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Archive for the ‘Accidents’ Category

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I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasures. It’s all a question of how I view my life. – Paul Coelho.

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There have been times aplenty when I’ve wondered where time flies but I never thought I’d find out first hand.
Being a Science Fiction fan I’d always quite fancied the idea of “The Langoliers” by Stephen King – furry balls of steel teeth gobbling time as it passed away. Definitely worth watching, if you can find it. Not however what happened.

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Alas, I cannot say that I have such an imaginative reason for not writing. In fact, even this short effort is telling me my time is running out.I am working on something, it simply isnt finished.  Soon but not soon enough!
From a flare up of an old  complaint I languished in a state akin to despair…until I decided to take a photo of a newly flowering plant.  It’s hard to pass up on those photos. I couldn’t  stand, or rather squish down for the shot, so I sat in the old reliable plastic chair. Mistake! Oh what a mistake!
One moment seated on the chair, the next flying through the air with the greatest of ease. No mean feat, I assure you.

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Alas and alack I’m aching like a forlorn pretzel. Better yet, a crumbled pretzel. Even sitting is no fun – and neither us lying down by the way. All typos due to the phone and screwy eyesight from meds!
I’ll be back shortly, more or less in one piece. (One piece just many bruises). Believe me, there are times I wish for …..a fairy or three to help me. Although they have nade my flowers grow beautifully.
Til later mes amis. No more flying for me!

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Love me, love my fairies helping in my garden.

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Blessings,  Susan 💖
(C) Susan Jamieson,  2014

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#Dying Tonight

Celtic Goddess Epona… Facebook.com

 

I thought I might die tonight…. it was all such a sudden thing to happen.  One moment life was normal, the next, the knife-edge trembled. It’s the one thing you can never allow to happen, since that knife-edge is so darned sharp – it doesn’t give many second chances.
It doesn’t matter how,  nor even maybe why, except to me. I’m so very tired. Not just the physical aspect of tiredness, but the pain in my heart, in my spirit, which never seems to leave. I’d give anything to get back to that feeling of “normal” – whatever that may be. I’m wondering if it really exists any longer. Just a lack of sleep, I believe! That and a pervasive feeling of unease and loneliness.
I’m so very sorry for such a short and miserable post. I had planned something very different. Hopefully tomorrow when consciousness returns finally. I am planning on sleep, just not when it should happen – very bad of and for me.
Thank you, my dear friends, I pray you understand a human frailty. (I’m a walking accident at present.) I’m not sure I do or forgive myself for it. (There’s the perfectionist at work again!) Stupid damned accidents overtake everything.  No – I didn’t plan the stupidity, I simply stopped looking and there I was, right in the middle of it and scrambling to make things right. Make things right – is there ever such a silly phrase? I was trying to fix things up. I always do – perhaps that’s my penance, I always manage to make it right again.
Something nice for tomorrow – I promise. 🙂  I’m just too frazzled to get there right now, but it has pictures and tantalizing thoughts, all those nice and happy things I want me to be all about. You know – that irrepressible smile, full of promise and laughter. That’s me….. after a few hours of sleep.

Any publishing snafus were the responsibility of a supposed great phone that has proved a dud….. if anyone has any tips for a Samsung Galaxy S5 – short of smashing it to pieces (gleefully tonight) – I would love to hear them.  (or to get Telstra to take it back and give me a different phone which works ALL the time. That’s a hint to any Telstra people who might be able to help a frazzled, sleep deprived, accident prone …hmm)
Blessings from the klutz.

Susan 💖

#DyingTonight

image from artelartlivejournal.com

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#TheBlogThatWasn't

image from www-liveinternet-ru       “Live Internet”

“In all the frustration and confusion of life, just take a moment and smile; everything will work out for the best”- Unknown author
~

Three hours ago I started a blog. It doesn’t take that long to get it written, proofed and scheduled for publishing. So what happened tonight to cause this huge delay? Why, none other than the new computer. It’s probably just as well that it is impossible to strangle a computer, although I’m sure it could be a reasonably good flying object. ……

”Excuse me Ma’am, but did you just witness an unidentified flying object travelling past your living room window?”

Reply: “Umm, err, well, no not really. There was a flicker at the corner of my eye, but I really couldn’t tell you what it was.”

