multiple sclerosis

Household Habits, Outside and Inside

Well today was a day of potential danger, but of enjoyment too, if inwardly laughing at someone who is ridiculously (in your opinion) scared. Many things in and around our homes can be both dangerous and fun too.


Swimming pools are a good example of this, and at the other end of the temperature scale you have fire. Fires are lovely things to see, with those gloriously flickering orange/yellow/red flames. I’m not so keen on the swimming pool we have in the backyard, but my husband is. I acknowledge of course that a swimming pool is excellent for rapidly cooling in the stinking hot summers we have in South Australia where I live.

Fires though, I love watching a fire burning under control. We had some dried wood lying around our place, that had been there in the sun,k drying out for some time, and today was the day to ‘deal with it’. So Graham dragged all of the bigger branches together, and set fire to them. Whoosh up they went. I love the fires like that, beautiful!

Graham started the fire, and a little later I got involved, adding smaller branches, trying to place them so they encouraged the fire. Today was lovely outside, and there was a gentle breeze, so the smoke was wafting all around, which was a little challenging at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m a smoke magnet, today every time I tried to get out of the smoke the breeze blew it after me, it seemed at times. Haha!

I’m not sure how long exactly I stayed outside with the fire, adding dead twigs and dried out weeds. Graham went back inside and I stayed out there with the fire, revelling in its glory. I know I have the power to put out that kind of fire, with just a few minutes with the garden hose, so it’s not that unsafe as long as I’m careful. So I stayed with it, as it slowly burnt itself almost out, with ash and almost burnt up branches left to smoulder for a while.

Then I come back inside, and judging by the way I was feeling, I realised I’d allowed myself to get too hot, and I’d been standing up for too long. I’m certainly feeling the effects of it all now, sitting down again inside where there is only a normal inside temperature instead of a fiercely burning fire. Multiple Sclerosis is like that. You can be feeling almost ‘normal’ doing things anyone else might be able to do, then you overheat, or get fatigued, and watch out! the MS has hit you again.

Cooling down and resting for a while are both helping me, and fortunately I feel fine now. It’s a good thing I’m feeling fine too, because not that long ago, after I’d been sitting on the sofa for a while, Graham said ‘Watch out, Spider!’

He didn’t shriek, but I looked and immediately got up – he said I’d better get rid of the spider or he’d kill it. I knew he meant it too, because he really, really, really doesn’t like spiders. I looked where he pointed, and there was a huntsman (I guess), not the biggest I’ve ever seen, but not the smallest either. The spider was on the sofa I was sitting on, on the back part, where Graham’s head would have been, if he’d sat down like he was going to before he saw the unwanted visitor.

along came a spider

(This is a spider I’d rescued on another day, before Graham saw it and killed it)

I told him to get me the dustpan and brush and I’d take it outside. He went to the kitchen and I got up to take the dustpan and take the spider outside. I’ve done this lots of times. I don’t mind those big spiders, but Graham hates them, so I know the best thing for me to do if I ever see one inside is to take it out and release it to the ‘wild’ outside somewhere, away from the doors, hoping it will stay outside where Graham won’t kill it …

Those poor spiders, but poor Graham too, of course. He has been able to get over a huge phobia that he had when we first moved out to the country. He feared spiders as much as I feared snakes, before I was able to get over my fear. My fear was a more realistic one of course – the snakes we see at our place could kill, if I was bitten by one, but a huntsman spider is harmless to a human. Ah well, Graham is big and brave and lovely in many ways, and he’s allowed to have his quirks, I may have a quirk or two myself!

Living in the country brings in so many fearful, feisty and fun things. Fire, dangerous creatures, scary ones, and beautiful things too – fire again, and the lovely birds that fly around us here, I wouldn’t move back the to the suburbs if you paid me to! I think country living is far superior – what do others think? I’d love to know, leave a message here!


Sunshine in the Morning

In Winter, sometimes the day can start out being dark and not get much lighter during the day, because the sky is too cloudy to let the sunshine in. Other days, the shu can rise in a sky that gets bluer and bluer, all the way through to sunset, and a clear star-filled sky.

