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.

 

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Just………..well, just

I am just hanging in there. This is one of those posts. You know, where I lay out how bad the fibromyalgia is, and the struggle worsening today. Well, it is, but isn’t one of those posts, but it is. Wow, that was a great bit of back and forth, wasn’t it ???

I still try and make myself laugh when the fit hits the shan. Yep, there I go again. Today has been rough. Real rough. This morning I woke up asleep, and really haven’t shifted past that all day, but somehow I have managed to get to this end of the day. And pains have been popping up everywhere. At one stage, the stage where I had to drive the car to pick up Jack from school, my right arm, around and just below the elbow, got so painful that I couldn’t hold it up and hold the steering wheel. “So what?” I hear you say. Well, I drive stick. I hate automatics. That’s the so what. So every time I had to change gears, I had to move my arm up in agony to steady the wheel while changing the gears (yes, I am Australian, we drive on the correct side of the road !!!)

It started waking up asleep, stepping out of bed, and as I took my first step, pain shot through every single toe on my foot. During the day, it’s been between my shoulders, and travelling up my neck, and randomly appearing in my calves, my feet, fingers, arms, and anywhere else it tickles it’s fancy.

Anyhow, not to let being absolutely crippled get me down, I  actually managed to mow the grass, and finally sold my trailer. I have been getting stuffed around by half a dozen people, they arrange a time to come, then no show, or turn up, agree on a price, say they are going to get the cash and come back, never to be seen again. Well, today’s chap contacted me last night, drove a 2 hour round trip from the Atherton Tablelands, this afternoon, and after about 2 minutes looking it over with his Uncle, handed over the cash, did the paperwork, and that was that. I have been stuffed around for over 2 weeks, and then this fellow made it all so easy. It was refreshing to finally encounter someone who has manners enough not to stuff someone around.

Now I have $500 in my pocket, part of which is buying me a brand new mattress tomorrow, the first brand new mattress I will have ever had in my 41 years of life. The rest is going to be rolled into a business venture that I am going to try and embark upon. I will fill you in on that as it unfolds, but just let me tell you, it will be multi-faceted.

The other little bits of today where I was capable of anything much, I managed to get Jack to and from school, it may not seem like much, but today it was climbing Mt Everest, I cleaned out a bunch of plastic milk bottles that we need to take to the container refund scheme, yep, a stinky job, and popped a cutting of turmeric, that the chap that is tiling our place brought with him for us this morning, into a pot.

On the subject of tiling, he is nearly finished, and it looks fantastic. The renovations are nearing completion, well the major bits anyhow, with the last major thing to do, the removal and replacement of the kitchen bench tops, being done early next week, yet again, by me. We will be without a functioning kitchen for about 5 days, but it will be so worth it. That is the time it will take to remove it, get the new tops made to size, and then for me to fit the new ones once they are ready. That will be the last majorly disruptive thing to be done. Over the next few months we will paint the place as well, but that is easy and will be done in small bits, as finances allow.

Well, for now, I might leave it here, I need sleep, and my body feels like I have done 20 rounds with Mike Tyson (minus the ear biting bit), so hopefully, seeing the pain killers seem to be just kicking in, I will be able to sleep.

Goodnight.

Andy.

Successfully back to school.

Jack has had a somewhat successful first day back at school, at his new school. He was so excited until this morning, when it dawned on him that he would not know anyone, and I guess was nervous about trying to make new friends. He is one of those children that makes friends easily, he’s a nice kid, so I guess that’s why, but he is also shy when he meets new people. As it went, the Good part of the day, according to him was he has made some new friends already, the bad bit was as it is a new school, and a lot bigger than the 2 previous schools he has been to, at lunchtime he got a bit lost. But it was easily sorted.

We’ve had a chilled afternoon since he got home, and now after dinner, his favourite spaghetti bolognese, he is safely tucked in bed.

Just before dinner time, Dad came over wanting a hand with something. The something was to go and pick up a treadmill, as usual, his timing was shocking. He really hasn’t a clue and is really quite selfish. I was supposed to cook dinner, but ended up getting Mum to, so I could help him. So an hour after we were supposed to have dinner, hence making Jack late for bed, we had dinner.

The other part of the frustration of having to go, which, if I didn’t, he would have carried on like a 3 year old, it must be a thing of blokes that age,(yes USA, you know who I’m referring to there), was that he is rapidly becoming a crap driver, and it was belting down with rain, he wasn’t concentrating on driving (I actually told him to stop looking at me and watch the road), was speeding, and it was just generally scary. Not happening again, I think I’d rather deal with the 3 year old, than get seriously injured in a car crash because he is so shit at driving.

