Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.31

Well, I was planning on starting earlier, but then I got a phone call from my favourite youngest daughter – and so I talked to her instead! 🙂 We don’t often get a chance to have a good, long chat, so it was good – except for the part where she told me that I should be eating more! 😉 Apparently she thinks I’m losing too much weight! ( 😀 and I’ll bet that no-one ever thought they’d see the day when they could accuse me of losing too much weight!) Anyway, she’s well, Terry’s slowly coming to terms with his mother’s passing, and at least something positive has come out of the sadness – he’s been able to catch up with his youngest daughter again. It’s a long story, maybe for another time, but the estrangement from his two daughters has been one of the main reasons for his depression and anxiety – so hopefully he’ll be able to move forwards now. Julian and I played World of Warcraft today, as we usually do on a Sunday – and did I mention something about “would we die a lot” last night? Well, we did! And after my seventh death, I actually lost count of how many times I died! One rather spectacular demise was in the middle of a really tough Boss Fight – this [censored!] Elite monster had truly lethal halitosis, in the form of a fiery breath – Mouselet had just told me not to stand in the fire, when my mouse suddenly decided it was going home to have a little nap! I couldn’t move, I couldn’t run, I couldn’t fight – I couldn’t even turn around! No mouse action, no cursor, no nothing – except almost instant death! I shook the mouse… Nothing! I tapped it smartly against the desk… Still nothing! In the end I had to remove the battery cover and twiddle the battery a bit before I got any movement back – and of course, by then I was well and truly dead! Much to my shame, Mouselet ended up bringing the Boss down on his own – while I was still trying to revive my [censored!] mouse! It occasionally does this to me – plays Possum like that – there’s nothing wrong with the mouse, it’s a perfectly good Logitech mouse, and there’s nothing wrong with the battery – it’s only just been replaced – it just likes to irk me, by playing dead every once in a while! Normally it doesn’t matter too much, like if I’m doing graphic work, or writing this, or whatever – but in the middle of an extremely fraught Boss Fight?! All I can say – and all that I said at the time (apart from the panicked “Where’s my cursor gone! I don’t have a cursor – I can’t move!” whilst thumping my stupid mouse around in a vain effort to get it working again) is “Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!” …I hope it doesn’t happen again, or this mouse just might have to be replaced – when I hurl it on the floor and start jumping up and down on it!

So as I said, we died, many, many times today – and once, it was all Mouselet’s fault, too! 🙂 We were trundling along in Mouselet’s motorcycle and sidecar, dragging a huge long “train” of pursuing monsters behind us, and we realised that we were running out of cliff-top to trundle along – and that we needed to be “down there”, on the road below us anyway. Momentarily forgetting that, unlike Rift, leaping – or falling – off high places in World of Warcraft does do an extraordinary amount of fatal “falling damage”… Mouselet jumped the bike over the edge, and we went straight down, like the proverbial stone, where we both fell flat on our faces, dead!  However, we also went up a level, so we’re both level 92 now, and I think we accomplished a lot, quest wise. I seem to be accumulating an awful lot of Garrison “Followers” – NPC’s* that you send off on “Missions”, from which you, as Garrison Commander, reap the rewards. A little bit like your Minions in Rift, I suppose, only – very different in execution! However, tomorrow it’ll be back to Andronica – with luck, I’ll get her up to level 20, and a Mount! 🙂

Food stuffz: last night we had pan-fried chicken for dinner, with green beans, half a tomato, and steamed rice with chopped up spring onions in it, instead of chips. Dessert was one of Julian’s low-fat yoghurts – an extremely nice raspberry and white chocolate one – and although I could taste the raspberry (flavour! as I’m sure that no real raspberries were harmed in the making of the yoghurt!) I couldn’t find any trace at all of the white chocolate… (they probably just waved a Milkybar™ over the top of the yoghurt tubs on their way down the conveyor belt…) Today I had a sandwich for lunch – made with that nice multi-grain bread wot I fergit the name of, with a teeny bit of butter, a thin spread of the very nice basil pesto hummus, and some pieces of roast chicken “tikka” strips (Coles brand) which was really delicious! Tonight we had an omelet for dinner, with roasted capsicum slices, semi-dried basil flakes, spring onion, Halloumi cheese, and… little itty bits of bacon, which had all the fat cut off it! 🙂 For dessert, I had another of Julian’s low-fat yoghurts, as my jellies hadn’t been made (yet) – tonight it was a black cherry yoghurt – but I still think that my all-time favourite is the burnt fig and salted caramel one – that’s just dee-licious! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I didn’t go up! In fact, I went down one more point, from 63.2kg to 63.1kg – I wonder if that’s why my favourite youngest daughter said I needed to eat more… Actually, I think I’m about right at this weight – I really don’t want to lose too much more weight! I’m scrawny enough the way I am now! I could maybe go down to 62.5kg… but I think I’ll wait and see where my body wants itself to go down to for a bit longer… 🙂

I think tomorrow will probably be fairly quiet – our cleaning lady will be here tomorrow morning, and I think I’ll be seeing my favourite eldest daughter on Tuesday – Thursday is Julian’s Birthday, and if this family is running true to form, in having Birthday Celebrations at least one week – though usually two – after the Real Day, we’ll be having his Big Birthday Bash on…. what?! Today fortnight? But… but… that’s St. Valentine’s Day! Anyway, I doubt that it’ll be next weekend – “too short notice” (well, not really, but that’s what he’ll say! 😉 ) Maybe the Sunday after St. Valentine’s Day… I dunno… but we will be having one! So, Julian, start thinking about where you want to go for your B.B.B., before my Birthday rolls around! February’s a short month, you know! 😉 Oh well, another two more big eating days before Easter, before my weight can settle down into some sort of sensible routine, though at least I have my daily exercise routine on the treadmill all worked out – 1.5 kilometers before breakfast, and 1.5 kilometers after lunch, at about two o’clock, as regular as clockwork – unless I’m going to be walking the length and breadth of a shopping centre at least twice during the afternoon – then I don’t do my afternoon treadmilling, nor do I do my afternoon treadmilling if we’ve been out and had a long lunch, because by the time we get home, all I want to do is sit down and read… or WoW… or sleep – whichever claims me first! And that, gentle readers, is about it from me again this evening! Don’t forget to drop in again tomorrow night to hear the latest Flipper Bulletin (we still haven’t made a final decision) whether my weight is still going down or not, and about all the other little adventures and interesting bits of trivia that make up our day! Until then though, do at least try to bee good, don’t forget that if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change, and remember to drive carefully, to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, and to always look after yourselves – but above all, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*NPC – computer generated and operated “Non Player Characters”, but which perform the functions of characters – fighting, performing tasks, a bit like “extras” in a movie…

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.30

So, after wasting quite some considerable time this afternoon, searching for a file that I know I have – somewhere – but which seems to have disappeared (even Julian couldn’t find it, and if he can’t find it, then I fear that it’s gone for good! 😦  ) Not that it was all that important – I was able to work around the missing file by “painting over” the only copy left of the .jpg image, however I did waste a lot of time looking for it, which is what annoys me the most! It was actually the layered Photoshop graphic for this header – whenever I make things like headers, I always make at least two or three saved versions in both Photoshop format and .jpg format- more sometimes, depending on how many times I change things around… so even if nothing else remained, the final Photoshop version that I saved the .jpg image from would’ve had to have been in the directory – but all I could find was the final graphic which was what you all saw on top of my blog last night! So I “painted over” it! That is, I added another layer on top of the original, and painted over that (and saved it with a different name in Photoshop format – twice! (just in case!)) So all that time, and all I’ve really done is change the colours, and the main font! Stupid really… and you know what? I was going to start writing early today, and I think that subconsciously I was procrastinating because I didn’t really feel like sitting down and writing! Well, for whatever reason – subconscious or not – I didn’t get to start early this afternoon, after all, so this will probably end up getting split into a “BD” part, and an “AD&T” part (in other words, a “Before Dinner” part, and an “After Dinner & Television” part!) I played World of Warcraft nearly all day – I’ve got Andronica up to level 15, and despite dealing with unknown areas (she’s in Azshara at the moment, the area just to the north of Orgrimmar) I think she’s doing very well! 🙂 She’s also very short – shorter than a Dwarf, and I’d even say just a tad shorter than a Gnome – which means that she tends to get lost in meadow grass! She’s Stabled her Pet Crab (whom she never bothered to name) and while she was still in the Lost Isles she Tamed herself one of the local Jungle Cats, whom she’s called “Manglemouth” – because that’s what the cat does to enemies with her mouth – she “mangles” them! 😉

