Sunday, April 27, 2008

No songs about 8...

Jacqui tagged me so..... here are 8 random facts about me.....

  1. I love golliwogs..... politically incorrect term that it is, I just lurve the little material guys and gals....
  2. I have a collection of Royal Doulton "Old Country Roses China".
  3. My husband and my best friend share the same birthday, and we share the same wedding anniversary date, too.
  4. I spent 20yrs Scottish Highland Dancing, and taught from the ages of 14 to 25... as well as intermittent times afterwards.
  5. I am absolutely hopeless at managing my money.
  6. My 1st pet was a black dachshund named "Schnitzie"
  7. My favourite hot drink is a chai latte
  8. I thought that I was fat when I weighed 58kg.... How sad is that???????
So who to tag??????

Kris from "Chronicles of Kris..."
Toni from "Things are Getting Better"
Jen from "One Day at a Time.."

TAG...... YOU'RE IT!!!!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Halloo Everyone!!

It's so nice to be back. Although I must say, I haven't actually missed blogging, but I HAVE missed reading and putting in my 2 bob's worth on everyone else's blogs.

It's been such a busy week at TAFE that I wouldn't have had the time to spare anyway. Just the anatomy & physiology is enough to do my head in. When I started the first year of nursing at uni when Vegeboy was a baby, we covered the same area over a period of 3 or so weeks that we have covered in 1 or 2 days this week....... And after 8 hours at TAFE, we are then expected to put in around 3hrs of "self-directed learning" as well as review what was done in class and prepare essay topics... PHEW!!!

I'll just keep on pedalling, shall I?????

Things have been quite busy for Beloved at Wattle Grove. The extension is now "locked up" and the lining has commenced on the inside. Together, he and I will gyprock the our bedroom and hallway this weekend. Hopefully, the new bit will be ready to paint next weekend. So if any of you are keen hands with a paint roller or brush, feel free to head on up and work out some of your creative urges. I'll have to get stuck in and buy some paint this week. And choose the colour too. I know that we're going to paint the kitchen walls the same red as Scorpaboy's room, but I have to choose an off-white/cream for the rest of the living area, and there are just soooo many. An I'm a bit concerned that the ceiling paint that we have used in the boys' rooms might be a bit to "yellow" for the living area........

Trivial, isn't it. But it's my nest; I've waited 3 years and put us through the ringer to have the home that I want.... and I want to LOVE it when it's done...... Even though Beloved keeps reminding me with a smirk that HE will have a lovely new kitchen to use.... and he can't cook....... It had better be clean!!!

When I take some up-to-date pics tomorrow, I'll try to post some pics of the progress......



Saturday, April 19, 2008

So long, it's been good to know you...

Or at least that's how it's going to seem.

I'm off to Nan&Pops this afternoon, and won't be back here at home until next weekend..... and there is no internet there, even though I have been paying for broadband for over 12 months. GG's modem died sometime in January, and despite repeated attempts and requests to telstra, it is still not fixed.

I am awaiting a consultant as we speak........ Crap! I could be here for hours, and I have to take the ferals to see the Crusty Demons soon......

After requesting fellow time-wasters/coffee drinkers the other day, I then realised that Saturday was a busy day at The Cottage..... so I'll find other ways of amusing myself.........

Oh, this is bullshit! I can't spend all this time waiting for Telstra..... I dealt with for them nearly 2hours over 3 phone calls about 10 days ago..........

See y'all later. Have a good weekend!!!!!

hugs and kisses, muggle xoxooxoxoxx

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Brown sugar...... (or not)

Oh, By the way....

Is anybody up for coffee on Saturday afternoon? After 2pm?

I have some time to fill while Beloved and Vegeboy are at "Crusty Demons"..........

Fancy forgetting the most important piece of information.......


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Love never dies...............

Well, hello there bloggers.

