What’s top of my mind: Getting the house and garden to rights.

I’ve finally got my strength back after that nasty bug I picked up in Alaska. I’m looking at all that has to be done before I disappear on my next holiday. Fortunately, I have until September, so the situation isn’t dire, but I’ve already filled up the green waste bin and I have DAYS before it’s going to be taken away.

The picture of Jeffrey was taken on his 11th birthday – his first one without Poppy. He’s a snuffly old man.

Where I’m going: To Beacon Lighting.

I’m slowly getting the back half of the house together. The guest room needed bedside lights. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on them because the guest room hardly ever gets used, but at the same time, I wanted the lights to be functional enough for someone to be able to read in bed, if they wanted to.

I picked up this light last weekend. The other light is waiting for me to go and pick it up. The crazy thing is that the bulb for each light is almost the same as the base!

Oh well. By the time Liga and her friend Liga come, the room should be looking good.

Where I’ve been: Mum and Dad’s place.

On Monday I was pottering around, doing some gardening, (more on that later), when an unknown number came up on my phone. I let it go to voicemail, but I called them back right away because they were from the Medi Alert place, saying that Mum’s alarm had gone off and they couldn’t reach her.

I called both the landline and her mobile, then jumped in the car and drove down. Of course she was fine. They’d been to get her a pedicure and she must have bumped the alarm getting her seatbelt on.

The time wasn’t wasted. We are quite a few weeks behind on the Storyworth stories, so I sat with Dad and got 4 more stories of his life done.

The next day I was back there, helping Mum at her hydrotherapy pool. Usually, my sister Kate does it but she was busy. After we got home I sat with Mum this time and got 3 more stories done for her.

I’m learning a lot more about them. They don’t want to sit at the laptop and type the stories themselves, so I pull up the questions, ask them, and then hand them my phone with the microphone on in Notes. They dictate, then I sit there and type it up straight away, reading it back to them to check that they’re happy with it.

What I’m reading: You Like It Darker by Stephen King.

I love it when the latest King comes out, especially if it’s short stories. I’m finding that the older he gets, the more his short stories are pulling ahead of his novels.

The Hummingbird Effect – by Kate Mildenhall.

This is an interesting novel, with the stories of 4 women, some in the past, some in the future, intertwined throughout. Set in Melbourne, too, which I liked.

What I’m watching: Not a great deal.

I’ve finished a lot of shows that were piling up and now I’m waiting for some new ones to be released. Friday The Spider Queen series 2 comes out and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s a modernised version of Catherine De Medici’s life.

What an absolute force that woman turned out to be! Definitely not the nicest woman, but she hung onto power on the French throne with a fierce grip.

What I’m listening to: Bronwen.

Hedley Thomas, who was the journalist who did ‘The Teachers Pet’ and ‘Shandee’s Story’ has come up with another cold case that deserves investigation. It has eerie similarities to the Dawson case in ‘The Teacher’s pet’ which resulted in Chris Dawson being tried and convicted of the murder of his wife Lynette, back in the 80’s. I’ve come late to the party, as episodes were released when I was away.

You can get it where you get your other podcasts. Me? I use Overcast on my iPad.

What I’m eating: Rye sourdough bread.

After I took Mum to the pool, she needed a few things so we stopped at Woolies. I paid $7 for this loaf of bread and I’m enjoying every mouthful.

What I’m planning: when to start quilting again.

I haven’t touched my sewing machine with any real purpose for nearly two years. I want to make some fresh quilts for my lounge room and a couple of gifts. (Yes, Scott – I’m looking at you.)

I know I’ll get back in there – it’s just a matter of when.

Who deserves a thumbs-up: my neighbour.

There are some ornamental pear trees on the side fence that drop leaves every autumn – which I love, because I use them as free mulch – but are starting to encroach over my solar panels – which I don’t love so much.

Yesterday he thinned them out. I now have more sunlight coming in my side windows and a couple of branches that fell on my side that I’ll have to get rid of. But my solar panels are free to catch the rays all they want!

What has made me smile: my free bulbs.

Last year Georgia and I planted a few citrus trees in the back yard and she dug out a pile of pink bulbs that come up every spring. I put them in the laundry and promptly forgot about them… until I went in there a couple of days ago and saw that they REALLY wanted to be planted.

There are about $100 worth of bulbs here, and the flowers are very pretty. So, just before the phone rang for Mum’s alarm call, I strode outside and planted them under the two maple trees in the front yard.

More people will be able to enjoy them there. They’re mixed in with some jonquils.

Dad joke of the day: