21 December 2009

Far too long...

...in between posts that is. Life has been extremely hectic in my part of the world. We of course like everyone else are in the middle of the holiday season. Although, we aren't really in the celebrating kind of mind set. Hubby is still healing from his mum's passing. Money is tight with all of the moving costs etc. I'm usually flat this time of year as it is the anniversary of my late partners passing. in fact that would be today the 21st eleven years on and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Then of course I just spent ten days in the hospital including 3 days in the ICU. I was really sick, but I am home and on the mend. I would tell you what happened but it's long and complicated. As I said I was really, really sick. So with all of that and with all of the moving activities I've not had much time to write.

I can't promise I'll do any better for the next couple of months until we get settled back in Sydney which won't be until the first week in February. We will be in this house until the last week in January. We have not even started looking for a new home yet but since we have made temporary arrangements in Sydney. Those arrangements will give us a few months to look for just the right place. Then of course we both will have to start the job hunt. I plan on volunteering for some non-profit agency like the Cancer Council or alternatively the state library or art gallery/museum. As soon as we get settled I'm sure I'll have a lot of new things to write about and all of our new adventures back in Sydney. Until then posts will be few and erratic.

I know I missed 12 of 12 for December but I was still in the hospital but I will definitely try to do January's and then of course February's will be the first one from Sydney. Anyway, thanks for your patience and if you can be a little more patient I will try to get back to regular posting soon. I am still also available on Facebook for those of you that are that interested. Until next post, take care, stay safe, stay well and enjoy...

30 November 2009

A day to remember...

Today is a day that plays close to my mind and heart. I have now lived for 23 years with HIV and I am grateful for everyone of those years. I can remember back in 1986 when I first found out I was positive and the doctor told me I had six months to live. There were no medications available to help fight this disease at that time and I believed that my life would be over before I could explore and enjoy it more than I already had. Some how I got lucky because those 6 months came and went and then it became years. Through the years I went from surviving to being very ill. I lost many friends and acquaintances over those years. Somehow I kept going. I lost my partner of six years in 1993 just before the new miracle drugs were introduced in 1994. I have been on those medication ever since they became available. Every day is a constant reminder that I have to keep on going and that every day there is a battle being fought inside me. I lost another partner in 1998 even after the new drugs were introduced. I am very aware that this disease only wants one thing and that one thing is something I'm not willing to give iit.

At the same time millions of people around the world have and are facing the same day by day existence some doing it better than others. This disease is not going away and with no vaccine still to this day and on going newly diagnosed individuals occurring every day I am concerned that we have forgotten what this disease can do. How it can destroy lives, tear families apart and bring pain to so many. I don't mean to preach I just want people to remember that we still need to talk about HIV and to respect ourselves, our partners and one another. Respect yourself by using protection and keeping your self and your partners safe and well. Respect others and open your hearts and minds to lend someone a helping hand if they need one. Most importantly don't be afraid to talk as we need to keep the conversation going so we can continue to fight and maybe just maybe we will eventually win.

You can find out more information by clicking the World AIDS Day picture below. As I said be safe, take care and stay well and don't be afraid to talk about it.

Hectic is as hectic does...

As the title implies things around my world are just plain hectic as all get out. We are into full swing with our moving plans. The moving people will be here on Friday to give us a quote for the move. We have set a date and we will officially be moving back to the mainland the last weekend in January which will make the house ready for rent as of 1 February. We still have to get the rental agents out here to also give us a quote as to how much rent they think we can get for the house. We would like to get at least $400.00 a week but we will wait to see what they have to say.

There is a whole list of things that need to be done, like getting painters in and buying a new dishwasher, which I'm bitter about as I have been hand washing our dishes for months and now as we are leaving we are going to get the new one for the tenants. It's not fair but that's life. We also need to have some light fixtures in the hall replaced. All of these thing will make the place more appealing and at the same time when the time comes to retire and if we are still going ahead with the current plans the house will be all ready for us to return.

