Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.31

So, I’m starting extra late this evening – I wanted to get this background and header finished first, plus create an extra header for tomorrow, because tomorrow is the beginning of Winter 🙂 my favourite season! 🙂 What do you think of this template? I mean the style, layout, etc., not necessarily the graphics… I may have to adjust the font size though – what it’s showing in the editing window is absolutely teeny-weeny! It’s almost impossible to select and edit individual words – there’s hardly anything to “grab hold of”, if you know what I mean! Uno momento… ahh… that’s a bit better – I made the text a bit bigger… does it look any better from your end? I hope so…

Well today, as you all know, was our day to go romping through Dusken… Brevane… or wherever. We did make it to level 60 – by cheating just a little bit – we both took a Transcendent experience booster potion (the biggest one you can get, at premium prices!) to augment the 50% experience bonus we’d be getting this weekend – we had thought that the extra 50% would have been enough on its own, but alas, by the time you get up to level 59, no matter how many quests you hand in, or how many Carnage quests you complete, that lil’ ol’ experience bar of yours hardly seems to move at all! So we each took a potion, and started killing everything in sight. We even went so far as to pick up any and all “daily” quests (which we usually studiously ignore!) anything that would bring in experience! And we did it! We made level 60, and still had about 45 minutes of our two-hour potions left over, which I can assure you, we didn’t waste! 😉 We even got ourselves to The Plane of Water (not my favourite place to be, I’m afraid!) Remember how I once said that I had difficulties with three dimensions? Well, when swimming around in “virtual” water, I can’t tell how far away I am from things – I can’t adjust my height in the water, or work out the right direction to head off into. I even have trouble following Julian – if I take my eyes off him for even one second, and he gets out of my immediate line of vision, I can’t find him – even if he’s right next to me – if he’s a little higher, or a little  lower than me. I mean, I can see the little blue dot on my mini-map that indicates where he is, but as I said – if he’s above me, or below me, he might as well be on Mars! :/ I think I’m what’s technically called “spatially challenged” :/ I have the same trouble with the wheelchair, too – I don’t know where the wheels are, so I usually crash into doorways and furniture, which is not a good look, especially when you’re trying to maneuver your way around a shop full of delicate ornaments! It’s funny though, I never had that sort of problem when I was driving the car (except when I was reversing. I really had no idea which way the car was going to go when I was reversing, so I tried not to do it too often…) but I was everyone’s “taxi” for more years than I care to remember! I drove Bulletin Board members home after “Gatherings”, I drove the kids to school, ballet classes, and horse riding lessons. I drove everywhere, all the time, and in all those years, the only two accidents I was ever involved in was when I was run into by someone speeding in the wet, and almost obliterated by a drunk going through a red light. Of course, I’m not going to tell you that I did my fair share of speeding, and driving when I might have had a glass of wine or three – you’ll just have to wonder whether I did or not 😉 but those were the only two accidents I ever had, and I was never the cause of an accident, either. Anyway, the point of all of that was that I can’t tell where I am, either in the virtual waters of Rift, or in my wheelchair – anything else, like a car, and I’m fine…. maybe I just have a “thing” about being underwater, or subconsciously frustrated because I have to use a wheelchair, and it’s psychological? I dunno…

So, where was I? Oh yes, finishing off a cup of coffee before rushing off for my evening Stair Walk and dinner… Back later! 😉

+————————–+ * Dinner & Television Break * +————————–+

 Right! 🙂 Back again… Well, we made level 60, and we didn’t die! We’re now floundering around in The Plane of Water, and I’ve finally (after a lot of mucking around after our experience booster potions ran out) managed to get my Foraging skills up to par, so all’s well that ends well. Tomorrow Julian has an appointment with the Podiatrist, so see about some sort of orthotic that will help heal the tendon in his ankle, and I plan on working on either Incantessa or Addain – I’ve been neglecting them quite shamelessly lately. I also have to get my nose stuck into Domain again to look for more houses. So far we’ve been concentrating on the Doncaster/Templestowe area and the surrounding suburbs – but there’s nothing to stop us looking further afield towards either Mount Waverley or Glen Waverley, Wheeler’s Hill, Balwyn, Kew…. or even around the Ivanhoe areas. We had a brief look at Camberwell, Malvern, Armadale and Glen Iris, but the places we found in Camberwell were ridiculously expensive, considering that most of them were pretty old weatherboards, no matter how beautifully they’d been re-decorated inside, and Malvern and Glen Iris weren’t much better! There’s one thing I do know though 🙂 The houses won’t come looking for us – we’re going to have to go looking for them, if Julian wants us to be in our new house before Christmas! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. It seems that steep driveways are the way to go, after all! I went down maybe a bit too much though, especially considering that I’ll be starting on those horrid fluid retaining pills again tomorrow… I weighed in at 89.1kg this morning – four points down – hopefully I won’t bounce straight back up again – but I probably will… :/

So it’s back to work again tomorrow morning – juggling house hunting and Rift, mostly, and we also have a bit of financial shuffling, though that’s mainly himself’s domain. At the moment we have the blinds in the Den here at “half mast”, so that we can look out at the terribly weather – I’m glad we’re not out in it, and I hope that all of you out there are driving very carefully! That’s one thing that Julian is going to have to learn to live with again when we move into a house – taking the rubbish bins out on cold wet nights! 🙂 He’s been a bit spoilt since we moved in here – all he has to do is mooch along to the Rubbish Room and shove the bags down the rubbish chute! When we were in our old Burwood place, Julian had to take the rubbish bins out on a night very similar to tonight. He took a picture of himself out there, with the hood of his parka pulled up and tied tightly under his chin. His face is wet, there’s a drop of water hanging from his nose, and he looks thoroughly miserable! 🙂 I’m sure he’s looking forward to next winter, in a house… 😉 (was that mean of me, dear, to remind you of that, or was that mean of me? 😉 ) As far as I know, my favourite eldest daughter will be over on Tuesday, but I gather that she’s now lost over twelve kilos, which is really, really wonderful! 🙂 However, drop in again tomorrow night for all the news you don’t want to miss out on, like whether my weight shot back up, or stayed down… and whether I found anything in the way of prospective homes or not, and also what the Podiatrist had to say about himself’s ankle, so until then, bee good, drive carefully and keep warm tonight, but above all…. please stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.30

Well, here I am, finally – a little later than I wanted to start, but time, a weekend long 50% bonus to any and all experience gained (in Rift, of course!) and a lot of mundane grocery shopping sort-of held me up – just a little 🙂

We had a very early start this morning – the first house we looked at (at 10.00 am!) was the one I was telling you about last night – the one with the lift. Now, I thought that the lift looked as though it went from the 2 car garage underneath, to somewhere towards the back of the master bedroom, but I was wrong! The lift, in fact, went from the 2 car garage underneath… to the back of the walk in wardrobe in the master bedroom! Talk about  “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” scenarios! The house itself was well maintained, had beautiful big rooms, plenty of storage space, archways every which-where (I just love archways! I think they look so… “different” from your usual ho-hum boring old squared-off door frames – archways are so much more “romantic”!) In all, we would probably have had to strip everything except the supporting walls (and the archways!) out and start over from scratch. This place would have needed nearly three times the amount of work that Flowerdrum would have – in short, much more work than we were really prepared to handle. The deal breaker, though, was the driveway. Remember I told you that one of the houses we went to see the other day was at the bottom of a long, steep driveway at the end of a nice little cul-de-sac? Well, the driveway of the place we saw today almost made that first one look like level ground! It was really steep, up to the garage (where the lift was) and after that, there were two extremely steep sets of steps, leading up to… the stairs to the front porch! Well, the steps were mostly manageable, just, but it was the first set of steps that gave me palpitations – the hand rail didn’t start until half way up the flight of stone steps! So what with my arthritis, the fact that I can’t balance properly in shoes, and there was no hand rail until half way up… well, I was stuck, wasn’t I?! We weren’t allowed to use the lift – the Agents didn’t even know how to operate it (and I think that the garage was locked, anyway!) I couldn’t go back down the drive, it was really too steep for me, so there I was, teetering on the stone step, with nothing to hold onto to help me keep my balance! In the end, I was able to use Julian as fairly wobbly stair rail, and managed to get up, but I tell you, never again! I don’t care how many archways there are – I couldn’t live there! When we left, Julian brought the car up the drive as far as the garage, and even the big, powerful Mercedes station wagon didn’t like it very much! So we won’t need to worry about having High Rise apartments being built all around us, after all! 🙂

