbane (and Melbourne and Sydney too, I'm told), and that school children in Hong Kong, sit at their computer complete with webcam, and the lesson is conducted in this way.
I'd be interested (a) if it was closer to home and (b) the hours were more friendly. Oh, well.
Thursday, November 1
And wouldn';t you know, at the same time there are plagues of butterflies around - they are a moth that has in the past gotten into the hothouse and eaten the flowers. We are ready for them.
After picking I had quite a lot of things to do at home - washing in particular, and a bit of housework, and some reading.
On Monday night I attended a "consultation" meeting at Shangri-La Gardens for the Schools of Tomorrow. The State Government has put aside $100 million to cover the costs of redeveloping our local schools (there are 13) and bringing them in line with 21st century thinking. I won't rant on about it here - but I was unimpressed. I'm back again for another meeting on Monday night next, so more nonsense to endure.
On Tuesday I worked again at Bayside Recruitment - pretty much on my own as one staff member was working from home, another one doing training, and then there was me! Quite chaotic at times.
Glad to get home - but had to attend two more meetings. Why do I do this?
Monday, October 29
A short time later I was awake, so I dressed and headed for the path along the beachfront overlooking Pumicestone Passage. It was overcast, and not as nice as it can be on a "good" day, but I had a good walk, took some photographs, and called by the newsagent to get the Sunday paper. It is a ritual for me at the Retreat - I get the paper.
After breakfast we did another workshop on writing for television or radio which was very interesting.
The food was great - we do our own catering, and all take it in turns to help in the kitchen, etc. Good healthy food and lots of it.
After lunch we packed up and headed for home.
I have a ritual of visiting a nursing friend on Bribie. She and her husband moved there some years ago, and I don't get the opportunity to see them very much, so that's my chance. I spent a couple of hours with them before heading home again.
Too short, but great weekend.
Saturday, October 20
He doesn't know me as well, and he is terrified of loud noises. And he is only 3 - to be 4 on December 1st.
J is a really good kid,and I often speak with him on the phone. He lives on the Gold Coast - some one hour drive from here, and his mother and father are kept busy and we see each other as often as we can. (Always not often enough!)
Anyway the older girls say it is J's turn. And so I booked the fare. It will be a little easier as his surname is the same as mine (he is the son of our son), so it won't cause much suspicion with the airline. (I hope anyway.) I've given his folks a list of my requirements to travel with him - at least the documentation.
I phoned my parents to tell them, and they are already quite excited as they don't see him as much as they see the girls. As usual we will stay with my sister - and only stay 3 nights. I will find it exhausting, but he really is a good kid.
This time I have ID of sorts - a conference tag which will include all my contact details just in case he gets lost like A did last time. She still tells everyone that it was ME that got lost - for she knew where she was all the time! A little monkey at the monkey cage.
It shall be an interesting trip!
Wednesday, October 17
It looked good though - 3 1/2 months, accomodation provided, return air fares, 3 meals a day in the school cafeteria, and more.
I think there will be some more short term opportunities in China prior to the Olympic Games, so I will hang out to see what is available for me from the middle of January. I continue to do research on this.
Now it all sounds very exciting.
Tuesday, October 16
These days there is a huge market for people to teach English overseas - TESOL means Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages. There are opportunities for paid work all around the world. I did some investigation of the market, and decided to do a course.
I had discussions with a number of TESOL course providers, and eventually a few weeks ago, went to a free information session at Teach International and signed up to do the course with them.
Currently I am doing some of the work online (which is fascinating) and will do the class room component in January, which I am looking forward to doing. Perhaps a gret adventure for me in 2008?
I visited Lizzie yesterday - had to return the keys - and she gave me some lovely gifts. Two very thirsty looking tea towels, with poulty (chooks, as we would say) on them. And a lovely necklace with a turquoise caught in a dream catcher on a silver chain. It is very very pretty, and I love it! I tried it on last night - and the grand children visited soon after. They were fascinated by it.
Jasper has not returned - so his whereabouts remains a mystery.
There was one funny story that occurred during my distress about the missing cat. My daughter was chatting with one of her girl friends, who asked if I would house sit for her. She and her husband and daughter were planning to go away for a week, and as her parents have moved into a unit they are no longer able to care for their cat.
A few days later the lady's husband, my daughter and I were sititng around a table chatting over a cup of coffee, and I mentioned something about them going away. My daughter added, "You probably won't want Mum to house sit for you, when you learn that she has just lost a cat at her current house sit."
Quick as a flash, the guy leaned over the table, shook my hand and announced "You've got the job."
We so laughed!