Yes, well what did I tell you? I’ve just come back from the AD&T part… where was I? Oh yes, trying to find my way through the long meadow grass in Azshara! 🙂 I can’t wait to get to level 20, to see what sort of a mount I’ll be able to get… yes, I know I could look it up, but I don’t want to! I want to be surprised – or disappointed – or possibly both! I’m also looking forward to the next expansion, Legion, because I hear that, for the first time ever, Gnomes will be able to be Hunters! For quite a long time, Humans couldn’t play a Hunter, either – so it’ll be interesting to see how a Gnome Hunter will go… I intend to Create one, anyway 🙂

Food stuffz: last night we had sausages for dinner – and for a change, not the King Island Beef ones! These ones were beef too, and had natural (read: “proper”) skins, but made by the Natural Sausage Company – sorry I can’t give you a link to them – there isn’t one available as they don’t appear to have a website! Their dark green and white label reads: “The all Natural Sausage Company [-] Traditional Beef sausage [-] Ingredients: Lean Beef (86%) . Ground Rice . Onion . Garlic . Salt . Parsley . Spices . Natural Casing”, and then on the next line, all by itself, it says: “…and that’s it! Does Not Contain Preservatives . Gluten Free” – then there’s a bit of the apparently mandatory Nutritional Information. However! They were very nice sausages, and we’ll have them again, thank you very much! 🙂 They seemed to be a bit more “moist” (?) inside than the King Island Beef ones? But they were definitely ones to put on the shopping list again – and I believe they also make chicken sausages, so we might try them next time and see if they’re as good as the beef ones! With them we had steamed carrots (because the tomatoes had started to go mouldy) with snow peas and chips, and last night I had one of my diet jellies for dessert. Lunch today was rather late – Julian went over to Doncaster to start boxing up the books. He was there just about all day (yes! we do have a lot of books!) but he’s almost finished, and he thinks that the rest should only take about an hour or so – so when he got back we had another wrap, with more of the hummus and quinoa tabouli salad, a bit of ham, and some Halloumi cheese (I love Halloumi cheese! It’s sooo delicious!) – I really shouldn’t eat so many wraps… or maybe I could just eat the filling part and leave the flat bread? Tonight we had pan-fried chicken, steamed rice with chopped-up spring onion, instead of the usual chips, green beans, and half a tomato (not the mouldy ones, Julian threw those out and bought new ones today!) and I had one of his low-fat yoghurts for dessert.

Weigh-in this morning. Wasn’t too bad – I went down another two points, going from 63.4kg to 63.2kg. There’s no reason why I should go back up again tomorrow – but after all, this is my body we’re talking about, so anything is possible! I might go down a bit more – I might stay the same – or I might skyrocket up to 65kg! Who knows? Ah well, at least I can say that my weight loss trip hasn’t been dull and boring! Really, it’s been a new adventure every day – or perhaps I should say that it’s been more like a midday soap opera! Tragic one day, Dreamy and idyllic the next, and totally unpredictable and senseless the day after! And even though I did get in both my treadmill walkies today, I wonder what the scales have in store for me tomorrow morning! 😀

Which brings me to tomorrow! As it’s a Sunday, I expect that we’ll once again don the personae of “Draenor’s Dynamic Duo” and go questing around the countryside in Mouselet’s old sputtering and clanking motorcycle and sidecar 🙂 I wonder if we’ll get killed? I wonder if we’ll go up a level? (probably not – leveling up is very slow at this stage!) I’m not sure what’s happening on Monday – I think Julian is off to pack up some more books, and I have Josh coming over on Monday evening – but apart from that? If I find a nice new Template, I might try making a Header for it, otherwise, I guess I’ll just try to level Andronica up a bit more 🙂 (innit wunnerful, being a bored housewife! 😉 ) And that’s about it from me again for this evening! Do call in again tomorrow night to find out how we fared in Delightfully Decadent Draenor, and whether we died or not, and to find out what the scales said to me! (mind you, what I then said back to them may not be suitable for a “family oriented” blog! 😉 ) We still haven’t fully made up our minds about whether to have Flipper’s rotten tooth extracted or not – it’s a really tough question – but whatever decision we do make, you’ll be the first to hear about it! 🙂 But until tomorrow night, once more I shall exhort you all to bee good, don’t forget that the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said, and remember to look after yourselves, to drive carefully – and to keep dry! It’s thundering and raining here – but above all, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.29

Well, after mucking around with a new Template and header for about three-quarters of a wasted hour, before deciding that I really didn’t like it after all and ditching it – I’m finally starting to write! Oh well, I might keep working on it later on, but I don’t like “narrow” blocks of text – I feel it makes the writing look “cramped”, and squashed up… So, what have we been up to today? Oh! My computer stuffed up this morning, for one thing – and that wasted both Julian’s and my time for a while – I sat on the couch and read while he fossicked around in my files and what-not, to see if he could find and fix the problem – well, he’s fixed it – for now – but it’s still doing strange things, and he’ll need a bit longer to get to the bottom of it – but at the moment it’s working alright, and there are more important things that have to be done. The main problem was that I couldn’t download anything! It was actually a problem with our anti-virus software, which suddenly decided that everything I wanted to download was a virus! Something along those lines, anyway – as you all know, I’m totally non-technical, and while I sort-of understand Julian’s explanations, and can follow what he’s talking about, I’m afraid that the more esoteric aspects of some of the technical issues are beyond my area of expertise! (ahhh… that’s really just a fancy way of me saying that I don’t have a clue, OK?! 😉 ) So once my inability to download had been patched, he went back to his work, and I went back to playing WoW, where I finally got Kødiak up to level 20, and bought her a Riding Licence. At the moment she’s still in Lakeshire, attempting to recruit some help in repelling an Orc invasion, and while she’s busy organising that 😉 I’ve gone off and created yet another new character! This time I’ve created a Goblin Hunter, and I’ve called her “Andronica” – no fancy letters or accents – because I was looking for a starting area that I was virtually totally unfamiliar with – and although I have created Goblins in the past, I’ve never kept them for very long – not even long enough to completely finish off the starting area! I think I’m almost at the end of the starting area, and Andronica seems to be doing well enough at the moment – but… we’ll see how she goes! 🙂 It’s a lot more complicated? messy? busy? than any of the other starting areas – you have to drive a car, for instance, and the Goblin community is very crowded and higgledy-piggledy – there are “sort-of” roads that (I think!) you’re supposed to drive on, but it doesn’t seem to mind if you do decide to go “off-road”, and there are lots of walls in the way, that by the time you get around them, you find yourself going in completely the wrong direction! Anyway, I found it very crowded, cramped, and confusing – but that was probably due to the fact that I’m not as familiar with the Goblin area as I am with the other ones!

We got the results of Flipper’s blood tests this afternoon, and according to the Vet, none of the results they got this time were very different from the those of the last set of tests she had done, in October last year – which is very good! So now we have to decide whether she should have her rotten tooth removed or not! Because her results this time showed virtually no change – that is, her organs haven’t deteriorated a lot, despite her age – her kidneys are slowly failing, but because we’re keeping her blood pressure under control with medication, as well as giving her extra potassium, at the moment they’re holding their own. The anesthetic could be a problem though, and quite often the sort of trauma suffered by an old cat after surgery could trigger a decline that we might not be able to pull her out of. On the other hand, the tooth is infected, and if allowed to persist could put a strain on her kidneys, her heart, or both! We talked about using antibiotics to clear up the infection, and the Vet said that although they would certainly clean it up temporarily, and she’d be more comfortable, unless the actual seat of the infection (her rotten tooth) was corrected, it would definitely keep flaring up. If we do go ahead with the dental extraction, they’d put her on a drip in hospital for a day before doing the surgery, then keep her hospitalised and on a drip (to keep her hydrated and medicated) for at least 48 hours after the surgery – she’d be getting pain relief, her favourite food, and if necessary, an appetite stimulant, until the Vets were happy that she was eating normally again. She’d also be getting injections of antibiotics, rather than the antibiotic paste, so as not to injure her healing mouth – all in all, we know she’d be in good hands and that they’d be looking after her well. I think we probably will go down the surgical path because of the dangers posed by not removing that tooth. The infection is pouring toxins into her bloodstream, and it’ll only get worse – at the moment it’s not adversely affecting her kidneys or her heart, but if it goes on much longer, it will. And she’s in pain. Anyway, we have the weekend to think about it and we’ll talk with the Vet again on Monday or Tuesday.

