the lodger

here and there

Since the start of the school year I have been working long hours and at weekends staying in the city to help out with baby Petit Fille and her reflux problems. Today I said to a colleague that I was a bit of tenant in my own home. I didn’t realise how true my words were untill tonight when I was in our bedroom and closed the door.

Mr FD, roused from his television viewing by the sound of the door closing, called out to Son that he thought someone was trying to break into the house and set about searching for the source of the noise!

Surprise – it is called a wife!

Saturday mourn

Light at the end of the tunnel

Mr FD became an orphan today, due to the passing of his mother. I wrote a few weeks ago that she had fallen and broken the neck of her femur, and at 90 no one expected a good outcome.

She continued to be in pain and the doctor decided this week to order an xray to check her injury. Normally, a mobile x-ray unit would come to the care facility and take the xray, but thanks to Queensland Premier (akin to a Govenor) Campbell Newman’s gutting of our health care system there are no longer mobile units. So, the poor thing had to be placed in an ambulance and taken to a hospital for the xray.

Naturally, the journey increased her pain and so they gave her more morphine, but this resulted in her blood pressure dropping to 65 over 30. They took her to ICU and stablished her, but sent her back to the care facility the same day. After that time she no longer communicated with us, stared vacantly and moaned in pain from time to time. Last Sunday she was able to have a very long and clear conversation with Mr FD, so the change was rapid and stunning – thank you Campbell Newman (and no, I never voted for him).

So, from Wednesday all we could do was hope she would pass soon to relieve her ordeal. We were on our way to be with her this morning when Mr FD’s sister called to say MIL had just died.

MIL was actually in a care facillity where old nuns go to live out their last days and so the place is steeped in religion. We were forced to endure a funeral procession through the facility and out to the hearse. It was touching, stressful and comical all at the same time.

An old nun with a violin appeared and she led the procession. MIL’s room was not far from the front entrance, so to allow a procession we had to procced to the opposite end of the hall, out through the garden and then back into the building down the length of the main hall to the entrance. They told us we had to go through the garden and SIL was concerned because she had seen a tree snake out there the day before, but the old nuns had to have their procession.

So out we go. The nun playing a maudlin tune on a wobbly violin, followed by the undertakers wheeling the coffin. Then walked Mr FD and his sister, followed by me and SIL’s friend (she is of Russian decent and looks like she has had to many vodkas and more than a little like the grim reaper poor thing). We walk out into the garden and SIL catches sight of a blue tongue lizard, and she starts to giggle. She has always suffered with a nervous giggle and here she is following the coffin and trying to suppress her giggle.

All the residents are lined up down the hall as we proceed out. A few that knew MIL or SIL stopped SIL to give her a hug, or to press Mr FD’s hand, just to prolong the moment, but eventually we reached the exit and had to stand waiting as the coffin was placed in the hearse.

One undertaker drove the car, but the other walked in front of the car as it left the grounds and continued down the street. He walked ahead until it drew out of sight.

More hugs from unknown nuns and other residents before we could escape. All too much niceness for me I am sorry to say, so I was back to our car and reefing open the door at the first possible moment.

The circle of life complete.

Flamingo Files

Do you ever get those days when you have a sniffly runny nose and wonder if it is in fact the fluid leaking from your brain? Me either.

Living in the country does make you different. How many other people get to complain at work that they are tired because a cow kept them up all night? She bellowed all night and my only guess is that her calf was taken from her and she was calling for it.

line of fire

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The room in which our television reigns supreme is a long, thin room, but wide enough to accommodate the two brown suede recliner chairs that we use for our viewing pleasure.

Over time, due to our risings and seatings, the chairs gradually progress down the length of the room until we need to squint to view the screen. Even so, lack of clear vision does not motivate us to push our chairs back to their original resting point.

Oh no, that only happens when we discover that we are out of range for remote use, then we push our chair back into its best advantage spot. It does mean that we often to have conduct conversations to a chair occupant some distance behind us because they haven’t hit the outer boundaries as yet, but that is a small price to pay to maintain control of the television remote.

Out the mouth of a baby

My grand daughter is eight weeks old and she can say the word hello. No it is no illusion due to lack of sleep or whiskey in our tea. Petit Fille says a very recognise able “hello” in reply to other people saying hello.

