wings and things

It will soon be Spring!

In Spring (only three days away), our Internet will work for longer than 30 minute bursts, I will resume blogging in an organised fashion, it will stop raining, Ming’s spinal problems will begin to resolve, I will get back on my bicycle, bring Anthony home more often, eradicate (humanely) the rabbit plague on this farm, learn to play the harp, continue baking sticky date pudding, grow tomatoes, sit in the sun, be a better friend to my buddies, reconcile with my in-laws (maybe), embrace the birth of my first great niece, get our finances in order, buy some laying hens to replace the ones the fox got, learn how to use the whipper snipper, prune the ancient roses, resume writing the novella, take faultless photos of the birds, dress to kill, hug anyone who is huggable, and use strawberry moisturiser.

Until then, since our telephone wiring is so dodgy, I’ve had the landline disconnected, and am mostly reliant on my Ipad for Internet. I’m not fast with this IPad yet, so have decided not to even try to keep up with blogs, Facebook etc. We are trialling a new modem thingy.

Tomorrow we see the spinal surgeon again to see what can be done to fix Ming’s injury to the titanium. Anthony wanted to come with us, so today I had to explain why this would be impossible with a 5 hour round trip. He doesn’t accept how difficult he is to lift.

To end this higgledy post, I’ve had my first harp lesson! See you in Spring.


Sinking into self-pity

Sometimes I think that self-pity is necessary, maybe even vital, before taking the next adventurous step into a new page, whatever that page is.

When I told Anthony that Ming had damaged his back, AB’s eyes filled with tears, and that’s pretty much how I have been feeling too for the last week since finding out that our beautiful, heroic son has a titanium fracture (post scoliosis surgery 19 months ago.)

Ming, being the youngest of our father-mother-kid trio, is slightly more upbeat – emphasis on ‘slightly’. The worst thing for him is that he will have to quit his job, milking cows for our fantastic neighbours, a job that he loved.

So, I am going to indulge in some self-pity until tomorrow.


The big red shed




During yet another short blog break, I’m in cleanup/tidying mode so have tried to catch up with comments, and have visited other people’s blogs unhurriedly and with pleasure.

But I’m a little bothered by a couple of things:

1. I vividly remember re-blogging somebody’s post when I first started. At the time, I didn’t understand what re-blogging was and, as soon as I realized, I deleted it. It was about mothers and daughters. I apologize to that blogger for my ignorance.

2. During May this year, I took a blog break by unsubscribing from the nearly 200 blogs I’d subscribed to. Why the hell did I do that? Now I am still re-finding people. If I haven’t yet re-found you, please let me know!

One beautiful realization is that it isn’t necessarily necessary to engage with every single blog post (especially if the blogger is prolific!) There is no obligatory rule about this and silence is okay – such a relief!

I think, when I resume ‘proper’ blogging, on 1st September, I might do it on a weekly basis, rather than daily. Just until my heart catches up with my voice. So much is happening, and so much is not happening – argh!



See you in September!

Too much happening – esp. re Ming’s latest spinal prognosis (it’s only just sinking in that he has unwittingly damaged himself). We have to figure a few things out so I will cease blogging for a couple of weeks.


Update on Ming’s scoliosis

For those who don’t know, our son, Ming, had surgery 18 months ago to correct a severe (75% curve) scoliosis. This morning we had what was supposed to be the last post-op. appointment with his surgeon. The X-ray showed a fracture to the titanium rod, just below his shoulder blades. Ming wasn’t as shocked as I was because a couple of months ago he lifted some really heavy junk in one of our sheds (he’s not supposed to lift anything over 20 kilos), and rushed into the house in pain, terrified he had damaged something. We rang the surgeon who was reassuring on the phone, but Ming still needed a week off from farm work and he was in a lot of pain and panic with his spine clicking and clacking strangely.

At the time, partly because the surgeon didn’t feel it necessary to fast-track today’s appointment, I just kept reassuring Ming that he would be fine and I remember saying things like, “You can’t break titanium, Ming; I’m sure you’ve just pulled a muscle” etc. Well, I was wrong, obviously, and the surgeon now wants to see him again in 4 months, with a slight possibility of further surgery to fix the fracture. The fact that Ming is no longer in pain is a good sign, but the fracture has pulled the curve (which had been reduced to 28%) back to 35%, and Ming is upset with himself for being stupid, and upset with me for being so overly, and naively, reassuring.

