Spring 2017

There have been a few challenges this month on the home front!  Plumbing for both Mum and I, challenges with Mum’s memory as usual and me tripping over while trying to jump over something when jogging, yes again!  You would think I learnt my lesson last time when I cracked one of the bones in my elbow.  This time it was out jogging again.  I decided to take the long way around a family of ducklings at Star Swamp coming back onto the track over a chain in the fence.  Well once again I miss calculated the jump and landed on my hands this time in front of an elderly lady walking her dog!  Startled but unharmed I reassured her I was ok and continued jogging.  There was of course a small bruise where the chain had caught my shin but praise God nothing more serious.  After my last fall I had vowed never to jump over thing while jogging but I had!  God willing this time I have learnt my lesson before something more serious happens!  The next morning while jogging past the ducklings the drake came after me.  I apologised but told him I was not going to avoid them, in the future they just had to get use to me, which they have.   So not only the magpies ignore me but also the ducks.  The magpies I’m told have face recognition and will not dive-bomb those they know are regulars.  In fact some of the maggies along my route have quite a character.  Some see me coming and remain where they are others have started to run towards me, I’m not sure if they are trying to mimic me making fun of me or just think it’s funny. Others still are quite timid and will wait till I’m quite close before flying into a nearby tree.  I often get a typical maggie warble as I approach, kind of like a good morning greeting.  It’s really lovely seeing them and the different family groups.  It’s such a lovely time of the day, some mornings are still quite chilly even with the sun being up now at 6 am. I’m not looking forward to the very early rises to beat the heat!

Just before the one year anniversary of my moving into my unit (8th September), the shower mixer diverter went haywire!  It had never really felt right when I turned it from one shower function to the other and now I couldn’t release the mixer toggle button!  What was worse both shower nozzles were on, gushing water at the same time!  It was either both off or both on!  Mind you it felt like a bit of a luxury to shower having both of them on but it really needed to be fixed.

A few days later Mum’s laundry tap wouldn’t stop dripping so I decided to call my plumber to book a service for both Mum and me.  A week later when he arrived I asked him to also change the washers in Mum’s shower and one of her garden taps.  It wasn’t such a straightforward job. The laundry taps are the old double taps type, one tap turns on the sink tap the other turns on the water for the washing machine.  At the taps were very old both the hot and cold taps needed to be dismantled then redrilled before fitting with new washers.  This would ensure the washer would sit flush to prevent further leaking.  The outdoor tap just wouldn’t stop leaking.  Praise the Lord Mum’s handyman neighbour was home, he had a spare garden tap amongst all his tools!   Little did we expect the plumber to be back a week later for an emergency to replace Mum’s toilet cistern!  The flush just wouldn’t stop and on taking a close look I notices it was cracked!  Time for a new one!

Mum’s GP is still a frustration for me, although the specialist at the dementia clinic has written a letter to him to work more closely with me, her carer, there has been no change.  I’m still left very much in the dark unable to get any information on Mum’s visits and of course Mum still refuses to allow me to come in with her and forgets what has been discussed even though she sometimes will try to tell me.  It is very frustrating!  Recently she had a biopsy done on a lump on her leg and I have no idea what the prognosis was!  I’m sure if there was something serious I’d be told but all the same I really don’t think this is good enough!

The night before Kat was due to stay before going back to work, I made a lovely Osso Buko stew.  I just love the marrow in the bones.  I cooked it up on Tuesday night ready for the following night as we needed to eat early before picking Kat up from the airport.  When I arrived Wednesday afternoon I noticed there was a bowl with bones in it!  I was horrified to see that all my delicious bones had been taken out of the stew and no doubt given to the dog!  I was furious!  I told Mum I was not happy at what she had done.  Serving myself, I ate, leaving hers dished up before leaving without her.  After picking up Kat I told her what had happened.  I knew I was being petty, I think it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back!  We had planned to go to Hillary’s Marina for our favourite ice cream but I didn’t want to see Mum.  Kat said she would ring her and let her know we would be home later.  While on the phone I repented and asked Kat to let Mum know we would pick her up soon.  I couldn’t do that to Mum.  She was funny though and kept saying to Kat are you sure ‘they’ want to do that?  Do ‘they’ really want me to come?  Whether she knew who ‘they’ were and just didn’t want to mention my name or had totally forgotten it was me, I don’t know but she was rather sheepish when we collected her, without dog!

