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Tag Archives: Christmas

Filling you in

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See, I’m doing better already, I knew I could do it! But then, there’s something quite addictive about writing some ungrammatical shite on the internet and having people come and say actual things to you. That is, if you check your email and actually read those actual things, which is obviously something I also have to work on. Baby steps.

I have photos of people (Poss) graduating from PS and being all grown up and gossip about Rhubarb  (almost 16! It’s getting interesting!) that I shouldn’t share but will (a bit – in the most respectful and discrete way possible*). Those updates will have to wait though because they require the uploading of pictures and I am knackered. Despite plenty of warning that Christmas was approaching I have still managed to overload my body doing last-minute things that need doing in order to have Christmas. I’ve had to resort to the good painkillers tonight, which hasn’t happened in some time.

Here though is a health update in bullet points:

  • The pain doctor who was okay but not great has been downgraded to a status of just barely tolerable if there are no alternatives, which there aren’t. He’s promised great mediocre things but not really delivered. Round one of drug recommendations were almost all unhelpful. The exception being a different med for neuropathic pain, which makes a noticeable difference. I’ve gradually stopped taking all but some pretty mild pain relief, it was a significant reduction. I seem to need elephantine doses of all manner of things so it’s a pretty big deal to be on almost no pain meds.  Round two of drug suggestions was slightly better, I acquired one more med aimed at reducing muscle spasms but it’s not fabulous, just okay. Also, if you were to shake me now, I’d rattle.
  • The MRI results showed a few disc problems and a few things that Dr Passable said were obviously a source of pain. Naturally he then failed to move forward with a plan for treating said things or give any clues as to what might have caused them. It wasn’t until after that appointment that I realised that he had not actually ordered the correct type of MRI to properly investigate MS. Not that I am really worried about it but you’d think that (it being a stated goal of the MRI and all) he would’ve done that part correctly.
  • I’ve now organised through my GP the appropriate referrals for my discy problems. I didn’t bother pressing too hard on the “thingies” on the MRI, I have doctor exhaustion, I’ll think about it next year. Maybe.
  • Over the last several months my usual intermittent numbness, tingling, buzzing, burning etc in extremities (and other places) has increased in intensity and frequency quite a bit, to the point where I’d almost class them as a new thing. I mentioned it to my GP and she said not to worry. I told her that I wasn’t worried, however I feel that it’s prudent to mention these things just in case it comes up in two years and she asks me why I never mentioned it. She was also pleased to note that it couldn’t be to do with, say, MS because we checked already. I couldn’t bring myself to argue. I mentioned them to my Rheum the other day and she barely skipped a beat before ordering a nerve conduction study, which is tomorrow. The one thing that has come about really quickly and I hear it’s painful, or at least that’s what Rheum said. Bastards. She’s optimistic that I don’t need a proper referral to a neuro just yet (only a temporary one for this test) so that’s some sort of upside I think.
  • I’m coping a lot better with my pain levels. I am in a bit less pain thanks to some of my new meds but have also come to a good place of acceptance about things. I think it’s just about coming to the end of grieving for the loss of function and the being all pissed off about it and getting on with trying to manage with life the way it is. I still hope to get a bit better if we can work on pinpointing some other things but I am not counting on it any longer.
  • There are other things I won’t bore you – just niggly weird things my body has decided to throw into the mix. I think they constitute a whole post though so yeah, actually, I suppose I will bore you with them at some point. Lucky you.

I shall return with some sort of Christmas post in the next day or so. I am determined to find the time somewhere. It will likely be simply a photo of me wrapping presents but it will be something.

It’s a big day tomorrow though, I’m having a haircut. I last shaved my head in January and it’s now made it halfway down my neck. I am a hair-growing wizard. It will be interesting to see if the hairdresser (who is a friend and had better not give me a bad haircut as that’s what led to the head shaving in the first place) can make anything good out of it. We shall see.


* I obviously respect Rhubarb’s privacy (especially here) but there are some things that I am bursting to share. On the other hand, I am banned from discussing him in any way with friends and relatives. For instance, if I were to mention to my friend that he needed new jeans, that would be in breach of his rules. Really. Bless him.


