School Holidays and other adventures

It seems the craziness of life just wants to keep me hurtling forward. No rest for the wicked they say, but surely I haven’t been that wicked.

Nothing ever stops. There just doesn’t seem to be a moment where I am just in a zone of peace and quiet, without a care in the world. There is always something going on.

So, this first week of the school holidays has flown by. I just don’t know where it has gone. It’s just full on crazy. We had plans for 2 outings a week during the holidays, but this week it’s been one. We had a really wonderful day trip to Lake Barrine, which is just up the road on the Atherton Tablelands. It was really quite a remarkable place. It is a crater lake, ie, a lake in the crater of a former volcanic vent. It is surrounded by the most amazing rainforest, full on tropical rainforest, heck, it even rained when we were there, even though it wasn’t forecast. The sounds of the Eastern Whip birds rang through the trees, amazing curtain figs went from high in the sky to the cool, crystal clear waters of the lake below. A multitude of fungi and strangler vines, huge towering giants of the forest reaching to the sky. It was really beautiful. Mum and Jack even spotted some of the very rare musky rat kangaroo, a small rodent sized kangaroo which live in the very specific habitats surrounding these crater lakes.

After a 5 kilometre hike through the rainforest, we headed on to Atherton, and lunch. At Atherton, they have an amazing IGA supermarket, where you can get all sorts of stuff, it’s like an Aladdin’s cave of food. After lunch, we did a bit of Op Shopping, and stopped in at a place called Crystal Cave, a shop which has, you guessed it, lot’s of crystals, as well as a good range of fossils and other geological wares.  On the roof of this place, in the main street of Atherton, is a Triceratops, and on the footpath at the front door is a velociraptor like those in Jurassic Park. So, obviously, the little dinosaur mad nut was in his element. He even got to hold rocks from outer space, thanks to the sales assistant.

The rest of the week has been filled with lots of jobs around the house, and the usual weekly stuff like shopping. It’s seemed like we haven’t stopped, although, apart from the one outing, we have been at home.

Last Saturday, I did a huge job in the back garden, it was the first rain free day for weeks, and so I got out and did a heap of work in the vege garden. I have planted cucumber, radish, lettuce, spring onion, spinach and some sunflower seeds, and all of them, apart from the sunflowers, have sprouted today. Yes, amazingly, everything apart from the flowers wasn’t there yesterday afternoon when I watered them, and this morning, nice neat rows of seedlings are now poking out of the worked over soil, only 1 week later.

A few of the other plantings have been suffering a little due to the prolonged overcast and wet days, but now, for the past week, it has been sunnier, and we are seeing a good recovery in them all. We even had a small harvest of beans in our stir fry tonight from the garden.

One of the grape vines is now fully trained onto the lower trellis wire, as well as the Passionfruit, and the Passionfruit has a couple of nice leaders just about ready to go up to the top wire of the trellis. The citrus plants are going well, and our birds eye chilli bush is producing well, supplying some nice zing in our pasta’s and other cooking. The food production is really starting to happen.

Our little lean to out the back of the shed is being rebuilt, I completely dismantled it, and am now rebuilding it, the main frame is completed, and now all bolted together rather than just screwed, making it more safe in the event of a cyclone. I have one section of roof back on it, and hopefully, all going well tomorrow, the roof will be complete. It is a bit taller than before, as it was so low that I was leaning over every time I was inside it, and 2 of the main beams of the frame were very weak and half rotted, so it really had to be fixed.

I also cleaned up the front of the shed, and have sealed it all up properly to stop it leaking, and hopefully, weather permitting, Jack and I will paint it in the next day or two. We have some old paint from the exterior of the house, and seeing we won’t be using it on the house again, it’s a waste not, want not scenario, so instead of wasting the paint, we will paint the shed, thus making the shed last longer too. Dad also got a big tin of paving paint, as the concrete steps leading up to the shed are not made well, the concrete is fairly fragile, not enough cement was put in the mix, so it is all pressure washed now, and to stop it deteriorating further, it will be protected by the paving paint. There is enough paint for that, as well as under the entertainment area of the verandah, so once that is sorted a bit more, it will get freshened up too.

Well, it’s just ticked over to midnight, so I must get some sleep, and until next time, smile.

Andy.

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Light show

Tonight, after several very warm and incredibly humid days, the heavens have erupted in a dazzling light show. It’s been rumbling with thunder since 5pm, and its just past 10pm now. I made a few attempts to get a few shots, but the rain just kept chasing me around. I may have something, I am not sure, but nothing too spectacular.

Yesterday Mum and I went off to the nursery to get some Bird of Paradise plants, Strelitzia’s, and one is planted already, the other will be done when I level out the ground where it needs to go. We even had the first 3 beans off our bean plants, Jack, Mum and I all had one fresh out of the garden, and it is years since I have had fresh beans !!

