Saturday, 30 June 2007
Anybody else noticed that as you get older instead of becoming more in control of your life.......you become less in control? Maybe its just me but I have noticed that no matter how hard I try to be organised......."life" sends in a little fairy to wave her wand and cause chaos.
I am thinking it is because when you are in your 20's you have just yourself to keep organised........no responsibilities and your main aim is to party big. Then as your 30's approach most folk settle down, get sick of pubs and start to contemplate having a family. Whilst this may sound like a more gentle period it is not. You go from having a late night partying but waking up at 1pm to..............spending your entire night pacing the floor with a screaming baby. You never really do know why they cry and the blur of parenthood is a huge shock.
The love and responsibility you feel for these tiny red-faced screaming "Mini-Me's" is phenomenal. But it is carefully ordained by our "Designer" so that we care for them no matter what and grow them big to propagate the human race. Along with this period of life comes RESPONSIBILITY, this means mortgages, material possession's and a frantic striving to make money for the FUTURE. We run ourselves ragged trying to get "Ahead".
We often forget what is important.......in this frantic "gathering of nuts". Then along come the 40's. The children are getting older and do not need constant care. You have time to reflect a bit more. Life throws a few or many curve balls at you and all your carefully laid plans get scattered. Things are not how you planned at all. Death visits those close to you and you realise what is important.........and it's not your mortgage.....believe me.
Whether you are rich or poor, beautiful or ugly the end of life is inevitable. How you conduct yourself on this journey is what matters. You can achieve great heights in life but if you behave badly you will have no friends and you will die alone and no one will remember you. If you give ,forgive and are kind to those around you............people will love you and they will stay by your side. When the tough times come you will have friends.............and it won't be so tough.
I have learned this lesson and everyday I say thank you for my "Friends" some are people that I did not know 7 months ago but now they form a huge part of my family. So thank you to all of you for being my friend!
Who knows what the 50's will bring...........but I am not scared of the future. The boat may rock, but I know I can swim..................
Thursday, 28 June 2007
School holidays are parental punishment. By the end of the second day of the holidays the siblings have had enough..........A is writing screensavers saying "Touch my computer and die J".......how lovely to see your sweet children behave like this. Parents have to work and if you have young kids you are meant to put them into childcare which often costs more than you earn!
A silly system methinks. Sending them away on any sort of "Holiday Camp" requires taking out a second mortgage on the house. Sooo now that J is nearly 15yrs old, she stays at home with A during the holidays and the two of them annoy each other constantly. The verbal snipes are sharp, witty and cutting. Knowing your sibling's weakness's enables you to wound to the quick.
I have taken some time of to referee the fights. I thing I may need "linesmen" to help me though. Eventually I resort to threats and loud screaming............"THAT'S IT NO MORE COMPUTER AND YOU ARE BANNED FROM WORLD OF WARCRAFT FOR 2 DAYS".
(Note to parents - beware of how long you threaten punishment for- 2 days of whining can wear you down to insanity)
Actually eventhough I "doth protest" about the amount of time my family spend online I must tell you it buys me precious time alone.........I can sneak off and read sometimes or go out for a walk and no one even notices. I do sometimes think I need to go "online" to catch up with my family. J reads my blog so she is up to speed on what I am up to.
I have taken a few days leave to try do some fun things with the girls........
G'Night from freezing unsunny Queensland.........BRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Life as I have said is not always easy. When you least expect things they can happen. My beautiful Dube (Bobby) boy has crossed the rainbow bridge today.
Just before the Greytwalk on the 16th Jun I noticed that Dube had a bit of a limp. He went to get out of his doggy bed and slipped on the tiles and whimpered. I watched him and rested him and he seemed to come good. Then on about Tuesday last week he slipped again and cried out, after this he was very sore. I was sick but took him up to a local vet who I know, he kindly examined him and said......it probably warrants an x-ray as its very sore. So we started him on painkillers. Friday I took him to work and he was no better. Increased the dose of painkillers and he did not really improve much. I bought him some non-skid boots to ensure he did not slip on the tiles but he was too sore to even put the foot down.
On sunday evening he was standing in the kitchen contemplating the "Lamb Roast" and he backed up, slipped slightly and just started yelping continuously for a few minutes. I managed to settle him and put blankies on him and keep him comfortable. Today we x-rayed , Dr R warned me before hand that he suspected something sinister. He said the amount of pain he was in was not normal. Unfortunately the diagnosis was clear cut, an Osteosarcoma. Bone Cancer........even with treatment the outcome is pretty inevitable. The pain associated with bone cancer is not fun and very hard to medicate effectively.
I made the sad decision to let him go now, before the pain got any worse. He spent such a short time with us but had crept into our hearts already. I can only take solace in knowing that the last weeks of his life were spent in luxury. Lots of food and treats and sleeping in a warm bedroom with J...............