The word is not as clear as an older child, more like the sound a hearing impaired child would utter , but it is clearly, hello and said as a response to a greeting. Her Daddy first taught her to poke her tongue when he poked his tongue, one of the first responses a baby will make, and then just by saying “hello” in repetition on a few occasions she mimicked him. No, we do not have any illusion that she understands what she is saying, but she is creating a response that must take incredible brain and body interaction.

When Daughter1 emailed me Petit Fille could say hello, I was ,as one would expect, ” that’s nice dear.” We all think our children are brighter, superior to others after all ( ours were due to me being their mother, of course). However, I have witnessed it myself on more than one occasion. D1 has also reported her lying her in crib saying hello over and over.

Someone may be able to say this is a natural sound that 8 week old babies make, but the fact that she can make the effort at this age to make the sound in reply has stunned us.

It has made me wonder about just how much our brains are capable of doing and how we are perhaps doing our children a disservice by not stimulating their brains more. A language rich environment is the best gift to a baby- speak, sing and read to them, please!

 I wonder if she can learn to say “I love grandma best!”?

The reason for my demise

I am so tired my head may just fall off my neck and wobble into the waste paper bin and risk lying amongst the banana peel from my morning tea banana, just to get some rest.

I open the library each morning anywhere from 7.15 to 7.30am, depending on the traffic. We do not close again until 3.30pm on a “normal day” but there are always after school activities. This week there has been one workshop until 6.30pm, and then another afternoon both a teacher workshop and also a parent information evening which meant I walked out of the school at 7.30. That was a 12 hour day, full strength.  Throw in my ‘flu vaccination, and supervising a number of year levels waiting to have their various vaccinations (The boys got Gardasil. Yeah! As a cervical cancer survivor I champion cervical cancer vaccination for all!), then you have the life of me.

Oh, and the meeting of the staff book club of which I am the worst member – I got the “lemon award” for the worst book choice last year (The Great Gatsby, and don’t get me started) and I am on track to be awarded the prize for reading the least number of chosen books, as well as having lost one selection on a plane… yes I am a librarian, but that just goes to prove the librarians do in fact have a life and can be unpredictable, doesn’t it. Doesn’t it? No stereotypes with this lady.

So tired and this is just the first week of term – nine more to go!

Second time around

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Then we followed with desserts.

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I celebrated with a glass of chardonnay as well, something I couldn’t have done until I completed my course of medication, so it was a celebration in more ways than one!

Afterwards we drove to a lookout that overlooks our little Village – and yes we could see our house from there!

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While we were there I learnt from my sister that our paternal greatgrandmother had grown up on a farm only a short distance away. Her name was Hermine and she married my greatgrandfather Herman – yes Herman and Hermine!

Today was a beautiful autumn day and though the photos are a little hazy, I think the beauty of where we live is still evident.

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a child’s mind

Wandering the supermarket aisles I found myself with the words “gee up, gee up. gee up horsey, neigh, neigh, neigh” and “clap hands, clap hands, clad hands ’till Daddy comes home” streaming through my brain and not much else. Grandma brain?

Transitioning from Baby Town to Adult World, and on Monday Back to School is proving a dizzing process. Two weeks of vacation time have flown by and now a new school term is about to begin. First day back we have to remain until 6.30 for workshops so we are being thrown in the deep end from the start.

Petit Fille received her first immunisations on Thursday. A needle in each leg and an oral vaccine as well. It is a case of being cruel to be kind. Baby screamed, utterly shocked and betrayed and her Mummy cried too. Grandma tried to comfort Mummy as Mummy comforted baby but we all felt sad. Petit Fille was clingy for a couple of hours afterwards but appears to have had little issue except for two sore patches on her legs. Mummy and Grandma were emotional wrecks for the rest of the day!

Petit Fille has two Grandmothers who love her very much. Her paternal grandmother is more reserved and cultured in her approach which worried me at time. Daughter1 says I am more “natural” with Petit Fille. It makes me wonder what opinion Petit Fille is forming…

How FD views her image with Petit Fille...

How FD views her image with Petit Fille…

and possibly how Petit Fille really views Grandma FD…