Honesty, family and driving

I have read many an article, stories and messages about people and driving when they become compromised or we deem them as unsafe and it is difficult and it is met with disbelief, anger and denial. I have even spent time over the brief Christmas period we had off the farm talking to all age groups about it. No I don’t have the answer and no there is no book in it, it will be difficult for the messenger to give the information and even more difficult for the receiver.

One of the funniest responses I have had is people not wanting to lose their spontaneity and I look at most people in disbelief at this statement. I myself am included here, I can not remember the last time I got up and thought “gee I’ll go for a drive today”, I think the days of getting in the car for a ‘Sunday drive’ have left us. Even going for lunch is normally planned so there is time to organise a taxi, uber, cab or someone else to pick you up or drive you, but especially in the country most people plan trips and even shopping expeditions, so I can combat that argument with a rational answer.

The independence one I can understand, but being without a car does not take that away, as we are a society that relies upon each other all the time, we marry, thus are not truly independent, we have friends or work colleagues that we socialise with and we are forever supported by family and friends so short of living on ones own most people are not independent of those we rely upon. We love the activity we do when we drive, but this does not have to stop if we stop driving, although in the country it can be more difficult with lack of any public transport, cabs or options.

These are not criticisms of people but are observations and I place myself in the category, but relying upon others may be something you do not want to do, being dropped somewhere and then having to wait for that person to come back and get you or they sit and wait for you or they do not leave you to having time by yourself is also very restricting and frustrating.

We did have the conversation and it was met with, “I don’t believe that story” when we started by talking with the partner of the person involved. There was a request for evidence and even after having more than one conversation with them, it still took a while to get them to understand the gravity of the situation. In fact it was met with “well what can I do? “. My words were,  they would have to talk with the driver concerned and tell them that it was time to consider not driving. The long-term partner refused and stated it would affect them the most as they did not drive well so was reliant upon the other person to do all of the errands.

Where does one go with that? the next time I met up with them I was spoken to in the kitchen by the driver and told it was a deliberate act of bad parking and a joke not to tell anyone in the family about it. I actually turned, looked into their eyes and said “I have driven with you and a couple of years ago I stated you should never drive unsupervised so this argument would not work on me and they need to consider not driving for the safety of others not themselves. It is a sign you are not driving correctly if you rely on hitting the gutter to park a vehicle and you drove up a driveway and stopped when the tree got in the way” This was met with a shrug of shoulders , which meant they were not going to listen, so now what?

I have read much literature on driving and one of the better ones is the Hartford “we need to talk about..”booklet   I have put the link here but for those like me that need some written information here are some of  their suggestions

1. Decrease in confidence while driving. i.e. not travelling at speed limits (always under) is not driving to the road conditions or driving in back streets to avoid other cars.
2. Difficulty turning to see when backing up. i.e, not being able to turn head or doesn’t remember to look in rear vision mirror.
3. Riding the brake: touching the brake when they see cars turning into lanes next to them etc
4. Easily distracted while driving. i.e. fiddling with radio or looking at the satellite navigation system
5. Other drivers often honk horns: i.e. driving with the white line in the middles of the windscreen,  veering across lanes , driving too slowly
6. Incorrect signaling. turning without signalling, changing lanes without using the indicator , right hand indicator on when turning left and vice versa
7. Parking inappropriately. i.e. rear end of the car sticks out (not forward enough) parking straight on when its parallel parking
8. Hitting curbs. i.e when driving especially turning corners and to stop the car in a park
9. Scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox or garage.
10. Increased agitation or irritation when driving.
11. Failure to notice important activity on the side of the road. i.e. road workers, children
12. Failure to notice traffic signs. i.e.speed changes, school crossings any signage
13. Trouble navigating turns. i.e. missing the street and running up the gutters
14. Driving at inappropriate speeds. i.e. too slow or too fast for the conditions
15. Not anticipating potential dangerous situations.
16. Uses a “copilot.” i.e. relying upon passenger to tell them where to go, road conditions
17. Bad judgment on making turns.
18. Near misses.
19. Delayed response to unexpected situations.i.e. can not brake quick enough
20. Moving into wrong lane.
21. Difficulty maintaining lane position.
22. Confusion at exits.
23. Ticketed moving violations or warnings.
24. Getting lost in familiar places.
25. Car accident.
26. Failure to stop at stop sign or red light.
27. Confusing the gas and brake pedals.
28. Stopping in traffic for no apparent reason.
All of these are signs it’s time to stop and I do realise some are repetitive but please let me know what you’ve discussed.
Sometimes other people’s safety does not come into it, as the person may not be aware of this nor want to become aware of it, so I leave that argument out.
Dementia in a loved one is another kettle of fish and I advise you to go across to @KateSwaffer my friends great blog and Dementia Alliance International to get great advice




