Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Money, money money,.... always sunny... in a rich man's world........

Good Evening!

It's been a lovely rainy day up here in Wattle Grove. So much so, that VBoys footy training was called off. He played his 1st game of the season last Saturday, & played really well. The team was successful on the day, defeating Southern Lakes 48 - 10!

Friday was interesting. I pottered around home for a while, then headed off to Newie after lunch to pick up GG on the way to Morrisett to pick up a 2nd hand washing machine that I had arranged to buy her. I wanted to buy a new Marriage Certificate (evidently, even though my old one has been ok so far, it is no longer "legal", & I need it for my nursing registration) & post a letter to the Nurses & Midwives Board of NSW, but silly me forgot that Friday was Newcastle Showday Holiday! To quote a very eloquent nurse that I know....plurgh! Anyway, GG & I waited in the wilds of Morrisett for over an hour for the seller to arrive home from work, then had a lovely drive back to Wickham to install the "new" beast. The tap leaked like a small creek, & I think that it needs a hose re-attatched on the bottom of the machine. At least, I hope that's all that the problem is...... Then GG & I parked near the Northern Star hotel to get some Indian for tea, & just as I was reversing into the carparking space, the engine rumbled, coughed, spluttered, then died. 1 NRMA call, yummy food & 40 minuts later, the NRMA saved the day with $15 worth of fuel that I had requested. The Nasty fuel gauge had intimated that there was still 74k's of fuel left in the tank........

I had such a slow & nothing weekend. It was brilliant! Even the 2 DVDs that we hired on Saturday evening didn't work.

Sunday evening, GG walked in through the back door in tears after her shift at the Mussie Service station around 11pm...... She hasn't worked much lately, I really had no idea which of her dilemmas had upset her so....... until she blurted out; "I don't want to go to uni anymore...."
I was relieved that this was her only issue... at least it's not too serious, & in all honesty, I could see it coming. She was worried that we would be disappointed.... There are more pressing areas in her life. Dominos haven't paid her, even though she has worked for them for over 3 weeks. A sum of money appeared in her bank account, & GG assumed that it was her belated wages. Until yesterday, that is, when she received a "please-pay-us-back-or-else" letter from GoLo requesting back the money that had had mistakenly paid her. She hasn't worked at GoLo for over 6 months. The letter was sent to someone named "ELOSIE" to an address that we haven't even lived at for almost 4 years. It is (un)lucky that she even received it. She doesn't have the money to pay it back. They suggested that she pay it back at $50 per week: she answered in the negative. She has only been paid around $120 each week over the last few weeks from her service station job, especially since Dominoes have been so lax in their paying her. Even $50 is not manageable. My only suggestion is that she works shifts to pay it off. She is insistent in her mistaken, naive belief that the mistake wasn't hers, so why should she? She will end up in court, & will lose: that's why she has to pay it back......
She has to find some work that pays, & soon........ This being self-sufficient thing is a myth. I have explained to my kids that I am unemployed in 3 weeks, & all my financial help dries up with my pending unemployment. I don't think that they believe me.........

And GG has her 20th birthday on Thursday. She is planning to go camping with friends.... but the weather looks abysmal! I'm not quite sure what they think they are going to sleep in/under... none of them has any camping gear......
And from her family, all she has received is a leaky washing machine.......

Sboy arrived home for a few days yesterday. Well that was the plan until he drove to Newie, then Sydney this morning........ He's enjoying himself, anyway ;0) He has no more shows scheduled until May, so he needs to watch his pennies vigilantly, too........ Hahahahah... he locked my keys in the boot of my car yesterday.... thank goodness for the NRMA... AGAIN! But at least this time, he used his membership, not mine.

God... I HATE money & all the trouble that goes with it......

