philosophy, Uncategorized

Sunshine – Blessed Happiness

Today I did something I rarely do, I exposed most of my upper body to the sun! I kept my under clothes on, and my track pants, but I exposed some flesh to the lovely and blessed sunshine.

This unusual event occurred in the backyard, which is pretty private anyway, so if anybody copped a view of a little more than they were expecting, then they probably got more than they deserved! I was out there with husband and our dog Missy, while washing was being hung up, and then our Canna plants watered.

I looked at the mandarin tree while I was outside, and it certainly looked like it needs the watering it’s getting right now. We are forecast to have some much hotter weather in the next few days, and we need to make sure these plants get what they need. Sunshine is certainly needed by plants for the photosynthesizing process, but correct watering is important too, very important.

Humans need proper hydration (water) too. At the moment, I’m working on my second glass of water for the day, and I’ve had a cup of coffee first up, as I almost always do. That coffee counts toward my needed water intake, up to a point. I feel that if I have three cups of coffee, and about three glasses of water, that is probably enough for my needs.

Other people may have other needs. I did around twenty minutes of aerobic exercises today, with the family Wii Fit machine. I didn’t work hard enough to build up a big sweat, so it isn’t like a runner, who will lose much water through sweating. One day I may be fit enough to actually go jogging outside, but that moment is certainly not now. I get tired, just doing my two minutes of jogging on the spot inside with the Wii Fit machine …

Rome wasn’t built in one day, as they say, and my aerobic fitness is a work in progress. Getting sufficient sunshine is a work in progress too. I am slowly reducing my layers of clothing, after the cold of Winter and early Spring. I like to be warm, rather than being cool, other people prefer it the other way around.

I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and it is felt by the experts that vitamin d, at least the lack of it, may have a negative role in my disease. Having adequate vitamin d is felt to be healthful. So, if I want to be as healthy as possible, it is a good idea to receive vitamin d from the sunshine, whenever I can.

It’s a balancing game, this one though. I have also had skin cancers (in the early stages) removed. Sunshine brings both skin cancer and vitamin d, one bad thing, but one good thing too. So, I know that getting my sunshine for vitamin d in the morning and later afternoon is the best way to go. In the middle of the day, the sun is at its most dangerous level for skin cancer. I think I have the knowledge to make this work best for me.

On another level of being, sunshine simply makes me happy. I love what it does for the plants, the vegetables, the lawn, the trees, and the flowers. I feel so fortunate to have enough room, at my place to have all of these things, at our place in the country, with no tall buildings cutting out any of that blessed sunshine.

And of course, we have solar panels on our roof, and every moment of sunshine brings us more power for ‘free’. We’ve had our panels now for long enough to have covered the costs of their installation, so it is free actually, no need for the quote marks. Sunshine’s power helps to pay for some of the power we use, and I love that idea. I also love the fact that every bit of solar power we use is other, more worrying forms of power we don’t have to use.

This is good for everyone and everything sure, people, Nature, the planet. I know there are other things I could do that I don’t currently do, but at least I’m doing something …


birds in garden, dogs

Glorious Days of Different Kinds

Yesterday was a glorious day of sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds. There was a gentle breeze outside, the birds were merrily cheeping and chirping in their various ways, the dogs happily went from lounging around on their sofa, to happily running around outside. It was a lovely warm day, and all was pleasant both inside and outside our home. Today is also quite a pleasant day, but it’s another kind of pleasant. I have no signs of a blue sky,

aleppo pine


the sky is white and grey with clouds. There is a tiny amount of rain that may or may not fall. The birds don’t seem as chirpy as they were yesterday, and the wind is cold, and a little less pleasant because of the temperature of it. The dogs are still happily lounging around on their sofa. The dogs are almost always happy to do that, and who can blame them?!



My point with this blog post is to encourage myself, and others to look at our lives, and to find glory, or at least pleasant times, in a variety of situations. I’ve been thinking about my own health, after seeing my specialist yesterday, and I am convinced having many thoughts about the things that please me in life has played a part in why my chronic illness isn’t troubling me as it can trouble others (and has troubled me in the past). I am in the remission phase, and haven’t had a full-on relapse for quite some time now, I have only had what is called pseudoexacerbation. This is where previous MS Symptoms can occur again for only a short period of time. This is most commonly caused by getting too hot.

The symptoms go away again when you are able to cool down again. I’ve had this occur in a truly worrying way only once. On that occasion I was driving my car home, was feeling rushed, and got far too hot. When I got out of my car and walked around to the passenger side, I collapsed when I opened the door, and couldn’t get up again, my muscles wouldn’t work. It was a big worry, but I was in the shade from my car, on the grass, and I knew my son would be home from school eventually to help me.