We had a bit of a lull before the second place opened, but we went and had a look at the outside of it, then drove around the area, just to see what sort of a neighbourhood it was. Well, I can tell you what sort of a neighbourhood it was in one word! “Hilly”! 🙂 But it was also very nice – “casual” gardens (that is, not manicured to within a blade of grass, and not unkempt and overgrown, OK? 😉 ) houses bordering on the “McMansion” type of architecture, lots of parks and green spaces – in other words, very pleasant. We also went and had a look at the block of land where the two houses that I’m currently so interested in are going to be built. A very similar area to the one I’ve just described, but much flatter! One could even go for a semi-decent walk without having to toil and puff oneself up hills and down dales… The block itself is almost completely flat, but to me, doesn’t really look big enough for two decent sized three bedroom homes… I said to Julian that he was going to have to sit down with me and explain to me the size of the rooms on the plan, compared to the size of rooms here in the apartment. For all the fact that I can judge spaces in a graphic to within one pixel, I have absolutely no idea of how big something is, simply from its measurements. Tell me that something is 180 square meters, and to me, that might mean the size of an egg cup, or it might mean the size of the MCG – or anywhere else in between! I have no point of reference! A measurement to me is just a number. Tell me that something is as big as our lounge room, and I know what you’re talking about. Tell me that something is as high as a desk, and I can immediately picture it – but tell me that it’s “X” meters high, and I’ll look at you blankly. I’m a very visual person – I’m afraid I don’t “do” abstract dimensions even vaguely well…

So anyway, we finally got to see the inside of the second house, the one that Carmen had been waxing so lyrical about. Well, I can certainly see us living there! It really is a beautiful place! There are three bedrooms upstairs, all with en-suites. There’s another bedroom downstairs, also with an en-suite, and a tiny little kitchenette! But one thing we did find very strange – there was no main bathroom! Off the lounge room and dining room there was a very fancy and stylish bar (with a sink, so there’s plumbing there) and behind that was a powder room (read toilet and hand basin) and a laundry – with a shower. If we were lucky enough to be able to afford this place (there were heaps of people – mostly Chinese – going through it this morning, and it is gorgeous – so I don’t really think we have a chance of getting it – as much as I wish we could!) But if we were lucky enough to get this place, I’d enclose the bar (cos we don’t really drink, and we don’t know enough people to do any entertaining) the space between the bar and the laundry/powder room, and the powder room itself, and turn it into a decent size main bathroom, leaving the laundry as it is (but maybe turn the shower into a large cupboard?) The large lounge room is separated from an enormous deck – almost as big as the lounge room itself – by huge sliding (or folding? I didn’t notice – sorry!) doors – when they’re open, the deck forms part of the lounge room, so that you have a giant indoor/outdoor living area. The garden is fairly maintenance free, and not too big, and all in all, it would be ideal. The main problem is the price – and if it does go to auction, I think we can say goodbye to it… (though Carmen seems to think that as the owners are anxious to go back to New Zealand, they may be happy to accept a good offer to get it all over and done with without having to wait for the auction. Time will tell, I guess!)

Weigh-in this morning. Was a bit of a non-event. I stayed the same – 89.5kg. Let’s see if scrambling up and down steep driveways will make a difference – it did last time…

So that’s about it from me for today – after the “house-ing”, we came home, had some lunch (it was my Berry Crunch bar day today – my favourite! 🙂 ) I went on my Stair Walk, we wrote out a huge shopping list, went and did the shopping, and came home tired and cold (well, I was cold, anyway) Then, as I mentioned at the start of the blog, Rift is having a 50% extra experience bonus weekend, so I wanted to try to get Incantessa as far along as possible. This is a new Incantessa (I’ll probably delete the original one) I decided that I didn’t want to wait until the other one was level 15 and so that I could move her – why should I? A girl already had to be moved off Hailol to make room for her, so… why not just move the superfluous girl first, and re-create Incantessa on the right shard to begin with? So I did, and she’s now level 10 🙂 It seems no-one has thought of the name “Incantessa” (such a cool name for a Mage! 🙂 ) as I managed to get it on all of the three shards that I tried it on! 🙂

+————————–+ * Dinner & Television Break * +————————–+

 Well, I didn’t really think that I’d get all of this written up before dinner time, and I didn’t. Still, ’tis almost finished now. Tomorrow is Sunday, and it’ll be a full day in Brevane – or Dusken, if we can find any more quests to do, where we’ll take advantage of the 50% extra experience bonus weekend – and who knows? Maybe we’ll even make it up to level 60! 😉 That’d be good… 🙂 And with a lot of luck, crossed fingers, and wishing on stars, maybe my weight will take advantage of the steep driveway that I so precariously managed to stagger and scramble up (probably looking most undignified, too!) and drop a few more points. I think I’d probably be quite satisfied with 98.3kg – let’s see what eventuates – knowing me, it’s more likely to go up! So drop by again tomorrow night and find out all the latest – the house hunting will resume it’s normal chaotic course on Monday morning, and you, gentle readers, will have to suffer it all right along with us, every step of the way to our new abode! 😉 However, until tomorrow night, please try to bee good, remember that sometimes you succeed…. and other times you learn; but above all… please stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.29

*There is a short update on the “As Seen On…” page – this time from Goodreads – one of their Quotes of the Day…

I can’t believe it’s Friday already! Where did the week go?! Well, it was Warfarin blood test time again today, so we went off early, before breakfast, to get it over and done with. The results came back this afternoon, and Julian and I have been speculating as to whether it’s my weight loss that is affecting the amount of Warfarin I need to take – I’ve just been Googling it, and apparently weight loss can indeed affect your Warfarin levels, but then, so can just about anything and everything else, from stress levels, to the ruddy weather! Anyway, the upshot of it all is, they’ve upped my Warfarin dosage again. I don’t mind – I’d much rather take higher doses of rat poison for the rest of my life, than have another episode of multiple blood clots! So, there we go. After we got home, we had our breakfast and a cup of coffee – and then our cleaning lady arrived. I puttered around with graphics while she was here – and got absolutely nowhere! All of my inspiration and imagination seems to have got up and went, as I’m totally devoid of ideas at the moment! So I mooched disconsolately back to Rift. Whilst tidying up my desk last night, I came across one of my old notebooks that I keep on my desk, in which to jot down things that I don’t want to lose (which I invariably do if I write them on a piece of paper!) The page at which the notebook happened to be opened at, held a name that had obviously taken my fancy at the time that I jotted it down, but which I had failed to make use of. It was quite a pretty name, too! “Incantessa” – and (I thought) one that sounded quite suitable for a Mage… I bet you can’t guess what I did when I saw that name! 🙂 Well, of course you can – you should all know me well enough by now – I went straight off to see if I could get it, which I did… on Greybriar 🙂 So now I have yet another character to get up to level 15 so that I can move her onto Hailol, and I have to decide on another character on Hailol to shard-shuffle off to make room for her! Oh, decisions, decisions! It’ll probably have to be Ishbel, because I can’t have two characters whose names start with the same letter. Well, I can, but… it’s complicated… It’s easier for mailing things if there’s only one character per alphabetical letter, as the in-game mailer fills in the name automatically from the first letter that you type. F’rinstance, if I type “W” into the “To” field, it automatically fills in the name “Winterthyme”, and if I type in an “H”, it automatically fills in the name “Hialeah” – and so forth! So I try to make it a rule that all my characters have names that start with different letters – therefore, I can’t have bother Ishbel and Incantessa, see? (*innocent smile*)

