Winter’s log, earthdate 201611.29

05.32 pm

Here I am, finally back in my chair after a visit from an old work colleague of Julian’s – it was good to see him again, although it was a shame that his equal but more artistic half wasn’t able to be here too, as she was busy teaching – and I’m afraid that I have some very sad news to share with you all…

Flipper, as you all knew, was 22 years old, with failing kidneys, high blood pressure, and very bad arthritis. For the past few months she hadn’t been doing too badly, and had been eating, if not well, then at least quite adequately, and she’d been living a reasonably happy and contented life. Over just the past three days though, she began deteriorating rapidly – what little she did eat wouldn’t stay down, and she was barely drinking at all. Her weight fell dramatically – we’d thought she was thin and scrawny before, but in a couple of days she faded to barely skin and bone, and was so weak that she could hardly stand – how she managed to get herself up onto our bed the night before last must have taken a massive toll on what little reserves she had left. It was time. Yesterday morning we called the Vet, who came here, rather than subject our poor little girl to more trauma and suffering, and Flipper finally fell asleep, as peacefully as we were able to make it for her, in Mommy and Daddy’s arms. We miss her. I’m still finding bits of the “fluff” that she shed over everything, wherever she went, and I keep expecting to hear that loud, strident “meyowl” of hers, every time I walk into the Den. No doubt she’s having a ball on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, catching up with Bandit, Cecil, Kitley, Boo, Gingee and Artie again, after all this time – but she’s left a big empty hole down here.

Anyway, looking on the bright side of life (de-dum, de dum-de dum-de dum) Sunday’s adventures in the Broken Isles turned out not to be in the Broken Isles, but in five Dungeons we’d never done before! The first one we tried, “Heart of Fear” in Pandaria, we were unable to complete. As you know, we’re both level 110, and this Dungeon was supposedly for a 25-man Raid of level 90’s – we should have been able to handle it easily – but we didn’t. Apparently you only need to bring down one of the Elites in this section of the Dungeon, but we didn’t know that then (yes Virginia, it really does pay to “read the manual”! 😉 ) and Demelzae fired at one mob, and I fired at another mob, and before you could say “Umm…” we were totally surrounded by Elite mobs using “stun” attacks on us – and when you’re stunned, you can’t even control your Pets, let alone fight back! We died. And as we’d only managed to squeak through a previous section of this Dungeon (after dying a few times!) I wasn’t too keen on continuing, so we tucked our tails between our legs and – ahh… departed. Now that we know what we did wrong there, we might go back and give it another go next Sunday… Next we went on to do the Dungeon “Gate of the Setting Sun“, which was also in Pandaria, and in hindsight, really terribly easy for two level 110’s! From there we moved back down to the original, “Classic”, World of Warcraft  (pre-Expansions) End Dungeon – “Molten Core“! Most interesting, very easy, and a lot of fun… and then on to a Dungeon that I kept hearing about – “Grim Batol” a Dungeon (Instance) from the second Expansion, “Cataclysm” (the first Expansion after the “Classic” WoW was, of course, “Burning Crusade”) Again, a very easy and “fun” Dungeon. Lastly, we did another “Cataclysm” Dungeon, “The Stonecore“, which is situated in my most un-favourite area, Deepholm (because it always makes me feel uncomfortably claustrophobic!) And on finishing that Dungeon, we headed home to empty out our bags, stash our loot in the Bank, and repair our armor – besides, it was almost dinner time! 🙂

Food stuff on Sunday. For lunch we had a seeded sourdough sandwich, with sandwich-sliced roast beef, Cheddar/Tasty cheese, chopped lettuce, and a smearing of the Beerenberg Hot Tomato Chutney. Naturally, being Sunday, we had omelets for dinner, with diced tomato, pre-cooked diced onion and smoky bacon, and red and yellow capsicum. As usual, it was most delicious, but Julian feels he could have done better, and wants to experiment next Sunday with home-grown basil and “olive” herb – I’ll let you know how it goes next week! For dessert I had an “ordinary” green pear – probably Packham, I think, and Lemon CHOBANI yoghurt.

