29 December 2007

Summer scheme....

Well Christmas is well and truly over and the New Year is just around the corner so I thought it would be a good time to change up the banner and colour scheme. As I've mentioned before it is summer here in the land down under so I've gone with something a bit tropical. I hope everyone likes the new look.

We don't have huge plans for New Years Eve. We never really do much anyway. Last year was the first time we did something which included dinner out and then fireworks watching. This year James has to work and so it will be a quiet night in and if I make it to midnight I'll watch the fire works from our backyard.

We went to the annual Taste of Tasmania, or as most of us call it The Taste, which is part of the Hobart Summer Festival and as always it was packed to the rafters. The food was wonderful as usual and the company was also great. There's not much else going on right now as the year winds down so I'm going to leave it at that. It's going to be a beautiful day so maybe we will get some yard work done (James will I mean) and I'll get some laundry done so I can hang it out to dry. Nothing better than clothes drying in a cool breeze on a sunny day. Until next time enjoy the new background and banner. Here's to a great New Year!

26 December 2007

Christmas wrap up...

Well. Christmas is officially done and over here in the land down under and we are now into the day after post season sales for the second day. We also celebrated Boxing Day while you were just celebrating Christmas so I guess you can say we also were are still celebrating Christmas but not the official big day as it had truly come and gone.

We had a nice Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at a fiends house with about 10 other people have a lovely buffet type dinner. There were a few laughs, a few pictures and even a few presents exchanged. All in all a good time was had by all parties present. We left and got home around midnight and we would have opened presents then as we do on many occasions but we were tired and my feet were really hurting so we decided to put off presents until the morning.

We slept in a bit on Christmas morning or should I say James slept in as I'm never able to sleep in because my feet start acting up early like around 5:00 every morning so I get up and take my pain medicine. Once I'm up I stay up because I can't get back to sleep. Anyway, after James got up we opened presents. It was supposed to be a slim Christmas and rightfully so seeing that we are spending so much money on the renovations doing done to the house, not to mention the new iMac. I hadn't planned or expected that there would be any other gifts this year. I would have been and still am happy with just those things. At the same time I couldn't let Christmas morning go by with out any presents even if it was a small one. So, I couldn't help myself and got James two boxed sets of DVD's he wanted. They were nothing special but it was a little something.

James apparently thought like I did and presented me with what he called a little something. Well a little something turned out to be a big something (as I type this, if I was the kind of person whose mind goes easily into the gutter, well you know what I mean) Anyway, back to where I was oh yes James' big little something. James bought me a tea light holder made by Bernardaud. I have looked at these forever and would love to collect several but they are a bit pricey so this one will do just fine. The holders are not listed on the site but can be purchased at any store that carries fine china etc. I'm not sure, they may even be a specific collection made by the company but sold through someone else as the booklet that came with the box list numbers to call in the USA for additional product information. All I know is I got one and I love it. I've taken a picture of the holder but it does not do it justice. You have to see it with the candle burning because it's like they carve a reverse print on the outside and it only shows up with light coming from the inside. The bad part is I'm afraid to burn it even though it came with a tea light. Maybe I will and maybe I won't. Oh hell who am I kidding I'll do it at least once just like everything else in my life. Says a lot doesn't it. Anyway, here's the picture.

James also bought me some glasses that I have looked at for 3 years and once again never really thought I would ever get them because they were also way to expensive in light of what we were currently spending and I really did not think he needed to do such a thing. These hand blown glasses are from the same man that made the trysting glasses James bought me a few years ago for my birthday. The trysting glasses are a rose colour but at the time that James bought them for me there was now other colour to choose from other than clear. The new glasses that James bought me are in cobalt blue. What's odd about the glasses is that the actual stems sit in a separate base. You maybe able to see it in the pictures. I just think they are not only beautiful but just so different. With the addition of these glasses I now have a total of 3 items from this particular artisan. I've taken pictures of the the other item I have now in addition to the new glasses and the old glasses mentioned in the previous post.


These next items are called Whipping Tops and they will actually spin like a top but I'm not comfortable doing such in case the accidentally break as things do.

Anyway, how was your Christmas? Did you have a day with friends and family. Are you making plans for New Years Eve. We're not making plans for New Years Eve as James has to work and besides I think the first part of our holidays has been plenty exciting. All I can say is my Christmas couldn't have been better. I hope you got everything and more this Christmas.

21 December 2007

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc.etc.etc....

Okay, well this will probably be the last post until after the New Year so I thought I would try something completely different. As you may our may not know we recently became the proud parents to an iMAC. The new baby comes with a very easy to use movie maker (or so I thought). So, I thought I would give it a go and what is to follow is my first attempt at making a video. This take is the best out of like thousands (maybe a bit of an exaggeration) but needless to say it took me forever to even get this one. I tried adding music but then you couldn't here my voice. I suppose you need the music playing in the background when your making the movie. Adding music is more for when you do like a picture slide show. I also hope that the movie isn't that huge of a file. You should be alright if you have broadband. If you don't have broadband it may take a little extra time to view, but again I'm learning. I will keep practicing but until that time, Enjoy...

17 December 2007

The never ending story...

No not the movie, the one about my feet and the peripheral neuropathy I'm dealing with but not having much luck getting anywhere in relieving the pain. Anyway, when we last left the saga I had been to see my specialist neurologist, whom I had seen previously on numerous occasions for this problem and we have been trying different treatments to manage the neuropathy as it can not be cured. So during this last visit we started on the next drug, which also happens to be the last drug in the list of currently available drugs to help me in trying to stop some of the pain.

This drug like many of the medications they use to treat this type of pain are the same medications they use for people with epilepsy. The medications interrupt certain nerve patterns and attempt to either bypass the nerves that are not working properly, fill a chemical void that is lacking, or something like that it all starts to get a bit confusing.