Back Up

I have a dear friend who calls her husband BUB (back up brain) Kate has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and relies on him for many things, follow her blog she is an amazing woman. She has completed a Master’s degree, published poetry, submitted a manuscript and recently been employed by Alzheimer’s Australia, all since she has been diagnosed. Her accomplishments are too great to list here. She also has given up her license, has a carer, has her medications done for her but refuses to give up, so she has a back up and I suspect more than one.

I feel I am my husbands back up, when it comes to paperwork, banks and stuff and sometimes it annoys me. Most people who have a back up may like it (I know in kate’s case she finds it frustrating) but I can find it totally annoying. I am trying to find out about his frequent flyers, yes to transfer them to me to cover the Qantas club membership for the year and he has no pin but they won’t give it to me, they have to speak with him. I said you know he is only going to come in, I’m going to put all of the paperwork in front of him, dial the number and then he will hand over the phone to me, why can’t you rest set to his email and make it easier for me. “But you could transfer all of his points to you.” “that’s the idea I said” David on the other end of the phone “gasped” I said “oh please, don’t tell me I’m the first person to admit that’s what I intend to do” “well um” ” I’m his back up and I can tell you, *@%$!@ have not sent him so much as an email or letter in the last 3 years so don’t go the stunned victim here.” perhaps an over reaction but really?

In speaking with my mother I complained about this after I asked after her health, and she tells me she has a joint thing with my dad and she can’t make calls to that company as he is the major person. I asked her what’s going to happen when he dies? I wonder if she’ll have to send in the death certificate to sort things out. I get protection of people’s privacy and assets but when there is written permission on file for back ups to assist, one would think they should be respected.

Back up means a lot of things I have put in place other back ups should something happen to me and my husband needs to do things he has not done for a while. From this one concludes everyone needs  back up, in some shape or form. My greatest wish to my back up is if something should happen to me then please delete al  my social media accounts immediately. Most people don’t have a back up nor back up computers till they need one and computers after they crash, I learnt this the hard way, having lost my girlfriends daughter 21st pictures that I hadn’t backed up and still to this day feel terrible about it all. I now back up daily if I do a lot of work and weekly on the main computer. It is also good for preservation for records as part of our fire procedures.

back up



Not a feel good blog

I feel tired and slightly strung out and struggling to rein in my attitude today. Hasn’t the last 7 days been trying? and I do mean in an unsettling way. We have watched  people being held against their will for 17 hours, we cried when we heard of the awful death two innocent people in the fallout whilst their family & friends were tortured waiting for an outcome. The thought that 3 small children and their partners are never going to hear another “Merry Christmas, I love you from them” is very distressing.

We learnt that this man has been on social security for 10 years absolutely no contribution to ANYTHING, I understand people don’t want to work out of their comfort zone, but we in the Tatiara have over 182 positions that need to be filled, we have apprenticeships going begging, and not enough people to fill them, our houses are affordably priced from $180,000 to $500,000 and a community that needs new growth. There would be hundreds more jobs and affordability of housing in rural and regional towns all over Australia, it’s just people won’t move away from the city – for fear they will (perhaps) miss something. Cheap housing and jobs should be enough for people to think lets give it a go for 12 months, save some money and get a work history, but there is no one forcing them so they stay and drain the public purse.

We have gasped in horror when we heard 8 children were murdered and the disbelief that it looks like the mother may have done this, where were these children’s fathers? How terrible for all of the families, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins to name but a few.

There would have been deaths from domestic violence, statistically 2 this week,  from road accidents and aging, all of these represent someone somewhere having a sad time during the festive season. Tears that fall that will never cease to fall, hands that will never be held again, smiles unreturned it will be a difficult

With all of this happening and the report released about the CIA torture it’s enough isn’t it? I know 99% of people don’t subscribe to practices of torture nor applaud those that do it to others Martin Place being case and point and to watch a television station roil out David Hicks as an expert was too much for me. I do not agree with his treatment but lets not make him relevant to any discussion, he didn’t go over to sell Tupperware he went to learn to fight and kill. He was convicted and no one will lift that conviction because he is not as innocent as he and his supporters want us to believe, he did go, he did participate, he did get caught. I make no apology for my views, lets hope he is not drawing on social security to support himself. I turned it off and got up.

