Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Why I dont want my husband to come home

So I talked to The Husband this morning and he said they will take the wound drain out today and that after that he can go home. Which he is really excited about, and would be fine, if he wasn’t confused as hell (keeps forgetting where he is) from the medication, can only walk a few steps with great pain, not to mention he hasn’t eaten a solid meal yet, let alone had a bowel movement AND he still has a catheter in which has to stay in for another 3 days.  
The (major)surgery was Monday morning– I live an hour and a half from the hospital along crappy country roads, and technically another state which means we are not entitled to home care of any kind and it is a freaking long way if anything goes wrong.
How the fuck does one change/remove a catheter?? I have no idea, I am NOT a nurse.
To abate the confusion he reckons he can stop taking the drugs (oxycontin & endone) he stopped the morphine just yesterday arvo. This leaves him with panadol. Now he’s no wuss but panadol? Three days after having major abdo surgery. What if it doesn’t cut it? Once he stops the other stuff then that’s it. He is stuck without it.
So I’m shitting myself as much as I want him home, I want him home when I know he can eat, use a toilet and can take more than 3 steps – it’s at least 50 meters from the closest spot I can park the car to the house – I can’t catch him if he falls, let alone pick him up again. Plus I have to be able to leave him alone in the house while I ferry the kids about.
Sorry about the vent, just scared really, I really miss him but I don’t want anything to happen and I have very little faith in the system right now. I will talk to the doctor when I get there and explain out situation, I just hope hubby doesn't hate me for not wanting him home just yet.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Under the knife

image credit
I sit up on the half empty bed, the left side lays cold and forgotten it suddenly feels so much bigger than it used to. In 10 years I have never slept in the bed without him.
The surgery went well. It lasted 4.5 hours and left him now with a single but very healthy kidney and missing a small portion of his bladder. He has two drains, a catheter, oxygen and two IV’s not to mention a scar the envy of pirates everywhere.
It’s amazing how the night time can be filled with noises you have never heard before when void of snoring from the other side of the bed, the septic usually un-noticeable now sounds as though somebody with a pair of gumboots and a good puddle is dancing outside the window.
The doctor is hopeful that he should be able to come home this week, his ob’s are great and he recovered from the anesthesia in record time. His pain is low too thank goodness but he is doped up to the eyeballs so we will have to wait and see how he copes as the morphine is stepped down.
I think I quite like him on morphine, he repeatedly declared his undying love for me and called himself the luckiest man in the world. As flattered as I am, in the giddy state I left him in, he has probably since told each of the nurses and the 80yr old farting man in the next cubicle the exact same thing.
So if I don’t get murdered by whatever that thing is making growling noises in the distance, I will drive back to the big smoke and sit by his bedside tomorrow, hopefully the night hasn’t brought any challenges and I will have a slightly less spaced out version of my husband, I don't know how much longer I can cope with that much love.
Onwards & Upwards.  

Monday, 7 November 2011

One Phone Call


The view stretches out through the trees, over the horizon and onto the oblivion beyond.
 Villain plays in the background and I am taken back to that concert back in 2000 where the barefooted man placed a gift into my hand, long ago now but a moment burned into my mind, insignificant for me, but a life changing one for him, funny how that happens.
It was 2001; I sat crossed legged on the kitchen bench with the newspaper in front of me and the phone in my hand. It was so damn depressing, I had been searching for weeks for a place to rent, any place. But nobody wanted me, I had quite a lot of animals that I had to bring and nobody trusted my age.
I glanced up at my grandmother sitting in a chair nearby, with her disapproving eyes and her mouth moving in and out rythmatically like some sort of hyped up goldfish, the way it always did when she was annoyed.
I had to get out.
There was one last ad at the bottom of the page, a share house with 3 blokes, the room rent was comparable and the location was right on the bus route. Ok Deep breath. I dialled the numbers.
A man answered; hi I’m ringing about the ad for a room? I stuttered nervously, Oh yes.... came the reply and then I lost it and just blurted out. “ Look, I will give it to you straight because you won’t want me living there anyway, I have a dog, a cat, a 4ft fish tank, a frog tank a bird and a rabbit.... and I’m only 16... BUT I work full time and I can pay the rent....”
There was a deathly silence and I blinked back a tear for a moment knowing that I had just reduced any chance to ashes. Suddenly there was a laugh from the other end of the phone, “Well you can come over for a look, but does your dog get along with other dogs? Cause there are three here already...” I nearly fell off the bench.
There were 2 cars and a Ute parked in the driveway as I arrived the next day at a rather nice brick home complete with massive yard and veranda sweeping along the front.
 I knocked on the door and a bloke about 20 something with curly brown hair spilling out the sides of his baseball cap opened it, ”oh” he said as he looked me up and down made a kind of grunting noise and walked off.
Charming.
I was left standing on the step not sure if I was invited in or not and waited there about a minute or so before a big burley man of around 50 came to the door all smiles, he introduced himself, showed me around and after a bit of a chat offered me the room. I was to move in on the weekend.
As I was leaving he introduced me to one of the guys living there who seemed really nice and pointed out another who was on top of the pergola out the back hammering something – it was the rude bloke from the door, I had kinda hoped he was just a tradesman and not actually living there. Oh well beggars can’t be choosers.
I moved in, time passed and I actually got to know the rude bloke from the door that day, turns out he was pretty nice guy and we became firm friends until I eventually dumped my boyfriend and we made it official. That was 10 years and 4 kids ago and now I couldn’t imagine life without him.
The paths we take, the road we choose to follow its strange how it all comes together just so. Imagine if you hadn’t taken the bus that day? Filled the car at the other petrol station? I know if I hadn’t made that one phone call things would be very different right now, strange how such insignificant actions can change the entire course of our lives.
Has a seemingly small thing ended up changing your life?
How did you meet your partner?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

