102 days to Antarctica..."Coat Of Many Colors" Dolly Parton


Approximately 10 minutes reading time

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” Joseph Campbell

Hello, I hope that you are well and that your week has been a good one. I can’t believe the date and that another week has passed. Thanks for joining me. Schrodie and I have had a mostly good week, although not an easy one. We remain hopeful that these easier and relaxing times are on a near horizon.

As a long-time fan and admirer of Joseph Campbell, I recall his words as I believe this to be the best way to live. We cannot control what happens to us or what impact other people have on us, all we can do is play our hand the best we can by controlling our responses via our thoughts, decisions, choices and actions. We too, like reptiles need to shed our skins constantly. I don’t make plans, never have as I understand the flaw and peril of plans in life. I have goals and work to achieve them whilst living consciously in the present, mindful of both the future and the past. So far, so good. I am grateful.

Another countdown has begun. It’s only forty eight days to Christmas and only fifty four days until 2022. Oh my! Christmas time is my favourite time of the year because it brings out the best of humanity, although not without its balance. Even though both my Uncle and Mummy both died on Christmas Eve, we still Celebrate the Birth of Jesus and the Joys, Hope and Promise of the Season and of Humanity and Life whilst remembering them. This is a hard balancing act, particularly as we need to show the children how this is done and it can be an all-encompassing Celebration of Life.

I have had no time to consider gifts. It’s hard with so many more pressing considerations and without money, particularly when I am starting my entire life over when I had all but retired. There is still time. I always put much thought and considerations into my gifts, there is still time.

What a crazy week. Sadness gripped me when I learned that my lifelong Hero, Jon Bon Jovi was sick with Covid-19. I was gladdened to hear him report that he was okay. After about a week of having Covid-19, Jon said that he is feeling better and that it’s a terrible illness. He was double vaccinated and still caught it and found out after a quick test before he headed on stage for a Concert at Miami Beach, Florida on 31st October. Happy Halloween! Perhaps it was the vaccine that saved him. Who knows?

I have been so busy. Progress on my home is continuing, with my bushfire rebuild almost at lock-up. For the moment my priority is going home. Starting over is exciting and in some ways filled with trepidation, mainly as I don’t currently have control of much in my life. This will improve once I can return home and all these people currently in my life because of circumstance, will be gone.

It is wonderful being back out into the world. Socializing and having fun. I force myself to go out as I know it’s the best thing to do when you don’t necessarily feel like it and am glad that it is fun and an opportunity to laugh with friends, old and new. I’m excited to be meeting up with some of my favourite people and old friends whom I love. Some of them I haven’t seen since my life went to Hell in a hand basket in 2020 when my home burned down and I lost everything including my health, well-being, independence and almost succumbed to Death and Hades, countless times.

A friend sent me an old photo of us from Christmas 2010 and I almost didn’t recognise myself. We both love Christmas and every year for many years we had our photo taken with Santa at David Jones in Sydney’s CBD each Christmas. We were supposed to continue into old age or until we couldn’t anymore. Life got in the way. I no longer have my photos so I was grateful to receive a copy from her. I couldn’t believe how different I looked eleven years ago. It’s not so much about age, just different. My belief has always been that our story is written on our face and this is the difference I see in all these photos. I have also found photos of myself on various international travel jaunts from 2018 and 2019, then photos of myself over 2020 and 2021. It’s very confronting, especially seeing how sick I was and looked, like the living dead, it’s rather horrifying and saddening. While I was having industrial strength Chemotherapy and when I was totally disabled. I am so glad and grateful that I don’t look like that anymore. Most especially I am grateful that I am not sick, dying or disabled anymore. It’s a wonder everybody didn’t run away from me, although I pushed them away during the worst of it all and didn’t tell them of my condition or experience until it had passed. I am grateful for the kindness, love, care and generosity shown to me by so many, most especially by some incredibly wonderful and special people throughout this time. It was more than I could have ever imagined or believed.

