Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Back into it...

One thing I love about where our girls live, there is a new Foodland just around the corner, literally less than 500 metres away.  There are a lot of Italian’s in this community so the Foodland stocks a myriad of Italian products. So many varieties of tomato pasta sauces, pastas and oils.  They also stock South Australian items and produce.  
Have a look at these heirloom tomatoes - an extravagance for what I paid (not telling!) but I couldn’t pass them up!  
I only got home at 3.30pm and Gus at 7.30pm so we had that organic tomato sauce and some of the pasta castiglioni last night for a quick dinner.
This morning I sliced all of the tomatoes up and froze them in zip-lock bags...

I use a drinking straw and suck out the air then seal...

My cheeky Kookaburra mate was back this morning, banging on my laundry window...and shitting on my pergola pavers!  Grrr!
I picked that small vase of roses this morning...can you tell that the ones in the jug are artificial?
We were out pounding the pavement at 6.30am.  It was freezing and it took my hands the whole half an hour to warm up!   Small steps this week with half hour walks then next week we’ll extend it a bit.  My knees and feet are sore so I need to take it slow.  I am still suffering from a pulled muscle in my ribcage (under my boob) and this is so painful when I try to coigh or sneeze! Soooo painful!  I’m booked in for Bowen therapy on Thursday, maybe my Naturopath can help relieve it.

Check out my succulents!  They’re going great! Above is when first planted...

...and today, growing beautifully!

This coming weekend, I need to get into my back garden, it’s a jungle out there!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sweet potato dinner rolls...

I made these 
for dinner last night...

They were great - but I think I’d omit the eggs and add milk next time.  They were fluffy and tasty but a bit cakey....

Gus made sundried tomato herb crusted rack of lamb, kirby did the veggies and it was served with a beef concomme and tomato cream broth. Totally delicious!
Well, today it’s back to reality! I’m off back home and will be back at work tomorrow.  I must say, it’s been the best break I’ve had in a long time.  The weather has turned arctic as a big cold fromt has hit SA so temps have gone from tops of 32C on Friday and Saturday to 17C today with small hail this morning.  Hopefully that blows over quickly.
I’m excited to get home as we’ve had a painter come in to get rid of a dark blue feature wall that we had in the family room.  

Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Choc chip cookie bars...

I’ ve posted about these before.  These are quick to make, just press the dough into a slice tin and bake...

You can go to the original post 
then there’s a link to the recipe at Bless us o lord....

Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, October 27, 2017

Taking it easy and making pie...

It’s been fun just chilling out here with my girls this week, after my little procedure.  It hasn’t taken much out of me apart from having a slighly sore spot where they inserted the catheter in my groin.  It’s just tender.  I’ve been doing a few chores around the place, in between resting, watching TV. 

Bri and I have been hanging out, watching DVDs (I bought the complete boxed set of As Time Goes By).  I love the characters, Jean and Lionel...

I made a chicken and corn mornay in the morning (so Bri coukd take some for tea for her late shift)...

In the afternoon, I made apple pies.  I used Rhonda’s recipe for
pie crust.   Add flour and cold butter...

The food processor makes the job easy.  Whiz until the flour and butter resemble bread crumbs...

Add the little bit of water and egg yolk and process until it comes together...

Tip it out and bring it together with your hands...

Wrap it up and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until you want to use the dough...

I bought the 4 little pie tins for just $2 in KMart...each pie will hold one apple, chopped up.  I mixed the apple (Granny Smiths) with cinnamon and brown sugar.  I also popped in a teaspoon of cornflour (this thickens any juice)...

I decided to do a lattice pattern (due to lack of pastry left over) and this turned out fine.  I got better as I went along with the four pies...

Here they are, all baked and crispy and smelling amazing!

My Instagram pic...

This is Kirby’s artistic Instagram shot!   The pies were yummy - the apple cooked but stayed firm and was just sweet enough without being too sweet.  Half a pie was all I could manage!

We watched the finale of The Bachelorette then a bit of a movie before calling it a night!

Gus is back in town tomorrow and we are off to Sprout cooking School for their 
Seasonal Dinner which should be fun.

I hope you’re having a nice quiet week like me,

Cheers - Joolz xx

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Happy Birthday, Bri!

Brianna had a small party for her 24th birthday on Sunday.  I did all the baking then took it to Adelaide on Saturday.  I assembled the cupcakes on Sunday morning.  Kirby did some nice cheese and nibbles platters also.  It was a lovely afternoon, meeting some of her nursing friends.  