So, I started on this drug called Epilum (Valpro 200 is the other name) and it's the type of drug you have to dose up to a certain level before it works properly. What I mean is you start by taking one pill twice a day for a week then go to two pills twice a day and then three pills twice a day until you reach maximum level, which for me was three pills twice a day because I'm already taking another anti-epileptic medication and the two would clash after a certain level. I was almost at the end of the second week, Thursday to be exact and it went a bit pear shaped (translates to went all wrong). During the first week I was taking the new drug I wasn't sure if anything was wrong. I'm used to taking medications and quite used to taking new ones as of recent. A lot of times when you first start you may get a funny feeling in your stomach or head etc. but it usually passes. The thing I was feeling was stomach related, a bit of reflux and at time a bit of trouble swallowing but nothing weird as I've had that trouble before, which is another story (and get your minds out of the gutter). If you really want to know write to me and I'll explain that one to you.

Anyway where was I? Oh yes, reflux. I told James about it on Wednesday of the second week and told him that the next time it happened I would let him know so he could see what was happening. Well it happened during dinner on Thursday night and James said it looked like a swallowing issue opposed to a breathing issue. Well within minutes of that happening it started to escalate. I got to the point where I felt like I was drowning. I could not breathe or to be more exact I felt like I couldn't get enough air. To add to the problem I started to panic which added some anxiety to the mix. Okay a lot of anxiety. Needless to say James called the ambulance.
I was taken to the Emergency Room, which was fun as I got to ride in the ambulance. Okay I'll be serious so down a the ER it's good that James works there as you get a few strings pulled and I was seen right away not to mention I was not breathing. I did tell you I wasn't breathing right? Oh right serious, it turns out after 7 hours in the ER, numerous blood tests, x-rays, a urine sample and so on the conclusion was that I was having a reaction to the new drug. Even I almost had that one figured out but you're supposed to follow the rules and do all that other stuff just to make sure. I also learned a new medical term for my emergency condition and it's called "Air hunger".

So I've decide, with much deliberation (NOT) that I don't want to take that drug anymore. I am seeing the specialist again on the 15th of January at which time they will also be doing an MRI to look for possible bone degeneration in my spinal column which would possibly increase the nerve malfunction in my feet opposed to causing the problem itself. If they find said degeneration I have no idea what we do from there but all shall be revealed. Until then I just keep moving forward. So what did you do last Thursday?

(And to anyone in my family reading this, know that I'm fine and that if anything really bad were to happen James would call you. This was not that bad. Well depends on what side of the fence you were standing)

Let it snow..

I got this snowflake making site from here, and I have to tell you I am now so addicted. Damn you Torn! 
Happy Holidays people. Enjoy...

Banner & Background...

I changed the background to add a little extra holiday spirit to the blog, even though it doesn't snow here at Christmas. It snowed where I used to live so I'm thinking of those that are back there. I also changed the banner to go with the snow theme, but be on the look out for a whole new banner to celebrate that we are into sumer here in the land down under. So keep tuned for further updates. Until then stay warm and Enjoy...

16 December 2007

Quote & Word of the day...

I haven't down a quote and word of the day so here they are and I think they are appropriate.

Quote of the day
One kind word can warm three winter months.
Japanese proverb

Word of the day
snow \snoh\ noun: Meteorology. a precipitation in the form of ice crystals, mainly of intricately branched, hexagonal form and often agglomerated into snowflakes, formed directly from the freezing of the water vapor in the air.

12 December 2007

Especially for a friend and she knows why and who she is...

Now that's a Christmas tree. As for the rest of the readers that stop by, I know I've talked about recently that I've had a really hard time getting into the Christmas mood/spirit. Anyway, I finally put up our Christmas tree and I'm glad I did. The only thing diffeent this year is I went with just the old fashioned big bulb lights and no tiny twinkle lights. The tree makes me feel good and that is what I needed. It's not the biggest or best tree but it's our tree and that's all that counts. Enjoy... 

11 December 2007

Elton John...

Well we went to see Elton John (or EJ as we call him being close personal friends and all, NOT) and let me tell you I was not sure what I was going to see when I found out it was going to be just Elton and his piano. No backup band, no fancy pyrotechnics, no dancing boys (it is Elton after all), no anything, just the man and his piano. He was absolutely, undeniably, everything and more.

The man came out and played for two and a half hours with no breaks except for a little audience interaction and a swig of water every now and then and by golly he played some damn good music. He played them all from Your Song, Bennie and the Jets, Candle in the Wind, Philadelphia Freedom, Electricity (from Billy Elliot the Musical which he wrote all the music), to Daniel and so many more. All I can say is we had the best night I've had in a long time.

Elton, oh sorry EJ, was one of those performs that for some reason I just never got to see, and I don't know why. I mean in me era of going to concerts which was when I was young (and for you younger reader believe me that was along time ago) I saw all the biggies (well biggies of the time). I'm talking The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Led Zeplin, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsten, Jethro Tull, Heart, Crosby Stills and Nash, Paul McCartney and Wings and so on and so on etc, etc., etc. You get the message. I went to a lot of concerts. Ah those were the days, good times, good times. Anyway back to my point, I just never got around to seeing EJ. Well I finally did and as I said I could not be any happier to have seen the man at his best. You know your good when you are brave enough to get up in front of 15,000 people and just hope you don't make a mistake because there is nothing there to cover it up I'm pleased to say there were no mistakes. The only mistake would have been if I had not gone.

Here is one of the pictures I have which I had to take with my mobile as my big camera was not allowed into the show and even though we were only 6 rows from the stage the quality is not that good. I have a few more and will try to put them up on Flickr but until then Enjoy...

10 December 2007

7 December 2007

Renovation pictures...