Pudding is at Kindy, Grub is sleeping. I should be doing housework but I am blogging. A good housewife I am not.

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So obviously pageant went well. Given that my lovely, reasonforliving iphone and the family digital camera were killed in the pursuit of Christmas slappers and bagpipe marching bands.

Obviously there are no photos, well actually, Beefy did take some on his phone for me but I have not gotten around to uploading them and quite frankly they are much the same as last year’s.

It was almost unbearably hot. We were very lucky really. We began by hovering at the back of the crowd right at the parade kick-off point. We made it just in time to witness the blowing of the whistle and there must be something a little wrong with me as I was overcome with nostalgic emotion, I still remember taking the big kids to Pageant when they were quite small and they are so big now it seems almost unbelievable. Anyway, we sweltered in the full glare of the headingto39degrees sun for a few minutes by which time we all needed to take a break. We retreated to the shade provided by the portico of a large office building and … There we stayed.

Once we were there we realised that it afforded us a pretty good view and there was no risk of sun stroke. A no-brainer really. We lifted the kids up when the Big Guy came past and Pudding was so thrilled when Father Christmas waved in our direction. I felt crushingly guilty that we were filling his little mind full of Father Christmas propganda, something I am ideologically opposed to. In practice I get caught up in the “magic” of it all and can’t resist spinning the tale for them. Terrible.

All in all Pageant was worth it, despite the heat. The walk wasn’t too bad and I feel like it’s such a special thing to give to my kids. I spent most of my childhood in Melbourne, although my extended family were all in SA. I always felt not quite Victorian and not quite South Australian and I guess I feel that sharing these intrinsically South Australian things with our kids will provide them with a more solid sense of identity. Maybe, or something.

It was not worth losing my iphone though. The camera has recovered from it’s dunking, probably because it was in it’s nice padded case and my poor wee phone was nude.


There is hope, however. Apparently Apple will replace a water damaged iphone under warranty for about $260 including postage and all. So, we can’t quite do that for a couple of weeks due to the state of our finances but fingers crossed in a couple of weeks I will be able to hold the that gorgeous piece of electronics in my hand once again. Seriously, I feel like I have lost a limb!

Masters of the Colosseum

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In the kitchen a few minutes ago I mentioned to Beefcake that I would like to go and blog. Just letting him know he’s in charge of the troops while I’m otherwise occupied. He turned to me and with quite the shocked expression said “Oh my god, you actually made it. You haven’t blogged since before Christmas!”

I have to admit I’m mightily pleased with myself. I was quite sure I would have to blog at some point before now. I have been suppressing some internet urges, but I have been mainly withdrawal-free. We have been enjoying lots of yummy food and time with friends and family, which have distracted me somewhat, however I must be honest and say that it is in no small part due to the obscene amounts of chocolate I have inhaled over the past week or so. I have been laying down new layers of thigh blubber whilst undertaking my yearly adventure into “Puzzlin season”.

You see, I very much enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle. The problem is they are not practical at all, especially not with small children around. Tiny pieces of colourful cardboard are just too enticing to toddlers. Pieces become spread throughout the house and stashed in all sorts of special hidey holes, along with precious sticks and broken crackers. Also, I never seem to be able to find a clear surface big enough to hold a puzzle without some special occasion to dictate a clean-up.

Growing up, we always did puzzles at Christmas and as my older children have grown to enjoy the more complicated puzzles we have started doing them together. We puzzle together but, due to aforementioned practical difficulties, limit this activity to the prescribed “Puzzlin’ Season”, which falls between Christmas and New Year.

During Puzzlin Season we puzzle hard. Our fingers are blistered, our eyes bleed, we puzzle day and night (except for Beefcake, who is crap at puzzles and has the attention span of a gnat). Yesterday we finally finished a four-day puzzling epic. It was a 1000 piece Colosseum at night. Rhubarb chose it. I didn’t think too much of it but it as all in shades of yellow, orange and brown and instead of being quick and fun, it nearly killed us.


I took this yesterday (yes it is upside down) when I was about to abandon it and start a new one. I’m pleased to report that we soldiered on and mastered that mother. It wasn’t easy and as a mark of how crapped off we were with it I didn’t even bother to take a photo of it completed before we smashed it to pieces.

