Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.20

My bathroom window is in! My bathroom window is in! 🙂 And it looks fantastic, even set against bare, unplastered walls, a grotty concrete floor, and mess and dust everywhere! It’s a bit startling, too, because the bottom of the window has been raised quite a bit, so as to leave room for the towel rail that will be going underneath it – and I’m not used to seeing the window so high up… I don’t think it’ll take too long for me to get used to it though! 🙂 Clarke also brought over two vanity unit basin taps for my approval – hmm… out of context, they both look a little “chunky” – one more so than the other. I think that either of them would “work” – as in look alright (I’m quite sure they both function adequately in a tap-ly fashion) but it’s hard to know what they’ll look like in situ, with the marble caesarstone vanity top and the hand-basins in place… The “chunky” one, which I shall for this exercise refer to as “tap 1”,  was ever-so-slightly smaller (or perhaps I mean shorter?) than “tap 2”, which was slightly thinner, a teeny bit “taller”, and its faucet was about a half?three-quarters? of a centimeter longer – so somewhat dubiously, I chose “tap 2″… I hope it looks alright, and not too out-of-place in a bathroom, rather than a kitchen setting! I guess I’ll find out soon enough… :/ I’m having two double (or maybe even triple, if I can!) power points installed – one on the walls at each end of the vanity unit – and I’ve also decided to have an extra power point installed in one of the double-height drawers… when Clarke first suggested it, I said “no”, because I just thought it was a bit weird to have a power point in a drawer – but last night, getting ready for bed in the somewhat cramped-for-room en-suite that Julian and I are sharing at the moment, I was thinking that I have quite a few bathroom-type things that need to be plugged in, and the last thing I want is a cluttered bench! My water pick (I can’t floss my implants because there’s nowhere for the floss to go, so I use a water pick) has to sit on the bench top – it’s far too cumbersome and awkward to keep pulling in and out of cupboards or drawers, and for rather obvious reasons, so does my Dyson heating and cooling fan – but my electric toothbrush and its charger don’t need to sit on the bench top – they could be plugged in quite happily, inside one of the two double-height drawers… so this morning I told Clarke that I’ve decided to have the extra power point inside one of the drawers after all, and he’s made a note of it 🙂 You know, over the years I’ve used lots of different bathrooms, and hardly any of them had enough power points – the apartment in Doncaster wasn’t too bad, it had double power points at each end of the vanity unit, but even so, I found I was constantly unplugging one appliance in order to plug in another one! Most inconvenient! And messy, with power cords spaghetti-ing along the length of the bench top – I’m really hoping to be able to avoid that in this bathroom (I’ll probably still get tangles of power cords all over the bench top, but a girl can hope, can’t she?! 😉 ) So at the moment, that’s where my bathroom is up to – Paul has been standing out in the rain, busy filling in and securing the hole in the wall where the old window used to be – and then it’s relative peace and quiet until Monday morning, when the sliding door will be going in. That’s probably going to take most of the day – Paul has to fill in a couple more holes in the floor, and Clarke has to put in the mixer for the shower, then the walls can be lined (read: re-plastered!) ready for waterproofing before the tiles are laid. Paul, who’s just left, thinks this should be either by the end of next week, or the beginning of the week after… and apparently it doesn’t matter if the tiling is done before the vanity unit is installed, or if the vanity unit gets installed first – it all depends on when it’s ready (I can’t wait!)

You’ve probably guessed it by now anyway, but I have to tell you that I grew up with the old imperial weights and measures, and being as indifferent to things mathematical as I am, I never took much notice when things changed – I learnt the bare minimum of things that I absolutely had to in order to get by, and totally ignored the rest – so tell me that something is “x” centimeters long, and I really don’t have a clue how long it is – I just nod happily, and say “yes”, or “no”, depending on what I think is expected of me. Tell me something is a yard long, or six inches long, and I know what you’re talking about – and I’m the same with weights and measures, so all these months where I’ve been happily telling you all what my weight is, I really have no point of reference for my own edification! So last night, I resolved to turn kilograms into stones, and find out how much I actually did weigh now, in terms that I could actually comprehend. Yesterday morning, I was 66.8kg… in archaic terms, that’s ten stone five – ten and a half stone. I’m extremely glad I was sitting down! When I was sixteen, doing Matric (Matriculation – today’s Year 12) I remember exactly how much I weighed, because back in those days, nearly all of us girls were more concerned with our weight than our end of year exams! I was five foot seven (about 169cm, I think!) and I weighed… nine and a half stone (about 60.3kg) Nine and a half stone has always been a sort of a benchmark for me – rightly or wrongly, I’ve always (mentally!) looked at my weight back then, when I was young and charming, and (completely wrongly) judged my body accordingly. But how about that!? I now weigh only a stone more than I did when I was sixteen!? I was completely stunned! Amazed! Flabbergasted! And, extremely proud of myself (and maybe a teeny bit smug, too!)

Weigh-in this morning. Good… good… getting there… I lost another two points, taking me from 66.8kg to… the number of the beast! 666! :/ well, actually it was 66.6kg, but it’s still three sixes! 😉 Goodness knows what it’ll be tomorrow – I’ll probably go back up again, knowing me! A little bit of smugness, a little bit of pride – is usually, for me anyway, followed by a little reality check, back up the weight ladder! :/

So here it is, Friday night! I have no idea what’s happening tomorrow – weather permitting, I wouldn’t mind going to Bunnys to look for an herb pot, and a tub in which to grow strawberries, and a small, potted kumquat bush… though perhaps those had better go on the back burner for a week or so – Julian’s back is playing up (I’m not surprised! After all that shoveling and dumping of scoria and soil that he did the other day, I’m surprised that he’s even still mobile!) As far as I know, we’ll be sleeping in a bit (instead of on Sunday morning) and apart from a small amount of shopping, we should probably have a fairly quiet, relaxing sort of a day. I hope, anyway! 🙂 And that, gentle readers, is once again about all I have for you this evening! The number of the beast has her pretty lilac and clear (but wavy, so you can’t see through it properly) bathroom window in, and for once she’s feeling smug and proud about her weight – now that she knows how much it really is in stones and pounds! 😉 But do drop in again tomorrow night to see if Little Miss Smugness gets her comeuppance – will her weight go back up again, or will it not?! Find out how the day panned out for us, and what adventures lie in store for next week! Until then, please bee good (you know why! 😉 ) remember to always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else, and don’t forget to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, to drive carefully, and to look after yourselves – but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.19

Yes, yet another new theme! What do you all think of it? I’ve set the basic colours – predominantly a soft grey, and the highlights and links should be a nice, rich sort-of “royal purple” (or maybe Cadbury’s chocolate classic wrapper!) Sorry, I haven’t made a header for it yet, but I wanted to get onto this before it got too late yet again – I’ll make a proper header for it either later tonight, or some time tomorrow… Today I mostly worked on my desktop wallpapery-thingie – I’d already made it, but I just felt that it was lacking a little “something” – it looked too “bare“, if you know what I mean. I was sitting there last night, staring at it, and feeling very unsatisfied with it, wondering what I could do to improve it, and I suddenly remembered that I could add a layer of colour underneath sections of the floral outline I’d used, and which might just give it a little more “oomph!” Well, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t work! Usually when it does work, it looks fantastic, so I thought “nothing ventured, nothing gained!” and gave it a go – at 12.15am, mind you! 🙂 so I did a quick layer copy to preserve the original (just in case my idea didn’t work) selected the parts I wanted to “colour in”, created a new layer and applied the “paint” and style underneath the original outline! Eureka! (or something) it did work! Stunningly! Amazingly, in fact! Wow! But it was very late (or very early, depending on your perspective) so I left it for ron, and went to bed. This morning, after breakfast, I played a bit of Rift – I’m trying to get Blyce, who’s currently sitting on level 18, up to level 30, when I’ll switch back to Blackrose and drag her up to level 30 too – then, back to Blyce to take him on to level 50, then Blackrose, ditto – I’m sure you all get the picture 🙂 As for the Guilds and Guild banks for every shard (except Seastone) I have to wait until Julian has the time to temporarily transfer one of his characters across from Laethys to the shard we’re working on, carrying enough platinum with him (or her) for the transaction to be completed. I can’t transfer anyone across with the platinum, because all my character spots are full! :/ So yet another downside to being an alt-o-holic! However, I didn’t play for very long – when I logged on it was late evening on the shard, which very quickly became night time, and I just couldn’t see a thing! I decided to just log off, and come back in a few hours when hopefully it would be daylight again. Actually, I have very poor night vision in “real life”, despite having eaten all my carrots and bread crusts – hang on, bread crusts are supposed to make your hair curly though, aren’t they? (*hmph!*) Just goes to show how unreliable all those “old wive’s” tales are, doesn’t it! My hair is straighter than ruddy straight! Not a wave or a curl anywhere, despite all the crusts I ate as a child! And as for carrots helping you to see in the dark… I’d like to meet the person who came up with that particular little white lie! 😉 But carrots are good for you (lots of vitamin A, or something) so fibbing to a recalcitrant child in order to keep them healthy? Well, I guess that very occasionally, the ends might justify the means… So before it got a little too hard to see my sword in front of my nose, I logged out and started working on my graphics again, and added the colour underneath the original floral outlines, which as I said before, worked very well indeed! Then I changed the font… the one I’d been using was “nice enough”, but not to my standards, so I changed it for something a little more “stand out-ish”, and that worked out well, too… That left the background that I’d made for the first version of this desktop wallpapery-thingie. It’s a sort-of soft grey (like this theme!) but faintly marbled in an off-white… nice, but boring! I went looking for snowflake brushes (brushes that draw little (or big) snowflake thingies when you click on your image) I already have heaps and heaps of snowflake brushes, but I can never remember where they are, and as it’s almost impossible to search for something on your own hard drive unless you know exactly what it’s called, it’s a lot easier just to go and download them all again (swearing black and blue that this time you’re going to remember where you’re putting them! You never do, though, do you? *shrug*) Anyway, so I downloaded four sets of snowflake brushes and started trying them out to see how they looked – in the end I finished up with about thirty different little snowflakes dotted (very artistically, naturally! 😉 ) all over the screen. They looked kinda pretty, so I shall leave them as they are – until I decide to make a new desktop wallpapery-thingie.