Food stuffz: last night we had a delicious little piece of fillet steak each, I had my standard five chips, green beans, and half a tomato, plus my diet jelly (still the raspberry and licorice one) For lunch today we had a wrap – not the yummy flat-bread that Coles make, this was just your usual, everyday pita bread stuff – with the basil pesto hummus, some quinoa tabouli salad, some sliced ham, and (I think?) some capsicum batons? Anyway, it was très yummy! 🙂 Tonight we’re having sausages – probably the King Island Beef ones – with all the usual suspects… except for the tomato! Julian just came in and said there were no tomatoes left, because they’d started to go mouldy – probably because it’s been so humid lately! Anyway, I believe we’re having carrots instead – so not quite the usual! 🙂 I’m hoping to have one of his low-fat yoghurts for dessert tonight – if we’re out of tomatoes he’ll have to go shopping sometime tomorrow – so if we’re running low on the yoghurts, he can get some more then! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I think my hypothesis was correct! With cooler temperatures, and a lot less humidity, I suddenly shed a whole heap of fluid! I went down six points this morning, from 64.0kg to 63.4kg – and with any luck, I should be down again tomorrow! (cross fingers, touch wood!) I did get my two 1.5 kilometer walks in yesterday, and again today, so that should help too! I’m very curious to see what the scales have to say tomorrow – and I’m quite intrigued as to how, and why, the heat and humidity seem to play such an important role in my weight, and the amount of fluid retention!

I’m not too sure what’s happening tomorrow – if it’s cool enough, I may go shopping with Julian – I have a few things I want to look at, and I’d also like to measure my bathroom drawers and go to Howards Storage World to get some “drawer divider” baskets or what-nots – at the moment the drawers are all messy and everything seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, if you know what I mean! Anyway, that’s about it from me again for this evening – but never fear! I shall be back again tomorrow night, so please feel free to drop in again to see how far I’ve managed to get Andronica, if my weight is still going down, or if it’s determined to make a liar out of me by going back up again! I’m sure you’ll all be interested in whether I went shopping with Julian, and if I got myself some drawer-divider thingies or not – but all the answers will be waiting for you, right here, this time (or maybe slightly later, depending on how distracted I get!) tomorrow night! Until then though, do try to bee good, don’t forget that if plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters (204 if you’re in Japan!) and remember to keep warm – or cool – depending on your preferences, to look after yourselves, and to drive carefully – but above all, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.28

Well, for once I’ve started writing a bit earlier than usual (just for a change, and also to confuse you all! 😉 ) Every day before I start writing, I always check to see if Word Press has any new Themes – mostly I come back empty-handed, but today there was a new Theme… totally unsuited to the way I want my blog to look, and to read. Oh well, maybe tomorrow there’ll be something new, as well as being worthwhile using! So… let’s see – what’s happened today… Well, Flipper went off to the Vet this morning for her six-monthly check-up, and oh, she does sooo hate going! As soon as she sees the cat-carrying box come out, she starts to cry – and I don’t mean just normal sort-of “caterwauling” noises, I mean real, almost sobbing, distressed cries – and then she wets herself! 😦 I think we should try a new approach! I think we should keep the cat-carrying box here, in the Den. Not obtrusively, just tucked away in a corner, but in a place where she can see it, every day. I think that it might allay her terror whenever she sees it – if it becomes “commonplace”, and it doesn’t hurt her, hopefully she’ll grow used to seeing it and won’t go into such absolute fits of terror and distress that she does at the moment. Well, that’s the theory behind it, anyway. The silly thing is, she goes to the Vet regularly, she’s never been hurt there, and she comes home feeling heaps better, and able to move around much more easily, after they’ve given her her anti-inflammatory injection for her arthritis! She’s a funny old girl… and today was no different. At the moment she’s hating Daddy, because Daddy put her in a horrible box and took her in the nasty old car to a terrifying place where they stick nasty needles in her, and even if she does feel better afterwards, she still hates Daddy now! Of course, she’ll forget about all of that as soon as she thinks “Mmm! I could do with some nice Daddy Pats, right about neow!” and she’ll start to pester him until he gives in, and goes over to sit of the couch so that she can sit on her (which used to be “our) nice mohair rug, and he can pat her! (and it works every time, too, wretched cat! 😉 ) Anyway, she’s always good once she gets to the Vet, and they all love her there – I think she’s the oldest cat on their books – and everyone always makes a fuss of her (which of course, she loves!) So they took some blood, tested her urine, took her temperature and her blood pressure, cut her claws which were catching in everything, and chopped out a couple of bad mats in her long fur. Sadly, she’s no longer able to groom herself properly (she does try!) and we brush her regularly – which she loves, but won’t sit still for, so she gets quite a lot of mats, which must be so uncomfortable for her… We’ll get the results of the blood tests some time tomorrow, but everything else they tested her for was pretty good, considering that she’s over 21 years old! So at the moment, there’s really only one matter of concern as far as her health is concerned, and that’s a rotten tooth, which really should, and in fact it’s getting to the point where it must, come out – it’s causing her pain, and could cause a major infection in her jaw, as well as all sorts of other nasty things. But… she’s really too old to be given a general anesthetic – the Vets are all very reluctant to subject her to one unless there’s no other choice, and we’re not terribly happy for her to have one either – again, unless there’s no other choice… but now it’s come to the point where – depending on the results of her blood tests tomorrow – we’re going to have to make that choice and go down that path – or lose her to a bad infection, which will happen, if the tooth isn’t removed (and besides, it’s causing her a lot of pain!) None of us are expecting anything untoward in the blood test results tomorrow, so all we can do is cross our fingers. The Vet will keep her in hospital and on a drip, to keep her hydrated, for a day or two after the tooth comes out, so she’ll be in excellent care – and we know that we can go in and visit her as often as we want – but it’s a big worry, nonetheless! :/

And of course, while all that was going on this morning, I was busy playing WoW! 🙂 Young Kødiak is now level 19, and has finished all of the Westfall quests – except for the Deadmines (pretty much the first Dungeon, or Instance, you do as a Human, and it is a Group quest!) which Julian and I will do together later this evening. She went and fossicked around in Elwynn Forest, where she located and Tamed Bushtail, a “Special” Named white fox (actually, it looks more “blue” than “white”!) and she’s been up to Loch Modan and tamed another “Special” Named, this time a grey fox, called Ashtail – and now she’s in Lakeshire! (gets around a bit, that girl, doesn’t she! 😉 ) getting ready to go after some Gnoll Battle Plans! I can’t wait to get her to level 20 – it’s such a pain, jogging all over the countryside! I’ll probably take her to level 20 or 21 tomorrow, and then switch to another of my new girls, just for a change of questing scenery! 🙂

Food stuffz: Well, last night neither of us had any dinner – I had my diet jelly, and I think Julian had one of his yoghurts – I didn’t even have room for something as “heavy” as a low-fat yoghurt! It was all I could do just to squeeze in a diet jelly! :/ And boy, did I pay the price for that beautiful lunch I had yesterday! 😦 Today for lunch I had a home-made wrap, with a light smear of basil pesto hummus, and some chopped up left-over chicken – which was scrumptious! Tonight we’ll be having pan-fried steak – that we were going to have last night, but it just didn’t happen, so we’ll have it tonight instead – with all the usual bits and pieces (I presume!)

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I knew it was going to be ghastly, and indeed it was! :/ I went up an awful lot! Nine points! I went from 63.1kg to…. 64.0kg! Terrible! Julian thinks it’s mostly from fluid retention, and let’s face it, one doesn’t usually go up nine points just on the size of a “healthy” meal – a sudden, overnight jump of nine points almost screams “fluid retention!” – so a very small part of a very greedy me, agrees with him… All of my (euphemistically speaking) “symptoms” point to fluid retention, anyway – swollen feet, swollen fingers, only one, very short “bathroom stop” for the entire day, and I felt more bloated than I should have. Anyway, that’s probably just wishful thinking on my part, or “rationalisation” (my father always used to say that I was very good at rationalisation! :/ ) But – and I really hate to use this term under the circumstances – “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” – so we’ll see what the scales have to say tomorrow morning. I’m feeling a trifle optimistic, because everything seems to have been a lot more “normal” today… cross fingers, touch wood! 🙂