My whole truth

I was the fat kid growing up, and my peers delighted in informing me of such at every possible opportunity. I tried to change,
I tried SO hard.
But failure after failure, I hated sport and I hated being teased and when I felt sad the mars bars didn’t tease me, so from about year three I had the skill of comfort eating down to a fine art.
By the time I reached age 15 the teasing had reached epic proportions and so had my weight. I was 75kg and quite short, I hit breaking point and decided to do something about it, the world wanted me to lose weight so lose weight I would.

Around 3 months later I weighed in at 55kgs and I did 500 sit ups in the morning and 500 at night. The teasing continued fatty boombah, thunder thighs and the like – god these people were so hard to please.
But I had to please them.
So I didn’t eat over 10 calories per day and even then I had to run or walk them off ASAP I had to be in minus calories, I couldn’t swim them off though - I was far too fat to be seen dead in a bathing suit. More sit ups.
42kgs.
I was a vegetarian so I did all my own cooking and became an expert in eating two bites and hiding the rest in the compost bin, a little bit under the top layer so nobody could see. Lying became second nature and I wouldn’t cook anything in the kitchen when my mother was in there because I was terrified she would poison me by adding oil or butter to my foods.
She didn’t understand how important it was for me to be thin. I HAD to be thin.
Mid way through year 10 I was expertly maintaining my 42kg frame, by not eating and lots of walking even though it was getting harder to run because I would pass out so easily – oh well no pain no gain they always say.
I had a steady group of genuine friends, but I didn’t care that they didn’t think I was fat, because they were real friends I naturally assumed they were lying to me to make me feel better. But I found one friend through all this, who was just like me – a little bit fucked up and desperate to lose weight.
 I egged her on, I showed her how to lie to parents and friends to make it appear you are eating when you aren’t, I taught her how to count calories and how to push past the exhaustion point when you are exercising.
 She hit 39kg and over took me, she HAD to over take me she was competing, and I started to realise what was happening as we tried on clothes in Supre one day and they were all miles to big for her.
 She ended up in the hospital I had always managed to evade through my lies and empty promises. A drip up her nose force feeding her as she screamed.
 I will never forgive myself for what I did to her.
She has been in and out of hospitals with mental health issues ever since, if you are a regular reader you will have seen my posts about her.
When I went to school one day shortly after my friend was hospitalized, a kid who had teased me mercilessly since year 7 called me a 'skinny bitch' and 'why don’t I go eat something?'.
I got so angry about how I had lost all this weight to please them and maybe gain their friendship and they didnt even care that I ended up getting into a fight with a different kid that afternoon when she put grass down another friend’s top, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back I guess. I punched her in the face and never went back to school.
 Ever.
The place where I was working casually on weekends took me on full time and about 6 months later I moved out of home, by that time I had gained a little bit of weight and was around a size 7-8, I didn’t like it but it no longer occupied every thought. I met the man I am now married to and have since gained and lost weight fairly yo-yo style, but I have had 4 kids in that time too.
I still think about my weight, but I will eat the profiteroles on offer and my desire to have less Mc Donald’s is more related to the health benefits than the fat grams themselves. I haven’t owned a set of scales for around 5 years and I prefer it that way, it doesn’t let me dwell.
I am so thankful to have a wonderful husband who loves me for who I am, has never tried to change me and never will. I am lucky that it all worked out for me and I escaped the cycle that so many people live in everyday.
I wrote this as posts related to school yard bullying and its lasting effect have been floating round the blogosphere the last few days “madam bipolar” & “the things I’d tell you” to name a few.
While I don’t blame the kids that teased me for what happened and I know that I had choices, I do feel that the long term impact of bullying is often underestimated and it’s a topic that needs more awareness.  
Have you been impacted by bullying?

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Broken Chair

This chair is symbolic of my life

A little bit damaged, tentatively mended but still capable of holding together all by itself. Until somebody pushes it a little bit too hard and its pieces fall to the floor,
Broken.

The pieces of my life, like the pieces of the chair have been picked up again and again.


Gently put back into the right places by the people who care.


While my fragility has mostly passed through that time that supposedly heals all wounds, I have been glued back together to make me stronger and I know that my family will once again pick up my pieces and re-build me should I ever come unstuck.

Just like the chair.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

BECAUSE I SAID SO!

That's why.

