deb (downunderdeb) wrote,

Long time, no update ...

When last you heard from me, it was suspected that my mother may have had another stroke.  Upside was - no, just another infection that knocked her for a six, plus heat related dehydration etc.  Downside - my brother felt it may be time to look at a more permanent 'alternative' care solution as Mum's ability to care for herself adequately seemed to be declining.  He started the process as he has enduring guardianship ( able to make health and well being decisions on behalf of Mum), as well as Power of Attorney.  A unit became available at the local Multi Purpose Service (the nursing home section of the local hospital) and she took up residence in late March.  BM and I visited her over Easter and she seems quite happy there.  My brother visited her last weekend for Mothers' Day and also seems to think she is content.  She has gained weight which is good news, as she was looking very frail before the move.  As she has entered as a 'high care' resident we were not required to pay a residential bond so we are keeping her house as a base for visiting for the time being.  One of us tries to visit every 4 to 6 weeks, and we have a 'floating' cousin who pops in every fortnight or so, and spends a few days at the house, as well as visiting Mum.  For a long time she was very reticent about going to the MPS - in her mind, if you went there you died - so the MPS was 'killing' everyone.  Whereas in reality it is indeed the last stop on life's journey for most residents through natural attrition rather than a health system deadly plot.  It is also in her hometown so she continues to receive all of her usual visitors, as well as having the other 20 or so residents as company whenever she wants.  I do think that loneliness was a major part of the blues she felt in her own home.  Old people become more confined as their mobility lessens and those hours alone can become impossibly depressing.  Anyway so far, so good.  BM and I will again visit on the June long weekend (when we celebrate the Queen's Birthday, even if her birthday is in April) and get to enjoy the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts as well.

May has been a bit of an up and down month for me, much as it was last year.  May 3 marked a year since my brother Richard's death whilst May 10 was the anniversary of the purchase of our home.  Richard's loss is still hard, and I suspect always will be.  My niece, of course, finds it harder as so many little things constantly remind her that he is no longer a part of her life, or her children's - swimming carnivals, pick up from school, buying books/dvds, painting for them, just being there.  I'm not so sure about time being a great healer - it's now 30 years since I lost my dad and I still miss him in so many ways - once again it's the little things you miss, his wicked sense of humour (like the time he revealed his t-shirt during a game of lawn bowls in the heart of rural conservative NSW that read "Don't Blame Me, I Voted Labor"), arguments about politics, watching a game of footie with him.

The house is starting to become a home now after a year.  My shrubs are blooming and the native birds are flocking to them.  I enjoy sitting here at my computer looking out to the backyard watching the wattle birds snack on the grevillea blooms and then have a good splash in the bird baths.  We have a resident skink who enjoys sun bathing on the retaining walls around the yard.  BM finally painted the study so we have now removed all traces of the hideous blue and pink rooms.

Jake is doing well.  His general health is improving all the time as he is able to maintain an exercise regime.  He wasn't able to doing anything too strenuous for a number of months as his internal bits and pieces continued to heal but he was given the go ahead by the Professor (his doctor is actually the head of the liver and gastroenterology unit at RPA) to resume exercising at his last visit.  So he visits his gym (downstairs in one of the garages) most days and has resumed walking regularly, although not with the dog.  He tried to take Anya a couple of times but got too frustrated with her 'I'm an old dog now' walking style which entails quite a few rests during the actual walk.  As Anya turns 11 next month I think he should cut her a little slack!  He has returned to his studying - deciding on a new career path after his own experiences in the past few years.  He is studying psychology, hoping to enter into youth counselling.  He is being very harsh on himself considering what he has been through in terms of his grades but he's averaging around 70% in his subjects so I think he is doing very well but then again, I'm his mum, of course I'll think that ...

I myself will be returning to my studies at the end of June.  That area has sort of been on the backburner for a number of reasons (oh, what could they have been) but as John Lennon said (supposedly) 'life it what happens while you're busy making other plans'.  My subject will be COMM325/525 - Television Studies : Television Crime Drama as the ‘new frontier’: from Nordic Noir to The Sopranos and beyond, where apparently we will study "Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake and move on to consider influential Nordic Noir Crime series (The Bridge and The Killing),  then on to HBO programming, focusing on The Sopranos as our case study, and looking at the ways in which this type of Crime Drama has changed the face of the genre (think The Shield, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, True Detective)". Hmm, sounds interesting, I think.

BM is mostly happy in his new job, at least he no longer commutes to Sydney and now only has a 15 minute drive to his office.  Of course, he'll now need to work to 70 before he gets the pension, thanks to our wonderful Federal Liberal government, but don't blame me, I voted Labor - could have told you Abbott is a great, big, dirty liar, but that's a rant for another time.

Still tossing up what to do with my small superannuation payment I'll receive this year once I turn 55 in July.  We keep tossing up between a trip to New Zealand or going all out and touring selected parts of the USA.  I'd be happy to go to Tasmania - at least it's overseas!! Well, that's about it for now.  I'm going to try to be a better LJ friend and actually reply to entries/comments rather than skimming and moving on.  Hope is all with everyone's worlds, and if not, hope things are improving.

Now a few photos to bore as well as my words.

Our resident skink.

The once blue room, and as is now.


I had some of my brother Richard's drawings framed - a nice, tangible reminder of him.


This is what our back room was like with the previous owners (first piccy) - just a study area, but it is a very long, thin room so it took us a while to figure out what to do with it.  At Christmas we effectively moved every thing around and made it into two spaces, a small second living/tv area and a study (messy) space for me.

Bonus shot of Anya.

And just one that I really like, very downunder!!

And last, but not least - Jake shortly after coming home from hospital.

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