Finishing to start anew

I was told last week I needed to finish things up so that new opportunities could come my way. I have been procrastinating for many months – doing things, putting off things and finishing things became low on the priority list. So off I have set to finish things up, I drew myself up a list, double checked it to see if I had put all the things on it I needed to and as we know with most jobs or tasks it is not until someone reminds you, you do leave things off it.

Start how you mean to finish is one of my sisters favorite sayings and it works well for work life balance. Balance includes making sure you begin a task and then you complete it. I have avoided many over the years and the worst one – being my taxes. I am sure that should my accountant read this she will be saying, stop writing and get me the information I need, well I am about to complete this task. It is number 1, 2 and 3 on my priority list to do. I have slowly worked on this but only after I had done my husbands books, daughters taxes and then run right out of time to complete them. I say run out fo time to myself to justify this but actually it is through not be organised with my own book work that has me failing to complete this task.

I also have a couple of things hanging to do for the Keith Hospital, I have completed 2 of them but the Government grant has taken the urgency out of things for a while so I have let it lapse. I have 1 thing left to complete so will do this by the middle of June before I commence on the next list of projects. This is the cookbook, it has recipes from celebrities, chefs and local residents all whom have contributed a recipe, a bio or a picture, it will be beautiful.

I am also working on fundraising for my mothers choir, they are an Adelaide choir who have been invited to sing in Carnegie Hall next year. I have completed a submission to Qantas for sponsorship and letters that are currently being edited to go to major companies and TV stations for assistance and promotion.This will be my next thing I concentrate on, only between my taxes, during all this I will be job hunting.

Times they are a changing

Isn’t it funny how much can change in a week, a day or from yesterday. Time is fleeting, informative and ever challenging if you are unable to get a good work life balance. From where I sit today and I’m sitting uncomfortably with back and leg pain, many things can be viewed in glass half full or glass half empty. I sit and listen to Craig Thompson and his excuses for spending extraordinary amounts of other people’s money whilst in charge of a union and I shake my head at this wastage and not from a moral stance but from that of a worker paying union dues expecting those in charge would be diligent and honest. I hear his glass half full speech and I wonder what the truth is, we the public will never know but one thing can be guaranteed, the money will not be paid back. There will be one to force this and I suspect he will not offer this.

We in Keith do have a Glass half full attitude and today the sense of relief in the community is understandable, we have been given a one-off grant to help the hospital recruit Doctor’s on a permanent basis. Currently we have the wonderful services of locum Doctors and they cost large amounts of money, but we need the service, we want the service to continue. Effectively the Government handing over the grant is a sure-fire way of securing the future of the Keith Hospital and this is very exciting. There are so many people and groups that need to pack themselves on their backs for remaining positive when there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We need to thank the hardworking volunteer Board of Management who were and still are tirelessly working towards having a full glass. The grant is a glass half full, it gives us time to search and put things into play and balance to get the hospital running efficiently and effectively as it possibly can without affecting patient care and the community. We need to thank all the community who have tirelessly fund raised and will do so for a while yet, but the grant has given people hope. Hope for the future, hope for financial security, hope for work and hope for the ongoing community spirits. We also must thank the Government for identifying there was a need to offer this grant to keep the facility open.


Pets and Family

Pets are family aren’t they? When you get one, it is (normally) because you have chosen the animal to suit your lifestyle, exercise regime and hopefully space. Cats are great in small places as are small dogs, Cats especially are good in Aged Care facilities as they do not require exercise, they can always find a warm lap and will be pampered as much as they want. Dogs on the other hand big or small need to be exercised, even if it is just a walk up the road not a long run like kelpie’s need.

I have a Golden retriever that has survived despite the hazards of his life, he was purchased by someone else as a companion dog to a much older Lab, he was a puppy and this combination didn’t work so in a round about way – he came to me at 6 months, we had a funny time with him, he ‘ate’ 15 pairs of my shoes, only the leather ones though, pulled clothes line to wrap himself up in to sleep. He was hit by a car at three, after being walked and not kept on a lead, he developed a thyroid problem and has been on medication since this time, he relocated himself to the country and broke 3 bones in his foot when he slipped and jumped off the back of the ute, he now has 3 pins in that foot, he has had a grass seed penetrate his abdomen and had surgery, he has scratched his corneas on metal digging for rabbits and has had eye treatment – the scars are evident now and he is partially blind. All the while he has been a loyal loving dog, we have walked km’s on Brighton Beach – except when he chased a bitch on heat up jetty road to the train crossing – (someone else caught him – thank god) He has swam in the ocean with the Brighton Dolphin and had people chastise him, he has slept on the bed, in the bed and now has a single bed mattress of his own with a blanket on it that the 3 cats try to share with him. We have walked km’s on the farm till he tore his cruciate ligament and was too old to have major surgery to fix it, he is not limited with walking he just now no longer goes far.

