Road Trips, Vets and WaWa Walks

I still miss that little face
I still miss that little face

It is two years  since The Man died and I still miss him. Oh,  I love my Benji; he and I go  off on our own as often as we can and I wouldn’t part with him for the world. Still,  I miss The Man and he is never very far from my thoughts. And before it is suggested, Benji is not a substitute, he is his own, with his own quirks and his own character. They are two very different dogs.

I drove out to Iron Baron yesterday with the Benji.   The road out to the Baron is in much better condition than the Iron Knob road. Of course, much of the road  is along the Lincoln Highway before the Kimba / Iron Baron  turn-off, But then Kimba is an important  farming town so the road is kept in good condition. As I said the other day, there is nothing left of the Baron – almost no trace that it ever existed. I did some presentations and training sessions at the Community Hall many years ago and I couldn’t even find where the Hall used to be.

Today was the day (Tuesday) that we had to take the WaWa to the vet. Ok – First catch WaWa / second, clean up blood and bandage fingers. —  Well, actually no :o)  I was given medication by the

Benji and the WaWa Walk around the block
Benji and the WaWa
Walk around the block

Vet last week and half a tablet calmed her down and  we were able to get her into the carrier and up to the Vet. Her nails were clipped and she had her booster injections. She was really very good. We came back home and I decided to chance my luck and got a leash on her. It was a struggle and even although medicated, she resisted, but I got Benji and between us we got her out the door. A lesser struggle and out to the driveway and from there it was slow, but then she was walking quite the thing alongside Benji.  It was a short walk but fun and at times she took the lead.  I was overjoyed and I hope we can do this again. I would like the three of us to be able to go out on a road trip. Annabell, like me, likes the WaWa, and we would not be too unhappy if the owner does not return and the  dog becomes ours.  BUT she would have to be socialised  and we would have to stop her  attacking Benji. At the moment we have been reluctant to do anything because she is not our dog, but that could change.  The ideal thing would be for her real owner to return but considering the  problems with unemployment, large companies moving out of South Australia and the uncertainty  with Arrium, I really do not see this happening for some time – if at all.   On the other hand, there is a South Korean tender in to buy Arrium, so that might have a bit of a bearing.  Got a leash on the WaWa again tonight and took her for a longer walk  this time. She again was very good, so perhaps this is what she has been needing and I may have to cut down on the distance I take Benji to accommodate the WaWa. The Vet  has a partner and his name now appears on the outside Wall Shingle. He’s very good and it was this new Vet that saw to the WaWa – he was really good with her. I held her  while he cut her nails and gave her injections. He is a younger man, much younger than Mustafa and it may well be that this is what the practice needs to recover from being closed down for the best part of three months. I think most of them went to the lady Vet, as I did for two consults and I can confirm that she is very nice and was really good with Benji. But our own Vet is back and that’s where we need to be.

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Road Trip, Lovely people and Gazinia

A Gazinia by my early walk
A Gazinia by my early walk!

This weekend I head back down to Adelaide. It’s been a quick and not uneventful holiday for Catherine, but we have been out and about as much as we could and I think  she has been happy enough. She is talking about coming back in two years. Once I take her back to the airport and stay overnight in the hotel, in the morning I may be heading off to Mount Gambier, which is about a four mile drive from Adelaide. I have been as far as Naracourte  and Mt. Gambier is about 150 klm further on from there – Have Camera – Will Travel ! There is no certainty that this will actually happen and I wont know what I am doing until another day or so, but I am hopeful.

I am starting to come back to the world after a traumatic week.  After having lost The  Man and then Chienne, I was starting to get a bit on the down side and slightly depressed.  I am not sure if it is just a cliche or not but people talk about “The kindness of strangers” and I was overwhelmed by the messages of kindness and sympathy that seemed to just keep coming. The kind thoughts  expressed by  people I had never ‘met ‘ was very humbling and something I will always remember.