"Why do I have to rinse the sand off before I get in the car?"

As far as I'm concerned, this is a necessary tactic to ensure mental health and well being in the parent. It is also one that my grandmother used with her three daughters -alot, and as a direct result of this my mother learned to hate it passionately and never once said it to me.

Mum says she always felt like she was owed an explanation why as a child, that children should understand the reasoning behind an explanation if they were expected to learn and vowed to always explain things for her children.
So here is an example of the type of conversation she will willingly partake in with my kids:

Why cant we give the fish a milkshake?
Because it will die.
Why will it die?
Because it makes the water yukky.
Why does it make the water yukky?
Because its a milkshake and fish don't drink milkshakes.
Why don't fish drink milkshakes?
Because there are no cows in the ocean
Why arn't there cows in the ocean?
Because they cant swim.
Why not?

And so on.
This is why I prefer my grandmothers method.

Why cant I give the fish a milkshake?
Because I said so!!

Conversation over. I agree explanations have their place, but not in great detail to a two year old.
I am starting to think my mothers issue with over explanation is probably why she only ever had one kid, imagine putting up with that everyday!

No thank you.

Do you explain every little detail to your kids or are you a "Because I Said So" parent too?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My Secret Life as a 'Stuff ' Whore


Well I probably shouldn’t post about this sort of thing as not only will it block my inbox with spam, but husbands everywhere might become aware of the little secret many wives are hiding from them.
The art of getting what we want out of our marriages, aside from love and happiness of course.  
They always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but unfortunately I was not blessed in the ability to cook department so I have to fall back on my other talents, and I discovered the sure fire way to win any argument or convince the need of any purchase.
Sexual favours.
The degree of the favour has a direct impact on the size of the request, and I can’t stress the importance of pretending to dislike certain things more than you really do and holding them back accordingly, or you will have nowhere left to go when it’s time to call in the big guns.
Also a little internet research can really help improve your technique and thus make your trade-offs more valuable. This little tactic has gotten me everything from plants for the garden to a new car and a new kitchen.  
Yes, I’m a stuff whore. Sure it’s not exactly romantic, but hey, it hurts nobody - a win-win situation really, and by the time your other half cottons on to what is really going on, it is too late. Their needs are too great and all of a sudden you lie down to go to sleep one night and you get asked if you want to get that new Thermomix you have been eyeing off...
Game On.
10 yrs on, The Husband seems to have finally figured out a way to get back on top, so to speak.
 He has learned to frequently argue my opinions for no reason at all when I am obviously right, such as when I say the new clothes line needs to go in a certain spot because it is the most asthetic and practical place for it, but he says “nope its gotta go over there” which is right in full view of half the windows of the house and in the shade where nothing will ever dry.
 He then refuses to install said clothes line unless it goes where HE wants it until I start my little game with him and he is “convinced”.
Now I am the one being played.
In fact sadly for me, while we are renovating and I am the one with the particular wants in design and colour scheme and he is the one with the skills to achieve my dreams, he pretty much has me by my metaphorical balls and he knows it.
But I don’t really mind, I get my way – he gets his and after many years of marriage and 4 kids we still have an awesome sex life.
So admit it, are you a stuff whore too?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Jack


There has been much chatter among friends and townsfolk about the old man (We will call him Jack) who lived here before we did. When old Jack passed away, it was revealed  that he had infact been living a bit of a double life.

Old Jack had told his friends and neighbours that his wife, the love of his life had died years earlier and that his two sons had grown up and moved away and this was what had prompted his move from an affluent area of Sydney to the 100acre bush block in tiny town. "A place to get away from the rush of the city".


Jack missed his wife very much and often told people how they used to go dancing together each week, he told them about his boys and their antics as they had grown and of the things he planned to do for them with all his money.

One day Jack fell ill, and his best mate Tom drove him to the hospital, it was cancer and Jack sadly passed away a few days later. After his death, Jacks sister arrived and met Tom and they cried on each others shoulders for their loss.
Tom asked Jacks sister if she had contacted his boys yet as they needed to know and he didnt have their phone numbers.

That was when everything came undone. After some shock from both parties, it was revealed that Jack did not have any children, infact he had never been married at all. He was simply a pensioner and a loner with some odd habits who had escaped his demons and the city.

For 10 years, Jack had lied to his best mate and all of tiny town about his entire life.


Of course in a small rural community such revelations inspire much gossip and the big question of WHY? has been filled with speculations regarding his mental health, his sexuality, and of course the fabled existence or whereabouts of Jacks supposed buried millions.

As I pluck the infinate weeds from my gardens and the surrounding bushland, one of them is let to grow and bloom then another...

Opium Poppies.

Sprouting from every available gap in the ground, hundreds of them.
Perhaps his double life was in the drug trade and we will oneday recover 'Jacks Millions'? 
All those mysterious trips back to Sydney to see the sons he never had...


Or perhaps, it was all just a load of poppy cock.

