Monday, 23 May 2011

Thankyou all.

Well it has been so long since I have come onto my blog.  I am sure many of you can understand and even now, it is not easy.  The past time has been vvery hard, and I miss my husband so much.  I am so greatful to have had such an incredible relationship and know how fortunate I have been!.  This keeps me from falling too far.  Depression and being alone have been companions.  I have not been lonely, I have incredible family and friends, and those of you on here who have communicated even though I have not responded.  One thing I have found is no matter how hard it has been having people leave me messages on the phone, and emails have really been my saving grace.  As have my animals and having to get up and feed, walk , care for them..have stopped me sinking too far into the black abyss.  I also thank my local community and friends for love. 
It has been a hard hard road and continues to be.  I began a new job close to home and less hours.  This allowed me to escape and return to a structure I was unable to have at home. 

I still have periods of time where answering the phone, or emails is impossible.  One thing I have found strange is that I have been pushing people away, even my stepdaughters..not able to tidy the  house, the garden is neglected and I have not been able to have my beautiful stepdaughters and their families down.  Yet it is the thing I want more than anything.  As to I want to have friends visit  but am unable to these things I do not understand.    I have decided that I my blogging may bring me back to a place where I will function at home as well as I do at work. 

Monday, 9 August 2010

So it is

Thursday week ago my darling husband was helping the chap who comes to sit with him, (so I could go and have some time for myself for 2 hours without stressing about leaving him on his own),  load a truck with timber. On Monday at 16:20pm he had died at home, not in bed, having managed to climb the stairs on Sunday night having enjoyed short visits by his daughters and future son in law.  We were all meant to be going to a friends daughters wedding.  DH did not feel up to it.  The girls came back in the evening and showed him photos of Tess in her wedding dress.  He appeared to sleep well overnight, I was down stairs and he woke in pain anddesperately wanting to get out of bed, (he suffered with panic attacks about not being able to get out of bed), I assisted him to put some clothes on, was able to give him some pain relief,  and began to walk down the hall and to the stairs, he made it somewhat more slowly than usual, about halfway down, he became to weak and I almost carried him to the chair, too hot near the fire, I moved him to the lounge.  I rang his younger daughter who came down, and than we rang his older daughter who was at work and at a very busy time for the company.  Her finance drove her down.
So surrounded by his girls, our dog and cat, he was able to communicate only by raising his eyebrows, for a few hours he slowly wound down, his breathing stopping.  It was so peaceful, he was in no pain, and he was in our living room with sun streaming glistening of the water, snowcapped mountains he loved in the distance, and his faviourite flowers in bloom, the wattle trees had really put on an amazing show in our garden.  Almost every wattle tree (many different types) were in flower or coming into flower all at the same time; not usual for them.
His body stayed in the house till noon the next day, giving his son-in-law who was unable to come down on Monday a chance to say goodbye.  We all felt a real sense of having time to spend with his body, a real appreciation that he was dead, and his spirit was no longer in his body.  There was no one wanting the room, or a feeling of inconveniencing anyone.  The Minister DH wanted came and we had our family service just us only 5 people and DH's body, a very special time where we could grieve as we needed and be as we desired.  Tears, laughter and so much love. 

The dog and the cat each in their own ways were able to say good bye too.  The dog licking and resting his head as DH was dying and then licking his hand and face when he died.  DH patting Toby  when he was near while he was able too.  Murphy chose to not be in side until later in the day.  Still not coming near but the next morning he was laying on DH's very cold body and stayed there all through the service.  It was quite amazing as he usually lies right near the fire...he was saying his goodbyes, I am sure.

The funeral ladies came and were so amazing and we were given as much time as we needed to say our very final goodbyes to DH's body.  DH's body was taken by the lovely Donna and Michelle to be looked after and attended and then cremated. It was DH's wishes that we did not accompany his body, and we all felt that our private service at home was so much more special for us than at a crematorium would have been.

