faith · parenting · Uncategorized

Just another part of farm life

The other morning our son was waking up (in our bed of course!) and his first question of the day was,

‘Harry is a baby?’ – ‘yes Harry is a baby’ – we have good friends with a nearly one year old Harry who C absolutely dotes on but that wasn’t the Harry he was talking about…

‘Harry is dead?’ ahhh ‘yes our Harry is dead.’

‘Roo is dead?’ – ‘yes Roo is dead’ and then he got up to watch cartoons.

These questions just come from nowhere. His big sister had mentioned Harry the other day at our local park where we donated a fundraising brick with all three of their names on it, but other than that we hadn’t been talking about our Harry. And Roo? Well he was an old much-loved farm dog who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Death is everywhere. Just yesterday my father in law had to shoot one of our younger dogs who had yet again been chasing the rams. Three had already been killed this year by the dogs and they are not cheap. My husband explained to me that FIL had chained him up in front of the other dogs and shot him, he was still lying there when he left work for the day. It sounds awful, it IS awful, I feel horrible for my FIL as I know it would not have been a nice job. But the farm is a business, our rams provide our income and the dogs I guess are workers, they need to listen and learn and this dog had continued repeating his mistakes.

My husband last night at tea explained to our daughter that this incident was the worst part of his day. I commented after his brief description to her of what had happened, that we don’t shoot humans.

We also had a pet lamb die recently and C continues to comment regularly ‘Lamby died 😦 ‘

Death tends to be a part of life for farm kids, in addition my children have experienced my grandparents, an aunt and their brothers passing. Fortunately as christians we can also talk to them about the promise of eternal life through Jesus, about heaven. I appreciate that my children are introduced to death early in their lives, that it is not taboo for them. Their comments and questions sure pull at the heart strings though.

 

GJ

 

ps Sorry to the animal lovers, I hope you don’t read into this post cruelty against animals, if you do I don’t think you understand the realitites of farming but I am more than happy to discuss further

pps At 29 death has been following me too closely recently, the anniversary of my friends death through cancer passed recently and I have again lost loved ones this year – is that what happens when we grow up?

pps I have had the time to write this post thanks to hubby driving past on a tractor and picking up C for a ride, both my children and I are so blessed to experience life on a farm

God bless

life · political · Uncategorized

Licorice Allsorts on Census Night

I was going to have a shower and snuggle up to #4 in John Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began series (re-reading these give me a wonderful sense of coming home) but I actually have a lot of things I want to write about, I just don’t have a lot of energy to do any of them justice but what the heck, it’s Census Night!

  1. I love census night 🙂
  2. I really don’t understand why the religion question is now optional. The option of marking no religion is there and as far as I see it you either have a religion or not, why are people more sensitive about this then sharing their income? I guess people just don’t see religion as relevant but conversely ancerstry is??
  3. MAC again – referred a client via the website earlier this month letting it go through as a RAS ax as her needs at that time wern’t ugent but she was definitely in need of additional services – which unfortunately under DVA requirements I had no capacity to assist in. I followed it up today and apparently they rang twice and whenbthere was no answer closed the file. ARRGGGGHhhhhhhh. This client has now lost her drivers license making her needs a lot more urgent, extra services could already be in progress except for….MAC
  4. NDIA providers are facing even worse issues with the new myplace portal, meaning they can’t get paid – been good to get out my political pen/keyboard again
  5. On a positive note had a client tell me last week how lucky I am to have young kids and it was a great reminder that I should be trying to enjoy and embrace it
  6. Had a good GP appt last week, a student doctor saw me and while we waited for my usual GP to sign the script I asked some questions related to a client with memory concerns, was quite useful, although I was a bit disappointed she encouraged me to seek a special presciption only appt – I think it’s good to have regular check-ups with my GP especially considering I have a chronic condition. The questions she asked me about my current mood were a lot different to how when he came in he asked how I was going.
  7. Read an ABC article tonight about recrutintg international GP’s for rural areas – that its not working, rather we should work on recruiting students from rural areas – I still get annoyed about missing out on local jobs when the people who got them have come and gone but I’m still in the area. (it worked out best for me and I’m happy to accept I wasn’t best for the job but when recruiting in rural areas I think supporting willing people planning to spend their entire lives in the area is perhaps a good idea)
  8. Also read articles tonight about the state of SA’s child protection services. Hopefully the recommendations from the commission will result in positive changes. Whenever I read stuff like this I want to DO something but what…
  9. We have a new puppy – so basically I have three kids (plus a grumpy over worked hubby)
  10. Reached 200 likes, yay! Thanks for reading

