Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's in the genes.

My eldest grand daughter
almost at the end of
Year 12
ready to rule the world.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Men are from Mars

37 years I've been washing clothes for the BrickOutHouse so you would think I'd remember to check the sleeves.
He has had this habit, forever, of taking off a jumper or tee shirt and leaving one sleeve inside.
And there's nothing worse than wrangling wet sleeves at the clothesline.

But I can see the logic in his sock habit.
If you have two socks and they have holes in different places then wearing them together makes one whole sock.

Except if one of the socks in question has no foot just an upper. But this is acceptable since tying the laces on his work boot stops it from crawling up his leg.

So this is why I bought him half a dozen pairs of new ones for his birthday. He was pleased, he can't think why his socks are disappearing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Twelve months gone

I was chatting to my mother this afternoon and she asked how long she'd been at the home.
22nd of August 2009 she went there.
She said she didn't remember much about being told she couldn't leave the hospital unless she went to a high level care place and then there was a big rush in the afternoon and she was there.
Even though everyone was so kind that first night, she was so frightened that she cried silently all night, thinking that we would leave her there and not bother with her again.
And she woke the next morning to sunshine and birdsong.

She only told me this now. It was one of the terrors of her entire life, that she would be alone.
Of course we didn't stop going, I felt sometimes I was living there until all the details were finalized.

Twelve months later and I am trawling eBay to buy craft cards and glittery things. She's making and selling greeting, birthday and wedding cards to order. The money she makes she gives to the activities committee. Instead of a woman lying in bed staring at the ceiling, with brain turning to mush, I have a mother who is so busy with living life that I'm being left behind.

Not too far behind, I'm carrying the cheque book.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This should not be happening

After wading through the election guff on Sunday, the paper had an article on old people and the food they're given in nursing homes.
None of the homes were named but $5.00 a day was a common amount allocated to feeding the residents 3 meals and due to a shortage of staff, some residents were malnourished because they're unable to feed themselves.
I'm not surprised at the shortage of staff, there is a big gap between what is paid in the public sector to the private sector where profit is the name of the game.

Fortunately Ma is not in one of those places. They have two chefs so meals are varied. At lunch time I've seen all the staff sitting quietly and feeding the oldies who can't do it themselves. As part of the activities, residents make slices and cakes for the afternoon teas two days a week.
One lunch last week was written on the menu board as rissoles which I suppose in some of those other places would be cheap greasy meat and tomato sauce and mashed potato out of a can.
Not this meal which was a large home made hamburger topped with bacon, pineapple slice and grilled cheese. The chips were oven baked but the vegetable were fresh and so was the gravy.
Dessert was a chocolate pudding with fresh cream.

Every nursing home should be like this and I don't care how small or big the organization is. We're all getting older and if we don't start putting rules in place now it's us that could be sitting in front of a plate of slop unable to pick up a spoon.

After getting all huffy about this, I walked into the dining room yesterday and checked the menu and was pleased to see a good meal but I was a bit worried about the dessert. "Bananna Mouse" did not sound appetizing. Danielle got ribbed all afternoon for her lousy spelling. She made up for it with marshmallow and chocolate slice for afternoon tea and my mother wouldn't share.

Heaven and Earth

This photograph was taken by Alex Cherney.
It shows the Milky Way
above the Loch Ard Gorge along
Victoria's Great Ocean Road.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A small problem just over the horizon

