A dining table decorated with Christmas baubles, a tree and holiday-themed napkins.(Pixabay)
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5 tips to reduce the risk
1.If there’s one thing we’ve learnt this year, it’s that it’s not heroic to soldier on if you’re sick. If you are feeling unwell, stay at home. This applies to you and your guests. If you are hosting and you’re unwell, look for another venue, or cancel
2.Plan for an outdoor gathering — the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors. We should make the most of Christmas falling in summer in Australia
3.If you’re hosting a gathering indoors, dine in your biggest room, or spread everybody out across a few rooms. Open your windows and doors to let in the fresh air and, importantly, increase ventilation
4.Avoid crowded seating at the table. Set up a few extra trestles or camp tables to space people out
5.Encourage your guests to perform frequent hand hygiene. Stock up on hand sanitisers and soaps and have them readily available in all rooms and outside, especially if people are helping themselves to food.
Tomorrow, Thursday, we can have our Christmas Eve celebrations here at my place in Dapto. The Corona Virus update says, ten adults are allowed to come plus a number of children under twelve. My great-grandchildren, that live near here, happen to be all under twelve, namely eight, six, four and one. So they can all come! I hope the weather will be fine so that they can play a bit outside.
Today was a lovely day. I had a beautiful walk in the sun. There was a slight breeze that felt quite pleasant. It was so good to have sunshine all day after having had so many grey and very wet days. Conditions seem to be becoming rather tropical this year, meaning warm tempratures and constant precipitation makes everything grow enormously. I find it hard to keep everything a little bit in check. I feel like I live in a jungle. Up to a point I do like this lush greenery. But then comes a time when everything needs to be trimmed for the space on my property is limited. I intend to apply for reasonable help in future, because the work I am still able to do myself is quite limited. I quickly get out of breath, and if I am not careful, I am in danger of falling. I am so glad that I can still do some walking, even if it is slow, and I have to do it with the rollator, it is still very good to be able to walk outside and enjoy nature!
The last few days I have been totally on my own in the house. I am still not quite used to have the whole house to myself after the hectic times when any number of people were involved in looking after my dearly loved Peter. Palliative care to moderate the pain of a dying person, especially when it can be done at home, is mind boggling. I am so grateful that this could be done for Peter.
I am contemplating now, what will the end of year bring? If anybody should think that I do get bored with less action and excitement, be assured, that this is not so. I am happy when I get the chance to do everything slowly and at my own pace. If this is getting slower and slower, so be it. I have no desire for a hetic pace any more, none whatsoever. Besides, if I am left to do everything slowly, I might perhaps be able to celebrate my 90th birthday in four year’s time!
In the New Year some reovations to my house and backyard are going to be done. Luckily, I am in a position to pay for all this, within reason of course. I am saving now, for I think a lot of travelling is for me out of the question, especially with the virus still going around. But I’d like to stay with Martin, my son, for a while. He assured me, I could stay with him whenever I needed a break. His spare room will always be availabe to me. After Peter’s funeral, Martin and his lovely dog Millie made it back in time to their place in Benalla, Victoria, before the border was closed. Now I wait for the border to be opened again, so that I can visit my son and see Millie again!
Peter went into hospital on Friday, the 9th, and was allowed to go home on Sunday, the 11th. On Monday Caroline took another day of carer’s leave. This was a great help to us. Peter is going to see his urologist on the 9th of January. An earlier appointment was not possible.
Tuesday and Wednesday were extremely hot days. But Wednesday afternoon there was a change: It became much cooler, and later on it started to rain. It is still raining now, a nice steady rain. After yesterday’s very hot and later on cooler wind, there is no wind today, which makes the rain very pleasant.
Peter and I went to see a GP yesterday. Daughter Monika drove us there. We could not see our regular GP. We both needed a prescription, which another doctor then gave to us. It was no problem. Next week Peter’s GP is back from leave and Peter can talk to him then. He had been advised to do this by the head nurse in the hospital.
I might have to see my optometrist soon, because my eye-sight is not very good at the moment. Our car is still in repair. There is a chance that we may get it back today. Peter still needs a lot of rest and he is also advised not to lift anything heavy. He is supposed to drink a lot of water. This is sometimes a bit of a struggle for him.
Now we are all looking forward to next Wednesday when we are going to have a special lunch for our anniversary.