After lunch, we started trying to organise some other houses to go and look at… and I do so wish that the different Realtors could overcome their competitiveness enough to be able to come together to work out mutually convenient times of the day for Inspections! As it stands at the moment, about three of them have Inspections from between 11.00am, and 11.45am, which would be fine, if they were mostly all in the same area – but one is in Doncaster, one is in Camberwell, and the third is in Malvern! And out of the list that we made of “interesting sounding places”, one, in Kew, has been suddenly withdrawn from sale, with no explanation given, and another one, after talking with the Agent, seems to have priced itself out of our range, then a third one (the one with a lift in it!) turns out to be, quite literally, just around the corner from where we are here! It’s behind a fairly large Catholic Primary school though, and it abuts a park – Julian is concerned that with (possible) zoning changes, the properties around there could be snaffled up and “developed” as part of the Donca$ter Hill High Ri$e Apartment $cheme – but as we’d be in a house, not an apartment, I can’t see it affecting us greatly. It’s lower on the slope (hill side), so we wouldn’t have a view  – or not as much of a view – to worry about losing, and I really doubt that developers would want to buy land in front of us and put up a multi storey High Rise – it’s starting to get too far down the hill to be profitable, without huge changes to the building height restrictions – and I doubt that even this Council could be “offered incentives” to raise them enough. No, I think we’d be safe enough down there. The plan is, and always has been, to “Surfer’s Paradise” Doncaster Hill – the Council made their plans available while Mum still lived here, nearly ten years ago. Carmen, bless her heart, also sent us the plans for two houses due to be built in the area very soon. We’ll talk to her about these two houses tomorrow, but one of them, the first one, has what I believe is an ideal floor plan. If we bought “off the plan”, so to speak, we could not only avoid Stamp Duty, but we could have the bathrooms built pretty much however we wanted (we’d have to pay any extra costs, of course) so we wouldn’t have to muck around changing something already established. We could also specify what sort of floor coverings we’d prefer – once again, we’d have to pay any extra costs – but it would certainly be cheaper than buying a house, moving in, and then having to renovate certain areas! It’s well worth more than a second thought! 😉 I’ll let you all know how it goes tomorrow night…

Weigh-in this morning. I only have another two days before I start taking those wretched fluid loving pills again! It seems like only yesterday that I finished the last lot! *sigh* so I’m enjoying the tiny downward dribbles while I can. Down another one point this morning, from 89.6kg to 89.5kg. We’ll see what happens tomorrow morning…

So tomorrow looks like being a big day! The place with the lift – it’s a little strange, really – the house itself is high on the sloping block, with a two car garage underneath. Now, from the garage, you can either exit into the garden and climb a lot of what look like fairly steep steps up to the front door, or you can catch the little, one-person lift – from the garage to what appears to be the back of the main bedroom! Mind you, I wasn’t able to enlarge the floor plan, so I might have got the part about it being in the main bedroom all wrong! I certainly hope so! Anyway, it’ll be very interesting to see these places – including the site for these as yet unbuilt places. I doubt that I’ll get enough time tomorrow to do more than organise my Minions in Rift, and I’m extremely annoyed at having lost all my artistic inspiration! Hopefully I’ll find it hiding underneath a pile of dirty laundry or something, soon… I’m starting to get bored… “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” is on again tonight, on ABC1 at 8.32pm, but there’s little else worth watching – we’ll probably watch an episode of “Elementary” after the news, and then switch over for MFMM afterwards. Well, there’s not much more to tell you about tonight – however I think that tomorrow’s entry will probably be extra long 🙂 Poor Julian’s hating all this running around looking at houses – I’m finding it quite exciting! When we’re looking at houses, he won’t open cupboards to see how big they are, or turn on taps to see what the water pressure is like – I keep telling him that we should! We owe it to ourselves to do so! We’re not there just to walk around pretty rooms that have been cleaned and neatened up to impress, we’re there to see if the house is functional enough for us to live in ourselves! *sigh* So, one way or another, there’ll be heaps to fill you all in on tomorrow night – house-wise, weight-wise, and who-knows-what-else-wise! But until then, bee good, remember that the road to success is always under construction, but above all… please… stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.28

Well, wasn’t I a silly sausage for thinking that I might get some Rifting, or graphic-ing in today! 🙂 For behold! The Estate Agent cometh at around 11 o’clock this morning, and I needed to be at my bright, enthusiastic, and well groomed best to greet him. He came… we talked… pardon me, I mean he and Julian talked – I found it a trifle difficult to get a word in edgewise, and when I did, he made it more than obvious that he wasn’t even vaguely interested in what I had to contribute to the conversation. And then they talked a bit more, and a bit more… I was keeping my eye on the time, because I was hoping (vain hope!) to be able to get my midday Stair Walk in before we had to leave to have a second look at Flowerdrum Close. Ye ghods, I thought he’d never leave! He really didn’t have anything constructive to offer us, apart from his assurances that he’d do well at selling this place for a goodly price. Except for one small detail. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, give us a valuation – or even a ballpark figure, as to what this place was worth – which is why we asked him over in the first place! A professional valuation so that we’d have an idea of how much this place is really worth! The first Estate Agent who came here to “value” our home, quoted us a ridiculously low estimate. Yes, we understand that there are a great many tiny, cramped, but bright, shiny, brand new apartments springing up all over Doncaster Hill – which is why we’re getting out while we can still, hopefully, get a reasonable price for this place… but the price he quoted us was ludicrously low. Carmen dithered around and talked a lot, but didn’t really add anything truly constructive to our, as yet incomplete, data base of real estate values in the Doncaster/Templestowe areas – other than that it depended on who was looking for large apartments, and how much they were willing to pay to get one. This guy today, Craig something-or-other, was even worse than Carmen, because he just wouldn’t shut up! He arrived at 11.00am… he finally left at around 1.15pm! Give me strength! (*rolls eyes*) I don’t know about Julian, but I rate his visit this morning as a truly gross waste of not only our time, but his as well! In the end, I didn’t have time for my Stair Walk before we left, I had to do it as soon as we got home again, Julian didn’t have time to make himself a proper lunch – he had one of my Optifast Bars instead, and we didn’t even have time for a cup of coffee! So, anyway, that was the end of our “morning” :/

We went off to have another look at Flowerdrum Close. It is very nice, and it’s positively seething with possibilities – but it’s built on a concrete slab (which fact I hadn’t known before) meaning that it would be next to impossible to “re-arrange” wet areas, like bathrooms, the laundry, and the kitchen – and that was where most of the “alterations” needed to be done. Most of the plumbing – in fact just about all of the plumbing, is buried in the concrete – so not only do you not know where the plumbing you want to change is, it’s also very hard to connect any new plumbing to it. Then there are all the other things that would have to be changed, as well… So I’m afraid that Flowerdrum Close’s prospects of become our future home are rapidly receding into the mists of “could have beens” 😦 When we got home again, I immediately charged off on my – rather late – midday Stair Walk. Then, sitting down with a very welcome cup of tea, the two of us started sifting though Domain, to see what else we could find. Julian and I both use Chrome as our browser, and we both use the handy little utility, Speed Dial, which allows you to organise, and keep, all your tabs in neat little groups without having to have hundreds of Tabs open on your browser all the time. So I entered all our requirements into Domain’s search engine (4+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, etc.) and went looking. I’ve looked at ten pages worth of houses for sale so far, and come up with thirteen possible houses, the majority of which have swimming pools! This surprised us more than somewhat – I mean, if this had been Surfer’s Paradise, sure – you’d more-or-less expect every second house to have a swimming pool – but this is cold, wet, miserable Melbourne! Why are there so many private swimming pools here?! Of course, they’re of no real interest to us, and we’d probably fill them in and grow our veggies there… (though… I am starting to find myself strangely drawn to the idea of having a swimming pool in the back yard… and besides, growing veggies is such back-breaking work…) So out of the thirteen places that I managed to find in my search, Julian has short-listed about four of them for further investigation. They’re all mostly in the Kew, Balwyn North, Camberwell, and/or Malvern areas, from memory… We’ll do some more research tomorrow…

Weigh-in this morning. down one point, from 89.7kg to 89.6kg. Which is good! I’d much rather go down in increments of one, or even two points, than go down a whole four, five, or even six points at once! All you do is bounce massively back, which is horribly depressing, even though your intellect tells you that “this is normal – the only thing that really matters is the general trend!”, it’s an emotional blow to the psyche! *pout*

