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.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Day In the Life Of...

This afternoon I was telling a friend what happens at the nursing home where I work for three hour shifts. The lady I look after was a bit aggressive yesterday, and among other things, threw her breakfast at the nurse who was feeding her at the time, spat a mouthful of lunch at me, squeezed my hand until I thought my fingers would snap, and snatched something from my hand and threw it at me. Poor dear was having a bad day (this is not meant to be humorous by the way). Today, in complete contrast, she was very quiet and sleepy, ate most of her food instead of refusing it, and wanted me to cuddle her (which I did).

One of the male residents was having a very bad day. He sat with his eyes closed, and held a loud conversation with himself, most of which consisted of the F word and other choice language. We (the staff) were laughing some of the time but after a while it got a bit much, so we tried one by one to quieten him down, but he would have none of it. He finally stopped when he was being fed his lunch, and when I commented on the peace and quiet, my client looked at me and smiled! You never know just how much of their environment dementia-affected people take in.

Finally (and stupidly, I told Ken this at the tea table), one of the female residents who is always very quiet, was about to be given her lunch by one of the nurses, when she (the nurse) sniffed suspiciously. Put her hand under the resident and pulled it away with a yell of "Oh SHIT! Oh POOH!!" Yep, that's what it was. The rest of us absolutely cracked up!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A bit of my calligraphy.

Alice wanted to see some of my own examples, after seeing the envelope from the Calligraphy Society that I posted here a few days ago. Like everything I do, this is very much an amateur's effort, and doing it at the last minute didn't help either!
If I was going to do this kind of thing for a friend, I would spend a lot more time and effort on it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A very special man.

Today Ken and I visited my last living Uncle, who now resides in an aged care facility. My father and he were cousins. He will turn 100 years old in May, and his daughter popped in while we were there. She said we will be invited to his 100th birthday party, and I wrote the date in my diary immediately! Uncle Fred is amazing for his age. Has all his "marbles" - does the daily newspaper crossword and other puzzles, exercises daily on a walking machine, takes Ginseng capsules for good health, and has a good appetite. I'm not sure if I want to live that long, but as my Dad lived until 94 and his brother lived to 92, I guess it is in our genes. So far nobody in my family appears to have been afflicted with dementia, for which I am exceedingly grateful.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Calligraphy Society envelope.

As a member of the Calligraphy Society, I receive their magazine regularly and save the envelopes that they come in. Committee members of the Society address all the envelopes by hand each time, and I have some wonderful examples of their work. This envelope was obviously done for the Christmas mailing, but for some reason 'missed the boat' and ended up being used to send the February issue. It is so pretty I decided to scan it to show my Blog friends. The scan doesn't do it justice; the lines radiating away from the writing are done in silver, and the letters of my name are more sparkly than what it looks here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Topsy's turn to be in a bad mood!

I took Topsy to the vet yesterday for her annual check up. One of my friends asked me later if Topsy did as my friend's cat does, and turn an indignant face to the vet when he inserts a thermometer up her backside. I replied that Topsy had forfeited all rights to being indignant after I got the bill - $300!

Actually, that is not as bad as it sounds. Our vet has a "Wellness Plan" that his clients can opt for. It covers everything for one year - immunisations for the usual cat illnesses, 12 months flea and worm treatment, check of the ears, urine test, and consultations. They email the clients every month to remind them to give their pets the monthly flea treatment and quarterly worm treatment. I think it is an excellent service.

She had been poked and prodded, and weighed in the waiting room in front of all those other cats and dogs - the shame of it all. Especially when the vet loudly announced "Seven kilos! She is a big cat, but she can afford to lose some of that". I heard someone say "That cat is more like a small panther!" Just as well she didn't act like one on the spot and pounce on the nearest small dog for a fight. She behaved well actually, until we got home, where she went under the bed and sulked for the rest of the day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Warning: I'm in a BAD mood and am going to VENT here!

So don't read any further if you don't want to hear my whinging.
It was Ken's Mum's 95th birthday today, and his sister and some of her family came over to our place. Originally Ken wanted to give MIL a big party with all the rellies and friends, but she said no, she couldn't cope with that, and just wanted the five of us with her for a quiet day, i.e. Ken, me, SIL and hubby, and her daughter. So that was accepted, and our house was chosen for the day.

SIL has been married before, and has two stepsons, who are well and truly grown up, and we (Ken and I) rarely see them in years. Two days ago, SIL demands to know why the stepsons can't visit their step-grandma on her day, and I said, well, that was her mother's wish - just us. Then her daughter stepped in and said she wouldn't come if her step brothers couldn't come. I told her it was nothing to do with me - discuss it with your grandma! So SIL and daughter manipulated things between them, and we ended up with ten people here instead of six. Not that it bothered me - I've catered for twice that number before, but I felt like I had egg on my face. I was made to feel as if I was the one who didn't want the stepson there (only one of them came - with girlfriend and daughter in tow).

Not only that, but to add insult to injury, SIL and daughter came laden with enough food for an army. They didn't even ask me whether I'd like to cater for an afternoon tea in my own home. I kept my mouth shut until I discovered niece in the kitchen washing my dishes with the cloth I use to mop up spills. I said "Don't bother doing any more - I'm going to have to wash all those again now, with the clean dishmop I keep in the cupboard." She flounced off saying she would never offer help again and I said that was fine, as I didn't ASK for her help in the first place.

