Flubbeddydoo

What to call a post when you don’t know what to call it? I guess it will do.

I just wanted to start by saying that I apologise for not having posted much recently, I have just been very busy and preoccupied with too many things, life has just been a roller-coaster. Taking Jack to birthday parties, running Mum to various different things, trying to get the car prepped for a roadworthy to change the registration from another state, helping Dad build a fence across the side to secure the backyard, and throw in the Cairns Show, Cairns Gem Festival, Jack’s art classes, trying to get my art studio organised and built, and then on top of all of that, untreated fibromyalgia, it’s just been hectic, tiring and crazy.

Good news is, Mum has been seeing a new doctor (third time lucky) and yes, it seems we may have found the doctor we have been looking for, someone who is willing to help us with our fibromyalgia, and has an understanding of it. So, on Wednesday, I am off to see her as well.

I have gone months and months with no treatment, and hell doesn’t even describe it, so hopefully, I may finally get back onto the meds I need. The new doctor has not had a problem prescribing the only effective medication for Mum, so hopefully she will be the same with me.

The other thing that has been happening with me, inexplicably, is I am not hungry much recently, although it’s not making much difference to my weight, but for example, my first food today was tonight’s dinner. I didn’t even realise that I hadn’t eaten all day until I sat down for dinner. I knew I had bypassed lunch, I was engrossed in a job I was doing, and Mum asked me if I was going to have lunch, which I said I wasn’t hungry, but realising I hadn’t even had breakfast, because I was so busy getting Jack ready and then launched into my project for the day, was quite a shock.

Anyhow, I am going to leave this here for now, I am totally worn out, and, during doing a spring clean of my room, I happened to find 1 fast acting Tramadol tablet in my travel case, which I had no idea was in there, so I have taken it, and now the pain of the fibromyalgia is dropping to the lowest it has been most of this year, it may be a good time to get some sleep, because that hasn’t been very good recently again either.

Andy.

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Meltdown

Today I had a freaking huge meltdown. I am one of those people that doesn’t go off much, I am the calm and collected one, but when I go off, I go off. It’s a family trait, my Mum and Brother are the same.

For weeks my mother has been in this mire of self pity, she also has fibromyalgia, but instead of accepting it and getting on with life as best as possible, she has immersed herself in the internet, the tv, food, and just self pity. She’s put on weight, I did also, I was in a bit of a funk as well, mainly because she has been and it tends to drag those around you in as well. I snapped myself out of it after a week, but she had got to the stage where the internet and TV was more important than putting the empty milk container, or tuna tin, into the recycling bin after she’d emptied it, which was like 12 inches below, under the bench.

Jack has also been not listening and doing the basics of the things I expect, I don’t expect much, but it’s not hard to put toys away after you use them, or put the washing IN the basket, not right beside it on the floor. Now we have a new family member, a younger dog, in the house, leaving shit everywhere is just asking for disaster. He’s also been just, pardon the bad language,  fucking plain rude to me, and I destroy myself making sure he has as good a childhood as I can manage, which, is much better than most able bodied fathers do with their own children.

There is a bunch of other things that have accumulated, like Mum saying she won’t put up with Dad’s shit anymore, but not really making it clear to him. He is a petulant child all on his own, and he is just so full of shit, and his own self importance. He probably won’t ever stop being a shit, but letting him think it is okay, is just becoming an enabler to his crap behaviour.

Yeah, yeah, I’m venting. I let fly this afternoon, at Mum and Jack, I told Mum outright that I was sick of her wallowing in self pity, that leaving rubbish within inches of the bin was just fucking bullshit, and that I am in agony ALL THE TIME, and am severely fatigued ALL THE TIME (she isn’t even remotely as bad with fibro as I am yet, she even admits it), but I still get off my arse and do shit, even when physically I feel destroyed.

In the time she’s been in the wallow, I’ve painted the side fence, installed solar security lights, still stuck to my laundry schedule (she’s run out of clothes a few times, as she has just not bothered to keep to her schedule, and she only has to wash her own clothes and bedding, I do 2 peoples stuff, and the extra kitchen and bathroom washing), done the lawn mowing several times (Dad just doesn’t bother, he sits arguing with strangers on Twitter all the time, another example of his shitheadedness), I get Jack to and from school every day, make meals, take mum out shopping when she wants (she doesn’t drive), I am just a fucking slave, and it is just too much. I really just feel that nobody realises I am actually a human being, I’m just the car driver, the home help, whatever. I am at the point that I don’t even think a holiday would help me not feel this way.

When I made dinner tonight, just after I exploded, Mum actually got up and started doing some stuff. Jack did too. After dinner, Jack made sure he put his dishes in the sink, and mum got straight up and washed them. It’s nice, but really, should it take you losing your fucking bananas to get others to help out ?