I also had to put up with his boring diatribe of how smart he is (he isn’t), how he spent all of his sons childhoods going to university (which he has never used the qualification, so completely pointless, other than to use to big note himself), which meant that the time he could have actually been a parent to us, he wasn’t. I know both myself and my brother are pretty angry with him, he spent all that time away from us for no good reason, and he’s just become more arrogant because he has a university degree. He’s actually pretty dumb. Say’s more about the lack of standards at university than anything else, considering he walked out of there with a degree.

I really don’t know how I managed to get through the whole drive up to the other side of town and back without just going off at him. I did, but then when I got back, I was just in such a foul mood that I have been irritable ever since. I spoke with Mum after Jack went to bed, and she wasn’t surprised, about any of it. Apparently he has done the same when they have gone anywhere recently together, although Mum avoids it most of the time and goes with me everywhere instead. Honestly, now we have all had some separation from his bad behaviour, it’s actually quite shocking to see how bad he really is. It isn’t that he is any worse than before, he isn’t, it’s just that it’s not up in our faces 24 hours a day now, and sometimes we don’t see him for a couple of days now, so when we do, we see he hasn’t changed, and how bad he really is. It’s hard to deal with.

It’s one of those catch 22 situations, you feel like unloading on him, but you know it won’t make any difference. If you give back to him as good as he dishes out, it just makes it worse. He happily dishes it out, but can’t take it himself.

Anyhow, this is what this blog is about, I apologise, but don’t at the same time, for unloading all that crap and venting my spleen, is a way of getting it out without a major catastrophe. Also, I guess, it makes some of you realise that you aren’t alone, because I am sure I am not the only one who deals with crappy people like this.

I must go to bed, I am exhausted, and need to be up early again for the next day of school.

Goodnight.

Andy.

My boy goes back to school tomorrow.

It’s been quite an extended school holiday for jack. With the move, coupled with the bad time of the year to do that when it comes to school, he has been off school for 11 weeks. I could say “yippee”, crack open a bottle of some highly intoxicating beverage, and celebrate, but it has never really been the case with me and Jack. I love having him around, most of the time. Yes, he drives me crazy at times, you show me a child that doesn’t drive their parents wild at times. But, I will feel this great emptiness tomorrow, after I leave him at school in the morning. I always do.

I will come home, and it will be quiet. It will feel like something is missing. I won’t be constantly nagged “Daddy, daddy, daddy”, every 5 minutes with some new discovery or just mundane little thing, but I will miss it. I think, the fact that this time around, having been such a big break, it will be worse.

In some ways, I am looking at this first week as a circuit breaker. So much has happened in the past 4 months, that I am really worn to bits. Today, I collapsed into bed at 2.30pm, exhausted. If not for a few last minute things I needed to do for Jack, like a quick trim of his hair, and make sure he went to bed at the proper time (not that I doubt mum would have made sure anyhow), I probably would have forgone dinner, and slept until the morning. It’s not that I worked my backside off today, but it is the accumulation of everything, now coming to a head. I said to Mum an hour ago that I am likely going to spend a lot of this first week of Jack back at school in bed, asleep.

The worst thing about having woken up to make sure things went as they should, is that I awoke a zombie. Then, after getting out of the fog that was enveloping my head, I have then struggled to get back into sleep mode, even though I am dog tired.

I did do a few things today, I mowed the lawn, which is not a huge job, half an hour and it’s done. I also went and picked up some seedlings of some pink desert roses, they were 50 cents each, so I got six. They will be great statement plants when they end up where they will be planted and have grown. Pretty, and pretty hardy as well.

So, in a few hours, I will have to be up, make school lunch, and get the boy off to school. Back to the regular routine, sort of, finally.

Andy.

I don’t know what I’m doing….

Living with this crappy ailment means half the time, I don’t know what I am doing. Ground down by pain and overwhelmed by fatigue, you lose your mind. I can get up whilst thinking about what I am about to do, like go and make a drink, or hang the washing out, and by the time I have walked the 3 metres from one side of my bedroom to the door, I will be wondering what it was that I had got up to do. It’s absolutely crazy.

If I get distracted, by something else, or someone suddenly talking to me, that’s it, it will take ages to remember what it was I was up to again. I know now that it’s all fibromyalgia related, at first I was really concerned I was getting dementia real fast or something, but then when I had a better patch with the fibro, it got better again.

