Sunday, July 31, 2016

So Much Going On This Month!

Oh, where do I start? So much has gone on and there's so much to say, but I don't know where to start.

I'm over the laryngitis - finally - and now we're about to be plunged back into freezing cold weather again soon. The weather is nice and fine now, but word is that we're in for more chilly days and nights before we see Spring coming our way. And that's fine for me - so long I don't get sick again.

This year is Census Year. This is where we all get to put our hand up and be counted by our country. It's a great thing. Now, I'm going to remember to put down which religion I am so that I can be counted in that way too. However, that doesn't happen until next month.

This month has been a busy old month of things going on, a Birthday, a building starting to be built across the road from my parents' house and one nearly burning down at the unit complex and then my garden was finished for this year while I was sick. And in this last week, I sold my late-Grandmother's dining table and bought a lovely Chiswell dinner table and chairs and fixed them up! What a great thing to have in my possession. Dad helped me buy it, and I have almost finished paying him back; not far to go now. 

But in between all that, I've been knitting more of the squares of the huge throw I'm making, painting, cooking and baking, reading, writing and watching movies. My living room is halfway through being tidied up and I'm hoping to have my folks over in a couple of weeks for dinner as my new dining table will be big enough to use for just that - without us bumping elbows with each other.

Yes, I've had social occasions to go out too. I dressed up as my favourite animal at the Logan Art Gallery when we had a Family Fun Day (I went as a butterfly) and then it poured rain for the afternoon - which was a bit of a bummer. And just yesterday, I was out and about in Underwood at InHouse Publishing attending their Author's Day. I loved it! What a lovely day it was to have an outing like this. There was a coffee van, sausage sizzle and books! Oh! I was so lucky to have not taken any money with me that day! Well, that's all about this month... until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Problem Hand and Doctors

This week, I've finally taken myself to get my right hand x-rayed. You see, since I had the sun cancers surgically removed from my right hand last year, the middle finger of that hand has been very painful... the knuckle of what is called 'the rude finger' in sign language (what a great thing to call that, right?), won't allow me to carry heavy weights.

This means I can't pick up bags of potting mix or large and heavy terra-cotta pots without my right hand simply letting go straight away. I've almost dropped a large pot on the concrete in my car port because of this; so I really needed to get something done about it.

And so, this last Friday, I went and got the x-ray done, went to the doctors and she sent me to get an ultrasound... thus meaning there's something the x-ray didn't pick up. 

Well, I received a phone call today from the doctor, she wants to see me next week.

This means, the ultrasound picked up something the x-ray didn't. Bummer. I might need to get surgery on my right hand - I hope not! I'm a writer! This'll piss me right off if my right hand is out of action for another 8 weeks again. 

Well, I'll see what happens, and keep you all posted about it. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

20 Years Ago This Month

This month has been a big one for me in the way of how long I've been around. It's been 20 years ago on 11th, July since I had a 4.3 level Melanoma surgically removed from the back of my left thigh. 

That doesn't sound very nice - and it wasn't - but it got done and I'm glad it did, because I'm alive today because of its removal.

Dr Michael Lanigan did my surgery - a great plastic surgeon - and he saved my life. I was only 22 1/2 and that was considered very young to have a skin cancer of this type. But it was also the amount of stitches I have that shock people - still. 

I got 43 stitches in the shape of a crooked 'S' - which we call 'the dollar sign'. This is because the surgery cost around $5,000 to get done at a private hospital through my private health fund. Sure it was only an overnight stay, but there was all the other stuff I had to get done too. 

My recovery wasn't great. I was stuck in bed for almost a week before I went back and got the stitches taken out. The really shitty thing was that I went into hospital 2 days before my holidays; so I was stuck with a bandage on my leg for a good part of my holidays and working on recovering from major surgery. When I returned to work, I had to put in for sick leave instead of holidays and asked for holidays again in the future - because I didn't end up going anywhere. My workplace let me do this and I ended up going to the coast about a month or so later to get in and do some proper recovery down there.

But first, I had to get my leg working again. I had to get myself walking again. Seeing it was on the back of my left thigh, this meant I was on a walking stick for about a month making it strong again. I was flat out getting up and down stairs; and I had to take the stick to work so I could use it during the day if I needed it.