So run in peace my gentle boy.......
Sorry to have to say goodbye so soon......
Sunday, 24 June 2007
It's D's birthday today........45 years old. Whew had a few close misses in making it this far. He has spent the last 3 years pulling all kinds of weird tumours. His birthday card said "The secret to a long life is.........................keep breathing".
The girls and I thought this most appropriate in his case. His first brush with death in 2005 was an extremely rare adrenal tumour (10x10cm) that sent massive amount of adrenaline surging through his body and causing all sorts of chaos...........heart failure, kidney trouble.......... That sort of wiped out from FEB 2005 -AUG2005. He recovered with no real lasting problems. The odd's of getting a "Phaeochromocytoma" are very rare. There are about 5 cases per annum in the USA.
Then the bugger gets diagnosed with an agressive squamous cell carcinoma in his cheek on the 15Dec 2006, after massive surgery and radiation that nearly killed him he is ok. About 20kg lighter and ok, this episode lasted from Dec2006 -May2007. The next 5 years will tell whether he is ok or not. He sees the Oncologist and the Head/Neck surgeon every 6 weeks for the next few years to get inspected for any possible return. Squamous Cell cancers in the mouth are normally associated with a history of smoking..........D has never ever smoked! Not fair huh!
The thing is.......... that life is so unpredictable and you just never know what the next day holds. The most difficult thing to cope with is not allowing yourself to get wary about the future. When lots of unpredictable calamities occur, your brain puts you into "Survival Mode". Planning ahead is impossible.........because your brain has prepared you for the worst scenario's. People tell me they have booked a trip to somewhere about 6 months in advance... and I think "Are you nuts, anything could happen in6 months time!"
We have cried and we have laughed, but we still trucking.............can't keep a good dog down!
So lets hope this year stays boring,uneventful and normal.............I love it!
Thursday, 21 June 2007
I bet some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking..........uh oh Si has lost it, all she writes about are those bloody Greyhounds. Well I have a good reason for not relaying too many Kid and Husband stories. When I write about them they want to censor what I tell you, I have to run the photo's by them for approval...........all of which I find inconvenient and restrictive...........see I told you I am cranky.
Youngest child of mine "A" has such a wicked sense of humour she can drop you in your tracks. Last night we are watching "House M.D", one of our favourites. Its about this guy who has to have the right side of his brain removed..........."A" pipes up "On no! Now he is going to be Light-headed"...........
Another great one from her is she says to her swimming coach, "I can't swim today because I am sick".........."What's wrong" he asks? "I am coming down with a severe case of laziness and it's terribly contagious............I wouldn't want the other kids catching it". Saw her teacher for an interview and he says she is doing fine, a bit distracted but no problems. He says she is polite, well-mannered and listens to instructions......................Huh?? Are we talking about the same kid?
Look out world, a whirlwind is due to hit you............she is going to be very interesting to watch. A great networker and eyelashes so long they seem false..................
As J matures so we get closer and closer. When your kids are little you are Mom and you are in charge. When your kids hit their teens and the "Adult" emerges it's an interesting journey of having to step back and watch in awe as your "Baby" needs you less and less. I am so enjoying becoming "Friends" with J and having interesting discussions. She is a beautiful human and so creative. A lovely nature, gentle and kind. She is great starter...........she will get everyone around her to complete the actual job..........not too big on finishing! Loves solitary time, reading, art and animals. She towers over me now and I feel a bit short ............how did these big people ever fit inside my stomach!
Actually way I look at the moment it looks like they may still be in it................Ha Ha...........told you its to iron out the wrinkles...............
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
I must be getting old because my grumpy levels rise very quickly with little or no provocation. Look it may be PMT but I think its just me getting cranky. Started the week badly, verrry sore throat...........uh oh..........maybe I am getting the cold that has slain all my friends?
Yup I am right, now have the full snots, blocked ears, headaches etc etc..........Whoopeee! Not only me but poor ol Dube's hindleg does not like the weather we have had, and he is very sore and sorry for himself. He will have to go to work with me and get the "Magic Vet's" to fix him...........or just prescribe some kick-ass painkillers.
It's freezing, I want my money back, I thought Queensland was the Sunshine State? I threw out all my thick coats because it does'nt get cold here..........maybe I am acclimatising now and just get cold when the temp falls below 20 deg.
Anyway, back to whinging, am finding everyone and everything irritating?
Thought I'd do something nice for the dogs. We bought a new bed and so the old queen size bed has been out in the garage. Hmmm maybe Karma and Dube would prefer to sleep on a Queen Size bed rather than their current "Dog Bed's". So spent a whole morning re-arranging the garage, made the bed up with blankies and cuddly stuff. Called the dogs to come and see their new boudoir...............