I’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow – I think it’ll probably be much like today – Julian working away in the Office, while I sit in the Den stuffing around with World of Warcraft! I’m really hoping that the two pairs of jeans that I ordered online a couple of days ago, arrive! But apart from that, I think tomorrow is going to be fairly quiet… ( 😀 fx: the sudden sound of metal rubbish-bins rolling and clanking their way down a flight of stairs; the sound of glass and crockery breaking; a wooden drawer full of cutlery falling on the floor and breaking, sending the cutlery all over the place /fx) Anyway folks, with all those loud, metallic, and somewhat cacophonous sounds, once again that’s about it from me for this evening! 🙂 Don’t forget to call back tomorrow night to see what Flipper’s blood tests revealed, and whether she’s to have her rotten tooth removed or not – and also to find out if our fluid retention hypothesis proved to be correct or not, and whether my weight is starting to go down (a bit!)  I’ll also fill you in on whether my jeans arrived, and any other adventures or misadventures that we either enjoyed, or suffered through, during the day. Until then, however, do remember to bee good, and also remember that success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get – and don’t forget to drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on our silly weather, and to look after yourselves… but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.27

Well, it’s now 9.30pm – I shall endeavour to get this online before midnight, but… no promises! It’s been a very long day… Today was the Burial Service for Terry’s mother – up at Healesville – quite a long way away, at 12 noon, and we didn’t want to be late… so we left fairly early, picking up my favourite eldest daughter on the way because her husband Neale wasn’t able to get the day off. We picked her up at around 10.15am, and off we went… Naturally, we arrived at the Healesville Cemetery an hour early! Well, better early than late, we told ourselves, as we sat in the car for a few minutes, and then Julian took off again to “scout out the area”. We trundled along the road a short way, when we came across a side street – “I wonder what’s down here!” said Julian, turning left down the side street. His father was quite well known for this “I wonder what’s down here!” curiosity, and more often than not, the “down here” part would turn into a dirt track leading to a rubbish dump, so I was a little dubious when the side street we’d turned into turned into an un-paved gravel road. We trundled on a little further… and the “road” – a lumpy unmade lane by now – came to an end. At the end of this lumpy unmade lane was a Council truck, and several well-fed looking Councilmen, wearing their fluorescent orange safety vests, leaning on their shovels, or the side of their trailer, staring us in frowning annoyment, as if to say “What are these three city-slickers in their ruddy Lexus doing down here!”. We decided to turn the car around and go back to our exploring! At around 11.30am we thought that we should start heading back to the Cemetery – to find that apart from the hearse and the Funeral people, we were still the only mourners to arrive. Family and friends started to trickle in, but at 10 past 12 there was still no sign of Kate and Terry! We all milled around a bit longer, and at half past 12 they finally arrived. Healesville is a lot further away from them than it is from us, and they’d been stopped in Lilydale by a some sort of Police spot-check! The Burial Service started – conducted by the same Celebrant that they’d had at the Funeral on Monday – but it was really strange! Not that I’ve been to that many interment services, so I really don’t know – but it seemed to just… peter out! The Celebrant said a few words, the two youngest grandchildren read a short poem, tokens were laid on the coffin, which was then lowered into the prepared grave, then the Celebrant invited those who wished to scatter some earth (which looked more like sand!) onto the coffin, he played a bit more music, and then…. people just… drifted off! And that was it! As everyone drifted back towards the car park, talking quietly together, we all sort-of decided that we’d stop in Healesville for some lunch before heading back to Melbourne. Actually, the three of us had decided to do that on the way up there, but you know the old saying, “Great minds think alike” – and apparently everyone else there had the same sort of “great minds” as we did, because they all decided to do likewise! Someone suggested the Healesville Hotel, and so that’s where we had lunch. Perhaps we shouldn’t have stopped for lunch, and just driven back to Melbourne and had a late couple of Ryvita crispbreads with the usual, because once again, I ate too much! However, I can highly recommend the Healesville Hotel! It was a lovely but very well-appointed “olde-worlde” type dining room (we could have eaten at outside tables, but as we hadn’t brought any aerogard with us, we declined – we like to spend time eating our food, not fighting the flies and insects for it!) The wine list was extensive (but expensive) and featured a lot of local wines, as well as imported, well known labels – and I had one of the best Martinis I’ve ever had there! The menu itself, while fairly short, featured a good mixture of dishes, from risotto to locally sourced ingredients, and if everything was as good as what I had, that hotel is really top class! Even Gordon Ramsey wouldn’t have been able to fault it! Their coffee was extremely good, too! So all in all, it was a good day – the Healesville Cemetery is a charming place, small, rustic, beautiful views, peaceful and quiet – and the Healesville Hotel is definitely one of the better places to go for a meal if you’re out that way.

As everyone was starting to say goodbye after our lovely luncheon, a woman, who turned out to be another diner who’d been sitting at a table close to us, but whom I had first thought to be one of the mourners, came up to me – she said something along the lines of: “I just wanted to tell you how wonderful your hair looks, and what a wonderful, vibrant colour it is! It really suits you, and it looks fabulous!” – so there you go! Josh, if you’re reading this, this is the second time you’ve coloured my hair for me, and the second time people have come up to me to compliment me on it! You really are gifted! 🙂

Food stuffz: *groan* I really overdid it this time! But I couldn’t help it! The food was just soooo good! Last night we had pan-fried chicken with all the usual suspects for dinner – Julian calls it “boring chicken”, but I didn’t think it was boring at all – it was lovely! 😛 I also had one of his yummy low-fat yoghurts for dessert instead of my usual diet jelly (I had that tonight instead!) Now, on to lunch today! First of all, I had a Martini – as I said earlier, one of the best Martinis I’ve ever had! I also had one glass from the bottle of white wine that we bought there. Then the wretched waiter went and carved up some obviously home-made bread (he called it focaccia) which he brought to the table with a small dish of locally sourced good olive oil. The bread was scrumptious, and I ate about four? five? little 5.5cm x 4cm x 5.5cm of this delicious bread! I did dab a bit of the olive oil on some of it, but honestly, it was nicer without it! Then for Starters I had locally sourced (well, that’s what the menu said!) tomatoes with fetta cheese. The tomatoes were roughly chopped up into chunks, with well-softened fetta cheese dabbed generously around the plate. Then I had a risotto with (I think! I can’t remember now, but whatever it was, it was delicious!) spinach, basil, and pine nuts? and sprinkled with finely grated parmesan. I only ate about two-thirds of it – I couldn’t eat all of it and still leave room for dessert! For dessert I had a beautiful almond friand, served with poached (locally sourced, of course! 😉 ) apricots and a tiny scoop of truly delicious coffee ice cream. I finally finished off with a strong skinny latte – and as I said earlier, the coffee was really good, too! So tonight for dinner I just had my diet jelly and a cup of coffee – I was still too full from lunch to eat anything else!

I’m truly dreading getting on the scales tomorrow! 😦

Weigh-in this morning. Well, at least I didn’t go up – I went from 63.1kg to 63.1kg  – in other words, I stayed the same! Before that I stayed on 62.7kg for two days – maybe this means my weight loss is starting to slow down at long last! I’d be very happy indeed to stay at this weight! Unfortunately I’ll go up tomorrow though – and I only got one treadmilling in this morning :/ (though I did do a lot of standing up and walking around on lumpy ground at the Cemetery – hopefully that’ll count!) Now all I have to do is get through Julian’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, and my Birthday, and then I should start to settle down as there won’t be any more “Big Feastings” until… damn! I forgot about Easter! *sigh* OK, well, Julian’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, my Birthday, and Easter – and then I should be able to settle down and try to properly balance my diet!