No, of course not. Who would want to admit that it was a low flying computer flung with great venom for failing to supply – a connection to the internet!

I have been known to be guilty of impatience. I have been known to occasionally have a little flash of temper if things go awry too often. I can sulk like the best if the occasion warrants it, but there is something about a computer that refuses to connect to the internet which can make my blood boil. After all, that’s what the wretched thing has been designed to do. It is no longer a glorified typewriter, although I have to admit I wouldn’t mind a simple typewriter occasionally.  But this is a “state of the art” new computer, with all the added gadgets and gee gaws some computer nerdy person has been able to think up. It is its prime purpose, to connect the unwary to the internet, to be embroiled in heated debate over the merits of light or dark chocolate.

It has even been known to waste time by ensnaring the unwary into political rambunctious behaviour which frequently ends in persons being ejected from certain ‘prestigious’ groups. It hasn’t yet been accused of causing a gun fight at dawn or pistols at six paces and I’m sure that given time we’ll see the computer equivalent. If I look, and I’m sure not very hard, I’ll find games somewhere that will allow me to do just that.

However, if I can’t connect to the internet and do what must be done or what I want to do, then the very least it can offer me is the chance to say, “Beam me up Scotty”. Then I can away to a distant galaxy where no-one needs to do the washing or the ironing and no-one ever seems to get dirty or have showers, although now that I think about it, I’m sure I saw someone on Star Trek with a strategically draped towel at one stage. I’m not certain which “star date” they’re in at present.

Perhaps even better would be a hypnotic whirling light which transports me through a magical time warp to the Scottish highlands in the seventeenth century for a romp through the heather. Although that may not be such a good idea. I have a notion I may have read that women were supposed to be quiet back in those days and that would be a cruel and unusual punishment.

Aha! I knew this would happen. After finally giving up the idea of being able to get my planned blog done and amusing myself with some light hearted rambling, my computer has decided to play with me after all. Connection achieved. A satisfied smile lingers briefly around my mouth but it’s far too late. I’m tired and I need my sleep if I want to regain my health and sanity. Well, one out of three isn’t such a bad deal, is it?

#TheBlogThatWasn't

image from footage.shutterstock.com

I’ll keep my health and sanity for tonight, and the computer can retain its connection to itself until tomorrow, when I will give it a strong talking to in the vain hope that it has gained some ‘artificial intelligence’ overnight, and we can achieve a suitable working relationship. Harmony reigns supreme for the time being.

Good night all, or Good day. Perhaps a simple, enjoy yourself now, whatever takes your fancy. The serious Susan will return tomorrow for her scheduled blogging.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Epicurus

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#What's the Safety Word?

Image from footage.shutterstock.com –

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”
John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Everyone has heard about the ‘safety word’. The safety word is the serious-I-mean-it-now time-to-stop word. The word the ‘client’ arranges when he visits his S&M bondage person so he doesn’t accidentally get himself killed during the ‘play’.

What I wonder, is the safety word when you’ve had enough of the ‘merry go round’? I’m referring to that time when you feel you literally cannot face another minute of the hurt, the pain, the torment, the abuse, the depression, the………. (just fill in the blank).

It almost sounds like the beginning to a play or a movie script. The notes followed by the story board before shooting begins. Except it isn’t part of a fictitious film, instead it’s a serious and real part of life. Not the calculated gambles people want to take with their fetishes or fantasies. If something goes wrong there then you almost have to say – ‘they knew what they were getting themselves into.’ But what happens when life pushes you too far?

Talking to people is easy. For some reason I’ve been fortunate that people find it easy to talk to me. I’ve been told many things. I’ve been blessed by sharing the good news of a daughter’s engagement, a son’s engagement, marriages, the unhappier news of divorces, accidents, windfalls and tragedies. It may sound strange to include windfalls as part of the unhappier news, but for many people it hasn’t brought them the happiness they hoped for. Sometimes yes, but many times they have found themselves in a much worse place than they were before their good fortune.

Sometimes there simply are no words to express how you feel. Sometimes you need to rely on a hug or holding someone’s hand and send them strength because there is nothing you can say or do to change things. Having to tell someone their child, husband or wife is dead is one of those times. Words just aren’t made to let people understand you feel their pain.