A few days ago I pulled the car off the highway to the side of the road, got out with a camera and took some photographs of roadside flowers. These  very pretty flowers are

Ana again
And here  again

called Gazinia and in many parts of Australia they are considered to be weeds and  councils have attempted to eradicate them. I am quite thankful to say that here they have not been successful and I do believe they have given up trying. The flower that grow in perfusion are full of life and colour and make a very welcome change from the  (beloved by a very few) Saltbush.  Here in my little corner of the universe, I find the saltbush that I am familiar with dead and boring = dead boring!  I suspect there are species of saltbush that flower and look pretty ( never seen any) and I suppose that saltbush is part of Australia but then, so are flies and I can’t recall anyone ever waxing lyrical about them. The South African  Gazinia, however, have become so popular that many people have  taken some of the roadside plants and replanted them in their garden and have been rewarded with an explosion of

Marley
Unknown (?)

colour. Before you ask, yes I am thinking about it!!

As it happens I am heading to Mount Gambier on Saturday morning. I was not sure for a while but a telephone call this morning confirmed it. I am overjoyed. Bit too early for the Blue Lake I suspect. If I get away from the hotel early on Saturday morning I should be in Mt. Gambier by about lunch and back in Adelaide by mid-afternoon. I don’t think I will be able to drive the whole way home, so we will probably stop off some place for the night  – I expect Highway 1 Caravan Park. A lot will depend on how I feel and it might well be that I will stay in Mount Gambier rather than drive the four hours back to Adelaide. In fact the more I think about that the more I warm to the idea.

Comments, bridges and dogs

I believe it was something in the order of $A69 Million that was spent on the hospital and I still have to go to the Flinders Medical Center (FMC)  in Adelaide for an echo-cardiogram.  Well that’s not strictly true ( would I lie??)  I could have it done here, if I am prepared to wait  Monday 7th September until the specialist comes up from Adelaide. When I discovered that,  I contacted my Cardiologist and let him know and he had his secretary organize  the exam for next Wednesday ( now tomorrow) – in Adelaide. The specialist only comes here once every three weeks (for two days)  – hence the  overflowing appointment book. But fear not – the State Government are borrowing a bunch of dollars and building a $2.4 Billion Hospital In Adelaide making the Adelaide Hospital the Third most expensive building in the world:

1 One World Trade Center New York City 104 541 m 2014 $3,900,000,000
2 Palace of the Parliament Bucharest 12 84 m 1988 $3,000,000,000
3 Royal Adelaide Hospital Adelaide 11 41 m 2016 $2,100,000,000
4 The Palazzo Las Vegas 53 196 m 2007 $1,900,000,000
5 The Shard London 73 306 m 2013 $1,900,000,000

Since this list was produced there has been a bit of a cost blowout and the project is about six months behind schedule. But that’s ok,  Like most Australian Labor State Governments, they will borrow and spend and then blame the Federal Government for not giving them enough money – so  although they cannot manage their budget – it’s all the Feds. fault. It’s like Greece – it’s always someone else’s fault.

Last night was the Annual General Meeting of the RFDS and as of last night I am no longer Secretary.  I had been having discussions with Suzzanne over the last four or five months and she was willing to take on the position. However, a new position was created for me,  that of Assistant Secretary with the idea that I will  help Sue over the next year to get her settled in and then at the AGM next year, pass everything over to her and bow out. Frank & DebbieAnyway, we presented Central Operations with a cheque for $38,000,oo, which is a really great effort considering that times are pretty tough in SA at the moment with the highest unemployment in the Commonwealth – and getting worse .  Andrew’s ( my younger son) partner had been told that the bank will be closing down her branch by the end of the year, so she will be redundant.   Falling revenues means that the Fed Govt are cutting back in all areas of service, but we are still going to spend $17 Billion  on new Fighter Aircraft that we don’t need and a further $22 Billion on submarines that we don’t  need – we can’t not let the boys have their toys – only these particular boys don’t want some of the toys but the govt. are getting them anyway.  That $40 Billion alone could could be a great help in bringing the budget back into the black. I have to confess that our Prime Minister is not the sharpest  knife in the drawer The only time he should open his mouth is just to change feet. Although having said that, the opposition is not all that much better.

We bought two new beds this afternoon, so Chienne has a place to relax wherever she wanders. We also bought her two  “hoodies” fleece lined.  It is getting cold and Chi. is no longer a young thing and if they keep her warm, that’s great. The weather has been bitter with snow on the Adelaide hills. Didn’t last long, of course,  but long enough for the early risers to get up there and to experience actually being outside when snow is falling. We have had some wild weather of late – well some parts of the state have we’ve just had cold and rain. The wild weather is mostly at the bottom area of the State – as it generally is. We very rarely get the wild weather experienced by other areas.