 

 

political · work

I made a mistake (+ Bonus election comments)

I missed something at work. And this week it resulted in a client being at home without services for almost a week. I thought respite had been organised but it seems it was never officially confirmed. I don’t know why this client didn’t call and let someone know he was still home, all I know is she rang someone today and an ambulance was called to take him to hospital. All reports suggest she is clinically fine, thank goodness, but nonetheless… very not good 😦

It wasn’t a work day for me but I received an email letting me know of calls made to admin trying to find out what went wrong which I was able to follow up within an hour. It’s still not all cleared up but comes down to

  • not quite right understanding relayed from phone call/messages
  • not good enough follow up by myself and I believe the respite centre

Mistakes happen, human error is going to happen and it could have been worse but I still feel awful and had a good cry before letting my bosses know what had happened. They and the other worker I talked to today were forgiving and supportive, I hope my client and family can forgive too.

Given our recent election it feels relevant to relate this back to politics – healthcare it seems was a major determinant in voters decision-making (particularly in relation to mediscare). Malcolm Turnball, the most likely ongoing leader of our country, has stated that results indicate his party needs to  work harder when it comes to health policy. Fingers crossed he means it because I have a few issues I’d like to raise.

I mentioned briefly in My Vote (previous post) that the freeze on Medicare rebate directly affects my job. The poor payment we are getting from the government means my bosses are having to seriously consider if they can afford to continue their business particular in a rural area. If the freeze to 2020 continues they will almost definitely close their business and I will lose my job.

The freeze also contributes to the quality of care I can provide to my clients. While I should be focussed on their health and care needs, I am instead needing to ask myself, am I doing enough billable hours? Follow up phone calls, an incredibly important part of my job is not considered billable thus I am forced to fit this in where I can, hence, I believe things get missed, balls get dropped, clients get left stranded.

While we’re talking about billable hours lets also consider how the government department I deal with does not truly understand the contribution my profession can/does make to client care. We have a unique outlook and perspective that places us in an ideal position to provide case management-like services but its not our role according  to this department and instead we must refer back to already over-worked GP’s rather than deal with issues arising both holistically and efficiently.

Are you feeling my frustration yet?

If not let’s start on My Aged Care. A new government website introduced last year. At a time when the government was/is trying to find cost-cutting measures they started a new process which totally misses the mark. The website itself I can’t comment too much on, I think it does provide some useful information but its referral system is a complete disaster. It has introduced a completely redundant extra level of assessment which only causes confusion and delay. Talk about a waste of resources and funds, I guess it is providing someone a job?!

Anyway my next step (after complaining on my blog of course!) is to firm up our admin processes to try and reduce miscommunication and write a letter to my newly reinstated MP. Thanks for reading.

 

If interested more on the election and Medicare rebate freeze http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-06/ama-renews-call-for-coalition-to-lift-medicare-rebate-freeze/7572050

 

 

 

 

life · political · study · Uncategorized

My Vote

It’s election day in Australia tomorrow. I’m one of those weirdos who love elections and gets excited about numbering all the boxes under the line on the senate paper, but sadly not so much this year.

My big decision this week was dropping a subject, and although I knew that it  was the decision I was going to make I still spent all week overthinking it, especially when I got grades back which were much better than expected. It’s the right decision – I want to be available to support my Mum, to prioritise my family and I’ve committed to school council. Plus I’ve been enjoying my job a lot more recently so the drive to do something different is not so great even if I don’t like the idea of extending study for another year.