Tomorrow, our cleaning lady will be here. At the moment, we’d much rather she didn’t know that we are looking for a home elsewhere, so we’ve put all our house-hunting equipment “in a safe place” (my “safe place” is Julian! 😉 I’ve given all of my papers, etc., to him… if he loses them, it’s not my fault, OK?! 😉 ) and we’ll get on with the hunt again once she’s gone… That means (I hope!) that tomorrow I might get a chance to get a bit of Rifting done, or a bit more graphic-work, depending on how I feel at the time… On Saturday, there’s another of Carmen’s houses to go and see in Doncaster East. It backs onto the Currawong Bush Park and Mullum Mullum Trail, has the requisite 4+ bedrooms and 2+ bathrooms (in fact, it has 4 bathrooms!) and the provided photos look stunning! Unfortunately, she made the silly mistake of telling us that a lot of people were very interested in buying it, which instead of spurring us on to get there, and have a look with a view to buying it early (it’s going to Auction on June 20th) it’s made us almost reluctant to go and see it, in case we do like it, because with all the interest this house has apparently generated, it’s probably going to be pushed quite a lot out of our price range! Still, we will go and have a look – hopefully we’ll hate it! (or even more hopefully, we’ll love it, and everyone else will hate it! 😉 ) So that’ll be our Friday and Saturday – spent puttering about, looking at houses. We haven’t done this sort of things for about fifteen years! But it’s like riding a bicycle – you never totally forget how the game’s played! 🙂 (I can’t ride bicycles – I fall off. I even fall off exercise bikes attached firmly to the floor! I can ride horses, though!) So come visit me here again tomorrow night! Hopefully my weight will still be behaving itself, and hopefully we’ll have another two or three places to look at on Saturday – but you’ll have to wait for those write-ups until Saturday night – sorry! 🙂 But there’ll be lots of other things to tell you, so until then, bee good, remember that your bank account can be overdrawn, but it can never be overfilled (but don’t you wish, eh? 😉 ) and… above all, pleasestay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.27

Yes, I’m starting late again! I went to the hairdresser today, and then we went on to The Pines, because there was a jumper at My Size that I wanted to get, and I still had my $50.00 Birthday Voucher from them. We’ve just got home, and while I would normally have raced straight off to get my evening Stair Walk out of the way, I decided to have a much needed cup of coffee first, this time. So anyway, this new blog background is the colour of my precious, dearly beloved Gingee. I hope the colours aren’t too bright, or harsh… because Gingee was the best, dearest, sweetest, most loving of cats – he’d sit right on top of my bare foot, and curl his tail around my ankle, like a small child holding on to its mother’s skirt with one hand, while sucking their thumb – he’d sit there for ages, sometimes!. He didn’t particularly like being picked up, but he’d come and sit on you, or right next to you, cuddling against you – and he used to wash my face for me. He’d jump onto my desk, stand between me and the keyboard, and place both his front paws firmly on my shoulders, to pin me down, and very thoroughly lick my nose and forehead! Gingee (what an imaginative name for a ginger cat!) was a stray who wandered into the area between our house and the unit behind us, and seemed to be comfortable hanging around the place. One hot summer night, when we had the doors and windows open in the hopes of catching any stray breezes, our cat Boo (short for “Boojums”) was eating his dinner near the kitchen door, and all of a sudden we heard a most piteous mewling: “I’m hungry! I want some dinner too – feed me!”, and there was this ginger cat, standing right next to Boo, with only the screen door separating them. Boo seemed totally unconcerned – he knew he was safe with the door between him and this rude interloper, and he nonchalantly kept on eating (Boo was like that! 🙂 ) The ginger cat kept on telling us that he was hungry too, and where was his dinner, please? So… I went out and fed him too. The next morning, I gave him breakfast, and then I found that I was feeding him breakfasts and dinners. However, he was “entire” (i.e he was a tom cat), and I didn’t particularly want to keep an entire tom around, but I thought “if he’s going to stay here, he’s going to have to be neutered”. I lured him inside with food, grabbed him, shoved him in a cat basket, and off he went to the Vet, for a check up, inoculations, and a small “snip” under his tail. After a thorough examination the Vet put his age at “probably just past adolescence”. To be on the safe side, I kept him inside for a couple of days, and he seemed… very pleased! After that, I tried to let him out, but most of the time, he’d go a couple of steps from the back door, sit down for a wash, and turn around, wanting to come back inside! But he was outside a fair bit, and one day my favourite youngest daughter, Kate, noticed that one of his ears “smelt funny”. He was shaking his head a lot, and scrunching that ear down a bit, so we took him off to the Vet again. It turned out that he had a very bad abscess inside his ear – probably from a scratch or a bite under his ear from another cat during a fight. It had burst his ear drum, and was quite a serious infection. If antibiotics and topical medications didn’t cure it, the Vet said that they’d have to go in through his jaw to drain it, it was that bad! I kept him inside and kept him medicated, and he gradually recovered – but it was an expensive infection to treat – not that we minded – he was well worth any expense! but we decided that from now on, he was going to be an inside cat – we wanted a bit of “return” for our money! 😉 Gingee didn’t mind in the slightest! I used to worry that he’d fret, being kept inside all the time, and try to make a bolt for it if he got near an open door – but no, he never tried to get out, and I reckon that you could have left all the doors and windows open, and he probably wouldn’t even have noticed! Sadly, we didn’t have him for long enough… we think he was probably abused by a man before he came to us – he was terrified of men, especially men wearing big, clumpy boots, and the sight of a belt being taken off was enough to have him running to hide under a chair, hissing and flattening his ears. His kidneys had been damaged, we think probably from a kick or a blow. Then he developed Diabetes – we had to give him insulin injections twice a day, poor little boy, but he was content to have us treat him, and he was so sweet… But Diabetes and bad kidneys are an extremely bad combination, and we lost him when he was only about five or six years old – very young for a well loved and well looked after inside cat to die, and most definitely too young for our Gingee to go. I still miss him… I took the colours for this background and header from his photo…

Weigh-in this morning. Would you believe that I was back to 89.7kg, one point less that I was on Sunday, before I my body had its little “one point practice jump”!? If you can figure it out, you’re a better man (or woman) than I am, Gunga Din!

Next week at the hairdresser I’ll have someone different doing my hair – Brooks is off to Bali for a week’s holiday. But we’ve solved the problem of the wet back! I sat on a pile of towels today, and Brooks used a different basin neck rest thingy, and together they added up to… a dry back! Brilliant! 🙂 Tomorrow we have a third Real Estate agent coming to talk to us and tell us how much he thinks this place is worth, and we’re going to have another look at Flowerdrum Close. Carmen has finally listed the new place she’s been waxing lyrical about, and we’ll go and see that one, too… I think it’s Saturday that it will be open for inspection. Unfortunately it’s under “multiple listings” (no one Real Estate Agency has exclusive rights to its sale – they’ll all be trying to sell it to the highest bidder, otherwise it goes to Auction, and then it’s anyone’s guess how much it’ll go for!) It’s listed as 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 car garage, and as having all the bells and whistles known to mankind! (well, almost, anyway! 😉 ) so I’ll be very interested to see it! I just wish I didn’t have to wait until Saturday to do so! 🙂 So unless this “Gingee” background and header are too bright, I might give graphics a short break tomorrow, and spend a bit of “quality time” Rifting – lately I just seem to have been setting up my Minions every morning and every evening, and nothing else. Mind you, with the Estate Agent coming over, I’m not sure how tomorrow is going to pan out! But… you know what I’m going to say now, don’t you! 🙂 Exactly what I say every night! Drop by again tomorrow night, and find out what the Agent had to say! And… will my weight continue to tease me unmercifully and bounce back up again, or will it settle down? At this stage, your guess is as good as mine! The request for a Credit Report for my erstwhile “assumed” name has been sent off – it’ll be interesting to see what the outcome will be – most likely “None Found” will be what comes back – I hope the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages will accept that! And, that’s about it from me for tonight! I’m looking forward to seeing you all here again tomorrow night – however until then, bee good, remember that all you need is love… but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt 😉 and above all… pleasestay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.26