The service we had at home, gave us an outlet and we all felt able to move forward with planning the Celebration of DH's life and his wake.
Instead of the traditional order of service photo of the persons face in a oval shape the three of us agreed that a photo of DH with us, our dog and cat, would be wonderful.  It made everyone smile.
Each of his daughters spoke of their love, their fathers gentle nature, his generosity, his unconditional love and forgiving nature.  His 7y/o Grand Daughter stood in front of more than 100 people and read her words about her wonderful, clever and loving Grandpa.  I did his Eulogy and I can not recall what I said (fortunately Future son-in-law was videoing) so I will get to hear it.   A couple of friends spoke about their feelings and friendship.  We had music his favourite Beethoven's Violin concerto which we played at the beginning, a duet It's time to say good bye, and we were trying to find a jazz piece that would make people smile prior to leaving the church, but unable to ..we all agreed on Barry Whites. You're my everything!  (we looked at the words and it said it all really.  It was bright and people smiled.
The one thing I kept hearing when I rang people to let them know that DH had died was what a special and humble man he was, a true Gentleman.  (he was also quite stubborn at times) just to let you see I am not wearing rose coloured glasses
My father and his partner came from NSW and have been amazing in doing so much for us and with my brother who traveled from Western Australia to attend they took over the running of the wake to ensure that we need not be concerned and how appreciative we all were for this.  I can not thank them enough for it.
As we live near a small village and catering is not available, we asked friends to bring a plate to the wake. 
Plastic table cloths with smiley faces, balloons and butterflies chosen by Grand Daughter.  Wattle flowers down the middle and in vases around the wall. A true celebration of life!  DH did not want flowers so instead people donated money to charities that DH supported. 

I ache with loneliness and missing him some times.  I know he is with me still.  I walk about our garden and feel his presence.  I look at the bird table, the hen coop, the fencing.  I smile with gratitude and a sense of love.  I sit on the bench he made and feel his presence.  He is physically not with me, and that is a thing that only time will assist me to manage. It is still very early days and the tears come so easily.  I have only ventured into town twice and kind words of sincerity over DH's death make me cry. A friend said I should not hide these tears, as those who cared for us truely understand.

Having the dog, cat and hens is so good.  I have to get up each morning and tend to their needs.  (the cat would drive me ga ga, if he was not fed).  I still have four trees that must be put into the ground or at least in pots for this year this week.  Of course there are all the papers to sort through and treasures for his family to have.  There is no rush however I understand it helps for hid daughters to have his treasures near, and some have no meaning to me, with the exception that they have been in our home and I see them.  These things are not mine.  They are his families. 
Thankyou to all of you who have held us in your thoughts, prayers and hearts.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam of life

Strange beginning to week, popped into little village near where we live, just for milk and bread.  Very expensive trip hit a major pot hole.
I  was waving at a friend walking her dog, and did not see said pot hole. SO one very damaged tyre. I was only doing 60 as I was slowing to pass friend walking dog.  (thankfully).  As Toby(dog) and I were in the car and neither hurt, and tyre damaged I tried to get home the two kms we were from home.  Nope only got about 1km.  Stopped began to change tyre, spare flat!  As I was trying to lift spare out hatchback door dropped on my back ribs,  so bruised and sore but not broken.  I just gave up.  Rang the RACT which is roadside assistance c? tasmania.  I have got more than my monies worth out of belonging to these organisations over the years.
So at some time in the week I will have to take one tyre into village and get it fixed, then I will ring RACT to come and put new tyre on and old off, then again drive into town to fix second tyre.  Tyre month this month as my car needs new tyres.  Now why could I have not damaged my tyre rather than DH's which was in good nick?  ARRRGH.  You have to laugh and at least my tax return is good this year.

So I will be carting tyres to and fro, and more exciting and fun I have to go and pick up my new dwarf fruit trees from Woodbridge.
Heirloom varities, growing on dwarf rootstock.  These are supposed to be going into the Chook run, unfortunately the eucalyputs that is in there has become huge and will need to be removed before these new trees can go in.  So pots will be the go this year.