I have had a really weird day today. Plans thrown out the window, firstly, because of the weather, we were going to a market, been planned for the past week, but now we are under a tropical storm, that has dumped nearly half a metre of rain on us in the past 36 hours. So, we could drive a couple of hundred km’s to get there, as the direct, 30 km route is too dangerous in this weather, it is very mountainous, very narrow and winding, and very prone to landslides with heavy rain. The prospect of driving all that way, although I was excited to go to the market, was not exciting at all.

So, I spent, and wasted 2 hours this morning waiting for a bloke to come and buy my trailer, who never ended up showing up (the second one now), then he organised to come this afternoon after 4 pm. He still never showed up, and now wants me to wait until next week. Then he might not still buy it. What is wrong with people ??? We decided after the morning debacle, to head out anyway, but closer to home, not half a days driving.

We went to a few Op Shops, which was productive, we got a few things we were looking for, and then went to Bunnings for some stuff to finish off the kitchen renovation. Then, I treated mum to lunch, and we wandered around the shopping mall for a bit, got a few other things we needed, then headed home to be back in time for the chap who never showed up.

We pottered around this afternoon when we got back, I contacted another potential buyer of the trailer, who is just as fickle as the previous two I have discovered, put the last 2 handles on the new kitchen cabinets, tidied up my tools which were spread everywhere, cooked some steak for dinner, and now, I am just about ready for bed.

We have had so much rain, it’s incredible. While driving around today, it was torrential. In some ways, it was time to come home when we did, with basically rain so heavy that even on well drained roads the water was at least 2 inches deep, and with even deeper puddles where the rain was frantically trying to get away, it was exhausting. You have to be on your toes when it’s that wet, especially with so many lousy drivers out as well. Since I started writing this 20 minutes ago, we have had 25 mm of rain, or about an inch. I told you the rain is heavy.

It’s actually funny. Last night, I went to bed at this time, and we have basically got exactly the same amount of rain as the same time last night. This time last night we had had 189.3 mm, today, up to now we have had 186.9 mm. The rain is supposed to be like this for a few more days, and it is currently being slated by those in the know to be the biggest rainfall event in over 2 decades. Crazy, the first few months we have been here, we have had the highest daily temperature ever recorded here, and now we are experiencing the wettest period in over 2 decades.

The past couple of days have also been tough. Every time we have gone out, and then returned home, we have been expecting to let Smudge out after being inside in the air-conditioning to do her business, but she is not here. Same in the mornings when we get up. You get so used to having a pet around, I mean, 17 years is a long time, that it is all the regular things you do automatically that catch you off guard. I am sure it will be some time before we get past this, she was such an amazing little dog. Gee I miss her.

Andy.

Watching the storms.

Yesterday we had a pretty impressive storm outbreak, brought on by the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Penny. After lunch, Jack and I went off for a little drive, as the sky was looking menacing to the south and west of our place, and, of course, my favourite photographic subject is storms.

We headed a little east and north of home, trying to get a good vantage point of the storms across open ground looking back towards Walsh’s Pyramid, away from power lines and any other man made structure that wasn’t photogenic. It’s hard trying to get a good landscape shot without power lines, and I hate power lines. We sort of left our run too late, as we found a spot, and the storm was really advancing towards us very quickly. I did get a couple of shots, not lightning, the ultimate goal, but the storm was menacing.

This was taken not long after we got out of the car. The sun was still illuminating the foreground. That is Walsh’s Pyramid, the pyramid shaped mountain on the left. The foreground is a sugar cane field in fallow.

gordonvale jan 2018 001

Only a few moments later and the sun was rapidly vanishing, and so was Walsh’s Pyramid !!!

gordonvale jan 2018 006

This was the view to the west of our location, which was at a place called Packer’s Camp., a very turbulent sky indeed. The wind was astonishing as it came over. Under that rain on the left is where we live. There is a mountain about 900 metres above sea level in that rain.

gordonvale jan 2018 009

As the cloud front came upon us, this was the view of the sky to the north. Amazingly blue, with the menacing blackness over our heads.

gordonvale jan 2018 012

We quickly decided that staying out, trying to find a better location to get more shots was a daft idea, the wind was gusting very strongly, buffeting my little car very noticeably. And the rain, it was almost impossible to drive. The water was accumulating on the road so quickly (and these roads are made to cope with a big deluge and drain well), that it was like driving through a pond, the water was 3 or 4 inches deep just from what was falling from the sky.

