Gracie, The Man and a bit of a bug.

When the world was young
When the world was young

That was a struggle and even the two of us could not control him. He fought and clawed us every single moment, screamed and yelped in herself’s ear until we finally released him – half done.  What was this traumatic experience we subjected The Man to ???  We gave him a bath – or tried to! He screamed and yelled the whole time one would think we were trying to murder him. He needed to be bathed and we did try – we got him bathed but not fully dried. Fortunately it was a very warm day 34c so it was not too much of a problem. He may not be able to bite but there is nothing wrong with his voice or his  front paw nails. Anyway, he is reasonably clean now although I was not able to cut away the hair from the front of his face. That’s a job for another day,  once herself’s  hearing  has recovered  :o) Because of his  lack of sight he keeps knocking over the  biscuit bowl and the water bowl, so this morning I went to the hardware store and bought some timber. I will make a platform on which I will place the water and biscuit bowls – not so high that he can’t reach it (about the same height as the platform I made for his food dish) but high enough so that he is not stepping in the water or knocking it over.

As I said in the last post, the trip to Adelaide was good – up to a point. But at least I am not due back until late November, then the first week in December and that’s it until February. We did decide on a single location for the conference and from now on, all meetings will be held at Para Hills, who are willing not only to accept the responsibility but also do the catering required.

Bit of a delay in posting. I have been ill but am recovering now.  There I was, standing at death’s door and along comes CDL and does her very best to push me through  by using words like,  incident, Gracie, Vet and Blood Tests almost in the same paragraph. If the Man had not got trapped in a corner and was yelling for help, I shudder to think what might have happened. Anyway, I am so glad she is OK (Gracie, that is!). Wish I could say the same for the Man. He’s not getting any better, nor do I expect him to, but he seems to be holding on. He still gets attempted murdertrapped in corners and I still have to rescue him. However, he eats well enough and he still has his medication but he is almost completely blind now although he still seems strong enough and gets around – slowly, as long as there are no corners to jump out and trap him. Sneaky things, corners!! Between this and a few other issues, my recovery has not been as speedy as I would have liked. I am impatient particularly with myself  when I find that I cannot do things this week that I did last week and will probably be able to do again next week – I want it to be next week now!  I have to make an unscheduled  trip to Adelaide in about a week. I don’t have to do this now, but the sooner I get it over and done with the better and I can forget about it for another three years. Actually, if I do this now I will NOT  do it again – ever. Of course, in order to do this, I need to get myself fit and well.

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Watching grass and Conference woes.

The Young Man
The Young Man

The Man’s health  is declining but he is not making it any easier to help him. He resists every attempt to be nice to him and help him. I have stopped taking him out with me because I have to watch him like a Hawk – not for his benefit but for mine. He cannot walk in a direct line but wanders about the place crossing back and forth in front of me or  so close to my legs that I have to stop. My fear is that I wont see him because  of some distraction and it’s me that will go head first into the roadway.  Bitumen hurts!  I don’t know what to do. He is not the lovable little Man that we knew and loved and that’s a worry. This is like living with a  stranger,  one that wanders around in circles. Actually, Chienne walks away from him and goes outside and sleeps in the Dog House rather than listen to him yelping. It’s not a question of medication because he is getting the right medication for his age and weight – he is less than  3 kilo. Despite all his problems at the moment, he is still My Dog and it’s still my responsibility to take care of him – even when he bites :o) My theory about that is that when he wakens up from his sleep he has no idea where he is and no idea who I am, which means that if I try to touch him he may well see me as someone who is trying to attack him and responds accordingly. He sleeps most of the time now so we ensure that his bed is as comfortable as we can make it for him.

