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.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Change of plans.

Thank you to the kind-hearted bloggers who left comments on my previous post, wishing Ken good luck next week. We've had a slight change of plans since Thursday. Dr.H booked Ken into a private hospital, despite me telling him we only have basic hospital cover in our health insurance. M, the receptionist, waved my concern aside and said "It will be fine, just ring Aust. Unity to ask them". So the next day I did, and they were very helpful. No, we are not covered for private hospital treatment, and even one day could cost over a thousand dollars with not much rebate. I called the cardiologists rooms and told M to cancel the private hospital, as we can't afford it. She said she would try to book Ken into the Austin (public hospital) but there would probably be a waiting period of several weeks.
She rang me a little while later and said she'd put in the application to the Austin, and they would call me direct, to say when Ken could be admitted.

Later that afternoon, a lady from the Austin phoned me and said they will take Ken next Wednesday. I said "Are you sure? Next week? I thought we'd be waiting for weeks", and she said "You would, but Dr.H said this case is urgent, so we added your husband to his list on Wednesday". Hmmm... you can imagine how that made me feel.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You have to admire his sense of humour!

The MOTH had an appointment today with his cardiologist, and had been sweating over it for the past week. He always says he hates these appointments because he never knows what else they will find wrong with him! Last year it was bad news for his diabetes and cholesterol, so he was given extra medication for those. Today, the blood test showed the diabetes and cholesterol are under control, but his heart has deteriorated. He's had an enlarged heart for a while, but it is getting worse, and Dr.H. warned us that if it is not treated quickly it could mean either early retirement or instant death, and he wasn't joking. The heart is enlarged because it is struggling to pump enough blood around the body, due to the existing smoking related damage, and if the strain becomes too much, the person will just drop dead. You hear about people dropping dead on a dance floor or golf course...that's probably why.

So, three more pills have been added to his daily intake, one of which is a beta-blocker, and if anyone reading this knows anything about those little suckers, you'll know just how bad poor Ken's heart is. Dr. H. had to consult with the lung specialist before prescribing the B.B.s, as they can interfere with the lungs in some way. On Monday, Ken has to go into hospital to have angioplasty, and a catheter into his heart. Later on he will also have a sleep apnea test, as that can make an enlarged heart problem even worse. Depending on the results of all this he may have to have a pace-maker installed. He has to have a week off work, which is a coincidence because I've been nagging him to ask for some time off soon, as he has been so tired lately. Now we know why, and now he has a week off...not quite annual leave, but I'm relieved that he has time off anyway.

With all this in mind, we drove home, stopping at the pharmacy on the way to collect the new pills. While we waited for the scripts to be filled, we went to a nearby cafe for a coffee. Passing the 'Reject Shop', Ken said "I might just have a look in there. They might have a heart going cheap. It would probably be made in China though."

Dingo puppies.

After getting a quote for $5000 to build an enclosure for the dingo we hope to be getting, we were in shock for a day or so, and shelved the idea of even getting one. But some of our new friends in the Dingo Care Network have offered to form a working bee and come around here to help build an enclosure - for MUCH less than $5000! So we decided to have a look at some puppies which have just been born a week ago.

On Sunday we travelled to Violet Town, which is about two and half hours drive from our place. The president of D.C.N. lives near there and at the moment they have 32 dingoes on their property. We arrived about 10 am and stayed until after 3 pm. We all had such a great time, we never even stopped for lunch! G. and R. just love showing their dingoes to visitors, but refuse to sell a puppy to someone until they are sure their pup is going to a good home. I guess we passed the test! R. spoke to Ken on the phone last night and said he and G. had discussed it and decided they would be happy to sell us one of their pups.

These are the regular ginger coloured Dingo that most people are familiar with.

But did you know there are also black and tan dingoes?

On a large property, an electric fence is a good way to keep the dingoes from trying to escape. One zapp is all it takes for them to avoid jumping a fence again!

Priceless little baby. He will be a black and tan.
This one will be ginger.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trees crashing down!

We had some excitement here today. It has been extreme windy over the past week, and people around here get rather nervous about trees. There are always lots of branches all over the place when it’s been windy, but with extreme wind, trees uproot themselves as well. Ken heard on the news that Eltham had been badly hit, and trees had hit some houses and done a lot of damage, so he phoned me to see if we were okay. I assured him we were, and hung up. What I didn't know, was that the neighbour's tree was leaning over toward our place!

About five minutes later, there was an ominous cracking noise and a ‘swoosh’, then silence. I knew what it was, but when I looked out into the back and front yards of our house, I couldn’t see any damage.

About half an hour later, a tree lopping service truck pulled up outside and I went down to see what they were doing.
The house next door (on the corner) had a huge gum tree in their front yard, which had been completely uprooted and was leaning over against the other trees, which were all that stopped the gum tree from crashing down across both blocks of land. This is the base of the tree in the neighbour's front yard.
The blokes came into our yard and kindly moved the bird bath and pergola out of the path of the gum tree, then set about clearing the way for it to fall down. It knocked a few trees and shrubs over in the neighbour's yard, and partially demolished the lattice fence between our yards, but we got off lightly because it was just the top part of the tree that fell in our yard.

We are not on good terms with this neighbour, so it will be interesting to see if she approaches us to offer to pay for any damage. The fence was built and paid for by her ex, so if she wants it rebuilt, she can see her insurance company about paying for it. Other than that, there is no damage to our place, so we are not going to ask for anything.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Feathered visitors.

We've had an extraordinary amount of birdlife in our garden this year, due largely to the destruction of their habitat during the bushfires in February. In the last two days we have had large flocks of galahs and corellas in our front yard, coming to eat at the feeding platform Ken built on to our front verandah. That was designed to serve three or four birds at any one time, but lately they are lining up on adjacent trees to swoop down when they see a space! You can see them here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Japanese food, Aussie flowers and Aussie birds.

I have had such an interesting day. I took my Japanese Do Care friend to Suzuran, a Japanese food store in Camberwell. She'd been asking me for ages to take her there, and today was convenient for both of us. Atsuko stocked up on supplies for herself, as well as some Sushi for our lunch (why aren't Australian take-away food containers as pretty as this?)
and I bought a few items that looked interesting:
Japanese beer for Ken (he likes trying different beers) and a cute pink bottle bubbly wine for me,

Two packs of "instant" Miso soup to be sampled with my friends who love Japanese food,

Peanut-toffee biscuit things and interested coffee flavoured lollies, also to share with above friends.

When I got home, I found dozens of pink and grey galahs on our front verandah, fighting over the few seeds that were left, so I put out a heap more seed, and was almost blown off the steps by the breeze from their wings flapping! I've put the photos on my Aussie birds blog here.

It was raining steadily for most of today, but inbetween showers I managed to cut some sprays from our beautiful Golden Wattle (Acacia) tree, which is flowering profusely for the first time in its short life of two years. I'm taking this over to MIL tomorrow, as she loves fresh flowers, especially this variety of Acacia.

No wonder this was chosen to be our National Flower - out of all the native Acacias here, the Golden Wattle has to be the loveliest.

To top all that off, I received another ATC in the mail from England, and got a frame for my Cat Stretching cross stitch. You can find them both here.

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