Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hard Times and Hard Luck

Things are getting mighty tight here at the ranch. The washing machine died about 4 weeks ago. We have been doing all the washing by hand (by we, I mean me). The usual scrub some sunlight soap on the marks and stains rub them, stick the stuff in the wash tub with the soap already swished around and then scrub a dub dub. Rinsing out and soaking them in cold water with vinegar to get all the soap out. But this has been driving me crazy. But the thing that annoys me to no end is the “I have to have this uniform for tomorrow” and its 10:30 at night. Oh joy. So I have to do the scrub scrub. Now I found this bad enough with a washing machine and would make sure it was a decent load in the washer but when its hand wash I feel the same way. It has to be enough to warrant not wasting washing powder. So I am the fool doing it. Not only do we do this but…wait for it….they don’t always wring the clothes out properly and just want to stick it all in the dryer. My poor dryer is suffering from this and it will die a slow painful death if this continues. I hang things on the line outside. Yes we have an outside line. But oh the excuses. The basket is too heavy. It makes my clothes hard. Well princesses harden up!

Doing the towels is a killer, putting them in hot water to make sure all the body oils are off them. Soak them, then scrub them. They just soak up the water and it’s hard to wring them out. They just about pull down the washing line with their weight. I won’t have them in the dryer until they are only damp. Then they can be put in to soften up a bit. I don’t use fabric softeners, because they are not good for material.

Sheets and pillow slips. While they are lighter than the towels they cause me just as much trauma. Making sure again to have the water hot, who wants sweaty pillowslips and sheets? Yik doing this they have a tendency to want to run. So with some of the sheets they have a great mottled tie dyed effect. Or at least that is what I tell the kids. Luckily for me I don’t really go in for sheet sets. If I get them I split them up with a basic colour set. Something floral I might team with a plain yellow set.

The youngest wants a wash board for when she actually does some washing, because she thinks they are cool. Well I think maybe I should get her one, but don’t know where to get them and I figure if you are going to do that, well you might as well go down to coolwynpin creek and wash them down there on the rocks. Actually I wouldn’t let her do that, because it would upset the platypus’ and I like to watch them play.

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Cancer isn’t racist

Sending condolences on a Facebook page for a child that passed away from cancer. I was gobsmacked, horrified but mainly saddened at another post. I don’t know how to copy things but it read.

Stop giving money to aboriginals and so called refugees and give to cancer research.

How can hate come into a time of sadness? How can racism be justified in this way? The government funding toward Aboriginal people isn’t all that great amount. People hear terms like millions and billions. But this is small change. The reason that funding is there is because our health outcomes, educational and vocational outcomes are not on the same level as white Australians. We were denied many benefits that white Australians consider their rights, e.g. the right to vote the right to be a citizen the right to raise your own children the right to work and the right to buy your own home. So why don’t we snap out of it and join the rest of the modern world yadda yadda yadda. Well we have we have lawyers, professors, doctors, police officers teachers and nurses. But to get to this point it takes a lot. This year in the Government CTG (Close the Gap) report it showed that Aboriginal people are paid less than white people. Like we were surprised by that!

But what does that have to do with cancer research? Well let’s make the government do more, put more funding in to cancer research, maybe we can get back the millions given to Manly football club and give it to cancer research. Maybe we can cut the wages of the politicians and give this money to cancer research. How about we cut back on the pensions that former ministers get. Let’s cut back on benefits for the former prime ministers, premiers and governors’ general. The biggest savings to be made and to be put into Cancer research can come from the Mining industry. That industry pays less tax than any other in Australia.

But it’s not just the research we need into curing we need research into stopping it. We need more preventative health initiative  programs to be running to stop the spread of different cancers. Aboriginal people have the lowest rate of cancer but the highest death rate from it.

Cancer like love, sees no colour. It consumes the person and it hurts. But unlike love it kills the innocent and indiscriminately.


What a mum does

Just another weekend day in the house, kids sleeping in me doing what has to be done, doing the washing…Hang on this is no different to any other day in the Lavelle house hold. I am always moving my bum and doing for the kids and they need to get going cause of school, work, and appointments. But me? Of course I have no life, who cares if I have appointments I will just find a way to wamba myself to them. Can’t wash up my hand is sore, I have a cut, and I am tired. Oh my goodness. How unfeeling am I that I would expect the little gobshites to clean up after themselves.

