Left foot, right foot

The only way forward is one foot in front of the other – left foot, right foot, hayfoot, strawfoot. That’s Tony and I at the moment, just putting one foot in front of the other.

I’m healing okay but have to be careful; if I do too much or eat the wrong thing, it hurts under my ribs, which – in a medical sense – is a million miles away from the actual injury. No wonder I got so sick without us figuring out the problem!

In the last week or so, with Hospice’s advice/support, we’ve made a change in how we view feeding Tony. Until now, my default has been to make him a “proper” meal unless he doesn’t want it – which he normally doesn’t – in which case he’d have something like yoghurt or baked custard and stewed apples. Now my default is custard etc unless he wants a proper meal, and he doesn’t. They also suggested “baby veges” so we’re trying him on mashed potato, pumpkin, carrot & parsnip. So far, so good and it doesn’t seem to give him unpleasant hiccups like other food had started to do.

Nutritionally it’s not ideal of course, but he has two chocolate Fortisip a day which is sufficient calories etc to be going on with, given he doesn’t do much now. Most days he does a little on his latest project (he’s finished a model truck and is onto a paint by numbers Yoda) and dozes while listening to music. He’s often in bed by 8.30 or so because he’s tired out.

He’s dizzy a lot of the time now, so Mum’s walker is back in use and Goldie is delighted. She sits on it and seems to feel quite at home – bless her ancient creaky wee soul!

We’re grateful for his carers who come in twice a day, Hospice staff who ease the load, family and friends who check on him, and my work who are always supportive.

Rolling on

Early last week Tony’s car was picked up by our car dealer; we’ve been dealing with same car dealership for almost 30 years and they were happy to buy it back. On Tuesday Tony’s 2nd pre-loved scooter arrived – he took it out onto the road & back but that was all.

My sister Ailsa came down for the weekend and yesterday she went for a walk up town, so Tony went with her on his scooter. It seemed to go well and there’s okay crossings the whole way.

Ailsa gave me hand to do some of the household jobs I can’t manage, while I cleaned the kitchen windows, rangehood and took the stovetop apart for a good clean. I got up and down off a kitchen chair a few times and my knees have had enough. I’ll be taking it easy for the rest of the day and waiting for the Brufen to kick in.

Goldie has finally discovered, at 15, that getting onto our knee for a cuddle is actually ok. Until now she’s sat on the arm of the chair and put her front feet on your lap. Today she got onto Ailsa’s knee for a pat and was purring. Goldie was a semi-stray and it was Ailsa who rescued her as a kitten – we always say it’s Ailsa’s fault 😉

As 2019 ends…

The end of another year, and the end of a decade. This year I’ve worked hard, actively relaxed, spent quality time with Tony, contributed to the wider profession, had an art exhibition with Dimmie at Lysaght Watt, visited Penny and Alan on the West Coast a couple of times, been to Punakaiki to the pancake rocks, gained a nephew-in-law and a great-nephew, kept my weight steady-but-slightly-heavier-than-I-want and increased my daily steps to 6,000. Not a bad year’s work all up…

And the decade? Hmm. Stepped up to my current role, gained a great-nephew in Australia, sat with Mum as she passed, had weight loss surgery, renewed old friendships, had a car accident, enjoyed endless hours of art & craft, and celebrated our silver wedding anniversary.

Looking back at my blog from December 2009 the following stood out:

Having passed my chest infection on to my husband (remember marriage vows – for better or worse – this is worse) and my mother (blast! at 85, it’s not a good thing) – I’m feeling a bit better. Although the house still sounds a bit like a TB ward really. Now that I have my coughing under control, and a wee bit of energy back, I need to get creating. I’m still the same – creating is my relaxation and my saviour.

This year I have some personal goals, which I am not sharing, but am internally visualizing instead. My word this year is intended solely for my art, although as I live with and use the word I have no doubt I will start to find it fits with the whole of life. Why? Because my art and the whole of my life are inseparable. So, what is the word? MAP. It’s amazing to think I have been doing #OneLittleWord for over a decade now.

