Thursday, November 27, 2008

a blast from the past

Oh my wordy lordy, yes indeedy do, I is gettin' soooo old!!! I went to my high school reunion last weekend. 37 years since I did my HSC and 21 years since the last reunion. Crikey! It was great to see everyone and thank goodness someone had the good sense to supply us with name tags 'cause I would not have recognised several of the people.

Aahhh, memories came flooding back of the last day of school which was pretty tame by today's standards. Some of us girls swapped uniforms with some of the boys. What a hoot! I have photos of Ken Black, Darrell Houston and David Hamilton in short blue shift dresses with lacy witches breeches peeking out from the hem. And who could forget Susan Kinley's party where we got to play spin the bottle and I was lucky enough to score a kiss from a few of the boys that I was secretly keen on. I remember two in particular who were particularly gifted in the kissing department (you know who you are MU & DN). I remember the chess club, playing 500 on the old red rattler train to and from school, handball at recess and lunch time and having a fight in art class with Elizabeth Filewood. She won, I got a black eye and the nick name "slugger". How about the old high school song written by the music teacher Mr Klossing "Blaxland, Wentworth, Lawson, conquered mountain ridges, Lennox built the bridges, follow them ..... etc. " I have an enormous capacity for trivia - he he he.

It was a great reunion, well catered but the after dinner music was a tad too loud which made talking very difficult. I feel the DJ failed to realise the room was full of middle aged people. Full marks to Henry Lindemann for organising it and hopefully we can have another one in the near future.

My God how fast the years have gone. How gravity has taken hold of the old body and the hair has turned to grey or disappeared altogether in some of the guy's cases. I had a ball and have been feeling great ever since. Now I must remember to take care of myself so I can make it to the next reunion.
Over and out -

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Showing Off

Here are some of my scrapbook pages. I started this hobby in 2000 and have become addicted I fear. I have a large stash of products and a whole room in the house to keep them in. I figured that is OK because Matt has his shed, right? Anyway, this is something I derive a great deal of pleasure from and it is good therapy for whatever ails you. That's it. Say no more.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to freeze a whole sheep

How lucky are we? We have been given a whole sheep, already butchered and dressed by Matt's brother in law Bruce from Mudgee. Matt's parents arrived Friday with it all in bags and boxes. They are visiting us for 3 days and seeing the local sights.

My God I didn't realise how big a whole sheep was until you see it spread out on the bench top. Matt and I spent a couple of hours trimming off excess fat (2 shopping bags full), then bagging all 4 roasts (boned, stuffed and rolled), chops, mince and crummed cutlets up into portions for 2 and then we tackled the dog's bits. We got all the bones and offcuts too for our precious poochies. We bagged these into portions for 2 as well but there was no room in the freezer for them so Matt has taken them over to the club and put them in the big freezer he has in his work shed. I managed to cram our stuff into both of our fridge/freezers. You should have seen the faces of these 2 dogs of ours whilst we were bagging it all up. Priceless!

This is soooo good as the price of lamb these days is quite outrageous. I remember when I was a kid, Mum cooked lamb chops all the time because they were so cheap. We only had chicken on a Sunday as a treat. *sigh* How times change. It is great to have a sheep farmer in the family. I think we are going to be eating lamb for quite some time. Thanks heaps Bruce.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where has the year gone???

Ican't understand it. Where has the year gone? Not long ago it was Christmas and blow me down if it ain't almost Christmas again! What have I done in the intervening months? Time seems to pass so quickly now and it is almost my birthday yet again. Another year older - sheesh!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I had a visitor

I was thrilled to have a visit from Kerry McKenzie, her husband Alan and son Banjamin last week. I used to work for Kerry between 1996 and 2001. She had a small legal practice in Campbelltown. I hadn't seen her for several years and it was wonderful to catch up again. I left work in 2001 when Matt and I decided to sell up and go on an around Australia holiday in a motorhome. Kerry has since closed the practice and is working elsewhere.
Here we both are, looking fabulous I might add. I have been lucky with several jobs I have had in that I got on so well with my employers we became friends. Her son Benjamin had a great time playing with Matt's train layout in the shed. It kept him amused for hours giving Kerry and me a chance to talk, talk, talk. We had Chinese takeaway for dinner as it was impossible to get the boys away from the trains for any length of time to go out to eat.
Now that I am "retired" I have all the time in the world so I will have to find something to do to keep the brain active.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Facebook and school friends

How good is Facebook? I thought it was only for *ahem* young people but when a friend suggested I join up, I thought why not, you never know what you will find and having a lot of free time on my hands, I can spend hours on the computer.

