barbaraalee

Crossroads Cafe

BLee
4 years ago

An international meeting place where old friends and new come together for good conversation.

Comments (9.1K)

  • Tilly Teabag

    Thanks, Flo and all! I hope oldroo is safe, they have had smoke in Sydney for months, and now hail storms are coming there!

  • Rina

    Tilly, it's sheer heartbreak. That beautiful country, always so prone to fires of course but this is so extreme. We've heard a lot about the animals; what human losses have their been?

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  • ladma

    Tilley, good to hear from you. I’m happy to hear you and yours are safe. The stories we have been seeing in our news have been heartbreaking.

  • BLee


    Sad about devastating fires in Australia - and happy to hear that those of you who live there are managing. A great tragedy.

  • Tilly Teabag

    I forgot, electric wires and fallen electric poles can cause bushfires. There have been successful class actions (group suing) of electric companies, after bushfires. They then have done a lot of work on the supply lines, at great expense to the customers. They also turn off the electricity supply for the tiniest sparks , or wind causing trees touching the wires now. Better safe than sorry.

  • Tilly Teabag

    Rina, 29 have died so far, more than 10 million hectares have burned, more than the infamous Black Saturday in 2009. We are getting better at getting people to evacuate to safety, but worse at preventing these megafires.

  • happyleg

    Sad times

  • Rina

    That's a heck of a death toll, even if it might have been much higher.

  • Depo

    Tilly, hubby and I have been discussing your comments above. We, in California, have gone through the same thing. Fires caused by the utility companies not maintaining their lines, then making the customers pay for the destruction and rebuilding. This year, they stared shutting off power any time there was wind or high temperatures predicted. People have died who relied on medical equipment to keep them alive, but had no power to do so. This could all be avoided if the utility companies were required to bury their power lines underground. Our president says our state has poor forest management, but studies have shown that decorative non-native grasses are the problem. They are everywhere!

  • BLee

    57% of California's forests are National, not state administered. 19 million acres are managed by federal agencies.

  • licksch

    Tilly thanks for the update...I don't have television and my iPad isn't much for regular news casts. Here in Canada news of Australia is there, but you have to look for it.

    I was relieved to hear about the rain...

    Lots of info about the animals comes in to my Facebook but not much else.

    It's a very challenging and dangerous situation. I don't know what can be done for Australia in the long run.

  • glschisler

    Thank you tilly teabag for the update. 😉

  • Tilly Teabag

    Licksch, I can recommend Reuters online (free, no paywall), or BBC world news services. You can upload your preferences, if you dont want, say, sport or culture just straight news. What I like about them is they are more neutral. I like the BBC news on the radio, as they put up the German one too, in English, which also says things going on in the world, but in a different way.

    I got sick of our local news programmes only devoting mere minutes to world events.


    https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097 - the German news service Deutsche Welle.

  • Tilly Teabag

    Depo, there are many similarities between Australia and California, or Arizona, or Texas. If eucalyptus are not indigenous over there, then I recommend against them being planted outside of botanical gardens. I know they are used in California, also as they have been a trendy floristry choice for around half a decade.

    Here, we have to have them, for the koalas and other animals that evolved to rely on them, but I can’t understand people, and Shires, that plant them near houses. They go up like torches in ember attacks, throwing embers in their turn.

    With these newer (new normal) megafires, it makes no difference if there is undergrowth or not. There can be 2000centigrade + temperatures in those fires, that can generate their own weather, including lightning. Brick buildings burn down. People sheltering in concrete water tanks can die.

    I have heard a couple of good ideas recently, including the Summer extended vacation being moved to Easter or later, so that less people are holidaying in the wooded areas in Summer. That idea would take years to implement. Another is banning building in wooded areas. Now that idea has been around as long as I’ve been alive, and if anything, more people are moving to those areas, because of the high cost of housing in cities.

  • Depo

    You are right Tilly, so many similarities. The eucalyptus here were planted 100+ years ago by the railroad company so they would have wood for rail ties. Thankfully, people are waking up to the fact that non-native plants are a hazard. We have a lot of palm trees that also go up in flames within seconds of being lit. I keep begging hubby to get rid of them, but it is difficult to convince him that perfectly fine trees are a problem. Fire season used to keep me on edge, but now it’s year around.

  • Tilly Teabag

    That’s the heart of it Depo, Trump can say lack of backburning, but when is it safe to do it in the “new normal”? And you mentioned decorative grasses, I think they are very hazardous in a bushfire situation, again for catching embers or sparks. They like them here since a long drought ten years ago, and they are planted in private and public gardens, going brown part of the year. One fire in middle Sydney, near the Olympic Park (where the games were held in 2000), was started in the carpark in the decorative grasses.

  • nwduck

    Tilly, I have been remiss in checking back here after I posed a question to you. Thank you ever so much for your most informative reply and follow ups. I send my best regards to you and to all those in the way of danger, and hope lots of rain is on its way.

  • happyleg

    Still in our thoughts & prayers.