We all live here, shit, shouldn’t we all do our bit? I’ve even had some thank you’s from Jack, but, I told him that right now, all I can see that is is that I lost my shit and it’s not genuine, just I guilted him into it, and that for me to believe it, it needs to continue. I am sort of over window dressing, it needs to be genuine, and I need to not be a fucking slave.

Being as ridiculously unwell as I have been recently, doesn’t help. Fibromyalgia unwell, everything else is fine, since I have been getting flu shots and taking probiotics, the respiratory illnesses have become a thing of the past. This week, I have had to sleep from when I brought Jack home from school, until dinner was ready, 3 times. I have also felt like my head was going to explode, it’s not pain, just pressure. Body pain has been ridiculous, and as much sleep as I get just doesn’t do much at all.

Well, I am going to stew a bit more, try and sleep, and see you all later.

Andy.

 

Quality time.

I always try and pass on the things I have learnt, important skills, and other things that might come in handy through life’s journey. Today, Jack and I painted the front of the shed. I taught him the right way, to get the paint even, no drips, nice and neat. And he did a fantastic job. We Also did some more sealing work around the back of the shed, getting it ready to paint as well, and some gardening. He just loved seeing how to do all theses things.

For a reward for his hard work, and bloody great work too, it turned out really good, I took him down to Babinda Boulders for a swim this afternoon. Mum was tired, so it was just me and Jack. We had a good drive down there, and spent about an hour and a half in the icy cool water, and it was so refreshing after sweating our backsides off in the morning.

We stopped in at the local supermarket for a treat after the swim, and then did a bit of back road driving on the way home, checking out some of the side roads on the way back. It was worthwhile, as we think we have found another great swimming hole a lot closer to home !!

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I am going to try and get one of the sides of the shed ready to paint, and if lucky, get it painted too. I am trying to get it sorted, especially the sealing it up to stop the leaks bit, because I am going to line the inside with insulation and boards, and turn it into my art studio. I have so wanted a specific space just for painting for so long, and now the opportunity is here. It may not be ready until mid May, as the shed dad is getting built is delayed, yet again, and I can’t do the lining work until his stuff is out of the old shed and in the new one. I can almost see it now, but not quite yet.

I am also looking at some windows, I need to replace the window in the back of the shed with a decent one, as the current one is just a perspex one with plastic frame, and is very crazed and stained, so a bit bigger, glass and aluminium framed one, is really what I want to put in. I have been looking at them at the Recycle Shop, and they are a real good price, but really don’t want to get one just yet until I can virtually just put it straight in, as I don’t want a glass window just sitting around on the off chance that it might get broken before it gets put in. I need a decent window, not only for light, but airflow, it is just a shed, so I need to be able to get it cool enough to sit and work in.

Last night, my one remaining cherry tomato plant was destroyed by the neighbours cats, they snapped it clean off in a fight, and knocked over several pots which have small desert roses in them. Luckily they survived, but unfortunately, the tomato plant is beyond saving. It really sucks, because of the 4 I had growing, 3 succumbed to wet weather and crushing heat early on, it survived, then went really ill as it first flowered, so I did a bit of work on it and managed to resurrect it, carefully cutting it back to help it get strength, and it came back really beautifully, started flowering  again a couple of days ago, and was doing very well, and then the cats snap it off.

I am actually pretty pissed off about it. It is actually illegal for people to leave their cats out at night around here, and our neighbour has three of them that they feed outside, never let inside, and just let them kill everything in sight. I am getting some plants to get rid of them from our yard, apparently they don’t like Coleus plants, so we are going to underplant all the trees around the boundary of our property with them. Plus, we are keeping all the citrus rinds and grating them up to scatter around, as apparently cats hate that too. If it doesn’t work, I will be getting a trap, and if they stray into it, they will be going to the pound. I really don’t like animals that obliterate native wildlife, like cats do, and the fact they are coming in and wrecking the garden irks me as well.

Anyhow, I must get off to bed, it’s late once again, and I really need to get some rest, I have been over doing it for days, and it is really taking it’s toll.

Andy.

 

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.

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.

 

Calm

I am feeling relaxed and calm as I write. The last bit of the house renovations is just about done, the bench tops are all installed in the kitchen, I did it on Saturday, and today I cut the hole out for the cook top to go in, and put it all in place. We just have to wait for the gas fitter to come and connect the pipework to it, and then the Kitchen will be finished. The whole place has been in chaos since the beginning of the year due to tiling and the kitchen renovation, but now we are getting it all back to normal.

I still have the stress of finding a new doctor, it’s something that I will have to throw myself into this week, as I need a doctor who will help me manage this condition, but it needs to be a doctor who will work with me, not against me. Why are doctors so arrogant? They aren’t Gods, although I think a lot of them think they are. Working with your patient will always yield the best result.

