Ocean liners and polished boars!

Well, what do ocean liners and boars have in common? And what is a polished boar anyway?

Each Thursday I do some real estate writing and editing for our local paper. I edit short descriptions of various properties for sale. Because we are near the beach it is quite common for agents to state that there is room to park a boat or caravan. However, today an enterprising sales representative expected me to believe that there was room to park an ocean liner!

That got my attention! I then read on only to to find something even more interesting. The home comes with polished boars! I don’t know if they are naturally shiny or if someone regularly polishes them.

In case you didn’t work it out, I am pretty sure they meant polished boards 🙂

I found a picture of a not very shiny boar on en.wikipedia.org

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Consumers matter

It has been an interesting year in dealing with purchases and repairs.

1. Washer/dryer was four years old and stopped working properly. Fortunately I had an extended warranty and was given a full refund and then purchased a new washer and dryer.

2. Vacuum cleaner stopped working – out of warranty. I rang the interstate company for advice and they were able to tell me how to reset its computer settings (on a vacuum cleaner?) and it worked. Happy customer.

3. Ordered a bed in October. The company failed to deliver on time. They kept getting my order confused. Last week they rang to say it arrived but later rang to say it was the wrong size. New one coming tomorrow. Paid the balance today only to discover the store had totally misunderstood what I wanted.

We could go back to base and start again – no, that had no appeal. I could ask for my money back, but that didn’t appeal either. I could have argued the point – surely I am the most qualified to know what I ordered (the manager had no concept of the customer always being right!)

I agreed to take the alternative bed and it should be delivered on Wednesday. I wonder how I could have dealt with this better. Any suggestions?

Cheers

Lorraine

Ways of learning …

My preferred learning style is to get my hands dirty and experiment. Ask me to do most things and I will dive straight in and have a try. Learning how to use my WordPress blog is a typical example. Recently I am helping a friend with her website and thought it would be useful to have some sort of manual to put some structure into the process.

There are HEAPS of manuals, videos, websites etc on how to use WordPress – all of which are probably excellent tools. I found one particular manual called Easy WP Guide, WordPress Manual by Anthony Hortin from Maddisondesigns.

It can be downloaded as a PDF so I did that and printed out a copy (140 pages – 70 back to back) and bound it. I then sat down to read it from cover to cover. I am pleased to note that I figured out most things myself through trial and error but there was one thing I learned that will be invaluable in the future:

I found an extra line of the tool bar – and that means I can write in different colours – and I didn’t know this before!

I can’t believe I have been using WordPress for over three years and didn’t know this. I still have more to read and to learn. Maybe there is value in reading the manual after all 🙂

The age-old questions

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

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Some people are really sensitive about their age and try to hide the truth from others – leave them guessing! For me, from an early age I looked older than my contemporaries. I think it is fair to say that trait has stayed with me so I just accept it. In fact, I often tell people how old I am just in case they think I am older!

My 29th birthday is the only one I really stressed over. Leaving my twenties behind seemed really significant at the time. I had three young children by that time. Sometimes I reflect on my life in decades, as follows:

0-10   All that childhood stuff

10-20   Probably the worst decade of my life – being a teenager is tough!

20-30   I enjoyed trying to be the model “Earth Mother”, baking my own bread etc and enjoying my young children

30-40   Wow! What happened? My life turned up-side-down with a broken marriage and being single again with young children

40-50   Life started to really improve at this point. I had a good job, mortgage and started getting my act together (at last!)

50-60   Well, I am not quite there yet. I have my sixtieth birthday later this year but this decade has been really good so far. I don’t know how I feel about turning sixty. I am aware that quite a few people I went to school with haven’t made it this far and I feel really grateful that I have.

60-70   Well, I feel fairly positive about the future. I have strong feelings about people in my age group continuing to play an active part in our world (however that translates for each of us). You might want to check out my other blog at http://www.encoreaustralia.wordpress.com. It has some great links relevant to this age group.

I am looking for ideas on how to celebrate my sixtieth, so send them through please. Big parties have no appeal, nor does jumping out of a plane – something a little less dramatic would be good 🙂

 

 

Balance

Balance

Today I would value more balance in my life – just a steady stream of activities and not a cluster of things all happening at the same time : )

That will teach him :-)

Recently my sister-in-law said she had a tetanus injection and that we should too. She works in public health and knows about these things. I couldn’t see the need for being immunised, but my husband thought it was a good idea. As I spend more and more time in my garden, he is concerned I may injure myself and has reminded me that I should have an injection.

I saw my GP today and while there, I told her my husband thought I should have a jab. She agreed it could be a good idea and then asked, ‘Has your husband been immunised?’ All I could do was laugh. As we came out of her office she called to my husband and fairly forcefully suggested he should join me in this adventure.

needleWe both have sore arms now but I don’t think he will recommend any more health treatments for me – unless he is prepared to have them as well :-).

If you are interested in knowing more about tetanus, here is some information from The Better Health Channel

Tetanus is a serious bacterial disease that causes muscle spasms and breathing problems. Tetanus is uncommon in Australia because of the widespread use of the tetanus vaccine. Some types of wounds are more likely to encourage the growth of tetanus bacteria, such as compound fractures, animal bites, burns or any wounds contaminated with soil, horse manure or pieces of foreign objects. Immunisation is available and serious side effects or allergic reactions are rare.

 

 

The Third Age

How does one gracefully move from one stage of life to the next? Transitions can be hard work!

I never really bought into the capitalist idea of working extremely hard to gain a lot of money so that I could keep working hard to gain more money and possessions.

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I worked primarily to:

  • provide a home for me and my three sons
  • pay the mortgage, the utility bills and food and clothing
  • meet some good outcomes for the unemployed and disadvantaged members of society
  • try to make a positive difference through the work I did each day.

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Now I am no longer in the workplace I wonder how I can make a contribution. Sometimes I “go with the flow” but at other times I feel an urgency to do something useful or to make good use of my time and this stage of my life.

I am exploring being more creative; I am studying; I get some contract work from time to time; I joined a few not-for-profit community groups; but I still have time and energy on my hands. I even have a vegetable garden now but it doesn’t take much looking after.

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My extended family aren’t in need of my support and both of my parents have passed away. I can enjoy learning new things such as calligraphy, taking videos and photos, sewing … and I will do those things.

I don’t think western society makes the most of the resources of our ageing baby-boomers. Many people my age are still working or busy with their families. Some are happy to follow their hobbies or to travel the world.

Roses 004We gain useful skills and knowledge in life and work and then we fade into the sunset without finding adequate use of our experience. It seems such a waste of resources. I only wish I could come up with an idea to capture these resources (mine and those of many other semi-retired people) and use them to the good of our society.

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Any ideas are welcome on where to from here?

Daily post: Sink or swim

In 1993 I got a job with the State Government, based in Geraldton. We were living in Newman in the Pilbara at the time. I went on ahead of the family as I had to start work. My former husband and my sons came some time after me.

We had two dogs – Hannah and Angus. Hannah was part Blue Heeler and Angus was part Boxer. The trickiest part of the move was getting the dogs to their new home. The dogs had to fly to Perth and then connect to a regional flight to Geraldton. It was going to be a nightmare, I just knew it.

I should say that I never set out to have dogs but I did come to love them. I am not a ‘good’ dog owner. They walk all over me!

When they finally arrived in Geraldton they had been caged in the cargo hold for many hours. They were not happy! The house we were moving into needed to be secured to make sure the dogs were contained in our yard. A Newman friend had moved to Geraldton prior to us moving and agreed to have the dogs overnight as she had a secure property with good fencing.

The dogs were SO hyper when we got to her place they ran round and around the back yard at one hundred miles an hour. What I didn’t know was that there were goats in the property next door. Amazingly, to my horror, my dogs were able to bound over high fences like Superman! Next they were chasing the goats around and around that property.

I was totally at a loss as what to do. I think if I had a lethal weapon at the point I would have used it (on the dogs, that is!)

So did I sink or swim? I know I wanted to dig a big hole and hide myself inside it. I felt really ashamed of my dogs’ behaviour but even more ashamed of my lack of ability to control them. No goats were hurt in this story, thankfully.

The next day we were able to secure our property and keep the dogs inside the yard. Having a dog is a big responsibility and I really don’t think I am up to it – even though I am sometimes tempted. I can enjoy my neighbours’ dog, Max, next door :-).

Hannah and Angus lived a pretty good life up until they both went on to doggie heaven. I was very sad when I lost them. We all were.

Squirmy moments

Tooth section international

Tooth section international (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I woke very early this morning after an awful dream – one I have dreamed many times before – my teeth are falling out! On waking my first action involved doing a tooth stock-take! Thankfully they are all still there :-).

I couldn’t get back to sleep so I pondered the feelings behind the dream. They ranged from embarrassment, shame, panic and a wish to hide myself away. You know – those moments when you wish you could slide under the floor mat and disappear.

Wide awake by now, I reflected on some real life experiences when I felt like that. One that came to mind was a Sausage Sizzle fund-raiser I organised for Rotary (I was president at the time). I don’t claim to be an event organiser, however I have done quite a few since that time. It was a real flop – limited volunteer helpers and bad weather didn’t help. I did enjoy giving away the sausages and bread to some homeless shelters though.

The incident was bemoaned by members (who hadn’t helped on the day) and became a bench mark of what NOT TO DO! But HEY, I tried, which is more that many others did.

It is not unusual for me to take on tasks that are outside my comfort zone. Only problem is I expect myself to get a brilliant result first time. I am reminded of sports people who train for years before reaching a level of expertise but I expect so much more of myself!

What about you? Do you expect yourself to get 100% first time and feel like a failure if you don’t? It is a bit silly to think that way, isn’t it?

Cheers

Lorraine

 

 

Daily Post Challenge: Never Again

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it…

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TEN THINGS THAT I WILL NEVER DO AGAIN

  1. Help carry a fridge up three flights of stairs
  2. Carry two big bags of concrete to a skip bin while cleaning up to sell my home (ouch!)
  3. I can’t see me ever working for government again unless it is as a consultant
  4. Say I hit a kangaroo with my government car while I was on my way home from work
  5. Vote conservative (I never have!)
  6. Casually say that I will be a Secretary on a Committee
  7. Agree to being President of ANYTHING just to avoid warring factions
  8. Spend money before I have it
  9. Wear bikinis
  10. Make commitments NOT to do something  😉

Cheers

Lorraine