I had many talks with ‘Sharon’, a lovely lady who was always putting herself down. She simply couldn’t believe she was good at anything she did or that she was wanted or needed by anyone. Despite having a good job she was convinced she was stupid, since her husband continually told her she was. Even though she had two children she couldn’t persuade herself that there was any purpose to her being there. She convinced herself that they would be better off if she was no longer around.

Sharon took a bottle of pills and curled up waiting for the end to steal quietly over her. Her husband came home early and she was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately she didn’t get the help she needed and her unhappiness and feelings of low self-worth grew. Her husband helped her with that part. When she finally left him he embarked on a calculated plan to undermine her self-confidence and she found herself spiraling further down that dark hole.

She moved and I lost track of the family for a while. In trying to out run the influence of her ex-husband she isolated herself from everyone who knew her. She avoided anyone he knew and anywhere he was likely to go. There was nowhere for her to turn to. Her children moved out, as they do when they finally grow their wings and she fell into a deep depression. Depressed or not she still managed to work.

I met her again a short time ago. She often spoke to me of her struggle with ‘The Black Dog’, but being alone it was too difficult for her. She began trying to out run her problems. She would drive day and night when she was not working until she finally fell into a stupor to get some rest. But you can’t roll those dice for long before the stakes get too high. It’s almost like putting your hand in a basket of snakes and expecting not to get bitten.

Sharon told me she didn’t want to leave her children without some kind of support. She didn’t want them to be dependent on their father to “look after them”. Years later he still influenced how she thought and she didn’t trust him to do the right thing by his children. So her game of Russian roulette on the roads didn’t seem to make much sense on one hand, but knowing how her ex-husband had eroded her self-worth, it did.

It felt as though she was holding on by some tenuous thread and at times I wasn’t sure she really heard me. She did see a doctor and get medication, but it was going to be a long haul back.

Sharon died in a pile up on the motorway. She was on her way home from her mother’s funeral. A drunk driver had lost control and ploughed into the oncoming traffic. Her car was hit head on.

What was Sharon’s safety word?  I can’t help but wonder if she had a safety word.  Who could she have called out to, so that she could stop the merry go round? If she had a safety word when should she have used it?

Tell me, do you have a safety word?

#What's the Safety Word

image from s279.photobucket.com

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

Ray and I on our wedding day May 11, 2011

“This is what our love is––a sacred pattern of unbroken unity sewn flawlessly invisible inside all other images, thoughts, smells, and sounds.”   Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
My Husband, My Lover, My Friend

It’s been a rough week here and although I’ve tried to play it down, inside my head and in my posts, there have been times when the thought of simply ‘giving up’ wasn’t far away.  It’s very difficult to remain positive when you wake up and the moment of consciousness brings the awful knowledge that your entire body is screaming in agony.

It’s becoming a real nightmare, a waking nightmare and this morning was the worst to date. Let me explain, although it’s really hard for me to write this. I cannot move my legs, body, head or shoulders. I am fortunate that my hands and lower arms appear to be okay. I wake up feeling as though I’m in a roasting oven, on well done!  I cannot push the covers off and I cannot get out of bed, (I can’t move).

#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

image from autobio-blogs.plazilla.com

I’ve tried everything I can think of to get out of bed without waking my husband, especially as sometimes I wake really early and I’m ruining his rest. He needs it, he has to look after someone who is cranky because she can’t do the things she has previously done alone and I’m not in the right head space to “give in gracefully” and acknowledge that for the moment, this has to be my reality.

#My Huasband, # My Lover,#  My Friend

image from http://www.123rf.com Is this what is coming?

So let’s go back to this morning. I had a magnificent sleep, six hours of deep sleep. It’s a shame it was drug enhanced but I can’t fight that any longer either. But, I heard Ray get up and that was enough to wake me.  It was a world of hurt and I had no idea what to do. My entire body was locked in this agonising position and I had to move. I simply had to.

From a mental angle it is full on despair, a waking nightmare I cannot banish. Giving in is against my entire world view. I have always stood my ground, but that has become a joke since I cannot stand. Not first thing in the morning.