I found some old school friends I had not seen since 1971 and was thrilled to connect with one fellow who is a doctor on the south coast of NSW. I have a school photo from 1961 with the both of us in it. Between us sending emails back and forth we managed to fill each other in on what we knew about some of our former class mates. I was sad to learn of the death of a couple of the boys. There was one I already knew about, my high school boyfriend Bob. He passed away in 1993 from cancer. Some had lost spouses to this foul disease, others divorced and still others marrying someone from our class and living happily every after. I wonder if any of my former class mates are in jail? No way to find out I guess but I hope not.

I will be catching up with some of them in November when I attend our high school reunion. 37 years is a bloody long time and I am sure I won't recognise some of them, especially the girls but I am excited and looking forward to it. Now, all I have to do between now and then is lose 10 kilos, buy a killer outfit and have my hair and nails done (like the 10kg is really going to happen bwahahaha) still, I will try for 2 or 3.

Happy days one and all


Time Flies

Yesterday marked one whole year since my Mother died. I think about her every day and know that she is so much better off as she had a terrible existence for the last 2 years of her life. Still sharp as a tack mentally until the end but the body had deteriorated to such a state that she was housebound, dependent on oxygen and being cared for 24/7 by a husband who adored her. I also believe she is still around somewhere, somehow and is happy and free from pain. I love you Mum.

On 6 October Dad told me that it was 59 years since he and Mum had their first date. He remembers where they went and what they did. How many men would remember that? He loved Mum so much and although he misses her a lot, he has started to make a life for himself without her. I love you too Dad.

Be kind to your family, tell them you love and care for them before it is too late.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reminiscing about my working life

I was just having a think about the jobs I have had since I turned 15 and was reflecting upon the fact that I have appeared to have officially retired due to ill health as they so delicately put it to me. Even though I am only within cooee of 55, I have retired. Dang! I'll miss the money mostly.

That got me thinking - when I was in high school I wanted to be an architect. I loved tech drawing (I came top of my class in 2nd form) and art and being an architect sounded right up my alley. What I forgot to consider was that maths was an important part of architecture and for my HSC I barely scraped into a pass level in maths. I got a top mark for Industrial Arts though. So I had no idea what to do until a neighbour suggested I become a nurse. So I filled in the forms, passed the medical (no maths required there), got accepted, got measured for my uniforms, packed up my bags and headed off to live in the nurses home at Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay at the ripe old age of 18. Soooo exciting.

Anyway I have made a brief list of my jobs/professions/careers since I was legally old enough to get work, and here they are:

I worked as a shop assistant during school holidays and on Saturday mornings for pocket money from to time after I turned 15. I sold haberdashery and clothing. I got $2 for a Saturday morning which went a bloody long way back then.

After I finished my HSC I worked for 2 weeks in a fish, chip & hamburger shop. Making chips by hand mostly, no bags of pre cut chips then. I had to load the spuds into a machine that bashed the skins off, empty them into a bin full of water, cut out the eyes and other nasties then put each one through a hand operated chipper. All the while the aroma of hamburgers, chips and chico rolls cooking out front would waft over me. Boy, it was hard, wet and dirty work and I could not bear to even look at a hamburger or chips for months after I finished.

For the 6 months prior to me starting my nursing training, I worked as a packer in a plastic factory where my Mum worked. Ever wondered now they get those 2 pieces of paper in the cosmetic bags to plump them out and the cardboard rings in the fancy shower caps? Well, that was my job. I would do hundereds a day, my brain was going numb. I couldn't stand it in the end and used to take a day off as often as I dared though that was hard to do as Mum drove me to work every day. *sigh* If boring jobs were an olympic sport, mine would have won the gold!

Then I became a Student Nurse for 3 years when nursing was like an apprenticeship, a real hands-on job. Six weeks in school learning the basics of bed making, giving needles and patient care, then thrown onto the wards looking after real patients and emptying bed pans. It was 1972 to 1975 mini skirts were still hot, I discovered alcohol and hangovers and having to go to work regardless of how horrendously dreadful you felt waking up after 1 hours sleep, and I loved the whole experience. I loved living in the nurses home, staying up as late as I wanted and going out with the other girls. Oh yes, the job was good for the most part but there are a few parts I would rather forget altogether, some wards and sisters - LOL. Dinner at the canteen (3 courses) when I started training was $0.40. I kid you not!