The main reason we are leaving is because we can not get adequate work here. Hubby has finished his Masters in Education and wants to change fields unfortunately that won't happen on the island as there are limited opportunities. I have had no lucky finding work for over year now. So we will head to the mainland and there will be ample choices for new employment. It will also give us a change of pace in our life. We haven't decided rather or not to buy another house or not. If we do the payments will have to be the same as the rental we are getting from the house or possibly a little more as we also get the rental from our apartment in Sydney and could add that to a repayment for the new house. I know a lot of you would say why not move back to your apartment and the reason we don't want to is that it would feel as if we had somehow failed in out venture down here to the island. We also don't want to be right in the middle of the hustle an bustle of Sydney, which unfortunately is where our apartment is located. I hate to think we will have a new mortgage since it's been over three years since we became mortgage free. We will just have to wait and see what come our way.

Well, that's what is going on in my neck of the woods and it's my excuse for not posting as much. I will try harder and as usual I will always do my 12 of 12. As a matter of interesting facts it will be fives years ago to the day 1 Dec that we moved to this island. Funny how things change. Well until next time take care, stay safe and enjoy...

22 November 2009

And the answer is....

Well, I've given you all a few days to have a look at the picture I posted to see if you can tell me what is wrong with the photo. It's great that several of you tried to figure it out. So to those of you that did, here are my responses and the answer. I will say one of you got close and one of you was on the right track.

Larry - I take some bad photos but this ones not that out of focus and that's not what I was looking for but a worthy answer none the less. It just means that I need to practice on my focus.

rjjs - Now you just didn't even try....

Brett - Nice observation but not the answer although at first I wasn't sure what you were talking about and then I saw what you thought you saw. For the record the flowers are not outside they are in the room but I can see how you might have seen that.

Torn - You are correct that there are no people in the picture but in this case they were not necessarily supposed to be in the picture. Alas not quite what I was looking for.

Janelle - Last but not least you were at least on the right track. First, the table in question belongs that way. Secondly, the large coffee mug is actually a water pitcher. However and thirdly the point of having too many flowers was what I was looking for. You see as in the picture I have too many flowers and not enough vases. As many of you mentioned in the most recent 12 of 12 photos that you really liked seeing bits of spring especially with winter on your doorsteps. So I decided to go out to start collecting some flowers seeing that you were right I might as well enjoy it while I can. Well the next thing I know I'm over run with flowers.

So there you have it that is the answer to "What's wrong with this picture?" I know that the answer is a bit anticlimactic but maybe I'll do another one at a later date and the next one will be something really tricky. Thanks to everyone who commented and made a guess. Until next time take care and enjoy...

19 November 2009

What's wrong with this picture???

I took this picture the other day and realised something a bit odd with this picture. So I'm posting it here and asking the question of you of "What is wrong with this picture?". I'll give everyone (all 2-3 of you) a day or two to have a guess and in the next post I will reveal what is actually wrong with this picture. You will also notice that this is my lame attempt at making a viable post. Anyway, have a look at the photo and leave me a comment as to what you think is wrong with the picture. Until the next post as always take care and enjoy...

12 November 2009

12 of 12 for November 2009...

Well, as promised here are my photos for this months 12 of 12. Now for those of you that know, this is a project that I take part of each month which allows me to have a bit of fun with my camera and also fills in a large hole when I don't post as often as I should. Everyone will also know that the 12 of 12 project is not my initiative but rather that of a very nice man named Chad and you can find out more about 12 of 12 from his blog here.

This months 12 of 12 was a bit difficult once again due to the fact that I was stuck at the house and I needed to become overly creative in my picture taking. Since I don't drive, it is difficult for my to get to different places when the 12th comes along but in saying that maybe next month come hell or high water I'll just walk into the city and when I'm finished I'll take a taxi home. Now see how much I'm willing to do just so you get quality in each post.

Anyway, this months 12 of 12 has a distinct floral feeling, mainly because spring is in full swing here and all of the flowers, especially the roses are starting to bloom. So indulge me and have a peruse of this months photos and hopefully one of them will make you smile and until next time take care and enjoy....

This list is on our fridge and it is the beginnings of our preparations for the big move back to the mainland. For those of you who don't know and who might care to know, we are moving off the island we have called home for the past five years because we are unable to find sustainable work on the island. We will keep this house and someday when we get ready to retire it will still be here when we need it.

This month also saw me get a year older and last week I celebrated another birthday with a very dear friend who also shares the same birthday as myself. She came over from New Zealand and spent the week with us and on Sunday we celebrated our very special day. I'm telling you all this because the next photo (the one above) is one of the presents she gave me. It is a piece of glass art that comes from New Zealand and it is called "The Twist" It represents the eternity of a special friendship or relationship. I can say without a doubt that I have always had a special friendship with this friend and it will continue for many years to come.