It's been a crap week where it's been too hard to think to write and it's not going to get any better. I've been thinking of closing down the blog for a while to give me a chance to either have the breakdown that's hovering or getting some counselling which I hate doing. I always lie to the counsellors, I can't help it, I just can't open up to some stranger any more than I can to friends.
I try not to bother friends at all.
I know what's wrong, I just don't know how to fix it and deep down I believe that it is unfixable.
For one thing I blame the weather, I haven't been this cold for years.
I can't blame Ma, she's having a ball in spite of oldies dropping off the twig left, right and centre.
It must be nice to be medicated up to the eyeballs with morphine.
Too much time at the home is pushing my empathy button too the limit. How do you stop your self from thinking "I'd hate this, I'd really hate this" and then go ahead to make someone's day a bit easier instead of turning around and walking out. My sister can do this, walks through and never looks to right or left.
The point is I want to do that, I want to walk out and not be thinking of what I can bring on the next visit for someone. I spent yesterday filling a pretty bag with barely used nail polish for one lady who had a stroke at 50 and has been in there for 12 years. She has beautiful nails and the girls always make sure she has a manicure. I'm not telling you this to make myself out to be a saint but this is how I can't stop helping in spite of the fact that I want to go away and never look back.
Today had another memory creep up when I went to vote at the school. I went back to the '75 election. Up at 4 a.m. to get the banners in the best spot, our job as we were the closest to the school. It was an ugly election and people were ugly about it. As I walked through all I could see was my kid, everywhere was another part of him and I felt bits breaking off me until I could leave, never to darken the doorway until the next election.
Earlier in the week, I had a slap down from a neighbour who has been doing this kind of thing for over 30 years. She is a master at the soft voice with the iron piss-off wrapped in it. I had jokingly told her husband about the fall and said I nearly rang his number for him to come and pick me up. Now that is a joke since he is about six inches shorter than me and if I was hurt I'd be ringing the ambos. Next time I pick up the phone there is a message from the wife. They go to bed early and take the phone off the hook so they're not disturbed but she'll give me the number just in case, and the mobile number. She'll be in to speak to me at some stage about it. In other words, we'll help but not if we can get out of it and we don't answer the phone anyway.

So the heart of it all is that I am alone but not yet alone enough to deal with being alone.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Chair

Neighbour is an upholsterer and when picking up two couches for recovering last week gathered up for me the matching lounge chair. Salvo's wouldn't even look at it and the lady was planning to throw it on the nature strip.

It's big, fits bum nicely, is about 4 inches too low but in lovely condition. I have been trying it out all day, on the floor and up on bricks for the height.

It's killing me. My back is aching like you wouldn't believe. The roll-over arms mean I have to stretch twice as far to grab my cuppa and turn on the lamp. The seat is about 6 inches deeper than old faithful and there's the problem. Trying to sit upright means my knees are on the seat not hanging over the edge and my back is not upright if I don't sit back.

So, tomorrow I will be moving this lovely creature to the opposite side of the room for favoured visitors. I will also have to move the coffee table and the side table. I'll have to move the chair that is already there to the dining table which is okay because the chair I have there is too low to read my books. But to put that chair there, I have to move old faithful back and put it up on bricks again and I have to move the huge tv that's under the table waiting for the BrickOutHouse to get over the flu and put his sciatic nerve back in his spine so he can move it and hook it up. The too low chair is on wheels and can go to the other side of the table after I turn the table around longways, when the tv is moved.

And the only bit of carpet that has been cleaned and vac'd will be under old faithful.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fifteen Years

Some memories fade and fall apart
and some
just keep breaking bits
off your heart

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The lunacy continues.

And now a word from the Australian Family Association and the National Marriage Coalition.
They would like to have August 13 officially designated National Marriage Day.
And why this date?
Because it's the anniversary of the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act 2004, which defined marriage as "a union between a man and a woman". Personally I'd rather celebrate Divorce Day but over to the AFA and the NMC.

Ms Mary-Louise Fowler said couples who say "I do" should receive Federal government cash bonuses for remaining married because it's a real effort to make a marriage work and form a family.

But if you're a gay or lesbian couple who consider themselves married but can't because of people like Ms Mary-Louise Fowler, then forget bonus or anything else.
According to Ms (Ms?) Mary-Louise, "There's no such thing as gay marriage and the people lobbying for that are unfortunately misdirected because it's a bit like saying two tables make a dining room suite". Que????

And the Christian youth movement, Restoring Integrity and Sexual Ethics (RISE) is also backing the pro-marriage movement. RISE representative Judi Limbers said, "in this sexually liberated society, girls have become sexual service stations for men and they just end up getting used".

So these two organizations say they want the support of both sides of politics to promote " a renewed culture of marriage". Funnily enough they didn't want to comment on the Prime Minister's relationship but they're not so reticent on the gay and lesbian relationship issue.

A pox on them all.

"two tables make a dining room suite", you just have to love the nutjobs and their speech skilz.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Break out the Bombay.

Nice view courtesy of NASA of the Petermann Glacier flowing across the Greenland Ice Sheet. Where the glacier meets the sea, a 100 square mile island of ice has broken off and is moving towards the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada.

