Holiday Spirit

Kathy, or Kat as she now likes to be called stayed five weeks with Mum giving me a wonderful break for duties.  At first I wasn’t happy about being asked not to join them for dinner and outings as whenever Kat came through from her fly-in-fly-out job I was always happy to accommodate her and loved having time together.  After praying about the situation I felt this would be a good opportunity for not only her to spend time with Mum but for me to have a break.  For some time now the Lord has been dealing with my self-centredness.  This was pressed home with the message Bringing Heaven Home. I’ve also been trying to work on guarding my heart and zipping my lip.  I think often I react to past hurts instead of allowing the Lord to minister His healing and peace.

During my time off I have spent a lot of time in the garden which I love.  I weeded, planted seedlings, seeds and bulbs and generally enjoying myself.  On one occasion Kat wanted some time to pack her things which she has had stored at Mum’s for many years.  I don’t know if it’s similar with your family but with ours, Mum’s daughters, who haven’t lived in WA for some time store their belongings at her place.  Since moving out of Armadale in the eighties my things have been stored at Mum’s, she has persistently asked me to take them all back to Sydney when I moved there.  I was very reluctant as I had a feeling I’d be back to Perth one day.  When I finally moved into my own place last year Mum was happy to see all my things go with me.  Jen had stored her belongings here too since her move to Melbourne before she was married.  Over the years she and Mum have taken bit by bit back to Victoria on their frequent flights to and from Perth.  Now it was Kat’s turn to pack her stored belongings.  Since moving from Gracetown she had stored things at Mum’s in the outside bedroom and garage area and now needed some peace to pack for the removalists.  Mum has often got upset when she sees things being packed up as she thinks we are taking her things.  Unfortunately this suspicion is a part of dementia.

I decided Mum, Suzie the dog, and I would visit the native plant nursery north of here.  I have bought from them in the past and knew they had seedlings from one dollar which was good for my budget.  I bought several different types of plants, two lechenaultia to replace one that had recently died after growing profusely for the past two years.  I suspect it may have been due to the dry autumn even though I thought I had kept up the watering.  I was also looking for a tough coastal ground cover which I had noticed growing on the sand dunes the last time I walked to Hillary’s Marina.  To grow on the windswept coastal dunes it has to be tough.  It was also very prickly which I needed for my verge as the passing dogs like to leave their mess here.  Unfortunately their owners don’t always do the right thing and pick it up, so having a prickly ground cover I’m hoping will help prevent this problem.

Mum of course also found some bargains for her garden.  On our return we took the coast road stopping off to give Suzie a run and indulging in our favourite ice cream parlour at Hillary’s Marina.  This one will definitely be included on our new app!

The first week of June the weather continue to be glorious!  I was even able to take my last dip in the ocean before the weather changed.  The very day of the winter solaces, the shortest day of the year, the weather suddenly changed.  Not only did the temperatures drop but we had a welcomed downpour.  Then off and on for the next few weeks it continued to rain.  Just what my garden and its new vegetation needed.  All the bulbs, which I had only just planted to save them from a fluffy white bug infestation, popped up as well of course did the weeds.  I took this opportunity to plant more seeds this time ones I had collected from my bush walks and from Nezka’s verge.  First I had to dig through the top layer of chip.  I was surprised to find the soil below was bone dry even after days of rain!   These tough natives will need a little care to get established.

After one quite stormy night Kat called to say Mum’s antenna had come loose.  It had been attached to a wooden skirting board just under the eaves which had rotted.  I went around to see if it could be salvaged but taking a closer look realised it needed to be replaced.  Kat called an antenna guy who was able to come that day which was a blessing as Mum was on her Wednesday social outing.  The antenna was replaced with a much smaller more efficient one before she returned.  We thought we had it all under control but unfortunately I hadn’t remove all the evidence and the next day Mum asked what the tin was at the side of the house.  She wasn’t very happy when Kat explained that we had replaced her antenna.  We should have asked her first.  Mum, although grateful for our help, is struggling with losing control and her independence.  Although she doesn’t always remember things even if she is involved she is finding it hard to let go.  We on the other hand don’t want to unduly worry her so try to get things done while she is not around.  Oh the struggles of working with dementia!

