The What pisses me off Section…just because.

Number 1

When Flu takes away my mojo.
I love to write and get really pissed off when I lose my train of thought. Some days the words just flow, it is easy peasy, I hardly have to think at all and before too long there is a 600 word piece waiting to be submitted to SAS.
But, this past week, I cannot for the life of me put any thoughts to paper. Even writing this seems like a tremendous task.
Maybe it is because I have had a killer flu for a month. I have not had flu for 10 years and this one sure makes up for those years that have been flu free.
I am really annoyed. I am so tired and feel completely useless at times. Cough cough cough, all day and night. Aches and pains all over. I feel like I have been tramped on by a thousand stampeding buffalo.To make matters even worse, I developed a severe case of conjunctivitis as well. OH heaven help me, swollen , mucky eyes. Itchy sore red eyes. A friend asked why I was wearing sunnies inside. I took them off and showed her my eyes, Ye Gods she exclaimed, you look like something out of a horror movie.
Thanks for nothing friend!
Where are my thoughts? They seem to have been cemented into my poor aching head, never to be released again. Oh dear, what a terrible thought. The writing I do is what keeps me amused , it allows me to vent my frustrations, live my dreams , it is better and cheaper than going to a shrink. People give opinions on my articles, it makes me feel good, sometimes makes me feel bad, It helps me make decisions. I feel like I am able to conquer the world. Except for this flu..It has robbed me of my mind.
Please go away flu and leave me alone. Let me get back to being me. Give me back my mojo. Please, please, please.

number 2

Doctors who think elderly patients are either deaf dumb, stupid or all three.
I have on many occasions accompanied elderly people to visit the Doctor.
Almost every time , the Doctor has addressed me, and not the actual patient.
Just because someone is old, does not mean that they cannot understand what a person is saying.
Take for example Mrs A. I accompany her to the Doctor once every six months. Mrs A is 89 years old and more in touch with current affairs than I ever will be. She is a wonderful old lady , one that I can have a discussion with on any topic. She is smart, she is not deaf, she can speak very clearly, her only problem is that she is old and needs blood pressure medication.
Every single visit is the same. The Doctor looks straight at me and asks “ how are you today, what can I do for you”. I look straight back and tell him I am fine , it is not me who has come to see him , it is Mrs A.
Still looking directly at me, ignoring poor Mrs A, he asks me what he can do for her.
I give him another steely look and tell him to ask Mrs A as she is the patient.
He seems reluctant to look at Mrs A and ask her, maybe he has a phobia about old women, maybe he just does not see her, although he should, as she is larger than I ,and not easy to miss.
The Doctor finally looks at Mrs A and asks her what he can do for her. She replies that she would like a new prescription please.
Doctor , again looking at me, “what medication are you on? And how is it , are you having any side effects?
Oh, I am not on any medication Doctor. I am not the patient, Mrs A is.
By this time I am really annoyed at this , needless to say , so is Mrs A.
I have a thought, maybe if I am not I the room he may address the right person. I excuse myself and leave the room.
When I return I see that there still has not been a prescription written out.
Well Doctor,” are you going to write out a prescription for Mrs A or not.”
Oh he replies “ I was just waiting for you to return”.
Spare me please! Am I the only one who can see Mrs A? The poor woman, how degrading it is to be treated like a nobody.
I thought that Doctors were supposed to be learned people. Surely it is not too difficult to treat an old person in a normal manner.
Finally it is done, we leave the clinic , we have a bit of a chuckle and decide that next time I will not go in at all, I will just drop Mrs A at the door and wait outside for her.
I wonder how long it will take ..

Number 3

People who don’t use a spoon to get Jam out of the jar.
I get so pissed off when visitors come for a meal and show that they have no manners.
Take getting jam out of the jar for instance.
So many people just dip their knife into the jar, even though I always put a spoon next to it.
Once a persons’ knife has been dipped into the jam jar it usually leaves globs of butter in the jar.
I find that quite disgusting.
Sometimes the person even licks their knife before putting it in the jar, how gross is that?
Over the years I have lost count of the numbers of jars of jam I have had to throw out.
There is nothing worse than a jar of jam with huge chunks of butter mixed into it…
The thought of the butter and maybe even saliva from the licked knife is almost too much to bear.
One look is enough to make me physically ill.
When I was a kid, my dad would insist on jam being put into a cute little dish on the table, and a jam spoon placed beside it.
I thought he was a bit strange, but now I have seen what happens if this is not done.
So Dad, you were not as strange as I thought..
In fact, from now on I am going to do that same..