I did 18 months as a registered nursing sister in a few nursing homes and 3 months at the Hospice for the dying at St Vincents (enough said) in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Horrible job, I hated it so much that I almost went nuts. So I changed careers.

I became a Legal Secretary from 1979 onwards starting off as a self taught typist with no formal secretarial training. More ass than class I suppose but I talked my way into a job in a legal office and they gave me a chance. I liked the work and it kept the brain active. My one mistake during the whole 29 years was to work for a Barrister, who shall remain nameless for fear of a law suit, as he was very hard work, major stress value. I spent most of my time working for small legal firms and doing a large variety of work. I have only just recently retired owing to my fragile and delicate health *coff* :-P

So there it is. Did I really do all that? I sound like my grandad talking about the olden days - oh God save me .....

Till next time dear readers............. ciao


Sunday, September 21, 2008


Well it is the start of another week - ho hum - almost the end of September and in 2 weeks time it will have been a year since Mum died. I miss her every day and at last I have started a memorial scrapbook album for her which I will give to Dad when I visit him next (end November). I have photos of Mum from age 12 right up until the very last day. Dad, being a keen amateur photographer all his life, took a couple of photos of Mum a few hours before she passed on.
I had found it difficult to get started on this album but for some unknown reason inspiration hit me on Saturday and I ended up doing about 10 pages including a double layout of her and Dad's wedding. The one above is one I had completed a few months ago and not part of the memorial album but it shows 2 young people in love.
Time flies by so fast and it goes even faster the older you get. Just imagine how fast it is going for those folks over 80. Well, off to the scrap room to work on the album.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Health Insurance

Isn't it madness that when you take out private health insurance, you not only have to pay the sky high premium but you get slugged with the doctor's gap payment just as soon as you use it. What the hell are we insured for if it doesn't cover everything? Imagine if you crashed your car and the insurer told you that they would repair the left hand side of the car but you had to pay for the right yourself. No one would put up with that!

In 2003 whilst we were both "between jobs", my darling hubby required plastic surgery and a skin graft to his handsome face for removal of a large skin cancer near his nose that had flourished under a huge beard and moustache for 12 months and was only discovered once he shaved. As we still had a couple of months paid up on our private health insurance, we smugly decided to have it done "privately". In honour of what we went went through I wrote the following poem from his point of view. It just wrote itself really.... here 'tis.....

By Linda Prowse
Mudgee 2003

I went to the Doc the other day and this is what he had to say
“That spot on your face will have to go or the big C will get you, don’t you know
Day surgery will do the trick. Oh yes, and I’ll have to skin graft that bit.
A cut down there and a snip over here then a bloody great big cut behind your ear
A patch of skin and a stitch or two then in 12 months time, you’ll be good as new.”

“I’m unemployed” I said as I thought of the cost “But I’ve got Private Health Insurance so all’s not lost.
It’s 100%, no excess, no gap”. He smiled and said “my fees exceed that.
My insurance costs are enormously high and I have to make a living, that’s why.”
I have no choice, I have to pay. The credit card will save the day.

I rang my Health Care Fund to see if the Fund would cover me.
“Yes, hospital bed and theatre fee are covered 100%, entirely,
In any private hospital, but - the Doctor’s bills, well, they are not.
We only pay the Medicare Gap and doctors charge much more than that.
Any balance owing is yours to pay, thank you for calling, now have a nice day.”

As the public waiting list is so long who knows when I would eventually get done?
How much bigger would the cancer grow? All these things I need to know.
As I ponder the idea of becoming poor the wife spoke up and said “Wait, there’s more.”

“Our ancient dog is looking ill. He needs some more arthritis pills.”
As there is no Medicare for our pets I had no choice but to pay the Vet.
She said “My back ache’s getting worse. Constant pain is such a curse.
I need some scans the doctor said.” T’was then I collapsed upon the bed
My mind was in a real turmoil. How am I going to pay for it all?
My only income is the dole, I feel like I have fallen into a very deep hole.

