Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thinking about life...

For the last few weeks I have gone through what one can only phrase as a "Living Hell".  Some weeks ago I was prescribed a very strong antibiotic for a skin irritation on my lower legs--it was a 5 day medication--after about the 3rd day I started to react to this medication--(my doctor was OS so I was going to whatever doctor in that practice could see me).  I suddenly started to develop a horrible itchy rash on my arms, which only wet cloths and patience could handle---I was running out of patience....I went back again, this time to a different doctor (only one available), who prescribed a rather strong corticosteroid cream for my arms--rather strong was the word!  My arms have been burned very severely!  I would call it a chemical burn!

Anyway--this is where my body has been and my mind at times as I have tried to deal with it all.  Pain is an awful thing, and those who go through it on a constant basis have my full understanding...

I noticed this morning however that my arms are beginning to heal--thanks to good ol' wet cloth treatments and Aussie's own Savlon! But it has taken weeks to get after my early morning fruit and vitamin intake program, I went back up to bed to try to get some more sleep--but -- nope!  Wasn't going to I sat on our bedroom deck and surveyed our surrounds and must admit, that we do live in a paradise, and I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Sometimes it's not easy, when there is pain or frustration involved..but I guess one just has to look forward and know that it won't always be this way..and in my case, I can see the corner and perhaps it is just about ready to turn

I originally started to write this blog in order to celebrate my life, and those in it, and to appreciate each happy memory, but as my blog has shown..along life's way, there are struggles, and stresses (both physically and mentally) and then there are celebrations!  It is the celebrations we all need to remember and write one cares about the struggles--maybe just that you had them--makes you seems more human perhaps.

Anyway, I dedicate this story to you--to the celebrations, the happiness of life, and the acknowledgment of any struggles you may have gone through--

You are a strong person, and someone who can light a pathway for another one person perhaps!

Love your life too!~

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The black suited brigade - part 3

A few years passed  and it was discovered that my constant back pain (which I always blamed on a badly managed gymnastics accident at school), was getting impossible to deal with.  On a summer holiday on the Sunshine coast, in desperation, we had found an unusually gifted chiropractor who really helped me.  After x-rays it was discovered that I had dissolving discs due to spinal pressure, and that with a bit of manipulation, it was able to be relieved.  However, it wasn't resolving the disc issue in just that short time.  So..after returning home, and still suffering, it was decided that I would live near this chiropractor for at least a month and receive the hopefully healing treatment I needed.

I moved into an apartment near Cotton Tree, on the Moloolaba coast line in southern Queensland.  I had no vehicle purposely, as walking was going to be my new best friend.  I received very frequent treatments from this chiropractor, who was helping me to release the pressure from my damaged discs, and lived just a short walk away from the beach purposely, so that walking on the loose sand would strengthen me.

After about 2 weeks of this lifestyle, it was apparent that Lauren, who was only 3, was a handful for John to try to manage. As he was running our business and Bronwyn had just started school, Lauren just didn't fit into the normal daily routine, so it was decided that she would come and live with me in this temporary home. 

The apartment had a main but poorly lit internal, cement staired stairway that lead up to the apartment, which was a 2 level apartment, with 2 bedrooms etc on the lower floor, and the kitchen and living area on the first floor.  It wasn't very swanky but I made sure it was clean, and it had all I needed.  There was also a second stairway which was narrow and even darker, and it led from the ground to my kitchen area level, and to the flat across the way from me, but no one lived in the other apartment. When I had first arrived, the kitchen window didn't have any curtains or window coverings, and being on my own in a strange place, it bothered me that people could see into the kitchen at night-time etc. So one day I bought some inexpensive material and and hand-made some curtains for that window.

One night I had gotten Lauren to sleep, and I was watching TV. Suddenly there was a knock on that very dark stairway's access which led to my kitchen door landing.  As I was basically on my own, I just tried to ignore it, making sure the door was securely locked.  But the knocking continued.  This went on for a few knocks. Finally I went to the never used door, and with the chain lock secure I called out: "Who is there?  What do you want?" I was very frightened as no one had used this stairway before and I didn't know anyone who would want to use it to talk with me.

"We just have news to tell you, and need to share this with you now."

"What news?"  I yelled through the locked door. 

"We need to tell you about the inevitable future and how it will affect you!" 

Did this mean that my apartment was going to change and this was management, or what were they meaning?  Now this was about 8:00 pm, in a dark stairway, and I was completely alone.  I was feeling somewhat frightened!

Through the chained crack in the door I yelled at them: "Go away!  I don't want to hear anything from you!  Do you know what time it is?  If it's important you can tell me in the morning!"  I peered through the crack in the chained doorway and tried to see who was talking, but in the darkened stairway it was very difficult....

"But we just want to talk with you about your future and the possibilities of eternal life when the world ends" Then I knew! You guessed it - "the black suited brigade" was there! This story again!

