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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is it nearly 2010 already???

No of course it isn't, but I can't believe it will be February already on Sunday! This is old news now, but I am still going to post photos of our Australia Day party last Monday the 26th. The extreme heat hadn't hit us at that stage, so we were able to spend most of the day under the old umbrella and the new gazebo. Ken suggested to his Mum that she join us for a little while, but she declined, saying she was happier in her sunny bedroom at the other end of the house. As our friends arrived, they popped into her room to say hello, and some went back again during the afternoon to chat with her. MIL said to me later "Your friends are all so lovely! I really enjoyed having them come and talk to me". I reckon my friends are pretty good too....



Here are some of the delicious dishes that our friends brought along to supplement what I had provided:
Bread rolls, Greek Salad, Quiche, and hard boiled eggs (always a favourite)

Honeyed Chicken Wings and more hard boiled eggs at the back, Carrot Salad, Potato Salad, and my specialty - Prawn, Avocado and Mango Salad.

And the desserts: Pavlova (beautifully decorated at the last minute by Sharon - thank you Possum!), Fruit Salad and a HUGE Trifle (thanks to Sharon again, for that one!).
There wasn't much left over at the end of the day, but I think everyone had sufficient. I offered tea with lamingtons to finish off, about 5 pm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What's happening at our Place.

First off, can anyone tell me how to get rid of this stupid Slideshow thing? It kept freezing whenever I logged into it to see new guests, and I've just got sick of it. I logged in and deleted it, but it's still showing here....GO AWAY!!!

Now that I've got that off my chest, I'll do a quick post about what I've been up to since January 13th. Ken's Mum is now living with us. She was brought home from the hospital on Monday, and was so chirpy, you'd think she'd never been ill! We took her to her new bedroom (we'd spent all last week cleaning out the room, installing a new airconditioner and adding some new furniture), but she said "I don't want to go to bed now - I've just come out of 3 weeks in bed in hospital!" So she stayed with us in the lounge room, and sat up until nearly midnight watching Foxtel!! On Tuesday she was pretty tired of course, so she stayed in bed most of the day, reading and snoozing. She joined us for tea, and about 9 pm Ken asked if she would like to see the new Andre Rieu DVD. "Yes please!" so that was another late night.

Today I had to work in the morning, so left her to sleep in until I got home at midday. We had some lunch, then I turned on the tennis for her and she happily watched that all afternoon while I did some shopping and housework. When Ken came home, we had tea, and he brought out another DVD that he knew she would love (Edinburgh Tattoo). I did my usual late night shopping and came home at midnight to find the pair of them watching the end of the Tattoo. I still had to pay some bills online, so I did that, and decided to post to my blog while I'm online, so here I am, and my husband and his 95 (nearly 96) year old Mum are finally in bed!

Contrary to most people's concerns, I don't think we have taken on 'too much' by having MIL live with us. My job as her Carer is to help her wash herself and get dressed, prepare her meals and prompt her to take her medication. Not an onerous job! Her washing is thrown into the machine with ours, so that's no problem.
I discovered yesterday that I can claim the Carers Pension as well as a Carers Allowance, totalling about $360 a fortnight. I told MIL she's making me wealthy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our 30th Wedding Anniversary.

We had such a lovely day last Sunday, not only having afternoon tea at The Windsor, but wandering around our beautiful city afterwards, in the late afternoon sunshine. Took lots of photos - far too many to publish here, so I've created a temporary blog just for our Special Day. If you are interested, you can see it here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick update.

Sorry I haven't been visiting any blogs this past week; let alone posting anything on my own. Ken's Mum is still in hospital, but has improved slightly since my last post. She has been assessed as well enough to return home, which is absolutely impossible, and ridiculous to boot. She doesn't WANT to go home because she knows she is no longer capable of looking after herself. So the specialists have said well, she can go to a low level aged care home.

After discussions with the family, we have decided that we will bring her home to live with us. We have a four bedroom home which until now has been selfishly filled with all our 'stuff', but we will be able clear one bedroom quite easily, and she will have her own bathroom too, as we have an ensuite to our bedroom. I can quit my job and apply to the government for a Carer's Allowance.

All this is still in limbo, though. We are still waiting for the hospital doctor and specialists to liaise with us about what happens next, and in the meantime she is left in a horrid little ward called a Transitional Ward, where patients are kept until they are discharged. There is a lot to organise in the meantime, and we are hoping MIL will have a few weeks in Rehab before coming home with us.