Okay here are some of the pictures of the renovations. Instead of putting them all here I'll show you a few and the rest can be found here. I also apologise if the pictures are huge but I have not figured out how to edit them with the new Mac. Anyway enjoy..

6 December 2007

Building, building, building...

We'll the renovations have started. The builders called on Tuesday and said they wanted to come out and take some last minute measurements and we said fine no problem as long as they were on the outside because we were out having breakfast. Anyway, we come home and there are the builders apparently done with measuring and they are tearing the back of our house down. I guess I should not complain as we figured they would not start until after the Christmas holidays, but alas no.

What they have done so far looks brilliant. It is far exceeding our expectations. I am taking pictures and will be posting them shortly. I unfortunately don't have a good picture of the before but I'll see what I can find.

They say they will be finished with the outside wall by Friday and then they will start replacing the old deck on Monday. the inside work in the kitchen which is minimal is going to have to wait until after the holidays and it is also being dome by a separate carpenter, who is being over seen by the contractors.

So anyway it's all happening here. We will not get to enjoy the immediate impact for long as we are heading out of town late Friday to go see Elton John. He is touring Australia in special small venues with just his piano. All the reviews that we have read said the show is brilliant and he plays for three hours. It will be a great show and very intimate.

That's all I have at the moment, but I'll work on the pictures. Until then enjoy...

3 December 2007

better later then not at all...

I know that World AIDS day has passed but I was in Sydney seeing a specialist neurologist about my peripheral neuropathy, which was caused by HIV. It seems that in some cases the longer someone has HIV the virus can sometimes damage certain cells and in my case it is the nerve receptors in my feet. I will never be able to fix or cure this problem as it currently stands and the doctor says that unfortunately it will only get worse. After 21 years of living with HIV I thought that I had gotten to a point where I was winning. I have had really bad times and times where I almost died but I fought back and took control. I made sure that HIV did not define my life and that it would be something that is merely part of my life, albeit a constant part of my life. In the end here I am after all of this time and I feel like HIV has kicked me in the head just to remind me that it is still with me and if I want to win I will have to keep fighting. I'm not going to lie, it's a big ask.

Anyway, as a small reminder from the official site for World AIDS Day Australia. I leave you with this:

By 31 December 2006 there were 26,267 diagnoses of HIV infection in Australia. There were 10,125 diagnoses of AIDS and 6,723 deaths following AIDS had occurred. The annual number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia rose from 763 cases in 2000 to 998 in 2006 an increase of 31%.

Something to think about considering that these numbers are from a westernised country and not somewhere in Africa. We are not immune. We are affected and we are responsible for making a difference. I'm just sayin'...

28 November 2007

No posts, not good...

Gee I just realised I have not posted for a few days and as I've mentioned before I know how many of you come by to read my quick witted and spot on views of the world. I know you go into withdrawal when I don't post regularly and that without my posts you will eventually give up all hope and decide that life is just not worth the effort. For all of this and to all of you, I apologise. The guilt that I would feel over my insensitivity to your feelings and needs would be overwhelming for me and to be honest I just don't have to time or energy to expend on all of that.

Now with that all said and done you do know that I'm kidding, right? If not oh well I'll find some humour in it somehow, and you will too. I'm so mean. Anyway, the real reason I have been so lax in posting is that I'm in a bit of a funk. I am having a hard time getting motivated for Christmas. I don't even want to put up our tree, and for those of you that know me really well you will know that me not wanting to put up the tree is a sure sign of the apocalypse. I am and have always been, up to recently, the most ardent fan of all things Christmas. I loved the coloured lights and all the ornaments I've collected over the years and I could make a complete evening out of listening to some Christmas music, usually instrumental, and watching the tree lights twinkle, but not this year.

I think after some long conversations with my hubby we have come to the conclusion that all of this has something to do with my father's passing away last year. Even though my dad passed away in September. I think that next few months went by in a blur and this year things are clearer and to be just plain honest, I miss my dad. At the same time I am also concerned about my mother because I know that she is also being affected by all of this, and to a much higher degree. Last year ended in a big blur for my mum also and now this year she is sitting in her house and she has way to much time to focus on the emptiness she feels.

The best suggesting I can come up with for both my mum (I know she reads this) and me is for us to move forward and to go ahead with our christmas plans because dad would want us to. He also loved christmas, especially when it came to putting the lights up outside. So I think the best way to pay tribute to my dad is to put my tree up and when it's all up and decorated I think what I will see is not just a colourful shiny tree but I will also see a little part of my dad, and that has to be a good thing.

I'm going to at least try...

23 November 2007

Birthday photos from Melbourne...

I had to wait until the new computer was set up and ready to work with the new camera before I loaded the new pictures up for everyone to see, but now all is ready and they can be seen here. I have a lot to learn about using my new camera but that was half the point of getting the camera as it would allow me to broaden my horizons on the photography horizon. Either that or I'm just going to be one of those people that takes a picture of just about anything. Anyway, Enjoy...

21 November 2007

Flowers of the week... or roses, roses, roses

Roses, roses, roses, you'd think that's all we grow but it's not. We have all sorts of flowers but right now the first blush is upon all of the rose bushes and I have so many I can't even cut enough because I've run out of vases. Anyway, we have some lilies coming up and maybe next week I'll have something different for you but until then, Enjoy...

A great weekend...

I know that the weekend was a few days ago but it is what it is and besides I'm lousy at posting on time. Anyway, we had a great weekend. As you may or may not know we went to Sydney for the weekend. We went up specifically to see Billy Elliot the Musical. The play was brilliant. They did justice to the movie. the music was outstanding, but then why wouldn't it have been seeing that it was written by Elton John. If the play comes to anywhere close to you I suggest you find a way to see this show. My understanding is that it will begin it's tenure on Broadway in 2008.