This is another gift I received, also from the same friend. This gift was not actually birthday gift but an early Christmas present from her to both myself and my hubby. This piece of glass is called Spiral - Koru and the koru is the Maori name given to the new unfurling fern fronds and symbolizes new life, growth, strength and peace.

Now, I know that by now most if not all of you has either seen or already owns an iPhone or iPod Touch. Well I had neither and since I have a phone of which I just started a new two year contract and so do not need a phone, hubby bought me an iPod Touch instead. I love my gadgets. It's all about colour, lights and movement. Give me those and I'm amused for hours. Anyway, I love my new toy and I love my hubby for being so good to me.

As I mentioned it is spring here and a lot of things are blooming in our garden. Some of the best things growing in our garden are our roses and this one is called "Blue Moon". This particular plant is well over 50 years old. The previous owners gave us it's history along with the history of a few other plants we have in our garden. Needless to say it's a wonderful rose bush with these beautiful purple blooms accompanied by the strongest fragrance. Also if you look really close to the right of the flowers you'll see a wee little visitor, come to do what they do best for all of flowerdom.

Just a close up of one of the bearded irises I planted a couple of years ago. There is something oddly strange about the purple and yellow together that make this flower pretty, or at least I think it's pretty.

A lovely closeup to another lovely rose that, as you can see, is almost fluorescent in a red and yellow combination.

This lovely yellow rose is growing outside in our front garden and is just outside our bedroom window. So we are greeted not on by the sun and the river down below but also this little bit of sunshine right from our garden.

Here's hubby, in the office, on the computer, being so kind as to be a model for one of this months photos. Actually, I believe he was paying bills so it probably wasn't the best time to take his picture.

This little cast iron cow door stop works a treat when we have all the windows open around the house and the breeze picks up momentum down the hallway and keeping the hallway door from slamming shut every few minutes.

The lavender around the house is also blooming like crazy and it smells so good when it drifts into the house from the open front windows.

Last but not least yet one more flower shot but this time they are not in the garden. No, moments before this picture was taken they were in they garden and then the next they were sitting on the fireplace mantle. One of life's wonderful little things where what we grow we can also harvest and although a few cut flowers from our garden is hardly a harvest the point is we grew them and instead of buying flowers for the house each week all we have to do is go out and pick what we want and these are what I pick for the next few days.

Well that's it from me so I hope all of the flowers didn't bore you and if they did well I don't know what to tell you other than check back next time and who knows maybe I'll spend the day taking pictures of your favourite things..


... a new post that is. Yes, I can guarantee that there will be a new post besides this one coming soon. Of course I'm relying on my monthly 12 of 12 post to make this guaranteed post happen. So, wait for it patiently as you always do and a new 12 of 12 will be here before you know it. Anything after that is totally unpredictable. Until then stay safe and enjoy...

28 October 2009

A change is in the wind....

Hello one and all, I seem to be only writing about one post every seven days, but I suppose that's better than none at all. So what's been happening since my last post? Well, we continue to heal which is a major priority. Hubby is also trying to finish his last paper and once it is submitted and when he receives his final assessment/grade, he will have finished his Masters degree in Education. He has been working so hard over the past few years. I am very proud of him, which I am anyway but even more so because he has worked so hard and done so well especially in the face of adversity. Once he has his degree he will finally be able to start applying for lecturing positions. He likes his current work in the field of medicine, specifically in the Emergency Department but after over 20 years of taking care of people and also unfortunately watching some pass away it has all taken a toll on hubby. So it's time to move on to something new and exciting.

However that is not the change I refer to in the title of this blog. No, my loyal reader (yes just the one of you and well maybe some poor fool who stumbles on to the site unawares) there is still another change that is in the works in our world. What may you ask is that change, well it is a change we are not taking lightly I will say that much. We have discussed this change over and over and have come to the conclusion that it will be the right thing. As I'm sure you've guessed by now that the change I'm referring to is one of moving.