The colder and shorter days have also been nice for sleeping in.  Yes can you imagine I’ve been able to sleep in!  My sleep has greatly improved, even so I still wake sometimes during the night for several hours but then fall back to sleep in the dark to wake again around 6 am and sometime even 7 am.  It’s usually light just before 7 am which is when I’ve been heading off for my morning jog.  The sunrises, due to the stormy skies, have been glorious colours of red, pink and yellow.  It is truly a beautiful time of the morning even though it can be quite cold.  Unlike the summer when I’m out before 5 am, I often see people on my jog walking through the bush.  Sometimes I get comments about wearing shorts and a singlet top as they are all rugged up with gloves and scarves but really it’s only cold before your body warms up jogging.  I’m not usually cold again till my body cools down after breakfast this is also after a cold shower.  Now that is a shock for my body!  I stand in the shower talking myself into turning on the tap!  I’m told a cold water shower is very good for your immune system.  I’ve done it for years so you would think I was used to it by now!

This year to help my immunity against the dreaded flu I decided I would get the flu vaccination.  Mum gets her jab every year and because I don’t want to be ill while caring for her I decided I’d better take precautions.  Just after 2 pm on the fated day I was injected and by 6 pm I had a chesty cough!  I couldn’t believe how quick I was affected!  I contacted friends to pray and by the next morning I had no symptoms at all.  I was so grateful for the Lord’s speedy intervention.

While Kat has been here she wanted to catch up with family and on two occasions we met at Hillary’s for fish and chips, Nino’s are the best I’ve tried in Perth!  One of these occasions was my nephew, Michael’s, birthday.  I had had a lovely day, church in the morning then out for lunch with my friend Jan who had recently returned from Indonesia.  That afternoon hadn’t started so well for Mum and Kat.  Mum has gone out to practice her gopher driving with Suzie and had come back with a serious cut on her hand.  Unfortunately Mum’s doctor wasn’t open on a Saturday and Kat didn’t know the areas so looked for a medical centre that was open, on Google.  As we know Google is not as reliable as we always hope, the clinic she found was miles away.  On top of this the doctor wasn’t very helpful and it was definitely not bulkbilling so cost a fortune!  Mum came away with several stitches and a poorly applied bandage.  For the rest of the evening she kept trying to remove the bandage as she had forgotten why it was there!

Other than this we had a lovely birthday party, Kat brought a brightly coloured table cloth and a delicious carrot cake which she had cooked earlier.  The following Sunday we were off to Nino’s again this time also inviting Noel, Michael’s brother, and his family.  It was lovely to catch up with everyone which is quite rare as both families are very busy with children’s activities most weekends.

And yes, I was invited to eat with Kat and Mum on a couple of occasions too which was nice. But I must admit it’s also been lovely cooking for myself and having all the things I enjoy that Mum doesn’t like including some hot curries and Thai beef salad.  Then one night when Kat went south to stay with her friends, Mum and I went out for dinner at the local hotel where we had our favourite steak, chips and salad for $12.00.

In the last update I mentioned I had arranged pavers where I wanted the new side path to go.  They now needed to cut before being laid.  A friend from church had leant me his paving cutter but I was rather hesitant to use it as not only was it very rusted but also the blade needed to be replaced.  I was also concerned with operating it alone so I called my builder, Glenn, who said he had his own machine and could lay them for me.  Now that I knew he was able to come, there were a few other things I needed finishing including lattice for the passionfruit vine.  Before he arrived I dug up the reticulation beside the path, run it under the new path so it would be connected to the proposed summer vegetable garden.  Here I am also planning to plant some dwarf deciduous fruit trees and an almond or two.  I’m told almonds need to cross pollinate to produce fruit.

Choosing a day without rain, Glenn spent most of it working on the pavers but wow did they look good once finished.  I’m glad I decided to get a professional in to do them, there were so many little triangular pieces to be cut to shape the paths many curves.  Now with the path finished I was able to plant some of the things I had kept in pots.  The biggest job yet to come is the removal of sand and vegetation in the vegie garden area on the north side of the path.  This is also a tricky garden area as it is totally shade in winter and in the full heat of the sun all summer.  At least I have time to prepare it before the summer planting.  Unless of course I procrastinate again!