Weigh-in this morning. Maybe it was all the fresh air that I breathed in while sitting on the outside deck yesterday, or all the mineral water I drank, or the visit to the shoemaker, or Steve’s visit, or a combination of all of them, but I went down three points! I went from 67.1kg down to 66.8kg! I suppose I’ll probably go up again tomorrow, but at least I made it into the 66kg zone! 🙂 If only I could stay in it until I go down a bit more! Only one point eight kilos to Maintenance! (Winter bounces excitedly up and down in her chair, which comes perilously close to tipping off the piece of board that stops her chair wheels from getting stuck in the carpet!)

Well, Paul left early this afternoon to go and pick up my bathroom window (frame) which is now ready, and he brought over one of the lilac glass bricks which will be “scatter-gunned” amongst the plain, clear glass bricks. The lilac glass brick is exactly how I imagined it would look, and exactly what I wanted! Clarke says that as I have some multi-coloured mosaic tiles as a highlight at the back of the shower alcoves, I could have some of those other colours replicated in the glass bricks, if I wanted to – but I want the window to be the clear glass, with about five lilac ones, and nothing else, so I said thank you, but clear and lilac will be fine! 🙂 My slightly wider than normal sliding door was also ready, and was being picked up today, and Clarke said he thinks he’s found suitable taps for me (I can be very picky sometimes!) So everything’s looking rosy – or perhaps I should say “looking lilac-y” – with my bathroom! 🙂 Paul also concreted the shower base this morning, so I don’t think it’ll be long before the tiling starts! Julian thinks that they may try to do the window tomorrow – Paul says it usually doesn’t take more than a day to put in a glass brick window, and if it does, they do have the means to secure the house so that no creepy-crawlies – of the two, four, or six-legged variety – can invade, and slaughter us in our beds 🙂 You know, as much as I’m hanging out for my wonderful new bathroom, I think poor Julian is just about dying to get his bathroom back again! 🙂 Never mind dear, not too much longer now…. (I hope! 🙂 )

Tomorrow I have a hairdressing appointment at a quarter to one, but as Julian went out to do the shopping today (we ran out of tea!), and Flipper needed some more of her blood pressure medication, I think we’ll probably be coming straight back after that, so hopefully I’ll be able to have a few daylight hours on the shards in which to advance Blyce on his quest for level 30! I’m most anxious to know if they’re going to be doing the window tomorrow, and how soon the tiling will be able to be started, but I realise that there’s no point in saying “I can’t wait until…” – because what else am I going to do, hmm?! Julian will be working on the seemingly never-ending process of notifying people, places, and institutions of not only my name change, but our address change as well, and that’s about as much about tomorrow as I can tell you at the moment – so I guess that brings me to the point where I say: “And that’s about it from me for tonight!” So, that’s about it from me for tonight, but drop in again tomorrow night to find out if I have a beautiful, new, clear and lilac glass brick window, and if there’s been any indication of when the tilers will be starting! You’ll also hear how much my weight went up again – or down – or if it frustratingly stayed the same! There’ll be lots of things to tell you all about tomorrow, so don’t miss out on all the latest! 🙂 Until then, though – you know the drill – bee good, it’s almost “that” time of the year again! Don’t forget that to admit you were wrong is to declare you are wiser now than you were before, and remember always to drive carefully, to look after yourselves, and to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather… but above all, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.18

*Quote of the Day from Goodreads this morning: “I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears.” ― Shelby Foote
The blurb reads: Historian and novelist Shelby Foote (born November 17, 1916) disliked typewriters. He wrote the entirety of his multi-volume The Civil War: A Narrative by hand with an old-fashioned nib pen.

When I saw that quote this morning I simply had to log onto Goodreads and “like” it, because they’re my sentiments exactly! 🙂 Quite frankly, I don’t think I could bear to live with “perfect” – too much of a bad thing can be good for you sometimes – and besides, if you have perfection… you have no need to strive for anything better, do you, and how boring is that?!

This morning dawned bright and early – Paul messaged us saying that he had to pick [something] up and wouldn’t be arriving at 7.30am as planned, but would be here around 8.30am, which suited us fine! My appointment with the shoemaker was at 10, and I had to fit in my tilt at the treadmill, my ablutions, my breakfast, and my Minions (not necessarily in that order!) As it was, I only just finished getting ready in time… Then we got held up in traffic at Ringwood where they haven’t quite finished off all the “prettyfication” of their Eastland Shopping Centre – which I must say is starting to look pretty swish! I wonder if they’ve prettied it up inside as well? Maybe we could go there one day, when it is finished and the local traffic not quite so chaotic, and have a look! 🙂 We arrived at Shoe House (not its real name!) only one or two – or five – minutes late, and were ushered into Brian’s office. He was fairly wary of us at first – and who can blame him in this day and age – but we started chatting, and he asked me who had made my shoes before, so we told him. A somewhat strange look came over his face and he indicated that he knew of this person, hadn’t heard from him for quite some time, and what was he doing these days? So we filled him in on what we knew, which wasn’t really very much at all, except for the fact that I hadn’t been able to get in touch with him to ask if he could make me some more shoes. For some reason that seemed to reassure him somewhat, and he confessed that he’d actually been at this person’s house just the day before! He also confirmed that he wasn’t really making shoes any more, so then we were all friendly. Brian said that he didn’t make plaster casts any more – yes, they were more accurate, but you couldn’t cut orthotics or soles on them, they were too fragile, and if you dropped one and it broke, you were up the proverbial without a paddle – so he outlined my feet on a page of his sketchbook, and took extremely accurate measurements of every bump and callous, from which he would make a “last” – the most expensive part of shoemaking, however once the last was made, you could churn out shoes fairly quickly and (relatively!) cheaply. So in about four weeks I can expect a call from him telling me that my first pair of shoes were ready enough for a first fitting, and within a month and a half I should have some new shoes! (heaven help me!)

Shortly after lunch our friend from Beyond The Black Stump arrived, and it was wonderful to see him again! First we sat inside in the Den, where Flipper came out of her cave and wanted him to pat her (he has a way with cats – they all love him!) and we chattered, then we gave him the Grand Tour of the place, and ended up sitting on the outside deck and enjoying some fresh air for a while. We quizzed him about our fish puddle under the water feature, because he used to have a sort-of a closed loop system, with fish tanks feeding a hydroponic vegetable system which nurtured the fish (at least I think that’s how it worked!) and he had a few ideas, but I think the long and short of it is that we’re going to have to empty out a lot (not all) of the horrible mucky water, reserving a container full with the fish in it, clean the whole thing out (Julian only told me today, that the bottom of the ornamental urn that is our “water feature” in our little puddle is full of horrible black, decomposed algae! That cannot be allowed to remain!) It appears that there is, or was, either a light or a filter in the puddle as well, because of the type of switch on the wall – but, whatever it is, or was, it’s not working now, so that’s another item for Julian to get the electrician to look at in the next couple of weeks! I do wish that Steve could have stayed longer, but he had a long drive back, and I had my tilting at treadmills to do, so he left around 5.30 (which is partly why this entry is so late! By the time I finished treadmilling I didn’t have time to start it before dinner – but you know what? I don’t care! 😛 ) However, one of the upshots of his coming over today is that both Julian and I have decided that it’s been far too long between visits – partly our fault too, because we do have his email and phone details – and that we’re going to keep in better touch from now on – so Steve, if you’re reading this, expect either email or a phone call fairly soon! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed the afternoon as much as we did!

