Sunday, September 26, 2010

I am just in from mowing the lawn. I am pooped but my knee is no worse than it would have been walking around inside. I am itching to dig up all those dandelions I mowed and trim the edges and weed the veggie beds and finish the berries and.... but I won't. There is more asparagus to pick and I generated a lot of clover mulch for the various beds. I was momentarily stalled when a flock of about a dozen silvereyes descended on the two junior plums which are in bloom. It never occurred to me that they were nectar eaters but those sharp little bills are perfect for sticking in flower blossoms. As long as I didn't move they were happy to hop from flower to flower, hanging upside down when necessary, drinking their fill about 8 feet from me. When the flock devolved to two birds I apologised and restarted the lawn mower.

My knee has made no progress from my last post. I went in to work on Thursday to attend the festivities around the Director-General's retirement from the Library. She is a very nice person and she will be missed. I spent the rest of the time getting signatures on my exit documents proving I didn't have any books checked out or laptops borrowed. That involved walking all over the Library so I left a little early and went to pick up my new contacts. They are a bit uncomfortable but new lenses always take a while to break in. They are also green, so my eyes are their natural colour for the first time in my lens-wearing life.

I have D's second sock 75% finished and I have been switching over to finishing off the black alpaca while watching the fourth and final season of The Unit. It was one of my favourite TV shows that was shown sporadically on Aussie free-to-air TV and now pops up on cable. The characters are so well acted and the plots a constant string of James Bond/Bourne exploits. Sure, I know it's not real, although the writers came up with the idea about holding captives on a ship at sea before it was known the CIA was doing just that. I suppose 4 seasons is all that could be expected, but their final season spent a lot of time in Afghanistan, which is an ongoing series of its own. I'll have to make do with Burn Notice.

My current reading is The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which so far is bleak.

My genealogical investigations turned up my great-grandfather working at the Schenectady Locomotive Works according to the 1880 census. Sometime after that the family moved out of New York but the 1900 census was burned in a fire. Good Wives has also shed light on early New England life where the upper class employed the lower class to sweep their floors and mind their children. The idea of the communion of the town only stretches so far and didn't stretch to equality of the sexes much less to class rank. It seems that the Puritans only wanted to escape parts of Old England.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

There has been no blogging because I have done nothing but lie around and heal. I attempted to go back to work last week and almost made it through two days but then couldn't get out of bed for 3 days. My doctor doesn't know what is going on but thinks it will "settle down" in time. It does seem to be very slowly getting better. The redness (not bruising but a red discoloration) had subsided a bit and the swelling has gone down a little. I have swelling in the foot on that leg, which to me means there is something going on in the knee, because I had a lot of trouble with that after the surgery. It gets very stiff if I stand or sit for any period of time, and getting it mobile again takes some concerted effort. I have full range of movement and weight bearing; it's just sore and swollen and stiff. This has been very discouraging and means that I will not see much of work up to my last day before retirement. To be honest, I think there's a whole lot of things going wrong with my body at the moment and I think they may be related to stress that started up when my sister was dying and has not let up since. The combination of the trip in the US, coming home and immediately seriously injuring my knee, and simultaneously facing the end of my working life (however much I might be looking forward to having my time my own) has taken its toll. My right arm from shoulder to hand is very sore (muscles not joints). I am depressed in the sense that I recognize the clinical signs, and depression from being unhealthy leads to feeling worse. Now that I am still living in a house with a garden, I'm dying to get out and play in it but all I've managed to do was plant some peas. The lawn could feed a sheep or two. Since I am unable to physically do any of the things I wanted to do when I had all this free time, I feel pretty useless. The cat and I lie in bed while I read or nap. I get up in the evenings for TV and knitting. This has gone on for far too long. I'm going to attempt a minor excursion tomorrow just to see if I can. Grocery shopping last week nearly killed me. I did get the electrician in to replace all the light fittings which look much nicer, especially the light over the kitchen table; I didn't realize how dim it was in there until I had a new lamp. I must try to get to my optometrist and pick up replacement contact lenses as one has a chip and the other is just too old and gunky.

Swans news: They lost to the Bulldogs in the second round of the finals. It was a tight match and they only lost by a small margin but the Dogs just fought harder than my boys did. A sad end to Roosy's coaching career but at least he's going to stay around the club so his mentoring role can continue.

Book report(s): I finished the series that began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tonight. The second and third novels should be read as one and don't expect the same sorts of fireworks as in the first one. I literally could not put the last one down tonight until I finished it. There was a bit of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo in the middle made difficult for me (who has a horrible time remembering names) trying to keep all the Swedish characters straight. Definitely worth the read but I wouldn't be surprised if people get turned off during the second & third because you want to shake these people and tell them to pay attention. My BBBB The Great Game is also finished and I've started reading Good Wives by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. I've gone from Central Asia in the 19th century to New England in the early years of settlement. Since I've found so many of the strands on my family tree all go back to settlers in Massachusetts in the second half of the 17th century, I thought I'd read about what life was like for them.

Monday, September 06, 2010

There has been little to report because I have been unable to do much the past couple of weeks. My knee has still been very swollen and painful and
I have been unable to sit at a table or desk for any significant time. The doctor now does not know what is causing the problem. There is quite a bit of discolouration (not bruising) on the knee. It is gradually getting better. I was thinking last week that I might make it back to work this week but I didn't think I could sit at a desk for 5 hours. It feels pretty good today, but the test will be how it feels tomorrow. I have had some mystifying blood test results so I am due to see the doctor again this Weds.

My photographic contributions to the blog today are the latest pair of socks finished, which are not very interesting but some times we just need socks. The floral arrangement is from the back yard: daffs, hellebores, and Earlicheer narcissus. Fortunately I no longer have a flower eating cat so I can enjoy having flowers inside.

The garden needs attention desperately. We've had lots of rain and there is a lot of weeding and probably a lawn mowing needed but I am not yet up to that vigorous work. I picked one stalk of asparagus today!

Swan news: We won our elimination final in spite of ourselves. As is often the case, they fell asleep in the third quarter and almost had the game snatched away from them. We had stunning exhibitions of players running into each other, passing the ball to the opposition, hitting the goalpost, and other unpleasant tactics. However, I am very pleased with how well the new boys are stepping up and making a real contribution. Losing Kirk (as well as the god-like Roos) will be tough but things don't look as dim as I thought they would be at the start of the season. Our next match is against the Bulldogs, whom we beat 2 weeks ago so in theory we should be able to progress in the finals.