Other days can be like today. We had a nice sunrise (I assume, I slept through it), then we had a lovely blue, right up until the clouds came along and things got darker. Often dark and cloudy skies at least have the benefit of bringing rain to help to freshen up the garden. Not today though, not here anyway.

We haven’t been getting that much rain really, considering the season it is. One tends to thing that winter is when there is lots of rain, rain, and thunderstorms. But as at now, the rainfall for Winter seems to be lower than for other years … Of course, we have hoses and water available at the turn of a tap, so our plants will still be OK. A bit of rain in winter is still appreciated though, for sure.

But these sunny times in Winter are appreciated to, by many. I’m not a farmer, and I imagine the farmers in my part of South Australia would like to see some more rain. The crops are coming up, so there paddocks are showing green, but if more rains, and heavier rains don’t follow up on the rains we’ve already had, I suspect the crops would suffer. I hope Nature brings that needed rain.

We hope so too, we have our own ‘crops’ as I’ve written about before. The mandarin tree, the two vegetable plots, and our saltbush plants, the all need water, the saltbush plant not needing as much though. Saltbush plants are saviours in some areas, when and if the rain doesn’t come. They manage to grow well enough, on little or no rain, offering food to herbivores, when there is little else available.

And the saltbush doesn’t seem to mind the sun, it doesn’t seem to suffer at all, even in summer, when most of the other plants can show signs of distress. Having some plants like that is a good thing, for a garden. Succulents are like that too, they can keep on going through harsh times. So too can geraniums, and they have the added bonus of flowers of various colours.

All in all, our garden this Winter has had a good range of sunshine and rain, and I’m looking forward to what Spring might bring. I love following along with how things are going at our place, and also how the birds around us are going. Of course, they are dependant on Nature for rain, although we help them out a little, with three bird baths, and also have the swimming pool, that some birds drink from, mostly sparrows and swallows.

Interesting things, birds, and flowers and trees. And of course, the sky blue, or clouded, or star filled. Lovely, all of it!

growing your own, Uncategorized

Our First Home-grown Mandarin

Graham and I made a big decision this morning. We thought about it a little, then we went out to the back of our place, and we picked a mandarin from our mandarin tree. If you haven’t been following this blog, that may seem a little uninteresting to you, but if you’ve been following this blog, you may know why this is such an important thing.

This little mandarin tree (bush really, because it’s still so small), has been planted in the ground for only about three years, and this year is the first year we have actually had fruit go last all the way to maturity. There are only about 20 mandies, lovely orange coloured globes of fruity goodness. Well, 20 minus one, because we plucked on from the tree, brought it inside and ate it. It looked exactly like a mandarin, smelt exactly like one, and yes it tasted exactly how a mandarin should taste, tart and delicious.

A little too tart, really, but still very tasty. We will leave the remaining fruit for a few more days, so they can ripen some more, and get some sweetness happening. The one Graham and I shared today, was worth trying, and I’m glad we did, but I hope and expect the next one will be even more delicious!

I love having homegrown things. Tonight we are going to have chopped cos lettuce and baby spinach, which either Graham or I will pick from our vegetable patch, yum! This will be the first time of this season too, and I love the way all of these delicious things are moving into the stage where we can taste the value of ‘Home-grown!’

If you have any ‘home-grown’ success stories, or even horror stories, I’d love to read about it, leave a message and we can all congratulate or console you!


community, Uncategorized

Winter is Here!

Yes, the seasons move on, from one to the next, and the next, then the next, then back again. The season has now definitely moved on to winter in the southern hemisphere now, in South Australia, where I live, for sure. We’ve had mostly grey skys with rain the past few days, with more rainy grey days to come.

But that’s the way of Nature, things grow, watered by the rain, they flower, then fruit, green leaves provide shade, change colour, fall off, withe he fallen leaves providing nutrients to the soil, helping more plants to grow. We harvest the fruit, or pick the vegetables and herbs, and are thankful to the people who did the planting, and to Nature too.