I am starting to get just a tad concerned.  Comments that I know I have written seem to have vanished – who knows where!  I know I wrote a comment on the Galata Bridge  but it’s no where to be found. I don’t know though, perhaps I pressed delete instead of post – don’t think so but I guess it’s possible. If so – sorry!! Also I am finding things that Outlook has been “hiding”from me. I have only just read ( actually five minutes ago) that dear Gracie is blind and I understand the problems that this will cause, but apart from these nasty corners that kept trapping him, The Man managed fairly well  ( we wont talk about the head-butting of Chienne)  But it’s concerning  in that I don’t know if its the computer the program (MS Outlook Express)  or simply me going senile.  I think it might be me – well that’s what the voices are suggesting   :o)  It’s a worry…

 

 

Thinking Arizona Thoughts..

We attended a funeral during the week. It was  very unexpected in that he was ill but his death was sudden and came as a shock to his family. We knew the daughter and some other members of the extended family  I have also been watching the  British General Election, which is due this weekend. From what I have been reading it is  going to be a  bit on the nasty side.  I miss the times when we had political figures that  had the ability to use the English Language, who had wit and style, who could destroy, but still be good-mannered about it. These days I look on most politicians as thugs in ties  whose first thoughts are in filling their pockets  with looking after the interests of the nation coming a far away second.  Vision is something that lasts only between now and the next election. There is something seriously wrong with a system where politicians can award themselves a 7% pay increase yet maintain that they can only afford a 1% pay increase for frontline troops.

Today here in Australia it is Mother’s Day – Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums and Moms and including all  Fur-baby Mothers. My little Chienne is as happy as anything – we play and we go walks and she sits beside me. There is no indication that there is anything amiss and unlike the Man, I can do a lot more with Chienne because she is not blind and

The Dog Stroller
The Dog Stroller

can see what is going on. I feel a little sad in that Chienne was just a tad neglected these last few months when we were looking after The Man.  If it gets to the stage where she has difficulty in walking ( and I really don’t see that happening) we always have the Dog Stroller to fall back on. That’s good fun. I put her in it from time to time and wheel her around the garden and the house and unlike the Man, Chienne is quite comfortable in it. My idea here is getting her used to it – just in case! I miss the Man and think of him constantly

My working desk
My working desk

It’s been a fairly quiet month and I have been doing some work in the garden and across in my office. My office was a mess- well very untidy anyway, so I decided it really needed a clean and a clear out of all the old paperwork that was piling up and was no longer relevant. Isn’t that what I bought the shredder for anyway?? So, I filled the recycle bin with all this shredded and other paper and generally gave the place a good clean out. I’m quite happy with how it looks now – like it’s supposed to!

Only a few weeks and I set off to Naracoorte. I am sort of looking forward to this. I have never been in that part of the state so it will be somewhat of an adventure – almost as far from Adelaide to Naracoorte as it is from  here to Adelaide. Although I have driven through part of the way when I went over to visit Alan in Geelong  some years ago. I am looking forward to  having some different places to photograph. I was thinking of taking a short course on photography but having looked at some of the costs I decided to  just potter along as I do. My photographs might not be great or professional looking but they work for me.

I am so sorry to hear that things are not well in  Arizona. I  am thinking about you all  every day and I  really hope that everything can be worked out and settle back down again. I am sorry about the horses. I know how you loved them too.  Poor Charlie!  I  thought building the “Fortress” would solve the problem, but apparently not. Everything that has happened must be very upsetting ( to put it mildly) so I really do hope that you can sort everything out and get back to “relative” peace. I have  missed you and I think others have too,   so you know  many people are thinking about you.

IMAG0459 I have missed the posts of late, but then, since New Year I have missed a lot. However, as I said the other week, things have improved and I am  much, much better.

Time for a Chienne Winter Coat.