He has done more car travel than most going from Adelaide to Keith & back, put up with me singing to him, talking to him and ignoring him. All the while I have loved him and he has loved us right back. He sits and waits for me to come home daily from work, he waits watching for my return when I head away for a couple of days and use to listen for the car before his hearing loss. Over 16 years his greetings have not changed, he gets up, wags his tail, comes to the car and barks at me. All I need to do is open the door and pat him and off we go. He has sat with my daughter when she has been ill and looked after her and loved her as well.

Now it’s coming to that stage in life where we need to look after him, I did the urinalysis today and it shows no signs of diabetes, this while good for me the nurse isn’t good. It has shown many other things and it is a good indication of the state of his aging body. We are lucky to have him this long and had him albeit despite the above mentioned things, healthy and happy. So he is family, a very long part of my family and to now know he is ill is heartbreaking. I have spoken to dear daughter about him and we have had a cry. I will await the blood test results on Monday and then will make the best decision for this wonderful family member then. I am sure there are options and will want to know all about them. Is there a right time to let go of your pet? we all know there is a wrong time and that is when they are suffering, he is not suffering and I won’t let him regardless of the diagnosis. DH asked will I get another one – we all know there is no ‘other Pete’ he is unique, but I will cross this bridge when I get to it.


My DH was up during the night to Pete, my beautiful Golden Retriever as he heard him panting and thought he was unwell, we have had him to the vet recently as my lovely older brother the Dr, came and looked at him and said that he either had Diabetes or Renal failure, the vet didn’t agree 4 weeks ago.But during this time I have watched him get lethargic, hungrier, put on weight and become a little bit despondent. DH told me this morning he was up to the dog, so I rang the vet and made an appointment.

She looked at him and agreed, he looks unwell though for a 16-year-old dog with a thyroid condition he is doing really well. She asked me to hold him whilst she shaved his neck as they need to get 40 mils of blood to test it. I couldn’t work out why she asked, as soon as he heard the clippers, he sat ready in the shearing position and let her do this without a fuss. DH shears him annually and Pete loves it, he likes the feel of being fur free and was quiet and happy once it was done. Apparently to get the amount they needed the blood had to be drawn from his neck, so he lay down, she couldn’t get it despite putting the needle in twice, she then shaved a section of his arm and tried and then went to the other side of his neck with success. All the while Pete just sat there head in my hands still letting this go on around him. he has always trusted me and today was no different. As I explained as long as he could see me or feel my touch he remains calm and in no danger of biting or getting distressed.

He is also suffering from arthritis and this cold weather is making it painful to watch him sit down so I needed medication for him. We were going to get his annual vaccination but decided against it until we can get a diagnosis on his condition, nor did she want to inject him with arthritis medication, so we sat on the floor with Pete and I laughed at them when they kept talking to him, He had his eyes closed, head in my hands while they drew the blood, he has significant hearing loss so I doubt that the words of calm they were saying was even being taken in.

Now here is where daylight robbery started, I have no problems paying my private medical insurance and all other insurances and expenses, people should pay for their health care if they can afford it. But Vets, I was once asked by a budding neurosurgeon what career should he encourage his son to take up, I instantly said Vet as they don’t hand anything over till you pay the bill. It is taken for granted you go to the vet and you pay the bill before you leave, not even Doctors get this courtesy with all clients.

The medication for his arthritis was $120 for 10 pills or $260 for 50 so (gulp)I took the 50 swallow hard. Then there was the cost of the blood tests $180 and then the consultation $87.00. I also was given a urine stick to get a sample of his urine to test to see if he has glucose in his wee. I shall attempt this later in the day. Once the tests are in the decision will need to be made. Renal Failure – nothing much but ensuring he is going to be pain-free and comfortable for as long as he lives, Diabetes depending upon the type as to whether or not it’s insulin dependent or diet and pills. Big decisions will need to be made regardless of the results (due in monday). I told my mother and she said “is he worth it?” well yes, he is not suffering and he is no trouble. It is lucky as humans we have that options with sick animals, not with sick humans we are allowed to watch them suffer and die slowly.

I love Pete, I will make the best decision for him when I need to and will let you all know once we have the blood results back.

the mother’s day classic

Well it’s that time of the year again, coming up to Mother’s Day and it’s a day years ago I could take it or leave it, even after having my daughter. I often wonder if it came from my mother who would work tirelessly with 6 of us, had a part-time job, was doing part-time studying and being wife who would enjoy a mother’s day lunch but that wasn’t the be all and end all for her and how we operated as a family. When we moved back to SA we then met up with her family and our cousins where we would have a BBQ and enjoy the day. Inevitably there would be an accident of some sort, broken bones, sprained body parts, burnt bits as well as food – wood BBQ’s in those days. Plenty of laughs, games that would end in tears and comments such as “stop your crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about”. Children and Adults were not immune to any of this, as well as wet clothes from the inevitable falling into a creek – where it would get cold or parents didn’t pack spare clothes so hypothermia may well have set in and kept many a child sitting in a car ‘sooking’. I think back and think about the amount of work it took for her to arrange for us to give her a ‘wonderful mother’s day’! I think all the parents were pleased when these picnics were cancelled and we met in our individual homes.