Happy birthday, Brianna - we love you and are very proud of the great nurse you are and the beautiful woman you are! Love you! 😘

Cardiac capers...

Monday, 23rd October, 2017

I am booked to have an Electrophysiology study and Radiofrequency Ablation on my heart to stop Supraventricular Tachycardia.  SVT is an abnormally fast heart rhythym arising from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart.  

Read about the procedure - 

EP Study and RF Ablation

I  fasted from 10am on Monday morning then checked in for my heart procedure at 2pm and wasn’t expecting to be taken through until about 5 pm but somehow my times got mixed up and they were ready for me at 3pm - winning!  Less time to think about it!  Two nurses did an ECG and obs then it was time to go.

I was wheeled around to the lab where I talked to the anaesthetist and he put a canular into my left hand.  Then I spoke with my specialist and he ran through the procedure and told me of the risks involved but also the high cure rate for SVT and other arrhythmias.  After signing the consent form, I was taken into the lab and placed on a table, I’m wearing just a blue hospital gown.  They put down a warming blanket first then a nice warm blanket over me.  The anaesthetist placed an oxygen mask on and said he was giving something to relax me and boom, I was out!

I woke up in recovery at around 5.30pm feeling fine.  I didn’t even feel groggy.

I was told by one of the nursing staff that I had not had the ablation done as they hadnt been able to reinduce the SVT.  I was disappointed to hear that and asked what would likely happen now.  She said it would probably be managed with medication.  Hmmm.

I was returned to my room and settled by 6pm, heaps earlier than we thought.  I had to lay in bed for a few hours before I was allowed to get up so that the wound site in my groin wouldn’t bleed or pop.   The wound is not sore at all.   

The family visited (love my flowers!) then they went off to dinner as it was Brianna’s 24th birthday.

I was lucky there was a hot meal still available for me, otherwise it would have been sandwiches. Macaroni cheese and veggies - how did they know I love Mac n Cheese?  I was starving!

The doctor visited me and asked how I was feeling and I said “I’d feel better if you’d been able to do the ablation!”...

He looked stunned and said “I did do the ablation and it went very well!”

Lesson - never let a nurse tell you what a doctor should.  She must have come in on the tail end of him telling someone about it.  

He went on to say that he was very happy - the normal conduction system was well intact, the tachycardia was not inducable despite them trying harder to get it started than they needed to.  He said if it did come back, he now knew the anatomy of my heart and could use different equipment and approach but he seemed confident all would be good.

After a nice cup of tea and a biscuit I settled in for a night of SBS TV then some YouTube watching on my iPad.  I stayed up until about 11.30 when they came to do obs.  I got my cpap machine sorted and plugged in then I settled down but had a restless night with all the hospital sounds like beeping monitors out at the nurses station plus staff talking.  Such a noisy place.   I shared a room with an elderly lady and she had restless legs so that made a rustling noise too.  I slept on and off but was awake and sitting up at 5am, back on my iPad.

Obs at 5.30am  BP 110/67  pulse 78 

Breakfast was a long time coming - I messaged Gus and told him I was so hungry I could eat my phone charger! 

I ate it all - the scrambled eggs and tomato were tasty, then a slice of toast and stewed prunes and a cup of tea.  Time for a shower!

I had just finished when she said the doctor would be along to see me.

Again, Doc said all went well and my heart monitor obs were good.  I just need a follow up visit with my cardiologist, who I have an appointment to see in my home town in late November.  I also asked him about my blood pressure medication.  I had a pharmacist recommend I might like to change to a newer drug (Avapro) as the one I take (Perindopryl) is notorious for giving you a dry cough.  The new one does not.  He gave me a script but I need to have blood tests with my GP before getting it filled so that’s next week.

Bri arrived to take me home right on time so we were out of there by 9.30am - today I am to take it easy and not go speed shopping or doing a five mile hike (like that’s gonna happen!) 

Beginning next week, I hope to get out walking in the morning,  just starting off slow because I an unfit and I have sore feet and knees so need to build up slowly. 

You’re all probably asleep by now after reading this - I just wanted a record of it for me.  My blog has been handy to reference back on the times that I’ve had these episodes (in 2012, 2014, June 2017 and 13 Oct 2017).  Hopefully no more to report.

Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, October 20, 2017

Check out our Flinders Ranges trip...

Our eight days away camping in the Flinders Ranges can now be seen over at Adventures of Ruby and Pearl

or click on the links below...

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

I hope you enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Monday, October 16, 2017

Friday the 13th, you suck!

So after having that bathroom disaster, things got even worse!

