21 February 2008


As many of you may remember we recently became the proud parents to a beautiful new baby iMac. The addition of this newest member to our family makes us a true multi-faceted and international family. There are no prejudices in our home, and be you Australian or American, PC or Mac and everything in between, everyone is welcome and respected. We are very diligent in making sure that all of our children are equally loved and none are shown any preferences. We have never been more tested with that precept than when our gender challenged child was first brought into our home. We want to make sure that each child is made to feel that each is special in their own way without doting on one more than the other. The environment provided these children is one that you would expect to find in any other home in the country. In fact we work even harder considering the complexities of our varied household.

The one thing we have found in raising our children is the incredible amount of diverse products and developmental aids that we purchase and administer. Now we do this most willingly and will continue to provide whatever is be necessary for our children to continue to grow and expand into becoming the best that they can be and to hopefully help them to become functional members of society. Now along with the everyday items we provide each of our children we occasionally need to by something special for an individual child. These "special needs" items do not mean that this child is being treated special or better than the other children it merely means that there may be an item that this particular child needs to enhance their individual development.

Yesterday we bought such an item for our little iMac. James will be soon spending a bit more quality time with her as he will be including her in his journey of obtaining his Masters in Adult Education. Now iMac is ecstatic about being able to help her Daddy Jimmie but before she can do that she needed to get one of those "special needs" items. So yesterday we went out and bought iMac a new toy called Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. Now iMac is a bright and intelligent little girl and she has been a very quick learner but in order for her to grow and for her to assit her father in his attempt to achieve a higher education than she will need to be able to identify as well as recognise certain files that her father will be using throughout his studies. iMac's new toy will allow her to learn and comprehend all of the documents and formats which she does not recognise at the moment. All in all I think that iMac loves her new toy and now she will be able to help her Daddy Jimmie when he wants to create new documents and even occasionally they may even do some arts and crafts when he creates a power point presentation at which time iMac will get to play with all sorts new colours and pictures. I'm sure that this will be a true bonding experience for the both of them.

Next up finding something new for the gender challenged child. What do you get a hermaphroditic cat?

16 February 2008

Thanks for the help...

This won't be a long post but I just wanted to take this moment to thank those of you that took the time to respond to the last post. The dilemma that faces James and I us not insurmountable but I suppose it's always nice when you can share it with others and then have those people be kind enough to actually give you feedback. We won't be making an hasty decisions and as I believe I stated before we are at least afforded the luxury of being able to pick and choose as to when and where what may or may not happen. With that all said eventually something will happen and when it does I'm sure that whatever decisions we make we will have thought them through and along with the help from friends both near, far and cyber we will move forward and continue to allow our life to evolve and grow into whatever it may become. All with just a little help from our friends...

(Update: I changed the title of this post only because another blogger used the same title and I'm not sure who came up with their title first but to forgo any I did it first issues I thought changing would be easier. Sometimes it can so difficult being a day a head of the world when it comes to the blogs I read which are mainly US based. Anyway new title same content Enjoy...)

12 February 2008

What to do???

We have a small problem in the Gardner-Sullivan household. What might that small problem be you might ask? Well I'll tell you what the small problem might be. The small problem is actually a huge problem in so much that James and I are being faced with a hard decision as to where we should live. Ever since my little hospital stay up in Sydney we have realised that living in our quaint, quiet, beautiful home may not be sustainable at this point in time.

We moved to Tasmania a little over three years ago after spending six years in the buzzing metropolis called Sydney. James lived in and around Sydney all of his life and that is of course where I met him. We stayed in Sydney during the time in which I was awaiting the outcome of my application for permanent residency in Australia. Once approval was received on the application we felt like we could finally move forward, as we didn't feel like we were able to do such up to that point, because if the application had not been approved I would have had to go straight back to the US within 28 days of the applications rejection. We lived with that fear for quite some time and because of that fear we never felt like we could make plans. We dreamed a lot but never made any solid plans.

Shortly after the application was approved we started looking at our options. A few months before the application was approved we took a short trip down to Tasmania. I had never been and James had not been there in over ten years. I don't know what it was about this place but as soon as we started over the bridge that you have to cross over to drive into Hobart, I knew this was a good place. It just felt right. The more we looked around and during the time that we spent in Hobart the more we knew that this was the place that we needed to be.

We started to look for a house in earnest and we had many to choose from. We also were being very picky. As I said there are a lot of beautiful old homes in Hobart, many of which date back to the 1800's. The houses exude old world charm and add to the quaint atmosphere that surrounds the city and for the matter in every town in Tasmania. One of the key selling points along with the homes was the slow and even pace in Hobart compared to the constant buzz found in Sydney. It is only natural that there be a difference between the to cities seeing that Sydney has over 4 million people compared to Tasmania in which the entire state only has roughly a tenth of the population at around 400,000 people. Nearly half of those people live in and around Hobart proper at a population of 200,525. Based on those numbers I think you can start to get a picture of the differences between the buzz of Sydney and the slow quiet pace that is Hobart.

After four months of looking through real estate guides and making a few more trips back to Hobart merely to search for and to look at houses we found this one. James had flown down to Hobart on a Thursday and I stayed in Sydney with friends from out of town. There were a few houses James had arranged to look at while he was there, and they all looked promising. I got a call from James around lunch time and during that call he told me that none of the houses had been right for one reason or another. He was going to see one more in the afternoon and if that wasn't right he would be back in the morning. I had in the meantime been looking some more on the internet real estate sites and had found one more house that we had not previously seen. This house was just listed with the agent James happened to be using while he was in Hobart. I said why not ask if you can see the place and sure enough the agent said no problem. The house had only been on the market for a week and she hadn't even thought about showing it to James as it was such a new listing she had basically overlooked it. Anyway, long story short I get a call back from James after he sees the house and he says book a flight and get down here first thing in the morning so we can look at the house together. I did, we did and by 7:00 pm that next night we owned our new house.

