A weekend away

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A weekend away

The temperature went completely stupid here, with local temps laughing at 30 degrees as they danced towards and into the 40 degree zone. These are hell conditions. Dogs inside, air conditioner cranking, only venture outside when you have to conditions.

And I had to.

I went and visited my sister, jumping on a train for a two hour trip down to the Hawkesbury. Saw this out the window and now I want to know what that mysterious box is for.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

My sister has a vege patch and grows all sorts of stuff in it. When I was there she dug up her most recent crop – POTATOES! I cannot tell you how awesome it was to watch her shovel up load after load of potatoes from the ground. It was one of the best things I have ever seen. Here are some of the spoils of her crop:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

We had a good weekend. Our pseudo sister joined us for an early kind of birthday celebration – with my sister and I a week apart (and a few years), we tend to celebrate together. I made a cake, which was really a watermelon with yoghurt icing an a heap of fruit:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Bright and early this morning, with temperatures predicted to hit at least 44 degrees, my sister drove me back home. And now as the heat fades into a storm, Zelda our anxiety hound is losing her shit as the thunder rises a sexual feeling in Harry, who is madly humping his bed. Scouty? She’s just watching TV and grinning at us all.

I’ve arrived home tired and sore. Nightmares came to play on the wee hours of Saturday morning, and it’s hard to shake this one. I hate them. I get that it isn’t real and it isn’t so much the content that bothers me, it’s the emotions and the sense of failed responsibility on my part. I have this ongoing internal battle with feeling like I should be able to protect and an overwhelming ache of utter uselessness. I’m working on this. Ongoingly. It sucks and it’s hard and it has been arousing more and more of these nocturnal terrors, but I have to tell myself it will be worth it.

It will be, won’t it?

Over to you. How was your weekend? Did you swelter?

Dinner Conversation

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So when I met my beloved, I found out that I had been the subject of conversation at the weekly dinner she attended with her bunch of lady friends, who had hung out together for years. They dined together every Wednesday night, and it was at these dinners that they found out that my beloved and I were “courting”.

Fast forward three and a half years, and the weekly dinner has become a bit more impromptu and less of a weekly occurrence. And to mess with the system even more, we hosted a Wednesday night dinner tonight. Which is Tuesday, and not Wednesday at all. Not. At. All.

Last night I was totally overtired and to be fair I can’t tell you this story without telling you about what happened just before bed. My beloved and I were chatting earlier in the evening about what we’d serve at dinner, and I suggested I make my special home made ice cream sandwiches. Now normally you’d cue drooling and just shout YES!, right? Well apparently not. Not if you think that ice cream sandwiches involve ACTUAL BREAD.

This made me laugh like a goon for much longer than would be acceptable if I wasn’t so very exhausted.

When I went to take my painkillers before bed I had my mouth full of water and pills when it happened.

I remembered the ice cream sandwich.

I remembered the bread.

And I laughed.

Laughed my stupid head off.

Sprayed water across the floorboards, followed by soggy pills. I laughed until I fell off the bed. Sat on the floor, performing a variety of seal-like noises, coughing, burping, farting and micro-vomiting my way through the hysteria that had seized me. All the while I was marvelling at the quantity of water that had come out of my mouth, that I was currently slipping around in on my hands and knees. And I was stuck on the floor, I was totally fucking stuck, because my ankle still isn’t strong enough to push off with to get back onto the bed. I had water all over my jarmies, so I performed a movement akin to “the worm” and slid my way onto the bed, with a handful of melted pills slowly adhering themselves to my fingers.

So I decided not to make the ice cream sandwiches, and instead I made ice cream slice and served it with blueberries and it was the BEST EVER.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Want to be sophisticated and grown up like me? Here’s how you make ICE CREAM SLICE:

Crush a packet of Choc Ripple biscuits, and combine with a bit of melted butter (around 50g). Press it into the bottom of a slice tray. Whip 300 ml of cream til it has soft peaks, stir through a tin of condensed milk. Pour it over the biscuit base and cover with cling film. Chuck it in the freezer then cut it into servings. We could have served 8 with it.

Don’t say I never teach you anything!

What’s your go-to dessert when you’re entertaining?

Celebrate People.

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My beloved and I went to a celebration of people on the weekend that was cleverly disguised as a wedding. The wedding was for two of the kindest and most beautiful people you could ever hope to meet, but all the way through the wedding was this total theme of valuing others, and it was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life.

There aren’t words that are rich enough to describe these people. Not just the bride and groom, but their family and the people who were there. The bride told us to try to get to know each other, because we deserve to meet great people. And she was right. There were some top shelf people there. And every single one of the people I spoke to sung the never-ending praises of the couple in question.

It was one of those nights when you know you’re not just witnessing, but a part of something amazing.