This ice island could fuse to land, break up into smaller pieces or start moving south into the shipping lanes.

This was the glacier taken during the summer melt season last July. Opinions are divided over whether the breakage has been caused by global warming where the ocean temperatures are rising and warmer currents are undermining the glacier ice at land's end. One bright commenter said that it was natural for the glacier to break up when it stopped resting on the land regardless of the fact that no matter how big the ice cube is, it floats.

This is one of the cracks in the glacier last year. That melt water flowing through is a reason the ice is moving so quickly towards the sea, it's filtering down through minute cracks to the bedrock causing massive lubrication. If the glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet keep up the rate of calving for the next two melting seasons, the anniversary cruise marking the 100 years of the Titanic sinking could be a rough ride.

Sleep, perchance to dream

I found it hard to sleep last night, aches from walking, putting foot in a hole in the road, tripping on a wheelchair at the home. All of it designed to hurt already hurting bits.

Go to standby plan and put headphones on and turn on walkman. No red light means batteries are dead. Will I turn on the light and replace and make myself more wide awake? Decide not to do that and toss and turn instead.

I'm dreaming.
I'm chasing rats and mice around the bedroom. But I'm winning, there's only one left but I can't quite catch him. He's quiet then there's a ratty giggle and I'm off again.

I'm waking up.
To the tweeeping of the stupid smoke alarm because the battery has run out. Sounds like the ratty giggle I was dreaming about.
Stagger out without glasses to get the broom and give it a belt. Genius, without glasses I can't see that high in the ceiling to hit the button. Go back to bed and wait for the Chinese tweeeping torture to continue.

First tall person to hit the front door is going up the ladder to replace the battery even if I have to grab a copy of the WatchTower and listen to the twaddle of how Heaven loves me. Damn, mozzed myself now, they'll be here in droves.

I know, send psychic message to BrickOutHouse that I need him although that didn't work Friday night. I could tie a message round the cat's neck and send her off Lassie style. $6 for a 9volt battery added to shopping list. Heaven hates me.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Family First's fruit loop

Wendy Francis, Family First's lead Senate candidate in Queensland, said in a Twitter message yesterday: "Children in homosexual relationships are subject to emotional abuse. Legitimising gay marriage is like legalising child abuse."

It kills me to put this woman's face on my blog but we should all look at it, remember it and never, never vote for its party. Yes, I realize it's Queensland and the sun does funny things to fill empty heads but it did produce Kevvie so I can't really blame the state with the pointy end.

It's bad enough looking at Tony's horrible head and listening to his ramblings, then to have to keep a paper bag handy for whenever Loony Latham appears with his aggressive aggression (there's no passive with Loony) or shut the ears when the old nag from Kooyong decides to forget we've moved forward in political correctness.

But Family First takes the prize for nutjobbery in every area. Silly twittee has removed the comments on twitter but nothing is said without the brain (chortle) being involved in the process in the first place so saying sorry doesn't cut it.

Cat and duck

It's taken me nearly six months to get the cat to go out the back door without being frightened of the magpies. I mean it still makes me open the front door to go through the carport and IN the back door but it does go out the back door as well.

It did until this morning and it could be another six months for the nerves to stop jangling.
Cat goes out the back quite happily, takes a wander round, drinks the filthy birds water when it has pristine water inside and sits down in the sun.

QUARNCXH is the approximate noise the duck makes as it walks up behind the cat. I think it must have been swimming in the pool over the back fence and came over for a bit of a feed.
I don't believe the cat's paws touched ground until it hit the carpet inside the back door. It sat there with its nose pressed to the glass watching the duck which came right up to the door. I thought for a moment it would come right inside since the door was still open but it just picked up an insect on the step and wandered up the yard.

The vile filthy look I got from the cat said volumes about it all being my fault for shoving it out the back door in the first place. Well, who would have thought a duck would land in the yard?
A plane, yes, and no, that plane the other day was over the other side of the airport. On my side they tend to splatt on the golf course.

Looks like it's back to opening the front door again.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I haz hurtz, srsly.