The first challenge is getting upright and Ray has to hold my hands and when I say “Pull” he has to pull me upright quickly. This morning I screamed as he did this.  (Going slowly is more painful.) Ray has to slowly pull each leg around until I can reach the floor and then once again, pull me to my feet. He has to make sure I don’t fall backward or forwards or I’ll be on the floor. I’ve mentioned the ‘damned stairs’ before but this morning they almost defeated me. But he wouldn’t let go, nor would he give in and we painfully made our way along the corridor.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from owlsandorchids.com       Is this all that’s left?

It has brought home the simple dignity chronically ill people suffer which is taken by others as something they just have to get used to. I wonder if, in the same position, they would find it so easy or welcome! Well, we made the journey, back to bed and sitting back brought another stifled scream. (I have some pride left). It was not going to be an easy day. I swore I wouldn’t take the tablets but I was afraid, seriously afraid I might have to call the ambulance.  Maybe it’s the meds but that’s tantamount to throwing in the towel and I’d rather the unthinkable than that.

So, doped up and basically incoherent I remained in a land somewhere between reality and who knows? I do know that after Ray had left I felt someone sitting down and then a cuddling into my legs, but that’s another story.

We decided on a bath, detoxing again, but with added special things Ray thought up. He helped me to the main bathroom, (when we build I’m having a bath in the en suite!) and the most beautiful sight met my eyes. My special bath salts, lavender-scented had been liberally placed in the bath, extra Epsom salts, my coconut body wash, coconut scented body cream, candles, my bath pillow and my iPod. I could have cried. It was exquisite – and I forget to get a photo so this will have to do…

How can something so wonderful be so painful? Getting in and lying back caused another loud groan, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. (Note to self – larger bath needed in our en suite). It was hot, as it needed to be and as I felt the warmth slowly seeping into my body, I felt a wonderful feeling enveloping me. I got my iPod and some meditation music and I was left in peaceful silence.

I came back to myself as the water lost its heat but over an hour had passed and I was a wrinkled prune – almost. Helped out and dried off and then the final surprise, the beautiful coconut butter lotion… He carefully and slowly rubbed it in from my toes to my neck and down my back. I had the most incredible massage of my back. His magical fingers caressed the painful knots and tender spots and relaxed the rest of my back. I was covered from head to toe with lotion and I felt amazing. Every muscle had turned to jelly.

Helping me dress and back upstairs we had a beautiful cup of tea.

I realised how lucky I was. I found in one inexplicable gift from the Universe, my soul mate who is my husband, my lover and my best friend. The pain notwithstanding, I realise I’m so darned lucky. To be loved and accepted by such a wonderful man, someone who not only stands by me, but helps me through my nightmare is a rare blessing. I don’t make it easy on him at times and my guilt becomes another torment. I feel stuck in this limbo, yet supported by a magical earth angel.

What more can I say? Love is beautiful and found in unexpected place and at unusual times. Enjoy it anytime you can.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from 2guysphoto.wordpress.com

I feel my love flowing to all my friends out here, and to all the people everywhere. Love will eventually change our world. It is too great to ignore forever.

Blessings and love to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2014

~

For the Love of My Life and for the Love of Your Lives, whoever they may be.

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There has been a small but unavoidable hiccough to normal blogging. Until my computer decides to co-operate I am unable to operate.
To say I’m frustrated is a colossal understatement and lightning has scorched the walls of the house (inside!).
I’m hoping I can get something sorted out tomorrow, or later today. In the meantime I hope you enjoy a FB offering.
I will get back to everyone once my connection and I are communicating again.
Blessings. Susan
(c) Susan Jamieson 2014

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Being Thankful

image from sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com – #Being Thankful

