Weirdness

I haven’t been bombarding the airwaves for the past couple of days, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind of days. Last week ended as it does, on a Friday, hahahaha, yes I know I’m funny, well dad joke style, and then on Saturday we had a day off. Well, sort of.

I managed to sleep in a bit, although 8 to 8.30 am is about the best I can do these days, even though I still wake like a zombie, and feeling like I need 3 years sleep. It’s just the way it is all the time now. We had breakfast, Jack actually made himself an omelette all by himself, with a little guidance from Mum, and he was really chuffed. I had a bowl of my usual cereal, one of those full of grain things with dried cranberries and tropical fruits. I don’t always eat breakfast now, like I never did before, but because I was trying to set an example for Jack, I started again for a while. I just don’t seem to feel like eating until around 10am, and if I don’t eat until then, I lose weight.

After breakfast, we headed down to Babinda Boulders, a really neat swimming hole, on Babinda Creek, a few kilometres from the little town of Babinda. I had been there before, and funnily enough, so had Jack, although in his mothers womb at the time, it was one of the places we went when she was suffering from the pregnancy. The swimming hole is at the joining of Babinda Creek with a small side branch waterway, and the water is mountain cold, and crystal clear. It is surrounded by rainforest, the bed of the waterhole being course sand and smooth rocks with no silt, so really nice on the feet. Green Birdwing and Ulysses Blue Butterflies float around without a care in the world. Mum came too, and she has fallen in love with the place as much as I have been, since the first time I went there over 9 years ago.

After about an hour of just floating around in the beautioful cool water, we got out and changed, and then went back into Babinda for a little walk around to see what was about, before we headed up to Belenden Ker Cafe, a non-descript little cafe in a 2 storey house next to the highway. We had heard about the amazing pies they make, so after finally finding it (it just has a sandwich board sign out the front advertising coffee and cake, with no other signage to even indicate it is even a business), we stopped in for lunch. All the talk about the pies was spot on. They were the best I have had for years.

After that, we took a drive down a side road, to Behana Gorge, just to see where the road went. It is not far from home, so it will certainly be another adventure soon. Apparently there is a waterfall there, although you need to walk to it. Then, we decided that going home was not an option just yet, so we headed out to Yarrabah, Mum hadn’t been out there yet, and took in the wonderful paradise once again that is this beautiful Aboriginal Community. After that, we were thoroughly tired, so a slap together meal was all we could manage to make and eat, before drifting off to sleep.

Sunday, we were out again, this time earlier, as we had heard about another fruit and vege market that is in Cairns city, Rusty’s Market. We hadn’t been in before, but after our Sunday morning visit, we have unanimously decided it will be where any fruit and veges we need will come from. It is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which is great as we need to buy fruit and veges weekly. As our vege garden gets into production, we won’t need so much from the shops, but we will not be growing everything, we just don’t have the space, so we will still need to go there.

The rest of Sunday was a blur, even though it was only yesterday, I can’t remember much else we did, I was suffering pretty badly with fibromyalgia, so that is probably why I don’t remember. Getting to sleep was an ordeal last night too.

Today my body has been a rollercoaster ride, Jack has been back to school, and I just pushed on, mulching the vege plants, doing a bit of weeding, some cleaning, fixing some of Mums furniture that got broken by the removalists, and what ever else happened. Yes, today was bit like yesterday as well.

I started this post with the title, weirdness, and this is the part where I explain it. With everything that’s been happening, and the fact that since just after Christmas the main living areas of the house have been some form of construction zone, I have not felt settled.

Right now, we don’t have a functional kitchen, it’s nearly there, but we are having to use the laundry tub as our kitchen sink, and the BBQ, which fortunately has a gas ring burner as well, is our stove and everything else. The great big 8 seater table I made years ago is inside, currently being used as our kitchen bench. It really is too big to use as a kitchen table inside, that is why, up until the kitchen benches were removed last week, it was outside. It will go back out there once the bench tops are ready to pick up and I’ve installed them. Thankfully all the tiling is now finished and we have our house a little more normal. But it’s not quite there yet.