  • licksch

    Thanks for the News link! That's very useful information particularly since many news outlets are so biased as you point out. I don't really like the American outlets.

    We are getting a brief reprieve here from the subzero temperatures.

  • glschisler

    I am enjoying the warmth of Cancun!

  • licksch

    Sigh...snowing here. Hovering around 0 C. I don’t see any people on the beach. Can you swim there?

  • glschisler

    Yes swimming is allowed. 🙂 On Saturday the crowd is light because tourists are leaving the resort and new ones are checking in for the week. We got to check in at noon.😎

  • badger10

    Sorry ladies for not posting here but been so busy, what with doing things with my group and joining a gym as now I have no garden to look after ( 2.5 acre's ) I go 3 times a week for 1.5 hours and also yoga on Tuesday night for an hour, plus the odd event like the one I have just been too, which was the celebration of the Chinese new year.

    Some of you will know my love of the Chinese culture and art so this was interesting to me,,, organised in conjunction with Durham council and Durham university, parents and students all bringing together a fantastic day of music and dance and many activities for children who also performed on stage to support the celebrations, I was in awe of the students in their traditional dress and playing their traditional instruments,,, I was so impressed with the whole event.

    Having spoke to one of the organizers it turns out that the number of people attending the event was much lower then last year, he put this down to people being afraid of the virus in Wuhan in China,,,, for God's sake,, what is wrong with people so scared of something that does not exist here,,,, o.k we have 2 confirmed cases who have been isolated so this is not a problem,,,, so these people don't want to take the risk of contracting the virus,,, fair enough, but you have to understand that the students have been in the university long before this broke out plus if these people are afraid to contact others,,, who's going to do their shopping, and what about work ? its just impossible to avoid people in this country as our density is too great,,, I have to add that 9 of my group were going and all but me pulled out,,,, unbelievable and disappointing and just panicking.

    China has already got an antidote along with other country's but not allowed to use it until trials are complete and it's licence is approved, estimates recon it will take a year ???????????

    On another tragic note we have a showing of a documentary on Australia's fire's tonight so I will watch that,, probably be in floods of tears, good job I'll be on my own as my frustration, anger and bleeding heart will explode in emotion,,, god bless you all and stay safe.

    BLee thanked badger10
  • licksch

    Yes, Badger,mI have read of this illogical response and bias towards Chinese! Good grief. How illogical. Sounds like a lovely evening, I am glad you went. Movies on fires I couldn't do. Just too horrifying.

    I am getting several days off in a row from childcare helping my OS and DIL with newborn. Good to get some rest, the toddler wears me out!

    Shadow the cat is still pretty feral...10 pm he heads out the door. At some point during the night he comes in and wakes me though then settles till AM.

  • BLee

    The fires rage on ... prayers sent daily ... also for those suffering from this malevolent virus.


    My news is sad. My 84 year old brother Tom is hospitalized with kidney failure. I visit tomorrow, then the IV is disconnected at his request and his doctor predicts he will simply fall asleep. He is at peace, believing he is to be reunited with his beloved wife. I feel sorrow but accept that he is ready to let go.

  • happyleg

    Sorry to hear you news BLE E

    BLee thanked happyleg
  • ladma

    Blee, sending prayers for strength. 🙏

    BLee thanked ladma
  • happyleg

    Oh my God Jean Badger About China and of course the fires Good for you on yoga

  • happyleg

    Shadow is so pretty nice assessor I for the bed

  • badger10

    ,oh Blee I am so sorry

    BLee thanked badger10
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    Blee. My hubby and I have been seeing sad situations everywhere. We wish your brother peace and love. We believe he will be healed when he passes over. 84 is wonderful life. God bless you and everyone who stands with you at this time.

    BLee thanked Flo Mangan
  • samoken

    Thoughts and prayers are with you Blee.

    BLee thanked samoken
  • glschisler

    Yes Blee, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    BLee thanked glschisler
  • glschisler

    Badger, I am glad the Chinese New Year Celebration was enjoyable. My BIL is Chinese-American, and we always have a fun time celebrating the culture.

  • glschisler

    We are at our Cancun Mexico timeshare for 2 weeks. Yesterday we went on an all day tour to Chichen Itza to see the ruins and how things have changed since we first visited in 1988. The ruins are roped off and one can no longer climb to the top of the temple or climb the inside stairs to the altar, as we did in 1988. Restoration is occurring on several of the buildings. Sadly, they have allowed craft vendors inside along the walking paths. On the plus side, they now have an area where one can buy drinks and food. Back in 1988, no one warned us to bring drinks & snacks for a 12 hour day. :p But we enjoyed our trip yesterday.

  • badger10

    WOW that trip sounds interesting , Mexico is not a country I have ever thought of visiting.

    I was invited, with the twist of my arm, by a female friend to go jogging last night and was greeted by 20 odd people when I arrived, so welcoming, lovely people who stayed with me as we toured the area, last time I ran was when I was 30 something, I managed 2 miles, at the end I was knackered, and when I woke up this morning my thighs ached, at lunch time I received another invite to run around a professional track 1,000 metres and managed 10 laps, ohhh my legs ach now, but boy do I feel good and energised, and what with my gym and yoga I really feel it's doing me good


  • licksch

    Thinking of you, and your brother, BLee.