Tomorrow morning Flipper is going off to the Vet for her six-monthly check-up, poor girl – she absolutely hates going! We’ll get the nurses to cut a couple of big mats out of her fur, as well as cut her claws – they’re getting so long that they’re starting to catch in rugs and clothing (and she won’t let us do it!) Julian has a few bit of Office work to do, I’m going to have some self-inflicted sobbing to do over the scales in the morning, and that’s about it! I should be able to get a decent run at WoW for a change! 😉 And really, that’s about it from me for this evening! However, do call in again tomorrow night – to find out how Flipper went at The Vet’s, just how much my weight sky-rocketed, and what level I managed to get Kødiak up to! So until tomorrow night, please continue to bee good, don’t forget that wisdom is not a product of schooling, but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it – and remember to look after yourselves, to drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather… but most importantly, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.26

Here I am, on time for a change! 🙂 Happy Australia Day everyone – but I’m sorry, I refuse point blank to apologise for something that was allegedly done to the indigenous people here, almost a century before my ancestors arrived here from Italy and England! Anyway, we both had a very quiet, lazy, and indolent day today – me, simply because I am lazy and indolent, and Julian, because he hurt his ankle last night and we thought it best to rest it as much as possible today – so he copied some of the Adelaide CD’s that had been damaged through poor and rough handling, and played WoW, and I… just played WoW! 🙂 I had a great time, too – it reminded me of “the good old days” when I used to make what we called “The Menethal Run”, which I may have mentioned from time to time… After I’d cleaned out the Guild Bank, and had sorted out what was left, I  finally managed to get back to poor little Kødiak. I wanted to get her to level 10 so that I could go after that dang bear, Mangeclaw, to Tame – remember I said that he wasn’t where he was supposed to be? Well, I did finally locate him – and as I suspected – in a place I’ve never known him to be! I’d picked up a quest in Stormwind that called for me to go to Thelsamar, a Dwarven village roughly north-east of Ironforge (the Dwarven capital city) which would give me a good jumping-off place to start looking for him. There was only one small problem! I was level 10… but Mangeclaw was level 11! OK, well I couldn’t Tame him until I was level 11 too – so I thought that I might as well run around picking up as many Flight Points (places that you can fly to and from, once you’ve “learned” where they are) as I could, so I set off with my flea-ridden mutt Pet (a wolf) on my way to Menethal Harbour… many, many, many years ago, I used to make this run when I was barely level five, and back in those days, there were a lot more “roaming mobs” patrolling the sides of the roads, and who, scenting my young blood, would converge on me from miles around, hoping to kill me – and as I made this run regularly, and got killed equally as regularly, we nicknamed it the “Death Run”. Now, in World of Warcraft, if you get killed and run back to re-claim your body, you’re not penalised – if you choose to be resurrected in the local graveyard, your armor deteriorates, and you suffer from “Resurrection Sickness” for ten minutes, which means that your health and strength get cut down to about half for ten minutes, making you much easier to attack and kill. Most people choose to run back for their bodies! Remember, I used to do this for fun! I’d run from Ironforge all the way to Menethal Harbour – dying multiple times along the way. This time, at level 10, I was pretty safe, and I got to my destination, after picking up about four new Flight Points, in good order (but my poor Pet got attacked and killed a few times, which allowed me to run away and make my escape!) There’s a ship that sails from Menethal to the opposite island continent, Kalimdor, so still trying to level up to 11, and still after new Flight Points, I hopped on board and sailed away from the Eastern Kingdoms to Theramore Island, in Dustwallow Marsh. After I picked up the Flight Point there, and still not quite level 11 (you get experience points from “exploring” new places!) I looked at the map, and wondered if I could get myself to Ratchet, a “neutral” town further north, with yet another Flight Point that would be very handy to have under my belt. Dustwallow Marsh is a much higher level area than my puny level 10, but I thought that maybe I could swim to Ratchet, if I was careful – I didn’t dare try to take the road at that stage. Julian and I didn’t think there was anything terribly dangerous in the waters, so I thought I could probably get there by swimming, and island hopping… We both forgot about the pirates! On all the little island that I was going to hop onto! I got killed. From my ghostly form in the graveyard, I had another look at the map… Perhaps I’d be better off on the road after all?! So I risked the Resurrection Sickness, Rez’d in the graveyard, called my Pet – who hadn’t been killed – and we set off along the road. In the “good old days”, I used to count how many times I got killed on my way around the two island continents – this time, I forgot to count, but it was probably well over twenty times, and possibly more than 30! All the creatures that killed me didn’t have a “level” number, they just had “??” or a death’s-head, indicating that they were so much higher level than I was that there was no point in telling me! So I ran, got killed, appeared in the graveyard, ran back for my body, plus a few paces past it, “re-generated” myself, ran another couple of yards – sorry – meters, got killed again, ran back for my body, etc., etc. Oh boy! Did it bring back memories! 🙂 I eventually got to Ratchet, got my precious Flight Point, and decided that Durotar was an OK place – I should be fine running through there to Ashenvale and the village of Astranaar – at which point, I thought, I should have reached level 11 by way of exploration, and I’d Hearth back to Stormwind, catch the tram to Ironforge, and go off after Mangeclaw. But I still got killed another half a dozen times before I finally had all the Flight Points that I could get, between Ratchet in Durotar, and Lor’Danel in Darkshore! Julian kept asking me if I wanted him to log on with a high level character to “escort” me, but I declined – I was having too much fun! 🙂 And apart from my two “walkies”, that’s about all I’ve been doing today! See what I mean? Lazy and indolent! 😉

Food stuffz: Last night we had the pork fillet “medallions” (for want of a better term) with all the usual accompaniments – five chips, half a tomato, and a spoonful of green beans – all beautifully cooked and presented by Julian, despite an extremely swollen and sore right ankle! For lunch today we had a sandwich! Made with Coles “baked-on-the-premises” Multi-Grain bread, which was very nice and tasty (but not quite as nice as their flat-bread!) with ham, quinoa tabouli salad, tomato, and low-fat sliced sandwich cheese – really delicious! Tonight I believe we’re having chicken – probably pan-fried, or in “boats”, with either rice or chips, some more green beans, and the usual half a tomato, followed by a low-fat yoghurt – instead of my usual diet jelly tonight – I hope! 😉 I did manage to get in both my treadmill walks, so I’ve walked three kilometers, so surely that will help with the…

Weigh-in this morning. Yes, well we all knew that my weight was going to go up this morning, after eating all that sweet stuff yesterday, only being able to get one walk in, and not being able to take my usual lunch time anti-fluid tablet, and so of course, it did! I went up four points, from 62.7kg to 63.1kg, which under the circumstances I didn’t think was too bad, considering what I’d eaten all day! (so I might even go up again tomorrow – though hopefully I’ll start coming down again!) But I’ll weight and see what the scales tell me tomorrow morning, before I go reaching for the Optifast bars and soups again! 😉

So tomorrow we’ve got the Burial Service to attend. I was going to say that at least it would be shorter than the Funeral Service, but then I remembered that it’s at Healesville, which is a lot further away than Noble Park! *sigh* Swings and Roundabouts, I guess… We’ll probably be a bit rushed for time tomorrow morning, as we have to pick up my favourite eldest daughter and get ourselves to Healesville before High Noon, which is when the Service starts… no time for a sleep-in tomorrow morning, I fear! No time to have lunch before we go either, so I’m thinking… depending on what time everything finishes, of course – that Healesville is a bit of a “touristy” place, surely there’ll be some pretty little cafes, or “Devonshire Tea” rooms, where we could go and have something to eat after the Service – maybe even with Kate and Terry – but we’ll just have to wait and see how tomorrow pans out – I’ll let you all know what we ended up doing tomorrow night! 🙂 And so, once again, that’s about it from me for tonight! Drop by again tomorrow night to find out how it all went, whether my weight is still going up – or if it’s starting to go down again, and what sort of adventures we had on our long trip up to Healesville! Until tomorrow night then, don’t forget to bee good, remember that there’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard – nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons! And also don’t forget to drive carefully, to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves… but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.25

Well, I’m quite late tonight – but never mind, it’s been a rather strange day today, what with the funeral an’ all… However, between last night and this morning, I did mange to get the Quel’Dorei “Grumpy Old Farts” Guild Bank, and my own personal Bank, all sorted out! On Julian’s advice, I cleared just about everything out of the Guild Bank, and just… vendored it 😦 A good five years worth of hording and scrimping and saving – all sold for next to nothing! Oh, it hurt! But… there’s nothing I can do now to get any of it back again, as once you log out, you can’t go back to the Merchant and buy your goods back again. So I guess I’ll just have to start haunting the Auction House, and traveling to little known areas where fancy armor (read: “pretty” armor) or weapons are sold, amassing armor, weapons, trinkets and other falderal, all over again! F’rinstance, there’s a little, quite out-of-the-way homestead in the far reaches of the Wetlands, that sells – or used to sell – a rather pretty maxi-skirt, with semi-decent attributes. I think it was leather, but I may be wrong mistaken, but I might go and check it out, anyway. The thing is, there was so much in the Guild Bank that never got used! We either forgot it was there, or we thought “No, I’m not going to use that now – I’ll probably level up today, and it would be a waste to only use it for another couple of hours! I’ll leave it for the next person…” And, of course, the “next person” thought exactly the same (not surprisingly, as they were all either Julian or myself!) All the food that Wynterthyme made, as she max’ed out her Cooking – there was enough enchanted food with boosts to just about any and all attributes to feed a dozen armies and their Pets for a hundred years, which was never used! Mouselet occasionally got me to make him some special skill or health-boosting food, which he did use (and benefit from) but even so, most of it got left in the Guild Bank. Well, Wynterthyme is still a max’ed out cook, and as long as the mats (materials) to make the food are there, she can re-create it all. And frankly, that’s about all I did keep in the Guild Bank! Materials! Materials from the Gathering Professions (Skinning, Herb Picking, and Mining) materials from “drops” (items dropped by mobs when you kill them) like fabric, fruits, and special quest items, including armor and weapons. I did keep a set of three gloves, which had been enchanted to give an extra boost to your Herb Picking, and I kept some “medicinal”, or “healing” bandages for use with First Aid (a “secondary” Profession) Pretty much anything that could be “Crafted” into either usable, or “profitable” (to sell) goods, I kept – everything else went, including a lot of useful and valuable potions, which never got used – mostly for the reasons given above – that is, we either forgot that they were there, or decided that it would be “a waste” to use them for…. whatever, and that it would be better to “save them up for something more important”. Anyway, we now have a clean, tidy, and somewhat more “roomy” Guild Bank – for the moment, anyway. My favourite eldest daughter tells me that us Garrison Owners (or should that be “Garrison Commanders”?) will get access to the Guild Bank when we’re able to build our “Level 2” Storehouse – so that’s a bit of good news! 🙂 I also found out that it’s possible to get an extra two Guild Bank Vaults, but as that’s subject to your Guild’s level and standing, it rules us out completely! Oh well, I guess you can’t “have it all”, sometimes! :/