Moving to Hobart was a huge move for us on so many levels. It was a really big move for James as it would be the first big move for him from Sydney. James easily found a job and we settled in quite nicely. This was our first foray into suburbia and we had no idea what to expect. The last three years we have grown into this house and we have made it a home. We know a few neighbors but we didn't really come here to make neighborly connections. I mean it's fine if we do but I don't need to be best friend with the people next door to make my life complete. We made a few new friends who became very close friends over the next few years. Going out to dinner never found us in a situation where the staff at the restaurant were trying to rush you out so that they could seat the next table. We never have trouble finding a table when we go out for breakfast and once again we don't have people staring over our shoulders waiting to take our table. The local produce, food and wines are some of the best in the world. The air is clean as is the water. All in all this place is pretty damn near perfect, and that is where the needle scratches across the surface of this story.

The problem is there are not enough if no services avaiable to handle the growing population. The biggest area to lack services is in the area of medicaine, doctors, hospitals, etc. The hospital James works at is the largest one on the island but is it is grossly understaffed and unable to cope with its burden. As for it's ability to offer James a challenging work place the only challenge is dealing with the shortcoming and lack of resources. Now you may be starting to see where I'm heading with this drawn out post. You see with the fact that I am and have been HIV+ for the past 21+ years I occasionally need to be able to access appropriate medical services when needed and in some cases that may mean almost immediately. During our recent experience with regards to the treatment of my peripheral neuropathy we discovered that the medical field here in Tasmania is unable to accommodate my needs either through service availability, rapid response time and or a combination of both. Living in Sydney that was never an issue.

Our problem as for what to do is just that, what are we going to do. We love this house/home. We love the quaint gentle approach that we are able to take in everyday life. We love that changes of seasons, along with the temperate weather it brings. Basically we love living unhurried. So now we are in a dilemma as to where we might live and how to go about this transition wth out losing the kind gentle life we have created and at the same time move back into the sprawling landscape which is Sydney.

We do have a few things that work in our favour and those being that we own this home mortgage free and we still own out apartment in Sydney also mortgage free. Let me state from the start we have no intention of moving back into our old apartment. That will not happen! We don't plan on selling either place. We also don't want a new mortgage even though the rentals from both places could easily pay the mortgage on a new house. We just don't want to be saddled again with debt. We could at least rent some a nice big place and pay the rental with the rents that we receive. So again you say what's the problem well in the end the only real problem is we love this home and having to leave it is turning our world upside down.


7 February 2008

Fruity, fruit, fruit...

I saw this little meme thing here and thought it was cute. My results I believe are quite accurate. Enjoy...

You Are a Strawberry

You are friendly, outgoing, and well liked by many people.
You are popular, but there's nothing ordinary or average about you.

You are a very interesting person, and you have many facets to your personality.
Sometimes you feel very conflicted. Your different sides of your personality pull at you.

You are a very sensual and passionate person. You are fiery... you can't help it.
In general, you keep your passionate side under wraps. You are only wild in private.

4 February 2008

Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy...

Hello blog world. I seem to be having a little trouble getting to the key board currently but bear with me and I will attempt to do my best over the next few days/weeks. Let me explain. During may recent stay in hospital the specialist fine tuned my new medications which translates to he had fun playing around with the dose levels along with how many times of day I would be taking the medications. At one point he told me that the high levels and frequency of the new medications along with the high level of pain medications I am taking would knock me about a bit or in real words they will make me sleepy, a bit vague in the head etc. I told him at the time I didn't care as long as they helped.
While I was still staying in the hospital I guess I didn't notice the full effect of the medications. By the time I left my most pleasant stay in hospital, in which I'm sure you have all read about in the two previous post, but let's not revisit that most meaning full part of my personal life history. As I was saying, while in hospital because I basically laid around in bed a large portion of the day not having anywhere else to go and my biggest distraction was some very boring local television I did a whole lot of sleeping. Even during the those periods at which I was taken done to the scan area in a wheel chair I guess I just didn't notice the "knocked about" feeling considering how bloody bored I was.
Since I've been home that "knocked about" has become a bit more noticeable. I'm trying to do "normal" things and I'm finding my self challenged from all sides. I can't get past two pages of the current book I'm reading (Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris for those interested). I start to nod off during conversations if there is a lapse in the conversation. Watching television is hopeless. Walking around is fine as far as the feet pain goes because the medications are working but at the same time I get the waves of light-headed dizziness that come out of no where and with out warning so I suddenly have to stop walking for a moment to steady myself. The biggest thing to deal with is the fact that if no one wakes me to take my pills (thank you hubby) I would sleep right through the next dose until the current dose wore off which would defeat the purpose of taking the new pills. It has been a chore keeping on top of my new pill schedule.
Anyway, that's why the title "Sleepy, sleepy sleepy...". All I seem to be doing is sleeping or trying not to would be a better way of looking at it and when I'm not sleeping I'm trying to keep my head on straight. All of this just so my feet don't hurt. In the end I will survive because I am told that these effects will eventually taper off or I will simply adjust to them. So please bear with me as I can't promise when I'll post much less can I promise or take credit for the content or should I say I cant promise everything I write will make sense which might actually be "normal" for me, who knows. You know how I tend to ramble. Take care and Enjoy...