Mum is funny with my older sister too.  After Trish has visited her, Mum will often ring me and say ‘it’s all clear’.  Meaning I could come as Trisha had left.  I think she feels I’m intimidated by Trish.  All families have their family dynamics we certainly are no exception.

While Kat is visiting she has the use of Mum’s car which enables her to see her friends and take Mum and Suzie out.  Unfortunately she often forgets that Mum also needs time during the day to rest and catnap so by the end of the day she is often grumpy and the following day exhausted!  Still she loves having her daughters visit and it’s usually only for a short time. When they are not around she is asking me when is the next visit and who is coming, forgetting that Jen now lives in QLD and is paying off a mortgage so unlikely to visit for a while.

Kat flew out early Thursday morning, a very short visit this time.  Later that day Mum had her yearly assessment with her Age Care Provider, Baptist Care.  Last month we had decided it might be nice for Mum to have an extra service, someone to take her out once a week.  Because I do all the shopping and she goes out for a social outing on Wednesday and Friday she doesn’t really need this kind of an outing but she would love someone to take her and the dog out where she can walk her. We decided to add half an hours outing after her Monday cleaning as the cleaner, Belinda, was eager to help out.  We had discussed it with Mum but when it came around to the day Mum didn’t want to go so it was cancelled.  This month she asked Belinda to take her and the dog to the park instead of doing her cleaning.  Fortunately Belinda said she was unable to do this but was able to give mum half an hour at the end of her cleaning.  From then on we booked her in for a more permanent appointment.  On the day of Mum’s assessment we also discussed adding a day where both Mum and the cleaner were free.  Now on Tuesday mornings Mum and Suzie are picked up by Belinda for an hour and a half outing.  This seems to be working very well.

On the Saturday after Kat had left I woke feeling tired and decided to have a sleep in.  This is most unusual as I’m usually up early so I can go for a jog.  I hadn’t slept well so lay there hoping I’d go back to sleep.  Amazingly I did but I hadn’t been asleep long when, at 7:10 am, my phone work me!  Mum was calling to ask if I had been around as her breakfast tray was set up.  Every evening I set out her breakfast tray with her tablets and some of the basics because I know how muddle headed she is in the mornings.  I wasn’t impressed at being woken from a deep sleep, and in a groggy voice told her she had just woke me up!  She nattered on about something, I repeated myself and hung up!  What’s that about Murphies Law!  Then one day I decided to sleep in and had actually gone back to sleep I get woken up!  And anyway I never go around for breakfast and why didn’t she check if the car was there before calling me!

This month has been busy with church activities too.  Tuesdays, volunteering at the North Beach Primary School gardening project with four of us that volunteer from church.  We are paired off on a roster as not all of us can go every week.  On my second visit I was again helped with weeding, this time remembering my gloves and going home was offered a sweet potato, the bounty for my work.  The school then closed for two weeks holidays resuming mid-October.

I am also involved with the church Social Action Group which is involved in fundraising for various organisations both abroad and within Australia.  Living Child Inc. was one of these organisations, founded by an Australian, Sara David, a midwife who has a burden to bring safe births to mothers in rural Papua New Guinea.  Living Child Inc is a not for profit, non-government charity that aims to reduce the maternal and infant death rate in remote villages of Papua New Guinea by providing training, visual teaching aids and birthing kits to Midwives and Village Birth Attendants.  Our Social Action Group held a fundraiser to raise money for the birth kits which are used by the local midwives.  If you are interested in supporting or joining a short term mission team please inquire through the Living Child link above.

This month I also took our home group Bible study which was provided by Creation Science geologist John Mackay.  This study was recently prepared for high school students which John hopes to make into a Bible Study with our help.  It has been a very interesting study creating lots of discussion.  The week before we started this study, it was decided we would take a walk through Star Swamp bush.  It was such a lovely day with lots of native spring flowers out and a great way to get to know some of the ladies in our group.  Then during the school holidays some of us, including my friend Jan who’s van I borrow for the bread-run, met up for a coffee and a chat.  This too was a lovely morning.