Listening to the radio I hear not happy Christmas music but how all of the farmers are struggling in drought – it is not only QLD farmers suffering – it is all over Australia, it really is. I should know I am also watching it here on my own farm and I hate it. There is no joy in it and daily it is a mental hurdle to not be engulfed by it.

I stated this morning what I missed the most at this time of year other than family was the OPTION of going to a shopping centre and sitting having a coffee and watching the frenzy madness that Christmas brings. I have lost my IPod and am cleaning out cupboards, shelves etc to find it, I know that has happy music on it.

Sorry for the blog today people, as bad as I think my week was , it pales in comparison to those that are really suffering, the joys this week, my sister came and stayed, I have spoken with my beautiful daughter, mother, father, got messages from my brothers in other states. Caught up with beautiful friends and in-laws at my salon opening, called friends for birthday as I am now going to do this as well as face booking so if it’s your birthday and if you are important enough to be a face book friend you will get a call this year. I have sent and received Christmas cards – which I religiously did for many years and then stopped. I have laughed, cried and been part of family love, and I need to in the words of another dear friend @KateSwaffer “toughen up princess”.

finally the tree is complete



what do socks, scissors and sticky tape have in common?

I know it is that time of the year and there is a tradition that drives me mad. It is not wrapping the presents to go under the tree, I love doing that but the problem with this and any time you need to give a gift is looking for the bloody sticky tape and scissors. No matter how many pairs of scissors you buy or rolls of sticky tape you can put them in drawers, glove boxes and in the kitchen, when you want them you can NEVER find them.

It’s quite mysterious in that there may only be two people in the house but I can never find scissors. It’s like the socks and the washing machine, despite matching them up before they go in, there is not equal numbers coming off the line or going back into drawers, how does one do that?  There is no evidence that the washing machine absorbs them but somehow they go missing.

I looked up the dream dictionary about these items, because I am sure at some stage people have dreamt of these items, if not dreamt of finding them to reduce the cost of repurchase.

To dream that you are wearing socks signifies warmth & comfort. To see socks in your dream indicate that you tend to yield to others wishes. You are flexible and understanding in your thinking. To see a single sock in your dream is a pun on hitting someone or being hit, or perhaps the dream means that you have been hit with some surprising information or news.

” To dream that you are using scissors denotes decisiveness and control in your waking life. You need to get rid of something in your life. It also represents your ability to cut things or people out of your life. Also perhaps you are being snippy about some situations. To see a pair of scissors in your dreams indicates that your focus is being divided into too many directions. To see or use tape in your dream represents your limitations. On the other hand, the dream may be telling you that you need to show more restraint in some aspect of your life.”

My upshot of this trival post and drawing the long bow to marry them altogether is that this is a time of the year where you want to surprise someone or be surprised as well as being forced to limit time or money on the things you want.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas day, we spent ours fixing water troughs so that 400 cattle would not be out of water instead of travelling to have lunch, but we made dinner with the family and then spent a wonderful lunch with my great friend KateSwaffer who’s blog is worth reading daily as a great advocate for dementia and her family. Cherish the times you have together and ensure when you have them it’s full of laughter and good cheer. I shall today be putting the scissors and tape away today in the office drawer for next year.

to hump or not to hump?

It’s Wednesday and my week seems to be slowing down, the juggling act that commenced on Monday seems to be how I am rolling this week. It is a rubber necking sort of ride, every twist and turn has me performing many a change in direction and challenge. It is salon day at the Keith Hospital, where mani’s, pedi’s, hair washing and drying is to be performed. I love the nurses here they ensure every woman resident regardless of mental status, bed status are all taken to our lovely hairdressers and are given the treatment. It is a joy to see how they take the hands of the confused and gently guide them to normality even for a little while. Kate Swaffer I hope this gives you a small comfort with your ever-growing dementia.

But to hump or not to hump had me lying in bed contemplating doing the Aussie thing (no not THAT) but throwing a sickee. It was warm and I feel rested and secure in my bed. I no longer need an alarm my body clock has me awake most mornings at 6am so I can do my walk, this morning I must admit I choose the option of catching a few extra zzz’s. I know it’s going to be a long day, with the follow-up from yesterday still to be complete and board meeting tonight I will not be home till 10pm or later. How hard is it to function when you feel heavy-headed not from a cold but from tasks and timelines, talking too much and typing. I feel lucky though I have a job that is offering security, challenge and has invigorated my nursing skills again.

