152. Sunday 5th September 2010. The birthday boy looks back…and forwards…

More working in the garage although it is all but finished. I will sweep it out tomorrow and it will be ready to stuff with our stuff.
Also managed to do some weeding of our gravel pathways in preparation for laying some fresh, um, err, gravel of course.
Did some more mulching.
PRD the real estate agents brought around two prospective tenants to view the house. Another did a drive by inspection. At dinner time this evening the agent called to say she has another inspection lined up for tomorrow.
Wow! Three inspections already. Maybe we put too low a rent on the house.
Gee it is beginning to feel like it is all coming together
Another day putting the finishing touches on the enclosed part of the garage. Except, I have found a few more things to do.
Also brought some more wheelbarrow loads of gravel from the front yard, down the steep driveway to where required in the back yard. Using legs, knees, back and feet as a brake while wheel barrowing, my muscles protested when I sat down to watch the news later in the evening.
The RE agent called me at 10.30 to say the tenant inspection cancelled their 11.30 appointment as they had done a drive by last night and tried to drive in our driveway. Their car is lowered and he was concerned he could not drive in or out without bottoming.
Donnis had a day off work today so we went to the tax agent to sort out the last financial years returns. We then did a bit of shopping before heading home for a coffee and a risotto muffin (I baked a dozen on Monday). Yum they are good and quite filling.
This afternoon I did a bit more gravel spreading and tidying up in the garage, trying to make a bit more room. Donnis baked some rye corn muffins and a lemon meringue pie. We had a nice fillet steak each with a mixed salad for dinner washed down with a glass of wine. For dessert we had the lemon meringue pie with a cup of tea. A delightful dinner and all up, under $10 for the two of us. Last night we had red curried prawns with stir fry curry veggies and rice. The prawns were a gift from Donnis son Peter when he called in here a few weeks ago and we still have a few packs in the freezer. If we had to pay for the prawns I would say that last nights dinner would be about $10 for the two of us. I am convinced we can continue to eat well for less than $10.
After dinner we called our friend Glennis who is traveling in her Paradise Motorhome around the northern part of the state. She also went to the CMCA Christmas in July Rally at Mareeba at the end of July then she headed further north and west for a few weeks and is now back in Cairns.
Her big news is she has met a fella! That is quite exciting news as she has been alone for many years, except for her dog Midget. All we know at this stage is he is Swedish by birth, is named Eric, drives a 4wd and tows a caravan, loves black rye bread and lives way down south at Cockle Creek in Tasmania. Cockle Creek was one of my favorite spots in Tassie.
Good onyer Glennis. Sure hope we can catch up with you when we get on the road in a few weeks.
The RE agent sent us some details about the people who have applied to rent our house from 20th September. Their references have been checked out and they seem ideal. If we agree to them as tenants we will have to be packed up and out of here before then. Not sure if Donnis can be ready in time. I am also concerned she wants to leave her car here and the furniture for her son Peter until sometime in November. That means our tenants would have to agree not to have the use of the garage for a couple of months.
I called in to see the Tax agent and once more I have to pay the tax man. I expected that would be the case but there is some good news. The amount is less than last year. The agent also threw some doubt into my mind that last years tax bill was less than I have been paying by instalments. How can that be? For the life of me I cannot find last years tax assessment. Oh well, in the process of packing I might find it.
The plumber turned up today after three weeks of waiting. He measured up and promised to call back with prices. Earlier, Donnis mentioned there was a leak in our bathroom sink. So, after the plumber left I started to work on fixing the tap washers. I found more than I bargained for. There is a leak, under the hand basin and it has flooded everything inside the vanity.
Now we need the plumber to fix that as well as replace the taps in both bathroom hand basins.
Ummm! Have you got the plumbers name and number dear? No. Have you? No.
Uh Oh.
We do not even know his name or number to call and he has not called back as promised. Hopefully he will call in the morning.

I called my daughter Averyl tonight. She and her children. Shelby-Rose and Anakin went to Melbourne last week to compete in Karate competition. Husband Paul answered and after the usual opening banter and an update on the childrens success, Anakin came fourth overall and Shelby-Rose won two silver medals he dropped his terrible news. He had dropped Averyl and the children at the airport and came home to go for a ride on his Harley before getting into some gardening work. As he was driving along a street somewhere he pulled out to pass a car. The driver then pulled into his driveway and of course Paul collided with him. He was carted off to hospital and although I cannot recall all his injuries but  he has a broken leg – in a couple of places. He will be off work for 5 months! As he was travelling behind the car he will be charged with negligent driving um er or negligent riding in this case. Of course that was last week and we only heard about it tonight! Paul mentioned that as he was leaving the hospital on Monday this week his mother was on the way in. As a patient! She has had some breathing difficulties this last 12 months and although she has an oxygen machine at home to help her breathe, something goes wrong – often. So she is back in hospital again. We are thinking of you Pam and we sure hope they find something which will give you a long term solution so you can get your life back. It can’t be any fun always being attached to and restricted in movement by the cable and tubes of a machine. Of course Gerry has become the chief cook, housekeeper, launderer and bottle washer for many months.


