Friday, December 30, 2011

a tale of 2 surgeries

Hard to believe that I'm back on here already. Yes a mere 2 and a half weeks after brain surgery, my second. I had my first 19th Feb 2010 and this last one 12th Dec 2011 and the experiences were poles apart. Just briefly (I am post op still after all).
1st: I was in theatre 12 hours (roughly)
2nd: I was in theatre 3 hours (in anaesthetics pre op for ages and I cannot recommend midazolam highly enough as a pre op relaxant)
1st: I don't remember the first 2 days (spent in ICU and high dependency)
2nd: I remember the first night telling my husband to go home to the kids at 10 o'clock (spent the night in high dependency)
1st: I slept more than I was awake, for weeks!!!
2nd: I only have 1 nanna nap
1st: they only got 80% of the tumour (it probably would have killed me if they'd tried to get it all admittedly)
2nd: it's all gone, even the bit in my ear and around my trigeminal nerve
1st: I needed allied health therapy of every sort and a walking stick
2nd: so far I haven't needed any of it

All told I am very grateful to both doctors at the PA (princess alexandra hospital) even though they didn't get all the tumour and were very much against me going a 2nd time, as well as Dr Teo (at the prince of wales private) for getting it all out, with far less side effects this time. With luck this is the last time I ever have to go through this. While I still have to recuperate (face still fairly numb, ear still pretty deaf and eyes still not coordinating), I have no permanent nerve damage and no tumour. I am also eternally grateful that I had a benign tumour and not a cancerous one and send out my best wishes to those fighting a cancerous tumour.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

End of year

Yes, it's the pointy end of the year. The countdown to Christmas is on.  The tree is up, pressies bought and wrapped, cards given/sent. I've also...
shopped for the kids (for while I'm away), packed (mostly bags), washed sheets, doctors appt attended, paperwork for work done, attended to emails (mostly) and have prepared garden for while I'm gone. We leave for Sydney and a date with Dr Teo at the Prince of Wales private (on the 12th) tomorrow. Just quietly, I'm bricking it (as the poms would say). On the one hand, he said he would prefer to get rid of the tumour while it's still small and I'm still young (thanks). On the other hand the doctors at the hospital I had the first operation have said different things to me every time I've seen them, the latest being leave it, it's risky and it's not growing at the moment, wait as long as you can before we operate (which is inevitable). As my GP said, damned if you do, damned if you don't. After careful consideration, I'm going with operate now, while I am still young and recovery will be easier.
So, we leave tomorrow, driving. One day I will have to post about the many fun trips we've done in the car across the country, but today isn't that day. We are going to the Harry Potter exhibition and miss 8 is dying to go. A friend from work has kindly emailed some things for us to see in Sydney (we're catching up with her, when she also goes down there with her kids). So, it won't all be unpleasant. I've also dragged out the comedy DVDs. I bought the box set of Frasier while I was convalescing (love that word) last year. I think I got through seasons 1, 2 & 3. I also have the last season of Seinfeld with me. Daytime tv was driving me bonkers. All I ended up doing was swearing at the infomercials and marvelling at how petty all our problems seem. I probably won't be up to much reading, but I have a couple of books and my nintendo DS (brain training games) and of course, my trusty ipad (pats fondly). We'll be fine.
I have set myself a challenge for when we get back home (22nd/23rd). It is my back yard at the very bottom of our 1 &1/4 acre block, about 10m2. After 13 years, G finally fenced it off properly and I am going to rescue it from the bush and weeds and turn it into some sort of garden. When it rains heavily it gets rather wet (it's on a slope), it's mostly in shade and it's close to the bush.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


No, this is not a post about all the fish I've enjoyed eating over the years, although I do like a good barra, snapper, coral trout, get the drift (haha, God I amuse myself sometimes).
No, this is about fish being friends, not food (damn you Finding Nemo). They came in almost by proxy. First off a tank came via Ms 24s boyfriend. The fish (2 of em) were his ex girlfriend's and he didn't want the reminder anymore. He asked Miss 11 if she wanted them, which of course she did (der). So there it went. The fish died, were buried not flushed, got replaced and so on and so on. I resisted Miss 8 getting any for ages, because I knew who'd end up looking after them. Yessss.
I've refused many suggested pets over the years from horses to snakes/lizards or chooks, to dogs or cats, but foolishly let Miss 8 get a fish. Well now, we have 2 siamese fighting fish tanks (empty), one standard tank (empty), another standard tank (inexplicably still with water in it, but vacant as the occupant is now also buried in our veritable pet cemetary) and Hexy the tank. I still call it by its brand name, cos it's cool. Hexy is 80 litres capacity, has a cupboard a big arse light, cool filter and oddly enough is hexagonal in shape. Go figure! It is also occupied by a large goldfish called Mitchell. Yep, Mitchell. Now I don't even know if Mitchell is a boy or girl, but there you have it. Mitchell is also a greedy pig of a fish, who likes frozen (but thawed out peas).
Anyhoo, I know far more about fish and tank maintenance than I'd like to. Firstly, we have gravel, fake plants, real aquatic plants (that Mitchell loves to chew on and pull out of their pots) and a hidey hole.
We also have fish food, filter products including fluffy stuff, charcoal and solid honeycomb shaped "things" (technical terms I know), oh and water conditioner. We have a fish net, Ph kits, a magnetic glass cleaner and a gravel cleaner/pump. Yay. I came home from work at about 5 yesterday and along with my husband G spent until 6.30 cleaning bloody Hexy. Hexy now looks lovely and Mitchell seems happy, if hungry, but God it takes up time.
At least we had pizza at the end of it.

Christmas is a comin....

Well, folks, we're on the downhill slide to Christmas. I know, I know, it's only November, but there it is looming.
For me, there's always a mild sense of panic at about this time of year. From August on I have to "celebebrate" (read buy pressies for) 4 children (2 of them grown, now Ms 24 and Mr/master 21). I have finally finished the birthday presents and have even purchased my own birthday present from my husband (thank you birdsnest). I'm wondering if he'll wrap the birdsnest bag or just hand it to me....Oh, that's right, he's generously "agreed" to give it to me 2 days early so that I can wear it to his work Christmas party. Isn't that nice of him??? Where was I? Oh yes, Christmas presents.
Well this year, there is the added pressure of us not being home for the first part of December, because we will be travelling down to Sydney to me to have my head examined (literally) by Dr Teo and have my tumour removed. Yay (ish). So, I'm anticipating that I will not be up to my usual frantic shenanigans this Christmas. So, now I have started up with the lists again. Yep, atm there is the present list, then there is the packing list. Then I have to wrap said presents, send cards early, get tree up and pack bags for the trip. We're also going to see the Harry Potter exhibit pre op and I will be meeting a friend and her kids while down there.
I'm also seeing my GP pre trip to discuss said trip and beg for nightly sedatives so that I can sleep once I start shitting myself in earnest.
We should, all being ok, be back just before Christmas though.
PS, other things to organise, garden right down end of yard (turn from jungle like area to garden beds with selected plants), photos to come and above ground pool (2nd hand, hubby to finish, started already), you know, nothing major.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Melbourne to Qld

This is in response, largely, to Bern Morley's blog of a few days ago. She's done the opposite to me. She's moved to Melbourne from the Gold Coast. In the mid 90s I moved from Melbourne to Ipswich. The move was the desperate measure of a recent graduate. Nursing jobs were a bit thin on the ground then, what with Kennett and his severe cost cutting measures. I'd started applying all over the joint. I even fired off an application to Kalgoorlie. In the end, Ipswich hospital got there first. The month after that was filled with a lot of lists, as well as packing. My hubbie (then boyfriend) was to come up later. Things were a bit rocky, so I was a bit doubtful, but he did.
I noticed the change in weather in NSW as we approached the border. A highlight of the trip up was when my son held a toy microphone plus stand out the car window and lost the stand. As my daughter looked at me (it was hers), I said, "I'm not going back". It was early September. Melbourne was still cold, with a cold, changeable wind, still kinda winter weather, occasionally warmer. This wasn't. The wind wasn't even cold, for crying out loud.
We moved into one of those "charming" high set houses that were built a lot in the 70s and 80s. It had no insulation, crappy carpet, no real curtains and the "laundry" (and I use the term loosely) was downstairs. Oddly enough, the bathroom was huge. Go figure. To go with the no insulation, Ipswich has a slightly different climate to Brisbane, hotter in summer, colder in winter. Best of both worlds so to speak, so that house was real comfortable at times. We did shift into an outer suburb of Brisbane after a few years. The humidity still sucks sometimes. Thanks to airconditioning. The evaporative cooling system is pointless up here, unless you like the climate of say Darwin or Cairns.
I found that a lot more people up here went to church than they did in Melbourne. Maybe all my acquaintances were a bunch of Godless wretches, but I don't think so.
Shops didn't open on Sundays at all and only until 12 on Saturdays. You could've fired a cannon down the main drag in Ipswich Saturday 2pm.
I got handed a white dress (several actually) when I picked up my uniforms at the hospital and got told to  buy brown shoes and my own red cape. WTF??? I'm not the flying nun here. I was used to the white shirt with navy pants/skirt, which now we actually have.
I did get truly sick of being called a Mexican, with varying degrees of contempt. Usually the most contemptuous were by men that I'd turned down. Interesting that. I really don't recall Qlders have the piss taken out of them like that.
Driving......people up here couldn't use roundabouts, merge and disliked being overtaken. The worst offenders for this would sit in the right lane, next to a car in the left lane with long lines of cars behind both cars. Again, WTF??? If I catch my hubby doing that, I tell him that he's driving like a Qlder, that gets a bit of movement.
I think, eventually we might move back to Melbourne, or at least the Mornington Peninsula. Of course our 2 oldest have grown up here and will, no doubt, make their lives here and our younger 2 were born here, but we're keeping an open mind.
Do I like Qld? Of course, but I do understand those that yearn just a bit for home.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I've been watching hoarders on pay tv lately. Car crash tv at its best. To start with it's either on the crime channel (crime against self/family) or bio (the sad story of someone's life). Watching an episode of hoarders makes me feel like cleaning and throwing out stuff, much in the same way that my ex morbidly obese neighbour used to inspire me to continue going to gym.
I've been going through my own and family member's papers/toys/stuff lately. It's depressing that there's still more, even when you're done!!! I went through the filing cabinet a while ago (both mine and hubby's drawers). He had septic tank maintenance bills from back in '98, as well as old concert tickets and a few handwritten referees from the 80s, saying what a hard worker and all round lovely guy he was when he worked in a supermarket as a kid. Mmm hmm. Generously I let him keep them. I had group certificates from the early 90s. Yep.
Mr 21 just has a load of shitty tshirts. I don't even touch them really. He also has a lot of CDs and DVDs. I do hope 2 of my DVDs eventually turn up in his room.
Miss 24 is hoarding quite differently than the usual. She is collecting stuff to put in her house when she eventually moves out for good (oh blessed day). Her boyfriend just shakes his head. I usually laugh.
Miss 10 used to be a shocker, but after a number of silent wars (you know the type, one throws something out, the other gets it back, nothing is said, at all) she is getting better. I'm still not really game to go in the bed box at the end of her bed.
Miss 7 is interesting..... I went through her room today and some of the shit I saw blew my mind. Particularly when I went behind her chest of drawers and saw empty packet upon packet of biscuits etc. Needless to say I filled a bag with "stuff" and she will probably hate me when she gets home from school. Now, to get to the old cards I've kept.....