Weigh-in on Sunday. Wasn’t the best – I’m stacking on the fluid again 😦 I went from 68.9 kg on Saturday to 69.3 kg! Not good!

Monday. Well, you pretty much know how Monday went, as I’ve already told you. The Vet arrived here at about 12.15 pm, and as it turned out it was the Vet who specialises in geriatric cats – and who’d been looking after Flipper for a while, so it was hard for her too… When she and the nurse left, taking Flipper’s body with them for cremation, we fell apart a bit – it’s hard making that sort of decision, even when you know it’s the right thing to do. If we hadn’t, Flipper would only have been with us for another couple of days anyway, and with each day she would have been in more pain and misery. Julian eventually went out to get in some more supplies, and brought lunch back with him, as he didn’t really feel up to making sandwiches… By the time Josh arrived in the afternoon we’d picked ourselves back up again, more or less, and so the day passed…

Food stuffs Monday. As Julian brought our lunch home, it was the usual two halves of two savoury rolls – half a ham Danish each, and half a pepperoni pizza-type flat roll each, plus one of the celebrated Baker’s Delight fruit and white chocolate scones each. For dinner last night Julian tried a new recipe wot he’d found in one of our newest Cook Books – Lamb backstrap with Harissa, and orange couscous – which turned out to be extraordinarily nice! Well, we knew that Harissa went well with lamb, from our favourite Lamb and Harissa Lasagna with Feta and Oregano dinners, so it was no surprise that the lamb backstraps cooked with Harissa turned out to be delicious too, but the orange couscous was a really nice surprise! The recipe calls for two oranges, one orange is juiced, the other separated into segments – the couscous is cooked in the usual manner, but replacing some of the water you’d normally use for making couscous with half a cup of fresh orange juice, plus cumin, fresh mint leaves (home-grown!) and the orange segments, which are added just before serving. Ladies and gentlepersons, I think we’ve found another “keeper” recipe! 🙂 For dessert I had the last of my “ordinary” green pears (probably a Packham) and an Apple Le Rice.

Weigh-in Monday. Wasn’t the best, but at least a little better than Sunday! Damn fluid retention! I went from 69.3 kg on Sunday to 69.1 kg yesterday (Monday)

Today. Well, this morning Julian had an appointment with the delightful Polly the Physiotherapist, and as there was some shopping that I was determined to get, before December 1st (like ruddy Christmas Cards!) I went with him. I sat in the car and read my Kindle, while Polly folded, spindled and mutilated his shoulder – which is actually starting to feel a lot better – and then we went off to the whatever-it’s-called shopping centre on the corner of Blackburn Road and Burwood Highway. Why did we go there, when we could have gone to a much more convivial place like The Glen? I hear you all asking – well, because that particular shopping centre has a Ferguson Plarre shoppe (alright, coffee & cake/kiosk-y place!) and I wanted to get in early and put in our orders for our Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding, and Mince Tarts, which was duly done. Then we had an early-ish lunch there because Julian had his friend coming over around 2-ish. After lunch we went to KMart where I got my non-sparkly Christmas Cards – I’ve sworn a solemn oath never to buy sparkly Christmas Cards again because the sparkly stuff gets all over everything, and is totally impossible to get off – and these ones are fairly plain and subdued (though perhaps “restrained” would be a better description? Anyway, you’ll find out, if you’re lucky enough to receive one! 😉 ) I bought a lot more than we’ll need, because Julian thinks I should hand write (read: “scribble”!) the envelopes this year. We usually print them, but Word is such a ruddy cow when it comes to printing envelopes, and every year there are loud yelling matches and lots of rude words bandied about regarding Word for Windows in particular, and Microsoft in general – and Julian just didn’t want to go through it all again. I’m not really happy about hand-writing the envelopes, not because I’m lazy, or because writing makes my hands sore or anything (though both of them are true – just not in this case, K?!) but because I’m so used to using a keyboard these days that I’ve almost lost the ability to write legibly! Once upon a time I used to have really nice, neat handwriting – but now that I’m old and keyboard-bound, occasionally I’ll get half way through writing a word (any word – it happens quite randomly!) and all of a sudden my hand seems to forget what it’s doing, or how to scribe that particular letter, and just suddenly… shoot off at all sorts of strange angles, making a thorough mess of whatever it is that I’m trying to write – and with real live handwriting, there ain’t no backspace, or “range and edit” function! So as I said, I bought twice as many cards as we’re going to need, just so as to have the spare envelopes available to replace all the wonky ones I write! :/ Then we came home, Graham turned up, we all spent a pleasant afternoon chatting about this, that, and the other – and then I sat down to write, so now you should all be up-to-date with what’s happening around here! 🙂 Oh, just after Graham had left, and I was busy writing, there was a “ding-dong” on the front doorbell, and guess what?! It was a delivery of a beautiful box of flowers… from the Whitehorse Veterinary Hospital, saying how sad they felt that we’d lost Flipper… They’re a beautiful bunch of people up there – they do wonderful work and are so dedicated and caring… We’ve been going there for more years than I care to remember – I started going to them back when I was breeding Siamese cats, and they’ve always been absolutely marvelous! We were very touched…

