Tuesday 19 July 2022

A blah day

I had my second booster yesterday, and while my arm was fine, today I have felt decidedly blah - tired and a bit down.

I took the day off work and just blobbed.

I am pretty happy to have had a blah day - a far better option than Covid.

The blah and tiredness were probably also contributed to by having worked 6 days of the last 7 - I'm 71 and I don't have the stamina for lots of workdays in a row anymore. Poor me ...

Sunday 17 July 2022

The CROW has gone on holiday!

 Today, Luke, Di and Lyall came and took the motorhome for a wee holiday - a short break of just over 24 hours. They had planned on a longer and more expensive touristy trip to Rotorua I think, but are now saving for their trip to Scotland over Christmas. So this sojourn is an overnighter and a bit of a treat for Lyall.

I think Lyall thought he may be in with a chance on driving it away ...

Happiness, I reckon!

Why isn't that child looking at the scenery?

Anyway, they are moored up at Himatangi Beach Holiday Park - a short walk from the Cossie Club, the takeaway place that does fish and chips and burgers, and the very well stocked Four Square.

Only one call asking for help - they couldn't light the gas element. Turns out they had turned the element knob just a bit too far and the gas doesn't come through unless the knob is positioned pointing between the flame symbols.

We will see them later tomorrow afternoon.

And in my last post I mentioned how difficult it is to cook a meal that is big enough for two people and no more. Well, here is a case in point: 

A 25cm pan with 2 small onions, 1 kumara, 1 potato (smaller than the kumara), 4 tomatoes in place of a can of them, 1 can of coconut milk, 1 cup of dried but soaked overnight chickpeas so probably 2 cups by volume. Honestly, there's enough for 4 or five people! Watch out Luke - you may be having a vegetarian curry for dinner tomorrow with not a skerrick of meat in sight, mate!

Friday 15 July 2022

My expensive husband

 On Thursday, I took David over to Lower Hutt to Boulcott Hospital, a private establishment, so that I could spend more of my hard earned cash ...

Thursday's operation was to remedy two cases of trigger finger on his right hand - the middle finger and thumb. Part of the cost for private treatment is the outfit provided: gown that at least goes around the body and doesn't gape at the back ($19), a dressing gown ($25), perky red socks with non-slip soles, and a fetching blue net cap. That mess on the bed is comprised of the clothes he removed.


What the best dressed private patient is wearing these days ...

The operation was short but the waiting for theatre was not. David was the last of the day, in part I think, because his was a local anaesthetic rather than a general. I am pleased about that because he takes a while to wake up from a GA, and as you know, I am not the most patient of people... Really though, he's had a number of GAs since 2019 and they do have quite an effect on us oldies.

I managed to do an hour or so of work over the phone while I was waiting for David to go into theatre and on the way back in the car - handsfree and on speaker: remote meetings can be very effective - COVID conditions have taught us that!

I had a chat with Julie, the woman I am working with and she asked how much this operation was costing: 5 days, I said ...

To be fair though, when the finger and thumb started playing up a few months ago, David said he would wait for the public system. But give they are far from urgent, I knew the wait would be extensive in these COVID times. So I said if it's less than $x to go private, just do it.

So he now sports a large bandage covering his hand and up past his wrist. No getting it wet for two weeks and the dressing has to stay on that long. And he's not allowed to use the hand all that time! 

Dammit! He cannot wash dishes, do the vacuuming, cut or peel vegetables, fetch and carry anything that requires two hands...

He's decided he's going to see if he can learn to print with his left hand in the meantime. So that will keep him busy for a bit.

I am working and, to be honest, there is not much of an additional load with David away from kitchen hand duties. My biggest issue STILL is learning to cook enough for two people, instead of over-catering hugely. Our freezer is jam-packed and a fair amount of that is leftovers. Do you know how difficult it is to cook a vegetable curry that is just enough for two?

Try it: take one potato, one kumara, one piece of pumpkin, a carrot, a small bit of cauli and broccoli, one onion, a cup of chickpeas, a cup of veg stock and a can of coconut milk - and already there's enough for 6!

So today I have been to breakfast with the guys - no point in David coming as he cannot eat with a knife and fork at the moment - been to Bin Inn for nuts, dried fruit, almond butter, and then to the supermarket for the groceries. I've swept and washed the bathroom floor - we've got a few people coming for a mini neighbourhood watch get together for a drink and some nibbles tomorrow arvo. And some housework is required - fortunately David vacuumed the day before his operation ...