I've done 2 days of community nursing, & I love it ;0) The pace is slower & care is more focussed on the individual, people are more receptive to treatment & care, & a nurse is much more able to build up a rapport & relationship with her clients. This rotation will be over way to soon..... I have really had my eyes opened up over the last 9 months: there are so many people out there who are sick, fighting illness, & have amazing spirits. But it's not just the patients that are important: it's the families & support networks too. Good Healthcare is a team effort folks!

ok... that's an update...of sorts......

Enjoy this delightful autumnal (yes...it's a word) weather folks ;0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The main thing we do is rock your socks off.....


17 working days of my traineeship left.


Life is exciting. Not.

This afternoon is my one & only evening shift in the aged care facility, then a quick turn around into a final morning shift tomorrow. The highlight of my day is the $6 all-you-can-eat salad lunch provided by the Hospital Auxilliary ladies. Hey... this includes dessert, can of drink & a bread roll!

I am gainfully spending my morning watching tv whilst making pairs & folding socks. My laundry bench had a basket of socks on it that had overflowed into a bag, then oozed down over the bench, then slid all over the floor.... a few too many socks, I fear.......

But it was not a waste of time..... I manufactured 33 pairs of matching socks! Then there was the left-over shopping bag full that I thew out..... I did manage to rescue a couple of lonelies who I feel may have a mate out there somewhere........

Yep.... it's meaningful existence...........

Have a good day ;0)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Still here in this quiet room, deep in delusion sending me over.........

I've been up a few hours after deciding to get out of bed with Beloved at 0530 this morning.

I desperately needed a hot cup of tea to soothe the burning in my throat. I've had a bit of a bug this week, with 2 days spent upon my lounge, basically dying. It seems to be a re-occurring thing that I've had 3 times since last June. It's a stupid headache-sore-throat-can't-stay-awake-thing that I've decided is a low grade infection in the sinuses and nasopharyngeal area. Apart from the 3 near-death-occassions (yes, I am being over dramatic here...), I have had sore-throats & sinus issues on & off that I've been treating with nasal washes, hot lemon/honey drinks & paracetamol as needed. But I'm getting rid of the little sucker this time with a double course of antibiotics..... DIE BUGS, DIE! Wonders of wonders, I was able to secure a doctors appointment on the same day as I rang....

Anyway, since I was up so early, I've treated myself to an uninterrupted viewing of 'rr.r.r.r.r.rage' on the ABC.... I love music......


But there was still quite a few highlights for me;
  • Beyonce, Halo: Lovely song, but the surprise was the girl herself, totally devoid of make-up, looking so young & fresh. No overt sexuality to be seen.
  • Lily Allen, The Fear: You got to love the clever lyrics in this song. A very ascerbic observation of society..
"Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars concussing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
and that’s what makes my life so fucking fantastic"

It's worth reading the rest of the lyrics........ And she wears the same dress throughout the clip.
  • The Ting Tings, We Walk: Another clever film clip. Take responsibility for your own happiness:
"You see the changes in things that come
It's how you deal with it when switching off
Make a decision, a precondition
We've got the choice if it all goes wrong, We walk, We walk (if it all goes wrong)
Where nothing makes you feel good... We've got the choice if it all goes wrong
We walk"
  • Ladyhawke, My Delerium: Love the whole beat of this one.
  • Kate Miller-Heidke, Caught in the Crowd: She's special, this one. Unique to be sure. A lovely song of apology to a boy she went to school with. A good, simple clip.
  • The Howling Bells, Into the Chaos...
  • Kings Of Leon, Sex on Fire: Voices to melt your knickers, reminiscent of Jon Stevens & Noiseworks in the late 80's. Of course, nothing can cause knickers to spontaneously combust the way that Micheal Hutchence could... and one, night, at the Bel Air Hotel in Kotara, Michael Hutchence's sweat dripped on me..... I was 10cm right in front of him, just the cool, slim metal of the mike stand between us.... the man was RAW, even as a teenager..... Oh, sorry.. Where was I? ... Oh yes: Sex on Fire;
"Hot as a fever, rattlin' bones, I could just taste it, just taste taste it.... if it's not forever, if it's just tonight, Oh, it's still the greatest, the greatest, the greatest. You, your sex is on fire... consumed with what's to transpire....."