Angrily, I opened the door, and yelled at them: " I have just called the police and they are their way to arrest you for harassment. (bit of a stretch of the truth) so I suggest you leave quickly and never come near me again.  I can't believe you idiots!  You are insane!  I don't need you and I don't want to hear anything you have to say!  You just won't learn, and I refuse to put up with any more of your propaganda and hype!"

They started to protest, but I was really angry this time, and slammed the door quickly and very hard,  just as one of them was quickly reaching for it to try to get in.  I hope I hurt him. 

All I can say is if this is how they want to spread their version of Christianity, they have definitely lost the plot.

God help us all!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The black suited brigade- part 2

You read previously about the invasion of my peace and privacy by the 'black suited brigade'.  My husband, after reading this story, said I acted more polite to them than most.  At the time, I didn't think about how I was treating them - they were just invading my space and I didn't like it.  He said he would have been more rude to them, but I guess I wanted to make them suffer in the hot sun while they carried on with their constant liturgy- I thought that was a good punishment for disturbing my private space.  Even though it was obvious - they just wouldn't leave. After I felt as though I made them cook enough in the hot sun, I bid farewell- so - yes- did I handle them politely- perhaps not.  But they were dealing with me now!

A few years later, I was a very happy and contented Mother of a 2 1/2 year old and a small baby.  It was mid afternoon and I had just settled my young daughter in her 'feeding chair', a small wooden rocker, (which by the way still exists in my study), and she got ready to 'feed' her baby - a much loved doll. I was also settling down to quietly breastfeed my baby girl, so that we could all try to get some nap time that afternoon.  Suddenly there was a loud knock at our wooden kitchen door.

I hadn't even heard a vehicle drive up the long gravel driveway of our farming property, so I was a bit worried and yet perturbed at this interference at the same time.  I told Bron to stay where she was, and holding Lauren in my arms and covering myself up, I quickly went down to the kitchen door to see who was standing on the other side of the glass door window.  But- guess who!!  It was 'the black suited brigade' standing at my door.  Was I irritated?  You betcha!

I opened the door, saying "Look..I'm not interested and as you can see--I'm very busy and preoccupied here!"

But they wouldn't take no for an answer!  So, as you can imagine, I was really beginning to boil inside---I always have hated anyone's invasion into my privacy--but these guys just would not give up!  By now Lauren was hungrily crying, and Bron, frightened, had started to wander down the hallway, to see what was going on. 

Yelling out above Lauren's incessant crying, I quickly called out to Bronwyn: ' Darling. It's OK. Mummy has to deal with this --just go into your bedroom, and play with your toys, and I'll come get you soon. OK?"

"OK, Mummy", she replied as she headed towards her room. 

I was feeling desperate with a crying and screaming baby by now, I felt I was forced to invite this 'black suited brigade' into my house as I couldn't just keep standing at the door with Lauren crying in my arms.

As soon as they got inside inside they started: "We are here to let you know that the world is coming to an end, and we just want to know if you are prepared?"  Now I was angry.

"What are you playing at?" I said somewhat loudly to them.  "I cannot believe that with all that I am trying to contend with here, that you now say something like that!  Are you insane?"

"Ma'am, we just are trying to help you to get ready and make sure that you are prepared for what may lay ahead"

"Ready? Ready?" It suddenly hit me what I had to do.  Holding Lauren in my arms I went over to the kitchen counter, and opening a drawer took out a large butcher knife.  I knew they were watching me, as they had stopped talking.

"OK.  If I have to get ready as you say, then we should probably start with this one. If the world is really coming to an end, I don't want any unnecessary suffering to happen to my children, so we might as well end her life now, as quickly as possible". 

With that I pulled out the large butcher knife and then continued:"Which part do you want to do?  Hold her while I slit her throat as one would do to a lamb, or do you two want me to hold her and you do the killing?"

I held out the knife, and waited for an answer.

They were shocked. Which is what I wanted them to be.

"Look.  We're sorry.  Perhaps we came on too strong, or you have taken the wrong reaction, but it is OK.  None of us have to do this!  This world isn't coming to an end right now.."

I was so angry it was all I could do not to shout at them--but calmly, I looked at them and simply stated: " You are idiots!  How many homes and people have you done this same routine to?  How many people may have reacted for real just like I did?  You are so lucky that I knew what I was doing, and was hoping to teach you a lesson.  Now get out of my house and never come near me again, or anyone else.  You are useless, and not a good representative of anyone.  You are dangerous, and need to be stopped.  Now leave.  I despise what you are doing!"

They quickly ran out the door, and I watched them as they jumped in their car, which their god must have paid a lot of money to own, and left.

I gently held Lauren, and shaking just a bit, went back into the house, and putting that stupid butcher knife away safely in its drawer, I started up the hallway to find Bronwyn, and settle us all once again for a quiet afternoon.