It's a beautiful day and I think a walk may be in order. I'll go and see if I can prise David away from his left hand printing practice.

Monday 11 July 2022

Stormy weather

and the motorhome has retreated to the street!

 I went out to look this morning given we have gale force winds and an atmospheric river heading our way down the North Island. Beside the motorhome was quite a sizeable branch from the huge very old cabbage tree across the driveway from the motorhome, plus a few smaller bits and a large tuft of the leaves - they are about 700mm long and each tuft contains about 150 leaves.

Given the wind is due to strengthen before it abates, I decided to move the motorhome out to the street. The only two dangers it faces now are:

  • someone hitting it in their car - hopefully unlikely as we live in a cul de sac,
  • the lamppost beside it coming down on it - I am trusting these things are constructed to stay upright in very terrible weather conditions.

These had to be moved before I could shift the motorhome which lives around the side of the house to the right of the tap and across from the cabbage tree.

Cabbage tree - very high, very old, very beautiful.

Cabbage tree leaves flew over the house and landed on the outdoor table - we moved it and all the chairs yesterday to protect them from the approaching storm.



There has been a very loud dog in the house

 Well, it has certainly sounded like that!

In fact it was David - not covid (we did two tests) but he brought a bad cold back from Taramaki when we were up there for Matariki.

On the Monday night at 11.30pm I said that one of us needed to leave the bed. I was happy to do so, even though I would have to warm up the sleeping bag and sleep either in the motorhome or on the sofa. David volunteered to be the one who departed, which was kind given he was the poorly one - ˜his view was that I had to work the next day, so he would move. And I really did appreciate it. 

His cough was LOUD!!! It really did sound like a very big dog who had been surprised by someone creeping up on him - SHARP, LOUD (did I mention that?), VERY GRUFF. I would just drop off to sleep when the barking would start up again.

So he moved out to the lounge. I did accompany him to take his pillows, find and administer the cold and flu tablets, the cough medicine, a late night lime juice and manuka honey drink, before I headed back to bed and peace, perfect peace of a non-coughing, nonexistent bed companion...

His cold has been persistent with the worst of it being the cough. It was only on Friday, this last week, after 12 nights of couch relegation that he came back to the marital bed.

I had missed him - snuggling is lovely and there had been none of that.

If any of you get this cold with its dreadful cough, my suggestion is to ramp up your paracetamol intake from zero to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours, imbibe lots of lime/lemon juice and honey drinks, take expectorant cough syrup, and dose up on supplements - at about Day 3 David was feeling very down - cross and miserable because he wasn't getting better. I knew he wasn't too bad, because he never lost his appetite - but I do think that's a feature of male illness... Anyway, I stoked him up on B Vitamins, Vit D, magnesium, zinc, turmeric. And as is his wont, unless I administered them, he would neglect to take them and be a sad-sack in the afternoon. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

We are both being very careful - with the BA.5 variant of covid raising case numbers and with our being in the vulnerable age group, it only makes sense. I am still going in to the office once a week, but am driving so I am not on public transport, and I wear a mask all of the time when I am in the office - except when I am eating...

David is having his second booster on Wednesday and I was scheduled to have mine then too, but I have an all day meeting to attend, so I am having mine next week.

While we are in the grip of winter our two grandsons and their lovely mum are on Santa Lucia in the Carribean. The photos Marta sends are amazing: jet skiing, making pots, watching steel bands, sulphur pools, swimming in the sea, zip-lining. Currently they are having a couple of days in a city and Marta sent photos of the boys with a few others in the swimming pool at their accommodation - lots of jumping from the roof of the cabana. She is a wonderful mother and we treasure her.
Marta and Olek

Olek, Marta and Karol - that backdrop could easily be in the centre of the North Island of NZ ...

Monday 4 July 2022

Hummus update

You may remember that I posted recently about ACP's marathon effort making hummus and falafel. You may remember that he meticulously measured EVERYTHING into 6 bowls. You may remember that he assiduously ignored my slapdash methods of measurement re using a cup and a bit per munching in the food processor.

Well, today he had soaked half that amount of chickpeas, so that involved 3 bowls (sigh, back of hand to forehead, sigh again).

However this time, he distributed them by hand and THEN weighed them. And then called me in to witness.


The three bowls respectively weighed 417g, 418g, 419g

So the slapdash method DOES work! Strange how I never knew that ...