Greyt excitement, leap up onto bed, burrow under blankies.................mmmm........there seems to be a problem........... Apparently we were not wrong in hating that bed for the 6 years we slept on it! The bloody dogs won't sleep on it either! I must admit that we always complained that it was like sleeping on a concrete slab.............well the dogs have decided that they would actually rather sleep on a concrete floor! So tonite they are snuggled up in the lounge on cushions with about a million blankies...........the bed is going where it should have gone 6 years back............TO THE DUMP.
It's late I am cold, sick, sore and cranky...........better go to bed and feel sorry for myself.........
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Yesterday was a "Greytwalk" , a monthly get together organised by a Greyhound Mum. It's really good to go for a walk with a whole bunch of folk and the dog's really enjoy it. J came with me and had a great time doing all the photography.
It was Dube's first outing and he was very well behaved. He did have a few grumbles at a bunch of dogs all crowding him, but he will get used to it. He and Karma were exhausted after their walk and passed out for the remainder of the day. D and A stayed home and played..........yep you guessed it...........World of Warcraft. Anyone else beginning to suspect a small addiction happening?
I really enjoyed my afternoon , as the pics will show Karma was trying desperately to remove her muzzle using my leg! Had big plans for the weekend to get stuff done................never mind now I have big plans to do "Stuff" next weekend.........
Oh and just to top it off............. South Africa won the rugby..........now that we are dual citizens of Australia and South Africa we are able to "Run with the hares and hunt with hounds"...........always belong to the winning team!
Cheers for now
Friday, 15 June 2007
I got a complaint yesterday.........from the other side of the world. My sister rings me and says"Ok I'm sick of the dogs now, tell us how the family are.........and post pictures!" So for the South African contingent here's a bit about the Clan (the human side).
Girls are great, looking forward to school holidays at the end of next week.......then they can fight all day long instead of having restricted hours after school to fight. J is still going to Gym and is doing really well......A continues to swim under sufferance and we bribe her to get her there.....whatever it takes we will do.
D is very very well now, able to drink beer and looking so well. A cut her hair short. I am on a mid-semester break from studies which is great! Here is sone J-Art as well for you to see what she is up to. She spends all day online at a site called i-scribble and draws online with her cyber pals. J is also keen on photography as you see. D and A play World of Warcraft 24/7. I complained that he pays me no attention........he says its because he never sees me online...............
D said he did not want another dog.............I said pay me more attention or let me have another dog........I got the dog as you see!
So life is pretty normal for now........just the way I like it..........no dramas.........just ordinary stuff!
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Well Monday saw , Shonny leave and Dube ( dog formerley known as Bobby) arrive. The idea was to have a companion for Karma the Queen. Dube is an interesting fellow. He is "Functionally" blind due to having an eye condition known as Pannus. He is in need of a bit of TLC and was a bit spaced out after a long week of travelling and changes in his life.
He is taking to being a house dog like a duck to water! The first night saw him eat like he was not going to get fed ever again , retreat to bed and not budge till the next day. Tuesday was a big day, went to work with me to have a check over from the Vet and see that all is ok with the old fella. He is ok, a bit stiff in the hindquarter, a bit blind, his skin a bit yucky and a spot of the "runs" probably all the changes in his diet and the travelling.
He has now had a bath, his Pannus is being treated, there is no cure but we can hope for a slight improvement at best and hopefully delay the further progress of blindness. He trots around the garden and can see shapes and shadows so does not bump into anything. His tail wags constantly and he is a smart dog. His nose is to the ground sniffing things..........when a sight hound loses his sight...........he becomes a bloodhound!
He is very very cat safe and the cats have inspected him and decided he is absolutely no threat so they are treating him kindly, no hissing , no spitting just meander past him. He discovered the bed and blankies and thought "Hmmm not bad"............but why settle there.........it appears there is a Leather Couch that can be used as well. This is where he will have to learn a "new trick".......no dogs on the couch..........dogs have their own beds.
He is probably not the handsomest fellow but he is definately "Mr Personality". He loves a walk, is a great "Grey Ambassador" and greets everyone with a wagging tail and gentle cuddle. He quickly caught on to "Jumping" into the car and happily shares everything with Karma.
He does need some guidence in learning a few manners about "Waiting" for his food and not diving into the garbage can but we have time............and we will teach the old dog new tricks.
His new name is an african name meaning "Zebra" in Zulu. It is pronounced "Doo-bee". A new life needs a new name...........
He does love snuggles and J indulged him in a bit of cuddling.............
We had a weekend guest, little "Shonny" came to stay for a few days. She is a sweet little girl but we discovered that she has a secret drinking problem! Put a beer bottle in the recycle bin and Hey Presto it reappears in the dog's bed with a dog trying desperately to get the last drop out.......granted it was a Guiness but hey......dogs should'nt drink!