It's been a very, very fast week since Mum passed away. And there's lots, yet not enough to do to organise a funeral. A myriad of minute details that all have to be addressed for the Funeral Directors to do their job to the best of their ability. Which is ok, except that most of them you really can't be bothered with. And there can be some genteel resistance (raised eyebrows and a quizzical "OK, how/why do we do that?") if you wish to do something a little out of the ordinary. But anyway, Mum's funeral is done. And it was, in my opinion, a Good One. A real celebration of her life. And very much ( I hope) the type of send off that she wanted. It's hard to do that if people don't tell you what it is that they actually want, and most people don't tell anyone what they would like at the end. It is intensely personal. So you have to fly blind, really. But to me, it was important that Mum's funeral was significant and really about her. A unique individual, she was.

A few people (well, lots really) have asked why and how I delivered Mum's eulogy (AKA yoo-goo-gally, for those fans of "Zoolander") at her memorial service. I'll answer "Why" first. Actually, I just couldn't bear the thought of some stranger telling my mother's story, based on a half hour meeting with family members who are too upset to really think about the importance of their answers to generalised questions. And I had decided quite a few weeks ago that I would like to do it; last year after I spoke at old Jess' funeral, actually. It is such an honour and privilege to speak about someone at such an important occassion. You can't underestimate how much it helps the people who are attending to remember the real person that they know and love at such a sad time. It also goes without saying that I loved my mother, and I wanted to protect her memory and make her proud of me. And, my heart and my gut (and maybe my mother) told me that I must.

How? As I said to Lovely Lisa way back when things first started to get away on us with Mum's care, Mum and I had been discussing her potential death for quite some time, so on some level, the idea wasn't quite so scary for me. Too horrid to really consider, but a possibility none-the-less. And after watching my mother suffer for too long, the Monday before she died, I was able to ask my Mother had she had enough of her life, and she nodded. So together we made the decision that we had been discussing for years. Her trust in me is amazing.... And then we had to wait a little while for the "healthcare professionals" to convince others that it was time. Which, thankfully, they did. Then I had two beautiful, peaceful nights alone with my mother; for some reason, my family decided that I would be the one to stay with Mum each night. And I am eternally grateful to them for this, as it allowed to me to share my innermost thoughts with my Mum, and grieve in private, in my own time. A wonderful gift, to be sure. And even though the dialogue was one-sided, it gave me the time and space that I needed to face the task ahead, and deal with the grief of others. As my mother would have, and would expect me to also. She was always the strong one, my mother; the family matriarch; the rock. And now it's my turn. That's not to say that I am finished grieveing for my mother. I will never stop missing her. But rather than turn into the "wailing woman" that my daughter suggested I ought to be (tongue-in-cheek), I am a bit of like a tap that needs a new washer, or re-seating. Self-preservation whilst others are distressed (ie not taking on their emotions) was important to me, and enabled me to provide them with comfort when they needed it. And just writing Mum's story gave me an outlet as well. And on the day of her service? It is amazing how the presence of all those people gave me the strength that I needed. In their face of their loss and the depth of their love, I found strength. As I looked around the room, I could see the teary smiles as people remembered their roles in Mum's life and it helped me enormously to press on. And my family were unfailing in their belief that I was the right person to represent them and Mum. Faith can carry you far, can't it? My mother made me believe that just about anything was possible. I used to bring her home carnations from off the compost heap at school when I was little and we would plant them in the garden together. I was delighted to watch them grow. It wasn't until I was a lot older that I discovered that Mum used to buy carnation plants of the same colour and plant them so as not to disappoint me......
As kitchy as it sounds, I was wrapped up in a big warm glove of love on Monday.......
And I really believe that my Mum was right there with me, encouraging me and giving me strength. I am my Mother's daughter, after all.......
And my kids needed to see that even in the worst possible scenario, good things can happen. As awful as funerals are, the people who are left behind need them. The uplifted feelings afterwards and subsequent relaxation in the people that came to my Uncle and Aunt's home afterwards was a wonderful thing. The house was full of life and laughter. A lot of folk who haven't seen each other for a long time were brought together thanks to Mum, and plans have been made for re-unions. She will be pleased.
And later on that night, as I curled up on the lounge to sleep, my beautiful Mother smiled at me from a photo on the cupboard. And I'm sure her smile was broader than before.........