I had a peek into my bathroom a while ago – my bench seat is now “constructed”, and has been “membraned” (I think that means that it’s been coated with a waterproof membrane so that the timber doesn’t get all wet and soggy if any water gets through the tiles – but I could be completely wrong, so please don’t quote me on that!) but apart from that, my unprofessional eye couldn’t really detect any major changes! Before he left, Paul said something about picking up the piece of timber for the top of the door frame tomorrow morning, and that if the door was ready he’d be picking that up too and that he’d let us know tonight – which he hasn’t – yet, anyway. Ah! Yes, he just sent a message then! It’s to be an 8.30 start again tomorrow – this is good, as it means that I don’t have to rush to get dressed! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Was a bit of a let down, actually – though I shouldn’t be too surprised – after all, yesterday’s drop was quite dramatic (four whole points!) But today I went from 67.1kg… to 67.1kg. Well, alright, I just stayed the same – however hopefully I’ll go down a bit more tomorrow. I feel I’m sooo close now, and it seems to be going sooo slowly! It’s driving me nutz! :/

So I’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow – no doubt Julian will be working in the office – he also has to clean up the driveway from where some of the veggie garden soil was spilt when it was delivered the other day; Paul will be working away on my bathroom – and I suppose I’ll be… Rifting along, as usual! 🙂 I think all my shards except for Seastone are pretty much neatened up and ready for the Guilds and Guild Banks now (I can’t remember if I finished off Faeblight or not! I’ll have to check that out tomorrow!) I won’t be creating a Guild on Seastone – there’s no point, as I don’t play on it – it’s just for “storage”, so to speak 😉 Anyway, that’s about it from me again tonight – but do drop by again tomorrow night, to see what we’ve all been up to… did my weight go down, or is it still stuck at 67.1kg? (or worse! Did it go up!) Is the driveway clean? Has my new bathroom door been installed? Until then, please continue to bee good (I’m sure you don’t want to get on the wrong list! 😉 ) remember that a person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds, and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, and to drive carefully – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.17

Ugh! I absolutely hate this hot, muggy weather! While Julian’s been outside madly shoveling scoria and soil into a wheelbarrow, and wheeling it around from the front driveway to the back yard, then shoveling it all into the veggie bins, I’ve been inside, where it’s been pretty hot most of the day (we’ve only just turned on the air-conditioner! It should have gone on hours ago!) Anyway, he’s been hot out there, and I’ve been hot in here – he’s been working hard in the garden, and I’ve been working equally as hard in here to keep awake! All morning I’ve been working on the “holding shard”, Seastone – it’s gone from thirteen characters to six, which is a pretty severe cull for me! Going around deleting characters isn’t as easy as just typing “delete” into the correct field! First I have to check what they have in their bank – what I can sell, and what can be salvaged or used by someone else. Then I have to check their Dimensions, and if there is anything in them, pull everything out and distribute the items to whoever has enough room for them (this has not been easy! Luckily, most of them had already been emptied out when I first moved them to Seastone! I guess I must have had a premonition or something! 😉 ) Next, I have to check what they’re wearing. They’re already wearing “virtual costumes” (that is, they can’t be taken off and sold!) so I strip them of their armor, weapons, rings, amulets – whatever, and sell that to the nearest Vendor. Then I run a quick check: Bank empty? check… Dimensions empty? check… Is everything remotely possible either sold off, or given to someone else? check… Right. Now I go to the nearest “letterbox” and send off whatever money they have left in their virtual pockets to Zibeline, my very first – well, actually the very first second character I ever created on Rift. My very first character was a Warrior called Winterthyme, and I did actually get her up to level 50 (which was the level cap back then) but although I found the Warrior Class easy enough to play at the lower levels, it was a very different matter once they got past level 25, and I really struggled to drag her up to level 50 – so I was never really all that fond of her, and about a year or so ago, I deleted her. Zibeline was (is!) a Rogue/Hunter/Beastmaster, with a Pet that fights with her – but playing a Rogue/Hunter/Beastmaster on Rift is vastly different from playing a Rogue/Hunter/Beastmaster on World of Warcraft, so although I had a lot of fun with her, and enjoyed playing with her, once I got her to level 50 too (which was still the level cap) I sort of… I dunno – pretty much abandoned her? But I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of her permanently – she means too much to me, and besides, she’s handy for playing a “pretend Guild Mistress”, and organising the distribution of goods from those who have been culled – as she did today! 😉 Anyway, so once all of the above has been done, and the money’s been collected at the “other end”, then I can delete the character, and move on to the next one – so depending on how much “stuff” has to be shunted around via a relatively small, 38-slot bank vault, deleting seven characters can be a fairly complicated and lengthy job! Still, it’s all done now 🙂 I’m left with three Guardians, and three Defiants (I do like things to be even and symmetrical! 😉 ) and I have seven lovely, empty… 🙂 cold… lonely :/ *sniffle* “holes” in my shard population 😦 *cry*.  .  .  .  Winter! Stop it at once! You’re not going to create new characters to fill up those nice, handy, needed empty spaces! Ya’hear!?! (aww! alright! spoil-sport! 😦 )

And in the middle of doing all of that, Clarke arrived! He had a couple of questions for me about taps and shower rails, and did I need another small shower rail closer to the bench? No, I didn’t need a second shower rail, but apparently it’s very difficult to get “swivelly” bathroom taps – damn! I should have remembered to tell him that I saw any amount of “swivelly” bathroom taps at Ikea, when we went cupboard shopping a while back! I might get Julian to SMS him later… So Clarke had just finished with me and had gone out to talk to Julian, slaving away in the hot sun, when the phone rang! I rolled my eyes a bit, but the caller ID made me grab the phone up quickly with a smile 🙂 Our friend from the other side of the Black Stump felt like a bit of a chat, so I sat and talked to him for a while, then Julian came in for a break, and he chatted to him for a while, and then I had another go at trying, unsuccessfully I hope, to bore him 😉 and the upshot of it all is that he’ll drive down to see us tomorrow, arriving sometime after lunch! It’s going to be really great to see him again – it’s been ages! 🙂 I’ve also got my first visit to the shoemaker (yuk! I put too much milk in my coffee – it’s a lot better when Julian makes it – I always seem to put in too much milk! 😦 I guess I just don’t make it often enough! Hmm! I’ll have to rectify that! 🙂 ) The appointment is at 10am in Ringwood, and I can’t see it taking too long – I’m expecting to be back before lunch, anyway! If he’s anything like the first guy who made my shoes (let’s face it – he was good – they’ve lasted me over five years!) he’ll probably get me to stand on a piece of paper so he can draw the outline of my feet, then he’ll make a plaster cast of them, and then he’ll say “Right, well, see you in three weeks!” – or whatever (well, it was over five years ago – I might have got a few points “not quite right”, but it’ll be something along those lines) I also wonder if this Brian will be any more amenable to making me what I want, and not what he thinks would be best for my feet, than the other guy? What I want is a type of moccasin – with a sturdy enough sole so that I can walk outside without feeling every tiny little stone in our pebble-mix paths, and I want the uppers to fit snugly enough so that the shoes (moccasins) (yes, I know! How terribly “bogan”, but I don’t care – I wants what I wants!) …so that the shoes wouldn’t just fall off every time I raised one of my feet, and I also want the uppers to be made prettily and elegantly enough so that they don’t look like slippers. I’m dreaming, I know – for the whole of my life, my feet have never, ever, looked pretty and/or elegant! They’re great, long, clumsy, clod-hopping appendages that I try to never look at, and never think about, if possible. Anyway, I shall be able to tell you all about it tomorrow night! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Was quite spectacular! I went down four points, from 67.5kg (where I’ve been for the last three days!) to 67.1kg! This, of course, probably means that I’ll go back up again tomorrow… looks like I’m starting my “end of the kilo zone see-saw” again! :/ But we’ll see – there’ll be a lot of excitement, and comings and goings, so hopefully I’ll be able to break the 67kg barrier in a couple of days! Eeek! That means I’ll only be one kilogram away from Maintenance! (or thereabouts, anyway) And having to get used to eating real food again! I almost feel too trepidated to get on the scales tomorrow morning!