"Shonny" has moved on in her foster journey and I am sure will find a great forever home in the not too distant future. Don't worry, we removed the bottle and had to "re-locate" the recycle bin until she moved on.........
Next episode...........THE NEW OLD DOG arrives.............
Monday, 11 June 2007
Well most folk fail at fostering Greyhounds, they fall in love with their foster dogs and keep them. I decided to stop fostering due to having too much on my plate and not being well. Well I failed a bit at that......we fostered "Shonny " for a few days a little Black & white female who was really sweet but had obviously not heard that Grey's are meant to be laid back.
She thinks she is a staffy and her tails wags constantly and she pulls on the lead , but is very affectionate and full on, wants to play and run all day. Karma had her "The youth of today" look on her face but actually was sad when we said goodbye to Shonny.
Tonite "Bobby" arrived, he is a dog from NSW that is the same age as Karma and a very mellow fellow. I am fostering him with a view to adopting him if he likes us and all the beasts of the house agree. He is a bit thin and exhausted and needs some TLC. The next few days will tell how he is doing. Karma was very excited and wanted to play but Bobby was too tired and a bit grumpy so he ignored her and went to bed. We won't push him, let him settle and come out of his shell at his own pace. He has a eye problem known as "Pannus" and I suspect he may have lost a fair amount of vision. I will take him to work tomorrow and let the Vet give him a once over to check he is ok and get him meds for his eyes.
Greyhounds form a big part of my life now, I love going for walks with my dog and having that amazing bond with them, that unconditional love they give you. Will post more when I have more to tell.
Wednesday, 06 June 2007
Humour , I have discovered, is all you really need in life. Humour turns sad to happy, anger to laughter and you can't really dislike someone you having a laugh with.
During the past few years of my "Character Building" people have said to me "How do you cope?"
Well here is how:
What's the option to not coping? Flinging yourself about weeping and wailing does not help at all....you still have to get up, feed the kids, work, clean the house. Crying does not make cancer disappear or death any easier. Sure have a weep but just get up and put the one foot in front of the other.
Next week is a long way away, best not to worry about it today, it might not work the way you are expecting anyhow.
The people you love are important, the friends you have are priceless. When the going gets tough you discover who they really are.
Billy Connelly said" I don't waste my time on idiots, I am too old and I don't have much time left, I am gonna spend it with folk I like". Smile and move on.
Time really does heal all things.
Our family has a fairly macabre sense of humour and that keeps us smiling most of the time. We do also find "Toilet Humour" pretty amusing , so be warned.
Must be honest, I do find a spot of anger helps me too........(Hey I'm not perfect) actually I find that getting furious and having a tantrum is very refreshing.
I always think, "If I got hit by a truck tomorrow, I will have lived a full life, no regrets".
Count your blessings, there are always others who have it waaay worse than you.
Tell people who you care about that you do care about them, sometimes you can live to regret not saying what you felt.
Don't avoid death, illness and difficult situations - they will follow you forever. Grieve ,get angry, get sad and keep going forward.
Nobody said it was going to be easy.................
Remember to say "Thank you".
A glass of wine can also help............
PS Thank you to Gary Larson for the jokes!
Saturday, 02 June 2007
Todays topic is not a pretty one, put away your breakfast .....you have been warned. I was wondering why it is that people think we are stupid. Went to the doggie park the other day and it is a marvelous place to observe human behaviour. People fall into two distinct groups........those who follow rules and those who break them.
This brings us to "Poo Etiquette" which is a very interesting reflection on the dog owner. Some of us always clean up after our hound and ensure that the park is left in a "No Landmine" state, so as not to have to drive home with your shoes left in the back due to some unfortunate poo accident.
Then there are the "Phantom Poo's", these apparently do not belong to anyone's dog despite the fact that you actually clearly observe the dog parking a massive landmine. The owners do notice but look the other way and pretend to be absorbed in bird watching. Due to the fact that we are all a bit circumspect about confronting strangers we tend to get irritated but remain silent. I propose that there should be "Poo Police" . Would it not be hilarious to hear a siren go off and blue lights flashing when some long standing offender is caught ignoring his dog parking a landmine.
As punishment they could be given 90 hours community service ............picking up other folks dog crap! Hah that would be justice!
Another pet hate (excuse the pun) of mine is those folk with Giant Breed dogs with no manners at all. When you own a Rottweiler that weighs 55 kg and has an attitude of Mike Tyson it is probably not wise to take it to an off leash park. One minute you are walking quietly and the next you are backed up against a fence with a salivating dog threatening you? The owner always has an excuse "He is not like this at home" , yes dumbkopf he probably is not but until you can control him please stay at home!
Then you meet the good folk. Stop chat, make friends , admire each other's dogs and have a relaxing walk.
Maybe I am just getting cranky with age..........