As my daughter got older, I loved getting the home-made cards, gifts from the .50c stall in primary school, where most of the mums would donate something for the children to buy. My daughter may not know this but I have kept all of her cards and home-made things in my filing cabinet. She would roll her eyes now and say “MUM” but she may not know how precious these things are to me and how much I look forward to sharing them with her children, my grand children when the time comes.

As we have all got older, my brothers & sister all enjoy spending time together and will do a mother’s day lunch or dinner. It is important to recognise the significant matriarch in our lives but being one of a close-knit family it is not something we don’t do regularly anyway. Mothers day now is the time to share and this year my daughter and I are doing the National Breast Cancer Foundation “Mother’s Day Classic” walk in South Australia, we are doing the 7.5km walk around the River Torrens and I can’t wait to spend time with her. I am looking to complete it before it ends 🙂 I am a walker but this will be my first one for charity or anything else other than myself. If anyone would like to sponsor me to do this all monies go to the Breast Cancer Foundation go to or if you prefer send a donation to the Keith Hospital as we sure need it here as well


the budget & me

Well here it is, the budget for 2012, no matter what your political leanings are, it is hard to believe that by upping your limit on your credit card and taking money from other areas will bring ‘savings’. In my household it does not work like this. I have been a budget freak for years, with one income and child in private school I had to account for every dollar and sometimes I did not do this well but other times I did.

What I didn’t account for ever was not having a job and this has become now a task, a full-time career, trying to make money or get gainful employment when there is limited opportunities in the country. I look at these people in politics and think no matter what they have great super, a great pension and really will not ‘suffer’ the same fate as the ordinary person. Going into Aged Care facilities now requires a down payment of $300,000 so if you or your parents do not own a home – where is this money to come from?

The budget may be the talk of the day but it does not stop the bills coming in, food to be purchased, mortgage to pay or rent depending upon your circumstances. Without an income how does one look at their day and move through it? It simply is hard and I think I can say most governments do not see this or if they do, they forget whilst the average person pays all their taxes (as do politicians) they do not have the luxury of having no car expenses, Rego and petrol, these people get driven everywhere, being able to transport oneself at the expense of others is a savings on its own.

The budget does not mean much to most people as everyone knows you need to work to pay bills, no work, no money and no budget by this Government will fix unemployment or create work where there is none. I consider myself lucky in that I have a roof over my head, food and family that I love. The budget will affect many people in all areas, DH read out to me this morning that overseas they pay a $4 carbon tax so how can we ‘Australia’ be looking to pay $20? I have no answers for him, I don’t get it either.

Farm life & work

It’s Tuesday again and I am tired, I made a really nice Thai BBQ Chicken and dipping sauce last night as there is no white wine in the house, I choose to drink a couple of glasses of red. To end the night I had a couple of glasses of water and went off to bed. I was woken up at 245am with the worst case of indigestion I have ever had. I got up and searched the house for some anti-acids to abate the rising acid and chose to climb back into bed. I couldn’t lie down so I sat and watched the TV. At 0600 this morning it settled and I took a couple of Panadol and lay back down to sleep. DH choose to get up and get ready for his days work.

He comes in at 720am wakes me and says can you come and help now, to which this made me really grumpy. I had to drive the tractor a couple of kilometres to where he needed it. This isn’t hard I can operate most of the machinery on the farm, I think it’s important in case of emergency that you can pull a car or vehicle out of trouble with a tractor, and I drive it when we plant trees. DH is a kind man, he doesn’t kill things for the sake of it, he does not shoot kangaroos or emus for the sport, his philosophy is live and let live, “they don’t really eat enough to destroy a crop or take food from the farm animals” so we let them go. He believes we/they are all God’s creatures and deserve to be left alone if they are not dangerous. He shoots animals if they are suffering,injured or maimed.

This morning I had to witnessed one of these shootings, one of our bulls was ‘bashed’ by three other bulls and choose to sit under a tree, DH thought they had broken its leg. He took it food and water for the last couple of weeks hoping it would get better. It did not, it began to lose weight so he did the kind thing and assisted it. This is really confronting for me, I don’t like guns never alone being present when something is shot. I took the tractor in case the animal needed to be moved but he was still sitting where DH found him a couple of weeks ago. This was all before 0830am so it is very tiresome, it is a long day ahead.