Back to politics – each of our two major parties are much of a muchness as far as I’m concerned. Normally I would spend a fair bit of time researching but I just havn’t had the energy this year. My electorate is a pretty safe liberal seat, the only exciting thing is that the paper reported Nick Xenophon’s party may actually come close. I’ve become disillusioned with the Family First party by their lack of response regarding refugees and the Greens candidate is just an outsider. Labor had me a bit excited with a local candidate for once and their commitment to unfreeze medicare rebates which directly affects my job. I also support their position on education and implementing Gonski so was very tempted.

In the end both my upper and lower seat votes have been mostly influenced by their position on gay marriage.

Happy Election Eve Australia. We are lucky to live in such a great democratic country.

 

parenting · Uncategorized

Getting the Car Serviced

Am I the only mother who finds this an absolute struggle!!

It was Wiggle concert day today – woohoo! I seriously love this band – they’ve come to our country area the last four years and I’ve been there with my kiddos each year.

But first I had to drop my car off at  the mechanics, I was running late as usual, my wonderful friend picking me up though didn’t blink an eyelid and we headed off to the concert town with a full car blasting Wiggles tunes (the teens in the back LOVED it!)

Ten or so minutes down the road I got a phone call to check where my keys were…in my pocket of course! I’m very lucky that one of the workers was happy to come pick them up – no way was I turning around and missing the concert. Needed to workout a place to leave them though… My hairdresser has opened up a dress shop in the neighbouring town – problem solved.

Until we got to the shop and it was close til 10am, ok I know some people at the christian bookshop too, nope closed for this one day (naturally). So finally I decided to trust the local toy shop, they would understand a Mum desperate to get a Wiggles concert, surely?!? Thank you toy shop owner and thank you car shop, I didn’t hear from you again so I assume it all worked out!

We missed the last bell call but got into our seats in time.

The concert of course ROCKED!! My girl danced in the aisles with all her friends and my boy sat absolutely mesmorised. Me? Best seat dancer in the crowd! As a concert die-hard I’ve learnt to bring a few presents for the band so Anthony Wiggle was less than 2m from me 🙂 🙂

Home again with my friend who eventually dropped us and our car seats at my parents. I rang to check if the car was finished and headed off down the street for a few groceries before picking it up, boy in tow.

And there we were ready to pick up the car, no car seats. Fortunately I had a ‘phone a friend’ up my sleeve to dear Dad who kindly packed up our stuff and brought daughter and carseats to the car shop. So many favours from so many friends (and strangers!) A typically day for this famously forgetful Mum.

How do you handle car service days? I hate HATE car seat juggles, thankfully my daughter at 5 now doesn’t need hers bolted so thats something. Also both kids slept in the car and went straight to sleep tonight – hurrah.

 

life · political · Uncategorized

Small Communities

I may be biased, but country towns rock. I am so very fortunate and blessed to be part of a number of small country communities and this week I was inspired by another community to write about just how wonderful they are.

My Communities (in an attempted nutshell)

  • Family – immediate, extended and in-laws
  • Church Family – immediate, parish, state, country, world and heaven wide
  • Sporting community (for us football and cricket)
  • Town Community (state and country)
  • Various other small group/club communities
    • (think I may be pushing the definition of communities out a bit on this one)

Yesterday I attended a wedding for a beautiful couple from one of my communities. I love weddings and that feeling of looking around at your people and knowing just how blessed you are.

A seemingly common theme in my blog, death, is also a time for reflecting on those in your community and often it brings out and shows the strength of a community. From my cousins family…

“Thank you seems such a small word to say as we reflect on the enormous amount of love and support given to our family in the days that followed our beloved’s passing. We know as we write this letter that we are still not fully aware of all that was done for us during that time, as many of you acted anonymously or in a “behind the scenes” manner.
Your kindness, love, hugs, gifts of food, flowers, words of support and encouragement, warm presence and heartfelt sympathy embraced and comforted us. We were humbled by the magnitude of grace this amazing community possesses.
Your protective assistance with the unwelcome media attention was also very much appreciated.
His funeral service made us all incredibly proud of the man he was and the life he lived. Seeing thousands of people behind us, some of whom had travelled from all over the country, made us realise just how many lives he has touched. His larger than life personality stuck with every person he met and his memory lives on within each and every one of you.
The beauty of memory is that we hold it in our hearts forever. We will never forget the kindness and compassion you have shown us.”