Things like hay bales, with “Thank You” gifts nestled at the base:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And these weren’t just any thank you gifts. These were made with total love and dedication by Granny, who is (by all accounts and observations) one amazing woman. Can’t wait to break into our jar, Granny.

Things like a party area that looked like a fairyland. In fact, one little tiny fairy tiptoed past me carefully, then suddenly paused. I asked her if she was OK and she said, “I’ve just got a little bindy”.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Things like this pink stuff that made me feel hugely hungover a little bit ill the morning after. To be fair, the pink stuff partied in my tummy with several other drinks, so I cannot solely blame the pink stuff:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And things like the photobooth, that gave us the chance to leave a message for the pair, and also to take home a strip of pics to remind us of the friendship, the celebration, the love, the joy, the sincerity and the amazing priveledge it was to be a part of a day that existed to note love, but reminded me of so much more.

I’ve been reminded to see myself the way other people see me. I’ve been reminded that every person that we meet has an entire story and life and heart full of love behind their eyes. I’ve been reminded to celebrate people, for as long as I have them, to celebrate them.

And I’ve been reminded that life really, really is pretty damn good.

To A and M – may your happily ever after rise up to greet you, to embrace you, and to lead you on journeys that will arm you with stories and experiences that help the world get to know you more and more every day.

We need more like you.

Photoboothing it with my beloved.

Photoboothing it with my beloved.

Two of me

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I had the most bizarre happening occur yesterday. I actually came here to write more about EMDR, but then I remembered this story from yesterday and I felt I had to share it with you. You see, if not for my voracious appetite in the womb, I think there is a possibility that I COULD HAVE BEEN A TWIN!!!

I went to the GP yesterday and mentioned the ongoing pressure headaches and earaches I’ve been having for the last month or so. She took looked into my ear. And looked. And looked some more. My god it hurt. Anyway she finally yanked the tool of torture out of my ear and asked me if I knew that I have TWO EAR CANAL EXITS in one ear. I said no. She looked again, then looked in the other ear. Then back to the first ear. She said that I either have a huge tympanic membrane with a divot in it, or two ear canal exits.

I pondered this.

Remembered my superfluous third nipple, and the additional nerve I have in one finger, and came to what seems to be the only logical conclusion:

I ATE MY TWIN IN THE WOMB!

Makes sense to me.

The more I thought about it, the more obvious it was: My toes are a little too long. My hair is very very thick. I’m quite overweight. I’m fairly tall. Could it be that I was meant to be two people? Maybe I’m actually a petite, short-toed, normal nippled, small ear, thin haired TWIN?

What do you reckon?

More on EMDR tomorrow, or maybe tonight.

If I had a twin, I’d just get them to write it on their totally sensible and boring blog.

Curiouser and curiouser…

A Hero’s Exit

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A Hero’s Exit

Remembrance Day.

The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month – we remember them.

I sat on a bench outside and Scout sat near me and we gazed into the world around and she thought about probably tennis balls or something, and I thought about my grandad.

Jack.

In the cruelty of life, in his later years Jack was silenced by a series of strokes that took much of his speech, all his mobility and the majority of his movement. He died in a nursing home. He was skinny when he died and his hands were still gnarled and brown and strong. And he could still swear and he could still laugh but sometimes there was no sound. And the last time I saw him was with my family and he was dying and getting old and weak and frail and I tried not to cry but as I left his room I looked back and he was crying and he said words. He gestured towards the door and said with a voice full of sobs, take care of her. Take care of this one.

Jack.

To be fair, Jack should have died as he lived. Brave. On the land. A heart attack, maybe. The muscles on his arms and the slight bow-leggedness, and the surprising array of things he made – including a house, a pool, a buggy for his horse, a walking stick that hid a massive and probably illegal sword. But it was stroke.

His last years were quiet. A blanket of granny squares, wheelchairs and being spoon fed. Shamefully irregular visitors from me, because I wasn’t brave enough to visit more often. Because what the fuck had happened to my grandad? I was at uni when he died, so absolutely old enough to deal with it all better than I did. But I didn’t. And I’m sorry.

Jack.

Grandad’s brain was badly damaged by the strokes that he had, but nan asked him once if he remembered being a soldier. He replied “I certainly do!”. I’m glad. Because he remembered something he was proud of. My grandad is a hero.

He was interviewed for the local paper one year. They did a story entitled “East Kurrajong man remembers D-Day landing”. I read that story countless times. Among the things he said, one line still stands out in my memory.

Men changed that day. They went from boys to men.

The horror and the torment and the shock of what he saw and lived through. I cannot imagine. And thanks to him, I don’t have to.

Jack.

Grandad.