Yes, unfortunately as much as we love our home here in Tasmania. Our lovely old home with it's 115 year old history. All of the fresh air, great wines, brilliant produce, dairy and baked goods along with amazingly talented local artisans. This is truly a wonderful place to live. However, It is not a place to make a living. Finding work down here is near impossible and with hubby changing his field of work in the next few months we will need to be open to relocating. As it stands we have made no firm commitment as to exactly where we will be moving to but all I know is that we will at least be moving back to the mainland as the islanders say. We are looking to having a new job and location sometime around February in the new year. We will keep this house and rent it out because in the end when we are ready to retire it will be a fantastic place to do just that.

So, that's all the excitement I have going on around this end of the world. We have out of town guests arriving at the end of the week. We haven't seen this friend for some time and we are very much looking forward to her arrival. So in saying that I need to get back to my housecleaning checklist. I've got a lot to do over the next 3 days. I'll check back after the visit and share all the tawdry details of her visit after all she has been known to be a bit of a party girl. I hope I remember how to do the same, party that is, not being a girl. I tried that once and not a good look trust me. Until next time take care and as always enjoy...

19 October 2009

Well, well, well...

So, here I am back at the blog. I have been really bad at posting over the past few weeks and even months. I know that everyone says that it's my blog and I only have to post when and what I want and if I want. I take that into consideration but I still feel guilty when I haven't posted for a while. So anyway, this will be my lame attempt at a new post. Lest see what I can come up with in some random thoughts.

It's been quiet around here since we got back from Sydney. Hubby is trying to return to some sense of normalcy. He worked the other night for the first time in 8 weeks. I told him that he should ask them to not put him in resus (resuscitation) and sure enough that's where they put him. He said that he didn't ask to be changed because they were short. I still think he could have swapped with some one else but it's a moot point because the shift is over but as I feared there were several resus that evening with one women dying. The fact that she died and was also elderly did not help hubby. Luckily he only had the one shift and he is now off for another 6 days. I hope that in his next set of shifts they will think and take into consideration his recent loss and that they will not make him work in an area that carries a higher risk of losing patients.

Spring is supposed to be here and in ways it has arrived but like most spring weather it comes with warm days but also some cool/cold days as the fronts fight for dominance. The warmer fronts are getting stronger and almost all of the cold fronts are now being pushed back making way fro summer. Summer starts on December 1 here in the land down under. I know that the official start of summer isn't until the 21st December but here it is easier to track the seasons in four distinct sections with three months each. So, summer is, December, January, February, fall is March April, May, winter, June, July, August and spring September, October and November. I have slowly gotten used to everything being topsy turvy having grown up in the northern hemisphere and sometimes it still feels funny especially when it's warm/hot in December and for Christmas. I just tell myself that it's no different than it is for people in Florida or southern California and other places that are normally warm/hot at Christmas. It's just a mind thing. Although, it is really hard to see holiday decorations up with snowflakes and even fake snow on windows. I also have learned to change the traditional turkey dinner for Christmas and opt for a nice seafood buffet with lots of boiled shrimp and salads. Thankfully, all of the baked goods and candies aren't affected by the weather and that's all that really counts isn't it?

A dear friend is coming for a visit. She arrives on the 31st October and yes that is Halloween but not unlike the topsy turvy of the seasons some holidays are also changed. Halloween is not celebrated as a matter of ongoing celebrations here in Australia. So she won't be arriving into a sea of witches, goblins and monsters. Although when you think about it, the clutter of people you have to manoeuvre around at the airport are sometimes just as bad as a pack of monsters and goblins. I will say that there has been a push by certain groups and especially retailers (why am I not surprised) to have Halloween introduced and celebrated just like it is in the states. There are lots of Halloween parties already, but they call them fancy dress parties otherwise know as costume parties. I have over the most recent years actually had a few children show up for trick or treat. So, now each year I buy a couple bags of lollies (aka candy in the states) to have just in case and if they don't show up well you know the fate of the candy and if you don't well then you think about it and get back to me.

Other than those random bits. we continue to wait for springs warm weather to take hold. We continue to heal from recent events. We are also trying to find our pace again and with time we will do just that. Watch this space for new and exciting things to come. Until next time take care, stay safe, and enjoy...