Today I have spent a bit of time in the garden, which I really believe is my happy place. I got a lime and mandarin tree in the garden over the weekend, and have given them a good fertilise today with blood and bone, along with all the other food plants. I also ended up mowing the whole place, I was only going to mow the front yard, because I have been feeling wrecked and in pain, but ended up doing the lot. I was a bit of a mess when I finished, feeling a bit faint and also nauseous, but after sitting on the verandah, having a nice long drink straight from the garden hose (remember doing that as a kid? It is still good!!) and my cursed cigarette (something that I am planning on attempting to ditch again this week), I went inside and had some lunch, before I just couldn’t do any more and after a shower, had a sleep for an hour or so before I picked Jack up from school.

While I was sitting on the verandah trying to recover from the mowing, I watched the birds, some species of which I hadn’t seen in the garden before, and a multitude of of different types of butterflies, swoop in and out of the trees doing the most magnificent ballet routine I have ever watched. I also saw different types of skink lizard run around through the rocks and crevices, one type was rather large and had a brilliant red area running down from it’s head to it’s front shoulder. Last night, we even had a lovely little tree frog next to the front door, climbing the wall to get near the light for the bounty of bugs it was attracting. The Geckos are also making their presence known, one just cheerfully chirped just out my bedroom window. There are lots of little baby geckos around right now, and they are awesome little bug eaters, they stop a lot of the insects from making their way into the house, and we have no spider problems around the house itself.

I still have a few more tasks I want to sort out as a matter of urgency, like sorting all my tools out, because I have been the home handyman, I have been constantly doing stuff in the house, and the Granny flat where dad lives, and usually, when I am finished a job, I am too worn out to put the stuff away properly. So it’s all a bit of a mess, but now the big jobs are done, i am going to sort it all. Hopefully tomorrow, if I eel well enough to do it, or, more to the point, if I can push myself through the constant pain and fatigue to do it. I normally do, even though most of the time it is a struggle.

Well I might leave it here for now, I am barely awake, and the pain is pretty high, so I need to lay down, and hopefully, get a bit of sleep.

Andy.

Untitled

My brain is not quite with it enough to come up with a title today. It’s still rough, but at least I managed to do some things today. I was determined to.

After I got Jack away to school, I came back home, and set about sorting out a job that has been gnawing away at me for a couple of weeks. The verandah out the back sliding door is sort of fenced off, with a low lattice fence about 3 feet high, along the side and then across to the house in one section. The section that goes to the house has a gate, and this was the main bit bugging me.

The fence piece from the house to the gate opening was very wobbly. It was secured to the wall well, but where the gate hangs, it was just the framed lattice panel, with concrete nails attaching it to the concrete floor of the verandah. No post, nothing. So consequently, when the gate was opened and closed, it was swaying back and forth. It was also flat on the concrete, meaning that the timber was in a position to rot, given time.

So, firstly, I raised the panel off the concrete, to get airflow under so it wouldn’t rot. This was easy as the concrete slopes away from the house, so I got my spirit level and just made the panel level. Now, the bit near the wall touches the concrete for about 1/2 and inch, then it is elevated the rest of the way to the gate. The next bit was to put in some supports for the bit where the gate swings. I got some large brackets, which are made of thick galvanised steel, and placed one on the inside and outside of the end of the lattice panel, and then on the end itself, I got a much taller bracket, just as thick, and bolted the whole lot together. The brackets are now dyna bolted into the concrete as well. Then I rehung the gate, and now it swings well, doesn’t scrape the concrete before coming to a halt half open. The fence doesn’t wobble, even big heavy me doesn’t make it move.

The next thing was to completely clear out the fenced off section, and pressure wash it. Walls, roof, floor, the whole lot. Halfway through the process of cleaning it, it smelt like a swamp, the crap that was on everything was worse than it looked. Once I had finished, it smelt so nice, and everything is shining, it’s so clean. Once it had all dried, I moved things back in, set up Mum’s treadmill, and our outdoor chairs, and it just looks so much better than it did before, more organised, and CLEAN !!

Once I picked Jack up from school, I was done. I just couldn’t stay awake. I ended up crashing into bed, while Jack and Mum watched some TV. It was a bizarre sleep. When I first laid down, it felt like I was hallucinating. Honestly, I haven’t had that sensation since the one time I tried magic mushrooms.  I don’t know what caused it. I did end up sleeping, but it was a weird sleep. I don’t know if I should be concerned or not. I hadn’t taken any pills for anything before I laid down, so really not sure what brought that on. Has anyone else experienced that with Fibromyalgia ? Or is it something else ?

Anyhow, I better get myself off to bed, I am still very, or better put, extremely tired, and I need to keep being the best dad I can be for Jack, which means I have to be up at 7am.

Goodnight.

Andy.