Now the challenge for me is to not count the hours down till I go but to be involved, relevant, engaged and communicative in order that every one feels worthy, wanted and happy. I watch the stroke victim being challenged to walk and he hates it, but I see the carer encouraging, cajoling and responsive without harsh words. These are some of the reasons why I love the Keith Hospital and am fighting to save it, it is unique, it is relevent and they are a family.


How many times does one procrastinate it their lives? I wouldn’t put myself as a procrastinator, I would say I’m a go getter but there are times I have hesitated. I have wondered whether this hesitation has been to my detriment or it has benefitted me as I have had to go seeking alternative solutions to a problem. My DH procrastinate and sometimes tries to involve me in this, he has spent years creating things and deliberating on farm machinery purchases, we have been to land auctions and though we know our spending limit we have never got a bid off.

I should rejoice in his decision-making process he is very careful with his spending and the cost of farm machinery is enormous but we seem to manage without debt. But it has taken years for some of them to come to pass but they have. I on the other hand make decisions easily and quickly then fight hard to make them work, be right or have to shove them under the pillow so that I don’t have to think about them any further. I normally get up and do the things I have to in order to then do the things I want to do. I have brought up my daughter to do it now rather than later and her sheer hard work has her in a job she loves and enjoys. I on the other hand have been limited now through living in the country, I have had to make work situations for myself, from my first foray in to medical project management to opening a shop each job brings about its own joys and issues. One thing I can do and do well is delay by working slowly on the things I dislike (my taxes) and do quickly the things I love.

Procrastination is something we all do, I have read many a tweet or Facebook comment where Facebook is proof that it is more interesting than study, washing and ironing can be found to be much more interesting than doing book work, or in my case sometimes I prefer to do book work instead of housework or anything else. My girlfriend Kate Swaffer loves to iron and in reading her blogs I sometimes get the feeling she prefers to do other things. Procrastination is a part of our make up, some work through it, others work around it, it is all good unless it dominates our lives and restricts our time. Must go have deadlines to meet for Fantastic Furniture who are donating all new furniture for our Doctors house in Keith, this is one cause I don’t hesitate for, pity our Government do. $60 mil in Legal aid bills for the asylum seekers, $32 mil since July 2011 to 22 NSW legal firms, why is this so?? This does not even cover the costs of them in detention centres but this is a topic for another day.

Angels and Devils

They are all a part of us, they live among us and they are us. My mother use to say Day Angel & Night Devil in relation to how an angelic child who was adored and behaved beautifully during the day would suddenly turn in a night devil, where they would awake after a 20 minute cat nap and be up for 4 hours or more, cry when being putto bed and then when you were at your last straw they would sleep and you would have to get up and go to work.

My friend Kate Swaffer – follow her blog talks about the assistance of angels today in preparation for her Fringe show – one I am very much looking forward to seeing and this prompted this topic. We Dr’s & Nurses are taught the science of the body, diseases, life and death we are not taught about the existance of Angels. All those that nurse know it is a calling, a vocation that is generally deeply ingrained, hence the hours of dedication, commitment and patience. There are many times in a nursing career that you have the honour of being with a person when they pass, sometimes it is in the quiet hours of the night where you can sit and hold a hand, other times it may be in the middle of a traumatic event and you are there as an assistant to help save a life. Sometimes not all lives can be saved but after the passing there is calmness. It descends upon the room this is the angel offering comfort to the living, giving guidance to the person who passes and allowing for the stilness of the moment to be realised. Most nurses believe in Angels, ones that are with people when they live and ones that are evident upon death.

For those that have not seen their angel, they are that flicker in the corner of your eye when you think somebody is there or you see a ‘movement’. They are the sensation that a person you know is with you, most times they are. They send comfort during grief, some people have claimed that some one has sat on the end of the bed holding their hand duirng a dark time of their life. They are shadows, some fear them others find joy in them, mostly that is what they are sent to heal a broken heart, offer company if one is lonely or just to let someone know they are ok. Many of my friends are angels, they assist sometimes when I don’t even know I need it. All of you who respond and read my blog are angels you are the keepers of my thoughts and actions, editors of my life, friends and mostly people I love. I don’t see devils I see actions and reactions some of which we know are unnecessary others are uncontrollable, but mostly people are kind you just have to peel through the layers. Thankyou Kate for being you.