Being thankful isn’t always easy

In fact sometimes it’s downright hard

But the evangelists tell me it’s all just an attitude

Well, Grammy Jen tells me I have an attitude

And what’s more I should just get rid of it

So I’m a might confused about what I should do

~

Like yesterday

Momma told me to get to the wash

And I pounded and pounded to get Tommy’s jeans clean

That basket was like to tear my arms from my shoulders

But right in the middle of the yard

Little Bobby went scooting past on his wagon

I got my feet all tangled and down went the wash

All over that dirt yard

And I started to tremble something fierce

~

Momma whooped me plenty for being so careless

And I had to pound those clothes extra hard this time

Every time I pounded those clothes

I pretended I was pounding some gratitude in there

It helped take my mind off the whooping

But it didn’t make me feel any better

~

Later when I was helping Momma with dinner

Tommy told her I tore his jeans

He only has one good pair cos he’s always tearing them

So she whooped me some more with the big old spoon

For being so careless with Tommy’s jeans

I know it wasn’t Christian like but I snuck a bug

On his plate of squirrel stew

He never noticed and I figured God would understand

It’s sure hard to be thankful when it seems like it’s always my fault

Being Thankful

image from dougsploitation.blogspot.com #BeingThankful

~

I figure if I keep being thankful

Even when it’s always my fault

Maybe eventually all my daily ‘ thankfulness’

Might fill the biggest old barn around

And then instead of all that whooping

I might get a barrel full of hugging

To make it all worthwhile

~

But Grammy says it don’t work like that

She says, “Girl just fill yourself with gratitude,

Don’t worry about all that attitude,

God’s watching all we’re doing, and girl you’re doing just fine,

So go on now and sneak down to the river and play

Momma’s gone for the rest of the day.

And Tommy’s out after squirrels,

I’ll look after little Bobby and today we’ll both

Get our fill of thankful and gratitude

And I’ll see that sweet smile of yours for a while”

~

So I ran down to the river and swam for hours and hours,

Lay on the grass and watched the angels in the clouds

And I could feel all that thankful and gratitude Granny told me of

And I knew that everything was going to be alright

Because I could see my road stretching far away

On God’s beautiful highway.

Being Thankful

image from forums.vwvortex.com – Seward Highway, AK       #BeingThankful

 “Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
― John Henry Jowett

Thankfulness and gratitude are used almost interchangeably. For those things we are giving thanks for, we are expressing our gratitude for. There is no need to become bogged down in the correct terminology, if we are looking at life, at our day and being grateful or thankful for the good things which happen, then we are doing all the right things to make our world a better place.

Focus on the good things, no matter how small and more of those good things are magnetised towards us and life can become a wondrous place. It’s that easy – just remember that like attracts like.

May your days be filled with thankfulness and gratitude.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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The Best laid plans.....

image from www-arts-wallpapers.jpg

There are so many things I had planned to do this week, from the ordinary mundane of going shopping to the obligatory visit to my Lyme doctor. Yet the best laid plans often go awry.  I wanted to inject a little light-hearted anticipation into the week instead of following the same routine as always. Then only feeling tired at the end of getting all the ‘to do’ list done, but nothing that really made me crack that “I’ve had a wonderful experience smile,” which has been missing for too long. It didn’t need to be anything astronomical, or expensive, just something my husband and I could do, out of our normal routine and lighten the everyday routine. Remember, best laid plans and all that jazz.

Okay, this was going to be a little easier than I thought, when I realised my doctor’s appointment was at 7pm. It’s a three-hour drive up to see him, which meant that it would be a long day for me if we made a round trip when we couldn’t leave until after 8.30pm. Checking out the local Bed and Breakfast places in Maleny or close by wasn’t very hopeful at first. It’s a beautiful place to visit and at this time of year, coming into summer, even more so. So when we found a lovely place at Wootha, available for us, it was an immediate winner. At the top of the range and overlooking the valley towards the Glasshouse mountains, I could feel the tension draining away just thinking about it. But I forgot about Murphy’s Law and the best laid plans warning. I sent up my request to my angels for a nice break and off we went.

Even in the air conditioning of the car it was hot. I don’t travel well in the heat and the medication has my blood and body super heated at the ‘best’ of times just now. The blazing sun beat mercilessly through the windscreen like a well stoked furnace. I have a magnificent  case of hives so the heat was adding a new dimension to the itchy torture. (Best laid plans again).  But distracted by the scenery, we arrived and breathed a sigh of relief. It’s amazing what a heartfelt plea for relief can do to ease sorely troubled minds and bodies. Unpacked, a quick refresher and off to the local ice cream shop for one of the most magnificent ice cream cones imaginable. All locally sourced produce and heavenly taste. For one of the very rare times, brain freeze was – worthwhile.