When I came up the street on Saturday after our day out, and saw the house, I had this sudden feeling that I wasn’t coming home just yet. It doesn’t quite feel like home. I am not sure what it is, I put it down to the fact that things haven’t settled down yet because of the renovations, but yeah, I don’t know, it’s just not quite home yet. How long does it take for a new place to feel like home?

I spoke to Mum about it today, and she agreed, she feels the same way. That is just how things go. As we make more of our own mark on the place, as the gardens get fuller, and everything settles down, it will feel more like home. I get these feelings sometimes, at absolutely random moments in time, that I almost have to pinch myself that we are actually living here now. Only last Friday, when I was stopped at the traffic lights on the way to pick up Jack from school, this wave of disbelief that we are really here rolled over me. It’s just so random when it happens, but so unreal. I guess once life returns to normal routine again, it will be alright.

Thursday, I will be seeing a new doctor, for the first time here. I am getting low on medications I need to stay mainly okay, and don’t want to run out. I have been procrastinating over it, but now with only about 8 days worth of Tramadol left, I really need to just get on with it. I really hope the new doctor is as good as my old one. I will find out on Thursday I guess.

Anyhow, I should get myself off to bed, I need sleep as always, and I have to be up early for the usual school day stuff. Goodnight.

Andy.

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Ticking along.

Somehow or another, I have managed to get through another day. Yippee for me !!! I know, I know, wow wee, but when you are battling against your own body, or is that your body is battling against you, every single day, getting to the end of the day, having achieved anything at all other than getting up, and going back to sleep, is a big deal.

Talking about achievements, today I have managed to sort a few more things out, although I haven’t been able to spend much more than 5 minutes on a job before I’ve had to rest again for a bit, but I planted all the tomato seedlings we got on the weekend, finally hung the 2 hanging baskets with the Cucumelons in them, and, I have managed to fix the teeny little rust spots in the roof of my car where stone chips had started to become something else.

I used to be a car detailer for quite a few years, and learnt about fixing paintwork at an automotive refinishers as part of my qualifications (yes, car detailing is technical if you do it right). Even though I have the skills, and have also had the materials to do these little fix it jobs on my own car for at least 12 months, it’s either been my body against me, too many other things going on in life, or the weather hasn’t been conducive to doing car paintwork repairs. Now I live in a better climate, and life is starting to settle down a bit, I decided to push back against my recalcitrant body, and get on with it. The little chips had started to spider out from the original chips with little lines of rust forming under the paintwork, and the recent heavy rain had accelerated it a little bit, so it went from being a get to soon job, to a little more urgent. I also have a set of roof racks coming for my car, I bought them on Ebay, so I wanted to get it sorted before I fit them, otherwise the job would be harder with them in the way.

Right now, I have probably 2 more coats of paint to go on to them, and a little bit of cutting and polishing, and then it will not even look as though I have had to do anything. The paint is so well colour matched that it will not be noticeable in the slightest. I am so happy that I still have the skills, and am able to actually do it. There is a lot of other stone chips to fix, and a few small scratches as well, ( The roads in Victoria, Australia are not good for car paintwork, actually, they aren’t real good for any part of a car !!), but none were as urgent as the roof, and for now, they are only stone chips, they haven’t progressed into the more problematic rust as yet.

Apart from those tasks, I have also managed to do my washing, and changed the bed linen, which I am probably a bit anal about, I have to do it every Wednesday. Luckily, Jack is now old enough to help me strip and make the beds, so it’s not as big a task as it was even 6 months ago.

Well, for now, that is the little update, I am not great, but trying to get on with life, what else can I do ?

Andy.

Lighten up.

Although I am not much different to recent previous days, I just wanted to lighten up things, as reading what I have written in the past week or so must be full on. It’s raw and true, and really how things are. But I just wanted show you some photo’s I have taken recently.

Gordonvale and FNQ feb 2019 001

This was a shot from a couple of nights ago, straight out the front of our place. I took about 10 shots, this the only one that lit up from the lightning going on deep inside the storm. These storms are mammoth, those “hills” at the bottom are actually 1km tall mountains. Gives you a bit of perspective as to how high into the sky those storms go.