At this time of year, it reminds me of The Little Drummer Boy and Baby Jesus. It reminds me of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colours, his father's treasured gift to his favourite son, a multi-coloured coat, from the Bible’s Old Testament. I am also reminded of Dolly Parton and her “Coat of Many Colours”. Like Joseph, Dolly's coat was a gift to keep her warm, made lovingly for her from scraps of cloth, by her mother. I must have been about five when mummy told me about Dolly Parton’s story and this song. I have never forgotten it and have heard Dolly tell her story as well. Mummy’s favourite music was Country and Western as it was then, now it’s Country. I grew up listening to and loving Dolly. Is there anyone in the World who doesn’t love Dolly? I doubt this would be possible. Her story and her music are wonderful and inspiring. Mummy always told me about the people behind everything she taught me. I am so grateful to her for all the gifts she gave me. They have helped me through these tragedies, horrible, terrible times which have been the worst of my life and beyond imagining. Dolly’s beautiful and inspiring song about love, joy, pride, gratitude and most of all perspective, is this week’s song of the week. I hope that you enjoy the song and the sentiment as much as I do. I admire Dolly Parton for her colour in a bleak world, for her candour and her courage, most especially her spirit and her generosity. Maybe I’ll go to "Dolly World" in Tennessee when I next go to the States and visit the South. There are still so many things I have not yet done. They aren’t essential things to my happiness but would be a lovely bonus in my life. I learned a lot about the American South when I was little, for so many reasons. I have been and seen much but not yet enough.

Since January 2020 and all that has happened to me, I often joke that I have suffered four of the seven plagues, blights on humanity as told by Joseph. So far, I have survived fire, flood, famine, plague and pestilence. It seems that I have survived five of the seven plagues.

Outside, the rain is torrential and unyielding, the air is cold as it is inside our beautiful sandstone cottage. It is once again like winter time. The expensive gas, under floor heater is on and has been running constantly. I hate discomfort. I would rather starve than be uncomfortable. Happily the sun does manage to burst through the dark, black clouds for a little while most days. We have managed our walks, every day except today. It is simply too wet. Schrodie has taken us on some lovely, new and long walks through the bush. Schrodie loves the bush, as do I. I can’t let him off the lead because there are too many dangerous risks and creatures. As a Terrier he will sniff, seek out, chase any animal, no matter how dangerous to him, so he stays on the lead much as I wish I could leave him run and play off-lead. Yesterday I thought we were lost and without water in the heat but we made it out safely and had a good drink once we were home. Schrodie had a drink from the running stream flowing into the creek. This is a benefit of all the rain. We dance every day and have fun, for which we are both grateful.

Rain makes me grateful that we all have enough to drink and live well as it replenishes our ever dwindling global water supplies. Most especially I am glad that it wards off bushfires in the heat. May what happened over the 2019/2020 Black Summer and those Bushfires, never happen again, anywhere. On our way home the other day, there was the stench of smoke along the highway. I prayed that it was back burning and not a fire. The air was dark and thick as we approached our turn-off. I had closed the windows and blocked the outside air entering the car but the smell of smoke was inescapable. We will never forget this smell. It awakened a strange type of feeling, a weird fear and anxiety of memories past. I heard and saw the fire trucks in the bush and still hoped that it was back-burning. After a conversation with others later, this back burning was confirmed and I was relieved.

The Australian Series “Fire” on ABC has been hard to watch. It made me feel proud of myself for how I had handled this horrific experience and tragedy. This was unexpected and very peculiar. The show is very well made and the depictions of the experience are excellent. My friend said that she had lived through it and couldn’t bear to watch it and didn’t want to, which I completely understand. We were all traumatised, in various capacities, by what happened to us and others during that experience. My experience was unbelievable, as the fires and losing everything was the best thing that happened to me. The horrors are ever present. I am grateful and glad to be recovering and restoring my body, my home and my life.