I decided to resign from one of my organisations and instead I was asked if an assistant would help. I said I would have a think about it and I will. I will most probably stay

Never ending forms!
Never ending forms!

and work things through. The organisation is starting to become like many others in South Australia, baffling everyone with  bulldust. There has to be a form for everything  and I am just fed up with forms. Every time we do any catering that is connected to the Local Council,  I fill in the same form with the same information, same addresses and telephone numbers, and I provide a copy of our insurance liability – every time – even to the silly extent that we have worked for the Council twice in the same week and filled in the forms on both occasions. No the same form will not do – it is two different functions – so – two separate forms!!    It cannot be filled in on line – that’s way too complicated for the council ,  so  it has to be hand written and personally  handed in at the Council Office. Now there is a whole new batch of forms that have to be filled in every time we poke our heads outside the door and I’m not really sure I  want to go on doing this. And if that was not enough the Central Office of the Organisation now also wants a whole new batch of forms for their salaried staff to play with so now you start to understand why organisations are failing to deliver as much as they did in the past – lack of volunteers to assist. Every time you move there is a form to complete. It has reached the farcical stage where a teacher, who requires a police clearance form to even enter the school, has to apply for a further police clearance if he or she wants to  cross the corridor at the end of the day and engage with students in  after school activities. There are so many of these Police Checks floating about these days that the backlog has people telephoning talk back radio on a daily basis complaining that they cannot work because they have to wait on a police clearance and a waiting list that is measured in

Story of my Life  :o)
Story of my Life :o)

months rather than days or weeks. We have not quite reached the stage where you have to have police clearance before you can adopt a dog from a shelter – but it’s getting there. To adopt a dog you first fill in a form – then you are interviewed to determine if you – or you  and your partner – are suitable persons – age is a consideration – next a person or persons come to  your home to examine your home and your property ( yard) to determine if the environment is suitable to meet the needs of a pet that is – the fencing is secure.  Of course  I could simply go to the nearest Pet Shop ( few and far between these days) and just buy a puppy, or I could look in the “Animal”section of the  newspaper and buy either a dog or a cat, or  I could go to a registered breeder.  But if you want to rescue a dog from a shelter, you have to go through “The Process”.  As I said, no police clearance required — YET!! This is only fairly recent – we never had any of this process when we rescued the Man from the Shelter.

In writing to his sister,  Lord Byron wrote, ” kingdoms and empires in my little day I have outlived and yet I am not old” and the same sentiment could be said regarding the “Paperless Society” We seem to have outlived this and instead  of the promise of less paperwork that was touted at the start of the “Technological Revolution ” we are generating  more than we ever did and creating a grossly inflated bureaucracy that employs people to shift all this paperwork from one pile to another. What do they do with this mountain of paper? I suspect they shred it all, send the  shredded remains to the papermill to be made into more paper sheets so that the process and the flow of paper can continue uninterrupted.

Chienne is well. I still continue to take her out every night, however she has learned another word that excites her when we come to the end of our walk and start back – Home. I did put her in the stroller a couple of times and walked her around the  garden and she quite enjoyed it. I hope I wont have to use it for a long time yet, but I’ll put her in and wander with her from time to time to get her comfortable with it. It was bought for the Man but it looks as if Chienne will get the benefits from it, and that’s fine.

Next Stop – All change! Move right along please!!

I guess it will take me some time to get used to the fact that The Man is no longer here. I still wake up in the early hours of the morning expecting to hear him, but I have no doubt that will slowly fade in time. He was such a big part of my life, more so this past year and I miss him. I keep thinking about little things – sometimes I smile, sometimes I don’t. I am fine and taking things fairly easy I will continue on the heart medication for a few weeks after the Cardioversion and then slowly come off this and be pretty much back to normal. I expect to be down in Adelaide during this month but I will not be traveling nearly as much as I have done this last year or so. I think the chaos of the last 18 months is over and things will settle down. After the Easter Function I intend to cut back on a lot of things with the RFDS on the theory that I wish to assist, I do not intend to be a reluctant passenger on one of  the aircraft making use of the services.

Hotel Room 1
Hotel Room 1

In mid-April I have to be in Adelaide for the West Terrace Trust meeting and  then relax until the end of May. I will most probably drive down and stay overnight in my regular hotel.  It is comfortable and I have ample room for my laptop and in the morning it is quiet enough

Hotel Room 2
Hotel Room 2

to allow me to get away and on the road home fairly early before there is much traffic through the city.