I did not go to Adelaide as I was supposed to on Wednesday. I wont have the same luxury this coming weekend when I really do have to be in Adelaide. Fortunately my son is coming with me so he can have a turn at the driving. Apart from the Conference I want to get the sleeve for the Hills Hoist, a cleaner for the driveway, some stationery at Koorong as well as some things for my Filofax at Office Choice. John wants to go to the computer warehouse to get the components he wants to build his computer, so all in it will be a busy weekend. Fortunately, things are starting to calm down and I only have three more days in Adelaide – the coming one – one in November and the last one in December. That should be me until February of next year. If I do go to Adelaide it will be because I want to do something or get something there rather than have to – if that makes sense  :o) The trouble with living so far away from anything – and being a One Horse State – our shops only stock a limited amount of “sellable” stationery and other things. Anything out of the  “ordinary “means a trip to Adelaide or order on line. Much of the things I want for my Filofax, I have to order on line from the USA (Pens & Leather)  or from Filofax U.K. I have, however, ordered a new Leather Binder from Holland – a sort of move away from Filofax – but not a complete break since I will use both, the  Van Der Spek  and the Filofax although it really wont make all that much difference since I will still have difficulties in getting supplies whatever I do.

Spring is being its usual obnoxious self. We were warm and sunny, then it took a turn for the worse and just as we were getting used to the warmth, it  was cold and wet and miserable again – rain and high winds. Still, according to the news this morning, Sydney got a bit of a battering. Then, just to keep us on our toes, the forecast for the coming week is warm to hot with temperatures reaching the high 30s during the  forecast period. Nice pleasant weather for driving.

It was a good drive down and traffic was fairly light. We drove directly to Elizabeth and John ordered the things he wanted or needed to build his computer Driving into Adelaide I managed to get to the stationery shop and get the things I wanted, then drive out to Bunnings and get the  sleeve unit for the Hills Hoist. After booking into the hotel we walked into town and get some other odds and ends. Nice quiet night at the

The way home
The way home

hotel.  The following morning  John dropped me off then drove back to Elizabeth to get the things he ordered.  Personally, I think he got the better of the bargain for the day. I think I would have had a much better time watching grass grow. I would love  not to go there  but there is no one else – and that’s not an excuse, it’s a sad fact. John picked me up at 12:15 and we drove home. It wasn’t until after we were on the road that he told me that a couple of people were trying to get him to talk me into staying for lunch – which I will not do. You can judge how much importance he placed on this by waiting until we were on the road home before he told me.

Holes in the Garden and the Man

Sturt's Desert Pea
Sturt’s Desert Pea

Two trips to Adelaide in two successive weeks – one this Wednesday and the other the following Friday. I have one run to Elizabeth in November for the Commission and one in December for the  Conference and that will be me for the year. I don’t have to move out of town until next February. All of this, of course, depending on no medical trips to Adelaide – although I don’t foresee any.  I have spent the last few days working in the garage and clearing that out and this afternoon,  after a medical appointment, I will get changed and work on the retaining wall. This weekend – as I said earlier – I have four fundraising events for the Royal Flying Doctors. I’m doing the first one tomorrow and I am not looking forward to getting up at 5am.  :o). I may leave the  back until tomorrow and do some work out front. The Sturt’s Desert Pea is now past its best and looking very scraggy and untidy so I will cut that back. The Desert Rose is blooming well enough but somewhat untidy. I am, however, reluctant to do anything about it at the moment. I really don’t want to prune it just yet.

The flies have been atrocious these last few days and I have taken to wearing a thing for my hat. I think I did mention this once before but they (the flies) were driving me nuttier than I already am. AftReally crazy pavinger I cut back the Desert Pea and swept up  I put a new bench in the garage and sorted out the old bench, so now I just have oi tidy up the garage and put things away in their new places and I can get back to the retaining wall. In the meantime herself would like me to shift the clothes line to a new location. I told her I’ll add it to my “to do” list, which I don’t think impressed her too much. I will get around to it – in the fullness of time  :o)  I have actually I’ve had a look at it and I will have to dig up the  unit that holds the clothes line in place. That should not do too difficult. It will simply mean getting a new unit and cementing that one in instead. Piece of Celery (I’m not allowed cake)  Still leaves me with the problem of the “crazy paving” and that very uneven surface and unless I sort that out she will still have difficulty using that area. On the photograph it looks not too bad but it is only when you get up close and personal that the uneven nature of the stones becomes apparent – and remember I didn’t do this; it was here when we bought the place. I did look into bonded aggregate but that’s very expensive – even to get the resin and the other materials and do it myself. I’ve thought about rubber matting and  artificial turf. Not really sure what I can do here but as it is it is too uneven and thus  dangerous for Herself to walk on.

