Sunday, 1 December 2019

Car crashes, illness, aged care and a bushfire or two

Hello my blogging friends,

I haven't posted here since July this year due to an unusual year of family commitments and accidents and illness. I've only been able to see a few of your blogposts and leave a few comments here and there. I've made nothing crafty and my craft space is a mess.

My house is full of dust and now ash from two out of control bushfires burning towards the coast (South Coast NSW Australia) about 60 kms and 20 kms away from our house as the crow flies. My sister on the Central Coast has been in a similar situation, living every day for weeks with the threat of evacuation and losing their house.

My partner was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier in the year which has returned after treatment. One of my sons has a mysterious vomiting problem that doctors can't find the cause of. He spends one or two nights every week vomiting all night. And no, he doesn't do drugs, alcohol or cigarettes and it's now a year since we started getting ultrasounds, blood tests, gastroscopy, and even a brain scan. Still nothing is known and no remedy in sight. He's learning to drive as well, on his good days, so I'm the number one driving teacher. 120 hours of practice takes a long time!

My aging Mum became ill this year and needed support. I've had to put her house (interstate) on the market for sale, and sell her possessions which she didn't need any more since she preferred to be looked after in an aged care facility. Mum didn't want to move to the coast where we live. She hates the humidity , and we don't have air-conditioning in every room. Also she's afraid of the bushfires here as we are surrounded by thick bush - frankly, so am I! Even though the aged care institution is under review and has failed to meet current standards, my Mum feels happier and safer, and says the food is simple but good, using locally sourced veges.

So I've had many trips interstate, three garage sales and a constant stream of stuff on FaceBook's Buy Swap Sell. We have a garage full of stuff to sell, and our lounge room is now a storage and clearing depot for stuff I've photographed ready to sell.

Aged care is so expensive, and a room of your own even more so. I hope to be able to allow Mum to stay in her own room for as long as possible. The paperwork has been phenomenal, and understanding the costing system and your rights takes a lot of research. It's so much better to stay in your own home if at all possible, but more difficult for those without a partner to lean on each other.

This has been the hardest year of my life so far. My poor blog has been neglected, and I am drowning in paperwork - paying extra bills, medical bookings, researching things of Mum's to sell like massage machines I've never seen before, hoping I am pricing them fairly. I'm a full time Personal Secretary (unpaid) at the moment.

We bought Mum's car so our teenagers would have one to share, but on the way bringing it home my eldest son hit a kangaroo and wrote off the front end, which an insurance company would write off rather than fix. Too sad. Luckily a neighbour fixed it up over a couple of months, but it was another expense we didn't need. A few days ago I reversed into Terry's car when he parked behind me down hill on the sloping driveway, where he never usually parks. The garage was closed and I thought the car was inside as usual. I couldn't see it as it's so low - a Mazda sports car. I thought I'd hit a wheelbarrow and got out to look. Ouch!

I did manage to attend two climate action rallies as I am so worried about the lack of action by Australian politicians to alleviate the effects of climate change. Australia is selling coal to China, and will not meet the promised paltry Paris commitments. I am embarrassed to say that Australia, by aiming to be one of the seven largest producers of fossil fuels, is actually becoming a major driver of the climate crisis. Our Prime Minister thinks our increasing bushfires have nothing to do with climate change, and even refused to meet with our major fire fighting  leaders recently.

So any precious time I have has gone into supporting the world's school children on their school climate strikes, and I have joined Australian Parents for Climate Action and campaign with them too.

My sign for the School Strike

So I'm sorry but I don't think I'll get to make any Christmas cards this year to send out. I was meant to put up the Christmas tree this afternoon with my daughter, but the bushfire became upgraded to emergency because of high winds, so we practised using our fire pump instead.

Sunrise in smoke seen from our house

You can't even see the mountains at the back where there are two bush fires burning.

The latest Currowan bush fire picture from The Bay Post this afternoon

So, I'm off now to finish the final amendments to our fire plan and print it out ready as we watch and wait to see if the fire is blown our way.

I hope to be back blogging soon, but this could go on all Summer...

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