I have been watching the Tour de France, something I really love and have for 20+ years.  I began listening to it on the radio as back then no one televised it in Australia.  I began because a friends daughter (whom I have never met) was riding in it. We were listening on the radio only to hear that she had been in a bad fall.
She recovered and I do not know what became of her.
Only to say this piqued my love of bicycle racing and especially the Tour de France.
Tired and very happy last night was a rest night.
So home and garden suffering till the end of the Tour.

My DH is the most amazing man I know.  He is weakening, and sleeping more and more during the day.  We have his pain kept pretty well under control and it may be the meds that cause him to sleep more or it may be the cancer.
However he will not wake me ( I dont always hear him get up).  He gets dressed and comes down stairs, he lights the fire, I have wood that is not too heavy and kindling ready for him.  We find it too hot to keep the fire going overnight unless it is less than 2C so it goes out. 

The day before was a very good day, he was up and let our chooks out, did the fire and was working on his photos.  He is sorting them and labelling them for his daughters.  Somedays he is up to a short walk others not.  He is not interested generally to leave home.  It is all getting too much. 

We receive invitations to visit and parties for our friends and we just have to play it by ear.  He has kept a record of the time line the radiologist oncologist gave him which was 3-6 months, and we have passed the 6months this week. Interesting fact, not sure it is a great thing as he is so very weary of this slow drawn out process.

The girls have been coming down and spending time with us.  Staying overnight on weekend almost each week.  It is lovely and he enjoys it so much.  It is comfortable and things are going well with them both for me too.  It is just so very difficult not stopping them from caring and supporting their daddy, whom they love and are loosing.  It can be so easy to forget that it is no just I that he is leaving.  His life before we met 10,
1/2 years ago was full and precious.  We are all doing the best we can and coping as best we can in the circumstances. 

My eldest SD announce her engagement last week which is such happy and delightful news.  Of course tinged with saddness. Such great news.

The garden is self caring almost..sigh Kale, silver beet, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages small in number but growing.  Garlic is going well, I should pop more in.  I cleared the cherry trees and fed, composted and covered the cleared area with sugar cane so they hopefully will give me a good crop.  The other fruit trees were done in autumn.  I pruned the roses who cares if it is the wrong time, I just felt a need to do it.  My almond tree is dead I am pretty sure..darn it.  Hazle nuts have some flowers, but as they are not all flowering at once doubt any hazle nuts will happen this year as you have to have cross pollinators and they just do not seem to flower together.
There are buds on peach, plums, and nectarine trees.  It is there second year in so I can not expect much fruit this year but at least my garden tank is full.  The house tanks are half full and we have had about 10 ml of rain in last week or so.  It has been a very dry winter so far.  Mind you it is only just half way through. 

SDs did not let us know they were coming down to stay overnight on Sunday till after 1pm so I was  not really prepared'; I did have a kind of thought it may be a possiblity that they would come but...

I had been promising that I would make a treacle tart for DH, and as girls were coming down thought would do this.  I whipped up a salmon mornay(tinned salmon) with left over potatoes and tinned asparagus on the bottom.  Popped the lot in oven and baked with some grated parmesan on top.  Served with rice..delicious.  Treacle tart for desert.  Big  I add more lemon juice as it is too sweet for me. It is an amazing tart when you just use Golden syrup, fresh white bread crumbs(had to buy white bread especially for it) and lemon juice and rind.  Oh and pastry.  Think I could make the filling without pastry and it would have very little fat.  lol.  Not so nice though.  Just made a short crust pastry for it.

I had some  lovely photos to put on here to show you all sigh but somehow did not load them correctly and have deleted them off the camera.  sigh techonology brilliant when it does what I want awful when it misbehaves.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Building communities

What a wonderful day I had a couple of weeks ago
A new resident in town, has blown in and bought with her a change, it may be wintertime down here but she has bought warmth, friendship and inspirational personality, (and that is only through reading her blog and a couple of emails) before we actually met, all this had me a little in awe.  (the awe inspiring kind!)

