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 28, 2015

Ode to The Cat

For those who have loved and lost their beautiful cats...I saw this on the Simple Living Forum just now, and copied it to here as I know most of my readers love cats as much as me. 

And God asked the feline spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
And, as a cat, you know I am most able
To decide anything for myself.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied the whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
For my human friends are troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

But don't they understand? asked God
That you'll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is....forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.

Author Unknown

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Health reports.

You know you are getting old when you discuss your health with everyone you know whenever you see anyone you know!  Our friends and family in our age group are all saying the same thing to us:  getting old sucks, and don't ask me how I am because you really don't need to know....

Ken finally got to see the thoracic surgeon who has been discussing Ken with the lung specialist, who told him last month that the surgeon was not prepared to operate on Ken's lungs.  But Ken wasn't content to live with that advice, and asked for an appointment to see the surgeon himself.  We went there on Monday this week, and although the news wasn't really very good, at least Ken knows more about his condition.
Dr. S. studied the x-rays and scans, and explained to us why he was reluctant to operate.  He pointed out the nodule on the lastest scan and said it was a cancer, but it was too early to tell if it was benign or malignant.  He said they will monitor it, and if it grows, he will take the risk of operating on Ken to remove the nodule and at the same time remove the worst part of the diseased lung.  Not one to mince his words, he warned Ken that it could go either way.  If it grows and they didn't operate, Ken will die.  If they operate and it is unsuccessful, he will still die.  Take your pick!  So, we are hoping it won't grow any more, in which case Ken will be better off living with the diseased lung, and having to moderate his lifestyle accordingly.  Dr S. said he thinks Ken is doing very well under the circumstances, and should be able to continue as he is for another couple of years if there is no change to the nodule.

I got to see a rheumatologist yesterday, about my continuing aches, some of which have been blamed on the accident I had 40 years ago, as well as osteoarthritis, osteoporisis, and getting old!  After years of treatments by chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, acupuncture, and GPs, I wanted to consult someone who specialises in the field of aches and pains with no known cause.  I took along with me all the X rays and scans I've had in the last 20 years, letters from various doctors and specialists, and a list of the areas which are bothering me (neck, back, knees and feet). 

Dr L. glanced briefly at them, and asked me a lot of questions which seemed to me quite irrelevant, then he gave me a physical examination without removing any of my clothes.  Stranger and stranger, I thought.  When I asked him about it, he said that he looks beyond what everyone else sees, and going by my responses, thinks I may have another form of arthritis, as my symptoms aren't the usual signs of osteoarthritis.  I know there are many forms of arthritis, but I've been told so often that I have the osteo version, I've just gone along with it, although come to think of it, one person did say it wasn't osteo - the Chinese medicine doctor who has used acupuncture on me successfully several times.  Dr L. has booked me in for a blood test and a bone scan, so I have to make an appointment to get that done soon, as he wants to see me in 3 weeks' time.

In the meantime, Ken and I are in our fourth week at Shapemaster Studio, doing 45 minutes exercise three times a week.  We are both feeling marginally better for it, so we are going to stick at it for another six months, as some of the other (older) people who have been going there for a few months have told us it has greatly improved their fitness level.

Well, you didn't ask, but you got it - our health report!  Sorry about that, but I needed to document it for personal reasons, and decided this was as good a place as any.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden furniture

We went shopping today.  Actually went to look for a kitten at the Cat Protection Society, but they were closed, so we ended up at The Greenery in Templestowe to look at garden furniture for our front yard.  We bought this, just what I had in mind for this little spot!  Also bought some more plants to fill in some empty spots, of which we still have many, but that's okay.  A few at a time when we see something that appeals, is the way we prefer to build up our garden. Landscapers like to make you buy a hundred plants all at once and put them all in at random, but that's not our way.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Front yard finished!

Tony will be back for one more day, to finish putting a  hand rail up by the brick steps, and to do a last minute general tidy up.  We are extremely pleased with what he has done with our garden;  a neighbour asked me yesterday if we are selling our home, as when most people are going to sell their house, the first thing they do is tidy up the front yard!  I said we weren't spending all that money on renovations for the benefit of a buyer - we plan to enjoy it ourselves for a few years yet!
The whole garden has now been mulched and planted out.  Tony is of the opinion that we don't have enough plants, but we don't want to live in a jungle.  Most of the plants will grow to about 1 or 2 metres high, and a metre wide, so we are giving them room to spread.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Toto's in Carlton (Melbourne)

Toto's Pizza House has been in Melbourne forever...well that's what it feels like to some of us who have lived here for more than 50 years! When Ken worked in the CBD, he and his mates used to go there for lunch regularly when it opened in the sixties, but until today he hadn't been back there for many years. So when a Italian friend invited us to have lunch with her and she suggested Toto's, we thought it sounds like fun. And it was! Luisa was born in Australia but her parents were Italian. Her Mum died last year, and her Dad who is in his nineties, lives on his own, so Luisa spends a lot of time at his home, and takes him out on weekends. We met at Toto's at 1 pm and stayed until about 3. Ken, Luisa and I had pizza, and her Dad had spaghetti. Luise and I shared a sinfully rich Tiramisu dessert and we all had coffee. It was a delightful afternoon, and the weather was kind with the sun out all afternoon. Toto's has an unimposing frontage, and is unpretentious inside, but their pizzas are the best!

The bar, and part of the seating area.
 Below: we took photos of each other: Ken and me, Luisa and her Dad.
Below: The desserts cabinet, what was left of our dessert after a few minutes, and the man Toto's was named after.
When we left the restaurant, we went for a walk along Lygon Street, which is one of the beautiful wide streets in Carlton and the suburbs surrounding the CBD. Lygon is famous for it's 'Italian strip' of cafes and restaurants which overflow with people on the weekends. It was relatively quiet today, possibly because it was cold, despite the sun.
All the cafes have the outside eating areas which are protected by the plastic walls from winter wind and rain, but in warmer weather, they are completely open.
I was curious about these stairs into one building...I suspect it might be more than just a bar up there!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Update on the front garden, a week later.

In one afternoon, Tony transformed a truck load of gravel on the driveway from this:

To this:



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