I bet his wife wouldn't have thought it so funny!
Sunday, October 14
I have only just had the opportunity to load the photos of that cat! (I've also backed up all my photos today too....)
This cat really has a personality - and when it lost it's friend, it caused me all sorts of grief.
I would find her in all sorts of places. She loves lying in the sun, and in a pot plant - well, that's OK too.
The owners came home on Friday - and as yet the missing cat has not returned. I had some hope that it would re appear on their return, but it has not happened yet.
I left the house early in the morning - having done all the cleaning etc, and hopefully leaving the house in as good a standard as it was when I moved in some four weeks earlier. I was sad to go.
I had left several vases of flowers in the house - and hope they proved a good welcome to the family. They are going away again later in the year and I think want me back - even though I "lost" one of their cats!
I thought I'd have a quiet day settling in back at home, but it was not to be. I'd almost done all the washing, and some house work, when I received a phone call from a desperate daughter in law on the Gold Coast. Desperate for a babysitter! She had a dental appointment and her usual babysitters were unable to help. So much for my restful day!
I drove down shortly afterwards, and came back in great haste late in the afternoon, hoping to miss one of the severe tropical storms that have been occurring lately. It seemed to follow me along the highway for a while, but then went on another course, and I escaped it all.
That night I spent some time at the Wynnum Spring Fair. I'm not usually a fan of the Fair - its organisation is somewhat challenged at times. On this occasion though I was impressed, and luckily for them the weather has been excellent. I think it would prove to be a very successful event.
On Saturday I fronted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital - I do role playing for medical examinations. It is always a HUGE day - very tiring as some 36 medical practitioner aspirants, hoping to qualify to work in Australia, come before me and the examiner to be tested. It is totally exhausting, and I was pleased when it is over. I enjoy it - it is just very tiring for everyone, but I know I play a part in helping Australia source more doctors for its hospitals etc.
Sunday, October 7
When I arose at 6.30 am - she had gone. It is now 4 hours later, and she still is no where to be seen. I've been around the house calling her name! With no luck. I'm sure she will re-appear, but at the moment I'm stressing because she is not here!
Yesterday we were threatened with a late afternoon storm, which in the end did not eventuate. I've only seen rain once - and that was a brief shower - since the owners have been away. I've watered the garden, as best I can without the use of hoses - which are banned by the government because of the continued drought and water shortage.
There were frogs active last night - but then they often are here. Great green frogs that often croak loudly at any time of the day. I did do a quick hose of the back last night (no one could see and I was very quick) and there were three big green frogs. More than I have ever seen I think in one place at one time.
I love the green frogs - quite cute. Much better looking than the ugly cane toad which is prevalant around the place, although not quite here. One would think with the swamp so close that there would be more.
I'm aware of the proximity to Kianawah Rd here - and the possibility of red bellied black snakes which are common in parts of the swamp on Kianawah. I've been told that the aboriginal word for red bellied black snake is Kianawah! I've not seen one here, though no doubt they are lurking in the swamp.
I've searched again to find the cat - but no luck. I think she has been so mean to me that she is probably hiding in the bushes somewhere with her evil smile and evil eyes! When she's unhappy she half closes her eyes which gives her a most evil look!
Again storm clouds are gathering in the sky to the south of Brisbane. Again storms are forecast - but that is common. Forecast but don't eventuate.
How we wish for a good old rain storm - and a return to the good old days when at this time of the year we would be regular tropical storms with massive rain falls.
Sadly our climate is changing and it is not good.
Friday, October 5
In the end she returns. She did eat last night - ate most of her fresh meat, and then wanted to sit on my lap. In the end she did. When I removed her from my lap, she ran around the house like a mad thing, before settling down. In the end she went to sleep in the bath.
She'd gotten hold of my bath towel the night before, and slept on it, and I'd thrown it into the bath, until I had time to wash it. So that was her resting place last night.
Sometimes I hear weird sounds - maybe a koala on the roof? a possum? or is it Jasper the mssing cat? I wonder if Jasper isn't out in the park or swamp somewhere waiting her her owners to return. I imagine that is the case.
When I'm not here he could easily come inside for a feed, and then disappear again. I have a dream that this is the case.
It is only a week to go! I could continue here for weeks. Oh, well.
Thursday, October 4
I did for a long time suffer allergies when I was close to cats, but that seems to have gone. Even then they would want to be with me, and my sneezes almost blew them away. (I've never had a quiet sneeze!)
When Fleder became a lone cat in this household, I became her very best friend, and at times she continues to be very intrusive. But I've had to say NO a few times, and she's very hurt by this, and shuns me for a few hours or days!