Number 4

Cotton.
Cotton all over the side of our beautiful roads.
It looks disgusting, it looks like someone has blown their nose on a thousand tissues and dumped them. It looks like small pieces of used toilet paper flying everywhere.
It makes me mad.
Whilst travelling about our beautiful country it soon becomes clear in which areas cotton is grown.
The roadsides suddenly become littered with white stuff. Everywhere there is white fluffy stuff.
The average person would be fined thousands of dollars for littering like this. The cotton carriers seem to get away with it.
There are signs all over the outback, asking trucks to dump their dust before entering a town. Asking the carriers to spray the animals in the tick bay before proceeding.
Why can’t signs be put, where appropriate, for the Cotton carriers, asking them to cover their load.
Surely it would not be too difficult to cover the load so the pesky white fluff would not blow all over the road.
There must be a way of preventing it.
There is a way of preventing it.
Just cover your load!
I am sure some enterprising soul would make an absolute fortune if that person was dedicated enough to collect all this waste. Heck, I reckon one could make enough undies for a thousand people out of it.
Enough sheets for a family of 300. There is no end to the uses of this litter.
Cotton is expensive, the average Aussie cannot afford to buy pure cotton garments. Yet, here it is, absolute waste, all over the side of the road. It goes on for hundreds of kilometres, sometime really thick and other times not so much, but all the while it is there.
Maybe we should start a petition to stop all this litter.
Now that sounds like a good idea.

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SAVING POTSY’S COW

Mr Potts was our neighbour, I called him Potsy but not to his face of course. He had bought a farm next to ours, and didn’t have much clue about anything to do with farming. Potsy was from England, he had been a mechanic over there. This is probably why he was somewhat ignorant about the way a farm works, and of course on how to treat livestock.
He had a nice jersey cow, but kept it tethered on a short lead, even though he had over 1000 acres in which it could roam.
I was about 12 years old at the time and hated to see this poor thing tied up all day, most days in the blazing Mallee sun, without a drink of water.
I would wait until I saw him go down the paddock and ride over to untie the poor beast.
Day after day I did this.
But Potsy must have been smarter than I thought .. He set a trap. He went off down the paddock one morning , as usual, so when I thought it safe, I raced over, (on my horse) and untied the beast.. Uh Oh… Potsy came roaring back, shouting and frothing at the mouth… I kicked the horse into action and tore off home… Potsy in hot pursuit. I went around the back of the shed to hide, ooops , Dad was there. Dad told me to go inside the house. After a fair bit of loud talking, and a few choice words Potsy left .I was shaking when it was time to face my father…I’m in big trouble I thought. Dad grinned at me, and trying not to laugh told me it wasn’t a good idea to meddle in other peoples’ business ,even though he did agree it was wrong to tie up a beast and leave it without water , shade or food. It was downright cruel to do so.. He must have given Potsy the message as well because from that day on the cow had the freedom to roam about and never again was it made to suffer…