I have tied up the bean plants, to get them off the ground, and added some wires to the tomato trellis also, the tomato plants are growing like mad right now, it’s incredible. Talking about incredible, the 2 grape vines and the passionfruit vine are all growing about 2 to 3 inches every day at the moment. I am blown away.

The rest of the garden is doing well, I managed to cut a bit of the lawn out the back today, but my fibromyalgia is not good right now, so there is still a little bit to do.

Tomorrow is shopping day, but tomorrow Mum also wants to get a new school shirt for Jack, the shirts are special ones you can only get from the school, so we will have to get that before we head off to the markets for our fruit and vegetables, and then to the supermarket for the rest. It is our off week for the butcher, so at least we don’t have to do that.

Jack is motoring along at school, making impressive progress. Tomorrow is Cross Country day, and then next week is school photo’s, and it is also the last week before Easter break. We have a few plans for the school holidays, we will go off for a day trip to Babinda Boulders for a swim, we are thinking of a day trip to the Botanic Gardens, and I can’t remember the other things Mum said, but we reckon we will do about 2 things special a week for the holidays.

I must go now, my medications are all kicking in, and the fatigue is coming over in a flood.

Andy.

Pugglewomp

Another of the weird titles, just to try and lighten my mind.

I am in a bit of a shambles right now (I was about to write “write now”, so as you can see….yep, shambles). Too many upsetting things happening in my own country, I’ve already vented about it, but the lessons haven’t been learnt, the people who have created the problem are back to business as usual. It is just so frustrating that imbeciles are running things. These are just plain, stupid people.

Now, aside from that, life goes on, as it does. I have to do things to take my mind off the pathetic state of affairs, so I have got back into my garden today after a couple of weeks of not doing much in it, firstly, I was pretty ill for a week, then it has been raining incessantly for the past week, so gardening hasn’t exactly been a viable option. Firstly, I got out and tied up the tomatoes, and found that all three varieties I have planted are starting to flower. I also have several flowers on the corn I planted, and the beans are also packed with flowers and going great. There are heaps of viable small Pawpaw plants now going ahead in leaps and bounds, I will have to thin them and pot some up, as there are so many growing. I might get them strong and then sell them for a bit of pocket money. The Banana plant is now over 6ft tall, and going great, the passionfruit vine is nearly completely trained on the lower part of the trellis, so the next bit will be getting it started on the upper part, and the 2 grape plants are also going amazingly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t ready to go to the second wire in another months time also.

I also did a bit of a trim up around the place, the Tahitian Lime needed a little trim, it’s still quite small, so I need it to get taller before I let it grow out too many branches, I don’t want a tree that I can’t get to the trunk of when it’s a big tree. The Valencia Orange and the Imperial Mandarin are also going great, the orange in particular, the first one I put in of the citrus, is just growing like crazy. Because all of them are growing so rapidly, and now after a week of solid rain, I have fertilised them all again today as well, as I want them to have everything they need to get well established as quickly as possible.

We have some Murraya’s down the side of one of the verandahs, they were ill when we moved in here, and looked like they might not survive, but with lots of TLC they are now doing what they need to do, create a privacy hedge down the side of the verandah. I gave them a trim also today, most of them are now at Gutter height, and will be kept that height, so they don’t fill the gutters with leaves. Also, the almost dead Golden Duranta’s we had down the side are now also at the top the fence, considering they were almost dead too, when we moved in, and barely half a metre high, they are really doing well. We planted more of them down the same side where obviously some older ones had died, and those are now all getting to the height that the established ones were when we moved in. I think there is about 10 of them we planted, so when it all gets up to around 6ft, we will keep them at that height too. We have some shitty neighbours on that side, so a good screening hedge is exactly what we need there !!

Jack has started a literacy program at school last week, he spends an hour 4 afternoons a week getting extra tuition through the school, so it isn’t costing me anything, thankfully, but he is finally getting the extra help with his reading and writing that we have so desperately wanted for him. It is certainly showing too, because he is going ahead in leaps and bounds, it’s quite astonishing really. I am so glad he is finally getting tghe hang of it. We have poured a lot of work into it ourselves, but because the previous schools didn’t seem to understand that the way they were trying to teach him wasn’t working, it was difficult, because we were trying to teach him the way we had learnt, and they are stuck on this stupid sound out the letters crap, which doesn’t work. You know, if, for example, if you sound out the letters of a simple word like “the”, t-h-e, it doesn’t sound like “the” . We had been trying to teach him all the combined sounds, like th, oo, ou, ee, ea, ing, but the way the school did it was sounding out all the individual letters, which just doesn’t work. Here, in Queensland, they teach it the way we were trying to all along, and now the consistency is happening at school as well, he is going well. He even said to me last night that he now gets what we were trying to teach him, and it’s better, easier, and makes sense. He is a smart kid.