One thing that was not so great about the weekend was that James' AF (artial fibrillation) acted up and we spent all of Saturday morning at the emergency room. He is fine but it's never a good thing and I hate it when it happens even though James tells me it's not a big deal. I think anytime you end up in the emergency room it might be a big deal. I could be wrong.

The rest of the weekend was full of good food and visiting James family which was nice. I got to see James aunt who is visiting from England. I have not seen her in six years and she was as nice as she was the first day I met her. She is one of those exceptions in so that she has a very strong religious side but she also is extremely accepting and has never judged James or myself or our relationship. she's one of the good ones.

Oh and to start the weekend off just right we bought this, and not only is it pretty but it works better than any windows based PC I've ever had and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in switching to a Mac.

15 November 2007


It seems that the place that holds the pictures for my banners and my personal picture is having difficulties. Hopefully they will get there site fixed soon. I know you come here to read the witty repartee that I so eloquently scribble every so often and not to see what snazzy banner I can occasionally come up with. Right???

Flowers of the week...

I'm a bit late with flowers of the week and unfortunately it's roses again. We have other flowers but they are not blooming yet but as soon as they do I'll definitely be sharing them with you but until the bloom here are some of the newest roses to bloom in our garden. Enjoy...

(One of two peony's. The other is red)

(This poor little one was on such a short stem and it was caught under two other stems I just had to save it. The rest of the buds on this bush are fine just not blooming)

13 November 2007

It's over...

Well, the big day has come and gone. I am now officially 50 and as usual I don't feel any different much less any older. I have always gone with the thought process that age is only a state of mind and you are only as old as you feel and I feel like I'm still in my twenties mentally. Anyway, we had a fantastic time in Melbourne and here's a quick run down. I have a little over a hundred pictures that I took with my new camera and I will have them posted shortly. I'll let you know as soon as they are up on flickr.

We met our friend Moys on Wednesday afternoon at the airport as she flew in from New Zealand. We head straight to the hotel and then straight out for the first of many walks (the only down side with the walks is that the longer I walk the more my neuropathy acts up but that's another topic). After having a bite to eat, which turned out to be the worst meal and part of the whole trip, (If you are ever in Melbourne never eat here) we headed over to the casino to loose a few dollars. I actually walked out with $150.00, so all was not lost.

Thursday was officially b-day for both myself and Moys so it was started with a nice breakfast and then shopping. Moys bought a few blouses and odds and ends. James and I bought some new cologne we also almost bought one of the private blends from this same group but it was a bit pricey and I told James that it could wait. However, Christmas is coming so just maybe??? Oh and I got another pair of underwear because you can never have enough good underwear and because we can't get that brand here in Hobart. Then it was back to the hotel for a rest pre-dinner and show. We ate dinner at Box on Collins and it was excellent and SO much better than the night previous. As for the show all I can say was FANTABULOUS!!! I mean seriously if this show goes to the West End or better yet makes it to Broadway like Mamma Mia did. You will have to go see it. The costumes alone were worth the price. I would be willing to see the show again in a heart beat.

Friday was spent on a little more shopping and more good food. That afternoon we headed to the botanical gardens so I could take some pictures with my new camera. (you'll see my first efforts soon). Friday night found us back at the casino for dinner and again a bit of a gamble on the pokies. I again came out ahead unfortunately for James and Moys Lady luck was not on their side. Saturday we headed out to St. Kilda for a look around. We had breakfast by the beach and of course a bit of more shopping, what else. After we were all shopped out we headed back into town and made reservations at the restaurant we ate the night of the show. Once again the dinner was exceptional and even a bit better because we didn't feel rushed like we did the night we ate there before the show even if the theatre is right next door.

We had and early start on Sunday. Our flight was at 8:25 in the morning and Moys flew out at 11:30 so we packed Saturday night after dinner and then headed to the airport bright and early we said our goodbyes and a wonderful, loving, happy time was had by all! We arrived back home around 10:00 and life goes on. As I said I'll have the pictures up shortly, as soon as they are up I'll let you know. Enjoy...

7 November 2007

50 I hardly knew ya....

Well it's almost here. Tomorrow November 8th I officially turn 50. My God that sounds old. I know it's not that old but it sounds like it. The last fifty years have been quite the ride. There have been many good times and some really bad times but all in all I wouldn't trade it. I think I've grown over the years and I've always tried to learn from my mistakes. I live life to the best of my ability and I try to make sure that I have no regrets. As I've talked about before, I never thought I would make it to see 50 and here I am. Most people are not happy about turning 50 because they think that makes them old and ancient. I'm here to tell you that turning 50 doesn't turn you old, only you can turn yourself old. Age is merely a place in time but how you approach that age and how you deal with it is entirely up to you. I've decide the way I'm going to deal with is is the same as I have before. I'm going to live like there's no tomorrow and not take anything for granted. I'm going to continue to be thankful and grateful for the time I have here and know how lucky I am.

We're going to Melbourne for a few days to shop and have a good time. We are meeting a good friend there who also shares the same b-day as me. Life is good and I intend to keep it that way. See you when we get back.

Oh BTW, I got this a few days early for my B-day so I could take it with me to Melbourne... look here

6 November 2007

Quote & Word of the day...

I haven't done one of these in a while so here goes. Enjoy...

Quote of the day

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes."

Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)

Word of the day

woolgathering \WOOL-gath-(uh)-ring\, noun:Indulgence in idle daydreaming

1 November 2007

Thinking of you...

Happy Halloween to every one in the states. I hope you have a frighteningly great evening!

31 October 2007

Flowers of the week...

Well it"s that time again and I've been anxiously waiting to show you this weeks edition of "Flowers of the week". The flowers this week are bearded irises. I bought the bulbs down at Salamanca Markets when we first moved here 3 years ago. I bought two colours and the ones I'm going to show you are the only ones that have done well. The other ones which are dark purple and black are growing but have not produced any blooms. We are going to move them after the growing season to see if I can get better results next year but until then I present the ones that have done very well. Enjoy...