GREASE IS THE WORD

My luck changed a few weeks ago, I, who had never won anything, not even a booby prize. I who had never scored any freebies, not even anything completely useless.
Thank you Emma, for giving me the chance to see Grease, the Musical.
I must have gone to the Post office three times a day, for a week at least, hoping the prized tickets would arrive. I just wanted to hold them in my hand, to be sure it was not a dream. At last, they arrived.
My excitement could be likened to that of a kid in a lolly shop being told he/she could have whatever they wanted.
The days were ticked off on the calender, the time seemed to drag, I had told my daughter of my good luck and naturally she would come with me to the show. Grease was her very favourite movie. I think she was just as excited as I was.
The next week I went out and bought 50’s style wigs and clothing to wear to the show.
The day arrived. Woo Hoo, up early to catch the train to Melbourne. A five hour trip, it seemed to take forever.
My daughter met me at the Station. We couldn’t stop talking about the show. I am sure people must have thought we were high on drugs.
There was still a few hours until we could go to the Regent theatre, so we decided to get changed into our outfits and go down to Chinatown and have our very favourite dumplings for dinner.. Oh how I love chinese dumplings, can’t get such things up in the sticks where I live. The staff in the restaurant were giving us strange looks, but it worried us not. We ate till our stomachs were bursting and then walked around to Collins Street to the Theatre.
There were people everywhere. As soon as we walked up the steps the press converged on us, taking photos with some of the cast. I guess they loved the old granny done up like a pink lady and the young chic looking very 50’s style.
Heck, we almost felt famous. Time to go in and partake of the free wine on offer.
There was no one else dressed like we were, but many people had 50’s style clothing on. Everyone was hyped up ready for the show.
We entered the theatre and took our places in seats that were very close to the stage, excellent seating, and right in front of us sat Patty Newton, her daughter Lauren and Laurens two children. I was tempted to ask for a photo but thought better of it. I am sure it would have spoilt their night if everyone had converged on them wanting photos.
Suddenly Bert Newton appeared on stage. He was playing the role of Vince Fontaine (the Brain) DJ. He joked with the crowd, sort of geeing everyone up, getting us in the party mood, as if we weren’t already.
He is good, old Bert, he certainly knows how to work an audience.
The show started, Val Lehman as Miss Lynch was great.
Danny was played by Rob Mills and Sandy by Gretel Scarlett.
The singing and dancing was fantastic. The T Birds, none of the actors were familiar to me, were darn good as were the Pink Ladies. Lucy Maunder who played Rizzo was great. Stephen Mahy as Keninckie, gosh, there are some talented people here in Australia.
Todd McKenney, love him or loathe him, what can I say Mr Teen Angel. You rocked. I have never been a Todd fan but have to give him credit, he can sing and dance wonderfully well.
In fact I think he was probably the most outstanding performer on the night, even though he only had a small role.
At the end of the show there was a much deserved , standing ovation.
Well done cast of grease the Musical. You certainly deserved it.
Thank you once again Emma, for giving me the chance to see this wonderful production.
I felt that all my Christmasses had come at once.

BRING ON JULY

July is the month I head north. It is the month I leave the southern coldness behind.
I should make every month July.
The mornings of late have been cold, damp and miserable. I do not like the cold.
I am a warm weather person.
The cold seems to turn me into some kind of hibernating monster. I just cannot function with any normality.
It is as though everything freezes over, especially the brain.
Oh how I would love to move to a warmer place. I keep asking myself why I do not do this.
There is never a clear answer.
Last week I did make some progress though. I joined a house sitting site and put my name down as a potential house sitter , for those wanting their home and pets cared, for whilst they went on holidays.
I am good at caring for pets and other peoples homes. I take pride in keeping a place nice and tidy.
I take pride in making the pets feel loved, so they will not fret for their owners.
I think I would make a great house sitter. I have experience, years of it. I have house sat for family on many occasions. They never had any complaints.
This might be the first step to a permanent move up North.
It could be the push I need to do a runner from this unbearable cold.
Hopefully it will make me see that it is not too hard to relocate.
I have lived in dozens of places during my adult life, but have been bogged down here in cold old Victoria for over 25 years.
It must be time for change.
Maybe the arthritis would settle down if it were a bit warmer. I would probably be more active as well because I wouldn’t need to put on so much clothing that I could hardly move.
There are so many positives about moving. Not many negatives that I can see. In fact I cannot see any negatives.
Perhaps it is the thought of selling up and moving that is the problem. I am not sure.
A couple of months housesitting might give me the get up and go, to come back down here and sell everything.
Wipe the slate clean, so to speak and start completely afresh.
It sounds good in my mind, just load one suitcase into my car and go.
I think I can , I think I can.
I know I can.

