Saturday, 27 September 2008

Satisfying day tinged with sadness

First the sad bit. As I do most days I went to say hello to my fish in the pond and looked and looked for "Big Mother" fish (about 6-7 yrs old) who is the mother of most of the 60 or so fish in the pond. I had some damn wild ducks visit the pond a month or so ago and they injured her as I guess she was slower getting away than the little ones. Her tail was a bit bent and her scales somewhat buggered up. She has been slow since then and I have been pessimistic about her continued longevity. Looking, looking but couldn't see her at all. Then I spied a pale gold blob under some weed and yes, there she was, dead. Poor old girl. So when my worker got here I fished her out with the net and we dug a grave amongst the begonias. I felt like I should say some words for her but nothing appropriate came to mind. Never mind I will say hello to her every day when I go out there just the same.

Then we planted some elephants ears out of pots into the fern garden, some little bulb type things into the bed along the back fence, small variegated lilies and a pot of violets given by a friend into the sitting rocks bed. Then filled up the vacated pots (lovely coloured old concrete and terrazzo ones) with new dirt ready for new vege plantings. And because it was 30C today and warming up generally changed the quilt on my bed for the summer lightweight one. Ah roll on Summer!

Tired now and time for dinner.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Nice to be home

Back home after five days in Brisbane for the AGM etc. What a successful time. The new board members are fabulous with a whole bunch of skills, experience, education, working lives and different ages and disability types. Such energy and enthusiasm. We had fun together too. I feel so uplifted by it all. We did our strategic planning and are all set for a year of good work. I was voted as President again and am pleased at that as I am really enjoying the work. Will tell you more about the Brisbane trip later and the organisation itself.

I was smart this time and employed the services of a support worker both morning and evening (instead of just mornings as has been my habit) to save my energy. Consequently I have arrived home just plain tired instead of totally buggered.

My sister C and hubby D came back today from Mt Gambier on their way back to Queensland. C did some sewing for me and cleaned up Jimmy's sunroom lounging bed as it was full of dust and spiders so it looks lovely now for the spring. Jimmy is pleased after initial consternation. Glee is very pleased with no consternation in sight.

Beautiful sunny day today and warmer tomorrow. The wisteria is busting out all over and smells gorgeous.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

An Annual Report Soapbox Rave

This is the first part of an annual report I wrote recently and I didn't want to hide it in one place as I reckon it's a good rave.


Submission! What does that word mean to you? Here’s the online Free dictionary definition:

1. a. The act of submitting to the power of another: "Oppression that cannot be
overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission" Simone Weil.
b. The state of having submitted. See Synonyms at surrender.

2. The state of being submissive or compliant; meekness.

3. a. The act of submitting something for consideration.
b. Something so submitted: read three fiction manuscripts and other such submissions.

Now to the reason for starting my report this way. As I was reading through our EO’s report I was struck by how many Submissions that we make each year – 13 to be exact. While I have read and approved each one and know that that is a fair hunk of the work we do it just suddenly struck me about the word ‘Submission”.

Even tho we are the peak body representing people with physical disability in Australia, the “experts” so to speak, we are still required to submit. “Our people” are also asked to submit. And definitions 1a and 2 are exactly the position that we are all in. We are oppressed and struggling to “overcome” but we don’t revolt, we “put in another submission”. We are forced into compliance and meekness. We are forced to beg for the same rights that most abloids take for granted. What a travesty. Shame, shame on our Governments both Local and Federal.

I am constantly angered by the amount of money (usually paid to abloids) that is spent researching our Needs and developing Models around managing our lives as people with disabilities. Why is this so? It’s not rocket science. If someone needs assistance to have a shower, go to the loo, cook their tea etc then what is hard about providing that assistance? Research and development around aids and equipment have provided us with a plethora of such things for us and our assistants to enable us. So why the research and why the submissions? It’s about being stingy with the money that is provided for us. You may say that they are spending a lot of money on research, but who does that really benefit? The abloids who earn big money doing the research. It keeps them in a job. It keeps it looking like they are doing something good. In fact with the present bureaucracy of Disability Services across the nation WE keep tens of thousands of abloids in work while we suffer and wait and wait endlessly. And we continue to be meek and submissive.