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Every now and then I chuck a huge tantrum, I think today is the day. Get them moving off their collective bums. My yard is a disgrace, but of course they cannot do anything. I can’t do this or that I work. Oh do you want me to mow/vacuum at 3 in the morning. There is always an excuse.
I read a blog where a lady got sick of her kids that she put padlocks on their bedrooms and wouldn’t remove them until they did their share of the house work. She then kept them on as a reminder and also locked them until they had cleaned the bedrooms. She also went on to say that it was a great deterrent to the stomping off to the bedroom as she locked them in!
So how do you get the kids to do the jobs and not let them build up? I am not consistent enough to hound them every day. They are not well trained enough to do it without being told. I also have the problem of not being able to deal with it all the time because of my health. Let me tell you there is nothing worse than being sick for days on end or being in hospital and then coming home to a messy house. A couple of loads of washing waiting for your attention and dare I say due to the stiffness of them, standing at attention.
My kids were never raised to sit back and let mum do the jobs. They have always had their jobs to do around the house. Yet somewhere in the teen years they have developed an allergy to helping out, doing house work, let alone doing the jobs outside, like mowing weeding etc.


Yep Still not dead

Well hot on the heels of my last post we had a rather funny incident. Ash ran into an old teacher. Teacher was very happy to see Ash. Asked her how she was, how was school and where she was living. Ash responded that she was at home. Teacher comments that, that is good and Is Toby and Bindi Taking care of her. Ash says no mum is. Teacher is of course aghast and horrified that she had said such things. apologised profusely to Ash. As I came up it was more uncomfortable for the poor lady. She hugged me, talked about how well I looked and tried to talk around what she had just been chatting to Ash about. I calmed her down said it was alright. and we all moved off rather strangely and uncomfortably.
The problem wasn’t that she didn’t know that all was not well the poor darling had last seen Ashley when the Doctors were saying that I had less than 6 weeks to live. Obviously I proved the doctors wrong and am still here. I am doing well and am looking great.
But when you look too well people forget what you have been through, they think its all hunky dory and move on. Okay I am not on deaths door. I still have the prognosis of I could go in a second or in 20 years. I have survived the worst 12 months of my life where I said good bye to my children about 9 times. I waited death to come take me but didn’t.
So if you see me or ask the kids about me, don’t be embarrassed to find out I am alive, just be grateful. Don’t worry we won’t hate you for asking the question we will thank you for caring. So don’t worry, just ask and do the same of others in your life you suffer or are ill. Ask how they are going. The worst that can happen is you are shame for a couple of minutes the best thing that could happen is you have made some one feel cared for.
Thank you for reading


The Kid whose Mum Wouldn’t Die

why does your mum have a walker? How come your mum still wears hats? Isn’t your mum better yet?
It is bloody hard to be a child who has a sick parent. My kids have lived with this for about 5 years. My youngest was 8 when she found out her mum had a brain tumour. That’s okay we will get through it. At school they prayed. Mum still worked mum had lots of pills to take
Mum really changed mum had to stop doing sports. Mum had to stop doing a lot of things. Mum put on a lot of weight because of the medications.
Why is your mum so fat? I thought when you had cancer you went skinny? How does a kid answer these questions? The older kids had different issues. If they had no problems at first. Then some bright spark decided I needed to have Chemo. Now the Chemotherapy wasn’t for the tumour it was for the side effects of the tumour. Then things changed a little. If you were late with an assignment one teacher would be totally overboard with that’s alright dearie I know you are going through a lot, we’ll just let it go. Others would be…You had time to do it, its not like you were doing the surgery.
People just don’t know how to act to kids who are facing this. IF the child had cancer it would be understandable but its not. Its a child who is facing something just as bad. a Child who has to help get their mum out of bed. Help mum shower. Help mum do somany things and who do they turn to who understands what they are going through?
My little one hated coming home because it wasn’t home it was a horrible place she couldn’t do anything it was depressing. She had no one to turn to. Sure lots of people say they are there for you. they offer help but how does this work for the kid. The child who just wants to be normal. Who wants to be them. no the kid whose mum won’t die.
They all rally around when it is really bad and wait for the news the parent has passed away. but then when they don’t (I didn’t) it goes by the wayside. Its a case of oh she didn’t die? all must be well. How can she be still sick. It sucks to be 13 and have to tell a teacher that the time you had off was for illness. Yes mum is still alive, yes she is well but mum is terminal. So I don’t feel like celebrating or cheering up just to make you feel better.
Life sucks when you have a sick mum. Teachers constantly ring home asking about things. A didn’t hand in an assignment is everything alright? A was talking to much in class is it appropriate if I move her, or would that take away her support system.
My other daughter was a high achiever and involved in everything won awards did allsorts of things for the school community. In one year she didn’t get an award that she wanted, but after the shock of not getting it. she then said maybe its a good thing she didn’t, because she didn’t want others to say she only got it because her mum was dying