Beloved's song to me... hehehehehehe
  • Fallout Boy, America's Sweethearts: A clip that's pure theatre.
  • Short Stack, Princess: The song's ok, but it's the hairstylist need a round of applause....
  • Empire of the Sun, We are the People: I just love the harmonies & melodies..there seems to be a heart-felt need to reach the audience. And anyone that can dress up & wear make-up like that & still look good deserves kudos. Or maybe they're just hiding......
  • Josh Pyke, The Summer: Who else could fit some many words into one line of lyrics while painting such a beautiful story?
  • British India, God is Dead (Meet the Kids): A really bald, effective clip that I couldn't take my eyes off. It matches the lyrics: I love the song.
  • Fever Ray, When I Grow Up: Raw, tribal, yet not...
  • The Presets, If I Know You: This is different for the Presets, but I just love that solid back-beat, & the Voice....... it probably reminds me of the Romantic 80's...... Their live performances viewed on the tv seem ...live.....
  • Lupe Fiasco, featuring Matthew Santos, Superstar: I surprised myself with this one. I don't like rap, but when he actually sings, he sings.....
And last, but not least..........
  • Sherbet, You've got the Gun: C'mon... it may not be their best, but it's SHERBET!!!!!
Ok. I've bored you enough.

Have a good weekend! ;0)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why, oh why, can't I.........................

Just to show you all that I can write a short post........ inspired by by music on Natalie's blog..... thanks Nat xoxo

Way back, when I was a cute wee lass, I used to sit on a swing in my Nan's front yard in Warners Bay, singing 2 songs at the top of my voice. The poor neighbours & passers-by! It was all Nan's fault: she used to encourage me....

The first song was "I like Aeroplane Jelly". Yeah, I know: I was corrupted by the media, even at the tender age of 3 in the 60's.....

The second song was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

I love this song so much. It still resonates with me. In 2003, GG performed in a production of "The Wizard of Oz", playing the role of "Nikko" the leader of the evil flying monkeys. If ever you want someone fluent in evil monkey gibber, she's your girl. I was backstage manager. Kate Squires had the role of Dorothy. Never once, throughout every rehearsal & 8 shows, did Kate's performance fail to evoke weeping lacrimal glands on my part. I can't explain why: it just does. So much, that I want it as part of my funeral service.... I'll have to save the part of Kate singing it on the DVD from the show..... by the time I peg it, she'll be too old to sing it..........

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

It must be the eternally optimistic dreamer in me............

I'm a happy little vegemite, as bright as bright can be.................

Short(er), no?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Remember the days of the old school yard.. when we had simplicity... warm toast for tea.... and we laughed.......

Hi there.

It's a beautiful day here in Wattle Grove. And time for a Blogmuggle news update.

I have nothing of any real interest to report.

That's a relief, isn't it?

Beloved: Working too hard as usual. The 3 of us that are left living here these days went out for a meal & to see a movie with our across-the-road-neighbours last Friday evening. We had a good pub meal at Singleton, then saw "The Nightwatchman". It was a long, rather odd film that became better as the story became clearer. Not for everyone though.

