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


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?