New month peoples, so new post. We're very busy this month. From now on in, it's a slippery slope to Christmas. Normally at this time of year I'm starting to feel some sense of panic.  It's getting close to Christmas and we have 4 birthdays between now and Christmas.
My husband has a birthday in May. Mr 20 turned into Mr 21 (man child) in August, but so far that's it.
Now we are expecting Miss 23 to turn into Miss 24 next week. Miss 7 will become Miss 8 at the end of the month. Early next month, Miss 10 will become Miss 11. I will simply not get older at all on my birthday in early December, oh and I'm not going to mention my exact age. God knows my body lets me know that anyway. I now need bifocals. Bifocals FFS! Oh and I went to primary school in the 70s and wore ghastly hairstyles and puffy, bright clothing at various stages in the 80s.
Normally I would be in a moderate state of panic about the sheer volume of presents I have to buy. Mr 21 seemed surprised that his older sister has a birthday next week. He's only known her 21 years after all. Mind you hubby still struggles to remember anyones birthday. This year, I'm in only a mild state of panic. Thanks to my wily plan of slogging my guts out in August with the Census. I have had the cash to buy most of the Christmas/birthday pressies.....and a hexagonal fishtank and this lovely iMac that I'm currently typing on. I'm fairly sick of the empty fishtank box though. Miss 7 insists on dragging it about as variously a cubby/cat box/ hidey box. One day it will just disappear.
Guess who's going to be buying their own Christmas/birthday present though, as usual. Then I will be presenting it to my hubby to wrap and maybe getting it the present in the bag it came in with a card. Hmmm.
Anywho, I'm looking at the Gillette jewellers website. I love them, they layby.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Long break

Yes folks, it's been a while (oh alright ages) since I've posted well anything on my blog. I do have good reason, however. Last month I was a Census collector. I may have mentioned earlier on (or not) that I may be having further surgery at the end of the year. This means that come Christmas time I will be cactus and not really fit for any Christmas shopping sprees. So what better way than to get myself some extra money beforehand and wa la, problem solved. So I duly applied (as did one of my kids) and got accepted (miss 23 as the reserve). We started preparation/training late July and delivery shortly thereafter. Couple of days rest and then into collection and then counting and reconciliation of the (damned) book. Couple of things I learned about Census collection.
1. There was a lot of stuff and if you lost any of it, you may have to met your local feds (gulp).
2. I am so glad I never went into accounting, I tend to make a mess of most forms, let alone a large thick book. As for reconciliation.....don't get me started.
3. I got fitter (and lost a bit of weight), all that walking.
4. I live in a nice neighbourhood. Most people were really nice (or at least civil).
5. Not everyone will be happy about doing it. In our area some refused outright, or just didn't send in their forms etc. That's their choice I guess.
6. I have real feeling for the job of posties now. Some dogs will try to attack you through the fence near the letterbox, or even try to jump the fence.
7. This job is all consuming for the short time you do it. Between my permanent job and this one, I worked out (very roughly) that I worked the equivalent of 1 &3/4 full time work. Gaaarh!

I sacrificed a volunteers position at the Brisbane Writers Festival for this, oh well, maybe next year.
As for the Christmas presents (and birthday presents), well on the way. Yay!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Who would thought that eyes could be traumatic? There they sit, on your face, doing what they do. Letting us get around without anyone else's or thing's help. I used to read obsessively in the half dark as a kid. I always got told that I'd go blind if I kept straining them, thanks ppl. I always had great vision, regular 20/20 (actually 6/6, it's metric), until my mid 30s, when I found I had trouble looking from my book to the tv at night. I promptly went to qn optometrist and ended up with glasses, which have gotten stronger over the last few years.

As a part of my application to drive again after my surgery (yes, it's a big deal), I had to get my peripheral vision checked out. That's where you put your eye up to a machine (one qt q time) and are given q button to press every time a small dot flashes up on the screen in front of you. I'm sure I pressed way too many times, but what the he'll, I passed anyway.

The other drama was with miss 23s eyes. She was applying to go into the army at 18, when they asked her to get her eyes checked. She's worn glasses since 3 you see. She had a patch over her right eye for a couple of years. The left eye has always been bit weaker too. Well the optometrist found a detached retina. Cue the tears. Well a week later, she was getting the first of her eye operations (the other one was also detached, just not as badly). This involved day surgery, scleral buckles, heavy gas injections, lots of post op eye drops and some time off work. Thanks to the eye centre at the gold coast, her eyes have healed wonderfully anther vision is fine, although they say they will deteriorate as she gets old, but she can still see. Not sure if she fully appreciates it yet, but she will eventually.

Miss 7 has recently complained of a couple of funny things with her vision, she off we go to the optometrist again. Pray for me.....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Emergency departments

Part 2....
Ahhh the pain of the emergency department visit. I've done a few over the years. Private hospitals have fairly civilized ones, with shorter waiting times and nicer surroundings than public hospitals. I went years ago when miss 23 dropped a concrete block on her foot (shod) and detipped her toe, complete with toenail. We were going regularly for the dressings until she dobbed me in. "my mummy wears one of those watches....and uniforms. There was a significant silence and then she asked if I was a nurse. (doh, sprung by a 3 year old), they didn't accept my protests that I was still training and I subsequently got a garbage bag full of dressings dumped at my feet and a "you'll be right". Grrr. Mister 20 has necessitated a few trips to ED (emergency department) over the years. A funny one involved him writhing around in pain after he had a reaction to some aloe Vera over sunburn. Miss 7 split the bridge of her nose this year, requiring suturing. Mr 20 drove us and started going white when he saw the sutures being done. I got accepted into a training course in ED, but it started at the same time as the midwifery course, so I picked that, fortunately. I'm cynical enough already.
As anyone who read my post would know my husband had his gall bladder out and subsequently went yellow, at which stage I took him back to the hospital at which he got operated on.

Prsonally, I think he's a lousy historian, we waited for nearly 4 hours to get in. He dozed fitfully (so did I for that matter). People coughed, I cringed. Babies cried, I felt like shouting at them to take them home. Fortunately for all of us I didn't. We got in as I was on the verge of going up to triage (nearly 4 hours later) and "chatting" to her.

The first thing they said inside ED was "ooh, you're yellow aren't you!" no shit Sherlock! The end result was he was admitted.
The downside:
We waited for hours (they were very busy)
The baby next to us and the girl also next to us weren't that sick (grr, go to the GP people). The registrar told him off for not disclosing his full medical history when he had (which I pointed out), although she was flustered.
One of the senior nurses told off a junior nurse in front of us (very unprofessional).
I had no dinner (was there from 4-11pm).
The upside:
It was free
Once inside he got seen promptly and one of the surgical registrars was called quickly.
The care was good and what I'd expect from a developed country.

In the end, my hubby stayed in hospital for a week, passed a gall stone which had obstructed his common bile duct and is now back to normal, or close to it. It's hard to know when to go to an ED. Even as a nurse, I would hesitate to give a few vague instructions. Most states do have an information line 24 hours a day, staffed by experienced nurses who will ask the appropriate questions and then advise you. The only thing I'd advise is if it can wait til the morning, let it, oh and give your history (of the illness/injury and your medical issues) properly. It can save a lot of time and may greatly help.
Some humour. Let's face it, we're a sadistic lot and sometimes the stress our jobs place on us leads to so called gallows humour. The Internet is alive with gallows humour. Hers a couple of my favorites.
You look at strangers and think 'nice veins'
Discussing dismemberment over dinner seems perfectly normal
You think 'too stupid to live' should be a recognized diagnosis
There are many more such gems, but you'll hve to find em yourself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Men and illness

As most readers would know, I'm a nurse. At the moment I work with babies and their mums.I used to work with pregnant and laboring mums. Before that I worked with men (primarily) in a male surgical ward (and orthopedics).
Working in orthopedics Means that you mostly look after: old women who fall over and break a hip, usually a neck of their femur(thigh bone). It's the thinnest part right at the top of the bone and so very prone to breakage in our osteoporotic elderly citizens. They generally need hip replacements, screws etc. Almost without fail when you get them up for a shower post op they pee on your feet. That's why there are gumboots for the nursing staff to wear when showering patients.
Then you get to look after men who have accidents. Some road traffic ones (whether motorbike or automobile), some shed ones, my favorite. The shed ones tend to happen more commonly around Christmas time. The men get a power tool, a skinful of grog and head on out to the shed to try out the new drill, saw etc. Cue the blood/tendon/ligament injuries. Yesss.
Then I worked in male surgical. Urology (prostates and kidney stones), ENT (ear, nose & throat) as well as general surgery. Anh, yes I remember the sputum mugs well from ENT (shudder). Ask any nurses about sputum mugs, we all have our personal waterloos.
I have found (from personal experience/anecdotal evidence, which, I might add, is a highly underrated method or research) that men fall into 2 categories of patients.
1. The wimp. They are the sort that believe that every cold is a deadly flu and take to their beds accordingly. In hospital they use narcotic pain relief accordingly. They will also argue with the nurses about why they should have it when they're sitting happily in an arm chair beside their bed (I may be exaggerating here).
2. The hero/idiot. This particular patient thinks it's girly/wimpy/whatever to admit that something is wrong with them. They will suffer in "silence", like they're fooling people. They would crawl with their bleeding stumps behind them to do a days work and say it was only a scratch while quietly going white in the corner. They refuse pain relief while fidgeting ferociously, saying that they're ok (sadly I'm not exaggerating unlike with the bleeding stumps scenario). We can all recognize these types. We are either married to/living with/related to one of them. I'm married to example No 2.
When 19 he got hit by a flying brick in the abdomen from a brick truck while on his motorbike. He subsequently had a laparotomy (fancy way of saying they opened him right up), they took his spleen out, sewed up his liver and a kidney. He discharged himself a week later, having lied and said his mother would be home to look after himself (she went to work). That is JUST 1 example of his foolishness. I could go on but it gets boring and repetitive. He found out that he needed his gall bladder out late last year. There was a long and involved path to his surgery, including disruption to gas supplies due to the floods, a fun night in an emergency department with abdominal pain, a lot of shouting from me (such things as: FFS just take some pain relief and no sausages for you), but we finally got there. He survived pain free the trip to the US (the wait staff always looked confused when I said I was having the burger and him the salad) and the lead up to the op. He did once voice the opinion that he might be ok and not need the op because he hadn't had any pain for ages, to which the shouting recommenced.

