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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Cats (not a football team)

Ken has been housebound and mostly in bed, taking antibiotics for bronchitus. He got dressed yesterday for the first time in two weeks, and braved the cold weather to go up to check on the birds. Bad move, dear. The cough is worse than ever, so I'm hauling him off to the doctor tomorrow. He can't risk getting pneumonia at this stage of his heart surgery recovery.
The cats have been keeping us company indoors, mostly in front of the heater where we trip over them if we don't look down first. Tiger wasn't taking any chances on being trodden on....

"If you're looking for me, I'm under the table, Mum".

Friends at last! Topsy has finally consented to eating her food alongside Tiger. I used to feed him in the laundry to avoid fights, but they are getting on well enough now to put their food bowls side by side. Tiger is only six months old (Topsy is about 7 years old), but look how big he is already. Perhaps that is why Topsy isn't arguing any more!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Long term plans for the future.

I just did some online banking and discovered that Ken's last pay has been deposited into our account. I know it is the last one because it is about one quarter of his usual wage. He hadn't taken any long holidays over the time he has been working for the company, so his annual leave had accrued to the point where he has been receiving his regular fortnightly salary. I found it hard to believe he had accumulated 11 weeks pay, but of course if he hadn't, he wouldn't have been getting paid up to now.

It doesn't look like he will be going back to work any time soon, and he said yesterday that he doesn't think he will ever be fit enough to go back at all. His colleagues have been ringing him to see how he is, and have asked when he's returning. It is nice to know you are wanted, but he will be 70 next year, and if he's not up to the physically demanding aspect of his job, that's the last word, isn't it.

Thank goodness for superannuation. Our financial adviser has always cautioned us to choose the investment packages that were not high risk, so while we haven't made squillions of dollars in our super, on the other hand we didn't lose too much during the global financial crisis. We have enough to live on for the next few years, and we also get a pension, but when the super runs out...well, I'm not going to spend my future years worrying about that! We'll just have to sell the house to pay off the mortgage and buy something in the country where the land and house prices are slightly less than what they are in suburban Melbourne. At least we have options. The Great Australian Dream of owning one's own home is worth battling for when you are younger.

Still, none of us know what is around the corner. I still buy a Tattslotto ticket every week, so we could get lucky. VERY lucky, but very unlikely! If I outlive Ken, I would sell up everything and go into a retirement village and probably have enough left over to live on. But if all the ancient predictions about 2012 come to fruition, none of us will ever have to worry about money again!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to square one for Ken.

Maybe not quite square one, but he caught a cold somewhere (probably at the hospital) last week, and has been in bed since Tuesday, feeling very miserable. Our doctor called in on Wednesday and prescribed anti-biotics just in case the cold turned into bronchitis His visit was good timing. Ken has developed a terrible cough, which is rather painful for him, so soon after open heart surgery where they split the rib cage apart to get to the heart. Even two months later, he is not supposed to strain himself by lifting heavy objects or doing other things that put pressure on his chest. It's so depressing, especially when he had been going so well, building up his strength with the walking and exercising. This illness will put him back to where he was a month ago.

Touch wood, I haven't succumbed to the virus, but his Mum has had another cold and a gastro-virus since we last saw her, poor lady. I rang her today and she was nearly in tears because she hadn't seen or spoken to us all week. Once I explained, she understood. I went to Spotlight in Box Hill yesterday to spend a gift voucher, and I was going to drop in on my friend Sharon. But when I rang to ask if she would be around, her partner answered the phone and told me she was in bed with a virus, and probably not up to receiving visitors. Our doctor had mentioned there was a lot of colds and flu around, and it seems to have struck down some of my favourite people! If you're reading this Sharon - {{{HUGS}}} - take care of yourself, and get better soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm not ignoring anyone!

I'm posting this message on all my blogs, so if you've already read it on another one, don't waste your time reading it again!
Like most bloggers, I love receiving comments on my blogs, and always try to respond to them by posting a comment on your blogs. But lately it has become increasingly difficult to access some blogs, due to the enormous amount of graphics they use. The reason my blog headings are so plain is not just because I'm not clever enough to do fancy stuff on my computer. I also leave them as simple as possible because the downloading process is a lot faster for readers as well as me!

So, my apologies to those of you who post comments here but haven't had a response. If I get on to Ken's laptop (once in a blue moon), I can usually access most of my favourite blogs, and will leave a comment. But if I don't, it just means your blog is too complex for my ancient PC (11 years old) and OS (ME, cc 2000)!
I have another computer on order, which is about 5 years old and uses the XP Op.System. Yeah, I know it's old too, but not as old as mine, and it will only cost me $290 for the modem, LCD screen, keyboard and mouse, so hopefully it will do me for another couple of years, because I just cannot afford to buy a brand new one!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Small steps for some, giant leaps for Ken!

Ken has been going to cardiac rehabilitation sessions at the Austin Hospital for three weeks now, twice a week. Each session goes for two hours - the first hour is a lecture by one of the hospital specialists on nutrition, medication, etc, and the second hour is exercise consisting of walking, jumping, cycling, weights, and stretches. For the first few sessions, Ken was absolutely stuffed at the end of the hour, and we had to sit down and rest before we went home. But today the nurses said how much he had improved since the first week, and Ken realised they were right. Yesterday we went up to Suglarloaf Reservoir (Ken is driving now), and walked for half an hour. He only had to stop and catch his breath twice in that time. A month ago, he could only walk for a few minutes before he had to stop.

Our lawns desperately need mowing. Yesterday Ken said he might have a go at it in the next few days, but when we asked the nurses today at the rehab. class, they said "No! Definitely not. Your rib cage won't be strong enough to start the mower, let alone push it around. Leave it for another month". I asked Ken if he still thought he would be able to go back to work in a month or so, and he said he's not sure now. We'll just have to wait and see. At least he is learning to be patient about his health, and not taking risks by doing too much too soon.

Still, he is doing a lot more around the house and yard now. He goes up to the aviaries most days, and does the birds' feed and water, which means that is one less task I have to do. He's been making the bed the last few days, and putting dishes away. Tried pulling weeds out of the garden, but didn't get far with that one. Still, little steps add up over time, and who knows, maybe this time next week he will have weeded the whole front yard. I wish!

So what have I been doing? I've made a mini quilt for Ken's Mum's room at the Aged Care hostel, and I made a birthday card for a friend who is an Elvis fan. This was fun! I googled 'sheet music for Elvis songs' and printed out a page to use for the background, and the centre picture is a playing card. Hope my friend will like it!

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