Monday, August 22, 2011

Time just flies...

When you are making a new house into a home *grins*

Big apologies for the lack of updates this past week. Life is busy and semi-active and by the end of the day, I am in agony ~ a bundle of oww's and ohhh's. The new pain meds are a wee bit strong (considering I was off them 2-3 months ago) but I am getting a decent sleep. 

It's taking a little time, but house-sitting a fully furnished place takes a little longer to set up and make into your own. Especially when you are going to be living in it for about five years! So why have we decided to house-sit.

Back in 1997, Hubby and I agreed we would move interstate within 5-10 years to enjoy warmer weather and fulfil our dreams. The location was not determined at that time - he wanted to be in the Coffs Harbour region, I wanted to be in the Sunshine Coast or higher. Neither of us were insistent on either location, we just knew we were looking for a place warm with oceans and/or mountains to provide us with a true sea/tree change.

When SmallBoy came along in 1999, we'd made the move to Ballarat ~ close enough to family to be some distance away. In a nice way. *grins*  We had mountains, wildlife, bushland - but could still get to family within an hour or two, and have them visit if they chose. While this was not too often (aside from Hubby's mum on regular welcomed occasions) - we were fortunate to rent a farm house with an acre to ourselves for $120pw - a pittance in any climate. This allowed us to save for a home, more when we both worked but cope when neither were employed.

Bought the house mid 2006, and less that a year later I was off work - and discovering there were fractures in my spine from a car accident a decade earlier. Oh the joys! Had to wait a year but had a spinal fusion, laminectomy and bone grafting. Sadly the graft failed - but the rest has been progressing exactly in the time frame the surgeon advised. Add in a blot clot, some severe depression and anxiety, its amazing things have progressed on track.  

There were a few who felt they knew more that the Head of Orthopaedics at RMH which did nothing for my mental health ~ imagine being told you're wallowing in a disability which isn't there. Personally I think a little encouragement, some helpful phone calls and lots of cheers at milestones would have done me 100 times more good boosting my depressed, loss state of mind than pathetic put downs. I learnt who my true, honest friends are through this experience ~ the result surprised me. Those who have helped me through - especially with spiritual, helpful friends in those first months post op and the caring, motivational friends during the last six/eight months - you have been so special to me and always will be regardless of the distance. I have even gained weight and in twelve months have put on twelve kilos - from 45kg to 57kgs - gee I am so please and proud of me (and grateful for support of friends).

There's been ups and downs, rights and wrongs but overall - our little family unit is so strong and happy together, we knew we could and would cope with the decision to move to an area we knew no-one, with a campervan and the idea we would be able to get long term, low/no cost accommodation in return for work or caring for someone. We decided so long as it was between Buderim and Cairns (our choice of area since around 2004), it would work. We thought Gin Gin to Maryborough would be best, having looked at a few properties in Tin Can Bay, Kia Ora and Childers over the years.

And here we are ~ house-sitting a three bedroom place in the Bundaberg area for the next three-five years while the retired owners embark on their around Australia adventure. With our only expenses being electricity and communications, we hope to reduce our debt by half this year and then start saving for our own Queensland piece of paradise. 

More importantly for the short term is building a social/friendship base in the area. SmallBoy has settled into school brilliantly ~ proving to be quite popular with his classmates and even developing tanned legs. This we discovered when out on the weekend and his 'tan' was highlighted by the white 'socks' on his bare ankles. *chuckles* He has been put up a year academically and is coping with the extra workload and subjects. We are considering a tutor just to ensure no gaps in his learning will make things difficult in upper high school. 

Finally my therapies are set in place and I'll be starting hydrotherapy next week. I've got the homoeopathic work scheduled plus I am working with weights, magnets and yoga to get more movement into my right side (which is considerably weaker than the left side). Costs a damn fortune - seriously half our income is on therapy at the moment so I will have to cut back. Scarily, there is some bone spur and nerve blockage going on in my neck (nice to know I wasn't making that up either!) and it looks like my hips are not aligned, but this last issue should self correct as I strengthen my core muscles again. Being in tune with my body is helping and will be a lot easier once this run on pain relief has ended and the pain management clinic sessions start.

So ~ a little history, goals and plans. Much more interesting than hearing how we have unpacked suitcases, set up bedrooms and worked out where things are stored in a 'strange' house. Oh, but we have built our raised vegetable bed and hope to be enjoying lettuces and asian greens in the next few weeks. Can't wait.

This Week's Menu 

Sunday: Beef Stroganoff with beans
Monday: Pumpkin Soup and Pide bread
Tuesday: Nachos and salad
Wednesday: Chicken schnitzel and salad
Thursday: Spinach and ricotta pasta
Friday: Tuna Patties and chips
Saturday: home-made KFC
Sunday: Pork chops and veggies

Baking/Making: Pumpkin scones; Ham and cheese scrolls; Lemon meringue; home-made 'Savoury Shapes' 

Gosh I am loving life at the moment ~ for all the crap, I ain't dead yet and hope to be out in the ocean in summer and riding a pushbike again by the start of next year. The scars are fading (but I am so proud of the big one) but the mental scars are still healing. Its a journey. Thanks for sharing it.


  1. awesome mands, what an adventure, you're inspirational xx kimmy from the 'rat

  2. Thanks Kimmy ~ heard you've got some lovely weather at the moment. Enjoy! Missing you heaps ~ give the girls a big hug for me

  3. Oh Mands I am glad you are settling in to your new life. I am pleased that your son has settled in so well. The climate shoudl agree with you all. I hope the pain decreases.