That was not the end of the whole sorry saga. No, no, no. Then there was the "I don't need a sick certificate/certificate for light duties, or even to take it easy. He went back to work q week later, trying to ignore the whole episode and when he came down with a virus 2 weeks later ended up going yellow. So we ended up back at the hospital. Ahhh, the circle of life.

I will follow up part 1 of the illness story with part 2: emergency department.

Don't think women are perfect patients. They're not, but their painfulness is more diffuse, if you will. They cover a broader spectrum that way. I may (when I work it out) write about them.

Do you have a story about men/males and their illness? Love to hear about it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


What a surprise, I get headaches, a lot of them. Sometimes I think my life is one big headache. Grr. I have been getting them since I was 8. It was an interesting scenario. Picture this: Sicily 1922 (oh sorry, that's an episode out of the golden girls). Anywho, it was ahlloween day, we came to school dressed in costume. By morning tea I was starting on my first ever migraine. My teacher (who btw, had been an inpatient at a mental health facility the year before and I don't think was coping that well with the stress of teaching) refused to send me to the sick bay, so I spent all recess with my head in my friends lap. After recess she ended up sending me to sickbay, but weirdly told them not to call mum. I got my lunch order delivered there, didn't eat it, but dozed on and off for the rest of the day. At the end of school, my friend collected me and told me that shed get her mum to drive me home (I used to walk). The school had one of the first pedestrian crossings in Melbourne and halfway through it, I did a power spew......and promptly started crying. All I remember of the rest of the day was mum putting me in bed and talking to my friends mother for a while at the gate about it. I believe she complained to the school about this incident, but this is not a whingeing about my headache qt 8, I know there were far worse things that could've happened in my childhood. It was just the first one ever.
As you may be aware, I have a meningioma (only a small one left, but still there). It will be gone by the end of the year after dr teo has finished with me, but I think I'll still get headaches and will still feel a lot of paranoia about them. Being somewhat of an expert on headaches, I shall discourse about them here (that sounded impressive, didn't it?).
Migraines: often one wide of the head, can cause photo phobia (light sensitivity) and loud noises can be unbearable. Can be accompanied by an "aura", such as visual disturbances and quite often nausea and vomiting are the end result. Yay. Lie in a quiet, dark room and take painkillers. You can take medication as a preventative if you get them often enough.
Cluster headaches:similar but usually not one sided.
Tension headaches: stress can cause them apparently, so they're considered one that can be managed by lifestyle.
Hunger headache: I've had these. Been skinny/slim all my life, so I eat a lot, just to stoke the fire continually. I'd say, the drop in blood sugar levels bring on the headache, but I have NOT researched this. This is anecdotal evidence (as they say).
Sinus headaches: caused by viruses etc, gaarh! I hate the feeling where you think your face will explode. Steam, cold and flu medicine etc can help this. If there's an infection, antibiotics.
Referred pain: if the muscles around your head or neck are stiff/sore, you'll get a headache. Heat, blessed heat, massage if you're lucky and pain relief if necessary.
Sadly I've pretty much had all of these. My lifelong history of headaches was probably part of the reason I saw 5 different doctors before one ordered a CT scan for me. Even hen the bad nes came back my GP said "you don't come across as someone with a tumor" even dr teo was surprised I had no other real symptoms. Go figure.
My only advice? If you have persistent headaches, be persistent yourself in getting answers. If you have pain upon standing up, see your doctor straight away, something is definitely wrong. That was the only other symptom I had and it was a recent one, telling my GP I had that probably saved my life.
Hmmm, this post was meant to be humouress as well. I'll leave you with this for humor. I got told recently that a woman (in the US) claimed that immunizations caused her toddlers brain tumor. No, it's not the fact that this woman's child is dead from a tumour, that's a tragedy. It's the lengths to which this woman went to link the vaccines to the tumour. Ive since found her letter to a politician on the net and she put a lot of work into, basically bad science.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Yep, first post of winter(god I've been lazy so far) and it's about sheets.
I finally went out and got a good set of sheets not long ago.
As a young mum, I learned to clamp down on the budget, hard. As a consequence, we had cheap sheet sets from big w, target et al. I once made the mistake of putting a set on my bed without washing them first. I woke up with a red, rashy, itchy face from the crap left on them from the factory. Never did that one again and they went straight into the washing machine. For a long time I viewed my friends and colleagues claims that Egyptian cotton 300 count sheets were the best with skepticism.
Well last month, when I realized that the fitted sheets were, in fact, no longer fitted and the girl's (miss 7 & 10) had pretty sad looking sheets, I decided to go for broke. Enter pillowtalk, or actually, me entering pillowtalk.
I got some quality cotton sheets for the girls and a set of 400 thread count all cotton sheets for us. I am now a convert. I have been thinking lately of getting another set each. My daughter (miss 23) claims to have found an online site for linen that's the bomb. Guess I'll be getting the address off her.
Btw, I love pillow talk. My husband shudders when he sees me with a catalogue in my hands.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm all for it myself. Others...not so much. Why? Who knows. I'm sure you could google a conspiracy theory about vaccines. God knows there's more conspiracy theories about than you can shake a stick at. 9/11, the moon landing, alienabductions (and anal probing), Roswell, just to name a few. Notice they're American?? Anyway...
Back in the day of rampant epidemics (on occasion), lack of antibiotics, sewerage or proper hygiene, in 1796, a Dr Edward Jenner began work on the first vaccine, which for smallpox. After some experimentation on some unsuspecting milkmaids, he successfully created the first vaccine. He then had enough confidence in it to test it on his own son, thankfully also successfully. Even though he is credited with the first vaccine, apparently he's not the first, but they are not as well known (or at all), or as scientific about it. Also some/all of the others used inoculation (live germ to immunize), rather than vaccination (deactivated germ), thanks to Louis Pasteur.
We actually managed to get rid of smallpox (except for some strains kept in labs) in 1977. The WHO launched a campaign to get rid of polio by 2000. It hasn't happened as of yet, but we live in hope. Apparently measles is next on the "hit" list. Unfortunately, we'll never be able to get rid of tetanus, since it commonly resides in and around soil, but there is vaccination.
Onto modern times there are a plethora of vaccines available. I've been a nurse immunized for a few years now, so I know the childhood schedule fairly well. It's a program I believe in. Unlike some, such as the Australian vaccination network. Now there's a misnomer isn't there? The actress Jenny McCarthy has publicly stated that the MMR (measles mumps and rubella) vaccine caused her son to develop autism (which she states btw that she has cured him of). It is organizations like this and others like it. Never mind the fact that the study by DR Andrew Wakefield has once and for all been discredited, we are still dealing with the fall out. Diseases which were once on the decrease are now on the rise. Pertussis (whooping cough), measles, tetanus and just recently in Brisbane a death of a young women from diphtheria. Apparently she was unimmunized and caught from an immunized friend that had been overseas recently. The last confirmed case of diphtheria was in 1993, I'm not sure if the patient died from it.
Why the (extended) rant? It's a combination of the young woman in Brisbane and some of the steadfastly obstinate and inventive people I see at work and their interesting reasons for refusing to vaccinate their babies.
Case in point. Diphtheria: effects of diphtheria. The bacteria Causes a sore throat initially. It can progress to a pseudo membrane which covers the throat, meaning unless a tracheostomy is performed the patient can't breathe. The bacteria can produce a toxin leading to heart disease and peripheral nerve damage. It has a high mortality rate, with between 5 and 20% dying and is easily transmitted by coughing etc. It can be immunized against at 2, 4, 6 months and 4 years, with boosters at 15 years. The possible side effects from that tend to be fever, soreness from the injection and possible swelling. Allergic reactions are so rare that I don't know any of my colleagues have ever seen them. So which would you choose?
Is immunization a perfect science? No. Are there risks with vaccinating? Yes. Are there preservatives in vaccines? Yes. Do we give babies a lot of vaccines? Yes.
Are the vaccines well tolerated? Yes. Do they reduce the risks of vaccine preventable diseases? Yes. Are they free and easy to get? Yes.
Any more questions?
My references (god this has turned into a scholarly piece, hasn't it)
National health and medical research centre (NHMRC)
Australian childhood immunization register ACIR
World health authority WHO
Centre for disease control CDC
Yes even Wikipedia (shame I can't say it's peer reviewed)
If you must look up the Australian vaccination network AVN (even if for some light reading)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ugg boots

As a Melbourne girl, I grew up with ugg boots and moccasins too. I had them both and loved them.  My moccasins were usually black, very fetching, oh and I was classy enough to wear them outside the house. My ugg boots too, for that matter. You could get them from all the markets, the Vic market included. Mine were beige, long with tasteful braid around the top. Yum. Well, I've finally gotten sick of the ugg boot style slippers with fake fur that disintegrate after a season's wear. My last pair from a popular chain store by the name of R*&^rs had half the sole pull away after a couple of months. Repeated glueing by my husband hasn't helped. I finally got sick of it, got sick of fake ugg boots, sick of magazine slippers (yes, I have them) and decided to lash out again.
Travelling overseas, we saw in NYC of all places (!?!?!) ugg boots out in public. Admittedly, it was cold (freezing), but really! The worst thing was, they were wearing Ugg Boot Australia brand. Now, clearly, that is an oxymoron. Apparently, in the 70s, a surfer (?from the US) saw the locals in Sydney wearing ugg boots and took the idea back home, as you do. Thus began a patent war. The parent company, Deckers took over in the 1990s and have expanded, as the Americans do. Deckers tried to trademark the phrase/words ugg boots etc, but Uggs n Ruggs led the challenge and it got overturned on the basis that ugg boots is actually a generic term in Australia (and NZ I think) and so Australian ugg boot makers have gone beserk on the internet. I do find it ironic that Ugg Australia is so called given that it's an American brand and who knows where they're actually made, or the sheep from. So, I bought a lovely pair of Blue Mountain ugg boots (100% Aussie made). I have a photo here, well up there. They were not cheap, but well worth it, but there's one problem.....I have competition for them.
As you can see.....