As for me, I'm still barking. Chest X rays show my lungs are clear of any infection, so today I had blood tests for TB, Whooping Cough, and other assorted things, and have been given a new inhaler which might help reduce the coughing. Fun and games....

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Our 30th Wedding Anniversary!

We spent a fairly ordinary day despite the auspicious occasion. Ken went to work, and I stayed home. I'm not working at the moment due to a severe bout of bronchitis, which has me barking like a mad dog. So I spent today pulling down the Xmas decorations, raking out the chook aviaries, reconciling bank statements, and generally tidying up. It was a very hot day, so I did the chooks first, then came inside to avoid the heat. Ken got home at his usual time of about 6 pm, with a bunch of flowers for me. God only knows how he got them home riding his bike....they did look a bit worse for wear, but I wasn't complaining - it is definitely the thought that counts!


For dinner, I made a nice cool salad with a few prawns and a variety of cold meats. Here is the kitchen table set up for tea, but minus the wine glasses, which were in the fridge keeping cold until Ken poured the wine. It doesn't look terribly sophisticated, does it...but it was so bloody hot, I just couldn't be bothered messing around any more than that.


After tea, we went into the hospital to see his Mum. She was quite bright - she remembered who visited her earlier in the day, and also knew that it was our anniversary. I waylaid one of the male nurses and asked nicely if he would take a photo for us and he was happy to oblige.

MIL doesn't usually like her photo being taken, as she says it never looks like her. This pic doesn't do her justice, but after all, she is nearly 96 and quite ill! But she understood why we wanted this photo taken tonight.
For our 'real' celebration, we are planning to go to The Windsor Hotel in Melbourne next Sunday for afternoon tea. I'll have to book in tomorrow, so I'm hoping they can fit us in; it is a very popular spot!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Might be a Silent Night for a while here.

This post is largely for those of you who have met my Mum-In-Law, and know what a sweet lady she is. Ken's Mum is slipping away from us, so if she passes away in the next week or so, I won't be posting much on the blogs for a while. We have been visiting her every night since she was admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve. Having worked in the field of aged care for 10 years, I could see all the signs - skin deterioration, short term memory loss, etc. and I've been talking to Ken about it after we've been with his Mum. Tonight she wanted to talk about her early years and although we've heard it all before (and Ken gets a bit impatient), I let her talk on and eyeballed Ken to keep his mouth shut! He caught on, and held his Mum's hand while she talked. So far he is coping well, and we talk to his sister every night. She visits her Mum every day in the afternoon, and we go at night, so MIL has someone there twice a day instead of all at once.


Ken said something to his Mum tonight about going back home and she said "I'm not going back home. I can't even remember what the house looks like now. But it doesn't matter any more. I'm content to be here in bed, and be looked after by the nurses, they are all so kind". I told her she has been much more than a mother in law to me; she is a much loved friend. We have had such fun together over the years, because we share so many interests (embroidery and her son!) and we have a similar sense of humour. Tonight, I told her she must not 'go to sleep' before Tuesday, because that will be our 30th wedding anniversary, and we want to share the evening with her. She opened her eyes wide and said "What, are you going to die before then? I'm not going anywhere!" and chuckled. Then she told us she had already organised for a card to be sent to us. She's never missed an anniversary yet.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!



One poor little critter didn't have a very good start to 2009. He and his mum fell out of a tree and his mum was killed. But he was rescued and now has a fluffy toy to cuddle while his broken leg heals. Go here to see what I'm talking about - it is soooooooooooooo cute!!!!!

Talking of little critters, we lost some of ours on New Years Eve. Ken went out to check the aviaries before he went to work, as he does every morning, and found the door of one of the aviaries wide open, and most of the finches gone. Next door's cat was strolling around our yard looking pleased with itself. We are at a loss to know what happened; all the aviaries have padlocks on the doors, and they are usually bolted at night or when we go out during the day. We must have just missed this one, and somehow the cat managed to pry it open. Ken wasn't as upset about losing finches as he would have been if it had been the budgies or the chooks. The finches breed like rabbits all year round, so it won't be long before he's got a heap of them, but it isn't nice to know that they have probably all been killed by cats or larger birds like magpies and currawongs.

adopt your own virtual pet!