After a slightly nerve wracking drive the 10 kilometres home, we pulled up in the carport, went out the back verandah, and found 2 inches of water across the rear verandah, it was raining so hard that the drain couldn’t get it away quickly enough. I ended up going out in the rain with the shovel, and dug a trench about 3 inches deep to get the water to flow away down the slope, it was raining so hard, just 10 seconds out in the rain meant you were drenched right through, and the rain was cold !! The trench worked rapidly, and it drained off, even while it was still pouring down. We ended up with 60mm of rain in the space of 30 minutes. in the old scale, that’s probably a bit over 2 inches. In 30 minutes.

Later in the evening, we had a round 2, with lightning flashing intermittently to the west and east. I went out by myself after Jack went to bed, but didn’t capture anything worth sharing. It was nice to see some lightning return after a couple of weeks of nothing.


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Today, it has rained a bit, we’ve had about an inch of rain again, but nothing as spectacular as yesterday. We woke this morning to a bit of a disaster from our elderly dog, we have to contain her during the night in a playpen, so she doesn’t do her business all over the house during the night, we have a tarpaulin under it so if she does anything, it goes on it, and not the floor, and we just take that out to wash it off and clean it. She is very old, nearly 17 years old, and a Jack Russell, she is an awesome dog, but just getting a little incontinent. Dogs, or any pet for that matter, are for life, and you just have to take that getting old will happen.

The disaster was her best yet though. It was contained, but all over the tarp, her bed and bedding, her, it was just full on, and it stank so bad. Even when it was all cleaned up, the smell lingered, and we sprayed every version of room deodoriser we have around. Some just made it worse, as their scent, mixed with, well, the smell of shit, was more revolting than the smell of the shit on it’s own. I know, it’s hard to imagine air freshener making it worse, but trust me, it did. I ended up going over the entire floor, even though it wasn’t on the floor, with a very strong bleach and water solution with the mop, and after that, the smell was gone. I think the bleach dissipating into the air actually killed the smell that was lingering. Tonight, you wouldn’t even know there was such a mess this morning.

My fatigue really is a problem right now. It just doesn’t seem to want to subside. The pain is going from uncomfortable to bad on a roller coaster over the days, today wasn’t so bad on the pain front, but then I have had all sorts of gut issues, and nausea. This fibromyalgia is just sooooo fun !!!

It wears you down.

Andy.

Having wins when losing

The fatigue and pain have driven me into being very absent minded at times recently. I had a spell late 2017/early 2018 when I thought I was losing my mind, so forgetful and just felt like I was going crazy. This isn’t quite as bad, yet, but it is certainly disconcerting to be going through it all again. I also have moments during the bad patches of fatigue where I start slurring, the result of a slight stroke a few years back, when the hospital put it down as a “migraine”, and then a week later they discovered, after I went back with another excruciating “migraine” that my blood pressure was through the roof and I should have been having either a heart attack or a stroke.  They never actually tested me to see if I was, but gave me pills to bring my blood pressure down quickly. The slurring is just one thing, I also tend to let go of things unexpectedly with my left hand and my left foot drags when the fatigue gets bad as well. Oh, what a barrel of laughs my life is !! At least I can say it’s not dull !!!

Today I had a pretty major win, I still had to get school shirts for Jack, like, the ones with the school logo on them, as that is the requirement. I went on a whim to town (well, I needed smokes, so that was the real reason), and decided to take Jack along and go look at the Op Shops, as Jack loves Op Shopping. I have scoured them for school shirts for weeks, to no avail, and then today, I walk in to the Lifeline Op Shop and there they are, 4 school shirts. I was going to buy 3 brand new at the school, as I had failed to find any, they are $30 a pop, so just to keep him clothed for school for 3 days, it would have cost me $90, a lot of money when you don’t have much to go around. Today’s stroke of luck cost me $16 for all four. So, I saved big. It’s nice to have a win.

Apart from that little adventure, I have been completely wrecked by fibromyalgia, we’ve had the vinyl floor removed ready for tiling, I’ve named all of Jack’s school stuff, and, well, I can’t think, mind block. It’s been a crazy day. Right now, I need to go to bed, hopefully, hopefully, I will sleep all night and sleep in tomorrow, I should be so lucky. We shall see. (I apologise now if any of this sounds disjointed, it’s just my head).

Andy.