(I'm sure some people wonder what I mean when I say "enjoy". All I'm saying is "enjoy" life and all the things that are around you and part of your life because many and most things are fleeting and I want you to enjoy as much as you can while you can)

12 October 2009

12 of 12 for October 2009

So here's my 12 of 12 for October 2009. I wasn't sure if I was going to do the 12 of 12 this month due to the recent events in our life but I thought it would be a good distraction for me and it was. I stayed around the house again this time fro this months photos and lot of them are posed so I'm calling most of this months 12 of 12 October Still Life Anyway, I hope you enjoy this months photos and make sure you check out this man's site because we have him to thank for the original concept of this project. So now enjoy...

I thought we are in the middle of Spring here in the land down under but instead I woke up to a very chilly morning and ended up having to light a fire to warm up.

I know this is the second picture and it would be fair to believe that maybe this is what I had for breakfast and no it is not. however, I have become addicted to these since hubby introduced me to them and I just thought that they made for an interesting photo. anyone know what they are?

We did leave the house once to run a few errands and while out I took this picture at one of the fountain installation at the hospital where hubby works

We have amazing artisans where we live and many of them work with wood. Over the past five years since we have lived where we are now we have been slowly collecting the various wooden pieces of fruit and eventually even the wooden bowl that they sit in.

Posed but I like blue what can I say???

Posed again, but pretty no???

You read what the sign says and when I don't have it posed it sits in the kitchen for all visitors to see and any of them can at any time take me up on the offer.

Theses ware the flowers that hubby sent me over a week ago while he was in Sydney taking care of his mum. He sent them to thank me for being so understanding. He is a saint or at least I think so.

I took a picture similar to this for an earlier 12 of 12 but it was in autumn so this is what the tree looks like in full bloom and once again what I get to look at every day outside my kitchen doors.

Just a little bit of cuteness sitting on the deck in or backyard.

This is a piece of a flowering plum tree from our backyard taken against a blackening sky full of rain on it's way to us.

And last but not least, Teddy was sitting by me as I was uploading all of these pictures and I decided to exchange a picture of him for one of the photos I took earlier. He is telling me it is time to go to sleep and he is right. So I once again hope you enjoyed the photos and I'll see you next time for November's 12 of 12

On a side note, for those of you following the recent events affecting our life here in Oz; I will say that the grieving has started as has the healing. All we be okay in time. Thanks again to everyone for your kind words and support.

4 October 2009

Peace at last...

The circle of life has finally come in Sydney. The pain has been lifted and now it is time to begin the healing process....

19 September 2009

Life update...

Well, it's been a week since I last checked in and our life is still in the air. Hubby came home for a visit but it was cut short as he had to return to Sydney to continue to take care of his mum. On the Sydney front things are not well and it has gone from day by day to moment to moment. I feel so helpless down here but unfortunately at the moment I have to keep the home fires burning. I want so much to be in Sydney to help support my hubby.

I have a bit of a personal issue when it comes to someones passing that keeps me from being in Sydney. After all the years that have passed since taking care of two of my late partners I still have a hard time dealing with all this current situation. It hits too hard at home with me. I wish I could be as strong as hubby is at the moment. He is such a very good man and I hate to think how hard this is for him.

This is a very depressing post but unfortunately this is my/our life as it is at the moment. Anyway, I just wanted every one to know I'm here and I will check in periodically. I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support. I also want to thank every one for your compliments on my last set of 12 of 12 photos. Taking the photos was a good distraction for me. Oh well until next time take care, be well and enjoy life as much as you can.

12 September 2009

12 of 12 for September 2009

I know I said I would be taking a small break from my blog and I still am. But as missed last months 12 of 12, I wanted to make up for it this month. Besides, I love doing the 12 of 12 project. (You can find out more about the project from it's creator here) This project gives me an excuse to use my camera more. Anyway, I had to take pictures from around the house again this month as hubby is still in Sydney and since he drives and I don't, well you get the idea. So, without further ado please enjoy this months 12 of 12.

PS I noticed a bit of a theme for this months photos and that being shadows. I didn't set out to take all of the shadow photos it just seemed to work out that way. Anyway, as I said enjoy..

The start of my day. I would have started earlier since I get up at 5:00am most days but today I got lucky and slept in a bit.

The first of many shadow photos and my self portrait entry for the month.

The first of the summer flowers, even though it's still just the beginning of spring. It's hard to believe that this plant was all but dead by the end of last summer. Some plants can be very resilient.

The first of many shadow effecting photos

Amazing what a shadow can do especially when you know what the origin of the shadow is to give you the photo.

Need I say another shadow

Ah look no shadow, but instead a nice shot of the moon in the day light.