Today we went to the funeral service for Terry’s mother, out in Noble Park. It was a fairly good funeral, as funerals go… Terry and his sister Julie read the Eulogy – quite well too, I thought, under the circumstances (I know there was no way known that I could have spoken at my mother’s funeral!) The Celebrant was a quaint little man with a distinctly Irish brogue, and the whole thing went off quite smoothly. If one good thing did come out of this very sad occasion, it was that Terry finally got to see, and spend a fair amount of time talking to his sixteen year old daughter (his eldest daughter is apparently overseas) Unfortunately, his ex-wife was also there – s’funny, you know, I’ve never met her, or seen a photo of her, and she’s never even been described to me, but I knew who she was the moment I set eyes on her. Luckily she kept mostly out of everyone’s way, as she’s not a nice person. Terry’s mother had a lot of good friends there, and it was touching and a real tribute to Jo that the “light refreshments” offered after the service were provided not by a catering service, but by these friends of hers who all brought plates of delicious home-made sandwiches (with real fillings in them! The egg and lettuce one I tried was the best I’ve had for (quite literally!) years!) and little squares of different “slices” – which I’m afraid I ate all too many of! *blush for shame!* (Winter wails: “But they were soooo delicious!”) And although I didn’t have any, I’m told that even the coffee was “brewed”, and not a “commercial instant” brand! The Burial Service and interment is to be held on Wednesday, at the Healesville Cemetery (I wonder if they’ll have the same Celebrant?)

Food stuffz: last night we had the marinated lamb back-straps, pan-fried, not BBQ’d, with rice mixed with fried onion and roasted capsicum pieces, we also had green beans and half a tomato. The lamb back-straps, which had been marinating in the fridge over night, were absolutely divine! They were sooo tender and juicy, with the lemon adding just a little bite to them! That Honey Mint Marinade is definitely a keeper – you should all give it a try! Lunch today was my usual 2 Ryvita crispbreads with low-fat ricotta, sliced ham, and some red capsicum batons… then there was the “light refreshment” after the funeral – half a beautifully made egg and lettuce sandwich, and… er… a few (read: far too many!) little (well, they were very small! About 2.5cm x 2.5cm each) squares of different types of “slice”, and a couple (well, maybe three or four) little round “truffle” balls, with currants in them! Then, luckily for me, we came home. For dinner tonight we had a nice little pork fillet cut into thick-ish slices and pan-fried, with the usual green beans, five chips, and half a tomato – all very yummy – and followed by one of my diet jellies (the raspberry licorice one again)

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I’ve decided that maybe I ought to be eating a little more… which is perhaps why I ate all those delicious and yummy little squares of “slice” today. My weight stayed the same this morning – still on 62.7kg. Now, I know that I’ll go up again tomorrow, not only because of what I ate, but also because I only had time to get in one walk this morning, and what’s more, I didn’t take my anti-fluid pill after lunch, because we were going to the funeral and I didn’t want to be rushing off in the middle of the service, if you get my drift. I didn’t take it when we got home, either, because Josh was coming over to do my hair – so I’ll have fluid retention tomorrow, as well as about three tons of sugar circulating through me! Oh well, I don’t think they’ll be having the “light refreshments” at the Burial Service on Wednesday (and if they do, I just won’t look at them, alright?! 😉 ) So yeah – tomorrow’s not going to be a good day for me on the scales, but I’ll get back on track – don’t I always? 🙂

This evening after Josh had finished with my hair (it really does look good!) the three of us had a bit of a conference about aviaries, the best placement in the back yard for one, and pigeons in general, and Julian managed to take an awkward step and went head over tail onto the grass – on the same ankle that he’d injured once before! It’s swollen up quite alarmingly – and looks like an ostrich has tried to lay an egg on his ankle funny-bone! Hopefully by tomorrow morning it will have calmed down a bit, but I fear there may be some more visits to the lovely Polly, his physiotherapist, in the very near future! He did have “Great Plans” for tomorrow, like picture hanging, and gardening – but they may have to wait another day or two! Julian is a well-known klutz, and I’m not having him clambering up rickety ladders with a bung ankle! And I’m not sure when we’ll be seeing my favourite eldest daughter, apart from Wednesday at the Burial Service – tomorrow is a Public Holiday, and she’ll be at home with Neale – I’m not sure why Thursday is out (though I’m sure she told me) so unless she comes over on Friday, I guess we won’t see her over here this week… and that, my friends, is about it from me once again! 🙂 Don’t forget to drop in again tomorrow night, to find out how Julian’s ankle is, exactly how much my weight went sky-rocketing up, and what other adventures and misadventures we’ve had! So until tomorrow night, please bee good, remember that it’s what we think we know that keeps us from learning – and don’t forget to keep warm – or cool – whichever you prefer, to look after yourselves, and to drive carefully – but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.24

Well, here I am – a little later than I would have liked to have been, but we had a good solid day in Draenor – we even went up a level! I did die, once – I’m not quite sure how it happened – we were fighting an Elite “Boss Mob”, and I was watching my health, and that of my Pet, fairly carefully… but, one minute we were both fine, and the next? I was dead – and my Pet wasn’t! Go figure! He was supposed to be helping and protecting me! No liver treats for Boojums tonight! 😉 I guess I must have zigged when I should have zagged, or something, but I got better (death is such a transient state in these games!) and Julian and a few NPC “extras” killed the nasty Elite Boss, and all was well! 🙂 We did spend a fair bit of time in our Garrisons though, as there’s still a lot to be done there – I can easily see it becoming a distraction from the questing we’re supposed to be doing (and also, a lot of the questing is actually for the Garrison!) I have a strange feeling that it won’t be long before the Garrisons become our main base of operations in Draenor – I’m not sure what Julian’s up to in his Garrison, but I’ve just built a very nicely appointed Inn, a Storehouse (with a personal Banker in it, no less!) and an Enchanter’s Study. Now you’ve probably heard me muttering in the past about “DE-ing” things, or “disenchanting” them down to their basic components, which can then be used by the Enchanter to make new and better frills and fancies for your armor or weapons – or sold on the Auction House (hopefully for a profit!) Now, normally, only an Enchanter can “disenchant” items, meaning that if you don’t have an Enchanter in your Guild, you either have to use the Chat window to ask (read: beg) for either a kindly disposed, or a bored, Enchanter to disenchant your goods for you – for which service he or she usually expects a handsome payment. Honestly, it’s quicker and easier just to Vendor the goods for a pittance – which is what most people do. Anyway, getting back to this truly amazing Enchanter’s Study that I’ve just built in my Garrison, anyone, Enchanter or not, can just come in and use your Study to DE (“disenchant”) items! This is très cool! 🙂 – And this is just the “first rung of the ladder” of possible Garrison Buildings that you can put up! I’m hoping that somewhere along the line we’ll be able to get access to a Guild Banker as well – otherwise the whole Garrison set-up is rather pointless – I mean, what’s the point of having everything but the kitchen sink in your fabulous Garrison, if you still have to go to a far away capital city to get to your Guild Bank! I shall do some more research into that… So, we rode around Draenor in Mouselet’s motorbike and sidecar, dragging whole “trains” of ravening creatures behind us – and had a really good time. As I said – I died once, but it didn’t last, and Julian didn’t die at all! I do most definitely have to go in and tidy up not only my own personal banking slots, but also the Guild Bank, which hasn’t been touched for about four years! It’s crammed absolutely chock-full with archaic weapons, and gear that’s no longer needed, or even, in a lot of cases, relevant any longer! Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get much of a chance to do anything tomorrow morning before the Funeral, and my favourite eldest daughter will probably be over on Tuesday – Wednesday we have the Burial Service to attend, so it looks very much as though I won’t be able to do any Bank Clearing until Thursday – if we’re not too busy unpacking boxes! 🙂