Church also put on a prayer morning to pray specifically for Australia.  We are certainly facing some challenging times.

Friday craft morning also took a break over the school holidays.  The week before breaking up I called around to pick Mum up for her painting, she said she had just taken the dog for a walk and was too tired to go.  I really should learn to call her before I pick her up!  Never mind, I went off without her.  Not long after I had set myself up for mosaics, my phone rang.  I said to my fellow mosaicers, “That’ll be Mum, she has changed her mind.”  Sure enough it was, she apologised and with a teary voice said she was sorry she wasn’t ready when I had come.  I said no I should have rung and would she like to come now?  She often complains she doesn’t have enough time to do her paining but she does like coming.  The watercolours table she works at is behind mine and I often glance over my shoulders to see her busy at work.  Most Fridays after our crafts morning we come back to my place for a bit of lunch and an afternoon of watching some recorded TV programs.

During the holidays I continued this routine and on one Friday evening my friend Jan, joined us for dinner.  She lives just up the road from Mum and dropped while taking her dog for a walk.  Jan has been staying with her daughter in Jakarta for a few months, both are home now so we will have more time to catch up.

I’ve also been busy in my garden.  One of the Friday ladies came around to collect some of my plants which were threatening to overtake my front garden.  I gave her five large shopping bags full of succulents and later moved some of the Mondo grass back to take up the space.  Perth has a very severe wind recently which battered some of my plants, I secured them as best as I could with ties to help prevent further damage.  I also pruned some of my native grevillea, which I’m trying to make into a protective hedge, as well as the pomegranate which I’m praying will have more than one fruit this year.  Most of the plants I planted have survived and are doing well, some are in spring bloom including my kangaroo paws, Geraldton wax, bottlebrush and Magnolia which has an amazing perfume.   One of my big challenges this season is fruit fly which have already started to hang around my citrus fruit trees even though neither have fruit and only one has flowers.

The business is ticking over slowly.  Grace has been busy adding pages as we realised we should have a Finance and Legal directory too.  Once the pages were added I was able to make the links.  I have been working on the pages linking the lists to the major headings and generally tidying the look of the pages.  We have recently been praying for a business lawyer to help us with the Terms and Conditions page.  I contacted a lawyer friend in Sydney and that very night Grace attended a Business Mum’s convention.  I bet you can’t guess who the Lord put beside her?  A business lawyer!  Grace asked if I could call her the next day to discuss our needs.  We are now waiting on her to provide our Members and Partnership agreement as well as the Terms and Conditions and to register the trademark for our business name.  God is so good!  Thank you Lord!

Photos:  My Spring Garden: 1. Banksia seen on our bush walk in Star Swamp    2. Pink Kangaroo Paws in my top garden   3. Red Kangaroo Paws and Bottle Brush     4. Magnolia – Lady of the Night      5. Kangaroo Paws with enormous Fig leaves in the background    6. Bottle Brush   7. Pink flowers on my Strawberry plant

Prayer & Praise Points:
Praise the Lord for helping me overcome all the challenges this month.  I give thanks for all the rain and beautiful Spring weather and for the pleasures of my lovely garden and the nearby bushland.

Thank you Lord for patience to help Mum through her challenges. For her on going good health and healing. Please continue to pray that Mum’s GP will begin to work with me to help me care for Mum.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I learn how to manage the challenges dealing with dementia and for the Lord’s patience and wisdom as I learn to grow in love guarding my heart and zip my lip.

Praise the Lord for all the connections to help us with the new business, Senior’s Benefits and Rewards. Please continue to pray for both Grace and myself that we will find someone to help us with marketing and how to connect with business to encourage them to partner with us. Please continue to pray the Lord will give us wisdom on how to move the business forward and for the wisdom to face the challenges that go with starting this new business.

Thank you once again to all my supportive friends and prayer partners, knowing you stand with me in prayer is a real encouragement and strength.