This morning, at the breakfast table, Peter and I were reminiscing about that day when we saw Angie and Roy in Sydney. I found out now, that this was more than eight years ago when we met them in Sydney on that beautiful sunny Sunday!
Angie and Roy just sent the following message:
“Greetings Uta and Peter, From Florida we wish you some peacefulness in the midst of the chaos we are living. We have adjusted to living with the restrictions around us and can only hope that 2021 will be brighter. All the best specially to Peter. Sending light and hugs to you and all your family.”
I wrote back to them the sad news about Peter’s passing. And then they answered:
“Thank you Uta… We are saddened about Peter’s passing and wish you strength in this difficult times. It is your good fortune that you have your family near by. We can all celebrate his life this season and maybe we all meet again. A comforting thought anyway. Fond memories will prevail about our meeting in Sydney and Berlin. All the best and thank you for sharing the links.”
I wrote back to them now:
“Thank you, Angie and Roy! Yes, fond memories. And I do have a large family. This is a blessing, especially now that I am so alone. Peter did not want to leave me. He was always there for me. Our children were always close to both of us. Of course, they want to take care of me now. But they have their own lives too. So, for the time that is left to me now, I may have to cope on my own, as much as possible anyway. I just hope for good health a bit longer, even though the slowing down is already considerable. (You may have noticed I walk with a rollator.) Even though, it would be nice, if all of us could do some more travelling soon! Wishing you all the best for 2021!Love, Uta”
Our sad news is, that Peter died last Saturday, namely on the 12/12/2020. He is to be cremated on Monday, 21st of December, which is our 64th wedding anniversary!
On Saturday, 19th of December, we’re going to have a Funeral Service. In due time I may perhaps be able to publish a video from that Funeral Service. –
Peter’s cancer of the bone progressed rather quickly. He received right to the end good medical care at home surrounded by loved ones.
The 4th and 5th of December were the last days when Peter could still participate a bit in our lives and so was then enjoying a few things that he was still able to do. But then he got very much worse from day to day. For a while we thought he might still last up to Christmas. But eventually we realised he would not be able to make this.
The following I published exactly nine years ago! We still live in this home that we moved into in 1994. It is 2020 now. So, more than nine years ago we were already contemplating a move to somewhere else. Here is what I published in 2011, November 08:
When we saw the ad in the brochure, we thought immediately, that this could be our dream home. It was rather low priced. It was close to Goulburn Railway Station. It was also near a shopping centre with an ALDI store close by. What more could we want?
This could be our Dream Home! It was as simple as selling our present dwelling, buy the new place and end up with something like fifty thousand Dollars saved in the bank! People told us, but Goulburn, it is a bit out of the way, isn’t it?
No, we said, not at all. There’s the Railway Station close by. We hop on the train and are in Sydney in no time. The pensioner excursion trip to Sydney still costs only two Dollars and fifty cents! We can even go from Goulburn to Newcastle for our two Dollars fifty!
But you cannot do such a long trip that often, was the objection. We were asked, how often we were then going to see our children. How often do we see them now? We asked back. We pointed out, that we more or less only saw them for birthdays and Christmas anyway. We could still see them on those occasions, when we lived in Goulburn.
So we were all set to make the move to Goulburn, when it suddenly dawned on us, that the new place would need some renovations first. Renovations? At our age? Much too difficult! If we paid someone to renovate for us, we’d probably end up with no money left in the bank.
This is the end of the story. We are not going to sell our home and we are not going to move to another place.
I wrote the above exactly three years ago. In the meantime we’ve become more and more aware that our present home does need renovating. Somehow we just keep putting it off. In another three years we are going to be in our eighties. Maybe if we just put our time and energy into this home we are in now, we can keep living here even in our eighties. If we don’t come up with some major health issues, then maybe we do not need to go to a Retirement Village, even though living in a Retirement Village at an advanced age would make living a lot more comfortable for us.
In our area to buy a place in a Retirement Village costs about twice as much as what we’d be able to pay if we sold our present home, which just isn’t worth that much on the market. So a Retirement place in our area is out of the question.
Then about a year ago we came up with a new idea. That is, we found out that in a place about half way between Sydney and Melbourne we could buy a Retirement place for less than half the price which it would cost here in our coastal area. This place would be further away from Sydney than Goulburn but it would be closer to Melbourne where our son lives. And this place has a railway station, the same as Goulburn! But of course the trips would cost a bit more than two Dollars and fifty cents.