Monday, 24 October 2011

How not to apply for a job

To whom it may concern,
I am applying for this/any job within the Australian Government as I am growing restless in my current position as Minister for Domestic Affairs and feel that I could take a nice cushy position within your office that does not involve removing food, spew or faecal matter from hard to clean places on a daily basis with the bonus of getting paid for it. I have included my application as follows:
NAME: Suzi Home-maker
DOB: Classified, as it is rude to ask a lady her age.
Selection Criteria 1

Supports Strategic Direction:
- Thinks strategically and contributes to organisational purpose and direction.
- Keeps self and others informed and contributes to planning and decision making.
- Shows judgement, intelligence and commonsense.

Upon the discovery of my two year old finger painting in his own faecal matter I demonstrated strategic thinking by turning a blind eye, closing the door and telling the husband that I quickly had to pop to the shops and I think the baby might be waking up can he please check for me? Then I proceeded to jump in the car and drive away as quickly as possible.
I then waited approx 10 minutes before phoning The Husband and asking him if we needed coffee, I remained calm and collected while he informed me of the rather nasty situation unfolding in the toddler’s bedroom and I proceeded to plan with, and advise him of some appropriate methods of cleaning such an unexpected mess. Demonstrating commonsense, I also informed him that I would return with some Pine O Clean to comply with expected health and safety standards of the household.
Selection Criteria 2

Achieves Results:
- Is flexible and adaptable to changing work requirements.
- Performs under direction and works independently within agreed priorities.

When pregnant and subsequently breastfeeding, I demonstrated flexibility and dedication by giving up drinking my daily margaritas and using more cost effective laundry detergent to comply with the increased demands on my body and washing machine.

Whilst in labour with my second child, I complied with my Midwifes direction to push and breathe with the agreed priority of getting the damn baby out ASAP. We continued this until the desired result was achieved when I independently pushed the damn baby out.

Upon the arrival of said baby I quickly adapted to my new role as Mother of Two and domestic goddess extroidonaire, despite fact that the workplace environment had changed dramatically and my previous workload was to be effectively doubled.


Selection Criteria 3

Supports Productive Working Relationships:
- Seeks opportunities for learning and applies new knowledge in the workplace 
- Actively participates as a team member. 
-Shares ideas and information and seeks guidance from others.
In my workplace (home) I actively seek opportunities that will keep the children out of my hair by scouring catalogues and internet websites looking for new toys/games/entertainment. I then purchase said items and use some ideas shared from mothers group and trade their use for labour such as folding the clothes for mummy, thus teaching the children valuable life skills and most importantly, getting me out of folding the clothes.
As a parent I am of course a member of a “team”, I actively participate in the role of dragging up our four children, my participation includes but is not limited to preparing all meals for the children, washing blood, mud and food scraps from the clothes, dishes and children. Driving those four fighting children to school/soccer/bus/play dates and cleaning the house and tending to the garden all with a big smile on my face. My husband shared with me that he plays his part in the team by attending paid work.
I am applying this new knowledge to my current workplace by reducing my hours to overnight and weekends only and seeking paid work in the wider community while my husband takes over my previous role.

Selection Criteria 4

Displays Personal Drive and Integrity:
- Displays high ethical and professional standards and practices in all aspects of work.
- Enthusiastically accepts tasks and initiates action.
- Is committed and focused on work outcomes.

My role as mother creates many different responsibilities, in this particular criterion I would like to address my commitment to presenting the children at the bus stop on time each morning.
This is a role I take very seriously, and I am focused on getting those little minds out the door as soon as possible so that they can arrive at school early and thus achieve their true educational potential.
I then return to the workplace (home) promptly due to my high ethical standards. I even choose to drink my coffee on the job rather than taking a break while I scour the internet and catalogues for items in which to bribe the children into silence with when they later return home. 

Thank you for considering my application, I hope to hear from you very soon, or at least before this current Zanex perscription runs out!
Cheers,
Suzi 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday Life Lessons

Good morning bloggers, it’s Sunday and I am too lazy to do a proper post, so I thought I would share a few of life’s little lessons that I have learned this week.
It turns out that water is the difference between flowers growing, or not.

·         I have learned that if you leave apple & black current juice in the fridge for too long, it turns to wine.
·         I have also learned that I am not above drinking it.
·         Don’t try to lose weight when your husband is trying to give up smoking, as you are destined to eat twice your weight in sugar and saturated fats each day in an attempt to combat his cravings.
·         Try not to drink too much fermented apple and black current juice the day before you have to work, the hangover is equivalent to being hit by one of tiny towns large freight trains.
·         When eating potato cakes, dripping in fat and smothered in sauce to appease your husband, you are bound to drop one on your nice clean new white shirt.
·         Septic Safe Laundry powders are as totally incapable of removing tomato sauce stains as the septic safe dishwashing tablets are at cleaning dishes.

So, what have you learned this week?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Just try not to get sick


Please excuse the following rant, but the health care system has done little to fill me with confidence over recent months. I don’t know if it is purely a case of limited staff and funding that cause these constant little errors, small oversights and a general care free attitude from the medical profession towards the people coming in and out of their hospitals and offices.
When exactly did it stop being about the patients?
I suppose for the poor doctors and nurses who as children decided they wanted to grow up and ‘help people’, they are now stuck on the front line, over worked and under paid facing the cold reality of doing their job to the best of the budget rather than the best of their ability.
 My dad had a mini stroke on Monday, they call them TIA’s. These scare the crap out of your family but don’t leave you with long lasting damage. At least that’s what they hope it was but we will only find out for sure if he now goes on to have a major one, apparently that usually would happen within 48hrs if it’s going to.
This diagnosis was made purely off the presenting symptoms such as inability to make any facial expression, raise arms and total disorientation, nothing Dr Google couldn’t tell us. They were going to run scans but it turned out to be unaffordable for the hospital, and there was also no budget for a hospital bed for 48hrs to make sure that a major stroke didn’t follow, so as soon as he could remember what day it was they sent him home with a note for his GP.
Best of luck sir, please come back straight away if you wake up dead. Oh Great.
So coupled with the not so wonderful experiences that fellow bloggers and many of my friends & family have had with the health care system of late, and the knowlege that I have to trust the system with my Husband when he has his kidney op, my faith has all but disappeared.
  I am also waiting on news from my neighbour who today finds out if the now massive tumour on her carotid artery is malignant or not, hopefully they won’t lose these results and delay the process any further like they did with her last ones...
Can you imagine a world without cancer, it’s a nice thought, hey?
Now imagine it from the perspective of a major drug company executive, think how many dollars would be lost if there was no need for Chemotherapy let alone all the other drugs they supply the masses to counteract the horrible side effects of the first one. It doesn’t paint such a rosy picture for them, its not a financially viable option.
Perhaps one of those big drug companies will one day just fess up that they cured cancer long ago, stop trying to line their pockets and start doing the right thing for the people, then we can begin to get back on track.
Have you or someone you know been messed around by the Health System?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Awards and people who deserve them more than I do


Well how lucky am I? I have been given a Versitile Blogger Award!
Although I am not really a worthy candidate, I have actually been given 3  ( you guys are so sweet)– but typical me is only getting around to thanking my lovely awarders now.
So without further ado I would like to thank the lovely Janelle from ‘Me & Mia’, E. From ‘Whining at the World’ and Lene from ‘Musings of Another Mother’ for this honour. All wonderful blogs and well worth adding to your reading list!
This is one of those awards that dictates me to tell you guys 7 things about myself you don’t already know...  Ok here goes:
1.       Due to my apparently deprived childhood, I have never seen a single episode of the Smurfs nor have I watched Mary Poppins and I only saw Star Wars for the first time last year – this is apparently abnormal and a problem to most people.

2.       I am absolutely terrified of dentists, the last time I went was when I was 11 and I plan to keep it that way. – However I am a hypocrite and make the kids go every year.

3.       I don’t drink alcohol. At all.

4.       I have worked in a pet shop most of my life – and before you get all animal rights activist on me, we are one of the good ones who actually CARE about the animals and I am never afraid to refuse sale of a pet to someone I don’t think will be a worthy owner.

5.       I was a teenage mother (gasp!) and I have a very special hatered towards those who judge people without full understanding of their circumstances.