The Mallee Dust Storm

Living in the Mallee during summertime is not the easiest thing to do.
There are snakes, big brown snakes. They come out in the cool of the evening and bite the unwary. They also bite the dogs .I have lost several dogs to snake bite.
No, it is not easy. But, the worst thing for me is the wind and the dust.
Wind alone is bearable. Even though it is usually hot and dry, it is bearable.
Coupled with dust however, is another matter.
When I was a young kid I thought my mother was crazy . She would shout loudly and order everyone inside to shut all the windows and cover the beds and furniture with plastic covers, whenever the wind sprung up. Mum would become very grumpy and unreasonable.
I just did not understand what all the fuss was about.
I mean to say, I loved the dust storms . One could hardly see in front of one’s eyes, but it was fun. All this thick red choking stuff floating about. It stuck to everything and made wonderful patterns on windows and walls.
Or so I thought back then.
Fast forward almost 60 years and I have changed my thoughts on dust storms.
They are hideous things. They creep up with little warning and smother everything in a thick blanket of dirt. Red dirt that is very hard to wash off or sweep up.
Beds have to be changed, curtains washed, floors swept and washed and then swept and washed again.
Outside the verandah resembles the neighbours fallowed paddock. I swear I could plant spuds in the dirt on the verandah, and they would grow.
The dogs go from white to red and their eyes are full of mud. Red mud.
The car is absolutely unrecognisable. Just like a mound of red dirt.
My feet leave craters in the dirt. It is not unlike walking on the beach, only the sand is red.
Everything is red.
Fences are only half as tall is they were after a dust storm blows past. The red dirt piles up in front of them and needs to be graded away.
These darn things make a lot of extra work for a person.
All the plants are covered in red stuff, they can hardly breath. Out comes the hose, to clean them up. Thank goodness we still have water.
A dust storm will usually strike just after one has done a big clean up in the house.
They know, these storms are smart.
They will not blow up if the house is unswept. They wait, picking the ideal time.
They like it even better if there are nice wet clothes on the line.
They know if a person goes to town and leaves the windows a little bit open.
They know if one is expecting visitors and the barbeque is all set up.
They know everything.
I cannot see any good reason for a dust storm, I mean, there is no real purpose to it. If I want extra dirt in my yard and house surely I can just take the wheelbarrow down the paddock and get some. At least then I could put it where it is needed.
I wish with all my heart that Dust Storms would cease to exist.
It would make my life a lot easier.

Horror trip to the top end

Trip to the Top End
Good trip, bad trip, you decide.
“Look at this”, I excitedly told my mate John.
Return flights to Darwin, just $4 each. Too good to be true I thought to myself.
I logged onto the website and discovered it was indeed true. The Airline was having a fourth birthday promotion, hence the $4 tickets.
I just needed to log on at 10pm and secure our tickets. I sat poised to pounce as soon as the clock hit 10 pm. Done. Oh what joy.
We packed a small carry on bag each , this was the only luggage allowed. I wasn’t worried though as at that price I could buy some more clothes if need be.
After a five hour train trip, then a 30 minute airport shuttle ride, we reached Melbourne Airport.
The flight was a night time flight so we spent a fair amount of time milling about the Airport waiting for our flight to board.
Wait we did. Still more waiting, and more, then two hours after advertised departure we finally boarded. Our enthusiasm had somewhat depleted by now, but hey, we were onboard..
Uh oh. Trouble brewing. One engine would not fire up. The Captain announced a short delay in take off while the Plane was push started. Whrrr Whrrr Whrrr, the engine finally sprung to life. At this stage I was hoping it didn’t give up half way into the trip.
Soon we were airborne and everything seemed to be running smoothly. Apart from the fact that the flight was absolutely fully booked, not even room for a pea to fit in, it was a good flight.
As we approached Darwin I listened, ( as I always do) to hear the landing gear go down. All I heard was a few clunks but no gear down. The plane had already started its decent and as I looked out of the window, I noticed fire engines and ambulances speeding across the tarmac. Not a good sign . Suddenly the plane ascended again and the captain announced that we had to retry the landing. I turned to John and told him the landing gear hadn’t engaged. He went a ghostly kind of white and gripped my hand tightly. He never did like flying.
All of a sudden I heard the gear go down, we were going to be ok. On landing we emerged into the hot humid air of Darwin. It was 2am and we were tired. Luckily I had booked into a hotel and soon we were sleeping peacefully.
The morning came too soon and it was time to go and pick up our Hi Ace van. We had three weeks up here and decided to do some travelling about the Top End and also over to Lake Argyle.
All went well for a few days, John was still very pale and shaken but I thought he would come good before we had to get on another plane and return south.
It turns out the trip was doomed as a few days later John tripped and hurt his back. He had to buy walking sticks so as he could walk about. The pain was bad, the bed in the Hi Ace was hard and sleeping was a problem for him, as well as for me. We soldiered on though and saw many beautiful places , met lots of nice people and generally had a good time despite the odds.
The last week we returned to Darwin to explore the city. John was still in pain and still pale every time he thought about the plane.
It was then that the sand flies attacked me. There must have been millions of them. I was itchy, I was sore, I was oozing stuff out of the bites. What else could go wrong? I went to a Doctor and he gave me copious amounts of ointment and pills to combat the reaction to the sand fly bites.
None of it worked. I was now looking like a leper with huge puss filled sores all over me. The itch was unbearable. It was only 2 days left until we left again. John was very reluctant to get back on a plane. In fact he was making himself ill just thinking about it.
I had an idea. We could go home on the Ghan. It was amazing how quickly he cheered up when I suggested that option. I had always wanted to go on that trip. We bought ticket for the next days train.
John was still on walking sticks and I was still looking like a leper and itching like crazy but we were on the train. It was just as I thought, a beautiful journey. We went through the very centre of our beautiful country. At night the stars were bright and the sky crystal clear.
The only thing bad was my sand fly bites. Every time I walked I sounded like a slop bucket as my shoes would fill with the liquid oozing out of my sores. They still itched, Johns’ back was still sore but not too bad and the train flew along without a care I the world. It was a great trip, it really was despite our ailments.
Two years later we decided to give the Top End another go, but this time in the Caravan.
It was certainly a trip to remember, and for all the right reasons.