I don't let her sleep on my bed - I was almost afraid she'd suffocate me in my sleep, as she has to be so up close and personal, and anyway I'm not comfortable sleeping with a cat.
When I come home from work I often have to wander around looking for her - she must hide from me. I can imagine her watching with her wicked smile!
She's eating very little of her meat - be it fresh meat or the canned variety, but still munches on her dry food, grated cheese and the special cat milk is gone within seconds of me pouring it.
She sleeps in the oddest of places, since I won't condone her sleeping with me. Sometimes it is on the top of the lounge chair, or a spot on the table. Today I found her on the bathroom handbasin!
The day before yesterday, she beat me into the bathroom, and leapt onto the toilet seat before I could make it, and then when I pushed her off, flew up to land on my lap as I was sitting on the "throne". It is hard to get her off - the strenghth in her little body is amazing as she resists my attempts to get her to move.
She still tries to sit on my lap at any time whether I am eating at the table, or typing at the computer, and she's quite comfortably trying to walk across the keyboard. (Luckily I've always managed to push her off BEFORE she's activated any keys.
Some days I laugh about it, and other days I feel quite cross with her.
Mostly I laugh!!!!!
Sunday, September 30
There's also one at the front door - it was croaking today.
I'd like to think they herald the onset of rain - as we certainly need it. We had a short shower the other morning but it did little but settle a little dust.
I'm a great fan of green frogs and lament that we have few at our place, despite its close proximity to a creek.
The ones I saw last night are huge - and I wonder where the younger ones are too.
The house backs onto a swamp area, so there's probably plenty there, especially as there is much long grass for them to hide from predators.
Perhaps I'll start a collection of frog photos too - it will take a long time to find a "collection" I think.
I've managed to keep him off my shoulders - I mean, walking around with a cat clinging (and gloating too I'm sure if I could see his face!), to my shoulders isn't a good look, and I've managed to keep him off. If I sit down at the kitchen table I have to watch that she isn't around - as it is quickly onto my shoulders. I have to stand up quickly if I see her ready to pounce!
I'm sure she is laughing when she hides - especially at night. Several nights I've come home - and not late either, usually around 8 pm - and there is no sign of her. I've taken to walking into the cul de sac, calling "Fleder" or "Pussy" but generally return to the house thinking that this time is it! But I've bravely gone to bed and in the morning she is there!
One morning I was sitting at the table on the phone and she jumped on to the table and pushed her face against mine. Her nose and mine were touching and she was glaring into my face from centimeters away. Intimidating? Sure.
On one occasion I was walking through to the laundry and she pounced on me - clutching my shoulders with her claws. I got such a fright and tried to push her off, but she clung. I had a little trouble getting her off and had small claw marks on my shoulders where she attached herself!
I've kept her out of the bedroom, and this I am sure she is angry about.
I've found her sleeping in the strangest of places. One morning she was asleep on the ironing board, and another day I found her IN the washing machine. The previous night I'd thrown some clothes into the machine, ready to turn on in the morning, and I'd left the lid open.
This morning I sat outside reading the paper - and she constantly tried to sit on my lap, or on the paper. In the end, when I'd read enough I left her sitting on the newspaper, where she has been for most of the day.
She was sleeping inside one of the potplants today - so funny.
When the grand children visited yesterday - the helped me empty the fish tanks - Fleder was not amused. She fought for space on my lap with the girls as we rested later, and I just wish I had been able to take a photo of them all juggling for a spot. In the end, Fleder sat ON the table staring at us with what the girls labelled "Chinese Eyes" - she stared with here eyes half opened.
She is only eating dry food at the moment - one night I put out fresh meat but she ignored it, and last night she only had a few mouthfulls of the canned food.
But the main thing is, she is still here.
Tuesday, September 25
I had a short meeting afterwards, and then went to the Liesure Centre - and joined. It's funny as later in the day I heard someone talking about their involvement with the very same centre, and how they received NOTHING, for their membership fee. At least I got some paperwork and a membership badge!
Back home to do some work, and then to the house sit. Thankfully the remaining cat was there. I had a few snacks, and then went out to a meeting of the Arts Council - and on my return could not find the cat. I called out - but nothing.
I started to panic. How could I tell the owner that I have lost both cats???? After about 30 minutes I went outside in dark street - it was around 9 pm thinking that I had to walk up and down the street calling "pussy" or her name. Oh, heck!
Then out of the darkness she rush to me, and my new best friend and I settled and watched television together for about an hour. She is still asleep on her bed - as I write this.