Food stuffz: last night we had sausages for dinner – the nice King Island Beef ones, with five chips, half of the last Heirloom tomato, and some green beans – all delicious, and  I had one of my raspberry licorice jellies for dessert. For lunch today, I had two Ryvita crispbreads with a thin layer of garlic hummus, sliced sandwich ham, some pieces of Halloumi cheese, with a couple of pieces of chopped up semi sun-dried tomato – and for once, I didn’t manage to tip it all over myself! 🙂 Tonight we’re having the marinated lamb back-straps which I’ve been talking about so much – not cooked on the BBQ this time – it’s not worth the hassle of cleaning up the whole BBQ for a couple of pieces of lamb back-strap – a small frying pan is a lot easier to clean (and can go in the dishwasher after you’ve rinsed it!)  so they’ll be pan-fried instead. I’ll let you know what they’re like, and if the marinade is any good, I’ll post the recipe for it here! 🙂 As usual, I’ll be having another of my raspberry licorice jellies for dessert… Hmm… I wouldn’t mind getting a few extra low-fat yoghurts, just to have as a change from the jellies now and then… they really are nice! (especially the “burnt fig and salted caramel” ones – I love figs, and I want to put in a fig tree – I think one should fit in the front garden…) So I’ve been being very careful with what I’ve been eating, and…

Weigh-in this morning. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes! Yes, I had gone down… just a bit… a whole eight points “a bit“! I went from 63.5kg down to 62.7kg. I now weigh less than I did when I was 16 years old! This is the lightest I’ve been since I was fourteen, and had just stopped doing ballet! I honestly didn’t expect to lose so much weight! I set my “goal weight” at 70 kilograms, but got myself down to 65, so as to have some “wriggle room” before I fattened up to 70 kilos. So, when I got to 65 kilos, I put myself on Maintenance, fully expecting my weight to start going up! But it didn’t. It just kept on going down… down to 64 kilos… then 63 kilos… and now I’ve gone down to 62.7 kilos! And, I’m eating! I’m eating! I’m just wondering where it’s going to stop and plateau out! Anyway, I really don’t want to go down too much more! :/

Even though we played WoW for most of the day, I still managed to get both of my 1.5 kilometer walks in – and I have to admit that breaking the five kilometer walk in half, and doing it in two “goes” is working out well! I don’t know that there are too many things quite as boring as walking mindlessly on a treadmill (I can sympathise with rats and hamsters!) but doing the distance in two lots of 25.5 minutes each makes it a lot more bearable, and it also makes it possible on Sundays to slot the second walk into my “lunch break” without interrupting “The Daring Duo’s Dreadful Deeds in Draenor” time too much. Talking about Draenor, I might get back into things after I finish writing this – and at least start to cull Wynterthyme’s personal Bank, as well as sifting through the stuffed-to-overflowing Guild Bank – and selling off its excesses might even give us enough money to be able to “donate” – through the Auctioning off of some vastly overpriced slices of watermelon – enough gold for our Horde counterpart to be able to buy their fifth and final Guild Bank Vault! And with that happy thought, once again that’s about it from me for this evening! 🙂 Don’t forget to look in again tomorrow night -I’m sure you’re all waiting with bated breath to hear what my weight did overnight! Did it go up? Or is it still going down! The phrase “I’m melting!” does tend to spring to mind – Julian says he feels cheated – he now has less wife than he had when he married me! And will I have made a start on the onerous job of spring cleaning the banks?! What other adventures may have befallen us? There is one thing you can all be sure of, though – and that is that you’ll find out all about it tomorrow night! 🙂 So, until then, do try to bee as good as you can, remember that it’s not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required… and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to keep cool – or warm – depending on our silly summer weather, and to always drive carefully – but above all, please don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.23

Goodness gracious! I’m actually starting at a reasonable time, for a change! 😉 Well, it’s been an interesting day – and also a very good day! However, you remember I told you that I’d bought (we’d bought!) two boxed dinner sets from David Jones? The plain white one, with the “diamond” design embossed on it? Yeah, that one… well, Julian unpacked one of the boxes this morning to put through the dishwasher, and it was OK… then he unpacked the second box… which was not so OK! One of the bowls had been chipped on one of its corners (they’re square, remember? or if you put them on an angle, they’re diamond shaped!) and one of the large plates had been broken in half – but the second half of it was missing completely! He rang David Jones after breakfast and they said that they’d replace the damaged ones if he brought them up, so off he went with the two broken items and got replacements for them both, as well as a third (hopefully undamaged!) boxed set for “spares”, in case we manage to mangle anything later on. My jellies have been made – “Oh bother!” said Pooh, as his wicked plot was foiled again! That means that I won’t get to eat another one of Julian’s yummy “burnt fig and salted caramel” yoghurt for dessert tonight! Oh well, it’s a raspberry and licorice jelly tonight – and they’re rather delicious, too, so all is not lost, after all! 🙂 Later in the morning, a very dear friend whom I haven’t seen for ages came over – it was really fantastic to see him again, and what’s more, he came to do my hair for me! Yay! I feel like “ME” again! 🙂 I’m back to the colour he did last time (last year sometime) – a really rich, dark, vibrant, “deep raspberry”? “dark magenta”? or maybe “dark fuchsia” would be a better description… I’m not quite sure how you’d describe the colour – it’s got too much violet in it to be called a “red” (like my glasses) but it’s gorgeous! and I’m so pleased with it! 🙂 I think I have a bit of hair growing to do before we get my hair back to how I want it, but the colour is now “spot on”, as they say in the classics! 😉 It’s funny, you know – we have that funeral to go to on Monday, and Kate had asked us to wear something “bright”, because Jo (Terry’s mother) loved bright colours, and I’d been thinking that I didn’t really have anything bright to wear – I tend to stick with black, or dark blue colours when it comes to my clothing, and – well – nothing light and bright! Light and bright colours tend to make me look washed out and insipid – they just don’t suit me – unless it’s my hair colour! Then it looks good! 🙂 So, problem solved! I’ll wear my customary black and/or dark blue clothes (Note to self: “please do not wear jeans to the funeral, Winter!”) and my hair will be enough to brighten things up! 🙂

Anyway, apart from doing my hair, my friend and I also spoke a bit about pigeons, and aviaries, which I’ll have to get him to tell Julian next time he’s over – on Monday night – because Julian was off exchanging the broken crockery for the undamaged pieces this morning. As you’re all probably aware, I’m totally non technical, and things to do with construction, sizes, and building schematics in general might as well be in Sanskrit, as far as I’m concerned – like the drawers in my vanity unit – if I’d had any idea of the true dimensions of the drawers, I would have made quite a few changes to their size and shape – but alas, I didn’t – I just nodded happily and said “Yup!” to everything. But I can live quite happily with what I’ve got – it’s just that it would have been a bit nicer if they’d been a bit… deeper, and not quite as wide…

Once more, I haven’t even started up WoW today, but I should be able to squeeze a bit in this evening, if I’m lucky! I guess it really all depends on whether I manage to finish this before dinner or not, but I’ve done my second “walkies” for the day, and at the moment I’m right on track to get it done by then! 😉 (Uh-Oh! I wish I hadn’t said that now! :/ Something’s gunna go awry now, I bet! )

Food stuffz: last night for dinner I had a lovely little piece of fillet steak, nice and pink in the middle, with green beans, five chips, and half a Kumato (it’s a type of very dark reddish-brown tomato – quite piquant, and very nice!) Of course, I was forced to eat another of those really awful 😉 (really awfully yummy!) “burnt fig and salted caramel” yoghurts for dessert, as my jellies had yet to be made (but they’re in the fridge as I type!) and I was a little concerned, because dinner last night came right on top of the half a lamb wrap, the side-serve of chips, and the apple and berry crumble-type slice that I had for lunch! Still, it was a nice lunch, and an even nicer dinner, and as I often say – life is to be lived, not tip-toed through – it’s not a field of tulips! 😉

