Monday, February 28

Friends are SO precious!

Recently, because of events outside our control, we have been taking stock of who, and where, and, perhaps, what, we are.

This my beautiful daughter, and I, on her wedding day.

I was so happy to share in her day of Joy, as she married the man of her dreams, and she feels, the man of her destination.

These next photos are from long ago, ~ and may seem inappropriate.
Perhaps I wish to post them, in affirmation of friends, who are gone, and perhaps no longer in our world.

This next photo, is of myself, with a lovely family friend from childhood, who has since died. We were fond friends and shared many memories of growing up together.

Here is a photo of myself on the left, and my BFJ in Nelson, when we went Apple Picking. What a revelation that turned out to be!! We shared our daily grind with an Author, and his beautiful  Nordic wife. They were appalled at the conditions and housing we had to endure.

This photo of BFJ and I, taken in Neslon, would seem to indicate the toll the fresh bread, and the fresh apple diet had taken on us!

 I am sure I had gained a good 10+ pounds. in 'old Money' so to say!!
My goodness, just look at those eyebrows, before I destroyed them..! Those chubby cheeks!!

This next photo is of a lovely Australian "'Gentle Man." He proposed to me, and I I did not accept. He returned to Australia, and proposed again. He was/is a lovely man, and I hope he found the happiness he deserves, when he returned to Australia, without me.
Our friends, truly are, where we find them.

Hope for the future, for all our friends, and all our relatives, and all those we love, who have touched our lives with love, both near and far.

There has been a recent birthday for me, and friends came to celebrate,
Not least of which, was my wonderful, beautiful, halfsister, from NewZealand. It was like a special treat to have her here. She is the image of our mother, and her every experession and mannerism, is like watching our mother, recreated, here on earth. When she left, it was like losing our mother, all over again.

She phoned me today, to give support and love. She is a true, and loving sister.
I am so lucky, with my family, as they are all supportive in our crises.
My dear old 94 year old Uncle rang me to wish me Happy Birthday. He is a lovely man, who never fails to say, "I love you girl!!" His wife is equally wonderful as she had embraced us all as 'her own'. I am blessed with a lovely, loving, and wonderful family, who are both relatives, and friends!

I have had wonderful messages of support and strenghth. over the past few days. We have had phone calls from friends in Christchurch, in resonse to our calls.

We just hope everyone is safe.
Love and thoughts your wayXXXXXXXXX

Saturday, February 26

Too Sad For Words...

I have found it almost too sad for words, to post about the Christchurch Earthquake.

How does one write about the destruction of a dearly loved city?

I remember all the good times I spent in that beautiful City.

My Gom was born, and grew to Manhood,  in that City. Our children were born in that City.

I spent very many wonder-filled months in that City, with BFJ, who is my best friend. We laughed and cried together in that wonderful, mysterious, beautiful City.

We ran to work, our black stockinged legs flashing,  through Latimer Square, which became a Triage Center for the wounded in the latest Eathquake.

We smelled the wonderful, woodsmokey air, in the evenings, as we ran home together, from nights out, when we chose to keep our own company.

The Street we shared a flat upon, is now, largely,  destroyed.

My BFJ would now be a widow, ~though not as a result of this earthquake~ but the time has flown, and memories remain, of times, with joy, and laughter. Times as young mothers, young wives. Christchurch was a unique and magical City in many respects.

Memories of times spent with our children, upon the banks of the Avon River. Rambles in the Botanic Gardens, which were, effectively, our back yard, when we lived in the Inner City Hotel.

That Hotel is long gone, pulled down, because of instability, and a lack of interest in restoration. Our Country Hotel is now gone, as a result of the previous Earthquake.

A photo of the rubble left, after the Earthquake.  This was once the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral, which was a landmark and the Central focus of the Square, of Christchurch's Central City. BFJ and I once visited on an Easter Sunday. Goodness knows why.

Another shot of the destroyed Cathedral. Many lives are believed to be lost in this Cathedral, when the earthquake struck.

The Earthquake did not discriminate between Religions. This is a shot of the Catholic Basilica, which stood on a steet BFJ and I once lived upon.

These are before and after photos of Christchurch Cathedral.

We seem to have no anchors left in that beautiful City, we love, and have loved, these many years before.

We have managed to contact most of our friends and the few relatives Gom has left. All say they are well, and safe.

We are nowhere near this disaster, physically, but mentally, it has left us all feeling very sad, depressed, and fearful, for the future of this once glorious city.