After receiving an email inviting me to a Home Gardeners Group, I went to Kate's   There were quite a few women and we sat around Kate's kitchen table and chatted sharing such warm, and amazing conversation.  A eclectic group we were but all have in common a love for our gardens, and desire to be more self sufficient and less dependent on oil.  In the process reforming the traditional sense of community.  Mind you we traveled to be together, and we will meet up once a month. Car pooling as we can.  Meeting sharing food, seeds, plants, knowledge, support, books, recipes, ideas and friendship.

Community what does that mean to you?  For some community is family, with a few friends.  The interesting thing we found in our discussion and sharing yesterday is that most of us had moved to the region recently. (12 years me)  other 3months.  Only one person had grown up in Tasmania, and after many years away had returned.  When I first moved here to Tasmania, I found it hard to meet people, especially since I had no children. Children open more doors in new places. 
The locals  were friendly very friendly but invitations to people(Tasmanians) homes never came. Of course this could be more about me than the   All my friends seem to be like myself migrants from the main island north or from overseas.  This situation repeated itself with the group yesterday.   In our discussion we discussed how it is more that locals have family, friendships already established, lives that need no one new necessarily to be included.  They are warm friendly and established.

My chooky girls Lovely Barnevelders

 This is my hen with the green blue eye

This is one of the other 3 all who have orange eyes.

So newcomers may find it hard and why newbies meet with other migrants.  Not always but often.  It may have more to do with Tasmania being an island, a biggish island but still an island with a small population. 
In saying all this.  I love Tasmania.  You can tell that because I was not born here but chose to move here, and have chosen to remain here!  (okay local people love the place too I know.)

When one looks at my library of self sufficiency books, vegie gardening, poultry you would imagine that I had the most amazing vegetable gardens.  They are a work in progress more in my head at present but the concept is being established.  Fruit trees, nut trees, chickens and some vegies are all here.
Extra water tank is here.  I may not be the most successful vegie grower but things are happening and I am willing to give it a try and try again.

One is led to believe Winter,  is a quite time in the garden.  It seems a tad deceptive to me, mine is a  very busy time when establishing one or maintaining one.  Planting, pruning, building, creating, and so very tiring all the planning.  I have paths to re-establish, holes still to be dug.  The ground is a little hard still recent rains will help.  Plants to move, and dreams to dream.

A photo of our cat he is normally very hard to get a full face shot, he is not happy~!

Worm wee to make my vegies grow 
as you can see they need all the help they can

But why are my raspberries now flowering?  I know we are past the winter solistice here but it seems a bit too early or late whichever way you look at it.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The calm after the storm

Amazing what some real sleep and a day to oneself can do for the soul. I doing very little actually and that was ok.  I left guilt behind me.
My DH had a pleasant time with his daughters. Mind you he was so happy to be home as I was to have him home.  It was an unpleasant situation however solutions have been found and I am saying I need a break before it is too much.  Breaks my heart to feel it is all to much at times.

My DH made a decision yesterday and said that this weekend we would be at home and have no visitors.  It was an quite strange when he said this as it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.  I was girding up my mind and body for more visitors.  Please  do not get me wrong I like visitors and we do enjoy them.  It is just that it seems to have been non stop for months now.  This no visitors included family.  He tells me not to feel  guilty about us wanting our own time, to be together for a weekend with no one coming.  So I laughingly said I would drive the car to the end of the drive pop a sign on it and leave it there for the weekend.  He said lets do it.  So here it is..  
 I added quickly an amendment that all was okay though.

We have had a lovely week with some lovely suprises. The bench that DH had begun to build for me but sadly not able to finish, arrived home, and we spent a pleasant 40mins together oiling it to protect it for the rain that was forecast for later in the evening.  We were rushing as it was so gray, but we made it and the oil even dried mostly.

The beautiful timber is a local one called Huon Pine.  It is a extremely slow growing timber and there sadly is not a lot of trees remaining.  He also has made me a coffee table and side table.