I had a horrible dream last night… when I woke up, I told Julian about it. I dreamed that I had put on three kilos overnight, and that I was 93. something kilos! After I’d told him about the dream, I asked him “It’s not possible for me to put on 3 kilos overnight, is it?” and he said (not terribly convincingly) “No, of course not…” and I’ll tell you the rest later…

Well, he left early to pick up my favourite eldest daughter, and I started doing some graphic work. I don’t really think I like this green background (I dunno, I don’t think I “do” green very well…) so I’m working on another one. I got as far as creating a new background, and re-doing the frame around the header (after a few false starts) and then I realised that I needed some more flower-type brushes, so of course, I went looking for them. I found quite a few on Deviant Art, but I didn’t have time to download very many of them before Lee arrived. Julian had just dropped her off here as he had to shoot off to the Physiotherapist (for his ankle) …I just went to have a quick look at the brushes I downloaded earlier. I’m afraid I can’t use them – it looks like they weren’t created properly in the first place – there’s so much junk and “mess” (read “introduced noise”) around each one of them that I’d have to spend, quite literally, hours cleaning them up, pixel by pixel. I may yet do so – with some of them, anyway – but most of them are just too intricate, and not knowing the details of the images they were made from, I simply wouldn’t know what was supposed to be there, and what wasn’t. What a shame! And what a waste of time – both my time, and that of the person who made them! Ah well, I suppose that’s graphics for you! :/

So Julian went to the Physio this morning. Apparently it’s not a “wear” or “stress” injury, but is more often caused by cholesterol and/or blood sugar levels damaging the tendon. Since he’s lost so much weight, those two conditions are no longer a problem, but the damage has been done, the tendon is quite badly torn, and must now be treated. Today he learned that he has leg muscles that he never knew he had, and I reckon, from what he was telling me, that he’ll probably be quite stiff and sore tomorrow! He has to halve his morning walk, and make up the rest of his walking time doing special exercises which the Physio has written up for him, and next Tuesday, after he sees the Physio in the morning, he’ll see a Podiatrist about having an “orthotic” made up, to take the strain off his instep (I think!) In the interim, she’s strapped it up for him, and she says it’ll take about eight to nine months to recover! [sarcasm mode: /On] Lucky we’re not doing much these days! [sarcasm mode: /Off] And so the hunt for a house continues… (amongst other things, like repairing tendons!)

I got my glasses back today, and I’m so glad to finally have them again! The new pair I’ve been wearing (the ones they forgot to put the tinting on) were giving me one hell of a nickle rash behind my left ear! They have a fancy little metal “cut-out” embedded in the part of the arms that rests just behind your ear, and really, I would have thought (silly me for thinking, eh?!) that a pair of glasses frames, as expen$ive as they were, would have had “allergy free” metal in the places that were going to be making contact with bare skin. But no, they contain nickle, to which I am very allergic, and now I have a nasty, weeping rash behind my left ear (and it itches like blazes!) I also have my computer glasses back, and this time, I can see the keyboard! (Yayyy!) Unfortunately, my walk around ones, my red ones, of which I am so fond, have a chip out of one of the lenses, so they’ll have to re-make both lenses in order for the tinting to match properly. The Optometrist managed to break a chip out of one of the lenses when he was putting them in the frames… *rolls eyes* But at least I can wear them until the new lenses arrive, then just go down and they’ll swap them over while we wait.

Weigh-in this morning. I told you about my dream at the beginning of the blog… and I did say yesterday that the one little point I went up was just a “practice jump”, didn’t I? Well, that dream of mine wasn’t completely accurate, but it was close enough to be totally uncanny! I’ve gone back up to 90.3kg (see? There’s the “90”, and there’s the “3”!) and that’s one point up from where I was on Saturday, which you have to admit sounds a lot better than saying “I went up four points overnight!” 😦 I feel like Jabba the Hutt(ess)! 😦 I hope I never have a dream like that again – ever! 😦

This afternoon Lee and I watched four episodes of “Orphan Black” – gosh, it’s a good show – a trifle confusing, at times, but it’s really well done. I’m so glad it’s playing again! We also watched the trailer for a new “super hero” series, “Supergirl“, starting sometime this year – it looks pretty good, too 🙂 All these series to watch, so little time! :/ I haven’t even caught up with all the episodes of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” that I recorded! At least there’s nothing decent on TV tonight, so we can watch an episode of “Elementary” (another totally excellent show!) and burn off another one of our pre-recorded shows that are taking up so much room on the Foxtel unit!

I’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow – hopefully it’ll be a fairly quiet day! The new header and background that I’m working on is yellow, but I’m trying to tone it down so that it’s not too bright.  I do wish they’d invent a new colour – I don’t “do” green terribly well, and while I do like red, it’s not really the colour for a blog background or header… there’s blue… purple… pinks and oranges… in all their various shades – but just for a change, I’d really like to steer clear of blues, and purples and mauves… so what else is there? Brown? Mushroom? Dinner calls – back later! 🙂

+————————–+ * Dinner & Television Break * +————————–+

It is now later… where was I? Oh yes, different colours. What about poppy? That’s not really “red”, it’s more of a deep orange… or the “orange” of a ginger cat, like my precious Gingee. I might actually try that tomorrow… it just might work… 🙂 Anyway, we’ve watched our nightly episode of “Elementary”, and we burned off one of our light and frivolous “Mysteries at the Museum”, and the evening is drawing to a close. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to try out my “Gingee” idea tomorrow – green just doesn’t work. Why not call back tomorrow and see if I’ve got rid of the green? You’ll also find out if the sudden weight gain was just a once-off, or if I’m still languishing within the 90kg zone, and whether Julian is paying the price for all the pretzels the Physio bent his leg into today. He’s supposed to do his exercises before he goes on his morning walk (but at the moment he’s hobbling around like I do, when I’m forced to wear shoes!) He’s also not supposed to go around barefooted in the house – I’d like to see anyone try to make me wear shoes around the house – the only time I’ll wear shoes is when I’m forced to, because I’m going out! (actually, come to think of it, the guy who made my shoes told me the same thing – that I shouldn’t go barefooted all the time – and I think I told him something equally as rude and obnoxious! 😉 ) And on that note, I shall leave you all with the admonishment to bee good, remember that one of the greatest pleasures in life is doing what people say you cannot do… but above all… please stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.25

Do you ever have days when you’re dissatisfied with yourself, with what you’ve done during the day? Well, today I don’t feel as though I’ve accomplished much – I suppose I have, really, but I just don’t feel as though I have… I Rifted this morning, and managed to acquire another Guild Bank Vault on Hailol – this is our fourth Vault, and it was going to cost us 3000 platinum! As we barely even had 500 platinum, I got Julian to use one of his high level characters to “courier” over 3000 platinum from Laethys (high level characters don’t have any restrictions on how much wealth they can carry between shards!) and we were able to get our new, and much-needed, Guild Bank Vault. I also decided that I’d swap one of my (many) level 20 characters for not only a younger one, but one who had a full set of Transcendent Trove “experience boosters”, too! Why? So that I can level her up more quickly! And what was wrong with leveling up the “older” character? Wel-l-l – I just didn’t like her much, is about the only answer that springs to mind… The girl I’m swapping her for isn’t “old” enough to migrate yet – I have to level her up to level 15 first, and that’s what I was doing for most of the morning (she’s now sitting on level 14) If my favourite eldest daughter doesn’t come over tomorrow, I should have Evensong (that’s the character’s name) over in Hailol by lunchtime tomorrow 🙂

After lunch, I started working on some new graphics, but first I went and played around with/tested a couple of templates. WHY do they all have to be so badly designed?! Alright, I can sort-of understand why there are so many limitations on the fonts you can use (however I know they could give us another two or three script fonts, if they wanted to! (but they don’t!)) But why are the templates themselves so… boringly designed? Why can’t the header be the same colour as the rest of the background? And why can’t it be any colour you want (more to the point, why do they say “or chose your own colour”, and then not let you!) I wish I knew how to make templates… (*nostalgic smile*) I remember back when the world wide web was in its infancy. I think we’d just closed down the Bulletin Board, after eleven long years, and I wanted to have a “web presence” (read: website!) There were various “free” places where you could “create your own web site” that they gave you, but I wanted something better. We “got hold of” (don’t ask!) a copy of a fairly primitive WYSIWYG editor, and I started building my site. There were plenty of free web graphics and site templates that you could download and use – but I didn’t like them much – I didn’t like the frames, I didn’t like the horribly coloured graphics, I grizzled, in true Winter fashion, about everything. I decided that I was going to learn to make my own*. I had Jasc (now under the auspices of  Corel) Paint Shop Pro, and I set out to learn how to make graphics fit for a web site. It was a long, slow, haul – I printed out tutorials and slaved over their instructions. I assiduously copied the work of other web artists, and where I couldn’t figure out how they’d achieved a particular effect, I muddled around until I found my own way of achieving it. I joined graphic groups and kept on learning. By the time I left these groups, many years ago now, I think I was a pretty competent web graphic artist 🙂 You can find some examples of my work under “Graphics” in the Site Map here. I don’t think anyone uses these sorts of “web sets” anymore, but they were sure fun to make! 🙂 So if I could learn to make graphics from scratch, I’m sure I can learn how to make blog templates from scratch, too! All I need is for someone to point me in the right direction! 🙂 Surely, with a little imagination and a willingness to try, it can’t be that hard to make a decent, reliable, and versatile blog template, can it?!

Apropos of our decision to move (apparently we’re not just “thinking” about it any more, we’re actually going to move into a house! Good! I might finally get that veggie garden that I’ve always been promised! 😉 ) we had a talk with our accountant this morning – just to check that the way we’re planning to do things isn’t too financially harebrained and isn’t likely to leave us knocking on the door of the Poorhouse… he seemed to think that what we were planning will be fine, so I guess that now means that we’re going to be in for an exciting ride for the duration! 🙂 I’m going to miss being so close and handy to the shopping centre though… :/

Weigh-in this morning. Just as well I left a bit of leeway in my new graph page! I went up a point, from 89.8kg to 89.9kg. Not a terribly big bounce back – that’ll come tomorrow – I have a nasty feeling that today was just the “practice jump”! I guess we’ll find out in the morning…

My favourite eldest daughter is supposed to be coming over tomorrow – Julian SMS’d her this afternoon, but we haven’t heard back from her. Last week she did say that she had an assignment due this week, and that whether or not we see her will depend on how she’s going with that. The Podiatrist will be here tomorrow, too – so if Lee isn’t here, Julian might have to “stand in” for her (pardon the pun!) This morning, when I went on my Stair Walk, I did count the steps, and took special note of where I stop and turn back! There are 64 steps down, and 64 steps back up again, and the sign on the door where I stop and turn around to come back reads: “Ground Level (1)” (the next door up has a sticky note on it, reading “2”, etc., I know, because I was the one who put the sticky notes on the doors, and the floor we’re on doesn’t have a sticky note on it! I know it’s the fifth floor because there’s a book wedging the door open!) There’s not really much more news today – As I started to tell you at the beginning of the blog (but as usual, I got sidetracked by my complaints!) I’ve started on quite a pretty new header, that I may even turn into a Bookmark Wallpaper as well – but I’m having problems with the background colours. It really looks best against plain white, but I sort-of feel that that’s cheating, or being lazy, or something. So I’ll work on it a bit more tomorrow (if Lee isn’t over, that is!) and with a bit of luck, you might all be able to see it tomorrow night! 🙂 So, to catch up on all the latest, graphic-wise, Rift-wise, news-wise and weight-wise, call in again tomorrow night! Until then, though, please bee good, remember – you can always teach a cat anything that it wants to do, but above all… please stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*As people who know me well can tell you – once I completely determine to do – or not do – something; once I get that particular bee in my bonnet, almost literally nothing will stop me. I’ll do it, come what may, or die trying! I did it when I was breeding and showing Siamese cats. I did it with graphics. I did it with smoking (from 50+ a day to none, with the help of a caring Pharmacist, nicotine patches, and my own “fake cigarette from a drinking straw” invention) and now I’m doing it – fairly successfully – with my weight!

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.24

I’m getting better! 🙂 I walked out the front door for my evening Stair Walk at precisely 5.00pm, and sat down at my desk again at 5.05pm. Five minutes – to walk to the fire escape, down 64 stairs, stop, put on my glove, walk back up the 64 stairs, and back to the apartment – plus putting the keys , the book, my glove and my scarf away, and getting back to my desk. This time last year I’m not sure I could have even done two floors, let alone four… or is it five? I’ve been trying to count it on my fingers, but I keep getting confused between the 1st floor, and the ground floor. Whatever! There are 16 steps between floors, and I walk from the fifth floor to the first floor, which is the “ground floor” for Williamsons Road – the road that runs in front of our building. But! There is a second “ground floor” below that, which opens onto the road that runs behind our building, as well (hmph!) so… I dare you to tell me you’re not confused! I live here, and I’m confused! Tomorrow, I’m going to count the stairs, and take my phone with me, so that I can take a photo of the landing where I stop, and start going up again! 😛

We spent the day in Dusken, and while we haven’t completely finished the area, it is all mapped out (apart from two very small squares in the middle of this last bit) and we seem to have run out of quests… Julian thinks it’s because we haven’t reached level 60 yet, as there’s a guy standing around where we turned in our last quest, and he has a greyed out exclamation mark over his head. I tried to tell Julian that it’s a PVP* exclamation mark, so we wouldn’t be taking it anyway (PVP quest exclamation marks are a slightly different shape to the normal “quest” exclamation marks) but he seems to think that as soon as we hit level 60, it’ll become available to us. And it well might become available – but it won’t be one we’ll be wanting to pick up! I think we should travel back the way we came, as there are probably quests that we’ve forgotten about (or just didn’t see!) further back down the trail, that we weren’t able to pick up before – but probably can now that we’re both level 59… but he wanted to go over to the other “island”, Brevane, and see if we could find some quests over there. So we did that, and we’ve picked up a couple of quests there, and of course there are all the alternative “carnage” quests to do, that we didn’t get on Dusken (different flora and fauna!) So we’ll see what happens next week – though I’d still like to go back to the Necropolis, and start working forward from there, to see what we can find… I died twice today – Julian didn’t die, but came very close to it. We’d been sent off after a particularly tough Boss (actually, we might have come to the end of Dusken! He was certainly tough enough to have been the end Boss!) He was only a level 60 Elite – I sound so blasé, don’t I! 🙂 “only a level 60 Elite”! Well, we’d been knocking over level 60 Elites for most of the day – no problemo – so when we saw that he was a level 60 Elite, it was just a matter of “ho-hum, another level 60 Elite – *yawn*” – only he wasn’t! he was really nasty! There was some sort of pillar, or post, in the middle of the area we were in, and when he ran back to it he was able to use an extremely powerful attack that pretty much knocked your socks off – not to mention your head! As I said – I died twice – Julian got slivered twice (healing afterwards cost me 59 gold!) Still, we got him in the end.. and when we turned that quest in – there weren’t any more! Not even a breadcrumb quest to the Plane of Water! That’s why I want to go back and look…

I forgot to tell you the other night – I heard back from the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages about my change of name application. The fact that my driver’s licence was in my assumed name, all those years ago, means that they do want a credit report for it. I’m a bit put out about it, because there won’t be one! Back in those days, neither my partner or myself had a credit card, or had ever applied for credit! I know we had a Bank Card when I was with my first husband (who left me with $5000 worth of debts to pay off!) but between then, and when Julian and I got together, I was too gun-shy (credit card shy?) to even contemplate applying for credit of any kind! Oh well, Julian seems to think that as long as we make the effort it’ll be alright, even if it comes up with a “No Credit history found”. We’ll get onto that tomorrow…

Weigh-in this morning. I have to make up a new graph sheet – this morning was the last day on the current page. This time, I think I’ll start the weight off a little higher than I was this morning, just in case I do a really big bounce back, tomorrow or the day after… and I think I’ll start the dates along the bottom of the page from yesterday… because I weighed in at 89.8kg this morning – a very big drop of four points! It must have been that very steep driveway that I had to inch my way down, and scramble my way back up! I said to Julian this morning when I got off the scales for the second time (we always weigh me twice – just in case the scales change their mind!) “We have to buy that house! It was the driveway wot took the weight off! It’s far better than the stairs! I want to move in tomorrow!” 😀

So it looks as though tomorrow is going to be fairly busy! We have the Credit Report thingy to organise, Rift-wise I have to make (craft) some flooring for a Dimension I want to build – and I was absolutely stunned to find that, with all the oodles of Dimension items that I have, I have no flooring! No paving tiles! Well, I have about half a dozen – but I need more than a stack! (99 items = 1 stack) So I shall have to make some. I know the “recipe” for them, and I have – or can buy from the Auction House, the materials for them. Winterthyme is going to be quite busy… Graphic-wise, I have a lot of experimentation to do with headers and backgrounds, and I have to – I must – work out why some of the templates are magnifying the header graphics so much! It’s driving me batty! Grrrr!