6.   I have trouble finishing what I start.
7.        

 I would also like to share the love and nominate 13 truly awesome blogs for this prestigious award, even though many probably already have it:
DAISY ROO & TWO:  Ms Daisy mother of Roo (& Two) has proven herself an amazing writer, capturing the hearts and minds of many readers around the world as she tells us personal tales of her life as a wife and mother, her posts are always enjoyable, often funny, sometimes sad and her proven versatility as a blogger more than qualifies her for this award.  
INK PAPER PEN:  I am quite certain that Gill has had this award bestowed upon her before, probably multiple times, but I would like to throw it at her again anyhow. Gill is the brain child behind Write On Wednesdays, an online writers group that lets us have fun, challenge ourselves and learn new tactics to improve our writing skills each week. Anyone can join in W.O.W just head over to Ink Paper Pen for the weekly brief and linky yourself up!
MEANINGLESS MEANDERINGS OF A MAD MOTHER: Mad Mother is mother to two gorgeous boys (Boy 1 & Boy 2)  Boy 1 being on the Autism spectrum, we share in the families challenges and joy, as adversity is overcome and her stories are a constant reminder of the important things in life. With a very clear talent in writing, the inspiration Mad Mother sends out through her words is a gift to all of her readers.
CANDYS FAMILY: Now Candy is one amazing lady, police women turned fulltime mother and proud Goulburn resident she tells us tales of the ups and downs of her life, always with the ability to make us laugh as she wrangles seven (count em 7!) beautiful children, three of whom are on the Autism Spectrum.
THE HOUSE THAT A-M BUILT: Anne Marie is a lady of incredible strength, sharing with her readers images of beauty and tales of amazing personal courage as she raises her two beautiful sons. She designed and built a beautiful house (the envy of many) and now having had a complete change of life circumstances over the last 12 months not only has she has braved the odds and come through shining, she has repeatedly used her blog to help out the less fortunate along the way.
MY LITTLE DRUMMER BOYS: Have you ever dreamed of touring around our beautiful sunburnt land in a caravan? Well right now we can all live vocariously through Trish’s stunning photography and fun stories as she and her gorgeous family tour around Australia.
BABY MAC: While I am quite certain Beth has had this award somewhere amongst many others in her blogger trophy cabinet, I would like to send it out again as I have only recently discovered her blog!  A talented photographer Beth takes us on a tour of her life in a small Australian town through beautiful images and hilarious, fun and often thought provoking words. Baby Mac is a refreshingly honest and very versatile blog to read.
EDENLAND: A lady who needs no introduction and possibly the most well known blogger in the southern hemisphere, Eden Riley has inspired everyone who has every read her. We have cried, laughed and dreamed right along with her and her amazing family as she tells us in unbroken honesty of the lessons life has thrown at her.  Eden makes the rest of us better people through her writing, she truly is a versatile blogger.
WHERES MY GLOW? ‘Glowie’ as she is fondly known by her followers, despite her moniker is certainly not lacking in the glow department, a despiser of poor grammar and spelling and mother of beautiful son ‘Tricky’ her posts are always a joyful read. From her amusing ability to re-sub title famous film clips to her devotion to blog-flogging Glowless has certainly become one of the shining beacons of the blogging world.
MAXABELLA LOVES: Inspirational till the end and always a versatile blogger, mother of three Maxabella is the person who has taught us all to be grateful for the small things. Blogging about life in general and the home/work balance, her words have a unique way of getting us thinking. Maxabella is also the most amazing party planning person you have ever seen, the photos of some of her events will blow your mind!
MY BIG NUTSHELL: Fairly new to the Blogging scene, in fact with less than a year under her belt Gemma has been a welcome and popular face in the blogosphere, her matter of fact take on life gets you thinking, and frequently laughing. Despite claiming to be “teetering on the edge of insanity’ Gemma is one very real and down to earth lady who’s blog is a pleasure to read.
KEEP CATE BUSY: Cate is at the very end of her 365 days of her inspirational goal to do one thing a day for a year that fills her life with joy, meaning and pride and despite her recent personal battles this mother of three has done an amazing job at it! Well done Cate, thank you for sharing your life with us and I bestow upon you another Versatile Blogger Award for your continued commitment to inspiring yourself and others.
MADAM BI POLAR: Well we all know Saw-hole as 'Woogsworld' staff member extroidonaire but she has now begun her own blog "Madam Bi Polar", a more serious tone in which she discusses her own struggles and triumphs with Bipolar Disorder. A truly inspirational read that offers insight into a world you may know nothing about or be all too familiar with.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Healing Hands

This is kind of a recount of something special I witnessed when visiting my friend in the mental health unit the other day....

Healing Hands

The daisies underneath the weeping willow were closing as the shadows of nightime began to fall outside the window of the tiny room.

Amongst the dust and grandmotherly chairs, an old wooden piano stood out, its beauty finally brought to life after waiting patiently in the same spot for years with nothing for company but the old grandfather clock.

Music echoed through the hallways, beatiful enchanting music - And they came.

Like rat's to the pied piper, the people had followed and soon the doorway was filled with an audience of the scared the overwhelmed and the lonely.

Brought together in this moment, they had gathered with unanimous awe for the young man sitting at the old piano, playing without written notes to reflect upon.

A small bead of sweat ran down the dark skin of the young doctor as his fingers hit the keys, the passion he felt through his semi closed eyes radiated to the world around him, and people wondered aloud if perhaps he had missed his true calling.

A wave of calm and serenity washed over the unlikely audience and they were one, the failings of life temporarily forgotten.

The music stopped suddenly and the young doctor arose from his chair, momentarily embarrassed by his onlookers, he smiled and walked out of the room quickly, his healing hands had other work to do.


Do you sometimes find beauty in unexpected places?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Chance for New Beginnings


