Saturday, March 3, 2018

Eleven red-back spiders


At TAFE this week we did a practice exercise where we had to brain-storm and then mind-map a random topic. My group got the topic 'diabetes'. In case this is the first time you've read my blog, I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy and now have pre-diabetes, I've been to government-run classes and am active on forums and have read just about every book out there on diabetes and know a lot about the history of treatment and recent scientific breakthroughs. Anyway, it was funny because it was supposed to be a team exercise so I had to button my lip and let other people contribute! That was kinda hard for me!

I was cranky (quietly) at the teacher of my online 'integrated' subjects (three subjects related to the work placement I'll be doing next term) - she only gave us access to the material at the end of last week - two weeks after the term started - then sent around an email this week to remind us to get going with it and not get behind! Arg! I mean, yes, but she could have acknowledged it was her fault we're behind in the first place!

Yesterday I came around the corner of the house and startled Draco the water dragon (and he startled me!) and he ran along the path a bit but then stopped and posed for photos. He's an imposing fellow, longer than my arm and very fast when he runs. I haven't seen the blue-tongue lizards for a while, I know they spend some of their time next door.

The big frangipani that we moved from a pot and put in the ground has finally flowered, months after everyone else's, and to our surprise ours is pink! White with a yellow heart is the usual colour combination, this one was left behind by the previous owners - probably because the roots had snaked through the pot holes and delved deep into the ground, we had to saw them off - and I don't remember ever seeing it flower before. Hopefully it is happy now in the ground with lots of sun. I don't know if it flowered so late because of the cultivar, or because of being moved. It only has the one flower cluster so far.
We have a lot of spiders around, I let most of them get on with eating bugs and only swipe down their webs if they are right in the way, but we had quite a few red-back spiders which seem to prefer living under our garden furniture or in cracks between bricks rather than in the garden. Very venomous and nasty, though small by Aussie standards. Today I emptied a whole can of surface spray in the various danger zones, gave the spiders half an hour to die them swept them all up. I counted eleven red-backs! And that's just the ones I saw, some probably didn't come out of their cracks to die. Quite a few egg sacks too. Shudder. I'm glad I didn't know how many there were, before. Scary.

We're into the start of autumn now and have had some cooler weather, so less swimming. Today was quite hot so we put the pool heater on in the morning and had a swim in the afternoon. Lovely. I hope we get a few more swims in before the weather gets too cold. Even with a heated pool, I don't think it's pleasant to swim in winter.

Jasmine had a band concert tonight, with a sausage sizzle and cake stall to raise money for the school band program. I stole an idea I'd seen in Canberra to contribute to the cake stall, fun-size Milky Way 'cars' with smartie wheels and a Tiny Teddy driver. I think they are so cute!
The concert was great, it was two school bands combined plus the local Fire & Rescue service band(adults) because one of them is the music teacher plus they have a precision marching team. Most of the extended family came along and it was all very entertaining, even the little kids seemed to enjoy it. The only bad thing was that the audience was in a flat hall but the stage was very high, so we could only see the front row of musicians plus the top of Jasmine's head in the second row. Everyone else was hidden. Jasmine's own school has a much better venue with the band on the floor and audience raised in ranks so you can see everyone, but the room is much too small for a combined event (not enough seats even for just Jasmine's own school concerts). Oh well, we still got to listen. It was a good evening out.

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