+————————–+ * Dinner & Television Break * +————————–+

Back again – there was a small segment on the news tonight about a really rare sparrow! An albino sparrow – with not even any very faint wing bars! Apparently they’re so rare that “they” think that there’s only ever one alive at a time, in the whole world – and it was absolutely beautiful, too! They said (on the news) that because of the lack of pigmentation in its wings, they’re not as strong as a normal sparrow’s, and that it can’t fly as well or as far because of this, so they won’t say exactly where it lives (just the general area, which I fergit now – sorry!) in case anyone tries to “interfere” with the gorgeous little bird. But anyway, it was really sweet, and I hope predator birds don’t find the thought of a white sparrow for breakfast too tempting! :/ And with that little “bon mot”, and before this gets far too long again, I suppose I should really wind this up – but drop by again tomorrow night and see what tales I have to tell! 🙂 Will my weight have bounced back up? It did fall a l-o-n-g way this morning! Will I have made enough paving tiles upon which to build my dream Dimension house? And will I have – finally – found an answer to my template header problems! (probably not, is the answer to that one!) Find out tomorrow night! 😉 Until then, though, bee good, don’t be critical of other people’s tastes, but above all – please, stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*PVP = Player Versus Player – you fight other players, rather than just the game generated monsters and nasty people

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.23

OK, I’m starting very early today – I wanted to get the properties we saw today written up while they were all still more-or-less fresh in my mind. We were supposed to have seen four places, but we ended up only seeing three of them – the fourth one wasn’t a two storey house, after all – it was a three storey one, which was, even with all my current stair climbing, just a little too much like “hard work” (which I am totally allergic to!)

The first place we went to was really quite nice. Large enough, it had a split level, or “three steps down” sunken lounge room, overlooking a postage stamp sized garden. The kitchen needed “a lot of work” (read: stripping and completely re-doing!) but had a lovely skylight letting natural light in over the stove area. The bedrooms were all decent sizes, and the en-suite was “adequate”, but it – and the main bathroom – were like the kitchen – they would have had to have been completely re-modeled. The main bedroom was… strange! All I can say is that the owners must have traveled a lot – because they obviously missed their hotel rooms, and so modeled their bedroom almost exactly like your standard up-market hotel/motel suite! (yes 🙂 we’ve stayed in a few of them, exactly like this bedroom!) You walk along the corridor – there’s the closed bedroom door. Open the door, and you’re faced with a passage wide enough to fit a trolley piled high with suitcases and luggage. This opens up into a very large room, with a door off to the side which leads to the en-suite. Against one wall of the bedroom is the bed. It has a heavy wooden bedhead with attached bedside tables. Directly opposite the bed is a big, very heavy, “bowed” dresser-come-cabinet, containing drawers, shelves, cupboards, and a very big television set. There are a couple of not terribly comfortable looking chairs, and a small table, and that’s it. Erm… that was the master bedroom I was describing, not a hotel room! There wasn’t heaps of storage space, but there was probably enough. The main problem with this place was the fact that it’s in a semi-gated community. The (all very nice and well maintained) houses are almost “semi-detached“, they were so close together, and there’s very little garden space (and if we’re going to live in a house, and not an apartment, I want my veggie garden!) It’s also under the thrall of a Body Corporate – something that we desperately want to get away from. So while we quite liked the place, I don’t really think it’s for us…

The second place we looked at this morning was the two storey place, right at the bottom of an extremely steep hill at the end of a cul-de-sac, where there was no parking. Very trepidatiously I walked down it,  thinking as I went “this is going to be real fun, on the way back up! (NOT!)” It was a right horror of a house – well, not a horror, it was really quite alright – if you like tiny, cramped rooms, cluttered with furniture and ornaments… in the lounge room there was even a pile of framed pictures, leaning up against one of the chairs! (in other words, the place wasn’t terribly well presented!) The ground floor was such a cramped little warren of rooms that we didn’t even bother looking upstairs… really, about the only thing that this place had going for it (from our perspective!) was the fact that there was an entry from the double car garage directly into the house. Something that Julian’s always wanted in a house… Then I walked back up the very steep driveway – in bare feet. These first two houses both had signs outside asking prospective buyers to please remove their shoes before entering – which filled me with great joy! For some unknown reason, I just can’t balance properly in shoes – I walk a lot better, faster, and straighter in bare feet – so when we came out, Julian said to me “do you want me to bring the car down to pick you up?” and I said “no! I’ll walk… but I’m not putting my shoes on until we get to the top!” So I walked up the steep driveway… The bottom part of it was paved in herringbone brick… which looks smooth and easy enough to walk on, but the mortar between the bricks, and the texture of the bricks, is really quite painful to bare feet that are used to walking on smooth tiles, and (relatively) smooth concrete stairs! The next part of the driveway – the steepest part – was concrete, but not the same sort of concrete that the fire escape stairs are made from, no! This was “rough” concrete, with chips of bluestone through it! It was a lot more painful than the bricks, and there was a lot more of it! But it was so steep that I didn’t dare stop to put on my shoes, in case I slid backwards and scraped all the skin off the soles of my feet! So anyway, I got to the top, took one look at the extremely rough road surface, decided that perhaps discretion was the better part of valour after all, and put my (much hated) shoes back on.

Then we had a bit of a wait until the third place was going to be open – that’s the one in Flowerdrum Close that I was so anxious to see – so we came home – I did my pre-lunch Stair Walk, we had lunch and a cup of coffee, then off we went again. It was a lovely place. It has big metal security gates, and a short-ish bricked driveway. Carmen met us at the door and hustled us past the officious Real Estate Agent who wanted us to show him some photo ID, and we had a look around. I loved it! The master bedroom was a decent size, and the en-suite was great! (the shower was perhaps a little on the small size, but it was big enough to put some sort of a seat in it – the arthritis in my lower spine demands that I be able to sit in the shower, you see 😦 ) It was, I suppose, a slightly “different” type of layout to your everyday, run-of-the-mill house – it was long and narrow – two rooms wide at one end, one room wide through the middle, and three rooms wide at the back-end – a sort of a “C” shape, if you will. All the rooms, except for two of the bedrooms, face roughly north-west, and look out on the swimming pool and outdoor entertainment area. The kitchen needs a new stove top and wall oven, but other than that, it’s beautiful. The top end of the house is beautiful. The back end of the house, unfortunately, is a “m.e.s.s.” and would largely have to be gutted and re-built. Pretty much on a par with what we did to our Glen Waverley property before my favourite eldest daughter and her husband moved in, so it’s not really a big deal in the scheme of things. The swimming pool is a bit of a problem though – Julian says there’s not really enough access to pull it out, but I don’t see why we have to dig it out – why can’t we can’t just drain the water out and fill it up with soil, and have our veggie garden there – or drain the water out and just deck over the top of it, putting a raised garden bed on top of the decking. Why does it have to all be removed? Seems a bit silly and superfluous to me… On the other hand, we could keep it as a swimming pool and I could practice aquaerobics (or whatever it’s called) in it, with my favourite eldest daughter – it would be very good exercise for her – and Julian could do laps, instead of going for long walks in the mornings! 🙂 Anyway, so Flowerdrum Close still remains a possibility – and just as we were leaving, Carmen said that she’ll be listing a new place tonight that might suite us. It had been listed before, and an Auction date set, but the owners (who just happen to be friends of hers, don’tcha know! 😉 ) didn’t get the necessary papers ready in time, so they cancelled the Auction. Now that the papers are ready, it’s being re-listed, so it looks like we’ll be having a look at that one, some time next week.