 

A community is a place you belong, another family, a village for your children – in my experience a group of people you can rely on through thick and thin.

 

And lastly changing the tone a little and thinking about a community way out of my realm

To the Syrian regime,
Listen to the echo of my voice.
In my eyes this world has become lifeless.
In one moment I lost my country.
But these are your people too.
My heart’s broken because you’ve betrayed my country
And the life of this generation is destroyed.

 

To my people,
Be patient.
This crisis has shown you that your country is a treasure
But you see that it is only now that you have lost it.

 

(from The Lutheran vol. 50 no.2)
Uncategorized · work

God at work

I had one of those experiences today when you see God at work in your day to day life.

Noticed in last weeks local paper that one of my clients who was palliative care had passed away. Had a chance between client’s today to call his widow – she sounded better than I expected but had to end the call when overcome with tears. It was her second attempt to say good-bye to me so I guess I wondered if I’d overstepped. I made a note to myself to send a sympathy card.

Finished my last client with plenty of time spare to pick up my daughter from school, was planning to park in the car park there to finish off some notes but as I was getting close to the widow’s road I wondered if I should call in. I decided to pull over on her road to do my notes, to see if my urge was God-driven or maybe self-indulgent, would it be for me (to make sure I hadn’t offended) or for her benefit.

I was a bit slow to listen to God’s answer as I tried catching up on my work – there was both an email and text message relevant to the widow, with 15 minutes left to pick up I rang and asked if I could pop in, ‘that would be lovely’ was the reply.

Next I experienced the best hug of the day. With tears in our eyes she told me about how his pain relief in the last two weeks had not been adequate, her regrets at not being strong enough to stand up for him, her sadness at not being there when he passed away despite having asked to sleep in a spare bed in the room. And then I had to go. She told me I was the first she shared these regrets with – Thank you Lord that I could be there. Sorry Lord I didn’t have more time. I will go back.

I was late to pick up my daughter…..but at the start of the day her teacher had checked if I was available to chat after school, so I knew as I was driving, that I would be expected (she sometimes takes the bus) and that she would be cared for. God had prepared us that morning so I could be there for my client’s wife.

 

*    a few side notes, follow up care is soo important, however in my work we are not paid to follow up with the families of our clients. But who better to support people in their grief than those who knew their loved ones health issues? (actually not saying we are the best to do it, but I think it would be wonderful if we were given the opportunity to find out if we can help)

** Secondly how important is palliative care?? Proper palliative care would have seen my client’s pain needs better attended to and his family better supported, without his daughter having to advocate so strongly on their behalf. Confronting death is hard enough without extra regrets to feel guilty about.

***Read this article recently on the need for better palliative care funding in Australia https://theconversation.com/a-good-death-australians-need-support-to-die-at-home-32203

political · Uncategorized

It’s not the Australian way

Refugees have been in the news again this week in Australia. Our high court ruled that Australia’s policy of offshore detention is legal, meaning the probable transfer of more than 250 asylum seekers to detention centres in Nauru – including 54  children currently held in Australia’s detention centres and 37 babies born in Australia (1&5)

I am not altogether against off-shore detention. As previously mentioned (https://geejenmotw.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/not-good-enough-australia-i-am-a-political-activist/) I still do not know enough about this issue to speak on the policy itself but I am 100% against child abuse and given the accusations against workers at Nauru do not believe any child or their family should be returned there.

Peter Dutton (Australian Immigration Minister) has that said transfers would be made on a case-by-case basis. (2) “We are not going to put children into harm’s way…We are going to work individually through each of the cases,” he said. He MUST be held to account on these statements. The Government has also given the Human Rights Legal Centre a guarantee to that no-one will be sent to Nauru without being given 72 hours’ notice (4).

Dr Hasantha Gunasekera, one of the paediatricians who assessed adolescents held on Nauru, said the children were among the most traumatised he and his colleague had seen “in 50 years of combined professional experience” (2). He also said Australians would be shocked to learn what was happening in offshore detention (3) This truly horrifies me.

His colleague Professor Triggs has urged the Federal Government to rethink its plan to send children back to Nauru. “Detaining children was not an effective deterrent to people smugglers,” she said. Both recommended that under no circumstances should any child detained on the mainland be sent to Nauru. “Many of the children had palpable anticipatory trauma at mention of return to Nauru,” Professor Elliott said (4).