The rain pelted down heavily as I searched for the entrance, damn I must have missed it. I kept driving straight for a while squinting through the twighlight and fog on my windscreen for a safe place to turn around. I hate driving in unfamiliar areas, particularly in these conditions and even more so for the reasons I was going there.
I found my turn and proceeded to work my way through the maze of cars until I found a car park comfortably close to the building but solitary all the same.
I put on the hand brake and reviewed the text message sitting open on my phone for a minute, ‘Hey, don’t freak out but I’m in the hospital...’ I closed my eyes for a second took a deep breath and got out of the car.
I was prepared to make the mad dash through the rain, but it forgivingly turned to drizzle as I headed towards the big red EMERGANCY sign appearing to flash in the halo of glare that had formed around it. I entered the door to the right, as I had been instructed and was greeted by a labyrinth of shiny corridors.
I approached a desk towards the end with a middle aged blonde women sitting behind it, ‘2N?’ I enquired nervously ‘Through those doors love’ she smiled back warmly. The heavy double wooden doors loomed ominously ahead, the words ‘Mental Health’ written in a matter of fact manner on the front. Another deep breath.
The world through those wooden doors was a busy one, it was dinner time and the clanking of the trays on metal carts an ever present reminder of your surroundings, any thoughts that it could be a regular hospital ward were slightly overshadowed by the people.
They looked lost, the people- it struck me that most of them were men. One was sitting against a wall staring into space, another walking around talking and laughing to people only he could see. It felt very revealing being there, like I was exposed somehow, intruding into their secret pain.
A nurse found my friend for me, she was sitting in the courtyard smoking, looking weary, but kind of peaceful and a damn sight better than the last time this had happened that’s for sure. We made our pleasantries as we do when we don’t know quite what to say to each other. She motioned me to sit in the covered area and she went to get us coffee.
 The setting was very different to inside, calm, healing – fitting, I suppose.  I could see why she preferred it.
Wind chimes and mosaic sculptures hung from the trees twirling hypnotically in the breeze, the small garden beds filled with lavender and herbs mixed aromatically with the smell of the rain. Bamboo screens sheltered the area from the visual noise of the car park but the streetlights still shone down, bright yet peaceful, their light reflecting gently off the leaves of Large Japanese Maples.
My friend returned with the coffee, and some biscuits, we talked about how she had come here, what had happened, and what should happen next. I felt a lot more hope this time, and so did she.
 Unlike last time, her arrival had not been a traumatic ride in the back of an ambulance fighting for the life she didn’t want to have, but instead holding the hands of her mother and her boyfriend with a referral from the doctor. This time, it seems her pleas for help may have been answered.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Holidays - week one

Well this week went unusually fast for the first week of the school holidays and especially so considering I was ready to kill the children by 4pm last Friday, I didnt achieve anything I set out to, The Husband is trying to give up smoking and my mother came to stay for 4 days.
The World through the eyes of a giant sheep...
So Mum's intention was to get a fix of the grandchildren in a relaxing country atmosphere so of course we immediately left the bush and went town-wards to play tourist in 'little-big smoke' aka Goulburn for the day.

Goulburn is not only the first inland city but it's also home of the lovely Candy from ‘Candy’s Family’ and her tribe of children whom I occasionally bump into in the bread isle at Aldi.

 We drove around a bit but the weather was terrible and we got lost twice and ended up hungry, we decided to skip the golden arches for once and ate at a fancy looking bakery called ‘Trappers’ who’s food and coffee well and truly lived up to the abundance of ‘Award Winner’ signs posted all over the outside of the building. 

I was surprised when sitting in said bakery and quickly glancing at Twitter (damn addiction) that the lovely ‘Glowless’ from ‘Where’s My Glow?’ had put up my ‘He did what? Wednesday’ post – thanks Glowy! – And then had to hide my surprised “oh wow” from my mother, who doesn’t know (and hopefully never will) that I write a blog....
 Before heading home, we visited Rambo, the quite anatomically correct giant sheep also known as ‘The Big Marino’, the kids loved it, running up and down the stairs yelling and screaming repeatedly. It turns out that the hollow inner shell of a giant ram makes for the most fantastic accoustics. The lady at the gift shop was suitably unimpressed, but humoured us with a half smile when we spent $1 on a postcard as we were leaving.
I'm so mature
  
 One week down, one to go...  What have you been up to this school holidays?




Thursday, 22 September 2011

Write On Wednesday

Well Better late than never, I havn’t had much opportunity to participate in WOW of late and I have really been missing it! I was glad to finally find some time this week. If you havn’t already pop over to Ink Paper Pen and have a look at all the great stories.
I have gone over the 200 words (sorry) but my excuse is that my character is actually based on two people I observed while watching some road works and I wanted to include them both, inspiration comes in funny places sometimes!

Lou braked heavily and the water tanker rounded the corner throwing a big cloud of dust into the air sending his white hair brown, he wrinkled his brow and coughed, should have closed the bloody window.  He sighed and adjusted himself in the seat, the cracks in the old leather were irritating his sweaty back as he bumped his way along the country lane, following the large yellow grader up and down, up and down, just as he had for the last 27 years.
Lou could feel heat radiating onto his weathered face, the circadas were chirping already, it was going to be another stinker. A cold stubbie and one of Mary’s cheese and ham sanga’s would go down a treat about now, how long til smoko? A shiny white ute pulled alongside him, “Mornin ‘Lou” a young bloke with sunnies perched on the top of his curly dark hair sang out the window, “how are ya? Workin hard?  Or hardly workin?”
Rob had taken over the business when his dad had passed away last year, full of his own importance and always a bit too happy for Lou’s liking, he knew very little about not a lot and Lou felt that frankly a Kelpie probably could have done a better job organizing things than he did.
Lou nodded back, “G’day Rob.” “Hey Lou,” Rob smiled “Do ya reckon you could stay back till 4 today? I hate to hold you up but I want to get this section finished today, you know councils got there deadlines...”  “Lou stared at Rob in disbelief, Mate, you know I can’t, not today I’ve gotta knock off at 1, Mary’s got her appointment, and I can’t miss it!”
“Well Lou, it’s up to you but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be much work over the next few months and I’m going to have to give it to the blokes who are prepared to go the extra mile, know what I mean?. It’s alright mate, you’ll make the right choice!” Rob winked, jumped back into the ute and sped off.
Lou glanced into the mirror as the little flashing orange light disappeared from view. ‘Bastard ’ he muttered under his breath.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

RUOK?