Sometimes parents just have to accept second place. No. 1 son came over early this evening. They have a big project on and he has been working all sorts of odd hour, so we have not seen much of him. Anyway, he came in, said hello to his mum, said hello to me then asked the question that indicated his “real” reason for the visit – “Where’s the Man”?  I told him and he went outside. He stayed for a little while then came back inside. John Jnr was very fond of the Man and he misses him. Andrew is still up North and wont be back until sometime on Sunday. He was supposed to be back yesterday but he has had to stay on to supervise the commission of a new plant and he wont finish that until Saturday – all being well he should be home Sunday afternoon. I think his partner and the girls will be glad to see him. However, from what I can gather this will be his pattern until late June – a few days home then back up to Roxby Downs again.

20130723_114229
Guard Duty is hard work.

Since my medical and health concerns – which seem to be sorted out – I have given a lot of thought to where I go from here, and what I do with this site. I have enjoyed all of this up to a point but it has concerned me that of all the people who purport to be followers only one commented  on line on the The Man and one in a private email ( Thank you) – so two, out of how many?  I also found that there are others – blogs by the page load from them –  but not even so much as a “like” for me, which was somewhat disconcerting. I don’t intend to be a “stat” making up one of a nice set of numbers. The  the departure of The Man has been a sort of catalyst:   that and my “involvement” with local and Adelaide  hospitals and the curtailing of much of my traveling, will  mean that things change – they have to.

How do you think things should change?  I would be interested in your comments.

 

Hospital and The Man

Today- Wednesday –  I spent most of my day in Hospital – blood tests / sugar tests and finally the Cardioversion. The cardioversion is to hit the heart with an electrical pulse with  paddles similar to those used in the event of a heart stoppage. However, the idea with these is that I get put sleep for ten minutes whilst they  hit me with the electrical shock and, hopefully, shock the heart back into a normal rhythm;  am pleased to say that whilst  I don’t remember a thing, the duty Sister did tell me that the  cardioversion worked and the heart is  back to normal. I guess this is my cue to behave for a while.

I have to say though, I think the idea of being asleep for ten minutes was not quite true. At the start of the procedure there was the Cardiologist, a Doctor, an  Anesthetist, an assortment of nurses and three students and I was flat on the bed.  There was a “Crash Cart” and other equipment and I had the paddles attached to me and an oxygen mask. When I woke up, everyone was gone, no indication that they had ever been there,  the “crash cart” was gone, the paddles had been removed, the oxygen mask had been removed and I was propped up – all done  in ten minutes!! – must be magic at work here  :o)   Just before 5:45 my son arrived and I was allowed to get dressed and go home.  I spent most of the evening propped up in bed reading. I think I removed the big pillow and put the light out around 11pm – early for me!!

Thursday: Still a bit tired but I am told that it may take a day or so for the drugs to be clear out of my system and I will start to feel the benefit of the procedure.  I wont be

I will miss that little face
I will miss that little face

taking Chienne out walking for a couple of days. My chest still hurts from where the electric Paddles were attached, but that will dissipate in a day or so.

The Man has not been so good and although I still sit down a feed him twice a day and give him his medication, he is not a happy dog.  I wish I could just take him in my arms and cuddle and comfort him, but I can’t. Not that I do not want to but he wont let us. Due to blindness and dementia he has no idea what is happening. He  feels that he is being restricted in some sort of corner so he screams until he is put down  and released.

Sunday and a quiet few days. I am slowly withdrawing from things that I believe take up unnecessary time. Taking up the bulk of my time is Presbytery and the General Assembly and there is nothing I can do about that. West Terrace Trust is only three times a year so that’s ok, but the organization that takes up much of the remainder of my time is the RFDS and I am thinking that I need to do something there. Also a number of organisations that I follow on line are time consuming so I think a some of them will have to go.

Monday: The Man passed away quietly this afternoon. I think he just lay down on his bed and went to sleep. I wrapped him in a blanked and took him to the vet who confirmed that he had gone quietly and without trauma. I brought him back home and he was wrapped in what used to be his favourite  blanket before the illness took him away from us. I laid him to rest at the side of the garden that I spend most of my time pottering around. It’s been less than a day and I miss him already and I think I will have to keep a close eye on Chienne since she was a bit upset. I telephoned the boys and both were quite upset – John more so. It was a great sadness to all of us that the illness took the Man away from us to the point that he  knew nothing and no one.  I hand fed him and that’s about as close as I got to holding him. I just hope he somehow knew how loved he was and how he will be missed.