Let’s make 2009 the “Year of being Aggressive and Strong and Loud”. I know the reasons why most people with disabilities are not those things. Scared of retribution. Scared of losing funding or services. Scared of our service providers if we upset them. Scared to challenge a Support Worker as they may turn sullen or even nasty. Enough already. If we all challenge and shout all the time in the face of everything then they will be forced to change. Here’s the plan:

Ring every week to ask about progress on your Unmet Need.
Ring every week to ask about Individual Funding.
Hound the pollies about the lousy pension we get to exist on.
Write to the Paper every week.
Ring the local radio station every week.
Get a few mates and camp outside a pollies door for the day once a month.
Get onto ACA, TdT or the 7.30 Report.
Tell everyone you know how badly we are neglected and ignored and ask them to write and phone too.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Bit o gardening on a sunny warm day

Did a bit of gardening today with my sister C. She cleared all the stray leaves off the small pebbles that mulch my cacti/succulent garden and planted two new plants I bought at the Royal Show the other week. One is a prickly one yellow and green and the other is a more succulent type which is a pale glowing green in the middle spreading to pink and then burgundy to rust as it goes out. Photos later. They were only $6 each and quite big - beats Bunnings any day. Then a new layer of pebbles on top and a water - beootiful!

Off to Brisbane tomorrow for the AGM etc so see you when I get back. I will publish a blog on Saturday night which is an excerpt from my Annual Report.


Cured at 65??? What flower is that?

G'day Gina and Jalal,

Gina my crip mates and I often laugh about the cured at 65 (Woo Hoo bring it on) and then just go on the Aged pension thing!! DSP recipients have a CHOICE at aged pension age to change to Aged pension or stay on the DSP. DO NOT change as there are benefits at present on DSP that you will not be eligible for if you change to Aged. Always question and challenge cos they won't tell you.

Jalal they are Wallflowers, used to be common, an old fashioned plant and they smell nice too. They go best in full sun which mine aren't. Mine are leggy and falling over. In sun they are compact upright and chokka with flowers.
Erysimum linifolium 'Bowles Mauve' is a great perennial that will flower in late spring. Flowers are 4 petaled in spikes and bright mauve-pink to lilac in color. The foliage has linear leaves and a gray-green color. Wallflowers should be spaced 18" apart and will grow 24" tall with a 35" spread. These plants are great in rock gardens, along walls and in perennial beds.
Plant Use:
Flowering Perennial
Exposure: Sun to Partial Sun
Water Requirements: Medium

I think they come in other colours too. Go get some. Not expensive.


Monday, 15 September 2008


I am sooo sick of hearing about how the Aged pension is too little to live on! No actually I am sooo sick of them NOT saying how the Disability pension is too little to live on. Both pensions are the same amount of $$. How is it when there are 700,00o people living on the DSP that they can miss us or ignore us. I think it's a case of equal but invisible therefore not to be bothered with unless it's to have a good stare as we go by.

That's it. Too pissed off to say more.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Spring has Sprung

At last spring is here and my garden is flowering beautifully. Delicious smells of freesias, violets, night scented pittosporum, wallflowers and the wisteria is just about to burst forth. I have added new photos today. One folder called Garden Spring 2008, another Cats Spring 2008 and Toilet Modifications. Go over to the right column and there is a link to get to them.

The toilet is finished - well nearly. After installing the pan they then had to rip it out (dig up the new tiles, floor and all) and move it away from the back wall as they hadn't done it to Standard which would enable (when needed) a wheeled toilet chair to fit over it. So that meant another whole week without a loo. While doing that they managed to move it out from the side wall as well about 40mm. I didn't know this til after and that is no good either. How hard can this be guys?!! So now they have to come back and move it again but they reckon they can move it sideways about 20mm without digging it up.

You may ask "What's 40mm between friends?" Well when you are as wobbly as me when doing a standing transfer it is a hell of a lot! Anyway they will be back this week to move it.

My drains have been blocking up a lot over the past few years so I have cleared 3 concrete oblong ponds from the side yard (see photo, you can still see a remnant) so I can dig the drains up and replace them (I can feel a second mortgage coming on eeek) as there seems to be no short term solution. It is costing me about $300 per year to clear them which is too much to bear. The oblong raised concrete ponds were originally used for water plants for sale when this place was a nursery. I had knocked out the bottoms and filled them with dirt for a raised vege garden when I was still a wobbly walker. But now I can't get down the sides of them so they have been useless. Clear them out and I will make a vege garden in pots.

The veges I did plant some weeks ago did survive the snails and I have been picking spinach, silver beet, 6 sorts of lettuce, parsely, chives and coriander.

I planted some tiny white azalea plants in honour of a good friend S about 6 weeks ago and they are growing well and one has flowered already! You can see them in the photos too but they are only about 15 mm high.

My sister C and her hubby D are arriving Tuesday from Queensland for a couple of days on the way to visit D's parents in Mt Gambier for a week. Be great to see them.

Then I go to Queensland for the AGM and new Director induction, Governance training and Strategic planning for the year ahead. We have quite a few new directors this year so that should be lively and interesting.

I have posted part of my Annual Report as a blog but it won't appear here until the evening of the 20th Sept. So look out for it - one of my raves.