28 October 2007

More things you don't and shouldn't know about me...

...but I'm going to tell you anyway. This meme has been making the rounds and even though I'm not writing the whole post I'm at least coming up with the answers and that has to count for something. Right? Oh well even if it doesn't I don't mind because it's the best I'm going to do at this point in time. It is either this or another flower of the week, because we got things blooming left right and center, but mostly in the back yard. I will post new flower pictures in the next day or so. I'm sure the anticipation is going to kill you but until then have fun finding out more sordid details of my life. Mom if you're reading this don't believe every answer I've given. I had to make up a few so that my life sounded a bit more interesting for my loyal readers. As for my loyal readers, all two of you okay maybe there's a few more, it's all true every single answer. Enjoy...

1. Taken a picture completely naked? I don't think I was completely naked but they were. Just kidding but I'm positive I wasn't unless you count the time in answer # 41.
2. Made out with a friend on your MySpace/Facebook page? No I don't even have a MySpace/Facebook page.
3. Danced in front of your mirror naked? Sure doesn't everybody?
4. Told a lie? Maybe once, I mean doesn't everybody? Twice now see I did it again.
5. Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? Yes but learned to let it go but at least I had sex with them before I let go.
6. Been arrested? Yes, I was young and foolish.
7. Made out with someone of the same sex? You do know I'm gay right?
8. Seen someone die? Yes, one time to many and I loved them both very much
9. Slept in until 5pm? Not unless I was sick. Oh wait there was that time see # 37
10. Had sex at work? I think I'm going to go with "No comment"
11. Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes at work but it was only a little power nap. That's what I told my boss
12. Held a snake? Hell to the no! I can't even watch them on the television.
13. Ran a red light? Not on purpose
14. Been suspended from school? No.
15. Totalled your car in an accident? Yes and this one is not related to #37.
16. Pole danced? No.
17. Smoked? Yes, for way longer than I want to admit but finally stopped. I still get cravings especially when I'm stressed.
18. Been fired from a job? Yes but it wasn't my fault...really!
19. Sang karaoke? I would not do that to my cat so why would I do it in front of people?
20. Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Oh please, where would you like me to start?
21. Laughed until a drink came out your nose? Yes and it still isn't funny.
22. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes and thank God it was during a blizzard because I would have never caught the damn thing.
23. Kissed in the rain? Yes and it was very sexy.
24. Sang in the shower? No see # 19.
25. Given your private parts a nickname? If that's what it takes I'll call them what ever you want :) and I probably would anyway because they have been very good to me.
26. Ever gone out without underwear? I did all the time when I was younger but sadly not any more it's just not the same.
27. Sat on a roof top? Not that I can remember
28. Played chicken? No, I've greased up a turkey but that's a different story.
29. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Yes see # 37.
30. Broken a bone? Nope.
31. Mooned/flashed someone? Does streaking while drunk and foolish count or how about drunk and foolish while trying to pick up a date in a bar? Not that I have done that but just wondering if it counts.
32. Shaved your head? Yes, and I will not make that mistake twice
33. Slept naked? Every night and every night I pray to God there isn't a fire because that would be cruel and unfair to our neighbours.
34. Played a prank on someone? Sure isn't that why we have friends?
35. Had a gym membership? Yes, twice and it felt good saying I had one but no one believed me. I mean you have seen me right?
36. Cried over someone you were in love with? See # 8.
37. Taken more than 10 shots of alcohol? I try to forget that time in my life and surprisingly enough it was pretty easy especially during that period.
38. Had sex today? Not yet.
39. Played strip poker? No.
40. Donated Blood? No and couldn't if someones life depended on it, sorry but it's not my rules
41. Video taped yourself having sex? Once again I was young and foolish and it was during that same period as # 37. I'm sure I destroyed that tape, I think???
42. Eaten alligator meat? Yes and it does taste like chicken but tougher.
43. Ever jump out of an airplane? Why would I do that? Of course it could have happened during that time in # 37.
44. Have you been to more than 10 countries? Lets see, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico...nope guess not.
45. Ever wanted to have sex with a platonic friend? Yes and it should have stopped right there because let me tell you..oh umm...hmm...never mind.

24 October 2007

Flowers of the week...

Okay I know it's only been 5 days but I just couldn't wait to share these next flowers. The flowers of the week are roses. We have 20 rose bushes in our yard. They are dispersed throughout the yard both fromn and back we have a couple of climbers and then we have standard ones. I've been told by a garden expert that a few of our roses have been in the yard for more than 50 years. The pictures I'm showing you today come are both climbers. One comes from the front yard and the other one comes from the back yard. Once again I'm amazed how well things grow done here we basically feed these plants twice a year, trim them in winter and keep the aphids at bay. The plants do the rest. All of the other bushes along with the ones these came from are also full of buds but have yet to start blooming. When they do I will probably get pictures to share with you, especially some in the garden itself. Enjoy...

This rose is in the front garden growing on an arch trellis. It has a slight fragrance and if I had to guess I'd say the bush it came from is between 10-20 years old. The bloom itself is as big as my open hand.

(Update: I know it looks like I'm obsessing but I'm really not. Anyway, just to prove my point about how big the bloom is I measured the width of this bloom and it measures 6 inches across. It's huge! Hmmm where have I heard that before)

Next up this rose with it's lovely violet colouring comes from the back yard and is from the bush that we believe to be at least 50 years old. The fragrance from this rose is amazing and these two roses alone can fill the room with their fragrance.

23 October 2007

Playing possum...