It would be good, if one way or another we could make up our minds about were we want to spend the last years of our lives. It looks to me, we’ll probably leave everything the way it is. For the time being anyway. Maybe we already live in our Dream Home! When we moved in here, the place was brand new and just perfect for us. We’ve been very happy here for the last seventeen years.
Hello, Auntie Uta. How are you? As they always say, “Home is where the heart is.” So true in your situation. As we all get older, familiar surroundings become more and more important. Your home might need some work here and there but I’m sure it’s filled with memories—every inch of space inside and around it. How can one begin to part with such a place? I’m with you there. Now that we’re empty-nesters and our daughter has decided to live in the city, our house seemed too big for us. We thought about moving. We thought about “down-sizing.” We searched for an alternative place to call our own. In the end, we chose to stay. We enjoy our home and our yard. We still like our neighborhood. We like the place where we buy meat, produce, and any comforts. We like going to the farmer’s market once a week. Or even eat at the burgeoning restaurant selection in our little downtown. And so stay we shall!Reply
auntyutaEditHi MOL!I agree with you: Home is where the heart is. As always you make me open my eyes to a lot of things. Your comments are very stimulating. Thank you so much for stopping by!In our case it’s probably time to give away a few things which we collected over the years. We accumulated too much stuff, that’s very obvious. Don’t they say: Less is more?In September 1964 when I had just turned thirty, we moved into our first home. It was a very small cottage, newly built on our block of land. We felt we were in heaven! It was a fantastic experience for us to move into our own brand new home. We stayed in this place for the best part of thirty years. On my sixtieth birthday we moved into our present home. It is a bit larger than our first home was. We love it very much. You’re right: ‘How can one begin to part with such a place?’Now, I ask myself, how on earth can we achieve to live in a less cluttered place? When our youngest daughter has a bit of spare time, she sometimes sets herself the task to unclutter a few cupboards for us. Actually she started on that a few times. Would you believe, it never takes very long for some more clutter to take up all the empty spaces! For instance, we keep most of our old video-tapes, including an old video-player. All this takes up unnecessary room. Why is it so hard to throw the old stuff out? Most of the videos we haven’t watched for ages. Are we ever going to watch them again? Probably not. So why do we keep them?Reply
MuniraEditMay you be followed by good health, wherever you decide to go Reply
Kate KresseEditWe are going through some of the same decision processes…trying to decide whether to get a much smaller house to try to save $$. trying to downsize possessions. also trying to help my mom do the same thing when i go visit her. i can part with things a bit easier than she can. but oh my i find it almost impossible to get rid of books! I use a lot of different books with my tutoring—i have an entire shelf full of math textbooks so that I can show my students various examples and provide them with a lot of quiz and test questions. May you and your husband keep your health so that you can enjoy wherever you live.Reply
auntyutaEditSome of our books are over fifty years old. How often have we said: From now on we’re not going to buy any new books! When we pass a bookshop and there’s a good sale on, we can’t help ourselves, we have to have a look. More likely than not we end up buying some more books. On top of it we have already a collection of E-Books. I find E-Books are a good read on our frequent train-travels to Sydney. Thank you for commenting, dear Kate. Best wishes for you and your family too.Reply
Kate KresseEditAuntyuta—I know what you mean about those book sales!. We have an amazing used book bookstore one town over….about 15 miles from here….oh my son and I could spend an entire day there! And our public library has a little shop set up right off the lobby where they sell books that are excess to them. Those prices are good to begin with and a couple times a year they have big markdowns….and of course there are the Goodwill stores that have books…..sigh. I can’t help it i just love books!!! I have a kindle that has some books on it too….love to you and your hubby today—and the rest of your family too
Just now, Joe Carli from ‘freefall’ gave the above post of mine a ‘like’. I read it again and noticed that I already reblogged it on February 25, 2020 and wrote: “This post from 22 August,2013, was something I just want to have a look at again. I very much like to read some of these old blogs!”
Again I now went back to the post from 22 August, 2013. I did read the whole post again as well as all the comments to it. I very much liked doing this. All these pictures to the post I find interesting too and I want to copy them here now:
(Well, this is just a bit about the lives of Gaby and David.)
By seven o’clock this morning I was outside in our backyard to take some pictures.