I don’t know how long it took for his bus to drop him off from school, but it did eventually arrive, and he was able to get a neighbour to help and they were able to get me inside. After being in the air conditioned house, and with some cool water to drink, I was able to regain control of my body …

Anyway, that happened quite a few years ago – six years, possibly, and hasn’t been that bad again since. I am much more careful about these things now, having found out how bad it can be If I don’t look after myself. So sitting in a stinking hot car, with no cool air is a bad thing for me and for many other people with MS, or without MS, really … My favourite sitting around places outside are on my front or my back veranda, and I only sit there if I’m in the shade, or if I’m not in the shade, then when it’s a mild day with a cool breeze.

galahs drinking

Glorious days outside with the dogs, the trees, the clouds, the birds, oh what a marvel those lovely times can be! If you have places where you can rest and take in the glories of Nature, please leave a comment and tell us about it!


Lunch Today

When I am at home, I rarely eat dessert. We rarely eat dessert, except for the menfolk having some icecream as needed on hotter days, and sometimes after our evening meal we may have a small amount of chocolate, for health reasons only, of course. But perhaps because of this ‘no dessert’ thing of mine, I have to admit that I often launch out and order dessert when I dine out. My weight is well within the ‘ideal range’ for my height, and I am not a big eater, and that’s how I keep my weight that way.

I was at an event in Gawler today, a launch of a lovely new calendar featuring beautiful and tasteful photos of lovely ladies who have MS, and who weren’t wearing many clothes. All very nice, and no salacious pics, but a bit of naughty fun! Calendars can be obtained from here, if anyone is interested.

Anyway, after the fun of getting myself a calendar, and having it signed by the photographed ladies who were present, I decided I deserved some lunch. I know fruit and nuts are important, so I checked out the menu and ordered a serve of black forest cake. It came with (glace) cherries, sliced thin almonds and two small strawberries. I ate it all up, and enjoyed it very much!

I suspect it might be a good idea to actually jump on the scales again soon – I don’t want to end up overweight again, and if I keep up with this dining out and ordering dessert lifestyle (with little exercise), the overweight might creep up on me!

Having four dogs in the house, and being the only human in the house at the moment, might well result in me having to venture outside soon, and so some walking around and picking up and disposing of duties. Not my favourite canine chore, but dog owners must be pooper scoopers too, at times … Judging by the odour in the room, that task might be needed soonish. Phew! Smelly farts, or is that a precursor?

I’d better get out in the garden with the dogs!

multiple sclerosis

My Weight Loss Secret

I am currently at my ideal weight for my height, and have been there for quite some time. This in spite of eating sweet things not low calorie things when I dine out, and eating chocolate at home quite often. I haven’t been doing much exercise lately, but my weight is still good – 50kg and and I’m five foot nothing.

What is my secret, I hear you ask? Not so quickly … I have several medical reasons why I want to keep my weight down, and which are important to consider re exercise. I have a bung-ish knee, I have the chronic illness multiple sclerosis. The knee isn’t too painful, but keeping my weight where it’s best suited is good for it, and if I exercise to vigorously, it hurts my knee. The multiple sclerosis means keeping active is both good for me, and potentially impacted, in terms of balance and fatigue.

I’ve discovered an easy exercise program that suits me well enough, but at the moment I seem to have fallen into a ‘don’t feel like it’ period. I think if the desserts and sweet things start showing up with my weight, I’ll have the incentive to get back exercising.

Anyway, back to the point – How did I lose my weight (10kg over a couple of years), and keep it off? It’s not a wonder drug, or a fancy machine. The secret to my weight loss win is simple mathematics. When you use up more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. It may take a while to kick in, and it may not bring weight loss quickly, but if you continue to watch what you eat, and eat enough of the good stuff but not too much, you too can get to your ideal weight.

I would recommend a visit to a dietician to talk about your plans, but just learning to be more mindful with your eating, you’ll realise where you may have been going wrong. I used to eat all of the food on my plate, and would sometimes not eat enough fruit and vegetables. I’ve got better at it all now, and I’m finding that a few months of fasting several times a week helped me to learn what actual hunger feels like.

I learned to ignore my head, and listen to my body, regarding hunger. The average person can easily go on a reduced amount of food every now and then. I know I did, and I’m showing the good results from it!


Book Sale news

I’m pleased to be able to say my book sales are going well. I have about twenty copies of my book left, with some others out and about looking for new homes. I’ll be heading out and about myself beginning next week, talking to MS Peer Support groups, and selling more copies of my MS Memoir.