GG: Has commenced a new career as a pizza delivery driver for Dominoes in the heart of Newcastle. She hasn't had too many dramas until Monday night, when some crackheads abused her for taking too long, so they had to put their kids to bed without dinner. These economically-challenged folk were spending $37 on pizza for tea on a busy Monday night whilst making my daughter cry because they were too stoned to cook their children tea... Whilst she was apologising profusely, she really wanted to tell them that they could have given their kids dinner for at least 2 nights for the same money, but just couldn't cope with the harrassment. Then one of the more stoned ones tried to ask her out...... She has delivered to them before, (She's been delivering for less than 2 weeks) so it wasn't a special occassion or splurge thanks to Ruddi-money.....
She's persevering though. All her shifts are at night, sometimes until 2am, so she sleeps late. The buggers forgot to pay her for her first week of work, too. Even a petrol allowance doesn't help you to drive your car for work if you don't get paid! She still has some shifts up here at the service station, & will continue until she has enough regular work in Newcastle to rely on. She hates coming here though, & will not stay if it's only for 1 shift, preferring to drive up & back in the same day. She says that Uni is OK, but doesn't talk about it all that much. We see her very little & text messages are very limiting. During the time that she lived here, she actually rarely slept here, preferring to stay on a friend's lounge in town.
She is rather frustrated with Centrelink. She was hoping to be a greatful recipient of some Ruddi-money so that she could travel to Mackay in May for a friend's 21st birthday. GG has never received any government subsidies even though she has basically lived out of home for 2 years now, not even rent assistance. She earned around $9000 last tax year, & was informed that she does not qualify for Ruddi-money as she received all of her tax back last year... which, by the way, was quite a bit less than the $900 Ruddi-money pay out. However.........
.........if she qualifies for just $1 of Youth Allowance, she will be paid out the full amount. How does she do this? By her parents signing documentation stating that her family situation is intolerable, untenable & unredeemable & she cannot possible live at home....... For pity's sake! She is almost 20yrs old, deemed legal in every sense of the word, but because she chooses not to live in the same area as her parents, 2hrs way from home, studies, tries to support herself & be independent whilst living under the poverty line, she cannot access the same government assistance as people that do NOTHING!!!! As I have said previously, we cancelled our Family Payment even though we were entitled to it, in the hope that GG would receive her own........ The government is under the impression that we should still financially support her, evidently........ Beloved & I have paid tax since we entered the workforce at the age of 15.....
Of course, if she had earned MORE money, then by some strange government quirk, she would have been eligible. Obviously, she & all the others just like her (and I'm sure that there are many of them) must live in some idyllic, mythical land like Brigadoon.....

Based on this logic, then SBoy doesn't qualify either, because he's not registered with Centrelink & has only paid a small amount of tax, all of which he received back, too...... He's living La Vida Loca... never here, but all over the country, based up near Byron Bay. He's definitely enjoying his life at moment, but I do wonder how long one can continually live out of a suitcase. He will be home for a visit at the end of the month.... YAY! He's learning how to budget, as he only gets paid when they perform, so he has to make his money last. I'm looking forward to having him home, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most of his time will be spent with his sister in Newcastle. He wants to go out with her in Newcastle for her birthday on April 2. I think the celebrations may last a few days.

VBoy is back into footie training. Rep trials are this Thursday, & the first game is March 28. And so it begins........
Parent-teacher interviews were yesterday. Nothing of any real concern was raised, which is an improvement on previous years. One teacher didn't even realise that Vboy was in his class, which for us was fabulous, as the usual report was that his presence in the classroom could be overwhelming... most of the time. It's also a sad reflection of the public schooling system that we have to cope with. The teacher was new to the school, & not really sure of any of his students at this point. Only the louder ones, I would guess. Every teacher reported between 29 & 30 14 & 15yr olds in their classroom. How can we expect them to teach this number of kids when they've got so many to cope with, for just 40 minutes at a time....? We complain about just 1 hormonal pain-in-the-ass at a time at home...... The smallest class had 28 kids, which had been reduced from 32... this was a maths class......
Another teacher reported that whilst he was aware of the spread of abilities in his class, by the time that he was able to get around to dealing with the need for increasingly challenging work for the more able students, the lesson time was over. And he had only had the kids for the last week or so as they had been under the tutelage of a trainee teacher for the previous 3 weeks... they had basically chewed up & spat out this poor fellow......
There is a large turn-over of teachers up here in the country. Newgrads gain credit points & ambitious teachers get extra points for spending a stint in the country, but not too many stay. The ones that do tend to be weary & apologetic. And I can fully understand why.