So we’re going to have a very busy day tomorrow! I just hope that Julian hasn’t made himself ill, carting all that scoria around in the wheelbarrow from the front drive to the veggie beds out the back, in the hot sun! He is coming in regularly to cool off and have a big glass of water, but I worry, anyway! Paul plans to be here around 7.30am tomorrow – traffic permitting – and I’m just going to go and poke my nose into the bathroom so that I can tell you all the latest – uno momento! Well, the timber framework for the bench seat and the alcoves is in (there’s an awful lot of timber in them, so it looks like they’ll be good and solid, if nothing else!) and the smaller hole in the floor where the extraneous pipes were has been filled in – more or less – it looks like he ran out of concrete or something, but it’s probably fine… While Clarke was here this morning he measured the window, and when he left he said he was going off to pick up the glass bricks! I can’t wait to see what they look like! Paul was telling Julian the other day that there’s at least a whole week of tiling to be done – Julian, I think, was a little dubious, but when you stop to think about it, there’s going to be an awful lot of tiles going into that room, so I do hope they start soon! Like maybe… next week? Could be! I don’t know if the window has to be in before they start laying the tiles, or if it can be done after the tiling’s done (but then they might break some!) Oh well, if the window has to be done first, then they probably won’t be able to start the tiling until the following week :/ Anyway, I’ll know more tomorrow! In the meantime, that’s about if from me again for tonight! There’ll be lots to tell you tomorrow night – the bathroom, the shoemaker, and the friend! (Ha! Sounds like a good name for a movie, or a book!) and also whether my weight managed to behave itself for another day! So do drop in again tomorrow night, to be entertained, amused, intrigued, or maybe even bored – but at least you’ll know what’s happening over this way! 🙂 Until then – you know the ropes by now! 😉 Bee good (for goodness’ sake!) remember to try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud, and don’t forget to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, to drive carefully, and to look after yourselves… but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.16

Well, here it is, another quiet day – we seem to be in a bit of a “lull” at the moment – nothing terribly interesting or exciting happening – it’s probably the nice, peaceful “lull” before the Great Christmas Storm! I’m trying terribly hard not to think about it! Christmas Cards to buy and write in, Christmas Presents to get – “What do you want for Christmas this year sweetheart?” – “Oh, I don’t know… I’ll think about it and let you know later, OK?” – we’ve both been saying that to eachother and to friends and family , on and off, for a couple of months now (every year, without fail, we vow to get the Christmas shopping over and done with early – but we procrastinate, find excuses, get too busy… and never do!) I have absolutely no idea what to get anyone – least of all Julian! I’ve sent out hopeful and helpful “hints” to the kids, but what I’ve “hinted” at needs to be ordered early so that it/they’ll get here before next Easter – because alas, they’re not available in Australia – I’ve given Julian two very broad “hints”, and or suggestions, and although one of them is unbelievably exceptional value for money (so much so that it’s almost criminal not to buy it!) if it’s not got within the next couple of days (if that!) they’ll all be gone – but Julian detests shopping at the best of times – even online shopping – which is the only way that you can get this particular item! :/ I have no idea what to get my two favourite daughters – or their husbands – I keep asking them and all they ever say is “I’ll let you know!” – if they’re not careful, they’ll get ruddy Amazon Gift Vouchers! Julian’s the hard one to buy for though – because as everyone’s aware, he’s a nerd. He likes “nerdy” things, scientific-y things, computer-y things… but he’s already got just about everything he wants or is interested in! He’s just been given a wireless weather station what’s-it, he has tablets and computer notebook-y things, a kindle, a decent electric toothbrush, a pretty good electric shaver, and a subscription to American Scientist magazine – I suppose I could be boring and just get him a shirt, a pair of socks, or a six-pack of underwear, but I’d be cheating myself more than him, if I stooped so low! :/ Lee and Kate are almost as hard as Julian to buy for – I never know what to get them – with Lee, it was usually something computer-ish, or something to do with computer games – she liked gaming Tee-shirts, too, and music and or soundtracks (as long as she told us what music and which soundtracks!) Kate was usually interested in receiving makeup, perfume (she takes after her mother, I guess! 😉 ) clothes, or rather, clothes vouchers so she could buy what she wanted, books, and of course, the ubiquitous (but always very well-received by everyone in this family!) Amazon vouchers!  As for me, I’m the easy one to buy for! 🙂 Once upon a time, I used to tell everyone “Oh, just get me books or chocolate! 🙂 ” then when I grew up, I’d tell people “Oh, just get me books, my favourite perfume, or a nice bottle of wine! 🙂 ” And now that I’m really old and decrepit, I tell people (in a quavery voice) “Oh, just get me Amazon vouchers to buy books with, my favourite perfume, or a Kindle Fire! 🙂 ” Truly! 🙂 I’ll very happily accept any amount of Amazon vouchers, or bottles of my favourite perfume (Cinnabar by Estée Lauder, although I wouldn’t mind a bottle of YSL’s new fragrance, Black Opium – it’s really nice!) as people want to give me!

And so what does everyone one else out there want for Christmas, hmm? 🙂

This morning I finally got around to calling the shoe making person wot the Podiatrist told me about – his name is Brian (sorry, but that name always makes me think of Monty Python! 🙂 ) From what he was telling me this morning, I won’t get my new shoes until well after Christmas, but I’ve waited this long for them, a few more months isn’t going to make much difference… I just hope my old shoes can hold out that long! We’re going to see him on Wednesday morning, in Ringwood – my feet with be measured, I think a cast will probably be taken of them, and the process will begin – involving an awful lot of fittings as a lot of adjustments will need to be made throughout the making of these shoes. Still, a start has been made! If they’re successful, and I can walk in them, we’ll get him to make several pairs… Now I’m nervous… :/

Paul didn’t arrive this morning until about half past eleven, but a lot of work has been done – he’s no slacker, that’s fer sure! 🙂 That great enormous hole I told you about, that was under the bath? He’s filled that in, and the concrete is already ready to walk on. He’s removed the extra set of unnecessary pipes – which I also told you about a week or so ago – and he’s capped them off properly so that they won’t start leaking under the concrete that will be poured all over them (probably tomorrow) He also got me to sit on my bathroom stool so that he could measure the height I want the built-in shower bench to be, and the height for the little toiletries (shampoo, soap, whatever!) alcove in the shower, and because I’m having a slightly wider than normal wall-cavity sliding door put in, there should be heaps of room to swing the proverbial tadpole in! 🙂

After I’d rung Brian, I went and leveled up my new Primalist, Blyce. I was hoping to get him up to level 14, which I did. You know, I really have been playing the game for too long – I know all the routes, short-cuts and most efficient ways to get a character from the starting area, to level 15, in the shortest possible time. This morning I was so efficient, in fact, that I’m afraid I’m going to have to dump most of the early quests and jump straight into the more advanced ones. I took Blyce over to Freemarch, the Defiant area, because that’s where all the best “pickings” are, for leveling up Skills (Foraging, Mining, and Butchering) the best chance of finding Artifacts, the best place to earn early planarite by closing easy, “baby” Rifts – the best… everything, really! Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would want to play a Guardian! They have nothing over in Silverwood, nothing! 😉 Anyway, so Blyce is now level 14, the same as Blackrose, and he’s managed to get the same much coveted “Merchant of Death” title that Blackrose has. I think that pair will go far! (well, I hope they will, anyway!)

Weigh-in this morning. Was very disheartening! Again, I stayed the same! Why?! This usually doesn’t happen until it’s almost the end of the month, and I’m very low in the kg zone – down to the “.4” or “.3″s – though, I suppose “.5” could almost pass for “.4” at a pinch? Anyway, I’m disappointed and disheartened that I’m still sitting at 67.5kg, for the third day in a row! …I think I’ll go off and sulk, now! (aarrgggh! I wish there was such a thing as a “pout” smilie for Word Press!) *pout*

I’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow – Paul says he’ll be here bright and early (which means that I’ll have to hurry! 😦 I hate having to hurry!) the scoria and special soil will hopefully be delivered and can then be ferried through to the veggie beds (Yay!!) As far as I know, apart from ferrying soil and scoria, Julian will still be working in the office (and there was silly me, thinking that there wouldn’t be quite so much office work for him to do, now that he’s no longer doing all that Body Corporate work!) and I’ll probably be puddling along, trying to get Blackrose and Blyce up a few more levels. Oh, regarding my time on the treadmill that I spoke about last night – firstly, the figures aren’t to be taken as too “gospel” – I have the speed set to 3.4kmph – this doesn’t change, and the “slope’, or hill that I have to climb, is now set to 9 of 10. But! Despite being set at 3.4kmph, each time I get on the treadmill it seems to go at a different speed, because I have to adjust my pace and the length of my stride – it never seems to be the same twice. This morning I felt as though I was plodding – at lunchtime I felt I was on the verge of having to run (which I never do because I don’t trust my ankles to hold me up!) I also made a mistake – I could always say that it was a “deliberate mistake”, to see if anyone spotted it – “well done, Lee! You spotted my deliberate mistake!” – but I didn’t, and it wasn’t. However, when I wrote that I walked approximately 1.7km per session, it wasn’t 1.7km, it was actually 1.07km. And this morning it was 1.07km, and at lunchtime it was 1.05km – so you work it out – maths never was, and never will be, my strong subject! (I dropped Arithmetic at the end of my Intermediate (Year 10?) after an exam mark of 62%, which by class standards was a definite “Fail”!*) Anyway, that’s about it from me again for another night – do call back again tomorrow night for all the latest around chez nous – will my weight have budged, or am I to be stuck on 67.5kg for the rest of my life? (actually, I wouldn’t mind if I was, providing that I could eat properly again!) What other work will have been done in the bathroom, I wonder! Did the soil and scoria arrive, and has any of it made its way into the veggie beds yet? All that and more will be answered here tomorrow night, so don’t miss out! 🙂 Until then, do try very hard to bee good (Christmas, etc! 😉 ) don’t forget that even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there, and remember to look after yourselves, to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, and to drive carefully – but most importantly, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*However, I did get in the high 80’s and mid 90’s for the other six subjects! 😛