I will be forever thankful to my Beloved for his un-wavering and un-questioning support over the past few months. He has coped well with my absence, with my grief, as well as that of the children and his own. I really haven't been there for any of them lately. And most important of all, he seemed to understand my need for my own space, especially around the time of Mum's death. He was there for me, but quietly, if you know what I mean. I am quite sure that a lot of men end up dis-enabling & dis-empowering women with their urge to protect them at times, even though they seek only to help them.

I thank you all. I'm sure that your thoughts carried me through as well. And Lisa, your gift is now in my handbag, and carried at all times. As is Mum's little Buddah that was always in her handbag. I hope that they don't counteract each other... both are gifts of love....

That's enough for tonight. You can't suffer too much of the inner workings of the Blogmuggle in one sitting. Tomorrow I will blog some pics of the house. The renos are progressing, and all the ridiculous hiccups not withstanding, am loving the way it is looking!

Goodnight *mwa* zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

By Rick Price

By the creek there's a church yard and a tree so tall
She was only forty-seven when she passed away
And though the years go by, still it feels like yesterday
Sitting there by the wood stove
On a cold winter morning
I can see her in her dressing gown
Saying "You'll be late for school"
She had such a gentle way
She'd understood, and with a mother's heart
She loved me like no other could

Now I know that love never dies
I believe it, true hearts never lie
Even though sometimes I cry
I know that love never dies

Midnights and country roads
In the old blue Holden
Saying "Son, if you work hard...
Well you're bound to be a star"
Every show we played from Tamborine to Kerry Town
She was always there
That special face in every crowd

Now I know that love never dies
I believe it, true hearts never lie
Even though sometimes I cry
I know that love never dies

I swear sometimes I feel her
Smiling down on me
How I love that woman
And what she gave to me

So God be her shepherd
And keep her safe and warm
Never let her heart grow weary
Never let her feel alone
And when the angles come to take me
Tell her I won't be afraid
'Cause I know in heaven she waits

For love never dies
I believe it, true hearts never lie
Even though sometimes I cry
I know that love never dies

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Even in the quietest moments.

Good morning bloggers.

It has been an interesting few days, too say the least. In amongst the matter of dealing with the matters that surround loosing a loved one, and believe me, there are a lot of them, the everyday things of life just go on. And thank goodness for that.

Yesterday, on the lovely Lisa's birthday, I watched Vegeboy play a great game of football against Western Suburbs, which ended up with two of our boys hospitalised, one with concussion, and the other had been carted off in an ambulance. I'm not sure what had happened to Brandon, but it's a lousy way to finish off a game, which ended up as a draw.

Then I had the most lovely afternoon, spent with family and friends at the wedding of my beautiful God-daughter, Leah, to Chad. Actually, I really should say night, as Beloved and I arrived home and hit bed at about 2am..... Chad and Leah were married on the jetty at Nords Wharf, and the reception was held up the road at their parents' house. The weather was beautiful, and the lake was a beautiful, slightly rippling mirror. The bride was gorgeous in her pale, icy green gown, and the groom glowed when he saw her. The service was simple, elegant and meaningful.

And then the party started. Doug and Janine had devoted their small yard and had a marquee and dance floor erected over the pool area for the occassion. The food.... OMG.... the food!!!! Little tasty bits served in those natty little chinese-takeaway-style boxes...Yummo! Noodles, risotto, tiny filet-mignons, beef and chicken kebabs, thai salads, fresh prawns..... teeny tiny gelatos cones for desert... or a fresh fruit and cheese platter...... and more that I just can't remember. And loads of trusty old alcohol.

I say that these people are my family, but there is no blood that links us. What we have is more than that. And it's more enduring. These people met me as a child, and chose to keep me. And I love them. More than a lot of relatives that I never see, but must be linked to........

Having said that, I have a lot of rellos that I share DNA with that I adore as well. I LOVE my family..... all the ones that matter, anyway.

Anyway, I have to get on with the realities of my life at the moment. They are insistent, and keep pressing against my carefully constructed bubble walls that are keeping them at bay. I have a yoo-goo-gally (that's eulogy for those who haven't seen "Zoolander") to write for my luvverly mum..... If anybody has anything that they would like included, please let me know. Her funeral is tomorrow at Pettigrew's funeral chapel at Belmont at 2pm. All are welcome. So I'd better get on with it... no pressure here...... but then again, some of my best work has come out of a last minute rush.......