The East side of our house is Body Corporate area, whereas the three other sides belong to our private area and are fenced in. Yesterday we had our family visiting. The two great-grandsons wanted me to take them to the backyard. They enjoy running around in there from one side of the house, to another one and another one and then back again. Four year old Lucas runs as quickly as he can, and two year old Alexander has fun following his big brother. It gives me great joy to see them running like this.
Caroline and Matthew were staying with us, and we had apart from Lucas and Alexander also four additional adults visiting us for afternoon coffee. Actually, our daughter Caroline had spent the whole weekend with us. Sunday night she had to fly back to Darwin. Mathew drove Caroline to the Airport in Sydney. We went along with them to farewell Caroline.By 9.30 pm we were back home again.
Caroline had purchased for us 15 small lavender plants and did clear the area that was to be planted. While Caroline was busy in the garden, Peter and I took off for a visit to the Temple. Caroline and Matthew had advised us to do this. We gladly followed this advice!
This morning, while I did some washing, Peter took to planting the whole lot along the fence on the South side. He used diluted fertilizer from our worm farm for the plants and then covered them with mulch. It turned out to be beautiful sunny, but early in the morning there was a very cool breeze which I did not like at all!
By the way, today is the wedding anniversary of Ryan and Ebony who are the parents of Lucas and Alexander.
DinaEditYou are an early riser, Uta! Lovely impressions from garden and weekend. Juicy Marmorkuchen is my alltime favourite. Reply
auntyutaEditI usually rise at about 6 o’clock, Dina. I love to rise early. Yes, this Marmorkuchen turned out well. Peter often volunteers to bake something. He has quite a bit of experience with baking.In the meantime I edited this post a bit. I did add a few more things about last weekend. Actually, I was extremely tired when we came home from the airport last night and went straight to bed.Thanks for commenting, Dina. Hope you and Co had a good weekend too. Cheers, UtaReply
catterelEditLovely! That looks a very authentic Marmorkuchen – do you have real German cake moulds, or can you get the tradition ones in Australia?Reply
auntyutaEditActually, Cat, we’ve had this cake mould (Kuchenform) for a long time. I am not sure where we bought it. Have a great weekend!Reply
auntyutaEditYes, Robert, this is exactly how we feel about it, even though we’re not expert gardeners and too often tend to neglect to work in the garden. But it gives us great joy when finally we have achieved some improvement by just putting a little bit of work into it. Reply
aussieian2011EditA beautiful homely post Uta, and a truly delightful garden, unfortunately Lavender never seems to grow for us, mainly because we can only have them in pots here, their aroma is beautiful, reminds me of my time visiting the Lavender farms in Tasmania. Peter is a great Cake master I think. Cheers.Reply
auntyutaEditWe hope in time their scent is going to dazzle us, Ian. Peter loves baking cake. He hasn’t lost his touch yet! Wishing you and Ana a great weekend. Cheers, Uta
On the 6th of October I published a post with the following message:
“Some followers keep asking, how is Peter. I am afraid to say, that Peter is very disabled now in that most days he can hardly move at all. Today, he is about to undergo some bone scans. It is very difficult for Peter to move in a way that it does not hurt too much. The painkilling tablets that he has been given so far, do not seem to help much at all. Peter has a lot of kidney trouble. A lot of water stays in the body and causes much swelling, especially in the feet and legs.”
The nuclear bone scans showed that Peter’s bone cancer has spread!
Because of some very nasty constipation Peter was admitted to hospital on the following day, Wednesday, 7th of October. On Monday, the 19th of October, he could finally come back home. A lot of alterations were being done to our home to make Peter more comfortable. We are very happy that he did not have to stay in hospital, for now it is possible that a lot of family can visit him. Our son, Martin, who lives in regional Victoria, hopefully may be allowed pretty soon to come to NSW to stay with his Dad. Martin is already extremely distressed that so far he was not allowed to travel to Dapto, not even for compassionate reasons! In a letter written by
Senior Staff Specialist Oncology & Radiotherapy, Wollongong Hospital Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Wollongong
the following was stated about Peter’s condition:
Diagnosis: metastatic carcinoma of bladder: hepatic and skeletal metastases
It says: I am writing this letter in support of Mr Hannemann who is a patient of mine suffering from terminal cancer. . . .
Today I republished some pictures that I took exactly six years ago. In 2014 Peter and I had a lovely walk on that 31st of October: