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 a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day 2015

We have been hosting Australia Day parties since we moved here 34 years ago. This year Ken and I felt too tired to do it, and one of our friends who has been to all of them, offered to host it. We had a great day - Sandra did a great job of setting up her patio with the flag on display, and Aussie themed fabrics and tablecloths on the tables. Our usual group of friends were all there, as well as another friend of Sandra's, who was willing to join in the fun with us. We sang the national anthem at the top of our voices, and Sandra's neighbour told us later on that he thought it was great to hear it sung so enthusiastically! I only took three photos, but Sandra took some too, so I'm hoping hers are more meaningful than mine - ha ha!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Got my car back, but want to trade my body in!

My dear old car is back on the road feeling as good as new.  Well, as good as a 12 year old car can feel to me.  The onboard computer has been replaced, and the mechanic who worked on it said today the car still has a lot of life in it, and he agrees with my decision to keep it going for a few more years.

Wish I could trade my body in as easily.  I've made an appointment with my doctor for the regular pap smear test next month, and I am going to ask her to refer me to a rheumatologist.  Like most of us once we hit 50 and 60 and beyond, I have had aches and pains come and go.  But in the past year, I wake up aching and got to bed aching.  And I'm so tired all the time.  I know I have osteo arthritis as well as osteopenia, both conditions confirmed by x-rays, blood tests, bone density scans, etc. and various treatments have been prescribed - Vitamin D, Panodol Osteo, osteopathy, weight bearing exercises, and TaiChi, all of which I have taken on in varying degrees.  At the clinic we go to, one of the doctors told me a few years ago that I was getting old like we all do, and to just deal with it! 

Today, my osteopath was quite worried about the state I was in.  He told Ken later it is the worst he has ever seen me.  I shuffled into his treatment room and plonked myself down in a chair.  I used to bounce up on the treatment table, and roll over on to my back or front with ease, but now it takes longer to climb up, and rolling over doesn't exist for me any more!  He asked me a few questions about exercise, diet and sleep patterns, and I had to admit that sleep is a low priority for me as there are so many things I like to do at night when it is quiet - read, sew, sit at the computer, sometimes up to 3 am.  I usually wake up between 9 and 10 am, which is fine now that we are retired, but he said I've fallen into a bad sleep pattern which probably has a lot to do with the way I'm feeling.   He asked if I drink much water and I admitted that I probably don't drink as much as I should - one or two glasses a day, and a few cups of tea or coffee.

Then he asked what exercise I do, and the answer to that is easy - none apart from neck and back stretching exercises in the mornings.   He suggested I should walk or swim.  I can't swim, so I'm not going down that track at my age!  And I used to walk a lot - every morning before work for years, and on weekends with Ken, and with friends since I retired.  But in the past year my feet and knees hurt so much if I walk any more than a block, so I don't do that either.  He asked if I'd had blood tests to see if I had rheumatoid arthritis, and I said not that I'm aware of, so he suggested I should look into that.

My priority now is to get some straight answers from an expert.  I don't want to be operated on,  I don't want to exist on pain killers for the rest of my life, and I refuse to believe that at 67, my pain is due to getting old!  But like Ken, I'm having to pace myself and cut back on some activities.  For instance this year I have decided not to host our annual Australia Day party because the thought of cleaning up the back yard and patio (both of which need a lot of work), and setting up the gazebo and other items we put up for the day, just did my head in.  And Ken is as bad as me - he doesn't have the strength or energy to do any of that work either.   So I started phoning our friends to tell them of my decision, and the first one I called said straight away "But we can't NOT do Australia Day!   I'll have it here!".  The next friend said "I'll have it at my place next year!"   Times like this you know who your friends are :-)  Such a weight off my shoulders.  Now I'm looking forward to the 26th January, with just some food preparation to do, then sit back and relax!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Expensive start to the year.

You might as well say that it was an expensive end to last year with the Chook Ranch!  But that was planned, and a new car was definitely NOT on the agenda.  Still isn't really, but I might not have a choice.  On
Xmas Eve my brakes failed while I was backing down the driveway of a friend's house.  Thank goodness for manual transmission:  I jumped on the clutch and put the car into first gear, at the same time using the hand brake to slow down.  Came to a stop at the foot of the driveway just as a car drove past...

When I tried to re start the car it kept stalling.  Just as well I was only around the corner from home, and I just made it into the garage before it stalled again.   Luckily the ABS garage was open and they said to bring my car around, which I did, driving very carefully with Ken behind me in the ute.   They fixed the brakes which needed replacing at a cost of $380.  Fine, but when I drove off I only got about three blocks away when the car stalled again.  I phoned ABS on my mobile (what did we do before mobile phones?) and they said bring the car back.  I did, and they spent half an hour on it at no cost (now that's what I call the Christmas spirit) but with not much improvement.

I had to wait until this week when the mechanic at our usual garage started work, and he did some more work, replacing a gadget at a cost of nearly $700.  I drove off, but it was no better, so back it went.  They've had the car for three days, taken it to other places, and had experts in, and finally today some computer bloke came in and did some tests and announced the cause of the problem is the car's internal computer.  It will have to be replaced at a possible starting cost of over $1000, and that's before labour costs.  Ken wants me to trade it in right away on a newer model.  In the present condition I'd be lucky to get $1000 trade in value, and the cost of a good second hand car (I don't want a brand new car) would be about $10,000 or more.   My opinion is that I should get the computer replaced and keep my car, as it has only done 106,000 kl, and is still very reliable, and seeing I've just spent $1000 to keep it going, I'm reluctant to let it go so soon!

I'd be interested to read any opinions from readers....



Thursday, January 01, 2015

Some photos from the last few days of 2014.

I finally got some photos of our chook house name sign with my camera, so am able to post them here now (had some on the Samsung tablet but it was too much messing around to transfer them here).


Ralph (the rooster) looks like he is offended at my description of his girls!!

We went to Office Works after Christmas, to get the chook sign laminated.  While we were there, we had a look around, as one does at Office Works.  I persuaded Ken to buy himself a new chair for sitting at his desk, as he was using an old kitchen chair which must have been uncomfortable after a few minutes but he never complained.  But this?   I feel like I'm sharing the room with a killer whale - LOL!

Happy New Year!


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