Our personal tragedies, and day to day dramas, seem to have little importance, compared to the magnitude of this tragedy.
We still have our lives, and we still have each other.

Chris Bolton. How am I supposed to live without you.

Friday, February 11

Little Wisdoms.

Little Wisdoms, or Life's Free Treats, come in many guises.

One of my little Treats  was upon alighting from our car, I spied the Dandelion in full bloom and full seed.
As I mentally recited, "One year's seeding, Seven year's weeding."
Little SG leapt from the car, and picked the full seed head, declaring.
"Oh Look! An Opportunity for making a Wish!!"
And he blew the little parachutes, loaded with their precious cargo, into the world!

 I decided then and there, I needed to change my perspective and look upon the positive side of life, as it is presented to me.

SG is a source of wonder to us both, as he comes to visit, and spend time with us. He is so aware of the world, while being so aware of all the technological changes that are taking place. He has a very soft heart, and is a very loving, and rather gentle child.

On the other hand, he can exhibit quite ruthless thoughts about various things, when he deems it necessary!
"Well Nanna, dont worry about the Cicadas that Morty caught. Perhaps they were meant to die!"


We made a mercy, or therapeutic, visit to Gom, on his last Hospital  stay- well the Xmas/New Year stay.
We loaded Leo into the car, and took him to the Hospital.
As I led Gom down the corridor to the outside door, he guessed what he was about to see.

His beloved Leo, who was somewhat freaked out at first, and he tried to leap into my lap! However he realised where he belonged in the end, and when I took Gom back to the Ward, he had tears in his eyes. He did declare he was so glad to have seen his 'Best Mate'.

Leo is his constant comfort and companion.
Leo has behavioural problems that our son disapproves of. I do too, but I can see, that out of Gom's narrow, & somewhat miserable life, he needs the comfort of Leo in his sad, diminished, 

On lighter note...
What is it, with me and hats??
I find I hate hats.
I have loathed them since I was very young.

I knitted, but refused to use, hats for my babies. Luckily, it was not really cold when they were born, so hats were not necessary.

I look at women, wearing knitted hats, crocheted hats, which I find very ugly.
Not the acutal hats, but the hats on heads.
I look at Pop Stars, who wear all manner of hats... why?
What are they hiding from?

Is it a way of proving your identity?
I find the male fedora, panama,  or pork pie,  or caps,  of any description to be hideous to my eyes, upon female heads.
And, I must add, offensive to my eyes upon many male heads, also!

My son tells me to loosen up.
Hats are choices.

I just fail to get the message? the meaning? the statement?

How do you feel about Hats??!

Bread, If

Monday, February 7

Again, the Visitor's Chair...

First, today's Angel, that came to visit it seemed, and waited for me to get my camera. Only for one pic though!

This is partly the post I had intended to write the first time I was a visitor to the Hospital, while Gom was so ill, and having treatment.

I never did complete the first account, and now, after his third stay, I have decided to write of the latest Ward.

It somehow seem irreverent to be writing of things that made me amused or horrified, in turn.
It is not to laugh at other's misfortune, but rather to dispel some of the horror as we all know what can, or may, befall us, at the ending of our lives.

During his latest visit to Hospital, which was due to a phone call from a Haematologist on a Sunday morning, to tell us to get Gom immediately to Hospital, as his blood count was dangerously low at his latest test, which had been done on the Friday, he spent considerable time in the ED, while they cross matched his blood again, and waited for a bed in a Ward.

Because it was Sunday, the 'Teams' of Doctors for his ongoing condition, were not on duty, but the blood transfusions could be started.

When I returned after having to rest myself, I was directed to the new Ward.

At the risk of sounding rude, Gom seemed to be the only 'sane' person in residence. In fact the nurses kept telling him he should not be on that Ward.  The man in the bed opposite Gom, was of Arabic nationality I am guessing, (his wife was certainly very beautiful, in that lovely dark eyed way). I will call this man Yasmin, which is not his name, but one of the food service ladies dubbed him that, when she delivered his meals. I have no idea why, as his real name, displayed above his bed, bore no resemblance to 'Yasmin'.