Gordonvale and FNQ feb 2019 002

This is from yesterday, beautiful and sunny, this is the Palmerston Gorge, west of Innisfail.

Gordonvale and FNQ feb 2019 008

This was our little haul from yesterdays outing. Tomatoes and tomato plants, Cucumelon plants, sweet potato, capsicum, avocado, Pawpaw, Pineapple and Spanish Onions.

nqjan2019 001

And just one last one, from about 2 weeks ago, the male Cassowary and his chick at Etty Bay. Not the best of shots, we pulled over and I had to shoot across the car from the drivers side. The males raise the chicks, and these birds are pretty dangerous if they get upset with you. Absolutely stunning animals though.

Cheers for now.

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.

 

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.

Adventures in my garden.

I really must think about taking photo’s before I write, oh well, a written description will do for now until I get my scattered brain into gear.

One of my true loves is gardening. I love the smell of the earth, of cut grass, compost (eww, I can hear you say), flowers, and best of all, the fruits of the labour. Fruits are metaphorical and as well as the actual thing. The metaphorical side is seeing the results, and the enjoying of those results, be it sitting back and seeing how nice it all looks after you cut the lawn, or a garden bed free of weeds, to the actual fruit, and I can hardly wait until that happens.

The garden is my way of freeing my mind of troubles. It loves me and I love it. I think a lot of people who have gone through traumatic experiences get solace in a garden. The enjoyment of making, and then being able to sit back and observe, is all part of it. You make the right decisions, and do the right things, and you also have a wonder of wildlife that also appreciate your hard work. Nothing like watching birds, butterflies and other little creatures make the most of what you have done. You even get to notice, if you actually take notice, that some birds become regular visitors, they even get excited when you emerge to work in the garden.

We currently have a little Willy Wag-tail that is very different from others in that he is much more black than others in the local population, and whom we have named Sparky, as well as his mate, a Pee-wee (or mudlark, I prefer Pee-wee), who band together and zip around the garden, full of life and zing, doing pest control duty.

With all the rain we have had over the past 11 days, they have been in hiding, I don’t blame them, who wants to be wet all day?

Today, and since Saturday, I have had a bit of a blitz in the garden. We picked up some lovely variegated Crotons, with yellow, green and red foliage, which were only $6 at the local market, and now reside in a difficult part of the garden. We needed some privacy there, but it is not a very useful spot for food production, so ideal for something that will screen and be pretty. The will be joined by some Aloe Vera plants which were left here by the previous owners, neglected in a big black plastic pot. Hopefully, body, mind and weather permitting, they will be in a nice row in front of the Crotons tomorrow. The difference in foliage and colour should make it look great.

On Saturday, only 3 days ago, I finally got the bean and pea seeds in under the trellis, and lo and behold, I already have 5 bean seedlings poking out of the ground !!! I was astonished when I went out for a look this morning. This then spurred me on into weeding a space in the new vege garden (the rain has made all the weeds spring out of the ground in hours), digging it all over, and then planting a block of Corn in one section, and 2 rows of spring onions in another. I now have actually growing, rocket, lettuce (a first for me), basil, mint, 2 varieties of grape, passion fruit, oranges, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots (another first), Pineapple, Bananas, and hopefully peas, corn and spring onions. I have a bundle of more seeds, including cucumber, radish and pumpkin, I think it’s too early to plant pumpkin, it will probably just rot in this weather, but I am thinking of getting the radish and cucumber in tomorrow as well.

I have a bunch of ornamental flower seeds as well, well, one is ornamental, but the others are multi-functional. I have marigolds planted from seed now going great guns, they are pest control. I have seeds of some sunflowers, which will be for display and for the seed as well, and then another one that I can’t quite recall the name of right now, but it is a variety of colours and will be great as cut flowers. I may get some of them in tomorrow if my energy doesn’t deplete too quickly, I think it will, I never achieve everything I set out to do in 1 day because of this blasted illness.

Anyhow, all my painkillers are kicking in right now, I am now so drowsy that staying awake is not even looking possible, even remotely.

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.