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.15

It’s been a great day today! I think we even managed to sleep in a little bit, before arming ourselves for the Telaran fray! 🙂 We didn’t try to battle that horrible Dinosaur-slash-Dragon today – we went straight in with our two ambitious young Primalists, and I thought that they acquitted themselves very well indeed! We almost literally bounded up levels – four levels, to be precise, each! 🙂 We quickly finished off in Silverwood – unfortunately we had to give a whole section of it a miss because we were ridiculously too high level for that area – it is the first and sort-of “quasi-training” area of the game, and Primalists are just a wee bit… over powerful? We quickly moved on to glorious, delightful, downtown Gloamwood (I really think a more appropriate name for it would have been “Gloomwood“, as it really is terribly dank and gloomy!) We killed an awful lot of giant spiders… massacred a whole lot of horrible little Goblins… jumped off an extremely tall tree (into water) for an “Achievement” award… Julian died once when he got overwhelmed by giant queen fire wasps (or something! there were a hell of a lot of them, whatever they were!) whilst trying to close a Fire Rift (I didn’t die at all this time! 🙂 Yay me!) All in all, though, we had a great time and were very pleased with the way the young’uns coped with it all. During the “lunch break”, I managed to transfer one of the Hailol girls to the last available spot on Seastone, so that I could create my extra Primalist in her place, Anyway, I’ve now created her (male, this time!) Primalist counterpart, Blyce (pronounced “Bl-ice”) that I’m looking forward to leveling up. I’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow, but hopefully I’ll be able to get him up to level 15 or thereabouts, which will mean that I have a full, working shard again. I’m also going to have a bit of a problem with Seastone, which is now, unfortunately “full”. I have thirteen characters languishing there that I know not what to do about… Seastone is the PvP shard where I’ve been transferring “unused” characters that I don’t want to delete for various reasons – mainly because I like the name and don’t want to run the risk of losing it if someone else thinks of it too – or because the character has a lot of unused (and non transferable to any other character!) experience boosting potions. This has got to be the most inane reason to not delete a character that I don’t use, and probably never will! You see I have this really weird habit of “saving up” these miraculous potions – for what? In case I need them later on? Rubbish! They’re supposed to be used for low level characters to move on to the (supposedly!) more exciting higher levels more quickly! I have about three level 65 characters, and another four or five characters between levels 50 and 60… and all of them have full, intact, never opened – not even “only driven to Church on Sundays”, of experience-boosting “Troves”! So Winter, don’t give me that ridiculous “but I might need them later on!” excuse, because it just. doesn’t. wash! The other reason about not wanting to risk losing the names is a valid one though – as long as I have a character with that name, if I want to re-use the name I simply delete that character (stripping and salvaging anything worthwhile that they might have first, naturally!) and quickly create my new girl and give her that now “available” name. I think the odds of anyone else trying to use that name in the extremely short time that it’d be “free” for someone else to grab and use would have to be something like 7,000,000 to 1! (Winter coughs delicately: But… isn’t that how you got two of your names? “Blackrose” and “Daenerys”? They were “unavailable” for ages, and then all of a sudden, you got them? I bet someone was spitting chips that day! ) Well, you can be audaciously lucky sometimes, I suppose 😉 So I think I’m just going to have to bite the bullet, and delete all the characters – that I don’t suppose I’ll ever use or play with again – with all their precious Troves (oh! It hurts! it hurts!) , and only keep the characters if I really can’t bear to part with their names (*sigh*) The problems of being an alt-o-holic! :/

I’m not sure who’ll be turning up tomorrow – I know Paul will be, though at this stage we don’t know what time, because he may be sent off to pick up materials and supplies, like… tiles! and glass bricks! and timber (huh?? timber? why?) Then again, I thought Clarke was supposed to be showing us the bathroom taps he’d got/was getting for the shower and the vanity unit (I hope they’re matching!) sometime this weekend, but we haven’t seen him – maybe they didn’t have what he wanted in stock (that’d be right – he was going to Reece’s! :/ ) Never mind – I’m sure we’ll find out all about it tomorrow… or the next day… :/

Oh dear… I fear It’s “that” time again! :/

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

Weigh-in this morning. A little disappointing, really – I went from 67.5kg, to 67.5kg! Yeah… I stayed the same! :/ But I did increase the adjustable incline on the treadmill this morning! It has ten angles of inclination, from flat (1) to “pretty steep” – sorry, I have no idea what the angle at setting (10) is, but if it’s the next one up from where it is now, then it could easily pass for “pretty steep”, OK? I thought I’d been on setting (7) but apparently it must have been (8) because when I adjusted it up to the next notch this morning, I was quite surprised to see a (9) when I pressed the “display level” button! Anyhoo, I’ve left it there, and it is quite a bit tougher – however I also checked the distance walked, and calories burned after each session today, and seeing as I do eighteen plus minutes, three times a day, it works out to about 5.1 kilometers walked per day, and about 366 calories burnt per day (doing the walking, anyway – I’m sure I burn a few more calories than that during the day – or I hope so, anyway!) So I guess that walking about 5 kilometers a day has to be doing me some good… We’ll see if I go down a bit more tomorrow morning – or if I go up (I’ll cry if I do!)

Tomorrow Julian has to go off and get some tarpaulins for the delivery men to dump the special soil and gravel (scoria) on, and I hope that Terry has left his wheelbarrow here, and a shovel, so that Julian has something with which to transport the stuff from the tarps on the … front lawn??!! into the back, where the forlornly empty veggie beds are. Hopefully it won’t rain – though according to the weather report tonight, next week is going to be quite hot – so I’m afraid I don’t think I’ll be out there shoveling soil and gravel! I think I’ll help by staying safely inside and researching drip irrigation systems! 😉 I’m most anxious to see what the next stage of the bathroom renovations is going to be, too! Everything, including a lot of concrete flooring has been pulled out, so I can’t think that there’s going to be much more demolition done – apart from the window, which will have to come out, be made less deep (from top to bottom only, I hope!) so that there’ll be room for a towel rail under it. Actually, Clarke did tell us how glass brick windows are made, and it made sense at the time, but surely it’ll all have to be made in a day, for security reasons? (I mean, we don’t want spiders and other two-legged creepy-crawlies getting in at night while we’re asleep, do we!) And won’t there be a gap in the brick wall outside where the window is going to be raised up a bit? That’ll have to be patched up somehow, too… I wonder how long it’s all going to take… Sorry, I’m not really well known for my patience! 🙂 Anyway, once more that’s about it from me for this evening – I’m sorry about the delay, but… Sunday nights is what Sunday nights is… we even stopped playing Rift a little earlier than we usually do, too. Never mind, as I think I said once before – better late than never! 🙂 However do drop by again tomorrow night, to catch up on all the bathroom renovations news (do I still have a window? Will the spiders be able to get in?) and also to find out if walking up a steeper hill is doing anything to “encourage” my weight loss! Until tomorrow night though, please bee good (you know why! 😉 ) remember to learn the rules so you know how to break them properly, and don’t forget to drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.14

Well, what to tell you today – what to talk about? It’s probably been one of the quietest, laziest days that I’ve had for…. oh, goodness knows how long! Today, I drifted… We really slept in this morning – we didn’t get up until half past eight, which is really late for us because even when we sleep in, we usually get up at eight o’clock (no! eight o’clock in the morning, silly! Don’t be cheeky! 😉 ) Anyway, we slept in late, and had a pretty late start to the day, by the time we’d both performed our morning ablutions and I’d done my morning walk, breakfast was even later! We both dithered around in a bit of a daze for some unknown reason, and Julian, who had a few errands to run, didn’t get started until after high noon! Bunnys was the first off his list, where he went and asked the “people who know because they work there” what sort of soil, and what sort of drainage “gravel” (scoria) would be best for our two – very empty, at the moment – veggie beds. The soil (half way down the page!) is called “Five Way Soil“, and is apparently full to the brim with all the vitamins and minerals that little veggies need to grow up into strong, healthy little morsels of goodness for human beans! 🙂 It will be delivered on Tuesday, after Julian procures a couple of tarpaulins so that the delivery men have somewhere to dump it (hopefully in two separate piles – scoria on one tarpaulin, soil on the other!) We’re going to look into some sort of drip irrigation for the two beds, probably something similar to what we had in Glen Waverley for the pittosporum hedge we planted right around the front garden, because the local Council wanted us to jump through too many extremely expensive and invasive hoops to put a fence up! (Winter wonders if she could have said all that in a few less words… and finally decides that probably she could have, but she had to pad this out as much as possible – because nothing much happened today!) Once we get the irrigation whatever in, then we can start planting! Is it too late for tomatoes, do you think?