But the good thing is that Ming is okay with things and is staying with one of his best friends tonight, where he will have fun and hopefully forget today’s news for a little while. And tomorrow he and I will undoubtedly discuss the situation and look at the bloody bright side and carry on. Tonight I will let myself shed a few anxious tears in order not to do so in front of Ming.

The picture is before surgery. He is much straighter now, and taller!



Middle-aged? No way – I’m only 54!

I’ve just realized that not only am I, technically, middle-aged, but I have been for some time. Shock! This realization has been due to a series of health mishaps in the last month.

1. A gastric virus that had me bedridden/bathroom-ridden for two weeks, and a subsequent suspected cracked rib;
2. A rotten tooth that had to be extracted, culminating in an ongoing dry socket infection.
3. An eye test that revealed I need glasses for both distance and reading, and that I have early signs of macular degeneration, and that my strabismus (squint) is quite pronounced due to the fact that I can only use one eye at a time.
4. The flu (the sniffy, coughy, fevery one).
5. Confirmation of cracked rib today due to re-fracture.

Okay so this morning I had to take Anthony to our doctor for the routine burning off of multiple skin cancers but I made a double appointment so I could discuss my ailments as well. As a result I am on two courses of antibiotics for my tooth infection and the flu. Then I took Ants out to brunch. He was fairly mobile at the doctor’s but by the time we got to the restaurant, he needed the wheelchair. Hoisting him out of the car into the chair and racing into the restaurant because it was windily raining, then twisting us both into the far-too-small disabled toilet, then getting us to a table, I must have re-cracked the rib because, as we ate our meal, I experienced an increasingly severe pain to my right side every time I bent or turned. Once it was just to get Ants’ feet off the footplates of the wheelchair and I think that was the clincher. By the time I got him back to the nursing lodge, it was agony, so I raced down to the walk-in chiropractor (my brother is a chiro but he is away at the moment) and he confirmed that my rib was indeed fractured.

The doctor, optometrist and chiropractor all used the phrase “at your age” which I found alarming until I got home and googled “middle-age”. That’s when I made my discovery so I am sitting here quietly now, absorbing the fact that I am middle-aged.

Oh well, I guess I don’t need to stress about any wrinkles I have anymore because you’re allowed to have those when you’re middle-aged. And that’s a great relief!

This photo was taken before I was middle-aged. The little alien on my lap is Ming, now 19.



Going with the flow




This afternoon, I went and picked Anthony up from the nursing lodge to take him to the upholstering business that last rejuvenated the three antique armchairs in the living room. Since then, around 18 years ago, the business has changed hands and is owned by a delightful sister and brother. Today we actually found that the exact same fabric is still available, so that’s what Anthony wants.

But now here’s the thing: I don’t really love the fabric and even felt it was a little too dark all those years ago. I would much prefer something a little lighter and less flowery. The decision hasn’t been made yet so we shall see, but what I really like about this experience is that, even though it’s down to me in the end because I’m the one who lives here, I want him to choose, so he still knows this is his home.

When I got home from this mini-adventure (if you care for someone with advanced Parkinson’s disease, you will know what I mean by ‘adventure’), I decided to cook myself some cauliflower soup. It looks gross in the photo but is was delicious.

Then Ming and Blaze posed for me.



Since my May blog break, I have found it quite challenging to get back on board and am still in the process of resubscribing, replying to comments from ages ago etc. Sorry! I have learned so much about so many things from other bloggers so bear with me as I regain your acquaintances. One of the things I love about blogdom is that it is a very forgiving community. As an expert in the faux pas, I appreciate the forgivingness!


Ming’s adventure 2

Well he finally got home just as it was getting dark. He hardly texted me at all, but at midnight I received:

All’s fine as wine summer shine!

Then today he wasn’t answering his phone so, in order to avoid another bout of worry, I went into town to see Ants. Just as I was about to come home again, the brat finally rang to say he was halfway home himself.

As I was about to turn into our driveway I noticed that a young steer was on the road (had gotten out of one our neighbours’ paddocks), so I quickly texted Ming with:

Steer on road.

I was ridiculously happy and relieved to see him again until he said grumpily, “Do you think I don’t know how to steer?”

We have both agreed to improve our texting skills – ha!