And Faith wrote: Grandma has a chest infection, but the staff kept asking about the big bruise on her arm – and Grandma couldn’t remember how it happened. When we got home Mum and Grandma were laughing, saying that at this rate the Police will be round any day to accuse Mum of beating up Grandma. I remember this so well – I was really concerned they were going to report me for abuse, and I still remember how she got the bruise.

As 2019 draws to a close, I am grateful for Tony, Faith & Goldie, family, friends, work and art. Here’s to a great 2020.



Cats, gods, art

This week’s #ColourMePositive quote came with a challenge to use black on the page and include a portrait of a cat you own or know; of course I used Goldie. She turns 14 shortly – we’re not sure exactly when she was born because we rescued her from the neighbours. Although, really, she rescued herself by leaving them and yelling in our front garden until we took pity on her. She’s been yelling ever since…

She’s incredibly healthy for her age, despite having dementia and skin cancer on her ears. She’s also missing a few teeth but it hasn’t affected her appetite!


As 2017 ends

As 2017 ends I can look back on a busy year with some unusual highs and lows even by our standards. Here are some of the things that stand out, from both sides of the ledger, in no particular order:

  • Losing my voice due to medical misadventure
  • Library conference, which was awesome
  • Getting down to goal weight, then 10kg below that!
  • Flying to Auckland for a shopping weekend with my sister, Ailsa
  • Spending time in ICU due to medical misadventure
  • Getting my voice back after about 7 months
  • Tony didn’t need surgery this year – fantastic!
  • Discovering I didn’t have a stroke but do have a spinal issue
  • Faith got settled on new heart & Cushing’s medication and is doing well

I don’t have major goals for 2018, in many way it’s just more of the same, but perhaps a bit more refined. So, my aims are:

  1. Painting more
  2. Doing art/craft regularly
  3. Stay at goal weight while eating a little more normally
  4. Drinking 1200 mls a day, every day
  5. Walking 4,000 steps minimum, every day
  6. Connecting with people who feed my soul, through snail mail and Twitter
  7. Making sure I am a positive influence in the world

That’s it – nothing too dramatic and no rocket science. Just a happy, balanced, quiet life. I wish you all peace, joy and a magical 2018.




The return of ‘Little Miss Loud’

As some of you will be aware, our cat Goldie went missing last weekend. It’s not the first time. Once, she went missing for about 5 weeks (and cried in her sleep for weeks afterwards), but this time didn’t feel good. That might just because of the other things going on, such as the dog being sick and Tony having pneumonia. You need some background to fully appreciate what happened this morning.

We rescued Goldie as a very young kitten. She spent two days crying in the front garden at Christmas time before we softened and bought her into our household. After all, we already had a cat and a dog. The lesson Goldie took from that was that yelling works. 

Goldie is an unusual cat. Oftentimes she’ll call out to us as she comes into the house, and then call out all the way down the hall. If we don’t answer her she just waits, and keeps calling; so we call out things like “come on, it’s okay, you know were we are”. She calls back, we call out again, she calls back – you get the idea. And it’s loud (see above). We call Goldie the “loudest cat on the planet”. We’ve watched some tv programs where people reckon their cat is loud. We have news for them! Mum is two-hearing-aids worth of deaf but as a young cat, she could wake Mum.

This morning at about 7.45 I heard a cat cry, and it got louder and louder. I called out “Goldie” as I shot out of bed. The yelling got louder and by the time I got to the back door she was really yelling. I opened the door, said “where have you been?”, opened a tin of food, then left her to it and went to tell Tony in case somehow he had missed the commotion. She finished her food then started up the hall, crying out to us and she walked. I called back and she yelled again. By the time she got to our room she was crying so loudly we were both laughing. It’s hard to find a way to describe how loud she was; there’s just no obvious way of indicating her true volume. Tony did mutter that she has the volume of a smoke alarm, but at a different pitch!

She seems fine. She isn’t skinny, dirty or injured. We used to wonder if she gets herself shut in people’s houses, because we know she goes visiting, but I can’t help thinking she just goes hunting. She has spent the morning wandering in and out of the house, eating a few more biscuits etc – and every time she comes back to find us she calls out to us the whole time. Welcome home again Little Miss Loud!