Saturday, May 14, 2011


This is about multiculturalism from my perspective only. There is a public debate at the moment about it, in light of the view of the regular arrival, by boat, of asylum seekers and the divide between religious factions. I make no attempt to come up with solutions to these, merely tell what it was like for me as I grew up. If anyone findsit racist, so be it.
I grew up in a south eastern neighborhood of Melbourne in the 70s. It was a typical middle class area, complete with cricket or tennis being played on the road on the weekend and kids hooning around on their bikes. It was also heavily populated by Greeks and Italians, as well as white Australians. Typically we went to school with bruno's as well as glenn's.
The fresh food market at nearby Oakleigh was where mum dragged us every Saturday morning.she knew a fair few of them due to being a regular, but all the signs were in Greek, gaarh. Personally, I hated that market, the signs I couldn't understand, the yelling, thhe smell of fish. The irony is, I'd probably love it now.
Here's the names of some girls I knew at school: soula ,toula, koula, voula, mena, nina,Lena, zena,rose, rosina, Rosetta, Rosemarie, Sophie, Sophia, sofi. I think most of those lived within a few blocks of me.
Our neighbors used to grow their own fruit and veg and kill pigs in spring. We used to get bags of fruit from them and their figs and grapes used to fall off on our side of the fence. I've always loved figs since then. In return, I used to play with their younger daughter, who used to get passed over the fence.
In the late 70s, asylum seekers were coming over, by boat, from mainly Vietnam. There was also an outcry about them. A lot of them settled in spring vale, where my nan lived. W were no strangers to Asians in our family, as my auntie had married a Chinese man who had lived in Malaysia. We had Eurasian cousins as a result. I do remember when the shops in spring vale started to sport signs written in Vietnamese. Ironically, one of the best Greek restaurants I've ever been to, complete with plate smashing, was in spring vale. Ohh, the garlic ridden hangovers I've had from that place.
We also lived near Monash uni, so there were always a lot of multicultural students living in the neighborhood.
In the 80s, I started to meet more people from different backgrounds. Firstly, I was friends with a polish girl at high school. One of the first times I visited, I was given borscht. I had never seen pink soup before. Thanks to mums strict manners training I ate it. To this day I love borscht. At the local high school I went to for years 10 & 11 (or parts there of), we "skips" were definitely in a minority. It really didn't bother me. I got to learn how to swear in several languages. I also got to see how so many Italians covered their furniture with plastic and put plastic runners down their hallways. Yes, I've seen pictures of people sitting on donkeys and yes, I knew the Oakleigh wogs, as they called themselves. They were a very small band of criminal types that terrorized the area.
At some time, in the late 80s, we started to get more Indians migrating and they too, moved into the oldest child was babysat by an Indian lady. Her house was always spotless. We knew a couple around then, through my husbands work, the wife was Indian, the husband white. They were a lovely couple. One day we went over their place and her and her sister (one of the 7) were in the kitchen with the biggest pile of garlic and ginger I've ever seen, cooking and preserving it for the rest of the year. I couldn't stay in there for long, the heat and smell were oppressive. I don't know how she did it.
As I grew up, I started to meet aboriginal Australians for the first time. By then, I'd come across nearly the globe (with the notable exceptions of south America and Africa), yet had never met any aboriginal Australians. Bit sad that. One of my friends was called deaf John. Guess why??? He was always glad that I could do the alphabet in sign (couldn't do auslan though). I learned a bit about land rights from him. Y the time I met John, who was living with white parents with another aboriginal boy (they'd adopted them), I knew about the 67 referendum. One day I brought him home with me. After he'd gone, we had an arguement because one of our neighbours commented on it. I was quite aggravated, understandably and it ended with me heatedly asking my parents how they voted in the referendum. I'm able to report that they voted yes, but for the first time ever, I was aware of others attitudes towards people different from them.
We were relatively open, but we had an uncle that came back from WW2 with a hatred towards the Japanese. He'd been in changi as a pow you see.
I first met the children of those that fled Lebannon when I worked in the city. I guess it was a cultural thing, but I found that no didn't actually mean no to those young men. I think it meant, we'll nag until you say yes.make no mistake, some of the guys I met were lovely, but I did get slapped on the face by one of them after yet another no. We all knew that white Australian girls were considered fair game at the time, as in "have fun with them, but marry one of ours". To be fair, the Turkish and Lebanese boys were not the only ones, told that. I've had Greek and Italian friends whose parents were enormously disappointed when they announced that they would marry an Australian.just as it's changed slowly, for them, hopefully that attitude will change for others
I know this is just a snapshot and that I'm leaving myself open to criticism, but so what. This is through my eyes and no one else's. It would take forever to write about what growing up in a multicultural city has added to my life. I think we all stagnate just a little, if we're all too similar, but having said that it's better for all of us to be a bit more inclusive.


I type this as I sit and watch one of the dreadful (yet compelling) new moon films.
My fascination with vampire stories started when I first read Brampton Stokers Dracula at age 14. I was too scared to have a hot shower for months, as in the book Count Dracula would often appear in a fog/mist. I believe I even searched for garlic cloves to wear round my neck.
Since then I've of course read many more vampire books and seen many vampire films. I think that my husband is slightly more vampire (supernatural) obsessed than I am.
Apparently legends of vampire like creatures have existed since ancient times, but gained in popularity and have become more like they are today since the 1700s. Some ways to ward off vampires included a branch of wild rose or hawthorn. In some cases a lemon in the mouth of a vampire was said to be harmful to them. Go figure. Vladimir the impaler was a count/prince in medieval eastern Europe. His surname was drakula/drakulic, apparently a common surname in those parts. Apparently he was fond of impaling and torturing the people of his land to keep order. He had quite a fearsome reputation. It's believed that Bram Stoker used him as inspiration for the part of count Dracula.
I quickly checked out which vampire books we have. It's a bit sad
Bram Stoker, Drqcula
Anne Rice, Interview with the vampire (and ALL of the rest). My husband loves them
Charlein Harris, dead until dawn (and ALL the rest). I'm actually responsible for them.
Stephanie Meyer, Twilight (and all the rest). This time I'm blaming my sons ex girlfriend for those.
Stephen King, the lost boys.
Sergei lukyanenko, night watch (I have yet to get day watch & twilight watch).
I'm sure theres more, but surely thatsenough.
We're even worse when it comes to DVDs.
The twilight series (sad aren't we).
Van Helsing
Interview with the vampire
I am legend
The blade series
The underworld series.
Hmmm, bit sad aren't we. To think, I haven't even gotten on to the werewolf/wizard/magic books or films that we have.


It's a very emotive condition. Some people think it doesn't actually exist. Some think that it's caused by crap parenting. The difficulty is that there is no one specific test for it. Even though it tends to run in families, it isn't diagnosed by a genetic blood test. Some use CT scans of the head, but most commonly it is diagnosed by questionnaires for families and teachers etc of children with it. It's also commonly treated with dexamphetamine (or similar), in other words, speed. Mostly, the kids with it are badly behaved/wild/dreamy/impulsive, so they can be a......challenge. Having said that it is considered real enough to be included in DSM V (THE mental health textbook). Last time I was at uni, I wrote a "paper" on ADHD, if I knew where it was, posssibly I'd just scan it to here (self plagiarism), but can't lay my hands on it right now. I ended up with over 50 references, with no drama. I have 4 kids as everyone knows and mr 20 was diagnosed at 9, probably after much heel dragging, as no one wants a label put to their child, or give them speed.
Here's some of our experiences.
We got to know the primary school teaching staff, in particular, the deputy principal quite well. Sadly, mostly we got "can your reinforce the rules and what we expect him to do"
He saw a pediatrician, psychologist and psychiatrist along the way, oh and the police a couple of times. Yay!
He didn't like school, surprise, surprise.
He got picked on by some, but fortunately had friends. Most of his friends had "issues" too, such as ADHD, aspergers, tourettes. Most of these kids, now adults are living productive lives. Are they the highest achievers? No, but they're still young. One of the worst of his friends from school is "normal".
What have we learned?
You will be criticized, a lot.
You will get little support from your school (I found the private system better than the public). Children with ADHD do not get extra support for them unless the kid has an identified learning disability or some such. In a lot of ways, I can't blame teachers for getting sick of them, they're a handful.
You will get the most help from the private sector, eg psychology etc. There is little help for you and your child again, because the mental health system is already overloaded.
There is informal support in the form of a support system ADDIS (from memory), has chapters in every state.
When you find a good doctor, stick to him/her.
Always make sure you balance out the inevitable criticism with positive feedback, whenever able. Most kids with ADHD get criticized so much they end up with low self esteem.
Consistent and tough discipline is so necessary. These kids push the boundaries like no others. This is very, very hard. Sometimes you feel like giving in, don't.
Some "fun" events in out life.
Just before his birthday, our son threw a rock through the rear window of the bus. Whoops, no trip to the ekka for his birthday that year.
One of his asd friends cried in the video library when he lost a coin toss for a movie.
Another one (aspergers) insisted on getting in the car after school when we were going to his doctors. He got upset when he found out that he wouldn't be in time to go to the movies with his family. He cried for 2 hours,
Another one(also aspergers) had to be prized off my sons neck.
One child decided to hide (during hide & seek) on top of the car (ADHD).
The school principal broke her ankle rather badly chasing my son onto the bus after school when he ran from a detention to get to the bus. THAT was legend for years.
I could go on, but you get the drift. It's the small (or even big) things that if you didn't laugh about them, you'd cry.
I'm sure I'm not the only one. Share your funnier incidents, or even your general experiences.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Online games