Weigh-in this morning. Wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be! I went up another two points, from 63.3kg to 63.5kg, so in all, I’ve gone up five points (er… that’s a whole half kilo!) with all the M.I.T. feasting and indulging – Julian has gone up a bit too, so we’re both going to be working really hard to get rid of the physical results of our gluttony! I’m hoping (actually, I’m expecting!) to start going down again over the next few days, and apart from Monday and Wednesday, there should be no problem getting both my walks in. Monday, because the funeral service is at noon, and Wednesday, because whatever time it is, it’ll be up in Healesville, where Jo wanted to be buried, so I have no idea what time we’ll get home afterwards… and for some strange reason, I can’t really see myself as feeling like doing a 30 minute walk on the treadmill! Oh well… at least there’s nothing (and I do mean nothing!) left in the house upon which to illegally nibble, unless you count sugarfree chewing gum, and sugarless “boiled lolly” sweets! 🙂

Tomorrow is Sunday, and Julian and I will no doubt be rushing off to kill things and amass great fortunes, in good ol’ Azeroth! I’m looking forward to that, with Wynterthyme and Mouselet – and also looking forward to trying to figure out just how these new-fangled Garrisons are supposed to work! Last time we played, by the time we actually got our Garrisons, there wasn’t enough time left to do any real exploring and fact-finding on them, as it was “dust-down” time! Maybe tomorrow we’ll be able to find out a bit more about them – I sure hope so, anyway! Anyway, I do know that we’ll have a good day questing and exploring new territory! 🙂 And that, gentle readers, is once again about it from me for this evening! Do call in again tomorrow night to find out if my weight is still on the rise, or if it’s decided that as I’m being “good” now, it might be time to go down a bit… and I suppose you’ll also want to know how we fared in Azeroth, with our brand-new Garrisons, a lot of unknown territory to explore, and whether we died or not, and if we did – how many times, and what killed us? However, you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow night, when all will be revealed to you! 😉 Until then, though, do at least try to bee good, remember that life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood, and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to drive carefully, and to keep warm – or cool – depending on the weather… but no matter what else, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.22

Well, back to normality again, or not? 🙂 Hopefully not – “normality” is far too boring! 😉 We took M.I.T. off to The Glen this morning – just for a bit of last-minute shopping, and Mike had a bit of banking to do – so first we had a nice lunch at The Arena, a casual restaurant just outside David Jones on the ground floor, then the menfolk then went off to take care of some last minute banking for Mike, and Inbar and I strolled around David Jones, where I finally caught up with a dinner service I’ve been chasing for a week or so – everyone seemed to have “just sold the last one, I’m afraid!”, but David Jones had four boxed services, so I bought two of them! It’s a plain, all-white dinner setting by Maxwell & Williams, called “Diamonds“, with square dishes that feature a rather nice “square-cut” (or “diamond”) embossed design – just enough to give the setting a bit of a “lift”, and a soupçon of elegance.  The boxed settings contain sixteen pieces each – four cups, four bowls, four dinner plates, and four side plates (in other words, a four-place setting!) but we needed an eight place setting, which is why I bought the two boxes. Julian thinks we should go back and buy a few extra loose pieces (they sell them loose too) so that we can easily replace any that we might break or chip over the years. Good idea! I might suggest that we just buy another boxed set, as it’s already neatly and safely boxed up, and which would be much easier to store than one or two loose pieces… Then we walked around a bit – I bought a new candle, and some pretty Bug Art cards. I absolutely love Bug Art cards – they’re so gorgeous and well done! I usually buy several whenever I find a place that stocks them, so of course, I end up with quite a collection, which I keep in a special “new card” box, and which I grudgingly and very reluctantly dole out to people on special occasions, like Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and the like… and always with the ritual words “Can I scan it, please?” 🙂 (of course, if I’d thought of it at the time, I could have scanned it before I wrote in it and gave it to them, couldn’t I! But I never do think of that, do I! Typical! *rolls eyes*) Anyway, Julian has just dropped M.I.T. off at their short-stay place in Southbank and is on his way home – apparently the traffic is horrendous, so I think we’ll be having a somewhat late-ish dinner tonight! Not that I mind – I’m not actually terribly hungry (though I could really do with another cup of coffee!) So anyway I’m looking forward to a nice, relatively peaceful weekend, but absolutely dreading next week. We have the funeral service for Terry’s mother on Monday, but the burial service and the interment are on Wednesday! As they say in the classics, “it’s complicated”, and it’s sure not going to make for a fun week! :/ We’ll go to the funeral, but I’m not sure if we’re supposed to turn up for the burial as well! Still, whatever happens, we’ll survive it, and if it’s the worst thing we ever have to face we’ll be truly lucky and blessed – but that doesn’t mean we have to like it! And then it’s only a week and a half until Julian’s Birthday! (and more eating and feasting!) The year is already starting to speed up! :/

Needless to say, I haven’t even started WoW up today – there just hasn’t been the time – but I’m looking forward to Sunday, when Mouselet and Wynterthyme can go and explore their new Garrisons, or maybe complete a few more quests and earn a few more Brownie points towards outfitting their new “homes”. It’s all new “territory” for us – a far cry from the “Burning Crusades”, released in 2007, when we first started playing WoW “seriously”, and the following expansion, “The Wrath of the Lich King”, in 2008! 🙂 [Editor’s Note: So there you go! A bit of gaming history for you all! I started playing World of Warcraft in mid to late 2006! Rift was released in 2011, and I took part in the initial Beta versions – then moved ‘permanently’ from World of Warcraft to Rift, and now four years later, I’ve gone back to World of Warcraft again!]

Food stuffz: last night for dinner we had the unopened tray of marinated chicken that we’d bought for the BBQ, which Julian pan-fried, along with a spoonful of potato salad, some of the quinoa tabouli salad, and half a tomato, and for dessert, we had what was left of the New York Baked cheesecake with a bit of light cream… quite delicious! 🙂 As I mentioned earlier, we had lunch at The Arena, at The Glen shopping centre. I had a Lamb Wrap, which came with a serve of chips, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an enormous Wrap! I only ate half of it – even if I’d been starving I don’t think I could have eaten the whole thing, it was so big – but it was quite nice, and although it was twice the size, it was nowhere near as nice as the home-made wraps that Julian used to make with the fresh flat-bread from Coles! (I did eat all the chips though – because of the salt on them! 😉 ) Then I had a long black (coffee) with a small jug of skinny-milk (cold!) and a sort of an apple and berry crumble slice… Dinner tonight was a small piece of fillet steak, green beans, half a tomato, and the usual five chips – and as my jellies still haven’t been made (we’ve been a bit busy, the last couple of days!) I had another one of Julian’s low-calorie (or low-fat – I fergit which!) “burnt fig and salted caramel” yoghurts. Goodness knows what the scales are going to say tomorrow morning! Maybe I’d better not weigh myself for the next couple of days… :/

Weigh-in this morning. Was good, but I’m sure it won’t be, tomorrow! This morning I’d gone down a point, from 63.4kg to 63.3kg – and I’m quite sure if I hadn’t gone out today I would have gone down another point or two tomorrow – however, after today’s little “binge”, I’ll probably be back up to 63.8kg again tomorrow! It’ll serve me right, too! But… I’m only human… and thank heavens that all the excess eating is now over for a couple of weeks, or at least until Julian’s Birthday, anyway! I only managed to get one walk on the treadmill in today, but on the other hand, I did walk up and down and all around The Glen this afternoon, and besides, when I’m doing shopping centre walking, I usually don’t do my second treadmill walk, anyway!

So that was my day today – M.I.T. leave for Israel tomorrow afternoon, but I think we’ll be seeing them again pretty soon. They seem determined to settle in Tasmania, near Sahar, their eldest – the only thing that’s keeping them in Israel is Inbar’s mother, who’s getting on in years. However, I got the distinct impression while they were here, that this time they won’t procrastinate, this time, they’re “ready”, and if they do manage to secure the property they saw while they were in Tasmania about a week ago (or if something else suitable becomes available) they’ll move out here permanently – Inbar has two siblings in Israel, so her mother won’t be left on her own, and I think the two of them just want to get out. And once again – that’s about it from me for this evening! Don’t forget to stop by again tomorrow night to see how much my weight went up (because I’m quite sure it will!) and what other adventures we’ve had. I have a friend I haven’t seen for a while coming over tomorrow, which will be fantastic – and I can ask him if the place I want to put our aviary is suitable or not! 🙂 Anyway, until tomorrow night, please continue to bee good, remember that it is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis, and don’t forget to keep cool – or warm – depending on your preferences, to drive carefully, and to look after yourselves… but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