(It is worth noting that I was a drama teacher!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The black suited brigade!

I will probably make enemies as I write this, but one has to remember that never at any stage have I ever invited the 'black suited brigade' to come to my home and try to preach to me.  I have my own beliefs and my own religion- 'Thank you very much!'  I just never needed them to remind me of the upcoming world's end, or any other shock tactic they ever wished to choose.

My first episode with the 'black suited brigade' was when I was in my mid-twenties, and newly married.  I had a day off from teaching, and I was just in the process of giving a bubble bath to our puppy Elsa (a red Australian terrier), and our adopted cat, Snow ( a deserted and then found struggling kitten with sun burnt white ears, who John had found a bit battered on his parents farm). They loved the bubble baths which always surprised our friends and family!  I would let them play in the tub as I put on my bikini, then would gradually and safely empty the water and bubbles while rinsing them, and then holding them gently, I would wrap them in the towels that were laying waiting on the bathroom floor and while wrapped in towels, I would carry them out to the front veranda, on our rented farm house.  Just us and the privacy!

On this particular late morning, I heard a car coming up our country road to our house, and then park outside of our 6 foot high front gate way.  Without even knocking or singing out, these two black suited strangers suddenly entered my front area, where I had been just sitting and enjoying my time with my two pets, my frosty coke and ice, and the morning sun.

As I was only in my bikini, I was already feeling insulted by their behaviour, and then they opened their mouths.  Then I was angry!  My two small pets were frightened and Elsa was trying very hard to be a good guard dog--she wouldn't let them come very close to me and as they moved, she nipped at their feet- which is normal behaviour for this sort of terrier.  That suited me just fine, so I didn't call her off. 

They continued to stand there in the hot sun and started to profess the end of the world usual liturgy and I just sat, sipping my large icy coke and let them talk themselves out.  I was hearing about the end of the world coming soon, and was I prepared, etc...the usual stuff.  When they ran out of breath and bible passages, I sat there very calmly and slowly quoted a bible verse right back at them, defeating their arguments. They were a bit stunned and clearly thrown off--but I just smiled and told them that as a child I had attended for many years a Baptist church and had been very involved in bible study until about the age of 13-14.  I knew my stuff!

They continued to stand in the hot sun, trying to convince me that only what they were saying was correct, and I just quoted bible verses back at them, while I sipped my cold drink and sucked on the ice blocks....this went on for a while...Elsa kept her guard watch and never wavered, but Snow was obviously bored, and eventually jumped off the veranda and lazily strolled over to the  'black suited brigade', sniffed their shoes, and with a dismissal that only a cat can do , she haughtily walked away. 

Eventually, I noticed that my icy coke glass was empty, so I suddenly stood up, called Elsa to come to me and announced. "Well, my cold drink is empty and I am very bored with you, so I am now going inside.  Don't come back--in fact don't approach anyone else here in this community...we don't need or want you.  Goodbye!"  With that I just walked in the front door and securely locked it.

Get ready for Part 2 - yep that means it just kept happening...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mercury poisoning

When I was somewhere between 2-3 in age, I must have hurt myself, and as all Mothers did, my Mum put Mercurochrome on that injury --only to discover that I was allergic to mercury!  I ended up with mercury poisoning, and to hear her tell me the story way back when, it was pretty serious!

All that I remember from that experience was that I was left on my own in a big room, in a hospital, with large windows and I was in a baby's cot.  It was made of dark wood, and all I remember doing is trying to get out of there! 

There were nurses (I guess) but they looked like Nuns, and it appeared that I was in a Catholic hospital, (but of course I didn't know that!)  In an attempt to make my hospital room more friendly, there had been a few stuffed animals put on the wide window sill of my room.  So at one stage, after much maneuvering, I managed to climb out of my cot, and dropped to the floor, and of course proceeded to that window sill, in order to better inspect these rare treasures!   I climbed up onto the window sill, and started to reach for the toys, when the nun /nurses came into the room...they panicked and grabbed me, probably surprised that I was after all a crafty and very smart baby-"Don't fence me in sister!",  I thought as they grabbed me!

This was apparently a trick I learned very early on in my own cot, and Dad and Mum had to keep trying to figure out how to keep me from escaping.  Apparently I don't like the look of bars--good thing I have never been arrested  or put behind bars--who knows what I would have done---but there I go again, getting off the subject--where was I?  Oh yeah--well--what right did these nun/nurses have to show me the toys and not let me have them?  Maybe this was a prison!!

It makes me wonder if the window was open and there wasn't a screen--ooh!  I could have fallen!  But major pay-out to Mum and Dad for my death--why does my brain think this way sometimes!  Because it does is the answer...I'm sure there must have been a window screen--so why did the nun/nurses panic?  Too many law suits that month?