While living in Sydney we occasionally saw a ringtail possum in Hyde Park. We currently have two that we know of that love to come into our back yard. I also think that they may the ones that our cat Molly may ne tussling with. I hope not because she will loose. So, one of them was in the backyard last night and in her attempt to climb up our Japanese Maple she knocked over the spot light we have to highlight the tree at night. I only knew she was out there because the light had moved. So we went out with a torch (flash light to the Americans) and sure enough she was at the very top of the tree munching away on the leaves. Now I'm not thrilled that she is eating the new foliage on the tree, but I understand the temptation, after all it is early spring and all of the new growth is young and tender. I don't think she will eat much or at least I hope not. The reason I know it's a she is because she had a baby she carried on her back last year and it's not the baby grown up because it is not as big as this one yet. Anyway, I just thought I'd share a picture with you it was hard to get a picture in the dark but hopefully you can just make her out. you can see her eyes shining in the upper right coner. Enjoy...

20 October 2007

Flowers of the week...

One of the great things about where we live is the fact that flowers grow so well here. They is hardly a time, even in winter tyhat we don't have something blooming in our garden. I'm going to try to do a new on going post called as the titil suggest "Flower of the week" First up are some Peruvian Lilies. Enjoy...

All television all the time...

I stole this from here. Thanks Nathan. The meme is all about television and ask the question what's your favourite. so without further adieu here are my choices. Enjoy...

What are your favourites?

18 October 2007

Music or pictures???

I was going to write about the awful time I'm having with my peripheral neuropathy but decided against seeing that there is nothing that can be done about the pain and it is just something I need to learn to adjust too. I see my doctor on Friday and will ask for additional pain relief. Anyway, as for a different subject, many of you know I'm coming up on a very special birthday in a few weeks and I need to make a decision. Even though my wonderful husband is taking me to Melbourne for an extended shopping trip and to see Priscilla I am also supposed to choose between two big gifts. I have to decide whether I want a new iPod Classic 160G or a digital SLR camera to be specific the Olympus EVOLT E-510.

Now I use my old iPod constantly and it is completely full, in fact I have to constantly take music off to add new music (recently the new Annie Lennox and the new Joni Mitchell). I would definitely use the bigger iPod but as it stands the old one works fine except for the musical chairs I have to play with the content. The new camera on the other hand would be a completely new experience. I love taking photographs but I have never had a professional camera and this digital would be as close as I would get to having a professional camera. I would be very interested in taking some photography classes, because I would have to learn how to use it properly. The whole picture taking thing would be a hobby as I'm sure I would never be good enough to sell any of my photos and that would not be my intent from the start. I wouldn't say no if some one suddenly wanted to buy a photo that I took but I'm not going to actively pursue that thought process.

So the question stands what should I get the iPod or the camera?

14 October 2007

Desktop meme...

Okay, I know it's not original as I stole this from here, here and here but it will have to do. So this is what my current desktop looks like. The wallpaper changes everyday because I like variety. I use the Magentic program to rotate the pictures. I also use their Incredimail program because once again it provides me with variety in my emails. It's a bit of fun and we all need a little fun in our lives. Enjoy...

10 October 2007

Tiptoe through the tulips

We have lived here in Tasmania for three years and each year we always say we are going to go to the Spring Tulip Festival and each year we have been out of town, however this year we finally made it. The festival is held at the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Hobart. We think that Hobart has the best botanic gardens of any gardens in the country. Spring is definitely trying to take hold here down under but not unlike the northern hemisphere spring is struggling to take that hold from old man winter. The festival is a sure sign that spring is winning. Anyway, you can see all the photos here. We also took a few extra photos of flowers in the conservatory and also some of the azaleas that are blooming in the gardens. Enjoy...

8 October 2007

Sleepy now...

Recently a blogger that I read frequently asked the question, "Where do you sleep?". He answered his own question by sharing with his readers an insight into where it is he sleeps. He then asked his readers to post the same on their blog and I am happy to oblige. So without further adieu I present the place where we lie our heads.

The bed, a wood and iron sleigh style bed, is currently covered in it's winter bedding which consists of 100% goose down quilt covered in plaid cotton flannel duvet. Two side tables with matching lamps for bedtime reading, each have a clock and books for that sides occupants. I sleep on the right closest to the fire place, which you'll see in the next picture. The duvet cover changes with the seasons as do the throw pillows. The sheets are all 100% Egyptian cotton and range from 500 -1000 thread count.

In this picture you can see the fireplace which is fitted with a cast iron insert. We don't currently use this fireplace as we don't feel safe with an open fire in the bedroom, but if we did want to use it we would be able to as it is fully functional. This fireplace is one of four that we have in the house. The pictures above the fireplace were a gift from James' parents. They are watercolour's that were drawn by an architect from Bristol who turned artist. The pictures are roughly 100-110 years old. We think they fit perfectly with the age of our house, because as I've mentioned in the past our home is over 115 years old.

An added bonus is the view from our bedroom window, which sits at the front of the house. We look down on the harbour. It's a little hard to see but hopefully my pictures will get better as I'm about to get a new digital SLR camera, so hopefully all further pictures will not only be higher quality, but maybe even a bit artistic as I explore my photographic eye.

Anyway, there you have it, a quick insight into where we sleep. Enjoy...

4 October 2007

I'm yummy...

Again with a bit of fun and a huge amount of laziness on my part. Enjoy...

You Are a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Traditional and conservative, most people find you comforting.

You're friendly and easy to get to know. This makes you very popular - without even trying!

29 September 2007

Flashback: Who knew...

I came out to my parents in 1981 and for a short time our relationship became strained. We were both trying to come to terms with my coming out, both for very different reasons. At one point I did not speak to my parents for almost two years. Things started to get better slowly and with some concerted effort and a little time to breathe we began to start talking again. I came down with the flu in the fall of 1985. I thought maybe it would pass like any cold or flu, but for some reason it just kept hanging around. I wasn't throwing up and febrile all the time during those four weeks but I knew it was not normal to feel this way for so long. I just could not shake this flu off.