Now even though Puzzlin’ Season is over, we have started a 500 piece Basilica San Marco so as to finish the season on a high. It’s cheating but, oh well.

I do hope everyone else has been having as much fun, doing whatever it is you do, as we have been with our puzzles  (and chocolate).

P.S. I just checked my reader and there are over 500 items in it. Oh fuck!

P.P.S. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from the Callapipper Tree!!

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I was going to look for something  festive and witty to finish out 2008.

I haven’t had time.

So, I’m going to get really creative and wish everybody who reads this a:


(I know I outdid myself, hehe)

See you in 2009.


El Caganer

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I have been planning post about our Christmas decorations. I keep meaning to take pics and get it together but it’s not happening. It is especially not happening today as I have a monumental headache, which began last night. It is not responding to the pathetic drugs I am able to take whilst breastfeeding and I am feeling very sorry for myself. I am unable to wield a camera myself and so the lovely Beefcake has kindly taken some photos of what was to be the highlight of my Christmas decorations post.

In parts of Spain, the following jolly gentleman is a traditional element in the nativity scene. When our Spanish friends first told us about him, we didn’t believe them. Once we realised how fabulously real El Caganer is, we of course had to purchase one for ourselves. I’m not really sure why a man taking a dump is considered an essential part of the scene surrounding the birth of Jesus.

The little statues you can buy do vary in how *ahem* graphic they are in their depiction of the pooping. Ours leans more towards the graphic end of the spectrum. We love him so much that when it is not Christmas he resides on our bedroom mantle piece. So here he is, our most well-loved Christmas ornament, our “pooping man”.

Now if that doesn’t get you in the mood for Christmas then nothing will.

Pageantry – Episode 2

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So, Pageant is a South Australian icon. It’s curious because, it’s nowhere near Christmas and still hundreds of thousands of people are willing to stand in any weather (frequently over 30° C), yesterday it was grey and intermittently spitting, to cheer for a bunch of credit union employees and volunteers dressed in some pretty ordinary costumes. Kids love it though and I think every South Australian has a soft spot for Pageant, we even televise it.

My favorite characters and floats are those that bear no relationship to Christmas, so, er, actually that would be most of them. This year I got a giggle out of the Bollywood float, or maybe I just enjoyed embarassing Rhubarb and Poss by trying to dance with them Bollywood style.

There was a brass band playing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, there were twenty or so middle-aged women dressed as fairies, and parading beside a sparkly purple castle float. There were cavorting clowns and people dangling twirling pieces of sparkling fabric. There was a rapunzel float, upon which people danced to the theme of Grease while brandishing oversized plastic hairdryers. Yep, Pageant really makes sense, all of it.

I have added some photos of some of the choicest floats and spectacles:

This nightmarish fellow is named Boohoo the Jester.

The always Christmasy, cycling clown.

Now, I struggle to see where the sleuthy terrier in the kilt fits in to the whole Christmas theme, any thoughts?

No, pageant is complete without several bagpipe bands, this is actually a little bit unfortunate for me. You see, I have some strange hard-wired emotional reaction to bagpipes, I cry every time I hear them. I can’t help myself. Of course, my family find this hilarious.

A bit of Australiana. This float was accompanied by a bunch of men, each carrying a swag with a sheep’s legs hanging out.

Ahhh, Humphrey. There’s no man in a bear suit we South Aussie’s love better.

Aladdin. This float was actually quite cool, apart from the fact that it was accompanied by music from the Disney movie.

Finally, the float everyone was waiting for. On his way to the “cave” in the nearby David Jones department store.

I have to say though, my favourite element of the Pageant, by far is pictured below:

Yes, that’s right, Christmas Slappers.

Row, upon row of women dressed up as Festive Christmas Slappers. Delightful.

Aah, Adelaide. We can bogan-up any occasion.

Pageantry – Episode 1

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My family dragged me out of my sickbed this morning to attend the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. I was going to put up a bunch of photos today (because, quite frankly, Pageant is hilarious) but I am tired now and have decided to post them tomorrow. For today, I just thought I would post a pic of Grub. She had the best seat in the house (in a sling attached me) but she didn’t think much of the festivities.