Fencing has become a nightmare issue for me to deal with as resources are limited and astronomically expensive. I don’t know what to do and worry about the ever increasing expenses to finish my home, so we can return and live safely and well. Steel looks to be the safest and most practical, most economic solution but the cost is a lack of aesthetics and privacy. I am collating options and pricing. The 80 metre wooden paling fence built by my neighbour, inside my yard, may need to stay, for it is another problem with which I must deal and finance. This is unnecessary for me at this point in time as I lack the energy, inclination and resources. Choose your battles Theodora. This one can wait.

Curtains for my house with its over-sized glass windows and doors has turned into a major issue and concern. I spoke with two people about getting curtains made after I purchased the most beautiful woollen brocade and flocked cotton chenille fabrics but they won’t make what I want. They told me I can only use tracks, which they happen to sell, for my curtains because of the rod lengths required. This is ludicrous and simply not true. They only know how to do what they do and my requirements are apparently outside the norm, even though they are simple. The expense will be great. I even considered agreeing to having pleated curtains which I do not want in my home. I want beautiful, elegant, simple curtains. I fear that the fabric will be wasted and there is none to spare. I have decided to make my own curtains. I have never made curtains. There are instructions which I have found and they seem simple enough. Matching the patterns within the fabric is the most important consideration, even though sewing is not my greatest strength, I will manage. At least I can lay the fabric on the floor to cut, assemble and arrange it. As I have no furniture, this will be easy. Thankfully it will be Summer time so cold is not an issue if it takes me some time to complete the curtains and have the rods installed. I need to buy a new sewing machine. I’m not sure what to buy. I loved my Janome machine and my Overlocker. This will be a priority once I can return home. Something else to look forward to in the near future. I am excited, nervous and anxious as I don’t know when I can return home.

Yesterday I had my Benralizumab after four months, having missed my last injection because of the Covid Vaccine. Today I noticed that the tiny capillaries, blood vessels, on my face, around my eyes are broken again. This and bleeding eyes are what happen to me, as well as swelling of my feet. These are not obvious to others but to me. I have researched that these are rare side-effects of this biological drug and the Methotrexate. I want to stop them both as soon as possible. At the end of this month I come off Prednisone completely, hopefully forever. I am okay but still have a malaise, fatigue and exhaustion. I am always running around completing chores, balanced by socialising and fun. I am trying to eat better and regularly. I have cut down on my sugar intake. I am eating fruit every day. My gums are okay again so the Scurvy has abated. I take my supplements daily but not my Women’s multi-vitamin when I take my Methotrexate since I discovered the Folate which blocks the Methotrexate. My health and strength are improving, against all the odds. I still laugh and play every day, for which I am grateful, especially on the hardest days.

In order to Celebrate a friend’s personal milestone we were able to go out to a Restaurant and have a wonderful, delicious meal in a splendid environment. It was fabulous. The Martini's were a wonderful bonus. It made me realise how I have missed Martini's.

Today I have prepared a chicken stew with chicken drumsticks and mixed frozen vegetables, a tin of tomatoes and some tomato paste for richness, depth of flavour and depth of colour which really matters to me. This was seasoned simply with salt and pepper. It is hearty comfort food on a cold, wet day. It is a simple, easy, quick, nutritious and cheap meal without fat. I’ll have some bread to make my two carbohydrate counts for my Type 1 Diabetes. It smells delicious.

As for Antarctica, who knows if and when I will ever get there as my current booking deadline looms. I have not yet even had time to think much about my trip or prepare. Although I have researched a little into the best gear to take on my journey but still have much research and preparation. I may not be ready but it will still be a dream come true. Once again, I have surrendered to the Universe and wait, impatiently, excitedly, for my future to unfold.

May your week be a good one. May there be joy and delight in your every day, no matter how small. Smile as often as you can as it will make you feel better. Laugh every day and do something to fill your heart with joy. Thank you for your company. As always, I hope that you feel better leaving Schrodie’s Mummy than when you arrived. I hope you enjoy my other posts and pages. May they interest, inspire and delight you in some way, as they do, me. Please refer anyone that you think might benefit from visiting us here.

Have fun, take care, stay happy and well.

Bye from us, for now.

Watch this space...


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