Apart from a long discussion of what’s next, needing to return early the next morning for bloods to be taken, there were no real surprises from the doctor. We had been looking forward to a sleep in and leisurely breakfast, but we could get around that too. Our hosts were only too gracious in offering to let us have breakfast after the test. I was woken through the night by the sound of an unusual barking noise. Not a dog but a fox barking to her young. After a look outside under the full moon, where of course I could see nothing, I returned to my comfortable bed to listen to the possums running across the roof and into the trees, noisily talking to one another.

We awoke to the sounds of the Rainbow Lorikeets making a raucous noise around the bend in the verandah where the owners fed them each day. It really was a colourful display.

Off to the doctor and a small procedure later I was waiting for the nurse to take blood.  That’s when things went ‘off plan’. My ‘best laid plan’ went up in smoke, but not up the needle. Once, twice, three times and still no blood. Again – once, twice, three times and as she removed the needle the blood flowed freely – too late!  I was feeling hot and more than a little bothered. I heard someone say “adrenal surge’ after the procedure and I would have to see the collection office in town. Oh well, it could have been worse I suppose. That was an errant thought which came back to haunt me later. In the interim the nurse suggested breakfast and a drink and get the tests done later.  No arguments here, nor from my husband, the gentleman in the peanut gallery offering hilarious solutions to the lack of blood. It’s always funny watching from the sidelines, I know I’ve been there too, but silently!

Welcomed back into the cool sanctuary of the home we quickly went to freshen up. Then it was back into the dining area where we were greeted with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a huge selection of fresh fruit, rhubarb and peach compotes and local yoghurt with the hostess’ own muesli blend.  The entertainment from the birds continued as we were served with a delightful cheese souffle, accompanied by fresh asparagus spears and bacon. I have never yet managed to get a souffle to rise as beautifully as this, and it almost melted in your mouth.  Refreshed and hunger assuaged we settled back with a cup of tea.

It was hard to tear ourselves away but…. the pathology needed visiting before we could enjoy walking around town. Then we hit a larger snag to our ‘best laid plan’. After waiting quite a while in the surgery, since no-one told us we could just walk up and knock on the door, (usually I wait to be called in when it’s my turn), I went in and after she spent ten minutes deciphering all the requests she pronounced sentence, “You haven’t eaten, eggs, nuts, banana, etc, etc this morning have you?” she said. “It really should be a fasting test!” Well, that was that. Best laid plan up in smoke and not going out that day!
Not her fault but I was thoroughly put out. Finding her in town was one thing, waiting for her another, then to be told she  couldn’t do it anyway. UGH!  We walked around town, somewhat jaded, and I have to admit I was hot and itchy by now before finally settling for a visit to my favourite crystal shop to soak up those lovely vibes. Not a total waste then. We left feeling soothed by all that crystal energy and set off back to Byron.

I’m sorry to say the strain was too much, I really can’t take the heat and I fell asleep on the way home. I woke up in agony and had to be helped inside the house. Thankfully one plan I made had worked out magnificently. Knowing I would be away I had posts ready and scheduled for publishing, so I met my NaBloPoMo challenge and I’ve been tweaking photos and today’s blog.

It was to be an easy day. My tests are booked in and a mountain of messages have been attended to. Photos are all downloaded and labelled. Have you ever noticed how the names escape you if you don’t label them immediately? Brain fog, that’s my reason, that and the heat which fries my brain.

Here’s a lovely picture of the storm lilies which came out after the storm we had on the weekend. Delicate shade of pink on the edges, just beautiful.

Best laid plans

Storm lilies

I hope you enjoy the views as much as we do. Plans are meant to be broken and sometimes you get amazing surprises as a result. If we hadn’t had our plans altered we wouldn’t have been able to spend time watching the birds, seen the King and Pale Headed parrots, which don’t hang around with the noisy Lorikeets. The Fire Tailed Finch was a real treat. It felt like we were being fortified for the disappointment we had no idea was coming. I’m grateful for that blessing.

Blessings to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Owls and Orchids

image from blog.farmaid.org       My property after the storm

“Mother Nature may be forgiving this year, or next year, but eventually she’s going to come around and whack you. You’ve got to be prepared.”

 Geraldo Rivera
~

At the time this takes place I owned a property in the Kingaroy district. It was 1500 acres and I ran 200 cows, their calves and a bad tempered Braford bull named Mickey. We usually had two horses for working the cattle and general property work.