The plumber did not call but referring to the telephone book and by a process of eliminationI found the correct plumber and called him. He suggested I call into a plumbing hardware store, select the tap fittings I want, pass on the details to him and he will pick them up. Later in the morning his assistant arrived to fix the leak and install new tap hardware in our ensuite. They look good. The other jobs will get done on Monday.

I spent a good couple of hours working on Donnis Mountain Bike which is a Mongoose brand and the Rockadile model. The front wheel was somehow on backwards and the brake and gear cables were wrapped around the steering stem. Eventually I got it sorted out including adjusting the brakes so they release when released. Everything needing an oil got oiled and I cleaned off the dust and spider webs. After a few test rides around the yard I got ambitious and rode about a kilometre and back, including the uphill just before our house. Boy am I not fit. My legs felt like jelly and knees and ankles were protesting. All the more reason to get out there tomorrow and ride a bit further.

Late in the afternoon our friend Karen sent her Cockatiel over for us to mind. She is on her way to Townsville to join husband Jim and catch a flight to Sydney, then on to Canberra. Jim’s father died yesterday and the funeral is Monday. He was 96. Even after two flights, ending in Canberra they have to borrow a car and drive for another 5 hours to where Jims dad lived.

Another friend, Glenda arrived at about the same time. She is a tour director with Club Crocodile. Mostly she just organises people onto buses and gives a commentary and joins the tourists on the trip. She is always flitting around on buses and boats and lives at Club Crocodile and has all her meals provided. For dinner I made a double portion of Garlic Prawns on a bed of fried rice and a warm salad. This was followed up with lemon meringue pie and a cup of tea. We were all completely full and satisfied. A great meal for three people all for under $20 and as good as any restaurant meal. By 8.30 we were feeling the yawns arrive so drove Glenda back to her room.


We had lunch with Casey, a friend of Donnis daughter who is back in Airlie Beach only long enough to earn some money so she can fly out to Canada in March next year and spend a year with Alecia. We called Alecia on Skype so they could both have a good catch up. Donnis went to work after lunch so I managed to get some ancient paperwork torn up and ready to send to the tip. I have always kept my tax stuff for 7 years as I am required to do under the tax law. However there was paper there ghoing back as far as 1999 so I had a good time tearing paper up until 2004. I also put all my library together into three plastic tubs ready to donate to St. Vinnies on Monday. No sense keeping the books if once read, they sit on a shelf and unlikey to get read again. I also put a swivel arm and TV in the storage hatch under the bed in WWWGO.

I did a bit of playing around with the new laptop and noticed Windows Media Centre is included. Hmmm. It needs a tuner! I have a Pinnacle PCTV Tuner but although correctly installed has not worked, possibly because of a conflict with Windows 7. I wondered if Windows Media Centre might work with the Pinnacle Tuner?

It does!

I successfully set up the TV and recorded a movie. Now we have a second TV for WWWGO where we can record and watch TV.

Now the part about the birthday boy. I turn 65 tomorrow so I can officially apply for a pension although any amount I get will be miniscule but I should be entitled to a health care card and cheap travel on public transport – not that I expect to be using public transport anytime soon but ya neva know! Donnis has been looking at electronic catalogues and asking if I need, or want or would like a certain ite. At the moment I do not need any more electronic toys but in the future, who knows?

I also road the bike all the way to the end of Timberland Road and back. That left me perspiring for the next hour. Donnis also rode around the block.

Hmmm. Now we need a bike carry rack for WWWGO.
Today is famous for two reasons.
It is fathers day but probably more importantly it is MY birthday!
Today I received phone calls from all my daughters and phone calls from brother Allan and three sisters, Enid, Bev and Sandra. Enid also sent me a text message as did her daughter, my niece, Kelly. Lovely.
Today was like a Summer day. It was hot and humid. There was a haze in the sky and every boat capable of being on the water was on the water. For most of the morning and again in the afternoon, boats on trailers were being driven past our house on their way to and from the launching ramp. I wonder of this humidity means there is rain on the way. Both Allan and Bev who live in NSW mentioned they had strong winds and rain. I spent most of my day clearing and moving stuff. I took a load of paper and a few odds n ends which can be repaired to the tip and recycling centre. The man on the boom gate is used to me now and says “you know where to go”. Cut the grass although it is not tall or out of control I cut it as a tidy up. Also finally, Donnis agreed to do something with our plant pots and Ros has agreed to take them. I stacked the pots beside the driveway so Ros son David can pick them up in the morning. I can move around inside the garage now but that will not last long as we start to move things into the back section.
Tomorrow somebody is coming to look at buying the inversion mattress and I will call st vinnies to take the timber queen bed frame, the walker and three boxes of books.
We now have 11 days to finish packing and get out of here. Donnis has 4 more days of work the we can finally get stuck into moving out.
P.S. This post has been created on my iPad. It is not so easy to navigate as it is on the laptop so I could have some spelling errors. Let me know.


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