Bye-eeee xoxoxoxox

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Hi guys.

Sorry for not being present in blogland lately. Life's been full, as usual. Lot's of time has been spent in Newcastle with my family. Things have not gone well with mum. This afternoon, at about a quarter to two, she passed away. At the moment, my feelings are mixed, to say the least. Most tangible is the feeling of relief that mum is finally free of the dreadful pain of the past few weeks.

I guess that I am numb. Everything is surreal. At her house, it just feels like the same empty place as the last few weeks whilst she has been in hospital.

A busy few days are ahead.

And then I will get on with the business of living without her in my life. Not sure about this one. Actually, it scares the crap out of me.

I guess I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Thanks to all for your thoughts.

More later. I'll need to blog, I think.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The beat goes on.................

Hi Guys.

You'd better get a drink and some nourishment, now that I've re-read this finished post. And make sure that you do some exercises to prevent deep vein thrombosis... it's a bit long-winded. You've been warned.

There isn't much to report on the Nan front. It's all sideways stepping and "holding patterns" at the moment. Her pain management is not good, and has changed quite a few times. Currently, she's back on the self-administering form, PCA, but she continues to struggle with this. The poor love is still "Nil by mouth", which includes any ice chips or lollies... As a diet strategy, this is effective, but a tad extreme. She is fed via a special dietary fluid that is fed straight into a direct intravenous line in her neck. Her trachy tube is still in place, and her breathing is still augmented by oxygen a lot of the time. The speech pathologist has tried to introduce a speech valve onto the trachy a number of times, but it appears to produce some resistance into the airway, which results in a panicked mum. Not good. So her communication is frustrating at best. And the poor darlin's a pincushion from her fingertips back to her torso and down her thighs. Covered in bruises she is.

Tonight's instalment includes a blood transfusion, another scan on her tummy and the possibility that she may have a type of pneumonia. It's hard to comprehend how a person who has been on antibiotics for around two months, in varying dosages and arrangements can have developed this. I hope that it's not a fungal or yeast infection.... much trickier and harder to cure.

There is no joy in my mother. A pained resignation, frustration and deep-to-the-bone exhaustion are apparent. She will reach for a hand to hold, shed the occassional tear (only because she can't help it; my mother tends to be of the old school of thought when it comes to showing emotion), grimace or pucker up for a kiss. Most of the time, however, she is a blank mask.

I have not seen my mum smile since the morning before her 1st surgery on Feb 28.

I realised today that I haven't extolled the excellent performance by Scorpaboy in the Oceanic Mototrials Challenge in Queensland at Easter. And excellent he was. The Kiwi representative was older, more experienced and competition-savvy than my boy. Kiwi-Nick, whose dad is a multi-champion and Mototrials park owner, has just stepped up into the "Expert" grade, whilst Aussie-Jack has just stepped up to "A" grade. At the end of the 1st day, Kiwi-Nick was 50 points ahead of Jack, which is quite a large head start. At the end of day 2, Jack had ridden his little arse off to finish just 8 points behind him, and in fact, rode the best lap of the day.

Go Jack!!!

Kiwi-Kevin, Aussies Jack, Garan & Boyd, Kiwi-Wayne and Kiwi-Nick in the front.

The Aussies, Jack, Garan and Boyd, won the pointscore over the event, and became the 2008 Oceanic MotoTrials Champs! That make the score even; the Aussies and the Kiwis have now won the title 9 times each.

The Kiwis, Youth rider, Nick; Masters rider, Kevin, and Expert rider, Wayne, were fabulous guys both on and off the bikes, and a great time was had by all. No animosity at all, just some very friendly rivalry and ribbing. Such as; "how do you make a Kiwi run for his life?"... for one these guys, it was simply a matter of showing him one of our wonderful array of Australian spiders...... These guys were just petrified...... funny stuff. But maybe you had to be there.

Vegeboy had a lovely time in QLD too, catching up with friends on the Sunshine Coast end of Brisbane and enjoying a "Family Guy" marathon.