Now country medical services ain’t great. Neither’s the Medicare rebate, Mate!
We travel hundreds of Ks each time we see specialists who treat the wife and me.
They charge hundreds of bucks and don’t bulk bill at all ‘cause the Medicare scheduled fee is so small.
It looks like on credit we will have to rely but if I looked at what’s owing, I’d probably die.

Unemployment is high and work prospects are low yet our population continues to grow.
More funding for health and more hospital beds. Can you pollies get that through your thick heads?
Fix the Health System now; it’s a disgrace to the nation.
I’m not the only poor bastard in this situation!


PS - the dog died, hubby lost a chunk of his moustache, we had to move 3 hours away to get work and my back is still crook....... that's life!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Things that make you go........hmmmm

You know what I hate? I hate it when you would like nothing more than to have a nice hot shower, to wash the grime of the day away and there is no hot water. One of the simple pleasures in life really. You would think that in the 21st century we could take this for granted, but no. Things are meant to break down otherwise the plumbers and electricians of this world (and many other professions I suspect) would be very quickly out of work.

Yesterday the hot water system spat the dummy. Not a big, gushing, exploding dummy spit, just a gradual cooling of the water that came out of the hot tap. We have a visitor for 3 weeks, Matt's niece Bianca who is a student teacher doing some prac teaching locally and she had first shower (hot) followed closely by me (warm) then in the afternoon when he returned from work grubby and sweaty, Matt got a cold one. Brrrr. Ok, so we assumed it was the element that carked it and early this morning after running the hot tap for a while and getting no result, Matt removed said element and hot footed it to the local Mitre 10 and got a new one which he fitted without incident. I have a very handy hubby who can mend almost everything but we are at the mercy of Country Energy's off peak hot water program and we now have to wait anxiously overnight to see whether we have managed to solve the problem.

In the meantime, I had had a haircut yesterday arvo and you know what it is like to have little bits of hair itching the back of your neck plus it was a warm day and I was somewhat sweaty by days end. With the assistance of my darling hubby I stood in the shower stall whilst he poured a couple of buckets of warm water, courtesy of the kettle mixed with cold water, over me. Our bathroom was renovated a few years before we bought the house and the bath was dispensed with. Standing in the shower stall with Matt assisting me reminded me of the year we spent travelling around Oz in a motor home when we pulled up in a remote spot, heated some water and poured it into a "bush shower" and with a bit of assistance from each other, had a quick wash down. Talk about 19th century technology.

Anyway, I am hoping like hell that the element was the problem and that come tomorrow morning, I can turn the hot tap on and be rewarded by some steaming hot H2O being delivered. *sigh* Bianca has decided to visit her sister Cassandra who is presently working in Forbes for the night and she said she would shower over there. Wise move I say.

At least now I feel refreshed and sparkling clean. I was planning to colour my hair this morning as I have more greys than a 90 year old but was not prepared to do it the primitive way. Such is life. Tonight I am praying to the God of hot water to deliver us from this inconvenience and I promise to be a good girl for the rest of the year.

da dum de dum..... hot water here I come.........

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back - finally

It has been months since I posted anything. What a year it has been so far. Talk about "annus horribilis" (sp?). It is hard to think positively when there have been so many rotten things happen. Medically speaking, my body is falling apart. At present I have a fractured T7 vertebra for which I have no real explanation except that I sneezed one evening at the end of July and the pain was blinding. A subsequent CT scan showed the fracture. A previous scan for osteoporosis was normal - go figure. I have been having physio weeky and he has been taping my back in a giant X for support but I have now developed a rash from the tape so I am being careful how I move.

Prior to that however, I had been dragged around the park by my 47kg rotti/kelpie when he decided to go and say hello to another dog without asking me first. Result was strained muscles in my back, ribs and stomach as I tried to persuade him to stay with me. Ouch! That was at the beginning of June and I haven't been able to wear a bra since then.

I had to have a few weeks off work as the strained muscles were the ones I use for work. Now with the fracture, which is at exactly the spot where the unwearable bra does up, I have had to give up work altogether. Sheesh! I am so missing that money right now.

And of course, my darling husband who has been walking the dogs, doing the housework and taking me shopping in addition to working full time is suffering from overload. Oh yes, I mentioned briefly in an earlier post that he has Parkinson's Disease, so his future is somewhat uncertain. I was planning on being the one to look after him when the disease got to a stage where he was not able to work but now, I am not too sure what will happen. Anyway, these things are sent to try us someone once said. He is being so wonderful that I don't know how I will ever repay him. Especially since the bedroom olympics have been postponed indefinitely.

