31 December 2008

Out with the old and in with the new...

Well it's finally here, the last day of 2008.  I have to say that 2008 was not the best of years. This year will go down as the year of the back surgeries. I am finally on the mend after the four surgeries. I saw my neurologist just before Christmas and it looks like we have finally made progress on bringing feeling back into my legs well at least one of them. The neurologist said it would still be several months before we would know exactly how well the surgery has gone and I'm okay with that as long as we are moving in the right direction.

The rest of 2008 was a toss up. There were good and bad things and neither of which were that memorable. Hubby's mum is still taking chemo for her cancer. She's done it hard and we keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel for her. Unfortunately I'm afraid it will be the wrong light and that the end of the tunnel will be found sometime in 2009. As an added bad thing for 2008 toward the end of the year we found out that hubby's favourite aunt has breast cancer and apparently it is an aggressive type. She has had the surgery and will be starting radiotherapy in the next few weeks. She has heart problems on top of all this and we are afraid that 2009 will not be a good news year as far as she is concerned.  Hubby's dad is hanging in there and for 86 is not doing to bad but I'm afraid if something finally happens with the wife it will take him down. We shall wait and see as we always do.

On my side of the family things are maybe a bit better but definitely not rosey. You know my problems so we won't go there. My mum is struggling with her loneliness. I've tried to get her to get out of the house more but it's not working and with me all the way on the other side of the world it's a bit difficult to physically motivate her. My brother, God Love Him, tries he's best to help her but he has enough problems of his own. He works like a dog or he's at least treated like one by his employer. He also worries everyday about his wife my sister-in-law and her health, she has MS. (Sorry bro, hope you don't mind me mentioning this if so I apologise now). When you get right down to it my family has it's own problems and they are doing their best to cope.

Add to all of this the problems of the world, the economy, the war, etc. and no wonder every one is finding it hard to cope. I would like to say that 2008 was just a bad year and I hope that 2009 will be a better year but it's not that easy. I can hope that 2009 will be better but I also know that it will hold some tough moments. I can also only hope that when those bad moments arise we will be able to weather them as we have done so in the past. In the end all we can do is to keep moving forward, throw in a lot of hope, and wish for the best. 2009 will bring what it may and when it does we will deal with what ever we are dealt. I hope that each and every one of you will have a decent 2009. I hope that what ever you are dealt with will not be to hard for you to manage and some where in side all of it you will be given some pleasant surprises. Take care, stay well and keep moving forward.

Happy New Year to one and all...

18 December 2008

Ready, steady, go....

...on to Christmas that is. The tree is trimmed. The presents, what there are of them, have been bought. Some need to be wrapped but that is an easy chore and one that I have fun doing. The flights were booked a few weeks ago. We leave for Sydney on Sunday and we will be there until Christmas Day. We have to fly back in the afternoon because hubby has to work Christmas night. We have a pre-Christmas BBQ to go to before we leave on Sunday and other than that we are ready for Christmas or as ready as we will ever be. Doesn't it sound funny to have a BBQ at Christmas? Then again when the temperatures are in the 70's why not have a BBQ?  Hubby has to work the next few nights and then as I said we'll be off to Sydney.

Anyway, if I don't post again before we head to Sydney, I probably will but just in case, I want to wish each and everyone one of you, along with your families and partners the best that the season can provide. I hope you are able to take a little time and spend that time with those that mean the most to you in your life. I hope and wish for each of you a phantasmagorical New Year! May you move forward and hopefully may some of the woes of the past year that have affected many of us start to ease. Take care, be safe and hugs all around. Enjoy...

15 December 2008

A slight change...

Someone mentioned that the blog was a bit green. I was going for a Christmas green and red thing but I had to agree that it was a bit dark. I hope everyone likes this one better. You also got a new banner. Enjoy...

11 December 2008

An iPod/YouTube Meme

I saw this meme over here a few days ago and I wanted to try it my self. It was a bit of fun and I enjoyed making the matches with YouTube. I'm also always surprised what my iPod will come up with when it is on shuffle mode, which is all the time. So here goes. My understanding was to turn your iPod/Mp3 player on, then turn it on to shuffle, hit the play button and then make note of the next ten songs that come up. After that find the appropriate YouTube video and list them here. Here's my list. Also like all the other memes I try I never tag anyone to try them I figure if you like it and want to try it you will.

1) Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey - Paul McCartney and Wings I've always really liked this song.
2) What's Going On - Cyndi Lauper I love her

3) Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics What's not to love?

4) Tinderbox - Elton John I loved hearing and seeing him play this live here a year ago when he came here with just his piano. What a great show.

5) Angel Eyes - Jim Brickman This, along with all of his piano work, mellows me out.

6) Time After Time - Rod Stewart Who knew old rod was going to go so mellow and not be half bad at it?

7) In Private - Dusty Springfield Thank you goes to the Pet Shop Boys for giving us this bit of last minute fun with Dusty

8) Upside Down - Diana Ross A bit of Miss Ross riding the disco train.

9) Dark Star - Crosby, Stills and Nash I could not find a video for this one but this still works. Nice song from their later work
0) What a Wonderful World - Tony Bennett and k.d. lang I could not find a video of them actually singing but I still love the song and the album it comes from

Holiday madness....

Goodness gracious, I just did not think I was ever going to get over here and post something. I mean with all of the presents that had to be bought, putting up a tree, decorating the rest of the house including lights on the outside and to top it off baking a few dozen Christmas cookies, I just have not stopped. Hell who am I trying to kid? I'm lucky I got the tree up period the way I have been feeling. I knew you would never buy this lame ass excuse for not posting but I still had to try.

There's not much holiday madness going on around this house this year. I'm guessing that it could be the same in many houses. Times are tough. I know that the US has a new President (elect) and we have a new Prime Minister here in Australia and hopefully soon things will start to change but that will take time. The economy will take even longer probably, based on what I hear it will be at least two years before things start looking better in that department. It's just really hard to get all revved up into the holiday madness.

I know that some people unfortunately feel this way every year. The thing is, I'm not usually one of them. I love Christmas. I love the tree, the ornaments, the lights both inside and outside the house, the music and all of the baking that goes with Christmas not just the cookies. Did you notice I didn't add present to that list? You see presents aren't the key to this season. Now don't get me wrong I like getting gifts as much as the next person and I like giving them even more but to be honest it's the wrapping paper that excites me more than what is inside the box. I know I'm pathetic but it's true and that will be the way I'll always feel. That is if I can get the holiday spirit back.

I lost it a two years ago after my dad passed away but then I thought to myself "What would dad want you to do?" and sure enough I knew that he would want me to get on with Christmas like I had always done. That included the tree and decorating the house inside and out. The economy is/was still tight so not so much wrapping of presents but hey what's wrong with filling a few empty gift bags with paper and setting them under the tree and/or wrapping a few empty boxes to at least make it look festive. At least that one present I can afford doesn't look so lonely.

In the end I tried back then and that's what I have to do now. I won't be baking as there aren't enough people around here to eat it all and personally I need to lose some weight. There won't be any lights outside because it is summer here in Australia and because of that it stays light outside until nearly ten o'clock so by that time it will be almost time to go to bed and I can't afford to leave the lights on all night. So the best the outside will get is a nice wreath for the door, which it has. The tree has gone up but it only made it up a few days ago, none the less it is up. As for the presents, well as I said a few strategically placed bags and boxes and that one present looks right at home.

All in all it's going to be just fine. I always told/tell my mum that Christmas is not about all of the hype. It's about you and what's in your heart. To do all of the things I just talked about is great but you need to do it for the right reason and that is to do it first and foremost for yourself. You don't have to do it the way the world thinks you should with a tons of lights and presents etc. Just find the thing/s that make you smile inside, the rest will be a little easier. Don't beat yourself up if you can't bake any cookies or buy everyone a present. You'll stay thinner and save some money to pay the electric bill. So it's a winning proposition all the way around the way I see it. Like I said do what you need to do and the rest will just have to take care of itself or at least for this year.

(Just a note: Did I forget to mention that this will also be the 9th anniversary of my partners passing on the 21 December? That always plays a part in how I approach Christmas now a days)

5 December 2008

Flickr meme...

I'm being extremely lazy making this the laziest post ever but here goes.

I stole this from here:
  1. Go to your Flickr account (Don't have one? I'm not sure what to do.)
  2. Go to the sixth page
  3. Select the sixth picture
  4. Post it

Now wasn't that fun? Well, it was for me because it was easy and as I said I'm being really lazy. Oh and just as a matter of information the picture was taken down at Port Arthur an infamous penal colony from the days of yore here in Tasmania