Everyone has their favs. Thanks to the internet, there's an increased amount of games too. Time wasters all of them. Hehe.
At the moment I love Angry Birds. It might just be the noises. I sometimes find myself making snorting noises at the end of a failed mission. Either that, or pointlessly kicking my feet about while making animal noises (tantrum).
I am also rather fond of bubble shooter. I've been known to play it for so long that my wrists hurt (combination of laptop and carpal tunnel).
Moving on to the Nintendo ds, I love brain training, especially the one that  has monsters in the jar being killed by nicely lined up, matching antibiotics. I've forgotten what it's called and I'm quite frankly, too lazy to get up, turn the ds on and find out the name of the game. I did use brain training and all of it's variants quite a lot when I was recovering from my surgery. Got the old upstairs computer going again.
Moving along to the Nintendo Wii, I do have (yes, and use) the Wii fit and my long time fav Mario Kart. It's like an old friend.  In fact, I have a favourite character, Yoshi. I have an inch high Yoshi, which I constantly have to hide from miss 7. A rather overenthusiastic young shop assistant gave him to me in Game Traders and I've kept him ever since, cos he is rather cute. We've played Mario Kart since Nintendo 64.  I just seemed to get shittier and shittier as time's gone on. These days I can barely manage to stay on the track. Not feeling the love anymore.  My son (mr soon to be 21) used to love the '64 ...... and to love challenging his rather pathetic mother. With 007 his "man" used to run wildly from room to room, taunting me, with him sitting there giggling madly.
Sadly, my high point was Street fighter on the Super Nintendo. Oh I was so good! Then, of course Jean Claude Van Damne & Kylie Minogue ruined it all and made a movie of it.
Hubby's high point was Duck Hunt on the original Nintendo, or maybe it was Tennis from the Commodore (or whatever it was) in the late 70's.
I was also pretty damn good at Galaga, Star Wars and Pac Man.
Hubby liked Frogger too (giddyup).

9/11 memorial

This was the memorial built at the site of the twin towers. It's quite eerie. There's a a square where the building was (forgotten which tower) and plaques etc and this structure. Apparently it's made from girders from the rubble of the twin towers. When they have finished building the new world trade center, which will not be replicas of what they were before 9/11, a light from this will be lit to shine into the sky.  There is also a memorial nearby where you can see models of the new buildings and see photos and videos etc of the event, as well as tributes at the local church to those that died. Very sad. I thought we should see it when we went to NYC, because Australia followed the US to Afghanistan (then Iraq) and Australian soldiers have also died there. In light of reports of Osama Bin Laden's death, I thought I'd put this online.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Ah, don't we all know someone from our past or present with a nickname?  Well double the chance of that if you're a male. They seem to love em. Age seems to be a factor too, the younger you are the more people with nicknames you know. I knew plenty of people with nicknames when I was young, not any more. The only people with nicknames I know these days are through my husband or son. Then again, there are the affectionate (?) nicknames one gives to their children. With all these in mind I present some of the types of nicknames one might conceivably come across.
Children's nicknames : we've given our own a variety of bizarre nicknames over the years. For example my son. He copped Chucky (after the possessed doll in the movie, well he had the haircut and the name stuck). He got dork boy (don't ask me why, but he answered to it). He tried on a rap style nickname for a while in primary school (can't remember it, but it didn't stick after his friends moved away).
My husband sticks bear on the end of the younger girl's names, they seem to tolerate it. The oldest didn't seem to cop it too much.
Friend's nicknames: I got Faybian as a teenager and have been quite happy to carry it ever since. It's been good compared to some. For a time I had friends with some very interesting nicknames: Bam Bam (he in no way resembled the Flintstones character), knew a couple of Snakes, a Skull, Bowie the embarressing list goes on. I used to get foul looks from my mother if they ever rang up our home (these days they'd just call my mobile). I had a friend we used to call Delerious (Dolores), it said more about the state she was usually in than anything else. I also had a friend called Darky (he was a full blood aboriginal), he was quite happy with that. Also had a friend called Deaf John. Guess what, he was blind?? Not really, deaf of course. He used to love that I could sign (even if it was only alphabet). Mr 20 brought a kid over a few years ago (for the first time) who introduced himself as Abo as he held out his hand. I just cringed. He tried to insist on it, but we eventually settled on Chris. Why I was so insistent I don't know, I had a friend called Darky for crying out loud!
As adults the nicknames got minimally better. My husband was called Smiley (he smiles a lot, even if it's a forced grin). He says that you can say anything you like as long as you say it with a smile on your face. We had a friend we called the Terminator. He was built like a brick shit house. For a party trick he would say "I'll be back".  Of course there were the usual suspects which are below.
The usual suspects: surname as nickname (talk about imagination), sometimes with a Y chucked in for good measure. Eg; Smitty/Smithy. Adding the letter O to a name. Eg: Dicko, Tommo. Then there's just the inexplicable. Eg: Blue (for a red head, WTF?)
I'm sure there are others that people can contribute. Let me know

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Aaah yes, the dreaded lurgy. Gastro, the thought of it sends shivers down your spine doesn't it! Obviously we've had a bout of it recently. As a great start to the weekend I was up from 2am Saturday morning with it....repeatedly. To top it off my husband snored peacefully away the whole time. Really I should have "accidentally" kicked/bumped him. Needless to say, I've spent the interim recovering. Miss 10 has been off school with gastro and in a karmic payback, hubby has had a very mild bout of it. It has just brought to mind some legendary episodes in my life. They are
1. Date night at the movies: picture this, Sicily 1912 (no, actually Melbourne 1992). We saw the Unforgiven. About 5 minutes before the movie ended I had that horrid watery mouth that comes before the old heave ho. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of the row and I knew I wouldn't make it to the toilet in time. Picturing myself staggering, vomiting up the aisle, I did what any reasonable human would do; lifted the lid off my empty soft drink cup and delicately vomited in that. Lid on, in bin on the way out, no dramas, except for needing a bucket all night.
2. The sickie. We had friends staying (from Melbourne) with us Xmas 1998 and for new year's eve we decided to have a bbq. Seeing as I was rostered lates (2:15 - 10:45pm) despite a request to the contrary, yet again, I foolishly decided to ring in sick. As we were getting ready for the bbq I ate a woolies/coles salad. Yes... By 3:30pm I was feeling windy. By 4pm I had cramps. By 6pm I had vomited. By 8pm with the sound of other people enjoying themselves, I was stationed on the loo with a bucket in my hands. Oh, happy days. At 11:30pm (gotta admire my persistence/sheer bloody mindedness) I resurfaced and nursed a single drink miserably for about 2 hours and then just gave up and went back to bed. Still felt seedy when I called in the next day to an unbelieving manager. She changed her tune the following day when I turned up still fairly pale. Ha!
3. The cascade effect. One day (2005) I was at work when I started feeling rather sickly. My boss just happened to walk by about an hour before finishing time and I abruptly said I was going home. She took one look at me and wisely moved out my way. In those days I had a long (about 1 hr) drive back and forth to work. I roared in the driveway and basically ran into the house into the toilet to projectile vomit. I stayed in their and in my room until the next day. Fortunately hubby was home, so he got the kids ready for school, daycare, tafe etc. About 10am he got a call off miss 23 (then 17) to pick her up from tafe, as she'd tried to get a bus home feeling sick and had vomited behind the bus stop (almost funny). He put misses 10 and 7 (then 5 and 1) in the car and drove off to get her. On the way there miss 1 vomited all over herself and had to be taken home screaming and covered in vomit with miss 17 & 5. Miss 5 spewed on the lounge room carpet when they got back, miss 17 went to bed and miss 1 had to be cleaned up. Master 20 (then 14) came home from school and stumbled into the toilet to, you guessed it....wee. No, vomit of course. So there were buckets, vomit bowls and towels all around. Then hubby collapsed onto the couch. "Oh, I don't feel too well" he stated to the room in general and wondered why I looked at him in horror. So, of course, he too started vomiting, loudly, explosively, constantly. It went on for so long that at one awful stage he  started twitching and became non responsive to my increasing attempts at stimulous (bugger the sternal rub, I would have happily bludgeoned him just for some sort of response). I briefly considered calling an ambulance. All in all another happy day.
Happily, this one doesn't seem to be that bad, but I bet I'm not the only one with legendary stories of gastro am I???

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The military, grrr!!!!

What can I say. Mostly I try to keep this blog light hearted, with only a few serious posts, but this has just gotten me wild!
In case you've been living under a rock for the last week, a young cadet (female) had sex with a recruit who had set up a webcam from his computer and broadcasting it to six of his mates from the military academy, as well as sending around still photos. Apparently, it is not illegal to do this in Canberra, noice! So, of course, the males involved have not been charged and the female (Kate) has had her room defaced etc. She went to the media and has shone a spotlight on the whole ugly incident. Her support? She was told off by her commandant told her off and she was expected to apologize to her fellow cadets...apparently. The minister for the defense has since gotten involved, all sorts of media, even the PM has weighed in and Kate has finally been given stress leave and offered counseling.
Kate, you are such a brave, strong young woman. I admire your spirit and determination and hope you achieve some lasting change, whether in the ridiculous laws in the ACT (with regards to the filming of sexual acts and consent), or (dare to dream) attitudes or policies within the military in regards to sexual misconduct of cadets/recruits.
On a side note my oldest was accepted into the army at 18, but due to a medical condition she never ended up going, at the time I was happy enough, but now I'm extremely grateful.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

House fire

I really think my life is a bit (or a lot) like a soap opera sometimes. Really, we've had it all. I thought life would just get nice and boring well into my 30s and beyond. Ha! We had a fairly decent house fire about 6 years ago now. Our end of the house was completely gutted and much of the rest was smoke and water (from the fire hoses) damaged.the smell was horrendous fire has it's own peculiar smell, I guess just like after floods. Even now if I smell it, the memories come back.
The insurance rep was fntastic. We had been completely paid out within 3 months, enabling us to get on with just rebuilding our home and lives.
The bad side. I thought I was going mad, the stress was unbelievable and the heartache. My beloved cat misty died from smoke inhalation. Unbelievably I got sick of shopping. It's ok for a few things, but a whole house and contents?? Losing things that have sentimental value and you know can't be replaced is sad.
The good side. We saw just how kind people can be. All our stuff is relatively new. We made some new friends that had gone through the same thing a week before. We are still friends today.
It was one of those things that I'd always dreaded. I saw a show on tv as a kid showing how to survive various emergencies, one of them being a house fire. It gave me nightmares! With the number of bad things happening to me or mine that I've dreaded, I'm now scared to voice any of my fears, ever! Pity I can't stop thinking them, oh that's right, there's alcohol.