I’ve been taken care of, Grandad. I’m OK. I miss you and I miss Nan. But I’m OK. And I’m sorry I couldn’t come more to see you. And I’m sorry your life finished like that. You’re a hero. You deserved a hero’s exit. Not the quiet whimper you had. But when I remember the Union Jack draped on your coffin. The Last Post ringing through the crematorium. The pride on Nan’s face. The way my heart felt like it was going to explode. You had your hero’s exit. 

Your head is where your feet are

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If you want to go all literal, that makes no sense. It’s not like you’re standing on your own head, which would be the absolute definition of your head being exactly where your feet are. It’s more of a mindfulness thing, which I am only recently becoming acquainted with. That whole “being aware” thing and being in the moment, blah blah, but hey it turns out I’m actually really, really shit at it.

My head gets distracted. I make typos because my hands can’t keep up, grammatically I’m generally very good though. So yeah, if you spot a typo it’s because my head has run away with my thoughts like a trollop and my hands are desperately trying to catch up.

I did warn you I get distracted.

Anyway today I did my fortnightly voluntary “tearing apart of headspace” thing with my therapist. I got home and prepared to lose my shit and looked to the right and hey there’s Harry as Superman, totally saving the day. Saving it. Thanks, big boy.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

My beloved and I went to the local pub for The Race That Stops a Nation. Melbourne Cup, people. This is a hard one. Two horses died at this race. Should it become the Nation that Stops a Race? Nice play on words, but fuck, there are so many horse races and horses are at risk at all of them. They’re loved and cared for and trained but yep, they can die. And so do dogs and people and buildings collapse and houses catch fire. I’m not sure what to think but I will tell you one thing: I won Best Footwear. Here’s the proof:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

So maybe my feet are placed at the cusp of victory? Maybe there’s a resolution in sight? Even now, when I honestly consider myself “recovered” from all the depression crap and the hard stuff, I still hit horrid days. Yesterday was one. Which is why I do the maintenance thing, and see my therapist. If it works and if it helps, my god we have to do it.

But it’s hard.

The thing that helps and the thing that is helping really make it tough sometimes. I’m doing this therapy called EMDR, and first cab off the rank is finally confronting losing my mum. I might blog about it, one day, but it’s something I haven’t honestly told you all about, and really it’s just been too bloody hard to say that it’s real and that this is life, that this is my life and she was my mum. And she still is, just… not here.

So while it’s hard and yucky and disruptive, I choose to keep facing it. I choose to keep doing it. For me, mostly. But for my beloved, for our future, for my family and my friends who believe in me and have stood by me. Do I resist it? Yup.

You know what they say about leading a horse to water…

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

That’s all I’ve got today. I do have  secret shame I wanted to share with you – current addiction to 18 Kids and Counting, the story of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar and that crazy clown car of a reproductive system that’s happening there, but that’s a story for another time.

If you’re in a shit storm, keep facing it.

Where is your head? Where are your feet? Do you practice mindfulness?

The Recovery Continues

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It’s peculiar.

I felt so very free when the bandages came off and I was suddenly able to shower and to sleep without the brace on. Well, that feeling of freedom lingers, however it has a cousin – a very strong cousin – that seems to have come along for the ride.

BOREDOM.

Cousin Boredom is potentially a bit of a hillbilly. I imagine his nasal twang as he lists the things I cannot do, all of which are missing the “g” at the end: cookin, cleanin, shoppin, drivin, walkin… Cousin Boredom has a tendency to identify the things I would like to do, but cannot.

Why?

Well, if you missed it, I am still recovering from the ankle reconstruction I had a couple of weeks ago. We are now three weeks post-op – almost to the hour! Here’s how the ankle is currently looking:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

I’ve found things to keep me busy, and to keep Cousin Boredom at bay. I’ve taken to dressing up my foot:

Please note the little red cape. Image by The Naughty Corner.

Please note the little red cape. Image by The Naughty Corner.

And I’ve become a fan of what I am fondly referring to as “Recovery Hooking”. So far the tally is two baby jackets, a cot blanky, a handful of headbands and this little baby:

Let it go... Image by The Naughty Corner

Let it go… Image by The Naughty Corner

One thing I’ve had my eyes yanked open to in this recovery period is what it’s like trying to do basic things, like groceries, in a wheelchair. It’s really, really hard. And it’s something that needs to be improved. After a couple of extremely horrid experiences at the local Woolworths, I contacted the supermarket chain. I’ve been assured they’re equally concerned about this, however their concern hasn’t flowed over to ringing me, as promised, today.

Now, the thing is, for me? This is going to be a short phase in my life. But I have people in my world who don’t have the luxury of knowing that their time in a wheelchair is short-lived. People who have grown older in ways that have resulted in them needing wheelchairs or walkers. People with significant disabilities. People who are always going to have a bloody hard time just buying some milk, or getting some cold meat at the deli.

Could it be that Cousin Boredom has awoken the activist in me?

I’ll keep you posted.