Anyway, after that episode I was actually tied into my cot with a net over the top so that I couldn't escape..I was still alone in this room, and I still don't remember any toys to play with. I do remember trying to learn how to untie these nun knots--but they were tricky, and they had a few more years of practice at it that I did!

Finally my Mum and Dad came to take me home, but do you know what I had to do before they could rescue me from this nun/nurse crazy house?  I had to do a poo in a special potty. C'mon..a poo! Can you do a poo on cue?  I'm rhyming and I don't even mean to!  Hey!  I was so young--but I was so determined to escape this nun/nurse place, that I must have obliged, after probably much inspection, and lots of discussion, my poo passed all tests ... so my poo and I were released and free to go home.

To this day, when doctors ask me if I am allergic to anything I always mention mercury--they look at me quizzically, wondering why in the world I would say that or even know it, and still I have my reasons! :-))

Monday, September 10, 2012

Early morning--just me and the quiet

I woke up early again--my feet have been doing a lot of jumping again.  Stupid feet!  I think it is the sudden change in the weather--they are great barometers--just not my best friends at the moment!

I use this time to think about things, and after all these years there are so many memories and hopefully many new ones to create as I go forward.  I have had such an interesting life, with a lot of adventures, and at times, a bit of sorrow--but it has balanced itself out with good friends, loving family and precious moments.  I guess I'd have to add there has been a lot humour here to!!  Humour plays a large part in my psyche.  It makes me feel good. So when I say to Chris, as I have been lately, "I don't feel a lot of humour today" It makes us both sad.

I have been suffering from a side-effect to an antibiotic which was prescribed for a rash that appeared on my legs.  After almost finishing the medication, which had various agressive side effects on me, I suddenly started to develop a rash on both of my arms.  This rash became more painful than the original complaint! The doctor prescribed an ointment, (probably afraid to combat with yet another antibiotic) and I am gradually healing--but it had been especially annoying.  Don't you just hate that!

Before I went to the doctor we stopped at a chemist shop last Sunday in desperation, and he prescribed for me a stronger anti-histamine, combined with creme which contains amongst its healing agents  - calamine lotion- the good ol' stand-by! It has been these two products that have really come to my rescue.

At the moment the rash on my arms is clearing - it's about time!- and I am beginning to feel my ol' self again.  I have missed me.....

View from the front of our home
It is just past dawn, and I just grabbed my camera and took some photos of my immediate surroundings around our home-- I just can't explain how peaceful and beautiful it is to live here...we feel blessed every day.

I hope you enjoy the photos, as the trees and flowering shrubs change here, I will include them...but for now- except for my stupid kicking feet, I'm going to try to enjoy what this day brings.  I hope you do too!

This beautiful flowering shrub grows underneath
the palms outside of my study window
These are our Shrinkles, which originally belonged to
Chris' Mum. We love them as they are so whimsical!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Soa Soa

We recently went to the Cairns Tropical Zoo--which is becoming a favourite of mine, and I got the opportunity to once again observe and spend some time with one of my favourite 'inmates'!  It is a Soa Soa or Philippine Sailfin Lizard.  Now in reality I am not a great fan of either snakes or lizards but I do like admiring the large or unusual ones while I am safely protected by the glass enclosure...but somehow this lizard affected me differently.  He has both times I have had the pleasure of interacting with him.
He has such personality and really responds to movement and me!  When I was there the other day I gently touched the glass cage wall and he stopped and looked at me, and then as I moved my finger he followed it, very quickly!  I had so much fun playing with him!  At one stage as he moved backward and forward in his glassed enclosure, he even tried to climb the glass to get a better view of me, or what I was doing....he would then stop and raising a leg and paw, would 'wave' at me as he stared at me, as much as I stared at him.  I especially loved it when he did that, and I was flat out trying to remember to take photos of him at the same time....
When I started to spend so much time with him, and was making him respond to my actions, other people in the area began to slow down and stop to see what I was doing.  He would stop his actions and just sit still, and yet when they left, and just I was alone with him, he would start to perform again for me.. I had so much fun with him!
After awhile, Chris and I decided to leave and catch up with Flip and the grand kids who were busy feeding the kangaroos,  so I sadly said goodbye to my Soa Soa, and he watched my every move as I yet again took another photo of him, promising him that this wouldn't be my last visit!  He watched me start to close my camera, and just stood transfixed....I knew then that he was very photogenic and wanted more photos, so I obliged..this is a photo of him posing--and believe me, he was posing!
I promised to come back to see him, and just as I was turning to leave a young couple came up and started to see what I was looking at. I explained to them that if they took the time, this little guy would attempt to talk with them to, and putting my finger against the glass where his nose was--I said goodbye, and he instantly put up his leg on the glass, as if to say good-bye for now....What an interesting guy he was--now he could very easily turn me into a lizard aficionado!!