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.

Glasses


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...

video

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'...