Another doctor (Dr. Francis) spoke out saying “One of the devastating things about living in detention in the current climate is they [the children] don’t have any hope….And we’re seeing children suffer significant mental health problems because of that lack of hope (4).” Shockingly he describes a 7 year old girl who has drawn pictures of her own funeral 😦

When Minister Peter Dutton says the Government will consider medical advice before deciding whether to deport a 5yo boy allegedly on Nauru you can’t help but feel doubtful (5). How could it even be considered a possibility to return him?? These allegations must be completely investigated before any such action is remotely considered.

There are some good people out there – churches have offered themselves as sanctuary (6) and the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called on the Prime Minister to allow the refugees to settle in his state (7). In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball he wrote,

“A sense of compassion is not only in the best interests of these children and their families. It is also in the best interests of our status as a fair and decent nation…sending them [infants] to Nauru will needlessly expose them to a life of physical and emotional trauma…It’s wrong. Medical professionals tell us this. Humanitarian agencies tell us this. Our values tell us this, too. Sending these children and their families to Nauru is not the Australian way.

So this has been my days research. I think I have a few more letters to write to my representatives…

 

 

ps another blogger has called on her readers to write to political leaders https://moiraneagle.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/choosing-not-to-be-helpless/ and also written poetry about Australia’s refugee situation.

 

 

1) Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/hundreds-protest-in-sydney-against-asylum-seeker-high-court-decision-20160204-gmlo3o.html#ixzz3zMeDgO3b

2) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/peter-dutton-under-pressure-to-allow-asylum-seekers-to-stay/7138518

3) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-02/dr-hasantha-gunasekera/7133276

4) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/probe-underway-alleged-child-sex-abuse-in-detention-doctors/7138702

5)http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-02/doctors-fears-alleged-nauru-5yo-rape-victim-considered-dutton/7135054

6) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/churches-offer-sanctuary-to-asylum-seekers/7138484

7) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-06/victoria-premier-says-returning-children-to-detention-wrong/7146030

 

parenting

I’m a School Mum!

This week my daughter started school,  I was a complete mixed bag of emotions. Excited, proud (so very proud), nervous, sad and incredibly nostalgic.

Her new teacher sent home an activity when we collected school book- 10 Things I Want you to Know About Me and one for the parents too, 10 Things My Parents Want you to Know About Me – here is my list:

  1. My daughter is sooo happy and excited to be starting school, I too am excited to begin my journey as a school mum
  2. My daughter can be a great leader and organiser
  3. She is soo eager to learn (most of the time!)
  4. The development of her christian faith is important to us
  5. She loves her brother (3), her grandparents and cousins
  6. We live on a farm with sheep, pigs and crops
  7. My daughter loves performing
  8. She takes her hearing aids off to use a phone, wear earphones and play with a stethoscope
  9. We can’t believe our little girl has grown up – we are so proud of her and love her beyond words
  10. We pray that this is a wonderful year for all of us

Her list

  1. I like doing paintings
  2. My favourite colours are green and purple
  3. Sometimes at home I like to do exercising with Mum and Dad
  4. I like gardening
  5. I love dancing!
  6. I like swimming at Grandma’s pool and sometimes at the beach
  7. I got a bike for Christmas and a Pocahontas dress
  8. I have been learning the piano and trying hard
  9. I like putting decorations on the Christmas tree and playing Christmas games
  10. I really really want to go to school!

Highlights of the week:

Turns out I love readers, makes me so excited that my girl ‘can’ read, learning is seriously fun.

Hearing about my girl playing with her new friends, telling me what her teacher has been teaching them – hope she continues to share with me about her days.

There is finally a positive to having early rising children! No rushes in the morning – everything has gone so smoothly, in fact I’m kinda loving the routine school is bringing to our lives. Early days yet I know.

Lowlight: My son is toilet training, (need I say more!) and wet his jocks and shorts at first after school pick up of the week 😦

 

ps I’m still undecided how anonymous I want this blog to be – think I better learn some photo editing skills though!!