I was working as the General Manager of a local restaurant and putting in around 55 - 65 hours a week. The company I worked for had no health plan, so I could not afford to see a doctor. At the time I got sick the relationship with my parents had gotten better and we had come to a comfortable place. They did not like the fact that I was gay, but they learned that I was still their son just as I always had been, and would continue to be. I promised not to be too "gay" when I visited them as long as they tried to start to understand where I was coming from and give my the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, my mom has worked for doctors all her life, and actually just recently stopped working but that's another story. I made a call to her one day while she was working and explained that I really needed to see a doctor and asked her if I could see the family doctor. Our family doctor for whom my mother worked for at the time had known our family for over 25 years, but he did not know that I was gay. I told my mom about having this flu and the fact that it just would let go and also suggested that I should probably be tested for HIV. The world was just really starting to talk about HIV/AIDS awareness back in 1985, and I was in a high-risk category. Mom at first disagreed because in asking for an HIV test I would have to disclose my lifestyle to the doctor. At the same time my mom knew I needed to see the doctor because we had to get a handle on whatever was wrong with me. I think at that point my mother had two problems. First, she still didn't want a lot of people to know that I was gay and secondly and most of all I think she did not want to find out the truth that I might be HIV positive. I didn't really want to find that out either. I ended up seeing the doctor without mentioning anything about HIV or about me being gay. The doctor did some routine blood test but not the test for HIV. He started me on some broad spectrum antibiotics to treat my symptoms, but I never really got better.

I kept having to see the doctor on and off every few weeks until April of 1986 and during that time he ran all sorts of test. In fact just about every test except the one for HIV. By April 1986 I had changed jobs and was now working as a manager for a major retail chain, working up to 65+ hours a week. I continued to be fatigued and I was losing weight faster than I could eat. I had also just started my second year of what would end up to be a four year relationship that wasn't going well and would end abruptly, so needless to say stress levels were very high. I decided to tell my mother that this had gone too far and that I really needed to be tested for HIV and that if she didn't want the family doctor to know then I would go to the clinic and have the test run, but I needed to know! My mom said she would rather see the family doctor than going to a clinic, so I did. When I saw the doctor I told him about my lifestyle and about my life in general. I also told him that there was a good chance that I could have been exposed to the virus. He was furious, not because of my lifestyle but because I had not told him earlier, in his eyes we had just wasted six months of my life when we could have tried treating my symptoms from another angle. Although treating HIV was harder then, than it is now, we still could have been doing other things to try and make me feel better. We decided to run the test!

Two weeks passed and finally late one afternoon, on a day that I luckily had off from work, the doctor called and told me he needed to see me in the office first thing in the morning. I don't claim to know everything, but at that point I knew what he had to say, and it would have to wait until the morning. The next day I was at the doctor's office bright and early. My mom was at work and she was in a good mood (I later found out that the doctor had not talked my mother until he talked to me, which is the professional and ethical way, even though as I said our families had been very close). So, I sat in the exam room, you know those cold sterile little rooms, waiting to hear the results of the test, and I already knew the answer. When the doctor came in the first thing he did was shake my hand and asked me how I was feeling. I told him I had been feeling better but not quite up to par yet. Then he said it "Tony the test came back positive." Reality hit I was HIV positive and I started to cry.

Now remember it was 1986 and at that time finding out you were HIV+ was death sentence. Like so many of my friends I didn't know where to begin in relation to what to do next. The biggest thought in my mind was how long would I have before the virus won. Of course the doctor couldn't answer that question, but at that time the thought process was that at most I would have probably five years if I was really lucky. I resigned my self to that fact and started to think what I really needed to do from that point. I never knew that in the end I would be able to say that in a little over a month from now, 2007, I will reach my 50th birthday. Unlike many I am excited to turn 50 and I'm extremely proud of what I have accomplished. I look forward to many more years but I never have and never will take for granted all the years that I have been afforded. Who knew...

28 September 2007

Eye C U...

Well I went to the eye doctor today and all is well except I had to buy new glasses. Now for those who have been reading this blog for a while they will know that it wasn't long ago that I had to buy new glasses. I thought when I got the last pair they would last for a while, but alas that was not meant to be. Since I read a lot of books and work with the computer for at least three hours a day my eyes get a real work out. I have been having trouble focusing after a bout an hour of reading, which is what prompted the visit to the eye doctor.

While I was there we went ahead and did the entire exam dilating pupils and all. This time the exam included imaging of the eyes on the inside. What they do is take a snapshot of your inner eye so as to make a reference point on the health of your eyes as a whole. The photos are useful as they can then compare to photos that will be taken on subsequent check-ups. Anyway, the eye doctor said that my eyes were in good shape from a medical perspective which is important especially for people with HIV. With all the trouble I'm having with the peripheral neuropathy in my feet I was glad to know that the only thing wrong with my eyes are just normal old age wear and tear.

So in a week or so I will have my newest set of glasses and I will share them with you to see what you think. This time I got transition lenses that will be great for going outside in the sun. Until I get my new glasses I thought I would share with you one of the pictures of the inside of my eye. according to the eye doctor this is what a health eye looks like. I'm so lucky, although I'm not so sure how lucky you are looking at this picture. Enjoy...

Side note: Damn glasses are expansive!!!

24 September 2007

A bit of fun...

I found this here and thought it was a bit of fun. Enjoy...

How to make a Tony

3 parts intelligence

1 part crazyiness

1 part leadership
Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously. Serve with a slice of caring and a pinch of salt. Yum!

