Welcome to my blog.

My blog expresses my views and thoughts and in no way intends to offend however that does not guarantee it wont.

I write in a stream of consciousness and sometimes the odd typo or bad grammar may appear - please excuse these.

Please feel free to leave a comment if something inspires you to do so.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Family Stories Part 1

My Mum is setting a trend with telling family history and stories over on her blog, so given I have needed a prompt to blog lately I thought I would take a different tack and put out there a few of the 'funny' family stories I have heard over the years.  In some cases, it might be have witnessed as well!!

So Story One comes from my hubby's side of the family.

His mother, once told me that on the first date she and her future hubby had, they went to the movies (or it might have been a dance).  Anyway, she was extremely shy and didn't go to the toilet the whole time they were on the date and by the time he dropped her off at home she was busting for a wee.

So she quickly said her goodbyes, probably making future hubby think she was not in the slightest bit interested, and rushed through the house and the back door to the out-back loo (or dunny if you are an Aussie).

Trouble was, the light was broken so she rushed in, pulled her undies down and from the way she tells it was weeing before her bottom hit the seat.  All good, except the lid was down!!!

By the time she realised that, it was too late to stop.  I sought of know the feeling having had really full bladders myself at times.

I must confess that her telling me that story, early on in my relationship with her son, was kind of special.  She was a quiet and shy woman who didn't really like the fact that I had been married before and had a child.  Needless to say, she eventually was more than happy with me as a wife to her son and a daughter in law to their family.  Her opening up to me about a very personal moment was one of the signs of acceptance I had been looking for.

Image from Google Images
Titled : Pen and Wash, from drthomson-artist.com

Story 2 should appear some time next week.

Thanks for popping by, do you have any similar stories to share? xxxx

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One of the Most Special Places on Earth

On Face Book I follow the Sitka Convention and Visitor Centre and lately they have been highlighting a series of amazing photos which I just had to share here.

Is this not one of the most special places on earth?

I just can not wait to go and visit again (oh and seeing the family is an added bonus!!)

In March and April pods of Humpback whales swim past where we were staying last Sept.  WOW.
Photo copyright Sharon A McIndoo

Northern Lights Photo copyright Keith Fredrickson

More Northern Lights - Photo copyright Tim Shobe : Shobe Studios

More Northern Lights over Sitka town - Photo copyright Nunatak Design

A bit of whale tail slapping in with Mt Edgecumbe in the background

And even more Northern Lights - Photo copyright Nunatak Design

Stunning is the only word for this photo - copyright Shobe Studios

Sea Kayaking with a whale in foreground and Mt Edgecumbe in the distance.  How amazing would this be? Photo copyright James Poulsen

Humpback whale - Photo copyright Foggy Lens Photography

Sunset - Photo copyright Foggy Lens Photography

Sunset photo posted by Raven Radio (not sure of who the photographer was)

Thanks for popping by, I've got Sitka on my mind xxxx

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Let Me Introduce .... Montgomery C Cat aka Monty

You see, it's been six months since our gorgeous old Jarmie left and Max was lonely.  A work colleague volunteers at the local Animal Protection Society and she has been taking to me for ages and ages about fostering a cat (plus the beautiful Kristin from Wanderlust) has been sharing so many photos of the different beautiful cats she has been fostering on facebook that we finally did it.

We decided not to foster but to adopt.  I went along thinking I was going to bring home a ginger tabby, I have been craving a ginger tabby for ages and yes there were a couple of beautiful boys there but they were just too large for Max.  Max is a small cat and I didn't want the new cat to overpower him in size.

There were also some beautiful tortoiseshell cats that I loved but none of them connected with hubby and me.

So after more than an hour of siting with, touching, watching many, many, many cats, I was starting to despair that we would find a companion for Max.

Then I happend to walk into the last large room that the cats could sleep in, it was mostly empty but I suddenly spied a little silver tabby, curled up asleep on a tower.  Now I didn't want another grey/silver tabby as that's what Max is, but there was something about this little sleeping bundle that drew me over to him.  I gently touched his foot and one eye opened and then he started to purr.  The loudest purr I have ever heard.  He jumped up and virtually landed in my arms, put his head on my shoulder and looked at me with his large eyes and that was it.  He was ours.  He bought tears to my eyes and I walked out and said to hubby, it's this one. And he had a little tear as well and said yep, that's the one!

I'm sure the volunteers thought we were strange, but there is something about this little cat that reminds me of Jarmie.  The fact he was born only days after Jarmie left this earth has me wondering about the possibilities of a little bit of Jarmie being there within his soul.  I know, I'm weird!!

He is going to be a big lanky cat, he's got big feet and long legs and the longest, longest tail you have ever seen.  But he is just the right fit, small enough now for Max to be the boss, but with enough spirit that he won't let Max dominate him and eventually be big enough to stand up to Max if he needs to.

We pondered over a name for days.  He has an M on his forehead just like Max, so I wanted an M name.  Lots of facebook friends and family came up with suggestions and we nearly settled on Milo, but for personal reasons decided that wasn't the right name.  So we officially registered him at our vet today as Montgomery C Cat.