Winter is cold, yes, and not all people have warm and safe homes to live in. I am so grateful that my home and my household provide safety for me, and I can live here, do the things I want to do, and know that when I go to sleep at night, I will wake up, still able to do all I want to do. Living this life is a result of many things, some of them provided by me, some my partner, some society, some the government, and so on.

I feel for those unable to live such a good and safe life, and wish they all too had access to better things is life, better ways to live. Life though, that gives opportunities, but not for all. People will apportion blame to those without the whatever it takes, to get on well in life, but really, who can honestly say who is to blame for a life that goes upside down, unable to be set up properly again?

All it takes is for one thing to go wrong, and then another, and we may be disabled or dead, Snap! just like that … The seasons of a life are changable, our lives are changable, and we must be prepared to make the best of what life gives to us. Having said that, I realise that this is easy enough to say, but taking advantage of these things isn’t always easy. I realise that, and am mindful to not lay blame on people for not having things.

The Blame Game is an all too easy road to take, but really, should we do this? I’m thinking, sadly, about the women recently murdered, raped, abused, and also men similarly murdered, or who have killed themselves because they no long want to be alive … Suicide surely is never the best available option, but when a person has sunk to the depths of despair, it can be difficult to see any other solution. If this was an ideal world, which it certainly isn’t, nobody would feel like that. I wonder if that ideal world is ever going to be here? I doubt it, though, there are far too many people making money from the despairs of others …

Does anyone know a better way for our world to be? And end to wars would be a good start, the weapons-makers could make other things instead. We could all begin to think kindly thoughts instead of unkindly thoughts, when we have the choice. Being kind, instead of being curt, smiling at others and not frowning at them. Giving freely whenever possible, using less, giving more, growing our own, sharing produce. Many things and ways, but how to encourage others to be involved?

Community, that’s the way to think, building communities that promote the ideas of giving, growing, teaching, sharing. In my community of Mallala, there are people who will give excess fruit if they have it, lemons, for instance. In the nearest bigger town of Gawler, there are people who grow their own and get together regularly to share what they have, all working at strengthening the community. Strong communities can help to build strong people, strong and caring people.


Are stronger communities, ones that grow and connect with others, sharing knowledge, sharing good ideas, sharing the idea of sharing, are these the things that can bring about the ideal world I dream about, I wonder? I’m interested to know what other people think – is there hope for our future? If so, how will it happen, please leave comments here.


My Spiritual Site

Our backyard seems to be the place I can go to, to find peace and a sense of secular spiritually. I am not a believer in any god, but a believer in the all mighty power of Good. When I go out of our back door, I am at one with Nature, which is my symbol of the greater good.

Outside are the plants we grow for food (herbs, fruit, vegetables) and for enjoyment (flowers, lawn, greenery). Outside is the big blue or clouded sky, and the huge trees that bring the birds I love to watch. And further, beyond the backyard is the rest of our property, and all of the rest of our township we’ve lived in and loved for over thirty years.

When I sit outside on that sofa that once upon a time was our ‘good’ sofa, I think about lots of different things, or sometimes I meditate and think about absolutely nothing. Whichever end of the thinking spectrum I am at, I know it will be good. I also go outside sometimes to do a secular salute to the sun. I did one of these this morning. I will explain how I did this today, which is similar to how I usually do it.

Today I let Missy outside, then swapped my slippers for my rubber boots, and went and stood on the concrete path and looked up toward the sun. Then I held both arms out behind myself with my palms facing upward, before holding that position and sinking into a squat. I held that squat for about ten seconds then rose slowly, finishing with my hands in a ‘prayer position’ in front of my chest. I repeated that entire routine, I think five times and then Missy and I came back inside. I think both of us benefited in various ways from it.

I’m trying to live as mindful a life as I can, and with the mindfulness and meditation, combined with the wonderful family and friends I have, my life is a joyful one too! My simple life brings me much joy indeed. Do you find joy in your life? I’d love to hear about how you do it, leave a comment here!


When the Dog Goes Walkies

I’m not the one who takes the family dog walkies, that’s not my job. Graham is the one who goes walkies with Missy, and they both enjoy it. They are both getting more toned, ridding their bodies of excess weight, and adding on muscle. Being out and active in the garden can do both of those things too.