And now, on to the good bits for today! 😉

Food stuffs. Today we had lunch at Ferguson Plarre – I had what they called a “Greek lamb souvlaki” (read: a rather tasteless, cold wrap with tomato, lettuce, onion, bits of lamb, and Tzatziki sauce!) which was quite nice – I’d probably have it again, at a pinch, but it would definitely have been a great deal nicer if the lamb hadn’t been so tough, or so full of gristle! I also had one of the most deee-licious caramel slices that I’ve had for a long time! I know I usually swear by the Shingle Inn caramel slices, but this one was a cut above even those! (and that’s saying something!) This caramel slice was about half the height of the Shingle Inn ones, but it was far more “intense” in flavour! The “biscuit crumb base” was more like sugar granules soaked in butter and maple syrup, the caramel part was thicker in texture, and not so “gloopy” and sticky, and the chocolate on top was more like a partly melted Mars Bar! You could taste the calories with every chew! On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “nice”, and 10 being “delicious”, I’d rate the Shingle Inn caramel slice as a 10, and the Ferguson Plarre one as a 20! I don’t think I’m going to want to see what the scales think about it tomorrow morning! :/ For dinner tonight we had some more of the Angus Beef with Garlic and Parsley sausages, with chips, our usual half a tomato (with capers on them this time!) and steamed – frozen, this time – green beans. For dessert I had a smallish yellow peach and a smallish yellow Nectarine, and a Vaalia Lemon Creme yoghurt.

Weigh-in this morning. I guess miracles do still happen – sort-of, anyway! This morning I went from 69.1 kg to 68.6 kg… but after that caramel slice, I’ll probably be back to 69.9 kg tomorrow! :/

And once again, I’ve come full circle and I’m (almost) up to tomorrow! I’m not quite sure what’s happening – Julian thinks that the root canal filling he had done some time ago has fallen out, or something, and wants to see if he can get it looked at tomorrow, and by rights, I should start my laborious job of attempting to write these Christmas Cards and their envelopes – though goodness knows why we bother any more – we always send out more than we get back (shut up, Winter Grinch!) and apart from that, I’ll probably fiddle with graphics, play WoW, or read… Exciting stuff, huh? 😉 Auric and Dapple are still hopefully circling, shark-like, whenever I go near the tank, thinking that maybe I’ll forget that I’ve already fed them and give them a bit more – but y’know, that’s really about “it” from me for this evening – do drop in again tomorrow night to find out what we did do, whether Julian’s root canal had fallen out, and what my silly scales had to say about that magnificent caramel slice that I had today… but until then, please do try to bee good, don’t forget that the heart that gives thanks is a happy one, for we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time, and remember to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep warm – or cool – depending on how you’re feeling at the time, but most importantly, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

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