He and Max have taken a day or two to bond, Max being a little put out, and Monty not really caring if Max hissed at him once or twice.  Monty has an extremely laid back attitude to life and is the perfect spoil for over sensitive Max.

It's nice to come home and find the two boys waiting for us now, to see them playing chasey down the hall and around the corner down the other hall.  To hear Monty's loud purr every time you pick him up or touch him.  I'm waiting for the day when I find them curled up together on a bed or a chair, then I will know that the bond is complete.

Thanks Monty for choosing us, we feel very priviledged to have you in our home.

Thanks for popping by xxx

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did You Expect a Golden Pot at the End of the Rainbow? Well Ours is Green!!

As a mother there is only one thing I have ever really wanted for my children, and that is their happiness.  So as mentioned in other various posts on my blog, finding out that two of my four children were gay begged the question what if they wanted to get married?  

What if that getting married was they wanted to be truly happy?  

It is not legal in the country they were born in and grew up in, nor was it in many countries anywhere else in the world. 

Sure they could live in a defacto relationships both here in Aus and in a lot of places around the world but not have the same equality as heterosexual defacto relationships.

These are the sort of things that mothers mull about, and with four children I do a lot of mulling!!

But then the practical, logical part of me says well they have to find someone first, just like everyone does, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Many years pass, all my children are adults, all have had various relationships, one has even got married twice.  Most of them are happy to some extent most of the time, just like all of us.  Life goes on.

Then one day out of the blue my youngest daughter (the gay one, not that I think of her like that at all but it sets the scene for all that follows) announces she had met someone online who she was in love with.

It took me a long, long time to accept that you could fall in love with someone you had never met face-to-face.  I mean Skyping, how is that the same?  And yet she was convinced that she was in love and that she wanted to be with this woman for the rest of her life.

After nearly two years of daily hours of Skype time (most of them in the middle of the night here or there given the time difference) they decided to meet.  B was to fly to Seattle and meet the woman of her dreams.  To say I was worried would be an understatement.  Who was this woman on the other side of the world who had enchanted my daughter. 

Sure I had said hello to her a couple of times on Skype, but that was all, I didn’t really know her, not like if B had been dating someone here, someone we could build a relationship with.

But sure enough B was determined to go and in some ways it was a time to see if this relationship was real. So off B went, to return 2 weeks later engaged and with plans to move to Alsaka as soon as she could.  Throwing away her very well paying job, leaving her rental apartment and selling all her furniture and a lot of her possessions and packing up the small amount of her life that was left to be freighted.

Do you think this mother had reservations, yep in a BIG WAY.  There was lots of mulling and talking and worrying.

And you know what it seemed the Universe was going to bless B.  Her working Visa was approved without the slightest of fuss, in fact she was granted a 2 year Visa.  Her future in-laws owned and ran a couple of business that could employ her and allow them to step away to retirement. And before this mother was ready and really, really sure this was the best thing, B flew the nest.  Jumped into the unknown so full of confidence that this was going to work, that K was her soul mate and that all would be good.

And you know what?  It was.  Sure there were a few hiccups along the way, families meshing and adjustments to made on all sides.  But suddenly I saw a happiness in B’s face I hadn’t seen in a long time and K was always there beside her, even though sometimes out of view when we Skyped but always there.

This mother still fretted though, what if the Visa wasn’t renewed, how would they cope if their dreams were dashed.  Would B have the strength to come home and start again?

And then another miracle happened, DOMA was repealed in the High Court of America and suddenly individual States could vote to allow same sex couples to wed and a lot of them did. 

Another door had opened as if by magic.  Not in Alaska where they lived, but Washington State, just a short 2.5 hour flight away.  Even better, you didn’t have to reside in the State to be eligible to marry, you could fly in and be married.  So the girls again jumped in with confidence and arranged their wedding.

Of course there were still obstacles to permanent happiness.  B was still on a 2 year Working Visa which was due for renewal in 2014 and there wasn’t a guarantee that because you had married you would get a green card.  That was one way heterosexual and same sex marriages run in parralel in the USA.  It also was not a recognized union in their home State, but one big step had been taken.  We spent a wonderful two weeks with the girls and this mother truly fell in love, just the way her daughter had and left them knowing that indeed two soul mates had been united from different sides of the globe.  Of course, being me there was still the worry about B getting a green card.

Again, in a show of confidence that I could only admire, K and B filled out the countless reams of paper forms, B had blood tests and Doctor's appointments and all sorts of stuff and they sent off the paperwork to apply for a green card!!

There was no guarantee, but the time was ripe, Obama was pro equal marriage rights, Green cards are federally awarded so it didn't matter whether the state in which you resided was for or against equal marriage rights.

Before they even seemed to take a breathe they had an interview date in Anchorage!

Again this mother mulled all the possible ways this could go, including what would happen if they said no!

But you know the rainbow, the one that is a symbol of gay rights, and the symbol of sunshine after rain?  Well it had a pot of gold right at the end for B and K, yep a 2 year Green Card and another interview then with the promise of a 10 year Green Card and then after another interview the possibility of applying for citizenship in the distant future.