We left work early to head over to Penola for the Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations weekend.  It was a bit stressful getting away, packing the camper, a bit of food, clothes etc plus finishing everything at work but we were booked to go out to dinner at a beautiful restaurant for dinner so that was the reward! 

We got to Penola Caravan Park at about 4.30pm and set up Pearl.  We needed a few things from IGA so I went and got those.
When I returned to the park, I parked the car and got out of the car...and boom! I started having one of my heart palpitation attacks (diagnosed as Supraventricular Tachycardia)!   It just came on like that!
I told Gus straight away and I sat for a while, hoping it would pass.  It didn’t feel as intense as the last one I had in June.  After about 30 minutes, it was still thumping away so we decided to go to the hospital. By now it’s 6.40pm.

As luck would have it,  the hospital is 500 metres down the road from the caravan park!  Being a country (bush) hospital, it was all closed up for the night so we rang the A&E button.  A nurse let us in and showed me to the A&E room.  Lovely Nurse Annette did some obs and ran an ecg to get a trace of what my heart was doing.
She then rang the doctor (the only one in this small town!) and probably interrupted his Friday night dinner!  He was there in a matter of minutes and we chatted about my previous episodes.  He tried ringing my cardiologist in Adelaide but I guess he had dinner plans too!
Doc decided to give me a half tablet of Sotolol (a beta blocker) to bring my heart rate down.  He hoped it would take effect in half an hour or so....so we wait!
After that half hour, the rate hadn’t come down enough so I was given the other half tab and had to wait again.  I could feel that it was starting to work as I couldn’t feel my heart beating so fast.

When Gus took this at 8.20pm, things were starting to settle down.  I did not want a night in hospital, thank you!
Dinner plans were cancelled (dammit!)...
They were happy for me leave when my heart rate got down to 94  and I said I felt normal again.  My BP was good too.
I got discharged at 8.40pm so we headed back to the caravan park and we had toasted sandwiches for dinner - not quite what we had in mind!
This little procedure I’m having on Monday, 23rd Oct cannot come soon enough! 

After a good nights sleep, we got up the next morning and went to a breakfast at Balnaves wines...

We had this lovely breakfast of sweetcorn fritters, mushroom ragu, spiced tomatoes, bacon and a rocket, grapefruit and quinoa salad. It was meant to be washed down with a Balnaves Sparkling Cabernet ... but I was off the grog and had orange juice instead.
After that we went to a few wineries for Gus to do tastings then we went to Majella wines where we had lunch.  After tasting a few, Gus bought some wine then we headed back to the camper.

Gus lit the OzPig so we relaxed the afternoon away...

This was our site - we had an ensuite bathroom which is to the left, out of picture.
We packed up on Sunday and drove the 50km home.  We unpacked Pearl and Gus gave her a wash and vacuum and even polished her. She’s sparkling and ready for her next run now.   I washed towels and bed linen, rearranged a cupboard that held a porta-loo (which we have taken out) to hold general items.  By then I was feeling pretty knackered so I watched YouTube vids for a while.

Gus cooked a beer can chicken for dinner and I did the veggies in the oven.

I had a bag of Tasmanian flour left from our trip last year so I made a batch of bread rolls...
These went into the freezer for future use.
Big weekend! Next stop Flinders Cardiac!
Cheers - Joolz xx

Picking up stitches...

If you’ve ever dropped a knit or purl stitch while knitting, it can be so frustrating!  I have been known to unravel the entire piece (dishcloth) and start again.

That was until I discovered the world of helpful tutorials on YouTube...

Here is a link to a very helpful video on picking up simple dropped stitches...

See how you go...I’ve tried it a few times and it works!

Meg at A Hopeful Nature - I hope this helps! 🙂

Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, October 13, 2017

Quick cookies...

Do you remember those peanut biscuits I made back in September?

I froze two logs of the dough.  We’re heading away for a day or two so I thought some fresh biscuits woukd be nice to take with us...

I thawed the log then cut the biscuits and reshaped them on the lined baking tray...

...and voila!  Fifteen minutes later, I have fresh baked biscuits and no mess to clean up! This made 17 and I still have another log in the freezer! 
I nearly had a disaster when I went to swap a few of the cookies into the centre of the tray to prevent over browning...the tray slipped and the paper slid off the tray onto the oven rack! Luckily I salvaged them so a few do looked a bit war wounded but they’ll taste just as good! 🙄

Another disaster this morning! Gus was showering when all of a sudden the shower head just popped right off shooting a fountain of water right at him! Water everywhere! 
Friday the 13th in a 13 year old house! 😳

Cheers - Joolz xx