I spent a wonderful Saturday night with my friend, Angela, in Brisbane. She was the one that I flew to visit in Brissie a couple of weekends ago to bring home lovely lovely old leadlight doors. And you know what? The Easter Bunny delivered a delicious White Lindt Easter egg to me. I was the only one in the family to get one. I must have been very good lately. I love Ange & her husband, John. Freshly brewed coffee, hot cross buns, then a very tasty fry-up for brekky. And also thanks to this pair, I can find my way around the streets of Brisbane & it's surrounds quite well these days.....

And a word of advice to anyone contemplating travelling north . NEVER, EVER, EVER travel up the Mount Lindsay Highway between Warwick, Woodenbong and Beaudesert. It's barely more traversable than a back road west of the Black Stump. Tarred? Yes. Pretty? Yes. Dreadful? Definitely. The 70k's of dirt road to Tenterfield was a doddle in comparison......

What else? I packed up Mum's lounge room, moved furniture, and commenced scraping the old carpet and it's disgusting rubber backing off the floor in preparation for a lovely clean new floor last Sunday. Yes, scraped..... then the floor was scrubbed with steel wool... The old, blind, deaf, incontinent dog had left his mark .... everywhere.... and the new puppies think that they can too. Of course, now all the furniture has been moved, the walls look fairly ordinary, and need painting..... Dad's a bit resistant to this idea. It's been hard enough to get his head around replacing the flooring. He reckons that it's all ok, and it's not that long since it was all painted. Ok. Lounge/kitchen; 13yrs ago. Bed 3; 13yrs ago. Bed 2; 32 yrs ago. Bed 1; 44 yrs ago, but in all fairness, the ceiling was re-painted 13 yrs ago. In the 44+ yrs since the house was built, the living areas have been repainted twice, as was the Bed 1 ceiling, the last time as an insurance claim after a truck accidentally ran into the front corner of the house. It would be fair to say that Dad is no Mr Maintainence.

I'm not interested in painting it myself. Does anyone know a good painter??? And one that is preferably economical too??????

I'm so soft, unfit and lazy these days; I'm still recovering from the physical stuff of it all, and my knees are pathetically sore. And there's more scraping to do this weekend......

I finish at the Day Centre on Thursday. I'll be sad. I have asked to slink away quietly, but no; there is a BBQ with the clients tomorrow, and a morning tea with all the staff on Thursday. God; it's hard enough to leave these wonderful people without all the fuss......
Friday, I have an Orientation at Belmont TAFE, then on Monday, a Hunter New England Health Orientation at Muswellbrook. And then holidays..... *snort* .. as if....

The Renovations???
Chugging along nicely, with all the usual expensive hiccups along the way. I've had to ok the replacement of all the existing gutters and more than half of the roofing, which were only put on 2 years ago, as the builder needs this to happen to marry the old and the new... not included in the quote. $$$$
The builder not realising that he needed to build a pier under a doorway and new stud wall that was a part of the added part of the house... even though it's on the plans $$$$
The window heights were increased as per my (original) request, but the builder than did not make an allowance for this in the placement of the rear verandah roof. $$$$$
The kitchen window opening was placed too close to the side wall; result? A new side-by-side fridge, plus a wall oven and hotplate combo....... to fit the now re-hashed kitchen layout ..... and no dishwasher. $$$$
My mistake? Not measuring the height of the window in the bathroom correctly, and having to swap over the vanity and bath tub positions to allow for the 2 lovely bathroom mirrors that I have already bought..... And then there wasn't enough room for the bath, so we have bought a free-standing one instead...... at 4 times the cost...... $$$$$
And I haven't (yet) cut cupboards into the top section of the linen cupboards. The ceilings are 3.3m high, and everything was done to the standard 2.4m. The equates to a lot of wasted space over the cupboards if we don't use it.... $$$$
And then there's the flooring that I want to be laid in the roof space....... Storage. You can't have enough of it.

Yep. Priceless. $$$$$ NOT

Oh well.... you get that.

Actually, the builder and his guys are doing a good job....... The plumber sorted, but I can't track down the electrician and tiler though...... And the new roof will go on starting Thursday, so expect a hurricane, folks....

Is your bum numb yet????

I think that I've rambled on enough. It's heavenly when the kids are banned from the computer......

Goodnight all. I'll keep you posted.....

Ta ta ;0)