While Glenn was here he also worked on a job for Anne my neighbour.  She and I had collected some pavers from another neighbour down the road who had given me some pots.  I put these pavers down before Glenn came as he was replacing a retaining wall made from railway sleepers that had decayed.  Anne’s not much of a gardener so I’ve been helping her out with plants that will survive on little to no maintenance.

We have some really lovely neighbours. Bob, in the end unit, has planted a communal herb garden for all to access.  He also has a cumquat bush which had a stack of fruit.  From these I made some lovely marmalade to share around.  I’d previously made some pickled chilli which also came from the garden, they were delicious. It’s such a blessings having neighbours that get along so well.

Another thing I have been working on is the mosaics I started at the beginning of the year.  At the beginning of this term I had decided it was too fiddly and needed too much of my patience which I didn’t seem to have much of having spent it all on Mum!  I decided to give it up.  Then on visiting one Friday to drop off some tiles for anyone who might like to finish and keep it, one of the teachers sat with me to encourage me to keep going.  As Kat had taken over Mum’s care, I decided to give it another go.  Since then I have actually laid it out on a table at home to work on it.  It’s actually not looking too bad although I have a long way to go!  I’m hoping that I will continue to work on it during term break even though Kat has since returned to work.

The app business is moving along ever so slowly.  We are working on the website and the logo having chosen one that we think will work with the theme.  We are now working on trademarking and intellectual property.  I keep remembering things that need to be done when running a business.  I’ve found it helpful watching some of the business programs on TV.  They have jogged my memory for several things.  I’ve also been watching The Shark Tank.  I’m thinking it would be really helpful to have a business mentor although I suspect they would be very expensive.

For some time now I’ve been wondering what my home would now be worth on the market, not that I’d sell.  I bought it in 1999 and after a visit by a local real estate agent was pleasantly surprised even though the market is quite low at present.

And that just about brings me to the end of my June activities. I hope you are enjoying Sally’s adventures.


Photos:  1. One year old Geraldton Wax     2. Pomegranate the only one this year     3. Stunning weather    4. Family fish n chips      5. Planned path       6. New path laid      7. Mosaic

Prayer & Praise Points:
Praise the Lord for the rains, Perth is known for its dry weather but this has been the direst on record!

I’m very thankful for the time Kath is here with Mum giving me a break and a little time to myself.

My new business opportunity, Senior’s Benefits and Rewards is coming along well.  Please continue to pray that both Grace and I will make the right contacts to move forward and to have the wisdom for all the challenges that go with starting this new business.

Praise the Lord for mum’s on going good health.  Please continue to pray for her as she adjusts to her life with dementia and the daily challenges that it presents.

Please continue to keep my in your prayers as I learn patience and wisdom how to work with the challenges of dementia and also to grow in love learning how to guard my heart and zip my lip.

Thank you to all my supportive friends and prayer partners, knowing your prayers are behind me is a real encouragement and strength.



  1. Corinne

    Hi Sally-hope we can catch up soon. I have lots to share.
    I love the new path. It looks great!
    It seems to have been a very busy first half of the year for

    1. sallyforth-sojourner (Post author)

      Hi Corinne, would love to catch up sometime soon. Pop in any time your coming this way there’s lots more to see. Otherwise we will have to make a date and a cut lunch to come south to visit you! 😉
      Sorry I don’t check the comments on my blog as frequently as I should thus the late reply!

  2. Bev Littlefair

    Hi Sal, Photos are lovely and the path looks great…I need someone in my church who can lay pavers!
    Nice to hear of your June antics.

    1. sallyforth-sojourner (Post author)

      Hi Bev, yes I’m blessed to have such a great builder who doesn’t mind doing small things for me too. I just found out he is a son-in-law of one of my Bible Study ladies. God willing I will be back in Syd for a visit mid 2018 so will have to catch up again then.

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