Weigh-in this morning. I went down 3 points, to 90.2kg. I’ll probably bounce back soon, but it’s getting towards the end of the month – or the beginning of the next month, take your pick – and that’s when I usually lose the most weight – right before I go on those rotten fluid retaining pills! Having said that of course, means that I will definitely, go back up again, either tomorrow, or the day after… :/ Me and my big mouth! :/

So that was our day in the sun! 🙂 We saw three places: the first one – well! What a shame that it has a Body Corporate – because if we have to deal with a Body Corporate, I’d rather it be this one, where at least Julian is the Secretary. The second place, of course, was a total waste of time, and the third place, at least at time of writing, could be a distinct possibility. “Watch This Space!” 🙂 All in all, however, I haven’t really had much time to do anything else today – and of course tomorrow is our “Day in Dusken”, so I don’t suppose I’ll get anything much done then either 🙂 But I will be able to fill you all in on what we did in Dusken, and how close we are to finishing it, and I will be able to tell you if I jinxed myself by saying that it’s usually at this time of the month that I lose the most weight (and with all the walking and standing I did today, plus going  up and down that steep hill, I really feel that I deserve to lose at least a half a kilo in one go! 😉 ) So call in again tomorrow night, and catch up on all the latest from chez nous! 🙂 Until then, however, please bee good… try to look at life through an artist’s eyes, and for goodness’ sake… stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201505.22

*There has been an update to the “As Seen On…” page – this one’s for you, Josh! 😉

Half past four – about the right-ish time to start writing, I guess 🙂 Well, I’ve been busy occupied – with lots of little things today. I did a very small amount of Rifting, but the lure of the graphics was too strong. I fiddled around, and fiddled around, trying this… that… and something else… I was trying, at one stage, to create a “haze” (aura, halo, whatever) behind a highly stylized tree brush that I’d put a very nice finish on – it was on a dark, midnight blue background, and I thought a soft, mystic haze behind it might look rather fetching… but no matter what I did, the damn thing looked dreadful! Somehow or other, the “haze” was getting covered in the same style as the tree, even though I was doing it on a different layer! In the end I removed the style from the tree, and the haze worked perfectly – only it didn’t look nearly as nice as I thought it would :/ I abandoned the tree… Then I started experimenting with some flowering vine brushes – there were only four of them, but they’re really stunning. I made a vertical “prototype” of each one and asked himself which one he liked best. He chose one, and asked “what do you want to do with it?” Honestly! Men! “What did I want to do with it??!!” I didn’t have a clue! It’s pretty! (they’re all “pretty“!), and it should be used… for something! Then I wondered what would happen if I laid it on its side… i.e. horizontally… It looked good that way, too, but one end curled up, and the other curled down. It looked “right” when it was vertical, but it looked a little “odd” on the horizontal. I wondered if I could use it for a header… I wouldn’t have room for text, but that was OK, I could let the template put its own text in. I’d have to make it a little smaller… but if I made it quite a bit smaller, I could duplicate it, reverse it, and put it end to end with the other one, then it wouldn’t look funny, curling a different way at each end. Hmmm… I experimented. It looked terrific! 🙂 Later on I might try making it a bit more smaller, to see if I can fit some text in with it – if I decide to try to use it as a header, that is – but I don’t want to make it too much smaller – it darkens up the colours too much when you do that. It’s complicated! The styles I use – well, most of them, anyway – put a one-pixel-wide black (or a very dark coloured) line around the whole graphic – this makes the graphic look nice and crisp, but if you make the graphic too small, that black line gets too close to the other black lines and ends up making the whole graphic look dark, ugly, and “clumpy”. And besides… you’re not given very much room for your header – so I’m thinking that if I make the pretty horizontal vine smaller and add some text, the whole thing’s going to look horribly crowded and squashed. I’ll try it and see, but I’m afraid I don’t feel hopeful. I’ll also see how it looks with just the graphic, leaving the template to insert its own, horribly boring and plain, text. 🙂 Well, you’ll either see it… or you won’t 🙂

We also looked for, and found, three other places to go and look at tomorrow. All in Templestowe, and all within what could laughingly be called “an enthusiastic (and very long) walk” from The Pines Shopping Centre! Not for the likes of me, however! 😉  Two of the ones we found today are two storey or split level, and the other two are flat, ground level houses. They all look a bit like “McMansions”, but… what’s wrong with McMansions, anyway? :/ You know, around about this time last year, we wouldn’t even have considered moving into a house with stairs… I wouldn’t have been able to handle them. Now, if I can scamper up and down four floors worth of stairs, three times a day, I reckon I’d be able to handle one floor! (in bare feet, I can scamper! Put shoes on me, and I can barely hobble… I hate shoes!) Mind you, I’d have to do it twelve times a day to get in the exercise I’m getting here, and we’d be losing the number and variety of shops at Shoppingtown, for the convenience of living closer to Autograph and My Size! 😉 So anyway, tomorrow should be an interesting day. I have no idea why, but the house in Flowerdrum Close has rather taken my fancy – maybe it’s because I absolutely loved the movie “The Flowerdrum Song“, or maybe it’s the idea of tipping a whole heap of dirt into the swimming pool and having a veggie garden at long last, or then again, it might be because it has a nice, high, security gate… but I’m already starting to think of it as “mine”, which is very foolish! I’m pretty sure, too, that it won’t be nearly as nice as I think it’s going to be (then again, I didn’t think that our old place in Glen Waverley was going to be very nice from what we could see from the outside – but it was! So, who knows?! 🙂 ) Anyway, I’ll tell you all about them tomorrow night 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I knew it was coming. I didn’t quite go up – I stayed the same, at 90.5kg. I’ll be up tomorrow though – this was sort-of the “run up” before the high jump!

Julian went to the doctor this morning about the scans he had done of his ankle. He’s injured his tendon – I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s the tendon that runs down the length of the top of the foot, and under another one that goes across the top of the foot (or something like that, anyway! “Damn it Jim, I’m an artist, not a doctor!” (with apologies to Dr. McCoy from Star Trek, the Original Series)) So the upshot of it all is, he has to go to a Physiotherapist – guess who? 🙂 And where? 🙂 My old “trainer”, I. A., at “Bounce“, where I used to go to the gym, until I found that going up and down the stairs was much more easier and far less stressful than exercising! 😉

So, with four houses to go and look at tomorrow, I expect that I shan’t be doing much Rifting, or graphic-ing! But there will be loads of stuff to tell you about the four places we are seeing, and about the neighbourhood, and the agents – apparently this lady Carmen, whom we saw yesterday, is quite the go-getter! She gave us some references, and one of them happened to be a couple who used to live here at The Ridge, on the next floor up – she sold that place first to them, and then later on, for them, so because we know them anyway, Julian called them and had a nice long chat with Mr. B.  Apparently they waxed quite lyrical about Carmen, and told Julian that she’d sold six other properties for them as well, at very good prices! (and a very good commission for herself, too, I’d imagine!) So that’s about it from me for the evening – is anyone going to be watching “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” at half past eight on ABC1 tonight? We will be! 🙂 Be sure to drop in again tomorrow night! Find out if my weight did go up, or stayed the same – for another day! And wouldn’t it be a laugh if we’d liked one of the places so much that we’d gone and bought it? Well, I don’t know about a “laugh”, but it would certainly be a surprise! For us, more than you, I think! 😉 Anyway, until then, please, bee good! remember that it’s good to be a pessimist, because you’ll never be disappointed, but… above all, please… stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