While Julian was off organising the soil and what-not, I had culled one character from my secondary shard, Hailol, and re-created her as a Primalist, because I had eleven Mages and two Primalists – anyway, even though you can change your Race and Gender in Rift, you can’t change your Class – the only way is to create one from scratch. So I decided to re-make two of the Mages into Primalists, and I did one of them today. One down, one to go… then I’ll have nine Mages and 4 Primalists to play with – though the only time I play a Mage now is when Julian and I play on a Sunday – and since we’ve been stymied with that stupidly impossible battle at the end (?) of “Into The Wilds”, I’m not even playing her anymore! :/ There has got to be a way around that wretched battle – there just has to be! (I just wish we could find it! 😦 )

So for most of the day I puddled around re-creating Blackrose and getting her to Meridian (because she’s a Defiant) – when I…. re-created… her, she was level 9… Now she’s almost level thirteen, so she’s progressed quite a bit from the snotty-nosed little level 9 Mage, to a fearless and formidable almost-level 13 Primalist! 😉 Next time it’ll be Incantessa’s turn – she’s a level 11 Guardian Mage who will be re-created into a brand-new Primalist – I think I’ll have to change her name as well though… I really think that Incantessa is more of a Mage name… Unfortunately all the names I’d really like to use are already taken! I was terribly lucky to get Blackrose, as it had already been taken on all the other shards… (because I tried to get it on all of them, and couldn’t!) You see, many, many centuries ago there used to be a hacker on my Bulletin Board called “Black Rose” – I always liked his name… he was… “Not Nice”, shall we say, but I still liked the name… 🙂 We had some good names, back then – but I can’t really see me calling one of my characters “Micro Drunks”, “Random Element”, “NMI”… or “Blue Thunder” 😉 (*smirk*) However, I’ve started myself thinking now – maybe I will go back and borrow one of more of those old, nostalgic names 🙂 I could possibly even get away with “Realarticle”, or “Tempusfugit”? Of course, most of you won’t get the references – sorry about that, but it’s one of the allowable sins of old age to reminisce over the “good (or bad! depending) old days” – but for those of you who do get the references, any suggestions? Deep Image? Gargoyle? Great Sage, Equal of Heaven? 😉 For those of you who don’t get the references, but think you might like to, ask and ye shall be told!

Weigh-in this morning. Damn it all, because of this morning’s weigh-in, I’m sure to go up tomorrow! I went down another two points – from 67.7kg to 67.5kg – another three points and I can safely say that I’ve lost more than half of my original weight! And it’s only a little more than two kilograms to my secondary goal weight of 65kg. Should I wait until I’m either right on 65kg, or slightly under to say “Maintenance!”, or do I only have to be inside the 65kg zone, or maybe under the 65.5kg mark? No, that would be cheating, wouldn’t it! I’ll have to wait until I’m either right on 65kg, or as reaching precisely the exact weight very seldom happens, until I’m under it – just a bit – like maybe 64.9kg? By the way, when I do get to 65kg, and cry “Maintenance from tomorrow!” what happens if I go up another two or three points the next day? Does that mean I have to go back on the diet until I get back to 65kg? 😉

Anyway, tomorrow is our “Sunday, Bloody Sunday, in Telara” – will we be able to get past that ruddy Dinosaur-slash-Dragon battle? I very much doubt it, but tonight I might trawl the Rift Forums too – see if a second pair of eyes can find the elusive clue as to how to get past this road-blocking Dinosaur-slash-Dragon! And if all else fails, hug your teddy!  No! I meant if all else fails, we have our two young Primalists to train up! 🙂 Well, it’s almost time for my late-afternoon tilt at the treadmill, and that’s about it from me for tonight, because really and truly, nothing much did happen today – for a change! I’m sure that won’t be the case tomorrow though – for starters, we won’t be sleeping in! We’ll be up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, early! Eager to be off on our adventures in Telara and elsewhere – will we die? (probably! :/ ) Will we get past the reptilian road-block? (probably not! 😦 ) Will I have a lot to tell you all, about my weight and everything else that we’ve been up to since this evening? Of course I will! 🙂 Don’t I always? 😉 (well, except for tonight – but that was because we slept in! 😉 ) So drop around again tomorrow night, and find out all the latest hot goss! 🙂 Until then, though, do try to bee good (no, I’m not going to repeat myself tonight! 😉 ) remember that a few nice words can help a person a lot more than you think… and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to drive carefully, and to stay cool – or warm – depending on the weather… but most of all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.13

Well, almost 3.30 pm on Friday the 13th, and so far, so good – although Julian is mopping the floor, trying to get rid of the thick layer of concrete dust all over it – I hope that neither of us slips on the wet tiles! :/ Thank heavens all the jack-hammering is finished! It’s been terribly noisy! Julian was unable to work in the office just across the corridor, and I kept losing count while I was trying to do my treadmilling in the next room! Now we have a whole weekend of peace and quiet, which I can honestly tell you all, we’re both really looking forward to! The concrete under the shower had to be jack-hammered out to a depth of about 25 to 30ml, as the shower base will be part of the floor, with no “lip” to step over, so the concrete has to be low enough to provide for the – I dunno, I suppose you’d call it a “drainage drop”, or something – so that the water will flow down into the to drain grating in the middle of the shower and not out into the rest of the room. Clarke has given the people who are making the vanity unit the final plans and measurements, so hopefully that’ll be ready soon – it doesn’t go right down to the floor, but is a sort-of “floating” or “hanging” vanity unit in that it’s suspended from the wall instead of standing on the floor. There are going to be three drawers at each end, followed by what will only look like three matching drawers. The top one will be a “normal” drawer, but the second one is actually a double depth drawer – that is, it’ll be two drawers deep on the inside, but look like two drawers on the outside, to match the ones next to them. That’s because all the drawers are deep enough for most things, but not quite deep enough for cans of hairspray, large bottles of mousewash, and the big 1 litre bottle of Madder-root shampoo that I have, and one of those double-depth drawers will have a waste-bin hidden in it, to avoid cluttering up the floor with a free-standing bathroom-tidy! 🙂 I know we discussed it, and as far as I’m aware, there’ll be concealed lighting under the vanity unit – not because it needs it, but because it looks cool and “atmospheric” at night! 😉 Phone calls were flowing back and forth today – what sort of taps I wanted, did I want this that-way, or that this-way? Hopefully it’ll all come together the right way! One thing did annoy me a little today – when I picked the bathroom floor and wall tiles, there were two versions – a 600×600 tile, and a 600×300 tile. I liked the big, square 600×600 tiles, but Julian felt that they might be too big – Clarke said that the size didn’t make any difference, however in the end I reluctantly allowed myself to be talked into the 600×600 tiles on the floor, and the 600×300 tiles for the walls (why or how this was going to be “better”, I have no idea!) Clarke rang this afternoon to say that there was a noticable colour discrepancy between the two sizes, so did I want to use the big ones, or the smaller ones? Trying to get him to tell me exactly what the colour difference was was like trying to pull hen’s teeth – he just kept saying that there was a difference… in the end I managed to eke out of him that the bigger tiles were “whiter”, and the smaller ones a little bit “greyer” – so I (*gulp*) opted for the smaller tiles… Now, why did I do that, when I’d originally wanted the larger ones? I don’t know, but a little nagging voice was telling me that I didn’t want the room to be too white – I’d originally wanted a very pale grey softly marbled tile, but everything was either that horrible mottled grainy sort of marble that looks more like granite, which I definitely didn’t want – it reminded me of a mausoleum! The only other type of veined marble that I saw was too white! More of a “whiter-than-white” tile, with ugly thick “blacker-than-black” varicose veins going through it! That’s why I jumped on these tiles when I saw them, because they were actually a type of “pale grey”… well, perhaps a little whiter than “pale grey”? But they had the best marbling I’d seen, and the veins weren’t completely “stark black”, and they looked good in the small bit of tiling that they had on display. But when Clarke told me about the colour difference this afternoon, I chickened out of the larger ones – what if they were “too white”? Would I be better off going for the smaller, but slightly greyer ones? So I did… I hope I don’t regret it! :/ There have been a few other minor corrections and/or adjustments made to the overall design – like two shower alcoves for shampoo bottle etc., with the shower rail in between them, instead of one alcove, with the shower rail either on top of me at one end of the shower, or too far away for the hose to reach, at the other end of the shower. Now it’ll be in the middle and be a “Baby Bear” shower rail! (“just right!”)

