Saturday, October 24, 2015

Moving on.

Herself's funeral was this morning with a huge congregation which indicates the influence which she had on many people's lives.  It was a beautiful and very moving service and all Himself's family was there to support him. 

I felt totally drained when I reached home again, both emotionally and physically (Most of the food didn't get further than the door of the room at the Sail and Anchor hotel where we congregated afterwards).  Coffee didn't revive me so I went downstairs and loaded up with a couple of blocks of Chilli Chocolate  -  and ate both of them. So much for my trying to lose that last couple of centimetres around my waist.  :(

My new e-Reader has arrived and I can now buy and load books without resorting to working through my computer but it has a very sensitive touch screen and I am constantly finding that I have turned more than one page which is very irritating as I then have to work back to the last page I read and progress from there.  But I must say that it is better than the old one  -  I especially like the sleep cover which opens up to the page I was last reading as soon as I open it  -  and, as I have mentioned earlier  -  I can drop it in the bath as long a I close the sleep cover first.

I am abut halfway through knitting a Gansay hood which is a lot of fun and I feel that I should knit more fancy stitchwork although this will really mean that I will need to concentrate on buying solid fibre colourways.  Not really a problem as I have found a supplier who has many solid colours.  But I have a great deal of fibre to  process first before I even think of buying more  -  blame the MEGASAL for that; we all overbought in case we missed out on the fun.  I have almost worked my way through my lot  -  only Rincewind left to do and finish off a couple of others but more keeps on arriving, as do the most beautiful limited edition spindles which I still haven't learnt how to use. (sigh)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

No More Straw to Gold

My friend, Herself, who organised for me to join her as the practical half of the duo which demonstrated spinning wheel spinning for Grade I pupils at her local primary school died late this afternoon.  She had a stroke about four months ago and, although severely handicapped, was due to leave hospital and return home in about a week after modifications had been made to the house and a care package was in the process of being being negotiated to supplement Herself's care..

Today, for the first time since her stroke, she went home for lunch as a trial run.  Himself and their daughter and son-in-law were there to ensure that things went well. She had lunch, a rest on the bed and tested out the new bathroom arrangements and everything was great.  Then, just before she was due to return to the hospital for the evening meal she collapsed with what sounds like a pulmonary embolus . . . and died.  Despite the shock to her family she probably could not have chosen a better time  -  home with the family and their beloved dog and at the end of a lovely day.  Sudden death is always a shock for those let behind but that is what I would like for myself and I suspect that most people would agree that it is the ideal way to go.

She will be greatly missed by her family and friends but despite Himself's efforts to give her as normal a life as possible there is no getting away from the facts that her life has been severely restricted by her handicaps since her stroke and she must have felt helpless and angry at her restricted life.

I can't praise Himself enough for his efforts to get her home to enable her to live as normal a life as possible , spent a great deal of time at the hospital with her and hired a maxi-taxi to take her out to concerts and events which he knew that she would enjoy.

I feel the loss deeply for myself and I can only imagine what her family must be feeling. Conventional condolences do not seem enough but I will be ready to give comfort and assistance if needed.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Thursday Night Mystery Solved at Last

I live in an apartment built over a large shopping complex which contains many restaurants and a nightclub and I have often marveled that, every week after Thursday's late night shopping, the very noisy partying carries on into the early hours of the morning (2.00am to 2.30ish) when it is a work day to follow.

Enlightenment has dawned due to a book which I am currently reading, written by a woman who is a lawyer and a restaurant critic but who worked her way through university as a waitress;  she describes herself as the waitress from Hell or words to that effect.  She is an Australian, albeit from the other side of the continent, so her information is local to my country.  Thursday night is drug distribution night!  That, in a nutshell, is why Thursday nights are so much noisier than any other night of the week or the weekend.  Problem solved. QED.

My E-Reader has almost worn out  -  it sometimes takes a couple of tries before the page turns  -  so I have ordered myself a new one which hasn't arrived yet.  This is not a problem since my original one still works and anyway, I am currently reading the waitress one in paperback.  I looked for Kobo Readers in my local electronics shop but they didn't have the one I wanted in stock so I have gone online for it  -  same price and free postage so no great hassle.  The new one has a touch screen, many fonts and font sizes and has wi-fi.  It is also sort of waterproof as long as I remember to close the cover before I drop it in the bath.  Also, if I happen to be in sub-Saharan Africa in a dust storm, as long as I close the cover it is dust and sand proof.

The cats had a birthday yesterday and are now four years old and far too old to wear a harness and walk in the passage, or so they are telling me but their harnesses are now very familiar so there is no hassle if I need to put them on.  I am posting a photo of them taken a couple of days ago and which I have willfully refused to edit or brighten.  Click on  the picture to enlarge it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Biting the Bullet

For over a year I have been putting up with quite severe pain when I bite on the right side of my mouth.  I have spoken to my dentist about it but he was unable to find the source of the pain although he suspected my right upper wisdom tooth which, since it is just about the only tooth which is unfilled, he refused to remove.

