November 2007

The big news at the start of this month is that Julie passed her test! She had a great day at the P-platers course (people who have failed once before and are required to take a day course and then try again) – when the time came to do the test, she had 4 guys barracking for her and almost dropped the bike during the U-turn (which she had had problems with before), but did manage to hold onto it and asked the instructor, “Have I failed?” and he said, “Not yet.” If she had dropped it, it would have been an immediate fail. So I very proudly installed the P plate on her scooter the very same night. Mine is still in the workshop – the guys have had to strip all of the panels off to replace the belly pan, so now they can at least get going on rebuilding the rest of it.  We are looking into upgrading her bike to a 200 cc so she can keep up with traffic but with her bad back right now – we have decided to hold off for a while.

We’re still working on the garden as it changes (again). We’ve invested in a whipper snipper (aka weed wacker) to cut the handkerchief size piece of lawn, instead of trying to get the stupid lawnmower to start. We have discovered that one of the plants, that I had thought were comfrey, is actually “lambs ears” – very soft – the story goes that the Aboriginals used to use them as toilet paper. The strawberries are bearing fruit, still very small at this stage, but incredibly sweet. Julie continues to learn about herbs. Her corned beef recipe said that she needed chopped parsley, and she was introduced to the spot where we have parsley growing. Yes, dear, it CAN be picked fresh and chopped. And we can put fresh thyme in the roast beef.

Meanwhile, her sciatica continues to play up rather badly. She looks like a crippled old woman for the first 15 minutes of the day, so now the plan is to furnish her with a large heat pack as she wakes up. We have also been checking out a website and treatment program that I have known about for quite a while, that talks about how the muscles need to be released and relaxed before real spinal alignment and healing can take place. So we have an appointment on 1st December, or before if she has a cancellation, with a therapist in Campbelltown, nearly to Sydney, as she is the closest to us in Canberra. And we’ve ordered the self help book, so hopefully, she won’t be crippled on the trip to the US at Christmas.

And we still have no real idea of how many people we are expecting at the Thanksgiving event, which is now just over 2 weeks away. We have, however, managed to site the tables in the courtyard and we now know that they will fit, with a bit of room to move around as well – 4 tables of 6 people each, so we’re OK on the seating. We’ll just have to move the hammock and the outside table out of the way. Turkeys have been ordered and Julie has started to panic. Situation normal.

And even more disastrous is the TV writers strike in the US, which is about to severely impact on the TV shows that we download. Just as well Julie enjoys reading.

Eeeeekk! We’ve just contracted for an $850,000 property and I have no idea how we are going to raise the finance. I’m leaving all that to Mary, our wonderful finance broker. However, the good news is that it’s the Springsure Guest House, part of the B&B arrangements for the local pub (just across the car park) and it makes a very healthy profit.