Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except two cats and a collection of finches, canaries and Rhode Island bantam hens.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My eye is okay!

Thank you dear cyberspace friends, for your concern re my eye. The procedure was a bit scary - uncomfortable even, but not actually painful. The specialist at first tried to work on my eye with me lying flat on my back, but I kept on flinching as he poked around in my eye, so after about 15 minutes he moved me to a sitting position with my head in a kind of cradle that held it steady while he worked. That was much better for both of us, and it was all done in a few minutes. I didn't need to wear a patch, or refrain from reading or any other close work - just wasn't allowed to drive for a few hours, as the eye was a bit blurry. But by the time I went to bed, it was fine, and has been ever since.

Still, I will be glad to see the end of September. Ken and I have again begun looking for another car for me, and he found some on the Internet tonight, so it looks like we'll be out and about on Saturday. I have been invited to show a selection of my table cloths to the Melbourne Playing Cards Collectors Club on Sunday. I have about a dozen card table cloths - the ones that fit over card tables, and have ties on each corner to secure the cloth to the table. The cloths have card related designs on them such as hearts, spades, etc., so I think the club members will enjoy seeing them. Most of the members are ladies over the age of 50, which will count for a lot!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

If you are still reading this blog...

...you must be desperate for something to read - LOL! It's been 12 days since I posted anything here, as everytime I have started to write, it has been something negative. Ah well, it is still September - maybe that's why. My MIL phoned to let us know she'd had a fall and banged her head, which necessitated a trip to hospital. Fortunately there was no major injury sustained, so she was allowed home the same day. Two weeks ago, a close girlfriend was in a car crash in which a teenage boy turned right in front of her, putting a dent in his car, but writing hers off. Just as well she didn't have any major injuries, but she suffered whiplash, and has been aching all over ever since. Without her car she was unable to get to work, but as she starts early, for the past week I was able to pick her up and take her there before I started my own work.

On Thursday night, I started getting flashes and black dots in front of my left eye. It seemed to be okay on Friday, but I decided to get it checked out just in case. My brother once had a detached retina, and told me what it was like, so I didn't want to risk the same thing. The optician had a thorough look at my eye, and found I have a small hole in the retina, so as that can lead to a detached retina, she booked me into an eye specialist on Monday to have it fixed. Ken's comment was "that's what you get from sitting up all hours on the computer, or reading books!" Nonsense - it has nothing to do with that. The optician explained that it is usually due to trauma of some kind - either to the eye directly, or a blow to the head. She said it can also result from weakness due to an earlier injury, which is most likely in my case. About 30 years ago, I was hit by a car while riding my motorcycle, and I received severe head injuries. As a result of that, my left eye muscles were damaged and had to be 'stitched' up. Even though it has been 100% fine since then, the optician said that it will have weakened the eyeball, and this 'hole' in the retina is probably the result. Well, gritting my teeth in anticipation of some discomfort next week, I would rather go through that than lose my sight in the eye and possibly not be able to stitch (or do a lot of other things) for the rest of my life - NO WAY!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Clouds with silver linings.

One thing about the Internet, if you are down, you can always find someone in the world who will help you up again. After my dismal post on Sad September, I received several comments from Blog Friends, and among them was Patty in the U.S.A. Now, Patty has had a difficult few years one way and another, but she still manages to look on the bright side. I felt quite ashamed of my negative post, after reading her blog today - go have a look! She has provided positive food for thought - thanks again Patty :-)
Look for 'September Thoughts' posted on Sept.7 on Medieval Lady

Monday, September 11, 2006


I stitched this for an exchange in a cross stitch group I was in back in 2002.
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sad September..

They are showing it on t.v. again - 9/11. Why, oh why do the media have to keep reminding us of this awful event, year after year? Do they think that anyone who lived through those days will ever forget? Five years ago on the 2nd September, my husband quit smoking after 45 years. On 7th September he was taken to hospital with heart failure. Four days later, the USA was attacked. In the same week, we lost an Australian icon - Ansett Airlines collapsed.

This year in September, we have lost another Aussie icon - Steve Irwin. I looked up the month of September in Wikipedia and learnt that World War 2 started and ended in the month of September. Would you think me strange if I never turned on a t.v. set in September, for the rest of my life? I feel like ripping the whole month of September out of every diary and calendar at the beginning of every year from now on, flying off to some deserted island and hibernating for the whole month.

Enjoy the rest of this month. I won't.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Not a healthy year!

2006 is one of the worst years I can remember, for people being unwell in one way or another. One friend of mine had to have an operation on her back - OUCH...but she has come out of that much better off, thankfully. Another friend has had all kinds of ongoing health problems which have slower her once-active social life right down. Ken's sister has also been copping all the bugs that have been around this season - gastric and flu alike.

While I haven't actually been 'sick', I have had a few health issues as you'll know if you've been reading this blog lately! This week I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I saw the cardiologist today and he confirmed that my heart is as healthy as it can be given my high blood pressure, which isn't a problem as long as I keep on the medication, and have regular exercise. There are a couple of minor things that he wants my doc. to keep an eye on, but I don't need to take any more pills - YAAAAY! (I hate taking pills...)

BUT...there's more. The 'bad' news is that I have injured my lower back in the course of my work. Back pain is par for the course when you do home care and personal care for disabled people, several days a week. My back got a severe wrench on Monday, and on Tuesday I was in such pain that I visited my remedial massage therapist for an extra session (I usually go once a fortnight). While she worked on me, she commented that my back is becoming weaker and there could be nerve damage at the base of my spine. She said I should think about quitting this work while I am still okay, as it will only get worse if I don't let up. So when I got home, I phoned our financial planner and asked what I had to do in order to retire and access my superannuation. He had a look at his computer and informed me that I only had enough super. to last me about 3 years - BLEAH!! He suggested that I apply to Centrelink for government assistance of some kind to tide me over until I reach retirement age (65). Well, I am one of those funny people who do not like to use our taxes on myself unless it is absolutely necessary, and until we are destitute with no means of support at all, I reckon we can get by okay on our own.

So on Wednesday, I spoke to my work supervisor at the office, and we went over my fortnightly roster of clients. She was very sympathetic, and said she would rather take some of my more 'needy' clients off my roster, than force me to keep going and then lose me altogether if I did some permanent injury to myself. Mind you, the company can't actually 'force' us to do anything; that was not a good choice of words! But some of our past supervisors have made things difficult for the Carers by threatening to sack them if they didn't continue with the same workload. My work load is now reduced from 29 hours a fortnight to 18 hours (9 hours a week), and the clients I have 'lost' are the larger houses with heavy vaccum cleaners. The oldies in their flats with small cleaners are not a problem for me; lugging the large machines up and down stairs is what hurts the old back. You may be thinking "well, good for you, but what about the Carer who has to take those jobs on?" I am one of the oldest Carers at work - most of the women are between 30 and late 40's. The younger and stronger ones will be given the more physically demanding clients, although they also have their share of 'light' work to balance things out. If I was 20 years younger, I wouldn't have these problems!

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