More surgery

If you've read my previous blogs you would know by now that I have a meningioma. Doctors feel compelled to tell me that 'it's the brain tumor to get if you're going to get one'. Gee thanks for that! Don't actually want mine. Others have told me 'a lot more people probably have them than know about them and they only got found if a post mittens done and usually it hasn't been the cause of death' also thanks.
Last year I had a 12 hour marathon day of surgery from which it took me months to recover. I was in hospital for 9 days post op and did a lot of sleeping and staring at the tv when I came home. I have a massive scar running from the bottom of my head to just above the front of my ear (nearly 50 staples). I couldn't drive for 3 months post finishing my anti epileptic meds (in hospital), even longer if I'd had a seizure. I had to see: a physiotherapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, neuro psychologist and I continue to have MRIs every 6 months at this stage and get reviewed by the skull base team at the PA hospital in Brisbane. I took nearly 6 months off work.
Unfortunately and apparently unusually, they left some in there (20%). it went from 5.8cm X 4cm to 2.4 X 1.3cm (roughly). I believe that I bled a lot and my blood pressure became too unstable for them to continue. So, unlike the others I have since encountered, I still have to keep worrying about this and face further treatment. The choices, none of which are particularly attractive, are more surgery or radio therapy/surgery.
I probably sound like I'm ungrateful. I'm not. I now appreciate that I'm still alive and can sit out in the sun, can finish raising miss 7 and miss 10, may live to see my older kids get married, graduate uni, have kids, buy their first homes etc and mostly that the tumor didn't get bad enough to paralyze me, or cause me to pass out and crash my car and that I live in a country where I got timely and free treatment. It's just unfinished business, that's all.
So, off we trotted to Sydney to see dr teo. I could feel my pulse jackhammering as I sat in the waiting room, even though I knew nothing bad would happen today. The verdict? " it's a simple case. We want to operate sooner rther than later, while you're still young and it's still small. Radiotherapy won't get rid of the adctual tumor, just stop it growing."
There was more, but the upshot was that in December I'll be trotting down to Sydney again to have keyhole surgery on my head again. Technology is amazing isn't it? We will make it a family affair and take the girls, do some touristy stuff first, then I'll get operated on and hubby and my parents can do the rest. I guess I won't start shitting myself until just before we have to go. Last year I had to take serapax for a few days pre op to calm myself down, lucky I've still got the bottle.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Holiday hi jinks or how to navigate part 2 and it's freezing!

Well over in LA we got around mainly by shuttle buses and hired a car. New York was another thing altogether. We arrived at 5am and it was freezing! -3C I believe. I had a converter on my iPhone, which I looked at every day after the weather forecast. My husband left us on the footpath (sidewalk) while he wentbqck inside, in the warmth of the airport to find where we waited for the shuttle bus. After we did up all the buttons we could we went inside the doors. Fortunately we had thermal underwear, oh so attractive.
After we slept off the flight we all rugged up: thermals (double layers for miss 7, no thermals her size), a long sleeved top, woolen/fleecy top/jacket, two pairs of socks, scarf, gloves and hat. We went up to central park to see where the snow had fallen the day before. My Brisbane born and raised children wentbeserk. It didn't take long for the snow to start flying and for their shoes to start getting wet. Hmmm.
Miss 7 doesn't like wearing a jacket properly, the hood would keep coming down (mysteriously), along with the hooks at the front undoing themselves (mysteriously) and it would end up with the jacket hanging halfway down her arms in a city with an "ambient" temp of between -3 and 10C! It wasn't until and Italian man in little Italy scolded her that she started to wear her jacket properly. He was used subsequently as a threat: "if you don't put yr jacket on properly, I'll send you back to that man...." "if you keep complaining..." if you don't get straight As at school....", but I digress. I finally snapped over the snow a week later when the remnants of the snow were getting Grey/black and they were still flinging it about, withthheir gloves still on. "if you keep throwing snow around I'll...." just kidding.
On the day we went to the statue of liberty it was so cold and the breeze off the Hudson river was so "fresh" that while we were waiting to go through the airport style security, my toes were starting to feel painfully cold. I had to stamp them to keep the obviously reluctant circulation going and tell the kids too, of course.
Any who, hubby carried one of our maps of NYC about and we bought metro cards. Great idea, you can use them on a bus or train and just swipe them for your fare. They didn't always work at the subway booths though. Sometimes some of us would be looking at someone futilely swiping over and over through a wired wall. In the end one day, I handed my card to hubby. Love the subways. They whole system is very clean and surprisingly graffiti free compared to the 80s (or when I was young). My hubby was continually pulling out the map and checking and re checking it. Way to make us look like tourists! A few times before we got the metro cards however, we had to walk a LONG way. Think the record was 20 blocks. Now the blocks are numbers avenues and crossing those streets, also numbered. The space between the avenues is longer, so even though we walked 20 streets, it was still a long way. Also, you have to get used to the fact that subways have usually about 4 exits all on different streets etc, so while you may get out at a particular stop, you have to pick your exit to get as close as possible to where you want to go. Grrr.
Finally I lost it with hubby and the map when he started pulling it out in Harlem. While still ok, it was starting to get dodgy and we were starting to look a LOT like tourists. We hastily went to a diner and I let him pull out the map to his hearts content.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Holiday hi jinks part 2- or how to navigate strange cities

In LA we hired a car. This was so that we could drive up to San Francisco. That's no small drive. Roughly 5 hrs or more worth, depending on the route you use. We fortunately had a gps. Straight off I tried to get into the drivers door. It still feels wrong to be a passenger in the front right seat. From the very start, my husband (let's call him G) tried to veer into another lane. Not the left lane as you'd think, but the Right. Now we're back home I've noticed that he tends to try to veer to the left. Weird. Anywho, I was continually telling him off about which made any journey pleasant.
Second he kept speeding. Thought he could get away with it being in miles, but the cars speedo had kilometers on it too. I also noticed that we were not just "keeping up with the traffic" as G said, but in fact overtaking some. More fun discussions followed.
Third; the traffic. It's always busy!! No matter what the time, the highways are always busy and there's so many roads, crisscrossing etc. You don't just exit right to get off a freeway. No no no. You merge left, usually to get from one freeway to another and exit right to get onto a side (or main) road. Not all the time though. Gaaarh!! Peak hour is particularly vile. We got stuck for 3 hrs in the same small patch of road in Beverly hills. Very nice houses.
On a side note in Beverly hills, there is no overhead power, no medical centers, gas stations or shops, just lovely houses. Interesting don't you think?

Eventually we got out of there, but it wasn't fun.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Holiday hi jinks part 1 - or how to embaress yourself.

Me - accusing a total stranger of shoplifting in a foreign country because I misinterpreted her actions (in my defense my hubby agreed with me). Gaarh. Quick exit stage left. In the words of Forrest gump- "that's all I've got to say about that".
Hubby - going to theme park with only receipts from travel agent, not vouchers for said park. This resulted in frantic texts to family members to get them to ring said agent to fax over receipts to hotel. Fortunately theme park gave us a day pass anyway, thanks Disney. Of course when we got back to the hotel the vouchers were found with our final documents that we got from them. Doh!!!
At least we're not the only ones. We talked to a waiter who, apart from spreading his vegemite an inch thick on his toast when he visited relatives in Kalgoorlie borrowed a motorbike from his uncle, in order to ride across to cairns. Yes, you heard it right, or read it actually. Apparently he chose a direct(ish) route and stopped at a roadhouse/servo when he ran out of petrol. Unfortunately it was closed for winter and he was stuck there for 10 days. At some stage the cairns people rang up the kalgoorlie people to find out where he was. They sent along a semi driver when they realized he was MIA. Fortunately he had enough water in the interim. Apparently the local rag ran a story about a foolish American tourist on a motorbike. At least we didn't have that happen.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Yes, this is a post about farting (after such a lengthy break that was the best I could come up with, in my defense I was on holidays). Isntit such a taboo topic! Most people (particularly women)like to pretend they never do it, mostly in public. Haven't we all walked into a cloud of foul miasma in the supermarket and then of course have blamed our spouse/partner? Let's face it, more often than not (particularly in the case of Mr silent but deadly) it actually is your partner. Let's just examine all the names we give to the fart.
Polite-pass wind/gas
Euphemism-fluff/let fluffy off the chain
Maternal-pop off
The list could go on. I'm open to further terms.
The interesting thing I noticed while we were away was the change in our wind production. Where did you go that caused that change? I hear you say. Nowhere exotic. No we didn't go to India,Tibet or Asia. We went to the USA. For 3 weeks, from one side of the country(la) to the other(ny). By the time we got to ny, the whole family was going at it, in turn. Miss 7 got a cold while there, so I sat with her in the hotel room one day while miss 10 and hubby went out for a while. When they returned miss 10 went for the cologne spray as soon as she walked in. That was me and it was foul, more so the next night after I ate a stew of sausages & sauerkraut at a Ukrainian restaurant on the lower east side. Not a good choice on reflection, but so nice at the time. Now we are back home and have all mysteriously settled down, wind wise. Odd that. The food, while big in serving size (but more about that in a later post)is not that different. Sure there was (particularly in LA) more Mexican food, but we didn't eat that much of it. I guess it's the water, the cooking oil and whatever gave some of the soft drinks(or sodas), fairy floss (cotton candy) and lollies (candy). Whatever it was, thankfully it's over. Now we have to keep reminding miss 7 that she doesn't need to shout out"have you farted?" to her sister in public

