Funerals, Weddings and JFK

So, that's how it's done!
So, that’s how it’s done!
Pipers of the Black Watch

Ron Cairns was a soldier with the 42 Highland Regiment – The Black Watch. He spent time in  Malta and Cyprus. As a piper he traveled much of the world with the Pipe Band.  In 1963 the band were touring the USA and Canada when they were invited to play on the White House Lawns where they met JFK and the Kennedy family. The President jokingly remarked that he was glad this was a friendly visit because the last time the Black Watch were here they burned the place down.  Three weeks later whilst the band was performing in Kentucky, came news of the Assassination of the President. Mrs. Kennedy asked that nine pipers from the regiment play at her husbands funeral in Washington. Ron was one of the men who were chosen. There is, as far as we know, only one of the nine pipers remaining.

So,  I have had a fun end to what has been a stressful week. Telephone call this morning at 8am  to ask me who is doing the fundraiser for the RFDS. I had forgotten about this and I spent the early morning organizing and making telephone calls – getting people out of bed (popularity- zilch!!) To make matters worse, I was actually down for this one. Emmm – I have a wedding this morning at 11:30 – but I spent from 8:30 to 10:15 running around getting things and people organized. My son is always good value and stepped in to take my place. No excuses, this was my responsibility and I didn’t get on top of it when I should have. Anyway, I left the wedding fairly early, came home, got changed and lay down for a while. I was just so tired. On Friday we were given three more medical  appointments- one on Monday two on Tuesday  and we ended up with three on Tuesday because she was called back to the surgery late in the afternoon.   Her doctor had been in touch with  the Kidney Specialist in  Adelaide and they are giving her new medication. However, it can have a lot of side effects so she she has to be carefully monitored for the next few days, at least until the medication settles in — My Job! However, they are now certain that the problem is not the kidney but the blood vessels leading into the kidney which causes a whole range of issues. However, once the new medication settles in she should start to feel a great deal better  ( Plan A)

I have not been out with the dogs these last few days and very little work had been done outside. The Man is very strange – at times he cries and falls down and at other times he runs around the place like a mad thing. He is still eating well enough although sometimes I have to lift him and place him down next to his food and I hand feed him  his stick in the morning by breaking it in small pieces and  letting him eat it out of my hand. It’s also sort of sneaky because I slip his medication into one of the pieces.

Since starting this I have been back down to Adelaide and the remainder of the week out of town. I did manage to get the dogs out for a walk before I left and The Man is walking – not well and very slow – but walking. He still sleeps a lot and he is still eating well enough..  Subsequently I  have not used the stroller much. Odd thing happened when I was in Adelaide. I was in Rundle Plaza (shopping mall) and a lady stumbled and dropped her bag. Several of us went over to help her and pick up the things that fell out of her bag. I picked up a large, glass enclosed candle, which I did see come from her bag – and handed it to her. She wanted to know why I was handing her this thing because, she claimed,  it was not hers and she refused to take it from me. I said it did come from her bag, but she just turned and walked away leaving me holding this glass enclosed candle.  No one seemed interested and I spoke to the security people who just shrugged and handed it back to me – so,  I brought it home with me. Herself thinks that she had been shoplfting and the candle was part of her haul.  Very strange, but I got a Jasmine scented glass enclosed candle out of it all  :o)  But it just seems very odd – who steals a candle and why? and it did come from her bag.

Jasmine scented Candle
Jasmine scented Candle



email, lost mail and Birthdays

23rd December.

This is the Main Highway to the rest of the world.
This is the Main Highway to the rest of the world.

Firstly I need to say that I seem to be having  strange problems with my email – and it’s only a recent problem. I asked about this and I am informed (not yet verified) that MS Outlook will stop working if you do not upgrade to Windows 8.1. I did the Google thing and discovered that this is a fairly common fault between Windows 8 and Outlook and I found that upgrading to 8.1 really doesn’t help. So please bear with me and if I am not replying to you, or if I seem to be ignoring you, please be assured that I am not and give me some time to get this problem sorted. Just remember “to err is human – but to really stuff up needs a computer!”