These a separate boards from the inside of one of the old sheds in our back yard. The sheds have been up a good 50+ years so I wonder if at one time these are some of the original colours of the shed. It's hard to believe that someone would have gone through all the trouble to paint each board a separate colour, but i could be wrong.

Another shadow photo. The picture is hanging under and outside undercover area in the back yard and the light is coming from a clear part of the roof over the covered area.

The outside of the second shed in our back yard. Interestingly enough the inner panels of this shed are not painted like the other shed.

I'm not sure what I was going for here. It sure wasn't for the pretty flowers planted in the containers. Maybe it's a reminder to me that I need to do some gardening.

A wooden flower container we bought from a local wood maker down at the markets.

Well that's all for this month. I hope you found one or two of the photos of some interest. Definitely not my best 12 of 12 but they can't always be award winning. All you can do is keep taking photos and one day you'll get that perfect shot. See you next month with hopefully a few new blog post in between.

7 September 2009

A small break...

Hello one and all. I'm going to have to take a small break from posting as there is a lot going on right now in our life. My hubbies mum is very unwell and it looks like we are getting to the point that this chapter in our life is coming to an end. So, as I said due to this situation I need to focus my attention and energy on family. I will return to posting after all of this returns to normal or at least as normal as possible. I hope you will indulge me this break and that you will keep and on checking in with my blog watching for my return. For all of you that have been following these recent events and have sent me your kind words and thoughts I say thank you because they mean a lot to myself and my hubby. I'll see you soon and I will continue to make small updates on Facebook in case you are wondering what is currently happening. Until my next post I say to you take time to enjoy life as it is precious and sometime very fleeting. See you soon.

26 August 2009

Ten days....

...since my last post that is. As usual I have no excuse for not posting, but as I've been told by blogger friends and others. "It's you blog and you can blog if you want to or not". Apparently I've gone for the "or not".

There's not much going on around here at the moment. You know I posted pictures of the daffodils recently, and there are still more blooming, well I thought that Spring was on it's way but as usual we're in the middle of what hopefully will be a quick cold snap. There was supposed to be a huge dumping of snow on the mountain. I'm going to have a look this morning and if there is a lot of snow, I'll take a picture to share. It never fails that just when you thought you are in the clear, something comes along to mess it up.

Other news has to do with the various on going issues here. Hubbies mum is still very ill. He is probably going to go and stay with her and his dad for a few weeks. It will help them a lot and it will give him a bit more time with his mum. I still have not heard anything about when my hand surgeries, technically it will be wrist surgery but either way I've not heard anything about when they will happen. So I sit and continue try to keep my hands from going numb and also stop doing things that make them go numb like typing. Hmmm, maybe that's why I've not posted lately. I could so use that as an excuse but I won't because the truth is pure laziness on my part.

Well that will about do it for now but I'll be back, who knows maybe sooner more than later. Until then take care and enjoy...

17 August 2009

More signs of Spring...

Well after that gloomy post I thought I would share some of the other flowers that are currently blooming in our garden. Every year I know that Spring is on it's way when or camellia bush and our rhododendron start to bloom. The camellia bush has been here for over 30+ years and maybe even 50+. The rhododendron is also very old. You can see in the pictures how tall thecamellia bush is as it is as tall as our house. The rhododendron is not as large but that is merely do some pruning done a year or so ago. You can also see that the camellia bush has both pink and white flowers. We're not sure what colour the bush started out as but because of the pibk flowers we occasionally get pink stripes in the white blooms.

All is well here and I have seen the local doctor. He has suggested that it would be better if I schedule the surgeries to occur in Sydney as it will be some time before I can get in to see the neurosurgeon here at home. I'll write to my doctor in Sydney today so he can hopefully get the process started in there and then I just have to wait until a spot opens up. I may have posted pjotos of these bushes before but it never hurts to see them again. Anyway, I hope the flower photos brighten your day as much as they do mine. Enjoy....

13 August 2009

Home again...

Well I'm finally home again after a very long and exhausting 7 days in Sydney. I was originally only supposed to be in Sydney for 4 days in order to see the neurologist for a check up on the back surgery I had last July. I am having some on going symptoms associated with the surgery. I had a new MRI of my entire spine and in addition I had a Nerve Conduction Test (NCT) run on my hands because I have developed some symptoms in my hands, which would not have been associated with the lower back surgery. So, it was a totally new problem..