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feb post

It's probably my first and last post from my trust iPad this month. So what's up?
* (I've always liked asterisks) I went back to work, I know lame excuse, but there you have it.
* we've had the fun of the 12 month check up at the PA hospital this week, including MRI. All is can say is gaarh!! I ended up taking (half) a serapes to calm myself down today. Fortunately all is well, it's the same size and I just need a review in 6 months time. I will get a 2nd opinion in the meantime on my options.
* we're going to the USA on Sunday, yay. Won't be back til march. Im gonna sing the "leavin, on a jet plane" song while we're at the airport. Everyone else, have a good month. Hehe.
Will give my no doubt, uninformed opinions on America when I get back.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Have you noticed how housework just keeps on? I have read somewhere, that housework really has nothing to do with motherhood. So let's just clear up that straight away. I did not come from my mothers womb with a duster or wettex clutched in my tiny hand. It is not instinctive, it's a learned behaviour. I have also read somewhere (I really love being able to reference vague articles without having to actually have a hard copy clutched in my hot little...), that animals will keep their own abodes clean and relatively tidy, just as so will humans, properly raised. Does that mean it is an actual instinct??? Oh the horror.
Anyway, I loathe the ongoing aspect of housework. You just put in hours upon hours of work and it looks great. Then, it all slowly goes to shit. It takes about 5 hours to properly clean my house. That includes, sweeping, vacuuming, toilets, baths, shower screens, hand basins, wiping walls & windows, dusting, changing sheets, hanging washing out & bringing it in and finally cleaning the oven. Folding (& if necessary, ironing) said washing is a separate venture, best done in front of the tv, with a movie of my choice. My mother, who I might add is retired, says to just do bits at a time. Yeah right, I'm gonna do housework just after I've come back from work at 5.30. My dad (who was home earlier than her), my sister and I used to do some of that housework each day.I have gone the easy route. I pay someone to come in once a fortnight for 4 hours. She does the basics and I do the maintenance. Your kids, no matter the age will protest at anything you ask them to do around the home. Eg: why do I have to do everythhing? All you've asked them to do is their bed or unpack the dishwasher. Older kids merely sit on the couch while you work and reassure you that "all you have to do is ask" while they leave empty wrappers, bowls, cups, cutlery, plastic bags about. Grrr.
My mother (she of the do a bit everyday) did the subject "domestic science" , or some such at high school in the 50s. They got taught how to be a housewife. Now this was for girls only, but I would be in favour of returning that for all. Kids don't really want to listen to you when you try to teach them. I've seen how their washing gets hung out. The result is neither Mstr 20 or miss 23 are any great shakes at housework. I got to witness firsthand after my surgery last year, when my energy levels were the worst they've ever been and the couch was my home, just how poor everyones skills in the house were. Is it my fault, not sure, but boy were they glad when I was once again able to resume the housework duties.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I like books. Always have and always will. I grew up in a house (female heavy, poor old dad) where reading was the norm. Sure dad only read the paper, wheels and some boating/fishing magazine when I was a kid, but now he reads....books. I tried to encourage my son to read, it waxes and wanes, I think that a boy (or man child as I "affectionately" refer to him) with ADHD that reads at all is doing well. My husband reads, that too waxes and wanes, but still he's read war and peace (and that's more than I've been able to do). At the moment, I'm trying to instil a love of reading in my 7 year old who would gladly sit in front of a screen playing any of the foxtel kids channels or wii all day if I let her. It seems to be working so far.
Secret to confess, I was a nerd at school tried to hide it as a late teenager with all sorts of bad behavior but there you have.I'm a nerd and proud of it. I did well at school and read a lot, oh and can sew pretty well too. I've seen the question (dunno where), what's your favorite book. WTF? There's way too many to pick from. I can usually pick from a list, so here it is.In no particular order either. Add yours.
The Stand by Stephen King; the extended version. I love how he describes the super flu passing on and on and on...
Insomnia by Stephen King: superhero pensioners and auras, what more could you want
Firestarter by Stephen King: sad, but scary to imagine it easily happening.
Carrie by Stephen King: telekinesis, yeah.
The Dead Zone by Stephen king: another sad one.
Oh, I also liked Under the Dome and Duma Key and It. There, I'll stop my Stephen King obsession. I do have a sizable collection of his books, along with dean koontz books.
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. Do I really need to explain this? I also have the Hobbit.
Gone With the Wind by Margeret Mitchell: so much was missed out in the movies.
The Womens Room by Marilyn French: written about the time when women actually started to break out of their shackles and showed while better, it wasn't utopia and that was ok.
The Godfather by Mario Puzo: Italian crime by an Italian author.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris: liked his style of writing ( have also enjoyed Hannibal and Red Dragon).
Exodus by Leon Uris: I know he has a bias, but it puts into perspective why things went down
that path (have also read the Haj and Mila 18).
Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor: sad historial romance.
Harry Potter and.... By JK Rowling: I know it started off as a kids series, but it was very well done.

There's just a few. Notice there's no highbrow books? I've read plenty of the classics, but haven't necessarily enjoyed them all. Some of them are too much hard work to really enjoy and personally, I think there's nothing wrong with just reading a book that you can relax with.

Washing lines

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that washing is changing and not necessarily for the better.
Washing machines: top loaders can be reached easier unless you're in a wheelchair, or a dwarf. Front leaders are more economical, but harder to reach. Let's face it, I just don't want to buy a new machine until the may tag breaks down and let's face it, if those things survive for years in a laundromat, then ours'll be around for a while.
Dryers; our daughter (miss 23) used our dryer so often that when it broke down we just left it there. It's still there 3 years later, I've been thinking we should just sneak a new one in lately, see if she notices.
Fun facts: we live in Qld, so you can see us needing it a lot, can't you! Dryers when the lint filter isnt cleaned can cause house fires.
Washing lines; the hills hoist (we have one) is slowly going, to be replaced with those obnoxious wall lines. Who can hang out the clothes from an overstuffed machine on one of those? You also can't put the clothes in segments (ie, a segment for each person) and we all know that they're merely a space saver for those that live on a plot of land the size of a handkerchief. Besides, I love ranting about my family and their various sins at the clothes line (same as I tend to cry when by myself in the car). Some inner city flats (or apartments as they call them these days) don't even have a clothes line, thus the use of the dryer. Ever heard of an airer peoples? We have a big one that's replaced our dryer in the last 3 years and really it's great, although now miss 23 and Mstr 20 use it instead of walking out all the way to the clothes line. Sigh, at least it doesn't cost me money.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fashion faux pas

I'm sure they've been going on for years. Yes, in some cave in Lascoux, oh about an ice age ago, people were sniggering behind their hands at a tribe members inappropriate use of mammoth fur as a piece of headwear.  I can't personally take responsibility for fashion throughout the ages, but damn there's been some silly shit gone on.  Examples
Viking helmets with horns; wtf??? What drunken viking arsehole dreamed them up.
Roman helmets: you know with the dunny brush on the top, are you going to clean a loo or aquaduct when you've finished?
Bedouin face veils; you know the ones with the coins on them/made of coins. No offense intended to the muslims out there, but putting your family's wealth on someone's face is pretty stupid.
Medieval women's hats; there are too many to pick. I love wearing them for dress ups. Even made some for the kids, but really, imagine trying to keep a large triangle (or two) on your head all day.
Farthingales; there's a practical garment (not). While they kind of look cool, I'm sure they weren't, imagine trying to sit in that thing...
Ruffs; often seen with the farthingale. Imagine having that under your chin all day. I suppose it would catch any dribbles at dinner.
Doublets; puffy pants on men, who were usually wearing tights. Yeah!
Periwigs; imagine trying to keep that on all day. Bad enough for men, let alone women. Picture the type favoured by Marie Antoinette. You couldn't walk without worrying all day about your hair falling off.
Panieres; (while on the subject of Marie Antoinette), or how to go sideways through a door. I guess you wouldn't have to put up with people sitting next to you unwanted.
Pilgrim wear; need I say more?
Tri-corn hats; are you a pirate or a ship's commander?
Crinolines; vile combination of farthingales and panieres. Same problem of sitting down as with farthingales.
Corsets; you couldn't eat in the things, or breathe properly for that matter. I couldn't eat much at my own wedding in a boned bustier, I hate to imagine if they tried for the 17 inch waist (a la Scarlett O'Hara).
Bustles; now don't get me wrong, if someone handed me a dress with a bustle I'd be happy to swan around in it for a month, but it combined the corset and essentially, a pillow (size depended on wealth) at your bum???
Top hats; er, wind anyone? Are they there to make people look taller?
Spats; please tell me that they were only ever worn by dodgy gangsters in dodgy gangster movies.
Ankle socks with circle skirts; mum tells me that people in Australia didn't actually wear those together. Thank God for that. Apparently my dad wore pink shoe laces and a lot of bryl cream in his hair (bodgie)
Beehives; oh the teasing it was quite out of control, mum says some actually stuck their heads on the ironing board and ironed away. Nowadays, we have a hair straightener for that shit.
Now we're down to my era and my, don't we have a lot of faux pas to thank the 60s onwards from.
1960s; I was a tot, so not responsible for my clobber then.
Paisley; busy, busy print
Jesus sandals
Head bands; or flowers

1970s; again young, so was often forced into clothes I didn't like.
Polo necks; garh, they were so itchy! I have never owned one since.
Crochet clothing;I had a very stylish vest made out of 2 large squares, connected by crochet straps.
Ponchos; have made an horrific comeback.
Flares; ended up quite out of control and yes, I've got some, even though I swore I wouldn't.
Boiler suits; too bad if you needed the loo in a hurry.
Platforms; no doubt responsible for many a broken/sprained ankle.
Treads; sandals made from thin woven leather uppers with tyre tread soles. I so wanted a pair as a kid, but mum wouldn't be in on it.
(think I've said enough)

1980s; will have to take some responsibility as I started work halfway through the decade.
Shoulder pads; some tops & jackets had removable ones. Why? Everyone wore them.
Taffeta; gaaarh.
Leg warmers;fame & flash dance & ONJ had a lot to answer to (oh and Jane Fonda). Mine were black, made them cool!!!
Fingerless gloves; thanks to Micheal Jackson (boys) & Madonna (girls).
Bubble gum jeans; shrank like a bastard when newly washed but stretched incredibly when put on.
Acid wash jeans; nuff said.
High waisted bathers; I had a very fetching pair in green.
Hair; sub category really. Lady Di, I had a Lady Di down as a young teenager. Floppy fringes, ditto as an older teen. Fluffy hair; never really had that til the early 90s.
(I could really go on for ever, but I won't)

1990s; ok, full responsibility, but I did get gifted quite a lot of clothes early on in the piece, still, didn't have to wear them, did I?
MC Hammer pants; better known as bog catchers, sadly back in fashion. Why, why, why?
Grungy clothes; did we all think we were Kurt Cobain?
Short, tight skirts & matching tops/jackets; I like to think of it as my rock chick look. Yeah, we really rocked it at the Cathouse in St Kilda then (or actually staggered it).
Straight hair; throwback to the 70s, I was often the envy of many with my long straight locks.
Weave perms; the other extreme (was also around in the late 80s). Tried one once, comb & go, but you had to make sure it didn't turn into dreadlocks.
Cargo pants; miss 23 loved hers so much that she took them off the line before they were dry on occasion.