I had a word with the Guru and buying Outlook 2013 will not really solve the problem. Microsoft has suggested that we download MS Windows Live Mail, which I did,  and that seems to be working. It still means that the mail I have lost on Outlook will still be lost but at least I can start to get mail again and get back up to date with things. What I have to do now is find a way to transfer my Address Book over.

24th December and it is Herself’s Birthday. As a family I made sure the boys and I – even when they were still young – did not merge two things and buy a combined present. We have always kept the two things separate. I set out her breakfast for her each morning and yesterday I laid all her Birthday Cards next to her Cereal Bowl.  Over the years we are able to distinguish between what envelopes contain a Birthday Card and what contain a Christmas Card.  The boys came round during the course of the day with their cards and gifts. John will be staying with us for a couple of days. In the evening we went to the Watch night Service and were surprised by the number of visitors. The Service lasts just over an hour – enough to take us into the 25th – 11pm to just after midnight but much of the time is taken up by  the congregation selecting and singing Christmas Carols. The actual service, with a very short address,  takes just about 30 minutes.

25th December and the house is still asleep. I’ve fed, watered and walked the dogs. Now, whilst everyone is still asleep, I am going to make coffee, stick on a set of headphones, and watch Casablanca, which I never tire of, and even if I did, well,  we’ll always have Paris  :o)

The photographs of the highway is the main highway – No that’s not just a part of it – that’s it, single lane either way for 56 miles. We don’t even have the provision

Looking West.
Looking West.

of a passing lane.

This was a quiet day but sometimes, when it is busy and you get stuck behind  a slow moving  fuel tanker – or even two in a row – you are stuck there for much of the journey. It is very frustration when you consider the hundreds of millions that are spent by the state government on Adelaide Roads (the South Road being a good example) and the same government cannot find money to upgrade country roads.

The family were here today and it was a very enjoyable Family Christmas Dinner. Afterwards I sat with a glass of wine and watched the  Queen’s Christmas Message.

Sunset, dogs and trees

The end of the Road – Really!

I went looking for some polystyrene this afternoon and discovered that the pet shop has a sale on this  Thursday and one of the items is a collapsable ramp that I can put outside so the man can walk up  rather than jump up the stairs. I know I am probably going slightly overboard but  he’s my man and it’s  part of my job description to look after him. Anyway, depending on how the unit looks  and works, I might end up buying two.

My car goes in for repairs ( excuse me, didn’t you do that last week?) and hopefully the fuel gauge should be fixed. First time was to determine the problem (took about an hour) Parts were ordered and I took the car back  at the end of the week ( Last Friday) but he couldn’t do the job because my son, who borrowed the car for a while, very kindly filled the fuel tank – and you can’t  replace things in the fuel tank when it’s full of fuel. I have had to drive around for a few days and today is the day it goes back in to finish the repairs. I don’t think it should take all that long to do and I should have it back by lunch. – Car back and repaired…

Went down to the sale and had a look at the dog ramp, which wasn’t too bad. Didn’t get one though because  they decided that this – and a few other things – were not part of the sale. Anyway, came up with a new idea. Went to the garden shop and bought kneeling pads and wrapped them in  carpet and they fit just neatly and let him get on and off his bed without trauma. Good. However, herself decided that they were not good enough so she got out her sewing machine and, using some spare material she had left over from something, made two “pillowcases”  One to  put the pads into and one to change. This is the person who just “tolerates” the dogs, but  maintains she is not a “dog person”. This is the same person who went to the craft store and bought a heap of material and made a dog coat for the little man when we first rescued him  – he had to have all his own coat cut off because it was so matted and she didn’t want him to be cold. But, she doesn’t really like dogs all that much  :o)

Messy Native Trees

This weekend we have a fundraising venture for the Royal Flying Doctor Service at the “Collage of Technical and Further Education” – TAFE. It’s the first day back for the new semester so the collage  will put on a  barbecue lunch for the students and staff.  We will cook and serve it and TAFE will give us a donation. I think it is going to be a very busy month.  And the Saga of the Native vs Exotic Trees still continues. If you look at the mess and look over the road not only is there a mess, but nothing else grows near it.  I don’t like native trees planted along  pathways and medium strips.