However, as the last two decades have passed, I have become stronger. My leg has bothered me sometimes, but only to cramp up and warn me of weather changes - like cold snaps, rain and storms. Man, can my leg predict a storm! I've tried everything to keep it from cramping up so much, but not much helps. Yoga and 'Painaway' sprays and creams works. Sometimes a boiling hot shower does too - but they're all temporary and don't last long. Often, I have to just deal with the pain and get up and walk around in the night for hours on end; which does help. There have been times where I've taken a good walk around the unit complex late at night to pull the cramp out, come home and been able to sleep because the muscle is warmed up enough - weird, eh? Otherwise, there are shoes I just don't wear. My friends know I don't wear heels - not on purpose anyway. If I do, I'm in for a world pain the next few days from my feet and from my leg as it pulls the muscle in the wrong direction. So, if I'm going to wear heels, I make sure to wear block heels and not spiky ones.

The one thing that I do know is that I'm damned glad to be alive. I have cheated Death a few times now and I now feel as though I'm playing a game of chess with a whole new set of rules... that life is a party I'm crashing. When you are living a life where you know you're not supposed to be around, you see life in a whole new light. I know that sound morbid, but really, it's something you don't realise unless you've kind of 'been through the looking glass'. It's a weird feeling when doctors tell you that you may not be around in 5 years time; and the next thing you know, 20 years have zipped by! 

All I can say is that I've created a life and a world that I'm damned proud of. I don't care who thinks of what I do with my life - I'm alive because of Dr Lanigan; he saved my life. I'm also alive because I wanted to be here for my family and friends and my wonderful niece, Riley. If I wasn't here, she'd be only hearing stories about me from my family and visiting a grave... something I don't wish for for a very long time to come. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Haven't Stopped - Until Now

Today is the first day I've stopped for over a week. I've finally stayed home to do nothing but chill out and maybe get in and do a bit of housework and some painting.

But over the last week, I've been busy as hell. 

I've recovered from the laryngitis, but there's a cough that's hanging on from it that's going to be with me for another month or so - from what I've been told. But otherwise I'm good and well. 

Last week, I started on the last part of the three-year garden fix-up. Every three years, I spend some serious dosh on my little garden to make it take a big step forward. I know that sounds like a lot to do, but during the years in between those three years, I care for the garden, prune it, pull the weeds, fertilise it and make sure it's well. I also take notes on what needs to be done, saved for and which plants need new pots, new potting mix and what I can do with the old pots - which other plants can be transferred into the old pots that I have left. 
You see, I don't use plastic pots. I go to the expense and use terra-cotta pots, so they last a long time and not go brittle. But it costs so much money and saving up for them is something I am good at when the time comes. 

So, during last week, I moved a few things around the garden and bought myself a standard Ficus. This plant is related to the Strangler Fig and it's advisable to keep it in a pot. So, I bought a pot and all the fixings to get it into that new pot. By the end of the week, the garden had been changed around. The steps by the side fence were moved to another part o the garden, where the pots there used them, and the Ficus became a focus point in the garden. This is good... and has made the garden fix-up come to an end this year two weeks ahead of schedule. This means I can start saving for other things I would like around the place if I want to.

I then went to Bunnings and found a shelf-splitter. This is a metal shelving unit you install in your pantry - or on top of your benchtop - and you can organise your space better. I have been looking for this for ages; since Bunnings advertised it two weeks before actually. Then, I showed it to Mum and she thought it was a great idea and got me to go and buy her some.

During the weekend, though, I've been doing volunteer work, knitting and at a Birthday Party at my brother's house to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday. So, I baked my famous cream scones and whipped up some cream to take with me. It was a great afternoon and we were home by 7pm. 

This week is going to be just as busy as I have to see the doctors about an x-ray I got done last week, do the grocery shopping (which isn't going to be much by the look of things) and then work on the painting I'm halfway through. Yep, this week - like last week - is going to be busy, busy, busy. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Brisk Winter Days

School holidays are almost over and the days and nights have turned lovely, cool and windy.

I love this time of year because of these days.

I cook so much lovely hot, stodgy food and drink so much hot chocolate it makes me go out and buy another tin of Milo. 

But this Winter, I came down with Laryngitis, causing me to hibernate more than I usually would - and I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I did get a fair bit of reading and writing done. And a huge painting is a quarter way through; and I watched around 8 movies that I haven't seen in yonks! All in the complete silence of my house. This meant I got pretty darn sick of my own company really darned quick!

So, I started looking at the garden and thinking about what to do with it to make it more private; and once I was better, I started moving things around again. This was great to do - and I hope to do more of it, as I'm hoping to get in and do more planting. I've bought a Ficus and am going to put into a large pot and let it take up the side fence of my garden.

I so do enjoy this time of year. I'm still getting into my craft as it's such a joy to do. I've begun knitting a throw as I have enough yarn to do it now. It's looking good - even though it's just the beginning of it. Well, that's all the news for now. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.