writing Viola Dana

Haven’t knocked anyone off in the last few days; well, not that I know of anyway!

I sensed a rather low mood coming on this morning, but tried to laugh with colleagues and to do some creative things to lighten the emotions. We are promoting NaNoWriMo at school this weekend, so I set up a wall display for that. We have staff bringing in old typewriters tomorrow as props too.

We don’t really expect any of our students to write a 30,000 word novel in a month, but it is a way of promoting literacy which is our tool of trade! Plus we will have some fun! The group will meet every Monday after school in the library to write and share. I hope there are enough students to form a group!

It’s a nice display anyway!

a stick in the hand…

Stick list 1

Friend asked me not to stroke her hand any time soon, today! Do you think I can retire the stick and just threaten “the hand”? Maybe I should insure my hand for some astronomical amount of money like dancers insure their legs!

The day after our Dad passed away there was an incredible hail storm that afternoon after he died. My sister and I were out making funeral arrangements and her car was damaged by hail. At the time we joked that Dad must have been really pissed off about having died (he was only 76)!

Today, Sister backed her car into her daughter’s car, stress and exhaustion I expect. Then were severe storms this afternoon.

Even I am starting to believe we are not a family to mess with!


[Does the woman in the photo above look as though she is patrolling the boys’ showers to you?]

Beware the powers of the Flamingo Dancer


BIL passed away early Monday evening. His daughter sat on one side of his bed, his wife, my sister sat on the other. I stroked his hand to say goodbye and as I said “I’ll see you on down the road” his face relaxed and his breathing stopped.

Black humour as it is, the family tale is that I killed him!

If you don’t laugh, you cry…

a bridge to the future


Sunday and Son is out working in our large garden doing the heavy work for me. Mr FD is having a Sunday snooze before he has to go to the city and work on preparing his parents house for sale. I am obviously writing this post, with Augie Dog snoozing at my feet, and wandering how to gather the strength for another week. Shortly, I will  spend time with my mother in her twilight zone, making no mention of the sadness that we share.

Last week was such a physical and emotional roller coaster on the work and family front. Each day I woke not sure what day it was but secure in the knowledge that I had to perform, perform, perform.

This week will be spent waiting for the phone call that we are all dreading, summoning us to my sister’s side. The clock ticks on.

I think I need a long visit with Petit Fille. I need one of her open mouthed kissing licks that only an eight month old can gift. I need to sit on the floor and squeak toys and cuddle on the couch to read books. I need to drink tea from large cups with her mother and remember how very, very lucky we have all been and how for a very long time we had it all.

in the land between

This wise guy was chilling it out down amongst the trees at the front of our property and took no notice of Mr FD and I as we took a photo of him. I suspect he even puffed up his pose for us a little more!

wise Owl

wise Owl

We lunched in the city at a restaurant and I had an odd little chardonnay with my wurst salad. Wurst salad is the modern equivalent  of the ploughman’s lunch – cheese, cold meats, pickle and radish. It was delicious though perhaps a little less salad dressing would have made it perfect. I just kept hoping the it was an olive oil dressing and therefore good for my arteries! wurst salad In the afternoon, we visited with BIL. No hospital picnics this time.

He is conscious, and he knew us, but his voice is almost inaudible and he starts a sentence and both volume and subject just trail away. Despite his illness and broken hip he has developed a Houdini act of crawling over the side of the bed rails between the rails and the end of the bed and has taken a couple of tumbles, including the one I mentioned last week. So, they have him in a bed that apparently costs about $40,000AUS that has an alarm that will sound at the nurses’ station if he sits up (his room is across from the nurses’ station) giving them time to run to stop him. It is quite the technical bed, with a mattress that puffs up in areas to relive pressure areas, and extends at the foot end as he slips down the bed (he is only 5ft 6 in so there is some room to go!) The calcium is leaking from his bones and this is part of the reason for the confusion. Eventually he will get drowsy and fall into a coma. He is also on morphine which will have its own impact. His kidneys are still working but his bowels and bladder weren’t doing their bit today.

It is so odd to ponder the gap that is about to open in our family. It is different when it is an aged parent, but when it is a family member of the “younger” peer generation it is almost surreal. We are walking in the land between life and death. We all have to face our cycle of life at some time, can anything ever prepare us for it though?

It is the brain, the little grey cells on which one must rely.

librarian 1

I wake each morning, not sure which day of the week it is, but certain that it is a work day. Monday and Wednesday were full days of professional learning, Tuesday and Thursday days of trying to catch up and to put some of what I have learned these past ten days into action before I forget it all.

I take notes during workshops and seminars and then go over them the next day while they still make some sense. I try to have a look at any new online resources that I have learned or viewed; then there is information to follow up on, and information to share, and all the things that happen in a normal school day, including teaching and supervising pesky students. Small wonder that my little grey cells ache by the end of the day. Life long learning is going to end my life soon!

“It is the brain, the little grey cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within–not without.” ~ Poirot”
―     Agatha Christie

Sunday arvo

Recipes lily sandwiches

We visited with BIL this afternoon. Earlier in the day I had been told he was in a private room so I prepared a hospital picnic and took it along. Arriving at the hospital we found that BIL had taken a tumble late morning, trying to make it to the bathroom alone when no nurse came to help, bumping his head and cutting his hand, so they had “punished” him by moving him to a four bed ward, where they ignored him anew. He is in the orthopaedic ward and they are nowhere near as caring of dying people…hopefully they will move him back to palliative care soon.

Unperturbed by the presence of others, I set out my picnic fair and we toasted BIL with glasses of old fashioned lemonade and tucked into the food with a slight frenzy. We even got BIL to eat more than we expected which was gratifying as he is so thin now. As Mr FD observed on the drive home “he looks like a man with cancer”, as he is.

BIL seemed a little confused, which I hope was just the pain medication and not another sinister turn. He speaks so softly, just above a raspy whisper. A shadow of a man.

Our little festivity was interrupted by a call from a nearby bed by a male voice asking “Would your mate mind lifting my leg into bed, please?” A look of horror passed over Mr FD’s face when he realised he was the “mate” being referred to, but he did assist the poor man to lift his bandaged leg into a more comfortable position. Once again, the nurses were nowhere to be seen.

There have been so many cuts in the health system thanks to our new state government that there are not enough nurses on the wards, and no doubt those that are, must be stressed and exhausted. Certainly the ones we saw today were not in the best of mind frames; not even for the dying, as I said.

Oh, and their solution for BIL’s bathroom needs? To sit a large bedpan on his meal tray. Yeah, I am sure he can use that solo with a fractured hip. The man is dying, do they have to tear away his last shreds of dignity? Who could blame him if he asked Scotty to beam him up?