Missy is a ‘get up on the sofa and stay there’ kind of dog, for a large part of the day, but sometimes, when she goes into the yard, she really goes, streaking around and around the backyard like there’s a banshee at her back. Then she’ll suddenly stop and look at me, as if it was my fault she was running madly around and I should apologise, or something.

Of course, she may just be doing it because she likes a good run, every now and then, who knows? Until we learn how to understand what dogs really think, we can only guess, and the dogs can’t actually, truly tell us if we get it wrong.

Missy and Graham are out walking at the moment, which means the house is all mine, except for the people on the TV screen who I’m doing my best to ignore. They might be talking about sports I’m not interested in, or it could be political. I heard the word ‘problems’, and that’s it. It’s mostly a blur of sound, with little actual meaning. I think I just heard the word ‘drunk’ or it could have been ‘drug’, I’m not sure. Either way, it isn’t a good word to hear, under the circumstances. I’ll continue ignoring the TV, it’s better that way, I think.

dig it

So when I’m home alone, I ignore the TV, that is on anyway, waiting for Graham to get home so that somebody at least pays it some attention. I’m happy with no TV on, and only Natures sounds coming in from outside (although with the cooler weather here, I can’t hear much of that either). The idea of exercise, walking up and down our road, is a good idea, but I don’t like walking that much, even though I know I need the exercise almost as much as Graham does. I’m more like Missy, and will do my favoured exercises, but not too often, even if it’s good for me. Missy and I both like lolling about doing not much physical at all.

I don’t know if Missy does much thinking when she’s on the sofa. I know she has dreams, or maybe nightmares, when her legs move, and she whimpers a little bit. Do dogs really dream, I wonder? Am I just putting my own human interpretation on something? Humans often do that, anthropomorphising things that animals do, especially when the animals in question are our pets. When these creatures live in our homes, we see them doing things, and think we understand it all.

balance business cobblestone conceptual

Photo by Pixabay on

We don’t always get it right, I’m sure, but I hope that at least some of the time, humans can in fact understand what’s going on in the animal/pet world. When I wrote my three books with Buster the Dog (who lives in my head), I was trying hard to understand how things humans do seem to our pet dogs. I certainly enjoyed writing those books, and like sharing them with people (not just because I get money if they buy my books!)

I love to write about things to gain a better understanding of them, and to understand what I think about things. Do you write about things? If so, what is your favourite way to write – a journal or diary? A blog? Poetry? Stories? I’d love to hear about it!

growing your own

Growing Our Own

We love mandarins in our household, as I’m sure many households do. They’re usch neat packages from Nature, wrapped up and ready for us. We love them so much, a couple of years ago, Graham, the main gardener in our house, bought a mandarin and planted it. He’s been looking after it well, watering the plant, and putting down mulch to conserve the water.

By the way, he’s been using shredded waste paper for the mulch, and it seems to be doing the job well. It’s a far better thing to do with paper, than burning or throwing it away, that’s for sure. Last season, we had flowers on the bush, and some tiny little green fruit began growing, but they all fell off, and never made it to possible eating stage. I think the tree was the victim of a run of hot weather.

This year the mandarin is going along better, it’s made it through the summer without suppering from too much heat, and the tiny little mandarins that came from the flowers grew, and grew, and grew. Some of them are still growing, but they’re hanging in and getting bigger all of the time. Mandarins are changing colour, from green to orange, slowly headed for sweet loveliness!
IMAG0309Looking at the photo, you can see some of the fruit is turning from green to orange, hooray! I can see I think six of the mandies in this photo. I’ve been counting and recounting them, but I’m not sure how many there are. Sometimes I could see 18, other times I’ve counted up to 21 lovely mandarins. It doesn’t really matter how many there are, but I count them anyway. Humans are strange like that, I don’t really know why.

If anyone has ideas about this, please leave a comment, I’d love to discuss the matter. Is it greed-related perhaps? Wanting to have lots of good things?