    Badger... don’t overdo it! Seriously. You need to take any increase in physical activity slowly as good as it may feel to kick up your heels, you also do not want to injure yourself.

    BLee thanked licksch
  • nwduck

    BLee, sorry to hear about your brother. Hugs to you.

    BLee thanked nwduck
  • glschisler

    Badger, my legs hurt just reading what you ran. We do good to get our 30 minutes of walking without huffing and puffing. But we are trying to increase the distance each time. ;) Up to 1.5 miles so far. :p

  • glschisler

    Blee, how are you? <3

  • Rina

    BLee, I've been away this week and have only seen the news about your brother's passing now. I am so sorry you are going through that.

  • janbhan

    Blee, sorry to hear about your brother. But it must be a relief to know he is at rest now. It is hard to lose a sibling.

    D1 makes steady progress, and her doctors were pleased with the way she has healed. She took an extra week off from work and headed out to her little farm in the hills. Next week I guess she will start medication, but we have a friend's 90th birthday coming up so she wants to delay radiation till after the party.

    I went for another hearing assessment, as my current hearing aids don't really work for me. Sound is still fuzzy and music sounds terrible. My ENT doctor wants me to try bone conduction devices, but my god they are so expensive. I told my daughter I would have to stop things like holidays and jewelry for a few years! I am not keen to do the implant, but then the option is a hippie-looking headband or a geeky headset. However I did find one company online that does an adhesive patch that holds the processor behind the ear. Using the headset I found the improvement in sound (though a bit tinny) was impressive. They say the implant gives very good results, but I have reservations about it, it looks really clunky, and I will have to grow my short hair quite a bit to cover it. I do not want to look like Bionic Woman! However the company doesn't operate in India, I would have to make trips to England to have it fitted and then serviced. Well, let's see. It might be worth it! Currently shopping on my own is hard because I have days when I cant understand what people say. Sound is there, but unintelligible. I really do need that fabulously expensive device.

    Mumbai continues to be foggy, sometimes cool, lately warming up and becoming humid. I keep the windows shut most of the time because of the pollution, and have invested in an air purifier which I run next to my bed at night. I also bought a small but powerful hand held vacuum cleaner, because with all the construction around us there is a lot of dust. Also fluff just seems to multiply.. Where it comes from I have no clue, but it is everywhere. Since vacuuming the books and the cupboards and under the bed, and the carpets, and behind the dressing table (which was positively furry!) things have been less fluffy and my allergy has diminished. I did hope that with reduced allergy my hearing might improve, but it hasn't. I just sneeze less!

    More later, I am still trying to clear those boxes of papers!

  • BLee

    A second trip to Eugene to visit brother in Hospice facility - predictably, the nurses pamper him. He is on oxygen and tends to drift off to sleep but is kept comfortable. I'll be down again on Monday; he has asked for jigsaw puzzles and I have some that are just 8"x11" so will fit nicely on the table that extends over his bed. In the facility grounds the plum trees are blooming despite the continuing cold weather.


    Here Spring is peeking through the drizzle ... swollen buds on the outside-the-window maple trees and during a recent trip to the post office I walked through a traffic free passage way with 2 rows of smallish trees with a few white blossoms, heavy with more to come - not sure what they are so will make a trip back there next dry spell. Nights are still chilly but when the sun comes out it is quite pleasant with a jacket and scarf. Weather though is so peculiar that we may have more wintery days ahead.


    Magpie has "perfect" thyroid levels now that meds have taken full effects and while there are still signs of kidney problems she's much improved doesn't need any special foods or treatment. Relief!

  • badger10

    BLEE, so lucky to see blossom, we are being battered by storms with loads of rain and floods,, sorry Australia,,,

    Happy to hear Magpie is on the road to recovery.

  • ladma

    Badger, I was thinking of you when I saw the reports of the bomb cyclone that hit England. Are you in danger of flooding?
    Blee, continued prayers for your brother.

  • badger10

    Thanks ladma had, I am o.k, on top of a high hill, we seem to be in a micro climate here as we have had 3 major storms around us with a lot of flooding and damage but we have been spared, just windy and rain thank God


  • glschisler

    That is good news about Magpie!

  • glschisler

    Yes Badger! I just read online about that storms in England. Good to know you are ok. we are Back home from our two week vacation in Cancun. Today was a very rainy day at 51°. But the four of us went to the theater to see the play Cats. The dancing was amazing, and I can’t believe they seen while they dance! We girls went to lunch before the play. So even though it was a rainy day, we had a lovely day.

  • Tilly Teabag

    Blee, I’m so sorry to hear you are losing your brother. It is never easy, but you have your Houzzer family here to support you.


    For those travelling, I saw this.


    Clever travel tips:


    https://www.bhg.com.au/genius-hotel-room-hacks

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