Monday, November 26, 2012


This is a poem (by a lady named Maya Angelou) that I came across recently and it certainly applies to me (except my shoe size has gone down rather than up).  I enjoyed the humour of it and hope others will too.


When I was in my younger days I weighed a few pounds less;
I needn't hold my tummy in to wear a belted dress.
But now that I am older, I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic where once my waist would be.

The inventor of those high-heeled shoes my feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a size nine now but used to wear a seven.
And how about those panthose?  They're sized by weight you see;
So how come when I put them on the crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses as the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago I know that I was taller.
Though my hair has turned to grey and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside I'm the same old me......but the outside's changed a bit!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I am asking myself should I also mark my son as an ex family member?  It is nearly 11 years since this man decided he no longer wanted any contact with me or any of the family including his own father, his sister and her family not to mention his step-father of whom he was always very fond.

None of us really have any idea why this happened of, if they do, they are not telling.  Suffice to say I can only tell the story of my son from his birth until he was about 44/45 years of age.

He was born in September of 1955 and once again this baby was 4 weeks premature.  Unlike his sister he had some respiratory problems so was kept in a humicrib for the first few days of his life.  He was a plump baby at birth but apparently had fluid in his body caused by me suffering from what is now called pre-eclampsia....high blood pressure and severe fluid retention.  He lost 5 ounces of weight during the first week so when I took him home when he was 10 days old he looked a little like a skinned rabbit.

He was a good baby and slept well with no problems of colic or the kind which was pleasing but he was a terribly shy baby and this shyness carried on well into his childhood.  I think he was what one would call a 'mother's boy' who clung to me in any situation that frightened him.  I remember when he was a toddler visiting a friend who lived close by and as we arrived at her front gate her mother-in-law was just coming out the front door.  Now Steve would normally have been quite happy to go in that gate as we'd visited numerous times but when he saw a strange woman coming out he just lost it and screamed and screamed.  He was terrified and it was not until she had gone that he would venture into that garden, let alone the house.   I remember my mum telling me I was also shy but never to that extent.

School was another hurdle that we had to get over as he developed tummy pains which were to all intents and purposes quite real.  I took him to my GP who suggested seeing a child psychologist at PMH (the children's hospital).  The psychologist asked that Steve's father attend the next time but he refused as he said "no shrink is going to tell me what to do."  Great help he was!!  This doctor was very understanding and we devised methods of making it easier for Steve to accept school much better than before.  He did quite well with his lessons and had several friends but not as many as his sister had had when in primary school.

Even at age 12 he was still terribly shy so another trip to see a psychologist and fortunately this time his step-father came with us and was very helpful.  It was decided that joining the Boy Scouts would do Steve good so we arranged with the chap that ran the local Scout troop that he should join them.  MOH (his step-father) drove up to the hall on the first night but Steve wouldn't get out of the car.  MOH got him out without harming him and then in a fireman's lift took him through the front door of the hall saying "Here's a new member of your Scout troop."   It was one of the best things we could have done as from then on Steve seemed to be able to stand on his own two feet much better than previously.  In later years he told his wife that "If it wasn't for P..... I wouldn't be who I am today."  (He admired his step-father and they always got on quite well.)   I find it a great pity that thought didn't stay with him in later life.

Steve had many good jobs and was always eager to learn more to help him with his career.   Quite honestly I don't know what he is doing now but I believe he has quite a good position.  He and his wife have built a couple of new homes and where they are now is a beautiful home on 5 acres which sadly is only several kilometres from where we live.  We have not seen either Steve, his wife or his two children for close to 11 years which is a huge loss to me.  My grandchildren were at school when I last saw them but are now in their 20s and I'm not sure I'd even recognise them if I met them.

This photo was taken of Steve holding his little daughter back in 1986 (the other person is yours truly.  They were much happier times for all of us.

I could say a lot more than I have about how helpful he was at times and that sort of thing.  We have a substantial pergola at the front of the house that he built and a smaller one at the back.  He seemed capable of putting his hand to anything and I'll always be grateful for the things he did for us.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I am so pleased with my new baby rose (Chameleon) as already she is showing me all her beautiful different colours.   I had to show her off as I am surprised that she would be flowering so well so soon.  This from someone who recently decided (along with MOH) that roses were too much trouble to look after for we two oldies now.  I feel that with the floribundas they should be OK and I can actually see 2 or even 3 of these lovely roses in a row on our front patio.  I recently saw a very unusual and beautiful hybridT rose called "Julia's Rose" and if anyone is looking for a different rose I'd recommend it.  It is a rather unusual colour and apparently is available in both floribunda and climbing types.  Just a suggestion but well worth googling if you are looking for more roses for your garden.          


Monday, November 12, 2012


I think the few people that follow my blog also know who my daughter is and as her writing is much more prolific and entertaining than mine I don't really need to tell you very much about her.

She arrived 4 weeks premature and was a delightful little bundle that weighed 5lb 8ozs (don't ask me what that is kilograms) with very little hair and no eyelashed or eyebrows.

I loved that baby before she was born, especially as there was a risk that I may lose her during my pregnancy; I loved her so much when she was born and I still love her very, very much but I'm not sure I tell her so often enough.

She was a child with a lot of confidence and was popular with her teachers and the other children, particularly at primary school.   She has done well in her working life and certainly has done more than I ever achieved but then I am not the artistic type.  I think that talent was inherited from her dad as he was quite artistic so something good did come from that first marriage of mine after all.

I often feel sad when I think of her as she has health issues that I can do nothing about except be there for her as much as I possibly can and if she does need advice I will try to give it to her without appearing to tell her what she should do.  We are all different in the way we handle issues in our lives....she is she and I am me and although we are alike in many ways we are still two different people.

I am always grateful to her for the 4 grandchildren she presented me with and love all of them in different ways as they too are very different from each other. 

All in all I am proud of my daughter, the man she married and of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There's not a lot more I can say about this girl of mine except that I love her and care so much for her.


Continuing on with the saga of marriage number 1.  I would consider the first couple of years as being reasonably happy.  We lived in 2 rooms in 3 different houses, sharing conveniences, which worked out pretty well.  I had a couple of good jobs so of course with work and housework my time was short and first hubby, who was not particularly inclined to do much in the house, couldn't understand why I couldn't always be going out and about.  Occasionally he went out on his own....I didn't ask where he went as I thought perhaps it best not to.  During our second year of marriage he actually went of boating with a friend and left me home on my own.  I, of course, was not expected to feel any jealousy at being left on my own for my 23rd birthday.

A little after 2 years of being together our little daughter was born and I sometimes think that brought with it more problems although I could never put my finger on what was actually wrong.  When the baby was a year old we moved into a very old 2 storey house that belonged to hubby's grandfather.  No real conveniences to speak of but we made do.  My big worry was having a very active one year old child and a set of stairs.  I used to have to carry her up and down and somehow managed to keep her away from the stairs so no mishaps.

2 years after the birth of our daughter our son was born.  He was a tiny baby (both babies were 4 weeks early) but eventually grew into a big boy who at 12 months weighed 2 stone (28 lbs).  I then had to carry him up and down all the stairs and I often wonder if that is why I have back problems today.

Hubby from then on mostly spent most nights down in his workshop so it was the children and I in the house and he down there.  I have to admit we were short of money as hubby wanted to go shooting and fishing and also had a movie camera which meant buying films for it.  I tried to put away separate amounts to pay bills but he would keep borrowing so it was always a battle to keep up with paying bills as they came due.

I was completely fed up with the life the children and I were leading so I left and we went to live at mum's for several months.  Hubby pleaded with me to come back to him and made all sorts of promises to right the problems that had beset us, one of which was to build gates at the bottom and top of the stairs so I wouldn't have to worry so much about the children.  I think of the few conditions I had set before returning to him that this was perhaps the only one he actually complied with.

I won't go into all the details of the many things that went wrong as quite honestly I don't really want to relive them again and, to keep this story short, I will just say that eventually the marriage was definitely breaking down again until one night when I was doing some ironing he so got to me so much that I felt if he didn't stop baiting me I'd throw the iron at him.  I am, and never have been a violent person, and the feeling frightened me. The only thing I could do was walk out the door there and then before I did something I'd forever be sorry for.

I walked around in the night for hours and eventually ended up at my mum's house.  I kept custody of my children (I would not have stayed away if I didn't have them with me) and he and I eventually divorced.  As you know I have had a good marriage now for 45 years and he (my ex) has now been married 3 times.  My daughter has recently told the story of her dad's recent marriage so I won't go into that here.

Don't get me wrong.  I know I must have been partly to blame for the breakdown of this first marriage of mine as it does take two to tango.  Perhaps the blame lies with me for allowing myself to marry him in the first place, after the warning I got from mum and JT,  but had I not done so I wouldn't have had 2 beautiful babies.  Something good usually comes out of something not so good so am thankful for that.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I felt I had to include this man in my list of family members as, after all, he WAS the father of my two children so at one time WAS a big part of my/our lives.

I will not hold my punches here and will try to tell it as best I can so forgive me if at times it sounds a trifle one-sided as you are of course only reading my side of the story.

It was quite by accident that I went out with him.  Actually before that  we had lived next door to his grandparents (we were on one corner and they on the other) and in all those 5 years I am not sure he visited them very much as I never noticed him at their place at all.  Probably teenagers don't take much notice of what is happening in their immediate neighbourhood.

Another chap I knew, and went out with casually, had a brother who was getting married and, as he was involved in the wedding ceremony but did want me to be able to go to the wedding, he asked AGL (who had an invitation to attend the wedding but had nobody to take) whether he would like to take me.  I had known the bride and groom since I was 15 but had lost touch with them over the past couple of years so no invitation for me to their wedding.

We went to the wedding and a very nice wedding it was too and it all started from there.  Mum and Dad had built a new house and we were due to move in shortly after I'd attended the wedding and Mum always said we moved and AGL moved in too.  No, he didn't live with us but may well have done as he rode his bike (young people didn't have cars back then) over almost every night. You could perhaps say I was taken out of circulation by his sheer determination in seeing me all the time.

We did go out occasionally when he would borrow his step-dad's car and we'd even take mum for a drive on weekends occasionally (Dad was usually off playing lawn bowls) but much of the time the evenings were spent at home listening to music, the radio or perhaps playing cards or similar.

One day AGL and I decided to buy a block of land (gee, things were perhaps getting serious although I'm not sure if it was just him or me as well).  For some reason my mother looked on this big step as putting the cart before the horse and mentioned that perhaps we should thinking of getting engaged if things were serious enough to be buying land.

Looking back on that now I can see the stupidity of the whole thing but I guess in those days things we tended to go along most of the time with what our parents said as we though of them as knowing so much more than we did.  Boy, how that has changed now.

We got engaged on 18th July, 1952(had a lovely diamond engagement ring bought for me) and set a wedding date for the following year on 18th July, 1953. 

In between times mum and dad gave me a lovely 21st birthday party in the Mt Lawley tennis club hall with dancing a a delicious supper.

Several months before the wedding a friend of mine from school days was up in Perth and she came to our place for dinner one night and although I had told AGL that she would be there he still insisted on cycling over as usual.  JT and I had so much to talk about that I guess we rather excluded AGL from our conversation but he kept being a nuisance and I eventually turned around and gave him just a light tap on the cheek and tried to explain that JT and I hadn't seen each other for ages and could he just let us have this time together.  With this he flounced out of the room and slammed our front door very hard as he left.  Mum came to see what on earth had happened and she and JT then proceeded to sit down and talk to me about whether this planned marriage was the right thing for me to do.  I knew AGL was a very jealous person and in my heart I think I did realise perhaps I was making a mistake but I've always been a fairly sort-hearted person and I knew he would be very hurt if I broke of our engagement so decided not to heed the sound advice I was being given and go ahead with our plans.

The wedding took place as planned and we had a brief honeymoon as money was scarce and we found place to live consisting of a kitchen and a bedroom/sitting room and share bathroom and laundry.  I think we had enough cash to buy ourselves a broom and dustpan and brush and little else.  A friend had given me a pantry tea so we had sugar, tea, flour and similar items to start off with which perhaps was just as well.  Anyway, we didn't starve.

One incident shortly after our marriage brought home to me just how jealous this man was.  I had received an invitation to a friend's kitchen tea and he wanted to know when we would be going.  I had to explain that it was for the girls only and he was horrified that I would even contemplate going somewhere without him.  I then wondered if perhaps I should have listed to Mum and JT.

This story is turning out to be rather lengthy so I think I will tell it in two parts so as not to bore the hide of anyone who happens to tune in here to read what I've written.  Watch this space!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Here I am back again about this damned vertigo that has been plaguing me but yesterday was the absolute limit and I am back to my GP tomorrow and I really am going to insist he listen to me and if he can't suggest anything to help then I need to be referred to somebody that can help.

I awoke yesterday fairly early and sort of felt all was not right but went back to sleep and when I woke a couple of hours later I knew all was definitely not right.  I once again had the staggers when I got out of bed.  I immediately took a stemitel and popped back into bed for a couple of hours.  Have to lie there with my eyes closed so I don't see the walls whizzing by although not as bad yesterday as previously, thank goodness although anything is bad.

I did eventually decide to do my insulin injection and get up and sit in my recliner and have some breakfast.  The stemitel definitely stops the nausea thank goodness and I am able to eat.  Stayed there through lunchtime (with Precious asleep on my lap most of the time) and had a sandwich but still the items in the room wouldn't keep still so can't read or watch TV.   Thank goodness for my little portable radio.

Mid afternoon I decided I would do some rearranging of genealogical files I'd been wanting to do and was able to gradually get on with that for a while.  I also turned on my computer but wasn't really in the mood for doing much there.  The movement on it didn't do me much good.

I then thought I'd see if I could find somewhere on the internet the manouvres I had heard of for curing vertigo and I did find one that seemed quite simple.  I had to lie on the bed on the 'bad' side for 30 seconds, then turn and lie on the 'good' side for 30 seconds and then sort of hang my head (on the good side) looking down towards the floor (without falling off the bed), also for 30 seconds.  Amazingly enough it did seem to ease the vertigo and within minutes it had stopped.

Was this sheer coincidence or had this manouvre worked?  Hard to say but I definitely was able to walk OK although, as in always the case after even a short 3 hour attack, I was incredibly weary.  Fortunately it was the turn of MOH to cook dinner last night so I could continue to take it easy.

Today I woke up at 8.45am and when I got up everything was back to normal balance-wise and the room was completely still but it took several hours to feel really good and so far (it is now 7pm) all is going well and I do actually feel quite good.

My problem?  I just don't want to continue to lose whole days out of my life as I just cannot afford the time!!!  There are things I have to get on with.  One day this house will have less junk in it.  That is a promise I've made to myself and nobody can fix that except me.

Monday, November 5, 2012


It's funny how sometimes something comes to mind and you wonder where that thought sprang from.  I was sitting looking at our cat asleep on the chair near me and I got to pondering about how the food we feed our animals has changed over the years.

I have had a cat or cats nearly all of my life and I realised that up till about 15 years back we always made sure our cat/s had a saucer of milk each day or cream if there happened to be some available.  Now, of course, it is said that milk is not good for cats.  I certainly don't remember any of our cats suffering from drinking milk and they all seemed to enjoy it very much.  If they wanted water I think they would find a source somewhere in the garden but I am sure we didn't leave water out especially for the cat/s.

Precious always has a bowl of water on the washing machine and one outside the back door which is refreshed daily.  She drinks a lot of water but not to the point of it showing she has a problem.  She just appears to enjoy drinking water.  Occasionally she has been allowed a small amount of cream which she also enjoys but as we have it so infrequently in the house I doubt it does her any harm.

Many years ago cats were also fed bread and milk by people that didn't have a lot of money or even perhaps Weetbix and milk or something similar.  I think we also used to give them liver (wonder if that was bad for them?) and there were no tinned foods for cats and certainly no 'bikkies' whatsoever.

Many things have changed over the passing years but the difference in the way we feed our cats (and even our dogs I guess.....we haven't had a dog for a few years now) has certainly changed.  We had to find a brand of cat food that Precious would eat every day and she always has a small bowl of 'bikkies' available as well.  She has her favourites there as well.

Once again here I am just thinking aloud as I often do these days.   Sign of someone with not enough to do perhaps?

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today began normally and then it got worse as I got bogged down in trying to do too many things at once and theng got myself upset and frustrated and all that stupid stuff.  Anyway I finally got over all that with the help of my other half who tries to understand but being still so able to do stuff himself probably finds it difficult to know what I am going on about at times.  Sigh!  He does try though, bless him.

Then I had brilliant idea and remembered those fantastic photos of the chameleon rose that my daughter placed on her blog a short while ago.  I rang the local Dawsons Garden Centre and the lady on the other end said "Yes, we have some in stock".  She asked would she put our name on one and I of course said "Yes, please and my husband will pick it up this afternoon".

MOH had to pop out to the shops so on his way home he collected the rose for me and it is quite small but has some buds on it and even a couple of them are opening and showing the delightful yellow with the pink edges.  I can't wait till it grows a little larger and has all the different coloured blooms on it.