This mother's heart is truly happy, although she misses them both so much being all the way over there, but hey what's a 24 hour flight in the scheme of things??

They were right to wear their rainbow socks on the day they were married, there was a Green Pot of Gold at the end

Thanks for popping by xxxx

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us our out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

The Walrus and the Carpenter is a poem by Lewis Carroll that appears within his 1871 novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

It's been a while since I've been here, and I appreciate that many of you may still visit me now and then and say "No hurry" just like the Carpenter.

There is much to talk about, but I'm not sure how much I will actually put here, as I don't want to engage in a pity party, or a pat me on the back party either.  So this will be a stream of conscience sort of post and we will see where it takes me.

Work - things have been interesting to say the least at work, it has been a time of extreme stress for me, a time when I have felt I lost control of a situation through no fault of my own.  It bought me close to the point of resignation, but ultimately I have stayed as I enjoy what I do and who I work with and I get a great sense of achievement in most things my team do as well.  Personalities will always bring with them issues, and I am the first to admit I don't deal with confrontation well, and so I have left things slide rather than deal with them to the detriment of my own personal sanity.  I am pleased to say though that the Universe has provided me with an alternative that removes some of the issues, and while it has also bought more pressure and stress, ultimately it will be the best outcome for myself, the team and the team member that originally bought it all to a head.

One major bonus of working for the same organisation (although it has had 4 name changes since I started) for nearly 30 years, is that I have a lot of sick leave owing to me, which has allowed me to take the time to recover from surgery.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery - my left knee has caused me grief for a long time.  About 2 to 3 years ago I noticed one day that my knee had virtually collapsed outwards, bowing my leg and making my knee swell.  It wasn't however, particularly painful, just the odd night when it ached or the odd day at work when I found myself rubbing it without actually realising I was doing so.  What it has done though is impact badly on my left side - ankle, hip, lower back - to the point that walking or particular standing still for any length of time was excruciatingly painful.  I did well on our trip to Alaska, better than I thought I would, but not without times when I resented that I couldn't do more.

So on the 17th December I entered hospital to have the knee replaced.  My surgeon was to comment to me post surgery, that my knee was BAD, VERY BAD in fact much worse than the x-rays had shown.  I regret not asking for photos now!!

I was in hospital for only 4 nights and discharged home under the tender and loving care of my hubby (that man is amazing).  What I was not prepared for in the weeks post surgery is how much pain I would be in while I recovered.  I know everyone told me this is the most painful surgery ever, but even then, I didn't think it would be like this.  There have been nights (which are the worst with regard to pain) when I have sobbed in my bed wishing I had a chain-saw to just chop the bloody leg off.

Getting ready to stand for the first time, 1 day post op

Large bandage removed, day 2 post op so I get to see my leg, and the swelling which doesn't look too bad here but has increased so my left thigh and knee are about 3 to 4 times larger than my right leg.

Staples galore

The day the staples came out

Part of my problem is I am unable to take codeine which is a wonderful pain reliever and I am limited to panadol, a small amount of endone (which has other disastrous consequences) and a slow release patch on my back for 4 weeks.  After seeing the surgeon at the Week 4 mark, I am off the endone and on slow release Tramal as I can't take the instant relief one either because of side effects.

But I am told I am not alone in this, many people suffer the same issues, lack of sleep, pain at night, wanting to cut their leg off, and that it can take up to 6 months before this all settles down.  As my Physio says, all the muscles, tendons and ligaments have been pulled wide apart so they can cut the bone/knee out and have to readjust back to where they need to be, apart from the fact my major muscles are out of whack from the years of not having my knee track where is should.  So some are too tight, some are too lose and some have not worked at all and now I am asking them too and so they are pissed off about it and letting me know.

Head Space - but what all this has done is put me in a horrid place mentally.  I'm the woman that always sees the glass as half full, sees the best in people and situations, tries to turn bad into good, sees the bright side, you get my drift.  But seriously I struggled to do any of that, and that, even more than the pain and lack of sleep was pulling me down to depression, to endless bouts of crying for no good purposes, for withdrawing into myself and not wanting to share where I am.  Hence the lack of posts since late November.

I wrote all the above towards the middle of February and then walked away before I hit publish.  I wasn't ready to let it out there.

Finally at the 4 month mark, I can say I am starting to see the bright side, there is less pain at night, I have 122 degrees bend (max of 130 is possible) post surgery.  I still have to walk with a cane as my leg muscles are still to weak, but with exercise they are slowly getting stronger.

I couldn't have got here without the amazing support of my hubby, my family and my work colleagues.  I was due to go back to work early in Feb.  I managed half a day and then fled.  I didn't go back until the end of Feb and then I am pleased to say I was ready.

There are still issues at work that do my head in, but there is an end in sight with a contract finishing in a couple of months, and a staff member returning and I look forward to her energy back in the office.

I don't know if I ever will blog as much as I used to, but you never know.

Thanks for popping by xxxx

Someone was happy to see me home and to keep me company in the hours of pain and struggle during the night.  


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