The Man is causing concern in that he has  loosing his eyesight faster than expected, he keeps trying to bite me when I touch him, but once I survive the attempts to bite and set him down next to his diner, he eats well enough.  I still hand feed him in the morning ( and he doesn’t try to bite me then) and slip in his medication. He refuses to use the stroller and he gets very stroppy when I lift him because the walking is too much for him. I put him down because I consider it much safer to have him on the ground than have him struggle too much and fall out of my arm and onto the hard surface of the road, or the hard ground. He still runs around the house and from time to time he bangs into things – including me.  He was outside today and we heard him yelping, on and on so we went out to investigate.  Now you may remember that herself asked me to shift her washing line and I was in the process of doing just that. The Hills Hoist is fitted inside a metal sleeve which is  dug and cemented into the ground. I had dug the hole but with all the new housing being built around the place, the sleeves were out of stock at all three hardware shops. I was talking to herself when we heard the yelping. At first we thought it was just his normal yapping at a blank wall, but it went on so we investigated and found — yes you guessed it  the Man had gone into the hole and could not get out. I mean it’s not a great big hole, but he managed to get stuck in it. Anyway, I lifted him out and as a thank you Daddy, he tried to bite me – again.  I am so glad he has no teeth  :o)  We have put a bucket in it for the moment – until such times as I can get a sleeve from somewhere – probably Adelaide next weekend.

 

Clan gatherings, gardens and vacations

Sleepy time.
Sleepy time.

Today is a day of extreme fire danger – hot temperatures coupled with a high wind – gusting at 90-110 kph. It’s just gone 06:30 and already  can hear it outside. Yesterday I bought the material for the retaining wall along the back fence. There’s not a lot I can really do with this area so I thought  a two sleeper  high  retaining wall, fill the space with cheap gravel until about halfway up, then finish off the rest of the way with good quality, decorative   material. I will not be planting anything in there because the soil in this area is not the best, but I do have some nice, large pots that I will use with  good, hardy, full-sun plants – Geranium for starters, then probably some native plants. However, it being Sunday, it is unlikely that I will be doing anything today although there is a lunch at the church after the service this morning, which should be good. The family will be over for dinner this evening – sort of like a mini clan gathering.

Lovely day! Hot with a high wind. Adelaide has had serious trouble with wind speeds at 110k per hour – trees  bringing down power lines and  several houses have been damaged. The emergency services have responded to about 160 calls and  some 14,000houses are without power.  As far as I am aware, everything up here seems to be ok for the time being but there has been no let-up from the wind all day.  Took the dogs out for a walk but the Man got tired so I lifted him and carried him for a little while. He went back down and walked back home. Was not out for too long. I think it best to keep him walking while he still can, but the stroller is there all set up for him when we need it.

I will be in Adelaide on the 8th October at a Committee Meeting of the West Terrace Trust. Dr. Klee Benvenista, of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation was to make a presentation but it being the first day of the  Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot – she asked to be excused since she will be very busy and will not have the

Hmmmm.. :o)
Hmmmm.. :o)

time necessary to organize a presentation, but she will make one at the next meeting of the committee.  I come back from that and travel down a few days later for a Conference. I love Conference – it’s like being being mauled by a sheep in sheep’s clothing.  My son is coming down with me on that trip since there are things he wants to do in Adelaide and he can take the car after he drops me off. This coming week we have four fundraising activities for the RFDS – three of which require getting out of bed at 5am to be ready to serve breakfast for the 4 wheel drive adventure club. This is the October long weekend and they will be here for  four days. On the Monday, one group will do the 4 wheel club and the other group will do a second fundraiser at another venue.

The retaining wall uprights have been concreted into place and part of the sleepers put in to give some degree of stability whilst the concrete cures. In about three days I should be ready to install the remainder of the sleepers and start filling the space with old, tired gravel and I have already selected the pot plants – and the big red Geranium that I want.  In the meantime, whilst the concrete cures, I’ll  potter around in the garage for a bit. I was sent what I thought was a test – a one word test – and the word was “Vacation” I was unfamiliar with this word  so I asked herself ( no point in going to Google – herself knows everything) and she seems to think it’s a period where you leave where you normally live and travel to someplace else. I thought about this and it seems to me that since I travel to Adelaide – which is away from home – then that must be a “Vacation”.  Yup, that works —  I think…. :o)