I am struggling with the decision of whether or not to keep Vboy at the public school, & I have been thinking about changing him to the Catholic high school in Aberdeen for some months. I have idealogical differences screaming in my head: I have always been a staunch advocate for public education, but now I an beginning to feel that my child will be disadvantaged if he remains in the public system........ Year 9 is such a difficult year......

Enough for now.

I've nothing to report in regards to Me. I'm working in an aged care facility, which is an area I'm familiar with, so it's not too scary. I finish next Thursday, then it's off to Community Nursing. Then as far as the traineeship goes, "That's all folks!!!".
It's finished.

And so am I.

See you later. Have a good day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Real Love......

I'm posting this video here for anyone that would like something beautiful to listen to for a change.

It's Regina Specktor's version of the John Lennon classic, "Real Love".......

I needed to put something lovely here as a diversion away from the sadness of my posts of late. And yet it continues. Another beautiful person in my life has passed away in the last few days. If anyone has seen my Facebook page, they will have seen Denise mentioned.

Denise passed away suddenly from a heart attack whilst enjoying a celebratory meal with another friend, Lani. Denise was just 53. Her funeral is on Thursday. It will be quite a day, I think. Fortunately, I have Thursday & Friday off this week, so I will join the vast crowd wishing to pay their respects to this amazing woman & her lovely family.

Enjoy Regina. Hopefully, it will load. I've never uploaded a video before.


Sorry.... it won't let me... so here's the link instead.


And John Lennon's original lyrics:

All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dream
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Just like little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love

Don't need to be afraid
No need to be afraid

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

Thought I'd been in love before,
But in my heart I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
Yes it's real, yes it's real love
It's real, yes it's real love...

Goodnight xoxoxoxo

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

L-O-L-A.......... Lola

Yesterday was spent at another Blogmuggle family funeral. Beloved's paternal sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2007, & given the all clear until last November, when a sudden loss in Lola's sight led to the diagnosis of secondary cancers in her brain. Lola, aged 75, was laid to rest on the hill in Wallsend cemetary, where she can watch the goings-on of the town where she has spent the last 53years. She & husband, John, were married in Bundarra at the tender ages of 21 & 22 respectively.

Following the Funeral service & Eucharist Mass, the more personal part of the service was finalised when the song, "They tried to tell us we're too young..." sung by Nat King Cole, was played. It was lovely.

They try to tell us we're too young
Too young to really be in love
They say that love's a word

A word we've only heard
And can't begin to know the meaning of

And yet, we're not too young to know
This love will last tho' years may go
And then, some day, they may recall
We were not too young at all

And yet, we're not too young to know
This love will last tho' years may go
And then, some day, they may recall
We were not too young at all

After 53 years, six children & six grandchildren, maybe they were right.

I love the part in the mass where you turn to the people around you offering the greeting "Peace be with you..."

If only we really meant it. And for longer than the period of time within the walls of the church........

I don't know why the italics won't stop..........

More sad news over my weekend:

Saturday night was spent in the company of delightful friends. One girlfriend has been purposefully pulling her life back together after the very drawn-out breakdown/up of her marriage. She has began a new relationship with a man that I believe will be an important part of her life. Unfortunately, he has very recently been diagnosed with primary cancer on his eye (initially thought to be a detatched retina), and has some suspicious spots on his lungs.......

And then.......

Last night, I received an email from a very special girlfriend. Her mum, an extraordinarily robust & healthy 81 yr old, has been diagnosed with secondary liver cancer in the last few weeks. Until yesterday, the docs had been unable to find the primary cancer. Unfortunately for Mary, the primary cancer is in her pancreas, & there's not much that they can do except to try & buy her a little more time. But the treatment will make her quite unwell. What awful decisions they have to make.........

But life's not all bad in the Muggle house. Arty Farty Michelle is right. Life's gold nuggets are there, hidden in the mire: you just have to keep looking for them. And sometimes, they just find their own way to the surface......... a bit like a splinter working it's way out of your finger......

In the meantime, Peace be with you..............