When you are a self-publisher, you need to become a self-promoter too. I’m a meek and humble poet, not given to grand gestures, or to bragging about my achievements. I am proud of my newest book, ‘Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS’. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, with this nice looking book, with a two great pictures of me on the front cover and another on the back cover, both photos by Martin Christmas. I love the feel of the book, and I completely adore the lovely illustrations done my Simon Kneebone.

I feel OK to say this book is a good one – the feedback I’ve received has been great. The book was self-published by me, yes, but the work of many others went into it too. My mentor Ray Tyndale helped me so much with the structure and the writing the narrative in prose. Without Ray’s work, I’d agree with the words of others, when they’ve mentioned the phrase ‘chopped up prose’. Certainly in the earliest versions of the manuscript, it resembled that…

But I listened to what Ray was trying to teach me, and I gradually got into the rhythm of the lines, and what I was writing became more poetic, more ‘verse-like’. This verse memoir has my ideas and thoughts about what living with MS is like for me, and it includes thoughts of some others too. I thank everyone who has given me their words, words that I share further with the readers of my book. Yesterday, I was able to give a freebie copy of my memoir to one of those lovely people who shared with me. It felt good to give something back to Shirl, after she had given to me, when I asked for thoughts about what could or should be in my memoir.

As I share my memoir, I share myself, and the many contacts I have, strengthen. This strengthening of contacts helps me to grow stronger, and my safety net expands, and expands. I know if I ever fall, there are many who would stop and help me up again, just as I know I would stop and help others. It’s all about community. I’m involved in the MS community, and I’m loving this community – the knowledge, the happiness at sharing, and the wonderful understanding from others who truly understand what it’s like to feel the way I feel, when I’m fatigued. If you don’t have MS, you won’t really understand …

When one is suffering from illness, you can sometimes feel alone. I know though, that I have many friends who suffer too, and we can all do our best to end the suffering. I’m living a good life, with my family and friends, and I thank them all…


And after the book launch comes …

So, the book launch happened last Wednesday. People were there, family, friends and others, and the book was launched, after suitable words were spoken. Copies of the book were chosen by attendees and signed by the author. Tea, coffee and food were enjoyed. And then we all went home again…

What comes next? Well, what comes next is the selling of all of the rest of the copies of “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS”. Holding a book launch is all very well, but there are only so many copies you can sell there. I’m happy with my book sales on the day, but I still have plenty of copies of my book looking for new homes and new readers.

I had a coffee with a friend today at my local hotel. I showed her my book, and she bought a signed copy. I’d mentioned my book to the publican earlier, and he’d put in an order for a copy, which he received today. Tomorrow I have a meeting at the MS Society SA & NT, where I’m fairly sure I’ll sell more copies of my book. After that, I have a meeting next week, and then another the week after, where there will probably be eager book buyers.

I now have plenty of copies of my book in my bag and in my car, as well as some in the house. I’ll make sure I always have book copies available, wherever I go. Such is the life of the self-publisher. I don’t mind this, I’m proud of my work with this book, and I feel it is a useful book for others to have. It’s a good looking book, with attractive illustrations and a great cover, thanks to my illustrator Simon Kneebone, and my photographer Martin Christmas. Having these two professionals involved has made my special book even more special, and I’m glad to have had them both involved …

This is the life of the self-published writer. You either sell your books yourself, or find others who will sell them for you, or you are stuck with boxes of unread books. I don’t know how long it will take me to sell my first print run of this book. My hope is that I can sell them all by the end of the year, and then can order another print run. I hope this plan will work, and I hope all of the wonderful people who have a copy of this book love it as much as I do!



What a Day!

Well, the book was written, the day was booked, Mick and Jane prepped and pretty, and the books were ready … Or were they? It was the day of book launch, and there were no books to launch. Will they arrive? Would it be a terrible flop? Only time would tell.

By lunchtime, I was told, so we trooped out to pick up the books, they were along the way to the launch venue. Will they be there? Will they, will they? Yes they most certainly were there! Two boxes filled with my book, “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS”. One hundred copies of the book, and I had high hopes for book sales at the launch. My hopes were met. Sales were good, and lovely things were said about me, and my book.

I spoke to one woman whose sister has MS, to my family and friends, and to the staff from the MS Society SA & NT. The launch speakers were great, connecting with me and with my book. I was thrilled to be listening to their words, and the way they completely ‘got’ what my book is all about. 

Hearing people say lovely things about me was slightly embarrassing – I have a lot to live up to to be as good as was said … Mick, Jane and me are ready for it, we can do this!