Two hens are now moulting and my egg count is down to 1 or less a day.  So I guess with a 50% reduction in the work crew the other two are doing their best.

We have been having rain which has been very needed.  Full rain tanks.

Daphne is getting ready to bloom, and a friend had jonquils in her garden this week.  We walked through the garden this afternoon in a short sunny break.  As we walked through our Wattle tree arbour we were noticing all the blossoms developing, and all of a sudden in the sunlight we noted the fluffy blossoms of one ahead.  As we approached I asked DH if he could smell the sweet smell that was coming on the breeze and sunshine?  Surprisingly he could the warmth of the brief sunny break warmed the perfume..bliss.

 Sun on fallen timber

Lichen growing on a dead tree in the sunshine
all in all a lovely memorable short walk about our garden with my love today.  This is what living is about to me.  Being able to stop, stand still looking at all we have and feeling rich and so very fortunate to live where we do.  Knowing that our journey is as magic as the amazing things we have around us that nature provides, and we have harnessed.  Having someone to have such times with and love, simple pleasures, mean so much.

Monday, 14 June 2010

A little time on my own

It is so difficult to admit sometimes that you are just not handling things.  Not coping.  I had told people about me when they asked how I was "not coping very well", my response.  I never asked for help I could not.  I felt that if I did need help I was failing my DH.

  It all went belly up on Saturday and eventually his daughters came and my DH has been away overnight and will be away for today and tonight.  I pick him up for an appointment and we will come home. 
I miss him, he is missing me. 
I just needed to have some sleep, some time to think about nothing else, no one.

But this does not happen.  Even though I slept really well undisturbed sleep so rejuvenating, I have been anxious about how my DH is going.  He is with his daughters who love him dearly, but it is in a strange home, strange bed, expectations are different, he can not sit inside and smoke his pipe.  He is not entirely happy but will stay as he knows how much I need this short break. 

When the girls came to pick him up, I did not want him to go.  I cried and sobbed, in the end he decided it was important for me.  Me time.
I can not say how much I love this man.  How even though I know it is okay for me to have time, how guilty I feel.  For failing him. 
I needed to fall apart, loose the plot before I screamed out for help.
Not the best way to do things.  I hate loosing control, I hate failing at the important things in life.
I know that I have not failed I really do know this.  The feeling at the time is what stops me from asking for help. 
Perhaps in future I can ask for help. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

It is the first of June and I have cherry blossoms?

Sounds normal for this time of year, but hey I live in the Southern Hemisphere!  It is just the tip of one stem, but there were some blossoms on the branch.     

I picked a lovely bunch of flowers today, wall flowers, wattle,
pineapple sage,

red saliva, purple one and
lovely daisies, white and yellow centered one of my favourite flowers. 
  This does not look that much like a winter garden with wattles flowering.
It was the first day of WINTER down under and we are down under down under!  I know it has been a mild Autumn, this proves it.  Bulbs are already up and I even have some broad beans flowering.  I am still getting tomatoes of a bush that is protected by a very large red flowering geranium, which is again protected on two sides by the    house.    

My capsicum plant has 3 tiny capsicums on it but it is the 1st day(well now its the 8th) of WINTER!   What is going on? They are still hanging in there, and are slightly bigger now.

Perhaps my garden is picking up on my desire to be planting out and producing food, oh why does my body feel it is springtime here not winter..only 12 weeks till Spring (well another 4 or so for us to really be in spring).                      
  Cabbage with borage flowers still flowering.
I still have peas to get into the garden.  Sweet peas, I want to plant heaps of them this year, they are so pretty and scented.  Lots of green peas, and snow peas, sugar snaps...yummo.

Okay it is official in the local newspaper today, a small article saying that the Royal Botanical Gardens of Hobart were also experiencing plants flowering and new growth throughout Autumn of plants that normally do not do this.  Just glad to know it is not just my little patch that is out of whack.
Climate change is certainly present in my garden right now.