Ken's Mum just adores André Rieu, and was dying to see some of the latest Fairyland DVD, so we put it on for about 10 minutes. Half of our guests promptly disappeared outside to go and listen to cricket on their car radios, and when they came back, we had another DVD on (not Andre). One 30 year old snapped "Is this STILL Andre?" I was sorely tempted to say "No, but this is OUR house", but again, kept my mouth shut.

Fortunately, all this escaped the attention of MIL who said she thoroughly enjoyed her day, and that was the main thing after all. But you tell me - am I entitled to be disgruntled? Hmmphh...

Friday, February 15, 2008

For Isabelle and Helen - you'll love this!

And so will anyone else who has more than a passing interest in the English language; or to be more specific, the mutilation thereof. Pete has created a blog on which he provides details of all kinds of bloopers he finds in the media, and has then added comments in his own unique brand of humour! The blog is very appropriately named "The Butcher Shop" - have a laugh!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Maggie Ann has several of these charming images on her blog, so I hope she won't mind that I have 'borrowed' one to put here! Check out her blog here to see the others.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Update on Ken's state of health

I haven't gone on about this, but the last few weeks have been pretty hairy for us. Ken got quite ill in late January, and our GP ended up referring him to a lung specialist. The specialist was a lovely guy - spent nearly an hour with us, asking Ken all kinds of questions about his past health issues, his work, etc. and he didn't even look at the X rays for the first 20 minutes! When he did, it was just a brief glance, then he whipped them down and said "Well there's nothing there that is a surprise after what you've told me about your smoking in the past!" Bottom line is, Ken had caught a virus that was made a lot worse by virtue of his existing heart and lung condition. It is just something he has to be aware of, and try to avoid people with flu and colds when he can.

The doc. gave him two new medications which he thinks will help with the post-nasal drip, and the coughing. They will take about a week to kick in, so he gave Ken a medical certificate, and said if he needs one for the following week, to see our local GP. He asked Ken if he wants to go back to work and Ken said yes, and I interjected with "But he gets so tired!" To which the doc. said "It has to be Ken's decision about how much he can do before he gets beyond it. It is better to have a reason to get up every morning, than to retire and stay in bed half the day". Good point. Ken feels a whole lot better about himself now, and so do I.

I called his boss and explained everything to him, and he was very accomodating. I've been saying for ages Ken should have more regular time off - not a month off work then nothing for a year, and his boss said he would sort something out when Ken goes back the week after next. They may give him a week off every 3 months.

Now if we can get a few nights of unbroken sleep, I'll feel a whole lot better!! He was in and out of bed last night (as he has been for weeks) and I'm a light sleeper, so I get disturbed too. I get so cheesed off when I'm on the point of sleep and he bends down over me and says "I'm going to make a cup of tea, do you want one?" at bloody 3 am...or "I'm just going to have some icecream - do you want anything?" I feel like sitting bolt upright and screaming 'YES I DO WANT SOMETHING...I WANT SOME UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP". But I'm a loving and patient wife so I just mutter "No thanks" and roll over to try and fall asleep again...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Unique visitor to our back yard today!

Unique to Australia, that is. Ken called me to the back door this afternoon and signalled me to stay quiet. I peeped out the door and saw a Kookaburra on the table up near the aviaries! These birds are not endangered by any means, but they are not as common in suburban back yards as they are out in the bush where they have more chance of finding tasty meals of snakes and mice. We have heard them laughing recently around here in the mornings and at dusk, but rarely see them, so this visitor just had to be photographed!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You asked for it!

Now this is NOT going to continue ad infinitum (is that the correct expression, Helen and Isabelle?). Just because some of you were kind enough to comment favorably on my sketching, this blog is not going to turn into an amateur art gallery. In fact the following sketches I did today are meant to convince you that I'm not serious about my drawing! If you want to see some VERY clever art (and a whole lot of photos taken at tennis matches recently!), go and see Sharon's daughter's blog here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A bit of this and a bit of that.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post, with the sketches and news about my new job. Ken's Mum saw the originals today and said she didn't know I could draw either! I never thought much about it - I used to do that a lot, carry a small sketchbook and pencil around, and draw people when they weren't looking! No reason, just liked doing it, until I discovered that I enjoyed embroidery much more, and drawing went into the past! Ken was asleep on the couch earlier today so I did a sketch of him. When he woke up and saw it lying on the coffee table he said "That looks awful"! Well, he has been quite ill for this past week, so I guess his appearance was reflected in my drawing.

Before he got sick, he had been cleaning the bird aviaries last week, and a baby finch fell out of its nest, so he brought it in to show me.

Isn't he tiny!!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Back in business.

My new employer has confirmed a permanent roster for me, three hours a day, three days a week in the aged care facility I was at two weeks ago, filling in for another carer. They will offer me more work when jobs become available in my local area. I'm pleased and relieved to finally have a regular wage to look forward to - not a bankroll by any means, but certainly better than Centrelink's allowance!

I did three hours at the nursing home again on Friday, and sketched some of the residents, who showed mild interest in what I was doing. The staff thought my sketches were wonderful and said I'd missed my calling - LOL! I've always liked drawing people, but it is just a hobby, certainly not a wage earner!

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