A couple of days ago I was unable to stand the pain any longer; it was radiating over the whole of the right side of my face so I called and made an appointment to try to get to the bottom of the problem.  The dentist was still unable to find the source of the pain, took another X-Ray (which showed nothing) and then systematically worked through and did the 'bite' test on each tooth, finally isolating the molar which I had suspected all along was the painful tooth.  He made an appointment for me to see an endodontist (for that read Root Canal Work) next week but was not very happy as it was very close to some bridge and crown work so it would have been rather major.

Getting me to bite and grind on the carbon paper which dentists use he isolated the contact pressure point and drilled it down a bit to relieve the pressure.  Magic!!  By the time I reached home the pain had almost gone and now it feels as though that tooth has been anaesthetised  -  no pain but I am still treating it gingerly just in case.

The weather has turned warm and I have done my equivalent of spring cleaning; I have hung the bead curtains across the double sliding doors from the main room to the balcony to stop the flies.  The State Government says that it has re-funded the dung beetle programme but I am finding it hard to believe  -  the bush flies have been out in force for the last couple of days.

I have finished knitting the scarf which I made from the Meteor Shower colourway which I used for the 'spin-thickalon' and it has made a long scarf which can be wound round two or three times and is very pretty.  It will be going back to America where the fibre was sourced.  And I am about 75% through spinning the second skein of my Noble Dragon/Night Sky fibre from FatCatKnits.  What with dental appointments (2) and COTA I have not been able to get to it for a few days  -  but maybe this afternoon.

Herself has been moved to a respite bed in a nursing home while modifications are made to the Self's house in readiness for her homecoming.   I am not sure how that will work out as she has made very little gain except learning to work around her major disability but I really admire Himself's determination to take her home.  He has had the bathroom modified and there will be a government Care Package in place to assist with her activities of daily living.  fingers crossed that it all works out for them.

My little cats will be turning four years old on 12th October, bless their little black hearts.  At the moment they are curled up together on the pile of pillows on my bed. I cut their fingernails this morning.  Poppy has to be muzzled to enable me to do this, poor little girl, or she bites me.  Her right front paw has always given her grief and I have asked the Vet to check it out next time she needs to have her teeth scaled.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Windows 10 by Stealth

Kobo, where I buy my e-Books seems to be under new management and when I tried, at the beginning of the week, to buy a couple of new books I found that they arrived on my computer as .acsm files which refused to open.  I went online for help but all I could find was that my version of Adobe Digital Editions was out of date (so is my Kobo reader for that matter) so I downloaded the newest version, to no avail; the files still wouldn't open.  Deciding that was not the problem and not being all that sure about the new Digital Editions I did a system restore and got my old version back again.

I found a program on-line which guaranteed to fix the problem and open the files but I am very reluctant to download programs which promise the world although this particular one had five cows on the Tucow scale.  However, I downloaded it and it scanned my computer, found over 600 errors in my directory and it then suggested that I should download another program to fix my directory errors.  I have been there and done that and last time I went down that path  -  one program recommending another which then recommends a third until the computer is totally confused.  Last time that happened I had to call in Techie to sort it all out.  So I deleted the program and let the directory errors remain  -  they didn't seem to be doing anything malicious.

I realised that when I saved the two .acsm files in a folder they turned into .pdf files which also refused to open so I emailed them to myself on my I-Pad where I have a Kobo Reader app and  -  no problem  -  I was able to open them and read the books.  But my I-Pad is heavy and awkward to read on, especially with cats on my lap; turn it slightly and the text would flip around and I would have to persuade it back again.  Not ideal.

So I went back to my Windows 7 computer and did another 'help' search and ... it suggested installing the Kobo Reader App.  An app on Windows 7??  Hex and I have only dealt with programs; Windows 7 doesn't have apps  -  at least it didn't until now  -  apps are for I-Pad and Windows 8 and 10.  Nevertheless, I installed the Kobo Reader app and suddenly I was given a choice of which program I preferred to use to open the files and one of the options was Adobe Digital Editions.  Yeah!  Not only did it open the file but instead of me having to download the books to a folder on my computer, open digital Editions, drag the file to it and then drag it onto my Kobo which had to be plugged into the computer;  now they load directly into Digital Editions and it is a piece of cake to load it onto my Kobo Reader.

I can see that what is happening to us Luddites who are resisting doing the ultimate download is that Microsoft is converting our computers on the quiet with its never-ending new upgrades and before long, by default, we will find ourselves with a watered-down version of Windows 10 whether we want it or not.