One thing I neglected to mention last night, about my walking all over Doncaster Shoppingtown – I got my wheelchair in 2011 and I’ve used it ever since when there’s been any sort of walking around outside of the house or garden… yesterday was the first time in four years that I’ve walked around a shopping centre, unaided by anything other than a walking stick! And between about 2005 and 2011, I either used one of the shopping centre’s little electric scooters, or I had to get Julian to go and get me a trolley that I could lean on, to be able to get around the centre! I’ve come a long way, and I have no intention of stopping yet! 🙂 Avanti Savoia! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Much more betterer! Maybe I should ditch doing my lunchtime treadmilling, and get Julian to drive me to a shopping centre where I can walk around for the afternoon instead! I went down another three points, from 68.0kg to 67.7kg. I worked it out on the calculator – when I get down to 67.35kg (hmm… I think my scales only weigh to one decimal place, not two! Perhaps I’d better make it 67.2kg, just to be on the safe side!) Yes, once I get down to 67.2kg, I’ll have officially lost a teeny bit more than half my original, pre-diet body weight! And because I said that, guess what! :/ I’ll go up tomorrow, you see if I don’t! (*sigh*) Oh well, I made it to 67.7kg today… :/

So Julian has finished mopping the floor – which is now dry – and neither of us has had the Friday the 13th misfortune of slipping and going end over end on it, so now all we have to do is – not go outside again until the bathroom is finished and all the rubbish and bits of concrete have been taken away, so that we don’t get any more concrete dust all over the place! 😉 Hopefully it’ll be a quiet weekend – maybe a bit of shopping tomorrow (I think I might go too – apparently walking agrees with my weight-loss! 😉 ) and of course our business in Telara on Sunday. Julian’s been scanning the Rift forums looking for any clues or hints on how to handle that dinosaur-slash-dragon thingy in that impossible end battle, but either not very many people have got that far yet (though I find that very hard to believe!) or else those that do know how to handle it are keeping quiet – perhaps even selling the solution – for an emperor and a pope’s ransom – on the black market! Well, at least we have our young’ns to level up, and hopefully by the time we get them to level 65, Trion will have fixed the problem. Which as far as I’m concerned, isn’t a “problem“, so much as lack of thinking, planning, and execution on Trion’s part! Anyway, once again, that’s about it from me for this evening – but drop in again tomorrow night to see if my weight did go up (I bet it does, even if only to thwart me! 😉 ) and whether or not I did go hopping, skipping, and jumping around a shopping centre – as well as whatever else we managed to get into – like the soil, and some seeds and seedlings for the veggie beds! 🙂 But until then, please bee good (you know what’ll happen if you don’t! 😉 ) remember that somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known, but don’t forget to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, to drive carefully, and to look after yourselves… but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.12

Well, what an exhausting day it’s been! I don’t know why, but starting from this morning, when I went for my first treadmilling of the day – it was all I could do to finish the 18+ minutes that I’ve set myself! I felt exhausted after only about six or seven minutes… That first walk of the day is always the hardest – hardest to get motivated, hardest to get my legs moving properly… (I’m quite sure my legs think that they’re still asleep in bed, having a nightmare about mindlessly churning away on the treadmill! It wouldn’t surprise me – that about sums up how I feel every morning when I get on that contraption! 😉 ) It wasn’t helped by the facts (plural!) that Julian was fretting, wanting to get going for his walk, Paul was supposed to be arriving at 7.30, I hadn’t brushed my teeth or got myself dressed – and then it all got mucked up. I decided to get dressed anyway, and to brush my teeth and do my treadmill walk after Paul had arrived, and Julian set out on his morning amble. Before I’d even finished getting dressed he was back again, saying that he’d just had a message from Paul saying that he’d be late – it’d be an 8.00am start this morning! Julian went back to the rest of his walk, I flung on the rest of my clothes and revised my plan of action – I had just enough time to do my walk before Paul arrived, so I raced into the treadmill room, and put on my three layers of socks. Would you believe that because I was in a hurry, those ruddy damn socks got twisted up every which-way, and wouldn’t cooperate with me? Of course you would! It’s par for the course for me! Anyway, finally socked up and on the treadmill, I tried to go as fast as I could – not that I thought I could squish 18 minutes worth of walking into 15 minutes or anything – I just felt that I had to hurry… and of course the faster I went, the more my legs protested – not that I paid any attention to them! I had the ideal opportunity to have my walk in peace and quiet, too – no jack-hammering, no “bzzzzz” of drill or electric saw, which always muddles up my counting (“was that 21, or 31 I was up to? Better start again! 1, 2, 3…”) but I was so busy watching my watch, trying to guess whether I’d be finished by the time Paul arrived, or whether Julian would be back before 8.00 am, so that he could let Paul in, or whether Paul would arrive earlier than 8.00 am and beat both of us! I needn’t have worried – Julian got back before eight, I finished my walk slightly before that – and Paul arrived at 8.15 am! It was altogether a totally unsatisfactory walk this morning! :/ Only one bathroom between us doesn’t help matters, either! If I get into the bathroom first, I feel guilty because I’m hogging his bathroom, and if he gets in there first, I’m panic-stricken that someone will come to the door and I’m not dressed! Stupid, really, but I never pretended not to be neurotic and paranoid! 😉 We had to leave here at about a quarter past eleven to be sure of getting to Doncaster by noon, and we had a bit of shopping to do after I’d been to the hairdresser – Julian needed a new pair of sneakers (walking shoes!) as his old ones had holes in the tops of their toes which let the water in if it rained, I wanted to get an el-cheapo pair of some sort of scuffs that I could just jam my feet into if I wanted to go outside and harvest any vegetables, or something – we had to pick up the Dry Cleaning which hadn’t been ready the other day (and still wasn’t! Their machine is still broken!) and I also wanted to get one pair of size 14 undergarments, to see if they’d fit, before buying more. Miracles still happen, because I managed to get myself ready with ten minutes to spare, then, off we went. I wasn’t looking forward to doing all of the above over at Doncaster, and then coming home and having to go straight off on my next treadmill-a-thon, so I asked Julian if he thought that my walking all over the place at Doncaster, instead of using the wheelchair, would be a rough equivalent to 18 minutes on the treadmill. After some thought, and a lot of discussion, he decreed that it probably would be. We did bring the chair, but left it in the car, and with the aid of Nedleana*, I did walk! The length and breadth of Doncaster Shoppingtown (plus a bit!) And you know what gave me the most trouble? Not my back… not my feet or ankles, as one might have presumed, no….. It was the weight of my handbag! I’ve got to find out what’s weighing it down so much, and whatever it is, get rid of it! (…unless it’s my Kindle, of course! 😉 ) Yes, the weight of my handbag, and… my neck! When I told Julian this he was most intrigued “Your neck?! How? Why!?”, he asked me. I replied through gritted teeth “Holding my head up high enough to see where I’m going!” I suffer from a sort-of curvature of the spine, which means that when I walk, I’m mainly looking at the ground… this is fine, around the house, or for short distances where you don’t have to dodge and weave your way through crowds of unobservant people, such as one finds in a busy shopping centre – in the wheelchair, you’re looking straight ahead because you’re sitting down and your spine is more-or-less straight, so it’s not a problem, but walking? I got such a sore neck this afternoon… (Winter shakes her head, almost in disbelief) However! We got everything done! Julian got his shoes, I got my scuffs and a pair of size 14 undergarments, to see if they fit, and I think I might have discovered a new favourite perfume! 🙂 For years and years and years, my very favourite perfume was Opium, by Yves Saint Laurent, then I discovered Cinnabar, by Estée Lauder, and it’s been my favourite for several years now. Today I spotted a new perfume by Yves Saint Laurent – Black Opium! and it’s what can only be described as “yummy”, though I wouldn’t recommend drinking it! (but your breath would smell divine, wouldn’t it – until you died from fragrance poisoning, I suppose! 😉 ) No, it’s a beautiful new perfume, and I’d love to get some for Christmas – or our wedding anniversary, coming up next month (hint! hint! 😉 )

So when we got home this afternoon, it wasn’t as late as I’d thought it would be and I asked Julian if perhaps I should do my treadmilling, after all – but he said “No!”, so I didn’t. (please don’t get the impression that I’m a good, obedient little hausfrau, because I can assure you all, I’m not! Well-l-l, not always, anyway 😉 ) Instead, I settled down to doing a bit more tidying up on the shards – but I kept falling asleep! Even now, coffee’s the only thing keeping me awake to write this, and I still have my evening “Walkies” to do in about half an hour! :/