The Joy of twins

The Joy of having Twins.
I had always wanted to have twins. All my life I wanted twins. I had 2 sets of twin cousins, an Uncle and Aunt who were twins, and a good friend who had a twin sister and brother. I don’t know why, but I had this longing for a set of my own cute twin bubbas.
Life went on and I eventually grew up and married. The thought of twins was always with me.
My first child was a single birth, a dear little boy. I was happy. A couple of years later his sister arrived. I was even more happy, one of each. Life was good, my children were healthy and thriving. My marriage however, wasn’t. After 10 years we parted company.
Well, I thought, there goes my chance of having twins.
A few years later I met and a nice man and remarried. We decided to have a child, I was excited, maybe it would be those elusive twins. But no, it was another dear little boy. He was so cute, I was very happy to have him.
15 months on, we decided it would be nice to have another child. I was once again delighted when I became pregnant. This time it was different though. I was horribly ill. Not one of my previous pregnancies had made me ill. Never had I been so sick. It was terrible, I could not eat or drink without being sick.
I had my first visit to the GP and he assured me the sickness would pass and that I was healthy. The time came for my first scan. I was still feeling sick. The scan was done, and then the woman doing the scan said she would have to get the Dr to come in. I wondered what was the matter. Was something wrong?
Sit down the Dr said. I have some news for you. My heart was racing as I anticipated bad news. Do twins run in your family he asked? Well yes they do I replied.
Congratulations, you are expecting twins.
I was over the moon. The sickness was worth it, I was going to get my longed for twins after all.
I had regular scans over the next few months and the twins were doing well. I was still sick but was told that was normal with twins because of the extra load on my body. The babies started to move around, it felt like a football match happening inside of me. Suddenly one side wasn’t moving much. I had a sense that all was not well. Making an appointment I went and saw my GP. Something is wrong I told him. I need to get another scan done. He told me all was ok but I insisted, I knew something was not right. Reluctantly he arranged for another scan.
A specialist came in to see me after I had the scan. There is trouble he said. You have what is known as TTTS.
Twin to Twin Transfer Syndrome. What was this thing?
Well it occurs in identical twins and one twin starts transferring blood from the other twin.
We need to get these babies out if there is to be any hope of survival he said.
I was devasated. The twins were not due for another 8 weeks. Would they be ok, would they survive.
I was admitted to Hospital and scheduled for surgery the next morning. I was scared for my babies. In the bed next to me was a young girl who had already lost 3 babies and was also waiting to be delivered the next morning.
We talked and talked, both of us worried but also comforted by each other.
The Hospital overlooked a race track, there was a nice view of green track an, trees and flowers. There were no buildings anywhere. Late afternoon we stood looking out at the peaceful scene and reflecting. Both of us lost in our own thoughts of despair.
As darkness fell, I saw it. A huge cross in the sky. It was huge, brightly lit up with stars and glowing lights.
I looked across at my room mate. Can you see that I asked her? She nodded.
Our babies are going to be fine I told her. We both went to bed and slept.
In the morning as I was being wheeled off to surgery, I asked the Nurse what the Cross was. She looked at me in a strange way, and said “what cross?” I asked to be wheeled to the window, and looked out. There was nothing there, just green grass , trees and flowers.
A few hours later my adorable twin sons were delivered. Not in the best of health , but they were alive. The recipient twin had to have blood removed as he had too much, the donor had to have a transfusion and be topped up with blood, but all in all they were going to be ok.
The boys were 4 and 5 lbs so quite large despite being two months prem. Doctors told me they would always be on the small side and would probably struggle with learning.
How wrong they were. These boys are now 29 years old. They are both 6 foot tall and were A grade students. One is a High School math teacher and the other an IT Guru. If only those Drs were still around, I would take the little twins back to visit.S

snippets of my life as it is and how it was