Mad Black Women

I had a blog that was called “the Blog of a mad black woman”. Well it was meant about me being mad, batty, silly a bit of a play on my brain tumour. It was all about my journey with the inoperable brain tumour. Some people saw it as another angry black woman blog. Well can I say, yes I do get sick of the mad black woman syndrome. Some are angry for different reasons and great good on them for getting it out. Some are mad about the injustices in the world. Kudos to you. Some just seem to me to be crazy mad. They hate this and they hate that and I don’t know what to do when I read them.
But the one thing that really worries me with this whole mad black women syndrome (oh that is my term, not anyone else’s) is that we are not allowed to disagree. I have read blogs on Aboriginal sovereignty and the writer will not allow anyone to disagree the responses to these are some times rude. I have read blogs where one writer is running down the writer of another blog that may disagree with them. Oh come on this is just too much for this little black duck.
I do believe that we are all individuals and are entitled to our own opinions. one thing that does annoy me is the belief by white people that we (black people) all have to agree. We all have to think the same. Do we expect that of them? Do they expect themselves to do that? of course not. It is just much easier to put us all in little boxes and keep us there. But our boxes are getting dented and battered by out own arguing on the inside. Come on lets disagree but please be polite about it and let snot run each other down over it or cast aspersions on each others Culture, Colour, beliefs. Lets not be branding people coconuts or apples.


How long is a disability

How long is too long on disability? I have been on centrelink for less than a year. I never had the intention of staying on welfare for the rest of my life. But I was rather put out when I received a letter from centrelink telling me how long I had been on welfare and that I need to do something to go back into the work force. (I am paraphrasing the letter).
I am due to go back to work soon, I am returning part time. I am going back, not just because I need the money to pay the medical bills. But I am not really cut out for the stay at home person. My kids are in school I have always been involved in the schools while working, if I was part time working I would be a tuckshop mum or a reading mum. I love my down time I love the chance to read, walk about go to parks etc. but I also have a big need to do more.
I have had my eye surgery put off four times, twice I was considered too ill for it to happen. Twice the doctor has cancelled on me. I had wanted to have my surgery done before going back to work. I am going blind with cataracts. I have cataracts because of the medications and because of them my cataracts have grown worse at a fast rate because of the medications. Yep I have cataracts on steroids. My eyes have done in a few months what would usually happen over years.
So I wanted the surgery done before going back to work because with limited vision it limits my job. If I need to take extra time until my next scheduled surgery, maybe my work would allow me. Who knows, I won’t be able to ask them, because I have to start doing something for going back to the workforce or lose my benefits.
Now I am complaining, I have seen and heard of people in worse situations than I being forced to go back into the workforce by centrelink. Losing their aid. There is a Facebook community for some, I have seen a double amputee being refused disability and having to go on new start. Maybe not a problem for some but for him it is he lives in a small community and losing a limb from cancer is bad enough but when it’s both. I think it will take a bit of time to get used to it. But there you go, Centrelink thinks differently. Each case must be taken on its merits I have seen a relative of mine sit on disability for about 10 years for depression. He self-medicates with yandy (marijuana) and doesn’t take the medications he is prescribed. He is a fake as far as I am concerned. I know many depressives who work and function, they push themselves. Yes they have times when they want to curl up into a ball, but they don’t. But again it’s not my call. It is all opinion I think when it comes to these things an opinion of some poor public servant who has no idea. A standard letter is sent out and then sometimes an interview is done and it boils down to how that person feels about you, and if they are having a good day.
But enough of that. With the Federal budget now I think it will be a lot worse. Ok they are going to find the fraudsters. But the fraudsters are always there, while the real needy get cut off. I will and want to go back to work. But I would like a bit of leeway around my surgery. And then I would like a bit of leeway around my body aches and pains, a bit of support for the poor cancerous body so that I can work part time if I can’t manage fulltime. But oh well we do what we have to do. I will have to get the child who can drive take me to and from work. My hips couldn’t cope with the bus.