Friday, November 27, 2015

Dying Happy

There have been times in my life where I've said to those who were with me “if I died tonight, I’d die happy”!!!  

Most of them have been after seeing a musical artist.  Like The Waifs with my sister; Kasey Chambers, again with my sister & niece; Ben Harper (solo) with Plumbing Boy; Glen Hansard with my mate K; Archie Roache with my Aunt, & just last week Mumford & Sons (with my mate K).  These are the gigs that spring to mind immediately. 

I am sure that there have been moments with family & loved ones that may have elicited a similar response, but nothing stirs my heart & soul like music!!!

My day is filled with listening to music - while working; while driving in my car, while running &/or working out & on the weekends at home while doing stuff.  I rarely live in silence!  

For as long as I can remember there has been music in my life.  My Dad used to play his guitar each night & sing my sister & I to sleep from as young as I can remember.  Lullabies earlier, then English/Irish folk music (think Bob Dylan, blowing in the wind; Clancy Brothers, the wild colonial boy; The Furys, Belfast Mill) as well as contemporary Aussie music (from the time – think the Seekers – Morningtown ride!)

I learned piano & guitar in primary school; continued with piano into high school, had a few singing lessons, sang with my Dad in local concerts; sang at church, sang at youth group, around a camp fire (yes I know all the words to Kumbya) sang in the car with the family.  

Singing in public stopped after I left school & these days it’s mainly in the car.  Although since we've moved into the new house, my piano has been dusted off & I'm attempting to remember how to play (which of course means singing along).  

There are so many amazing artists out there, who have such a way with words that have a profound effect on me.  Sometimes the hair on my arms stand up, sometimes I am moved to tears.  Sometimes I feel pure unadulterated joy & my heart soars!

So.  Who floats your musical boat???

Monday, November 23, 2015

Defying Logic

So you all know we've moved in with Plumbing Boy's 91 year old Mum.  While her health is relatively good for her age, when you reach (an older age) things don't work as well as they used to.  We are fairly accustomed to her physical incapacities; it's her psychological changes we are finding challenging.

I've done a fair amount of research on Alzheimers & spoken to friends who work in mental health care about coping strategies; while she is early onset only, it is really really hard not to react to some of the illogical things she says!  

We're constantly having to challenge ourselves before responding - the idea is to let things go (keeps ones mouth shut) otherwise you end up with people feeling hurt/misunderstood/angry/invalid etc etc etc. 

The best example of this is that last week she was frustrated that she cant walk further than she can.  I explained that she may have to try walking the same distance every day for 2 weeks before trying to increase the distance.  That it was about building up fitness & muscle tone.  Exactly like when I go to the gym or am training for a distance event.  She replied with "but I have walked every day this week".  

Unfortunately both of us said at the same time no you haven't, you called us at work every day to tell us why you couldn't go for a walk (too hot, to cold, to windy, not feeling well).  

Damn it.   We both handled that badly.  We need to remember it's not the person, it's the illness.  In our defence, I guess that was the first time we'd been in that position.  The same conversation has been presented to us twice since then & we've responded with "just keep trying & you'll get there eventually - or give it time." 

And I guess that's it in a nut shell.  75% of the time she's her previous logical self; 25% of the time, not so logical.  We are both having to slow down our though processes & be a little more patient!!!  

Despite said slowing down & practising patience I've discovered there will be times when we will be required to go on futile expeditions to allow her to find things out for herself.  Like there isn't a lot of choice (nor even stock) of woollen blankets in stores leading up to summer.  But that's a story for another day.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Trixie Boo Boo Boo

 OK. So not have I only been busy packing up & moving my 92 year old mother in law; packing up & moving our stuff; moving us all in together (us in the house & her in the granny flat); establishing new routines for us & her; re-engaging all her seniors entitlements & establishing seniors activities; shipping us all off to far north Queensland for a 6 night holiday (including hire car, hire wheelie walker, wheel chairs at airports etc etc etc & making sure everyone has an enjoyable holiday).  I've also been a tad preoccupied with a new addition to our family!!!

Meet Trixie.  Or Trixie Boo as I'm likely to call her (along with cheeky chops & poochie magoochie).  This is her in the car on the day I collected her.

She is sort of a rescue dog - she is a miniature schnauzer, retiring from breeding aged 4 & needing a forever home!  We have to return her for 1 more litter in the next 12 months - she'd be away for a week at the time of mating & then 5 weeks at the time of whelping & weaning her puppies.  She  had 9 in her last litter!!!!  After that she is all ours!!

Here she is meeting my MIL.  She's been with us for 2 weeks today.

She was clipped 2 days before I picked her up so her coat is a little bare.  

In her new bed which she has taken to without hesitation, although would still prefer to be on the couch with us!

I came home from work one day & both my teddy bears were on the outside table!  MIL had been our house trying to use the dryer & Ms Trixie Boo was left unattended.  She stole my bears off our bed & took them for a walk outside!!! 

I've donated little bear to her which she uses as a pillow!!!

After her first walk - see, she's smiling!!!

She hasn't had any formal training at all - doesn't know sit, walk, wait or even down!  But she is learning.  She is such a placid good natured dog, that after a week it felt like she'd been with us for ever.  

My parents were up last weekend & even Dad who doesn't really like pets was impressed with how well behaved she is considering her formal lack of training & how quickly she learned that if she wanted him to pat her, not to jump up on him.  Mum fell in love with her & wants one too - good luck with that.

So please excuse my slackness with blogging!  I've got a pooch to play with/feed/walk/wash!!!!!