The property was 3 miles long and one mile wide. Some land was cleared, the rest was mainly dead trees and grass country suitable for grazing. The boundary fences were barbed wire, and internal dividing fences were all electric. The cattle yards were set up near the road. The house sat on the next block, owned by my ex-wife’s parents.

One day in late spring my ex-wife and I returned home from Toowoomba after a day of shopping just as dusk was falling. As I opened the gate there was an eerie silence about the place. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t see anything with the gathering dusk. I drove down the track and none of my familiar landmark trees were visible. Debris was scattered across the track and eventually I could drive no further, so turned off towards the house. Something had happened whilst we were away.

Owls and Orchids

image from http://www.abbeylawn.net     This is what my fences looked like before the storm

I could do nothing in the dark so waited until early the next morning to find out what had occurred. I returned to a scene of utter devastation. A twister had touched down at one end of the property, smashing its way through all the fences, trees and sheds before lifting off three miles away at the other end of the property. No other properties were touched, but it had obliterated mine, and fortunately leaving the house.  Every fence was broken somewhere with fallen trees.

The cattle were spooked. They bellowed and milled in little mobs across the farm. I mended the fences around the cattle yards and the cleared paddock to hold the cattle until I had mended the remaining fences and cleared the fallen trees. It was at that point the problems really began, if I’d only known.

Owls and Orchids

image from http://www.flickr.com       This could have been Tonto’s twin

I normally mustered the cattle on the large black gelding, Minstrel. However, when I returned to saddle Minstrel I remembered that several days earlier my ex-wife had taken him to her parents place, 30 miles away, so she could help her parents muster their cattle and I had to use the remaining horse, Tonto. Tonto was a great horse, however, due to a cancer in his right eye, it had been removed and he only had one eye remaining. With a few curses I saddled him and went to muster the cattle to the yards.

The cattle were still very restless and the bull, Mickey, was very upset, all fifteen hundred pounds of him. I got the cattle moving in the general direction but then Mickey broke away. He had had enough. He settled into a steady ground eating trot towards the far end of the farm, the end furthest away from the cattle yard.  By this time Tonto was getting upset too. He wasn’t too happy after being there during the storm either. I urged him to a gallop to cut the bull off, but that meant going on Mickey’s left side to turn him back towards the other cattle. However, that also meant he was on poor Tonto’s blind side. With a snort Mickey put his head down under the horse’s ribs and lifted. Tonto didn’t know what hit him. You could say he was blind-sided!

Tonto and I flew into the air. I dived sideways and rolled under the branches of a fallen tree to get away from fifteen hundred pounds of cranky bull. When I heard the sound of hooves thundering away, I looked up to see Tonto and Mickey galloping off side by side, over the hill. Tonto was completely unaware he still had the bull on his blind side, but the sound of his hooves was enough to keep him going.

Owls and Orchids

image from http://www.braford.org.au        Just like Mickey

Mother Nature is the great equalizer. You can’t get away from it.”  
Christopher Heyerdahl

~

I cursed loudly and began the long, sore walk back to the ute.

Minstrel was eventually returned several days later and I was finally able to muster the cattle into the yards. I  had to sort them out after the storm mix up and get the calves separated for branding.

It wasn’t until a week after the storm, when my arm was still sore, that I went to the hospital to have it x-rayed. I found that I had broken my wrist in the fall. A cast was fitted and I was told to be careful with my wrist around the farm. I could be careful but there’s no end to farm work.

Whilst the cast was great when I was wrestling the calves to do the branding, it didn’t do the cast much good. As a consequence I was back at the hospital every night to get a new cast put on. After a few days as soon as the nurses saw me they would roll their eyes. Back again! The branding lasted a week and by the end of that time the hospital staff was glad to see the back of me.

Both Tonto and Mickey were doing fine.

~

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

— Rachel Carson

~

This is a true story as told to me by my lovely husband. No details have been altered to spare broken bones or bruised pride.

Blessings  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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image from images.yourdictionary.com –

“Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.”
― Ron Hall

Sheep, placid, easy-going and yet they can be as dumb as a fence post if you want them to go somewhere.  A friend once referred to a group of people who didn’t have an individual thought for themselves as “sheeple”. He was referring the “follow me anywhere as long as one of you are going somewhere attitude”.  Not very generous, but unfortunately it can apply to people who apparently are no longer thinking for themselves.

I’m sure you’ve seen the group mentality somewhere. If you are trying to give a seminar to a group like this it’s a long hard day’s work. If you are fortunate it will only be one day’s work. Believe me, the last thing you want to think about if you have a group like this is that you have th same group to face in the morning. Ask a farmer, I’m sure they have lots of tales to tell.

Yet that is not my sorry tale.  I wish it were.

image from sheronmerinexcerpts.wordpress.com

Many years ago when I was working as a uniformed police officer, I had worked a double shift.  In fact that is more than an understatement.  Being one of the very few police women at the time willing to work all those unpleasant late shifts, and wanting to gain experience from what occurs during those shifts, I found myself frequently being recalled back to work.

I didn’t mind, I enjoyed my work, as strange as it may sound to some. I felt I was doing some good to the community by trying to protect them from the undesirable element who felt free to relieve them of property, life or limb.  It sounds noble, but at the time it was simply a truth, for me at least. So being called back to work after barely an hours sleep was worth the discomfort.

Out of the previous two and a half days, that is three normal evening shifts which had run into overtime and being called in both nights, I had barely had four hours sleep. That would have been generous. It is very hard to unwind after a busy shift and even more so when you are working a lot of extra hours.

So in the wee hours of a Sunday morning in mid winter, I was wending my weary way back home along the back roads. Even in Queensland, mid winter and close to several creeks, it can be quite chilly and fog was swirling quite thickly in places. The heat caught by the bitumen roads simply increased the fog. I had chosen the back roads for the simple reason that it was a shorter route than the main road.

It was blissfully quiet, just the purring of my little Volkswagen as it hummed along the dark road. I was already looking forward to a hot drink and a few hours sleep.  Suddenly there was a “bump-bump” as my car went over something in the road. Stopping I couldn’t see anything, the fog was swirling in my path behind me. Carefully pulling into the side of the road I got out with my torch and walked back along the road.

A black sheep, looks beautiful doesn’t it? Unfortunately not when it is in the middle of an unlit road with fog swirling around you.  Dead as a doornail! Did I check for signs of life – well, it wasn’t moving and didn’t rouse when I approached it. Kiss of life – I don’t think so! For the life of me I couldn’t think why there would be a sheep in this particular area – it wasn’t a farm area after all, it was, if anything, semi industrial. There just happened to be a short stretch of roadway with a few houses along it.

I felt awful. I felt like  a murderer. Okay, perhaps not that bad but I was sick that I had run over this poor sheep. There was a house nearby which had a few windows showing lights in them.  So, gathering my courage and embarrassment I walked over and knocked at the door.  The conversation was short.

Me, “Umm, do you happen to own a black sheep by any chance.”

Middle aged man, “Oh yeah, Blackie, have you seen him?”

Me, ” Well, yes, it appears I may have run over him on the road.”

Man, ” I see, well, not your fault. He’s got out again and loves sleeping on the road at night. It’s warm you see. Bound to happen sooner or later.”

Me, “Oh, I’m so sorry, what do you want me to do?”

Man, ” Don’t worry about it, I’ll see to it before the kids get up. You just on your way home then?”

Me,”  Yes, been a long night.”

Man, “Well, don’t worry, off you go, can’t be expected to see a black sheep on a black road now can  you?  Cheerio.”

With the door closed in my face, (and I was wearing my uniform), I was at a loss as to what I should do next. Should I move the sheep? Should I fill in a report? (Shudder).  The door reopened and the conversationalist appeared with a large bag.  “Oh, still here? Not to worry, I’m moving Blackie now. Run along then.”

The sun was beginning to make its weak appearance. I was suddenly hit with a wave of exhaustion. Walking back to my car I was wondering if it would start. I mean it’s only a Volkswagen, not some heavy-duty car. How would I explain to a tow truck that I had killed a sheep and needed towing?  Fortunately my little car started straight away and I went home. I wont say sleep came easily and I was very circumspect whenever I drove down dark streets thereafter.

Not my finest hour.

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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