I will repot it (or MOH will....another frustration of mine that I just can't do those gardening chores I once did) and there is a place on the edge of our front porch where I will place it so it will get the sun but if it gets too hot during summer I can pop it behind the shadecloth to keep it cool.

We had given up on roses as being too much to look after but I feel this floribunda rose is going to be easy to care for and will give us so much pleasure every time we look at it.  I just know I will love it 'cos it has yellow in it and yellow always makes me feel happy so what more can I ask for.

Also today we had some much needed rain and as MOH did put the sprinklers on the front garden last night (our watering days are Tuesday and Friday) the extra 'watering' today will do the garden a lot of good.  There are a few potted plants waiting to be planted so perhaps tomorrow could be a good day for 'us' to get that chore done too. 

Isn't amazing how spring does tend to get you moving (who me??) or at least give us inspiration about what we would like to get done?    Note to self:  Just keep that thought in mind woman and no more getting bogged down like you did this morning!!

As you can tell by the above I was once again just 'thinking out loud' so hope some of it at least makes some semblance of sense.  It's amazing how writing stuff down does clear the old head.

Friday, November 2, 2012


It's strange how our thoughts often fly backwards to days of yore.  I have recently been wondering at the strangeness of our spring weather in Perth and the extremes we have experienced over past weeks.  Daytime temperatures up to 36C (96.8F) and down to as low as 18C (64.4F) this coming Sunday. 

Spring always is a time of constant change but it is also a time you begin to wonder "Do I pack away my winter clothes now?" or "Is it time I got out my summer clothes and freshened them up ready for the hot weather?"  Right now it means swapping from light clothing and then back to warmer wear every few days especially for my poor other half who feels the cold much more than I do.  For a couple of days he is wearing shorts and then it's back to the good old track pants around the house.

All this reminded me of a dear old lady I knew years ago.  She was my first husband's grandmother and she and I were great friends.  I would often wander down to her place for a visit and we would sit and have a cuppa and she would tell me what Perth was like in the late 1800s when she was a child here.  I used to be enthralled in all she had to tell me and I would try and imagine it as it was in her youth.

One of her favourite expressions during autumn when the weather would begin to cool down was "Summer 'nicks' off and winter 'drawers' on".  I often think fondly of Gran and can still hear her saying that with a grin on her face. 

Saw my dermatologist this morning and he zapped a couple of spots and told me I have to pop back when MOH sees him in February as he is little concerned about a 'spot' on my nose.  I also had an appt with my physio who worked on my poor old neck (painfully) but did it a load of good and has freed it up (considerably). 

After all the medical stuff I felt I needed a good laugh and it was thinking about Gran that was just the medicine I needed for a bit of fun and some oh fond memories.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The thing I am thinking about is Halloween.  What got me thinking about this was the fact that a very young girl rang our front doorbell last evening with the words "Trick or Treat".  My husband gave her a few coins and asked if there was anyone with her to which she replied "No."  This worried us as it was dusk and the idea of a little child out on her own at that time of day seemed irresponsible.  There are very few young children living in our area so we wondered how far she had come.

Thinking further about Halloween today I realised that when I was a child I am not sure we had even heard of the event as way back then not a lot was heard of goings on in America and although my Mum and Dad both came from the UK neither of them ever mentioned it.  I am not sure it was celebrated in the UK back in the early 1900s.

I myself have no feelings about it at all and prefer to just ignore it and hope others enjoy it if they so choose.   I  am not into ghosties and all those nasties so that is why perhaps it doesn't appeal to me.  I notice a lot of the catalogues we get in our letter box were full of lots and lots of things you could buy for Halloween (both clothing, novelties and food) so I am wondering if it is just another so-called "celebration" to make money.

Gee!!  Am I sounding just like an old fuddy duddy.  I never try to stop anybody having a good time as long as they consider others when they are doing so but if little ones are going to go out trick or treating I feel it would be much better for them to go in organised groups or at least have an older sibling with them, or a mum or dad who could perhaps wait for them at the gate of the house they are visiting.

Do you celebrate Halloween?  Would be interested to know if you do and what you think about it?

NOTE:  It is not only now that many people know little of the world outside their own boundaries.  I had a Facebook friend ask me the other day whether we celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and when I replied we didn't and explained why she then went on to ask if we celebrated Christmas!!!  She is obviously a well educated lady from the way she writes (on her messages) but as is often the case little seems to be known about those in the antipodes by those in the northern hemisphere.