I thought perhaps Yasmin had had a stroke, but apparently that was not the case. Gom learned, through the very public and loud conversations with Doctors, that he had some progressive disease, but was also now dying of cancer. He did not seem to speak much English, and he was very hard to understand. I felt really sorry for him, when he tried to speak to me, with his large, soft, sad eyes pleading to be understood. Nurses became somewhat impatient with him, as he refused to use his buzzer, and insisted on clapping loudly to gain attention. I pressed his buzzer for him, when he told me loudly "I need to pee!!"  Every day, his lovely wife came to feed him his evening meal, arriving with three course meals of delicious smelling food. He routinely refused the Hospital fare, which was completely crap not all bad, though some was not exactly tempting!

To Gom's left was a man who really resembled the Parrot from upon the Pirate's shoulder! I dubbed him Parrot, mentally. He shouted very loudly every time he spoke, and demanded the nurses bring him his "Potty". One nurse, who admitted to Gom that she has no patience, snapped at him regularly, telling him he could walk to the toilet, using his walker. He kept having the most hideous sneezing fits, which shook the very curtains, and then he would shout "Pull you head in!!" several times,  at the top of his lungs.
In between fits of sneezing, he told tales of choking people to death, and other preposterous stories, all of gory detail and horrible nature.

In the diagonally opposite bed, was a man who had MS, and he became agitated every so often, and his wife would sit and soothe him to calmness again. She told us he was waiting for a vacancy, in a Home , as she could no longer care for him herself. I felt very sorry for her, as she was having to sell their house, and was trying to ready it for viewing, whilst visiting him every day. All this, in searing heat, and exhausting humidity.

It is curious the way visitors make the acquaintance of each other, and the other resident patients. Hellos are said upon arrival, and farewells murmured at the end of the visit.

Yasmin would ask me the time each day, waiting forlornly for it to be 4.30 and the arrival of his lovely wife. Parrot would ramble on and on, with his stories and his sneezing attacks. Mr MS was very quiet, but would occasionally growl gutturally, perhaps because he was losing ability to speak.

Gom said the first night in this Ward was hideous. He could not sleep, and, though he is rather deaf, and would remove his hearing aids, he said there was constant talking. At first he thought it was Yasmin talking to himself, in two different voices, but he finally worked out it was Parrot, raving on, whereupon, Yasmin would answer him~ in Arabic! Of course none of it made sense, and Gom was surprised to realise they were both talking in their sleep, taking turns,  in an apparent 'conversation'. He wondered fleetingly if they could understand each other!

Parrot went away to some Home, late the second day, to Gom's relief, and another terminal man was briefly in the bed, but they whisked him off after a few hours~ still alive, I might add! An old and extremely frail old woman was immediately wheeled into the ward, and she actually appeared to be deceased when she first arrived. However the nurses roused her, and got her sitting up in a chair. Not quite truly sitting up, as she kept lolling her head onto her chest and sleeping. Her bed table was carefully positioned in front of her chair,  to prevent a fall to the floor.

Gom said she spent the night screaming at Yasmin, to "Shut up and go to sleep!!" as he spoke in his sleep.
The nurses had to hold her head up by the forehead to feed her, and she ate little but custard, jelly,  and juice, and having no teeth, I guess that is all she could do. I was quietly appalled, and hope I never get to that stage. She certainly appeared to have no quality of life, either being asleep or needing to urgently use the toilet, and failure to make it, made her very upset. She was querulous and sharp with the nurses, demanding instant attention, which of course, they could not give, being run off their tired feet.

Another woman was given Mr MS's bed in the corner, and apparently she was quite deaf, had no hearing aids, and had the television blaring at top volume all night. It rather worried me when I overheard a Doctor explaining something to her about a heart monitor, as it appears she has the same problem as I have just discovered I have.
She became insistent she wished to speak with her daughter by phone, then, when the nurse brought her the phone, she insisted she could not hear anyone, and her daughter was not there. The nurse had to relay her wishes. I wondered why no one has told her about hearing aids. She said she lives on her own, so perhaps there is no one to get furious at too-loud TV.

Gom could not wait to be discharged, and he held his breath most of the afternoon of his discharge, hoping to reach the magic number on his blood count, so he could escape.
He had had another 7 units of blood, and also some surgical procedures. We know he will be needing more.

I hope he does not return to that particular Ward next time.

We have just survived the hottest week on record, and also lived through the hottest night on record. It sent us scurrying off to buy another aircon for our bedroom. It is lucky the Southerly storm blew in on Sunday afternoon, bringing fierce rain and howling winds, as well as fresh, heavenly cool air!