Keyboarding will probably be comprimised, no, fingers are working.
Too much rushing around when I'm tired, not eating (yes it happens) then rushing when I get home because cat wants food, kitty litter cleaned, wants out front door, wants in back door and all before I get my cloak off.
I wouldn't have seen mum if sister had told me she was going but then her visits are usually five minutes long and out the door. Anyway I had the cheque to keep Ma there for another month and more card making stuff so she doesn't notice I'm not around as much.

So about 10 p.m. I'm not feeling so good and head off to bed, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30, midnight, toilet. F*^%& panic attacks. By 2 a.m. I'm all calmed down, warm and ready to sleep and I need a pee. Isn't it always the way?
Don't bother with slippers or dressing gown, quick visit.
Finish, get up, knock toilet roll to the floor and bend down to pick it up.
Both feet slip due to newly cleaned and polished floor. People never put a bright bright light in the toilet when you've only had a pale one, shows every bit of grime and dust and urges a cleaning frenzy. So the feet slip, and because I'm a little (ok, lot) top heavy, gravity takes over and I'm flat out like a lizard drinking.
Fortunately I didn't shut the door or concussion would be added to my hurtz.

So I swear and go into raising the Titanic mode. This consists of kneeling, palms down, and walking feet to upright like insywinsy spider. Slight flaw in the plan, half of me is on tiles, the other half is on carpet. Palms are down, arms straight, ready legs. Crap, slippery floor, toes and calves cramp and Titanic is down again. Lay there for a minute uncramping toes which is a danger sign of spine going into meltdown. Did I mention I hadn't bothered to put the lights on or my glasses? Thought not.

Chair, I need a chair for my arms to pull me up. Closest one is next door in the study. Start dragging myself there, which hurts elbows and shoulders and cramps toes again. Idiot, flip over and bumwalk to chair and if I do that I can reach the light switch and see where the sodding chair is. Even given the padding on my backside, bumwalking hurtz but toes uncramp. Another slight problem, chair is swivel and on wheels. Turn it round til it's just resting against computer table and pray that everything including self doesn't go through the window.

Success, once I get both feet flat on the floor, I can pull the rest of me up. Kneeling on the parts underneath the knees is the most painful thing. If anyone ever has a heart attack near me, they're gone, no way could I kneel to do CPR. So now I'm standing, nothing broken except my swear button and I'm off to bed but I should have put an icepack on the spine first. Not a snowball's chance of doing that, I'm freezing and have the shakes.

Collateral damage this morning, left hand, right thumb, left shoulder, neck muscles, toes still cramping, sore buttock muscles from bumwalking, tendency to burst into tears and core body temperature low due to frequency of ice packs to spine and sore boobs since, due to gravity, they hit the floor before I landed on them.

The only kind thing today was the sun shining through my bedroom window warming me before I had to move to feed the cat, let it out the front door, turn the heater on for it, open the back door and stagger back to bed.

But the killer is, there's not a chocolate in the house due to resolution no. 4568 to start a diet and no chocolate until Sunday.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


RH may be the scourge of the Interwebs and as annoying as nails down a blackboard to many bloggers but sometimes he is a mine of information rather than a swamp of botheration.

"The word 'hoon' in this country was another word for 'pimp'.
Its meaning has changed in the last twenty years or so."

"When I was in primary school a pimp was a dobber, as in: "He pimped on me."

"Bludger was a synonym for Hoon, as in "Here comes Jan with her bludger."

Now I remember the primary school 'pimp' as my sister was a fine example and pimping about me to mum was her idea of fun. I don't ever remember using dobber but do remember my son using it at school. Bludger, as I understood it was a layabout and bludging was taking it easy while others worked.An old lag was someone who'd been in prison but 'lagging' someone was old style dobbing.

My father had a wealth of racetrack terms for everything but nothing was ever written down and now I can't ask him. My uncle worked the wharves, another world altogether but he's gone and all his stories with him except the ones the family still tell about him stealing everything that wasn't nailed down. The advent of container ships didn't slow him down, he just took the container and hid it up bush.

Australians seemed to have a love/hate affair with the spoken English and language changed with every generation. As in the above, hoon now means any lout that speeds around our roads and would not take kindly to being called a pimp. Now perhaps RH could tell us if 'lout' is being used in its proper context or has that evolved from something else.

If we went back to Federation year, would anyone know what language we were speaking, streetwise that is?