I have a little project that is in waiting, I have yearned for a proper studio in which to paint, and because I just haven’t had the place to do it, I haven’t done much painting for a while. Well, when dad finally has his shed built, and moves all his stuff out of the shed we already have here, I am going to line the roof with insulation and the side wall that gets full sun as well, and then frame up the walls and put proper lining inside it. I have power almost set up, it’s still difficult while all the stuff that will go into dad’s shed is still in there, but I have now organised most of the shed, got a proper bench set up, I used the old, heavy laminated bench tops we replaced in the kitchen, got the window fixed so it now opens, and all the stuff that will remain in the shed once dad’s stuff is out of there is all organised and is now where it will remain once the stuff of dad’s is gone. Put it this way, 3/4 of the shed is full of dad’s stuff, so it is going to be roomy once it’s all out. I will get a stool and a small fan, and I have a great 1970’s banker style desk lamp that I will set up in there also, and then I will move all my art supplies out of my room, and it will be all set up, finally. I am really excited about it. I already have the insulation, and most of the framing for the internal walls, and am looking for some decent pallets to use for lining it. I might even put a wooden floor over the concrete if I get enough pallets. It should look awesome when it’s done, and I plan on taking photo’s of it all as it progresses.

Apart from all that, I have had a shocking day with IBS today, to the point that I was on the toilet for nearly an hour after dinner tonight, it was awful and painful. It isn’t a good sign, because usually, that comes right before a bad flare up of the pain and fatigue, and to be honest, I have been struggling with the fatigue already pretty badly, so hopefully it doesn’t get much worse. Every single day for a few weeks now, I have had to sleep during the day for a few hours, even if I slept well all night and had over 9 hours sleep. It’s so bad that basically if I don’t sleep, I would fall down, because that is what my body wants, I just can’t stay awake.  Oh well, that’s just how life is for me now.

Anyhow, I hope you are all doing well, and I hope to write some more again soon.

Andy.

 

Pig Headed

I’ve decided to be pig headed. I am going to suffer for it. I am currently without any pain medications, and I am going to let it all happen. I am determined to try, and prove a few things to people who need it proving to.

I know it’s going to be unpleasant, it already is, my last Tramadol was this morning, and normally, by now, I’d have taken my bedtime one, but I don’t have any.

Yesterday, I slept most of the day, and then slept well last night, in preparation, trying to get myself into a mental space to be able to deal with the pain I know is coming. My fibromyalgia is pretty bad now, and this little fool hardy enterprise will show others just how bad it is. I have a name for a doctor who apparently knows a thing or 2 about this terrible affliction, but can’t see her for a week, and I am honestly sick of dealing with doctors who are too caught up in the hysteria surrounding Opiod painkillers to prescribe them. Some people don’t respond to other treatments, I am one of them. Because of the paranoia surrounding these strong painkillers, I guess I am meant to suffer.

I am going to attempt to do what we have planned for the weekend still, regardless of how I am feeling. My son needs his father, and we need to have some sort of life together. It seems doctors don’t seem to get that, I thought they were meant take an oath to do what’s best for their patients, but obviously, that is a complete load of crap.

I hope I can get some sleep tonight, I will need every bit of it to deal with what I know is coming, I’ve been here before.

Andy.

Circles

It first came out as circicles, whatever that means. Yep, pretty much how I am at the moment.

The moment I have been waiting for, but not wanting, has arrived. Well one of the moments anyhow. The inevitable crash, after months and months of sustained stress, and having to be superhuman somehow to get through, has happened.

I have been so incredibly fatigued every day for about 4 or 5 days now, but that doesn’t mean sleep comes easy. 2 nights ago, I was in constant pain and hardly slept. Amazing seeing that I feel like I am going to fall asleep every few minutes. The pain is unbearable, but I have to bear it, there really isn’t any choice. Imagine the most helpless you have ever felt, add to that a dash of hopelessness, and for good measure somehow keep going with a smile on your face. Pretty much sums it up right now.

I am beginning to run out of projects that I am able to do, there are projects, but they required an amount of physicality I just don’t have in reserve at the moment. And if it requires any sort of complex thought, well, see ya later. Each and every day just blurs into the next, each day in pain, dog tired, and more hopeless.

Weirdly enough, I am still not slumping into depression, somehow I am still managing to see some light in every day. I have had to resort to the walking stick today, something I haven’t had to do for quite a few months. I did say it was bad.

I keep trying not to sleep during the day, but to be honest, I think tomorrow I am probably going to have to sleep most of the day.

Jack had a bit of hayfever last week, I have managed to get him back well again, but a result of it was that he ended up with a bit of a staph infection around his nose and up a nostril. For days I treated it, which isn’t real fun, with a combination of Betadine, and a few other healing creams. It’s all healed wonderfully now, and he is going well again.