21st century; turn over a new leaf
Well thankfully, I have more money, a bit more taste and there is more to choose from. Maxis are back, flares (not like in the 70s) are in, crochet's back and I've even seen glomesh tops
Gangsta tracksuits; they swish and they sit below where they bloody should.
Low slung jeans/pants with midriff tops; ah the muffin top.
Big sneakers; skatie sneakers
Phat pants & fluffies; favoured by ravers.
Mullet haircuts; again! It's not only boys, but girls too.
French nails; oh the smell of the salons, the staff are all Asian (why?) and they're just tacky.
Brazilians; thankfully you can't see them generally. I know it's an age thing, but who the fuck wants to look like a pre-pubescent girl?

I think I've said enough, it's someone else's turn now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This is not an anti or pro drugs post, cos I really don't know where I sit on this.
when I was young I loved them (drug pig). I admit to taking everything. The only reason I have never taken ecstasy (or other party drugs) is because I was past the whole nightclub thing, what with working, raising a family and saving for a house etc. Sadly, a lot don't worry about such things, so I guess I grew out of it. My list of pros and cons of illegal drugs.
Marijuana; excellent for pain (can kill headache like nothing else), stimulates appetite, reduces nausea, helps you fall asleep, der. Also makes Pink Floyd sound better... I think it should be available on script for those undergoing treatment for cancer, or in chronic, unbelievable pain. Downside is I've seen someone go psychotic on it. It's stored in fat and therefore slow to get out of your system, so can build up to toxic levels (for your brain) with chronic use. Loss of motivation, lung cancer (smoking).
Speed; (my old favorite) weight loss, class of drugs used for ADD etc (dex not meth amphetamines though). Sleep loss, appetite supressor, people can become very aggressive on it, speed pimples (though sweat), bad teeth (though dryness of mouth and teeth grinding), heart palpitations.
Cocaine; see above, but is also anaesthetic, so overdose can depress your respiratory drive, but is good local anesthetic.
Heroin; pain relief (medicinal heroin is actually not liver toxic and non addictive as long as there is actually pain). Nausea (can really make you chuck...a lot), overdose can depress respiratory drive, risk of addiction. Through association with junkies both personally (years ago and through my work), I find I can't stand being around them for too long without feeling really violent
echoes; see speed. Risk of death through brain swelling. Tip, if you must take E's have frequent sips of water and a big bag of chips thoughout the night. It will help replace the salt and fluid you lose through sweating and dancing. By the way, phat pants and fluffies suck.
I know there are a myriad of other illegal drugs (ghb, pcp etc) but I'm not a frigging medical dictionary you know, so I'm not going to mention them.
It is possible to get over a drug addiction, hard but possible. I personally faced my demons when I had the dilemma as a student of; I've been left alone to dispose of this pethidine (synthetic morphine) by myself, do I take it home or not??? Ultimately I decided that if I was going to start that shit, I may as well quit the course now and be done with it. Luckily, I had never been arrested for drugs, so registration as a nurse was not a problem for me. I don't think we're winning the war on drugs. That phrase actually makes me snigger. I don't think smack should be available at the local bottle-o (for example) either. It should be somewhere in between I think. What does everyone else think??

I hate you forever (or at least until I get sick of it)

Also known as: Open mouth, insert foot for men.
Why do they do this? You'd think they'd know (from their fathers etc) or at least learn. Maybe they want to see it happen to them too. Anything you say even in jest, can potentially be remembered for the rest of your life.....and used against you. My (hapless) husband has been good at this over the years. Examples:
1991 (see, told you so), Metallica was touring after the release of their black album. I didn't have the money at the time and asked hubbie (then boyfriend) if he could loan me the money for mine so we could go together as afriend was going to camp out for the tickets and needed the $ quickly (before my pay day). Anywho, he said and I quote "no I dont want to see them, I've seen all the bands I want to see" end quote. I believe I said "you will live to regret that comment". He did, but the wheel turned and I really made him pay for it when Kiss (ugh) came on tour. I eventually got to see Metallica, but by then they'd cut their hair and just weren't the same.
1996 (just reinforces my earlier point doesn't it) I pronged in to a taxi while in Melbourne. We had to hire a car to go back to Brisbane. fiancé (hubby) rang various companies. Eventually my mother rushed to the end of the house I was in with the kids and told me to stop him. Why you might ask. He apparently (and still hasn't denied this) said "we need to hire a car to take up to Brisbane, we've just had an accident in ours" Weirdly enough they (a national company) didn't have any spare!!! Fancy that. We still giggle about that one today.
This is not to forget the times he confessed (under the influence of several drinkies) about things he'd done when we were in our 20s (and together), particularly in front of one of our friends, which often lead to drunken squabbles and/or seething looks across the table.
Just in case you're wondering, no my husband is not an idiot. He's actually very bright, just lacks a bit of common sense.
I'm also sure that he's not the only one afflicted with this syndrome.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Ash, the pillow, nest to the bed itself, the single most important thing you choose to sleep with. The choice can be bewildering these days. My husband and ms 23 Mstr 20 all have a latex pillow. Mstr 20 & ms 23 have an assortment of extras as well, some pretty dodgy in Mstr 20s case. Misses 10 & 7 each have a feather pillow and a variety of cushions. Miss 10 also has a throw rug that coordinates. I have a memory foam pillow. Hubby and I have an extra pillow for show and reading in bed with as well as the ridiculous variety of cushions I take to bed. No longer is it a case of just hopping in. No no my friends, there is the cushion between the knees (skinny legs you see), in front of the tummy (to rest the arm on) and these days 2 long skinny ones for the neck (below the ear) and head (above the ear), only when I lie on the right side. Why you may ask? That's where my surgery was and a bit of bones missing and, my right ear hurts. I resorted to that cos my left side got too sore always sleeping on it. Great, pressure sores.....
We are going on holiday soon, I dread to think how I'll manage to sleep then without all my pillows etc. My husbands second pillow is one of those shaped ones that he got for,,,,,well I really don't know what, Hubbie's too tight to part with it. I've no doubt that we'll have a fight when we move into the retirement village about that bloody pillow.
Anywaaay, I think I need a new pillow soon, it's getting a bit soft. This will take a lot of research and visits to spotlight, pillow talk, snooze etc, but after the holiday of course.

Friday, January 14, 2011


In view of the floods this week that first hit Queensland, first country Qld, the moving to Brisbane and Ipswich. Now Nsw (country) and Vic (again country), SA (eastern) and Tassie, with us in the sunshine state affected the worst. The tv shows the loss of lives (most tragically) and the wreckage of property left behind. In a roundabout way, I'm getting to the loss of "stuff". It's times like this you realize that stuff isn't actually that important. Anyone who's studied psychology on even a basic level would understand this is where Maslow's hierarchy of needs comes in. For the uninitiated, this involves a picture of a triangle (or is that pyramid) which is multicolored, with each section getting progressively smaller, each one labelled. It is supposed to indicate human needs, from the most basic to the, well non needs.
They are: physiological; food, drink, health etc
Safety needs: housing, shelter, safety from war etc
Social needs: love, friendship, sense of belonging etc
Esteem needs: recognition (ie at work), approval (by our parents etc), leading to self esteem
Cognitive needs: appreciation of art, beauty (visual & aural), sense of justice, knowledge,
Ethics etc
Self actualization: fulfillment of ones potential, Winston Churchill is often held up as an example of a self actualized person. The reason it's on the top is (theoretically) because most people don't reach this stage, think many countries in Africa and now Qld (especially).
So, back to stuff.
A lot of people have tumbled back to the bottom of this pyramid. Stuff probably comes somewhere in between safety needs and social needs. We build a house (or live in one anyway) and fill it with stuff. Six years ago we lost nearly all our stuff in a house fire. We had some of the kids clothes, clothes on our backs, the laptop, books, CDs, DVDs, photos and my wedding dress (& oldest girls flower girl dress) as well as some crockery and glassware (in a display cabinet) and linen. That was it.
Six years later I have another house and it's full, but it took at least 18 months to be back in the same (ish) spot as we started, oh and in more debt, lots more. We were insured too. So to the people affected by the flood, my heart goes out to you, it's such a traumatic time. Once you've gotten rid of the worst of the mess you'll feel a bit better. You do realize all the belongings you had were all just...stuff., stuff that you can live without. The rebuilding is kind of exciting because you're getting new stuff, but having said that, who'd thought you could get sick of shopping? You do, weirdly enough, but some stuff you do miss.
I miss copies of my mothers family tree, my old (and mums) swap card albums (can't pass them on now), my formal clothes (including the ones I made myself), a leather jacket (very 90s), my hot tuna flower pants (so cool) and the jeans (caverns of course) that I sewed so tight my circulation was compromised and then sewed in some suede patchwork down the outside seams. Not that I'm hanging on to them mentally (sigh), but you do remember them, and somehow recognize their place in the greater scheme of things.