As I said the MRI was to follow up on my surgery sight and the NCT was investigating the symptoms in my hands, which included numbness and pain in both hands. I can not hold anything for longer than a minute without my fingers and eventually my entire hand going numb. My neurologist suspected that I might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and the NCT confirmed his suspicions. I have (CTS) not only in one hand but both. We also discovered that I am developing peripheral neuropathy in both hands. The neuropathy is the same as the neuropathy I currently have in my feet.

The (CTS) can be fixed through surgery. I will have two separate surgeries so I will be able to use one hand while the other hand is recuperating from the surgery. I don't know when the surgeries will happen but the doctor is working on scheduling the surgeries. As soon as they have a date I'll be off to fix my hands. Unfortunately, the neuropathy can not be fixed and I can only hope that it does not get any worse and get as bad as it is in my feet.

The MRI found a suspicious spot near the area involved with my back surgeries (remember I ended up having 4 of them). The doctor then ordered a series of blood tests and a set of nuclear scans of my entire body which not only looked at the suspicious spot but also my bones. The doctor was trying to determine if the spot he saw was scar tissue or instead a collection of fluid which could be a site of chronic infection. If the site was a chronic infection I was looking at ongoing intravenous antibiotics that would be administered on a regular basis in order to keep the infection in check so it would not spread into my system. The results ended up being just scar tissue and not an infection. I was extremely relieved. The scar tissue will be something I will always have to deal with and it will unfortunately continue to give me some pain for the rest of my life. This is not uncommon once any type of back surgery is performed. I can and as I said will have to live with that.

All in all it was a mixed bag of results but overall I think we ended up with mostly good results. I'm not looking forward to the surgeries on my hands but at least they will help my hand get back to some sense of normal. I'll keep everyone abreast of all the latest developments and once again I want to thank all of you that have continued to send me such wonderful notes of encouragement.

One more thing, I don't have to worry about looking for a job until my hands are fixed so in some ways that's one worry off my chest. I hope by the time my hands are fixed the job market will look brighter. OK, that's all for now and thanks for reading this very long post. I'll write again soon and also make sure I do next months 12 of 12. I hated missing it but I did not have my camera with me in Sydney. See you soon. Take care...

7 August 2009

Sydney Town...

We're in Sydney right now, so I can see the specialist. Well ,I've seen him and I will have to wait until Thursday to let you know what is going on. I was going to go home on Monday but now I have to stay until Thursday morning. I will be having some additional test done over those extra days. To say I am not amused is an under statement. Anyway, this will be a short post but I'll keep you posted when I know more. I hope everyone is well. Take care, stay well and enjoy...

4 August 2009

Spring is in the air...

Amongst all the doom and gloom in my life, I'm glad to say that there is a little bit of sunshine breaking through. I took these photos of the first spring bulbs starting to bloom. Since our winter is basically mild, compared to those in the Northern Hemisphere, a lot of things that go to sleep in the winter wake up a bit earlier. So as you can see in the pictures, the rose bush is still asleep, as are the rest of them in the garden, but these lovely little daffodils have just started to bloom. In the background you can also see a lone jonquil that has popped up. There are more starting to build buds and I reckon they will be out in another week or so. All over the rest of our garden there are bunches of daffodils and jonquils that are starting to pop up and will also be in bloom in the coming weeks. The only other bulbs that have yet to make an appearance are the tulips but we usually don't see them until late September early October. So I say bring on Spring and enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy...

The daffodil laughs at the mighty rose that is afraid to come out of hibernation. If you look close, you can also see the lone jonquil in the back.

A closer look at these little rays of sun shine

Just another view

A close up of the brave little jonquil.

31 July 2009

Religion, who am I...

I saw this test on religion over at this witty, bright and interesting bloggers blog. I thought I would give it a go and the following are my results. What is I suppose is the most interesting is that the religion I was brought up on ends up being the one that is next to last as to the one I am most closely connected and or have the same beliefs. My how time changes things once you start living your life and compare all of those early teachings to real life and not a fantasy world. As for my number one result, which is another name for me being agnostic and or atheist, I would have to agree with the results. Anyway, enjoy inspecting the rest of my results and you too can take the test if your are interested by going here. Enjoy...