He’s been coming into my room a bit at night recently, he’s been having a few nightmares, especially about the violence he witnessed being waged upon me by his Mum. Even after 6 years, the memories come back from time to time. Anyone who says a 2 year old child doesn’t remember or take stuff in, is a fool.

Talking about flashbacks, I’ve had a few of my own in recent days. Maybe it’s just the result of a whacko brain full of fatigue. They haven’t been about my ex, but of random things, like the first day we started driving up here, just random snippets of that first day. I’ve also had a couple of those deja vu moments, which freak me out a bit. I haven’t had one of those for quite a long time, but I’ve had about half a dozen in the past week.

I might leave this for now, I don’t think I can process anything much anymore, let alone write, but that’s where I am at right now. Hope you all are doing better than me.

Andy.

Emotional.

Too much has happened in the last 8 months. Too much. I am at the point where everything is too much. I need a break, but even that would be too much. The stupid illness is wearing me down, more than before. Although I haven’t reached the really bad, almost writhing in pain pain, it’s been so heightened recently that it has left me destroyed. I find myself on the verge of tears, especially when I start to think is it going to end. Am I going to get a break from this soon? I am trapped by my own body. I am being held to ransom by it. It is just so ……I don’t know, I don’t know.

I FEEL SO ALONE.

Today we were up early, for the little jaunt to the markets, it was nice, but to be honest, although we had a successful day, by the time we got home at lunchtime, I had fallen into despair. A not real taxing drive, and a little wander around an old WW2  Aircraft hangar where the markets were held had done me in.

I know that Mum notices that I am not coping well. I am so wiped out, and my enthusiasm is waning. I just want to have a decent sleep, have no pain, and feel good, even if just for a couple of days. I feel lost, I feel lonely.

It’s not depression I feel. I am prone to it, I know it, it is an awful companion in my life at times. This is just sort of like a Groundhog Day. Same shit, different day. It’s almost a desperation for it to just change. Right now, if I were to win the lottery, it would still be the same. Sure, right now I sit here writing with tears streaming down my face and I feel sorry for myself. I am allowed to.  It would be so nice if some lovely lady walked into my life, hugged me tight, and told me everything will be alright.

Anyhow, I can’t write anymore right now, I am going to retire to my cold bed, and not sleep properly again. I know.

Andy.

Going to the markets tomorrow.

Today I gave myself a kick in the backside to try and snap out of the funk I have been in for days. It seems it worked to some extent, I still feel no different on the pain and fatigue front, it is really shitty to be honest still. However, I pushed myself through the day, determined to achieve something other than just surviving another day. I managed to vacuum and mop the whole place, did the washing, and even did a bit of work on one of my headlights, as it had become yellowed, as these plastic headlights tend to these days. It’s not perfect yet, but it is a lot clearer, and not yellow any more.

Tonight I have an arthritis glove on my right hand, as it is helping a little with pain relief, and I also have some ankle braces on both ankles for the same reason. Maybe, as these have been the 3 parts of my body that have been hurting in the middle of the night when I wake up, it will help me sleep better tonight.

Tomorrow, as a glutton for punishment, I am getting up at 6am to get ready to go to the markets at Atherton at 7am. We are hoping to get some bargains on fresh produce to stock up the pantry, and also, well I am anyhow, hoping to get some more food plants for the garden. A lemon, lime, mandarin, and a Pawpaw would be good. Chillies also.

Talking about the food plants, we’ve lost a few that we bought as seedlings, now we only have 2 lettuce and 3 rocket surviving, the rest just haven’t dealt with the recent climate well. The Passionfruit is going crazy, every night it seems to grow another 2 to 3 inches. I have beans that have germinated and are like the ones in the fairy tale. Yes, Jack and the Beanstalk, ironically. This afternoon I also saw that 2 of my corn seeds have germinated, along with quite a few of the spring onion seeds I sewed during the week. I didn’t check the peas, but yesterday they hadn’t surfaced yet. Our carrots seem to be chugging along well, and the only tomato that survived the weather, the cherry one, is doing well also. It seems that we will have to direct plant seeds, instead of seedlings, as they seem to cope better.

I also had a little win, I bought some shirts for Jack at an Op Shop before Christmas, not realising one of them was for one of the School Sports Houses, and I didn’t know which one Jack was going to be in at the time, but by happy fluke, nothing else, the one I got is the Sports House he is in !!! Incredible.

Anyhow, I have a big day tomorrow, it will start too early, and we will be going for a bit of an explore around the southern Tablelands after the market before coming home, so another 150km of driving, and the hard bit, thankfully, is first thing in the morning, going up the steep, narrow and windy Gillies Range. I don’t mind windy mountain roads, but it is a long climb, and you have to look out for twits that drive like loons.

I must retire to my sheets now, and snuggle for a good sleep, hopefully.

Goodnight.

Andy.