Looking on the bright side (yes there is one if you look hard enough) I am looking at losing my job as an opportunity for something better to come into my life. One door closes and another slams shut in your face - lol. There is a small light at the end of the tunnel, I just hope it is not a train heading my way.

I now have plenty of time to do my scrapbooking provided I do it in shifts and don't strain the already strained muscles and fracture. I don't have to "save myself" for work any more.

I miss sleeping on my sides as I have to lie on my back all night so I have been somewhat sleep deprived for the last 3 months. Oh I forgot something else, I have an abnormal blood test for one of my immune system tests. The doc is investigating what we need to do about that and of course, in a previous post I mentioned I have a Morton's Neuroma in my left foot which makes walking any distance painful. I had that injected with cortisone in April but it is beginning to wear off.

Ok, that's my winge over and done with. Now it is out of my head and into my blog I can get on with my life. I know there are folks out there a lot worse off than I am so I will keep reminding myself of that fact.

Onward and upward.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sing Australia Choir

I have joined the Grenfell branch of the Sing Australia Choir. Sing Australia is for anyone who loves to sing whether they are good or not. We get together on a Sunday afternoon to practice and then do little "gigs" around and about. We sang for the folks in the local nursing home a couple of weeks ago at an afternoon tea. It is a marvellous idea as I believe everyone can sing, just some do it better than others. We sang 2 hymns at the Anzac Day celebrations at Grenfell on Friday. It was great. They had a big turn out too. Sing Australia is based in Canberra and there are branches of the choir in a lot of towns. If you love to sing and have been wondering where to start, have a look see whether there is a branch in your town or the town near by and go for it or you can google Sing Australia and log on. It is a lot of fun and makes you feel good.

Tra la la la ................ :-D


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter

It has been ages since I wrote anything here. You know how life gets in the way of things and here it is, Easter already. I am not terribly enthusiastic at the moment. I have been sick with a cold for over 4 weeks now and am so sick of being sick. I still have a cough but the worst thing is the thrush in the mouth from the antibiotics that I took 3 weeks ago. I can't get rid of it and I have tried the over the counter liquid and 2 doses of prescription lozenges. I finished the last of the lozenges 2 days ago and bugger me if I didn't wake up this morning with a sore throat and the rotten fungus back on my tongue. I am at my wits end as to what to do. Of course it is a public holiday today and there are no doctors working or chemists open. The joys of living in a country town.

Well enough winging for now. I'll write again when I have something interesting to say. Happy Easter everyone, no chocolate for me though. *grumble*

Monday, January 28, 2008

Flappy New Ears one and all

Well, here it is, another year has begun. 2008 already and January is almost over. Time sure scoots by as you get older. I don't have much to write about but lets see what I can do off the top of my head.

Today marks 16 weeks since Mum died and Dad is going through the grief process with a little help from a counsellor. He is lonely though and I wish I lived a little closer to Glenbrook so I could see him regularly. It is 3 hours each way from Cowra but at least one of my brothers lives at Penrith and he drops in often. I call him every few days to check up on him. You have to expect this to happen - they had been married for 55 years. Anyway, we have invited him to come and stay with us for a week or two and as soon as he can find a cat sitter, he said he will come and stay.

I have been going to the local pool for the physio's aqua exercise classes 2 days a week and I love it. I manage to do a few laps before the class starts and I feel fabulous afterwards. Nothing like a dip in the chlorine to make your skin feel brand new.

Tomorrow I am off to Orange with a friend (Caroline) who needs to buy a dress for a formal function and wants a second opinion as to what looks good on her. She is a lovely size 8 to 10 so in my humble opinion, anything would look good, but I am pleased to help. We will have lunch at the Orange Thai Restaurant which is the best Thai restaurant I have found in the west. It is run by real Thai people and the food is authentic. Every time I need to go to Orange, which is over one hour away by car, I have lunch there. Penang beef curry is my favourite and my mouth is watering already just thinking about it.

Oh well, thats enough for today, must get back to work. He he he he - my boss is in Sydney till Thursday and I finished the pile of work she left for me. Unless anything interesting turns up in the mail, I will just have to amuse myself surfing the net till 5pm arrives.