Saturday, June 4, 2011

What's in a name?

This will go down as the shortest post yet for this blog. I'm normally a bit wordy and try and fit as much info into every post but not today.

I got an email last night from one of our Bogie community group (SCOFF - Strathbogie Connoisseurs Of Fine Food) members. In it, she referred to our folks as "Strathbogans". There may have been an unintentional 'i' missing before the '..ans' but I prefer it without.

Dana loves it.

I love it.

We both wanna be known as Strathbogans.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Convalescence, patience and persistence...

I'm back on air! There have been more than a few worried enquiries from friends and family who've been following the blog and came upon my bad news via this medium. I'm heartened by your concern - thanks. So, I thought it only fair to update all on where things are at.

Progress on my back has been slow, painful and a bit frustrating. Been seeing the physio 1-2 days per week, doing several sessions of hydro therapy in the pool and stretching regularly to unlock some ugly muscles and relieve pressure on the affected nerves. Otherwise, I'm 90% couchbound and keeping the big pharmas in profit. I've had some good days and some not so good days but overall I'm on the very gradual improve. The last week, in particular, has seen a heartening amelioration of my condition. Whether the snail's pace progress is going to be enough to balance out the overall loss of muscle condition will have to be monitored closely over the next few weeks. Neurosurgeon appointment scheduled for later this month - we'll see what comes of that...

Some days I think "Oh boy, what a pickle I've gone and got into" but quickly catch myself and return to more positive thoughts. I see no point in dwelling on what-ifs and what-may-have-beens; we are living here and now and can only go forward. As Sir Gus Nossal so wisely noted recently: "You can't rewind the tape." To that end, I seem to be winning the mind battle. Current and long term health aside, my biggest concern is doing what little I can to assist Dana. She's working full time bringing in the bacon, cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, transporting and filling my hot water bottles. I'm stoked with how well she's coping with the load. Even prouder that, after 22 years, she finally got her license. Yay...and well done.

With Dana now handling the driving duties, we've managed a few trips to site to either do some basic upkeep or just hang out. I've worked out a way that, with laying the passenger seat flat, strategic cushioning and hotties, I can get to Bogie with minimal discomfort...even slept on the last trip up!

Our regular helpers, the KnJnFnHnMnS crew, came up on the Friday night as well so that we could make some progress knocking another item off the to-do list. The shed is finally getting a floor! Saturday morning we got a big truck full of slushy grey stuff delivered and I got to watch Jon, Dana and Karena pour a (6m x 6m) slab. After giving everyone a rough idea of what to do, I retired to sunning myself on the banana lounge and watching the team sweat. Given that Dana and Karena were popping their slab pouring cherries and it had been 25 years since Jon had pushed 5m of concrete into shape, it came out OK.

about bloody time we did this!

and they did sweat


taking screed to go
The truck from Hansons had 5.6m of 20MPA 'crete on board. I'd calculated needing about 4.5-5m for the shed but decided to get a full truck anyway. There's nothing worse than being just a little bit short when it comes to pouring concrete! We had a backup plan in place for the excess, so got the driver Jason to do some light cross country work and back up to the house tank stand. Some time back, we'd set up some rough formwork to hold excess crusher dust while we worked out what to do with it. With a bit of luck today, we could put a 60-70mm skin over the whole area with the leftover concrete. Came up a little bit short so we (ahh, the royal 'we' worked so hard on the banana lounge...) put a board across 3/4 along as an end form. Dana and Karena then had some some fun screeding this lot flat(-ish!). 

this really gives a good sense of the scale of it all

After lunch Jon went back to float the surfaces. Good thing that the local hardware/hire store (Savilles in Euroa) had a bull float to go with the vibrator we'd hired. Bad thing that we'd left it a little too long and the tank site had pretty much gone off. Bugger...suppose that's what Jason meant when he said we were getting the 'winter mix' (cure accelerating add-mix in the brew to make it go off quicker in cold weather). No biggie though - we can put a skim coat over the top when finishing off the rest of the tank site (layer of malthoid under the tanks as well). This lot, we'll have to do with shovel and mixer. I can't wait to watch that...:)

I did, however, have to participate in the obligatory signing of the slab:

captured forever

Next day QC: "yeh, I can live with that..."
The next day, I watched the whole crew harvest our pumpkins. All 28 of the little beauties.

and still they did toil


Guess we'll be eating a whole lotta punkin soup for a while yet.