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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A week later.

So much for my comment last week about Ken's health being stable.  He caught a cold which left him coughing and requiring the usual antibiotics, then I caught it, so that was the week effectively wiped off for us both.  It was so cold outside we were happy to stay in bed or at least inside with the heating on all day.  Pity the solar panels don't supply energy for gas as well as electricity, although we did have the reverse cycle air conditioner on a lot to help warm up the house, so that would have been taken care of by solar energy.

I missed out on a couple of outings with friends, but made up for it by indulging myself in an orgy of reading.  I've started utilising our online library service a lot recently.  When I read reviews of new (or not so new) books that I think I'd like to read, I add their titles to a 'wish list' in my name on the library website.  When I've read a few, I put a few more on hold, and when I've read and returned them, I go back to my list, and so on.  I really appreciate being able to reserve books and have the library email me when the books are there for me to pick up.  Saves trawling through the shelves looking for authors and titles!  I've just discovered another facet of the site; you can add all the books you've read to another list, which is great to refer to if like me, you forget after a while if you've read a certain book, or you want to see what books you've read by a certain author.  I used to write all the fictional books I read in a notebook but now and then I'd forget to do it, and so it was a pretty useless exercise in the end.

Aldi Stores had an Android tablet in their specials this week, for $149, and as Ken has looked over my shoulder enviously when I've been playing around with my Samsung tablet, he had to get one of his own, didn't he.  Ah well, we can afford these little luxuries now, so why not. 

We had an old friend come in and clean up our front and back yard for us this week.  He used to have a tree service business many years ago, but gave it up for something less strenuous.  I noticed an advert in the local paper a few months ago and realised it was the same guy back in the tree business again, so I  called him up to come over and give us a quote.  He and his brother worked all day Monday (his wife also came along and did all the raking and sweeping after trees were pruned), and they worked like trojans.  Several trees and dead shrubs were taken down, more trees pruned of dead branches, and old tree stumps were removed.  Well, actually they were pulverised by a stump removal machine, which left lots of lovely sawdust to spread on the garden.  There was one stump near the aviaries that Ken wanted removed, but after watching them get rid of the other stumps, with all the noise and sawdust flying around, I said no, the birds are traumatised enough already without you doing that right in front of the aviaries, so the guys ended up digging the stump out, much more quietly!  The next day I found the chooks had laid four eggs, so we decided that instead of scaring the shit out of them we'd scared the eggs out of them...ha ha.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five weeks later.

Somebody commented to me the other day that I haven't posted anything to this blog lately.  So I looked, and they were right.  To tell the truth, I had forgotten all about it.  I've posted a few bits and pieces on my stitching blog, but just don't seem to have the same enthusiasm lately.  So for the benefit of whoever might still be keeping an eye on me,  this is a brief rundown of the past month.

I'm still wallowing in the delight of our lovely kitchen.  We now have four new chairs to replace the 50's retro chrome and plastic ones, and we are waiting for a holland blind to be installed.  This replaces the 40 year old curtains that were on the floor to ceiling window.  God I'm glad they are gone....I got to hate them in the last few years!  The windows in the lounge and dining room have the same curtains, and I am looking forward to getting rid of them too, in due course.

The solar panels are connected and generating electricity, and Energy Australia tells us that our next electricity reading should be a quarter of what it has been.  We are getting a tree lopper to come and chop off some branches from some of the larger trees on the west side of the house that overlook the solar panels, and that will increase the amount of sunlight they get.

Ken's finches and canaries are mostly surviving the cold winter, although they've lost many of their babies, but that is to be expected from these birds which are native to a tropical climate in northern Australia.  We're surprised that even the adult birds have survived so well.  The chooks are all feathered up after their long moult in autumn, and are laying enough eggs for our use.  The cats are the cats.  What else does one say about them?

Ken's health is fairly stable.  I am so thankful that he retired in time to avoid being exposed to such  a cold winter, as I think he would have had a lot of time off work otherwise.  He keeps himself occupied with his new car, the bikes (rides on fine days with his mates), looking after the birds, and doing small maintenance stuff around the house.  We have a gardener come every couple of months to mow the lawns, whippersnip edges, and prune shrubs etc. because Ken doesn't have the strength for that now.

Apart from when we go out somewhere together, I spend my time reading, sewing, chatting to friends (mostly on the phone in this weather - it's been too cold to go out for morning/afternoon teas!), and the usual cooking and housework.  

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