Weigh-in this morning. Now that I’ve seen Dr. Y. my wretched weight is going down! Not that I’m not pleased about it, I am! I am! I went down another two points this morning, from 68.2kg to 68.0kg, which is nearly half a kilo in two days! (“Why couldn’t it have been last week!”, wails Winter in frustration!) Still, we’ll see what happens tomorrow morning, after all this walking today! (the obvious answer is, of course, “nothing!”, but since when has “the obvious” ever applied to me?! 😉 )

I was about to say “I don’t think anything in particualr is happening tomorrow – I have one last shard to clean up, and then I can begin the Great Guild Bank Invasion (muhahahahaha!) but then I thought “Oh no!”, because you do all realise what tomorrow is, don’t you?! Apart from being a Friday? It’s a Friday the 13th! Thank goodness we’re not going anywhere! Thank goodness that Flipper is grey and white, and not black! (actually, black cats are supposed to bring good luck! It’s white cats that are supposed to be unlucky, or “bad” – though I’ve never heard of a “bad” cat – naughty, perhaps, or even mischievous, mean, spiteful, malicious… but never “bad“! 🙂 ) So I want all of you out there to take particular care tomorrow – no walking under ladders, opening umbrellas indoors, or breaking mirrors! Promise?! Good! Anway, that’s about all I have for you again this evening – don’t forget to drop in again tomorrow night, to find out how my weight went, whether I was still able to hobble around after all the walking I will have done today, and how my bathroom is progressing – as well as any other exciting and interesting things that happened during the day! Until then, please bee good, and bee careful – you all know why! 🙂 don’t forget that sometimes even the smallest decision can make the greatest impact in your life, and remember to take care of yourselves, to drive carefully, and to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather… but most importantly (especially tomorrow!) remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*Nedleana – my walking stick! I call her “Nedleana” because like “Ned” Kelly, it holds you up, and “leana” because I “lean” on it, and it has the feminine “a” ending because, well, I am a female! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201511.11

So, here we are – the day after the day before… Remembrance Day – did you buy a poppy? I haven’t been out, so I haven’t got one – but one of us usually has one tucked away in a pocket, due to the lack of a buttonhole in which to put it. How many people still stop whatever they’re doing at 11.00am and stand quietly for two minutes? I’m ashamed to say that we don’t – I always forget, and by the time I remember, a week has gone by and I’m busy; in the middle of something, as usual … Anyway, Paul turned up on time this morning, and my bathroom is now an empty shell! He has a little more jack-hammering to do, to even out the floor where the base of the shower used to be. The original builders of this house (which is on a concrete slab) had some rather “innovative ideas”, when it came to plumbing – which is politically correct speech for “weird ideas”! Clarke is a good builder, and knows his stuff, from construction, to electrical fittings, to…. pluming. Paul’s the same – and neither of them can figure out why there’s an enormous great hole underneath where the bath used to sit – normally, there’s just a drainage “sump” and a waste water drain, and the rest is usually solid, especially in a concrete slab house. This hole would have to be about 2’6″ (76cm ?) long, by about 1’6″ (46cm ?) wide, by I don’t know how deep because I couldn’t get in to have a look inside it. It’s going to take quite a lot of concrete to fill it all in, and which will probably take quite a long time to set and dry! :/ The other somewhat strange arrangement is that there are two separate drainage/waste-water pipes for the two erstwhile hand-basins – when the two basins are close together as these were, there’s usually only the one pipe that branches into two – one for each hand-basin – those two pipes will (logically) join together somewhere under the concrete to carry the waste water into the sewerage system – so why use two pipes if they don’t need to? It’s really a bit of an overkill! But all that will be rectified shortly. “The Great Bath Sink-Hole” won’t be needed as it’s going to be tiled over (after it’s been filled in! I don’t want to fall through the nice grey marble tiles and wind up in a small sink-hole!) and end up as glorious, and very much-needed room! We nearly did have a bit of a “planning malfunction” this morning though! Clarke was over and asking me about a 17cm space – I thought he was talking about the window, and as the term “17cm” means absolutely nothing to me unless I’m shown, or can actually see, just how big 17cm looks (Winter holds her hands out, about “X” cm apart “Is this approximately what 17cm looks like?” I wouldn’t know – I need to be able to see the distance, see?!) Anyway, he was rabbiting on about “17cm”, and I was happily thinking that he meant how much the bottom of the window was going to have to be moved up to accommodate a towel rail underneath it, so I was nodding and agreeing with everything he was saying. Clarke went off to organise the building of the vanity unit. Thirty minutes later (or maybe 35 or 40!) I went into the bathroom with Julian to see how things were going. Luckily, Julian again asked me about this mysterious, but obviously all-important, 17cm! Clarke hadn’t been talking about the window, he’d been talking about the length of the vanity unit, which was apparently scheduled to stop 17cm from the wall, where the existing towel rail currently is, or rather, was, and where the new one would go, too! No! No! The vanity unit was supposed to go along the full length of the wall, and the towel rail was supposed to go under the window! “The window’s too low…”, Julian started to say, when I again interjected “That’s why I thought Clarke was talking about the window!”, I all but yelled at him “It’s supposed to be going to be raised enough for the towel rail to go underneath it! That’s what I thought he meant by 17cm – that the 17cm was going to be how much the window had to be raised!” So, a frantic phone call to Clarke to sort this little matter out, and as it turns out, when he got home and looked at the revised plans for the bathroom – we’d all talked about it at some length, the last time he was over – he’d seen that the vanity unit was indeed to go along the full length of the wall, and the window was going to be raised, just enough, for the towel rail to go under it – and whether or not this will turn out to be 17cm or not, I have no idea, as I still have no visual reference for 17cm! 😉 So then he asked me about how I wanted the door… and did I want it to be a wall-cavity sliding door, like the one he put on the en-suite. I thought this was a wonderful idea! There’d be no doors opening up into my new, very spacious bathroom, which would then keep its clean-cut spacious, and sleek aspect! I also wanted it to be wider than normal – the same as the en-suite door! Once again though, the house chucked us a bit of a problem… This house is unusual, in that nearly all of the doorways go almost right up to the ceilings, and all the doors are correspondingly tall (long?) If I wanted the bathroom door to be the same as most of the other doors in the house, as well as being a wider than usual wall-cavity sliding door, it would have to be specially made (and probably cost heaps more!) I thought for about two seconds, and said “I want it exactly the same as the en-suite door!”, which is a normal height, but slightly wider than usual, wall-cavity sliding door – so that’s been settled, too! 🙂

Julian took my favourite eldest daughter over to the hairdresser this afternoon, and on the way home got caught up in all the shenanigans on the freeway – sorry, tollway – after the policeman was mowed down by someone. Bumper-to-bumper all the way until everyone was diverted off the tollway, which was then closed off. It was still bumper-to-bumper even off the tollway, so instead of trying to get her back to Glen Waverley, he brought Lee here, where we were able to have a bit of a visit (which is why I started writing this a little later than I normally like to!) – we won’t see her next week as it’s her and her husband’s (I fergit which, terrible mother that I am!) Wedding Anniversary next week, and Neale’s taken the whole week off… So we sat and chatted and had a cup of coffee 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Typical! Truly typical! I went down two points! From 68.4kg to 68.2kg. Why, oh why couldn’t I have done that yesterday! (*sob*) Now, you listen here, body! I see Dr. Y. again in March, next year! On my Birthday! By March next year, you’d damn-well better have got down to 65kg and been on Maintenance for a month and a half, and what’s more, be pretty much stable, between 65kg and 70kg by then! Or Else! Let’s see how I go without those ghastly pills for a couple of months! To quote someone I know quite well: “This… Better… Be… Good!” 😉

Well, I’m off to the hairdresser tomorrow, and I’m also going to see if I can get just one pair of size 14 under garments (to see if they fit, before I buy more) – I’m wearing size 16, and they’re getting uncomfortably loose – as are my jeans, also a size 16… and it suddenly dawned on me this afternoon, that for all the weight that Julian’s lost, for once I’m the lightest one in the family! With the possible exception of Julian’s sister of course – even a sparrow would weigh more than she does! 🙂 And you know, I’m still completely astonished that I’ve done this! I still can’t think of myself in “normal” sized clothing instead of XL and XXL (and even, sometimes, XXXL!) things… and with those somewhat bemused statements, I also have to add that that’s about it from me for tonight! Do call in again tomorrow night, and see if I’ve gone down a bit more, or if I’ve see-sawed back up again, and to find out how things are going with the bathroom – I wonder when they’ll be able to start tiling?! In the meantime, remember to bee good (for goodness’ sake! 😉 ) remember that a question you never ask will never be answered, and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, and to drive carefully – but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