Well are you?

I hope this question can make a big difference, I really, really do. I unfortunately can’t help but be a tad sceptical towards the proffessionals running this campain as in my experience, sometimes the people who do ask for help seem to be the ones that get labelled attention seekers or simply ignored. To get help in the past it would seem you have to be dragged kicking and screaming against your will to a hospital by a third party. Then they might listen.
I wrote HERE about my friend who tried to commit suicide a few years ago, the one they tried to release from hospital 24 hours later cause she ‘promised’ she wouldn’t do it again. It was lucky her mother put her foot down at the hospital that day or my friend would have simply taken her next opportunity. Struggling with mental health issues for over a decade, she went up and asked for help, simply and directly a number of times, but obviously she didn’t ‘really’ need it as she had asked on her own, without duress. No help was given, not even a referral. That was why she gave up.
So it’s all very well for us to ask RUOK? But if that answer is a NO, then what? Will anybody actually be there on a professional level to help you or will you just be filed in an office somewhere while the beurocrats hope that you somehow get over it or you take matters into your own hands so that your name can be crossed of their little list and they are seen to be doing their job. So the people running this campain ask us RUOK? I hope that they are prepared to listen to the answer.
I’m sorry about my cynical view on this subject, and I hope so much that this day gives people an opportunity to talk to their friends, talk to their family, even write about it on their blogs, because sometimes it’s just the act of talking to people who give a damn that helps you realise you are not alone and makes you feel so very much better.
Everyone has their bad days, there is no such thing as the perfect mother or perfect person. We are all in this world together, learning to manage the cards we have been dealt, the best way we can with the tools we have been provided and as long as we are trying, we can be proud of that. But sometimes knowing that simply isn’t enough.
 If you are in a position where you feel like you are out of options, go and speak to someone. Your partner or a friend, or even a neighbour and tell them you are NOT ok, get them to act as your support person and go and ask for help together. They will stand up for you if you are feeling too beaten down to stand up for yourself, they can argue with a medical ‘professional’ for you and they can put their foot down like my friends mum did.
Trust me, your family, loved ones and support person want you alive and healthy. If it comes to it go and stand in the Emergancy waiting room together and refuse to leave until both you and your support person are comfortable and completely satisfied with the next step, weather its hospitalization, medication, or simply a referral.
 So, R U OK?
Talk to someone, and get help together. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Big C


Well it’s you or me. That’s pretty much all it boils down to these days. Odds are that everyone reading this blog knows someone who is affected by cancer, a staggering 1 in 11 women will eventually be diagnosed with breast cancer. The odds are even higher for prostate cancer in men.
My boss is 52, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, is fairly fit and has just been diagnosed with bowel cancer, it’s pretty bad but thankfully operable – he is currently 4 weeks of the way through 6 weeks of daily Chemo & Radiation treatments that make him sick as a dog in order to be able to go under the knife and remove the tumour that has apparently been slowly and silently trying to kill him for years.
My husband had a scare recently which currently has him sitting on a waiting list to have his right kidney and part of his bladder removed, this little process also involved a phone call from the doctor informing us that they were in discussions with various specialists, “but hopefully it is benign”. Nothing like those words to scare the bejesus out of you and make you re-think everything about your life. Thankfully for us, the specialists have decided that it is benign although they won’t know for sure until the op is done and the dodgy kidney is tested.
I go to the local Garden Club in my area, and while I am approx 30years younger than everyone there I absolutely love it. We eat great food, share great company and great advice and also as it turns out, a great deal of cancer. Probably 60% of the members are currently undergoing treatment for various cancers, are in remission or are heading towards the palliative care part of the deal.
At garden club yesterday, a lovely lady by the name of Benita attended from a group I had vaguely heard of but never paid a much attention to called CanAssist. They are a community run organisation that helps with the financial difficulties that can occur for Cancer sufferers, particularly those in rural areas. Everything from helping out with the cost of travelling to Chemo through helping pay the electricity bill – Benita pointed out that someone suffering from bone cancer needs to keep the house a lot warmer than most people and someone with lung cancer may require oxygen 24/7. These extra costs add up fast and that’s where CanAssist comes in.
The money that is raised stays in that area to help the local people. The organisation receives less than 8% financial support from the government and rely on fundraising efforts and donations from the community, so if you are interested you can go to the CanAssist website for details about donating to your local group or for information if you require financial assistance yourself or know someone who might.  
In the mean time, if you are still smoking try and quit again, Ladies don’t forget to check your boobs for any lumps or changes and suck it up and get that pap test you have been putting off done. Encourage all the male members of your family who are over 40 to go to the doctor for a prostate check – Technology has come a LONG way over the years and there are no longer any embarrassing exams, it’s a single simple little blood test and it could save their life – it saved my Father In Law!
How has cancer affected your life?