Monday, April 28, 2014

Cloud ahead

For the last 17 years I've been deaf in my right ear.
I have a condition called otosclerosis, and it was triggered by my pregnancy with Emily,
so it's 17 years pretty much to the month since I first noticed my ear
felt blocked all the time and I couldn't hear properly.
At the time I was advised to finish my family and then consider a stapedectomy.
In 2009 I visited the surgeon again and discussed the procedure and risks of surgery,
and he advised trying a hearing aid if I wasn't sure about the surgery.
So for 4 1/2 years I've been wearing a hearing aid.
It was very hard going at first, but the day after I wrote this post
everything suddenly clicked and I kept it after all.
Conversations in noisy rooms became easier.
I could actually tell when we finished praying in bible study.
The TV volume could come down a bit.
Music became louder, but more cacophonous.
With every high note comes a ringing feedback sound in my ear.
And I still struggle to hear someone speaking directly to my right.

So, after all these years, I've decided to have the surgery.
I booked it in November, but had to wait until this week to have it.
The surgery has an 89% success rate,
so I'm hoping there will be no complications.
My sweet friend Carol has had this surgery twice
and has been my mentor and cheerleader
over the last 9 months or so we've been chatting about it.
She now has about 80% of her hearing in her recently operated ear.

On Wednesday I will go to hospital, stay overnight,
and return home on Thursday to recover.
For the next couple of weeks I have to avoid
bending, lifting, and sudden movements.
I can't blow my nose or wash my hair,
and I still won't be able to hear for about 6 weeks.
I've canceled my teaching and other responsibilities
for a few weeks.
After the initial dizziness
I'm planning to catch up on period dramas and romantic comedies,
 read a few books and do some crocheting and knitting.
The girls have been told they will have to wait on me hand and foot.
We'll see how that turns out ...

In the eye department, I'm still getting used to reading glasses,
reading is not always the pleasure it was.
Using the computer is marginally better with my glasses.
I'm sure it will continue to improve, along with my hearing after surgery,
as my brain adjusts to all these changes.
Hopefully in 2 months or so I'll be hearing and reading with no problems.

So at the moment I'm feeling a bit anxious,
aware of the various risks of the surgery,
doing lots of housework, shopping and cooking
to prepare for the next fortnight when I can do nothing,
trying to remember everything that I need to be on top of.
It's a strange state to be in, knowing that if I don't do something now,
I can't do it for a few weeks.

It's hard to hold on to the calm of last week,
but if  the surgery works, it will all be worth it.

Thanks for sticking with this long post to the end,
I'll see you again out the other side.

Holiday by the lake

Our week by Wallis Lake last week was just what we needed.
Last term was hard, long and wet.

After 300km driving north, 
we arrived at Green Point, near Forster,
and found ourselves in a land of sunshine,
 pelicans and birdsong,
hibiscus flowers bigger than our hands,
and a sky that stretched forever.

We swam

 we kayaked

we lazed and read and crocheted and enjoyed the view


we explored

and one of us did the splits by the lake.

I took about a million photos of sunsets over the water,
but that's another post.

There was time to absorb our beautiful surrounds,
time to think, to read, to walk, to be together, to play games,
to enjoy the warm sea, and just to be.

Good times.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Psalm 23 at the Lake


This last week we have had a much-needed holiday.
Plenty of time for rest and contemplation.
And oh, the lake.

How could I help but think of Psalm 23?

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This time last year ...

Bruny Island adventures

... and yes, we did walk to the top, 
but quite without planning to ...

Monday, April 21, 2014


This time last year ...

 Four days living in Arthurs Circus, Battery Point, Hobart

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Blessings

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, 
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 
“by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:22-25

Friday, April 18, 2014

This time last year ...

... we were in Tasmania.

And since I didn't ever post all those photos then,
you're getting a few of them now.

Cataract Gorge

There has been a lot of talk of "a year ago we were ...."

A year ago we were staying here,

Coachman's Cottage, Brickendon.

Close to the main house:

and feeling like we were living in an Austen novel.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Colours of the holidays

It's been a colourful few days.

Today the girls and I went to the Opera House for  
The Australian Ballet's Introduction to the Ballet -
watching the dancers do their daily class onstage,
and then dance part of Manon, in colourful full costume with a set.
We three sometime ballet dancers loved it.

When we came out at 1.30 the sun was still shining,
blue skies and green palm trees.
Our first fine afternoon in a long time.

It was hot, too, in the sun. The girls had icecreams
(while I sat nibbling on a dry GF/DF biscuit, wishing some things were otherwise)

Yesterday Laura went iceskating with friends
(a big adventure making their way there 
alone on public transport for the first time).

I tidied the plastics cupboard while I waited for the kettle to boil.

Emily and I spent the morning trying and comparing different brands of colouring pencils,
then went out and collected my new reading glasses.
Before I chose frames I'd decided I'd go for tortoiseshell or blue,
remarkably, I found a frame with both colours.
(The jury is still out as to whether they are helping,
I'm still adjusting to them)

Emily made the difficult decision at the art shop,
and invested in 36 Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

I bought some cable needles, and am knitting cables for the first time.
It seems to be working, and is not as difficult as I expected.
I don't know why I waited so long.

 And just now, a gorgeous sunset,

casting a peachy glow onto Emily's bedroom walls.

I hope you are having a colourful week, too.

Friday, April 11, 2014


While I was tidying my craft room this afternoon,
expecting rain, the sun came out, and we had a sunshower.

Brilliant sunshine with quite heavy rain.

And a surprising number of people walking by in raincoats and with umbrellas.
It was lovely.

Also today, this last day of term, and my first truly free day
in goodness-knows-how-long,
I washed, baked, walked, and rested, watching A Room with a View.
I had some other plans, but not enough energy to carry them out.
I guess my body just needed to slow down a little and spend most of the day resting.

 Now in the late afternoon, the sunshowers continue.
The girls are home, and holidays have begun.