As if all this has not been enough, our TV aerial has been doubtful read clapped for some time, and a fierce storm had blown it very crooked. Finally today we had a nice man come and install a new one! Guess what~ it now gives perfect reception, and the picture is once again crystal clear. Gom has little to amuse him,  but he can still watch TV if he sits almost upon the screen.

Perhaps the Extra Special Icing on our Cake, so to say, has been the complete bastard breakdown of our toilet cistern. I become furious with things that stop working. I want them fixed yesterday. I have wanted the wretched thing replaced, for the last 5 times we have had it repaired. This time my patience snapped, and we are about to get a new one! Who ever dreamed that one day I would be sublimely happy, at the thought of a new water cistern?

Our Neighbour, the Groom, who recently lost his Bride, came to visit this afternoon, to tell us he has had a stroke, and is now blind in one eye. He can no longer drive his car, and since he is a Horse Trainer, which has been his lifelong passion, he would hate to have to give up his work. He is still training his beloved horses, and is collected by relatives and friends each morning. He considers himself lucky to have had the clot stop at his eye, so he is not disabled or dead. He is over 80, so I felt a little ashamed when he said the alternative is not good, and I told him sometimes it seems damn attractive to me!

Saturday, February 5

In the light of...

A long time since I posted here.
The blog lies tired, weary,  old, and mouldy.

In the harsh, and leathery, lined face, of Summer's harsh Season, we see the effects of too much sun.
Sere, best describes it all.
Too much extremely high heat.
Withering vegetation, browning, and dying, from lack of care, or water.

The rains of the early Summer have gone from our area of our State.

We watch with horror, as the deluges, and floods, and cyclones wreak havoc in our Northern, Queensland  State.
The floods of the flowing waters travelling South to our Southern State neighbours, have travelled an inland path.

Leaving us high and dry.

If only some of that vast amount of water could have been diverted our way, to fill our thirsty dams.

Our personal dramas are quietly ugly.
Not as hideous as our Neighbours, but nonetheless, horrible, for us to live through.

Gom has been Hospitalised again.
He is home once again, but is not, we know, fully 'Well'. Nor will he be.

Ongoing Hospitalisations are to be expected.

At least the Hospital is airconditioned and, whilst incarcerated therein,  he is comfortable, if somewhat bored.
I don't mind sitting 'watch', over him, as he has his blood transfusions, and his iron infusions.

I sometimes feel I have learnt more about the human body, and it's workings, since he has been sick,  than I ever did when I was nursing.

I have also learned that I need to listen to my body when I am feeling unwell.
I have been diagnosed with a problem myself.

It explains a lot, and I do not need to feel I am 'mentally unwell'. The diagnosis alone,  helps to get me feeling better. Medication is also helping with feeling better. I am assured once meds are adjusted, I should feel very much better.

In the light of the TV screen, as I watch Gom, hunching close, in a chair, I feel so much compassion for his failing sight, his failing hearing, and his slightly/occasional,  failing memory.

When he found out I too, am ill, he vowed to get better, and come home to take care of me!

In his last Ward, of Hospitalisation, there were many 'terminal' patients.
It has made me more determined not to get 'old' in that fasion, and I really do believe in Euthanasia by choice.

On a lighter side, I ended up in an area of the Hospital I was unfamiliar with- easily done, believe me, since they stuffed up redesigned our local Hospital!
As I was standing, feeling distressed and lost ~ lo~ an "Angel" came out of some wide doors.
I was swept into a hug, and a kiss on the cheek.
It was a beautiful man, (a friend of our daughter, and son in law)  who drove me in his car, to the car park where I had my car.
The temperature was 40 degrees centigrade, and it meant I was spared a hot walk.

In my experience, Angels do come in many guises.

We have friends who have been so supportive. We know they are there, should we need their help.

The change in personalities from when Gom returned home after January 5th, to his 'new' persona, after this latest hospitalisation, is very disconcerting.

No one has answers for me.

 I can't help but wonder why??

No one has any answers for me.

These are the 'Thankyou Roses' Gom gave me, after his first, post New Year Hospitalisation, release.

My absolute favourites, yellow roses.

I have the feeling there will be no roses this time around. He is very disgruntled and very 'scratchy'.

This hideous heat is no help to anyone, and we are truly 'stewing in our own juice' so to say!

Neil Diamond, Babara Striesand, You Dont Bring Me Flowers Anymore.
(but he did, and surprised me)