Personality cocktail From Go-Quiz.com

20 September 2007

One year passes in the blink of an eye

It is surprising how fast a year can pass. Seems like only yesterday that my mum called and told me my dad had passed away. It is one year ago today that I lost my father and there hasn't been a day since that I have not thought about him. My dad was not my biological father. My biological father passed away 20+ years ago. I called the man that passed away last year "dad" because that is what he was to me. He was the man that raised me. I had lived with that man and my mother since my parents divorced when I was ten. He was the man that gave me the values that I carry with me on a daily basis. He is that man that believed in me. He was the man that struggled with my coming out, but over time became one of my biggest supporters, if not the biggest. That man was proud to call me his son and I will forever be proud to call him dad.

I love you dad and I miss you but I know that you would want me to keep living my life to the fullest because it's the right thing to do and that's what I try to do not only for myself but now even more so I do it a little bit just for you.

18 September 2007

Quote & Word of the day...

Quote of the day:

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but, unlike charity, it should end there."

Clare Booth Luce (1903 - 1987)

Word of the day:

\TUR-puh-tood; -tyood\, noun:1. Inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions; depravity. 2. A base act.

16 September 2007

A lesson learned...

I was about three or four years old when I was first taken advantage of and this is how it happened. (This is not a repressed memory so lift your minds out of the gutter and read on) It was either summer or spring because no snow was to be found for as far as my little eye could see or remember. I had on shorts and a T-shirt. I looked the part of a typical little blond-haired blue-eyed boy. My blond hair was that kind that was almost white and I endured being called tow-head for as long as I can remember. There were relatives visiting us that day, specifically my grandparents and my mother’s younger sister. Now my aunt had been born late in my grandparent’s life so she was only a few years older than my older brother and I. My older brother is three years older then I and because he and my aunt were both older they tended to play a lot together leaving me out of the loop. I was too young to play in their reindeer games. (Nod to Rudolph)

I remember that day was typical in that I was left to entertain myself while my brother and aunt did their best to get rid of me. At some point they decided that they were going to go to the store to buy some candy and soft drinks with the allowance they had saved up. They also knew I would not be able to go with them as the store was to far away. I too got a small allowance of five cents a week which to me seemed like a fortune. I don’t remember if I asked them or they approached me before they left but I knew I wanted to go with them and they were not having any part of that. I pleaded and whined as best a small child can plead and whine, but to no avail. However, they did relent and finally told me that they would bring me back something from the store if I gave them my money.

Now five cents was not a lot but as I said to me it was a fortune and in those days we still had penny candy so I knew I could get five pieces of some mouth watering sugar coated delicacy. Even at that young age I knew full well that they might be lying to me. I knew that they might keep my money and I would never see it or the candy. I eventually succumbed to the overpowering urge of soon having a giant Jaw Buster, a box of Boston Baked Beans or several pieces of bubble gum which my mother would surely take away from me as soon as she knew I had any of it especially the gum, but until that time I would enjoy every sweet morsel. I gave them my five cents and made them promise they would bring my prize. They of course said they would and off they went to the store.

Now you know as well as I do that waiting for a present no mater how big or small can seem like an eternity to a small child. I mean it was like waiting for my birthday to come around or worse yet waiting for Christmas morning to arrive to see what Santa had placed under the tree. Needless to say I was not very patient. At some point I started to believe that my brother and aunt had just taken my money and worse yet they had bought the candy I requested and were eating it themselves. I had to do something quickly if I was to ever see my money and/or my candy.

It was at that moment that I decided I would walk to the store by myself and find the thieves and confront them red-handed, so off I went. Now once again being that young my perception of time let alone distance was not that great. The walk to the store felt like it was taking forever and I knew the longer it took the more time those two had to eat all that was mine. Years later I would go past my old house and realise that the store was not all that far away but at the same time it was still way to far for a child to walk to by them self. Anyway, I continued to walk what seem like forever and finally made it to the store. The two thieves were no where to be seen outside the store so I went inside to look for them. This was a kind of five and dime store which had a little bit of everything; it was the Walgreen's of its day. I could not find the two of them anywhere in the store. I searched the candy aisles where I was easily distracted by the feast that surrounded me and eventually I gave up my quest to find the culprits. At some point I decided that they could no longer be trusted to bring what had been promised and I decide to get it myself.

I started to pick up a few of the tasty item before me and then thought maybe I had should venture over to the toy aisle to see what I could procure. I found a set of army men and even though I had some at home I knew I could never have enough and it would be easier to set up my battlefields with more men to create an even bigger army. My hands were full and I figured I best get going because I knew my parents would start to wonder where I was. I headed for the door and had actually stepped outside when a car pulled into the parking space right in front of the door. That car was our car and inside it was my mother and she was not happy.

My mother got out of the car and asked me what I thought I was doing. So I told her what tragedy my brother and aunt, her sister had done to me. I got the feeling she did not believe me. She marched me inside to the check out counter and told the lady behind the counter that I had something to tell her. The woman asked who had something to tell her and my mother pointed down to me. The woman leaned over the counter and there I was my arms loaded down with my ill gotten gains. They woman was very surprised to say the least and as my mother started to poke and nudge me I told the woman what I had done. It seems that I was so small that no one had paid me any attention and I had almost walked away with my treasure but unfortunate for me I was the one that got caught red handed.

I was taken home after apologising to the lady at the store even though I still thought I had done nothing wrong. I also had to return my precious cargo even though I thought it was unfair because the way I saw it I had paid for those things and it was up to my brother to give my money for said items to the lady behind the counter. Anyway, I came to find out that those who would steal from and take advantage of a sweet naive boy had arrived back at the house just shortly after I left and it was they who made my parents aware of the fact that I was no where to be found. In the end for all of my trouble I was the one that got punished not so much for stealing but for walking all the way to the store on my own. I would have thought that stealing would have been a much bigger crime. The moral of that story is if you want something done, do it yourself.

I wrote this long laborious story based on a recent comment saying that maybe I needed to write something about my childhood or past life experiences. Maybe I’ll do better next time.